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Through Five Symbols that demonstrate the motive and necessary cause for, and Five Signs which show the purposes and benefits behind, the decay and death of living creatures, we will try to catch a glimpse of this profound and sublime truth.

Whatever God does is good and His is the kingdom of everything: He does whatever He wishes in His kingdom

A skilful clothes designer employs an ordinary man as a model to make a jeweled and artistically fashioned garment in return for wages. In order to display his skill and artistic ability, he gives a shape to the garment on that man and so makes him sit and stand. I wonder, then, if the man will have a right to object to the designer, saying, ‘Why do you continually change the shape of this garment, which makes me look good, and give me trouble by making me sit and stand?’ In the same way, the Majestic Creator takes each species of creatures as a model and, in order to display the manifestations of His Names and the perfection of His art, causes everything, especially the living creatures, to put on a garment of existence bejeweled with senses, and embellishes it with the Pen of Destiny and Decree. He gives, in return, to each being, as wages particular to it, a certain perfection and pleasure and bounteous gifts. That being the case, has anything the right to object to the Majestic Maker, the Owner of the Kingdom, Who has free disposal of everything in His Kingdom in whatever way He wills, saying, ‘You are giving me trouble and disturbing me!’? God forbid!

The creatures can make no claim to any rights against the Necessarily-Existent Being; rather, if they have a ‘right’, it is to fulfill the duty of thanksgiving for the level of existence that God has conferred on them. For all the levels of existence conferred are actual, concrete realities dependent on a necessary cause, whereas the levels not conferred are only possibilities. A possibility does not have an actual, external existence, and there are possibilities of infinite number for a thing to have existence. Besides, there is no necessary cause whereby something infinitely possible should attain existence.

It is an ingratitude to complain about God, as He is He Who has given existence to anything that exists

For example, minerals cannot complain, saying, ‘Why were we not created as plants?’ For there were possibilities of infinite number for them to have any level of existence, whether inferior or superior. So, what they must do is to thank their Creator for the mineral existence with which they were favored. Nor do the plants and animals have a right to complain to God why they were not granted a level of existence superior to theirs; rather, they must thank God, the plants for being favored with existence and life; the animals for being granted a precious ore of spirit as well as life and existence. As for you, O man of complaint! You were not left non-existent; you were favored with the garment of existence and experienced the pleasures of life. Further, you were made neither an inanimate object nor a plant nor an animal. You enjoy a healthful human existence. O man of belief, you were additionally favored, without being left in misguidance, with the blessing of Islam. And so on.

It is, then, an ingratitude to complain about God - when you should be grateful to Him for the level of existence He bestowed on you as a pure blessing - that He did not favor you with still greater blessings to which you aspire passionately, though wrongly, since they are of the order of possibilities and so non-existent.

Suppose a man elevated to a very high position - say, one made to climb a minaret as far as its pinnacle, and favored with a particular blessing at each step - were to complain that he had not been elevated still higher: would not even the most foolish people see that this is an attitude of great ingratitude and injustice on the part of that man?

O man of complaints, if you act in a greedy way, heedless of contentment and thrift, know for a certainty that contentment is a profitable thanksgiving, while greed is an ingratitude causing loss. Thrift shows a beneficial respect for bounties received, whereas extravagance means to make light of bounties in a harmful and shameless way. If, then, you are a sensible man, try to be content with, and show consent to, what you have. If you are suffering poverty impossible to endure, turn to the All-Patient One, and try to acquire a becoming patience, and do so without uttering complaints.

If you want, in any case, to have someone to find fault with, it is your carnal self, so complain to God Almighty about that.

Every creature is active because it has the yearning for, and takes pleasure in, activity. Further, in every activity lies a kind of pleasure; it may even be that activity itself is a pleasure.

One of the Divine purposes for the Majestic Creator’s continuous renewal and re-creation of beings through the awesome activities of His Lordship is as follows:

Every creature is active because it has the yearning for, and takes pleasure in, activity. Further, in every activity lies a kind of pleasure; it may even be that activity itself is a pleasure. Pleasure points to a perfection, indeed, is itself a kind of perfection. Since, then, activity points to perfection, pleasure and beauty, and again since the Necessarily-Existent Being, Who is the Perfect One of Majesty, has all kinds of perfection in His Being, Attributes and Acts, then He will certainly feel, in a manner fitting to His Necessary Existence and Holiness, that is, in accordance with His essential independence of the whole of the creation, and with His absolute Perfection and being free from deficiencies and any sort of likeness to any creatures, infinite sacred affection and infinite sacred love. This sacred affection and love are the cause of an infinite sacred enthusiasm, which is the origin of an infinite, sacred joy, in turn the source of infinite sacred pleasure. God, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate, because of this pleasure as well as of His Compassion, feels infinite sacred gladness and infinite sacred pride for His creatures’ realization of their full potentials and attainment of their relative perfections through their deeds by His Power. It is thus this sacred gladness and sacred pride that require the incessant, infinite whirl of creation which, in turn, demands an incessant changing, renewal and transformation in the universe. Finally, this incessant changing, renewal and transformation call for decay, death and separation.

The comprehensive purposes for the creation of beings

Once in the past, the motives and causes set forth by human philosophies for the creation and life of beings seemed very insignificant to me. I inferred from this why such philosophies would inevitably result in the absurdity which leads prominent figures in philosophy either to the misguidance of naturalism or sophistry, or even to the denial of the Will and Knowledge of the Maker or to regard the Creator as self-compelled (to do what He does).

Just at that point, the Divine Compassion came to my aid with the Divine Name, the All-Wise, and showed me the comprehensive purposes for the creation of beings. Each creature is a Divine missive, such that all conscious beings study it. I remained content for one year with discovering this purpose, but later began to seek for some other great purposes. First, the wonder of Divine Art in beings became manifest to me and, afterwards, another great purpose showed itself: namely, the greatest of the purposes for the life and creation of beings are related to the Maker. I perceived that they present to Himself, in the manner of a mirror reflecting His Beauty and Perfection, the perfection of His art, the embellishment of His Names, the jewels of His Wisdom and the gifts of His Compassion. After a long while, I noticed the miracles of God’s Power and the functions of His Lordship in a very rapid change and renewal brought about through the amazing acts of His creativity. After that, not content with all those purposes, I thought that there should be another still greater purpose for the life of creatures, and the motives and purposes which have already been partly explained in the foregoing Symbol and which will come below became obvious to me. I knew for certainty that the actions of Divine Power in the universe and the incessant flux of things are so meaningful that, through that flux, the All-Wise Maker causes all the kinds of beings to speak. It is as if the individual active creatures in heavens and on the earth, and their actions are the words of the speeches of those kinds of beings, and each movement is an act of speech. That is, all creatures glorify God through their movements, including their birth and death.

Things do not go into absolute non-existence through death, rather they are transferred from the sphere of Power to the sphere of Knowledge, from the visible, material world, the world of changing and mortality, to the World of the Unseen, which is the world of light and permanence

Things do not go into absolute non-existence, rather they are transferred from the sphere of Power to the sphere of Knowledge, from the visible, material world, the world of changing and mortality, to the World of the Unseen, which is the world of light and permanence.

The beauty and perfection in things belong, in reality, to the Divine Names, being the manifestations of those Names. Since those Names are permanent with their never-ending manifestations, their inscriptions will almost certainly be renewed, freshened and become more and more beautiful. Not going into absolute non-existence, only their relative forms of existence change, with their real nature and identity, which are the source of beauty and the object of enlightenment and perfection, remaining permanently.

The inanimate beings owe their beauty to the Divine Names, so the admiration and love felt for them, belong to those Names, and their changing (since they are mirrors reflecting Divine Names) does not detract from the Names. As for the animate beings, the death of those without intelligence is not complete annihilation; rather, through death, they are freed from the corporeal body and the turbulence of life, and transfer the fruits of their duty to their permanent spirit, which, depending on a Divine Name, attains some kind of happiness peculiar to itself. The death of intelligent beings is a journey, through the All-Wise Maker’s stations of the Intermediate World of the grave and the worlds of ideas and spirits, which are more beautiful and illumined than this world, to the World of Permanence where eternal happiness and material and spiritual perfections are obtained.

In short: Since the Majestic Maker exists and is permanent with His Attributes and Names, the inscriptions and manifestations of those Names are constantly renewed in spiritual permanence; they are not subject to absolute non-existence.

As is well-known, man is, on account of his humanity, connected to most of the ...
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