Book StoryThe Virtues and Importance of Expectancy

The Virtues and Importance of Expectancy

THE VIRTUES AND IMPORTANCE OF EXPECTANCY

When we delve into the scriptures of all the religions, we find that the fundamental books of all the religions unanimously make mention of the “Dark Age”.

 

All the books direct us to observe expectancy during the “Dark Age”. All say that all the Divine messengers did wait for the stipulated day. All the books term the Divine Government as to be a means of salvation. And all treat the observers of expectancy to be the best of all the times.

 

Islam and Expectancy (To Look For)

 

The Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) has said that

 

“Best of the deeds of my “Ummah” is to wait and expect the establishment of Divine rule which will bring prosperity”.

 

The Holy Imam Sadiq (A.S.) said to Abu Khalid

Kabeli: “The people in the “Dark Age” who will believe in the last ‘Hujjat’ and will wait for his arrival will be the best of the peoples of all times.”

 

The Chief of the believers, Holy Imam Ali (A.S) said:

 

  • Wait for the establishment of Divine rule and don’t be disappointed of Divine compassion because the most beloved of the deeds with God is to wait for the establishment of Divine rule.”

There are so many Traditions on this subject which I leave for the sake of brevity.

There are 14 verses in the Holy Quran in which God Almighty has condemned those who don’t believe in the destination day or totally deny it. Because the day on which the last ‘Hujjat’ has to arrive will be as important as if it were the day of God’s arrival Himself. All the matters pertaining to this ‘Hujjat’ will have a special reference to God.

 

His government will be God’s government

His justice will be God’s justice.

To visit him will be to visit God.

The attitude, whatsoever, shown towards him will be indirectly shown to God.

To help him will be to help God.

To fight with him will be to fight with God.

 

He will be a representative of God having the shades of all his peculiarities. He will be the deputy of God and in this position, he will assemble those who are bygone or are present, for accountability and will make just decisions. He will fulfill all the promises made by God to his prophets. This is why the day of his arrival has been called the day of God.

 

In the Holy Quran, many qualities of this day have been enumerated. The same are as follows:

“The day of assembling whereof there is no doubt”

Ash-Shura (The Counsel-7)

 

“The Day, when we shall seize them with a greater seizure.”

Al-Dukhan (The Smoke-16 )

 

“The day of seeing Lord” At-Taubah (Repentance-15)

“The threatened day.”

 

Al-Qaf

“Day of coming forth”

 

Al-Qaf

“Day of witness”

 

At-Taubah (Repentance) “Day of bringing out embezzlements”

At-Taghabum (Mutual Disillusion) “Day of promise”

Al-Maarij (The Ascending Stairways) “Day of decision”

Al-Mursalat (The Emissaries) “Day when angels and spirits will stand in rows”

Al-Naba (The Tidings) “Day of punishment and reward”

Al-Infatar

 

“Day when the hidden evil doings will be searched out”

Al-Tariq

 

“Day when the people will stand before God” At-Tatfif (Defrauding)

This is the day which is called the ‘day of God’ On that day one who will sit in the seat of justice will be the viceroy of God and to see him will amount to seeing God. The prophets were told to make the people fear, the day of God’s interview. That interview meant seeing the viceroy of God. In this connection, Holy Quran says:

 

“That they might believe in the meeting with their Lord”

Al-Anaam (The Cattle-155)

 

“He detaileth the revelation, that happily, ye may be certain of the meeting with your Lord”

Ar-Raad (Thunder-2)

 

And for those who did not believe in the meeting with the Lord, it has been said about them in the Holy Quran:

“They indeed are losers who deny their meeting with Allah.”

Al-Anaam (The Cattle-31)

 

“But truly many of mankind are disbelievers in the meeting with their Lord.”

Ar-Rome (8)

There are about 30 verses in the Holy Quran that tell about the meeting with God. No one can deny the fact that the Penultimate Reality cannot be seen or visited. So all these verses refer to the meeting with his deputy or viceroy, to see who is as if to see God. In all the revealed books it has been said that the meeting with him will amount to a meeting with God:

“For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness:

His countenance doth behold the upright.”

Psalms No. 11 (7)

“This is the generation of them that seek him that seek thy face.”

Psalms No. 24 (6)

“The mighty God, even the Lord hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the Sun unto the going down thereof. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. Our God shall come and shall not keep silence.”

Psalms No. 50 (1-3)

God Almighty is far above to come and go anywhere because He does not need it. Then who is this ‘ who will come? Holy Quran says:

“When your Lord will come the angels will come down rank on rank”

Al-Fajar (The Dawn-22)

“Glory ye in his holy name; let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek the Lord, and his strength, seek his face evermore.”

Psalms No. 105 (3-4)

“Hear me speedily, O Lord: my spirit failed: hide not thy face from me.”

Psalms No. 143 (7)

“And the Lord speak unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, on this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, say unto them, the Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee.” Psalms No. 6 (22-25)

Similarly, in all the books of the prophets, there is a concept of meeting God by which is meant the same Light of Guidance or Last ‘Hujjat’ who has to come as

viceroy of God. As the majority of the people took the arrival day of the Last ‘Hujjat’ as a mere wonder or impossibility, they were directed to wait so that they may see the establishment of Heavenly Rule with their own eyes and meet their appropriate end.

Most of the prophets had to face the persons who were averse to the belief of the day of appearance of the last ‘Hujjat’. The mentality of such deniers was made clear to the prophets. The Holy Quran says:

“Wait they for naught else than that Allah should come unto them in the shadows of the clouds with the angles? Then the case would be already judged All cases go back to Allah (for Judgment)

Al-Baqarah (The Cow-210)

“And they will say: If only a portent were sent down upon him from his Lord! Then say (O Muhammad): The Unseen belongeth to Allah. So wait! Lo, I am waiting with you.”

Al-Yunus (Junah – 21)

“What expect they save the like of the days of those who passed away before them? Say: Expect then! I am with you among the expectant. Then shall We save Our messengers and believers in the like manner ( as of old). It is incumbent upon us to save believers.”

Al-Yunus (Junah 103,104)

In the same manner, the other prophets were also directed to wait and to be patient. It has been said in the Book of Habakkuk:

“Rottenness entered into my bones and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble.”

Chapter 3 (16)

“Yea, in the way of thy Judgments, O Lord have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee. With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek early”

Isaiah Chapter 26 (8-9)

 

This brief discussion proves that the concept of divine rule and waiting for a special fixed day is present in all the religions of the world. It has been praised and every prophet in his times has been waiting for Divine rule and directed his people to wait also. The Rule and Govt. of the Promised One is in fact the rule and Govt. of God because the revenge of all the oppressed persons either by gone or yet to come, is specifically connected with that period. As the tyrants exhibited their tyranny on this earth the justice therefore requires that they should be punished on this very earth and the oppressed ones be compensated. This world is the real place of punishment and compensation. The paradise with all the comforts it contains is a reward and not compensation.

 

Now the question arises as to why waiting for Heavenly Govt. has been so much praised whereas waiting is quite an ordinary and boring thing.

 

Our opponents generally say that ‘The waiting school of thought’ is nothing more than ease, luxury, and idleness. This is simply to leave every activity which is necessary for progress and advancement. Those who express the said views have neither properly understood the philosophy and aims of waiting nor the sayings of the past Prophets and the Holy Family of the Prophet of Islam because ‘the waiting school of thought’ is an extensively reformatory and training school of thought. The Eastern and Western moralists’ duty is to pinpoint the real aim of human life and to define what a good deed is. When they try to find out the real aim of human life, they fail to clearly tell us about it. Anyhow they underlined a few specialties of the aim of human life which were inevitable.

 

When I studied the same, I was wonder-struck to find that all those specialties were there, one to all, in waiting for Divine rule’ Nowhere else the same were to be found in full. The most famous theologian Dr. Benthem has defined the real aim of human life as follows: “The real aim of life is to have maximum possible pleasure.” By pleasure, he means happiness which is an antonym of grief. Then he tries to describe the specialties of pleasure as how the pleasure should be. He says pleasure should have three qualities. It should have (i) Intenseness (ii) Durability (iii) And vastness of its circle of influence.

 

Another theologian Dr. Mill has expressed his views on this point in the following words:

“The pleasure maximum in quantity, number and for a long period can be the real aim of life.”

 

He means that pleasure should be intense and to an ideal degree. It should be to the most possible extent in this world. Its circle of Influence should include a maximum number of people to have the benefits of the same, and it should be durable for a very long time.

 

Dr. Green, another specialist on this subject raised an objection to the preceding theory which was not accepted by his successors. The objection was that a big quantity in a large number is impossible. For example, if one million rupees is distributed to two persons, it will be a big quantity. But if the same amount is distributed among the same number of people, the number of people will no doubt increase but the quantity of; pleasure will decrease.

 

This point of view would have been acceptable if pleasure would have been something material. Since pleasure is a mood and something immaterial, therefore we cannot hold the preceding example as true. If a poet recites a beautiful verse in a big crowd the pleasure derived from that verse though divided among so many people will not decrease in quantity. Similarly, the morning walk or beautiful scenery provides a pleasure equal in quantity to an individual or one million of persons without losing anything. According to this formula, we find this view correct that the real aim of life is to have pleasure to the maximum extent in quantity, and quality and for a long period.

We observe that the establishment of Divine rule has all these three qualities:

  • Intensiveness of pleasure

It is a fact that no scale has so far been invented to measure pleasure. But the truth is that when the Divine rule is established the pleasure will be so intense that even if the scales are invented, they will fail to measure the same. Every person will receive the pleasure to the highest possible degree.

 

  1. Circle of Influence

The circle of influence of this pleasure is as vast as possible because the establishment of Divine rule will be the cause of happiness to those who preceded and those who succeed. The angels, genies, and the spirits will also be happy. So much so that we shall feel the effect of happiness in plants, herbs, trees, and things inanimate and animate. We shall prove later on with Traditions that the establishment of Divine rule will not only cheer up the inhabitants of the earth and heaven but also the fish in the water.

 

  • Durability of pleasure

This pleasure will be everlasting as it is provided in the book of Daniel:

 

“God of heaven shall set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms and it shall stand forever.”

Chapter 2-(44)

 

“His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away.”

Chapter 7-(14)

 

“Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.”

Psalms No. 145(13)

 

“The glory of his dominion will be everlasting.” St. John

This means that the Divine rule will be everlasting and the pleasure it will present to the people will be for an unending period. So we are bound to admit that to wish for the establishment of the Divine rule is the real aim of human life. When it stands proved that the waiting school of thought leads to the real aim of human life, then it is not correct to label it as a hobby of idlers. If we practically apply the principles of waiting on all spheres of human life, we shall feel that life automatically becomes ideal. This is because waiting for the establishment of Divine rule makes a man well-behaved, religious, and of unimpeachable character and thus he gains all moral qualities which one ought to have gained.

 

If we are able to understand truly the meaning of waiting, we cannot term it as a hobby of idlers because waiting is an exemplary action and not idleness. All good deeds appear smaller and of no value as compared to ‘waiting’. The fact is that waiting is in itself a preamble because a man, who waits for someone, has to do certain things, appropriate to the status of the person for whom he is waiting. For example, you want to go somewhere with some of your friends. If those friends don’t turn up in time you will have to wait for them. You will not sit idle in this interim period, but you will make preparations for the intended journey, you will take a bath, collect the necessary things, and pack them in a briefcase. You will not sit idle until you are satisfied that all has been collected which is necessary for the journey. If the intended journey is long and the coming friends are also to be supported by you, the requirements will increase. Shortage of time and packing of so many things will create restlessness. Now in such a situation can one enjoy a sound sleep? It happens sometimes that one has to travel with a group of persons who have a higher status and want to go by air. So the poor companion will have to make far more arrangements according to the status of his co-travelers. He will have to arrange for more money and to have more valuable accessories.

 

Just think of a person who wants to travel with the caravan of righteousness and Truth in which every traveler is pious, chaste, and of high morals. Such a person will have to make very heavy arrangements to be a co-traveler of very pure type of passengers. That is why Jesus Christ said:

“You will not be allowed to enter the

 

Divine Kingdom unless your purity and truthfulness are more than the religious leaders.”

 

Similarly, it has been said in the Bible:

 

“And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the son of man, (Jesus Christ)

Luke Chapter-21(34-45)

 

I shall try to prove my view with the help of another example. Suppose a king says to one of his subjects I shall visit your house on such and such day, please wait for me. Now this person will not sit idle at his door. But he will have to make arrangements according to the status of his guest. He will set his rooms right and will try to arrange for crockery etc. befitting to the status of the king in order to provide every possible comfort to him. If that person sits at his door awaiting his guest and doesn’t make any arrangements suitable to the occasion, he will cut a sorry figure on the appointed day. One who has to travel by air has to reach the airport on time, lest he should miss the flight. This preparation before time is called ‘waiting’ there is a proverb in Arabic:

‘To wait is more painful than death.’

The waiting that we are stressing is actually a revolutionary school of thought that has no provision for leisure or easy life. It is the name of the life of a soldier or a commando. Many Traditions say that one who waits is like a soldier fighting in the field.

A Tradition in the book Akmal-ud-Din says that:

“One who dies waiting for the establishment of Divine rule is equal to one who is in the tent of Al-Hujjat. To be more exact he is like one who is fighting in the way of God before the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H.).”

In many other Traditions a ‘waiting person’ has been equated with a warrior for the faith.

 

  • “A ‘waiting person’ is like one who is fighting in the way of God in a wounded condition.”
  • “A ‘waiting person’ is like that martyred that is lying before the Holy prophet (P.B.U.H.) smeared with blood.”
  • ” A ‘waiting person’ is like one who has fallen on the ground after a strong fight before ‘Hujjat’ (A.S) and is breathing his last in the tent of his Imam
  •  

After going through the preceding Traditions, we become sure that waiting is not simply rest and recreation but is hardihood and struggle. Waiting is a lifestyle of a warrior for the faith.

  1. A warrior has weapons and a ‘waiting person’ has prayer (dua). Tradition says that prayer is the weapon of the believer (Momin).
  2. A warrior fights with the enemies of faith and a waiting person fights with the forces of the Devil.
  3. A warrior hoists his sword and banner whereas a waiting person hoists his hands for prayer. As a warrior tries to keep up his banner, similarly a waiting person should keep up his hands in prayer.
  4. A warrior shouts war cries on the battlefield and waits for a person to wail and lament before God.
  5. The blood drops fall from the wounds of a warrior whereas tears fall from the eyes of a waiting person which are actually the essence of blood.
  6. A warrior becomes the mark of arrows, spears, and swords whereas a waiting person becomes a mark of reproaching and reviling. The wound of the sword gets healed whereas the wound made by the tongue never heals.

 

‘Jehad’ or war in the way of God is of three types: (i) to fight with the apparent enemies (ii) to fight with Devil (iii) to fight with the animal-self. We have been ordered to fight with the non-believers with our hands, tongues, wealth, and lives. The fierce of these Jehads is fighting with animal-self because God is always pleased with those who go against the wishes of animal-self. That is why we have been ordained to fight with the wishes of animal-self in a way we fight with our enemies.

 

All the kinds of Jehads narrated above are hidden in ‘waiting’. It is because of his striving hard that a waiting man has been ranked above the persons of every age and times. The Holy Christ says:

” Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: Not withstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

Matthew Chapter 11(11)

 

We can realize from the above quotation how high is the rank of those who will be present in the Divine Kingdom. They will be greater than a prophet of God, John. When the merit is so high, how hard will the labor be to achieve the same? The meanings of ‘waiting’ therefore, are self preparation. Those who don’t give up vice and are waiting yet, are actually waiting for their destruction. This has been corroborated in the book of Isaiah:

“Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.”

Chapter 13(9)

 

“To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations: incense is an abomination unto me: The new moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; your new moons and your appointed feasts, I am weary to bear them.” Chapter 1(11-14)

 

“But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”

Chapter 1(20)

 

“How ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.” Chapter 13(6)

 

Similarly, it has been said in the book of Ezekiel:

“Thus saith the Lord God; Howl ye, woe worth the day! For the day is near, even the day of the Lord is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of heathen.”

Chapter 30(2-3)

 

It has been said in the book of Joel:

“Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty it shall come.”

Chapter 1(15)

 

In the book of Amos it has been said:

“Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! To what end is it for you? The day of the Lord is darkness and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a dear met him; or went into the house and leaned his hand on the wall and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness?”

Chapter 5(18-20)

 

 

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