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Ayat no. 58-59

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Peace: a word from a Merciful Lord.And get aside today, O guilty ones! (36:58-59)
 
On that Day which is full of terror, hardships and harshness, the people of paradise are enjoying the bounties and tastefulness. There is no fear for them. Rather, they do not even think of those things
 
They and their wives shall be in shades, reclining on raised couches.
 
They and their wives are reclining on royal divine thrones under the divine shade.
 
They shall have fruits therein…
 
There are heavenly fruits for the people of paradise. As I have said earlier, the similarity is only in name while their qualities are very different. No one in this world can even imagine the fruit available in paradise as to what kind it would be. It has to be experienced and perceived, it cannot be explained. Whatever the description in this world, the reality is very much different.
 
…and they shall have whatever they desire.
 
Whatever they want or desire is easily and immediately available to them.

Allah directly salutes the people of Paradise

 
Peace: a word from a Merciful Lord. (36:58)
 
That is Salam to you. Its predicate is ‘upon them’ but another explanation is that it could be the object of the verb. That is, Salam on the people of paradise from the Merciful Lord.

The apparent meaning of this Holy verse is that the Salam is without any intermediary, directly from the Lord of the worlds. Salam for the Faithful is usually through mediatories. At the moment of death, it is through the angel of death and his assistants.
 
Their salutation on the day that they meet Him shall be, Peace, and He has prepared for them an honourable reward. (33:44)
 
It is one of the indirect Salams. Then, after the faithful sits on the royal divine throne, twelve thousand angels arrive from the Lord of the worlds saluting him.

The appointees say that the faithful is currently with a Hourie. They seek permission to be present. Today is the day of honor, respect and manifestation of the dignity of the Faithful. The angels arriving from every gate say:
 
Peace be on you because you were constant, how excellent, is then, the issue of the abode. (13:24)
 
Greetings from God to you because of the patience you showed in the world. You were forbearing; you fulfilled your duties painstakingly. You remained steadfast facing hardships and calamities. You restrained yourselves in front of luring sins. Paradise is the dwelling place of the patient ones. No one arrives in paradise without showing patience.

This residence and rank, which you got, is as a reward of your forbearance in your worldly life. This dwelling place is so very nice. O Faithful! Congratulations to you for achieving this position. You are among the lucky ones. Many congratulations, how nice is this great and high rank. The greatest news is about eternity. It is being intimated that this position will never end and you too are eternal.

In the world, if you possess even the best of mansions and gardens, you have to leave them in the end. Either the possessions go away first or the one who possesses them dies. Just also think about the sorrow, which one has to experience at the time of losing them.

Two big defects in a beautiful palace

It is written in Tafsir Ruhul Bayan that: One of the past kings founded a palace with an intention to make it unparalleled. Then, when it was complete, he invited all sections of people to visit it. He also kept a notebook at the exit so that anyone who observes any defect may note it and then it can be removed.

When he checked the visitor book he saw that all had praised this palace except two, who had criticized it. The king called these two persons.

He asked them what defect they had noted. They replied, “There are two defects in this mansion. But what is the use when there is no remedy?” They also said, “We are afraid, if we mention our observation, the king may become angry.” The king said, “No harm. Tell me what you feel.”

They said, “The first defect is that this building will finally be destroyed and another is that its owner will depart from it. How can you fall in love with a thing, which is with you only for a little time?”

I want to point out that the house of the hereafter would be so really good and without defects that it would never be taken away from you, nor would it ever be destroyed.

Salam from God—what a great honor for the Faithful

Salamun Alaikum – O Believer! The direct Salam is for you. After those indirect Salams, in the sight of those who are intelligent and who know, is the great heavenly bounty in the form of this direct Salam. The bounties of God on one side and the bounty of a dialogue with Him on the other. God Almighty says direct Salam to His servants. This remembrance by God and that too with congratulations and praise!

If even once you say: O My Lord! I am Your servant

It makes Him happy on the Great Throne.

O handful of dust! God talks to you. Woe unto that fellow who gets lost in the worldly futile things and loses the opportunity of God speaking to him.

Salam is not only a greeting but also a great and important event, especially when it is from a spiritual person, messenger, Imam or angel. Then what to say when it is from God Himself! It is absolute safety and security. It is safety from every kind of pain, trouble or annihilation, from every illness, every weakness. So much so that there will be nothing like slumber, laziness or weariness.
 
A reward for what they used to do. They shall not hear therein vain or sinful discourse, (56:24-25)
 
The happiness is also absolute and there will be nothing like aversion, hatred or jealousy. If anybody has an iota of jealousy, his place is in the house of sick in hell so that he may become pure and clean. Thereafter he is admitted to the House of Safety, which is one of the names of paradise.
 
They shall have the abode of peace with their Lord, and He is their guardian because of what they did. (6:127)
 
There will be no trouble and illness. What is most important is that there will be no mortality or perishing.

Letter from the Lord to the Faithful servant

Prophet Muhammad (‘s) is reported to have said, “After a believer is admitted to paradise, he will receive greeting from God Almighty, which is ‘Salam from the Merciful Lord’”. In this narration, it is mentioned under the heading of ‘Correspondence’ that an angel hands over to the believer a letter from the Lord of the Worlds.

The letter is then opened and it would read as follows: This letter is from the Everlasting Lord and the Protector of everything and Who never dies. It is addressed to the one who too is alive and will never die. We are the Lord Whose intention is sufficient for attainment of everything. From this day, We have given you a thing whereby whatever you wish will happen within a moment.

Has whatever I said about paradise during the last two or three days evoked any longing in the speaker and the hearer? Have we or have we not become those who yearn for Paradise? You ought to be like that Shia of Ali (‘a) who said: Had it not been destined by God, people who are faithful, might have desired that their souls should immediately leave the body and proceed towards the high world to enter the guest house of God.1

Are you ready to seek death?

What is meant is not that you should want to die. It is wrong. It is prohibited. Is there any benefit in it? Do you rightly imagine that, at the time of your death, you will be on the right path? May be you will first see hardships and punishments.

A man expressed to the Imam his desire for death. The gist of this narration is that the Holy Imam asked that man, “Have you made prior arrangements? Have you made provision for the journey? Suppose the hour of death has arrived. Have you readied yourself for it?”

Rather you should say, ‘O God! Give me respite so that I may prepare myself for the journey’”2 In these Holy nights of Ramadan, I say: O Lord! Forgive me please. Of course this also is an introduction. Where is the real longing for death so that pressure and trouble may decrease? One may repent.
 
And if Allah should hasten the evil to men as they desire the hastening on of good, their doom should certainly have been decreed for them… (10:11)
 
But this appeal to which Ali (‘a) refers is with regard to longing for paradise, longing to meet God, consequent to a strong desire for reward and to avoid chastisement. He is also afraid of divine chastisement and fears the separation from God’s friend and hence wants that his body should get rid of fear.

But you can see the current situation: People love everything except paradise and divine reward and they fear everything except God’s anger and punishment!

It is distressing to go from company to loneliness

See how Fatima (‘a) longed to meet God. You have heard that when the Holy Prophet merely informed her: You are the first among my household who will meet me, she became extremely happy. This is the sign of a friend of God.
 
Say: O you who are Jews, if you think that you are the favorites of Allah to the exclusion of other people, then invoke death If you are truthful. (62:6)
 
It is written in Kashkol of Shaykh Bahai that a man asked Imam Hasan (‘a), “Why are we terrified of death?” He replied summarily that it is because you live in an inhabited place and for you the Hereafter is a lonely ruin. The one who has ruined his Hereafter and this world, who has nothing in that world becomes unhappy while leaving this world.

Sinners must get separated in Mahshar

 
And get aside today, O guilty ones! (36:59)
 
It means, ‘Get away!’ It is a destined order and not a matter of choice. In the beginning, a voice will be heard in the Field of Grand Gathering: “Get aside, O Sinners! Today”. In the past world there was a veil over your deeds. Nothing was known. No one knew what was in the heart of others because a number of hypocrites had placed themselves among the believers. But today truth is manifest.

On the day when hidden things shall be made manifest, (86:9)
 
Here there is no scope for false claims. There is nothing except what is right, truthful and actual. The sinners must separate themselves from every side; by their appearance, words, place and time – The sinners must get aside until the forceful voice is heard: Whosoever is sinful, his face is black and whosoever is among the people of paradise, his face is bright. Thus the sinners would be recognized by their faces.
 
The guilty shall be recognized by their marks… (55:41)
 
Some of the sinners who were fond of monkeys and pigs will get their faces changed to these forms. Some will have the face of a dog. Some will arrive as ants because they were arrogant. The more one is mean at heart the more proud he is in his attitude.

The proud fellow is not known here. How can it be known? Tomorrow in the field of Mahshar he will arrive in the form of a mean little lowly ant. Everyone will be recognized by his appearance that will tell what kind of a man he was in his worldly life. His belly is so bloated that he is unable to move. Everyone will know that he took usury. He was eating fire.
 
Those who swallow down usury cannot arise except as one whom Shaitan has prostrated by (his) touch does rise. (2:275)
 

They will not be asked, as they are known

 
So on that day neither man nor jinni shall be asked about his sin. (55:39)
 
They will not be asked anything as everything will be apparent in various ways and their own organs will witness as we have seen earlier.

The late Faiz has also quoted a narration in Ainul Yaqeen: Every drunkard entering the field of Mahshar will be holding a bottle of wine. Every violinist will be holding his violin, which would be thrashing his head. The Holy Quran also hints at this:
 
On the day that every soul shall find present what it has done of good and what it has done of evil… (3:30)
 
Everyone who had done a wrong and a bad deed would desire to distance himself from it; that this cup of wine and this instrument of gambling should remain at a distance from him but they will not go away. Strange indeed is the situation on the Day of Judgment! Just read any chapter of the Holy Quran. It reminds one of that World of Tomorrow. Rather it makes us frightful.

Recite these supplications of Ali (‘a) during the remaining nights of this Holy month: O God! Grant us safety from these frightening conditions of Qiyamat.

One who is guilty would be given the scroll of deeds in ones left hand. Everyone who is to go to paradise will get it in his right hand. This is a kind of differentiating the sinners. Everyone who will raise his head from the grave will say: Alas! Who raised us from our grave?

This is a sign of one being guilty. On the other hand would be those who, emerging from the grave say: Thanks to God Who fulfilled His promise and made us the inheritors of land whereby we may live in this paradise. So how nice is the Reward of those who worked for God!
 
And they shall say: (All) praise is due to Allah, Who has made good to us His promise, and He has made us inherit the land; we may abide in the garden where we please; so goodly is the reward of the workers. (39:74)
 
Of course, in the world, everyone whose tongue was free, used to say whatever one liked. In hell also, the people of hell are in trouble and harassed by the tongues of one another. So it is mentioned in a narration that the hell dweller, due to feeling of shame, in the dangling of chains, will not even groan because of chastisement.

They will fall on hell fire like bats

You have a fire extinguisher for putting out the fire. In Qiyamat in the front would be the people of hell. They become separated from all. They arrive like that until they are turned away from the Sirat Bridge. The Holy Prophet describes that it is like a moth that leaps directly into the fire. Similarly the sinner criminals will fall in hell fire. Everyone will take his own place. The people of paradise also will take their place in the ‘correct seat’ (Maqad-e-Sidq).
 
And you shall see the angels going round about the throne glorifying the praise of their Lord; and judgment shall be given between them with justice, and it shall be said: All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. (39:75)
 
O God! Grant us the Faith whereby we may understand this meaning. We are afraid of the humiliation on the Day of Judgment tomorrow. May we not be dishonored in front of the former and latter nations. O you, who are having self-respect and who like to be honored!

Remove negligence from yourselves. Let your hearts not harden. Desires and passions, aspirations and negligence reduce faith, that faith, which makes you reach your place in the Hereafter.

Drag me to fire, perhaps I may wake up

In Asrarus Salat of Tabrizi, it is written in the story of the well known scholar Allamah Shaykh Muhammad Mazandarani that when this great man felt that he was being negligent, he used to go out of city into wilderness along with his son and a servant. The Shaykh first asked them, “Is it not necessary for you to obey my orders?”

After the two said ‘yes’ the Shaykh said, “I am collecting fuel wood. You also do so.” Then he lit the fire and told the two that they drag him towards the fire saying, “O aged sinner! Imagine that Qiyamat has come up.” The scholar used to order them, “Drag me to the fire, that perhaps, the heat may awaken me.”

When Ali (‘a) fired the furnace of a destitute woman, he drew his face near that fire saying, “O Ali! Taste the heat of this fire. You have no ability to bear the fire of hell.” 3

Remembrance of death cures negligence

Negligence hinders the growth of faith. Faith is weak and negligence is more dangerous. Every one of you should, to the best of his ability, provide means of remembrance and admonition for himself. What come in the way of spiritual progress are the same aspirations and desires.4 Unless and until you trample upon your desires and passions, how can you develop a longing to meet God?

Ali (‘a) says, “Two things which worry me are your pursuit of desires and lengthening of your aspirations.”5 If you can see that death is near, you would slow down.

In the night of Ashura, Husain saw that Zainab was very restless. He employed a remedy for her and it made her quiet. It was the remembrance of death. “My grandfather was better than me. He passed away from this world and so was my father…”

  • 1. Nahjul Balagha
  • 2. Safinatul Bihar, vol.2, pg.555
  • 3. Biharul Anwar, vol. 9
  • 4. Dua Abu Hamza Thumali
  • 5. Nahjul Balagha

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