Value of Spiritual Facts

[CONTENTS] The second point of importance, which the Quran has described with reference to the life to come, is that the spiritual facts of this life shall be represented in the next as embodiment:

"And whoever is blind in this (world) he will be blind in the Hereafter, and further away from the (right) path" - (17:72.)

In other words, the spiritual blindness of this world shall become apparent and shall be seen as actual blindness in the next.

''Seize him, then fetter him, then cast him into the burning Fire, then insert him in a chain the length of which is seventy cubits" - (69:30-32.)

The thrusting into a chain of the lengths of seventy cubit reveals the same secret. The limit of age may, as a general rule, be fixed at seventy. The wicked person would sometimes even enjoy seventy years excluding the periods of childhood and decrepitude. These seventy years during which he could work with honesty, wisdom and zeal, he wastes away only in the entanglements of the world and in following his own sensual passions. He does not try to free himself from the chain of desires and, therefore, in the next world, this chain, which he indulged in for seventy years, will be embodied into a chain seventy cubit long, every cubit representing a year, in which he will be fettered.

In these verses, the spiritual torture of this world has been represented as a physical punishment in the next. The chain to be put round the neck, for instance, represents the desires of this world which keep a man with his head bent upon the earth, and it is these desires that shall assume the shape of a chain. Similarly, the entanglements of this world shall be seen as chains on the feet. The heart burning of this world shall likewise be clearly seen as flames of burning fire. The wicked one has, in fact, in this very world, within himself, a hell of the passions and inextinguishable desires of this world and feeds the burning of that hell in the frustrations he meets with. When, therefore, he will be cast farther off from his temporal desires and will see an everlasting despair before him, his heart burning and bitter sighs for his dear desires will assume the shape of burning fire. The Holy Book says:

"And a barrier is placed between them and that which they desire.. ." - (34:54.)

It should, therefore, be remembered that the punishment which overtakes a man is one prepared by his own bands, and his own evil deeds become the source of his torture. This law is elsewhere expressed in the following words

"(O ye wicked ones) walk on to the shadow having three branches, neither cool, nor availing against the flame" - (77:30-31.)

The three branches spoken of here represent bestiality, savageness and infatuation which, remaining unmodified, lead to transgressions and evil deeds. These three will appear on the Day of judgment as three branches without any leaves and, therefore, availing nothing against heat.

To declare the same law, the Almighty says of those who are in paradise:

"On that day thou wilt see the faithful men and the faithful women, their light gleaming before them and on their right hands" - (57:12.)

"On the day when (some) faces turn white and (some) faces turn black . . . " - (3:105.)

"---A parable of the Garden which the dutiful (to Allah) are promised: Therein are rivers of water not altering for the worse, and rivers of milk whereof the taste changes not, and rivers of wine delicious to the drinkers, and rivers of honey clarified . . . " - (47:15.)

From this verse, it appears clearly that the promised paradise is only a representation of boundless oceans of all these things. The water of life which the righteous man drinks spiritually in this world shall there appear manifestly as a river; the spiritual milk which sustains his spiritual growth in this life will become manifest in the next; the wine of the love of God with which he remains in a blissful state in this world shall assume the shape of a river flowing with wine, and the honey of the sweetness of faith, which he spiritually tastes here, will flow in paradise in palpable rivers. The spiritual state of every person will, on that day, become visible to all in his gardens and rivers, and God also will reveal Himself to the righteous in His full glory on that day. In short, the spiritual states will no more remain hidden but will manifest themselves palpably.

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