Al-Qur’an: Surat-ul-Insan 4-12
أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم
إِنَّا أَعْتَدْنَا لِلْكَافِرِينَ سَلاسِلا وَأَغْلالا وَسَعِيرًا (٤) إِنَّ الأبْرَارَ يَشْرَبُونَ مِنْ كَأْسٍ كَانَ مِزَاجُهَا كَافُورًا (٥) عَيْنًا يَشْرَبُ بِهَا عِبَادُ اللَّهِ يُفَجِّرُونَهَا تَفْجِيرًا (٦) يُوفُونَ بِالنَّذْرِ وَيَخَافُونَ يَوْمًا كَانَ شَرُّهُ مُسْتَطِيرًا (٧) وَيُطْعِمُونَ الطَّعَامَ عَلَى حُبِّهِ مِسْكِينًا وَيَتِيمًا وَأَسِيرًا (٨) إِنَّمَا نُطْعِمُكُمْ لِوَجْهِ اللَّهِ لا نُرِيدُ مِنْكُمْ جَزَاءً وَلا شُكُورًا (٩) إِنَّا نَخَافُ مِنْ رَبِّنَا يَوْمًا عَبُوسًا قَمْطَرِيرًا (١٠) فَوَقَاهُمُ اللَّهُ شَرَّ ذَلِكَ الْيَوْمِ وَلَقَّاهُمْ نَضْرَةً وَسُرُورًا (١١) وَجَزَاهُمْ بِمَا صَبَرُوا جَنَّةً وَحَرِيرًا (١٢)
- Indeed, We have prepared for the disbelievers chains and shackles and a blaze.
- Indeed, the righteous will drink from a cup whose mixture is of Kafur,
- A spring of which the [righteous] servants of Allah will drink; they will make it gush forth in force [and abundance].
- They [are those who] fulfill [their] vows and fear a Day whose evil will be widespread.
- And they give food in spite of love for it to the needy, the orphan, and the captive,
- [Saying], “We feed you only for the countenance of Allah. We wish not from you reward or gratitude.
- Indeed, We fear from our Lord a Day austere and distressful.”
- So Allah will protect them from the evil of that Day and give them radiance and happiness
- for what they patiently endured [with] a garden [in Paradise] and silk [garments].
جزاء الكفار والأبرار يوم القيامة
THE RECOMPENSE OF THE DISBELIEVERS AND THE RIGHTEOUS ON THE DAY OF RESURRECTION
- After Allah described the origination of man with his natural ability to choose either way of salvation or doom and how he will be responsible for his choice; He continued to describe the recompense for those who choose any of either path.
- Anyone who chooses misguidance, disbelieve in the Truth and embraces falsehood will burn in Hell. A notable danger of disbelief in the Truth is oppression to others. True belief in Tawheed is the origin of true success. Whenever this fundamental teaching (belief in Tawheed) weakens, there will be widespread injustice, tyranny, oppression and immorality which will lead to the destruction of the perpetrators and instability of the society.
- Allah wants from us what He wanted from our father Adam and his wife, that we should be submissive to Him (i.e. worship Him) according to His Will and Laws (as contained in the Shari’ah), anyone who digresses from this basis and does the contrary will be punished accordingly.
- Hell ordinarily is a place of no escape; yet the disbelievers will be shackled, chained and dragged into it as a preliminary disgrace and humiliation beyond any expectation.
رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ مَنْ تُدْخِلِ النَّارَ فَقَدْ أَخْزَيْتَهُ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنْصَارٍ
- “Our Lord! Verily, whoever you admit into the fire, indeed, you have disgraced him, and never will the wrong-doers find any helpers.
- This unimaginable disgrace and humiliation for the inmates of Hell will be intensified when their horrible and shameful situation is presented to the believers in Paradise; this presentation will be an added visual enjoyment for the believers since the criminals used to mock the believers while the later observe the commandments of Allah.
فَالْيَوْمَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنَ الْكُفَّارِ يَضْحَكُونَ (34) عَلَى الْأَرَائِكِ يَنْظُرُونَ (35) هَلْ ثُوِّبَ الْكُفَّارُ مَا كَانُوا يَفْعَلُونَ (36)
- But This Day (the Day of Resurrection) those who believe will laugh at the disbelievers 35. on (high) thrones, looking (at All things). 36. Are not the disbelievers paid (fully) for what they used to do?
Some other verses further expand on the fate of the disbelievers:
وَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِيَ كِتابَهُ بِشِمالِهِ فَيَقُولُ يا لَيْتَنِي لَمْ أُوتَ كِتابِيَهْ (25) وَلَمْ أَدْرِ ما حِسابِيَهْ (26) يا لَيْتَها كانَتِ الْقاضِيَةَ (27) ما أَغْنى عَنِّي مالِيَهْ (28) هَلَكَ عَنِّي سُلْطانِيَهْ (29) خُذُوهُ فَغُلُّوهُ (30) ثُمَّ الْجَحِيمَ صَلُّوهُ (31) ثُمَّ فِي سِلْسِلَةٍ ذَرْعُها سَبْعُونَ ذِراعاً فَاسْلُكُوهُ (32) إِنَّهُ كانَ لا يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ الْعَظِيمِ (33) وَلا يَحُضُّ عَلى طَعامِ الْمِسْكِينِ (34) فَلَيْسَ لَهُ الْيَوْمَ هاهُنا حَمِيمٌ (35) وَلا طَعامٌ إِلاَّ مِنْ غِسْلِينٍ (36) لا يَأْكُلُهُ إِلاَّ الْخاطِؤُنَ (37)
- And whoever will be given his record in his left hand will say: “I wish that I had not been given my Record! 26. “And that I had never known how my account is? 27. “I wish, would that it had been my end (death)! 28. “My wealth has not availed me, 29. “My power and arguments (to defend myself) have gone from me!” 30. (It will be said): “Seize him and fetter him, 31. Then throw him in the blazing Fire. 32. “Then fasten him with a chain whereof the length is seventy cubits!” 33. Verily, he used not to believe in Allâh, the Most Great, 34. and urged not on the feeding of the poor, 35. So no friend has he here this day, 36. nor any food except filth from the washing of wounds, 37. none will eat that except the Khâti’ûn (sinners, disbelievers, polytheists, etc.).
- As an expected just and complete presentation, the description of the righteous believers followed in wider details. Every believer must strive to attain righteousness within the limits of the Shari’ah. This is because salvation in Islam depends on how much of righteousness we have fulfilled. This is the means to weigh down the scale of our good deeds.
فَأَمَّا مَنْ ثَقُلَتْ مَوَازِينُهُ (٦) فَهُوَ فِي عِيشَةٍ رَاضِيَةٍ (٧)
- Then as for him whose balance (of righteousness) will be heavy, 7. He will live a pleasant life (in Paradise).
عن أبي الدرداء أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال ما شيء أثقل في ميزان المؤمن يوم القيامة من خلق حسن
Abu Darda narrated that the prophet (ﷺ) said: Nothing is weightier on the scale of the believer on the day of resurrection than good character
- A comprehensive understanding of righteousness is required in order to attain it.
What is righteousness? Imam Ahmad Ibn Rajab Al-Hambali in his book collected a wide opinion of scholars on the topic; but what seems most concise was that of Ibn Mubaarak who defined it as:
وَعَنِ ابْنِ الْمُبَارَكِ قَالَ: هُوَ بَسْطُ الْوَجْهِ، وَبَذْلُ الْمَعْرُوفِ، وَكَفُّ الْأَذَى. 
Cheerful face, extending goodness and withholding harms.
This may be summarized into two components (1) preventing harms (2) extending goodness; a cheerful face is part of goodness as described in a hadith
- Every matured sane human is potentially harmful and has the capacity to extend those harms to other creatures. Choosing to prevent these harms from manifestation is the strongest part of righteousness. Only a few among these harms are punishable under common laws, therefore faith-based religious institutions must rise to their responsibilities and train the heart of man towards achieving righteousness in order to maintain a stable society.
Some examples of extending harms to others
The following were only few ways and examples by which harms may be extended to others subtly, brutely and otherwise. Muslims should be careful and not compromise righteousness in the least.
- Flaunting of body beauty to the public: The body of females has a special force of attraction that is capable of tempting males; this temptation is capable of intoxicating the mind and destabilizing intellectual uprightness which eventually may drag him into an illicit affairs he will ordinarily not have been involved in.
- Power of manipulation to exploit: Men have a natural (intellectual) superiority over women which may be capable of luring the later into illicit sex (outside marriage). This happens due to various deceits which the victims will later regret at almost no legal cost to the men (since most cases are never reported). Rape is the worst.
- Body strength to assault: The youths who are the custodian of their body strength should be careful not to misuse that for societal disturbance, threats, oppressions, robbery and destructions.
- Intimidate and oppress with authority: (1) Employers of labour should not use the scarcity of jobs as a reason to exploit the staffs and pay them wages that do not worth their efforts in terms of sacrifice of valuable time and quality services with hard-gained experience; this will be tantamount to misusing authority to control in a negative way. (2) Also personnel of the armed forces, anywhere in the world, should avoid using arms in their possession to cause harm to the people unnecessarily.
- Gossips backbite and slander: Information that other people confide in us should be kept; slander has no goodness in it.
عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: «المُسْلِمُ مَنْ سَلِمَ المُسْلِمُونَ مِنْ لِسَانِهِ وَيَدِهِ، وَالمُهَاجِرُ مَنْ هَجَرَ مَا نَهَى اللَّهُ عَنْهُ»
Abdullah bn Umar (RA) narrated that the prophet said: A Muslim is the one whom other Muslims are safe from the harms of his tongue and hand (actions); an immigrant is he who forsakes what Allah prohibited.
- Goodness may be extended to others in a number of ways including: (1) teaching beneficial knowledge (2) building a mosque; maintaining, cleaning, and managing its operations (3) offering scholarships (4) funding laudable projects (5) resolving conflicts (6) counseling with guidance (7) planting trees (8) feeding the hungry (9) writing a book (10) taking a morsel of food to the mouth of spouse (11) removing harm from the road among many others. Any of these good deeds must be accompanied with sincere intentions seeking only the pleasure of Allah.
- However, the above analyses are only efforts of scholars to bring about a wider understanding of righteousness; the whole of the Shari’ah is righteousness (i.e. living in accordance to what is contained in the Qur’an and Sunnah).
- Fulfilling promises that you make out of your own will is a strong indication of your faith in the rewards in Afterlife.
- Giving food to the needy and feeding the hungry is especially important in fulfilling righteousness due to its basic necessity.
- The silk garment is too expensive and luxurious; it is prohibited for male Muslims to adorn themselves with it in this life.
- Descriptions are best understood and appreciated when accompanied with imaginative examples. All of the promises of punishment and bliss in the Afterlife are not of the same magnitude and quality as these earthly ones.
وَبَشِّرِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ كُلَّمَا رُزِقُوا مِنْهَا مِنْ ثَمَرَةٍ رِزْقًا قَالُوا هَذَا الَّذِي رُزِقْنَا مِنْ قَبْلُ وَأُتُوا بِهِ مُتَشَابِهًا وَلَهُمْ فِيهَا أَزْوَاجٌ مُطَهَّرَةٌ وَهُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ
- And give glad tidings to those who believe and do righteous good deeds, that for them will be Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise). Every time they will be provided with a fruit therefrom, they will say: “This is what we were provided with before,” and they will be given things in resemblance (i.e. in the same form but different in taste) and they shall have therein Azwâjun Mutahharatun (purified mates or wives), (having no menses, stools, urine, etc.) and they will abide therein forever.
- Righteousness Meter: You can conveniently determine your level of righteousness (or salvation) by taking a careful assessment of yourself in the light of the above while giving precedence to what is obligatory.
- Righteousness is not attainable by accident, mistake or all of a sudden; it requires a lot of patience, endurance, knowledge, understanding, divine guidance and support. You must utilize the guidance contained in the Book of Allah to understand how you can manage the excesses of other people, appreciate their strengths, pardon their weaknesses, maintain your own noble traits and improve your potentials. Supplicating to Allah for His guidance and support is also of essence.
 The uncorrupted message of the True God (i.e Islam)
 Surat-ul-Imran 192
 Surat-ul-Mutaffiffin 29-36
 Surat-ul-Haqqa 25-37
 Salvation in Islam defers from salvation in Christianity. Islam places the salvation of man on his righteousness with a possible conditional intercession of the prophets and messengers who are on a higher level of righteousness. Christianity places the bulk of salvation on blood sacrifice (ie: the crucifixion of Christ) with a little concern for attaining righteousness.
 Surat-ul-Qariah 6-7
 صحيح وضعيف سنن الترمذي vol. 5 pg 2
 The book Jami’ul Uloom wal Hikam, a commentary on 50 hadiths.
 Vol 1 pg 457
 Refer to Sunan Abu Dawud vol 6 pg 182 (Arabic reference)
 Refer to Surat-ul-Nisa 34 (Tafsir ibn Kathir)
 Sahih Bukhari Vol 1 Pg 11 (Arabic reference)
 Surat-ul-Baqarah 25