By March 5, 2024 Read More →

Section Ya-Seen – Part 12

We will continue with our study of Section Ya-Seen of the Qur’an. The last few verses mentioned the disbelievers challenging the prophetic message and described what happened to them. They not only rejected the message but tried to stop the prophets from performing their mission of delivering the message to others. We saw that on rejecting the prophets they were punished either physically or spiritually based on conditions such as how aggressive their opposition was and if the whole population was opposed to the prophetic message or not.

Let’s investigate the following verse:

إِن كَانَتْ إِلَّا صَيْحَةًۭ وَٰحِدَةًۭ فَإِذَا هُمْ جَمِيعٌۭ لَّدَيْنَا مُحْضَرُونَ

36:53 It will be only a single blast, and at once they are all brought before Us.

The phrase ” فَإِذَا” translates to “at once”, i.e. something happening immediately. Something suddenly happens and they are all destroyed, brought before the Creator of the universe. We know from the witnessing of the universe that He creates the whole universe at every moment with a single blast, i.e. single command, or Will. The universe is renewed at every moment with a single Absolute Will that chooses every single being in the universe to be the way it has to be. We can understand that the One who creates the universe so well designed, with art, beauty, manifesting all sorts of qualities, would not have created it in order to destroy it immediately. To destroy these people who only did not listen to the prophets but also tried to stop them from delivering the message, teaches us in this world that if we choose an option to be an unwavering enemy of the Truth, our existence is worth nothing anymore. 

The phrase “هُمْ جَمِيعٌۭ لَّدَيْنَا مُحْضَرُونَ” is translated as “they are all brought before Us”, i.e. everyone will be taken back to God. The question arises that are we going to be brought before God in the next creation only? How about now? We all wonder what the next creation is going to be like after we die. But this verse is delivered to us before we die, we should also consider to be “before God” now by being conscious of Him as our Creator at every moment. Are we not present before our Creator right now? It will be easy to be aware of this reality only when we are unbiased and acknowledge that we need to be created. 

From our experience of this world, we see that people die. Those who understand the prophetic message know that death can in no way be the end of my existence. We experience our existence being given and taken away at every moment which is happening continuously. That is how we experience that the One who created us, brought us into existence is continuously changing us. My Creator demonstrates to me that it is not a problem for Him to bring me into existence and then take me back by giving me another existence at every moment continuously. My whole life is witnessing this manifestation of being given existence and this existence being taken away and then given another existence.

How do we understand that we will be brought before God? How can I be sure to be brought back to the One who gave me my existence? I am brought into existence always anew in this life, where is my previous existence going? I first need to ask myself where did I come from? How do I exist? The One who gave me my existence must be the One who gave existence to the whole universe. I am experiencing the universe and communicating with the universe which is continuously changing. As a part of the universe, I am also subject to change. Where did my existence and that of the universe come from? We are brought into existence by the One who gives existence to the whole universe. Wherever I came from, the One who gave me existence, the same source is taking me away. We will see in the following verses discussing our origin as answers to human questions. 

I must understand that the One who gives me existence is perfectly preserving my existence. At every moment I am given a new existence all the while preserving the imprints of my previous existence. Although I have changed slightly, my general characteristics are preserved demonstrating that my previous existence is not lost but preserved. After existing in this world we start imagining where our previous existence, for example my existence yesterday, has gone now. This is a legitimate human question. In order to understand the answer to this question we need to think of where my yesterday’s existence has come from. If we accept that yesterday’s existence is coming from an Absolute Being, we can easily understand that it has been taken away by the same Creator. If we think about existence we will realize that it can in no way come from nonexistence which cannot be the source of existence of anything. The One who is demonstrating this by preserving my previous existences must also present my whole life story to me. I will find myself with all the recordings of my life experience and will be held accountable for it. With free will comes responsibility. I am given free will, which is my responsibility regarding how I use it as that is what will be considered. We must relate the verses to our present life.

فَٱلْيَوْمَ لَا تُظْلَمُ نَفْسٌۭ شَيْـًۭٔا وَلَا تُجْزَوْنَ إِلَّا مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

36:54 “Today no human being will be wronged at all, and you will be repaid for what you did.”

This verse indicates that everyone will get what they deserve. The word “تَعْمَلُونَ” means what we have done consciously, we have chosen it consciously. The word “تَفْعَلُونَ” is what we don’t choose consciously for which we would not be responsible for. We are only accountable for our chosen actions and deeds. How can I relate to this news in my life? Am I experiencing this that I am being taken accountable for my choices now? Do I feel that I am being repaid for what I am doing now?

We usually understand that we will be held accountable at the Resurrection but how about while living here. This universe can be likened to a school where we are taking classes in our life, learning many things. During the school days, we have tests and assignments which get graded. We get the results for them during our school years. A final degree is conferred upon graduation. What will happen to me on graduation day where my final degree will be the accumulation of the test results that I experienced during school days. My resurrection will be according to what I have learned in this universe, how much I have witnessed the qualities of my Creator, how much I acknowledged that my human qualities are given to me by Him to be connected to His qualities.

In our practical life we are experiencing the same learning as far as our relationship with our choices and the way we are created is concerned. I chose something yesterday; am I being repaid today for that choice? When I do something wrong, do I feel the pain from it: “why did I make that mistake? “ If I cut my finger while chopping vegetables in the kitchen, I feel physical pain immediately. If I hurt someone, my feelings tell me not to do it; immediately the feelings show their effect within me. These are physical repayments. An example of spiritual repayment is by going out to a garden where immediately my feelings feel pleased. I feel relaxed and comfortable by looking at the beautiful scenery which may not seem to have a physical effect per se. 

We should understand that we are not educating our body here. Even if we train our bodies by going through physical exercises, we know that they are temporary to this world only. After a certain time, the body gets weak and loses much of what it gained. The most important human responsibility is to educate their spiritual qualities.  For example, accepting the reality of my existence and arranging my life accordingly. Appreciating the One who gives me existence, entertains me as His guest in this world. I must be loyal to Him to truly understand my reality and avoid guilt. I would not be contradicting the purpose of my existence. This is the spiritual relaxation that I can experience in this world. After I am given death, my spirit is not subject to death. It is my body which is continuously changing that dies at the end of this life.

If I learn to improve my qualities by developing my potential within me, I will get the reward according to what I have learnt. Like someone in school studying Biology gets a degree in that upon graduation, someone studying Engineering will get an Engineering degree at the end of completing all the requirements to graduate. I must see what kind of education in this school of life I am getting that would fulfill the purpose of my life here and graduate with a degree that doesn’t die when my body dies here; it will remain with my spirit.

We must understand that according to the capacity we develop in this world, we will be given a body to function accordingly. On Resurrection, a new body is given as a reward or repayment that is functional according to how much my spirit has learnt in this world. The spirit getting a new body will be entertained as much as the person was loyal to the reality of this world, that is called Paradise. Being disloyal to the reality of creation will result in Hell, where one will experience the lack of entertainment. The spirit will desire entertainment, but the body will be unable to get it. 

For example, If I am not trained with the ear to appreciate classical music and attend such a concert, I would not appreciate that concert as compared to someone that has specialized in classical music. My spirit desires to taste the beauty of the music but I will not be able to taste it simply because I have not trained my ear to appreciate it. In the same way as much as I have developed my appreciation of the Names of God, the Qualities of my Creator manifested here, that much I will be rewarded.  The people of Hell will get according to what Qualities of God they rejected and were obstinate by not acknowledging His names and qualities, they will be deprived of manifestations of those qualities. The spirit will be thirsty for the manifestation of those qualities, but they will not get it. This is how the Qur’an presents the case: 

As for him, whoever turns away from remembering Me will certainly have a miserable life, and on the Day of Resurrection We shall raise him up blind. They will say, “My Lord! Why have you raised me up blind, although I used to see? God will say, ‘This is how it is: You ignored Our revelations when they came to you, so today you will be ignored.’” (Taha, 20: 124,125,126)

This indicates that the spirit wants to see, hear, taste, and continue experiencing what it enjoys. The body will be unable to fulfill the needs of the spirit, which is what Hell is.

In our practical life, we must watch out for familiarity with many things we have learnt from the universe where everything can be taken for granted. We are created in such a way that we become familiar with many things. If someone tells a lie the first time, he feels the effect of it immediately, the second time of the lie will have a lesser effect. After a few times, the feelings will get used to it where one does not feel much anymore. However, the human spirit still knows that something wrong is going on. The more we do something, the more familiar we become with it, and after some practice, we do it in auto drive.  For example, one is extremely careful when driving for the first time but after a few driving practices, one becomes accustomed to It and doesn’t have to think much about it. The Muslim scholars mention that there is no familiarity in the hereafter. The physical punishment in Hell will be according to God’s mercy. There are some hadith narrations where the prophet (pbuh) describes the condition of the people of Hell where the Mercy of God will be in favor of these people in Hell after they get what they deserve.

How do we confirm bodily resurrection?

The universe is created in such a way where we learn and see examples of how we are being treated by God in this world. I must see from these examples in the manifestation of the qualities that whoever is doing this must be a Merciful Creator. I have no other evidence besides the universe, the description of this Creator’s verbal explanation, and the teachings of the prophet (pbuh). We see the verbal explanation in Revelation, Hell and Paradise are described in terms of this world. We are given this kind of life to experience what we learn. As far as our experience with the universe and Revelation alongside with our human qualities teach us, the Qur’an  describes the next life in terms of our experience with this world. Apart from which we don’t have any other sign that would give us a point of reference for the Hereafter. I must reason and use my capacity as much as I can using the evidence that is available to me. 

There is no sign that the spirit needs to be resurrected. We can see from the evidence that the spirit cannot operate without the body which is why the Qur’an describes the Resurrection of the body only, not the spirit. I must prepare my spirit in such a way that this spirit will need a higher degree of body than I have here to entertain my higher understanding of the manifestations of God’s names in the next creation. The Qur’an indicates that the spirit of the plant is preserved in the seed of the plant likening our spirit is also preserved like a seed of our bodily resurrection: “God caused you to grow from the earth like a plant.  Then He will return you into it and then bring you out again.” (Nuh, 71: 17-18)”.

I must be eager to receive my new body that will enable me to see the Infinite Wisdom of God being manifested in His actions, the Absolute Beauty of God, the Absolute Provision of God, etc. What I see here in this world is only a fraction of what His manifestation can be and desire to experience the manifestations of His Absolute qualities to their fullest in the next creation. To deserve this I must improve my human qualities to get ready for this exciting experience in the next creation. 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Post a Comment