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Journey of the Unseen World

Journey of the Unseen World

Author:
Publisher: www.alhassanain.org/english
English

This book is corrected and edited by Al-Hassanain (p) Institue for Islamic Heritage and Thought

Alhassanain (p) Network for Islamic Heritage and Thought

Journey of the Unseen World

Author:Resaleh Team

www.alhassanain.org/english

Table of Contents

Chapter 1A - The Station of the Grave and the beginning of Barzakh westward travel 3

Chapter 1B - The Station of the Grave and the beginning of Barzakh westward travel 9

Chapter 2 - Journey to the First Station 16

Chapter 3 - Journey towards the Second Station 21

Chapter 4 - Journey towards Third Station 24

Chapter 5 - The Fourth Station and Reunion with Haadi 26

Chapter 7 - The Station of Bliss and Peace 29

Chapter 8 - The Last Station The Valley of Peace 33

Chapter 9 - Spring in Valley of Peace 37

Chapter 10 – A visit to Hell 40

Chapter 11 - A Sincere Appeal 43

Chapter 12 - Safeguards against Dangers 44

Chapter 1A - The Station of the Grave and the beginning ofBarzakh westward travel

In the name of Allah, the Benevolent and Ever Merciful

All Praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Universe.The Master of this world and of the Day ofJudgement . Peace and blessings be on the Prophet of Islam and on his Progeny who warned us that Love of this world is a dangerous affliction and that it is the root cause of all diseases afflicting the human race. All other diseases are really branches stemming from this main root. And the cure of this affliction is to keep reminding oneself constantly of Death.

I begin now, by saying that in 1307 H I had written my memories about my schooling and had called it Travel Eastwards and now in 1312 when am writing about theBarzakh , I intend to call ii Westward travel and I hope that it will serve as a souvenir from me and will prove a source of guidance and advice for the general public.

The fact is that our present material and elemental body by virtue of its very nature, is in a dark and impenetrable veil, not allowing man to see into any other world. Death, in fact, is the name of emerging from this curtain and once this curtain is removed, man is able to see that which was hidden to his eyes before, and he becomes aware of facts which he was unaware of, until then.

'Certainly, you were heedless of this (day), now we have removed your veil from you, so now your sight is sharp'. (Soora Qaf Verse 22)

That is to say, in this world you were ignorant of facts. Now after death we have removed from your eyes the material curtain so that you may clearly see the Hereafter.

Hence, I died. Then I saw myself standing, relieved of my illness, feeling fit and healthy, but around my corpse my relatives were busy mourning. I was saddened by their crying and told them that I was cured and not dead but nobody heard me.

It was as if they neither saw nor heard me. Irealised that these people had now become distant from me and so I turned my complete attention towards my corpse. I became especially attentive towards the face and the side which was uncovered. Afterwards, my body was bathed and shrouded. Then, when the people had taken care of their other pending work, they took my body towards the graveyard. I was also present in the funeral procession. In this I saw many wild beasts and animals, which frightened me but the other people present were neither afraid nor even troubled, as if those beasts were their tame and beloved pets. In this way, we reached the graveyard. I stood in the grave, and saw how my body was lowered into it, head first. The moment the body was laid inside, the grave became full of animals emerging from everywhere.

My fear knew no bounds especially when the animals started attacking my body. But the man who was lowering my body was not in the leastfearful, it was asit he did not even see them.

The man laid the body in the grave and then came out. But my primary interest was in my body so I stayed inside the grave. I tried to shy away the animals but they were too many for me to handle and they overcame me. One reason was, that I was so overcome with fear that my very existence was trembling. I called out to the people standing above my grave for help but nobody came forward to help. On the contrary they remained busy in their work, as it they lust could not see the commotion that was going on inside the grave. Suddenly certain people entered the grave from somewhere and came to my help, as the animals ran away when they saw these people. So I thanked them and asked them who they were that they had helped me in such a difficult time. They smiled and replied that they were my good deeds that I had done and that the beasts had been my evil deeds. They asked me if I had not heard the verse "Verily the good deeds clear away the baddeed’s . Then these people disappeared.

As soon as the commotion was over. I regained my senses. I saw that the men outside had closed the grave and had left me atone in the dark and narrow place. I could see the people going back to their houses, even my closefriends, relatives and family members had deserted me and left me alone. These were the very people for whose comfort and welt being I had provided and worked for day and night. Their desertion and unfaithfulness on the one hand and my dark and narrow prison on theother, extremely saddened me and I was close to bursting with sorrow.

I had never before felt such fear and bewilderment and I sat down dejected at the head of the corpse, losing all hopes of receiving any help from anybody except God. I was wondering what would happen next when suddenly the grave started trembling and dust came tailing down off its walls and roof. It was especially violent near the foot of the grave as if some huge beast was trying to split open the grave to enter. Finally the grave did split and two huge men with fearful faces entered (The punishment in the grave, the questioning ofMunkir &Nakeer and the presence of snakes and scorpions in the grave is mentioned in numerous traditions. The details can be had from the books on Beliefs.e.g . SheikhSudooq andAllama Majlsi may be referred to).

The two men were strong and hefty like giants. Smoke and fire bellowed from their mouths and nostrils. In their hands were iron rods so red not that it seemed as if flames were leaping up from them. Suddenly they thundered in voices so sharp that the heavens and earth trembled. "Who is your Lord?"

I was so afraid that I could not control my senses. I lost the power to speak and my courage gave way. I thought that my dead body would not be able to answer their questions and I became certain that they would give the body a good beating with their iron rods and the grave would be engulfed with tire. I saw that as it were their fear had made me lose control over mysenses, if fire engulfed the grave it would become much worse. So I decided to answer their questions myself. I beseeched God for help: O Helper of the Helpless and Rescuer of the Troubled and Afflicted.come to my help." In my heart I alsoseeked the intercession of Imam Ali because I knew him well and I was aware of his strength, and of his position in the eyes of God and that he could come to one's help at any place and at all times. I believed him to be the dispenser of difficulties. My heart had been full of love for him throughout my life and even in death. I knew that this intercessor was God's blessing and that in the most difficult of times when man is near to losing his senses this gift of God comes to his rescue.

The Qur’an says, "And you see men in stupor, and they are not in stupor, but God's chastisement is severe" (Soora Hashr verse 2). But even in such times, the Imam comes to help.Hence as soon as Iseeked his intercession. Inspite of the gravity of the situation, strength returned to me and I felt capable of answering. (According to traditions the light of the Friendship of the Imams will help their friends in the difficult moments after death, as love strengthens heart and resolve).

But my lengthy silence had angered them all the more. Their flaming eyes and faces became harsher. They raised their arms as if about to strike me with their iron rods and in voices sharper than before they repeated, 'Who is your Lord?"

But I was no longer afraid and so I replied softly that Allah, the One, Only and Unique was my Lord, 'He is Allah; there is no God but he, the knower of the unseen and theseen . He is the Beneficent and Ever Merciful. He isAllah, there is no God but He, the King, the Holy.the Peace loving, theBestower of conviction, the Guardian, the Ever-prevalent, the supreme, the great absolute. For too exalted is Allah from what they associate (with him). (Soora Hashr verse 22,23 )

I remembered this particular verse because I had been in the habit of reciting it daily after my morning prayers. (This presence of mind and the ready and appropriate replybefits the author who led a life of piousness, benevolence, lofty morals, in service of humanity and in quest of knowledge about God. Those who lead such lives will enjoy similar conditions. But the ignorant, worldly, cruel and evil will be in difficulties. Therefore man should pay heed, repent and start doinggood from now).

I felt it necessary to recite it in front of them in order to convince them of my position and qualities.so that they may not think that the human race was bereft of lofty qualities. They had objected to the creation of Adam the very first day, saying that he would prove to benought but a source of mischief and bloodshed on earth. However, I saw that as soon as I recited these verses.their anger seemed to melt away. Their faces softened somewhat and one of them told the other that it seemed as H I belonged to the group of scholars of Islam and therefore they should continue with their questioning in a gentler manner.

But the other one replied that God had appointed them to question me and so they should continue in thesane manner regardless of who I was, because their attitude towards me should depend only upon my being able to answer correctly all the questions and it was not yet known whether I would be able to do so. After conversingthus ,they resumed their questioning, Who is your Prophet?"

But now I felt sufficiently courageous and even my voice was strong. Without hesitation I replied, The Messenger and the Prophet of God towards all men, Muhammad, the son of Abdullah, May Peacebe Upon Him and his progeny. He is the seal of the Messengers and the head of the Prophets.

The moment I replied, their anger vanished completely and their faces brightened and became happy. Then they questioned me about my Book, Temple, and the Imams and the successors of the Holy Prophet. I replied, SMY book is the HolyOur'an which was revealed by the benevolent Lord unto the sagacious Prophet (S.A.). And my temple is theKa’ba and theMasjdol-Haraam 'wherever you maybe, turn your faces towards it' and 'I have turned my face towards the Creator at the heavens and the earth completely and submissively and I am not from the polytheists'. And my imams and the successors of the Holy Prophet are the Twelve Imams, the first of them Ali, and the last ImamMehdi , who is the Imam and the ruler of our time. Obedience unto them is obligatory and they are infallible. They are the Witnesses on the earth and in the Hereafter they are the intercessors." Then I named each Imam with his parentage and other details.

To this they replied that such a lengthy discourse was unnecessary and the answers should be brief. I promptly remarked "This detail was necessary for you because you had misgivings about the creation of Adam from the very first day. Your objection to the creation of Adam had in fact been an objection on the action of God and from the day that I understood your objection, it was like a burden on me and I had promised myself that whenever I would meet you, I would question you thoroughly: but it is sad that now when we have met, the situation does not permit it: I am in a difficult position and you have been appointed by God to question me."

Then I tell silent and waited to see their reaction. But they stopped their interrogation and merely asked me the source of these answers. This question was a source of concern and worry because I thought that the proofs and theories that I had prepared in the world concerning the Beliefs and principles of Islam, were they indeed necessarily true?

The possibility existed that even Aristotle, who's considered to be the Father of Philosophy was wrong in fact, some of his fallacies were in my notice.Secondly. Those proofs even if correct would hold true only in the Dark and Ignorant world, whereas here was a world of Light and Illumination. Darkness necessitates a guiding stick but here the darkness had gone and was replaced with light of suchilluminance that even the blind would not require a guiding stick.

Of what use was the stick (my proof) now? Then what did these two want from me? "O God I am a newcomer here and I am yet unaware of the prevalent customs and of the nature of the beings present here. O God! I beseech you in the name of Imam Ali, the son of AbuTalib , help me I was thus engrossed in my thoughts and supplications when suddenly their piercing scream, sharper than flint, rang out. "Answer at onceWhat was the source from which you learnt these answers?

(It is necessary to know the beliefs and principles of Islam like the Unity of God, Divine Justice,Prophethood .Imamat and the Day ofJudgement , through understanding and logical proof. In this case,Taqleed following aMarjia or scholar is not permitted, It is not sufficient if one adopts these beliefs because his forefathers believed in them, Blind following in this manner will prove useless in the Hereafter As Islam is a religion of logic and evidence, the Muslim should strive to know the Beliefs and principles through logic and clear understanding of proofs.

If this is not done, then his beliefs cannot be considered free of doubt and he would consequently not qualify to stand amongst the true Muslims in the Hereafter Faith is a state of the heart, but it is attained only when religion has been obtained through logic, All children born to Muslim parents are Muslims due to parental teachings but once a child is of age, it becomes necessary to acquire the principles through logic.Otherwise.

Islam obtained through mere following is not of lasting quality and does not pro wide the necessary incentive required to work for the Hereafter, However proper understanding of religion through logic and proofs will result in the height of awareness and knowledge which in turn will prove to be an incentive for doing deeds for the Hereafter, And God willing,any one who acts with sincerity and with correct principles, will be rewarded in the Hereafter, However, if these essentials of correct principles sincerity of intention.and quality and quantity of deeds are lacking.then the future can prove bleak.)

I could no longer bear to look at their faces,Their eyes were red which anger and flames were leaping up from them, their laces were terrifying. Their mouths were wide open like a lion's with tang-like teeth visible inside. Their iron rods were raised as it they were lust about to strike, Overcome with tear, I almost fainted,At this moment, the answer seemed to be revealed to me. I answered in a weak voice: -l was guided towards these words by Allah, they replied then sleep like the wed pride". They went away but I felt as ill had either gone to sleep or had tainted. But I clearly felt that I was rid or the fear and I slept peacefully.

When I revived and opened my eyes, I saw myself in a pleasant room. A handsome youth, whose very body wasfragrant was sitting next to me with my head in his lap, waiting for me to wake up. I sat up out of respect for him and greeted him. He smiled lovingly, embraced me and returned my greetings, and said, "sit down and be at ease. I'm your friend and companion, not a Prophet or an Imam."

I asked, "May I know who you are? It is indeed my good fortune to have a companion like you. It is my desire to always remain with you."

He replied, "My name isHaadi (Guide), I am also calledAbul Wafa (the Father offulfilment ) and AbuTurab (Father of earth). I guided you to your last answer. Had you failed to reply, they would have given you a good beating with their iron rods and your grave would have become full with the flames from Hell," I replied, " I am indeed grateful to you for your help in freeing me from the dire straits I was in but as that as I'm concerned, the last question was unnecessary and was merely in order to lengthen the questioning process. I had replied correctly to all the questions about the Islamic beliefs. And if one speaks truthfully about factual events, then there is no scope left for questioning. If you keep a red-hot iron on somebody's palm and he complains that his hand is burning, it is superfluous to ask why he is saying so. Itinspite of this a man is foolish enough to ask, then the reply can only be to ask him if he is blind that he cannot see the red hot iron lying on the hand. The last questions which the angels asked can only be termed to be of this category."

Haadi replied, "This is not correct, because man does not usually speak the truth,It is quite possible that he admits to certain truths verbally, but in the heart or hearts he does not believe in them. If the heart does not firmly believe in a principle, it will not act in accordance to it, Such words and admissions are meaningless as the heart does not believe in them, As God has said, 'Do not claim that you have brought faith, only say that you have submitted,' faith has not yet entered your hearts.

"On the very first day when man was asked 'Am I not your Lord?' all did not reply in the affirmative and submit to God's Lordship as they should have." I inquired "Why"?

Haadi replied,In the material world when man is tested for his religious duties and responsibilities, many tail to observe these dutifully until the time arrives to come out of the examination hall.

After death, here in the first station, the true believer and the hypocrite both answer the questions correctly until the last question is asked. If true faith had place in his heart, then only is he able to answer as you did. If, however, the foundation of his beliefs and his religion lay in traditions and customs and not in sound logic, then as deep down in his heart he does not believe in it, it proves useless here. You are aware yourself of the traditions of the Prophet and his progeny concerning this."

I replied, "That's true, the traditions of the Infallible indeed speak of this. But the questioning terrified me so much, that I could not even think logically, and forgot all about this. May God bless you for coming to my help at such a crucialtime. And I pray to God that he may never bereave me of your company.

"But first, tell me, how is it that though we've never met before, you seem to know me well, and in-spite of the short time that we've been together, I've developed such a love for you that I cannot bear to part with you ?"'

He replied, 'I have been with you since the very first day and have always loved you but you never sensed my presence since in the material world your sight lacked the power to perceive me.

Chapter 1B - The Station of the Grave and the beginning ofBarzakh westward travel

Actually, "I am the relationship of love and friendship which you had with Imam Ali and theAhlebait of the Holy Prophet. My meeting and helping a person depends upon the strength of that relationship, that is to say, it depends upon his capability I'm called theHaadi (the guide) because the love ofAhlebait guides a man towards good deeds, but only according to his capability. In other words, I was your guide as far as you are concerned and Ali is the Imam, guide and leader of all the pious people on earth. And the Holy Quran, 'that is the Book, there is no doubt in it, it is a guidance for the pious.' this book and myself we are your guides to the extent of the connections and relations which you had with us And 'One who disowns tempestuousness and believes in God, then verily he has taken hold of the strong rope which is not going to break. And so I am not going to part with you, unless you yourself part with me through following your carnal desires. This is why I am calledAbul Wata .The (father of Faithfulness) and AbuTurab (Father of Earth).

(Here who author has embodied the love ofAhlebait to show how this love will come to help in all situations. The famous tradition of the Holy Prophet says;song who dies loving of the Progeny of Mohammed, dies a Martyr". Imam MohammedBaqir stated to Abu Khalid Kabuli "O, Abu Khalid! By God, the love ofAhlebait illuminates the heart of the faith rut like the sun illuminates the day". Imamshaafai says. "I firmly hold on to the rope (covenant) of Allah, as we have been commanded, and this is the love ofAhlebait ". But it should be pointed out that mere vows of love are not sufficient unless one's deeds are also in accordance. The eighth Imam, Raze (A.S.) said: awe do not, have a permit to free any one from the flames of Half. And our intercession cannot overcome Divine Justice. One who is obedient to Allah is our friend, and the one who is disobedient is our foe"'. This shows that a claim of love and friendship ofAhlebait will hold only when backed with deeds which are according toAhlebait's wishes and desires. Otherwise to continue leading a life bereft of good deeds and even indulging in evil and wrong and then to depend upon the love ofAhlebait is to deceiveone self )

In short, my creation is from the light of Ali (A.S.) I was present in your heart in accordance with your capability, that is, to the extent that you acted in accordance with your vows of love of Ali. I could only stay with you when you didgood ; when you were disobedient, I used to part with you. Similarly, here I will be with you when you are rewarded for your good deeds, but when you are punished for your evil actions, you will not find me present. Allah has stated in the Quran: 'This is because God does not do injustice to his people.but they do injustice to themselves.'

"However. Today was the last day O your tile on earth and is the first day of the Hereafter. I was merely a trust of God given to your forsate keeping. What saddens me most is that you have read the Quran time and again and the Quran is full of my mention, yet today you did not evenrecognise me. Anyway, I'll leave now and for the present you may rest, 'God be with you."

Haadi went away, leaving me alone. I started contemplating on the events and the fact dawned upon me that it was as if life in the world was a dream and man wakes up after death to find the interpretation of his dream becoming a reality.

"O Pity that I overstepped (the bounds) in the court of Allah" (Soora -e-zarnr verse 53) (that is, I kept sinning, withoutrealising God to be present and a witness to my deeds), but now it was useless to cry and feel pitiful for myself because the door of atonement and repentance was now closed.l was engulfed in these thoughts when I fell asleep, but I was soon awakened by another calamity. This time I felt two men sitting on either side: the one on the right was beautiful, but the one on left was ugly to look at. They were sniffing my body from head to toe and kept entering something in the files which they had in their hands. They had brought along some boxes of various sizes and they kept the body like the heart, the power of thought, power of intention, were subjected time and again to their sniffing whilst they whispered amongst themselves, repeated the sniffing procedure, filled the boxes and sealed them.

I remained still that they might notrealise I was awake but I was terrified because Irealised that they were judging my deeds and recording them. The good looking man seemed to be a well-wisher because from what little I could overhear it seemed as if he was not allowing those sins for which I had repented to be recorded. At times he would say that such and such sin had been compensated by a certain good deed that I had done, just as the alchemist's elixir turns earth into gold. So I developed a liking for this person because of his kindness towards me. When they finished writing, they folded the sheets and wrapped them around my neck like fetters, and they put the sealed boxes in a bag and placed it by my head.

Then I saw them bringing an iron cage; it had thick iron bars and was about my size. They put me inside and bolted it. Then, as they turned its lever, it started to constrict, tightening on my body. It became so tight that it became difficult to breath, and I felt that I could not even call to anybody for help. They kept turning the lever until the cage which had originally been my size was now no bigger than a small cooking vessel; small and hot. My.bones cracked and brake and quite literally oil oozed out of my body as black as soot. They mopped it up but I had fainted and was unaware of what was going on.

When I became conscious again, I found my head inHaadi's lap I said, "Haadi forgive me. But I am feeling so bad that I cannot even get up. My joints have all broken, and I cannot yet breathe properly." My voice had gone weak and I was crying as if I was reproachingHaadi for not being present when I had needed him so much. This was the first constriction that I had ever faced.Haadi consoled me and told me that what had happened to me was an unavoidable event which everyone had to face in the first stage in the grave. Anyhow, he hoped that I would not have to face similar events in the future. Secondly, he said, all events here were a result of my own past deeds.

(Constriction in the grave and other punishments of theBarzakh , are the result of whose sins which one has not repented for. It has nothing to do with correctness of one's faith. The possibility exists that a person though a (we faithful commits certain mistakes or sins in his life time. and will have to bear the punishment for these in the Hereafter. Therefore man should only sin toa extent that he can bear to be punished for,Saad lbne Maaz was one of the respected companions of the Holy Prophet. When he died, the Holy Prophet accompanied his funeral barefoot and without his cloak to show his grief. The Prophet himself laidSaad in the grave.prayed for him and said thatGabreil andMeekail along with a host of angels were present in the funeral But whenSaad's mother said, 'CSaad ! You are indeed fortunate that the Holy Prophet has walked barefoot in your funeral and has lowered you in yourgrave, The Holy Prophet asked her to be quiet and said, You cannot prevent him from suffering the punishment of the grave.Saad did not treat his family members kindly and so is now suffering constriction.)

But the cage that you saw is created by men's own evil traits. It is possible that for some it might be thousand times more painful.

There are three basic vices

1) Avarice and greed.

2) Conceit and arrogance.

3) Jealousy.

The first of these was responsible for the expulsion of Adam from heaven, the second expelled Satan from God's court and the third sent Kane headlong to Hell,From these three stem thousands of branches and depending on lack or excess of these, men possess their individual characters and traits.

Haadi kept on talking and consoling me. Simultaneously, he kept moving his hands gently over my back, sides and other affected parts.and it relieved my pain and gave me renewed strength.

My body appeared to have been purged of all debasements and had become pure and clean. I now understood that the constriction had actually been an act of purifying, so that if man possessed evil traits these debasements would, as a result of the constriction, be squeezed out of him like the black oil which I had seen.

In reply to my questioning. Haadi replied. "The big bag contains your luggage. Open it so that I may also see what you have brought along for your journey.

I opened the bag and found inside the sealed boxes. Some of these contained an inscription that they were meant to be used at certain destinations. There were also packets of rewards and punishments containing labels that they would be opened at specific places. I askedHaadi . 'What do these boxes contain?"

Haadi replied,These are the very moments of the days and nights that you have spent in which you have done good or evil. Whenever an act was committed, the boxes opened like oysters and preserved your acts like valuable gems. These moments are now present in these boxes in front of you."

Then I asked,What is this chain in my neck?"Haadi replied. "This is your Deed Sheet. You will be judged on its basis on the Day ofJudgement . For the present (inBarzakh ) it is not required.As the. Quran says inSoora -e-Asra , verse 14 'we have made the destiny of every human being cling to his neck and we shall bring forth for him on the Day of Resurrection a book which he will find wide open."

Then he said. "l see that you have very little provision for your life in the Eternal abode. I suggest that you stay here for a few Fridays as your friends and heirs in the world might send some gifts for you, because the Holy Prophet has said, 'The more provision you have in your journey (of Hereafter) the better it is' I will go now and, try to obtain a passport for you from the '(mg of the World and the Hereafter. No orders have been issued in this regard in the past week. On Thursday night, I suggest you.go and visit your family. Maybe they will think of you and pray for your well being and forgiveness."

Haadi left and I sat down to wait for his return. But my stay now was in a pleasant place and the room was well carpeted. Thursday night arrived but there was yet no sign ofHaadi . I decided to follow his advice and in the form of a white dove, I alighted on a branch of a tree near my house on earth in order to see my family.

(Allama Majlisi in his bookhaqqul Yaqeen writes that the spirits came to visit their family weekly. monthly, or annually depending upon their rank. They arrive in the form of a bird, and sit on the wall of the house and watch. If the family members are happy and busy in good deeds, the spirit also becomes happy and if otherwise.the spirit becomes sad- On Thursday nights, these spirits arrive and the spirits at the faithful are accompanied by an angel. If the family members are in any kind of hardship, then the angel shields them from the spirit's view, that he may not be troubled by their plight.)

I saw my family members but I was all the more saddened. They were doing what they considered would prove beneficial for me. My friends and relatives had gathered. Quran was being recited, aMajlis was being addressed, and good food had been prepared. But I could feel that aft this was merely for custom's sake. The sole aim was to put up a good show. The people being served the dinner were all wealthy and not in the least needy. Not a single poor or deprived and deserving soul was to be seen. Of what good was such food for me? One could see that even the guests, who had come tofulfil the customs, were so callous that when by mistake they were not served promptly, they did not hesitate from cursing me and my heirs. My relatives were not even mourning Imam Hussein, some were lamenting that they were now bereft of a guardian.

Others were crying over the loss of their sustainer and worrying for the future. It was clear that they had no thoughts for me, andwere only interested in themselves, so much so, that they were even oblivious of their own hereafter.Of what use was all this for me? It saddened me further that they seemed to be complaining as if the Master and the Creator had committed an injustice unto them; they were objecting to the actions of the Wise and All-knowing God. I lost hopes of receiving any good from this quarter and directly returned to my abode. I was close to expressing my anger at and displeasure with, my family, but then Irealised that for them the misfortune of being separated from me was calamity enough. When I reached my grave, I foundHaadi waiting inside for me. I saw a tray of ripe and fresh apples tying in the centre of the room. I asked, "Where have these come from?" He replied, "Somebody passed by your grave today and recitedSoora -e-Fateha for you. Since his was a sincere act, the Merciful decided that you should be promptly rewarded.May God Bless him too." ThenHaadi busied himself in decorating my room. He arranged the divans, sofas and the chairs, and hung ornaments on the walls.

A chandelier was also fixed and its light was bright and luminescent as thesun's . I said, "Haadi , you yourself said that this is not my permanent place. Then why are you taking somuch pains today in decorating this room?" He replied, "I have received information that the Imam's son whose grave you had visited once, and the religious scholars whom you used to remember in your Night Prayers are coming to visit you in order to thank you for your friendship."

I replied, "This is indeed my good fortune and it compensates for the sadness that!felt after visiting my family."

I kept thinking that such good fortune was indeed more then what a sinner like me could ever have hoped for.

(InUsool eKafi ImamSadiq is quoted as saying that in the west there is a beautiful garden. watered by theFuraat . The spirits of the faithful reside here. Theyrecognise each other and visit each other.in the mornings they are free to fly out from here. In the East there is another valley.this one in meant for the wicked and the sinners. Here the spirits are punished for their past deeds.their load is bitter and their water stinks. Probably this description refers to the Valley of Peace and the Valley ofBarhoot .)

I toldHaadi that my room was small and not fit to accommodate such personalities. He replied that it was small for me but that when the guests would arrive, it would expand accordingly.

Suddenly the guests arrived and seated themselves according to their ranks and station. Their majestic faces shone. The most prominent of them wereHazrat Abbas andHazrat Ali Akbar. They sat down on a gold divan but I noticed that they were fully dressed for war-helmet, shield, sword etc. I wondered at the need for all this here, but I was so awe-struck that I could not muster the courage to speak.

Haadi ,myself and others lined up respectfully in front ofHazrat Abbas andHazrat Ali Akbar. I was so engrossed in watching my majestic guests ofhonour that I almost forgot myself:

SuddenlyHazrat Abbas addressed toHaadi , "Have you taken his passport from my father?"

Haadi replied in the affirmative and repeated a verse fromSoora -e-Rehman , "O groups of Jinn’s andhumans, have you the strength to go out of the bounds of the heavens and the earth? Certainly not, without (God's gifted) strength."

On hearing this verse,Hazrat Abbas turned towards me and said,Your remembering and recalling my father, the King of alt saints, in your life, has proved to be your salvation. I welcome you with the news that you have been pardoned and absolved."

I bowed down and prostrated and kissed the floor, out of respect and gratefulness at being given thishonour . I stood up but I was overcome with emotion at being treated so nicely and gently by these revered guests. Tears flowed down my cheek.Hazrat Habib lbne Mazahir who was standing adjacent bent towards me and said softly, ""Don'tloose heart.you have been exempted from all hardships which would normally have confronted atraveller in this route. These two and their lather will never forget you.Hazrat Alt helps his friends and believers in this world and it was he who sent his two sons to greet you, so that they may meet you and you may rest assured. And for your information,Hazrat Zainab has sent you her greetings. She says that she can never forget how you went barefoot on pilgrimage to her brother's shrine, shed tears for him and bore hardships including hunger and thirst and sickness on your trip.

I cannot possibly express how I felt on hearing this,All I could say was May God's peace and blessing be on you and on them.

Then I askedHabib , "why are these two dressed in full battle attire, when there is no war going on?"

Hazrat Habib's lace became pale and he started crying. Then he replied. "In Karbala these two could not fight to their heart's content. They had intended to completely destroy the enemy and send them headlong to Hell, but God did not wish this and so their desire could notmaterialise . They bowed down to God's will, but their intention remained embossed in their hearts and here it has taken this form. They will remain attired in this way until our Twelfth Imam avenges the blood of Hussein (Peace be upon him)."

The guests then left and the room once again returned to its original size.Haadi and I were left alone. I remarked toHaadi , "I will never again visit my family because it only increased my sadness. The deeds which on the face of it are being done for my spirits benefit were actually lust or face saving, for society's sake and to gain acclaim from the relatives. I have lost all hopes of receiving any benefit from them."

I will now rest contented with whatever I already have. As for any potential dangers, I can only hope that,Hazrat Abbas andHazrat Ali Akbar will come to my rescue.'

Haadi replied "You don't require anything more. The first three steps should prove easy for you. This is because the first stage in the world is from birth to the age of three years when the child's brain is still devoid of sensibility. The next stage is up to fifteen years of age when he is not yet held responsible for his deeds by God. The third stage is up to the age of eighteen years.In these three years though he becomes accountable. his mind is still immature. Man's deeds are judged keeping in view his intelligence.

"When Allah created Intelligence He said, "I will base punishment and reward on you."" The first three stages here correspond to those three stages, so they should prove easy for you. If any problem or danger does befall you, it will soon clear up by itself. So Idont consider it necessary to accompany you through these stages. I'll take your leave now. You'll find me waiting for you at stage four. Take your baggage and start tomorrow morning from here. Take that straight road going in the direction ofKa’ba .

On hearing this I clung toHaadi and said "Haadi you know well I cannot bear to be separated from you Even if the road is straight and wide and spacious, and the journey trouble-free but still, I would be alone, without you and a stranger in an unknown place. This I cannot bear. Even our Prophet (S.A.) has said to search a companion if one wishes to travel".

Haadi repliedYou have to face these three stages alone, because in the world also I was not your companion during these three stages. I have been with you only since you become mentally mature. I belong to the exalted ones and our duty is to guideto well being and sublimity. Whatever befalls you in these stages will be due to your own actions. So blame yourself, not me".

Then he left, leaving me alone. I began to ponder over what he had said and finally reached the conclusion that he was right. I would indeed have to lace it alone without my friendHaadi , the AbuTurab and AbuWata .

Allah has said, "You will not find any change in the ways and customs of Allah". The events of the world and the hereafter were inter related and could not be separated. We have understood our earthly life. The hereafter follows a similar pattern and it is useless to dissent.