Understanding The Prophet's Life
From Issue: 517 [Read full issue]
Higher Secrets of Life
The Sunnah shows us the best way to develop and use one's freedom of choice and action. It teaches us how to embark upon any action properly so as to ensure good and favourable results and avoid harmful and evil consequences both in this world as well as in the hereafter.
Ibn Masud, may Allah be pleased with him, relates that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "Adhere to the truth, for the truth leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. A person continues to speak the truth until (at last) his name is written down with Allah as a truthful person. And avoid falsehood, for falsehood leads to shameful deeds, and shameful deeds lead to Hell. A person continues to tell lies until (at last) his name is recorded with Allah as a liar." [Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad, Tirmidhi]
This hadith clearly tells us that before a man is recorded for eternity as a truthful person he has to go through a number of phases, each requiring his active initiative and a willing effort on his part without any external interference from any side. This is clear from the contrast portrayed in the hadith between man's state of choosing and abiding willingly and consciously at each and every step by the dictates of truth and his state of opting for the evil and persisting therein. Obviously it is man alone who decides which way he is going to move, toward the good or the bad.
"Freedom and Responsibility in Quranic Perspective" - Hasan Al-Anani, pp. 100, 101