The resurrection

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The resurrection

Universal wisdom requires the Resurrection. God is absolutely free to do what He wills, and no one can call Him to account. Being All-Wise, He acts with absolute purposiveness and wisdom, and never does something that is in vain, futile, or pointless.

When we analyze ourselves, as well as our nature, physical and spiritual identity, structure and body, we realize that we were created for certain important purposes. Nothing in our body is superfluous. The same is true of the universe, a macro-human being if you will, for each part of it manifests great purposes and innumerable instances of wisdom.

We are unique, for we contain some aspect of all that exists in the universe. Our mental and spiritual faculties represent angelic and other spiritual worlds, such as that of symbols or immaterial forms. But because of our inborn capacity to learn and our free will, we can excel even the angels. Our physical or biological being represents plants and animals. Although contained in time and space, our spiritual faculties and such other powers as imagination allow us to transcend them. Despite our unique and priceless worth when compared with other members of creation, some of us die at birth and others when we are still quite young.

In addition, we long for eternity and desire eternal life-some of our senses or feelings cannot be satisfied with something less. If we could choose between eternal life with severe hardship during this life and eternal nonexistence after a short luxurious life, probably we would choose the former, maybe even preferring eternal existence in Hell to eternal nonexistence. The All-Merciful and All-Wise did not condemn us to eternal nonexistence or implant within us the desire for eternity so that we would suffer while trying to fulfill an impossible, yet heart-felt, desire. So Divine Wisdom requires the existence of an eternal world.

This world cannot judge our actual worth. Although we have a small physical body, our mental and spiritual faculties allow us to embrace the universe. Our acts are not restricted only to this world, and therefore cannot be bound by time and space. Our nature is so universal that even the first man's acts affects the last man's life and character and all of existence. Restricting us to a physical entity, a very short lifespan, and a limited part of space, as materialists do, shows a complete misunderstanding and lack of appreciation of what each of us really is.

This world's scales cannot weigh the intellectual and spiritual value of Prophets and their achievements, or the destruction caused by such monsters as Pharaoh, Nero, Hitler, and Stalin. Nor can they weigh the true value of sincere belief and moral qualities. What is the proper reward for a martyr who has sacrificed everything for the sake of God, of others, or for such universal human values as justice and truthfulness; or for a believing scientist whose dedicated research results in an invention that benefits all people until the Last Day?

Only the other world's scales, which weigh an atom's weight of good and evil, can weigh such deeds accurately:

We set up a just balance for the Day of Resurrection. Thus, no soul will be treated unjustly. Even though it be the weight of one mustard seed, We shall bring it forth to be weighed; and Our reckoning will suffice (21:47).

Even if nothing required the Resurrection, the necessity of weighing our deeds would require an infinitely just and sensitive balance to be established.

All of God's Acts have a purpose, and sometimes several purposes. Based on this fact, His universal Wisdom requires the Resurrection. If It did not, we would have to deal with the following issues, among others. The Majestic Being manifests the Sovereignty of His being Master via the universe's inclusive and perfect order and purposiveness, justice and balance. How could He not reward believers who seek His protection as Master and Sovereign, believe in His Wisdom and Justice, and obey them through worship? Would He allow those who deny His Wisdom and Justice, who rebel against or ignore Him, to remain unpunished? As this impermanent world contains hardly any of His Wisdom and Justice with respect to humanity, most unbelievers depart unpunished and most believers unrewarded. Thus, God's Justice is necessarily deferred to a Supreme Tribunal, where each individual will be rewarded or punished in full.

It is clear that the One administering this world does so in accordance with infinite wisdom. Just look at how everything's use and benefit is manifested. Every bodily limb, bone, and vein, as well as every brain cell and cellular particle, serves many wise purposes. These facts show that everything is arranged according to infinite wisdom. Look at the absolute orderliness in the fashioning of everything, another proof.

In short, we were created for universal purposes. This is even stated in the Qur'an:

Did you reckon that We only created you in vain, and that to Us you would not be returned? So, exalted is God (from exerting Himself in what is vain), the Sovereign, the Truth. There is no god but He; Lord of the Noble Throne (23:115-16).

We were not created for mere play or sport, and eternal nonexistence in the grave is not our ultimate destiny. Rather, we were created for an eternal life prepared for us by all of our actions, and for an eternal world full of eternal beauty and blessing (Paradise) or evil and wickedness (Hell).

Divine Mercy and Munificence require the Resurrection. We notice that the more needy and helpless a creature is, the better it is nourished. For example, during the first stages of human life, we are nourished in the best way and without effort on our part both before and immediately after birth. As we pass through childhood, youth, and adulthood, becoming ever more aware of our personal strength and willpower, we try to meet our own needs as well as those of our family members, often with great difficulty.

Similarly, foxes and other animals that rely on their power and cunning are barely nourished despite much effort and toil, while fruit-worms live on the best food and quite easily, and plants take their food without effort. Such examples clearly show that One absolutely Merciful and Munificent rules, sustains, and maintains all creatures.

God's Mercy and Munificence are eternal. An Eternal One manifests Himself eternally and requires the existence of eternal beings. His eternal Mercy and Munificence demand eternal manifestation and thus eternal beings on whom to confer eternal bounties. But our world is only temporary, and millions of its living creatures die each day. What can such a fact indicate, other than this world's final and complete death?

This world cannot receive the comprehensive manifestation of the Divine Names and Attributes. Nor can living beings, who experience great hardship and difficulty in maintaining themselves. For example, we cannot satisfy all our desires and appetites. Our youth, beauty, and strength, upon which we set our hearts, leave without a word and cause us great sorrow. Also, we have to exert ourselves even to obtain a cluster of grapes. If we were denied eternal nourishment after having tasted it, would this not be an insult and a mockery, a source of great pain? For a blessing to be real, it must be constant. Without an eternal life in which we can satisfy our desires eternally, all of God Almighty's bounties bestowed upon us would change into pain and sorrow. Therefore, after destroying this world, God will transform it into an eternal one that can receive the comprehensive manifestations of His Mercy and Munificence without obstruction, one in which we can satisfy all our desires eternally.

Divine Pity and Caring require the Resurrection. These heal wounds and wounded hearts and feelings, cause a patient to recover, end the pain of separation, and change pain and sorrow into joy and pleasure. They help human beings and animals throughout their lives, especially before and right after birth. Their mothers' wombs are well-protected homes in which they are nourished directly without any effort on their part. After birth, Divine Pity and Caring provide them with breast-milk, the best possible food, and their parents' feelings of pity and caring. All of these are a single manifestation of Divine Pity and Caring.

Although Divine Pity and Caring encompass the universe, here we encounter wounds, hurt feelings, incurable illness, hunger, thirst, and poverty. Why? As above, the answer is that this world cannot receive the comprehensive manifestation of Divine Pity and Caring. Our inability to do so, as well as our injustice to others and abuse of our innate abilities, intervenes between beings and the manifestations of Divine Pity and Caring. Above all, every living thing dies. This arouses great sorrow in the heart, a sorrow that can only be compensated for by belief in another, eternal world.

Once when God's Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, was sitting in the mosque, some prisoners of war were brought to him. A woman looking for something with great anxiety caught his attention. Whichever boy the woman saw, she took him to her breast and then left him. When she finally found her son, she embraced him, pressed him to her breast, and caressed him with great affection. This caused the Messenger to burst into tears and, pointing to the woman, he asked his Companions:

Do you see that woman? Does she throw that child in her arms into Hell?” The Companions answered that she did not, and the Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, added: “God is much more compassionate than that woman. He does not throw His servants into Hell [unless the servants absolutely deserve it].1

Divine Pity and Caring will be manifested fully in the other world, for that world allows no intervention, sorrow, and pain.

Divine Justice and Honor require the Resurrection. God's Names and Attributes are absolute and eternal. Therefore, He is absolutely and eternally Merciful, Relenting, and Forgiving, as well as absolutely and eternally Mighty, Just, and Dignified. Although His Mercy embraces all things (7:156) and, as stated in a hadith, “exceeds His Wrath,” some people's sins are so serious (e.g., unbelief and associating partners with God) that they deserve eternal punishment. Besides, the verse: whoever kills a human being unjustly, it is as if he (or she) has killed humanity (5:32) cannot be ignored. This is especially true today, where might is right, thousands of innocent people are killed daily, and many others are wronged and deprived of their basic human rights. Even worse, many of the most serious sins and injustices go unpunished.

Death does not discriminate between oppressed and oppressor, innocent and guilty, sinless and sinful. This only can mean that while minor sins may or may not be punished here, major sins (e.g., unbelief, associating partners with God, murder, and oppression) are referred to the Hereafter's Supreme Tribunal, where God will dispense absolute Justice.

One day, those who thanked God will be welcomed with:

Eat and drink to your hearts content because of what you did in days gone by (69:24) and Peace be upon you! You have done well. Enter here to dwell forever (39:73).

In this place, God has prepared for us things we cannot even begin to imagine. Meanwhile, those who engaged in bloodshed, sin, and other prohibited activities will be thrown into Hell with the shout: Enter (through) the gates of Hell to dwell therein forever:

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