A Commentary on the Hamd Surah - Part 12
An inspiration concerning the ‘Arsh
Do know that concerning the ‘Arsh and its carriers there are different opinions. Similarly, the noble narratives outwardly differ, too, although inwardly there is no difference, since, according to the Gnostic view and demonstrative way, the ‘Arsh covers so many meanings.
One of its meanings” which I did not see in the language of “the people”? is the Unity, which is on the level of the “Holiest Emanation,”? and its carriers are four names, of the Great Names: The First, the Last, the Outward and the Inward.
Another” which also I did not see in the language of “the people”? is the “Holy Emanation,”? which is on the level of the Greatest Name, and its carriers are: ar-Rahman, ar-Rahim, ar-Rabb and al-Malik.
Another one of its concepts is the phrase “all that is other than Allah.” and its carriers are the four angels: Seraphiel, Gabriel, Michael and Israel. Another is the “Universal Body”, which is carried by four angels who are the images of the Archetypes, as is referred to in al-Kafi.
Sometimes it is regarded to be the “Knowledge,”? which may be Allah’s Active Knowledge which is the state of the great guardianship and its carriers are four of Allah’s perfect friends from the ancient nations: Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus (peace be upon our Prophet, his progeny and upon them), and four persons of the perfect ones of this nation: the Seal of the Prophets, Amir al-Mu’minin ‘Ali, al-Hassan and al-Hussein (A.S). Now, as this introduction has been understood, do know that in the noble Surah al-Hamd (the Opening), after the name “Allah”? that refers to His Essence, the four noble names: ar-Rabb, ar-Rahman, ar-Rahim, and Malik, are particularly mentioned, maybe because these four noble names are the carriers of the ‘Arsh of His Unity in respect of the inside, while their outer appearances are Allah’s four favorite angels who are the carriers of the ‘Arsh of “Realization”? . So, the blessed name of al-Rabb is the inside of Michael, who, as al-Rabb’s manifestation, is in charge of the provisions and the education in the world of existence. The noble name of ar-Rahman is the inside of Seraphiel, who is the caretaker of the spirits, the blower of the Trumpet and the spreader of the spirits and the images, as the spread of existence is also in the name of al-Rahman. The noble name of al-Rahim is the inside of Gabriel, who is in charge of teaching and perfecting the beings. The noble name of Malik is the inside of Izrael, who is in charge of taking the spirits and images, and of returning the outside to the inside. So, the blessed Surah, up to “The Owner of the Day of Judgment,”? includes the ‘Arsh of Unity and the ‘Arsh of Realization, with reference to its carriers. Thus, the entire circle of existence and the manifestations of the invisible and the visible, which are translated by the Glorious Qur’an, are mentioned up to this part of the Surah. This very concept is also entirely covered by the Bismillah, which is the Greatest Name. It is also in the “ba”?, which is in the position of causality, and in the dot of bism, which is the secret of the causality. And, as ‘Ali (A.S) is the secret of guardianship [wilayat] and causality, therefore, it is he who is the dot under the “ba”? That is, the dot under the “ba”? is the translator of the secret of guardianship. Contemplate. The reason for contemplation is the difficulty that is in the hadith. And Allah knows better!
A gnostic notice
Perhaps giving priority to ar-Rabb before stating ar-Rahman and ar-Rahim and then Malik at the end is a delicate reference to the way of man’s journey from the material mundane creation up to the complete annihilation, or up to the state of the presence before the Master of the kings. So, as the salik is still at the beginning of the journey, he is gradually being brought up by Rabb al-‘Alamin (the Lord of the worlds), for he is of the world and his conduct is under the control of time and graduation. After leaving the transitory world of nature by the steps of his conduct, the stage of the inclusive names, which do not belong only to the world” in which the aspect of “differentiation”? is predominant” is established in his heart. And, as the noble name of ar-Rahman is more particular than the other, inclusive names, it is stated then, and, as it is the manifestation of mercy and the stage of absolute spreading, it precedes ar-Rahim, which is nearer to the horizon of the interiority. Hence, in the Gnostic conduct, the external names appear first, then after that, the internal names, because the salik’s march is from multiplicity to singleness, until he ends up in the purely internal names, including the name of Malik. Thus, with the manifestation of Ownership, the multiplicity of the invisible and visible worlds will vanish, and the complete annihilation and Absolute Presence will take place. As he frees himself from the veils of multiplicity with the appearance of unity and Divine Sovereignty, and attains the visual witnessing, he converses in presence (with Allah) and says: “You do we worship.”?
Hence, the whole circle of the travelers’ journey is also contained in the noble Surah, from the last veils of the world of nature up to the removing of all the dark and luminous veils and attaining the Absolute Presence. This Presence is the salik’s great resurrection and the rising of his Hour. In the noble verse:
“… and all who are in the heavens and the earth swoon away, except him whom Allah wills…”? the exception may be this group of the people of suluk who would swoon away and be annihilated before the Trumpet is blown. By saying: “I and the Hour are like these two”? when joining his two forefingers, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) may have referred to this concept.
Adapted from: "A Commentary on the Chapter of ‘Praise’" by: "Ayatullah Khomeini (R.A)"
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