60. In the presence of the Angels
Angels are present in the gatherings where Dua is being recited for His Eminence, Qaim (aj). In the same way are all gatherings of Dua such that angels come there and help the supplicants in praying. That which proves this matter are some traditional reports, some of which are as follows: In the first volume of Biharul Anwar it is narrated from the Holy Prophet (S) that he said:
“If you pass by the gardens of Paradise you must stroll through them.” I asked: “O Messenger of Allah (S), what are gardens of Paradise?” He replied: “Circles of remembrance as the Almighty Allah has caravans of angels that are in pursuit of circles of remembrance. Thus when they reach it, they take to its perimeter.”1
I say: Some points can be derived from this tradition:
First: It is that the gatherings of remembrance are gardens of Paradise. And it is due to the reason of it being named, from the aspect that, sitting in those gatherings would cause entry to Paradise. Or that those gatherings are themselves gardens of Paradise. That is: Paradise implies the abode of proximity and the position of the righteous and good people. This possibility is supported by the words of His Eminence that:
“The Almighty Allah has caravans of angels that go around the circles of remembrance…”
In other words: Paradise is the site of arrival of blessings of the Almighty Allah and the location of His favors. Thus if a person is deserving, he will get honor in the world, in Barzakh, in Qiyamat and after that in Paradise also.
This is also supported by what is mentioned in the traditional report: “Grave is a garden of the gardens of Paradise or the pit from the pits of Hell” because, it is clear that the grave is situated on the earth while Paradise has been promised to be in the heavens – as mentioned in traditional reports – and it is possible that Paradise implies that same promised Paradise, and the comparison of circles of remembrance to Paradise is by way of metaphor and the level of similarity is as stated…and Allah knows best.
Second: Among the matters derived from the traditional report is that: It is a recommended act for believers to gather for divine remembrance and Dua, and this is supported by some traditions as follows:
In Usool Kafi through his own chain of narrators it is narrated from His Eminence, Abu Abdillah Sadiq (as) that he said:
“No three persons gather more than believers but that an equal number of angels are present there. Thus if they pray for good, they say Amen and if they seek Allah’s refuge from evil, the angels beg Allah to remove that mischief from them and if they invoke for their needs, they intercede for them in the divine court and supplicate for its fulfillment…”2
Also it is narrated from His Eminence that he said:
“At no time do four persons gather to pray to Allah for a single matter but that it is accepted before they disperse.”3
In the same way it is narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) that he said:
“Whenever something caused distress to my father, he used to gather the womenfolk and children, after that he used to supplicate and they said: Amen.”4
I say: The first traditional report – from these three traditions – is among the evidences that gatherings of Dua are locations where angels are present.
Third: Among the points concluded from the blessed tradition is that: Participating in a gathering of remembrance and Dua is recommended even though one may not perform those actions. That which proves this is a tradition mentioned in Biharul Anwar from Ghawali al-Layali that: Some Shaykhs have narrated through authentic channels from Imam Ali Reza (as) that he said:
“When the people of gatherings of remembrance and knowledge go to their houses, Allah, the Mighty and Sublime tells His angels: Write down the reward of what you have seen them do. So they write down the reward of what each of them had done. And they leave some of them who were present with them.
So Allah, the Mighty and Sublime asks: Why did you omit so-and-so; was he not present there in the gathering? The angels say: O Lord, they did not pray with them, they did not utter a word. Allah, the Mighty and Sublime says: But was he not present with them? They say: Yes he was, our Lord. So Allah says: Write his name also with theirs, they are such people that anyone who sat with them could not be unfortunate. So include his name with theirs. And the Almighty Allah says: Write for him a reward equal to one of them.”5
Explanation: Allamah Majlisi says: That which His Eminence has said: ‘One who sits with them could not be unfortunate’ means that through theirBarakat he will not become hopeless which is the last stage of being unfortunate. Or it may imply that their companionship is effective in their neighbor, thus as a result of it he has become eligible for rewards and prosperity.
It is mentioned in Biharul Anwar quoting from Uyun Akhbaar Reza through his own chain of narrators that Imam Ali Reza (as) said:
“One who sits in a gathering where our affair is being revived, his heart will not die on the day hearts die.”6
I say: Like this is the companionship of the visitors of the grave of our master, His Eminence, Abi Abdillah al-Husain (as) and to be with them.
Fourth: Among the points concluded from the tradition is that: Sitting in a gathering of remembrance causes purification of conscience, from the aspect that angels seek closeness to the people of those gatherings. May the Almighty Allah give us Tawfeeq to be among such people.
The circle of remembrance implies: A gathering where faithful people conglomerate to recite the Holy Qur’an, to pray for the Master of the Time (aj), to mention the names and qualities of the Almighty Allah, to salute our Holy Prophet (S) – as mentioned in traditions that: Their remembrance is remembrance of Allah – or that their tragedies may be recounted or it may be a discourse of their exalted positions.
Also included in such gatherings are: All the gatherings of Dua, meetings to discuss and debate on religious laws and aspects, but it should not be just for the sake of argumentation. We could have if we wanted narrated traditions on this matter but it would take us away from the topic of our discussion, therefore this much is sufficient.