Second Ray: The fine art, power and ease in the creation of living creatures.

SECOND RAY

O my senseless soul! You say that verses like,

Indeed, His command when He wills a thing is, ‘Be!’, and it is, (1)

and,

It will be no more than a single blast, when lo! they will all be brought up before Us! (2)

show that the existence of things is instantaneous and merely through a command, and that verses like,

[Such is] the artistry of God, Who disposes of all things in perfect order, (3)

and,

Who has created everything in the best way (4)

show that existence of things is gradual, through a vast power within knowledge, and a fine art within wisdom. What is the point of agreement between them?

The Answer:  Relying on the effulgence of the Qur’an, we say:

Firstly: There is no contradiction. Some are like the former, like primary creation. And some are like the latter, like the repetition of creation...

Secondly: The infinite order and extreme skill, fine art, and perfect creation together with the ease, speed, multiplicity, and extensiveness which are observed in beings testify decisively to the existence of the truths of these two sorts of verses. Since this is so, proving it to be true outside this and making that the point of discussion, is unnecessary. It should rather be asked: ‘What is the wisdom in them? What is their meaning and purpose?’ Thus, we shall point to this wisdom with an analogy in the form of a comparison.

For example, a craftsman like a tailor creates something artistic with much difficulty and employing many skills, and makes a model for it. Then he can make others similar to it quickly and without difficulty. Sometimes, even, it becomes so easy they are as though made at a command, and they acquire a powerful order in that way; like a clock, they function and work as though at the touch of a command.

In just the same way, after making this palace of the world and all its contents originally, the All-Wise Maker and All-Knowing Inscriber gave everything, particular and universal, the whole and the parts, a specified measure and proportion through an ordering of Divine Determining, like a model. So, look! Making every century a model, the Pre-Eternal Inscriber clothes them with bejewelled new worlds through the miracles of His power. And making every year a scale, He sews skilfully fashioned new universes through the wonders of His mercy according to their stature. And making every day a line, He writes the decorated, constantly renewed beings in them through the subtleties of His wisdom.

Furthermore, just as that Absolutely Powerful One makes each century, each year, and each day a model, so He makes the face of the earth, and the mountains and plains, gardens and orchards, and trees each a model. He continuously sets up new universes on the earth and creates new worlds. He removes one world and replaces it with another, well-ordered world. Season after season He displays the miracles of His power and gifts of His mercy in all the gardens and orchards. He writes them all as wisdom-displaying books, establishes them as kitchens of His mercy, and clothes them in ever-renewed garments full of art. Every spring He arrays all trees in raiments of brocade and adorns them with fresh jewels like pearls. He fills their hands with the star-like gifts of His mercy.

Thus, the One Who performs these matters with infinitely fine art and perfect order and changes with infinite wisdom, bounty, and perfection of power and art the travelling worlds which follow on one after the other and are attached to the string of time, is certainly All-Powerful and All-Wise. He is All-Seeing and All-Knowing to an infinite degree. Chance cannot interfere in His works. He is the All-Glorious One Who decrees,

Indeed, His command when He wills a thing is, ‘Be!’, and it is, (5)

and,

And the decision of the Hour is as the twinkling of an eye, or even closer, (6)

and both proclaims the perfection of His power, and that in relation to His power the resurrection and Great Gathering are most easy and free of trouble. Since His creational command comprises power and will, and all things are entirely subjugated and obedient to His command, and He creates with no difficulty or hindrance, in order to express the absolute ease in His creating, the Qur’an of Miraculous Exposition decrees that He does this through a mere command.

To Conclude:  Some verses proclaim the extremely fine art and infinite perfection of wisdom in beings, especially at the start of their creation. Others describe the extreme ease and speed and infinite obedience and lack of difficulty in the recreation and return of things in particular.

(1) Qur’an, 36:82.
(2) Qur’an, 36:53.
(3) Qur’an, 27:88.
(4) Qur’an, 32:7.
(5) Qur’an, 36:82.
(6) Qur’an, 16:77.

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Third Ray: While everything is infinitely distant from Allah, Allah is infinitely close to everything.

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