What gains one by the eternal life of paradise?
The result of belief, religious life and love of God is the eternal life
of Paradise and vision of God. The people of spiritual discovery and truth-seeking
have all agreed that a thousand years of happy life in this world is not worth
one hour of life in Paradise, and a thousand years of heavenly life is not worth
one hour’s vision of the Majestic One in His absolute sacred Beauty and Perfection
free of all kinds of defects. The seeing of Him is established by the Qur’an
and authentic Prophetic traditions, one of which says: “That vision far excels
all the other pleasures of Paradise, so much so that it causes them to be forgotten.
After the vision of God the people of Paradise will have increased in beauty
and loveliness to such a degree that the couples will be able to recognize each
other with great difficulty.”
Everyone feels in the depths of his being a great longing to see one like
the Prophet Solomon, upon him be peace, who is famous for his magnificent perfection,
and a great yearning to behold one like the Prophet Joseph, upon him be peace,
who is distinguished for his beauty. So, if you can, compare how deeply desired
and yearned for, and with what degree of passion, is the seeing of Him, in one
manifestation of Whose Beauty and Perfection consists all the beauties and perfections
of Paradise, which are thousands of times more elevated than all the beauties
and perfections of this world.
Glory be to You! We have no knowledge save what You have taught
us. Surely You are the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.
O Lord! Do not call us to account if we forget or fall into
error. O God! Bestow blessings on Your beloved, who opened the doors of Paradise
through being beloved by You and through his prayers, and whose community You
enabled to open those doors through calling Your blessings on him, on him be
blessings and peace.
O God! Enter us into Paradise among the pure, righteous ones,
through the intercession of Your chosen beloved. Amen.
O God, provide us in this world with love of You and love of
what will draw us near to You, and with the uprightness You command, and, in
the Hereafter, with Your Mercy and the vision of You.
O God! Bestow blessings and peace upon him whom You raised as
a mercy for all the worlds, and upon all his family and Companions, Amen.
A little before the end of time
the majority of the world’s people will enter the true religion, that is,
Islam. There has, however, been reported a tradition that the Day of Resurrection
will not come as long as there exist some on the earth who recite the Name of
God. How will then people apostatize after an almost universal conversion?
Those whose faith in the pillars of the religion is weak regard it as almost
impossible that Jesus, upon him be peace, will return to the world before the
end of time, practice the Islamic Law, and kill Dajjal (the Antichrist),
all of which is predicted in an authentic hadith. What is meant by this and
other similar Prophetic Traditions about Jesus’ return, Sufyan (another
Dajjal who will appear in the Muslim world) and the Mahdi is this:
There will appear two trends of unbelief before the end of time:
- A terrible person who disguises himself under the veil of hypocrisy will
appear in the Muslim world. He will lead the hypocrites and, denying the Messengership
of the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, will try to destroy
the Shari‘a. Fortunately, a blessed person from the descendants of the Prophet‘s
family will come up against him and, at the head of the people of sainthood
and spiritual perfection, will eradicate this trend of hypocrisy.
- The second trend of unbelief is an absolute atheism, a consequence of
the philosophies of naturalism and positivism, strengthened by the materialist
philosophy. Just as a wild, primitive man who does not recognize the King,
and therefore does not recognize the different orders in the King’s army,
from private to general, will have to attribute to each member of this army
a sort of independent kingship and sovereignty; in the same way, each follower
of this atheist trend will inevitably come to appropriate for himself some
kind or degree of divinity. As a result, the man who will come to lead them,
supported by some material and psychic means like spiritism and ‘hypnotism’
through various ways, will go so far as to deify him-self. This man was referred
to as Dajjal in the Prophetic traditions. How stupid it is of a human being
to claim divinity when he is so powerless that he could not make the wing
of a gnat and can be defeated by a fly or even a microbe. The religion of
Jesus will gain momentum in its pristine, uncorrupted original form when this
trend of atheism is at its peak. That is to say, the religion of Islam will
come to spread in the Western world and Christianity, in response, will be
purified of all the pagan elements which have found a way into it since its
beginning and will convert to and so unite with Islam. Thus, the religion
will gain great strength from this union and, as a result, will come out victorious
in its struggle against atheist trends. How then can it be denied that the
Exalted and All-Wise will ‘return’ Jesus to the world before the end of time?
And do so for an important purpose related to His religion just as He frequently
sends certain of His angels to the world for certain purposes, and sometimes
sends them in the form of human beings? (The Arch-angel Jibril (Gabriel),
for example, sometimes came to the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings,
in the form of one of his companions, Dihya.) God makes some spiritual beings
appear in this world in the form of human beings, and He even dispatches to
the world the souls of some dead saints in their energy ‘envelopes’. It is
also worth pointing out here that Jesus is in the nearest heaven with his
’refined’ corporeal body and enjoying a particular degree of life—as expounded
in the First Letter. If he had ‘completely’ died and gone to the farthest
corner of the other world, it would even then be in conformity with the Divine
Wisdom that God should resurrect him and return him to the world for a very
important purpose. God promised this and He will certainly carry out His promise,
and the Truthful Re-porter, upon him be peace and blessings, foretold all
this on the basis of that prom-ise. When Jesus comes again, not everyone is
expected to recognize him. Only those who are nearest to him will recognize
him through the light of faith.
It has been reported in the traditions
that Dajjal will have a false paradise, where he will admit his friends, and
a false hell, where he will throw his opponents. He will also have a saddle
beast (donkey), one of whose ears is like Paradise, the other like Hell. Some
other traditions say that he will have a huge physical stature. What is meant
by all the traditions of this import?
Dajjal is a human being like everyone. He is a conspirator, a stupid
devil who has forgotten God. He deifies himself because of his tyrannical rule,
the apparent splendor of his despotism. However, the trend of atheism, which
he represents, is very mighty and comprehensive. The traditions which describe
Dajjal as an enormous man are actually about this trend, not about the
per-son of Dajjal himself. I once saw a picture of the Japanese chief-commander,
one of whose feet was on the Pacific Ocean, the other on Port Arthur. By this
picture was the power of the Japanese army and the vast field of Japanese influence
As to the false paradise of Dajjal, this is the passing fancies, the
charming playthings and amusements of modern civilization. His saddle beast
(donkey) is modern vehicles of transportation from trains [to space ships].
There is at one ‘end’ of trains, for example, a fire-place into which Dajjal
throws his opponents, while the other ‘end’ is richly furnished like Paradise,
where he admits his followers. In fact, trains, which are a very important ‘mount’
of modern corrupt civilization, bring a false paradise to the corrupt worldly
people, whereas they have become a means of colonizing Muslim countries, exploiting
their riches and enslaving Muslim peoples.1
It is thus in this dramatic episode of human history that the religion of
Islam, which will have gained great strength through the union of a ‘purified’
Christianity, will disseminate its light to the majority of the world’s population.
But shortly before the end of time a new trend of unbelief will appear and have
an overwhelming influence on the world’s people. As a result, the great majority
will slip into unbelief while a few will continue to preserve their faith until
the Last Day. Nevertheless, God, out of His mercy for believers, will make them
die just before the destruction of the world so that they will not experience
this terrible event, and the world will be destroyed over the heads of unbelievers.
1. That is, Dajjal makes much use of modern vehicles, weaponry and technology
to colonize Muslim countries and enslave Muslim peoples. Trains have become
one of the most important of those vehicles partly because trains were the main
vehicles of transportation before other motor-vehicles were invented, Letter
and partly because it is rather communism or, in a wider sense, materialism
or atheism and the communist world to which the Prophet alluded by Dajjal. Inno-cent
Muslim masses were carried to the concentration camps in Russia by trains. Again,
trains were really of great importance for modern corrupt civilization especially
in the previous century and in the first half of the twentieth, without, however,
losing their importance today as well. While they were, on the one hand, carrying
the privileged supporters of this corrupt civilization, and of the anti-Islamic
regimes in the Muslim world, to the places of enjoyment, in richly furnished
compartments, they have become, on the other, in the hands of imperialist powers,
the means of colonizing Muslim countries, exploiting their riches and enslaving
their peoples, as in Asia and Africa, and carrying them, piled-up into barn-like
compartments, to work or to concentration camps, as in Russia, where most of
Will the souls that have gained permanence
through death be influenced by the events of Doomsday?
They will be influenced according to their ranks in the similar way that
angels are influenced by the destruction of sinners in the demonstration of
the anger of God. As the mind and spirit of a man in a hot room are influenced
by the sight of someone trembling in the cold outside, so the conscious souls
that have gone into eternity will, as indicated by the Qur’an, be affected by
the important events of the universe, to which they are somewhat in relation:
the people of torment will be affected by them in agony, while the people of
happiness in wonder and amazement, and even in a joyful expectation of the coming
of the final, endless bliss.
In many verses, the Wise Qur’an threatens mankind (and jinn) with the shock
of the events of Doomsday, and emphasizes that all will experience them. But
as only those alive at the time of the destruction of the world will experience
it physically, the souls whose bodies have, or will have, melted away in graves
are also encompassed, to some extent, within this Qur’anic threat.
Is the verse, All things perish, except His
‘Face’ (28:88), also related to Paradise, Hell, and those within them?
This matter has long been discussed by scholars, saints and men of deep perception
and in-sight, who have the authority to discuss this subject. Some of them have
maintained that the people of the permanent world are not included in the meaning
of the verse, while others have held that these people will also enter an annihilation
though for so short a time that they will not feel this instant of perishing.
By contrast, some people among those who are able to discover some hidden truths,
have gone so far as to argue that the whole of existence except God will permanently
perish—but this is not compatible with truth. The Divine Essence is permanent,
and so are the Attributes and Names of God. It is thus impossible that the permanent
beings in the World of Permanence will go into absolute annihilation since they
are the manifestations of those permanent Attributes and Names, and the mirrors
where they are reflected.
Let me here briefly write down two points which have just come to my mind
from the infinite ocean of the meanings of the Qur’an. They are:
- The All-Mighty is Omnipotent: creation and destruction are equally easy
for Him. As He can send the whole creation into annihilation in a moment,
He can also bring it back into existence in an instant. In addition, there
is no such entity as ‘ab-solute non-existence’. There cannot be because there
is an encompassing knowledge: everything is contained, or, in other words,
has a kind of existence, an ideal form, within the Divine Knowledge, which
is infinite. There is, so to speak, no room for ‘non-existence’. As for the
‘relative non-existence’ within the encompassing circle of Divine Knowledge,
it is, in essence, a nominal veil where the manifestations of Divine Knowledge
are reflected. Some men of profound understanding have, however, called these
‘ideal forms’ of existence ‘archetypes’. Because of this, to go into non-existence
means to take off an outer dress, namely, the body, and to return to the circle
of spiritual existence or existence in Divine Knowledge. That is to say, those
that are subject to perishing, by leaving their physical bodies, put on a
spiritual body and, leaving the circle where the (Divine) Power operates,
enter the circle of the (Divine) Knowledge.
- Everything does not actually exist by itself; its existence depends on
God. It exists as a manifestation of the permanent Divine Names. It has, in
this respect, a permanent, sublime reality because it reflects the Divine
Name which is the cause of its existence. The verse, All things perish, except
His Face also serves as a sword with which to liberate man from everything
that is not God, i.e., the world, the flesh, and the vanities of life. Because
of this, whatever man has or does for the sake of God is not included in the
meaning of this verse so that it is subject to perishing.
In sum, if a man ‘finds’ God and does whatever he does only for His sake,
then there will be left nothing to be included in the meaning of the verse,
All things perish, except His Face. So man, if he wishes to eternalize his deeds
and to be rewarded with a permanent happiness, he must seek God and spend his
life for His sake and pleasure.