The Cause of the Beginning of the World and the Ranks of the
Most Beautiful Names in the entire universe
the cause of the beginning and its rules, and the end
of fabrication and its perception,
the difference between the subjects of the high
in its origin and its rulers,
The proofs indicate the Maker who has manifested all by His rules.
(The elite of the place and the sensation of the Garden)
The pure wali grasped the cause of the beginning of the world in our book entitled, 'Anqa' Mughrib fi ma'rifa khatmi'l-awliya' wa shamsu'l-Maghrib and in our book entitled Insha' ad-Dawa'ir some of which we wrote in his noble house when we visited him in 598 on our way to hajj. His servant, 'Abdu'l-Jabbar (may Allah elevate his worth!) copied out for him what I had written of it. I travelled to Makka with him in this year to finish it there. This book (The Futuhat) distracted us from it and anything else because of a divine command which came upon us to write it, as well as the desire of some of the brothers and fuqara' for me to do that since they desired to increase their knowledge and to receive the blessings of this Blessed Noble House, the place of blessings, guidance and clear signs. In this place we also desired to acquaint the noble pure one, Abu Muhammad 'Abdu'l-'Aziz (al-Mahdawi al-Qurashi), with the blessings Makka gives and that it is the best method of worship and the noblest earthly inanimate station. Perhaps the himma of yearning will rise to perform it and the desire for increase in it will descend. It was revealed to the one who "was given all the words" and had eye-witnessing of his Lord, closer than "two bows-lengths", in spite of this most perfect proximity and fullest portion, "Say, 'Lord increase me in knowledge.'" (20:114)
Part of the precondition of the witnessing knower, master of unseen and visible stations, is that he know that places have an effect in the subtle hearts. If the heart were to exist in any place in the most universal existence, its existence would be the most glorious and complete in Makka. As spiritual stages vary in excellence, so do physical stages. Is the pearl like the stone, unless it is with someone in a particular state? The perfected master of the station differentiates between them as the Truly Real differentiates between them. Does the Real equate a house built of bricks and straw with a house built of gold and silver? The sage who has arrived is the one who gives everything with a due its proper due. He is unique in his age and the master of his moment. So there is a great difference between a city most of whose structures are appetites and a city most of whose structures are clear signs!
Did not my pure friend friend agree with me that the existence of our hearts in certain places is greater in some places than in others. May Allah be pleased with him! He abandoned retreat (khilwa) in the houses of the protected minaret in eastern Tunis along the coast and went down to ar-Rabita which is in the middle of the tombs, near the minaret on the side where its door is located. It is traced to al-Khidr. I asked him about that and he said, "I find my heart there more than in the minaret." I also experienced there what the Shaykh had said.
The wali knew that to due to whoever inhabits the place is either in the state of the noble angels or sincere jinn, or it is due the himma of the one who visits it when it is no longer there - like the house of Abu Yazid which was called "The House of the Pious", or the zawiyya of al-Junayd at Shuniziyya, or the cave of Ibn Adham at Yaqin and other places of the righteous who have departed from this world while their traces remain in their places affecting subtle hearts. This is the reason why mosques vary in excellence in the existence of the heart, but not in the doubling of the reward. You find your heart more in one mosque than another. That is not due to the earth, but to the assembly of comrades and their himma. The person who does not find a difference in the existence of his heart between the mosque and markets has a state, not a station.
I do not doubt by unveiling and knowledge that if the angels were to inhabit the entire earth with their rivalry in gnoses and ranks, the highest of them in rank and greatest in knowledge and gnosis would inhabit the Masjid al-Haram. Your existence is according to those whose ccompany you keep. The himma of those who sit together has an effect on the one who sits with them and their himma is according to their ranks. If the rivalry is based on himma, then 124,000 Prophets, not counting the awliya', did tawaf of this House. There is no Prophet or wali who does not have a himma connected to this House.
This city is the sacred city because it is the House which Allah chose over all other houses. It has the secret of firstness in places of worship as Allah said, "The first house established for the people was that at Bakka, a blessed place, and a guidance to all the worlds. Therein are clear signs - the station of Ibrahim, and whoever enters it is secure" (3:97) from every fear. There are other ayats. If the pure friend had travelled to this noble sacred city, he would have experienced gnoses and increase which he had not seen before that nor had occurred to his mind.
He knew that the self will be gathered on the form of its knowledge while the body will be gathered on the form of its action. The form of knowledge and action are more complete in Makka than elsewhere. If someone with a heart were to enter it for a single hour, it would have that. So how much would it have it if he were to be in its proximity and reside there and performed all the obligations and rules? There is no doubt that his witnessing there would be more complete and sublime, and its gift would be purer, sweeter and more delightful. Then my friend informed me that he felt increase and decrease according to places and natural dispositions, and he knew that that also derives from the reality of the one living there or his himma as we mentioned. We have no doubt that recognition of this science, i.e. recognition of places and the sensation of increase and decrease comes from the completeness of the mastery of the gnostic's recognition and the height of his station and honour over things and the strength of his discrimination. May Allah write a good effect for the wali and give him a good report in it since he enjoyed that and was capable of it.
(The Divine Names and realities of existence)
Know, may Allah give success to us, you and all the Muslims! that most of those who know by Allah among the people of unveiling and realities do not possess knowledge of the reason for the beginning of the universe other than the connection of the Timeless to its being brought into existence. Allah gave being to what He knew He would give being to. Here most people stop. We, and those who Allah has acquainted with what he has acquainted us with, have grasped other matters. This is that when you look at the universe in detail with its realities and ascriptions, you find it limited by realities and ascriptions, with known stages and ranks, and finite genera of similar and dissimilar things. If you understand this matter, you know that this has a subtle secret and wondrous matter whose reality is not perceived precisely by reflection or investigation. Rather, it is one of the knowledges given by unveiling and the results of striving which accompanies himma. Striving without himma does not produce anything nor have any effect in knowledge, but it has effect in the state by the fineness and purity the striver feels.
Know, may Allah teach you the secrets of judgements and give you all the words! that the Most Beautiful Names, which are above the names which can be counted and bring down happiness below the enumerated names, have an effect in this universe. They are the 'first keys' which only He knows. Every reality in existence has one of the names which is particular to it. By reality, I mean a reality which gathers together a genus of the realities. The Lord of that reality is that name and that reality is its slave and under its commission. It is only that.
If something combines several names for you, the matter is not as you imagine it to be. You look at that thing, you find that it has aspects compatible with those names it indicates, which are the realities which we mentioned. That is like what was confirmed for you in the knowledge which is in the outward intellect and under its jurisdiction in respect of a certain existent being singular and indivisible like the single substance (jawhar) which is an indivisible part. In spite of that, this single substance contains numerous realities which demand an equal number of Divine Names. The reality of its being brought into existence demands the name the All-Powerful. From the aspect of its precision it demands the name of the Knowing. The aspect of its selection demands the name the Transformer. The aspect of its manifestation demands the name the Seer and Looker, etc. Even if this substance is but one, it has these and other aspects which we have not mentioned. And each aspect has many aspects which demand their commensurate names. Those aspects are the reality and they are secondary in our opinion and it is difficult to grasp them and even more difficult to obtain them by unveiling.
(The matrices of the Divine Names)
Know that we may leave the Names with their multiplicity when we look at the aspects of those who seek them in the world. When we do not look at that, we see the matrices of the demands of knowledge which they need and we recognise that the Names which are the matrices on which they stand are also the matrices of the Names. So it is easy to look, complete the goal and it is easy to go beyond these matrices to the offshoots, as it is easy to return the offshoots to the matrices. If you look at all the Names known in the celestial and terrestial world, you will find seven names designated as the Attributes by those who know the science of Kalam which contains them. We have discussed this in our book called Insha' ad-Dawa'ir.
Our aim in this book is not in these seven matrices designated as the Attributes, but our aim is the matrices necessary for bringing the universe into existence. Similarly we do not need intellectual proofs of the recognition of the Real beyond the fact that He exists, is Knowing, Transforming, Powerful, Alive. No more is necessary. No more than this is required by responsibility. The Messenger, peace be upon him, made us recognise that He speaks. Responsibility made us recognise that He hears and sees, and so on with other Names. What we need here from recognition of the names is for the existence of the universe. These names are the Lords of the Names and all other names are in their custody as some of these lords have custody of others.
The matrices of the Divine Nnames are: the Living, the Knowing, the Transforming, the Speaker, the Generous, the Equitable. These are the offspring of two Divine Names: the Manager and the Divider. The Living confirms your understanding after and before your existence. The Knowing confirms your consolidation in your existence, and before your existence confirmed your determination. The Transformer confirms your selection. The Powerful confirms your non-existence. The Speaker confirms your timelessness. The Generous confirms your being brought into existence. The Equitable confirms your rank. The rank is the last of the stages of existence.
These realities must exist, and their names which are their Lords are also necessary. The Living is the Lord of the Lords and the subjects. It is the Imam. Next in rank is the Knower (al-'Alim), then the Transformer, then the Speaker, then the Powerful, then the Generous, and last of them, the Equitable. It is the Lord of ranks and it is the last of the stages of existence. The remaining names are under the authority of those Imam-Lords.
(The Imams of the Divine Names)
That is was the reason that those Names turned the rest of the Names with their realities to the name Allah in bringing the universe into existence. In view of the fact that the Imams of the names, without considering the universe, are only these four - the Living, the Speaking, the Hearing and the Seeing - when Allah hears His words and sees His essence, His existence is perfect in His essence without regard for the universe. We only mean the names by which the existence of the universe was established. We have many names, so we turned to their lords and came to them in their presences and only found those which we mentioned. We presented them according to what we saw of them. So this was the reason that the lords of the names turned the rest of the names to the name Allah when our sources were brought into existence.
The first who undertook to demand this universe was the Divine Name, the Manager (al-Mudabbir) and the Divine Name, the Divider (al-Mufassil) at the request of the name, the King. Then these two names turned to the thing from which the example (mithal) exists in the universe itself without it being from prior non-existence, but rather a prior rank, not a prior existence - like the rising of the sun preceding the beginning of the day. Even if we connect the beginning of the day to the rising of the sun, it is still clear that the cause of the existence of the day is the rising of the sun which accompanies it in existence. This is how the matter is.
Then these two Divine Names managed the universe and divided it without previous ignorance of it or lack of knowledge. So the form of the model grew in the universe itself. Then His name, the Knowing, was connected to that model as it was connected to the form from which it was taken, even if it is not seen because it does not exist as will be mentioned in the chapter. "From what did the universe exist?"
(The first of the names of the universe)
The first of the names of the universe are these two Divine Names: the Manager and the Divider. The name, the Manager, is what realised the determined moment of bringing into existence. The name, the Transformer, is connected to it according to the limit on which the Manager brought it forth and managed. These two names did not do anything of the formation of this model without the participation of the rest of the names, but from behind the veil of these two names. Therefore the Imamate is proper for them, while the others were not aware of that until the form of the model (mithal) emerged. Then they saw in it the realities appropriate to themselves which attracted them to affect passion for them. So every name became enamoured of its reality which exists in the Model, but it could not achieve any effect in it since that is not granted by the presence in which this model manifests itself. Thus that love and passion leads them to seeking, striving and the desire to bring the form of that model into existence so that their power might appear and their existence would be valid in reality. There is nothing with a greater himma than a mighty one who does not find someone mighty to dominate and abase under his force so that the authority of its might will be valid - or a rich one who does not find someone who needs his wealth! It is the same with all these names. So the rest of the names sought refuge in their Lords, the Seven Imams which we mentioned, asking them to bring the source of this model which they saw in the essence of the one who knew into existence. This is what is designated as the universe.
(The Divine Names are unified in respect of the Essence, separate in respect of connections)
Somone might ask: "O realised one! How can the rest of the Divine Names see this model when the fact is that only the name, the Seeing, sees it and every Divine Name has a reality which another name does not have?" We would reply: May Allah give you success! You should know that every Divine Name contains all the Divine Names and every name is described by all the names on its horizon. Every Name is living, powerful, hearing, seeing, speaking in its horizon and in its knowledge. If not, how could every Divine Name be a lord to the one who serves it? How preposterous! How far from the mark!
However, there is a subtle indication which one is not aware of. That is that you know absolutely that every grain of wheat or its like contains realities which its sister does not, just as you also know that this seed is not the same as that other seed, even though they both contain similar realities and so are alike. So seek this reality which makes you differentiate between these two seeds and say, "This is not the same as that." This holds true for all similar things in respect of what the resemblance is. It is the same with the Divine Names: every name contains the realities which the names contain. Then you know absolutely that this name is not that other name by that subtle quality (latifa ) which you used to differentiate between the grains of wheat and everything which is similar. So seek this meaning until you recognise it by dhikr, not by reflection.
However, I want to acquaint you with a reality which no one before has mentioned. Perhaps it has not been disclosed or specified and I do not know whether it will be given to anyone after me or not from the presence which gave it to me. If it is read or understood in my book, I am the one who teaches it while the earlier ones did not discover it. That is that every Divine Name, as we stated, contains the realities of the the names while this latifa exists which gives you this distinction between two similar things. With the name the Blesser and the name the Punisher which are the Outward and the Inward, each of these names contains what its custodians contain, from their first to their last. However the Lords of the Names and other names have three ranks. Some are connected to the degrees of the Lords of the Names, and some of them have a degree on their own, and some of them are connected to the degree of the Blesser and some of them to the degree of the Punisher. These are the names of the universe which are enumerated, and Allah is the Helper!
(The Greatest Name of Allah)
Then all the names referred back to those Imams and the Imams referred back to the name of Allah and the name of Allah referred back to the Essence since it is independent of the names, and asked for assistance in what the Names had asked it for. So "The Good, the Generous" granted that and said, "Speak to the Imams connected to bringing the universe forth according to what their realities." The name Allah went out to them and told them the news and they became happy, joyful and delighted and they are still like that. They looked at the presence which is mentioned in Chapter Six and brought the universe into existence as we will mention in the following chapters, Allah willing. "Allah speaks the truth and guides to the path." (33:4)
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