And that unfortunate one has harmed himself. Through his lack of perception, he has turned a truth as beautiful as day and a luminous situation into the form of a dark and gloomy suspicion, a hell. He is not deserving of compassion and nor does he have the right to complain about anybody.
For example just as a man – who is not content with the joy of a pleasant feast in a beautiful garden, among his friends in the season of summer; makes himself drunk with filthy intoxicants and starts screaming and crying, imagining himself hungry and naked among beats in the midst of winter – does not deserve compassion; he is harming himself, he sees his friends as beasts and insults them. Now, this unfortunate one is also like that.
And as for this fortunate one, he sees the truth. And the truth is beautiful. By understanding the beauty of truth, he respects the perfection of the truth’s owner and deserves his mercy. Thus the mystery of the Qur’an’s commandment “know that evil is from you and goodness is from Allah” becomes apparent. If you compare the rest of such differences, you will understand that the evil commanding self (nafs ul-ammarah) of the former one has prepared a spiritual hell for him. And the other’s good intention and good assumption & good character and good thought has made him a recipient of a great endowment and happiness and a luminous virtue & enlightenment.
O my soul (nafs)! And O man who is listening to this story with me!
If you do not want to become the unfortunate brother and desire to become the fortunate brother, then listen to the Qur’an and obey its commandments and cling to it and act by its commands.
If you have understood the truths of this allegorical story, you may apply to it the truth of religion, this world, the human being, and faith. I will say the important ones [and] you may deduce the details yourself.
So look! As for the two brothers, one is a believing soul and a good heart. The other a disbelieving soul and a sinful heart. And of the two roads, the right one is the road of the Qur’an and faith [while] the left one is the road of disobedience and disbelief. And the garden on that road is temporary social life within the society of mankind and human civilization in which goodness and evil, good and bad, pure and contaminated things are present together. The intelligent one is he who act by the rule خُذْ مَا صَفَا دَعْ مَا كَدَر [take what is pure and leave what is dirty] and travels with a peaceful heart. And that desert is this earth and world. And that lion is death and fate. And that well is the human body and the time of life. And that depth of sixty yards indicates the average lifetime and the life of the majority which is sixty years. And that tree is the period of life the substance of life. And those two black and white animals are night and day. And that dragon is the path of barzakh [i.e. life in the grave] and the door to the hereafter whose mouth is the grave. However, that mouth for a believer is a door from prison opening to a garden. And those vicious insects are the calamities of this world. However, for a believer they are in the form of sweet divine alerts and a courtesy from the Merciful One so as to not fall into the sleep of heedlessness (ghaflah). And the fruits on that tree are worldly blessings which The Almighty Ultimately Generous One has made in the form of a list and a reminder and an analogue for the blessings in the hereafter, and samples inviting customers to the fruits of paradise.
And for that tree to give a variety of different fruits despite being a single tree, it points to the stamp of [Divine] Self-Sufficiency’s power and the seal of Divine Godhead and the signet of Godly Soverneity. Because “to make everything from a single thing” – that is to make all plants and fruits from a single dirt, and to create all animals from a single water, and to create all animal organs from a simple food – while at the same time “to make everything into a single thing” – that is the art such as making a distinct flesh and weaving a simple skin for the living being from the very diverse foods the living being eats – is the specific stamp and the distinct seal and a signet which cannot be imitated of the Pre-eternal and Post-eternal Sultan Who is The One of Divine Oneness [and] Sufficiency . Indeed, to make a single thing everything and everything a single thing is a specific sign and token of the Creator of everything and distinct to the all-Powerful One.
And that mystery is the mystery of the purpose of creation revealed by the mystery of faith and that key is يَا اَللّٰهُ لَا اِلٰهَ اِلَّا اللّٰهُ ۞ اَللّٰهُ لَٓا اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ الْحَىُّ الْقَيُّومُ [O Allah; there is no god by Allah; Allah – there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence]. And for that dragon’s mouth to transform into a garden’s door is a sign that while for the people of misguidance and oppression the grave is a door opening to a grave as distressing as prison and as tight as a dragon’s stomach within brutality and oblivion, for the people of the Qur’an and faith it is a door opening to the garden of eternity from the prison of this world the garden of heaven from a field of examination and the mercy of the Merciful One from the struggle of life.
And for that wild lion to transform into a friendly servant and a subjugated horse is a sign that for the people of misguidance death is a painful eternal separation from all the loved ones. It is a removal from one’s deceptive heaven of earthly life, and an entrance into the dungeon of the grave in solitude and loneliness, and a prison; while for the people of guidance and the people of the Qur’an it is a means to reunite with old friends and loved ones who have departed to the other world. Also, it is a means to enter their true homeland and their eternal abode of happiness. Also, it is an invitation to the garden of paradise from the dungeon of earthly life. It is a time to receive a wage from the benevolence of The Merciful Compassionate One in exchange for one’s service Also it is a discharge from the burden of duties of life. Also, it is a break from the study and education of slavery [toward God] and examination.
Conclusion: Whoever makes the transient life the primary goal is spiritually in hell even if he may apparently be in heaven and whoever turns to the eternal life in seriousness is a recipient to the happiness of both worlds. However miserable and burdensome his worldly life may be he sees it as pleasant, endures it, [and] thanks [God] in patience; for he sees his worldly life in the form of a waiting room for heaven.
اَللّٰهُمَّ اجْعَلْناَ مِنْ اَهْلِ السَّعَادَةِ وَالسَّلاَمَةِ وَالْقُرْاٰنِ وَاْلاِيمَانِ اٰمِينَ – اَللّٰهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ عَلٰى سَيِّدِناَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلٰۤى اٰلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ بِعَدَدِ جَمِيعِ الْحُرُوفَاتِ الْمُتَشَكِّلَةِ فِى جَمِيعِ الْكَلِمَاتِ الْمُتَمَثِّلَةِ بِاِذْنِ الرَحْمٰنِ فِى مَرَايَا تَمَوُّجَاتِ الْهَوَاۤءِ عِنْدَ قِرَاۤئَةِ كُلِّ كَلِمَةٍ مِنَ الْقُرْاٰنِ مِنْ كُلِّ قَارِئٍ مِنْ اَوَّلِ النُّزُولِ اِلٰى اٰخِرِ الزَّمَانِ وَارْحَمْناَ وَوَالِدَيْناَ وَارْحَمِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ بِعَدَدِهَا بِرَحْمَتِكَ يَاۤ اَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِينَ – اٰمِينَ وَالْحَمْدُ ِللهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
O Allah make us among the people of happiness and security and Qur’an and faith. Ameen. O Allah grant peace and blessings on our Master Muhammad and his family and companions the number of all formed letters in all words reflected in the mirrors of the waves in the sky upon the recitation of every word of the Qur’an by every reciter since its first revelation until the end of time and grant mercy on us and our parents and grant mercy on the believing men and believing women that number of times by your mercy O The Merciful One of all merciful ones. Ameen. And all praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds.