Paradise will be full of surprises! Believers will be surprised to see atheists there. Muhammadans will be surprised to see non-Muslims there. Sunnis will be surprised to see Shi'ites there. Shiites will be surprised to see Sahabah there. Salafis will be surprised to see Sufis there. The oceans of Mercy bears no limitation!
Shaykh Nazim relates that Shaykh Abdullah Daghestani, 39th Grandshaykh (q) of the Nakshibendi Golden Chain used to say:
"The gates of Paradise are open for all to enter; and according to the Prophetic hadith God has parceled out Paradise, assigning to everyone his portion and not allowing anyone to occupy the portion that has been assigned to another."
"Our Grandsheikh went on to say that no one can fall outside of the bounds of God's mercy and a beneficence that is boundless, as is the mercy implicit in the Holy Name Ar-Rahman. Don’t ever think that the mercy oceans belonging to this Divine Name has any shore – no – they are boundless and endlessly deep, and so they ever will remain.
What we are listening to now of Grandsheikh’s words is not knowledge of the sort that we may be accustomed to hearing – it may seem new and strange to our ears, but nonetheless it is the truth from the secrets which are opened up day by day to the Awliya. God granted faith to the sons of Adam on the Day of Promises in Pre-eternity, the day when the souls of all the descendants of Adam were brought forth from his backbone and asked by their Lord: “Am I not your Lord?” We were all present on that day – looking to our Lord, talking to Him, knowing Him – and we replied: “Yea, verily. We testify that You are our lord.” (Qur'an; al-Araf : 172).
That faith was granted to everyone, but Divine Wisdom decreed that in this life some people’s faith would remain covered while that of others would appear. Prophet Muhammed said in regards to this: “The hearts of the Sons of Adam contain treasures, and the keys to the hearts are in the Hand of our Lord.” Therefore, if He is not going to open the hearts, no one can.
If you understand that faith is present in all of mankind, you must be very respectful towards each one of them and you must understand that only with Divine Decree are you believing and showing your faith, while someone else is not showing faith only because his Lord has not opened it up for him. You must understand the matter like this, and never say about anyone, “He is an unbeliever’, - who can know what will be the state of any person at the end of his life? The key to the hearts is in the Hand of the Almighty, and what will become of each person in the end is a Divine secret known in its entirety only to God Himself;
On the Day of Promises, God granted faith to His servants, and He is not going to take it away from them – perhaps they will declare their faith upon breathing their last breath – such is God’s mercy. God Almighty is keeping and hiding so many mercy oceans which are destined for His servants.
(Question) : “But, Mevlana, how shall we understand all the verses of the Qur’an which speak about eternal Hell with no exit?’
(Answer) : God Almighty says in one verse of the Qur’an : “And we don’t send our verses except to frighten (Takhweefeh).” In other words, ‘To scare the hell out of people.’ For example, you may say to your son, “If you don’t stop doing that I will kill you!” In reality, you are never going to do any such thing, but that warning may just be sufficient to make him listen to what you are saying and to desist from that
(Question) “ “Mevlana, why is it that the meanings we derive when we read the Qur’an seem to contradict the hidden meanings which you are uncovering?”
(Answer) : Here I have some salt; it is a white powder that we use in most of our foods. Who could guess that it consists of two poisons that would kill whoever consumed them? Also, here we have some water – who could guess that it consists of two gases – two hydrogen atoms and one of oxygen? He who knows, knows, and he who doesn’t know sees only the obvious and apparent. A person may deny salt being formed from poisons, but his denial won’t make him right.
Similarly, people read the Qur'an and understand it on their respective levels; they may deny anything beyond their level of understanding, but their denial doesn’t decrease in the least the validity of the deeper truth, truth which cannot be gained merely through outward study, but is given as a grant from the Divine Presence.
Within each verse of the Qur'an there are deeper and wider levels of concealed Knowledge, which only the Awliya who possess pure hearts can comprehend with Divine Permission. This is why Sayyidna Muhammad (s) said that the Qur'an has an inner meaning, and that this inner meaning conceals a yet deeper inner meaning, and so on (up to seven levels of meaning) These inner levels of meaning of the Qur'an contain hidden treasure of divine knowledge. In a hadith Qudsi, it is related God said when he decreed creation that: “My Mercy will always prevail over my Wrath”
Grandsheikh said: “For me, these are the greatest good tidings, as it gives me hope of my safety from Hell to know that God Almighty’s Mercy will come and cover everything on the Last Day”
Grandsheikh said that nothing from the actions of God Almighty’s servants will be a burden on God; don’t ever think that it could be. Now, listen carefully to the following description which is recorded in the Holy Books: on the Day of Judgment, God Almighty will order a person to Hell, and the Angels will grab him and start dragging him to the fire.
When he realizes that this is really happening he will turn to his Lord and say: “Oh my Lord, I never thought that You would really put me in the fire of Hell.” God then orders: “Bring him back.”
He was such an evil person, did so many dark deeds and listened always to the dictates of his lower self, but he never lost hope in his Lord’s Mercy for him and His reprieving him from Hell. We can be proud of being our Lord’s servants, even if we are not obedient ones – proud that He is such a merciful Lord who will reprieve so many of us from the jaws of Hell, and admit them to Paradise.
Here is the answer to a question that anyone who is striving hard in the way of his Lord and obeying his commandments may ask: “Why should we make a great effort to please God if there is a good chance that he will forgive us anyway?” The answer is: The degrees in the Divine Presence of those who have made efforts must differ from the degrees of those who were complacent in this life.
God Almighty has created Hell for the purpose of cleaning and purifying, as He does not like to make people suffer without wisdom. This is Grandsheikh’s understanding and it was also Sheikh Muhiyuddin Ibn al Arabi’s understanding of the Holy Tradition (Hadith Qudsi): “My Mercy surpasses My Anger.” Therefore, we may hope for the final outcome to be a ‘General Amnesty’ for everyone, and we are pleased by that prospect. For example, you may be in a palace full of every comfort, but the fact that
there are suffering people outside your palace prevents you from being truly happy; when, however, you learn that all those people have attained mercy according to their levels, you will feel relieved and say: “Now God has expanded His encompassing Mercy to everyone”.
Grandsheikh says” “Whenever I speak on this subject, I am always asking Divine Permission to bring out more and more good tidings of God’s endless Mercy and Generosity Now we are giving these good tidings, and if you are not receiving them with welcome, then you are only making yourselves suffer. If there is anyone objecting and saying that there must be eternal Hell, then he may go there.
We are trying to pull them into our Lord’s Mercy Oceans – but they intend to put everyone in Hell, and they never think that they themselves will enter it; therefore they are agonized and outraged by our good tidings to the servants of our Lord.”
May ALLah Forgive Us and have Mercy on Us for the sake of sayedina muhammad sallallahualayhiwasalam.