Can a dead person contact with the actual world? Can they see the people who visit their graves?
Since bodies generally decay and turn into earth and spirits are immortal, the life after death, which is also called the “spiritual world”, is one of the unknown issues. The ones who are alive and those who emigrated to the intermediate realm are in different worlds. Those who are in the intermediate realm have a way of life peculiar to this place; they feel the taste, the sorrow, relaxation and joy. However, those who are still in the material world do not know through their actual senses about the life of the spirit after the body and how a person feels there and what kind of things they are to confront. We only can learn about this subject from our Prophet (pbuh), who is acknowledged about divine realities.
We learn from the hadiths of the Prophet (pbuh) that the spirits of believers meet each other in the intermediate realm. Besides, it is reported that the dead are informed about those who are alive and can see who visit their graves. They may know who send prayers and moral gifts for them. Since the spirits of believers are among blessings and their spirits are free, they may freely wander. However, the spirits of disbelievers and spirits of believers whose sins are a lot are busy with being punished.
It may be possible that the spirits of the dead visit the house where the Qur’an is recited. Yet, it is difficult to say this for each dead person.
Spirits of the dead meeting each other in the intermediate realm:
There are two types of spirits in the intermediate realm: Those who are in blessings and those who are being punished. According to Ibnu’l Qayyim’s explanation, the spirits that are punished do not have the chance to meet each other. They are some kind of prisoners. On the other hand, free spirits, in other words, spirits that are in blessings, meet and visit each other. They discuss the things that happened and that will happen in the world. Each spirit meets the friends who are in the same level as they are in actual deeds. The spirit of the Prophet (pbuh) is in ar-Rafiqu’l A’la ( the highest rank).
In the Surah an-Nisa, the following is stated “Whoever obeys God and the Messenger (as they must be obeyed), then those are (and in the Hereafter will be, in Paradise) in the company of those whom God has favored (with the perfect guidance) – the Prophets, and the truthful ones (loyal to God's cause and truthful in whatever they do and say), and the witnesses (those who see the hidden Divine truths and testify thereto with their lives), and the righteous ones (in all their deeds and sayings, and dedicated to setting everything right). How excellent they are for companions!” (the Qur’an, An-Nisa, 4:69) and this company is in three places: in the world, in the intermediate realm and in the hereafter. In each of these three places, people are with those whom they love. (2)
In this verse, it is informed that spirits will meet each other in the intermediate realm because, there is an event that is reported as the reason why this verse was sent: One of the Honored Companions became sad and cried because he thought after death, the rank of the Prophet (pbuh) would be higher than theirs and they would be separated from the Prophet (pbuh). When the Prophet asked him why he was sad, he replied : “We cannot help ourselves but be always by your side in this world, O the Apostle of God! We will not be able to see you after death, for your rank will be higher than ours. How can I help myself, being separated from you?”. Over this event, this verse was sent (3) and it has been reported that those who love God and His Prophet (pbuh) will be with him in the intermediate realm and in the hereafter.
God informs us in the surah Aal-i ‘Imran that “those killed in God's cause are not dead and rather, they are alive; with their Lord they have their sustenance”, and “rejoicing in what God has granted them out of His bounty, and joyful in the glad tidings for those left behind who have not yet joined them, that (in the event of martyrdom) they will have no fear, nor will they grieve.” / the Qur’an, Aal-i ‘Imran, 3:169-170) (4) These verse also stand as a proof that spirits in the intermediate realm meet each other because, as the phrase “yastabshirun” in the verse means “they want glad tidings to be given”, it also means “they become joyful and give the glad tidings to each other” (5). Since they give glad tidings to each other, they must be meeting and talking with each other.
Abu Hurayra reported that the Apostle of God (pbuh) said : “ It is for sure that the people of Paradise meet each other there (in Paradise). (6). It is reported that the spirits of the believers will be in Paradise in the intermediate realm. Thus, it is possible that by the people of Paradise in this hadith, those who are in Paradise in the intermediate realm is meant. This following hadith narrated by Ummu Hani, daughter to Abu Talib, affirms this way of interpretation of the hadith: Ummu Hani asked the Prophet (pbuh) such a question one day: “Will we be able to see and meet each other after we are dead?”. The Prophet (pbuh) replied: “ The spirit becomes a bird which feeds on the fruit of Paradise. On the Resurrection day, each spirit penetrates into their own body” (7). It is clear that the spirits of the believers meet each other in Paradise.
In a report by Ibn Abi’d-Dunya, when the Prophet (pbuh) was asked “ Do the dead know each other?”, he replied “ I swear by Allah in whose hand my soul is that they know each other just like birds know each other on the top of the trees”. (8) This question was asked by the mother of Bishr b. Bara b. Ma’rur from the Honored Companions and when she learnt that the dead knew and met each other, she immediately went to a person from Bani Salama, who was about to die and she sent her greetings to her son by means of this person. (9) In another report of the hadith, those who will know and meet each other in Paradise like birds, are stated to be “good spirits”.
When Bilal b. Rabah from the Honored Companions was about to pass away, his wife began to sigh and groan. Bilal began to say “What a great joy, what a great happiness! I will be with Muhammad (pbuh) and with his companions.” (10) Here Bilal gives the good news that he will meet the Apostle of God (pbuh) and his companions in the intermediate realm and they will be together just like in the world.(11) and with his word, he reminds his wife that she should not be sad but in deed she should be happy with that.
In a hadith which Bayhaqi reported from the narration of Ibn Abbas, it is informed that the spirit of a believer who gives good answers to the questioning in the grave will be in the company of other believers. (12)
Also, in the report of Bayhaqi from Ali b. Abi Talib in “Shu’abu’l Iman”, Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “There were two believers and two disbelievers who were friends. One of the believers passed away. When he was given the glad tidings that he would go to Paradise, he remembered his friend and saying “ O Allah, my friend always ordered me to be obedient to You and to Your Prophet (pbuh) and he advised me the good and kept me away from the evil…”, he prayed to Allah that his friend would not deviate after him and he would also be given the blessing he was offered. Later, when the latter friend passed away, their spirits met and said to each other : “ What a nice brother, what a nice company and what a nice friend”.
When one of the disbelievers died and informed he was going to be punished, he remembered his friend and said : “ God, my friend always suggested me to rebel against You and Your Prophet (pbuh) and asked me to commit the evil deeds, not the good ones. God, keep him away from the right path, so that he might be punished as I am and You will be angry at him as You are at me.” Then, the latter died and when their spirits met, they said to each other: “What an evil brother and what a bad companion”. (13) These all shows that good and bad spirits meet each other in the intermediate realm.
In the hadith, which is reported from Abu Qatada and Jabir and is about making the shrouds nicely for the dead people, there is this sentence “ It is for sure that they visit each other in their graves”, in the version of this hadith reported from Suyuti and Bayhaqi. (14)
After reporting the hadith from Abu Qatada in “Shu’abu’l-Iman” (54/673), Bayhaqi stated that this hadith which was about those who were killed in God’s cause informed they had their sustenance and this hadith was in conformity with the 169th and 170th verses of the Surah Aal-i ‘Imran in the Qur’an. (15)
Another evidence which proves that spirits meet each other in the intermediate realm is the hadith which informs that the spirit of a believer that is ascended to the heavens after death is welcomed by the angels and they will ask him about those in the world. In the hadith reported from Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, the Prophet (pbuh) stated: “When the spirit of the believer is ascended to the heavens, it is welcomed by the angels.” (17) Just like a person who brings glad tidings is welcome in the world. Meanwhile the angels that bring the spirit of the person who has just died say:
-Let him rest for a while because he was in a great trouble.
-If he says “ It was already dead before me”,
-they say “Inna Lillah wa inna Inna Ilayhi Raji’un (we belong to Allah and we will turn to him), it has gone to Hawiya (Hell), its eternal place to stay. How bad it is there and what an evil educator it is”. (18)
Regarding this issue, Abdullah b. Mubarak is also reported to have said : “ The people in the grave expect news. When a dead person arrives there, they ask him questions like “what did this or that person do?” When he says for a person who is asked about : “ He is dead. Did he not meet you?”, they reply : “ Inna Lillah wa Inna Ilayhi Raji’un” and they add : He went to a different way than ours.” (19)
Sa’id b. Al-Musayyad from Tabiin (d. 94/712) said : “ When a person dies, he is welcomed by his child ( that died before him) like a person who returns home from a military expedition.” (20) This hadith, which informs that the dead meet each other in the intermediate realm and receive the news from those who have just died and joined them there, and similar news are supported by the information that the people in the grave are informed about the actions and deeds of their children, grandchildren and close relatives and they become happy because of the news of the good deeds and actions their relatives commit and they also become upset about the news they receive about the evil deeds their relatives commit.
The people in the grave are informed about the actions and deeds of their relatives and friends they have left behind and they become happy due to good deeds and become upset by the bad deeds they commit. (21) Mujahid is reported to have said : “ A person is given the glad tidings of his child’s good deeds after himself.” (22)
Sa’id b. Jubayr (d. 95/714) is reported to have stated : “ It is for sure that the dead people are informed about the people who are alive. There is nobody whose relative(s) passed away and who is left uninformed about the relatives he leaves behind. If the news they receive is good, they become happy and if it is not, they become upset.” (23) Abu’d Darda (d. 32/652), from the Honored Companions, used to pray like this : “O Allah, I take refuge in you from a deed which may make my dead relatives feel ashamed of” (24)
Abdullah b. Mubarak reports that Abu Ayyub al-Ansari said : “ The deeds of the people who are alive are reported to the dead. If they receive good news, they become happy and share the glad tidings but if they receive bad news, they pray “ O, Allah keep him away from it”. ( 25)
As can be understood from the dead people asking for news from a person who has recently died, we cannot say that the dead people receive the news about the people alive on their own – except for the ones Allah wills. For this reason, we learn that they are informed by those who have just arrived and joined them. Their receiving news from the new-comers proves that they meet and talk to each other.
The spirits of the dead meet and talk to each other in the intermediate realm. Is it possible that those who are not dead yet and alive can meet and talk to those who are in the intermediate realm? And is there some kind of contact of the dead with those who are alive? Let us now deal with it:
Meeting of those who are alive with those who are in the intermediate realm:
The meeting of those who are alive with those who are in the intermediate realm is two types : while awake and while asleep.
The most outstanding example and the proof of its probability are the hadiths which inform us about the Prophet’s (pbuh) meeting the spirits of some Prophets on Miraj and teach us about visit to graves.
Allah indicates in the Qur’an addressing to Muhammad (pbuh): “And ask (their true followers about) those of Our Messengers whom We sent before you: did We ever enable deities to be worshipped apart from the All-Merciful?” (26) While some interpreters of the Qur’an claimed this action of asking was only peculiar to Isra and the night of Miraj (27), some others interpreted this as Allah made Muhammad (pbuh) able to talk with previous prophets. In this second viewpoint, recording the absolute word in the verse as Isra and Miraj would be an incorrect interpretation. And it is right to understand the verse as it is and the Prophet (pbuh) was given this permission whenever he needed.(28)
Muhammad’s (pbuh) meeting with other prophets while he was still alive is something possible to happen. And it is of no difficulty for Allah to do this. This happened when Allah made him meet them and in the night of Miraj, Muhammad (pbuh) met the spirits of the Prophets at Al-Masjid al-Aqsa while he was awake. Later, some reports prove that he met some of them in the heavens. (29)
Also, in an another hadith narrated by Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet (pbuh) reported that Moses (pbuh) prayed to Allah to let him talk to Adam (pbuh) and Allah let Moses (pbuh) meet and talk to Adam (pbuh), when he was still alive and awake.(30)
Some other prophets’ meeting the people in the intermediate realm when they were alive and awake only took place when Allah allowed them and on this issue, there are many reports about some saints that met the Prophet (pbuh) and some great religious personalities. (31)
On the visit to the grave, the name “zair” attributed to visitor and “mazur” to the visited is a proof that the visited is aware of the presence of the visitor. It is because if the visited is not aware of the presence of the visitor, this is not called mazur = the visited. Besides, when the Prophet (pbuh) taught the manners of visiting the graves, he taught the graves should be greeted; which shows their contact with the people alive. (32)
Those who are alive meeting the people in the intermediate realm while they are asleep, is divine dreams, which are a part of prophecy, according to Ibnu’l Qayyim’s report; and they represent Knowledge. (33) Erzurumlu Ibrahim Hakki says : “ Seeing the dead in good or bad situations in the dream is knowing the exact situation they are in. This is to show the situation of the dead or to make stay awake.” (34), He pointed out that seeing the dead in the dreams are of real dreams.
These meetings and the visions through dreams and karamahs are proofs not for common people but for the person who see them. However, we just mention about them in order to show its possibility.
The meeting of those who are alive with those who are in the intermediate realm takes place due to either one of their wish and as Allah’s favor upon their asking Allah for this meeting due to some purposes. We can exemplify the wish of those who are alive for this kind of meeting as to see the Prophet (pbuh) – as the wish of all of us and which happened to many believers – in the dream or our wish to see our relatives who departed to the other world.
Ibnu’l Qayyim says: “Meeting the dead in the dreams, exchanging news with them, their giving some information like, there is a treasure there or there is this over that place or this will happen like that or you will come to us at that particular time and this kind of information turning out true represent the reality of such meeting.” (35)
According to the narrations, Sa’b b. Jassama and Awf b. Malik from the Honored Companions became brothers and promised each other to keep in touch after death. After a while, Sa’b died. Awf saw Sa’b come to him as if he was alive in his dream and he asked Sa’b about how the questioning went. He replied it was going well for then and thanked Allah. Meanwhile, Awf asked Sa’b the reason why there was a black spot on his chest. He replied he borrowed ten dirhams from a Jewish person and saying the place where the money was, he asked that money to be returned to that man. Also, he reported that his cat was dead and his daughter was going to die soon and these all turn out to come into reality. When the morning broke and Awf went to his friend’s house, he saw the money was in the place where it was informed to be and he took it to return to the Jewish man. He asked the Jewish man if his friend borrowed money from him and the Jewish man confirmed by also giving the exact quantity of the money. Understanding that what he saw in his dream was real and complying with the will of his friend, Awf gave the money to the Jewish man. (36)
1- Nisa, 4/69.
2- Ibnu'l-Qayyim, p. 17; Suyuti, Bushra'1-Kaib, v. 147 b; Hasan al-'Idwi, p. 74; Rodosizade, Ahval-i Alem-i Berzah, elyazma, İst. Süleymaniye Küt. v. 19 a.
3-Ibnu'lQayyim, ibid, p. 17; Ibn Keathir, Tafsir, v. I, p. 522; Rodosizade, ibidi v. 19 b.
4-See Aal-i Imran, 3/169-170.
5-Mu'jamu'l-Wasit, v. I, p. 57; Atay Kardeşler. Arapça Türkçe Büyük Lügat, v. I. p. 128; Ibnu'l-Qayyim, ibid, p. 18.
6- A. b. Hanbal, Musnad. v. II, p. 335.
7- A. b. Hanbal. Musnad. v. VI, p. 425; A Sirajuddin, ibid, p. 106-107.
8- Suyuti, B. al-Kaib, v. 144 b.
9- A. Sirajuddin, ibid p. 107; Ibnu'l-Qayyim, ibid, p. 19.
10- Suyuti, B. al-Kaib, v. 148 b.
11- Abdullah Sirajuddin, ibid p. 107.
12- See Suyuti, Sharhu's-Sudur. v. 53 a.
13- Suyuti, Sharhu's-Sudur, v. 38 b; v. 173 b.
14- Suyuti, Bushra'1-Kaib, v. 147 b; Suyati, Sharhu Sunani'n-Nasai, v. IV, p. 34; Hasan al-'Idwi, ibid, p. 73; Abdullah Sirajuddin
15- Suyuti S.Sunan'n-Nasai, v. W, p. 34; H. al-'Idwi, ibid, p.73.
16- For the hadith on Miraj, see Bukhari. Sahih, Salat, l, v. I. p. 91-92; Muslim, Sahih, Iman, 74. v. I, p. 148; A. b. Hanbal. Musnad, v. V. p. 143; Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa'n-Nihaya, v. I, p. 97, Beirut, 1977.
17- In the hadith reported by Abu Hurayra in Ibn Hibban Sahih, the following is stated: "When it is taken to the place where the spirits of the believers are, they become happy as if they have found someone who was lost." see Abdullah Sirajuddin, ibid, p. 106
18- see Nasai, Cenâiz, 9, c. IV, s. 8-9; Suyuti, S. Sudur, v. 37 a; B. al-Kaib, v. 144 b; Ibnu'l-Qayyim, a.g. e, s. 20; Rodosîzâde, ibid, v, 26a; A Siracuddin, ibid. s. 106.
19- Ibnu'l-Qayyim, ibid. s. 19: Birgivî, R. FÎ Ah. Etfâlİ'l-Müslimin, s. 85; Birgivî bu konuyu işledikten sonra, vasiyyet etmeden ölenlerin berzahta konuşamayacaklarım ve berzah ehlinin sorularına cevap veremeyeceklerini ilave eder. (bkz. ibid, s. 85.)
20- Ibnu'l-Qayyim, ibid, s. 19; Rodosizade, ibid. v. 25 a.
21- Rodosizade, ibid. v. 7 b.
22- Ibnu'l-Qayyim, ibid, p. 12.
23- Hasan al-'Idwi, ibid, p. 16, Egypt, 1316.
25- Ibnu'l-Qayyim, ibid, p. 7; Rodosizade, ibid, v, 8 b.
26- az-Zukhruf, 43/45. '
27- see Ibn Kathir, Tafsir, a. IV, p. 129.
28- see Abdullah Sirajuddin, ibid, p. 109-110.
29- For hadtihs regarding the issue, see Bukhari, Sahih, Salat, l, v. I, p. 91-92; Anbiya, 5, v. IV, p. 106-107; Muslim.Sahih.lman, 74, v.I,p.l48; Fadail,42,v.IV,p.l845; Nasai, Sunan, Qiyamu'1-Layl, 15, v. m,ps. 215; A. b. Hanbal, Musnad, v. ffl, p. 120, 248; v. V. p. 59,143.
30- Abu Dawud, Sunan, Sunnah, 17, v. W, p. 226.
31- see Abdullah Sirajuddin, ibid, p. 110-113.
32- Ibnu'l-Qayyim, ibid, p. 8; Rodosizade, ibid, v. 8 b; Wujudi, Muhammad b. Abdulaziz, Ahvâl-i Alem-i Berzah, v. 9 a, elyazma, ist. Süleymaniye.Küt. Halef Ef. Böl. Nr. 237.
33- Ibnu'l-Qayyim, ibid, p. 29; Rodosizade, ibid, v. 39 b.
34- Erzurumlu ibrahim Hakkı, Mârifetname, v. I, p. 60.
35- Rodosizade, ibid
36- Rodosizade, ibid.
Kaynak: Prof. Dr. Süleyman Toprak, Kabir Hayatı, p. 247-258
How will marriage be in Paradise?
Detailed information regarding the bounties of Paradise has been given in the Quran for man, who is inclined to all kinds of perfection and beauty and who desires his highest degree like a lover; in addition, he has been pledged the content and pleasure of Allah.
Paradise, which includes all kinds of spiritual and emotional bounties, also contains all kinds of bodily and material bounties. Eating, drinking and marrying are regarded among the highest bounties of Paradise. According to the statements of the Quran and hadiths, the family life that is established in the world will continue forever if both spouses deserve to go to Paradise; their marital relations will go on endlessly. However, the spouses that did not believe and died as unbelievers will be separated from their spouses and they will suffer the punishment for their unbelief by staying in hell forever even if they are the wives of Hazrat Noah and Lot and the husband of Asiya, the Pharaoh.
God Almighty will give the believing women who entered Paradise due to their belief and good deeds to their husbands as spotlessly clean wives by cleaning them from all kinds of worldly defects. Those women of the world, who were created in a more beautiful form than houris, will be eternal friends of life for their husbands and become the sultans of the houris. They will make use of Paradise forever with the people they love without any feelings of jealousy and competition.
The believing men and women who died before they got married in the world will be married in Paradise; all of the single people will be married there. However, those who died as children are exceptions to that rule. As it is understood from the phrase, “wildanun mukhalladun” (immortal children), the children of believers who died before reaching the age of puberty will go to Paradise directly, but they will make their parents enjoy the pleasure of caressing and loving children by remaining as children forever. However, God Almighty will create the children who prayed and performed fasting thanks to the encouragement of their parents although they did not have to as adults and he will grant them the return for their deeds as Paradise. The children of unbelievers who died before reaching the age of puberty will enter Paradise but they will be employed as servants. Those who were not sane and the people of interregnum who were unaware of the true religion will enter Paradise since they were not mukallaf (responsible); they will not be accounted for their mistakes.
– Which one of her husbands will a woman who married several times in the world be together with in Paradise?
– First of all, it is necessary not to forget the characteristic of Paradise. If its characteristic is forgotten, many questions cannot be answered. That characteristics is as follows:
Paradise is a place of complete happiness. A person who enters Paradise will not come across with even the slightest thing that will overshadow his happiness. On the contrary, he will have all of the things that will make him happy and as he likes them to be; there will be no deprivation.
Acting upon that basic criterion, we can say that she will be together with the husband that she will be happy with. In other words, she will prefer to be with the husband that made her happy in the world; she will increase the happiness of the world more in the hereafter. In Paradise, it is out of question to be together with a person that one does not like or does not want. Then, those who love will be together with the people whom they loved in Paradise; they will transform their ephemeral happiness in the world to eternal happiness in the hereafter. That is the summary of the judgment expressed by the hadiths that are thought to have different meanings.
As a matter of fact, the following famous hadith that is uttered as a proverb among people expresses the same thing:
– A person is together with whom he loves!
Unfortunately, the world is not a place that is appropriate for fulfilling every wish. A person might not be together with the person he loves in the world no matter how much he wants. However, it is certain that he will be together with whom he loves in the hereafter though not in the world.
What is more, those who did not express their love openly and could not be together with their lovers will meet their lovers there.
We can add the following remark here.
Since a person will be together with whom he loves in the hereafter, one should love the people who deserve to go to Paradise so that he will be together with them in Paradise. God forbid, if you love the people who deserve to go to Hell, it is possible that you go to Hell in order to be together with whom you love. – Do not say is it possible? It is. They say love is blind. A person may love someone that Allah does not love. He follows that person and goes to the place where he/she goes because a person is together with whom he loves.
Then, love the people that Allah loves so that you will be together with them in the hereafter. Be careful not to be a victim of wrong love and a person who is overcome by his feelings.
Another important point to remember here is as follows.
Great saints say:
– Do not attribute your love in your marriage to outward appearance and beauty, which will disappears soon. Do not regard the beauty of a face, which will disappear soon, as the only reason for love because outward beauty will disappear in a short time; since what makes you love disappears, your love may disappear too. That approach will soon make the family loveless. However, if one attributes his love to nice qualities like belief, ethics, sincerity and loyalty, which will increase as one gets older, not to outward beauty, which will disappear, the future of the family will be guaranteed. The parties who see that the reason for their love continues lifelong will maintain their family without weakening it until they die because the high ethics that originates from devoutness brings the wife and husband together in Paradise; it will enable them to be together in the eternal life after the world; thus, they make their love kind of eternal. Therefore, they are very careful and try not to disappoint and hurt their eternal friend here.
The following point regarding the issue should never be forgotten:
– The wife and husband that will be together in Paradise will not be the same couple with their weaknesses in the world. Both of them will be together in Paradise after being cleaned from all kinds of material and spiritual dirt. What is more, the wife and husband that they imagined will appear exactly; they will have the appearance of a Paradise youth and a Paradise houri that will make each other happy. They will meet in Paradise being freed from some views that overshadowed their love that existed in the world.
Thus, the wife of the man in the world will be a Paradise houri that he will admire fully and the husband will be a Paradise youth that she will admire fully; they will have the opportunity of enjoying their overshadowed happiness in the world without being overshadowed in Paradise, and in a better phase.
Therefore, the love in the world should not be attributed only to the temporary outward beauty. They should focus on the beauty of belief and ethics that will gain them the eternal friendship of life in Paradise, which will improve as they get older so that their family love will continue lifelong and will be transformed to eternal friendship of life.
Does a woman have to marry her husband in the world in Paradise? If she married only once in the world, will she have the right to choose another man?
We can give the following summarized information regarding the issue:
a. The principle is that each husband and wife continue their marriage in Paradise.
b. The women who died before getting married can marry the men they like.
c. According to the opinion of some scholars, if a woman married two or more men in the world, she will marry her first husband if her other marriage(s) took place as a result of the death of her husband not as a result of divorce; according to the opinion of other scholars, she will marry her last husband. However, she can also marry the one that she likes better. (cf. Alusi; ad-Duhan, the interpretation of the verse 44/54.)
d. If one of the spouses wants the other but the other spouse does not want him/her (if there is a consciousness and demand like that), the one who likes will be given a similar spouse, and the other is left free; he/she will marry whomever she wants.
- It should not be forgotten that a depressing situation is never in question in Paradise. Nobody will be more beautiful and beloved than one’s spouse no matter whom one marries. The sadness and longing in the world are not in question in Paradise. In other words, the longing and sadness remaining from the world will be eliminated there by reunion or there will be no traces from them; what is important is to enter Paradise. Therefore, it is necessary to compete in taqwa, that is, in obeying the commands and prohibitions of Allah, which is a prerequisite for entering Paradise.
Does Sexual Life exist in Paradise?
Beyond doubt, along with every enjoyment in Jannah (Paradise), sexual intercourse exists, too. The verses that mention spouses and Houris have thus referred to such pleasures.
Numbers such as 40, 70 in Arabic literature describe plenitude, an allusion for abundance. In the hadith, sexual strength is used in order to express that the sexual intercourse in Jannah is zestier than the intercourse of this world. The expression of Abdullah b. Abbas, “No any felicities of Jannah resemble the ones that exist in the world; but, there is only a resemblance of name” is also valid for the felicity of marriage. In an eternal life, the degree of pleasures which were prepared only for the folk of Jannah is beyond and above any of human expression. As it is described in the hadith, the beauties within Jannah have “never been seen by an eye, nor heard by an ear, or (even) imagined by a human being”.
Some questions can come into our mind as a result of our inadequate understanding of Jannah.
1- A human being will be able to be present in many places at the same time.
2- Places as large as a world with full of vineyards and palaces will be given to every human
3- Every kind of human desires will take place, but nothing will happen unless human wants.
4- It is impossible to comprehend Jannah with the criteria of this world. A baby in the mother’s womb cannot comprehend what is told about this life; similarly, the world is just like a womb for us when compared with Jannah. It is impossible for us to comprehend it. That is why a baby, who is nourished with the umbilical cord in the womb, starts to benefit from life with his/her eyes, ears, mouth and many other organs.
Sexual Pleasures in Jannah
“Verily the Companions of the Garden shall that Day have joy in all that they do.” (36/Ya Seen,55)
“In them will be (Maidens), chaste, restraining their glances, whom no man or Jinn before them has touched.” (55/Al-Rahman,56)
“Like unto rubies and coral.”(55/Rahman, 58)
Beyond any doubt, sex has an important place in human’s life. As it is emphasized in the Quran (30/Ar-Room, 21) by marriage, both sexes have satisfaction both spiritually and physically. The continuation of the same satisfaction is certainly natural. According to the description of some verses and hadiths about Paradise, there will be both world women and Houris in Paradise.
The expression stated as “with companions pure (and holy)” in the verses (2/Al-Baqara, 25; 3/Aal-e-Imran 15) imply both the Houris and women of the world.
“To them will be passed round, dishes and goblets of gold: there will be there all that the souls could desire all that the eyes could delight in: and ye shall abide therein (for aye).” (Az-Zukhruf: 43/71)
Sexuality is among the things that the souls desire. Thus, the verse implies the existence of sexual life in Paradise. It is understood that the physiological defects and the spiritual depressions that have a negative effect on the sexual lives of women will be solved before entering Paradise as a result of the physical and spiritual purification process that will be applied to believers.
There are lively depictions about the beauty, dressiness and attractiveness of Paradise women in some verses and hadiths. In a narrative, it is told that while houris talk about their differences, women of the world in Paradise would silence them by expressing their superiority because of their good deeds that they did in the world.
Although there are various views regarding how many women especially world women a man will have, the sound narration regarding the issue is the sound hadith in Bukhari and Muslim. According to that hadith, every man in Paradise will be given two “grace wives with transparent skins” and nobody will be left unmarried there (Bukhari, Badul-khalq 8; Muslim, Jannah 14). It is possible that both women are houris or world women, or one is houri and the other is a world woman.
There may be objections stating that in the descriptions related to sexual life in Paradise, the qualities like beauty, attractiveness are attributed to women, but the encouraging results and advantages are usually mentioned for men; thus women are shown kind of means of satisfying the pleasures of men. It is known that when a group of women and men are addressed together or when explanations regarding both women and men are made in Arabic, the masculine gender is used. Besides, in the art and literature of all societies, the woman is accepted as the focal point of grace and attractiveness; she has been the theme of romantic poems and other artistic works; the woman has usually been in the position of being demanded not demanding.
It is understood that the same style and approach is valid in the description of sexual life in Paradise. The fact that a man will be given at least two wives – one world woman and one houri – in Paradise, where no one will be left unmarried, should be related to the same theme. Indeed, the researches carried out on women psychology in the world life show that she is monogamic and she leaves place for only one man in her heart and imagination. Besides, this is necessary in order to protect the mother’s womb, which ensures the continuation of human beings, hence the determination of the father and the continuation of the generation.
The aim is not the bounties of Paradise that give bodily pleasures but the consent of Allah
In fact, the bounties of Paradise that meet the bodily needs and give bodily pleasures are not the aim for the people of Paradise. The real aim that is desired to be attained is the consent of Allah. To attain the consent of Allah for man is to turn the spirit that Allah granted him (al-Hijr 15/29) toward Allah, to observe Him and to talk to Him. The most sincere and common expression of prayer that expresses the feelings of thanks and gratitude among Muslims is, “May Allah be pleased with you.” The friends of Allah are those who are closest to Him, who attain His consent, pleasure and love and who attain the greatest happiness by loving Him heartily with consent and surrendering.
In a verse that expresses the relationship between Paradise and the consent (pleasure) of Allah, the following is stated, “Allah hath promised to Believers men and women Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein, and beautiful mansions in Gardens of everlasting stay. but the greatest bliss in the Good Pleasure of Allah: that is the Supreme Felicity” (at-Tawbah 9/72), expressing that this spiritual element of the otherworldly bliss is more valuable than all of the other bounties described using material concepts. "O (thou) soul, in (complete) rest and satisfaction! "Come back thou to thy Lord well pleased (thyself), and well-pleasing unto Him! "Enter thou, then among my Devotees! "Yea, enter thou my Heaven"! (al-Fajr 89/27-30). As it is stated in sound hadiths, after all believers enter Paradise and are settled, God Almighty will address them and ask them if they are pleased with their situations and they will say that they are pleased to the utmost extent
Thereupon, Allah will say to them, “I will give you something better than it: I am sending (distributing) my consent and pleasure to you; my wrath will not touch you again. (Muslim Jannah 9)
Paradise (hence Hell and the hereafter life) will start and go on not only in the realm of spirits but also in the world of matter and realities that consists of the spirit and the body and that has, vineyards, gardens, rivers, etc. It is not possible to interpret material elements that the existent verses of the Quran contain as unworldly or spiritual narrations or symbols. Imam Ghazali accepts that the pleasures of Paradise are divided into three: emotional, imaginary and mental and that everyone will make use of all or some of them based on their abilities. When the pleasures become constant in the hereafter by the elimination of interruptions that are the deficiencies of the imaginary and mental pleasures in the world life, they will become very attractive.
How will privacy be in Paradise?
As it is understood from the hadiths, every person will be given a 500 hundred yearlong place in Paradise, roughly as large as the earth. Within that large place, a person will have a separate private place where he will be together with his friends
However, the bad traits have no place in Paradise. Therefore, there will be no jealousy; a person will not feel sexual desires toward people that are non-mahram. As a matter of fact, a person who has no eyes cannot see; a person who has no ears cannot hear. You will not be disturbed when a blind person sees you near someone. You will not feel disturbed and worried when you see a small boy whose sexual feelings have not developed with your mother or sister.
That is, bad thoughts and feelings have no place in Paradise. They were given in this world for trial and testing. Since there is no trial and testing in the hereafter, there is no need for them. The sexual desires of a person that are valid for one’s spouse are off for others. Therefore, nobody will be disturbed by others. 10
Could you give information about agony of death (sakarat al-mawt)?
Agony of death (sakr al-mawt) means unconscious state of a person who is about to die. Materials which cause drowsiness in one’s mind are generally called “muskir” or “musakkir”. That word is also used to mean agony, love, sorrow, heedlessness or faint caused by a pain, and that state is called “sakr”, which is what we also mean here. That is to say; what is meant with “sakarat” which is the plural form of “sakr” is the agony and fainting when one is about to die.
Accordingly, “sakarat al-mawt” which is a Quranic term means “unconsciousness when one is about to die, which signals one’s death.”
As we all know, death is the soul’s leaving the body, and death causes agony. As a matter of fact, it is stated in a Quranic verse that sakarat al-mawt will find those who escape from death, sooner or later. (al-Qaf, 50/19).
As narrated from Hazrat Aisha, there was always a cup of water by the Prophet’s side during his last sickness. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) used to dip his blessed hand into water and rub it onto his face and say: “There is no god but Allah. There is agony of death, for sure.” Then he raised his hands and said “ to Rafiqu’l-A’la” (the highest abode) until his soul was taken away and his hands fell down. (Bukhari, Riqaq, 42). In another hadith narrated from Hazrat Aisha, after dipping his hand into water and wetting his face, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), raised his hands and prayed: “My Allah, help me in agony and unconsciousness of death.” (Ibn Majah, Janaiz, 64; Tirmidhi, Janaiz, 8).
Hazrat Aisha narrates: “Having seen the agony the Prophet suffered while dying, I will not envy anyone’s easy death.” (Tirmidhi, Dead, 8). In another narration, Hazrat Aisha said: “The Messenger of Allah died on my chest. Having seen it with the Messenger of Allah, I will not consider the severity of death bad for anyone.” (Nasai, Dead, 6).
They are the realities of ghayb (unseen), which living people cannot know, that angels appear to anyone at the time of death and tell them their place in the hereafter, the agony of death and what happens in that state. A true believer has to believe in all information about the realities of ghayb given to them by Allah and His Messenger. Every Muslim must believe in all situations informed to them in certainty. Otherwise, they will risk their faith.
It is stated in the religious sources that people who are on the straight way while they are alive, that is, who believe and comply with prohibitions attentively will experience an easy death and Angel of Death will treat them gently. And those who live a life contrary to it will experience a violent death and the Angel of Death will treat those people, who have spent their lives in infidelity, rebel and evil deeds, harshly. However, it is not an unchangeable rule. Sometimes while beloved slaves of Allah die in agony, those who spent their lives rebelling against Allah die easily.
As a matter of fact, the agony the Messenger of Allah suffered during dying was very severe. After Prophet Moses’ soul was taken away, Allah asked him how he found death; he said: “I felt like a sparrow being fried in a pan; neither does it die so that it will rest, nor can it escape so that it can fly away.” It signals that death can sometimes be harsh for the beloved slaves of Allah. And according to another narration, Moses said: “like a sheep being skinned at the hands of a butcher.” (see: Hasan Idwi, Mashariq, Egypt, 1316, p.15).
Although the Prophet (pbuh) said that people who had little sins would die easily and that there would be no fear or hardship for true believers who uttered the expression of “tawhid” at the time of death (Munziri, at-Targhib wa’t-Tarhib, 2/416-417), what is the reason of the severe agony those people, whom the Quran informed that their lives after death will be at the highest level of bliss, suffered at the time of death?
Islamic scholars have said that the reasons why people suffer at the time of death are different from each other. (see Hasan Idwi, ibid., 40). Accordingly, the reason of severe sakarat al-mawt is one of the four reasons below:
1- Allah makes those whose spiritual level He wants to increase more suffer at the time of death. This is the reason why the agonies of Prophets and saintly slaves of Allah suffer are so severe. As they endure the agony of death patiently, their level in the eyes of Allah increases. For this reason, none of the eminent people complained about the agony of death; and they always prayed Allah to increase their levels.
2- Allah makes the agony of death severe for people whose sins He wants to forgive, as ransom for their sins. A true believer will have a remuneration for all pains and agonies suffers in life, even the pain caused by a thorn pricked on his foot, and as this remuneration will be the forgiveness of a sin in case he does not have any sins, he will be gaining thawab (Tirmidhi, Janaiz, 1); of course, the agony of death will not be in vain. Hazrat Umar, who comprehended that truth, said: “If something from a believer’s sins he committed in life still remains – after repentance – Allah makes the agony of death severe for him. Eventually, his soul enters Heaven. And if an infidel did something good in life, Allah makes the agony of death easy for him, as remuneration for his good deeds, and sends him to Hell as he took the remuneration of his good deeds in life.”
If there are any unbelievers who die easily, we should not emulate them; we should emulate those who will have a peaceful life after death. As a matter of fact, remuneration for unbelievers is pain in this world, while remuneration for believers is paid both in this world and the other world. Allah the Glorious orders Muslims not to be surprised by the abundance unbelievers live in and emulate it (at-Tawbah 9:55). We do not emulate unbelievers who die easily; besides it rarely happens. Generally, their agony starts with death. Angels make them suffer while taking away their souls. As it will be explained later in this article, it is just the beginning of their agony.
Umar b. Abdulaziz (v. 101/720), who comprehended that agony of death will be a ransom for a believer’s sins, says: “I do not want that agony of death be eased for me, I do not desire it because, it is the last ransom which covers a believer’s sins and increases his level.” (Ibn Hajar, Fathu’l-bari, 11/365).
In addition to a believer’s agony of death compensating for his sins, angels will give him the good news and treat him gently, allowing him into happiness of reaching Allah. And the believer will not feel the agony of death within the happiness of reaching Allah. It is like that in life too. When one has remuneration for something he achieved going through many difficulties, he forgets the difficulties he had right away as if he had never experienced them.
3- Some of the ones whose agony of death is severe are tested once more at the last moment of their life on earth, which is totally a place of examination, and they are put through the last trial. That is to say, the reason why they suffer at the time of death is testing and trying. Of course, they will get their remuneration eventually.
4- There are people whose agony of death is harsh because it is the beginning of their punishment; they are unbelievers and cruel, unfair people who have not had the honor of believing in life and always occupied themselves with evil deeds. The Quran depicts their state as follows: “the angels stretch forth their hands, (saying),"Yield up your souls: this day shall ye receive your reward, - a penalty of shame, for that ye used to tell lies against God, and scornfully to reject of His signs!” (al-An’am 6:93). The verse states that unbelievers and cruel, unfair people will suffer while dying. “Angels’ stretching forth their hands” as stated in the verse means their beating them, which was sent down for idolaters who attended the Battle of Badr, yet its judgment is for all infidels as it can be seen clearly in the following verse: “If thou couldst see, when the angels take the souls of the Unbelievers (at death), (How) they smite their faces and their backs, (saying): "Taste the penalty of the blazing Fire!” (al-Anfal 8:50).
The Quran interpreters (commentators) have said that the beating stated in the verse means torment. The torment in the form of beating lasts until their souls leave their bodies. What is meant by saying “yield up your souls” is this: Angels tell them they will have punishment, torment, thirst, handcuffs and chains, Hell and boiling water and Allah’s wrath. Then their souls separate into pieces and hesitate to leave their bodies. Then angels beat those unbelievers until their souls leave their bodies, saying “yield up your souls!”. It means “let your souls out of your bodies”. And they say you will be punished with insulting torment today because you denied Allah and you were too arrogant to obey His verses and to comply with His Messengers in life. In this way, their suffering becomes more and more severe, just like water covers up one drowning in it so too are they covered with fear and beating. (see: Süleyman Toprak, Ölümden Sonraki Hayat)
How can we overcome the fear of death?
Every human will definitely experience the life of grave, whether s/he is buried underground after death, whether stays deep down the sea having been drowned, or is eaten by a predator, or thrown as ash into air after being cremated... As the torment of the grave and questioning is also addressed to the spirit, even if the corpse of the deceased is not in the grave, s/he will experience the questioning and- if s/he deserves-the torment of the grave. Even if corpses are buried underground, they rot after some time. Therefore, the life of the grave, questioning, reward or punishment (of the grave-life) should not be attributed only to the corpse buried underground.
Death is the phenomenon of the spirit's leaving the body. It is body that dies, not spirit. Human is essentially spirit. Body is its home or garment. One's existence is not harmed through change of garment or through its getting ripped off or exterminated. Our Lord, who makes us wear this body in this world's life, and who thus accommodates us in this universe, separates our spirit from that garment when He makes us emigrate from this world.
Death is not extermination. It is the door of a better world. A seed underground apparently dies, rots and becomes eradicated, but in reality it enters a better life, from the life of a seed to a life of a tree.
Similarly, a person who dies apparently goes under the earth, rots, but in reality s/he finds a more beautiful life in the intermediate realm (the realm of the grave).
Body and spirit are like a light-bulb and electricity. When the bulb is broken, electricity does not die out, but continues to exist. Even if we don't see it, we are sure that electricity is still existent. Likewise, when human dies, spirit leaves the body. But it continues to exist. Allah ensures the spirit's life in the intermediate realm by making it wear a more appropriate and beautiful garment.
When human is put into the grave after death, two angels named Munkar and Naker come to him/her and ask: “Who is your Lord? Who is your Prophet? What is your religion?” Those who have belief and good deeds answer those questions correctly. The gates of Paradise are opened to such dead people, who answer the questions correctly, and they are shown Paradise. Unbelievers and hypocrites cannot answer those questions correctly. And the gates of Hell are opened to them and the torment therein is shown to them. While believers will live without anxiety and with peace and blessings in the grave, unbelievers and hypocrites will suffer torment. (see az-Zabidi, Tajridi Sarih, trans. Kamil Miras, Ankara 1985, IV 496 et al)
There are certain verses of Qur'an and hadiths which denote the presence of torment and of blessing in the grave. In a verse, it is stated: “The Fire: they are exposed to it morning and evening; and when the Last Hour comes in (and the Judgment is established, it is ordered): "Admit the clan of the Pharaoh into the severest punishment. " (The Qur'an, Al-Mumin, 40:46) According to that verse, there is torment before the Doomsday, too; in other words, in the grave. The Prophet explained that the verse: "God keeps firm those who believe by the true, firm word in the life of this world and in the Hereafter.” (The Qur'an, Abraham, 14:27) was revealed about the blessing of grave. (Bukhari, Tafsir, Surah: 14).
There are many hadiths mentioned in books of hadith. Some of them are as follows:
While the Prophet, peace and blessings upon him, was passing by a cemetery, he saw that two dead people in two graves were suffering torment for some petty things. One of the dead people in those two graves was making Namima (informing s.o. of s.o.’s drawbacks that are related to the hearer) and the other was not avoiding urine (not paying attention to avoiding urine drops while urinating). Thereupon Allah's Messenger, peace and blessings upon him, took a green branch, split it into two, and planted them each on the two graves. The Companions asked why he did so. The Prophet replied: “As long as those two branches do not dry, the torment those two suffer is hoped to be alleviated.” (Bukhari Janaiz, 82; Muslim, Iman, 34; Abu Davud, Taharat, 26)
The Prophet says in another hadith of his: “The grave is either a garden of the gardens of Paradise, or a pit of the pits of Hell.” (Tirmidhi, Qiyamat, 26)
In another hadith, the Prophet says: “When the deceased is put to grave, two dark blue angels, one named Munkar, the other Naker, come, and they say to the dead: “What do you say about Muhammad (PBUH)?” And s/he answers: “He is the slave and Messenger of Allah. I witness that there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.” Thereupon the angels say: “We already knew you would say so.” Then they widen his/her grave seventy yards. And then this person's grave is enlightened. Then the angels say to the deceased: “Lie and sleep!” S/he says: “Go to my family and inform them of my situation.” The angels say: “Continue sleeping till the Day of Resurrection, just like the person who is in his/her wedding night and who is waken only by the person who s/he likes most.” If the dead is a hypocrite, the angels say to him/her: “What do you say about Muhammad (PBUH)?” And the hypocrite answers: “I had heard people say some things about Muhammad, and I talked like them. I know nothing else.” The angels say to him/her: “We already knew you would say so.” And then the earth is addressed: “Pressure this person as much as you can!” And the earth starts to pressure. To such an extent that that person feels as if his/her bones entangled each other. That torment continues till the Day of Resurrection.” (Tirmidhi Janaiz 70)
In the Qur'an, about the grave life of the martyrs, it is stated: "Do not think at all of those killed in God's cause as dead. Rather, they are alive; with their Lord they have their sustenance." (The Qur’an, Al-‘Imran, 3:169), "And say not of those who are killed in God's cause: "They are dead. " Rather they are alive, but you are not aware.” (The Qur’an, Al-Baqarah, 2:154)
It is more appropriate to believe that the torment will be suffered by both the spirit and the body. However, it will not be the body which is put to earth that will be tormented, but the new luminous body, which is suitable for the realm of grave and which the spirit wears after leaving its worldly body, will be tormented. Some people from Ahl-i Sunnat (mainstream Islamic sect) said that just as the essence of rose penetrates the rose, so too the spirit is an ore which penetrates the body (Aliyyu'l-Kâri, Explanation of Fıkh-ı Akbar, trans. Y. Vehbi Yavuz, Istanbul 1979, p. 259). In the verse it is stated: They ask you about the spirit. Say: "The spirit is of my Lord's Command, and of knowledge, you have been granted only a little. (The Qur’an, Al-‘Isra, 17:85).
Are the children who died in their childhood going to intercede for their parents?
Children as intercessors mean that, with the help of their supplications and their cute looking appearance which evoke feelings of mercy and compassion towards them, they will cause for Allah to forgive and show mercy on their parents for some of their sins. Our good opinion of Allah necessitates that we expect the Divine Mercy will accept their supplications.
Yes, children who died in their childhood will intercede for their parents. Allah the Just Majesty has given the right of intercession firstly to our Prophet (pbuh) and to apostles, angels, saintly people, who are beloved servants of Allah, martyrs and innocent children who died at a young age. However, what should be understood from intercession is that Allah allows the people, whom He wants to let into Heaven, to be put into Heaven through the intercession of His beloved servants. We understand that no one will be able to redeem the ones whom Allah does not want to be redeemed and whom He does not like or who is not worthy of redeeming. Therefore, people who deserve intercession are already the ones with whom Allah is content. Otherwise, people who could not earn Allah’s content in worldly life, such as infidels and idolaters, will not deserve intercession.
Some of the Prophet’s hadiths on the issue are as follows:
“Allah will let Muslims, whose three children died before puberty, into Heaven because of His mercy and compassion towards children.” (Bukhari,Janaiz (dead) 6, 91; Muslim, Birr (Goodness), 153).
“If any Muslim’s three children die before puberty, the hellfire will touch them only for a short time until Allah’s vow is met.” (Bukhari, Janaiz 6, Ayman 9; Muslim, Birr 150)
The Prophet (pbuh) said: “If any woman amongst you loses three of her children (before puberty), those children will surely be a shield for her against Hell.” A woman asked: “Is it valid also for women who lose two children?” Upon this, the Prophet (pbuh) replied: “Yes, it is the same for those who lose two children.” (Bukhari, Knowledge 36, Dead 6, 91; I’tisam 9; Muslim, Goodness 152).
“Give a name to children whom you miscarried; because they are your pioneers who went before you in order to earn you high positions in the Hereafter.” (Jamiu’s-Saghir, 3/1074).
“Give a name to children whom you miscarried so that Allah will make your scale of good deeds heavier with them. Otherwise, s/he will come and say on the Day of Judgment: “O Lord! They missed the thawab they would earn from me, by not naming me.” (Jamiu’s-Saghir, 3/1075).
“Children who died before puberty are very lively in Heaven, they are like rattling fish. One of them meets his/her parents and takes hold of their clothes and does not let it go until Allah lets his/her parents into Heaven with him/her.” (Jamiu’s Saghir, 3/2364).
As it is seen, those hadiths give good news that parents whose three children died before puberty will enter Heaven because of those children, using different expressions.
While these children are obviously emphasized to have died “before puberty”, no discrimination is made between boys and girls; and precisely the word “child” (walad) is uttered. Therefore, parents whose children, either boy or girl, died before puberty are given the good news of entering Heaven on condition that they show patience when their children die and expect its reward from Allah. That condition of putting up with death and not rebelling against Allah’s decision but being content with it is deduced from the implications, although not from the words of hadiths. In Sahikh Bukhari, the condition of being content with death is clearly stated under the section about the issue. (see: Janaiz 6). As a matter of fact, Allah the Supreme Being states “Those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!” (az-Zumar, 39:10).
In order for children to welcome their parents as intercessors in the Hereafter, with their cuteness, we must consider them as fruit of Allah’ we must not rebel against Allah when He takes them away from us; we must submit to Allah’s decision and considering them a gift and that they are entrusted to us from Allah, we must know that we deliver them to Allah’s mercy, not to the grave when we bury them when Allah takes them away from us. This kind of belief is the essential of the creed of tawhid (Allah’s Oneness). It is, also, submission to and belief in Allah, which gives one the strength to bear a painful situation.
On the other hand, those who died in their childhood will intercede for their parents and other relatives who died as believers. They will let their parents experience the love of children eternally in the Hereafter, as a compensation for the separation they experienced in this short worldly life.
The majority of Islamic scholars have stated that 'tasmim', shaping the surface of the grave like camel's hump and thus raising it one hand span higher than the ground, is recommended and that raising it higher than that is detested, and disliked, though not forbidden.(1) On account of the narrations about shaping graves even with the ground (2), Imam Shafii, one of the rightfull sect Imams, though, says that graves should not be made any higher than the ground but should be even with the ground.(3) Likewise, Ali the Companion, may God be pleased with him, said that God's Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, had sent him to Medinah with the duty to break all the idols and to flatten all the graves in Medinah.(4)
Islamic scholars have different opinions about how much is intended in the hadiths, sayings of the prophet, with the word 'flattening'. The meaning 'making even with the ground' that Imam Shafii understood from the expression is closer to its dictionary meaning. However, in order for graves not to be trodden and sat on, it should be evident that they are graves. And this is possible only by puffing graves a little up the ground. It is narrated that the scholars of Shafii sect that came later also found that much raising necessary; thus the scholars of Islamic jurisprudence have aggreed on this issue.(5)
So, what is commanded to be flattened in the hadith are tombs and graves on which buldings are erected. It is allowed to encircle the grave with some walls to make it clear that it is a grave and to protect it from being trodden by humans and other creatures. However, it is forbidden to waste in that, to make luxury, and to spend much money because there is no benefit to the deceased in embellishing the grave. Instead, it is a more beneficial and better act to give this money to the poor and to donate the merits earned from this good deed to the deceased and to pray for its acceptance.(6)
Even, it is forbidden to paint and to whitewash the wall surrounding the grave as it would be a kind of decoration. It is detested to perform this deed which is forbidden by the Prophet (7), peace and blessings be upon him.(8) It is forbidden to build a dome or a construction on the grave with the intention of ornating or boasting.(9) In hadiths, it is also categorically forbidden to write on graves.(10) Based on this prohibition, mujtahidun, scholars who use reason for the purpose of forming an opinion or making a ruling on a religious issue, say that it is forbidden to write Quranic verses on gravestones as they may fall to the ground and may get trodden; and that it is detested to write other things.(11) It is strange that, though it is forbidden with healthy hadiths, almost all Muslims from the East to the West write on gravestones. This is something that emerged afterwards and thus a bid'at-innovation in religion. For this reason, it is better not to do that.
However, comparing with Prophet's putting a stone to the graves of his son Ibrahim and of Osman b. Maz'un, the first Muhajir to die in Medina, so that they would not be trodden and could be identified(12), the succeeding scholars stated that writing only the name would be a mark for the grave not to be lost just like the stone put by the Prophet and viewed it as permissible to write on the gravestones only the name and the date of death.(13)
About the shape of the grave we need to say lastly that a Muslim's grave should be plain and humble, and the material to use in gravemaking should be simple and cheap. A Muslim graveyard should be away from ostentation and showiness, and should set an example with its simplicity and orderliness. The graves of the Believers, who leave aside every priority in mosque and stand on the same line in God's Presence, should also be the same in look. In making graves, things that violate this equality should be avoided.
1) al-Jaziri, Ibnu'l-Humam,
2) Muslim, Janaiz, 31, vol.II, p. 666; Nesai, Janaiz, 99, vol. IV. p. 88-89; Abu Davud, Jenaiz. 72, vol. HI, p. 291; A. b. Hanbel, vol. I, p. 89-96, 150, vol. VI, p. 18.
3) al-Jaziri, S. Sabik,
4) A. b. Hanbel, Musned, vol. I, p. 18l
5) S. Sabik, Mollamehmetoğlu,
6) Mahammed Hamidullah
7) Muslim, Janaiz, 32, vol. II, p. 667; Ibn Mace, Sunen, Janaiz, 43, vol. 1, p. 498; Nesai, Janaiz, 98, vol. IV, p. 88; A b, Hanbel, vol. VI, p. 299.
8) al-Jaziri. Tahtavi,
9) al-Jaziri Tahtavi, Şevkani, Serhu's-Sudur, p. 526, (in al-Jami'ul-Farid).
10) Ibn Mace, Janaiz, 43, vol. I, p. 498; Tirmidhi, Janaiz, 57, vol. II, p. 258.
12) Ibn Mace, Janaiz, 42, vol. I. p. 498; Abu Davud, Janaiz, 63, vol. Ill, p. 288; Tirmidhi, Sunen, Janaiz, 57, vol. II, p. 258.
13) Mollamehmedoglu, O. Zeki
Ölümden Sonraki Hayat (Life after Death) Prof. Dr. Süleyman Toğrak
I think about death a lot and I'm afraid of dying. What should I do?
Death is not extermination. It is the door of a better world. A seed underground apparently dies, rots and becomes eradicated, but in reality it enters a better life, from the life of a seed to a life of a tree.
Similarly, a person who dies apparently goes under the earth, rots, but in reality s/he finds a more beautiful life in the intermediate realm (the realm of the grave).
Body and spirit are like a light-bulb and electricity. When the bulb is broken, electricity does not die out, but continues to exist. Even if we don't see it, we are sure that electricity is still existent. Likewise, when human dies, spirit leaves the body. But it continues to exist. Allah ensures the spirit's life in the intermediate realm by making it wear a more appropriate and beautiful garment.
For this reason, the Prophet said: “Grave is either a garden from gardens of Heaven or a hell from the holes of Hell.” and informed us about the existence of life in grave and how it will be.
If a faithful person dies of an incurable disease, s/he is considered a martyr. This kind of martyrs are called martyrs of morality. And martyr wander freely in the world of grave. They are unaware of that they are dead. They think they are still alive. They only know that they are living a more gorgeous life. The Prophet said: “Martyrs do not feel the agony of death.”
It is stated in Quran that martyrs are not dead. That’s to say that they are unaware of that they have died. For instance, think of two men. They are in a very beautiful garden together in a dream. One of them knows that it is a dream. Yet the other one is unaware of that it is a dream. Which one enjoys it the most? Of course the one who does not know that it is a dream. The one who knows it is a dream thinks that if he wakes up, all the joy will get lost. However, the other one feels the joy truly and fully.
Similarly, the ordinary dead do not feel the joy to the full as they are aware of that they are dead. Nevertheless, martyrs feel it to the full as they are unaware of that they are dead.
Souls of those who die as believers and who are not subject to punishment in grave wander freely. For this reason, they can travel to many places. They can be in many places at the same time. It is possible for them to wander around and amongst us. Even, Hazrat Hamza, the lord of the martyrs, helped a lot of people and still there are people to whom he helps.
Human beings, who come into the wombs of their mothers from the world of souls, then are born into the world. They meet here. Similarly, people in world are born into the otherworld through death and they wander there. Just as we bid farewell to people who go to the otherworld from this world, so are there ones in the otherworld, who welcome the ones who leave this world for the otherworld. Insha’allah, our beloved ones, especially the Prophet, will welcome us there; as long as we are true slaves to Allah here.
Just as we welcome a new born child here, so will our friends welcome us, insha’allah, when we go to the otherworld; on condition that we believe in Allah and obey Him and His apostles and die as a believer.
2. A small amount of fear resulting from anxiety about afterlife is beneficial. However, if this is an obsession which disturbs one’s sleep, it may lead one to hopelessness. And hopelessness is not permissible.
Such things happen in accordance with Allah’s order and wisdom. One should trust His wisdom and mercy and think that the appointed time of death is unchangeable, and try to be prepared for it all the time and be between hope and fear.
Bediuzzaman said on the issue:
“Faith is both light and power. Yes, a man who reaches real faith can challenge the world and can be safe from the hardships of events at the rate of the power of his faith.” (Nur Collection, 23rd Word).
Faith and being slave to Allah is the source of all kinds of good deeds and courage. All kinds of evil and cowardice result from infidelity and aberration. Muslims’ courage and infidels’ cowardice are especially manifested obviously in battles. What makes believers courageous are mainly the following two factors:
a. “To every people is a term appointed: when their term is reached, not an hour can they cause delay” (al-A’raf, 34; Yunus, 49; an-Nahl, 61) is the reality that “time of death is unique and unchangeable”. The one who is at the front line and the one who is at the back line are at the same distance to the death. Even there is not a difference of distance to death between the one who is resting in his house and the one who is in battle. There are many people who attend to lots of wars and yet die in their beds. And there are many who die in the first war they attend.
The case of Halid bin Walid is an appropriate example to this. While spending the last days of his life, he says to the people around him: I attended so many wars. There is not a single organ in my body which does not have a scar of arrow or spear. Yet, I am dying in my bed, as you see. Let the cowards draw a lesson from this!”
b. “Can you expect for us (any fate) other than one of two glorious things- (Martyrdom or victory)?” (al-Tawbah, 52). A true believer, who says: “I will be a martyr if I die and I will be a ghazi (one who fights on behalf of Islam) if I survive”, will be more brave than a non-Muslim of course.
In Nur Collection, it is stated that faith is an affiliation. “A true believer who affiliates to the Eternal Sultan faithfully and who becomes a good servant of Him” is supposed to have reached the source of the greatest courage.
“Faith is both divine light and power. Yes, a man who gains true faith can challenge the universe.”
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Is death nothingness?
What is death?
paradise and hell
Where is Hell?
Say: the knowledge is with Allah alone * None knows the Unseen save Allah.
According to some narrations, Hell is beneath the earth. As we have explained in other places, in its annual orbit, the globe of the earth traces a circle around an area that in the future will the place of the Great Gathering and Last Judgement. It means Hell is beneath the area of its orbit. It is invisible and unperceptible because it consists of veiled and lightless fire. In the vast distance travelled by the earth are many creatures that are invisible because they are without light. Like the moon loses its existence when its light withdraws, we are also unable to see numerous lightless globes and creatures which are in front of our eyes.
There are two Hells, the Lesser and the Greater. In the future, the Lesser will be transformed into the Greater and is like its seed; in the future it will become one of its habitations. The Lesser Hell is under the earth, that is, at the earth’s centre. It is the inside and centre of the globe. It is known in geology that in digging downwards, the heat for the most part increases one degree every thirty-three metres. That means that since half the diametre of the earth is around six thousand kilometres, the fire at the centre is at a temperature of around two hundred thousand degrees, that is, two hundred times hotter than fire at the circumference; this is in agreement with what is related by Hadiths. This Lesser Hell performs many of the functions of the Greater Hell in this world and Intermediate Realm, and this is indicated in Hadiths. Just as in the World of the Hereafter, the earth will pour its inhabitants into the arena of the resurrection within its annual orbit, so too at the Divine command will it hand over the Lesser Hell within it to the Greater Hell.
Some of the Mu’tazilite imams said that “Hell will be created later” but this is mistaken and foolish, and arises from Hell not having completely opened up at the present time and developed into a form entirely appropriate to its inhabitants. In order to see with our worldly eyes the dwelling places of the World of the Hereafter within the veil of the Unseen and to demonstrate them, either the universe has to be shrunk to the size of two provinces, or our eyes have to he enlarged to the size of stars, so that we can see and specify their places. The knowledge is with Allah, the dwelling-places of the Hereafter are not visible to our worldly eyes, but as indicated by certain narrations, the Hell of the Hereafter is connected with our world. In a Hadith it is said of the intense heat of summer, “It gives an inkling of Hell.” That is to say, that Greater Hell is not visible to the tiny and dim eyes of the minds of this world. However, we may look with the light of the Divine Name of All-Wise, as follows:
The Greater Hell beneath the earth's annual orbit has as though made the Lesser Hell at the earth's centre its deputy and made it perform some of its functions. The possessions of the All-Powerful One of Glory are truly extensive; wherever Divine wisdom pointed out, He situated the Greater Hell there. Yes, an All-Powerful One of Glory, an All-Wise One of Perfection Who is owner of the command of ‘Be!’ and it is has tied the moon to the earth before and eyes in perfect wisdom and order, and with vast power and perfect order tied the earth to the sun, and has made the sun. travel together with its planets with a speed close to that of the annual rotation of the earth, and with the majesty of His Dominicality, according to one possibility, made it travel towards the sun of suns, and like a feet decked out with electric lights has made the stars luminous witnesses to the sovereignty of His Dominicality. It is not far from the perfect wisdom, tremendous power, and sovereignty of Dominicality of one thus All-Glorious to make the Greater Hell like the boiler of an electric light factory and with it set fire to the stars of the heavens which look to the Hereafter, and give them heat and power. That is, give light to the stars from Paradise, the world of light, and send them fire and heat from Hell, and at the same time, make part of that Hell a habitation and place of imprisonment for those who are to be tormented. Furthermore, He is an All-Wise Creator Who conceals a tree as large as a mountain in a seed the size of a finger-nail. It is surely not far then from the power and wisdom of such an All-Glorious One to conceal the Greater Hell in the seed of the Lesser Hell in the heart of the globe of the earth.
I n S h o r t
: Paradise and Hell are the two fruits of a branch of the tree of creation which stretches out towards eternity. The fruits’ place is at the branch’s tip. And they are the two results of the chain of the universe; and the places of the results are the two sides of the chain. The base and heavy are on its lower side, the luminous and elevated on its upper side. They are also the two stores of this flood of events and the immaterial produce of the earth. And the place of a store is according to the variety of the produce, the bad beneath, the good above. They are also the two pools of the flood of beings which flows in waves towards eternity. As for the pool's place, it is where the flood stops and gathers. That is, the obscene and filthy below, the good and the pure above. They are also the two places of manifestation, the one of beneficence and mercy, the other of wrath and tremendousness. Places of manifestation may he anywhere; the All-Merciful One of Beauty, the All-Compelling One of Glory, establishes His places of manifestation where He wishes.
As for the existence of Paradise and Hell, they have been proved most decisively in the Tenth, Twenty-Eighth, and Twenty-Ninth Words. Here, we only say this: the existence of the fruit is as definite and certain as that of the branch; the result as the chain; the store as the produce; the pool as the river; and the places of manifestation as definite and certain as the existence of mercy and wrath.
(From The Risale-i Nur Collection, The Letters by Bediuzzaman Said Nursi)
How will the accounting of animals take place in the Hereafter?
If we divide living beings into three as beings which have got life, beings which have got soul and beings with consciousness, plants are categorized under beings with life only. Animals, on the other hand, have got both life and soul. Human beings, Jinn and angels have got life, souls and consciousness at the same time. Amongst them, human beings and the jinn are responsible for obeying Allah’s commands and prohibitions and they are to be tested throughout their whole lives. And they will either enter Heaven or Hell after they die.
Notions such as good – evil, sin – good deeds and Heaven – Hell do not exist for animals since they are deprived of feelings such as intellect and consciousness which would make them responsible.
All animals from the amoeba, which is a protistan, to the whale have got souls. Essentially, the soul itself is immortal. It does not die, perish or decay. The body in which the soul resides temporarily dies, decays and disappears.
As it is clearly stated in the Quran, souls are under the command, power and control of Allah, the Glorious. No other being but Allah can have souls under their command. Both creating the souls and preserving them are in Allah’s power.
As for the situation on the Day of Judgment, two kinds of creatures will be resurrected that day and their eternal residence will be determined after they are accounted. They are human beings and the Jinn.
And the situation of animals is totally different. They will also be resurrected and gathered in the Gathering Place (Mahshar). The translation of two Quranic verses on the issue is as follows:
“When the wild beasts are herded together (in the human habitations)…” (al-Takwir, 5). “Verily, We have warned you of a Penalty near, the Day when man will see (the deeds) which his hands have sent forth, and the Unbeliever will say, "Woe unto me! Would that I were (mere) dust!” (an-Naba, 40).
According to Abdullah bin Umar, Abu Hurayra and Imam Mujahid’s interpretations of that verse, Almighty Allah will gather animals in the resurrection day and have them settle accounts with one another, and then He will order them, “Become dust”; and all of their bodies will be transformed into dust in the end, but their spirits will remain. Envying the animals survive from the tortures of Hell, unbelievers, will desire to become dust, too. However, as humans will be punished according to the final judgment of Allah, they will not be treated like animals.
Even though animals are creatures that have no responsibilities, they will settle their accounts with one another. As a matter of fact, in a hadith, the Prophet states that no injustice will remain unrequited in the hereafter by saying: “Every right holder will be given his right. Even hornless sheep’s right will be taken from the horned sheep through retaliation.” (Muslim, Birr 15, 60; Tirmidhi, Qiyama 2; R.Salihin, 204.)
According to the statement of hadith scholars, an ant will obtain its right from other ants. Our Prophet (pbuh) said, “On the Day of Judgment, the justice of Allah will be applied so comprehensively that retaliation will be applied between the hornless sheep and the horned sheep, and between an ant and other ants.” (See Majmau’z-zawaid, 10/352; Elmalılı Hamdi Yazır. Hak Dini Kur'an Dili, 8:5599)
Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, explains the issue as follows:
“Although their bodies perish, among animals whose spirits are immortal there is reward and punishment in a manner appropriate for them in an eternal realm.” (Lem’alar:The Flashes)
Yes, the spirit of animals will remain eternally; the Almighty Allah will protect their spirits. However, as the spirit is under His will and command, only Allah knows how they will be protected.
There may be a question that can come to our mind: Since animals will be dust after they are called to account, what is the profit or harm for them about being accounted?
It is possible to evaluate the accounting of animals on the Day of Judgment in two ways.
The accounting of animals among themselves.
This kind of accounting is the reflection of His Justice that covers everything. All creatures will be witnesses of how His Justice will cover a wide range. Guilty ones, who see this, will definitely feel that they deserve the punishment in their conscience. Oppressed animals, whose rights will be taken from the cruel ones, will realize their debt of gratitude. As the spirits of animals are eternal, maybe, even if after their bodies decayed, these spirits will have prosperity among themselves according to their share.
The accounting of animals with Humans.
This type of accounting is important in terms of humans because, people who are nice to animals will be rewarded just like the ones who mistreat them will be punished. As a matter of fact, the following are stated in hadith books: “A woman was punished (tortured) because she locked up a cat till it died. (Bukhari, Anbiya, 50; Muslim, Birr, 151); “A man was forgiven and sent to Paradise because he gave water to a thirsty dog”. (Bukhari, Shirb, 9, Wudu, 33; Muslim, selam,153; Abu Dawud, Jihad,47)
What stages will one go through after death? Could you explain the fact that people will be naked and bare-footed in Mahshar (gathering place)?
One day the doomsday will strike and the earthly life will come to an end. After a period of time, which is only known by Allah, the sur (horn) will be blown for the second time.
Then life-giving water will be sent down from the sky and everyone will resurrect like plants and come into bodies again from a very small piece of bone, which will never decay, at the bottom of the sacrum, although all other bones will have decayed. They will come into life in their graves and rise up.
Then they will think that they lived on the earth only one day or for a shorter time; and they will run towards mahshar, giving thanks to Allah.
Unfortunately, those who have forgotten how they were created will ask in astonishment “Who will resurrect the decayed bones?” and will never believe that they will come into life again after death. They will see how the One who created in the first place resurrects.
Mahshar (Gathering Place)
While mentioning the day of mahshar, Allah the Supreme uses the expressions of “great day” and “the day all people will come to the presence of the Lord of the Realms.”
That day, when people hear the sound of sur, their eyes will be wide-open in awe. Those people will jump out of their graves like grasshoppers spreading everywhere and run towards the direction whence they are called from.
Everyone, from the first human being to the last human being, will come together on that day in a place where the earth has assumed a different form, where mountains are thrown into air like dust, somewhere so flat and plain without any holes or hills, so white and where nobody can see anything familiar.
People will come to the presence of Allah the Supreme, in mahshar, as they are
Because of the awe, fear and astonishment they are in, they will never turn to look at each other.
At that terrible time, the Sun will burn people fiercely. Everybody will be overwhelmed with sweat in proportion to the amount of their sins; some up to their heels, some up to their knees, some up to their waists, some up to their collarbones, some up to their mouths and some up to their ears.
On that day when there is not the slightest shadow, Allah the Glorious will bless some people with His kind offerings and make them rest under the shadow of the sky.
Those blessed people are:
-Young people who grew up worshipping and serving their Lord in a pure life
-Muslims whose hearts were loyal to masjids
-People who loved each other for the sake of Allah, whose both meetings and separations were for the sake of Allah.
-Righteous men who refused a beautiful and dignitary woman’s desire for intercourse, by saying “I fear Allah”
-Those who gave alms so secretly that even their left hands did not know what was given with their right hands.
-Those that remembered Allah and cried in quiet places.
Book of Deeds
On the day of mahshar, everyone’s book (the book of deeds), on which both evil deeds and good deeds they did while on earth are recorded, will be opened before them. They will be told: “Read your book! You are to question yourself today!”
Those who have got more good deeds will be given their books of deeds from their right side. They will tell people around, in great joy, “Look at this book, take and read it!” Their accounting will be easy and they will lead a happy life amongst fruit trees in a high level of Heaven, eating from those fruits.
And those, whose books of deeds will be given from their left side, will say “Oh what kind of a book is this! It has recorded everything I did, both trivial and important! I wish I had not been given my book and I had not learned my accounting. I wish everything had ended with death!”
Later, people will be called to account for what they did on the earth, in the presence of Allah the Glorious.
They will not be able to talk because their mouths will have been sealed. Their hands, feet, ears, eyes and skins will tell everything they had done one by one.
Of course, those who believed and did good things, obeyed Allah’s rules and refrained from his prohibitions will not be regarded the same as those who were not like that.
According to what the Prophet (pbuh) narrated, it will happen as follows:
Allah the Glorious will talk to each human being without a translator. Then one will look at his right and will see his good deeds he had sent to afterlife. He will look at his left and will see his evil deeds. He will look before himself and will only see Hell in front of him.
Allah will just glance at the books of His servants with whom He is pleased and will not call them to account. Actually, those who will be called to account are the ones who will be punished.
Seventy thousand people from the followers of Prophet Muhammad, those who did not resort to sorcery, did not believe in bad luck and only trusted in their Lord will enter Heaven without accounting.
Anyone who had done a very small good deed on the earth will receive his reward and anyone who had done a very small evil deed on the earth will receive his punishment.
At the end of this accounting, there will not be any dues left. Even the sheep which does not have horns will get its dues from the sheep which has got horns.
After the accounting is completed, good deeds and evil deeds performed on the earth will be weighed. Allah the Supreme will have the scales, which are accurate to the utmost degree, set up and therefore nobody will be wronged at all. Even if they are as small as mustard seeds, each good deed and evil deed will be put on the scale to be weighed.
Those whose good deeds weigh heavier than their evil deeds on the scale will be saved. Those whose good deeds weigh lighter than their evil deeds will sink into deep unhappiness, and if they also denied the verses of Allah, they will stay in Hell eternally.
Good deeds and prayers performed on the earth will weigh heavy on the scale.
Some good deeds and prayers will weigh heavier than others on the scale. For instance, although the invocation of “Subhanallahi wa bi-hamdihi subhanallahi’l-azim” is very easy to say, it will weigh heavy on the scale because these two sentences please Allah the Merciful.
Invocating by saying “Alhamdulillah” is another form of worship which also fills the scale with thawabs.
However, what weighs the heaviest of all on the scale is having high ethics.
Sirat (The Bridge)
People will cross the bridge of Sirat in order to enter either Hell or Heaven after mahshar. Sirat is a bridge stretching from one side of Hell to its other side, and which is finer than hair and sharper than sword, as the Prophet put it.
When believers come to the bridge, prophets will beg Allah saying “O Allah, make it easy, make it easy!”
Prophet Muhammad and his followers will be the first to cross the bridge.
People, with whom Allah is pleased, will cross this bridge on a speed which is in proportion to the degree of their deeds.
Some of them will cross it in the blink of an eye; some will cross it at the speed of a lightning, some at the speed of wind, some at the speed of a bird, some at the speed of a fine, pure-bred horse and some at the speed of a camel.
Ibn Abbas narrates: The Messenger of Allah said: “You will gather in the place of resurrection on the Day of Judgment barefooted, naked and uncircumcised.”
Upon this explanation, a woman asked: “So will we not see our bodies’ private parts?”
The Messenger of Allah answered this question with a verse from the surah al-Abasa:
-“O woman! ‘Each one of them, that Day, will have enough concern (of his own) to make him indifferent to the others.’ (Abasa, 37)” (Tirmidhi, Tafsir, Abasa 3329).
Scholars, interpreting this verse, explained it as follows: Just as Allah dressed trees with a natural clothing on the earth, so too will He dress human beings with a natural clothing in mahshar.
Could you give information about the levels of heaven?
Levels of Heaven: according to what Ibn Abbas narrates, Heaven is reported to consist of seven levels. They are Firdaws, heaven of Adn, heaven of Na’im, Dar al-khuld, heaven of Ma’wa, Dar as-Salam and Illiyyun. In each of these levels, there are degrees or positions for Muslims, which they will enter in return for their good deeds (al-Baydawi, Anwaru't-Tanzil, Beirut (n.d.), I, 119). They are as follows:
1. Heaven of Na’im: “And make me one of the inheritors of the Paradise of Delight.” (as-Shuara 26/85). (See also al-Maida, 5/65; at-Tawba, 9/21; Yunus, 10/9).
2. Heaven of Adn: “Their reward with their Lord is 'Adn (Eden) Paradise (Gardens of Eternity), underneath which rivers flow, They will abide therein forever, Allah will be pleased with them, and they with Him. That is for him who fears his Lord.” (al-Bayyina, 98/8, see also at-Tawba, 9/72; ar-Ra’d, 13/23; an-Nahl, 16/31).
3. Heaven of Firdaws: "Verily! those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah - Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous deeds, shall have the Gardens of Al-Firdaws (the Paradise) for their entertainment.” ( al-Kahf, 18/107 and al-Mu’minun, 23/11).
4. Heaven of Ma’wa: "For those who believe and do righteous deeds are Gardens of Ma’wa, for their (good) deeds.” (al-Sajdah, 32/19 and an-Najm, 53/15).
5. Daar as-Salam: “But God doth call to the Daar as-Salam (Home of Peace) and He doth guide whom He pleaseth to a way that is straight.” (Yunus, 10/25 and al-An’am, 6/127).
6. Dar al-Khuld: "Who has, out of His Bounty, settled us in a Home that will last” (Fatir, 35/35).
In spite of the fact that Ibn Abbas limits the levels of Heaven to seven, as it can be understood from verses, Heaven has got a lot of levels. Those levels of Heaven mentioned by Ibn Abbas and also mentioned in the verses are the highest levels of Heaven, because those levels themselves consist of a lot of levels. In fact, Allah’s verses stating them in plural form as “Heavens of Firdaws” and “Heavens of Na’im” prove it. Moreover, this reality is revealed by the Prophet (pbuh) himself in the event of Ummu Haritha. Ummu Haritha called upon Hazrat Prophet to be informed of her son martyred in the Battle of Badr and the Messenger of Allah, pointing out that there are a lot of Heavens, comforted her by saying that her son was in heaven of Firdaws (Mansur Ali Nasif, at-Taju’al-Jami li’l Usul, fi Ahadithi’r Rasul, İstanbul (n.d), 5, 4033).
In fact, in the hadith which Muslim narrated from Abu Said al-Khudri, Hazrat Prophet indicates that the ones who make Jihad for the sake of Allah will be elevated a hundred levels in return for their Jihad and that the distance between each level is equal to the distance between the earth and sky (Muslim, Imara, 116). The possibilities put forward about the issue of levels stated in the Hadith are as follows: It is possible to understand those levels as they seem. Actually, it is possible that those levels in question are layers (stages) which mount on one another, as it can be understood from what it is described. On the other hand, it is also possible that what is meant by “mounting on one another” is the abundance of boons, the greatness and abundance of blessings which no human or no other creature has ever thought of and has ever dreamed of in Heaven. In fact, the kinds of blessings and bounties which Allah blesses upon Mujahids are different from each other and superior to each other. In this sense, the differences of superiority between boons resemble the distance between the earth and sky. However, al Qadi Iyad (544/1149) adopted the former view (an-Nawawi, Sharhu Muslim, Cairo (n.d), 13, 28).
Again in a narration by Bukhari, Hazrat Prophet indicates that for the ones who make Jihad for the sake of Allah a hundred levels are prepared, and the distance between two levels resembles the distance between thr earth and sky, and he continues “When you ask from Allah, ask for Firdaws… because Firdaws is the middle of Heaven and the highest level of Heaven (…). From Firdaws spring out Heaven’s rivers.” (Bukhari, Jihad, 4).
Ayni interprets the statement “Firdaws is the middle (medicore) of Heaven” as Heaven’s best or most superior place and supports his view with the word “wasatan” written in the verse “Thus We have appointed you a middle (wasatan) nation” (al-Baqara, 2/143). (al-Ayni, Umdatu'l-Kari fi Sarhi Sahihi'l-Bukhari, İstanbul 1309, VI, 539). Various narrations put the beauties of Firdaws into words. On the other hand, the distance between levels of heaven mentioned in hadith varies as “a distance of hundred years” and “a distance of five hundred years” in different narrations (al-Ayni, ibid).
It can be concluded from all those verses, hadiths and interpretations of scholars that Heaven has a lot of levels. We are informed of those levels’ names because some of them are superior to others and their boons are more beautiful or superior. Heaven of Firdaws is the highest level of Heaven by means of its position. (Also see: at-Tabari, Tafsir, Egypt 1954, 16, 37-8).
What are the qualities of those who enter the garden of Firdaws ? (The Highest Gardens of the Paradise)
In the Quran, although Paradise (jannah) is mentioned 170 times in the singular or plural form, the garden of Firdaws is mentioned twice and the garden of Adn is mentioned eleven times. It shows that what is described as the place of reward in the Quran is “eight gardens”. All of them are very nice.
“Allah hath promised to Believers men and women Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein, and beautiful mansions in Gardens of everlasting stay. but the greatest bliss in the Good Pleasure of Allah: that is the Supreme Felicity.”(at-Tawbah, 9/72)
The fact that the gardens of Adn are regarded in the same category as the general gardens and that they are stated without mentioning the distinctive qualities of those who go to Paradise proves what we say.
The qualities of those who to the garden of Adn are stated in detail in the chapter ar-Rad verses 19-24. The keyword regarding the issue is “ulu’l-albab” (people of understanding). People with the following qualities are mentioned as people of understanding: “Those who fulfill the Covenant of Allah and fail not in their plighted word; those who join together those things which Allah hath commanded to be joined, hold their Lord in awe, and fear the terrible reckoning; Those seek the countenance of their Lord; establish regular prayers; spend for the sake of Allah secretly and openly; and turn off Evil with good...”
As it is seen, they are not the qualities of only those who enter the garden of ADN but the main qualities of all those who enter Paradise.
The qualities of those who enter the garden of Firdaws are generally the same qualities.
That issue is indicated in the following verse: “As to those who believe and work righteous deeds, they have, for their entertainment, the Gardens of Firdaws.”(al-Kahf, 18/107)
In the second place where the garden of Firdaws is mentioned (al-Muminun), the keyword is belief. And the qualities of the believers are about the same as those of the people to enter the garden of ADN.
The keywords and qualities mentioned for the residents of those two different gardens are remarkable. The fact that “ulul albab” (people of understanding) is mentioned for the garden of AND and “iman” (belief) for the garden of Firdaws indicates the relationship between the mind and belief. That is, people who really have common sense will definitely have belief because in general, all causes and judgments are approved by the mind in Islam. Therefore, it is said that, “A person with no mind has no religion”. The other common qualities are mentioned as “good deeds”, which means to obey the orders of Allah and to avoid committing His prohibitions.
The Messenger of Allah stated the following in a hadith reported by Abu Hurayra:
“Allah will put a person who believes in Allah and His messenger, perform prayers, pays alms, fasts in Ramadan in Paradise whether he immigrates for the sake of Allah or stays in his home.”
When Abu Hurayra asked, "O Messenger of Allah! Shall I give this good news to people?”, he said,
"In Paradise, there are one hundred levels; Allah prepared them for those who fight for the sake of Him. There is a distance equal to the distance between the sky and the earth between two levels. When you pray Allah, ask for Firdaws. It is in the middle of Paradise and it is the highest place. Beyond Firdaws is the arsh (throne) of Allah; the rivers of Paradise originate from there.”(Bukhari, Tawhid, 22; Muslim, Imara, 46).
The expression “When you pray Allah, ask for Firdaws...” is valid for each believer. Everyone can ask Allah for it and enter there by the grace of Allah.
The fact that Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) advises his ummah to ask for Firdaws is an example of his loyalty to his ummah. Besides, our Prophet (pbuh) taught us that nobody, including himself, could enter Paradise based on good deeds. He taught us that any part of Paradise would be a grace of Allah.
The primary issue in the chapter al-Muminun is the high qualities of believers. Then, the following issues are explained in the chapter: The process of the formation of the child in the uterus; exemplary information about Noah (pbuh), a prophet whose name is not given, Moses (pbuh) and Aaron (pbuh); the common points of their prophethood and conveying the message; the main qualities of the ummahs that follow their prophets and those who disobey them; the fact that Makkan polytheists accepted the creative power of Allah but associated partners to Him and did not believe in the hereafter; their tragic situation in the hereafter, their regret and unanswered wishes. The chapter ends with the following prayer: “O my Lord! Grant Thou forgiveness and mercy! For Thou art the Best of those who show mercy!".
The meaning of the first ten verses:
"In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful”
1. The Believers must (eventually) win through
2. Those who humble themselves in their prayers;
3. Who avoid vain talk;
4. Who are active in deeds of charity;
5. Who abstain from sex,
6. Except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands possess― for (in their case) they are free from blame,
7. But those whose desires exceed those limits are transgressors―
8. Those who faithfully observe their Trusts and their covenants;
9. And who (strictly) guard their prayers
10. Those will be the heirs
The Interpretation of the Verses
1. In the verses in this chapter, the content of the concept ‘believer’ is summarized along with the indispensable principles of Islam in the fields of worshipping and ethics; the model life expected from a man or woman who says, “I am a believer; I am a Muslim” is explained so that the sentence they utter is realized. If it is taken into consideration that in the verses that follow the claims of those who deny the hereafter are explained and criticized, it will be understood that the “winning through” (falah: salvation) mentioned here is the salvation and well being in the hereafter. As a matter of fact, the expression: "... A person who fulfills what is mentioned in those verses will enter Paradise" in the hadith we quoted above due to the virtues of the chapter indicates it. Besides, since the experiences of the humankind show that proper belief and lifestyle are necessary not only for the hereafter but also for the happiness and well being in this world, it is certain that those verses give the prescription for the salvation in this world, too.
Falah (salvation) means to reach what is wanted. It is also defined as eternity in good deeds. As for iflah, it means to reach salvation and to obtain well being and peace; which is the usual meaning implied in the Quran. Here, Allah gives the good news that those who have the seven qualities, the first one of which is belief, will definitely reach salvation.
2. The second one: those who humble themselves in their prayers. "to humble oneself in the prayers" is described as the first condition after belief. When the verse is examined more closely, it will be seen that two of the conditions of the salvation are indicated here: Prayer and humbling oneself. However, it is seen that the main emphasis is on khushu’, which can be translated as “deep respect”. Tabari explains the word khushu’ in the verse as follows: "the slave’s displaying of his obedience and respect to Allah, and fulfilling the command of Allah by performing prayers" (see. Tabari, the interpretation of the relevant verse). The main descriptive element in the verse is the concept “respect” (khushu’, according to Tabari’s interpretation, being modest and humble). There is no doubt that salah (prayer) is one of the fundamental worships in Islam; it expresses the turning of the slave toward Allah and his being together with Him. However, the movements of the body and the utterance of the verses and supplication by the tongue are not sufficient for the prayer, which also has a symbolic aspect, to reach that spiritual depth; it is necessary to combine those formal acts with the intention and consciousness of servitude in the heart and to make them more significant through the consciousness of respect to Allah. That unworldly and spiritual dimension of the worshipping and especially the prayer is expressed by the terms like khushu’ and taqwa in the Quran.
Here, the concept khushu’ has a meaning related to creed and ethics too because a person who does not believe in Allah is not likely to turn toward Allah with khushu’; if someone like that seems to be praying and worshipping Him although he does not believe in and therefore does not show respect to, it is called hypocrisy in religion. Hypocrisy related to religious issues means to be something but to appear to be something else and to think of something but to say something else, which is immorality and unvirtuousness. Consequently, the importance of both the form and the content of the worshipping are indicated in the verse for the worshipping to take someone to salvation.
3. The word laghw, which is translated as “vain” in the verse, lexically means “absurd and meaningless word or act”. As Tabari states, here the word expresses all kinds of absurd and wrong acts and attitudes that Allah does not want to see his slaves commit. Hasan al-Basri is reported to have explained the word more comprehensively as containing all kinds of sins. (Qurtubi, Ahkam, the interpretation of the relevant verses)
4. It is known that zakah, one of the five fundamentals of Islam, was made fard (obligatory) in Madinah, after this chapter, which is a chapter sent down in Makkah, was sent down. Therefore, the word zakah here must have been used in a broader sense meaning sadaqah. It is observed that sometimes the words zakah and sadaqah are used interchangeably in the Quran. As a matter of fact, in the verse that explains to whom zakah, which is fard, is to be given, the word sadaqah is used instead of zakah. (at-Tawbah 9/60). Zakah was made fard in Madinah but in the verses that were sent down in Makkah, Muslims were encouraged to help one another financially with the words like sadaqah, zakah, infaq, ihsan, it'am, and it was emphasized.
5-7. Abstaining from illegitimate sex is one of the fundamental ethical orders of Islam; it contains both men and women as it is the case in all of the qualities mentioned in this group of verses. (Abu Bakr Ibnu'l-Arabi, III, 1310)
Many arrangements related to various fields of life in Islam is left to the decision of the Islamic community in accordance with time and conditions within the framework of the general principles and targets imposed by the Quran and the Sunnah; however, the main legal arrangements related to marriage and family were imposed directly by the Quran, which shows the sensitivity of Islam regarding chastity. This sensitivity is reflected in the general ethics and chastity concepts of the Islamic communities, and it has laid the foundation for the formation of the concepts of family, honesty and chastity, which determine the character of the societies.
In the Quran and all of the other main Islamic sources, that a Muslim, whether a man or a woman, has to be content with his/her spouse in order to meet their sexual needs exists as a definite decree; all of the applications that contradict it are regarded as illegitimate, and heavy sanctions have been introduced. In addition, as a result of the application of slavery, which Islam took over from the past and which it took measures to abolish in time because slavery is not compatible with the concept of humanity presented in the whole Quran and the Sunnah and with the honor of humanity, it was made legitimate to have intercourse with female slaves based on certain conditions. The part of the verse translated as “whom their right hands possess" was regarded as female slaves, and it formed the basis for the legitimate arrangements regarding that limited state. However, since slavery has been out of date toady in accordance with the target of Islam, there is no need to apply the decrees regarding the issue.
Some Sunni scholars base their views regarding the prohibition of the marriage of mut’a (temporary marriage) on the restrictive expressions of this verse. (see Abu Bakr Ibnu'l-Arabi, III, 1310; Qurtubi, Ahkam, the interpretation of the relevant verse)
8. Mufassirs (interpreters) state that the concepts of trust and covenant mentioned in the verse contain the things entrusted to somebody by others to be kept and preserved, material and spiritual trusts expected to be acted in accordance with like contracts and the divine judgments that Allah imposed and that the slaves vowed to obey through the utterance of their belief. Accordingly, worshipping like prayer, fasting, etc that Allah wants believers to perform are trusts just like something entrusted to someone to be kept. (see Razi, the interpretation of the relevant verse)
9. The concept muhafaza which is translated as "guarding strictly" lexically means "to continue, to obey, to observe". In the verse above (verse 2), the importance of performing prayers with khushu’ was emphasized; here, the importance of performing the prayers in accordance with their times and rules is emphasized. (Raghib al-Isfahani, al-Mufradat, item "hfz")
10. They, the heirs, are those who have the qualities mentioned above.
They deserve the inheritance mentioned in the following verses:
“Such is the Garden which We give as an inheritance to those of Our Servants who guard against evil." (Maryam, 19/63),
"My servants, the Righteous shall inherit the earth" (al-Anbiya, 21/105)
Various views have been put forward for the origin and meaning of the word Firdaws mentioned in verse 11. It is stated that Arabs used that word before Islam, too. In the Islamic sources, the word Firdaws is used for the whole Paradise or a part of it. There are various narrations stating that it is the middle or the highest place of Paradise. (see M. Said Özervarlı, "Firdevs", DİA, XIII, 123-124)
According to a hadith that the interpreters quoted, Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) said,
"There are two places for each person in the hereafter; one in Paradise and one in Hell; since the deniers will be sent to Hell, believers will inherit the places prepared for them in Paradise along with their own places."
, and then recited those two verses. (Ibn Majah, Zuhd, 39)
1. Kur’an Yolu, Heyet
2. Elmalılı Hamdi Yazır, Hak Dini Kur’an Dili
Who is the person that died and resurrected again by Allah after 100 years?
Or (take) the similitude of one who passed by a hamlet, all in ruins to its roofs. He said: "Oh! how shall Allah bring it (ever) to life, after (this) its death?" But Allah caused him to die for a hundred years, then raised him up (again). He said: "How long didst thou tarry (thus)?" He said: "(perhaps) a day or part of a day." He said: "Nay, thou hast tarried thus a hundred years; but look at thy food and thy drink; they show no signs of age; and look at thy donkey: and that We may make of thee a Sign unto the people Look further at the bones, how We bring them together and clothe them with flesh! When this was shown clearly to him he said: "I know that Allah hath power over all things." (al-Baqara 259)
Hazrat Ali, Ibn Abbas, Iqrima, Abu'l-Aliya, Said b. Jubayr, Qatada, Rabi, Dahhak, Suddi, Muqatil, Sulayman b. Burayda, Najiya b. Ka'b, Salim al-Khawas said: "The person mentioned in the verse is Hazrat Uzayr (Ezra)." However, Wahb, Muhahid, Abdullah b. Ubayd b. Umayr, Bakr b. Muzar: said "He is Hazrat Armiya." Ibn Ishaq said Armiya was Khidr. Apart from those, it was even said that he was the slave of Hazrat Lot or Shaya. It was said that he was an unbeliever but that he became a believer after being resurrected.
As for the word “QARYA” mentioned in the verse, Wahb, Qatada, Dahhak, Iqrima and Rabi said it was "Ilya" that is, "Baytu'l-Maqdis", Dahhak reports that it is "Qaryatu'l-Inab" or "Ard Muqaddas" (Holy Land), two leagues away from "Baytu'l-Maqdis"; in some sources, it is Mu'tafika; Ibn Zayd says it is "the city of thousands” escaping from death”; according to Ibn Abbas it is "Dayr Hiraql" near the river Tigris; according to Kalbi, it is "Shabur-abad" and according to Suddi it is Salamad. The most famous of them is that that person is Hazrat Uzayr b. Sharhiya, and the place "Qarya" is the city of Quds (Jerusalem) where the Sons of Israel settled and established a state; it was invaded as a result of the war of Buhtunnassar and was destroyed completely; the Sons of Israel were divided into three parts: some of them were killed completely; some of them were sent to Damascus and they settled there; some of them were taken prisoners. Uzayr was among those prisoners; he escaped and went to Quds on his donkey and saw Quds in that state. It was reported from Ibn Abbas in detail that it was the reason of the revelation of the verse.
However, as it was explained above, there are narrations of killing and resurrecting about other people and the story may be true in its general sense for each one of them or all of them; although the topic of the story seems to be on the darkness of hopelessness and since hopelessness is a kind of denial, some interpreters interpreted that event as an example of reaching the light of belief out of the darkness of denial and reaching success and hope out of hopelessness, it is more probable that it is a wonder of prophethood based on the well-known meaning of the verse. The topic of the story does not cover the hopelessness of unbelief but the outcomes of the sorrow and grief and an extraordinary style of emergence.
That is, when that person - his name is not important – saw the tragic situation of that village, he said “how will Allah bring it to life after its death?”; that sentence can express the following meanings depending on the situation of that man:
1- Allah will bring that country back to life but why? How will He bring it back to life and when?
2- I wish it a fast life but I am weak; I do not know my way; I wonder whether Allah will do it. If He does it, probably it will be late and I will not be able to see it. Oh, it is a disaster!..
3- He can do it but probably he will not do it.
Thus, although the sentence, “how will Allah bring that country to life after its death?” is an expression of a mood of disappointment that asks for help, the fact that it is not far away from causing an atmosphere of some hopelessness will be a small mistake and both the divine help will start and an inactivity of a century will occur in order to reach the thing that is desired as a lesson for that small mistake.
Therefore, Allah gave that person a continuous death lasting a century. He did not give him any pleasures of the life during that period. According to the narration, that person fell asleep and died in his sleep. He was very young. Then, Allah made that person wake up. He resurrected him as living, clever and thoughtful as before and with a spirit that is ready to make conclusions logically.
According to some narrations, in the seventieth year of that one hundred years, Ard Muqaddas was conquered by the Persian King “Yushak” and his soldiers; Buhtunnassar was destroyed; the remaining Sons of Israel were settled near and around Baytulmaqdis (the Mosque of Quds) and Quds was rebuilt in thirty years; thus, Allah resurrected Hazrat Uzayr, who said, “how will Allah bring that country to life after its death?”, just like that village after death.
When Allah resurrected him, he asked him, "How long did you tarry?" He said, “a day or part of a day." as if he was waking up from a sleep.
After that pious confession, Allah told him the truth and said: Nao, you have tarried a hundred years; now look at your food and your drink; observe the power of Allah that they show no signs of age; they have not decayed; they are as fresh as they were; and look at your donkey, you will see it as it was. We killed you and resurrected you not because it was the end of your lifespan but because we wanted to make you a sign unto the people and show the power of your Lord; we showed those miracles. We showed the resurrection in all of the spiritual and bodily lives so that you would clearly see the science and knowledge and become a witness of your Lord. Then, do not find it enough to hear the news; Look at the bones again, that is, your own bones or your donkey’s bones, in order to comprehend the divine power clearly; watch with your eyes and your insight how We bring them together and clothe them with flesh. (See Elmalılı Interpretation)
What is a Muslim going to encounter after death?
Just as we see, different things and listen to different voices while we are dreaming broken off from the world, our soul is introduced to a new life what we call the Intermediate Realm when we are dead. Human being, who sees the Archangel Azrael (the angel of death) at the moment of death, meets with the questioning angels in this new realm. The good deeds of a believer stay with him/her like a beloved friend.
The Intermediate Realm is a bridge between the life on earth and the one in the grave. This realm shows itself in several forms based on the human beings’ quality. While martyrs are put in the grave without knowing they themselves are dead, scholars continue their scholarly works even here. As for unbelievers, this realm is a land of torment where the first examples of hell torment are experienced.
Death is the departure of soul from body. It is a journey from the realm we live in to the realm of grave. Soul is taken to the intermediate realm by the Archangel Azrael. Azrael is the first angel we are going to see in this realm. He is a reliable trustee to whom we could deliver our souls, our most valuable treasure, with a peace of mind. At the moment of death, soul becomes free from the confinement of body. But it does not become naked completely. Because it is covered with an unearthly cloth.
Soul, which is dependent on body while on earth, becomes free to some extent while dead. While they were in need of eyes to see, ears to hear, brain to think, in this realm they see, hear, think, and know without needing these tools anymore. As in dreams… Intermediate realm means “passage.” Intermediate realm is a waiting place between the world and the Hereafter. Souls await the Doomsday and resurrection there. The first encounter with the interrogation angels called Munkar and Nakir, the first trial, the first punishment, the first award will come true there.
Intermediate realm is, as a hadith puts it, either a garden from the Paradise or a ditch from Hell. Here what receives either reward or punishment is soul, which has departed from body. It returns to its previous body in the field of the resurrection after the intermediate realm, gives account of what s/he did while s/he was in the world in the great court. The following is either eternal Paradise or eternal Hell. As in the world, also in those places both pleasure and pain are experienced with both body and soul.
The grave life will be followed by the resurrection. Resurrection will be in question for body since soul never dies. With resurrection, souls get their new bodies and are brought to the field of interrogation. Having remained there for a while, the next step is “balance.” Those who die on faith and have more good deeds than bad deeds on this balance will be sent to the eternal place of bliss. Those who die without faith will be sent to the land of torment. In addition, believers who have more bad deeds than good will be sent to Hell in order for them to get rid of their sins. Later on, they get to Paradise as well.
Alaaddin Başar (Prof.Dr.)
Click on the link given below;
About the Questions that are Asked in the Grave
Does the sprit of a dead person return to his/her body after it is buried?
The grave where we put the corpses in, should not be confused with the life of grave and the life of Intermediate Realm. Death is the separation of the physical body from the spirit. It does not return back to the body anymore. The subject in your question is the realization of the dead person that s/he has passed away. It is not the return of the spirit back in to the body that was put in the grave.
For the second part of your question, please click on the links given below;
What are we going to encounter when we die? Could you give some information about the grave life?
About the Questions that are Asked in the Grave
What are the advantages of belief in the Hereafter for the society and individuals?
Belief in the Hereafter is one of the essentials of Islamic creed. According to Islam, there is a Day of Judgment when everyone is going to be called to account for their good deeds and evil deeds in a divine court and they are going to be either punished or rewarded. The twenty-eighth verse of surah al-Baqarah says: “How can ye reject the faith in God?- seeing that ye were without life, and He gave you life; then will He cause you to die, and will again bring you to life; and again to Him will ye return.”
Belief in the Hereafter is the first condition of living a peaceful and happy life in worldly life. Those who do not believe in the Hereafter are poor people who do not recognize any moral values and disturb individuals’ and society’s peace and safety. In societies in which people do not have faith or have weak faith, all kinds of evil works such as lying, theft, fornication, murder and immorality can be performed freely; and eventually these societies collapse.
Humankind desires immortality, wants to live with their beloved ones, beauties and delights of the world eternally. We see that soul seeks eternality and can satisfy its thoughts and imagination only with it. It provides joy of life for a person who lost a beloved one to think and believe that he is going to live with him eternally one day. One can find strength to endure the pains of all negative incidents he comes across in worldly life, unfairness, cruelties and injustice, incurable illnesses and disorders only in believing in the Hereafter. It is the biggest consolation for a person to think that everyone is going to be punished for what they have done, when he is wronged. It is a great haven for those who are disabled from birth to think that enduring it with the help of belief in the Hereafter is going to be rewarded.
Yes, one who believes in the Hereafter knows that he is going to be called to account for whatever he has done, big or trivial, and he is going to be either punished or rewarded in the end. And thus, he leads his life in accordance with this.
In Risale-i Nur Collection, only four of the hundreds of proofs that belief in the Hereafter is the most important essential of social life and individual lives and the basis of happiness and perfection are stated as follows:
The First Proof: It is only with the thought of Paradise that children, who form almost half of the mankind, can endure all the deaths around them, which appear to them to be grievous and frightening, and strengthen the morale of their weak and delicate beings. With the thought of Paradise, they find hope in their vulnerable spirits, prone to weeping, and may live happily. For example, thinking of Paradise, a child may say: “My little brother or friend has died and become a bird in Paradise. He is flying around Paradise and living more happily than us.” The frequent deaths before their unhappy eyes of other children like themselves or of grown-ups will otherwise destroy all their resistance and morale, making their subtle faculties, such as their spirits, hearts, and minds, weep together with their eyes; they will either decline utterly or become crazy, wretched animals.
Second Proof: It is only through the life of the hereafter that the elderly, who form half of mankind, can endure the proximity of the grave, and be consoled at the thought that their lives, to which they are firmly attached, will soon be extinguished and their fine worlds come to an end. It is only with the hope of eternal life that they can respond to the grievous despair they feel in their emotional child-like spirits at the thought of death. Those worthy, anxious fathers and mothers, so deserving of compassion and in need of tranquility and peace of mind, will otherwise feel a terrible spiritual turmoil and distress in their hearts, and this world will become a dark prison for them, and life even, grievous torment.
Third Proof: It is only the thought of Hell-fire that checks the turbulent emotions of youths, the most vigorous element in the life of society, and their violent excesses, restraining them from aggression, oppression, and destruction, and ensuring that the life of society continues tranquilly. If not for fear of Hell, in accordance with the rule ‘Might is right,’ in pursuing their desires, those drunken youths would turn the worlds of the wretched weak and powerless into Hell, and elevated humanity into base animality.
Fourth Proof: The most comprehensive centre of man’s worldly life, and its mainspring, and a paradise, refuge, and fortress of worldly happiness, is the life of the family. Everyone’s home is a small world for him. And the life and happiness of his home and of family are possible through genuine, earnest, and loyal respect and true, tender, and self-sacrificing compassion. This true respect and genuine kindness may be felt due to the idea of the members of the family having an everlasting companionship and friendship and togetherness, and their parental, filial, brotherly, and friendly relations continuing for all eternity in a limitless life, and their believing this. One says, for example: “My wife will be my constant companion in an everlasting world and eternal life. It does not matter if she is now old and ugly, for she will have an immortal beauty.” He will tell himself that he will be as kind and devoted as he can for the sake of that permanent companionship, and treat his elderly wife lovingly and kindly as though she was a beautiful houri. A companionship that was to end in eternal separation after an hour or two of brief, apparent friendship would otherwise afford only superficial, temporary, feigned, animal-like feelings, and false compassion and artificial respect. As with animals, self-interest and other overpowering emotions would prevail over the respect and compassion, transforming that worldly paradise into Hell.
We cannot appoint a guard for everyone but we can place guards of consciousness full of belief in the Hereafter in people’s hearts. Then instead of anarchy, despotism and cruelty, obedience, respect and justice will rule in the society. Individuals, families, constitutions, communities and even the whole world will live in peace. (Abdulkadir IŞIK)
After this short explanation, we can enlarge upon this subject a little more:
What belief in the Hereafter, in the Day of Judgment when everyone is going to be punished or rewarded, and in the eternal life earns individuals and society:
After belief in Allah, organizing life and providing collective peace for society depends on belief in life after death.
One who does not believe that he is going to be called to account for what he has done cannot be thought to be straightforward. On the other hand, one who keeps in mind that he is going to be called by Allah in the otherworld to account for every step he takes, one whose each behavior is an expression of an account, one who treats his each word, each listening and each inclination in his heart with sensitivity of accounting to Allah will have a highly organized life.
“In whatever business thou mayest be, and whatever portion thou mayest be reciting from the Qur'an,- and whatever deed ye (mankind) may be doing,- We are witnesses thereof when ye are deeply engrossed therein. Nor is hidden from thy Lord (so much as) the weight of an atom on the earth or in heaven. And not the least and not the greatest of these things but are recorded in a clear record.” (Yunus, 10:61)
That is to say; all behaviors and actions are being recorded by angels. Everything we do, big or small, hidden or obvious, anything that we consider small but considered big by Allah or anything we consider big but considered small by Allah, are recorded. Observers watch and record all we do and Allah who is “DAYYAN” (the One who judges people based on their deeds) is present everywhere, waiting for the Day of Judgment.
A life that is led with this spirit and consciousness becomes straightforward; a society that is consisted of individuals who live within this spirit and consciousness becomes peaceful and a family having this spirit and consciousness turns their home into a garden of paradise.
Yes, there is only one way through which humankind can quit their craziness; it is the belief in resurrection after death. And it is only the belief in resurrection and that can stop the craziness of youth, that can prevent them from nonsense-talking, that can be a source of hope for elderly people who become more disappointed and offended with every step they take towards death and that can light up the flames of happiness in the vulnerable hearts of children.
Everyone, from young ones to old ones, from women to men and from just ones to unjust ones, needs to believe in the resurrection as they need water they drink and air they breathe in. Drinking this sherbet called belief in the resurrection means also drinking peace slowly. For this reason, all intellectuals who work for peace and safety of the humankind and aim to provide peace for them should evaluate this issue from this point of view. Establishing true peace, happiness and comfort for individuals, families, society and the humankind altogether depends only on believing in the afterworld where all deeds – significant or insignificant - are going to accounted.
The Quran says:
“Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good, see it! And anyone who has done an atom's weight of evil, shall see it.” (az-Zalzalah, 99:7-8).
This verse declares that even a good deed of an atom’s weight will have its reward and even an evil deed of an atom’s weight will have its punishment and it infuses into people this feeling of responsibility. When people have got this belief, we can tell them, “do whatever you want”. Actually, practices and realities express that everything done will have a response. One who adopts this point of view feels the need for doing things which will not make him ashamed in the otherworld.
A child, with his weak, vulnerable soul, can find a peaceful life only by believing in the resurrection. Anyone who evaluates his childhood from this point of view and who remembers his childhood years will admit this conclusion. Yes, a child has got a vulnerable heart. And a child is incapable of evaluating incidents happening around him and coming to a conclusion. And he cannot lose himself in entertainment. For this reason, he feels anxiety of death more than adults. The world of a child whose parents have died is destroyed. All the stars lighting up his inner world fade away and the sky of his heart sinks into darkness. Everyone who has got a heart can feel this.
One of my siblings died in my childhood. Every time I visited his grave, I would open my eyes and beg to Allah saying “O Allah, please bring him back to life so that I can see his beautiful face once again!” Now, if you take away this belief in the resurrection after death from thousands of people like me having this psychological mood, with what will you heal this painful heart and how will you extinguish this fire? No, no way… Nothing can heal it and it will be impossible for you to extinguish that fire. It is only the belief in the resurrection that can console this child writhing in pain and sorrow. When his beloved ones depart this world one by one, it is only the belief that they have gone to Heaven that can console this little one and saves him from this unbearable sorrow. Pass-away of a beloved elderly one, or even of a younger one, whom he is accustomed with and thought he could not do without them, leaves an incurable wound in his vulnerable heart. It is such an incurable wound that only one thought can ease it:
“He is gone, or taken away; but, God opened the doors of Heaven for him. Now, he is flying like birds in the gardens of paradise. When I die, I am going to fly like him, too.”
If the one who died is an elderly person, he will think as follows: “He is dead. But, he is going to take me into his arms and caress me there.” And they are these thoughts that will fill the gap of separation and longing opened by death and will be the cure for his bleeding wound.
Do you long for peace? You can find it neither with factory chimneys fuming all around the world, nor by organizing journeys from stars to stars. The true peace is the peace that depends on this belief and faith. Yes, this peace, which is based on the principles of resurrection after death, is the true peace.
Aged people… Aged people who are approaching death with every step they take… While grave is waiting for them with its door open for them, and while they are running towards it at the highest speed, with what can they find consolation? What can console them? With what can they get over the sorrow caused by seeing the white hairs amongst their hair that they see in the mirror every day? How can they compensate for the spiritual gap caused by this situation? How can they eradicate the scars of people – their children, their grandchildren, their friends and relatives – whom they saw off for the otherworld throughout all this time until they reached this age? How can you console them when youth, health, career and position left them with a terrible scar in their souls? Every material thing which you present to them as a consolation will leave another terrible scar in their souls when they lose them and this will always go on like this. Therefore, there is only one cure with which all people including the aged ones can find peace: Believing in the resurrection after death!... Persuading people that grave, which awaits them to swallow them like a monster waiting its terrible mouth open, is indeed the door of the corridor leading to the gardens of Paradise in the otherworld!... Presenting as departure lounges in order to get into those gardens of Paradise!... Describing it as a place where mercy and salvation roam!... And all of these will be a source of consolation for them.
The Quran reports prophet Zachariah saying:
“O my Lord! Infirm indeed are my bones, and the hair of my head doth glisten with grey: but never am I unblest, O my Lord, in my prayer to Thee!” (Maryam, 19:4). And then, it narrates his asking Allah for giving him a good child, and describes the outcry of a person who is ready to depart this world in a poetic harmony. It is one of the miraculous aspects of the Quran that it puts this outcry coming from soul in a unique way. Anyone who is conscious will feel such an awesome outcry in his soul when he listens to his heart and sees a bitter smile on his heart’s lips. And the only cure to console him in this situation and to ease this outcry in his soul will be belief in the Hereafter. This belief and faith whispers to his ear the following words, with its life-giving breath:
“You have completed your lifespan. You have fulfilled your duty. The Infinite Mercy who sent you down onto this world is not going to waste you anymore in these deserts and is going to endow the boons, which He prepared for you, upon you by taking you to His presence.”
Yes, this news and others bearing the same meaning will enable those aged people taste peace and happiness because they are getting ready for leaving for the otherworld, which is the true homeland.
A large part of the social life consists of young people. These aggressive young people whose lives are full of nonsense turn life into a hell. On the other hand, young people from whose lives gush out light like the Companions, whose faces show happiness, all of whose actions remind Allah and in whose eyes Paradise shines turn this life into an exact Paradise. Yes, young people will find their true personalities by believing in the resurrection. When belief in the resurrection and the feeling of life after death are taken away from their hearts and minds, they will become the source of unrest for the humankind. If the humankind is restless today, it is because of the youth whose each stage of life is full of craziness and nonsense. While pedagogues and educators were trying to find solution for it, they deepened and deteriorated the wound and made it incurable due to their treatments. However, the cure of this wound is belief in the resurrection after death. Actually, the real solution is possible by enabling those young people to take their every step with the belief that they are going to account for their each step in the presence of Allah and by bringing them up with this consciousness.
Hazrat Umar was going to mosque. In front of him, was a child running to mosque very fast. He accelerated his steps, approached the child and asked him:
- O Child! Prayer is not an obligation for you. Why are hurrying to mosque so excitedly?
The child answered:
“-O the leader of the believers! A child died in our neighborhood yesterday!...
The source and the assurance of the right way is only arranging life in accordance with a day that everything is seen and recorded to be accounted. Although all occurrences and actions happening in the universe are organized by a collective power, human beings are responsible for and have to arrange their life with their own self-control. If one uses this self-control properly, Allah, with His mercy, will respond to all of his/her bodily desires and provide him/her with gardens of paradise adorned with houris, ghilmans and servants.
As a matter of fact, self-control is the manifestation of Allah’s mercy and compassion. Heaven is the manifestation of His mercy and compassion as well. In this sense, when one uses self-control, which is a requirement of Allah’s mercy and compassion, properly, he will see the reward of this in the form of a manifestation of Allah’s mercy and compassion again.
Yes, organizing life in accordance with the Hereafter and always remembering the day when all that is hidden will come into light will enable individuals, families and societies with peace and especially young people to find the right way; they will live an organized and disciplined life and they will not spoil the peace of others.
Sahl bin Sa’d reports: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was told that a young person confined himself to his house and kept crying. The Messenger went to his house. When he entered the house, the young man jumped up with joy and hugged the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). However, he fell down by his feet after a short time. The young man was dead. The Messenger’s eyes filled with tears and uttered the following words:
“Prepare your friend for burial. Fear of Hell frightened him to death. I swear upon Allah, in whose hands is my very self, Allah will protect him from Hell.”
“And for such as had entertained the fear of standing before their Lord's (tribunal) and had restrained (their) soul from lower desires. Their abode will be the Garden.” (an-Nazi’at, 79:40-41).
One who is anxious about accounting in the presence of the Lord and organizes his life in accordance with this anxiety is safe in the presence of his Lord. The Owner of the Infinite Mercy harbingers in a hadith: “I do not give two securities and two fears at a time.”
Who is anxious here finds salvation there. Do you know anything else other than this principle that can stop the craziness of the youth? Do you know a circle or frame that can protect people? If your answer is negative, you should be in a positive stage. All educators and pedagogues should listen to this principle and put it into practice in life. Young people mean everything. If we evaluate the issue from Hazrat Umar’s point of view, who said “A nation without young people is ruined.”, when he saw a young man who severely objected to injustice, we conclude that the existence of young people who are adorned with sublime feelings is the source of life for social life. Such a nation is capable of building new civilizations. Otherwise, it will be the vice versa. In this sense, the most important factor in the development of a nation is the youth, but a youth full of belief in the Hereafter. In short, believing people will be able to build a peaceful world and only believing people will have the right of leading a peaceful life on the earth… the youth either ruins or builds a nation. A nation either dies or comes into life with its youth.
A large part of the humankind is made up of patients, downtrodden people and sufferers. Belief in the resurrection has got a significant effect on their souls, too. A sick person, approaching death every day and running towards grave, can find hope only in seeing that grave as a corridor opening to the otherworld. If he does not consider grave a road leading to happiness and a means of reaching infinity, he will never be happy. He consoles himself with this against headaches, backaches, cancer and gangrene and he can protect himself against the pain caused by Hazrat Azrael’s hands, which he feels on his neck from time to time, only with the help of this belief. Yes, he will be consoled and forget his illness by saying “Yes, I am going; nobody will be able to stop me here… But, I will regain my health and immortal youth and I am going to the land of Allah, where everybody will return to some day.” For this reason, when believers submit their souls to Allah, they have got a smile resembling rose bud on their lips, for they reunite with their Beloved One; and they submit their souls to Him like this.
When the time of death came for him, the Prophet (pbuh), took his hands off Hazrat Aisha’s hands and said: “O my Allah, now I desire the other world.” And, one day before it, he said: “Allah presented two options to a servant; worldly boons as many as he wants and the boons with Him. The servant chose the ones with Allah.”
The servant who was supposed to choose between the worldly boons and the boons with Him was himself. He took his hands off Hazrat Aisha’s hands and desired to be with the Sublime Companion. Similarly, a well-built person like Hazrat Umar put his head on the ground in the ruins and expressed his longing for the far away (otherworld) by saying “O Allah, take this responsibility off my shoulders, I cannot carry it anymore.”
Belief in the Hereafter meant an otherworld where thousands of beauties would manifest and longing to see the Infinite Face beyond them, which made them speak these words and evoked this desire in their hearts.
As for the downtrodden people who could not save their honor from cruel and unfair people and who were eager to take revenge… They can be consoled only by thinking of the day when they will submit those who wronged them to Allah and by thinking of the rewards that will be endowed upon them. Actually, the downtrodden people, the wronged ones know it for sure that the unfair treatments made here will not be left without punishment… A major court will be set up and everything will be accounted with all details. Wrongdoers will have their punishment and wronged ones will have their rewards.
“Such is the chastisement of thy Lord when He chastises communities in the midst of their wrong: grievous, indeed, and severe is His chastisement.” (Hud, 11:102)
That is to say; once Allah catches a town of oppressors, He catches it severely and grievously. Then, that town is finished. Yes, downtrodden people can take their revenge on wrongdoers and cruel, unfair people only like this and only then can they be consoled.
As for the sufferers and troubled ones… All sufferers and troubled ones, who have been exposed to celestial calamities or earthly calamities, whose fields and gardens have been destroyed by floods or hails, whose houses have been destroyed by earthquakes, whose prosperity have been ruined together with their families and house and the likes, can only be consoled by thinking of the resurrection after death. Actually, according to this belief, all belongings which have gone with calamities are regarded as given charities and the ones who have died are elevated to the degree of martyrdom. They find peace and consolation in this very belief. While their homes turn into mansions in Paradise with belief in the Hereafter, when this belief is taken away from their hearts, they turn into pits in Hell. A house in which a child is deprived of religious feelings and life, in which a youth is addicted to his desires and worldly delights, and in which a sick person, who is expected to die, is writhing in pain is not any different than a ruin for which the owls starts to hoot while people are still in. Their eyebrows are frowned, faces are as dull as walls and the worse, while trying to escape them; the misery of alienating from one’s own self and forgetting oneself in joy and entertainment… So it is possible for the sunlight to shine into this house only through the belief in the Hereafter and the resurrection after death.
If you are thinking of making everyone, from children to the aged ones, happy, try to place belief in the resurrection into their hearts… As a matter of fact, young people will be organized and disciplined then, children will quit misbehaving and the aged ones will live happily as passengers to Heaven, and the lightning of happiness will start to flash in that house and songs of the hereafter will be sung there even before going to the Hereafter and eventually, they will start living on the earth as if they were in Heaven while they are still on the earth.
Countries and towns are also people’s large house. Peace cannot be found in a world where young people are servants of their lower-self, where the aged people are pessimistic and hopeless, and where cruel people listen to the outcries of downtrodden people as if they listen to music. In such a world, towns, countries and nations are restless; because the necessities which would bring on peace have not been met. A prayer has got certain parts which validate it and by accomplishing these parts, prayer is completed and one feels the sweet smile of ascension with his prayer and sometimes, a moment of prayer feels like equal to a life of thousands of years. Similarly, for countries and nations to be peaceful, parts that constitute them should be in accordance with those necessities of peace altogether. An ideal city or site can be established only with an ideal system. Let Plato live his dream in his “Republic”!... Let the daydreamer Farabi try to frame it in his “al-Madinatu’l-Fadila.” They will never be able to build their ideal states because they are deprived of parts which constitute it. Yes, the primary necessity to constitute this peace in life is belief in the resurrection, humiliating worldly life and waiting for the otherworld.
One of the greatest works of the Prophet (pbuh), person of a great sense of balance, is establishing his world system based on the belief of “accounting in the hereafter.” This worldly life is the introduction to the otherworldly life in a sense, a field of preparation for the Hereafter and an opportunity given to the humankind in order to light the flames of hereafter in their hearts. For this reason, this world is called “yawm ad-dunya” and the otherworld is called “yawm al-akhir”. Anything performed in this world will have been performed for the otherworld to come. The Messenger of Allah taught this lesson to everyone, which would light up the flames of comprehension and which would satisfy all hearts.
Hearts were so full of belief in the hereafter that the Companions looked down on this world and their eyes did not see almost any worldly materials. Here is an example: “Two companions came to the presence of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) because of something which needed to be shared between them. Both of them claimed to have more of it for themselves. Having listened to them, the Prophet said:
-Now, if one of you tells his problem better that the other one and convinces me, he can make me judge on his behalf. I am just a human being like you; I will judge in favor of the one whose evidence is more convincing. However, the judgment in the Hereafter will be done according to the truth. The wrongdoer will have his punishment and the wronged one will have its reward totally there.” Upon hearing this, both of them said:
-O the Messenger of Allah! Give my share to him, too; I do not claim it anymore!”
Later, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) suggested them doing as follows:
-Go and share the property justly, then draw lots to decide who will take which part. And comply with the result of the lots. And renounce your rights for each other.”
As it is seen, life was arranged like that with the help of belief in the hereafter. It was such an arrangement that when one committed a sin, he fastened himself on a post and punished himself in this way until he was told that he was forgiven. It was taken so seriously that companions who believed that a sin committed could be washed away only by the blood of martyrdom and thus sacrificed their lives on the way of Allah, without any hesitation and tried to pass away to the hereafter totally pure, with the blood they shed in order to drink the sherbet of martyrdom. Sa’d bin Rabi heard the whisperings of Muhammad bin Maslamah who said that he brought salutations to him from the Messenger of Allah, when he was about to submit his soul at the foot of Mount Uhud. In response to this, Sa’d bin Rabi said: “Give my salutations to the Messenger of Allah. I swear that I am feeling the smell of Heaven beyond Uhud!...”
Yes, what can it be other than belief in the hereafter that can make one taste this happiness even at the time of death? What mortal opportunity can provide an individual, a family or a society with that happiness? Now, let us report some examples from the Sublime Prophet’s statements in order to be able to comprehend how he, the source of pride for universe, educated his followers about belief in the resurrection:
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) stated:
“O people! You will be resurrected barefooted, naked and uncircumcised.” You will come into life again with your all cells, souls and bodies. You will have a resurrection that is both spiritual and physical. The Messenger of Allah continued: “Beware! The first one to be dressed up in the Hereafter is Hazrat Abraham. Beware! On that day, some people from my ummah will be brought as caught from their left sides. I will say: “O Lord! These are my ummah!...” Allah will say to me: “O Muhammad! You do not know what they did after you!.” And then I say, like Hazrat jesus, the Righteous Servant,: “I witnessed them as long as I was with them. When You took me away, You witnessed them. You are the witness of everything. If You punish them, they are your servants actually. If You forgive them, You are the only One who is Mighty and Wise!”
In a hadith that Ahmad bin Hanbal reported from Hazrat Anas, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said:
“The humankind has not witnessed a more violent incident than death since Allah created them. Then, death seems easier than what will happen after death. On that day, they will witness such a violence that they will sweat until their chins. Their chins almost turn into a bridle because of sweat; such sweat that even ships can float in those seas of sweat, if desired.”
The following hadith reported by Bukhari and Muslim from Abu Hurairah gives the details of the hadith above. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) states:
“On the Day of Judgment, people will be resurrected in three categories. The first one of them is the people who established the balance of fear and hope in the world life.” They are the ones who were full of love for Allah all the times and who arranged their works in accordance with the consciousness and comprehension that they will be called to account for them in the hereafter. They are the ones who are hopeful for Allah’s mercy even in hopeless situations. They are the ones who do not fall into sorrow and hopelessness, which are signs of blasphemy, although they fear Allah to the utmost degree. And they are the ones who lead their lives in fear and hope.
“The second one of them is the people who are on an animal in twos, threes, fours… and tens in order to be able to get into Heaven.” They are trying to arrive in the presence of Allah, with so many people on an animal, with great difficulty. They will go falling down on and off, like they fell down on and off with sins and rebellion in the world life.
“As for the third category; they will be sent to Hell. (They will follow the compulsory direction following flames coming from Hell.) If they want to have a nap in the afternoon, Hell has a nap with them. If they want to sleep the night, Hell sleeps the night with them. If they want to stay awake till morning, Hell stays with them till morning as well. And whenever they meet the evening, Hell meets the evening with them, too…”
This is because they carried the seed of Hell in their hearts and souls. They slept with the seed of Hell at nights and woke up with it in the mornings. Therefore, they will be treated in accordance with the way they have lived. That seed will grow into a tree and will not leave them alone. So, the Messenger of Allah educated his followers seriously with this lesson and the likes in a consciousness for the hereafter and especially the companions behaved in an atmosphere as if they witnessed Hell with all its awe and violence and Heaven with all its beauties beyond the curtains, at the Prophet’s time. Yes; the only way to live this worldly life on the right way and virtuously is receiving this education and putting otherworldly moral values into practice in this worldly life. Otherwise, virtuousness and righteousness cannot be imagined in societies made up of individuals who have not got belief in the hereafter. If any trace of virtues are manifested in them, it is nothing but a virtue placed by Allah in their disposition and seed. And it is impossible for them to do otherwise, as it is placed in their dispositions. This impossibility forces them to do such virtuous works. And this is not as precious as the virtues that are gained by striving for them.
(A. Qadir – Life After Death)
Is Mahshar will be held on the plain of Arafat?
The place where we will be resurrected after the Final Hour is not the earth. It is Mahshar (the place of gathering/resurrection). But the gathering of pilgrims on the plain of Arafat reminds Mahshar and Resurrection.
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Where on Earth will everyone be on the Last Day when Allah resurrects us and gets ready to judge everybody?
wife in paradise
1. A Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man. Even if she marries, the marriage will be invalid. Their intercourse is regarded as fornication.
2. Yes, it would be permissible. A woman can marry her husband in this world in Paradise if she wants. If she does not want, she can marry a man of Paradise.
Is it possible for man to live longer if his genetic makeup is changed?
It is Allah (SWT) who creates the genes. The average life expectancy of man is known. Sometimes death occurs without any reason. For this reason, no matter how the works in the area of genetics develops, it is Allah who gives life. Thus, it is Allah who lengthens or finishes the life of man. On the other hand, even the average life of man is lengthened, it is understood from the narrations that the doomsday is not far.
Could you please give information about Houris?
They are girls whose eyes are large and their eyes’ iris is extremely black and it is quite white around iris. The word “hur” in Arabic is the plural form of “havra”. It is used as “houri” by adding the relative suffix “i” to it.
The word “iyn” which is used in Quran to express “houris” is derived from the word “ayn (eye)” and it refers to women with large eyes.
In technical term, “houri” refers to each of the beautiful girls Allah promised to the ones who deserve to enter Heaven.
We learn about Houris’ body structure, beauty, and moral values from Quran verses and hadiths.
“As to the Righteous (they will be) in a position of Security among Gardens and Springs; dressed in fine silk and in rich brocade, they will face each other. Moreover, We shall join them to Companions with beautiful, big, and lustrous eyes.” (ad-Dukhan, 51-54)
“Verily for the Righteous there will be a fulfillment of (the heart's) desires; Gardens enclosed, and grapevines; companions of equal age (girls); and a cup full (to the brim).” (an-Naba, 78/31-34).
“Therein will they recline (at ease): Therein can they call (at pleasure) for fruit in abundance, and (delicious) drink; and beside them will be chaste women restraining their glances, (companions) of equal age.” (as-Sad, 38/51-52).
“We have created (their Companions) of special creation and made them virgin - pure (and undefiled), beloved (by nature), equal in age, for the Companions of the Right Hand.” (al-Wa’iah).
What is meant by the expression of “equal in age” in verses above can be both that all of these women are at the same age and they are at the same age with their husbands.
Here is this Allah’s kind gift to His righteous and blissful slaves who arranged their lives in accordance with Allah’s orders and prohibitions; put up with all kinds of troubles, sorrows and torment in order not to abandon their religion; did not give in to arrogant ones and rioted against cruelty and cruel ones.
“In them will be fair (Companions), good, beautiful” (ar-Rahman, 55/70).
“In them will be (Maidens), chaste, restraining their glances, whom no man or Jinn before them has touched” (ar-Rahman, 55/56).
“And (there will be) Companions with beautiful, big, and lustrous eyes like pearls well-guarded.” (al-Waq’iah, 56/22-23).
The most important trait of a woman is her modesty and purity. For this reason, Allah the Glorious, while declaring the boons of Heaven, firstly mentioned their modesty and purity before their purity.
It can be deduced from the second verse above that there will be righteous women for righteous men from jinns in the Heaven. These women will be wives for men of jinn, like righteous women of humankind will be for men of humankind. Neither these righteous women of jinn nor the righteous women of humankind will be touched by men.
The Prophet (pbuh) describes the inhabitants of Heaven as follows:
“Every one of them will have two wives; the marrow of the bones of the wives' legs will be seen through the flesh out of excessive beauty. They (i.e. the people of Paradise) will neither have differences nor hatred amongst themselves; their hearts will be as if one heart and they will be glorifying Allah in the morning and in the evening.” (Bukhari, Bed’al-Halk, 59, Sifatu’l Jannah)
In addition, women who believed in Allah and became one of righteous slaves of Allah while in earthly life are superior to houris, because they have to struggle against devils and their own lower-selves. They became victorious in this struggle, gained Allah’s consent and deserved to enter Heaven. However, houris are not in Heaven because of their own deeds. Allah created them for the inhabitants of Heaven amongst other boons of Heaven. The Prophet’s hadith below confirms this:
“The women of this world will have superiority over the houris just as the outer lining of a garment has superiority over the inner lining."... "Because they performed salâh, fasted, and worshipped [Allah]. Allah will put light on their faces and silk on their bodies...” (narrated Tabarani; Mawdudi, Tafhimu’l Quran, VI. 81).
Since there is no sovereignty that does not reward those who obey it and punish the rebellious, an eternal sovereignty which is at the degree of absolute dominicality rewarding those who form a relation with it through belief and submit to its decrees, and its punishing rebellious disbelievers who deny its proud sovereignty will be in a manner fitting for its mercy and beauty, its dignity and glory. Thus, the Names Sustainer of All the Worlds and Just Monarch reply to our question.
Also, we see as clearly as the sun, as daylight, a general mercy and all-embracing compassion and munificence on the face of the earth. For example, every spring that mercy adorns all the fruit-bearing trees and plants like houris; it fills their hands with every sort of fruit and they hold them out to us, saying: Help yourselves, and eat! So does it give us sweet, healing honey to eat from the poisonous bee, and dresses us in the softest silk by means of a handless insect. It deposits for us in a handful of tiny seeds pounds of food, making those tiny stores into reserve supplies. Such a mercy and compassion surely would not execute these lovable, grateful, worshipping believers which they nurture so kindly. They rather dismiss them from their duties in this worldly life to bestow on them still more brilliant instances of mercy, and in so doing the Names of All-Compassionate and Munificent answer our question.
Also, we see before our eyes that a hand of wisdom works in all creatures on the face of the earth and a justice is in force with its measures, nothing superior to which the human mind can conceive of. For example, a pre-eternal wisdom inscribes in man s faculty of memory, which is one instance of wisdom in his thousands of faculties and physical systems and is as tiny as a miniscule seed, his entire life-story and the numerous events which touch on him, making it into a small library. He then places it in the pocket of his mind as a note from the register of his actions which will be published for his judgement at the Great Gathering, in order to continuously remind him of this. And an eternal justice places on all creatures their members with the finest balance, and makes all of them from the microbe to the rhinoceros, and the fly to the simurgh bird, and from a flowering plant to the flower of the spring, which opens thousands of millions of flowers in the spring with a beauty of art and balance with no waste within a mutual proportion, equilibrium, order and beauty; it gives all living creatures their rights of life with perfect balance, and makes good things produce good results and bad things, bad results; and since the time of Adam it has made itself felt forcefully through the blows it has dealt to rebellious and tyrannous peoples. Certainly and without doubt, just as the sun cannot be without the day, so that pre-eternal wisdom and eternal justice cannot be without the hereafter. The Names of All-Wise and Sapient, Just and Equitable would never permit the awesome injustice, inequity, and unwisdom of oppressed and oppressor being equal in death, and thus they decisively answer our question.
Also, since whenever living creatures seek their natural wishes, which are beyond their power, through the tongues of their innate abilities and essential needs, which is supplication of a sort, all their needs are given to them by a most compassionate, hearing, kind unseen hand; and since six or seven out of ten of human supplications, which are voluntary, especially those of the prophets and the elect, are accepted in a way contrary to the normal course of things; it is understood certainly that behind the veil of the Unseen is one who listens and hears the sighs of the suffering and prayers of the needy, and replies to them; he sees the least need of the smallest living being and compassionately replying by action, gratifies it. There is no possibility of doubting therefore that the one who includes in his supplication all the most important, general supplications of man, the most important of creatures, which are connected with all the Divine Names and attributes and are for immortality; and takes behind him all the other prophets, who are the suns, stars, and leaders of mankind, making them exclaim: Amen! Amen! ; and for whom benedictions are recited several times every day; and to whose supplication all the members of his community rejoin: Amen! Amen! , indeed, in whose supplication all creatures take part, saying: Yes, O Lord! Do give what he asks! We too want what he seeks! of all the causes necessitating resurrection under these irresistible conditions, only a single supplication of Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) for immortality in the hereafter and eternal happiness would have been sufficient reason for the existence of Paradise and creation of the hereafter, which are as easy for Divine power as the creation of the spring stating this, the Names of Answerer of Prayer, All-Hearing, and All-Compassionate answer our question.
Also, since as clearly as the sun is shown by daylight, behind the veil is One Who has disposal over the universal death and revivification in the alternation of the seasons on the earth; and a pen of power inscribes the mighty globe with the ease and orderliness of a garden or even a tree, and the splendid spring with the facility and symmetrical adornment of a flower, and the species of plants and animals as though they were three hundred thousand books displaying three hundred thousand samples of resurrection, all one within the other and intermingled and mixed up together yet without disarrangement or disorder, all resembling each other yet without confusion, error, or fault; perfectly, regularly, and meaningfully; and since despite this vast profusion that One works with boundless mercy and infinite wisdom; and since He has subjugated, decorated, and furnished the vast universe for man like a house, and appointing him His vicegerent on earth, committing to him the supreme trust, from the bearing of which the mountains, sky, and earth shrank, and has raised him to the rank of commanding officer over other living beings, honoured him with the Divine address and conversation, and since He has thus bestowed on man this supreme station and in all the revealed decrees promised him eternal happiness and immortal life in the hereafter; certainly and without doubt He will open up that realm of bliss for ennobled and honoured man, which is as easy for His power as the spring, and bring about the resurrection of the dead and Last Judgement stating this, the Names of Granter of Life and Dealer of Death, Ever-Living and Self-Subsistent, and All-Powerful and Knowing reply to the question we asked of our Creator.
Yes, if one considers the power which every spring raises to life identically the roots of all the trees and plants and creates the three hundred thousand plant and animal samples of the resurrection of the dead, and if one visualizes the thousand year period of each of the communities of Moses and Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon them), and they are pictured in the imagination, it will be seen that the two thousand springs12 display a thousand samples of resurrection and a thousand evidences. It is to be blind and unreasonable a thousand times over to consider bodily resurrection difficult for such a power.
Also, just as relying on Almighty God s thousands of promises, the twenty-four thousand prophets, who are the most renowned of mankind, have unanimously proclaimed and proved through their miracles that eternal happiness and immortality in the hereafter are true; so innumerable people of sainthood have put their signature to the same truth through their illuminations and unfoldings. Since this is so, surely this truth is as clear as the sun, and those who doubt it are crazy.
Yes, the ideas and judgements of one or two experts in a science or art concerning their science refute the opposing ideas of ten men who are not experts in it, even if they are experts in their own fields. Similarly, two people making a positive statement about a subject, for example, proving the crescent moon of Ramadan on the day it is uncertain, or claiming: there is a garden on the earth where coconuts resembling cans of milk are grown defeat a thousand deniers, and win the case. For the one making the positive statement has only to point out the place where the coconuts are found to easily win. Whereas the one who denies it can prove his case only by searching the whole face of the earth and demonstrating that the coconuts are not to be found anywhere. So one who makes a report of Paradise and the realm of bliss and asserts that they exist wins his case by only demonstrating through illumination a shadow or distillation of it, like in the cinema, while those who deny it can only win by proving their denial by seeing the whole universe and all time from pre-eternity to post-eternity, and demonstrating it. It is because of this that the investigative scholars have agreed on the rule on condition they are not inherently impossible, denials which are not specific but look to the whole universe like the truths of belief, cannot be proved, and have accepted it as a fundamental principle.
In consequence of this definite truth, while the opposing ideas of thousands of philosophers should not cast the slightest doubt, or even suspicion, on even a single truthful report concerning the questions of belief, you may understand what a lunacy it is to fall into doubt at the denials of a handful of philosophers who concerning the pillars of belief understand no further than their eyes see, have no heart, are blind, and have grown distant from spiritual matters. For the pillars of faith have been agreed upon by one hundred and twenty thousand expert scholars and truthful reporters with their positive assertions, and innumerable specialists in the field of reality and investigative scholars.
Also, we see with our own eyes as clearly as daylight both in ourselves and all around us a comprehensive mercy and all-embracing wisdom and constant bestowal of grace. We observe too the traces and manifestations of an awesome sovereignty of dominicality, a precise and lofty justice, and a proud and glorious government. Indeed, the wisdom which attaches instances of wisdom to a tree to the number of its fruits and flowers; and the mercy which bestows bounties and favours on every human being to the number of his faculties, members, and feelings; and the proud, yet gracious justice which deals blows at rebellious peoples like those of Noah, Hud, and Salih (Peace be upon them) and the Ad, Thamud, and people of Pharoah, and protects the rights of the least living being; and the verse:
And among His signs is this, that heaven and earth stand by His command; then when He calls you, by a single call, from the earth, behold, you [straightway] come forth (30:25)
all state the following with a majestic conciseness:
Just as at the summons of their commander and the sound of the bugle, the disciplined soldiers stationed in two barracks spring to arms and their duties; so whenever the bugle-call of Israfil (Peace be upon him) summons those lying in death in the vast heavens and in the earth, which are like two orderly barracks for the soldiers of the Pre-Eternal Monarch, obedient to His command, they will immediately don the uniforms of their bodies and rise up. Proving and demonstrating this is the same situation displayed by the beings in the barracks of the earth in the spring at the trumpet-blast of the Angel of Thunder, and from it is understood the infinite grandeur of the sovereignty of dominicality. As is proved in the Tenth Word, it is certainly therefore utterly impossible that the realm of the hereafter and arena of the resurrection and Great Gathering, which are most definitely demanded by that mercy, wisdom, grace, and justice, should not be inaugurated, and for that infinitely beautiful mercy to be transformed into ugly cruelty, and for that boundless perfection of wisdom to be turned into infinitely faulty futility and purposeless wastefulness, and that sweet grace to be transformed into bitter treachery, and that finely balanced and equitable justice to be turned into severe tyranny, and that utterly powerful and majestic eternal sovereignty to decline, and with the resurrection not occuring for it to lose all its splendour, and for the perfections of its dominicality to be marred by impotence and defect. This would be completely unreasonable and a compounded impossibility, outside the bounds of possibility and false and precluded.
For all those with intelligence would surely understand what a cruel unkindness it would be, having nurtured man so solicitously and given him through faculties like the heart and intellect a sense of longing for eternal happiness and everlasting life in the hereafter, to despatch him to eternal non-being; and how contrary to wisdom it would be, having attached hundreds of purposes and instances of wisdom to only his brain, to waste through endless death all his faculties and his abilities with their thousands of purposes thus making them devoid of all use, purpose and result; and how utterly opposed to the splendour of that sovereignty and perfect dominicality it would be, by not carrying out His thousands of promises, to demonstrate God forbid! His impotence and ignorance. You may make an analogy with these for grace and justice. Thus, the Names of Most Merciful, All-Just, All-Wise, Munificent, and Ruler answer with the above truths the question we asked our Creator about the hereafter, and prove it as indubitably and clearly as the sun.
Moreover, we observe that prevailing over everything is a vast and comprehensive preservation which records in their seeds, on the tablets of the World of Similitudes, in their memories, which are tiny samples of the Preserved Tablet, and particularly in the faculty of memory, which is a tiny library in man s brain which is at the same time very large, and in other mirrors, physical and non-physical, in which they are reflected, the numerous forms of all living creatures and all things, and the notebooks of the duties they perform in accordance with their essential natures, and the pages of their deeds pertaining to the glorifications they perform towards the Divine Names through the tongues of their beings; it inscribes them in these, and records and preserves them. Then, when the time comes every spring, which is a flower of Divine power they display to us all those immaterial inscriptions in physical form, proclaim to the universe with millions of tongues within that supreme flower, and with the strength of millions of examples, evidences, and samples, the wondrous truth of resurrection expressed in the verse:
When the pages are spread out.(81:10)
It proves most cogently that foremost man, and all living beings and all things, were created not to topple over into nothingness, to fall into non-existence, to be annihilated, but to win immortality through progressing, and permanence through being purified, and to take up the eternal duties required by their innate capacities.
Yes, we observe every spring that the innumerable plants which die in the doomsday of the autumn, and all the trees, roots, seeds, and grains in the resurrection of the spring recite the verse When the pages are spread out. Expounding each in its own tongue one meaning of the verse, one facet of it, with examples of the duties it performed in previous years, they all testify to that vast preservation. They display in everything the four vast truths of the verse,
He is the First, and the Last, the Evident, and the Inward, (57:3)
and instruct us with the ease and certainty of the spring.
The manifestations of these four Names occur in all things from the most particular to the most universal. For example, through manifesting the Name of First, a seed, the source of a tree, is a precise programme of it and a small receptacle containing the faultless systems of the tree s creation and all the conditions of its formation, thus proving the vastness of Divine preservation.
Then, together with the tree s seeds, its fruit manifests the Name of Last; they are coffers containing the indexes of all the duties the tree has performed in accordance with its nature and the principles of its second life, thus testifying at a maximum level to Divine preservation.
The tree s physical form, which manifests the Name of Evident, is a finely proportioned, skilfully decorated garment. Like a seventy-hued robe of the houris which has been embroidered with gilded motifs, it demonstrates visibly the vast power, perfect wisdom, and beautiful mercy within Divine preservation.
As for the machinery within the tree, which manifests the Name of Inward, it is a regular, miraculous, faultless factory and workbench, a balanced cauldron of food which leaves unnourished none of its branches, fruits, or leaves, thus proving as brilliantly as the sun the perfect power, justice, and beautiful mercy and wisdom within Divine preservation.
Similarly, in respect of the annual seasons the globe is a tree. Through the manifestation of the Name of First, all the seeds and grains entrusted to Divine preservation in the season of autumn are small collections of the Divine commands concerning the formation of the tree of the face of the earth, which when it is enrobed in the garment of spring, puts forth millions of branches and twigs, and fruits and flowers. So too those seeds are lists of the principles proceeding from Divine Determining, and the tiny pages of the tree s deeds of the previous summer, and the notebooks of its tasks, which demonstrate self-evidently that they function through the infinite power, justice, wisdom, and mercy of a Glorious and Munificent Preserver.
Then the end of the annual tree of the earth is in the second autumn, its depositing in those tiny containers all the duties it has performed, all the glorifications it has recited before the Divine Names in accordance with its creation, and all the pages of its deeds that it will publish the following resurrection of spring, its handing them over to the hand of wisdom of the Glorious Preserver and reciting the Name of He is the Last before the whole universe in innumerable tongues.
The evident face of the tree is, by its opening three hundred thousand universal sorts of blossoms, which demonstrate three hundred thousand examples and signs of the resurrection of the dead; and its spreading out innumerable tables of mercifulness, providence, compassionateness, and munificence; and its offering banquets to living beings, its reciting the Name of He is the Evident with tongues to the number of its fruits, flowers, and foods, and offering praise and laudation, and showing as clearly as daylight the truth of When the pages are spread out.
The inner face of this majestic tree is a cauldron and workbench running precisely and in orderly fashion incalculable numbers of regular machines and finely balanced factories, which cook thousands of pounds of food out of one ounce and offer it to the hungry. It works with such precision and balance that it leaves no room for chance to interfere. Like some angels who glorify God with a thousand tongues, with the inner face of the earth it proclaims the Name of He is the Inward in a hundred thousand ways, and proves it.
Just as in respect of its annual life, the earth is a tree and makes the Divine preservation within those four Names a key to the door of resurrection, so in respect of its worldly life, it is again a well-ordered tree, whose fruits are sent to the market of the hereafter. It is a place of manifestation of those four Names and mirror to them so broad, and road leading to the hereafter so lengthy, our minds are incapable of comprehending and describing it; we can only say this much:
As the hands of a weekly clock which count the seconds, minutes, hours, and days resemble each other and prove each other, and one who sees the movement of the second hand is bound to assent to the movement of the others; so the days, which count the seconds of this world, which is a vast clock of the Glorious Creator of the Heavens and Earth, and the years, which count its minutes, and the centuries, which show its hours, and the ages, which make known its days, all resemble and prove each other. So too the Name of Preserver and those of He is the First, and the Last, the Evident, and the Inward inform us through innumerable signs that as certainly as the morning of this night will come, and this winter s spring, so will the everlasting spring and eternal morning come of the dark winter of this transitory world, thus answering with the above truths the question of resurrection concerning which we asked our Creator.
Also, since we see with our eyes and understand with our minds that man is the final and most comprehensive fruit of the tree of the universe.. and in respect of the Muhammadan (Peace and blessings be upon him) Reality is its original seed.. and the supreme sign of the Qur an of the universe.. and he is its Throne Verse bearing the Greatest Name.. and the most honoured guest in the palace of the universe.. the most active functionary empowered over the other inhabitants of the palace.. the official charged with overseeing the income and expenditure, and the planting and cultivation of the gardens in the quarter of the earth in the city of the universe.. and is its most noisy and responsible minister, equipped with hundreds of sciences and thousands of arts.. and an inspector and sort of vicegerent of the Monarch of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity, under His close scrutiny, in the region of the earth in the country of the universe.. and one with disposal over it whose actions, particular and universal, are all recorded.. who has undertaken the Supreme Trust, from which the heavens and earth and mountains shrank.. and before whom are two roads, on one of which he is the most wretched of living beings, and on the other, the most fortunate.. and he is a universal bondsman charged with most extensive worship.. the place of manifestation of the Greatest Name of the Monarch of the universe and a comprehensive mirror of all His Names.. a special addressee of His, with the best understanding of His Divine addresses and speech.. the most needy of the living beings of the universe.. and is a wretched living creature who has innumerable desires and goals, numberless enemies and things that harm him, despite his infinite poverty and impotence.. is the richest in regard to abilities and potentialities.. the most suffering in respect of the pleasures of life, whose enjoyment is marred by ghastly pains.. and a wondrous miracle of the power of the Eternally Besought One and marvel of Divine power who is the most needy and wanting, and worthy and deserving of immortality, and seeks and beseeches eternal happiness with endless prayers, and if all the pleasures of this world were given him, his desire for immortality would not be satisfied, and who loves to the degree of worshipping Him the One Who bestows bounties on him, and makes Him loved and is loved.. and all of whose faculties, which encompass the universe, testify that he was created to go to eternity.. and through the above twenty universal truths is bound to Almighty God s Name of Truth; and whose actions are continuously recorded by the All-Glorious Preserver s Name of Preserver, Who sees the most insignificant need of the tiniest animate being, hears it plaint and responds in action; and being related to the whole universe whose deeds are written down by the noble scribes of that Name and who more than anything else receives its attention..
As required by the above twenty truths, most certainly and without any doubt there will be a resurrection and judgement for man, and in accordance with the Name of Truth, he will receive reward for his above duties and punishment for his faults, and in accordance with the Name of Preserver, he will be questioned and called to account for his actions, all of which have been recorded, and the doors will be opened of the feasting halls of everlasting bliss in the eternal realm, and of the prison of eternal misery; man, who has been an officer with command over numerous species of beings in this world, and has intervened in them and sometimes thrown them into confusion, will not enter the soil never to be questioned concerning his actions, nor lay down in concealment not to be roused. For to hear the buzz of the fly and to answer it actively by giving it its rights of life, and not to hear the prayers for eternity made through the tongues of the above twenty truths of innumerable human rights which reverberate through the heavens and earth like thunder, and to transgress all those rights, and for a wisdom which as is testified to by the order of the fly s wing wastes not even such a wing, to waste utterly man s abilities, which are bound by those truths, and his hopes and desires, which reach out to eternity, and the many bonds and truths of the universe which nourish those abilities and desires, would be such an injustice and so impossible and such a tyrannical ugliness that all beings which testify to the Names of Truth, Preserver, All-Wise, All-Beauteous, and All-Compassionate reject it, declaring it to be utterly impossible and precluded. Thus, in reply to our question to our Creator about resurrection, the Names of Truth, Preserver, All-Wise, All-Beauteous, and All-Compassionate, say: Just as we are truth and reality, and the beings that testify to us are true, so the resurrection of the dead is true and certain.
And since... I was going to write more, but since the above is as clear as the sun, I have curtailed the discussion.
Thus, making an analogy with the matters in the above examples and sinces, through their manifestations and reflections in beings, all Almighty God s hundred, indeed a thousand, Names which look to the universe prove self-evidently the one they signify; so too do they demonstrate the resurrection of the dead and hereafter, and prove them definitively.
Also, just as through all His decrees and the scriptures He has revealed and most of His Names, by which he is described, our Sustainer gives us sacred and decisive answers to the question we asked our Creator; so He causes it to be answered through His angels, and in another fashion through their tongue:
There have been hundreds of incidents unanimously attested to since the time of Adam of your meeting both with spirit beings and with us, and there are innumerable signs and evidences of our existence and worship and that of the spirit beings. In agreement with each other, we have told your leaders when we have met with them that we travel through the halls of the hereafter and in some of its apartments, and we always say this. We have no doubt that the fine, eternal halls that we have wandered through, and the well-appointed decorated palaces and dwellings beyond them await important guests, in order to accommodate them. We give you certain news of this. They reply to our question thus.
Also, since our Creator appointed Muhammad the Arabian (Peace and blessings be upon him) as the greatest teacher, best master, and truest guide, who is neither confused nor confuses, and sent him as His last envoy, before anything, in order to progress and advance from the degree of knowledge of certainty to those of vision of certainty and absolute certainty, we should ask this master the question we asked of our Creator. For just as that Being, through his thousand miracles, which were a mark of our Creator s confirmation, and as a miracle of the Qur an, proved that the Qur an is true and God s Word; so, through its forty aspects of miraculousness, as a miracle of his, the Qur an proves that he was true and God s Messenger. The reality of resurrection which they prove one, the tongue of the Manifest World, claimed it throughout his life, confirmed by all the prophets and saints, and the other, the tongue of the World of the Unseen, claims it with thousands of its verses, confirmed by all the revealed scriptures and truths of the universe, is as certain as the sun and daylight.
Yes, a question like resurrection, which is the most strange and awesome matter and beyond the reason, could only be solved through the instruction of two such wondrous masters, and understood.
The reason the early prophets did not explain resurrection in detail like the Qur an was that at that time mankind was still at a primitive stage of nomadism. There is little detailed explanation in preliminary instruction.
And since the angels inform us that they have seen the hereafter and the dwellings of the eternal realm, evidences testifying to the existence and worship of the angels, spirits, and spirit beings, are also indirect evidence for the existence of the hereafter.
And since after Divine unity the thing Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) most constantly claimed and asserted throughout his life was the hereafter, certainly all his miracles and proofs which point to his messengership and veracity in one way testify indirectly to the existence of the hereafter and that it will come.
And since one quarter of the Qur an is about resurrection and the hereafter and it tries to prove it with thousands of its verses, and gives news of it, all the proofs and evidences of the Qur an s veracity prove indirectly the existence of the hereafter, and its being thrown open.
Now see how firm and certain is this pillar of belief!
How should death be described to children?
Children’s perception of the concept of death differs according to their age. In the pre-school stage, death is a temporary case in which they think that those who are dead will return.
• They have no idea about death before they are two years old. They begin vaguely to perceive death after two years old. However, their perception of death is like a long term separation or a journey.
• Between the ages of 6 and 9, they begin to realize that death is a non-returnable journey, however they believe that they themselves and their beloved ones will not die. They generally think that only the sick or old people are the ones who will die.
• After ten years of age, children become clearly aware of the concept of death. They know death is the end of life and that it will happen to everyone and it has no return.
How should we describe it to them?
• Before children encounter a case of death, their perception of the concept of death should be developed according to their age so that they can be made understand that death is a part of life.
• Do not try to describe death to children in an indirect way. Make sure you use realistic descriptions as much as possible.
We can describe death to children in a simple way that death is the end of life and those who are dead cannot come back any more. Tell them in an appropriate way for their age about the fact that those who are dead cannot be with us any more, and that they cannot breathe or eat or drink and in short they cannot use their body functions.
• Before 6 years of age, children can have difficulty in understanding religious concepts. They should not be told that Allah has taken the dead person to His side because He loves them much. This kind of description can cause children to think that all beloved ones will die, and to worry.
• Description of death as resembling it to sleep can result in children’s development of thought that they may die while they sleep and cause them to suffer sleep problems.
• Resembling death to a long journey or introducing illness and old age as reasons for death might cause children to fear journeys, illness and growing old.
• Children should be described the true reason when they encounter a case of death in the family or neighborhood.
• Death of a domestic animal might be the correct time to talk about the concept of death to children. In such a case, members of the family may show the children how sorry they are and the dead animal might be taken away with a ceremony. Not buying or bringing a new pet to home might help children understand the concept of death.
Things we should do for a child who has lost a relative
- Children may seem unaffected by a case of death since they cannot react to such case as adults do when they have lost a relative. The child who hears the news of death may not believe this and may think that the dead person will return. He becomes angry both with the dead person and with the situation itself; and he becomes gradually aware of the impossibility of seeing them again and he begins to feel unhappy and upset because of that. He becomes accustomed to this situation in time and he acknowledges the absence of the dead person.
- Children may feel lonely at such times and they might need the support of a person. However, at later stages of their lives, they might experience this condition of emotion again and again.
- In order for children to be well developed in further stages, they need to get over this stage healthily.
- The child who has lost a relative must absolutely be informed about it.
- The child must be given the news of death by a person who they love and trust most and who they feel the closest to. In case of death of a parent, it is best that the other parent should give the news.
- In case of death, children are usually taken away from the house, which is not an appropriate attitude. Children should be allowed to attend the funeral based on their own will. However, the child might be taken to the house of a relative from his own house in which mourning, cries, screams and complaints feel the air. The place should not be so far from the house.
- The child must not definitely be told not to cry and to feel sad. The child should be given the chance to express his/her feelings and thoughts.
- Make sure you answer the questions of a child about the case and try to answer as correctly as possible. Anger, aggressiveness, babyish behaviors can be observed in the child’s attitudes.
- This should not be forgotten that this is temporary and you should treat the child in a patient and understanding way.
- Beside sentimental support, the child also needs to be provided physical support, such as hugging the child, holding his/her hands and being around.
- The child requires to be supplied with activities such as playing games, drawing and painting and sports in order to have the child externalize their sadness.
Is committing suicide present in the destiny of a person?
Do Families exist in Paradise?
It is possible for spouses who have belief in this world life to be together in Paradise because one of the benefactions of Paradise is the family life. Spouses who are married here will marry each other there too.
Since families who have belief will be together in Paradise, there is also an emphasis in the verses of the Qur’an that spouses that deserve to enter Paradise will be together there.
There is no doubt that sex has an important place in human life. In the world, opposite sexes find spiritual satisfaction by marrying. It is very natural that the same satisfaction will continue in Paradise life. In the verses and hadiths about the descriptions of Paradise, there is an emphasis that the life of Paradise will be built in parallel with humanly senses of the world life and everybody will definitely have spouses; and the happiness of family life will continue there.
The life of Paradise will be completely different from the life of the world. There are two basic characteristics of Paradise life: Reaching anything that one wishes and eternity. This issue is expressed as follows in the Holy Qur’an:
There will be there all that the souls could desire all that the eyes could delight in: and ye shall abide therein (for aye). (Az-Zukhruf, 43/71)
Many verses and hadiths show that the life of Paradise is peculiar to itself and it is impossible to comprehend it with the criteria of the world life.
What is the Realm of Barzakh? Where is it?
The Realm of Barzakh is the name of the realm where the spirits will stay until the Day of Judgment or the name of the realm of the grave. (as-Sayyid ash-Sharif al-Jurjani, at-Tarifat, Cairo 1938, p. 38; Raghib al-Isfahani, al-Mufradat p. 56).
In the Quran, the word barzakh is used in the sense of the curtain (veil) that separates the world and the realm of the grave (al-Mu'minun, 23/100). We understand from this verse that the spirits do not die; after the death of the body, they live in a realm called barzakh in the Islamic terminology.
Shah Waliyyullah Dahlawi answers the question, “How is life there?” as follows: "In this realm, people (that is, their spirits) have numerous layers. However, in general, there are four layers. The first one is the people who are awake; they are the people to be rewarded or punished due to their good or bad deeds. The second group is the people who sleep and dream; they are rewarded or punished in their dream. The third group is the people whose animal and angel aspects are weak. There are also the people of virtue with good spirits (probably the fourth group); they live together with angels and lead a life like angels.“ (Hujjatullahi'l-Baligha, Cairo 1355, I, p. 34-36)
As it is known, the spirits are the order of Allah. Their true nature is not known; when people die, their spirits go to another realm temporarily; they live comfortably or they are punished there depending on their deeds. That realm is called “the Realm of Barzakh”; it is a realm different from the world and the hereafter. The realm of sleep is between life and death; similarly, the realm of barzakh is between the world and the hereafter. Only Allah knows its true nature. (Ömer Nasuhî Bilmen, Büyük İslâm İlmihali p. 28),
It is stated that those in Paradise will glorify Allah in the morning and in the evening. Is there worshiping (ibadat) in Paradise?
Ubudiyyat is to be pleased with what Allah does; and ibadat is to do what Allah is pleased with. Ibadat is exhibited in certain forms such as daily prayers, fasts and the like; and ubudiyyat explains a state in which one should always be. From this perspective, we can say that for human there will not be worshiping (ibadat) in Paradise but the meaning of ubudiyyat will continue.
As there is no sun in Paradise (The Qur'an, Al-Insan, 76:13), day and night do not take place there, either. However, as is asked in the question, in a hadith the expression “in the morning and in the evening” is used.
Similarly, in a hadith narrated by Bukhari, it is stated: “The hearts of the dwellers of Paradise beat as one heart; all of them exalt Allah in the morning and in the evening.” (Bukhari, Bad'u'l-Khalk, 8)
The two questions brought about by that hadith can be answered thus:
The glorification mentioned in the hadith is not an obligatory duty that must be carried out in Paradise. The dwellers of Paradise will perform that with great pleasure and enjoyment and with a conscientious delight that they feel inside, toward their Lord Whom they know much closely and whose boundless blessings and bounties they have received. In addition, in a narration by Muslim, it is said: “Just like inspiration of the act of breathing, the dwellers of Paradise will be inspired with glorification and exaltation.” (Muslim, Jannat, 18-19) Just like it is pleasurable to breath, glorifying Allah in Paradise is as much pleasurable, too. (Ibn Hajar, explanation of the relevant hadith)
The expression 'in the morning and in the evening' is intended to indicate an amount of time with the measure humans are familiar with. (See Ibn Hajar, the work mentioned). It does not mean that there will be darkness of evening. It is to indicate continuity.
How will our deeds be weighed on Mizan?
Human beings can rise to the highest rank and fall to the lowest level amongst all beings because of their inclination to both good and evil. Of course, it is necessary to keep records of the deeds of human beings who are created with such nature. Allah’s memory which saves everything requires the recoding of all deeds and acts. It is an obligation to weigh those recorded deeds and to give rewards or punishments to owners of those deeds.
The verse pointing out to this reality is as follows:
“The scale that day will be true (to a nicety): those whose scale (of good) will be heavy, will prosper. Those, whose scale will be light, will find their souls in perdition, for that they wrongfully treated Our signs.” (1)
The verse which is translated as “God is never unjust in the least degree” (2) points out that Allah’s justice will emerge with its all greatness during the weighing of deeds and puts this reality into words.
In this sense, when Allah weighs people’s deeds, declaring the decision whether the deeds are good or bad, He will do it according to the weight of them. In “Flashes”, the statement that Allah will weigh people’s deeds with His great Mizan in the resurrection day and decide whether goodness is victorious over badness or vice versa depends on the verse above (3).
It is clearly indicated in our all books about Faith that the issue of weighing deed on the Day of Judgment is real. Besides, it is impossible for us to perceive the essence of this scale with our earthly measures. However, it is sure that Allah will accomplish the weighing of all people’s deeds in a short time and reveal their goodness and badness.
Muhammad Ali as-Sabuni says the following regarding the issue: “It is not an illogical issue to weigh deeds, good deeds and sins concretely. Contemporary science is able to measure temperature, winds and rains; so how could Allah, who has the infinite might, be unable to measure people’s deeds?” (4)
In spite of this, it is impossible for us to say a certain thing about how deeds will be weighed. This is because the circumstances in the Hereafter and Heaven cannot be expressed with our earthly measures. In fact, it is written in al-Bidayah that “Mizan (scale) is a device used for weighing the amount of deeds and it cannot be perceived by human logic. It is impossible to liken it to the scales on earth. In this issue, it is safer to submit to narrations (i.e. the Quran and axioms in hadiths)”. (5)
Then, it is certain that Allah will weigh the deeds. He will weigh people’s good deeds and sins with a scale details of which we do not know and display His great justice. If the good deeds are more than the sins, that person will be amongst the ones who succeed. If vice versa, he/she will deserve punishment. However, Allah can forgive with His mercy anyway. If a person has both belief and sins, he/she will go through punishment first and then go into Heaven, with Allah’s infinite mercy.
However, we understand from some of our Prophet (pbuh)’s hadiths that giving explanations of our deeds will not be easy. It is narrated that he often said “oh Allah, ease my questioning” in his prayers.
We understand from honorable hadiths that one will be in need of Allah’s mercy and forgiveness more than ever on that day and one will be in a difficult situation without Allah’s infinite mercy during questioning (6).
To summarize, all deeds in books of deeds will be weighed, even with their slightest details and everyone’s balance-sheet of profits and deficits will be figured out and their account will be closed. If a person’s good deeds are more than his/her evil deeds, if his/her profits are more than his/her deficits, he/she will succeed. If vice versa, he/she will lose.
A true believer’s duty is to commit deeds in a way that his/her good deeds will be more than evil deeds and profits will be more than deficits; and to get well-prepared for the Day of Judgment. A true believer must beg Allah saying “Oh, Allah, ease my questioning”.
1. al-Araf, 8.
2. an-Nisa, 40.
3. The Flashes, 81.
4. Safvwatu’t-tafasir, 1:437.
5. al-Bidayah fiusuli’d-din, 92
6. Musnad, 6:48
Is it necessary to suffer in order to enter Paradise? Are there not any ways to enter Paradise without suffering?
The purpose of man’s coming to this world is being tested. The word of testing in Arabic language is “imtihan” and it is derived from the root “mihnah” which has the meaning of boredom, suffering and misery. Thus, the existence of suffering is one the most important quality of this test.
Two opposite elements were created in man so that he will be tested in a just environment. One of them is the conscience and lofty senses that know why to thank Him and enable man to realize his thankfulness for the benefactions and remembering the giver of those benefactions with those blessings. Man must come face to face with these blessings to be tested in this sense.
The second element is the nafs (evil commanding soul) which is also the source of mean feelings and which boils over with rage and rebels when faced with troubles. It is a necessity for man to face troubles in order to be tested in this sense.
Kindnesses, beauties and benefactions are questions of the test whose answers are thanks; similarly, troubles, miseries and calamities are also questions of the test whose answers are patience. In order to answer the questions for benefactions correctly, it is necessary to believe in Allah (SWT) from heartily and with knowledge and reason. In order to answer the questions caused by troubles, it is necessary to believe in the hereafter with the body and soul.
The necessity of the test is emphasized in the verses below:
Or do ye think that ye shall enter the Garden (of Bliss) without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They encountered suffering and adversity and were so shaken in spirit that even the Messenger and those of faith who were with him cried: "When (will come) the help of Allah?" Ah! verily the help of Allah is (always) near! (al-Baqara, 2/214)
Do men think that they will be left alone on saying "We believe" and that they will not be tested? We did test those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are true from those who are false. (Al-Ankaboot, 29/2-3).
If anything that we desire will come true in Paradise, will we not get bored after a while?
Interpreting the following verse of the Quran : “But give glad tidings to those who believe and work righteousness, that their portion is Gardens, beneath which rivers flow. Every time they are fed with fruits therefrom they say: "Why this is what we were fed with before" for they are given things in similitude”.1 , the well-known scholar Said Nursi explains the word “rizq” in four possible ways:
1- What is meant by“rizq” is “good deeds”. The good deeds in the world, namely, the good things done for Allah will be offered to their owners in the form of eternal sustenance in Paradise. After this offer, the people of Paradise will say : ”these things that we eat now are the results of the good deeds that we did in the world”. Namely, the good actions in the world have taken the form of the blessings in Paradise. Thus, there is such a close connection between the blessings of Paradise and the good deeds in this world.
2- What is meant by“rizq” is the food of this world. The food we have here is like the ones in the other world but only the outer appearance is the same; the tastes are totally much better and different. That is why they are astonished.
3- These products are like the ones we have just eaten but their meanings and flavors are different. That is, the similitude of their appearance gives the taste of familiarity while the difference of their flavors gives the pleasure of renewal. That is the cause of their delight.
4- The fruits that we are eating now are the ones on these branches of trees. Namely, when a fruit is plucked, its place is filled instantly by another one. This is the reason why there is no shortage of fruit in Paradise. 2
1- Surah al Baqarah 2/25
2- (İşârât’ül-İ’câz) Signs of Miraculousness p. 203 204
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Would eternal life not be boring, even in Heaven?
How should a believer´s view of death?
Death is not absence. It is a door to a more beautiful world. A seed under the earth seems as if it has died, decayed and disappeared, yet indeed, it starts a more beautiful life. It is transformed from the life of a seed into life of a tree.
Similarly, when someone is dead, it seems as if he has gone under the earth and decayed, yet indeed, he reaches a better life in the world of barzakh and grave.
Body and soul are like light bulb and electricity. When the light bulb is broken, electricity does not disappear; it continues to exist. Even though we do not see it, it still exists. Similarly, when one dies, the soul leaves the body yet it continues to exist. Allah the Glorious clothes it with an appropriate and more beautiful clothing and it continues its life in the world of grave.
For this reason, the Prophet said: “Grave is either a garden from the gardens of Heaven or a pit from the pits of Hell.” and informed us about the existence of life in grave and how it will be.
If a faithful person dies of an incurable disease, s/he is considered a martyr. Those martyrs are called spiritual martyrs. And martyrs wander freely in the world of grave. They are unaware that they are dead. They think they are still alive. They only know that they are living a better life. The Prophet said: “Martyrs do not feel the agony of death.”
It is stated in the Quran that martyrs are not dead. That is to say that they are unaware that they have died. For instance, think of two men. They are in a very beautiful garden together in a dream. One of them knows that it is a dream. Yet the other one is unaware that it is a dream. Which one enjoys it the most? Of course, the one who does not know that it is a dream. The one who knows it is a dream thinks that if he wakes up, all the joy will be lost. However, the other one feels the joy truly and fully.
Similarly, the ordinary dead do not feel the joy fully as they are aware that they are dead. Nevertheless, martyrs feel it fully as they are unaware that they are dead.
Souls of those who die as believers and who are not subject to punishment in grave wander freely. For this reason, they can travel to many places. They can be in many places at the same time. It is possible for them to wander around and amongst us. What is more, Hazrat Hamza, the lord of the martyrs, helped a lot of people and still there are people whom he helps.
Human beings, who come into the wombs of their mothers from the world of souls, are born into the world then. They meet here. Similarly, people in world are born into the other world through death and they wander there. Just as we bid farewell to people who go to the other world from this world, so too are there ones in the other world, who welcome the ones who leave this world for the other world. Insha’allah, our beloved ones, especially the Prophet, will welcome us there as long as we are true slaves to Allah here.
Just as we welcome a newborn child here, so too will our friends welcome us, insha’allah, when we go to the other world on condition that we believe in Allah and obey Him and His apostles and die as a believer.
Do all your wishes become true in the paradise? How it will be possible?
In Paradise, anything wished will be present. Yet we do not know how this will be. What matters is to lead a life which will take you there. It is impossible to explain to a child in the mother’s womb that a seed under the soil becomes a tree; similarly, it is impossible to describe Paradise to a person in the womb and on the ground of the earth.
We do not know any narration about the death in the month of Ramadan, but there are narations about the death in friday. In a hadith it is said; "Allah will save the Muslim who dies in friday from the torment and endless questions of the grave." (Tirmizî, Cenâiz: 73; Müsned, 2: 176.)
Allah will subject the Muslims who die in friday and in holy nights to a different kinds of query. For example, in hadiths it is stated that Allah will forgive the believers whose number is equal to the numbers of the sheeps of the "Benikelb Tribe" in the night of Power (laylatul Kadr). Every believers benefits from such a forgivness, but one who is unbeliever and bears enmity.
How will conversations be in Paradise, will you please explain it by giving references from sources?
People who enter Paradise will know each other. That is, anyone will know who is who. However, a person can be present in one thousand places at once. Besides, there is a difference between a plastic orange and a real one; the benefactions in this world are just like plastic when compared to the ones in Paradise. In order to understand the real one, a person should see and realize it.
Of course, there will be the benefaction of conversation in paradise, where there will be all kinds of benefactions. However, conversations in Paradise will be much different from the conversations of the world life. It is very difficult to give the details of the conversations of Paradise because the sources do not give many details about these subjects. However, we will examine some views of Paradise in items:
Verily the Companions of the Garden shall that Day have joy in all that they do; They and their associates will be in pleasant shade, reclining on thrones (of dignity) (Surah Ya Seen, 36/55-56).
And We shall remove from their hearts any lurking sense of injury: (they will be) brothers (joyfully) facing each other on thrones (of dignity). (Al-Hijr, 15/47)
The conversation between the folk of Paradise and the folk of Hell:
Except the Companions of the Right Hand. (They will be) in Gardens (of Delight); they will question each other And (ask) of the Sinners: "What led you into Hell-Fire?" They will say: "We were not of those who prayed (Al-Muddathir, 74/39-43)
The Companions of the Garden will call out to the Companions of the Fire: "We have indeed found the promises of our Lord to us true: have you also found your Lord's promises true?" They shall say "yes" (Surah Al-Araf, 7/44)
The companions of the fire will call the companions of the garden; "pour down to us water or anything that Allah doth provide for your sustenance." They will say: "Both these things hath Allah forbidden to those who rejected Him.” (Al-Araf, 7/50).
Greeting the folk of Paradise:
And those who feared their Lord will be led to the Garden in crowds: until behold, they arrive there; its gates will be opened: and its Keepers will say: "Peace be upon you! Well have ye done! Enter ye here, to dwell therein. They will say: "Praise be to Allah, Who has truly fulfilled His promise to us, and has given us (this) land in heritage: we can dwell in the Garden as we will: how excellent a reward for those who work (righteousness)!" (Az-Zumar, 39/73-74).
Their Last Words:
Praise be to Allah, Who hath guided us to this (felicity): never could we have found guidance, had it not been for the guidance of Allah… (al-Araf, 7/43)
The Prayers of the folk of Paradise;
(This will be) their cry therein: "Glory to Thee O Allah!" and "Peace" will be their greeting therein! And the close of their cry will be: "Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds!" (Surah Yunus, 10/10).
As for the conversation, which is one of the best benefactions of Paradise:
Since paradise is a place where all kinds of pleasures are present, the nicest conversations will be there. The following verses show it very clearly:
Verily the Companions of the Garden shall that Day have joy in all that they do; They and their associates will be in pleasant shade, reclining on thrones (of dignity)” (Ya Seen 55-56)
To them will be passed round, dishes and goblets of gold: there will be there all that the souls could desire all that the eyes could delight in: and ye shall abide therein (for aye). Such will be the Garden of which ye are made heirs for your (good) deeds (in life). Ye shall have therein abundance of fruit, from which ye shall have satisfaction.” (Az-Zukhruf, 71-73)
But Allah will deliver them from the evil of that Day, and will shed over them a Light of Beauty and a (blissful) Joy. And because they were patient and constant, He will reward them with a Garden and (garments of) silk. Reclining in the (Garden) on raised thrones, they will see there neither the sun's (excessive heat) nor (the moon's) excessive cold. And the shades of the (Garden) will come low over them, and the bunches (of fruit) there will hang low in humility. And amongst them will be passed round vessels of silver and goblets of crystal― Crystal-clear, made of silver: they will determine the measure thereof (according to their wishes). And they will be given to drink there of a Cup (of Wine) mixed with Zanjabil― A fountain there, called Salsabil. And round about them will (serve) youths of perpetual (freshness): if thou seest them, thou wouldst think them scattered Pearls. And when thou lookest, it is there thou wilt see a Bliss and a Realm Magnificent. Upon them will be Green Garments of fine silk and heavy brocade, and they will be adorned with Bracelets of silver; and their Lord will give to them to drink of a Wine Pure and Holy. "Verily this is a Reward for you, and your Endeavour is accepted and recognised." (Al-Insan, 76/11-22)
Furthermore, their Lord who prepared such beauties such as Paradise and a life which is full of blessings beyond imagination will greet them and say “salam”. Our creator Allah (SWT), will greet the folk of Paradise who are in conversation.
We will hear our Lord’s greeting and salutation personally. There, we will hear and listen our Lord’s greeting from Himself. This is, in fact, an irreplaceable benefaction. Being addressed by Allah’s greeting! What prosperity!
the next life
It is understood from the hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that the spirits of the believers come together with each other in the realm of the grave. Also, the deceased people get news from the ones who are alive and they see the ones who meet their graves. They know who pray for them. Because the believing spirits are free and blessings are bestowed upon them, they can travel freely wherever they want. However, the spirits of the non-believer and the believers whose sins are more are busy with their torments only.
When we recite Quran for a deceased person it is possible that his spirit comes next to you, but this is not current for all deceased ones.
The spirits of the realm of the grave are divided into two groups. The first is the ones upon whom are bestowed blessings; and the second ones are the ones suffer torment. According to the explanation of Ibnuu’l Kayyim (an Islamic scholar) the ones who suffer torment do not be able to meet each other. It seems as if they are prisoners. But the ones who are free and not arrested, that is the ones upon whom are bestowed blessings, are able to come together, meet and visit each other. They mentioned the events of the world life, which happened and are going to happen, wit each other. Each spirit is with the ones who have the same degree in their good and bad deeds. The spirit of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is at the highest level (Refiku’l-A’la).
In the surah An-Nisa (Woman) it is said; “All who obey Allah and the messenger are in the company of those on whom is the Grace of Allah,- of the prophets (who teach), the Sincere (lovers of Truth), the martyrs, and the Righteous (who do good): Ah! How beautiful is there fellowship!” (1) Such togetherness is during the life of this world, the life of grave and the life of afterlife. Ones are with their loved ones in these three realm. (2)
1- Nisa, 4/69.
2- Îbnu'l-Kayyim, s. 17; Suyûti, Büşra'1-Keîb, v. 147 b; Hasan el-'Idvî, s. 74; Rodosîzâde, Ahval-i Alem-i Berzah, handprint
What is the most distinctive difference between the world and the hereafter?
The Hereafter means: “the end, happening in the end”, and “the eternal realm after life”. There are two distinct ways in front of us on the way of our life, from the womb to childhood and puberty: Believing or Unbelieving. The continuation of this journey is death, the grave life, the last judgment and after that, we will find ourselves in the intersection of two eternities. One of them is the eternal Paradise and the other is the eternal Hell…
How can this weak man, who has been dragged along by the river of time, claim that he will not go to another realm after this world life? People who say that they do not believe in the hereafter are the ones that are unable to understand resurrection after death. It is the event of resurrection that they actually do not believe in. In fact, not believing in the hereafter is a kind of silliness like resisting the flow of time and not believing in tomorrow. All people leave this world with the event of death by stripping off his/her body. After dying, he finds himself in a new realm.
It is said that mawt (death) is the brother of nawm (sleep). These Arabic words resemble one another. Sleeping which is performed by everyone at night is called the little brother of death and it can be said that man is observes the signs of resurrection every day by awaking from sleep every morning.
For sure, however reasonable and necessary and certain the morning of this night is, the Morning of the Resurrection and the spring following the Intermediate Realm are that certain (Sözler: Words)
The rays of that life always beckon us. However, what matters is to be able to accept that place before going there and to be able to watch the sun in the first moments it rises. Does it have a value to accept the existence of the sun after it rises?
One light of the sun is present in our world: the desire to live eternally.
Badiuzzaman Said Nursi states concisely that this desire is an independent proof for the existence of the hereafter as follows: “If He did not want to give, He would not have given us the desire to want.”
Yes, would our Creator have given us two eyes in the womb if He had not wanted us to watch this realm?
Would He have given us ears if he had not wanted us to hear these nice sounds? A great proof for the existence of the hereafter is the desire of “living eternally” placed in the human spirit. Some people ignore the first part of the verse, “But seek, with the (wealth) which Allah has bestowed on thee, the Home of the Hereafter, nor forget thy portion in this world” (al-Qasas, 77) and spend all of their energy for the world life.
Lexically, “world” means low, base, mean. A person who wants what is low and who pursues mean things will not desire the hereafter. High ideals, lofty attributes, high ethics gradually disappear from his spirit. The opposite is also possible. When a person develops in belief, he desires to meet his Lord more. As he sends more capital for the hereafter, he desires to go there more. A student who thinks about his future and career is not interested in the yard, canteen and desks of the school so much; similarly, the love of the world in his heart decreases gradually.
No sane mind can think that life starts in this world and ends here. No mind can accept that the billions of cells in the body, the millions of kinds of living things around and the endless stars that decorate the sky wait for only this short life of the world: “Do they not reflect in their own minds? Not but for just ends and for a term appointed, did Allah create the heavens and the earth, and all between them: yet are there truly many among men who deny the meeting with their Lord (at the Resurrection)” (ar-Rum, 8)
After Miraj (the Ascension), the Prophet (pbuh) described the realm of the hereafter to his Companions as follows: “No eyes have seen it; no ears have heard about it; no minds or hearts have imagined it.”
Paradise cannot be described in a better way because it is the description of a person who saw it. Can we not understand the prayer of Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, “Show us the originals and the sources of the samples and shadows that you showed us” as follows?: The world is a realm of copies and shadows.
Besides, the mind also says, “It has to be like that.” When man walks a few kilometers, he needs to rest for a few hours and talks to himself, “If I go to Paradise, I must not go there with these feet. I need feet that will not get tired in that eternal realm.
No matter how sweet a talk is, the mind starts to get tired and concentration is lost if it lasts a few hours. It means we must not go to Paradise with this mind. We need a mind that will not get tired or frustrated.
Buses, taxis and planes are vehicles that make us compete with time and help us reach our destinations. Since this world is like a shadow compared to the hereafter, the speed there must be something that cannot be compared to the speed in the world. Matter will be beyond time there. The ship will swallow the sea. There will be no difference between far and near. Man will be in any place he wants instantly. Man will be able to be in more than one place.
The hereafter is the realm of originals. There, we will observe the truths of belief that we believe in without seeing in this world. Now we can meet prophets only in imagination; it is no more than a shadow. There, we will be able to see all of those blessed people. The chain of honor that we will reach will be at its utmost point when we see Allah.
Those who are not deceived by this realm of copies, in which tiredness comes after walking, smiles are covered by hypocrisy, eating ends when one is full, sorrow and happiness follow each other like the day and night, will reach the originals. They will find the real happiness there. We constantly mentioned Paradise acting upon the hadith, “Thinking of good things about Allah is worship.” and trusting in the grace of Allah. The originals of pain, anguish, repentance, sorrow and regret are also there. The ones here are like shadows and pictures; they are so weak and insufficient. A person who will suffer such torture eternally there must have a body that is different from the one in the world. As a matter of fact, it will be so. The body of a rebellious person will burn away in the fire; then it will appear again; thus, the torture will continue without a break.
The term “the realm of power” is used for the hereafter. Everything will happen instantly, beyond time there. However, the timeless acts of the power will take place based on reasons. Paradise and Hell will occur after Mizan (the Scale). Then, all of the activities in this realm will be based on certain criteria. In the Scale, the tiniest good deeds and bad deeds will be weighed; similarly, the torture in Hell will be distributed based on a very fine justice. Everybody will be rewarded and punished based on their good deeds and sins.
What happens slowly can happen fast, too. Something that occurs in phases can occur all at once, too. The one that imposes a law can annul or change it. Our imagination can reach the end of the world instantly but our feet move step by step. Who can prevent the law of imagination if it is applied for our feet in the hereafter? As a matter of fact, it will be like that. Besides, we walk fast or slowly based on the power of Allah. We have no role or part in it.
What is the wisdom of death at young age? If he/she lived, would it not be better?
Some points in your question give its answer at the same time.
- Such a death at young age shows us that since it is not definite when, where and how are we going to die, we should prepare ourselves for it as if it will happen at any moment.
- When a person dies, we should think that it is the best time for him/her to die. Since we do not know the future, we cannot know whether the future is better for him/her or not. Since there is even a possibility of a worse or unfortunate state for him/her, it is necessary to consider it with patience and gratitude.
- Let us imagine a garden that contains all kinds of fruits. While some fruits ripen early, others ripen very late. It is necessary to pick the timely ripened fruits at once. It is not appropriate to think of keeping the ripe fruits with the unripe ones until they ripen. Besides, it cannot be said that these ones have been picked earlier; then, let them wait a bit more. Similarly, if a person’s time of going to the hereafter has come, it is not delayed. It cannot be said that he/she has gone earlier; he/she should stay and mature. There will not be a problem as long as he/she has lived properly after puberty.
Can you give the hadiths regarding the mercy and pardoning of Allah for the sinful slaves on the Day of Judgment?
Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) said, "Each prophet had a prayer (dua). I want to reserve it for the intercession for my ummah on the Day of Judgment." (Bukhari, Daawat, I; Tawhid, 31; Muslim, Published by M. Fuad Abdulbaqi, Iman, 86).
Every prophet will intercede for his ummah. (Bukhari, Tafsir Surah 18). When people gather in the Gathering Place for reckoning, prophets will pray as follows: "O Allah! Give salvation! O Allah! Give salvation!" (Bukhari, Riqaq, 52; Muslim, Iman, 81). The intercession of prophets and our Prophet will take place for the believers by the permission of Allah as it is stated in the following verse: "Allah forgiveth not (the sin of) joining other gods with Him: but He forgiveth whom He pleaseth other sins than this…" (an-Nisa, 4/116). As a matter of fact, the Prophet (pbuh) stated that the believers including those who committed majors sins would attain his intercession. (Bukhari, Riqaq, 51; Abu Dawud, as-Sunna, 20; Tirmidhi, II, 66).
The first prophet to intercede and the first prophet whose intercession would be accepted is Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh). (Muslim, Fadail, 2). This first intercession of Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) is the general and great intercession regarding the start of the reckoning of the people in the Gathering Place. The main outlines of this great intercession (shafa’ah al-uzma) mentioned in many hadith books is as follows: Allah will gather all people in a flat and large area for judgment and reckoning. At some point, the trouble and hardship of the people will be unbearable. Meanwhile, some people will say to others, "Do you not see the hardship inflicted on you? Go to someone that will intercede for you in the presence of your Lord." They will go to Adam (pbuh), Noah (pbuh), Ibrahim (pbuh), Moses (pbuh) and Jesus (pbuh). Each prophet will send them to another. In the end, Jesus will send them to Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh). Then, Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) will prostrate under the Arsh (Throne). Allah will inspire him the best praises to be said during the prostration. When he praises Allah, he receives the answer, "Raise your hand! Intercession is given to you. Your intercession is accepted." Reckoning starts. Then, some believers are removed from Hell through the intercession of Hazrat Prophet. The Messenger of Allah prostrates several more times, and praises and prays Allah. Eventually, a great majority of believers are removed from Hell by the permission and decision of Allah and the intercession of the Prophet. The station of intercession that Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) has is called “Maqam al-Mahmud” (the Station of Praise). (al-Isra', 17/79; Bukhari, Tawhid, 24; Muslim, Iman, 84).
There will also be some believers who will enter Paradise through the permission of Hazrat Prophet without being reckoned or questioned. (Bukhari, Tafsir Surah 18; Muslim, Iman, 84).
The first prophet to intercede for the increase of the ranks in Paradise is Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh). Therefore, Hazrat Prophet stated the following in a hadith: "I will be the first human being to intercede in Paradise." (Muslim, Iman, 85).
Is the belief of the fortieth or fiftieth night of a dead man, just a superstition?
We do not know any narrations regarding the fortieth or fifty-second night of the dead person mentioned in the authentic religious sources. It is not rightful to organize special ceremonies on those occasions. It is always good to pray, give alms and recite the Quran for the dead person. There can be no limitations for those good acts.
It is true that some deeds help the dead and some behaviors’ merit reach them. For example, most of the scholars stated that alms given for the dead, the Quran recited on behalf of him/her, and prayers said for him/her reach the dead. (See Nawawi, Fatawa 92; Ibn Abidin,al-Uqad l1/297.)
However, the first condition for it is to have died as a believer. It is clearly stated in the Quran that such advantages are not considerable for the unbelievers, and no imploring for forgiveness will be accepted for them (at-Tawbah 9, 80)
Instead of gathering on those nights to do the aforementioned things, it is recommendable to recite the Quran, to do a charity and to give alms for the dead person at any time.
Will Houris be uniform or in different forms in Paradise?
(A nymph in the form of a beautiful virgin supposed to dwell in Paradise for the enjoyment of the faithful)
What you state is the general characteristics of Houris. However, every houri has their own special qualities. Just as paradise has ranks, every level has its own houris peculiar to its own. In a hadith, the following is stated: “Even if they wear seventy garments, their bone marrows are still visible” (Bukhari, Bad’u’l-khalq,8; Muslim, Paradise, 14; Tirmidhi, Qiyamah, 60)
Badiüzzaman expounds this fact as follows:
“The Hadith points out that however many senses, feeling, powers, and faculties man has which are enamoured of beauty, worship pleasure, are captivated by ornament, and yearn for loveliness, the Houris comprise every sort of adornment and exquisite loveliness, physical and spiritual and immaterial, which will please and satisfy all of them, and gratify and make happy each of them..”
“That is to say, since the Houris are of seventy of the varieties of the adornment of Paradise, and not of one sort, as they are clothed in garments which do not conceal one another, they display from their beings and selves and bodies, perhaps more than seventy of the different sorts of its beauty and loveliness. They demonstrate the truth indicated by the verse: “There is everything that their souls desire and eyes enjoy” (Words p.813)
In the Hereafter, will Allah call us to account for our sins for which we consistently beg Allah for forgiveness?
One will be called to account if s/he does not repent or does not fulfill the requirements of the repentance. If the repentance is accepted, there will be no accounting again.
It is doubtless that one must repent as soon as he has committed a sin, because it is obvious that rebelling against Allah by disobeying His orders and prohibitions, no matter to what extent, will erode one’s faith. Therefore, if one remembers Allah right away by repenting, he will eventually happen to turn to his faith and make effort to strengthen his faith. As a matter of fact; Allah states: “And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring God to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins, - and who can forgive sins except God?- and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done.” (Aal-i Imran, 3:135) and “God accepts the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and repent soon afterwards; to them will God turn in mercy: For God is full of knowledge and wisdom.” (an-Nisa, 4:17).
Apparently, we should remember our Lord, turn to Him, seek refuge in Him so that he will forgive our sins, and we should be ashamed of evil deeds we have done and fear Him as soon as we have done something which will lead to increase of evil or as soon as we have committed sins. Moreover, we must not insist on doing the same things we have done. If we do so, our sins will be forgiven and we will find ease and peace in our souls; and we will happen to refrain from doing any other evil deeds with the help of this attitude. Our consciousness and strong faith will prevent us from disobeying and committing sins again and thus, we will not need to repent again. However, we will be a thankful servant of Allah to reach a higher position in the eyes of Allah and seek refuge in Him. Benefits and wisdom in the obligation of repentance right after the commitment of sins are obvious as it is stated below:
First of all, a human being, who has forgotten Allah due to the fact that he has indulged in sins, happens to remember Allah by repenting and strengthens his belief in Allah by deeming it an obligatory duty to obey His orders and refrain from what He has forbidden. Gaining this consciousness, he starts to fulfill the requirements of this religion. Secondly, this human being looks at his sins and thinking, “I am a bad servant of Allah”, he refrains from becoming desperate and committing sins from then on. With the new hope he has found and the new trust he has gained, he approaches more to his Lord and makes great efforts to fulfill His orders and to refrain from what He has forbidden. This is because human beings pursue their lives with the help of their hopes and dreams about future. Since a person, who has lost his/her hopes and dreams, has difficulties in pursuing his life because of problems and difficulties he encounters, he either causes harm to other people or commits suicide. It is known by everybody that prominent factors that make people hold on to life are hope and faith. A person who repents finds the hope and faith he has lost and holds on to life again. He either endures or manages to be happy when he encounters bitter ways of the world and he tries to be helpful to other people in all matters. As a matter of fact, Allah gives the good news as follows: “For such the reward is forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath, an eternal dwelling: How excellent a recompense for those who work (and strive)!” (Aal-i Imran, 3:136).
It is apparent that our Lord gives us the good news that He will accept the repentances and will reward the ones who repent, and if they repent, they will be sure and safe in their future and will gain their hopes they have lost. What great happiness it is for us, which makes us hold on to life, to earn such a reward from Allah.
In this sense, repentance plays an important role in human life. It is repentance which makes one hold on to life, which gives one hope and desire for life, which directs one to Allah and strengthens one’s belief and faith. It is possible only through repentance for one to live happily and safely together with people who fear Allah and love His Messenger and who live as the religion requires, as an honest person who respects everyone’s rights, who contents himself with what he has got, who compensates for people to whom he has been unfair and earns their friendship.
Our Lord says, about the ones whose repentances are not accepted: “Of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil, until Death faces one of them, and he says, "Now have I repented indeed;" nor of those who die rejecting Faith: for them have We prepared a punishment most grievous.” (an-Nisa, 4:18)
As it can be comprehended from the verse above, there is no difference between someone who increases his sins by continuing to commit evil and who says, “Now I have repented” when he faces death, and someone who is a denier of truth (i.e. infidel) and dies before repenting and believing. Their repentances are not accepted by Allah. Both of them will face Allah’s violent wrath; on the other hand, the degree of the pain they will suffer may differ from one another.
The reason why an infidel and a person who delays his repentance until he faces death are deemed equal is, in our opinion, as follows: Facing death is the first stage of afterlife. In this stage, that person will soon pass away to afterlife and he will have no opportunity and strength to do evil or good. There are many verses which tell about it. For instance, the verse “when death comes to one of them, he says: ‘O my Lord! Send me back (to life), in order that I may work righteousness in the things I neglected.’ By no means! It is but a word he says.” (al-Mu’minun, 23:99-100) and the verses al-Mu’min 40:105, Yunus 10:90-91 and Munafiqun 63:10 have that meaning. There are also some hadiths on the issue. For instance, Abu Ayyub narrates from the Prophet: “Allah accepts repentance as long as he does not start choking (at the time of death)”.
Allah the Supreme declares that He will not accept the repentance in that situation but that He will accept repentance apart from that situation and state. Therefore, it is not right to delay repentance at all. It will be advantageous for people to repent right after having done an evil as stated in this verse: “God accepts the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and repent soon afterwards; to them will God turn in mercy: For God is full of knowledge and wisdom.” (an-Nisa, 4:17). We do not know that when and where death will come to us. For this reason, it is advantageous for people to hurry to repent.
What is the situation of non-Muslim inventors in the Hereafter? Will they enter Heaven because they were useful to humanity?
Heaven is a destination in the Hereafter. Believing in its existence means to believe in the Hereafter. That is to say, there is no Heaven without belief. On what grounds can one enter or want to enter a place in which he does not believe and does not accept its existence? This is the situation of scientists who do not have belief. It is necessary to believe in Heaven and its Creator firstly in order to be able to enter Heaven.
The Prophet points out to this fact in one of his hadiths by saying “You cannot enter Heaven unless you believe.” (1) In another hadith, he says, “Whoever has got an atom’s weight of belief in his heart will exit Hell.” (2)
So, what is belief? The Prophet answers this question, upon Angel Gabriel’s question, saying: “It is to believe in Allah, Allah’s angels, Holy books, prophets, the Day of Judgment, Destiny, the good and evil.” (3)
By belief, the Prophet means confirmation. Confirmation is done with the heart. Even though it is not pronounced, belief is belief. Therefore, it is impossible for us to decide who passed away as a believer and who passed away as an unbeliever except for those who committed sins publicly and denied Allah. And for this reason, this should be the wisdom behind believers’ praying for a nice ending. That is, hoping for a believer to pass away as a believer, which is the greatest prayer which can be uttered for a believer.
Imam Ghazali says the following about the period of belief,: “the period of a one-day-fast covers between imsak and iftar, the period of belief covers a lifetime.” (4) That is to say, a person who breaks his fast in the middle of the day or before iftar cannot be considered to have fasted; similarly, a person who loses his belief even in the last moment of his life cannot be considered to be a believer. However, a person who believes in the last moment of his life is considered to be a believer because if that person lived, he would continue the rest of his life as a believer.
For this reason, it is impossible to say something certain about whether Western scientists died as believers or not if they had not said they had not believed in Allah in a certain way or if they had not said that they had believed. It is possible that they had faith in their hearts but did not pronounce it and it is also possible that they really died as unbelievers. Only Allah, the Glorious, knows the truth about it. And again it is Him to judge them.
However, people who bequeathed mischief and anarchy to the humanity such as Darwin and scientists who bequeathed scientific discoveries, inventions and useful techniques to the humanity such as Edison are not the same. The Prophet’s enemy Abu Jahl was an unbeliever and the Prophet’s uncle Abu Talib, who protected him, was not a believer, either. Even though they both would enter Hell because they were unbelievers, the level of their punishment would be different as a requirement of Divine wisdom and justice.
Badiuzzaman’s answer to the question “So it is consistent with divine wisdom also, but how does compassion permit it?” sheds light upon the topic in question.
“The unbelievers can be thought of only in terms of non-existence or existence in torment. If you think it over in your conscience [you will understand that] existence, even if in Hell, is a mercy and better than non-existence. For if you analyze it carefully [you will see that] non-existence is pure evil; indeed, non-existence is the source of all misfortunes and sins. Whereas, existence is pure good, even if it is in Hell. Furthermore, it is in the nature of man's spirit, if it knows that the torment eliminates its crimes and sins, to be content with it, to alleviate the burden of shame. It will then acknowledge that the punishment is fair and that it deserves it. Out of its love of justice, it receives pleasure from it even. There are many honorable people in this world who long for the execution of justice on themselves so as to be saved from the shame of their crimes.
The unbelievers go to Hell and abide there forever as their perpetual abode, but after some time paying the penalty for their actions they grow accustomed to it in a way, even if they do not deserve this, and adapt to it. Also, their punishments are reduced and mitigated in many ways in recompense for their good deeds in this world, as is indicated in some Hadiths. These are instances of mercy for them, although they are not worthy of them. (5)
In short, non-Muslim inventors and discoverers who were unbelievers and helped the humanity in a positive way can have “a sort of Heavenly life” in Hell as a reward for their useful works in the worldly life. Allah, the Glorious, will not leave their useful works unreturned.
1. Muslim, Faith: 93.
2. Muslim, Faith: 304.
3. Muslim, Faith: 1.
4. Ihya Ulum ad-Din, 1:135.
5. Isârâtü'1-Icâz (Signs of Miraculousness), p.89
Mehmed Paksu, Meseleler ve Çözümleri - 1
Will "the world" be established again after the Doomsday? Where will it be established? That is, will it be a place that can be visited after being restored?
A verse related to the issue is as follows:
One day the Earth will be changed to a different Earth, and so will be the Heavens, and (men) will be marshalled forth, before Allah the One, the Irresistible. (Ibrahim, 14/48)
The collective and radical change that will take place on the Day of Judgment and that will include the known universe is pointed out. (cf Taha 20/105-107)
The concept ‘tabdil’ that we translate as ‘change’ is used either in the sense of changing the essence of something (an-Nisa 4/56) or the quality of something.(al-Furqan 25/70) in the Quran. Here, both meanings are possible; therefore, both interpreters and scholars interpreted the verse in two different senses.
According to the first meaning, on Doomsday, the skies, the earth, the whole universe will be destroyed completely and then created again (changing the essence); there are some other verses that support this meaning. (al-Qasas 28/88)
According to the second meaning, the matter of the universe will remain but its qualities will change; for instance, the mountains of the earth will be scattered; the seas will be rifted; they will be made level; no roughness will be seen; however, its matter will remain the same. (see changing the qualities; Razi, Mafatih, the interpretation of the relevant verse)
There are other interpretations regarding the change of the earth to other earths and the skies to other skies: The earth will be changed to fire (Hell) and the skies will be changed to Paradise. The earth will be white like silver and a place on which no blood has been shed and no sins have been committed. There are some other interpretations regarding the issue, too. (see Tabari, the interpretation of the relevant verse)
On the Day of Judgment, when those changes take place, people and meanwhile, “those who wronged themselves”, will be gathered in the presence of Allah, who is the Judge of all the judges, so as to be accounted for what they did in the world.
The interpretation of Badiuzzaman Said Nursi regarding the issue is as follows:
Indeed, just as man is the microcosm, and he cannot be saved from destruction, the world too is the macroanthropos; it neither can be saved from the clutches of death. It too will die and will then be resurrected, or it will lie in repose and then open its eyes in the morning of the resurrection.
This means that a time is certain to come when the Manifest World will break up, with the permission of the All-Glorious Creator. Then it will be renewed in a better form. The meaning of the verse: “That day the Earth will changed into a different Earth” will be realized
After being destroyed, the One Who made the world will repair and reconstruct it in an even better form, and will convert it into one of the mansions of the Hereafter. (see Nursi, Sözler, 29. Söz)
There is a similarity and a relation between the worldly and otherworldly meanings of the words mentioned in the Quran but both the earth and the skies will be created in compliance with the eternal realms.
In Paradise, anything wished will be present. Yet we do not know how this will be. What matters is to lead a life which will take you there. It is impossible to explain to a child in the mother’s womb that a seed under the soil becomes a tree; similarly, it is impossible to describe Paradise to a person in the womb and on the ground of the earth.
Are the things that are considered sins in this world will exist in Paradise?
Paradise is a pure and decent place from all aspects where there are only decent, good and nice things; and the existence of things considered sins in the world are impossible to exist in Paradise.
“No Laghw (dirty, false, evil vain talk) will they hear therein, nor any sinful speech (like backbiting).” (Surah Al-Waqia, 56/25).
“No Vanity shall they hear therein, nor Untruth―” (Surah An-Naba, 78/35)
The verses given above clearly state that to perform the deeds that are considered sins in Paradise is out of question; and even mentioning about sinful, meaningless and useless things is out of question.
While righteous people do not see Allah (SWT) in the world, they escape from such sinful deeds entirely; in Paradise, they will always be aware of being in the presence of Almighty Allah so it is out of question for them to perform ugly deeds or similar things which caused the destruction of some nations and summoned the torture of Allah in the world life.
According to the people who think some ugly deeds that are considered sins in the world as permissible in Paradise, those deeds are decent deeds which can be reached in Paradise and can already be imagined at the moment.
Such a person would see such big sins as simple and see the people who perform these deeds in the world as only “hasty ones”.
Will there be partial will or free will in Paradise, too?
"For them there will be therein all that they wish for…” (an-Nahl, 16/31; al-Furqan, 25/16; az-Zumar, 39/34, 42/22; al-Kahf, 50/35)
And those who feared their Lord will be led to the Garden in crowds: until behold, they arrive there; its gates will be opened: and its Keepers will say: "Peace be upon you! Well have ye done! Enter ye here, to dwell therein." They will say: "Praise be to Allah, Who has truly fulfilled His promise to us, and has given us (this) land in heritage: we can dwell in the Garden as we will: how excellent a reward for those who work (righteousness)!"
The verses given above indicate that people will have free will in Paradise.
One of the most pleasurable aspects of Paradise is man’s living in a free environment where he can live with his free will. People will taste freedom based on their degree of escaping from the captivity of nafs (evil-commanding soul) and Satans of both human and Jinn while living in the world, and they will also enjoy freedom and be servants of Allah (SWT) and be free from being servants of humans and they will enter Paradise, the land of freedom.
The people who choose the real freedom by being servants of Allah only will be also free in the hereafter. On the other hand, the people who are devoid of consciousness and be servants beings other than Allah (SWT) will continue to live as a captive in the hereafter because, in accordance with the rule of “al-jazau min jins al-`amal”, reward and punishment will be in accordance with the good and bad deeds that are performed.
As Hell will be a prison camp for people who lack belief, conscience and wisdom, Paradise will be the land of freedom for people who have free belief, conscience and wisdom.
What is the wisdom behind the gradual beautification of Paradise? Since everyone will be rewarded fully for their prayers, why do the benefactions of Paradise rewards increasingly continue?
Hz. Abu Hurairah narrates. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says:
“I swear by Allah (SWT), who sends down the Qur’an to Muhammad (PBUH), -As it is a known fact that just like people who increasingly become ugly in time in the world life –the folk of Paradise will also increasingly become beautiful.” (Ibn Abid-dunya, Sifatul-Jannah-Shamila-1/14).
Moreover, there are signs from the verses of Qur’an that the benefactions of Paradise that will be given to the folk of Paradise will become increasingly beautiful every time.
The verse, “But give glad tidings to those who believe and work righteousness, that their portion is Gardens, beneath which rivers flow. Every time they are fed with fruits therefrom they say: "Why this is what we were fed with before" for they are given things in similitude; and they have therein companions pure (and holy); and they abide therein (forever).” (Al-Baqara, 2/25) indicates the truth as mentioned above.
The different tastes and pleasures of benefactions in an eternal land will increase the pleasures of the folk of Paradise. The presentation of benefactions in a different and fresh way in Paradise that was prepared by Allah (SWT) for His servants is the reflection of the divine mercy.
The occasional presentation of Paradise as an achievement for people’s efforts in the Qur’an is a compliment for honoring man. Otherwise, even all of the worshipping man performs cannot be enough thankfulness for the benefactions that were given to man by Allah beforehand. That is why, it is not true to consider the worshipping as the price of benefactions that will be given in the hereafter. Our Prophet (PBUH) points out this truth as follows:
The Prophet (pbuh) said: "No one of you will enter Paradise by his deeds alone." They asked, "Not even you, O Messenger of Allah?" He said, "Not even me, unless Allah covers me with His Grace and Mercy" (Bukhari, Riqaq, 18; Muslim, Munafiq, 71-73).
This hadith shows that the increase in pleasures of Paradise is not because man deserves but because of a manifestation of divine mercy for His servants.
When our books of deeds are given to us on the Day of Judgment and when our sins are revealed, will everybody see them or will only we see them?
A person who commits sins faces big troubles in both the world and the hereafter.
When a sin committed, bigger and more sins are sometimes added to it; for instance, to insist on a sin, to like it, to delay repenting, to take pleasure when one commits a similar sin, to feel sorry when one cannot commit a sin, to become happy when one commits a sin, to include others when two people commit a sin, to spend the wealth given to him by Allah committing sins, which is regarded as ingratitude.
“When a believer commits a sin, a black spot appears in his heart. If he stops committing that sin and asks Allah for forgiveness, his heart is cleared from that black spot. If he continues committing that sin, the black spot gets bigger.” (Ibn Majah, Zuhd 29)
Therefore, it is very important to clean sins immediately without insisting on them.
We should not forget that regretting committing sins is actually repentance. The following glad tiding of the Messenger of Allah eases our mind:
“A person who repents of his sins is like a person who has not committed sins.” (Ibn Majah, Zuhd 30)
On the other hand, the following verse emphasizes that we should be sensitive about avoiding sins:
“Eschew all sin, open or secret.” (al-Anam, 6/120)
As a matter of fact, it is a sin to reveal a sin that has been committed secretly:
“All the people who repent sincerely will be forgiven except those who commit a sin openly. An example of such disclosure is that a person commits a sin at night and though Allah screens it from the public, he comes in the morning, and says, 'I did such-and-such evil deed yesterday'; this will not be forgiven." (Bukhari, Adab, 60; Muslim, Zuhd, 52)
A sinner generally blazes a trail of sin which is followed by others; as people continue to commit it, the evil deeds caused by that sin are recorded in his book of deeds. (see Muslim, Ilm, 15; Zakat, 69; Nasai, Zakat, 64)
When people commit sins openly and when they display their sins, they will set bad examples for the other members of the community and will harm human personality. When people see that others do the evil deeds that they do, they feel relaxed; when the evil deeds are shared by others, their agonies are relieved, paving the way psychologically for doing that evil deed more easily and bravely. When a person does an evil deed in a weak period of his life, he wants to forget it after giving it up; he also wants others to forget it. However, if he mentions his sin to others, people will remember him with that sin throughout their lives. Therefore, it is accepted that the spread of a rumor about an evil deed is worse than its occurrence.
Allah states in a verse that leading others to committing sins is an attribute of hypocrites (munafiqs):
“The Hypocrites, men and women, (have an understanding) with each other: they enjoin evil, and forbid what in just, and are close with their hands.” (at-Tawba, 9/67)
If a person hides his sin, it is regarded as a kind of regret and the first step for repentance; it is stated that the people who hide their sins can be forgotten:
"Allah will bring a believer near Him and shelter him with His Screen and ask him: Did you commit such-and-such sins? He will say: Yes, my Lord. Allah will keep on asking him till he confesses all his sins and he will think that he is ruined. Allah will say: 'I did screen your sins in the world and I forgive them for you today." (Buhkari, Mazalim, 3).
Allah covers humans with three types of coverings. The first covering is human’s clothes that conceal his/her unpleasant and shameful parts. The second one is the concealment of his ideas, thoughts and dreams in his heart. The third one is that Allah has covered and concealed his creatures’ sins, transformed his sins into merits, given to man his book in which only his good deeds are written in afterlife as if he has not committed any sins. (Ghazali, Asmau'l-Husna, trnsl. by Y. Arıkan, p. 128)
Accordingly, the sins that lie snug in this world also lie snug in afterlife. The sins committed publicly are seen in afterlife publicly, too.
Allah is not going to show all sins to everyone. As a matter of fact, Allah is going to conceal some of the sins that are repented and the sins of those who conceal others’ sins.
Allah’s creatures are not just humans. As a matter of fact, man’s good deeds and bad deeds are going to be shown to the whole universe, to angels and to many beings.
Above all, Allah will have shown and declared His justice and that He gives everyone what they deserve. Allah will show this to the person himself first.
“Even if a person who commits sodomy washes himself with water of seas cannot clear up his sin. Only repent clears it up.” (Daylami, Firdawsu’l-Akhbar, No: 6892; Ajluni, Kashfu’l-Khafa, No: 2093)
The narrative above lets us know that a sincere repentance before death will cause the sins to be forgiven.
Accordingly, the sins that will not be forgiven -no matter whether they are committed publicly or secretly- can be interpreted as the ones that are not repented.
Can a name be given to a baby that dies in the uterus when it is two months old? Can this baby intercede for its parents on the Day of Judgment?
If a woman has a miscarriage, the baby is washed, given a name, wrapped and buried in the cemetery without a janazah prayer if its organs are obvious.
If the baby dies in the uterus after it becomes alive, we hope that he/she will be resurrected in the hereafter and intercede for his/her parents.
Does a person who commits suicide remain in Hell forever?
According to the religion of Islam, to commit suicide, to drink alcohol, to abandon prayers, to commit suicide are among major sins. However, according to Ahl as-Sunnah, these deeds do not make a person an unbeliever. If a person utters kalima ash-shahada and accepts all of the decrees of Islam and then commits one or some of the major sins mentioned above, he becomes a sinner, not an unbeliever. Therefore, his janazah prayer is performed like other Muslims. (Halil GÜNENÇ, Günümüz Meselelerine Fetvalar, I/202)
A believer does not become an unbeliever when he commits suicide or another major sin; therefore, he will not remain in Hell forever. Allah will punish such Muslims and then send to Paradise or He will forgive them and send them to Paradise directly.
To commit suicide is among major sins. However, those who commit major sins do not become unbelievers; therefore, they will not remain in Hell forever.