If God already knows whether we will go to heaven or hell, then what is the purpose of our lives?


During a virtual mulaqat of Majlis Atfal-ul-Ahmadiyya Germany with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa, which was held on 29 November 2020, a tifl asked Huzooraa, “Does Allah the Exalted already know if we will go to Heaven or Hell? If He knows, then what is the purpose of our lives?” 

Huzooraa replied: 

“You see, on the one hand, there is the knowledge of Allah the Exalted, and then there are our deeds and actions. Indeed, Allah the Exalted has the knowledge of whether or not someone will go to Hell. However, He shows everyone the path whereby if they do good deeds, they will go to Heaven, and if they commit evil deeds, they will go to Hell. 

“This is why a person should pray for a good end, i.e. when our end comes, when it is time for us to pass, [we pray] that at that time we are amongst those who obey the commandments of Allah, so that we may enter Paradise. The Holy Quran has also taught us the prayer in which we pray that Allah the Exalted may cause us to die in a state whereby He is pleased with us and so that we may enter Paradise and attain the pleasure of Allah the Exalted. 

“Other than that, there is the Rahmaniyyah [grace] of Allah the Exalted which grants forgiveness to a person. 

“There is a narration about a man who was very sinful and had committed numerous murders; a total of 99 murders. He realised that he was a very evil person and that he should now reform himself so that Allah the Exalted may be pleased with him and allow him to enter Paradise. So he went to a religious cleric and told him about his sins and how many murders he had committed in his life, and asked him whether he would still be permitted to enter Paradise. He responded by saying, ‘No! There is absolutely no chance of you entering Paradise. You will most certainly be sent to Hell.’ So the man killed the cleric as well, thinking that since he had already committed 99 murders, he may as well reach a total of 100 murders. 

“After committing 100 murders, he then asked someone else if there was any way he could please God. The person responded by saying that he should go and see so and so who lived in a particular town as he would be able to tell him the right method by which he could please Allah. Whilst on his journey there, he passed away. 

“Upon his death, Allah the Exalted moved the town, from where he had come out after killing a person, away from him and brought the place to which he was going closer to him. This account is in metaphorical terms. Allah the Almighty then commanded the angels to go and give their verdict in relation to him. Thus, both angels went before God; the one assigned to take people to Paradise, as well as the one assigned to take people to the Hellfire. Subsequently, there was a dispute between both the angels. The one who wanted to take him to the Hellfire was adamant about taking him there by stating that the person had committed 100 murders and therefore he was going to request God to send him to the Hellfire. However, the other one was adamant to take him to Paradise and said that Allah the Exalted had sent him to measure the distance he had covered in his journey. 

“Eventually, it was agreed between the two that they should measure the distance, and if he was closer to the town of where he was journeying towards, to seek to have his sins forgiven, then he would enter Paradise. However, if he was closer to the town from which he left having committed a murder, then he would go to Hell. 

“As I already explained, the distance to his destination was already made shorter by God. Hence, when they measured the distance, he was closer to the town where he was travelling to in order to seek to have his sins forgiven.” 

(Huzooraa then indicated the length of a span with his hand to the children.) 

“It was just by a span of one hand like this that he was closer to the town he was heading towards and Allah the Exalted granted him His forgiveness and granted him Paradise. Thus, this was the mercy of Allah the Almighty. 

“Similarly, there is another narration in which a man once asked someone if he would be forgiven. The person whom he posed this question to responded by saying that he would not be forgiven because he was a very sinful person. Upon this, Allah the Exalted asked the individual who deemed himself to be very pious and offered a lot of prayers, ‘Who are you to decide who goes to Heaven and who goes to Hell?’ 

“It so happened that both individuals died at the same time and were presented before Allah the Exalted. Subsequently, the one who deemed himself to be pious as if he had been granted a guarantee to enter Paradise, and had told the other individual that he would go to Hell, was told by Allah the Exalted that he had no such guarantee and instead would be sent to the Hellfire, and the other individual regarding whom he said that he would go to hell would enter Paradise. So this is the mercy of Allah the Exalted. 

“Therefore, it is our duty to continue to strive in seeking the pleasure of Allah the Exalted. Allah has knowledge of all things, and at the same time, He is also Omnipotent and All-Powerful. Allah is Gracious, that is He manifests His Ramaniyyat. He is also Al-Ghafoor, the Most Forgiving. Therefore, ultimately if He wills He can change His decision and one’s destiny. If He has the power to do everything then He also has the power to change His decision. 

“So, one should not think that since Allah the Exalted has already decreed that they will go to Hell, therefore they may as well continue committing sins and eating unlawful things such as the flesh of swine, drinking alcohol and committing other sins and assume that since they have already committed so many sins, it was unlikely that God would forgive them. In fact, Allah the Exalted states that this is not the case. 

“In fact, one should continue to strive to do good and He can grant His forgiveness even in one’s final stages of life. Therefore you should try to seek the forgiveness of Allah the Exalted from the very start, and then pray to Him throughout one’s life to have a good end and to continue performing virtuous deeds. This is why we should continue to make efforts in this regard. 

“Does Allah the Exalted not have the authority to do whatever He wills? He is Al-Maalik, the Master. He indeed has the authority to do whatever He wills. He can also forgive someone at the very last stage of their life. If you think that you are sinful and therefore Allah the Exalted may not forgive you, but remember if He can forgive the one who had committed 100 murders, then He can also forgive you.”

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