“I was on the first steps of the path, the path of Islam, which was at my early youth, gratitude and praise be to Allah. I used to consider paradise as the place that I should be working for. Probably, not only my hope, but also my feelings were that I deserved it! I had the feeling that the mere idea of hell and the thought of escaping from it was not applicable to a person of my hard work and prayers, for such a person as I am does not belong there, by Allah’s will, and will not enter it. Therefore, such a person does not have to fear it or to keep on asking Allah to save him from it.
However, if he does so, then he is only following prophet Muhammad, Allah’s peace and blessings be on him, and imitating him, who himself asks to be saved from hell, with the assurance that he is not one of its inhabitants. I have often felt, when I used to ask for Allah’s forgiveness, that I haven’t committed deeds that call for a so long regret, or a so much sorrow; Allah has enabled me to give up, and apologize for the sin that I have committed. This is repentance enough. I have continued thinking in such a way for quite a period of my religious life. Then, when I began comprehending The Holy Qur’an, realizing the true meaning of faith, the true meaning of sin, and started studying the morals of the prophets, the virtuous men, and the men of faith, the previous feeling of security started to disappear slowly.
My prime and final worry circulated totally around escaping hell, and escaping what comes before it of painful torture. As for heaven, the whole heaven, namely paradise, there are other measures, and efforts that my will, power, and devotion were way below. Moreover, if I cry over the sins that I have committed, from this day until I die, my sorrows will not be enough, and if Allah’s mercy does not over shadow me with His forgiveness, then I will be one of the losers. So how did that happen?”