Straitness and the Prophets The Prophets encompassed a struggle when they came to mankind to preach. Allah says in the Quran to Prophet Muhammad: [7:2] A Book revealed to you-- so let there be no straitness in your breast on account of it-- that you may warn thereby, and a reminder close to the believers. The breast of the Prophet Muhammad was meant to be straitened because of what he was meant to preach. The literal meaning of the word strait is narrow. It is used to describe pain and difficulty. But despite Allah saying that "let there be no straitness in your breast on account of it", the poor Prophet Muhammad has his breast straitened; because of them. [11:12] Is it then possible from you (O Prophet,) that you will abandon some of what is being revealed to you, and that your heart will be straitened thereby, because they say: Why has a treasure not been sent down to him or an angel not come with him? You are but a warner. And Allah takes care of everything. But what did the Prophet say? He still asked for their forgiveness. He continued to feel the pain in his heart, and continued to ask for their forgiveness. That is why Allah stated in the Quran: [59:21] Had We sent down this Quran to a mountain, you would have seen it humbled, burst apart out of awe for Allah. We cite such examples for people, so that they may ponder. Such was the heart of our Prophet Muhammad, and that is what differentiated him from other human beings. And that is what made him special. The reason the Imam Mehdi will be different from other human beings is because his heart will be able to experience all the same and he would be able to withstand the pressure of it all to speak to Allah for one last forgiveness for the people. Would you try it and feel the pain and not fall down crying? Surely, you will not have the strength. May he have it! (The concept of the straitness of the Prophets is also there for other Prophets, when Musa said: [26:13] My heart gets straitened, and my tongue is not fluent; so send for Harun. And for Lut: [29:33] And when Our messengers came to Lut, he grieved for them and his heart was straitened because of them, but they said: We are going to save you and your family, except your wife who will be among those remaining behind. Also, the concept of straitness is there for the unbelievers: [6:125] So, whomsoever Allah wills to guide, He makes his heart wide open for Islam, and whomsoever He wills to let go astray, He makes his heart strait and constricted, (and he feels embracing Islam as difficult) as if he were climbing to the sky. In this way, Allah lays abomination on those who do not believe. (Perhaps some people will wonder here how is it that the Prophets feel the same way as unbelievers feel. Allah says in the Quran: [9:128]“There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you [i.e., your guidance] and to the believers is kind and merciful.” Allah has no qualms to set forth a destined time and send down His punishment. He says in the Quran: [32:13] And if We had so willed, We would have led everybody to his right path (by force), but the word from Me had come to pass: I will certainly fill the Jahannam with jinn and human beings together. [68:14] So, leave Me alone with those who reject this discourse. We will draw them on little by little (towards hell) from a way they do not know. [89:23] and Jahannam (hell), on that day, will be brought forward, it will be the day when man will realize the truth, but from where will he take advantage of such realization? There are many more Ayats that tell of Allah's reckoning and some more where He is stated to be quick in reckoning (3:19, 40:17, 5:4 and many more) but there are a variety of Ayats that tend to make a believer even more fearful of Allah's wrath: [74:35] it (Saqar : hell) is one of the greatest things. [67:11] Thus they will confess their sin. So, away with the people of the hell! [67:10] And they will say: Had we been listening or understanding, we would not have been among the people of the hell. [89:23] and Jahannam (hell), on that day, will be brought forward, it will be the day when man will realize the truth, but from where will he take advantage of such realization? All these Ayats, and there are many more, talk about the regret that the unbeliever will have on the day of judgment. There are also numerous Ayats where the people of the hell ask the angels and the keepers of the hell to pray to Allah for their mercy (40:49, 43:47). Thinking that hell will not be painful for us, or that we may never be able to get into it is equivalent of denying it. As it is in Surah Haaviya, man cannot comprehend what hell is; it is in a state of fury. He just seems to think that he will get over it or that he will not suffer enough or that he will be able to find the grace of the Lord...but that will not be the case. We must always deliver durood and salaam on the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa'Alihay Wassalam) because he was a sign of mercy for the people. Which brings me to my initial topic: why do the hearts of the Prophets straiten? It is stated in the Quran: [9:113] It is not (permissible) for the Prophet and the believers to seek forgiveness for the Mushriks, even if they are kinsmen, after it became clear to them that they are the people of hell. [48:6] and so that He may punish the hypocrites, men and women, and the mushriks (polytheists), men and women, who think evil thoughts about Allah. Bound for them there is a vicious circle, and Allah has become angry with them, and He has prepared Jahannam (hell) for them, and it is an evil destination. [92:11] And his wealth will not help him when he will fall down (into hell). These all Ayats point out to the facts that not the Prophets, nor the believers are permitted to seek forgiveness for those meant to be in hell. And then there a reason to go to hell. And then the failing of wealth to protect him.The straitness of the Prophet is because he chose to defy God, continued to preach, and seek forgiveness for each and every single person in mankind. Ibrahim couldn't do it, Musa couldn't do it, Lut couldn't do it, by God Nuh lived 950 years and he couldn't do it...but the Prophet Muhammad brought down the Lord's favor and said that even if you say "One Allah" I promise paradise for you. It is such a pity, that some of us are even unable to do that. Before I leave, some Ayats to consider: [7:179] Surely We have created for hell a lot of people from among Jinn and mankind. They have hearts wherewith they do not understand, eyes wherewith they do not see, and ears wherewith they do not hear. They are like cattle. Rather, they are much more astray. They are the heedless. [25:65] and those who say: Our Lord, avert from us the punishment of Jahannam (the hell); indeed, its punishment is a persisting affliction. And, perhaps if you are able to comprehend this Ayat: [33:72] We did offer the Trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they refused to bear its burden and were afraid of it, and man picked it up. Indeed he is unjust (to himself), unaware (of the end). Thank you.