Chapter 8: The Book of Acts, The honest recorders, and the descent of angels and devils.

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Chapter 8: The Book of Acts, The honest recorders, and the descent of angels and devils.

The Book of Actions

Khajeh Nasir Tusi started chapter 8 with the following sentence, “As long as our speech and actions are in the form of sound and movement, they will not be stable, but if they become a book and images, they will be stable. Every word a person says or any action he does leaves a trace in his soul, and if those words and actions are repeated, something is created in a human being, called “Malakih”. Because of having that acquired “Malakih”, it will be easier to do that action or speech again. If this was not the case, no one would be able to learn science, profession, or speech, and it would not be possible to educate children and imperfect humans. Therefore, the effects that remain from the actions and speeches of humans are like a book, and we call this the “book of actions”. The writers of this book are called “Kiram Al-Katibin” (Holy writers). The ones on the right are writing the good deeds of the people of the right, and those on the left are writing the bad deeds of the people of the left. “Behold! when the two receivers receive-one on the right hand and one on the left a sitter[1] (Qaf:17).

It has been narrated that whoever does a good deed, an angel will be created from that good deed, who will reward him, and whoever does a bad deed, a devil, will be created from that bad deed, and he will be punished. God says in the Quran, “Surely, those who say: “Our Lord is God,” and then go straight, the angels will descend upon them: “Do not fear, and do not grieve, but rejoice in the news of the Garden which you were promised. (30) We are your allies in this life and the Hereafter, wherein you will have whatever your souls desire, and you will have therein whatever you call for[2] (Fussillat:30-31). Conversely, we have, “Shall I inform you upon whom the devils descend? (221) They descend upon every sinful liar. (222) They give ear, and most of them are liars[3] (Ash-Shu’ara:221-223). Also, Quran says, “Whoever shuns the remembrance of the Most Gracious, We assign for him a devil, to be his companion[4] (Az-Zukhruf:36). The people of rational thought (Philosophers) call them “Malakih” (Acquired attributes) but the people of insight (mystics) call them angels and devils, but both are the same. Since these acquired attributes are eternal, then the rewards and punishments of the Hereafter are also eternal.  A narration says, “The heavenly people are in heaven, and the people of hell are in hell by their intentions”[5]. Therefore, whoever does a small particle of good or bad, that good and bad is written and formed in the book and will be with him forever. “Whoever has done an atom’s weight of good will see it. (7) And whoever has done an atom’s weight of evil will see it. (8)[6] (Az-Zalzala:7-8). When their book opens before them, “When the records are made public[7] (At-Takwir:10). Heedless People would say, “Woe to us! What is with this book that leaves nothing, small or big, but it has enumerated it? They will find everything they had done presently. Your Lord does not wrong anyone[8] (Al-Kahf:49). It is mentioned in many traditions that by saying a “Sobhan Allah” (Glory to God) or doing a good deed, an angel is created in the eternal paradise, and the person enjoys seeing it. Similarly, people are created from the sins that cause a nation’s punishment, as mentioned in the story of Prophet Noah’s son and Pharaoh. “He said, O Noah, he is not of your family. It is an unrighteous deed[9] (Hud:46). “And We saved the Children of Israel from the humiliating persecution. (30) From Pharaoh. He was a transgressing tyrant (31)[10] (Ad-Dukhan:30-31). Some narration says, “Unbelievers are created from believers’ sins”[11]. There are many examples similar to this narration. This sentence is because, “The life of this world is nothing but diversion and play, and the Home of the Hereafter is the Life if they only knew[12] (Al-Ankabut:64). In the opinion of the people who live in this world, everything that is in the veil is not alive, but when that veil is removed, they will see it. “You were in neglect of this, so We lifted your screen from you, and your vision today is keen[13] (Qaf:22). This will be the time when they will die from this worldly life, which is actually death, and be resurrected to eternal life, which is the death of this world. “Is he who was dead, then We gave him life, and made for him a light by which he walks among the people, like he who is in total darkness, and cannot get out of it? Thus, the doings of disbelievers are made to appear good to them[14] (Al-An’am:122). It is in the way that people will see the truth as it is, and this is the answer to the prayer of the Messenger of God (Prophet Muhammad (S)) that he said, “O God, Show me things as they are”[15]. Everyone should read his book and take care of his account after the hijab is removed from him. “For every person, We have attached his fate to his neck. And on the Day of Resurrection, We will bring out for him a book which he will find spread open. (13) “Read your book; today there will be none but yourself to call you to account (14)[16] (Al-Isra:13-14). A narration says, “As you live, you die, and as you die, you rise”[17], so, If they are among the People of “Forerunners” or “Right”, They take their books from the front or the right side. “As for him who is given his book in his right hand. (7), He will have an easy settlement. (8)[18] (Inshiqaq:7-8). If they are among the guiltiest, “If only you could see the guilty, bowing their heads before their Lord[19] (As-Sajda:12), and if they are among the people of the “Left”, they take their book from behind or from the left side. “But as for him who is given his book behind his back (10), He will call for death (11)[20] (Al-Inshiqaq:10-11). “But as for him who is given his book in his left hand, he will say, “I wish I was never given my book. (25) And I never knew what my account was. (26) If only it was the end. (27) My money cannot avail me. (28)[21] (Al-Haqqa:25-28).

Explanation

This chapter discusses the book of human actions, which is stated in the Quran. The book of human actions is not the same as the books of this world, but the book of their actions is their “Nafs” (Soul), in which all actions are recorded. According to the unification of perceived and perceiver, all actions and intentions are united with us (Nafs). So, every action and intention remain with us as long as the “Nafs” remains. Human “Nafs” is made of knowledge and actions. This book is the reality of our essence. “And the book will be placed, and you will see the sinners fearful of its contents. And they will say, “Woe to us! What is with this book that leaves nothing, small or big, but it has enumerated it?” They will find everything they had done presently. Your Lord does not wrong anyone” (Al-Kahf:49). Everything is gathered in our Nafs, even though we might not remember it all now, that is why in hypnosis people remember their past. Meaning everything is recorded in our Nafs (us). But now, we cannot remember everything due to our engagement in this world. The details of those actions will be embodied in the Hereafter when there are no physical senses. We must be cautious about what we write in ourselves (our Nafs or our book). Is our book full of ridiculous things, jokes, wasting time, annoying people, or is it full of helping people, loving people, religious or afterlife knowledge? “For every person, We have attached his fate (book) to his neck. And on the Day of Resurrection, We will bring out for him a book which he will find spread open. (13) “Read your book; today there will be none but yourself to call you to account (14)[22] (Al-Isra:13-14). We will read our book, and we are sufficient for it. If you want to see the book of humans, talk to them or travel with them because they turn the pages of their book and you will know what is written in it.

Allameh Hassanzadeh said, “The hints in the narration of 14 Ma’soomin, which are the shadow of the Holy Quran, are handy to understand the book of action. Of course, the explanation of this narration should be learned from a very knowledgeable scholar who has understood the truth”. Someone asked Prophet Muhammad (S), “What are the book and pens used by the angels to write down the deeds of humans? The Prophet of God replied that their book is the chest of these people, (their soul), and the pen is the tongue of these people”. Our speech fills the majority of our Book of Deeds. So, it is not that two angels are sitting with pen and paper and writing our deeds in a book like in this world, but it means the existential union of our acts with us (Nafs). Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A) said, “Everything I told you, I said from the Holy Quran; if you ask, I will show you where from the Quran I said those words”. The hadiths narrated by the imams should be learned from the true master because it is impossible to reach the depth of their speech easily. It is hard to understand the meaning of sentences of some philosophers like Pythagoras, Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle; how do we expect to understand the narrations of infallible Imams? People should learn the narrations from someone who explains the hadiths and engraves them in people’s hearts, and this is not that anyone who knows Arabic can translate and understand the Holy Quran and narrations.

Allameh Hassanzadeh said, “All our actions and talks are perishable, and they don’t have a quiet moment (for example, where are our actions that we did 5 hours ago?). In other words, it can be said that our speeches and actions are like “Araz” (Refer to Chapter 5) or even “Motion” that do not remain stable. (Even the substance of the material world is in motion. This is the nature of the material world which will be discussed in “Harakat e Juhari” or “Substance theory” of Mula Sadra). The essence and foundation of the material world is motion, not that this world has a motion. Where ever we see in the material world is because of motion or is the motion. Physicists called it Energy which is the basis of the material world. The energy itself cannot be seen. In one interpretation, we could say that Energy is Motion and the essence of the material world. Our words and actions are lost, but a fixed truth is generated from them. For example, we learn to swim by practicing so that the attribute and ability to swim are fixed in us, but those practices are lost. The characteristics of acquired attributes or traits (Malakih) (which are the product of repeating) differ from the material world. Their container is our Nafs which is outside of space and time, but material objects are necessary tools for this immaterial product (attribute) in Arabic we call “Malakih”. So, by repeating our thoughts, behavior, and actions, we make ourselves, or we make our heaven and hell. People enjoy or suffer in the Hereafter because of the angels and demons that they have created in themselves.

Allameh Hassanzadeh said that one of his students told him that he saw mystic Ibn Arabi in a divine vision while sitting after a prayer. The student asked Ibn Arabi to teach him a secret, and Ibn Arabi told him that you are “Malik e Yaum e ddin”[23] (the owner of the Day of Judgment). Allameh Hassanzadeh said; I told him that everyone is the owner of their day of Judgement because they create heaven and hell within themselves.  All the actions will be embodied in the Hereafter and make our heaven and hell. For example, a person dreams that he is drinking milk, and the dream interpreter tells him that he will gain knowledge. So, it was knowledge in this world, but it was embodied as milk in the dream. All our words and actions, like praying, fasting, studying, etc., are not stable, but by repeating them, “Malakih” (attributes) will be generated in the human soul. They become the material for the Hereafter forms of man. The man plants seeds in the ground of his soul and grows and harvests them in the hereafter. “On that Day, no soul will be wronged in the least, and you will be recompensed only what you used to do[24] (Ya-Sin:54). “And God was to expose what you were hiding[25] (Al-Baqara:72). Our rewards are our actions because our actions make our heaven and hell. The reward of practicing swimming is that you become a swimmer.

A person woke for the night prayer, and when he started “Wuzu” (Ablution), he saw an intense light. He thought that the light was God, but suddenly he heard the voice of his master, who told him that this light was the embodiment of his ablution. It means that even our most minor actions, even a smile or a small joke, may become something big in the Hereafter. Once I dreamt of being with Allameh Hassanzadeh and one of my friends beside a river. Allameh told me that this gentleman (my friend) is fertile land and I am farming on this land. When I said this dream to Allameh Hassanzadeh, He told me that yes, this dream is according to the narrations which say that people’s souls are the farm of scholars. Every student is a garden of their teacher. One should be very careful in choosing companions because they affect us. We should be cautious not to plant hellish seeds in our souls. We have to draw barbed wire around our souls so that only the seeds of paradise remain in it.

In the Hereafter, our hidden actions also will be visible. “On the Day when the secrets are disclosed[26] (Al-Tariq:9). “You were in neglect of this, so We lifted your screen from you, and your vision today is keen[27] (Qaf:22). God’s guardians see the inner and outer of people in this world because their resurrection already came in this world. Whatever they should see in the Hereafter, they see in this world. We see all the faces and things in our dreams in ourselves. The heaven and hell that people see in the Hereafter are in themselves. We have proven in self-knowledge discussion that everything we see in this world is actually seen in ourselves. Here, we become passive from outside ourselves, but on the Day of Judgment, there is no more passivity; instead, all the figures that we see on the Day of Judgment are things that we have acquired during our worldly life, which will be displayed for us in the Hereafter. Allameh Hassanzadeh saw in a divine vision that his mouth was sewn with a needle, and it hurt a lot, so he understood that this is the punishment of someone who does not take care of what he says with his mouth. A few days ago, we were at the service of Allameh Hassanzadeh. He was giving a speech in a mosque. A child entered the mosque and started talking and making noise. The child’s father put his hand over the child’s mouth to be quiet. Allameh Hassanzadeh said, “This child is speaking according to his childhood needs. You should keep your mouth shut and be careful”. The human Nafs is like an excellent land that is ready for agriculture. If a seed is planted and someone takes care of it well, it will become a beautiful farm and garden, so we must be careful not to plant hellish seeds in the land of our souls. The Messenger of God Prophet Muhammad (S) said, “The action of man is the companion of man”. Some people think that if they upset someone and leave, there will be no problem, in the case that any kind of smile, bad manners, and abusive speech will be united with themselves. They will see that act on the Day of Judgment, but because they are immersed in worldly life, they cannot see the afterlife form of their actions. Just as the human body needs food to stay healthy, the soul also needs food and care. The food of their soul is knowledge. The soul of some people is as small as a sparrow, but some people’s life is as enormous as the heavens and the earth. The first recommendation that Allameh Hassanzadeh gave to his student was to study and gain knowledge and then act based on that because knowledge is the leader of actions. Someone asked Prophet Muhammad (S), “What is the best action?” Prophet replied, “Knowledge!”. The companion asked, “we asked about actions, and you replied “knowledge”?”. Prophet replied, “Because with the knowledge, few good deeds are accepted, but without knowledge, even many good deeds will not be accepted”. Allameh Hassanzadeh said, “I am 75 years old, but if I find out that on the other side of the Earth there is some divine knowledge that I can learn, I will travel there”.

In the Self-knowledge discussion, we explained that “Nafs” is knowledge. The thing that we call “I” is my knowledge of myself. Also, we discussed that by acquiring more knowledge, we would intensify the existential of the “I” or “Nafs”.

In the discussion of resurrection, we have two types of books, a partial book, which is the book related to the recorded speeches and deeds of every human being. “For every person, We have attached his fate (book) to his neck. And on the Day of Resurrection, We will bring out for him a book which he will find spread open. (13) “Read your book; today there will be none but yourself to call you to account (14)”  (Al-Isra:13-14). And we have another book, The Book of Allah: “This Book of Ours speaks against you in truth. Indeed, We have been transcribing what you have been doing [28] (Al-Jathiya:29). Sometimes actions or speeches of people leave effects on the world after they have passed away; for example, someone has the knowledge and teaches it to others, or someone does something good like building a school, a hospital, or someone might do an evil deed which remains in worldly life for years. After him, those good or bad effects will be recorded and preserved in the book of God.

Those who record human actions in Islam are called “Kiram Al-Katibin” (Holy writers). According to the narrations, the Holy Writers are two angels, one sitting on the right shoulder of a person and one on the left shoulder of a person, and the angel on the right side writes down a person’s good deeds. The angel on the left side writes down a person’s evil deeds. Shoulders here mean the place where all the actions and behavior of humans are surrounded by angels, and they see whatever we do. We have already explained what is meant by the right side and the left side. The right side of man refers to the spiritual side of humans, and the left side refers to the animal side of humans. Also, we explain one of the meanings of the following verse of the Holy Quran, “(Satan said to God) Then I will come at them from before them, and from behind them, and from their right, and their left; and you will not find most of them appreciative[29] (Al-A’raf:17). We said that the face of humans is towards this world as Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A) said, “Tawba (Repentance) is behind you” (you need to turn your face towards God). The human behind is the immaterial world, the right human is the spiritual aspect of humanity, and the left aspect of a human is the animal aspect. So, Satan will try to deceive us through worldly life (front), the immaterial world (behind), spiritual (right), and animal aspects of us (left). Those angels and where they wrote are not separated from us.

Allameh Hassanzadeh said, “There are also other narrations which say, the angels are not only limited to the angels of questioning of humans. If the actions are bad, the angels that people see in the Hereafter are the questioning angels. Shaykh Mufid (Shia scholar 948–1022 CE) in his book “The book of beliefs” said, “The two angels who are descending to infidels are called “Nakir” and “Munkar” but the name of the two angels who are descending to believers are called “Bashir” and “Mubashir”. It is called “Nakir” because the infidel was denying God and it is called “Bashir” because they give good news and rewards to the believer. These names of angels are based on their actions. For believers called “Mubashir” and “Bashir” but for infidels called “Munkar” and “Nakir”“. The angel of death is like a mirror in which we see ourselves. The summary of the discussion using the hints of God’s guardians and infallible Ahl al-Bayt is that knowledge and action make man, and everyone makes himself using his intentions, speech, and activity, and “Nafs” or “I” is an immaterial entity outside the laws of matter and worldly life. The two angels, Nakir and Bashir, are the embodiment and representation of human actions in the Hereafter.

Allameh Hassanzadeh, in 1001 Notes, said, “God says, “Until, when death comes to one of them, he says, “My Lord, send me back. (99) That I may do right in what I have neglected.” By no means! It is just a word that he utters. And behind them is Barzakh[30] (a transition, a barrier, interval between death and resurrection) until the Day they are resurrected. (100)” (Al-Mu’minun:99-100). In this verse, The day of Resurrection is after Barzakh. The torment of the grave happens in Barzakh. The real graves of humans are not outside of themselves. The outside graves (where their bodies are buried) are unreal. The resurrection happens when humans exit their real grave, Barzakh. It is essential to note that God says “The Day of Resurrection” as the word day means when the facts are revealed. So, the Day of Resurrection is the rise and perfection of human existence. The Resurrection is the human exit from the acquired Barzakh (Good or bad attributes and figures acquired by humans’ actions and knowledge in worldly life)”.

When death comes to people, their knowledge rises, and they realize that they should do good deeds, but they do not know that if they were returned to the material world, they would do the same that they have done before. So, we should get the knowledge before natural death comes. Prophet Muhammad (S) said, “die before you die”[31]. Meaning that we should acquire the knowledge of death before we die. Previously, We explained voluntary death in the explanation of the narration (Note that this does not have anything to do with suicide which is forbidden in Islam). “The life of this world is nothing but diversion and play, and the Home of the Hereafter is the Life if they only knew[32] (Al-Ankabut:64). We have two types of graves, 1- Unreal grave, which is the hole where the bodies are buried 2- Real grave which is the world between death and the Day of Resurrection. Students of Socrates asked him, “O Master, where should we bury you after you die?” He replied, “If you find me, then bury me wherever you like”. (Meaning, this is my body, not me. The important thing is my soul that will be in its Barzakh). Imam Sadiq (A) said, “The grave is the Barzakh”. People will enjoy or suffer from acquired attributes that become figurative in the Barzakh. Since we are attached to this material world, we cannot perceive the acquired attributes precisely. Barzakh is the continuation of worldly life. Whoever does not gain perfection here must achieve perfection in the Barzakh.

In chapter 4 of volume 4 of Asfar, Mulla Sadra explained Barzakh (grave) and the Day of Resurrection. He said, “The real grave is the acquired attributes. Rewards and torments of the grave are enjoyments and sufferings from the acquired attributes and figures. Resurrection is the exit from the attributes, like when the baby leaves the mother’s womb. The difference between the situation in the grave (Barzakh) and Resurrection is like the infant before and after leaving the mother’s womb because Barzakh (grave) is a sample of Resurrection states. People are tied up in worldly life. Therefore, they are not capable of perceiving the truths of resurrection. It is similar to a newborn baby who does not have strong physical senses. So, as long as the state of the soul is weak, as we said, and its perceptions are like dreams, it is told that the person is in the Barzakh world. When the soul becomes strong enough to perceive the truths of the resurrection, we say that its resurrection is raised”.

Allameh Hassanzadeh said, “The unreal grave (where the bodies are buried) has low relation to the human soul. The human soul is not buried in the grave. The real grave is not outside of people but is proportional to them. A narration in Usul Kafi (one of the main Shia narration books) is very helpful here. Omar ibn Yazid asked Imam Sadiq (A) that I heard you say, “All of our followers (Shia) are in Heaven howsoever”. Imam Sadiq (A) replied, “Yes, you are right. I swear to God that all of them are in Heaven”. Omar said, “May I be martyred for you; many sins are great”. Imam replied, “In the resurrection, all of the followers are in Heaven with interceding of Prophet Muhammad (S) or his successor (Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A)) But I swear to God I am afraid of your Barzakh”. Omar asked, “What is Barzakh?”. Imam (A) replied, “Grave, it is from when a person dies until the Day of Resurrection”. In another narration, Abdullah ibn Sanan in Amali (one of the main Shia narration books) said, “It was told to Prophet Muhammad (S) that Sa’d ibn Ma’az died. Prophet Muhammad (S) and his companion went to make “Qusl” (washing a dead body according to Islamic tradition). After “Qusl”, they put Sa’d’s body in “Kafan” (wrapping a dead body with cloth), Prophet Muhammad (S) followed his companions without “Rada” (Cloak) and “Aba” (Gown) when they carried Sa’d body. Sometimes Prophet Muhammad (S) took the right side of the coffin, and sometimes, he took the left side of the coffin until they reached the grave. Then Prophet Muhammad (S) went inside the grave and asked for soil and bricks (to prepare the grave). After that, Sa’d’s body was buried in the grave; they filled it with soil and made it flat. Prophet Muhammad (S) said, “I know that this will rot and perish, but God likes for his servants to do things precisely and firmly”. At the time, Sa’d’s mother said, “O Sa’d, May heaven be up to you”. Prophet Muhammad (S) said, “Be quiet, do not necessitate things to God, because Sa’d is now in the torment of the grave”. Later, Prophet’s companion asked him, “O Messenger of God, today we saw that you have done things that you have not done before with others”. Prophet Muhammad (S) said, “Angels came without “Rada” and “Aba” and I did the same. My hand was with angel Gabriel; when the angel Gabriel took the right or left side of the coffin, I did the same. Then companions asked, “You put Sa’d in the grave and prayed for him but later you said, Sa’d is in torment, why?”. Prophet Muhammad (S) said, “Because he was treating his family badly” (End of the narration). These traditions are beneficial to understand the reality of the Hereafter. We discussed this in detail in “Itihad A’qil wa Ma’qul” book (Unity of Intellectual and Intellect)”.

Whoever does a good deed, an angel will be created from that good deed.

We have explained that the book of deeds is the human soul in which the facts are recorded. It has been presented to you with authoritative and philosophical proof that whatever we perceive becomes united with us. The human soul is a tablet for recording. On the Day of Resurrection, man will see this book, whether it is heaven or hell! Whoever does a good deed, an angel will be created from that good deed which gives the rewards. Human actions have two aspects, an external aspect, and a spiritual aspect. The outer aspect of human actions is destroyed, but the spiritual aspect remains in man. Therefore, all our speeches and actions create some truths in the soul. If the acquired truths and actions are good, we call them angels; if they are bad deeds, we call them devils. A narration says that even your smile is questioned. When someone does actions, truths are created that do not have a form, but in the “Barzakh” (“Methal”) world, the truths are formed according to the actions; some truths become fires and devils, and some become gardens and angels. God says, “Surely, those who say: “Our Lord is God,” and then go straight (go stable), the angels will descend upon them: “Do not fear, and do not grieve, but rejoice in the news of the Garden which you were promised. (30) We are your allies in this life and the Hereafter, wherein you will have whatever your souls desire, and you will have therein whatever you call for”[33] (Fussillat:30-31). It is worth noting that the descent of angels is before Heaven because it says, “The Garden which you were promised”. So, for people who say, “Allah is our Lord” and be steady (having stamina), Angels descend to them. Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A) always said, “Allah, Allah, My Lord, I do not take a partner with Him”[34]. Those angels are manifestations of saying, “Allah is my Lord”. They are friends of the believers in this world and the Hereafter. It is said in the narration that if Shias had not fallen into sedition and had not been in trouble, angels would appear to you and shake hands with you, and you would meet each other face to face. (So, we increase our capacity, and many things will be revealed to us). Another point in this verse is that God loves a continuous action, even if small, because its effect on the soul is greater. This is also true about the repetition of sins, Meaning that if someone commits a small sin continuously, its effect on the soul will be greater. In opposite, we have these verses, “Shall I inform you upon whom the devils descend? (221) They descend upon every sinful liar. (222) They give ear, and most of them are liars”[35] (Ash-Shu’ara:221-223). Just as the descent of angels is God’s mercy, the descent of devils is also the descent of God’s punishment. People do not directly see the descent of angels and devils, but the evil or good thoughts that come to mind are a result of that descent. When a truth pulls you up, it is the descent of angels; when a truth drags you to hell, it is the descent of devils. Also, Quran says, “Whoever shuns the remembrance of the Most Gracious, We assign for him a devil, to be his companion”[36] (Az-Zukhruf:36). It means that the one who is not with God is with the devil. The truth of paying attention to the world is Satan. Because the devil is the agent of the world’s luxury, loving the worldly life is the product of being a companion and being close to the devil. God says, “I am the companion of the one who remembers me”[37] (Narration). The worldly life is not the house of reward or punishment, but the Hereafter is the house of reward and punishment, and people reap what they sowed in the material world. We said many times that in one interpretation, the inner of worldly life is Hell.

The people of rational (Philosophers) call them “Malakih” (Acquired attributes)

Allameh Hassanzadeh explained the sentence of Khajeh Tusi as follows, “Malakih is rooted in “Malik” which means sovereignty and authority. By repeating every profession, work, posture, attention, and intention, a person gains “Malakih” (Acquired attributes), Meaning he becomes the owner of authority or mastery. It becomes easy for him to perform the action and effect of it, and this authority and mastership is called “Malakih”. If this mastery is in good deeds, it is called angels, and if it is in bad deeds, it is called devils”.

In the explanation of the above sentence, you can consider the following example about the “Malakih”, someone who does not know how to ride a bicycle. With a lot of practice, the “Malakih” of cycling is created in him, meaning, he has mastered cycling and does it effortlessly.

Allameh continued, “Angels are called “Ghowa”[38] (forces) of the material world because they have authority over their subordinates which is the material world. In one interpretation, the material world is like their body, and they have the authority over it” (With God’s will).

Regarding angels, “Rassaeil of Tawhid” (Monotheism treatises) of Allameh Tabatabaei is very useful. A section in the book talks about angels, devils, Angel Gabriel, The book, The Pen, and much more. Also, Allameh Hassanzadeh explained this in much more detail in the book “Insan and Quran” (Human and Quran) (for example, the meaning of angels is having wings based on the Holy Quran). 

Allameh continued, “Ibn Arabi in his book “Futuhat” said that Malakih is rooted in “Ulukat”  meaning messenger (the truths that are descent by God), but Mulla Sadra used both meanings in his books.  Although the discussion about this topic is precious, it may separate us from the main topic so that we will be satisfied with this explanation”.

There are two aspects to angels, If we look at them as they are descent by God, then we call them messengers, but if we look at them with their authority over the material world, they are called “forces” of this world. All creatures in one aspect are the messenger of God as they descend to this world; even Satan is one aspect messenger of God as Quran says, “He said, “Begone! Whoever of them follows you—Hell is your reward, an ample reward.” (63) “And entice whomever of them you can with your voice, and rally against them your cavalry and your infantry, and share with them in wealth and children, and make promises to them.” But Satan promises them nothing but delusion” (AlIsra:63-64).

People will be in heaven and hell eternally.

As we explained earlier, every action we do becomes united with our Nafs, and since our Nafs, which we have proven to be eternal, then acquired attributes (Malakih) by our actions, which are the constituents of our heaven and hell, will also be eternal. And that is why people will be in eternal fire even though they have sinned for a short time. Here a question arises, what will happen to “Shifa’at” (Intercessions) and “Takamul Barzakhi” (perfection in the Hereafter)?

We have already explained that in one interpretation, human beings are divided into three main divisions, 1- The level of actions, 2- The level of “Malakih” attributes and ethics, and 3- The level of beliefs. In the discussion of intercession, it is as follows that if a person’s beliefs are in accordance with the beliefs of the Prophet of Islam (Prophet Muhammad (S)), even if the person has bad attributes and wrong actions, they will ultimately be in heaven, despite being punished for their sins in Barzakh. Bad attributes and actions will be destroyed due to the perfection in Barzakh. At last, he will be in Paradise, so we have narrations from our Imams which say, “Our Shia’s will all go to heaven, even those who are sinners, but we are afraid of your Barzakh” (characteristic of Shia Muslims can be found in many narrations). Suppose a person’s beliefs are correct, but the order of his attributes and actions is corrupt. In that case, a person can enter heaven through intercession because, with monotheistic belief, no one goes to hell. Still, if his beliefs are wrong, he deserves to enter hell, even though he has good attributes and actions. Here this question arises, those who have good deeds and attributes but are polytheists will not go to heaven. The narration says that their punishment will be reduced because God says, “God does not waste the reward of the righteous[39] (At-Tawba:120).

A narration from Imam (A) says, “The heavenly people are in heaven, and the hell people are in hell by their intentions”. Allameh Hassanzadeh always keeps saying that the narrations of our Imams are Miracles. Some miracles are based on actions like the miracles of Prophet Moses (A), but some are based on speeches. If someone becomes intelligent enough and studies the narrations from 14 Ma’soomin, they will recognize their speeches as miracles. Philosophers and Mystics must try very hard to reach the ultimate rank, but at the end of their journey, they will see how Imams explained things precisely and simply. We cannot see any of these narrations from another companion of Prophet Muhammad (S); for instance, read one sermon of Nahj Al-Balaqa of Amir Al-Mu’minin about monotheism and see if anyone else can compete with it. Another question is that if a person sins in a short period, why should they be in hell forever? The answer is that because this person intended that if he was in this world forever, he would always commit the same act of sin. Imam Sadiq (A) says, “The people of the fire are eternally in hell because their intention in this world was that if they were eternal in worldly life, they would sin forever, and the people of heaven are eternal in heaven because they intended that if they were in the worldly life eternally, they would obey God forever. So, they stay in heaven or hell forever because of their intention. Then Imam Continued with this verse of the Holy Quran, “Say, Each does according to his disposition[40] (Al-Isra:84). Imam said, “It means they do according to their intentions”.

Therefore, the sinner who hopes to repent one day differs from the one who has no intention of repenting. In everything, we should have intention because it affects the soul. Once, we went to Ayatollah Bahjat to ask him questions, and after he answered our questions, he said that Tudoleli (hidden intentions) also has punishment. The thought of sin darkens the mirror of the heart. Of course, thinking is different from having an intention. Sometimes a person thinks about sin, but sometimes a person intends to go and do that sin. A real mystic who has reached the truth does not even think about sin. There is a very important narration that says, “Someone asked Prophet Muhammad (S), “How come you don’t even think of sin?”. Prophet replied, “Have you ever thought of eating human excrement and enjoying it?”. It means you do not have the knowledge about sin that you are thinking and enjoying of it.

Whoever does a tiny particle of good or bad, that good and bad is written and formed in the book and will be with him forever.

The verse of the Holy Quran says, “Whoever has done an atom’s weight of good will see it. (7) And whoever has done an atom’s weight of evil will see it. (8)[41] (Az-Zalzala:7-8). Allameh Hassanzadeh said that a human sees the truth of a good or evil action in the Hereafter, and the situation of the above verse is actual for all people, both believers and unbelievers. “We will not waste the reward of those who work righteousness[42] (Al-Kahf:30). Imam Baqir (A) said, “Indeed, a believer in his own country is angered by the king and flees from that country to another country where all are polytheists. The believer goes to the door of a polytheist’s house for help, and a polytheist welcomes him and shows kindness to him. When that polytheist dies, God reveals to the polytheist that, “I swear by my honor and glory that if there was a place for you in heaven, I would have placed you in it, but Paradise is forbidden for a person who dies as a polytheist, but O fire, scare this person but do not bother him, and his food will reach him in the morning and at night”. Narrator asked, “Does the food come from heaven?”. Imam said, “From wherever God wants”. The purpose is that because there was a shared feeling of philanthropy, love, and shelter of a believer in the polytheist, he will receive the reward of this trait, so God ordered the fire to scare him but not to hurt him.

This hadith is one of the critical narrations because it says that God reveals to the polytheist, although, as we know, God’s revelation has different levels. Why does God say that I would send you there if there was a place for you in heaven? As we have explained, heaven and hell are in man himself, and beliefs make our soul heaven or hell land. Polytheistic beliefs make the human soul hellish, and monotheism makes the human soul heavenly; now, a person can plant bad seeds in the heavenly land (his soul), but another person plant flowers in the hellish land (soul).

Another question is, how is the quality of the forbidden in the Hereafter? “Halal” (Lawful) and “Haram” (Forbidden) in this world are “Tashriei”[43] (A kind of guidance that God guides man to the path of perfection through the prophets, the holy book, and the Imams). Still, in the Hereafter, they are “Takwini”[44] (A guidance that exists in the creation and nature of creatures, and everyone benefits from it. This guidance is optional and leads everyone to perfection, and there is no misguidance against it). An example that can be given regarding Halal and Haram of “Takwin” is that, for example, it is Halal for a fire to burn paper, but it is Haram for a fire that burns stone, which means it is not possible to be done.

Allameh Hassanzadeh said in the explanation of the above hadith, “Don’t you see that our Imams (A) said that whoever does not give thanks to another creature will not give thanks to the creator, which means that a person who does not have gratitude because of the lack of emotions and conscience, he does not give thanks to other creatures, nor does he give thanks to God, the creator. Meaning they do not have gratitude attributes in themselves. Imam Sadiq (A) and his companions were moving on the road towards Mecca. They saw someone waving his hands. Imam said, “Ask him what this person wants”. They went there and came back. Imam said, “What did he want?” They said, “He wanted water”, and Imam said, “Why didn’t you give him water?”, They said, “Because he was a Jew!”. Imam said, “Don’t you have human feelings; give him water and food”. In the battle of Safin, Amir al-Mu’minin Ali (A) did not shut off the water on Muawiya and his army, who were his enemies, but you see what Yazid did to Imam Hussain (A) and his family in Karbala.

When people open the books and see the book of their own existence, “When the records are made public[45] (At-Takwir:10). Those who neglected them say, “Woe to us! What is with this book that leaves nothing, small or big, but it has enumerated it? They will find everything they had done presently. Your Lord does not wrong anyone[46] (Al-Kahf:49). All actions are collected, even the weight of a particle, all actions and intentions unite with the human soul and do not disappear. The moments of life are like the chests. Some have boxes full of light; others have empty boxes full of darkness. The most challenging thing for a believer is when his box is empty.

Human actions are the reward and punishment.

In the story of Prophet Noah’s son, “He said, O Noah, he is not of your family. It is an unrighteous deed[47] (Hud:46). Allameh Hassanzadeh said, “Human actions are the reward and punishment. Man creates himself with his actions. I have written an explanation in the unity of the intellect and the intelligence of Ayatollah Rafiee Qazvini that,  In the above verse, the Qur’an introduced the man as the act of man and said that the son of Prophet Noah (A) was an unrighteous act. It is not correct to add the word “Zu” (owner) to the Qur’an, that he was the owner of the righteous act, so the correct translation is that the son of Prophet Noah (A) is the unrighteous act because the action and doer are one”. Amin Al-Islam Tabarsi in Majma’ al-Bayan says, “The reciting of Hafs an Asim is like the reciting of Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A) except ten words”. Allameh Helli in Tazkiratul Fuqaha says, “The reciting of Abu Bakr an Asim is exactly like the reciting of Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A)”. Both above recitations of the Holy Quran brought “Amal” with Fath of Mim and Tanwin of Lam. So, be aware that heaven and hell are in souls, and not souls in heaven and hell. In reality, heaven and hell are the souls”.

The human soul is immaterial with unlimited capacity. In the self-knowledge lectures, we explained that the container of knowledge is in our Nafs. But in reality, the Nafs is knowledge, and knowledge is the Nafs. I do not think they are two different things, but they are one. In the Material world, things are separated, and we must have something in something, but the Hereafter is different. Our knowledge and action here make us in the Hereafter. Therefore, heaven is in our soul, not that heaven is one thing and the soul is another thing, and heaven is inside it, but our soul is the same as heaven. The narration says that an unbeliever is made from a believer’s sin. One of the essential topics in mysticism is the reflections on the facts of Barzakh (Methal) in the material world, which means when a person acts, this action is formed and will be waiting for him in the Hereafter. Still, the fact of action also has reflections in worldly life. When a person sins, the result of the action also appears in the world; for example, when we upset someone, trouble may come after a while, but we do not know where it comes from, and this is the reflection of the person’s action. “Whatever good happens to you is from God, and whatever bad happens to you is from your own self[48] (An-Nisa:79). Once a banana skin was under Allameh Tabatabaei’s (Great Quran interpreter) feet. He slipped and fell to the ground; then, he started crying. Someone who was with him said it is not good for such a scholar to cry. How much pain did it take? Allameh replied I am crying because I am wondering what I did wrong that this happened to me? Someone may slap someone else, and his house will be on fire in a month, but he won’t realize that this results from slapping. No one can escape God’s justice. The wheat we plant takes some time to harvest. The action we do may take a few months to a few years for its effect to appear. Imam Sadiq (A) says that those who died due to sin are more than those who died due to everyday life. (It means that their death was brought forward by sin). Another narration says that when people do not enjoin what is good and do not forbid what is evil, also do not help the poor, and do not respect the elders, their evils dominate the society, and prayer would not work. “That is because God would never change a blessing He has bestowed on a people unless they change what is within themselves and because God is Hearing and Knowing[49] (Al-Anfal:53). They have to change themselves so that God may give them blessing again.

In Jerusalem, a lustful king named Herod ruled there on behalf of the Roman Caesar; his brother had a daughter named Herodias. After his brother died, Herod married his brother’s wife.

Herod fell in love with his brother’s beautiful daughter Herodias; he decided to marry her, who was his niece and stepdaughter. This news reached God’s Prophet Yahya (John the Baptist (A)), and he clearly declared that this marriage is against the instructions of the Torah and is forbidden. The noise of this law spread throughout the city, and it reached the ears of that girl (Herodias); she took Yahya’s (A) grudge to heart because she considered him the most significant obstacle on the way to her desires and decided to take revenge on him. Herodias’s illegitimate relationship with her uncle Herod increased, and her beauty fascinated King Herod, and he said to her: “Ask me whatever you wish, and it will certainly come true.” Herodias said I don’t want anything but the beheading of Yahya (A) because he has put your and my name on the society and has made all the people busy looking for our faults. According to some traditions, on the anniversary of the birthday of King Herod of Palestine, Prophet Yahya, son of Zachariah (A), was at the altar of worship in the mosque of Jerusalem; the executioners came to him and arrested him and took him to the king’s palace. Over there, the king ordered the beheading of Yahya (A), and his severed head was presented in a gold pan; when Herodias surrendered to the king’s whims, the severed head of Yahya (A) spoke, and at the same time, forbade sin and addressing the king, “O man, fear God, this woman is forbidden to you.” This way, Prophet Yahya (John the Baptist (A)) was oppressed and martyred.

When the holy head of Yahya (A) was separated from the body, a drop of his blood fell on the ground, and whatever soil was poured on it, the boiling blood came out of the soil, and a pile of soil was formed, but the blood did not stop boiling, and a red lump could be seen. It didn’t take long for “Nebuchadnezzar” to rise and dominate the Jews. He asked what the reason for boiling blood is. No one knew, people said; there is an old man that might know. When he called him and asked him, the old man narrated the story of Prophet Yahya (A) from his father and grandfather and said, Some time ago, the king of this region killed Prophet Yahya (A) and separated his head from the body, his blood dripped on the ground and the blood is still boiling. Nebuchadnezzar said: I will kill many people here so that the blood stops boiling. He ordered to kill seventy thousand people on that blood until the blood stopped boiling. The last person they killed was an old woman from Bani Israel (Jews) who was the same woman who instigated the king to kill Prophet Yahya (A) and caused the martyrdom of the Prophet of God. Zarara (student of Imam Sadiq (A)) says that I said to Imam Sadiq (A), Sir! Some slaves martyred prophet Yahya (A) at the king’s command and his wife’s request, so why, when God wanted to take revenge, Bakht al-Nasr ruled over all the children of Israel? Imam replied, “Because when the news of Yahya’s death reached the Bani Israel, they all rejoiced, and that’s how they all participated in the shedding of Yahya’s blood”. Now the blessed head of Prophet Yahya (A) is placed inside the shrine of the Umayyad Mosque of Sham (Damascus Grand Mosque) in the eastern half of it (A green dome is installed on top of the maqam). While his blessed body is buried near Damascus in a place called “Zabadani” in the “Delam” mosque. It is mentioned in the narration that, this calamity was so great that the earth, the sky, and the angels wept for forty days and nights over the martyrdom of Prophet Yahya (A). The sun also rose and set for forty days in a halo of blood red color, as it did during the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (A). Now the meaning of the above narration that an unbeliever creates by believers becomes clearer.

The home of the Hereafter is the Life; if they only knew.

Allameh Hassanzadeh said, “Because the human speaking soul (Nafs) is from the house of the hereafter, and the home of the hereafter is pure life, and because the Malakihs (Acquired attributes) are established, or in reality, they are the same as Nafs. Therefore, all the forms and examples that arise from the seeds of the acquired attributes are alive (because they are from the house of the hereafter). We have in the narrations of the 14 infallibles that heaven and what is in it, as well as fire and what is in it, are all alive. A poem says:

God says that the wall of heaven is not like the walls in worldly life, ugly and dead. The tree, The fruit, and the water of the hereafter talk with the believer there”.

Everything in heaven is alive, the tree is alive, the flower is alive, and the water is alive because the human soul is of the hereafter; therefore, everything that is united with the human soul is alive and eternal. For example, a stone that we see in a dream because a person sees it in his soul is also alive. Later we will discuss that everything in this world is also alive. “And We made from water everything alive[50] (An-Anbiya:30). If it is the case that everything is alive in this world and the hereafter, why does God say that the house of the hereafter is alive? Because the appearance of life is more in the next world if they only knew. “The Home of the Hereafter is the Life, if they only knew[51] (Al-Ankabut:64). So, heaven, heavenly fruit, and heavenly trees talk to the believing people in heaven; of course, the perfect humans will also hear this conversation in this world. “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[52] (Al-Isra:44). So, they must be alive to praise God. Whole existential worlds are alive. After a class, one of Allameh Hassan Zadeh’s students dreams that water is talking to him, water was saying that I went to Karbala for Imam Hussain (A), but those cowards did not let me reach Imam Hussain (A). More information can be found in the book “Unity of Intellect and Intelligence” by Allameh Hassanzadeh.

The people of this world do not see the life of all beings because of their veil. In the opinion of the people who live in this world, everything in the cover is not alive, but when that veil is removed, they will see it. “You were in neglect of this, so We lifted your screen from you, and your vision today is keen[53] (Qaf:22). Prophet Moses said to God, “My Lord, allow me to look and see You. He said, “You will not see Me[54] (Al-A’raf:143). Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A) said, “It means, you will not see me in this world, but after death, you will see me in the Hereafter”. It means that if you get out of this worldly life, you will see the manifestations of God. Therefore, the Holy Quran says, “Faces on that Day will be radiant. (22) Looking towards their Lord. (23)[55] (Al-Qiyama:22-23). It means, that if a person reaches the rank of resurrection, he can see. “And thus We gave Abraham insight into [God’s] mighty dominion over the heavens and the earth – and [this] to the end that he might become one of those who are inwardly sure[56] (Al-An’am:75). Meaning what people see is not the mighty empire of things. “They know an outer aspect of the worldly life, but they are heedless of the Hereafter[57] (Ar-Rum:7). Prophet Ibrahim saw the reality of things. This will be when they will die from this worldly life, which is actually death, and be resurrected to eternal life, which is the death of this world. “Is he who was dead, then We gave him life, and made for him a light by which he walks among the people, like he who is in total darkness, and cannot get out of it? Thus, the doings of disbelievers are made to appear good to them[58] (Al-An’am:122). ). It is in the way that people will see the truth as it is, and this is the answer to the prayer of the Messenger of God (Prophet Muhammad (S) that he said, “O God, Show me things as they are”. So, we do not see things as they are. We see the properties of things, not their reality. We need a light to see the truth of things.

What is Life

Life is knowledge and power. We call any creature that has knowledge and power alive; as we said, the whole world of existence is alive, but it will show itself more in the hereafter because the veils will be removed, but for those whose resurrection has been established in this world, they see all things alive here. In the discussion of the divine Names of God, we will conclude that every Name includes other Names and is present in all beings. In some places, only one Name shows itself more, which is attributed to it. So, the house of this world is also alive like the Hereafter house, but it shows its life more there because the veils have fallen. When a person sees the resurrection of things, he will understand that all things are alive and they are glorifying God. “And We made from water everything alive”  (An-Anbiya:30). So, everything is alive. The people who are attached to the material world think that dead people are not alive. In reality, people who left this world are alive with more intensity. Someone might ask, how is the quality of life in the Hereafter? To reach the answer, man must reach that level to perceive the life of Hereafter. For example, a worm is alive because it has knowledge and power, but its life (knowledge and power) is weak compared to a human. Since it does not have human life (knowledge and power), it cannot understand the quality of humanity. Also, if someone reaches the life of the hereafter, others will not be able to understand his condition unless they reach the level and perceive the life of the Hereafter.

There are two types of exit from life, one by natural death and the other by voluntary death. Voluntary death is when the human soul leaves the limits of Material life and becomes like a dead person. For example, if someone curses him, he acts like a dead person. “Lord, bring me into the depths of the sea of your oneness and in the middle of the ocean of your oneness, and empower me with the power of the sovereignty of the individual and your aloneness so that I can enter the boundless space of your mercy”[59] (Dua Qamus). Infinite space of mercy is the life of Hereafter. The people who reach this level of life see the reality of things. This world is a house of doubt and uncertainty. “They have no knowledge of that. They only follow assumptions, and assumptions are no substitute for the truth” (An-Najm:28). Amir al-Mu’minin Ali (A) said, “The one who does not know himself will not know the others.” How can a person who doesn’t know himself, know about other things? We only know objects’ properties but not their reality. Allameh Hassanzadeh said in his self-knowledge lessons, “This question came to me that “Who am I?” If my name is taken away, I still exist. So, who am I? What am I? I stood in front of the mirror and asked, ‘Who are you?’. Everything that I saw, I asked myself who is he. When a man knows himself, he also knows things; for example, he knows water. Now, if we ask someone what water is, people will say that water is water, it is composed of oxygen and hydrogen, but people who know the truth of things understand the truth of water. This knowledge is called “tasted knowledge” in mysticism; a person must think a lot so that slowly the divine light starts shining in his heart, and he sees things as they are. A narration says, “Whoever knows oneself, knows God”[60]. And this does not mean that man will know God due to self-knowledge, but self-knowledge is God’s knowledge. Man is like a mirror that God has manifested in it; when man cleans the mirror, he sees the sun in the mirror.

Allameh Hassanzadeh has a beautiful poem from one of his divine vision as follow:

One night, I closed the room door and started thinking deeply.

I began to think about the beginning and the ending until I slowly exited myself.

I saw my lips sewn with a needle, and my body and soul were burning.

They told me this is the punishment for someone who says whatever he wants.

Because your speech is not in your control, so your lips will be sewn.

From that state, I became so impatient that I became like mercury.

Since then, I have seen Barzakh (world) and tasted the torment of Barzakh.

Ibn Al-Arabi (a great mystic) has a book called “Secrets of Solitude” in which he describes the worlds that appear to man after solitude and the spiritual journey of self-knowledge. Below are excerpts from his book: “Go to solitude if your intellect dominates your fantasies. If your fantasies are dominant to your intellect, do not go to solitude except with the help of a mystic master who will protect you from the dangers of false fantasies and imaginations. The difference between inspirations from angels and demons is that if the inspirations are from angels, it will be accompanied by coldness and liking. Still, if the inspirations are evil, the human body will start shaking, and some pain will appear. The critical point is that you should not always have a thing other than God in your heart, and whatever the authorities give you, you should not stop there because all these officials are divine tests. That is, if you go to solitude and they show you something, you should not stop in that position, and if you do not control, they will give you more than that, and they will not take away what they showed you.

The first thing that will be discovered for you will be the world of senses so that the walls and darkness do not cause cover, and you will see everything people do in the houses. At this stage, you must keep it and not reveal it to anyone because God made you aware of it; for example, do not say that this person was stealing publicly. You should tell him privately that he has committed a sin and should not do it. The difference between Methali intuition and sensory intuition is that, for example, you see the face or action of a person, then you close your eyes and open them again. If you see what you saw first, it is a Methali intuition; if you do not see it again, that will be sensory intuition.

If you continue to worship in solitude, you will be transferred from sensory intuition to Methali intuition, and there you will see rational meanings in sensory forms. Drink it if they give you water, milk, or honey in solitude. If they give you wine, do not drink it unless it is accompanied by rainwater. So, continue the worship and remembrance of God until you are transferred from the Methal world to the world of meaning (Rational World). Keep worshiping and remembering God until your remembrance manifests for you. In this world, you will know the benefit and harm of every stone. If you love this knowledge and stay in this position, you will be destroyed, but if you continue your worship, the properties of plants will be revealed to you. Do not stop in this position and continue your dhikr and worship until you reach the next position, where in this position, the properties of animals are revealed to you, and you see that every creature glorifies God. If you see that every creature says its dhikr and you say your dhikr, this is real intuition. Otherwise, it will be Methali intuition. If you continue worshiping, you will see a light that some fires are separated from, and you want to hide from that light, so do not be afraid and continue your worship. In the next world, you will see another light where they will teach you politeness in the sight of God. If you do not stop in this world, you will reach the world of the heart, and after that, you will reach the world of friendship and enmity, and after that, you will reach the divine world again. Whenever you reach these worlds, they inform you of their position. If you pass through these worlds, you will reach the world of stability, and then you will reach the world of imagination, and then you will reach the world where we see ourselves full of light. If you do not stop here and continue remembrance and worship, you will reach a world where you will see all the children of Adam (A), all of whom glorify God, and you will find yourself among them. Again, if you do not stop and continue remembrance and worship, you will reach the world of mercy, and after that, if you continue, you will disappear, and then you will be found again, and at the end, you will be back to the Earth or sensory world. Know that all these spiritual journeys you go through are movements in yourselves.

These are what mystics see in the spiritual journey within oneself in solitude, which is why Allameh Hassanzadeh said, “The one who did not reach universe knowledge by self-knowledge in the spiritual journey, what did he/she perceive?”. If a man knows what is going on in himself, worldly life (Earth) will become worthless to him. The one who knows himself knows God. You think you are a small body; instead, there is a big universe in you!

For every person, We have attached his fate to his neck. And on the Day of Resurrection, We will bring out for him a book which he will find spread open. (13) “Read your book; today there will be none but yourself to call you to account (14)” (Al-Isra:13-14). A narration says, “As you live, you die, and as you die, you rise”[61], so, If they are among the People of “Forerunners” or “Right”, They take their books from the front or the right side. “As for him who is given his book in his right hand. (7) He will have an easy settlement. (8)” (Inshiqaq:7-8). If they are among the guiltiest, “If only you could see the guilty, bowing their heads before their Lord” (As-Sajda:12). This is because these people were always looking down in this world and did not turn their heads towards the immaterial sky to get human spiritual knowledge and food from it. They always had their heads towards material desires and were downtrodden in the Hereafter. Humans will be in the Hereafter as they are in this world because the appearance of a person in the Hereafter is the result of his actions in this world.  In the 19th point of the “1001 points” book, we have quoted several narrations and concluded that the Barzakh of human beings is according to their knowledge and actions in the material world. At the end of Chapter 18, Avicenna made beautiful remarks: “Some people who drowned in the material world are like those who do not have a joint in their neck to look up”. They are like animals. If you tell them the knowledge of the Quran and Hadith, they only hear it as one voice and do not understand it. Once Allameh said, “If you notice the head of the plant is in the soil (as it gets its food from there) and animals are head down, but the human can be head down or up, meaning man needs both spiritual and material foods”. When our father and mother, Adam and Eve, came out of Paradise, they were told to raise their heads. When they did this, there were divine names on the throne. Here, raising the head means raising human vision and insight. Attachments to the material world are against true intellect.

If they are among the people of the “Left”, they take their book from behind or from the left side. “But as for him who is given his book behind his back (10), He will call for death (11)” (Al-Inshiqaq:10-11). “But as for him who is given his book in his left hand, he will say, “I wish I was never given my book. (25) And I never knew what my account was. (26) If only it was the end. (27) My money cannot avail me. (28)” (Al-Haqqa:25-28). We have said many times that since the believers turn their backs to the worldly life and their face is toward the world of light, they take their books in front, but the worshipers of the worldly life, who turn their backs to the world of light, will take their books from their backs. “On the Day when the hypocritical men and hypocritical women will say to those who believed, “Wait for us; let us absorb some of your light.” It will be said, “Go back behind you, and seek the light.” A wall will be raised between them, in which is a door; within it is mercy, and outside it is agony” (Al-Hadid:13). One interpretation is that if you want light you need to turn your face away from the worldly life. Your heart needs to be faced towards the Hereafter. Man must be free from worldly life attachments to have a more robust intellect. The road of love is full of dangerous trails; for those who fall on flat ground, how can they finish the road of love safely? Mulla Sadra has translated and described this chapter from the beginning and end in his book (Asfar, Chapter 20, Section 11). Mulla Faiz Kashani translated this chapter into Arabic (Ilm al-Yaqin book. Chapter 1, Section 8).

For a detailed discussion, refer to the book of Human from the beginning to the end of Allameh Tabatabaei and Note 706 of 1001 Notes of Allameh Hassanzadeh Amuli.

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


[1] -إِذْ يَتَلَقَّى الْمُتَلَقِّيَانِ عَنِ الْيَمِينِ وَعَنِ الشِّمَالِ قَعِيدٌ

[2] -إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ أَلَّا تَخَافُوا وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا وَأَبْشِرُوا بِالْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي كُنتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ ‎﴿٣٠﴾‏ نَحْنُ أَوْلِيَاؤُكُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ ۖ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَشْتَهِي أَنفُسُكُمْ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَدَّعُونَ

[3] -هَلْ أُنَبِّئُكُمْ عَلَىٰ مَن تَنَزَّلُ الشَّيَاطِينُ ‎﴿٢٢١﴾‏ تَنَزَّلُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ أَفَّاكٍ أَثِيمٍ ‎﴿٢٢٢﴾‏ يُلْقُونَ السَّمْعَ وَأَكْثَرُهُمْ كَاذِبُونَ

[4] -وَمَن يَعْشُ عَن ذِكْرِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ نُقَيِّضْ لَهُ شَيْطَانًا فَهُوَ لَهُ قَرِينٌ

[5] -انما یخلد اهل الجنة فی الجنة و اهل النار بالنیات

[6] -فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَهُ ‎﴿٧﴾‏ وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَهُ ‎﴿٨﴾‏

[7]– وَإِذَا الصُّحُفُ نُشِرَتْ

[8]– يَا وَيْلَتَنَا مَالِ هَٰذَا الْكِتَابِ لَا يُغَادِرُ صَغِيرَةً وَلَا كَبِيرَةً إِلَّا أَحْصَاهَا ۚ وَوَجَدُوا مَا عَمِلُوا حَاضِرًا ۗ وَلَا يَظْلِمُ رَبُّكَ أَحَدًا

[9] -قَالَ يَا نُوحُ إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ مِنْ أَهْلِكَ ۖ إِنَّهُ عَمَلٌ غَيْرُ صَالِحٍ

[10] -وَلَقَدْ نَجَّيْنَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ الْمُهِينِ ‎﴿٣٠﴾‏ مِن فِرْعَوْنَ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ عَالِيًا مِّنَ الْمُسْرِفِينَ ‎﴿٣١﴾‏

[11] -خلق الکافر من ذنب المومن

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

[13] -لَّقَدْ كُنتَ فِي غَفْلَةٍ مِّنْ هَٰذَا فَكَشَفْنَا عَنكَ غِطَاءَكَ فَبَصَرُكَ الْيَوْمَ حَدِيدٌ

[14] -أَوَمَن كَانَ مَيْتًا فَأَحْيَيْنَاهُ وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُ نُورًا يَمْشِي بِهِ فِي النَّاسِ كَمَن مَّثَلُهُ فِي الظُّلُمَاتِ لَيْسَ بِخَارِجٍ مِّنْهَا ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ زُيِّنَ لِلْكَافِرِينَ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

[15] -اللهم ارنا الاشیاء کما هی

[16] -وَكُلَّ إِنسَانٍ أَلْزَمْنَاهُ طَائِرَهُ فِي عُنُقِهِ ۖ وَنُخْرِجُ لَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ كِتَابًا يَلْقَاهُ مَنشُورًا ‎﴿١٣﴾‏ اقْرَأْ كِتَابَكَ كَفَىٰ بِنَفْسِكَ الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكَ حَسِيبًا ‎﴿١٤﴾

[17] -کما تعیشون تموتون و کما تموتون تبعثون

[18] -فَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِيَ كِتَابَهُ بِيَمِينِهِ ‎﴿٧﴾‏ فَسَوْفَ يُحَاسَبُ حِسَابًا يَسِيرًا ‎﴿٨﴾

[19] -وَلَوْ تَرَىٰ إِذِ الْمُجْرِمُونَ نَاكِسُو رُءُوسِهِمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ

[20] -وَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِيَ كِتَابَهُ وَرَاءَ ظَهْرِهِ ‎﴿١٠﴾‏ فَسَوْفَ يَدْعُو ثُبُورًا

[21] -وَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِيَ كِتَابَهُ بِشِمَالِهِ فَيَقُولُ يَا لَيْتَنِي لَمْ أُوتَ كِتَابِيَهْ ‎﴿٢٥﴾‏ وَلَمْ أَدْرِ مَا حِسَابِيَهْ ‎﴿٢٦﴾‏ يَا لَيْتَهَا كَانَتِ الْقَاضِيَةَ ‎﴿٢٧﴾‏ مَا أَغْنَىٰ عَنِّي مَالِيَهْ ۜ ‎﴿٢٨﴾

[22] -وَكُلَّ إِنسَانٍ أَلْزَمْنَاهُ طَائِرَهُ فِي عُنُقِهِ ۖ وَنُخْرِجُ لَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ كِتَابًا يَلْقَاهُ مَنشُورًا ‎﴿١٣﴾‏ اقْرَأْ كِتَابَكَ كَفَىٰ بِنَفْسِكَ الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكَ حَسِيبًا ‎﴿١٤﴾

[23] -مالک یوم الدین

[24] -فَالْيَوْمَ لَا تُظْلَمُ نَفْسٌ شَيْئًا وَلَا تُجْزَوْنَ إِلَّا مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

[25] -وَاللَّهُ مُخْرِجٌ مَّا كُنتُمْ تَكْتُمُونَ

[26] -يَوْمَ تُبْلَى السَّرَائِرُ

[27] -قَدْ كُنتَ فِي غَفْلَةٍ مِّنْ هَٰذَا فَكَشَفْنَا عَنكَ غِطَاءَكَ فَبَصَرُكَ الْيَوْمَ حَدِيدٌ

[28] -هَٰذَا كِتَابُنَا يَنطِقُ عَلَيْكُم بِالْحَقِّ إِنَّا كُنَّا نَسْتَنسِخُ مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

[29] -ثُمَّ لَآتِيَنَّهُم مِّن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ وَعَنْ أَيْمَانِهِمْ وَعَن شَمَائِلِهِمْ ۖ وَلَا تَجِدُ أَكْثَرَهُمْ شَاكِرِينَ

[30] -برزخ

[31] -موتوا قبل ان تموتوا

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

[33] -إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ أَلَّا تَخَافُوا وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا وَأَبْشِرُوا بِالْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي كُنتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ ‎﴿٣٠﴾‏ نَحْنُ أَوْلِيَاؤُكُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ ۖ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَشْتَهِي أَنفُسُكُمْ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَدَّعُونَ

[34] -الله الله ربی لا شرک به ربا

[35] -هَلْ أُنَبِّئُكُمْ عَلَىٰ مَن تَنَزَّلُ الشَّيَاطِينُ ‎﴿٢٢١﴾‏ تَنَزَّلُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ أَفَّاكٍ أَثِيمٍ ‎﴿٢٢٢﴾‏ يُلْقُونَ السَّمْعَ وَأَكْثَرُهُمْ كَاذِبُونَ

[36] -وَمَن يَعْشُ عَن ذِكْرِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ نُقَيِّضْ لَهُ شَيْطَانًا فَهُوَ لَهُ قَرِينٌ

[37] -انا جلیس من ذکرنی

[38] -قوا

[39] -إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

[40] -قُلْ كُلٌّ يَعْمَلُ عَلَىٰ شَاكِلَتِهِ

[41] -فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْرًا يَرَهُ ‎﴿٧﴾‏ وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَهُ ‎﴿٨﴾‏

[42] -إِنَّا لَا نُضِيعُ أَجْرَ مَنْ أَحْسَنَ عَمَلًا

[43] -تشریعی

[44] -تکوینی

[45]– وَإِذَا الصُّحُفُ نُشِرَتْ

[46]– يَا وَيْلَتَنَا مَالِ هَٰذَا الْكِتَابِ لَا يُغَادِرُ صَغِيرَةً وَلَا كَبِيرَةً إِلَّا أَحْصَاهَا ۚ وَوَجَدُوا مَا عَمِلُوا حَاضِرًا ۗ وَلَا يَظْلِمُ رَبُّكَ أَحَدًا

[47] -قَالَ يَا نُوحُ إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ مِنْ أَهْلِكَ ۖ إِنَّهُ عَمَلٌ غَيْرُ صَالِحٍ

[48]– مَّا أَصَابَكَ مِنْ حَسَنَةٍ فَمِنَ اللَّهِ ۖ وَمَا أَصَابَكَ مِن سَيِّئَةٍ فَمِن نَّفْسِكَ

[49]– ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ لَمْ يَكُ مُغَيِّرًا نِّعْمَةً أَنْعَمَهَا عَلَىٰ قَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمْ ۙ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

[50] -وَجَعَلْنَا مِنَ الْمَاءِ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ حَيٍّ

[51]– وَإِنَّ الدَّارَ الْآخِرَةَ لَهِيَ الْحَيَوَانُ ۚ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ

[52] -تُسَبِّحُ لَهُ السَّمَاوَاتُ السَّبْعُ وَالْأَرْضُ وَمَن فِيهِنَّ ۚ وَإِن مِّن شَيْءٍ إِلَّا يُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِهِ وَلَٰكِن لَّا تَفْقَهُونَ تَسْبِيحَهُمْ

[53] -لَّقَدْ كُنتَ فِي غَفْلَةٍ مِّنْ هَٰذَا فَكَشَفْنَا عَنكَ غِطَاءَكَ فَبَصَرُكَ الْيَوْمَ حَدِيدٌ

[54]– قَالَ رَبِّ أَرِنِي أَنظُرْ إِلَيْكَ ۚ قَالَ لَن تَرَانِي

[55] -وُجُوهٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ نَّاضِرَةٌ ‎﴿٢٢﴾‏ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهَا نَاظِرَةٌ ‎﴿٢٣﴾

[56] -وَكَذَٰلِكَ نُرِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ مَلَكُوتَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَلِيَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُوقِنِينَ

[57] -يَعْلَمُونَ ظَاهِرًا مِّنَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ عَنِ الْآخِرَةِ هُمْ غَافِلُونَ

[58] -أَوَمَن كَانَ مَيْتًا فَأَحْيَيْنَاهُ وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُ نُورًا يَمْشِي بِهِ فِي النَّاسِ كَمَن مَّثَلُهُ فِي الظُّلُمَاتِ لَيْسَ بِخَارِجٍ مِّنْهَا ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ زُيِّنَ لِلْكَافِرِينَ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

[59] -بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ رَبِّ أَدْخِلْنِى فِى لُجَّةِ بَحْرِ أَحَدِيَّتِكَ، وَطَمْطَامِ يَمِّ وَحْدانِيَّتِكَ، وَقَوِّنِى بِقُوَّةِ سَطْوَةِ سُلْطانِ فَرْدانِيَّتِكَ، حَتَّىٰ أَخْرُجَ إِلىٰ فَضَاءِ سَعَةِ رَحْمَتِكَ

[60] -من عرف نفسه فقد عرف ربه

[61] -کما تعیشون تموتون و کما تموتون تبعثون

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