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Torture within Quranist Viewpoint (3): The Taste of Torture/Torment

Torture within Quranist Viewpoint (3): The Taste of Torture/Torment

Published in September 11, 2017

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

 

Introduction:

1- Human beings consist of souls and bodies; souls belong to the Barsakh realm, and they come from it to settle into fetuses and embryos of human beings. Souls control the human bodies in all stages: babies, children, adults, and old age. Souls control bodies like drivers behind the wheels of cars. Souls are set free temporarily, on a daily basis, from the prison of the human bodies during sleep. When the preordained time comes, one's soul leave one's body forever by death, and the soul returns to the Barsakh realm from which it originally came in the first place.    

2- The senses of the human body are controlled by the brain, which is located in the highest part of the body inside the skull; thus, the human brain is the center of controlling the soul. Thus, it is the soul that feels pleasure/pain, happiness/sorrow, etc.

3- Because souls are deeper and bigger than their physical prisons of the human bodies, they are set free from these bodies within daydreaming, slumber, and deep thinking. The souls' feeling of bliss and torment cannot be expressed in any human tongue or language; there is a huge gap between psychological feelings and the ability to describe them accurately. For instance, human beings can feel sexual pleasures but they cannot describe it scientifically or precisely. There are different types of pain; pains of headaches differ from those of joints, kidney stones, stomach ulcers, etc. Yet, it is very difficult to differentiate among such types of pain accurately and among the degrees of feeling them. Likewise, though we can easily differentiate among different tastes of veggies, fruits, and beans, but within each category of food items, there are nuances of taste among items similar in shape that only souls could recognize and we cannot describe because bodies and languages cannot fully express such subtle differences.        

4- Human bodies are weak and they have limited ability of bearing pains; when pains pass a certain higher level or threshold, souls enter into a coma and cannot feel pain anymore. When diseases and  wounds kill the body, the dead bodies can never feel any pain after entering into the coma of death. The same applies to feelings of pleasure; there is a maximum level or threshold of feeling pleasure that our weak bodies cannot pass, and when reaching such levels, one loses the feeling of pleasure, as it is replaced with void, pain, or self-destruction if one tries to exceed this limit or threshold. The opposite occurs when souls are released from the weak, temporary, earthly bodies on the Last Day; in the Hereafter, souls of sinners will feel unlimited intense torment/torture in Hell for eternity, and souls of good believers will feel unlimited immense pleasure in Paradise for eternity.         

5- Torture/torment is something felt within the senses of the physical body and within the psychological level within disgrace and humiliation. Without feeling with senses, there could never be any experiencing of pleasure or torment.

6- The Quranic term for this is (taste) and its Arabic derivations within the Quranic tongue. Let us provide some details below.

 

Firstly: the Quranic term (taste) is never used in verses about the bliss of Paradise:

  We notice that the verb and noun (taste) is never used in Quranic verses that describe the eternal Paradise in the Hereafter; the term is used only in verses describing the torment/torture inside Hell. This indicates clearly that experiencing the bliss of Paradise cannot be described as it is beyond our imagination; this is asserted in this verse: "No soul knows what eye's delight awaits them - a reward for what they used to do." (32:17). This is why describing the bliss and pleasure of Paradise in the Quran is done using a figurative language (see, for instance, 47:15) to help us understand the idea as much as possible, but the words of any language cannot precisely describe the real experience inside Paradise. In contrast, torment/torture inside Hell for sinners and disbelievers is described in Quranic verses in a way that can be easily understood and imagined, and the word (taste) is used sometimes in the context of these verses.  

 

Secondly: the term (taste) when linked to earthly life refers to pleasure and torment:

 The word (taste) is used in the Quran in relation to experiencing bliss/pleasure and torment/pain in this transient life. Let us provide examples of this below.

1- About tasting the bliss and mercy of God in this world, we read the following verse: "And of His signs is that He sends the winds bearing good news, to give you a taste of His mercy..." (30:46).

2- About tasting the torment and pain in this worldly existence, we read the following verses.

2/1: Within penalties mentioned in the Quranic sharia, we read about those who commit the sin of going hunting while performing pilgrimage, and their punishment is to offer to the poor animals similar in value to the hunted and killed animal, to donate money for charity, or to fast for certain days to expatiate and atone for this sin to taste the penalty: "O you who believe! do not kill game while you are in pilgrim sanctity. Whoever of you kills any intentionally, its penalty shall be a domestic animal comparable to what he killed, as determined by two honest persons among you - an offering delivered to the Kaaba. Or he may atone by feeding the needy, or its equivalent in fasting, so that he may taste the consequences of his conduct..." (5:95).   

2/2: We read about tasting of torment of being smitten and annihilated by God within some Quranic stories of ancient nations; e.g., within the Quranic Chapter 54, we read this verse: "So taste My punishment and My warnings." (54:39). Another example is this verse about the smiting and annihilation of the people of Aad: "So We unleashed upon them a screaming wind, for a few miserable days, to make them taste the punishment of shame in this life; but the punishment of the Hereafter is more shameful; and they will not be saved." (41:16). 

2/3: The eras of total annihilation are gone now; they are followed by eras (until now) of partial torment and smiting. For instance, before the first major Arab civil war (between Ali and his foes), God predicts it in this verse: "Say, "He is Able to send upon you an affliction, from above you, or from under your feet. Or He can divide you into factions, and make you taste the violence of one another..." (6:65). And because the Muhammadans have turned these criminals/caliphs into deities/gods, the Muhammadans are still within the tunnel of civil wars until now, as their factions, sects, and groups fight and kill one another for centuries, tasting the violence of one another!  

2/4: God has warned against painful torment (in this world before the next) tasted by those who intend to commit evil within the Sacred Kaaba Mosque: " As for those who disbelieve and repel from God's path and from the Sacred Mosque-which We have designated for all humankind equally, whether residing therein or passing through - and seek to commit evil deeds therein - We will make him taste of a painful punishment." (22:25). This is about merely intending to commit evil deeds inside the Sacred Kaaba Mosque; what about Arabs who committed military violence and so many acts of aggressions there for centuries?!

2/5: God has warned against tasting those who will taste misery in this life because they manipulate religion in trade (i.e., buying and selling): "And do not use your oaths to deceive one another, so that a foot may not slip after being firm, and you taste misery because you hindered from God's Path, and incur a terrible torment." (16:94). Let alone the sin committed by Muhammadans until now by manipulating religion in political life. We urge readers to peruse our book titled "Warning the Muhammadans against Mixing Religion and Politics".  

2/6: In general, when corruption dominates in a given country, its dwellers pay the heavy price of pollution, persecutions, ordeals, disasters, troubles, and unrest that they taste: "Corruption has appeared on land and sea, because of what people's hands have earned, in order to make them taste some of what they have done, so that they might return." (30:41).

3- More Quranic verses about tasting mercy and torment are provided below.

3/1: Disbelievers feel despaired when ordeals and calamities ordained by God befall them, and they feel proud and arrogant when they taste bliss and bounties granted to them by God, as they never feel thankful to Him and they disbelieve in the hereafter. These stances are described repeatedly in the Quranic text: "The human being never tires of praying for good things; but when adversity afflicts him, he despairs and loses hope. And when We let him taste a mercy from Us, after the adversity that had afflicted him, he will say, "This is mine, and I do not think that the Hour is coming; and even if I am returned to my Lord, I will have the very best with Him." We will inform those who disbelieve of what they did, and We will make them taste an awful punishment. When We provide comfort for the human being, he withdraws and distances himself; but when adversity befalls him, he starts lengthy prayers." (41:49-51); "When We give people a taste of mercy, they rejoice in it. But when adversity befalls them, because of what their hands have perpetrated, they begin to despair." (30:36); "...Whenever We let man taste mercy from Us, he rejoices in it; but when misfortune befalls them, as a consequence of what their hands have perpetrated, man turns to disbelief." (42:48); "When We make the people taste mercy after some adversity has touched them, they begin to scheme against Our revelations. Say, "God is swifter in scheming." Our envoys are writing down what you scheme." (10:21). 

3/2: Real, pious, patient believers have other different stances: "If We give the human being a taste of mercy from Us, and then withdraw it from him, he becomes despairing and ungrateful. And if We give him a taste of prosperity, after some adversity has afflicted him, he will say, "Troubles have gone away from me." He becomes excited and proud. Except those who are patient and do good deeds - these will have forgiveness and a great reward." (11:9-11).

 

Thirdly: the (taste) of death:

1- Our souls were dead in Barsakh realm before we were born, and God makes our souls alive within bodies to live on Earth, and when we die, the bodies return to dust from which they were created, and souls return back to Barsakh from which they originally came. Souls will live eternally after the Day of resurrection, either in Hell or in Paradise. This is why we were dead and became alive on Earth by God's power and death is ordained on all of us within this earthly life, to be resurrected again on the Last Day to live for eternity: "How can you deny God, when you were dead and He gave you life, then He will put you to death, then He will bring you to life, then to Him you will be returned?" (2:28). Our brains and memories cannot remember our souls' time in the Barsakh realm before we were born, because at the time, souls feel/taste nothing at all. In order to taste death, we must be alive first on Earth in order to taste death upon the moment of dying. Thus, the only death we will taste for the first and last time is on this Earth upon the moment of dying, as we infer from this verse about Paradise dwellers: "Therein they will not taste death, beyond the first death..." (44:56).   

2- There is no medial or in-between position regarding this issue: upon the moment of dying, one is told by angel of death that he/she is among the allies of God or a sinner among the allies of Satan. This verdict is irrevocable when announced to the dying person as angels take his/her soul. The pious ones hear glad tidings from angels of death; see 10:62-64, 41:30-32, 16:32, and 46:13. As for the allies of Satan, angels of death make their souls (not their bodies) taste the torment, and souls are Barsakh-realm beings that carry features of the body that they used to occupy: "How about when the angels take them at death, beating their faces and their backs?" (47:27); "If only you could see, as the angels take away those who disbelieve, striking their faces and their backs: "Taste the torment of burning."" (8:50).  

 

Fourthly: the taste of torment in Hell:

1- We read the following verse about the torment of disbelieving Jinn inside Hell in the Hereafter: "...But whoever of them swerved from Our command, We make him taste of the punishment of the Inferno." (34:12).

2- Human disbelievers' torment in Hell, and how they will taste it, is described in various ways in the Quranic text; e.g., it is a tremendous torment that will be tasted by the unjust ones: "...Whoever among you commits injustice, We will make him taste a tremendous torment" (25:19).

3- There will be a tremendous torment tasted by those enemies of the Quran and those who fabricate misguiding hadiths and narratives. "Those who disbelieve say, "Do not listen to this Quran, and talk over it, so that you may prevail." We will make those who disbelieve taste an intense torment, and We will recompense them according to the worst of what they used to do." (41:26-27); "Say, "Those who fabricate lies about God will not succeed." Some enjoyment in this world; then to Us is their return; then We will make them taste the severe torment on account of their disbelief." (10:69-70); "And among the people is he who argues about God without knowledge, or guidance, or an enlightening book. Turning aside in contempt, to lead away from the path of God. He will have humiliation in this world, and on the Day of Resurrection We will make him taste the torment of burning. That is for what your hands have advanced, and because God is not unjust to the servants." (22:8-10)  Clergymen who hoard ill-gotten money will hear this severe rebuke: "This is what you hoarded for yourselves; so taste what you used to hoard" found in these verses: "O you who believe! Many of the rabbis and priests consume people's wealth illicitly, and hinder from God's path. Those who hoard gold and silver, and do not spend them in God's cause, inform them of a painful torment. On the Day when they will be heated in the Fire of Hell, then their foreheads, and their sides, and their backs will be branded with them: "This is what you hoarded for yourselves; so taste what you used to hoard."" (9:34-35). Misguiding clergymen and imams of the earthly, man-made religions of the Muhammadans must ponder deeply on these verses before it is too late for them; if they die before repentance, they will be tormented in Hell for eternity while being rebuked, mocked, and humiliated severely: "The Tree of Bitterness. The food of the sinner. Like molten lead; boiling inside their bellies. Like the boiling of seething water. Seize him and drag him into the midst of Hell! Then pour over his head the suffering of the Inferno! Taste! You who were powerful and noble." (44:43-49).

4- Hell-dwellers will hear those who will rebuke them by telling them to taste the torment, and this is their humiliation and rebuke; we find this repeatedly mentioned in the Quranic text in different contexts: "On the Day when some faces will be whitened, and some faces will be blackened. As for those whose faces are blackened: "Did you disbelieve after your belief?" Then taste the torment for having disbelieved." (3:106); "If only you could see, when they are stationed before their Lord. He will say, "Is this not real?" They will say, "Yes indeed, by our Lord." He will say, "Then taste the torment for having disbelieved."" (6:30); "Their prayer at the House was nothing but distracting and scheming - so taste the torment for your disbelief." (8:35); "...so taste the torment for what you used to earn." (7:39); "...and We will say, "Taste the torment of the burning" (3:181); "Then it will be said to those who did wrong, "Taste the torment of eternity. Will you be rewarded except for what you used to do?"" (10:52); ""Here it is; so taste it." For the disbelievers there is the torment of the Fire." (8:14); "So taste, because you forgot the meeting of this Day of yours; We have forgotten you; so taste the eternal torment for what you used to do." (32:14); "... And We will say to those who did wrong, "Taste the torment of the Fire which you used to deny." (34:42); "...To the unjust ones it will be said, "Taste what you used to earn."" (39:24); "On the Day when those who disbelieved are presented to the Fire: "Is this not real?" They will say, "Yes, indeed, by our Lord." He will say, "Then taste the torment for having disbelieved."" (46:34); "All This. But the transgressors will have a miserable return. Hell; in which they will roast; what a miserable abode! All this. Let them taste it-boiling and bitter cold.And similar torments of diverse kinds." (38:55-58).

5- Hell-dwellers will have their skins renewed for eternity to make them taste the torment of Hell that will never be escaped by them: "Those who reject Our verses - We will scorch them in a Fire. Every time their skins are cooked, We will replace them with other skins, so they will taste the torment..." (4:56); "But as for those who transgressed, their shelter is the Fire. Every time they try to get out of it, they will be brought back into it, and it will be said to them, "Taste the torment of the Fire which you used to deny."" (32:20); "Here are two adversaries feuding regarding their Lord. As for those who disbelieve, garments of fire will be tailored for them, and scalding water will be poured over their heads. Melting their insides and their skins. And they will have maces of iron. Whenever they try to escape the gloom, they will be driven back to it: "Taste the torment of burning."" (22:19-22). Thus, those who die because of fires in this world will die and feel no more pain, and fires of this world can be extinguished, whereas Hell-Fire is eternal and Hell-dwellers will never have respite and will never get out of Hell.  

6- Hell-dwellers will be rebuked in that way: "They urge you to hasten the punishment. But Hell will engulf the disbelievers. On the Day when the punishment will envelop them, from above them, and from beneath their feet, He will say, "Taste what you used to do!"" (29:54-55).

7- The Hell-dwellers will scream in vain and implore to get released or relieved, but also in vain: "As for those who disbelieve, for them is the Fire of Hell, wherein they will never be finished off and die, nor will its punishment be lightened for them. Thus We will repay every disbeliever. And they will scream therein, "Our Lord, let us out, and we will act righteously, differently from the way we used to act." Did We not give you a life long enough, in which anyone who wanted to understand would have understood? And the warner did come to you. So taste. The unjust ones will have no helper." (35:36-37). When asking for respite, they will be told the following: "So taste! We will increase you only in torment." (78:30).

8- The Hell-dwellers will be rebuked this way when they will be dragged upon their faces into the Hell-Fire: "The wicked are in confusion and madness. The Day when they are dragged upon their faces into the Fire: "Taste the touch of Saqar."" (54:47-48).


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