external illness [ordained by] pre-eternal divine will before [the end of] its natural lifespan, and if its Maker does not annihilate it earlier, there will necessarily and certainly and even according to scientific reckoning come a day when the verses “When the sun is rolled up * When the stars grow dark”(81:1-2) and “When the sky is rent apart”(82:1) will be realized. Then the macroanthropos will suffer its death agonies and utter a horrible growl, an appalling roar, that will resound through space.
Its occurrence: As is agreed by all the revealed religions, and testified to by all sound natures, and indicated by the change, transformation, and renewal of the universe, – and if you wish, imagine the world’s death agonies and its roar – the universe is bound together with a delicate, elevated order and clings to those wondrous bonds. So when one of the heavenly bodies receives the order: “Be!” or “Quit your orbit!” you will see the world [suddenly] smitten by its death agonies and the stars and heavenly bodies beginning to clash and collide. Infinite space will thunder and roar. On one part striking another sparks will fly off as big as the earth or bigger. Can you imagine the awful sound of millions of firing cannons the smallest shells of which are larger than the earth? For that will be the sound of its death. With the onset of its demise, the creation will be convulsed and beings will separate out, and Hell will emerge together with its inhabitants and matters, and Paradise will become manifest, bringing together all the subtleties derived from its elements.
• If you were to ask: Why is the universe subject to change and time and [so] will be destroyed, then at the resurrection of the dead will be made eternal, fixed, and unchanging?
You would be told: Since pre-eternal wisdom and providence necessitated trial and examination, and the development of potentialities and unfolding of abilities, and the disclosure of the relative truths (al-ḥaqā’iq al-nisbiyya), which in the hereafter will be total truths (al-ḥaqā’iq al-ḥaqīqiyya), and the existence of relative degrees and many instances of wisdom the human mind is powerless to perceive; the Maker (May His glory be exalted) made the natures and dispositions of things different, and combined harmful things with useful ones, and interspersed evils among good, and He brought together ugly things and beautiful. The Hand of Power kneaded together opposites and the universe became subject to the law of change, alternation, variation, and development (al-takāmul).
Thus, the Maker (May His glory be exalted) willed through His grace that when the arena of examination is closed, and the time of trial finished,