One who doubts in Allah is an infidel

In the chapter of Doubt in Usul al-Kafi there is a tradition that Muhammad bin Muslim says, “I was sitting on the left side of Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) and Zurarah on his right. In the meantime Abu Basir arrived. Abu Basir asked, ‘O Aba Abdillah! What do you say regarding a person who doubts about Allah?’ Imam said, ‘He is an infidel.’

Muhammad bin Muslim says, “After that Imam turned towards Zurarah and said, ‘If he openly denies then he certainly becomes an infidel.’” In this tradition Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) has said that a person who is apparently a Muslim, but in his heart, he has doubt about Allah and the Prophet, and he dies in this same condition, he will be included among the infidels. And in the latter part of the tradition Imam says that, if that person openly refuses to believe in Allah and the Prophet, he would also be apparently considered an infidel. But if one has doubt in his heart but he recites the formula of faith verbally, and does not show his doubt, then he will be counted as a Muslim. Though in fact he is an infidel. And one who declares his doubt about Allah and the Prophet, then apparently also he will be considered an infidel. Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says, “One who doubts about Allah and His Prophet is an infidel.”[208]

[Good deeds in the state of doubt are useless]

Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says, “Surely the doubt and sin, both will be in the fire of Hell.” And people connected with doubt and sin would also be there.[209] He also said, “One who was born on inherent nature (having belief in oneness of Allah i.e. monotheism) and his parents are also Muslims, even then if he has doubt about Allah, then he would never return to good.”[210] 

In the same way in the chapter of Doubt in Usul al-Kafi, Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) is reported to have said that, “A person who has doubt or suspicion about religion, if he remains on either doubt or suspicion, then Allah will destroy his (good) action.” Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) has said, “Any action with doubt and refusal (of truth) has no benefit at all.”[211] In the same chapter Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) says, “The Prophet of Allah used to seek Allah’s refuge from six things everyday; doubt, polytheism, arrogance, anger, cruelty and jealousy.”

There are numerous verses and traditions on the censure of doubt and on the destruction of those who doubt.

[Destruction forever]

It is an admitted fact that if a person dies in the condition of doubt or suspicion, if according to belief he is not with knowledge and confidence and dies in that condition, then he is doomed forever. There will be no deliverance from punishment for him. As against this, one whose belief is firm, and his faith is on the level of certainty, if he dies in such a situation he would be saved from permanent destruction. No one other than the faithless will remain in Hell forever. A believer having bad manners and having unbecoming character if he also repents and asks for forgiveness and reforms himself then he too will be saved from Hell by the intercession of the noble personalities of religion. At the most he may be punished in the grave (Barzakh) and at other places before Hell and become pure. Now only Allah knows how long that punishment in the grave will be. In any case, finally such a person will get deliverance and without going to Hell, he will get a place in Paradise along with the believers.

[This is not reasonable] 

If asked that: “Why should those dying faithless be deprived of the bliss of Heaven and its unlimited delicacies? Allah is most generous and merciful. There will be no loss (harm) to Allah even if all the people go to Paradise and there would no decrease in His Kingdom. It is also not beyond His Power. In the same way if He sends all to Hell, then too there will not be any increase in His Authority.

The reply is that a person benefits only as much as much as his measure of wisdom and understanding. If a donkey is dressed in a splendid dress and made to sit on a throne in a palace, given different types of adornments and all sorts of dishes, will this donkey be able to utilize all this in a proper way? Would such arrangement be reasonable? Definitely not! Wisdom demands that everything and every person should be given a place appropriate to his or her status. People of pure, clean, chaste and exquisite souls should be provided with the blessings of Paradise. And if the souls are dirty and filthy their bodies should be of the same kind and their place should be Hell. A faithless person does not have the capability in the first place to enjoy and benefit from the blessings of Paradise, just like the donkey (as described above).

[Way to Paradise]

If one walks on the road to Paradise, one will reach Paradise. As against this if someone walks on the opposite direction, the road to Hell, then how he can reach Paradise? If someone sows the seeds of bitter gourd and hopes to reap grapes, would he get grapes? Has Allah deprived the people of Hell from Paradise or they have deprived themselves? Man can get only what he desires for and that which he tries to obtain. Someone had no faith in Allah. He did not even make an effort to get nearer to Allah, so that by means of that he may get Paradise. When man has not made a firm determination to reach Paradise, and did make the effort, how he can reach Paradise just by doing nothing at all?

And whoever desires the hereafter and strives for it as he ought to strive and he is a believer; (as for) these, their striving shall surely be accepted.[212] 

Therefore, merely wishing to go to Paradise without making an appropriate effort to do so is not enough to take one to Paradise.

[Punishment of the Hereafter is not revenge]

In the Hereafter the criminals (sinners) will get punishment according to their evil deeds but that punishment is not revenge. Rather it is the effect of causes. Sins committed in the world will be the cause of that punishment. In the same way good actions performed in the world would result in the person getting rewarded in the form of light (splendor) and blessings of Allah in the Hereafter.

[vAnother Misunderstanding] 

Another misunderstanding is that: To punish the disbelievers in accordance to their sins is not reasonable because they did not recognize Allah. If they had recognized Him they would not have disobeyed. If a King moves among the common people in plain clothes, and if someone opposes him because he does not know who he is, in that case punishing him would be injustice. That person may say, “Sir! I did not recognize you.”

[Allah is not hidden from any sensible being]

The reply is that the excuse of one who does not know Allah and is unaware of Him, is not acceptable. Comparison to a King dressed in plain clothes is incorrect. Allah is not hidden from any sensible person. If a wise man does not recognize Allah, it is because he did wish to recognize Him. If he were deprived of the blessing of wisdom we would have understood the handicap. However, a wise man does not have any excuse. Any one sensible proof is enough to know Allah. We look around and find that in the stars, skies (heavens), drops of rain, leaves of tree, animals, insects, worms, ants, seas, deserts; in short, whatever is present in the universe are all proofs of His Absolute Knowledge, Wisdom, Power and Command. Hence there is a Being, infinitely knowledgeable and Wise, Omniscient, Mighty, Omnipotent, and Powerful.

Is there doubt about Allah, the Maker of the heavens and the earth?[213] 

A poet says:

Each and every plant, which grows from the earth, says, “He is one without a partner”. And the following couplet is also excellent:

In the eyes of an intelligent person every leaf from the green leaves of the trees is a notebook on the subject of the knowledge of God. Allah the Great is so evident for the wise that they can have doubt for some other thing but can never doubt in Allah.

[Then who are these people?]

Still we see that majority of the people doubt about Allah. Those who have belief and certainty are very few. In the same way there is no chance for doubt on the Day of Judgment and the Quran also. And because the hour is coming, there is no doubt about it; and because Allah shall raise up those who are in the graves.[214] We see that in the world too, most people have doubts about Allah. Those who have certainty and belief seem to be very few. In the same manner there is no room for doubt in the Day of Judgment and Quran also, but none except Muslims believe in Quran and people other than Muslims have doubt on the Day of Judgment.

[The blind cannot see the sun]

The reply is that although Allah, Day of Judgment and Quran are all definite truths and realities, those having a sound mind and a prudent nature, do not think it proper to doubt in these things. One having eyes will not tolerate doubts about the sun. But those who doubt these three facts (as mentioned above) in fact suffer from a spiritual disease. They have mutilated their basic natural instinct. They are so deeply involved in the blind following of lusts, greed, ambitions and false and futile things, that they have become blind in their inner eyes. That is why they do not see the reality. The blind cannot see the sun. One, who is a prisoner in the dark cell of a prison, does not know whether the Sun has risen or not. Thus such people put themselves in a state of doubt, uncertainty, wavering, restlessness and lack of confidence and truth cannot be blamed for not being prominent.

[They do not want to recognize the truth]

People, who doubt, are in fact those who do not want to recognize the truth itself. If they were really seekers of truth, they would have had looked at the creatures of the world and sought a lesson from it. If they had looked at the marvel of the wisdom and amazing power of the Creator of the Universe with proper attention, they would never have doubted. A very nice book is there in the hands of those who doubt. Whatever is written therein is also interesting. It is of a very high standard. A very good writer has written it. The printing is also very fine. The paper is of excellent quality. But those who doubt, instead of reading the interesting and useful writings, only relish its calligraphy, printing and exquisite form and they think that looking at these niceties is enough for them and there is no need to learn the details of what is written in it or to understand it.

[The book of nature should be read with attention]

Faithful are those who upon seeing the book, start reading it at once, and while reading the book, they start pondering over the greatness and knowledge of the writer. They also accept all the descriptions and narrations.

[Knowledge of the Universe]

Modern man tries to get the knowledge of the constituents of the world of creation. He takes great trouble for this purpose and spends his wealth and life for all this but he is not doing anything to know about the Creator of the world. To the extent, that he does not even think about this matter. He suffers such huge expenses to reach the moon. He makes efforts to learn about the climate and atmosphere there and get some benefit out of it; and he sacrifices much more but he is not ready to spend a little portion of his life to know about the Creator of that moon and how under His perfect and fantastic supervision it moves in the sky.

This is the reason, why today’s scientific faculty and its knowledge is not the cause of auspiciousness. They cannot obtain real comfort and tranquility. Presently for the knowledge of man, these creations are the limit. Man does not proceed beyond this and he is not reaching upto the Creator.

Therefore turn aside from him who turns his back upon Our reminder and does not desire anything but this world’s life. That is their goal of knowledge...[215]

[Advancement of science]

Man has made great strides in the fields of medicine, surgery, and diagnosis of different diseases but he does not know anything about the Creator and Maker of those marvelous body systems of man. The knowledge of the man of today is limited to lowly things only (not thinking about Allah). But he is quiet with regard to the existence of God and knowledge of God. There is nothing except ignorance, doubt and stupidity. The scientist of today is unaware of the Creator of the universe, His names, His attributes, His army i.e. Angels, Prophets, heavenly books, life after death and man’s permanent abode.

Nay, their knowledge respecting the hereafter is slight and hasty; nay, they are in doubt, nay they are quite blind to it.[216]

[Why don’t we care about Recognition of God?]

Why is it so, that people’s knowledge has nothing to say about Allah? Is it impossible for them to obtain knowledge about Allah? Or they don’t strive to have knowledge about the Creator of the Universe? If they can strive, why don’t they do it? The obvious reply to these questions is that man cannot be said to be helpless in recognizing the Creator of the Universe. The Creator has bestowed upon him the light of wisdom (sense/intellect) for this very purpose, so that he can reach to the Real knowledge, the Truth, and understanding and that he can recognize Allah and achieve His proximity. Quran says in clear words that Allah has created everything for man and man was created for His recognition and worship. (For example refer to Surah Luqman 31:20-21).

[Courage is low and limited to material pleasures] 

The fact is that the spirit of man, today, is low and limited to material pleasures. He is satisfied only with physical comforts and animal pleasures. He is not aware of spiritual pleasures, knowledge of Allah and taste of worship. Because of his low spirit and limited thinking, he does not even make effort to achieve all this and he remains in his ignorance.

Nay! Man desires to give the lie to what is before him.[217] That is he wishes to continue sinning in the world.

[An historic example of an elevated spirit]

Twelve Muslim soldiers were taken as prisoners by Romans. They were taken to the capital and produced before the Christian King. The King saw their appearance, looks, features and character. Then he began to think what kind of people they are that though having very little strength and less in number they still manage to achieve victories everywhere? He told them, “If you can train my soldiers to become like you, I will reward you much.” The Muslim soldiers replied, “Our religion does not permit that we help you in this.” And they recited the verse:

He said: My Lord! Because Thou hast bestowed a favor on me, I shall never be a backer of the guilty.[218] The King ordered that they should be taken to the church, and beautiful girls be produced in front of them. “If they are attracted by them, those girls will stay with them on the condition that they accept our proposal.”

They were taken to the church. When they saw the girls, they turned their eyes down and said, “This is a place of seduction and not a place of worship!”

The King got the information that they were not lured by girls, so he called them and said, “If you do not accept my proposal, I will kill you.” They all replied cheerfully, “We wish to be killed in the way of Allah, because our Prophet has said that if you die on the bed it is possible you may go to Paradise or not but if you are killed in the way of Allah you will definitely become the people of Paradise.”

[Wealth, Position and Lust]

Those who are firm on the Oneness of Allah and the path of His worship do not stagger in greed of wealth and position; nor do they stumble before lust and pleasures. Wealth, position, authority and lust; each of these is such a weapon that subdues all those with weak intentions and low courage. They leave the way of worship, and accept an evil way of life. Just like greed; threat, especially threat to life is also such a weapon. But those who are firm on their belief and actions do not get affected by greed nor are they terrified with any kind of threat. They are ready to die, but not prepared to submit themselves to the defalcation of Islam or breach of trust of Muslims. Because breach of trust with Islam and Muslims is in fact, breach of trust with Allah. 

Due to this, very few in the world are ready to compromise on truth, godliness, piety and faithfulness.