a change of abode, and the spirit’s liberation from its place of confinement. Moreover, the innumerable signs and tokens human beings have witnessed up to the present have planted in their minds the conviction and surmise that after death man is immortal in one respect, and what has immortality is his spirit. Thus, the existence of this inherent property in an individual is evidence of its existence in the race as a whole, because it is essential. Consequently [in accordance with the rule of logic], the particular proposition necessitates the universal one. Hence, death is a miracle of [divine] power the same as life is; it is not non-existence caused by the absence of the conditions of life.
• If you were to ask: How can death be a bounty, threaded [with others] on the string of bounties?
You would be told:
Firstly: Because it is the introduction to everlasting happiness, and the introduction to something is like the thing itself, whether good or bad. For whatever the obligatory depends on is obligatory, and whatever leads to the proscribed is proscribed.
Secondly: And because according to investigative scholars among the Sufis, for the individual person it means being saved from what seems to be a prison filled with vicious animals and [being taken to] a broad plain.
Thirdly: And because for human beings it is the supreme bounty, for they would otherwise suffer appalling wretchedness.
Fourthly: And because according to some people it is a sought-after bounty, for due to his weakness and impotence [man] cannot bear the burdensome responsibilities of life and the pressures of its tribulations and the pitilessness of the elements. Death for such people is a door [through which they may] escape.
The Fourth Matter, regarding “and then will bring you again to life.”
Consider this: as indicated by the verse “Twice has thou caused us to die, just as twice thou hast brought us to life,”(40:11) and as is indicated by [the above phrase] being followed by “and again to Him will you return,” bearing in mind the Qur’an’s conciseness, [it may be said that these] point to both the life of the grave, and [the resurrected] life at the resurrection of the dead.
• If you were to ask: If a person is incinerated and his ashes are thrown to the wind, how could he be thought to experience the life of the grave?
You would be told: According to the Sunnis, the body is not a condition of life, so the spirit may be attached to a few particles.