Saturday, 17 April 2010

To abide therein... (al-Nisaa 4: 13-14)

Asalaam alaikum warahmatulah wabarakatuh.

Allah ta’ala says in Surat al-Nisaa 4: 13-14, in two seemingly balanced ayaat:

وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَا رُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ۚ وَذَ*ٰلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ

Those who obey Allah and His Messenger will be admitted to Gardens with rivers flowing beneath, to abide therein (for ever) and that will be the supreme achievement.

وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ نَارًا
خَالِدًا فِيهَا وَلَهُ عَذَابٌ مُّهِينٌ

But those who disobey Allah and His Messenger and transgress His limits will be admitted to a Fire, to abide therein: And they shall have a humiliating punishment. (al Nisaa 4:13-14)

Do you notice anything different from ayah 13 and ayah 14?

When Allah ta’ala describes the one who obeys Allah ta’ala and His messenger (alayhi salaatu wa salaam): he will be admitted into Gardens with rivers flowing beneath, خَالِدِينَ , ones abiding eternally therein.

When Allah ta’ala describes the one who disobeys Allah ta’ala and His messenger alayhi salaatu wa salaam, and transgresses His limits: he will be entered into the fire, خَالِدًا,one abiding eternally therein.

Although the ayah is in the singular (he obeys/he disobeys), not plural, Allah ta’ala uses the plural (khaalideena) for the companion of Jannah, while keeping the singular (khaalidan) for companion of the fire. 

The translation does not capture this intricate detail. The one who reaches Jannah will have passed the grave, the day of Judgment, the Siraat, the Qantarah all by themselves (with the Mercy of Allah), but when they reach Jannah, they will be with their families, their spouses, their children, their friends in the dunya, the righteous of the past and after them, with the angels greeting them from all doors–together, celebrating the praises of Allah and enjoying the delights of Jannah, خَالِدِينَ .

The one who enters the hell-fire will have gone through the trials of the aakhirah [next life] alone, and they will be left to themselves in punishment, with their regrets and despair.

 We read many times in the Qur’an that the people of hell fire will have no one to help (naseer) nor any close friend (wali) to their aid, nor anyone to hear their cries and calls. They will be alone in their punishment, خَالِدًا.

Even in this dunya, we see the psychological effects of solitude. What is the worst punishment one can receive in prison? Solitary confinement. Indeed, one is the loneliest number.

May Allah ta’ala envelop us in His mercy, and make us among those who will be rejoicing in the company of the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam and with our families and friends in Jannatul Firdaws, Ameen.

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