For Those Waiting…
Ever waited for something to happen? Something totally out of your control so that you are left without a choice and are forced to wait?
Something so incredibly valuable that you are absolutely terrified that it just might not happen. And that fear – will it, will it not – is eating you away inside, (literally) queasiness has settled deep in your stomach; butterflies that turned into moths.
You eagerly wait for tomorrow in hopes to hear some good news – so much so that you barely live in the present – but you absolutely dread tomorrow, because it might bring with it a tragic end to what your heart pines for. So you wait.
Now imagine this: you go through the hurdles of this life. The climaxes, the tragedies, the inevitable. The sadnesses, the pain, the happinesses, the losses, the wins. The births, the marriages, the deaths. Death. You go through death. Then comes what is more terrifying than the life of this world and death combined; the life of barzakh – the time in the grave. Then the Big Day; the Day of Resurrection.
A Day when a father would abandon his child, a nursing mother would cast away her infant, a lover would betray his beloved – all in hopes to save themselves. The horrors of this Day could grey the hairs on a child’s head.
You make it through this. You make it through Aṣ-Ṣirāṭ. You see the gates of Jannah!! But you are not granted entry. What?
You are not allowed entry. You are amongst the Men on Al-Aʿrāf.
The Men on Al-Aʿrāf are mentioned in sūrat al-Aʿrāf.
And between them (i.e. between the people of Jannah and the people of Hellfire) will be a partition, and on its elevations are men who recognise all by their mark. And they call out to the companions of Paradise, “Peace be upon you.” They have not [yet] entered it, but they long intensely. – al-Aʿrāf:46
They are the people whose good deeds were equal to their bad deeds. Thus they are not granted entry into Jannah with those who have earned Jannah. But neither are they cast into hellfire with those who have earned hellfire. They are waiting.
They are waiting for one decision – literally the most important decision they will ever know – that could give them Jannah; so precious that no heart can come close to fathoming the bliss enjoyed by the dwellers of Jannah. But they are fearing the possibility of one decision that could end them in hellfire; so terrible that one dip in it will make a person forget every enjoyment they ever tasted in this life.
Imagine this wait. Imagine every painful wait you have waited in your life now multiply that by infinity and then some. But of course, no words can come close to describing what these people will feel.
Not only have they been barred from entering Jannah, but they can see the people of hellfire, they can see firsthand the horrors the people of hellfire are facing. Imagine their fear!
Digression: Do good and abstain from bad; as little, as minuscule, as insignificant you might find it. It just might be that extra push you need to get into Jannah and avoid this fate.
What do you do when all you can do is wait? What do you do when you have seen and tasted the possibility of pure bliss, of eternal happiness – that could be snatched away any moment?
What do you do when you see and taste the possibility of the most wretched of fates – that could be yours, any moment?
You proceed to make duʿāʾ.
And when their [the people on the elevations] eyes are turned toward the companions of the Fire, they say, “Our Lord, do not place us with the wrongdoing people.” – al-Aʿrāf:47
You do not lose hope in the Most Merciful. Whatever you do, you do not lose hope in the vast Mercy of Allāh. You do not give up, because maybe that bliss you tasted could be yours for the keeping. It only needs one word from the Almighty. And He is Allāh, Who is Near and Who Hears the call of every caller.
Allāh is Generous, He is Forgiving. You do not lose hope, not even in the very last moment. Not even when standing on an elevated partition looking down on the possibility of eternal damnation.
Because what your heart yearns for so desperately, so painfully, could be yours – Allah is Merciful and He is over all things able,
[Allāh will say], “Are these the ones whom you [O inhabitants of Hellfire] swore that Allāh would never offer them mercy? Enter Paradise, [O People of the Elevations]. No fear will there be concerning you, nor will you grieve.” – al-Aʿrāf:49