Think of a crowd of fifty thousand, one hundred or two hundred thousand people! Now think of a crowd of the millions and billions of people from the beginning of the world all gathered together, while the angels are pulling hell closer to the earth until it completely surrounds the earth!
Try to imagine that crowd and the flames of hell surrounding them. A single wave can melt the earth away!
And then it is announced, “Let everyone follow what they used to worship in the world.”
And everyone inevitably and inescapably goes after what they used to follow and worship in the world.
And then a bridge that is thinner than hair sharper than a sword is laid upon which millions of people are going to start crossing over…
How can millions of people cross over a bridge thinner than hair sharper than a sword?
This is a metaphoric expression to describe the difficulty of this phase…
Ones ability and power to cross over depends on the energy they were able to accumulate through their practices in the world.
Remember the man who asks, “Why have you left be behind my Rabb?” and he is told, “It was your deeds that left you behind!”
Your inadequate deeds in the world, your incomplete prayers and practices will prevent you from gaining the necessary spiritual strength!
Consequently, you won’t be able to escape the pull of the Sun! Nobodies light will benefit anyone!
Don’t think the Rasul or a Saint or some master will run and help you! Each will be to his own!
The extent to which your spiritual energy is inadequate is the extent to which you will stay in hell.
The more you are attached to your habits, belongings, people, emotions, the longer you will suffer in hell.
This is nothing like our concept of time. The body will become like coal. Only the parts that took part in ablution and salat will be exempt from the fire. And this will go on for years and years!
Now if you say, “Eventually we’ll go to paradise because we are believers, so let us live as we like now!”
You are free to live however you like but for five minutes of pleasure in this world, you are creating infinite suffering for yourself in the hereafter.
And then when you do finally go to paradise remember there will be differences in rank in paradise.
If a man likes the feeling of flying and throws himself off a building for a twenty second sense of flying and ends up with broken arms and legs, would you call this man intelligent? What about sacrificing millions and billions of years for 5 or ten years of worldly life?
We must take heed of the warnings and not squander our lives with fleeting bodily pleasures, rather, we must strive to overcome our bodily tendencies and habits.
We will only be fooling ourselves if we don’t strive and put in effort in this cause.
He who says this is an unnecessary effort is delusional; he is deluding himself. It is his composition that makes him live like this!
He lacks knowledge, he is ignorant, he does not know the events of the future!
While we have access to true knowledge if we follow the guidance of such people we will also be deluding ourselves and creating our own demise and suffering.
“Indeed if you follow their desires (ideas and wants formed by their conditionings) after what has come to you of knowledge, indeed, you would surely be among the wrongdoers.”
It is popular to quote the words of Sufis like Yunus Emre, while we continue to eat, drink, indulge in pleasures. Just because we fast in Ramadan and pray every now and then we think we are Sufis and start quoting things like,
The place they call Paradise
is but a few palaces and beautiful women
Let them have it all…
All I want is YOU!
I wonder if there is an alternative place to go to on the other side, other than heaven and hell?
If you don’t end up in one, you’re going to end up in the other!
Its’ as simple as that my friend.
It does not matter who you are, what your rank is, how wealthy you are, you will either go to one or the other, there is no other alternative!
The Rasul of Allah (saw) will be in heaven, if you don’t like that and you prefer something else, well I have nothing to say…
But know that there will be significant differences in the ranks and lifestyles of those in heaven.
If you say I want to be among those who live the best of lives, I want to be as close to the life of the Rasul of Allah (saw) as I can be, I want to know Allah as those who knew him best and live like them in heaven, then I salute you.
But to naively claim “I don’t want heaven I just want Allah” is nothing other than an illusion and ignorance.
Because this spawns the dualistic illusion that there is heaven, there is hell, and there is also Allah, far and beyond these!
 Quran 2:145