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Prophet¶s cousin. Their exemplary union is the manifestation of an eternal syzygy originating in the eternity of the pleroma of the l h t [the divine realm]. The First Im m and F tima are related to each other in the same reciprocal way as the first two hypostases, µAql and Nafs, Intelligence and Soul, or in terms more familiar to us (because they go back to Philo): Logos and Sophia. The couple µAl -F tima is the exemplification, the epiphany on earth, of the eternal couple LogosSophia. Hence, we can foresee the implications of their respective persons. The Logos (µaql)«is the hidden substance of every being and of every thing; it is the supersensory calling for visible Form in order to be manifested. It is like the wood in which the form of the statue will appear. Better still, it is like the archetypal body, the inner astral mass of the sun, invisible to human perception, in relation to the visible Form, which is its aura, brilliance and splendor. The maq m (this word signifying state, rank, degree, plane, also pitch of a note in music) - the maq m of F tima corresponds exactly to this visible form of the sun, without which there would be neither radiance nor heat. And this is why F tima has been called by a solar name: F tima al-Zahr ¶, the brilliant, resplendent F tima. The totality of the universes consists of this light of F tima, the splendor of each sun illuminating every conceivable universe. So one could also speak here of a cosmic Spirituality, having its source in the eternal person of F timaSophia. As such, she assumes a threefold rank, a threefold dignity and function. For she is the manifested Form, that is, the very soul (nafs, Anima) of the Im ms; she is the Threshold (b b) through which the Im ms effuse the gift of their light, just as the light of the sun is effused by the form of the sun ± which is its brilliant splendor ± not by the invisible substance of its ³archetype-body.´ Thus, in the second place, she is all thinkable reality, the pleroma of meanings (ma¶ n ) of all the universes, because nothing of what is can be without qualification and meaning. Qualification and meaning are on the same level of being as form, and form is precisely on the level of being of the Soul, for it is the SoulSophia that confers qualification and meaning. This is why the whole universe of the soul and the secret of the meanings given by the Soul is the very universe and secret of Hazrat F tima. She is Sophia, which is to say divine wisdom and power, embracing all the universes. That, lastly, is why her eternal Person, which is the secret of the world of the Soul, is also its manifestation (bay n), without which the creative Principle of the world would remain unknown and unknowable, forever hidden. Or yet again: the ontological rank of the Im ms in their eternal entity transcends all representation and perception, all means of expression and designation by created beings, whereas the rank of Hazrat F tima is the plane of their epiphany, because the rank of her being is the very rank of the Soul for each degree of being. Thus the degree of being of F tima-Sophia recapitulates the whole degrees of knowledge, of gnosis, so very completely that the rank of the respective prominence of the prophets in regard to their knowledge of God is measured by their knowledge of Hazrat F tima. Even those who were the most eminent from among the hundred and twenty-four thousand Nab s, those who, prior to Muhammad, were entrusted with the mission of revealing a heavenly Book, even they are still below the rank of F tima-Sophia, because it is she who is the source of all their knowledge, revelations, and thaumaturgical powers, for F tima-Sophia is the tabula secreta (lawh mahf z). Indeed, according to tradition, Gabriel is the Angel of Revelation and the Angel of Knowledge, the herald sent to the prophets. But he himself receives the divine revelation, which he communicates to them, through the intermediary of three other archangels, Azrael, Seraphiel, and Michael, who are the supports of the Throne. Only the Archangel Michael receives directly part of the knowledge concealed
in the tabula secreta, which indicates the rank itself and the position of F tima-Sophia as the heart of the transcendent spiritual world. In the Qur¶ n there are verses whose complete meaning cannot be understood except by means of the spiritual hermenuetic, the Shi¶ te ta¶w l; for example, the verse (which we translate as required by this ta¶w l) in which God declares: ³Yes, I swear it by the Moon, and by the night when it retires, and by the dawn when it rises, this Sign is one of the greater Signs, one of those which warn human beings´ (74:32-36). This Sign among the greater Signs is Hazrat F tima in the midst of the ³Fourteen VeryPure.´ After recapitulating the ontological prerogatives of Hazrat F tima-Sophia«we can say of her through whom earthly existence is transfigured into the dawn of a supercelestial Earth, that is the THEOPHANY. The theme rises and expands to such magnitude that [it]«reaches heights foreshadowed by Goethe at the conclusion of the second Faust: an Eternally Feminine, preceding even terrestrial woman because preceding the differentiation of male and female in the terrestrial world, just as the supercelestial Earth rules over all the Earths, celestial and terrestrial, and exists before them. F tima-Sophia is in fact the Soul: the Soul of creation, the Soul of each creature, that is, the constitutive part of the human being that appears essentially to the imaginative consciousness in the form of a feminine being, Anima. She is the eternally feminine in man, and that is why she is the archetype of the heavenly Earth; she is both paradise and Initiation into it, for it is she who manifests the divine names and attributes revealed in the theophanic persons of the Im ms, that is, in the Heavens of the Pleroma of the lah t [divine realm]. Here one begins to understand the resurgence of a theme of primitive Shi¶ te gnosis, in which F tima is called F tima F tir, F tima the Creator (in the masculine). Indeed, this suggests that we can perceive, at an extraordinary height of resonance, the meaning of the name which the Shi¶ te faithful give today to Hazrat F tima. In F tima they hail the ³queen of women.´ But in this context it suggests that we look for its meaning far beyond and above the sexual differentiation which is the condition of earthly humanity, a meaning that we have to translate by something like ³sovereign of feminine humanity´ or ³of humanity in the feminine.´ Indeed, we have to take feminine as meaning, in the first place, the totality of the beings of the universes of the Possible! All creatures have been created out of the Soul itself, out of the Anima of the holy Im ms; they issue from the ³left side´ of the latter, as Eve, the Anima of Adam, was created from his left side, as the light of the Sun consists of the manifested form and the qualifications of the sun.
All creatures being formed from their soul, the ontological status of the universe of creatures in relation to the holy Im ms as cosmogonic powers is a feminine status. In this sense the twelve Im ms are the ³men of God´ alluded to in certain verses of the Qur¶ n. But at the same time the Im ms, who inaugurate on earth the cycle of Initiation into the hidden meaning of the revelations, were created from the soul of the Prophet, or rather they are the soul of the Prophet. This is indicated several times in the Qur¶ n, as, for example, in the following verse: ³He has made wives for you out of your own souls´ (16:72 and 30:21). In this sense, the Im ms are the ³brides´ of the Prophet. And furthermore, since Initiation is nothing but the spiritual birth of the adepts, in speaking of the ³mother of the believers´ in the true sense, we should understand that the real and esoteric meaning of this word ³mother´ refers to the Im ms. Indeed, this spiritual birth is effected through them, and the following saying of the Prophet refers to this: ³I and µAl are the father and the mother of this community.´ And so the twelve Im ms, as the instruments and effective causes of Creation, are, on the one hand, the ³men of God,´ and masculine. But, on the other hand, and at the same time, they are the soul of the
Prophet, that is the Anima, the Feminine aspect of the Prophet through whom Initiation, that is, spiritual creation, takes place. Now we already know that the ontological rank of the Soul and the reality of the Soul are the very rank and reality of F tima-Sophia. The Im ms are masculine as agents of cosmogony, since creation is their soul; as authors of spiritual creation they are feminine, since they are the Soul and since the Soul is F tima. This, therefore, is why we read that F tima is the theophany of the supreme pleroma, and that is why the theophanic and initiatic function of the holy Im ms is precisely their ³F timic´ degree of being (their fatim ya, which we faithfully translate as ³Sophianity´), and this is how F tima comes to be called F tima-F tir, F tima the Creator. Her functions symbolize with each other, from one universe to the other: in the pleroma of the lah t [divine realm], as the supercelestial Earth which is its foundation; on the terrestrial Earth, as the daughter and Soul of the Prophet and as the one from whom issue those who in their turn are the Soul of the Prophet, the lineage of the Twelve Im ms. She is the theophany and she is the Initiation; she is majma¶ al-nurayn, the confluence of the two lights, the light of Prophecy and the light of Initiation. Through her, creation, from the beginning, is Sophianic in nature, and through her the Im ms are invested with the Sophianity that they transmit to their adepts, because she is its soul.
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