Rafed English

Commentary of Surat ur-Rahman on advent of Zaman - Versese 41-50

41 The guilty will be recognized by their marks, so they will be seized by the forelocks and the feet.

42 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?

Everyone is caught by what he has put forth in his movements and his actions. Those who have not let their hearts be gulub (plural of qalb), have committed crimes against themselves. They will not have seen the husn ( perfection) in this world nor will they have known tawhid. Those who have been deprived of tawhid and the knowledge of the One are known bisimahum, by their face, their marks, their scars. Those who have allowed their hearts to be turned have set their hearts free. Only then can man see the truth of every situation. In the next life, however, there is an immediate recognition. Here one recognizes the outer folds of the face, the wrinkles, or the coloration, but there one sees Oneness because there is no longer any duality: there is only One.

Nawasi are foreheads. The forehead of the upright hu­man projects out. It is as though man wants to connect to something in front of him. Allah says that man is caught by his highest point, which is his forehead, and his lowest, which is his feet. There is no escape for him now, so how can he still deny the Truth? He is the outcome of what he has put forth, of where his feet have taken him and to what his forehead has made sajda.

43 This is the hell which the guilty call a lie.

44 Round about they will go, between it and hot, boiling water. 45 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?

Jahannam is the final abode of those who are in the fire. It is jahnim the bottomless pit. Those who are in the fire have tasted a bit of it in this life but denied its reality. Everyone in this life has tasted it. If man had not tasted it, it would be meaningless to him. Sayyidna Adam, alayhi-s-salam, had not experienced a lie, so when shaytan told him to taste the fruit, to wish for something else, to be discontent, he did not know better and believed him. But this is not the case with us. We have tasted the fire and the garden. If we did not know these things there would be incongruity in the balance. Everyone knows the meaning of uncertainty, disturbance, agitation, fear, anxiety, hatred and anger - all of these are fire. If man leaves them in himself long enough, they can create a stomach ulcer, which is an internal fire. It has been found that having a burning stomach is far more disturbing than having burnt skin, because it is internal, and therefore more potent. The fire is the lot of the criminal who has committed crimes against himself and yet denies them.

Yatufuna is from tafa, to walk about, to wander around. Tawwaf is derived from it and means going around in circles, circumambulating. The inhabitants of the fire move from burning hot to boiling water.

Tawf is a wall encompassing a garden. A word which echoes tafa, that is, which has a different root while sounding very similar, is tayf, which means shadow, dream or fantasy. In the Arabic language, certain words sound very similar to others, a phenom­enon which evokes a subliminal association in meaning. If one hears tawwaf one might, quite naturally, recall tawf and tayf, though they are known to have specifically different meanings. It is like going into a multi-screen circular theater which screens many films simultaneously: you are forced to glance at the screens closest to the film you are viewing. The root system of the Arabic language is a vast receptacle of meanings. All the words of a similar sound have the potential to lead one to a single root, as the example of tawf and tayf illustrates. In life, man goes around and around without stopping, as if hallucinating, but when he comes to the tawf (wall) he stops. Most of the Arabic words that sound similar but have different roots have a semantic relationship.

Those who are at a loss in this world have denied the Rahman in the next world. They are in the same situation in both worlds. They move from the frying pan into the fire. Man moves from one job to another that is even worse. He leaves one wife and enters into an even worse relationship. He does not realize it is Allah's love hitting him, urging him to stop. This life is but a short prelude to the next life.

46 And for he who fears standing before his Lord are two gardens.

47 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?

48 Having in them various kinds.

49 Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?

"And for he who fears standing before his Lord," who recognized the Lordship, who recognized that there is One entity in charge, who feared transgressing His laws and was completely in His hands, for him there are two gardens. One of them is the garden of arwah, the garden of the spirits - it is the garden of eternal bliss. The other is the garden of hearts, the garden of mushahada, eternal witnessing. These are two inner gardens. There are many other examples of pairs of gardens: the garden of experiencing and the garden of recog­nition; the garden of wakefulness and the garden of sleep; the garden of the mashriq (east) and the garden of the maghrib (west); the gardens of the beginning and of the end.

50 In both of them are two fountains flowing.

Adapted from the book: "The Mercy of Qur'an and the Advent of Zaman" by: "Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri"

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