People were one community, that is, upon the [one] primordial nature and the religion of truth, as the Prophet said, "Every newborn is upon the primordial nature and while he is upon the covenant of the first nature - or [he said] during childhood, or during the time of Adam, peace be upon him - he is upon the truth". People were one community, they then differed upon being created, in accordance with their different natures and [the different degrees of] in which [certain] attributes of their souls predominate, and their different airs. For the opposition within the bases of their make-up and the positioning points of their bodies together with the variedness of [their] locations and atmospheres requires that [it be so], as does [the tendency in] their character to draw out what is specifically beneficial [to each] and to repel what is specifically harmful, [and this is] because of the fact that each [one of them] is veiled by the matter of his own body and [because] the divine wisdom requires that it be so for the welfare of creation, since growth entails mutual enmity and contrariety;
then God sent forth the prophets, in order to summon them away from disagreement and towards concord, and from multiplicity towards unity, and from enmity towards mutual love; but they split into groups against them and became distinct [groups]. As for the inhabitants of the lower world, those in whose character love of falsehood has taken deep roots and whose hearts have been taken over by rust that which has imprinted itself upon them and blinded them, such that their preparedness has dissipated because of the predominance of their caprice and their discord and obstinacy have increased: it is as though they differed only at their sending forth [at the resurrection] and [at the point of] their being brought the book, which is the cause for truth and concord becoming manifest, out of the mutual envy that has issued forth from their souls and because of the prevailing [over them] of their caprice and [because of] their being veiled. As for the inhabitants of the higher realm, who have remained upon the original purity and the primordial preparedness, these God has guided them to the truth over which they had [previously] been in disagreement, so that their disagreeement disappears and they wayfare upon the straight path.