Chapter 15: Heaven and hell doors

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Khajeh Nasir Tusi, in chapter 15 of the beginning and the end book, said, “And those who glide smoothly. (3) And those who race swiftly. (4) And those who regulate events. (5)” (Nazi’at:3-5). Regulators in the superior Barzakh world are seven planets that turn in 12 constellations. These become nineteen. There are also 19 superintendents for the lower Barzakh world. Seven origins of plant powers[1]: Three principles and four branches, and twelve origins of animal powers: Five external senses, five internal senses, and two sources of stimulation (attraction and repulsion). So, as long as people are locked in the prison of this worldly life, they are captives of these 19 superior and inferior regulators. So, we pass this status as the narration says: “As you live, you die; as you die, you rise”. When they arrive in Sejjin[2] (It is the eternal abode of sinners, which cannot be compared to the harshest worldly prisons due to the existence of all kinds of torments), the owner of hell will torment them with the attachment effects of those 19 guards (superior and inferior). “Over it are Nineteen[3] (Al-Muddathir:30). But there is an exception for the people who are on the right path. “This is My path, straight, so follow it. And do not follow the other paths, lest they divert you from His path[4] (Al-An’am:153). These people will pass these stages safely with the help of the light of the guider of the Resurrection. “God cites the example of a man shared by partners at odds and a man belonging exclusively to one man. Are they equal in status? Praise be to God, but most of them do not know.[5] (Az-Zummar:29).

Explanation

The philosophy of “Ishraq” (Illumination) is based on darkness and light, and they consider the lowest level of existence to be the mater, after which there is darkness, so the philosophers of “Ishraq” consider the body to be a Barzakh and a mediator between darkness and light. Ishraq Philosophers attribute souls to the planets and consider their movement as the result of their souls. It has been mentioned in the hadiths and the Holy Quran that these bodies have reason and soul. “The sun is not to overtake the moon, nor is the night to outpace the day. Each floats in an orbit.[6] (Ya-Sin:40). “Yusbahun”[7] (float) is a plural verb that is used for objects that have intellect in the Arabic language. Almighty God has placed a characteristic for every planet that cannot be found anywhere else, And in their combinations, there is another characteristic. An example of this in human society is letters. The characteristic of the letter “Q” in Arabic means maintaining purity, and the letter “L” in Arabic means loving. When “Q” is combined with “L”, it becomes “Qul”, which in Arabic means to say. If Q is combined with M, it becomes “Qum, “ meaning get up. And if Q is combined with L and M, it becomes “Qalam,” which means pen. Planets are like these. As science has proven, the planets influence each other. For example, the moon causes tidal effects and causes springs and underground water to flow. The moon is also related to the human mind. As we know, most of our body consists of water, so the moon also affects us. If there was no moon, life on Earth would not exist. One of the conditions for the growth of plants is due to the moon because the water does not rise by itself, but due to the moon’s gravity, it sometimes moves up to 20 meters. This is true for the sun and other planets, in which many of their effects have not been discovered. “Those who remember God while standing, and sitting, and on their sides; and they reflect upon the creation of the heavens and the earth: “Our Lord, You did not create this in vain, glory to You, so protect us from the punishment of the Fire[8] (Aal-i-Imran:191).

In the Quran, we have many verses about the sun, moon, and stars. Some of them are as follows: “And the sun, and the moon, and the stars are subservient by His command. His is the creation, and His is the command. Blessed is God, Lord of all beings[9] (Al-A’raf:54). “It is He who made the sun radiant, and the moon a light, and determined phases for it—that you may know the number of years and the calculation[10] (Yunus:5). “It is He who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon; each floating in orbit[11] (Al-Anbiya:33). “By the sun and its radiance. (1) And the moon as it follows it. (2) And the day as it reveals it. (3) And the night as it conceals it” (Ash-Shams:1-4). “And landmarks. And by the stars they guide themselves[12] (An-Nahl:16). “I swear by the locations of the stars. (75) It is an oath, if you only knew, that is tremendous[13] (Al-Waqi’a:75-76).

Khajeh Tusi, after explaining that there are nineteen superior and inferior powers, continued: “ So, as long as people are locked in the prison of this worldly life, they are captives of these 19 superior and inferior regulators”. So, we pass this status as the narration says: “As you live, you die; as you die, you rise”. In short, it means the Hereafter is the appearance of our knowledge and actions. We should be on the straight path as the Holy Quran says: “This is My path, straight, so follow it. And do not follow the other paths, lest they divert you from His path. All this He has enjoined upon you, that you may refrain from wrongdoing[14] (Al-An’am:153). We explain that in one interpretation straight path is Prophet Muhammad (S) and his Ahl Al-Bayt (A). O Allah, make us alive with Muhammad (S) and the family of Muhammad (S), and let us die with Muhammad (S) and the family of Muhammad (S)[15].

Allameh Hassanzadeh said: You know that knowledge and action and even the intentions of people make them. Now, think deeply about this “Who is the owner of heaven and hell in this sense?”. You are the owner of your own heaven and hell, your own Day of Judgment, and you make heaven and hell yourself. After the morning prayer, one of Allameh Hassanzadeh’s students saw Sheikh Akbar (Ibn Arabi) in a dream and asked him to say something to learn. Sheikh Ibn Arabi said: “You are the owner of your own Day of Judgement”. You are the owner of your own knowledge and actions and the owner of your religion and resurrection.

Khajeh Tusi said: “These people will pass these stages safely with the help of the light of the guide of the Resurrection”. Who is the guide? “Their guidance is not your responsibility, but God guides whom He wills[16] (Albaqara:272). “Those who disbelieve say, “Why was a miracle not sent down to him from his Lord?” You are only a warner, and to every community is a guide[17] (Ar-R’ad:7). Think deeply about this narration: Prophet Muhammad (S) said to Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A) that “O Ali, I am warner and you are the guide. The verse of the Holy Quran says: “God guides to His light whomever He wills[18] (An-Nur:36). Narration said: “Imam is the light of God”.

Allameh Hassanzadeh, in his treatise on unity, from the perspective of a mystic and a philosopher, said that the blessed verse “Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Rahim” (In the name of Allah,  the Gracious, the Merciful.) has 19 letters and there are many discussions in each letter. Ibn Abbas narrated from Amir al-Mu’minin (A), who said: “If I write the meanings and facts of “Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Rahim[19], it would be loaded with seventy camels”. Ibn Masoud said that if someone wants God to save him from the 19 angels of hell, then he should recite “Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Rahim”, which is the 19 letters of which God puts each letter like a shield in front of one of those angels of hell. Whoever says “Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Rahim” a lot will be saved (The “Hum”[20] Pronoun in the Arabic language is used for plural intelligent objects. It is used in the Hadith, which means angels of Fire who have intelligence). There are many secrets in the hadiths that express the inner meaning of the verses of the Quran; may God grant us all the ability to understand them. Here are the verses of the Holy Quran about angels of hell and their numbers: “We will call the Guards  (Angels of Hell)[21] (Al-Alaq:18). (Here, God call the Guards, so they have intelligence). “I will roast him in Saqar. (26) But what will explain to you what Saqar is? (27) It neither leaves nor spares. (28) It scorches the flesh. (29) Over it are Nineteen. (30) We have appointed only angels to be Companions of the Fire, and caused their number to be a stumbling block for those who disbelieve; so that those given the Book may attain certainty; and those who believe may increase in faith; and those given the Scripture and the believers may not doubt; and those in whose hearts are sick and the unbelievers may say, “What did God intend by this parable?” Thus, God leads astray whom He wills, and guides whom He wills. None knows the soldiers of your Lord except He. This is nothing but a reminder for the mortals. (31)[22] (Al-Muddathir:26-31).

The number of angels is caused to increase in the belief of believers and the people of the book to attain certainty (The book is the rank of unity). Allameh said: It is crucial to think deeply about this verse, “We have appointed only angels to be companions of the Fire”. What is the status of other people? In another verse of the Holy Quran, we have: “As for those who have earned evil deeds: a reward of similar evil, and shame will cover them. They will have no defense against God—as if their faces are covered with dark patches of night. These are the companions of the Fire, abiding therein forever[23] (Yunus:27). It means that just because of companionship does not cause torment. That is, although other people are in hell eternally, it does not prove that they are in eternal torment. Some people say that there is no way out of hell except for those who go to heaven, but the torment becomes cold for them; that is, they get used to it because of the long time they spend in hell, and some hadiths indicate that they get along well with hell. For example, a cockroach is accustomed to garbage, and a hellish person gets used to hell. When the people of hell suffer and ask for help, they reach a point where they themselves say it is useless; no matter how much we scream, there is no escape, so we must get used to it.

Allameh Qazwini said: “Hell is God’s prison”. These are like guards in prison. “O you who believe! Protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel are people and stones. Over it are angels, fierce and powerful. They never disobey God in anything He commands them, and they carry out whatever they are commanded[24] (At-Tahrim:6). In this verse indicates that the guards of Fire are angels. In another verse, they are called “Khazain[25] (keepers). “It almost bursts with fury. Every time a batch is thrown into it, its keepers will ask them, “Has no Warner come to you?” So, the companions of Fire are 19 angels, who are also called guards and keepers of it. “Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A) said that some verses of the Quran confirm others.  The verses of the Quran should be put together to understand their meanings. Mulla Naraqi said: “Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Rahim” has 19 letters. Most of the words in the Holy Quran has at least one of these letters. By them, Salvation can be achieved from the evil of these 19 powers in the body, which means ten inner and outer senses, anger power, lust power, and seven material powers in the body. This is why God Almighty selected the guards of the Fire equal to the number of these powers.

The best savior from the worldly life is divine piety. Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A), in his sermon in Nahj Al-Balaqa, described the pious man. It is narrated that a companion of Amir al-mu’minin called Hammam1, who was a man devoted to worship, said to him, “O’ Amir Al-Mu’minin, describe to me the pious man in such a way as though I see them.” Amir al-mu’minin avoided the reply and said, “O Hammam, fear Allah and perform good acts because “Verily, Allah is with those who guard (themselves against evil), and those who do good (to others)[26] (An-Nahl:128). Hammam was not satisfied with this and pushed him to speak. Thereupon, Amir Al-Mu’minin praised Allah and extolled Him and sought His blessings on the Holy Prophet and then spoke: Now then, Allah the Glorified, the Sublime, created (the things of) creation. He created them without any need for their obedience or being safe from their sinning because the sin of anyone who sins does not harm Him, nor does the obedience of anyone who obeys Him benefit Him. He has distributed among them their livelihood and has assigned them their positions in the world. Thus, the God-fearing, in it, are the people of distinction. Their speech is to the point, their dress is moderate, and their gait is humble. They keep their eyes closed to what Allah has made unlawful for them, and they put their ears to that knowledge that is beneficial to them. They remain in the time of trials as though they remain in comfort. If there had not been fixed periods (of life) ordained for each, their spirits would not have remained in their bodies even for the twinkling of an eye because of (their) eagerness for the reward and fear of chastisement. The greatness of the Creator is seated in their heart, and so everything else appears small in their eyes. Thus, to them, Paradise is as though they see it and are enjoying its favors. To them, Hell is also as if they see it and are suffering punishment in it. Their hearts are grieved, others are protected from their evils, their bodies are thin, their needs are scanty, and their souls are chaste. They endured (hardship) for a short while, and in consequence, they secured comfort for a long time. It is a beneficial transaction that Allah made easy for them. The world aimed at them, but they did not aim at it. It captured them, but they freed themselves from it with a ransom. During the night, they are upstanding on their feet, reading portions of the Qur’an and reciting it in a well-measured way, creating through it grief for themselves and seeking by it the cure for their ailments. If they come across a verse creating eagerness (for Paradise), they pursue it avidly, and their spirits turn towards it eagerly, and they feel as if it is in front of them. And when they come across a verse that contains fear (of Hell), they bend the ears of their hearts towards it and feel as though the sound of Hell and its cries are reaching their ears. They bend themselves from their backs, prostrate themselves on their foreheads, their palms, their knees, and their toes, and beseech Allah, the Sublime, for their deliverance. During the day, they are enduring, learned, virtuous, and God-fearing. Fear (of Allah) has made them thin like arrows. If anyone looks at them, he believes they are sick, although they are not sick, and he says that they have gone mad. In fact, great concern (i.e., fear) has made them mad. They are not satisfied with their meager good acts and do not regard their major acts as great. They always blame themselves and are afraid of their deeds. When anyone of them is spoken of highly, he says: “I know myself better than others, and my Lord knows me better than I know. O Allah, do not deal with me according to what they say, and make me better than they think of me and forgive me (those shortcomings) which they do not know.” Among the signs of any one of them is that you will see that he has strength in religion, determination along with leniency, faith with conviction, eagerness for knowledge, knowledge with forbearance, moderation in riches, devotion in worship, gracefulness in starvation, endurance in hardship, desire for the lawful, pleasure in guidance and hatred from greed. He performs virtuous deeds but still feels afraid. In the evening, he is anxious to offer thanks (to Allah). In the morning, his anxiety is to remember (Allah). He passes the night in fear and rises in the morning in joy – fear lest night is passed in forgetfulness and joy over the favor and mercy received by him. If he refuses to endure a thing that he does not like, it does not grant his request towards what he likes. The coolness of his eye lies in what is to last forever, while from the things (of this world) that will not last, he keeps aloof. He transfuses knowledge with forbearance and speech with action. You will see his hopes simple, his shortcomings few, his heart fearing, his spirit contented, his meal small and simple, his religion safe, his desires dead, and his anger suppressed. Good alone is expected from him. Evil from him is not to be feared. Even if he is found among those who forget (Allah), he is counted among those who remember (Him), but if he is among those who remember, he is not counted among the forgetful. He forgives him who is unjust to him, and he gives to him who deprives him. He behaves well with him who behaves ill with him. Indecent speech is far from him, his utterance is lenient, his evils are non-existent his virtues are ever present, his good is ahead, and mischief has turned its face (from him). He is dignified during calamities, patient in distress, and thankful during ease. He does not commit excess over him whom he hates and does not commit sin for the sake of him whom he loves. He admits the truth before evidence is brought against him. He does not misappropriate what is placed in his custody and does not forget what he is required to remember. He does not call others bad names; he does not cause harm to his neighbor; he does not feel happy at others’ misfortunes; he does not enter into wrong and does not go out of right. If he is silent, his silence does not grieve him; if he laughs, he does not raise his voice; and if he is wronged, he endures till Allah takes revenge on his behalf. His own self is in distress because of him, while the people are at ease with him. He puts himself in hardship for the sake of his next life and makes people feel safe from himself. His keeping away from those who distance themselves from him is by way of asceticism and purification, and his nearness to those who draw near to him is by way of leniency and mercifulness. His keeping away is not by way of vanity or feeling of greatness, nor his nearness by way of deceit and cheating. It is narrated that Hammam passed into a deep swoon and then expired. Then Amir al-mu’minin said: Verily, by Allah, I had this fear about him. Then he added: Effective advice produces such effects on receptive minds. Someone said to him: O Amir Al-Mu’minin, how is it you do not receive such an effect? Amir al-mu’minin replied: Woe to you! For death, there is a fixed hour that cannot be exceeded and a cause that does not change. Now look, never repeat such talk which Satan had put on your tongue.

All praise is to God to the extent that He deserves it.                                            


[1] -مبدا قوای نباتی

[2] -سجین

[3]– عَلَيْهَا تِسْعَةَ عَشَرَ

[4]– وَأَنَّ هَٰذَا صِرَاطِي مُسْتَقِيمًا فَاتَّبِعُوهُ ۖ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا السُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمْ عَن سَبِيلِهِ

[5] -ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا رَّجُلًا فِيهِ شُرَكَاءُ مُتَشَاكِسُونَ وَرَجُلًا سَلَمًا لِّرَجُلٍ هَلْ يَسْتَوِيَانِ مَثَلًا ۚ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ ۚ بَلْ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

[6] -لَا الشَّمْسُ يَنبَغِي لَهَا أَن تُدْرِكَ الْقَمَرَ وَلَا اللَّيْلُ سَابِقُ النَّهَارِ ۚ وَكُلٌّ فِي فَلَكٍ يَسْبَحُونَ

[7] -یسبحون

[8] -الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَٰذَا بَاطِلًا سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

[9] -وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ وَالنُّجُومَ مُسَخَّرَاتٍ بِأَمْرِهِ ۗ أَلَا لَهُ الْخَلْقُ وَالْأَمْرُ ۗ تَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ

[10] -هُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ الشَّمْسَ ضِيَاءً وَالْقَمَرَ نُورًا وَقَدَّرَهُ مَنَازِلَ لِتَعْلَمُوا عَدَدَ السِّنِينَ وَالْحِسَابَ

[11] -وَهُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ ۖ كُلٌّ فِي فَلَكٍ يَسْبَحُونَ

[12] -وَعَلَامَاتٍ ۚ وَبِالنَّجْمِ هُمْ يَهْتَدُونَ

[13] -فَلَا أُقْسِمُ بِمَوَاقِعِ النُّجُومِ ‎﴿٧٥﴾‏ وَإِنَّهُ لَقَسَمٌ لَّوْ تَعْلَمُونَ عَظِيمٌ ‎﴿٧٦﴾

[14]– وَأَنَّ هَٰذَا صِرَاطِي مُسْتَقِيمًا فَاتَّبِعُوهُ ۖ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا السُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمْ عَن سَبِيلِهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُم بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

[15] -اللّهُمَّ اجعَل مَحیایَ مَحیا محمد و آل محمد(علیهم السلام) و مَماتی مَماتَ محمد و آل محمد (علیهم السلام)

[16]– لَّيْسَ عَلَيْكَ هُدَاهُمْ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ يَهْدِي مَن يَشَاءُ

[17]– وَيَقُولُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَوْلَا أُنزِلَ عَلَيْهِ آيَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِ ۗ إِنَّمَا أَنتَ مُنذِرٌ ۖ وَلِكُلِّ قَوْمٍ هَادٍ

[18]– يَهْدِي اللَّهُ لِنُورِهِ مَن يَشَاءُ

[19] -بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

[20] -هم

[21] -سَنَدْعُ الزَّبَانِيَةَ

[22] -سَأُصْلِيهِ سَقَرَ ‎﴿٢٦﴾‏ وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا سَقَرُ ‎﴿٢٧﴾‏ لَا تُبْقِي وَلَا تَذَرُ ‎﴿٢٨﴾‏ لَوَّاحَةٌ لِّلْبَشَرِ ‎﴿٢٩﴾‏ عَلَيْهَا تِسْعَةَ عَشَرَ ‎﴿٣٠﴾‏ وَمَا جَعَلْنَا أَصْحَابَ النَّارِ إِلَّا مَلَائِكَةً ۙ وَمَا جَعَلْنَا عِدَّتَهُمْ إِلَّا فِتْنَةً لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِيَسْتَيْقِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ وَيَزْدَادَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِيمَانًا ۙ وَلَا يَرْتَابَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ ۙ وَلِيَقُولَ الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ وَالْكَافِرُونَ مَاذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِهَٰذَا مَثَلًا ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يُضِلُّ اللَّهُ مَن يَشَاءُ وَيَهْدِي مَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَمَا يَعْلَمُ جُنُودَ رَبِّكَ إِلَّا هُوَ ۚ وَمَا هِيَ إِلَّا ذِكْرَىٰ لِلْبَشَرِ ‎﴿٣١﴾

[23]– وَالَّذِينَ كَسَبُوا السَّيِّئَاتِ جَزَاءُ سَيِّئَةٍ بِمِثْلِهَا وَتَرْهَقُهُمْ ذِلَّةٌ ۖ مَّا لَهُم مِّنَ اللَّهِ مِنْ عَاصِمٍ ۖ كَأَنَّمَا أُغْشِيَتْ وُجُوهُهُمْ قِطَعًا مِّنَ اللَّيْلِ مُظْلِمًا ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ ۖ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ

[24]– يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا قُوا أَنفُسَكُمْ وَأَهْلِيكُمْ نَارًا وَقُودُهَا النَّاسُ وَالْحِجَارَةُ عَلَيْهَا مَلَائِكَةٌ غِلَاظٌ شِدَادٌ لَّا يَعْصُونَ اللَّهَ مَا أَمَرَهُمْ وَيَفْعَلُونَ مَا يُؤْمَرُونَ

[25] -خزنتها

[26] -إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوا وَّالَّذِينَ هُم مُّحْسِنُونَ

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