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People of the Right Hand

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Aṣḥāb al-yamīn (Arabic: أصْحاب الیَمین) or aṣḥāb al-maymana (Arabic: أصْحاب المَیْمَنَة) or people of the right hand are people who receive the records of their actions with their right hand and go to the Heaven. In the Qur'an, they are contrasted to people of the left hand (ashab al-shimal). According to Qur'anic verses, people of the right hand are characterized by their belief in God, their certainty in the judgment of the resurrection, feeding the orphans and people in need, and emancipating the slaves. According to some Shiite hadiths, "al-yamin" (the right hand) refers to Imam 'Ali (a), and "ashab al-yamin" refers to his followers.

Naming

"Ashab al-yamin" is a Qur'anic term which literally means the people of the right hand, as opposed to "ashab al-shimal" which literally means the people of the left hand. According to the exegetes of the Qur'an, people of the right hand are people who were righteous during their life in this world and so, in the afterlife, they will receive the record of their actions with their right hands. On the contrary, people of the left hand receive the record of their actions with their left hands. The term, "ashab al-yamin", is mentioned 6 times in the Qur'an, and in some Qur'anic verses, it is mentioned as "ashab al-maymana". According to some exegetes, "al-maymana" literally means blessing and happiness, and the people of the blessing (as opposed to "ashab al-mash'ama" [people of the misfortune]) are the people of the right hand.

This group of people are called the "people of the right hand" because of the following characteristics:

  • They are people of "yumn", that is, goodness.
  • They receive the record of their actions with their "right" (yamin) hands.
  • On the day of the resurrection, they stand on the right side, and the people of the left hand stand on the left side.

According to some hadiths transmitted from the Shiite Imams (a), "yamin" refers to Imam 'Ali (a), and "ashab al-yamin" refers to his followers.

Characteristics

The Qur'an has characterized the people of the right hand in Qur'an 56, Qur'an 84, Qur'an 90, and Qur'an 69 as follows:

  • People of the right hand believe in God and the judgments of the day of the resurrection, they advised one another to patience and compassion, feed the orphans and people in need, and emancipate the slaves.
  • When they die, the angels send regards and peace to them. On the day of the resurrection, they will be examined easily, and after the examination, they will happily return to their family.
  • In the Heaven, they will be in a high position and will be happy with their life. According to verses of Sura al-Waqi'a, people of the right hand live in the Heaven near waterfalls, under the shadows of trees, enjoying fruits and a variety of Heavenly blessings.

See Also

References

  • The material for this article is mainly taken from in Farsi WikiShia.