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Question 099: Please brothers I always have this problem with my Sunni brother’s. And that is they says that in heaven Allah will reveal himself to ever body to see him by removing his crawn and everybody to see him clearly . PLEASE brothers what should tell them or is there a prove to prove them wrong. Please brothers let me get the feedback that if Seeing Allah in the Heaven is possible?

Answer 099: The difference between an interpretation based on opinion and an interpretation based on intellectual thinking.
Interpretation based on opinion, which has been censured by the leaders of our religion, is an interpretation that an individual does without paying attention to traditions, other interpretations, and the general principles which relate to the verses of the Quran. In essence it is an interpretation derived in a vacuum without paying attention to its context. This also includes not paying attention to the other verses of the Quran (general and specific, absolute and particular, abrogated and abrogating). In essence this is an interpretation according to an individual’s own ideas and opinions which he holds in interpreting and analyzing the verses of the Quran; it is in fact the act of someone translating their own ideology onto the Quran.

Such an interpretation is not acceptable in Islam and it has been explained that whichever individual speaks about the Quran without knowledge, his place will be the hell fire.[1]

So through paying attention to the points that we just explained, if someone attempts to interpret the Holy Quran according to their own desires and whims without having the necessary prerequisite knowledge of the sciences of interpretation (such as Usul, Luqal, Nahv, and Hadith), then he has created a rift between himself and God and according to the words of the Prophet (s) he has made himself a place in the Hell.[2]

On the other hand if he interprets based intellectual thinking that is based on the Usul and religious standards and principles, then this is not considered interpretation based on opinion.

One of these Usul (principles) is paying attention to the station of the Infallibles (a). This is required because the Quran has made the having of purity (taharat) before ‘touching’ the book an essential condition.[3] This means both external and internal purity. Just like the physical touching of the Quran requires purity (taharat), the ‘internal touching’ of the essence of the Quran also requires taharat of the internal nature of the human being. The more pure someone is, the more deep they can reach the realities of the Holy Book. The Imams (a) are pure and infallible from sins and have the conditions of complete purity (taharat) which extend to both the external and internal aspects of life;[4] they are in reality the ‘Living Qurans’.

In conclusion, people other than the Infallibles (a) can be the interpreters of the Holy Quran if they meet these three conditions: 1. Firstly, they must be proficient and have mastered the sciences which relate to the science of interpretation. 2. Secondly, if there is already commentary from the Infallibles (a) on a specific ayah (which is authentic) they should not go against that.3. Thirdly, their interpretation shouldn’t be based on assumed theories.

The following are some verses of the Holy Quran the Sunni brothers interpreted them based on their own opinions and without paying attention to any traditions, other interpretations, and the general principles which relate to the verses of the Quran.

  1. No indeed! They will be alienated from their Lord on that day.[5]

This doesn’t mean that they will be deprived of knowing Allah, but, surely, they will be covered from the mercy of their Lord instead. Because, everything which prevents us from knowing Allah will be removed on the Day of Judgment. As a result, all creatures will be able to know Allah completely as in other verse of the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: “The day when they will emerge [from their graves], nothing about them will be hidden from Allah.” To whom does the sovereignty belong today?”” To Allah, the One, the All-paramount!””.[6] And He also says: “On that day Allah will pay them in full their due recompense, and they shall know that Allah is the Manifest Reality”.[7]

  1. And neglect the hereafter. Some faces on that day shall be bright. Looking to their Lord.[8]

This means that they will be able to see Allah, the Almighty by their own heart and through the reality of their faith. Because, seeing Allah (SWT) through the outer physical eye is absolutely impossible as in the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: “When Moses arrived at Our tryst and his Lord spoke to him, he said,” My Lord, show] Yourself [to me, that I may look at You!” He said,” You shall not see Me. But look at the mountain: if it abides in its place, then you will see Me.” So when his Lord disclosed Himself to the mountain, He leveled it, and Moses fell down swooning. And when he recovered, he said,” Immaculate are You! I turn to You in penitence, and I am the first of the faithful.””[9]

Is it possible to see God? If so, then how?

If what we mean by seeing God is seeing Him through the outer physical eye, it something totally ruled out both by the intellect and Islamic sources.

The intellect: the action of seeing takes place only when things are exposed to light beams and their reflection is captured by the eye. This means that there should firstly be an external thing present and secondly it should be captured by the eye in the field of vision. Based on this we cannot see things which are behind us, whereas God is not a physical entity and He does not have the physical features of a physical being. Therefore He cannot be seen with the naked eye.

Islamic sources: There are verses in the Holy Quran and traditions which stipulate the impossibility of seeing God.

  1. a) The Holy Quran says:

1 – O Moses you can never see me.[10]

2 – The eyes cannot see Him.[11]

  1. b) Traditions: “God never appears before the eyes”[12]

“The eyes have never seen you”[13] and “The eyes will never see him openly”.[14]

But if what we mean by seeing God is seeing Him through an inner witnessing and witnessing the light of the names and attributes of God in the heart, within the limits that human beings have then it is possible. Imam Ali (a) says: “Hearts can perceive Him”.[15] In another tradition he says to Za’lab: “Shame on you! Eyes cannot see Him but the hearts can.”[16]

For further information on this issue:

Index: Whoever knows himself knows his Lord / Man Arafa Nafsahu, Faqad Arafa Rabbahu, answer 274.

Index: Jannatul Firdaus (Garden of Paradise) is the paradise which God has made of gold and silver, answer 338.

[1] . Saduq, Al-Tawhid, pg. 91.

[2] . “May the station of that whom interprets the Quran according to his own personal opinion be filled with fire”, Razi, Fakhruddin Abu-Abdillah Muhammad ibn Umar, Mafatihul-Gheyb, vol. 7, pg. 148.

[3] . “لا يَمَسُّهُ إِلاَّ الْمُطَهَّرُون” Waqi’ah: 79.

[4] . Surah Ahzaab, Verse 33.

[5] . Sûrat-ul-Mutaffifîn, verse 15.

[6] . Surah Ghafir, verse 16.

[7] . Surah Noor, verse 25; Tafsir al-Mizan, Vol. 20, Pg. 386.

[8] . Surah Qiyamah, verses 21,22 & 23.

[9] . Surah Aaraf, verse 143; Tafsir al-Mizan, Vol. 20, Pg. 178.

[10] . Surah Aaraaf, Verse 143.

[11] . Surah Anaam, Verse 103.

[12] . Nahjul Balagha sermon: 49.

[13] . Nahjul Balagha sermon: 109.

[14] . Nahjul Balagha sermon: 179.

[15] . Nahjul Balagha sermon: 179.

[16] . Mizan Al Hekmat, Vol. 6, P. 190, Hadith: 12095.

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