Fifth Part of the Addendum: There is a powerful hope and consolation in belief in the hereafter

The hundred and twenty-four thousand prophets, (1) who are according to explicit prophetic tradition the choice part of humanity, have unanimously and with one accord reported, partly on the basis of direct vision and partly on the basis of absolute certainty, that the hereafter exists and that all beings will be taken to the hereafter as the Creator has firmly promised.

Similarly, the one hundred and twenty-four million saints who confirm the reports of the prophets through unveiling and witnessing, give testimony to the existence of the hereafter in the form of certain knowledge, and also bear testimony to the existence of the hereafter. All the Names of the All-Wise Maker of the cosmos also necessitate the existence of an eternal realm through the manifestations they display in this world.

The existence of the hereafter is furthermore necessitated by the infinite eternal power, the unlimited and exact everlasting wisdom, that revives every spring the countless dead trees scattered all over the earth with the command of “Be!”, and it is, thus making of them manifestations of “resurrection after death,” and that resurrects three hundred thousand different species of the various groups of plant and nations of animals, as hundreds of thousands of specimens of the supreme resurrection.

The existence of the hereafter is also necessitated by an eternal mercy and permanent grace that sustains in wondrous and solicitous fashion all animate beings that stand in need of nurture, and that display each spring, in the briefest of periods, infinite different varieties of adornment and beauty. Finally, there is the self-evident proof and indication given by the intense, unshakeable, and permanent love of eternity, yearning for immortality and hope of permanence that are lodged in man, the most beloved creation of the Maker of the cosmos, and whose concern with all the beings in the cosmos is the greatest.

All of the foregoing so firmly prove that after this transient world there will be an eternal world, a hereafter, a realm of felicity, that we are compelled to accept the existence of a hereafter as indisputably as we accept the existence of this world. (2)

One of the most important lessons taught us by the All-Wise Qur’an, is, then, belief in the hereafter. This belief is so firm and contains within itself so powerful a hope and a consolation that if a person be assailed by old age hundred thousandfold, the consolation derived from this belief will be fully enough. Saying, “Praise be to Allah for the perfection of belief,” we old people should rejoice in old age.

(1) Musnad, v, 266; Tabrizi, Mishkat al-Masabih, iii, 122; Ibn Qayyim al-Jawzi, Zad al-Ma’ad (Tahqiq: al-Arnawut), i, 43-4.

(2)  It can be realized from this comparison how easy it is to make a positive affirmation and how difficult to make a denial and negation. If, for example, someone should say, “there exists somewhere on this earth a wondrous garden containing canned milk,” and someone else should say, “there is not,” the affirmer need only point to the place of that garden or show some of its fruits in order to prove his claim. The denier, by contrast, will have to inspect and display the whole world in order to justify his negation. So too the testimony of two veracious witnesses will be enough to establish the existence of Paradise, quite apart from the hundreds of thousands of traces, fruits and indications demonstrated by those who assert its existence. Those who deny it must examine, explore and sift the infinite cosmos and infinite time before they can prove their denial and demonstrate the non-existence of Paradise. So, o aged brothers of mine, understand how firm is belief in the hereafter.

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