The Seal of the Wisdom of Purity (Quddûs) in the Word of Idris
Elevation has two references - one of place and one of rank. Elevation of place is "We raised him up to a high place," (19:57) and the highest of places is that upon which the mill of the world of the spheres revolves. It is the sphere of the sun and in it is the station of the spirituality of Idris, peace be upon him! There are seven heavens under it and seven heavens above it, and it is the fifteenth. That which is above it is the red heaven, i.e. Mars, the heaven of Jupiter, Saturn, the heaven of fixed stars, the Starless Heaven and the heaven of the constellations, the heaven of the Footstool and the heaven of the Throne. That which is below it is the heaven of Venus, Mercury, the Moon, the circle of ether, the circle of air, the circle of water, and the circle of earth. It is is the axis of the heavens, and it is a "high place".
As for the elevation of rank, it is for us, the people of Muhammad. Allah said, "When you arebe uppermost and Allah is with you" (47:35) in this height. He exalts Himself above place, not above rank. When the selves of those among us who do deeds are afraid, He follows the mention of "being with" with His words, "He would not cheat you of your deeds." The deed demands place and knowledge demands rank. So He joined the two heights for us - elevation of place by deed and elevation of rank by knowledge. Then to disconnect the association of being with, He said, "Glorify the name of your Lord, the Most High," (87:1) above this association in meaning.
It is one of the most wondrous of matters that man is the highest of existent things - I mean the Perfect Man, and elevation is only attributed to him by subordination either to place or rank which is a degree. So he is not high by his essence, he is high by the height of place and the height of rank, for these possess height. Height of place is like the All-Merciful settling on the throne,1 and it is the highest of places. Height of rank is "All things are passing except His Face," (28:88) and "the whole affair will be returned to Him," (11:123) and nothing has existence along with Allah.
When Allah said, "We raised him up to a high place," He made high an adjective for place. Since your Lord said to the angels, "I am putting a khalif in the earth," (2:30) this is height of rank. He said about the angels, "Were you overcome by arrogance, or are you one of the exalted?" (38:75) so He gave elevation to the angels. If the angels had possessed that elevation by simple virtue of the fact that they are angels, then all the angels would have been included in this elevation. It was not common to them in the definition of angel. We recognise that this is elevation of rank with Allah. It is the same for the khalifs of the people. If their elevation with the khalifate had been an elevation by essence, every man would have it. It is not general and so we know that that elevation is by rank.
One of His names is the High. Over whom, when there is nothing except Him? So He is the High by His Essence. Is He is High over that which is particular, when there is no He except Him? His elevation is by virtue of Himself, and He, in respect to existence, is the source of existents. Those in-time things which He calls high in themselves are not other than Him. He was the High when there was no height of relativity because the source-forms in non-existence had not smelt the scent of existence. They remain in their state in spite of the multiplicity of forms in existents, but the source is the same from the whole in the whole.
The existence of multiplicity lies in the names which are the relationships, and they are non-existent matters. There is only the source which is the Essence. He is High through Himself, not by any ascription to another. From this standpoint, there is no height of relative relation in the universe, but the aspects of existence which are distinct. The height of relativity exists in the one Source in respect of the many aspects. For that reason, you say of Him, Him and not Him, and you and not you.
Al-Kharraz,2 may Allah have mercy on him, who is one of the aspects of Allah and one of His tongues with which He speaks of Himself, said that one only has gnosis by joining opposites together in respect of Him. "He is the First and the Last, the Outwardly Manifest and the Inwardly Hidden." (57:3) He is the source of what appears and the source of what is hidden in the state of its manifestation. There is none who sees Him other than Him and there is none who is hidden from Him. So He is manifest to Himself and hidden from Himself. He is called Abu Sa'id al-Kharraz and other than that from the names of things in-time.
The Hidden says "No" while the Manifest says, "Me," and the Manifest says, "No" while the Hidden says, "Me". This is found in every opposite, yet the speaker is one, and he is the same as the hearer in the statement of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, about what their selves say,3 for they speak and hear what they say, and know what their selves say. The source is but one, even if the judgements are different. There is no way that anyone can be ignorant of this sort of thing. Every man knows from himself, and it is the form of the Real.
So things are mixed and numbers appear by the one in the known ranks. Thus "one" brought number into existence, and number divides the One. The principle of number only appeared through the numbered. Part of the numbered is non-existent, and part is existent. The thing is non-existent in relation to the senses while it is existent in relation to the intellect. There must be number and numbered. That must grow from one and it grows because of it. Every rank of the numbers has one reality like 9, for example, and 10 and down to 2, and upwards without end, and its reality is not a sum.
A name is not perceived by the addition of ones. 2 is one reality, and 3 is one reality, and so on until the end of these ranks. Even though the source [of numbers] is one, the source of one of them is not the source of the others. Addition encompasses them all, and it speaks of them from them and judges them by them. Twenty ranks4 appeared in this statement, so composition entered into them. You will continue to affirm the source of what you deny in itself. Whoever recognises what we have related of the numbers, and that negation is the same as their affirmation, knows that the Real, who is disconnected by disconnection, is creature by connection, even though the creature is distinct from the Creator. The matter is the creature/Creator and it is the Creator/creature. That is from one source, rather is is the One source and it is many sources. Look at what you see!
Ibrahimšs son told him, "My father, do what you are ordered." (37:102) The child is the same as his father, so he only saw himself sacrificing himself, "and He ransomed him with an immense sacrifice."5 That which was manifested as a ram was manifested in the form of a human, and manifested in the form of a son. Rather, it is by the principle of the son being the same as the father.
"He created from (one self) his mate." (4:1) He6 married his own self, and from him are both his companion and his child. The matter is one in number.
It is the same for nature and what is manifested from it. We do not see it diminishing by what appears from it nor increasing by the lack of what other than it manifests. That which is manifested is not other than it, nor is it the same as what is manifested according to the variety of forms in principle. This one is cold and dry, and that one is hot and dry. They are joined by dryness, and distinct by another quality. The common source is nature, and the world of nature is composed of forms in one mirror. Rather, it is one form in different mirrors.
There is only bewilderment (hayra) by the dispersal of perspectives. Whoever knows what we have said is not bewildered. If he increases in knowledge, it is only from the principle of place, and place is the same as the source-form in which the Real varies in the locus of His tajalli. Conditions vary, so He assumes every condition. There is no condition except for the source in which He make tajalli of Himself, and there is nothing except this.
By this aspect, Allah is creature, so interpret!
And by this aspect, He is not creature, so remember!
The inner sight of whoever understands
what I have said is not confused, and only
the one who perceives it possesses sight.
The source of joining and separating is the same,
and it is multiplicity which never remains or departs.
The One who is High in Himself is the One who possesses the perfection in which all matters of existence are absorbed, as are all non-existent relations, inasmuch as it is not possible that any of these attributes be lacking from Him, be they praiseworthy by custom, logic, or law, or blameworthy by custom, logic or law. That belongs only to the One named Allah. As for what is named other-than-Allah, it is either a locus of His tajalli or a form which is in it. If it is the locus of His tajalli, it contains distinction. Be-cause of that, there must be distinction between the One who makes tajalli and the place of tajalli; if it is a form in it, that form is the source of the essential perfection because it is the same as what is manifested in it. That which belongs to Allah belongs to that form. However, it is not said that it is Him nor that it is other-than-Him.
Abušl-Qasim ibn Qasi 7 indicated this in his book, The Removal of the Sandals, and he said, "Each Divine Name is qualified by all the Divine Names, and described by their description." It is so. Each Name indicates the Essence and the meaning which is set out for it and which demonstrates it. In respect to its indication of the Essence, it possesses all the names, and in respect to its indication of the meaning which is singular to it, it is distinct from others, such as the Lord, the Creator, the Fashioner, etc. The Name is the same as the Named in respect to the Essence, and the Name is other than the Named in respect to the meaning which is particular to it.
If you have understood that the "high" is as we have mentioned, you know that it is neither place nor height of rank, for height of rank is particular to the administration of authority, like the Sultan and the judge, wazirs and qadis, and all who have rank, be they worthy of that rank or not. Height is by attributes which are not like that. The most knowledgeable of people can be ruled by the person with the position of power, even if that person is the most ignorant of people. This is the height of rank according to the principle of what he has over me in himself. When he retires, his high rank vanishes. The one with knowledge is not like that.
1. Qur'an 7:54, "...then He settled Himself firmly on the Throne."
2. Abu Sa'id Ahmad ibn 'Isa al-Kharraz, died in Cairo 286/899. He said, "I only knew Allah by joining the opposites," and then recited, "He is the First and the Last, the Outward and the Inward."
3. Hadith, "Allah forgives my people what their selves say to then as long as they do not act upon that."
4. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 1000.
5. "And We ransomed him with an immense sacrifice." Qur'an: 37:107.
7. Sufi leader of rebellion against the Murabitun in the Algarve.
Return to Index
Return to Home Page