Chapter 18: Tuba tree in Heaven and Zaqqum tree in Hell


Chapter 18: Tuba tree in Heaven and Zaqqum tree in Hell

Knowledge, Power, and will are the basis of actions, which creatures consider as three different attributes, but for God, all three are one. Three attributes are assumed according to different validities, which are in proportion to the intellects of creatures. For example, suppose we imagine a sensible or intellectual form with our soul, which is from the immaterial world. In that case, that form is known to us in the sense that we have imagined it, and we are the knower, and in the sense that we have created it, we are capable of it, and in the sense that we wanted to imagine it, then it is our intention, and we are disciples of it. So, the known, the power within one, and the intention are the same. In this case, knowledge, power, and will are united. All creatures have the same state with knowledge, power, and will of God, so all three attributes must be united, and they are one. The one who is knowledgeable by God’s knowledge and is capable by God’s power and is willer (the one who wills) by God’s will, as we said about the people of Paradise. A narration says: “… And indeed my servant seeks closeness to me through Nafala to the extent that I love him and because I love him, then I become his ear with which he hears, and I become his eyes with which he sees and I become his tongue with which he speaks, and I become his hand with which he holds”. Another narration says: “Follow my command and I will make you my example, and there is nothing like me”. So, whatever he wills will be available right away. And this meaning is like the “Tuba tree”[1] in heaven; whatever the people of Paradise wish for, their wish will immediately come true on that Tuba tree, and it will appear in front of them. “Tuba (it means all kinds of happiness or name of a tree in Paradise) is for them and a beautiful place of (final) return[2] (Ar-Ra’d:29). On the other hand, due to the multiplicity in the three attributes of knowledge, power, and will, there will be failure and torment according to each one of them. “Proceed to a shadow of three different masses. (30) Offering no shade, and unavailing against the flames. (31)[3] (Al-Mursalat:30-31). So, instead of a Tuba tree, they will have a “Zaqqum tree”[4] in hell. “It is a tree that grows from the bottom of Hell. (64) Its fruits are like the devils’ heads (65)[5] (As-Saffat:64-65) as narration also says: “Verily, the devils are like flowing blood in the veins of the children of Adam”.  The heads of devils are the source of carnal desires. The soul’s desires are the source of the growth of the Zaqqum tree, which is the source of the people of hell.


A tree in a dream represents faith. That is why “Munafiqun” (hypocrites) are like propped-up timber. “And when they speak, you listen to what they say. They are like propped-up timber[6] (Al-Munafiqun:4). Believers must have good deeds as trees have fruits. The Tuba tree in heaven is representative of absolute faith. The principle of faith is in the heart of Prophet Muhammad (S), the tree trunk is Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A), and believers are the tree’s leaves. Prophet Muhammad (S) said: “Tuba tree is in Ali’s house. Someone complained that you said before that the Tuba tree is in my house, but now you say it is in Ali’s house. The Messenger of God said, “Don’t you know that my house and Ali’s house are the same?” This refers to the union of the Light of Prophet Muhammad (S) and Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A). Believers before and after the time of the Prophet Muhammad (S) are branches and leaves of this pure tree of Prophet Muhammad (S) and Amir Al-Mu’minin (A). Everyone is close to the Tubi tree according to their talent. Sometimes believers become a branch that has different branches and leaves. Faith in the heart of a believer is like a tree that bears fruit, and its fruits are knowledge, good dreams, and divine inspiration. The water and food of this tree are piety, purity, gaining knowledge, and self-control. As much as a person’s faith and the tree of existence become stronger, his inspirations become more robust, and he acquires more precise meanings from the Qur’an and hadiths. The Zaqqum tree represents disbelief and hypocrisy in people’s hearts, and this tree also has fruits such as betrayal, evil thoughts, carnal desires, and lying. Allameh Hassanzadeh, in Ilahi Name[7] (Divine letter), said: “Praise all to God that I became a branch of the Tuba tree”. Believers are branches of the Tuba tree. The believer’s bond with the Prophet Muhammad (S) is the believer’s faith, which is the branch of the Tuba tree. This includes believers before or after Prophet Muhammad (S) because the “existence” of the prophet did not occur in the realm of time. Narration: “I was a prophet when Adam was between mud and water”. Another narration: “If people knew when Ali was Amir Al-Mu’minin, they would not deny his virtues. Ali was Amir Al-Mu’minin at a time when Adam was between mud and water”. “And indeed, among his follower was Abraham[8] (As-Saffat:83).  Think about this verse deeply. Imam Sadiq (A) said in a narration that he was a follower of Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A). One of the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (S) was that if he shook hands with someone, he would not let go of his hand until the other side let go of his hand. That is, if we hold your hand, we will not let go unless you let go of ours. Imam Riza (A) was passing by a place when one of his Shiites, who were drunk, saw the Imam and turned his face away from the Imam out of shame. The Imam (A) went to him and said, “Don’t turn your face away from us and the children of Fatima (A) under any circumstances, and don’t leave us, no matter what your sins are”.

Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A) said, “Tuba is a tree in heaven, the root of which is in the house of the Prophet Muhammad (S), and there is a branch of that tree in the house of every believer.” There is no desire in the heart of a believer unless that tree bears it, and if a rider rides in the shadow of that tree for a hundred years, he will not get out from its shadow, and if a crow flies from its bottom, it will not reach its top (because its life is over). So, be interested in such a tree. (Imam made a material interpretation to understand the intellectual meaning and greatness of the Tuba tree. This is an example to understand that whatever a believer passes the divine journey, he still will be under Prophet Muhammad’s (S) shadow). Faiz Kashani said: “The interpretation of Tuba is knowledge because there is an example for all heavenly blessings in the world. The origin of Tuba tree is the tree of knowledge, originating in the house of the Prophet Muhammad (S) (This is based on a famous Shia and Sunni narration from the Prophet of God: “I am the city of the knowledge and Ali is its door”). The wishes of believers in the hereafter are indeed the branches of their knowledge and good deeds in this world. Because knowledge is the seed of divine vision and intuitions. Good actions are instilled in bliss. The one who does not taste it will not understand it. Who does not taste this unless his religion is pure for God and his faith is strong in God, and he has the qualities of believers that were mentioned”. (It was better if Faiz interpret the tuba tree as faith, as Allameh interpreted it, since knowledge and good deeds are the fruits of this tree).

The Zaqqum tree in hell is the opposite of the Tuba tree in heaven. “Is this a better hospitality or the Tree of Bitterness? (62) We made it an ordeal for the unjust. (63) It is a tree that grows from the bottom of Hell. (64) Its fruits are like the devils’ heads. (65)[9] (As-Saffat:62-65). “The food of the sinner. (44) Like molten lead; boiling inside the bellies. (45) Like the boiling of seething water. (46)[10] (Ad-Dukhan:44-46). “Then you, you misguided, who deny the truth. (51) Will be eating from the Tree of Bitterness. (52) Will be filling your bellies with it. (53) Will be drinking on top of it boiling water. (54) Drinking as thirsty camels drink. (55) That is their hospitality on the Day of Retribution. (56)” (Al-Waqi’a:51-56).

Knowledge, Power, and Will

Khajeh Said: “Knowledge, Power, and will are the basis of the creation of actions, which creatures consider as three different attributes, but for God, all three are one. Three attributes are assumed according to different validities, which are in proportion to the intellects of creatures”. The diversity of knowledge, Power, and will is due to our intellect, which separates them. In fact, the perception of the plurality of Names or Attributes is with the intellect; that is, our intellect sees one manifestation as a manifestation of mercy and one manifestation as a manifestation of God’s wrath, while there is nothing but the manifestation of God. It is our intellect that differentiates between these manifestations. These attributes are one for God. God knows all beings, both general and partial, from the beginning to the end; that is, everything that comes into being and every incident that happens becomes existence from God’s knowledge. Ignorance has no meaning for Almighty God; nothing can happen that God does not know from the beginning. If this is not the case, ignorance is found in Almighty God, and Almighty God is free from ignorance. Ignorance is a defect, and “Wajib al-Wujud” “Necessary Existence” is not incomplete. That is why God Almighty is free from thinking because thinking is a motion from our knowledge to the unknown. When someone knows all things, He doesn’t need to think anymore. We think because we are ignorant. That is, we don’t know the answer; we think and refer to our information to get the correct conclusion. Therefore, for God, thinking is a defect, and He is pure from thinking because He is free from all imperfections. Every partial and general incident of the creatures is in God’s knowledge from the beginning. It means our speech, our actions, the classroom, and our words, have been in God’s knowledge from the beginning, and then these appear in worldly life now.  Remember this: “The material world is the appearance or face of God’s knowledge”.

What is the will of God or What God wants? This is one of the principles of monotheism. An earthquake comes, someone dies, or lightning comes. Are these God’s will? Khajeh said: “God’s will is the same as His knowledge”. What happens in this world is by God’s will; not only that earthquakes and rain are by God’s will, but also the existence, breathing, every event, and every being are by God’s will. Knowledge, Power, and Will are all one truth, but when knowledge appears in the material world, we say that God has willed; in fact, it is the knowledge that takes place in this material world. Or we say with God’s power, it happened (physicists call this conversion of energy to matter). Therefore, because it has been in God’s knowledge since eternity, we call it knowledge; because it comes into existence in the world, we call it God’s will; and because it happens with power and ability, we call it God’s power. It is a truth that is realized in this world. Therefore, all the atomic particles rotate with God’s knowledge, will, and power. All creatures are subject to the power of God, and God is our “Murid”. “Murid” means a willer, meaning God has willed us. We are a brief example of the world of existence. A Human is a small world. Our existence and mind have a relationship with the “command world”. “His command, when He wills a thing, is to say to it, “Be,” and it comes to be[11] (Ya-Sin:82). For example, you imagine something in your mind that is created as soon as you imagine it. The divine “command world” is like this. Imagine a 10-meter building in your mind. From the aspect that we imagined it, the building is known to us. We are the knower of it (so the attribute of knowledge is realized for us), and because we created it, the building is our creation. We are capable of it (so the attribute of power is realized for us), and in the sense that we wanted and envisioned, the building is our will, and we are the willer (so the attribute of will has come true for us). So, all three knowledge, power, and will are the same. Prophet Muhammad (S) said: “The one who knows himself, he knows his God”[12]. So, it would be best if you put aside popular thoughts. People say: “God, don’t you see the situation we are in? Why don’t you help?” They do not know that everything happens with God’s will. It was in God’s knowledge that now exists. “O son of Adam, you don’t need to teach me your benefit; you should obey what I ordered” (Narration). People want to remind God that they owe money. People think God is sitting in a corner and the universe is moving by itself. Whatever happens is God’s knowledge, power, and will that appears in this world. So, it is not like God first makes a decision and later regrets and changes His decision. If this is the case, someone might ask what the benefit is of asking for God’s help. If someone sins, it is because of God’s will; why people should go to hell because of God’s will. This needs to be discussed in detail, but for now, remember that everything is based on God’s will.

One of the satisfaction degrees is satisfaction with God’s will, not the action when sin happens. For example, a sick person goes to a doctor, and the doctor prescribes a bitter medicine for him. He is satisfied with the doctor’s prescription, but he is unhappy with the bitter medicine. Sin does not occur without God’s will. Man is satisfied with the aspect in which it was issued by God, but he is dissatisfied with the act of sin. Although everything in the world is according to God’s will, actions must be according to God’s command because God’s legislative command differs from God’s will. “Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded[13] (An-Nahl:90). It is not the case that whatever God wills are God’s pleasure in it. “Allah is not satisfied with a defiantly disobedient people[14] (At-Tawba:96). “He does not approve ingratitude on the part of His servants[15] (Az-Zumar:7). God is not pleased with the disbelief of His servants, even though the disbeliever exists under God’s will. God’s pleasure and will are different from each other, and these are various authorities of Monotheism. What we have to do is God’s command, and God’s will is out of our responsibility. The scope of knowledge is greater than power and will. Everything that is known may not be given power. For example, we know things, but everything that we know does not have power. Or that we have knowledge of the impossible, but our power does not belong to it. The same is true of God. Another important point is that knowledge is the function of the known and not the other way around. As long as God is paying attention to this world, this world will stand. If God takes His attention away from the world momentarily, the whole world will become nothing. We are subject to the grace and mercy of God, who gives us existence and sustains us all.

Khajeh Tusi also wrote part of a Narration from Prophet Muhammad (S), which is called “The Closeness by Nafila[16]“. Here is the narration: “When the Prophet Muhammad (S) went to the Ascension, he said: Lord, how is the state of the believer with you? God said: O Muhammad, whoever insults one of my Guardians, has clearly come to my war, and I am faster than anything to help my Guardians. I do not doubt anything as much as I doubt about the death of a believer; Because he hates death, and I hate his unhappiness; And indeed, there are some believing servants who, except wealth, will not correct them (and make their condition good), and if I make them in another condition, they will be destroyed. There are some believing servants that nothing but lack and poverty will correct them, and if I return them to another state, they will perish anyway. And none of My servants should approach Me with an act that is more beloved to Me than what I have made obligatory on him. It is true that he seeks closeness to me by means of “Nafila (non-obligatory prayers)” to the extent that I love him. Because I love him, then I become his ear with which he hears, and I become his eyes with which he sees, and I become his tongue with which he speaks, and I become his hand with which he holds. If he calls Me, I will answer, and if he asks me, I will give it to him”.

There is also another narration which is called “Closeness of Faraeiz”[17] (Obligatory duties): “God Almighty said: My servant does not get close to Me by anything more beloved to Me than what I have made obligatory upon him. And he continues to get closer to Me with the obligatory duties until I love him, and if I love him, he is my hearing with which I hear, my sight with which I see, and my hand with which I grasp”.

Allameh Hassanzadeh said: “Look at the difference in closeness; in Nawafil closeness, God becomes hearing, sight, tongue, and hands of the servant, and in Faraeiz closeness, servant becomes the eyes, tongue, and hand of God. It is due to Faraeiz’s closeness that Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A) said: “I am Einullah” (eye of Allah), I am Yadullah (God’s hand), and I am Lisanullah (tongue of Allah)”. Therefore, obligatory duties have more rewards and a higher rank than mustahabb. The difference between the two closeness is as much as the difference between Nawafil and Faraeiz, but if you want, say that the difference between the two is as much as the difference between the slave and the Lord because, in the Nawafil closeness, the truth descends and becomes the eyes and ears of the servant, who hears and sees. But in the Faraeiz closeness, the servant ascends and becomes the eye and ear of God, who is the speaker, the listener, and the seer. Therefore, the difference between the two closeness is the difference between descent and ascent, or whether their difference is the difference between nearness and distance. Honorable Khajeh Tusi says: When a mystic is cut off from himself and connected to the Truth (Ascension), he sees that every power is immersed in the power of God. Every knowledge is immersed in the knowledge of the Almighty God, and every will is immersed in God’s will. Instead, all existences and perfections of existence are issued from God. In this case, the mystic gains attributes according to the divine ethics. In the Nawafil closeness, because the servant is limited, therefore God manifests according to the extent of the servant’s existence. Meaning because the servant’s eyes are limited, God manifests to the extent of the servant’s limited eyes. On the contrary, in the Faraeiz closeness, the servant becomes the hand and eye of God. And we know that God’s eye and hand are limitless. There the servant becomes God’s caliph. Of course, prayers are acceptable as much as people pay attention to God. The obligatory prayers have more rewards because they intensify closeness to God (Gaining divine attributes). In obligatory prayers, the servant does not have freedom like in Nawafil prayers. Since absolute freedom belongs to God, the rewards of obligatory prayers are high, as the servant does not have freedom. “Your Lord creates whatever He wills, and He chooses. The choice is not theirs. Glory be to God, and exalted be He above the associations they make[18] (Al-Qasas:68). Imam Muhammad Baqir (A) said, “We are in statuses with God in which we are, He, and He is us, despite God is God, and we are we”[19]. When he said we are He, it is “Faraeiz closeness” status, and when he said, He is us, it is “Nawafil closeness” status. It is not that God becomes a servant and vice versa, as in the last sentence, he said, God is God, and we are we (so understand this carefully).

Allameh Tabatabaei said: “In Nawafil closeness, the servant will be “Fani”[20] (perish in God), and God becomes his eyes and ears. It means the humanity status of a servant will be converted to divine status”. “And He takes care (guard) of the righteous[21] (Al-A’raf:196). Mutawalli (guard/ally/protector/supporter/helper) means everything is with God; not only things that happen but also any motion and talk is from God. In the story of Prophet Moses (A) and Khidr (A): “Then they came upon a servant of Ours, whom We had blessed with mercy from Us, and had taught him knowledge from Our Own. (65) Moses said to him, “May I follow you, so that you may teach me some of the guidance you were taught?” (66) He said, “You will not be able to endure with me. (67) And how will you endure what you have no knowledge of?” (68) He said, “You will find me, God willing, patient; and I will not disobey you in any order of yours.” (69) He said, “If you follow me, do not ask me about anything, until I myself make mention of it to you.” (70) So they set out. Until, when they had boarded the boat, he holed it. He said, “Did you hole it, to drown its passengers? You have done something awful.” (71) He said, “Did I not tell you that you will not be able to endure with me?” (72) He said, “Do not rebuke me for forgetting, and do not make my course difficult for me.” (73) Then they set out. Until, when they encountered a boy, he killed him. He said, “Did you kill a pure soul, who killed no one? You have done something terrible.” (74) He said, “Did I not tell you that you will not be able to endure with me?” (75) He said, “If I ask you about anything after this, then do not keep company with me. You have received excuses from me.” (76) So they set out. Until, when they reached the people of a town, they asked them for food, but they refused to offer them hospitality. There they found a wall about to collapse, and he repaired it. He said, “If you wanted, you could have obtained a payment for it.” (77) He said, “This is the parting between you and me. I will tell you the interpretation of what you were unable to endure. (78) As for the boat, it belonged to paupers working at sea. I wanted to damage it because there was a king coming after them seizing every boat by force. (79) As for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared he would overwhelm them with oppression and disbelief. (80) So we wanted their Lord to replace him with someone better in purity and closer to mercy. (81) And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphaned boys in the town. Beneath it was a treasure that belonged to them. Their father was a righteous man. Your Lord wanted them to reach their maturity, and then extract their treasure—as a mercy from your Lord. I did not do it of my own accord. This is the interpretation of what you were unable to endure. (82)” (Al-Kahf:82). Prophet Khidr said: “I did not do it of my own accord”. Meaning it was with God’s order. sometimes mystics see the action from his side with God’s order, but sometimes mystics do not even see the action from themselves.

Sheikh Bahaei narrated from Prophet Muhammad (S) in his 40 narrations book[22]: “Anyone who insults one of my guardians has come to fight with me, and I will do everything to help my guardian, and I have no hesitation in doing anything except doubt about the death of my faithful servant. I want to meet him, and he does not want death. I will return it from him. If he asks me, I will forgive him, and if he calls me, I will answer him, and if there is only one believing servant in the world, I will be needless with him from all my creatures.  And I will make a companion for him from his faith so that he will not be afraid of anyone”. It is obvious that doubt is impossible for God Almighty; Because doubting something is either because He does not know its end or because there may be an obstacle and He cannot complete it, both of which are impossible with regard to God Almighty. Therefore, the appearance of this hadith must be interpreted. God Almighty always presents situations for the believer to choose death at his own will; That is, the believer hates death because he does not have the opportunity to achieve perfection, and God does not want his discomfort. Therefore, it creates situations for him not only to accept death but also to demand it, so after the believer chooses death, God takes the position of collecting his soul without any haste on God’s part. So, It is no doubt. Narration: “When the Angel of Death came to collect the soul of Prophet Ibrahim (A), Ibrahim hated his soul to be collected, so God delayed the collection of his soul until one day, he saw an old man who was eating and his mouth was drooling because of his old age, infirmity, and weakness. Therefore, Prophet Ibrahim (A) asked God to die; his dislike disappeared, and he wanted to die. So, it is clear that there was no doubt from God; Rather, it was only intended to remove the hatred of Ibrahim (A) from death, which is seen in the form of movement in the soul of Prophet Ibrahim (A). A story similar to this has been narrated about Prophet Moses (A)”. It is mentioned in a hadith that at the time of death, a flower is brought to a believer, and he smells it and forgets his family, and dies. Here doubt is attributed to the believer. In one interpretation, death is “Liqa Allah”[23] (meeting God). Abul Hassan Qaraqani said: “Life is in death. Death is divine intuition. Annihilation and survival are in death. It might come at a certain time, and people will die, or humans become prepared for death, as the narration said (Die before you die[24]). A dead person does not like anything and does not dislike anything. He neither decides nor wills. He is pure surrender and does not get upset. A mortal man is such that his will and existence are mortal in the will of God so that he can survive with God.

Saqir Isfahani said in a poem describe Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A):

God’s hand, God’s eye, God’s tongue

From the toe to the head is God, Ali

We cannot call him other than God, But

What can I do when he is not happy with this (This means Ali is the absolute manifestation of God)

Khajeh said: “The one who is knowledgeable by God’s knowledge and is capable by God’s power and is willer (One who wills) by God’s will, as we said about the people of Paradise. A narration says: “Follow my command, and I will make you my example, and there is nothing like me”. So, whatever he wills will be available right away. As God said: “His command, when He wills a thing, is to say to it, “Be,” and it comes to be[25] (Ya-Sin:82). All miracles of Prophets and divine marvels of the Guardian of God are from this category. They reach the level of bringing the dead back to life with absolute obedience and pure servant of God. A true guardian of God can create things in the world as soon as he wills. This is like our imaginations in our Khial world; as long as we want to imagine a thing in our Khial world, it becomes existence in our mind. A narration said: A letter will come to the people of heaven which is written on it: “From Al-Hay Al-Qayyum (The Living, the Everlasting) to Al-Hay Al-Qayyum (The Living, the Everlasting). The life of the Hereafter is alive as Quran said: “The life of this world is nothing but diversion and play, and the Home of the Hereafter is the Life, if they only knew[26] (Al-Ankabut:64). Allameh Hassanzadeh said: “I am the manifestation of the verse of Quran which says: “Neither slumber overtakes Him, nor sleep[27] (Al-Baqara:255). Prophet Muhammad (S) said: “My eyes sleep, but my heart is awake”.

The Name of Al-Hay (living) is flowing in all things. In Ayat al-Kursi, we have: “God! There is no god except He, the Living, the Everlasting. Neither slumber overtakes Him, nor sleep. To Him belongs everything in the heavens and everything on earth[28] (Al-Baqara:255). Since to Him, (Al-Hay Al-Qayyum) belongs to everything, then everything is submissive to Al-Hay Al-Qayyum. Whoever becomes a manifestation of these Names with pure obedience will have the same characteristic according to their capabilities. Meaning as long as they will, it becomes existence with God’s permission. “His command, when He wills a thing, is to say to it, “Be,” and it comes to be”  (Ya-Sin:82). The “Be” for the guardians of God is “Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Rahim” (In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful). “Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Rahim” has a truth or spirit. Ibn Arabi said: “Whoever does not discover the secret of “Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Rahim”, does not hope that doors of divine knowledge open for him” (refer to monotheism in philosophy and philosophy book of Allameh Hassan Zadeh Amoli).

The holy Quran starts with Sura “Al-Hamd” which is called “Fatihatul Kitab” (the opener of the book). The opener of the Quran starts with “Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Rahim”. It is narrated from the Messenger of God, Prophet Muhammad (S), that he said: “The night (Ascension) I was taken to the upper world, all of heaven was presented to me. I saw four rivers in it, a river of water, a river of milk, a river of wine, and a river of honey. I asked Gabriel, where do these rivers come from, and where do they go? He said they are pouring into the Kausar pond, but I don’t know where they are coming from. Ask God to inform you of their source or to show you the place where the rivers flow from. The Prophet prayed; after the prayer, an angel came to the presence of the Prophet and greeted him and said: Close your eyes. I closed my eyes, then he said, open your eyes; I opened my eyes, and I saw myself next to a tree, and there I saw a dome through a white door, which had a red gold door and a lock on that door. The greatness of the dome was such that if all the Jinns and humans were placed in it, they would remain like a bird sitting on a mountain. Finally, I saw these four rivers flowing from under the dome when I wanted to return, the angel asked me: Why don’t you enter the dome? I asked how to enter when there is a lock on the door, and I don’t have the key! The angel said: The key is “Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Rahim”. When I approached the lock and said: “Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Rahim”. I saw the river of water flowing from the Mim of Bismillah, the river of milk from Ha of Allah, the river of wine from the Mim of Rahman, and the river of honey from the Mim of Rahim. I knew that the origin of these four rivers is from the honorable verse of “Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Rahim”, so God Almighty said: O Muhammad, whoever from your nation remembers me with these Names with a pure heart and is free from hypocrisy and says with his tongue: “Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Rahim”, I will taste him from these rivers”.

When a person’s Nafs is weak, he can create an image in his mind, but when a person’s Nafs is strong, or his imagination is strong, he can influence the imagination of others and create images in their Khial world. We have explained that perception is done only at the non-material level. Our sensory perceptions are done at the imagination level, and we discussed that an object cannot be perceived until it leaves its material form. We proved that we see all things in our imaginary world. Mula Sadra proved that: “The human’s Nafs is active, meaning the human’s Nafs is the creator of perceptual forms. As a result of importing from the tools of the Nafs, such as the eyes, ears, and all other external senses, the human Nafs creates images at its imagination level and perceive them and unites with them in reality. Therefore, the creatures humans see are all made in their Nafs by Nafs and seen by Nafs”. (Allameh Hassan Zadeh explained this in detail in his book: “An-Nur Al-Mutajali”.

Humans have a common sense which is called “Phantasia” in Greek. Islamic philosophers describe this as a place where all Methal perceptions happen. It is like a lake that is connected to the 5 physical senses and also to the intellect level. This is a level of our Methal power. All shaped perceptions will happen in common sense. This is like a lake that 5 rivers from the material world and a river from the intellectual world are connected to it and fill the lake. All our perception of this worldly life or the Hereafter is happening there. When we sleep, 5 rivers from the Material world are dry and have nothing to add to the lake, so we see whatever already is in the lake, or we will see the shaped truth from the intellectual world. As we discussed a bit in the introduction of the self-knowledge essay, perceptions need to be free from matter, or in other words, we do not have perception in the material world. Meaning when this lake is calm, we would be able to see shaped truths like angels, heaven, hell, or the face of humans in the Hereafter. Now, whomever his or her Methal power becomes strong can influence the common sense of other people. They can show them things that do not exist in the material world. For example, in the story of sorcerers of Fir’on in the Holy Quran, they dropped their sticks and ropes on the floor, and people saw them as real snakes. In the material world, there were no real snakes. If people can block their common sense (a level of the Khial world) from material perceptions, they can see divine intuitions and visions in awakening. Sometimes when a verse of the Holy Quran was revealed to the prophet Muhammad (S), he was staring at a place for a while (because the material perception was blocked from receiving the revelation). Mystics believe to a degree that is called “Absent”. In this status, the person seems to sleep while seeing some divine visions. Imam Hussain (A) in Karbala said: “Now I had a short nap, and I saw my grandfather prophet Muhammad (S)”.  If a mystic can purify his Khial world and control its imports, he can have divine visions. To purify the power of imagination, the permission of the master must be obtained, and the seeker must go through a series of practices and stages to distinguish the truth from the false because the devil may interfere in the divine visions and make those different for the wayfarer. Therefore, he must be prepared and be under the supervision of a true master.

If a person’s imagination becomes strong, he can create images in others’ Khial world and show them the forms. This is called “Sihr” (witchcraft). Sorcerers can create figures and images in the Khial world of people, which does not exist in the material world. “Sahir”[29] (sorcerer) is the one who changes or creates a thing at will in other people’s Khial world, which does not exist in the material world. For example, someone really sees a snake moving; it does not exist in the material world, but he sees it in his Khial world. Those figures transfer from sorcerers to the people’s Khial world. In a divine vision or discovery, people see figures that originated from the upper world. The holy Quran said: “He said, “You throw.” And suddenly, their ropes and sticks appeared (Yukhayyel) to him, because of their magic, to be crawling swiftly[30] (Ta-Ha:66). “Yukhayyel” and Khial is from the same root. Then the Quran said: “Now throw down what is in your right hand—it will swallow what they have crafted. What they have crafted is only a magician’s trickery. But the magician will not succeed, no matter what he does[31] (Ta-Ha:69). Their witchcraft was voided for people. Sorcerers realized that it is not “Sihr” (magic), and they truly believe in Prophet Moses (A). “And the magicians fell down to prostrate. They said, “We have believed in the Lord of Aaron and Moses.” (70) He said, “Did you believe in him before I have given you permission? He must be your chief, who has taught you magic. I will cut off your hands and your feet on alternate sides, and I will crucify you on the trunks of the palm-trees. Then you will know which of us is more severe in punishment, and more lasting.” (71) They said, “We will not prefer you to the proofs that have come to us, and Him who created us. So issue whatever judgment you wish to issue. You can only rule in this lowly life. (72) We have believed in our Lord, so that He may forgive us our sins, and the magic you have compelled us to practice. God is Better, and more Lasting (73)[32] (Ta-Ha:70-73).

During the time of Abbasid Caliph Ma’mun, there was a severe drought, and with Ma’mun’s insistence, Imam Reza (A) went to the desert to pray for rain, and after the prayer of Imam (A), rain fell. Some people around Ma’mun started slandering him and warned Ma’mun. They said that after such an incident, there is a concern that the caliphate will be transferred from Bani Abbas to Ali’s children. One of Ma’mun’s dependents, who hoped that he would be elected to the governorship instead of Imam Reza (A), said to Ma’mun: “Prepare a congregation of the elders of the nation.” Like the heads of the army, judges, and jurists, so that I can clarify the shortcomings of Ali ibn Musa (Imam Reza (A)) in the presence of the crowd. Ma’mun brought great personalities to a large assembly, and he himself attended the assembly and placed Imam Reza (A) in front of him. Then the man, who had promised to remove Imam Reza (A) from his position, addressed the Imam (A) and said: People say many things about you and are so extreme in describing you that if you find out about it yourself, You will hate it. The first thing I have to say is that you prayed for rain, you prayed, and it rained. The point is that without your prayer, it rains every year without any prayer at this time. People have considered it a miracle for you, and with this miracle, they have proved that you have no equal. There is no one like you in the world, but in fact, Commander of the Faithful [i.e. Ma’mun] is superior to anyone. You have been given the office of governorship and placed in a position by Ma’mun, so it is not appropriate for you to prescribe what they have said falsely about you. Imam Reza (A) said: Regarding the blessings that God has given me by His grace, I do not hinder; the bottom line is that I do not make happiness to myself because of those attributes. Imam (A) continued: God gave a position like the position that the king of Egypt gave to Yusuf Siddiq (A), and you know the history of both of them (that is, you know that the king of Egypt was an infidel and Yusuf Siddiq (A) was a prophet of God). When the man heard this, he became angry and said: Son of Moses! You exceeded your limit! God has appointed a time for rain, and it falls at a certain time; you have made it a sign and a miracle for yourself, and you are proud of it, and you are showing superiority and power for yourself as if you did something like Abraham (A) when he resurrected the chickens that were cut to pieces by God’s permission. If you are telling the truth, revive these two and kill me (he pointed to the two lions that were painted on the Ma’mun throne). If you do this, then you can count it as a miracle. You were not more deserving than others that it rains just because of your prayer, but others also prayed with you. Imam Reza (A) shouted at the two lions who were facing each other on Mamun’s throne and said: Cut off this evildoer and leave no trace of him. Those two figures turned into two living lions and attacked the man, tore him apart and broke his bones, ate him, and licked his blood. All those present were watching and were amazed at what they were seeing… Ma’mun told Imam Reza (A), please tell these two lions to bring this minister back. Imam Reza (A) said that if the staff of  Moses, which became a moving serpent and ate the staff and robes of the sorcerers, returned their sticks and ropes, then they would also bring this person back to life. (Meaning, it is impossible because it was not magic and happened in reality and the material world). In short, when the human ego becomes intense, it can affect other people’s imagination and common sense and show them things that have no reality in the material world. Still, when the human ego reaches the highest level of “Be” rank, it can create objects outside of the imagination in the material world. The holy Quran said: “Most Blessed is God, the Best of Creators[33] (Al-Mu’minun:14). So, there are also other creators, and God is the best of creators. This is the level of Prophets, Imams, and a few guardians of God. (Keep in mind that these people do not have will other than God’s will and satisfaction, as discussed before). The question is if someone reaches the level of “Be”, meaning as he wishes, things will be ready for him; what should he wish for? Allameh Hassanzadeh said: “O God, I want that I want nothing”.

A poem says: “At any time, absolute victory is with Ali. The secret to conquering any door is one “O Ali”. The opening of the Wilaya (guardianship) door is with Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A). Allameh Hassanzadeh said: “Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A) is the Adam of guardians of God. Narration from Sunni scholars: Anas bin Malik (who was the servant of the Prophet (S)) says: One day, the Messenger of God (PBUH) said to me: Help me in ablution, so he prayed two rak’ats and said: The first person who comes out of this door is the “Amir Al-Mu’minin” (the master of believers) and the master of the Muslims, the leader of the white faces and the seal of the guardians of the prophets. Anas says: I said to myself, God! Make that man a man from Ansar until Ali (A) arrived. The Messenger of God (PBUH) asked: O Anas! Who is he? I said: It is Ali. So, the Messenger of God (S) got up while he was happy and hugged him and rubbed the sweat of his face on his face and the sweat of Ali’s (A) face on his face. Then Ali (A) said: O Messenger of God! I see that you are doing something to me that I have never seen you do before. The Prophet (S) said: You are the one who preaches my religion and brings my voice to the ears of my nation, and explains the differences of my nation after me. When a person walks in the path of God, he will have good dreams and receive and discover divine knowledge. These levels, in the case of piety and study of knowledge and practice, will reach a place where angels will no longer be mediators, like Prophet Khizr (A), whom God directly spoke to him. “Then they came upon a servant of Ours, whom We had blessed with mercy from Us, and had taught him knowledge from Our Own[34] (Al-Kahf:65). That is why the Messenger of God sometimes said that Gabriel said this from God. Sometimes Prophet (S) said:  Gabriel from Michael from Israfil from the pen, from God, said. Sometimes Prophet (S) said that, God said. These are different levels of revelations; man must become the receiver himself to be able to distinguish between these levels. Narration from Prophet Muhammad (S): “A believer receives his religion from God”[35].

Khajeh continued: “The heads of devils are the source of carnal desires. The soul’s desires are the source of the growth of the Zaqqum tree, which is the source of the people of hell”. As each believer is a branch of the “Tuba tree”, each hypocrite is a branch of the “Zaqqum tree” in hell. Heads of devils are negative and false desires. Negative Thinking is the source of negative desires. If we study the process of suicide, murder, and robbing, we understand that these negative desires are not happening at once. First, people will think about them, then grow and take care of the idea until it becomes a belief and a man cannot resist it. Some humans become devil heads; anyone that follows the self-ego will be in the army of the devil and a branch of the Zaqqum tree. Imam Javad (A) said: “Whoever listens to a speaker (with his heart) has truly worshiped him. If that speaker speaks of God, then he has worshiped God, and if he speaks of Satan, then he has worshiped Satan”. Some people speak well but might plant devil seeds in the land of our Nafs. As blood is flowing in our body, devils also flow in humans. Meaning whoever tells you to do evil is the devil in you. Allameh Hassanzadeh said: “Self-desires are the root of the Zaqqum tree. So, the people of hell will make their hell in the worldly life. People say that humans will go to heaven and hell, but true mystics believe that heaven and hell are in humans. Using “in” in the previous sentence is to understand the subject; otherwise, we know that knowledge and actions are making us. The reward and punishment of the action are the same as the action. “Will you be rewarded except for what you used to do?[36] (An-Naml:90). “On that Day, no soul will be wronged in the least, and you will be recompensed only what you used to do[37] (Ya-Sin:54). Prophet Muhammad (S) was sitting in the mosque with his companions, and they heard a terrible crash. His companions were panicked. He said: Do you know what this sound is from? They said: God and His Messenger know better. Prophet Muhammad (S) said: A stone has been thrown from the top of hell for seventy years, and now it has reached its bottom, and this sound arose from its fall. The Prophet’s words had not yet ended when there were shouts and cries for the death of a hypocrite from the hypocrites of Medina, and he was seventy years old. The Messenger of God said: Allah O Akbar (Allah is greater). The Companions realized that this stone was a hypocrite and that it had been going to hell ever since God created it. So, when he died, he was at the bottom of hell. God Almighty said: Hypocrites are in the lowest level of hell.

Humans who step on the divine path will seek a teacher of ethics in order to be perfect. Some people say to their master, why don’t you give me instructions? They don’t know that in the human Nafs, there are two types of plants, heavenly and hellish plants; if water reaches this field, they grow all together. First, the hellish plants and weeds must be destroyed, then have water (knowledge) in Nafs. If a person has self-ego and selfishness, with knowledge, the Nafs and its selfishness will be strong. “God has blessed the believers, as He raised up among them a messenger from among themselves, who recites to them His revelations, and purifies them, and teaches them the Scripture and wisdom[38] (Al-i-Imran:164). In the verse of the Qur’an, God says that first Prophet must recite, then purify them then teach them the book and wisdom. As Allameh said: “The root of the Zaqqum tree in hell is self-desires[39] which is disbelief and hypocrisy. Hypocrisy[40] is we say verbally that God, prophecy, Hereafter, Heaven, Hell, reward, and punishment exist but act as if these do not exist. These discussions are based on the intuition of the mystics, combined with verses of the Holy Quran, philosophy, and narrations. Regarding the Hereafter and its truth, a person should go there and see those facts, but these discussions can be expressed in the worldly life to understand the resurrection.

Ba Yazid Bastami (great mystic) had a Jewish neighbor. People asked his neighbor: Why don’t you become a Muslim even though you know Bayazid’s attributes well? He replied that if Islam is what Bayezid has, I can’t stand it, but if Islam is what you have, it won’t be useful for me. Hypocrisy is not only related to early Islamic times. A hypocrite is someone who does not believe in what they say. The Qur’an interprets the hypocrites as dry wood because they are not alive. “They are like propped-up timber[41] (Al-Munafiqun:4). A narration says that detecting hypocrisy is like seeing the movement of a black ant on a black stone on a black and dark night. Hypocrisy is very hidden, so it is said that most people have a percentage of hypocrisy inside themselves, and it must be fought against. Only God can help us. “Say, “I have no power to harm or benefit myself, except as God wills[42] (Yunus:49). “And yet, instead of Him, they produce for themselves gods that create nothing, but are themselves created; that have no power to harm or benefit themselves; and no power over life, death, or resurrection” (Al-Furqan:3).

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

[1] -شجرة الطوبی

[2] -طُوبَىٰ لَهُمْ وَحُسْنُ مَآبٍ

[3] -انطَلِقُوا إِلَىٰ ظِلٍّ ذِي ثَلَاثِ شُعَبٍ ‎﴿٣٠﴾‏ لَّا ظَلِيلٍ وَلَا يُغْنِي مِنَ اللَّهَبِ ‎﴿٣١﴾

[4] -شجرة الزقوم

[5] -إِنَّهَا شَجَرَةٌ تَخْرُجُ فِي أَصْلِ الْجَحِيمِ ‎﴿٦٤﴾‏ طَلْعُهَا كَأَنَّهُ رُءُوسُ الشَّيَاطِينِ ‎﴿٦٥﴾‏

[6] -وَإِن يَقُولُوا تَسْمَعْ لِقَوْلِهِمْ ۖ كَأَنَّهُمْ خُشُبٌ مُّسَنَّدَةٌ ۖ يَحْسَبُونَ كُلَّ صَيْحَةٍ عَلَيْهِمْ

[7] -الهی نامه

[8] -وَإِنَّ مِن شِيعَتِهِ لَإِبْرَاهِيمَ

[9] -أَذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ نُّزُلًا أَمْ شَجَرَةُ الزَّقُّومِ ‎﴿٦٢﴾‏ إِنَّا جَعَلْنَاهَا فِتْنَةً لِّلظَّالِمِينَ ‎﴿٦٣﴾‏ إِنَّهَا شَجَرَةٌ تَخْرُجُ فِي أَصْلِ الْجَحِيمِ ‎﴿٦٤﴾‏ طَلْعُهَا كَأَنَّهُ رُءُوسُ الشَّيَاطِينِ ‎﴿٦٥﴾‏

[10] -طَعَامُ الْأَثِيمِ ‎﴿٤٤﴾‏ كَالْمُهْلِ يَغْلِي فِي الْبُطُونِ ‎﴿٤٥﴾‏ كَغَلْيِ الْحَمِيمِ ‎﴿٤٦﴾

[11]– إِنَّمَا أَمْرُهُ إِذَا أَرَادَ شَيْئًا أَن يَقُولَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ

[12] -من عرف نفسه فقد عرف ربه

[13]– إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَيَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ ۚ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ

[14]– فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَرْضَىٰ عَنِ الْقَوْمِ الْفَاسِقِينَ

[15] -وَلَا يَرْضَىٰ لِعِبَادِهِ الْكُفْرَ

[16] -قرب نوافل

[17] -قرب فرائض

[18] -وَرَبُّكَ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيَخْتَارُ ۗ مَا كَانَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ ۚ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَتَعَالَىٰ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ

[19] -لنا حالات مع الله و هو فیها نحن و نحن فیها هو و مع الذالک هو هو و نحن نحن

[20] -فانی

[21]– وَهُوَ يَتَوَلَّى الصَّالِحِينَ

[22]– کلینی، اصول کافی، ج ۲، ص ۲۴۶، باب الرضا بموهبة الایمان.  

[23] -لقاء الله

[24] -موتوا قبل عن تموتوا

[25] -إِنَّمَا أَمْرُهُ إِذَا أَرَادَ شَيْئًا أَن يَقُولَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ

[26] -وَمَا هَٰذِهِ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا لَهْوٌ وَلَعِبٌ ۚ وَإِنَّ الدَّارَ الْآخِرَةَ لَهِيَ الْحَيَوَانُ ۚ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ

[27] -لَا تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلَا نَوْمٌ

[28] -اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ ۚ لَا تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلَا نَوْمٌ ۚ لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ

[29] -ساحر

[30] -قَالَ بَلْ أَلْقُوا ۖ فَإِذَا حِبَالُهُمْ وَعِصِيُّهُمْ يُخَيَّلُ إِلَيْهِ مِن سِحْرِهِمْ أَنَّهَا تَسْعَىٰ

[31] -وَأَلْقِ مَا فِي يَمِينِكَ تَلْقَفْ مَا صَنَعُوا ۖ إِنَّمَا صَنَعُوا كَيْدُ سَاحِرٍ ۖ وَلَا يُفْلِحُ السَّاحِرُ حَيْثُ أَتَىٰ

[32] -فَأُلْقِيَ السَّحَرَةُ سُجَّدًا قَالُوا آمَنَّا بِرَبِّ هَارُونَ وَمُوسَىٰ ‎﴿٧٠﴾‏ قَالَ آمَنتُمْ لَهُ قَبْلَ أَنْ آذَنَ لَكُمْ ۖ إِنَّهُ لَكَبِيرُكُمُ الَّذِي عَلَّمَكُمُ السِّحْرَ ۖ فَلَأُقَطِّعَنَّ أَيْدِيَكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُم مِّنْ خِلَافٍ وَلَأُصَلِّبَنَّكُمْ فِي جُذُوعِ النَّخْلِ وَلَتَعْلَمُنَّ أَيُّنَا أَشَدُّ عَذَابًا وَأَبْقَىٰ ‎﴿٧١﴾‏ قَالُوا لَن نُّؤْثِرَكَ عَلَىٰ مَا جَاءَنَا مِنَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَالَّذِي فَطَرَنَا ۖ فَاقْضِ مَا أَنتَ قَاضٍ ۖ إِنَّمَا تَقْضِي هَٰذِهِ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا ‎﴿٧٢﴾‏ إِنَّا آمَنَّا بِرَبِّنَا لِيَغْفِرَ لَنَا خَطَايَانَا وَمَا أَكْرَهْتَنَا عَلَيْهِ مِنَ السِّحْرِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَىٰ

[33] -فَتَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ أَحْسَنُ الْخَالِقِينَ

[34] -فَوَجَدَا عَبْدًا مِّنْ عِبَادِنَا آتَيْنَاهُ رَحْمَةً مِّنْ عِندِنَا وَعَلَّمْنَاهُ مِن لَّدُنَّا عِلْمًا

[35] -المومن اخذ دینه عن الله

[36]– هَلْ تُجْزَوْنَ إِلَّا مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

[37]– فَالْيَوْمَ لَا تُظْلَمُ نَفْسٌ شَيْئًا وَلَا تُجْزَوْنَ إِلَّا مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

[38]– لَقَدْ مَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذْ بَعَثَ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ

[39] -هوی نفس

[40] -نفاق

[41]– كَأَنَّهُمْ خُشُبٌ مُّسَنَّدَةٌ

[42]– قُل لَّا أَمْلِكُ لِنَفْسِي ضَرًّا وَلَا نَفْعًا إِلَّا مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ

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