Adapted from an article written for Berita Harian in Malay titled “Kunci Ke Syurga”.
With input by Dhaniah Suhana
Stepping into heaven is a dream that is held by all people of piety. That is the place most beautiful in which all dreams can be fulfilled. Its favours have never been seen with the eyes, heard with the ears, or felt in the heart. Its wonders are multiple times greater than the most wonderful things that we can experience on this earth.
However, its doors can only be opened with the right key in order to enter it. How can we obtain this key into heaven?
Here are 2 ways to do it:
Rasulullah s.a.w. has said:
“I bear testimony to the fact that there is no god but Allah, and I am His messenger. The bondsman who would meet Allah without entertaining any doubt about these (two fundamentals) would enter heaven.”
The beauty of Islam is in its simplicity. The condition to enter heaven is to speak the two phrases of the Shahada. We only have to be certain in the oneness of Allah and the prophethood of Nabi Muhammad s.a.w. as the final messenger.
Sincerity in this instance refers to the belief that Allah is the one and only God that is deserving of worship, and that only He has all the attributes and the perfect names. There is no other being that has the characteristics of godliness, and Allah is Most Holy and free from all the imperfections that exist in His creation.
Deep sincerity will result in a heart that longs for God’s mercy and satisfaction.
Sincerity in one’s faith stems from the gaining of knowledge, because it is only with knowledge that one is able to worship with the utmost confidence in one’s beliefs. The phrases of the Shahada can then become lines not only written on one’s gravestone, but also felt in the heart. This cannot happen if one carries out worship by following how others worship.
In the Al-Quran, there are many lines that encourage us to think and ponder over the meaning of the verses in the Quran (bertadabbur). In Surah Az-Zumar verse 9, Allah s.w.t. said:
“Say, "Are those who know equal to those who do not know?" Only they will remember [who are] people of understanding.”
True knowledge and faith in the heart can, in and of themselves, move a person to carry out acts of worship, and to obey only the commands and instructions of Allah. It can cause a person to become more motivated to carry out obligatory prayers (tahajjud) and give charity even though these may be spiritual struggles at first.
Allah s.w.t. has said in Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 45:
“And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah].”
It is not an easy struggle to attain a key to heaven. It requires a sincere intention, which can motivate us to overcome obstacles with a calm heart and enlightened soul.
Allah has promised many times in the Al-Quran, among them in Surah Al-Ahqaf, verse 13:
“Indeed, those who have said, "Our Lord is Allah," and then remained on a right course - there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.”
Allah has placed a natural desire in every person to find the truth, to recognise God and fulfil that search with one’s senses, intellect, and the divine revelations of the Al-Quran and hadith of Nabi. Thus, we as His servants have to choose whether we wish to strive towards obtaining heaven’s key or not.
Ultimately, it is in our own hands.