The Unacceptable Request
 

VERSE NO.99100

Following the argument about the obstinacy of the unbelievers in their false and evil way of life; now mention is made of their destination and their state, when they encounter with the affliction of death. Clinging to false motives and to their worldly affair, and following their caprices and vain desires, which is supported by rejecting faith and denying truth, will keep them busy; until once and of a sudden they face the reality of death! Then the veil is removed and their eyes will become keen and they feel the approach of serious danger. Here is when they anxiously will say; My Lord! Please send me back and give me another chance to make up for my past religious omissions and shortcomings, but then it is late....too late:

``Not so! It is only a word that they say it.'' Their request is no more than an empty word of excuse, and even if God would agree with their request, they would again continue the evil way that they went in the past:

``Now before them is the INTERMEDIATE WORLD (BARZAKH) up to the day that they shall be raised up for the Final Judgement.'' [ 312 ]

WHAT IS THE INTERMEDIATE WORLD (BARZAKH)?

Barzakh which means a partition or barrier is the name of the place or the state in which people will continue living after death and before the Resurrection Day. There, the soul has to stand on its own foot and merits, and rarely anything may come to him from the material world that he has left behind. In many verses of Qura"n, reference is made to the wonderful world of BARZAKH, which is the dwelling place of Man's soul, after his death and up to the Day of Doom. Instances of such verses that may prove this amazing world of deads, is in S 3:169171 which are as follows: ``And count not those who were slain in Allah's way as deads. They are alive; living with their Lord, and are provided with sustenance....

Rejoicing for what Allah Has bestowed on them of His Grace, and are joyful in those behind them, who have not yet joined them, that they are neither to fear nor to grieve. Rejoicing in Allah's bounty and grace, that Allah will not waste the reward of the believers.'' Not only the believers of high grade and dignity are alive after death; the worst of the disbelievers too, according to the S 40:46 are alive. These are the folk of Pharaoh, who will then taste the severest of penalty in the Resurrection Day. They also are punished painfully in the Intermediate World:

``They (i.e. The people of Pharaoh) will be brought in front of the Fire in the morning and evening, and in the Day when the Final Judgement is established, it will be said: (to the guards of Hell) cast you the people of Pharaoh to the hardest of torment.'' The above verses and many others, will prove that, whether Man be a believer or unbeliever, he will continue living after death, either in prosperity or anguish.

There are also many traditions narrated from the prophet and from the infallible Imams (AS), which not only proves the existence of [ 313 ]

the Intermediate World, that gives also some details about how the life after death is. The opinion of the life after death and before Resurrection Day is accepted with unanimous approval of the learned and scholars of all Islamic sects, particularly the two main group of Sonni and Shiite. It is generally believed that in the Intermediate World, the soul of Man will continue living in accompany with a new BODY; which is very much finer than the coarse material body that we have in the present world! A body perhaps made of electric or magnetic, or other kind of finer field like gravity.

In Islamic literatures, this body is named, the SIMILAR BODY which is exactly the same as our material body in form and shape. It is also sometimes called the second body. Some of the Islamic scholars and men of knowledge, have understood the Intermediate World to be similar to the world of sleep which is void of time and space. They say that the Finer Body or the Similar Body, already exists within us, and after death it will apear and manifest itself when it is separated from this material body. Some of the jurists are of opinion that, in the Intermediate World people are divided in there groups; the believers, the unbelievers, and the weaklings. The Intermediate life is for the first two group of people, and those who are the weaklings, will live there in some sort of an unawareness, until the Resurrection touches them.

(( 101 ))

101- WHEN THE TRUMPET IS BLOWN, THEIR WILL BE NO RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THEM IN THAT DAY, NOR DO THEY ASK EACH OTHER FOR HELP. (EACH SOUL HAS TO STAND ON HIS OWN MERITS, AND NO ONE CAN HELP THE OTHERS)

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(( 102 ))

102- THEN, THOSE WHOSE BALANCES (OF GOOD DEEDS) ARE HEAVY, THEY ARE THE PROSPEROUS.

(( 103 ))

103- AND THOSE WHOSE BALANCES (OF GOOD DEED) ARE LIGHT. THEY ARE THOSE WHO HAVE FORFEITED THEIR SOULS, IN HELL THEY ARE FOR EVER.

(( 104 ))

104- THE FIRE WILL SCORCH THEIR FACES, AND THEREIN THEY LOOK GHASTLY.

THE COMMENTARY
A CORNER OF THE PUNISHMENT OF EVIL DOERS
VERSE NO.104

Now the argument passes over the Intermediate World (BARZAKH), to illustrate a corner of the punishment of evil doers; in the day of Final Judgement.

When the Trumpet is blown to announce the end of this world, and the beginning of the next life all the creatures who live on the earth will die with the first sound. In the second blowing of the Trumpet, all will raise up and come to life once again; so as to be prepared for the Final Judgement: ``The Trumpet will be sounded and all that are in the heavens, and on earth will swoon except he whom Allah wills to exempt. Then for a second time the Trumpet is blown, and all will stand up, looking on.'' (S 39:68)

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In that critical time and stage, people are so fearful that no one cares the least, for anyone else even for their near kindred. It is a day which its quake is so terrible that every suckling mother forgets her baby, and every pregnant female will cast her burden, and you will see people drunken while they are not drunken, but the chastisement of Allah is so sever. (S 22:2) In that dreadful stage of anxiety and fear, practically all the old relationships will disolve. Although they are in sight of each other, but the sinner there, wishes that he could redeem himself from the torment of that day by sacrificing his children, wife, brothers, all the kindred who sheltered him, and all that is on earth; at the price of delivering him! (S 70:1115)

After the wonderful raise up, in that critical state of hope and despair, the measuring of Man's deeds is proceeded on. In that final judgement, good and evil deeds will be put in the two pans of the scale of justice, and weighed against each other. If the good deeds are heavier, the good doer will attain salvation, and then prospers in the Gardens of bliss in Paradise. But if the evil deeds of Man are much heavier than his good works, the destination is Hell and living in misery and anguish:

``And those whose balance of good deeds is light, they are those who have forfeited their souls, in Hell they abide for ever.'' Therein their faces will be scorched and disfigured by the fire, and will look ghastly with their lips quivering.

(( 105 ))

105- WERE MY SIGNS NOT REHEARSED TO YOU, AND YOU BELIED THEM?

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(( 106 ))

106- THEY SAID: ``OUR LORD! OUR ADVERSITY OVERCAME US, AND WE BECAME A PEOPLE ASTRAY.''

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107- OUR LORD! TAKE US OUT OF IT, THEN IF WE RETURN (TO EVIL) WE ARE INDEED OPRESSORS. (INDEED)

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108- HE SHALL SAY: ``GO YOU AWAY INTO IT, AND DO NOT SPEAK TO ME''

(( 109 ))

109- (HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN THAT) A GROUP OF MY SERVANTS WERE SAYING: ``OUR LORD! WE HAVE BELIEVED; THEN FORGIVE US AND HAVE MERCY ON US, THAT YOU ARE THE BEST OF MERCIFULS.''

(( 110 ))

110- AND YOU TOOK THEM FOR A LAUGHING-STOCK; SO THAT THEY CAUSED YOU TO FORGET ME, WHILE YOU WERE MOCKING AT THEM.

(( 111 ))

111- TODAY, I HAVE REWARDED THEM FOR THEIR PATIENCE, AND THEY ARE THE TRIUMPHANTS.

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THE COMMENTARY
DON'T SPEAK TO ME


VERSE NO.105111 Now comes the turn of the excuses of the companions of Hell, which is rejected by God, and they have to suffer the torments of the damned.

In answer to the question that; ``Were My signs not rehearsed to you and belied them?'' They say: ``Our adversity overcame us and we went astray.'' They metaphorically say that it was their fate and misfortune that led them to such a terrible misery. By such confessions, they intend to attract the forgiveness of God, but no one can deceive Allah in any way. In other word, what they mean is that the Satan within them overcame them, and of their bad luck and misfortune was the cause of their astray. Of course, the truth is not so as they say it. Man is not the slave of any Satan within or without, unless he himself wants the slavery. He is not even in chain of his caprices, passions, and vain desires, unless he himself wants it.

It is really by our delibrate choice, if we submit to devils and do evil deeds. No one has taken our hand and say; do this and do that, and no one is to be blamed for our deeds, except ourselves. Therefore by rejecting the truth that came to them through the prophets from their Lord, and for their mockery of the apostles and men of God, they forfeited their souls; and then in the time of harvest they come to know that they had sowed nothing except the seeds of evil, shame, and sorrow! Now torment and anguish was their produce:

``And you took them for a laughing-stock; so much so, that they caused you to forget Me, while you were mocking at them.''

They were so busy in mocking at the believers, and in pulling [ 318 ] their legs, and were so submerged in ridiculous and idle talks,that the believers became the unconscious cause of the nonbelievers forgetfulness of God, and ignoring His warnings through the apostles. They therefore, became the victims of their own mockeries.

(( 112 ))

112- HE WILL SAY: ``HOW MANY YEARS DID YOU STAY ON THE EARTH?

(( 113 ))

113- THEY WILL SAY: ``WE HAVE STAYED A DAY OR PART OF A DAY, BUT (YOU BETTER) ASK THE COUNTERS.''

(( 114 ))

114- HE WILL SAY; ``YOU STAYED NOT, EXCEPT A LITTLE WHILE, IF YOU COULD KNOW.''

(( 115 ))

115- DID YOU THINK THEN, THAT WE CREATED YOU IN VAIN, AND THAT YOU WOULD NOT BE RETURNED TO US.

(( 116 ))

116- SO, HIGH EXALTED BE ALLAH, THE KING OF TRUTH. THERE IS NO GOD EXCEPT HIM, (WHO IS) THE LORD OF THE NOBLE THRONE.

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THE COMMENTARY
OUR SHORT LIFE ON THIS EARTH
VERSE NO.112116

The relativity of time and space proves that we live in eternity, and in our life to come this will manifest itself clearly to us: ``In the Resurrection Day, the sinners will swear that they tarried not here except for an hour. But those who are endowed with knowledge and faith will say; verily you have tarried according to Allah's record up to the Resurrection Day which is today, but you were not aware.'' (S 30:5556)

Compared with eternity, our life time in this world is extremely short, and we stay not in this earth except for a little while, if we only could know it. In the life to come, many things shall be cleared to us; among which is the short probation period that we have to tarry here. The results of our probation and tests and trials, are given to us in the Day of Doom. Now we should know that life is real, earnest, and grave cannot be its goal.

(( 117 )) 117- AND WHOEVER CALLS ANOTHER GOD WITH ALLAH, THERE IS NO PROOF FOR HIM IN THAT, AND HIS RECKONING IS WITH HIS LORD. AND THAT, THE NON-BELIEVERS WILL NOT PROSPER.

(( 118 ))

118- AND SAY: ``MY LORD! FORGIVE AND HAVE MERCY, THAT YOU ARE THE BEST OF MERCIFULS.''

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THE COMMENTARY
THE PROSPEROUS AND NON-PROSPEROUS


VERSE NO.117118 The chapter of ``BELIEVERS'' is ended here with an stress again on the ONENESS of God, and that the heathens and polytheist will not prosper: ``Whoever calls another god with Allah, there is no proof for him in that....'' God is the only reality, and if anyone however tries to prove other gods besides Him, he will have no reason to prove his claim. Allah is the only Creator, cherisher and Lord of all and, He has no partner of whatsoever.

Finally, all the believers are enjoined to commit themselves to the care of Allah by begging His pardon and praying for His Mercy: ``Say: ``My Lord! Forgive and have Mercy on us that you are the best of Mercifuls.'' Although the prophet is addressed here, but in general, the supplication and entreaty, applies to all the believers.

THE END OF SUREH THE BELIEVERS (23)

THE END OF PART 17

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THE LIGHT

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH THE MERCIFUL THE COMPASSIONATE

(( 1 ))

1- A SUREH (CHAPTER) THAT WE HAVE SENT IT DOWN, AND MADE IT INCUMBENT; AND WE HAVE SENT DOWN IN IT CLEAR SIGNS THAT YOU MAY PAY ATTENTION. (TAKE ADMONITION)

(( 2 ))

2- AS TO THE ADULTERESS AND ADULTERER, FLOG EACH OF THEM WITH A HUNDRED STRIPES; AND HAVE NO PITY ON THEM IN THE MATTER OF GOD'S RELIGION, IF YOU DO BELIEVE IN ALLAH AND THE LAST DAY. AND A PARTY OF BELIEVERS SHOULD WITNESS THEIR PUNISHMENT.

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(( 3 ))

3- THE ADULTERER IS NOT TO MARRY EXCEPT AN ADULTERESS OR A POLYTHEIST WOMAN, AND AS TO THE ADULTERESS, NO ONE SHALL MARRY HER EXCEPT AN ADULTERER OR A POLYTHEIST; AND THAT HAS BEEN MADE UNLAWFUL FOR BELIEVERS.

THE COMMENTARY THE PUNISHMENT FOR ADULTERY VERSE NO.13

This chapter is named, ``LIGHT'' after one of its most expressive verses; (NO.34) meanwhile the whole SUREH casts light upon aspects of life. It casts the light of chastity on man and woman. It casts the light of truth on words and speeches. It sheds the light of Monotheism and faith upon the hearts and souls. The Arabic, ``SUREH'' comes from, ``SUR'' which means height, and tall walls, constructed in ancient to protect people from the rush of enemies. SUREH also means high and beautiful buildings, and also the various parts of such a building is called SUREH; and hence the chapters of Qura"n which are supposed to be smaller parts of a great palace.

Then the SUREH of LIGHT begins with the first of a series of commandment which is very strict and decisive: ``As to the adulteress and adulterer, flog each of them with a hundred stripes, and have no pity on them in the matter of religion.'' [ 323 ]

The sexual affairs can deeply affect spiritual as well as physical life. In this chapter of Qura"n Allah has issued some decrees that are not mere matters of convenience. Allah has ordained them for our serious observance in life.

The Arabic, ``ZINA"'' which means unlawful sexual intercourse, includes adultery and fornication between married or unmarried couples. In contrary to Christian religion, the Law of marriage and divorce is made easy in Islam. So there is no room for any excuse for a Muslim in; ``Why unlawful sexual intercourse?'' These issues here make for greater self-respect of man and woman, and will protect the life in wedlock for both sexes making it safe and honourable.'' The third verse refers to the marriage of an adulterer or adulteress: ``The adulterer is not to marry except an adulteress, or a polytheist woman....''

Some commentators do not take the above verse in imperative mood, so as to be considered an order. They suppose it as an informative assertion, that expresses an evident reality, that; clean people will seek clean people, and the unclean will go after the unclean. In other word; ``Birds of a feather flock together.'' Some other commentators are of opinion that this is a religious injunction that chaste people should not marry the unchaste, because some of the moral diseases are contagious the like of physical diseases.

WHY LADIES FIRST?

Here the adulteress precedes the adulterer in the issue; but in S 5:41 where the decree is issued for thieves, the male thief is mentioned before the female thief: ``And as to the male thief, and the female thief, cut their hands as a [ 324 ]

retribution of what they have earned.'' (S 5:41) This may imply that in the sexual affairs the role of the fair sex is much more critical due to her temptations and attractions; in theft men play a higher role and are more effective than women.

(( 4 ))

4- AND THOSE WHO ACCUSE THE WOMEN IN WEDLOCK, AND BRING NOT FOUR WITNESSES (TO PROVE THEIR CHARGE), FLOG THEM WITH EIGHTY STRIPES, AND DO NOT ACCEPT ANY TESTIMONY OF THEM FOR EVER, FOR THEY ARE THE DEBAUCHERS.

(( 5 ))

5- EXCEPT THOSE WHO REPENTED AFTER THAT, AND AMENDED (THEIR CONDUCTS); FOR ALLAH IS ALL-FORGIVING COMPASSIONATE.

THE COMMENTARY
THE ISSUE FOR CALUMNY
VERSE NO.45

Following the punishment for adultery, the decree for slander is issued in the above passage. This is to protect the respect and prestige of people, specially the women in wedlock: ``And those who accuse the women in wedlock, and bring not four witnesses to prove it, flog them with eighty lashes, and do not accept their testimony for ever, because they are debauchers.''

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This is a strict warning to those who put forward a slander about other people, and in particular about woman in wedlock without any clear evidence. If a woman's chastity is brought under question, the charge must be supported by four witnesses, which is twice as much as it is needed for general accusations. If the slanderer fails to prove his charge, he himself is to be flogged with eighty lashes; and after that, if he did not repent and did not amend his conduct, he is reckoned among debauchers. Then no one has to accept his testifications for ever. But, if he or she repented and amended, his deprivation of the right of giving evidence, which is some sort of a social disgrace will be cancelled. ABUHANIFAH has narrated that he asked Hazrat Imam Sadiq (AS): ``Which one of the two major sins is the greater; adultery, or murder,?'' Imam Sadiq (AS) answered: ``The murder is greater a sin.'' ABUHANIFAH asked again: ``If so; why then four witnesses are needed to prove a slander, but for the murder two of them will do!?'' Hazrat Imam answered: ``In the cases of adultery two persons are to be punished, but in the case a murder only one has to be punished.''

THE CONDITIONS OF REPENTANCE

We have frequently mentioned that, repentance is not merely regret and being sorry for a sin or doing wrong.

Besides awareness, and a deep sorrow of a genuine regret, there must also be a painful sting of conscience, with the purpose of amendment. It is a saying that; repentance is the weight of indigest meals eaten yesterday. Therefore the consequences of the wrong is to be removed, and its wounds redressed. When he has ruined the reputation of an innocent woman and disgraced her among the society, the main step in repentance is to strictly refute his former assertions, and to disprove and overthrow it by argument, evidences, or proof.

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(( 6 ))

6- AND THOSE WHO ACCUSE THEIR WIVES (OF UNCHASTITY) AND HAVE NO WITNESSES EXCEPT THEMSELVES, THEN THE WITNESS OF ONE OF THEM, BEARING FOUR TIMES ALLAH TO WITNESS THAT HE IS TRUTHFUL.

(( 7 ))

7- AND A FIFTH TIME, THE CURSE OF ALLAH UPON HIM, IF HE SHOULD BE OF THE LIARS.

(( 8 ))

8- AND IT SHALL AVERT THE PUNISHMENT FROM HER, IF SHE TESTIFIES, FOUR TIMES BEARING ALLAH TO WITNESS, THAT HE IS OF THE LIARS.

(( 9 ))

9- AND A FIFTH TIME, THAT THE WRATH OF ALLAH BE UPON HER, IF HE IS OF THE TRUTHFULS.

(( 10 ))

10- AND IF IT WERE NOT FOR ALLAH'S GRACE ON YOU, AND HIS MERCY, AND THAT HE ACCEPTS REPENTANCE, AND IS ALL-WISE. (HIS PUNISHMENT WOULD HAVE AFFLICTED MOST OF YOU)

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THE COMMENTARY
OCCASION OF THE REVELATION
VERSE NO.610

SAAD-IBN-EBA"DEH who was the chief of the Helpers in Medina, said to the prophet: ``O, Messenger of God! When those who accuse a woman in wedlock, (VERSE NO.4) and fail to bring four witnesses to prove their charge, they are to be whipped eighty whips. What then if I go home and see some one making love with my wife!? Can I tell them; continue with your love making, till I go out and bring four men to see you in that condition, so as to testify in the court when it is needed!?

And if I slay her, no one will believe me without having two witnesses to testify on that, and then I am to be slayed in retaliation!'' The prophet took it as an objection against the commandment of Allah, and frowned at the question. SAAD apprehended the prophet's worry, and said again: ``O, Messenger of God! May me and my parent be thy ransom. I never protest against the revelations of my Lord, but I asked that in order to ascertain my heart.''

The prophet kept silent, because, without his reference to inspiration he would never say anything. Then a few days later it so happened that, ``HALAL-IBN-OMMAYEH'' complained to the prophet that he had seen with his own eyes a debaucher making love with his wife. The prophet showed a dark and thoughtful complexion, when GABRIEL appeared to him and brought down the above verses.