Fire is necessary for the stubborn
By: Ayatullah Shaheed Syed Abdul Husayn Dastaghaib Shirazi
God created man for Paradise, but among people there arise some who cannot go to Paradise. Who are they?
áÇ íóÕúáÇåóÇ ÅöáÇø ÇáÃóÔúÞóì
"None shall enter it but the most unhappy,"
They will taste the chastisements of hell.
"Lay hold on him, then put a chain on him,"
The length of the chains is seventy ‘ziraa’ (one ziraa equals 104 centimeters), which will tighten his neck and hands in hell.
íõÚúÑóÝõ ÇáúãõÌúÑöãõæäó ÈöÓöíãóÇåõãú ÝóíõÄúÎóÐõ ÈöÇáäøóæóÇÕöí æóÇáÃóÞúÏóÇãö
"The guilty shall be recognized by their marks, so they shall be seized by the forelocks and the feet."
The angels will drag the sinners by their hair and legs and they would be tied together and hurled into hell… What do you think? For whom are these tortures? Almighty God Who is the Kindest of the Kind is always inclined to pardon the Faithful, but these bullies, vicious foes, obstinate enemies and those who mock God and the Hereafter and feel no fear in committing any dishonesty, who trample upon the Truth while knowing that it is the Truth surely deserve the severest punishments. The hell described in Qur’an is quite appropriate for such wretched fellows. Qur’an says:
æóÞõÖöíó Èóíúäóåõãú ÈöÇáúÍóÞøö æóåõãú áÇ íõÙúáóãõæäó
"…and judgment shall be given between them with justice, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly."
When the people of Paradise will be given place in Paradise and the fellows of hell hurled in hell there will arise a voice "All praise is for God Who placed everyone in their proper place." One who is righteous should go to Paradise, that is in the House of Safety and one who is definitely evil must enter hell. Praise is for God in both the decisions. No one should think that, may God protect us, hell is prepared out of anger and revengefulness. They never wanted to go to Paradise who stood against God, Hereafter and Truth.
They always said "I" and only "I." You recite in Dua Kumail
: You always put the enemies in hell. That is they are always in hell and with no way to escape. Where shall they be taken? They cannot see Paradise. How can an enemy enter Paradise, which, in fact, is the property of Ali bin Abi Talib! Can an enemy of Ali ever enter Paradise, which belongs to Ali? Even if others want to take him to Paradise, he himself will not step into it, as he is inimical. He is prepared to face any calamity run away from the Mercy of God.
Ali blinded his enemy
In view of the auspiciousness of today, let me tell you a story about the grace of Ali. Shaykh Mufeed says: One day, the bookseller Ja’far was auctioning his books. I also went there with the intention of purchasing some of his books. When I was about to take up some books he told me, "Just sit here. I have seen a thing which is useful for your religion," viz. Shiaism. "It is a miraculous matter which I intend to relate to you as it is useful for strengthening your belief." Shaykh Mufeed says: I sat down. Then that gentleman told me, "I used to go, accompanied by a friend of mine, to a Shaykh named Abu Abdullah Muhaddith, to learn traditions and narrations. By and by, we came to know that he was one of the staunch enemies of Ali.
He was, occasionally, insinuating and insulting Ali. We two advised and admonished him to mend his ways but he replied that he was what he was. Then when he insulted Fatima we decided not to go to him any more. Finally, one night, I saw in my dream that there has come the King of Wilayat, the Moon of guidance, Ali, the Lion of God. He is in the house of the Abu Abdullah Muhaddith. The Amirul Momineen was angry at the Shaykh and was asking him: What have I done to you? Do you not fear that God may make you blind? Then he (Ali) pointed his hand to that fellow’s right eye. I saw in my dream that his eye got blinded."
When I woke up the next day, I thought of asking a friend of mine to go to the Shaykh and inform him about what I had seen in my dream and warn him about the wrath of Amirul Momineen. When I stepped out of my house, I saw my friend coming towards my house. I asked him, "Where are you going?" He said, "Last night I had a dream and I wanted to tell you what I saw." I asked him, "What did you see?" (He had also the same dream). He said, "I saw Ali pointing his finger to the right eye of the Shaykh and that eye was blinded. I have come to you with an intention to go to the Shaykh and admonish him to stop insulting Amirul Momineen."
I told my friend, "I also had the same dream." The two of us went to the house of the Shaykh and knocked at his door. His wife came behind the door and said, "There will be no lesson today." We asked, "Why no lesson? We have some work with him and we want to see him." She replied, "The Shaykh is not well today. He is weeping as he has some trouble." But we insisted and told her that we must see him anyhow. His wife replied, "The Shaykh is very much indisposed today. Putting his hand on his eye, he is complaining that Ali has blinded him." Then we told her, "Please open the door, as we have come here for the same reason." She opened the door and we two went inside to find that this unlucky fellow was weeping and complaining about his eye.
As we approached him, he said, "Finally Ali has blinded me." We said, "Both of us had seen it in our dreams last night. We saw Ali pointing to your right eye making you blind. Now stop your adverse talk about him, perhaps God will heal your eye and it may become healthy again by the grace of Ali." But that fellow replied, "Even if Ali blinds the other eye also, I will not end my enmity towards him." (What villainy)! Finally we arose and left his house. Then again we saw in our dream that our Master, Ali blinded his left eye also. However that fellow’s enmity only increased.
æóáÇ íóÒöíÏõ ÇáÙøóÇáöãöíäó ÅöáÇøó ÎóÓóÇÑÇð
"…and it adds only to the perdition of the unjust
Finally he left this world as a disbeliever and apostate.
Such are the dwellers of hell. Such kinds of people are always present in this world that their nature makes them abide in hell forever.
Permanent dwelling in hell is for those hard-hearted people who are never prepared to humble before the Truth, despite knowing that it is Truth. I will tell you another miraculous story regarding Ali.
Insulting Ali makes one worthy to be killed
It is mentioned in the book Kharaij of Rawandi that Ahmed bin Hamzah Mosuli said: I started for a journey to Mecca. I went to my neighbor to say him goodbye and to ask him whether there was anything I could do for him. He replied, "Yes, I have an important work." I said, "Tell me, so that I may do accordingly." He said, "When you go to Medina and enter the Mosque of the Prophet, stand in front of the Prophet’s grave and tell him my word. Ask him on my behalf, ‘O Muhammad! Was there a shortage of men that you gave your daughter to Ali in marriage? How did you take such a man as your son-in-law?’ Then he also uttered some other words of insult.
How strange are the hard-hearted people who, after a number of years, show renewed enmity saying why the Holy Prophet gave his daughter in marriage to Ali?
Ahmed bin Hamzah says: I did not say anything to him, as I knew that it was of no use. When I went to Medina, I felt ashamed how I could utter such bad words. During the night I dreamt that Ali was telling me: I will shortly bring out the blasphemy of that unlucky fellow. In Medina, I once more saw Ali in my dream. The Lion of God, Ali said, "Come on." I said, "I am ready." Then I went to Mosul with Ali. In the dream, Ali entered the house of that unlucky neighbor of mine. I was also with him. We went inside and I saw that fellow sleeping in his room and with the door was closed. Ali took out a knife, cut that inauspicious fellow’s neck and cleaned the blood-smeared knife on a corner of that fellow’s quilt.
Then he raised his holy hand and placed that knife in the roof. When I woke up, I told this dream to my companions in journey with astonishment. We noted the date of that night. When we returned to Mosul we wanted to know whether what we had seen in the dream had actually happened. They told us that all in our neighborhood were in jail. When I asked about that cursed fellow I was told that he has was found murdered on such and such night. It was exactly the night in which I had that dream. After the murder was reported, the authorities came to investigate and arrest the killer but in vain. So the police arrested all the neighbors to find the killer but he was not yet caught.
Ahmed bin Hamzah says: I saw that a number of innocent people were in prison while I knew that the killer of that cursed fellow was Ali, but who can arrest Ali? So they made allegations against some innocent people and finally, in order to relieve them, I, along with my Hajj companions went to the court and related all that had happened. As evidence I told them, "I can show you where the knife used for killing is hidden." Officers came for investigation and found the bloodstained quilt and also the knife in question. Finally the neighbors were freed with an announcement that the killer had been traced. As I have said Ali, the Master of the Faithful is a man who is God’s favor for the good people and the wrath of God for the evil ones. He is one who gives the good people a place in Paradise and sends the evil ones to hell.
Therefore, it must be understood that only some people are such who have brought the wrath of God upon themselves as mentioned earlier. Otherwise people having humility surely get God’s mercy.
Of God! Your mercy is open river to all
There is a narration in the third volume of Biharul Anwar, which pleases the hearts of the Faithful. It says that tomorrow on Judgment Day, there will be so much manifestation of all the encompassing Mercy of God that even Satan will bow his head and long for it.
The intercessors are making intercessions and many people get salvation due to such intercessions and finally, the Holiest One says: Now is the time for My Forgiveness and pardon. Then He shows such Mercy and Kindness that even Satan thinks he would be forgiven.
Satan gives oath of Ali to Almighty God
It is indeed strange that the knowledge of Satan is very vast. Have you not heard that a believer once saw Satan in the middle of the sea raising his head out and praying: My Lord! Please do not chastise me for the sake of Ali bin Abi Talib. He says: I stood there. Finally it is mentioned in the fourth volume of Biharul Anwar that this was brought to the notice of Imam Ja’far Sadiq. He recounted and said, "O Master! I also asked him (Satan): What have you to do with Ali? How strange that Satan Ali’s attachment?" He (Satan) replied, "Six thousand years prior to the creation of Adam, I was in the midst of angels in the higher world. I know about the entire universe from the first day. The only one who is dear and near to God is the Lion of God, Ali bin Abi Talib. I know that everyone beseeches God Almighty in his name and God forgives him. So I also beseech God in the name of Ali bin Abi Talib."
The important point is that what Satan said was from his tongue and not from his heart. So Satan could not get any benefit from Ali. Otherwise, had he humility that he ought to have, he would have made obeisance to Adam now at last he speaks a true word. The remaining part of this tradition is also interesting and worth listening.
He says: After I heard this sentence from Satan I asked him, "O Iblis! You had been a teacher of the angels. As you say, your knowledge is to such and such extent. Give me some advice. Give me some admonition based on your knowledge." (It is good. Man must seek knowledge even if available from Satan). Satan replied, "Well. I tell you a word about your world and a word about your Hereafter." Verily if Satan had ever spoken two true words they were only these. You, gentleman also must get benefit from it. Just observe, how true the cursed one has said.
Two advices from Satan for this world and for the hereafter
If you intend to pass your worldly life happily be content. Then your worldly life will pass pleasingly. Do not entertain greed. Do not look at those who are higher than you. Be calm, cool and quiet. Do not give importance to whatever confronts you. It means if you do not remain content on what God has given to you then you will not feel happy in this world. Do not think that these persons who earn millions are happy. They can never taste the delight, which a contented man tastes. The contented man eats dry bread but with delight as he has contentment, but the unlucky man who has a lot of facilities does not get any delight therefrom. He is not at peace because he has ever growing greed. In short, O Gentlemen! Listen to this admonition.
For your Hereafter, for the moment of your death, for the time of your being lowered in the grave, for the Purgatory (Barzakh), for the field of gathering (Mahshar), for Sirat Bridge and for the Balance (Mizan), for all these moments, treasure the love for Ali bin Abi Talib. The radiance of Ali will be your help and your friend. Carry this relation with you (for your journey and stay after death). Your support should be Ali. You will get peace, safety and security.
ÇáøóÐöíäó ÂãóäõæÇ æóáóãú íóáúÈöÓõæÇ ÅöíãóÇäóåõãú ÈöÙõáúãò ÃõæúáóÆößó áóåõãú ÇáÃóãúäõ æóåõãú ãõåúÊóÏõæäó
"Those who believe and do not mix up their faith with iniquity, those are they who shall have the security and they are those who go aright."
O God! Kindly drive away from our hearts everything except love and affinity for Muhammad and the Progeny of Muhammad. Remove the lust for world from our interior.
Just as it is obligatory for the speaker to speak about these commands it also is obligatory for others to hear them and to understand them – Woe unto one who likes to spread the bad news of a shameful deed, exposing it to others in the society. The first one tells it to the second and the second tells it in a gathering and within a short time it becomes talk of the town. Then he says that so and so says so. Now who told it to ten old ladies? The talk of these ten old ladies also returns to one ignorant old lady who made this mistake.
Then they say that the whole town speaks about it. Hellfire is for the one who spreads a shameless deed by exposing it. Even if you saw it with your own eyes it is your duty to hide it. You have no right to tell about it to anyone. Curse of God on you if you say what you saw. Imam Sadiq has said
: One who spreads and talks about what he saw or heard about a believer is one of those who, as mentioned by God in the Holy Qur’an, will taste a painful chastisement as he liked to expose evil deeds.
Ousted from God’s shelter
It is mentioned in Usul al-Kafi that Imam Sadiq says: If one says what he saw by his eyes or heard by his ears of what makes one honorless, God drives him out of His shelter even if such man fasted in Ramadhan. The word used is Wilayat (of God). Wilayat is in the meaning of guardianship, love, kindness; that is, God drives him out of His help and hands him over to the devil who also does not accept him. It means such man is so mean and wicked that Satan too does not look at him. Such is a man who says what he saw and what he heard to make one honorless.
The Holy Qur’an also says:
Åöäøó ÇáÓøóãúÚó æóÇáúÈóÕóÑó æóÇáúÝõÄóÇÏó ßõáøõ ÃõæúáóÆößó ßóÇäó Úóäúåõ ãóÓúÆõæáÇð
"…surely, the hearing and the sight and the heart, all of these, shall be questioned about that."
O the ones says anything, O ones who creates adverse opinion, all this will be questioned. Another holy verse says:
æóíúáñ áößõáøö åõãóÒóÉò áõãóÒóÉò
"‘Wael’ (woe) to every slanderer, defamer.
The Arabic word ‘Wael’ means a well in hell. For whom is it? – It is for a backbiter who runs after the honor of everyone like a fly buzzing around the body, from head to feet but it sits only at the spot, which is injured, where there is a wound and it feeds on it. Though the body has hundreds of beauties it over looks all of them but sits only at the defective part. It overlooks and ignores good things and sticks to the defect even if sometimes it is not defective as will be seen in the following tale
A beautiful mole appears ugly but…
Like Greece, wisdom was also found in India in olden days. It is said that in one of the Indian cities, there were two statues erected at its main gate. One of them was very good-looking, full of niceties. One of its beauties was a black mole on its right cheek. In front of this nice statue they had also erected a very ugly statue, which looked frightened and two long horns were arose from its head. This ugly statue extended its finger pointing to the black mole on the face of the other beautiful statue saying: How ugly you are. Just look at this black mole. Then they had written these words: This is the condition of man – he does not look at two ugly horns on his head.
He does not see the beauties of others. He looks only at a little black mole though this mole also, at its place is a mark of beauty. You dislike it and see ugliness in it! How sweet are the words of Shaykh: Stop finding faults of others. Look at your own defect and criticize it. (Persian couplet)
Look at your horns. When you see defects in others, also look at your own defects. Be equitable. If you can see one or two drawbacks in others, truly speaking, you can find hundreds of defects in your own self. But who looks at one’s own drawbacks? One always thinks nice about oneself (Love of something makes one blind and deaf). For example, Criticizing others he says: that man is ungrateful, he does not observe rights of others, he does not act as one should act with his friends. But, have you observed the rights of God, have you been thankful to Him?
They do not observe the rights of God
A trader, who was a follower of Allamah Majlisi, came to him and said, "O Sir! I have fallen in a difficult situation. Some jugglers are sent to me from Isfahan and they say, ‘We want to visit your house tonight.’ I am also unable to run away (escape) as these jugglers have connections with the government and are likely to harm me and I am compelled to provide means of play and pastime for them when they arrive. Now what should I do?" Majlisi (may God raise his ranks) replied, "Never mind. I myself will come to that gathering first. Everything will be all right." Then Majlisi offered his evening and night prayer before going to the house of that trader.
The chief juggler arrived with his students but when they saw Majlisi they were displeased as obviously it would not be easy or possible for them so sing and dance in his presence. Majlisi told the chief juggler. What kind of things are you doing? They replied angrily, "Our behavior is better than yours." Majlisi asked, "How is it so?" They replied, "We are grateful and know who has helped us. If we have eaten the salt of somebody (are helped by someone) we remain grateful to him till we breathe our last. We do not become dishonest. We are thankful people. We have magnanimity." Majlisi remained silent for a while, then after a little pause asked them, "Well if you are a grateful lot tell me how much gratefulness you have shown towards your God? Have you not eaten His salt? How much thankful have you been to Him? Have you broken the salt-pan? How many sins have you committed against His Will? Somebody gave you something and you appreciated it. Is this, in your opinion, thankfulness? Realize the kindness of God. Begin from a piece of bread and then go further in appreciating God’s beneficence. You have benefited from Him not on one or two days but for the last sixty years. Now you say I am a thankful man! What have you done with regard to the Creator of salt and bread, the Lord of the Universe? Have you thanked Him? Have you served and worshipped Him? Have you not disobeyed Him by sinning?" Hearing these true words, the jugglers rose up one by one and went out. Majlisi also departed.
Next morning after the call for prayer Majlisi heard a knock at his door. He saw that the chief juggler had come to him, but in what condition? How fortunate is the chief juggler who repents and makes repentance. And woe unto the Haji Sahib who becomes proud. Good end depends on repentance whereby one does not consider himself pious. In brief, the juggler came, sought pardon and said, "O Sir! My entire life passed in negligence. Last night I realized that all of us are totally ungrateful. Now, I have come to repent." The late Majlisi also behaved very nicely with him, took him in his house and showed him the path of repentance saying, make a firm decision not to sin again. Make a promise with God that you will not miss prayer and fasts and that you will not be unmindful of your Lord’s commands and duties imposed on you by Him. If you want to thank Him appropriately then never disregard His Commands, give up whatever He orders you not to do.
O the ones who sin with these God-given eyes by looking at prohibited things! You have, by so doing, been ungrateful to God for this great bounty. O the one who has used the God-given ears for hearing impermissible sounds! You are thankless to God. O the one who beats an innocent child with this God-given hand! You are ungrateful. Thankfulness is in using the God-given things for which God has created them. God gave you hands so that you may serve God’s creation with them and always perform good deeds. But you did evil things with these hands.
How fortunate is one who, in this holy month of Ramadhan, repents for each and every ungratefulness and makes sincere repentance. The door of Divine Mercy is always open. He forgives the repentant. He does not take back the bounty of tongue, which could make you dumb. Suppose a man is thirsty and is unable to move and is also unable to tell that he is thirsty. What to do? How difficult is this situation! Woe unto one, when the bounty of this tongue will be withdrawn. One may also not be able to say or convey anything by signals. Woe unto you if you become thankless by misusing this tongue by backbiting others and attacking someone’s honor. All this is thanklessness and ungratefulness. It is so if you uttered indecent things and sang shameless songs.
Now, come, let us repent over the past. O Lord! You have, so kindly, opened the door of Your Mercy. Zainul Abideen prays: O Lord! If You had not given us anything except the Door of repentance, it would have been enough for us. This door of repentance is an extraordinary bounty. Man can benefit limitlessly from this door. But woe unto us if we do not take its benefit. How spacious is this door when it is said: Whatever you have done, come and turn towards your Lord and improve yourself, repent, do not get disappointed. Do not say: My tongue cannot count my sins. If your sins are many, God’s forgiveness is greater than them, more and higher. Come once with a heavy and repenting heart and see how God forgives you.
Paradise is prohibited for a backbiter
It is written that Paradise has been proclaimed inadmissible to some groups: drunkards, usurers and backbiters. O God! I seek Your refuge from being in any of these groups. Corpse eater is not allowed to enter Paradise. The place of a corpse eater is in dirty places. Dogs gather around a corpse. Some of them also sit at a distance. Those who backbite believers are all carrion-eaters. There are a number of testimonies to this statement. It is indeed very dangerous. If you are in a meeting and if anyone wants to talk evil of any believer (who is absent) get up at once and run away from that gathering. Try your best to stop them from backbiting. If you prevent them God will close doors of evils for you. If you did not try to prevent them and if you helped him, God will chastise you 70 times more than him. The sin of such hearer (of backbiting) is seventy times severer than the speaker. This will be explained in detail tomorrow.
Injuries of Husain on Ashura Day
Now let us hold the skirt of Husain for forgiveness and mercy. Sometimes the tongue utters a word. It inflames fire. One says a word, which burns the heart of people. Some words were spoken against Husain on the day of Ashura, which were more painful than the wounds of swords and spears for the heart of Husain. A disbeliever who inflicted such injury said, "O Husain! Did you not say, ‘My father will distribute water of Kauthar?’ Now ask him to quench your thirst." Another oppressor inflicted another wound saying; at the time of burning Husain tents: You made haste to enter fire.
"And do not spy nor let some of you backbite others. Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? But you abhor it; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, surely Allah is Oft-returning (to mercy), Merciful. (49:12)"
Four evidences which show that backbiting is prohibited
There are four evidences, which prove that backbiting is prohibited: The Book, the Sunnah, consensus and reason.
All the schools of thought and sects in Islam fully agree that backbiting is prohibited. Human wisdom, intelligence and logic also say so. Everything, which becomes a cause of disintegration and disunity, is illegal. Yesterday we came across some verses of the Holy Qur’an showing that backbiting is unlawful. For example:
ÃóíõÍöÈøõ ÃóÍóÏõßõãú Ãóäú íóÃúßõáó áóÍúãó ÃóÎöíåö ãóíúÊðÇ¿ ÝóßóÑöåúÊõãõæåõ¡ æóÇÊøóÞõæÇ Çááøóåó¡ Åöäøó Çááøóåó ÊóæøóÇÈñ ÑóÍöíãñ
"Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? But you abhor it; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, surely Allah is Oft-returning (to mercy), Merciful. (49:12)"
Åöäøó ÇáÓøóãúÚó æóÇáúÈóÕóÑó æóÇáúÝõÄóÇÏó ßõáøõ ÃõæúáóÆößó ßóÇäó Úóäúåõ ãóÓúÆõæáÇð
"Surely, the hearing and the sight and the heart, all of these, shall be questioned about that."
æóíúáñ áößõáøö åõãóÒóÉò áõãóÒóÉò
"Woe to every slanderer, defamer,"
Fifty narrations regarding backbiting
Some scholar scholars have collected fifty narrations from books. Here I tell you about two or three of them so the seriousness of this sin may be known.
Backbiting eats up religion like leprosy
According to Usul al-Kafi, the Holy Prophet said: Backbiting is like ‘Kallah’(Majlisi says, most probably it means leprosy, a skin disease which grows beneath the skin and eats up the flesh so much that even bones show up.) In Persian, it is said that leprosy is a disease, which eats up flesh. Sometimes it eats up the nose and then nothing like a nose is seen any more. This is a very dangerous and contagious disease. It is not detected in the beginning but after some months when it is detected, nothing remains of an affected organ.
It is said that backbiting too is similar. It eats up the religion of a Muslim. It means that one who takes up the habit of backbiting his religion also begins to be eaten up simultaneously and continuously and gets eroded till the day when it is known that there is no religion in his heart, that it has become faithless and when he dies, he dies a faithless fellow.
Towards good through good opinion about God
Yet another narration in al-Kafi quotes Amirul Momineen that the Prophet said: (This narration is both a good tiding as well as a warning) By God, (This swearing shows that the matter is very important), Who has no partner, and there is no sovereign except He, no person can attain the good of both this world and the Hereafter but by three things. First is to have a good opinion about God.
It means he should hope that if His order is obeyed He will give its reward, also one must hope that if he gives up sinning His Lord will reward him. If man cuts off his relation (His mindfulness) with God he has no other hope of doing any good deed and he will not engage in worship and prayer. If one has no hope that God gives reward of praying, fasting and spending in His path, why will he engage in these good deeds? In short, anyone who reaches anywhere it is dependent upon his good opinion and hope from God. If you see that one spends his wealth for helping the needy know that his hope from God is great and his opinion about God is stronger. If one is found lazy in such good deeds, know that his hope from God is less.