FIRST TRUTH: The gate of Lordship and Sovereignty, the manifestation of His Name the All-Sustaining Lord and Master. Would the Glory of God’s being the Lord and Divine Sovereign create this temporary universe to display His perfections, with such noble aims and purposes, without also establishing a reward for believers who, by belief and worship, seek to satisfy them? Should He not punish those misguided people who reject His purposes?

SECOND TRUTH: The gate of Munificence and Mercy, the manifestations of His Names the All-Munificent and All-Merciful. Would the Lord of this world, Who demonstrates infinite munificence, mercy, splendor, and glory through His works, recompense according to His Munificence and Mercy and punish according to His Splendor and Glory?

Consider the following: All animate beings are given some form of appropriate sustenance.10 The weakest and most powerless receive the best sustenance. Such bountiful largesse given with such noble magnanimity betokens a giving hand of Infinite Munificence. During spring, all trees are dressed in silk-like finery, covered with blossoms and fruits as if bejeweled, and made to offer many varieties of the choicest fruits on their branches, stretched forward like a servant’s arms. We receive sweet and wholesome honey from a stinging honeybee, dress in the finest and softest cloth woven by a handless silkworm, and find a great treasure of Mercy stored for us in tiny seeds. Who but One having the most perfect Munificence, the finest and most subtle Mercy, can do such things?

Except for humanity [and jinn] and certain wild animals, all creatures perform their tasks with complete exactitude, do not overstep their bounds, and are perfectly obedient in an atmosphere of solemn awe. This shows that they function by the command of One having Supreme Majesty and Authority. Similarly, the way all mothers in the vegetable, animal, and human realms support their helpless infants by tenderly and compassionately nurturing their growth with milk shows the all-embracing Mercy.11

The Majestic Lord and Ruler of this world has infinite Munificence and Mercy, infinite Splendor and Majesty. His munificence requires infinite giving, His mercy requires favoring worthy of itself, and His majesty and splendor require chastising those who disrespect them. As only a minute fraction of such attributes are established and manifested in this impermanent world and passing life, there must be a blessed realm that can fulfill these duties. Denying such a realm means denying the Mercy so evident to us, which would be like denying the sun whose existence lightens every day. Death without resurrection would turn compassion into torment, love into the affliction of separation, blessing into a vengeful curse, reason into an instrument of wretchedness, and pleasure into pain. Such events would cause Divine Mercy to vanish.

There also must be a realm of punishment suitable for the Almighty’s Majesty and Glory. This world’s oppressors die with their oppressive power intact, while the oppressed die still subjected to humiliation. Such wrongs necessarily are deferred to a supreme tribunal; they are never ignored. Indeed, punishment is sometimes enacted even in this world. The torments endured by earlier disobedient and rebellious peoples show that we cannot escape whatever correction God Almighty’s Splendor and Majesty chooses to apply.

Why should humanity refuse to recognize Him and respond to Him in belief, for we have the highest duty in creation and so are blessed with the most important capacities. In addition, our Lord and Sustainer reveals Himself through His orderly works. Why should humanity not respond to Him by making ourselves beloved of God through worship, for He makes Himself loved by us for the numerous, adorned gifts of His Mercy. Why should humanity not respond to Him with reverent thanks and praise, for He shows His Love and Mercy to us through the gifts of His Grace.

Does it make sense that we should remain unrecompensed and unanswerable, that the Majestic One of Splendor and Glory should not prepare a realm of requital for us? Does it make sense that the All-Merciful and Compassionate One would not prepare a realm of permanent reward and bliss for believers who respond to His making Himself known by recognizing Him in belief, to His making Himself beloved by loving Him in worship, and to His Mercy by offering reverent thanks and praise?

THIRD TRUTH: The gate of Wisdom and Justice, the manifestations of His Names the All-Wise and All-Just.12 Would the Majestic Being, Who manifests the sovereignty of His being Lord in the universe’s order, purposiveness, justice, and balance, not show His favor to believers who seek the protection of His being their Lord and Sovereign, who believe in His Wisdom and Justice, and act in conformity with them through worship? Would He not chastise those who, denying His Wisdom and Justice, rebel against Him? Since only a minute amount of His Wisdom and Justice with respect to humanity is established in this transient world, they must be deferred. Most of the misguided die unpunished, and most of the guided die unrewarded. Such affairs certainly are deferred to a supreme tribunal, an ultimate contentment.

The One Who administers this world does so in accordance with an infinite wisdom. We can see this in how all things are used and benefit others. Have you not seen how many wise purposes are served by each human limb, bone, and vein, as well as by every brain cell and every cell atom in your body? Indeed, the purposes are as numerous as a tree’s fruits. This confirms that all is arranged in accordance with infinite wisdom. A further proof is the absolute orderliness in which everything is fashioned.

The miniaturization of the whole, exact program of a flower’s growth in a tiny seed, as well as the Pen of Destiny’s making a large tree’s seed the index of its life-history and all its parts, show that an absolute wisdom moves that Pen. The perfection of subtle artistry in all things proves an infinitely Wise Artist’s impress. Including an index of all beings within a small human body, as well as the keys to Mercy’s treasuries and mirrors to reflect all Divine Names, further shows the Wisdom within that infinitely subtle artistry. Could this Wisdom, which so permeates the workings of Lordship, not want to favor those who eternally seek refuge in that Lordship’s protection and who offer obedience in belief?

Do you need convincing that everything is done with justice and balance? The fact that all things are given being and form, and then placed according to a precise equilibrium and measure, is enough proof for you. The fact that everything receives whatever it needs in the most fitting form, according to its nature, is a sign left by a hand of infinite justice. Every petition and plea voiced in the tongue of disposition, of natural need or necessity, also demonstrates infinite justice and wisdom.

Is it conceivable that the justice and wisdom hastening to provide for creation’s smallest member would not provide the greatest need (immortality) of its most important member (humanity)?

Is it conceivable that it would fail to respond to our greatest plea and cry for help, or that it would not preserve the dignity of God’s being Lord by rewarding His servants? We cannot experience the true essence of justice in this transient world, for our lives are too short. Thus the affair is deferred to a supreme tribunal.

The true essence of justice requires that we be rewarded and punished not according to our apparent insignificance, but according to the greatness of our wrong and our nature, and the importance of our function. Since this transient world cannot manifest such an amount of wisdom and justice, as humanity is created for eternity, there must be an eternal Hell and an everlasting Paradise created by the All-Just and All-Wise to befit His Grace and Awe.

FOURTH TRUTH: The gate of Generosity and Beauty, the manifestation of the Names the Generous and the Beautiful. Would unlimited generosity and liberality, inexhaustible riches and treasures, unequalled eternal beauty and grace, as well as everlasting perfection, not demand the existence of grateful supplicants, along with amazed and yearning onlookers, destined to dwell permanently in an abode of blissful repose? The world is adorned with so many beautiful objects, the sun and moon serve as its lamps, the planet’s surface teems with the finest varieties of sustenance—an overflowing feast of plenty, trees bearing fruit like so many dishes and renewed several times each season. All of this shows the existence of unlimited generosity and liberality.

Such inexhaustible treasures of Mercy require an everlasting abode of blissful repose that contains all desirable objects. They also require that those who enjoy it should dwell there eternally, without suffering the pain of cessation and separation. The end of pain is a sort of pleasure, and the end of pleasure is a sort of pain. As unlimited generosity cannot allow such a thing, Paradise must be eternal and its inhabitants must live therein eternally. Unlimited generosity and liberality desire to bestow infinite bounty and kindness, which require infinite gratitude. Thus, those who are to receive and give continual thanks for this ongoing bestowal of bounty must live forever. A slight contentment, spoiled by its brevity or cessation, is incompatible with unlimited generosity and liberality.

Reflect upon the world’s different regions, how each exhibits God’s handiwork and proclaims His being Lord in the diversity of all plants and animals.13 Listen to the Prophets and saints who proclaim His Lordship’s beauties. They point to the Majestic Maker’s flawless perfections and demonstrate His miraculous arts, thereby inviting our admiration.

The Maker of this world wishes to make His most important, amazing, and hidden perfections known via His miraculous arts. Hidden perfection longs to be known by those who will gaze upon it with admiration and appreciation. Eternal perfection requires eternal manifestation, which in turn requires the eternal existence of those who will appreciate and admire it. The value of perfection diminishes in the view of its admirer if the latter is not eternal.14

The brilliant adornment and beautiful handiwork of all Earth’s creatures testify to the dimensions of an unequaled transcendent Grace and point to the subtle aspects of a hidden Beauty, just as sunlight testifies to the sun’s existence.15 Every manifestation of that transcendent Beauty, that holy Grace, points to the existence of innumerable unseen treasures in each of God’s Names. So exalted, peerless, and hidden a beauty wills to behold itself in a mirror, to see its degrees and measures reflected in animate beings, and to become manifest so that it may look upon itself through the eyes of others.

In short, beauty and grace will to see and be seen and thus require the existence of yearning witnesses and dazzled admirers. Since Divine Beauty is eternal and everlasting, its witnesses and admirers also must be eternal, for Eternal Beauty can never be content with transient admirers. The love of an admirer condemned to permanent separation will turn to hatred once the thought of separation takes hold. Admiration yields to an ill opinion, and respect yields to contempt. Just as obstinate people may be enemies of what they do not know, they are opposed to what lies beyond their reach. A finite love responds to a beauty that deserves infinite admiration with tacit hostility, hatred, and rejection. This is a profound reason for why unbelievers hate God.

Such unlimited generosity and liberality, unequalled beauty and absolute perfection require the existence of supplicants and admirers with eternal longing and gratitude. But this temporary world’s inhabitants depart having tasted that generosity only long enough to whet their appetites. Seeing only a dim shadow of perfection’s light, they are not fully content. Thus we can be sure that we are traveling to a place of eternal joy where we will receive what we are due in full measure. In short, just as this world and its creatures prove the Majestic Creator’s existence, His holy Attributes and Names point to and necessitate the Hereafter’s existence.

FIFTH TRUTH: The gate of Compassion and the Prophet’s sincere acts of worship, the manifestation of the Names the Answerer of Prayer and the Compassionate. Is it conceivable that a Lord of infinite compassion and mercy, Who most compassionately fulfills the least need of His lowliest creatures in the most unexpected fashion, Who answers the faintest cry of help of His most obscure creature, and Who responds to all petitions would ignore the greatest petition of His foremost servant, his most beloved creature, by not granting his most exalted prayer?

The tender solicitude manifested in nurturing weak, young animals show that the Sovereign Lord of the universe exercises His being Lord with infinite mercy. Is it conceivable that such compassion and mercy in the exercise of Lordship would refuse the prayer of the most virtuous and beautiful of all creation?16 This great truth is explained in The Nineteenth Word, but we reiterate the argument here.

We mentioned in the parable a meeting held in a certain land, at which a most noble commander spoke. To discover this parable’s truth, imagine that we can return to the Arabian peninsula during the blessed age of the Prophet, and visit and watch him perform his duties and worship. He is the means to attaining eternal happiness, since he is the Messenger and the one with guidance, as well as the reason for that happiness’ creation—the creation of Paradise— through his worship and prayer.

See how he is praying for eternal happiness with such perfect supplication and sublime worship. It is as if the peninsula, indeed the whole world, were praying and supplicating with him, for his worship contains his community’s worship, as well as the essentials of all other Prophets’ worship, for they all obeyed the same One Lord.

He offers his supreme prayer and supplications amid so many beings that it is as if all illustrious and perfect people, from the time of Adam to the present, were following him in prayer and saying “Amen” to his petition.17 He is petitioning for so universal a need—immortality—that all inhabitants of creation share in it and silently affirm: “Accept his prayer, O Lord, because we also desire it.” He pleads for everlasting happiness so plaintively, with such yearning and longing, that creation is moved to tears and shares in his plea.

See how he desires and prays for happiness. Such a purpose and goal raises all creatures from the abyss of annihilation, worthless and aimless futility, to the summit of worth, exalted purpose, and eternal life. It makes everything reach the station of being a script written by God, the Eternally-Besought-of-All. His petition is so noble, an asking for mercy so sweet, that it is as if he inspired all beings, the heavens, and the Divine Throne to hear and echo his words with ecstatic cries of “Amen, O Lord, Amen!”18

He asks for eternal happiness from One, the All-Generous and All-Powerful, the All-Seeing, Merciful and All-Knowing, Who visibly sees, hears, accepts, and pities the most hidden wish and least desire of His most obscure creature. He answers all pleas and bestows His favors with a Mercy so wise and apt that no one can doubt that the one who does these is the One All-Hearing and All-Seeing, Generous and Merciful.

For what is the pride of all being petitioning? He is humanity’s fountain of honor, the unique individual who stands on this Earth with all humanity behind him and with his hands opened toward God’s Throne and prays. In reality, his worship and servanthood to God includes our worship and is the essence of it. He asks for eternal happiness for himself and all believers, for eternity and Paradise. He petitions through and with all sacred Divine Names, Whose beauty is reflected in all created beings. Surely you see that he is seeking intercession from those Names. Even if there were not innumerable other reasons and causes for it, a single prayer of his would suffice for creating Paradise, a task as easy for the All-Merciful’s power as creating spring.

How could creating Paradise be difficult for One All-Powerful, Who each spring makes Earth’s surface a vast field of renewal and brings forth countless resurrections? Just as the Prophet’s being the Messenger was the reason for establishing this realm of trial as mentioned in a hadith qudsi— But for you, I would not have created the worlds is an indication of this—his worship was the cause for establishing the abode of happiness.

Would the perfect artistry and unequalled beauty of God’s being Lord, seen in creation’s amazing orderliness and comprehensive mercy, refuse the Prophet’s prayer and thereby allow extreme ugliness, pitilessness, and discord? Would the All-Sustaining Lord hear and grant the most insignificant desire but refuse the greatest and most important desire as worthless? No, He would not! Such Beauty could never countenance such ugliness and thereby make itself ugly. Just as the Prophet opened this world’s gates by being God’s Messenger, he opens the Hereafter’s gates by worshipping Him.


Upon him be the blessings of the All-Merciful One, to the extent of that which fills this world and the abode of gardens—Paradise. O God, bestow blessings and peace on Your servant and Messenger, that beloved one who is the master of both realms, the pride of all worlds, the source of life in both worlds, the means for attaining happiness here and in the Hereafter, one who combines Prophethood and Messengership in himself, who preached the principles of a happy life in this world and the next, who is the Messenger of humanity and jinn—on him, his Family, all his Companions, as well as his fellow Prophets and Messengers. Amen.


SIXTH TRUTH: The gate of Majesty and Eternity, the manifestation of the Names the All-Majestic and the All-Permanent. Is it conceivable that the majesty in His being the Lord, to Whose command all beings are subdued like obedient soldiers, should focus entirely upon the transient beings in this temporary world, and not create a permanent sphere for itself to eternally manifest His being Lord? The Divine majesty seen in seasonal changes, the planets’ sublime circling as if they were aircraft, everything’s orderliness, Earth’s creation as our cradle and the sun as our lamp, and such vast transformations as reviving and adorning a dry, dead Earth—all of these show that a sublime Lordship, a majestic Sovereignty, rules behind the veil of what is seen.

That infinite, glorious Sovereignty requires subjects worthy of itself, as well as a fitting vehicle for its manifestation. But humanity, the world’s most important inhabitant and blessed with the most comprehensive functions, is gathered to stay here only for a limited while and is in a pitiable state. The world is filled and emptied daily, as well as transformed hourly, and we stay only temporarily to be tested in service. All of the Sovereign’s subjects are like would-be buyers who come for a while to view samples of the precious gifts bestowed by the Majestic Maker, His miraculous works of art in the showcase of this world. They soon leave, while the spectacle changes every minute. Whoever departs never returns, and whoever comes eventually departs.

Such a reality argues that behind and beyond this world and its activities is a permanent, eternal abode that fully manifests God’s everlasting Sovereignty—palaces, gardens, treasure houses stocked with the pure and perfect originals of the forms and copies we see here. We strive here for what awaits us there. We labor here and are rewarded there. Bliss awaits all, provided that they are not among the losers, and is enjoyed according to each person’s capacity. In short, an Eternal Sovereignty cannot focus exclusively upon a realm whose transience makes it wretched.

Consider this analogy: While travelling, you see a caravanserai built by a great person for those coming to visit him. Decorated at the greatest expense, it delights and instructs the guests during their night’s stay. They see only a little of those decorations, and only for a very short time. Having briefly tasted the joys of what is offered, they continue on their journey unsatisfied. How-ever, each guest photographs the objects in the caravanserai, while the great person’s servants record every guest’s conduct and preserve the record. The guests notice that most of the wonderful decorations are replaced daily with fresh ones for newly arriving guests.

Having seen all this, the only reasonable conclusion is that the caravanserai’s owner must have permanent exalted dwellings, inexhaustible and precious treasures, and an uninterrupted flow of unlimited generosity. He shows his generosity in the caravanserai to arouse his guests’ appetite for what he keeps in his immediate presence, and to awaken their desire for the gifts prepared for them.

If you reflect upon this world with an unclouded concentration, you will understand the Nine Principles explained below:

  • First principle: This world (the caravanserai) neither exists or assumed this shape by itself. Rather, it is a well-constructed hostelry, wisely designed to receive the caravan of beings that constantly arrive, stay for awhile, and then leave.
  • Second principle: We are guests here, invited to the Abode of Peace by our Generous Sustainer.
  • Third principle: This world’s adornments are meant to rouse our appetite. As they are temporary and give pain upon separation, they are here only to instruct in wisdom, arouse gratitude, and encourage us to seek the permanent originals of which they are copies.19 In short, they are exalted goals far beyond themselves.
  • Fourth principle: The world’s adornments are like samples and forms of the blessings stored in Paradise by the All-Merciful’s Mercy for people of belief.20
  • Fifth principle: All transient things were created to be assembled briefly in existence and to acquire their requisite forms so that they can be registered, their images preserved, their meanings understood, and their consequences recorded. This is so that, among other purposes in the Realm of Permanence, everlasting spectacles might be wrought from them for the people of eternity. Everything has been created for eternity, not for annihilation.

Apparent annihilation marks a completion of duty and a release from service, for while every transient thing progresses to annihilation in one aspect, it remains eternally in many other aspects. Consider a flower, a word of God’s Power. It smiles upon us for a while and then hides behind the veil of annihilation. It disappears just as a spoken word does: it is gone, but its meaning remains in the minds of those who heard it. The flower is gone, but it leaves its visible form in the memory of those who saw it and its inner essence in its sees. It is as if each memory and seed were a device to record the flower’s adornment or a means for its perpetuation.

As this is true for such a simple entity, we can see how much closer we are attached to eternity, given that we are life’s highest form and have an imperishable soul. Again, from the fact that the laws according to which flowering and fruit-bearing plants are formed, and that representations of their forms are preserved and perpetuated in the most orderly manner in tiny seeds through all tempestuous changes [of weather, seasons, and the like], we can understand easily how closely each person’s spirit is attached and related to eternity.21 This spirit, which gives each person a most exalted and comprehensive nature, is like a conscious and luminous law issuing from the Divine Command despite its being housed in a body.

  • Sixth principle: We have not been left to wander at will, like a loosely tethered animal pasturing where it pleases. Our deeds’ forms and consequences are recorded, registered, and preserved for the Day when we will have to account for them.
  • Seventh principle: The wholesale death of spring and summer creatures during autumn is not an annihilation, but a dismissal after the duty’s completion, an emptying that makes way for new creatures to come next spring and assume their functions.22 It is a Divine warning to rouse conscious beings from their forgetfulness, to shake them out of the torpor that causes them to neglect their duty to give thanks.
  • Eighth principle: This transient world’s Eternal Maker has an eternal world toward which He urges and impels His servants.
  • Ninth principle: In that world, One so Compassionate will give the best of His servants gifts that are so far beyond our knowledge that we cannot imagine them. In this we believe.

SEVENTH TRUTH: The gate of Protection and Preservation, the display of the Names the All-Preserver and the Guardian. Is it conceivable that God’s attribute of Preserver, protecting within absolute orderliness and equilibrium all that exists, and sifting and accounting their consequences, would allow the acts of His noble vicegerent, who bears the Supreme Trust, to go unrecorded, unsifted and unaccounted, unweighed in the balance of justice, unpunished or unrewarded fittingly, even though his acts relate so closely to God’s universal Lordship?23 It is not.

The Being Who administers this cosmos preserves all things in an order and balance that manifest His Knowledge and Wisdom, Will and Power. We see that the substance of every created thing, and all its subsequent individual forms and in their totality, are fashioned in perfect (and pleasing, symmetrical) orderliness. Moreover, the Majestic Preserver preserves many forms of things that perish after finishing their duties and departing, in people’s memories, which are like a Supreme Preserved Tablet or archetypal mirror. He inscribes a compact life history in a seed (that life’s issue and outcome). Thus He causes all things to be preserved in mirrors corresponding to outer and inner worlds. Human memories, a tree’s fruit, a fruit’s kernel, a flower’s seed—all manifest the law of preservation’s universality and inclusiveness.

Have you not seen how the records of the deeds of all spring flowers and fruits, laws of their formation, and images of their forms are all inscribed within a minute seed and there preserved? The following spring, those records are opened—a bringing to account appropriate to them—and another vast world of spring emerges with absolute orderliness and wisdom. This shows the powerful and comprehensive exercise of the Divine Attribute of Preserver. Considering that the issue of such transient, commonplace, and insignificant things is preserved, how could our deeds, which (from the viewpoint of universal Lordship) yield important fruit in the Unseen world, the Hereafter, and the World of Spirits, not be preserved and recorded as a matter of high significance?

This comprehensive preserving shows us what great care the Master of creation devotes to the orderliness of everything that occurs under His Rule. He is absolutely attentive to the function of being Sovereign and Sustainer and Lord. Therefore He records, or causes to be recorded, the least event and smallest service and preserves everything’s form in numerous records. This attribute of Preserver indicates that the records of our deeds will be laid open and closely scrutinized and weighed.

Ennobled with God’s vicegerency and Trust, we are witnesses to the universality of His being Lord and proclaim His Unity in this Realm of Multiplicity. Thus we act as controls and witnesses who enjoy a share in His glorification and the worship of most beings. How can we do all of this and then be consigned to an endless sleep in the grave, never to be roused and questioned about what we did? Without a doubt, we will travel to the Plain of Resurrection and be tried at the Supreme Tribunal.

We cannot flee or hide in nothingness or enter the ground, just as we cannot conceal ourselves from the All-Powerful and Majestic One to Whose Power all future contingencies and all past events bear witness, and Who creates winter and spring which, taken together, resemble the Resurrection.24

Since we are not properly called to account and judged while in this world, we must proceed to a Supreme Tribunal and lasting happiness in another.

EIGHTH TRUTH: The gate of Promise and Threat, the display of the Names the Beautiful and the Majestic. Would the Maker of this world, Who has Absolute Knowledge and Absolute Power, not fulfill the oft-repeated promise and threat affirmed by all Prophets, truth seekers, and saints? Not doing so would show impotence or ignorance. His Power can realize His promise and threat as easily as He brings back in spring the innumerable beings of the spring before, some identical (the roots of trees and grass) and some similar (leaves and fruits). Our need for everything, and the requirement of His being Sovereign and Lord, means He will fulfill His promise. Not doing so would contradict His Power’s dignity and authority and His Knowledge’s comprehensiveness.

If you deny such facts, in reality you are following your own lying fancy, capricious intellect, and deceiving soul. You call Him a liar, though He never breaks His promise, for His Glory and Dignity make this impossible for Him. Moreover, His truthfulness is attested to by everything you see. Despite your insignificance, your error is infinite and thus deserving of a great and eternal punishment.25 Those who deny resemble travelers who close their eyes to sunlight and turn to the light of their own fantasies, although it is no stronger than a glowworm’s, to light the awful road ahead. The Almighty does what He promises. His truthful words are these beings we see, and His truthful, eloquent signs are the processes of nature. And so He will establish a Supreme Tribunal and bestow everlasting happiness.

NINTH TRUTH: The gate of God’s revival and causing death, the manifestation of the Names the Ever-Living and the Self-Subsistent, the One Who Revives and the One Who Causes To Die. God revives this vast Earth when it is dead and dry, thereby displaying His Power via quickening countless species of creation, each as extraordinary as humanity. He shows His all-embracing Knowledge in these creatures’ infinite variations within the complex intermingling of all their distinct forms. God turns His servants’ attention toward everlasting contentment, assuring them of resurrection in His heavenly decrees, and makes visible the splendor of His being their Lord and Nurturer. He causes all His creatures to collaborate with each other, turning within the orbit of His Command and Will, and to help each other in submission to Him.

He shows our value by creating us as the Tree of Creation’s most comprehensive, subtle, worthiest, and valued, fruit; by addressing us directly and subjugating all things to us. Could One so Compassionate and Powerful, Wise and All-Knowing, not (or be unable to) bring about the resurrection, assemble His creatures, and restore us to life? Could He could not institute His Supreme Court or create Heaven and Hell? Such ideas are inconceivable.

Indeed, the Almighty Disposer of this world’s affairs continually creates on its finite, transient surface numerous signs, examples, and indications of the Supreme Gathering and the Plain of Resurrection. Each spring we see countless animal and plant species assembled in a few days and then scattered. All tree and plant roots, as well as certain animals, are revived and restored exactly as they were.

Other animals are re-created in nearly identical forms. Seeds that appear so alike quickly grow into distinct and differentiated entities, after being brought to full vigor with extraordinary rapidity and ease, in absolute orderliness and harmony. How could anything be difficult for the One Who does this? How could He create the heavens and Earth in 6 days and yet be unable to resurrect humanity with a single blast?

Suppose a gifted writer could copy out in an hour the confused, half-effaced letters of countless books on a sheet of paper without error or omission, fully and in the best style. If someone then told you that he could rewrite his own book from memory, even though it had fallen into water and become effaced, how could you say that he could not do so? Or think of a king who, to show his power or warn, removes mountains with a command, turns his kingdom about, and transforms the sea into dry land. Then imagine that a great boulder blocks the path of guests travelling to his reception. If someone says that the king will remove the boulder with a command, would you say that he could not do so?

Or imagine someone assembles a great army, and you are told that he will recall it to parade in battalions by a trumpet blast after dismissing them to rest? If the battalions formed in disciplined rows, would you respond with disbelief? If you did, your error would be enormous.

Now, see how the Eternal Designer closes winter’s white page and opens spring’s and summer’s green pages before our eyes. With the Pen of Power and Destiny, He inscribes infinite species, none of which encroach upon another, on Earth’s surface in a most beautiful style. Each has a unique form and shape and is without confusion. The writing also has no error. Is it reasonable to ask the All-Wise and All-Preserving, Who compacts a great tree’s being into a dot-sized seed, how He will remove the boulder from the path of travelers coming to meet Him in the Hereafter?

Is it reasonable to ask the All-Glorious, Who inscribes fresh recruits from non-being into His battalions with Be! and it is, and with absolute orderliness arranges the ranks of all living things, down to their bodily atoms, and so creates highly disciplined armies—even to ask how He can make bodies submit to His discipline like obedient soldiers, how He can assemble their mutually related fundamental atoms and their members composed thereof?

Can you not see the numerous designs made by God as signs, similitudes, and analogies of resurrection? He has placed them in every era, the alternation of day and night, even in the coming and going of clouds. If you imagine yourself 1,000 years in the past and then compare past and future, you will see as many similitudes and analogies of resurrection as there are centuries and days past. If, after this, you still consider corporeal resurrection improbable and unacceptable to reason, there is something seriously wrong with your powers of reasoning.

Concerning this truth, the Supreme Decree says:


Look upon the signs and imprints of God’s Mercy, how He revives Earth after its death. He it is Who will revive the dead [in the same way]. He is powerful over all things. (30:50)


Nothing makes the Resurrection impossible, and much necessitates it. The glorious and eternal Lordship, the all-mighty and all-embracing Sovereignty, of the One Who gives life and death to this wide and wonderful Earth as if it were a single organism; Who has made it as a pleasing cradle and handsome craft for humanity and animals; Who has made the sun a lamp that gives it both its light and heat; Who has made the planets transports for His angels—such a One’s Lordship and Sovereignty cannot be confined to a mutable, transitory, unstable, slight, and imperfect world.

Thus there is another realm, one worthy of Him, immutable, permanent, stable, great, and perfect. He causes us to work for this realm and summons us to it. Those who have penetrated from outward appearances to truth, who have been ennobled by proximity to the Divine Presence, all spiritual “poles” endowed with light-filled hearts, and those with enlightened minds, testify that He will transfer us to that other kingdom, that He has prepared a reward and a requital for us there, and that He gives us His firm promises and stern warnings thereof.

Breaking a promise is base humiliation and irreconcilable with His Sanctity’s glory. Failure to carry out a threat can arise only from forgiveness or impotence. And, unbelief cannot be forgiven.26 The All-Powerful is exempt from and far above all impotence. All who bring us their testimony agree on this fundamental. In numbers, they have the authority of unanimity; in quality, the authority of learned consensus. In rank, each is a guiding light of humanity, the cherished one of a people and the object of their veneration. In importance, each is a subject expert and authority.

In any art or science, two experts are preferred to thousands of non-experts, and two positive affirmers are preferred to thousands of negators in a report’s transmission. For example, the testimony of two competent men that they have sighted the crescent moon marking the beginning of Ramadan nullifies the negation of thousands of deniers.

This world contains no truer report, firmer claim, or more evident truth than this. It is a field, and the Resurrection—destroying the world and building the Hereafter—is a threshing-floor, a harvesting ground for grain that will be stored in Paradise or Hell.

TENTH TRUTH: The gate of Wisdom, Grace, Mercy, and Justice, the manifestation of the Names the All-Wise, Munificent, Just, and Merciful. The Majestic Owner of all existence displays such manifest wisdom, pervasive grace, overwhelming justice, and comprehensive mercy in this impermanent world, transitory testing ground, and unstable display hall of Earth.

Is it conceivable that among His realms, in the worlds of existence’s outer and inner dimensions, that there would be no permanent abodes with immortal inhabitants residing in everlasting stations? Is it conceivable that even if they did not exist, that all the truths of wisdom, grace, mercy, and justice that we witness should decline into nothingness?

Would the All-Wise choose us to receive His direct and universal address; make us a comprehensive mirror to Himself; let us taste, measure, and get to know the contents of His treasuries of Mercy; make Himself known to us with all His Names; love us and make Himself beloved by us— and then not send us to an eternal realm, an abode of permanent bliss, and make us happy therein? Would He would lay on every being, even a seed, a burden as heavy as a tree, charge it with duties as numerous as flowers, and appoint to it beneficial consequences as numerous as fruits, while assigning to them purposes that are relevant only here?

Why would He restrict His purpose to this worldly life, something less valuable than a grain of a mustard seed? Would it not be more reasonable for Him to make beings in this world as seeds for the immaterial world of meanings and essences, where the true meanings of everything here will be manifested, and as a tillage for the Hereafter, where they will yield their true and worthy produce? Would He really allow such significant alterations (as we witness) to be purposeless, void, and futile? Why would He not turn their faces toward the Immaterial World of Meanings and Essences (where true meanings lie) and the Hereafter, so that they might reveal their true purposes and fitting results there?

If He were to cause things to contradict their own nature, how could He allow His own truthful Names—All-Wise, Munificent, Just and Merciful—to be characterized by their opposites? How could He deny the true essences of all beings that indicate His Wisdom, Munificence, Justice, and Mercy, and yet rebut all things’ testimony and negate the indications made by them? Can reason support the conjecture that God would impose innumerable duties upon us and our senses, and then give us only a worldly reward worth less than a hair, or that He could act absurdly and thereby contradict His true Justice and true Wisdom?

God shows Himself to be absolutely All-Wise in attaching infinite purposes and benefits to every living being (or to each of its members) and creature. Given this, would He not bestow the greatest purpose, the most significant beneficial result, the most necessary effects upon us? All of these make His Wisdom, blessings, and Mercy into what they are, and are the origin and goal of all those purposes, blessings, imprints of Mercy and beneficial results—namely, eternality, meeting with Him in the Hereafter, and everlasting bliss.

If He abandoned these, all of His acts would be pointless. He would be like a builder who built a palace consisting of stones bearing thousands of designs, corners holding thousands of adornments, and parts providing thousands of valuable tools and instruments—but forgot to cover it with a roof, so that everything therein rotted and became useless. Just as goodness comes from Absolute Goodness, and beauty comes from Absolute Beauty, a wise purpose must come from Absolute Wisdom.

Whoever studies history sees countless dead stages, places, exhibitions, and worlds, each of which is like this present world. Although different from each other in form and quality, they resemble each other in their perfect arrangement, exquisiteness, and how they display the Maker’s Power and Wisdom. In those impermanent halting-places, transient arenas, and fleeting places of exhibition, we see only well-arranged works of manifest wisdom, signs of evident favoring, indications of overwhelming justice, and fruits of comprehensive mercy. Those with any perception understand that there cannot be a more perfect wisdom, gracious favoring, glorious justice, or comprehensive mercy.

Consider this: If there were no permanent abodes, elevated places, everlasting residences, eternal mansions, and no eternal residents (God’s blissful servants) in the Eternal Sovereign’s realm, Who does all those things and continuously changes those hostelries and their guests, we would have to reject the true essences of Wisdom, Justice, Favoring, and Mercy.

However, these four spiritual elements are as powerful and pervasive as light, air, water, and soil. Their existence, as clear as these visible elements, cannot be denied. This fleeting world and its contents cannot manifest their true essences fully. Therefore, if there were no other place wherein they could be manifested fully, we would have to deny the wisdom apparent in what we see, the favoring we observe manifested on us and all other things, the justice indicated by its signs that appear so effectively, and the mercy we witness everywhere.27

We also would have to regard God as a foolish trickster and a pitiless tyrant, even though He is the source of all wise processes, munificent deeds, and merciful gifts that we see in the universe. Can such a reversal of the truth even be considered reasonable? Even Sophists who deny the existence of everything, including their own selves, would not readily contemplate such a proposition.

In short, the world’s universal fusions of life and swift separations of death, imposing gatherings and rapid dispersions, splendid parades, performances, ceremonies, and mighty manifestations are irreconcilable with their negligible results and insignificant, temporary purposes in this fleeting world. [If there were no Hereafter], this would mean giving a great mountain a purpose as insignificant as a small stone. This is utterly unreasonable and pointless.

Such a large disparity between beings and those affairs on the one hand, and the purposes they serve in this world on the other, testifies that they basically work on behalf of the Immaterial World of Meanings, where their true meanings will be manifested fully. They send the fruits appropriate for them to that other world, and fix their eyes on the Sacred Divine Names. Implanted in this world’s soil, they flourish in the World of Symbols or Immaterial, Essential Forms.

According to our capacity, we sow and are sown here to harvest in the Hereafter. If you look at the aspects of things pertaining to the Divine Names and the Hereafter, you will see that each seed (a miracle of Power) has aims as vast as a tree, that each blossom (a word of Divine Wisdom) has as many meanings as a tree’s blossoms.28 Each fruit, a marvel of Divine art and a composition of Divine Mercy, has as many purposes as a tree’s fruits. Serving us as foods is only one of its countless purposes.

After it fulfills that service and expresses its meaning, it dies and is “buried” in our stomachs. These transient things yield everlasting fruits in another place, where they leave permanent forms of themselves, express eternal meanings of different aspects, and constantly glorify God. We can attain true humanity by approaching things from these aspects and thereby find a way to eternity through this ephemeral world. Since this is true, all these creatures that move between life and death, that are first integrated and gathered together and then dispersed and dissolved, must serve some other purposes.

This state of affairs resembles arrangements made for imitation and representation. Brief gatherings and dispersions are arranged, at great expense, so that pictures can be taken and shown later. One reason for our brief individual and social lives is so that pictures may be taken and the results of our deeds recorded and preserved. They then will be judged in a vast place of gathering and shown in a great place of exhibition, so that all may understand that they have the potential to yield supreme happiness. The Prophet expressed this: “This world is the tillage for the Hereafter.”

Since the world exists, and since Wisdom, Favoring, Mercy, and Justice prevail therein with their imprints, the Hereafter also exists. Since all worldly things are mainly turned toward that world, they are headed for it. To deny the Hereafter amounts to denying this world and its contents. Just as the appointed hour and the grave await us, so do Paradise and Hell anxiously await our arrival.

ELEVENTH TRUTH: The gate of humanity, the manifestation of the Name the Truth. Could the Almighty Truth, the only One worthy of worship, make us the most important servant to His absolute, universal Lordship, and then deny us the Eternal Abode for which we are fitted and longing? Could He make us a most comprehensive mirror in which to manifest His Names, choose us as the most thoughtful one to address, and then deny us the Eternal Abode?

Could He create us as His Power’s most beautiful miracle and in the fairest form, so that we might receive His Greatest Name’s manifestation as well as the greatest manifestations of all His Names, and then deny us the Eternal Abode? Could He create us as investigators equipped, more than any other creature, with measuring instruments and systems to assess and perceive the contents of Divine Mercy’s treasuries, and then deny us the Eternal Abode? Could He make us more needy of His infinite bounties than all other beings, more afflicted by mortality and most desirous of eternity, and then deny us the Eternal Abode?

Could He create us as the most delicate and destitute animate being, the most wretched and susceptible to pain in worldly life but the most developed in capacity and structure, and then deny us the Eternal Abode? How could the Almighty Truth create us with all such qualities and then not send us to the Eternal Abode, for which we are fitted and longing? Could He so nullify our essence, act so totally contrary to His being the Absolute Truth, and commit an injustice that truth must condemn as ugly?

Could the Just Ruler, the Absolutely Merciful, give us the potential to bear the Supreme Trust, from which the heavens and mountains shrank, and then deny us eternal happiness? Could He enable us to measure and know, with our slight and partial measures and accomplishments, our Creator’s all-encompassing Attributes, universal acts, and infinite manifestations, and then deny us eternal happiness? Could He create us as the most delicate, vulnerable, impotent, and weakest beings, task us with ordering Earth’s vegetable and animal life and let us interfere with their forms of worship and glorification of God, and then deny us eternal happiness?

Could He cause us to represent His universal operations on a miniature scale, thereby declaring through us His glorious Lordship throughout the universe in word and deed, and then deny us eternal happiness? Could He prefer us over His angels and give us the rank of vicegerent, and then deny us eternal happiness?29 Could He grant us all of this and then deny us eternal happiness, which is the purpose, result, and fruit of all these duties?

Consider this: He created us as the most wretched, ill-fortuned, suffering, and humiliated creature, and then gave us intelligence, a gift of His Wisdom and a most blessed and light-diffusing means of finding happiness. If He denied us eternal happiness, our intelligence would become a tool of torment. As a result, He would be acting totally contrary to His absolute Wisdom and Mercy.

Remember that we looked at an officer’s identity card and register. We saw that his rank, duty, salary, instructions, and supplies caused him to exert himself for the sake of a permanent realm. Like this, as all exacting scholars and purified ones able to unveil hidden truths agree, we have been equipped with all our senses, faculties, and intellectual and spiritual faculties to obtain eternal happiness.

For example, if you tell your imagination (a servant of the intellect forming conceptions) that you could live for a million years amidst royal pomp and pleasure and then undergo eternal annihilation, it would have a deep sigh of sorrow, unless deceived by vain fancy and the carnal self.

This means that the greatest temporary worldly pleasure cannot satisfy our smallest faculty. So, as our character and disposition—desires extending to eternity, thoughts embracing all creation, and wishes felt for all varieties of eternal happiness— show, we were created for and will proceed to eternity. This world is like a waiting room for the Hereafter.

TWELFTH TRUTH: The gate of Messengership and Revelation, the manifestation of In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Could groundless fancies, wandering doubts, and illusions, all weaker than a gnat’s wing, close the path to the Hereafter and the gate to Paradise? These have been opened by thousands of decisive Qur’anic verses, miraculous in 40 ways, and the noble Messenger of God, relying on the power of his almost 1,000 established miracles. This is the same Messenger whose words are affirmed by all Prophets, based on their miracles; whose claim is confirmed by saints, based on their visions and spiritual experiences and discoveries; and whose truthfulness is testified to by all purified, exacting scholars relying on their investigations.

These twelve truths show that the Resurrection is a firmly rooted truth that cannot be shaken. God Almighty established it as a requirement of His Names and Attributes, His Messenger affirms it with the strength of his miracles and the proofs of his Prophethood, the Qur’an proves it with its truths and verses, and the universe testifies to it with all its phenomena and purposeful events taking place therein. How could the Resurrection, upon which the Necessarily Existent Being and creation (except unbelievers) agree, and whose truth is as mighty and firmly rooted as mountains, be shaken by doubts feebler than a hair and satanic whisperings?

These are not the only arguments for the Resurrection, for the Qur’an, which instructs us in these Twelve Truths, points to many other aspects of this issue. And each aspect is a clear sign that our Creator will transfer us from this transient abode to an eternal one. Also, the Divine Names requiring the Resurrection are not limited to those mentioned: All-Wise, All-Munificent, All-Compassionate, All-Just, and All-Recording and Pre-serving. In reality, all Divine Names manifested in the universe’s ordering and administration require the Resurrection.

The “natural” phenomena pointing to the Resurrection are not restricted to those we have discussed. Most things in the universe have aspects and properties resembling curtains opening to the right and the left. One aspect testifies to the Maker, and the other indicates the Resurrection. For example, our creation in the fairest form demonstrates the Maker, together with the comprehensive abilities lodged in that fairest form, while our rapid decline points to the Resurrection.

If we look at the same aspect in two ways, we sometimes notice that it indicates both the Maker and the Resurrection. For example, the wise ordering and arrangement, gracious decoration, just balance and measurement, and merciful favoring seen in most things show that they proceed from the hand of the Power of an All-Wise, All-Munificent, All-Just and All-Compassionate Maker. But despite the power and infinitude of these Names and their manifestations, if we look at the brief and insignificant life of those transient beings receiving their manifestations, the Hereafter appears. Thus, in the tongue of their being and life, all things recite and lead others to recite: “I believe in God and the Last Day.”


Bediuzzaman Said Nursi

10 All allowed nourishment is obtained through neediness. The decisive argument for this is how powerless infants enjoy the best livelihood, while strong, wild beasts suffer all kinds of want; how unintelligent fish grow fat, while cunning foxes and monkeys grow thin, in quest of their livelihood. There appears to be an inverse relationship between sustenance received on the one hand, and force and will on the other. The more one relies on force and will, the greater difficulty he or she will have in obtaining sustenance.

11 A hungry lion can prefer its offspring to itself and let it eat the meat that normally it would have eaten. A timid rabbit can challenge a lion to protect its young. A fig tree contents itself with mud while feeding its offspring (its fruit) on pure “milk.” Thus they obey the One of Infinite Mercy, Munificence, and Solicitousness. Likewise, the fact that unconscious plants and beasts act in the most purposive and conscious manner shows irrefutably that One All-Knowing and All-Wise has set them to their tasks, and that they act in His Name.

12 In this and other arguments, such interrogative words and phrases as could, would, is it conceivable, and does it make sense are reiterated to point to a very significant truth: Misguidance and a lack of belief often arise from the habit of imagining things to be impossible or beyond sense and then denying them. In our discussion of the Resurrection, we argued emphatically that the real impossibility, absurdity, and irrationality come along the path of unbelief and misguidance, whereas real possibility, facility, and rationality are characteristics of the broad highway of belief (Islam). In sum, materialist and naturalist philosophers veer into unbelief by regarding possibilities as impossible, whereas The Tenth Word, by using such words as mentioned above, points to where the impossibility really is.

13 A brilliantly shaped, a dazzlingly domed flower, a most artfully wrought jewel-like fruit on a twig as fine as wire and attached to a tree’s rigid bough—such things proclaim the fine artistry of a most skilled, wise, and miraculous fashioner to all animate beings. The same is true of the animal and plant kingdoms.

14 A celebrated beauty once rejected a common man who had become infatuated with her. To console himself, the man said:

“How ugly she is!” and so denied her beauty. A bear once stood beneath a vine trellis and longed to eat the grapes upon it. Unable to reach the grapes or to climb the trellis, he said to himself, by way of consolation: “The grapes must be sour,” and went on his way growling.

15 While all beings that act as mirrors for Divine Beauty continually depart and disappear, others succeed them, manifesting in their forms and features the same Beauty. This shows that such Beauty does not belong to them; rather, the visible instances of beauty are the signs and indications of a transcendent, holy Beauty.

16 Namely, the Prophet, who has ruled for 14 centuries over billions of subjects who daily renew their allegiance to him, continually bear witness to his perfections, and fully obey his commands. His spiritual temperament has shaped one-half of the globe and one-fourth of humanity. He is the beloved of humanity’s hearts, the guide of their souls, and the greatest servant of the Lord of the worlds. Since most of the realms of created beings applaud the duty and role entrusted to him through each bearing the fruit of his miracles, he is the most beloved creature of the Creator of all. Further, the desire for permanence and continuance implanted in our nature, which lifts us from the lowest to the highest rank, is the greatest desire and petition, and can be presented to the Provider of all needs only by His greatest servant.

17 From the Prophet’s first petition until now, all invocations upon him of peace and blessings resemble a continual “Amen” after his prayer, a universal participation. Al-Shafi‘i writes that each such invocation during one’s prayers, and the prayer for him after the second call to worship during the prescribed prayers, is a powerful and universal “Amen” to his plea for eternal happiness. The eternity and everlasting happiness so strongly desired by humanity, in accord with its primordial nature, is desired for them by the Prophet, and the illustrious segment of humanity says after him: “Amen!” Could such a universal petition not be granted?

18 Could the Master of this world, all of Whose acts are self evidently based on His absolute Awareness, Knowledge, and Wisdom, be unaware and uninformed of his foremost creature’s deeds and prayers, remain indifferent to them, or consider them unimportant? Being aware and not indifferent, could the All-Powerful and All-Merciful Sovereign of the world not accept his prayers? The light of Muhammad has changed the world’s form. The true essence of humanity and of all beings in the universe became apparent through that light; namely, that each is a missive of the Eternally Besought One proclaiming the Divine Names; a valued, meaningful being with God-given functions and destined for eternity. Were it not for that light, beings would be condemned to annihilation; without worth, meaning, or use; bewildered effects of blind chance and lost in the blackness of illusion. That is why just as humanity says “Amen” to the Prophet’s prayer, all other beings from Earth’s surface to the Divine Throne, from underground to above the stars, take pride in his light and proclaim their connection with him. The very spirit of the Prophet’s petition is this prayer for everlasting happiness. All of the universe’s motions and workings are in essence prayer, just as, for example, a seed’s growth until it becomes a tree is a form of prayer to the All-Sustaining Creator.

19 The lifespan of all worldly things is short, whereas their worth and the subtleties in their fashioning are most exalted and beautiful. This implies that everything is only a sample to draw the viewer’s gaze to its authentic original. Given this, we may say that this world’s diverse adornments are samples of Paradise’s bounties, made ready by the Compassionate and Merciful One for His beloved servants.

20 Everything exists for many purposes, and numerous effects result from it. These purposes and effects are not, as the misguided suppose, related only to this world and to humanity; rather, they relate to these three categories:

The first and the most exalted pertains to the Creator: to present to His gaze the splendidly adorned wonders He has attached to each thing, as if for a military parade to which He is the Pre-Eternal Witness. The most fleeting existence suffices to attain His glance. Indeed, the mere potentiality for existence suffices. This purpose is fully realized, for example, by fragile creatures that swiftly perish, and by seeds and kernels, each a masterpiece, that never flower or bear fruit. Such creatures remain untouched by vanity and futility. The primary purpose of all things is to proclaim, by their very being, the miracles of their Maker’s Power and signs of His handiwork, and to show them to His gaze.

The second category pertains to conscious beings. Everything is like a truth-bearing missive, or artistic poem, or a wise word of the Majestic Maker offered to angels and jinn, humanity and animals, and desiring to be “read” by them. Everything is an object for the contemplation and instruction of every conscious being that looks upon it.

The third category relates to the things’ selves, and consists of such minor effects as the experience of pleasure and joy, of abiding with some degree of permanence and comfort. If we consider the functions of a steersman employed on a royal yacht, we see that only 1% of those functions actually relate to the steersman (e.g., his wages); the other 99% relate to the king who owns the yacht. A similar proportion obtains between the things’ purposes related to its self and worldly existence and those related to its Maker.

Given this multiplicity of purposes, we can explain the ultimate correlation between Divine Wisdom and economy, as well as Divine Liberality and Generosity (which are in reality unlimited), even though they seem to contradict each other. In the individual purposes of things, liberality and generosity predominate and the Name the Most Generous is manifested. For example, fruits and grains are beyond reckoning and manifest the Name the Most Generous. But in the universal purposes things are made to serve, the Name the All-Wise is manifested. It may be said that a fruit of a tree has as many purposes as the number of its fruits. These purposes can be divided into the three categories just mentioned. The universal purposes demonstrate an infinite wisdom and economy. Infinite wisdom and infinite generosity are thus correlated, despite their apparent opposition. For example, one purpose for raising an army is to maintain order. The troops already available may be enough to achieve this. However, the whole army may be barely enough for such other purposes as protecting national frontiers and repelling enemies. Wisdom and multiplicity are thus correlated, just as the purpose of a government’s existence never contradicts its splendor.

21 These laws have the same meaning for the life and existence of plants as a spirit has for the individual human being.

22 It is fitting that a tree’s leaves, flowers, and fruits, which are sustained by Divine Mercy, depart when their time is over and their duties ended. Otherwise the gate open to those following them would block the expansion of God’s Mercy and the services to be performed by the species’ other members. Also, they become wretched and distressed when they pass their prime. Spring is like a fruit-bearing tree indicating the vast Plain of Resurrection. Similarly, in every age this world is like a tree inviting contemplation; the world as a whole is like a wonderful tree whose fruits are sent ahead to the market of the Hereafter.

23 God’s vicegerency means that humanity is the “means” God “uses” to execute His commands on Earth and that we rule it according to His laws. The Supreme Trust is our ego, which has been equipped, relatively, with all manifestations of Divine Names and Attributes. Also, see The Thirtieth Word. (Tr.)

24 The past consists of events. Every day, year, and century that came into being is like a line, a page, and a book inscribed by the Pen of Destiny. Divine Power inscribes Its miraculous works in it in perfect wisdom and orderliness. Similarly, the future, from now until the Resurrection, Paradise, and eternity, consists entirely of contingencies. Comparing these two, we understand with certainty that the Being Who created yesterday and its creatures can create tomorrow and its creatures. As past wonders are the miraculous works of a Powerful and Majestic One, they affirm that He can create the future and its contingencies and show its wonders.

The One Who creates an apple certainly can create all apples and bring spring into being. Equally, one who cannot create spring cannot create a single apple, for they are made at the same workbench. Each apple is a miniature example of a tree, a garden, or a cosmos. Its seed carries within itself the tree’s life-history, and displays such perfect artistry that it is a miracle created by the One Who can do anything. Likewise, the One Who creates today can create the Day of Resurrection, and only He Who can create spring can create the Resurrection. The One Who threads all past events on the ribbon of time and displays them there in perfect wisdom and order can attach other beings to the ribbon of the future and display them there. In several treatises of The Words, we proved that the One Who can create one thing can create everything. Also, if everything’s creation is attributed to a Single Being, their creation becomes as easy as creating one thing. But if creation is attributed to multiple agents or causes, the creation of one thing is as hard as creating everything. As a result, it borders on the impossible.

25 According to certain Traditions, the teeth of some of people in Hell will be as large as mountains, an indication of the size of their error.

26 Unbelief denounces creation, alleging it to be without worth or meaning. It insults creation by denying the manifestation of the Divine Names in the mirrors of created beings. It disrespects the Divine Names, rejects the witness borne to the Unity of God by all beings, and denies creation by so corrupting our potentialities that we cannot reform and become unreceptive to good. Unbelief is also an act of absolute injustice, a transgression against creation and the rights of God’s Names. The defense of those rights, and an unbeliever’s irredeemable state, require that unbelief be unpardonable. The words to associate partners with God is truly a great transgression (31:13) express this necessity.

27 There are two forms of justice, one affirmative and the other negative. The affirmative one consists in giving the right to the one who deserves it. [Except for the injustices we commit in the realm where our free wills have a part], this form of justice is clearly observed throughout the world. For, as discussed in the Third Truth, the Majestic Originator gives in definite measures and according to definite criteria everything that is asked for in the tongues of natural need and absolute necessity. In other words, He meets all the requirements of its life and existence. Therefore, this form of justice is as certain as existence and life.

The negative form of justice involves punishing the unjust, and so giving the wrong-doers their due via requital and chastisement. Even though this form is not manifested fully here, countless signs suggest its existence. For example, the blows of chastisement striking the rebellious ‘Ad and Thamud peoples in the past to those of the present age show that a very exalted justice dominates the world.

28 I choose examples chiefly among seeds, flowers, and fruits because they are the most marvelous and delicate miracles of Divine Power. Despite this, since misguided naturalists and scientists cannot “read” the subtle designs inscribed in them by the Pen of the Divine Destiny and Power, they have drowned in them and fallen into the swamp of naturalism.

29 God Almighty has distinguished us with knowledge, speech, and free will. Although He allows us to act on our own according to our free will, He wants us to rule here according to His Commandments so that the world might be integrated with other parts of the universe in peace, harmony, and tranquility, and so that we can find the happiness in both worlds for which we long. Being vicegerent means having the authority to rule on Earth in His name, but with the responsibility of following His Commandments sent through His Prophets. (Tr.)