Fourth Topic: The beneficial aspects of hardships and calamities and their relevance with Divine mercy.
I f y o u s a y : “In the First Topic you proved that everything about Divine Determining is good and beautiful. Even the evil that comes from it is good, and the ugliness, beautiful. But the disasters and tribulations in this world refute that statement.”
T h e A n s w e r : O my soul and my friend who feel severe pain out of intense compassion! The facts that all virtues and perfections return to existence and that the basis of all rebellion, calamities, and defects is non-existence are a proof that existence is pure good and non-existence, pure evil. Since non-existence is pure evil, circumstances that either result in non-existence or give an inkling of it, also comprise evil. Therefore, life, the most brilliant light of existence, proceeding through different circumstances, finds strength; it encounters varying situations and is purified; it takes on numerous qualities and produces the desired results, and enters many stages and displays comprehensively the impresses of the Bestower of Life’s Names. It is due to this fact that certain things happen to living creatures in the form of griefs, calamities, difficulties, and tribulations whereby the lights of existence are renewed in their lives, and the darkness of non-existence draws distant and their lives are purified. For arrest, repose, silence, idleness, rest, and monotony are all, both in quality and as conditions, non-existence. Even the greatest pleasure is reduced to nothing by monotony.
I n S h o r t : Since life displays the impresses of the Most Beautiful Names, everything that happens to it is good. For example, an extremely rich and infinitely skilful person who is proficient in many crafts, for an hour and in return for a wage, clothes a miserable wretch in a bejewelled, artistically fashioned garment. This garment he made in order to make the miserable man act as a model and to display the works of his art and his extensive wealth. He works the garment on the man, gives it various forms, and alters it. In order to display every variety of his art, he cuts it, changes it, and lengthens and shortens it. Can the poor man receiving the wage be justified if he says to the person: “You are giving me trouble. You are making me bow down and stand up. By cutting and shortening this garment which makes me more beautiful, you are spoiling my beauty”? Does he have the right to tell him: “You are acting unkindly and unfairly”? Thus, like him, in order to display the impresses of His Most Beautiful Names, the All-Glorious Maker, the Peerless Creator, alters within numerous circumstances the garment of existence He clothes on living creatures, bejewelled with senses and subtle faculties like eyes, ears, the reason, and the heart. He changes it within very many situations. Among these are circumstances in the form of suffering and calamity which show the meanings of some of His Names, and the rays of mercy within flashes of wisdom, and the subtle instances of beauty within those rays of mercy.
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- Twenty-Fourth Letter: It explains an important secret of the obscure secrets of the universe, and wisdoms behind the manifestations the divine names of ar-Rahim (All- Compassionate) al-Karim (The Generous) and Wadud (Loving). It consists of two stations.
- The Twelfth Letter explains why Adam was expelled from Paradise, why some people will go to Hell, why Satan and evil things were created, and why calamities and tribulations are inflicted on even the innocent people and animals.
- How can the problem of evil be solved?
- First Topic: Divine Determining, the power of choice (partial free will); the creation of good and evil; the responsibility of man.
- How can we explain the concepts of existence and non-existence? Can they be described?
- Question 6: Is it appropriate in terms of mercy for the innocent people to die in earth quakes?
- Is there a realm called the realm of non-existence? If there is, how can it be defined? If there is not, how can something that does not exist be talked about as if it exists?
- Third Stopping-Place: The point of views of the people of misguidance and the people of guidance on the worldly life.
- What is non-existence?
- How should we give an answer to those who do not accept the act of creation out of nothing?