22:1 O people, be wary of your Lord—surely the quaking of the Hour is a tremendous thing.
The vocative is for the common people, and the call of generosity is for the elect. The vocative is for striking fear and warning, and the call of generosity is for bestowing eminence and giving good news. Be wary of your Lord is two words, one severity, the other gentleness. Be wary is severity, which He drives home with His justice. Your Lord is gentleness, which He shows through His bounty. He keeps the servant between severity and gentleness so that he will live in fear and hope. When he is in fear, he looks at his own activity and weeps. When he is in hope, he looks at God’s gentleness and is delighted.
Surely the quaking of the Hour is a tremendous thing. The quaking of the resurrection and the harshness of the resurrection—how can this be explained and what mark can be given of it? For the Exalted Lord says it is “a tremendous thing.” It is a day, and what a day! It is a work, and what work! The pavilion of exaltedness will be raised in the desert of power, the carpet of tremendousness spread, the balance of justice hung, the path of straightness drawn out. All the eloquent tongues will be silent and dumb, all excuses will be nullified, for this is a day in which they do not speak, nor will they be given permission to offer excuses [77:35-36]. How many curtains will be torn on that day! How many lineages will be broken on that day! How many with white faces will become black-faced on that day! How many of the pious will be disgraced! How many hats of good fortune will be thrown in the dust of abasement! How many edicts of sultans will be stamped with the signet of dismissal! For the command, that day will belong to God [82:19]. How many fathers will be lamenting in the depths of hell, their children strolling in the meadows of paradise! No father will suffice for his child, nor will any child suffice in anything for his father [31:33].
At the harshness of that day Adam will come forward: “Lord God, let Adam go, and do as You know with his children.” Noah will lament, “Lord God, have mercy on my weakness and helplessness!” Abraham the bosom friend, Moses the speaking companion, and Jesus the spirit of God—each will be helpless in himself and be saying with the tongue of poverty in the state of brokenness, “Myself, myself!”
Then the master of the first and the last, the lamp of heaven and earth, the chosen and approved of the Lord of the Worlds, Muḥammad, will come forth in that desert of the resurrection like a full moon and the whole world will be brightened and the spheres a rose garden. When the master shows his beauty and perfection and the glitter of the light of his face reaches the world of the resurrection, felicity and security will appear for the folk of faith. Just as the moon passes by the stars in the spheres, on that day the paragon of the world will pass by the faithful and keep on gazing on their faces, and he will intercede for the folk of faith. Thy Lord shall bestow upon thee so that thou shalt approve [93:5].