Question 15: The fruits we eat have grown on soil that has the remnants of human bodies, so are we eating the bodies of humans?
Answer: The material body is a manifestation or appearance of the perfect image in matter, or in the nothingness that can exist. Therefore taste, smell, color and all the details of the material body come from its perfect image. So concerning the same matter (which is nothingness that can exist, as aforementioned), if the image of an orange manifests in it, then it [the matter] would have a pleasant smell and taste, and would be permissible to eat; but, if the image of filth manifests in it, then it would have an unpleasant smell, and would be prohibited to eat.
Therefore, the result of the human body after death (if Allah ever wished for it to decompose) is a handful of soil. And the perfect physical image of a handful of soil is different from the image of the human body. Therefore there is no real likeness between the human body which decomposed and the handful of soil which resulted from this decomposition. It is a likeness seen by a deluded person, who relies on the likeness of the matter.
And matter is nothingness which can exist; rather, it is the identification and specialization of the perfect image, and the perfect image differs one from another, and it does not result from another. So, for ex- ample, the tree which has grown on a decomposed body, and grew fruits, did not absorb the decomposed body; it rather absorbed material in the soil which has its own identity and specialization, and it differs from the decomposed body, even if it had the matter, or the nothingness which can exist (which is not identified or specialized), in common with the body. So, for example, if a person ate this fruit, he would not be eating something which resulted from that decomposed body; so, as a result, no human is eating another, and no human is being eaten by another.
The Allegories – volume 1