The good and evil that people do often live after them. Many a time, the inventor of a thing or the initiator of a process might not live to see the impact of his product or effort on the society he left behind. At times, he might attain a honourable mention for its usefulness long after his demise in form of post-humous awards and accolades. In other instances, his product and effort are blameworthy.
Thus, if the inventor was a Muslim and what is invented is good, he gets the reward for his effort, as well as a share from all those who make good use of it and follow in his noble example. Allaah says:
"Verily, We give life to the dead, and We record that which they send before (them) and their traces (all good and evil they did, and that which they leave behind), and all things We have recorded with numbers (as a record) in a Clear Book."(Yaa Seen [36J: 12)
Abu Juhayfah (RA) narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessing be upon him) said: Whoever fashions a good way and practice which the people adhere to after him, for him is his reward and the like of their rewards without causing any decrease in their reward. And whoever fashions an evil practice that is implemented after him, then upon him is the sin and burden of that action as well as the sins of all those who practice it after him without reducing anything from their burden. "(Saheeh Targheeb).
Having said this, what can be said of someone who exerted great effort to produce a thing that does nothing except cause more corruption on the land and subverting the intelligence of the most preferred creature -man- making him like the beast or worse than that. What can be said of that individual who exerted this effort since 1759 over two and a half centuries ago to brew to a secret formula a product his Creator has forbidden? Perhaps, he wanted to be a hero and be counted amongst the great and influential may be. But he got it all wrong, for rather he opened the flood gate to fitnah and affliction and he has corrupted the earth.
Today, in his name and that of his counterparts of the Ultimate search fame end others besides these two, new production lines are being established worldwide and the people are granted employment from it, thus making them feed themselves and their families from a wealth that Allaah has cursed. In the same vein, specialized farmers with high technological wherewithal have emerged whose only product is the raw material used by these companies. The advertisers are having a field day erecting billboards in every nook and cranny to convey the message of alcoholism. Large distribution warehouses and channels have been established to make sure that these brands get to the furthest distance and whats more, trucks are being manufactured and purchased with the sole aim of transporting these divinely forbidden goods to as many places as possible.
For all of these categories of people, they will not go without blame from their Creator Allaah and surely the greatest share of the blame - indeed the punishment - will be upon the one who initiated the process that gave rise to the rest. Abdullaah bin Abbaas (RA) narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessing be upon him) said:
"Jibreel came to me and said: "Oh Muhammad! Surely Allaah has cursed alcohol (and all that intoxicates), the one who grows it, the one who brews it, the drinker, the carrier and conveyer and the one to whom it is delivered (and its place of delivery), the seller and the buyer, the one who give others to drink and the one who is given." (Saheeh Haakim)
Imagine that the one who initiated these processes had started something regarding useful knowledge and that all those involved in it today are benefiting the society. He would by now, be one of the richest in the hereafter because all their efforts would add up to his weight of good deeds on the Day of Judgement. On the contrary, he would be blamed for every income earner from alcohol, for every advert effort of the advertisers, for every grower of the fruits meant for its production, for the one who transport it, the server and stewards and the ones who entertain others with it even though they don't drink it and on and on. Finally, if he was a Muslim, then he had been sinful.
Certainly, the recompense of Allaah shall surely catch up with him except he had repented before his death or Allaah chooses to forgive him. If he was not a Muslim, then your guess is as good as mine and Allaah will never be unjust to any of his servants.
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited