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Torture within Quranist Viewpoint (8): Torment Comes Suddenly While People Are Unaware

Torture within Quranist Viewpoint (8): Torment Comes Suddenly While People Are Unaware


Published in October 1, 2017

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

Firstly: torment inflicted by God in this world comes suddenly:

1- God warns Arabs (and others) in the Quran by narrating to them the stories of ancient nations smitten by Him: "Those before them also denied the Truth, so the torment came upon them from where they did not perceive. God made them taste shame and disgrace in the present life, but the torment of the Hereafter is worse, if they only knew." (39:25-26). And we read these verses about the steps of tormenting nations until the total destruction befell them finally as the biggest penalty in this world that took place suddenly: "We did not send any prophet to any town but We afflicted its people with misery and adversity, so that they may humble themselves. Then We substituted prosperity in place of hardship. Until they increased in number, and said, "Adversity and prosperity has touched our ancestors." Then We seized them suddenly, while they were unaware." (7:94-95). This sudden infliction of torment by God is described further in this verse: "Those before them also schemed, but God took their structures from the foundations, and the roof caved in on them. The torment came at them from where they did not perceive." (16:26).

2- The same warning (in the same Quranic Chapter 16) addresses to other nations of today and of all eras after the Quran has been revealed: "Do those who scheme evils feel secure that God will not cause the earth to cave in with them, or that the torment will not come upon them from where they do not perceive?" (16:45).


Secondly: the torment of the Hereafter comes suddenly to the disbelievers/polytheists:

1- The torment of the Day of resurrection will take place when the Last Day comes in a certain time pre-determined only by God; no mortals know this timing at all. When Arab polytheists/disbelievers hastened this torment in mockery, this Quranic response has come to them, while referring to the fact that disbelief in occurrence of the Last Day goes on in all eras and the Hour will occur suddenly: "And they urge you to hasten the torment. Were it not for a specified time, the torment would have come to them. But it will come upon them suddenly, while they are unaware." (29:53).  

2- They hastened the torment in ridicule because they disbelieved in the Quran and asked for tangible signs or miracles to be seen with their eyes and they asked, in mockery, for being tormented in this world as proof that the Quran is really the Truth from God Himself: "And when Our verses are recited to them, they say, "We have heard. Had we wanted, we could have said the like of this; these are nothing but myths of the ancients." And they said, "Our God, if this is the Truth from You, then rain down on us stones from the sky, or visit us with a painful torment."" (8:31-32).

3- Until now, and within the coming eras till the end of days, the disbelief in God, in the Last Day, and in the Quran will go on existing; for instance, the Muhammadans claim overtly that they believe in the Quran; nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the Muhammadans are the most disbelieving people who reject the Quran and deny God, and consequently disbelieve in the Last Day described in the Quran as they fashion a 'last day' as per their whims and imagination. Indeed, the deeds of the Muhammadans worldwide indicate this, as we watch in the news.  

4- The Quranic phrase (there is no doubt) is used repeatedly to describe the Quran itself and the Last Day: "This is the Book in which there is no doubt, a guide for the pious ones." (2:2); "How about when We gather them for a Day in which there is no doubt..." (3:25). Those real believers in God, the Quran, and the Last Day fear very much to witness the taking place of the Hour: "Those who fear their Lord in private, and are apprehensive of the Hour." (21:49); the very next verse is about the Quran itself: "This too is a blessed message that We revealed. Are you going to deny it?" (21:50). God says the following about the Quran that shows the Truth and informs people about the fact that the Hour is drawing near: "It is God who revealed the Book with the Truth and the Balance. And what will make you realize that perhaps the Hour is near?" (42:17). The very next verse compare between the two different stances regarding the Hour: "Those who do not believe in it seek to hasten it; but those who believe are apprehensive of it, and they know it to be the Truth. Absolutely, those who question the Hour are in distant error." (42:18).

5- As disbelievers reject the Hour and hasten its occurrence in mockery, when it will take place, this will be a sudden, very frightening event as they will be caught unawares; we urge readers to  ponder deeply on this verse about the stance of those who disbelieve in the Quran as they cast doubts on it: "Those who disbelieve will continue to be hesitant about it, until the Hour comes upon them suddenly, or there comes to them the torment of a desolate Day." (22:55). This means that they will go one doubting the Quran till the Hour takes place suddenly while they are unaware, and they will be tormented when the Hour occurs to destroy the Earth and the whole universe. God says the following about those who disbelieve in the Last Day: "Losers are those who deny the encounter with God. Then, when the Hour comes upon them suddenly, they will say, "Alas for us, how we have neglected it." And they will carry their burdens on their backs - evil is what they carry." (6:31). This means they will be surprised as the Hour occurs suddenly since they disbelieved in it and they will feel sorry after it is too late, when the sins they carry are waiting for them to be turned into their means of being tormented in Hell for eternity.

6- This is why the Quran repeats the fact that the Hour comes suddenly while people are unaware: "Are they only waiting for the Hour to come upon them suddenly, while they are unaware?" (43:66).


Thirdly: the meaning of the term Quranic (suddenly) in terms of time:

1- Arabs asked Muhammad repeatedly about the timing of the Hour; i.e., about when it will take place, and he told them many times that he did not know; some Quranic answers to their question contain the fact that it comes suddenly: "They ask you about the Hour, "When will it come?" Say, "Knowledge of it rests with my Lord. None can reveal its coming except He. It weighs heavily on the heavens and the Earth. It will not come upon you except suddenly." They ask you as if you are responsible for it. Say, "Knowledge of it rests with God," but most people do not know." (7:187).

2- We tend to think that the word (suddenly) here in 7:187 and within other verses about the Hour refers to a speed that exceeds the speed of light, and this speed quicker than anyone known to human beings cannot be imagined by the limited human mind. The Quranic figurative language is used to make us grasp Quranic facts in a way suitable for our brains; by the way, we infer this meaning of (suddenly) in terms of time from these two verses: "...The coming of the Hour is only as the twinkling of the eye, or even nearer. God has power over everything." (16:77); "And Our command is but once, like the twinkling of an eye." (54:50). 


Fourthly: the meaning of (suddenly) as a frightening surprise:

1- The Quranic term (suddenly) that refers to the Hour indicates the fact that the Hour will occur as a most rightful surprise when people are unaware of it. The following verse applies perfectly to the Muhammadans in particular: "Do they feel secure that a covering of God's torment will not come upon them, or that the Hour will not come upon them suddenly, while they are unaware?" (12:107). Moreover, God says the following about the Quran in which the Muhammadans disbelieve: "Thus We make it pass through the hearts of the criminals. They will not believe in it until they witness the painful torment. It will come to them suddenly, while they are unaware. Then they will say, "Are we given any respite?" Do they seek to hasten Our torment?" (26:200-204). We notice here that torment of the occurrence of the Hour will come suddenly while people are unaware.

2- To disbelieve in both the Quran and the Last Day has but one reason: people focus too much on the transient world and dedicate their lifetimes to its vanity, competitions, hoarding of possessions, money, material gains, having more progeny, struggling against others for having more riches and assets, etc. while they disregard the fact that the Hour is drawing near, as God has told us 14 centuries ago: " The humankind's reckoning has drawn near, but they turn away heedlessly. No fresh reminder comes to them from their Lord, but they listen to it playfully. " (21:1-2). These two verses apply 100% to the Muhammadans of today, of course; we hope readers will reflect upon this fact for a longer while.  

3- God tells us in the Quran that the Hour draws nearer and yet it will occur suddenly as a frightening surprise to those who were engrossed too much in the material possessions and wealth of the transient world. Again this applies perfectly to the Muhammadans of today who focus on the fleeting earthly existence and never think of the Hereafter: "Are they just waiting until the Hour comes to them suddenly? Its tokens have already come. But how will they be reminded when it has come to them?" (47:18). The graves, most major sin of the polytheistic Muhammadans is that they are divided into sects, factions, denominations, and doctrines, each of them is feeling happy with their falsehoods and books as well as wealth and affluence (i.e., bounties like oil revenues and other riches), and they will remain distracted by all such things till the Hour takes place suddenly while they are unaware.  

4- God asserts that His nation/people are those who follow the messages sent via prophets/messengers within all eras and locations; it is a universal nation that pertains to God and are never divided or separated by different eras and locations. Divisions and separations have occurred when people deify and sanctify mortals and ascribe nations/people to them; e.g., the nation/Umma of Jesus Christ, the nation/Umma of Muhammad, and the nation/Umma of Buddha. God says the following in the Quran: "This nation/Umma of yours is one nation, and I am your Lord, so fear Me. But they tore themselves into sects; each party happy with what they have. So leave them in their bewilderment until a time. Do they assume that, in furnishing them with wealth and children, We race to give them the good things? In fact, they have no idea." (23:52-56).

5- One of the tokens or signs of the Hour drawing near is the fact that the Last Message of God to humanity (i.e., the Quran) has been revealed/descended and the fact that human beings have made great scientific advances around the globe, feeling as if they control the Earth: "The likeness of the present life is this: water that We send down from the sky is absorbed by the plants of the Earth, from which the people and the animals eat. Until, when the Earth puts on its fine appearance, and is beautified, and its inhabitants think that they have mastered it, Our command descends upon it by night or by day, and We turn it into stubble, as if it had not flourished the day before. We thus clarify the verses for people who reflect." (10:24). The Hour will occur suddenly and this will be sheer torment for those who witness this terrible moment of unimagined fright; God warns all people against this as He addresses them directly in these two verses: "O people, be conscious of your Lord. The quaking of the Hour is a tremendous thing. On the Day when you will see it: every nursing mother will discard her infant, and every pregnant woman will abort her load, and you will see the people drunk, even though they are not drunk - but the torment of God is severe." (22:1-2).

6- When the Hour takes place, the whole universe, as well as the heavens and the Earth, will be destroyed, and new, eternal Earth and heavens will be created. When they are resurrected on the Last Day, the sinners and criminals will feel they have lived for a very brief space of time on Earth: "On the Day when the Hour takes place, the sinners will swear they had stayed but an hour. Thus they were deluded. But those endowed with knowledge and faith will say, "You remained in God's Book until the Day of Resurrection. This is the Day of Resurrection, but you did not know."" (30:55-56); "They ask you about the Hour, "When will it take place?" You have no knowledge of it. To your Lord is its finality. You are just a warner for whoever dreads it. On the Day when they witness it - as though they only stayed an evening, or its morning." (79:42-46). This feeling of transience and fleeting time will continue on the Day of judgment, before they enter into Hell for eternity: "On the Day when He rounds them up-as if they had tarried only one hour of a day - they will recognize one another. Those who denied the meeting with God will be the losers. They were not guided. Whether We show you some of what We promise them, or take you, to Us is their return. God is witness to everything they do." (10:45-46). This is why God has commanded to Muhammad to be patient and not to hasten the torment for the disbelievers, as they feel the deep sorrow of how transient and fleeting their earthly life has been: "So be patient, as the messengers with resolve were patient, and do not be hasty regarding them. On the Day when they witness what they are promised, it will seem as if they had lasted only for an hour of a day. A proclamation: Will any be destroyed except the sinful people?" (46:35).   

7- This is why we infer from the Quran that after one's death, one's soul enters into a deep slumber and a state of timelessness as they will not feeling anything, especially the passage of time, till the Day of Resurrection. This is why upon being resurrected, they will feel that their life and slumber/death as a brief space of time; hence, God has warned them against a near torment: "Say, "I offer you a single advice: devote yourselves to God, in pairs, or individually; and reflect. There is no madness in your friend. He is just a warner to you, before the advent of a severe torment."" (34:46); "We have warned you of a near torment - the Day when a person will observe what his hands have produced, and the faithless will say, "O, I wish I were dust."" (78:40). This means that the disbelievers of Qorayish (and among Arabs of Arabia) heard these verses and rejected the Quranic faith, and their torment is describe in the Quran as (near) because they lived the years preordained for them and they felt timelessness and nothingness after they died, and upon resurrection, they will feel they have lived for a very space of time, as they realize that they will dwell in Hell for eternity. This is the meaning of the near torment (in the Hereafter) that will come to them suddenly while they are unaware. 

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