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Fatwas Part Eighty-Two
The Mechanism of Torment/Torture in the Hereafter and the Meaning of Being Cursed

The Mechanism of Torment/Torture in the Hereafter and the Meaning of Being Cursed

 

Published in May 14, 2018

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

 

 

N.B.: This article, as well as the next ones, is a continuation of our book titled "Torture and Torment within Quranist Viewpoint"

 

Firstly: Being cursed in Arabic literally means to be very remote or far away: like the Tree of Extremity seen by Muhammad's soul within a Barsakh level:

1- Of course, we have discussed the topic of Muhammad's encounter with Gabriel in detail in our book, in English, titled "The Night-Journey Is The Night of Decree" (found on this link: http://www.ahl-alquran.com/arabic/book_main.php?main_id=112). These Quranic verses are about Muhammad's seeing the arch-angel Gabriel for the second time: "He saw him on another descent. At the Tree of the Extremity. Near which is the Garden of Repose. As there covered the Tree what covered it. The sight did not waver, nor did it exceed. He saw some of the Great Signs of his Lord." (53:13-18). This means that Muhammad's soul saw Gabriel at the Tree of the Extremity; this Tree is very remote or far away within one of the Barsakh-realm levels. The Garden of Repose mentioned in this context might be the Barsakh Paradise where the souls of those killed for God's sake dwell until the Last Day; it might also be the Barsakh Paradise where Adam and his wife used to dwell before being deceived by Satan to make them descend unto earth, within its physical level which overlaps with the Barsakh levels. 

2- Because this was a very special vision and a great miracle/sign granted to Muhammad and never to any prophets/messengers before him, we infer the following points.

2/1: Muhammad did not see this Barsakh level with his physical eyes; rather, he saw this vision with his soul, since the soul is a being which originally came from the Barsakh realm; hence, this is why physical vision with his eyes did not work at all during this vision, as we infer from this verse: "The sight did not waver, nor did it exceed." (53:17). By the way, normally, the human eye typically waver and quiver when it sees something new/strange. This not the case when Muhammad saw Gabriel and the Tree of Extremity within this Barsakh level; this means that Muhammad's eyesight stopped working while seeing this Barsakh-realm level vision, which is a great sign, only with his soul.

2/2: Hence, it was very difficult for Muhammad to describe this Barsakh-realm level vision; no human tongue/language can describe it; the limited human perceptions cannot fully express this Barsakh-realm level vision which was a miracle granted by God to Muhammad. This means that the Sunnite mythology about the topic of the Night-Journey cannot be accepted by Quran-believing monotheists. This also means that the Sunnite myth of the so-called ascent of Muhammad into heaven cannot be accepted by Quran-believing monotheists. The Quran never mentions that Muhammad, or any other messenger/prophet, has ever ascended into heaven. 

2/3: Hence, the Quranic description of this Tree of Extremity is relative and figurative and it leaves room for the imagination, though the limited human imagination cannot describe the real sight of the Tree of Extremity: "As there covered the Tree what covered it." (53:16).

2/4: The Night-Journey is a very special sign/miracle granted by God to Muhammad; this is a very special vision: "Glory to Him who journeyed His servant by night, from the Sacred Mosque, to the Farthest Mosque, whose precincts We have blessed, in order to show him of Our Signs..." (17:1). Accordingly, any details authored, surmised, and invented by any people regarding this vision that occurred to Muhammad during the Night-Journey are mere nonsense that aim to misguide and mislead believers, since they have not seen anything related to Barsakh: "...We did not make the vision We showed you, except as a test for the people, and the tree cursed in the Quran..." (17:60). Since the verse 17:60 talks about the Barsakh-realm level vision that occurred to Muhammad as he saw the Tree of Extremity and Gabriel, the term "cursed" in 17:60 simply means (far away) or (very remote); the "cursed tree" intended in 17:60 is the Tree of Extremity, of course.

 

Secondly: to be cursed by God means to be excluded, expelled, and moved away:

 That Satan/Iblis is cursed means that he was excluded, expelled, and moved away from the higher Barsakh-realm level of the angels in the heavens and was forced to descend into a lower, terrestrial Barsakh-realm level.

1- Iblis was an angel who belonged to the Upper Realm of angels within a very high Barsakh-realm level in the heavens; when he was cursed/expelled, he became Satan the devil. God has specified the mission of Muhammad here: "Say, "I am only a warner, and there is no God except Allah - the Dominant One. The Lord of the heavens and the earth, and everything between them; the Mighty, the Forgiver."" (38:65-66). God has commanded him to announce this message of great importance: the story of how Iblis, one of the nearer angels in the Upper Realm, proudly refused to bow down to Adam as per the command of the Lord God; consequently, God has cursed him; i.e., He expelled him into the remotest location, which is within the lower Barsakh levels of earth. God has commanded Muhammad to say the following: "Say, "It is a message of great importance. From which you are turning away." (38:67-68). Because most people do not pay attention to, or take heed of, this lesson, the story of the expulsion of Iblis the angel, who has been turned into Satan the devil, is repeated many times in the Quranic text as a reminder for the sake of preaching and warning; all human beings must remember and ponder upon the story of Adam: the father of all humanity. When Iblis, who belonged to the nearer angels of the Upper Realm, refused to obey God's command and argued against this divine command, he became among the disbelievers and was expelled/cursed by God and turned into a Jinn/devil. God says in the Quran: "I have no knowledge of the Upper Realm as they dispute. It is only revealed to me that I am a clear warner." Your Lord said to the angels, "I am creating a human being from clay. When I have formed him, and breathed into him of My spirit, fall prostrate before him. So the angels fell prostrate, all of them. Except for Iblis. He was too proud, and one of the disbelievers. He said, "O Iblis, what prevented you from prostrating before what I created with My Own hands? Are you too proud, or were you one of the exalted?" He said, "I am better than he; You created me from fire, and You created him from clay." He said, "Then get out of here! You are an outcast! And My curse will be upon you until the Day of Judgment."" (38:69-78).  

2- Of course, the story of Iblis who refused to obey God's command of prostrating to Adam and his expulsion (i.e., being cursed) is repeated in the Quran. Being cursed here is to be expelled and forced to move away: "He said, "Then get out of here, for you are an outcast". "And the curse will be upon you until the Day of Judgment."" (15:34-35); "God has cursed him..." (4:118).

3- When God cursed/expelled Iblis the rebellious proud angel from the Upper Realm, he is no longer an angel; he has been turned into Satan the devil/jinn: "We said to the angels, "Bow down to Adam." So they bowed down, except for Iblis. He was of the jinn, and he defied the command of his Lord..." (18:50). The verb (was) here means (became) or (transformed); this sense is expressed within the same Quranic story elsewhere: "And We said to the angels, "Bow down to Adam." They bowed down, except for Iblis; he refused, was arrogant, and was one of the disbelievers." (2:34). This means that when he proudly refused to obey the divine command, he became among the disbelievers.

4- This Quranic sense of the verb (was) [i.e., to mean: "became"] has nothing to do with Arabic grammatical rules formulated during the Abbasid Era. This Quranic sense of the verb (was) is inferred from these two verses about the fasting of Ramadan and about pilgrimage: "...Whoever of you witnesses the month, shall fast it. But whoever was sick, or on a journey, then a number of other days..." (2:185); the verb (was) here refers to those who became sick; the same sense is inferred from this verse about pilgrimage: "...Whoever of you was sick, or has an injury of the head, then redemption of fasting, or charity, or worship..." (2:196). Hence, in the verse 18:50, Iblis was of the jinn; this means that he became among the jinn; he was changed from being an angel into a jinn/devil; i.e., he was transformed and became a jinn/devil. This is why his name, Iblis, has changed to become Satan. Satan the devil is the one who tempted Adam and his wife. When Iblis was cursed by God, this means he became an outcast; i.e., he was expelled and forced to move away in a remote place. Thus, to be cursed is to be expelled and distanced by force.

 

Thirdly: being cursed/expelled from the higher Barsakh level in the heavens into a lower, terrestrial Barsakh level:

1- To explain this topic further, we have to bear in mind that God has created seven Barsakh levels of heavens and other seven levels within the earth; such levels overlap; i.e., the higher level overlaps with the level lower than it is; God's commands/decrees move through such levels to reach the physical realm of the universe and of the earth: "God is He Who created seven heavens, and their like of earth. The command descends through them, so that you may know that God is Capable of everything, and that God Encompasses everything in knowledge." (65:12). 

2- The lowest, weakest level is the physical realm of earth and the whole universe (with its galaxies and stars). This lowest level is overlapping with higher Barsakh-realm levels; hence, the physical realm of the earth is overlapping with the first terrestrial Barsakh level, and this level is overlapping with the second terrestrial Barsakh level, which is in its turn is overlapping with the third terrestrial Barsakh level, and so on. The same overlapping levels exist in the same arrangement within the Barsakh levels of heavens and the lowest, weakest level which is the physical heaven/sky above the planet Earth.  

3- All of the seven Barsakh-realm levels of the earth and the seven ones of heavens overlap with our physical realm on earth. The terrestrial Barsakh-realm levels are where devils and jinn dwell and so are the souls of human beings who are yet to be born (e.g., the souls of one's grandchildren) and the souls of the dead people who fulfilled the test of life (e.g., the souls of our ancestors). Of course, souls originally belong to Barsakh; they are Barsakh ethereal beings; this is why souls get some rest from the confines of the physical bodies by leaving them during human beings' deep slumber. Of course, within one of the Barsakh levels of earth, the Barsakh Paradise of those killed for God's sake is located, where they enjoy the pleasures and provisions created by their Lord God for them until the Hour comes. Within one of the Barsakh levels of earth, the drowned disbelieving people of Noah and the drowned Moses' Pharaoh's people are being tormented (in ways that we cannot imagine) until the Last Day. Adam and his wife used to dwell inside this Barsakh Paradise, and their physical bodies were covered with Barsakh lights (which we cannot imagine), but once they ate from the forbidden tree, such lights were removed and they saw their naked physical bodies for the first time; this ushered their descent unto the physical realm of the earth. Within the terrestrial Barsakh-realm levels, devils and Jinn exist and so is Iblis/Satan after his being expelled from the Upper Realm of the angels of heavens; this is why he entered into the Barsakh Paradise to tempt and deceive Adam and his wife by making them disobey the command of the Lord God.          

4- The great miracle/sign of the Lord granted to Muhammad was that he saw, with this soul, Gabriel in one location within a Barsakh-realm level of heavens; the human eye cannot perceive this, of course. Muhammad never saw Gabriel and the Tree of Extremity with his physical eyes but with his soul. By the way, no living human beings can see the angels; the angels are ethereal beings of Barsakh and are seen only by souls when the angels of death take the souls of the dying people. Gabriel took a human form when he appeared to Mary, the mother of Jesus. The angels which met Abraham and Lot took a human form. Thus, living human beings within the physical, terrestrial existence cannot see the Barsakh-realm levels within the earth and the heavens and their Barsakh, ethereal creatures/beings such as angels, Jinn, and devils. This is why God has warned humanity about Satan and devils as they can see human beings but human beings cannot see them: "...He sees you, him and his clan, from where you cannot see them..." (7:27). Adam and his wife used to see Satan and angels, and all Barsakh beings, when they dwelled within the Barsakh Paradise. Once they descended on earth within the physical world and their physical bodies are no longer enveloped or covered with Barsakh lights, they could no longer see anything related to Barsakh; hence, human beings on earth cannot see any Barsakh, ethereal creatures/beings.   

5- The angels exist in the seven Barsakh levels of heaven; each rank of angels has its location as per the missions given to these angels: "There is not one of us but has an assigned position." (37:164). There are angels of the Upper Realm of heavens and there are ranks of angels that exist within other celestial and terrestrial Barsakh levels that overlap; i.e., the higher level would overlap with the lower one.   

6- Therefore, the celestial and terrestrial Barsakh levels overlap with the physical realm of earth; angels, Jinn, and devils can see the human beings, while human beings cannot see them. Within such Barsakh levels, there are angels who record deeds and words of human beings and there are devils assigned to human souls of disbelievers to tempt and misguide/mislead them further. Dying human beings who are sinners see (with their souls) the angels of death that come to take their souls: "Until, when death comes to one of them, he says, "My Lord, send me back. That I may do right in what I have neglected." By no means! It is just a word that he utters. And behind them is a barrier/Barsakh, until the Day they are resurrected." (23:99-100). Devilish whispers address the souls, as both souls and devils are Barsakh creatures/beings. Souls return to Barsakh temporarily during sleep and forever in death; dying good monotheists receive glad tidings of Paradise by the angels of death; for more details about death and Barsakh, we refer readers to our book (in English) titled "The Book of Death" (found on this link: http://www.ahl-alquran.com/arabic/book_main.php?main_id=120).

7- We have mentioned the above points to explain the fact that when Iblis the angel was cursed/expelled from the Upper Realm of the Barsakh levels of the heavens, he was transformed into a Jinn/devil, known as Satan, and he is not allowed to ascend into the celestial Barsakh realms. Satan, and his progeny: the devils, can exist and enter only into the terrestrial Barsakh levels. If Jinn and devils attempt to ascend into the celestial Barsakh levels to hear the angels of the Upper Realm, they are prevented by comets/missiles that hinder them from ascending into the first celestial Barsakh level. God says in the Quran: "We have adorned the lower heaven with the beauty of the planets. And guarded it against every defiant devil.They cannot eavesdrop on the Upper Realm, for they get bombarded from every side. Repelled - they will have a lingering torment. Except for him who snatches a fragment - he gets pursued by a piercing projectile." (37:6-10); "We have adorned the lower heaven with lanterns, and made them missiles against the devils..." (67:5); "We placed constellations in the sky, and made them beautiful to the beholders. And We guarded them from every outcast devil. Except one who steals a hearing, and is followed by a visible projectile." (15:16-18). The revelation/descent of the Quran caused waves and shakes within the Barsakh levels, and the Jinn felt this: "" (72:8-9).

8- The above points are about cursing/expulsion of Iblis/Satan; yet, what about the cursing/expulsion of Satan's followers in this world and in the next one? How is this linked to the mechanism of enjoying pleasures of Paradise and the mechanism of torment/torture inside Hell in the Hereafter? We continue in the next article.   


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