I received two very interesting comments on my Quran blog, both merits further discussion. First, I am picking up the comments of my friend Muneem.
I know Muneem for over thirty years. One of the most unassuming people, profound in cultural and spiritual wealth, yet, proclaiming simplicity, he goes about every day life with unabashed innocence.
He raises a question, who says our lives will be prosperous in this world if we follow the path of religion? Then he proceeds to make a statement that the religion prepares one only for after life.
The core teaching of Jesus is captive in the two sentences above. Jesus said, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all you have and give money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; then come and follow me.” (Matt.19:21) Thus he laid down the principle of success in the two worlds.
He then went on to elaborate the concept why success in the material world does not prepare one for success in the afterlife, “It will be very hard for the rich people to enter the Kingdom of heaven. I repeat: it is much harder for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. (Matt. 19:23-24).
In another instance Jesus was more direct when he proclaimed, “You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matt. 6:24)
He then equivocally sealed the argument with the statement, “pay the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor, and pay God what belongs to God.” (Matt. 22.21)
Truly, religion is for the other world; it does not prepare one for success in this world.