By Sikandar Azam
The Qur’ān is ‘a reminder’, because it reminds us of God, His signs and messages. It holds a mirror up to the wandering humanity to draw its attention to the ultimate end of earlier nations – how their forts and mansions were destroyed. But for that matter, the Qur’ān is not a history book; it relates the past events for us to learn a lesson or two therefrom. The Qur’ān is in fact a book of guidance. Therefore, it paves the way for ultimate success and teaches the readers what the real success means and how to achieve it in true sense.
Some earlier nations saw the mountains firmly rooted and stable and asked what will happen to them; they thought no gush of wind, no devastating storm or tempest, hurricane or cyclone could shake these mighty mountains. But the Qur’ān paints an awesome picture of the time when the world will be destroyed: “Say: ‘My Lord will scatter them far and wide, and leave the earth level and bare, with no curves or ruggedness to be seen.” (20:105-107)
There will be complete destruction of the world. Fear will be writ large on the faces of people; they will be screaming and running helter-skelter in the vain attempt to escape but there will be no escape! The Qur’ān vividly describes this state of fear in which people will find themselves: “On that day, all will follow the summoning voice from which there will be no escape. All sounds will be hushed before the Most Merciful, and you will hear nothing but a faint sough in the air.” (20: 108)
At difficult times people leave no stone unturned to save themselves, offering all the wealth they had accumulated and seeking the intercession of some other persons in power. But this most awesome time will not be like any difficult time that they might have experienced while their stay on earth. This awesome will be the end of worldly life. Therefore, it is called the Doomsday or the Day of Judgement. As for intercession, the Qur’ān says it will be of no avail: “On that day, intercession will be of no avail to any except a person in whose case the Most Merciful will have granted permission, and whose word He will have accepted.” (20: 109)
These verses, marked by God’s majesty which imparts an air of great reverence, show that the Most Merciful God will allow only a person whose words are accepted to Him; but there is no guarantee that his intercession shall be acceptable, because “He (God) knows all that lies open before them and all that is hidden from them, whereas they cannot have thorough knowledge of Him.” (20: 110) Thus, the only way left for us is that we follow the teachings of God and keep from disobeying Him. This is the only way to ultimate success.