ON THE LAST SECTION QUR`AN
the name of Allah,
the Beneficent, the Merciful
phrase is the very first of the Qur`an and reappears at the
beginning of all the chapters except one. It is said that the
entire Qur`an is contained in this phrase.
'In the Name of' indicates what is impossible to name or
describe, that is, Allah. The entire creation is 'in the Name of
Attributes 'the Beneficent' and the 'Merciful' are
from the same Arabic verbal root. 'The Beneficent' indicates
the general mercy and compassion extended indiscriminately to all
creation, while 'the Merciful' indicates specific mercy
to those who have surrendered to the stream of the One Transcendent
what do they ask one another?
the awesome news
which they differ
is an early Meccan sûrah. The question is directed to all those who
denied the truth, the kuffâr (those who cover up, who are
ungrateful). The kuffâr are those who could not bear the light of
the message or comprehend its depth, those who could not yield
themselves to the meaning of tawhîd (unity), those who
considered the life of this world to be the only one and believed
that there would be nothing after it. These deniers would naturally
deny the 'great event', the ultimate final event; they would object
to it and question it.
is it that impels them to ask? 'Amma is a contraction of 'an
mâdhâ, which means 'about what?' The fact that they are able
to ask is due to the spark of life in them, and where there is life
there must also be death, for in this existence everything has its
opposite. By reflecting on this fact, one can see that since life
and death exist in this consciousness, then it is likely that there
is life in another form at another level of consciousness, or life
after death, which will be inaugurated by the Day of Rising.
Therefore, how dare they question this fact! The absolute,
undebatable fact is that whatever has begun will come to an end.
Upon further thought, it is obvious that He Who brought this
creation into being can also easily bring into being its mirror
the total picture of existence, the subtle aspects of this life will
be the manifest aspects of the next life, and the gross aspects of
this life will appear as only subsidiary or lesser manifestations;
for example, the shape of the body, which is of primary importance
now, will be only subsidiary in the next experience. The fact that
the kuffâr question the next life is proof of their
uncertainty and confusion. On the other hand, the believer has
complete certainty about his next abode.
means 'news, tidings, information, announcement', here referring to
the news about the end of this creation. Those who deny the message
of reality as expounded by the Book of tawhîd, the Qur`an,
wonder about the end and assume that the end of this experience will
be the end of all experiences. They question it, and disagree among
themselves because they have no idea at all about its nature. They
imagine that they can escape the tribulations and turmoil of the
last day in one way or another without recognizing that on that day
Allah's justice will be definitive and absolute and that all they
will bring with them will be the fruits of their own actions.
thinks he can overcome the laws that govern existence in this life.
He thinks he can escape the fact that his ultimate reward is only
according to his actions which, in turn, stem from his intentions.
His life in the next level of consciousness will be based upon his
actions and intentions; he will be re-created according to the
overall make-up of his actions and intentions at the point of his
departure from this life.
they will come to know.
nay, they will come to know!
is a rebuke, a positive reprimand to those who differ. Each person
will experience the end of creation through his own death, and will
later also experience the end of the entire creation and
resurrection. The death of the individual is the death of the
microcosm. At that point those who deny will no longer have any
doubt about the news, the tremendous event, which is the end of this
We not made the earth an even expanse,
the mountains as supports?
6 to 16 constitute a single meaning. God is pointing to the proof of
the perfection of creation and its cyclical nature. Is the earth not
made expansive for our ease of movement so that we may gain a
livelihood, and are the mountains not its support? Geologically,
mountains are like sunken pillars holding the thin crust of the
earth together in a semblance of security and stability.
We have created you in pairs
refers to the pairs of every living species, male and female, and to
the opposites in every other aspect of creation, such as good and
bad, healthy and unhealthy, the lower nafs (the self) and the
We have made your sleep as a rest,
We have made the night as a covering,
We have made the day for seeking livelihood,
Arabic verbal root of 'rest' (subât) means hibernate, rest,
stop action (sabata). A related noun means 'Saturday, the
Sabbath' (sabt), the day when the Jews were not supposed to
do any work in the worldly sense. All outer action was forbidden so
that the people might replenish themselves inwardly. Sleep, a form
of hibernation or mini-darkness, actually recreates our vitality by
allowing our physical being to realign and balance itself after the
troubles of the day. When night engulfs us, it comes over us like a
cloak. The word used here for 'covering' is libâs, from the
verb labisa, which means 'to slip a cover over something, to
cloak, clothe or dress'.
ma`âsh, comes from `âsha, which means 'to live, to
be alive'. Ma`âsh also means 'a way of living or lifestyle'.
The day is the time for outer action because there is light. By the
law of opposites, when there is no light, as at night, it is the
time for inward light.
We have built above you seven strong ones
'seven strong ones' here are the seven heavens. Shidâd is
the plural of shadîd, which means 'strong' from the root shadda,
which means 'to be firm, solid, strong, fortified', and 'to saddle'.
This means that the heavens are firmly interlinked and intertwined,
held together by subtle forces beyond our perception. Of the seven
layers of higher physical realities, we can only discern the one in
which the stars exist.
means 'to construct, to erect, to build, to set up'. The heavens are
held together and constructed by subtle forces and powers. The
physical parts of the heavens above are in a way less significant
than the myriad unseen forces which hold them in balance during
their course of expansion.
We have made them a blazing lamp
is a description of the sun, depicted as it often is, as sirâj
wahhâj (a blazing lamp). Wahhaj means 'blazing,
incandescent, white-hot, bursting forth in flames, brilliant'. The
nature of the sun is to emanate light, whereas the nature of the
moon is to reflect light.
We have sent down from the rain-clouds water flowing copiously
word used here for rain-clouds (mu`sirât) derives from `asara,
which means 'to squeeze, to press out'. 'Asîr means 'juice'.
Mu`sirat are clouds from which rain is expressed like juice
which pours down abundantly (thajjâj).
We may bring forth by it grain and plants,
gardens of thick foliage.
the agitation that is caused by the rain's descent and the earth's
throbbing, the grain and new plants spring forth and the gardens
that are folded up within themselves open out into dense lushness.
the Day of Decision is an appointed time
there is a sudden shift. The Day of Decision (or the Day of
Reckoning) is the day of division and separation, the day of
clarity, when everything is clearly apportioned and put where it
belongs, the good with the good and the bad with the bad. On this
day there will be no uncertainties. The word translated here as
'decision' (fasl), derives from the verbal root fasala
which means 'to separate, to segregate, to make a decision without
any possibility of doubt' no gray areas. Fasala also
means 'to wean', because the act of weaning separates a baby from
its first source of sustenance, its mother. The Arabic word for
'decisive criterion' (faysal)
derives from this same verb, and also means 'a judge' or 'dividing
verse implies that today is not the day of clarity, but rather today
is a day of confusion when we do not know whether something is right
or wrong or whether we are truly in îmân (faith, trust,
belief). At best, there is some wisdom in this day, and there is at
least an attempt to discriminate by remembrance of Allah. But on
that day, after death, there will be no possibility of confusion.
The people of the Fire shall be in the Fire, the people of the
Garden shall be in the Garden, and everything shall be seen clearly
through the eye of a just Creator.
appointed time for this event is fixed. Mîqât comes from waqt
which means 'a fixed or appointed time, a deadline' or 'meeting
point'. We will all meet on that day which is also called the Day of
Gathering, when everyone will be gathered together for the final
Day when the trumpet is blown you will come forth in groups
refers to the Day when the angelic entity of Esrafil will
blow into the horn of light to extinguish all other lights except
the one and only Light. One that day there will be no other way of
seeing things except by the pure Light of God. When the second
sounding of the trumpet will be heard, it will signal the
Resurrection. There will be nothing other than the Light of the
Creator, and no interference can take place. Nations will rise in
thronging tribes, families and households. They will come in waves
according to a rhythm, and within these groups will be the souls who
led them prophets and messengers. The Qur'an says that according
to the measure of Allah that Day will be 50,000 years of our normal
reckoning. The closer one is to God, the Timeless, the clearer the
relativity of time becomes. An instant of God's time can seem
infinite to us.
Heaven will be opened, and be as doors,
forces which now hold the heavens together will no longer be
present, as if doorways into other zones have been created. When
this readjustment comes about, all the energies of creation will
slip through these doors. Heaven will no longer be held together as
one single structure, but will be subject to a new trend, which is
its destruction, and will return to its original state, its
annihilation in the Creator. Instead of seven strong layers, there
will be channels through which it may seem that everything is moving
backwards in time.
the mountains will be set in motion as if they were a mere
mountains which now appear to us as solid forms, will disappear as
though they were mirages. The common translation of sarâb is
'mirage'. Its root is sariba which means 'to slip or slither
away, to disappear before one's eyes unnoticed'. The closer one
moves towards a mirage, the further away it appears, forever
elusive. This implies that there is another level of consciousness
where matter and energy will interchange and exchange. Mountains
will not become mirages, but they will be transformed. Their form
will take a course that cannot be understood, a course that is
secret, and the secret is that they will dissolve back into their
subtle reality, back into an increasingly subtler energy form, back
to the nothingness from which they originally sprang.
collapse of creation will be a transformative reversal of the
creational process. From nothingness came originally the subtlest
forms of matter, manifesting itself as gas, which then liquified and
became molten. After it had cooled and solidified, the water cycle
began. Next came plants and the constant creational cycle, a moment
of which we, in our short lifetime, have been able to witness.
Later, however, that process will be reversed. Step by step,
creation will return to its source.
Hell lies in wait
(hell) is one of the names used in the Qur'an to designate the
opposite of jannah (the Garden). The word is connected to the
root jahuma which means 'to frown' and jahm, which
means 'grim, gloomy, sullen, morose'. A related noun, jahnîm
means 'a bottomless pit'. Such a place has no stability or peace. It
is man's nature to seek security as well as certainty. The worst
uncertainty anyone can experience is being flung into a bottomless
pit to flounder helplessly forever.
idea of something lying in wait for us implies an ambush, a mirsâd.
Mirsâd derives from rasada, meaning 'to watch
something intently', as a stalking cat watches a mouse at the mouse hole.
In modern Arabic, mirsâd
means 'telescope,' for by the use of a telescope we ambush a star,
by cornering it in our field of vision. Thus this bottomless pit,
that state which will cause us endless trouble, is in fact looking
for us, scanning the landscape to capture those who qualify in its
'field of vision'.
place of return for the transgressors
system has a boundary. To go beyond those boundaries is to
transgress, which is what taghâ means. If in our system
we do not keep within the bounds we will eventually be destroyed. Jahannam,
the final perpetual bottomlessness, is the state to which those who
transgress (al-tâghîn) will return. This implies that they
were already on their way towards that final abode in this life. By
their wrong actions and intentions they were already moving into the
field of fire and confusion.
Qur'an defines the ultimate Fire as the Nâr al-Kubrâ, the
Great Fire, the permanent one), implying thereby that a lesser fire,
nâr al-sughrâ, is accessible here and now. Small fires are
the ones we taste in this existence because of our ignorance and
injustice. Many other verses in the Qur'an tell us that whoever has
transgressed is already in a mini-Jahannam within this realm
of existence. He may not be aware of it himself, but he fuels it
with his anger, insecurity and hate. If he can truly reflect upon
his state, he will see that he is moving towards the state of either
the Garden or the Fire. The verse specifies 'a place of return', as
if the transgressors take refuge in it. The same is true of the
people of Garden. The Qur'an tells us that when they find themselves
in the Garden in the next life, they will say, 'We remember this!'
This means that they have already experienced aspects of the Garden
state in this existence.
prepare for the state or condition that will engulf us in the next
consciousness. At the point of death the final unalterable state of
our being will have been wrought by all our intentions and actions.
The next life, therefore, is the fruition and continuum of our final
state in this life.
will not taste in it any coolness or drink,
boiling water and a paralyzing cold,
whose intentions and actions have not been unified, who have lived a
life of disconnectedness and dispersion, end up in extreme
agitation, in conditions conducive to neither peace nor centerdness.
They will remain in Jahannam for ages because the next
consciousness is in a timeless zone that seems to go on forever.
condition of Hell is one of extreme agitation, where neither life
nor death is experienced. It is the opposite of the love of
connectedness, fusion and certainty, which are ingrained in man's
spirit. If a soul has lived a life of confusion, then its natural
progression will be to an abode wherein that dreadful state reaches
its perfection. The same is true for a soul that has lived in
harmony: its natural progression is toward the Garden. This life and
the next are not disconnected but form a continuum. What differs is
the level of consciousness and the clarity and purity of experience.
This can be illustrated by the example of a dreamer who, upon
awakening from dreadful nightmares, is terrified, or a dreamer who,
upon awakening from joyful dreams, finds himself happy and
is the appropriate outcome or recompense for a life of covering up
and denial. Jazâ means 'reward or recompense'. This end
perfectly corresponds to all that came before. God's creation and
decree are in perfect harmony.
they did not anticipate an account,
people, individually or collectively as nations, did not expect
either a final account or a reaction to their actions, nor did they
think that they would ultimately meet the reflection of what they
themselves had created by their actions and thoughts.
they called Our signs lies with strong denial.
means 'to lie, deceive, or delude'. This means they have denied the
truth which was inscribed within themselves, the truth that Allah is
the One Lord, that the purpose of creation is unity (tawhîd),
and that the prophets and messengers of this truth showed the way to
live in harmony with the unified pattern of creation. By denying
this, they have deluded themselves.
We have recorded everything in a Book.
in this existence is gathered in the one and only Book. Everything
is the Book, and the Book contains everything. Everything in
existence is interconnected and is ultimately brought to its
conclusion from one point. Nothing is separate. Those who deny this
truth have transgressed against themselves, and this transgression
itself is also within that Book. Everything has been considered and
is included in the Book of reality, the Book of manifestation, the
comprehensive Book of qadâ' wa qadar (fate and divine
decree). The Qur'an is the clear manifestation of that Book.
taste! For We shall not add to you anything but punishment.
taste!' means 'Connect!' in the sense of full experience. We will
taste, we will know fully what our intention was. Whoever has
denied, therefore, will be denied. If he denies that there is only
oneness, that he has come into existence by the grace of that
oneness, that through oneness he is sustained, he will return to
this oneness in separation and dispersion. If he denies the fact
that there were prophets and messengers who confirmed this truth
leaving behind the message itself in the form of the Book, then he
is deluded. It will be these discordant and confusing states which
he will fully taste in the Hereafter. He is blind now and refuses to
be conscious of his blindness, but in the next consciousness he will
dwell only in blindness.
for those who have fearful awareness is achievement,
muttaqîn guard themselves, fearfully aware of the
boundaries. They live as if walking along a sheer cliff edge, and
thus move straight. Their cautious and fearful awareness holds them
back from exceeding the limits, and thereby from harming themselves.
This quality of cautiousness is enhanced by faith based on
gardens and vineyards,
companions with freshness of youth, equal in age,
the chapter comes down to the level of our understanding, our human
needs and our expectations in this world. Our desires are symbolized
by the heavenly sate of a lush garden ripe with nourishing fruits
and companionship that is complementary, compatible in age and
compassionate. Kawâ`iba atrâbâ means 'youthful women' or
'companions of the same age', of appropriate understanding.
a full cup.
this state there is never any decrease. Their cups are full, thus
there is no need, no anxiety. Desires and expectations are
will not hear in it any foolish chatter or falsehood,
means 'foolish talk, nonsense', or 'ineffectual, null'. The verbal
root is laghâ which means 'to speak nonsense', and from it
comes lughah which means 'language'. Speech cancels out
silence. By its very grossness, the energy of linguistic
communication overrides what preceded it, that is, the peace of
silence. The condition described here is a very high state of the
Garden, a most sublime and tranquil consciousness of peace in which
there is no distraction or break.
reward from your Lord, a gift according to a reckoning.
is the reward and natural outcome. Rabb means 'Lord', the
Attribute that brings our growth in knowledge to its full potential
and causes us to realize that in this life we will be rewarded
according to our actions and intentions, and in the next life we
will also be recreated according to our actions and intentions. This
process of action and reaction is in perfect balance, and it comes
about according to a just measure. This balance is so intricate that
it encompasses both meaning and form. For example, a physical action
in this world may have its reward at the mental or intellectual
level, or a good intention may result in a physical reward.
Lord of the heavens and the earth and what is between them, the
All-Merciful, they are not able to address Him.
Allah refers to Himself as the Lord of the heavens and the earth.
The Sustainer of the heavens contains all that is in the heavens and
the earth, and the interspace between them. This verse specifies the
interspace between the two different systems and emphasizes the fact
that physical and energy sub-systems, obeying the laws of
measurement and predictability, are bonded together by anther aspect
of reality that is not immediately perceptible to us. What governs
the earthly realm is often discernible and measurable. What governs celestial
entities is also reasonably measurable by human beings because these
two systems are not separate. That no-man's land, the interspace,
the nature of which may escape us when we shift our attention from
Newtonian physics to quantum mechanics for example is under
the same Lordship. Having studied various systems, physical science
has found that the laws of one are not applicable to all. Between
these systems there are interspaces through which they interface and
which we do not understand. Each module makes sense, but the
interrelationship between them does not. Newtonian physics makes
sense, but only up to a certain point. Quantum mechanics applies to
a zone where Newtonian physics makes no sense. Sub-atomic physics
differs from both. Each science has its self-contained laws. In the
interspace, in between the heavens and the earth, there are also
indiscernible zones, and they are all sustained by the Lord.
word for 'address' or 'speak' used here is khitâb which
derives from khataba, meaning 'to deliver a public address'.
It also means 'to ask for a woman's hand in marriage'. Khutûbah
means 'courtship, engagement'. All these derivatives imply
communication and therefore connection and unification. The
transgressors were those who disconnected themselves from what
governed physical reality in this life; thus they can only taste
even greater disconnectedness in the next life.
Day when the spirit and the angels will stand in ranks none
will speak except he to whom the All-Merciful gives permission,
and who speaks words that hit the mark.
Day of Reckoning, when all action ceases, is the day when a new set
of laws which have existed from the very beginning will take hold.
Our bodies are complex systems made up of the subtle interaction of
sub-systems involving chemical, electrical, magnetic, mechanical and
other physical forces, as well as more subtle forces, each subject
to its own laws. The laws that apply in the next realm, after the
end of this existence, are of another nature. Now we experience
everything along a certain direction of time; the collapse of
creation will occur as if creation has been reversed in time. But we
can only intellectualize and theorize about it since we only have a
very limited comprehension of it.
that situation, we are told that, as individuals, we shall no longer
have the power to act we shall be completely and utterly under
the control and at the mercy of the new dominion. The end of the
drama will be sealed and the time will have come to evaluate each
word translated here as spirit, rûh, comes from the same
root as râhah. It is also related to rîh, which
means 'wind', mirwahah, meaning 'fan', and istirwâh
which means 'respiration'.
is the subtle element that is breathed into us in the form of the
soul, as we call it. The rûh issues from the command of the
Sustainer and is the subtlest manifestation which covers itself with
the body, rendering it sentient and capable of conflicting and
diverse possibilities. When the rûh slips out, the process
of death begins, leaving the body behind where it belongs, in the
generally take our ability to act and speak for granted, but on the
Day of Resurrection no action or verbal interference can take place.
Only the Merciful and the perfect will prevail in every way. There
will no longer be any possibility for anybody to perform harmful
acts. Transgression can only occur in this realm of existence, in
this dimension, and along the direction of time. The only choice we
have here is to recognize that in reality we have no choice. Choice
is really ignorance. The knowledge of having no choice is wisdom. If
we know what is the best action to take in each new situation, the
question of choice does not arise, for it is clear what we must do.
is the true Day so whosoever desires should seek refuge with
that day, in the new state of affairs, justice is perfect: truth (haqq)
will prevail with absolute certainty. True justice also prevails in
this existence, but as limited beings we often do not recognize it
because we cannot perceive all the inter-relationships between the
multitudinous creational systems. From the point of view of absolute
reality, there is never any injustice. Allah says, 'I created
them for the Fire and I do not care.' Allah has created
everything in justice, bil-haqq. It is only man who, through
ignorance, upsets the balance and thereby creates apparent
whosoever desires should seek refuge with his Lord' indicates
that Allah is addressing people who are not aware of the fact that
they are sustained and contained by the Lord. A warning is therefore
conveyed for those who would now wish to find a way back to the only
reality which has given them the freedom to rebel. Allah is the 'Oft-Returning'.
He accepts our return over and over, as does a loving father who
knows his child is so rebellious that he will constantly leave.
Whenever the child returns, the father welcomes him, knowing full
well that in the next moment he will be off again.
lower nature is full of nagging doubt. But for someone who trusts in
the absolute mercy of Allah and so submits to it, doubts cannot
arise because he accepts what comes to him as being the best for
him, and from that very acceptance certainty arises.
the Day of Judgment, the Day of Decision, all doubt and questioning
will cease. Whoever wishes to return to that state of unity, which
is his true heritage and is already contained in his essence, will
have to find a way, and that way lies in recognizing all that is not
the way. The way towards knowledge of the Lord is through
knowledge of the nafs, the experiencing self; that is, being
able to recognize the lower nafs, the animal nafs, the
commanding nafs, the doubting nafs, the whimsical or
inspired nafs, and the trouble caused by all of these aspects
of the lower self. In recognizing all of these traits men of
reason will be able to avoid them in future situations, and the
higher aspects of the self will spontaneously become nourished and
begin to predominate.
secure and contended self, the higher nafs that is purified,
is at ease and at peace in the hands of its Lord, serenely allowing
the Lord to do with it what He wills according to a perfect design.
The path to the Lord, therefore, lies in recognizing and avoiding
all that is going to cause us harm and confusion. By avoiding what
is clearly wrong we shall automatically move toward what is right.
We warn you of a punishment near at hand: The Day when man will
see what his hands have sent ahead, and the one who covers up
will say: Oh, would that I were dust!
Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him,
his family and his righteous Companions,** warned mankind
of the boundaries where tranquility ends and certain loss begins. He
warned against transgressing acceptance of the decree and affirmed
that the decree is just; to deny and reject this is to expose
oneself to the suffering that being at a loss brings.
inner meaning of this verse is that we bring affliction upon
ourselves here and now, but we may not notice it because we justify
ourselves with all manner of excuses. Since man possesses an
all-encompassing nafs which contains and reflects the meaning
of Rahmân (the Merciful), as well as the meaning of Shaytân
(Satan), he can justify any action, high or low, good or bad.
Justification is, in fact, a way of connecting one thing to another.
It reflects the naturally built-in desire for unity (tawhîd)
within us, but is, in fact, a deviant aspect of it. By uniting
intention with action, everyone is in a state of worship. It could
be at the altar of the High, which results in knowledge of the
Almighty Lord, or at the altar of the low, which is that of delusion
condition or state of the Day of Resurrection, when everything is
exposed, can be partially tasted now by each one of us if we are
willing and able to stop our minds and actions and take complete
stock of ourselves. If we have the courage to face our intentions
and truly to recognize the degree of our own purification, we will
catch a glimpse of what this day of requital means and we will
understand the meaning of balance.
the Day of Judgment we shall be reconstructed according to our
intentions and actions in this world. If we want to know the
condition of our hearts in the next life, all we need to do is look
at the condition of our hearts in this life. If the condition of the
heart is pure, our home in the next life will be close to the pure
Source of creation. If not, it will rest somewhere along a spectrum,
at one of which is the eternal Fire and at the other end of which
are the highest Gardens. If we live totally in the present,
remaining aware and taking account of ourselves, then we are living
the Day of Resurrection now.
the one who covers up will say: Oh, would that I were dust!'
Whoever has denied the past, been disconnected, and suddenly sees
that he has wasted the treasure of his time and life, will wish that
he were nothing but dust, forgotten. Unfortunately for such a one
nothing is forgotten. Every person, every rûh, will be fully
brought to life and to the full recognition of his full
significance. He will not be able to hide like dust lost in the
desert. Allah says that if one has done an iota of good, it will
appear before him. There will no longer be any recesses for the nafs
to slink into; all the corridors will be opened. That is why if a
person truly faces himself in the now, this act becomes his personal
Day of Judgment. This is one meaning of the prophetic saying, 'If
you know yourself, you know your Lord', because the business of
Lordship is to expose everything openly in everyway.
all seek permanency in everything in this life, in relationships and
knowledge, and that is why we distinguish between true knowledge and
mere information. Information changes, such as when new medicines
are developed to cure certain diseases. True knowledge however, does
not change. It is absolute, and for this reason we all seek it.
Absolute knowledge is the news, the naba'. What are they
asking about? What news do they want? What higher information or
news can they want other than the truth that there is only Allah,
and by His grace we have been created. When we abandon ourselves to
Allah and follow the men of Allah, we will enter this sought-after
realm of absolute knowledge.
End of the Surah
is customary, whenever the name of the Prophet Muhammad is
mentioned, to invoke the peace and blessings of Allah upon him, his
family and his righteous Companions.