which is infected with gangrene and has to be amputated is good and right, although it is apparently an evil. For if it is not amputated, the hand will be amputated and that would be a greater evil.
Thus, the creation and bringing into existence of evils, harms, tribulations, satans, and harmful things, is not evil and bad, for they are created for the many important results they yield. For example, satans have not been set to pester the angels, and the angels cannot progress; their degrees are fixed and deficient. However, in the world of humanity the degrees of progress and decline are infinite. There is an extremely long distance through which to progress, from the Nimrod’s and Pharaoh’s as far as the veracious saints and the prophets.
Thus, because of the creation of satans and the mystery of man’s accountability and the sending of prophets, an arena of trial and examination and striving and competition has been opened so that coal-like base spirits may be differentiated and separated out from diamond-like elevated spirits. If there had been no striving and competition, the potentialities in the mine of humanity, resembling diamonds and coal, would have remained equal. The spirit of Abu Bakr the Veracious at the highest of the high would have remained on a par with Abu Jahl at the lowest of the low. This means that since the creation of satans and evils looks to vast, universal results, it is not evil or bad. The evils and instances of bad that arise from abuses and the particular causes known as man’s acquisition pertain to his voluntary actions not to divine creation.
I f y o u a s k ? The majority of humanity become unbelievers due to the existence of Satan; they embrace unbelief and suffer harm, despite the sending of prophets. If, according to the rule “The majority has the word,” the majority suffers evil as a result, then the creation of evil is evil and it may even be said that the sending of prophets is not a mercy. Isn’t that so?
T h e A n s w e r : Quantity has no importance in relation to quality. The true majority looks to quality. For example, if a date-palm has a hundred seeds and they are not planted in the earth and watered and so do not undergo a chemical reaction and manifest the struggle for life, they remain a hundred seeds worth virtually nothing. But if they are watered and are subject to the struggle for life, and then eighty out of the hundred rot due to their faulty make-up, but twenty become fruit-bearing trees, can you say that watering them was evil because most of them rotted? Of course you cannot say that, for the twenty have become twenty thousand. A person who loses eighty and gains twenty thousand suffers no loss, so it cannot be evil.
Another example: a peahen lays one hundred eggs and they are worth five hundred kurush. If the hen sits on the hundred eggs and eighty go bad