that he is dreaming and the pleasure and enjoyment he receives are deficient. He thinks: “If Iwake up, all this enjoyment will disappear.” While the other man does not know he is dreaming,and he experiences true happiness and pleasure.The way the martyrs and other dead benefit from life in the Intermediate Realm is thus different.It has been established by innumerable incidents and narrations and it is certain that the martyrsmanifest life in that way and think that they are alive. Indeed, this level of life has beenilluminated and proved on repeated occasions by many occurrences like Hamza (May God be pleased with him) -the lord of the martyrs-protecting those that have recourse to him and performing and making performed matters in this world. I myself, even, had a nephew andstudent called Ubeyd. He was killed at my side and in my place and became a martyr. Then,when I was being held as a prisoner-of-war at a place three months’ distance away, I entered hisgrave in a true dream, which was in the form of a dwelling-place under the earth, although I didnot know where he was buried. I saw him living the level of life of martyrs. He evidently thoughtthat I was dead, and said that he had wept much for me. He thought that he was alive, but havingretreated from the Russian invasion, had made himself a good home under the ground. Thus,through a number of such indications, this unimportant dream afforded the conviction as certainas witnessing it concerning the above-mentioned truth.
The Fifth Level of Life
is that of the life of the spirits of the dead in their graves. Yes, death is achange of residence, the liberation of the spirit, a discharge from duties; it is not annihilation,non-existence, and a going to nothingness. Many evidences like innumerable occurrences of thespirits of the saints assuming forms and appearing to those who uncover the realities, and theother dead having relations with us while awake or sleeping and their telling us of things that areconformable with reality, evidences like these illuminate and prove this level of life. In fact, theTwenty-Ninth Word about the immortality of man’s spirit demonstrates this level of life withincontrovertible proofs.
Letters / First Letter - p.24 SECOND QUESTION
Verses like the following in the All-Wise Qur’an, the Criterion of Truth and Falsehood,
Who creates death and life that He may try you, which of you is the best in conduct
make it understood that “death is created like life; it too is a bounty.” Whereas apparently death isdissolution, non-existence, decay, the extinction of life, the annihilator of pleasures; how can it becreated and a bounty?
T h e A n s w e r :
As was stated at the end of the answer to the First Question, death is adischarge from the duties of life; it is a rest, a change of residence, a change of existence; it is aninvitation to an eternal life, a beginning, the introduction to an immortal life. Just as life comesinto the world through an act of creation and a determining, so too departure from the world isthrough a creation and determining, through a wise and purposeful direction. For the death of plant life, the simplest level of life, shows that it is a more orderly work of art than life. For although the death of fruits, seeds, and grains appear to occur through decay and dissolution, their death is in fact a kneading which comprises an exceedingly well-ordered chemical reaction and