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Books Section > Introduction to Islam > Beliefs

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Chapter 3:
Beliefs:

"It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards the East and the West, but righteous is the one who believes in Allah, and the Last Day, and the angels and the Book and the prophets, and gives away wealth out of love for Him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask and to set slaves free, and keeps up prayer and pays the Zakaat; and the performers of their promise when they make a promise, and the patient in distress and affliction and in the time of conflict. These are they who are truthful, and these are they who keep their duty." (The Holy Quran 2:177)

Links present on this page:
|| Allah || Angels || Prophets and Messengers || Books of God || Life after Death ||

A. Allah:

"Allah - there is no god but He. His are the most beautiful names." (The Holy Quran 20:8)

"Say: He, Allah, is One. Allah is He on Whom all depend. He begets not, nor is He begotten, and none is like Him." (ch. 112)

15. What is the basic teaching of Islam about God?

Islam teaches that there is one, and only one, God Who is the Creator and Controller of the entire universe. He is unique in every respect, and there is nothing which bears any likeness to Him. He is the Knower of all things, and has full power over the whole of creation. He does not stand in need of anything at all, while everything is totally dependent on Him. He possesses all the perfect qualities, and man should worship Him, and Him alone. 

16. Is there any name for God that Muslims use specially?

Yes. According to Islam, the personal name of God is the Arabic word Allah. Personal name means that it is the name which refers only to Him, and to Him rather than to any particular quality that He possesses. It is pronounced as follows:

 AL - as in the English word al-arm.

LAH - la as in the word la-rge.

The word Allah denotes that God is the One Who possesses all the perfect attributes. The Quran itself gives this meaning when it says: 

"Allah has the most excellent names (or qualities)." (7:180)

The names of God in other languages, such as God in English, or Khuda in Urdu, only convey some particular attribute of the Divine Being, and they are also used for those other than God (as in god, gods, goddess, etc.). Allah, however, has only ever been applied to God Himself.

17. Does Islam give any arguments to prove the existence of God?
Yes, the Holy Quran gives three kinds of arguments on this point.

Firstly, it refers us to the physical world which shows great order and arrangement, works according to laws, and where everything has a set purpose in the whole scheme of things. There is also immense beauty in nature which attracts man's heart. Science is discovering more and more of these characteristics of the world all the time. So behind this highly purposeful and beautiful working of nature must be One, single Intelligence of great beauty and attraction.

Secondly, the Quran tells us about the close and deep connection between God and the inner nature of every person. There is an in-built desire in each and every person to search for something higher than oneself, and when in difficulties a person instinctively wants to call upon a Hidden Power to help him.

Thirdly, and most convincingly, Prophets and men of God appeared in every nation in the world and showed their people the reality of God through their teachings and works. Just as most of us learn about science not by making all the discoveries ourselves, but by accepting the work and evidence of those who devote themselves to the study of science, similarly the proof of the existence of God is provided by the lives of the great luminaries whom God sent all over the world for this very purpose.

18. Other religions also teach the existence of God. Is there any difference between their teaching and the Islamic concept of God?

Yes, there are some important differences.  

The first major difference is that Islam teaches the absolute one-ness of God, with Whom no one can share in Divinity. No idol or heavenly object, nor any religious or spiritual teacher, can possess some Divine power or attribute.  

Secondly, Islam teaches the highest conception of God, and does not accept any limitation to His power and knowledge, while other religions set limits to Him. For instance, Islam rejects the Hindu belief that God is not the Creator of matter and souls but exists alongside them. It also rejects the Christian doctrine that God is unable to forgive sins unless He punishes someone, and so He sent His 'son' to suffer the punishment for the sins of all humanity. Moreover, a son is needed to take the place of the father when the father dies, and clearly this cannot apply if God is perfect.

Thirdly, Islam refutes the idea that any human being, however great, was a 'manifestation' of God on earth, or a Divine incarnate. 

19. What are the practical consequences of these three differences?

These differences dignify and elevate the position of man. Belief in the one-ness of God means that man should not worship or be a slave to anything in the world, such as idols, forces of nature, heavenly bodies, religious leaders, kings, dictatorial systems, etc. So man is meant to conquer the world around him, not be afraid of it; and each person is meant to use his or her own intelligence and reason, not blindly obey someone else.

Belief in the highest conception of God means that man's own progress is unlimited. His knowledge and power, though insignificant as compared to God's, can go on increasing. Rejecting the belief that a person could be a 'manifestation' of God, means that one should look upon the great Founders of religions, not as 'gods' shrouded in mystery and possessing supernatural powers, but as mortal human beings who by their own lives and example showed others how to live.

20. Is there any other important distinctive feature of the Islamic concept of God?
Yes. Islam teaches that Allah is "the Lord (Rabb) of all the worlds". (Rabb is pronounced like the word rub.) Allah is, therefore, not just the 'god' of the Muslims, nor the god of a particular race, religion or nation, but the only One God for the whole of mankind. As the Lord of all the nations He has not only provided means of physical sustenance for all the countries on earth, but also sent His guidance to every nation for its moral progress. He is equally just and loving towards every section of humanity, and has no favourite or chosen people, or rejected ones.

21. How does man stand in relation to God, according to Islam?

God has given man not only a body, but also a soul through which he can come into contact with his Creator. But whereas the body, like the rest of nature, is bound to obey the laws of God, the soul is free to follow God's guidance or to reject it. The soul's development lies in willingly following the guidance God has revealed through His prophets.

According to the Quran, each person's soul is "God's Spirit" which has been breathed into him or her (32:9). This means that man's soul has a special relationship with God, and man is capable of emulating the Divine attributes on his own small scale (see no. 23 below). God is unimaginably near to man's soul, nearer to it than even man himself. He knows a person's innermost thoughts, even those which the person himself does not consciously realize. In man's soul there is implanted love for God and yearning after God, and it cannot find complete contentment without God. (See, for example, the following verses of the Holy Quran for these ideas: 50:16; 56:85; 20:7; 2:165; 5:119; 89:27-30.)

22. What are the other things the Holy Quran tells us about God?

It tells us a great deal. Most frequently it calls God Rahmaan (Beneficent) and Raheem (Merciful). Rahmaan really means that God is so loving and generous that He has granted man innumerable blessings as free gifts without any effort on man's part. God is Raheem means that He is merciful so that when man makes the effort to use his God-given bounties for good purposes, God helps him to succeed. For instance, God has given man all sorts of physical resources in this world, without any effort on his part. When man tries to exploit these resources for the good, God makes him successful. The Holy Quran also tells us that God is Forgiving, Compassionate, Just, Answerer of prayers, Creator of everything, All-powerful, All-knowing, etc.

A passage of the Holy Quran which mentions several attributes of God is as follows:

"He is Allah besides Whom there is no God. The Knower of the unseen and the seen. He is the Beneficent, the Merciful. He is Allah besides Whom there is no God; the King, the Holy, the Author of peace, the Grantor of security, Guardian over all, the Mighty, the Supreme, the Possessor of greatness . . . He is Allah, the Creator, the Maker, the Fashioner. His are the most beautiful names. Whatever is in the heavens and the earth declares His glory; and He is the Mighty, the Wise." (59:22-24)

23. What is the purpose of believing that God possesses these attributes?

So that man can try to acquire and display the same kind of qualities in his life. The Quran says:

"(Take) Allah's colouring - and who is better than Allah at colouring." (2:138)

God is the Rabb (the Provider and Fosterer of the whole world), so man should try to provide for others. God is Rahmaan, and so man too should take the initiative in doing good to other people, whether they have done anything to deserve it or not. God is Raheem, and so man should join with, help and encourage those who are doing good. God is All-Knowing and Wise, so man too should try to perfect his knowledge and acquire wisdom.

Believing in the Divine attributes also stops one from harming others for personal gain. A person who truly believes God to be his Rabb (Provider) knows that He will always look after him, and so such a person would never try to take someone else's due. A person who truly believes that God is All-Seeing and All-Knowing would know that he could never hide any bad deed, however secret, from God.


B. Angels:

"And We indeed created you, then We fashioned you, then We said to the angels: Make submission to Adam (or mankind)." (The Holy Quran 7:11)

24. What are angels?

Angels are 'spiritual', non-material beings who put God's commands and laws into action in this world. They have no 'will' of their own, unlike man, and are intermediaries between God and the world.

25. What do angels look like?

As angels are not physical beings, they cannot be seen by man's eye. So this question does not arise. However, Prophets of God and other righteous persons can 'see' angels on occasions, but it is with their spiritual (or mind's) eyes, in dreams and visions.

26. What functions do angels perform?

These are of two kinds: their functions in the physical world, and their functions in the spiritual development of man. In the physical world, the working of nature is governed by laws, as science has shown by discovering many of these laws. Islam teaches that these laws have been devised by God, and the angels - the obeying functionaries of God - put them into action. On the spiritual side, the angels communicate God's revelation to the Prophets and other righteous ones, bring comfort and strength to the hearts of true believers, and inspire noble thoughts in the minds of all persons. They do this, of course, by acting through the spiritual senses of human beings, not their physical senses like the eyes or ears.

27. Why are angels necessary to bring God's messages to man?

Just as light is needed as a medium for our eyes to see things, and air is needed to carry sound to our ears, similarly an agency is required to activate our spiritual senses. The angels are that agency. They bring God's messages to the 'inner' eyes and ears of righteous people, and also cast good and noble thoughts into the 'hearts' of all people. But it is only the righteous who, because of their highly­developed spiritual senses, may be able to perceive the working of angels.

28. Is there any other important point Islam tells us about angels?

A most important point disclosed in the Holy Quran is that mankind has been given by God the ability to acquire knowledge of all things in the universe. The Quran further tells us that the angels, who put God's laws into action in the world, submit to man because of his great knowledge. In other words, man can use his knowledge of the laws of nature to control the world. So the Holy Quran disclosed many centuries ago that man can make the greatest progress in science and technology, because the angels, the agencies who automatically put God's laws into action in the running of the world, all submit to man.

29. Is there a key significance of belief in angels?

As stated earlier, every belief in Islam requires a Muslim to do something practical and positive, and belief in angels means that we should follow our good impulses and reject the bad ones. The Holy Quran also says that there exist 'devils' which put low, selfish thoughts in man's mind. However, even though they exist, the Quran does not require a Muslim to 'believe' in the devils, but in fact to disbelieve in them. This shows that in Islam 'belief' does not just mean believing in the heart but also acting in accordance with the belief.


C. Prophets and Messengers:

"Mankind is a single nation. So Allah raised prophets as bearers of good news and as warners. . ." (The Holy Quran 2:213)

"And those who believe in Allah and His messengers and make no distinction between any of them (in belief), to them He will grant their rewards." (4:152)

"And certainly We raised in every nation a messenger, saying: Serve Allah and shun the devil." (16:36)

30. What is a 'prophet' or 'messenger' of God?

A prophet (nabi) or messenger (rasul) of God is a human being to whom God gives His guidance and whom He charges with the task of conveying that guidance to the people, so that they may do good and avoid evil.

31. In which countries of the world did Prophets arise?

According to Islam, God sent prophets to all nations on earth, at various stages of their histories. The Holy Quran says:

"And for every nation there is a messenger." (10:47)

"And there is not a people but a warner has gone among them." (35:24)

32. In which of these Prophets of God do Muslims have to believe?

Muslims have to believe in all the prophets and messengers of God, equally, without distinction, wherever they may have appeared. In the Holy Quran (2:136, 285, and 3:84 etc.) it is stated clearly: "We make no distinction between them".

33. Please name some of these Prophets.

Many prophets are mentioned by name in the Holy Quran; for example, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and Jesus from the Biblical prophets, and also non­Biblical prophets some of whose names are Luqman, Hud, and Dhul­Kifl. And, last of all, there is the great, universal Prophet Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him.

34. Did any Prophets appear other than those mentioned in the Holy Quran?

Certainly. The Quran itself tells us that it has mentioned only some of the prophets (see 4:164). Since prophets appeared in every part of the world, and there were many in each nation, to make a full list of names is impossible. Muslims have to believe in and respect all the prophets, whether named in the Holy Quran or not.

35. It is well­known that Muslims believe in the Israelite Prophets, including Jesus. How do they regard the great figures of other religions, such as Krishna, Buddha, and Confucius?

It is quite obvious from the teachings of the Holy Quran that, as God sent Prophets to every nation, and quite a large number of them appeared all over the world, the ancient founders of these other religions too would have been Prophets and messengers of God. In fact, wherever there are people following a sacred scripture older than the Quran, their religious founders mentioned in those Books should be accepted by Muslims as true prophets of God. It has been suggested that Buddha is mentioned in the Holy Quran by the name Dhul­Kifl, meaning man of Kifl, where Kifl is the Arabic form of the name of his birth-place Kapilvestu.

36. But religions such as Christianity and Hinduism revere their great religious figures as 'gods' or incarnations of God. What does Islam say?

According to Islam, all these righteous persons were mortal, human prophets of God, like the Holy Prophet Muhammad, having the same needs that every human being has. They all eventually died, as everyone must. There are several reasons why they have come to be revered by their followers as 'gods'. One is that their words were misunderstood by the later generations, who mistook their figurative expressions in a literal sense. Another is that the details of their lives were not preserved accurately, and therefore a great many myths have grown up around them, and their works and deeds have been much exaggerated.

37. Why were the Prophets humans, and not 'gods on earth'?

Because they were sent to guide other human beings, not only by preaching, but also by personal example. So they had to be completely human to show other people how to live. According to Islam, each Prophet was himself the first and foremost follower of the guidance God revealed through him for people to follow. This is why previous prophets are called 'Muslims' in the Holy Quran, being not only teachers but also followers of God's guidance. See for example 3:67. As for the Holy Prophet Muhammad, not only does Islam teach that he was a human being, but a study of his life shows that he regarded himself as a humble mortal, and mixed with people as just one of them.

38. What did the Prophets teach?

They all gave the same basic teaching: that man should worship God, and God alone, and do good to his fellow­beings. Of course, the details of the teachings differed according to the nation and the time in which a Prophet appeared. In the Holy Quran, the teachings of all Prophets are called Islam, and the Prophets and their true followers are labelled Muslims. See, for example, 2:131-133 and 5:111. This refers to the fact that the fundamental teachings given by all of them were the same - submission to God and peace with fellow human beings.

39. Since Muslims believe in all the Prophets equally, what is the special position of the Holy Prophet Muhammad?

All Prophets were equally from God, and equally true, but the scope of their missions varied. The Divine messengers before the Holy Prophet Muhammad were each given teachings limited to their respective nations, because in those times a nation did not have much to do with other nations. Furthermore, the teachings of each Prophet applied for a limited period of time only, after which God would raise another Prophet to revise some of the teachings for the new circumstances. But at last the time came to unite all the nations upon a single religion so that mankind may live in peace as one nation. For this purpose was sent the Holy Prophet Muhammad, to whom God gave teachings for the whole world for all time to come.

40. Can you give any arguments to support this belief?

Yes. Firstly, while followers of previous religions believe that God's revelation and guidance was given only to some particular nation or land, Islam teaches that guidance from God had come to every nation and it requires Muslims to believe in all the previous national Prophets. So the Holy Prophet Muhammad is the one who confirmed and established the truth of the Prophets of all the various nations, and laid the basis for peace between them. He is thus the World-Prophet. Secondly, it is a recognized fact that, while the original teachings of previous Prophets are largely lost, the sources of Islam (the Holy Quran and details of the Holy Prophet's life) are available to us fully and accurately. This shows Islam to be the religion for all time.

41. Could there be any Prophet or Messenger of God after the Holy Prophet Muhammad?

No, after the Holy Prophet Muhammad there cannot come any Prophet or Messenger from God. The reasons are clear from what has been stated above. The teachings God gave to the Holy Prophet are meant for all nations, for all times, so that the entire world be united in one, perfect brotherhood. Those teachings are preserved perfectly. So there is simply no need for a Prophet after the Holy Prophet Muhammad.

42. Does this mean that no human being can now reach the stage of a close contact with God, and be spoken to by God?

No, it does not mean this. It simply means that no further new religious teachings, scripture, or prophet will come into the world. There will still be people, after the Holy Prophet Muhammad, who, by following the teachings of Islam, shall have such close contact with God that He will speak to them, comfort them and disclose to them events of the future, through words of inspiration, and true dreams and visions. In Islamic history there have been countless examples of such righteous individuals who reached this high stage by following the teachings of Islam perfectly. A person such as this is known as a wali or saint


D. Books of God:

"(Muslims) believe in that which has been revealed to thee (O Muhammad) and that which was revealed before thee." (The Holy Quran 2:4)

"He has revealed to thee (O Muhammad) the Book with truth, verifying that which is before it, and He revealed the Torah and the Gospel before, a guidance for the people, and He sent the Discrimination (the Quran)." (3:3)

43. What is a Book of God?

To the various Prophets that God sent for people's guidance, He revealed His teachings. The Prophets made this revelation public, and their followers learnt it and passed it down to their children, and they in turn passed it down to the next generation, and so on. This is how we come to have the 'scriptures' or 'holy books' of various religions today. Islam calls the original revelations of the Prophets as "Books of God" because they were meant to be preserved in a collected form (whether orally or written, or both).

44. Please name some of the Books of God which exist today?

The revelations granted by God to the Prophets before the Holy Prophet Muhammad, such as Moses, Jesus, Krishna, and Buddha, cannot be found today in their full and original form. However, the present­day scriptures of the followers of these great prophets do contain some fragments of the original teachings, although they are mixed up with later additions and interpretations. Some of these scriptures are: the Torah of the Jews, the Gospels of the Christians, the Vedas of the Hindus, and the Zend Avesta of the Zoroastrians.

On the other hand, the word of God that came to the Holy Prophet Muhammad is to be found fully intact and completely preserved in the Muslim scripture, which is known as the Quran.

45. Do Muslims have to believe in Divine scriptures other than their own?

Muslims have to believe that the original teachings of all the Prophets, including Moses, Jesus, the Prophets of India, those of China, etc., were revealed by God. On that basis, they respect the scriptures of other religions because some of the original revelations can still be found in them. So Muslims are required to believe that the religions that came before Islam, such as Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc., contain many truths, even as they exist today.

46. In what relation does the Holy Quran stand to other Divine Scriptures?

The Holy Quran claims to be:

i. a "verifier" of previous scriptures: "a Book from Allah verifying that which they have" (2:89).

ii. a "guardian" over them (5:48).

iii. a "judge" to decide their differences: "We have not revealed to thee the Book except that thou may make clear to them that wherein they differ" (16:64).

iv. to "make manifest" and to "perfect" their teachings (26:1; 5:3).

47. Please explain the four points above a little further.

i. The Holy Quran verifies that all the scriptures revealed to various nations of the world are of Divine origin.

ii. It has guarded and preserved those of their original teachings that were of permanent application, after these had become obscure due to loss and alteration in their texts.

iii. All scriptures were from God, but they had changed so much as to become totally different from each other, even in terms of their basic teachings. The Holy Quran came as a "judge" to decide these differences, and to sort out the original teachings from later changes.

iv. The Holy Quran shed full light on all essentials of faith, many of which had not been fully dealt with in the earlier scriptures. It also replaced those of their teachings which were only local or temporary by perfect and universal teachings applicable to all nations and all times.


E. Life after Death:

"We have ordained death among you, and We are not to be overcome, so that We may change your state and make you grow into what you know not." (The Holy Quran 56:60-61)

"O soul who is at rest, return to thy Lord, well-pleased (with Him), well-pleasing (Him). So enter among My servants, and enter My garden." (89:27-30)

"It (hell) is the fire kindled by Allah which rises over the hearts." (104:5-6)

48. What does Islam teach about life after death?

It teaches that a human being not only has a body, but also has a 'spirit' given to him or her by God. The spirit is the seed from which a higher form of life grows within man, higher than physical life, just as the body has developed from a small 'seed'. Just as in the world around us higher forms of life evolve from lower ones, similarly from the life of the individual in this world is evolved his higher 'spiritual' life. During his life, man's deeds shape and mould his spirit, for better or worse, according to his deeds. When a person dies, the physical body is finished, but the spirit remains, as he or she had moulded it by their deeds when alive. That is the life after death.

49. How is the spirit shaped during our life here?

Just as our physical actions and habits affect the body and leave their impressions upon it, so does the good or evil of our deeds affect the spirit and leave an impression upon it. Sometimes we can even feel something of the effect of a good or bad deed upon us. If we nourish the spirit through prayer to God and, with the strength we get from this, do good and righteous deeds, the spirit will develop and grow properly. But if the spirit is neglected, and bad deeds are done, it suffers harm. It is as if God has given each person a piece of soft clay. It is then up to the individual to shape it into something beautiful or ugly by his deeds.

50. Is man rewarded after death for his good deeds and punished for the bad ones?

As has been said above, good deeds benefit the spirit and evil deeds harm it. This effect upon the spirit is what constitutes the reward or punishment for one's deeds. In this life we can occasionally feel this effect, but only very faintly and vaguely. After death, when only the spirit is left, bearing all the impressions of deeds done throughout life, the effects of those deeds will be felt clearly and vividly. It is this which is the reward for good deeds and suffering for evil deeds.

51. What are heaven and hell?

Heaven and hell are not actual places somewhere in the universe, but really our inner conditions or the condition of the spirit resulting from our deeds. Heaven and hell begin in this life within a person's heart. The feelings of bliss and contentment at doing good is the heaven in one's heart. And the guilt, shame and greed felt by an evil doer is the hell of the heart. After death, the heaven or hell that developed in the heart is unfolded before us and becomes the world in which we live, and we live in it not with the physical body of this life but the 'spiritual' body made from our deeds.

52. The Holy Quran mentions many blessings and comforts in paradise and many painful punishments in hell. What is the nature of these?

The exact nature of these things cannot be known in this world because they are in an entirely different world where ours ideas of space, time, feelings, etc. do not apply. But to describe them to us, physical terms have to be used such as "gardens and rivers" in paradise, and the "fire" of hell, to give an idea of what they feel like.

However, all these things of the next world actually begin in one's heart in this world. For instance, the "fruits" of paradise are really the fruits of good deeds that a person starts tasting in his heart in this life, and the "fire" of hell is the same fire of low desires and greed that burns in a person's heart here. In the next world, all these feelings are unfolded and manifest themselves as comforts of paradise or miseries of hell.

53. What is the Day of Judgment according to Islam?

Just as the life of an individual has an end, and the life of a nation has an end, so does the life of this entire physical world have an end. That is the 'Day of Judgment', which will bring the spiritual world into full manifestation, in place of the present physical one. As said above, immediately upon death a person begins to feel an awakening to the higher life, made from his deeds in the present life. But this is only a partial realization. It is on the Day of Judgment that everyone is fully awakened and raised to the higher, spiritual life. It is called the Day of Judgment because each person shall then become fully conscious of the effects of his deeds in this life, and have a 'body' (so to speak) made out of his or her own deeds. 

54. Is there any other significant point about paradise and hell disclosed by Islam?

Yes. It is that the life after death is actually the starting-point of further progress for man. Those in paradise are advancing to higher and higher stages in knowledge and perfection of faith. Hell is meant to purify those in it of the effects of their bad deeds, and so make them fit for further advancement. Its punishment is, therefore, not everlasting.

55. Do Muslims believe in re­incarnation, that is, after death a person may be re­born in this world for another life here, and in this way have several lives on earth?

No, Islam teaches continuous progress of the soul and so it cannot return to this world after death of the body. The theory of re­incarnation teaches that if a person is born in poor or miserable circumstances, or is suffering from some disability or disadvantage, this is a punishment for him for bad deeds done in his former life; and if anyone is prosperous, healthy, and of a 'high' family, that is his reward for good deeds done in his former life. If one believes this, it would mean that we should treat the poor, the destitute, and the suffering as if they deserve their misfortunes, and have no sympathy for them because they are only getting their just punishment; and we should have high regard for the rich and the comfortable because they are receiving their reward for past good deeds. Such an attitude would be inhuman and against the basic teachings of Islam.

Islam teaches that each person is born with a pure soul, without any burden to bear from a past life, and that both those people who seem to be facing hardship in this world and those who appear to be enjoying comforts are in a state of 'trial' to see how they behave under those circumstances. These are not punishments or rewards. In God's eyes the best person is he or she who acquits himself best in the conditions they meet.

56. What is the significance of the Muslim belief in life after death?

Firstly, it encourages man to do good and restrains him from doing evil. This is because he realizes that a good deed will always bring him benefit, even if it may not be obvious at the time; and he knows that an evil deed, even if no one at all sees him do it, will have to be answered for, and will have adverse consequences, in the next life if not immediately in this one.

Secondly, it teaches man to look at the inner worth of himself and of others, rather than the outward appearance (be it wealth, position, beauty, or education). This is because he knows that it is the inner part of man which is the real thing, and which survives forever, while the outward possessions are certainly lost at death, and often even before then.

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