Two scalepans and a balance indicator— so justice might be perfectly done. Imagine that– eternity for Muslims will be decided by a pair of scales! Islam’s sacred law reveals:
v2.3 It is obligatory to believe in the scale, which consists of two scalepans and a balance indicator between them and is as great in size as the thickness of the heavens and earth. It weighs a servant’s deeds through the power of Allah Most High, and the weights placed on it are as fine as an atom or mustard seed, that justice may be perfectly done.1
And from the Qur’an (Haleem translation) we read:
Qur’an 7:8 – 9: On that Day the weighing of deeds will be true and just: those whose good deeds are heavy on the scales will be the ones to prosper, and those whose good deeds are light will be the ones who have lost their souls through their wrongful rejection of Our messages.”
In Islam, a Muslim may “fall short,” but if so, it is because his good deeds were offset by his bad deeds so that the balance indicator tilted to the side of Hell. A Muslim’s bad deeds offset his good deeds throughout his lifetime (Qur’an 11.111) which is why, of course, the need for the two scalepans and the balance indicator. I suppose the good news is that in Islam, Hell is not eternal (for all true monotheists):
V, 2.7 states, “It is obligatory to hold that true believers in the oneness of Allah . . . will be taken out of hell after having paid for their sins, through the generosity of Allah Mighty and Majestic. No one who is a true monotheist will abide in the fire forever.”2
In Islam, however, repentance is necessary for forgiveness to be granted by Allah. “According to one hadith, a person who repents of his sins becomes like one who has never committed any sins; . . . Repentance involves: “the penitent be convinced that a sin did occur, show remorse, and resolve to abstain in the future.”3 The Qur’an, in fact, states, for the person who “repents, attains to faith and does righteous deeds, God will change the evil … into good.” (Qur’an 25:70). In Islam, then, repentance is the “antithesis of the crucifixion and its accompanying salvation.”4
In Islam nothing is more important than one’s belief in the oneness of Allah and Muhammad as the messenger of Allah. Quoting again from Islamic Sacred Law: Book V, 2.0 states,
Allah Most High sent Muhammad …., the Qurayshite unlettered prophet, to deliver his inspired message to the entire world, Arabs and non-Arabs, jinn and mankind, superseding and abrogating all previous religious systems with the Prophet’s Sacred Law, except for the provisions of them that the new revelation explicitly reconfirmed. Allah has favored him [Muhammad] above all the other prophets and made him the highest of mankind, rejecting anyone’s attesting to the divine oneness by saying, “There is no god but Allah,” unless they also attest to the Prophet by saying “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” He has obliged men and jinn to believe everything the Prophet…. has informed us concerning this world and the next, and does not accept anyone’s faith unless they believe in what he has told us will happen after death.”5
In Islam, the final reckoning is a matter for only Allah to decide regardless of the tilt of one’s scalepans and the resulting balance. If Allah wills Paradise, it is off to the Garden. If Allah wills Hell, it is off to the furnace. Reliance of the Traveller, Book V, 2.6 states,
It is obligatory to believe in the Final Reckoning and the disparity in the way various people are dealt with therein, some made to answer, others pardoned, and some admitted to paradise without reckoning, being the intimate of Allah (muqarrabun). Allah Most High shall ask whomever He wills of the prophets if they have conveyed their message, ask unbelievers why they denied the messengers, ask those of reprehensible innovation (bid’a) about the sunna, and ask Muslims about their works. (p. 824).
Allah not only wills Paradise or Hell, Allah wills everything. Qur’an 5:18, “The Jews and the Christians say, ‘We are the children of God and His beloved ones.’ Say, ‘Then why does He punish you for your sins? You are merely human beings, part of His creation: He forgives whoever He will and punishes whoever He will.”
I do wonder how Allah’s scalepans are balanced?
So then, Paradise is never guaranteed to a Muslim. It is contingent at all times upon Allah’s will. A Muslim never knows whether his good deeds outweigh his bad, or whether the scale is tipped in his favor or not. Paradise, then, is never assured to a Muslim. Allah decides; and, if Hell is his decision, to Hell he will go. His only recourse? If he is truly Muslim (believes in the Oneness of Allah and Muhammad as His messenger), then he will remain in Hell only until Allah decides his time is up.
I wonder if Allah is forgetful?
What does a Muslim do if Allah is having a “bad hair day”?
In Christianity, Christians are not left to the capriciousness of God. There is no disparity in treatment among followers, no favorites. As someone has put it, the ground at the foot of the cross is level. Christians are not even dependent upon God’s mercy, or His compassion, although both mercy and compassion are His attributes (Psalm 86:15). To the believer in Jesus Christ, all sins have been atoned for by Christ as Savior (Romans 8:1; 1 John 4:10, 1 Peter 2:24). Christians are saved because Jesus has borne their iniquities, carried their sins to the cross, and eternal salvation is given by God’s grace and received through one’s faith (Isaiah 53:4-5; John 1:12-13, 3:16, Ephesians 2:8-10). Jesus is the “door” through which believers must walk but they do so in the certainty that the door stands open for them, and will remain so for them (John 10:3, 9, 28). Salvation is God’s invention, not man’s. It is God’s responsibility to save man, not man’s responsibility to save himself– for man cannot do what only God can do; and, God has prepared man’s salvation in Jesus Christ (Luke 2:30-31). Humanity is a recipient of God’s saving action; and humanity can never earn what God has already bought and paid for. This does not mean that Christians have a pass to “get out of jail free.” Sin matters for Christians. It impacts their eternal rewards once entering the pearly gates of St Peter (2 Corinthias 5:10; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15).
Which god would you want to trust in? Which god would you want to stand before on judgment day? The God who has taken personal responsibility for mankind’s unrighteous acts, and has executed justice upon the Lamb that He, Himself, has provided (Genesis 22:8, 13-14)? Or the Allah that requires mankind to not only believe in him and his messenger, but also to balance the scales on the side of good deeds? And, perhaps, if Allah wills it, Allah will open the door to Paradise but not because his scales tipped to the good, but because Allah simply decided it.
I don’t know about you, but I think I will let Jesus tip the scale for me.
- Ahmed ibn Naqib al-Misri, Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law, translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller, Amana Publications, 1999, v2.3. [↩]
- Ibid., p 824 [↩]
- Quoting, Moosa, Ebrahim. “Repentance.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World. Oxford Islamic Studies Online, http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t236/e0677. [↩]
- Moosa, Ebrahim. Ibid. [↩]
- Ibid., Reliance of the Traveller, p 822 [↩]
Amen Jack. Just another good reason to include Muslims in our evangelizing and Christian apologetics work. They have suffered the most for the last 1400 years and not had the reassurance of God’s salvation. I present embarrassing contrasts between Muhammad and Jesus, contrasts that Muslims are very uncomfortable with, but I always follow up with an invitation to repent and believe on the real, historical Jesus of the Bible. Most prefer slavery to allah rather than to accept the grace of the one, true God of the Bible.
Mike – I recently facilitated an evangelism tool called, “Bridges – Christians Connecting With Muslims,” by Fouad Masri, a Christian pastor whose ministry is focused on evangelizing Muslims. There were some aspects of the course I was uncomfortable with, but the objective of the course is to “bridge” the gap with Muslims so that they can begin to hear the gospel — not as they have been taught the gospel by their Imams, but as it truly is. I recommned this to you as a resource. However, some beleivers will have difficulty with the authors approach in teaching the divinity of Christ. The author, who grew up in Jordan, is very familiar with the issues in Christianity that Muslims consider “shirk” and so avoids these issues or uses other non-offensive ways to explain the deity of Christ to Muslims. The course is a 6 part DVD series with a workbook. It is published by Lifeway Publishing.
Well said, Jack. Tip the scales He will. Thank God in heaven! How would a Muslim ever know s/he is good enough,or have any assurance of eternal life, or God’s mercy. I am so very thankful for the Cross, that Jesus did it in our place.
wow there is truly the presence of the extreme lack of understanding here. YOu individuals are degrading the very one who shows you mercy and even allows you to engage in such acts and not immediatly calling you to account. Now you compare Allah to Jesus? Where is the understanding first of the Name Allah. Do you know that Allah is an arabic word applied to the one who created the heavens and the earth and that arabic speaking christians and jews use this word when refering to the Almighty. furthermore there is no comparing Allah to a human being and to place Isa( Jesus) in that falsehood is even more serious. now the Allah you are refering to is understood to be the One true God, you know the one whom the people attribute to him a son, when Allah says in the quran( translated) “And to warn those who say, ” Allah has taken a son.They have no knowledge of it, nor had their fathers. Grave is the word that comes out of their mouths; they speak not except a lie” . And while im on the topic another verse in the Quran which is translated as “And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah ?'” He will say, “Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen.5 :116. Now if you are going to do a post talking about the mercey of Allah mention the facts using authentic source without bias interpretation . the people are to strive for paradise for the fire is surrounded by desires and immoralities that the people induldge in today all while believing that they are already saved , and doing so without even considering getting on there knees and asking for forgiveness even when they are dead wrong . Allah says that those who do not repent are the wrongdoers. and that Allah is full of bounties to the people but most of them are not grateful.I can relate numerous verses in the Quran where Allah informs mankind of his favors and then ask us ” then which of the favors of you Lord will you deny. and I want you to also keep in mimd that in the quran Allah addresses all of mankind, not just muslims ” O mankind, remember the favor of Allah upon you, is there any creator other than Allah that provides for you from the heavens and the earth. There is no diety except him so how are you dilluded?.”
Anonymous – can you tell me why Muslims believe the Quran is protected by God from corruption but the Bible is not? Aren’t Muslims instructed by the Quran to believe the Bible? How do you know which sections to believe since God was not able to protect all of them?
I am aware that Muslims are taught (and the Quran states) that the Bible has been corrupted by the people of the book. Have you ever read the New Testament, yourself? Would you allow me to send you a copy that we might be able to read passages together and discuss them online?
I thank you for your comments about Jesus and Allah. I hope we can continue that discussion next.
To the Muslim visitor who has no intention of discussing an Islamic end times view of the al-Mahdi, choose who you wish to follow.
(Mat 28:18) And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Since Christians are in Christ and share in His spiritual authority, no assumed authority on earth can touch us. Get behind me now, you antichrist spirit! By the power of the name that is above all names, the name of Jesus, I declare with authority vested in me from Jesus Christ Himself your legalism is under my authority in Christ, and I declare it to be null and void in the name above all names, the name of Jesus of the Bible. If you are interested in submission to the one, true Yahweh God, then submit yourself to His love, grace and mercy by putting a trusting faith on the real, historical Jesus of the Bible.
Choose now whom you will follow
Muhammad, who permitted lying and dishonesty (Sahih Muslim 6303, Bukhari 49:857), or Jesus who taught “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” (Matthew 19:18)
Muhammad, who encouraged his men to rape enslaved women (Abu Dawood 2150, Qur’an 4:24), or Jesus who never encouraged rape or enslaved women but rather stood for a just and kind treatment of women.
Muhammad, who permitted stealing from unbelievers (Bukhari 44:668, Ibn Ishaq 764), or Jesus who taught “Thou shalt not steal.” (Matthew 19:18)
Muhammad, who murdered and directed the murder of many people, Qur’an 3:86,Ibn Hisham & Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah, Ibn Hisham & Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah,Qur’an 5:33-39, Sahih Bukhari 1:4:234, Sahih Bukhari 5:59:505, Sahih Bukhari 7:71:623, among others.
or Jesus, who gave His life so that many could be forgiven and live? (1 Tim 2:6, Matt 20:28 among others)
(Isa 59:1-2) Behold, the LORD’S hand is not so short That it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.
I think it is no coincidence that Yishmael is transliterated to mean “God hears”. Can there be a more clear invitation from God for descendants of Yishmael to hear the good news that Yahweh God sent the Way to be reconciled to the Father? Indeed, God sent Jesus to hear your petition for forgiveness. He lives today, right now, the crucified and resurrected Lord and offers the opportunity to repent and believe on Him alone for forgiveness and new life. God still hears. God still forgives. Are you calling out to Him?
(Rom 10:9) that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
The Bible describes Jesus even in His humanity, as the “Only-begotten Son” , not a son in a long line of many prophets conceived by natural means. No other prophet can be called the “only begotten Son” of God. Jesus Himself describes His being
“…the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except by Me” (John 14:6).
This is an exclusive claim that cannot be shared and that no other prophet has made. Obviously Jesus is not like other, previous prophets. In this sense, Jesus was much, much more than a messenger, distinct from those who were before Him. Call out to Him today and be saved.
(Rom 10:13) for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”