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Concerning Purgatory (al-A'raf)

Says the Shaykh Abu Ja'far: Our belief concerning al-A'raf 1 (Purgatory) is that it is a wall between Paradise and Hell, and upon it there will be

“men who will recognize all (persons) by their peculiar marks” (Qur'an 7:46).

These men will be the Prophet and his awsiya'2. No one will be able to enter the Garden except he who recognizes them and him whom they recognize. And no one will enter the Fire except he who denies them (their rights), and him whom they (the Prophet & Imams) deny (as not belonging to their party).

  • 1. Apparently derived from the Ethiopic, Jeffrey, 65. MB, 431 ;MC, 173. A'raf is used in a metaphorical sense in the Da'aaim; it refers to the Imams under whose guidance the souls of men undergo purification after death, FC, p.9.
  • 2. These awsiya' are the 12 Imams of the Ithna `Ashariya.

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