Rafed English

A Baseless Transference

Adapted from: "The Theory of 'Alam al Khalq and 'Alam al-'Amr"

During my study of Islamic philosophy I imputed the afore­mentioned meanings to the words `creation' and `command' as they occur in the above‑mentioned verse of Surat al‑A`raf. As far as the verse of Surat al‑'Isra' is concerned, my understanding of the term was the same and I accepted the interpretation: `The soul is from the world of command'. This interpretation, when applied to these two verses, did not seem to me to be shaky.
However, confining the implication of the verse of Surat Ya Sin exclusively to the beings of the World of Command, was something that I could not accept without doubts. While studying books on Islamic philosophy, I repeatedly came across such interpretations in regard to the verses of the Qur’an which did not appear convincing to me. Probab­ly such recurring encounters, after a while, compelled me to review my understanding of the meanings of the Qur’an.
For the last several years, I have undertaken research in regard to those verses of the Qur’an which deal with metaphysics, theology, and other related subjects. My method of work is that firstly I collect the verses of the Qur’an relating to each subject, I then derive their meanings as indicated by the verses themselves, comparing the contents of one verse with another, without any reference to the views expressed by commentators and others. After this, I survey the views expressed by commentators, traditionists, theologians (mutakallimun), philoso­phers, mystics (`urafa) and others, in regard to the meanings of these verses. The purpose was to separate the views that can possibly be attributed to the Qur’an and considered as being based and dependent on it, from all that is part of a hangover resulting from such factors as tradition (hadith), views of the commentators, theologians, philosophers, and mystics, as well as other viewpoints derived from attempts at interpretation and explanation (ta'wil wa tafsir) and trans­ference of extraneous notions to the explicit meanings of the verses of the Qur’an.
It is most undesirable and inappropriate that a view relating to theological matters which is regarded as acceptable and convincing on various grounds, should be thereafter transferred to the Qur’an, and then, with great labour, a coincidence of meaning be juggled out; further, when the topic is put for discussion and debate, a verse of the Qur’an be quoted as one of the arguments‑or the main argument‑in favour of the preconceived view, thereby imposing it upon the Qur’an and invoking its justification.
I undertook a study of the above mentioned verses of the Qur’an on the same basis. My research in regard to these and other seventy‑five verses bearing the word amr (command) or its other derivations which are more or less related to this discussion, as well as many other verses collected in relation with the subject of Divine Unity (tawhid), and which are related essentially with this topic, indicated that the term `World of Command', or rather the very basis of the theory of World of Command as formulated by some philosophers, theologians and mys­tics‑as discussed briefly in the beginning of this article‑can not be based on the Qur’anic verses.


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