35. Glad Tidings And Moderateness At Time Of Death
There are some traditional reports that prove the above. For example there is a tradition in the Tafseer of Imam Hasan Askari (as) that:
“When a believer who is a follower of Muhammad and his progeny and after him he considers Ali as his Imam and follows him, considers him as his master, testifies his words, considers his actions correct, obeys him and those whom he has ordered to obey in the religious matters and in politics, when death approaches this believer in such a way that it cannot be delayed and stopped as it is the final decree of Allah, and the angel of death and his companions come to him, they see Muhammad (S) on one side and Ali, the chief of the successors on the other at the head side of this believer.
And at his feet on one side stands Hasan, the grandson of the chief of the prophets and on the other side is Husain the chief of the martyrs. And surrounding him at the back would be their confidants and close personages of this Ummah and they will stand one after the other in order of their status behind their masters, Aale Muhammad.
Thus the ailing believer would look at them and address them thus in such a way that the Almighty Allah would veil his voice from the people present near him; in the same way they will also not be able to see us Ahle Bayt so that their belief in that earns them more rewards due to the severe hardship that befalls them.
The believer says: May my parents be sacrificed on you, O Messenger of Allah, the Lord of might, May my parents be sacrificed on you, O successor of the Prophet of mercy. May my parents be sacrificed on you, O you brave sons of Muhammad (S), his grandsons and his sons. O two chiefs of the youths of Paradise who are proximate to the mercy and pleasure of the Almighty Allah. And welcome to you, O best of the companions of Muhammad (S) and Ali and his sons. How eager was I to see you all and now I am overcome with the joy of seeing you. O Messenger of Allah, the angel of death is present at my bed-side and I have no doubt that I am great in his estimation due to your presence and due to the presence of your brother. Thus the Messenger of Allah (S) says: It is so.
Then the Messenger of Allah (S) would glance at the angel of death and say: “O angel of death, please take care to obey the request of the Almighty Allah regarding our followers, servants and devotees.” The angel of death says: “O Messenger of Allah, order him to look at what Allah has prepared for him in Paradise.” The Messenger of Allah (S) would tell him: “Look at the top.” So he will look at that which he had never imagined and which has no limits.
At that moment, the angel of death will say: “How should I not take gently one who is having such a reward and whose Muhammad and his progeny are visitors? O Messenger of Allah (S), if the Almighty Allah had not made death as a passage without passing through which none can enter Paradise, I would not have captured his soul. However your servant and friend would imitate you and the other prophets, messengers, saints of Allah who tasted death by the order of Allah.”
After that Muhammad (S) would say: “O angel of death, take our brother as we agree to you and accept our request for clemency regarding him.”
At that time, His Eminence and his companions would go up to the gardens of Paradise in such a manner that veils and curtains would be removed from the eyes of that ailing believer. Thus he would see them at their own places and see those who are surrounding his bed and then say: “O angel of death hurry up, take my soul and don’t leave me here as I cannot bear separation from Muhammad and his progeny. Make me join them.”
At that moment the angel of death would take his soul and like a strand of hair is pulled through flour, his soul will be taken out of his body. Though you see him in pain, there is no hardship for him, rather he is in comfort and enjoyment and when they keep him in the grave he would find our people there.
When Munkir and Nakeer come to interrogate him they would say to each other: “Muhammad, Ali, Hasan, Husain and their righteous companions are present near this man, we must pay respect to them.” After that they would come and salute Muhammad and Ali separately. Then they would salute Hasan and Husain together and then their companions.
After that they would say: “We know, O Messenger of Allah, that you visit your servant and follower and if it had not been so that the Almighty Allah wanted that his excellence should become clear to the angels who are present and those who would hear about it later, we would not have questioned him. But the command of Allah has to be carried out.”
At that time they would ask him: “Who is your Lord? What is your religion? Who is your Prophet? And who is your Imam? And what is your Qibla? And who are your brothers?” He would reply: “Allah is my Lord, and Muhammad (S) is my Prophet, and Ali is my Imam, the successor of Muhammad (S) is my Imam, and the Kaaba is my Qibla, and the believing followers of Muhammad and Ali and their progeny are my brothers, and their enemies and haters are not my brothers, and I testify that that except for the One God, I have no deity and Allah does not have a partner and I witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.
And that his brother, Ali is the Wali of Allah and they are his purified progeny, appointed for Imamate as the caliphs of the Ummah and the true guardians and those who rise up with justice.” Thus (Nakeer and Munkir say): “You lived with these beliefs and died on it and you shall be raised up with the same belief if Allah wills and whosoever has his Wilayat would be in a position of honor and the resting place of divine mercy…”
I say: The main points derived from this noble traditional report is that the believer would be able to get those honors and great bounties due to four factors: Mastership and following of the Prophet and the Holy Imams (as), service to them, love towards them and preferring them over others. As is understood from the statement of His Eminence:
“Do favor to our devotees and servants, friends and followers.”
There is no doubt that these three qualities are present in one who is praying for our master, the Master of the Time (aj) because Dua for His Eminence is a type of Tawalla, service, love for the Imams and also preferring them over other people in the Dua.
That which proves this matter is all that has come in the traditions regarding glad tidings to the believer mentioned in large numbers especially in Furu Kafi – in the chapter of companions of the believer and disbeliever at the time of death – and the third volume of Biharul Anwar etc. And we shall be content to relate just one tradition which is sufficient for the spiritualist; and those who like may refer to the books mentioned:
In Kafi it is narrated from Muhammad bin Yahya from Ibne Sinan1 from Ammar bin Marwan that he said:
A person who heard it from His Eminence, Abu Abdillah Sadiq (as) told me that: His Eminence said: “By Allah, He accepts from you and by Allah forgives you, between each of you and the place where believers express joy and happiness there no distance to it except when his soul reaches here – and he pointed to his neck…”
Then he said: “When this happens, he is in the throes of death, the Messenger of Allah (S), Ali (as), Jibraeel and the angel of death (as) are present near him. At that time Ali (as) comes near him and says: O Messenger of Allah, this man used to love us, Ahle Bayt, so please love him. And the Messenger of Allah (S) would say to Jibraeel: This man loved Allah, His Messenger and his family, so you also love him. And Jibraeel would say to the angel of death: This is one who loved Allah, His Messenger and his family, so you also love him and take him gently. Then the angel of death would come near him and say: O servant of Allah, have you freed you neck? Have you taken your release order? In the life of the world were you attached to the great infallibility? He said: Then the Almighty Allah allows him to say: Yes, He asks: Who is it? He replies: The Wilayat of Ali Ibne Abi Talib.
The angel of death says: You are right. Allah has secured you from that which terrifies you and you will get what you hope for. Glad tidings to you and your righteous elders of the company of the Messenger of Allah (S) and Ali (as) and Fatima (s.a.).
After that he takes his soul gently. And after that a shroud of Paradise and Hunoot of musk and amber is brought for him. He is shrouded and anointed with the Hunoot and dressed in a yellow dress of Paradise. And when they place him in the grave a door to Paradise is opened for him through which the gentle breeze of Paradise and its fragrances reach him.
After that to his front, back, right and left, the grave is widened to a distance of one month’s travel. Then he is told: Sleep comfortably like a bride. Glad tidings to you for the comforts and luxuries of Paradise and bounties and the Lord is not angry at you. At that time he would see Aale Muhammad in the Gardens of Satisfaction. Thus he would eat from their food and speak to them in their gatherings till the time our Qaim (aj) arises.
When our Qaim (aj) arises, the Almighty Allah would raise them up, and they would, chanting the slogans of Labbaik Labbaik, come to him in groups. At that time the followers of falsehood would be in doubt and those who trespass the divine sanctities will be scattered – as they will be few – the haste makers will be destroyed, and those who knew the reappearance to be near would be saved. It is from this aspect that the Messenger of Allah (S) told Ali (as): You are my brother and your and my promise will be in the valley of peace (Wadius Salaam)…2
The main point made clear from this traditional report has already been stated by us and we shall again mention it later. That Dua for His Eminence, Qaim (aj) and his early reappearance is a factor of increase in faith and its steadfastness till the time of death. Thus the cause is indirect for becoming eligible for this excellence. Moreover, this Dua itself is an attachment to the great infallibility – that is Wilayat of Ali Ibne Abi Talib (as) – thus it is the cause of reaching this position.
Also among the proofs of this matter is a tradition mentioned in Usool Kafi through authentic chain of narrators from Ibne Abi Umair from Hakam bin Miskeen from His Eminence, Abu Abdillah Sadiq (as) that he said: “For one who causes a happiness to a believer, the Almighty Allah creates a creature from that happiness that he sees at the time of his death and it tells him: Glad tidings to you, O friend of Allah, about His pleasure and mercy. It will remain with him till he enters the grave. Then it repeats those words and when he is raised from the grave again, it repeats those words. The believer asks it: Who are you, may Allah have mercy on you? It will reply: I am that happiness and joy that you gave to so-and-so person.”3
I say: The point proved from this is: Without any doubt our master, the Master of the Time (aj) and his venerable forefathers (as) become happy by thisDua. Thus this reward implies to them perfectly.