بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
The Chapter has forty four Verses and it was revealed in Mecca. The title of the Chapter derives from the opening detached letter qaf. Similar to other Meccan Chapters, the Chapter in question treats of resurrection and an exposition of the destinies of former nations as well as those of the good and the vicious.
The Chapter opens with the opponents’ denial of resurrection and proceeds with making mention of the examples of resurrection in nature and creation.
According to Islamic traditions, the Noble Prophet (S) accorded great significance to the Chapter in question such that he recited it every Friday at the sermon of the congregation prayer.1
It is narrated from the Noble Prophet (S):
“Whoever recites the Chapter Qaf, Allah shall alleviate the difficulties and throes of death for him.”2
According to a tradition narrated from Imam Baqir (as):
“One who recites the Chapter Qaf in obligatory and supererogatory prayers at all times, Allah shall increase his means of subsistence, shall give him the letter of his deeds to his right hand, and shall make facilitate his account on the Day of Judgment.”3
It is worthy of note that so many glories and merits may not be accrued through mere recitation of the words, but it may open a path toward awakening of thought as a means of doing righteous good deeds consistent with the contextual meaning of the Chapter.
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
ق وَالْقُرْآنِ الْمَجِيدِ
بَلْ عَجِبُوا أن جَاءهُمْ مُنذِرٌ مِّنْهُمْ فَقَالَ الْكَافِرُونَ هَذَا شَيْءٌ عَجِيبٌ
1. Qaf. By the Glorious Qur’an [your Prophethood and Resurrection are true].
2. Nay, they wonder that there has come to them a warner from amongst themselves. Therefore, the disbelievers said [regarding the news of Resurrection]: “This is a strange thing!
Taking an oath to the Holy Qur’an is of significance, since it is Glorious. Thus, if you seek glory, turn to the Glorious Qur’an. A number of Qur’anic Chapters open with detached letters and the Chapter in question opens with the detached letter Qaf.
As mentioned above, of one the significant interpretations for detached letters is that the Most Glorious Qur’an consists of letters of alphabet reflecting the truth that God Almighty Who revealed the Holy Qur’an is Omnipotent and Omniscient such that He created such exquisite system out of such simple means. However, there are other interpretations for detached letters regarding which one may refer to the openings of Chapters 2, 3, 7, and HM Chapters.
Some Qur’anic exegets maintain that Qaf alludes to a number of Allah’s Most Beauteous Names, e.g. the Omnipotent (Qadir) and the Self-Existing (Qayyum).
From amongst the evidence alluding to the point that the detached letter indicates the Glory of the Holy Qur’an is that an oath is taken to the Glorious Qur’an immediately following the letter:
“Qaf. By the Glorious Qur’an.”
The Arabic word majid (“glorious, illustrious, exalted”) derives from m-j-d (“to be glorious, illustrious, exalted”). The titled majid is applied to the Holy Qur’an since it possesses glory without bounds and it wholly deserves the title in terms of contents, beauteous form, exquisite Injunctions, and invigorating and didactic plans.
Numerous possibilities have occurred to Qur’anic exegets as to mentioning the oath and its object. Taking into account the following Qur’anic Verses, it seems that the object is the question of the Noble Prophet’s (S) Prophethood or Resurrection.
Taking an oath in the following Verse;
(“Nay, they wonder that there has come to them a warner from amongst themselves. Therefore, the disbelievers said [regarding the news of Resurrection]: ‘This is a strange thing!’”)
may reflect disbelievers’ wonder as to the Noble Prophet’s (S) chiefship and leadership as someone who was raised amongst them. The blessed Verse is saying that God Almighty revealed the Holy Qur’an to substantiate his Prophethood and remove their wonder.
It is saying that Qur’anic Verses are inimitable, namely no one is able to produce the like of the blessed Verses. Such inimitability suffices to substantiate his Prophethood and there remains no room for wondering since the Holy Qur’an is the Word of God Almighty rather than the Noble Prophet’s (S) words and it serves as warning to people.
أئِذَا مِتْنَا وَكُنَّا تُرَابًا ذَلِكَ رَجْعٌ بَعِيدٌ
قَدْ عَلِمْنَا مَا تَنقُصُ الْأرْضُ مِنْهُمْ وَعِندَنَا كِتَابٌ حَفِيظٌ
3. “When we are dead and have become dust [shall we be resurrected?] That is a far return.”
4. We know that which the earth takes of them [their dead bodies], and with Us is a Book preserving all things in it.
The Prophets’ warning rests on paying heed to Resurrection.
disbelievers are saying that Resurrection does not stand to reason and common practice.
Thus, disbelievers may not produce any argument against Resurrection but it merely sounds impossible to them. Qur’anic exegets maintain that the interrogative particle opening Verse 3 reflects wonder and alludes to disbelievers’ denial of Resurrection saying that when they die and turn to dust, it would be next to impossible to be resurrected and return to life.
Verse 4 is saying that disbelievers’ wonder at Resurrection on the Last Day is for their conception that when man dies, nothing will remain of his flesh, skin, and organs in the earth; thus it would be impossible to be rejuvenated.
The blessed Verse in question aims to remove their disbelief in Resurrection saying that they are not supposed to imagine that they turn into absolute non-existence when nothing remains of their bodies when they turn into dust.
In other words, their denial springs from their unfounded conception that when man dies, his flesh and bones turn into dust and become parts of the earth and particles of the same turn into gases and vapors as well and it would be impossible to collect them anew and find any intelligence as to their existence.
The response to such questions is that God Almighty whose Omnipotence encompasses all things, is All-Aware of such particles and shall collect them all when the need arises in such manner that the scattered particles of Iron may be collected from amongst a pile of dust using a magnet; it shall be far facile for God Almighty to collect the scattered particles of human beings.
In case disbelievers raise a question as to keeping records of human deeds for Resurrection, one may provide the response as per which all such records are being preserved in the ‘preserved tablet’ (lawh mahfud) and basically nothing will be lost in this world but deeds, despite alterations in their forms, remain.
refers to a Book in which everything including human deeds are preserved in it. An exposition was made above4 regarding the ‘preserved tablet.’
بَلْ كَذَّبُوا بِالْحَقِّ لَمَّا جَاءهُمْ فَهُمْ فِي أمْرٍ مَّرِيجٍ
5. Nay, but they have denied the truth [the Holy Qur’an] when it has come to them; thus they are in a confused state [as to Prophethood and Resurrection].
The Arabic word marij designates “agitation, confusion,” as it is said in the Holy Qur’an regarding the intermingling of the water of two seas
“He has let loose the two seas [the salt and fresh water] intermingle”5.
The adjectival form marij is attested once in the Holy Qur’an connoting disbelievers’ perplexity. Anxiety and perplexity spring from denial and disbelief but remembrance of God Almighty and paying attention to the Holy Qur’an lead to serenity and peace of mind.
أفَلَمْ يَنظُرُوا إِلَی السَّمَاء فَوْقَهُمْ كَيْفَ بَنَيْنَاهَا وَزَيَّنَّاهَا وَمَا لَهَا مِن فُرُوجٍ
وَالْأرْضَ مَدَدْنَاهَا وَألْقَيْنَا فِيهَا رَوَاسِيَ وَأنبَتْنَا فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ زَوْجٍ بَهِيجٍ
تَبْصِرَةً وَذِكْرَی لِكُلِّ عَبْدٍ مُّنِيبٍ
6. Have they not looked at the heaven above them, how We have made it and adorned it [with stars], and there are no rifts in it?
7. And the earth! We have spread it out, and set thereon mountains standing firm, and have produced therein every kind of fresh plant.
8. An insight and a Reminder for every servant turning [to Truth].
Nature is a theology class;
(“Have they not looked at the heaven above them?”).
Call people unto God Almighty by illustrating your Calls with examples. Look at the heaven and the earth to perceive the possibility of Resurrection and Divine Omnipotence.
Thus, you may know the beauty, systematicity, and other characteristics of Divinely created creatures in the heaven and earth. The blessed Verse 6 opens with the interrogative particle (a-) to indicate wonder at disbelievers’ denial of Creation and Resurrection.
It connotes wonder at disbelievers who do not look above at heavens to perceive the manner by which God Almighty created them and adorned them with stars. He filled the heaven with stars and galaxies standing one above another such that there remains no rift between them.
Nor do these disbelievers look at the earth to see that God Almighty has spread it on water and placed mountains on it so that they keep it firm on its place. God Almighty has made all types of creatures grow in pairs. The blessed Verse and the like of it reflect that all creatures, even plants, are in pairs and unity solely belongs to Divine Essence, the Originator of the world.
The following Verse is saying that one who reflects upon such exquisite creation, novel and beauteous system, and the magnificent palace of the world and notices the Glory and Grandeur of the Creator may perceive the Cause through the effect and such servant turns to the Creator of the world through perceiving the effects.
وَنَزَّلْنَا مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء مُّبَارَكًا فَأنبَتْنَا بِهِ جَنَّاتٍ وَحَبَّ الْحَصِيدِ
وَالنَّخْلَ بَاسِقَاتٍ لَّهَا طَلْعٌ نَّضِيدٌ
رِزْقًا لِّلْعِبَادِ وَأحْيَيْنَا بِهِ بَلْدَةً مَّيْتًا كَذَلِكَ الْخُرُوجُ
9. And We send down blessed water [rain] from the sky, then We produce therewith gardens and grain [every kind of harvests] that are reaped.
10. And tall date-palms, with ranged clusters.
11. A provision for [Allah’s] servants. And We give life therewith to a dead land. Thus will be the Resurrection [of the dead from the graves].
Rain is a natural phenomenon but it depends on Divine Will. It rejuvenates the earth, provides it with blessings including destruction of blights, growth of plants, delicacy of the air, and flowing of springs. The Arabic word basiq is employed in the sense of “tall”; tal‘ designates “a blossom newly turned into date”; nadhid designates “ranged, compact”; and hasid denotes “reaped.”
The most joyous moments for agriculturalists are the time of ripening and harvesting their crops;
(“grains that are reaped”).
The blessed Verses in question make use of rain and growth of plants to illustrate Resurrection.
“We send down blessed water from the sky,”
Imam Baqir (as) says:
“There is no water in the earth unless it is mingled with that from the sky.”6
Imam ‘Ali (as) washed his hands7 and face when it rained saying:
“This blessing is from the sky untouched by any hand or vessel.”
Thus the blessed Verses in question are saying that the Glorious Divine Essence of Unity reminds His servants to bring His blessings to completion saying:
“We sent down rain so that trees and other plants grow and gardens and orchards be available to man for his sustenance and pleasure. We made tall and fruitful date-palms grow by rain.”
The blessed Verse 11 is saying that God Almighty provided His servants with all plants as a blessing for their provision and sustenance.
Making mention of ‘servants’ may make a reference to the point that the main goal behind the creation of such natural phenomena including the growth of plants and sending down rain is to provide those who worship God Almighty and are obedient to Him with provision and sustenance and disbelievers and the disobedient make use of such natural resources because of the former as it is mentioned in the Divine tradition addressed to the Noble Prophet (S):
“Had it been not for your sake, I would not have created the heavens.”
The tradition reflects that the natural world of existence was created for his sake. God Almighty gave life to dead cities through sending down rain.
“Thus will be the Resurrection [of the dead from the graves]”
alludes to convincing those who deny Resurrection such that in the same manner that God Almighty gives life to dead lands through water therewith plants grow from the earth, He is Omnipotent to give a new life to those who have died and have turned into dust.
كَذَّبَتْ قَبْلَهُمْ قَوْمُ نُوحٍ وَأصْحَابُ الرَّسِّ وَثَمُودُ
وَعَادٌ وَفِرْعَوْنُ وَإِخْوَانُ لُوطٍ
وَأصْحَابُ الْأيْكَةِ وَقَوْمُ تُبَّعٍ كُلٌّ كَذَّبَ الرُّسُلَ فَحَقَّ وَعِيدِ
12. Denied before them [polytheists of Mecca] the people of Noah, and the dwellers of Rass, and [the people of] Thamud;
13. And [also the people of] ‘Ad, and Pharaoh, and the brothers of Lot;
14. And the Dwellers of the Wood [Ayka, namely the people of Shu‘ayb], and the people of Tubba‘ [the kings of the Yemen]. Every one of them denied [their] Messengers; therefore, My Threat took effect [and they perished].
The name of the people of Rass is attested in this Chapter and also in 25:29. Qur’anic exegets maintain that the people of Rass lived in Yamama. They had a Prophet by the name of Handalla, but they denied his Call and cast him into a well. Since the Arabic word rass denotes “well”, hence their designation ‘the people of Rass.’ Imam Sadiq (as) was inquired regarding the reason behind the torment inflicted upon the people of Rass.
“Their women contended themselves with women [i.e. they were lesbians].”8
The peoples of Thamud and ‘Ad were those of Prophets Salih and Hud (as). The people of Ayka were a group of the people of Prophet Shu‘ayb (as) who lived in the woods. Their name is attested in Chapters 15 and 26.
Tubba‘ is the title of the kings of the Yemen. The people of Tubba‘ is applied to a group of the people of the Yemen who followed their kings and whose name is also attested elsewhere in the Holy Qur’an9.
According to traditions, the king of the Yemen (Tubba‘) asked the two tribes of Aws and Khazraj:
“Stay in Yathrib (later Medina) until the Noble Prophet of Islam (S) be appointed to Prophethood and if I happen to be contemporaneous with him, I will serve and follow him.”10
The Holy Qur’an makes mention of the people of Lot (as) as
“brothers of Lot”
since they were all his kith and kin.11 It is worthy of note, however, that according to the Holy Qur’an, the Prophets are the brothers of peoples and it is for this sake that the people of Lot (as) are referred to as his brothers.
The Holy Qur’an repeatedly reminds the Noble Prophet (S) of former Prophets (as) and their peoples and the point that their Prophetic Calls were denied and they were subject to persecutions. Thus, God Almighty consoles His Messenger (S) saying that if you see that disbelievers of Quraysh hurt you and attribute false accusations to you, former peoples were alike. Be patient against their persecutions in the manner that Arch-prophets did likewise.
Furthermore, these blessed Verses warn disbelievers against the torments to be inflicted upon them in this world since God Almighty inflicted torments like tempest, loud cries hear from the heaven (sayha), icy gale (sarsar), pouring down rocks on them such that they may fear such torments in this world and desist from denial of Prophets (as).
أفَعَيِينَا بِالْخَلْقِ الْأوَّلِ بَلْ هُمْ فِي لَبْسٍ مِّنْ خَلْقٍ جَدِيدٍ
15. Were We then tired with the first creation [to be hopeless of creating you anew on the Day of Resurrection]? Nay, they are in confused doubt about a new creation [resurrection].
Creation of any existent being bears testimony to Divine Omnipotence to create it anew, since the first creation justifies the possibility of further creations.
Disbelievers may not produce any argument for substantiating their denial of Resurrection, but they merely entertain doubts;
(“Nay, they are in confused doubt about a new creation [resurrection]”).
The interrogative particle (a-) is employed to indicate denial. In other words, the blessed Verse is asking disbelievers whether they imagine that God Almighty is tired of the first creation and He is unable to create anew. Disbelievers are mistaken as to Divine Omnipotence as to creating anew unaware of the fact that they are subject to permanent change.
وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ وَنَعْلَمُ مَا تُوَسْوِسُ بِهِ نَفْسُهُ وَنَحْنُ أقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ
16. And verily We have created man and We know what his ownself whispers to him. And We are closer unto him than his jugular vein [and We are in full control of everything].
The Arabic word waswasa denotes ‘whisper’ and the same connotes unbefitting thought occurring to man’s heart. The word warid (“vein”) derives from w-r-d denoting ‘to go to water.’ Since vein is the means by which blood circulates between heart and other bodily organs, it is termed as warid.
The blessed Verse in question makes a reference to Divine Majestic Attributes of Originating creation and Divine Omniscience; the latter reflects that God Almighty created man ex nihilo and He is the Originator of his existence.
Since He is the Creator of man, He is All-Aware of his outward and inward qualities and deeds and He is Fully Aware that disbelievers’ denial of Resurrection springs from concupiscent temptations despite the fact that their innate natural disposition is aware of their Origin.
The blessed Verse may make a reference to the point that had those who denied Resurrection made use of their reason, they would have abstained from satanic temptations and they could acknowledge the veracity of Resurrection without entertaining any doubts as to the same. Other Divine Majestic Attributes include Comprehensiveness and Guardianship.
“And We are closer unto him than his jugular vein.”
Warid is the vein connected to heart and liver through which blood flows and waridan or shara’in are applied the twain blood vessels connecting heart to brain on which depends survival of the body. It is one of the closest things to man’s life such that if blood flow suffers from any defect, man will die. The blessed Verse makes a reference to Divine encompassing of existence and Divine Guardianship.
In other words, since existence depends upon God Almighty, He is closer to him than the jugular vein that keeps him alive. Such closeness reflects that God Almighty is closer to man than anyone else, since the existence of anything depends upon what realizes its existence and keeps it as it is. Since the Divine Essence is the Creator, the Origin, and the Final End of creation, all created beings are encompassed by him and their existence depends upon Him.
How then He may be unaware of anything? It is worthy of note that these are all similitude and closeness to God Almighty is far superior to such things, but such illustration which makes use of intelligible, is the most evident means of exposition.
Now that we perceive that God Almighty encompasses all things and we are under His full Sway, we know that our words, deeds, thought, intentions, or even temptations occurring to our hearts are by no means concealed from Him.
Attending to this truth awakens man and acquaints him with his heavy responsibility and precise recording of his words and deeds to be presented at Divine Tribunal. Thus, the truth turns a neglectful and indifferent man into an alert, obedient, duty bound, and God fearing servant.
إِذْ يَتَلَقَّی الْمُتَلَقِّيَانِ عَنِ الْيَمِينِ وَعَنِ الشِّمَالِ قَعِيدٌ
مَا يَلْفِظُ مِن قَوْلٍ إِلاّ لَدَيْهِ رَقِيبٌ عَتِيدٌ
17. [Remember] that the two angels [accompanying man] receive [man’s deeds], one sitting on the right and one on the left [to note his deeds].
18. Not a word does he utter but there is a watcher [recording angel] by him ready [to record it].
The blessed Verses are saying:
“Remember when the twain angels sitting on the right and left sides of man accompanying and watching him, record his deeds.”
In other words, besides Divine Omniscience as to man’s inward and outward deeds and intentions, two angels are also assigned to keep records of his deeds. The twain angles watch man on both sides and accompany him at all times. They never leave him alone so that further emphasis be laid on the question of keeping records of deeds. The Arabic word talaqqi denotes ‘receive, record,” and mutalaqqiyan is applied to the twain angles appointed to keep records of man’s deeds.
The Arabic present participle
derives from q-‘-d (“sit”) but it ad hoc connotes ‘companion, watcher.’ In other words, the blessed Verses do not intend to say that the twain angels sit on the right and left hand sides of man, since man is sitting at some time but walks at some other time; the expression connotes that the twain angels accompany man at all times and watch his deeds.
وَجَاءتْ سَكْرَةُ الْمَوْتِ بِالْحَقِّ ذَلِكَ مَا كُنتَ مِنْهُ تَحِيدُ
19. And the stupor of death will come in truth [and it is said unto man]: “This is what you escaped at all times!”
Man loses his consciousness at the moment of death;
(“the stupor of death will come in truth”).
The Arabic word sakra denotes the state in which man loses his consciousness and reason. The word tahyid designates escape and evasion.
Man’s fear and anxiety at the moment of death is such that the Holy Qur’an refers to it as
“stupor of death,”
in like manner, the fear of Divine Tribunal on the Day of Resurrection shall lead man to such state that it is elsewhere expressed in the Holy Qur’an12 as:
“You shall see people as in a drunken state, yet they will not be drunken, but severe will be the torment of God.”
At any rate,
“stupor of death”
is such state of unconsciousness occurring to one in throes of death that it is as if man loses his consciousness and his soul desires to separate from body and the worst state of man is that in which soul departs from body. It will be at that time that Divine Mercy will be bestowed upon believers and veils will be cast from their eyes and they will see the abodes prepared for them.
Thus, the souls of believers willingly turn toward the other world and the angel of death will bear unto them the glad tidings of Paradise and its Bounties. Nonetheless, unfortunate will be disbelievers, hypocrites, and the disobedient perceiving that Divine Wrath, rather than His Mercy, and the angels of torment warn them against Divine torment.
The stupor shall be the inevitable death. The past form of the verb ja’at may refer to the point that death is inevitable and no one may escape it.
Good for those who, in such state, hear the message;
“Come back to your Lord well-pleased and well-pleasing”13.
وَنُفِخَ فِي الصُّورِ ذَلِكَ يَوْمُ الْوَعِيدِ
وَجَاءتْ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّعَهَا سَائِقٌ وَشَهِيدٌ
20. And the Trumpet [of Resurrection] will be blown that will be the Day when the warning of torment shall be realized.
21. And every person will come forth [on to the scene of Resurrection] along with two angels, one driving him forward and another bearing witness [to his words and deeds].
Blowing the Trumpet ad hoc refers to the second blowing since according to Qur’anic Verses and traditions, the first blowing will occur when the world disintegrates and perishes such that no creature shall remain in this world. It shall be upon the second blowing that all creatures find a new life and all men depart their graves to hastily proceed toward their meeting place where they are supposed to meet their Lord.
It shall be at that time that Resurrection shall be established and angels shall say this is what the Prophets talked about and warned men against. The following blessed Verse treats of the state following death when on the Day of Resurrection each of the obliged shall be accompanied by an angel driving them toward Reckoning and an angel shall follow him to bear witness to his deeds recorded. No one may escape or deny Reckoning at that time.14
It may also make a reference to the aforesaid twain angels (raqib and ‘atid) responsible for recording man’s deeds.
لَقَدْ كُنتَ فِي غَفْلَةٍ مِّنْ هَذَا فَكَشَفْنَا عَنكَ غِطَاءكَ فَبَصَرُكَ الْيَوْمَ حَدِيدٌ
وَقَالَ قَرِينُهُ هَذَا مَا لَدَيَّ عَتِيدٌ
22. [It will be said to him]: “Verily, you were [totally] heedless of this [scene]. Now We have removed from you your covering [of neglect] and sharp is your sight this Day!”
23. And his companion [angel] will say: “Here is [the Record of his deeds] ready with me!”
This world is the abode of neglect and the world to come is that of vigilance. This world cast the veil of neglect on man with its charming appearances and man in his turn makes veils of neglect for himself. The majority of Qur’anic exegets maintain that the blessed Verses in question are addressed to disbelievers. When they enter the Day of Resurrection, they are overwhelmed by fear and anxiety.
It will be said unto them:
“This is the Day against which you were warned by the Prophets but you were heedless. Today, the veils are removed from your eyes and you sight is sharp. You see what you used to disbelieve and deny.”
According to Qur’anic exegets, the antecedent of the word ‘companion’ (qarina) in the blessed Verse 23 may be either of the twain aforesaid angels (raqib and ‘atid) recording man’s deeds on his right and left hand sides in this world.
Thus, the ‘companion’ will say on the Day of Resurrection
“His deeds and states are recorded by me.”
ألْقِيَا فِي جَهَنَّمَ كُلَّ كَفَّارٍ عَنِيدٍ
مَّنَّاعٍ لِّلْخَيْرِ مُعْتَدٍ مُّرِيبٍ
الَّذِي جَعَلَ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَهًا آخَرَ فَألْقِيَاهُ فِي الْعَذَابِ الشَّدِيدِ
24. [Allah will say to the driving and witnessing angels:] “Both of you throw into Hell every stubborn disbeliever.
25. “[the one who is the] Hinderer of good, transgressor, arousing doubt,
26. “Who sets up another god with Allah. Then both of you cast him in the severe torment.”
The present participle
derives from m-n-‘ and the present participle
murib [“arousing doubt”]
deriving from r-y-b is applied to one who arouses doubt accompanied with pessimism in others.
The present participial form
designates the zenith and depth of disbelief in a man’s being naturally reflecting animosity and stubbornness arousing doubts in others as to the Truth of God’s Path.
Such person naturally ends up with severe torment in Hell. It is worthy of note that the twain angels are appointed to throw such person into Hell and they are either driving or witnessing (raqib and ‘atid). However, according to Shi’i and also Sunni sources, the Verse is addressed to the Noble Prophet of Islam (S) and Imam ‘Ali (as).15
The blessed Verse 26 is saying that such disbeliever is the one who associated idols and other false objects of worship with the One God and such disbelievers has to be cast into severe torment.