Section 7: The Judgment
Kingdom is only Allah’s – Allah’s knowledge comprehends every thing.
قُلْ إِنِّي نُهِيتُ أَنْ أَعْبُدَ الَّذِينَ تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ قُل لاَّ أَتَّبِعُ أَهْوَاءكُمْ قَدْ ضَلَلْتُ إِذًا وَمَا أَنَاْ مِنَ الْمُهْتَدِينَ
56. "Say: ' I am forbidden to worship those whom you call besides Allah Say: 'I do not follow your low desires, for then indeed I should have gone astray and I will not be of the (rightly) guided."
The undue desires, from anybody they are issued, should be explicitly responded with a negative answer.
The sources of the Prophet’s (S) determinations are Divine revelation.
Acquaintance from infidelity is a part of Islam. Polytheistic belief is the root of sensual desires.
Thus, a preacher of the Faith ought not follow to quench the people's desires, but he should act for the sake and pleasure of Allah. The verse says:
قُلْ إِنِّي عَلَى بَيِّنَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّي وَكَذَّبْتُم بِهِ مَا عِندِي مَا تَسْتَعْجِلُونَ بِهِ إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلاَّ لِلّهِ يَقُصُّ الْحَقَّ وَهُوَ خَيْرُ الْفَاصِلِينَ
57. "Say: "Verily I am (relying) to clear proof from my Lord, while you belied it; I have not with me that (chastisement) which you hasten, for the Judgment is only Allah’s ; Who declares the truth and He is the best of deciders '."
The Arabic term /bayyinah/ (clear proof), mentioned in the verse, is derived from /baynunah/ (separation). It is so called for the reason that it clearly and completely separates between right and wrong.
Pagans said that if it was true, why the divine chastisement was not sent down upon them. This expression is a similar meaning to the content of another verse where they said if He was right, He should send down stones upon them. Here is the verse:
The proofs and miracles of prophets had neither heaviness nor ambiguity. Everybody could understand them, and, if those people were not stubborn they would heartily accept them. That was why the divine prophets used to introduce themselves as messengers of Allah with some proofs.
Seeking for chastisement and hastening for the punishment of Allah were found in other communities, too. The peoples of Salih, Hud, and Noah also said that if the prophet of their time was true, he would bring the promised punishment upon them. They said
The invitation of prophets is done on proofs. It is not based on imagination and blindly imitation.
Prophets should have proofs from the origin of Allah. They might not work according to what people demand every day.
For what reason or which evidence it can be that pagans belie the proof of the Prophet (S) while they expect him to follow their low desires. Can this cause be anything save rudeness, stubbornness, and enmity?
A prophet is a divine messenger supported with logic and proofs, while the order of the world of existence is with Allah.
قُل لَّوْ أَنَّ عِندِي مَا تَسْتَعْجِلُونَ بِهِ لَقُضِيَ الأَمْرُ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكُمْ وَاللّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِالظَّالِمِينَ
58. "Say: 'If that which you hasten for were with me, certainly the matter would be decided between you and me, and Allah knows best the unjust."
Retributions are with Allah, but he respites the unjust as His Knowledge and Wisdom requires.
People's haste does not change Allah’s Wisdom. Yet, the respite in receiving Allah’s punishment should not cause that pagans think that their infidelity has been neglected.
Allah better knows the status of the transgressors and that in what thing there lies their interest; and that whether their punishment should be sent down now or later.
وَعِندَهُ مَفَاتِحُ الْغَيْبِ لاَ يَعْلَمُهَا إِلاَّ هُوَ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَمَا تَسْقُطُ مِن وَرَقَةٍ إِلاَّ يَعْلَمُهَا وَلاَ حَبَّةٍ فِي ظُلُمَاتِ الأَرْضِ وَلاَ رَطْبٍ وَلاَ يَابِسٍ إِلاَّ فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ
59. "And with Him are the keys of the Unseen. None but He knows them. And He knows whatever is in the land and the sea; and no leaf (of a tree) drops down but He knows it, nor is there a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything wet or dry but it is (noted) in a clear Book."
In the former verses, the words were about Allah’s Knowledge, Power, and the expansion of the circle of His commandment. From this verse on, the meaning stated in those verses concisely has been mentioned with some explanation. At first, the subject of Allah’s knowledge is pointed out.
The verse say's
Then, for a more emphasis and explanation, it adds:
The Arabic term /barr/ means 'a vast place', which is usually used for a (dry) land. The term /bahr/ originally also means 'a vast place' where a plenty of water is found. It is often applied for the seas and, sometimes, for the great streams.
However, Allah’s knowledge upon whatever exists in the lands and the seas is something which hints to Allah’s omniscience, and that His knowledge encompasses all things.
That is, He knows the movements of millions of million living creatures, small and big, in the depths of the seas. He knows the true number of the cells of every human being as well as his blood cells.
He knows the mystic circulations of all electrons inside atoms. And, finally, He knows all thoughts and contemplations pass through different parts and levels of our minds and those which penetrate into the depths of our soul.
Yes, He knows equally all of these things! Again, in the second phrase, in order to emphasize on Allah’s Omniscience, it has particularly pointed to this aspect, and says:
In fact, it has taken two sensitive subjects with which no human being can be thoroughly acquainted even if he lives millions of years and that the technical sets be surprisingly completed.
Who knows that, in each day, which seeds the winds separate from the plants throughout the earth, and on which spots of the ground they scatter them? Which electronic mind can count exactly the number of the leaves that separate from the branches of trees of the forests only during a day?
A glance upon the trees of a forest, especially in fall, when the leaves drop ceaselessly and make up beautiful scenery, proves this fact well that such sciences will never be within the reach of human beings.
The fall of the leaves of trees, in fact, is the moment of their death, and the fall of seeds into the concealed holes of the land is the first step of their lives. It is only He Who is aware of the system of death and life.
The statement of this subject has two effects: a philosophical effect and a training effect. Its philosophical effect is that it nullifies the imagination of those who restrict Allah’s knowledge to general principles and believe that He is not aware of the details of this world. It clearly specifies that Allah is aware of both all general principles and the details.
Its training effect is also clear, because having belief in the vast knowledge of Allah, that He is Omniscience, tells us that the whole secrets of our entity, our deeds and speeches, our intentions and our thoughts are utterly clear for His Pure Essence.
With such a belief, how is it possible that a person be careless of his own condition and does not control his own deeds, speeches, and intentions?
So, at the end of the verse, it says:
وَهُوَ الَّذِي يَتَوَفَّاكُم بِاللَّيْلِ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا جَرَحْتُم بِالنَّهَارِ ثُمَّ يَبْعَثُكُمْ فِيهِ لِيُقْضَى أَجَلٌ مُّسَمًّى ثُمَّ إِلَيْهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ ثُمَّ يُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ
60. "And He it is Who takes your souls at night (in sleep), and He knows what you commit in the day, then He raises you up therein that an appointed term may be accomplished, then unto Him is your return, then He will inform you of what you were doing."
By night, Allah takes activity out of your soul the same as He takes it by death.
He is also aware of what you do during the day.
During the night you sleep, and during the day you perform some activities. Then, Allah will raise you up from your graves so that He reckons you for what you spend your lives upon.
It is so until the appointed time comes forth, when Allah has assigned for raising the dead from their graves and giving them the fruit of their deeds. This is the Hereafter.
Thus, your return is unto Him. That is, you will attend where you will be reckoned.
On that Day, the Lord will inform you of the deeds you used to accomplish in the world, day and night.
Some commentators have rendered this part of the verse into the sense that He awakens you from sleep during the day in order that you gain sufficient interest from your life. In this verse, Allah has resembled awakening people from sleep to raising them up. The verse says:
وَهُوَ الْقَاهِرُ فَوْقَ عِبَادِهِ وَيُرْسِلُ عَلَيْكُم حَفَظَةً حَتَّىَ إِذَا جَاء أَحَدَكُمُ الْمَوْتُ تَوَفَّتْهُ رُسُلُنَا وَهُمْ لاَ يُفَرِّطُونَ
61. "And He is the Omnipotent over His servants, and He sends guardians (to watch) over you until when death comes to one of you, Our messengers take his soul and they never neglect."
Again, in this verse, in order to emphasize on Allah’s scientific conversance with the deeds of the servants and that He keeps their account minutely to be dealt with on the Resurrection Day, it says:
Then the Qur'an goes on stating that keeping this account continues until the ending moments of life, when death approaches you. At this time, the messengers of Allah (the angels), who are missioner to take the souls, take the mortal away.
And, at the end of the verse, it adds that these angels never neglect their duty and no shortcoming nor any defect they perform. They take the soul of a person neither a moment sooner nor a moment later. The holy verse says:
ثُمَّ رُدُّواْ إِلَى اللّهِ مَوْلاَهُمُ الْحَقِّ أَلاَ لَهُ الْحُكْمُ وَهُوَ أَسْرَعُ الْحَاسِبِينَ
62. "Then they are returned unto Allah, their Maula (Master), the Real One. Beware! His (alone) is the Judgment (on that Day), and He is the swiftest of reckoners."
After that (death), people are taken toward the divine Judgment and Allah’s reward. The Lord is their owner, their master and the guardian of their affairs. He (S.w.T.) is the Judge, Who does not judge but in truth.
On That Day, the command is only His command, not that of other than His.
Allah will reckon all humankind in a short time and neither of the accounts hinders Him to reckon those of others.
Imam Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali (as) once was asked when Allah is not seen, then how He reckons people. He (as) answered them:
"In the same way that He gives them sustenance and they do not see Him."1
This very subject is evidence to the fact that reckoning one person does not detain Him from reckoning others. ,
Again, it is an evidence to prove that He communicates without, talking a word, otherwise it is impossible that all people be reckoned at the same time.
However, the return of all is unto Him, and He is the only Judge in the Hereafter.
And the real master is the One in Whose authority is creation, guardianship, sleep and wakefulness, death and raising up, judgment and reckoning, and He is the Lord.
The verse says
By the way, the fright from Hereafter is the fear from our own offences and Allah is both the guardian, the rightful, and the bestower of mercy and virtue.
Concerning reckoning 'and judgment on that Day, there is a tradition from the Prophet (S) who has said:
"The more a person tortures people in this world, the heavier than everybody's chastisement his punishment will be on the Day Judgment." 2
قُلْ مَن يُنَجِّيكُم مِّن ظُلُمَاتِ الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ تَدْعُونَهُ تَضَرُّعاً وَخُفْيَةً لَّئِنْ أَنجَانَا مِنْ هَـذِهِ لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الشَّاكِرِينَ
قُلِ اللّهُ يُنَجِّيكُم مِّنْهَا وَمِن كُلِّ كَرْبٍ ثُمَّ أَنتُمْ تُشْرِكُونَ
63. "Say: 'Who delivers you from the darkness of the land and the sea? You call upon Him humbly and secretly, (saying): If He delivers us from this (darkness), certainly we shall be of the grateful ones'."
64. "Say: Allah delivers you from them and from every affliction, then again you assign (Him) associates'."
Once more the Qur'an takes the hand of pagans and leads them into inside their innate disposition, and in that mysterious place it shows them the light of Unity and monotheism.
So, it commands the Prophet (S) to question them who delivers them from the darkness of the land and the sea. The verse says:
"Say: ' Who delivers you from the darkness of the land and the sea?...."
Darkness has sometimes a substantial aspect and sometimes a spiritual aspect. The substantial aspect of darkness is when the light ceases utterly, or it becomes so weak that one cannot see anywhere or he sees with difficulty.
The spiritual aspect of darkness is the same hardships, entanglements, disturbances and pollutions whose end is both dark and ambiguous.
If this darkness combines with some terrible incidents and, for example, in a voyage by night, a person be surrounded with some awful waves in a whirlpool, its horror is of a higher degree than that of difficulties that come forth in daytime.
It is in these moments that one delivers everything to forgetfulness and does not care of anything except himself and the light, which glitters the depth of his soul, invites him to a source wherein only He can solve such problems.
These kinds of cases, which happen for everybody, are some windows to Unity and monotheism.
That is why, in the next phrase of the verses, the Qur'an says that it is in this status that:
And, it is in this condition that immediately you make covenant with that great source, promising that if He delivers you from danger you will certainly be grateful of His blesses and rely on none but Him.
Then, The Qur'an commands the Prophet (S) to tell them that Allah will deliver them from these darkness and from any other sorrow, as He has delivered them frequently), but, after deliverance, they pave again the path of polytheism and paganism.
The verse says:
قُلْ هُوَ الْقَادِرُ عَلَى أَن يَبْعَثَ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابًا مِّن فَوْقِكُمْ أَوْ مِن تَحْتِ أَرْجُلِكُمْ أَوْ يَلْبِسَكُمْ شِيَعاً وَيُذِيقَ بَعْضَكُم بَأْسَ بَعْضٍ انظُرْ كَيْفَ نُصَرِّفُ الآيَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَفْقَهُونَ
وَ كَذَّبَ بِهِ قَوْمُكَ وَ هُوَ الْحَقُّ قُلْ لَسْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ بِوَكِيلٍ
65. "Say: 'He is able to send forth upon you a chastisement, from above you or from beneath your feet, or to confuse you of different parties, and to make you taste the violence of (fighting) one another.' See how We repeat the Signs that they may understand."
66. "And your people have belied it (the Qur'an) though it is the truth. Say: 'I am not a guard upon you '."
In order to state the different ways of training, this verse has laid emphasis on the subject of threatening to the divine punishment. Clearly speaking, as Allah is the most Merciful of all merciful ones, and the protector of those who are without support, He is also the Supreme and the Avenger against tyrants and rebellious ones.
In this verse, the Prophet (S) has been ordered to threaten the sinners with three sorts of punishment. The chastisements which come from above and from beneath, the chastisement of dispute and the chastisement of fight and blood shedding.
Thus, it commands the Prophet (S) to say that Allah is able to send retributions from above them, like the punishment upon the people of L'ut, stones over the People of the Elephant, Flood of Noah, the Cry upon the People of Tham'ud, and the Wind against the People of 'Ad. And, today, there are some other retribution like atomic bombs, chemical bombs, and far-range-striking-rockets of various kinds.
And, from the downwards, there are earthquake, splitting or depressing the land, the Pharaoh being drowned, Korah (Croesus) sank into the ground, cholera, plague, famine, hunger, which are brought for you.
Or, that He makes you scattered in some separate groups to dispute with each other, and that you taste the bitterness of fighting one another. It says:
The phenomenon of dispute and contradiction in speech among a society is so dangerous that it has been counted in the row of heavenly punishments, thunders, and earthquakes. Yes, it is truly so. Moreover, sometimes the destructions which are resulted from disperse and dispute are heavier than those resulted from thunders and earthquakes.
It has repeatedly happened that some developed countries have completely been ruined under the inauspicious shade of hypocrisy and disunity. This phrase is counted a warning unto the whole Muslims in the world.
Then, at the end of the verse, in order that they may realize the Truth and return to it, it is added
The second verse of the verses mentioned above, as well as its following verse, are, in fact, to complete the discussion stated in the former verses abut the invitation to Monotheism, Resurrection, and the facts upon Islam and being afraid of the Divine punishment.
At first, addressing the Prophet (S), it indicates that his people, viz. Quraysh and the pagans of Mecca, belied his teachings while all of these teachings are right and godly, so that different evidences, accepted through intellect and innate disposition confirm them. The holy verse says:
Therefore, their rejection and denial does not decrease anything from the importance of these facts, although the number of opponents and deniers may be large.
Then, the verse continues the statement implying that it is the duty of the Prophet (S) to communicate the prophecy and he is not responsible that they accept it.
The objective meaning of the Arabic term / wakil/ is 'a person who is responsible to lead an action and who is liable due to others." 3
لِّكُلِّ نَبَإٍ مُّسْتَقَرٌّ وَسَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ
67. "For every announcement there is a term and you will come to know soon."
In this verse, through a short but expressive phrase, the Qur'an warns people and invites them to choose the right path. It announces that whatever news that Allah or the Prophet (S) informs people, there is finally a term for it, and it will be accomplished in its appointed time, which they will know soon. The verse says:
By giving people the proper news, Allah and the Messenger of Allah (S) introduce the right path to them. Therefore, Imam Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali (as) in a tradition says:
"He who has an intelligent mind looks to his goal. He knows his low road as well as his high road. The caller (of the right, i.e., the Prophet (S)) has called, and the leader (of Ummah, i.e., Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali (as)) has tended (his leadership). So, respond to the caller (of the right) and follow (your) leader."4
وَإِذَا رَأَيْتَ الَّذِينَ يَخُوضُونَ فِي آيَاتِنَا فَأَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ حَتَّى يَخُوضُواْ فِي حَدِيثٍ غَيْرِهِ وَإِمَّا يُنسِيَنَّكَ الشَّيْطَانُ فَلاَ تَقْعُدْ بَعْدَ الذِّكْرَى مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ
68. "And when you see those who cavil about Our Signs, turn away from them until they enter into (some) other topic. And if Satan causes you to forget, then, after recollection, do not sit with the unjust people."
It has been narrated by Imam Baqir (as) who said:
“When this verse was revealed and Muslims were prohibited from associating with the pagans and those who mocked the verses of the Qur'an, (a group of) Muslims said that if they wanted to treat according to that commandment everywhere, they had to neither enter the Sacred Mosque, nor circumambulate the Ka'bah, because those people were often about inside the Sacred Mosque busy mocking the Divine verses which they heard easily by a short pause. Then the next verse was revealed and ordered Muslims to advise them and guide them as much as they could.”5
However, since the statements of this Surah are mostly about the circumstances of pagans and idol-worshippers, both in the current verse and in the verse next to it, the Qur'an hints to the affairs concerning them.
At first, it tells the Prophet (S) that when he sees the arrogant, illogical opponents are mocking the signs of Allah, he should turn away from them so that they give up the subject and be busy with another topic.
Then the Qur'an adds that this matter is so important that if Satan causes you to forget and you sit with such persons unintentionally, as soon as you remember it, you should leave that meeting and do not sit with these unjust people. The verse says:
There arises a question here: Is it possible that Satan dominates the Prophet (S) and causes him to forget his duty?
In answer to this question, it can be said that although the addressee in this verse is the Prophet (S), the main purpose, in fact, is the followers of the Prophet (S). It means that if they are entangled with forgetfulness and they take part in pagans' sinful meetings, they should come out of that meeting and leave the place as soon as they remember it.
The like of this status happens in our daily conversations and in the literature of different languages, that, in speech, one person is addressed but the aim is that others hear that statement.
وَمَا عَلَى الَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ مِنْ حِسَابِهِم مِّن شَيْءٍ وَلَـكِن ذِكْرَى لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ
69. "And nothing of the reckoning of their (deed) shall be upon those who keep from evil, but a reminding (must be given) so that they, too, may keep from evil."
When the verse of prohibition upon the vain speakers and mockers of the Divine revelations was revealed, some believers said that they should not go to the Sacred Mosque and would not circumambulate the Ka'bah, since the range of their mockery had stretched as far as there.
Participation in the meeting of sinners is allowed if it is with the intention of refraining them from wrong and guiding them to the right. Of course, this exception is only for those believers who are pious and firm in belief, since there are some Muslims who go to save others but they themselves drown.
Thinking and realizing the situation, in fact, is one of the principles of intellect and of Islam. Hearing the absurd sayings temporarily with the purpose of answering them or saving the deviated people permanently is allowed.
Piety is a means of protection for man against committing sins. It is like saving-clothes for fire-extinguishers.
Besides being pious himself, such a person must try to make others virtuous, too.
By the way, there are abundant traditions narrated by the Prophet (S) and the Immaculate Imams (as) which prohibit Muslims from companionship with sinners or participation in a gathering where faults or a single fault is being committed and they cannot bar it even if the people of the gathering are from relatives.
Imam Arnir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali (as) recommended his son:
"Allah has prescribed for the ear not to listen to any sin and any backbite."6
Imam Ali (as) also said:
"Association with the wicked causes suspicion upon the righteous."7
This verse may be attached as an evidence for the prohibition of some wicked books, too.
وَذَرِ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُواْ دِينَهُمْ لَعِبًا وَلَهْوًا وَغَرَّتْهُمُ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا وَذَكِّرْ بِهِ أَن تُبْسَلَ نَفْسٌ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ لَيْسَ لَهَا مِن دُونِ اللّهِ وَلِيٌّ وَلاَ شَفِيعٌ وَإِن تَعْدِلْ كُلَّ عَدْلٍ لاَّ يُؤْخَذْ مِنْهَا أُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ أُبْسِلُواْ بِمَا كَسَبُواْ لَهُمْ شَرَابٌ مِّنْ حَمِيمٍ وَعَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَكْفُرُونَ
70. "And leave those who have taken their religion for a play and pastime, and whom the life of this world has deluded, and admonish (them) by it (the Qur'an) lest a soul be destroyed for what it has earned. It shall not have besides Allah any guardian nor any intercessor, and though it offers every compensation it will not be accepted from it. Those are they who are given up to destruction for what they have earned. They will have a drink of boiling water and a painful chastisement for what they used to disbelieve."
The purpose of the phrase 'leave those who ...' is 'hating them, and not having any communication with them', which sometimes ends with fighting against them. Thus, the phrase does not mean abandoning Holy Struggle against them.
The manner of taking religion for a play has different forms in different circumstances. Sometimes it is in the form of superstitious beliefs, or religious laws are considered impracticable, or sins are justified, or innovations interpretation of the Qur'an by personal opinion, and following the allegorical verses, come forth.
However, Faith has no consistency with laziness, flattery, and playing with ideology.
Admonishment is a means to being saved from the wrath and punishment of Allah
Be not proud of the world since there will come to help you none, in the Hereafter, except Allah,
Everybody should know that the cause of all his misfortunes is his self and is own deeds.
Therefore, the holy verse, pointing to a part of their painful chastisements, says:
They will be burnt from inside by boiling water and from outside by Hell Fire.
- 1. Majma'-ul-Bayan, Vol. 3, P. 313 (Arabic version)
- 2. Nahaj-ul-Fisahah, p. 59, and Kanzul-'Ummal, vol. 3, p. 500
- 3. There are some other phrases mentioned in the Qur'an which convey the same meaning, including: Surah Al-'An'am, No.6, Verse 107 ; Surah Yunus, No.10, Verse 41; Surah Az-Zumar, No. 39, Verse 41 and Surah Ash-Shaura, No.42, Verse 6.
- 4. Nahaj-ul-Balagha, sermon 154
- 5. Majma'-ul-Bayan, Vol. 3, p, 316.
- 6. Nahjul-Balagha
- 7. Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, Vol. 1, P. 728