Commentary of Surat ul-Waqi'a on advent of Zaman - Versese 31-40
31 And water flowing constantly,
32 And abundant fruit,
33 Neither intercepted nor forbidden,
34 And exalted thrones.
"And extended shade." In the desert culture of Arabia the sun, though a giver of life, is also a destroyer of life, so therefore shade is a great mercy. The bigger the shade of something the greater is the object itself, and what is greater than Allah, al-Azim? If you are with Allah you have maximum shade. Zillin mamdudin is literally a long or extended shadow. In Islamic culture one used to show respect to a revered person or saint by saying: "May Allah increase your shadow." In the final abode one witnesses maximum shade. Everything is in the shade of the Creator. There are no individuals who can cast a shadow or darken anything. Zillin mamdudin is the shadow which protects one and which, by inference, causes one to recognize Allah, because direct witnessing is not possible; one cannot see Reality, only its effects. The knowledge of Allah is by inference. One infers His existence. If anyone were to say that he has seen Allah, it would mean that he is either mad or a liar. If someone were to say that he has seen Allah at a given time and place, then where would He be the rest of the time? Allah is Ever-Present, All-Encompassing - beyond time, beyond comprehension, beyond sight. The faculties of sight and comprehension exist by the life which Allah has placed in people. How can these faculties perceive what makes them function? It is not possible. One infers there is Allah by reason, by heart, and by one's fitra (innate character). Within everyone is the seed that recognizes the perfect Creator. The imperfection in His creation that one sees is from the imperfect purification of one's own heart.
35 Surely We have made them to grow into a (new) growth,
The garden is the new creation where there are no desires, whims, troubles or attachments. Nasha'a is to grow, to rise up, to come into existence. Allah says: "Surely We have made them to grow into a (new) growth." It is of another foundation, one that is not physical. It is based upon light. The world of light is only accessible to man in moments of deep meditation and reflection.
Then We have made them virgins,
37 Loving, equals in age,
38 For the companions of the right hand.
39 A numerous company from among the first,
40 And a numerous company from among the last.
Stretching man's imagination, Allah describes the physical satisfaction of man-woman companionship. "Then We have made them virgins." The women there, in the next experience, are in perpetual virginity. We understand that in this realm it is not possible. One of the Imams was asked how a woman could remain a virgin. He replied that it was not a question of virginity in the physical sense. The descriptions of women and drink are not what can be experienced or understood. They are a mithil. They belong to another insha', another construction in the world of lights and consciousness.
Adapted from the book: "The Mercy of Qur'an and the Advent of Zaman" by: "Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri"
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