Chapter 16: Heaven’s rivers and their equivalent in hell
Khajeh Nasir Tusi, in chapter 16 of the beginning and the end book, said, “Water is the source of life for plants and animals. “And We made from water every living thing” (Al-Anbiya:30). Like advice that all people benefit from. Some water is salty, some is rotten, and some is pure. The best one is pure water. Milk breeds animals, which is more unique than water. Plants and some animals cannot drink milk, and milk is the food of some animals during childhood, like the appearance of science, which can be the guidance of beginners. Some kinds of milk are transmuted, some are Spoiled, and some are pure and fresh milk. And Honey is more unique than milk because it is the food of some animals and the cause of healing for some creatures in some situations. It is not suitable for all creatures and conditions, and it is like the facts of science, which are for special people and researchers. Some kinds of honey are impure, some are average, and some are pure. Wine is more unique than honey because it is for humans. The status of this honey is forbidden for some people in some situations; for the people of this world, and them, it is impure, and for the people of heaven, it is halal, and for them, it is pure. Some kinds of wine are tart, some are average, and some are delectable. So, water relieves thirst, milk reduces deficiency, honey relieves sickness, and wine relieves sorrow. And because the people of heaven are the people of perfection, their share is the most perfect of these four types of drinks because what the imperfect people benefit from it, the perfect people also benefits from it. This is not true for imperfect people. “The likeness of the Garden promised to the righteous: in it are rivers of pure water, and rivers of milk forever fresh, and rivers of wine delightful to the drinkers, and rivers of strained honey. And therein they will have of every fruit, and forgiveness from their Lord” (Muhammad:15). But the fruits of the people of heaven seem similar in the eyes of the people of this world because there the truth and falsehood are similar, so what is the difference between the two? “And give good news to those who believe and do righteous deeds; that they will have gardens beneath which rivers flow. Whenever they are provided with fruit therefrom as sustenance, they will say, “This is what we were provided with before,” and they will be given the like of it” (Al-Baqara:25). In hell, in the contrast to those heavenly rivers, there are four rivers of “Hamim”, “Qislin”, “Qatran”, and “Muhl”. “And no food except “Qislin” (scum)” (Al-Haqqa:36). “As for those who disbelieve, for them is a drink of “Hamim” (boiling water)” (Yunus:4). “Their garments made of “Qatran” (tar)” (Ibrahim:50). “Like “Muhl” (molten lead); boiling inside the bellies” (Ad-Dukhan:45).
“These examples—We put them forward to the people, but none grasps them except the learned” (Al-Ankabut:43).
In the Quran and narrations, rivers of water, milk, wine, and honey are mentioned for heaven. Here we explain what the truth of these rivers is and what the consequences will be for those who consume them. The realm of the Malakut (Barzakh/Methal/intermediate) is the manifestation or appearance of the realm of intellect. What man sees in heaven and revelations has an inner truth and meaning. The rivers of heaven have different names. Also, we will explain the rivers in hell in this chapter Insha’Allah. Humans have an inner thirst and desire that is satisfied when they reach a divine encounter. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (S) said that “a believer will not rest until he meets God (LiqaAllah)”. This rest will appear in the form of thirst in the appearance of the material world. In the books of mysticism, we have a chapter called the Chapter of Thirst, which covers the seeker’s eagerness to meet God. In Karbala, the inner meaning of thirst was the meeting with God. All of them were affected by this thirst, which is why Ali Akbar (A) knew there was no water. Still, he returned to the tent and said: “Father, thirst is killing me,” Qasim (A) also returned to the tent, and Imam Hussain (A) put something under his tongue for thirst, and I said, “You will soon get water from the hand of Prophet Muhammad (S). A narration says: A believer has a thirst at the time of death, which is the desire to meet God. This is the desire for perfection which appear as thirst. Those seekers and wayfarers of the divine path are filled with the thirst to meet God, and instead of this thirst, there are rivers of water, milk, honey, and wine for them. This thirst is in the nature of all humans. Sometimes the nature of some people deviates from the straight path, and they think this thirst can be quenched by money, power, car, house, etc. That is why if they reach the glitter of this worldly life, they see that they are not calm and they need more or something else.
Narratives about the ascension of Prophet Muhammad (S) are beneficial for divine seekers. Each level of the Prophet’s ascension corresponds to a level of the divine journey. Prophet Muhammad (S) said: While moving (with Angel Gabriel in Me’raj (Ascension)), a voice came from my right and called me; But I did not answer him and did not pay attention to it. Then a voice came from my left side. I didn’t answer it, and I didn’t pay attention. Suddenly a woman with many ornaments appeared in front of me. She said: O Muhammad! Look at me and talk to me, But I didn’t look at her or pay attention. Then suddenly there was a terrible sound that scared me a lot. We continued on our way until we reached a place. Gabriel said: “Let us descend and pray.” So, we prayed. Gabriel said: “Do you know where you prayed?” I said: “No.” He said: “This is (Madinah) to which you will migrate soon.” Then we walked some distance. “Come down,” he said. We landed and prayed. He said: “Do you know where you prayed?” I said: “No”. He said: “This is where Moses talked to God.” We walked again. We got off and prayed. Gabriel (A) said: “This is (the House of God)—the place of birth of Isa, son of Maryam (Prophet Jesus (A)). Then we moved until we reached the Holy House. I entered the mosque, While Gabriel was by my side. Inside the mosque, Abraham (A), Moses (A), Jesus (A), and a large group of prophets were gathered. Azan and Iqama for prayer were said. When the lines were ready, Gabriel (A) took my arm and placed me as the Imam of the congregation, and the congregational prayer was performed. Then three cups were prepared, one of which was milk, the other was water, and the other was wine. At the same time, I heard a speaker saying: If you take water, your nation will drown, and if you choose wine, you and your nation will go astray, and if you choose milk, you and your nation will be guided. So, I took the milk and drank it. Gabriel said to me: “You and your nation have been saved.” Then he said: “What did you see and hear on the way?” I said: I heard a voice from the right side, But I did not pay attention to it. He said: “If you answered, your whole nation would become Jews.” What else did you hear? I said: I heard a voice from my left. He said: “If you had answered, all your followers would have become Christians.” Gabriel (A) said: “What appeared in front of you?” I said: A woman who had many ornaments, But I didn’t talk to her and didn’t pay attention. Gabriel said: “If you had spoken, your nation would have preferred this world to the Hereafter.”
In each drink, the drinker receives knowledge and facts. Water is apparent and general knowledge which mostly belongs to material life. As written in Quran and also in the bible, most of the miracles of the prophet Moses were related to material life. On the other hand, the knowledge of Prophet Jesus (A) was pure spiritual knowledge, and he did not pay attention to the material world. Hence, the interpretation of wine is pure spiritual knowledge that anyone who drinks from it becomes unconscious, gets drunk, and will be free from the material world. That is why his birth and miracles were primarily spiritual. But milk is an intermediate between water and wine; whoever drinks it benefits from external and spiritual knowledge. Milk quenches thirst and food, and children only drink milk, which is suitable for them to quench their thirst and hunger. Therefore, the nation of the Prophet is called the middle nation, far away from deviation and excesses. “Neither eastern nor western” (An-Nur:35). Honey is related to the knowledge and secrets of the “Wilaya”. Everyone benefits from those sciences according to his talent. “And your Lord inspired the bee: “Set up hives in the mountains, and in the trees, and in what they construct (68) Then eat of all the fruits, and go along the pathways of your Lord, with precision. From their bellies emerges a fluid of diverse colors, containing healing for the people. Surely in this is a sign for people who reflect” (An-Nahl:64-54). In the inner interpretation of the Holy Quran of the above verse, Imam Sadiq (A) said: “We, Ahl al-Bayt, are the bees, and the mountains are our Shias, and the trees are of believing women”. Everyone will benefit from every type of knowledge according to their talent. It is not like that everyone can drink from every river in heaven. Some of these drinks have manifestations that no one except the Guardian of God can receive unless they are lowered from their rank and mixed with another drink. So, by drinking each of these rivers, people will receive manifestations and knowledge that cause different visions and intuitions. “They will be served therein with a cup whose flavor is Zanjabeel” (Al-Insan:17). “But the righteous will drink from a cup whose mixture is aroma” (Al-Insan:5).
Water is the origin of life
Allameh Hassanzadeh said: In worldly life, water is the appearance of knowledge and the place of life that keeps everything alive. The life of souls depends on knowledge, as the life of bodies depends on water. “God sends down water from the sky, with which He revives the earth after its death” (An-Nahl:65). And there is nothing except that it is alive because God said: “Praising Him are the seven heavens and the earth, and everyone in them. There is not a thing that does not glorify Him with praise, but you do not understand their praises” (Al-Isra:44). And their life is from water. “And We made from water every living thing” (Al-Anbiya:30). Some of the ancients said that the first element or the first issue is water, and this statement is accurate. There is a narration from infallible Ahl al-Bayt (This is also called the whole Intellect, Nafas-e-Rahmani, Light of Prophet Muhammad (S), Truth of Prophet Muhammad (S)). It is this water that is sustenance other than Allah. All things are alive, but they are invisible to the eyes of the people. There is a debate in mysticism that says that God’s divine name, “Al-Hay” (The living), flows in all worlds, and all creatures are manifestations of God’s holy Name, “Al-Hay”. All creatures glorify Him.
Water descends from the colorless, pure, sweet, and pleasant sky; after that, it takes color and taste from the rivers, soils, and regions and changes into various states. Water is a source of life, and it is effective in perfecting them. Think about what Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A) said: “Know that every action is a plant, every plant needs water, and waters are different, so if the water is pure, the tree and its fruit are sweet and pleasant, and if the water is salty and bitter, the tree and its fruit are bitter and unpleasant”. We have already discussed that knowledge is given to us from the upper world and reaches our existential channel. If our existential channel is clean, pure water flows in our being. And if the channel of our existence is impure, the color and taste of the water will change, and it will flow through us. “Irrigated with the same water. We make some taste better than others” (Ar-Ra’d”4). “We sent down water” (Luqman:10). Ibn Abbas, who was one of the companions of Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A), interpreted water in the verse of the Quran as knowledge. Knowledge revives human souls from the death of ignorance and is the reason for the life of spirits, just as water is the reason for the life of living things. In many of our narratives, our Imams interpret water as knowledge. “Had they kept true to the Path, We would have given them plenty water to drink” (Al-Jinn:16). Imam Sadiq (A), in the interpretation of this verse of the Holy Quran, said: “We gave them a lot of knowledge, and they learned from the Imams”. Imam Baqir (A) said that “they kept true to the Path”; that is, if they had persevered with the guardianship of Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A) and his guardians and executors and also obeyed their commands and prohibitions, we would have given them plenty of water to drink, which means that we would have watered them with faith. Another hadith says that God loves a continuous good action, even if it is little. We must persevere in knowledge and practice so that God’s blessings come. For example, if a fan rotates once and stops, it does not produce wind but must constantly turn to make wind.
Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A) said about “Aal-e-Muhammad(S)” (the family of Muhammad) that they are the life of knowledge and the death of ignorance, which means that the life of knowledge and the death of ignorance is due to them. Knowledge is alive because of them. Someone asked Imam Sadiq (A) who is “Aal-e-Muhammad”. Imam (A) replied: You Shia’s are “Aal-e-Muhammad (S)”. For each of our senses, there is a knowledge of intuition and vision that is specific to it. All of them are from the same source but differ according to the different senses. Like water, which is a truth, but its taste changes because it passes through different lands where it flows; some are sweet, some are bitter, and some are salty, while in all these situations, it is water that has not changed from its true nature but has become different tastes. Esoteric and intuition knowledge are not gainable, but they are God’s given mercy. It means that a person may reach a stage where his inner eyes, ears, touch, taste, and smell are opened, and he can see, hear, taste, touch, and smell things others cannot. The narration says that the people of Paradise who drink wine enjoy it with all their being. The fact is that the truth degrades when a person perceives it with the eyes, ears, or other senses; it is different from understanding the truth with all its essence.
Allameh Qaysari said: Ibn Arabi interpreted the divine intuition and vision as sweet and pleasant water because sweet water irrigates its drinker and quenches thirst, and makes the owner of the intuition comfortable, but Ibn Arabi interpreted intellectual and reasoning knowledge as salty and bitter water that the salty water of thirst does not disappear from a person but increases. Also, rational and reasoning sciences do not eliminate doubts, but the more arguments are made, the stronger the doubt becomes. Ibn Arabi said to Fakhr Al-Razi, a Sunni scholar, that Someone saw that you were crying. he asked you the reason. you replied: “For 25 years, I believed in a subject but just now found out that it was not true. My cry is that maybe all my beliefs and knowledge are wrong”. Ibn Arabi told him that thinking and reasoning have this characteristic, and you will not rest until you reach the intuition level. Thought and reasoning are like saltwater; whatever you drink does not quench your thirst. An example that mystics believe about levels of certainty is that the smoke that a person sees from a distance makes him believe that there is fire there (Knowledge certainty). In the upper level, a person goes forward and sees the fire and is convinced that it is fire (Seeing Certainty). At this stage, the effect of egoism still remains; that is, the certainty has not yet been perfected, and finally, at a higher stage, the egoism disappears, and the person himself catches fire and reaches complete certainty. The critical point is that perceiving immaterial facts is impossible except through intuition. The truths that do not have parts and are beyond the material world can only be defined through attributes and properties, and their essence cannot be expressed otherwise. Even many material things must be tasted by ourselves to understand. For example, the taste of chicken or the taste of salt and saltiness, we must taste them ourselves to understand them. No matter how much others explain and define them for us, it is still impossible to understand. These are material examples, and the understanding of immaterial truths and metaphysical worlds is higher than this example.
Mysticism and Philosophy
Allameh Hassanzadeh: The truth is that mysticism and philosophy are not separate from each other, and humans must be on the perfection journey of the middle nation and walk on the straight path. Humans must look with both eyes of knowledge and action and with both powers of vision and action and move forward. However, the ranks and authority of some knowledge over others cannot be denied. In fact, the true philosopher and the mystic do not differ in the ways of understanding knowledge, and both groups recognize intellectual and intuitive knowledge. Rather, we mentioned earlier that the Quran, mysticism, and philosophy are not separate, and the perfect human being is the same as the Quran, mysticism, and philosophy. Allameh Qaisari said: “Immaterial truths cannot be described except with their characteristics, accessories, and effects”. Mulla Sadra said: “There is no way to know non-material existences except by their accessories or by divine intuitions and visions”. Avicenna said: “Knowledge of immaterial facts that come to the mind must be through their effects and accessories”. “Praising Him are the seven heavens and the earth, and everyone in them. There is not a thing that does not glorify Him with praise, but you do not understand their praises” (Al-Isra:44). Mulla Sadra said: “Thank God that I understand it with the philosophy and reasoning”. Ibn Arabi said: “Thank God, we have seen it through divine vision and intuition in addition to faith”. That is, mystics and philosophers reached the Quran with their intuition and reasoning.
Everything is a glorification of God, and creatures are the appearance of God’s glorification. Glorifying God means knowing and purifying God from the defects in creatures (From any defect that is in our mind and whether we understand it or not). Every object glorifies God according to its understanding. Many perfections are imperfections for the Almighty God, and the one who glorifies God is actually purifying his opinion. Because everyone believes in God, God in their minds must be purified and become according to reality. When man glorifies God by glorifying all creatures, he has become a true glorifier. God should be purified for all defections. Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A) said: “Whatever you imagine about God, God is against that” because our imaginations are our creations, not God. So, everything that is in our minds is a manifestation of God. Mulla Sadra said: “The knowledge of God is possible through Intuition (or annihilation in God). Avicenna said: “The First (God) has no opposite, no similarity, no Genus, no Differentia, no limit, and no pointing to Him except with intellectual insight (intuition)”.
It is important to know that we cannot point to God materially or by thinking. When we refer to God and say that He is God, we have limited God at once; while God has no limit, even a rational reference cannot be made to Him. All are manifestations of The Truth, so God cannot be limited at one level. This point is a chapter of true Quranic monotheism. There was a guy that had not been to a jungle before; he asked someone to get him to a real jungle. When he arrived in the jungle, he was telling his tour guide that these trees do not allow him to see the jungle!! Everything is Existence, and existence is the Truth (God). Anything that has existence has God. Every existence belongs to Allah. “To God belong the East and the West. Whichever way you turn, there is God’s face” (Al-Baqara:115). “We send the fertilizing winds and send down water from the sky” (Al-Hijr:22). It is God who gives life; it is God who makes creatures die; it is God who makes people laugh; it is God who makes people cry. “Say: ‘O mankind, I am the Messenger of God to you all, of Him to whom belongs the kingdom of the heavens and of the earth. There is no god but He. He gives life and makes to die” (Al-A’raf:158). “And that it is He who makes to laugh, and that makes to weep, (43) and that it is He who makes to die, and that makes to live, (44)” (An-Najm:43-44). Prophet Muhammad (S) said: “Do not curse the world (times) because it is God”. Creatures are manifestations of God. We are used to seeing things; we have to get out of this superficial seeing and think that we have not seen anything and that it is the first time we are seeing them. We have to look at the light, stones, flowers, plants, people, trees, sky, clouds, stars, animals, fish, and other creatures as we see them for the first time. We must think carefully about how all beings were created. “What, do they not consider how the camel was created, (17) how heaven was lifted up, (18) how the mountains were hoisted, (19) how the earth was outstretched?” (Al-Ghashiya:17-20). “To all—these and those—We extend from the gifts of your Lord. The gifts of your Lord are not restricted. (20) See how We have favored some of them over others, yet the Hereafter is greater in ranks and greater in favors” (Al-Isra:20-21). God is everywhere; there is no need to give a reason for God’s existence. He is apparent as He is hidden. “Is there any doubt about God, Maker of the heavens and the earth?” (Ibrahim:10). Satan has so much control over people; he says that if you say there is a God, you must provide evidence, and you must see God with your own eyes. God Almighty has appeared in all things; wherever you turn, you see God’s face. God has no limit. God is complete, and there is no place without Him. We are drowned in God, but we are looking for God like a fish looking for water in the sea. God is the light of the heavens and earth. He is with us wherever we are. “And He is with you wherever you may be” (Al-Hadid:4). “We created the human being, and We know what his soul whispers to him. We are nearer to him than his jugular vein” (Qaf:16). The existence of us who stand up to him is God.
Knowledge of God is not possible through the intellect, and the only way is through divine visions and intuition, and you cannot reach this position with intellectual thoughts. But philosophers say that things are acceptable only for philosophical reasons. The truth is what the Quran and the Guardians of our religion said: a subject between a mystic and a philosopher. “And they say, None will enter Heaven unless he is a Jew or a Christian. These are their wishes. Say, Produce your proof if you are truthful” (Al-Baqara:111). Imam Sadiq (A) said: A scholar came to Amir al-Mu’minin Ali (A) and said, O Leader of the believers: Have you seen your Lord while worshiping Him! He said: Woe to you! I am not the one to worship a Lord whom I have not seen; he said: How did you see him? He said: “Woe to you; people do not see Him with eyes, but the hearts see Him with the truths of faith”. In Dua Arafa: “Is there an appearance for someone other than you that wants to show you?”.
It is like the discussion of Determinism Or Free Will. (Determinism means that all beings are forced under God’s will; that is, if we speak, God has forced us, it is like a pen in the hand of a writer, and when we pray, God has forced us and the sin we commit, God has forced us. The question is: If this is the case, why does God take some to heaven and some to hell? Believers answer this theory by saying God doesn’t need to be just. Therefore, in the Shia, justice is one of the principles of religion, that God is not unjust. “Devolution or Free will” is the opposite of determinism; that is, God created the creatures and sat somewhere, and they have full authority, like building and builder. In the end, He will take people to heaven or hell according to their actions. Based on Shia’s principles which are guided by their Imams, the answer is that: It is not determinism and it is not free will but between these two cases. Our Imams did not say that determinism and free will are correct, but they said both are false. They also did not say that some parts are determinism and some are free will; God wanted some, and we wanted some because this is “Shirk” (idolatry-associate anything with God). Instead, they said that there is no determinism and there is no full delegation, and it is a matter between them).
Rumi (mystic) in a poem said:
“The foot of philosophy is wooden, and the wooden foot is very fragile”
Allameh Hassanzadeh said that whoever wants to fight with philosophy must bring proof, in which getting the reason is philosophy itself. It means we cannot go into a philosophical war with philosophy. The question is whether the lack of trust in philosophy should be accepted with a reason or without reason? If it should be accepted with reason, then this becomes philosophy itself, but if we accept it without reason, it is unreasonable and unreliable. Ibn Fanari has given 20 reasons why philosophy and rational reasoning cannot be relied upon. He should have realized that his reasons were proof of the correctness of philosophy and logic. Many jurists do not accept philosophy, mysticism, and even logic. Although no knowledge is as highly valuable as true Islamic mysticism, the one who is not mystic has neither this world nor the hereafter. But it is right that learning should be looked at with both eyes of philosophy and mysticism because man cannot be without logic and argument. We find correct content in philosophy books that agree with mystical texts and teachings. The Holy Quran says: “Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good advice and debate with them in the most dignified manner. Your Lord is aware of those who stray from His path, and He is aware of those who are guided” (An-Nahl:125).
Qazi Nurullah said: “Certainty about Truth is possible in two ways: through reasoning, which is called philosophy, or through perfection, which is called mysticism. Although both groups are truly wise, the mystics reached perfection due to the divine gift and received knowledge from God. “Then they came upon a servant of Ours, whom We had blessed with mercy from Us, and had taught him knowledge from Our Own” (Al-Kahf:65). And therefore, there are fewer illusions and doubts in their way, and they are in a higher rank than the philosophers, and they will inherit the teachings of the prophets, but in the end, both groups of true mystics and philosophers will meet. “And unto Him, the whole affair shall be brought back” (Hud:123). Abusa’id Abolkhayr (Great mystic) met Avicenna (Great Philosopher), and they talked to each other for three days behind closed doors. People asked Abusa’id: “What do you think about Avicenna?”. Abusa’id said: “Whatever we see, he knows”. People also asked Avicenna about Abusa’id, and he replied: “Whatever we know, he sees”. Aristotle said: “Common discussions (philosophy terms) are like a ladder to reach the desired goal. Anyone who wants to achieve the true goal must find a different nature for his soul”. Divine Plato said: “A thousand issues became clear to me while I have no reason for them”. Therefore, philosophers without hadiths and verses of the Quran have no say in Resurrection. Mulla Sadra (A great philosopher) used many verses of the Holy Quran and hadiths to prove the resurrection. Avicenna says about the authorities of mystics, the one who wants to know them must go through the steps to be one of the people of divine vision and intuition, not of the people of words. To be of those who reach the truth, not the listeners of the works.
Ibn Arabi(Great Islamic mystic)in his Fusus book, said: “Trinity is the basis of conclusion in spirituality, just as it is the basis of conclusion in creation. Trinity in spirituality is the reason for small, middle, and great causes”. That is, an argument based on which a correct conclusion can be drawn should include three parts: a minor reason, a major reason, and a middle reason. For example: “Jack is a human being (Minor), and every human being is a thinker (Major), So Jack is a thinker (conclusion)”. Each introduction has its own result. For example, a philosophical conclusion cannot be obtained with a mathematical introduction, or a mathematical conclusion cannot be obtained with a literary introduction. Everything has its own result both in this world and the hereafter. Ibn Arabi also said: “The first odd number is three (The mystics do not consider one as one of the numbers because number means counting, and the numbers are emergences of one, and counting comes from one, so the first odd number becomes three). Abu Hamid Mohammad Esfahani, who is one of the prominent mystics, has used wise reasons to prove the originality of Existence and personal unity of Existence in the book “Rules of Tawhid (monotheism)”. Mulla Sadra said, “Don’t think with your small mind that the intentions of true mystics, their terms, and words, which are mysterious, are devoid of proof”. Rejecting intellectual knowledge, the invalidity of rational arguments, and separating divine religion and philosophy is a great injustice. Humans can never be without logic and proof, just as they cannot be without revelation and prophets. So, if mystics want to reject one of the philosophical content, they must reject it with a reason, and the reasoning is philosophy.
Everything in heaven is the manifestation of intellectual truths
The four heavenly rivers in descending path are: water, milk, wine, and honey, and they are four types of knowledge in ascending path. “These examples—We put them forward to the people, but none grasps them except the learned” (Al-Ankabut:43). The reward and punishment in heaven are proportional to the action; Hell is the sins that appear in the hereafter, and heaven is the good deeds that appear in the hereafter. For further reading, refer to the embodiment of actions in the treatise on the unity of perceived and perceiver. The soul’s food is knowledge, and that knowledge is the authorities and degrees, which is actually its heaven. In one interpretation, it is higher than heaven because he has found the creator of heaven. If the soul is deprived of the food of knowledge, it will inevitably be filled with worldly ornaments, which is its hell. If the knowledge of man is close to the knowledge of a perfect man, the ranks will be closer to the perfect man. The prayer must be the ascension of the believer, and if someone is worshipful and does not have the knowledge, there is no promotion at the spiritual level. Mula Faiz Kashani narrated that God said: “The one who seeks Me finds Me, the one who finds Me knows Me, the one who is devoted for Me loves Me, the one who loved Me, I also love him, the one whom I loved, he will die, and the person who died for Me, the price of his blood is obligatory on Me, and the person whose blood’s price is obligatory on Me, so I am the price of his blood”. So, martyrdom is reaching this position. O God, who can taste the sweetness of your love and want other than you? O God, Who can taste the sweetness of your accompany and want other than you? If heaven is beautiful, the creator of heaven is in the utmost beauty. If a mother’s love for his child is a lot, God, who gave the love to a mother, is of the utmost beauty. When a child makes a mistake and goes away from his mother, his mother always thinks of him and prays that he will return to her soon. Now, can we imagine God’s kindness to His sinful servant?
Mulla Rumi, in a poem, said:
The death of each one, my son, is the same color as himself. The mirror show indeed the same color as the face.
O one who is afraid of death and running away, know that you are afraid of yourself and running away, so be alert.
Your face is ugly, not the face of death; your soul is like a tree, and death is like a leaf.
So, death is nothing but facing ourselves and seeing what we have gained in ourselves. If you have a love of Ahl al-Bayt, you will see it, and if you have enmity with them, you will see them. Izrael, the angel of death, is beautiful for believers and ugly for unbelievers. Prophet Ibrahim (A) once saw a beautiful young man in his house; he asked him who are you? The young man said, I came with the permission of the house’s owner, and I am Izrael. Prophet Ibrahim (A) asked: How do you appear when you want to take the life of a believer? Izrael appeared as a wonderful young man. Prophet Ibrahim (A) said, “If a believer is patient in obedience and adversity throughout his life, and seeing you is his only reward, it will be enough for him.” And he asked again, how do you take the lives of unbelievers? A scary black person appeared with very terrible eyes, and Prophet Ibrahim (A) fainted. After regaining consciousness, he said that if the punishment for an unbeliever is to see you, it will be enough for him. Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A) said: “Born to die and built to destroy”. “The keepers thereof will ask them: came there not Unto you a warner? (8) They will say: yea! surely there came a warner Unto us, but we belied, and said: God hath not sent down aught, are naught but in a great error” (Al-Mulk:9). Imam Sajjad (A) said: “Death, For a believer, is like removing dirty and lice-filled clothes, untying heavy shackles and chains, and transforming them into the most luxurious clothes, the most fragrant perfumes, the most luxurious compounds, and the most suitable homes. And for the disbeliever, it is like tearing off an elegant garment and transferring it from the favorite homes and turning it into the dirtiest and harshest clothes and the most terrible homes and the most significant punishment”. Imam Baqir (A) said: “Death is a dream that comes to you every night, except that its duration is long and a person will not wake up from it until the Day of Judgment”. Prophet Muhammad (S) said: “Know that whoever loves Ali, God will make the hardship of dying easy for them and will make their grave a garden from the gardens of heaven. Imam Sadiq (A): “God Almighty says that He has not created anything like death, even though it is certain and there is no doubt about it, but people say that they doubt it like a doubt in which there is no certainty”.
The Holy Prophet (S): “There are 99 Names for God Almighty, one hundred and one less because God is an individual and loves each individual, and whoever enumerates (comprehends) them will enter heaven”. Some scholars believe “Ihsa” in the above narration means enumerating, some people believe it means “reading and knowing the meaning,” and some others believe it means “reading, knowing its meaning and attention to it”. For example, One of God’s Names is “As-Sami’”, Which means listener. He is the best listener (Asma’ as-samiein). One of God’s Names is: “Al-Hay”, which means alive, and in one interpretation, it means who has knowledge and power. Another narration from Prophet Muhammad (S) said: “There are 99 attributes for God Almighty. Whoever has any of them will enter heaven”. Discussion of God’s Names is one of the sweet and pleasant topics in Islamic mysticism, and many books have been written about it (explanation of God’s Names; Durud Abadi). Amir Al-Mu’minin in Nahj Al-Balaqa said: “This is God’s book through which you see (truths), and you speak with it, and you hear through it, a part of it speaks of another part (and consimilar verses are interpreted in the light of the firmly constructed) and some verses are witnesses of others (and they confirm each other). What he says about God is consistent (and there is no difference), and he does not separate the one who lives with him from God”. “He it is who hath sent down unto thee the Book, wherein some verses are firmly constructed they are the mother of the Book: and others consimilar. But those in whose hearts is and deviation follow that which is consimilar therein, seeking discord and seeking to misinterpret the same whereas none knoweth the interpretation thereof a save Allah. And the firmly- grounded in knowledge Say: we believe therein, the whole is from our Lord. And none receiveth admonition save men of understanding” (Aal-e-Imran:7). So, the true meaning of “Ihsa” of God’s Names is to have these attributes, Although naming them with words also has a special effect. Ibn Arabi, in his book, “Kashf Al-Ma’na Al-Asma’ Al-Husna” (Exploring the meaning of beautiful Names), explain how we can gain each of these attributes. Imam Sadiq (A) said: “Visit each other, which will revive your hearts and remember our hadiths. Our narrations will make you kind to each other. If you follow them, you will be perfected and saved; if you leave them, you will go astray and perish. So, follow our hadiths, in which case I am the guarantor of your salvation”.
Ayatollah Kashmiri’s said that a series of souls are created by worship and remembrance of believers. If you see someone with these attributes, do not bother him because names have unique developmental properties that will cause you trouble. Sheikh Baha’i narrated that Imam Sadiq (A) said: “God will dominate him with 99 dragons. If one of them blows the earth, no plant will remain on the earth”. Another narration with the same theme and the same specific number has been narrated by Prophet Muhammad (S). Some mystics said that don’t be surprised by the allocation of such a number; perhaps the number of these snakes is equal to the number of bad attributes such as pride, envy, hypocrisy, and other bad manners because they have branches and different types that turn into dragons and snakes in the hereafter. Ninety-nine snakes are opposite to 99 divine morals. Since a man did not gain good morals, he acquired reprehensible traits instead. Reprehensible attributes in the embodiment of actions become the attributes of verminous animals, ghosts, and scary faces; as Khajeh said: There are four rivers for those in hell and four rivers for those in heaven. “And these similitudes! We propound them for mankind, and none understand them except men of knowledge” (Al-Ankabut:43).
All praise is to God to the extent that He deserves it.
 -وَجَعَلْنَا مِنَ الْمَاءِ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ حَيٍّ
– مَّثَلُ الْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي وُعِدَ الْمُتَّقُونَ ۖ فِيهَا أَنْهَارٌ مِّن مَّاءٍ غَيْرِ آسِنٍ وَأَنْهَارٌ مِّن لَّبَنٍ لَّمْ يَتَغَيَّرْ طَعْمُهُ وَأَنْهَارٌ مِّنْ خَمْرٍ لَّذَّةٍ لِّلشَّارِبِينَ وَأَنْهَارٌ مِّنْ عَسَلٍ مُّصَفًّى ۖ وَلَهُمْ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ ۖ
– وَبَشِّرِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ ۖ كُلَّمَا رُزِقُوا مِنْهَا مِن ثَمَرَةٍ رِّزْقًا ۙ قَالُوا هَٰذَا الَّذِي رُزِقْنَا مِن قَبْلُ ۖ وَأُتُوا بِهِ مُتَشَابِهًا
 -وَلَا طَعَامٌ إِلَّا مِنْ غِسْلِينٍ
 -وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَهُمْ شَرَابٌ مِّنْ حَمِيمٍ
 -سَرَابِيلُهُم مِّن قَطِرَانٍ
– كَالْمُهْلِ يَغْلِي فِي الْبُطُونِ
– وَتِلْكَ الْأَمْثَالُ نَضْرِبُهَا لِلنَّاسِ ۖ وَمَا يَعْقِلُهَا إِلَّا الْعَالِمُونَ
 -لقاء الله
 -لَّا شَرْقِيَّةٍ وَلَا غَرْبِيَّةٍ
 -وَأَوْحَىٰ رَبُّكَ إِلَى النَّحْلِ أَنِ اتَّخِذِي مِنَ الْجِبَالِ بُيُوتًا وَمِنَ الشَّجَرِ وَمِمَّا يَعْرِشُونَ ﴿٦٨﴾ ثُمَّ كُلِي مِن كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ فَاسْلُكِي سُبُلَ رَبِّكِ ذُلُلًا ۚ يَخْرُجُ مِن بُطُونِهَا شَرَابٌ مُّخْتَلِفٌ أَلْوَانُهُ فِيهِ شِفَاءٌ لِّلنَّاسِ ۗ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ ﴿٦٩﴾
– وَيُسْقَوْنَ فِيهَا كَأْسًا كَانَ مِزَاجُهَا زَنجَبِيلًا
 -إِنَّ الْأَبْرَارَ يَشْرَبُونَ مِن كَأْسٍ كَانَ مِزَاجُهَا كَافُورًا
 -وَاللَّهُ أَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا
 -تُسَبِّحُ لَهُ السَّمَاوَاتُ السَّبْعُ وَالْأَرْضُ وَمَن فِيهِنَّ ۚ وَإِن مِّن شَيْءٍ إِلَّا يُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِهِ وَلَٰكِن لَّا تَفْقَهُونَ تَسْبِيحَهُمْ
 -يُسْقَىٰ بِمَاءٍ وَاحِدٍ وَنُفَضِّلُ بَعْضَهَا عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ فِي الْأُكُلِ
– وَأَنزَلْنَا مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً
– وَأَن لَّوِ اسْتَقَامُوا عَلَى الطَّرِيقَةِ لَأَسْقَيْنَاهُم مَّاءً غَدَقًا
– تُسَبِّحُ لَهُ السَّمَاوَاتُ السَّبْعُ وَالْأَرْضُ وَمَن فِيهِنَّ ۚ وَإِن مِّن شَيْءٍ إِلَّا يُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِهِ وَلَٰكِن لَّا تَفْقَهُونَ تَسْبِيحَهُمْ ۗ إِنَّهُ كَانَ حَلِيمًا غَفُورًا
 -فنا فی الله
 -العرفان العقلی
 -وَلِلَّهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ ۚ فَأَيْنَمَا تُوَلُّوا فَثَمَّ وَجْهُ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ
 -وَأَرْسَلْنَا الرِّيَاحَ لَوَاقِحَ فَأَنزَلْنَا مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً
 -قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ إِلَيْكُمْ جَمِيعًا الَّذِي لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ
– وَأَنَّهُ هُوَ أَضْحَكَ وَأَبْكَىٰ ﴿٤٣﴾ وَأَنَّهُ هُوَ أَمَاتَ وَأَحْيَا ﴿٤٤﴾
 -أَفَلَا يَنظُرُونَ إِلَى الْإِبِلِ كَيْفَ خُلِقَتْ ﴿١٧﴾ وَإِلَى السَّمَاءِ كَيْفَ رُفِعَتْ ﴿١٨﴾ وَإِلَى الْجِبَالِ كَيْفَ نُصِبَتْ ﴿١٩﴾ وَإِلَى الْأَرْضِ كَيْفَ سُطِحَتْ ﴿٢٠﴾
 -كُلًّا نُّمِدُّ هَٰؤُلَاءِ وَهَٰؤُلَاءِ مِنْ عَطَاءِ رَبِّكَ ۚ وَمَا كَانَ عَطَاءُ رَبِّكَ مَحْظُورًا ﴿٢٠﴾ انظُرْ كَيْفَ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ ۚ وَلَلْآخِرَةُ أَكْبَرُ دَرَجَاتٍ وَأَكْبَرُ تَفْضِيلًا
– أَفِي اللَّهِ شَكٌّ فَاطِرِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ
 -وَهُوَ مَعَكُمْ أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ
– وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ وَنَعْلَمُ مَا تُوَسْوِسُ بِهِ نَفْسُهُ ۖ وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ
 -وَقَالُوا لَن يَدْخُلَ الْجَنَّةَ إِلَّا مَن كَانَ هُودًا أَوْ نَصَارَىٰ ۗ تِلْكَ أَمَانِيُّهُمْ ۗ قُلْ هَاتُوا بُرْهَانَكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ
– ادْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ ۖ وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِ ۖ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ
– وَإِلَيْهِ يُرْجَعُ الْأَمْرُ كُلُّهُ
 -مَن طَلَبَنی، وَجَدَنی و مَن وَجَدَنی، عَرَفَنی و مَن عَرَفَنی، أحَبَّنی و مَن أحَبَّنی، عَشِقَنی و مَن عَشِقَنی، عَشِقتُهُ. و مَن عَشِقتُهُ، قَتَلتُهُ و مَن قَتَلتُهُ، فَعَلَیَّ دیَتُهُ و مَن عَلَیَّ دیَتُهُ، فأنا دیَتُهُ
 -سَأَلَهُمْ خَزَنَتُهَا أَلَمْ يَأْتِكُمْ نَذِيرٌ ﴿٨﴾ قَالُوا بَلَىٰ قَدْ جَاءَنَا نَذِيرٌ فَكَذَّبْنَا وَقُلْنَا مَا نَزَّلَ اللَّهُ مِن شَيْءٍ إِنْ أَنتُمْ إِلَّا فِي ضَلَالٍ كَبِيرٍ
 -اسمع السامعین
 -هُوَ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْهُ آيَاتٌ مُّحْكَمَاتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ ۖ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ ابْتِغَاءَ الْفِتْنَةِ وَابْتِغَاءَ تَأْوِيلِهِ ۗ وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلَّا اللَّهُ ۗ وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ يَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ كُلٌّ مِّنْ عِندِ رَبِّنَا ۗ وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّا أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ
– وَتِلْكَ الْأَمْثَالُ نَضْرِبُهَا لِلنَّاسِ ۖ وَمَا يَعْقِلُهَا إِلَّا الْعَالِمُونَ