FOURTH FUNDAMENTAL: As the Resurrection is necessary, the One Who will raise the dead can do this. The whole world is exposed to the Resurrection. There are four related concepts here: The world can perish, it will perish, the destroyed world can be rebuilt as the Hereafter, and it will be resurrected and rebuilt.
First matter: The death of creation is possible. That which is subject to the law of development must evolve to a final end. That which develops to a final end must have a limited lifetime and, therefore, a fixed natural end. That which has a fixed end inevitably dies. Humanity is a microcosm subject to death; the universe can be regarded as a macro human being and therefore also subject to death. Accordingly, it will perish and be resurrected on the morning of the Last Day. Just as a living tree (a miniature universe) cannot save itself from annihilation, the “branches of creatures” growing from “the Tree of Creation” will pass away.
If the universe is not destroyed by an external destructive event, with the Eternal Will’s permission, it eventually will begin to die. Even scientists say this. According to the Qur’an, it will give a sharp cry, and then the following things will happen: When the sun shall be darkened; when the stars shall be thrown down; when the mountains shall be set moving (81:1-3) and When heaven is split open; when the stars are scattered; when the seas swarm over (82:1-3).
A significant subtle point: Water freezes and loses its essential liquid form, ice melts and loses its essential solid state, an item’s essence becomes stronger at the expense of its material form, coarse language is not suitable for expressing meaning, the spirit weakens as the flesh becomes more substantial, and the flesh weakens as the spirit becomes more illuminated. Thus life gradually refines the solid world in favor of the afterlife. Creative Power breathes life into dense, solid, and inanimate substances as the result of astonishing activities, and refines that solid world to the advantage of the Hereafter through the light of life.
No truth, despite its weakness, ever perishes. Rather, it assumes a form in the corporeal world. As it flourishes and expands, its form grows weaker and more refined. The spiritual truth that constitutes an item’s essence is inversely proportional to its form’s strength. Thus the form grows denser as the truth weakens, and the truth becomes stronger as the form weakens. This law is common to whatever develops and evolves. Given this, the corporeal world, which is a form containing the great truth of the universe, will shatter, with the Majestic Creator’s permission, and be rebuilt more beautifully. One day, Upon the day Earth shall be changed to other than Earth (14:48) will be realized, for the world can die.
Second matter: The world’s eventual death is confirmed by all God-revealed religions, supported by all pure and saintly persons, and indicated by the universe’s changes, transformations, and alterations. The constant replacement of this guesthouse’s inhabitants, all of whom are welcomed and then leave at their appointed time (through death) so that they can be replaced by newcomers, also indicates this world’s death.
Consider the Qur’anic description of the minute and precise interrelationship of the universe’s constituent parts. Consider their sublime and delicate organization into a system. If any heavenly body were told to leave its axis, the universe would be thrown into the throes of death. Stars would collide, planets would be scattered, and the sound of exploding spheres would fill space. Mountains would begin to move, and Earth would be flattened. Eternal Power will bring about the next life in just this way, and the elements of Paradise and Hell will be separated from each other.
Third matter: The universe can be resurrected, for as proved in the Second Fundamental, Divine Power is not defective. Moreover, there is a strong necessity for it and it is possible. If there is a strong necessity that something possible should occur, it comes to be regarded as something that will occur.
Another significant point: A close examination of what occurs in the universe shows that it contains opposites that have spread everywhere and become rooted. The results of their clashes account for good and evil, benefit and harm, perfection and defect, light and darkness, guidance and misguidance, belief and unbelief, obedience and rebellion, and fear and love. Such ongoing conflict causes the universe to manifest a continuous alteration and transformation in order to produce the elements of a new world.
These opposed elements eventually will lead to eternity in two different directions and materialize as Paradise and Hell. The eternal world will be made up of this transitory world’s essential elements, which will be given permanence. Paradise and Hell are the two opposite fruits growing on the Tree of Creation’s two branches, the two results of the chain of creation, the two cisterns being filled by the two streams of things and events, the two poles to which beings flow in waves, and the places where Divine Grace and Divine Wrath manifest themselves. They will be filled with their particular inhabitants when Divine Power shakes up the universe.
This point is significant because God, the Eternal All-Wise and as the requirement of His Eternal Grace and Wisdom, has created this world as a testing arena, a mirror to reflect His Beautiful Names, a vast page upon which to write with the Pen of His Destiny and Power. People are tested here to develop their potentialities and to manifest their abilities. This emergence of abilities causes relative truths to appear in the universe, which, in turn, causes the Majestic Maker’s Beautiful Names to manifest their inscriptions and make the universe a missive of the Eternally-Besought-of-All. In addition, this testing separates the diamond-like essences of sublime souls from the coal-like matter of base ones.
For His Own sublime purposes, God willed that creation, as well as its change and alteration, should take place. He made opposites confront one another—mingling harm with benefit, evil with good, and ugliness with beauty. Kneading them together like dough, He subjected the universe to the law of alteration and the principle of perfection. One day this testing and trial will end, and the Pen of Divine Destiny will have written what it has to write. Divine Power will have completed its work, all creatures will have fulfilled their duties and services, and seeds will have been sown in the field of the afterlife. The Earth will have displayed Divine Power’s miracles, and this transitory world will have hung all eternal scenes upon the picture-rail of time.
The Majestic Maker’s eternal Wisdom and Favor will require that the test’s results be announced and that the truths of the Divine Beautiful Names’ manifestations and the Pen of Divine Destiny’s missives be unveiled. The duties performed by creatures will be repaid, the truths of the meanings expressed by the Book of the Universe’s words will be seen, the fruits of potentialities will be yielded, a supreme court will be established, and the veil of natural causes will be removed so that everything is submitted directly to the Divine Will and Power.
On that day, the Majestic Creator will destroy the universe in order to eternalize it and separate its opposites. This separation will cause Hell to appear with all its awfulness, and Paradise to appear with all its beauty and splendor. The people of Hell will be threatened with: Now keep yourselves apart, you sinners, upon this day (36:59), while the People of Paradise will be welcomed with: Peace be upon you. Well you have fared; enter in, to dwell forever (39:73). By means of His perfect Power, the Eternal All-Wise will give an everlasting, unchanging existence to the inhabitants of both dwelling places. They will not age or suffer bodily disintegration or decomposition, for there will be nothing to cause any change.
Fourth matter: After destroying this world, the One Who created it will re-form it more beautifully and convert it into a mansion of the Hereafter. The Qur’an, which contains thousands of rational evidences, and other Divine Scriptures agree on this, as do the All-Majestic One’s Attributes related to His Majesty, Grace, and Beautiful Names. Moreover, He promised that He would bring about the Resurrection and the Great Mustering through all of His heavenly decrees sent to His Prophets, all of whom agree that He carries out His promises. Prophet Muhammad is the foremost to confirm this, along with the strength of his 1,000 miracles. All saints and righteous scholars confirm this as well. Lastly, the universe predicts it with all the scientific evidence it contains.
In short, it is as certain as the sun’s rising the next morning after setting this evening that the “sun of truth” will appear in the form of the Hereafter’s life after this world’s life sets.
Inspired by the Divine Name the All-Wise and the Qur’an’s grace, I have elaborated the proofs of this truth to convince the intellect and ready the heart to accept it. But the words of the Creator of the universe have the greatest right to speak in this matter. So, listen to the Eternal Discourse of the All-Wise Maker, in which He addresses everyone regardless of time and place. In response, we must believe and affirm what He says:
When Earth is shaken with a mighty shaking and brings forth its burdens, and humanity asks: “What ails it?” Upon that day it shall give its tidings, for its Lord has inspired it. Upon that day people shall go forth in groups to receive requital for their former deeds, and whoever has done an atom’s weight of good shall see it, and whoever has done an atom’s weight of evil shall see it. (99:1-8)
Give good tidings to those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, that for them await gardens underneath which rivers flow. Whenever they are provided with fruits therefrom they shall say: “This is what we were provided with aforetime”; that they shall be given in perfect semblance; and that for them shall be spouses purified. They shall dwell therein forever. (2:25)
All glory be to You. We have no knowledge save what You have taught us. You are the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.
Our Lord, do not take us to task if we forget or make mistakes. O God, bestow blessings on our master Muhammad and on his Family, as You bestowed blessings on our master Abraham and his family. You are the All-Praiseworthy, All-Glorious.