The Kitáb-i-Íqán
Part Two
127In like manner, two of the people of Kúfih went to ‘Alí, the Commander of the Faithful. One owned a house and wished to sell it; the other was to be the purchaser. They had agreed that this transaction should be effected and the contract be written with the knowledge of ‘Alí. He, the exponent of the law of God, addressing the scribe, said: “Write thou: ‘A dead man hath bought from another dead man a house. That house is bounded by four limits. One extendeth toward the tomb, the other to the vault of the grave, the third to the Ṣiraṭ, the fourth to either Paradise or hell.’” Reflect, had these two souls been quickened by the trumpet-call of ‘Alí, had they risen from the grave of error by the power of his love, the judgment of death would certainly not have been pronounced against them.
128In every age and century, the purpose of the Prophets of God and their chosen ones hath been no other but to affirm the spiritual significance of the terms “life,” “resurrection,” and “judgment.” If one will ponder but for a while this utterance of ‘Alí in his heart, one will surely discover all mysteries hidden in the terms “grave,” “tomb,” “ṣiraṭ,” “paradise” and “hell.” But oh! how strange and pitiful! Behold, all the people are imprisoned within the tomb of self, and lie buried beneath the nethermost depths of worldly desire! Wert thou to attain to but