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8.THE SPIRITUAL WORLD
Chaitanya Nahaprabhu continued, "Alam-misala is the spiritual world where Mujarradi-ruh may remain forever."It states in the sura "Al-Mujadila" (The Woman who Pleads) of the Holy Quran (58.22):"You will not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, loving those who oppose Allah and His messenger, even though they were their fathers or their sons, or their brothers, or their kindred. As for such He has written faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with a spirit from Himself. And He will bring them to Gardens beneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein (for¬ever). Allah will be well pleased with them, and they will be well pleased with Him. They are the party of Allah. Truly it is the party of Allah that will achieve success."
Ustad Abdullah Yusuf Ali comments:
"Again we have the doctrine of Allah's Good Pleasure as the highest goal of man, the spiritual heaven which he achieves by a life of purity and faith. He not only attains Allah's Good Pleasure as the crown of his felicity, but his own nature is so far transformed to the pattern of Allah's original creation that his own good pleasure is in nothing but in Allah's Good Pleasure. The mutual good pleasure shows the heights to which man can attain."10
Thus it is clearly explained in the above verse and commentary that those who strive for Allah's pleasure and succeed in it will achieve the highest destination, spiritual heaven where they will remain forever. So there are distinctions between the material heaven and the spiritual heaven. Those who are pious but attached to material comforts and pleasures will attain material heaven but those who act only for the pleasure of Allah without selfish motives will be accepted into Allah's party and attain the spiritual world.There are other interesting ayats in the sura "Al-Fajr", or "Dawn" of the Holy Qur'an (89.27-30):"(To the righteous soul will be said): O (you) soul, in (complete) rest and satisfaction!Come back you to your Lord, — well pleased (yourself), and well pleasing unto Him!Enter you, then, among my devotees!Yes, enter you My Heaven!'"Ustad Abdullah Yusuf Ali comments:"The righteous enter into their inheritance and re¬ceive their welcome with a title that suggests freedom from all pain, sorrow, doubt, struggle, disappointment, ' passion, and even further desire: at rest, in peace; in a state of complete satisfaction.In Muslim theology, this stage of the soul is the final stage of bliss. The unregenerate human soul, that seeks its satisfaction in the lower earthly desires, is the Ammara. The self-reproaching soul that feels conscious of sin and resists it is the Lawwama.
Note that it is the soul which enters heaven, and not the gross body which perishes.The climax of the whole is: "Enter My Heaven!" Men may have imagined all kinds of heaven before, and many
types are used in the sacred Word itself. But nothing can express the reality itself better than "My Heaven" —Allah's own Heaven! May we reach it through Allah's grace!"11
Thus Muslim theologians assume three states or stages of elevation of the soul:
1. Ammara (12.53; Nafsa la-'ammaratum), which is prone to evil, and, if not checked and controlled will lead to eternal damnation;
2. Lawwama, (75.2; Tiafsil-lawwamah), which feels conscious of evil, and resists it, asks for Allah's grace and pardon after repentance and tries to amend; it hopes to obtain salvation;
3. Mutmainna (89.27;Nafsul-mutma-innah), the highest stage of all, when it achieves full rest and satisfaction.
When a soul achieves the highest perfection of human life, which means pure devotion to Allah without any motives, then he can enter among the devotees of Allah in His Heaven. Allah's Heaven means the spiritual world where the pure soul regains his spiritual form and lives forever.Some more wonderful evidence is revealed in the sura "Yunus", or "Jonah" of the Holy Qur'an (10.25-26):"Allah does call to the Daris-Salam (Abode of Peace), and He does guide whom He pleases to a Siratim-Mustaqim (Straight Way).For those who do right is a best (reward) and more (than in measure)! neither darkness nor abasement shall cover their faces! They are "Asabul-Jannah (Companions of the Garden); they will abide therein (forever)."
Ustad Abdullah Yusuf Ali comments:
"In contrast with the ephemeral and uncertain pleasures of this material life, there is a higher life to which Allah is always calling. It is called the Abode of Peace. For there is no fear, nor disappointment nor sorrow there.And all are called, and those will be chosen who have sought, not material advantages, but the Good Pleasure of Allah.The reward of the righteous will be far more than in proportion to their merits. For they will have the supreme bliss of being near to Allah, and seeing His face."12
There is a similar verse in the sura "Al-An'am", or "Cattle":"For them will be an Abode of Peace in the presence of their Lord. He will be their Friend, because they practiced (righteousness)." (Qur'an 6.127)Thus Allah calls everyone to His Abode of Peace, but only those who fully surrender to Allah will become His companions, attain His Abode and live there eternally. "Asabul-Jannah also means the companions of Allah in the Abode of Peace, or spiritual world. Those who are able to surrender to Allah with pure love and devotion will become eternal companions of Allah in the spiritual world where they will remain forever. There Allah will reciprocate with them as a friend because they are very dear to Him.
It is stated in the sura "At-Tauba", or "Repentance" of the Holy Qur'an (9.21-22):
"Their Lord gives them glad tidings of mercy from Himself and acceptance. And Gardens where enduring pleasure will be theirs.There they will dwell forever. Verily with Allah is the greatest reward."
Ustad Abdullah Yusuf Ali comments:
"Those who strive and suffer in Allah's cause are promised: (1) mercy specially from Himself, (2) His own good pleasure, (3) gardens of perpetual delight, (4) the supreme reward, Allah's own nearness. These are in gradation: (1) is special mercy, higher than flows out to all creatures; (2) is a consciousness of Allah's good pleasure, which raises the soul above itself; (3) is that state of permanent assurance, and (4) is the final bliss, which is the sight of Allah Himself."13
Thus in these ayats the wordJannat is used in plural which means there are different kinds of Heavens, or Gardens. There are heavens in the material world for those who are pious but still attached to sense enjoyment and there are Gardens in the spiritual world for those whose only attachment is Allah. In these Gardens they will dwell forever in eternal bliss and association with Allah.