transformed into permanence and does not become different. Man’s impotence and poverty do not change, they increase. Man’s journey is not cut, it becomes faster.
Also, do not say, “I am like everyone else.” For everyone befriends you only as far as the grave, and the consolation of being together with everyone else in disaster has no meaning beyond the grave. And do not suppose yourself to be free and independent. For if you look at this guest-house of the world with the eye of wisdom, you will see that nothing at all is without order and without purpose. How can you remain outside the order and be without purpose? Events in the world like earthquakes are not the playthings of chance. For example, you see that the extremely well-ordered and finely embroidered shirts, one over the other and one within the other, which are clothed on the earth from the species of animals and plants, are adorned and decked out from top to bottom with purposes and instances of wisdom, and you know that the earth revolves and is turned like an ecstatic Mevlevi in perfect order within most exalted aims. How is it then, as an atheist published, they suppose the death-tainted events of the earth, like the earthquake,1 which resembles the earth’s shaking off itself the weight of certain forms of heedlessness of which it disapproves from mankind, and especially from the believers, to be without purpose and the result of chance? How is it that they show the grievous losses of all those stricken to be without recompense and to have gone for nothing, and cast them into a fearsome despair? They are both making a great error and perpetrating a great wrong. Indeed, such events occur at the command of One All-Wise and All-Compassionate, in order to transform the transient property of the believers into the equivalent of alms, and make it permanent. And they are atonement for their sins arising from ingratitude for bounties. Just as a day will come when this subjugated earth will see the works of man, which are the adornment of its face, to be tainted by the attributing of partners to God and not to be the cause of thanks, and it will find them ugly. At the Creator’s command, it will wipe them off its entire face and cleanse it. At God’s command, it will pour those who attribute partners to God into Hell, and say to those who offer thanks, “Come and enter Paradise!”
This was written in connection with the Izmir earthquake.