Chapter No: 15
READERS MAY REMEMBER that the delights and favours of the barzakh were mentioned in the eleventh chapter. There appears to be a doubt therein. In the twelfth chapter the favours of qiyaamah are stated. Therein too appears to be a doubt, as was in the eleventh chapter. That doubt is, that a desire for the delights and blessings of Jannah can only come about when there is no mention of the punishment of Jahannam. After becoming aware of the punishment and trials of Jahannam one’s desire becomes dampened and one fears the name of the hereafter. Instead of the hereafter, one will regard it as a good fortune to remain in this world, because, till one remains in the world, one is safe from the punishment of the hereafter. The intelligent also say the warding off of troubles and hardship is more important than attaining comfort. Here too, this doubt has two answers as was mentioned in the eleventh chapter. First, to save one’s self from hell is something of which one has an option. All those aspects that makes one worthy of the punishment of Jahannam are all a thing of choice. If one abstains from sin, one has saved one’s self from hardships and Jahannam.
The second is, although committing sin, if imaan remains, one will experience remission from the trials and hardships of Jahannam. Besides these hardships it is certain that we will gain freedom from it. It will do the work of an ointment on a wound. Whatever enjoyments and pleasures there may be, but the thought of the hardships of the hereafter makes everything gloomy and sullen. This proves that for a Mu-min the troubles of the hereafter are superior to the enjoyments and pleasures of the world, because with the hardships of that place the certainty of attaining Jannah is attached (i.e. after being punished one will surely enter Jannah). With the enjoyments and pleasures of the world, there is the danger of the hereafter. A third answer to this doubt has also been mentioned in the eleventh chapter, that some sinners will be totally saved from the punishment of Jahannam through the intercession of someone or merely through the Grace of Allah Ta‘aala. Punishment of others will cease after some time. For the second and third answer a proof is necessary, therefore some narrations are stated here:
- Sayyidina Abii Sa‘iid Radiyallahu ‘Anhu says, Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “Those who are truly the inhabitants of the fire (the kaafirs – nonbelievers) will not die nor live therein, but some people from among you (Muslims), due to their sins will experience effects of the fire. Thereafter, Allah Ta‘aala will give a special type of death till they become like coal. Permission will be given to the intercessors to intercede for them”. (Some say that after experiencing punishment for some time they will die. Some say this similitude of death is given because of the light punishment they will experience). – Muslim.
- Sayyidina Abii Sa‘iid Radiyallahu ‘Anhu reports Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “Muslims will be freed from Jahannam and stopped at a bridge between Jannah and Jahannam. They will account for rights due to one another in the dunya (world) until these rights are re-compensated and settled. When they are cleansed (from sin), they will be allowed to enter into Jannah.” -Bukhaari, Mishkaat.
- Sayyidina Abii Sa‘iid Radiyallahu ‘Anhu reports in a long hadith that Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “(After mentioning the crossing of the Siraat – bridge over Jahannam) When Muslims will be freed from Jahannam. I swear an oath in the Name of that Being in Whose Hands lie my life, one does not press so much for the redressing of one’s proven rights of this world, in comparison to the persistence Muslims will make on behalf of their brothers who are in Jahannam. They will say: ‘O our Rabb, these people used to fast with us; perform salaah; and perform haj’. It will be said to them: ‘Take out whomsoever you recognise, and there will be no trace of the fire on them’. Hence they will take out a huge amount from the creation. They will say: ‘O our Rabb, there is no one left from those that You have commanded us to take out.’ He will say: ‘Go back. Bring out those you find that had a dinaar’s equivalent of imaan.’ They will take out a huge number from the creation. Then He will say: ‘Go back. Bring out those you find that possessed half a dinaar’s equivalent of imaan.’ They will take out a huge number from the creation. Then He will say: ‘Go back. Bring out those who have an atom’s equivalent of imaan.’ They will take out a huge number of the creation, then say: ‘We have not left out anyone who possessed imaan.’ Allah will say: ‘The Malaa’ikah (angels) interceded. The Ambiyaa (prophets) interceded. The Mu-miniin interceded. Now besides the Arhamur Raahimin (The Most Merciful of the mercifuls) no one is left. He will take a handful from the fire. From it will come out a people who had never ever done any good, as a result they burnt and became coal. He will throw them in a river that will be on the tip of Jannah called nahrul hayaah (river of life). They will emerge there from fresh like the grain that sprouts out after floods have passed. Hence they will come out like pearls. They will have a special mark on their necks. The people of Jannah will call them the one’s that were freed by the Rahmaan (Merciful). Allah Ta‘aala has entered them into Jannah without committing any good deed or having presented any good for the hereafter. It will be said to them: ‘For you is what you have seen, and with it an (extra) addition of the same.’” – Agreed upon, Mishkaat.
Those that will be taken out of Jahannam at the end solely by the Mercy of Allah are surely Muslims. It has been categorically refuted in the sharii‘ah that a kaafir will be pardoned. A kaafir will stay forever in Jahannam. It is possible that these people are those to whom the message of no prophet had reached, therefore, they may be classed as kaafirs. Being kaafirs they may remain forever in Jahannam. Nor can they be regarded as Mu-min, as people that believe in a Nabi are called Mu-min. Since the message of a Nabi did not reach them they are not Mu-mins, and did not enter Jannah with other Mu-mins nor did anybody intercede for them. Apparently this is meant by the words of the hadith, because, in this hadith the words: “Bi ghayri ‘amalin ‘ami-luhu wa-laa khayrin qadi-muhu”, there are two words, ‘amal and khayr, which means they did not do any ‘amal nor any khayr (good). By khayr, it is understood that only imaan is intended. Now a question may arise, that when the message of a Nabi did not reach them, they were unaware of good and bad. Why were they then sent to Jahannam? It is possible that the answer to that may be that some sins are not dependent on the message of a Nabi. These could be understood through one’s intellect too, like zulm (oppression) etc. They may have been involved in such type of sin, therefore they were thrown into Jahannam. After being cleansed they were taken out of Jahannam by the Mercy of Allah Ta‘aala. It may be possible that these people were Mu-mins, but their imaan was of such an inferior and weak state, that no Nabi or wali may have recognised them. Only Allah Ta‘aala knew of their status. And Allah knows best.
Synopsis of the kitaab
UNDERSTAND THIS KITAAB to be a prescription for spiritual diseases of the heart. Now its method of use is explained. After having read this kitaab, and to derive benefit from it, i.e. the method of yearning for the hereafter, is, that during the day or night set aside some free time, bring together in the heart all the subjects that have been written here, even if it may be in thought only, that this world is the house of sorrow and hardship. Which day will that be, when the separation from the original and permanent home comes to an end, and the angels of mercy come to fetch me. Before death there may be some illness, due to which my sins will be forgiven and I will become pure and clean. At the time of death I will hear the glad tidings from the angels that have been mentioned in the kitaab. The angels will take me away with respect and honour. I will witness such and such things in the grave and I will meet the ruhs (souls) of the elders, relatives and friends. I will move about in Jannah. If my deeds are the baaqiyaatus saalihaat type, or after my death some Muslim brother makes du‘aa for me, through its barakah the blessings will multiply. On the day of qiyaamah there will be comfort and ease. There will be so and so great apparent and hidden enjoyments. Briefly, in one’s spare moments concentrate on these and enjoy one’s self. When punishment comes to mind, then remember it is possible to save one’s self from it. If I abstain from such acts which brings about punishment, then how can I be punished. By occupying one’s self with such thoughts, it increases the yearning for the hereafter, and love for this material world will diminish. Instead of love for the material world one will begin to detest and hate it. Where once there was fear for the hereafter, now one will be looking forward and begin to love it. This act in itself is also an ‘ibaadah (devotion). The sharii‘ah has commanded us to observe it. Many of its virtues have been narrated. The proof of these are mentioned in the ensuing ahadith:
- Sayyidina Anas Radiyallahu ‘Anhu reports from Nabi Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam: “Abundantly remember death, for it wipes out sin and makes one renounce the world….” – Ibn Abid Dunyaa. Sharhus Sudur.
- Sayyidina Wadiin bin ‘Ataa Radiyallahu ‘Anhu says: “When Sayyidina Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam observed the people becoming lax from (remembering) death, he would come and hold the side of the door and call out three times: ‘O people, O people of Islam. Death has come to you necessarily and compulsorily. Death has come with its attachments. Death has come with cheerfulness, comfort and great blessings, for the people of Jannah and the accepted one’s of the Rahmaan (Merciful), who strived and strongly desired Jannah….’” – Baihaqi. Sharhus Sudur.
- It is stated in the Sharhus Sudur, that it was said: “Yaa Rasulullah, will anybody be resurrected with the shu-hadaa (martyrs)?”
He said: “Yes, the one that remembers death twenty times during the day and night.”
I say: “The one that meditates as stated, then his remembering of death will exceed twenty times.”
Keeping one’s hopes on a moderate level:
Muslims may know that complete imaan is not solely based on fear, or hope, but, between fear and hope, as is proven by the Qur’aan and hadith. In this booklet matters relating to hope only have been written. Absolutely nothing regarding fear has been written. It should not be misunderstood that our intention is that one should only rely on hope and completely forget fear. Our intention in writing such subjects is to create a dislike for the material world and love for the hereafter. To fulfill this aim subjects on hope plays a great role, because when one has the desire for the hereafter, then naturally one will have the courage to do good deeds. This courage is the actual aim. The conveying of matters regarding hope and fear are both equal to reach the aim. The mentioning only of subjects on hope in reality supports the subjects on fear (because the aim of subjects on fear is attained by these mentioned on hope as well). Allah Ta‘aala explains regarding complete imaan in the following terms: “And those who are fearful of their Lord’s doom- Lo! the doom of their Lord is that before which none can feel secure-” – Surah Ma‘aarij, 27, 28.
Research regarding long life:
At the end of the third chapter a doubt and its answer have been mentioned. (The doubt being that we find from the hadith death is given preference over life, but in some ahadith it has been prohibited to wish for death. The answer was that life could be given preference over death, because, if life is lengthened than piety and reward will increase, or one may be able to repent from sins, otherwise preference is for death, as, all blessings of the hereafter can only be attained after death.) Now here this same answer is being given a bit more clearly. If it is pondered upon, then it will be proven that in those ahadith where preference for life over death seems evident, in reality such hadith support those that give preference to death over life. In those hadith it is stated that death must not be wished for, for the reason that in a long life piety and reward can increase and repentance can be offered. By increasing in lifespan a better and easier death can occur, therefore the lengthening of life is better, otherwise just a long life on its own is not the aim, hence, the preference is for death, as is evident from the ahadith of the third chapter. It is also proven from the following hadith:
- Sayyidina Zar‘ah bin ‘Abdullah narrates that Nabi Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam said: “A human loves life, while death is better for him.” – Baihaqi. Sharhus Sudur