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Some Comments on the Blessed Surah of al-Qadr as Much as Suits these Papers-Part 1

He, the Exalted, says : " We revealed it on the night al-Qadr." Lofty matters are there in this noble ayah, to refer to some of which is not without advantage.

The first matter is that this ayah and many of noble ayahs ascribe the revelation of the Qur''an to the Sacred Essence of Allah Himself, as He says: "We have revealed it in a blessed night, " [533] "We have revealed the Reminder and We will be its guardian," [534] and similar noble ayahs. In some other ayahs it is ascribed to Gabriel, the Faithful Spirit, as He says: "The Faithful Spirit descended with it." [535]

The literalist scholars in these instances say that this is metaphorical, similar to: "O Haman! build for me a tower...", [536] Ascribing the revelation, for example, to Allah is because His Sacred Essence was the cause and the one who commanded it to be revealed, or the ascription of the revelation to Allah is real, and as the Faithful Spirit is the means, it is metaphorically ascribed to him. This is because they regard ascribing Allah''s act to the creatures to be like ascribing a creature''s act to another creature. Thus, the tasks of Izrael and Gabriel are ascribed to Allah, the Exalted, as the task of Haman is ascribed to Pharaoh, and the tasks of the builders and the constructors to Haman. But this is an analogy which is completely false and differential. Comprehending ascribing (a creature''s) creation to Allah, and the act of a creature to the Creator is among the important branches of theology and philosophy, through which a lot of problems are solved, including fatalism and free will, of which this matter is a branch.

It must be noted that it has been proved and confirmed in the high sciences that all the House of Realization and phases of existence are the image [surat] of the Holy Emanation, which is the luminous manifestation of Allah. As the Luminous Relation [idafa-i ishraqiyah] is mere relation and pure dependence [faqr] its individuations and images are mere relations, too, having neither identity [haithiyat] nor independence of their own. In another expression, the whole House of Realization is, essentially, attributively and actually, vanished in Allah, because if a being was independent in a personal affair of his, whether in the existential identity or in any of its other affairs, he would be out of the limits of possibility, and would be changed into essential necessity, which is an obvious falsity. If this divine grace is implanted in the heart and the heart tastes it as it deserves, a secret of Qadar [qadr] (fate, predestination) will be exposed to him, and a delicate aspect of the truth of "a matter between two matters" (amr-un baynal amrayn) will be disclosed to him.

So, the effects and the acts of perfection can be attributed to the creature as they similarly can be attributed to Allah, without resorting to metaphor on either side, and this is realized in the view of Unity [wahdat] and multiplicity [kathrat] and joining between the two matters. But, the one who is in mere multiplicity [kathrat] and veiled off Unity, ascribes the act to the creature, heedless of Allah, as we, the veiled, are. The one in whose heart Unity [wahdat] is manifested, will be veiled against the creatures, and will ascribe all acts to Allah, while the gnostic researcher joins between "Unity" and "multiplicity": At the same time of attributing the act to Allah, without resorting to the blemish of metaphor, he also attributes it to the creature, without the blemish of metaphor, too. The noble ayah: " ... And you threw not when you did throw, but Allah threw," [537] in which, while confirming the throwing, negates it, and while negating the throwing, confirms it, is a reference to the way of the great gnostics and their strict faithful method. Our referring to the acts and effects of perfection, excluding the shortcomings, was because the shortcomings'' recourse is to the privations, which are of the individuations [taayyunat] of existence, and are not attributed to Allah, except accidentally [bil''arad]. Going into the details of this subject is not possible in these papers.

Now that this introduction has been understood, the attribution of "revelation" [tanzil] to Allah and Gabriel, and the "bringing to life" [ihya] to Seraphiel and Allah, and the "bringing death" [imatah] to Izrael and the angels in charge of the souls and to Allah, can also be easily understood. There are many references to this matter in the noble Qur''an. It is one of the Qur''an''s Knowledge [maarif] of which there was no trace in the books of the wise men and the philosophers before this Glorious Book, and the human family is indebted to the gift of this Divine Book in this respect, like other divine, Qur''anic Knowledge [maarif].

The second matter is the use of the plural pronoun: "We revealed". The point here is to aggrandize the state of Allah, the Exalted, as the revealer of this noble Book. It may be that this plurality refers to a nominal plurality denoting that Allah, the Exalted, with all the affairs of His Names and Attributes, is the originator of this noble Book. For this reason, this noble Book is the image of the Collective Oneness of all the Names and Attributes, and is the introducer of the Holy state [maqam] of Allah in all affairs [shu''un] and manifestations. In other words, this luminous Book is the image of the Greatest Name, as is the Perfect Man, or rather, the truth of these two, in the Unseen [hadrat-i ghaib], is the same, while in the world of separation they separate in respect of the image, although in respect of concept they do not separate. This is a meaning of: "They would not separate until they come to me at the Pool." [538] As Allah, with the hands of Majesty and Beauty fermented the clay of the First Man, the Perfect Man, He, with the hands of Beauty and Majesty, revealed the Complete Book, the Comprehensive Qur''an. Probably it is for this reason that it was called the Qur''an, because the state of Oneness [ahadiyat] is the Union of Unity and multiplicity, [jam-i wahdat u kathrat], and it is for this reason that this Book can neither be abrogated nor ruptured, because the Greatest Name and its manifestations are eternal and everlasting, and all Shariahs call to this Muhammadan Shariah and guardianship [wilayah].

It is probable that as it is said: "We revealed", on the same basis: "We offered the trust ..." [539] is said in the first person plural, since "the trust", according to its inside, is the truth of guardianship, and, according to its outside, is the Shariah, Islam Qur''an or the salat.

The third matter is a brief about the revelation of the Qur''an. It is of the delicacies [latayif] of divine sciences [ma''arif] and of the secrets of religious facts that only few can scientifically get some information about them, except the perfect godly men, at the head of whom is the very person of the Seal of the Prophets (SA), and then, with his assistance, the others of the godly men and the people of knowledge. No other one can, by way of intellectual intuition, know this divine delicacy [latifa], because this truth cannot be discerned except by attaining to the world of inspiration and getting out of the limits of the worlds of possibility. We shall, in this stage, refer to this truth by way of hints and expressive allegories.

It must be noted that the hearts which travel to Allah by way of spiritual suluk and internal journey, and migrate from the dark station of the self and from the house of 1-ness and selfishness, are, generally, divided into two groups.

First, those who, after finishing their travel to Allah, death overtakes them, and they remain in the state of attraction, annihilation and death. The reward of this group is with Allah, and it is Allah. They are the beloved who perish under the "domes [qibab] of Allah". No one knows them, and they have connection to nobody. They know none but Allah: "My friends are under My domes, no one knows them other than Me." [540]

The second group are those who, having completed their journey to Allah and in Allah, became fit to return to themselves and be subject to a state of sobriety and intelligence. They are those whose aptitude, according to the manifestation by the Holiest Emanation, which is the secret of qadr, has been predetermined, and they have been chosen for perfecting the servants and engendering prosperity in the regions. Having communicated with His knowledge [hadrat-i ilmiyah] and returned to real entities, they disclosed the journey of the entities and their communication [ittisal] with His Holiness [hadrat-i quds], and their travel to Allah and to happiness, receiving the honorable robe [khal''at] of prophethood. This disclosure [kashf] is a divine revelation [wahy], before descending to the world of Gabrielic revelation. After turning from this world towards the descending worlds, they disclose what is in the High Pens and Holy Tablets, in proportion to their comprehension of knowledge and growth of perfection, which belong to the Names [hadarat-i asmaiyah]. The difference of Shari''ahs and prophethoods, or rather all differences, stem from there.

In this stage it sometimes happens that the Unseen Truth and the Holy Secret, proved in His Knowledge [hadrat-i ilmiyah] and the High Pens and Tablets, descend, by way of the unseen of their souls and the secret of their honourable spirits, by means of the Angel of Revelation, Gabriel, into their blessed hearts. Sometimes Gabriel appears in an "ideal image" [tamaththul-i mithali] in the "Ideal" [hadrat-i mithal] to them, and sometimes he takes a "worldly image", appearing from the hidden place [makan] of the Unseen, by that truth to the scene of the world of visibility, bringing down that divine delicacy [latifah]. The receiver [sahib] of the revelation, in each of the emergences [nasha''at], understands and discerns in a certain way: in a way in His Knowledge [hadrat-i ilmiyah], and in different ways in the entities [hadrat-i ay''an], in the Pens [hadarat-i aqlam] in the Tablets [hadrat-i alwah] in the "Ideal" [hadrat-i mithal], in the Common Sense and in the absolute visibilities [shahadat]. These are the seven stages of descension, which may be related to the hadith that the Qur''an has descended on "seven letters", [541] which does not contradict the hadith: "The Qur''an is one, revealed from the One", [542] as is known. This state, however, requires to be expanded upon, but not here.

The fourth matter concerns the secret of the third person singular pronoun "it" [ha] in "we revealed it." As is known, the Qur''an has passed, before being descended to this emergence [nash''ah] through stages and entities [kainunat]. Its first stage was its entity in the Knowledge [kainunat-i ilmiyah] in the Unseen by the speaking of His Essence and by His Self-arguing [muqaria-i dhatiyah] by way of the "Collective Oneness" [ahadiyat-i jam'']. And the said pronoun may be a reference to that state, as, in order to show that percept, He used the third person pronoun, as if to say that this very Qur''an which was revealed on "the night of qadr" is the same scholarly Qur''an, in the unseen secret hidden in the emergence of Knowledge [nash''a-i ilmiyah], and which was descended from those stages, in one of which it was united with the Essence and was of the manifestations of the Names. This apparent truth is that divine secret, and this Book, which has appeared in the uniform of words and expressions, in the stage of Essence is in the image of the Essential manifestations, and, in the stage of Action, is the very manifestation of Act, as the Commander of the Believers (''Ali) (AS) said: "His talk is His act. [543]

The fifth matter concerns "the night of qadr", about which there are many discussions and uncountable pieces of information, which have been expanded upon by the great scholars (may Allah be pleased with them) according to their diverse ways and methods. In these pages we shall briefly relate some of them. As to the matters which they did not mention, we shall refer to them within our relating other matters.

As regards the naming of "the night of qadr", the scholars have different opinions. Some say that as it is honourable and great, and as the Qur''an is great, brought down (in it) by a great angel, to a great Messenger, for a great ummah, it was called "laylatul Qadr" (the night of greatness).


[533]. Surah ad-Dukhan: 3.

[534]. Surah al-Hijr: 9.

[535]. Surah ash-Shu''ara'': 193.

[536]. Surah Mu''min: 36.

[537]. Surah al-Anfa1: 17.

[538]. "The Book of Allah and my ''itrat (progeny) will not be separated from each other until they come to me at the Pool (of Kauthar)." This is a part of a well-known and successively related hadith called Hadithuth-Thaqalayn. Usulul Kafi, vol. 1, page 299, "The Book of Divine Proof'', ch. "Concerning What Allah and His Messenger Imposed of Being with the Imams (AS)", hadith 6; and vol 4, p. 141, "The Book of Faith and Disbelief'', ch. "Concerning the Least by which a Servant may be a Believer", hadith 1.

[539]. Surah al-Ahzab: 72.

[540]. Ihya''u ''ulumiddin, vol. 4, p. 256. A Divine utterance. In some edition it is "qibabi" (my domes) and in some other edition it is "qiba''i" (my cloak).

[541]. Biharul Anwar, vol. 89, p. 83.

[542]. Usulul Kafi, vol. 4, p. 438, "The Book of the Merits of the Qur''an", ch. "The Rarities", hadith 12.

[543]. Nahjul Balaghah, edited by Faydul Islam, p. 737, sermon 228.

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