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Majalis-ul Muayyadiya - by Al Muayyad fid-din Shirazi
Life and Lectures of Al Muayyad fid-din Shirazi
Contents Lectures 1 through 20 of the Majlis
Lecture 6- No Animal Life Beyond Death
O Momins, may God embellish you with the beauty of truth and may He keep you away from the shadow of falsehood. Bear in mind that between us and our knowledge of the next world, there is a gulf that cannot easily be crossed. God shows us the way of knowing the invisible through the visible. The holy Qur'an says, "God has created you like one soul and will make you rise like one soul."
Those of us who are guided by God through the Imams to the path, which He has intended for us to tread on, should look back to our life in the wombs of our mothers. Let us trace the stages, which we have gone through during the process of our formation into a human being. From the human seed which is the lowest form of life we progressed to the clot of blood, a higher stage than the first one. From this we progressed to the fetus, a further step in our advancement. From this stage we moved onward till we reached the stage when we became full-fledged babes. After completing our journey, stage by stage, we stepped out of the womb of our mothers to this new world in a new form of life about which God says, "We made him into a new creature." This is the history of our life during our antenatal period in the womb of our mothers. To go forward is the next step. We cannot go backward.
The progress of our life from this world to the next is based on a similar process. If we have to progress and we cannot but progress because we cannot go back to our mothers' wombs, we must gradually get rid of our bodies, which belong to this world and form ourselves into new creatures for the next life.
If we argue in this way which is certainly the correct line of argument, we come to the conclusion that we cannot have bodies in the next world. Those who maintain that we shall have bodies, evidently they want us to go backward and enter the wombs of our mothers again. For, our life in the next world is as much higher than our life in this world, as our life in this world is higher that our life in the wombs of our mothers. Our food and our drink of this world will look as filthy in the next world as our nourishment in the wombs of our mothers looks here.
Those who are devoid of knowledge and have not moved forward a single step from their animal nature still believe that we shall have bodies in the next world.
All the verses and Traditions which have a bearing on this subject are the subtleties in our religion which need elucidation. Those who rely on the external meaning of the words maintain that they need no further explanation. They dispense with the ‘Wasees' and the Imams who are the preservers of the ‘tanzeel' and the treasure-stores of the ‘taweel.'
Man is by nature made of the earthly body and the soul, which belongs to the higher region. Most of men are under influence of their animal nature. It has a complete sway on them. The soul which is a stranger in this world has no voice with them. Our opponents, who themselves are influenced by animal nature, finding the majority of mankind more inclined to this world than to the next, set these ignorant people against the investigators of truth. They forget that these ‘Arbabul-haqaiq' are the intellect of this world. It is they who develop the potential intelligence of man and make it function. Just as a flint strikes out the hidden fire from the hard stones, they dig deep into the human hearts and bring out what is the best in them. If the fire is not extracted from the stone, it remains there and does not do good either to the stone, or someone else.
May God keep us aloof from those who are appointed by the Imams as their missionaries and who work against the interest of their benefactors and mislead their ignorant audience by telling that they will rise with their bodies on the Day of Resurrection. The Prophet says, "the cursed devil appears before the people in the garb of a learned divine."
We stop this discussion here and deal with the explanation of the Qur'anic verse, which is as follows: -
"We have destroyed many generations in the past who were more daring than these people. They were wandering in the land. There was no chance of their escape."
Commentators tell us that these were the people who were destroyed because of their infidelity and their revolting against God. They were made as an example by being punished like ‘Aad', ‘Samood' and others. Let us analyse the meaning of the word ‘halak' used in the above verse in which it is translated by commentators as ‘death'. If it means death, all the Prophets, the wasees and the best of mankind who came in this world were overcome by death. In that case there is no difference between the death of the chosen ones of God. Those who stick to the surface meaning of the word cannot understand the subtleties of the holy Qur'an. Halak here does not mean ordinary death but eternal destruction accompanied with the loss of the form, which is necessary for entering the new world. Christ said to his apostles, "Do not fear those who destroy the bodies but fear those who destroy the souls."
The misleading divines about whom I have talked to you are the dangerous people of this type who destroy the souls of the people. They light the fire of their animal nature and put out the light of intelligence. One of the Imams was asked as to what is ‘sadat', the happiness, and what is ‘shaqawat', the misfortune. He said, "Man by nature is like a blank white paper fit for writing. Happy is the one who falls in the hands of one who writes the correct things on this paper. Unhappy is the one who turns away from the right person and falls in the hands of one that writes wrong things on this paper and blackens it. The paper loses its original whiteness and gains nothing from wrong-writing." Another Imam has said something, which is very similar to this. He says, "He who does not complete his prayers is like a pregnant woman who before the time of delivery miscarries. She neither retains her pregnancy nor she gets a child."
May God make you one of the ‘Saeeds'. May He give you an opportunity to meet the Imams who are the moulders of the destinies of man.
Contents Lectures 1 through 20 of the Majlis
Another article on Al Muayyad by Mohamed Adra
Poetry by Al Muayyad
Al Muayyad's protege Nasir Khusraw
Poetry by Nasir Khusraw
Ismaili Heroes Check out the Al Muayyad Section
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