The Qur’an says: “O you who believe, save yourselves and your families from the Fire whose fuel will be men and rocks, over which will be appointed stern and severe angels as wardens who would never disobey what God would command them, and would do what they will be commanded.” (66:6)
Any person, who believes that the Day of Judgment is bound to come, would do everything possible within his means to save himself and his family from the fire of hell. Consequently, whenever he finds any of his close ones deviating from the right path, he makes an attempt to guide him back. His effort would at least be equal in sincerity to that of someone trying desperately to rescue a loved one from the flames of a fire. The fear that his attempt would earn for him the displeasure of others would not deter him from pursuing his objective. Indeed, temporary unhappiness of some relatives and friends is far easier to face than the accountability in the hereafter if this responsibility is avoided. The Prophet (pbuh) had warned thus:
Each one of you is a shepherd, responsible [to God] for [the conduct of] his herd. (Muslim, Kitabu’l-Imarah)
Love and sympathy for others, if carried too far, make an individual lazy and unmindful about religious matters. Emotional attachment to the religion of God, as a result, gradually drops to a level where open violations of God’s injunctions even by one’s wife and children fail to move him to take corrective measures. He deceives himself by thinking that time would reform them gradually. There are many who instead of reforming their kin, spare no efforts to justify their faults. This highly unbecoming attitude is adopted even by those who have taken up the task of reforming the entire society.
The obvious reason why people do not take up the responsibility of reforming their near ones seriously is that they fail to realize that true love does not demand individuals to meekly overlook the irreligious conduct of their family, and to allow the possibility of being swallowed by the flames of hell as a result; it requires, instead, that they should be dragged away from it, even though the process necessitates some discomfort. Anyone who remains unconcerned at the un-Islamic behaviour of those close to him is, in reality, being callous, instead of loving, allowing them to move closer to the wrath of God.
The Qur’anwarns us that many people would find themselves along with their families in an unenviable fate on the Day of Judgment. It says:
You would see them brought before the fire, abject in disgrace, looking stealthily. And those who believe will say: ‘Indeed losers are those who have failed themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection.’ Be informed that these transgressors will suffer a lasting torment. They will have no protector to help them than God. He whom God allows to go astray has no way [to revert]. (42:45-6)
We, therefore, pray to God: ‘O Lord, give us of good in the world, and give us of good in the life to come and save us from the torment of the Fire.’ (2:201) Amen.
(Dr Khalid Zaheer)