Chapter 52, Al-Toor (Mountain of Toor) (part 2 of 3)
It is a thoughtful reminder that we should not only be concerned with getting into Paradise for ourselves, but should think about helping our families and friends join us. The following verses speak of joy and playful activities that are enjoyed to their fullest with our loved ones:
"(Continuing with the bounties of the faithful in Paradise, God says) In addition (to all the other bounties mentioned), We shall grant them (an abundance of) fruit and meat (which they shall have) as (and when) they desire (without delay or interruption). There (in Paradise) they will pass around (to enjoy) a cup (of pure drink) in which there is no (fear of) absurd talk and sin (the wine of Paradise will not intoxicate people). Their young (servants in Paradise) shall wait on them (serving them whatever they wish), appearing to be (like) concealed (preserved) pearls (because of their refined manners)." (Quran 22- 24)
Another pleasurable activity is to sit with family and friends and reminisce about the good old times. Paradise will provide an opportunity to do that as well:
"They (the people of Paradise) will face each other asking questions." (Quran 52:25)
They will remember the good deeds they did in this life to gain God’s pleasure. The finest among them was that they feared God even when they were around their families:
They will say, "Before this (in the world) we used to be fearful (of Hell as we sat) among our families." (Quran 52:26)
Someone might question what is so special about being around one’s family? When you think about it, it is easy to act properly when you are with like-minded people or those whom you respect, or even those who look up to you. In contrast, it is more challenging to act properly when you are alone with your family members, who know you intimately. You need not fake piety and being aware of God in a situation like that really shows your true faith. The main characteristic of these God conscious people is that they do not take credit for themselves. They believe it all to be a favor of God. So in Paradise too they will express the same sentiments:
"However, Allah favored us and saved us from the punishment of the scorching wind (of Hell)." (Quran 52:27)
It’s important that we keep praying to God alone and have faith that He will enable us to follow the right path if we remain true to our commitment. This is what the people of Paradise will remember:
"Indeed, before this (in the world) we always used to pray to Him (to save us from Hell). (God answered our prayers because) He is certainly the One who treats with kindness, the Most Merciful." (Quran 52:28)
Although the verse above is so clear, and faith in one God is such a simple matter, but those who stubbornly deny the truth can make a thousand excuses, simply because they don’t want to lose pride in their own "principles" and petty philosophies of life much like the disbelievers of the city of Mecca. The Meccan pagans would use any tactic to prove that this Quran is nothing but poetry that the Prophet was just making it up or maybe was under some sort of spell.
"So (O Muhammad) continue reminding (and advising people about God) for, by the grace of your Lord, you are neither a fortune-teller (who receives news form the jinn) nor a madman (as the unbelievers claim). Or (besides saying this) do they say, ‘He (Prophet Muhammad) is a poet whose calamity of time (death) we are eagerly awaiting?’ Say, ‘Wait (to see my success), for I am also waiting with you (to see your disastrous end).’" (Quran 52:29-31)
Therefore, in the following verses God asks them a series of questions in a powerful interrogative style, to make them ponder over the foolishness of their allegations against the person whom they had known all their life to be a man of integrity:
"Or is their intelligence (of which they are proud) commanding them to do this (to reject faith despite being shown proofs) or are they (not accepting faith because they are) a rebellious nation?" (Quran 52:32)
Is it really possible that the Quran could be fabricated? Don’t they have any sense?
"Or are (they rejecting faith and the Quran because) they (are) saying, ‘He (Prophet Muhammad) has forged it? The fact of the matter is that they refuse to accept faith (and will not accept despite every proof shown to them)." (Quran 52:33)
If it is so simple, then why don’t they bring a scripture like this?
"Let them produce a speech like it (the Quran) if they are truthful (in their claim that this Quran is forged by a mortal)." (Quran 52:34)