First Stopping-Place: The proof of the Wahdaniyyah (Oneness) of Almighty Allah.
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
Had there been in heaven or on earth any deities other than Allah, there surely would have been confusion in both.
There is no god but Allah, He is One, He has no partner; His is the dominion and His is the praise; He grants life and deals death, and is living and dies not; all good is in His hand; He is powerful over all things; and with Him all things have their end.
One night in Ramadan, I said that the above sentence affirming Divine unity consists of eleven phrases, and that in each of them is a degree expressing that unity and some good news. But of those degrees I only discussed the meaning and significance of He has no partner, and that was in the manner of an allegorical conversation and imaginary debate that would be accessible to ordinary people. I am now writing down that conversation at the request and desire of my much-valued brothers who assist me and my friends from the mosque. It is as follows.
Let us suppose one person represents all those things set up as partners to Allah that all the different varieties of idolators imagine to exist. These idolators are the people of unbelief and misguidance, who worship nature and causes, for example, and assign partners to Allah. The fictitious person wants to have mastery over one of the beings in the universe, and so claims to be its true owner.
Firstly, that maker of false claims encountered a particle, which is the smallest of those beings, and he spoke to it in the language of Naturalism and philosophy saying that he was to be its master and true owner. But the particle replied to him with the tongue of truth and dominical wisdom, saying:
“I perform innumerable duties. Entering many creatures which are all different I do my work in them. And there are, from among countless particles like me, those that move from place to place1 and work with me. If you have the knowledge and power to employ me in all those duties, and the authority and ability to employ and have at your command all those others as well, and if you are able to be the true owner of and to have total control over the beings of which I become a part in complete order, for example, over red blood-corpuscles, then you can claim to be master over me and ascribe me to something other than Allah Almighty. But if you cannot do all these things, be silent!
“And in the same way that you cannot have mastery over me, you cannot interfere in any way. For there is such complete orderliness in our duties and motion that one who does not have infinite wisdom and all-encompassing knowledge cannot meddle with us. If he did, it would cause chaos. However, a person like you who is thick, impotent, and unseeing, and is in the clutches of blind chance and nature, could not even begin to stretch out a finger to interfere.”
So, just like the Materialists, the one making these claims said: “In that case, own yourself. Why do you say you are working on someone else’s account?” To which the particle replied:
“If I had a brain like the sun, and all-embracing knowledge like its light, and all-encompassing power like its heat, and comprehensive senses like the seven colours in its light, and if I had a face that looked to all the places in which I travel and all the beings in which I work, and an eye that looked to them and words that carried authority with them, then perhaps I would indulge in foolishness like you and claim to own myself. Get out! Go away! You won’t get anything out of me!”
So, when the representative of those things held to be Allah’s partners despaired of the particle, he hoped to pursue the matter with a red blood - corpuscle. And coming across one he said to it on behalf of causes and in the language of nature and philosophy: “I am your master and owner.” And the red corpuscle replied to him through the tongue of truth and Divine wisdom:
“I am not alone. If you are able to own all my fellows in the army of blood whose stamp, nature as officials, and order is the same, and if you have subtle wisdom and mighty power enough to own all the cells of the body in which we travel and are employed with perfect wisdom, and if you can demonstrate this to be the case, then perhaps some meaning might be found in your claim.
“But someone stupified like yourself cannot be owner with your only support being deaf nature and blind force; indeed, you are unable to interfere in so much as an atom. For the order with which we function is so perfect that only one who sees, hears, knows, and does everything can have authority over us.” And saying: “So, be silent! My duty is so important and the order so perfect that I have no time to answer garbled rubbish such as yours,” it repelled him.
Then, since he was unable to mislead it, the representative left and next came across the little house known as a cell of the body. He said to it in the language of philosophy and nature: “I could not persuade the particle and red corpuscle but perhaps you will be reasonable. Since you have been made of several substances just like a minute house, I am able to make you. You will be my artefact and true property.” The cell responded to him through the tongue of wisdom and truth, saying:
“I am only a minute little thing but I have very important duties and very sensitive relations; I am connected to the body as a whole as well as to all its cells. For example, I perform complex and faultless duties in the veins, and in regard to the arteries, the sensory and motor nerves, the powers of attraction and repulsion and procreation, and the imaginative faculty. If you have the knowledge and power to form, arrange, and employ the whole body and all its blood-vessels, nerves and faculties, and if you have comprehensive wisdom and penetrating power with which to control all the body’s cells, which are like me, as regards qualities and artistry we are brothers, demonstrate it. Only then can you claim to be able to make me. If you cannot, then off with you!
“The red corpuscles bring my food, while the white ones combat illnesses which attack me. I have work to do, do not distract me! Anyway, an impotent, lifeless, deaf and blind thing like you cannot in any way interfere with us. For we have such an exact, subtle and faultless order2 that if the one who has authority over us was not Absolutely Wise, Absolutely Powerful and Absolutely Knowing, our order would be broken and our regularity spoilt.”
Then the one making the claims despaired of it, too. He encountered the body of a human being and said to it, once again as the Naturalists say, in the language of blind nature and aimless philosophy: “You are mine, it is I who made you; or anyway I have a share in you.” The human body answered with the tongue of reality and wisdom and through the eloquence of its order:
“If you possess the power and knowledge to have actual control over the bodies of all human beings, who are the same as me and on whose faces are the stamp of power and seal of creation which are the same, and if you have the wealth and jurisdiction to own, from water and air to plants and animals, the treasuries of my sustenance, and if you have infinite power and boundless wisdom with which to employ me with perfect wisdom and cause me to perform my worship, and the power and wisdom to lodge in a narrow, lowly vessel like me immaterial and subtle faculties like the spirit, heart, and intellect, which are extremely vast and exalted and for which I am merely the sheath, then demonstrate all these and afterwards say that you made me. Otherwise, be silent!
“Moreover, according to the testimony of the perfect order in my body and the indication of the stamp of unity on my face, my Maker is One Who is powerful over all things, knows all things, and sees and hears all things. Someone aimless and impotent like you cannot meddle in His art. You cannot interfere in so much as an atom.”
The representative of the things imagined to be Allah’s partners could find no way in which to interfere in the body so he went off. Next, he encountered the human race and said to himself “This is a disorganized and unruly group. Perhaps, like Satan interferes in their individual and social actions which they perform through the exercise of their wills, I’ll be able to find some way to interfere in the functioning of their bodies and natures. And then, finding some way, I’ll be able to exercise control over the body and the body’s cell which sent me packing.”
So, he said to the human race, once again in the language of deaf nature and aimless philosophy: “You seem to be to be in great confusion. I am your master and owner, or at least I partly own you.” To which the human race answered through the tongue of truth and reality, wisdom and order:
“If you possess the power and wisdom to make the shirt that clothes the whole globe of the earth and is woven and sewn with perfect wisdom from the multicoloured threads of all the hundreds of thousands of animal and plant species, of which we are one, and to make the carpet which is spread over the face of the earth and is woven from the hundreds of thousands of species of animate beings and is created in an extremely fine and ornamented fashion, and to continuously renew and refurbish it, and if you possess comprehensive power and all-embracing wisdom with which to have free disposal over the globe of the earth of which we are the fruit, and over the universe of which we are the seed, and to send us our vital necessities from all the regions of the cosmos with the balance of wisdom, and if you have the ability to create all those like us who have gone before us and those who will come after us, on whose faces the stamp of power is the same, then, perhaps, you can claim to have mastery over me.
“But if you cannot, be silent! Do not say that, seeing confusion in my species, you will be able to interfere in some way, because the order is faultless. The conditions you imagine to be confused and disorderly are transcribed with perfect order according to the book of power and Divine Determining. For the perfect order in animals and plants, which are far inferior to us and are under our supervision, demonstrates that this seeming disorder in us is but a sort of writing.
“Is it at all possible that the one who artistically positions one thread running through a whole carpet should be other than the master designer of the carpet; or that the one who creates a fruit should be other than the creator of the tree that bore it; or that the one who creates the seed should be other than the fashioner of the being that produced the seed?
“Also your eyes are blind: you do not see the miracles of power on my face, the wonders of creation in my being. If you did see them, you would understand that my Maker is such that nothing at all can withstand Him or be difficult for Him. The stars are as easy for Him as particles. He creates the spring with as much ease as a flower. He is One Who includes the index of the vast universe in my being with perfect order. Could a lifeless, impotent, blind and deaf thing like you interfere in any way in the art of such a Being? So, be silent!” And saying: “Off with you! Go away!”, he drove him away.
Next the one making these claims went and addressed the broad carpet covering the face of the earth and the lavishly decorated and embroidered shirt clothing it on behalf of causes and in the language of nature and philosophy, claiming: “I can have control over you and be your owner, or at least have a share in you.” So the shirt, the carpet,3 said to him on behalf of truth and reality and through the tongue of wisdom:
“If you have the power and art to weave and create all the well-ordered and purposeful shirts and carpets, whose embroideries are all different, which have clothed the earth to the number of years and centuries, then have been removed in an orderly fashion and strung on the line of past time, and will clothe the earth again, carpets and shirts whose programmes and forms have been drawn and specified in the sphere of Divine Determining, and which will be attached to the ribbon of future time, and if you have two wise and powerful hands with which to reach from the creation of the world to its destruction, indeed, from pre-eternity to post-eternity, and if you have the wisdom and ability to create every one of all my threads and to repair and renew them with perfect order and wisdom, and if you are able to hold in your hand and create the globe, which is our model and is wearing us, making us its veil and outer garment, then you can claim to have mastery over me. If you cannot, then away with you! There is no place for you here!
“Moreover, there is on us such a stamp of unity and seal of oneness that one who does not have the whole universe within the grasp of his power, and who cannot see at one time all things with all their functions, and cannot do innumerable things at the same time, who is not all-present and all-seeing everywhere, who is not unconfined by space, and who does not possess infinite wisdom, knowledge, and power, such a one cannot own us, neither could he interfere.”
So the representative went off, saying: “Perhaps I will be able to persuade the globe of the earth and find something going for me there.” So he went and said to the globe,4 once again on behalf of causes and in the language of nature: “Since you travel in such an aimless manner, you demonstrate that you have no owner. In which case, you can be mine.” To which the earth replied in a thunderous voice, in the name of truth and with the tongue of reality:
“Do not talk such utter nonsense! How could I be just aimless and without an owner? Have you found my garments or even the tiniest point or thread in them to be in disarray, without order, and have you seen them to be without wisdom, purpose and art that you tell me I am ownerless and aimless?
“If you can really own my vast orbit round which I travel in one year, a distance that should take approximately twenty-five thousand years,5where I perform my duty of service with perfect balance and wisdom, and own the ten planets, which are my brothers and are charged with duties like myself, together with the space through which they travel, and if you have infinite wisdom and power with which to create and position the sun, which is our leader and to which we are bound and attached by a compassionate attraction, and to fasten me and the other planets to it like stones in a sling, and to employ us and cause us to revolve with perfect order and wisdom, then you can claim to have mastery over me. But if you cannot, get out! Go to Hell! I’ve got work to do, my duty to perform.
“Moreover, our magnificent order, awesome movement, and purposeful subjugation demonstrate that our Master is such that all beings from minute particles to the stars and galaxies are obedient and subjugated to him like soldiers under orders. He is an All-Wise Possessor of Glory, a Possessor of Absolute Sovereignty Who arrays the sun with planets as easily as He arrays and ornaments a tree with its fruit.”
Since the claimer could find nothing for himself on the earth, he went off and said to himself about the sun: “This a huge great thing. Perhaps I’ll be able to find a hole in it and open up a way in; then maybe I’ll be able to subjugate it as well as the earth.” So he said to the sun, as the fire-worshippers speak, in the name of idolatry and in the language of the philosophy that is the mouthpiece of the Devil: “You are a ruler, you own yourself; you dispose of matters freely, as you wish.” But the sun replied to him in the name of truth and through the tongue of reality and Divine wisdom, saying:
“God forbid! A hundred thousand times, God forbid! I am a subservient official. I am a candelabrum in my Lord’s guest-house. I am not the true owner of a fly, or even of a fly’s wing. For in the fly’s being there are immaterial jewels and antique works of art, like eyes and ears, such as are not in my shop. They are outside the sphere of my power,” thus reprimanding him.
So the one making the claims changed his approach and said with the tongue of devilish philosophy: “Since you do not own yourself, you are a servant; I claim you on behalf of causes.” To which the sun replied, speaking for truth and reality and with the tongue of worship:
“I can only belong to one who is able to create all the lofty stars, which are my fellows, to place them in the heavens with faultless wisdom, make them revolve with utter magnificence and to adorn them with exquisite finery.”
Next the claimer said to himself: “The stars are a great multitude, and they seem to be all scattered and in disorder. Perhaps I will be able to gain something out of them on behalf of my clients.” So he went in among them and said to them on behalf of causes and those things ascribed to Allah as partners, in the language of rebellious philosophy and as the Sabean star-worshippers said: “Since you are so scattered, you are all under the jurisdiction of different rulers.” To which one star replied, speaking for all the others:
“Just how stunned, brainless, stupid and blind you are not to see and understand the stamp of unity and seal of oneness on us, and not to recognize our lofty order and regularity and the laws of our worship. You imagine us to be without order. But we are the works of art and servants of a Single and Unique One Who holds in the grasp of His power the heavens, which are our seas, the cosmos, which is our tree, and infinite space, which is where we make our excursions.
“We are like electric illuminations and resplendent witnesses displaying the perfection of His dominicality. We are radiant proofs proclaiming the sovereignty of His dominicality. With all our different sorts, we are luminous servants in the domain of His sovereignty which give light and display the majesty of that sovereignty in the lofty dwellings and in the lowly ones, in the dwellings of this world, the Intermediate World and the hereafter.
“Indeed, each of us is a miracle of the Single and Unique One’s power, a well-ordered fruit of the tree of creation, an illuminated proof of unity; each of us is a dwelling place, aeroplane and mosque for the angels, and a lamp and sun for the lofty worlds, and a witness to the sovereignty of dominicality; and each of us is an ornament, palace, and flower of space, and a shining fish in the heavenly seas, and a beautiful eye in the face of the sky.6
“Furthermore, throughout us as a whole there is a silence within tranquillity, a motion within wisdom, an adornment within majesty, a beauty of creation within order, and a perfection of art within symmetry.
“And although we are thus and proclaim our Glorious Maker and His unity, oneness, eternal besoughtedness, and His attributes of beauty, glory and perfection to the whole universe with innumerable tongues, you still accuse us utterly pure, clean, obedient and subservient servants of being confused, disorderly, and without duties, and even of being without an owner. You therefore deserve a truly punishing slap.”
And one star, like the stone hurled at Satan, delivered such a mighty slap at the claimer’s face that it flung him from the stars to the very pit of Hell. And it cast nature,7 which was together with him, into the valleys of delusion, and chance into the chasm of non-existence, and those things ascribed to Allah as partners into the darkness of impossibility, and the philosophy that is hostile to religion down to the lowest of the low. All the stars recited this sacred decree together with that star:
Had there been in heaven or earth any deities other than Allah, there surely would have been confusion in both.8
And they proclaimed: “There is nothing, from a fly’s wing to the lamps in the heavens, nothing, even the size of a fly’s wing, in which those things ascribed to Allah as partners could interfere.”
Glory be unto You! We have no knowledge save that which You have taught us; indeed, You are All-Knowing, All-Wise!9
O Allah! Grant blessings and peace to our master Muhammad, the Lamp of Your Unity in the multiplicity of Your creatures, and the Herald of Your Oneness in the exhibition of Your creation, and to all his Family and Companions.
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
Look, then, to the signs of Allah’s mercy, how He
restores to life the earth after its death.10
The following section11 alludes to one flower from the pre-eternal garden of the above verse.
It is as if all the blossoming trees are beautifully composed odes speaking poetically through the tongue of disposition reciting the manifest praises of the Glorious Creator.
Or, it is as if all the blossoming trees have opened thousands of gazing eyes and have caused thousands of others to open in order to behold, not with one or two eyes but with thousands, the Glorious Fashioner’s wonders of art which are being broadcast and exhibited, and so that attentive people will gaze on them, too.
Or, it is as if all the blossoming trees have beautified their verdant limbs with the finest adornment for the moment of their parade and for their own particular festivals in the general festival of spring, so that their Glorious Monarch will contemplate the gifts, subtle wonders, and resplendent works of art He has bestowed upon them; and so that He will present to creation’s gaze the bejewelled instances of His mercy, in springtime, and on the face of the earth, which is the exhibition of Divine art; and so that He will proclaim to mankind the wisdom in the creation of the tree.
He demonstrates the perfection of Divine power through showing what important treasure hangs on their delicate branches and what significant wealth there is in the fruits of His merciful bounties.
The imagination sees heavenly angels embodied from these trees
With thousands of flutes.
From these flutes the consciousness hears
The praises of the Ever-Living One.
Their leaves have tongues, each reciting the word: It is He! It is He!
O Ever-Living One! O Ever-Living One!
Since all things chant in unison: There is no god but He,
And they are seeking Truth,
From beginning to end they recite: O Ever-Living One!
They are chanting in unison: O Allah!
And We send down from the skies water rich in blessings.12
1.Indeed, every object which is in motion, from minute particles to the planets, displays on itlelf the stamp of Eternal Besoughtedness and Unity. Also, by reason of its movement, each of them takes possession of all the places in which it travels in the name of Unity, thus including them in the property of its own owner. As for those creatures that are not in motion, they are each of them, from plants to the fixed stars, like a seal of Unity showing the place in which it is situated to be the missive of its own Maker. That is to say, each flower and fruit is a stamp and seal of Unity which demonstrates, in the name of Unity, that its habitat and native place is the missive of its Maker. In short, each thing takes possession of all things through its motion in the name of Unity. That is, one who does not have all the stars within his grasp cannot have mastery over a single particle.
2. The All-Wise Maker has created the human body as though it was a well-arranged city. A number of the blood-vessels perform the duties of telephones and telegraphs, while others of them are like pipes from a fountain through which blood, which is the water of life, flows. As for blood, created within it are two sorts of corpuscles. One of them, known as red corpuscles, distributes nutrients to the cells of the body; it conveys sustenance to the cells according to a Divine law. (Like merchants and food officials.) The other sort are white corpuscles, which are fewer in number than the former. Their duty, like soldiers, is defence against enemies, such as illness. Whenever they undertake that defence, with their two revolutions like Mevlevi dervishes, they take on a swift and wonderful state. As for blood as a whole, it has two general duties; the first is to repair damage done to the body. There are two sorts of blood-vessels, veins and arteries. One of these carry purified blood, they are the channels through which elean blood is conveyed. The others are the channels for the turbid blood which collects the waste-matter; these convey the blood to where breathing occurs; that is, the lungs.
The All-Wise Maker created in the air two elements, nitrogen and exygen. As for exygen, when it comes int o contact with the blood in breathing, it drawn to itself, like amber, the impure element, carbon, which is polluting the blood. The two combine and are transformed into matter called carbonic acid gas. Oxygen also maintains the body temperature, and purifies the blood. This is because, in the science of chemistry, the All-Wise Maker bestowed on oxygen and carbon an intense relationship, which might be described as 'chemical passion', whereby, according to this Divine law, when those two elements come close to each other, they combine. It has been established by science that heat is produced by combining, because it is a sort of combustion.
The wisdom in this is as follows: the motion of the particles of those two elements is different. On combining, the particles of one element unite with those of the other, each two particles thereafter moving like a single particle. The other motion is transformed into heat according to a low of the All-Wise Maker. As a matter of a fact, 'motion produces heat' is an established principle.
Thus, as a consequence of this fact, by this chemical combination, as carbon is removed from the blood the body temperature of human beings is maintained and at the same time the blood is purified. On inhaling, oxygen both cleanses the body's water of life and kindles the fire of life. On exhaling, it yields, in the mouth, the fruit of words, which are miracles of Divine Power.
GLORY BE UNTO HIM AT WHOSE ART THE MIND IS BEWILDERED.
3. In fact, the carpet is both living and vibrates in a regular fashion. Its embroideries are being continuously replaced with perfect wisdom and order in order to display the ever-differing manifestations of the Weaver's Names.
4. In short, the particle referred the claimer to the red corpuschle. The red corpuscle referred him to the cell and the cell referred him to the human body; the human body to human race and the human race to the earth's shirt, which is woven from all the species of animate creatures. The earth's shirt referred him to the glode of the earth, which in turn referred him to the sun. And the sun referred him to all the stars. Each one of them said; "Go, if you are able to take possession of the next one up from me, do so, then come and try to be my master. If you are unable to defeat it, then you are unable to get possesion of me." That is to say, one whose authority does not extend to all the stars cannot make a single particle heed his claim to mastery.
5. If half the diameter of a circle is approximately one hundred and eighty million kilometres, the circle covers approximately a twenty-five thousand year distance.
6. This means, we are indications observing and contemplating the wonders of Allah Almighty's creation and causing others to contemplate them. That is, just as the heavens are seen to be observing the wonders of Divine art on the earth with countless eyes, so too, like the angels in the skies, the stars watch the earth, which is an exhibition of wonders and marvels, and they cause conscious creatures to observe it with attention.
7. But after its fall, Nature repented. It understood that its true duty was not to act and to have an effect, but to accept and be passive. And it recognized that it was a sort of notebook of Divine Determining, but a notebook capable of change and transformation; that it was a sort of programme of Dominical Power, was similar to the body of the rules of creation laid down by the All-Powerful One of Glory, and was a sort of collection of His laws. It assumed its duty of worship with perfect submission acknowledging its utter impotence, and thus acquired the title of Divine creation and Dominical art.
8. Qur'an, 21:22.
9. Qur'an, 2:32.
10. Qur'an, 30:50.
11. In the original text this section is in Arabic, together with the author's Turkish rendering, which is the source of the translation here. The lines at the end are in Persian (Tr.).
12. Qur'an, 50:9.
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A short Addendum to the First Stopping-Place: The commentary of the verse “Do they not look at the sky above them?― How We have made it and adorned...” (Surah Qaf, 50:6)
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