Ayat no. 12

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Surely We give life to the dead, and We write down what they have sent before and their footprints, and We have encompassed everything in a manifest Imam. (36:12)

This world is hidden and the Hereafter is visible

The hearts of most of the Meccans were dead.
Surely you do not make the dead to hear, and you do not make the deaf to hear the call when they go back retreating. (27:80)
It means that you cannot make the dead hear anything. Whatever you say or may not say would not make any difference at all. They are not going to believe. It is so in every age. In every city, there are many whom you may frighten with punishment but they will not stop sinning. So who fears?
Only he fears who follows the admonition.
A verse of Quran that you recite before him creates an effect in him. They say, “He fears God.” Some say, “Secretly” (without seeing God with physical eyes). Such a person (with a live heart) fears God even where there is no one except God.

But most of the commentators have said it means covering or veil. So long as one does not die, one is in a covering; that is, there is a curtain between him and God, angels, grave and the other world. When death comes, all this appears before him clearly. So fearing is important only now (while one is alive) and when one does not see the above things. When one dies and actually sees the Divine Kingdom fear is not of any use.

Fearfulness of Yusuf in secrecy

Quran narrates that when Zulaikha caught hold of Yusuf in a closed room, she threw her veil on an idol saying, “It is not proper to commit a bad deed before you.” Yusuf said, “How is it that you are mindful of a lifeless idol while I should not be mindful of the Omniscient Lord?”

O’ the one who keeps other people’s wealth unlawfully! There is no proof against you, but God knows it. Others may not be able to recover these possessions, however, God is able to do it. One who has fear in his heart is alive. Admonishments can benefit him. Those are the true worshippers (who pray and fast during Ramadan). Fasting is an act purely for God:
…so announce to him forgiveness and an honorable reward…(36:11)
The Arabic equivalent of ‘forgiveness’ above indicates a general or indefinite adjective for magnifying something. It means a great admonition accompanied by a valuable prize. Definitely, God will compensate suitably.
So their Lord accepted their prayer: That I will not waste the work of a worker among you, whether male or female, the one of you being from the other; they, therefore, who fled and were turned out of their homes and persecuted in My way and who fought and were slain, I will most certainly cover their evil deeds, and I will most certainly make them enter gardens beneath which rivers flow; a reward from Allah, and with Allah is yet better reward. (3:195)

Tastes ‘Kauthar’ at the last moment and dies

Since you turned towards Him, He would not neglect you, especially with regard to the dear youths in the earlier part of their lives.
At the time of death they would be allowed to taste the water of Kauthar (the Divine delicious stream).
Eat and drink pleasantly for what you did beforehand in the days gone by. (69:24)
They fasted for one whole month. They desired food and drink but refrained for the sake of and to please Only One God. “So now taste this drink at the hand of the King of Guidance, Moon of Guidance, Lion of God, that is, Asadullah al Ghalib Ali bin Abi Talib (‘a).”

There are still some believers whose breath has not yet stopped, but who continue to taste from it. There is a narration from Imam Baqir (‘a) wherein he is reported to have said on oath that such noble people will not die until they taste the Kauthar water.

The moment of death is indeed very hard. How can one taste something good at that time? But we should know that once he tastes that divine water offered by the Cup-bearer of Kauthar (Imam Ali) he gives up his life happily.

I know of a man who was on his deathbed. At his last moment, people around him experienced a wonderful fragrance of musk and the departing believer said, “Please leave me alone the Imam is arriving.”

Can one in charge of orphans’ property who due to the fear of Allah did not misappropriate a single penny and gave up everything be like one who usurped the orphans’ rights without any qualms?
Shall We treat those who believe and do good like the mischief-makers in the earth? Or shall We make those who guard (against evil) like the wicked? (38:28)


News of Resurrection is a good tiding for the virtuous and a warning for sinners

This is one of the proofs of Resurrection. Life after death must be true, otherwise it would be against Divine wisdom. One who denies the world of reward and punishment has denied God. The final result of this grand universe would be seen in the form of the Great Grace of God in the Hereafter. Today’s worldly life is an active first phase of sowing the seeds and the time of harvest is the Hereafter, after death.
Surely We give life to the dead…
“O Muslims! Congratulations to you. We enliven the dead. O disbelievers! Beware!”
When a man dies, his dress changes. He gets a fresh life. Physical body and headaches go away. He gets another body which is fine and without material losses. It is a repose from incompetence. It is the result of a material body. Various kinds of pains belong to the physical body. The Barzakh body needs no doctor or medicine.

Once an old lady came to the Holy Prophet (‘s) and, inter alia, said to him, “Please pray that God admits me to paradise.” The Holy Prophet (‘s) who wanted to bring in some humor said, “There would be no old women in paradise.” The poor aged woman began to weep. The Prophet said, “Old ladies become youthful and then enter paradise.”1
Surely We give life to the dead…
Immediately after death, the soul gets connected with the facsimile body, which is exactly like this our present body. The earthen body goes away and a shadowless, fine body takes its place.
…and We write down what they have sent before and their footprints…
Every deed of yours is cognized by the Lord of the Worlds. Every work that you did for God is a great deed. We record it, not only in your scroll of deeds but also in the Protected Tablet (Lauhe Mahfooz). All good and bad deeds are being noted.

Children and everlasting deeds are the imprints we leave at death

…their footprints…
Most commentators say that “…what they have sent before,” means what you sent forth before your death and “…their footprints…” means that which you get after your death. According to some narrations, after death, man is disconnected from all things except, firstly: Children. If possible, train you children nicely with piety and entrust them to the society. Every good deed performed by them would benefit their parents in the other world also.

Second: An everlasting good deed. For example, you published a religious book. You benefit from it even after your death. Charitable trusts too are among the everlasting imprints. If possible, one may spend some of his wealth in the path of God without depriving his children.

Income of a salt mine and mourning for Husain (‘a)

Once the late Al Haajj Shaykh Abdul Husain Tehrani, teacher of Haji Noori, said from a pulpit, “Last night I had a dream. I saw one of the state nobles, Nasiruddin Shah having a huge apartment and he was in a very good condition. I said to him, ‘I have known you when I was in Tehran. I could see that your deeds were not deserving for this present good condition.’

He replied, ‘Yes, but I have been granted this position after my death due to one thing. I had a salt mine in Taliqan. I had willed that its income be sent to Najaf-e-Ashraf during Ashura (First ten days of Muharram) of Husain (‘a) so that people may arrange mourning ceremonies.’”

When the Shaykh said these words, the late Haajj Shaykh Nazar Ali Taliqani spoke up from the base of the pulpit, “I am from Taliqan and I testify that this is a true dream. The salt mine still exists and the aforesaid person’s will is still in force.”2

It is mentioned in narrations that, in later ages, the dead will get no benefit from the living. You can see what they are doing to the charities. How much misappropriation is going on? They are actually oppressing the dead.3 The poor fellows hoped to derive the rewards for mourning of Husain (‘a) and feeding people in his name and for that purpose they bequeathed their property, thus should they be oppressed by misappropriation?

Among the deeds of everlasting benefit are wells, canals and trees. Until they last, they benefit the person who dug such canals or planted such trees.
And the everlasting deeds are better for you.

Hours from man’s age after death

The Holy Prophet (‘s) has given us glad tidings when he said that after death, there is to come an hour when a treasure will be opened so extensively that if it is distributed among all the people of hell they will become happy.

That will be due to the hour, which you spent in remembrance of God. There also will be an hour when you will see so much pain and trouble that if that pain is distributed among all the people of paradise they will become gloomy and restless. That is the hour, which you spent in sinning. Do not think that such deeds and misdeeds will go away with the wind. No, they will not vanish or blow away.

An hour is also to arrive which is neither like this nor like that and that is the time, which you spend in lawful activities. Of course, they also cause regret because if you only knew you would have spent these hours also in the path of God.

  • 1. Safinatul Bihar vol.2 pg. 538
  • 2. Darus Salam Haji Noori
  • 3. These lectures were delivered five years prior to the Islamic Revolution of Iran. It is hoped that now charities are operated honestly.