c. 620 | Arabia

Gardens Bright with Sinuous Rills

The Qur'an describes our ultimate place in the cosmos

When the inevitable comes to pass,
there will be none who deny its happening,
humbling and exalting,
when the earth is shaken with a shock,
and the mountains are crushed,
into scattered dust,
you will be of three kinds:
The company of the right side—
what is the company of the right side?
And the company of the left side—
what is the company of the left side?
And those in the forefront will precede:
they will be the favorites
in gardens of happiness,
a number of the ancients
and a few of those of later times;
on couches inlaid with gold and jewels
reclining on them facing each other
circled by immortalized children
with goblets and jugs and cups from fountains:
they will suffer no headache from that,
and will not be exhausted.
And there will be no fruit for them to choose from,
and whatever flesh of fowl they desire.
And there will be large-eyed maidens
like treasured pearls,
as a reward for what they did.
They will hear no nonsense there, and no accusation:
only the saying, “Peace, peace!”
As for the company of the right side,
what is the company of the right?
They will be amid lotus trees without thorns
and orderly acacias
with extensive shade,
and flowing water
and abundant fruit
that is never unavailable and never out of season;
and high cushions.
We have created the females as a special creation,
making them virgins,
loving wives as companions
for the company of the right.
As for the company of the left side,
what is the company of the left?
In scorching wind and boiling water,
and the shadows of black smoke,
without refreshment, without hospitality;
for they had been granted the good things in life before that,
yet they persisted in terrible sin;
and they used to say, “What? When we have died
and become dust and bones, will we really be resurrected?
What? And our ancient ancestors too?”
Say, “Indeed—the ancients as well as those of latter days:
they will be gathered together for the deadline of a determined day.
Then you will—you who are confused, imputing falsehood to truth—
you will eat of a bitter tree,
filling your guts from it,
and drinking boiling water on top of that,
drinking the drink of frantic thirst.”
This will be their reception on the day of requital.
We created you, so why not acknowledge the truth:
do you see the seed you emit?
Did you create it, or are We the creator?
We have ordered death among you, and We will not be preempted
in Our changing your images and Our resurrecting you
in states you do not know.

About This Text

From the Qur’an. Islam holds that between 610 and 632 the archangel Gabriel commanded the Prophet Muhammad to convey the message of Allah to mankind. The revelation became a written text in 633. With the direct consequences of good or evil actions in the afterlife a central theme of Islam’s holy book, there are many suras devoted to detailed descriptions of hell and paradise.