There are many facts about heaven and hell. We try to explain only those facts which help us in our project. Heaven and hell have been created now. If we had purified ourselves, we would be able to see them. Imam ‘Ali says about the pious: “To them paradise is as though they have seen it and are enjoying its favours. To them hell is also as if they have seen it and are suffering punishment in it.
The Glorious Qur’an also speaks about hell: “Nay! If you had known with a certain knowledge you should most certainly have seen hell” (102:5,6)
In this way we can say that our future is now present. Whoever is good, is now in heaven and criminals or sinners are now in hell. I hope the reader remembers that the companion of the Noble Prophet (S) who reached certainty said that he could declare among those who were with the Prophet who were people of hell and who were people of heaven. The Prophet (S) has also said that during the ascension, ‘miraj’ he saw workers (angels) planting trees. Sometimes they were working and sometimes they stopped working. Then he was told that when a person recites certain invocations of God a tree is planted for him and when he stops no tree is planted for him. This tradition like many other traditions shows that punishments and rewards are synchronous with the actions.
Three kinds of relationships can be conceived between acts and rewards or punishments:
Conventional relationship: Ordinary rewards or punishments are decided (defined) by some law-refiners. So they vary in different societies. For example, penalties for breaking traffic laws are from this kind.
Causal relationship: Sometimes rewards or punishments are effects of the acts. For example, when a person drinks wine, one of his punishments is loss of his health; or if a student studies well one of his rewards is to learn his lessons. The loss of health and knowledge are effects brought into being by those acts.
Unity: Sometimes rewards or punishments are nothing other than the actions. They are just the realities of those actions made manifest in another universe.
According to the Glorious Qur’an in the Hereafter the realities of the acts will be seen. This is what we mean by the embodiment of deeds (tajassum al-a ‘mat): “On that day men shall come forth in sundry bodies that they may be shown their works. So he who has done an atom’s weight of good shall see it And he who has done an atom’s weight of evil shall see it’, (99:&8) “(As for) those who swallow the property of the orphans unjustly, surely they only swallow fire~into their bellies and they shall enter burning fire.” (4:10)
According to these and some other verses we will see our acts themselves. if we had that sight today we would be able to see their realities today. Whoever is swallowing the property of the orphans unjustly is really swallowing fire now. Whoever is back-biting is really eating the flesh of his dead brother or sister now. So we should take care of our acts, otherwise we will enter hell just now (not only in the future). if we think constantly about the ugliness of the sins and their realities we will not commit any sin.