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Purgatory and Hereafter Punishments

Purgatory and Hereafter Punishments

There are lots of news in regard to the in-between-world or purgatory. Among these news that of those by Quran are of greater importance as well as better clearance. Analysing the supplications of Kumayl in “  A commentary on Kumayl Supplication” professor Hossein Ansarian exemplifies this issue in a delicate manner.

Some of the Qur’¡nic verses, especially those in the last three parts of it, as well as some traditions mention various punishments of the Purgatory and the Hereafter.

Am¢r al-Mu’min¢n, Imam `Al¢ (a.s), says about Allah’s foes: “… and for Allah’s enemy, an angel is descended who is the worst creature of Allah in terms of behavior, appearance, and odor. So the angel says: “I give you tidings of boiling water to drink and entering the Hell!” Allah’s enemy knows his washer and the bearers of his body and asks them, for Allah’s sake, not to take him toward the grave. When he is put inside the grave, two questioning angels come and open his shroud, and then ask him: “Who is your Lord? What is your religion? And who is your prophet?” Allah’s enemy does not know the answer. The two angels say: “You didn’t know the answer so you cannot enter the Paradise.” Then he is beaten in the head with a stick, which is very frightening for any creature Allah has created, and all the beings hear its sound. So a door of the Fire is opened to him and he is told: “Rest in the worst state!” His grave becomes so tight for him that his brain comes out through his nails and flesh. Allah places some snakes, scorpions, and savages over him which sting him until his resurrection from the grave.”[1]

Shaykh ¯ad£q has narrated from Imam al-B¡qir (a.s) about the purgatory punishments:

The sinners inside the Fire cry from the intensity of the torture, like dogs and wolves; there is never a death for them; their punishment never decreases; they are always hungry and thirsty there; their eyes are weak, they are deaf and dumb and blind; their faces are black; and they are rejected, regretful, and subject to Wrath. They are not pitied for or rescued from the chastisement. They are burnt in the Fire, drink boiling water, and eating a bad-odor poisonous material. They are beaten with heavy iron hammers by wrathful strict angels who have no mercy. The sinners are put to the Fire by their faces, accompany Satan, and are fastened with chains. Their prayer is not fulfilled and their request not answered; this is the state of the resident in the Hell![2]

`Al¢ Ibn Ibr¡h¢m Qummi has narrated from Imam ¯¡diq (a.s), in his exegesis book:

One day, Gabriel, the revelation angel, came to the Messenger of Allah (s.a), in a sorrowful state. The Prophet (s.a) said: “Why is it that I see you crying and sad?” Gabriel said: “Why shouldn’t I be so while the Hell’s manafikh have been set?” The Prophet of Islam (s.a) asked again: “What is manafikh of the hell?” And he was told: “By the Almighty’s order, the Fire was lit up for a thousand years until it became red. Then He ordered to the Fire again and it was lit up for another thousand years so it got white. Afterwards the Fire was lit up for the same period of time again until it became black. It is now a black dark substance. If a link of its seventy-dhar’[3] chain is put on the earth, it will be melt from heat. And if a drop of its Zaqqum[4] is poured into the drinking water of the world, all the earth’s inhabitants will die of its bad odor.”

So the Prophet (s.a) and Gabriel cried. At the same time, Allah descended toward them an angel, who gave them Allah’s hello and message: “I rescued you from committing any sins which puts you subject to such a chastisement.”[5]

Allah’s enemies are put in a narrow place, with dark paths and indefinite holes; they are eternal in its ever-lasting Fire and drink boiling water. They remain in the Hell, are beaten by Fire, and wish for death. They have no freedom. Their feet are tied to their foreheads. Their faces are dark from wrongdoing. They call out from among the Fire: “O the guard! The promised threat is fulfilled. O Guard! The chains are heavy on our body and our skin is burnt from the Fire. Take us away from here so that we won’t commit sins anymore.” The Fire says: “Your freedom is so far away! It is not a day of salvage today and the paths to the outside are always closed. Go away and be silent! If you are taken away, you will commit sins again.”

Meanwhile the Hell inhabitants get hopeless of their freedom and regret their scant worship, but their regretfulness does not help and rescue them. With tied feet and hands, they fall down on their faces. Fire is above their head, beneath their feet, on their right and their left. Their food, drink, clothes, and beds are all fire.

They are among pieces of Fire, dirty clothes, and heavy chains. They cry constantly and wish they could die. But every time they ask for death, boiling water is poured on their heads and they are beaten by heavy clubs. Blood and dirt come from their mouths; their livers go to pieces from thirst, their eyes flow on their faces; the flesh falls from their faces; and their hair fall down from their body, for extreme pain. Whenever their skin burns another skin grows instead. Their bones appear from under their flesh; and they become blind, deaf and dumb![6]

O Lord! How can I tolerate this much difficulty and calamity, while I am Your weak lowly, base, wretched and miserable slave?

Though my worship is not perfect and my sins are not few, I am Your lover. I love the prophets and Imams (a.s) and I love worshipping You. I am not a sinner by nature; if I commit sins, it is because of my lack of knowledge, will, and understanding. My excessive sins are because of my lust and carnal soul. I am willing to worship perfectly and sincerely. I tend to be pure of any sins. I hate Satan and tyrants. Forgive and help me; save me from sins; help me in worshipping You; release me from the Hell and take me to Paradise.

Tribulation of this world and that of the Hereafter

The tribulation of this world, as stated by Am¢r al-Mu’min¢n (a.s), is different from the tribulation of the Hereafter in several ways.

First, whatever hardship such as storm, earthquake, flood, famine, expensiveness of goods, loneliness, and the diseases bothers human has a short stay, and a fleeting period. But human tribulations in the Last Day have a long stay and enduring station.

Second, some worldly tribulations are suffered from as divine trials. If human is patient in these difficulties and maintains his belief, he will be greatly rewarded and is subject to Allah’s satisfaction. By the same token, the prophets were patient with their people’s bothering them. Also some of Allah’s friends like ªsiyah, Pharaoh’s wife, and °ab¢b al-Najj¡r had tribulations in His way and by His will; however, the tribulation of the Last Day is merely the chastisement of human sins and disobediences in this world.

The Holy Qur’¡n considers Allah’s accompanying human a result of obeying Him, the Prophet (s.a), and being patient with committing sins.

وَأَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَلا تَنَازَعُوا فَتَفْشَلُوا وَتَذْهَبَ رِيحُكُمْ وَاصْبِرُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ.

And obey Allah and His Messenger and do not quarrel for then you will be weak in heart and your power will depart, and be patient; surely Allah is with the patient. (8:46)

The Holy Qur’¡n has given good tidings to the believers and has considered them subject to Allah’s Mercy.

وَلا تَقُولُوا لِمَنْ يُقْتَلُ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أَمْوَاتٌ، بَلْ أَحْيَاءٌ وَلَكِنْ لا تَشْعُرُونَ. وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِنْ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِنْ الأَمْوَالِ وَالأَنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ، وَبَشِّرْ الصَّابِرِينَ. الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُمْ مُصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ.

And do not speak of those who are slain in Allah’s way as dead; nay, they are alive, but you do not perceive. And We will certainly try you with something of fear and hunger and loss of property and lives and fruits; and give good news to the patient, Who, when a misfortune befalls them, say: Surely we are Allah’s and to Him we shall surely return. (2:154-156)

The Messenger of Allah (s.a) has stated:

الصَّبْرُ ثَلاَثَةٌ: صَبْرٌ عِنْدَ المُصِيبَةِ، وَصَبْرٌ عَلَى الطَّاعَةِ، وَصَبْرٌ عَنِ المَعْصِيَةِ.

There are three kinds of patience; patience with calamities, patience with obedience, and patience with wrongdoing.[7]

The Messenger of Allah (s.a), in explaining “the patient”, states:

…اَلَّذِينَ يَصْبِرُونَ عَلَى طَاعَةِ اللهِ، وَاجْتَنَبوا مَعْصِيَتَهُ، وَالَّذِينَ كَسَبوا طَيِّباً، وَأنْفَقُوا قَصْداً، وَقَدَّمُوا فَضْلاً فَأفْلَحُوا وَأنْجَحُوا.

The patient are those who are patient with disobedience of Allah, obtain their sustenance lawfully, give their wealth away moderately, and sending their additional wealth for their Hereafter; so they are delivered.[8]

The Hereafter tribulation, on the other hand, will not be a trial; rather it is the chastisement of worldly deeds and no one can be patient with it. And if anyone can resist it there would be no reward for that patience!


Refrence: a commentary on Kumayl supplication


[1] Tafsir Qomi: 1/ 370, Wuluj Al-Nakirin fi Al-Qabr; Mahajjat Al-Bayza’: 8/ 304, Kitab Zikr Al-Mowt wa ma ba’da; Bi¦¡r al-Anw¡r: 6/224, Bab 8, tradition 26.

[2] Amali Saduq: 557; Al-Majlis Al-Thani wa Al-Thamanun, tradition 14; Mahajjat Al-Bayza’: 8/ 360, Kitab Zikr Al-Mowt wa ma Ba’da; Bi¦¡r al-Anw¡r: 8/ 281, Bab 24, tradition 2.

[3] A unit of length equal to 104 centimeters.

[4] An infernal tree.

[5] Tafsir Qumi: 2/81, under the verse ‘kullama aradu an yakhruju minha…’; mahajjat Al-Bayza’: 8/ 361, Kitab Zikr Al-Mowt wa ma Ba’da.

[6] Mahajjat Al-Bayza’: 8/ 354, Kitab Zikr Al-Mowt, Al-Qawl fi Sifat Al-Jahannam.

[7] Al-K¡f¢: 2/ 91, Bab Al-Sabr, tradition 15.

[8] Mak¡rim al-Akhl¡q: 446, Al-Fasl Al-Rabi’ fi Maw’izati Rasul Allah; Mustadrak al-Wasa’il: 11/ 261, Bab Wujub Al-Sabr, tradition 12940.

source : a commentary on Kumayl supplication by Professor Ansarian
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