wisdom too fine [to be apprehended by] the mind, He willed the change and transformation of this world for [many] reasons. He combined good and evil, and mixed in harm with benefit, and included ugliness in beauty. He joined [evil, harm, and ugliness] to Hell and sent them assistance from it. And He despatched good things and virtues to be manifested in Paradise.
Furthermore, when He willed trial and competition in [the world of] human beings and [for there to be] differences and change among them, he mixed in bad people with good. Then when the period of testing closes and divine will [commands] that they should be eternal, He will make the bad people manifest the verse: “Get you apart (...) O you guilty ones.”(36:59) While the good will be honoured and graced with the address: “So enter there to dwell for ever!”(39:73) Then when the two categories are separated out the universe will be purified, and evil and harmful matters will be withdrawn from the good and the beneficial and perfected, and they will collect on one side.
In Short: If you study the universe carefully, you will encounter two basic elements, two long crawling stems [like melons], that when [the fruits of which are] collected together and made immortal, will become Hell and Paradise.
This verse and the preceding ones betoken the resurrection of the dead and great gathering. There are four noteworthy points in this matter:
Firstly: The possibility of the world’s destruction and its death.
Secondly: Their occurrence.
Thirdly: Its repair and being raised to life.
Fourthly: Their occurrence.
The Possibility of the Universe’s Death: If a thing is subject to the law of evolution (qānūn al-takāmul), it undergoes growth and development. It has therefore a natural lifespan and allotted time of death; it cannot escape death’s call. According to inductive reasoning, [this goes for] most members of the species (afrād al-anwā‘). So just as man, the microcosm, cannot be saved from destruction; so too there is no refuge from death for the world, the macroanthropos. Similarly, a tree is a miniature copy of the universe and is pursued by demolition and dissolution; so too the chain of the universe is a part of the tree of creation and cannot be saved from the hand of destruction and reconstruction. So if not struck by a violent wind or an