Conversations in Paradise and Hell (part 1 of 2): Talking to Angels
Description: What our lifelong companions will say to us as we enter our eternal abode.
By Aisha Stacey (© 2012 IslamReligion.com)Published on 17 Dec 2012 - Last modified on 24 Dec 2012
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Category: Articles > The Hereafter > Paradise
Category: Articles > The Hereafter > Hellfire
We begin with a new series of articles about the conversations that take place in Paradise and Hell. It is hoped, that by reminding ourselves of what has been described to us of Paradise and Hell, we will be able to experience and imagine the events that will take place when we come face to face with our abode in the Hereafter.
Why does God let us hear these conversations? The Quran is filled with not just descriptions of Paradise and Hell, but conversations, dialogues, discourses and intellectual discussions. When similar scenarios are repeated over and over it is an indication that God is saying, pay attention. It is therefore incumbent upon us to do just that - pay careful attention, with either hope for the blissful abode known as Paradise or seek to protect ourselves from the fires of Hell. Information is repeated over and over in order to make us think long and hard.
In the following articles we will look at several different categories of conversations. The conversations of the angels with the people of Paradise and with the people of the Hellfire, the conversations that take place between the people of Paradise and Hell with their family members, and the conversations God has with the people of both Paradise and Hell. In addition to this we will look at what the people of both Paradise and Hell say between themselves, to each other and their internal dialogues. Let us begin with the conversations between the angels and the people of the Hereafter.
Conversing with Angels
Angels are amongst human beings from our beginning until the very end. They are responsible for breathing the souls into the foetuses, they sit on our shoulders recording good and bad deeds and they extract the souls from our bodies at the point of death. As we enter our eternal abode, our afterlife, they are with us and we will be able to converse with them.
The People of Paradise
The eternal abode of those who have lived their lives with patience in the face of adversity, and strived to be righteous through times of difficulty and ease, is the eternal garden we call Paradise. When the people who will spend eternity in Paradise enter into their new home the angels will greet them. These are the gatekeepers of Paradise and they will say enter here in peace, because of your patience. Paradise is a place of eternal serenity and total satisfaction.
And those who kept their duty to their Lord will be led to Paradise in groups, till, when they reach it, and its gates will be opened (before their arrival for their reception) and its keepers will say: Salamun ‘Alaikum (peace be upon you)! You have done well, so enter here to abide therein.” (Quran 39:73)
All sense of injury or pain will be removed from their hearts. They will reply to the angels by praising God, and the conversation continues.
…”All the praises and thanks be to God, Who has guided us to this, and never could we have found guidance, were it not that God had guided us! Indeed, the Messengers of our Lord did come with the truth.” And it will be cried out to them: “This is the Paradise which you have inherited for what you used to do.” (Quran 7:43)
The people of the Hell fire
The conversations that will take place between the people of the Hellfire and the angels will be entirely different. The dwellers of the Hellfire will be having an entirely different experience. Instead of waiting eagerly to be entered into their eternal abode the people destined for Hell will have to be herded and dragged by the angels in charge of the fire. As the bereft people are cast into it the angels will say, “Didn’t a warner come to you?”
It almost bursts up with fury. Every time a group is cast therein, its keeper will ask: “Did no warner come to you?” They will say: “Yes, indeed a warner did come to us, but we belied him and said: ‘Allah never sent down anything (of revelation); you are only in great error.’“ And they will say: “Had we but listened or used our intelligence, we would not have been among the dwellers of the blazing Fire!” (Quran 67:8-10)
This however was not the first time these dwellers of the fire carried on a conversation with the angels. When the angel of death and his assistants gather to remove the souls of such people they ask pointedly, where are those you worshipped besides God? Because at this stage of a person’s life his idols are conspicuously absent.
…when Our Messengers (the angel of death and his assistants) come to them to take their souls, they (the angels) will say: “Where are those whom you used to invoke and worship besides God,” they will reply, “They have vanished and deserted us.” And they will bear witness against themselves, that they were disbelievers. (Quran 7:37)
After some period of time the dwellers of the Hellfire begin to lose all hope. They have been calling out to God but getting no response, so they begin to beg the angels, the gatekeepers. Call on your Lord they say, ask Him to lighten our punishment. The angels respond with words that increases their disappointment.
And those in the Fire will say to the keepers (angels) of Hell: “Call upon your Lord to lighten for us the torment for a day!”They will say: “Did there not come to you, your Messengers with (clear) evidence (and signs)?” They will say: “Yes.” They will reply: “Then call (as you like)! … (Quran 40:49-50)
Conversations in Paradise and Hell (part 2 of 2): Dialogues and Discussions
Description: More conversations that will take place between and amongst the people of Paradise and the dwellers of the Hellfire
By Aisha Stacey (© 2012 IslamReligion.com)Published on 24 Dec 2012 - Last modified on 24 Dec 2012
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Category: Articles > The Hereafter > Paradise
Category: Articles > The Hereafter > Hellfire
Conversations between the people of Paradise and the people of Hell
The dialogue that takes place between the people of Paradise and the people whose abode is the Hellfire is mentioned in several places in the Quran. When we read and ponder over these verses it is incumbent upon us to reflect and try to learn something from the despair of those who face the horrors of hell. We should taste their fear and learn from their mistakes. Reading about them in the Quran allows us to experience something of their pain but it also allows us to see how easily we can avoid this destination.
In Paradise they will ask one another about the guilty (polytheists, criminals, and disbelievers), (and they will ask them), “What has caused you to enter Hell?” They will say: “We were not of those who used to offer the prayer, nor did we feed the poor; and we used to talk falsehood (all that which God hated) with vain talkers and we used to belie the Day of Recompense, until there came to us (the death) that is certain.” (Quran 74:40-47)
The dwellers of Paradise will call out to the dwellers of Hell: “We have found that what our Lord promised us is true. Have you found that what your Lord promised you is true?” They will say: “Yes, we have!”... (Quran 7:44)
The dwellers of Hell will call out to the dwellers of Paradise: “Throw down some water to us, or some of what Allah has provided you with.” They will say: “God has forbidden them to the disbelievers.” (Quran 7: 50)
It is clear that the suffering of those in Hell is increased by them being able to see and hear the blessings bestowed upon the dwellers of Paradise.
Conversations the dwellers of Paradise have between themselves
The Words of God, in the Quran, tell us that the dwellers of Paradise will ask each other about their past lives.
“And they will approach one another, inquiring of each other. They will say, “Aforetime we were afraid with our families [of the punishment of God], but God has been gracious to us, and has saved us from the torment of the Fire.” (Quran 52:25-27)
The majority of verses describing the conversations amongst the people of Paradise confirm that they will continue their righteous behaviour by praising and thanking God for the blessings He has bestowed upon them. Although they had believed the promise of God to be true and thus behaved accordingly, the supreme magnificence of Paradise overwhelms them with gratitude.
And they will say: “All the praises and thanks be to God Who has removed from us (all) grief. Verily, our Lord is indeed Oft-Forgiving, Most Ready to appreciate (good deeds and to recompense). Who, out of His Grace, has lodged us in a home that will last forever, where toil will touch us not nor weariness will touch us.” (Quran 35:34-35)
And they will say: “All the praises and thanks be to God Who has fulfilled His Promise to us and has made us inherit (this) land. We can dwell in Paradise where we will; how excellent is the reward of those who labour!” (Quran 39:74)
Conversations the People of the Hellfire have amongst themselves
When the people destined to spend eternity in the Hellfire have been herded into the fire, they will be shocked that the people or idols they had trusted and followed are not able to help them. The leaders, those Quran calls the arrogant, admit to their weaker followers that they were themselves astray. Thus anyone who followed them, followed them into a life bereft of mercy.
And they will turn on one another accusingly. They will say: “You came to us from a position of power [i.e. ordered us for polytheism, and stopped us from the truth].” They will reply: “No! It was you who would not believe - we had no authority over you - and you were already exceeding all limits. Our Lord’s sentence on us is just and we must all taste the punishment. We led you astray as we ourselves were astray.” (Quran 37:27-32)
And they all shall appear before Allah (on the Day of Resurrection); then the weak will say to those who were arrogant, “Verily, we were following you; can you avail us anything against God’s Torment?” They will say: “Had God guided us, we would have guided you. It makes no difference to us (now) whether we rage, or bear (these torments) with patience; there is no place of refuge for us.” (Quran 14:21)
And when the matter is decided, that is the matter of who is destined for Paradise and who is destined for Hell, the Hellfire’s most infamous, notorious occupant, Satan himself will reveal a great truth. It is a truth and scenario that God revealed to us in the Quran, but one that many people did not take seriously. That he, Satan, was a liar. Satan’s promises were never going to be fulfilled, his promises were empty and he himself believed in God.
And Satan will say when the matter has been decided: “Verily, God promised you a promise of truth. And I too promised you, but I betrayed you. I had no authority over you except to called you, and you responded to my call. So do not blame me but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me. I deny your former act in associating me (Satan) as a partner with God (by obeying me in the life of the world). Verily, there is a painful torment for the wrong-doers.” (Quran 14:22)
|Parts of This Article|
|Conversations in Paradise and Hell (part 1 of 2): Talking to Angels|
|Conversations in Paradise and Hell (part 2 of 2): Dialogues and Discussions|
|View all parts together|