The scene opens with the Last Hour coming upon them all of a sudden, taking them unawares: What are they waiting for other than the Last Hour, which will come upon them all of a sudden and take them unawares?
The fact that they are taken by surprise leads to a strange event that turns upside down all that was familiar to them in this world: On that Day, friends will become enemies to one another, except for the God-fearing.
Enmity between old friends results from the basis of their close relations. In this present life, they were united by evil, with some of them driving others into error. Now they blame each other for their mutual error and exchange accusations.
Their old friendship has completely disappeared. Excepted, however, are the God-fearing: their mutual love remains because what united them was true guidance and mutual sincere counseling. Therefore, they are safe.
As old friends engage in dispute and exchange accusations, the whole universe resounds with an address from on high to the God-fearing: You, servants of Mine, no fear need you have today, nor shall you grieve. You, who have believed in Our revelations and surrendered yourselves to Us, enter paradise, you and your spouses, in pure happiness.
Our imagination is stretched and we see gold trays and cups being moved around, and we see the believers in heaven having all that they desire.
However, what comes over and above desire satisfaction is that it is all pleasant to the eye, adding beauty to gratification: They will be waited upon with trays and goblets of gold; and there will be found all that the souls may desire and the eyes may delight in.
Yet there is more to this blessed enjoyment: T]here is something greater and far more honorable. They are honored by an address from on high: There you shall abide; This is the garden that shall be your own on account of what you used to do. You shall have there fruits in abundance, from which to eat.
What fate awaits the evildoers whom we left a little while ago in dispute, blaming one another? The evildoers shall abide in the suffering of hell.
It is a permanent, hard and severe suffering that allows no reduction or respite. No ray of hope will ever appear nor any chance of deliverance. They endure it, lost in despair: It will not be lightened for them; they will remain in utter despair. This is all their own doing. No one has wronged them: We never wronged them; it was they who have wronged themselves.
An outcry is heard from afar. It is an outcry of utter distress, born in despair: They will cry, Malik, if only your Lord would put an end to us!' It comes from down below, from behind the closed doors of hell. The evildoers are not appealing for help or salvation; they have already despaired of that.
All they are asking for is that they should be allowed to perish, their misery end. That is all that they can hope for. When all that one can hope for is to perish, one must be in extreme distress. This cry certainly comes from long-suffering souls and bodies whose endurance has gone beyond all limits.
Hence they cry out: Malik, if only your Lord would put an end to us!' The answer they are given adds to their despair, caring little for what they feel: He will answer: You are here to stay.' No deliverance, no hope, no death, no end; they are there to stay.
Reproduced from Arab News