Day of Judgement (Qiyamat)
Suppose we had no religious texts and had there been no arrival of all Prophets and messengers who have informed us that a day will certainly come for taking account of human deeds and who told people that, “You will have to, on one day, answer for all of your words and deeds,” reason and logic itself is a very big proof and testimony indicating that this revolving of skies and the initiation of the creation of every being and everything is not without any aim or intention.
Every wise and intelligent man, whenever he looks all around him, he observes that day and night come one after another and man eats and drinks and sleeps and goes in privacy and fulfils all of his desires; that a child grows up and turns into a youth and then an old man and then dies.
Is all this huge and vast unending movements and happenings which all of us always observe with our own eyes aimed only at these movements and is it limited only up to here? Has it no aim or object? If it is so, then it only means that man has been created just for creating dirt. This is merely a false and aimless notion. There were animals to fulfil such deeds like eating, drinking, sleeping and gratifying passions. There was no need at all for the creation of man.
Those who do not believe in the Hereafter, in fact, do not believe in the wisdom and intelligence of God Almighty (God forbid). This denial only means that all of this vast and huge universe has been created without any aim or object.
“And Allah's is the East and the West, therefore, whither you turn, thither is Allah's purpose; surely Allah is Amplegiving, Knowing. “(23:115)
But to think thus is the fault and error of their thinking. Whenever and wherever we look at anything we find that it has thousands of wisdoms (proper aims) and that man can hardly comprehend even a few of them. Even the most trifling and ordinary atom is not without wisdom behind its creation. Then what to say about bigger and higher things!
This hair and fingernail too are not aimless. For example, take the case of a fingernail. One of the wisdoms behind its creation is that, despite it's being a short and apparently insignificant part of human body, it serves as a support for fingers. Whenever one wants to pick up something, it is only this fingernail, which enables the fingers to bear the pressure. Otherwise it was not possible to bear such crushing weight for the fleshy fingers. That is why; if nails are drawn out from their base it will be difficult to lift things. What would then have happened had there been no nails at all?
Moreover, these nails help us in scratching. Again, dirty and excessive matters within the body also go out through these nails. That is why it has been ordered that nails must be cut at least once a week (specially on Friday).
Not a single strand of hair on our body is without wisdom or strategy. Imam Sadiq (a.s) tells Mufaddal Ibne Umar, “Some ignorant people say it would have been better were hair not to grow on certain parts of the body. They do not know that those are the parts where excess and dirty (impure or unclean) body matter concentrates. Was that dirt not to be driven out through hair human body would become ill and diseased.”1 That is why we have been commanded to remove this hair as soon as possible (within two weeks at the most).
If man ponders deeply he will realize that all the elements of the world of creation are full of wisdom and strategy.
It is said that the famous physician Galen once looked at the dirty insect cow dung beetle and expressed his opinion saying, “I do not see any wisdom in the creation of this thing. Why, after all, had God created it?” After sometime he developed severe pain in his eyes. Despite using all medicines in his expert knowledge no remedy worked on that trouble. Other doctors also tried in vain. At last there came an old woman and said, “I have a pill. It is very effective for the illness of eyes.” When Galen used it, he became all right. He asked how the pill was prepared. She said it was a paste having cow dung beetle as one of its ingredients.
Not even a single particle in the world of existence is created without any wise aim. Can then the entire universe be aimless at all? In the human body, even a nail and a hair are not without utility. Can then the whole human body have been created without any aim or intention? Never! All modern day scientists are unanimous in their opinion that they have not been able to comprehend all the wisdoms and strategies behind all the things in this world.
Only God knows how many new and astonishing things will come to light in future. About half a century ago, people in Europe were of the opinion that in our body at the end of intestines there is an extension called appendix; that it is of no use. So, many healthy persons got it removed. But soon thereafter they were to realize that they were wrong.
So, they announced that healthy persons should not remove it because now they had come to understand that the said extension was a sort of alarm. When much impurities pile up in intestines, this extension exudes pain thus cautioning them before the impurities could havoc. So, the patient becomes alerted and resorts to remedy. It is also possible that it may have other benefits too which have not yet come to our notice despite research and about which we may know in the days and years to come.
In human mouth not a single tooth is void of usefulness. The job of the molars cannot be performed by canines. Not a single bone out of the 248 in human body is useless, that is, if even one of them is missing, and it renders the whole body defective. Similar is the case with veins, nerves and fats etc. Can then the entire body be ever void of utility and wisdom behind it?
After recognizing the creator of the universe as most wise and after realizing that even the tiniest atom is not useless here, it is now our duty to try to understand the wisdom and aim behind the great creation. We see how many benefits we derive from various kinds of innumerable stones, vegetables and animals.
The clouds, wind, moon and sun all are busy in their duties so that, O Man! You may get bread and do not eat it unheeding. All these are busy, worrisome and obedient to you. Is it, then, not very unjust that you do not obey the commands of your Lord?
Is the aim of man's creation only this worldly and material life? Is there nothing after death? Are we to be totally and suddenly annihilated? If it is taken for granted that the only aim of human life in this universe is eating, drinking, resting and pleasure-hunting to gratify passions, lust, greed and desires and had it been so that man would not ever taste what is pain, trouble and difficulty and grief and sorrow throughout his life then, in that case, also the creation would have been aimless.
The reason for this conclusion is that even though the said life is full of pleasure and happiness it is yet unreliable and untrustworthy because, after all, it is passing and it is bound to end one day. So it is unthinkable that such a wide and huge universe should be for anything, which is to perish while human life is, from it's beginning to end, full of different kinds of difficulties, troubles, pains and sorrows.
As the poet Aasoodeh has said:
I have seen in this world only one person called 'happy' (Aasoodeh). But then, it was only his penname.
Another poet says:
You will not find any man in this world who has no worries. If he has no worry then he is not the son of Adam.
The fact is that, if man is to perish after his death and if his life is limited only to this world of matter which is made up of various kinds of sorrows, physical and spiritual and mental troubles, sufferings, mischiefs, fornications, usurpations, illness of children, death of progeny, separation from friends then this life is totally senseless and void of wisdom.
This is against the divine attribute like the Just, the Kind, the Most Merciful, the Most Wise etc. In that case the creation of human beings in the world would be like an example in which, suppose, a generous man invites guests in a house which has all kinds of harmful animals like tigers, leopards, wolves snakes, scorpions and wasps.
And when the guest arrives he may be served with eatables in that very horrible house, but any morsel taken by him is accompanied by the stings of several troublesome and poisonous insects. Not only this, there also may be some attackers with swords in their hands ready to attack that guest even before he completes his feast (and thereafter nothing at all)! Just say, is there any use of such a feast? Is it not a futile endeavour?
What can be surmised from the above discussion is that, for man, another life or world will surely arrive in which all of his pleasures and joys will be available. It is absolutely essential that he (a good man or woman) must get a joy and relief and comfort which has no pain with it and also an everlasting happiness which must not be followed by any trouble, grief or sorrow. The deserving persons must get comforts which should never end.
Very happy will be the day when I will walk away from the passing world for finding out peace for soul and to meet the beloved. (Persian Couplet)
So it has been established from viewpoint of logic and reason and it is now realized that God Almighty has created man for eternal and everlasting happiness. He has detained man for a little temporary period so that he may prepare to be eligible for the sure and permanent life, which is full of joys and bounties. God has given him two wings of knowledge and action with which he may fly high to gain extreme heights in the eternal realm.
The fact is that if man turns towards his God-given mind and nature and thinks deeply he will very soon find that there can be a doubt in each and every possible thing but there is no room for any doubt at all in the belief in God, His creation and the Hereafter, eternal life after death and reward or punishment in the everlasting Hereafter.
“And because the hour is coming, there is no doubt about it; and because Allah shall raise up those who are in the graves. “(22:7)
Of course, some people, because of their drowning in desires and constant engagement in material affairs and continuous commitment to sins have disfigured their nature thereby falling in doubt about the above-mentioned doubtless matters.
“Nay! man desires to give the lie to what is before him. “(75:5)
So the verdict of reason has established that there is an aim, utility and wisdom behind the creation of the earth, the sky and each and every part of the human body which will be known to him on the day when he will have to leave this material world. On the basis of all this, the coming of another world or realm is a must after the end of this world.
While describing the attributes of the Lord Almighty during the discussion of the Oneness of the Creator of the Universe, we have said that God is Just and so He has provided each and every essential thing for everything and every being, without being requested.
A Persian couplet says:
We were nonexistent and we never requested to come into existence. But the Mercy and Kindness of the Merciful Lord even hears our unsaid pleas.
One of the demands of God's justice is to give reward to those good people who, as we see, passed their whole lives in obedience, worship and piety but, in this world of ours, they got no reward in proportion with their labours and hardships.
Likewise, the Just Lord's attribute of Justice also demands that He should punish offenders who, as we see, have indulged in various mischiefs and conspiracies and devastating corruption but no punishment is or has been given to them in this world. They pass away from this world continuing their offences and sins. Often it also happens that mischievous offenders live easy and luxurious lives whereas good people live in difficulties.
We also see how much cruelty man shows towards man. They loot one another's property; kill one another and trample others' honour under their feet. Since God Almighty is Just, certainly a day will come when everyone will get his due based on his good or bad deeds. Right of everyone will be restored to him or her.
“This day every soul shall be rewarded for what it has earned; no injustice (shall be done) this day; surely Allah is quick in reckoning. “(40:17)
Those who had oppressed others will, surely be thrown into fire on that Day as warned:
“Surely We have prepared for the iniquitous a fire, the curtains of which shall encompass them about… “(18:29)
The poor person who was unjustly killed will be able to take revenge from the evil oppressor.
“And when the female infant buried alive is asked for what sin she was killed, “(81:8-9)
And God may give reward/compensation to the oppressed victim. Good people may get rewards and evil ones may get chastisement so that His justice is manifested.
All the Messengers and Prophets who were most true in the entire universe and whose word is an exhaustive argument for us have given the news that Qiyamat will surely come. Pious and religious minded people belonging to every religion and sect believed in life after death. In fact religion is based only on two principles: Origin and returning to life. Most verses of Holy Qur’an concerning faith in God at the same time demand faith in the Hereafter and Resurrection.
“The love of desires, of women and sons and hoarded treasures of gold and silver and well bred horses and cattle and tilth, is made to seem fair to men; this is the provision of the life of this world; and Allah is He with Whom is the good goal (of life). “(3:14)
And all the religions and faiths are unanimous about the aforesaid two principles of Origin and Hereafter.
In short, not one or two but thousands of true announcers have given the news of the arrival of the Day of Judgement. (So also) logic demands it must be accepted, understood and believed that the Day will certainly come.
As said earlier, the issue of resurrection is not against logic. Whenever mind thinks about it, it says that it is a 'possibility or a likely' thing. Moreover, all the true informers whose number is one lakh twenty-four thousand (Messengers and Prophets) and so also all of their legatees have said so and the word of each and everyone of them is sufficient for the intellect to accept.
Some ill informed persons have tried to create a doubt that coming back of a perished thing is impossible. They say how is it to appear again? But they have no proof (argument) in support of this claim. The only word which they have with them is 'necessity'. Taking support of this word they say our argument in this matter is the said necessity. In any case, if anybody puts forth a logical argument, our reply is as given earlier.
First, we put forth the words of Khwaja Nasiruddin Tusi. He says: In Qiyamat, there is no returning of a perished thing. It is, rather, the reconnection of separated and scattered elements. The explanation of this word is that the body was a mixture and collection of many atoms and elements. After death it got scattered in different particles.
When Qiyamat will occur, all of these scattered particles will, by the Command of God, rejoin one another. Thus the meaning of 'Ma’ad' is the rejoining of scattered particles and the joining of soul with body after their separation. Thus it is understood that Resurrection is not the return of perished things. (Apart from this, this issue is also not an agreed one).
Secondly, for the existence of anything, the possibility of the existence of something similar to it is the best and greatest argument or proof. Every man should think over the earlier condition of his body. He will know that in the beginning there were many innumerable particles including dust, air, and some were mixed with air in atmosphere.
With God's imperative power they came together, and took the forms of various different things like food articles, vegetables, seeds, grains, fruits and animals etc. All these things, after getting down the throat of a father entered his stomach and, for a second time, scattered in the forms of the limbs of the father.
Then at the time of passion or sexual arousal the substance which was made up of all digested materials and which contained the essence of all useful eatables and had taken the form of semen, got dragged from all parts of the body and jumped out of his sexual organ and settled in the womb of a mother. (This is why it is obligatory to wash each and every part of the human body while taking the post-coital bath). It is because the semen was drawn from all body.
In short, everybody was, in the beginning, in different forms of separate elements. God collected them in one substance, first in the hearts of earth (dust), water and air,
“O people! if you are in doubt about the raising, then surely We created you from dust, “(22:5)
Secondly, it remained scattered in the physical parts or organs of a father's body.
After seeing and knowing about the said separation and recollection on two occasions, is there anything which cannot be believed if it is said that in the grave, for the third time, after the decomposing of body and scattering of body particles, the said elements will be recollected for the third time too?
“And certainly you know the first growth, why do you not then mind? “(56:62)
You have known about the first worldly creation and the first birth, then why do you not, O man! Recollect that you were dust, Our Hand of Power collected you, that you became a part of the father's body in the form of edible matter, then, after these parts were scattered in the father's different body organs, We recollected you, that is, after ejecting you in the form of semen made you enter your mother's womb.
You have already seen this scattering and recollection in the worldly life. Now, even after this observation, why do you get astonished when you are told that We will after the scattering your body particles throughout the universe, recollect them for the third time too?
On several occasions the dead do come to life in this world also. Just look at the vegetable world. You observe in the spring season that trees become alive after their death due to drying up. They once again get a fresh spirit or life. The earth, which had died, also becomes alive.
“then gives life therewith to the earth after its death; “(30:24)
On a number of occasions a dead man has also become alive again. People who had died had come to life through Isa (Jesus, a.s.) and also Infallible Imams (a.s.). Some such events are recorded in history and biography books we present here two events mentioned in the Holy Qur’an.
The Lord of the Universe has, in verse 259 of Surah Baqarah, mentioned the story of Uzair (a.s.).
“Or the like of him (Uzair) who passed by a town, and it had fallen down upon its roofs; he said: When will Allah give it life after its death? So Allah caused him to die for a hundred years, then raised him to life. “(2:259)
The summary, cause of revelation and explanation of this verse is that Uzair was one of the Prophets in Bani Israel. He had memorized the whole Torah by heart and also was a leader and teacher of Jews in Jerusalem. Once he was travelling on his donkey. He had some bread and few grapes with him.
When he reached a village wherein all its residents had died years ago and there was no sign of their life except their worn and torn bones. Uzair threw a glance full of gloom and astonishment at those bones and exclaimed: How will God turn these torn and worn bones into living beings again? (This statement of Uzair was only by way of wonder. He never doubted God's might and never denied Resurrection).
The Lord of the Universe, in order to make Uzair (a.s.) understand that Resurrection might be an astonishing thing for him but for Him it is nothing strange or difficult, made him die instantly. So Uzair (a.s.) remained in the condition of death for one hundred years. The bones of his ass decayed. Of course what was wonderful to human eye was that grapes were fresh and sweet despite passing of such a long time. There was no change even in their colour!
God made Uzair (a.s.) alive after one hundred years. An angel came to him in human form and asked him, “How long have you remained here?” He replied, “For one day or a part of it.” The angel said, “No, but you have stayed for a full period of a hundred years. Just look at your food. It has not at all decayed or deteriorated. (But) look at your donkey. Its bones have become rotten. Now you see what happens before your eyes and realize the Might of your Lord.”
Uzair (a.s.) saw that the particles of the decayed body of the ass began to move and instantly joined with one another, restructuring its legs, head, eyes and ears etc. The donkey soon got up. Then Almighty Lord said, “See how We are able to recollect and reassemble the particles of the body of the donkey and to give it a new life. So understand that God is able to do everything.”
When Uzair (a.s.) returned to Baitul Maqdas (Jerusalem), there also he found a totally different scene. The city had been totally altered. None of the people known to him was found there. In a very astonished state of mind he knocked at the door of his house. People inside asked, “Who is it?” He said, “It is I, Uzair.”
People rushed out and said, “Are you joking? There is no trace of Uzair for the last one hundred years. Have you any of his signs of identification?” (Uzair was one of those whose prayer was answered by Almighty God). An old lady stepped forward and said, “If you are Uzair, then I am his aunt and I have become blind. Pray to God so that I may regain my eyesight.”
Uzair (a.s.) prayed to God Almighty and that lady could see again. Then both described what had happened during the past years. All understood what had happened and the story became a reminder for all.
Another event mentioned in the Holy Qur’an concerns Ibrahim (a.s.). Once he submitted to the Almighty God, “My Lord! I want to see how You make the dead alive, so that my heart may get satisfaction.” Came the Command, “Take four birds (four kinds viz. a crow, a cock, a dove, and a peacock).
Slaughter them and dissect their bodies into pieces and mix up their pieces of all of them with one another. Then make four heaps of the said mixed up meat and put one heap each on four different hills. Then call up each one of the birds by their names. Every one of them will fly and come to you within no time.
“And when Ibrahim said: My Lord! Show me how Thou givest life to the dead, He said: What! and do you not believe? He said: Yes, but that my heart may be at ease. He said: Then take four of the birds, then train them to follow you, then place on every mountain a part of them, then call them, they will come to you flying; and know that Allah is Mighty, Wise. “(2:260)
It is mentioned in the commentary that Ibrahim (a.s.) had held the heads of all the four birds in his hands and he was calling them one by one. Then he saw that the body particles (dissected portion) began to join with one another and to reform the bodies as they were re-assembled the head-less birds flew speedily towards their heads in the hands of Ibrahim (a.s.).
In order to check the accuracy, Ibrahim (a.s.) tried to make the body of one bird join with the head of another but he could not succeed as every body was rushing towards its own head and finally got joined. All the four birds thus became alive.
It is likely that some may think how many forms (due to change) might have been taken in the scattered particles of a dead body. How then it is possible for them to reassemble as before? But such thinking is only the result of ignoring the all al-ncompassing power of Almighty God.
When we have learnt in the discussion about God's Oneness that God's knowledge covers everything and that not a single particle from the particles of each and everything is beyond His knowledge. He also has power of everyone and everything. After this there is no scope at all for any doubt about the fulfilment of His Wish.
It is true that a dead body, after a long time, becomes scattered and also emanates foul smell and also becomes the food of ants and many other insects and that even if it does not go in the stomach of any animal it does turn into dust which also is swept far and wide by winds. Then it becomes the ingredients of wheat, barely, seeds and vegetables or is used up in house building materials. In any case it still remains in this world and by no means goes out of the all al-ncompassing Knowledge of God.
Then, at His Will, Almighty Allah recollects and reassembles them from wherever they may be and in whichever form they may be (rather they themselves get remixed at God's Command). We have seen this in the story of Ibrahim (a.s.) and four birds. It is mentioned there that, as ordered by God, Ibrahim (a.s.) cut the birds in to pieces and then mixed up that meat. Then dividing the mixed meat into four heaps, he placed those heaps on four hills…
In short, Almighty Allah knows each and every particle in the universe (His creation) even if they have changed forms on thousands of occasions. Likewise, He is also able to reassemble them and to take them to the station (place) of either reward or punishment.2
To show the Might of Allah and in order to prove that He can do whatever He likes and that He can do everything, we give below some examples as testimony to this truth.
“He Who has made for you the fire (to burn) from the green tree, so that with it you kindle (fire). “(36:80)
The trees named Markh and Aqaar are such that if a branch is torn off from any of the two, waters, drips therefrom. One of the two is masculine and the other feminine in nature. Water drips from both. But when one is brushed against the other, it gives out fire. These two trees are considered very important in the Arabian Peninsula. In olden times there were no matchboxes.
People used to ignite fire with the help of the branches of these trees. How wonderful that if they remain apart they give out water but if they are brushed against one another they give out fire! How these two opposites are placed in one and the same thing? If it is wet and has not yet become dry it should not emanate water. Scholars of science say that except the tree of Unnab, there is hidden fire in every other tree. Then cannot such Mighty and Powerful creator reassemble a dead body and put soul (life) in it again?
And he strikes out a likeness for Us and forgets his own creation. Says he: Who will give life to the bones when they are rotten?
“Say: He will give life to them Who brought them into existence at first, and He is cognizant of all creation, “(36:78-79)
Once Ibne Abi Khalaf came to the Holy Prophet with an old bone in this hand. He was pressing and crushing it with his hand. When it all became powder he blew it off with his mouth and asked, “Who will make this stuff alive?” In the above verse, Almighty Creator of the universe, talks about this foolish and ignorant talking of this man and scolds him. God Almighty says, “This man gives us an example but forgets his own creation. (O the one who takes such objections! You were nothing. God brought you into being after you were nothing; from non al-xistence to existence).
Say (O Messenger!) Only He will make them alive, Who had created them first. He has knowledge of every creation.” O Man! You also were nothing before and now you are something. The same powered elements of human body of faithful persons are like particles of gold, distinct from all other particles. When it rains, it sweeps aside the particles of dust and golden particles begin to shine out. Here there is no room for doubt. The elements of everybody's will be re-assembled by Almighty Allah through His Command.
As we have described in the story of Ibrahim (a.s.) and four birds, he caught and cut into pieces a crow, a cock, and dove and a peacock. Then he mixed their minced meat so that it could not be separated from one another. Then, as per a narration, made seventeen heaps of it and put them at seventeen places on different hills.
Then he took the head of dove in his hand called it out. In response, all the particles of its meat flew from every station and re-assembled to form the body as it was before being slaughtered and then it joined with its head. Then Ibrahim (a.s.) called out the peacock; all the particles of its meat flew from every station and re-assembled to form the body of the peacock. Ibrahim (a.s.) put the head of the cock before it but it did not join. One's head was not being joined with another's body. In short, there is no chance of any error in the knowledge of God.
“Certainly the creation of the heavens and the earth is greater than the creation of the men, but most people do not know. “(40:57)
To create the skies and the earth, to fix separate orbits for the rotation of each of them, and to arrange their affairs etc are works, which are greater and more complex than the creation of man. Now what is to be seen is that the One who created skies will He not be able to create a man again and to take account of his deeds?
“His command, when He intends anything, is only to say to it: Be, so it is. “(36:82)
As and when He will wish, the Qiyamat will come up instantly. The moment Allah wishes all will become alive.3
If intelligence tells that there is a likelihood of harm at a certain place something must be done which can avoid or remove that harm.
For example, while passing through a forest or path there is a danger of a carnivorous animal or of bandits or thieves who can harm our lives and or property then, even if this possibility is not certain, reason demands that we should not take that path and go by any other avenue where there is certainty of safety.
Of course, such harms can also be of various degrees and kinds. For instance, if the danger is about falling down due to rough roads then man does not pay much attention to it. But if there is a danger of jumping over a pass, which can risk life, then surely it is a very serious matter. Then how dangerous and risky it would be to cross the bay of hell?
So it is absolutely essential to take utmost care for avoiding every likely danger. Even the slightest possibility of a great harm makes it compulsory to take defensive steps. Here is an example for further clarification.
If a child tells you that there is a scorpion under your clothes and that it is crawling upwards. Will you tell him, “You are a child. You do not know anything. We cannot believe you?” No. You will never say so because there is a likelihood of a great harm. What is more important is a scorpion, not a straw or a stalk. You will, at once, take off your shirt and try to find out the scorpion even though you had no certainly of its presence. There was merely a likelihood or possibility. Yet intelligence says that such possibility is worth taking cognisance.
Or for example, you want to proceed on a journey. Someone tells you that you will not get any water anywhere on this route. The demand of intelligence then is that you should keep a container full of water with you. Now, if you get fresh water on your way, you will throw away the old water and fill up your container with fresh water.
By so doing you will suffer no loss and save yourself from the possibility of remaining thirsty. But, if thinking that this is merely a possibility, you did not take water with you and found no water enroute then you will have to die of thirst and you will get nothing except grief and sorrow.
After understanding this logical problem, now we say that one hundred twenty-four thousand (124,000) Messengers and Prophets came to the world and all of them unanimously warned humanity of a danger saying, “O People! All of your words and deeds are being constantly and instantly being recorded. God has appointed two angels for every person. Whatever good or bad you do, they note it down:
“He utters not a word but there is by him a watcher at hand. “(50:18)
Suppose even if you are not sure about the coming of Qiyamat or of the Day of Judgement (Resurrection), if you have any brain, your intelligence will call upon you to take precautionary action and to be cautions. There is indeed a possibility of Qiyamat if not certainly.
So, responding to this demand of reason, do not oppress anyone, do not be unjust towards anybody, and do not attack anyone's honour. I would now like to give some admonition and give a logical argument about Resurrection to make one understand that it is the demand of reason and logic to put faith in Resurrection.
It is mentioned in Usul al-Kafi, Tradition 2; in Kitabut Tawheed that Imam Sadiq (a.s.), during his sermons, told Ibne Abil Awjaa, “If what the religious people say is true, and doubtlessly it is true, then the believers will certainly get salvation, and you will be destroyed. And if what you say (denial of Hereafter and accounting) is true, though it is certainly not true, even then both of you (the believers and the unbelievers) will be on an equal footing.”
Ibne Abil Awjaa said, “Is not our and their word the same?” The Imam said, “How can it be same or equal when they (religious people) believe that Qiyamat will surely arrive and there also will be reward or punishment and when they also believe that the sky is full of its residents and that the Creator of all the skies and the earth is Only One God, you say that skies are void and that there is no God…”
You have seen that in this tradition Imam (a.s.) used the argument of cautiousness for proving Resurrection. This is the minimum argument. Otherwise there must be certainty of belief about the Day of Judgement. Doubtfulness or hesitation is not at all enough, not even mere imagination.
We hear news about Qiyamat but imagine that it is an ordinary matter, though we give much importance to this world, the same world which the Lord Creator of the Universe has termed a 'plaything':
“The life of this world is only idle sport and play,“ (47:36)
But about Qiyamat, which is an ordinary thing in our (mistaken) view has been given much importance by God and He has called its news “The Great Event”:
“Of what do they ask one another? About the great event, “(78:1)
Doubtlessly Qiyamat is very great. It will be the Day when all the first and last (earlier and latter) human beings will be made to assemble. Such a huge gathering will be such that in it, everyone will be worrying about his or her result (consequences of deeds before death). All will be weeping and wailing save a few about whom we shall talk later on.
Amr bin Ma’adikarb was one of the most famous brave and courageous men among Arabs. History of Islam has recorded him as one of the greatest warriors in a number of battles. Once, when he was a polytheist, he visited the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) invited him to Islam, and said, “If you believe in Islam, God Almighty will protect you from the greatest fright on the Day of Resurrection.”
He asked, “O Muhammad! What is the great fright? I am so tough-hearted that nothing can frighten me.” The Holy Prophet said, “O Amr! It is not so, as you imagined. It will be a tremendously frightening sound, which will make all the dead alive and make the entire living die, except those whom God wishes that they should not die. Then again there will be terrible roar which will make all the dead stand and line up. The sky will be fragmented. All the mountains will break up and become scattered. Thus there will be no living being whose heart will not be palpating due to fear, remembering the sins committed by it. All will be worrying only about their own selves except those whom God wills (that they may not become restless). O Amr! What do you think?”
In short, the Holy Prophet described the frightening events of Qiyamat in such a manner that the whole body of Amr began to tremble. He said, “What should I do to avoid that fright on the most terrible day?” The Holy Prophet said, “Say 'Laa Ilaah Illallaah' (There is no God except Only One God).”
So Amr instantly became a Muslim then and there along with his entire people.
On that day, wherever will a man look he will see only frightening things. The condition of this earth will be totally changed. In addition to all that we have said earlier, the ground of Resurrection will also become alive and intelligent. It will remain stable, calm and wise under the feet of the believers but, the same ground will turn into a burning piece of land under the feet of an unbeliever and will be red hot, giving out flames.
No curtain or barrier will be seen over there, no tree or a mountain. Everyone will look at one another. All will be human beings but their faces will be changed. In this world all are alike but on the Day of Judgement, they will take shapes and forms according to their deeds (before death).
“The day on which the trumpet shall be blown so you shall come forth in hosts, “(78:18)
It is mentioned in Tafsir Majmaul Bayan that Muaaz asked for the explanation of this verse from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) who replied, “You have asked a very important thing.” Then the eyes of the Holy Prophet became tearful.
He said, “On the Day of Judgement, my community (Ummah) will be divided into ten groups. God Almighty will cut all those ten from the Muslims. He will change theirs faces and appearances. Some will come in the shape of monkeys, some in the form of swines, hands and legs of some will be cut off, and some will be blind, some deaf and dumb. One of those groups will arrive in the grand field chewing their own tongues, dirt dripping from their lips the bad foul of which will make all restless.
One group will arrive upside down and will get punishment in the same position. One group will be hanging on branches of fire. One group will be spreading an obnoxious and foul smell, which will be worse than that of corpses. One group will be wearing shirts made of Qitraan, which will stick to their bodies.
People asked, “O Messenger of God! Who will be these people?”
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said, “Those who will assume the forms of monkeys will be backbiters. They create enmity between two parties and carry one's talk to the other, and make them quarrel.”
“Those who will be seen as swines will be eaters of unlawful earning. For example, who give (in trade or business or bargaining) less then due, who are dishonest in their dealings with others and who mix up bad things with good to earn unlawfully and who usurp the properties of others. Those who will arrive on their heads will be eaters of interest, the usurers.
Those who will be chewing their own tongues will be the scholars who did not act according to what they taught to others, whose deeds were different from their words. They had given many sermons but never acted accordingly. Others had benefited from their advices and admonitions but they themselves had remained unfortunate and unlucky. Such scholars will chew their own tongues and will worry very much but to no avail.”
“Those who will arrive with their hands and feet cut off will be those who had harassed their neighbours. Those who will come blind were oppressive rulers who did not do justice. Who were proud and self-centred will come dumb and deaf. Those who were putting innocent people to trouble by reporting falsely against them before rulers will be clinging to branches of fire. Foul smell will emanate from those who were gratifying their passions by resorting to unlawful sexual pleasures and also those who did not pay poor tax (Zakat or purifying deductions). Those who were making a show of their pomp by wearing clothes of pride will be, on that Day, wearing shirts of fire.”
It is mentioned in another tradition that there will also be some people with rods of fire in their eyes. They will be those who were casting their lustful eyes starring at prohibited men and women.
Muhaddith Faiz quotes in his book Ainul Yaqeen, “When a drunkard will arrive in the Grand Gathering (Mahshar), a bottle of wine will be dangling from his neck and a cup of wine will be stuck to his hand. His body will be spreading obnoxious and foul smell, which will be worse than any dead body's smell. All in the gathering will understand that this fellow was a drunkard in his worldly life. Everyone passing by him will curse him.”
The singers and musicians will have their music instruments in their hands, which will be hitting their heads. On that Day everyone will be recognized by his condition as to what he was in the world.
“The guilty shall be recognized by their marks, so they shall be seized by the forelocks and the feet. “(55:41)
In the aforesaid book it is also mentioned that some people will arrive with faces looking worse than the faces of monkeys and pigs. (These animals will seem good looking compared to them).
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) has said, “People will be made to come to the Mahshar field in three conditions: Some on backs of animals, some on foot and some on their own heads (upside down).” People asked, “O Messenger of Allah! How will they walk on their heads?” The Prophet replied, “The one who enabled them to walk on their feet in the world will also enable to walk on their heads.”
“And warn them of the day that draws near, when hearts shall rise up to the throats, “(40:18)
The fear and fright of that terrible Day will make hearts jump from their chests and to stick to their throats. They (hearts) will neither go back to their original place (so that they may feel ease) nor they will jump out so that life may end and one may feel freed. On that Day people's hearts will be full of worries and sorrows.
In short, the fear of that Day will make hearts jump from their chests and they will be sticking to throats and block the passage of breathing. This is a Divine Word of the Holy Qur’an. Lord Almighty has repeatedly warned of such a fear some day and also said that, on that Day, a brother will run away from his brother and hide his face from him. Man will keep distance from his own parents too and so also from his family members.
“The day on which a man shall fly from his brother, And his mother and his father, And his spouse and his son”(80:34-36)
In this Holy verse the Lord of the universe has described the frightful condition of man saying that the terrific fright will disrupt even the closest relations like that between man and wife, father and children and brothers and sisters. All relations will be cut off and everyone will worry breathlessly about himself or herself and will find no time to think about others. So, he will avoid everyone.
The reason for such avoidance could also be that he will fear the demand of their rights, which were trampled by him in the world. Man will become almost breathless. Despite such a big gathering the only voice audible on that Day will be like that of bees.
“On that day they shall follow the inviter, there is no crookedness in him, and the voices shall be low before the Beneficent God so that you shall not hear aught but a soft sound. “ (20:108)
There will also be some groups about whom the Holy Prophet has promised that they will be in safety and peace on that Day of Resurrection. One such group will be of those who became old and aged as Muslims. Giving honour and respect to such Muslims will provide safety and peace from the great calamity of Qiyamat.
If those (respectable) people were their weak aged parents, then giving respect to them will bring further peace. Secondly, help and assistance to poor and suffering people. If a man had helped such deserving persons, for instance had raised up a fallen man or had removed the worry of someone etc.4
The mosque in which one was praying regularly with a sincere and zealous heart will be, on the Day of Judgement, be brought in the form of a saddle to the grave of that person and he will be made to ride thereon and thus he will be carried to Paradise.
It is mentioned in narrations that a faithful believer will ask, “Where is Sirat (the Bridge)?” Angels will reply that it has already passed from beneath your mount. He will ask, “What kind of a rider is it? He would be replied, “This is the changed form of those Masjids in which you were regularly and zealously offering Prayers sincerely.”
Undoubtedly Mosque is the house of God. So it must be given every respect. No stone should be left unturned in maintaining its dignity.
Among those who will be saved from the fear and fright of the Day of Judgement are also those who die or get buried either in Mecca or Medina. Similarly those also who die while going to the said Holy places or while returning from there.
Among such fortunate persons are also those who had regarded their desires as their enemies (they did not consider others as their foes). The apparent meaning of a tradition sentence is that while passing life in the society, if he finds unpalatable things in others he would not blame others but only himself. He will scold only himself for having hoped otherwise from others. Such people would ask themselves, “Why not find fault with one's own self? Why find faults with others at all?”
It is no manhood and fortitude to find faults with others. Look also into your own self. You will realize that you too are full of sins.5
The third group which has been promised to be protected and safe are those who, despite being able to react angrily and thereby to do something unwise, restrain themselves just due to remembrance of God. Thus, they suppress their anger only for God's sake.
Such are the people who will be protected from the fright on the Day of Judgement because they did not indulge in any carnal desire and any selfish act to save their prestige but only for fear of Almighty Allah. One of the Divine Mercies mentioned in books is that if a Faithful puts his hand on one's grave and recites Surah Qadr seven times, the body in that grave also remains protected from the fear and fright of Qiyamat.
The real and true guarantee of protection from the terrible fright on the Day of Judgement is the guardianship and love of Amirul Mu’minin (a.s.). It is called the greatest good (Hasana). No other good can surpass this good. Everyone having this good in his heart will remain safe on the Day of Judgement:
Surely (as for) those for whom the good has already gone forth from Us, they shall be kept far off from it;
They will not hear its faintest sound, and they shall abide in that which their souls long for.
The great fearful event shall not grieve them, and the angels shall meet them: This is your day which you were promised.
“On the day when We will roll up heaven like the rolling up of the scroll for writings, as We originated the first creation, (so) We shall reproduce it; a promise (binding on Us); surely We will bring it about. “ (21:101-104)
The Holy Prophet is reported to have said, “O ‘Ali! You and Your Shi’as (followers) will remain in peace from the terrible fright. And this refers only to you.”
Similarly, the Hasana, which is the 'absolute good', is the Love and friendship of ‘Ali (a.s.) and the progeny of ‘Ali (a.s). Qur’an has promised that on the Day of Resurrection, the one who will come with 'absolute good' will get the best reward and he will remain in peace from the fright of that Day:
“Whoever brings good, he shall have better than it; and they shall be secure from terror on the day. “ (27:89)
In the Qur’anic commentaries of the Ahle Sunnat people like Tafsir Kashshaf of Zamakhshari, Tafsir Kabir of Fakhruddin Raazi, Tafsir of Tha'labi and Tafsir Ruhul Bayan etc, it is mentioned that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said that the one who dies with the love and
friendship with Aale Muhammad (a.s.) in his heart will die as a repentant and clean one and when he is raised from the grave he would enter the grand field of gathering (Mahshar) happily. He will neither feel afraid nor any uneasiness overtake him. Paradise will be decorated for him just as the bridal apartment is adorned for the bride…(till the end of the lengthy narration).
What I wanted to present was the part showing that the followers of ‘Ali (a.s.) will be in peace in Qiyamat.
The aim of this admonition is to create the fear of the Almighty God through these Holy verses and thereby to make ourselves ready for the forthcoming events. So, make arrangements for protecting yourselves from the fears and terrors about which you have read; for example, the three or four matters just mentioned.
All say that we should think and worry about the future and make preparation for it. It is true and wise. But what is regrettable is that they take precautions in the wrong way. They do not understand the reality. If we want to prepare for the future (Hereafter/life after death) what is the way to be safe there? Is it to deposit amounts in banks?
Is the life span of fifty years (even less in some cases) so insignificant that man should spend this precious time of his life only for gathering wealth and then go away leaving it all here? This is sheer ignorance and nonsense. Is one to remain hungry materially after death so that he should collect more and more wealth and money? How many people have you met who died of hunger?
Yes, of course, if there is a famine, hunger may be one of the reasons for people's death, which has been destined. But, in normal conditions, no one's future is in danger of starvation to death, however long his age. It is so because, God Almighty has guaranteed sustenance for everyone:
And in the heaven is your sustenance and what you are threatened with.
“And by the Lord of the heavens and the earth! it is most surely the truth, just as you do speak. “(51:22-23)
He provides sustenance to every living being and He will continue to do so.
“And there is no animal in the earth but on Allah is the sustenance of it, “(11:6)
But, in the matter of Hereafter (life after death) it is ordered, with emphasis and encouragement and warning also that everyone must worry before reaching the dangerous place (Hereafter) and make advance arrangement for it. Man must try and make efforts so that he may not stand empty-handed in the grand gathering (for giving accounts) in Mahshar.
All of us say that God is Bountiful and Generous (Kareem). Quite true. But if we really consider Him bountiful then why do we not regard Him so in the worldly (material) matters. Why do we make so much strenuous efforts in the worldly affairs, especially in the matter of sustenance? This shows that what we say is not based on real conviction. We are not truly convinced that God is Bountiful.
If you really and factually want to make arrangements for your future (after death) then you should open your 'Saving Accounts' with God. These prayers and charity are your savings, which are being credited to your account with God and the Generous God protects it in a better way and also gives better reward for it on the Day of Resurrection and in this world also.
“Whatever of good you send on beforehand for yourselves, you will find it with Allah; that is best and greatest in reward; “(73:20)
The Lord of the Universe has, in the Holy Qur’an, told His Prophet (s.a.w.s.): Warn My servants about the events of future (Hereafter). Now all of us know very well that all of us have to face a Day, which will be full of hardships, dangers and anxieties.
When God will intend to bring forth Resurrection, the first thing to happen will be the blowing of the Trumpet as described earlier. God of the Universe mentions this several times in the Holy Qur’an:
“And the trumpet shall be blown, so all those that are in the heavens and all those that are in the earth shall swoon, except such as Allah please; then it shall be blown again, then lo! they shall stand up awaiting. “(39:68)
Qur’anic verses, traditions, and narrations show that there will be two blowings of the trumpet. First, when the trumpet will be blown all will die except those about whom God desires otherwise. Then the trumpet will be blown again which will cause all formers and latters to become alive.
God says in the above quoted verse: “When the Trumpet will be blown all in the earth and the sky will be destroyed except those whom God may desire that they should not die. Then the trumpet will be blown for the second time when all the formers and the latters will become alive and it will be Resurrection and all will stand staring.”
The summary of this discussion is that there are four favourite or esteemed angels with God (Jibraeel, Mikaeel, Israfil, and Izra'eel). Each of them has a separate and distinct responsibility. Jibraeel has to convey Divine Message (Revelation) from God to Prophets and Messengers (a.s.).
Mikaeel has been entrusted with the responsibility of providing sustenance. Izra'eel is in charge of collecting of souls and the job of Israfil is to blow the trumpet at the time of Qiyamat. He is ready to carry out his work with the trumpet in his hands, waiting for Divine Command. (As mentioned in narrations) when Almighty God will order him, he will come down to the earth from the sky and perform his duty.
When Israfil will proceed from the sky, those in the sky will tremble with fear. When he will reach the earth and reaching the Holy House, stand opposite the wall of Ka'ba and announce through the
trumpet, “Die, all of you.” Then no living thing will survive. There will be none who will not breathe his or her last. It is mentioned in narrations that at that time many people will be busy in markets. They will die then and there. No one will get any respite even to make his will or to return home. So the Lord of the Universe says, in the Holy Qur’an:
“So they shall not be able to make a bequest, nor shall they return to their families. “(36:50)
Then will come the Divine Command that the trumpet should be blown towards those who are in the sky. So (Israfil will do so). No one in the skies will remain alive. Then Israfil will be commanded, “You too die.” So he also will be no more.
“(Of) the day when they shall come forth, nothing concerning them remains hidden to Allah. To whom belongs the kingdom this day? To Allah, the One, the Subduer (of all). “(40:16)
Then a voice will be heard: O Revolters! O Traitors! O Arrogants! O those who were always shouting 'I'! Where are you now? Tell whose kingdom and rule prevails today?” No one will reply. Then again a voice will be heard, “Today rule and kingdom belongs only to Allah, the Only One, the Almighty.” A period of time will pass after the blowing of the first trumpet. Then will come the blow, which will make everyone alive. After that would be the Day of Judgement.
People asked the infallibles as to what will be the length of the gap between the first trumpet (killing) and the second one (making all alive)? It is mentioned in narrations that the Imam replied, “Forty years.”
According to another report it will be a period of four hundred years. Yet another tradition says that astonishing events (as mentioned by us earlier) like splitting of skies, their breaking into pieces, earthquake, crushing of mountains into dust and the flaring up of oceans etc will take place during the said period. Then will come the Divine Command for rain. So it will rain for forty years continuously all over the entire earth.
After all living things will die and after the intermediate period passes, the first one to become alive will be Israfil who will have to blow the trumpet for the second time. Taking the trumpet to his mouth, Israfil will announce, “O the souls! Come out of your scattered bodies. O flesh and O worn out bones and O hair! All of you come together so that your account may be taken. Run and rush speedily for giving the account of your deeds.”
Then it will be revealed to the earth, “Throw out whatever is inside you.” “And the earth brings forth her burdens, “(99:2)
Thereafter earth will, through severe jerks, throw out all the particles of bodies lying in it. In short, all the particles of bodies will come together and retake the form of their earlier bodies. Souls would be put into them once again and all will rise up at once.
There is no deterrent or impossibility in the collection of particles and the entering of spirit in them after the second formation of bodies. For God Almighty, there is no difference in the affair of creating one person and the recreation of millions of people:
“Neither your creation nor your raising is anything but as a single soul; surely Allah is Hearing, Seeing. “(31:28)
God will command and all would become alive and gather at once.
Though all the earlier and the latter will come together in the grand field of Mahshar their appearance and talk will be different. The obedient and faithful servants of God will, while coming out from their graves, would be praising and thanking their Lord Who fulfilled His promise and held the Judgement so that they may get rewards of their good deeds.
“And they shall say: (All) praise is due to Allah, Who has made good to us His promise, “(39:74)
But, on the other hand, there also will be people who will lament regretfully, “Alas! Who made us rise from our graves?”
“They shall say: O woe to us! who has raised us up from our sleeping-place? “(36:52)
According to some narrations, one of their legs will be in the grave and the other one out of it and they will stand there spell bound for three hundred years. This will be the beginning of the chastisement.
One day Jibraeel came to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and asked, “Would you like to observe the condition of people on the Day of Gathering?” “Yes,” the Prophet replied. Jibraeel, the trustworthy angel, took the Holy Prophet to the graveyard of Baqi (Medina). He kicked a grave and said, “Get up at the order of your Lord.” The grave split at once and a man with radiant face raised his head from the grave saying,
“(All) praise is due to Allah, Who has made good to us His promise, “(39:74)
Thereafter, he kicked another grave and said, “Rise up at the command of your Lord.” At once, another man with a very ugly and frightened face came out of this grave and said, O woe to us!
Jibraeel said, “The faithful and the unbelievers will rise up from their graves in this condition.”
It is mentioned in narrations that the faithful would wish in their graves that God may establish Judgement soon as they had already tasted samples of the bounties of Paradise and hence they desire it early. On the other hand, the unbelievers and offenders will say, “O God! Let us remain here only, because they have seen samples of the chastisement of hell here.”
“Abasing (one party), exalting (the other), “(56:3)
On the Day of Resurrection, those who were low and weak materially but had the riches of God's fear will become masters and great. Contrary to this, those who were materially great and powerful in the world but had no piety will become dishonoured and degraded. 'Degrader' and 'Upgrader' are two Qur’anic names of the Resurrection Day.
Another thing, which will happen on the Day of Judgement is all those things, which were kept hidden in hearts, will become open and manifest. In this world there are veils on everyone's beliefs and deeds. But in Qiyamat both the inner and outer state will become same, fully apparent.
So, O people who are very mindful of your positions! Have you also thought about protecting yourselves from shame on that Day? On that Day those whose hearts are clean and bright like angels will have similarly shining faces. Those whose hearts are full of passions and lust will, on that Day, have faces of monkeys and dogs.
Have you done anything for the stages to come after death so that you may not have to be ashamed in front of all the past and later people? Do you know how difficult problems you will have to confront, like being naked in the Great Gathering? Have you done anything to save your honour on that Day?
“And clothing that guards (against evil), that is the best. “(7:25)
On the Day of Judgement, when all will come out of their graves, everyone will be naked, except some people who have been promised that they will not be without clothes on that Day. They are those who feared God in the world.
The one who will leave this world as a God fearing person will appear in the Grand Gathering of Mahshar adorned in the Divine attire of Taqwa. Likewise, also those faithful people who died without repenting but who became purified by suffering hardships in graves. Of course, God forbid, if anyone enters Field of Mahshar without becoming purified, he will aspire to go to hell at the earliest so that his shamefulness in front of the greatest gathering may end.
The father of mankind, Adam erred by discarding a desired thing (Tark al-Oolaa) and he was driven of out of paradise naked. Now, finding himself naked in front of angels, he hid his organs of shame with foliage at once:
“And they both began to cover themselves with the leaves of the garden; “(7:21)
Remember that the one who is sinful will not be eligible for Divine raiment. It may be you or I. No day ever passes in which we do not add a sin in our account of deeds. Should we not worry about the hardships of Qiyamat, if we don't have the dress of Piety?
It was the Infallible Imam Zainul Aabedeen (a.s.) who used to pray till dawn during nights of the Holy month of Ramadhan, remembering the nakedness of the Day of Judgement:
I am weeping remembering the naked rising from grave.
Come; let us all join the prayer of the sinless Imam (a.s.):
O Lord! Dress me in Your Bountiful Mercy so that my mistakes may be covered and forgiven.
“The guilty shall be recognized by their marks, so they shall be seized by the forelocks and the feet. “(55:41)
The first stage in the Gathering field will be astonishment which is mentioned a number of times in the Holy Qur’an:
“Hastening forward, their heads upraised, their eyes not reverting to them and their hearts vacant. “(14:43)
Eyes will make no movement due to extreme astonishment when one will be a sinner having a sign of that sinfulness along with him or her, which will make known to all in the grand gathering what sin he or she had committed.
A bottle of wine will be stuck to his hand when a drunkard will arrive in the field of Mahshar. (If you can remember, we have quoted the narration of Muaaz while explaining this.) God has sworn by His Might and Honor saying He will make the drunkard drink as much wine in hell as he had drunk in the world.
It is mentioned in the book Layaliul Akhbaar that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said, “When a drunkard will arrive in the field of Qiyamat his face will be dark, he eyes blue, his lips hanging and his saliva flowing over his chest up to his feet. His tongue will project out of his mouth.
Anyone who passes by him will suffer a lot of uneasiness due to the stench emanating from the drunkard's mouth.” The Holy Prophet also said, “By the God Who made me His messenger, the drunkard will die thirsty; that he will remain thirsty in his grave; that he will continue crying due to thirst for a thousand years. Thereafter, he will be made to drink the water of Hell (Hameem).”
When a usurer will rise from his grave, his belly will be so enlarges that it will drag on the earth. He will not be able to get up despite trying to do so. He will be sitting head bowed down. Everyone in the field of Mahshar will recognize him as the usurer.
It is mentioned in the book Anwarun Nomaniya that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said, “One who plays violin will have a dark face and will be holding a violin of fire in his hands which will be knocking at his head. Seventy thousand angels of chastisement will hit on his head and face. A singer will rise deaf, dumb and blind.”
It is mentioned in narrations that those who have two tongues, meaning those who say one thing in front of people and another (opposite) thing behind their backs will be having two tongues of fire on the Day of Judgement. Those who were harming others with their tongues will have their tongues uprooted from their base in their mouths.
There also will be a group in the field of Mahshar, which will be weak and insignificant like ants. They would be the people who showed their pride before others in the world. Such an offensive smell will emanate from the private parts of adulterers in the field of Mahshar that all will shriek and complain against them. Narrations indicate that every bad and sinful habit will give a similar shape or form to the sinner in Qiyamat whereby all will know what kind of deeds he was doing in the world.
“The measure of which is fifty thousand years. “(70:5)
A tradition related from the Infallible is recorded in the third volume of Biharul Anwar, which says that there will be a halt of one thousand years at every station according to our system of counting of days (solar or lunar).
“The measure of which is a thousand years of what you count. “(32:5)
There arises a question that when, in the realm of Qiyamat, there will be no day or night, in the absence of the sun and the moon, then what is the meaning of 'The Day of Judgement'? Why is it called a Day?
The answer is: We call that part of time a Day in which things become bright because of the light of the sun and thereby human eyes can see those things which are not visible to them during night. Likewise those things, which were hidden from people in the world such as their inner condition, their right or wrong beliefs, their good or bad deeds and their consequences will come to be known to all and their consequences too would become apparent in Qiyamat.
Qiyamat is the Day on which all the secrets and hidden things of man would be unravelled.
“And what they never thought of shall become plain to them from Allah. “(39:47)
This world is a night, darkness. No one knows about others. Rather man is unaware of even his own self (inner self). People's deeds are hidden from one another. But Qiyamat is a Day, which is a 'day' in its real meaning with which there is no night.
The Day will be of fifty thousand years' duration when the sun of truth will shine. In Qiyamat we will realize what we are and what others are.
We have mentioned above that there will be several stations in Qiyamat. The station astonishment has been described earlier. Another station is that of fear which causes silence and stillness as mentioned in the Holy Qur’an:
“And the voices shall be low before the Beneficent God so that you shall not hear aught but a soft sound. “(20:108)”
And warn them of the day that draws near, when hearts shall rise up to the throats, “(40:18)
The third station is that of talks and conversation, of questions and answers between people:
“And some of them shall advance towards others, questioning each other. “(37:27)
They will ask one another about their good and bad deeds.
One of the stations will be that of fleeing and running away wherein all will run to avoid one another. Father will run away from son, wife and husband from one another, brother from brother. Everyone would try to avoid one another. All will try to hide their faces. The Holy Qur’an has likened it with scattered moths:
“The day on which men shall be as scattered moths, “(101:3)
In Surah Qamar God says:
“Their eyes cast down, going forth from their graves as if they were scattered locusts, “(54:7)
Fear will show out of the eyes of the unbelievers. When they will come out of their grave, they will scatter like locusts in the field of Mahshar.
You must have observed that when an army of locusts arrives how everyone of them flies in different direction, some upward, some downward, some in the right, some in the left. They remain scattered in an unorganised manner. Husband and wife, father and son etc will also, in the field of Mahshar, on the Day of Resurrection, remain scattered likewise for avoiding one another. But this fleeing of theirs will be useless.
As mentioned in the explanation of Surah Rahman on that day, God will command that angels on the first sky should come down to earth and take the entire mankind in their control. The angels of the second sky will stand encircling the angles of the first sky. Similarly angels of all the seven skies will line up. These will be the Divine armies, which will encircle and the Grand Field of Gathering (Mahshar):
“O assembly of the jinn and the men! If you are able to pass through the regions of the heavens and the earth, then pass through; you cannot pass through but with authority. “(55:33)
On that Day men will ask, “Where should I run away?” There is no place or room for escaping except towards the Lord. This also is only for one who had some connection with God. Otherwise, for others, there is no escape.
One more station will be that of asking and begging. Everyone will request his acquaintance to offer one of his goods (reward fetching deeds) but no one will oblige because he himself is also in dire need of it.
A father will say to his son, “How many hardships I suffered for you sake in the world. How much trouble I took for training you? Now, you please give me one of your good deeds.”
The son will reply, “At this time, I myself am in dire need of the good and I am more needy than you.” Similarly a brother will tell his brother. But none would be able to help the other. All would be in terrible anxiety and will not care for others.
Whether they use paper and ink or have any other way. Only the eye of the Messenger can see it.
In short, Even the slightest step that you take is being noted down by the angels. They record even the intention of doing a good deed. Of course no evil (sin) is noted until it is committed.
The narrator asked the Imam (a.s.) how angels know good intention of a faithful person? The Imam replied, “As soon as a servant thinks of doing a good deed his body emanates a pleasing fragrance. So the angels understand it and they record that good intention.”
When a fellow thinks of committing an evil, the bad smell of it hurts the angels. If a man thinks of doing good, a good is at once noted in his record of deeds. Then, if he carries out that good deed, ten goods are noted in his record.
“Whoever brings a good deed, he shall have ten like it, and whoever brings an evil deed, he shall be recompensed only with the like of it, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly. “(6:160)
Just see His generosity. The one who will do a good deed will get ten-fold reward of it. But if a man commits an evil he will be punished only for that one crime or offence and he will not be dealt with unfairly.
One of the mercies and generosities of the Most Merciful One is also this kindness that when a servant intends to do an evil the angel named Ateed wants to note it down. But the angel Raqueeb tells him, “Just wait. Give him some respite. Perhaps he may feel ashamed at his intention and may repent over it.”
So that person is given a respite of about five to seven hours and no evil is entered in his work sheet. It is all right if he repents during this time. Otherwise, the angels say, “How shameless is this servant.” Then they enter his crime.
Narrations show that there are two records for every person. One is the record of good and another of evils. Each and every deed is recorded in one of the two records. So much so that if a man blows in furnace or fire that action too is noted down. It is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an:
“And everything they have done is in the writings. And everything small and great is written down. “(54:52-53)
Shaykh Sadooq (a.r.) has mentioned in his book Aqaid that one day, Amirul Mu’minin (a.s.) was passing by a place where he saw a group of youths who were busy in senseless talking and joking. The Imam said, “Are you darkening your records of deeds by such foolish deeds?” They replied, “O Amirul Mu’minin! Do angels note even such gossips?” The Imam (a.s.) replied, “Yes, they record even a blow in fire.”
Yes, even if you pick up and throw away a little thorn from a thoroughfare, your eyes will be bright and cool tomorrow in Qiyamat, because you saved the servants of God from harm. If you find a peel of banana or any other fruit on a road and if you remove it with an intention of saving God's servants from falling down, then remember, even this small and insignificant deed will also not go unrewarded.
Here arises a question that when God is All-knowing Himself why any need of recording deeds of His servants?
“Nay! Most surely the record of the righteous shall be in the Iliyin. “(83:18)”
Nay! most surely the record of the wicked is in the Sijjin. “(83:7)
Why all this giving the record of good people in their right hands by the angels and their carrying upwards and the records of evil fellows downwards? The answer is that the Most Merciful God likes it that His servants may not even go near evils and sins. If he knows that there is someone who is recording his deeds as per God's Command, he will remain cautious.
O sinful servant! Beware! The Lord of the Universe has appointed two spies over you in addition to your own body organs so that man may have some shame. On the other hand, they may be encouraged to do good through their knowledge about the recording of deeds and its importance and their good consequences. For a clearer understanding we explain as follows:
How much happiness the student feels who stands first in the examination. He jumps and shouts so that all may know about his shinning success. “Come and look at my mark sheet!” shouts the student, “I have stood first.”
Tomorrow, on the Day of Judgement too, a believer will be given his scroll of Deeds in his right hand his happiness will know no bounds and he will very joyfully tell everyone, “O friends! O my acquaintances! Just read my Record of deeds.”
“Then as for him who is given his book in his right hand, he will say: Lo! read my book: “(19:69)
Look at this testimonial about the acceptance of my prayers, my fasting and my good deeds! I was always worrying about the accounting of this Day.
“Surely I knew that I shall meet my account. So he shall be in a life of pleasure, “(69:20-21)
But how unlucky is the child who has failed in his examination. He will walk towards his home bowing his head in a very unhappy state of mind. He will be telling to himself: Had I died and not seen this dark day of shame.
Sometimes such badly affected child also becomes ill. Multiply the degree of effect of this example a thousand times. You will have an idea of the pitiable condition of sinners when they will be given their record of deeds in their left hand.
And as for him who is given his book in his left hand he shall say: O would that my book had never been given me:
“And I had not known what my account was: O would that it had made an end (of me): My wealth has availed me nothing: My authority is gone away from me. “(69:25-29)
He will say so only because he will observe that his record has nothing but shame. He will wish for death after which there would be no death again and everything would end permanently. Then he will wail, “Neither my money help me nor my land and my power all have left me lurking in pain and shame.”
There also will be some people in the field of Mahshar on the Day of Judgement, who will be handed over their records of deeds from behind:
“And as to him who is given his book behind his back, He shall call for perdition, And enter into burning fire. “(84:10-12)
This (giving of record from behind) can be in two ways: First, both of his hands may be tied to his back and his head will be turned so that he can read his record. Another way can be that his left hand will pierce in his chest forcing it to come out of his back and then his face will be turned and he will be ordered to read his record:
“Read your book; your own self is sufficient as a reckoner against you this day. “(17:14)
He will himself read back-biting, false allegations, lies, shameless utterances and actions, assaults on others' honour and all other evils committed by him in his worldly life. Likewise, he will also read the offences done by his physical organs. He would start wailing, “This book is such that it has not left even any big or small deed of mine without writing it down.” Whatever he has done in the world will be now before his own eyes.
“And the Book shall be placed, then you will see the guilty fearing from what is in it, and they will say: Ah! woe to us! what a book is this! it does not omit a small one nor a great one, but numbers them (all); and what they had done they shall find present (there); and your Lord does not deal unjustly with anyone. “(18:49)
Some people will be such that reading their records of deeds all the joints of their bodies will disintegrate. Blood and dirt will begin to flow from their eyes. It is mentioned in a tradition of the Holy Prophet that, at that time, a voice will come, “Is there in this record even a single deed which you had not done?” He will reply, “No, O My Lord! Everything recorded in this sheet is true.” Then he will bow his head in shame.
On the Day of Judgement, man will, in a split second, remember all of his lifelong deeds and also see them recorded in a scroll or sheet. It would be a very strange realm. Everyone's record will appear clear before everyone's eyes. Some people will be able to become free of accounting within seconds. They will be the righteous people.
But some would remain suspended in their accounting for a thousand years, not because their record will be very lengthy but what will be aimed at will be the pain and hardship due for them. Some people's accounting will take very little time, just as for milking a sheep. The time taken for some people's account will be, so to say, from noon to Asr afternoon. Some will remain suspended in accounting for forty years, a thousand years and even up to fifty thousand years in some cases.
And the return of the creation is towards you and their accounting is upon you.
It is mentioned by Shaykh Mufeed (r.a.) through consecutive evidences in Biharul Anwar vol. 3 that Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said, “On the Day of Judgement God Almighty will entrust the accounting of our Shi’as to us. Then if there will be anything due to God, we will request God to grant it to us and it will be granted. Then whatever will be due to us from them we will forgive. Then the Imam recited this verse:
“Surely to Us is their turning back, Then surely upon Us is the taking of their account. “(88:25-66)
In the third volume of the same book of Biharul Anwar there is another narration relating to the accounting on the Day of Judgement wherein the Imam says after the mention of God's rights and Imam's rights (which will be forgiven), “If Shi’as have to pay up the dues of people, the same will be paid up to the concerned people by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.).”
May the Most Merciful Allah make us the Shi’as of Aale Muhammad (a.s.) and also raise us with them on the Day of grand gathering. Amen.
The good tiding for Shi’as is that, on the Day of Judgement, Almighty Allah will call every community with their Imam. Glory be to Allah! How lucky is the deed the auditor of which will be Hazrat Hujjat Ibn-ul-Hasan (a.t.f.s.).
When the Imam will look at our deeds, though we will be bowing our heads down due to our shameful deeds, we will be hopeful because of being his lovers that he will intercede for us. Thanks to the Merciful God that our accounting will be in the hands of the one who will be extremely generous and who will be having a very high status in the court of God Who alone is worth worship.
The Balance (Mizan) of the Divine Justice in which there is not the slightest chance of deviation or mistake is the Holy Prophet or Amirul Mu’minin ‘Ali (a.s.). If the Prayers of all the earlier and the latter people are compared with the prayer of ‘Ali (a.s.) the latter's prayer will surpass all other's prayers.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) is reported to have said, “The balances or scales which will be established on the Day of Judgement, for weighting the deeds of people will be the Prophets and their legatees.” They are the Aale Muhammad (a.s.). Our prayers will be brought to the field of the Grand Gathering (Mahshar) and it will be observed whether or not they have any resemblance with the prayers of ‘Ali (a.s.).
Whether or not we have anything like the high virtues of ‘Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.) like generosity, courage, bravery, self-respect, manliness, kindness, justice and fair-play etc. Have we any of it and up to what extent?
Of course, it is established fact that doubtlessly it is impossible that our deeds, prayers, fasting and our virtues could ever be like those of Imam ‘Ali (a.s.). The only thing to be seen is that our deeds must not be contrary to the character of Amirul Mu’minin and the Holy Imams (a.s.); that they should not be deviated or divergent from that. So, God forbid, if you have extended your hand towards any prohibited thing or have eaten the property of others unlawfully then do remember that you have turned away from the balance of the truth.
Has a man who is religious, who walks straight and acts with justice any deprivation compared to one who adopts an irreligious and unfair path? What does the former lack? These veiled women who observe religious commands; are they lacking in anything when compared with the free thinking unveiled women?
What comfort is not available to the religious woman? Do not imagine that more pleasure of life is available to the unveiled women. If there is any happiness, it is for the faithful also. If there is illness and pain, it inflicts both.
There is no difference between them. Both are participating in the pleasures of marriage. Both are equal in the matter of legal and lawful worldly joys, though such joys too are not permanent. On the contrary, we often see how an irreligious person suffers several deprivations. Let me give an example.
Such an irreligious man looks at a beautiful woman in a cinema hall and his heart becomes uncontrollable. Sometimes he becomes mad after such desire. But does he succeed in what his heart longs for? Whatever troubles he may take, it is not necessary that he must succeed in his desire, because, it is possible that the said woman may be married.
How sorry will that man be after knowing this? Or think of the drunkards. It is quite possible that in their condition of intoxication they may quarrel or kill one another and then lead a lonely life behind bars for several years. This applies to other matters too.
A trader who cares for what is permissible and what is unlawful knows that the guarantor of his sustenance or provision is Almighty God. So he does not indulge in dishonestly and unfair dealing in his business. He does not worship the buyer. He does not flatter or deceive his buyers. But the unlucky trader who does not care for truth and justice and fair play, flatters his buyers and deceives them in various ways.
From every angle, we find such trader wrong and wayward. If we look from the material viewpoint, we will find that the deviated people are in no way superior to the righteous ones. Rather if there is anything like true happiness and peace of mind and comfort it is available only to the righteous and religious people:
“Those are they who shall have the security and they are those who go aright. “(6:82)
The summary of our discussion is that those who abide by the balance of truth have not lost or missed anything in this world also, nor are they now at any loss. Rather, even if there is any profit they alone are benefited by it. On the contrary, those poor people who deviate from the true path are certain to bear the loss in the Hereafter. Their profit in this world is also doubtful. Rather, they get nothing but loss and harm.
For example, if he has gained a profit of ten dollars by way of cheating or unfair dealing, he spends its hundred fold in medicines. So, O people who seek satisfaction in this world! Never deviate from the true path. Let me know, have you ever suffered any loss due to walking on the straight path? If you have not told a lie even in any single matter, have you definitely suffered any loss due that truthfulness? Then why should we ever leave the path of truth?
Come, let us all take an oath that we will never deviate from the balance of truth and the balance of truth is the person of the Amirul Mu’minin (a.s.).
On the Day of Resurrection, people will be divided into four groups on the basis of their accounting: Some people will enter paradise without any accounting. They will be the friends of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) who never committed any unlawful deed or they left the world after repenting. Another group will be quite opposite of them, that is, they will go to hell straight away without any accounting. About them God Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an:
“These are they who disbelieve in the communications of their Lord and His meeting, so their deeds become null, and therefore We will not set up a balance for them on the day of resurrection. “(18:105)
There will be no accounting of those who leave the world without Faith. There will be no value of their deeds because they had died without Faith.
The third group is of those people whose deeds will be worth weighing. They will remain suspended at the stage of Qiyamat. But at last, since their good deeds will be more (than evils) they will get salvation. Of course their suspension in the station of accounting will be in proportion to their sins. Therefore, once the Holy Prophet told Ibne Masood, “Man will remain suspended for a hundred years in Mahshar due to one sin (though finally he will enter paradise).”
Of course, the narration does not specify as to what kind of sin it will be. So a faithful must fear the suspension in the station of Mahshar accounting. He should refrain from all big or small sins.
The fourth group will consist of those people the number of whose sins will be more than that of their good deeds. If they are lucky to get the intercession of the Infallibles and if God showers His mercy on them, they will get salvation and will go to paradise. Otherwise they will be awarded the punishment in hell.
They will have to remain in hell till they get purified by the chastisement. Then they will get salvation and angels will take them to paradise. No person who had even the slightest Faith will remain in hell forever.
Only the unbelievers and the enemies of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) will live in hell permanently. It means they will get no reward (everything will be given to them either in the world or in Barzakh). Even if his good deeds are numerous, he will never get a place in paradise because the basis of entrance to paradise is belief in Almighty God and His Signs (verses). How can one who does not have faith in God and who dies in such a condition ever see paradise?
It is mentioned in the tradition regarding a Bedouin and the lizard that the Holy Prophet once said, “I will guarantee the provision of righteousness to the one who provides journey provisions to this Bedouin.” Salman asked, “O messenger of God! What is the provision of righteousness?” The Prophet said, “Saying Laa Ilaah Illallaah at the time of death. If you say so at that time, you will see me. Otherwise you will not see me.”6
It must be understood here that reciting the formula faith in the oneness of God means dying with faith in heart. So if one is in the state of dying and is unable even to move his tongue and to utter anything, the said faith in heart is enough. In such a condition if people recite the reminder (Talqeen) to him, he must take it to heart.
And (as for) those who disbelieve, for them is destruction and He has made their deeds ineffective. That is because they hated what Allah revealed, so He rendered “their deeds null. “(47:8-9)
We intend to describe this matter in a style understandable for all. The fact is that if a man leaves this world with no faith in God even after doing only good deeds throughout his life, he will not be benefit by it. 'Ahbaat' means to nullify, making void, to end and finish. Dying faithless nullifies all good deeds. If somebody asks, “Is it not written in the Holy Qur’an:
“So he who has done an atom's weight of good shall see it. “(99:7)
The reply is: The person who died faithless has himself destroyed his deeds, because, after denying God, there is no meaning for him of getting any reward and entering paradise (that is, whatever good he did, he did not do in obedience to God, but he did it only because it was good in his thought).
Therefore, God also paid him the reward of that good deed in the world, as He has said that He does not destroy anyone's deed. As we have said earlier, for example, it is possible that he may get relief during the agony of death or he may not become ill or regain health soon, may not suffer any monetary losses etc.
It is also likely that good deeds of an unbeliever may cause curtailment in his punishment in the Hereafter. Accordingly it is said that since the generosity of Hatim Tai and the justice of Nausherwan was famous, hellfire does not burn them though they are in it.
“And repentance is not for those who go on doing evil deeds, until when death comes to one of them, he says: Surely now I repent; nor (for) those who die while they are unbelievers. “(4:18)
Also it is mentioned at another place:
“And (as to) those who reject Our communications and the meeting of the hereafter, their deeds are null. Shall they be rewarded except for what they have done? “(7:147)
That is, One who goes as an unbeliever from this world, his deeds will go in vain.
All the verses and traditions, which were mentioned so far, about going of deeds in vain, were regarding atheism and polytheism. But what about other sins or offences? Do they also make good deeds go in vain?
Yes! Some of the sins are such according to some specific narrations. For example, regarding disobedience to parents, it is mentioned by the Infallibles (a.s.) that:
A voice will be heard: O disobedient to parents! Do whatever you wish; none of your good deeds will ever be accepted.
If someone has made his or her mother unhappy, her complain will burn down into ashes good deeds even if they are Himalayan in size. Some other sins like making false allegations against others also make one faithless. Likewise it is also mentioned that if one is much jealous and openly so, causing pain to others, then according to a narration: Jealousy devours faith like fire devours wood.
The root of 'Takfeer' (disbelief) is 'Kufr'.
“That He may cause the believing men and the believing women to enter gardens beneath which rivers flow to abide therein and remove from them their evil… “(48:5)
It means covering (hiding) and to remove the effect of sins. There is no doubt that becoming a believer removes the effects of earlier disbelief. So if one was faithless from the beginning of his life but he believed (became Muslim) at the end and dies, he will certainly get salvation.
But the thing, which can remove the effects of sins committed by a faithful person, is true repentance. The Holy Qur’an says:
“So these are they of whom Allah changes the evil deeds to good ones; “(25:7)
It means that the kind and Merciful God changes their sins and offences into good deeds and virtues.
Do any other good deeds except true Repentance also remove sins? The answer is:
Surely good deeds take away evil deeds; (11:114)
This apparently shows that doing good deeds removes the effects of evil ones. But it could not be made specific as to which good deeds are so effective. Of course there are many narrations that speak about such good deeds.
For instance, it is mentioned in Biharul Anwar, vol. 15, that a person came to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and submitted, “O messenger of God I have committed a very big sin (he had, when he was an unbeliever, buried his daughter alive). So please show me a good deed that may result in my forgiveness by God.” The Prophet asked, “Is your mother alive?”
He replied in the negative. (This indicates that behaving nicely with mother is the best remedy for the removal of great consequences of great sins). The Holy Prophet then asked, “Is your aunt (mother's sister) alive?” He said, “Yes.” The Prophet said, “Go and behave nicely with your aunt (it will turn into a good behaviour with your mother due to her close relation with your late mother).” Then the Holy Prophet added, “It would have been better had his mother been alive,” because good behaviour with mother is very effective in removing consequences of such sins.
It is mentioned at many places in the Holy Qur’an that the Messengers and the communities will be asked,
“Most certainly then We will question those to whom (the apostles) were sent, and most certainly We will also question the apostles; “(7:6)
The messengers and Prophets will be asked, “We had sent you to invite people towards Us. Did you convey the message to them?” They will submit, “Our Lord! You are witness that we left no stone unturned in this matter.” A voice will be heard “Who is your witness?” All will reply, “O Our Lord! Our witness is the last prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.).”
“And thus We have made you a medium (just) nation that you may be the bearers of witness to the people and (that) the Apostle may be a bearer of witness to you; “(2:143)
Similarly, Isa (a.s.) will be asked, “Did you tell people to worship you and your mother?” Prophet Isa (a.s.) will tremble and say, “My Lord! Had I said so, You must have known it at once. What I said was only that I am a servant of God. So worship only my Lord and your Lord.”
“And when Allah will say: O Isa son of Marium! did you say to men, Take me and my mother for two gods besides Allah, he will say: Glory be to Thee, it did not befit me that I should say what I had no right to (say); “(5:116)
Communities will also be questioned, “Did your messenger not inform you about the events of today?” All would reply, “Yes, O Lord, they did!”
On the Day of the Grand Gathering one of the questions will also be about bounties granted to us by the Lord of the Universe as to what was our attitude regarding the same.
“Then on that day you shall most certainly be questioned about the boons. “(102:8)
Meaning, “Did you thank God for the bounties or you lived and behaved ungratefully?”
There are different narrations regarding thanklessness. The combined summary is that there are several standards of bounties, the most important and the highest rank is that of the bounty of guardianship (Wilayat) of Aale Muhammad, rather it is the only absolute bounty.
Imam (a.s.) said to Qatadah, “What do you Sunnis say about the Holy verse:
“Then on that day you shall most certainly be questioned about the boons.” “(102:8)
He replied, “There will be questioning about these food articles like bread and water etc.” The Imam (a.s.) said, “God is far higher than the questioner of such queries. Will you ever invite a guest and, after serving him good food, ask him about what he ate?” Qatadah asked, “Then what is meant by 'boons'?” The Imam replied, “It is the bounty in the form of our, the Aale Muhammad's love.”
It will be asked on the Day, “How did you deal with Aale Muhammad? To what extent you loved them? How much did you obey them?” Enemies of Ahlul Bayt would be asked, “Why did you have enmity towards this great bounty?”
Nothing would be asked about food and water, except extravagance made in it or about gaining it from prohibited sources and about spending it in prohibited ways. Likewise it will be asked, “Why did you commit such and such prohibited deed?”
Specific questions will be asked regarding some bounties. One of them is man's lifespan. It is mentioned in narrations that angels will not allow people to go further in the field of Mahshar until they reply four queries:
1. How did he spend his life and in which deeds was he engaged during his youth.
2. Where from and how he or she earned money and where and how they spent it?
3. There will be questioning about the Wilayat of Aale Muhammad (a.s.) and the Divine Law will be enforced very strictly in this matter.
4. Where did one spend the wealth? If it were given to poor for making a show of generosity, it will draw punishment.
“And stop them, for they shall be questioned: “(37:24)
The first question in the Gathering would be about Prayer.
If Prayer is accepted all other deeds would also be accepted…7
Were the obligatory prayers offered in their proper times or not? Since Prayer is the greatest pillar of religion and the greatest trust of God, was it offered properly? Then there will be inquiry about all other worships and prayers.
Amirul Mu’minin ‘Ali (a.s.) says in Nahaj-ul-Balagah:
Sins are of three kinds: The one, which will be forgiven, two; the doer of which can hope for pardon and three; the sin which would never be forgiven.
The forgivable sin will be that which might have been paid for in the world. For example, the offender might have been punished according to Shariat Law because God is far higher than to punish anybody twice for one and the same offence. Another kind of sin, which can be hoped to be pardoned, is the sin the compensation for which might not have been made in the worldly life but the offender had made a true repentance.
The third type of sin, which is not at all forgivable, is the taking away of someone's right or oppressing somebody. These are the rights of people. God will never overlook them. If one has taken unfairly or oppressively even a little trifling thing of somebody unjustly, Almighty Allah will make the oppressor repay it to the oppressed. That is meant by 'Mirsad' in the verse:
“Most surely your Lord is watching (Mirsad). “(89:14)
It is described as the 'Valley of people's rights', that is to say; your Lord is there to secure everyone's right.It is described as the 'Valley of people's rights', that is to say; your Lord is there to secure everyone's right.
Muhaddith Qummi has, in Manazelul Aakhirah, recorded the story of a famous pious man Sulaiman Daaraai, the well-known worshipper. He writes that after he died, some people saw him in their dreams and asked about his condition.
He said, “I have remained suspended for one year in a valley. The reason is that, one day, some people were carrying bundles of hay to the city. I just took one straw from a bundle for using it as a toothpick. After my death, I am in this chastisement for the last one year for the sin of not obtaining the consent of the owner of the hay before taking up the straw from his bundle. They (the angels) ask me, 'Did you know that the owner would have permitted it?'“
Do not ask, “Does a straw have any worth?” It is true that its value is insignificant. Yet, it is anyway a property of someone. Some people take up some things from the property in the presence of the owner (and the owner keeps quiet by way of regard or respect). Such taking away of other's property is called 'Shameless taking' about which it is mentioned in narrations that it is just like usurpation and hence prohibited.
Perform such deeds that, while leaving this world, there may not be even the slightest burden on your shoulders. If you were careless about this till now, still try to obtain the agreement of the owners of the usurped things. This valley of rights too has stages depending on the people. It is written that for some, such suspension will be for a thousand years.
God Almighty will deal with people in two ways. One dealing will be based on Justice and another on Grace. Everyone who has to pay someone's rights will be compensated by snatching away some good deeds of the oppressor and giving them to the oppressed one. This dealing will be based on Justice. For instance, somebody had put a
false allegation on someone or had backbitten him or her. Now only God knows how many of the good deeds of the backbiter should be taken from him and given to the oppressed one. Now, in case, the oppressor has nothing like a good deed in his account, the demand of Divine Justice will be that a proportionate sin of the oppressed may be added to the account of the oppressor or backbiter.
There is a lengthy tradition in Rauzatul Kafi regarding the accounting and dispensing of justice on the Day of Resurrection. Therein Imam Zainul Aabedeen (a.s.) is reported to have said, “God Almighty says, 'I am the Only One God. No one except Me is worth worship. I am the Ruler and the Judge Who says nothing against truth. I deal with you on the basis of justice. Today no one will wronged in My Most Supreme Court.
Today I will take from the mighty wrongdoer the compensation of the oppressed weak. I will recollect from the debtor the due debt and will make the payment of one another through exchange of good and bad deeds done by them. Today is the Day on which, from this difficult path, no one can pass from My sight without accounting for the rights, which were usurped by him. O people who have gathered in the Grand Field of Mahshar! Catch hold of every concerned oppressor and obtain whatever is due to you. I Myself am the witness against the oppressors.'”8
It is mentioned at the end of the aforesaid tradition that a Quraishite man asked the Imam (a.s.), “If some dues are to be paid to a faithful by an unbeliever what will he obtain from the latter who will be in hell?”
The Imam (a.s.) replied, “A proportionate cut will be made in the sins of the believer and its punishment will be added to the chastisement of the unbeliever.”
The Quraishite inquired, “If a Muslim has to obtain his right from another Muslim how will it be retrieved?”
The Imam replied, “A proportionate cut will be made in the good deed (reward) of the oppressor and it will be added to the reward of the latter whose dues had remained unpaid.”
Again the Quraishite asked, “What if there is no good in the scroll of the oppressor?”
Imam (a.s.) said, “A proportionate cut will be made in the sins of the oppressed and its punishment will be added to that of the oppressor.”
It must not go unmentioned that if an unbeliever has to get his right from a Muslim, since the unbeliever is not qualified to obtain a believer's good, the demand of divine justice will be that a proportionate cut be made in the punishment due to the unbeliever. For a further understanding of this problem please refer to the story of a Jew who had to be paid five Qiraan from a worshipper believer. It has been mentioned in this book earlier.
Imam Zainul Aabedeen (a.s.) has been quoted in Layaliul Akhbar at p. 548 that on the Day of Resurrection, the hand of a person will be held and raised high so that all could see it. Then it will be announced, “If anyone has to take his dues from this person he should come forward and take it.” No other thing will be more difficult than this situation for the people in the field of Mahshar that one's acquaintances should see one. He will fear lest they may not claim their unpaid dues from him.
In the same book, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) is reported to have said to his companions, “Do you know who is poor?” They replied, “He among us is poor who does not have any money nor any property or assets.”
The Holy Prophet replied, “In fact, the poor in my Ummah is the one who will bring with him his prayers, fasts, Zakat and Hajj but he had also given a bad name to somebody, had taken someone's property unjustly or had shed somebody's blood wrongly or had beaten someone unlawfully. So all of his good (rewards) will be distributed to the aforesaid claimers in proportion to their usurped rights until all of his good will be finished and yet he will remain indebted. Then the sins of the rightful claimers will be thrown in the account of the indebted fellow.”
The person, who will be showered with Divine Mercy, will, even though he remains suspended in the station of people's rights, as he will have to repay some unpaid rights he will be dealt with gracefully. At the time some persons will be drowning in their own perspiration. The Most Merciful Allah will, and then show to the gathering a palace of paradise. Then a voice will be heard, “O people! Who claim any right from this one of my servants! Listen. If you desire to dwell in this heavenly palace then, give up your dues and free him.”
Truly, a man who behaves straight with God, his dealing remains straight everywhere. How it is ever possible that God may not straighten it? That is why Imam Sajjad (a.s.) weeps, “O God! Who except You will save and protect me tomorrow from the claimers of their rights.”
Come, let us all also pray, “O Lord! Please deal with us on the basis of Your Grace and Generosity and Kindness.” The Imam had taught a prayer to Abu Hamzah Thumali in which it is mentioned at many places: My God! I beseech Your Grace and Mercy.
The Qur’an says,
“Surely We have given you Kauthar, “(108:1)
One of the Islamic matters about which there is specific mention in the Holy Qur’an and so also in both Shi’a and Sunni narrations is The Pool of Kauthar: “That abundant good which has been granted by the Lord of the Universe to His Messenger Muhammad Mustafa (s.a.w.s.).”
The length of this cistern, as mentioned earlier, is equal to the distance from Sana to Basra. Cups equal to the number of stars in the sky will be on its bank, which will be filled by the hands of Houries and will be served to the Believer. These cups will be of various kinds; some will be made of heavenly silver and some of flint glass.
According to some narrations, this Hauz or cistern will be divided into three parts:
Heavenly wine, milk and honey will be flowing in streams.
Anyway, it is certain that the contents of this cistern of the Holy Prophet will be sweeter than honey and cooler than ice. Glory to God. What to talk of the cistern the drinking from which will be very pleasing and after drinking which one will ever be thirsty.
And quench our thirst from the Cistern of his ancestor, by his cup and by his hand…(Dua Nudbah)
Shaykh Shustari has, in Khasais, and other tradition writers too, have in their works, mentioned that the distributors of the Pool of Kauthar will be the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and Amirul Mu’minin (a.s.) and that every believer will get the water of Kauthar.
The mourners of Husain (a.s.) have one additional distinction with respect to the Pool of Kauthar. Imam Sadiq (a.s) says, “The mourners of Husain (a.s.) will on arrival at the Pool of Kauthar make the pool happy.”
For more details please refer to the first part of the late Khaybani's book Muharram Wa Waqaiyal Aiyaam.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) has said, “The Lord of the universe has created a thousand tress around this pool. Every tree has three hundred and sixty branches full of leaves and every leaf gives out (releases) different songs. If you want to hear those sweet and pleasing sounds, then you must make your ears worthy of it, that is, you should not lend your ears to worldly music and the non-sense that accompany it.”
Owner of the Liwaul Hamd flag and the praised position (Maqam al-Mahmood)
One of the stations of Qiyamat will also be that of appearance of the grandeur and greatness of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) and the progeny of Muhammad (a.s.).
Liwaul Hamd means the flag the high span of which will be equal to the distance covered in a thousand years' journey. There will be three parts in that flag and each one of them will be equal to the distance between the east and west. It is mentioned in another narration that every part of that flag will be bigger than the sun and the moon. On one of them will be written 'In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful', on the second, 'Praise be to Allah the Lord of the worlds' and on the third, 'There is no god except Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah'.
All the messengers, prophets, pious and righteous people and the faithful will camp beneath that flag the bearer of which will be the conqueror of Khaibar Amirul Mu’minin ‘Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.).
“And bring near to the Wasilah”
In the aforesaid words of the prayer, 'Wasilah' means that particular pulpit of light, which will be established in the field of Mahshar. It will have one thousand steps and every step would be cemented with another by emerald, chrysolite, ruby and gold and all these precious things will be from paradise.
The topmost step will be reserved for the last Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) and the one below it will be for the immediate legatee of the Holy Prophet, Amirul Mu’minin ‘Ali (a.s.) and those lower will be for Ibrahim (a.s.) and other messengers and legatees according to their ranks.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) will occupy the pulpit so elegantly and will be initiating the praise of Almighty Allah in such a magnificent way that none of the formers and the latters will have ever heard such praise.
After the said glorification of the Lord Almighty, the Holy Prophet will say to the angels, the messengers, the righteous people and the faithful, “What to say about the fortune whereby of the first person of the realm of existence who he may remember on this high place. O Lord! Place us among this pious group.” Read this sentence carefully in the Ziyarat of Ashura:
I beseech Allah for reaching the Maqam al-Mahmood (the praised stage) which (O Aale Muhammad!) God has reserved for you.
This high station is the reward of the Holy Prophet's waking during nights and early rising at dawn:
“And during a part of the night, pray Tahajjud (the midnight prayer) beyond what is incumbent on you; maybe your Lord will raise you to a position of great glory (Maqam al-Mahmood). “(17:79)
The Holy Prophet did not rest during nights for ten years till dawn and he worshipped so much that his legs became swollen.
At the said Maqam al-Mahmood, the most beautiful angel will come to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and salute him and say, “I am Rizwan, the keeper of paradise.” Then he will submit the keys of paradise to the Holy Prophet.
Thereafter a very fearsome and ugly angel will approach the Holy Prophet and submit the keys of hell to him. The Holy Prophet will entrust all the keys to the Amirul Mu’minin ‘Ali (a.s.). The Amir (a.s.) will come to the Sirat Bridge and only he will go to paradise those he permits. The leaping flames of hellfire will drag others to Hell.
The Holy Prophet will tell Amirul Mu’minin, “O ‘Ali! The obedience of the hell fire to you is much more than the obedience of a slave to his master.”
“And most surely those who do not believe in the hereafter are deviating from the way. “(23:74)
Sirat too is one of the things belief in which is obligatory and it is one of the Essentials of Faith. So one must have an overall faith in it.
The literal meaning of Sirat is 'Path'! Those people who had remained on the right path, that is, who had not deviated from the right way of truth, honesty and righteousness will, in the Hereafter too, pass securely and safely on the path over hell.
Some of them will cross that bridge as swiftly as lightning, some like mounted men and some falling and rising. Briefly speaking, they will cross that bridge in the same way in which they had crossed the path of their lives in the world.
Explaining the Holy Verse:
“And hell is made to appear on that day. On that day shall man be mindful, and what shall being mindful (then) avail him? “(89:23)
The Holy Prophet is reported to have said, “On the Day of Resurrection, hell will be brought forth in such a manner that it will have a thousand bridles and every bridle will be held by a thousand angels. Thus a million angels will be dragging hell. Hell will be shrieking and flames will be leaping high from it. It will encircle the entire gathering in Mahshar like the bezel of a ring.
People of hell will be so restless that some of them will be almost dead. At that time will come the Command of God to bring forth Sirat. A bridge will be raised over hell and each and everyone will have to pass over it without any exception. The following verses explain this matter:
And there is not one of you but shall come to it; this is an unavoidable decree of your Lord. And We will deliver those who guarded (against evil), and We will leave the unjust therein on their knees. (19:71-72)
Both the people of paradise and the people of hell will have to cross that bridge. Then the Holy Prophet said, “There will be seven valleys in that path and there will be some stations in every valley and every station will be of a length of seventeen thousand farsakhs (1 farsakh=6 km) and seventy thousand angles will be posted in every valley. All will have to cross all of these valleys compulsorily.”
You will be stopped at the beginning of the bridge. “O the one who had broken off relations with your father and mother and brother!” Bad consequences of bad behaviour with these close relatives do appear even before death like decrease in lifespan and removal of bountifulness from wealth. One will be asked about this offence in Qiyamat at the start of Sirat also. The Holy Qur’an asserts:
“And be careful of (your duty to) Allah, by Whom you demand one of another (your rights), and (to) the ties of relationship; “(4:1)
If anyone of your close relatives becomes ill, visit him, help him if he is poor and needy. Support him if required. Do visit him at appropriate hours without fail.
Another station is that of trustworthiness. It is not concerned only with money. If someone tells you something and also says that it should be kept secret and then if you tell it to someone else then also you have done a dishonest thing (a breach of trust).
A gathering is a trust. That is whatever is disclosed to you in a private gathering is considered a trust with you.
If you have dishonoured or disgraced somebody, then you have been dishonest with him. For example, someone pledged his house with you and took a loan from you. Now, if he returns your money at the fixed time and you do not return his house to him, you have committed dishonesty, because, it will be an excessive use (contrary to contract conditions).
Similarly, if you have taken someone's house or shop on hire or lease you must vacate the said premises as soon as the period ends. In short, be the dishonesty verbal or in deed, you will be questioned about it.
One more station in the very first valley, which has been mentioned in many Sunni and Shi’a narrations, is the Wilayat of ‘Ali (a.s.). In commentaries like that of Thalabi, the explanation of verse:
“And stop them, “(37:24)
Is shown as: Stop them! They will be asked also about the Wilayat of ‘Ali, that is, whether or not they were friendly with ‘Ali (a.s.)?
Hamuyuni and Tabari both are famous Sunni scholars. They have said that the Holy Prophet remarked, “O ‘Ali! The one who will possess the permit of your Wilayat (friendship) will cross the bridge.”
There are many other narrations also which we omit for brevity sake.
After crossing the first valley (Wilayat, Trust and Family relations) man will reach the second valley where he will be asked about daily prayers (Salat), prayers for Signs (such as eclipses) and missed prayers etc. as hinted earlier.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said, “The one who missed prayers will not receive my intercession. The last Will of Imam Sadiq (a.s) was, “Our intercession can never reach those who underestimated the value of Prayer”9, for example, who prayed Morning Prayer at sunrise or just before it, or offered Afternoon Prayers near the sunset. Such people will also not get the intercession of the Infallibles (a.s.). Then what to say about those who do not pray at all? “
It is mentioned in narrations that one who gives up prayers dies thirsty and he will also rise thirsty on the Day of Judgement.
A point which I want to emphasize and which I wish that all should know and convey it to others also is the responsibility, which is on us with regard to our children. We must make our children habituated to prayers even before they become adult.
It is incumbent on all of us to train our children in such a manner they may become regular worshippers. There is no doubt in it that we will get its reward. The reward of whatever good deeds the children do before majority (as a result of the parents' efforts) will reach the parents. Even after the children become adults, their parents will benefit by their good works, as God will be pleased with the parents who trained their children nicely.
You might have heard that once a messenger was passing by a graveyard with his companions. At one spot, the Prophet told his companions, “Walk away from this spot quickly because the person in this grave is being punished.”
One year thereafter, that messenger was again passing with the same companions by the same graveyard but then there was no sign of any chastisement. The messenger said to God, “O Lord! How is it that now this body is not being punished?”
Came a voice, “He had a son. After this man died, people took his son to a Madressa where the teacher taught the child to recite 'Bismillah-ir-Rahmaan-ir-Raheem'. So when the child recited this and remembered Me with my attributes of Rahman (kind) and Rahim (Merciful) We too removed from this child's father his punishment as he was the means of this child's birth.”
Thus a child's prayers and worship acts also benefit the parents. So it is our duty and the first demand of Amr Bil Maaroof and Nahy Anil Munkar (Commanding of good and prohibition of evils) that we should pay our attention first to our children and thereafter to other near and dear ones.
“O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones; “(66:6)
If someone had failed to pay even one dirham of Khums or Zakat (poor tax) then he will be stopped in the third valley. There are many narrations regarding those who do not pay Zakat. In one of them the Infallibles (a.s.) have said, “God will make 'aqraa' overpower the fellow who did not pay Zakat and it will cling to his neck.” (When a python becomes too much full of poison its hair fall down and such a gigantic bald python is called 'aqraa' in Arabic).
In another narration, the Imam says, “If a farmer does not pay Zakat on his land, the same land along with all of its seven layers turns into a heavy stone clung to his neck.
Similarly, it is mentioned that Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) will, in the time of his appearance, kill the one who stopped Zakat payment.
So beware! Not a single dirham of Zakat should remain unpaid because, if you had collected gold, silver and wealth and had not paid the Zakat for it, those dirhams and dinars will be made red hot in hellfire for branding the sides of that offender.
“On the day when it shall be heated in the fire of hell, then their foreheads and their sides and their backs shall be branded with it; this is what you hoarded up for yourselves, therefore taste what you hoarded. “(9:35)
By the way, let it also be understood that there is no difference between the Zakat of wealth and the Zakat of body. You should pay the Zakat of your body (Fitrah) during the night of Eid-ul-Fitr.
Now remains the problem of Khums. Narrations in this matter show that this questioning will be harsher than that regarding Zakat. Only one of many such narrations is sufficient for emphasis.
In Kafi and in Tahzeeb and also in Man Laa Yahzaruhul Faqih, it is written that Imam Ja'far Sadiq (a.s) said, “On the Day of Judgement, that hour will be extremely hard for people when those entitled to Khums will raise their claims and they will ask their dues from those who did not pay the same.” It is enough (for showing the importance of this matter and the seriousness of this offence) to mention that those who are intercessors will come up as opponents.
There will be questioning about the fasts of the Holy month of Ramadhan in the fourth valley.
Fast is a shield against fire.
The Holy Imam (a.s.) said that one who fasts gets two pleasures: The first is at the time of breaking the fast (sunset) when one gets a very pleasing feeling. Another is at the time of death or while crossing the Sirat when he or she will meet his or her Lord.
If a person, during any period of his life, gets the ability to perform Hajj (according to relevant conditions) and yet he does no perform it, then he will be stopped in this valley. Rather, on the basis of a narration, there are two groups who will be told at the time of their death:
You are dying as a Jew or a Christian (non at as a Muslim).
Those two groups consist of people who did not pay the due Zakat and those who did not perform Hajj. It is enough for the condemnation of one who does not perform obligatory Hajj to say that the Lord of the Universe has, in the Holy Qur’an, used the word unbeliever for him:
“And pilgrimage to the House is incumbent upon men for the sake of Allah, (upon) every one who is able to undertake the journey to it; and whoever disbelieves, then surely Allah is Self-sufficient, above any need of the worlds. “(3:97)
No more discussion on these subjects is advisable as, by so doing, we will be going out of the discussion of Principles of Faith. Our only intention is to provide their list to most of the believers.
Ibne Abbas is reported to have said that Taharat (ritual purity) means all the three types of cleansing, that it, Wuzu (ablution), Ghusl (bath) and Tayammum (dry ablution). Some tradition writers have said that what is meant is absolute cleanliness.
If someone is not regular in cleaning (women must especially take care of their cleanliness at particular times, otherwise) such persons will be stopped in the sixth valley for questioning in this regard. Rather, it is also found in some narrations that, as mentioned by us earlier, that being careless about cleanliness results in the punishment of the squeeze of the grave.
This valley is also called the Valley of Justice and the Valley of People's Rights. In the Holy Qur’an, it is called Mirsad, which means ambush:
“Most surely your Lord is watching (in ambush). “(89:14)
If anyone was slapped unjustly the offender will be detained in this valley for five hundred years and his bones will be crushed as a punishment for this crime.
O shopkeeper! What right have you to beat your servant? O teacher! On what legal ground are you punishing a child whereby it leaves bruised on the child's body? O Mr. Husband! Why are you beating your wives? From where did the husband get a right to whip his wife?
Of course, there are some exceptions. But such circumstances are rare and they are out of our subject and hence not discussed here. Otherwise we would have dealt with them also. The Qur’an says:
“And (as to) those (women) on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them (but only to the extent that there is no bleeding and no limb breaks); then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great. “(4:34)
In short, who is there who can claim that he has never breached and trampled the rights of others? The Infallible (a.s.) has said, “If somebody has withheld someone's right, for example, not returned his trust then he will be detained in the valley for forty years and that nothing will be said to him. H
e will keep crying and weeping during all this time. Then an announcer will announce, 'This is the fellow who kept some property of others with him.' Then he will be reprimanded for another forty years. Then he will fall down in hell.”
Of course, this punishment will be awarded in case his scroll of deeds had no good deed. Otherwise, his good will be, proportionately, given to the rightful claimant as mentioned earlier. It is mentioned in some narrations that the reward of seven hundred units of prayers will be given for non-payment of single dirham.
It is written in Mustadrak of Noori that according to what is mentioned in Anwaar-ul-Maziyyah (by Sayyid Gayasuddin Najafi, a Shi’a jurisprudent and a famous scholar among Imamiyah): In our village situated near Hilla there lived a man named Muhammad bin Abi Azeenah.
He was the trustee of a mosque. He used to attend that masjid daily as a routine. One day, when he did not come to mosque, we inquired about him. We came to know that he was ill. We wondered very much because on the very previous day, we had seen him hale and healthy. When we went to see him, we found him burnt from head to feet. He used to faint; them become conscious and again faint. In one such interval, I asked him what had happened to him?
He replied: Last night in my dream I was shown Sirat and then I was ordered to walk over it. So I proceeded. In the beginning the ground under my feet was levelled. Then I found that it has become thin. Initially, it was soft but later on it turned very sharp. I was putting my steps very slowly, balancing myself to avoid falling. Dark flames of fire from beneath leapt upwards. I observed that many people were dropping down like leaves in autumn.
Once I felt that there was nothing except a hair like rope under my feet. Then suddenly the fire dragged me to it and I also fell down in that cave of fire. The more I tried to come up the more I was going down. (Hellfire has the quality of drawing people to it, and that, according to a narration; the depth is equal to the length of a seventy-year journey).
As soon as I realized that I was about to be finished, I remembered that whenever I was falling or stumbling or falling, I used to exclaim O ‘Ali! And saying O my master, O Amirul Mu’minin, save me. I felt inspired to look upward. So when I looked up I found that a saintly person was standing by the side of the Sirat.
He extended his hand, caught me and fetched me out. I submitted, “O Master! I am burnt down. Please help me.” The Imam passed his Holy hand over my body from my knee to femur. Suddenly I woke up to find that particular part of my body had no sign of burning and that it had healed but the rest of my body was burning.
That person remained bedridden for three months, weeping and complaining. Various medicines were given by a number of doctors and he became healthy after three months when new flesh appeared on his body. It is also written in the book of Mustadrak that whenever that person was describing this even he was getting fever and was trembling.
Doubtlessly there is only one medicine and it is to cling to the Wilayat of the pious Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). Imam Ridha’ (a.s.) has promised that he will guide the visitors of his shrine on the bridge of Sirat. Moreover, Imam Husain (a.s.) is also reported to have given many good tidings to those who cling to the Wilayat of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) with regard to Sirat. So much so that, in one narration, Imam Sadiq (a.s) is reported to have said that the Chief of Martyrs (Imam Husain) will obtain salvation of Muchtar (r.a.) also.
Another thing, which has been accepted as an essential is the belief in intercession on the Day of Judgement. Those pious persons who have attained nearness to God and who are also respectable in the Divine view will hold the hand of the fallen weak and unable ones to free them from the chains and shackles of hell. It can also happen that they will raise someone's rank in paradise.
For instance, a man enters paradise due to his good deeds but as he got a lower rank he is unable to be benefited by nearness to Muhammad and Aale Muhammad (a.s.). So the Pure Imams (a.s.) will intercede on their behalf and get a higher rank for them. In brief, everyone is in need of such intercession.
According to Biharul Anwar, Abu Aiman is reported to have said that he once requested Imam Baqir (a.s), “O Son of the Messenger of Allah! You saints have made people proud (careless) by promising intercession to them.” This infuriated the Imam. He said, “Woe unto you. On the Day of Resurrection, all the formers and the latters, including even messengers, will be in need of the intercession of my great grandfather, Muhammad (s.a.w.s.). Have you become proud imaging that you need no intercession?”
The main intercession is the intercession by Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) and the Aale Muhammad (a.s.). rest of intercessors are branches of the main one. This is to convey that they got this privilege because of the former. For example, among the rest of the intercessors are scholars and righteous people who will help many in entering paradise. Can they ever be other than the followers of Muhammad and Aale Muhammad (a.s.)?
Likewise, among the intercessors will be the faithful. The Infallible (a.s.) says that every believer will intercede in favour of a hundred persons. From where did the believers get this honour? Only from Muhammad and Aale Muhammad (a.s.).
Also for instance, the intercessors will also include the Sayyids. Have they not been given this respectable position only due to their belonging to the Holy Progeny? Similarly the Holy Qur’an and the Holy mosques will also intercede on the Day of Resurrection. They too are among the symbols of the aforesaid Holy persons.
The main place of intercession is the field of Mahshar (Qiyamat). But there are evidences to show that intercession is effective not only in Barzakh but also in this world. For example, some kind of calamity is about to fall at a certain place but that trouble is removed as a result of the intercession of Hazrat Waliul Asr (a.t.f.s.).
Or, for instance, a body is under chastisement in the grave (barzakh) but someone from his relatives in the world approaches the Holy Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and after much weeping makes them a medium. The Merciful God pardons the aforesaid dead relative or friend due to the holiness of the said saints. If all our said masters will intercede God will surely forgive us. Many such events have taken place.
In this connection, Martyr Dastghaib Shirazi has, in his commentary of Surah Najm quoted two events. Those who wish may refer to the chapter 'Shafat by Hazrat Abul Fazl Abbas'. The story of Sayyid Humairi is also to be found in many books.10
An event of healing by Muhammad and Aale Muhammad (a.s.) is also recorded in our world and that is the story of Haji Mirza Khalil. It is a recent event. Some aged people even today may remember it.
At first Haji Mirza Khalil was a student in Madressa Darus Shifa in Qum. Once when he was sitting in his room, an old lady came running anxiously and said, “My mistress has a serious heart trouble. Do you know of any medicine?” The Haji who had no concern with medical science, at once replied, “Give such and such medicine to her.”
The next day he saw people coming to him with plates full of tasty foods as compensation for his prescription. Thereafter neighbours knew that a very knowledgeable doctor has arrived in the Madressa who cures serious illnesses only through prescriptions. As a result, people began to rush to the Haji's room.
He also thought that the arrangement wouldn't do. So he purchased Hakim Momin's book 'Tohfaa' and after studying it, engaged in the work of a medical practitioner regularly. He became an expert physician soon and people took him to Tehran and he remained in that profession for long. Once he thought of going to Karbala’ but he was not in a hurry for it.
One night, he saw someone in his dream who was telling him, “If your intention is to visit Karbala’, then make haste for there is a likelihood of a ban on visits to the Holy Place after about two months (and the same happened).”
The late Haji Khalil proceeded towards Karbala’ within two months and witnessed what he had seen in his dream and understood that it was a true dream. He stayed in Karbala’ for quite a long time and continued his medical practice there also. One day, two ladies came to him. One of them showed him her hand, which had a strange kind of wound on it.
The Haji said, “This illness is called Khorah, which has reached the bone and hence become incurable.” That lady returned very disappointed. But her companion came back and said, “O Haji! Did you not recognize that lady?” “No,” said the Haji. She said, “That woman is a Sayyid lady and she is one of the Indian princesses. Her longing for Ziyarat of Husain (a.s.) has dragged her up to Iraq along with all her wealth. Now she has also become poor due to this ailment since long. You too have made her hopeless!”
The Haji said, “Please bring her back at once.” When that lady returned, the Haji said, “O respected madam! Though this ailment is very complicated and hard, I will give you some medicines. Insha Allah you will soon recover.”
So the treatment began and the lady's hand was cured. After this, that lady was so impressed by the Haji that she stayed in his premises and behaved like a kind mother with him.
After a few days, Haji Khalil saw the same person in his dream that he had seen earlier (and who had advised him to hasten to Karbala’). Now he told the Haji, “You will fall ill and die after ten days.” Haji made his will. He became ill after a few days and his condition turned for the worse until on the tenth day; he was almost dead.
When the Haji was breathing his last, that Sayyid lady came up to him. Seeing the Haji's serious condition she became very fearful. She told the people not to touch the Haji until she returned. She proceeded directly to the Holy tomb of Imam Husain, caught hold of the enclosure and said, “O Grandfather! I will obtain the Haji from you. Please take back his life from Almighty God.”
Then she wept so much that she fainted. In her consciousness she saw that the Imam (a.s.) was telling her, “O My Daughter! What has happened to you? The lifespan of the Haji has ended and the time of his death has arrived.” That lady persisted, “I know nothing of it. I want the Haji from you.”
The Imam (a.s.) said, “All right. Since you insist so much, I am praying to Almighty Allah. If He wills, He will return the Haji to this world.” After a short time, the Imam smiled and said, “God has answered my prayer and He has returned the Haji to the world and has also doubled his lifespan.” At that time the Haji was thirty years old. Thereafter he died at the age of ninety years. During that period he had four sons, one of them being the great Jurist Al-hajj Mirza Husain and another was a famous doctor.
Briefly concluding, when the Sayyid lady heard this good tiding and returned to Haji's residence, she found him sitting in a good condition. He exclaimed, “O respected Sayyid Madam! May God give you a great good reward.”
One of the admonitions mentioned in Haji Khalil's will was his instruction to his son that he must take care of Sayyids, especially their respected and honourable ladies, as they are very esteemed in the highest court of Almighty Allah.
There are many similar examples in books. In Darus Salaam of Iraqi, the last chapter of which is about wonders resulting from the medium of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) there is a story of a child who had died after falling from the ceiling of his house.
(O Mercy for the Mankind!) What fear is there to the wall of the community when a personality like you is its support?
What fear can there be of ocean waves for one whose ship is being navigated by Noah (a.s.)!11
It is mentioned in the third volume of Biharul Anwar that the Holy Prophet said, “A prayer of every messenger is necessarily answered. Earlier messengers made that prayer concerning this world and God accordingly answered it here and fulfilled their aim. I have left that prayer for the Hereafter so that the sinners of my community may be forgiven.” Let us hope that this great mercy will include us also.
There are several narrations regarding intercession by Fatima Zahra (s.a.) based on the sayings of the Holy Prophet and the Holy Imams (a.s.). According to one of such narrations, the Infallible (a.s.) has said, after making a mention of Fatima's arrival in the field of Mahshar and her welcome there, “Every woman who never missed an obligatory prayer, compulsory fast, Hajj and payment of Zakat dues and whose husband was also not displeased with her, will certainly be entitled to the intercession of Fatima Zahra (s.a.).”
Of course it must always be remembered that intercession must not make one proud or careless, imagining that as the said intercession is certainly from the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) we may do whatever we please. No, it is never so. There are some sins, which result in man's departure from this world as an unbeliever. In that case there is no question of intercession. Again there are some sins the punishment for which must be suffered in hell till the sinner is purified and only thereafter he may become qualified for intercession. So one must remain fearful of God at every moment and along with it, he must also remain hopeful of the Most Merciful's Mercy.
“And on the most elevated places there shall be men who know all by their marks, “(7:46)
That is some people will be on Araaf who will recognise everyone by looking at their foreheads.
According to the news given by Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) Araaf is a high place on Sirat Bridge. God Almighty will allow room for the Holy Prophet and Ahlul Bayt there. One with a shining forehead will be recognized as a friend of Aale Muhammad and ‘Ali (a.s.) will allow him to proceed to paradise. Accordingly the meaning of the above verse will be: Muhammad and ‘Ali (a.s.) will recognize everyone passing over the bridge by their faces.
Another explanation of Araaf is that it is a wall, which will be erected between people of paradise and people of hell on Sirat as mentioned in Surah Al Hadid. The Lord of the Universe says: (O My Dear Messenger!) On that Day, you will see the Faithful in such a condition that their radiance will enlighten their front and their side. (A voice will be heard): Good tidings to you for you will get the eternal paradise beneath which rivers flow. It is indeed a great success of yours.
On that Day, the hypocrites will tell the Faithful: Just look at us also! We too may benefit from your radiance. They will be told: Return to the world and find out some other light. Then a wall will be raised between the said two groups. There will be a door in that wall. On one side of it will be only Mercy (for the Faithful) and on the other only punishment (for the unbelievers and hypocrites).
“Then separation would be brought about between them, with a wall having a door in it; (as for) the inside of it, there shall be mercy in it, and (as for) the outside of it, before it there shall be punishment. “(57:13)
It is mentioned in commentaries that the Radiance is front of believing men and believing women will be the light of their beliefs and love and friendship of Aale Muhammad (a.s.). The Noor at their right will be the radiance of the prayers and worship acts. The Noor of some will be so bright that it will make things visible for eyes and that of some will be sometimes bright and sometimes dim. Such people will go on falling down and getting up and crying:
“Our Lord! Make perfect for us our light, “(66:8)
Here one's noor will be of no avail to another. Though the hypocrites and the offenders will go on asking for the light of the fortunate ones it will be of no use. A wall will be erected between them and the believers. According to Qur’anic commentary, it is Araaf.
“They will cry out to them: Were we not with you? They shall say: Yea! But you caused yourselves to fall into temptation, and you waited and doubted, and vain desires deceived you till the threatened punishment of Allah came, while the arch deceiver deceived you about Allah.
So today ransom shall not be accepted from you nor from those who disbelieved; your abode is the fire; it is your friend and evil is the resort. “(57:14-15)
By the way, let there be some admonition also so that we may worry today about the light of that Day before the arrival of the moment when there will be no remedy or escape.
Third explanation of Araaf is that it is a place (between paradise and hell where those people will dwell who were helpless such as minors, lunatics, and children. Though they will not be as happy as those in paradise, they will be saved from the punishment of hell.
For the fairies of heaven, Araaf is hell. But if you ask the people of hell, they will reply that Araaf is paradise.12
The Lord of the universe has reserved a place in the Hereafter for those people who leave this world with fear of God in their heart. There, God has kept innumerable and unimaginably tasteful things for the righteous befitting that highest host. To get an idea of those comforts, tastes and pleasures of that place in the Hereafter is as difficult for the residents of this world now as are the things in this world for an unborn child.
That is why, it is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an:
“So no soul knows what is hidden for them of that which will refresh the eyes; a reward for what they did. “(32:17)
It is also said as a general hint about the heavenly bounties:
“They have therein what they wish and with Us is more yet. “(50:35)
It means, in paradise, there are all those things, which they (the people of paradise) will desire and what is with Us is even more than what they can wish.
At yet another place it is said:
“They will not hear its faintest sound, and they shall abide in that which their souls long for.“ (21:102)
In brief, paradise is the place wherein there will be no sign of failure, grief, sorrow, difficulty, hardship, trouble, weakness, old aged, illness, tiredness and idleness. There will be safety and security in every sense. That is why it is named the abode of peace (Darus Salaam). It is the real kingdom, in a sense that man has so much power that whatever he wishes will be available at once. It is available only to the people of paradise.
“And when you see there, you shall see blessings and a great kingdom. “(76:20)
Here we hint at some of the heavenly bounties mentioned in the Holy Qur’an:
“And the flesh of fowl such as they desire. “(56:21)”
And fruits such as they choose, “(56:20)”
And abundant fruit, Neither intercepted nor forbidden, “(56:32-33)”
In both are fruits and palms and pomegranates. “(55:68)
In paradise, there will be springs of pure and clean water which will never get depleted and there will be rivers of milk the taste of which has neither changed nor will change and there will be canals of grapes wines which will be pleasing to drinkers (will not be foul smelling as is the case with worldly wines and which are also intoxicating and harmful) rather the heavenly wine will be good, fragrant, tasty, harmless, awakening and purifying.
“And their Lord shall make them drink a pure drink. “(76:21)
“And rivers of honey clarified and for them therein are all fruits and protection from their Lord. “(47:15)
There will also be many springs in paradise. The speciality and tastefulness of each and every one of them will be different. They have been named as per their specialities, for example: The Camphor Spring, The Zanjabil Spring, The Salsabeel and The Tasneem.
The most important of them all is The Kauthar which is flowing from beneath the Divine Throne and which is whiter than milk and sweeter than honey, softer than butter. It will contain precious stone pebbles (at the bottom) and they will be of Chrysolite, Ruby and coral. Its grass will be saffron and its mud will be more fragrant than musk.
Narrations mention that Kauthar will flow from beneath the Divine Throne; that it is flowing like a river in paradise and that it takes the shape of a big cistern in the field of Mahshar, as said earlier.
Almighty Allah says in Surah Kahf:
“Ornaments shall be given to them therein of bracelets of gold, and they shall wear green robes of fine silk and thick silk brocade interwoven with gold, “(18:31)
At another place in the Holy Qur’an it is mentioned:
“They shall be adorned therein with bracelets of gold and (with) pearls, and their garments therein shall be of silk. “(22:23)
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) is reported to have said that when a believer will enter his heavenly palace a crown of glory will be put on his head and he will be made to wear seventy robes of various colours embedded with heavenly precious jewels. It is also mentioned that if any of those dresses is brought to the people of this world they will not be able to gaze at its brightness.
Imam Ja'far Sadiq (a.s.) is reported to have said that the Lord of the Universe will provide a miracle to the faithful every Friday in Paradise. On that day, He will send to the believer dresses through an angel. Then that believer will put one of it on his waist and another on his shoulders. Then from wherever that man will pass the entire environment will brighten up with his radiance (Noor).
God has promised in many places in the Holy Qur’an:
“Allah has promised to the believing men and the believing women gardens, beneath which rivers flow, to abide in them, and goodly dwellings in gardens of perpetual abode; and best of all is Allah's goodly pleasure- that is the grand achievement. “(9:72)
God Almighty says:
“But (as for) those who are careful of (their duty to) their Lord, they shall have high places, above them higher places, built (for them), beneath which flow rivers; (this is) the promise of Allah: Allah will not fail in (His) promise. “(39:20)
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) has said that those chambers will be made of pearls, Rubies and Emeralds and their roofs will be golden. There will be two golden gates in every chamber and there will be a guard and a sentry at every gate.
According to Qur’anic commentary the Holy Prophet is reported to have said, “There is a palace made of pearls in paradise, in that palace there are seventy apartments made of red topaz, in every apartment seventy halls made of Emeralds. In every hall there are seventy thrones.
On every throne there are seventy carpets of various colours. There is a Hourie on every carpet. In every hall there are seventy dining tables. Tasty eatables of seventy kinds are served on every table. There are seventy maids in every hall. Almighty God will grant the faithful strength enough to enjoy all these bounties.”
“Reclining therein on raised couches; excellent the recompense and goodly the resting place. “(18:31)
He says in Surah Waqiah:
On thrones decorated, Reclining on them, facing one another. (56:15-16)
He says in Surah Rahman:
Reclining on beds, the inner coverings of which are of silk brocade; and the fruits of the two gardens shall be within reach. (55:54)
The Holy Qur’an has named some heavenly attires such as Israbraq, Hareer, Sundus, Rafraf, Namaariq and Zarabiyya which can only be seen and enjoyed as their description is beyond words and description.
Regarding the heavenly vessels or containers. Almighty Lord says:
“Round about them shall go youths never altering in age, With goblets and ewers and a cup of pure drink; “(56:17-18)
In paradise handsome lads will be taking rounds with goblets of gold, silver and various jewels for the people of the paradise. Their containers will be overflowing with the wine of grapes. They will enjoy the 'pure drink'.
It is mentioned in Surah Dahr:
“And there shall be made to go round about them vessels of silver and goblets which are of glass, “(76:15)
The people of paradise will be served drinks in cups made of silver and flint glass, that is, those containers will have the clarity and sheen of flint and softness and whiteness of silver.
Since the greatest physical bounty in paradise are houries the Holy Qur’an makes a mention of them on various occasions. The houri is called a houri because it denotes a female having a fair body and 'Een' means a large al-yed lady.
As both these specialities are found in houries they are called Hourul Een. It also may be so because the whiteness in their eyes will be extremely white and the blackness extremely black and it will make them highly attractive. The reason of naming them Houries can also be that eyes will become 'hairaan' (spellbound) by looking at them.
Almighty Allah says:
“And Hoorun Eenun (pure, beautiful ones), The like of the hidden pearls: “(56:22-23)
Meaning: The Houries will be like pearls hidden in shells. There will be no dust on them. Neither any man nor jinn will have touched them.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) is reported to have said that, in paradise, light would flash. The people of paradise will exclaim, “What radiance is this?” A voice will ring, “A Hourie has just smiled to her husband. This light spread from her teeth.”
The Lord Almighty also said:
“Surely We have made them to grow into a (new) growth, Then We have made them virgins, “(56:35-36)
Meaning: We have created these Houries with Our perfect might (without parents) and We have made them ever youthful.
The Houries would love their husbands. They will be sweet- voiced having pleasing gestures. All of them will be 16 years old. So men in the paradise will be of 33 years of age.
Almighty Allah says:
“In them shall be those who restrained their eyes; before them neither man nor jinni shall have touched them. “(55:56)
Meaning: There are Houries in heavenly gardens who keep their eyes lowered except before their husbands. They have not been touched by anyone from men or jinn except by their husbands. All of them will be as if carved in Ruby and Pearls.
“As though they were rubies and pearls. “(55:58)
It is reported that despite wearing seventy robes the inner part of the calf of the Houries will be visible as a white lining is visible from behind a Ruby.
The Lord of the Universe says:
“And they shall have pure mates in them, and in them, they shall abide. “(2:25)
Meaning: For the faithful and righteous people there are Houries in paradise who are pure and clean in every sense. They do not menstruate. They are always free from impurity and uncleanness. They are also not proud and self-centred and they do not envy one another.
It is reported that on the right hand of the houri is written in shining letters:
“Praise be to Allah who has fulfilled what He promised.”
And on her left hand:
“Praise be to Allah who has relieved us of grief.”
It must not remain unmentioned that the beauty and charm of those faithful ladies who will die with perfect faith and will enter paradise will have a charm and beauty far more surpassing that of Houries of Paradise. While explaining the meaning of the verse:
“In them are goodly things, beautiful ones. “(55:70)
It is said that there will be women in the gardens of paradise who will have the best of bodily charm and the best of spiritual excellence. Thereby it is meant only those faithful Muslim and believer women who will be entitled to paradise.
Allamah Majlisi (r.a.) has narrated Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that 'goodly things' means faithful, knowledgeable Shi’a women who will enter paradise and who will be married to the believers.
It is related that those women who did not marry in this world, or those women whose husbands had not entered Paradise, will be given the freedom to choose the believer whom she desires, and they shall be married to them. But if a woman's husband is present in Paradise, she will be permitted to marry him with her consent. If in the world she married more than once, the man who has the greatest status (in Paradise) and has performed more good deeds will be chosen for her.
In Surah Rahman Allah refers to that person who fears standing in front of his Lord for accounting (for his deeds), and thus refrains from sinning:
“And for him who fears to stand before his Lord are two gardens. “(55:46-47)
It means that one who fears of standing in front of his Lord (that is for the accounting in Qiyamat as mentioned earlier and who will not have sinned) will get two gardens in paradise wherein will be all kinds of bounties and various vegetables, flowers and fruits.
Allamah Majlisi narrates from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) that he said, “If one of the 'houries' of Paradise descends on the first heaven on a dark night and looks down towards the earth, the entire universe will be filled with her fragrance.”
It is related from Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) that the fragrance of the perfume of Paradise will reach up to the distance equal to a thousand years. The sand of Paradise is of musk. It is related in many traditions that the walls, doors, and the floor of Paradise are covered with grass of saffron.
Fragrance will be emitting from it, and the effect of its fragrance will be such that an old man proceeding towards Paradise will reach such a place which is far from Paradise at a distance of a thousand years, yet he will turn young by just the fragrance.
The Lord Almighty says:
“They shall find therein neither (the severe heat of) the sun nor intense cold. “(76:13)
Which means that people in paradise will not see the sun and its heat nor will they experience cold and chill, that is, they will dwell in a moderate atmosphere. They will not require sun or its heat. Rather their own light of faith and good deeds will be enough for them as has been mentioned earlier.
It is related that the light of the 'houries' will be more than the light of the sun, they will be like walking lanterns. Palaces of Paradise adorned with pearls, corals, rubies, topaz and emeralds will emit a colourful light and make a pleasant environment. The floor, vessels, and dresses will be scattering light, and these glowing lanterns will turn Paradise into an illuminated place.
The bounties of various kinds which we see in this world and so also all the good tastes and feelings are but only an atom of what is available in the paradise. This applies to good sound and voice too. The best and perfect of it all is found in paradise only. If even a single song of paradise is made to be heard in this world the residents of this world will not be able to hear it and they will die.
The voice of the Prophet Dawood (a.s.) is well known as called as 'Lahne Dawudi'. Though this voice was in this world none was able to bear it. When he was reciting Zaboor different kinds of animals used to gather around him and were fainting together and some even died.
Describing the events of messengers (a.s.) Amirul Mu’minin (a.s.) says in one of his speeches in Nahjul Balagha: In Paradise Prophet Dawood will entertain its inhabitants with his pleasant voice, and will be a reciter of Paradise.
It means that he will make the people of paradise hear his recitations. Of course it will be a melodious song of paradise and those in paradise will have the ability to hear it.
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) is reported to have been quoted in Majmaul Bayan: The best of the songs of paradise will be those sung by the houries for pleasing their husbands. Their voice will be so wonderfully pleasing that none before would have ever heard like it. It will not be in the tune of musical instruments but would be based on the glorification and praising of the Lord of the universe, Only One God.
It is mentioned in narrations that the birds of paradise will sing in the best of voices.
People once asked Imam Sadiq (a.s), “Will there be music and songs in the paradise?” He replied, “There is a tree in paradise. God will order the winds of paradise to move. It will make the tree give out various kinds of songs. The sounds will be such as never heard by anyone in this world from neither any singer nor any musical instrument.” Then the Imam said, “This is the reward of discarding music and songs for fear of God in this world.”
There also will be various kinds of spiritual bounties to imagine which, is beyond our power of understanding. One of them is that veils will be lifted off the eyes, that is, eyes will here witness what we had only known to exist. What one had wished to know from Divine Truths, one would gain it here, especially the sight of and meeting with Muhammad and Aale Muhammad (a.s.).
In Tafsir Safi, in explanation of the Holy verse:
“Then shall some of them advance to others, questioning each other. “(37:50)
It is mentioned that the people of paradise will discuss matters about knowledge and Grace of God and the Holy Prophet with one anther.
Among all other bounties will also be the respect and honour granted by God. For example, everyone who will be fortunate to enter paradise will, by his intercession, keep his parents, wives and children with him, provided they had died with faith and were entitled for paradise.
This will be as a respect to the true faithful, though his parents and wives and children etc were not entitled to the high status. Hence the Lord of the universe says in the Holy Qur’an:
“The gardens of perpetual abode which they will enter along with those who do good from among their parents and their spouses and their offspring; “(13:23)
When the righteous people will reach their respective places in paradise, God Almighty will appoint one thousand angels for visiting them. They will give them greetings. There will be a palace for the believer and that palace will have a thousand doors. There will be an angel at every door to salute the faithfuls.
And the angels will enter in upon them from every gate:
“Peace be on you because you were constant, how excellent, is then, the issue of the abode. “(13:23-24)
The highest honour available to the faithful will be the honour of communicating with the Lord of the universe. There are many narrations in this respect. But what the Lord in Surah Yasin mentions is sufficient:
““Peace! A word from a Merciful Lord.” “(36:58)
In Tafsir Minhajus Sadiqeen a narration of Jabir bin Abdullah has been quoted according to which the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) has said that the people of paradise will be immersed in the bounties of gardens when a light will suddenly flash on then giving out a voice 'As Salaamo Alaikum Yaa Ahlal Jannah'.
Hence it is said that all those bounties which were available only to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) in the world, including having a word with the Almighty Lord, will be made available, to the people of paradise also in the Hereafter.
There are detailed traditions about the divine lights in volume two of Biharul Anwar, one of them being the 'Position of Satisfaction' (Maqame Rizwan), which is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an too:
“Their Lord gives them good news of mercy from Himself and (His) good pleasure and gardens, “(9:21)
“And best of all is Allah's goodly pleasure- that is the grand achievement. “(9:72)
Among all other bounties of paradise is the neighbourhood of Muhammad and Aale Muhammad (a.s.) and meeting with them. The Holy Prophet has said, “O ‘Ali! Your Shi’as will be sitting with bright faces on the pulpits of light and all of them will be my neighbours in paradise.”
Also among the said bounties is permanent dwelling in paradise. When the faithful will know that these highly precious bounties will never end (nor will they be diminished) they will experience a wonderful delight in their hearts, which is indescribable.
One of the spiritual bounties is that one will be meeting frequently with the messengers, the righteous and faithful persons. Almighty God says in the Holy Qur’an:
“On thrones, facing each other. “(37:44)
Meaning they will be sitting on thrones facing one another happily.
It is mentioned that the people of paradise will be going to visit a Messenger (a.s.) daily and they will be their guests. Of course, on every Thursday, they will be the guests of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.), the Last Prophet. On every Friday they will be invited to the nearness of the Highest One.13
Above was a brief narration of the bounties of paradise. We will have to fairly think, will any wise man want to deprive himself of the said spiritual joys and pleasures and high positions?
How much trouble a man takes for getting the worldly positions and ranks even though it is not always certain that he will attain the same.
Even if he gets them after suffering and undergoing a lot of difficulties and hardships, there is every possibility of being deprived of the same due to his death. But the same person does not make any effort for getting the exalting places and everlasting bounties even though here it is certain that if he strives he would reach his goal.
The reason for this carelessness is man's lack of courage and his drowning in the engagement in the world's short-lived pleasures, passions, lusts and greed even though there are thousands of impurities in them as mentioned in the Holy Qur’an:
“Nay! man desires to give the lie to what is before him. “(75:5)
Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) says in one of his sermons in Nahjul Balagha:
“(O Lord!) I believe You are pure and clean of all those things which are not fitting Your greatness. You are the Creator of all the creation and You are, in the sight of Your creation, the Owner of all secrets concerning nice taste. Accordingly You have created a place named Paradise. Therein You have provided, for Your guests, all niceties of feasts and of dining and beautiful houries and handsome servant boys and highly comfortable apartments, extremely pure and clean springs and rivers of tasty drinks and green fields and gardens and delicious fruits.
Then You raised Your representative Muhammad Mustafa (s.a.w.s.) who goes on inviting people to the said paradise of lasting pleasures. So (it was the misfortune of mankind that) they neither responded to the true caller towards Truth nor did they incline towards the things You called them to nor did they like what You desired them to like and long for. On the contrary, they remained stuck to fraudulent and dead world as a result of which they became disgraced.
They befriended one another on the basis of their connection with this valueless world. So whoever befriended this untrustworthy world and became mad after it, became totally blind, so blind that he does not understand what is detrimental and a loss for him. His heart became sick for what was beneficial to him and befitting to him. So he sees with weak and sickly eyes and hears with unhealthy ears. Doubtlessly, worldly desires have made his heart and soul dead and destroyed his intelligence. He has become a slave of this world and also of everyone who owns anything from the worldly wealth.”
In spite of the fact that there are only two paths before us - no third alternative - man will either to go to Paradise or to hell - Now if one does not take and follow God's path He will not only be deprived of all the bounties mentioned by us above briefly, his dwelling place forever will also be only hell which is full of pains. Only an iota of its pain and troubles are described in the following pages.
Hell is a fathomless, wide and spacious pit. God's anger will turn into fire in it. It is the last prison wherein will be various kinds of punishments, chastisements, pains, troubles, hardships and calamities. They will be such that we cannot even imagine them.
We cannot even understand them. In fact it is exactly opposite to paradise. In paradise, there will be every kind of comfort, pleasure and joy and not even an iota of pain or trouble. But in hell, there will be nothing except hardships, troubles, sorrows, griefs and sufferings. There will be no room at all for peace, happiness and comfort. Here are some of the tortures being meted out to offenders in hell as mentioned in the Holy Qur’an:
“Then shall you, O you who err and call it a lie! Most surely eat of a tree of Zaqqoom, “(56:51-52)”
And fill (your) bellies with it; “(56:53)
That is due to sheer hunger you will have to fill your stomachs with it.
“Then drink over it of boiling water; “(56:54)
That is you will have to drink extremely hot water (due to extreme thirst you will have no alternative but to drink it).
It is mentioned in traditions that the people of hell will be given the punishment of hunger so that they will willy-nilly eat the fruit of the Zaqqoom. Thereafter they will be made to taste the chastisement of thirst so they may drink more and more from Hameem (boiling hell water):
“Like those who abide in the fire and who are made to drink boiling water so it rends their bowels asunder. “(47:15)
That water will be so hot that it will tear their intestines into bits. It is related that if a drop of that water be put on a mountain (in this world), it will be reduced to dust.
“And drink as drinks the thirsty camel. “(56:55)
They will drink that water like a camel who is thirsty for many days, and drinks whilst shivering. 'Heem' (the water referred to in this verse) is the plural of 'Aheem' which means a camel suffering from a disease. This disease is equivalent to dropsy, which usually happens to a camel, in which it keeps drinking water but is not satiated until it dies. this will be the state of the dwellers of hell.
“This is their entertainment on the day of requital. “(56:56)
This 'Zaqqoom' and 'Hameem' will be given to them in Qiyamat as an introduction to Allah's wrath. And whatever is destined in hell (for the disbelievers) is far more harsh and beyond description.
The Lord of the universe says:
“Surely the tree of the Zaqqoom, Is the food of the sinful Like dregs of oil; it shall boil in (their) bellies, Like the boiling of hot water. “(44:43-46)
It is said that they will be unbelievers and inimical fellows and that Zaqqoom is a thing, which will be melted in fire like copper. It is also said that 'Muhl' will be the boiling olive oil, which will boil in stomach like boiling water.
Zaqqoom will boil in the stomachs of unbelievers like water boiling on fire or like olive oil heated on fierce fire. Then this boiling water will be shed on their heads, which will melt all the outer and inner organs of the sinners:
“Then (as to) those who disbelieve, for them are cut out garments of fire, boiling water shall be poured over their heads. “(22:19)
It means that We have huge shackles which cannot be unlocked and fiercely leaping fire and foods which will get stuck up in throats and very a painful punishment.
Imam Baqir (a.s.) is reported to have said that the tree of Zaqqoom will rise up from the deep pit of hell. Its leaves, thorns and fruits all will be of fire. It will be bitter than Aloes and worse than a stinking corpse and harder than iron.
Ghisleen is one of the food to be given in hell:
“Nor any food except refuse, “(69:36)
It is mentioned in Tafsir Majmaul Bahrain that whatever will come out the stomachs of the people of hell after eating Zaqqoom will be their food once again.
One of the hell foods will also be Zaree. It is said that it will be like a thorn, bitter than aloes and worse smelling than a corpse or carcass and more inflammable than fire itself.
One more hell food is Sadeed:
“Hell is before him and he shall be given to drink of festering water (Sadeed): “(14:16)
It will be the dirty blood and pus flowing from the private parts of the adulterers in hell.
Another hell food will be Ghassaq:
“But boiling and intensely cold water (Ghassaq), “(78:25)
Some commentators have written that it is a spring in hell. Poisons of various poisonous animals flow in it.
Then (as to) those who disbelieve, for them are cut out garments of fire, (22: 19)
Clothings of fire have been prepared for the people of hell. It is said that it will be a dress made up of molten copper.
Almighty Allah says:
“Their shirts made of pitch and the fire covering their faces. “(14:50)
Pitch is a black foul-smelling thing, which grows in the skin of a camel afflicted by a disease-causing itch. It is being burnt along with the afflicted part of the animal's skin and it burns out very swiftly.
It is mentioned that if such a dress of hell is made to hang between the sky and earth its foul smell and heat will kill all on the earth.
“The guilty shall be recognized by their marks, so they shall be seized by the forelocks and the feet. “(55:41)
It means that the sinners will be identified by their facial signs, which will be blue eyes and black cheeks. At that time they will be dragged towards hell by catching hold of their forelocks and sometimes their legs; or that some would be caught by their forelocks and some by their legs and flung into hell.
“When the fetters and the chains shall be on their necks; they shall be dragged. Into boiling water, then in the fire shall they be burned; “(40:71-72)
“And on the day of resurrection you shall see those who lied against Allah; their faces shall be blackened. “(39:60)
“The fire shall scorch their faces, and they therein shall be in severe affliction. “(23:104)
It means that fire will burn their faces and they will become very ugly. Like the burnt down heads of sheep their teeth will be visible and their lips hanging.
“Over it are angels stern and strong, they do not disobey Allah in what He commands them, and do as they are commanded. “(66:6)
It means that the Guardian angels of hell will be harsh who will never be kind or soft to the people of hell. They will never do anything against the command of God, which is their duty.
“And for them are whips of iron. “(22:21)
There will be iron clubs with which they will hit those trying to flee from hell.
About the weight of the said club it is mentioned that even if all the men and jinns join together to lift that club they will not be able to lift it.
It is also mentioned that both the eyes of the said guards of hell will be dazzling like lightning flashes and their pointed teeth will be as big as mountains and flames of fire will be leaping out of their fearsome mouths. The distance between their two shoulders will be equal to a year's journey. They are able to throw seventy persons in hell with one hand at a time.
“It has seven gates; for every gate there shall be a separate party of them. “(15:44)
Sinners will enter hell through these gates as fixed for them. According to ‘Ali (a.s.) the seven gates of hell are as under:
The last and the lowest level is 'Jahannam'. The zone above it is 'Lazzaa', above it 'Hutamaa', above it 'Hutamaa', above it 'Saqar' and above it 'Jaheem'. Above it is 'Saeer' and above it 'Haaviyah'. There is no doubt that chastisements in all of them will be different in harshness and pain.
The words of the Holy verses indicate that, contrary to this world's fire, the fire in hell possesses sense and intelligence. Almighty Allah says:
“On the day that We will say to hell: Are you filled up? And it will say: Are there any more? “(50:30)
Meaning: The Day when We will ask hell: Are you full? It will reply: Are there more worthy of punishment still? It means: I still have room to accommodate them and a wish to burn these who are worthy of being burnt.
Moreover, hellfire recognizes those who deserve punishment. It will attack them. It has power of drawing (magnetic attribute). It will also scream.
Almighty Allah says:
“When it shall come into their sight from a distant place, they shall hear its vehement raging and roaring. “(25:12)
Meaning that when hellfire will see the people of hell from a distance it will, out of anger scream fiercely and it will be heard by the sinners.
“Almost bursting for fury. “(67:8)
It is mentioned in narrations that, when a faithful will be passing over the Sirat Bridge he or she will hear the voice of hell. O faithful! Please pass away quickly from above me as your light is cooling my flames. Since a believer has kindness and hellfire has anger, the Mercy of the Lord overtakes His anger.
O, One Whose Mercy precedes His Anger.14
Thus there are many evidences with us to show that hellfire too, like all other substances in the Hereafter, possesses life, wisdom and intelligence. It is the friend of the friends of God and the enemy of the enemies of God.
On of the attributes is also that despite its ability to accommodate all men and jinn and even then remaining empty, the sinners will live in extreme congestion like a nail in a wall:
“And We will proceed to what they have done of deeds, so We shall render them as scattered floating dust. “(25:23)
When the sinners will be hurled in the congested corner of hell, bound by chains of fire. Being harshly pressed they will desire death and say: Woe unto us!
As the righteous will be in ease and comfort and spaciousness and in light, those in hell will be in darkness and eternal terror quite like the one who is caught at the bottom of a sea, engulfed by layers of darkness over darkness.
Almighty Allah says:
“When he holds out his hand, he is almost unable to see it; and to whomsoever Allah does not give light, he has no light. “(24:40)
That is the darkness will be so grave that he will not be able to see his own hand despite trying to.
For the people of hell, there will be mental and spiritual tortures too in addition to physical punishments and pains. One of them will be that they will always remember and realize that they have to remain in this terrible condition forever and to bear these troubles endlessly.
They will never be saved from this chastisement. This will be the most unbearable thing for the sinners. There is no doubt that those unbelievers and hypocrites who died faithlessly despite the fact that arguments were completed before them, will forever remain in hellfire torture.
Lord Almighty says:
“Their reward with their Lord is gardens of perpetuity beneath which rivers flow, abiding therein for ever; Allah is well pleased with them and they are well pleased with Him; that is for him who fears his Lord. “(98:8)
And at another place:
“That is the reward of the enemies of Allah- the fire; for them therein shall be the house of long abiding; a reward for their denying Our communications. “(41:28)
So the punishment for the enemies of God is hellfire in which they will dwell forever.
Rather, God has termed the exit of an unbeliever from hell as impossible. He says in the Holy Qur’an:
“Surely (as for) those who reject Our communications and turn away from them haughtily, the doors of heaven shall not be opened for them, nor shall they enter the garden until the camel pass through the eye of the needle; and thus do We reward the guilty. “(7:40)
That is, it is impossible, for an unbeliever to enter paradise. There are many traditions in this connection. Anyone who will have even an iota of Faith will not remain in hell forever.
Another spiritual torture is that a sinner in hell will always remember and lament that he has been deprived of innumerable Divine bounties of various kinds. Not only that, he will never get God's mercy but only His anger.
Says the Holy Qur’an:
“Nay! most surely they shall on that day be debarred from their Lord. “(83:15)
That is, they will not obtain Divine mercy, grace and reward. At another place:
“Surely they shall have no portion in the hereafter, and Allah will not speak to them, nor will He look upon them on the day of resurrection nor will He purify them… “(3:77)
It means that there is no reward in the Hereafter and God will not even communicate with them and will have no mercy or kindness for them.
One of the spiritual or mental tortures in hell will be the regret and sorrow, which will make one desirous of death, had it been possible to die there daily. The Lord of the universe says about their grief pointing to their deeds:
“Thus will Allah show them their deeds to be intense regret to them, and they shall not come forth from the fire. “(2:167)
“And the day when the unjust one shall bite his hands saying: O! would that I had taken a way with the Apostle. “(25:27)
Imam Sadiq (a.s) is reported to have said that when the people of paradise and the people of hell will be settled in their respective places windows will open up between paradise and hell. An announcer will announce: O people of Paradise! Just look at the situation of the people of hell and their condition.
Had you also disobeyed the Divine Commands you too would have been in this state in hell. Then will come another voice: O people of Hell! Look at the high-rise apartments of the people of Paradise. Had you obeyed Allah this comfort would have been for you also. This will make the sinners so gloomy that had it been possible to die in the Hereafter they would have died of their sorrow.
Among various tortures is the scolding, threatening and humiliation. All of theses will be meted out to the hell dwellers not only by God and Angels but by the people of paradise also, even by satans as mentioned in the Holy Qur’an:
“O assembly of jinn and men! Did there not come to you apostles from among you, relating to you My communications and warning you of the meeting of this day of yours? They shall say: We bear witness against ourselves; and this world's life deceived them, and they shall bear witness against their own souls that they were unbelievers. “(6:130)
Again God says:
“Did We not preserve you alive long enough, so that he who would be mindful in it should mind? And there came to you the warner; because for the unjust, there is no helper. “(35:37)
There are many other similar addresses: The angels guarding hell will also scold them as mentioned in the Holy Qur’an:
“Whenever a group is cast into it, its keeper shall ask them: Did there not come to you a warner? They shall say: Yea! indeed there came to us a warner, but we rejected (him) and said: Allah has not revealed anything, you are only in a great error. And they shall say: Had we but listened or pondered, we should not have been among the inmates of the burning fire. So they shall acknowledge their sins, but far will be (forgiveness) from the inmates of the burning fire. “(67:8-11)
Even devils will taunt people of hell and they will make a mockery of them. It is mentioned that the sinners will not weep and cry and complain loudly for fear of being mocked by the devils. Says the Lord:
“And the Shaitan shall say after the affair is decided: Surely Allah promised you the promise of truth, and I gave you promises, then failed to keep them to you, and I had no authority over you, except that I called you and you obeyed me, therefore do not blame me but blame yourselves: I cannot be your aider (now) nor can you be my aiders; surely I disbelieved in your associating me with Allah before; surely it is the unjust that shall have the painful punishment. “(14: 22)
The people of paradise will also scold the hell dwellers. God Almighty says:
“And the dwellers of the garden will call out to the inmates of the fire: Surely we have found what our Lord promised us to be true; have you too found what your Lord promised to be true? They will say: Yes. Then a crier will cry out among them that the curse of Allah is on the unjust. “(7:44)
Also God says:
“So today those who believe shall laugh at the unbelievers; “(83:34)
It means that indeed today the faithful will laugh over the unbelievers and make them targets of mockery and humiliation. It will be an answer to what the unbelievers were doing to the believers in the world.
“Surely the disbelievers are rewarded as they did. “(83:36)
Among the spiritual punishments is also that of living with Satans and with all other hell dwellers. While the people of paradise will enjoy one another's company, the hell dwellers will abhor one another and they will be hating one another strongly. This has been hinted at in the Holy Qur’an:
“And whoever turns himself away from the remembrance of the Beneficent God, We appoint for him a Shaitan, so he becomes his associate.
And most surely they turn them away from the path, and they think that they are guided aright: “(43:36-37)
It means: “Those who will close their eyes from remembering Allah, We will make Satans overpower them who will be their permanent companion. Those Satans will restrain them from adopting the true path. But such people will (falsely) imagine that they had found the true path until the unbeliever will, along with his same devil fellow traveller come before Us in the place of punishment. Then he will say to the Satan: Alas! How nice it were had there been a distance of east and west between you and me because you are a bad companion.”
It is narrated that both will be bound in one and the same chain and hurled into hell.
Regarding the enmity between the helpers of oppressors and the followers of misguiding leaders, the Lord says:
“When those who were followed shall renounce those who followed (them), and they see the chastisement and their ties are cut asunder.
And those who followed shall say: Had there been for us a return, then we would renounce them as they have renounced us. Thus will Allah show them their deeds to be intense regret to them, and they shall not come forth from the fire. “(2:166-167)
Regarding enmity between hell dwellers, God Almighty says at another place in the Holy Qur’an:
“Then on the resurrection day some of you shall deny others, and some of you shall curse others, and your abode is the fire, and you shall not have any helpers. “(29:25)
Again He says:
“The friends shall on that day be enemies one to another, except those who guard (against evil). “(43:67)
Meaning that those who were friends in the world will become enemies, except faithful and righteous people. They will be friendly with one another as they were in the world.
It is mentioned that a friendship, which was not for the sake of God in the world will turn into enmity in the Hereafter.
Further the Almighty says:
This (shall be so); and most surely there is an evil resort for the inordinate ones; Hell; they shall enter it, so evil is the resting-place. This (shall be so); so let them taste it, boiling and intensely cold (drink). And other (punishment) of the same kind- of various sorts. (38:55-58)
It is mentioned that when the misguiding leaders will be thrown into hell and when their followers will also be made to join them therein, the leaders will ask: Who are these people? (The keeper of hell will reply): This is a group, which will remain with you in all the hardships of hell. The leaders will say: Bad indeed (ominous) is their arrival.
They are people of hell. The followers will reply: But you are ominous because you are the cause of our chastisement. So hell is a bad dwelling place. Then they will say: O our Lord! Give double punishment to those who caused this chastisement to us because they themselves were misguided and they misguided others also.15
The events, condition and dialogues quoted above are doubtlessly true. That is how the people of hell will quarrel with one another.
Some doubts can possibly arise, in people's minds. We are briefly hinting to them here with their replies. One such question can be how man will be able to bear so much hard and painful punishment the lowest degree of which cannot even be imagined in the world?! He will be finished in the first strike. How hard is the punishment and how weak is man's body?!
The answer to the above mentioned doubt is that though it is quite true that man will have this same body in the Hereafter too, but, by the power of God the Almighty, it will be made so strong that it cannot be compared with its previous form. In fact, in the Hereafter, the physical condition of man will be subject to his spiritual condition, both in hardness and softness. Just as the soul of the faithful was very soft and smooth in the world and it was being affected while facing every truth (as has been said by the Amirul Mu’minin (a.s) in Nahjul Balagha similarly, in the Hereafter too his body will be soft and smooth like their souls. Likewise bodies of unbelievers will be as hard and tough as their souls were in the world.
God says in the Holy Qur’an:
“Then your hearts hardened after that, so that they were like rocks, rather worse in hardness; “(2:74)
Just as it is not bending before truth in the world it will remain harsh and stiff in the Hereafter too (like his heart).
It is mentioned that, in the Hereafter, the teeth of unbelievers become as big as the mountain of Uhad (then what would be his body like?). In other words, in the Hereafter the reality will overcome outward appearance. All facts will come out in the open and the inner and outer will become manifest.
“On the day when hidden things shall be made manifest, “(86:9)
Qiyamat is the Day of the unveiling of secrets. It is also mentioned that when the inner and outer organs of body will disintegrate and tear up by chastisement (such as eating Zaqqoom and drinking Hameem) all these body parts will recover soon again (rather the skin will be changed a number of times).
The Holy Qur’an mentions this clearly:
“(As for) those who disbelieve in Our communications, We shall make them enter fire; so oft as their skins are thoroughly burned, We will change them for other skins, that they may taste the chastisement; “(4:56)
Another doubt, which can come to man's mind, is: Are such severe punishments commensurate with Divine Justice?
Such doubt is the result of thinking that the Divine punishment is like the tortures inflicted by the despotic rulers of this world. But this imaginary likeness is in no way correct because what the worldly tyrants do is for taking personal revenge and for pleasing themselves by punishing their offenders. They want to cool their anger in that way. They frown upon those who oppose them; they boil in anger.
In order to subside their wrath, they order their imprisonment, torture and even killing etc. But the Divine punishment will not be like that. There, whatever will happen will be caused by what had happened in the world. If the sin is serious its punishment will also be serious and if the error was light its punishment will also be proportionately light.
The result of faithlessness will be to remain in perpetual darkness. Turning away from God will result in permanent sandwiching and squeeze. The result of every trampled right will be everlasting blindness and deafness. The consequence of following devilish leaders will be dwelling with them forever. The essential result of eating the property of an orphan will be flaring of fire in the devilish devourer's stomach.
This makes it clear that man will get hell fire by way of his own earning. He will be liable to various punishments in hell only because of his own misdeeds and evil character and misbehaviour. In the light of what is said in the Holy Qur’an the fuel of hell fire also will be wrongdoer persons:
“Then be on your guard against the fire of which men and stones are the fuel; “(2:24)
It can be understood from the above that the reasons of getting punishments in hell will have been provided by the sinner himself. He had behaved wrongfully, unjustly and oppressively with himself. God never oppresses anyone:
“Surely Allah does not do any injustice to men, but men are unjust to themselves. “(10:44)
How at all an unbeliever ever be given entrance to paradise which is extremely Holy and soft place while that fellow had indulged in dirtiness, harshness, rebellion, deviation and disobedience to God? Paradise is a very secure and peaceful place where only healthy people can enter who do not have any foul illness.
How can a man who is full of internal illnesses like envy, malignity, enmity, stinginess, pride, egotism, be allowed to enter paradise? The residence of such ill people is a hospital of hell, not the paradise that is a place of permanent peace.
The truth is that to allow an unbeliever entry to paradise is just like pouring scented oil on the head of a man who has lost his faculty of smelling due to severe cold. It is like putting a thing at an inappropriate place. (It is never commensurate with Divine Wisdom). It is called 'injustice' (zulm) in Arabic.
Therefore hurling an unbeliever in hell is in no way against Divine Justice because in Arabic, Justice (Adl) means to put a thing in its appropriate place (God is Adil=Just). That is why entry of an unbeliever in paradise is impossible.
It is totally against divine justice. He (the Unbeliever) can never enjoy paradise because it is just like a beautiful bride who adorns herself for a blind fellow or sings before a deaf person.
Even after all that has been said above, it is likely that someone may ask: How can God, the Most Merciful, Who loves His creation beyond measure, will put his beloved creation to fierce punishments? The answer is that though God is most soft and lenient, He also is wrathful and mighty. Just as He is 'Rahman' and 'Rahim', so also He is 'Jabbar' and 'Qahhar'.
Just as paradise is the manifestation of extreme kindness, so is the hell the manifestation of extreme anger and wrath. “O, One Whose Mercy precedes His Wrath…” is the attribute according to which He is not happy that His creation should become Unbeliever by disobeying Him and go to hell. “He is not pleased with the disbelief of His servants.”
But when the creation, despite knowing His displeasure, opts for the road leading to hell, He also does not prevent them forcibly because it is against His wisdom. God is absolutely independent of every or any need. He is also not in need of our faith.
Yet He has, on the basis of His mercy and kindness, towards His creation made true repentance the cause of protection from the above-mentioned punishments. He has kept this door open until the last breath of man. But if the creation turns away its face from this kindness also, He also does not force them to repent because a forced repentance will not be repentance at all.
Doubtlessly, God is Merciful and Beneficent and it is because of it that He has ordered the creation to follow His commands and to carry out all obligatory and voluntary good deeds leading to paradise and He guided us towards it. Similarly He also commanded us to refrain from all evil, prohibited and indecent things, which take one away from God and make him near to Satan and consequently lead to hellfire.
Thus it can be understood that all these religious commands and duties are due to His vast mercy and kindness. Therefore, a faithful person should also take care and he should never lag behind in fulfilling his religious duties. He must realize that failure to do any obligatory duty is his permanent loss, which is irreparable. In this way he will be depriving himself of divine mercy. No other thing can avert this loss.
One more objection can also be that if an unbeliever got a lifespan of say fifty or sixty (or more) years. Then, how can it be justified that he should suffer forever endlessly in hell? The answer is: The unbeliever who, spent his entire life in disbelief had, in reality, in that very short lifespan by misusing his freedom of action, gathered such a huge and permanent evil that its essential consequence is entrance to everlasting hell.
In other words, he opted for such a darkness for himself, where no ray of light can ever reach till eternity. Likewise, the faithful who left this world with piety and fear of God earned in his short life an undiminishing success, that is, he earned an inextinguishable light.
It is mentioned in Biharul Anwar that Abu Hashim asked Imam Sadiq (a.s.) why the dwelling in paradise or hell would be permanent? The Imam (a.s.) replied, “The people of hell will live in hell forever because their intention in the world was that had they to live in the world forever they would disobey God forever.
Likewise the reason of the people of paradise living therein permanently is also that their intention in the world was that if they had to live in the world forever they would always obey God and would never defy His commandments. So, it is the intention that results in the permanent residence of the people of paradise in paradise and the permanent dwelling of the people of hell in hell. Thus Allah says in the Holy Qur’an that everyone acts according to his intention.
Wa Aakhiru Daa Waanaa Ani Hamdu Lillaahi Rabbil Aalameen Wa Sallaallahu Alaa Muhammad Wa Aalihit Taiyibeen Wat Taahireen
- 1. For further details please refer to Tawheed Mufaddal
- 2. For removal of doubts regarding the eater and the eaten one, refer the Ayatullah's book, 80 questions.
- 3. For more details please refer Martyr Ayatullah Dastghaib's commentary Qalbe Qur’an (Explanation of Surah Yasin) on line at: http://www.al-islam.org/the-heart-of-the-quran-commentary-of-sura-yasin-...
- 4. Safinatul Bihar, Vol. 2, p. 360
- 5. Persian Couplet.
- 6. Biharul Anwar, vol. 10.
- 7. Biharul Anwar vol.3.
- 8. Rauzatul Kafi, tradition no.79.
- 9. Safinatul Bihar
- 10. Refer Gunahane Kabirah by the same author. Published in English under the title of 'Greater Sins'. Available on line at: http://www.al-islam.org/greater-sins-complete-ayatullah-dastaghaib-shirazi
- 11. Persian Couplets.
- 12. Persian Couplet.
- 13. What is meant by this week long hosting? We could not know it because these our worldly weeks will not be there in Hereafter. May be the timing is explained according to our system of calculation.
- 14. Dua Kumail.
- 15. See Surah Saad 38:59-63.