|Answer: Four factors can assist us in entering Paradise.
The first is faith. What we have to believe in is known and
recognized by everyone. In this world we believe firmly that we are servants of
God. We have to present ourselves before Him one day. We will be held
accountable. Thus we should believe in the necessary articles of faith.
The second is to do good deeds. This does not require
guidance from a prophet. The few matters that may be ambiguous have been
adequately explained by all prophets. Otherwise human insight shows the
difference between good and evil. God has implanted this knowledge in man before
sending him in this world. Thus the required knowledge that is needed for this
world already exists in human nature. The Qur’ān has referred to this fact in
وَنَفْسٍ وَمَا سَوَّاهَا
فَأَلْهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقْوَاهَا قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَنْ زَكَّاهَا وَقَدْ
خَابَ مَنْ دَسَّاهَا (٩١:
And the soul bears witness and the perfection given to it,
then [God] inspired it with its evil and its good that he succeeded who purified
it and he failed who corrupted it. (91:7-10)
The third factor is that when we come to know of a good thing
we should welcome it as a blessing of God. Thus what we have learnt we need to
present it politely also to the people around us. We should use the abilities
God has given to us, the powers He has endowed us with, the time we have been
granted to pass His message. We need to communicate the knowledge we possess to
others. We must realize that the learning we have developed is not material
wealth which we are supposed to guard. It is something to be distributed freely.
Whatever good that we know of should be given to others, whether it is small or
great. One may find many occasions in one’s surroundings to propagate it. It
does not require leaving what one is doing. We are not required to go through
strenuous rituals. We can do it while doing our routine business, trading,
dealing in a market, working in other professions, wherever and whenever we find
an opportunity and meet people.
The fourth factor is that we should look around us and get
involved in any good work, any worthy act to which we can devote our time,
money, personal effort. If there are such activities, we should think about
them, ponder over them and decide on our involvement in the light of our
knowledge and reason. We should go ahead and provide support and help.
These are the four main things that could assist us in
gaining entry to Paradise. This summarizes the entire message of the Qur’ān.