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The Everlasting Reward

In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

by Sayyid Qutb

The task of the Believers is to fulfil their obligation, and their obligation is to choose Allah, prefer belief over life, raise themselves above persecution through faith, and to testify to Allah with deed as well as intention. Then it is up to Allah to deal with them and with their enemies, with His Religion and His Call, as He deems proper. He may choose for them any one of the endings known in history, or some other ending which only He knows and sees.

They are workers for Allah. Whenever, whatever, however He wants them to do their work, they should do it and take the known reward. To decide what will be the ending of their endeavor is neither in their power nor is it their responsibility. This is the responsibility of the One in authority, not of those who are mere workers.

They receive the first part of their reward in the form of contentment of heart, height of understanding, beauty of ideas, liberation from desires and attractions, and freedom from fear and sorrow, in whatever condition they may be.

They receive the second part of their reward in praise, remembrance and honour among the angels, in addition to these among the people of this earth.

Then they receive the greater and the last part of their reward in the Hereafter: easy accounting and great favours.

With every kind of reward, they also receive the greatest of rewards: the pleasure of Allah. It is His favour on them that He chose them for His purpose, an instrument for His power, so that He makes use of them on this earth as He deems proper.

The Qur'anic training of the first noble generation of Muslims was of this character to the highest degree. They lost their personalities and identities in this matter, acting as workers for the One in authority, and were pleased with Allah in every decision and in every condition.

The training by the Prophet -peace be on him- went side by side with the Qur'anic teachings, turning their hearts and eyes towards the Garden, and towards patiently persevering in their assigned task until Allah ordains what He intends in this world as well as what is pleasing to Him in the Hereafter.

The Prophet -peace be on him- saw the intensity of tortures heaped upon 'Ammar, his father and his mother -may Allah be pleased with them- but he said nothing more than this: "Patience, family of Yasir! The Garden is promised for you."

And Khabbab bin al-Aratt -may God be pleased with him- reported: "We complained to the Messenger of Allah -peace be on Him- while he was resting in the shadow of Ka'ba, saying, "Why do you not ask Allah to help us? Why do you not pray for us?" Then he said, "Before you, there were people who would catch a man, bury him half-way in a hole dug in the ground, then saw his head until it splits in two; or would comb with iron combs between his flesh and bones; yet this would not turn him away from his religion. By Allah! Allah will bring this matter to completion, and a time will come when a rider will ride alone from San'a to Hadramut and he will have no fear except of Allah, or of a wolf against his sheep; but you people are in a hurry". [Bukhari]

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