(By Hazrat Maulana Manzoor Nu’maani)
THE greatest favour to be conferred on the dwellers of Paradise is the seeing of God, and everyone endowed with a refined awareness will, undoubtedly, find the longing for it embedded in his heart. It is but natural for the bondsman who is enjoying countless blessings of the Lord in this world and will be rewarded in Heaven with immeasurably greater boons to feel an earnest_ desire to see the Beneficent and the Merciful Lord who created him and was showering on him His exquisite gifts. There will, of course, remain a feeling of non-fulfilment in him if he is never blessed with the stupendous spectacle and the Almighty will, indeed, not keep the bondsman unfulfilled whom he will, by His Grace, allow to enter Paradise.
The Qur’an has given to the Faithful the Tidings of this unique favour and the Holy Prophet, too, has mentioned it and all the Muslims have believed in it implicitly. Some people, however, who are given to imagine about the Hereafter on the basis of what they see in the world around them and regard the limited knowledge vouchsafed to them here to be the last word in that direction repudiate and possibility of it on the ground that it does not stand to reason. They argue that only a thing that exists in a material form and has colour or surface can be seen by the human eye, and that, too, when it is placed in front of the viewer and within a certain distance. Since God has neither form nor substance, nor is He contained in space and time, the question of seeing Him does not arise. But this line of reasoning, ostensibly, is insane and puerile. Had the conviction of the Believers been that God will be seen with these very eyes (of the present world) which can observe only material objects and things having colour or dimension, the viewpoint of dissenters could have some validity. But neither the Qur’an nor the Traditions say so, nor is it the creed of the faithful Believers.
The people of the Sunnah and of the way of Companions functioning as a body (Ahl–i–Sunnat wal Jama’at) who, in adherence to the precepts of the Qur’an and the Traditions, believe that the bondmen worthy of the magnificent favour will see God in Heaven also take it for granted that He will bless the dwellers of Paradise with powers and faculties that have not been given to anyone in this world, one of which is that the vision that will be granted to them will not be as weak and limited as that of our eyes in the present existence and it is with these eyes that the fortunate bondmen will see the Lord who possesses neither form nor colour nor dimension.
If the skeptics are still doubtful about the seeing of Allah Almighty, on account of its logical infeasibility, they should pause and ponder whether God sees His creatures or not. In case perception was possible only with the means and under the circumstances that were peculiar to us. He must, of necessity, be incapable of seeing anything for He had neither eyes nor were the creatures placed in a particular position in respect of Him. Thus, those who believe that God sees without eyes and in all directions at the same time, and even things we can not perceive by the eye in any case and by any means, ought to have no misgivings. Relying to the utmost on the tidings contained in the Qur’an and the Traditions, they should assume that the Almighty will, by His Power and Benevolence, grant them eyes in the Hereafter which will enable them to take joy in the marvellous spectacle of his own.