Is Death Something To Be Feared?
For those who believe and do righteous deeds, death is not something to be feared. Although, in appearance, it is decomposition and seems to extinguish the light of life and to destroy pleasures, in fact, it is a discharge from the heavy duties of the worldly life. It is a changing of residence and transferring of the body, as well as an invitation to, and the beginning of, the everlasting life. As the world is continually enlivened through acts of creation and predetermination on the one hand, so, on the other, it is continually being stripped of life through other cycles of creation, determination and wisdom. The dying of plants, the simplest level of life, proves itself a work of Divine artistry, like their living, but more perfect and better designed. When the stone of a fruit, its seed, dies under the ground, it seems to decompose and rot away into the soil. But in fact it undergoes a perfect chemical process, passes through predetermined states of re-formation and ultimately grows again into an elaborate, new tree. That is, the death of a seed is the beginning of a new tree, a new, and more perfect and elaborate life.
Since the death of fruits and vegetables and animal flesh in the stomach of man causes them to rise to the degree of human life, their death in this sense can be regarded as more perfect than their lives. Since the dying of plants, which are the simplest level of life, is so perfect and serves so great a purpose, the dying of human beings, who are the highest level of life, must be much more perfect and serve a still greater purpose, for man having gone underground, will certainly be brought into an eternal life.
Death discharges man from the hardships of worldly life, which is a turbulent, suffocating, narrow dungeon of space and gradually becomes harder through old age and afflictions, and admits him into the infinitely wide circle of the mercy of the Eternal, Beloved One, where he may enjoy the everlasting company of his beloved ones and the consolation of a happy, eternal life.
By Bediuzzaman Said Nursi
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