Effects & Metaphorical Forms of Some Deeds in the Intermediate World (Barzakh), By Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi

Translated By: Maulana Yusuf Talal Ali Delorenzo

In the world of Barzakh, one’s deeds take on an allegorical aspect through which the projected forms of those deeds may be ascertained.

Imam Bukhari (R.A) relates on the authority of Samura ibn Jundub that the Prophet ﷺ used to ask his companions about their dreams. Whenever anyone of them had a dream of significance he would ·relate it to the Prophet ﷺ who would then interpret it.

One morning the Prophet ﷺ said, “Last night I dreamt that two men came and took me away. In the course of our travels, we came upon a man stretched out on the ground. Another man stood over him and, with great rock, smashed the other’s skull. I watched speechlessly as the rock rolled away from the man’s maimed and mangled head. But before I could utter a word his head had healed. Again the other took up a rock and sent it hurtling into his skull.

I turned to my companions in amazement and said, ‘Glory be to Allah! Who are these two?’

We went on a little further and passed by a man on his back and another standing over him with a pair of iron pincers m in his hands. He was using them to cut away, first, one side of the other’s mouth to his ear, and then, the other. By the lime he had finished with the second side of his face, the first had healed. Then he started cutting all over again.

‘Glory be to Allah!’ said. The only reply they gave me was to say, ‘Move on.’

We went on a little further and found a great oven from which there issued the clamor of great confusion. We looked inside and were confronted with the vision of a host of naked men and women. From beneath them, a flame had begun to· rise that sent them scattering up the walls of the oven in terror.

I asked, ‘Who are these people?’ The only reply I received was, ‘Move on’.

We went on a little further until we reached a blood-red river in which a man was swimming. On the shore stood another man and beside him, there was a pile of stones. When the swimmer tried to gain a landing on the shore, the man took a stone from the pile and threw it into the swimmer’s face. The swimmer turned back, but when he reached midstrea1n he turned about and began again to head for shore., When he c.ame close enough, the man on shore pelted him square in the face with another stone.

I asked, ‘Who are these two?’ The ‘only reply l received was, ‘Move on.’

We went on a little further and passed by a man uglier than any I had ever seen. He was lighting a fire before himself, and soon its flames were circling all around him.

I asked who he was?. The reply came, ‘Move on.’

We went on a little further until we came to a garden filled with every imaginable variety of spring flowers. In the middle of the garden stood a man so tall that in order to see his head I had to lie on the ground and lookup. He was surrounded there in the garden by a great number of children.

I asked, ‘What garden is this, and who are these people?’ The only answer I received was, ‘Move on.’

We went on a little further until we came to a great towering tree more beautiful than any tree I had ever before seen.

My two companions ordered me to climb it. When we had gained the top we found ourselves at the gates of a city whose buildings were constructed of gold and silver bricks. We called for the gates to be opened and when they were; we entered. Once inside, we were greeted by people whose bodies were, on one side, extremely beautiful, and, on the other side, utterly grotesque in appearance. My two companions ordered them to go and dive into the river that flowed nearby and whose waters were milky white. This they did and, when they returned, their ugliness had completely disappeared.

My two companions turned to me and said, ‘This place is called ‘Jannat ul ‘Adan’ (the Garden of Eden). Look up into the sky. The place you see there up above, that looks so much like a cloud, is yours.

I said, ‘May Allah reward you! Leave me now. I wish to go to my home.’

They replied, ‘Not now. You will be allowed to go after a while.’

Then I said to them, ‘We have certainly seen some amazing sights this evening. Won’t you tell me what it all means?’

They answered by explaining that the man we had seen whose head was continually being smashed was a man who had learned the Qur’an and then neglected it to the extent that he gave up performing prayers regularly. The man we had seen whose face was continually being ripped open was a liar who used to set out at daybreaks telling lies until they had, by sundown, spread far and wide. The naked men and women we had seen in the oven were fornicators. The swimmer who had his face bashed in by stones thrown from shore was a usurer. The hideous man we had seen kindling the fire was Malik, the Caretaker of Hell. The tall man in the garden was the Prophet Sayyidna Ibrahim and the children around him were those who had died in childhood and were too young ‘then to have been corrupted away from the natural (Fitra) religion.”

At this point, the Prophet ﷺ was interrupted in his narration by one of his companions who asked if the children of the Mushrikeen (polytheists), were also among that number. The Prophet ﷺ replied that yes, the children of the Mushrikeen were there too.

Then he, Allah grant him peace and blessings, continued with his narration saying, “The people whose one side was beautiful and other was ugly were those who had combined a good deed with another which was evil. Then, they were forgiven by Allah and were cleansed.” The aspects that certain worldly deeds will assume in Barzakh as mentioned in the above Hadith are quite explicit, though the relationships therein are somewhat obscure. None the less, after a little consideration these too should become evident. For example, the link between one’s telling a Ii and his having his mouth gashed open to the ears is as plain to see as that between the fornicator’s being overcome by the fire of passion in this world and the fires of chastisement in the next. In the same way, one should attempt to envisage his every deed.

Source: Jaza ul Aamal, By Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi

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