The Seal of the Wisdom of the Breath (Nafas) in the Word of Yunus (Jonah)
Know that this human organism in its perfection consists of spirit (ruh), body and self (nafs). Allah created it in His form. The disintegration of its structure is only undertaken by the One who created it either by His hand - and it is only that - or by His command. Whoever undertakes to do that without the command of Allah has wronged himself and exceeded the limits of Allah in it and rushed to the ruin of the one whom Allah has commanded to thrive. Know that compassion to the slaves of Allah is more proper through preservation than jealousy in Allah.
Da'ud, peace be upon him, wanted to build the Bayt al-Muqaddas,1 and built it many times. Whenever he finished it, it was destroyed. He complained about that to Allah. Allah revealed to him, "This House of Mine will not be built by the hands of one who has shed blood." Da'ud said, "O Lord, was that not for Your sake?" Allah said, "Yes, but are they not My slaves?" Da'ud said, "O Lord, let it be built at the hands of someone who is from me!" Allah revealed to him, "Your son Sulayman will build it."
What is meant in this story is that the preservation and maintenance of this human organism is better than its destruction. Do you not see that Allah has obliged the jizya 2 and truce on the enemy of the deen in order to spare them. He said, "If they incline to peace, you too incline to it, and put your trust in Allah." (8:61)
Do you not see that for the one who has responsibility for retaliation, accepting blood-money or pardoning is prescribed for the next-of-kin who is the responsible guardian? If he refuses to acept either, then the killer can be slain in retaliation. Do you not see how when the next-of-kin consists of a group of people, and one of them accepts the blood-money or pardons the person while the rest of the group want him killed, Allah observes the one who pardoned and prefers him to the one who did not pardon. Do you not see that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "Whoever is in a position to retaliate and slays the person is like him"? Allah says, "The repayment of a bad action is one equivalent to it," (42:40) so He made retaliation an evil deed, i.e. that deed is evil even though it is part of the Shari'a. Whoever pardons and makes amends has a reward due from Allah because he is based on His form. Whoever pardons and does not slay, his reward is due to the One on whose form he is based, because the One who fashioned is more entitled to it, and his existence only appeared by the name the Manifest.
Whoever preserves the person, preserves Allah. Man is not blameable by his source, but by his action, and his action is not the same as him. We are discussing his action, and action belongs only to Allah, even though some actions are blamed and some are praised. The language of blame in respect to purpose which is reprehensible with Allah, and the only thing reprehensible is what is made to be so by the Shari'a. The Shari'a makes something reprehensible because of what Allah made known or which He made known through someone He has instructed. So Allah prescribed retaliation by necessity for the preservation of the human race and to prevent people exceeding the limits of Allah. Allah says, "There is life for you in retaliation, O you who possess intelligence (lit. cores)!"3 (2:179) They are the people of the core who stumble onto the secret of divine laws and wisdoms.
Since you know that Allah preserves this organism and preserves its continuance, you should also preserve it since you have that happiness. While man is still alive, he hopes that he will obtain the attribute of perfection for which he was created. Whoever strives to destroy it, strives to prevent the acquisition of that for which he was created. How excellent is what the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Shall I tell you what is better and more excellent for you when you meet your enemies, smite their necks and they smite yours? Remembering Allah."
That is because the only one who know the value of this human organism is the one who remembers Allah with the invocation (dhikr) demanded of him.4 Allah sits with the one who remembers Him,5 and the sitter is witnessed by the one doing the invocation. When the one doing the invocation does not witness Allah who sits with him, then he is not doing invocation. When Allah is mentioned, He flows in all parts of the slave, not just in his invocation with the tongue. Allah, at that moment, is only the Companion of the tongue in particular. The tongue sees Him, inasmuch as the man,6 in respect of his sight does not see Him.7
Understand this secret in the invocation of those who are heedless! The heedless person who does invocation is present without a doubt, and the One mentioned sits with him and so he witnesses Him. In respect of his heedlessness, this person does not do invocation and Allah does not sit with the heedless. Man is many but with a single source. Allah is one source but has many Divine Names, just as man has many parts. What is required of the invocation of one part is not the invocation of another part. Allah sits with the part which is invoking Him, and the other part is described as heedless. There must be some part of man doing invocation, so Allah sits with that part, and He preserves the rest of the parts by His concern.
When Allah undertakes the destruction of this organism by what is called "death", that is not negation (i'dam) , but rather separation. He takes man to Him, and what is meant is only Allah's taking man to Him, "and to Him the whole affair will be returned." (11:123) When He takes him to Him, He fashions him a different composition than this composition. The new composition is from the genus of the abode to which he has moved, that is, the Abode of Going-on, because equilibrium exists. The creature thus will never die, i.e. his parts will never be separated.
As for the people of the Fire, they will return to bliss, but it will be in the Fire since after the end of the duration of punishment, it must become cold and peace according to the mercy which preceded it. This is their bliss. The bliss of the people of the Fire, after claims are settled, is the bliss of the friend of Allah, Ibrahim, when he was thrown into the Fire.8 He was punished by the sight of it since his knowledge told him that it is a form which causes pain to any living being which is near it. He did not know what Allah intended by it and from it in respect to him.
So after the existence of these pains, he will find cold and peace in spite of the fact that he still witnesses the phenomenal form which is fire in the eyes of the people. The single thing has various modes in the eyes of the onlookers. The divine tajalli is also like that. If you wish, you could say that the tajalli of Allah resembles this, and if you wish, you could say that the world is in the eye of the beholder which contains the parable of Allah in the tajalli, and so it takes on various modes in the eye of the onlooker according to the onlooker's disposition. The onlookerıs disposition varies with the modalities of the tajalli. All of this is permissible in the realities.
Had a slain person or one who had died not returned to Allah when he died or was slain, Allah would not have decreed their deaths nor prescribed their slaying. All is in His hand, and there is no loss in respect to Him. He prescribes slaying and decrees death by His knowledge that His slave will not pass from Him, for he returns to Him as Allah says, "and to Him the whole affair will be returned." So freedom of action occurs in it, and He is the One with freedom of action. Nothing is outside of Him of which He is not the source. Rather, His He-ness is the source of that thing, and He is the One who gives it its unveiling when He says, "and to Him the whole affair will be returned."
1. The Temple in Jerusalem.
2. Poll tax paid by non-Muslims.
3. Lubb: In Arabic there is no word for mind. However, in the Qur'an the word that designates a central locus of awareness in the human being is lubb, which means core. It is the heart viewed as an organ of gnosis and not merely as a valave which pumps blood to the head. Ibn al-'Arabi says that it is that part of knowledge which is protected from the hearts which are attached to phenomenal being.
4. Which is to remember Allah on the tongues while banishing passing thoughts and the chatter of the nafs while you watch Allah with the heart.
5. Hadith qudsi, "The people of My dhikr are the people I sit with..." in Ibn Hanbal, Ibn Majah, etc.
6. Insan - also the pupil of the eye.
7. "Eyesight cannot perceive Him but He perceives eyesight. He is the All-Penetrating, the All-Aware." (Qur'an 6:103)
8. See Qur'an 21:69.
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