Rafed English

A Brief Exegesis of the Blessed Surah of al-Hamd

By: Ayatullah al-Uzma Imam Khomeini (R.A.)

Scholars differ about the relation of "B" [ba] in the Bismillahir Rahmanir-Rahim. Each one of them says something about it according to his way of thinking, knowledge and gnosticism. For example, men of letters relate it to the entry "beginning" [ibtida] or "seeking help" [isti`anat]. As to some narratives to the effect that Bismillah means: "I seek help [from Allah]", it is either in accordance with the common taste, as is very much current in the hadiths, and the difference of many hadiths is ascribed to this predicate, and it is thus that Imam ar-Rida (AS) explained Bismillah to mean: "I put on myself a simah [mark] of Allah's", [394] or "seeking help" denotes too delicate a meaning to be understood by the common people, as it includes the secret of tauhid in a subtler way.

Some people of knowledge say that it refers to "appeared" [zahara], that is: "Existence appeared by Bismillah". [395] This is in accordance with the people of knowledge, suluk and gnosticism, who say that all beings, the atoms of existence and the invisible and visible worlds are the manifestations of the all-embracing Name of Allah, i.e. "The Greatest Name". Consequently, "name", which means a sign, a mark, or height and elevation, is Allah's effusive and actual manifestation, which is called "Effusive Emanation" [faid-i munbasit] and "illuminous annexation" [idafa-i ishraqi], because, according to this conduct, the whole of the House of Realization, as from the abstract intellects down to the lowest degrees of existence, are the phenomenalizations [ta'ayyunat] of this emanation [faid] and the descents [tanazzulat] of this grace [latifah]. This conduct is supportable by many noble divine ayahs and honourable hadiths of the infallible and purified Ahlul Bayt (AS), such as the noble hadith in al-Kafi which says: "Allah created the Will [mashiyat] through the Will itself, then He created all the things through Will." [396] This honourable hadith is interpreted according to the opinion of each interpreter's creed. The most obvious one is that which is in conformity with the creed saying that "Will" means, here, the Will in Action, which is the "Effusive Emanation", and the "things" are the stages of existence, and which are the phenomena [ta `ayyunat] and the descents [tanazzulat] of this grace. So, the hadith will thus mean that Allah, the Exalted, has created the Will of Act-which is the shadow [zill] of the Old Essential Will - through the Will itself, without intermediation, and the other creatures of the invisible and visible worlds have been created in the wake of that. Yet, Sayyid Muhaqqiq Damad [may his grave be sanctified], a great scholar and strict researcher as he was, interpreted this noble hadith [397] in a strange way. Similarly, the explanation of the late Fayd[may Allah have mercy upon him] is also far from being correct [398]

However, "Name" is the very manifestation of Act, with which this House of Realization is realized [actualized]. The term "Name", referring to real things, is frequently noticed to be used by Allah, His Messenger and the infallible Ahlul Bayt, who said" "We are the Beautiful Names". [399] In the noble invocations one frequently recites: "By Your Name in which You manifested to so and so." [400]

It is possible that the Bismillah at the opening of each Surah belongs to the same surah. For example, the Bismillah of the blessed surah of "al-Hamd" belongs to the surah itself. This opinion coincides with the gnostic taste and the way of the people of knowledge, as it is to say that the praise of the praisers and the eulogy of the eulogists point to the self-subsistence of the Name "Allah". Therefore, the tasmiyah comes as a preliminary to all words and acts-which is an act of religious supererogation -and it is to remind that whatever word or act done by man is by the self-subsistence of the divine Name, since all the particles of existence are the phenomena of "Allah's Name", and, in a way, they themselves are "Allah's names". On this basis, the meaning of the Basmalah, according to the majority, is different in each surah, each word and each act. The jurisprudents say that the Basmalah must be defined for each surah, that is, if for a surah a Basmalah was recited, the next surah cannot be commenced with that same Basmalah. From the juristic point of view, this is not without reason, as, actually, it is reasonable within the scope of this research. But, considering the vanishing of multiplicities in the Greatest Name of Allah, all Bismillahs have a single meaning.
These two opinions are also applied to the stages of existence and the stations of invisibility and visibility: In the view of multiplicity and seeing the phenomena, all the multiplied beings, the stages of existence and the phenomena of the world are the different names of the Beneficent, the Merciful, the Powerful and the Gracious. In the view of the vanishing of multiplicities and the effacement of the lights of existence in the eternal light of the Sacred Emanation [faid-i muqaddas], there is nothing except the Holy Emanation [faid-i muqaddas] and the All- embracing Name of Allah. Both of these two opinions are also present in the Divine Names and Attributes. According to the first opinion, the state of Unity [wahidiyat] is the state of multiple Names and Attributes, as all multiplicities are from Him. According to the second opinion, there is no name and form [ism a rasm] except the Greatest Name of Allah. These two opinions are wise and through the step of thinking. But if the view became gnostic through opening the doors of the heart, and through the steps of conduct and cordial austerity, Allah, the Exalted, will appear in the hearts of its possessors through His manifestations in Act, Name and Essence, sometimes in the Attribute of multiplicity and sometimes in the Attribute of Unity. The Glorious Qur'an refers to these manifestations, both overtly , as in His saying: "And when his Lord manifested [His light] to the mountain, He made it crumble to dust, and Moses fell down senseless, " [401] and covertly, as in the scenes witnessed by Ibrahim (AS) and the Messenger of Allah (SA), which are referred to in the surahs "al-An'am" and "an-Najm", as well as in the narratives and the invocations of the infallibles (AS) which frequently refer to the same, especially in the great dua [invocation] called "as-Simat", whose authenticity and text cannot be denied by the deniers, and it is accepted by both the Sunnis and the Shi`ahs, and by both gnostics and common people. In this noble invocation there are many high meanings and teachings smelling which raptures the gnostic's heart, and its breeze blows divine breath into the salik's spirit. It says" "By the light of Your Face with which You appeared to the mountain and made it crumble to dust, and Moses fell down senseless; by Your Glory which appeared at the mount of Tur of Sina , with which You talked to Your servant and messenger, Moses the son of `Imran (AS); and by Your rise in Sair and Your appearance on the mount Faran... [402]
In short, the salik to Allah has to inform his heart, when reciting the Basmalah, that all the outward and inward beings and all the visible and invisible worlds, are under the education of the Names of Allah, or rather, they are manifest by the manifestation of the Names of Allah, and all his motions and stillness, and all the world's, are based on the self-existence of the Greatest Name of Allah. So, his praises are for Allah, and his worship, obedience, monotheism and sincerity are all because of the self-existence of the Name of Allah. It is by intense remembrance, which is the aim of worship, that this state, this divine grace, is established and fixed in his heart, as Allah, the Exalted, in His intimate meeting and sacred assembly, with His interlocutor, said: "Verily I am Allah; there is no god but 1; so worship Me and perform the salat for My remembrance". [403] The objective of performing the salat is, He said, to remember Him. After intense remembrance, another way of knowledge will be opened to the heart of the gnostic and he will be attracted to the world of Unity until the tongue of his heart recites: "Praise is for Allah by Allah", and "You are as You praised Yourself," [403a] and "I take refuge in You from You". [403b]

That was a summary of the relation of the "B" [ba'] in Bismillah, and some information obtained from it. As to the secrets of the "B" [ba'], and the dot under the "B" [ba'] of Bismillah, which, in its innermost, refers to the `Alawian position of guardianship, and the state of the Qur'anic Collective Union [am'ul jam'], they need a wider scope to explain.
As regards the truth of the Name, it has an invisible station, an invisible of the invisible, and it has a secret, a secret of the secret, a state of manifestation and a manifestation of the manifestation. The Name is the mark [`alamat] of Allah and is vanished in His Sacred Essence. So, any name which is nearer to the horizon of the Unity, and farther from the world of multiplicity, is more complete in nomination [nameness = ismiyat]; and the most complete name is that which is innocent from multiplicities, even the multiplicity of knowledge, and that is the invisible manifestation of "Ahmadian oneness" [ahadi-i ahmadi] in the Essence [hadrati-i dhat] by the state of the "Holiest Emanation" [faid-i aqdas], which may be what was referred to by the noble ayah: " ... or closer still". [404] Then there is the manifestation by the Greatest Name of Allah in the Unity [hadrat-i wahidiyat]; then there is the manifestation by the "Holy Emanation" [faid-i muqaddas]; then there are the manifestations by the attributes of multiplicity in the essences [hadarat-i ayan], etc. till the last stage of the House of Realization. The writer has already explained this brief in Misbahul Hidayah [405] and in the exegesis of Du`a' us-Sahar. [406]

"Allah" is the state [maqam] of appearance in the "Holy Emanation" if by "Name" the existential individuations [ta`ayyunat-i wujudiyah] are meant, in which case applying "Allah" to it as a union between the manifest and the manifestation, and the vanishing of the Name in the Named, is not objectionable. Perhaps, the ayahs "Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth , [407] and "And He it is Who in the heaven is God, and in the earth is God,"[408] are a reference to this state, and an evidence proving the said application. It is the state of Unity [wahidiyat] and the Union [jam'] of the Names. In other words, it is the state of the Greatest Name if by "Name" the state of manifestation by the "Holy Emanation" is intended. This is probably more obvious than the other possibilities. Or it is the state of the Essence or the state of the "Holiest Emanation" if by "Name" the "Greatest Name" is intended. Consequently, the states of "Beneficent" [rahman] and "Merciful" [rahim] are different, according to these possibilities, as is clear.

It is possible that "Beneficent" and "Merciful" are adjectives for "Name", or they may by adjectives for "Allah", but they are more suitable to be adjectives for "Name", because in praising they are adjectives for "Allah", and thus, it will be immune from repetition, although their being adjectives for "Allah" is also justifiable. In repetition there is, however, a point of eloquence. If we take them to be adjectives for "Name", it supports the idea that by "Name" the Essential Names [alma'-i `ainiyah] are intended, because only the Essential Names can bear the adjectives of "Beneficent" and "Merciful". So, if by "Name" the Essential Name and the manifestation in the state of Collectivity are intended, "Beneficent" and "Merciful" will be attributes of the Essence, which, in the manifestations by the state of Unity, are confirmed for "the Name of Allah", and the mercy of the Beneficent and the Merciful in Act is of their demotions [tanazzulat] and appearances. And if by the "Name" the collective manifestation in Act [tajalli-i jam'i-i fi'li] is intended, which is the state of Will, the "Beneficence" and "Mercifulness" are attributes of Act. So, the mercy of the "Beneficence" [rahmaniyat] is the expanse of the origin of the existence, which is general and for all beings, but it is of the particular attributes of Allah, because in expanding the origin of the existence, Allah, the Exalted, has no partner, and the hands of other beings are short of having the mercy of creating: There is no effecter in the [world of] existence except Allah, and there is no God in the House of Realization but Allah."

Regarding the mercy of "Mercifulness" [rahimiyat], of whose exudations [rashahat] is the guidance of the guides on the road, it is especially for the fortunate and the high dispositions, but it is of the general attributes, of which other beings have their share, too, as it has already been explained that the mercy of Mercifulness is of the general mercies, and that the wicked [ashqiya] have no share of it is because of their own evils, not because of any limitation. Therefore, guidance and invitation are for the entire human family, as is confirmed by the Glorious Qur'an. However, another opinion says that the mercy of the "Mercifulness" belongs only to Allah, and no one else has any share of it. The noble narratives, taking into consideration the different opinions and estimations, also differ in explaining the mercy of Mercifulness. Sometimes it is said: "The `Beneficent' is a particular Name for a general Attribute, and the `Merciful' is a general Name for a particular Attribute." [409] In another instance it is said: "[He is] Beneficent to all His creatures, and Merciful to the believers in particular". [410] It is also said: "O Beneficent of this world, and Merciful of the Hereafter", [411] or "O Beneficent and Merciful of this world and the Hereafter."

A Gnostic Research

Men of letters say that Rahman [Beneficent] and Rahim [Merciful] are derived from rahmah [mercy] and that both denote hyperbole, but in Rahman the exaggeration is more than it is Rahim. Analogy requires that Rahim should have preceded Rahman, but since Rahman is as a personal proper name and cannot be ascribed to other beings, it, thus, came first. Some say that both have the same meaning, and the repetition is for mere confirmation. The gnostic taste-according to the highest levels of which the Qur'an has been revealed -requires that Rahman should precede Rahim , because the Qur'an, according to the people of heart, is the descendant of the divine manifestations, and the written form bearing the divine Beautiful Names, and, as ar-Rahman is the most all-embracing of the divine Names next to the Greatest Name, and as the people of knowledge are certain that the manifestations by the embracing Names [asma'-i muhitah] are prior to the manifestations by he embraced Names [asma'-i muhatah], and as every Name that is more embracing, its manifestation is prior, too, therefore, the first manifestation in the Unity [hadrat-i wahidiyat] is the manifestation in the Greatest Name of Allah. Then comes the manifestation in the state of the Beneficence and after that comes the manifestation in the state of Mercifulness [rahimiyat]. Similarly, in the manifestation of the appearance in Act, it is the manifestation in the state of "Will", which is the Greatest Name in this scene [mashhad] and the appearance of the Greatest Name of the Essence, that has priority over all manifestations. The manifestation in the state of Beneficence-which embraces all the beings of the invisible and visible worlds, and to which the ayah: "My mercy encompasses all things" [412] refers - is to precede other manifestations, as the saying "His mercy precedes His anger" [413] refers to that in some aspects.

Generally speaking, as the Basmalah, according to the inside and the spirit, is the form of the manifestations in Act, and according to the secret and the secret of the secret, it is the form of the manifestations of Names, or rather of Essence, and these manifestations appear first in the state of "Allah", then in the state of the. "Beneficent", and then in the state of the "Merciful", the pronounced and written forms should also be like that so as to be in conformity with the divine system. Regarding the "Beneficent" and the "Merciful" in the noble Surah of al-Hamd, which come later than "The Lord of the worlds", it may be because in the Basmalah the attention is directed to the appearance of the existence from the hidden and invisible places of existence. In the noble surah the attention is paid to the return and the inside. However, in this possibility there is a problem. Maybe it refers to the comprehensiveness of the mercy of "Beneficence" and "Mercifulness", or there may be another point. In any case, the said point concerning the Basmalah deserves to be believed in, and probably this is out of the blessings of the Mercy of the Mercifulness bestowed upon the heart of this humble person. Praise be to Him for what He has favoured.

A Discussion and an Acquisition

The formalist scholars say that ar-Rahman and ar-Rahim are derived from ar-rahmah, implying compassion and kindness. Ibn 'Abbas [may Allah be pleased with him] is quoted to have said: "They are two compassionate words, one of which is more compassionate than the other: ar-Rahman, the compassionate, and ar-Rahim, the kind to His servants providing them with livelihood and favours." [414] As kindness and compassion require an emotion [infi'al], certain interpretation is given for ascribing them to the Sacred Essence, and thus that is regarded allegorical [majazi].

Some others, concerning such attributes in general, say: "Take the results and leave the preliminaries". [415] Regarding ascribing them to Allah, the Exalted, it is based on the effects and acts, not on the beginnings and attributes. So, the meaning of ar-Rahim and ar-Rahman as ascribed to Allah, is the One Who treats His servants mercifully. The Schismatics [mu`tazilah] regard all Allah's attributes as said above, or something like it, and, consequently, attributing them to Allah is also allegorical. But it is, however, unlikely to be allegorical, especially in respect of ar-Rahman, which, if admitted to be allegorical, would entail accepting something quite strange. That is, this word is coined for a meaning which is not allowed to be used allegorically and could not be. In fact, it will be an allegory with no reality. Think of it. People of research, in reply to such objections, say that words are coined for general meanings and absolute facts. So, to be confined to compassion and kindness is not included in what the word "mercy" was coined for, but the common mind has fabricated this attachment, as otherwise it has nothing to do with the coining [wad]. This, as it seems, is far from research, because the one who coined it was, obviously, one of these common people, and the abstract meanings and the absolute facts have not been considered. Yes, if the coiner [wadi] was Allah, the Exalted, or the prophets, according to divine revelation and inspiration, that would be a justification. This, however, is not confirmed, and the external form of this speech is questionable, yet, it is not clear whether this external form was what the men of research intended. It is even possible to say that although the coiner [wadi'] of the words may not have considered, during the coining, the general abstract meanings, yet what had actually been intended for the words were the very general abstract meanings. For example, the coiner of the word "light" had naturally in mind all kinds of accidental [`aradiyah] and sensible lights, as he knew nothing about what is behind these lights. But that which the word "light" denotes is the luminosity, not the mixture of light and darkness. If he was informed that those accidental and limited lights are not pure, but mixed with darkness and torpidity, and if he was asked whether he had intended the word to denote the luminosity or the mixture of light and darkness, he would certainly say that he had intended its luminosity, and the darkness never occurred to him in this respect. We likewise know that the person who coined the word "fire" he thought of nothing other than the worldly fires, and that what made it to occur to him was those fires of this world, and he knew nothing about "The fire kindled by Allah which rises above the hearts", [416] more so if the coiner did not believe in the other world. Nevertheless, this occurrence cannot be a means of limiting the fact, as "fire" refers to the quality of the fire, not that the coiner tried to abstract the meanings, such that it appears strange and far-fetched. But, actually, we say that the words denote the meanings for which they were coined, without any particular limit. Therefore, there is no exception in the case, and the freer the meaning from the aliens and strangers, the nearer it will be to the truth, and farther from the shortcomings of allegory. Take, for example, the word "light" which was coined for being manifest by itself and for manifestating the other, despite the fact that using it for the accidental and mundane lights is not far from the truth, because by using it for them, the limits and the mixing with darkness are not intended, only the self-manifestation and the manifestativeness are intended. But using it for the heavenly lights-whose appearances are more perfect, nearer to the horizon of the intrinsicness [dhatiyat] and stronger in manifestativeness in quantity and quality, and whose mixing with darkness and blemishes is less-is nearer to the truth; and using it for the Lights of Majesty [anwar-i jabarutiyah] is, for the said reason, closer to the truth; and also using it for the Sacred Essence of Allah, the Most High, Who is the Light of the Lights and free from all aspects of darkness, and is mere Pure Light, is the very pure and absolute truth. It can even be said that if "Light" has been coined for "the apparent by itself and manifesting the other", using it for other than Allah, the Exalted, is a reality to the partial intellects, but to the intellects supported [by Allah], and to the people of knowledge, it is allegorical, and it is real only when used for Allah, the Exalted. Likewise the words which are coined for concepts of perfection, such as meanings like existence and perfection.

Consequently, we say that in "Beneficent", "Merciful", "Compassionate", "Kind" and the like, there is an aspect of perfection and completeness, and an aspect of emotion and shortcoming, and these words have been put for that aspect of perfection, which is the origin of that truth. As regards the emotional aspects, which are of the requisites of the growth [nash'ah] and of the strange and alien things of the truth, which, after the descent of these truths in the places of possibility and the low mundane worlds, are concomitant and tangled with them -like the darkness which mingles with the light in the descending growth [nash'ah] - have nothing to do with the meaning of the object. So, using it for a Being Who possesses the Absolute Perfection, and Who is innocent of all aspects of emotion and shortcoming, is the mere pure truth. This explanation, in addition to its being close to the taste of the people of knowledge, suits the conscience of the people of literalism, too.

Hence, it has become clear that such attributes of perfection, which have by descending in some growths [nasha'at], been mixed and interrelated with another matter-of which the Sacred Essence of Allah is innocent-are not allegorical when ascribed to Allah, the Exalted, in their absolute concept. And Allah is the Guide.

When He says: "Alhamdu lillah" [All praise is for Allah], it means that all forms of praise are exclusively for the Divine Sacred Essence. So, do know, dear, that under this noble word is the secret of the particular tauhid, or rather the most particular one. The fact that all forms of praise, that the praisers offer, exclusively belong to Allah, the Exalted, is quite obvious, by evidence, to the people of wisdom and the well-versed in high philosophy, because it is proved that the entire House of Realization is the Expanded Shadow [zill-i munbasit] of Allah and His Flowing Emanation [faid-i mabsul], and that all the apparent and hidden favours, whoever the donor may be, as it appears and as the common people think, are Allah's, and no being participates with Him. Even the preparatory participation in this respect is the opinion of the people of the common philosophy, not the high philosophy. So, as praise is offered for favours, gifts and beneficence, and as there is no benefactor in the House of Realization except Allah, all praises belong to Him. And also as there are no Beauty and no Beautiful save His Beauty and Him, all praises return to Him.

In other words, every praise and extolment by any praiser or extoller is because of a favour and a perfection on the other side. As to the place and the occasion of the favour and the perfection, that diminish and limit these, they have no participation in the praise and extolment, rather they are incompatible and contradictory. So, all praises and extolments return to the part [hazz] of Divinity, which is perfection and beauty, not to that of the creature, which is deficiency and limitation.

In other words still, eulogizing the Perfect and thanking and praising the Benefactor [mun`im] are of the God-given dispositions, which are in the innermost of all beings. Among other divine dispositions is the feeling of disgust with the shortcomings, imperfections and what decreases the favour. The absolute favour which is free from all fault, and the complete Beauty and Perfection which are innocent of all kinds of deficiency, exclusively belong to Allah, while the other beings decrease the absolute favours and the absolute beauty and limit them, not that they increase and support them. Thus, all peoples are disposed to thank and praise the Sacred Essence of Allah, and disregard the other beings, except those beings who, according to their journey through the kingdoms of perfection and the towns of love, have been annihilated in the Glorious Essence of Allah, since loving them and praising them are the very loving of Allah and praising Him. "Loving Allah's favourites is loving Allah."

Up to here we have been explaining the positions of the ordinary people who are still within the veils of multiplicity and have not yet got rid of all sorts of hidden, and deeply hidden, polytheism, nor have they reached the perfect degree of sincerity and purity.

But, according to the knowledge [`irfan] of those whose hearts have been annihilated in certain states, all the favours and all perfection, beauty and majesty are the form of the manifestation of the Essence, and all praises and thanks belong to the Sacred Essence of Allah, or rather praise and thanks are from Himself to Himself [417] , as is referred to by the connection of Bismillah [In the Name of Allah] to al-hamdu lillah [all praise is for Allah].

Know that the salik to Allah, the striver in the way of Allah, should not be satisfied with the scientific limit of this knowledge [ma'arif], spending his whole life on induction [istidlal], which is veil, or rather the greatest veil, for to cover this distance with "wooden legs" [418], or even by the "bird of Solomon" [419], is not possible. It is the valley of the holy men and the stage of the humble [warastagan]. Without " taking off the shoes " [420] of loving rank, honour, women, children, and, unless he gives up dependence and inclination towards other than Allah, he will not be able to step into the sacred valley, which is the place of the sincere ones and the godly men. If the salik set his foot in this valley with the truths of sincerity, kicking off multiplicity and this world-which are fancy upon fancy-should there be in him any remnants of selfishness, a hand from the invisible world would assist him, and his mountain of I-ness would be shattered by the divine manifestation, and he would undergo a state of "senselessness" and "annihilation". These states in the hard hearts -which have no share and no information except concerning this world, and which know nothing but the Satanic conceit-seem irregular and abnormal, and they ascribe them to fantasies, despite the fact that the annihilation which we now have in nature and in this world is stranger and more wonderous than the annihilation which the people of gnosticism and suluk claim. We are negligent of all the invisible worlds, which, from all aspects, are more apparent than this world, or rather of the Essence and Attributes of the Sacred Essence to Whom appearance exclusively belongs, while to prove those worlds and the Sacred Essence of Allah, the Most High, we cling to evidences and induction.

Bewilderment upon bewilderment come from this story, The swoon of the elite is the meanest [or the most special]. [421]

If the word akhass is written with the letter sad [s] there can be not so much bewilderment, because the annihilation of the imperfect in the perfect is natural and is in accordance with the divine law. But the bewilderment is when the word akhass is written with the letter sin [s], as this swoon and the annihilation are happening to us all. Our ears and eyes are so absorbed and annihilated in nature that we are completely unaware of the uproars of the invisible world.

A Tradition and a Research

Be informed that men of letters and the formalists say that "praising" [hamd] is thanking [thana] by the tongue for a voluntary favour [jamil], and, as they are unaware of all tongues except this fleshy tongue, they regard all praising and glorifying Allah, or rather all the talks of the Sacred Essence, to be a sort of figurative speech. They likewise take the talking, the praising and glorifying Allah by all beings to be allegorical. So, they regard Allah's talking to be creating talking, while in the other beings they regard praising and glorifying to be genetic [takwini] and intrinsic [dhati]. They think that speaking is, in fact, exclusively confined to their own species, thinking that the Sacred Essence of Allah, the Most High, and other beings, are unable to speak, or rather they are -God forbid! -dumb. They take this to be declaring the innocence of the Sacred Essence, whereas this is a limitation [tahdid], or even a disruption [ta`til], and Allah is innocent of such innocence, as most of the glorifications of the common people are limitation and assimilation [tashbih]. We have already explained how the words were coined for the general and absolute meanings. Now we add: We are not, however, very keen on confirming that the divine facts should necessarily come true under linguistic terminological facts, as it is the correctness of the application [itlaq] and the intellectual truth that are the criterion in such discussions, even if the linguistic fact is also proved, according to the former discussion.

Therefore, we say that language, speaking, speech, writing, book, praising and thanking are of diverse degrees in proportion to the existential growths [nasha'at-i wujudiyah], as each one corresponds to its own growth [nash'ah] and degree. And praising [hamd], in each instance, is for a favour [jamil] and glorifying [madh] is for a beauty and a perfection. So, when Allah, the Most High, according to His Self-knowledge [`ilm-i dhati], saw, in the Invisible ipseity [huwiyat], His Beautiful Beauty, in the most complete degree of knowing and seeing, He was delighted [mubtahij] at His Beautiful Essence at the highest degree of delight [ibtihaj]. So , He manifested in the eternal manifestation and at the highest degree of manifestation in the Essence [hadrat-i dhat] for the Essence. This manifestation and disclosing the hidden secret and the "Self-argument" [muqari'a-i dhatiyah] is a "Self-speech" [kalam-i dhati] which takes place with the tongue of the Essence in the Unseen [hadrat-i ghaib]. Witnessing this spoken manifestation is hearing the Essence. This praising of the Essence for the Essence of Allah, is Allah's praise which the other beings are incapable of understanding, such that the sacred person of the Sealing Prophet, the most honourable and the nearest to Allah, confesses his incapability and says: "I cannot count the praises for You, You are as You have praised Yourself." [422] It is known that counting the praises is a branch of knowing the Perfection and Beauty, but as the complete knowledge of the absolute Beauty is not possible, similarly the real praise cannot be performed. The utmost knowledge [ma'rifat] of the people of knowledge and gnosticism is to confess incapability.

The people of knowledge say that Allah, the Exalted, praises and glorifies Himself with five tongues, which are: the tongue of the Essence as such, the tongue of the Unseen Oneness [ahadiyat-i ghaib], the tongue of the Collective Unity [wahidiyat-i jam`iyah], the tongue of the Distinct Names [asma'-i tafsiliyah] and the tongue of the entities [a'yan]. These are other than the tongue of manifestness, the first of which is the tongue of Volition [mashiyat], down to the end of the ranks of the individuations, which are the tongue of the existential multiplicities.

Know that all the beings have a share, or even shares, of the invisible world, which is mere life running throughout the entire House of Existence. This subject is proved to the people of high philosophy by proofs, and to the people of heart and knowledge by witnessing and eyeing. The noble divine ayahs and the hadiths of the guardians of the revelation (AS) refer to it quite explicitly. The veiled people of the common philosophy and literalism, who could not recognize the speech of the beings, resort to interpretation and justification. It is quite strange that the people of literalism, who invalidate the people of philosophy for interpreting the Book of Allah according to their own understanding, they themselves resort, in this respect, to interpreting so many of the plain ayahs and the outright correct hadiths, just because they could not recognize the talking of the beings, even without having a proof at their disposal. So, they interpret the Qur'an without any proof and only because of improbability [istib`ad]. At any rate, the House of Existence is the origin of life and the truth of understanding and consciousness. The glorification of the beings is pronunciational, conscious and volitional, not genetic, innate, as the veiled claim. All beings are acquainted with the state [maqam] of Allah, the Most High in proportion to their share of being. Now, as there is no being busier with nature and more indulgent in multiplicity than man, he, thus, is more wrapped in veils than other beings, unless he takes off his garment of being a human, and pierces the veils of multiplicity and otherness, so as to be able to witness, unveiled, the Beauty of the Beautiful, in which case, his praise and glorification would be more comprehensive than all praises and glorifications, and he would be worshipping Allah with all His divine affairs and all His Names and Attributes.


Know that the noble saying [kalimah]: "All praise is for Allah", according to what had already been said, is of the all-inclusive sayings [kalimat], and, if with its delicacies and truths one praises Allah, he will be performing the most that is in the capacity of a human being to perform. Hence the noble hadiths refer to it. It is narrated that Imam al-Baqir (AS) once came out of a house and found that his mount had gone. He said: "If I find the mount, I will praise Allah as praising deserves." When his mount was found, he mounted, tidied his clothes and said: All praise is for Allah."[423] The Messenger of Allah (SA) is quoted to have said: "`There is no god but Allah' is half of a scale, and `All praise is for Allah' fills the other half of the scale."[424] This is because of what we have said that "All praise is for Allah" includes monotheism, too.

The Messenger of Allah (SA) is also quoted to have said: "The servant's saying: `All praise is for Allah' is heavier, in His scales, than seven heavens and seven earths."[425] He (SA) is also quoted to have said: "If Allah gave to one of His servants the entire world, and then that servant said: `All praise is for Allah', that saying would be better than what he had been given."[426] Further quotation from him (SA) says: "Nothing is more loved by Allah than one's saying: `All praise is for Allah', as Allah Himself has so praised Himself. , [427] There are many similar hadiths.

Allah, the Exalted, said: "Rabbil `Alamin" [the Lord of the worlds]. If "rabb" means: "the Most High" [muta`ali], "the Constant" [thabit] and "the Master" [sayyid], then it is of the Names of the Essence. If it means: "the Possessor" [malik], "the Owner" [sahib], "the Victorious" [ghalib] and "the Omnipotent" [qahir], then it is of the attributive Names. If it means: "the Educator" [murabbi], "the Benefactor" [munim], and "the Completer" [mutammim], then it is of the Names of Acts.

"All-Alamin" [the worlds], if it means: "Everything other than Allah", which covers all the stages of existence and the stations [manazil] of the invisible and visible, then we have to take "rabb" to be of the Names of Attributes. If "world" is "the visible world" [`alam-i mulk], which gradually takes place and reaches its perfection, then "rabb" means a Name of Act. At any rate, here it does not mean a Name of Essence. Maybe, in a way, "Alamin" refers to the visible worlds, which attain to their suitable perfection under the divine education [tarbiyat] and management [instruction = tamshiyat]. In this case the word "rabb" means educator, being one of the Names of Acts.

Do know that in this paper we refrain from explaining the linguistic, literary and structural aspects of the ayahs , because others have mostly handled them. Certain points which have not been handled at all, or inaccurately handled, we shall properly deal with them.

It must be noted that the Names of Essence, Attributes and Acts, which have been referred to, are according to the terms of the people of knowledge. A learned man of the people of knowledge, in Insha'ud-Dawa'ir has divided the Names into: The Names of Essence, the Names of Attributes and the Names of Acts. He has said: "The Names of Essence are: Allah, ar-Rabb [the Lord], al-Malik [the King], al-Quddus [the Holy], as-Salam [the Peace], al-Mu'min [the Faithful], al-Muhaymin [the Protector], al-Aziz [the Almighty], al-Jabbar [the Omnipotent], al-Mutakabbir [the Haughty], al-All [the Exalted], al-Azim [the Tremendous], az-Zahir [the Outward], al-Batin [the Inward], al Awwal [the First], al Akhir [the Last], al-Kabir [the Great], al-Jalil [the Majestic], al- Majid [The Glorious], al-Haqq [the Truth], al-Mubin [the Manifest], al-Wajid [the Finder], al-Majid [the Noble], as-Samad [the Everlasting Refuge], al-Muta`ali [the Most High] al-Ghani [the Independent], an-Nur [the Light], al-Wa'rith [the Inheritor], Dhul-Jalal [the Owner of Majesty], and ar-Raqib [the Watcher].
The Names of Attributes are: al-Haiy [the Living], ash-Shakir [the Grateful], al-Qahhar [the Conquerer], al-Qahir [the Subduer], al-Muqtadir [the All-Powerful], al-Qawiy [the Strong], al-Qadir [the Able], ar-Rahman [the Beneficent], ar-Rahim [the Merciful], al-Karim [the Generous], al-Ghafir [the Forgiver], al-Ghafur [the Forgiving], al-Wadud [the Affectionate], ar-Ra'uf [the Compassionate], al-Halim [the Clement], as-Sabur [the Patient], al-Barr [the Righteous], al-Alim [the Omniscient], al-Khabeer [the Aware], al-Muhsi [the Counter], al-Hakim [the Wise], ash-Shahid [the Witness], as-Sami` [the Hearer] and al-Basir [the Seer].

The Names of Acts are: al-Mubdi' [the Beginner], al-Wakil [the Guardian], al-Ba`ith [the Resurrector], al-Mujib [the Responsive], al-Wasi' [the Expansive], al-Hasib [the Reckoner], al-Muqit [the Nourisher], al-Hafiz [the Protector], al-Khaliq [the Creator], al-Bari' [the Maker], al-Musawwir [the Shaper], al-Wahhab [the Giver], ar-Razzaq [the Provider], al-Fattah [the Opener], al-Qabid [the Restrainer], al-Basit [the Spreader], al-Khafid [the Abaser], ar-Rafi [the Exalter], al-Muizz [the Honourer], al-Mudhill [the Humiliater], al-Hakim [the Wise], al-'Aadil [the Just], al-Latif [the Subtle], al-Muid [the Restorer], al-Muhyi [the Life-giver], al-Mumit [the Death-giver], al-Wali [the Patron], at-Tawwab [the Relenting, the Accepter of Repentence], al-Muntaqim [the Avenger], al-Muqsit [the Equitable], al-Jami` [the Comprehensive], al-Mughni [the Enricher], al-Mani` [the Deterrent], ad-Darr [the Harmful], an-Nafi` [the Beneficial], al-Hadi [the Guide], al-Badi` [the Magnificent] and ar-Rashid [the Prudent]. [428]

Concerning these divisions it is said that although they are all Names of Essence, yet considering the appearance of the Essence, they are called the Names of Essence, and, considering the appearance of the Attributes or the Acts they are called the Names of Attributes or of Acts. That is, whichever of these is more apparent, they are named after it. Consequently, sometimes in a Name two or three aspects appear at the same time, in which case it is regarded a Name of Essence, Attribute and Acts, or of two of these three, like "ar-Rabb", as has been said. But this question does not come to suit the writer's taste, nor does it suit the gnostic taste. What is apparent in this sorting is that the criterion for these Names is that when the salik with the steps of knowledge reached the stage of complete annihilation in Acts, Allah, the Exalted, appears to his heart through the manifestations of Names of Acts. After the annihilation in Attributes, the manifestations will be in the Names of Attributes, and after the annihilation in Essence, the manifestations will be in the Names of Essence. Should his heart have the ability of preservation after coming to sobriety, whatever he tells of his seeings of Acts would be Names of Acts. Similarly, whatever he tells of his seeing of Attributes would be Names of Attributes, and likewise the Names of Essence. There are, in this connection, details which do not suit these pages. That which is stated in the insha'ud Dawa'ir is not correct according to its own criterion, as is obvious on having a look at the Names.

It can be said that these divisions of "the three Names" are referred to in the Glorious Qur'an, in the last noble ayahs of the surah of "al-Hashr". Allah, the Exalted, says: "He is Allah, other than Whom there is no god, the Knower of the invisible and the visible. He is the Beneficent, the Merciful," [429] up to the end of the noble ayahs.

Perhaps the first of these noble ayahs refers to the Names of Essence, the second refers to the Names of Attributes and the third refers to the Names of Acts. Giving precedence to the Names of Essence over those of Attributes, and these over those of Acts, is according to the order of the facts of existence and of the divine manifestations, not according to the witnessings [mushahadat] of the people of witnessing [ashab-i mushahadah] and the manifestations in the hearts of the people of heart. It should be realized that the noble ayahs have other secrets, but to mention them does not suit the situation. That the second ayah is the Names of Attributes, and the third is the Names of Actions, is quite clear. That "the Knower of the invisible and the visible", "the Beneficent" and "the Merciful" are of the Names of Essence, is based on the fact that "the invisible" and "visible" are of the internal and external Names, and "Beneficence" [rahmaniyat] and "Mercifulness" [rahimiyat] are of the manifestations of "the Most Holy Emanation" [fail-i aqdas], not of "the Holy Emanation [faid-i muqaddas]. Confining these Names to the remembrance of Allah, whereas "Living" [hayy], "Constant" [thabit] and "Lord" [rabb] seem nearer to the Names of Essence , is probably because of their comprehensiveness, as they are of the mothers of Names. And Allah knows better.

A Remark

There is a great controversy about the word, the derivation and meaning of "al-`àlamin", [the worlds]. Some say that "al-`àlamin" is plural, covering all kinds of creation, material and abstract, and each kind is a world in itself. It is a plural which has no singular of its root. This is a well-known opinion.

Some others say that "`àlam" is passive participle and "`àlim" is active participle. So, "`àlamin" means "ma'lumin" [the known]. But this opinion , besides having no proving evidence and being unlikely, it is quite silly and irrelevant to say "rabbul ma`lumin" [the Lord of the known].

Some say that "`àlamin" is derived from "`alàmah" [sign] which covers all beings, since everything is a sign and an ayah of the Sacred Essence . The letters "w" [waw] and "n" [nun] refer to the rational beings, giving them priority to the other beings.

Others say that it is derived from "`ilm" [knowledge]. At any rate, regarding it to embrace all creation is correct, as it is justified to take it to cover the rational beings. But "`àlam" is used for everything other than Allah, and is also used for every individual or category. If the one who uses it for every individual and category is of the people of tradition and language, he considers every thing to be a sign of the Creator: "In every thing He has a sign..." [430] And if he is a divine gnostic, he considers every being to be the appearance of the all-embracing Name covering all the truths, by way of the appearance of the Collective Oneness [ahadiyat-i jam`] and the Secret of the Existence. According to this consideration, the entire world and every part of it, can be regarded as the Greatest Name in the state of the Collective Oneness. "The Names are all in all, and such are the signs".

Consequently, the objection of the great philosopher, Sadrul Millat-i wad-Din [Sadrul Muta'allihin] [may his spirit be sanctified], to those like al-Baydawi is applicable, because they have not tasted of this drink [school = mashrab]. But to the ways of the people of gnosticism it is inapplicable. However, as the argument of al-Baydawi and that of the philosopher, on this topic are too lengthy, we refrain from mentioning them. The interested readers may refer to the exegesis of the said late philosopher of Surah al-Fatihah.

If "ar-rabb" is of the Names of Attributes, meaning "Master" or "Owner" and the like, the meaning of "al-`àlamin" may be "everything other than Allah", whether the owned were the beings of the kingdom of the world, or the abstract invisible beings. If it is of the Names of Acts-as it apparently is - the meaning of "al-`àlamin" will only be the kingdom of the visible world, as, in which case, "ar-rabb" will mean "the Educator" -a meaning which is of gradual effectiveness, while the abstract worlds are innocent of gradualness, though, to the writer, the spirit of "graduation" in the world of "dahr" [eternity, perpetual duration] is, in a way, certain; and, in the same way, we have also proved the temporal contingency [huduth-i zamani], meaning the spirit of time and the eternity of graduation [dahriyat-i tadrij] in the abstract worlds. In the gnostic way, the temporal contingency is also proved for all worlds, but not in the same way as referred to by the theologians and the people of hadith.

Another Remark

Do know that "praising" [hamd] is for a "favour" [jamil]. From the noble ayah it is gathered that praising and extolment are confirmed for the state of the Greatest Name as the all-embracing Name [ism-i jami], which has the state of being the Lord of the worlds, "the Beneficent", "the Merciful" and "the Master of the Day of Judgement". So, these noble Names, i.e. "Rabb", "Rahmnn", "Rahim" and "Malik" should have an effective role in the praising. Later on, we shall explain in details Allah's saying: "Maliki yaumiddin" [The Master of the Day of Judgement]. Now, we shall talk about the proportionateness of the state of Divinity to "praising". It is so from two aspects: The first is that as the very praiser is a part of the "worlds", or he may even be "a world" by himself, and from the point of view of the people of knowledge, each one of the beings is a world by itself, he praises Allah, for He, with the hand of divine education, has taken him out of weakness, deficiency, fear and the darkness of the mass of non-existence to strength, perfection, security and the luminous world of humanity. He has also taken him past the corporeal, elemental, mineral, vegetable, and animal stations, under a system arranged according to self-and-substantial movements, and the dispositional and natural inclinations, to the station of humanity, which is the most honourable station of beings. Furthermore, He continues to educate him until he becomes what you can never imagine in your fancy.

"Then I become non-existent, such non-existence that the organ Says to me: "Our return is to Him. [431]
The second is that educating [rearing = tarbiyat] the system of the kingdom of the world, such as the celestial spheres, elements, substances and accidentals, is preliminary to the existence of the perfect man, who is, in fact, the product of the juice [`usarah] of the world of realization and the ultimate end of the beings of the world, and he is, as such, the last product. And, since the visible world moves according to the substantial self-movement, and this is a self-completing movement, to wherever it ends, it would be the objective of creation and the end of the journey. If we look in a universal way at the universal body, [jism-i kull], universal nature, universal vegetable, universal animal and universal man [insan-i kull], we notice that man is the last product who has been created after the substantial self-movements of the world and they have ended in him. So, the educating [rearing] hand of Allah, the Exalted, has been educating [rearing] man in all the world of realization, and man is the first and the last.

That which has been said was about the minor Acts and according to the stages of existence, as otherwise, if taken according to the absolute Act, the Act of Allah, the Exalted, can have no objective except His own Sacred Essence, as is proved in its relevant instances. Should we look at the minor Acts, we would realize that the objective of creating Man is the absolute invisible world, as is stated in the Divine Sayings [qudsiyat]: " O son of Adam! I created all things for you, and I created you for Myself." [432] Allah in the Glorious Qur'an, addressing Moses, son of `Imran [peace be upon him and upon our Prophet and his progeny ], says: "I have made you for Myself." [433] He also says: "And I chose you". [434] So, man is created for Allah and made for His Sacred Essence. From among all the beings man is the chosen and the elect. The destination of his journey is attaining to the door of Allah, annihilation in the Essence of Allah, and sticking to the Court of Allah. His return [ma'ad] is to Allah, from Allah, in Allah and by Allah. In the Qur'an He says: "Surely to Us is their return." [435] Other creatures return to Allah through Man, or rather their return is to Man, as it is stated in the Jami`ah invocation, in which some aspects of the states of guardianship are explained. It says: "The return of the creatures is to you and their reckoning is upon you." It also says: "With you Allah opened and with you He closes," [436] and also in the noble ayah" "Surely to Us is their return, and surely upon Us is their reckoning." [437] In the said invocation: "The return of the creatures is to you and their reckoning is upon you", is one of tauhid's secrets, referring to the fact that to return to the Perfect Man is to return to Allah, as the Perfect Man is absolutely annihilated and lasts by Allah's everlasting, having no individuality, I-ness and selfishness of his own, rather he is of the Beautiful Names and the Greatest Name, to which the Qur'an and the hadiths frequently refer.

The Qur'an contains such delicate points, facts, secrets and subtleties about tauhid that the minds of the people of knowledge are bewildered, and this is the great inimitability of this heavenly and luminous Book, besides its excellent syntax, graceful expression, wonderful elegance, miraculous style, the way of inviting and foretelling the unseen, perfecting the precepts, controlling and managing the family and the like, each one of which is independently extraordinary and beyond man's power. It can even be said that the Glorious Qur'an's being distinguished for its eloquence as one of its inimitabilities well-known all over the world, was because the early Arabs were famous for their eloquence, and, thus, they could understand only that aspect of the Qur'an's inimitability. The Arabs of that time could not comprehend its other more important dimensions which needed a higher degree of understanding. Nowadays, too, those who have a similar level of thinking, can comprehend nothing of this divine grace, except its literal elegance, beautiful rhetorics and eloquent expressions. As regards those who are well versed in the secrets of knowledge and the graces of tauhid and abstraction, know that what attracts them, and what is the goal of their hopes, in this divine Book and heavenly revelation is only its knowledge [ma`arif], and they are not so much interested in its other aspects. Whoever casts a glance at the Qur'an's gnosticism, and at the gnostics of Islam who acquired their knowledge from it, and then makes a comparison between them and the scholars of other religions, concerning their works and knowledge, will very well recognize the higher standard of the knowledge of Islam and the Qur'an, which is the base of the foundation of religion and faith, and the final objective of sending the Messengers and revealing the Books. To believe that this Book is a divine revelation and that its knowledge is divine, does not cost him any difficulty.

A Faithful Awakening

Do know that the Sovereignty [rububiyat] of Allah, the Exalted, over the worlds is of two kinds:
The first is the "General Sovereignty", which covers all the beings of the world, and it is the genetic up-bringing [education] which takes every being out of the limits of its shortcomings to its suitable perfection, under the control of the Divine Sovereignty. All the natural and substantial developments and the essential and accidental movements and improvements are under the control of the Lord. In short, from the stage of the primary matter till the stage of animality and the gaining of the corporeal and spiritual powers of animality, and the genetic evolution, each one of them testifies that: "My Lord is Allah, Glory and Majesty to Him."
The second is the "Legislative Sovereignty", which exclusively belongs to the human species, and the other beings have no share of it. This education is guiding to the roads of salvation, showing the ways to happiness and humanity, and warning against what contradicts them, as explained by the prophets (AS). If somebody voluntarily placed himself at the disposal and education of the Lord of the worlds, and was brought up by Him, such that the actions of his organs and powers, external and internal, would not be prompted by his self, but to be divine, in that case he would attain to the human perfection, which exclusively belongs to the human species.

Up to the stage of animality, man goes side by side with the other animals. To step out of this stage he will have to choose, on his own free will, one of the only two ways before him: One is the way to the stage [abode] of happiness, which is the Straight Path of the Lord of the worlds: "My Lord is on the Straight Path", [438] The other is the way of wretchedness, which is the crooked path of the accursed Satan. Therefore, if he puts the powers and organs of his kingdom at the disposal of the Lord of the worlds to be educated by Him, his heart, which is the sultan of this kingdom, would gradually submit to Him. When the heart becomes a subject to the Lord of the worlds, other soldiers [junud] would follow it, and the whole kingdom would be under His education. Then his invisible tongue, which is the shadow [zill] of the heart, would be able to say: "My Lord is Allah. Glory and Majesty to Him," in reply to the angels of the world of the grave, who ask him: "Who is your Lord?" And, as such a man has obeyed the Messenger of Allah, imitated the Imams of guidance and acted according to the Divine Book, his tongue would be expressive in saying: "Muhammad (SA) is my Prophet, 'Ali and his infallible sons are my Imams and the Qur'an is my Book." But if he did not turn his heart to divinity, and the image of La ilaha illallah, Muhammadun rasulullah, Aliyun waliyullah [There is no god except Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and `Ali is the friend of Allah] was not engraved on the page of his heart such that to become the portrait of the inside of the soul, and if there was no reciprocal spiritual and moral connection between him and the Qur'an as to act according to it, thinking about it, remembering and contemplating it, all his knowledge [ma`arif] would be effaced from his memory when suffering from the agonies of death, his death-sickness, and in the death itself - that monstrous calamity.

My dear! Man, under a typhoid fever and the deterioration of his mental faculties, forgets all his knowledge, except things which have become a second part of his constitution, owing to continual rememberance and close intimacy with them. Should he be inflicted with a serious incident or a dreadful accident, he would be neglecting a lot of his affairs, and the line of forgetfulness would underline his acquired information. So, how about the agonies, sufferings and difficulties of death? What would happen to him then? If the hearing and the heart were not opened, if the heart was not hearing, to instruct him with the necessary beliefs at the time of dying and after it would be of no avail. Talqin [reminding the dead of his beliefs] can be useful only to those whose hearts have acquired the true beliefs and whose hearts' ears are usually open, but at the very moments of death agonies they may undergo a fit of forgetfulness, and thus, the talqin will be a means for the angels of Allah to convey it to their ears. But if man is deaf, with no hearing ears suitable for the worlds of barzakh and the grave, he can never hear the talqin and it can benefit him nothing. There is a hint at some of these in the noble hadiths.

Ar-Rahmanir-Rahim [The Beneficent, the Merciful]: Do know that for all the Names and Attributes of Allah, the Most High, there are, generally, two states [maqam] and two ranks [martabah]: One is the state of the Names and Attributes of Essence, which are constant in His Unity [hadrat-i wahidiyat], such as the Essential Knowledge, which is of the Essential affairs and manifestations, and the Essential Power and Will, and other Essential affairs [shu'un-i dhatiyah].

The other is the state of the Names and Attributes of Acts, which are confirmed for Allah through the manifestation by the Holy Emanation, such as the "Active Knowledge" [`ilm-fi`li], which the Illuminists regard as confirmed, and on it depends the "Detailed Knowledge" [`ilm-i tafsili]. The most merited of the wise men, Khajah Nasiruddin [may Allah make his face bright], has proved this, following the opinion of the Illuminists who say that the criterion for the "Detailed Knowledge" is the "Active Knowledge". [439] However, although this subject is contrary to research-because the "Detailed Knowledge" is confirmed for the Essence, and that the exposure and the details of the Essential Knowledge are higher than the "Active knowledge" and more extensive, as is proved and confirmed, in its relevant place, by an illuminous proof-yet, the original question, that the system of the existence is within Allah's Active and Detailed Knowledge, is proved and confirmed according to the tradition of proving and the method of gnosticism, despite the fact that the higher method and the sweeter gnostic taste have, beside such ways, another way: "The lover's religion is other than that of the others." [440]

Generally speaking, for the mercy of "Beneficence" and "Mercifulness", there are two ranks and two manifestations: one is in the appearance of the Essence in His Unity [hadrat-i wahidiyat] through the manifestation of the Holiest Emanation. The other is in the appearance of the cosmic entities [ayan-i kauniyah] through the Holy Emanation. If the ar-Rahman and ar-Rahim, in the blessed Surah, are of the Essential Attributes-as is more obvious - it will be possible to regard them, in Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim, to be related to "ism" [Name], rather than Attributes of Act. Consequently, there is no repetition at all that one may claim them to be confirmatory repetition, or exaggeration. Based on this, the meaning of the noble ayah will be: With His Beneficent and Merciful will, praise be to His Beneficent and Merciful Essence-Allah knows better. And, as the state of Divine Will is the manifestation of the Sacred Essence, the state of "Beneficence" and "Mercifulness", which is of the determinations [ta`ayyunat] of the state of Divine Will, is the display [jilwah] of the Essential Beneficence and Mercifulness. There are, however, other possibilities which we have left out, as the said one is more obvious.

Maliki yaumiddin [The Master of the Day of Judgement]: Many of the reciters have read: maliki, and there are many literary justifications for both versions, such that even a great scholar [may Allah have mercy upon him] has written a thesis on preferring malik to màlik. But the arguments of both parties are not quite convincing.
That which comes to the writer's notion is that màlik is preferable, or rather, particularly assigned, because this blessed surah and the blessed surah of at-Tauhid, are unlike the other surahs of the Qur'an, since these two surahs are recited by the people in their obligatory and non-obligatory salats, and in every era hundreds of millions of the Muslims have heard them from hundreds of millions of other Muslims, and these from former hundreds of millions, and so on, by hearing these two noble surahs from one another, recited, exactly the same, with no letter advanced and no letter retarded, no letter increased and no letter decreased, by the Imams of guidance and the Messenger of Allah (SA). Although most of the reciters read it malik, and many of the scholars prefer malik, yet none of those things damaged this certain, necessary and successively proved fact, and no body imitated them. And although the scholars allowed imitating anyone of the reciters, no one-except the abnormal [shàdhdh] whose opinion is negligible- necessarily recited malik in his salats, or if somebody did recite malik, it was as a precaution [ihtiyat], besides saying malik, too, such as my learned teacher of the traditional science, Haj Shaykh Abdul Karim Yazdi [may his grave be sanctified], who used, at the request of some of his contemporary scholars, to recite malik, too. Nevertheless, this is too weak a precaution, or, as the writer believes, it is out of question.

The weakness of the said question becomes clear under the saying that in Kufi penmanship malik and màlik are mistaken for each other. This claim can be uttered in respect of the surahs which are not frequently recited, though still with difficulty, but not in respect of this surah which has been confirmed through hearing and reciting, as is quite clear. Such a clai

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