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THE FINAL DESTRUCTION OF THE WORLD AND THE AFTERLIFE

Questions coming to mind concerning the Resurrection

If one were to claim that a city or a palace will be destroyed and then reconstructed firmly, one would be asked the following six questions:

  • Why will it be destroyed? Is there something necessary about its destruction?

  • Is he who will destroy it, and the builder who will re-build it, capable of doing this?

  • Is the destruction of the city or palace possible?

  • If it is possible, will it really be destroyed?

  • Is the rebuilding of that city or palace possible?

  • If possible, will it actually be rebuilt?

The world is the equivalent of a palace, and the whole universe of a city, which are liable to destruction, and there is a necessary cause for their destruction. He Who will destroy and rebuild them is capable of that, and it will certainly take place, and they will surely be rebuilt. Our arguments to follow :

The Spirit is eternal.

The spirit is undoubtedly eternal, and the proofs of the existence of angels and other spirit beings mentioned in the First Aim are proofs of the eternity of the spirit. This matter is so obvious that it is unnecessary to make any further explanation. We are too close to the souls of the dead, who are waiting in the barzakh, the intermediate world between this and the next, to go to the Hereafter, to require any proofs of their existence. It is commonly known that saints, who have insight into the reality of things, may see them, and some even communicate with them, whilst almost everyone encounters them in veridical dreams. In spite of this, modern materialism causes doubts to occur over the matters which are so evident. For this reason, we shall indicate four sources from which the intellect can obtain persuasive knowledge, and let us begin with an introduction.

Nothing is created for absolute, eternal annihilation.

An eternal, matchless beauty requires the eternity of its lover through whom it will be permanently reflected. A faultless, eternal, and perfect art demands, likewise, the permanence of its contemplative herald. Also, an infinite mercy and benevolence require the continued ease and happiness of needy ones to thank it. The foremost of those lovers, those heralding contemplative ones, those needy thankful ones is the human soul, and therefore it will accompany that beauty, perfection and mercy on the way to eternity.

Not the human soul alone, but perhaps all creatures have been created for eternity of some kind

Not the human soul alone, but perhaps all creatures down to the most primitive, have been created not for absolute annihilation, but for eternity of some kind. Even the flower with no spirit achieves a sort of immortality in various ways after its death. Its form is preserved in memories, and the laws of its formation acquire a permanence through its seeds. Since the law of that flower’s formation, the model of its form, which has the same significance for it as the spirit for a man, is preserved through its seeds by the All-Preserving, All-Wise One, it is quite evident that the human soul which has a sublime comprehensive nature and consciousness, and which has been clothed with external existence, will much more deservedly be eternal. How can it be argued that an All-Wise One of Majesty, an All-Preserving One of Eternity, Who maintains the life cycle of a huge tree and the law of its formation through a minute seed, could not preserve the souls of dead people?

The body is ephemeral but the spirit that inhabits it is permanent

If anyone looks carefully into his own life and his inner aspect, he will discern the existence of an eternal spirit. Every person changes his body each year, in other words, the body is completely renewed every year, but his spirit remains unchanged.

The body is ephemeral but the spirit that inhabits it is permanent, and the formation or deformation of the molecules of the body, or the composition and decomposition of the body itself does not have any effect upon the spirit. The spirit changes or renews the garment of its body each year during its earthly life, and when it strips off this garment at the time of death, this will not affect the permanence of the spirit, nor will it spoil its essential nature because, as established through intuition and observation, the body subsists through the spirit, not the spirit through the body. We can even say that the body, rather than being the cover of the spirit, is its dwelling place. The spirit possesses a subtle cover, which can be called its energetic envelope. At the time of death, the spirit is not completely naked; rather, it leaves its dwelling place and is dressed in its cover.

The permanent existence of the souls of the dead, as based on observation and countless experiences in dreams and other kinds of communication, should be as certain to us as the existence of any continent

Observation and experience indicate the eternity of the spirit, and once the permanence of the individual spirit has been established in the afterlife, it confirms the perpetuation of the souls of the dead. It has been logically established that any essential aspect observed in an individual is unquestionably common to the whole species. Qualities originating in the essence are shared by all individuals. The permanent existence of the souls of the dead, as based on observation and countless experiences in dreams and other kinds of communication, should be as certain to us as the existence of any continent, the actual existence of which we are sure of although we have not been to it. That they have some kind of relationship with us is certain, our prayers reach them, and in return we receive their blessing. Moreover, it can be perceived that an essential aspect of man continues to exist after his death, and this aspect is his spirit.

The spirit is a simple unitary entity not subject to disintegration or decomposition

The spirit is a simple unitary entity not subject to disintegration or decomposition like composite material things. As we explained above, life ensures a form of unity within multiplicity; it causes a sort of permanence. That is to say, unity and permanence are essential to the spirit, from which they spread to multiplicity.

The mortality of man’s spirit would be either through decomposition and disintegration, which is impossible because of its simple and unitary essence, or through annihilation, which is contrary to the infinite mercy of the Absolutely All-Generous One. The boundless munificence of the All-Generous One would not allow that He should take back from the human spirit the blessing of existence which He has bestowed on it, which it ardently desires, and of which it is worthy.

The spirit is a living entity.

The spirit is a living entity, conscious, and light-giving, and a comprehensive law or command of God furnished with external existence, and it has the potential to achieve universality. Even the natural laws, considerably weak compared to the spirit, have stability and permanence, let alone the law embodied by the spirit. For one can recognize that all kinds of existence, although subject to change, possess a permanent dimension which remains unaltered through all stages of life.

Thus, while each human being is an individual, he is also, on account of his comprehensive nature, his universal consciousness, and all-embracing imagination, like a species. A law which operates upon the whole of humanity also applies to the human individual.

The Majestic Creator has endowed man with a sublime nature and caused him to be a comprehensive mirror through which all His Attributes and Names are reflected, and has charged him with a universal duty of worship. So, the spiritual reality of each individual will remain alive forever by the Divine Leave even though its form undergoes a hundred thousand changes. We can conclude from all these facts that man’s spirit, which constitutes his conscious, living element, is eternal, and has been made so by God’s command and permission.

The Divine laws of nature has resemblance of the spirit in some respect

The Divine laws of nature resemble the spirit in that they too, like the spirit, belong to the world of the Divine Will and Command, but they operate upon the categories which do not have a perceptible existence. When we look at these laws carefully, we see that, had they been given external existence, they would have been the spirits of the categories themselves. These laws are permanent, and since they undergo no changes, no alterations and transformations have any effect upon their unity. When a fig tree, for instance, has died, the law relating to its formation, which is like its spirit, remains permanent within its tiny seeds. Since weak and ordinary commanding laws are thus connected to permanence and continuance, the human spirit must be connected not only with permanence and immortality, but with all eternity. For, according to the Qur’an’s decree of, The spirit is of the Command of My Lord, (17:85) spirit is a conscious and living law which has come from the world of Divine Command, and which the Eternal Power endowed with external existence. That is to say, just as the unconscious laws issuing from the Divine Attribute of Will and the world of the Divine Command are permanent, so will the spirit be the more evidently worthy of having permanence since it comes from the same source and, what is more, is living and has an external reality. Furthermore, it is more sublime and powerful than the other laws since it has consciousness, and it is more permanent and valuable than them since it is living.

There is a purpose and necessary cause for the foundation of an eternal world of happiness

It is necessary that an eternal world of happiness should be established and the Majestic One Who will found this world is certainly capable of doing that. The destruction of the universe including this world is possible and will certainly occur. Moreover, the resurrection of everything is also possible and, with equal certainty, will take place. The following expounds this so that there will no longer be any doubt about the certainty of the Resurrection.

There is a purpose and necessary cause for the foundation of an eternal world of happiness; the following ten points indicate the existence and necessity of this purpose and cause:

Harmony and purposeful order in creation

The whole of creation displays a perfect harmony and a purposeful order, and in every aspect of the universe signs of a will and indications of a purpose are manifest. It is impossible not to discern, through the testimony of its fruits or results, in each thing and event, an intention and will, and in each composition a wisdom and choice. If this creation were not meant to produce eternal happiness, then its harmony and order would be a deceptive appearance, and the meanings, relations and connections that are the spirit of order would come to nothing--for it is eternal happiness which causes this order to be established.

Wisdom in the creation of the universe

The creation of the universe displays a perfect wisdom. Indeed, the Divine Wisdom, being the representation of eternal favor, announces the coming of eternal happiness through the tongue of the observation of benefits and purposes in the whole of the universe. If, then, there was no eternal happiness, it would require the denial of all the benefits and purposes observed in every thing and event in the universe.

Nothing superfluous or vain occurs in the creation

As pointed out by intellect, wisdom, experience and deductive reasoning, nothing superfluous or vain occurs in the creation, and this indicates the existence of eternal happiness. The Majestic Maker of the universe chooses the best and easiest way in the creation, and apportions hundreds of duties and thousands of purposes to any creature, no matter how insignificant it may appear. Since there is no waste and nothing in vain, there will surely be eternal happiness. For eternal non-existence would make everything futile, and everything would be a waste. The absence of waste in all creation, and in man in particular, demonstrates that man’s countless spiritual potentialities, his limitless aspirations and ideas, and inclinations will never go to waste. Man’s basic inclination towards perfection indicates the existence of perfection, and his desire for happiness proclaims that he is definitely destined for eternal happiness. If this was not so, then all the basic spiritual features and sublime aspirations which constitute man’s true nature would be a waste and futile and for nothing.

Changes in the universe and life indicate a complete rising and renewal

The alternation of day and night, and spring and winter, atmospheric changes, and the renewal of the human body each year, and the awakening and rising every morning after sleep, all indicate a complete rising and renewal. Just as seconds forecast the coming of the minute, the minute predicts the hour, and the hour anticipates the day in our clock, so, too, the dials of God’s great clock--the earth--point, in succession, to the day, the year, a man’s lifetime and the ages through which the world passes. As they show morning after night, and spring after winter, they intimate that the morning of the Resurrection will follow the death of the whole of creation.

As the daily, seasonal and annual changes, going to sleep and awakening the next morning, revivals and renewals which occur during a man’s life, can be regarded as a kind of death and resurrection, so the revival of nature every spring is also a promise of the final resurrection. Hundreds of thousands of different kinds of resurrection take place in the realm of animals and plants each spring, some animals coming to life and trees coming into leaf and flower. Thus the All-wise Creator reminds us of the Resurrection to come.

Each human being is equal in value and comprehensiveness to any of the other animate species because the light of his intellect has endowed him with such comprehensive aspirations and ideas as to encompass the past and future. In the other species the nature of the individuals is particular; their value is personal; their view, restricted; their qualities, limited; their pleasure and pain, instantaneous. Man, on the contrary, has a sublime nature and the greatest value; his perfection is limitless and his spiritual pleasures and pains are more permanent. It can be concluded from these facts that the kinds of resurrection experienced by other species in nature suggest that every human being will be resurrected completely on the Day of Judgment.

Man has been endowed with unlimited potentialities

Man has been endowed with unlimited potentialities. These potentialities develop into unrestricted abilities, which give rise to countless inclinations. These inclinations generate limitless desires and these desires are the source of infinite ideas and concepts. All these together, as observed and confirmed by scholars of profound knowledge, indicate the existence of a world of eternal happiness beyond this material world. Man’s innate inclination towards eternal happiness makes one sure that this world of happiness will be established.

The all-encompassing Mercy of God requires the foundation of eternal happiness

The all-encompassing mercy of the All-Merciful Maker of the universe requires the foundation of the world of eternal happiness. Were it not for this happiness, which is the chief grace of God for mankind, cries of lamentation would be raised by human beings because of eternal separation, and acts of favor would turn into vengeance, and Divine Compassion would be negated. Divine Mercy, however, is found throughout the whole of creation, and is more evident than the sun. Observe love, affection, and intellect, which are the three manifestations of Divine Compassion. If human life were to result in eternal separation, with unending pangs of parting, then that gracious love would turn into the greatest affliction for man. Affection would turn into a most painful ailment, and that light-giving intellect would become an unmitigated evil. Divine Compassion, however, (because it is Compassion) will never inflict the agony of eternal separation upon true love.

Divine Mercy cannot be restricted to a limited life.

All the pleasure-giving experiences known in the universe, all the beauties, perfections, attractions, ardent yearnings, and feelings of compassion are the spiritual articulations and manifestations of the Majestic Creator’s Favor, Mercy and Munificence made known to the intellect. Since there is a truth, a reality in this universe, most certainly there is true Mercy. And since there is true Mercy, there will be eternal happiness.

Man’s conscience, which is his conscious nature, indicates eternal happiness

Man’s conscience, which is his conscious nature, indicates eternal happiness, and whoever hearkens to this conscience will hear it pronouncing eternity over and over again. If a man were given the whole universe, it would not compensate him for his lack of eternity-he has an innate longing for eternity, for which he was created. This means man’s natural inclination towards eternal happiness comes from an objective reality, which is the existence of eternity and man’s desire for it.

The Prophet Muhammad preached the coming of the everlasting life.

The Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, who spoke the truth and whose words have been confirmed throughout the centuries, preached the coming of everlasting life and eternal happiness, and it was his words which promised its coming. In his message, he concentrated almost as much upon the Resurrection as he did upon the Divine Unity, referring to the consensus of all the Prophets, peace be upon them all, and the unanimous agreement of all the saints.

The Quran announces the Resurrection and the coming of eternal life.

The Quran, a matchless miracle with forty aspects, announces the Resurrection and the coming of eternal happiness. It unveils the mystery of creation and offers thousands of rational arguments about the Resurrection. Verses such as He created you by stages, (71:14) and, Say, ‘He Who has originated them the first time shall bring them to life again,’ (36:79) contain a comparison and an analogy, and, Your Lord wrongs not His servants, (41:46) indicates God’s justice. These provide man with a view, as it were through a telescope, of the Resurrection and everlasting happiness. As to the proofs offered by way of comparison in the first two verses mentioned above, they have been explained in my treatise called Nukta (The Point) as follows:

A man undergoes ordered and systematic changes in the process of his development. The sperm, a blood-clot, a tissue, bones and flesh, which develops into another (distinct) creature with human shape, and the formation of this being, each requires adherence to very precise principles. These principles, each particular to the successive stages of development, indicate the exercise of purpose, will, and wisdom. The All-Wise Creator, Who creates man by these stages, also causes the body to renew itself each year. This renewal demands the replacement of the cells which have decomposed with new ones. These are produced by the provision of food by the All-Provident One, according to the needs of each part of the body. If we observe the particles of those substances used for the renewal or repair of the body, we see them come together from the atmosphere, the earth or the water as though these particles were in receipt of marching orders. They seem to have received instructions to go to a certain place, so precise are their motions, and their manner of going indicates the operation of the Real Agent. They start from the inanimate world of elements and chemical substances, and pass to the animated world of vegetables and animals. Having developed into sustenance in agreement with some definite principles, they enter the body as food, and, after having been ‘cooked’ in different ‘kitchens’, and undergone some transformations and passed through some ‘filters’ (the organs of the digestive, respiratory, and filtering systems) are distributed to its parts according to their needs. All these processes take place in accordance with the laws laid down by the All-Provident One without the intervention of blind chance, lawless coincidence, deaf nature, and unconscious causes. They all display a perfect knowledge, wisdom and insight. For at whatever stage each of them enters from the surrounding element to the body’s cell, it acts, as if voluntarily, through the specified laws of that stage. It enters it in an orderly fashion. To whichever level it journeys, it steps with such order that it appears self-evidently to be proceeding at the command of an All-Wise Mover. In this way, it gradually advances from stage to stage, and level to level, until, at the command of its Sustainer, without deviating from its aim and object, it reaches its appropriate position, for example the pupil of the eye, where it establishes itself and works.

The provision of food and its reaching the cells for which it is destined is a manifestation of Divine Will and Divine Determination. There is so perfect an order and arrangement in this process that it is as if it were written on the ‘forehead’ of each particle of sustenance to which cell it will go. Is it conceivable that the Majestic Creator, Who exercises Lordship with boundless power and all-encompassing wisdom over the whole creation, from particles of matter to the planets, and spins them with order and balance, could fail to revive the creation once more? Verses of the Quran open man’s eyes to this revival by comparing it with man’s first creation, removing all doubts. The Quran declares,

Say, ‘He Who has originated them the first time (with definite purpose) will bring them to life again (in the Hereafter).

It is He Who originates the creation, then brings it back again, and it is easier for Him. (30:27)

Just as the soldiers of a battalion come together again at the call of the bugle more rapidly than at first after they had fallen out for a rest, so also, according to reason, it is as easy and possible for the essential particles of a body, which had established close relations and familiarity with each other during their worldly life, to re-gather at the trumpet-blast of the angel Israfil, upon whom be peace, and they will do so more readily than at the first creation. It will not be necessary for all the component parts to be present; rather, the fundamental parts and essential particles, which are like nuclei and seeds, and are called ‘the root of the tail’ (the os coccyx) in a Prophetic saying, may be sufficient as a basis and foundation for the second creation. Upon this foundation the All-Wise Creator will rebuild the human body.

The following is to summarize the truth expressed by the analogy of justice which is indicated by verses such as Your Lord wrongs not His servants (41:46):

We observe that cruel, sinful and tyrannical persons usually lead a comfortable and luxurious life whilst godly, oppressed people live in poverty and difficulties. Death makes them equal with the result that both sides would have departed for ever with their deeds unquestioned had it not been for a supreme tribunal. The Divine Wisdom and Justice, which never allow any act of wrongdoing to go unnoticed and do not approve injustice, require a supreme tribunal to be set up in order that evil is punished while the good are rewarded.

This world is not exactly propitious for a complete development of human potentialities, so man is destined to find realization in another world. Man has a comprehensive essence, and is bound for eternity. He has a nature which is basically sublime so that he is able to accomplish important things whether they are good or evil. Order and discipline are essential to him, and he should not be left to himself to deteriorate into non-existence. Hell is waiting for him with a wide-open mouth, and Paradise is expecting him with open arms.

God is absolutely able to destroy the world and rebuild it again.

Just as the necessity and requirement for the Resurrection is undoubted, so the One Who will bring it into being is eminently able to do it. He is absolutely powerful over everything. The greatest things and the smallest are the same in relation to His Power. He creates the spring with as much facility as He creates a flower. He is so powerful that the whole creation with its planets, stars, worlds, particles and substance bear witness to His Power and Majesty. No one, then, has the right to doubt that He will be able to raise all the dead for the Last Judgment. His Power is such that each century He causes a new environment to come into existence; He renews the universe every year and creates a new world every day. He hangs many transient worlds upon the string of time as centuries, years or even days pass for a perfect, definite purpose. He does all these things, and He also displays the perfection of His Wisdom and the beauty of His art by causing the earth to wear the garment of spring as if it were a single flower, which He has decorated with the embellishments of hundreds of thousands of kinds of resurrection. Since He is so able, how is it possible for anyone to doubt that He will be able to cause the Resurrection to happen and to replace this world with another? The verse, Your creation and your being raised up are as but the creation and raising up of a single soul announces that the All-Powerful One is so powerful that nothing is in any way difficult for Him and the creation of innumerable individuals is as easy for Him as the creation of a single one.

The Divine Power comes from the very nature of the Divine Essence, so that no sort of incapacity can be connected with it. Besides, it is related to the inner, immaterial dimension of existence, and thus no obstacle can interfere with its operation. Also, in its relation to things, Divine Power resembles the Divine laws of nature in that a universal is as easy for it as a particular. Now, we will explain these three arguments:

There are no degrees in the Divine Power.

Eternal Power is essential to the Divine Essence; in other words, it is an indispensable attribute of Divinity, or the Divine Essence is in one respect identical with Divine Power. Any sort of incapacity, which is the opposite of the Infinite, Eternal Power, can by no means occur in Him. If any incapacity were to occur in Him, then it would pre-suppose that two opposites exist in the Infinite Being. Since this is impossible, and impotence cannot occur in the Divine Essence, nothing can interfere with the Divine Power. Also, since impotence cannot be involved with the Divine Power, clearly there can be no degrees in it. For the degrees of existence of a thing are through the intervention of opposites. The degrees of temperature occur because of the intervention of cold, and likewise, the degrees of beauty come about owing to the intervention of ugliness. The same is true of all qualities in the universe. Contingent things and beings contain opposites, because they do not exist essentially of themselves and no undiluted quality is essential to their existence. Because of the degrees and graduations, the world of contingents is subject to change and transformations.

Since there can be no degrees in the Eternal Divine Power, particles or galaxies are equally easy for it in respect of their existence and creation. The resurrection of the whole of mankind is as easy for it as the revival of a single man, and the creation of spring as easy as the creation of a single flower. If creation or resurrection were ascribed to causes, then a flower would be as difficult to create as the whole of spring, whilst the whole creation is as easy for One Creator to create as a single particle.

The Divine Power operates in the inner dimension of things.

The Divine Power operates in the inner, spiritual dimension of things, or in the metaphysical kingdom. The universe, like a mirror, has two sides, one the corporeal, which resembles the colored face of the mirror, the other the metaphysical, which is like the mirror’s shining face, and looks to the Creator. The corporeal or physical side is where the opposites occur, that is, where things whether beautiful or ugly, good or bad, big or small, difficult or easy are manifested. The Majestic Creator of the universe veils the acts of His Power behind the observed causes so that the relation of His Power to simple things should not be regarded as unbecoming to Him by men of superficial reasoning. This is required by His Honor and Majesty. Actually, He has not assigned to causes any real effect upon the creation, and this should be so because of His Oneness and Unity. As for the metaphysical world or the inner dimension of things, it is absolutely clear and transparent, and the grossness of the physical world is not involved with it. The Divine Power is directly operative in this realm, where ‘cause and effect’ has no effect, and obstacles cannot interfere at all, and the creation of a particle is equivalent to the formation of the sun.

To conclude, the Divine Power is simple and infinite, and it is an indispensable Attribute of the Divine Essence. The realm where this Power operates directly is clear, refined and transparent, and there is nothing to oppose or intervene in it. That is, in the realm of Power there is no difference between a community and an individual, the particular and universal, and the big and the small, everything being the same in this dimension.

The Divine Power operates like a law which has the same relationship with everything.

Divine Power operates like a law which has the same relationship with everything whether large or small, few or many. We shall try to make this subtle matter comprehensible by means of a number of comparisons or connections. Transparency, reciprocity, balance, orderliness, abstraction, and obedience are the phenomena in the universe which render many equal to few, and great equal to small.

This concerns the meaning of transparency.

The same sun is reflected whether it is on the surface of the ocean, or in a single drop of water. Had the earth been made up of different pieces of glass, the whole of the sun would have been reflected in each of them without hindrance and without one interfering with the other. Had the sun been a conscious independent being possessed of will-power to cause its light to be reflected, it would not be more difficult for it to give light to, or be reflected in, a single particle than the whole of the earth.

This is about the meaning of reciprocity.

Suppose a man with a lighted candle to be standing in the center of a large circle of people each holding a mirror, then the reflections will be the same in each mirror without any one hindering any other.

This concerns the meaning of balance.

Suppose we were to weigh a pair of things, whether two suns, or two stars, two mountains, two eggs, or two particles, with a balance of very precise measurement, any extra force exerted upon either of the scales, no matter how little it is, would be enough to disturb the balance.

This concerns orderliness.

A huge ship can be steered as easily as a small toy because it possesses an orderly system, all the parts of which are related to one another, which allows it to be steered easily.

This concerns abstraction or incorporeality.

The size of a living creature does not have any bearing upon its real essence or nature. The essence or nature of any species, because of its being abstract and incorporeal, is the same for all its members irrespective of size. The differences in individualized forms do not cause any confusion. A minnow, for example, has the same essence or nature as a basking-shark since both are fish. A micro-organism has the same essence as a rhinoceros, since both are living animals.

This is about obedience.

A commander moves an army as easily as he moves a single soldier by simply issuing the command ‘March!’ The reality of obedience in the universe is as follows:

Everything in the universe has its own perfection towards which it inclines. An inclination grows into a need, an increased need becomes a yearning, and an increased yearning becomes an attraction. Inclination, need, yearning, and attraction all work as Divine laws and all operate in things to realize their perfection.

The final, absolute perfection of the whole of the creation occurs when it grows into absolute existence. Their relative perfection is the relative existence which gives effect to all their potentialities. It is for this reason that the obedience of the whole universe to the Divine Command of ‘Be!’ is not different from the obedience of a single particle.

The whole of creation obeys this order ‘Be!’, which comes from the Eternal Will of the Creator by the operation of the same forces of inclination, need, yearning and attraction, and these are urged to operate on all creatures by the same Divine Will. The power of this obedience is best displayed by water, which cracks iron, or even breaks it into pieces, when it receives the order to freeze.

Seeing that contingent forces which are defective, limited, weak, and devoid of creativity, display such effects as stated above under the six connections, it is obvious that everything, big or small, complex or simple, is equally susceptible to the order of the Divine Power. This Power is infinite, eternal, absolutely perfect and able to bring the whole universe into existence from non-existence, and it is also able to manifest itself through its grand works which fascinate and astound all conscious beings. Nothing is difficult for it. We should be aware that consideration of the six connections does not pass any judgment upon the Divine Power, which would be impossible for created beings; rather they are merely to enable minds to have some grasp of the matter.

The whole world is exposed to the Resurrection.

It has been proved that there is a necessity for the Resurrection, and the One Who will raise the dead is able to do this. The whole world is exposed to the Resurrection and there are four matters relating to this subject as follows:

  • It is possible for this world to perish.

  • The world will actually perish.

  • The possibility exists for the destroyed world to be rebuilt again in the form of the Hereafter.

  • The destroyed world will actually be resurrected and re-built.

The death of the whole of creation is possible.

The death of the whole of creation is possible. If something is subject to the law of development, then it will certainly evolve to a final end. If something develops to this final end, then that means it will have a limited lifetime, and if something has a limited lifetime, then a natural end is certain to be fixed for it. Lastly, if something is destined for a fixed end, then it will inevitably die, and since man is a microcosm and nothing prevents him from dying, so too the whole universe, being regarded as a macro-human being, will not be saved from perishing. Accordingly, it will perish and be brought to life again in the morning of the Last Day. Just as a living tree, which is a miniature of the universe, is not able to save itself from annihilation, so ‘the branches of creatures’ which have grown from ‘the tree of creation’ will also pass away. If the universe is not destroyed by an external destructive event which could occur by the leave of the Eternal Will, then a day, as also predicted by science, will certainly come when this macro-human being will go into the throes of death. It will give a sharp cry, and what is described in these Qur’anic verses will take place :

When the sun shall be darkened; when the stars shall be thrown down; when the mountains shall be set moving. (81:1-3)

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 changes into water and loses its essential state as a solid; the essence of something becomes stronger at the expense of its material form; a coarse language is not suitable for the expression of meaning; the spirit weakens as the flesh becomes more substantial, and the flesh weakens as the spirit becomes more illuminated. Thus the solid world is being gradually refined by the mechanism of life to the advantage of the afterlife. The 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 coming world through the light of life.

A truth never perishes, no matter how weak it is, instead, it takes form in the corporeal world. As the truth flourishes and expands, the form containing it grows weaker and is refined. The spiritual truth which actually constitutes the essence of something is inversely proportional to the strength of its form, in other words, as the form grows denser, the truth becomes weaker, and as the form grows weaker, the truth obtains more strength. This law is common to all creatures that are destined to develop and evolve. We can conclude from this argument that the corporeal world, which is a form containing the great truth of the universe, will break into pieces by the leave of the Majestic Creator and be rebuilt more beautifully. One day, the meaning expressed by the Quranic verse, Upon the day the earth shall be changed to other than the earth.22 will be realized. Finally, the death of the world is undoubtedly possible.

The world will certainly die.

The world will certainly die. This is an undeniable reality, confirmed by all the God-revealed religions, supported by all pure and saintly persons, and indicated by all the changes, transformations, and alterations in the universe. It is indicative of the inevitable death of the world that its inhabitants have been replaced by new ones every day, every year, and in every age. Those who have been welcomed into this guesthouse of the world make their farewells some time later and are followed by newcomers, a fact which testifies to the final death of the world itself.

If you would like to imagine the death of this world as indicated by the relevant Qur’anic verses, look at how minutely and precisely the constituent parts of the universe have been connected to one another. Consider how sublimely and delicately they have been organized into a system, so that if a single heavenly body were to be given the order ‘Leave your axis!’, the whole universe would be thrown into the throes of death. Stars would collide, planets would be scattered and the sound of the exploding spheres would fill space. Mountains would be set in motion and the earth would be flattened. This is what the Eternal Power will actually do to bring about the next life, and, by upsetting the universe, to separate the elements of Paradise from those of Hell.

The universe can be resurrected after its death.

The universe can be resurrected after its death because, first, as proved in the Second Fundamental, the Divine Power is not in any way defective. Next, there is a strong necessity for it, and, in addition, it is possible. Consequently, if there is a strong necessity that something possible should occur, then it comes to be regarded as something that will inevitably occur.

Another significant point

A close examination of what goes on in the universe will make it clear that within it are two opposed elements that have spread everywhere and become rooted: with their results like 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, the opposed elements clash with one another in the universe. The universe manifests, through such continuous conflict of opposites, incessant alterations and transformations so as to produce the elements of a new world. These opposed elements will eventually lead to eternity in two different directions and materialize as Paradise and Hell. The Eternal World will be made up of the essential elements of this transitory world, and these elements will then be given permanence. Paradise and Hell are in fact the two opposite fruits which grow on the two branches of the tree of creation; or they are the two results of the chain of creation. They are the two cisterns which are being filled by the two streams of things and events, and the two poles to which beings are flowing in waves. They are the places where Divine Grace and Divine Wrath manifest themselves, and they will be filled up with their particular inhabitants when the Divine Power shakes up the universe with a violent motion.

This point is really significant because God, the Eternal All-Wise, as the requirement of His Eternal Grace and Wisdom, has created this world as the place where men are tested. This world is also a mirror where His Beautiful Names are reflected, and a vast page where He is writing with the Pen of His Destiny and Power. People are being tested here so that their potentialities can develop and their abilities manifest themselves. This emergence of the abilities causes the appearance of relative truths in the universe, which in turn, causes the Beautiful Names of the Majestic Maker to manifest their inscriptions and make the universe a missive of the Eternally Besought-of-all. It is also by virtue of this testing that the diamond-like essences of sublime souls are separated from the coal-like matter of the base ones.

For whatever sublime purposes other than those we are aware of God willed that the creation should take place, He also willed the change and alteration of this world for the same purposes. He mixed together opposites and made them confront one another--mingling harm with benefit, including evil with good, and combining ugliness with beauty, He kneaded them together like dough, and made the universe subject to the law of alteration and to the principle of perfection. The time will arrive when the trial and testing come to an end, and the Pen of Divine Destiny will have written what it has to write. The Divine Power will have completed its work, all the creatures will have fulfilled their duties and services, and the seeds will have been sown in the field of the Afterlife. The earth will have displayed the miracles of Divine Power, and this transitory world will have hung all the eternal scenes upon the picture-rail of time, and the eternal Wisdom and Favor of the Majestic Maker will require that the results of the test be announced, the truths of the manifestations of the Divine Beautiful Names and the missives of the Pen of Divine Destiny be unveiled, the duties performed by the creatures be repaid, the truths of the meanings expressed by the words of the book of the universe be seen, the fruits of potentialities be yielded, a supreme court be established, and the veil of natural causes be removed so that everything is submitted directly to the Divine Will and Power. On that day, the Majestic Creator will destroy the universe to eternalize it, and He will separate the opposites from each other. This separation will result in the appearance of Hell with all its awfulness, and of Paradise with all its beauty and splendor; the people of Hell will be threatened with the words, Now keep yourselves apart, you sinners, upon this day, whilst the People of Paradise will be welcomed with the words, Peace be upon you! Well you have fared; enter in, to dwell forever.

The Eternal All-Wise will give, through His perfect Power, an everlasting, unchanging existence to the inhabitants of both of these dwelling-places. They will never grow old, nor will their bodies suffer any disintegration or decomposition because there will be nothing to cause any changes leading to disintegration.

The One Who created this world will re-build it again after its overall destruction.

We have stated in the previous Matter that it is possible for the earth to be resurrected after its death. After being destroyed, the One Who created this world, will undoubtedly form it again more beautifully, and will convert it into one of the mansions of the Hereafter. As the Holy Qur’an with all its verses containing thousands of rational evidences, and other Divine Scriptures are unanimously agreed on this matter, so also, the Attributes of the All-Majestic One pertaining to His Majesty and those pertaining to His Grace, and all His Beautiful Names, indicate its occurrence clearly. Furthermore, He promised that He would bring about the Resurrection and the Great Mustering through all His heavenly decrees which He sent to His Prophets, and He will certainly carry out His promise. This is an undeniable truth, which is agreed upon by all the Prophets, and the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, is the foremost to confirm it with the strength of his thousand miracles, as do the saints and righteous scholars. Lastly, the universe predicts it with all the scientific evidences it contains.

To conclude:

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 life of the Hereafter after the setting of the life of this world.

I have so far tried to elaborate the proofs of this truth to convince the intellect and make the heart ready to accept it. But the words of the Creator of the universe have the greatest right to speak in this matter. So, we must listen to the Eternal Discourse of the All-Wise Maker which He delivers addressing all the ranks of those of each successive century in the ‘mosque and school’ of the world, and, in response, we must say, ‘Indeed, we have believed and affirmed it.’

When earth is shaken with a mighty shaking and the earth brings forth its burdens, and man says, ‘What ails it?’ Upon that day it shall give its tidings for its Lord has inspired it. Upon that day men 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.

Give you good tidings to those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, that for them await gardens underneath which rivers flow; whensoever 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 there for them shall be spouses purified; therein they shall dwell forever.

All glory be to You! We have no knowledge save what You have taught us. Surely, You are the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

Our Lord, take us not to task if we forget, or make mistakes. O God, bestow blessings on our master Muhammad, and on the family of our master Muhammad, as You bestowed blessings on our master Abraham and on the family of our master Abraham. Indeed, You are All-Praiseworthy, All-Glorious.


Recommended Reading:
Belief in the Resurrection and the Afterlife is Universal

Last Updated on October 05, 2000

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