Imam Hadi (PBUH) has said, “Truly Allah has placed this world a place of testing and examination, and the hereafter a place of rewarding and punishment. And the examination of this world leads to the reward in the hereafter, and the reward in the hereafter is the result of the examination in this world.”1
Imam Hadi (PBUH) has also said, “The world is a marketplace in which some gain in it while others lose.”2
The difference between this world and the hereafter is that this world is a place of cultivation and the hereafter is a place of harvesting and reaping the crop. The hereafter is not the prologue, it is the end result. It is like a day when students hear the result of their exams. If a student asks to give the answer on the day of test results, he will hear the response that the time of exam taking has passed, and it is now time for results. The prophets which now call people to good action and preparing for the hereafter, it is so they know that time is limited, and the wise person would take advantage of this limited time on earth to develop the everlasting life.
If however a person does not act according to wisdom and instead passes time and doesn’t obey Allah (SWT), and has his soul taken away, then it is too late. In that moment, no matter how much he begs to be returned to the world to do well, what he will hear is, “It is not possible.”3 If an unripe fruit is separated from the tree branch, it is impossible to attach it back on to retain its previous state of turning into a sweet fruit. Returning to the world is possible but the truth is that the law of creation does not allow it.
Indeed the period of man’s existence is similar to a year of work. This world and the next is like one of two seasons. This world is the season of planting and acting, and the hereafter is the season of harvesting the end result and a time to receive punishment and reward for our actions. Delightfully put, Imam Hadi (PBUH) has said in a prayer, “May we be among the crowd who gain and receive the reward of the hereafter….”
(Selection taken from the book Divine Justice by the learned scholar Shahid Mutahhari, with minor changes)
Roshd Website congratulates all Muslims, especially you dear friend, on 15th of Dhul Hijjah, coinciding the auspicious birth anniversary of leader of the pious, guardian of the servants, and the tenth Imam of the Shia, Imam Ali ibn Muhammad al-Hadi (PBUH).
1. Tohf al-Uqul, pg. 483
3. This addresses the verses 99 & 100 of chapter al-Mu’menun (99-100:23) in the holy Quran, “Until, when death comes to one of them (those who join partners with Allah), he says: “My Lord! Send me back…”