32. If there develops any rancour or ill-will among good people during the
course of their worldly lives, such rancour and will be removed in the Hereafter.
Their hearts will be purged of all hostile feelings and they will enter Paradise
as cordial friends. They will not feel envious towards those who had formerly
been opposed or hostile to them that they share with them the bounties of Paradise.
Significantly, 'Ali once recited this very verse and remarked: 'I wish that
I and 'Uthman and Talhah and al-Zubayr will be among those about whom God has
said: "And We shall take away all rancour from their hearts" '
(verse 43). (See
Qurtubi's comments on verse 43 - Ed.)
Reflection on the verse leads one to conclude that out of His mercy, God will first purge the righteous of their blemishes. This will be done before admitting them to Paradise. Thus they will enter Paradise in a state of untainted purity.
33. This refers to something of a fine and delicate character that will take
place in Paradise. Instead of boasting about their virtuous deeds which led
them to Paradise, the righteous will thank and praise God profusely and acknowledge
His grace and mercy without which they could never have entered Paradise. On
the other hand, God will not impress His bounty upon the righteous; He will
rather emphasize that Paradise is granted to them by way of compensation for
their righteous conduct, that it is the fruit of their hard labour; that it
is not like the crumbs of charity but a fair recompense for their striving.
The subtlety involved here is further brought into relief by the fact that the
above response will not be made by God. It will rather be just announced to
What is said above about the Hereafter may be discerned in the attitude of the righteous in the world itself. The wicked and arrogant ones take great pride in their worldly attainments and ascribe them to their own efforts. They firmly, believe that what they have achieved is the fruit of their labour. Swaved by such notions, they continue to act even more haughtily. Conversely the righteous look upon all the bounties which they receive as favours from God. Accordingly, they thank and praise Him out of gratitude. The more they are lavished with worldly favours, the more humble and generous they become. Moreover, they do not suffer from the illusion that their righteousness will certainly earn them their salvation. On the contrary, they consistently repent over their lapses and earnestly turn to God in the hope that He will pardon them out of His grace and mercy. They are always fearful of God's reckoning lest their evil deeds are found to outweigh their good deeds. According to a tradition the Prophet (peace he on him) said: 'Know well that none will he able to enter Paradise by dint of his good deeds.' When asked if that would apply to him as well, the Prophet (peace he on him) replied: 'Yes, in my case as well; unless God covers me with His mercy and favour.' (Bukhari, Kitab al-Riqaq, 'Bab al-Qasd wa a Mudawamah ala al-Amal' - Ed.)
34. The people of A'raf (Heights) will be the people who are neither righteous enough to enter Paradise nor wicked enough to he cast into Hell. They will, therefore, dwell at a place situated between the two.