desired results have been obtained from it, in a compassionate way the Most Generous Maker and Compassionate Creator makes most of them feel weariness and disgust with the world, and bestows on them a desire for rest and a longing to migrate to another world. And when they are to be discharged from their duties of life, He awakens in their spirits a compelling desire for their original home.
Moreover, it is not far from the infinite mercy of the Most Merciful that just as He bestows the rank of martyrdom on a soldier who perishes on account of his duty while fighting, and rewards a sheep slaughtered as a sacrifice by giving it an eternal corporeal existence in the hereafter and the rank of being a mount for its owner on the Bridge of Sirat1 like Buraq, so too with other animals and beings with spirits who perish while performing the dominical duties peculiar to their natures and in obeying the Divine commands, and who suffer severe distress, – it is not unlikely that there should be for them in the inexhaustible treasuries of His mercy a sort of spiritual reward and kind of wage suitable to their capacities, and that they should not be unduly troubled at departing this world, indeed, that they should be pleased. None knows the Unseen save God.
However, although man, the noblest of beings with spirits and the one who benefits most from the festivals with regard to both quality and quantity, is captivated by the world and absorbed in it, as a work of mercy, the Most Merciful induces in him a state of mind whereby he feels disgust at the world and a longing to travel to the eternal realm. A person whose humanity is not plunged in misguidance profits from that state of mind, and departs with a tranquil heart. Now, by way of example, we shall explain five of the aspects which produce that state of mind.
The First: By showing with the season of old age the stamp of transience and decline on the beautiful and inviting things of this world, and their bitter meaning, it makes a person feel disgust at the world and causes him to seek a permanent beloved in place of the transient.
The Second: Since ninety-nine per cent of all the friends to whom a person is attached have departed this world and settled in another, impelled by his heart-felt love, it bestows on him a longing for the place they have gone to, and makes him meet death and the appointed hour with joy.
The Third: By means of certain things, it makes a person realize the infinite weakness and impotence in man, and understand how heavy are the burdens of life and responsibilities of living, and awakens in him a serious wish for rest and a sincere desire to go to another world.
The Fourth: Through the light of belief, it shows to the heart of a believer that death is not execution, but a change of abode; that the grave is not the mouth of a dark well, but the door to light-filled worlds; and that for
Ibn Hajar, Talkhis al-Khabir, iv, 138; Suyuti, Jam’ al-Jawami’, No: 3017.