Shi’ism At A Glance (8) — Leadership Newspaper
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Shi’ism At A Glance (8)

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As mentioned in the last edition of this topic, in this piece, we study some selected doctrines in chapter four of Our Belief, another prominent book on Islamic doctrines from the Ahlul Bait perspective, by His Holiness, Ayatullahelozma N Makarem Shirazi. First published in  1998, the book was translated by Mansoor Aminy Baghbadorani and printed by Amir al-Momenin School, Qom.

 

36 Resurrection Is Corporeal

We believe that not only the soul, but the soul and body of man will be raised to life in resurrection. This is because whatever is done here is done by both the soul and body; so the reward too should be given to both of them. Most of the Qur’anic verses which refer to resurrection have put the stress on corporeal raise of the body as well as the soul. In answer to the amazed questioner, who asked the prophet; who raised the dead? Qur’an answers. He who gave them their creation can easily raise them once again.

“Does man think that we cannot assemble his bones once again? Yes! We are able to remold the very tips of his fingers” Q75:34. Such verses also denote that the resurrection is corporeal too. There are also verses  that report of getting out of our graves, proving the raise to be bodily.

 

  1. The Strange World After Death

We believe that whatever is going on after death, and in the Paradise and Hell, is far above what we see here. “No one knows what delights of the eyes (the real bliss that gives most satisfaction), are kept hidden for them as a reward for their good deeds” Q32:17

Through a famous tradition, God says: “I have prepared for my virtuous servants, blessings that not any eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard and no heart has ever comprehended. As a matter of fact, in this world we are similar to a fetus in the mother’s womb! If the fetus could have a mind and wisdom, he could certainly know nothing of whatever is outside the womb, such as the sun, the bright moon, the beautiful flowers and the roaring sea waves. So is this world to the hereafter. It is comparable with the womb in relation to the next to the next, please note carefully.

 

  1. Resurrection And The Record Of Our Deeds

We believe that in the Doomsday, the record book of whatever we have done, will be given to us. The record of those who are sanctified will be given to their right hand, and that of the wrongdoers shall be given to their left. By reading the book of their deeds, the virtuous will be happy and the evildoers anxious. “He who is given his record in his right hand will say take mine and read it! I knew that I would come to my account. And he will be in a blissful life, in a lofty garden with clusters of fruit within his reach. We shall say to him; Eat and drink to your happiness. Here is your reward for what you did in days gone by. And as for him whose book is given to his left hand will say; Ah! Would that my record had not been given to me! Would that I knew nothing of my account. Would that death had made an end of me. My wealth had availed me nothing and I am bereft of all power” Q69:19-25

As for the book;  how it is written or read, no one knows enough, but it exists, no one can deny. The particularities of that day is such that we cannot know it in detail, but generally we know what is going to happen.

 

  1. The Witnesses In The Final Judgment

We believe that in the final judgment, besides God, who is controlling all judgments, there are other witnesses too; such as the hands and feet, the skin and even the ground upon which we live. All of these will testify as to what we have done before.  “That Day, We should set a seal on their mouths, (shut them up) and their hands will speak to Us, and their feet shall bear witness to all that they did” Q36:65 “When they reach it, their ears and their skins will testify to their misdeeds! Why  did you speak against us? And their skins will reply; Allah who gives speech to all, has made us to speak” Q41:20.  “When the earth is shaken to her utmost convulsion, and man asks; What may this mean?  On that Day, will she declare her reports, because your Lord have inspired her to do so” Q99:45

 

  1. The Passage Way (Bridge) And The Scale To Weigh Deeds

We believe that in the Doomsday, the passageway (Serat) and the scale for weighing our deeds do exist. By the passage way, a bridge is meant, which is laid over the Hell, and every one must pass over that bridge to reach Paradise! Yes! The bridge or passage way that may lead to Paradise, hangs over the Fire. “There is not one of you who shall not pass through the confines of the Hell! Such is the absolute decree of your Lord. We will deliver those who fear Us, but the wrongdoers shall be left to endure its torments on their knees” Q19:71-72

Passing through that hard passage way, depends on what man had done before. We read a famous tradition thus; Some people will pass the bridge as quick as lightening! Some pass it over as fast as a speedy horse, others like the pedestrians. A group will go on, leaning on their hands and feet, and some are hanged by their hands, trying to pass over the blaze of Hell. So, the Hell catches some and leaves some to go to the gardens of Bliss. As for the scale, it is a means by which the human deeds are measured and weighed so as to specify their values.  “We shall set up the scales of justice on the day of judgment, and not a soul will be dealt with unjustly in the least. And if there be the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it to account; and enough are We as accountant” Q21:47. “Then he whose scale (of good deeds) are heavy, shall dwell in bliss, but he whose balances (of good deeds) are light, the abyss shall be his home” Q101:6-9

We believe that salvation in the next life, depends only on one’s deeds and acts and not on his fancies and thoughts. There; No one can be redeemed unless by piety and good deeds, and the grace of God. “Every soul will be held in pledge for its deeds” Q74:38 This is a brief description about the scale, the detail of which we know not, because the world to come is far above the lower world within which we are imprisoned.

 

  1. Intercession In Doomsday

We believe that in doomsday, the prophets and the innocent saints might intercede on behalf of some sinners with God, and plea for their forgiveness. We should not forget that such intercession is only permitted for those who have not entirely cut off their relation with God and His apostles. Therefore, the intercession is not done unconditionally: “He knows what is before them and what is after them,  and they (the apostles) offer no intercession except for those who are conformed, to the will of God, and they (all) stand in awe and reverence of God’s glory. Q21:28

As we have already mentioned, intercession is a way to train man, a means of preventing him to drown in the area of sins, while it may teach him to repent and return to His Merciful Lord from evil. Certainly, the highest rank of intercession belongs to the apostles, and then it lowers to the saints to the learned, the martyrs and true believers to some relative extents. In a tradition narrated by Imam Saadiq; there are none among the first and the last who are not in need of Muhammad’s intercession in doomsday. And also in another tradition we have; There are five intercessors in doomsday 1. Qur’an 2. Observation of bonds of kinship 3. Trusteeship 4. Your prophet Muhammad 5. Your prophet’s nearest kins. We have also received another tradition from Imam Sadiq “In the resurrection day,  God raises the Ascetic worshipper and the learned believer to life. He will say to the ascetic worshipper; go and live in my Paradise, But He will say to the learned; stay here and intercede on behalf of the people. This tradition contains a minutely fine point about the philosophy of intercession.

 

  1. The World Of The Dead

We believe that between death and resurrection, there is a third world, called Barzakh, in which the souls of all human beings who die will live until  they are raised again:

“When death comes, they say My Lord! turn me back to life in order that I may do the good works which I have neglected. No! By no means (is the answer to their request)! this is what they ask, but over them Barzakh’ (a world in which people shall live after death and before judgment) Q23:94-100.  We know not much about this world which is in between the raise and death and is called Barzakh, but we know that therein the sanctified souls, like the martyrs and the pious, live a blissful life;

“Do not think of those who are slain for the sake of God, as dead. No! They are alive, and have their sustenance in the presence of their Lord. They rejoice for what Allah gives them out of His bounty; and with regard to those left behind (the believers who are not died yet) who have not joined them, (the martyrs) give glad tidings, not to fear or have they any course to grieve. They give good news of the bounty of Allah and that God will not leave the rewards of the faithful to be lost” Q53:169

On the other hand, the souls of the oppressors and the rebels and their followers and evildoers are all under torture in their life in Barzakh.

“They are brought (the pharaoh’s followers) in front the fire morning and evening, and when they are raised for the final judgment, the companion of pharaoh are cast into the severest penalty” Q40:46

A third group with less guilt are neither among the first group nor among the second ones. In the world after death, they are somehow like a sleeper who sleeps  by death and awakes by resurrection. “When the hour of doom overtakes them, the wrongdoers will swear that they tarried not in (Barzakh) but an hour, and thus they are ever deceived. But those who are endued with knowledge and faith will say you have stayed till the day of resurrection, as was decreed by Allah, and this is the day of resurrection yet you didn’t know it” Q30:56

In an Islamic tradition, it is narrated by the prophet who said, “the grave is either a garden of bliss of the Paradise or an abyss of Hell”

 



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