ON THE LAST SECTION QUR`AN
Chapter 82: Surat Al-Infitar
The Cleaving Asunder
the name of Allah,
the Beneficent, the Merciful
This surah has a theme
and pattern similar to
Surat at-Takwir, yet it is very
different. It reminds us that there will be an end of creational
manifestation and describes how this will take place in a way that
we intellectually understand. Our intellect accepts the fact that
everything created has come from dense matter that expands and is
diluted and then regenerates within itself. We also know
intellectually that whatever begins will come to an end and that
there is nothing manifest in any form or manner that will not come
to an end. This end will come with the unfolding of time, and until
this occurs the object of our search must be absolute knowledge
which does not change with time, knowledge which is forever true and
This surah, in a pattern
similar to Surat
at-Takwir, begins with a view of the cosmos and the
heavens, and then comes to an earthly level, the graves, which are
the final end of conscious reality. Even the reality which we
thought of as final will be dissolved.
When the heaven is
comes from the verb meaning
"to crack, to be
rent or cleft asunder."
Fitrah, from the same original root, means
word fitrah inherently recalls the idea of
and, as we see from its related word forms, implies that the origin
of anything springs from a crack. The Qur`an says that the earth was
egg-shaped, and when water came, it cracked in order to facilitate
growth from within itself. Visibly and symbolically, everything
comes from the initial single source bursting into the manifold
stream of creation.
The heavens are held
together by all the different forces which maintain the stars and
planets in organized orbits. If that system were to crack, this
order would be undone. The inference here is that when the system of
existence in this realm -- both for us and for other beings, such as
the jinn (spirits) -- reaches a point beyond which it can no
longer expand, it will begin to collapse. Every system in existence
has a limitation except for the essence, which is Allah. That
Essence encompasses all systems; it is Boundless and for this reason
meaningful boundaries exist. Every limitation comes from the
Limitless, and since it comes from the Limitless, it must be
limited. Time can be understood only because there is timelessness,
the meaning of which is already contained within man. This ayah,
then, speaks of the end of time and the beginning of the next
And when the stars are
This is what happens as
a result of the first ayah. Intatharat means
As far as we are concerned, when the heavens crack, the planets
closest to us will be scattered. The forces that formerly held them
in orbit will themselves be destroyed. A new system must be found
after this collapse, because the old system of continuity in
creation will have come to an end.
Kawkaba, the verbal root of
brilliantly," and especially is used to describe the shininess of
iron. If a day is described as kawkabī, the day is one of
particular significance or difficulty. In this case, the word refers
to those elements in the cosmos which are outstanding, as far as we
are concerned, because they are connected with the solar system,
and they shine for us with a brilliance greater than that of the
other celestial bodies.
The root of the word intatharat is
intathara, which means
be scattered or strewn about, be dispersed," indicating that this
scattering is haphazard but also part of a pattern. It is a random
action, yet it is not a meaningless, abstract randomness. The word
intatharat evokes the image of scattering seeds on the ground. From
the point of view of the scatterer, the actor, this follows a
certain pattern, a pattern dictated by factors such as the size of
his hand and his normal movement and rhythm, even though from the
point of view of the seed or that of the observer, it appears to be
haphazard. The act of sowing itself is a scattering, yet it is a
scattering according to a certain decree.
Nathr is the opposite of
shi'r. Nathr is
the expression rajulun natharun refers to a man who is talkative, always scattering his words around.
Shi'r, on the other hand, means
By the act of intensifying and making words compact and concise,
poetry is created, whereas by scattering the words loosely on the
page, prose is produced.
And when the seas are
made to surge forth explosively --
When the forces or systems that keep the cosmos intact stop,
there will be an explosive result. Fujjirat is from fajjara, which means
"to cause to flow, to split, explode."
The existing system will go beyond its original boundary and decay
A word that is similar in meaning to
fajjara is shaqqa,
"to split, cleave; to grieve, trouble,
harass." Mashaqqah means
"difficulty, hardship, trouble." This difficulty arises
because of the cracking apart when what we really want is for things
to stay together, in tawhīd. Shaqq,
"a crack, or break,"
implies difficulty. Outwardly, a split or fissure appears to be
against tawhīd, but in reality it can only exist within
How could we know that it is cracked if everything were not already
connected? Everything is together because there is only oneness, and
this shows itself clearly when something splits apart and we are
distressed. We do not even like it outwardly, because we are lovers
of the One and Only Hand that holds and binds everything together.
The verb fajara is a rich source of words, the meanings of which are
all logically related, and therefore is worth some further
attention. Fajr, meaning
"dawn," is related to
fajara. The night, that all-enveloping darkness, is broken by
the first beams of morning light, hence the word
Infijār is an
"explosion, eruption, or detonation,"
indicating that the object to be detonated began as a solid, but by
the act of infijār has been rendered momentarily mobile.
In the Qur`an fujūr (wickedness, immorality, profligacy)
normally implies transgression, acting out of line, beyond the
limits of the path. Transgressing the bounds is bursting beyond
them. If fujūr is used to describe a person, it means he or she has
committed the worst of all human crimes, which is zinā` (adultery, fornication). When a people is said to be
it means that they are degenerate and shamelessly debauched.
One of the most important meanings of
fajjara in the Qur`an is to be
found in the following ayah:
"A spring from which the slaves of
Allah drink, making it gush forth abundantly" (76:6). From the point
of view of haqīqah ("the truth"), the implication here
is that the spring is within oneself. That spring, that point of fitrah (original
nature) is within the heart of man, but it has to
be detonated, made to gush forth, and in order to do that, one must
be able to reach it. In order to detonate open the safe in a bank,
one must go through all the corridors. The same thing is true for
the heart -- in order to get to it, we must go through all those
corridors which have become horror chambers that we have invented
and constructed in our passage through this life.
Hasan al-Basri, may Allah be pleased with him, who received his
teaching from Sayyidna 'Ali, 'alayhi-s-salām, said that the meaning
of this ayah refers to the
"water drying up" because it is a
reversal of the norm. At that time everything will be extraordinary
and abnormal; the planets which were holding us in orbit, with which
we were connected and which were most influential upon our lives,
will be scattered. Similarly, the seas will be empty. From the point
of view of the Creator there will be no reversal, but will only seem
to occur from our point of view. We will perceive everything to be
turning upside-down because we are subject to it. From the point of
view of Reality, however, it will be according to a perfect plan,
according to the perfect laws which govern this existence.
And when the graves are
Now the collapse of the world comes even closer. The final resting
place is the grave, which is therefore a place of peace. Ba'thara, the root of
"to scatter around,
upside down, throw into disorder." What we have here is a
description of another result of the breakdown in the gravitational
and centrifugal forces, among others, holding the world together.
The ground of the cemeteries will heave up and the graves will split
open completely. What ever every self has been hiding and keeping
secret will be exposed in this opening.
Every self will know
what it has sent ahead and held back.
Nafs here means
"self." The root of the word is
connected to tanaffasa, which is the verb,
is that complex entity which encompasses the pure cause of its
existence, the rūh, meaning
"spirit, soul." (The word
in Arabic is related to
"wind," alluding to its
quality.) The nafs also encompasses all the acquired features that
are grafted onto the rūh; as a result of its manifestation. The
words nafs and rūh are sometimes interchangeable. Their
relationship is like that of the sun to the earth: the self is
rendered sentient by the spirit.
When all the outer props
have collapsed, as on the Yawn al-Qiyāmah (the Day of Resurrection), every
self will experience its reality, which is a state of pure
beingness, according to what its deeds were and what it had nurtured
before the outer, gross world collapsed.
Qaddamat (rendered here as
"(it) sent ahead,") is
derived from the same root as qadam, which means
that is, what we put in front of us in order to move ahead toward
something new. Why do we wish to transport or move ourselves?
Why do we wish to
present ourselves with something new? When we do so, what we perform
is an act of worship and adoration. Let us take the example of
eating. We eat because we want to live, because we love life and
perpetuity. This shows we are striving for the attributes of Allah,
the Everlasting. If one's intention is clear, then one's actions
will be coherent. If we know that we put a foot forward in order to
worship Allah, then it is perfectly all right to say, "I want to
eat," or "I want to become wealthy." In order to uphold and
propagate the laws of Allah, we must understand our priorities. If
we want to undertake an action, we must ask ourselves why. What is
put forth is as good as its intentions. If we eat in order to live,
serve, and gain knowledge, all the energies around us will come to
help us in that regard.
This ayah says that when
all the aforementioned events occur, man's intention will become
clear to him even though previously he may have barely given a
thought as to why he did things. Thus, it is said that it is better
not to lift a finger until one's intention is made clear, because
actions are only as good as intentions, and one's very life is put
to the test. If one starts with what is real, one will make
progress. Serving one's family, for example, is a commendable
action. Through acting on good intentions, one reaches a point where
he thirsts for knowledge, and this brings him to the point of dhikr
(remembrance), which in turn leads to inner silence. If one acts in
sincerity, that point will be reached regardless, for as it says in
"Certainly He is
the Forgiving, the Merciful!"
One usually turns to the
Qur`an in desperation, for it is the final medicine. The extent to
which the Qur`an is clearly revealed to man is directly proportional
to the extent to which he is honest in abandoning himself to it. The
Prophet, salla-llāhu 'alayhi wa ālihi wa sallam,
always recommended reading the Qur`an with a tearful eye and
reciting it as though it were the voice of eternity.
postpone, hinder, put back,"
indirectly referring to what has been hidden. We are the result of
what we have left behind us, our past. As individuals, as human
beings, we are the sum of our past actions, thoughts, hidden,
postponed, or revealed. What potentially exists in the future are
our intentions and what will in fact come about will be the
enactment of our intentions. These two elements interact with each
other as well as with the outer environment, and the result of these
interactions is the future. If man knows what is behind him and what
is in front of him, then he has covered the whole horizon and
connected with it.
The ayah means that on
that day every nafs (self) will completely reveal itself, its
true color, tone, and tune. The rūh (soul) starts as pure
power, and its substance is made of an element with which every
other soul can connect. Therefore every soul will see the other
clearly, unlike now, when we can hide the parts of ourselves which
we do not want others to see. Therefore, the more exposed we are
here and now and the more ready we are to live here and now, the
more prepared we are for what is to come later. We must concern
ourselves with how to live now, fully and totally. If a person
genuinely wants to apply this, he will reach the conclusion that the
way to do it is by clarifying every intention and coupling it to its
correct action and by being completely open, exposed, and ready to
O man! What has deceived
you from your Generous Lord?
After giving the news that all of this complex and fantastic world
will come to an end and that all that will be left of each one of us
is the self, this surah then addresses itself directly to man. Insān
(man) is by nature sociable, friendly, companionable.
The deeper meaning of this ayāh is "O you who are already a
worshipper of unification, by whatever name you may call it, what
made you so arrogant as to imagine that you are separate from your Ever-Generous Sustainer and Lord?" When the outer shell of the world
comes to an end, what excuse does man have for having elevated
himself apart from the One Reality? Man's essence is generosity and
blessing, so what has made him so conceited?
The appeal here is to the real nature of man, which is what will
survive once all the worldly trappings have fallen away. What made
him not recognize the rubūbīah (Lordship)? It is
love of dunyā (this "world"), of being in a state of
confusion. The correct answer essentially, however, is that there is
no excuse. When the confrontation with the Lord occurred, why did
man not do what he was born to do, which was to seek the truth?
There is no valid answer.
All that is other than Allah is false. One cannot be deceived by
"nothing," by an abstraction. Whatever attracts man away from the
line of truth is the dunyā, which is transient, quickly passing away
and causing us to be in ghaflah (forgetfulness, heedlessness).
We become glued to this world through our self-imposed illusions,
although we are actually seeking security. The Ever-Secure is
already within the heart, and its influence transposes itself into
this outer situation in which we adhere to things that are
transient. Once there is no longer that element which caused us this
attachment, then we are free of forgetfulness and can recognize our
The greatest glue of
attachment is the appearance of "I," the ego. When creation
occurred, the shaytāni (satanic) element said,
"I am better than
he" (7:12), and
thus began the rise of attachment to something that did not
originally exist. When this apparent world comes to an end, that
which appeared to be propping it up will no longer be there. Shaytān
will no longer be there either, since that energy that causes
separation will no longer be there.
Who created you, then
made you complete, then proportioned you --
Had man not been created, he would not have had a chance to reach
knowledge, nor to have the bliss and satisfaction of inner
existence, nor to see hundreds of flowers all exemplifying the same
thing and yet different in color and smell.
Sawwa has many
"to even, level,
straighten, regulate, put in order, equalize."
Why, then, is man in this arrogant state if he sees how potentially
harmonious and complete he has been made?
"straight," and therefore most efficient (the
quickest way to connect two points is, after all, a straight line).
It also means
"justice, fairness and uprightness."
Everything is created in an amazingly balanced, just, and ecological
way, both in the outer and the inner realms, which are, in fact, one
and therefore balanced. Balance is mīzān, which is also the
name of the Qur`an.
Therefore, we see that everything is in the Qur`an and is the
because the reality that is read in it is the one that is exuded by
creation. We understand our Creator through wondering at and seeing
His creation. If we do not see His Hand at work through us, how can
we rightfully talk about other, outer aspects of creation?
Into whatever form He pleased He constructed you.
Sūrah is a
"picture, form, shape, likeness, or copy."
It comes from the verb
"to form, create, illustrate, photograph."
"to fasten, build, to put together."
is rakiba, which means
"to ride." Looking at creation in
its totality, we see that anything can and indeed does take place.
It is beyond our intellectual comprehension to understand why a
particular cell or being moves in a particular way, and so instead
we call it an abstract or haphazard movement. There is nothing
haphazard about it; it is only that we cannot understand it. In
fact, it is the pattern of our intellectual pursuit that can be
either along a path of understanding or along a path of confusion.
From the point of view of haqīqah everything makes perfect sense
and nothing is out of place, but if we transgress the norms of 'aql
(intellect) and thought, we enter a realm of confusion.
Nay! You deny the Judgment Day.
Kallā (nay) is meant to reassure us here. Put in other words,
"It is certainly the case." Denial, for man, is quite
natural: "Surely man is in loss" (103:2). It is quite understandable
that we transgress and forget and are not in dhikr (remembrance).
This is why Allah is The Forgiving, the Most Merciful and why we
turn to Allah in repentance. This is normal. We deny ourselves
correct transaction, correct behavior, which is the only way of
living, of being prepared, of being in a state of abandonment in
which we can appreciate and witness abundance.
This ayah addresses us on a deep inner level. The
other contexts, is usually translated as
"religion." The word,
however, implies a transaction, that of paying a debt to one's
Creator. The root of dīn is dāna, which is
"to be indebted,
to owe, to be subject, to yield, and to profess the true faith." It
is in man's human
nature to deny islām. Like the salmon struggling upstream, only very
few reach their source. This was true for the people of Mecca for
whom this ayah was specifically revealed, and it is applicable to
all people at all times. Man's true nature seeks his source. His
lower nature denies the contract of mercy which can only be known by
the payment of the debt -- by the living of the dīn -- for
which he finds himself indebted. Then the pathway to
all-encompassing Mercy is made smooth, ta'abbada (to
be paved, made level, smooth),
through the song of 'ibādah (worship, service).
And most surely there
are guardians over you,
How is al-Hāfiz
(the Guardian) manifested? The name is an attribute of Allah, the
Keeper, the Protector, the Guardian. It derives from a verbal root
protect, guard, sustain, remember."
Hāfiz, in ordinary Arabic, means
'someone who knows
the Qur`an by heart'.
The Creator would not have created the laws of existence unless He
were going to maintain them. Thus, we are assured that the laws do
not and will not change for any person, be he a prophet, messenger,
or ordinary man. The laws of creation apply equally to all. Many of
these laws we take for granted because we are subject to them at all
times, such as the law of gravity.
To illustrate this
point, let us recall a story concerning Imam as-Sadiq, 'alayhi-s-salām.
He went to his house one day and found a slave-woman with one of his
children on the roof, although he had forbidden the members of the
household from going there. The woman, in her extreme agitation at
being caught in her transgression, stopped paying attention to the
child. At that moment, the child fell from the roof to its death.
Imam as-Sadiq immediately said to the slave-woman, "You are free!"
He came out of the house completely shattered, and when the people
asked him why he was disturbed, he answered, "I am disturbed because
I caused this woman a great deal of agitation and fear." He was such
a lover of Allah that he did not want to disturb anything in the
creation. He suddenly saw the law of Allah in front of him, done,
the decree fulfilled, and he could not go against it. All he had was
human judgment, and from the human point of view he said, "I caused
her great affliction and fright and as a result she lost hold of my
child and this caused his death." Again, from the human point of
view, when he was questioned about the death of his son, his answer
was, "Now he will be brought to rubūbīyah (Lordship) and will
become perfect. The angels will bring him to his fruition according
to the decree."
A true lover of Allah
must know the meaning of
"Every moment He
is in a state (of glory)" (Qur`an
otherwise his islām is at best mere superstition, not
the fullness of direct knowledge.
Noble powers and forces,
angelic or otherwise, lead us in the direction of the creational
pattern and decree. These powers are referred to as hāfizīn
(guardians, protectors) for their task is to reflect one of the
attributes of Allah, al-Hāfiz. The words "Guardian,
refer to Allah, the one and only true Guardian. Man's actions are
recorded spontaneously, and his reward is instantaneous, to be found
then and there in himself. Both the serious and mild
sicknesses we suffer from are the direct results of our actions. Our
reward is our action, and the meaning of our action is its
intention. We are manifested intentions; we are now the sum total of
all our past intentions. If they were free -- fī sabīli-llāh
(in the way of Allah) -- then we are free. We are as tarnished or as
pure as our intentions, and that is what dictates the state and
condition of our hearts.
If a man's intentions
are as pure as they can be, and yet he acts ignorantly because he
does not have enough outer worldly knowledge, others will consider
him a fool or even a criminal if some people may be made to suffer
from his actions. Allah, Who is the All-Wise, forgives him, however.
In this world sharī'ah (outer law) prevails over haqīqah
(the eternal truth). Everything follows the laws of Allah, and only
Allah is in charge. If a man of pure intentions is put in jail for
outwardly rendering disservice to others, it is correct according to
the sharī'ah. A real man of Allah would, in jail, be
perfectly content with Allah's decree upon him.
(noble recorders) means that the highest act of generosity is to be
on the path, according to which man has been created. The angels, or
the powers which keep existence going forward smoothly in this
world, are kirāman kātibīn. They are those powers and
energies within man, around him, and by him, that record from
within. Every single cell in his body echoes his entire beingness,
containing the history of all that has happened, all that is
happening, and all that is going to happen.
If man has been in a
state of denial, kufr (covering up, denial), the possibility
of its outer expression is that the cells will devour each other
like cancer. Cancer is an outer manifestation which actually is a
mercy, because it is signaling the dichotomy that is occurring,
possibly without one's knowledge. This does not necessarily mean
that the person with cancer has been a dreadful person, but that he
has simply been acting, inadvertently, in ignorance. The Prophet,
salla-Ilāhu 'alayhi wa ālihi wa sallam, often prayed for
the people who treated him badly and asked that they not be
punished, since they acted in ignorance.
from the verb kataba, which means "to
write, inscribe, compose, destine."
There is an implication of "gathering"
in this word. Kitāb, therefore, not only means "book,"
but also "what
is done." If a
man is in a state of awareness, he can "read" what is done. This is
what the Qur`an means. The angels, or forces, are noble in that they
are at the limits of their prescribed capabilities in their
respective domains. It is written that they are to write, and they
The cosmos is under
total control, but not in the sense of a tyrannical, centralized
power imposing itself from the outside. The control is already
intrinsic to the system. Allah contains all systems and is the
Beginner and Sustainer of all systems. Since the system is complete
within itself, it will break down if the boundaries are
transgressed. Every system breaks down once the boundaries are
They know what you
Those entities or powers
to which we are connected and bound by the One Reality know what we
do. Obviously this is so, although the intensity of the knowledge is
different. Everything we do will effect everything else in this
total ecology. The forces which govern the subtle cosmic fiber know.
That is why we say,
"The Knower is
could imply separation, indicating that
"I am here"
is there." The
men of Allah consider this to be a state of shirk
(association of other-than-Allah with Allah.) It is a form of
arrogance to say,
because it is as if the Truth needed our confirmation.
Allah is al-'Alīm
(the Knower of all). If we increase in 'ilm (knowledge,
wisdom), then we will be closer to al-'Alīm, and therefore
ignorance will be reduced. As the cup becomes fuller, the empty
space in it decreases and a time comes when what is in the cup and
the cup itself are understood as being one system, because for there
to be contents there must be a container. This is the meaning of the
line in the
Diwan of Shaykh Muhammad ibn al Habib, in which he says:
the drink with the cup and be annihilated by it."
Although the two systems
appear to be different, the one fluid and the other solid, man is
the link, the barzakh (interspace), so he must connect the
inside with the outside. From the point of view of the 'ārif
bi'llāh (knower of Allah), there is no such thing as outside and
inside. There is only Allah, One Reality, manifesting itself in
various forms of creation.
Most surely the righteous are in bliss.
This surah began by
describing the big impact at the end of the world, the description
of which includes our own end, and then gives us good news of bliss.
The root of abrār (liberal, just, kind) is barra.
"an expanse of
land," but it
means more than just a desert. It implies space, openness, and clear
vision. Barr is the opposite of bahr (the sea).
On the barr everything is evident, but in the bahr
everything is hidden below the surface. The sea has connotations of
something that is deep, whereas a plain, on the other hand, implies
something that is very shallow. Usually when the bahr
is next to the barr, hardly anything can be seen on the
barr except endless flatness reaching out in all directions,
while in the bahr the most amazing life can be found.
In fact, the most amazing seas in the world are those which lie next
to barren places, such as the Red Sea, which has unparalleled
delights for the deep sea diver. The beauty of the underwater world
is unimaginable, but when one comes out onto the shore there is
nothing but empty, endless desert.
peaceful, tranquil) is from na'ama
"to live in
comfort and ease, to be happy, soft"
The ni'mah of Allah, is His
bounty." It is in
man's nature to say "Yes!" to the bounty of Allah. Those who are
abrār are in ni'mah (comfort), that which physically
And most surely the wicked are in burning fire --
When a person goes
against his nature or reality, he is wicked, in that he is
committing a crime against himself. A fājir is someone who
sends himself into transgression, someone who has deviated, who has
gone beyond the bounds of the dīn, beyond the limits of his
higher nature. From this point of view, those fujjār are in
hell. The experience of hell means turmoil, constant agitation, the
death of stability, and these states can be tasted not only after
death but also in this life.
They will enter it on the Day of Judgment.
The fujjār will
reach the Fire on the Day of Judgment, the day on which debts must
be paid. Every instant is one in which we could be paying our debts.
If we are willing to do this at every moment, we will be in balance.
If we try to hide them instead, the Yawmu-d-dīn (Day of
Judgment) becomes the day of our death, or the Day of Reckoning.
This is a lesser Day of Judgment. The greater Day of Judgment will
come when there is nothing left to be hidden. Yawm (day)
means not only a twenty-four hour period, but also a state of mind.
As human beings, our yawm is twenty four hours, but Allah's
yawm is different; it can be 50,000 years, as the Qur`an
And they will not be absent from it!
hidden." At the
moment of truth no one will be able to absent himself. At the moment
of truth, whether it be now or later, everything will be taken into
account, and there will be no escape. We will see that whatever we
planted out of good intention will directly bear fruit. Each person
will be the true witnesser, and this is the true meaning of
shahādah (direct witnessing). If we do not constantly face our
intentions here and now, we will have to deal with them later all at
one time. The way to this understanding lies in recognizing what our
intentions are and what they have been. Those who want to succeed in
this world always want to know what their bank balance is. They do
not want to be told five days later that the balance was several
decimal points out. They want to know right away so correct action
may be taken.
The key to success is
Allah. If a person loves Allah then he has no option but to succeed
in this world. He will account for every instant as it passes and
not postpone it. Only senseless people do not want to review their
bank account because they suspect that they have been abusing them.
But if they knew that the balance was in their favor, then they
would want to see it all the time. If we account for ourselves every
instant, then we are clear.
Imam al-Hasan, 'alayhi-s-salām,
quoting from the Prophet Muhammad, salla-Ilāhu 'alayhi wa
ālihi wa sallam, his grandfather, says,
"He who is afraid
of Allah will never be afraid of the slaves of Allah, while he who
is afraid of the slaves of Allah is not afraid of Allah."
This is because the slaves of Allah, meaning all human beings, are
reflections of one's own self. And if he fears Allah, then as Imam
al-Hasan also says,
"He who wants to
please Allah will find that the creation is pleased with him, and he
who wants to please creation will find that Allah is not pleased
If at every instant we
were willing to account for everything to Allah as though we had
just been resurrected from the grave, as though our intentions were
exposed on our chests, then we should be free from entanglements and
should find ourselves more efficient. Our intellect ('aql)
would become sharper because it is a faculty that has to be
developed, and we would act as if we are always ready to hand over
the whole of our existence for Him to review.
We delay confronting
ourselves mostly because we do not want to disturb our familiar
illusions. But every action has its equal and opposite reaction.
Everything in life is due to its courtesy (adab), and
the more we know it, the more efficient we become in that situation.
This knowledge, in fact, resides in our hearts. Courtesy (adab)
has everything to do with how willing we are to face our balance
And what will make you realize what the Day of Judgment is?
What do we know about
the Day of Reckoning? Why can it not be right now? It is for this
reason that when a Muslim is unsuccessful, we know that he is not in
Islam. If a man is not successful, something is wrong. It is not a
judgment upon him, for that is between him and Allah, but the path
is one of pure science. The real man of Allah does not waste time.
If he is unsuccessful, it means he acted wrongly; perhaps he did not
act with the right discrimination, did not judge correctly, or did
not take counsel correctly; perhaps he was attached to something.
If we are willing to
face everything within us at any moment, we find that when we see
and recognize all the snakes and scorpions we have hidden, we shall
know how to deal with them so they do not sting or bite us. We thus
enter into awareness. That is why we say that people who have come
to the inner circles of the men of Allah are transformed forever.
Through having had one split second of awakening, they know their
true nature, their true reality. When a man really knows the state
of his heart, when he is genuinely, absolutely, totally aware, then
he has reached his goal.
The Day of judgment (yawm
al-dīn) is only a day, an instant, a split second, and yet it is
also a condition. Are we reckoning with ourselves now? It is
impertinent to pose questions about the last Hour. We cannot see the
moment because we are excited about tomorrow. This anticipation
results from the desire to escape from the amazing, unending depth
of the moment which we are frittering away. We must learn to see the
beauty of an apparent evil, the depth of the present and its
meaning, as well as to see how it came about and what path was taken
to make it come about in this particular way. We must learn to see
perfection and to see without judging.
Again, what will make you realize what the Day of Judgment is?
The verse is repeated
here in order to drive the point home. What more signs do we need?
The path is absolute science; it is the path of safā`
The day when no self will have power [to do] anything for
[another] self, and the command that day is Allah's.
If a person accepts that
condition of having no power or control over anything or anyone else
and relinquishes power and ownership right now, then Yawm
al-dīn (The Day of Judgment) is Yawm amr Allāh (the
Day of Allah's order or command for him). At the moment we are in
shirk (i.e. we associate partners with Allah) when we say,
'It is between
Allah and me'.
This yawm (this day), is divided between Allah and us,
because we are confused as to which is the divine decree and which
is merely our own whim. We cannot distinguish between what is
wahm (illusion) and hawā (desire), or what Allah has
written. Allah has written things to be followed according to
definite laws. If we transgress them, we will be destroyed, inwardly
al-dīn (The Day of Judgment) is defined as the
'Day on which no
self will have power [to do] anything for [another] self'.
In other words, each person must be completely and utterly
responsible for himself right now, without making the excuse of
having responsibilities for others prior to taking responsibility
for himself, for ultimately there is only one self. Each person is
responsible for everything; no one is separate, but first we must
know who we are. If we have done that, then we can greet the Day of
Reckoning with light hearts.
End of the Surah