The Seventeenth Word
In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
That which is on earth We have made as a glittering show for the earth, in order that We may test them, as to which of them are best in conduct * Verily what is on earth We shall make but as dust and dry soil.1 * What is the life of this world but play and amusement?2
[This Word consists of two elevated Stations, and one brilliant Addendum.]
The All-Compassionate Creator, the Munificent Provider, the All-Wise Maker made this world in the form of a festival and celebration for the World of Spirits and spirit beings. Adorning it with the wondrous embroideries of all His Names, He clothes each spirit, great or small, elevated or lowly, in a body decked out with senses, suitable to it and appropriate for benefiting from the innumerable, various good things and bounties in the festival; He gives each a corporeal being and sends it to the spectacle once. And He divides the festival, which is most extensive in regard to both time and space, into centuries, years, seasons, and even days and their parts, and makes them all exalted festivals in the form of parades for all the groups of His creatures with spirits and for His plant and vegetable artefacts. Especially the face of the earth in spring and summer, it is a series of festivals for the groups of small beings so glittering it draws the gazes of the spirit beings and angels and the dwellers of the heavens in the high levels of the world. For those who think and contemplate it is a place for reflection so wonderful, the mind is powerless to describe it. But in the face of the manifestations of the Divine Names of Most Merciful and Giver of Life in this Divine feast and dominical festival, the Names of Subduer and Dealer of Death appear with death and separation. And this is apparently unconformable with the all-embracing mercy of,
My Mercy encompasses all things.3
However, in reality there are several ways in which it is conformable, and one of these is as follows:
After each group of beings has completed its turn in the parade and the