share in this giving of life and administering, in this nurturing and sustaining, other than one who possesses knowledge comprehensive enough to encompass the army together with all of its affairs, and the absolute power to manage it in addition to providing all its necessities? God forbid! A hundred thousand times!
It is obvious that if there are ten tribes in one battalion, impotent human beings would be compelled to equip them in a single fashion because to equip them all separately would be as difficult as equipping ten battalions. The Ever-Living and Self-Subsistent One, however, provides the equipment necessary for the lives of the more than three hundred thousand different tribes within that magnificent army. And He does this with no trouble or difficulty, in a light and easy manner, most wisely and maintaining orderliness. He causes the mighty army to declare with one tongue: “It is He Who gives life,”(23:80) and the vast congregation in the mosque of the universe to recite:
God, there is no god save Him, the Ever-Living and Self-Subsistent One. Neither slumber overtakes Him nor sleep. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth. Who is there that could intercede with Him, except by His leave? He knows all that lies open before men and all that is hidden from them, whereas they cannot attain to aught of His knowledge save that which He wills. His Throne extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no weariness in preserving them. And He alone is Truly Exalted, Tremendous.(2:255)
THE SEVENTH PHRASE: “And deals death”
It is He who causes death. That is, just as it is He who grants life, so it is again He who takes life and grants death. Indeed, death is not only destruction and extinction that it may be attributed to causes or nature. Just as a seed superficially dies and rots while inside it a shoot is being kneaded and is coming to life, that is, it is passing from the particular life of a seed to the universal life of a shoot; so too, although death is apparently disintegration and banishment, in reality, for human beings it is the sign, introduction, and starting point of perpetual life. In which case, the Absolutely Powerful One who grants and administers life must certainly be the One who creates death. The following points to a mighty proof of this, the greatest degree of the affirmation of divine unity, contained in this phrase.
As is explained in the Twenty-Fourth Window of the Thirty-Third Letter, through divine will, all beings are flowing. At its Sustainer’s command, the universe is in continuous motion. With divine permission, all creatures