Having an adverse opinion about God and His creation amounts to disbelief. The Holy Qur’an has mentioned at several places that unbelievers and polytheists have a bad opinion about God.
﴿… الظَّانِّينَ بِاللَّهِ ظَنَّ السَّوْءِ، عَلَيْهِمْ دَائِرَةُ السَّوْءِ، وَغَضِبَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَعَنَهُمْ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَهَنَّمَ، وَسَاءَتْ مَصِيرًا.﴾
“The entertainers of evil thoughts about Allah. On them is the evil turn, and Allah is wroth with them and has cursed them and prepared hell for them, and evil is the resort.”1
They think that this universe is aimless and in vain.
﴿أَفَحَسِبْتُمْ أَنَّمَا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ عَبَثًا وَأَنَّكُمْ إِلَيْنَا لا تُرْجَعُونَ؟﴾
“What! Did you then think that We had created you in vain and that you shall not be returned to Us?”2
We have come (are born) in vain and we will die (go) aimlessly and will become dust. Man came out of dust and man will turn to dust. There is no purpose behind all this, which God has created. What a bad opinion about the Lord of the universe that the creation of Adam (man) is futile whereas the Almighty and the Most Wise God has created this universe with a great aim. The purpose is that His attributes may be known and His Lordship may become manifest so that all could see and experience His Might and Beneficence.
Imam Zainul Abideen in the first Dua (supplication) of Sahifa requests: My God! You have created this man in the path of Your friendship. So that this man may see and taste His mercies, bounties and favors in this world and may turn towards him.
﴿وَإِنْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ إِلاَّ عِنْدَنَا خَزَائِنُهُ وَمَا نُنَزِّلُهُ إِلاَّ بِقَدَرٍ مَعْلُومٍ﴾
“And there is not a thing but with Us are the treasures of it, and We do not send it down but in a known measure.”3
Whatever happiness is there in this world, like delights, pleasures and beauties are but a minute sample of the original happiness and bounties, which are treasured for the Faithful in the grave and in the other world. Whatever nicety and beauty you see in this world is like a drop in the ocean as compared to what is in Paradise.
This world is too narrow to make the eternal beauty manifest.
An example of slight beauty is found in the case of Yusuf. Women of Egypt could not withstand it and cut their fingers instead of the fruits in their hands (when they looked at Yusuf).
﴿فَلَمَّا سَمِعَتْ بِمَكْرِهِنَّ أَرْسَلَتْ إِلَيْهِنَّ وَأَعْتَدَتْ لَهُنَّ مُتَّكَأً، وَآتَتْ كُلَّ وَاحِدَةٍ مِنْهُنَّ سِكِّينًا، وَقَالَتْ: اخْرُجْ عَلَيْهِنَّ. فَلَمَّا رَأَيْنَهُ أَكْبَرْنَهُ وَقَطَّعْنَ أَيْدِيَهُنَّ، وَقُلْنَ: حَاشَ لِلَّهِ! مَا هَذَا بَشَراً؛ إِنْ هَذَا إِلاَّ مَلَكٌ كَرِيمٌ﴾
“So; when she heard of their sly talk, she sent for them and prepared for them a repast, and gave each of them a knife, and said (to Yusuf): Come forth to them. So; when they saw him, they deemed him great, and cut their hands (in amazement), and said: Remote is Allah (from imperfection); this is not a mortal; this is but a noble angel.”4
The event is that when their eyes fell on the handsomeness of Yusuf they lost control over their emotions and cut their fingers while they were to cut apples. Therefore, the Messenger of God said: If a houri from the Houries of Paradise comes to this world all men will die being unable to observe the heavenly beauty of the Houries.
What then will they do on seeing the real and original beauty of Muhammad and the Progeny of Muhammad? After death the power of the souls of the Faithful becomes hundred fold. So long as they are in the world of matter with this physical body their power or strength is very less. When they are distanced from this worldly body, especially when they have acquired bodily diligence also, they reach the original beauty. In short, each and every sign which God has created in this world is a specimen to attract man to the origin so that the wise one looks meaningfully at all these bounties and says: May I be sacrificed for God Whose favors and bounties are so vast. How true is the poet when he says:
O God! This material world which also is very narrow and insufficient (for the purpose of showing Your beauty) makes us see so much of Your unending beauty then how will be the other world of Hereafter? We become extremely astonished on observing your beauty created by You in this world. What will be the extent of Your Beauty in that world?
The fragrance of jasmine and rose flowers reaches us from a distance of ten steps. If you move about, say fifty steps from them you no more smell their fragrance. Then how will be the flowers the smell of which reaches you from a distance of two thousand years’ journey? I want that you should turn your attention towards its origin. Whatever you see here is minute as this world is not spacious enough to make the manifestation of the original fragrance fully. What will happen at the moment of death?
It has been said that the fragrance of messengers is a fragrance from Paradise, the smell of angels, the smell of the heavenly red rose and the smell of heavenly Houries, the fragrance of the jasmine flower of Heaven. The fragrance of my daughter Fatima Zahra too has the fragrance of the heavenly red roses and jasmines.5 It is the smell of the Muhammad flower. (The final Prophet has the virtues, which all the past prophets had). So, if the friends and Shias of Muhammad and the Progeny of Muhammad, even if they are at a distance of four thousands of years journey, they will, after all, be able to benefit by that fragrance.
The very first verse of Qur’an is “In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful (Bismillahir rahmanir raheem). What does ‘Rahman’ mean? The Owner of Rahmat or Mercy for all. He built the universe on the foundation of Mercy. The base of creation is for the manifestation of Mercy and bestowals.
﴿إِلاَّ مَنْ رَحِمَ رَبُّكَ، وَلِذَلِكَ خَلَقَهُمْ﴾
“Except those on whom your Lord has mercy; and for this did He create them…”6
What does Mercy mean? It means He has granted to every creation what it needs. His creation is the layout of kindness (Lutf), favor (Ehsaan), honoring (Ikraam) for the manifestation of the excellent attributes of God, viz forbearance (Hilm), pardon (Afw), magnanimity (Karam), knowledge (Ilm), wisdom (Hikmat), Might (Qudrat) etc. The believer who has recognized God with His virtues full of mercy must always be pleased with His mechanism of working so that he may also be happy to reach its origin. Through his worship and obedience he should make himself nearer to God and attain Divine bounties in the Hereafter and so that he may be able to get a drop from the Real Divine Kingdom:
﴿فِي مَقْعَدِ صِدْقٍ عِنْدَ مَلِيكٍ مُقْتَدِرٍ﴾
“In the seat of honor with a most Powerful King.”7
God created man for Paradise, but among people there arise some who cannot go to Paradise. Who are they?
﴿لا يَصْلاهَا إِلاّ الأَشْقَى﴾
“None shall enter it but the most unhappy,”8
They will taste the chastisements of hell.
“Lay hold on him, then put a chain on him,”9
The length of the chains is seventy ‘ziraa’ (one ziraa equals 104 centimeters), which will tighten his neck and hands in hell.
﴿يُعْرَفُ الْمُجْرِمُونَ بِسِيمَاهُمْ فَيُؤْخَذُ بِالنَّوَاصِي وَالأَقْدَامِ﴾
“The guilty shall be recognized by their marks, so they shall be seized by the forelocks and the feet.”10
The angels will drag the sinners by their hair and legs and they would be tied together and hurled into hell… What do you think? For whom are these tortures? Almighty God Who is the Kindest of the Kind is always inclined to pardon the Faithful, but these bullies, vicious foes, obstinate enemies and those who mock God and the Hereafter and feel no fear in committing any dishonesty, who trample upon the Truth while knowing that it is the Truth surely deserve the severest punishments. The hell described in Qur’an is quite appropriate for such wretched fellows. Qur’an says:
﴿وَقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ بِالْحَقِّ وَهُمْ لا يُظْلَمُونَ﴾
“…and judgment shall be given between them with justice, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.”11
When the people of Paradise will be given place in Paradise and the fellows of hell hurled in hell there will arise a voice “All praise is for God Who placed everyone in their proper place.” One who is righteous should go to Paradise, that is in the House of Safety and one who is definitely evil must enter hell. Praise is for God in both the decisions. No one should think that, may God protect us, hell is prepared out of anger and revengefulness. They never wanted to go to Paradise who stood against God, Hereafter and Truth.
They always said “I” and only “I.” You recite in Dua Kumail: You always put the enemies in hell. That is they are always in hell and with no way to escape. Where shall they be taken? They cannot see Paradise. How can an enemy enter Paradise, which, in fact, is the property of Ali bin Abi Talib! Can an enemy of Ali ever enter Paradise, which belongs to Ali? Even if others want to take him to Paradise, he himself will not step into it, as he is inimical. He is prepared to face any calamity run away from the Mercy of God.
In view of the auspiciousness of today, let me tell you a story about the grace of Ali. Shaykh Mufeed says: One day, the bookseller Ja’far was auctioning his books. I also went there with the intention of purchasing some of his books. When I was about to take up some books he told me, “Just sit here. I have seen a thing which is useful for your religion,” viz. Shiaism. “It is a miraculous matter which I intend to relate to you as it is useful for strengthening your belief.” Shaykh Mufeed says: I sat down. Then that gentleman told me, “I used to go, accompanied by a friend of mine, to a Shaykh named Abu Abdullah Muhaddith, to learn traditions and narrations. By and by, we came to know that he was one of the staunch enemies of Ali.
He was, occasionally, insinuating and insulting Ali. We two advised and admonished him to mend his ways but he replied that he was what he was. Then when he insulted Fatima we decided not to go to him any more. Finally, one night, I saw in my dream that there has come the King of Wilayat, the Moon of guidance, Ali, the Lion of God. He is in the house of the Abu Abdullah Muhaddith. The Amirul Momineen was angry at the Shaykh and was asking him: What have I done to you? Do you not fear that God may make you blind? Then he (Ali) pointed his hand to that fellow’s right eye. I saw in my dream that his eye got blinded.”
When I woke up the next day, I thought of asking a friend of mine to go to the Shaykh and inform him about what I had seen in my dream and warn him about the wrath of Amirul Momineen. When I stepped out of my house, I saw my friend coming towards my house. I asked him, “Where are you going?” He said, “Last night I had a dream and I wanted to tell you what I saw.” I asked him, “What did you see?” (He had also the same dream). He said, “I saw Ali pointing his finger to the right eye of the Shaykh and that eye was blinded. I have come to you with an intention to go to the Shaykh and admonish him to stop insulting Amirul Momineen.”
I told my friend, “I also had the same dream.” The two of us went to the house of the Shaykh and knocked at his door. His wife came behind the door and said, “There will be no lesson today.” We asked, “Why no lesson? We have some work with him and we want to see him.” She replied, “The Shaykh is not well today. He is weeping as he has some trouble.” But we insisted and told her that we must see him anyhow. His wife replied, “The Shaykh is very much indisposed today. Putting his hand on his eye, he is complaining that Ali has blinded him.” Then we told her, “Please open the door, as we have come here for the same reason.” She opened the door and we two went inside to find that this unlucky fellow was weeping and complaining about his eye.
As we approached him, he said, “Finally Ali has blinded me.” We said, “Both of us had seen it in our dreams last night. We saw Ali pointing to your right eye making you blind. Now stop your adverse talk about him, perhaps God will heal your eye and it may become healthy again by the grace of Ali.” But that fellow replied, “Even if Ali blinds the other eye also, I will not end my enmity towards him.” (What villainy)! Finally we arose and left his house. Then again we saw in our dream that our Master, Ali blinded his left eye also. However that fellow’s enmity only increased.
﴿ وَلا يَزِيدُ الظَّالِمِينَ إِلاَّ خَسَاراً﴾
“…and it adds only to the perdition of the unjust.”12
Finally he left this world as a disbeliever and apostate.
Such are the dwellers of hell. Such kinds of people are always present in this world that their nature makes them abide in hell forever.
Permanent dwelling in hell is for those hard-hearted people who are never prepared to humble before the Truth, despite knowing that it is Truth. I will tell you another miraculous story regarding Ali.
It is mentioned in the book Kharaij of Rawandi that Ahmed bin Hamzah Mosuli said: I started for a journey to Mecca. I went to my neighbor to say him goodbye and to ask him whether there was anything I could do for him. He replied, “Yes, I have an important work.” I said, “Tell me, so that I may do accordingly.” He said, “When you go to Medina and enter the Mosque of the Prophet, stand in front of the Prophet’s grave and tell him my word. Ask him on my behalf, ‘O Muhammad! Was there a shortage of men that you gave your daughter to Ali in marriage? How did you take such a man as your son-in-law?’ Then he also uttered some other words of insult.
How strange are the hard-hearted people who, after a number of years, show renewed enmity saying why the Holy Prophet gave his daughter in marriage to Ali?
Ahmed bin Hamzah says: I did not say anything to him, as I knew that it was of no use. When I went to Medina, I felt ashamed how I could utter such bad words. During the night I dreamt that Ali was telling me: I will shortly bring out the blasphemy of that unlucky fellow. In Medina, I once more saw Ali in my dream. The Lion of God, Ali said, “Come on.” I said, “I am ready.” Then I went to Mosul with Ali. In the dream, Ali entered the house of that unlucky neighbor of mine. I was also with him. We went inside and I saw that fellow sleeping in his room and with the door was closed. Ali took out a knife, cut that inauspicious fellow’s neck and cleaned the blood-smeared knife on a corner of that fellow’s quilt.
Then he raised his holy hand and placed that knife in the roof. When I woke up, I told this dream to my companions in journey with astonishment. We noted the date of that night. When we returned to Mosul we wanted to know whether what we had seen in the dream had actually happened. They told us that all in our neighborhood were in jail. When I asked about that cursed fellow I was told that he has was found murdered on such and such night. It was exactly the night in which I had that dream. After the murder was reported, the authorities came to investigate and arrest the killer but in vain. So the police arrested all the neighbors to find the killer but he was not yet caught.
Ahmed bin Hamzah says: I saw that a number of innocent people were in prison while I knew that the killer of that cursed fellow was Ali, but who can arrest Ali? So they made allegations against some innocent people and finally, in order to relieve them, I, along with my Hajj companions went to the court and related all that had happened. As evidence I told them, “I can show you where the knife used for killing is hidden.” Officers came for investigation and found the bloodstained quilt and also the knife in question. Finally the neighbors were freed with an announcement that the killer had been traced. As I have said Ali, the Master of the Faithful is a man who is God’s favor for the good people and the wrath of God for the evil ones. He is one who gives the good people a place in Paradise and sends the evil ones to hell.
Therefore, it must be understood that only some people are such who have brought the wrath of God upon themselves as mentioned earlier. Otherwise people having humility surely get God’s mercy.
There is a narration in the third volume of Biharul Anwar, which pleases the hearts of the Faithful. It says that tomorrow on Judgment Day, there will be so much manifestation of all the encompassing Mercy of God that even Satan will bow his head and long for it.
The intercessors are making intercessions and many people get salvation due to such intercessions and finally, the Holiest One says: Now is the time for My Forgiveness and pardon. Then He shows such Mercy and Kindness that even Satan thinks he would be forgiven.
It is indeed strange that the knowledge of Satan is very vast. Have you not heard that a believer once saw Satan in the middle of the sea raising his head out and praying: My Lord! Please do not chastise me for the sake of Ali bin Abi Talib. He says: I stood there. Finally it is mentioned in the fourth volume of Biharul Anwar that this was brought to the notice of Imam Ja’far Sadiq. He recounted and said, “O Master! I also asked him (Satan): What have you to do with Ali? How strange that Satan Ali’s attachment?” He (Satan) replied, “Six thousand years prior to the creation of Adam, I was in the midst of angels in the higher world. I know about the entire universe from the first day. The only one who is dear and near to God is the Lion of God, Ali bin Abi Talib. I know that everyone beseeches God Almighty in his name and God forgives him. So I also beseech God in the name of Ali bin Abi Talib.”
The important point is that what Satan said was from his tongue and not from his heart. So Satan could not get any benefit from Ali. Otherwise, had he humility that he ought to have, he would have made obeisance to Adam now at last he speaks a true word. The remaining part of this tradition is also interesting and worth listening.13
He says: After I heard this sentence from Satan I asked him, “O Iblis! You had been a teacher of the angels. As you say, your knowledge is to such and such extent. Give me some advice. Give me some admonition based on your knowledge.” (It is good. Man must seek knowledge even if available from Satan). Satan replied, “Well. I tell you a word about your world and a word about your Hereafter.” Verily if Satan had ever spoken two true words they were only these. You, gentleman also must get benefit from it. Just observe, how true the cursed one has said.
If you intend to pass your worldly life happily be content. Then your worldly life will pass pleasingly. Do not entertain greed. Do not look at those who are higher than you. Be calm, cool and quiet. Do not give importance to whatever confronts you. It means if you do not remain content on what God has given to you then you will not feel happy in this world. Do not think that these persons who earn millions are happy. They can never taste the delight, which a contented man tastes. The contented man eats dry bread but with delight as he has contentment, but the unlucky man who has a lot of facilities does not get any delight therefrom. He is not at peace because he has ever growing greed. In short, O Gentlemen! Listen to this admonition.
For your Hereafter, for the moment of your death, for the time of your being lowered in the grave, for the Purgatory (Barzakh), for the field of gathering (Mahshar), for Sirat Bridge and for the Balance (Mizan), for all these moments, treasure the love for Ali bin Abi Talib. The radiance of Ali will be your help and your friend. Carry this relation with you (for your journey and stay after death). Your support should be Ali. You will get peace, safety and security.
﴿الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَلَمْ يَلْبِسُوا إِيمَانَهُمْ بِظُلْمٍ أُوْلَئِكَ لَهُمْ الأَمْنُ وَهُمْ مُهْتَدُونَ﴾
“Those who believe and do not mix up their faith with iniquity, those are they who shall have the security and they are those who go aright.”14
O God! Kindly drive away from our hearts everything except love and affinity for Muhammad and the Progeny of Muhammad. Remove the lust for world from our interior.15 The inevitable result of Faith is to have a good opinion about the creation and the Creator, love for God Almighty. In Dua Jaushan Kabir your repeatedly invoke the beautiful names of Allah. Ponder deeply on these Names. It is indeed delightful to think over them as you can see: He sees but shows forbearance. Knowing, yet forbearing, is the attribute of Almighty God. He sees how many sins His servants commit, how much ungrateful they are. As if they are not doing (wrong). How much forbearance shows the Lord; as if His servants are not at all sinful!
Today ungratefulness is on the increase. They throw away a lot of bread and cooked rice as leftovers. They also throw away half eaten fruits. This is very bad and dangerous also. Especially in the case of bread, be more respectful. God forbid, ungratefulness towards God’s gifts may attract famine. This is reported in a number of narrations. If you have excess bread, keep it. If anyone comes to your door, give it or feed it to the animals. It should never come under feet.
It is narrated that once Imam Sadiq came home and saw that a watermelon was thrown on the road half eaten. The holy Imam was displeased. He took it up himself and gave it to his slave. After some time the Imam returned home and asked the slave to give back that half eaten watermelon. The slave replied, “O My Master! I ate it up.” The Imam said, “You are now free for the sake of God. You respected God’s gift and became a man of Paradise. I do not like that one who has become a friend of God and a man of Paradise should remain a slave. You are, because of this good deed of yours, a free man.”
I am talking about ungratefulness. All of us enjoy God’s bounties the whole day and we are drowned in God’s gifts; yet we do not know the One Who grants us all these favors constantly. What else is then ungratefulness? That too against the Almighty God? Say with justice, O intelligent man! Should we befriend God or not? What is the benevolent attitude of God towards us all? Imam Zainul Abideen says: You attracted man towards Your Friendship.16 The Holy Qur’an also says that the Faithful are those who love God very much.
﴿ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِلَّهِ﴾
“…and those who believe are stronger in love for Allah…”17
How much do the people love their parents? Believers love God more than that because they know that it is God Who has made their parents love them.
It is God Who poured love in the mother’s heart. Therefore say: May I be sacrificed for God Who filled my mother’s heart with love, mercy and kindness for me. She cleans me of dirt and cares for me in difficulties. Our lives are passing away. Have we inculcated love of God and His Messenger in our hearts? Have we formed the habit of having a good opinion about what God does or not? Have we become the lovers of Paradise?
According to a narration an inch in Paradise is better than the whole world and whatever is therein. God has mentioned all this in the Holy Qur’an. Should you not like it? O young people! How much God has praised “Hurul Eieen” (Houries of Paradise) in the Qur’an! Has the time not come yet for you to be lovers of Hurul Eieen? Do not be dazzled by all that you see in the women of this world because if you understand the attributes of Hurul Eieen you will not even look at the former. Should you not long for them? Under the skin of the women of this world there is blood, pus and dirt.
Do not say that we are not passionate. We want God. In one’s imagination Hurul Eieen is like the women of this world. Hurul Eieen is the mention of God, remembrance of God. She is a different kind of woman. This world is such that it makes man neglectful and negligent. Hurul Eieen is remembrance and admonition. God has created a Houri most beautiful and attractive among all fairies. There are four inscriptions on her face. “In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful” (Bismillahir rahmanir raheem) is written on her lips with radiance. On her forehead is the Holy name of Muhammad. On her chin is ? “O Ali” and on her right and left cheek “Al Hasan” and “Al Husain” respectively.
The Holy Prophet was given an option to seek either life or death. No one was ever allowed to opt for life or death except the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Israel, the angel of death came to him and sought permission saying, “If you are inclined, I may collect your soul and if you please you may continue to live in this world.” The Holy Prophet replied, “I am coming.”18 Imam Reza is reported to have said, “On the night of 19th Ramadhan, God Almighty gave option to my grandfather, Ali either to select this world or martyrdom.” Ali himself opted for martyrdom saying, “O My Lord! I have lived enough in this world.” Ali himself was the lover of the Higher World.
Man wants what his heart likes and loves. Since I and you and all of us are unaware of the Higher World, all our liking and love is for this earthly world. Therefore we do not like death to come to us. We become astonished when we hear Ali saying ‘I long for death’.
﴿ إِنْ زَعَمْتُمْ أَنَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ لِلَّهِ مِنْ دُونِ النَّاسِ فَتَمَنَّوْا الْمَوْتَ إِنْ كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ﴾
“…if you think that you are the favorites of Allah to the exclusion of other people, then invoke death if you are truthful.”19
The songs in this cage are not pleasing to me. I am leaving for the garden of Paradise, as I am a bird of that lovely garden. (Persian Couplet)
Imam Reza has said regarding Imam Husain, as mentioned in the book, Durratun Najaffiyah, “My grandfather Husain was also given a choice at midday on Ashura day between apparent victory over the enemy and being killed. He himself chose to be killed.” He adds, “Had Husain so wished the armies of the enemy would have certainly been wiped out in Kerbala.” Who are they to cause even the slightest harm to Husain? Had Husain not allowed, who was there strong enough to affect Husain and which sword was there which could fall on the holy head of Husain? But our master Husain himself said: We are pleased with the pleasure of Allah. We, Ahle
Bait are always happy with the plans of God.20