Fourth Truth: The indication of the truths of generosity and beauty whose works are visible in this world and the names of Generous and Beautiful to the hereafter.
The Gate of Generosity and Beauty,
the Manifestation of the Names of Generous and Beautiful
Is it at all possible that infinite generosity and liberality, inexhaustible riches, unending treasures, peerless and eternal beauty, flawless and everlasting perfection, should not require the existence of grateful supplicants, yearning spectators and astounded onlookers, all destined to stay an eternity in an abode of bliss, a place of repose? Yes, adorning the face of the world with all these objects of beauty, creating the moon and the sun as its lamps, filling the surface of the earth with the finest varieties of sustenance and thus making it a banquet of bounty, making fruit-trees into so many dishes, and renewing them several times each season — all this shows the existence of infinite generosity and liberality. Such unending liberality and generosity, such inexhaustible treasures of mercy, require the existence of an abode of repose, a place of bliss, that shall be everlasting and contain all desirable objects within it. They also require that those who enjoy such bliss should remain in that abode of repose eternally, without suffering the pain of cessation and separation. For just as the cessation of pain is a form of pleasure, so too the cessation of pleasure is a form of pain, one that such infinite generosity is unwilling to countenance. It requires, then, the existence both of an eternal paradise and of supplicants to abide in it eternally.
Infinite generosity and liberality desire to bestow infinite bounty and infinite kindness. The bestowal of infinite bounty and infinite kindness require in turn infinite gratitude. This necessitates the perpetual existence of those who receive all the kindness so that they can demonstrate their thanks and gratitude for that perpetual bestowal and constant bounty. A petty enjoyment, made bitter by cessation, and lasting for only a brief time, is not compatible with the requirements of generosity and liberality.
Look too at the different regions of the world, each like an exhibition where Allah’s crafts are displayed. Pay attention to the dominical proclamations in the hands of all the plants and animals on the face of the earth (1) and listen to the prophets and the saints, the heralds of the beauties of dominicality. They unanimously display the flawless perfections of the Glorious Maker by demonstrating His miraculous arts, and thus invite the gazes of men.
The Maker of this world has, then, most important, astounding and secret perfections. It is these He wishes to display by means of His miraculous arts. For secret, flawless perfection wishes to be manifested to those who will appreciate, admire and wonderingly gaze at it. Eternal perfection requires eternal manifestation. Such eternal manifestation in turn requires the perpetual existence of those who are to appreciate and admire it. The value of perfection will always sink in the view of its admirer if he is devoid of perpetual existence. (2) Again, the beauteous, artistic, brilliant and adorned creatures that cover the face of the globe, bear witness to the fairness of a peerless, transcendent beauty, and indicate the subtle charms of an unparalleled, hidden pulchritude, just as sunlight bears witness to the sun. (3) Each manifestation of that sacred, transcendent beauty, indicates the existence of countless hidden treasures in each of Allah’s Names. Now so exalted, peerless and hidden a beauty, just as it desires to view its own fairness in a mirror and to behold the degrees and measures of its beauty in an animate reflection, desires also to become manifest, in order to look on its own beauty through the eyes of others. That is, it wishes to look at its own beauty in two ways; firstly, by beholding itself in mirrors of variegated colour; secondly, through the gaze of yearning witnesses to itself, of bewildered admirers of its beauty.
In short, beauty and fairness desire to see and be seen. Both of these require the existence of yearning witnesses and bewildered admirers. And since beauty and fairness are eternal and everlasting, their witnesses and admirers must have perpetual life. An eternal beauty can never be satisfied with transient admirers. An admirer condemned to irreversible separation will find his love turning to enmity once he conceives of separation. His admiration will yield to ridicule, his respect to contempt. For just as obstinate man is an enemy to what is unknown to him, so too he is opposed to all that lies beyond his reach, and love that is not infinite will respond to a beauty that deserves unending admiration with implicit enmity, hatred and rejection. From this we understand the profound reason for the unbeliever’s enmity to Allah.
So endless generosity and liberality, peerless fairness and beauty, flawless perfection — all these require the existence of eternally grateful and longing supplicants and admirers. But we see in this hospice of the world that everyone quickly leaves and vanishes, having had only a taste of that generosity, enough to whet his appetite but not to satiate him, and having seen only a dim light coming from the perfection, or rather a faint shadow of its light, without in any way being fully satisfied. It follows, then, that men are going toward a place of eternal joy where all will be bestowed on them in full measure.
In short, just as this world, with all its creatures, decisively demonstrates the existence of the Glorious Maker, so too do His sacred attributes and Names indicate, show and logically require, the existence of the hereafter.
(1) The existence of a brightly designed and brilliantly adorned flower, a most artfully conceived and bejewelled fruit on a twig as thin as a wire, affixed to a dry, bonelike tree — this is without doubt a proclamation to all animate beings of the fine arts produced by a most skilled, wise and miraculous maker. This holds true not only of the vegetable kingdom, but also of the animal realm.
(2) There is a proverbial occurrence pertaining to this point. A celebrated beauty once expelled from her presence a common man who had become infatuated with her. In order to console himself, he said, “how ugly she is!”, thus denying her beauty.
Once a bear stood beneath a vine trellis, and wished to eat the grapes. But he was unable to reach out for the grapes, or to climb up the trellis. So he said to himself, by way of consolation, “the grapes must be sour,” and growling went on his way.
(3) Although all beings that act as mirrors for Allah’s beauty constantly vanish and disappear, those that succeed them display and manifest in their forms and features the same beauty and fairness. This shows that the beauty in question does not belong to them; the visible instances of beauty are rather the signs and indications of a transcendent and sacred beauty.
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- Fourth Aspect: The generosity and beauty of the works that are displayed in this world indicate an extensive and continuous exhibition.
- Why do we deserve Allah’s rewarding us with eternal life?
- Introduction: The proofs about the issues that the human spirit was created for immortality and that the spirits of the dead are not annihilated but preserved.
- Belief in the Hereafter # 7: The Proof of Beauty and Perfection
- The Sixteenth Proof: The Proof of Beauty and Perfection
- Sixth Truth: The indication of the persistent and ever-changing works in the world which present splendor and continuity along with the names of Glorious and Eternal to the hereafter.
- Third Stopping-Place: The point of views of the people of misguidance and the people of guidance on the worldly life.
- Considering that almighty Allah does not need anything, why did he create the universe?
- The Sixth Proof: The Proof of Generosity
- Belief in the Hereafter # 6: The Proof of Generosity