The Beginning of Human Bodies
(The last thing to come into existence in the Macrocosm
and the last class of products)
The reality of the inward of man grew
into a strong kingdom with manifest power.
Then his essence sat on the throne of Adam
as the Throne was sat on by the Merciful.
The reality of his body appeared in its source-form,
and the kingdom of the second existence is completed by it.
The gnoses of his knowledge appeared in his
among the noble and the hateful.
So their dreams became paltry because of his
and the accursed shaytan became proud.
They sought nearness to Allah in His Malakut,
but a little shaytan brought loss to them.
(Making the natural world inhabited)
Know may Allah support you! that the time of the habitation of the natural world which is limited by time and contained in place is 71,000 of the years known in this world. This length of time is 11 days of days of other names, and one and two-fifths days of the days of the Possessor of Ascents. There are different sorts of days. Allah says, "In a day whose measure was 50,000 years" (4:70) and "a day with your Lord is like 1000 years of your counting." (22:47) The smallest of the days is that which is measured by the movement of the encompassing sphere which appears in our day of 24 hours. The smallest of the days with the Arabs, which is this, belongs to the largest sphere. That is due to its influence on the spheres inside of it since the movement of what is below it in night and day its surface movement which forces the rest of the spheres which it encompasses.
(The natural and surface movement of the spheres)
Every sphere has a natural movement which it has along with the surface movement. Every sphere below it has two movements in the same movement: a natural movement and a surface movement. Every natural movement in every sphere has a particular day whose measure is counted by the days occurring from the Encompassing Sphere which is designated in His words, "of your counting". All of them intersect the Encompassing Sphere. Whenever it intersects it completely, its day belongs to it and the orbit revolves. So the smallest of its days is 28 days "of your counting". It is the measure of the intersection of the moon's movement in the Encompassing Sphere.
Allah set up these seven planets in the heavens so that human sight might perceive the intersection of their spheres in the Encompassing Sphere "in order to know the number of years and the reckoning." (10:5) "He determined it by stations so that you might know the number of years and the reckoning." "We shall distinguish everything." (17:11) "That is the determination of the Mighty, the Knowing." (6:96) Every planet has a determined day by which they are distinguished from each other according to the speed of their natural movements or the smallness or largeness of their spheres.
(The Creation of the Pen and the Tablet)
Know that Allah then created the Pen and the Tablet and called them the Intellect and the Spirit (Ruh). He gave the Ruh two attributes: an attribute of knowledge and an attribute of action. He made the Intellect teach it and inform it with use of immediate witnessing, as it derives cutting from the form of the knife without it saying anything about that. Allah created a substance (jawhar) without a self which is the aforementioned Spirit which He called dust. This is the naming which has come down to us from 'Ali ibn Abi Talib.
(Creation of dust (haba'))
Dust is mentioned in the Arabic language. Allah said, "it was scattered dust". (56:6) It was like that when 'Ali ibn Abi Talib saw it, meaning that this substance is scattered in all natural forms, and there is no form free of it since the form only exists in this substance called dust. It is with every form by its reality. It is not divisible nor separated nor described with decrease. It is like the whiteness existing in every white thing by its essence and reality. It is not said that there is a decrease of whiteness according to what this white thing receives of whiteness. This resembles the state of this substance.
(The Four ranks betweeen the Spirit and Dust)
Allah apportioned four ranks between this Spirit described with the two attributes and the dust. He made each rank a stage for four angels. He appointed these angels as guardians over what He originated of the world below them, from the 'Illiyun' to the "lowest of the low". He gave each of those angels a knowledge which he wants to carry out in the world.
The first thing that Allah brought into existence in source-forms which is connected to the knowledge and management of these angels is the Universal Body. The first shape which Allah opened in this body is the global spherical form since it is the best of forms. Then Allah descended by bringing-into-existence and creation to the completion of the manufacture, and made all that He created the domain of these angels. He entrusted them with its affairs in this world and the Next World and safeguarded them from opposing what He commanded them to do. He told us that they "do not disobey Allah in what He commands them and they do what they are commanded." (66:6)
(The creation of products (muwalladat))
Then He finished the creation of the products of inanimates, plants and animals at the end of 71,000 years of the years of this world which you count and ordered the world in a wise ordering. From the very first existent to the last product, which is animal, He did not use both His hands in the creation of anything except man. Man is this bodily organism of dust. Everything except for that He created from a Divine command or by one hand. Allah said, "Our word to a thing when We will it is that We say to it, 'Be!' and it is." (16:40) This is from a Divine command. It is reported in tradition that Allah created the Garden of Eden with His hand, wrote the Torah with His hand, planted the tree of Tuba [in Paradise] with His hand and created Adam, who is man, with both His hands. In order to show honour to Adam, Allah said to Iblis, "What prevented you from prostrating to what I created with My hands?" (38:75)
(The Lowest Sphere and the Twelve Constellations (al-Buruj: the Zodiac))
When Allah created the lowest sphere, which is the first one mentioned above, He divided it into twelve parts called "mansions (constellations)". Allah said, "and the heaven with constellations". (85:1) Each division has a constellation and those divisions have four natures. He repeated each of the four natures in three places. He made these divisions like the stages and watering-spots where the travellers alight and in which the voyagers travel while they are travelling and journeying so these stages are arrived at in the journey of the planets through them. What Allah originated in this sphere of the planets whose course passes through these constellations was in order that Allah, through their intersection and journey, Allah might originate what He wishes of the natural and elemental world. He made them waymarks of the effect of the movement of the sphere of constellations, so know that!
(Natures and the four elements)
The nature of one division of these four is hot and dry; the second is cold and dry; the third is hot and wet; and the fourth is cold and wet. He made the fifth and ninth divisions like the first, the sixth and tenth like the second, the seventh and eleventh like the third, and the eighth and twelfth like the fourth in nature. So Allah contained natural bodies by difference, and elemental bodies without difference, in these four which are: hot, cold, dry and wet. Even though they are four matrices, Allah made two of them the basis for the existence of the other two. Heat produces dryness and cold produces wetness. So wetness and dryness exist from the two causes of heat and cold. This was mentioned by Allah when He said, "There is no fresh (wet) or withered (dry), but it is in a Clear Book" (6:59) because the caused, inasmuch as it is caused, must have the existence of a cause, or if it is an effect, then it must have a cause, however you want to put it. The existence of a cause does not necessitate the existence of something caused.
(The Starless Heaven (al-Falak al-Atlas))
When Allah created this first sphere, it revolved with an orbit whose end is only known by Allah because there were no limited bodies above it to intersect it. It was the first of diaphanous bodies. Movements were numbered and made distinct. Allah did not create anything inside of it. Then movements became distinct and ended at the one who is inside of it. If it has not been so, the movements in it would not have been distinct at all because there is no planet in the Starless Sphere, and it resembles itself. So the measure of one movement in it is neither known nor determined. If there had been part of it in it different from the rest of the parts, then without a doubt its movements would have been numbered by it. But Allah knew its measure and its end and its repetition. The day occurred from that movement. There was neither night nor day in that 'day'.
Then the motions of this sphere continued and Allah created 35 angels in addition to the 16 angels we mentioned. So the sum was 411 angels. These angels included Jibril, Mika]il, Israfil and 'Azra'il. Then He created 974 angels and added them to the angels already mentioned. He revealed to them and commanded them regarding that they had in His creation. They said, "We do not come down, save at the command of your Lord. To Him belongs all that is before us and all that is behind us, and all between that. And your Lord is never forgetful." (19:64) Allah said of them, "They do not disobey Allah in what He commands them." (66:6) These are among the angels who are the guardians in particular. Allah created the angels who are the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth to worship Him. There is no place in the heaven or the earth that does not have an angel in it. Allah continues to create angels from the breaths of the world as long as they continue to breathe.
(Creation of the Nearest Abode)
When the movements of this sphere, whose duration is 54,000 years of your counting, was complete, Allah created this world and appointed for it a known term at which it will end and its form will come to an end. It will be changed from being an abode for us and accepting a particular form, which is what we see today, to "the earth changing to other than the earth, and the heavens as well." When 63,000 years of your counting were complete of the movements of this sphere, Allah created the Next World: the Garden and the Fire which Allah has prepared for His slaves, both the happy and the wretched. There were 9000 years of your counting between the creation of this world and the creation of the Next World. That is why it is called the "the Next", since its creation was delayed until after the creation of this world which is called the first" because it was created before it. Allah said, "The Next will be better for you than the first." (97:4) He addressed His Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and did not give the Next World a term at which it will cease to be. It has constant going-on.
(The ceiling of the Garden is the Starless Heaven)
Allah made this sphere the ceiling of the Garden. We call it the Throne whose movement is not specific nor distinct. It has a continuous, unending movement. None of creation which we mentioned was created without the second goal of it attaching itself to the existence of man who is the Viceregent in the world. I said "the second goal" since the first goal of creation is to recognise Allah and worship Him since it was this for which the entire universe was created. There is nothing but that it glorifies His praise. The meaning of the second goal and the first is the connection of the will, not the in-timeness of the will, because the will of Allah is an out-of-time pre-temporal attribute by which His essence is described as is the case with all of His attributes.
(The movement of the heavens and the movement of the earth)
Then Allah created these spheres and heavens, and inspired every heaven with its command and ordered their lights and lamps in them and filled them with angels and caused them to move. So they moved out of obedience to Allah, coming to Him, seeking perfection in the slaveness proper to them, because Allah summoned the heaven and the earth and said to them, "Come willingly or unwillingly" by a command defined for them. They said, "We come willingly." So they are constantly coming and continue to move, even though the movement of the earth is hidden from us. It moves around the centre because it turns. As for the heaven, it came willingly when Allah commanded it to come. The earth came willingly when it knew itself to be compelled and that Allah must bring it when He said "or unwillingly". That is what was meant when He said "or unwillingly". It came willingly unwillingly! "He established them as seven heavens in two days, and He inspired each heaven with its command." (41:12)
(The creation of the earth and the determination of its foods)
Allah created the earth and determined its foods in it in respect of its products. He mean it a treasury for their foods. We already mentioned the organisation of the formation of the world in the book, al-'Aql al-Mustawfir. Part of the determination of its foods is the existence of water, air and fire, as well as what it contains of vapours, clouds, lightning, thunder, and celestial effects. "That is the determination of the Mighty, the Knowing." (6:96) He created the jinn from fire and the birds, reptiles of land and sea, and insects from the decay of the earth so that the air would be pure for us, free of the vapours of decay which, if mixed with the air in which Allah entrusted life and well-being for man and animals, would have made him sick, weak and ailing. So Allah purified the atmosphere for him as a kindness on His part when He formed these creatures from decayed things. So there were few illnesses and diseases.
(The creation of man)
And then the Kingdom was settled and prepared and none of these creatures knew from what sort this Viceregent would be for whose existence Allah had prepared this kingdom. When the specified time in His knowledge came to bring this Viceregent into existence 17,000 tears after this world had been populated and 8000 years after the Next world, which has no end, was populated, Allah commanded some of the angels to bring Him a handful of every kind of dust of the earth. There is a long tradition about the angels bringing this to him which is well-known among people. Allah took it and kneaded it with His hands. This is His words, "what I created with My hands." (38:75)
Allah entrusted each of the angels which we have mentioned with a trust for Adam. He said, "'I am creating a man from clay'.(38:71). These trusts which you have belong to him. When I have created him, each of you give him what you have which I have entrusted you with for him. 'When I have fashioned him and breathed My spirit into him, then prostrate yourselves to him.' (15:29)" Then Allah kneaded the clay of Adam with His hands until he altered its smell which had been fetid mud. That is the part which is air in the structure. He made its outward part the place for the wretched and the happy of his progeny. He entrusted in in what was in His hands. Allah tells us that the happy are in His right hand and the wretched are in His left hand. "Both hands of My Lord are blessed right hands." He said, "Those are for the Garden and do the deeds of the people of the Garden. Those are for the Fire and do the deeds of the people of the Fire."
He entrusted the whole in the clay of Adam and joined the opposites in him by the principle of proximity. He formed him on the straight movement, and that is in the domain of Virgo. He made the six directions for him: above, which is beyond his head, below opposite it, which is below his feet, right, which follows his strong side, and left opposite it, which follows his weak side, in front, which is before his face, and behind opposite it, which is behind his neck. He formed, balanced and shaped him. Then He breathed into Him of His spirit which is related to Him. When He breathed into it, the four humours were originated as it spread into all his parts. They are: yellow bile, black bile, blood and plelgm.
Yellow bile is from the element of fire from which Allah formed him when He said, "from a clay like the potters." (55:14) Black bile is from earth which is His words, "He created him from earth." (15:26). Blood is from air, and it is His word, "fetid mud". Phelgm is from water with which earth is kneaded and becomes mud. Then Allah originated in the power of attraction by which the animal attracts food, then the power of grasping by which the animal holds what will nourish it, then the power of digestion by which food is digested, and then the expelling power by which he expels excretions from himself - sweat, vapour, wind, excrement, etc.
As for the spread of the vapours and the division of the blood in the veins from the liver and every part of the animal, that is by the power of attraction, not by the power of expelling. The portion of the power of expelling is only what it expels, as we said, of excreta. Then Allah originated in it the powers of feeding, growing, senses, imagination, illusion, retention and memory. All this is in man inasmuch as he is an animal, not inasmuch as he is man except for these four powers: the powers of imagination, illusion, retention and memory. They are stronger in man than animal.
Then He bestowed on man the faculty of conception, thought and intellect, and so he is distinct from the animal. He put all these powers in the body as tools for the Articulate Self to reach all the benefits of the senses and meanings. "Then He formed it with another creation" (23:14) which is humanity. He made him perceptive by these powers, and he is living, knowing, capable, willing, speaking, hearing, and seeing according to a known limit in his acquisition. "Blessed is Allah, the Best of Creators." (23:14)
Then Allah did not name Himself with any of the names without putting some of the character of that name into man as a portion from Him which is manifest in the world according to what is proper to him. For that reason, some people interpret the words of the Prophet, "Allah created man in His form" to have this meaning. He sent him down as a Viceregent for Him in His earth since the earth is part of the world of change and alteration, as opposed to the Higher World. Judgements occurred among the inhabitants of the earthly world according to the change which occurs in the celestial world. Thus the principle of all the divine names appeared. Thus Adam is the Viceregent in the earth rather than heaven and the Garden. There whatever He commanded was: the knowledge of the Names, the prostration of the angels, and the refusal of Iblis as will be all mentioned in its proper place, Allah willing.
(Human bodies and types)
This chapter is devoted to the beginning of human bodies. They are of four types: the body of Adam, the body of Eve, the body of Jesus and the bodies of the children of Adam. Each of these bodies has a formation different from the formation of the other bodies in causality, in spite of the common physical and spiritual form. We said this, and spoke on it in order that the weak intellect might not imagine that divine power or realities do not great that this human organism be from only one cause whose essence grants this formation. Allah refutes this doubt as this human formation appeared in Adam in a way in which it did not appear in the body of Eve; the body of Eve appeared by a means by which the body of Adam did not appear; and the body of the children of Adam appeared by a means by which the body of Jesus did not appear. Each of these are called men by definition and reality. That is so that it be known that Allah has knowledge of everything and that He has the power to do anything.
Then Allah joined together these four types of creation in an ayat of the Qur'an in the Surat al-Hujurat. (49:13) He said, "O People, We have created you" meaning Adam "from male" meaning Hawwa' "and from female" meaning Jesus, and joined "from male and female" meaning by means of marriage and birth. This ayat is part of "all the words" and "distinction of speech" which was given to Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.
(The body of Adam and the body of Eve (Hawwa'))
Then the body of Adam appeared as we mentioned, and he had no appetite for marriage. Allah already knew to bring birth, procreation and marriage into existence in this abode. Marriage in this abode is for the continuation of the species. Then He brought out Eve from the smallest rib of Adam. For that reason, woman has a lesser degree than man as Allah said, "men have a degree over them". (2:228) So women never overtake them. Eve had the bentness which is in the ribs so that by that she might incline to her child and husband. The man's inclination (=tenderness) for the woman is his inclination for himself since she is a part of him. The woman inclines to the man since she was created from the rib, and the rib has curvature and inclination.
(....the love of Adam and the love of Eve)
Allah filled the place in Adam from which Eve emerged with appetite for her since there was not be a void in existence. When He filled him with passion, Adam yearned for her as he yearns for himself because she is a part of him. She yearned for him because he is her home in which she was formed. Eve's love is love of the homeland, and Adam's love is love of himself. For that reason, man's love for woman appeared since she is the same as him, and woman was given the faculty designated as modesty in love for men. She is capable of secrecy because the homeland is not joined to her as Adam is joined to her.
Allah fashioned in that rib all that He fashioned and created in the body of Adam. The formation of Adam's body in his form was like what the potter fashions from clay and baking. The formation of the body of Eve was like what the carpenter carves of forms in wood. When he carved her in the rib and set up her form, shaped and balanced it, he breathed into her of His spirit. She stood up as a living, speaking female in order to make her a place for procreation. He feels at home with her and she feels at home with him. She is a "garment for him and he is a garment for her." Allah says, "They are a garment for you and you are a garment for them." (2:187) Appetite diffused through all his parts and he sought her.
(The formation of the third type of body)
Then Adam covered her and cast water into her womb and by that drop of water, the blood of menstruation flowed which Allah had written for women, and in that body was formed a third body different than how the body of Adam and body of Eve had been formed. This is the third body. Allah took charge of the formation in the womb state by state by the change from water to sperm to a bloodclot to a lump of flesh to bone. Then Allah clothed the bones in flesh. When the animal growth was complete, He formed another creature and so breathed the human spirit into it. "Blessed is Allah, the best of creators." (23:14)
Were it not that it would take too long, we would have explained man's formation in the womb state by state, and the guardian angels who are in charge of forming the embryo in the womb until it emerges. But we want to talk about human bodies. Although they are same in definition, reality, sensory and significative form, the reasons for their composition are different lest one imagine that that belongs to the essence of the cause. Exalted is Allah! That refers to the chosen Actor who does what He wishes when He wishes without interdiction or inability in one matter rather than another. "There is no Allah except Him, the Mighty, the Wise." (3:18)
(The formation of the body of Jesus)
Then the naturalists say that the water of woman does not have anything formed from it - even the embryo which is in the womb is from the man's water. Therefore we made the formation of the body of Jesus another formation, even though its regulation in the womb was the same as the regulation of the bodies of sons. The formation of the body of Jesus was from the water of the woman since the Spirit appeared to her as a man without fault, or it was from the breath without water. In any case, the body of Jesus is a fourth body with a different type of formation than the other bodies. Therefore Allah said, "Truly, the likeness of Jesus" (2:56) i.e. the formation of Jesus, "with Allah is as Adam's likeness. He created him from dust." The pronoun refers to Adam. The likeness refers to his creation without a father, i.e. the quality of his formation is like that of Adam, even though He created Adam from dust. Then Allah said to him, "Be!"
Then Jesus, as was said, did not remain in Mary's womb the length of time that children customarily remain because he formed quicker because Allah wanted to make him a sign for people and use him to refute the naturalists when they judge nature according to what custom accord, not by the secrets and wondrous formations which Allah entrusted in it. Some of the intelligent people establish this matter as nature and said, "We only know of it what You have given us, and it contains things which we do not know."
(Man on the earth is like the intellect in the heaven)
This is why we mentioned the beginning of human bodies and the fact that there are four bodies formed differently as we confirmed and that man is the last of the products. Thus he is like the intellect and is connected to it because existence is a circle. The beginning of the circle is the existence of the First Intellect which has been reported in tradition: "The first thing that Allah created was the Intellect." It is the first of the genera. Creation ends in the human species and so the circle is complete and man is joined to the intellect, as the end of the circle is joined to its beginning. So it is a circle. Between the two ends of the circle is all the genera which Allah created in the world, between the First Intellect, which is the Pen, and man, who is the last existent.
Then lines emerge from the dot which is in the centre of the circle to the circumference which exists from it, and come out equally to each part of the circumference. It is the same with Allah's relationship to all existent things. It is the same relationship. Change does not occur at all. All things look at Him and receive from Him what He gives them as the parts of the circumference look at the dot.
Allah set up this human form by the straight movement as the form of the stick is to the tent. He made him the support of the dome of these heavens. Allah keeps them from descending because of him. So we consider man to be the tent-stick/support. When this human form is annihilated, and none of them remains breathing on the face of the earth, and the heaven is split, on that day it will fall because the support which is man has vanished.
Then habitation will move to the Next Abode since man has moved there. This world will become a ruin because he has left it. So we know absolutely that man is the source meant by Allah for the world and he is truly the Viceregent and he is the site of the manifestation of the Divine names. He brings together all the realities of the world - angel, sphere, spirit, body, nature, inanimate, and animal. This is in respect of what he alone is given of the knowledge of the Divine Names, in spite of the smallness of his size and mass. Allah said of him, "Certainly the creation of the heavens and the earth is greater than the creation of men" [40:57] because man was produced from the heaven and the earth, so they are like his parents. Allah elevated their value because of him, "but most men know it not". (7:187) He did not mean greatness in size, for that is known by the senses.
(The Testing of the the Greatest Man (al-Insan al-Akbar))
However, Allah tested man with a test which He did not use on any of His creation, either because He will make him happy or because He will make him wretched according to what He lets him use. The trial by which He tested him is that He created in him a capacity called thought (fikr) and made this capacity serve another faculty called intellect. He made the intellect, even though it is the master of thought, take what thought gives it. He did not give thought any scope except in the faculty of imagination. He made the faculty of imagination a place for gathering what the sensory faculties give it. He also gave it a faculty called conceptualization. So in the faculty of imagination, nothing is acquired except what the senses give it or what the conceptual faculty gives it. The substance of conceptualization comes from sensory things. It puts together forms which did not have a source, even though all its parts existed in the senses.
That is because the intellect was created guileless without any of speculative knowledges. Thought was told, "Distinguish between the true and the false which is in this imaginative faculty. Thought investigates according to what it has. He may obtain doubt and it may obtain proof without it knowing that even though it claims that is knows the forms of doubts from the proofs. It obtains knowledge while it has not regarded the shortcoming of the substance on which it relies in the acquisition of knowledges. The intellect accepts from it and judges by it. So its ignorance can be much greater than its knowledge!
Then Allah commanded this intellect to recognise Him so that it might refer to Him in it, not to something else. The intellect understood the opposite of what the Truly Real wanted from it when He said, "Have they not considered?" (7:184, etc.) "To a people who reflect." (10:24 etc.) It relied on thought and made it an Imam to be followed and neglected what Allah had meant when He mentioned reflection. He told it to reflect so that it would see that there is no way to know Allah except by being given gnosis of Allah. Therefore the matter would be unveiled to it for what it really is. Not every intellect has this understanding - it is only the intellects selected by Allah from His Prophets and saints.
Would that I knew if they had said, "Yes indeed" with their thoughts when Allah made them testify against themselves [to the lordship of Allah before their creation] in the handful of the progeny of the descendants of Adam! His making them testify to that when He took them from their loins is from solicitude. However, when they reverted to taking from their reflective capacities in gnosis of Allah, they did not agree at all on even a single judgement in gnosis of Allah. Each group formed a school, and the statments about the protected divine presence multiplied. These thinkers were as bold as possible towards Allah. All of this is part of the test which we mentioned when Allah created thought in man.
The people of Allah are in need of Him in the belief in Him which He was obliged of them in His gnosis. They know that what is desired of them is that they refer to Him in that, and in every state. Some of them said, "Glory be to One who made no way to recognise Him except the inability to recognise Him!" Some said, "The inability to reach perception is perception." The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "I cannot ennumerate Your praise!" Allah said, "They do not encompass Him in knowledge." (20:110) They refer to Allah in recognition of Him and abandon thought about His rank and fulfil His due. They do not put Him in what should not be thought of Him. It has been reported that it is forbidden to reflect on the Essence of Allah. Allah says, "Allah warns you that you should beware of Him." (3:28,30) Allah gave them the gnosis of Himself that He gave them and made them witness of His creatures and manifestations what He made them witness. So they knew that what is logically impossible by means of thought, is not impossible by divine relation. Some of that will be found in the next chapter on "The Earth created from what was left of the clay of Adam" and elsewhere.
That which the man of intellect is that he is indebted to Allah in himself got knowing that Allah has the power to do anything, possible or impossible - and not everything is impossible. He has effective power and vast of gifts. There is no repetition of His bringing into existence - rather similar things occur in a substance which He brought into existence and wishes to continue. If he had so willed, it would have been annihilated with the breaths. "There is no Allah but Him, the Mighty, the Wise." (3:18)
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