18. "These are they who purchase this present life at the price of that which is to come: their torment shall not be lightened, neither shall be helped." (2: 86.)
C. ~ Can God ever act so jealously and malevolently? Who are those whose sins will be remitted or who will helped? If they are sinners whose sins will be remitted without any punishment being inflicted on them, then God's justice will be destroyed. If their sins will be remitted after they have undergone punishment for them, the men referred to in the verse will have also to suffer punishment for their sins.
But if the remission of sins refers to those men who are pious, they by virtue of their pious life have no sins to be remitted, what will God remit then? One naturally infers from this that whoever uttered these words was not an enlightened person. In fact, the righteous and the unrighteous should be awarded reward - happiness or punishment - sorrow and suffering - according to the nature of their deeds - virtuous or sinful.
This is another strange objection by Swamiji. This verse is speaking about those whose punishment shall not be lightened, not about those whose punishment shall be remitted. Swamiji is alleging about those things that are not even remotely mentioned in the verse. The verse is only mentioning the characteristics of those people who will meet severe punishments and are already described in verse 85.
After this it is you, the same people, who slay among yourselves, and banish a party of you from their homes; assist (their enemies) against them, in guilt and rancor; and if they come to you as captives, ye ransom them, though it was not lawful for you to banish them. Then is it only a part of the Book that ye believe in, and do ye reject the rest? But what is the reward for those among you who behave like this but disgrace in this life? and on the Day of Judgment they shall be consigned to the most grievous penalty. For Allah is not unmindful of what ye do.
Such people do not pay any heed to the next life and its consequences. They only focus on the life of this world and ignore the next life, saying there is only this life and no next life. There is nothing objectionable in this verse.
Similar teaching is found in Katha Upanishad 2:5, 6
5. 'Fools dwelling in darkness, wise in their own conceit, and puffed up with vain knowledge, go round and round, staggering to and fro, like blind men led by the blind
6. 'The Hereafter never rises before the eyes of the careless child, deluded by the delusion of wealth. "This is the world," he thinks," there is no other; thus he falls again and again under my sway.'
So, how is Allah jealous and malevolent?
Indeed, jealousy and malevolency is to call people 'Malecchas' and 'Dasyus' just because they do not live in India (aryavarta). Swamiji writes in Satyarth Prakash on the authority of Manu Smriti,
Q. What are the boundaries of Aryavarta?
A.~ "It is bounded on the North by the Himalayas, on the South by the Vindyachal mountains, on the East and West by the sea. It has also on its West the Sarasvati River (Sindh or Attock) and on the East the Dhrisvati river also called the Brahmaputra which rises from the mountain east of Nepal, and passing down to the east of Assam and the west of Burma, falls into the Bay of Bengal in the Southern Sea (Indian Ocean). All the countries included between the Himalaya on the North and Vindhyachal mountains on the south as far as Rameshwar are called Aryavarta, because they were colonized and inhabited by Devas (the learned) and Aryas - the good and the noble." Manu 2: 22, 17.
Manu 2:23 says,
That land where the black antelope naturally roams, one must know to be fit for the performance of sacrifices; (the tract) different from that (is) the country of the Mlecchas (barbarians).
Thus, there is no substance in this objection of Swamiji as well.
For the response to the issue of remittance of sins check response 22.