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Ashra Mubashra, the ten Sahaba Promised Paradise

Question 221: Assalamu alikum, what u think about ashabs esp Abu bakr, umer n usman? Why u call them bidati, did prophet consider them as munafiq. And also explain your views regarding ashr-e-mubashara. thank you.

Answer 221: According to Shia school of thought, such traditions are classified into da’if (weak) and are considered as fake. The following are some reasons by which these ahadith have been rejected. Read More

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Can Sunnis Go To Heaven / Types of Non-Muslims

Question 317: Guys, I am Al-Sunni, Will I go to Jannat? Generally, can Sunnis Go To Heaven?

Answer 317: Those who weren’t Muslim can be divided into two categories:

1- The infidels and rejecters of faith: Those who knew Islam was the true religion, yet refused to accept it out of negligence and other personal reasons. This group deserve to go to Hell and remain there forever.

2- Those who never heard of Islam or what they heard of was a small part of it, making it resemble other religions that they knew were false. Such people will be saved given they were sincere in their own religions.

Islam says these people will have a chance if they had followed their own religions; religions that were in harmony with their human nature.

The same things that were said go for those who were Muslim, but didn’t hear about Imam Ali (as) or heard very little.
In a nutshell, all of those whom the truth hasn’t reached not as a result of shortcoming and not striving for the truth, don’t deserve to go to Hell, because it is the place for the sinners, and those who tried but never found the truth aren’t considered sinners and negligent.

The criterion for going to Paradise and Hell, according to the Quran, are a person’s deeds. A person’s individual profile shall not be taken into consideration because there must be a difference between one who is wholeheartedly believing in Islam and one who is just accepting it. God, the Exalted, says to those who claim to be believing Muslims: “Say, We submit; and faith has not yet entered into your hearts.”

Reciting the Two Testimonies (Shahaadatayn) makes a person Muslim; he enters the pale of Islam by reciting them. That is to say, the two testimonies have something to do with the aspects of his worldly, legal and social life. One who converts to Islam enjoys certain rights which a non-Muslim does not. However, being entitled to Paradise is something beyond this. That is to say, in order for a person to enter Paradise, not only submission to God is necessary but hearty belief and good deeds are also required. That is to say practical backing is essential for gaining divine reward.

Conclusively, if a person is not up to the standards and criteria for going to Paradise as mentioned in the Quran, mere qualification by the term Shia or Islam would not save him from divine punishment or entering Hell.

In conclusion, we must say that man’s deeds have been considered to be the criterion for entering Paradise. Nominal Shi’ism or Islamic identifications do not save a person from Hell fire. Hence, based on Quranic verses and sayings from the Infallible Imams, peace be upon them, Muslims and Shias who do not act upon God’s injunctions and who do not stay away from prohibitions and have not fulfilled His commands will be deprived of divine mercy and blessings and will be subjected to punishment in Hell. When it comes to whether the punishments are eternal or not or what the nature of the rewards and punishments is and how intercession works, all of these should be discussed in their appropriate place.

At the end, it should be noted that our answer to the question does not mean that being Shia has no role in one’s entering the Paradise and that whoever does good deeds, be he a non-Shia, will be entitled to Paradise. Because we believe that thought and good deeds are both important and they are like two wings with which an individual flies to eternal felicity and happiness.[1]

Paradise is an indisputable vow of Allah (swt).[2] The question is, who are those who will go to paradise? Considering the collection of verses on this matter, the answer is[3] meaning that there is one condition and that is being a “Mumin” [believer]. Another question comes to mind; who are the believers and what are their traits? Is it enough to recite the Shahaadatayn to be a believer?[4] Those who go to heaven are those who have completely obeyed Allah (swt) and His messenger (pbuh). How is one to obey them? Once again, taking into consideration the verses on this issue, the things that Allah (swt) and His messenger want from us can be summed up into two categories: beliefs and actions.[5] (Indeed those who have faith and do righteous deeds, for them will be gardens with streams running in them).

So:
– As long as we don’t obey the prophet (pbuh), we aren’t considered obedient.

– Obedience is both in action and in belief

– Obeying the prophet (pbuh) in some of what he has asked us to do isn’t considered true complete obedience!

What is the outcome of faith and good deeds?

According to the Quran, the fruit of these two is “taqwa” (piety), and those who are pious will enter paradise for sure:[6]

Conclusion of what was said till now: The essence of salvation is taqwa which means to completely obey all of Allah’s (swt) and His messenger’s (pbuh) commands.

Although taqwa has different degrees, the least needed to possess it is to perform all wajib duties and refrain from all sins. So a prerequisite to taqwa would be to learn about what things are wajib and what things are forbidden and haram in Islam so that we can perform and refrain from them respectfully.

One of the prophet’s (pbuh) most important commands is to know and obey his true successors (imams).[7] Clearly, anyone who doesn’t believe in them verbally, in the heart and in his/her actions, cannot be considered a true believer and righteous person and lacks taqwa, because he hasn’t obeyed the prophet (pbuh) in one of the most important things he has asked us to do.

Significant Point: According to verse 59 of surah Nisa, obeying “those vested with authority” is obligatory, to the extent that obeying them has been considered equal to obeying Allah (swt) and their disobedience, His disobedience. What needs to be mentioned here is that they must be infallible, making them invulnerable to any form of sin and even mistake. It isn’t true to say that anyone who becomes ruler of the Muslim nation, falls under the category of “those vested with authority”, because if those vested with authority weren’t to be infallible, there would always be chances of their commands not being in correspondence with Allah’s (swt) and His messenger’s (pbuh), hence the discrepancy between the order of obeying Allah (swt) and obeying those vested with authority [for instance, if the imams were mistakenly to say something isn’t mandatory, while Allah (swt) says it is, there is clear contradiction between saying both Allah (swt) and they have to be obeyed; it is impossible!].
Now that we have spoken about how believing in the imams plays a role in our salvation [which was that since it is obedience of one of the prophet’s (pbuh) most important commands, it is part of taqwa], it is good to speak a bit about what role the imams play in the salvation of people and society and in whether one will go to heaven or hell.[8]

The impact of believing in the imam on one’s salvation: Keeping in mind what was said above, here we will speak of the concept of salvation and success; what it is in this world and the next and the role belief in the imam plays in bringing salvation.

  1. a) The concept of salvation: Each and every person has his/her own perception of salvation and happiness, but it seems this variety in views isn’t to the benefit of those who are in pursuit of the truth. So it’s better to seek the true meaning from that who is to divide all people into the two groups of those who have reached salvation and those who don’t and are at loss.
    When Allah (swt) wants to describe one of His successful servants, Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh), this is how He does it:[9] (And verily, Ibrahim was a true follower Of Nuh; He came towards his Creator and Nurturer With a pure heart). He also quotes him saying:

“Do not disgrace me on the day that they will be resurrected; the day when neither wealth nor children will avail; except him who comes to Allah with a pure heart”. [10]

As you can see, a pure heart has been emphasized in these verses. What can be deduced is that one reaches salvation when he/she lives in a way that when the time to part this world and meet Allah (swt) arrives, he/she has a pure heart.
What is interesting is that after verse 89 of surah Shu’ara [that says “except him who comes to Allah (swt) with a pure heart], the verse comes, which means: “[And on the Day of Judgement] Paradise is drawn near to the muttaqin or pious people”. The message this verse conveys is that the outcome of having a pure heart is to have taqwa, and that paradise is the reward of those who bear taqwa.

Conclusion: Happiness and salvation are contingent upon having a pure heart, and a sign if having it is taqwa. The person who has truly reached salvation is one who possesses a pure heart.

  1. b) The role believing in an imam plays in one reaching salvation: Many Sunni and Shia scholars have narrated the following hadith; a portion of it will be narrated here:

The prophet (pbuh) told Ali (as): “Prophet Musa’s (pbuh) nation was split into seventy-one sects in which only one of those sects was delivered while all the others would go to Hell; Prophet Isa’s (pbuh) nation was split into seventy-two groups in which only one of them was delivered and the rest all companions of the Hellfire; my nation will also be split into seventy-three groups in which only one of them will be delivered, while the rest will all go to Hell. Imam Ali (as) asked: “O Messenger of Allah (swt)! Which of them is to be delivered?” He answered: “Those who go your way and the way of your followers and embrace it.”[11]

Baridah Aslami [whom the Sunnis believe to be one of the prophet’s (pbuh) companions] quotes the prophet (pbuh) saying that what is meant by “the straight path” in surah Fatihah that says “guide us to the straight path” is Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his progeny.[12]

The prophet (pbuh) has said: “Whoever wishes to swiftly pass “the bridge of sirat” [on the Day of Judgment] like a typhoon and enter paradise without any reckoning, has to accept my friend, successor, companion and the one to take my place after me over my progeny, Ali ibn Abi Taleb.” If anyone desires to go to Hell, then he should: “disregard his [Ali’s (as)] authority, for by my lord’s glory and magnificence, he [Ali (as)] is the only door to Allah (swt) and the straight path and the one whose authority and imamate will be asked of on the Day of Judgment [from the rest of the people].”[13]

For further information in this regards, please refer to the following answer:

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

Index: Barzakh / Everyone Shall Enter the Hell, answer 326.

Index: Rest, Rain and Snow in the Heaven, answer 325.

[1] . Hujraat, 14.

[2]  . “مثل الجنة التی وعد المتقون” Muhammad: 47.

[3] . Tawbah: 72.

[4] . Nisa’:13.

[5] . Buruj:11.

[6] . Ale-Imran:15.

[7] . Nisa’:59; Shura:23; Al-Mustadrak alal-Sahihain, vol. 3, pg. 109.

[8] . Of course, the subject of the need of people for an imam is one that calls for an extensive discussion, in which isn’t the theme of this article.

[9] . Saffat:83-84.

[10] . Shu’ara:87-89.

[11] . Asqalani, Al-Isabah fi Tamyeezil-Sahabah, vol. 2, pg. 174.

[12] . Sayyid Shahabuddin Shafe’I, Rashfatul-Sadi, pg. 25; Sheikh Salman Hanafi, Yanabi’ul-Mawaddah, pg. 114.

[13] . Haskani, Shawahidul-Tanzil, vol. 1, pp. 51 and 90.

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Four of the Prophets are Alive / two are in the Heavens and tow are in Land

Question 277: Assalamu alayka ya dear brothers and sisters wa rahmatullahi wa barakatoh. Can someone briefly relate me what states have Hazrat Idris (a.s.), Hazrat Khidr (a.s.), Hazrat Iliya (a.s.) reach, if there are differences between each of theirs states, how they reach these states, and what is their present and future relation with our 12th Imam (mAhhr) ?

I ask this because, I heard that there are five persons that literaly elevated to heaven before death and taken to unknown celestial realm and continue to live there, each one of them are in different state, until the reapparenc oh the Mahdi (mAhhr).

May Allah reward you.

Answer 277: Four of the prophets are alive two of whom are in the heavens: Jesus and Edris, and two of them are in the land: Khidr and Elias, Ilyas (Elias). As for Khidr, he is in the sea but his companion is in the land.”[1]

Prophet Jesus: In the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says about the Prophet Jesus (as) as follows: “and for their saying,” We killed the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, the apostle of Allah” though they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but so it was made to appear to them. Indeed those who differ concerning him are surely in doubt about him: they do not have any knowledge of that beyond following conjectures, and certainly they did not kill him”.[2]

In other verse of the holy Quran Allah, the Almighty says: “When Allah said,” O Jesus, I shall take you] r soul [, and I shall raise you up toward Myself[3]”.

According to the previous verses of the holy Quran, we can come to the conclusion that the Prophet Jesus (as) is still alive. He is in the Heaven, though, considering the meaning of the word ‘Mutawaffika‘’ mentioned in the verse, the Prophet’s soul had been taken and He brought back to Allah, according to some interpreters of the holy Quran. [4]

Prophet Ilyas: It is said that Prophet Ilyas (Elias) is in the Heaven, too. He had been inviting people of the Baalbek to the Prophet Musa’s Shariah Law for 22 years. Some say that Prophet Ilyas is Prophet Idris (Enoch). They say: He was one of the Harun’s children and the Prophet Khidr’s brother.[5]

Prophet Khidr: Khidr is one of the four prophets recognizes as being alive. It is said that He drank from the water of life and is alive forever. He is at the Sa’sa’ah and Sahlah Mosques. Sayyid ibn Tawus narrated that when Imam Ali (as) martyred Prophet Khidr participated in the funeral. He went to Imam Hasan and Hussain (pbuth) condoled them and showed them the place of the Prophet Noah’s (as) grave.[6]

Some hadiths and verses of the Quran imply that he was a prophet and messenger of Allah (swt) to his tribe and people, to invite them to tawhid (the oneness of God) and accepting Allah’s (swt) prophets and the divine books. His miracle was that whenever desired, he could revive any dead and dry branch or dry and barren land, making it green again, thus being given the title “Khidhr”. His real name is Talya ibn Malekan ibn Aber ibn Arafkhshad (ارفخشد) ibn Sam ibn Nuh.

As for the prolonged life of this prophet, we would like to draw your attention to a hadith from Imam Sadiq (as): “… As for the servant of Allah (swt) Khidr, Allah (swt) extended his life, but not because of his prophetic mission, nor in order to reveal a book onto him, nor to nullify through him, the religion of the past prophets, nor for him to become leader to a nation following him, nor for the obedience that Allah (swt) had made obligatory upon him, but He (Allah (swt)) extended his life because He chosen to lengthen the occultation of the Qa’im (Imam Mahdi (as)) and knew that some of the people would begin doubting about him as a result, so He lengthened the life of this good servant of His in order for it to be reason for accepting the long life of the Qa’im and so that his life would be compared with the imam’s, rejecting the objection and criticism of the enemies and the bad-minded.[7]

He is, without a doubt, still alive and is currently more than six thousand years old.[8]

Prophet Idris: According to the following verse of the Holy Quran in which Allah (SWT) says about the Prophet Idris, He is still alive. “And mention in the Book Idris. Indeed he was a truthful one, a prophet”.[9]

The two Prophets who are in the Heaven, Prophet Idris and Jesus. And the two are still alive and are in the land, Prophet Khidr and Ilyas.

Prophet Idris’ name mentioned twice in the Quran, he has revered and celebrated as truthful, prophet, patient, righteous etc. Prophet Idris is among the grandsons of Prophet Seth reaching Adam (a.s.) through five intermediaries. One of his grandfathers is Prophet Noah (a.s.). Most historians have said that he lived 365 years before his ascension, or his death according to another report. Based on narrations, four of the prophets are still alive two of whom i.e. Prophet Khizr and Prophet Ilyas (Elias), peace be upon them, are living on earth and the two others i.e. Prophet Idris and Prophet Jesus, peace be upon them are in the heavens.

Allamah Tabatabai (RA) interpreting the verse 65 of Surah al-Kahf (Then they found one from among Our servants whom We had granted mercy from Us and whom We had taught knowledge from Ourselves[10]) appertained to Prophet Moses (AS) and Prophet Khidr (AS) quotes narrations from a number of Sunni and Shia sources about some prophets being alive.

Among the narrations he has quoted is a tradition from Jalaluddin in his Al-Durr al-Manthur which is narrated from Shahin from Khasif that says:[11]

«أربعة من الأنبیاء أحیاء اثنان فی السماء: عیسى و إدریس، و اثنان فی الأرض الخضر و إلیاس- فأما الخضر فإنه فی البحر و أما صاحبه فإنه فی البر»

It is noteworthy that this narration is also available in Shia sources but it is narrated from Sunni sources.[12]

Those Prophets and Imams (pbuth) who will return and accompany Imam Mahdi’s (ajtf) reappearance: The Holy Prophet (pbuh) says: “When the Twelfth Imam (aj) appears and leadership is passed on to him, at that time, the Prophet (pbuh) and Amir al-Muminin (as) shall appear. Amir al-Muminin will carry with him a cane and a branding iron.[13]

Upon the cane there is a figure which reads ‘bismillah’ (in the name of Allah), which he will use to mark the foreheads of those who are believers. The figure upon the branding iron reads ‘bismilkafir’ (in the name of disbelievers), which he will use to brand the foreheads of the disbelievers. This way, believers and disbelievers will once again be distinguished. At that time, all of the Imams (as) shall return to assist Amir al-Muminin (as) and Imam Mahdi (aj). Prophets who endures much hardship and strife in the way of Allah, such as Zakariyyah (Zachary), Yahya (John), Hizqil (Ezekiel), and other Prophets which were injured or killed at the hands of the disbelievers shall also return to this world. Verily, news has been given to me of their reappearance to bring about swift retribution to their killers and oppressors as well as seek justice from those who spilt the blood of Hussain (as).”[14]

Narrations pertaining to the reappearance of the Twelfth Imam (aj) state that Prophet Isa (Jesus) (as) shall be once again sent to this world at the permission of Allah. He shall appear before everyone as one of the companions of Imam Mahdi (aj) and shall stand in prayer behind the Imam. It is narrated that the Holy Prophet said: “I swear by that which has instated me as a bearer of the truth, if there remains but one day to this world, Allah shall prolong that day until my son Mahdi (aj) reappears. After his reappearance, Prophet Isa (Jesus) Ruhollah (as) will descend to this world and will stand in prayer behind the Imam. It is then that Allah shall light up the world with His Light, and the government of Imam Mahdi shall encompass everywhere from east to west.”

Imam Sadiq (as) says: The first Imam to return is Imam Hussein (as), after which he will govern [the Islamic nation] for a lengthy period of time. He will govern for so many years that his eyebrows will cover his eyes as a result of old age.[15]

[1] . Tabatabai, Sayyid Muhammad Hussein, Al-Mizan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an, vol.13, p. 353, Islamic Publications Office, Qom, fifth edition, 1417.

[2] . Surah al-Nisa, verse 157.

[3] . Surah Ale Emran, verse 55.

[4] . Tafsir Nemooneh, Vol. 2, Pg. 431.

[5] . Emad Zadeh Esfahani, Qasas Qurani, Pg. 680.

[6] . Ibid.

[7] . Kamaluddin, vol. 3, pg. 357; Biharul-Anwar, vol. 51, pg. 222.

[8] . Yawmul-Khalas, pg. 157.

[9] . Surah Maryam, verse 56.

[10] . Surah Kahf, verse 65. «فَوَجَدا عَبْداً مِنْ عِبادِنا آتَیناهُ رَحْمَةً مِنْ عِنْدِنا وَ عَلَّمْناهُ مِنْ لَدُنَّا عِلْماً»

[11] . Suyuti, Jalaluddin, al-Durr al-Manthur fi Tafsir al-Ma’thur, vol.4, p. 239, Ayatollah Mar’ashi Najafi Library, Qom, 1404 A.H.

[12] . Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir, Behar al-Anwar, vol13, p. 402, Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, second dition, 1403 A.H; Ibn Tavus, Ali bin Musa, Sa’ad al-Saud Lil-Nofus Mandhud, p. 163 – 164, Dar al-Dhakhaer, Qom, first edition (date missing).

[13] . In Arabic: میسم.

[14] . Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir, Biharul-Anwar, translation of 13th volume by Davani, pg.1165.

[15] . Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir, Biharul-Anwar, vol. 53, pg.46.

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Barzakh / Everyone Shall Enter the Hell

Question 326: Do believers go to hell? Or they suffer only Barzakh?

Answer 326: In the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: And there is not one of you but shall come to it, This is an unavoidable decree of your Lord. And We will deliver those who guarded (against evil), and We will leave the unjust therein on their knees. [1]

The interpreters of the holy Quran have different opinions about this previous mentioned verse of the holy Quran as follows: Read More

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Rest, Rain and Snow in the Heaven

Question 325: 1) Does it rain in heaven? 2) May we can rest in heaven?

Answer 325: A 1: According to the Holy Quran, the answer to your question is yes. There you will have all that you desire such as rain, snow and etc. and there are other blissful things with Allah, the Almighty which we have no knowledge of. This means that Allah (SW) will grant us anything even more than we deserve. In the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: “There they will have whatever they wish, and with Us there is yet more.”

The Arabic version of this verse is as follows:
لَهُمْ ما يَشاؤُنَ فيها وَ لَدَيْنا مَزيد
Also, there is another verse of the holy Quran in which Allah (SWT) says: “And you shall have therein what your souls desire and you shall have therein what you ask for”.
The Arabic version:
وَ لَكُمْ فيها ما تَشْتَهي‏ أَنْفُسُكُمْ وَ لَكُمْ فيها ما تَدَّعُون‏

A 2: If you want to stop being active for a period of time in order to relax and get back your strength, you need to rest. But, you won’t feel tiered or lose your strength to get it back by resting in the Heaven.
In the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says in this regards: “Abiding therein; they shall not desire removal from them”. So, we won’t get bored in the Heaven, but in the World. Because, Life of the world is only a (passing) enjoyment, and surely the hereafter is the abode to settle.
If we ourselves want to rest in the Heaven we would be able to, but it doesn’t mean that we get bored or lose our strength in order to get it back by.