Your soul is sufficient as a reckoning…

Extract from The Wisdom of The Throne (Mulla Sadra)


He – May He be exalted – said:

“And We bring forth for them on the Day of the Rising a Book that they find opened wide. Read your Book! Today your soul is sufficient as a reckoning against you” (Qur’an, 17:13-14). And He – May He be exalted! – said: “And when the Pages are opened wide” (Qur’an, 81:10).

Know that everything a person does with their soul or perceives with their senses leaves a certain trace in their essence. These influences of their (psychic) movements and activities are gathered together in the “Page” of their soul and the treasury of their perceptions. And they are a “Book” which today is closed up and hidden from the scrutiny of (physical) vision. But with death, there will be revealed to them what was hidden from their vision in the condition of (bodily) life, recorded in the Book “which none shall disclose at its proper time but He” (Qur’an, 7: 187).…

“So everyone who has done even an atom’s weight of good or evil will see” (Qur’an, 99:7-8) its trace written on the Page of their essence or on a Page higher than that: this is simply another expression for the opening of the Pages [of their soul, their life] and the unfolding of the Books. Thus. whenever the time comes that a person’s (inner) vision is turned toward the countenance of their essential self, “when the veil is removed” (Qur’an, 50:22) “and the dark covering over their vision” (Qur’an, 2:7) is lifted away, then they will turn their attention towards the Page of their inner being and the Book of their soul.

Then whoever was heedless of their essential self and the accounting of their good and bad deeds will say:

“What sort of Book is this, that leaves no little thing nor any great thing uncounted?!”

And they find whatever they did (no matter how small) present there; and “your Lord deals unjustly with no one” (Qur’an, 18:48). This is because the modality of being of the other world is one that is (essentially) perceptive and alive; everyone there is “keen of sight,” in accordance with His saying: “You were heedless of this. But We have removed your veil, and Today your vision is sharp” (Qur’an, 50:22).

Then whoever is [counted] among the people of blessedness and “the people of the right hand” (Qur’an, 56:27)“they will be given their Book in their right hand” (Qur’an, 69:19; 84:7), from the direction of the “Highest Heavens” (‘Illiyun), because the things which they know [and which they did] are exalted, lofty, universal matters. (This is) just as He said: “Surely the Book of the pious is in the Highest Heavens. And what will make you understand what are the Highest Heavens?! An inscribed Book, witnessed by those drawn near” (83: 18-21).

But whoever is among those wretched ones [who darkened their souls] who are thrown back to the “lowest of the low” (Qur’an, 95:5) and among the people of the left hand – then “they will be given their Book in their left hand” (Qur’an, 69:25) or “from behind their back” (Qur’an, 84:10), from the direction of the “Great Prison” (Sijjin). (This is) because their perceptions are confined to lowly, particular ends, and because their Book comprises lying, slander, [viciousness] and all sorts of raving. So it is only fitting and appropriate that they should be… in the Gehenna (of corporeal being) [a place of abject misery where they encounter their own darknesses], as He said: “Surely the Book of the sinners is in the Great Prison. And what will make you understand what is the Great Prison?! An inscribed Book – Woe that Day to those who call it a lie!” (Qur’an, 83:7-8).

(extract from Mulla Sadra, The Wisdom of the Throne, translation and commentary by James Winston Morris)

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