Believing in the Unseen
Fatwa No: 22655

  • Fatwa Date:19-5-2011 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 16, 1432
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Question

Allaah The Almighty has bestowed many blessings on me, blessings that only a few people have been granted. Does this mean that I shall receive a heavier punishment if I disobey Him? Why are we asked to believe in issues that are related to the Unseen, like the torment of the grave, despite the fact that they are imperceptible?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

 

There is no doubt that the existence of material proof implies the existence of its Creator, and encourages an increase in the faith and obedience of the person who originally believes in His existence. That is why Allaah The Almighty threatened the disciples of ‘Eesaa (Jesus)  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention with severe punishment if they refused to believe in Him after being provided with the material proof they had asked for, which was sending down a table that was spread with food from heaven. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {Allaah said, "Indeed, I will sent it down to you, but whoever disbelieves afterwards from among you - then indeed will I punish him with a punishment by which I have not punished anyone among the worlds."} [Quran 5:115].

On the other hand, being provided with material proof is in itself one of the greatest blessings a believer may ever be granted and requires a demonstration of gratitude to Allaah The Almighty, Who is the Bestower of such a blessing. This is why if a person acts ungratefully and disobeys Allaah The Almighty they will suffer greater torment than those who were not granted such proof.

We advise our questioner to remember the greatness of what he has been blessed with and to know that this great favor is probably meant for his own benefit. Thus, he should be grateful for this and receive the favors Allaah The Almighty has conferred on him with more obedience in order to win the highest place in Paradise. We also advise him not to mention these blessings to anyone in order to prevent vanity, which may turn this blessing into misfortune. 

Ibn Abi Al-‘Izz  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him stated, when talking about extraordinary blessings, that people fall into three categories: The first are those who consider extraordinary blessings a motivation for increasing their good deeds, which consequently raises their rank in Paradise. The second are those who fail in this trial and whose faith decreases. Thus, they are subjected to divine torment. The third do not react to extraordinary blessings either positively or negatively therefore, they would neither be rewarded nor punished.

As for your second question, we say that belief in the Unseen is not only one of the characteristics of someone who is pious but also their first and most distinguishing characteristic, for Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allaah -* Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them.} [Quran 2:2-3].

Thus, every Muslim is required to believe in the Unseen. The wisdom behind this lies in the fact that all people are equal when it comes to belief in the perceptible, and whoever denies anything perceptible is either obstinate or mad.

However, belief in the Unseen is the criterion through which a person’s faith can be judged as either true or fake. This is why those who come to believe in the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, without seeing him are privileged in terms of their reward. In a Hadeeth (narration) on the authority of Abu Jum‘ah Al-Ansaari  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, mentioned that the people who come after the Companions and believed in him, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, without seeing him will be granted a better reward. [Ahmad]. However, this privilege is not related to the degree of honor they will receive, because companionship is the highest degree of honor. Therefore, this Hadeeth refers to the greater reward that these people will be granted.

In fact, believing in the Unseen is obligatory for every Muslim and whoever denies any thing from it is a disbeliever, because this is an essential aspect of belief in Allaah The Almighty Who told us about it, and in the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, through whom the information was conveyed.

Allaah Knows best.

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