Written in Urdu by Hazrat Mir Muhammad Ismailra – brother-in-law of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas – and published in Al Fazl on 13 June 1944
Once, I was pondering over the topic of forgiveness of Allah and was enjoying thinking about the different aspects of this topic that a feeling of sluggishness overtook my mind and certain scenes flashed in front of my eyes pertaining to this topic.
Now, it does not matter much whether one considers these matters to be the imagination of the mind or stream of consciousness or a semi-vision. The only difference is that an academic exercise morphed from thoughts into images, otherwise the meaning and the reality is the same.
I saw that just at a little distance from me, there was an enormous door in a vast, open ground, similar to that which one may see erected at wedding occasions etc. When I went close to it, I saw that there was a beautiful inscription on it, which read:
کُلَّ یَوۡمٍ ہُوَ فِیۡ شَاۡنٍ
“Every day He reveals Himself in a different state.” (Surah al-Rahman, Ch.55: V.30)
And on the other two sides of this big door were also various inscriptions, one of which read:
نَبِّیٴۡ عِبَادِیۡۤ اَنِّیۡۤ اَنَا الۡغَفُوۡرُ الرَّحِیۡمُ
“Tell My servants that I am surely the One Most Forgiving, the Merciful.” (Surah al-Hijr, Ch.15: V.50)
Another one read:
اِنَّ رَبَّکَ وَاسِعُ الۡمَغۡفِرَۃِ
“Verily, thy Lord is very liberal in forgiving.” (Surah al-Najm, Ch.53: V.33)
At another place, it said:
یَغۡفِرُ لِمَنۡ یَّشَآءُ
“He forgives whomsoever he pleases.” (Surah Al-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.130)
One of the places said:
اِنَّ اللّٰہَ یَغۡفِرُ الذُّنُوۡبَ جَمِیۡعًا ؕ اِنَّہٗ ہُوَ الۡغَفُوۡرُ الرَّحِیۡمُ
“Surely, Allah forgives all sins. Verily He is Most Forgiving, Merciful. (Surah al-Zumar, Ch.39: V.54)
یَدۡعُوۡکُمۡ لِیَغۡفِرَ لَکُمۡ مِّنۡ ذُنُوۡبِکُمۡ
“He calls you that He may forgive you your sins.” (Surah Ibrahim, Ch.14: V.11)
وَ مَنۡ یَّغۡفِرُ الذُّنُوۡبَ اِلَّا اللّٰہُ
“Who can forgive sins except Allah?” (Surah Al-e-Imran, Ch.3: V.136)
In short, there were dozens of beautiful inscriptions on either side of the door regarding the forgiveness of Allah.
Field of reckoning
I saw certain people who were hovering over the doors like guards and I thought that maybe they were angels and so, I asked them if I could go inside. They replied, “Yes, there are great examples of God’s forgiveness on display today. You can go and look at them, but you will be accompanied by an official guard.”
With this, they asked one of their colleagues to accompany me and told me that his name was Ghufran (meaning forgiveness) and that he would show me around the vast expanse of the field where judgment was taking place. They also told me to continue to recite istighfar and not to criticise anything I may see.
After listening [to the instructions], as soon as I turned myself towards the enormous desert where reckoning was taking place, Ghufran held me by my arm and it was as if we were flying. It seemed as though we were able to reach wherever we wanted to go in a matter of seconds. I noticed, while traveling, that there were humans for as far as the eye could see and that all of them were naked, except for a selected few who were clothed.
There was a group here and a group there. There were various gatherings in different places and in the middle of every gathering or horde was a scale or balance. Hence, as far as the eye could see, there were only humans, scales or angels. But there was absolutely no ruckus. It seemed as if the dead were made to stand and only those could speak who were given permission. There was a silent murmur of “O Ghafoor, O Sattar, O Ghaffar” [O Forgiving One, O Coverer of shortcomings, O Most Forgiving] and sometimes, when someone’s voice would get inappropriately loud, a trumpet would be blown saying:
وَ خَشَعَتِ الۡاَصۡوَاتُ لِلرَّحۡمٰنِ فَلَا تَسۡمَعُ اِلَّا ہَمۡسًا
“And [all] voices shall be hushed before the Gracious God and thou shalt not hear but a subdued sound of footsteps. (Surah Ta Ha, Ch.20: V.109)
Upon this, an eerie silence would take over the place like the one that can be observed in graveyards at night.
Throne of Allah
Hence, we kept on traveling and wherever we went, we saw the same scenes until we got tired. At this point, Ghufran told me that the throne of Allah was in front of us. When I looked up, I could see nothing but light and nur [spiritual light]. But suddenly, I was struck with such fear and awe that I started trembling and my throat tightened. I also realised that the throne seemed equidistant from every location in this infinitely vast ground and the orders which were being issued from this throne were heard clearly everywhere as if they were being pronounced from somewhere right next to us. Countless angels were circumambulating the throne. Some of them were saying:
اَللّٰھُمَّ اِنَّا نَسْتَغْفِرُکَ لِلَّذِیْنَ اٰمَنُوْا
“O Allah, we see forgiveness for the believers.”
while others were saying:
رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ مَنْ فِی الْاَرْضِ
“O Allah forgive everyone on the earth.”
رَّبِّ اغۡفِرۡ وَ ارۡحَمۡ
“O Allah forgive and have mercy.” (Surah al-Mominoon, Ch.23: V.119)
Some were chanting the attributes of “Ya Ghafoor; Ya Raheem” (O Most Forgiving, Most Merciful) and some were chanting the names of Allah “Ya Affuwun, Ya Ghafoor, Ya Sattar, Ya Ghaffar” i.e. “O Effacer of Sins, O Most Forgiving, O Coverer of faults, O Most Forgiving”.
Hence, these angels were reciting various chants and would come from one side and disappear around the other.
Atmosphere of happiness and jubilation
At the same time, there was an atmosphere of happiness and jubilation due to it being the day of forgiveness. Every sinner had a smile of hope and optimism on their face. People’s actions were being measured and their shortcomings and weaknesses were being compensated with the blessings of forgiveness. There was an ease in reckoning today, for today was the day of the manifestation of the attributes of Most Effacing and the Most Forgiving. Even though “Kiraaman Katibeen” [angels tasked with recording the actions of humans] were doing their job (of presenting the full record of deeds) and Rizwan [angel of heaven] and Malik [angel of hell] would argue every once in a while … but above all, today was the day of the Final Judgment and all matters were adjudged in the end by the Most Forgiving and Most Merciful God.
I was busy wandering, when Ghufran said to me, “Let’s go; let me show you some people you may recognise and show you some specific incidents of the forgiveness of Allah, which ordinary people may not be familiar with. Otherwise this judgment and reckoning will continue according to the verse:
کُلَّ یَوۡمٍ ہُوَ فِیۡ شَاۡنٍ
‘Every day He reveals Himself in a different state.’ (Surah al-Rahman, Ch.55: V.30)
“Today is the day of the manifestation of forgiveness. There are other days of God’s reckoning and awe-inspiring wrath and absolute dominion. But all these days are according to the conditions and actions of the people who are deserving of those specific attributes of Allah. There is no limit to the mercy of Allah. Yes, there is [punishment according to] justice, but never injustice.
“Let me show you some detailed signs of the mercy of your Lord so that you may increase in faith and love for your Master and Creator. So that you, who are always in a condition of despair and hopelessness due to the conditions of your actions, may also learn about the noble mercy and forgiveness of your Lord, which is the hope of every sinner and the support of every offender and upon which depends the covering of faults and forgiveness of the worlds.”
The group of the Prophets
After this, we went forth and stood next to a group. All of these people were wearing high quality clothes and were busy in seeking forgiveness. Ghufran informed me, “This is the group of the prophets who have come here pure and forgiven from their earthly life.”
Scenes of forgiveness
1. I went a little further and saw that a person’s scale of sins was very heavy and had very few good deeds. The angels of hell were about to pull him to their side when a voice came from the throne of Allah, “Bring (so and so) person with the register of their deeds.” The person was brought forward. Allah said, “He is the son of this sinful person. Look at his record of deeds as well.” When his record was looked at, it showed that he prayed regularly for the forgiveness of his parents’ sins. It was ordered [by Allah] to put his prayers in the scale of his father’s good deeds. When this was done, his scale of good deeds became heavier than his sins and the angels of heaven lift ed him on their shoulders and took him with them.
2. When we went further, another such sinful person was crying over his fate. It was asked, “How many believers prayed over his grave for his forgiveness?” When these prayers were measured, even those prayers that were made by strangers just walking by the grave enabled this sinner to hop his way into the lap of the angels of forgiveness and departed from the scene.
3. When we went further, another sinner was standing there, looking sad, because of his lack of good deeds. It was ordered that if anyone had wronged him or had backbitten against him, then all the good deeds of such people should be put in his scale. I saw that thousands of good deeds of other people were put in his scale and he was forgiven.
4. I went a little further and saw that another person was under the custody of Malik [angel of hell]. It was said that this person was the author of a specific book and many generations learned about Islam and virtue through his book. Hence, all such people who did good because of his book would not only be rewarded for their good actions themselves, but the author would also be rewarded for them. Hence, when such actions were looked at, an infinite treasure of good deeds came under the account of the author. Malik loosened his grip and the assistant of Rizwan (angel of heaven) took him to heaven.
5. I went further still and saw that a woman stood crying. Her register of deeds was full of vices. A sense of despair and hopelessness had taken over her, when a voice was heard, “Has this sinful and transgressing woman ever done a good deed as well?” One of the Kiraaman Katibeen [angels tasked with recording the actions] said, “My Lord, once, she was traveling in a wilderness and a dog was panting out of thirst. This lady went down into the well, drank some water and brought some water in her shoes for the dog as well.” Allah the Almighty replied, “We are very appreciative and reward the smallest actions manifold. We liked this action of hers so much that We have decided to forgive her at this very moment. Cover her in the mantle of Our forgiveness and let her go wherever she wishes.”
6. I went further and noticed that there was a lot of commotion at a certain place. There was a humble sinner standing next to a decorated virtuous person. The seemingly virtuous person said to the sinner, “I swear to God, Allah will never forgive you.” On this, people started whispering to each other and some said that the “Holy man” was correct and that his sins were too enormous to be forgiven. A voice came from the throne of the Almighty, “O person, who are you to swear by our forgiveness? O sinner, you are forgiven. As for you, we will decide about you later.” On this, the sinner laughed and hopped his way to heaven in joy.
7. Similarly, there was a group of people whose judgment was taking place. They were believers, but their record of deeds was empty of any goodness. Even though they believed in the prophet of their time, however they did not live long enough to do many good deeds. Some of them had literally no good actions in their books. Such people were judged according to the verse of the Holy Quran:
اِنَّا نَطۡمَعُ اَنۡ یَّغۡفِرَ لَنَا رَبُّنَا خَطٰیٰنَاۤ اَنۡ کُنَّاۤ اَوَّلَ الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ
“We do hope that our Lord will forgive us our sins, since we are the first among the believers.” (Surah al-Shu‘ara, Ch.26: V.52)
This means that since they were the first ones to believe in the Prophet, this very fact was good enough for their forgiveness, even if they had not performed a single good deed after becoming a Muslim.
8. We went ahead from there and saw that the children of Prophet Jacobas were being judged and they were forgiven due to the prayers of their forefathers i.e. the prayers of their father that were made according to their request that “O our father, ask forgiveness of our sins for us; we have indeed been sinners” (Surah Yusuf, Ch.12: V.98)
And the reply that was given by their father was, “I will certainly ask forgiveness for you of my Lord. Surely, He is the Most Forgiving, the Merciful.’ (V.99).
9. I noticed at another place that several people are afflicted by their sins and could not find a way of salvation. Allah asked, “Who offered the funeral prayer of the person on the right?” It was found that his funeral prayer was offered by 40 believers. Allah ordered, “Malik, let him go. We have forgiven him due to the intercession of those 40 believing men.” Then came the turn for the person on the left. It was found that the majority of pious people in his town said at his death that he was a good person who had lived his life like a good Muslim. Allah ordered that he should be forgiven on account of the praise of those people. Then, Allah asked, “What is the condition of the third person?” The angels replied that only two believers considered him virtuous and good at his death. It was ordered that he should be forgiven as well. The fourth sinner was forgiven because there were three rows of Muslims at his funeral.
10. Another sinful Muslim was forgiven because three of his children died in his life. Another believing woman was forgiven because she had to bear the pain of the death of one of her children. Judgment was being done on a husband and wife, when a two-year-old came running by and said that those two were his parents and he would not go to heaven without them. The eyes of those who were watching this scene were filled with tears.
In the meanwhile, another case of a husband and wife was being adjudged and a small child, whose umbilical cord was still stuck to his belly-button, came and started crying, “O my Lord, I am a miscarriage-baby. Due to your mercy, I am being allowed to live in heaven. But I will never go back there if my parents are in hell.” Allah decreed, “We have forgiven your parents for you as well. Take them to Paradise with you.” The baby took his parents into heaven with his umbilical cord and the eyes of all the witnesses were filled with tears.
11. Then, we proceeded further. There was a person who had some weaknesses in his register of deeds. But because he used to visit his parents’ grave every Friday, he was let go. On the right there was a huge group of people, none of whom had enough good deeds in their register to be forgiven, but all of them were forgiven because one night, the Holy Prophetsa spent the whole night praying in Tahajjud the following verse of the Holy Quran:
اِنۡ تُعَذِّبۡہُمۡ فَاِنَّہُمۡ عِبَادُکَ ۚ وَ اِنۡ تَغۡفِرۡ لَہُمۡ فَاِنَّکَ اَنۡتَ الۡعَزِیۡزُ الۡحَکِیۡمُ
“If Thou punish them, they are Thy servants; and if Thou forgive them, Thou surely art the Mighty, the Wise.” (Surah al-Maidah, Ch.5: V.119)
12. From there, we came to a place where a murderer was being adjudged. I heard that he had killed 99 people in cold blood. After that, he had remorse in his heart and wanted to repent. So, he went to a hermit and asked him if his repentance would be accepted. The hermit replied that his sins were too grave to be forgiven. On this, he got angry and killed the hermit as well. People informed him of a scholar who may be able to help him with his repentance. This killer went in search of the scholar’s town, but died on his way.
This resulted in an argument between the angels of forgiveness and the angels of punishment. The angels of punishment were of the opinion that he was a coldblooded murderer and dacoit, while the others opined that he was on his way to perform true repentance. Hence, this caused a great commotion. I heard that the decision had been passed from the throne of Allah to measure the distance between his home and the place of his death and to compare it with the distance between his place of death and the town of the scholar. A report was submitted from the department of Mikail that his dead body was closer to the town of the scholar by only a few inches. It was ordained, “We have accepted his repentance and have forgiven him. Cover him in the mantle of Our forgiveness.”
13. Then we went further. The case of a sinner was being presented. Kiraaman Katibeen [angels assigned to recording the deeds of the people] said to Allah the Almighty that this person used to sin during the day and cry at night, lamenting that he had sinned and asked for forgiveness. Allah would forgive his sins and say that this servant of Mine knew that he had a Lord Who forgives sins and has the power to punish His servants. So, Allah would ordain, “Bear witness, O angels, I have forgiven him.”
Then, after a few days, he would sin again and then again pray in the same manner and Allah would reply, “This servant of Mine knows that he has a Lord who can punish him for his sins and has the power to forgive as well.” So, Allah would ordain, “Bear witness, O angels, I have forgiven him.”
And then he would sin again after a short while and the entire episode would be repeated again in that he would then again pray for his forgiveness in the same manner and Allah would reply that this servant of His believed that God could punish him for his sins and has the power to forgive him as well.
Hence, the angels reported, this person continued to sin and seek forgiveness throughout his life. The angels requested Allah the Almighty for guidance and decision in his matter. Allah the Almighty said, “I had ordained only after three times:
غَفَرْتُ لِعَبْدِی فَلْيَفْعَلْ مَا شَاءَ
‘I have forgiven my servant; let him do what he wishes.’
Has this commandment not been recorded?” The records were searched and a copy of this order was found in Bukhari and Muslim [Books of Hadith] and the culprit was forgiven.
14. We went further and saw the case of a sinner being presented by the Kiraaman Katibeen. Along with various other sins, there was also a complaint that in his will, he asked his children to burn his body and throw half of the ashes in the wind and throw the rest into the ocean. He was afraid that if God was to punish him, he would be given such a punishment by Allah, the like of which had never been given to anyone else. After a while, he died and his children acted upon his will. Now he was brought back to life on the Day of Judgment and the angels enquired about what should be done regarding him. Allah said, “Ask him why he made such a will?” He replied, “O my Lord, I have never done any good in my life and spent my life in sin. So, my Lord, I did what I did out of your fear. You fully know the truth.” Allah the Almighty replied, “He is telling the truth. He had my real fear and taqwa in his heart. Thus, I forgive him.”
15. On one side, I saw some men walking happily towards the road to Paradise. I asked them, “Have you been forgiven?” They replied, “Yes.” When asked, “Why?” they replied, “When our Lord saw us in trouble, he said, ‘I have promised these people that I will send them to heaven.’” I asked them what sort of promise was made to them. They replied, “Allah the Almighty had promised through his prophet:
مَنْ كَانَتْ لَہٗ اُنْثٰى فَلَمْ يُؤَدهَا وَلَمْ يُهْنهَا وَلَمْ يُؤثِر وَلَدَهٗ عَلَيْهَا يَعْنِیْ الذُّکُورَ اَ دْ خَلَہٗ اللّٰهُ الْجَنَّۃَ
“Whosoever has one daughter, and he does not bury her alive [like the custom of some Arab tribes], nor degrades her, nor does he give preference to his sons over his daughters, then I will enter them into paradise. So, Allah showered His grace upon us because we followed this commandment of Allah.”
16. Similarly, I saw another woman whose worship of Allah, such as her prayers, her fasting, her alms-giving, were not enough, but she was sent to Paradise because she never hurt her neighbours with her tongue and they were all happy with her.
17. So, we kept on walking around like this, until we came upon a huge group of martyrs, whose count was above anything I could have ever imagined. Ghufran told me that there were very few in this group who were martyred by a sword while fighting in the way of Allah. But Allah’s mercy and forgiveness had created so many ways to enter the fold of martyrdom. For example:
– A person who died even from a natural death, while serving the cause of Allah would be considered a martyr
– Whosoever died while protecting his property was a martyr
– A believer who died of plague was a martyr
– A woman who died in childbirth was a martyr
– Whoever died of pleurisy was a martyr
– Whoever died of diarrhea was a martyr
– Whoever died with something falling on him was a martyr etc.
Hence, Allah has opened so many ways to become a martyr and partake from the mercy and forgiveness of Allah that even if a believer spends all of his life being grateful to Allah, they will not be able to properly thank their Lord, so much so that a person who regularly prays for martyrdom, even if he dies in his bed, he will be considered a martyr.
18. There was a special kindness being shown when it came to women. There was a general commandment that a woman who prays five times a day, fasts, protects her chastity and does not disobey her husband, can enter paradise from whichever door of the heaven she prefers.
19. Then we went further and saw that the case of a person who had died during the time of the Holy Prophetsa was being presented in the court. When he passed away, the Holy Prophetsa also went out for his funeral prayers. Hazrat Umarra requested, “O prophet of Allah, this person was an open sinner and transgressor, please do not offer his funeral prayer.”
The Holy Prophetsa enquired from those attending the funeral prayer, “Has anyone seen this person act upon any of the commandments of Islam?” People replied that on one occasion, he stood for guard duty at night.
The Holy Prophetsa offered his funeral prayer, poured soil in his grave, looked at the grave of the deceased, and said, “O you who have died! Your friends think you are hell-bound, but I bear witness that you shall go to paradise. O Umar ibn Al-Khattab! Do not dig too deep into people’s actions. Generally observe if they were observant of Islam or not.”
Thus, the same act rewarded him the salvation in the Hereafter.
20. Similarly, there was a Muslim fighter who had fought in the way of Allah. His deeds were not sufficient to send him to heaven. Allah put his horse, horse’s feed and even the horse’s dung into the scale of his good deeds, until the scale of his good deeds became heavier than the scale of his wrongdoings and shortcomings and he raced towards paradise on his horse. Similarly, infinite people were forgiven because they were in love with prophets, saints and other holy figures. Even though their actions were not enough, but they were made the neighbours of their loved ones according to the hadith:
اَلْمَرْءُ مَعَ مَنْ أَحَبَّ
“A person will be with whom he loves.” [Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Adab]
21. I saw at another place that a group of people, who used to do zikr and tasbih of God, was being taken to paradise beneath the wings of the angels. There was another person walking behind them. Ghufran [the angel accompanying Hazrat Mir Sahibra in this vision] told me that the story of this person is very interesting.
“Once, Allah asked the angels, what did you see in the world today? The angels replied, ‘We saw a group of people in a mosque remembering you with love and devotion.’ Allah said, ‘Bear witness that I have forgiven them all.’ The angels said, ‘O Allah, there was a person in that gathering who did not come there for Your remembrance, but for a personal errand.’ Allah said, ‘Bear witness that I have forgiven him as well, for ْ
هُمُ الَّذِي لَا يَشْقٰي جَلِیْسُھُمْ
“These people [who remember Allah] are such that those who are in their company can never be unfortunate.”’
The person walking behind is that same person.”
22. As we went further, Ghufran pointed towards a person who was walking around with the mantle of Allah’s forgiveness covering him. Ghufran informed me that the story of this person is also very interesting.
“This person migrated to Medina along with a noble companion of the Holy Prophetsa at the time of the migration of the Holy Prophetsa. He got sick in Medina and got so impatient that he slit his own wrists with an arrow, which caused so much bleeding that he eventually died. His friend, who was a companion, saw him in the dream that he was in a very good condition, but he had both his hands covered. His friend asked him, ‘What happened with you [at Judgment Day]?’
“He replied, ‘My Lord forgave me because I had migrated towards His Prophetsa. But Allah also told me that He would not heal my hands which I had damaged.’ When this was mentioned to the Holy Prophetsa, he prayed for him that:
اَللّٰھُمَّ وَلِيَدَیْہِ فَاغْفِرْ
‘O Allah, forgive his hands as well.’”
Ghufran informed me that he remained in his original condition, but today, due to this prayer, his hands’ completely function and now, he was going to paradise.
23. We went further and I learned of a person about whom Allah had ordered that He would call him to account personally. So, this person was brought in front of Allah’s throne. Allah asked him, “Do you know that you committed (such-and-such) grave and heinous sins in the world?” He replied, “Yes, my Lord, I do.” Every single muscle on his body was trembling with fear that now, there would be no place for him except hell. However, in that very moment, Allah the Almighty said, “I covered your sins while you were on earth so I will cover your sins today as well. Here, take the register of your good deeds, go towards the people whose accounts are being checked and leave the register of your sins with Us. Now be on your way; We shall take care of things from here.”
24. Then, another case was presented in the court of Allah. A prisoner was brought with 99 huge registers of his actions. He was asked, “These are the registers of your deeds. If you dispute any of these, let Us know.” He replied, “My Lord, whatever is mentioned in them is correct.” He was asked, “Do you have any excuse,” He replied, “No, my Lord.” Allah replied, “We have one excuse from you, which is a great virtue. You will not be punished.”
Then, a piece of paper was presented on which it was written:
أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَّاإِلٰهَ اِلَّا اللّٰهُ وَ أَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهٗ وَ رَسُوْلُهٗ
“I bear witness that there is no God except Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”
It was commanded to put this sheet in the scale of his good deeds and when this sheet of paper was put with his good deeds, the scales of goodness lowered against the other side with heavy registers of sins and that person went running towards paradise, repeating the words:
اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ، اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰہِ
“All praise belongs to Allah; All praise belongs to Allah.”
25. Then we turned our attention to another side and we heard a caller making an announcement on behalf of Allah the Almighty:
اَیْنَ الَّذِیْ کَانَتْ تَتَجَافٰی جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ الْمَضَاجِعِ
“Where are those who used to separate their bodies from their beds at night in the remembrance of their Lord?”
Upon hearing this, many such people stood up and gathered at one place and it was announced that all of them were forgiven without any judgment.
26. Then, a third case was presented in the special court of Allah. A man was brought forward and an order was decreed by Allah to read out all of his smaller sins and errors and ask him whether he had committed these sins, but not to present the graver sins. Upon hearing these smaller sins, the man replied, “Yes, my Lord. I have made all of these mistakes. How can I lie about this truth?” At the same time, the person was thinking fearfully in his heart that these were only his smaller sins.
He asked himself what would happen when his more severe sins would be read out aloud. While he was still in his thoughts, Allah said, “Go, We have forgiven you and given you one good deed for each of your sins.” Hearing this the person lost all his faculties due to happiness and blurted out, “O my Lord, these were only my small sins. The major sins have not been recited yet; those should also be presented before of You.” When the audience heard this, they all started laughing. The person, obviously embarrassed, went towards paradise and was covered in the mantle of God’s forgiveness by one of the angels.
27. I also saw that those who were already punished for their crimes on earth were being treated with extra compassion and kindness. For example, there was a person who had committed a grave sin, so he himself went to his ruler and said, “I have committed this sin. I am terribly regretful and have asked Allah for forgiveness, but I would rather face the punishment in this life than face the punishment of the Hereafter.” On this, he was stoned to death. When this person was brought in front of Allah on the Day of Judgement, Allah said to him, “O My servant! We are very pleased with your repentance. If your regret and repentance was distributed to an entire city, we would have forgiven all of them.”
28. There was also a case of a very cruel ruler who had wronged many of his subjects. All of his oppressed subjects were present to look at the punishment that was about to be dealt to him, but when they heard that this person had truly repented from his sins in his last days and had migrated to Medina and died there, they all said that they forgave all of his trespasses against them and beseeched Allah to do the same. Hence, that person also went to paradise with a smile on his face.
29. Millions of people were being forgiven because those who were wronged by them were being recompensed by Allah manifold and in return, these wronged souls were forgiving their transgressors and seeking forgiveness for them and in this manner, they – both the wronged and the wrongdoers – were being forgiven. Many people who did not have enough good deeds were being forgiven because their parents were happy with them and they were absorbing God’s grace under the rule:
رضی الرب في رضی الوالد
“The pleasure of Allah lies in the pleasure of the parents.”
30. The most astounding example for me was that of two persons. Two people were standing to one side, waiting to be dragged to hell, when they saw a forgiven person entering paradise. One of the hell-bound man said to him, “Dear brother! Do you recognise me? I am the person who gave you water on one occasion at such-and-such place.” The second one added, “You must remember me also, brother. I filled up your container with water so that you could perform ablution. Now, look at us, you are going to heaven and we are going to hell.” This melted the heart of the forgiven person and he started praying for them to Allah, the Most Merciful, there and then. It was ordered to take both of them to paradise with him as well.
31. We were still engrossed in these scenes when all of a sudden, we heard some commotion coming from hell. It was reported [to Allah] that two people were causing all this noise. It was ordered to bring the two in front of Allah. Once presented, they were asked, “Why are you making so much noise?” They replied, “O our Lord! We are burning. We cannot bear this pain and punishment. Please have mercy on us.” Allah said, “Alright, go back to your places in hell. We shall make a decision about you later.” One of them returned back, but the other stood there and said, “O my Lord, did you take me out of hell only so that you could put me back?” This caused everyone to laugh. Allah the Almighty ordered, “Alright then, go, O impatient one. We have forgiven you and your friend.”
32. Hence, we went forth, observing similar incidents, until we reached a group of the Companions of the Holy Prophetsa. There was similar commotion and judgment happening there too. There was a companion by the name of Hatib about whom certain witnesses said, “He is guilty of treason to Islam and the Holy Prophetsa and the punishment for that should have been death in the world and hell in the Hereafter.” It was alleged, he had written a letter to the disbelievers of Mecca informing them of the imminent attack of the Holy Prophetsa, which was a state secret, the divulgence of which could have resulted in the destruction of the Muslims.
“If Allah had not informed the Holy Prophetsa of this treason in time, the entire plan for the victory of Mecca would have been ruined. We cannot find a bigger traitor than him.”
It was ordained from the throne of Allah, “You are right, but look at our order that was passed in second year of Hijra regarding the Companions who fought in the Battle of Badr. The order was searched and presented and it said:
إِعْمَلُوْا مَا شِئْتُمْ فَاِنِّی غَفَرْتُ لَکُمْ
“Do whatever you wish. For I have surely forgiven you all.”
It was further said, “There are certain services of our servants which are worthy of such rewards. Let Hatibra bin Balta‘ah go, for he is forgiven along with the Companions of Badr.”
33. After this, the case of the Chief of the Martyrs, Lion of Allah, Hazrat Hamzara bin Abdul Muttalib was presented. The witnesses reported that on one occasion, he was drunk and listening to songs from his female slave. He was so pleased with the singing that he asked her to make a wish. This woman felt some animosity towards Hazrat Alira, so she asked him to bring the livers from the two camels of Hazrat Alira that were given to him as a bounty of war from the Battle of Badr.
On this, he went to that place and split open their stomachs and took the livers out. The poor animals died in agony.
When Hazrat Alira was informed, he reported this to the Holy Prophetsa in tears. The Holy Prophetsa went to Hazrat Hamzara, along with Hazrat Alira. Hazrat Hamza was still drunk and in his drunken condition, said, “Are you two not the slaves of my father.” The Holy Prophetsa realised that Hazrat Hamza was drunk and did not deem it appropriate to continue talking to him in this manner. After a while, Hazrat Hamzara was martyred in the Battle of Uhud.
It was said, “He must be punished for the crimes against humanity and the creation of Allah, and though alcohol was not yet forbidden at the time, but it still does not take away from the severity of the crime as it was a demonstration of extreme cruelty, which is against human nature, no matter which religion a person may belong to. That is why we are asking for recompense.”
It was said from the throne of Allah:
“We have already taken retribution for his mistake. Hamza is our lion. The recompense that was taken from him is evident and the nearness [to Allah] which we have bestowed upon him is also evident. Is it not correct that he killed the camels on the request of his female slave. So, in Uhud, a slave named Wahshi, who was hired for a reward, killed Hamza and tore open his torso in a manner that animals do.
Then Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan, took out his liver from his body just as Hamza removed it from the carcasses of those animals. Just as the liver of the camels was grilled and eaten, so was his liver chewed by Hind in front of everyone at Uhud. As another, second camel was killed, so Hamza’s body was mutilated and his nose, ears and lips were cut off and made into a necklace and shown off to everyone in the battlefield. As he declared the Holy Prophetsa as the slave of his father, a slave was arranged for the murder of Hamza, as opposed to a nobleman of the Quraish.”
Allah continued to say:
“Now, tell us, was every aspect of this crime not retributed? Even to the point that the one on whose request camels were killed was a singer and Hind, who mutilated Hamza’s body was also a singer who sang songs in the Battle of Uhud to inspire the army, the first couplet of which is:
نَحْنُ بَنَاتُ الطَّارِقِ
نَمْشِیْ عَلٰی النَّمَارِقِ
“But because he was our beloved, our retribution was in fact a reward for him. His martyrdom at Uhud made him the Chief of the Martyrs and whatever was done to his body after death did not cause him any pain; neither the mutilation, nor the removal or biting of his liver. So, today, we have covered him in our mantle of forgiveness and dignity. His status is raised and your claim is answered. Now, take him to heaven and give him a station near his nephew [the Holy Prophetsa]. We are pleased with him and he, with Us.”
34. After hearing this judgement, we went further and saw a believer who had committed every type of sin other than Shirk [associating partners with Allah]. He was about to be dragged towards hell, when we heard an awe-inspiring voice proclaiming:
مَنْ عَلِمَ اَنِّی ذُوْ قُدْرَۃٍ عَلَی مَغْفِرَۃِ الذُّنُوْبِ غَفَرْتُ لَہٗ وَلَا اُبَالِیْ مَا لَمْ یُشْرِکْ بِیْ شَیْئًا
“I shall forgive the person who believed about Me that I have complete power to forgive all of someone’s sins and shall not care for anything until they associate a partner with me.”
There was another person standing next to him. Every page of his register of deeds was full of sins and transgressions, but every once in a while, there were a couple of istighfars [seeking forgiveness] recorded on the pages as well. It was ordered that today, all of his sins were effaced due to those istighfar.
35. There was an argument regarding a blind man. Order came from the throne of Allah that we took his two beloved eyes from him, so today we forgive him because of that.
36. I went further and saw a huge crowd of sick, poor and needy people. Allah said:
لَا اُخْرِجُ اَحَدًا مِنَ الدُّنْيَا اُرِيْدُ اغْفِرْ لَہٗ حَتَّی اسْتَوْ فَي كُلَّ خَطِيْئَةٍ فِيْ عُنُقِهٖ بِسُقْمٍ فِیْ بَدَنِهٖ وَاقتَارٍ فِيْ رِزْقِهٖ
“Whenever I care for someone’s forgiveness, I make sure to get rid of all their sins by putting them through trials of sickness and poverty.”
When I heard this, I became very happy because I was also a very sick child and suddenly, all of my pains began to feel like blessings.
After a while, I told Ghufran, “I have seen many examples of the forgiveness of Allah. But what I see here is like an ocean with no end in sight. I am a little tired. Can you please take me back?” So we started making our way back, but Ghufran, considering my tiredness, wanted to keep me occupied. He informed me about some general rules and reasons for forgiveness. So, I will mention them here briefly:
A few reasons of forgiveness
1. No one will enter paradise due to the strength of their own actions, no matter how good their actions might be. It is only Allah’s grace and compassion which results in a person’s salvation
2. The second rule is that Allah is very appreciative and rewards every action manifold
3. Allah is the Most Forgiving, Ever Merciful, of His Own will. He may forgive someone without any judgment, while someone may have an easy judgment and another may be called to full account
4. Allah’s mercy always overpowers his wrath
5. Every punishment of Allah is based on wisdom and leads to reformation and is not based on personal anger or displeasure. Even hell is an abode for rehabilitation and is temporary and not permanent
6. No one can forgive any sins of another person. Forgiveness of sins is exclusively God’s prerogative.
اِنّهٗ لَا يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوْبَ اِلَّا اللّٰهُ
[Verily, no one can forgive sins, save Allah]
7. There is no cruelty in God’s judgment. There is either compassion, justice or appropriate punishment
8. Every good deed is rewarded manifold, whereas the punishment of each sin is equal to its measure. If a person only thinks about doing a good, they get the reward for it, but if a person thinks about doing an evil, then there is no punishment for it, rather, if he stops himself from the evil he planned to do, there is reward for that as well
9. Istighfar [prayer for Allah’s forgiveness] is readily accepted by Allah
10. If a person prays for someone else’s forgiveness, this prayer is considered for both the one praying and the one prayed for. In reality, praying for the deceased is one of the best gifts we can offer them
11. The Most Forgiving, Ever Merciful God has appointed numerous angels in each and every corner of both worlds and there is a very respected and close group of angels around His throne whose sole job is to pray for the forgiveness of His servants. God does not shy away from even forgiving the shortcomings of a believer whose sins are high like a mountain or even reach the sky. Everyday, infinite sins of mankind are forgiven by the Most Gracious, Most Forgiving God without any reason
12. On the Day of Judgment, prophets, especially the Holy Prophetsa – the Chief of all Prophets – as well as other holy and chosen people, will intercede on behalf of the believers, with the permission of God, and countless creation of God will be forgiven by their intercession. Not only these chosen ones, but even the Holy Quran and its chapters will intercede on behalf of servants. Many people will be forgiven due to such intercessions
13. Finally, the Most Forgiving and Merciful God will extend His hands into hell and say, “All the intercessors have interceded. Now the Most Forgiving, Most Compassionate, Most Loving will intercede”, i.e. God Himself. All the sinners will be removed from hell and the doors of hell will shake with the soft breeze of God’s mercy – no one will be left therein. Even the Pharaoh and Abu Jahl will be brought into the mantle of Allah’s forgiveness. Hell would keep its prisoners only until their reformation is complete. This is indicated by the Holy Prophetsa as well that:
حَتّٰی اِذَا هَذَّبُوْا وَاتَّقُوْا
that as soon as manners and righteousness are achieved by them and they are capable of living peacefully among the people of paradise, with high morals and virtue, they will be sent towards paradise. And severe punishments are given to the people of harsh and extreme natures
14. Some people are in doubt that if God is Ever Merciful, more compassionate than one’s parents, then why would He place people in hell? The answer to this is that hell is for those who associate partners with Allah and transgress and rebel without any care and are among the worst enemies of God and His Messengersa in the world. Even parents become apathetic and get sick of their children when they become openly rebellious and transgressors.
اِنَّ اللّٰهَ لَا يُعَذِّبُ مِنْ عِبَادِهٖ اِلَّا الْمَارِدِ الْمُتَمَرِّدَ الَّذِي يَتَمَرَّدُ عَلَى اللّٰهِ وَاَبَی اَنْ يَّقُوْلَ لَا اِلٰهَ اِلَّا اللّٰهُ
“Allah does not punish any of His slaves except those who are defiant and rebellious, who rebel against Allah and refuse to say, ‘There is none worthy of worship except Allah.” [Sunan Ibn-e-Majah, Kitab al-Zuhd] Otherwise, you have already seen how Allah will deal with people on the Day of Judgment.
فَسُبْحَانَ اللّٰهِ عَمَّا يَصِفُوْنَ
“Glorified be Allah above all that which they attribute [to Him]!”
“Other than what you have seen, there are countless other ways of the forgiveness of Allah. There are countless deeds which are so liked by Allah that due to them, a person is covered in the light of Allah’s forgiveness.
“Some such actions include the five daily prayers, fasting, good morals, taking care of the elderly, obedience to parents, loyalty to husbands, taking care of orphans, charity and alms-giving, seeking forgiveness and repentance, propagating the message of Islam, remembrance of Allah, fear of Allah and taqwa, having hope in the mercy of Allah, trying to stay away from big sins, respect of elders, forgiving the faults of other people, love of Allah, helping people, invoking Durood upon the Holy Prophetsa with love and devotion, sincerity, jihad, sacrifice, recitation of the Holy Quran etc.
“In essence, all good deeds absorb the forgiveness of Allah and sometimes, it is these small deeds that are appreciated and rewarded manifold by Allah and result in the forgiveness of the person. When you return here next time, I will tell you some other aspects.
“And anyway, with the command of Allah, your leader and guide, Ahmadas [the Promised Messiah] has opened a place of forgiveness in the world. I asked, “Which place?”
He replied, “The same place which is known as Bahishti Maqbarah [the Heavenly Graveyard, founded by the Promised Messiahas]. Your Jamaat is very fortunate that they are able to receive such [blessings] through the grace of Allah, which the previous ummahs and the earlier people of this ummah were not able to. Everyone who is buried in this graveyard will come out on the Day of Judgment already dressed in the garb of Allah’s forgiveness.”
Then, Ghufran asked me, “Tell me, since you are personally aware of matters of that graveyard, let me hear some interesting incidents of God’s forgiveness pertaining to the place. I have shown you around this place in such detail, now let me hear an incident or two from you that you have witnessed with your own eyes so that it may please my heart.”
I replied, “Okay, then listen!”
Interesting incidents linked with Bahishti Maqbarah
“One incident is that of Maulvi Nabha Sahib. He used to live in a city called Nabha, quite far from Qadian. He was very old and poor. If he had died there [in Nabha], there was no appropriate arrangement for bringing the dead body [to Qadian], nor were his relatives rich enough to arrange for the transport.
“One day, perhaps only four days before his demise, Allah instilled a great yearning and passion in his heart to visit Qadian. He got on a train right away and alighted at Batala Station. In those days, the trains did not yet reach Qadian.
“The same day, I was returning back to my place of employment from Qadian. I met him roadside near the village of Vadala. He was happy and in great shape. I asked him as to what brought him to Qadian? He replied, ‘All of a sudden, I got so eager to visit Qadian that I could not even stay a single moment in Nabha. I plan to stay a few days here and then I shall return.’
“After this [short conversation] my horse-carriage left for Batala and his departed for Qadian. Two or three days after I reached the place of my employment, I read in Al Fazl that Maulvi Nabha Sahib was visiting Qadian, he got sick there and had passed away from the illness. It said that he was buried in the Bahishti Maqbarah.
“So, this was one sign I saw in that Allah compelled his heart and brought a weak and poor person, hundreds of miles away from his home, to Qadian at the time of his death. Otherwise, the poor person would have been buried in his hometown Nabha because there would have been no arrangements for his dead body to be brought to Qadian, so Bahishti Maqbarah pulled him to itself.
“The second incident is even more fascinating than this one. Sheikh Mahmud Ahmad Irfani Saghir was sick in his final illness. He was not a musi [participant in the scheme of Al Wasiyyat]. A few days before his death, he finalised his Wasiyyat and sent it to the administrative offices of Bahishti Maqbarah. He passed away after a few days.
“The day he died was the same day when Jalsa Hoshiarpur, relating to the announcement of the fulfillment of the Musleh-e-Maud prophecy, took place. Th e majority of the men in Qadian had traveled to Hoshiarpur to participate in the Jalsa. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II[ra] was not in Qadian, nor were any of the other elders of the Jamaat. It was quite a desolate sight in Qadian and his family members felt that Irfani Saghir had passed away on a day when you could not even see enough people in Qadian to off er the funeral prayer.
“Irfani Kabir informed Hazrat Amirul Momineen [Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra] and also informed Hazrat Maulvi Sarwar Shah[ra] about his son’s demise. He requested His Holiness to allow for this old servant [of the community] to be buried in qitta-e-khas [an area of the graveyard dedicated for devout servants of the Jamaat] and wrote to Maulvi Sarwar Shah Sahib[ra], Secretary of Bahishti Maqbarah that his Wasiyyat was still in the office, pending approval. Thus, he requested him if he could grant special permission for him to be buried in Bahishti Maqbarah.
“Within a few hours, an answer was received for both telegrams. Huzoor[ra] replied that a place could not be offered in qitta-e-khas because there were special conditions for that. This instruction was complied with. Hazrat Maulvi [Sarwar Shah] Sahib[ra] replied that the will was not accepted, that is why he is not permitted to be buried in Bahishti Maqbarah.
“This was possibly because the will was made at the deathbed. But despite all this, God’s forgiveness and mercy was smiling over the body of this individual, that ‘We have caused you to die today so that you can be buried in the graveyard [Bahishti Maqbarah] and We have sent those who did not approve your request there [to Hoshiarpur]. Do not worry, for your services will not go in vain. And you will surely be buried in this very graveyard of which you are not considered worthy by the administrators.’
“So, what transpired was that a few members of Sadr Anjuman [the Central Administrative Body of the Jamaat] were able to reach Qadian in the middle of the night. A meeting was held that very morning by those members and the Wasiyyat was accepted. By 2pm, the deceased was buried in the graveyard aft er his funeral prayer.
“The train upon which Hazrat Maulvi Sarwar Shah Sahib and the others were supposed to arrive in Qadian was scheduled for 1:30pm, but the train was delayed by an hour and a half. If the train had reached in time, then surely Irfani Saghir would not have been buried in the graveyard because he was buried just after 2pm. Hence, I saw the special involvement of the forgiveness of Allah in that case with my own eyes, and I truly came to believe:
لَا يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوْبَ اِلَّا اَنْتَ
“that ‘there is none other than You [Allah] who can forgive the sins.’
“When the will of Allah decides to show mercy, then there is no one who can stop it! Those of us who were saddened by the fact that Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II[ra] and other elders were not in Qadian came to know that this was all according to the wisdom of Allah and that the forgiveness and mercy of Allah had decided that Mahmud Irfani would most definitely be buried in Bahishti Maqbarah, despite various hurdles and even not fulfilling certain criteria. And so it happened!”
Ghufran laughed at these incidents and then said, “Bring your ear closer to me.” I leaned towards him and he whispered such a thing in my ear that I could not stop the tears from flowing down my eyes; all I managed to say was, “Alhamdolillah” and “Jazakallah”.
Ghufran was not yet done with his conversation, when I saw the great door which we had used to enter the place of resurrection. Upon seeing the door, the peaceful trance that had intoxicated me with the forgiveness of Allah was slowly lift ed and I was awoken. What I saw was that I was still on my bed in my home, writing this very article. But the only thing I wrote in full consciousness was this last sentence:
آخِرُ دَعْوَانَا اَنِ الْحَمْدُ لِله رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْنَ
[Our final call is that all praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds.]
(Translated by Talha Ali, Missionary Philippines)