Sunday, December 8, 2013

Mandela, dawah and Hell

So Mandela is dead. The man who in the last few hours and days has been variously described as: "the nearest thing this world had to a saint";"one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth" and "the nearest thing we have to proof of God", has gone to meet his maker - or, as some Muslims have to believe, is quite possibly now starting an eternity of having the skin burned off his back by a merciful god.
"What?!", I hear you splutter in indignation and incredulity. "Old Spinoza's really lost it this time!".  
But think again. For if you are a Muslim then, like my convert friend, you must believe that if Mandela "received the message of Islam in its correct form and rejected it, then things don’t look good for him." 
Even allowing for the hyperbole of politicians falling over themselves to jump on the hagiography bandwagon, there is no denying that Mandela was a man who changed the world for the better and, if countless anecdotes are to be believed, a humble, generous and selfless figure to boot. 
But that is not enough to escape eternal torture if you fail to believe in the God of Islam, apparently.
We can only hope for his sake that he wasn't visited by some Muslim keen to gain extra luxury or more houris in paradise by giving dawah to him and converting the "nearest thing this world has to a saint". Can you imagine (I'm sure some Muslims did..) the extras you'd accumulate if you had managed to convert a living saint. Remember, Muslims believe they benefit from the good works of those they convert by receiving rewards in paradise. 
"Convert a living saint and see your stock go through the roof, brothers and sisters!"
Which in turn has got me to thinking about the inherent evil of dawah. Bear with me...
My convert friend has spent many a patient hour explaining how I will only go to hell as a non-believer if I have "received the message of Islam in its correct form and then reject it". Which then surely begs the question why would selfless and good Muslims risk putting the immortal souls of those to whom they give dawah  in danger of eternal damnation by giving them the correct message of Islam?
Leave non-believers alone and there is a chance they can escape being tortured for an eternity by God, is there not? Tell them all about Islam and if they then reject it, having examined the "evidence", you've just condemned them for eternity. 
Isn't giving dawah then the ultimate selfish action? You're willing to risk condemning the man or woman to whom you're talking to Hell because you want the rewards that a putative convert's good actions will earn for you. Sheesh!
So let us all hope that poor old Nelson didn't get a knock on the door from some zealous dawahist. 
For as my convert friend says: It doesn't look good for him if he did... 
(Still, chin up everybody. Remember, Allah is the most merciful of all who are merciful...)


  1. only God decides who goes to hell my friend

  2. hehe.... and allah doesn't know nelson will stay as an unbeliever until his last breath. so allah let him come to the "test". at the same time allah seal his heart to not believe in "truth" until his last breath. allah prepared eternal fire for Nelson even before he born since allah knows future. in short allah wants nelson burn in fire even before he born.

    1. This can not be justified on Islamic grounds, as the above mentioned comment is in contrast to the idea of free will. And free will is the only reason according to Islam for our existence on this planet.

  3. i've always thought that about dawah. leave us alone to die in "ignorance" and according to your faith we have a chance of avoiding the fiery pit, but tell us all about islam in your rush to get more juicy virgins in heaven and if we don't convert it's an express ticket to to everlasting torment. wow - what a belief system: encourages extreme selfishness AND a complete lack of concern for those to whom you are giving dawah.

  4. Mr. Spinoza good to hear from you once again, with another rational article. It is the core pillar of ones faith when you think and relate your concepts and therefore, come to a conclusion, that is less foggy. Whereas it is our prime goal to resolve certain misconceptions. I would like to help. First of all while wondering who will enter hell or heaven, certain principles are supposed to kept in mind. It is not the human being but the actions are recognized as Good or Bad. Everyone has a freewill, as thus are responsible for their own deeds. Whereas Mandela is concerned he was an excellent individual, but appearently he didnt accepted Islam, and if this is the truth then there is no place for him in the hereafter. But this fact can only be analysed when we are aware of the truth. It can be possible that during his last breath he may have accepted Islam and passed away as a muslim. But the rationality of this fact depends on the question we are trying to answer here. No one knows who will enter heaven or hell but we have some firm believes about the basic criteria or even some conditional circumtances that can take place. Having a conscientious nature is a splendid way to live but we have to save some trees for the hereafter. And the basic thing is to have faith in Allah.

    1. Why is the "basic thing to have faith in the hereafter"?
      Why is that more important than spending one's life making the lives of others better by charitable works, or teaching, or nursing for example?
      Why should we worship something so self-regarding that the be-all-and-end-all of its raison d'etre is recognition?

    2. Mr Spinoza i recommemd you to go through the Islamic texts,(Quran, hadith) personally as these questions of yours will be answered.

      Whereas the most important question of urs that why is this important than charatable works etc. Mr Spinoza You can continue all of your good works along with your faith in Islam. And hence you will also be rewarded for that in the hereafter. But having faith in Allah is the most important thing because this whole universe belongs to him in the end after your that you cannot even ask forgiveness from him at that time as you didnt recognized his excistence when you had the chance to accept Islam. 'Blind faith.'

  5. Hi Malik,
    As I have to say to all Muslims who tell me to read the Islamic texts...I have read the Qur'an (many times in many languages) and lots of the sahih hadith.
    My questions have not been answered. The more I read, the more questions I have.
    Perhaps that's why the Qur'an tells us not to ask questions the answers to which might distress us and cause us to lose faith.

    1. Mr Spinoza, you can always consult a professional and certified scholar for the purpose of answering. As some concepts are either too difficult, or too much jointly related to another verse, that can only be taken under consideration by an alim. But thats my opinion. What is prior to that is that, Islam teaches us to keep a blind faith on our lord and his teachings. So rationality is some times taken as a second part of our understanding; because we believe that Allah tests our faith and our love for him. And that the human mind can only think below a certain level. So spritual thinks are usually not taken into the account of tangible concepts.

    2. Handy that... I mean that rationality has to take a back seat to faith.

  6. This was indeed a great man who has passed and extremely arrogant on your part to comment on the fate of this mans soul. It is also not anywhere near your place to do so,or anyone elses. I have been curious about Islam for a long time,and have found many things that are beautiful ,moral and wise within it, so I do respect your right to find your own path to God without condemnation. I don't understand why your "good works" must be tainted with the expectation of getting something in return. Doesn't that taint the charitable action with greed,instead of making it a pure, selfless deed done for the sheer pleasure of blessing another in need? Why can we not learn the lessons intolerance has been teaching for eons, a lesson we refuse to learn and still suffer for today? I have yet to see any religion that isn't stained with the blood of bigotry ,self righteousness,and intolerance. Who cares if Mandela was.Muslim or not? Are you serious?!

  7. It is ignorant for you to imply that the reason us Muslim dawah to non-Muslim is to earn extra good deeds from God. Imagine if we're living in a world of darkness and I am the only one with a lighted candle. Wouldn't I share that light with the rest of the people? That is my and many other Muslims reason for dawah, not for some flimsy reason such as just earning points. So what if the non-Muslim do not receive our dawah, do they burn in eternal hell? That is up to God's grace and not for us mere humans to dictate. All we have done is provide the light, it is up to them to receive it or not.

  8. It is not our place to judge other people and their destiny. Religion is for enrichment and containment of one's own self. Religion is for everybody, intellectuals and otherwise. The stessing of reward and punishment adopted by creationist religions is to ensure compliance with the rules and recommendations set within the religion.

    What I believe is, end of the day, it is up to God the Almighty to judge each individual. We may look at the great Mandela as a person who died outside Islam, but Allahu A'lam. If God wills he could send the entire mankind to paradise, and elevate Mandela above any of us.

    What we need to do is stop bothering about the destiny of other people and start looking at our own. Are we doing enough to be in the good books of Allah SWT?

    About dawah, you don't need a person to come up to you and run you through Islam to be considered having received the message. There and so many opportunities people encounter to learn about Islam. For example you, Spinoza, had the opportunity to read through the Quran multiple times in multiple languages. So you were given an immense opportunity. You started critical study of the Quran and hadeeth rather than looking at it with an open mind. That was your own fault not the fault of anyone else.

    What feel is, be a good person and look at the world of Islam with an open, unbiased mind and you will see the truth Insha Allah. If you don't then Allah knows best you could still be on the good books of Allah since you are good person and had an open mind towards Islam. If you are not even willing to have an open mind to look into the truth, who else is to blame but you yourself?