As-Sirāt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

As-Sirāt (Arabic: الصراطaṣ-ṣirāṭ) is, according to Islam, the bridge which every human must pass on the Yawm ad-Din ("Day of Judgment") to enter Paradise. It is said that it is thinner than a strand of hair and as sharp as the sharpest knife or sword (because of its danger).[1] Below this path are the fires of Hell, which burn the sinners to make them fall. Those who performed acts of goodness in their lives are transported across the path in speeds according to their deeds leading them to the Hauzu'l-Kausar, the Lake of Abundance.[2][3][4]

Muslims who offer the obligatory prayers (Fajr, Dhuhur, Asr, Maghrib, Isha) and recite the Surah Al-Fatihah, which is a supplication in which they ask God to guide them through the righteous path, has been called by scholars[who?] a precursor to the as-Sirāt.[dubious ]

Diagram of "Plain of Assembly"(Ard al-Hashr) on the Day of Judgment, from autograph manuscript of Futuhat al-Makkiyya by Sufi mystic and philosopher Ibn Arabi, ca. 1238. Shown are the 'Arsh (Throne of God), pulpits for the righteous (al-Aminun), seven rows of angels, Gabriel (al-Ruh), A'raf (the Barrier), the Pond of Abundance, al-Maqam al-Mahmud (the Praiseworthy Station; where the prophet Muhammad will stand to intercede for the faithful), Mizan (the Scale), As-Sirāt (the Bridge), Jahannam (Hell) and Marj al-Jannat (Meadow of Paradise).[5]

In the Hadith[edit]

Narrated by Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri: We, the companions of the Prophet said, "O Allah's Apostle! What is the bridge?' He said, "It is a slippery (bridge) on which there are clamps and (Hooks like) a thorny seed that is wide at one side and narrow at the other and has thorns with bent ends. Such a thorny seed is found in Najd and is called As-Sa'dan. Some of the believers will cross the bridge as quickly as the wink of an eye, some others as quick as lightning, a strong wind, fast horses or she-camels. So some will be safe without any harm; some will be safe after receiving some scratches, and some will fall down into Hell. The last person will cross by being dragged over the bridge." (Sahih Bukhari - Volume 9, Book 93, Number 532)

In other religions[edit]

The Abrahamic faiths of Judaism and Christianity do not have this teaching, but the monotheistic faith of Zoroastrianism does have it. The Chinvat bridge, which occurs in the Gathas of Zarathushtra, has many similarities and is a close concept to As-Sirat.

(Purgatory in Christianity can be considered a bridge that all souls must cross in order to atone for their sins before entering Heaven).

Etymology[edit]

Early Muslim writers were uncertain on how to spell this word as it was rendered صراط, سراط and زراط. They were equally uncertain of its gender. It appears ultimately to be the Hellenised στράτα of Latin: strata (street), which entered Arabic via Classical Syriac: ܐܣܛܪܛܐ‎.[6]

Cultural references[edit]

American science fiction author Frank Herbert adopted the idea for his novel Dune. In the Orange Catholic Bible, life is described as a journey across the Sirat, with "Paradise on my Right, Hell on my Left, and the Angel of Death Behind".

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "as-Sirat Bridge Marker". Madain Project. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  2. ^ Sahih-i Muslim, M4730
  3. ^ Sahih-i Muslim. Iman, 329, M454
  4. ^ Sahih-i Muslim, Belief in the Hereafter, M456
  5. ^ Begley, Wayne E. The Garden of the Taj Mahal: A Case Study of Mughal Architectural Planning and Symbolism, in: Wescoat, James L.; Wolschke-Bulmahn, Joachim (1996). Mughal Gardens: Sources, Places, Representations, and Prospects Dumbarton Oaks, Washington D.C., ISBN 0884022358. pp. 229-231.
  6. ^ Jeffery, Arthur; Böwering, Gerhard; McAuliffe, Jane (2008). The Foreign Vocabulary of the Quran. Woods Press. pp. 195–196. ISBN 978-1-4437-2149-3.

External links[edit]