Divine retribution

Who is the disbeliever denying God’s signs who will be recompensed with torment in the hereafter? Is it really just anybody, or a certain type of person? Is it just the average man on the street minding his own business, or those who knew they were doing something wrong, whilst harming others in the process?

I ask, because elsewhere in the Qur’an, many other verses make clear that people who do good will not be wronged in the hereafter, that peacemakers will be treated justly, and that amongst the Jews and Christians there are some who are on the right course.

Are all people truly alike? Surely we know from our experience of the world that some people are good, while others are bad. Some people are sincere and kind and true, while others are warmongers, perpetuating unspeakable evil in the land.

Millions of my countrymen believe that Winston Churchill was justified in ordering the terror bombing of German cities during World War II. Millions of others worldwide believe that Harry Truman was justified in dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, incinerating 120,000 people in an instant. Millions believe that our governments should invade other countries in order to sustain or preserve our way of life, and that it is their right to do so.

Perhaps amongst those who believe in the rightness of such actions are the sincere who believe in the doctrine of just war: perhaps there are some who believe that the decision to wage a war of that kind was the lesser of two evils. And perhaps others amongst them are simply ignorant of the horrors of aerial terror bombing, in which tens of thousands of civilians died.

But what of those who plan these despicable deeds in intricate detail, scheming to inflict maximum carnage on the enemy, whether civilian or combatant? Should such souls not be held to account for their actions, spreading corruption in the earth?

A law that we understand from the Qur’an is that if someone is a warmonger, they will be face the consequence of that in the hereafter: that is a reality to come. As for the peacemakers: they will be treated well. That is also a reality that will come, which we likewise understand from the Qur’an.

“And for all there are degrees for what they have done, and so that He may fully compensate them for their deeds, and they will not be wronged.” — Qur’an 46:19

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