The Epistle of Forgiveness or A Pardon to Enter the Garden - Vol. 1

By Abū L-ʿalāʾ Al-Maʿarrī; Geert Jan Van Gelder et al. | Go to book overview

Between Paradise and Hell

Then it occurs to him that he would like to see the people in Hell and how15.1 things are with them, that his gratitude for his blessings be magnified. For God says,487 «One of them said: I had a companion who would say, “Are you really one of those who believe that if we die and have turned to dust and bones we will be judged?” He said, “Won’t you look down?” So he looked down and saw him in the midst of blazing Hell. He said, “By God, you had nearly let me perish; but for my Lord’s blessing I would have been one of those brought there!”»

The Paradise
of the demons

The Sheikh mounts one of the animals of Paradise and goes forth. He sees15.2.1 some towns unlike the towns of Paradise, without the glittering light; there are caves and dark, wooded valleys. He asks one of the angels, “What are they, servant of God?” He replies, “This is the Paradise of those demons488 who believed in Muḥammad (God bless him), those that are mentioned in the Surah of the Sand Dunes and the Surah of the Jinnees.489 There are lots of them.” “I should like to pay them a visit,” says the Sheikh, “I am bound to hear some wonderful stories from them!”

He turns toward them and sees an old person who is sitting at the mouth of a cave. He greets him and the other answers the greeting politely, asking, “What brings you to this place, human? You would deserve a better one; like you there is none!” The Sheikh replies, “I heard that you are the believing jinnees, so I’ve come to ask for some stories about the jinnees, and perhaps to hear some poems by the rebellious jinnees.”490

The old jinnee says, “You’ve hit the bull’s eye; you’ve found me like the moon in its halo in the sky, like someone who waits before pouring away the hot fat:491 here am I! Ask whatever you like.” The Sheikh asks, “What is your name, old man?” “I am al-Khaytaʿūr, one of the sons of al-Shayṣabān.492 We are not descended from the devil: we belong to the jinnees that lived on earth before the children of Adam (God bless him).”

-227-

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The Epistle of Forgiveness or A Pardon to Enter the Garden - Vol. 1
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Letter from the General Editor iii
  • Title Page v
  • Table of Contents ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Abbreviations Used in the Introduction and Translation xiv
  • Introduction xv
  • A Note on the Text xxix
  • A Note on the Edition xxxii
  • Notes to the Introduction xxxv
  • The Epistle of Ibn Al-QāRiḥ 1
  • The Epistle of Forgiveness Volume One 65
  • Between Paradise and Hell 227
  • Notes 325
  • Glossary of Names and Terms 370
  • Bibliography 392
  • Further Reading 400
  • Index 404
  • About the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute 424
  • About the Typefaces 425
  • About the Editor-Translators 426
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