Section 7: The Righteous Shall Inherit the Earth
إِنَّ هَذِهِ اُمَّتُكُمْ اُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَأَنَاْ رَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُونِ
وَتَقَطَّعُوا أَمْرَهُم بَيْنَهُمْ كُلٌّ إِلَيْنَا رَاجِعُونَ
فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِنَ الصَّالِحَاتِ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلاَ كُفْرَانَ لِسَعْيِهِ وَإِنَّا لَهُ كَاتِبُونَ
92. “Verily, this Ummah of yours is a single Ummah, and I am your Lord: so worship Me.”
93. “And they split up their affair among them, (yet, finally,) will they all return unto Us.”
94. “Therefore, whoever does deeds of righteousness and he is a believer, there shall not be any rejection of his effort, and verily We will write (it) down for him.”
The whole Divine religions have the same aim and lead to the same destination, and Monotheism and unity of the word are the basis of them.
Those who always cause separation among people must prepare themselves to respond before the throne of Allah.
However, in view of the fact that the names of some divine prophets, as well as the name of Mary, the prototype woman, and a part of their biographies were mentioned in the former verses, in the verses under discussion, as drawing a general conclusion, it says:
This holy verse implies that those great prophets, whom were mentioned formerly, were totally a single Ummah.
Their programs were the same and their final aim and destination were also the same, though they were in different periods and in separate environments, and their styles and manner of invitations, having some particular specialties, were various.
In the ultimate point, all of them were paving their way alongside one line. They all used to invite the people of the world to the way of monotheism and struggle against polytheism. They were wholly on the path of Unity, divine truth and justice.
This oneness and unity, which was in their programs and their aims, was for the sake that all of them were originated from one source, from the Will of Allah, the One.
Therefore, the Lord, immediately after that, says:
In fact, the prophets’ monotheism in ideology and deeds originates from the Oneness of the source of revelation.
This statement is similar to the words of Hadrat Ali (as) recorded in his testament to his son, Imam Mujtaba (as), who said:
“…know, O’ my child, that if there had been a partner with your Lord, his messenger, too, should have come to you and you would have seen signs of his authority and power and you should have known his deeds and qualities.…”1
The Arabic word /ummah/, according to Mufradat by Raqib, means any group or nation that a common cause joins them to each other, such as being common in religion and creed, being in the same time or Age, and being in one definite place, whether this unity is optional or non-optional.
Some commentators have considered the phrase: ‘single Ummah’, mentioned here, as ‘a single religion’.
Some others have said that the objective meaning of ‘Ummah’, in this verse, is the whole mankind in all ages and times.
In this case, it means: O’ human beings! All of you are one Ummah, your Lord is One, and the final destination of all of you is a single destination. But the most appropriate meaning of all of them is that: this sentence is a hint to the prophets and messengers whose biographies were mentioned in the former verses.
Then, in the next holy verse, the Qur’an, pointing to the deviation of a large group of people from this single principle of Monotheism, says:
Their affair reached a point that they stood against each other and every group used to curse another group, and repudiated that party. They did not suffice to that and they made use of weapon against each other and, consequently, many people were killed. And, that was the result of the deviation from the basic principle of monotheism and the religion of the truth.
The Arabic phrase /taqatta‘u/ is derived from the word /qat‘/ which means to separate some pieces of an inter-chained and connected subject; and regarding to the fact that the word in Arabic is in a construction that has been applied in the sense of acceptance, the sentence means: they surrendered in the fact of disunion and hypocrisy, and they accepted separation and alienation from each other.
They put an end to their natural and theistic union and, as a result of it, they encountered those abundant failures, miseries, and wretchedness.
So, at the end of the holy verse, it adds:
This separation, which is not substantial, will be removed and they all will go toward unity again in the Hereafter. This fact has repeatedly been emphasized in different verses of the Qur’an that one of the specialties of the Resurrection is the absence of dissension and being gathered in unity.
Surah Al-Ma’idah, No. 5, verse 48 says:
This meaning is found in a lot of verses of the Holy Qur’an.2
In the last verse of the verses under discussion, the result of accompanying with the ‘single Ummah’ alongside the path of worshipping Allah, or deviation from it and paving the way of disunion, is said as follows:
Then, in order to emphasize more on the matter, the Holy Qur’an adds:
It is worthy noting that in this verse, like many other verses of the Qur’an, Faith and righteous deeds have been mentioned as two essential principles for the prosperity of human beings; but by adding the Arabic preposition /min/ (of), which is used in Arabic for distinction, the verse adds this matter to it indicating that the accomplishment of all these righteous deeds is not the necessary condition, and if the believing individuals do even a part of the righteous deeds they will also be among the prosperous people while the degrees of persons are different.
In any rate, this verse, similar to many verses of the Qur’an, considers Faith as the condition of the acceptance of the righteous deeds.
The statement of the sentence:
is for the sake of mentioning the reward of such persons and it is a sense which is mingled with the utmost grace, love, and magnanimity, because Allah, in this verse, thanks and praises His servants when He approves their effort and endeavour.
This meaning is also similar to what is said in Surah ’Isra’, No. 17, verse 19 where it says:
The promise of reward, recompense, and wage has been pointed out in the Qur’an by different forms of meaning.
Once it says:
In another occurrence it says:
And also the Qur’an says that Allah is thankful:
Somewhere else, it says:
And, therefore, if you do a small amount of good you will see it.
The Qur’an says:
وَحَرَامٌ عَلَي قَرْيَةٍ أَهْلَكْنَاهآ أَنَّهُمْ لاَ يَرْجِعُونَ
حَتَّي إِذَا فُتِحَتْ يَأْجُوجُ وَمَأْجُوجُ وَهُم مِن كُلِّ حَدَبٍ يَنسِلُونَ
وَاقْتَرَبَ الْوَعْدُ الْحَقُّ فَإِذا هِيَ شَاخِصَةٌ أَبْصَارُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا يَاوَيْلَنَا قَدْ كُنَّا فِي غَفْلَةٍ مِنْ هَذَا بَلْ كُنَّا ظَالِمِينَ
95. “And there is a ban upon (the people of) the towns which We destroyed: that they shall not return.”
96. “Until, when Gog and Magog are let through (the way), and they hasten forth from every elevation.”
97. “And the true promise has drawn nigh; then behold, staring wide (in terror), the eyes of those who disbelieve! (They say:) ‘Alas for us! We were heedless of this (Day); nay; we were unjust ones’.”
In the explanation of the former verses, the words were about the righteous believers. Now, here, in the first holy verse mentioned in the above, the Qur’an points to those persons who are in the opposite side, those who go on their aberration and do mischief until the last moment of their life.
The first verse of this group of verses says:
In fact, they are those who desire to come back to this world again to compensate their whole faults after that they have actually observed the Divine punishment, or after their destruction and going into the purgatory world, where the curtains of pride and negligence go aside from before their eyes.
But the Holy Qur’an explicitly announces that their return to this life again is absolutely forbidden, and there is no way or chance for them to make amends.
This meaning is just like that which we read in Surah Al-Mu’minun, No. 23, verse 99, which indicates that this situation of theirs continues until when their death comes and they ask Allah to return them back to the world in order that they do those righteous deeds that they had neglected to do; but they receive naught save a negative answer.
The verse says:
However, these unaware people are always in pride and negligence, and the continuation of this misfortune will last until the end of the world, as the Qur’an says:
There have been mentioned some discussions in Surah Al-Kahf, No. 18, from verse 94 on about Gog and Magog, saying who and from what tribe they were, where they were living, and, finally, what they are doing and what they will do.
There have also been discussed in details there about the barrier which Zul-Qarnayn built in a narrow valley in order to prevent their influence.
Is the purpose of the phrase ‘these two tribes being let through (the way)’ as ‘their barrier to be broken, and their influence into other lands of the world thereby’? Or that the objective meaning is their influence, in general, throughout the world and from every side?
The abovementioned holy verse has not explicitly stated anything regarding this matter. It only contains a hint to their spread scattering them in the globe as a sign of the end of the world and a preliminary event for the Resurrection and Hereafter.
However, the Late author of the Commentary of Atyab-ul-Bayan8 cites as follows:
“This verse is one of the evidences of ‘return to life’, which is necessary in Shi‘ism, and some widely transmitted narrations testify it.
Some Islamic traditions indicate that those who return to life of this world during the course of the second coming will be those believers who had been steadfast in their faith, and also those who had been steadfast in disbelief but had not been annihilated by the worldly chastisement.
This matter is for the reason that the believers benefit from Divine bounties at the presence of the immaculate Imams (as), and the disbelievers may be chastised by the worldly chastisements.”
“In other words, this holy verse implies that those absolute disbelievers who will ‘return to life’ in the course of ‘the second coming’ are the disbelievers who were not annihilated by means of the Divine punishment but passed away by the natural death.
Thus those disbelievers who were annihilated by means of the Divine punishment, like the peoples of Noah, Hud, Salih, Lut, Shu‘ayb, Pharaohs, and the like, will not return during the course of ‘the second coming’, because they had tasted the worldly chastisement. They will have their resurrection only on the Hereafter Day in order to be given the punishment of that world.”9
Then, in the next verse, the Qur’an immediately says:
The disbelievers will be involve in such a horror that their eyes stop moving and will be gazing that scene.
The verse continues saying:
At this time, the curtains of pride and negligence will go aside from before their eyes, and they will cry:
And, since they cannot cover their sin with any pretext and acquit themselves, they will explicitly say:
In principle, how may it be possible that with the existence of these numerous Divine prophets and the heavenly Books they remain in negligence while there have been many shaking events for them and the life in this world has taught them different lessons as warnings? Whatever they have done is fault and injustice to them as well as to others.
The Qur’anic word /hadab/ means: the elevations which are surrounded by some low lands. It is also sometimes called to the outgrowth of the man’s back.
The Arabic term /yansilun/ is derived from /nusul/ which is applied in the sense of ‘going out swiftly’.
The Qur’anic sentence concerning Gog and Magog which says:
refers to their extraordinary influence all over the earth.
The term /šaxisah/ is derived from /šuxus/ which originally means ‘going out from home’ or ‘going out from a city toward another city’.
And, since at the time of surprise and gazing the man’s eyes are in a state as if they are coming out from the pupil, this status is also called /šuxus/. This is the status that the sinners will have in the Hereafter. They will be gazing so much that as if their eyes are about to come out from the pupil of the eyes.
إِنَّكُمْ وَمَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دوُنِ اللَّهِ حَصَبُ جَهَنَّمَ أَنتُمْ لَهَا وَارِدُونَ
لَوْ كَانَ هَؤُلآءِ ءَالِهَةً مَّا وَرَدُوهَا وَكُلٌّ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ
لَهُمْ فِيهَا زَفِيرٌ وَهُمْ فِيهَا لاَ يَسْمَعُونَ
98. “Verily you and what you worship besides Allah shall be the fuel of Hell; you shall go down to it.”
99. “If these had been (real) gods, they would not have gone down thither, but all will abide therein.”
100. “There shall be sighing for them therein, and they therein shall not hear (any answer).”
Following the discussions of the former verses which were about the fate of the oppressive disbelievers, here the Qur’an, addressing them, illustrates their future destiny and their gods as follows:
You yourselves and your artificial gods are the fuel of Hell and the material that forms its flames, and you will be thrown into Hell like some worthless pieces of wood.
Then, the verse adds:
At first, the false gods will be thrown into the Fire, and then the polytheists, who used to worship them, will enter to them. It seems that their false gods entertain them by the fire which raises from their entity.
If this question arises inquiring what is the philosophy of throwing the idols into the Hell Fire, the answer of it can be this that when the idol-worshippers see that they are burning in the fire that comes from their idols, this circumstance is a kind of punishment for them. Besides, it can be also a humiliation for their thoughts that they used to refuge to such worthless beings.
In other words, the advantage of the fact that Allah has put the idol worshippers with their idols and has mentioned them with together is that the opposite case of their expectation has occurred here, because they had imagined that their false gods might intercede for them before the Lord but now, with the chastisement that Allah has assigned for them, the conditions are contrary to it.
Therefore, there will be nothing worse than these false gods for the idol worshippers then.
Question: This verse indicates both the idol worshippers and their idols shall be the fuel of Hell. Are some persons, such as Hadrat Messiah (as), who have been objects of worship, also counted in this formula, or are they exceptions?
Answer: These objects of worship have been counted as exceptions, for: firstly, the Qur’an has referred to the deities as some irrational beings where it uses ‘what’ in the phrase which says: ‘what you worship’. Hence, the holy Messenger of Allah (S) in answer to the abovementioned question said:
“The Arab’s custom is that they use the word ‘what’ for irrational beings and (the phrase) ‘what you worship’ means the idols made of stone and wood.”10
Secondly: The addressees of this holy verse were the idol worshippers of Mecca who used to worship idols made of stone, wood, and so on. Thirdly: in some verses of this very holy Surah, which will orderly be commented later, this fact has been stipulated that those ones whom have been promised good by Allah (such as Hadrat Messiah (as)) are aloof from Hell.
Then, in the next verses, as a general conclusion, the Holy Qur’an concerning the idols announces as follows:
But beware that the idol worshippers not only will enter the Hell but also will remain in it forever. The holy verse continues saying:
For further explanation about the painful situation of these ‘misguided worshippers’ who used to serve those worthless objects of worship, the Qur’an says:
These sighs and sad moans may not be only related to those worshippers, but the Satans, whom were their objects of worship, also accompany them in this deed.
The next sentence refers to one of other painful punishments, they will have in Hell, where it says:
This sentence may point to this matter that they will not absolutely hear anything which causes them to become happy. They will be only the hearer of the wearing moans and the call of the angels of chastisement.
Some commentators have said that the purpose of it is that they will hear no voice of anyone at all, as if they are alone in punishment, which itself is the source of further chastisement upon them.
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ سَبَقَتْ لَهُم مِنَّا الْحُسْنَي اُوْلَئِكَ عَنْهَا مُبْعَدُونَ
101. “Verily those for whom the good (promise) has already gone forth from Us, they will be kept far off from it (Hell).”
This holy verse reiterates the qualities of the true believers, as well as the believing men and women in order to compare them with each other and specify the situation of both of them.
At first, it says:
This meaning refers to the fact that Allah will fulfill all of the promises that He has promised the true believers in the life of this world, one of which is keeping them far off the Fire of the Hell.
In Tafsir-ul-Burhan, according to some narrations, there have been recorded a tradition from Imam Sadiq (as) who said:
“The objective of the word /husna/, mentioned in the above verse, is Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) and Ahl-ul-Bayt (as) and the followers of him.”11
لاَ يَسْمَعُونَ حَسِيسَهَا وَهُمْ فِي مَا اشْتَهَتْ أَنفُسُهُمْ خَالِدُونَ
102. “They will hear the slightest sound of it, and they, in what their souls desire, shall abide.”
However in welfare a man may be in this world, desired or undesired, he may hear some unwholesome information and bitter news which decrease his pleasure and happiness. But in Hereafter, the people of Paradise will be far off of any bad news, coarse noises and the moans of those who are badly situated. They will be busy enjoying of full pleasure.
Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) says:
“…He has honoured their ears (the people of Paradise) so that the sound of Hell Fire may never reach them (nor the moans of the people of Hell)…”12
The Arabic word /hasis/ is used in the sense of a particular and sensible sound (from Fire).
However, this holy verse points to a couple of great Divine bounties bestowed on this prosperous group.
The first of them is that:
Since the true believers are far from Hell, they will never hear the horrible sounds of it. The next divine bounty is that: whatever they desire and wish to obtain they will enjoy of them eternally.
The verse continues saying:
That is, in that world, there is not any limitation of the kind of this world for them. They can have any sort of material and spiritual bounties they desire without any exception. They are available for them not only for one or two days, but also for their eternal life.
In conclusion, there are different verses in the Qur’an concerning the quality and quantity of the divine blessings of Paradise.
In one verse, it says:
Here, in the current verse, it says:
And somewhere else, the Qur’an describes it like this:
A tradition narrated from the Messenger of Allah (S) denotes that neither has any ear heard nor has any eye witnessed the quality of the bounties of Paradise.15
لاَ يَحْزُنُهُمُ الْفَزَعُ الاَكْبَرُ وَتَتَلَقَّاهُمُ الْمَلآَئِكَةُ هَذَا يَوْمُكُمُ الَّذِي كُنتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ
103. “The Great Terror (of that Day) shall not grieve them, and the angels shall receive them (saying): ‘This is your day, which you were promised’.”
Basing on some Islamic traditions, the addressees of this verse are those who, besides having correct notions, run along the path of the leaders who have been appointed by Allah and His Messenger. The Qur’anic phrase /faza‘-i-’akbar/ means ‘a Great terror’ which refers to the horrors of the Day of Hereafter.16
Hence, this verse says:
Some commentators have considered the meaning of the phrase ‘the Great Terror’, mentioned in this holy verse, as a hint to the horrors of the Hereafter Day, which is greater than any horror.
Finally, the last grace of Allah, relating to those whom have been referred to in the abovementioned verses, is that the angels of grace will haste to receive them and will say to them congratulation and good tidings.
The verse says:
In Nahjul-Balaqah we read that Ali (as) said:
“…you should therefore be quick in performance of (good) acts so that your way be with His neighbours in His abode, where He has set His messengers their friends, and made the angels to visit them. He has honoured their ears so that the sound of Hell Fire may never reach them.”17
By the way, there have been recorded some narrations from the holy Prophet (S) and Imam Sadiq (as) in Tafsir-ul-Burhan and Safi under this verse indicating that this verse is about the rank of the holy Prophet (S), Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as), Ahl-ul-Bayt (as) and the followers of him.
There are also some narrations recorded in the book of ’Amali and Bisharat-ush-Shi‘ah, with the same content.
يَوْمَ نَطْوِي السَّمآءَ كَطَيِّ السّـِجِلِّ لِلْكُتُبِ كَمَا بَدَأْنَآ أَوَّلَ خَلْقٍ نُعِيدُهُ وَعْداً عَلَيْنَآ إِنَّا كُنَّا فَاعِلِينَ
104. “The Day when We will roll up the heaven as the rolling up of the scroll for writing; as We originated the first creation, (so) We shall get it return. (This is) a promise binding on Us; (and) surely We are to perform it.”
We understood in the previous verse that the true believers will not be grievous because of the ‘Great terror’. This verse describes ‘that Day of terror’, and in fact, it illustrates the cause of that horror.
Concerning the time of its occurrence, it says:
There is a delicate simile in this verse about the destruction and rolling up of the scroll of the world of existence at the end of the world. At the present time, this scroll has been opened and all its designs and lines can be read and each of them has been settled in a proper place.
But when the command of Resurrection comes, this scroll, with all its lines and designs, will be rolled up. Then the verse adds implying that there is no problem and hardship for the Great Power of Allah to return it and He will do it in the same way that He originated it at the beginning.
The verse says:
Then, at the end of the verse, Allah says:
However, some of the authentic Islamic narrations indicate that the objective meaning of ‘return’, in this verse, is the return of creation in its first form so that human beings will return to life, barefooted and naked, in the same shape that they were at the beginning of their creation; and this is one of the features of the return of creation in its initiating form.
Imam Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) said:
“Man will be raised bare in Resurrection”; and then he (as) recited this verse, which says:
The Arabic word /sijill/ originally was applied for a piece of stone on which something was written; but later gradually it has been used for the sheets of paper on which some materials are written.
The sign of the appearance of Resurrection with the initial creation of the world has repeatedly referred to in the Holy Qur’an.
Once it says:
In another verse it says:
The objective of ‘the heaven’, mentioned in this verse, is all the heavens, because in another occurrence the Qur’an has said:
وَلَقَدْ كَتَبْنَا فِي الزَّبُورِ مِن بَعْدِ الذِّكْرِ أَنَّ الاَرْضَ يَرِثُهَا عِبَادِيَ الصَّالِحُونَ
105. “And We have written in the Psalms (Zabur), after the Reminder (the Torah), ‘My righteous servants shall inherit the earth’.”
The Qur’anic word /zabur/ in the Arabic language means: ‘any writing and book’.
The noble Qur’an says:
but by the frame of reference of the verse which says:
it seems that the objective is the Book specialized to David (as), which contains the whole supplications, prayers, and advices of that prophet. This Book was sent down after the Torah; and the purpose of the holy word /ŏikr/ (reminder), mentioned in the verse, is also the very Torah.
Its reference is the content of verse No. 48 of the current Surah which indicates that the Torah is /ŏikr/ (reminder) where it says:
Some Islamic commentators have said that the purpose of mentioning /zabur/ in this verse is all the Divine Books and the objective of /ŏikr/ is the Holy Qur’an, and the phrase /min ba‘d/ also means ‘in addition to’; then, in this case, the verse means: ‘in addition to the Qur’an, We have written in all the heavenly Books that verily the inheritors of the earth will be My righteous servants’.
Therefore, in this verse, the Qur’an refers to one of the most clear worldly rewards of the righteous servants, which is the possession of ‘the government of the earth’. The Qur’an has pointed to it, with a nice statement, where it says:
The Arabic word /’ard/ is called to the whole globe of the earth which envelops the world thoroughly.
Question: Who are the righteous servants of Allah when He says:
Answer: The Qur’anic word /salihun/ (the righteous), mentioned here, has a vast scope of meaning by which, besides faith and Monotheism, all eligibilities will be reminded: eligibility from the point of action and piety, eligibility from the point of knowledge and awareness, eligibility from the point of ability and power, and eligibility from the point of management, regularity, and social apprehension.
Some Islamic narrations have explicitly commented this verse upon the followers of Hadrat Mahdi (may Allah hasten his auspicious advent). This meaning is the statement of a high and clear aspect of it which does not confine the generality of the concept of the verse.
The system of creation is a manifest reference for the acceptance of a proper social system of the world of humanity in future. This meaning is the same thing which is understood from the verse under discussion and the traditions concerning the advent of ‘the Worldly Great Reformer’, Hadrat Mahdi, (may our souls be sacrificed to him).
Finally, once Imam Sadiq (as) was asked about the commentary of the Qur’anic words /zabur/ and /ŏikr/ when he said:
“(The reality of) /ŏikr/ is with Allah and /zabur/ is the Book sent down to David, and all the Books which have been sent down are with the people of knowledge, and they are we, the Ahl-ul-Bayt.”24
As it was mentioned aforetime, there are many narrations which indicate that those righteous servants who will be the inheritors of the earth are the followers of Hadrat Mahdi (as).25
Also, some Islamic narrations denote that the Ahlul-Bayt of the Prophet of Islam (S) will be the inheritors of the earth and they will return to life again.26
Majma‘-ul-Bayan, concerning this verse, narrates a tradition from Imam Baqir (as) implying that those righteous servants, whom Allah points to in this verse as the inheritors of the earth, are the followers of Mahdi (as) in ‘the end of the Time’.
Again, upon the explanation of this holy verse, it is cited in Tafsir-i-Qummi that the objective meaning of the fact that the righteous servants of Allah will inherit the earth is Mahdi, the Qa’im, and his followers.
In addition to the abovementioned narrations, which are upon the commentary of this verse, there have been recorded a great many other traditions from the way of Shi‘iet and Sunni about Hadrat Mahdi (as) narrated from the holy Prophet of Islam (S) and Ahl-ul-Bayt (as) all of which signify that at last the government of the world will be in the hand of the righteous ones.
Then, a man from the household of the Prophet (S) will rise and will establish justice throughout of the world after that it has been filled with injustice and cruelty.
Among them is this famous holy tradition, which has been narrated from the Prophet (S) recorded in most of the Islamic sources.
“If there is not remained from the (life of the) world but a day, Allah will prolong that day so that He raises a righteous man from my household by whom the earth will be filled with justice thoroughly the same as it has been filled with injustice and oppression.”27
This holy tradition, with the same meaning or with a little difference, has been mentioned in many books of Shi‘ah and Sunni.
It was said in the commentary of verse 33 from Surah Al-Taubah No. 9 that a group of outstanding scholars of Islam, whether from ancient and modern times, Shi‘ah and Sunni, have clearly certified in their books that the traditions concerning the rising of Mahdi (as) are nearly at the level of ‘wide scale’ so that his rising can never be deniable.
There are some reputable books available particularly written in this regard, including:
Abu-Na‘im in ‘’Akhbar-ul-Mahdi’; Ibn-Hajar-Heythami in ‘Al -Ghaul -ul -Mukhtasar -fi -‘Alamat -il -Mahdi -Al -Muntazar’; Showkani in ‘At-Taudih fi Tawatur-i-Ma-Ja’a fi-l-Muntazar wad-Dajjal wal-Masih’; ’Idris-i-‘Araqi Maqribi in the book of ‘Al-Mahdi’. And the news about Mahdi (as) narrated from the Prophet (S), which have been testified and witnessed by the Companions of the Prophet, have been mentioned in a lot of famous Islamic books as well as the main texts of traditions irrespective of ‘Sunan’, ‘Ma‘ajim’ and ‘Masanid’ among which we may point to: ‘Sunan - i - Abu - Dawood’, ‘Sunan - i - Tirmithi’, ‘Ibn - i - Majih’, Ibn - i - ‘Amr - id - Dawani, ‘Musnad - i -’Ahmad’, ‘Ibn - i - Ya‘la’, ‘Bazzaz’, ‘Mustadrak - i -Hakim-i-Neyshaburi’, ‘Ma‘ajim-i-Tabarani’ (the Great and the Moderate), ‘Ruyani’, ‘Dar-Ghutni’, and Abu-Na‘im in ‘Akhbar - ul - Mahdi’, Khatib in ‘Tarikh - i - Baqdad’, Ibn - i - ‘Asakir in ‘Tarikh - i - Damishgh’, and so on.
Again, the traditions concerning Mahdi (as) have been narrated by many of the companions of the Prophet, among them are: ‘Uthman - ibn - ‘Uffan, Ali-ibn-Abitalib (as), Talhat-ibn-‘Ubayd-i-llah, ‘Abd-ur-Rahman-ibn-‘Uf, Qurrat-ibn-’Asas Mazni, ‘Abdullah - ibn - Harith, ’Abu - Hurayrih, Khuthayfat - ibn-Yaman, Jabir - ibn - ‘Abdillah, Abu -’Umamah, Jabir-ibn-Majid, ‘Abdillah - ibn-‘Umar, ’Anas-ibn-Malik, ‘Imran-ibn-Hasin, and ’Umm-as-Salamah.
These are twenty persons out of all those who have narrated the traditions about Mahdi (as). Therefore, there are so many others, besides them, who have narrated the traditions regarding him (as).
There are a lot of reliable statements recorded from the source of the companions of the Prophet themselves in which the discussion of the reappearance and advent of Hadrat Mahdi (as) is seen and which can also be set in the row of the Prophet’s traditions.
This subject is not among the subjects about which can be said some things by means of ‘individual reasoning’. (Therefore, naturally they have also heard this subject from the Prophet (S).)
Also, among those scholars who have declared explicitly that the traditions concerning Mahdi (as) are at the level of ‘wide scale’ are: As-Sakhawi in the book entitled ‘Fath-ul-Muqith’, Muhammad - ibn - Ahmad - Safawini in ‘Sharh - ul -‘Aghidah’, ’Abul - Hassan - il - Abari in ‘Manaqib - i-Sh-Shafi‘i, Ibn - Tayyimmiyah in his book of Fatawi ‘Pronouncements’, ‘Suyuti’ in Al-Hawi, Idris-i-‘Araqi in his book upon Mahdi (as), Showkani in the book named ‘At-Toudih - fi - Tawatur - i -Maja’a-fil-Muntazar’, Muhammad Ja‘far Kanani in ‘Nazm-ut-Tanathur’.
You may see the commentary books of Shi‘ah, upon the verses of the Qur’an where the narrations about Mahdi (as) are fully available, among them are: Tafsir - ul - Burhan, Safi, Majma‘-ul-Bayan, Atyab - ul - Bayan, Nur-uth - Thaqalayn, the books like Al - Kafi, Bihar, Tibyan, Muntakhab-ul-’Athar, Nur-ul-’Absar, and the like.
Thus, the belief in the advent of Mahdi (as) is incumbent (for every Muslim), and this is considered as a part of the doctrine of Men of Tradition and community, and the sect of twelve-Imam Shi‘ism.
1. Someone once asked Imam Sadiq (as) about his opinion concerning the one who believes in guardianship (Wilayah) of the Imams (as), and expects the advent of the government of Justice while, in this case, he dies.
The Imam (as) said:
“He is like the one who is with the leader of this revolution in his camp, (his army group).”
Then, after a pause, he (as) said:
“He is like the one who is with the messenger of Allah (in his struggles).”28
This meaning, with a little difference, has been cited in many Islamic narrations.
2. In some narrations it has also been said:
“He is like a sword striker in the way of Allah.”
3. In some others, it has been said:
“He is like the one who strikes on the enemy’s head by his sword with the Messenger of Allah.”
4. Some other narrations say:
“He is like the one who is under the flag of Qa’im ‘the Upholder’.”
5. Some of them say:
“He is like a struggler who fights (in the cause of Allah) before the Messenger of Allah.”
6. Some others say:
“He is like the one who suffers martyrdom with the Messenger of Allah.”
These six similes, which have been narrated upon the expectation of the advent of Mahdi (as), make this fact clear that there is a kind of relation and similarity between the subject of ‘expectation’, on one side, and ‘the Holy Struggle’ which is combating against the enemy of Allah in its latest form, on the other side.
7. So many narrations indicate that having an expectation of such a government has been introduced as the most elevated worship. In some traditions, this meaning has been narrated from the Prophet (S) and in some others from Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as).
In a tradition we read that the Prophet of Islam (S) said:
“The most excellent deeds of my Ummat is the expectation of deliverance from the side of Allah, Almighty and Glorious.”29
Another tradition narrated from the Messenger of Islam (S) says:
“The most excellent deed is the expectation of deliverance.”30
Whether, we consider ‘the expectation of deliverance’ in the sense of its vast meaning or in its peculiar meaning, i.e., in the sense of ‘expecting for the advent of ‘the great worldly reformer’, this tradition makes the importance of the act of expectation clear regarding to our discussion.
These concise expressions wholly denote that having the expectation of such a revolution is always coupled with a vast and extensive Holy Struggle. Having this idea in mind, you may pay attention to the concept of expectation, and then we can conclude from all of them.
The state of ‘expectation’ is usually used for the one who is inconvenient from the existing condition and struggles for creating a better circumstance.
For example, the sick person who waits for becoming better, or a father who waits for his son to come back from abroad, both of them are worried, one from sickness and another from the separation of the child, and they try for a better situation.
Also, a merchant, who is worried about the bad state of the market and waits for the economic crises to become normal, has two moods: ‘estrangement with the existing situation’, and ‘struggle for a better situation’.
Therefore, the subject of expectation (or waiting) for the government of justice and probity ruled by Mahdi (may Allah hasten his advent), and the rising of the worldly reformer, in fact, are defined in two categories: the negative element, and the positive element.
The negative element here is that very ‘estrangement with the existing situation’ and the positive element is ‘the desire for a better situation’. If these two aspects influence deeply in the soul of man, they will become the source of two branches of vast and extensive deeds.
These two branches of deeds consist in abandoning any competition and harmony with the factors of injustice, vice, mischief and even struggling against them all, from one side, and self-improvement, self-support, attracting the physical and mental preparations, as well as both material and spiritual preparations for the auspicious formation of that single worldly government, on the other side.
If we take care well we can see that both of those two branches of deeds not only are constructive, but also are the factors of movement, cognizance, and awareness.
Regarding the essential concept of this ‘expectation’, the meaning of the numerous narrations, which were mentioned in the above, about the reward and the result of those who ‘expect’, may be understood manifestly.
It is now that we understand why the true expectants sometimes have been counted as those who are in Mahdi’s tent or are under his flag, or like the one who fights in the cause of Allah, or his blood is poured, or has suffered martyrdom.
Do they not hint to the different stages and degrees of struggle in the way of truth and justice which are proportional to the quality of the preparation and the level of persons’ expectation!
That is, as the amount of self-sacrifice of the strugglers of the way of Allah and their functions are different with each other, expectation, self-improvement and preparation are also completely different in degrees, each of which from the point of preliminary situation and consequence has similarity with one of them.
Both of them are Holy struggles and both of them require preparation and self-improvement. The person who is in the camp of the leader of that kind of government, i.e. he is in the center of command of an army of a worldly government, cannot be a negligent and an unaware individual.
That position is not the place for any ordinary person. It is the place of some equipped persons who are really worthy of that significant position.
To be more and well acquainted with the true effects of the expectation for the reappearance of Mahdi (as), you may notice the following explanations:
If I am unjust and oppressive, how can I be waiting for the one the prey of whose sword is the blood of the unjust?
If I am really polluted and impious, how can I wait for a revolution whose flame initially seizes the skirt of the polluted ones?
The army which is awaiting for a great Holy War, increases the preparation of its personnel, blows a spirit of revolution in them, and improves any weak point therein.
The reason of it is that the quality of ‘expectation’ may always proportionate to the goal and destination which we are expecting for:
The expectation of coming an ordinary traveler from the voyage.
The expectation of the return of a very dear friend when he is going to come back.
The expectation of the arrival of the season of harvest and picking up fruits from trees.
Every one of these expectations is allied with a kind of preparation. In one of them the house must be prepared and the means of entertaining must be made ready; in another one its necessary tools must be brought forth,…
Now you may think of those who are expecting for a great worldly reformer. They are, in fact, expecting a revolution, shifting, and transformation which is the vastest and the most fundamental revolution among the revolutions of humankind throughout the history of man.
It is a revolution which, contrast to the former revolutions, is not provincial. Not only it is common and general, but also involves all the affairs and necessities of the lives of human beings. It is a political, cultural, economical and ethical revolution.
Before anything else, such a revolution is in need of some prepared and eligible men who can carry the heavy load of that vast improvement of the world on their backs; and this, at first stage, needs that the level of thought, cognizance, and mental and spiritual preparation of people be promoted for the cooperation in actualization of that great program.
Insularities, narrow scope in minds, ill-thoughts, jealousies, childish and unwisely discords, and, in general, any kind of hypocrisy and dissension do not agree with the position of the true expectants of Mahdi (as).
The important matter is that the true expectant of that significant program can never have the role of a mere spectator. He must certainly join the row of revolutionists from just now.
The belief in the good results and the end of this shifting may never let him be in the row of the opponents of that revolution, and being in the row of the adherents of it needs having pure and pious deeds either, as well as leading a more pious soul with the possession of ‘courage’ and sufficient ‘awareness’.
If I am corruptible and vicious, how can I be waiting for a system of government in which the corruptible and vicious individuals have no function? They will be rejected and hated therein.
Is this expectation enough for purifying one’s soul and mind, and wiping out both the body and spirit from the dirt of pollutions in his life?
The army that waits for the Holy Struggle of liberty, will surely be in the state of being full ready and will equip itself with a weapon which is suitable for such a battle-field.
It will make the necessary fortresses ready, will elevate the epic preparation of its personnel, will strengthen their courage, and keep the flame of love and eager in the hearts of its soldiers alive, one by one, for such a struggle. The army, which lacks such a preparation, does not live in ‘expectation’, and if it demands it, it tells a lie.
The real expectation for a worldly reformer means a full mental, ethical, material and spiritual readiness in people for the improvement of the world entirely. You may consider how constructive such a preparation can be.
The improvement of the world thoroughly, and putting an end to all injustices and ruins, is not so easy and it cannot be a simple job. The preparation for such a great aim should be symmetrical with it, i.e., it must be similarly with the same expansion and depth that it is.
For actualizing such a revolution, some very great men, who are always decided, very powerful, without defeating, extraordinarily pure and liberal, completely prepared, and with deep insight, are needed.
Self-improvement for this aim requires the application of the best ethical, mental, and social programs. This is, in fact, the meaning of ‘the true expectation’. Can anyone say that such an expectation is not constructive?
At the same time, the true expectants are dutiful not only to be careful to their own selves, but they also must be careful of the circumstance of each other, and, besides improving their own selves, try to improve others, too.
The heavy and great program, which they are waiting for, is not a personal one; it is a program that all the elements of the revolution must take part in it. The job is encompassing and it must be accomplished by all members.
The efforts and endeavours must, indeed, become harmonized and the depth and expansion of this harmony must be as great as that worldly revolution which they are expecting for.
In a vast field, where a group of strivers are totally busy striving, usually no individual can remain neglectful of the circumstances of others.
On the contrary, he ought to amend any weak point that he sees somewhere, and he must improve any situation which may be damageable, and strengthen any weak and inconvenient part he finds.
For, without the active and harmonized participation of all the members of strivers, the actualization of such a program is impossible.
Thus, the true expectants, in addition that they always try to improve themselves, should consider their own duty to improve others, too.
This is another constructive effect of the expectation for the rising of a worldly reformer; and this is the philosophy of all those virtues which have been enumerated for the true expectants (of Mahdi).
Another important effect that lays in the expectation for Mahdi (as) is the lack of being changed into the mischief of the environment and the absence of any submission to the pollutions.
Its explanation is that when corruption covers everywhere, and it gets the majority or a great many of the people of the society involved into that pollution, sometimes the pious ones may find themselves in a very narrow and difficult blind psychological status. It is a blind situation which originates from the despair of improvements.
Sometimes they think that the dice has been cast and there is no hope for its improvement, so the effort for keeping pure oneself is of no avail.
This hopelessness and despair may take them gradually toward corruption and being of the same nature of he environment in a manner that they cannot preserve themselves as a righteous minority contrast to an impious majority; and think of not being alike the community as the cause of their defame.
The only thing that can blow hope in them and invite them to resistance and self-control, so that they do not assume the nature of the corruptive environment, is the hope to the final improvement.
It is only in this case that they do not abandon the effort and endeavour for preserving their own purity and improving others.
So, we see in the Islamic instruction that the despair of divine forgiveness has been considered as one of the greatest sins, and some unaware persons may surprise why despair from the mercy of Allah has been counted so important, even more important than many other faults, its philosophy is this very fact that the sinner who is despair of the mercy of Allah (s.w.t.) may find no reason to decide to recompense, or at least stops committing that sin.
His logic is: ‘In for a penny, in for a pound’; ‘Black will take no other hue’; ‘It’s end is Hell’; and the like of these logics.
But, as soon as the window of hope will be opened to him – the hope for Allah’s forgiveness, the hope for the change of the existing situation – there can be a turning point in his life which invites him to stop committing sin and return towards piety and improvement.
It is for this very reason that ‘hope’ can be recognized as an effective factor in training the corrupt persons, as well as those good doers who are captured in the corrupt environment, and cannot protect themselves without hope.
The conclusion is that: the much impious and vicious the world becomes, the more the expectation of the advent of a reformer increases and it has an increasing spiritual positive effect in the believers. It guarantees them against the powerful waves of mischief.
They not only will not despair with the expansion of the range of mischief in the environment, but also behold nigh, in front of them, the approach of gaining the goal; and their effort for struggling against corruption or their self-protection will be pursued by an increasing desire and love.
From the totality of the aforementioned discussions, it can be concluded that if expectation, with its real meaning, be actualized in both the society and individuals, it will be an important factor from the point of training, self-improvement, and movement.
Among clear references which certify this subject is that, upon the commentary of the verse which says:
there has been narrated from some great leaders of Islam that the purpose of this verse is ‘Mahdi (as) and his followers’.32
Another tradition indicates that ‘this verse has been sent down about Mahdi (as)’.33
In this recent verse he (as) and his followers have been introduced as ‘those of you who believe and do righteous deeds’.
Thus, the actualization of this worldly revolution is impossible without a firm belief which repels any kind of weakness, despicableness, and feebleness, and without the righteous deeds that pave the way for the improvement of the world.
So, those who are waiting for such a program not only must increase the standard of their awareness and faith, but also ought to try to improve their actions.
These are only those who can give the glad tidings of association with his government to themselves, not those who are accomplice with injustice and cruelty, nor those who are far from Faith and righteous deeds.
Nor those coward and despicable persons who, as a result of the weakness of their Faith, have always scare from everything, even from their own shadow.
Nor those listless, idle, and inattentive persons who remain silent in front of the corruptions of their environment and their society, and show the least challenge and effort in the way of struggle against corruption. This is the constructive effect of the rising of Mahdi (as) in the Islamic society.
إِنَّ فِي هَذَا لَبَلاَغاً لِقَوْمٍ عَابِدِينَ
106. “Verily in this is a (great) message for a people (who) worship.”
We were acquainted by the previous verse that the heritage and the government of the righteous ones on the earth will, in fact, actualize with two conditions. One of them is the pure servitude before Allah, which was referred to with the word ‘My servants’; and the second condition of it is earning the eligibility of being ‘righteous’.
The abovementioned verse again implicitly emphasizes on the fact that the servants must receive this message that they must both become pure in servitude, and elevate themselves from the stage of general and common ‘worshipping’ to the stage of especial submission (My servant), and try to create eligibility in them.
The verse says:
Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) says:
“(Fear) Allah (and) keep Allah in view in the matter of the Qur’an. No one should excel you in acting upon it.”34
Therefore, the good servants of Allah should receive the message of Allah before any other persons.
وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلاَّ رَحْمَةً لِلْعَالَمِينَ
107. “And We sent you not save a Mercy for (all) the worlds.”
The government of the righteous servants of Allah over the earth is a merit reflected from the grace and mercy of Allah (s.w.t.) which can be received in the light of messengership. And whatever of the prophetic mercy will be bestowed upon the individuals both in this world and Hereafter is a ray from the Divine Mercy.
All of the Divine ordinances, even the Holy Struggle, fixed punishments for certain crimes, retaliation, and other retributions and the penal laws of Islam are also mercy for the Society of Human beings. Allah is ‘The Lord of the worlds’ and His Messenger is ‘a Mercy for (all) the worlds’. That is, the true training is possible to occur under the shadow of the prophets’ guidance.
In all ages, and in all localities, and for all human beings, the Prophet of Islam (S) is ‘a mercy’ and there is no need of any other prophet, as the abovementioned holy verse announces:
So, in this holy verse, the Qur’an points to the general mercy of the personality of the Prophet (S), where it says:
This statement means that all mankind in the world, believers and disbelievers in general, are totally in pawn of the Prophet’s mercy, because he undertook the propagation of a religion which was the cause of deliverance of the whole.
The Prophet of Islam (S) is a mercy even for the divine near-stationed angels, too. In a tradition we read that Gabriel told the Prophet (S) that his mercy covered him (Gabriel), too.35
There is an interesting tradition cited here which verifies this generality of mercy. It says when this verse was revealed, the Prophet (S) asked Gabriel:
“Did anything of this mercy reach you?”
Gabriel in answer said:
“Yes. Verily I had frightened about the end of my affair, but because of the verse revealed to you I became certain, where Allah praised me with His word, (saying): “Gabriel is in a high position with Allah, the Creator of ‘Arsh.”36
However, in the world of today where kinds of mischief, corruption, oppression and injustice are seen everywhere, the fire of war is burning in every direction, and the claws of the cruel authorities are pressing the throats of the oppressed; in the world where ignorance, impiety, treachery, vice, injustice, despotism, and unjust discrimination have brought thousand kinds of distortions into existence; yes, in such a world, the concept of being ‘a Mercy for (all) the worlds’ is more clear due to the Prophet of Islam (S) than any other time.
What a mercy can be higher than this that he has brought a program whose practicing puts an end to all these failures, miseries, and ignominies.
Yes, he, his orders, his program and his manner all are mercy. A mercy for all, and in the meantime, the continuation of which will lead to the faithful righteous ones’ government throughout the earth.
By the way, the Arabic word /‘alamin/ (all the worlds) has such a vast meaning that its concept encompasses all human beings in all ages. That is why this holy verse has been considered for a hint to the Prophet of Islam (S) as a seal of the Divine prophets.
قُلْ إِنَّمَا يُوحَي إِلَيَّ أَنَّمَآ إِلَهُكُمْ إِلَهٌ وَاحِدٌ فَهَلْ أَنتُم مُسْلِمُونَ
فَإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَقُلْ ءَاذَنتُكُمْ عَلَي سَوَآءٍ وإِنْ أَدْرِي أَقَرِيبٌ أَم بَعِيدٌ مَا تُوعَدُونَ
108. “Say: ‘It is revealed to me that your God is One God; do you then surrender?’”
109. “Then if they turn back, say: ‘I have warned you equally, and I know not whether nigh or far is that which you are promised’.”
In view of the fact that the most important manifestation of mercy, and its firmest foundation is monotheism, by the above verse the Prophet (S) was commanded as follows:
The Prophet (S), addressing the idolaters, said in implication whether they were ready to surrender to this very principal, the monotheism, and to abandon idols.
There are stated, in fact, three fundamental points in this verse. The first is that the main basis of mercy is monotheism. Truly, the more we contemplate, the more will become the existence of this strong connection clear.
It is the monotheism in belief, the monotheism in action, the monotheism in the ‘word’, the monotheism in the rows, the monotheism in law, and the manifestation of monotheism in everything.
Another point is that in relation to the Qur’anic word /’innama/, which refers to the existence of restriction here, the whole invitations of prophets concentrate in the principle of monotheism.
Exact researches also show that the theological principles, and even the fundamental principles of ordinances, finally return to the principle of monotheism.
For this very reason, as we have also reiterated formerly, Monotheism is not a mere principle of the principles of Faith, but it is a strong string that joins the beads of a rosary to each other; or, in a more proper word, it is a soul blown in the body of the religion.
The last point is that the essential problem of all societies and nations is their pollution with polytheism in different forms, because the Qur’anic phrase which says: /fa hal ’antum muslimun/
indicates that the main difficulty is the act of coming out from polytheism and its manifestations and lacking in the action of breaking idols, not merely breaking the wooden and stone idols, but all kinds of idols and human deities in particular.
When Hadrat Imam Rida (as) was in the middle of thousands adherents in Neyshabur, in answer to the demand of the people, he stated his holy tradition known as ‘Silsilat-uth-Thahab’ implying that Monotheism is the firm fortress of Allah and whoever enters it will have immunity and will be safe completely.
Then he (as) added that the condition of this monotheism is the acceptance and subordination of the alive Imam.37
Then, in the next verse Allah recommends to the Prophet (S) that if, with all these matters, they do not pay attention to the Divine invitation and Message, and they turn back, he should tell them that he had warned them equally of the punishment of Allah.
The verse says:
The Qur’anic word /’aŏantu/ is derived from /’iŏan/ in the sense of ‘announcing coupled with threat’, and sometimes it has been applied with the sense of ‘declaration of war’, too.
But, in view of the fact that this Surah was revealed in Mecca, where there was neither the preparation of the Holy War nor was the command of Holy War sent down, it seems very improbable that this phrase could here be in the sense of ‘declaration of war’.
On the contrary, the apparent of the statement is that by this saying, the Prophet (S) intends to declare hatred and separation from them and to show that he has given up hope of them totally.
The application of the Qur’anic phrase /‘ala siwa’/ (equally) is either a hint to the fact that due to the Divine punishment he warns them all equally, lest they would suppose that the people of Mecca or Quraysh were different from others and they had a privilege and superiority with Allah; or a hint to the fact that he has conveyed his message to all of them without any exception.
Then he (S) states this threat more clearly and says:
Do not suppose that this promise is very far to happen; it may be nigh, and very nigh, either.
This punishment by which they have been warned here may be the punishment of the Hereafter, or the chastisement of the world, or both of them. In the first case, its knowledge is with Allah and no one is properly aware of the date of its happening, even the prophets of Allah.
And in the second and third case, it may refer to its details and its time, meaning that he (S) is not aware of its details, because the Prophet’s knowledge upon these kinds of happenings has not always the aspect of action, but sometimes it has the voluntary aspect, that is, he does not know unless he wills.
Note the following question and answer:
Question: It is understood from many verses of the Qur’an and Islamic traditions that the Prophet of Islam (S) had a vast portion of the ‘knowledge of hidden things’.
In Nudbah Supplication we recite:
“(O’ Allah!) You taught him (The Prophet (S)) the knowledge of the past and the future of the world.”
But in a few verses, like the above one, we encounter some sentences which show the lack of knowledge in the holy Prophet (S). Do these verses and traditions contrast each other? Or, is there a positive relation between them?
Answer: The knowledge of hidden things is of two kinds. A part of it belongs to the Pure Essence of Allah and there is no way for anyone into it, including the time of the occurrence of Hereafter.
We say in some supplications:
“O’ Allah! We call You by the knowledge which You have specialized for Yourself.”
But there is another part of it which Allah bestows upon His prophets, saints and whoever else He wills, like what is in the verse where He says:
Many of the Qur’anic matters are among the Unseen things, like the verse which says:
Imam Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) says:
“…By Allah, if I wish, I can tell every one of you from where he has come, where he has to go, and all his affair, but I fear lest you abandon the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him and his progeny) in my favour. I shall certainly convey these things to the selected ones who will remain safe from that fear…”40
In another tradition, also he (as) said:
“…O’ people! A time will come to you when Islam would be capsized as a pot is capsized with all its contents.…”41
Again, Imam Ali (as) said:
“A time will come to you when there would be nothing concealed more than the truth and more manifest than the wrong, and more current than forging lies to Allah, the Exalted, and His Messenger (S).”42
إِنَّهُ يَعْلَمُ الْجَهْرَ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا تَكْتمُونَ
وإِنْ أَدْرِي لَعَلَّهُ فِتْنَةٌ لَّكُمْ وَمَتَاعٌ إِلَي حِينٍ
110. “Verily He knows what is spoken aloud and He knows what you conceal.”
111. “And I know not haply this (respite) may be a trial for you, and an enjoyment for a while.”
In this holy verse the Qur’an implies that you should never think that if there is a delay in your punishment it is for that Allah is not aware of your deeds and words. Nay! He knows everything. He knows both your manifest statements and what you conceal.
The verse says:
In principle, the quality of being concealed and manifest is meaningful for you who are limited in knowledge. For Allah, Whose knowledge is infinite, both the Unseen and the visible are the same, and there is no difference between secret and manifest therein.
Then, the second holy verse implies that if you see that the Divine punishment does not meet you quickly, it is not for the reason that He is not aware of your affair.
So, the verse says:
He desires that you enjoy the pleasures of this world for a while and then He will seize you violently and punish you.
The verse continues saying:
In fact, there are two philosophies stated here for the delay of the Divine punishment. The first one is the subject of trial; for Allah does not haste in punishing wrong doers in order to test them enough and to complete the argument to them.
The second philosophy is that there are some people whose trial has ended and their punishment has been decided, but for the sake that they receive their chastisement fully, He spreads the bounties for them so that they become completely drowned in them, and just at the same time that they are busy enjoying themselves, He strikes the lash of punishment over them to be more painful for them, and they feel the pain of the deprived and oppressed well.
The Qur’an says:
قَالَ رَبِّ احْكُم بِالْحَقِّ وَرَبُّنَا الرَّحْمَنُ الْمُسْتَعَانُ عَلَي مَا تَصِفُونَ
112. “He said: ‘O my Lord! Judge You with truth! And our Lord is the Beneficent, Whose help is sought against that which you ascribe (unto Him)’.”
In this verse, which is the last verse of Surah Al-’Anbiya’, similar to the content of the first verse of this Surah, the words are upon the negligence of the unaware people.
As reiterating the statement of the Prophet (S), in a curse-like phrase, the Qur’an reflects his worriment from all those prides and negligence they had. After observing their whole aversion and turning back, the holy Prophet (S) invoked his Lord to judge over that disobedient group and punish them with justice.
The verse says:
In the second sentence he (S) addresses the opponent of Islam and says:
In fact, the verse, by the application of the Qur’anic word /rabbana/ (our Lord) attracts their attention to this fact that we all are creatures and are under His Lordship and He is the Creator and the Lord of us totally.
The usage of the Qur’anic holy word /’arrahman/ (the Beneficent) in the verse, which refers to the general Mercy of Allah, reminds them that the whole entity of their existence thoroughly is encompassed by the Divine Mercy; then why do they not always contemplate about the creator of all these bounties and mercy?
And the Qur’anic holy phrase /’almusta‘anu ‘ala ma tasifun/
warns them that they should not imagine that the Prophet (S) and the believers are alone before their opponents, and they should not consider that their whole accusations, lies and undue taunts fabricated against the Pure Essence of Allah and against Muslims will remain with no answer.
Nay! It will never be such, because He is the support of us all and He is able to defend the believers against any kind of lies and accusations.
O Lord! as You did not leave alone Your Messenger and his few companions before their mass of enemies, leave us not alone before the enemies in the East and in the West who have decided to abolish us!
O Lord! In this blessed Surah, You have specially stated Your particular mercy unto the prophets when they were at hard and difficult times and were involved in the crises of their lives. O Lord! At this time, too, we are involved in the same crises and we expect the same mercy and particular relief. Amin, O the Lord of the worlds!
The End of Surah Al-’Anbiya’
- 1. Nahjul-Balaqah, letter 31
- 2. Surah Al-i-‘Imran, No. 3, verse 55; and Surah Al-’An‘am, No. 6, verse 164
- 3. Surah Yusuf, No. 12, verse 56
- 4. Surah ’Isra’, No. 17, verse 19
- 5. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 158
- 6. Surah Al-Hujurat, No. 49, verse 14
- 7. Surah Al-Zilzal, No. 99, verse 7
- 8. Atyab-ul-Bayan, vol. 9, p. 242
- 9. Similar to this meaning is found in the commentaries of Majma‘-ul-Bayan, Atyab-ul-Bayan, Tafsir-us-Safi, Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, and Tafsir-ul-Burhan following the verse.
- 10. Bihar-ul-’Anwar, vol. 9, p. 282
- 11. Burhan, vol. 3, p. 72
- 12. Nahjul-Balaqah, sermon 183
- 13. Surah Az-Zukhruf, No, 43, verse 71
- 14. Surah As-Sajdah, No. 32, verse 17
- 15. Al-Faghih, vol. 1, p. 295
- 16. Tafsir-i-Al-Mizan
- 17. Nahjul-Balaqah, sermon 183
- 18. Nahjul-Balagah, sermon 111
- 19. Surah Al-’A‘raf, No. 7, verse 29
- 20. Surah Ar-Room, No. 30, verse 27
- 21. Surah Az-Zumar, No. 39, verse 67
- 22. Surah Al-Qamar, No. 54, verse 52
- 23. Surah ’Isra’, No. 17, verse 55, and Surah An-Nisa’, No. 4, verse 163
- 24. Al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 225
- 25. Nur-uth-Thaqalayn
- 26. Tafsir-i-Qummi, vol. 2, p. 297
- 27. Sunan-i-Tirmathi, vol. 4, p. 505; Zakha’ir-ul-‘Ughba, p. 136; Al-Bayan Gangi, Shafi‘i, p. 141; Muntakhab-ul-’Athar fi Sharh-i-Hal-i-Imam-uth-Thani-‘Ashar, p. 161
- 28. Mahasin Barghi, Narrated from Bihar, old edition, vol. 13, p. 136
- 29. Kafi, adapted from Bihar, vol. 13, p. 137
- 30. Ibid, p. 136
- 31. Surah An-Nur, No. 24, verse 55
- 32. Bihar-ul-’Anwar, vol. 13, p. 14
- 33. Tafsir-us-Safi and Tafsir-i-Burhan, under the holy verse
- 34. Nahj-ul-Balaqah, Letter No. 47
- 35. Tafsir-us-Safi, p. 359
- 36. Majma‘-ul-Bayan, and Tafsir-us-Safi, under the verse
- 37. Bihar, vol. 3, p. 7
- 38. Surah ’Al-i-‘Imran, No. 3, verse 44
- 39. Surah Al-Jinn, No. 72, verses 26 and 27
- 40. Nahjul-Balaqah, sermon 175
- 41. Ibid, sermon 103
- 42. Al-Kafi, No. 8, pp. 387, 586
- 43. Surah ’Al-i-‘Imran, No. 3, verse 178