Quranic Reflection No. 427. Ayat 10:10 – The Speech of People in Heaven
دَعْوَاهُمْ فِيهَا سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ وَتَحِيَّتُهُمْ فِيهَا سَلَامٌ ۚ وَآخِرُ دَعْوَاهُمْ أَنِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
Da ‘wāhum fīhā subhānaka-llāhumma wa-tahiyyatuhum fīhā salāmun; wa-ākhiru da‘wāhum anil-hamdu lilli rabbil-‘ālamīn.
Their call therein will be, ‘O Allah! Glory be to You!’ and their greeting therein will be, ‘Peace!’ and their concluding call, ‘All praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds.
(Sūrat Yunus, No 10, Āyat 10)
The believers in Heaven will enjoy pleasures that are unlike any they have experienced in this world. The three joys that will evoke different forms of speech are mentioned in this verse:
1. Glorification of God – Having become keenly aware of the greatness of God their hearts will be focused only on Allah subhānahu wata‘ālā. Anything else will seem completely insignificant and unworthy of having a place in the heart. They will realize that God is greater than that He be associated with anything else. This realization will stimulate them to glorify Him, both verbally and spiritually. This glorification will not be to fulfill a duty, as there are no obligations in Heaven. It will be a spontaneous declaration stemming from love and awe of God. The glorification of God will be a source of joy in Heaven.
2. Greeting of peace – Another pleasure that will be part of the environment in Heaven is meeting other believers. The connection with God will create purity and love in the hearts for others and their greeting to others will be peace. This will not just be words without meaning. It will stem from love of others based on the foundation of love for God. The greeting of peace will abound in heaven:
a) From Allah (swt) to the believers – Peace: a word from a Merciful Lord (Q 36:58).
b) From the angels to the believers – And the keepers of it shall say to them: Peace be on you; you shall be happy; therefore, enter it to abide (Q 39:73).
c) Among believers – They shall not hear therein vain or sinful discourse, Except the word peace, peace (Q 56:25-26)
3. Gratitude to God – The final pleasure mentioned in this verse is that of gratitude for all that they have been blessed with. It does not mean that it is their last call, rather that it is the ultimate call in all they say. Every time they receive the blessings of heaven, they thank Allah ‘azza wajall and understand that everything is from the One who nurtures and controls the worlds. Saying these words at the times of special blessings was the practice of many Prophets in the world. Here are two examples:
a) Prophet Nūh (a) when he is rescued from the unjust people – And when you are firmly seated, you and those with you, in the ark, say: All praise is due to Allah who delivered us from the unjust people (Q 23:28)
b) Prophet Ibrāhīm (a) at the blessing of children in old age – Praise be to Allah, Who has given me in old age Ismail and Ishāq; most surely my Lord is the Hearer of prayer (Q 14:39)
All these three calls of the people in Heaven are practiced by believers in the world. It is just with different intensity and conviction. This verse reminds us that the simple phrases we use to remember God while we live on earth will hold a much deeper meaning when we use them in Heaven. They will be more heartfelt after becoming fully aware of the reality of life. It would be a good practice to remind ourselves of this verse as we recite these phrases in life and visualize the resounding of these calls by the people of Heaven.
Sources: Shaykh Tabarsī, Tafsīr Majma’ul Bayan; Āyatullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirāzī (Ed.), Tafsīr-e Namūneh; Agha Muhsin Qarā’atī, Tafsīr Nur