وَقَالَ الشَّيْطَانُ لَمَّا قُضِيَ الأَمْرُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَعَدَكُمْ وَعْدَ الْحَقِّ وَوَعَدتُّكُمْ فَاَخْلَفْتُكُمْ وَمَا كَانَ لِيَ عَلَيْكُم مِن سُلْطَانٍ إِلآَّ أَن دَعَوْتُكُمْ فَاسْتَجَبْتُمْ لِي فَلاَ تَلُومُونِي وَلُومُوا أَنفُسَكُم مَّآ أَنَاْ بِمُصْرِخِكُمْ وَمَآ أَنتُم بِمُصْرِخِيَّ إِنّـِي كَفَرْتُ بِمَآ أَشْرَكْتُمُونِ مِن قَبْلُ إِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
22. “And Satan says, when the affair is decided: ‘Verily Allah promised you the promise of truth; I also promised you but I failed to keep them to you, and I did not have any authority over you except that I called you and you responded me. Therefore, do not blame me, but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me. Verily I disbelieved in your associating me with Allah from before. Verily the unjust, for them shall be a painful chastisement’.”
In the Hereafter, sinners seek to get others involved in their sins and they try to find fellow-conspirators so as to put the whole blame on them for the wrong they have committed. Sometimes the sinner will say: “Friends seduced me!”
At other times he says: “Corrupt leaders made me corrupt”. Some other times, he blames the Satan and regards him as the cause of his own seduction.
But, the Satan answers:
Do not put the blame on me, I did not have any role to play except wavering your opinion and calling you to it. It was you who decided to deviate and to become deviant.
The verse says:
“And Satan says, when the affair is decided: ‘Verily Allah promised you the promise of truth; I also promised you but I failed to keep them to you, and I did not have any authority over you except that I called you and you responded me…”
The fact that the Satan has no domination over man, not only is verified by Allah but also the Satan himself confesses it.
Addressing Satan, Allah says:
“Verily (as regards) My (devoted) servants, there is not for you over them any authority…”1
and in this verse, Satan says:
“…and I did not have any authority over you…”
However, in the continuation of the above verse, the Holy Qur’an says:
“…Therefore, do not blame me, but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me. Verily I disbelieved in your associating me with Allah from before. Verily the unjust, for them shall be a painful chastisement’.”
Anyway, the Divine promises are all true and they are identical with the reality.
وَاُدْخِلَ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِها الاَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبّـِهِمْ تَحِيَّتُهُمْ فِيهَا سَلاَمٌ
23. “And those who believed and did righteous deeds will be admitted to Gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein shall they abide for ever by their Lord’s permission; their greetings therein is: ‘Peace!’.”
In the day of resurrection, the people of Paradise will hear the word ‘Peace’ from every direction. ‘Peace’ from Allah to those whose residence is Paradise.
“Peace: a word from a Merciful Lord.”2
Peace from the part of the angels to the faithful:
“…Peace be on you, you shall be happy; therefore enter it to abide.”3
‘Peace’ from the residents of Paradise to one another:
“…their greetings therein is: ‘Peace’.”4
Sometime one goes somewhere by his own will, and at other times, it happens that others come along and take him to a place with some respect and particular ceremonies.
Allah, the Almighty, remarks in this noble verse: /wa ’udxila/, that is, those who are dwelling in Paradise do not enter the Paradise in a simple and usual manner. On the contrary, they will be admitted to Paradise with particular respect and ceremonial gestures.
The verse says:
“And those who believed and did righteous deeds will be admitted to Gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein shall they abide forever by their Lord’s permission; their greetings therein is: ‘Peace!’.”
In the noble verse 73 of the blissful Surah Az-Zumar, No. 39, the Qur’an He also declares:
“And those who are in awe of their Lord shall be conveyed to the Garden in companies until when they come to it, and its doors shall be opened, and the keepers of it shall say to them: ‘Peace be on you, you shall be happy; therefore enter it to abide’.”
As for those who are residents of Hell, we read that they direct them towards the chastisement while they are being tortured:
“Lay hold on him, then put a chain on him.”5
There are various streams running in Paradise:
A- Streams of water
“...In it are rivers of water incorruptible…”6
B- Streams of milk
“…rivers of milk of which the taste never changes…”7
C- Streams of wines with the nature of Paradise:
“…rivers of wine, a joy for the drinkers…”8
D- Streams of honey:
“…a river of honey, pure and clear…” 9
The dwellers of Hell resent and detest one another and curse each other, while the dwellers of Paradise greet one another and will remain constantly in the Paradise. Those paradise-dwellers are sincere and cordial with one another and they always say ‘Peace’ to each other. They are never involved in quarrelling nor in estrangement and ill terms.
أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلاً كَلِمَةً طَيّـِبَةً كَشَجَرَةٍ طَيّـِبَةٍ أَصْلُهَا ثَابِتٌ وَفَرْعُهَا فِي السَّمَآءِ
24. “Have you not seen how Allah sets forth a parable? A good word is like a good tree, the roots of which are fixed and its branches are in heaven,”
A good tree and a tidy noble one has got several ensuing outcomes like: growing, bearing fruits abundantly, casting shadows and sustaining itself, and bearing fruits under all kinds of circumstances.
A monotheistic person is never stagnant and the signs of his faith constantly reveal themselves in his speech and his acts. His faith is continuous and not seasonal, and he always calls others to the faith, persuading them to act according what is allowed.
The verse says:
“Have you not seen how Allah sets forth a parable? A good word is like a good tree…”
In some Islamic quotations and in the commentaries of the Qur’an, several things as the examples of the Qur’anic term /tayyibah/ are referred to. Monotheism, faith, correct and sound ideas, heavenly leaders and their companions are among them. Of course, monotheism is a constantly- fixed principle which is inherently embedded in human nature.
“…the roots of which are fixed…”
It affects all the deeds and words as well as the thinking of man.
One can enjoy the fruits of faith at any time, anywhere, and in all of one’s ups and downs.
The verse says:
“…and its branches are in heaven,”
The tree of monotheism has got fixed roots. No threats, or conspiracies, no instigators and blame as well as the despots can uproot or eradicate it.
If we find that in quotations this tree has been rendered to the Prophet (S) and his Ahl-ul-Bayt (as), it is because of this very reason that the religion of Muhammad (S) and the path of his household widens ever more as against the background of all those enemies, and it will globalize one day.
Mul a ‘Abd-ur-Rahman-ibn-‘Ūf has been quoted as saying: take from me the correct traditions of the Prophet (S) before they are distorted and mixed with lies. I heard the Messenger of Allah (S) who said:
‘I am the tree (of prophecy) (Tūb a) and Fatimah is its trunk, Ali is its seed, Hassan and Hussayn are its fruits. The Shi‘ites of us (our followers) are its leaves. The grass root of this tree is in the Garden of Eden, and the rest of it is in other Gardens (of Paradise).’ 11
The Prophet (S) said:
“People are from different (roots of) a tree, and Ali and I are from (the roots of) a single tree.” 12
The blissful Prophet (S) remarked:
“My Ahl-ul-Bayt and I are a tree in Paradise, the branches of which are in the world and whoever attached to us (took the tree by the branch), has taken a way unto his Lord.” 13
تُؤْتِي اُكُلَهَا كُلَّ حِينٍ بإِذْنِ رَبّـِهَا وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ
25. “(The good tree) yields its fruits at all times by the permission of its Lord, and Allah sets forth parables for the people that they may reflect.”
The tree of faith always bears good fruits and there are no seasons for the faithful as autumn and winter.
The verse says:
“(The good tree) yields its fruits at all times by the permission of its Lord…”
The use of allegories, similes and parables are methods of the Holy Qur’an for calling the attention of the people and of reminding them.
The verse continues saying:
“…and Allah sets forth parables for the people that they may reflect.”
Therefore, all is mortal except Allah and the faith in Him. And whatever is mortal cannot bear fruits forever. However, whatever is godly by nature is eternal.14 Of course, the colour of Allah is constant and other colours will vanish.
“…and who can give a better hue than Allah?…”15
The tree of faith always bears fruits and a believer is under all circumstances remembering Allah (s.w.t.) and is seeking to perform his duties, whether be it in welfare or in hardship, in happiness or in disaster, in poverty or in wealth, and in time of the threat of the oppressors he will resist until the end.
At the time of propagating religion, he does not expect any returns from others. When he is adamant, he will control himself for gaining Allah’s consent.16 At the time of marriage, he trusts in Him.17
At the time of worship and obedience, he has intention with divine motive.18At the time of poverty, he does not go to the rich and is not of the flattering lot.19In time of conquest or defeat, he is happy throughout his campaign for he is busy performing his duties.20
Of course, faith in Allah, the Almighty, is like a tree the fruits of which satisfies man both in the world, and in the intermediate world, and in the Hereafter.
However, man’s property and position and his children as well as other blessings of this life are like a tree which bears fruits only for a few days and in a limited way, if such property, position, etc. might even bear no fruits at all, and, therefore, they become merely his own source of spiritual torture.
Surah Al-Taubah, No. 9, verse 55 says:
“So let not their possessions and their issues astonish you; verily Allah only desires thereby to chastise them in the life of (this) world…”
وَمَثَلُ كَلِمَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ كَشَجَرَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ اجْتُثَّتْ مِن فَوْقِ الأَرْضِ مَالَهَا مِن قَرَارٍ
26. “And the parable of an evil word is like an evil tree rooted upon the surface of the earth; it has naught of stability.”
The Arabic word /’ijti a/ mostly signifies uprooting and eradication. The words, ideas and deviant individuals have neither got any roots, nor do they possess any fruits, flowers, beauty, perfume, perseverance, shade, and development. On the contrary, they are just thorns in the eyes of others.
At any rate, as comparative studies present one of the best ways for understanding problems, the opposite of the ‘good tree’, pops up in ones mind soon and is discussed as: ‘the word evil and unclean’ is like the evil and unclean tree which is without any roots which is up-rooted from the earth and which is thrown to one side when standing in the stormy weather and has got no stability.
It is interesting to note that the Qur’an speaks in detail about ‘the good tree’ while, when talking about ‘the evil tree’, it describes it in one short sentence and passes by it.
The verse says:
“And the parable of an evil word is like an evil tree rooted upon the surface of the earth; it has naught of stability.”
This method presents a delicate way of expression which encourages man to describe all qualification of the person once he is talking about the beloved one, whereas, when talking about the detested individual, he discusses it in a very concise manner.
Imam Baqir (as) is quoted as saying that the objective in mind with regard to /šajaratin xabiah/ (the evil tree) is the Umayyads. 21
يُثَبّـِتُ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا بِالْقَوْلِ الثَّابِتِ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الأَخِرَةِ وَيُضِلُّ اللَّهُ الظَّالِمِينَ وَيَفْعَلُ اللَّهُ مَا يَشَآءُ
27. “Allah confirms those who believe by a firm saying in the life of the world and in the Hereafter, and Allah leaves the unjust to stray; and Allah does what He pleases.”
That is, Allah provides stability for the believers, in this worldly life, because of their belief in the word monotheism and its sanctuary, so that they do not deviate and be misled from the path of the truth, making them staunch proponents lest they shall deviate from the right path in their worldly affairs which will also result in Hereafter.
Some commentators suggest: It means that Allah provides them with a living and settlement on earth, and He assists them to overcome their enemies and will place them in the Paradise in the Hereafter.
Ibn-i-‘Abb as and Ibn-i-Mass‘ūd and the majority of the commentators are of the belief that: This verse has been revealed to the question asked in the grave and the objective in mind is the grave once talking about the hereafter. That is, concerning the question of the grave, He fixes them over the issue of faith. Our dear Immaculate Imams have also been quoted as such.
Therefore, we read in various Islamic quotations that Allah keeps the believer stable on the line of faith once entering the grave at the time when angels ask questions regarding his identity.
This is the meaning of:
“Allah confirms those who believe by a firm saying in the life of the world and in the Hereafter…”
In some of these quotations, we have it explicitly stated the word /qabr/ (grave), while in some other quotations we read that the Satan calls on the faithful at the time of death and tries to seduce him from every direction and any side by his temptations. However, Allah does not permit him to mislead the faithful and this is the meaning of the abovementioned Qur’anic sentence.
Most of the commentators have accepted this commentary according to the quotation of the great commentator, Tabarsi, in Majma‘-ul-Bayan. Perhaps, their reason is that the hereafter is no place for erroneous behaviour, nor is it a place for practice, but it is only a place for attaining the results.
However, at the time of the arrival of death, and even in the state of purgatory, which is the world that exists between this world and the Hereafter, there is the possibility of deviation more or less. It is in this circumstance that Allah’s favour comes to the assistance of man in order to protect him and make him straightforward.
Anyway, in two explanatory examples in the previous verses, the state of ‘faith’ ‘disbelief’ ‘a believer’, ‘a disbeliever’ and, in general, the state of every ‘clean’ and ‘untidy’ were visualized. In this verse, the consequence of the job and the ultimate destiny of man are referred to.
First, it implies that Allah straightens and strengthens those who are believers, for their belief, their words and their ideas.
He confirms them and protects them in this world, in the purgatory where there is a possibility of deviation, and in the Hereafter, for their belief has not been a superficial one and a shaky one, and their personality has not been a hypocritical and a versatile one.
They will remain constant in their confrontation with difficulties and whims, and they will be kept clean of all scandalous flaws of character in here. Allah’s endless blessings will be bestowed on them in the eternal life there.
Then, dealing with the opposite point, it says:
“…and Allah leaves the unjust to stray; and Allah does what He pleases.”
We have repeatedly asserted that wherever, in the Qur’an, there is the question of leading and misleading and it is attributed to Allah, its first steps have been taken by man himself.
Allah’s job is that very impact that has been created in every act, and also Allah’s job is bestowal of blessings or withdrawal of blessings that are designated by Him as a consequence of a person’s suitability or his lack of worth.
- 1. Surah Al-Hijr, No. 15, verse 42
- 2. Surah Yasin, No. 36, verse 58
- 3. Surah Az-Zumar, No. 39, verse 73
- 4. The verse under discussion
- 5. Surah Alhaqah, No. 69, verse 30
- 6. Surah Muhammad, No. 47, verse 15
- 7. Ibid
- 8. Ibid
- 9. Ibid
- 10. Fad a’il-ul-Khamsah, vol. 1 p. 172 from the Mustadrak-us-Sahihaynn, vol. p. 760
- 11. Fada’il-ul-Khamsah, vol. 1, p. 172 take from Mustadrak-us-Sahihayn, vol. 3, p. 160
- 12. Fad a’il-ul-Khamsah, vol. 1, p. 172, taken from Kanz-ul-Hagh a’igh, p. 155
- 13. Fad a’il-ul-Khamsah, vol. 1, p. 172, taken from Thakh a’ir-ul-‘Uqb a, p. 16
- 14. Surah An-Nahl, No. 16, verse 96
- 15. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 138
- 16. Surah ’ Al-i-‘Imr an, No. 3, verse 134
- 17. Surah An-Nūr, No. 24, verse 32
- 18. Surah Al-’An‘ am, No. 6, verse 162
- 19. Surah Al-Qasas, No. 28, verse 24
- 20. Surah Al-Taubah, No. 9, verse 52
- 21. Tafsir Majma‘-ul-Bayan