The Tenth Word: On Resurrection, the realm of Hereafter, Paradise and Hell, The proofs that show the evidences of the existence of the hereafter from the world in which we live.
The Tenth Word
[The reasons for my writing these treatises in the form of metaphors, comparisons and stories are to facilitate comprehension and to show how rational, appropriate, well-founded and coherent are the truths of Islam. The meaning of the stories is contained in the truths that conclude them; each story is like an allusion pointing to its concluding truth. Therefore, they are not mere fictitious tales, but veritable truths.]
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
Look, then, to the signs of Allah’s mercy —how He restores life to the earth after its death— verily He it is Who quickens the dead, for He is powerful over all things.1
Brother, if you wish for a discussion of resurrection and the hereafter in simple and common language, in a straightforward style, then listen to the following comparison, together with my own soul.
Once two men were travelling through a land as beautiful as Paradise (by that land, we intend the world). Looking around them, they saw that everyone had left open the door of his home and his shop and was not paying attention to guarding it. Money and property were readily accessible, without anyone to claim them. One of the two travellers grasped hold of all that he fancied, stealing it and usurping it. Following his inclinations, he committed every kind of injustice and abomination. None of the people of that land moved to stop him. But his friend said to him:
“What are you doing? You will be punished, and I will be dragged into misfortune along with you. All this property belongs to the state. The people of this land, including even the children, are all soldiers or government servants. It is because they are at present civilians that they are not interfering with you. But the laws here are strict. The king has installed telephones everywhere and his agents are everywhere. Go quickly, and try to settle the matter.”
But the empty-headed man said in his obstinacy: “No, it is not state property; it belongs instead to some endowment, and has no clear or obvious owner. Everyone can make use of it as he sees fit. I see no reason to deny myself the use of these fine things. I will not believe they belong to anyone unless I see him with my own eyes.” He continued to speak in this way, with much philosophical sophistry, and an earnest discussion took place between them.
First the empty-headed man said: “Who is the king here? I can’t see him,” and then his friend replied:
“Every village must have its headman; every needle must have its manufacturer and craftsman. And, as you know, every letter must be written by someone. How, then, can it be that so extremely well-ordered a kingdom should have no ruler? And how can so much wealth have no owner, when every hour a train 2 arrives filled with precious and artful gifts, as if coming from the realm of the unseen? And all the announcements and proclamations, all the seals and stamps, found on all those goods, all the coins and the flags waving in every corner of the kingdom — can they be without an owner? It seems you have studied foreign languages a little, and are unable to read this Islamic script. In addition, you refuse to ask those who are able to read it. Come now, let me read to you the king’s supreme decree.”
The empty-headed man then retorted: “Well, let us suppose there is a king; what harm can he suffer from the minute use I am making of all his wealth? Will his treasury decrease on account of it? In any event, I can see nothing here resembling prison or punishment.”
His friend replied: “This land that you see is a manoeuvering ground. It is, in addition, an exhibition of his wonderful royal arts. Then again it may be regarded as a temporary hospice, one devoid of foundations. Do you not see that every day one caravan arrives as another departs and vanishes? It is being constantly emptied and filled. Soon the whole land will be changed; its inhabitants will depart for another and more lasting realm. There everyone will be either rewarded or punished in accordance with his services.”
That treacherous empty-headed one retorted rebelliously: “I don’t believe it. Is it at all possible that a whole land should perish, and be transferred to another realm?”
His faithful friend then replied: “Since you are so obstinate and rebellious, come, let me demonstrate to you, with twelve out of the innumerable proofs available, that there is a Supreme Tribunal, a realm of reward and generosity and a realm of punishment and incarceration, and that just as this world is partially emptied every day, so too a day shall come when it will be totally emptied and destroyed.
1. Qur’an, 30:50.
NOTE: The main part of this translation of the Tenth Word is by Hamid Algar, Prof. of Middle Eastern Studies in the Univ. of California, Berkeley, USA, and was first published in 1980. It has been slightly amended to fit the present work.
2. Indicates the cycle of a year. Indeed, every spring is a carload of provisions coming from the realm of the unseen.
Please click on the following links to continue reading;
Fifth Aspect: The works of a great mercy which is visible everywhere indicate another realm. Especially the prayers of the prophet of the end of time concerning this issue and Allah's mercy and love towards him.
Twelfth Aspect: The duties and equipment given to the highest ranking officers in the army of the King in the simile indicate an eternal realm. The message brought by the highest ranking aid-de-camp of the King.
- Second Aspect: The generosity of the ruler of the Kingdom requires rewarding and His justice requires punishment and thus it becomes a proof for a "Supreme Tribunal".
- Third Aspect: The visible wisdom and balance in creatures indicate justice and that justice indicates a Supreme Tribunal.
- Ninth Aspect: The confirmative news about the promises that exist in the Eighth Aspect by some important people who are in contact with the King in the simile.
- Fifth Aspect: The works of a great mercy which is visible everywhere indicate another realm. Especially the prayers of the prophet of the end of time concerning this issue and Allah's mercy and love towards him.
- Twelfth Aspect: The duties and equipment given to the highest ranking officers in the army of the King in the simile indicate an eternal realm. The message brought by the highest ranking aid-de-camp of the King.
- Eleventh Aspect: The visible works of wisdom, compassion and justice that are present in the actions around indicate another realm.
- Tenth Aspect: All things of the city in the simile that are constantly destroyed and replaced the new ones indicate an eternal realm.
- Seventh Aspect: The relation between man's mind and the lawh al-mahfuz (Preserved Tablet). Everything in the world is being recorded and this indicates the "Supreme Court."
- Eighth Aspect: The promises of a place of reward and punishment by the King in the simile and the reasons that necessitate believing these promises.
- Fourth Aspect: The generosity and beauty of the works that are displayed in this world indicate an extensive and continuous exhibition.