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Interpretation of Sura Maryam (Mary) - Verses 85-86

85. " On the day We muster the pious unto the Beneficent (Allah) (like the guest) of honour."

86. " And We shall drive the sinners unto Hell thirsty."


The Arabic term /wafd/ is used for 'a group of people who have just arrived mounted for a pilgrimage or seeking something'. The Arabic word /wird/ means 'thirst'.

In this verse, the course of 'the pious' and 'the sinners' is stated through some short and expressive sentences. The Holy Qur'an says:

" On the day We muster the pious unto the Beneficent (Allah) (like the guest) of honour."

Again, the Arabic word /wafd/ originally is used in the sense of 'a mission' or 'a group' who go to some nobles in order to solve their problems where they will be respected and honoured. Thus, this word implicitly contains the meaning of 'esteem', and, perhaps, it is for the same reason that some Islamic traditions denote that the pious will ride on some easy-paced mounts and enter into Paradise with much respect.

Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: "Ali (a.s.) asked the commentary of this verse from the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) , and he answered: 'O' Ali! 'Al-wafd' is surely said about those who ride on a mount. These are they who are in awe of Allah, Almighty and Glorious. He loved them and specialized them for Himself, and was pleased with their deeds and named them 'the pious'."

It is cited in Tafsir-i-Ali-ibn-Ebrahim Qummi that Hadrat Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said that Ali (a.s.) asked the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) who they were, (the pious), and he (p.b.u.h.) answered: " O' Ali! They are your sincere followers, and you are their Imam."(1)

Then in the next verse, the Qur'an says:

" And We shall drive the sinners unto Hell thirsty."

The sinners will be driven toward Hell in the same manner that some thirsty camels are driven unto the drinking place, but, here, there is no water, there is Fire.

It should be noted that the Qur'anic term /wird/ means a 'group of people or animals who enter a drinking place', and since such a group are certainly thirsty, some of the commentators have taken the word, hare, in the sense of 'those parched with thirst'.

How long is the distance between those whom are lead to the Beneficent Allah respectfully and with esteem in a circumstance that the angels come to receive them and greet them, and the group whom are driven unto Hell Fire like some thirsty animals, while they are bend there heads because of shame, disgrace and worthlessness?

Some traditions upon Paradise and Hell, and their People:

1. The Prophet (p.b.u.h.) said: "Never will enter Paradise, but the one is a Muslim." (Kanz-ul-'Ummal, vol. 1, p. 79)

1- Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, the Commentary, vol. 3, p. 259, and Tafsir-i-Ali-ibn-Ebrahin, under the verse.

2. The Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.) said: "Verily, in Heaven, (there are some things that), no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no heart has received." (Kanz-ul-'Ummal, vol. 14, p. 645)

3. Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali (a.s.) said: "The Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.) told me 'You are the first person who enters Paradise'. Then I said: 'O' Messenger of Allah! Do I enter it even before you?' He said: 'Yes, For you are my standard in Hereafter, the same as you are my standard in the world, and the standard is always placed before'." (Bihar-ul-Anwar, vol.8, p. 6)

4. Ali-ibn-Abitalib (a.s.) said: "There is no price for your selves save Paradise, then, do not sell your self but for it." (Tauhid-i-Sadug, p.29)

5. Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali (a.s.) said: "He who sells his self for other than Paradise, he has made his affliction grievous" (Qurar-ul-Hikam, vol. 1)

6. The Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.) said: "Promise upon six things for me, then I will promise (and guarantee) Paradise for you: Whenever one of you speaks, he should not tell a lie; and when he is trusted, he should not be treacherous; and when he promises, he should not breach; and lower your eyes (from forbidden things); and hold your hands (from wrong); and guard your modesty." (Kanz-ul-Ummal, vol. 14, p. 894)

7. The Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.) said: "Paradise is enclosed by pains and difficulties, and (falling in) Hell is enclosed by lusts." (Sahih-i-Muslim, vol. 4, p. 2174)

8. Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali (a.s.) was speaking and he said: "Verily the people of Heaven look unto the houses (and places) of our followers, as a person looks at the stars." (Bihar-ul-Anwar, vol. 8, p. 148)

9. The Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.) said: "A span from Paradise (in comparison) is better than the world and whatever is in it." (Bihar-ul-Anwar, vol. 8, p. 148 Kanz-ul-Ummal, vol. 14, p. 456)

10. 'Abdillah-ibn-Zayd-Mazini has narrated from the Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.) who said: "There is a garden from the gardens of Paradise between my house and my pulpit." (Sahih-i-Bukhari, vol. 2, p. 77)

11. 'Abu-Hurayrah narrated from the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) who said: "There is a garden from the gardens of Paradise between my house and my pulpit, and my pulpit is upon my Houd." These two traditions may indicate to the place of Hadrat Fatimah's grave. (Sahihi-Bukhari, vol. 2, p. 77)

12. Allah, the Almighty, the Glorious, said: "Surely Hell lies in ambush", "For the transgressors a destination". (Sura An-Naba', No. 78, verses 21 and 22)

13. Ali-ibn-Abitalib (a.s.) said: "Hell is a Fire whose flame does not subside, whose capture does not release and whose break does not close. Its heat is terrible, its depth is far, and its water is pus." (Kanz-ul-'Ummal, No. 44225)

14. Again, Ali-ibn-Abitalib (a.s.) said: "Avoid the Fire whose heat is terrible, whose depth is far, and whose ornament is iron." (Qurar-ul-Hikam, No. 2619)

15. Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali (a.s.) said: "Avoid the Fire whose roar is forthcoming, whose flame is terrible, and whose chastisement is fresh." (Qurar-ul-Hikam, No. 2620)

16. Ali-ibn-Abitalib (a.s.) said: "How may I be patient of (Hell) Fire that if it casts a parcel unto the earth, it will burn all its plants, and if a person refuges to a mountain its heat will cook him thereon? Which is better for Ali: that he becomes nigh stationed with Allah, or, because of his sins, he, entangled in Fire, becomes far from the Mercy of Allah, driven away and inflicted with His Wrath?" ('Amali-us-Sadug, vol. 7, p. 496)

17 It is cited in Majma'-ul-Bayan that one of the Immaculate ones (a.s.) upon the commentary of the Qur'anic phrase: "And when they are cast into a narrow place in it,…" said: "By the One in Whose hand is my life, the people of Hell will be so pressed in Fire as a nail is pressed in the wall." 79 (Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, vol. 4, p. 8 tradition 27)

18. The Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.) said: "The first person who will enter Hell-Fire is a dominant ruler who does not administer justice, and the rich person who does not give the due of his wealth, and the poor who is proud." ('Uyun 'Akhbar-ir-Rida, vol. 2, p. 28, tradition 20)

Thus, the key of Paradise is piety to Allah (s.w.t.) , and the key of Hell is sin, vice, and opposition against Allah and His Messenger.


79. Sura Al-Furgan, No. 25, verse 13

Adopted from the book : "The Light of the Holy Qur'an; Interpretation of Surah Maryam" by : "Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and a Group of Muslim Scholars"

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