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Section 4: The Inheritors of the Qur’an

Surah Al-Fatir – Verse 27

أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ أَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مَآءً فَأَخْرَجْنَا بِهِ ثَمَرَاتٍ مُخْتَلِفاً أَلْوَانُهَا وَمِنَ الْجِبَالِ جُدَدٌ بِيضٌ وَحُمْرٌ مُخْتَلِفٌ أَلْوَانُهَا وَغَرَابِيبُ سُودٌ

27. “Have you not seen that Allah sends down water from the sky, then We bring forth with it fruits of various colours, and in the mountains are streaks, white and red, of divers hues and (others) intensely black?”

By means of the colourless water and from the earth of one colour, Allah creates fruits of different colours.

In these verses, the Qur’an returns again to the subject of Monotheism, and shows a new section of the book of creation to human beings. This is a severe answer to the obstinate polytheists and the headstrong rejecters of Monotheism.

In this beautiful section from this large and great book of creation, the variety of soulless beings, and the different beautiful features of life in the world of plants, animals and human beings have been regarded to, that how He has brought hundred thousands of colours into being from the colourless water, and He has created some completely diverse beings from some defined and limited elements each of which is fairly more beautiful than the other.

This skilful painter, by a single pen and ink, has produced kinds of pictures which attract the attention of their visitors and charm them.

At first, it says:

“Have you not seen that Allah sends down water from the sky, then We bring forth with it fruits of various colours…”

This verse begins with a confessional interrogation and, besides moving the curiosity sense of men, points to this fact that this matter is so clear and vivid that whoever looks at it he seas that from the same water and land, one of which is colourless and the other has only one colour, there have been created these abundant different colours in various fruits, beautiful flowers, leaves and blossoms with diverse features.

The Qur’anic word /’alwan/ (colours) may refer to the apparent colours of fruits that even in a single fruit, like an apple, there exist different colours, let alone the diverse fruits.

And it may refer to the differences in their different tastes, constructions, and properties, so much so that even in one kind of fruit you can find various sorts. For example, there are, perhaps, fifty kinds of grapes and more than seventy kinds of date.

In the continuation of the verse, the Qur’an has referred to the variety of roads which exist in the mountains and these mountains cause the ways to be recognized from each other.

It says:

“…and in the mountains are streaks, white and red, of divers hues and (others) intensely black?”

From one side, this difference of colours gives a special beauty to the mountains and, on the other side, it is a cause for finding ways not being lost in the crooked roads of the mountains, and, ultimately, it is a proof upon the Power of Allah over everything.

The Arabic word /judad/ is the plural form of /juddah/ in the sense of ‘road and way’.

The Arabic word /bayd mar/ is the plural form /umur/ is the plural form of /’ah/ which means ‘white’; and /hof /’abyad in the sense of ‘red’.

The Qur’anic term /qarabib/ is the plural form of /qirbib/ which means ‘black in full’, and that in Arabic ‘crow’ is called /qurab/ is also from this quality. Therefore, the mention of the word /sud/, which is also the plural form of /’aswad/, next to it is for an emphasis upon the ‘intensely black’ colour seen in some mountain roads.

However, the construction of the mountains with diverse and completely different colours, from one side, and the mountain roads with various colours, on the other side, are some other signs for the Greatness, Power, and Wisdom of Allah which every moment appear in a form and every time decorate themselves in another clothing.

Surah Al-Fatir – Verse 28

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ وَالدَّوَآبّ‌ِ وَالأَنْعَامِ مُخْتَلِفٌ أَلْوَانُهُ كَذَلِكَ إِنَّمَا يَخْشَي اللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَآءُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ غَفُورٌ

28. “And of the people and beasts and cattle are of various colours likewise; verily only those of His servants fear Allah who have knowledge, verily Allah is Mighty, Forgiving.”

The difference of the colours of human beings and animals is one of the signs of the Power and Greatness of Allah.

Having some knowledge and awareness over the secrets of existence is a preparation for reaching the position of fearing Allah.

This verse refers to the variety of colours in men and in other living animals.

It says:

“And of the people and beasts and cattle are of various colours likewise…”

Yes, although human beings are all from the same parents, they have diverse races and colours completely different.

Some of them are as white as snow while some others are as black as ink. Even in one race, there is also difference of colours.

If we look carefully of the twin children who have passed the different stages of foetus with together and have been in the bosom of each other from the beginning, they are not sometimes completely in the same form from the point of colour, though they are from one father and one mother and their life-germ has combined in a single moment, and they have fed from one kind of food.

Besides the outward features, their innate colours, their characters, their attributes and qualities, their talents and tastes may be completely different so that they all with together form a single unit with the whole needs.

In the world of moving creatures, there are many thousands kinds of insects, birds, creepers, sea-animals, different desert wild animals that, with all their specialties and wonders of creations, each of them is a sign of the Power and Greatness and Knowledge of the Creator.

After stating these signs of Unity, finally, as a conclusion, it implies that the matter is like that.

And, since enjoying from these great verses of creation is for the wise and knowledgeable servants more than others, at the end of the verse, it says:

“…verily only those of His servants fear Allah who have knowledge…”

Yes, from among all of Allah servants only scholars are those who gain the high rank of ‘fear’, that is, the fear of responsibility accompanied with perception of the greatness of the position of their Lord. This state of ‘Fear’ is the result of contemplation on the extroversive and introversive verses of the Qur’an, and knowing the Knowledge and Power of Allah and the aim of His creation.

Raqib in Mufradat says:

“The word /xašyat/ means a ‘fear’ mixed with veneration, and it is often used in some instances which originate from knowledge and awareness of something.”

Therefore, in the Qur’an, this rank is counted specialized to the learned ones.

We have repeatedly said that this is a fear because of the responsibilities that one has in front of Allah: a fear that he may not fulfil his own duties well. Furthermore, in principle, perceiving the greatness, that greatness which is unlimited and infinite, for a being that is limited, such as man, causes fear.

Upon the commentary of this verse, Imam Sadiq (as) in a tradition said:

“The purpose is that there are some scholars whose deeds are consistent with their words. The one whose saying and deed are not consistent is not knowledgeable.”1

Another tradition announces:

“The most learned one of you is the one whose fear to Allah is the most.”2

Shortly speaking, from the view and logic of the Qur’an, the ‘learned ones’ are those scholars and authorities that the light of knowledge has made their whole selves enlightened with the light of Allah, faith, and piety, and they intensively feel responsibility unto their duties and they fulfil them more than the others.

At the end of the above verse, as a short reasoning upon what was said, the Qur’an says:

“…verily Allah is Mighty, Forgiving.”

His Veneration and endless Power is the origin of the fear of the learned ones; and His Forgiveness, which is the sign of His unlimited Mercy, is the cause of their ‘hope’. Thus, these two holy names keep the servants of Allah between ‘fear’ and ‘hope’. And we know that the constant movement toward development is not possible without being qualified with these two characters.

Surah Al-Fatir – Verses 29-30

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَتْلُونَ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلاَةَ وَأَنفَقُوا مِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ سِرّاً وَعَلاَنِيَةً يَرْجُونَ تِجَارَةً لَن تَبُورَ

لِيُوَفّـِيَهُمْ اُجُورَهُمْ وَيَزِيدَهُم مِن فَضْلِهِ إِنَّهُ غَفُورٌ شَكُورٌ

29. “Verily, those who recite the Book of Allah and establish prayer and spend (in charity) out of what We have provided them, secretly and openly, hope for a merchandise which will never perish,”
30. “That He will pay them their rewards fully and increase of His grace unto them; verily He is Forgiving, Thankful (of their good deeds).”

The words ‘prayer’ and ‘Book’ (the Qur’an) have repeatedly been mentioned beside each other in the Qur’an, and also prayer must be accompanied with helping the deprived.

In view of the fact that the former verses referred to the state of fear of the learned ones from Allah, the verse under discussion points to their state of ‘hope’, because, as we said, it is only by means of these two wings that man can fly high in the sky of felicity and pave the path of spiritual development.

At first, the verse says:

“Verily, those who recite the Book of Allah and establish prayer and spend (in charity) out of what We have provided them, secretly and openly, hope for a merchandise which will never perish,”

It is evident that the act of recitation here is not a mere reciting without contemplation and action.

It is a reading which is the origin of thought, a ponder which is the source of righteous deed, an action which, on one side, joins man to Allah the manifestation of which is prayer, and, on the other side, it relates him to the servants of Allah the manifestation of which is spending in charity, expending from whatever Allah has bestowed on a person, including: wealth, knowledge, authority, powerful thought, character, experiences, and, briefly speaking, from all merits that Allah has given him.

Sometimes this expending is done secretly (/sirran/) to be the sign of a complete sincerity, and sometimes it is done openly (/‘alaniyah/) in order to encourage others and to be the veneration of rituals.

Yes, the knowledge which has such an effect is the source of hope.

Regarding the contents of this verse and the verse before it we conclude that the true Muslim scholars have the following characteristics.

From the spiritual point of view, their hearts are full of fear of Allah mixed with His greatness.

From the point of speech, their tongues are busy reciting the verses of Allah.

From the point of the spiritual and bodily action, they establish prayer and worship Him.

And, finally, from the point of aim, the horizon of their thought is so high that they have left the fleeting material world aside and look for only the Divine beneficial merchandise which will neither be dull nor does it vanish.

This point is also noteworthy that the Arabic word /tabur/, mentioned in this noble verse, means destruction. Thus, ‘the merchandise free of destruction’ is a trade which has neither slackness nor degeneration.

An interesting tradition indicates that once a man came to the Messenger of Allah (S) and said:

“Why do I not like death?”

The Prophet (S) said:

“Do you have any property?”

He answered:

“Yes”.

He (S) told him:

“Send it before you.”

The man answered:

“I cannot.”

The Prophet (S) said:

“Verily the heart of a person is with his property. If he sends it before himself, he likes to join it; and if he keeps it (for later), he likes to be with it.”3

This tradition, in fact, has illustrated the whole content of the above mentioned verse, because it implies that they establish prayer and spend in charity in the path of Allah (s.w.t.) and are willingly hopeful of the next world, because they have sent some goodness before themselves and they are willing to reach it.

The next holy verse states the aim of the true believers as follows.

They do these righteous deeds:

“That He will pay them their rewards fully and increase of His grace unto them; verily He is Forgiving, Thankful (of their good deeds).”

This sentence, indeed, points to their ultimate sincerity that, in their actions, they look for nothing but the Divine reward. Whatever they desire they ask it from Him, and they do nothing for hypocrisy, showing, admiration, and glorification of this one or that one, because the most important thing in righteous deeds is the sincere intention.

The application of the Arabic term /’ujur/ (the plural form of /’ajr/) in the sense of ‘wage’ is, in fact, a grace from the side of Allah, as if He sees the servants as His creditors because of their righteous deeds, while whatever the servants have belongs to Him; even the strength for performing the righteous deeds has also been given from His side.

A more affectionate meaning is the sentence which says:

“…and increase of His grace unto them…”.

This gives them glad tidings that besides the ordinary reward, which itself sometimes is hundreds or thousands fold of the deed, He increases it of His grace. And He bestows on them, from some merits which no mind can bear and none in this world is able to consider.

However, the sentence which says:

“…verily He is Forgiving, Thankful…”

shows that the first grace of Allah unto them is that very forgiveness of their sins and the faults they might have had, since the most anxiety of a person is the anxiety about this issue.

After having peace of mind from this point of view, He involves them in His thankfulness, i.e., He thanks for their good deeds and endows on them the best reward.

It is much to be regretful that a free wise man refuses such a merchandise and refers to other than it; and worse than that is that he sells the goods of his self for naught.

Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) says:

“Is there no free man who can leave this chewed morsel (of the world) to those who like it? Certainly, the only price for your selves is Paradise. Therefore, do not sell your selves except for it.”4

Surah Al-Fatir - Verse 31

وَالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْكَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ هُوَ الْحَقُّ مُصَدّ‌ِقاً لّـِمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ اِنَّ اللَّهَ بِعِبَادِهِ لَخَبِيرٌ بَصِيرٌ

31. “And that which We have revealed to you of the Book, it is the truth verifying that which is before it, verily Allah, about His servants, is Aware, Seeing.”

In Qur’an there is not any false word, or any superstitious idle and illogical statement; and even the scale of legitimacy of any word or book is the Qur’an:

“It is the truth.”

Since the words in former verses were about the believers who recite the verses of the Book of Allah and actually apply them, the verse under discussion speaks about this heavenly Book and the evidence upon its legitimacy as well as the true bearers of the Book.

It completes the discussion mentioned in the former verses about Monotheism by this discussion which is about prophecy.

It says:

“And that which We have revealed to you of the Book, it is the truth verifying that which is before it, verily Allah, about His servants, is Aware, Seeing.”

Regarding this fact that ‘truth’ is in the sense of something which adapts the reality and is consistent with it, this meaning is a reasoning for proving this idea that this heavenly Book has been sent down from the side of Allah, because the more we are careful in its content the more we find it consistent with realities.

There is no contradiction in it; no falsehood or superstition is found in it; its beliefs and knowledge are consistent with the logic of wisdom; its statements about the ancient events are far from myths and legends; and its laws agree with the needs of human beings. This legitimacy is a clear proof upon this fact that it has been sent down from the side of Allah.

The holy sentence which says:

“…verifying that which is before it…”

is another proof upon the veracity of this heavenly Book, because it adapts with the signs which have been mentioned in the former heavenly Books about it and its bringer.5

The Qur’anic sentence which says:

“…verily Allah, about His servants, is Aware, Seeing”

states the cause of legitimacy of the Qur’an and that it is parallel with the facts and needs, because it has been sent down from the side of Allah Who knows His servants well and is Aware and Seeing unto their needs.

As for the difference between the Qur’anic words /xabir/ and /basir/ some commentators have said that the word /xabir/ is in the sense of cognizance about innate things, beliefs, intentions and the man’s spiritual construction, while /basir/ means having insight unto the man’s outward things and his bodily phenomena.6

Some other commentators believe that the ir/word /xabir/ refers to the principle of the creation of man, and /bas refers to his deeds and states.

Surah Al-Fatir - Verse 32

ثُمَّ أَوْرَثْنَا الْكِتَابَ الَّذِينَ اصْطَفَيْنَا مِنْ عِبَادِنَا فَمِنْهُمْ ظَالِمٌ لّـِنَفْسِهِ وَمِنْهُم مُّقْتَصِدٌ وَمِنْهُمْ سَابِقٌ بِالْخَيْرَاتِ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ذَلِكَ هُوَ الْفَضْلُ الْكَبِيرُ

32. “Then We gave the Book (Qur’an) as inheritance unto those whom We elected of Our servants. But of them are some who wrong themselves, and of them are some who follow the middle course, and of them are some who outstrip (others) through good deeds, by Allah’s leave. That is the great (Divine) favour!”

To inherit from the Holy Qur’an is a great favour of Allah. The election of Allah is wisely. Those are the inheritors of the science of the Qur’an who are foremost in good works.

In this holy verse the Qur’an has referred to an important subject, viz., the bearers of this great heavenly Book, the same ones who, after the revelation of the Qur’an upon the pure heart of the Prophet (S), protected and preserved this luminous torch at that time and during later centuries.

It says:

“Then We gave the Book (Qur’an) as inheritance unto those whom We elected of Our servants…”

It is clear that the objective meaning of ‘The Book’ here is the same thing that has been mentioned in the previous verses, (the Holy Qur’an), and the Arabic signs ‘’Alif’ and ‘Lam’ are, so to speak, of the kind of ‘Ahd.

The application of ‘inheritance’ here, and in some other instances similar to it in the Qur’an, is for the reason that this word is used for something which is gained without bargain and labour or trouble, and Allah gave this very great Book to Muslims in such a way.

There is a great deal of traditions narrated from Ahl-ul-Bayt (as) in all of which the Qur’anic phrase:

the elected servants of Allah

has been rendered into the immaculate Imams.7

As we have repeatedly said, these narrations are the statement of the clear and first grade expansions of the case and they do not hinder that the scholars, and learned ones of the Ummat, and those martyrs and righteous ones who tried hard in the way of protecting this heavenly Book and continuation of the performance of its instructions, are counted under the title of:

“those whom We elected of Our servants”.

Then the Qur’an divides them into an important division in this regard.

It says:

“…But of them are some who wrong themselves, and of them are some who follow the middle course, and of them are some who outstrip (others) through good deeds, by Allah’s leave. That is the great (Divine) favour!”

The apparent of the verse indicates that these three groups among ‘the elected ones of Allah’ are the inheritors and bearers of the Book of Allah.

In a more clear meaning, Allah has given the protection of this heavenly Book, after His Messenger, upon this Ummah, the ones who are elected by Allah, but there are different groups among them. Some of them fail to fulfil their great duty in protecting this Book and performing its ordinances and, in fact, they did injustice to themselves.

These are the extension of:

“Some who wrong themselves”.

Another group did a considerable amount of this duty concerning the act of protection and practicing on this Book, although they had some faults and shortcomings in their deeds, too. These are the extension of:

“Some who follow the middle course”.

And, finally, there are some distinguished persons who fulfil their heavy duties very well and, in this race-field they outstrip others.

This group, who are foremost in good deeds, are the same ones whom in the above mentioned verse have been rendered into:

Some who outstrip (others) through good deeds, by the leave of Allah.”

The Qur’anic phrase: /sabiqun bil xayrat/ (outstrip through good deeds), in many traditions narrated from Ahl-ul-Bayt (as) has been interpreted into Imam and the Immaculate ones; and the phrase: /zalim-un-linafsihi/ has been rendered into the ones who have not knowledge while the term /muqtasid/ is used for those who know Imam (as) unto Imam (as); and follow him.8

These interpretations are clear verifications upon what was said in the commentary of the whole verse, and it does not matter that these three groups can exist among the inheritors of the book of Allah.

Perhaps it is not necessary to mention that the interpretations in the above mentioned traditions are from the kind of the statement of clear extensions; that is the immaculate Imam is in the first row of

Some who outstrip (others) through good deeds”,

and scholars, learned men, and protectors of the divine religion are in other rows.

The commentary which has been mentioned id/ in the traditions are also from the kind of theabout /zalim/ and /muqtas statement of extension; and if we see that in some narrations the existence of scholars in the concept of the verse has totally been negated, in fact, is for attracting attentions to the existence of Immaculate Imam in front of these rows.

It is noteworthy that in commenting these three groups some of the former commentators and the modern commentators have delivered many other probabilities that, in deed, all of them are from the kind of the statement of extension.

Concerning the Qur’anic sentence which says:

“That is the great (Divine) favour”, some commentators have said that it is that very inheritance, the Book of Allah.

Some other commentators believe that it is a hint to the success which is given to those who outstrip (others) through good deeds and pave this way by the leave of Allah.

That is, they outstrip all nations in doing good deeds: they outstrip in learning knowledge; in piety and morality; in worshipping and serving the servants; in effort and endeavour; in order and reckoning; in donation and self-sacrifice, and they are usually the foremost in all these affairs.

Yes, the bearer of that heritage can be only such persons.

Surah Al-Fatir - Verse 33

جَنَّاتُ عَدْنٍ يَدْخُلُونَهَا يُحَلَّوْنَ فِيهَا مِنْ أَسَاوِرَ مِن ذَهَبٍ وَلُؤْلُؤاً وَلِبَاسُهُمْ فِيهَا حَرِيرٌ

33. “Gardens of Eden! They shall enter; therein they shall be adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls; and their raiment there shall be of silk.”

The reward of a temporary deprivation can be a permanent success.

This verse is, in fact, a conclusion for what was mentioned in the previous verses. This holy verse implicitly says that the reward of those who outstrip in good deeds is the eternal gardens of Paradise in which all of them will wholly enter.

The verse says:

“Gardens of Eden! They shall enter…”

The Qur’anic word /jannat/ is the plural form of /jannah/ with the sense of ‘garden’ and /‘adn/ is in the sense of settlement and stability; and ‘main’ is so called because it is the place of the settlement of metals and the like. Thus, the Qur’anic phrase: /jannat-u-‘adn/ means ‘the eternal gardens of Paradise’.

However, this meaning shows that the great bounties of Paradise are eternal and stable. And like the merits of the worldly material, they are not mixed with anxiety originated from the fear of destruction. The people of Paradise not only have a garden in Paradise, but also have many gardens at their disposal.

Then the verse refers to three parts of the bounties therein, some of which have material aspect and outward nature; some others have spiritual aspect and inward nature; and the third part has pointed to the negation of the existence of any kind of hindrance and trouble.

It says:

“…therein they shall be adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls; and their raiment there shall be of silk.”

In this world they were heedless to the dazzling glares and did not make themselves as captives to the glare of ornaments and when the deprived had not some cheep pieces of clothing, they did not tend to have expensive garments. To recompense these, in the next world, Allah will make them wear the best clothing and ornaments.

In this world, they adorned their outward with good deeds, then, in the next world, which is the world of incarnation of deeds, Allah will adorn them with kinds of ornaments, too.

We have repeatedly said that our words, which have been formed for the limited life of this world, never can convey the concepts of the great world of Hereafter. In order to state those bounties, we need to apply another kind of Alphabet, culture and dictionary.

But, however, in order that an outline of those great bounties could be shown to us, the prisoners of this world, we must take help from the slight ability of these very words to explain those bounties.

Surah Al-Fatir - Verse 34

وَقَالُوا الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي أَذْهَبَ عَنَّا الْحَزَنَ إِنَّ رَبَّنَا لَغَفُورٌ شَكُورٌ

34. “And they say: ‘Praise belongs to Allah, Who has removed from us (all) sorrow; verily our Lord is Forgiving, Thankful.”

The motto of the people of Paradise is the Praise of Allah. And there is not any grief or sadness inside Paradise.

Next to mentioning the material bounty, which was referred to in the previous verse, this verse points to a particular spiritual bounty, where it says:

“And they say: ‘Praise belongs to Allah, Who has removed from us (all) sorrow…”

For this great merit which has been endowed on them, and, by the grace of Allah, all the factors of sadness have gone out from the environment of their living, and the sky of their spirit has been wiped out from the dark pieces of the cloud of grief, they praise Allah and thank Him.

They have neither a fear from the Divine punishment nor are they afraid of death and annihilation. There is neither any cause of insecurity of mind for them, nor do hurt them the harm of malicious ones, the impositions of polluted tyrants, and companionship of evildoers and inept persons.

Some commentators believe that this grief and sorrow refers to the sadness similar to that which exists in the world, while some others believe that it refers to the grief that they will have in Hereafter concerning the result of their own deeds. These two commentaries do not contrast with each other and both can be considered for the meaning of the verse.

The Qur’anic words /hazan/ and /huzn/, as many books of philology and commentary indicate, both have the same meaning, and they originally are in the sense of unevenness and roughness of the earth; and since sorrow cause the man’s spirit to become uneven and rough, this meaning has been applied in this sense.

Then, according to the verse, those people of Heaven will add:

“…verily our Lord is Forgiving, Thankful.”

By His forgiveness, He removes the heavy grief of faults and sins, and by the attribute of His thankfulness, He bestows the eternal merits on us which never will the shade of sadness fall on them. His forgiveness has covered our abundant sins, and, by His thankfulness, He has given us a great deal of rewards for our small and scanty deeds.

Surah Al-Fatir - Verse 35

الَّذِي أَحَلَّنَا دَارَ الْمُقَامَةِ مِن فَضْلِهِ لاَ يَمَسُّنَا فِيهَا نَصَبٌ وَلاَ يَمَسُّنَا فِيهَا لُغُوبٌ

35. “He Who, of His grace, has made us to dwell in a house for ever, toil shall not touch us therein, nor shall fatigue therein afflict us.”

Paradise is eternal and the people of Paradise know that the bounties are because of the grace of Allah, not because of only their deeds.

This verse has referred to the bounty of the absence of the factors of toil, pain, and fatigue, and from their tongue, it implicitly says that praise belongs to Allah:

“He Who, of His grace, has made us to dwell in a house for ever, toil shall not touch us therein, nor shall fatigue therein afflict us.”

From one side, there is the place of residence and it is not such that before soon and before the time a person becomes familiar with it and likes it, he is called to come out of that place.

And, on the other side, although the long life in that world joins to eternity and in such a long time, principally, pain and fatigue are expected, there is nothing of these affairs there, at all. Even the length of time does not cause of tiredness and fatigue either, because every day a new bounty and a fresh manifestation of blessings from Allah is shown to the people of Paradise.

The Arabic word /nasab/ means toil and trouble, and many of the philologists and commentators believe that the Qur’anic term /luqub/ means the same, too; while some others have mentioned a difference between these two as follows: they say that the word /nasab/ refers to the bodily toils, while the term /luqub/ refers to the spiritual troubles.9

Also, some commentators have taken the Qur’anic term /luqub/ in the sense of weakness and fatigue resulted from toil and pain, and thus, /luqub/ becomes the consequence of /nasab/.

Therefore, in the Heaven, there is neither any factor of bodily toils, nor any means of spiritual pain.

Surah Al-Fatir - Verse 36

وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَهُمْ نَارُ جَهَنَّمَ لاَ يُقْضَي عَلَيْهِمْ فَيَمُوتُوا وَلاَ يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُم مِنْ عَذَابِهَا كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي كُلَّ كَفُورٍ

36. “And those who disbelieve, for them shall be the Fire of Hell, it shall not be decreed that they should die, nor shall the chastisement of it be lightened to them; even thus do We recompense every ungrateful one.”

Disbelief is a kind of ingratitude of bounties. The Qur’an, beside promises, usually refers to threats, and, beside glad tidings, it mentions warnings in order to strengthen two factors of fear and hope which are the motives of motion, because of the love of self, man is affected by the instinct of ‘acquiring benefit’ and ‘repelling harm’.

So, following the former verses, which were about the great rewards of the believers who ‘outstrip in good deeds’, this verse is about the painful punishment of disbelievers. Here also the words are about the material and spiritual punishments.

It says:

“And those who disbelieve, for them shall be the Fire of Hell…”

In the same manner that Paradise is an eternal abode for the believers, Hell is also an eternal abode for this group.

Then the verse adds:

“…it shall not be decreed that they should die…”

Although all those painful punishments and the blazing Fire of Hell can cause them their death, since the command of Allah, that everything, including life and death, is in Whose authority, has not been issued; they will not die. They must be alive, and they will not be delivered from this toil, so that they taste the Divine chastisement.

For such persons, death is a way to deliverance, but by the aforementioned sentence this way has been closed to them.

There will remain another way. It is in this that they should be alive and gradually their chastisement may decrease, or that their tolerance could be increased so that consequently their pain and toil may decrease.

This way is also closed by another sentence which says:

“…nor shall the chastisement of it be lightened to them…”

And, at the end of the verse as an emphasis upon the decisiveness of this Divine threat, it says:

“…even thus do We recompense every ungrateful one.”

Those who, firstly, showed ingratitude to the bounty of the existence of Divine prophets and heavenly Books, lost their Divine given capitals which could help them in gaining happiness.

Yes, the recompense of such evil-doers is burning in the painful chastisement of Fire, a Fire which they themselves lit in the life of this world and its fuel was their own evil thoughts and deeds.

Since the Qur’anic word /kafur/ is an amplification form in the Arabic language, it has a deeper meaning than the word /kafir/ (disbeliever).

Moreover, the word ‘disbeliever’ is usually used as opposite to the word ‘believer’, while the Arabic word /kafur/ (ungrateful) is used as for the ingratitude of all blessings. Therefore, it has a vaster meaning.

Thus, the word /kafur/ refers to those who have been ungrateful to all the divine bounties, and they have closed all the doors of His Mercy to them in this world. Therefore, in Hereafter, Allah will close all the doors of deliverance to them, too.

Surah Al-Fatir - Verse 37

وَهُمْ يَصْطَرِخُونَ فِيهَا رَبَّنَآ أَخْرِجْنَا نَعْمَلْ صَالِحاً غَيْرَ الَّذِي كُنَّا نَعْمَلُ أَوَلَمْ نُعَمّـِرْكُم مّا يَتَذَكَّرُ فِيهِ مَن تَذَكَّرَ وَجَآءَكُمُ النَّذِيرُ فَذُوقُوا فَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِن نَصِيرٍ

37. “And they shall cry aloud therein (for help, saying:) ‘O’ our Lord! Take us out (so that) we will do good deeds other than what we used to do (before).’ (They will be said): ‘Did We not give you long life enough to remember therein for him who would remember?’ And (moreover) the Warner came to you. So (now) taste you (the fruit of your deeds), then for the unjust there is no helper.”

That which makes man to be a hellish person is impious deeds, and one day all wrong doers will be in powerlessness and seek for help.

This verse refers to another part of the painful punishment of the people of Hell and emphasizes on some sensitive points in this regard.

It says:

“And they shall cry aloud therein (for help, saying:) ‘O’ our Lord! Take us out (so that) we will do good deeds other than what we used to do (before).’…”

Yes, by observing the fruits of their evil deeds, they will regret deeply and they will cry loudly and ask for a respite. They ask Allah to return to this world in order to do righteous deeds.

The application of the Qur’anic word /salihan/, in an indefinite form, points to this fact that they did not do the least righteous deed, and its consequence will be those painful chastisements for these who had let no way for them toward Allah and were thoroughly full of sin. Therefore, performing some righteous deeds may also cause deliverance.

The application of the Qur’anic word /na‘mal/ (we will do), an Arabic verb in the future form which denotes to the continuation of their action, is also an emphasis on this very meaning that they used to do some impious deeds.

Yes, because of his pure nature, a sinner, at the beginning, understands the ugliness of his deeds, but gradually he will be accustomed to them and its ugliness will be decreased in him.

Little by little, it goes beyond that and that ugly action will appear to him as a good action, as the Qur’an says:

“…The evil of their deeds has been made fair seeming to them…”10

And sometimes the Qur’an says:

“…While they think that they are working good deeds.”11

However, for this request there will be given a conclusive answer to them from the side of Allah, as follows:

“…(They will be said): ‘Did We not give you long life enough to remember therein for him who would remember?’…”

The verse continues saying:

“…And (moreover) the Warner came to you…”

Now that the case is such and all the means of felicity have been available for you, but you did not enjoy them, you should be afflicted the chastisement here.

It says:

“…So (now) taste you (the fruit of your deeds), then for the unjust there is no helper.”

This holy verse clearly indicates that they had not anything insufficient because they had enough respite, and there came to them necessary Divine Warners so that these two elements of awareness and felicity were ready for them, therefore, there was no excuse or pretext remained for them.

If they had not enough respite, it could be an excuse; and if you had enough respite, but there might not came any teacher, trainee, leader, and guide to them, they would have a pretext, too; but with the existence of these two, what kind of excuse they may have!

The Qur’anic word /naŏir/ (Warner) in the verses of Qur’an usually refers to the Divine prophets and specially to the Prophet of Islam (S), but some Islamic commentators have mentioned here a vaster meaning for it which encompasses both the Divine prophets, and the heavenly Books, and the awakening events like the death of friends and relations, and senility and weakness, in particular that in the Arabic language the word /naŏir/ has been abundantly used in the sense of senility.

This point is also noteworthy that in Islamic narrations there have been mentioned differently a limit in the lifetime which is enough for the man’s awareness and admonition.

Some of them have rendered it to the age of sixty; as a tradition from the Prophet of Islam (S) indicates:

“Whomever Allah has given sixty years of lifetime, He has closed the way of excuse to him.”12

This very meaning has also been narrated from Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as)

Another tradition narrated from the Prophet of Islam (S) indicates:

“When the Day of Hereafter comes, a caller will call:

‘O people of sixty years old! (Where are you?)

This is the same lifetime about which Allah has said:

‘Did We not give you long life enough to remember therein for him who would remember?’”13
  • 1. Majma‘-ul-Bayan, following the verse.
  • 2. Ibid
  • 3. Majma‘-ul-Bayan, Vol. 8, P. 408
  • 4. Nahj-ul-Balaqah, saying No. 456
  • 5. In this regard, there is a detailed discussion in the commentary of Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 41
  • 6. Tafsir-i-Kabir, by Fakhr-i-Razi, following the verse.
  • 7. Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, Vol. 4, P. 361 on
  • 8. Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, the , Vol. 4, P. 461
  • 9. Rauh-ul-Ma‘aly, Vol. 22, P. 184
  • 10. Surah At-Taubah, No. 9, verse 37
  • 11. Surah Al-Kahf, No. 18, verse 104
  • 12. Majma‘-ul-Bayan, following the verse
  • 13. The commentary by Tabarsi, following the verse.

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