5.8 Stumbling Blocks
Before Islam their religion had been a token-sacrifice of a goat or a camel to their idols and then doing whatever they pleased. Islam made moral and spiritual demands that they were unwilling to accept. Moreover it introduced two concepts that their materialistic minds found very difficult to conceive. These two concepts were resurrection and the idea of reward and punishment. How could they be brought back to life after they had become dust? They found the idea impossible to accept. The Holy Koran tried to help them by pointing out how the earth seems dead but is revived as soon as water falls upon it, and that the creation of the heavens and earth is more difficult than the creation of man, so that He who created them and man for the first time would find no difficulty in creating them a second time. Indeed, it would be easier.
They took alarm at the description of the Day of Judgment and how people would be taken to account for everything they had done on earth. Their religion was very much of this world and the idea that this world was only an introduction to the Next World they found very strange. The idea of Hell (Jahannam) and the punishment of the wicked was something they feared and at the same time refused to believe in.
"If it is true that we shall be resurrected again," they said to the Messenger,
"then bring back our fathers, if you are truthful."
They could not perceive that if they had the material proof they demanded, where would the test of faith be?