Third Gleam: A comparison between the works of scholars who take lessons from the Qur’an and the Qur’an itself.

·THIRD GLEAM: In the Second Gleam we pointed to the fall of human philosophy before Qur’anic wisdom and to the miraculousness of Qur’anic wisdom. Now, in this Gleam, we shall show the degree of the wisdom and science -before Qur’anic wisdom- of the purified scholars, the saints, and the enlightened among philosophers, the Ishraqiyyun, who are all students of the Qur’an, and shall make a brief indication to the Qur’an’s miraculousness in this respect.

A most true indication of the All-Wise Qur’an’s sublimity, and a most clear proof of its truth and justice, and a most powerful sign of its miraculousness is this: preserving all the degrees of all the areas of Divine unity together with all their necessities, and expounding them, it has preserved their balance and not spoilt it; and it has preserved the balance of all the exalted Divine truths; and it has brought together all the ordinances dictated by the Divine Names and preserved their mutual proportion; and it has brought together the dominical and Divine acts with perfect balance. Thus, this preserving and balance and bringing together is a characteristic which is certainly not present in man’s works nor in the products of the thought of the eminent among mankind. It is to be found nowhere in the works of the saints who have penetrated to the inner face of beings, which looks to their Creator, nor in the books of the Ishraqiyyun, who have passed to the inward, hidden meaning of things, nor in the knowledge of the spiritual who have penetrated the World of the Unseen. As though they have practised a division of labour, it is as if each group adheres to only one or two branches of the mighty tree of reality; each busies itself with only its fruit or its leaves. They either know nothing of the others, or else do not concern themselves with them.

Absolute reality cannot be comprehended by restricted views. A universal view like the Qur’an is necessary in order to comprehend it. For sure they are instructed by the Qur’an, but with a particular mind they can only see completely one or two sides of universal reality, are preoccupied with them, and imprisoned in them. They spoil the balance of reality through either excess or negligence and mar its proportion and harmony. This truth was explained with an unusual comparison in the Second Branch of the Twenty-Fourth Word, and now we shall point to the matter with another comparison.

For example, let us suppose there is some treasure under the sea, full of innumerable jewels of various kinds. Divers are plunging the depths to search for the jewels of the treasure. Since their eyes are closed, they understand what is there through the dexterous use of their hands. A longish diamond comes into the hand of one of them. The diver assumes that the whole treasure consists of a long, pillar-like diamond. When he hears of other jewels from his companions, he imagines that they are subsidiary to the diamond he has found, and are facets and embellishments of it. Into the hand of another passes a round ruby, while another finds a square piece of amber, and so on, each of them believes that the jewel he sees with his hand is the essential, major part of the treasure, and supposes that the things about which he hears are additional parts and details of it. So then the balance of the truths is spoilt, and the mutual proportion too is marred. The colour of many truths changes, and in order to see the true colour of reality they are obliged to resort to forced interpretation and elaborate explanations. Sometimes even they go as far as denial and rejection. Anyone who studies the books of the Ishraqiyyun philosophers and the works of sufis who rely on illuminations and visions without weighing them on the scales of the Sunna will doubtless confirm this statement of ours. That is to say, although their works concern truths similar to those of the Qur’an and are taken from the Qur’an’s teachings, because they are not the Qur’an, they are defective in that way. The Qur’an’s verses also, which are oceans of truths, are divers for that treasure under the sea. But their eyes are open and encompass the treasure. They see what there is in the treasure and what there is not. They describe and expound it with such harmony, order, and proportion that they show the true beauty and fineness. For example, just as they see the vastness of dominicality expressed by the verses,

And the whole of the earth will be but His handful, and the heavens will be rolled up in His hand.1* The Day that We roll up the heavens like a scroll rolled up for books [completed],2

so too they see the all-encompassing mercy expressed by these:

Allah, there is nothing hidden from Him on the earth or in the heavens * He it is Who shapes you in the wombs as He pleases.3* There is not a moving creature, but He has grasp of its forelock.4* How many are the creatures that carry not their own sustenance? It is Allah who feeds [both] them and you.5

And just as they see and point out the vast extent of the creativity expressed by,

Who created the heavens and the earth and made the darkness and the light,6

so too they see and show the comprehensive disposal and encompassing dominicality expressed by,

But Allah has created you and what you do.7

They see and point out the mighty truth expressed by,

He gives life to the earth after its death,8

and the magnanimous truth expressed by,

And your Sustainer inspired the bee,9

and the sovereign and commanding vast truth expressed by,

The sun and the moon and the stars subjugated to His command.10

They see and show the compassionate, regulating truth expressed by,

Do they not observe the birds above them, spreading their wings and folding them in? None can uphold them except the Most Merciful; indeed He sees all things,11

and the vast truth expressed by,

His Throne extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in preserving them,12

and the guarding truth expressed by,

And He is with you wherever you may be,13

and the all-encompassing truth expressed by,

He is the First and the Last and the Outward and the Inward, and He is Knowing of All Things,14

and the proximity expressed by,

It was We Who created man, and We know what dark suggestions his soul makes to him; for We are nearer to him that his jugular vein,15

and the elevated truth indicated by,

The angels ascend to Him in a day the measure of which is fifty thousand years,16

and the all-embracing truth expressed by,

Allah commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion.17

The Qur’an’s verses see and show in detail each of the six pillars of belief in respect of this world and the hereafter, action and knowledge. They see and show intentionally and seriously each of the five pillars of Islam, and all the principles which ensure happiness in this world and the next. They preserve their balance, perpetuate their proportion, and a form of the Qur’an’s miraculousness comes into being from the source of the beauty which is born of the mutual proportion of the entirety of those truths.

It is due to this great mystery that although the scholars of theology (kalâm) are students of the Qur’an and one section of them has written thousands of works of ten volumes each on the pillars of belief, because like the Mu‘tazilites they preferred the reason to revelation, they have not been able to express with clarity so many as ten of the Qur’an’s verses, or prove them decisively, or convince persuasively concerning them. It is quite simply as though they have dug tunnels under distant mountains, taken pipes with the chains of causes to the ends of the world, there cut the chains, and then demonstrated knowledge of Allah and the existence of the Necessarily Existent One, which are like the water of life. The Qur’an’s verses, however, can all extract water from every place like the Staff of Moses, open up a window from everything, and make known the All-Glorious Maker. We have actually proved and demonstrated this fact in the Arabic treatise Katre, and in the other Words, which flow forth from the ocean of the Qur’an.

It is also due to this mystery that since all the leaders of the heretical groups who have passed to the inward nature of things (batin), who, not following the Sunna of the Prophet (PBUH) but relying on their visions, have returned having gone half way, and becoming leaders of a community have founded sects, have been unable to preserve the proportion and balance of the Qur’anic truths, they have fallen into innovation and misguidance and driven a community of people down the wrong road. Thus, the complete impotence of all these demonstrates the miraculousness of the Qur’an’s verses.

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1. Qur’an, 39:67.
2. Qur’an, 21:104.
3. Qur’an, 3:5-6.
4. Qur’an, 11:56.
5. Qur’an, 29:60.
6. Qur’an, 6:1.
7. Qur’an, 37:96.
8. Qur’an, 30:50.
9. Qur’an, 16:68.
10. Qur’an, 7:54.
11. Qur’an, 67:19.
12. Qur’an, 2:255.
13. Qur’an, 57:4.
14. Qur’an, 57:3.
15. Qur’an, 50:16.
16. Qur’an, 70:4.
17. Qur’an, 16:90.

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Conclusion: The Qur’an and Hz. Muhammad (PBUH) are a miracle for each other.

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