Opinion Editorials, June 2004, To see today's opinion articles, click here: ww.aljazeerah.info
Reward Continuing After One's Death
Arab News, 6/1/04
Q.1. What are the actions that earn reward which continues after one's death?
Q.2. Will all human beings be subjected to punishment in the grave? It is said that if one reads Surah 67 everyday, one will not face such punishment. Please comment.
Q.3. If Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the last prophet who was the first one, and to which people was he sent?
A.1. The Prophet tells us: "When a human being dies, all his actions come to an end except in one of three ways: a continuing act of charity, a useful contribution to knowledge and a dutiful child who prays for him."
This is an authentic Hadith that sums up all that could be done to increase one's reward after one's death. Thus, if you put some charitable donation into something that continues for sometime, you gain reward as long as this continues. If you make an endowment and its benefit goes for some charitable purpose, its reward continues.
A useful contribution to knowledge could be in the form of an invention that makes things easier for people to do what they need. This does not have to be of the major type that changes people's lifestyle, as in the case of the invention of electricity or telephones. Even the introduction of a small device that makes something run more efficiently is fine. Writing a book which benefits people is another example. The third type is very clear and does not need further explanation.
A.2. The Prophet says: "The grave is either a piece of the garden of heaven or a pit of the fire of hell." This gives a direct answer to your question. Only those who have committed themselves to hell by their actions in this life will suffer the torment in the grave. To avoid it, one should be conscious of one's duty to God and man. When we do what Islam requires of us in our social dealings, and in our attitude to God and our fellow human beings, we earn God's reward, which saves us from all punishment after the end of this life. Reading Surah 67, The Dominion, is very good and highly recommended. But we must understand that the Qur'an is not merely a book to read, but a book to understand and implement. This is what is meant by all the Hadiths that recommend reading certain surahs at different times.
A.3. The first prophet was Adam (peace be upon him).
Do Jinn Offer Prayers?
Q. Do the jinn offer five daily prayers like us, and do they have their imams?
A. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was sent as a messenger to both mankind and the jinn. The jinn are required to believe in the Islamic message, just like us. The same message is addressed to them with the same requirements.
Hence, it is only right to say that those of them who believe are required to offer five daily prayers and to organize congregational prayers. But we do not know anything about the jinn and how they live. Hence, we do not say anything apart from the above.
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