The Tenth Word
[The reasons for my writing these treatises in the form of metaphors, comparisons and stories are to facilitate comprehension and to show how rational, appropriate, well-founded and coherent are the truths of Islam. The meaning of the stories is contained in the truths that conclude them; each story is like an allusion pointing to its concluding truth. Therefore, they are not mere fictitious tales, but veritable truths.]
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
Look, then, to the signs of God’s mercy —how He restores life to the earth after its death— verily He it is Who quickens the dead, for He is powerful over all things.1
Brother, if you wish for a discussion of resurrection and the hereafter in simple and common language, in a straightforward style, then listen to the following comparison, together with my own soul.
Once two men were travelling through a land as beautiful as Paradise (by that land, we intend the world). Looking around them, they saw that everyone had left open the door of his home and his shop and was not paying attention to guarding it. Money and property were readily accessible, without anyone to claim them. One of the two travellers grasped hold of all that he fancied, stealing it and usurping it. Following his inclinations, he committed every kind of injustice and abomination. None of the people of that land moved to stop him. But his friend said to him:
“What are you doing? You will be punished, and I will be dragged into misfortune along with you. All this property belongs to the state. The people
NOTE: The main part of this translation of the Tenth Word is by Hamid Algar, Prof. of Middle Eastern Studies in the Univ. of California, Berkeley, USA, and was first published in 1980. It has been slightly amended to fit the present work