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Tuesday 21st of January 2020
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The angels who record on us

The angels who record on us

In a section of his exposition on Sahifeh Sajadieh -“ the land of lovers”- professor Hossein Ansarian interprets the content of the sixth invocation of Sahifeh Sajadieh in a very fluent manner. In the final section of the invocation he  quotes from  Imam Zainol Abedin(s)  “O God! Make it easy on your Angel-scripts on their recordings on us. The present text analyse this issue .

“Let our records be filled with good things and gracious deeds and do not betray us because of our wrong-doing.” (6th invocation).

The issue of the records made on us by the God- angels which will be disclosed on the Doom's Day is a terrifying account which is brought out repeatedly by god in the Holy Quran. God, through His book, warns man to be alert against evil-doings.

The Holy Quran has introduced the great Prophet(s), and the Infallible Ones(s) as the witness to the actions and deeds of human beings:

وَإِنَّ عَلَيْكُمْ لَحَافِظِينَ كِرَامًا كَاتِبِينَ يَعْلَمُونَ مَا تَفْعَلُونَ إِنَّ الْأَبْرَارَ لَفِي نَعِيمٍ وَإِنَّ الْفُجَّارَ لَفِي جَحِيمٍ [1]

And most surely there are keepers over you, honorable recorder, they know what you do. Most surely the righteous are in bliss and most surely the wicked are in burning fire.

It is these keepers who supercede over man and his deeds and record them constantly. Their activities are hidden to us in the same way that the information recorded in our genes are hidden to us.

These verses describe these angel-keepers with four traits. The reason why the terms “keepers”, “honorable”, “scripts” and “knowing” are used is that man would not get proud and would not indulge in negligence and could be careful of his deeds.

The word “honorable” in the verses makes a sinner somewhat hopeful because these merciful keepers of our records are extremely lenient towards human beings and would record the slightest good work that we may carry out. In this way, they would encourage us on the right path of actions.

What has been narrated from the Infallible Ones(s) are in harmony with the content of these sacred verses. Saduq, may God bless him, has summed up the content of these narrations in the following manner:

There is no God's servant who is not accompanied by two angels who are supposed to record an individual's deeds. If a man intends to carry out a piece of good acts but is not able to perform it he will receive one point from these recorders. However, if he carries it our, then he will receive ten points. But if a man decides to do something wrong, it is not written out by these angel right away until the time when he actually carries it out. After the man did a wrong thing, the angels would not write it down for seven hours. During this time if the man repents, his wrong-doing will not be registered. But after that time it would be registered.

These angels take note of every single act of ours. Up to the point when a man is silent he is called well-doer. But when he talks he will be labeled either a well-doer or an evil-doer.

The recordings of these recording-angels will manifest themselves into permanent sources of assets for the well-doers and they are a hell for the wrong-doers.

Saduq, may God bless him, narrates from the Infallible ones(s) who have said that these two angels reside over a person's shoulders: The angel on the right records the good acts performed by a person and the one on the left shoulder will record the evil acts. These acts are registered by two angels within the day and by two angels during the night.

The statement that these two angels are located at the shoulders is remeniscant of the following verse from the Holy Quran:

وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ  [2]

“and we are nearer to him than his life-vein.”

The reason for this location might be the fact that the shoulders contain the nerve centers, the passage of life-vein and they join the head to the rest of the body.

Man's other organs and tissues are subject to actions and reactions which travel through the shoulders from the brain.

Imam Ali(s), in the sermon 156 of Nahjolbalaga has shown the place and location of these recording angels:

“Be aware, O servants of God, that there are some keepers on your bodies whose job it is to record and register what you do daily. Neither the dark night, nor the closed doors could in any way interrupt them in doing their job.”

This text will reveal to us that these angels are aware of what is going on in an individual's mind.

وَكُلَّ إِنسَانٍ أَلْزَمْنَاهُ طَائِرَهُ فِي عُنُقِهِ وَنُخْرِجُ لَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ كِتَابًا يَلْقَاهُ مَنشُورًا اقْرَأْ كِتَابَكَ كَفَى بِنَفْسِكَ الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكَ حَسِيبًا  [3]

And we have made every man's actions to cling to his neck, and we will bring forth to him on the resurrection day a book which he will find wide open: Read your book; your own self is sufficient as a reckoner against you this day.

From this verse we will understand that the recording-angels are with us at all moments. Everybody's record is handed to him on the resurrection day.”[4]

كَلَّا إِنَّ كِتَابَ الفُجَّارِ لَفِي سِجِّينٍ وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا سِجِّينٌ كِتَابٌ مَرْقُومٌ  [5]

Nay! Most surely the record of the wicked is in the Sijjin. And what will make you know what the Sijjin is? It is a written book.

Sijjin is a severe prison where tortures are presented. This explanation is in harmony with what the interpreters have said so far: the souls of the wicked are driven from the skies towards the earth and then ending up in sijjin, which is the garrison of the shaitan's troops.

Sijjin is one of the hell wells; it also refers to a book in which the actions of the wicked are registered. This eternal prison for the wicked can not be compared even to the most horrifying jails of our world.

That specific prison (i.e. Sijjin) is formed through the recorded acts of atrocity by the criminals and the oppressors and its walls would become thicker and thicker as the wrong-doer insists on his wrong-doings. From within this prison a fire is produced whose fire-woods are man's wicked acts and pernicious deeds. There is no breeze of mercy in this prison. This prison would never be revealed to man except for revelation: وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا سِجِّينٌ

The two words كِتَابٌ مَرْقُومٌ “a written book” explains a lot of information for the wise and the learned. Sijjin is a book, since it is a collection of recorded information about man's performed actions. And it is a “written” book. The accounts in this book might be deleted while the wrong-doer repents for what he has done. However, if the wrong-doer persists in carrying out his wicked actions repeatedly this prison will be firmly settled and will change into the hell.

Anyhow, it is up to us to spend the precious hours of our daily lives in carrying out good deeds, being engaged in legal trades, satisfying the needs of the needy, helping out the poor, and having in mind that all of our proceedings are taken care of by recording-angels who register our daily activities.

The following narration is narrated from the Honorable Prophet of Islam:

في النَّبَوي الْمَشْهُورِ: حاسِبُوا أنْفُسَكُمْ قَبْلَ أنْ تُحاسَبُوا، وَزِنُوا قَبْلَ أنْ تُوزَنُوا، وَتَجَهَّزُوا لِلْعَرْضِ الأكْبَرِ. [6]

Take care of your accounts prior to being accountable to the judges in the courts held on the Doom's Day. Weigh yourselves in advance to Understand how much spirituality you are in possession of. Prepare yourselves for both the Lesser Rising and for the Greater Rising:

لَيْسَ مِنّا مَنْ لَمْ يُحاسِبْ نَفْسَهُ في كُلِّ يَوْمِ، فإنْ عَمِلَ حَسَناً اِزْدادَ اللهَ شُكْراً، وَإنْ عَمِلَ سَيّئاً اِسْتَغْفَرَ اللهَ وَتابَ إلَيْهِ.[7]

He who fails to weigh his own actions daily does not belong to us. Neither does he belong to us if he fails to thank God for the good he has performed or to repent and ask for God's Forgiveness if he has done anything wrong.

عَنِ الْحَسَنِ بْنِ عَلِيٍّH قالَ: قالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ3: لا يَكُونُ الْعَبْدُ مُؤْمِناً حَتّى يُحاسِبَ نَفْسَهُ أشَدَّ مِنْ مُحاسَبَةِ الشَّرِيكِ شَرِيكَهُ، وَالسَّيِّدِعَبْدَهُ.

Imam Hassan Mojtaba(s) narrates from the Honorable Prophet of Islam having said: A God's servant could not be considered as a genine believer unless he takes account of his own deeds harder than a merchant of his trade-partner or a master of his servant.

عَنِ الصّادِقِC عَنْ أبِيهِ قالَ: ما مِنْ يَوْمٍ يَأتِي عَلَى ابْنِ آدَمَ إلاّ قالَ ذلِكَ الْيَوْمُ: يَابْنَ آدَمَ، أنَا يَوْمٌ جَدِيدٌ وَأنَا عَلَيْكَ شَهيدٌ، فَافْعَلْ بِي خَيْراً، وَاعْمَلْ فِيَّ خَيْراً أسْهُلْ لَكَ في يَوْمِ الْقِيامَةِ، فَإنّكَ لَنْ تَراني بَعْدَها أبَداً. [8]

Imam Sadiq(s) narrates from his father, saying: Any day which arrives at a man would tell him: O human being, I am a new day and I am appointed by god to witness all your daily activities. Try to be friendly with me and spend my hours in good deeds. Only in this way can you be safe at the resurrection. And behold, you are not able to see me later.

عَنْ عَلِيِّ بْنِ الْحُسَيْنِH قالَ: إنَّ الْمَلَكَ الْمُوَكَّلَ بِالْعَبْدِ يَكْتُبُ في صَحِيفَةِ أعْمَالِهِ، فَاعْمَلُوا بِأوَّلِها وَآخِرِها خَيْراً يُغْفَرْلَكُمْ ما بَيْنَ ذلِكَ. [9]

Imam Ali Ibn Hossein(s) has said: The angel presiding over any individual shall write his activities in a special file, Now begin and end each page with good deeds; in-between the beginning and the end of the page has already been forgiven.

عَنْ الصّادِقِC قالَ: قالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ3: طُوبى لِمَنْ وُجِدَ في صَحِيفَةِ عَمَلِهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيامَةِ تَحْتَ كُلِّ ذَنْبٍ أسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ. [10]

Imam Sadiq(s) narrates from the Prophet(s): How lucky is he whose record and file is marked “repentance” in front of any “Sin”.

Once Imam Ali(s) arrived at the Basra market. He noticed people were completely engaged in business activities. Crying hard, he addressed people, saying:

يا عَبيدَ الدُّنيا وَعُمّالَ أهْلِها، إذا كُنْتُمْ بِالنَّهارِ تَحْلِفُونَ، وَبِاللَّيْلِ في فُرُشِكُمْ تَنامُونَ، وَفي خِلالِ ذلِكَ عَنِ الآخِرَةِ تَغْفُلُونَ، فَمَتى تَحْرُزُونَ الزّادَ وَتَفَكّرُونَ فِي الْمَعادِ. [11]

O people of the world and laborers for worldly materials: During the day you are engaged in swearing and during the night you are fast asleep. In between the day and the night you are negligent of the Hereafter. Then when would you gather provisions for your next world? At what time are you going to consider the next world and concentrate on it?”

Let us have a world of ours which is not detested by Allah since such a world would be a nuisance for man and will lead him astray and would bring destruction to him. We are able, however, to build a prosperous world for ourselves based on God's instructions.

If our internal and external worlds coincided with the heavenly facts, then we would have prosperity in the Hereafter; or else we would be heading for the hell and sijjin.

Mohammad Ibn Moslem Ibn Shahab Says: Once Ali Ibn Al-Hossein(s) was asked: which act is considered great in front of God? He replied: One significant act is the recognition of God and His apostle. The second act is our hatred towards the world and a wrong way of life.

Sins are of different types: The first sin committed against Allah was caused by Shaitan's pride which refused to obey Allah; then he fell to the level of God's enemies. The second sin was committed by Adam and Eve due to their greed. Concerning this, the Holy Quran says:

فَكُلَا مِنْ حَيْثُ شِئْتُمَا وَلَا تَقْرَبَا هَذِهِ الشَّجَرَةَ فَتَكُونَا مِنْ الظَّالِمِينَ  [12]

“So eat from where you desire, but do not go near this tree, for then you will be of the unjust.”

Both Adam and Eve went near the tree despite the fact that they had been warned not to go near it and they did not need the fruit anyway. The feature “greed” then was passed on through them to their children. People nowadays, like their father and mother, Adam and Eve, will go after things they would never need.

Then jealousy took its toll through which Adam's Son killed his brother.

Out of these traits then great compassion for women and for the world, for worldly positions, for convenience, for being superior to others and for amassing possessions came into being.

All these improper traits are gathered in one's false admiration of this world. Having had full recognition of these facts, the Prophets and the wise ones have stated:

حُبُّ الدُّنيا رَأسُ كُلِّ خَطِيئَةٍ. وَالدُّنيا دُنْياءان: دُنْيا بَلاغٍ وَدُنْيا مَلْعُونَةٍ.

The compassion for this world is the source of all Sins. And there are two types of the worlds: One world will lead man towards perfection, growth and the realization of facts; the second type of world deprives one of all facts and truth.

Imam Baqir(s) relates from Imam Zainol Abdedin(s) concerning the approaches of the God's men towards the world.

“Be aware that the world has turned its back on you, but the Hereafter is willing to receive you.

Each phase of this world has got some offsprings. Try to be the children of the world Hereafter; avoid being the offsprings of this world.

Let us be indifferent towards a world which acts as a curtain between you and God; let us be absorbed by the other world.

Those who are indifferent towards this world assume that the ground is their home, that the earth is their carpets and that water is their most delicious food. They are so detached from the earth as though they were not living on the earth.

Be aware that a man fond of the paradise is devoid of lusts and whims; he is apprehensive of the hell and he has cut relations with the forbidden things.

For the pious one, hardships turn into easy issues; there are God's servants who possess supreme insight; these people assume the well-doers as the perpetual dwellers of the paradise and the wrong-doers as the eternal residents of the hell. People are at ease with the pious ones: this is because the pious ones possess a depressed heart, a chaste self and meager needs.

They spend their lives on this world, which is short, in worshipping Allah, and avoiding committing sins. In this way, they will arrive at perpetual comfort in the Hereafter.

At night time, this group of people set up prayers, while weeping profusely. They lament in front of God, begging for forgiveness.

At day time, they are patient, watchful and persistent in doing good and being pious.

The pious ones are extremely thin and weak due to their apprehension of God. They look as if they were sick; but in reality they are strong internally. They seem to be mad while they do not suffer from any madness”.[13]
سَاعَاتِهِ حَظًّا مِنْ عِبَادِكَ وَ نَصِيبًا مِنْ شُكْرِكَ وَ شَاهِدَ صِدْقٍ مِنْ مَلَآئِكَتِكَ * اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِهِ وَ احْفَظْنَا مِنْ بَيْنِ أَيْدِينَا، وَ مِنْ خَلْفِنَا وَ عَنْ أَيْمَانِنَا، وَ عَنْ شَمَآئِلِنَا، وَ مِنْ جَمِيعِ نَوَاحِينَا حِفْظًا عَاصِمًا مِنْ مَعْصِيَتِكَ هَادِيًآ إِلَى طَاعَتِكَ مُسْتَعْمِلًا لِمَحَبَّتِكَ * اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِهِ وَ وَفِّقْنَا فِي يَوْمِنَا هَذَا وَ لَيْلَتِنَا هَذِهِ، وَ فِي جَمِيعِ أَيَّامِنَا لِاسْتِعْمَالِ الْخَيْرِ وَ هِجْرَانِ الشَّرِّ وَ شُكْرِ النِّعَمِ وَ اتِّبَاعِ السُّنَنِ وَ مُجَانَبَةِ الْبِدَعِ وَ الْأَمْرِ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَ النَّهْيِ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَ حِيَاطَةِ الْإِسْلَامِ وَ انْتِقَاصِ الْبَاطِلِ وَإِذْلَالِهِ وَ نُصْرَةِ الْحَقِّ وَإِعْزَازِهِ وَ إِرْشَادِ الضَّالِّ وَ مُعَاوَنَةِ الضَّعِيفِ وَ إِدْرَاكِ اللَّهِيفِ.

O God, at any hour of today provide us with some interests, with some benefits because of our prayers to you and with some encouragement through your angels.

O God! Send your Blessings and praise to Mohammad(s) and his Household and protect us from front, back, right and left sides. Protect us in such a way as we could be stopped from committing sins and be led towards you. O God, let our hearts be filled with your love and affection.

O God! Send Your praise and Blessings to Mohammad and his Household and let us be successful in carrying out the following affairs:

(1)    performing the good; (2) abandoning the evil; (3) saying thanks to you; (4) following the way of the righteous Prophet(s); (5) staying away from innovations in religion; (6) enjoining the good; (7) forbidding the evils; (8) keeping the Islamic principles and ramifications [secondary things]; (9) reproaching the falsehood and belittling it; (10) assisting righteous ness and glorifying it; (11) leading the astray; (12) helping the handicapped; (13) and bringing justice to the oppressed.

 

Refrence: The land of lovers by Professor Hossein Ansarian


 



[1] Quran 82:10-14.

[2] Quran 50:16.

[3] Quran 17:13-14.

[4] Partovy as Quran, First section of unit 30, P 225.

[5] Quran 83:7-9.

[6] Mohasebat Al-nafs, Sayyed Ibn Tavus, PP 13-14.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Mohasebat Al-nafs, P 14.

[9] Ibid, P 14.

[10] Ibid.

[11] A'maly, Sheikh Mofid, P 119.

[12] Quran 7:19.

[13] Mohajjatol Beiza, Vol.5, P 364 and Osul Kafi, Vol.2, P 131.


source : The land of lovers by Professor Ansarian
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