Saturday 1st of October 2022
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life of the faithful person who hates death

With a chain of authorities reaching up to the Thiqat al-Islam Muhammad ibn Ya'qub at-Kulayni, may God sanctify his soul, from several of our companions, from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Khalid, from Isma'il ibn Mihran, from Abu Said al-Qummat, from Aban ibn Taghlib, from Abu Ja'far, may peace be upon him, that he said: "When the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his Household, was taken on his [celestial] journey, he said [to God]: `My Lord, what is the state of the believer before Thee?' He replied, `O Muhammad, indeed whoever humiliates a friend(comrade) of mine declares a war against me and I am the swiftest of all in the aid of My friends. And I am not so hesitant in any thing that I do as when taking the life of the faithful person who hates death, and I hate to vex him. And indeed there are those amongst My faithful servants whom nothing can reform except wealth, and should I turn them towards something other than that they would perish. And indeed there are those amongst my faithful servants whom nothing would reform except poverty, and if I were to change their state from what it is they would perish. And there is nothing dearer among things that bring a servant of Mine near to Me than the obligations that I have assigned to him. And indeed he draws nearer to Me gradually through supererogatory acts until I love him, and when I love him, I become the hearing with which he hears, the sight wherewith he sees, the tongue wherewith he speaks, and the hand wherewith he holds, and if he calls Me, I answer him, and if he asks Me I grant him: " [1]


The verb is in the passive sense and means being taken on a night of a journey. Al-Jawhari says:

hence a journey by night is called (isra'). The descriptive [expression by night,' laylan, used with the verb asra] in the noble verse:


Glorified is He who took His servant on a night journey .....(17:1).

is either, as stated by Shaykh Baha'i, [2] for the purpose of indicating the short period of the night journey by the means of the indefinite (tankir) laylan, because the journey between the Masjid al-Haram and the Masjid al-Aqsa takes forty nights. Or it is based on abstraction (tajrid) meant for the purpose of conveying the same sense. In the phrase ('when the Prophet was taken on the nightly journey') the related explanatory phrases-`towards the station of Divine proximity for instance'-have been omitted due to their being understood.

The expression means, 'what station and worth does the believer have before Thee?' In the expression conveys the sense of despising, making light of, scorning, vilifying:Apparently the prefix (in ) refers to the verb, in which case it would be mean making light of a believer for his faith in God and for the sake of God, the Exalted. It is also possible that it relates to wali; in which case, that which is meant is `making light of in the absolute sense, for any reason whatsoever. Wali here means friend and intimate.

In the expression means to go out

and here it means to commence hostility and to go to war or to declare it.

The expression is the verbal noun (masdar mimi) of , meaning causing distress and vexation.

In regard to the statement:

the authoritative Shaykh Baha'i, may God have mercy upon him, says: The rules of grammar require that the relative pronoun (mawsul, i.e. ) should be the subject (ism) and the genitive proposition and the genitive clause (jarr wa majrur, i.e ) its predicate (khabar); but it is obvious that the intent is not to say that those whom nothing but poverty can reform are some of the servants, but rather the contrary. Therefore, it is better to consider the adverbial clause as the subject and the relative pronoun as the predicate. And although this is contrary to general usage, the like of it has been considered permissible by some, as in the statement of God, the Exalted:

(Here ends his statement.) [3] Perhaps in such cases the subject (mubtada') is elleptical and the genitive proposition is indicative of the elision. In such a case it would also not be contrary to the rules of grammar. And it is narrated from the author of al-Kashshaf [i.e al-Zamakhshari] [4] that [in such cases] the genitive pronoun and the clause in the genitive case are interpreted to be the subject. On the basis of that which has been said, there is also no need of any interpretation.

We should know that this statement, here, is meant to dispel a doubt and to answer a question that might arise in the minds of some people who do not have the understanding of the perfect divine order [of creation] and the concealed Divine providence. That [doubt and question] is that if the faithful have such a worth and station before God, the Exalted, why do they fall into poverty and destitution? And if the world does not have any worth, why do some of them become rich and wealthy. It answers by saying that the states of My servants and the conditions of their hearts are different.

There are some whom nothing except poverty would reform, and I make him poor to reform their state. And there are some whom nothing would reform except wealth and self-sufficiency, and so I make them rich. Both of these states signify the nobility, honour, and dignity that the man of faith has in the sacred presence of God, the Blessed and the Exalted.

The sentence ... ('and there is nothing dearer among things that bring a servant of Mine nearer to Me . . . ') and the following sentence describe the station of nearness of the Perfect in faith.

It is as if this hadith, wherein the state of the faithful is described for the Noble Messenger (S), first begins by giving a brief description of the state of the faithful in general, that whoever despises them declares war against God. Then, it divides the faithful into two classes, or rather three, in accordance with the way of the gnostics.

One of them referred to is the generality of the faithful, from the phrase `And I am not so hesitant . . . ,' up to where He says: `And there is nothing dearer among things . . . .' That is because they detest death, and wealth and poverty causes their hearts to swerve. These two are not the characteristics of the Perfect (kummal) but refer to the ordinary among the faithful. Accordingly, the literal import of the tradition poses no problem and it does not conflict with other noble traditions which state that the Sincere amongst the faithful do not have aversion for death. Hence there is no need for the answer cited by Shaykh Bahai from the Shaykh-e Shahid, may God be pleased with them. Anyone interested in it should refer to Shaykh Baha'i's Arba'in. [5]

Secondly, the tradition describes the state of the Perfect from where it says, "There is nothing among the things that bring a servant of Mine near to Me ... ( ... ), upto the end of the hadith. In the view of the gnostics, these sentences relate to two different groups. One of them consists of those who obtain the nearness relating to obligatory duties (fara'id) and the other consists of those who obtain the nearness associated with the supererogatory acts of worship (nawafil), [6] and the closing part of the tradition refers to their station and the result of their nearness. Later, God willing, we will briefly refer to each of these two stations.

As to the word , al-Jawhari says that batshah means domination and taking by force:

Here, however, that which is meant is taking hold of (akhdh), in general, and, apparently, the general sense of `taking hold of is that which is meant by the word in common usage.

A Noteworthy Point:

The learned Shaykh Baha'i, may Allah have mercy upon him, says, "The Chain of authorities of this hadith is sahih[authentic], and it is a tradition 'well-known (mashhur) among the Shi`is (khassah) as well as the generality Ammah, i.e. the Sunnis], who have narrated it in their sihah with a slight `variation." Thereafter, he cites the tradition with a slight difference [of Wording] from their sihah. In the gloss on the Arba'in, he remarks, "One of `the `several' mentioned in the chain of authorities of the tradition is 'Ali ibn 'Ibrahim, and for this reason, this narration is sahih. The `Ammah have also transmitted it through a sahih chain of authorities, and this is a tradition that is mashhur and considered authentic by the consensus (muttafaq `alayh) of all followers of lslam:' [7]

Section: Concerning Interpretation of the 'Hesitation' Ascribed to God:

We have already explained matters relating to the contempt of the faithful :earlier while expounding one of the traditions, [8] and there is no need to repeat it here. Here we will explain some other expressions relating to the tradition.

It should be known that that which is mentioned in this noble tradition concerning the ascription of hesitation (tardid, tarddud) to God, the Exalted, and similar other matters that are mentioned in sahih traditions, or rather even in the wise Divine scripture-such as the attribution of change of intent (bada) or testing (imtihan) to God, the Exalted-have been interpreted by the `ulama' in accordance with their own approach and creed. The august Shaykh Baha'i, may God's good pleasure be with him, has given three interpretations of it in his book Arba'in, to which we will refer briefly. First, that there is a concealed condition (idmar) in the statement, meaning `if it were possible for Me to hesitate.' Second, since it is common among people to hesitate in offending those whom they respect, a hesitation which they do not show for others, it is valid to mention hesitation as a metaphorical substitute for respect. What is meant is, `None of the creatures have such worth and respect before Me as a faithful person has.'

The third interpretation is that God, the Exalted, as mentioned in traditions, reveals the favours and the good news to the faithful servant at the time of death to remove his aversion towards death and to awaken in him a desire for the abode of permanence. Hence He has likened this state to the state of one who wants to subject his friend(comrade) to a pain which is followed by a great benefit. Such a one hesitates as to how to inflict this pain so that the friend suffers the least. Thus he continues to appeal and allure until he obtains acceptance. [9]

An `Irfani Explanation:

The way of the philosophers and the gnostics in this and similar issues is a different one. We shall refrain from elaborating it due to its being remote from [ordinary] understanding and will not discuss its [metaphysical] premises. We shall mention only as much as can be educative and accords with spirituality.

It should be known that all the planes of existence, from the ultimate heights of Malakut and the last peaks of Jabarut to the lowest depths of the world of darkness and prime matter, are manifestation of Divine Beauty and Glory (jamal wa jalal) and the degrees of the manifestations of God's Lordship. No being has any independence of its own and everything is sheer dependence, relation, poverty, and attachment to the sacred being of the Absolute Real. All of them are absolutely subject to the sovereignty of God and submissive to the Divine commands. Accordingly, there are many references to this matter in the Qur'anic verses. God, the Exalted, has said:

And when thou threwest, it was not thou that threw, but God threw .... (8:17)

This affirmation and negation refers to the position of amr bayn al-amrayn. [10] It means that you have indeed thrown (the lance), but at the same time it was not your ego that performed the act of throwing independently. Rather, it was with the manifestation of the power of God in the mirror of thy existence and through the influence of His Power in theMulk and the Malakut of thy being that the throwing occurred. Hence you are the thrower, and at the same time it is God, Glorious and Exalted, Who is the thrower. An example of it are the noble verses of the blessed Surat al-Kahf, in the story of Moses and Khidr, may peace be upon them, where Hadrat Khidr explains the mystery behind his actions. In one case involving a defect [i.e. where Khidr makes a hole in the boat], he ascribes it to himself. In one case, which involved perfection, he ascribes it to God. In another case, he ascribes the act to both himself and to God. In one place he says ('I wished'), in another place ('Thy Lord wished'), and in yet another place ('We wished'), and all of these [ascriptions] were correct. [11]

Of the same kind is the statement of God, the Exalted,

God takes the souls at tire time of their death, (39:42)

although it is the Angel of Death who is charged with [According to another Qur'anic verse]: the taking of the souls.

He leads astray whoever He will and guides whoever He will ....(16:93)

it is God, the Exalted, who is the guide (al-hadi) and it is He who leads astray (al-mudill), although the guides are Gabriel (Jibra'il) and the Noble Messenger, may God bless him and his Household:

Thou are only a warner and a guide to every people, (13:7)

and it is Satan who misleads.

Similarly it is the Divine breath that sounds the trumpet of Hadrat Israfil through the blowing of Israfil.

From one viewpoint, what are Israfil, `Izra'il and Jibra'il and Muhammad, may God bless him and his Household, as well as other prophets and the entire realm of being in comparison to the kingdom of the Absolute Sovereign and the irresistible Divine will that anything may be ascribed to them? All of them are manifestations of the Divine Power and Will:

And it is He who in heaven is God and in earth is God. (43:84)

From another viewpoint, that is, from the aspect of multiplicity and the order of causes and means, all the means are appropriate in their own place and the perfect order of creation is regulated through a system and hierarchy of means, causes and effects. And if the smallest of causes and means is withheld from doing its work the entire wheel of existence will come to a halt. And were it not for the relation of the temporal to the eternal, through the determined means and intermediaries, the path of Divine effusion (fayd) would be intercepted and the stream of Divine mercy would be cut off. If someone were to attain to this refreshing fountainhead of faith through the study of the fundamentals and the preliminaries, established in their own place, especially in the 'irfani books of the eminent [`urafa'] and the books of the Chief of Philosophers and the Best of Islamic Philosophers (Sadr al-hukama' wa al-falasifah wa afdal al-hukama' al-Islamiyyah, i.e. Sadr al-Muta'allihin, known as Mulla Sadra), and should this teaching enter his heart, these doors would be opened for him and he would find that at the plane of gnostic discovery all these ascription are valid and there is not the slightest trace of the metaphorical in them.

Since some of the angels, charged with the souls of the faithful and the taking of their sacred souls, behold the stations that the faithful possess in the sacred presence of God, the Exalted, and, on the other hand, when they observe the aversion of the faithful [towards death], they get into a state of hesitation and indecision. It is this very state that God, the Exalted, hay attributed to Himself, in the same way that He has ascribed the taking of souls, the guidance and the misleading to Himself. In the same way as those are correct on the basis of the mystic creed, this one is also valid. However, attaining to this fountain requires a fairness of talent and a sound and subtle taste. And God is the All-knowing and He is the Guide.

This point should not remain unmentioned that since the reality of existence is the very reality of perfection and completion, that which is defective and ugly is not attributable to God, the Exalted, and is not the object of creation (maj'ul), as is established in its own place. Hence the closer the effusion (fayd) to the horizon of perfection and the more devoid it is of weakness and deficiency, its relation to God is more complete and its ascription to the Sacred Being truer. Conversely, the more predominant is the darkness of finitude and non-existence, and the more numerous the limits and inadequacies, the weaker is a thing's relation to God and the more remote its attribution. That is why the acts of origination and creation have been more often ascribed to God in the language of the Shari'ah and the transient mulkiacts less often. Should an open eye and an awakened heart be able to distinguish inadequacy from perfection, the ugly from the fair, and the good from the evil, it would then understand that although the entire realm of being is the manifestation of Divine efficiency and related to God, all the Divine acts are perfect and beautiful and none of the defects and evils are attributable to His Sacred Being. That which is called `attribution by accident' (intisab bi al-arad) in the jargon of the philosophers (hukama'), may God be pleased with them, is a rumour at the plane of preliminary teaching and philosophy. This notion, in the present context, contains certain fallacies, and it is better to refrain from discussing them here.

Our main purpose in discussing this point was, firstly, to dispel certain false doubts that may arise in the mind of the ignorant person devoid of the knowledge of the higher teaching.

Secondly, the aim was to explain that the hesitation and conflicting motives [mentioned in the tradition], as they happen to some beings of the Malakut, are more validly ascribed to God, than the events that occur(materialize) in this [corporeal] world.

Thirdly, the aim was that a person possessing the gnosis of the realities should again distinguish between the aspect of perfection and deficiency in this hesitation and vacillation of motives, and attribute the aspect of perfection to God and negate the aspect of deficiency in relation to Him.

A Complementary Note on Another interpretation of the Tradition of Hesitation:

There is another interpretation of the noble tradition relevant to this context, which had come to the mind of this incapable author. And that is that the servants of God are either the gnostics and the awliya' who are engaged in the journey towards God and on the path of the people of the heart. This group of servants are absorbed in the Divine and in love with the unique Divine Beauty. The Sacred Essence of God is the qiblah of their attention and yearning, and apart from Him they do not behold any of the worlds, even themselves and their own perfection.

Or they are those who are immersed in the adornments of the world and sunk in the darkness of the love of glory and wealth, and the faces of their hearts are turned towards their own ego and egohood, without paying any attention to the world of the sacred and the celestial company of intimacy and love. These-they are the ones who have turned away from the Names of God ( )

And the third group are the believers who attend to the world of the sacred in accordance with the light of their faith and they abhor death in proportion to their attention to this world. God has referred to these opposing attractions towards the Mulk and the Malakut, towards the Divine and the creation, towards the Hereafter and the world, as hesitation as attraction towards two opposite sides is present in hesitation. It is as if He were saying that this Mulki and Malakutiattraction is not present in any existent the way it is present in the faithful servant. On the one hand he is averse to death due to his attention towards the realm of Mulk, and on the other hand the Divine gravity draws him towards Itself in order to bring him to, his perfection. Hence God, the Exalted, is averse to do him offence which is equal to his remaining in the world of Mulk, and he himself is averse to death. However, other people are not such, because theawliya' do not have any Mulki attraction, and those immersed in the world do not possess any Malakuti attraction.

The meaning of attribution of these opposing attractions to God is the same as mentioned in the former interpretation. In this context the great researcher and the majestic sayyid, Mir Damad, [12] and his honoured disciple have made certain disclosures whose mention will further prolong this discourse.

Section: Concerning God's Reforming of the State of the Faithful through Poverty and Wealth:

From that which is stated in this noble tradition, that nothing will reform some of My servants except poverty and should I deprive them of it they would perish, and similarly there are some who will be reformed by wealth and sufficiency and will decay without it, it is known that whatever God, the Exalted, bestows upon the faithful, whether it is wealth or poverty, health or malady, safety or trepidation, and other such things, is for the reform of the state of the faithful and the purification of the state of their hearts. And this noble tradition is not contrary to the many traditions that have been narrated pertaining to the intensity of the afflictions of the faithful through maladies and pains, poverty, destitution and other tribulations. For God, the Exalted, with His expansive mercy and all-encompassing grace, is like a physician and a kind nurse Who makes everyone refrain from the world in some particular way. At times, He gives wealth to someone and at the same time involves him in other afflictions in accordance with the strength and weakness, perfection and inadequacy of his faith. Rather, He surrounds wealth and riches with afflictions in such it manner as to turn him away from the world and the love for it. The temperament of this person is such that were he to be made poor, perhaps due to his seeing felicity in wealth and property and considering the worldly people its felicitous, he would turn to the world and perish for ever in its pursuit. But when it is made accessible to him and, for the sake of restraining him from falling in love with it, it is surrounded by troubles and inner and outer distresses, he would turn away from the world. One of our great masters, may his shadow endure(withstand) for ever, used to say concerning having several wives that one imagines it to be for the sake of the world and attention towards it; but when one is afflicted with it one finds out that it is one of the great masterpieces (of legislation), which makes one leave the world and abandon(forsake) it in the very course of entry into it.

Thus God, the Exalted, afflicts the faithful at times with poverty, reforming them and turning their hearts away from the world and giving them consolation. At times He afflicts them with wealth and riches, and while one imagines them to be enjoying the world's bounties and having a good time, they are really afflicted with distress, tension, visitations and tribulations. At the same time, the tradition does not conflict with the fact that the poor among the faithful have a great merit before God, the Exalted, as is known from the traditions. We have explained some of the things pertaining to this topic under one of the earlier traditions. [13]

 Section: Concerning the Nearness relating to Obligatory and Supererogatory Acts and their Result, in accordance with the Approach of the Wayfarers:

It should be known that for the wayfarer on the path of God and the emmigrant from the dark house of the self to the real Ka'bah, there is a spiritual journey and a gnostic wayfaring whose origin is the habitat of the self and egoism and whose stages are the planes of finitude pertaining to `the horizons and the souls' and the Mulk and the Malakut, which have been referred to as `the veils of darkness and lights.'

Verily, for God there are a seventy thousand veils of light and darkness. [14]

These are the lights of being and the darkness of finitude, or the lights of Malakut and the darknesses of Mulk, or the darkening pollutions of carnal attachments and the pure lights of the attachment of the heart. These seventy thousand veils of light and darkness are at times summarily referred to as the seven veils, as narrated in relation to the openingtakbirat from the Pure Imams, that they remove a veil with every takbirah, [15] and as is also narrated concerning the subject of prostration on the earth of the shrine(tombstone) of al-Husayn, may my soul be ransomed for him, that prostration on it removes the sevenfold veils. [16] And a famous gnostic says:

Attar has roamed through the sevenfold cites of love, While we are still in the bend of a lane. [17]

These in the microcosmic Man have been referred to as the sevenfold subtleties (lata'if) [18] and sometimes their number is reduced to three inclusive veils, referred to as the `threefold realms' of `the horizons' (afaq) and `the threefold planes' of the souls (anfus), [19] and at times to the thousand fold stages well known among the wayfarers. At times they have been divided, in one consideration, to a hundred and, in another consideration, to ten stages. The perfect `arif Shaykh Shahabadi, may his shadow endure forever, used to assign ten stations for every stage from among the stages of the wayfarers, and in this new and original division there would be in all a thousand stations. And Hadrat Ibrahim, the Friend of the Beneficent, may peace be upon him, has expressed his spiritual journey, as reported by God, the Exalted, [in the Qur'an] as consisting of threefold stages, one of which is called `the Star,' another `the Moon,' and the third `the Sun.' [20]

In fine, the origin of the spiritual journey is the dark house of the self, and its stages are the planes and levels of thehorizons and the souls. Its destination is the sacred Being of God with all the Names and the Attributes, at first, for the Perfect Man, and lastly as that wherein all the Names and the Attributes dissolve, and every name, attribute, and definition belongs to something else.

After that the wayfaring human being overcomes his ego and egoism and leaves the house of the ego and passes through the stages and planes of finitude in his search of the real goal and his quest of the Divine, by transcending each of these and piercing through the veils of darkness and light, tearing his heart away from all beings and existences, and purging the Ka'bah of the heart of its idols with his Wall-like hand, and, when all the stars and the moons and the suns set and disappear from the horizon of his heart and the orientation of his heart, undisturbed by attachment to any other, becomes single, unified, and divine, and the state of his heart [like that of Abraham, as described in this verse]:

Indeed, I have turned my face towards Him who created the heavens and the earth, (6:80)

to become annihilated in the Names, the Essence and the Acts, then, in this state, he would become lost to himself, attaining total obliteration and absolute swoon. Then the Divine takes charge of his being, and he hears with the Divine hearing, sees through the Divine vision, holds with the hand of Divine power, and speaks with the Divine tongue. He beholds through the Divine and sees nothing except God. He speaks through the Divine and says nothing but the Truth, becoming blind, deaf and dumb to the non-Divine, his eye and ear are open to nothing except the Truth. This station is not attained except through the gravity of the Divine and the spark of the fire of love, the flame of eternal love, which brings him close to the threshold of proximity to the Divine. Through that pulse of Divine attraction, which follows from [the Divine] self-love, he is helped so as not to stumble(limp) in this valley of bewilderment and so as not to fall victim to shath and the like, which are remnants of egoism. And in this tradition there is a reference to these two, in His words:

And he gradually draws nearer to Me through the nawafil, until I love him.

The drawing near of the servant is through the spark of yearning ('ishq), and the pulse of Divine gravity from love (hubb):

Until there is not an attraction from the Beloved's quarter, The efforts of the poor lover do not get anywhere. [21]

Hence the ultimate of nearness through the nawafil is total fana', absolute dissolution and complete obliteration, and its result is 'I become the hearing wherewith he hears . . . .' And after this complete fana', total obliteration, absolute annihilation, and complete swoon (sa'q), at times the eternal grace comes to his aid, bringing him to himself and returning him to the domain of his own self, whereat he finds himself in the state of awakening (sahw) and the state of intimacy (uns) and serenity (tumaninah) comes upon him, whereat the glories of Beauty and Majesty dawn upon him. In this state of consciousness, to him are revealed the Attributes in the mirror of the Essence (dhat), and in them the fixed archetypes (a'yan thabitah) and their requisites. The state of the people of the path of gnosis at this station is also like their first station, in that its fixed archetype is subject to a certain Name. Its annihilation is in the same Name as well as its survival. In the state of sahw also the same Name is disclosed to him and the disclosure of the fixed archetype subject to the same Name is obtained by him.

The Secret of the Variance Among the Prophets in Respect of Prophethood:

Hence for the Perfect Man (insan-e kamil), who is subject to the Greatest All-inclusive Name, the absolute disclosure of the fixed archetypes and their accompanying requisites is obtained from eternity to eternity. Revealed also to him are the states and potentialities of all the existents and the character of their wayfaring as well as the pattern of their fulfillment (wusul). The robes of the seal of prophethood and ultimate prophecy, which is the consequence of absolute disclosure, fit his fair and upright stature. Each of the other prophets, in accordance with the Name they manifest and in proportion to the capacity and vastness of its domain, obtain the disclosure of the archetype subject to that Name. The degree of the perfection and deficiency of their ministry, its degree of nobility, and its vastness and narrowness, derive therefrom and are subject to their respective Divine Names, as discussed in detail by us in the treatise Misbah al-hidayah.[22]

In fine, after that the state of recovery occurs following the obliteration, his being becomes divine and God, the Exalted, observes other existents in the mirror of his beauty, or, rather, it occupies the same plane as that of the Divine Will (mashiyyah). For the Perfect Man, is on the same plane as the Absolute Will (mashiyyah) and his spirituality becomes the same as the manifestation of Divine efficiency. In such a state God, the Exalted, sees through him, hears through him, and holds by his means, and he himself is the irresistible Divine Will, the perfect intent, and knowledge-in-act (`ilm fili).Hence God hears by him, sees by him,.. . and so on and so forth to the end of the hadith. [The same matter is referred to in the following tradition] and others like it:

'Ali is the eye of God, the hearing of God, and the Divine proximity. [23]

Hence the nearness of the obligations of sahw is consequent to the obliteration, and its result is that which you have heard. The Sahw consequent to obliteration is a state other than this state of negligence of ours. That plurality, consequent to absolute fana', is different from the plurality in which we are immersed. That is because plurality is a veil for us that hides(camouflages) the Divine Face, while for them it is a mirror of epiphany, [as stated by `Ali:]

I do not see a thing without seeing Allah, with it, in it, before it and after it. [24]

The nearness of the nawafil may be considered as obliteration in the Names (fana' asma'i) and the nearness of fara'id, as obliteration in the Essence. Accordingly, the result of the nearness of fara'id becomes absolute obliteration, and its further elaboration is not appropriate to this place. Even this much was beyond the scope of these pages.

Section: A Citation from the Most August Shaykh Baha'i:

The august shaykh and gnostic, Baha'i, may God's good pleasure be with him, in commenting on this noble tradition in his Arba'in, states: "In this regard there are certain sublime statements made by the people of the heart, containing subtle points and spiritual hints which fill the olfactory sense of the spirit with their aroma and quicken the decaying bones of the specters. None is guided to the their meaning and knows their reality except someone who has given lip his comforts through austerities until he comes to get a taste of them and reaches their meaning. But one who is ignorant of their secrets and deprived of the treasure of their teachings, due to his immersion in base carnal joys and being drowned in physical pleasures, is exposed to a great danger on hearing these words, and it is feared that he would fall into blasphemy and come to believe in incarnation (hulul and ittihad). And Exalted is God greatly above that ( ) Here at this point we will state the matter simply and accessibly so that it is near to understanding. Hence, we may say, these words represent the extreme in nearness, describing the domination of love's Sovereign on the outward and inward being of the servant. Therefore, what is meant-and God knows best-is this: When I love a servant, I draw him to the point of intimacy and turn him towards the world of sanctity, immersing his mind in the mysteries of Malakut and confining his senses to perceiving the lights of Jabarut. In this state his feet remain steady at the station of proximity, and love so mingles with his flesh and blood that he becomes unconscious of himself. Thereat, everything else disappears from his sight until I become like his sight and hearing, as has been said:

That I'm mad of Thee, is no secret, My fire, lit by Thee, won't go out,

Thus Thou art my hearing and my sight, My body, and my heart? [25]

Here end his words, may God elevate his station.

Section: A Citation from Khwajah Tusi:

His excellency, the best of the later scholars and the most perfect among the predecessors, Khwajah Nasir Tusi, may Allah sanctify his holy spirit, says: "When the gnostic is cut off from himself and joined to God, he sees all powers as disappearing in Divine power and all sciences as drowned in Divine knowledge and all wills as vanishing(fading) in His will. Then he sees all the existents and their perfections as having originated and emanated from Him. At this time God, the Exalted, becomes his hearing and sight, power, knowledge and existence. Thereupon the character of the gnostic becomes divine." [26] Here end his words, may God increase the sublimity of his station.

The honoured Majlisi has also made certain remarks on the issue. Their summary is that if man uses his faculties and energies in the way of Satan and carnal appetites, nothing remains of them except regret and shame. But if he spends them in the way of obedience to God, He transforms them into spiritual faculties. Then his hearing and sight become spiritual hearing and spiritual vision. With that hearing he hears the speech of the angels, and this sight and vision are not weakened even by death. It is with this spiritual hearing and sight that he encounters the interrogation of the grave. On the contrary, those who do not possess this sight and hearing are raised blind and deaf from the dead. It is concerning this gift that God, the Exalted, has said, "I become the hearing wherewith he hears . . . ." [27] These words, coming as they do from him, are not without a surprise.

Concluding Note:

The august shaykh, Baha'i, says [28], "This noble tradition explicitly indicates that the obligatory duties (wajibat) have a greater merit than the supererogatory ones (mustahabbat) and that there is a greater reward for their performance. And the Shaykh-e Shahid, may God's mercy be upon him, and some other scholars have regarded certain cases as exceptions to it wherein the supererogatory (sunnah) is superior to that which is obligatory. One of them is foregoing one's debt altogether, which is superior to giving time to the debtor in a condition of hardship, although the first is supererogatory while the second is obligatory. Another is being the first to greet someone, which is superior to answering another's greeting (salam). A third case is repeating a prayer offered individually with jama'ah [which according to traditions is superior to a prayer offered individually by twenty-seven degrees, whereas the repeating is supererogatory]," and such other cases. Some have disputed each of these exceptions, whose mention is not so necessary.

It should be known that the literal import of the noble tradition is that the obligations are superior to supererogatory acts though they may not be of the same kind. For instance, the returning of salam, which is obligatory, is superior to a supererogatory hajj and the founding of a great school or the ziyarah of the Messenger of God, although this may appear to be somewhat improbable. Accordingly, marhum Majlisi, may God's mercy be upon him, has said [29] that possibly that is restricted to acts of the same category. However, in the presence of a proof one cannot say such a thing on mere improbability. And possibly the superiority of the obligations is to be considered as being applicable to prescribed rituals, such as prayer, fasting, hajj, zakat, and the like, not to other obligations, like giving time to a debtor in straits, returning salam, and so on, although this possibility is also not free of doubt. And all Praise belongs to Allah, at beginning and end.

[1]. Al-Kulayni, Usul al-Kafi, ii, 352, "kitab al-iman wa al-kufr," "bab man adha al-muslimin wa ahtaqarahum," hadith 8.

[2]. Al-Shaykh al-Baha'i, Arba'in, hadith 35, p. 296.

[3]. Ibid., hadith 35, p. 296,.

[4]. Al-Zamakhshari, Tafsir al-kashaf, i, 167, exegesis of 2:8

[5]. Al-Shaykh al-Baha'i, Arba'in, hadith 35.

[6]. Author's Note: Shaykh Baha'i (r) says: "The (term) nawafil refers to the non-obligatory works that are performed for God's good pleasure. Its specific use to refer to prayers became customary later on." p. 490.

[7]. Ibid., hadith 35, p. 295, Cf. al-Bukhari, al-Sahih, vol 23, p. 22, "kitab al-ruqaq," and Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad, vol.6, p. 256.

[8]. See the exposition of the Nineteenth Hadith.

[9]. Al-Shaykh al-Baha'i, Arba'in, hadith 35, p. 3110.

[10]. This phrase refers to the doctrinal position of the Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) in respect of the issue of jabr(predestination) and tafwid. The phrase, meaning `the matter between the two matters,' implies that neither jabr is true nor tafwid; the truth lies between these two extremes positions. (Tr.)

[11]. 18:79-82.

[12]. Mir Damad, al-Qabasat, pp. 469-420; Mulla Sadra, al-Asfar, pp. 395. ff., "safar" 3, "mawqif" 4, "fasl" 13.

[13]. See the exposition of the Fifteenth Hadith.

[14]. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-anwar, vol 55, p. 25, "kitab al-sama' wa al-alam," bab 5, hadith 13.

[15]. Al-Hurr al-`Amili, Wasa'il al-Shi'ah, vol 4, p. 772, "kitab al-salat," "abwab takbirat al-ihram;" bab 7, hadith 5:

[16]. Ibid., vol. 3. p. 608, "kitab al-salat," "abwab ma yusjad `alayh;' bab 16, hadith 3:

[17]. Ascribed to Rumi: some attribute it to Ahd al-Rahman Jami.

[18]. Shahabadi (r) mention seven subtleties (latifah) of the human hang as follows: nafs (ego), 'aql (intellect), qalb(heart), ruh (spirit), sirr (secret, soul), khafi (hidden) and akhfa (most hidden); see Rashahat al-bihar, "kitab al-insan wa al-fitrah," p. 177.

[19]. The threefold realms are the realm of physical nature (tabi'ah), the Imaginal realm (mithal), and the realm of the intellect ('aql), considered by Mulla Sadra as corresponding to the senses, imagination, and the intellect. See Shawahid al-rububiyyuh, p. 320.

[20]. 6:77-79.

[21]. Dehkhuda, Amthal wa hikam, vol. 1, p- 537.

[22]. Misbah al-hidayah, pp. 192-195-

[23] Al-Shaykh al-Saduq, Kitab al-Tawhid, p.164, bab 22,hadith 1.

[24]. Al-Asfar, vol. 1, pp. 117 ;'Ilm al-yaqin, vol. I, p. 49; Kalimat maknunah. p- 3.

[25]. 'Arba'in, hadith 35, p. 299.

[26]. Sharh al-Isharat, vol. 3, p. 389, namat 9, fasl 19

[27]. Al-Majlisi, Mir'at al-'uqul, vol. 10, p. 312, "kitab al-iman wa al Kufr," "bab man adha al Muslimin," hadith 8.

[28]. Arba'in, hadith 35, p. 302

[29]. Mir'at al-'uqul, vol. 10, p. 381, "kitab al-iman wa al-kufr," "bab man adha al-Muslimin," hadith 7.

With my chain of authorities reaching up to the august shaykh, the Pillar of Islam, Muhammad ibn Ya`qub al-Kulayni, may God's pleasure be with him, from a group of our Companions, from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Khalid, from his father, from `Abd Allah ibn Bahr, from Abu Ayyub al-Khazzaz, from Muhammad ibn Muslim, who said, "I asked Abu Ja'far, may peace be upon him, concerning that which is narrated, that God created Adam, may peace be upon him, in His form (surah literally, form, image). He replied, 'It is a form that was originated and created. He elected it and chose it over all the other different forms and attributed it to Himself, in the same way that He has attributed the Ka'bah and the Spirit (ruh) to Himself, saying, "My House" (2:125, 22:26) and "I breathed into Him of My Spirit" (15:29, 38:72) ' " [1]


The tradition mentioned in the first part of this noble tradition was one which has been well-known all along since the times of the Imams, may peace be upon them, to our own times, and its has been continually cited in the books of the Shi'ah and the Ahl al-Sunnah. Hadrat Baqir, may peace be upon him, has confirmed the authenticity of its origin while explaining its meaning. However, there is a tradition reported by Shaykh Saduq in 'Uyun akhbar al-Rida with his chain of authorities from the Eighth of the Imams, may peace be upon them, whose meaning is as follows:

Husayn ibn Khalid says: "I said to Hadrat Rida (A), 'O Son of the Messenger of God, the people narrate that the Messenger of God, may God bless him and his Household, said, "God created Adam in His own image." ' The Imam said, 'God damn them! They have omitted the first part of the tradition. The Messenger of God (S) passed by two men who were abusing each other. The Prophet heard one of them say to his companion, "May God disfigure your face and of everyone who looks like you!" Thereat the Messenger of God, may God bless him and his Household, said, "O servant of God! Don't say that to your brother, for God, Almighty and Glorious, created Adam in his (His) image."' [2]

On this basis, marhum Majlisi has ascribed the tradition of Imam Baqir, may peace be upon him, to taqiyyah(dissemblance), and he has also suggested the probability that this statement of the Imam might be based on the presumption of acceptance [of the authenticity or the apparent import of the tradition] [3] Such a probability is very remote. That which is probable is that the tradition of Hadrat Rida (a) refers to the first tradition, where the meaning of "Adam" in the last part of the tradition where it states:

Verily, God created Adam in His image,

may be that of the human species and the pronoun inrefers to God, the Exalted. And Hadrat Rida, may peace be upon him, considering that the narrator was incapable of understanding the meaning of the hadith, related the opening part of the tradition so that that person may imagine that 'Adam'- means the father of the human race, with the pronoun in referring to that man; so take note.

And perhaps both the traditions are genuine in their origin and import, and the Messenger of God,. may God bless him and his Household, might have stated the noble tradition without any previous background-and that is the tradition whose explanation is given by Hadrat Baqir, may peace be upon him-and, on another occasion, he might have made the statement with that background and Imam Rida, may peace be upon him, diverted the discussion to the other hadith with a background due to the incapacity of the narrator in understanding its meaning. An evidence that supports this suggestion is that in some traditions there occur the word: in the image of the All-beneficent) [4] instead of and This is not consistent with the tradition of the `Uyun.

Moreover, even if it be assumed that this noble tradition is not authentic (in its import), its meaning is implicit in the noble traditions, as will be explained, God willing. Now we shall turn to explaining the meanings of the words of the noble tradition.

As to the word `Adam,' the Sihah states, "Originally it is with two hamzah's, for it pertains to the form af'al, and the secondhamzah has been altered into an alif, and when it is to be given a vowel sound it is changed into waw, whereat its plural is awadim." The reason that Adam, the father of the human race (abu al-bashar) wag given this name is perhaps because he was had a brown complexion (asmar al-lawn), as according to the lexicons al-adama min al-nas means someone who is brownish (al-asmar). And according to some traditions Adam was named so because he came from the adim of the earth[5] adim being in the sense of `face' and adim-e ard means the surface of the earth.

As to the expression `ala Suratih, Surah in the lexicon is in the sense of picture and form, and it may be said that it has a general meaning common to different notions in which the commonality consists of the thingness of a thing and its actuality (fi'liyyat). However, everything has an actuality in respect of which it is said to possess a form (dhu al-Surah) and that actuality is called form (Surah). The application of the term `form' in the terminology of the philosophers to matters that are inclusive of a thing's actuality and thingness is not contrary to its lexical meaning, and is not a technical or special term. Shaykh Abu 'Ali Sina, the chief of the Islamic philosophers, in the part on metaphysics of his book al-Shifa', says: "At times Surah is applied to any configuration and act that is in a single or composite recipient so that its movements and accidents are called surah. Surah (form) is also applied to something by virtue of which matter is sustained in actuality; hence the intellectual substances (jawahir `aqliyyah) and accidents cannot be called suwar (forms). And surah is applied to something by means of which matter becomes perfect, though it should not be sustained by it in actuality, such as health and that towards which a thing moves by its own nature (tab'). Also surah is applied to the species (naw'), genus, and differentia of a thing, or to all of them. And the universality of the universal in the particulars is also surah."

Reflection on all the instances of the usage of surah shows that in all of them the criterion is actuality and it is used univocally in all the cases of its use, to the extent that even God, the Exalted, is called surat al-suwar (the actuality of all actualities).

As to the word istafaha, safwah means something pure and purged from impurity (kudurat) and istifa' has the sense of taking that which is clear and pure (safi) and is implied in its meaning. However, Jawhari and others have considered it to mean ikhtiyar (choosing), and so they have also considered ikhtiyar to mean isitifa' in the lexicons. This is, however, an explanation in terms of that which is implied, as ikhtiyar also means taking that which is good (khayr) and meritorious, and in this respect coincides with istifa' in external reality, though it is not synonymous with it.

As to the word al-Ka'bah, it is the name of the House of the God. Some have said that it has been called Ka'bah due to its resemblance to a cube (muka'ab) or due to its square shape, [6] and muka'ab in the terminology of mathematicians is a body with six equal planes perpendicular to one another.

As to the word al-ruh, in the terminology of men of traditional medicine ruh (spirit) is described as "a subtle vapour formed in an animal's heart due to the heat of the blood." They state that "the heart has two sides. One of them is on the right, wherein blood is drawn from the lever and there it releases a vapour due to the heart's heat: Those vapours flow through the left side of the heart becoming refined there due to the actions of the heart, and from it the animal spirit(ghost) is constituted." Then it flows(gush) through the blood vessels due to the expansion and contraction of the heart, in the manner mentioned in the related works. Thus the source of this animal spirit is the heart and its channels are the blood vessels. At times the term spirit (ruh) is applied to the blood centred in the lever, and its channels are the jugular veins, and that is called the 'natural spirit' (ruh-e tabi'i). So also, in the terminology of the philosophers 'spirit' is often applied to the psychic spirit (ruh-e nafsani), which originates in the brain and its channel are the nerves, and that is a manifestation and lower form of the immaterial spirit pertaining to [the realm of Divine] command (amr), which is a Divine mystery (sir-e subhani) and the 'spirit of God' (ruhullah), referred to in His words:


And I breathed into him (i.e. Adam) of My spirit. (15:29, 38:72)

Hereafter, God willing, we will explain that this spirit is the one breathed by the Divine breath and that it is that which is the chosen and elect (mustafa wa mukhtar) of the Real, Glorious and Exalted.

Section: Explanation that Adam is the Complete Manifestation of God and the Greatest Name of God, Glorious and Exalted:

It should be known that the people of gnosis (ma'rifah) and the companions of the heart say that for each of the Divine Names there is a Form (farah) at the plane of wahidiyyah, which is subject to the tajalli (revelation) pertaining to the Most Sacred Effusion (al-fayd al-aqdas) at the plane of Divine knowledge (hadrat-e 'ilmiyyah), by virtue of the Divine Self-love and seeking the Keys of the Hidden, which no one knows except Him. [7] And that Form is called the preexisting essence ('ayn-e thabit) in the terminology of the People of God (ahl Allah). And with this tajalli, by virtue of the Most Sacred Effusion are realized, first, the ta'ayyunat (determinations) of the Names, and, by virtue of this very ta'yyun of the Names are realized the Forms of the Names, which are the essences (a'yan-e thabitah). The first Name manifested with the tajaili of ahadiyyah and the Most Sacred Effusion at the epistemic plane of wahidiyyah (hadrat-e 'ilmiyyah-ye wahidiyyah)and which becomes the mirror of that tajalli, is the Greatest All-inclusive Divine Name (ism-e a'zam-e jami'-e ilahi) and the station of the named of 'Allah,' which, from the aspect of the Hidden, is the very tajalli through the Most Sacred Effusion, and in the tajalli of manifestation of perfect clarity and luminosity is the same as the all-inclusive station of wahidiyyahfrom one viewpoint, and the plurality of Names from another viewpoint. The ta'ayyun of the all-inclusive Name and its Form consists of the essence of the Perfect Man and the Muhammadan Reality (haqiqat-e Muhammadiyyah), may God bless him and his Household. Hence the Sacred Effusion is the manifestation of the objectifying tajalli of the Most Sacred Effusion, and the station of Divinity is the manifestation of the tajalli of the station of wahidiyyah, and the Greatest Spirit (ruh-e azam) is the manifestation of the tajalli of the ideal essence of the Perfect Man, and all other existents pertaining to the Names, Knowledge and objective reality are the universal and particular manifestations of these realities and subtleties, in accordance with an exquisite explanation that cannot be contained in this brief(concise) discourse and whose details we have mentioned in the treatise Misbah al-hidayah. [8]


From here it is known that the Perfect Man is the manifestation of the all-inclusive Name and the mirror of tajalli of the Greatest Name, and to this matter these are many references in the Qur'an and Sunnah. God, Exalted, has said:


And He taught Adam the Names, all of them. (2:31)

This Divine instruction took place in respect to the inmost being of Adam through his Hidden, all-inclusive fashioning with the Hands of Beauty and Majesty (jamal wa jalal) at the plane of wahidiyyah. Similarly, the fashioning of his form and appearance in the visible(tangible) world ('alam-e shahadat) took place through the manifestation of the Hands of Majesty and Beauty in the mirror of physical nature (tabi'at). And God, the Exalted, has said:

Verily, We presented Our trust to the heavens and the earth. (33:72)

and the 'Trust' (amanah) in the creed of the gnostics is the absolute wilayah, of which no being except man is worthy. This absolute wilayah is the same as the station of Sacred Effusion to which reference is made in the Noble Scripture in His statement:Every thing is fated to perish save His Face. (28:11)

And in a tradition of the noble al-Kafi, Imam Muhammad Baqir, may peace be upon him, is cited as having said:


We are the Face of God. [9]

And it is mentioned is the Du'a-e nudbahWhere is the Face of God towards which the friends of God turn?

Where is the link that connects the Earth's people with the Heaven? [10]

And in the Ziyarat-e jami'ah they are referred to as the, (the highest similitude, or metaphor)." This similitude and the attribute of being the Face is the same as the image (surah) mentioned in this Noble tradition:


Indeed, God created Adam in His image. [11]

That is, Adam is the highest similitude (al-mathal al-a'la) of God, His greatest sign, and the most complete manifestation and mirror of the tajalliyat of the Names and the Attributes, the Face of God (wajh Allah), the Eye of God ('ayn Allah), the Hand of God (yad Allah) and the side or proximity of God (janb Allah).


He hears, sees, and holds by God, and God sees, hears and holds by him. [12]

This wajh Allah is the same `Light' mentioned in the noble verse:


God is the Light of the heavens and the earth! (24:36),

And Imam Baqir, may peace be upon him, said to Abu Khalid Kabuli in a tradition of the noble Kafi:

They (i.e. the Imams) are, by God, the Light that He has sent down (64:8; 61:8; 39:69), and they, by God, are the Light of God in the heavens and the earth (24:36). [13]

And the noble Kafi-narrates a tradition of Imam Baqir, may my soul be sacrificed for the dust of his feet, that while expounding the noble verse:

Of what do they question? Of the great tiding? (78:1-2)

he said,

It refers to the Commander of the Faithful (`Ali). And the Commander of the Faithful, may peace be upon him, used to say: "There isn't a greater sign of God than me, and there isn't a greater tiding of God than me! [14]

Hence, the Perfect Man, one of whose instances is Adam, the father of Men, is the greatest sign, manifestation, Name and Attribute of the Real, and he is the metaphor and sign of God, the Exalted. God, the Blessed and the Exalted, is above having a like (mithl) and a peer, but one should not negate the existence of a metaphor for His sacred Essence, as

And to Him belongs the highest metaphor (mathal). (30:27)

All the particles of the realm of being are the signs and mirrors of the revelations (tajalliyat) of the Beauty of the Beautiful One, Almighty and Exalted, though each one of them is such only to the extent of it existential capacity. But none of them is the sign of the greatest all-inclusive Name, that is, `Allah,' except the all-inclusive being (kawn-e jami')and the sacred station of the greatest mediation (maqam-e muqaddas-e barzakhiyyat-e kubra), glorious is his greatness with the Greatness of his Maker ( )

Hence, God, the Exalted, created the Perfect Man and the First Man in His all-inclusive Image, and He made him the mirror of His Names and Attributes. The Great Shaykh (Muhyi al-Din Ibn 'Arabi) has said: "Hence all that which was in the Divine Form of the Names was manifested in this human existent, and so it d the station of all-inclusiveness (al-ihatah wa al-jam') with this existence and with it was established God's argument against the angels:'

From this discussion is known the reason for God's choosing and electing the all-inclusive human form from among the various forms of other entities, and the secret of God's giving precedence to Adam, may peace be upon him, over the angels and His giving him a dignity over all other existents and His attributing his spirit to Himself, in the Noble verse:

And I breathed into Him of My spirit. (15:29)

As our intent in these pages is observance of brevity, we shall refrain from explaining the reality of the Divine breath and its character in Adam, and His singling him out for it from among all the existents. And all Praise belongs to God, firstly and lastly 

[1]. Al-Kulayni, Usul al-Kafi i, 134 "kitab al-tawhid," "bab al-ruh," hadith 4.

[2]. Al-Shaykh al-Saduq, 'Uyun akhbar al-Rida, i, 119, bab 11, hadith 12. The text of the tradition is as follows:

[3]. Al-Majlisi, Mirat al-'uqul, ii, 84, "kitab al-tawhid," bab al-ruh, hadith 4.

[4]. Sadr al-Muta'allihin, Tafsir al-Qur'an al-Karim, ii, 235; Ibn 'Arabi, Futuhat al-Makkiyyah, ed.'Uthman Yahya, i, 78.

[5]. Al-Shaykh al-Saduq, 'Ilal al-sharayi', i, 26. The text of the tradition is as follows:

[6]. Al-Tabrisi, Majma' al-bayan, exegesis of 5:97; Qamus al-lughah, under k-'-b, Ka'bah.

[7]. A reference to verse 6:59.,

[8]. Imam Khumayni, Misbah al-hidayah ila al-khilafah wa al-wilayah, pp. 28-42, 54-56.

[9]. Usul al-Kafi, i, 145, "kitab al-tawhid," bab al-nawadir, hadith 7.

[10]. Zad al-ma'ad, bab 11, p. 399; Mafatih al-janan, 537.

[11]. Al-Shaykh al-Saduq, Man la yahduruh al-faqih, ii, 370, "bab al-ziyarat al-jami'ah;" 'Uyun akhbar al Rida, bab 68, hadith 1.

[12]. Usul al-Kafi, "kitab al-iman wa al-kufr," "bab man adha al-muslimin," hadith 7.

[13]. Ibid., i, 194, "kitab al-hujjah," "bab anna al-a'immah nur Allah," hadith 1.

[14]. Ibid., i, 207, "kitab al-hujjah," "bab anna al-ayat al-lati dhakaraha Allahu fi kitabih . . .," hadith 3

With my chain of authorities reaching up to the august shaykh, the Pillar of Islam, Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al-Kulayni, may God be pleased with him, from several of our Companions, from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Khalid, from Ibn Mahbub and Ali ibn al-Hakam, from Mu'awiyah ibn Wahb, who said, "I heard Abu `Abd Allah, may peace be upon him, say: `Verily, among that which God had revealed to Moses, may peace be upon him, and sent it down to him in the Torah was [this passage] "Verily I am Allah, and there is no god except I. I originated the creation, and I created everything that is good, bringing it about by the hands of those that I love. So happy is he by whose hands I cause it to happen. And I am Allah, there is no god except I. I created the creation and I created everything that is evil, and I bring it about by the hands of those that I will, so woe to him by whose hand I cause it to happen. "' " [1]


As to the word ilah, [whose related derivatives are] alaha (with fathah on the hamzah and lam, meaning `he worshiped') and ilahatan, it is in the sense of 'abada, 'ibadatan, and ilah, vowelized as fi'al, is in the sense of the object (maf'ul [that is, the object of worship]), like imam, which mean someone who is followed (man yu'tammu bih). ilah is the original root of `Allah,' and after the addition of alif and lam [i.e. al-making it al-ilah), the hamzah has been deleted for the sake of ease of pronunciation, and some have opined that the alif and lam substitute for the hamzah. Each of these two opinions has grammatical justifications [2] whose mention is not necessary In the terminology of the Divine sages (ahl Allah, i.e. the 'urafa'), ilahiyyat and uluhiyyat are mostly applied to the station of tajalli at the plane of Act and the station of the Sacred Effusion (fayd-e muqaddas). 'Allah' is the Name of the Glorious One, applied mostly(mainly)   to the station of the Essence as encompassing all the Attributes. At other times the usage is reversed. In this noble tradition, it is probable that it is used in its common lexical sense-meaning, `I am the Worshipped One, and there is no object of worship except Me.' And if this should be what is meant, the limitation of worship either implies that no other being is worthy of worship [besides God], though it should be worshipped mistakenly as a result of the error of men, or that-on the basis of the belief of the people of heart and the 'urafa - worship of every manifestation is the worship of the Absolutely Perfect Being and that man is a seeker of absolute beauty in accordance with his God-given fitrat (innate nature):

The creation of God on which He created mankind (30:30)

And this remains true despite man's alienation from this fitrah and his imagining himself to be attached to finitude and things finite. Or, perhaps, the meaning intended for ilah is the station of Divinity itself, in accordance with the last part of the tradition wherein He attributes good and evil to Himself. On this basis this would be a reference to Divine Unity at the plane of Act (tawhid-e af'ali), which has been expressed on the tongue of the great sages by their saying:

Nothing except God has efficiency in the realm of being.

Further reference to this matter will be made later on, God willing. As to al-khayr, the authority of the traditionists, Majlisi, may God have mercy upon him, states in his commentary under this tradition:

Good and evil are applied to obedience and disobedience and to their causes and motives, and applied as well to the gainful creatures, such as grains and fruits and the edible animals, and to the harmful creatures, such as poisons, serpents and scorpions, and to blessings and scourges. The Ash'arites say that all of these are the works of God. The Mu'tazilah and the Imamiyyah contradict them in relation to the works of men and they have reinterpreted the texts which state that God, the Exalted, is the Creator of good and evil as applying to things other than the deeds of the people."

After that he says:

As to the philosophers, most of then say "Nothing except God has efficiency in the realm of being , and that the will of the creatures is the preparatory cause for God, the Exalted, to create the deeds at their hands." This is in accordance with the creed of the philosophers and the Ash'arites. And these traditions can also be ascribed possibly to taqiyyah. [3](Here end his comments, may God elevate his station.)

Concerning the Reality of Good and Evil:.

The attributes `good' and `evil' are applied, in all instances, to perfection and deficiency [respectively] in the essence or attributes of things or to their existence and perfections of existence. All that is essentially good derives from the Reality of Being, and when ascribed to other thugs(outlaw) it is in consideration of their mode of existence. Also, that which is essentially evil (sharr bi al-dhat), derives from non-being ('adam-e wujud) or from the absence of the perfection of existence. Its application to other thugs(crooks), such as harmful animals and troublesome insects, is accidental. This, on consideration of all the sides, should be considered as self-evident, though there are also strong arguments in its favour.

Let us rake up the statement [of MajlisiJ that the position of the Imamiyyah and the Mu'tazilah concerning the creation of the deeds of people being opposed to that of the Ash'arites, and his explaining away the verses and traditions that attribute good and evil to God. As to the said opposition(rivalry) to the Ash'arite viewpoint-who subscribe to a creed based on jabr (compulsion), which is contrary to reason, philosophical proofs and intuition-that is correct. But the verses and traditions do not affirm the creed of the Mu'tazilites, who believe in tafwid (delegation) and their creed is more invalid, disgraceful, and scandalous than the creed of the Ash'arites.

As to the Imamiyyah, may God be pleased with them, they have adopted the true creed in the light of the guidance of the great Imams of the Prophet's family and with the blessings of the Household of Revelation and infallibility, may God's peace be upon their. It is also in agreement with the noble verses and sound metaphysical proofs, in addition to being in consonance with the creed of the illustrious 'urafa-' and the gnosis of the people of the heart. Hence they have no need to do ta'wil of the many traditions and verses which cannot be interpreted in the sense understood by the said traditionist, may God leave mercy upon him. In fact, the Imamiyyah and their Imams do not consider the will of God to be inoperative in any of the deeds of the creatures and they do not consider the matter of any thing as having been delegated (mufawwad) to the creatures.

As to his statement in the latter part of his remarks, that most philosophers believe that "Nothing except God has efficiency in the realm of being". ( ) and that this belief is in consonance with their own creed as well as that of the Ash'arites, [that is partly true and partly false]. As to the statement that the words "Nothing except God has efficiency in the realm of' being" constitute the creed of most of the philosophers and the people of gnosis, that is true. In fact, they say that should any philosopher fail to affirm this matter, it means that the light of wisdom has not entered his Heart and gnosis has not touched his inner being. But it does not imply that the creature's will is a preparatory cause for the creation of God, as is clear to those who are in the know of the matter. That this statement is consonant with the creed of the Ash`arites is also invalid, and what is more amazing is his putting the Ash'arite creed in the same basket as that of the philosophers! This, despite the great distance that exists between them, and there has rarely been a genuine philosopher who has not opposed the creed of the Ash'arites and considered it as invalid.

As to his statement that these traditions might possibly be ascribed to taqiyyah, firstly there is no justifications for such an ascription, because the literal import of these traditions is in consonance with the true creed and in agreement with metaphysical proof. Secondly, these traditions are in agreement with many of the verses of the noble scripture. Therefore, there is no sense in ascribing taqiyyah to the verses and likewise to the traditions that are in consonance with them. Thirdly, these traditions are not contradicted by others so that one might be led by the contradiction to ascribe them to taqiyyah, which is one of the grounds for preferring one group of traditions to another, and they can be reconciled with those which indicate that man is the doer of good and evil. Fourthly; according to his own statements, these traditions agree with the creed of the Ash'arites which, apparently, was not the prevailing creed in that period, and in such a circumstance there are no grounds for ascribing then to taqiyyah. Fifthly, this topic and the like of it relate to issues of doctrine, which are not subject to the rules of preference applicable to contradictory traditions (in the area ofahkam), as is evident.

As to the word tuba, Jawllari says: "Tuba, vowelized as fu'la, is derived froin tayyib and its ya has been changed to wawdue to the dammah on the previous letter (i.e. ta)." According to the Majma', "tuba lahum" means `there is good (tayyib)life for them.' And it has been said that tuba means summum bonum and the ultimate [object of] desire; and some have said that tuba is the name of a tree in Paradise. It has also been said that tuba also means `paradise' in the language of the Indians. And tuba laka and tubaka are used as phrases involving genitive construction (idafah). It is mentioned in a tradition of the Noblest Messenger, may God bless him and his family; that "Tuba is a tree in Paradise. Its trunk (asl) is in my house and its branch is the house of `Ali." [4]

As to the expression "waylun," Jawhari says, "Wayh is an expression of mercy and `'wayl'' expresses disapproval, and Yazidi states that they have the same meaning. Waylun li zaydin wa wayhun li zaydin can be pronounced with raf on the assumption that wayl and wayh form subjects of a nominative sentence, and also with nasb, on the supposition of an elliptical verb, assuming the underlying form: Alzamahu Allahu al-wayl. And some say that wayl is a valley in hell [so intensely hot] that if a mountain(highland) (raised ground)  were cast into it will melt due to the intensity of its heat. [5]And some say that it is the name of a pit in hell. [6]

Section: Explanation of the Relation of Good and Evil to Creation and the Occurrence of Evil in the Divine Ordainments(Qada):

It should be known that it has clearly been established in the higher sciences that the order of being possesses the highest degree of perfection and goodness and the ultimate degree of beauty This is demonstrable, summarily, in accordance with one kind of argument that infers the effect from the cause as well in accordance with a detailed exposition, although the knowledge of its detail is exclusive to the Being of its Originator, hallowed be His Names, or available through revelation and Divine teaching. That which is appropriate for these pages at this stage, as mentioned earlier, is that all that which belongs to the categories of perfection, beauty and goodness does not derive except from the Reality of Existence, because there is nothing that has reality except It and, obviously; that which stands in opposition to the Reality of Existence is either note-existence or essence (mahiyyah), which are in themselves nothing and have no value, being sheer vacuity or pure fancy, and basically they have no subsistence until they are illumined with the light of Being or are manifested through its manifestation, neither a subsistence in respect of essence (dhat)nor in respect of attributes and effects. Each of them (i.e. essences) come to possess manifestation, properties and effects only in the shadow of existence and only when they are touched by the hand of expansive mercy Hence all perfections are rays of the beauty of Absolute Beauty and reflections of the sacred light of the Absolutely Perfect(model) One. Other existents are nothing in themselves, being steer poverty and absolute nothingness. Hence all perfections derive from Min and belong to Him. [7]

Also, it is established in its own place that that which emanates from that Sacred Being is the real substance of being and the sheer content of existence without its being limited by limits pertaining to non-being and essence, because non-being and essence do not derive from the Source of Being and limitation in grace (fayd) derives from the limitations of the receiver of grace. Anyone who understands the character of the effusion and grace as explained the people of gnosis will affirm that no kind of limitation or restriction is conceivable in the Divine effusion of grace. Hence in the same way that the Sacred Divine Essence (dhat) is to be considered free from deficiency, contingency; and limitation, so also His Sacred Effusion (fayd-e muqaddas) must be considered to be devoid and free from all limits of contingency; as well as contingent aspects that derive from essence and the limitations that derive from finitude and deficiency. Hence the effusion of His grace, which is the reflection of the Absolutely Beautiful One, is absolute and complete beauty and perfection. Hence He is Beautiful ill His Essence (dhat), Attributes, and Acts, and nothing except that which is sheer being pertains to His making and creation. [8]

Also it is established ii its own place that all the evils, catastrophes, death, disease and destructive events and troublesome creatures and other such things which are in this world of nature and this narrow pit of darkness arise from the interferences and conflicts between existents, not from the aspects pertaining to Being but on account of the deficiency of their ambiance and the narrowness of their abode. And these derive from limitations and deficiencies which are totally outside the ambit of the light of creation and are in reality below making (ja'l). The true reality is the Light which is quit of all evil, defect and deficiency However, these defects and evils and harmful and troublesome things, in respect of their defectiveness and harmfulness, are not essential objects of creation, but they arc accidental objects of creation in accordance with the metaphysical viewpoint. Because, if the world of nature itself were not to exist and were it not to possess the existential aspects relating to creation [its defects and evils would have been nonexistent] and similarly its benefit and good would not have been realized in it, because they do not belong to the category of absolute non-existence but are relative non-existences which have an accidental existence sub-ordinate to the dispositions [of things]. The proposition that is derived therefrom is a modified proposition (qadiyyah ma'dulah) or an affirmative proposition with a negative predicate (mujibah salibat al-mahmul), not a negative existential proposition (salibah muhasslah). [9]

In conclusion, that which principally derives from creation and the Divine making is good and excellence, and the presence of evil, harm, and other things in relation to Divine providence leas the position of something that is subordinate and a by-product. To the first position refers God's statement in the noble verse:

Whatever good may touch you is from God, and whatever evil that may strike you is from your own self. (4:72)

And the second position is referred to in the noble verse:

Say everything (good and evil) is from God. (4:78)

And to these two considerations there are many references in the traditions of the Infallible Ahl al-Bayt (A) including the sacred tradition cited here which states that good and evil both derive from God's creation.

Section: Concerning God's Carrying Out Good and Evil Acts at the Hands of the Servants:

Reflection on the points mentioned leads one to understand the character of God's carrying out good and evil acts at the hands of creatures without its leading to the dangers of compulsion (jabr). To investigate this matter in such a way as to make it clear and to remove the doubts requires a detailed study of various theological creeds with its multifarious preliminaries whose mention is not possible in these pages. However, a brief reference, to the extent appropriate for this discussion, is unavoidable.

It should be known that it is not possible for any existent to be independent in any of its actions, unless the agent or the cause can block all the ways to non-existence facing an effect, so that if there were a hundred conditions for an existent to come into being and the cause blocks ninety-nine ways to non-existence facing the effect and one of the conditions remains un fulfilled, it is not possible for the cause to be independent in bringing about its effect. Hence independence in causality depends on the ability of the cause to block all the possible ways to non-being facing the effect so that it may reach the frontiers of necessity and brought into existence.

It is known, on the basis of logical necessity that all beings of the contingent realms, from the beings of the highestjabarut and the highest malakut to the inmates of the world of nature and mulk, with all their outer and inner powers, lack such a station. For the very first non-being facing an effect is the non-being arising from the absence of the efficient cause, and there is no existent in the realm of being which can overcome the non-being facing the effect in this respect, for that would imply a transformation of that which is contingent by essence into that which is necessary by essence and the departure of the contingent from the limits of the realm of contingency and this is impossible on the basis of rational self-evidence. Hence it is known that independence in causality requires independence in existence and this is absent among contingents. This explanation reveals that the delegation of creation to any existence in any of the respects pertaining to existence is impossible. This is not limited to those who are religiously responsible for their actions (mukallaf) and their deeds, though such a limitation may be suggested by the usual statements of the theologians (mutakallimim). However the generality of the issue at debate can be understood from a variety of topics. But due to the importance of the discussion concerning the acts of the mukallafs the debate is confined to this context in the discussions of the theologians. In any case, the debates of the theologians are of no concern to us and our purpose is to seek and establish the truth, and the impossibility of tafwid to and, of the creatures in any matter whatsoever is obvious and known.

On the Refutation of Compulsion (jabr):

The invalidity, of the creed of jabr becomes also known on study. It consists of the belief that none of the ontological intermediaries have a role in the creation of existents although one imagines them to possess such a role. [It means], for instance, that fire has no role in producing heat and it has been a habit of God to create heat following the creation of the form of fire without the form of fire possessing any role in producing heat. Had the habit of God been to create cold following the creation of fire it would not have had a form different from the present one in which it occurs.

In summary, [they claim that] the Sacred Essence is the direct agent of the acts of all mukallafs without the intervention of any intermediate means. [10] In their own fancy they have adopted this creed for the sake of Hallowing God by negating limitations in respect to Him and so as not to consider His hands as tied. 'Tied be their hands' (5:70) and cursed be they for this kind of hallowing, which implies deficiency and resemblance to creatures (tashbih) from the viewpoint of metaphysics and the creed of gnosis. As indicated(gestured) in the preceding section, God, the Exalted, is absolute perfection and sheer existence, and limits and deficiency arc inconceivable in His Essence and Attributes. That which derives from Divine creation and making is absolute being and the absoluteness of the Sacred Effusion, and it is not possible that a deficient and limited existent should emanate from that Sacred Essence. There is no kind of deficiency whatsoever in creation, as imagined by the theologians, and all limitations and deficiencies derive from the deficiency of the receiver of Divine effusion and the effect, and this stands proved in its own place. [11] Hence that which relates directly to the Sacred Essence of God, the Exalted, is absolute being and sheer existence, and that is either the Sacred Effusion according to the way of the gnostics, or the First Immaterial Intellect and the First Noble Light, according to the creed of the metaphysicians.

To explain this in other words, there is no doubt that the existents are different in their receptivity to existence. There are some existents which receive existence directly and independently; such as substances, for example, and some existents do not receive existence without the existence of something else and without subordination to another existent, such as accidents and things possessing a weak existence. For instance, the speech of Zayd is something which in order to exist does not receive existence except in subordination [to the existence of Zayd], and accidents and attributes can have no existence without the existence of substances and the objects of which they are attributes, and they cannot exist without them. This deficiency is essential to these existents and their existential inadequacy; it is not due to deficiency in the agency and creativity of God, Exalted is His station. Hence it is known that jabr and negation of existential intermediaries in the realm of being are impossible.

Among firm arguments pertaining to this topic is that the essences (mahiyyat) are in themselves devoid of the capacity to produce or receive efficiency, and creation does nor relate to them by essence (bil-dhat), as it is the Reality of Being which is the source of efficiency by essence and the negation of efficiency in relation to It implies that a thing should not be what it is. Hence the creation of the planes of existence devoid of efficiency and effect is absolutely impossible and implies the negation of a thing's identity with itself.

In conclusion, it is known that both tafwid and jabr are invalid and impossible on the basis of metaphysical reasoning and rational criteria. `The creed of the middle position' (amr bayn al-amrayn) is one which is affirmed by the way of the people of gnosis as well as by transcendental philosophy. However, there is a great divergence of opinion among the'ulama', may God be pleased with them, concerning its meaning.

That which is the soundest of views and most secure from controversy and more in consonance with the religion of tawhidis the creed of the illustrious gnostics and the people of the heart. However, this creed, on every topic pertaining to the Divine teachings, stands in the category of `simple and impossible' (sahl wa mumtani) whose understanding is not possible through metaphysical argument and study and is unattainable without complete piety of the heart as well as Divine succour. Accordingly, we shall leave it for those who are worthy of it, that is, the awliya' of God, and enter this valley through the road of the pursuers of rational thought. And that is to reject both tafwid-which means the independence of existents in efficiency-and jabr-which is the negation of their efficiency-and to affirm the middle position (manzilah bayn al-manzilatyn), which consists of affirming their efficiency and negating their independence and asserting that the position of the creation is like Being and the attributes of Being. In the same way that the existents exist, without being independent in their existence, and have attributes, which are posited of them without their being independent, they have actions. and effects which are posited of them and which emanate from them but they are not independent in their existence and they arc agents and creative causes that are non-independent in their efficiency and creativity

And it should be known-as reflection on points mentioned in the preceding section will revealed-that good and evil are attributable both to God and the creatures and that both these attributions are correct, and it is for the same reason that it has been stated in this tradition that it is God who brigs about good and evil through the hands of His servants. Nevertheless, all that is good is relates to Good essentially (bi al-dhat) while its relation to the servants and the creatures is accidental (bi al-'arad). The evils, on the contrary; arc related to other existents essentially and their relation to God, the Exalted, is accidental. And to this matter refers the hadith qudsi which declares.

O son of Adam! I am more worthy of your virtues than yourself and you are more worthy of your vices than [12]

Reference was made to this tradition earlier and here we will refrain from repeating that which has already been mentioned.

And Praise belongs to God at beginning and end.

[1]. Al-Kulayni, Usul al-Kafi, i. 154, "kitab al-tawhid," "bab al-khayr wa al-sharr," hadith 1.

[2]. For the first opinion sec al-Majlisi, Biha'r al-anwar, iv, 187, "abwab asma'ihi ta'ala wa haqa'iqiha wa sifatiha wa m'aniha," bab 3. For the second one see al-Tabrisi, Majma' al-bayan , commentary on bismillah al-rahman ar-rahim

from the Surat al-Hamd

[3]. Al-Majlisi, Mir'at al-Uqul, ii, 171-172, "kitab al-tawhid," "bab al-khayr wa al-sharr," hadith 1.

[4]. Majma al-bayan, commentary on verse 29 of the Sura al-Ra'd. The text of the tradition is as follows:

(Al-Hakim Abu al-Qasim al-Haskani reports with his isnad from Musa ibn Ja`far (A), from his father, from his ancestors(A), saying: "The Messenger of Allah was questioned concerning Tuba. He said, `It is a tree, whose trunk is in my house and its branches are over the people of Paradise.' On another occasion when asked about it he said, "(It is a tree) in Ali's house."')

[5]. See Majma al-bahrayn and Lisan al-Arab, wide w.y.h.

[6]. The Qamus al-muhit cites this Prophetic tradition under w.y.l

(It (i.e. Wayl) is a valley in hell through which the infidel's fall will take forty years before he reaches its bottom.)

[7]. Al-asfar al-arba'ah, ii, 292ff-.see also ibid., i, the discussion on the fundamentality of existence (asalat al-wujud).

[8]. Ibid., ii, 292, fasl 25-29.

[9]. Ibid., vii, 58-62, safar 3, muqif 8, fasl 2.

[10]. Kashfal-murad, 239-240; Fi 'ilm al-kalam, ii, 62, 78, 79.

[11]. Al-Asfar al-arba'ah, ii, 127ff., safar 2, maqalah 6, the discussion on cause and effect ('illat wa ma'lul), fasl 2, 13, 14, 25, 26, 26, 29. See also ibid., vi, 320 ff, safar 3, muqif 4, fasl 3.

[12]. Al-Jawahir al-saniyyah, p. 279. The text of the tradition is as follows:

[From al-Rida (A) . . . He said, "God said: `O son of Adam! I am more worthy of your virtues than yourself and you are more worthy of your vices than I"']


[With my chain of authorities reaching up to the foremost shaykh and the greatest pillar, Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al-Kulayni, may God be pleased with him, from Muhammad ibn Tahya, from Ahmad ibn Muhammad, from al-Husayn ibn Said, from al-Nadr ibn Suwayd, from `Asim ibn Humayd. He said, "He said, "Ali ibn al-Husayn, may peace be upon him, was asked concerning tawhid. He replied: `Verily, God Almighty and Glorious, knew that in the ultimate era there would be people of profound thinking, and so God, the Exalted, sent down, Qul huwa Allahu ahad (Say, 'He is Allah, the One. . . ')and the verses of Surat al-Hadid until His words, ". . . and He knows well that which is in the breasts." Hence someone who seeks to go beyond that will perish.' " [1]


Hadrat Sadr al-Muta'allihin, may his spirit be sanctified, says, " `Asim ibn Humayd was not a contemporary of Imam Sajjad and therefore the tradition is a marfu' one." [2] The repetition of the word qala (he said) is perhaps due to a fragmentation in the hadith, or perhaps it is an error of the copyists, or the subject (fa'il) was mentioned but was omitted due to a lapse of the pen. Or the fail has been omitted, the case being one where such omission is permissible. Or the first fail is the pronoun referring to al-Nadr ibn Suwayd, and this possibility is very remote.

As to al-tawhid, tawhid pertains to the form tafil, and that is either due to repetition signified by the verb, in the sense of extreme emphasis on unity and simplicity, or it is in the sense of qualification of the object (maful) on the basis of the verb, such as in takfir and tafsiq. One of the scholars has held that the form tafil is not used in the sense of qualification of the object (maful) and that it is also wrong to impart such a sense to takfir and tafsiq, because they rather mean calling someone to fisq and kufr, and that [in the sense of qualifying the object] ikfar should be used instead of takfir.Hence the Qamus, too, under the entry on k.f.r, does not mention takfir in the sense of attribution of kufr. This author says: Although I too have not seen in the Qamus that takfir means attribution of kufr, and even Jawhari, the most erudite of the lexicographers, has not mentioned this sense for takfir and, in consonance with the statement of the above-mentioned scholar, has considered ikfar to be the proper word for this sense, but the books on grammar have considered one of the meanings of the form taf'il as qualification of the object (maful) with the quality implied in the verb, and they have cited tafsiq as an example. In any case, the meaning of tawhid is attribution of unity (wahdaniyyah).

As to the word mut'ammiqun, 'amq and 'umq (with fathah or dammah on the 'ayn) means the bottom of a well and a pit. For the same reason mathematicians use the term 'umq (height) in the sense of the third dimension of bodies which begins at its top surface and ends at the bottom surface, in the same way that they use length as the first dimension and breadth as the second. Also for the same reason a person possessing a piercing vision is called muta'ammiq and a perspicacious vision is called 'amiq (deep) and a vision that does not have depth is called superficial (sathi). It is as if matters pertaining to knowledge have a depth and a bottom and the muta'ammiq person is one who goes to their depth ('umq) from where he draws out the truths, and someone with a superficial vision remains at the surface and fails to fathom the depth of any matter.

As to the expression, fa man rama-rama and yarumu are in the sense of seeking, and maram is that which is sought.

As to the expression wara'a dhalika, wara' is in the sense of `behind' (khlaf), and at times it is used in the sense of `in front of (quddam). Hence it has contrary meanings and its use in the first sense is appropriate to cases such as the present one.

Section: A Hint Concerning the Exegesis of Surat al-Tawhid:

It should be known that tasfsir (exegesis) of this blessed Sarah and that of the beginning verses of Surat al-Hadid is beyond the capacity of the likes of us, and, in fact, outside the scope of the present discourse. To be just, how could it be permissible for the likes of me to embark upon the exegesis of something which God, the Exalted, has sent down for persons of profound thinking and for the veritable 'ulama? And Hadrat Baqir al-`Ulum, may peace be upon him, (as mentioned in al-Tafsir al-burhan) after divulging some of the secrets relating to the letters of the blessed word `al-samad,' said, "Had I found anyone who could bear the knowledge that God has bestowed upon me, I would have propagated tawhid, islam, iman, din and sharayi ` through al-samad." [3]

The great philosopher Sadr al-Muta'allihin says concerning the verses of Surat al-Tawhid, "You should know that each of these six verses referred to in the hadith constitutes a great door to the knowledge of tawhid and Divinity, and comprises a well-established matter from among the principles of samadiyyat and rububiyyat (lordship). And were time to provide opportunity and assistance to a divine gnostic or sage that has d his knowledge from the niche of Muhammadan prophethood, may the best of salutations and peace be upon him and his Household, and who has derived his wisdom from the traditions of the Household of Infallibility and Purity, may peace be upon them, truly, it would befit him, and these verses, to fill a big volume, or several of them, with exegesis of each of them." [4] In any case, the likes of this authors are not champions of this field, but as it is not reasonable to abandon what is feasible for the infeasible, we shall briefly mention some hints(implications) out of what we have learned from our great teachers, from the books of the people of gnosis, and from the radiant niche of guidance of the Household of Infallibility, and all guidance comes from God.

A Hint Concerning Bismillah:

It should be known that in accordance with the view(surrounding) of the people of gnosis, the bismillah (`in Name of Allah') in every surah pertains to that surah itself and not to "I seek help" or anything of the kind, because ismullah(Name of

Allah) is the totality of the mashiyyah (Divine will) at the plane of manifestation (maqdam-e zuhuri), the station of the Most Sacred Effusion (fayd-e aqdas) at the plane of revelation (tajalli) of ahadiyyah, the station of inclusiveness of Divine Names (jam'-e ahadi ye asma') at the plane of wahidiyyah, and the entire cosmos (kawn) at the plane of inclusive unity (ahadiyyat-a jam'), which is the inclusive cosmic object (kawn-e jami) and the levels of existence in the vertical ascending and descending order and each of the objective entities (huwiyyat-e 'ayniyyah) at the horizontal plane. The meaning of`Allah' differs in accordance with each of these considerations, for it is the referent of those Names, and the meaning ofbismillah varies in accordance with each surah of the Noble Qur'an with which the bismillah is associated in respect of text and which is manifestation of it in respect of meaning. Rather, the meaning of bismillah varies in accordance with every action that is begun with bismillah and it relates to that very action. One who has gnosis of the manifestations of Divine Names observes that all works and actions and all objects and accidents are manifested and realized by virtue of the sacred Greatest Name (ism-e azam) and the station of absolute will (mashiyyat-e mutlaqah). Hence while performing that action and bringing it into existence he recalls this matter in his heart and extends it to the plane of the natural realm and mulk pertaining to himself and says, "Bismillah!" That means, I eat or I drink, or I write and I do such and such a thing by the station of the absolute will of the Possessor of the station of All-encompassing beneficence (rahmaniyyat),which is the expanse of existence, and the station of All-mercifulness (rahimiyyat), which is the expanse of the station of perfection of existence, or the Possessor of the station of All-encompassing beneficence, which is the station of revelation (tajalli) through exoteric manifestation (tajalli bi zuhur) and expansion of existence (bast-e wujud), and the station of All-mercifulness, which is the station of revelation through esoteric manifestation (tajalli bi batiniyyat) and contraction of existence (qabd-e wujud).

Hence, from one viewpoint, the Godward wayfarer and the gnostic of God sees all actions and existents as manifestations of the absolute will and as annihilated in it. The aspect of unity predominates in this view and he considers bismillah in all the surahs of the Qur'an and in all actions and works to possess a single sense. And from another viewpoint which is turned towards the world of separation and differentiation he sees a different meaning inbismillah at the head of every surah and at the beginning of every action.

At this stage where we presently are, which is that of exegesis of the noble surah of Tawhid, we may take its bismillah as relating to the noble word `qul' (Say!), in which case the meaning of bismillah in the garb of singularity (tajrid) and under the predominance of tawhid will be the station of absolute will, and in the garb of multiplicity and at the station of attention to pluralities it will be its determinations (ta'ayyunat). And at the station of the togetherness of the two stations, which is the station of greatest barzakh (maqam-e barzakhiyyat-e kubra), it will mean the will at the station of unity alongside plurality and the exoteric aspect (zuhur) alongside the esoteric one (butun), and rahmaniyyat and rahimiyyat in the second sense. And as in the noble verse Qul huwa 'llahu ahad, in which ahadiyyat-e ghaybiyyah (the transcendent unity) and uluhiyyat-e asma'iyyah (Divinity at the, plane of the Names) merge together, that which is meant is the Name Allah in accordance with the third station, that is, the station of barzakhiyyat. Hence from the transcendent (ghaybi) station of ahadiyyat the address goes forth to the pious and immaculate, the ahadi and ahmadi heart of Muhammad that, "Say in accordance with this realm of the greatest barzakh through manifestation of the Name Allah, which is the station of absolute will and the possessor of the manifestation and determination of rahmaniyyat along with rahimiyyat, and expansion along with ion."

The noble word huwa refers to the station of absolute Divine ipseity (huwiyyat-e mutlaqah) as such, without its being determined by Attributes and without revelation through Names, even the Names of Essence which are considered at the plane of ahadiyyat. And this reference is not possible except by the possessor of that heart and station, and had he not been assigned to divulge this relation to Haqq he would not have ever uttered this noble word. However, it was an irresistible Divine ordainment that the Seal of Prophesy, may God bless him and his Household, should disclose this reference:

And as he did not remain in the embrace of absoluteness and possessed the station of barzakhiyyat, he said, "Allahu ahad." And Allah is the greatest all-inclusive Name and the absolute and ultimate Lord, and from the barzakhi viewpoint of multiplicity of Names manifested at the plane of wahidiyyah, it is the same as the transcendent and ghaybi revelation (tajalli) at the station of ahadiyyat. Neither the aspect of ahadiyyat is predominant over the aspect of wahidiyyat in the heart of such a wayfarer nor wahidiyyat over ahadiyyat. The occurrence of Allah before ahad-despite that the Names of Essence have precedence in respect of conception-is perhaps a reference to the station of revelation to the wayfarer's heart, for the revelations of Essence in the hearts of the awliya' are first through revelation of- attributive Names (asma'sifatiyyah) at the plane of wahidiyyah and later on through ahadi Names of Essence.

And the mention of Allah and singling it out from among the Names-despite that in accordance with the character of wayfaring and the order of revelation, the revelation first occurs, in accordance with the state of the wayfarer's heart, through the manifestations of the Name Allah, which comprises the other Names, and only then, at the conclusion(deduction)  of wayfaring in the attributive Names, does occur(materialize) the revelation through the Name Allah-that is for one of two reasons: either it indicates that revelation through any Name is revelation through the Name Allah, in accordance with the unity of manifestations and that which they manifest, especially at the plane of Divinity, or it indicates the destination of wahidi wayfaring, and unless it is realized the wayfarer does not set out on ahadi wayfaring.

Also, on the basis of this exposition, huwa (He) refers to the station which transcends all reference and lies beyond the aspirations of gnostics, and beyond all names and descriptions and above revelation and manifestation. Ahad refers to revelation through esoteric Hidden Names (asma'-e batiniyyah-ye ghaybiyyah) and Allah refers to revelation through exoteric Names, and through these three all the primary(elementary) conceptions of Lordship are obtained. The other four Names, which are included in samadiyyat, are, in accordance with some traditions [5] negative Names of tanzih(negation of similarity to creatures) which are conceived in subordination to the positive Names of Divine beauty (asma'-e thubutiyyah ye jamaliyyah) as was pointed out earlier under one of the traditions. [6]

That which has been said until this point applies in case bismillah is taken to relate to the noble word qul, and yet it may be related to each of the parts of this noble surah. In accordance with each of these possibilities the exegesis of thesurah and its bismillah will be different, and as their discussion will cause prolixity we will abstain from it.

Our shaykh, the perfect gnostic Shahabadi, may my soul be his ransom, would say, "Huwa refers to six other Names and perfections which are mentioned in the blessed surah of Tawhid after this blessed word, because as the sacred Essence is the absolute huwa, which refers to sheer existence, it encompasses all the perfections of the Names (kamalat asma'iyyah); hence It is Allah. And since sheer existence with its simple reality possesses all Attributes and Names and this plurality of Names does not compromise the unity of the sacred Essence, It is ahad. And as sheer existence has no essence (mahiyyah) It is samad. And since sheerness is without deficiency, and is not derived from any other, and as repetition is impossible for it, it is neither begetter (walid) nor begotten (mawlud) and has no match (kufu)."

It should be known that in the sacred traditions there are mentioned many meanings and subtle points concerningsamad whose discussion is beyond the scope of these pages and requires a separate treatise. Here we will mention only one point which is that if samad should refer to essence itself, in accordance with some considerations, the meaning ofAllah in Allah us-samad will pertain to the station of wahidiyyat and the station of inclusive unity of Names (ahadiyyat-e jami' asma'). And should it refer to a relative attribute, as inferred from certain traditions, it would refer to the inclusive unity of Names at the plane of revelation through the sacred effusion and its meaning would be consonant with "Allah is the Light of the heavens."


Section: A Brief Hint concerning the Exegesis of the Noble Verses of Surat al-Hadid until the words `alimun bi dhatis-sudur:

As to the first verse, [7] it implies the tasbih of all existents, even plants and `inanimate' objects (jamadat). Its limitation to intelligent beings [as suggested by some scholars] is due to the veiled intellects of the intelligent. And should this noble verse be capable of reinterpretation (ta'wil), other noble verses cannot be decoded in this manner, such as the statement of God, the Exalted.

Hast thou not seen how to God bow all who are in the heavens and all who are in the earth, the sun and the moon, the stars and the mountains, the trees and the beasts, and many of mankind? (22:18)

Also the interpretation of the tasbih as something innate (fitri) and inbuilt (takwini) is an inane one, not consonant with the traditions and Qur'anic verses besides being contrary to firm metaphysical proof and the gnostic approach. That which is strange(curious)   is that the great philosopher and scholar Sadr al-Muta'allihin, may God sanctify his spirit, does not consider tasbih in these creatures to constitute speech. He considers the "speech" of some `inanimate' objects such as the pebbles to be sounds created in them, in accordance with their states, by the holy spirit of the wali. He has considered the statements of some gnostics who consider all existents as possessing linguistic life (hayat nutqi) as being contrary to metaphysical reasoning and as implying suspension of their nature (ta'til) and perpetuation of compulsion (dawam-e qasr), [8] although such a position is contrary to his own principles. However, this position, which is borne out by explicit Qur'anic verses and is the essence of gnosis, does not lead to any inconsistency at all, and were it not for the fear of prolixity we would have elaborated on this matter along with its necessary preliminaries. However, here we shall confine ourselves to a passing hint.

It was indicted earlier also that the reality of existence is identical with consciousness, knowledge, will, power, life and other aspects of life, so much so that if any thing were not to possess knowledge and life, it would not have existence. And anyone who apprehends, with a gnostic understanding, the meaning of the fundamentality of existence and its being univocal, will, on the basis of gnosis or knowledge, affirm the life that pervades all existents along with all the other aspects of life such as consciousness, will, speech, etc. Were one to possess the station of vision of reality, d through spiritual austerities, one would directly witness the chorus of the tasbih and taqdis of all existents. Now the stupor caused by nature has dimmed our sight, dulled our hearing, and all other senses, not allowing us to be aware of the realities of existence and objective entities, in the same way that there are curtains of darkness and light that separate us from God, and curtains that conceal other existents from us, and even our own souls, concealing their life, consciousness and other aspects from our sight. But the most impenetrable of all curtains is the curtain of denial arising from confined thoughts which keep man from attaining to anything. The best thing for the likes of us, who are kept from vision by surrounding veils, is to submit to and to affirm the signs and traditions of God's awliya' and to refrain from interpretations based on subjective opinion and from efforts to reconcile them with judgements of feeble(flimsy) intellects.

If supposedly it were possible to interpret the verses pertaining to the tasbih of existents as something inbuilt or innate, what are we to do with the noble verse:

An Ant said, "O ants, enter your dwellings, lest Solomon and his troops should trample upon you without knowing? (27:18)

And what are we to do with the traditions that have been narrated on various topics from the Household of Purity and Infallibility which are by no means amenable to such interpretations?

Accordingly, the pervasion of all things with life and tasbih based on consciousness and knowledge must be regarded as one of the necessary principles of higher philosophy and as one of definite principles of the teachers of religion and gnosis. However, the character of the tasbih of every existent and the particular dhikr pertaining to it, and that man is the possessor of all-inclusive tasbih and that other existents have dhikr consonant with their own mode of existence-an overall view of that is based on a scientific and gnostic criterion relating to the science of the Names, and its details pertain to the sciences deriving from direct witness of reality that are exclusive to the perfect awliya'.

As mentioned in the previous section, the bismillah of every surah relates to that very surah and here too it relates tosabbaha lillah. From it one may infer the creed of the orthodox sect concerning the problem of jabr and tafwid, for it refers, in a subtle manner, as is ultimately revealed by the mystical experience of the gnostics, to each of the two relations, that is, the relation to ismullah (Name of Allah), which is the station of the Divine will pertaining to Act (mashiyyah fi'liyyah), along with the relation to things existent in the heavens and the earth. The Divine will has been given precedence [to the reference to creation] in order to underline the sustaining role of God and to give precedence to the Godward aspect over the aspect relating to the creation. And were it not for the fear of prolixity we would have described the reality of the tasbih and its implication of tahmid, and that every tasbih and tahmid by everyone refers to God, and we would have also explained the meaning of tasbih and tahmid for ismullah and by ismullah, the reason for the special mention of the two blessed Names al-'aziz (Almighty) and al-hakim (All-wise) and their relation to `Allah,' the difference between the `Allah' mentioned in the bismillah and the `Allah' mentioned in the noble verse sabbaha lillah, and given the explanation of `heavens' and `earth' and that which is in the heavens and the earth, in accordance with different viewpoints of the gnostics and the philosophers, as well as discussed the huwa in this blessed verse and the difference between it and the huwa in the noble verse Qul huwa 'llahu ahad in accordance with the sweet approach of 'irfan.However, in these pages we have to confine ourselves to, a passing hint.

As to the second noble verse, [9] it refers to the ownership of God, the Glorious, in relation to the kingdoms of the heavens and the earth. Subordinate to this ownership (malikiyyat), all-inclusive sovereignty, power and control take place the giving of life and causing of death, manifestation and return, expansion and ion. In this view, all regulations(neatness) and plans are annihilated in the regulation and planning of God, which is ultimate tawhid on the plane of Act (tawhid-e fi'li), and therefore the giving of life and making to die-which are either one of the major manifestation of malakuti dispositions or refer to the totality of expansion and ion-have been related to the ownership of the sacred Essence itself. Although the giving of life is one of the aspects of rahmaniyyat and making to die one of the aspects of ownership, both of them have been related to Divine ownership, and this may be on the basis of a major gnostic principle according to which every Name includes all the Names in their ahadi and ghaybi aspect, and this point cannot be elaborated here. The beginning and the following parts of the verse may be a reference to unity in plurality and plurality in unity at the station of revelation (tajalli) through the sacred effusion (fayd-e muqaddas), as is clear for those who are familiar with these principles.

The pronoun in lahu (to him belong), apparently, may refer to Allah and it may as well refer to `aziz and hakim, and the meaning of the noble verse will be different in each case, as reflection will show to those who are familiar with these principles.

Issues such as the explanation of the character of Divine ownership, the reason for the imperfect tense of the verbsyuhit (gives life) and yumitu (causes to die), which indicates continuity and repetition, the referent of the pronoun huwa,and the different meanings that follow as a result of the different referents, explanation of whether muhyi, mumit andqadir are Names of Essence or those of Attributes or Acts-these issues have to be consigned to their proper occasion and place, like the explanation of the character of giving life and causing death, the reality of the trumpet of Israfil and the two soundings pertaining to bringing to life and causing death, the functions of Hadrat Israil and Hadrat Azra'il and their stations and the character of their causing life and death, each of which has quite elaborate gnostic descriptions and metaphysical proofs.

As to the third noble verse- it is as follows:

He is the First and the Last, the Outward and the Inward, and He has knowledge of all things. (57:3)

One who has knowledge of the true teachings the people of ma`rifah and conviction and is a wayfarer of the way of the people of the heart and wayfaring knows that the ultimate goal of the wayfaring of wayfarers and the ultimate aspiration of the gnostics is understanding of this clear noble verse. By the Life of the Beloved! there is no better statement of the reality of tawhid of the Essence and the Names than this verse, and it would be fitting for all the gnostics to fall to the ground and to bow down before this consummate gnosis of Muhammad, may God bless him and his Household, this inclusive comprehension of Ahmad, and this firm Divine sign. By the reality of gnosis and love! when the gnostic lost in Divine splendour and the lover lost in the beauty of die Beloved hears this noble verse, he is overcome by such a celestial ecstasy and a Divine delight that is inexpressible in any language and unbearable by any creature.

So glory be to God, how lofty is His station, how splendid is His sovereignty, how great is His worth, how inacessible His majesty and how lofty His threshold!

Those who find fault with the statements of the august 'urafa and the knowers of God and the awliya' of the All-Beneficent would do well to see if any Divine gnostic and wayfarer has said anything more than that which is contained in this noble verse or if anyone has introduced any new ware into the marketplace of Divine teachings. Here is this noble Divine verse and there are the books of the 'urafa' brimming with 'irfan to see and judge. Although the blessed Surat al-Hadid and especially its first noble verses contain teachings which are beyond the reach of aspirers, but it is the belief of this author that there is a special quality in this noble verse that is absent in other verses. The priority (awwaliyyat) and posteriority (akhiriyyat) of al-Haqq and His zahiriyyat and batiniyyat are things which are beyond speech and writing. So let us pass on and leave them for the hearts of the lovers and the awliya'.

As for the fourth noble verse, [10] it refers to the creation of the heavens and the earth in six days and the istiwa (lit. sitting) on the Throne ('arsh). The intellects are bewildered(astonished) in the exegesis of this noble verse and everyone has interpreted it in accordance with his approach in the sciences and gnosis. The literalists among scholars state that that which is meant by creation in six days is that the period of creation if measured would equal six [ordinary] days. The great philosopher Sadr al-Muta'allihin, may his spirit be sanctified, has considered them as implying the Divine days, each of which equals a thousand years, thus making the six days correspond to the period from the descent of Adam until the rise of the Muhammadan sun, may God bless him and his Household, which is six thousand years. He considers the beginning of the daybreak of Friday (yawm al jumu'ah) and the day of gathering (yawm al jam), as the seventh day and the beginning of the day of Resurrection and the beginning of the istawa of the All-Beneficent on the Throne. He has mentioned it briefly in Sharh Usul al-Kafi and elaborately in his exegesis. [11] Some gnostics have interpreted(decoded )the six days as stages in the journey of the light of the sun of existence in the mirror of descent and ascent.

According to the creed of gnosis, the descending levels of existence until the lowest point-which is the plane of concealment of the sun of existence by curtains of finitude and differentiation (ta'ayyunat)--constitute the reality of the night of ordainment (laylat al-qadr) and the beginning of the day of resurrection is from the first stage of return of mulk to malakut and removal of the curtains of ta'ayyunat to the ultimate levels of manifestation and return, which is the complete appearance of the greatest resurrection (qiyamat-e kubra). The six days in which the creation of the heavens and the earth was completed, culminating in the Throne of God, the Throne of the all-Beneficent, which is the ultimate end of Divine istawa, power, and dominance, are the sixfold ascending planes in the greater cosmos ('alam-e kabir); and the Throne of God, which is the manifestation of the perfect dominance and ownership, is the plane of will and the all-beneficent sacred effusion (fayd-e muqaddas-e rahmani), which is its complete manifestation after elimination of theta'ayyunat and completion of the creation of the heavens and the earths. And until the existence of the heavens and the earth endures, their creation is not finished from the viewpoint of the people of gnosis, in accordance with the words"Everyday He is engaged in some work" (55:29) and as implied by the absence of repetition in revelation (tajalli). In the Greater Man (insan-e kabir) and the greater cosmos the sixfold planes and their seventh subtlety (latifah) is the Throne of the All-Beneficent, which is the plane of the real heart, and were it not for the fear of prolixity, we would have explained thoroughly the greater plausibility of this interpretation in comparison to other interpretations, although the knowledge of the Divine scripture is with God, the Exalted, and those who are its special addressees. We speak on the basis of probabilities and plausibilities following the infeasibility of the literal sense.

At this place there is another probability which is not contrary to this mystical description, and that is in accordance with present-day astronomy which has replaced ptolemic astronomy Apart from our solar system there are other innumerable planetary systems in accordance with the details given by books on contemporary astronomy That which is meant by heavens and earth may be the present solar system along with its planets and their orbits and the description of its duration as six days may be in accordance with another planetary system. This probability is closer to the literal sense than others, while it does not contradict the gnostic interpretation, because it is in accordance with one of the esoteric meanings of the Qur'an.

The following part of the noble verse, in His words, "He knows what penetrates into the earth, (and what comes forth from it, what comes down from heaven, and what goes up unto it.)" refers to God's knowledge of the particular details of the planes of existence through the hierarchies of the Hidden and the manifest (ghayb wa shuhud), the ascent and the descent. And in His words, "He is with you (wherever you are; and God sees the things you do), there is a reference to the sustaining contiguity of God (ma'iyyat-e qayyumiyyah ye haqq) and the character of God's knowledge of particulars through existential encompassment and universal sustainment. None except the elect from among the awliya' of God can perceive the reality of this Divine sustainment.

As to the fifth noble verse, [12] it refers to the ownership of God and the return of the entire realm of existence to God and indicates that this is related to the Name malik (Owner, Master), as mentioned in the phrase of the blessed Surat al-Hamd: the Master of the Day of Judgement (maliki yawmi'd-din), and the exegesis and elaboration of each of these matters should be left to another occasion and place.

As to the sixth verse, [13] it refers to the alternation of day and night and that each of them waxes as the other vanes and vice versa. In this alternation there are many benefits whose mention is beyond the scope of our discussion and there is another gnostic interpretation for the noble verse which we shall refrain from mentioning.


That which is stated in the closing part of the noble tradition, that "whoever seeks to go beyond that will perish," it indicates that the teachings which have been mentioned in these noble verses and the blessed Surat al-Tawhid constitute the limits of human knowledge and the ultimate frontier of gnosis, and should someone imagine that there is anything beyond that he is in error. And as these verses impart the highest teachings to mankind, their negligence also leads to destruction and perdition and ignorance of the station of the Lord.

Of course, this noble tradition is meant to encourage and inspire profound thought on these noble verses. But every science is for its people and every field has its own champions. One should not imagine that one can understand the verses of tawhid-whether those of the blessed Surat al-Tawhid or the present noble verses or other verses of the Qur'an and similarly the noble traditions, sermons, supplications and prayers of the Imams, may peace be upon them, all of which are replete with higher teachings-with the aid of one's ideas and on the basis of common-place literal meanings. That is an immature notion and a satanic insinuation and a trap set by that highwayman of the road of humanity to stop man from attaining to the higher teachings and to bar him from the doors of wisdom and ma'rifah and to cast him into the valley of error and confusion. God is witness-and His witness is sufficient [14]-that I do not intend to promote(advertise) the market of formal philosophy or formal 'irfan; rather, my purpose is that my brethren in faith, especially the learned amongst them, should pay some attention to the teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt, may peace be upon them, and those of the Qur'an and not neglect them, for the main purpose of the missions of the apostles and the revelation of the scriptures has been the noble goal of gnosis of God, in the shadow of which all felicities of the world and the Hereafter are realized. But alas! So long as man is in this world and besieged by all kinds of veils he cannot identify the path of his own felicity. No matter how much the prophets, the saints and the scholars may exhort him, he does not awake from the slumber of neglect and does not remove the stoppers of neglect from his ears. He awakes from the sleep of neglect when he has lost the very means of acquiring felicity and when there remains(debris) nothing for him except regret and shame.

Prayer and Epilogue:

O God, Who have illuminated the hearts of the awliya' with the light of love and cleared the tongues of the lovers of Thy beauty from the taints of egoism, and have placed Thy majesty beyond the reach of self-seeking wretches! Awaken us from the intoxication of worldly delusion and deliver us from the heavy slumber of nature, and remove with 'My gesture the thick curtains and obstructing veils of egotism and self-seeking. Let us into the assembly of the holy ones of Thy threshold and into the holy company of the sincere God-seekers. Remove from us these devilish, ugly, and coarse(unplanted) qualities of ours and our pretensions and waywardness. Inform with sincerity and love our movements and pauses, our actions and works, our beginning and end, and our outward and inward being.

O God! Your blessings are given without prior deservedness (Worthiness is not a condition for the Lord's gifts) [15] and Your gifts are unlimited. The door of Your mercy and favour is wide(broad) open and the table of Your boundless bounties is spread out. Give us a fervent heart and an arduous passion, a woeful heart and a tearful eye, a restless and impassioned mind and a breathless and fiery breast. Let the end of our live be in a state of sincere devotion to You and with the love of the elect of Your threshold, that is, those who represent the prologue of the book of being and the epilogue of the scrolls of the manifest and the Hidden, Muhammad and his immaculate kindred and progeny, may God's blessings be upon all of them

And to God belongs all Praise, firstly and lastly, outwardly and inwardly

Concluded by the mortal hand of this indigent writer on Friday afternoon of the fourth of the month of Muharram al-Haram of the year 1358 H. [1939], and in God is my reliance and trust, at every commencement and conclusion.


[1]. Al-Kulayni, Usul al-Kafi, i, 93, "kitab al-tawhid" "bab al-niyyah" hadith 3.

[2]. Sharh Usul al-Kafi, p. 246, "kitab al-tawhid" "bab al-niyyah" hadith 3.

[3]. See al-Burhan fi tafsir al-Qur'an, vol. 4, p. 526. The Arabic text of the tradition is as follows:

[4]. Sharh Usul al-Kafi, p. 248.

[5]. Al-Shaykh al-Saduq, Kitab al-tawhid, p. 91, bab 4, hadith 3; al-Burhan fi tafsir al-Qur'an, vol. 4, p. 525, from Imam Baqir (A):

[6]. See Usul al-Kafi, i, 124, "kitab al-tawhid" "bab ta'wil al-samad" hadith 2, from Imam Baqir (A):


Any that which is in the heavens and the earth does the tasbih of God, and He is the All-mighty, the All-wise. (57: 1)

[8]. Sharh Usul al-Kafi, p. 248, "kitab al-tawhid" "bab al-niyyah" hadith 3.


To Him belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth; He gives life and makes to die and He is powerful over all things.


He it is who created the heavens and the earth in six days then sat on the throne. He knows that which penetrates into the earth and that which emerges from it, and that which descends from the heaven and that which ascends into it, and He is with you wherever you may be, and God sees what you do. (57:4)

[11]. Sharh Usul al-Kafi, p. 249-250; Sadr al-Muta'allihin, Tafsir al-Qur'an, vol. 6, pp. 160-164, exegesis of Surat al- Hadid.


To Him belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth and to God return all affairs. (57:5)


He makes the night enter the day and He makes the day enter the night and He knows that which is in the breasts. (57:6)

[14]. A reference to 4:79.

[15]. This is a reference to the following couplet from Rumi's Mathnawi (daftar 5, bayt 1537):


source : GREATER SINS/ by Al-Haaj Sayed Abdul Husain Dastghaib
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