The Seal of the Wisdom of Existence (Wujud) in the Word of Da'ud (David)
"We subjected the mountains to glorify with him in the evening and sunrise, and also the birds, flocking together, all of them turned to him." Then Allah combined the kingdom and speech and prophethood in Da'ud when He says, "We made his kingdom strong, and gave him wisdom and decisive speech."1 Allah clearly and openly appointed Da'ud Khalif. This was Da'ud, peace be upon him. His freedom of action in the kingdom with this subjection was by a mighty command which was not completed in him alone. Allah also gave it to Sulayman who shared in it as He says, "And We gave knowledge to Da'ud and Sulayman who said, 'Praise be to Allah who has favoured us.'" (27:15) He says, "We gave Sulayman understanding of it. We gave each of them judgement and knowledge."(21:79)
Know that since prophethood and the message are a divine privilege, and cannot be accquired. This is the prophethood which lays down a Shari'a. It is Allah's gift to them. Gifts of this sort are not recompense, nor is recompense demanded from them for these gifts. Allah bestows it on them as pure blessing and favour. So He says, "We gave him (i.e. Ibrahim) Ishaq and Ya'qub." 2 He says of Ayyub, "We gave him his family, and the same again with them." (38:43) He says of Musa, "We endowed him with Our mercy, making his brother Harun a Prophet," (19:53). There are more instances like that.What they received first of all is what they will receive at the last in the totality of their states, or most of them. It is only His name, the Giver.
Allah says in respect of Da'ud, "We gave Da'ud great favour from Us." (34:10) He did not accompany that with a demand for recompense from Da'ud, nor did He say that He gave him what He mentioned as a reward. When He demanded gratitude for that by action, He demanded it of the people of Da'ud, and did not mention Da'ud himself, asking Da'ud's people to thank Him for the blessing which He gave to Da'ud. For Da'ud himself, it is a gift of pure blessing and favour. It is not like that for his people, but rather like the demands of barter. So Allah said, "Work, family of Da'ud, in thankfulness! But very few of My slaves are thankful."3
If the Prophets, peace be upon him, thanked Allah for what He had bestowed on them and given to them, that was not from the command of Allah. They undertook that freely from themselves, as the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, stood thanking Allah until his feet were swollen, when Allah had forgiven Him his wrong actions, past and present. When people commented what he did, he said, "Am I not a thankful slave?" Allah said that Nuh was a thankful slave.4 So the thankful among the slaves are few.
The first blessing which Allah bestowed on Da'ud was that He gave him a name which does not have any connected letters in it:
D W D
By this, He cut him off from the world and He told us this by the name itself which is dâl, alif, and wâw. Allah named Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, with both connected and separated letters:
So in this Allah both joined him and separated him from the world. He combined the two states for him in his name as He combined the two states for Da'ud through meaning (ma'na)5 although He did not put that in his name. That was a privilege which Muhammad had above Da'ud, i.e. calling him by this name. The matter was thus completed for Muhammad in all its aspects. It is the same in his name Ahmad.
That is from the wisdom of Allah.
Then He spoke about the blessing He gave Da'ud in the mountains' echoing of glorification with him.6 So they glorified with his glorification that the deed might be his. It was the same with the birds. He gave him power and described him by it,7 and He gave him wisdom and decisive speech.8
Then the greatest blessing and nearest rank which Allah appointed for him was that his khalifate was mentioned in the divine text. He did not do that with any of his kind, and there were khalifs among them. Allah said, "Da'ud, We have made you a khalif on the earth, so judge between people with truth and do follow your own desires," i.e. whatever comes to your mind in judgement without revelation from Me, "letting them misguide you from the Way of Allah," (38:26) from the path which I revealed to My Messengers. Then Allah showed adab with him and said, "Those who are misguided from the Way of Allah will receive a harsh punishment since they forgot the Day of Reckoning." He did not say to him, "If you go astray from My Path, there is a terrible punishment for you."
If you said that Adam is mentioned as the Khalif in divine text, we will say that it is not the same as in the text regarding Da'ud, for Allah said to the angels, "I am putting a khalif on the earth." (2:30) He did not say, "I am making Adam a khalif." Even if He had said that, it still would not be the same as His words, "We have made you a khalif," in respect of Da'ud. One is implied and the other is explicit. Mentioning Adam in the story after that did not indicate that he is the same as the khalif of whom Allah spoke. Occupy your mind with the transmissions of Allah on His slaves when He transmits them. It is the same in respect to Ibrahim the friend, "I will make you an Imam for the people." (2:124) He did not say "a khalif". We know that the imamate here means the khalifate, but it is not the same because He did not mention it by the most specific of its names which is the khalifate.
Then part of bestowing the khalifate on Da'ud is that He made him a khalif of judgement. That is only from Allah. He told him, "Judge between people with the truth." (5:42) The khalifate of Adam was not of this rank. Da'ud's khalifate was that he follow what was in it previously, not that he delegated with the divine judgement of Allah in His creation. If that had been the case, it would have occurred. However, our discourse is only regarding the khalifs on the earth from Allah, and they are Messengers. As for the khalifate today, it is from the Messengers, not from Allah, so they only judge by what the Messengers prescribed for them. They do not go beyond that except when there is a small point which is only known by those like us. That is in taking what they judge by, from what is in the Shari'a of the Messenger, peace be upon him.
The khalifate is from the Messenger. He takes the judgement from him, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, by transmission or by ijtihad, whose basis is also transmitted from him. Some of us think that the one who takes the judgement takes it from Allah, for he is a khalif from Allah by the source of that judgement. The substance is his inasmuch as it was the Messenger's - the source of his judgement is that of the Messenger's. Outwardly he follows, not disputing his judgement, as will be the case with 'Isa when he descends and judges. It is the same when the Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Those are the ones whom Allah has guided, so be guided by their guidance." 9 This relates to what he recognises as one who is singled out and one who conforms. It is in him by the degree of what the Prophet established of the Shari'a which from the previous Messengers since he confirmed it. We follow him in relation to its confirmation, not because it is a Shari'a of someone else before him. In the same way, the Khalif takes from Allah the same thing that he takes from the Messenger.
In the language of unveiling, we call him "the khalif of Allah", and with outward knowledge, we say "the khalif of the Messenger of Allah". For this reason, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, died and did not transmit the khalifate from himself to anyone else for he knew that among the slaves of Allah are those who will take the khalifate from their Lord. Thus the khalif from Allah is in conformity with the judgements of the Shari'a. Since the Prophet knew that, he did not hinder the matter. Allah has khalifs in His creation who take from the mine of the Messenger and the Messengers that which the Messengers took. They recognise the virtue of their predecessor there because the Messenger is a vessel for increase. The khalif is not a container for the increase which, had he been the Messenger, he would have received. He only gives knowledge and judgement in what he legislates through the specific legislation of the Messenger. Outwardly he follows the Messenger without opposition.
Do you not see that in the case of 'Isa, peace be upon him, when the Jews imagined that he did not add to Musa, as is the case with what we said about the Khalifate today with the Messenger, they accepted him and confirmed him? When he added judgement and abrogated judgement, Musa confirmed it, for 'Isa was a Messenger. They did not accept that because he differed from their creed, and the Jews did not know the matter for what it was - this is why they sought to kill him. His story is what Allah relates to us about them and him in His Mighty Book. He was a Messenger before increase. As for decrease of the judgement or its increase, it is confirmed since decrease is increase of judgement without a doubt.
The khalifate today does not have this rank, but it decreases or increases based on the Shari'a which is confirmed by itjihad, not on the Shari'a which Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, articulated. The khalif might do something which is counter to a hadith in a certain judgement, and so he imagines that that comes from ijtihad. That is not the case, but rather this Imam has not confirmed that the transmission with respect to unveiling is from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. If it had been confirmed, he would have judged by it. If the path in it is fairness in justice, he is not protected from illusion. It is not by transmission in meaning.
Something like this occurs in the khalif today. Similarly, it also applies to 'Isa for, when he descends, he will remove much of the Shari'a established by itjihad. By removing that, he will clarify the form of the legislated truth which he had, especially when the judgements of the Imams differ in the same event. We know absolutely that when revelation descended, it descended in a certain way. That is the divine judgement and none other! Allah confirmed it and it is the Shari'a of confirmation by the removal of interdiction from this community and the vastness of its judgements in it.
As for the statement of the Prophet, "If there are two khalifs, then slay one of them," this is the outward khalifate which has the sword. If they are in agreement, then one of them must be killed by the conflict of the khalifate of meaning. There is no actual killing in it, but killing comes with the outward khalifate. If the khalif does not possess this station, being the khalif of the Messenger of Allah - it is just being from the principle of the basis by which the existence of two gods could be imagined: "If there had been any gods besides Allah in heaven or earth, they would both be ruined," (21:22) even if they are in agreement. We know that if they differ implicitly, the judgement of one of the two will be valid. The one with the operative judgement is the god properly speaking. The one whose judgement is not operative is not god.
From this, we know that every valid judgement in the world today is the judgement of Allah even if it differs from the established judgement in its outward manifestation called the Shari'a. The only judgement which is valid belongs to Allah in the heart of the matter, because the matter which occurs in the world is based on the judgement of the Divine Will, not on the judgement of the established Shari'a,10 whose establishment itself comes from the Will. For that reason, He put His determination into effect. Therefore, Will only has determination in the matter, not in the act which it brings.
The power of the Will (mashi'a) is immense.11 This is why Abu Talib 12 considered it to be the Throne of the Essence, since the will itself necessitates judgement. Nothing occurs in existence nor disappears from it without the Will. When there is opposition to the divine command here, it is called "rebellion". It is only commanding the means, not the command which brings things into being. None opposes Allah at all in what He does in respect to the command of the Will. Opposition only occurs in respect of the command of means. So understand that!
Properly speaking, the command of the Will is directed to bringing the action itself into existence, not to the one at whose hands the action manifests itself. It is impossible that the action should not be. However it takes place in a particular locus, and so, at one moment, it is called opposition to the command of Allah, and at another moment it is called agreement and obedience to the command of Allah. The language of praise and blame follow the action accordingly.
Since the matter itself is based on what we have stated about it, creation of all sorts therefore hopes for happiness. He designated this station as "mercy which encompasses everything."13 It preceded divine wrath, and the predecessor comes before as is its right. That which the latter judges is what the former judged. Mercy obtained it since nothing preceded it, so this is one meaning of "His mercy preceded His wrath" that mercy judges the one who reaches it. It stands at the end. Therefore the end must be reached, and thus mercy and parting from wrath must be reached. It has jurisdiction over everything which reaches it according to what is given to it by the state of the one who arrives.
Whoever possesses understanding
witnesses what we have said.
If they do not understand,
they should take it from us.
There is only what we mentioned in this matter,
so rely on it and be in it now as we were.
What we recited to you came from it to us,
and from us to you is what we gave you from us.
As for the softening of iron,14 hard hearts are softened by reprimand and threat as fire softens iron. The hardness of hearts is a stronger hardness than that of stone. Fire breaks stone, calcifies it and does not soften it. Iron was only softened for him so that protective coats of mail could be fashioned. This is an instruction from Allah that the thing is only protected by itself.1 Mail protects against the spearhead, the sword, the knife and the arrowhead - protection against iron is by iron. The Muhammadan Shari'a brings, "I take refuge with You from You." Understand this! This is the spirit of the softening of iron. He is the Avenger, the Merciful, and Allah grants success.
1. Qur'an 38:18-20.
2. 6:84;19:49; 21:72; 29:29.
3. Qur'an 34:13.
4. Qur'an 17:3.
5. As he had prophethood, the message, the khalifate, the kingdom, knowledge, wisdom, and discrimination.
6. Qur'an 34:10, "O mountains and births! echo with him in his praise!"
7. Qur'an 38:17, "Remember Our slave Da'ud,who possessed true strength."
8. Qur'an 38:20, "We made his kingdom strong, and gave him wisdom and decisive speech."
9. Qur'an 6:90.
10. See the Qur'an 74:54-56, "It is truly a reminder to which anyone who wills may pay heed. But they will only pay heed if Allah wills."
11. The reality of the will necessitates judgement because it is the same as making a demand.
13. Qur'an 7:156, also 40:7.
14. Qur'an 34:10, "We softened iron for him: 'Fashion wide coats of mail and measure well the links.'"
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