Alice Visits a Mosque to Learn About Judgement Day
A Bizarro World
Imam: A sin is what God says it is? And Allah said that not believing in Him and only Him is the greatest sin of all, and that believing in Him is believing with unshakable certainty in everything He has revealed.
Alice: But ...
Imam: Should not people who commit the greatest sin of all not suffer the greatest punishment? No believer is completely evil all the time, which is why Allah weighs their bad deeds against their good deeds before deciding on their fate. But a person who does not believe in Allah and only Allah is being evil all of the time; committing the greatest sin of all, all of the time. Do you think such a person should be entitled to any mercy or compassion?
Alice: I don't know whether to laugh or cry that such a question would even come up.
Imam: It is not a laughing or a crying matter; it is a simple question which very much defines what Islam is all about. Women are only starting to understand what men who fight in the Way of Allah have understood for a long time.
Alice: It's no joke, I know. Judgement Day cannot be a joke for so many who, you say fight in the Way of Allah willing to kill those who would dismiss what you have told me, what Allah revealed about Judgement Day, as the ranting of a madman.
Imam: If you can't believe in God, in whom shall you believe? Allah, on many occasions, vouched for His Messenger’s sanity, including when He asked people to rise and reflect that there was “no madness” in the Prophet, the peace and blessings of God be upon him. Allah said.
15:6 They say: “O you, to whom the Reminder (the Qur’an) is revealed, you are indeed a madman.
34:46 Say: “I only give you one exhortation, that you arise for Allah in couples and singly, then to reflect that there is no madness in your companion (the Prophet). He is merely a warner on the eve of a terrible punishment.”
Alice: I want to believe in God, in a god who is into reducing suffering not increasing it, and whose mercy is unconditional. I find it difficult to identify with Allah's definition of compassion and mercy, especially after what was revealed about Judgement Day.
Imam: What was revealed is that Allah will show mercy and compassion to those deserving of His Mercy and Compassion, the believers. DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND!
Alice: I do, in a bizarre sort of way.
Imam: What do you mean?
Alice: I used to read some of my brother’s comic books. Superman was my favorite, superman had his doppelganger …
Alice: An opposite. Bizarro was superman's opposite. He lived on a "bizarro world" where up was down, left was right, go meant stop, goodbye meant hello ... Bizarro is a term often used to describe a person or thing that uses a twisted form of logic.
Imam: "Bizarro world" is an interesting way to describe the world of the unbelievers.
Alice: Bizarro came to mind when Allah revealed that “the charmer” is the name of angels who beat up unbelievers while flying them to who-knows-where – Hell or to be judged; it is so confusing.
Imam: He is Allah; He can call His angels whatever He wants.
Alice: Of course. And He constantly refers to Himself as the Compassionate, the Merciful; yet, the actions and verdicts of the Judge presiding over Judgement Day would lead some to believe that His understanding of Compassion and Mercy are different, perhaps even the opposite of what, for example, Western dictionaries define as compassion and mercy.
Imam: A bizarro-world's definition.
Alice: The believers are going to Paradise because they have earned it and have no need of Allah’s Compassion or Mercy. As to the criminals He welcomes into Paradise, His Compassion and Mercy amount to a pardon. Wouldn't real compassion and mercy have been to forgive those who, through no fault of their own, and in many cases because of Allah’s admitted deliberate premeditated actions, failed to believe?
Imam: They failed to believe because of their arrogance, and Allah does not guide the arrogant.
Alice: Yes, many refused to submit because they were arrogant, I am sure; but for many, the Prophet was, and is just another claimant to a special relationship with humanity’s alleged invisible friend in the sky; and it did not help that his message was so different than that of all the Messengers he said came before and with whom he claimed a kinship – Jesus in particular.
Imam: Jesus simply misunderstood Allah when He revealed that you should love your neighbour. Allah's command was that you should love the believers as you love yourself.
Alice: … and hate those who do not believe.
Imam: HOW COULD YOU LOVE THOSE FOR WHOM ALLAH HAS RESERVED SUCH A PAINFUL PUNISHMENT?
Alice: And there we are.
Imam: It is time for you to go home young lady.
Alice: [picking up her shoes, she turns to leave, but not before] Allah is right, and that makes me sad.
Imam: What makes you sad?
Alice: That we can never be friends. I could not take you as a friend, even if that was what you wished, knowing that by doing so I was dooming you to an eternity of agony on fire in Allah's Hell. I could never be that cruel.
Imam: [the imam is moved somewhat] Worship Him and only Him, accept that there will be a Judgement Day as He describes, and believe with certainty and everything will be alright and we can all be friends.
Alice: If only it was that easy. So much pain, so much sorrow, so much horror … and for what?
Imam: For a place in Paradise. Go home and praise Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful at every opportunity and never forget what was revealed to you today.
Alice: [leaving the spotlight] How could I forget; how could anyone forget.
Imam: [returns to his Friday prayers]
1:1 In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful,
1:2 Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds,
1:3 The Compassionate, the Merciful,
1:4 Master of the Day of Judgement,
1:5 Only You do we worship, and only You do we implore for help.