their meaning, interpretation and what is intended by them is understood only after the event, so that those firmly grounded in knowledge say:
“We believe in it; the whole [of the divine writ] is from our Sustainer,1
and they disclose those hidden truths.
This Fifth Ray contains an Introduction and twenty-three ‘Matters.’ The Introduction consists of five ‘Points.’
First Point: Since belief and accountability are a test, a trial, a competition within the bounds of man’s will, matters that are obscure, profound, and in need of careful study and experiment cannot be obvious. They should not be so compelling that everyone has to affirm them willy-nilly. For in this way the Abu Bakr’s may rise to the highest of the high and the Abu Jahl’s descend to the lowest of the low. If there were no will, there would be no accountability. It is because of this mystery and wisdom that miracles are displayed only rarely, and in this realm of accountability, like some allegorical verses of the Qur’an, the signs of the end of the world, which will be visible and seen, are obscure and open to interpretation. Since when the sun rises in the west it will be so clear everyone will be compelled to affirm it, the door of repentance will be closed and repentance and belief will no longer be accepted. For the Abu Bakr’s and the Abu Jahl’s will be equal in their affirmation of it. In fact, although when Jesus (Peace be upon him) comes he himself will know he is Jesus, not everyone will know. Similarly, fearsome figures such as the Dajjal and Sufyan (Antichrist)2 will not know themselves to be such.
Second Point: Some of the matters of the Unseen, outside the realm of man’s perception, that were made known to the Prophet (PBUH) were made known in detail. These he could in no way alter or interfere with, like the incontestable verses of the Qur’an and Sacred Hadiths.3 Others, employing his eloquence, he would illustrate and explain in detail or in allegorical form suitably to the wisdom of man’s accountability. For example, one time when conversing with some people, a deep rumbling was heard. He said: “That is the sound of a rock which has been rolling down hill for seventy years and has at this moment come to rest in the very pit of Hell.”4 Five minutes after he made this strange announcement, someone came and said: “Such-and-such a dissembler has died. He was
There are numerous Hadiths about the Muslim Antichrist, known as ‘the Sufyan’ (al-Sufyani). See, for example, al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, iv, 520. [Tr.]
Hadith Qudsi: A saying of the Prophet (PBUH) imparted to him by revelation or inspiration, the wording of which was his own. [Tr.]
Muslim, Janna, 31, No: 2844; Musnad, iii, 341.