Objection # 18
The Qur’an uses the carrot and stick to reinforce behavior.
Throughout the book are vivid descriptions of hell, where sinners and non-Muslims have to drink boiling, stinking water, are thrown face down into a raging fire, and have to be there for eternity, suffering endless torments in agony.There are also vivid descriptions of Paradise.
Concept of Paradise and Hell in Abrahamic Faiths:
Reward for good deeds and punishment for evils is part of almost all the major religions. The form differs. Hindus have the concept of Transmigration of soul or rebirth: An individual Atman [soul] survives death. Perhaps it might be said, one’s Atman passes through a succession of lives. The station assigned in each life depends on one’s past deeds in former lives. One’s station depends on their total Karmic history. Through action, knowledge, devotion a person can improve their lot in the next life. Ideally, there is a “upward” progression of “stations” until Moksha is achieved. The Atman [soul] is what transmigrates.
The concept of paradise for the blessed and hell for the sinners or non believers is part of eschatology in the three Abrahamic faiths. (Qura’n;32:17, 18:29, 65-11). According to Bible: “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”(Daniel;12:2).However the time of The Hour (Day of Judgment) is only known to God: Qura’n;7:187, 43:66, 6:31, 40:16-17 & Mark;13:32). Everyone will be judged on the same basis, by the same criterion, and his or her destiny will be known. God may pardon whomever He wills, and He certainly forgives a countless number of people much of their sins. Whoever is so forgiven will end up in Heaven, while those who are not, will end up in Hell. The basic element that earns forgiveness of sins is belief in one God. (Qura’n;4:31,48,116; 39:53, 36:12, 3:133, 136,33:71).
Bible mentions about Hell & Paradise [Eden]: “For a fire is kindled in my anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with its increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains”[Deuteronomy 32:22]. “You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the judgment of hell?”[Matthew 23:33], “And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”[Matthew 13:42], “But I will forewarn you whom you shall fear: Fear him, who after he has killed has power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him”[Luke 12:5].“And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto you, Today shall you be with me in paradise”[Luke 23:43]. “You have been in Eden the garden of God;”[Ezekiel 28:13] also Genesis;2:8-17, Revelation;2:7, Ezekiel 28:13,31:9,16.
It is part of divine justice to reward the people for their obedience to God by believing in Him unseen and perform good deeds. Those who disobey God and do not believe in Him, His messengers and books are not equal to the believers, shall suffer punishment in hell fire. He forgives minor sins of believers. Instead of calling it policy of ‘stick and carrot’ the batter is ‘Reward and Punishment ‘or’ ‘Divine Justice’.