About Hur al-'Ayn
Source: Ain-al-Hayat, By: Allama Muhammad Baqir Majlisi
Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) has said: O Abu Baseer! There is a canal in the Heaven on either bank of which are stationed maids. The mu’min who passes that way would select the maids who would willingly accompany him. Allah will create and station more maids in their place.
The Hur al-’Ayn are created with luminous soil. Their limbs would appear shining from within a thousand garments. The heart of the mu’min would be the mirror for the Hur al-’Ayn. Their hearts would be the mu’min’s mirror. Their hearts would be clear and delicate and would be reflective. The talk of the Hur al-’Ayn would be so sweet that one would not have heard such sweet talk ever before. They will say: We are durable and immortal! We have happiness and bounties in perpetuity. Sorrow and care would never afflict us. We shall ever live in the Heaven and shall never be separated from it. Fortunate is the person who is born for us. If a single hair of ours is fixed in the sky, it would make the eyes of those who look at it blink.
The Doors of the Heaven
Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (as) narrates that the Heaven has eight doors. One door is for the Prophets (S) and the truthful ones (the Siddiqeen). The second is for the martyrs and the Saleheen (benevolent). The other five doors are for our friends and Shi’as who believe in our Vicegerency (Imama) and help us. I shall stand near the Bridge of Sirat and pray for the safe passage of the Shi’as and our helpers. At that time a herald would call from the firmament: We have accepted your prayers! You have the right to intercede on behalf of your Shi’as! Each of them too can intercede for seventy thousand of their friends and neighbors! The eighth door of the Heaven is for the other Muslims who do not have the slightest animosity towards the Ahl-ul-Bayt. They will enter the Heaven through this door.
Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) has said: Allah has made Friday as the day of bounties for the inmates of the Heaven because of the mu’mins. On that day the angels would bring from Allah two garments for each mu’min. They will tell to the keeper of the Heaven, “Please take permission from so-and-so Mu’min for me to go to his presence!” The keeper will approach the mu’min and say, “O mu’min creature! Allah’s angel is seeking your permission to meet you!” The mu’min will ask the keeper, “What should I do?” The keeper would reply, “O mu’min! Thank Allah! He has given you high honor that He has sent a messenger with His gift for you!”
Then the angel would approach the mu’min and give him the two garments sent by Allah. One he would wear around his waist and the other around his shoulders. The angel would take the mu’min along with him and proceed to the wada gah al-Rehmat?. When all the mu’mins reach that place in a similar fashion, then Allah will show to them His Radiance. They will all prostrate their heads in prayer. Then Allah would order them to raise their heads from the prostration that it was not the time for prayer! They will all say in unison “O Allah! How could we thank You for granting to us the bounties of the Heaven?”
The reply will be, “You will be bestowed seventy times more bounties that you are receiving now! Every Friday you would receive seventy times more bounties than in the previous week!” Therefore Allah has said in the Holy Book, “We have more bounties and miracles.” Friday is the day of enhancement of the bounties. The eve of Friday is very illuminating and the day is very bright. The mu’mins must keep themselves busy in prayer on the eve and the day of Friday. They must repeatedly utter the words Subhan Allah, Allaho Akbar wa la ilaha il Allah. They should also recite Alhamdu lillah on the rosary and recite the Durood Shareef? as much as they can.
When the mu’mins return from the Muqam Rahma to the Heaven with the gift of the raiment from Allah, their consorts would say, “By the Great Allah, who has endowed us with a place in the Heaven, we have not found you as handsome as today. From where have you acquired these good looks?” The mu’min would say, “I have acquired these good looks from the light and Radiance of Allah!” Then the Imam (as) said, “The women in the Heaven will be free of the menstrual periods. They will not have the instincts of jealousy and ill temper!”
The narrator asked, “Will there be music and song in the Heaven?” The Imam (as) said: In the Heaven there is a tree. With the wind, under Allah’s Orders, the tree would sway and produce such a wonderful tune that was never there in the world. This music will be only for the ears of the mu’min who shunned music in his worldly life out of fear of Allah. Allah has created the Heaven. No human eye has seen it. Every morning it is opened and the fragrance reaches the inmates of the Heaven. Allah says, “No creature knows what hidden bounties are for him that would provide light and coolness to his eyes. This is in return for the good deeds he has done in the world.”
Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (as) has said that Tawbah is a tree in the Heaven the roots of which are in the Prophet’s house and a branch in every mu’min’s residence. Whatever a mu’min wishes to have, the branch of the tree would provide him. The girth of Tawbah is so wide that if a rider goes around, at great speed for one hundred years, he wouldn’t reach from one end to the other. The tree is so tall that if a crow flies from one branch and keeps flying all its life, it would drop dead but wouldn’t reach the top of the tree. Then Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (as) also said, “O people! Endeavor to get the shadow of the tree of Tawbah!”
In another tradition it is mentioned that there is a tree in the Heaven on which Hillay (the Heavenly Garments) are produced. Under this tree appear white steeds with harness and stirrups. These horses will have wings. The will be free of the need of passing the feces. The mu’mins would ride these horses and travel flying to wherever they wish to go. Moments of lower category will see this and say, “O Allah! For what you have rewarded them with this bounty?” Allah will reply, “They shunned their nights’ rest to offer supplication to Me! They used to fast during the days, they did Jihad with my enemies and used to spend their wealth in My way!” The leaf of the tree of Tawbah will be so wide that under its shade the entire following of one Prophet (S) could assemble.
It is narrated that the Prophet of Islam (S) used to smell Lady Fatima Zahra (as) very often Um-ul-Mu’mineen Ayesha didn’t like this practice of the Prophet (S). Once she asked the Prophet (S) why he did this. The Prophet (S) replied, “O Ayesha! On the Night of Me’raj I had been to the Firmament. Jibrael took me near the Tree of Tawbah. He gave me the fruit from the tree. I ate it. That introduced the sperm in my backbone. When I returned to the earth, I mated with Khadija (as) and she bore Fatima (as). I get the fragrance of the Tree of Tawbah from Fatima (as).” The Prophet (S) added, “Fatima (as) has the nature of the houris and the features of a human being. Whenever I think of the Heaven, I smell Fatima (as). She effuses the fragrance of the Heaven!”
Abdullah bin Abbas narrates that the Prophet of Allah (S) has said, “In the Heaven a ring of rubies is suspended on a tablet of gold. When this ring strikes the tablet it produces sound like saying “Ya ‘Ali (as)”.
It is narrated by Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) that the Prophet of Allah (S) has said: The night I went for Me’raj and entered the Heaven, I noticed some angels busy at construction work. They were alternatively putting on a golden and a silver brick. In between they took some respite. I asked them as to why they were stopping work periodically. They said that they were stopping the work for the arrival of the binding material. The Prophet (S) asked, “What is that binding material?” They replied, “It is the recitation of the mu’min on the rosary of the words: Subhan Allah wal hamdu Lillah wa la ilaha ilAllahu wa Allahu Akbar.” When a mu’min recites these words we commence our work. When he stops his recitation we stop our work.
Jabir bin Abdullah narrates that the Prophet (S) has said, “On the door of the Heaven it is inscribed, ‘la ilaha Il Allahu Mohammadun rasoolullahi Aliun akhoo rasoolillah- there is no god but Allah, Muhammad is his Prophet (S) and ‘Ali(as) is the Prophet’s brother.’ This inscription was there on the firmament a thousand years before the earth was created. In the Heaven Allah has created a column of rubies on which there are seventy thousand palaces. Every palace has a thousand doors. These palaces are for those persons who make friend with people to please Allah and travel to meet them.
Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir (as) narrates that one day Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (as) asked the Prophet (S) to narrate the commentary of the verse: “But those who fear Allah, story over story will be constructed for them under which canals would be flowing. This is Allah’s promise; and Allah never breaks His promises.” Amir’ul-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (as) asked, “How will the story be?”
The Prophet (S) replied: Allah has made each story with precious stones. Their ceilings are of gold with engravings of silver. The door of every storey will have a thousand pearls affixed on it. The floors will have carpets of silk and brocade. They will be perfumed with musk, ambergris and camphor. When a mu’min enters them a crown will be placed on his head. The crown will be embossed with precious stones. He will be given a robe which will be embroidered with red rubies and pearls. He will be made to sit on a throne.
At that moment the angel of the Garden of the Heaven will seek permission to come to greet him. The attendants of the mu’min will tell to the angel that permission cannot be granted that the mu’min was resting with the Houri. When the Houri emerged out, then the angel would enter to greet the mu’min. The angel will notice thousands of maids in attendance around the throne. The mu’min would try to rise as a mark of respect to the angel. The angel would say, “Don’t rise! This is the time for your relaxation!” Then they will both embrace This embrace will be as long as a period of five hundred years in this world. But they will not be slightly tired or uneasy with this. Then the mu’min would look at the Houri who will have a tablet around the neck with the engraving, ‘O friend of Allah! You are my beloved and I am yours! I was very eager about you and you were very eager for me as well!
Then other angels would follow to greet him. In this manner a thousand angels would be sent by Allah to greet the mu’min. When the angels reach the door of the Heaven, they will tell to the Keeper to seek permission from the mu’min for their visit.
The keeper would be told that the mu’min was meeting the Houri and the visitor shall have to wait for getting an audition. One thousand angels would thus wait their turn to meet and greet the mu’min. The Keeper would go to the private servants of the mu’min, who in turn will tell to the mu’min when permission will finally be granted to the thousand angels to enter through the doors. The angels would then greet and congratulate the mu’min. About this event Allah has said in the Holy Book, And the angels shall approach them from every door (and say) ‘peace be on you on account of the forbearance that you practiced and the abode of the Hereafter is fine and excellent’ – Ar Raad 24-23.
Similarly in Ad Dharr Verse 20, Allah says, “And which ever way you direct your vision, you shall find bounties and riches.”
The Prophet of Allah (S) has said that ‘Naeem’ means the realm that Allah will grant to His friend on the Day of Judgment. There the angels will greet and congratulate but they will not enter without the express permission of the mu’min. Then the Prophet (S) added that under the rooms of the mu’mins canals would be flowing and on their banks will be trees laden with fruits.
Whichever fruit they desire to eat, the branch of that fruit tree would come near the mu’min’s mouth. Every fruit would converse with the mu’min with Allah’s orders and would say, ‘O pious person! Please do eat me! Every mu’min would own several gardens where canals of milk, sweet water and beverages would be flowing. Whatever he desired to eat would be instantly available to him. The mu’mins would saunter around the Heaven together. They will meet and socialize with one another. Every time there will be a pleasant breeze blowing in the Heaven as is seen at the times of dawn in the world. Every mu’min will have seventy Houris and four human wives.
Then the Imam (as) said that the mu’min would sit in the Heaven with a bolster behind his back. Suddenly he would notice a bright radiance. He will ask his servants what the light was. They will say that it was a glimpse of the Houri that it had peeped from the corner of the door to get a glimpse of yours. Seeing you, the Houri smiled and the radiance was the reflection of its shining teeth. The mu’min would then give permission for the Houri to enter his chambers.
Hearing this, the servants would go running and convey the message to the Houri. The Houri would then dress in raiment of jewels, wear perfumes of musk and ambergris and come to the presence of the mu’min. The Houri would be so delicate that its slender limbs would be visible through its raiment of jewels. The mu’min’s servants would spray sacrificial shower of jewels in honor of the Houri. Then the Houri would go forward and embrace the mu’min.
Narrating this tradition, the Imam (as) said: The heavens about which Allah has mentioned are Jannat Adan, Jannat-ul-Firdous, Jannat-an-Nayeem and Jannat-il-Ma’awa. In between these heavens, there will be several other heavens. The mu’min would rest in whichever heaven he wished to have a respite in. If he desired for anything, he would say, ‘Subhanaka allahumma (Glory to you my Lord)’ Hearing this, the slaves would produce before him what he desired for. Therefore Allah has said, “In the Heaven they would say, ‘O Allah! You are pure and flawless’ and their congregational prayer would be for their collective peace. This prayer would end in praises for Allah who is the Sustainer of the Worlds.”
Someone asked Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) the commentary of the verse, “Feehinna khairatun h’Isaan.?” The Imam (as) replied that here are meant the pious Shi’a women who will go to the Heaven and get married to the mu’mins. Then the person asked, “What is meant by,’ Hoorun maqsooraatun filqiyam?” He replied: There will be delicate houris of fair complexion in the Heaven who will sit in tents made of emerald and coral. Every tent will have four doors. Every door will have seventy virgin women stationed as guards. These houris have been created to give company to the mu’mins.
The Prophet of Allah (S) has said that the trunk of every tree in the Heaven is made of gold. The people of the Heaven will be endowed with increased good looks, strength and brightness every day. The lowest ranking inmate of the Heaven will be provided with seventy servants. Ninety-two stages of the elevated stages of the Heaven would be earmarked for him.
The women of the Heaven will remain virgin even after copulation because they will be the creation of pure and clean soil. They will have no marks and deformities and nothing would have entered their private parts. They will be free of menstrual discharges. Their hymen would be intact even after copulation.
In another tradition the Prophet (S) has said: The four walls of the Heaven have been erected with bricks made of gold and silver. In place of concrete, a mixture of musk, ambergris and rose water would be used. Its ramparts would be made of emeralds red and green. It has many doors. Baab ar Rahma (door of mercy) is made of red emeralds. Baab as Sabr (door of patience) is a small door made of emeralds and will have no door-chain. Baab as Shukr (door of praise) is made of white emeralds and its two shutters have a distance equivalent to the distance traversed in five hundred years.
A sound emanates from this door saying,’ O Allah! Guide towards me those who are deserving!’ Baab al Bala (door of test) is made of yellow emerald. The people who enter through this door will be those who suffered from sicknesses in the world and did not squander their reward by complaining about their condition. There is another big door to the Heaven through which such persons will enter who have abandoned the world to save themselves from evil deeds. The Prophet (S) was asked, “What will the inmates of the Heaven do when they reach there?”
The Prophet (S) said: They will board the boats and go sightseeing in the waters of the canals. The boats will be made of emeralds. The oars will be made of pearls and the angels would be the sailors. The name of the canal is Jannat al Ma’wa ?. Then the Imam (as) said: Inside the heaven there will be another heaven, the name of which is Eden. Its walls are made of red rubies and the flooring of pearls. Then there will be another heaven by name of Jannat al Firdous. Its walls and doors are made up of light.
The Prophet of Islam (S) has said: In the Heaven, the inmates will not need to attend the nature’s call. It will, in fact, be converted into a fragrant liquid.
The Prophet (S) said, “O Abu Dharr! Be quiet while with a funeral procession and when in battle and recite the Holy Book!”
Amir’ul-Mu’mineen (as) said, “There are five times of prayer, when it is accepted: 1. While reciting the Qur’an. 2. When the Adhaan is said. 3. While it is raining (when the first rain drops fall on the land). 4. At the time of battle when the skirmish between the believers and the infidels is in progress. 5.When the oppressed pray.”
When the Qur’an is recited, listen quietly and with intent. At that time quiet is mandatory and talking taboo. Some jurists are of opinion that when the Imam (as) leads the prayer and recites the verses, the congregation should be quietly standing behind him. Also the Prophet (S) has exhorted (Sunna mu’akkada?) that people should quietly listen to the recitation of the Qur’an.
Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) narrates that when a person hears quietly one word of the Qur’an recited, Allah will apportion one reward for him and deletes one sin from his account of deeds. The person will be advanced one stage ahead in the Heaven for this act.
Keeping quiet while proceeding with a funeral procession means that one should go with patience and equanimity and not crying and wailing.
The Prophet of Islam (S) has said that Allah doesn’t like two sounds: the sound of people crying in times of difficulty and singing in times of happiness.