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Introduction – What is Gnosis?

By cosmosasmeditation

Introduction – What is Gnosis (`irfan)? The following work deals exclusively with cosmology and spirituality. In Shi’a Islam, and it’s modern messianic reflection in the Baha’i Faith, the idea of gnosis or innate direct experiential knowledge of the divine is known as `irfan:

Irfan also spelt eerfan (Arabic/Persian/Urdu: ) literally meansknowing. Sometimes it is transliterated as Erfan. It is used to refer both toIslamic mysticism as well as the attainment of direct spiritual knowledge. In the latter sense it is often translated in English as gnosis. Those with the name are sometimes referred to as having an insight into the unseen. In Twelver Shi’a Islam, the term refers specifically to the discipline of mystical knowledge within religious teachings. In this respect Irfanoverlaps considerably with Sufism in both meaning and content. (
How the great teachers of `irfan have conveyed their insights into reality has taken root in poetic utterances and philosophical treatises. These great teachers of `irfan have all traced their lineage through the Prophet Muhammad, through the imams of the Shi’a, down to the teachings of a former Shi’a Sufi named Baha’ Allah (Glory of God). We shall trace and delineate out how philosophy along with cosmology has shaped the discourse and explication of the divine worlds in the writings of great `Irfanic and Sufi teachers. We shall read about the teachings of the Shi’a scholars, Sufi teachers and the divine revelation of Baha’ Allah and how they relate to philosophical and experiential comceptions of cosmos. We shall encounter the great teachers like Ibn `Arabi, Mulla Sadra, al-Bab, Baha’ Allah and others. The first chapter deals with delineating what is meant by symbolic discourse and the topic of cosmos. The second chapter details the Qur’anic creative vocabulary, how the Qur’an teaches about creation. The third chapter delves into the lasting effects of Neo-Platonic philosophy on Islamic thinkers. The fourth chapter outlines the Sufi and Baha’i symbolic cosmology, specifically dealing with the five worlds (`alam) of God: Hahut, Lahut, Jabarut, Malakut and Nasut. The fifth chapter details the comsology as taught by gnostic Shi’a thinkers, specifically the teachings of Mulla Sadra. The sixth chapter delineates further the thinking of Mulla Sadra, specifically addressing his teachings on knowledge and existential reality. The seventh chapter addresses sufi symbols found in the Seven Valleys of Baha’ Allah, delineating the sufi context to the work. The eight chapter goes into the ideas behind the sufi conception of resurrection (qiyamat). The ninth chapter deals with spiritual practices in sufism and the Baha’i teachings. The final and tenth chapter shows how Baha’ Allah’s Four Valleys is actually a work which touches on the Sufi Enneagram, a sufi program that helps the seeker overcome their ego deficiencies and draw closer to the Ultimate Reality.

Chapter 1 – Baha’i, Sufi and Gnostic Shi’a Spiritual Cosmology

By cosmosasmeditation

Chapter 1 – Baha’i, Sufi and Gnostic Shi’a Spiritual Cosmology By Michael McCarron SYMBOLIC COSMOLOGY Neo-platonic philosophy has had a lasting and deep affect on Islamic thought, philosophy and mystical traditions. I will be examining the similarities between the philosophy of Plotinus and that of the Islamic Isma’ili movement, Sadrian, Shaykhi, and Sufi movements, and the teachings of the 19th Century Iranian messianic movement of ‘Ali-Muhammad Shirazi (al-Bab) and Mirza Husayn’Ali Nur (Baha’u’llah) (hereafter referred to collectively as the Baha`i movement) in detail. For my study I shall be looking at Plotinus’ Eannead No. V and comparing it to the Hierocosmos of the Isma’ili and teachings on the Divine Presence of Iranian thought. Specifically examining the concepts of the Oneness of Divinity, Cosmogenesis, Symbolic Hierocosmos and the Five Divine Presences. My initial investigation shall be in regards to the Qur’anic or Orthodox understanding of Creation in it’s many modes and a philosophical interpretation of this Creation archetype. Afterwards shall follow a sketch of the philosophy of the Isma’ili and Islamic mystical traditions including the writings of Husayn-’Ali Nuri and Sayyid ‘Ali-Muhammad-i Shiraz. I shall be dealing with their particular understanding of the Islamic creation archetype and how it is applied in their Cosmology, addressing in particular the role of hierachic symbolic (hierocosmic) cosmologies in their interpretations. The Symbolic World (‘Alam al-Mithal) and the Symbolic Language (lughat al-mithal) Symbolism described and popularized in the west by Jung has for a very long time held captive our imaginations concerning the unseen and it’s representation in artistic expression–poetry, painting, architecture, etc. As is the case in most sciences and disciplines in the west the art of symbol, whether of the great painters of the 19th century or the poets of the Metaphysical Movement, has it’s origin in the east. So it is in the study of Symbol that one encounters the voice of God in the immanent and present experiential basis in Sufism. It is interesting that the symbol understood in context in Iran of Sufi origin can be misunderstood in the west thus, it is important to have an idea of what the original context of a Sufi symbol carries in the context of the present page of it’s environment or field of relationships. To quote the work of Lewisohn on this subject: “(the symbolist) Those who approach Sufi poetry as a statement of archetypal logopoeia, that is to say, as a communication derived from the imaginal [or symbolic] world (‘alam-i mithal) or the realm of archetypal meanings (‘alam-i ma’na), understanding it as an

expression of precise symbolic meanings working systematically at a supraconscious associative level. Although scholars such as Toshihiko Izutsu, S.H. Nasr, and Henry Corbin have examined Persian philosophical doctrines from this point of view , no one has examined Persian metaphysical poetry from this standpoint, even though this is the mode of classical literary criticism[1]employed by the Sufis themselves. Considering the importance of symbolic structure and meaning as the main criterion of assessing a poem’s ultimate meaning among the Sufis, it seems worthwhile to investigate the underlying philosophical assumptions of this poetic symbolism, the study of which has been neglected by Iranologists East and West alike.” (Lewisohn, SH, pg. 154) As the title of this study suggests we are concerned with a symbolic representation of the cosmos or intellectual world of the Islamic world, specifically, the eastern Islamic world of Iran dominated by Shi’ism. In this world the symbol becomes a powerful expression to convey information in an allegorical and metaphorical context. Thus, it is important to be cognizant of the ideas behind symbolic expression in the cultural context of Iranian mysticism. There are several literary devices used in Sufism the important element in literary works of Sufism is the concept of allegorical similitude (mathal). This is initially derived from the writings within the Qur`an where it is recorded that God disdains not to speak in allegories (Surah al-Baqara). In Sufism, the literary devices are: 1. Ramz– symbol, it is said to be the manifestation of divine secrets at the level of the inner consciousness. The inward meaning of outward utterance. 2. Ima– an enigmatic utterance w/o explanation, a gesturing of the inner conscious toward the light. 3. Kenaya– metaphor, refers to a name for a thing by a name by which it is not usually known so that the visionary may perceive it. 4. Ishara– Allusion, defined by Rudbari as “Our knowledge is ‘allusion’, and if it were ever stated directly, it could not be comprehended”. Allusion is that which can not be expressed directly due to the subtlety to it’s meaning.” [tr. Nurbakhsh, “Ishara” in Nurbakhsh Lexicon] For most of the authors examined here the following excerpts from the Sufi tradition holds true on metaphor (kinaya), allusion (ishara) and symbol (ramz): Metaphor (kinaya) and allusion (ishara) are similar to one another. Metaphor is clearer than allusion inasmuch as it brings news of Divinity to the seekers (taliban) of the unseen (ghaib) through the tongue of expansion. At times, metaphor refers to a name for a thing (musama) by a name (ism) by which it is not usually known (mu’aruf) so that the visionary may perceive (shahid), while the one who is absent is none the wiser. The gnostic

as the decipherment symbols in dream is called ‘the interpretation of dream’ (ta’bir)” (GHZ. The true nature (haqa`iqat) of symbol (ramz) comprises the truths (haqqa) of the unseen (ghayb) in the nuances (daqa) of knowledge (`ilm). Nurbakhsh. the ecstatic utterance relating the Sufis perception of reality and identification within the Sufi as being a part of the object of his experiential contemplation thus unifying object with subject in an ecstatic moment. So it is necessary to make use of metaphors to explain to the sleeper…their understanding does not go beyond the apparent meaning. (Ruzbehan Baqli [tr. he finds it true. he finds it deceiving…The prophets can talk to the people only by means of the metaphors (amthal). But if he sees only its external form. Their intellect is on the sleeper’s level. Perhaps the most important element of Sufi utterance is that of Shathit. Nurbakhsh. It is also seen in Mirza Husayn-’Ali Nuri’s writing that “I am He and He is I” (Anna Huwa wa Huwa anna). Metaphor is employed in the Qur=an as in the verse… (Lahiji [tr. It has been arguably related that this is not an utterance with a literal truth but is an utterance full of symbolic meaning relating the Sufis love and intimacy with the object of his contemplation.experiences (shahud ‘arif) metaphor through vision at the station (maqam) of mysteries (asrar) and expansion (anbasit). 561) Allegory has been a large stumbling block to others outside the Sufi tradition in understanding the symbolic utterance of the Sufis. One of the greatest Sufi and scholars of Islam al-Ghazzali writes of the use of symbolic metaphor in Sufism as: “We mean by metaphor or analogue (mathal) to render meaning (ma’na) into the external form (surah). ‘Lexicon’]. 23-24) Mystical Discourse through the Symbol: . ‘Lexicon’]. called ‘metaphorical interpretation’ (ta’wil). IV. because of their ignorance of the interpretation. So if one sees its inner meaning. as well as allusion (isharat) of the intellect (`aql). Ihya. ‘Lexicon’]. pg. MA pg. SS. Nurbakhsh. 201) Symbol (ramz) represents the inward meaning (ma`ni butun) of outward utterance (kalam zahir) which brings realization (zafar) only to Divinity’s adherents (ahl). ([tr. 164 ) Symbol (ramz) is said to be the manifestation (zahara) of divine secrets (asrar ilahi) at the level (tawr) of the inner consciousness (sirr) through the devotions (`ibadat) of the nafs. al-Ghazzali. pg. since it is necessary to talk to the people in accordance with their intellect. articulated (talifaz) enigmatically (huruf mu`kusi) by the tongue (lisan) of the inner consciousness (sirr). TT. This is the basis of the famous utterance by the al-Hallaj: “I am the Truth (Haqq)”.

Attributes or the Essence.In Sufism the symbolic is expressed through a varied ways of expression.” (NCH) Some common symbols in Sufism according to Dr. as the earthly Kaa’ba is the house of God. Nicholson writes of the Sufi symbolic style: “…the Sufis adopt the symbolic style because there is no other way of interpreting mystical experience. whether of effects. it is said to represent the universal names of God. imperfect as they are.” 4.” 3. Acts. to the universal divine names. Kaa’ba: Symbolizes the station of Union according to Iraqi. I turned your way into another Kaa’ba. Nurbakhsh. which are his place of origin. but is an expression of divine source or enlightenment. For Bakhrazi “the outer form of the divine focal point of anything is called the Kaa’ba of that thing. a non-physical non-literal expression attached to a common literal object but having an internal vocabulary known to the adept which reveals itself in a code which can exalt the adept to a higher plane understanding the code attached to the literal object which is a symbol of the esoteric.” There is also the designation of an outer Kaa’ba and an inner Kaa’ba. At each level. which. . No longer do we have the common literal meaning attached to things. Qibla: symbolizes the focus of attention of the heart. Ma’ad (the Place of Return):According to Tahanawi “In conventional usage. a resurrection takes place and the phenomenal realm is constantly full of these resurrections. just as. which are hsi place of return. leader of the Ni`matu`llahi Tariqat. “As soon as I made your face the qibla of my regard. 2. are: 1. So little does knowledge of the infinite revealed in ecstatic vision need an artificial disguise that it cannot be communicated at all except through types and emblems drawn from the sensible world. the place of return is an allusion to the hereafter.” 5. the place of origin (mabda’) represents the universal existential Names. No longer is a light merely a collection of photonic discharges. may suggest and shadow forth a deeper meaning than appears on the surface. of manifestation which is directed inwards. It is a spiritual place not a physical place for Rumi and Hafiz. Paradise (Jannat): Paradise symbolizes the station of theophanies. The wayfarer descends from the universal existential Names. In sufi terminology. Resurrection (Qiyama): Yevgeny Bertels relates “Resurrection symbolizes the turning of the wayfarers heart from the forms of illusory multiplicity to visions of the theophanies of Majesty at the different levels of manifestation of the divine beauty.

This is the type of cosmos we shall be concerning ourselves with. the symbolic. ER IV. 7. And in the Qiyama we no longer have a day of judgment. Whoever wishes to contemplate God’s glory. It shall be seen later that some other popular symbols are those of the Jabarut and the Malakut. an ancient word (kosmos) known in Greece as ‘order‘ for others cosmos has a mystical dimension and among dimensions it has more than the typically thought of three that we apparently live in.’ The gnostic said: ‘The vision of God’s glory occurs at the site of intimacy and expansion. Important along with the notion of cosmos is that of cosmogony. but rather. so that the person falls in love with everything beautiful..6. It should be kept in mind while reading these portrayals of cosmic elements that what is intended is a description in allegorical language of realities experienced in mystical revelation (kashf). In many of the following interpretations the universe is seen in an allegorical light (mathal). The Cosmological World The cosmos. Each according a symbolic relevance to it’s realm of meaning. “The word cosmogony is derived from the combination of two Greek terms. let him behold the rose. a birth. The question of symbolic expression is taken up in the Qur`an as well. kosmos and genesis. The symbolic expression of the universe or cosmos in these traditions relates to a special system of inspiration not based on empirical data. It is a realm full of more than physical contents but also has spiritual and angelical and mystical aspects as well. Kosmos refers to the order of the universe and/or the universe as an order. Cosmology) . Genesis means the coming into being or the process or substantial change in the process. or theories regarding the birth or creation of the universe as an order or the description of the original order of the universe. He shows that person the glory of His Beauty.” We can see from these excerpts of Sufi symbols that common objects within Islamic vocabulary no longer have their orthodox outer (zahiri) understanding but take on a inner (batini) mystical representation as elements of the path. a level of presence and experience of spiritual insight. Light (al-Nur): Sufis consider light to be symbolic of existence. “Whenever God wishes to adopt someone as his loving intimate. ‘The red rose is part of God’s glory. while darkness is considered indicative of non-existence. In the Kaa’ba we have the symbolic representation of intimacy. The Prophet said. Cosmogony thus has to do with myths. stories. Thus we will find a different way of speaking about the universe. Glory (Baha’): according to Ruzbihan.”(Eliade ed. The question of many verses is whether they are apparent (mubayna) or allegorical (mithali).

Judaism and Islam. through a process of emergence. which is a something although entirely different from any something we can imagine. The two fold meaning of the term is reminiscent of the double meaning of mythology. indeed. which is at the same time the study of myths and the dominant or representative assemblage of myths in a given tradition. However. Which draws us into a necessary discussion of cosmology. This typology is common amongst the monotheistic religions. “Cosmology is the term for the study of cosmic views in general and also for the specific view or collection of images concerning the universe held in a religion or cultural tradition. philosophically. along with the sky as the seat of transcendence.‘ it’s quiddity. the cosmogenic myth provides a model that is recapitulated in the creation and founding of all other human modes of existence ( ER IV. Zoroastrianism. So what we are concerned with is an image. it can also be an ideology. Cosmology) In one sense the images we have of the universe is our cosmology like signs of an invisible language they form a sort of formula for the theory we hold of how the universe is and how it came to be ‘that is that it is. Christianity. from chaos. As the prototypical story of founding and creation. “In the cosmogenic myth the symbols give expression to the religious imagination of the creation of the world. “Cosmology”) Of these mythic representations there are six types: creation from nothing. or theory. there are parts of all six mythic types of cosmogony in the symbolic representation of creation of the Shi’a and in the Baha’i cosmogony there is a creation from the Word of God.The myth of the creation of the cosmos is set apart from the empirical collection of data regarding the primal beginnings of this young universe used by science. as Kant defined it– an image of the world. although. and through the agency of an earth diver. the double usage of the term cosmology is still wider in one respect: quite explicitly. For are study we shall be mainly concerned with the type of cosmology that is usually harbingers by the “Divine Male Fashioner” or Demiurge[2] (in our study it shall be scene that the fashioner of the world is Third One or the Adamic Logos. it relates also to inquiries in the natural sciences.. from a cosmic egg. ie. as philosophy grew out of the mythic stories of the world or cosmos around us.”(Eliade ed. In the following discussion on the role of the Divine Realm we shall be mostly concerned with the first type. The symbolic representations of the myth should be remembered to be symbols of an ancient past recorded in the language of our primordial minds. interestingly. get back to its origin. This heavenly transcendence . from world parents. in Greek mythos Zeus). it will ever. of the cosmos how it was created and how it exists and how. ER IV. It should be remembered that the genesis of science was in myth also. This image is a sort of world view or Weltanschauung.

and usually also the identification of the creator or ‘high God’ with the one who ultimately maintains and judges the world. the manifestation of the spiritual in the material. ‘dhamma’) in Buddhism[4]. or the dry land in Genesis 2. shari’ah. ‘Irfani etc. ‘logos’. later. pg. pg. Jainism. for some creator Divinity is directly responsible for its existence. and Buddhism. ER IV. 138-140) We may also think of the teachings of concerning many births and rebirths in Hinduism. “the cosmos is viewed as a closed. qismah. all parts of which are under the control of divinity.(cf.” 5. Rather.” 2. ER IV.). which was common in the Mesopotamian Empire. ‘dharma’ (Pali. or khalq in Islam[7]” (Eliade ed. also. Cosmic Law) and according to Francis Cornford the Persian or Zoroastrian equivalent is ‘asha’. three-storied whole. Knight in his study of the middle east are deserving of attention: 1. or the waters of Nun frpm which the Egyptian creator-Divinity Atum emerged. set against the fixation of the earth. COHT. haqq.” 3. fitrah. Cosmology) Another common cosmological view is that in the field of cosmic law. which is widely attested. “There is virtually no sense of creatio ex nihilo. is a striking formal link between various views of the cosmos. either polytheistically or monotheistically conceived. they fit in traditions that speak of world cycles (cf. A common characteristic in the cosmological myths of the differing religious traditions is that of “the renewal of the world” celebrated in the Solar New Year (Naw Ruz). or ‘the face of tehom’ in Genesis 1. ‘dharma’ in Indian tradition[3]. Baha`i.. “…the creation act is not limited to bringing the physical world into existence. ‘tao’ or ‘t’ien-ming’ in Confucianism and Taoism[5]. or ‘heimarmene’ in the Greco-Roman tradition[6]. Druze. succession of worlds. Something exists prior to the creation act–whether it be the elements of chaos in Babylon. ‘moira’. ” the underlying theological pattern of the various creation accounts is the sovereignty of the Gods. Finally.” 4. Cosmic Law) For our concerns this principle is that of the Logos or the theophany of the divine in the physical realm. another didactic relationship is that between good and evil. above all it establishes the proper order of things in this world. ‘dike’. “The term cosmic law designates the principle or set of principles believed to represent the most generalized nature of the order of things in the universe. ‘maat’ in ancient Egyptian religion. Some common characteristics found by Douglas A. In our case the good of heavenly or idealic transcendental state and the evil state of matter in earthly existence.” (Knight. and multiple worlds. “The cosmos and humanity did not come into existence by chance or without intention.” (ER IV. “Examples of the concept of cosmic law include the following: ‘rta’ and. Isma’ili. And in the Judaic tradition this is ‘hokma’ or wisdom and in the Christian tradition this is the . the intimate relationship of the macrocosm and the microcosm.

the postVedic term that supplanted ‘rta’. what is fitting. or simply the course of things. customary observances. it became a name of the original creator of the world. In the Vedic literature ‘rta’ designates cosmic order. Cornford. `Irfani and Baha’i intellectual and meta-physical worlds. See his Ta’rifat for an elaboration on Sufi terminology. in the specific sense of an ordainer or arranger. 2 “Demiurge” is defined in the Encyclopedia of Religion as the Greek term ‘demiourgos’ (together with its variants) is derived from the words ‘demos’ (people) and ‘ergon’ (work) and thus has the basic meaning of ‘one who works for the people. NOTES: 1 The classical literary criticism developed by al-Jurjani is what is referenced here.Two terms have usually been used to refer to cosmic law. ‘Dharma’.’ an artisan or a professional. righteousness. law. Plotinian. or virtue). create. ordinance. someone who as an artist fashions the world out of pre-existing matter in accord with a preesixting model. the term is a virtual equivalent of ‘religion’. or. The verb for making is demiourgeo. F. (“Cosmic Law” in ER ) 4 “…dharma is nothing more or less thatn reality reflected in the Buddha Dharma. Hence the term refers to what is established and firm. dharma is used in singular form to refer to ultimate. What is the nature and configuration of the governing principles this is the topic of the Divine.” (“Cosmic Law” in ER) . Hence there is nothing within the universe or beyond that is not embraced by this term. good and evil. reality or truth. namely ‘rta’ and ‘dharma’. infinite and finite. 3 “Hindus developed a concept of cosmic law during the earliest stage of their religious history and the idea has served as the central basis for the development of the entire tradition up to the present day. As a philosophical or metaphysical term. When interpreted as referring to the general principle of human behaviour. Which brings us to the Qur’anic. with regard to both the natural order and the sociomoral order (i. This etymological basis subsequently developed in two directions.e. right. and unconditioned reality and in the plural form to designate the plethora of subtle factors or conditions that constitute finite things and states of being. And in the Monotheistic traditions of the Middle East we have the notion of God as the Author of such principles which govern the order of the physical cosmos. by extension. the law governing the natural world. On the one hand. From Religion to Philosophy). Derivative uses include such related meanings as established order or divine law. conditioned and unconditioned. The word includes all aspects of reality: eternal and temporal. justice. It is this second meaning that is of primary concern here. is derived from ‘dha’ (to establish. dharma is manifestyed in the dharmas. or right. Isma’ili. on the other hand.Logos of the Gospel of John (cf. or support). or fundamental constituents of the universe. As the appellation for the whole of reality. ‘demiourgos’ came to refer to a magistrate. eternal. duty. proper.

Islam sees itself as the restoration of the religion Abraham. the early Greek mythographer. which itself is a re-consecration and a prolongation of the religion of Adam as primordial man after his fall. Its generational activities are articulated succinclty in the aphorism ‘One yand and one yin. Tasawwof wa Adabiyat-e Tasawwof. a harmony between man.” . Incl. the four elements in varying combinations. the Tao is a myriad of ‘tao’ principles that determine the definitive essences of various classes of objects–that is. or. Yevgeni Edvardovich. the wandering stars. Kaiwan Sami’i. Tehran. or to the Chinese ‘Tao”. creation and Divinity. WORKS CITED: TT Bertels. 80 (1994). Russian text translated into Persian by Sirus Izadi. Among the numerous candidates for this office were fate (moira). the finitude of finiet things. Ed. thw sovereignty of sovereigns. the Tao governs the production and transformation of all things. thw wetness of wet things. a cosmic source of all existing entities (phusis). The primordial norm. and reconciliation with Divinity. finally. Shamso’d-Din Mohammad. MA Lahiji.” (“Cosmic Law” in ER ) Hesoid. Kokiro ““Imam Ghazali’s Cosmology Reconsidered with Special Reference to the Concept of Jabarut” in Studia Islamica Vol. primordial nature). In it’s pluralistic and multifaceted manifestation.” (“Cosmic Law” in ER ) 6 “Confusion reigned in ancient Greece as to the precise identity of the root cause of all events of whatever nature. Mafatih al-E’jaz fi Sharh-e Golshan-e Raz. destiny (heimarmene). quite similar to the use of ‘dharmas’ by the Buddhists. Anonymous Persian language MS. universal reason (logos). The concept is somewhat similar in function to Plato’s use of ther ideas and varius other Western thinker’s notions of universals. Mer’at-e ‘Oshshaq. is at once the measure of truth in our actions and being. 1979. Tehran. As a single and singular universal law. 1958. It corresponds exactly to the Hindu notion of universal ‘dharma’. GHZ Nakamura. the decisions of the individual which set events moving in a given direction with ineluctable determination. ans so forth. chance or universal randomness (tuche).5 “…Confucious employed ‘tao’ in two ways. 7 Cyril Glasse defines ‘fitrah’ as (lit. this is the Tao’. The concept of ‘fitrah’. and at the same time the quality of harmony between ourselves and cosmos. the primordial norm. laid the foundation for the use of ‘dike’ and ‘heimarmene’ and it was from early myth that the later philosophical concepts developed. such as existed beteen Divinity and Adam in the Garden. (Asiri). the decrees of heaven or the Divinitys. natural law (dike).

QUR`ANIC CREATIVE TERMINOLOGY: There is a differentiated level of meaning to each term of the act “to create’ in Qur`anic Arabic. ‘creation’. Of these various levels we can see that there is a differentiation in the meanings used in the Qur`an for the creating the present order either out of a previous stasis or ex nihilo. Oneness and Singularity. It is also similar to ‘Fatara’.A. The most used terms in the Qur`an are as follows: – Khalaq: prime creative term meaning the initial creative act. Robin W. This doctrine is known as tawhid. In the Arabic Lexicon it means: ‘to create. 1987 COHT Douglas A. It is also a generic term for “creating”. ‘creating’. 71:14 and 74:11. Knight.SH Leaonard Lewisohn. Suffice it to say that the following Qur`anic Ayats convey the meaning of tawhid in the Qur`an: 4:119. The term Tawhid is derived from One (Wahid). Khaniqah Nimatullahi Publications (1993) NICH R. the production of prime matter. God alone is the Creator and He has no help in this affair. “Cosmogony and Order in the Hebrew Tradition. Beyond Faith and Infedility: the Sufi Poetry and Teachings of Mahmud Shabistari. Mircea. Reynolds (Chicago & London: The University of Chicago Press. the basic unit that all other created things is composed. ed. ‘constitution’. Javad Nurbakhsh’s Farhang at-Tassawuf (Sufi Symbolism: the Nurbakhsh Encyclopedia of Sufi Terminology). 1985) Chapter 2 – Creation in the Qur’an by Michael McCarron The One Creator. Lovin & Frank E.” in Cosmogony and Ethical Order. In Sufism and Baha’i thought this concept becomes broadened into the concepts of Ahadiyyat and Wahidiyyat. 16:20. noun of the action verb khalaqa. An Islamic scholar writes of Khaliq: “Khalq. Curzon Press Lexicon Dr. 13:16. The notion of God’s Tawhid is formulated as La ilah illa Allah(there is no Divinity except Divinity). which properly means the act of creating. March 1990 ER Eliade. Nicholson quoted in Samah Salim’s “Mansur al-Hallaj and the Poetry of Ecstasy” in Journal of Arabic Literature Vol. ‘stature’. can also be used to designate Creation in its entirety: wa’l-Khalq yakun al-masdar wa-yakun al- . God: When speaking of creation the foremost concept in Islam is that of Tawhid (Oneness of Divinity). Vol 4 New York: Collier Macmillan. XXI. New Studies in Comparative Ethics. There are no other elements capable of creativity such as God. 6:101. Encyclopdia or Religion. New York. He alone is the Creator.

” (EI III. which is exactly equivalent to one of the usage’s of the Latin creare.makhluq (LA). In the passage in Qur`an. pg.” (EI III. The noun of the agent. ‘to place’ and ‘to reckon’. e.g. ‘to appoint’ (li). gives a slightly different definition: khalq is either a product (insha`) designed on an invented model (abda`a). LXXXII. 119): ‘They have tampered with Divinity’s Creation.’ The reasoning behind this is that Divinity has stamped on creation a nature (fatara ‘l-khalq) that conforms with Islam. Ibn Sidah (5/11th century) considers that for Divinity to create is to bring into being a thing which previously was not (ba`d an lam yakun). I will create (akhluqu) for you from clay the likeness of a bird. not the creation of something new in form or substance Further elucidated as: “…The Qur`an links the creative act to the informing act by the particle thumma. is applied only to Divinity and is one of His Names. al-khaliq. Al-Anbari. 980)” – Badaa: to produce a thing out of prime matter and give it definition in this respect it is accomplished by the ‘Amr’ or command of God.2). We made (ja’alnahu) a drop of sperm of clay…” (EI III. a philologist of the 4th/10th century. there is a relationship of diminishing order between wa (and). verse 12 has >We created (khalaqna) man of clay. verse 13 states. ja’ala fulanan hakiman. 981) – Sawwa: to bring something to perfection or to create a higher state within a previous existing thing. In the Arabic lexicon it is defined as: ‘to make’. …to polish) is linked to khalaqa by the particle fa: He who has created you and then proportioned and stabilized you (alladhi khalqaka fa sawwka fa `adalaka. there can be no change in Divinity’s creation…. pg. It is noted: “The Tafsir al-Jalalayn explains badi as: that which gives existence (muwajid) without following a previous model. Qur`an 30:30): Anature created by Divinity fitrat God) according to which He has stamped the nature of men. to make soemone a governor. 49) says: Yes. cf. defined by the article. or it is the act that determines the proportions (taqdir) of something which is to be brought into being. and in this respect is akin to number and division in the neo-platonic formula. pg. Abu Bakr b. 7). to make from that object this thing or that. ‘assign’. fa (and then). Of this the scholar again writes: Here khalaqa has precisely the same meaning as ja’ala: to render an object this way or that. There is therefore a certain distance between the act of creating and the act fo giving form. 32. It should be noted that some commentators (al-Hasan al-Basri and Mujahid) give the meaning of din (religion) in the sense of Hukm (the totality of classes of Law) the word Khalq in the verse (IV. creare aliquem consulem. The verb sawa (to level to smooth. According to the LA. The close relationship between these two verbs seems . the khalq and the tawsir. According to the grammarians. and thumma (and afterwards). in the speech of the Arabs al-khalq is used to designate the production fo some new thing (ibtida`) on a pattern which has not been previously employed (`ala mithal lam yusbaq ilayh). 983) – Ja’ala: to create new forms out of previously created forms. already cited. he does not wish to say that he will bring into existence that which does not exist (lam yurid annahu yahdithu ma’dum). He who has created and proportioned (LXXXVII. thus when `Isa bin Maryam [Jesus] (Qur`an III.

especially when. Who created (khalaqa) you from a single Person (nafsi wahid). For instance according to al-Bukhari qada’ is th eternal. 981) – Ansha’a: which is to produce something out of a form but not changing that form which is replicated in the new creation. contrasted with another term. THE QUR`ANIC CREATIVE PROCESS: To examine the use of some of these terms we begin by looking at ayah 4:1: “O mankind (insan)! Fear (taquwa) your Guardian Lord. and from them twain scattered (kathira) countless men and women…” ( ) In this verse we see the use of the term “khalaqa” to create something out of the prime matter which here is called a Person or Soul (Nafs) depending on the translator. Created (khalaqa). – Dhara’a: to create. His mate (zawjah). LIV. Creator (active participle). In the following two ayahs we see the development from this point of primary oneness of creation: . It is given different interpretations. and made of the same matter–genetic or biological– and is a new being or creation. to create. to multiply. predestination. – Bara’a: to create. 49). qadar. Thus we see how ‘khalaqa’ is used for creation of the first substance and the naming of that substance as a ‘nafsi’ understood to be a ‘Person’ or ‘Soul’. Qada‘ is an important concept in Islamic thought it is written of as: “On the basis of the Qur`an the word qada’ can be understood as Divinity’s eternal decision or decree concerning all beings. The ‘Person’ (nafsi) is equated with the neo-Platonic ‘Prime Matter’ (hayula awwal) or that whose substance all substances are generated indicate a kind of explanation of the etymological meaning of khalaqa can be explained by qaddara: He created him from a drop of sperm and (fa) fixed their proportions of their species (fa-qaddarahu taqdiran. to scatter abroad. – Qada‘: to decree. universal and all-embracing decree of Divinity. pg. it is exemplified in reproduction of human each new human is in the same form as their parent. pg. 364) (See Divinity’s Speech for more on this below) We will see a recurrent theme in Islam of the Command or Decree being the vehicle of creative power.” (EI III. out of it. while qadar denotes the details of His eternal universal decree.” (EI IV. meaning destiny.

It is quite possible that one interpretation may be that this ‘soul’ is the ‘mate’ of the ‘Person’ created by God since in this instance the creative term is not ‘khalaqa’ as it was for the ‘Person’ and ‘mate’ of the previously cited ayah. Again ‘sawwa’ is ‘to fashion’ or ‘polish’ it is not to change or alter the form or create a new being it is an intellectual creative process not a substantial one or physical creation it is to take a thing from one state to a higher state.” Qur’an 6:97 ( ) Notice here the use of the creative term ansha’a. In terms of fashioning that which is produced it is important to look at the following: “Glorify the name of thy Guardian Lord Most High. Who hath created (khalaqa). The use of the term ‘ansha’a’ is to be paid close attention to for if ansha’a means ‘produce from’ then the ‘mate’ is made of the same substance of the Person and thus is a projection out of the ‘Person’ vice a separate matter. and sent down…” Qur’an 39:6 ( ) . Going back a step to ‘Ja’ala’ we see in the following verse: “He created you from a single Person: then created. develop. increase. reach maturity.“It is he Who Produced (ansha’a) you from a single soul (nafsi wahid): then there is a resting place and a repository: We detail (fasila) Our signs for people who understand. Who hath measured (qaddara).” Qur’an 87:1-3 ( ) ( ) ( ) In the above we see the relationship of creating through the process of ‘khalaqa’ and the qualifying of that created through the reasoning mechanism of God’s process. given order (fasawwa’a) and proportion. and further. and it was from the level of the ‘mate’ that all qualifying creative terms were used for further processes of creation (as shall be demonstrated in the following). meaning to grow. of like nature. and again it maintains the true position of the hierarchy of creative modes. his mate. We also see the use of the term ‘sawwa’ in ‘fasawwaa’ which is used after the term khalaqa and here it’s meaning is a qualifying proportion. here it is called ‘qadar’ which is like the balance. And granted guidance (hida’a).

‘ja’ala’. tajalli. He but says unto it. the Creator (al-bari’).e.e. the Maker who shapes (al-musawwar) all forms and appearances! All that is in the heavens and on earth extols His limitless glory: for He alone is almighty. can be of the same nature and be referred to as created by ‘ja’ala’ (akin to philosophical ideas of emenation {Arabic: fayd. The term used for ‘made pairs’ is ‘ja’ala’ or to make out of something and the creation is carried on in pairs. Later it shall be very interesting to compare the primary created matter the ‘Person’ which is known as a ‘wahid’ or unicity or primary one or a monad and the dyad of two created beings out of a primary thing by the mode of ‘ja’ala’. but of creation. khalaqa. In the following we see: “The Originator is He of the heavens and the earth: and when He wills a thing to be. is used in the Qur’an to indicate placing a viceregent:”I am setting (ja’il) in the earth a viceroy (khalifah). ishraq) in previous ayahs. i. And this rational order establishes a relationship of created to it’s Originator. humans (you) not an individual but a species). “the Creator of the heavens and the earth: He has made for you pairs from among yourselves. So there is a logic and motion in the Qur’an which is a rational order. i. This is an integral expression for division in the Neo-Platonism of Plotinus. and pairs among cattle: by this means does He multiply you: there is nothing whatever comparable unto Him.e. i.” 2:30 In the context of this ayah it is Adam that is the viceroy that God has placed on the earth. The use of ‘ja’ala’ versus the previous ‘khalaqa’ for ‘mate’ is due to the mate being of the same nature of the Person: this raises a question of how it. and He is the One that hears and sees. the high term for creation is ‘badaa’ (also related to the term ‘ibda). sadir. “Be” and it is. This ‘khalaqa’ establishes the genus and ‘ja’ala’ establishes the species.” Qur’an 2:117 ( ) It is important to note that taken together ‘the heavens and the earth’ (as-ssama’wati wa’la urDi) imply a sense of dominion or entire realm or species whereas the sub-species of heavens or earth. It is also interesting that the form of ‘ja’ala’.Again we see in this verse that first ‘khalaqa’ appears (in the above the creation a geno type is denoted by the term ‘khalaqa’.”Qur’an 42:11 ( ) It is interesting in this ayah that God is known as Al-Fatiru. the Creator. but this can be answered by the reference of Person and ‘mate’ to the creation of subspecies which is a species onto itself in comparison to the division of earlier ayahs of many persons or as there was no reference to the common nature of ‘Person’ and ‘mate’ there would be no need for a term of gradation. ‘ja’il’. the mate. truly wise! Qur’an 59:24 .We see the use of higher terms for a ‘Creator’ in the following ayah: “He is God. Thus. whereas He is also known as al-Khaliq also the Creator. It is interesting to note the use of the term ‘badaa’ in the sense of originator and to note that this origination is conducted via the verbal command ‘be’.

fall down before him in prostration!” Qur’an 15:29 ( ) The aspects of fashioning are here expressed through ‘sawwa’ the secondary process so it is in this aspect that we see ‘him’ as not being completed until he is fashioned by the spirit (ruah) of God. (It is this secondary process that is spoken of in the cosmogenic narratives of ancient Mesopotamia. As though one is not creating a new substantial thing but sculpting the existing matter as an artisan into a thing of definition by design. It is important to consider other aspects of the created cosmos to understand the relationship of the hierarchy of creative terminology. which is created by a primary process of ‘khaliq’ so it is the agent of primicity that dwells within a secondary being. It is also important to notice that the higher names of God are in the sense of primary createdness of ‘Khaliq’ and ‘Baari’.( ) The term for Creator is ‘Khaliq’ the term for liberator is ‘baari’ and the term for shaper of forms is ‘sawwa’. This raises a question as to the identity of the ‘Person’ in ayah 4:1. of the earth. In terms of ‘sawwa’ we see the further elaboration of the Soul in the following ayah: “By the soul and the proportion (saww’aha) given to it. It is important to realise the use of the term ‘sawwa’ is not in the sense of creating a new form but shaping a form into an appearance. Additionally: “And when I have fashioned him fully and breathed into him of My spirit. Could that person be Adam the first created human being? In the Ismaili tradition there is a heavenly Adam who in non-corporeal and the corporeal Adam who is a corporeal being (this shall be addressed later in the paper). Egypt and Israeli/Arabic cultures). His will. “God is He Who has created seven heavens and like them. so that you might come to know that . From the term ‘sujud’ (prostrate) we know this must refer to Adam as it is indicated in Surah al-Baqara that ‘the angels bow down before him’. We see two distinctive processes in creation through this ayah that of prime creation and that of qualifying that primary creation in a secondary process of bringing into definition.” 91:7 ( ) It is interesting that the soul (nafsi) is spoken of as being granted a process of secondary createdness through ‘sawwa’ it is an embellishment of the soul created by ‘khaliq’ and taken to a higher state. unceasingly. Through all of the realm flows down from on high. .

God has the power to will anything. It is also of interest to note the ‘will’ (‘Ansha) of God descending through all the realms. Thus.” Qur`an 65:12 ( ) Addressing the creation of the earth we see that the term for the creation of ‘heavens and earth’ is ‘khaliq’ which is to say both taken together equates to a species. which encompasses all things–the heavens and the earth and creatures therein. We see the use of time in creation in: “He it is who has made the sun a radiant light and the moon a light. and that God encompasses all things with His knowledge. created in primacy with the secondary creation being the formation of individual units of the heavens the lamp and the moon. The individuation of each component of the species of ‘heavens and earth’ is known as occurring out of a process of ‘ja’ala’: “As a blessing He made the constellations (zodiac) and placed therein a lamp and a moon” Qur’an 25:61 ( ) We see that the typology of creation of a primary process and a secondary process is continued in terms of the creation of the firmaments. The . It could be suggested that the moon or lamp is an unfoldment out of the dominion of the heavens or constellations. None of this has God created without [an inner] truth. we would see the higher heavens (‘samaa’) solar system and the lower heavens as the individual earth. {see the works of Haydar Amuli for more indigenous Shi’a thought on this subject} Time (zaman) plays an important role as well in this cosmology if we see that in ayah 7:54 that the heavens and earth are created in six aeons. we see that the earth has seven firmaments within it as the heavens also and since the earth is unfolded out of that primary unit it is a sense of mimesis that the earth has seven climbs as it’s progenitor species. Clearly does He spell out these messages unto people of [innate] knowledge” Qur’an 10:5 ( ) It is interesting to note the use of time in the sense of measuring out the years as well it is of interest to note the term ‘qadar’ for determination whereas elsewhere it is used as ‘proportion’ so it is the sun and moon are that which gives proportion to our lives through a measuring out. and has determined for it phases so that you might know how to compute the years and to measure. Also. numbered as Seven (saba).

As well we know of God assigning duties by His ‘Amr in each of the seven firmaments. which in Greek philosophy is known as ‘logos’ that things take on existence: “Verily. we can see that the six dispensations may mean a day for each aeon or zone. and ‘fatara’. ‘ja’ala’. . Leiden 1987. that by primary and secondary processes of creation that the created dominion is also divided into higher and lower levels. the bringing forth of the ‘mate’ by the secondary process of ‘ja’ala’ and further creation continua of pairs denoted by the process of ‘anshaa’.” Qur’an 54:49-50 ( ) ( ) “Whenever We will anything to be. like the twinkling of an eye. and our command is but a single word. van Donzel. From the definition of primary and secondary processes their is the recognition of hierarchic structure of the universe. And since it is the will of God descending through all the realms of God and the word is the active agent in the creation we see that it is the Word as a Command (logos) that is descending through the several realms of God. Thus we have a three-fold picture of reality: God’s Dominion. The Terms for enfolding out. ‘anshaa’ and ‘baari’. there are two dominions His. Terms of creation of the species or created dominion are: ‘khalaqa’. So we see proportioning or destiny (qadar) is a secondary process. Heinrichs “Encyclopedia of Islam”. for it is by the word.agents of this measuring. in this case is. or sub-species. by way of ‘khalaqa’ and ‘ja’ala’. We see also.In terms of the creation we must recount the agent of the creative act. It is the word which gives proportion (qadar) and in an esoteric sense it is the Qur’anic revelation which is a pre-destiny. Logos) which is the active agent to giving proportion and it is also a higher creative processive agent (See Qur’an 2:117). Work Cited: EI Ed. of this primary createdness are: ‘ja’ala. An example of this total creation process is that of the creation of the ‘Soul’ (Nafsii) by the primary process of ‘khalaqa’. and the particular dominion of earth or the plane of 4 dimensions. We but say unto it Our word ‘Be’ and it is. is made by a secondary process. It is established in the Qur’an (see ayah 25:2 re: malakut) that God has no partner in His dominion (malakut) thus. We see this also in the terms of earth with seven zones and heavens with seven zones. By Bianquis. Kalimah. known in mystical terms as Huwit. the sun and moon. To conclude it is necessary to outline what the Islamic Cosmos’ structure. the dominion of creation. thus if the earth is unfolded out of the heavens by the process of ‘ja’ala’ it is the seventh day or firmament and by mimesis also has seven firmaments. thus eternal (pre-existing). It is the Command (Amr) of God and the Command is the Word (Ar. ‘badaa’. and the created dominion of the heavens and earth. Bosworth. Gr.” Qur’an 16:40 ( ) The term for the will. ‘irada’ where the agency of that will is the word ‘Be’ (kun fayakun). As well. all things have we created in proportion and measure.

Yunani. later he founded his own philosophical school in Rome. (Corbin.D. records: “…Neo-platonism.E. IP. continuing in the tradition of Greek philosophy. as well as the source of the illumination of the human mind. pg.E. also the teacher of the early Christian philosopher Origen. of the famous Platonic Academy of Athens. His Eanneads are a collection of essays compiled by his student Porphyry. Neoplatonism received its major systematization by the philosopher Proclus. Plotinian philosophy was further developed by a number of his disciples.H. The position of the Soul at the periphery of the intelligible world and the link or “horizon” between the intelligible and the sensible worlds.) century. pg. I. Introduced into the Islamic world as the Theology of Aristotle (Eanneads III-VI) they have had an impact on theosophy (hikma). most notably they are resident in Central Asia. however they have been in a position of power in North Africa and the Middle East. 5. known to Muslims as al-Shaykh al. had been founded in the third century A. philosopher of the Greek tradition. Egypt and eventually came to study under Ammonius Saccas. originally an Egyptian he was born in Alexandria. by Plotinus. The procession or emenation of the things from It 3. an authority of great competence on Islamic philosophy.Chapter 3 – Neo-Platonism in Shi’a Philosophy By Michael McCarron Neo-Platonism and Islamic Philosophical Shi’ism: To begin Plotinus was a 3rd century C. After Plotinus. The role of Reason as the instrument of God in his creation.). They entail his philosophy of emenationalism and mixture of Platonic and Aristotelian thought. are a sect of Shi’a Islam. notably Porphyry and the latter’s student Iamblichus. and the establishment of the Nizari Isma’ili State under the leadership of Hasan-i Sabbah in Iran lasted some 160 years in the 11th- . 324) Corbin summarizes the germinal elements of Neo-Platonism in Islam as: 1. the locus of the form of things. especially that maintained by the Platonist school. in the course of translating the philosophical texts of the various Greek masters. Plotinus’ contemporary and fellow peer. Farhad Daftary. 4. The contempt in which matter was held as the basest creation or emanation from the One and the lowest rung in the cosmic scale. theology (kalam) and gnostic (`irfan) traditions.The Isma’ili’s sometimes referred to as Seveners. that the Muslims became familiar with the writings of the Neo-platonist and adopted some of their ideas. It was during the 3rd(A.”(Daftary. 18) In the following we shall see how each of these points has impacted Islam and how it has helped Islamic philosophers understand and comprehend the revelation of the Prophets in greater magnitude. and pejoratively as “Assassins” in the west. 9th (C. The utter transcendence of the First Principle or God 2.

al Bab. PL. the exact relationship between all these terms and how each movement uses the term is unique to that particular movement and thus the Baha`i cosmic hierarchy is unique and sui generis. the One is perfect and. Isma’ilis.2. not all as yet are within it. spheres. The writings of Mulla Sadra a respected Shi’a Muslim thinker have their basis in traditional Shi’a cosmology and the teachings of the sufi teacher Shaykh Ibn Arabi. It is the First. Plotinus’ World Plotinus posited that reality as we know it was a by-product of emanations having their origin in an transcendental realm composed of Three Hypostasis these hypostasis where: the One.. and yet it is all things in a transcendental sense–all things. the source of all things is not all things. The 19th century Iranian messianic movement (referred to as the ‘Baha`i’) has it’s roots in Ithna Ashari Shi’a Islam of 19th century (Qajar) Iran. and other movements. and it’s exuberance has produced the new. or concourses and resemble Aristotle’s idea of Being mixed with some Platonic elements of the Ideas. The Baha`i hold that the world is ordained by God through a manifestation of God (zuhur) which interprets the Will of God to mankind. The Divine Mind or First Thinker and Thought and the All-Soul or First and Only Principle of Life. Seeking nothing. having run back to it: or. lacking nothing. possessing nothing. This Hierarchy is responsible for the establishment of the cosmic order of physical reality. The One in Eannead V. in what is to be thought of as the primal act of generation. And gives power and breathes life into all others below it. so to speak. they will be. Their philosophical beliefs can be related in a system of an Angelic Hierarchy or levels of Being. It is precisely because there is nothing within the One that all things are from it: in order that being may be brought about. that which stands above all and everything else. al-Bab proclaimed to be a Herald of “Him Whom God shall make manifest” (man yazhiruhuzzullah) a messianic figure not unlike the Qa’im or Mahdi of other Islamic eschatological expectations. The similarities to the Originator of the Isma`ilis is apparent where the The One of Plotinus is transcendental and no body can contain it so to is the thought of the Isma`ilis in . However. alternatively known as world. It’s Hierocosmic teachings resemble closely the teachings of the Five Divine Presences found in mystical traditions of the Sufis. has overflowed. in our metaphor. Its principle leaders where Mirza Husayn-’Ali Nuri (Baha’ Allah) and the Sayyid Ali-Muhammad. pg. 380] It is also described as not having body nor shape and being above generation or being the creator an apparent contradiction as it is the First of all things this is where the intermediary role of the Intellective-Principle or the Projection out of the First takes it’s most important role in standing between the One and the Third which in actuality is the demiurge or that which forms the lower hierocsmic emenations and the necessary step inbetween disembodied spirits and embodied physical nature.”[ McKenna.1 is described as “…all things and no one of them. this product has turned again to it’s begetter and been filled and has become it’s contemplator and so an Intellectual-Principle. the source must be no Being but Being’s generator. more correc tly.13th centuries (1090-1256 CE). THE ONE: holds the position in most cosmological (christological) schematics as that of the Father.

For were He to have any peer or likeness. who has not begotten. nor hath He. is meant the Presence of the One Who is His Viceregent (Imam) amongs men. By Presence. and Dawning-Place of the clear tokens. and His essence sanctified from. 356] This hierarchy of the Five Divine Presences (Huwahut. the Everlasting Refuge. Baha’ Allah. exalted be His glory. 355) THE INTELLECTUAL-PRINCIPLE: In the words of Plotinus: . 355) and in another passage Mirza Husayn-’Ali Nuri. KI. He –blessed and exalted be He–saith: ‘It is God Who hath reared the heavens without pillars thou canst behold. Baha’ Allah. writes of God being above the “Throne of God” the Isma’ili station of Kuni or Sabiq or the Intellectual-Principle or the Realm of Lahut. BW. One God. meeting) is meant The Presence of Him Who is the Dayspring of the signs.” Qur’an 112:1-5 And by Mirza Husayn-’Ali Nuri. he quotes herein the Qur’an: “Concerning the Divine Presence there hath been sent down what no denier hath been or is now able to refute or repudiate.agreement here. hath never had. He ordereth all things. moreover. how could it then be demonstrated that His being is exalted above. He. Jabarut. any peer or likeness.’”(Baha’ Allah. BW. and unknowable (Huwahut). and imposed laws on the sun and moon: each traveleth to its appointed goal. It also is reflected in the Hierarchy of Being of the more common Islamic teaching of the Five Divine Presences. then mounted His throne. that ye may have firm faith in the Presence of your Lord. and the Source of the attributes (Jabarut). inaccessible. It is like the Platonic ‘the One who is One’ and the Brahma beyond qualities or nirguna brahman. pg. who defines Presence as: “By this Presence (liqa’llah– Ar. God in His Essence and in His Own Self hath ever been unseen. of the true God. which to this day can be seen reflected in the teaching’s of Mirza Husayn-’Ali Nuri. and the Manifestation of the Excellent Names (Lahut). Malakut and Nasut [see Sufi Symbolic Cosmology]) which is credited by some scholars to Abu Talib al-Makki (d. therefore. It is reflected in the Qur’anic Surah al-Ikhlas (sincerity): “Say: ‘He is God. pg. all comparison and likeness. pg. as Hahut. For the Ismailis envision their God as a spiritual essence which is unapproachable by human conception. He maketh His signs clear. 996) maintains that the Godhead which is ineffable by human standards exists in the realm of Hahut (derivation of ‘huwa’ or ‘He’) which is beyond Being.”[ Baha' Allah. the One is characterised as: “God was. Baha’ Allah.” (Baha’ Allah. Lahut. apart from its (creation) being preceded by a Firstness which cannot be regarded as firstness and originated by a Cause inscrutable even unto all men of learning. and has not begotten and equal to Him is not any one.. and His creation had ever existed beneath His shelter from the beginning that hath no beginning.

and as the One seperated even higher than these in the realm of Hahut. Mirza Husayn-’Ali Nuri. PL. the unsoiled Intelligence and the unapproachable wisdom. This also is found in the common Islamic presence of Lahut. that is the First Principle below the One. the One. this is the place of every soul…and everything in that entire content. It is recorded in the Umm al-Kitab: . 372) This Intellectual-Principle is the First Principle of the Isma’ili Hierarchy. Here Reason signifieth the divine. pg. it is a sort of mediation to us of the Unknowable One. that is to say as higher and lower principles of Lahut (lahutiyyat): Sabiq and Tali. presiding over all these.” the Divine Thought is a Real Being. becomes the cause of intellection and existence to the Intellectual-Principle– though. age of Kronos.1. be affirmed: it is an Intelligence or rather is the Universal-Intelligence.”(McKenna . As the act. an act. the First Principle or Intellectual-Principle is the ‘Throne of God” which can be taken to mean that which sits below the Divinityhead Himself. pg. Below this One is the Intellectual-Principle which in V. PL. is Intellectual-Principle entire and Being entire. of course. which in turn. Intellectual-Principle by its intellective act establishes Being. CV. XXVI) This Intellectual-Principle is that which is the cause of causes in the Aristotelian sense. For here is contained all that is immortal: nothing here but is Divine Mind. It through it’s own act gives rise to the All-Soul. Sabiq and Tali all would be in the realm of Divinity. writes: “If the wayfarers (salik) goal be the dwelling of the Praiseworthy One (Mahmud) this is the station (maqam) of primal reason (raja’ bi-`aql) which is known as the Prophet and the Most Great Pillar (rukn a’zim). whose very name suggests Abundance and Intellect (nous). it is the Universal Intellect and as such it is the archetype of all other emanations below it as the Third is created through a process of duplication and all other emanations below it a duplication of the duplication. The cause of intellection in Plotinus is described as the combining of Kaf-Nun in the Isma’ili cosmos where the command to Be is a Command to think or duplicate. Intellectual-Principle and All-Soul in Isma’ili terms. both rising in a source distinct from either. That.”(McKenna. which is that realm of Being and the ‘Personal God (al-Rahman)”. Baha’ Allah. Archetypal world is the true Golden Age. Mubdi. The realm of Lahut which is the heavenly seat of the Manifestation is interestingly used in the Arabic for Divinity (lahut) and according to a neo-platonic reading all the Three Hypostasis. universal mind (‘aql kulli rabba fiy maqsud) whose soveriegnty enlighteneth all created things (rutbah tarubiyat imkan)” (Nuri. as the object of intellection.4 is: “the yet more authentic sphere (above the All-Soul): there we are to contemplate all things as members of the Intellectual–eternal in their own right. the first thing of whom existence may if only in some vague sense. It. all is God. which is embodied in the messenger like Muhammad. offspring. there is another cause of intellection which is also a cause to Being. and image of the First. vested with a self-springing consciousness and life–and. pg. 53) From this station God’s manifestation become manifest into the lowest emanation of the Hierarchy.

The One is the inaccessible . The Soul is resident in Man in three aspects: 1. 3. the First Principle. The intellective Soul (Spirit). le lapade. cio vale a dire che il Signore e al di sopra del Mare di Biancore ed il Mare di Biancore e il Trono del Re Sublime–se esaltata la Sua maesta!– Presso il quale. I gilman ed ‘I fanciulli resi eterni–come perle scorinate…” (Ronconi. The Unreasoning Soul (animal). where in Isma’ili these seven stand for the seven intimates of God: Muhammad. so to speak. I lumi. THE ALL-SOUL: Is the Universal Soul the product of the Intellectual-Principle: “The Supreme Intellectual Principle cannot be unproductive: accompanying its Act of Thought there is what we may indicate as an Act of Act: the Divine Thinking engenders a power apt to the realization of its Thought. The reasoning Soul (scientific). of Kuni. apt that is to Creation: this engendered power is the Third Hypostasis of the Divine Triad. pg. pg. which in the Hericletan sense. Fatima. XXVI) It is the emanation created by the Second which has two Acts: contemplation of the Higher or Leading Principle of the Soul ( it is the act of a subject thinking about it’s own object) or the Celestial Soul. These Three Hypostasis are the members of an Emenation Hierarchy of Being of which all lower emanations or copies or structures within structures are derivative of. It descends through seven layers or realms] As this level of Being is the Idealic and archetypal realm this is reflected in an alternative understanding of the Isma’ili hierarchy where the Seven Cherubim (karibiyyun) are created as the offspring. Hasan. UK.” (McKenna. al di sopra della cupola del Mare di Biancore. A fede.“E questa cupola e lo Spirito Supremo dal vuoto dei mille colori e questo cervello e proprio come la Terra Bianca che si trova al di sopra dei sette cieli. ‘Ali. The Logos[i] of the Universe–that all. Husayn. and are the Differentiated entities within the Second One. secondo la parola di Lui– che sia esaltato!–’Rivelazione disces da Colui che creo la terra ed I cieli sublime. 2. The Lower Soul or Generative (the product of the act of thought). and Abu Talib. I castelli. instead of the higher aspect of the Second Principle (the Third One) they become the Ideals of the earthly sensual realm. PL. all stessa maniera che il Mare di Biancore e sopra ai sette Consessi del Trone [di Dio]. Il misericordioso e seduto sopra il Trono: a lui appatiene quanto vi ha nei cieli e nella terra ed in mezzo ai due e sotto allo humus’. Abdu’l. the demiurge of the lower emanations including Nature. all else is steered through–or the Reason-Principle of the Universe. 32) [roughly meaning that the Supreme Spirit is hidden in the Land of Whiteness or Purity. Egli ha dispiegato le Huri. Next is the Throne in the Sea of White from which descends the revelation to the created earth.

1.” (McKenna. the Second is that of the Intellect as Intellect is needed to form and shape and guide the soul it stands over the All-Soul it is Real Being and the Archetypal world of the Ideas is at this level of True Reality. but on the lower level in contact with the realm beneath itself. Tali): “Only those will attain to the knowledge of the Word of God that have turned unto Him.and stands above Creation. enjoying it. the creator or demiurge of the lower realms of the lesser emenations from the principle of the All-Soul. it is the forthgoing heat of a fire which has also heat essentially inherent. “Soul. for the Isma’ilis. As Plotinus writes: “Yet the offspring of the Intellectual-Principle must be a Reason-Principle. that is to say. writes regarding this Third One (Reason-Principle. is the vehicle for the transmission of the logos or Word of God (kalam Allah) which becomes the cement holding each limit (hadd) to each other. Logos. the logic of the heat of the fire the reasoning principle of the lower realms which is itself conditioned by it’s higher principle the Intellectual-Principle and is the product of that Principle. Command of God. 37) Here we are reminded of the primordial stuff of Hericletus. pg. and in the same way soul is an utterance of the Intellectual-Principle: it is even the total of its activity. But within the supreme we must see energy not as an overflow but in the double aspect of integral inherence with the establishment of a new Being. In this way too the Isma’ili idea of Tali. Sprung. generating in turn an offspring which must lie beneath. from the Intellectual-Principle. Kitab-i Iqan.”(McKenna. which is the energy bearing the logos. and inscribed it with the pen of power upon the mystic Tablet hidden beneath the veil of celestial glory. 406) The Active Intellect. PL. or rather. Baha’ Allah. pg.” (Baha’ Allah. but with an intellection operating by the method of reasoning. 106) . for its perfecting it must look to that Divine Mind. and image of the Intellectual-Principle: reason uttered is an image of reason stored within the Soul. the twin beams of light of the Zoroastrian mythos which is one. Thus God hath reaffirmed the law of the day of His Reveleation. Below this is the All-Soul. participant in its nature. the entire stream of life sent forth by that Principle to the production of further being. intellective with it. and repudiated the manifestations of Satan.3. The All-Soul is that according to Plotinus in V. the contemplative intelligence of the Soul and two. filled from it. which may be thought of as a father watching over the development of his child born imperfect in comparison with himself. PL. of this lower we will treat later. soul is intellective. is. Mirza Husayn’Ali Nuri. BW. Its light. a substantial existence (hypostasis) identified with the principle of deliberative thought: such then is that (higher Soul) which circles about the Divine Mind. All-Soul. in other words. the Second Principle below the One. pg. for all the worth we have shown to belong to it is yet a secondary. so far we deal still with the Divine. created out of duplication of the First Principle which this second as tablet is written upon by the pen and the logic is conditioned by that writing for the rest of the lower angelic realms and on down tell it reaches the concrete expression written in the stone of sensual worldly existence. the fire. it’s image inseparably attached to it: on the upper level united with it.

and generosity. the Universal Soul. Pg. Divine Intellect) but looks to that father’s father (to Ouranos. and the Third is the Logos or demiurge originated in the Intellectual-Principle seated in the Third One which is independent and is the ‘Tablet’ beneath the ‘Pen of Glory’. and resident in the realm of Hahut. Lawh-i Hikmat. Kronos. Also. There can be said to be inseparable from his own essence–the Holy Spirit through which he creates.” (Baha’ Allah.C. Baha’ Allah. bounty. He dwells in his Kingdom. yet is being renewed and regenerated at all times. and by holiness are also understood creativeness. It hath never been withheld from the world of being. and refered to as glory (baha’).”(Baha’ Allah. Sabiq is the higher of the realm of Lahut. BW. 241) Mirza Husayn-’Ali Nuri. Immeasurably exalted is the God of Wisdom Who hath raised this sublime structure. and Kronos as a being of Lahut and compared to Sabiq and Zeus as the comparable counterpart to Tali. no doubt.“Know thou. that the Word of God–exalted be His glory–is higher and far superior to that which the senses can perceive.There is a supreme Deity who is creator of all things both spiritual and material. It became manifest without any syllable or sound and is none but the Command of God which pervadeth all created things. moreover. This third One is the Logos of the Universe and is creative and forms in the same function as the demiurge. He is surrounded by six other entities of which he is said to be the father and Creator. Plotinus shows how the Three Hypostasis coordinate to the Greek Pantheon of Ouranos. Lawh-i Hikmat. which means. resident in the realm of Lahut. but also.” So that now if one wanted the Greek myth with the beliefs of the Isma’ili symbolic cosmology it would be easy to see the comparison between Ouranos as a being of the realm of Hahut and the Isma’ili Mubdi. the Intellectual-Principle is Sabiq and the AllSoul is Tali. describes the Tablet (lawh-i mahfuz) in the same terms of the Isma’ilis as being beneath the second principle or that which is the ‘Glory of the Lord’. Zeus who is not content with the contemplation of his father (Kronos. and Truth (akin to Reason-Principle). the Transcendent) as what may be called the divine energy working to the establishment of real being. BW. It is God’s all pervasive grace. Thus from the descriptions of Plotinus we can corroborate a close similarity to Isma’ili Hierocsmological thinking in that the One is Mubdi. pg. “Zeus (Universal Soul) is in this a symbol of him. Another interesting comparison is that of Zoroastrianism as R. that . fromwhich all grace doth emanate. for the Bahai Symbolic cosmology the One is God. the Good Mind (akin to Nous). productivity. Zaehner points out: “The main doctrines preached by the Prophet Zoroaster…. the Word of God is the cause (kun yafakun) which hath preceded the contingent world–a world which is adorned with the splendours of the Ancient of Days. Verily. It transcendeth the limitations of known elements and is exalted above all the essential and recognized substances. 241) “Every thing must needs have an origin and every building a builder. and Zeus. for it is sanctified from any property or substance. He thinks his creation into existence by his Holy Spirit: he is holy and righteous. It is an entity far removed above all that hath been and shall be.

Z. Qdr. calling it qadar.E. Then there is God (wa takuwwna wa makuwwna wa kan shum allah). The Second Principle which is that of Qdr or Tali which is the tablet of God or that which is written upon by the pen (qalam) of God. And both together create a mediation Pentad composed of the elements of Imagination (khayal). This product of the First Principle is the Universal Soul of Isma’ili belief and is correlary to the All-Soul of Plotinus. The Isma’ilis of Central Asia have at the base of their view of the world (`alam) a system of Hierocosmic Emenations like the system of Plotinus they have the One as the Father or prime originator (mubdi) from the Absolute One goes forth the command (Gr. Kalima or Amr) this command through the intentions of God (mashi’a) and His Will (irada) creates the divine command Kaf-Nun or BE. pg. This light remained for some length of its eternity not knowing whether it was a creator or a created thing. the lower aspect of Qdr creates out of it’s light the Twelve Spiritual ranks of angels and Kuni. It differs not in the basic ideas of creation but in the manner of the creation . thus it came into being with God’s permission. pg. no things occupying space and no minutae of time. it is the “Throne of God” (arsh). this divine light is reflected through duplication in the principle of Kuni and Qdr. There is bringing-into-being. principle of consciousness and understanding (‘aql) and soul (nafs). Ar. This pentad now becomes responsible for the creation of the lower emenations below it and the natural cosmic order.) he writes: “He (God) existed when there was no space. All things were made by Divinity through creating them (mubda’atan) from the letters kaf and nun (making the word ‘kun’). and Gabriel. and a thing which is brought-into-being. esoteric interpretation (fath). each of which corresponds to the Angelic persons of Kuni. one who brings-intobeing.he is absolute Lord of all that he has created–a kingdom which is now marred by the onslaughts of evil but which will be restored to its purity in the last days. Thus it created a creature out of its light and gave it a name. One may speculate that the lower emenations of this Symbolic cosmology is like that of the dividing into two acts of the All-Soul where Kuni-Qdr become reflected as two aspects of the Third Station of Tali.” (Zaehner. Logos. and a thing which is brought-into-being. the light of God which creates the Second Principle. 60) The Isma’ili World The Isma’ili’s take their name from Isma’il the son of the sixth Imam./ 10th C. as the higher aspect creates Seven Cherubs. It is first a creation acted by God.H.Then the command (amr) of the Creator of all things went to kuni: ‘Create for yourself out of your own light a creature to act for you as a vizier (wazir) and helper and to carry out our command”. Mikhail. He created (kalaqa) a light (nur) and produced out of this light a creature (khalq). When He conceived a will and a wish (irada wa mashi’a). likewise. Israfil. Jafir Sadiq. Then Divinity breathed into it a spirit and directed at it a voice: ‘Be’ (kun yafaqun). 18) In this passage we see that there are several key elements of the Isma’ili creation story. The cosmology of the Isma’ilis is contained in it’s earliest known codification in the works of Abu ‘Isa al-Murshid (4th century A. the Intellectual-Principle known as Sabiq or the ‘pen’ it is the First Principle. no eternity (dahr) no time (zaman). it is also called the ‘Spirit of Glory” (ruhani baha’) also. calling it there for ‘kuni’. and through qadar He determined (qaddara) them. Kuni is the correlary to the Universal Intelligence. Then through the waw and the ya’. Through kuni God broght to being (kawwana) all things. which became a name for what is above it. SI. It may be said that Qdr becomes the demiurge as the Third station and that the pentad is the tool of the demiurge to create the natural cosmos keeping in line with Plotinus’s vision of the world and Real Being. enunciation of shari’a (jadd).” (Stern.

Where the absolute unknowability and seperateness of God is expressed in the identification of the realm of Ilahiyat (Divinity) with Gods Essence (dhat). the universal Adam and his earthly counterpart the ‘Adam juizi’. As Mirza Husayn-’Ali Nuri. e il Sole (logos). 85) The Isma’ili Symbolic Cosmology: In addition to this Creative Hierarchy is the Hierarchy of the Firmaments. according to the Essential Spirit it is His Rational Name] It is seen that the Essential Divinity of God is symbolized in the realm of Ilahiyyat which is analogous to the typical Iranian hierarchy of Huwahut. giving them esoteric names (‘asma batinah) the meaning (ma’ani) of which can only be understood by the Friends (‘awliya) of God (peace be upon them) and the sincere believers (mu’iminiyn husana) who follow them. Along with this Symbolic cosmology of the Isma’ilis are the various teachings I think are addressed in the Eannead under consideration. These names are: ‘azama (might). outer and inner reality in the entity itself. It is important that Kuni brings into existence in the sense of prime matter and Qdr proportions all creations in the sense of reason. ra’fa (mercy). which makes seven letters. (Stern. pg. baha’ (splendour). before each Manifestation appeareth. 19) It is clear in this passage that the Seven Cherubim are emenated out of the Light of Kuni and that this emenation consists of relationship to the inherent design of Kuni being based on the numerological archetype within the term ‘to be’.” (Baha’ Allah. This indicates that when he (kuni) had created qadar. horizontally this is expressed as zahir and batin. pg. Or as Daftary defines him as the ‘qutb’. UK. che e stata detta. The doctrine of ta’wil related to Intellectual Beauty and inner and outer realities of the Idealic and the Sensual are expressed vertically in the Isma’ili belief system of the typos of the soul in heaven with it’s manifest earthly correspondence (Idea/Form). the pole. SI. mu’tamar. ‘izza (glory). This has been known as the Primal Man. secondo la Sua Essenzialita Spirituale (ba-ruhanit) il Suo nome e Cosciente…” (Ronconi. WB. Angelology plays an important part in Theological Neo-Platonism as shall be seen. he created out of the light which is between itself and qadar seven Cherubim (karubi). Gods Essential Light is identified with the realm of Nuranit it is symbolised in the allegorical writing of the Umm al-Kitab as The Sun (a il Sole) . according to the Essential Lights. 41)[and this Spirit according to the Divine Essentiality. huda (right guidance). the Light of the unity of God amongst men. with a descending list of hierachical order assigned to each realm which signifies Gods knowledge and Gods Command (‘Amr). (counsel). and prepareth the souls of men for the advent of the divine Luminary. Kitab-i Iqan. since the word states. Baha’ Allah. educateth. ‘amr (command). qadar of three. The Umm al-Kitab records that: “E questo Spirito secondo la Sua Essenzialita Divino (ba-ilahit). the pole of the world who is to revolutionize the world.The rest of the hierocosmic account is also noted by al-Murshid: “Kuni consist of four letter (ahruf). has written: “The sign of the invisible heaven must needs be revealed in the person of that perfect man who. pg. It is Kuni out of which Qdr is created or emenated. secondo la Sua Essenzialita Luminosa (ba-nuranit). it is the Sun. For the Baha`i this would be the station of the Bab. or most perfect human being of Islamic mysticism the ‘al-insan al-kamil’.through what is known as Kuni.

understood as such it is the stage of the “Kuni”–the first projection of God’s Will. open my chest. It is written in this passage that Spirit (Ruah) is second to all these Essentialities. ‘Has he been called?’ Gabriel said. Gabriel said to the Gatekeeper of the Heaven. pg. it is at this stage that the ‘Point’ (natiq) is identifed with the Prophet of God. Salman gli tolse ad ognuno dei sette diwan: un colore per il Divino Consesso dellIlahit.”(Hunzai. ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel replied. Ibadut. ‘Welcome! O pious prophet and pious son. Muhammad is with Me. Then he took my hand and ascended with me to the nearest heaven. Which would mean in a way all these realms are identified with Huwahut or Lahut of the Bahai and Sufi Hierarchy we shall see in a later section. . ‘Open (the gate). and washed it with zam-zam water. The Kalima’llah. uno nei mari della Lahutit. he closed it. Sometimes it also means Worshipped and in fact this is it’s original meaning…. is the definite form of ‘ilah’. Ruhaniyyat– are not realms to be identified with any created realm.. including is commented on by Pio Filippani-Ranconi as the Logos or ‘Amr of God– here the Sun is analagous to the Spirit and the Spirit is the embodiment of the Logos (logos endiathetos). but because of frequent usage it became ‘God’. He laughed and when He looked toward His left he wept. The word ‘God’ which originally was ‘al-ilah’. In regards to the orthodox Islamic idea of Seven realms with a command in each realm we can see in the story of the Mi’raj of Muhammad (the Night Journey) the representation of similiar ideas as that regarding Hierocosmic thought it is recorded in the Sahih al-Bukhari: :”[narrated by Abu Dhar] God’s Apostle said. 75) According to this passage in each of the presences or realms of God there is a 1000 colors of resplendent diverse hues. ognuno dei quali e di mille e mille tonalita diverse. uno per il Divino Consesso ed il velame in cui se manifesta la Malakutit. Then he brought a golden tray full of wisdom and faith and having poured its contents into my chest. ‘Gabriel’. Then he said. Through which Salman must combat the evil Iblis and expell him from each realm to the earthly realm which is his prison. Below these are lesser realms. which thus is derived from ‘ilah’. When he looked towards his right. Nuraniyyat. pg. Below this realm is that of Ruhuniyyat (Spirit) which is identified in the allegory as being Conscience (cosciente) or as the Word (logos prophorikos). It may be suggested by the context that all these realms– Ilahiyyat. ‘While I was at Mecca the roof of my house was opened and Gabriel descended. ‘Yes’. Later we shall see how this earthly realm of matter is considered evil and we see in Isma’ilism the symbolic representation of this Neo-Platonic belief.’ I asked Gabriel. So the gate was opened and we went over to the nearest heaven and there we saw a man sitting with some people on his right and some on his left. n/a ) Interesting also is the following passage: “Ora questo principe dei miscredenti per ben sette volte nego che avesse creato tutti gli altri Divini Consessi: quei sette colori splendenti. He asked. when I reached the nearest heaven. “The third part of the ‘Fatihah’ is about divinity or uluhiyyat and this is hidden in the word ‘God’. UK.[divinity] The word ‘God’ is mostly used in the sense of Divinity. uno nel mare della Gabarutiyyyat. ‘Is there anyone with you?’ Gabriel replied ‘Yes. ‘Allamah Nasir al-Din Hunzai defines Uluhiyatt as. uno per la distesa della Nuranit ed uno per la manifestation dell Ruhunit…”(Ronconi tr. uno nella cortina della Rabubit.’ he asked.’ The gatekeeper asked.

as universals and this Reason. His student al-Kashani explicated on this schema as well incoprorating the First Intelligence and Universal Soul. From it two other substances are produced.‘Who is He He replied. one spiritual (ruhaniyya) which is the substance of the world of the Universal Reason. the World of Constraint. the Universal Reason (al-aql al-awwal). Then I was admitted into Paradise where I found small (tents) or walls (made) of pearls and its earth was of musk. Their world again.Then Gabriel took me till we reached Sidrat-ulMuntaha (the Lote Tree of the Utmost Boundry) which was shrouded in Colours. repair the imperfections of other beings. The Isma’ili idea of an Imam of the Time in each realm is similiar to Qur’an 41:12 which describes God assigning a command for each of the seven firmaments. Moses. the Alone. Indescribable. however. similar to the Isma’ili symbolic cosmos that the veil of the Tree of Life (Tree of Wisdom in Judaic mysticism. called also the Primary or Universal Spirit (al-ruh alawwal) and the Highest Knowledge (al-`ilm al-a’la). because they constrain other being towards perfection. the One. he did not mention on which heaven they were but he mentioned that he met Adam on the nearest heaven and Abraham on the sixth heaven……. this also is rationalized in the Umm al-Kitab with the explication of seven episodes of expulsion of Iblis from the heavenly realms of the Symbolic cosmology. ‘Open (the gate). an 12th century sufi theosophist. therefore is called the World of Repairing (`alam alJabarut).” We see that in this hadith that the Prophet was guided into the seven heavens where he saw therein a Commander for each heaven and that in the ultimate experience of this episode. Jesus and Abraham. being the Universal Soul (nafs). taught a neo-platonic schema as well. in their perfection. Finally come the material elements with their natural forces and laws. the other is psychical.’ The gate keeper said to him the same as the Gatekeeper of the first heaven had said and he opened the gate. This is a spiritual substance and the first of the properties which the divine essence implies. from him proceeds. But they also. considered as apart from God and inhabited by particular intelligences. Those on his right are the people of Paradise and those on his left are the people of Hell and when he looks towards his right he laughs and when he looks towards his left he weeps. or the All-Soul: “Above is God.Anas said: ‘Abu Dhar added that the prophet met Adam. Of course we can also see the similarity in the Mi’raj. Some. It may be the rationale for the Isma’ili representation for the Seven ‘Nutqs’ as well as Seven ‘Dahrs’ (durations) in the cyclical history of Isma’ilism. In the Universal Reason are the types of all things. ‘He is Adam and the people on His right and left are the souls of His offspring. Idris. by a dynamic emanation. God’s omnipotence (qahiriyya) is manifested through these angels or Intelligences and their world is therefore call the World of Power (‘alam al-qudra). Ibn `Arabi’s School: The school of Ibn Arabi. This world is also .’Then he ascended with me till he reached the second heaven and he said to its Gatekeeper. with its types is known directly by God. take the other sense of the root jabar and render it. somewhat as fractions of the Universal Reason. which are the angels of revealed religion. possibly the Manifestation of God in the Baha`i tradition) that it is engulfed by the wondrous spectacle of many colored veil and that Paradise is comprised of walls made of pearls which resemble the spheres or lights of the Isma’ili mythic epic..

D. measuring out matter and assigning causes. From it issue all being in order to appear in the World of Sense (`alam alshahada). jannat) it is recounted that Adam falls from His position as the Third Intelligence to the rank of the Tenth Intelligence. material world. from it’s likeness to the human imagination. Each prophetic adam appears with 27 companions with 12 deputies. Likewise. The heavenly bodies. The world of the Universal Soul. With each epiphanic dispensations conclusion with the ascension of the prophet a period of ‘satr’ (hiddeness) is begun until the descension of the next prophetic adam. coresponding to the Angelic Intelligences. Each revelation brings Adam to a Higher Intelligence until He reaches that station (maqamat) that He descended from. the earthly plane. Qur’an 13:39. it is above all fetters of time and change. Adam is known as the Third Intelligence. It was the belief that time was a continuous cyclical loop as pictured in the Orobus snake eating it own tail. In fact. On their changes all change in this world below depends. which are the souls of the heavenly bodies. He is to be distinguished from the ‘Adam juizi’ who inaugurates the entire process with Eve. limited. B. The seven ranks ‘adam al-awwal al-kulli’ falls through become the seven periods of the cyclical time. determined. In the Isma’ili interpretation of the fall of Adam from the garden of Paradise (firdaus. In the “Hermetic” traditions of Empodocles and Pythagoras time is thought of as recurring. on the other hand called the World of Ruling (`alam al-malakut). and these are further specialized. This world. as corollary to the ‘mate’ and manifest on a lower level of the higher Qdr that which gives measure to time the duration of time. This Heavenly Archetype of Adam is known as ‘Adam Ruhani’ or the Spiritual Adam in the mystical allegory. This Adam is simultaneously the epiphanic form (Arabic: mazhar. have reasonable souls just like our own. the fraction of the Universal Reason. is a step nearer the particular. then. Adam and Cyclical Time in Isma’ili Thought: Time (zaman) plays an integral part in the cosmology of Isma’ilism. into which the Universal Soul divides. The Divine Pentad: .” (“`Abd al-Razzak alKashani”. the Intellectual Principle and thus Universal Soul and Angelic Intelligences. unveiling). The Pythogorean doctrine of the eternal return recounts that all that has existed exists now. 89. EI.called the Mother of the Book (umm al-Kitab. Thus becoming the archetype for each prophet of each age He is ‘adam al-awwal al-kulli’. The types which exist in the Universal Reason becomeing its general conceptions. these are the imaginative faculties of the particular reasonable souls. it is the only Islamic interpretation that integrates the concept of time to the extent that it does. in Isma’ilism time is cyclical and proceeds through periods (dahr) of duration each duration accorded to a ‘nutq’ or prophet begining with Prophet Adam to Prophet Muhammad. 43:4) from it comes all knowledge of divine mysteries. it moves and directs everything. mirror or manifestation) and the Veil of the Celestial Adam (adam ruhani) His own cycle was one of ephiphany (dahr al-kashf. McDonald) Thus from the One is derived Universal Reason. is called the Imagination of the world (khayal al-`alam) and the Nearer Heavean (al-sama’ al-dunya). brought near to what we know by being engraved on the individual reasonable souls. pg.

000 lights of mystic suns a rosa) Symbolically the Divine Pentad is embodied in the Angelic Beings of Salman. Gloria (jadd). they dominate over humanity: Intellect (‘aql). ‘aql–principle of consciousness and understanding. nun (nafs). Khayal– imaginative faculty. Anima (nafs). le quali presso gli uomini sono denominate: Intelleto (‘aql). Power: Nafs and Khayal. Michael. These five are resident in the psychologies of the individual and help in the ta’wil–interpretation for the rendering of the Qur’an in batini terms. It would be parallel to the division in the monad of kalima (jadd). that is. It is envinced by using the way of the Hikma Ilahiyuh or Divine Philosophy. Jadd– enunciation of Shari’a. creative imagination to esoteric interpretation and only through these faculties can the ta’wil have power to interpret the sacred word.000 luminous lights in which the Divine Concourse is bathed in luminosity resplendent with 100. Intellective: ‘Aql and Fath. thus the Reason-Principle of . Jadd establishes a structure or framework or schematic where the intelligence (‘aql) is empowered by soul (nafs) to duplicate kuni-qdr (fath and khayal) the pen and tablet which creates a portrait of the schematic drawing of the jadd which in turn becomes a new structure or sketch for the additional portraits thereof. an archetype is a pattern that determines human experience (whether on a conscious or an unconscious level) and makes itself felt as something both vital and holy”. Immagination (khayal)…and the Angel light upon light…With 154. UK. “…Divino Consesso. intelligence and nafs– soul. kaf (‘aql). Hasan and Husayn. In either sense. Vittoria (fath). Immaginazione (hayal)…e l’Angel a schiera a schiera…Queste centoventiquattromila aure luminose in questo Divino Consesso sono altrettanto luminose a splendenti quanto centomila lune e soli misti a rosso…” (Ranconi. 2. the higher is ‘aql and nafs and lower fath and khayal. Symbolically ‘Ali is married to Fatima. soto la specie di cinque immagini risplendenti. ‘Ali. Glory (jadd). An archetype is defined as “in modern times. Israfil and Ba Huraira or as the Intimates of God: Muhammad. pg.In the Isma’ili system of emenation there is a conjunction of five hypostatic entelechia known collectively as the Divine Pentad: Fath–esoteric interpretation. Vittoria (fath). 3.[ER. Thus the Divine Pentad is a heavenly symbol of the sign that is each human soul. Anima (nafs). kuni ( khayal) and qdr (fath). Logos: Jadd. "Archetype"] Plotinus the archetype was the ordering system for the expression of the divine in nature. the term has been used to refer to fundamental structures in man’s psyche as well as in his religious life. thus only through these can the Command of God (Muhammad) be understood. If we are to separate the five out in terms of quality of function then we would have three groups: 1. Together they form the ‘alam al-mithal or symbolic archetypal world. 51) (the Divine Concourse. One could also see a similarity to the Sufi doctrine regarding the five lata’if[ii]. gives 5 resplendent images. There is a axis between higher and lower functions like a human mind with autonomic and cerebrum which in turn has a two fold division the axis being jadd. Azriel. Jadd is the catalyst to another level of artistic or intellective creation and that creation becomes the catalyst to further creations based on the first sketch. Fatima.

the batin (inner) and the haqa’iq (tthe inner and true reality.From the point of view of the Isma’ilis reality is divided into three levels the zahir (outer). the inner layer and finally the hardwood of the trees interior. Da’i– Isma’ilis re-interpreted the Shi’i principle of taqi to include guarding against their secret teachings from falling into the hands of the unauthorized person. entailed the passage from the appearance to the true reality. Mujaddidi. from shari’a to haqi’qa.guarded the true meaning of the scriptures and laws in both their zahir and batini aspects Hujja or the Proof– maintained control of the Da’is. It corresponded to a passage from the world of phenomenon to the world of . is the means of making the Shari’a understood to the community. The Sufis of the Naqshbandi order.‘Ali and Fatima. These levels of reality are related in the hierarchy of the religious community which is emenated out of the Pentad. and from the symbol to the symbolized. a marriage between esoteric interpretation and imaginative intellect (fath and khayal). the da’is protected and preached the message. Sirr (secret). This can be expressed in the aspect of time of zaman or religious history as the announcement of Shari’a by Muhammad as the jadd aspect of the Pentad. Imam or Wasi. it was considered a spiritual rather than physical organ for perceiving the divine in creation. is present and at times in occultation. taught that there where subtle (lata’if) organs in each person. This transformation has been summed up in the words of one researcher as: ” in short. the bark. the intelligence and soul of the world in the new revelation with the interpretation of that revelation in the position of the Imam. specifically. dawr-i satr–period of concealment. The Imam. The pentad can also be seen in Sufi thought on the microcosmic level where the pentad is embodied within each individual self. Khafi (hidden). Ruh (soul). This can be visualized by the structure of a tree. that Intellectual Beauty ascribed Truth by Plotinus). there are seven prophetic cycles. and Nafs (animal self). dawr-i qiyama–period of resurrection. These five organs where known as Qalb (heart). In each of these cycles there is the hierarchy of the community which reflects the symbolic Divine Pentad: Natiq– speaking prophet who reveals the Shari’a Samit or Asas– interprets the shari’a according to the rules of ta’wil. from the letters of the revelation to the inner message behind them. corresponding to the horizontal emenation at the same magnitude of a given realm. and finaly the qiyam-i qiyamat–resurrection of resurrections. throughout the religious history. which necessitates the return of the Imam to commence a resurrection in preperation for the announcement of a new Shari’a. embodied in the Isma’ili Imam. these periods are known as dawr-i kashf–period of manifestation. from tanzil (outer form of the letter) to ta’wil. the unchangeable truths were the exclusive sovereignty of the pure Imam. Based on the archetypes of the Pentad the process of the revealed Shari’a was to culminate in the transformation of the religious community with specific functions assigned to different layers of the Spiritual and Religious Hierarchy. In this way the feminine is married to the masculine (the dark-eyed huri’s married to the faithful). the passage from zahir to batin.

of the real (the archetypal) Number…Thus by what we call the Number and the dyad of that higher realm. so to speak. Each of the Five is a part of the Active Intellect:Jadd. 407] and “The Dyad is a secondary. deriving from unity. pg. Separating the conception of Divinity (lahut) into active (dyad) and inactive (monad or essential) categories shows how God can be unitary and in His essential aspect and active in His attributes (sifah) revealed through the acts of the IntellectualPrinciple which enfolds out of the One as an act and in the All-Soul as the heat which emenates the realms of th lower half. of the Hierocosmos. We start at the level of unicity of the One then enfolding out through the act of intellection the first half of the dyad comes into being.”[ Mckenna. It is important to understand the philosophical operation of subject/object designation to understand these basic points. there is Number. into three stations is to be considered shirk or illicit. shaped by the Ideas rising within it–or rather. ‘Aql. Nafs. Plotinus writes regarding the monad and dyad that “the dyad has come into being. any results of the subjects act of contemplation of an object are referred to as Ideas. since its potential vision becomes actual and intellection is. 98) Thus also. as the Act of Act. Monad and Dyad: An issue for contemplation would be that of the Monad (unity) and Dyad (diversity) how duality comes out of unicity. it is shaped in a certain sense by the One and is another sense by itelf. The initiation into the haqa’iq. the underlie (or Matter) of the Intellectual World–the number which rises from the Dyad and The One is always a Form-Idea: thus the Intellectual-Principle is. attained through the ta’wil or ta’wil al-batin…The tawil. Thus.noumenon. I. an act of vision in which the subject and object are identical. since there is nothing to make it one rather than the other: being neither. in the sense of course. 373] Thus we have the unity safegaurded in the Monad which the Dyad is a Duality which enfold out of the previous monad by power of the act of intellection. PL. the One. translated also as spiritual hermeneutics or hermeneutic exegesis. once there is any determnination. pg. Fath = al-`Aql al-Fa`il (understanding = active intelligence). the . it is present without being inherent. as it were.”[ McKenna. we mean Reason-Principles and the Intellectual-Principle: but while the Dyad is undetermined–representing. the actor. A thinker is the subject of thought. as sometimes perceived in Christianity by the Muslim onlooker. but simply that thing apart. In Islam a firm belief is in the Unity (tawhid) of God and any conception. Khayal.” (Daftary. precisely. and this monad is quite distinct within the dyad from either of the two constituent unities. the Pentad served as archetype for the function of emenation and spiritual transformation. the object of thought is the loci of the thinkers contemplation and the process of thought is the act of the thinker. The emenations of other realms is accomplished through the power of the Active Intellect of which the Pentad is the substantial existence. pg. of dividing God. PL. but the precedent monad still stands. it finds in unity the determinant needed by its native indetermination.

while all else besides His Word are but the creatures and the effects therof. is characterized by a special attribute. the station of essential unity.”[ Nuri. the All-Wise. Lawh-i-hikmat pg. Verily thy Lord is the Expounder. yet they are different. Additionally below the level of the present dyad is a further intellective division in the All-Soul which brings about the further emenation of the lower cosmos. 241] We have the station of the Prophet as a unity. pg. The Word of God again is the catalyst or the mover of the emenation. fullfills a definite Mission. Baha’ Allah. One of these stations. These Ideals within the Universal Intellect have their individual Ideas attributed to them as embodied in differing functions of the archangels. the effecient cause.”[ Baha' Allah. the Monad. Che sono il simbolo delle sette lettere di bismi’l-lahi. that which is whole within itself not yet unfolded into a existence below it’s current stasis. cioe Salman e Miqdad e Ba-Darr e Ammar e Ba Huraira e Ba . These two are the same.Intellectual-Principle and further down through the determination of Number of Divinity the All-Soul takes its place among the Three. This monad/dyad aspect is exhibited in the other passage as the aspect of an inactive and active force the active force the act of differentiation and the inactive the monad of the enfolded order. Thus doth the Great Announcement inform thee about this glorious structure. BW. Kitab-I-Iqan. Which brings us to the question of the Origin of the Hierocsmos itself out of the Three initial Hypostasis. We have already explained. In the Ismaili cosmos the belief that Sabiq. each Manifestation of God hath a distinct individuality. In the Umm al-Kitab we read: “Questi Sette e Dodici si trovano ne velame dei sette Angeli. The world of existence came into being through the heat generated from the interaction between the active force and that which is its recipient. Each one of them is known by a different name. Undifferentiated Substance. and out of this monad through differentiation a number of prophets manifest into the realm of existence along different intervals of the linear time line (zaman afaqi) each individual prophet has His unique attributes and activity of revealing a shari’a of His age. we can see similar motifs: “We have already in the foregoing pages assigned two stations unto each of the Luminaries arising from the Daysprings of eternal holiness.’ (Qur’an 2:136) The other is the station of distinction. 125] “That which hath been in existence had existed before. Such as communicate the generating influence and such as receive its impact are indeed created through the irresistible Word of God which is the Cause of the entire creation. and is entrusted with a particular Revelation. a monad. the act which is differentiation. but not in the form thou seest today. the Universal Intellect creates an angelic realm of Seven Cherubim which inturn have their earthly correspondents. BW. ‘No distinction do We make between any of them. and pertaineth to the world of creation and to the limitations thereof In this respect. In the writings of Mirza Husayn-’Ali Nuri. and specially designated limitations. a definitely prescribed mission. In this way we see how physical reality is the three times removed (if not more) stasis of the original act of the Original Stasis or Enfolded One. a predestined Revelation.

for it has. these are Salman…) In Plotinus we see a similar idea. Likewise in Ismaili cosmological thinking of this type the Seven become symbolised in the typology of Spheres or worlds of God. 405-6] An Isma’ili reading of this passage would place Sabiq as the ineffable beauty . So that downwards or upwards differing levels of emenation are accomplishded as Plotinus explains: “The Supreme in its progress could never be borne forward upon some souless vehicle nor even directly upon the Soul: it will be heralded by some ineffable beauty: before the great King in his progress there comes first the minor train. 86. this distinction constitutes Difference. last among all these grandeurs. pg. the minor train the earthly believers. pg. Number and Quantity arise: Quality is the specific character of each of these Ideas which stand as the principles from which all else derives. PL. pg. then rank by rank the greater and more exalted. Each world having a specific quality and differing from the other spheres in the manner of which of the seven virtues is more emphatically displayed by the given sphere even though all the virtues are present in each of these differing realms.”[ McKenna. BW. The Intellectual Cosmos thus a manifold. and all– unless indeed for those who have contented themselves with the spectacle before his coming and gone away–prostrate themselves and hail him. PL. drawn all within itself again. similiar to the idea of the realms of God in the writings of Mirza Husayn-’Ali Nuri. they symbolize the seven letters of Bismallah. Plotinus alludes to Nature with it’s correllary in the Isma’ili hierarchy of the “Blue Sphere” and in the Baha’i hierarchy as Nasut as “still remains pregnant with this offspring. So we see that the Hierocosmos becomes inundated with manifold realms of emenations preceding downward through the hierarchy of being till we reach the level of Nature. pg. 373] So here Difference constitutes the individual cherubs and Quality is the virtue of each of these individual archangels and the specific function they serve. ” So too the objects of intellection (the ideal content of the Divine Mind)–identical in virtue of the self-concentration of the principle which is their common ground–must still be distinct each from another. 34-35] (These Seven and Twelve form the the veil of the Seven Archangels. PL. and then the Supreme Monarch of the One (alternatively this might be viewed as the Sabiq appearing out of the honoured company). the ranks the limits or concourses in the heavens. pg. suddenly appears the Supreme Monarch himself. The Kitab-i-Iqan] . of Whom was spoken: ‘But for Thee I would not have created the spheres’”…How well and true is the saying: Flingest thou thy calumnies unto the face of Them Whom the one true God hath made the Trustees of the treasures of His seventh sphere. UK.”[ McKenna.”[McKenna. I seete Velami e Cortine sono venuti ad essere da questi Sette e Dodici”[ Ronconi. holding them lest they fall away towards Matter to be brought up in the House of Rhea (in the realm of flux).”[ Baha' Allah. closer to the King the kinglier. so to speak. next his own honoured company until. comprised of the saying “BismGod ar-rahman ar-rahim”. 376] And Mirza Husayn-’Ali writes “We accidentally came upon the story of the ‘Mir’aj’ of Muhammad.Gundab e Ba Kumail. honoured company the vahid or one.

The Qur’anic verse reads: “It is God who has created seven heavens. Through the act of BE at the same instance is the creation through the process of duplication the First Principle of Sabiq (Second One) which is the only part of the Ipseity approachable by human comprehension. This Second One creates out of another act of Its’ subject and object the Third One or the All-Soul of Plotinus and thus Tali of the Ismailis which through it’s act creates the lesser emenations down to physical reality. Thus each level has a monad. 6 female which form pairs to form three parts of the Divine Pentad: Fath. and the dyad the process of the Principle’s object being acted against which is the lower half of the Principle creating in the end a new Hypostasis. the glimmer of the effulgent “Glory” and the company of the dwellers is like that honoured company of Plotinus which is also like the effulgent 1000 points of light in the heavenly concourse described in the Ismaili Umm al-Kitab (2nd century A.” (65:12) Thus they are the vertical principle of Guidance. The Seven mark off each of the Spheres one per each world of God. The Isma`ili account of this meta-cosmos is From the One through God’s Intentions (iradah) and His Will (mashiah) goes forth the command which is an act creating the syzergy of Kaf-Nun the essential aspect of Kuni-Qdr. into the Principle or limit before and above it. This establishment consequently develops the Iranian Shi’ite mystical tradition in the dissemenation of Isma’ili mystical doctrines through various Sufi tariqas. the 1st dimension. additionally their doctrines where spread by non-Isma’ili Shi’a such as the Qarmatians of Bahrain which later developed an influence on Iraqi Shi’ism. His commandment descends through them. the spheres of the Isma`ilis is that of the first letter of the command of God. a vision of the Imamat as a spiritual office rather than political./ 8th century C. as the Intellectual-Principle is a principle of action or movement. Within the higher aspect of each Principle are the contents of the monad. so that you may know that God has power over all things. The Seven Ideas. Within the Essential act we have God’s intentions taking on the form of Power of the Essential thought or intellect or a guiding principle the Will represents the energy of thought or the spirit of the Act of Intellection. Seven Ideas would necessitate seven emenations. Khayal. the Principle itself. The emenations proceeding hypothetically downwards.). The quality of the contents of each of these emenations is determines the attributes prevalent in the particular emenation. thus marks off the number of acts in the Hierocosmos. in the Universal Soul or Tali these ideas become the 12 Mothers or Angelic Ranks (6 male. and that He has knowledge of all things. Also. This Principle is the Universal Intellect or in other words the hypostization of the Essential Act.E. form the Hierocosmos which lie in between the realms of Divinity and the realm of physical reality described alternatively as the “House of Rhea”.The letter uttered in the heavenly realms. the second dimension or horizontal plane is formed by Twelve with the pentad manifest in each concourse as the Five Divine Presences. .E. we have the founding of Isma’ili mystical understanding in Iran. the ideas are manifest as the Seven Cherubim. it could be taken to be the Prophet in allegorical cloaking symbolized in the Ba of Bismallah. in actuality the emenations are falling inward.H. the Ideas in the case of Sabiq. The entire process is a process of act producing a new entity which becomes a subject and object to be acted out. Rectifying Isma’ili Ta’wil on Creation with the Qur’anic Creative Typology: The historical development of the Isma’ili interpretation of God’s creation is understood in correlation with the development of mystical Shi’ism. Jadd. “Nasut” and the “Seventh or Blue Sphere”. With the establishment of the Nizari Isma’ili state in the 12th Century C. Kuni and Qdr are added to form five. and earths as many. represents the number or differentiation of the Intellectual-Principle.

. in conformity with the text.Creation has an unprecedented importance in mystical traditions in Isma’ili Thought for in the Creation is the foundation of most Isma’ili doctrines as has been seen with the development of the concept of Sabiq and Tali (the Pen and Tablet) or more orthodoxically in Isma’ili terms the role of Kuni-Qdr (kaf-nun). pg.My rendering of nafs. rather. Thus. Khalq. To begin we must focus on the understanding of the role of the “Person” and “Mate” in Ayah 4:1. So we can extropolate that it is not definitively the Prophet Adam as the ‘Person’. equivalent to Qdr which is created by ‘inbiath or in Qur’anic Arabic as ‘ja’ala’. as is the case of the creation of Kuni by God by origination. Kuni is a product of God’s creation. in this context. ‘badaa’. it is to be noted that. and ‘abda–’ which is the creation of something by another not part of. 100) We see that the commentators interpret ‘Nafsi’ as a ‘living entity’ or ‘Person’ or ‘Soul’.” (Asad. self (in the sense of a personal identity). it refers to the free acting in . We must also understand the development of the mate out of the same nature of the Person in the sense of emenation. mind.By Khalq is meant making a thing from a thing (as the making of Adam from dust). Muhammad Asad comments regarding these terms: “Out of the many meanings attributable to the term nafs–soul. person. vital principle. humankind. which is the equivalent to ‘tajalli’ of Mirza Husayn-’Ali Nuri and the ‘Khalq’ of the Naqshbandi sufi saint Shah Wali’ullah. Tadbir. and Tajalli. However. the orthodox doctrine of Tawhid is observed and Kuni is not emenated out of the Essence of God. inbiath. to the biological fact that both sexes have originated from ‘one living entity’. spirit. living entity. which appears in the stage of the development of Qdr. The mate (zawjaha) is not specifically is not gender specific.hence. For Isma’ilis one of the fundamentals of Islam is imported in the belief of the absolute transcendence of God apart from creation. Thus the Isma’ili understanding is that of the creation of the ‘mate’.tadbir. This is between God and what passes from one state to another state…. as ‘living entity’ follows the same reasoning [not tied to Adam]. Ibda’a means to bring out a thing from pure non-existence…. ‘one of a pair’ or ‘a mate’) applies to the male as well as to the female component of a pair or couple. life-essence. Abd Muslim–as quoted by Razi– interprets the phrase ‘He created out of it (minha) its mate” as meaning “He created its mate out of its own kind [own genus] (min jinsiha)”…The literal translation of minha as ‘out of it’ clearly alludes. As regards the expression zawjaha (‘its mate’). In Isma’ilism the term for creation is conceptualized into two distinct spheres: ‘inbiath’–the emenation of a thing out of another. Comparing the Isma’ili idea of Creation in two folds of ‘abda and inbiath to Shah Wali’llah we see that Shah Wali’llah writes: “The works of God are many but they do not exceed the following four kinds: Ibda’a. note #1. human being. and assume that it refers here to Adam…. animate being. with reference to human beings. Resolving the Isma’ili mystical understanding with the Qur’anic revelation is not as difficult as most Orthodox scholar of the Ahl as-Sunnah would posit. it signifies a woman’s mate (husband) as well as a man’s mate (wife). Q. with reference to animate beings. there is a concept of emenation. and so forth– most of the classical commentator choose ‘human being’. the term zawj (‘a pair’.

is a creation out of something fashioned. Therefore. rather at the level of the Mate. as Dr.” (Sirhindi. So when we see that Kuni/Qdr is interpreted as being created we see they develop out of the same typology as the ‘Person’ and ‘Mate’ of ayah 4:1. SW. Al-Kirmani points out. Regarding Shah Wali’llah we see he thinks similiarly in: “Being in the sense of Reality and not as a concept is of three stages: Pure Essence. The ‘Soul’ of 6:97 is the Adamic soul the created soul of the lower realms of the created dominion. The Universal Soul and the Rahmani Soul. So we see the Person by creative terminology is associated with creation out of nothing thus the Person is created out of no previously created entity since ‘kalaqa’ is always the creative term for the ‘Person’ it is a creation out of no previously created entity and our realm. The soul. It is however analogous to Qur’anic Arabic terminology. ‘mathal’) we see the high similitude of the Spiritual Adam with the low similitude of the Prophet Adam. we see that ‘Soul’ does not equal ‘Mate’. which is second to Intellect. I would point out that some have argued that the Person of ayahs 4:1 and 39:6 is the ‘Soul’ of ayahs 6:97 and 91:7.Mazhar] of the Real as an Administrator in the world in the same manner as the human soul is the administrator of the body. The Isma’ili philosopher al-Kirmani addresses this matter. Stage of the Great Body[Person]….Tajalli originally means the appearannce [manifestation. So every creative act of God is a ‘kalaqa’ but not every creation (kaliq) is solely by ‘kalaqa’ it may be a initial ‘kalaqa’ plus an qualifying term such as ‘ja’ala. the creation of the ‘Mate’ is an emenation (abda. Stage of Intellect.the universe so that the happenings therein should turn in conformity with the Universal Expediency…. Lamha 33) We see that the Isma’ili use of creative terms is distinct from other Sufi or mystical accounts of creative processes. that: Intellect gives rise to two–ibda’i and inbiathi. time becomes an operative function .” (Sirhindi. Paul Walker accounts. Whereas. The early debate in Isma’ili philosophical discussions was the role of time: was time a part of Divinity or was it a creation. For the Isma’ilis this typology is a manifestation repeated in the Spiritual realm and on the earthly plane thus the ‘Person’ is the Universal Spiritual Adam and is manifest on earth by the Prophet Adam (adam juizi). This soul is the first procession (almubaa’ith al-awwal) and the second existent being. if Adam is created out of ‘dust’ or ‘clay’ then Adam is created out of something. the creative terminology is that associated with a creation or production from pre-existing matter. It is not body nor in body.Shakhs Akbar by its being one of the unities (wahid) is one thing: but when we split it. ja’ala) as in ‘ja’ala’ in 39:6. Ar. Since. SW. two parts become manifest. It is understood by the Isma’ilis that the Qur’anic verse of 42:11 which declares to God belong both high and low similitudes (Ar. cannot be trapped by Nature. Howoever. Sata’at) Having addressed this question we see that Qdr as ‘time’ is another consideration. which contains time. the realm of earth with seven divisions. The universal Soul is a penetrating one and a determiner while the Rahmani Soul is an object of penetration and a substratum. the ‘Person’ inhabits a realm higher than ours. others have argued that the ‘Soul’ in ayah 6:97 is the ‘Mate’ of ayahs 39:6 and 4:1. The question really is whether or not it can be interpreted to be a non-corporeal creation or a corporeal creation as is the tradition in Sunni Islam. At this stage time cannot be a part of the realm. Additionally.

This corresponds to the Isma’ili spiritual analogy of the creation of 1. Evil becomes trapped in a protective realm beneath Divinity. which now corresponds to the Biblical story of Adam and Eve. There is also the primordial man. out of which we get the pairs of angelic ranks. This process is begun by Ohrmazds recitation of the Ahunwar which spells out Ahrimans ultimate defeat. In Mazdakism we see that there are Four faculties: discernment (at-tamyiz).e.39:6] which in God creates out of it the ‘Mate’ (zawjaha) [see 4:1. out of which we get 2. Qdr. Of the similarities to Isma’ilism is the concept of Seven Creations. The Zoroastrian hierarchy consisted of Ahura Mazda “Ormazd”. corresponding to the creation of pairs out of the soul of 6:97. Besides these Zoroastrian parallels there are also the derivatives of Zoroastrianism of Manicheism (ca. like Adam. Amesta Spenta [i. Each of his creations is placed under the protection of one of the seven Amahraspands (Avestan. Ar. known as Gayormad whose protector is Ohrmazd and from which the firsthuman couples develop from his seed. by celebrating a “spiritual yasna” (yasna=recitation [ayah or sura]). order or reason (Logos). 3rd Century C. Ohrmazd forms his creation out of light and in a spiritual state. Vohu Maniu. since the ‘mate’ is created by ‘ja’ala’ at the same level of ‘qadara’ functionality. Of course it should be noted all of these traditions where active in lands where Isma’ilism was active. Zurvanite deity of Zurwan creating the Good and Evil which is similiar to the Isma’ili concept of Sabiq and Shaitan being born out of the same light with one obedient and the other disobedient to the Will of God. The Mixture of Good & Evil and the Seperation of Evil from Good which occurs outside of time. Isma’ili and Zoroastrian Tradition: A short note on the similiarities of Isma’ilism to Zoroastrian inspired religous systems (i. Ohrmazd fashions his creations in a form (getig). And interestingly is the concept of Zoroastrianism that Divinity creates through a recitation or verbal formula.C. It is held by the Zurvanites of Zoroastrian tradition that there in fact was not a dualistic existence between Good and Evil (Ahura Mazda and Angra Maniu). Now the question is does the ‘nafsi’ of ayah 6:97 equate to the same meaning as in 4:1? It is if we consider the overall context of the passage however what is established in the allegorical spheres of the Isma’ilis is that everything on earth correspond to an higher similitude thus the reflection of this process has it’s origin in the spiritual realms. the Good Mind (Nous) and Asha[iii]. Shaitan). Therefore.) which in each there are some parallels to Isma’ilism. Subsequently Ahura Mazda creates Seven archangelic beings (similar to the Four Archangels of the Book of Revelation of John) each given soveriegnty to protect the creation of Ahura Mazda of these are Vohu Maniu. Mazdakism and the Mithraic cultus) is needed to identify some of the primordial analogs to the Isma’ili doctrine. we have mankind produced by ‘anshaa’ out of the ‘mate’ or according to the Isma’ili “adam juizi”. To recount we see that creation is first established by ‘kalaqa’ with the product being ‘Person’ (nafsi) [see 4:1.]) Additonally. 6:97] by ‘ja’ala’.e.E. the High Divinity (God). there are three periods of creation in Zoroastrianism: Material Creation. it is supposed by many commentators that these Sabeans where in fact the Zoroastrians (ca.E.).) and Mazdakism (6th Century ‘qadara’ as is the typology of the Qur’an. 8th Century B. etc. . and with the coexisting evil deity Angra Maniu (Ahriman. Kuni. Asha. It is recorded in the Qur’an that there where a people known as the Sabeans with the Book. Manicheism. but rather that a High Divinity known as Zurwan (the Divinity of Time) created both Ahura Mazda and Angra Maniu.E.

There is additionally the archetype of the Active Intellect or Logos in the Column of Glory which is described as an evocation (Jesus. We see that the faculties are similar to the Isma’ili Pentad and the wazirs similar to the Seven Natiq and the 12 spiritual beings similar to the 12 mothers of the Isma`il symbolic cosmology. Archetypically. In terms of the similarity to Manicheism we can see that the Manichean idea of the creation of the Mother of Life and the First Man primordially and supra-materially can be similar to the relationship of the Sabiq and Tali and that the subsequent creation of the Living Spirit similar to the role of Salman and of ar-Ruh. which is said to have started in the Central Asian steppes somewhere out of the malaise of Shamanism. the page (kodag). In Zoroastrianism material creation is a product of the Good and in Manicheism it is a creation of Evil.C. which is to say that in the Jungian tradition that there is a deep imbedded imprint of primordial existence within the individual conscious and collective conscious of humanity which gives an imprint like map of the original situation of creation– a symbolic expression of a reality. the provost (peskar). Baha’I Publishing Trust . However. There are also Seven wazirs who each are in charge of a given affair: the commander (salar). all these traditions share a single origin. Additionally. which among believers is indicated as Divine. unknown (b’lwn). one could say the process of purification of the light trapped in the dark evil creation of Manicheism is a movement toward a positive idea behind creation. there are 12 spiritual beings (ruhaniyun) that the seven wazirs revolve within. aside from the Manichean idea of creation by demonic forces. memory (al-hafz) and joy (al-sorur). Archetypically. the Splendour) of the Third Messenger (Living Spirit) through which portions of Light ascend and are purified first passing through the moon and the Sun then ultimately ascending to the primordial heavenly existence. understood. Muhammad The Message of the Qur’an Dar al-Andalus: Gibraltar (1984) Baha’ Allah (Mirza Husayn-Ali Nuri) Writings of Baha’u’llah. WORKS CITED: Z R. Farhad The Ismailis: Their History & Doctrine Cambridge University Press: Cambridge (1990) Q BW India Assad. Zaehner The Dawn and Twilight of Zoroastrianism Oxford: 1961 I Daftary. However. it is important to note that there may be some confusion between these similiarities and one may posit that these similarities devise a direct causation and plagiarism in religious authorship. the messenger (bivn) the expert (kardan). and therefore the similarities become understandable as a Divine Archetype which is shared amongst religious traditions. that all these traditions are based on a Archetype which is founded anciently and perhaps firstly in Zoroastrainism or perhaps the original Adamic religion. the statesman (dustur). It is important to note the difference between Zoroastrianism and Manicheism which is a difference of the respect of the creative power of Evil. not as a simple human deficiency of plagiarism.understanding (al-fahm).

Jalbani and edited by D. Ibadut S. 1256). the inward thought itself. speech. This system was based on the idea that the human being had ten parts—five material. so called because they followed the teachings of Shaikh Ahmad Sirhind (d. 1625). and the Super-Arcane (akhfa).B. Fry. a distinction based on Qur’anic terminology and having an long history in Sufi thought. the word.” [i] [ii] Marcia Hermansen in “SHAH WALI ALLAH’S THEORY OF THE SUBTLE SPIRITUAL CENTERS (LATA’IF): A SUFI MODEL OF PERSONHOOD AND SELF-TRANFORMATION” remarks: “Shah Wali Allah in his theory of the lata’if further developed a system existing among the Naqshbandi Sufis. Allamah Nasir al-Din Nasir Hunzai. or “renewer” of the second millenium. who was known as the Mujaddid. while the higher level consisted of the five lata’if. ‘Logos’ refer to something like ‘rational structure’. Spirit (ruh).M. It can also be internal talk which goes on within. Primarily it refers to those outward sounds tht express thought. explanation. ‘Logos’ thus comprehends virtually all that is verbal and rational within us. Logos differs from ‘voice’ or the production of mere sound. sentence. Word. air. a speech that attempts to render rational or intelligible any given phenomenon. sometimes called the ‘five jewels’ (al-jawahir alkhams): the Heart (qalb). earth. Baha’I Publishing Trust Wilmette IP Henri Corbin (Paul Keegan tr) Introduction to Islamic Philosophy International: London (1964) PL Plotinus The Enneads. language. Sufism and the Islamic Tradition: Lamahat and Sata’at of Shah Waliullah / translated by G. comes form an immaterial timeless realm of God’s command (`amr) which precedes physical manifestation.Stephen McKenna (Penguin) 1991 UK Pio Filippani-Ronconi Umm al-Kitab (Napoli: Institut de l’Université Orientale de Napoli. The lower level of the material parts consisted of the Lower Soul (nafs) and the four elements (fire. or human spirit.HV Baha’ Allah (Mirza Husayn-Ali Nuri) Seven Valleys. Mystery (sirr). formulated a systemof five . It is interesting to note that the five-fold structure of the lata’if according to the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya seems to parallel the model of the Islamic version of Greek medical theory (tibb) in which there are five inner and five outer senses. It is the ability to give voice some reasoned thought. The two levels of this Naqshbandi system were said to correspond respectively to the distinction between the World of God’s Creation (`alam al-Khalq) and the World of God’s Command (`alam al-`amr). This dual nature of its meaning gives logos’ extraordinary range. Arcane (khafi). Najmuddin al-Razi (d.[23] The model of the lata’if which appeared early in Sufism clearly developed and was refined over time. or the outward form by which the inward thought is expressed. argument. A third meaning should be added. talk.N. London: Octagon Press 1980 David Roochnik in his deltaThe Tragedy of Reason: Toward a Platonic Conception of Logos” defines ‘logos’ as: 1. and water). For example. the Qur’anic vese (17:85) ‘the Spirit is from the command of my Lord” (al-ruh min amr rabbi) is taken by the sufis to mean that the ruh. It can refer to that which exists outside of the human mind or the voice…this logos is not a human speech or thought but the stucture of the world ‘out there’ that can be apprehended by human beings and then expressed n language (in logos). tr. particularly the Mujaddidiyya branch. a Kubrawiyya Sufi of Iran and author of the Mirsad al-`ibad. discourse. 1966) Ibadut SI Dr. Stern Studies in Early Ismailism 1983 SW Shah Waliullah Sirhindi. rational account– all these function at different times as th proper translation of ‘logos’. story. 2. The one phrase that begins to capture both f these meanings is ‘rational account’. five immaterial.

writes: “Ponder the differences among the worlds (`awalim). the sublimity of the Divine Perpetuity (‘uluw al-samadani) in that God revealed [manifest] Himself unto all in the realities of the selves (fi haqa’iq al-anfus) and the horizons (al-afaq). of the Kingdom of the Angels (Malakut). The realm of Hahut.]. some have said that the world of perpetuity hath neither a begining nor end. Skt. This principle should govern everything.” [iii] Mary Boyce writes regarding ‘asha’: “The vastness of the steppes encouraged the Indo-Iranians to conceive their gods as cosmic. It signifieth the sublimity of the Divine Unicity (uluw al-ahadi) in the realms of Lahut (maqamat Godut). ‘rta’. Lahut. Sirhindi’s model then expanded to represent the lata’if as part of a distinct set of symbols and practices (ser figs. truth’. Thus. they held. HV pg. verily He knows the secret (sirr) and what is more hidden (khafi).” (Shirazi [Lambden tr. which hath a beginning. 1 and 2). seen in the land of Nasut. is the realm of the One. 25. variously translated as ‘order. and they apprehended a universal principle of what ought to be. impregnable Empyrean. but whose end is not revealed. divinities. in Textual Sources for the Study of Zoroastrianism Barnes and Noble: New Jersey (1984) Chapter 4 -The Baha’i & Sufi Symbolic Cosmology of the Pentad of Being By Michael McCarron The Baha’i Cosmos is one delineated by Five realms or worlds (`alam) of God.lata’if and found a Qur’anic basis of the terms sirr and khafi—Qur’an 20:7. the sublimity of the Divine Mercy (‘uluw al-rahmani) in the realms of the dominion (al-mulk) and Malakut. by a great triad of ethical divinities.” (Baha’ Allah [Ghail tr. neither a begining nor an end of which is visible. the sublimity of the Divine Uniqueness (‘uluw al-wahidi) in the grades of jabarut (shu’unat alJabarut). Baha’ Allah. It was guarded. of the Empyrean Heaven (Jabarut).]. yet some refer to them as four: the world of time (zaman). ‘if thou makest utterance aloud. These five are known as Hahut. and of the mortal world (Nasut). pg. the realm of Jabarut is the realm of Power. The realm of Lahut of the Kuni-Qdr or otherwise using Plotinus’ terms the Intellectual Principle and the All-Soul as higher and lower aspects of the same realm. Although there are many differing statements as to these points. expanded the system of Najmuddin al-Razi to a seven-fold one by adding below the five lata’if the concept of a physical from or mold (qalab) and above them a further center called the haqiyya or ananiyya. known to the Iranians as Ahura Mazda. Malakut. form the workings of nature to human as and all human conduct. SV pg. and the realm of Nasut is the realm of physical reality: Mirza Husayn-’Ali Nuri. the world of perpetuity (sarmand). Av. KT. 1336). the world of duration (dahr). Ahura. righteousness. 9. The greatest of them. ‘Lord of Wisdom’…” pg. the realm of Malakut the realm of angels. ‘asha’. and have named the world of eternity as the invisible. to recount them in detail would result in weariness.[25] and this was finallydeveloped by Shah Wali Allah into a three-tiered model with a total of some fifteen components. and Nasut. Other have called these the worlds of the Heavenly Court (Lahut). the Lords. which is the one that hath both a beginning (awwal) and an end (ukhra). 29 ) “Now as regards the fourth letter [of sura 103] which is the letter ‘ayn. not local.”[24] `Ala ad-Daula Simnani (d. Although the divine worlds (`alam ilahi) be never ending. and the world of eternity (azal). whose begining is not to be seen but which is known to have an end. Jabarut. N/a ) . whose woks influenced Sirhindi.

In another sense it is the world of similitudes (‘alam-i-mithal) which existeth between the Dominion on high (jabarut) and this mortal realm (nasut [i. [Still. Baha’ Allah uses the same relative interpretation to the specific aspect of each realm for a subject in his case the interpretation of the meaning of ‘ta’am’ (food). Whilst a thing remaineth hidden and concealed within the power of utterance it is said to be of the Dominion (jabarut) and this is the first stage of its substantiaition (taqyid). It is apparent that the use of cosmological motifs by both Mirza Husayn-’Ali Baha’ Allah and Sayyid ‘Ali-Muhammad Shirazi is to explain deeper matters of religion through allusion and analogy. in the case of Isma’ili the Spirit.It signifieth the Paradise of the Divine Unicity.It signifieth the realm of the Paradise of Endless Duration. the Snow-White Light…. Thus. the Golden Land. The setting of course is addressed more on the individual level rather than on the doctrinal level of Orthodoxy. The exoteric dimension the Qur’an relates to the Human Realm. Malakut and Nasut].].” (Baha’ Allah [Lambden tr. the esoteric level to the secrets of the Realm of Sovereignty. so that it will become clear unto them that this [revelation] is indeed the truth. It is noteworthy that as the earlier passage regarding the Isma’ili conception of the realms and the type of interpretation that corresponds to a different conception of a term in each realm. Mirza Husayn-’Ali Baha’ Allah additionally writes: “[explaining the meaning of ta'am in Qur'anic Arabic] It signifieth the realm of the Throne of Hahut. Baha’ Allah. and Sayyid ‘Ali-Muhammad.e.. Jabarut. al-Bab. it bestoweth upon whatever lieth below. ” (Elias. 108) . the Paradise of the Divine Oneness…. Whenever it becometh manifest it is said to be of the Kingdom (malakut).]. the realm of where the logos is manifest. whatever is in the heavens or on the earth hath its counterpart in that world. pg. This ‘hiero-tafsir’ is likened to as-Simnanis teachings: “According to this scheme the Qur’an has four levels of meaning corresponding to the four realms of existence [for as-Simnani: Lahut. and the point of ascent to the Realm of Divinity. the earthly plane as the level of gaining understanding within the self of God’s divine plan. REL. The power and potency it deriveth from the first stage. N/a ) And further elaborates: “The meaning of the Kingdom (malakut) in its primary sense and degree is the scene of His transcendent glory. TC.] is it not enough [for them to know] that thy Sustainer is witness unto everything?” ‘Ali-Muhammad places the physical plane. ‘Ali-Muhammad makes an allusion to Qur’an 41:53: “In time We shall make them fully understand Our messages [through what they perceive] in the utmost horizons (al-afaq) [of the universe] and within themselves. the Depths of Jabarut. the Throne of Lahut. we have a mystical placement of the realms of God. pg. in Malakut]. N/a ) It is interesting to compare the use of realms by Baha’ Allah and al-Bab with that of the Sufis and Isma’ilis. the limit of the Qur’an to the Realm of Omnipotence.” (Baha’ Allah [Momen tr. KT.In this commentary on the cosmological relationship of both Mirza Husayn-’Ali Nuri. pg.

In the Umm al-Kitab it is recorded that there are Ten realms similiar in name and function to that of Baha’ Allah and al-Bab: “…in tutte le sedi di (in all, the levels are) Ilahit, Malakutit, Gabarutit, Rabubit, Azalit, Lahutit, Nuranit, Ruhanit, Nasutit, Basarit ed Imamit” (Ranconi tr., UK, pg.108) Interestingly in Abbas Effendi `Abdul-Baha’s thought we see the use of Isma’ili terms for hierarchical thinking instead of Hahut: “And similarly, some of the those who dwell among the sanctified signs consider that the Love of the Divinity (uluhiyyat) and the continuance of the attributes of the Heavenly Realm (lahutiyyat) in the temples and places of manifestation of the physical world (nasutiyyat).”(Effendi [Momen tr.], KM, pg. 24) In sufism we see a two fold hierarchy similiar to two processes of Qur’anic creation: Maratib-i Ilahi (Divine Ranks) a. Ahadiyat– Oneness b. Wahdat– Unity c. Wahidiyyat– Unity in Plurality Maratib-i Kawni (Worldly Ranks) a. Ruh– Spirit b. Mithal– Similitudinal c. Jism– Body or corporeality We can see similiarities in all these cosmological hierarchies. Ahadiyat is similiar to Huhat is similiar to Ilahiyat. Isma’ili Ruhaniyat is similiar to the Ruh of Sufism. In All these we can see that there is a similiar structure and function alll maintain the absolute seperateness of God from the other realms which are created. As well this is expressed by ‘Abdu’l-Baha of the Baha’i school in regards to Ahadiyyat and Wahidiyyat when he writes: “…for the worlds of Divinity are infinite and, in each world, the Names and Attributes have a specific effect (hukm). In the World of Primal Oneness (ahadityya), they [objects of knowledge] are identical to the Essence. In the World of Manifested Oneness (wahidiyyat), they are distinguished. These stations of Primal Oneness and pillar of Manifested Oneness and Divinity have always remained and will continue to endure.” (Effendi [Momen tr.], KM, pg. 24 )

The background and development to Sufi cosmology has it’s roots in the Qur`an where it is recorded that there are number of heavens and dominions. In Sufi tradition the greatest of authors on these realms was Ibn ‘Arabi. His students Qunawi and Qaysari have relayed an reliable picture of how Ibn ‘Arabi viewed the universe. Al-Kashani summates the Sufi Penta-Reality (hazair al-ilahi) as: “In the views of the sufis there are five worlds, each of which is a Presence within which Divinity becomes manifest: 1. The Presence of the Essence (Huwiyat); 2. The Presence of the Attributes and names, i.e., the Presence of Divinity (Lahut); 3. The presence of the Acts, i.e., the Presence of Lordship (Jabarut); 4. The Presence of Image-Exemplars and Imagination (malakut or mulk or ‘alam al-mithal); and 5. The Presence of SensePerception and the Visible. (In each case), the lower is an image and locus of manifestation of the higher. The highest is (the Essence or) the World of the Nondelimited Unseen, also called the ‘Unseen of the Unseens.’ The lowest is the World of the Visible, which is the last of the Presences (Nasut).” (Qashani, FN III) These Presences are known as worlds in many Sufi languages. A world (alam) “…(it) signifies that by which things are known, for Divinity is known through it in terms of Divine Names and Attributes.” (Jorjani [Nurbakhsh tr.], see Lexicon, Ta’rifat, 188) Rather than attempt an interpretive explanation I will rely on the technique of Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, Pir of the Ni`matu`llahi Dhar-Riyasitayni Sufi school, and simply present the terms. The following are from his sufi “Lexicon”: The Worlds Defined: ‘Alam al-’Amr: “According to the Sufis, the realm of the command may be ascribed to that realm which is without time or matter, such as the realms of intellect (‘aql) and souls (nafus). In the same way, the realm of creation may be ascribed to that realm which is material, including the heavens, the elements, and the three kingdoms of nature.” (Tahanawi [Nurbakhsh tr.], See Lexicon, Kashshaf Istilihat al-Funun, 1054) ‘Alam al-Khalq: “The realm of the creation is made up of sky, earth, land, sea, air and space. It is finite and transitory and may be seen by created beings. The realm of the command, however, is infinite and everlasting.” (Maibodi [Nurbakshsh tr.], see Lexicon, Kashf al-Asrar, V 165) ‘Alam al-Ghaib: “the realm of the unseen is said to refer to the level of the Oneness. (Tahanawi [Nurbakhsh tr.], see Lexicon, Kashshaf al-Istilihat al-Funun 1054) ‘Alam Lahut: “Sabzavari says the realm of Divinity, refers to the level particular to Divinity which is known as the realm of the everlasting, as well as the level of the Essence of the Unicity.” (Dohkoda [Nurbakhsh tr.], see Lexicon, Farhang-i Dohkhoda)

‘Alam al-Jabarut: “In the Kashf al-Loghat, it is stated that in the terminology of the Sufis, the realm of Divine Power, is said represent the level of Unity (wahdat), which is the Mohammadan reality linked to the level of the Attributes. The level of the Attributes is also termed the realm of Divine Power, where the level of the Names is called the angelic realm (‘alam al-malakut).” (Tahanawi [Nurbakhsh tr.], see Lexicon, Kashshaf Istilihat al-Funun, 1200) “According to Abu Talib Makki, the realm of Divine Power is the world of the Grandeur, by which he maens the realm of the Divine Names and Attributes. Most masters maintain that it refers to the intermediate realm lying between the All-Encompassing and His commands.” (Jorjani [Nurbakhsh tr.], see Lexicon, Ta’rifat, 101) ‘Alam al-Malakut: As a Universal, “In Sufi terminology, the angelic realm represents the realm of spirits, the realm of the Unseen, and the realm of spiritual reality. The level of the Attributes is called the realm of Divine Power (Jabarut), the level of the Names is called the angelic realm.” (Tahanawi [Nurbakhsh tr.], see Lexicon, Kashshaf Istilihat al-Funun, 1339) As a particular, “The gnostics angelic realm is his heart, which contains the realm of Divinity and His wonders, such as the marvels of His mysteries, the subtleties of His lights, the manifestation of His Essence and Attributes, and the forms of His Acts. When his heart is characterised thus, it becomes a mirror of Divinity’s angelic realm. Whatever lies within the angelic realm, he sees in his heart. Either objectively or through contemplative vision. According to the Koran, ‘Thus did we show Abraham the kingdom of the Heavens.’ (6:75) The Prophet said, ‘If demons did not surround people’s hearts, they would look upon the angelic realm of the heavens.’ The gnostic said, ‘The station of the angelic realm is that of certitude.’” (Ruzbihan [Nurbakhsh tr.], see Lexicon, Mashrab al-Arwah, 210) ‘Alam al-Mithal: “The imaginal realm, which is also known as the realm of souls, is higher than the realm of the visible (‘alam al-shahadat) and lower than the realm of spirits. The realm of the visible is the shadow of the imaginal realm which, inturn, is the shadow of the realm of spirits. Everything that exists in this world exist also in the imaginal realm, that which is seen in dreams being a form of the imaginal realm. In the Kashf al-Lughat it states that the absolute imaginal realm is the realm of spirits, while the relative imaginal realm is the realm of imagination (khayal).” (Tahanawi [Nurbakhsh tr.], see Lexicon, Kashshaf Istilahat al-Funun, 1342) ‘Alam al-Mulk: “The realm of sovereignty refers to that which is other than Divinity, meaning those contingent beings that have perished, those that exist, and those that have yet to come” (Nurbakhsh, Sufi Symbolism Vol. III, pg. 106) In Addition, to the ideas of the presences or worlds of God is that of Time which is associatied with each realm. In Islam time plays an important part in it’s prevalence as an awareness of the Final Judgement which is literally an end or running out of time. The following Sufi definitions are applied to the concepts of time used by Baha’ Allah:

” (Sarraj [Nurbakhsh tr.” (Shah Nimatullah [Nurbakhsh tr. . while the pre-eternal is that which has no primacy and the post-eternal that which has no finality. This is the pre-eternal nature of the Essence. which in turn is the ‘eternal duration’. The highest level of all existence is Hahut. 364) Sarmadi: “In Sufi terminology. this represent God’s essential oneness (ahadiyyat). time.]. and post-eternity do not attain the reality of the Oneness. those Acts being dependent on space and time. Tasawwuf wa Adabiyat-i Tasawwuf. IV 37) Dahr: “eternal duration is an eternal time and is an extension of the presence of Divinity (hadhrat al-ilahiyat). preeternity (azal) and post-eternity (abad) are joined. the Essence manifest in the names of the Divine Acts. Ta’rifat] Azal: “Pre-eternity symbolizes the extension of the flow of grace from the Absolute spritual Reality. ‘It is an allusion to the aboandonment of fineite enumeration and the effacement of one’s moments (waqt) in everlastingness. namely those of sovereignty and vision.]. Kitab al-Loma’ fi’t-Tasawwuf. is ordained and actualized in those acts. It is represented by the color white in Babi/Baha’i color symbolism.’ He added. (Tahanawi [Nurbakhsh tr. Pre-eternity. 168) Abad: Post-eternity (abad) and pre-eternalness are both qualities of Divinity. as the measure of movement of the material universe. see Lexicon. When Waseti was asked about post-eternity.]. The difference between pre-eternalness and post-eternalness is that the former has no beginning while the latter has no end.]. ‘Sign and designation are two characteristics that flow in post-eternity. prexistence. 647) It is worth noting that the great Sufi teacher Ruzbihan speaks of time in terms of spiritual enlightenment or for each category of time corresponds to a degree or station on the path of enlightenment.” [Jorjani [Nurbakhsh tr. and forming the basis for the manifestation of bodies. as they have done in pre-eternity. the everlastig is that which has neither primacy (begining) nor finality (end). they are merely definitions and allusions through which Divinity becomes known. and the manifestation of the essence of Oneness (ahadiyat) at the sites of the names of the Divine Acts (asma-i fa”li) . Furthermore. Kashshaf Istilahat alFonum. In the realms below the archetypal realms. Risalah Shah Nimatullah. see Lexicon. he replied.]. being the inward aspect of time through which eternal time.” (Bertels [Nurbakhsh tr.Zaman: “Time is related to the presence of nearness (hadhrat al-’indiyat). in the sense that it is not dependent on space and time. Baha’i Symbolic Cosmos Overview: In brief the symbolic cosmos of the Baha’i can be recounted as: 1. which lies beyond the imaginal realm (‘alam al-mithal) and within the angelic realm (‘alam al-malakut) and the relm of Divine Power (‘alam al-jabarut). see Lexicon.

There is a direct correlation between what is in the realm of Malakut to that which is in the realm of Nasut. Cosmogenesis in Sufi and Baha’i Thought: In the following a brief overview of cosmogensis in the writings of the Sufis and Baha’is is given.2. vegetative and human. This is the realm of spirits and angelic beings. This is the level of Divinity’s Names and Attributes (asma wa’l-sifat) which is in the realm of Jabarut. al-Jami’s thesis provided with additional commentary by his student al-Lari. In which there are the cities of Jabalqa and Jabalsa. 3. not to be confused with their actual Manifestation in the realm of nature or sense (‘alam al-nasut. such that unity (al-wahdah) became multiplicity (kathrah). 4. Only a prophet can witness in the station (maqam) of Prophetic Oneness. Haft Vadi (Seven Valleys). Represanted by the color green in Babi/Baha’i color symbolism. It is a realm of Creation. It is a realm of Creation (‘alam al-khalq). 5. Pre-amble al-Durah al-Fikhirah: “Praise be to Divinity. The level of the symbolic representations (‘alam al-mithal) in the realm of Malakut. It is represented by the color red in Babi/Baha’i color symbolism. which is divided into seven climbs and four kingdoms-animal. This is the Station of the Prophetic Plurality. The level of sense perception the natural world. Sufi. mineral. we can see this in both the pre-amble of the Naqshbandi Sufi. It is represented by the color yellow in Babi/Baha’i color symbolism. This is the level of singularity (wahidiyyat). This is the station of the Prophetic Oneness. Below I have provided them both in full. In this realm all contingencies and quiddities take on concrete existence. al-Jami’s. May Divinity’s blessing and peace be upon him through whom this multiplicity reverted to its . as you see and behold. a statement of Divinity’s bringing the Cosmos to being is made and peace and blessings are extolled on the Prophet of Islam. so that the manifestations (majali) of His essence and of His attributes became individuated (ta’ayyana) in His inner knowledge. It is represented by the color white in Babi/Baha’i color symbolism It is a realm of the Command (‘alam al-’Amr). Who became manifest (tajalla) through His essence (bi-dhatihi) to His essence (li-dhatihi). It is important to point out that in Shuhudi sufism this is the realm of witnessing (shahuda) of Divinity’s beauty. The level of Divinity’s attributes being manifest in the locus of manifestation (mahall). work: al-Durrah al-Fikhirah (The Precious Pearl) and in Baha’u'llah’s work. Muhammad. the effects (athar) of these manifestations being then reflected upon His outward aspect (zahir) from within (al-batin). This is the realm of Nasut. To begin the works of the Sufis usually begin with an introduction or pre-amble where Praise to God is made. ‘alam shuhud wa’l-huss). The level of Divinity’s attributes being manifest within His Divinityhead (uluhiyyat) in the realm of Lahut. It is a realm of Creation.

Who hath made being to come forth (izhara) from nothingness (`adam) graven upon the tablet of man (lawh al-insan) he secrets of pre-existence (asrar al-qadim) taught him from the mysteries of divine utterance that which he knew not. Who became manifest through His essence to His essence’: that is. pg. This is knowledge of particulars (‘ilm tafsili) and by it the author has alluded to the second individuation. Pre-amble of the Haft Vadi: Praise be to Divinity. Sharh.” (al-Lari. in the station of the Manifestation of his Lord (maqam tajalli).” (Jami. that verily there is no Divinity save Him (la illah illa huwa). Sharh. until none shall contemplate anything whatsoever but that he shall see Divinity therein And I praise and glorify the first sea (awwal bahr) which hath branched (tasha’ba) from the ocean of the Divine Essence and the first morn (awwal sabah) which hath glowed from the horizon of oneness (alahadiyyat) and the first sun (awwal shams) which hath risen (ishraqat) in the Heaven of Eternity (sama’ al-azaliyyat) . made him a Luminous Book unto those who believed (imana) and surrendered (istaslama) themselves. who have inherited of this virtue a large portion. 115) “’Became individuated in His inner knowledge’: that is. and to speak forth from the apex of eternity (qutb al-baqa’) with a wondrous voice in the Excellent Temple: to the end that every man may testify.original unity. pg. DF. 115) Bahai. Who knew His essence through His essence rather than through a knowledge superadded to His essence. and upon his family and companions. by himself. 33) “’Praise be to Divinity. DF.” (al-Lari. DF. This is knowledge in a universal and general manner (‘ala wajh kulli jumli) and by it the author has alluded to the first individuation (al-ta’ayyun al-awwal). caused him to witness the creation (khalq) of all things in this black and ruinous age. and that every man may thereby win his way to the summit of realities (haqa’iq). became individuated after that as fixed essences (ta’ayyana ta’ayyunan thubutiyan) in His inner knowledge. in himself. pg.

‘alam al-hiss wa-al-shuhud (the world of sense and visibility). akin to the idea of atomic particles which exist at a lower level of energy but are unfolded out of a higher energy state where atoms do not exist. Now the important point to remember at this stage is that all this is a mental existence (wujud al-dhihni or wujud al-’aql) and the Inner knowledge (particulars) is a mental entity (amr i’tabar).[ actually atoms are alot like quiddities] This analogy withstanding. although that thing has qualitative differentiation. Say the necessary existent shines a pure light on the ring. that is to say I think on my self qualities. the emerald the quiddities who depending on thier receptive qualities give the expression of the light in similative existence (wujud almithali fiy ‘alam al-mithal) until they find concrete existence in the expression of a physical . We understand this ring to be the Logos or Word (kalimat) it is known as the Most-Exalted Pen (al-Qalam al-A’la). kathrat (multiplicity). Divinity is manifest through His Essence to His essence. HV pg. 1-2. and Muhammad amongst the concourse of the near ones (mala’ al-muqarrabin). It is that which is the Essence of all Essences. Usually the mirror analogy is employed to explain this phenomenon. For the Unitarian Sufis existence is a single thing. or the Essence of God (Divinity). His Essential Knowledge is His cognition. We can see the ring as the Word of Divinity or General Existence. This inner knowledge is knowledge of Particulars (‘ilm tafsili) and is the second individuation (ta’ayyun althani) which exist in the intermediary level (al-barzakh) in something that has the mystical monicer of the World of Ideas and Forms (‘alam al-ma’ani wa-al-suwar). There is also His inner Knowledge which are His individuation of His attributes. the first individuation (ta’ayyun al-awwal). that of speech and is the Word of Divinity (kalimat God) and existence is based on this general existence.and the first fire (awwal nar) which was lit from the lamp of Pre-existence in the lantern of singleness (al-wahidiyyat: He who was Ahmad in the kingdom of exalted ones (malakut al-`alimin). and Mahmud in the realm of the sincere ones (jabarut al-khalisin). wajib al-wujud). this is the Unity (wahdah) of Divinity. The Multiplicity is the manifestation of the Inner or Mental Existence or Mental Entity in the outer world. SV para 1-2) I think it is worthwhile at this early juncture to draw an overview of the Wahdat al-Wujud cosmological perspective of al-Jami. this is Universal Knowledge. This word is the existence of all existents. However. the very space/time continuum we live within. this first individuation is known mystically as al-Qalam al-A’la and is equated with the first faculty. (Baha’ Allah. depending on the color of the emerald set in the ring will determine the quality of the light reflected once it finds expression on a physical plane intersecting the reflected light making their reflection of the pure light now visible on the physical plane. the emerald set on the ring band reflects this ray of light. This helps to distinguish the Unity from the Multiplicity (kathrat). mystically known as variously: Nasut. I would like to employ a different analogy: There is a ring on the hand of the Creator (necessary existent. The Reality of this Existence is a substratum of the mental entity (amr i’tabar). the supreme “thing” of their cosmological perspective is termed Ahadiyyat alDhati. although their evolution is from that one string of existence. thus giving me ideas of the qualities of my self.

universal mind (‘aql kulli rabba fiy maqasud) whose soveriegnty enlighteneth all created things (rutbah tarubiyat imkan)” (Baha’ Allah. 3. pg.]. Here Reason signifieth the divine.plane. gazing . angels of the throne. Regarding the Mental Existence of the Divine Mind it is interesting to look at a passage from the Four Valleys (Chahar Vadi) in the Second Valley it is noted: “If the wayfarers (salik) goal be the dwelling of the Praiseworthy One (Mahmud) this is the station (maqam) of primal reason (raja’ bi-`aql) which is known as the Prophet and the Most Great Pillar (rukn a’zim). “Sun” (shams) from the Heaven of Eternity (sama’ al-Azaliyyat) by the act of effulging or overflowing (ishraqat). that is to say the intellectual entity (amr i’tibari) we can understand the use of the terms of Ahmad. that is to say Essential. 52) Abbas Effendi Abdu’l-Baha addresses this issue in his commentary: “…these realities that are sometimes called quiddities. 4. 2. 22) Understanding that the Prophet represents the Universal Mind. Now understanding this let us turn our attention to the symbolic allegory of Baha’u'llah in the Haft Vadi which portrays a cosmological perspective similiar to this. SV pg. potentialities and archetypes have always had an intellectual existence and are incorporated within the mirror of the Essence of the Absolute in a state of absolute simplicity and unity and not in a state of plurality.”[emphasis added] (Effendi [Momen tr. Thus I would argue that based on these relations that the “Sea” is Universal Knowledge. KM. The “Sun” is the first aspect which begets all other aspects which is to say the Command or Word of Divinity. finally the red light on the plane is the world of sense and visibility (‘alam al-hiss wa shahada). instead of ahadiyyat (see section on Divinity’s Oneness below). “Fire” from the Lamp of Pre-existence (Musabah al-Qadimiyyat) in the Lantern of Singleness (mishkuwat al-wahidiyyat) by the act of fueling (awqudat). And the “Fire” is another way of expressing the first aspect or Command at the level of wahidiyyat. The “Morn” are the Names and Attributes which is to say the aspects (i’tabar) which exist in the level of Wahdah. “Morn” (sabah) from the Horizon of Oneness (afaq al-Ahadiyyat) by the act of glowing or appearing (lah). Muhammad and Mahmud in the Seven Valleys as three differing perspectives from angelic subjects. Hence we see in the Pre-amble four things derived: 1. depending on your interpretation. The Haft Vadi establishes that their is a cosmological source and derivative and an act which derives these derivations. “Sea” (bahr) from the Ocean of the Divine Essence (Huwit) by the act of branching (tusha’ba).

the concealed Self (nafs al-batun).”(Baha’ Allah. and whosoever mounteth into the heaven of knowledge (sama’ al-`irfan).upon the effulgence of the undifferentiated ray of light the prophet exists in in his unmanifest state. 3-4) Interestingly the use of the term “qutb al-ma’i” has a deeper meaning than translation allows. SV para #5. heavenly abode in the Center of Realities [Pole of Transcendent Immanence] (al-watan al-asaliy alilahi fiy qutb al-ma’i). the Focal Center of Eternality (wijhat al-azali). made (ja’il) the Hidden Mount (tur al-ghaybi) revolve about the Firmament of Manifestation (falak al-zuhur). Understanding that the “qutb” is the pole or axis around which all things revolve we see that the center of realities is the Knowledge of Divinity or the first emenation (sadir al-awwal) which is the universal prophetic station or general existence as al-Jami would say. O friend. This is the station of unicity. that the wind of certitude (saba al-yaqin) hath blown over the garden of his being (riyad sirrah). and that his being present (hudur) with things is His knowledge of them. Another interesting passage from the Pre-amble of the Haft Vadi is one in regards to the manifestation of existence in terms of it’s source: “By My life. and thee. excited the Letters of Manifestation (ahruf al-zuhur) in the incomporable point of the realm of Unknowing (bi-al-nuqtat al-`ama’i al-firdani). and make thy soul (ruah) to shake with the flashing [faithful] light (biwaraqa al-anwar). beside the orient lights of the Essence (‘inda tajalli anwar al-dhat) in the mirrors (miraya) of names and attributes (alasma’ wa-al-sifat)– yearning would seize the reins of patience (sabr) and reserve (istabar) from out thy hand. may it rejoice Me. because of His essential absoluteness (itlaqihi al-dhatihi) possesses essential coextension (al-ma’iyah al-dhatiyah) with every existent thing.” (Jami. alJami speaking on the concept of “Ma’i” writes: “They (Unitarian Sufis) also say that the Truth. wert thou to taste (dhawq) of these fruits (thahrat) . 52) “Ma’i” is literally “withness’. pg. DF. The plurality of prophets is an expression of this un-manifest state in the realm of sense and visibility. No Divinity is . All-Enduring Ornament (tarz al-abha’i al-sarmadi) to the end that all may testify ‘He is the True One. Wherefore. from the green garden of these blossoms which grow in the lands of knowledge. from the Sheba of the All-Merciful. so that not an atom’s weight escapes His knowledge on earth or in the heavens. and move over the water as thou runnest on the land. caused the lordly Point (nuqtat al-rububi) to circle round the Most-Splendid. Likewise we can see a similiar symbolic representation in other works of Mirza Husayn-`Ali Baha’ Allah: Lawh-i Kulli at-Ta’am: “Praise be to Divinity Who hath caused Oceans of Light (bahr an-nur) to surge in the divine Fiery water. and lift thee to a plane (maqam) wherein thou wouldst soar in the air even as thou walkest upon the earth. and whose heart (qalb) is refreshed by this. pg. and draw thee from the earthly homeland (watan) to the first.

c. the sign of effulgence (tajalli) which was from the effulgence of the lights (tajalliyat anwar) of the morn of unknowing and the appearance of the dawn (tazaharat ishraq) of the sun of holiness and glory (shams qudsi). no. 3. QW Dennis MacEoin “Baha Allah’s Qasida Warqiah” Baha’i Studies Bulletin 2: DF Nur al-Din Rahman al-Jami. Khaniqah Nimatullahi Publications (1993) KT Stephen Lambden “Lawh-I Kull al-Ta’am (“Tablet of all Food. KT. He. 1985). 1995 (a study of one of the most influential religious figures inmedieval Iran).hurqalya. New York.” (Baha’ Allah [Mac Eoin tr.northill. He cannot be likened to any single thing and He.’-ALLAH/L-ta%60am. Javad Nurbakhsh’s Farhang at-Tassawuf (Sufi Symbolism: the Nurbakhsh Encyclopedia of Sufi Terminology).co. and clothed and garbed them in eternal robes and exalted shirts and everlasting imperishable garments. is the incomporable. pp. Baha’I Publishing Trust KM Abdu’l Baha (Moojan Momen Translator) “I Was a Hidden Treasure” inBulletin of Baha’i Studies. the One. pg. Divinity. which arose and was manifested from the sun of existence (shams wujud) and the moon of the desired One (qamara maqsud) and the Worshipped Point (Nuqtah mu`ibad) conferred and bestowed (mutashraq) everlasting and eternal life through the drops of the water of divine existence (wujud `aliy) and sprinklings of the undying pure and limpid waters upon the realities of contingent beings (haqa`iq mumiknat wujud) and the essence of created things (dhat muwujudat) and all the atoms of existent entities and rememberances. 20-21 ) WORKS CITED: SV Wilmette Baha’u’llah (Mirza Husayn-Ali Nuri) Seven Valleys.]. Albany: State University of New York Press.there save Him.blueyonder. is the Majestic. 4-67 see http://www. the All-Compelling’[Qur'an Surah al-Ikhlas].demon. the Eternal Who neither begetteth nor is begotten.htm Lexicon Dr. Bahai Studies Bulletin 3:1 (June 1984) pp. By Nicholas Heer “Durrah al-Fakhirah (The Precious Pearl)” SUNY Press Albany 1979 . Trans.” (Baha’ Allah [Lambden Tr. verily. 4-64 available on-line athttp://www. 4 ( QW. 1854 CE) of Baha’ Allah.pwp.].htm TC Jamal Elias “The Throne Carrier of God: The Life and Thought of ‘Ala’ addawla as-Simnani”. 28 ) Baha’ Allah’s comments on a poem al-Qasida al-Warqa’i: “In other words.

emptiness. [Muhammad 'Ali Amir-Moezzi. time fro Him is a single thing from eternity (azal) to everlastingness (abad) and equally related to Him. "Cosmology and Cosmogeny" ] The Earth is divided into Seven earths. seem nevertheless located outside it’s physical boundaries. on the other hand. located at the center of the seven climes of the earth. incorporated into the cyclical scheme are particular cycles of humanity within the cycle of the descendants of Adam. His sight falls on the letter after another. The Essence of the Creator is seperated from creation by veils (hijab). being populated. emptiness. 2. which is in turn sustained by the moist earth. and yet another his sight has not yet reached. Mikail. and pavillions (soradeq) impregnated with divine attributes. the luminaries (an-najm). Also. 4.000 years symbolically divided between: 1. In each heaven their are elements: Paradise in the seventh heaven. see Qur`an 52:4). creation of jinn & men. sudratu’l muntaha. EIr.Chapter 5 – Gnostic Shi’a Cosmology by Michael McCarron Generally. the silver tents (qiam min feyza) where the spirits of past imams dwell. curtains (satr). al-bayt al-ma’mur (the house frequented– a temple located at the center of the highest heaven. al. and the four archangels: Gabriel. another is present before his eyes. The First created things where the Archetypes: al-qalam. the extreme east & west. 2) Mystic Whale. is like . He created the creation ex nihilo. Creation took place in six aeons. which stands below the throne in it’s image. the ocean is borne by the air. His knowledge encompasses its parts in detail as well as what occurs in its parts one thing after anther. though described as located at the hidden centre. with a colour symbolism associated with each heaven as in Suhrawardi and Simnani’s thought. Their are Seven Heavens. A being exalted above time. and al-kursi (see Qur`an 68:1). al-lawh al-mahfuz. In terms of Angelology there is the Highest Angel. ar-Ruh. such that one letter has passed by him. Shi’ite cosmology does not differ greatly from Sunni cosmology. in the most frequently mentioned sequence the seventh earth rests on the cock– the trumpeter of the Day of Judgement– which stands on a rock poised on the back of a whale that swims in the ocean of darkness. the descendants of Adam are born. and Azrail. it is also the middle member in a tower of fifteen sanctuaries located in the centers of the super imposed seven heavens and seven earths– the highest of which is the house frequented. Saraphiel. the age of the world is said to be 50. The elements which are contained within it include: 1) Ka’ba. the ‘kingdom of earth’ (malakut al-arz) and the cities Jabalqa & Jabalsa which. It is as if a temporal being were to be likened to someone reading a book. 3) Zaman (Ages of the World). Seperating the creation from the Creator is the realm of the Barzakh: which “contains the fountain of life (‘ayn al-hayat) in the center. as well. and 5.arsh. And in more general terms a Shi’ite philosopher writes on Time: “as for Him who is exalted above time (al-muta’ali an al-zaman). 3.

the universal saviour at the end of times. hurqulya is situated in the eight clime (al-iqlim at-tamin) of which it forms the highest part. he describes it in one place as ‘another mulk’. The earthly paradise (jonnat al- . obedience to the Imams. 5) The Covenant (mithaq) contains four solemn oaths: a. Also of importance is that of the Shaykhi Shi’ite school of thought which held that reality was divided between three parts: a. shadows of future spiritual inhabitants of the heavens & earth. d. pg. al-dunya or al-mulk (earthly existence). 3) The transition from primary to secondary marks the transition of light into subtle human form (spiritual human existence). b. the first world of shadows (alam al-azzeela al-awwal) or the first world of particles (alam al-dharr al-awwal).somenoe who has the whole book present before him and knows its arrangement. In temporal terms it stands between the highest point of earthly time (a’la al-zaman) and the lowest level of eternity (asfal al-dahr). the outermost celestial spheres. b. c. The First’s knowledge of temporal being (al-zamaniyat) is of this sort. 100. hurqulya is a barzak between the realms of mulk (al-donya) and almalakut. 2) The stage of the ‘shadow of light’ is supposed to have occured not in the primordial world but in the second world. al-barzakh (hurqulya– the inter world) and c. the promise to worship God. 6) Humanity is divided between the saved and the lost which correspond to the armies of light (a’immat an-nur) and the armies of darkness (a’immat az-zalam). Hurqulya is pointed out to be “According to al-Ahsa’i. al-malakut or al-akhira (the transcendent world). qtd by al-Jami in Gloss 36. It’s lowest extension touches the ‘prime mover’. love and fidelity (walaya) to Muhammad. DF) In Shi’ite Islam is also a ‘Light Cosmology’ which is the descent (tanazallut) of Light into creation it is described through several stages: 1) In the immaterial place of the ‘Umm al-Kitab’ God sent forth the Light of Muhammad and the second light from the Muhammadan Light the light of ‘Ali. and the shadows of the initiates (mu’minun). b.” (Al-Tusi.] 4) Classes of Pure Beings are: a. with the cities of Jabalqa and Jabalsa forming the lower. Images appearing in physical mirrors belong to this level of hurqulya. shadows of the prophets particularly the ulo’l-azim (prophets of constancy). It is interesting to note the use of akhira to designate the transcendent world as the reflections on qiyama become important in the Baha’i movement and may be understood more in term of a spiritual attainment of divine vision than the supreme day of judgement as in orthodox Islam where akhira designates the ‘hereafter’. obedience to the Mahdi. ‘in rank not in direction’. [The immaculate ones are described as having performed a circumambulation of the throne (al-arsh) making tashbih and testifying to Gods glory.

God. "Cosmology and Cosmogeny" ] Also. especially ‘Ali-Muhammad-i Substansive Motion (haraka jawhariya)– transforms the fixed ‘grades’ of al-Suhrawardi into a systematically ambiguous (tashkik) idea of existence. teachings bare more resemblance to the universal theory of resurrection of Mulla Sadra. the Shaykhi school taught that there where three periods of history: 1) al-donya. the time of the return of Muhammad and the Imams 3) al-Qiyama. It should also be pointed out that Shaykh Ahsa’i had an elaborate theory regarding resurrection which is not carried through by the Bahai movement. Mulla Sadra’s primary view does not differ in terms of the contents of the cosmos. this movement of the universe (which is irreversible and unidirectional) ends in the ‘Perfect Man’ (al-insan al-kamil) who becomes a member of the Divine Realm and becomes unified with the Attributes of Divinity (Sifat God) . He was schooled in the ‘Irfani tradition of the Ishraqiyyun. that is essences are not real they are conceptual. with systematic ambiguity. He wrote of all existence being reality. This is directly opposed to the Ishraqiyyun philosophers Suhrawardi and Sayyid Qutb al-Din. junbish) and existence beside the Real Reality. per. the time of concealment 2) al-raja’. ‘grades’ of being are no longer fixed and static but ceaselessly move and achieve higher forms of existence in time. The only real reality is Existence of which Essence is an accident. The Doctrine of Mulla Sadra states that even though his philosophy sounds monistic it is not existentially so and thus he teaches an doctrine of Tawhid al-Wujud (Existential Unity). ‘existence is applicable to all evolutionary stages (bi-al-tashkik). harakat. 2. EIr. and no other concept has this character: only existence is that principle which ‘by virtue of being simple and unitary (basit) creates differences: 3. “1. in terms of humanities knowledge of the Creator. the time of the universal resurrection. but rather of the quality or substance of the cosmos. rather the Bahai. Of Existence he writes that it is in perpetual motion (ar. is ambiguous due to this motion. His Doctrine of Perpetual Motion: Movement does not occur only in the qualities of things but in their very substance.” [MacEoin. The Symbolic Cosmology of Mulla Sadra: Mulla Sadra was an influential `irfani philosopher of the 17th century in Shiraz.donya) is located in the western part of hurqulya and the earthly hell to the east. His teacher was Mir Damad a famous ‘Irfani philosopher of Iran and considered a member of the Dhahabi Sufi Tariqat.

3. has no essence at all. He bases his ideas on the doctrine of ‘Ibn Arabi and synthesizing this with Muslim Peripatetic tradition. It is absolute (itlaq). Due to the principle that existence is reality while ‘things’ are concepts. When Divinity as Necessary Existence. this is the self-unfolding being insofar as it gives rise to contingent beings and manifest ‘things’. pg. animal… in the Case of Divinity. each higher stage of existence includes all the lower ones and transcends them. there is nothing but an absolute and pure existence which in His mind generates a multiplicity of attributes. this is expressed by the formula ‘a simple reality is everything’. which is pure existence. hence. This occurs in the Mind of Divinity. Divinity being pure existence. 5. MS. a change occurs in the first effulgence– it becomes infected with ‘entitization’. 4. Contingency (mumkinat): Contingency is the particular determination of the self. concrete. man.4. A second reflection or effulgence upon Himself generates a multiplicity of attributes. Cosmogenesis in Sadra’s Thought: This brings us to how Sadra imagined creations genesis. the less it has of essence. it is called the ‘the Breath of the Merciful’ (nafas alrahman). unfolding being necessitates the attachment to it of a ‘thing’– in the mind. pg. His process runs like this: 1. That is that as existence is one there is actually different modes within existence which generates the idea of Unity in Diversity or Diversity in Unity (wahda wa’l-kathrat): . culminating in the Perfect Man (al-insan al-kamil). It is the self-unfolding existence (alwujud al-munbasit). Rahman. since. This is the first effect of Divinity. 11) So what is ‘ambiguity’. like Intelligence. These lesser realms are actually according to Sadra modes of Existence (anha al-wujud). which by casting a shadow upon the temporal world. MS. essences are exactly the opposite and arise only in the mind by the impact of reality upon it.” [Note: essences ('ayan) should not be confused with the Essence of Divinity (Dhat God)] (Rahman. It is that existence moves continuously and successively through higher and higher forms of evolutionary ‘modes’ of being. 86-89) It is clearly differentiated substantially between Divinity and that which is emanated. Pure Matter– which generates specific substances. determinate. generates the primary substance. When the selfunfolding being enters the realm of contingency and through it’s self-determination (ta’ayyuna) being with ‘thingness’ arise.e. the first effulgence from His being takes place. the second is inward. 2. and concepts are confined to mental existence. Difference between the two reflections: the first reflection– of existence– had reflected or irradiated the outward of Divinity. reflects upon Himself. With this Second Effulgence. while existence is real. individual and luminous.(cf. i. the more something has or achieves of existence. the simpler and more inclusive it is. the higher reality is. The attributes are also the Ideal Entities of the created world. Sadra calls this new substance highest Intelligible Substance.

Shuhudi Unitarianism. Mental Existence. 232) From this usage we can derive a field of context to Mulla Sadra’s philosophy. conversely. natural. In terms of Unity-in-Diversity Baha’ Allah writes: “These Lights have proceeded from but one Source. it cannot be separated from beings because it is their essential requirement. a real unity exists while. This is the doctrine of unity-in-diversity and diversity-in-unity (wahda fi’l-kathra wa’l-kathra fi’l wahda). multiplicity exists in an eminent. of variation and oneness. MS. having regard to this state and station. Abdu’l-Baha speaks of it in this manner when using the doctrine: “And this Spirit hath both restitution and return. the realms of Unity and Diversity are realms assignated to a station below that of the Divine Unity. Please God. Everything is either growing or declining. SAQ. And the likeness of this . pg. in the realm of absolute unity. Bada’. He bestoweth His grace. Thou canst discern neither difference nor distinction among them. Christ announced that John the Baptist was Elias. of limitation and detachment…” (Mirza Husayn-`Ali. ‘stirred up’. 160) as seen in the opening quote from Baha’ Allah. with an eye purged from all conflicting elements. one Divinity in it… he declares erroneous the views of those mystics. Kitab-i Iqan. and advance into the ocean of acceptance.“…in the realm of diversity and multiplicity. Unity-in-Diversity (wahda fi’l-kathrat) is not an isolated usage of Mulla Sadra’s view and philosophy. as it is the essential requirement of fire to burn. So. or going from existence into non-existence… This state of motion is said to be essential– that is. Tashkik. by the movement of the Pen. inasmuch as it consists of the Light of God and the unconditioned grace. He condemns those materialist atheists who recognize only a disjointed multiplicity in nature and do not recognize the presence of one Existence-principle. BW. and these fruits are the fruits of one Tree. that we avoid the land of denial. ideal. Thus the Unity is not that which we speak of asserting to God’s existence. In the Baha’i prayer (salat/namaz) it is recorded that the Pen of God is that which moves (haraka) creation (al-mumiknat) and that creation is ambiguous (mutashkik). all things are either coming from nonexistence into being. who even in the realm of contingent multiplicity only see unity and deny the existence of diversity” (Rahman. the worlds of unity and diversity.e. so that we may perceive. All this is by the grace of God! On whom He will. Tanazallut. pg. i. Harakat. all things are in motion. ‘Abdu’l-Baha likewise writes that: “Know that nothing which exists remains in a state of repose– that is to say. or simple manner. It is the concept of the unity of existence in terms of contingent existence. who was to come before Christ.” (‘Abdu’l-Baha. 132) Sadra’s Unity and Diversity in Sufi and Baha’i Terms: To begin I would like to draw attention to the correlation of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s usage of the principle of movement (harakat) and ambiguity (tashkik). pg.

of the Absolute) in various forms in accordance with the requirements of its own aspects and relations… Finally. yet with one sole origin. All the differences that appear are those of outward form and colour. creaturely forms of theophany. while the numbers correspond to the multiplicity of the Names arising from the self-manifestation of that reality (i. pg. without which neither the properties of the Names nor the states of the permanent archetypes can become manifest (in the external world in a concrete way). but in respect to their light. ST. Thus the one brings into existence the numbers. and the numbers: “The numbers are produced in a serial form by the (repetition of) ‘one’. So all these numbers are contained in the unitary concept in the most perfect .” ( Izutsu. 79) Abbas Effendi ‘Abdu’l-Baha uses the same imagery to convey the same meaning where he writes: “And similarly consider the Unitary Concept (ahad) how all the numbers appear from it and it is in no number since it is the point of origin of all numbers. Consider the world of created beings. PT. 79) All the numbers are each a particular form in which ‘one’ manifests itself according to its peculiar determination and the rank it occupies in the numerical series. It is this idea of diversity of an underlying unity which gives us the concept of the unity.e. underlying an unity. This process of differentiation is likened in Mulla Sadra’s writings to differing modes of existence. pg. Hence. BWF. that is. 51) It is interesting that he speaks of diversity as type. (see below for further elucidation) Albeit this is a short glimpse of Sadra’s Philosophy in the Baha’i movement it demonstrates one point: that the Baha’i movemenet continues the Shi’a ‘irfani tradition in both philosophy and sufism. : “The background to Sadra and Baha’i thought is owned in great part to Ibn `Arabi.station is as that of lamps kindled: for these in respect to their glasses and oil-holders. each lower differentiation is the differentia of the higher genus. diversity of the unity. 371) And again he writes: “The Creator of all is One God. One…” (‘Abdu’l-Baha. He writes on the Unity and Diversity that it is similar to the mathematical reciprocity of ‘one as source of all numbers. This diversity of type is apparent throughout the whole of nature. the twelfth century mystic.” (‘Abdu’l-Baha. pg. how varied and diverse they are in species. and the Perfect Man is the expression of the complete thought of the Creator– the Word of God. the ‘things counted’ correspond to the concrete things of this world. That is. ST. pg.” (Ibn `Arabi. And the first to be specified and to appear from it is the number ‘one’ (wahid) and from ‘one’ all other numbers come into being. This is noted by Bali Efendi as: “You must notice that ‘one’ corresponds symbolically to the one inner essence (‘ayn) which is the reality itself of the Absolute. (the only essential difference between them being that) a ‘number’ subsists as a number by virtue of something which is counted. are different. while the numbers divide the ‘one’. From this same God all creation sprang into existence… Man is the sum of Creation.

79) Interestingly. and the other is ‘individual’ (al-ta’ayyun juz’iy) by which ‘man’ becomes Abraham… Since ‘man’ remains preserved both in father and child on the level of the specific unity. again the concept of Genus is integrated into this picture the concept is developed through further elucidation: “…that what is in reality the one unique Essence multiplies itself into many essences through the multiplicity of self-determinations. And yet. ST. that is. an independent reality).e.e. in the capacity of son’. (And the relation between ‘one’ and the numbers is to be conceived as follows) Every degree in the numerical series (i. The Names have two aspects: toward God they are one.” (al-Qashani.” (Abbas Effendi ‘Abdu’l-Baha. on the other hand. Izutsu) : .e. the fact of ‘gathering’ (of ones is common to all of them (i. pg. 80-81: “Ibn ‘Arabi writes of the role of the Divine Names in the One/Many paradigm. in addition. pg.” (pg. These self-determination our of two kinds: one is ‘universal’ (al-ta’ayyun al-kulliy) by which the Reality in the state of Unity becomes ‘man’. So there must be both the ‘number’ and the ‘thing counted’. also ‘one’ which causes all this and is caused by it. every number) is in itself one reality. as genus. specific and individual. which comprises all species). there certainly is a respect in which it must be regarded as ‘one’s put together’. KM. (thus each number is a self-subsistent unity and) not a mere conglomeration. This he does because there is no difference at all between the two in essence. 11) Each number is an independent reality: “The ‘thing counted’ partakes of both non-existence and existence.But there must be. In conclusion we say: ‘(The Absolute) is One in the form of Many. The difference arises only in regard to their ‘being father’ and ‘being son’ respectively.simplicity and oneness. Thus the Absolute is one in itself. for one and the same thing can be non-existent of the level of the senses while being existent on the level of the intellect. the essence of each number cannot be the same as the essences of other numbers.e.. toward multiplicity-diversity they are other than the Absolute. These self-determinations. quoted in Izutsu. the phenomenal world) is the Unity of multiplicity (ahadiyah alkathrah). (Ibn `Arabi) avoid affirming the difference of essence [substance/matter] in father and child and affirms only the difference of ‘capacity’ (hukm) saying ‘or more exactly. pg. for example. specific and individual. Thus two is one reality (though it is a gathering of one and one)… Since each number is in this way one (i. And the Unity of God in the sense of being completely ‘independent’ of us and even of the Names is the Unity of essence (ahadiyah al-’ayn). ST. These self-determinations do not contradict the real Unity. as it were. ST.. Both aspects are called by the same name: ‘One’.” (Izutsu. and yet. Momen trans. but it is multiple because of it’s various self-determinations. And so it is the Hidden Treasure of all numbers and from it do they appear. Both of them and their children are one with respect to their ‘being man’. The same is true of Adam and Eve.”The Unity of God on the level of the Divine Names which require (the existence of) us (i. in so far as they are ‘man’. 102.

in the sense that all things. that Zayd is inferior to ‘Amr in knowledge does not in anyway prevent the same He-ness of the Absolute being the very essence of Zayd and ‘Amr. every higher being possesses the capacity of comprehending all that is lower than itself. “All things perish save the [Divine] Face(21)”. in His court. that differences between the statements of the saints is on account of differences in the effulgences of the Names of the Absolute and variations in their places of manifestation. Higher Names contain lower names and every Name contains in a certain sense the other Names in the graded hierarchy of Names: “When you assign a higher rank to a Divine Name. pg.” And yet it can be seen that things exist and have existed. have been and will continue to be absolute nothingness (faná-yi mahd). nothing else has the capacity for existence and so no mention of the existence of anything else should be made. Moreover humanity is honoured by the cloak of ‘We have created mankind the best of forms’ and has put on the spiritual garment of’ and praised be to God the best of Creators. one of the Names of the Absolute is King over the rest of the Names.. more conspicuous in ‘Amr than in Zayd. 28-29) Mirza Husayn-Ali Nuri. it would become absolute nothingness and complete non-existence. The same is true of the things of the world. For in the being of every one of the mirrors of the Attributes of the Absolute and in the reality of each locus of the manifestation of Absolute Self-Sufficiency. It has been said “God was and there was nothing else beside Him. existence. writes in the same way in direct regards to the doctrine of Tawhid al-Wajid (Existential Oneness) and Wahdat al-Shuhud in Kitab-I-Ittihad: Two stations can be observed in the Divine Unity: Existential Oneness (tawhíd-i wujúdí). Momen trans.The Divine Names are the cause (sabab `illah) of multiplicity. ST. and this is that [station] wherein all things are negated with a “no” and only the Absolute Reality is affirmed. every particle of the world is (virtually) the whole of the world. and is eternal and unceasing. nor does it prevent the He-ness being more perfect. O lover of the All-Glorious Beauty. This means the existence of nothing is acknowledged except the Absolute Reality. So the observed fact. And He is now as He always has been. KM. when compared with Its manifestation and remembrance.” (‘Abdu’l-Baha. nothing has. which is the Absolute Reality. . In the Existential Oneness. The meaning of these words is that. that is every single particle is capable of receiving into itself all the realities of all single particles of the world. which means that compared with Its existence. pg.” (Isutzu. “all things” perish and are nothing and the [Divine] “Face(22)”.’ The True One (praised be He) has manifested every created thing through one of His Names. Baha’ Allah. Thus some of the mystic knowers have said that the angels are the manifestations of the Praiseworthy One and the Holy One while devils are the manifestation He who leads astray and He who is proud. And if this Divine Subtlety and this Heavenly Refinement be separated for one instant from a thing. However. 107) Abbas Effendi `Abdu’l-Baha writes similarly: “Know thou. or has ever had. Similarly everything else is each one under the revelation of one of the Absolutes’ Names. you are thereby calling it (implicitly) by all the Names (that belong to the Names of lower ranks). for instance.

If it is a composite then it does not subsist in things. particularity. 38-39) al-Razi adds: “numerous realities such as genus. non-existence.” ( then each unit is only a part of that thing. absolute and unconditioned by anything (la bi-shart shay’). is that [station] where the signs of the Primal Divine Unity..] Manifestational Oneness (tawhíd-i shuhúdí). pg. pg. 38) Fanari counters: “The meaning of the realization (tahaqquq) of a universal reality (al-haqiqah al-kulliyah) in its singulars (afrad) is its realization at one time qualified by this individuation (al-ta’ayyun) and at another by that individuation.northill. Thus in the divine book it is revealed: “We shall show them Our signs on the horizons and in themselves. Therefore. Theologians held they exist in the mind: The question of external existence (wujud khariji) is argued through the following lines: a) Tusi argues that a concrete thing cannot subsist in things. Immeasurably exalted is It from being dispersed in any thing or from being constrained by any limits or from being associated with any other thing in creation. Momen tr. This does not necessitate it’s being many things…” (al-Fanari quoted in Jami. DF 13. it is in neither units or the whole it does not subsist in them. The Natural Universal is defined as the nature (al-tabi’ah) or quiddity (al-mahiyyah) as it is in itself (min huwiyyat hiya hiya). predication between them would be impossible because of the impossibility of predication between multiple [external] existents (mawjudat muta’addidah). existence. And all things are held in the grasp of the power of Him [God] Who is the sovereign Protector of all the worlds. (cf. The question of unity and diversity is one which involves several issues. LAWH BASÍT ALHAQÍQA. We bear witness that It is one in Its Essence and one in Its attributes.[The second station in Divine Unity.”(23) [108] In this station the effulgences of the signs of the uncompounded reality can be observed and are apparent in all things. Jami. the manifestations of Eternity. difference and species are all realized in one singular (fard). if it did it would be many things. whether universality. The meaning of the philosopher was not that the Absolute Reality is dispersed among the innumerable existent things.demon. Philosophers held that natural universals existed externally. It is and continues to be sanctified from and exalted above all else except Itself. pg. If they existed [externally]. however there are some philosophical questions which need addressing. If it is the whole in the sense of being divided among it’s units (ahad). INDIVIDUATION AND DIVERSITY: So far we have seen the over arching idea behind diversity and unity. Of interest in regards to individuation is that of the Natural Universal (altabi’ah kulli). 39) al-Fanari answers: . DF 14. DF 15.htm (1/17/05)] UNITY. [Baha' Allah.http://www. and the effulgences of the light of Singleness can be observed in all things.

” (Jami. If the Source of Existents is the Absolute then the external thesis is proven since the Absolute is simple not compound. DF 24. DF 16. He holds this view since for him essences have no reality only existence is real. then there can be no doubt that this form multiplies (yatakaththar) in accordance with the multiplicity of the mirrors. 39) The Source of Existents (Mabda’ al-Mawjudat) is the reality of existence. this multiplicity [of impressions] does not impair the unity of the [original] form. 42) Mirza Husayn-Ali Nuri. that is internal (dhihni) not external. God appears in each and every individual essence (‘ayn) in accordance with that essence. whereas quiddities (almahiyat) are analogous to the many mirrors with their differing predispositions (istii’dadat). without any multiplicity (takaththur) or change (taghayyur) occurring in His holy essence. Moreover. Furthermore. 40-41) These concepts are explained through an analogy by Jami: “If a single particular form (surah wahidah juz’iyah) is impressed (intaba’at) in many mirrors which differ with respect to being large or small. pg. Thus we can understand the subtlety involved with the concept of Unity in Diversity. should it conceive of it in a certain individuation. Sadra holds that Universals are mental existents. 27) What is clearly established is that the One is not affected by the Multiplicity. but would be able to conceive of as being transformed into or as appearing in numerous forms (al-suwar al-kathirah) and infinite manifestations (al-mazahir al-ghayr al-muyaniyah)…” (Jami. The same is true for genus.’ is thus analogous to the one form. If the Source is an individuation then the universal must be extrinsic (kharij) Sufis attest: “to the affirmation of the existence of an absolute essence (dhat mutlaqah) encompassing the intellectual and concrete planes and expanding over mental and external existents. Baha’ Allah. long or short.” (Fanari quoted by Jami. and that its impressions differ in accordance with the differences in the mirrors.“it is possible for numerous related realities (haqa’iq mutanasibah) to exist through a single existence which includes them as such. The True One (al-Wahid al-Haqq). flat convex or concave. would be unable to imagine as being common (mushtarak) to many in the same way that universals are common to either particulars. as you have learned from the foregoing analogy. Pg. ‘and God’s is the loftiest likeness. which is identical with it’s essence and not superadded to it either in the mind or externally. As well. His appearing in accordance with the characteristics (ahkam) of any one of these individual essences does not prevent Him from appearing also in accordance with the characteristics of the others. And all concrete existents are differentia of multiple . pg. and so forth. DF 20. pg. and which the intellect. Thus it is not impossible to affirm of it an individuation which is consistent with (yujami’) any of them. uses this same analogy in the Seven Valleys (cf. nor does the appearance [of the form] in any one of these mirrors preclude it from appearing in the others. It has no individuation which prevents it form appearing in other individuations whether divine or created. Universality is analogous to the Form and the particular to the Quiddity. just as fatherhood subsists in the sum total of parts of the father as a whole.

2. Genus is identical with or parallel to the potentiality of matter. On genus he holds: 1. And some do gaze upon the effulgence (ishraq) of the light. differentia equal concrete existence: 5. 3. This can be seen in the Seven Valleys of Mirza Husayn-Ali Nuri: “In sum the differences (ikhtilaf) in objects (mahall) have been made plain. Thus when the wayfarer (salik) gazeth (nazar) only upon the place of appearance (al-mahall)-that is. hence. because of it’s imperfection and indeterminacy requires and is perfected by the differentia. SV. cannot form part of actual existence. 20-21. Entitization is related to Sadra’s doctrine which relates the differentia of a higher mode becomes the genus of the station of the differential of the lower mode. : 4. The conflict between the Shuhudi Unitarians and Wujudi Unitarians to be considered at a later period is in regards to the question of the Quiddity (mahiyya) being created (‘ibda) or emanated (fayd/sudur). when he seeth only the many colored globes-he beholdeth yellow and red and white. Multiplicity enters at the level of Divine Knowledge through the differing relations (attributes of God). while the differentia is identical with the actualized form. Wujudis say emanated. Speculatively we may suggest that Abbas Effendi calls existence one due to the realization that diversity is particularization this particularization is the process of entitization (ta’ayyuna) or forming essences (‘ayn) and these have no real existence in Sadra’s system. Wujudi Unitarianism or the materialist doctrine of witnessing only multiplicity. For now it is necessary to examine the role of the quiddity in forming multiplicity. Differentia is the only reality. So all reality is one once entitization is annihilated in the Unity of God. Shuhudis say they are originated. pg. . For a universal to have reality it must be something other than a mental concept such as essence. Genus. and some have drunk of the wine of oneness (wahidat) and these see nothing but the sun itself. since genus. though not in an anthropomorphic sense (hulul). HV pg. species and specific nature is a classification of objects by the mind. what is really real or actual is Oneness.” (Baha’ Allah. 21) Hence. This brings us to a discussion of Emanation in general in Sufi thought. and a darksome dust from limited souls (anfus) hath hid the world (‘alam). that is the Shuhudi Unitarianism vis. And later it shall be seen that Existence is the proof for the Existence of God. DIVERSITY IN UNITY: The next consideration is in regards to the One as simple and without multiplicity so how is it the Unity has diversity/multiplicity. hence it is that conflict hath prevailed among the creatures. as a pure potentiality in the nature of matter.particulars. the Divine quiddities.

the first of these is the first emanation through which all other existents take their existence. however the first intellect as mentioned by the rationalist philosophers” He further states. with respect to His essential unity (wahdatihi al-dhatiyah) there can emanate from Him only a single one of these attributes and relations. the philosophers say that the first emanation is an concrete existent. in our opinion. in reality. Thus. 67) Philosophers believe multiplicity has being through multiple aspects. Those having contingency except for its being in its reality contingent and created. These existential entities are of two ranks. as well as to all other existents. DF 78. which is One. This existence is common both to the Most Exalted Pen.For the Sufis it is impossible for multiplicity to emanate from what is One. each arising out of the previous. pg. which is the first existent according to the philosophers and is also called the first intellect. However. Qunawi writes: “And that single entity which emanates first (al-wahid al-sadir awwalan) is. 71) Succinctly stated the First Principle is One. Multiplicity is a product of Knowledge not of the Essence of God. as has been said. general existence (al-wujud al-’amm) which is poured forth upon the individual essences of contingents (a’yan al-mumkinat). the Exalted Pen. quoted by Jami. i. with respect to the First Principle’s being really one. and multiplicity (al-ta’addud). for. such as the spheres or Divine Ideas. which are the Divine Attributes. individuation (al-taayyun). Thus in relation to the . there attaches to Him all the other relations and. that is. but there is no multiplicity in His essence (dhat). through the mediacy of the aspects arise concrete existential entities in a single station or plane. Sufis believe multiplicity has existence though the First Principle. they affirm of Him attributes (sifat) and relations (nisab) which differ from Him in the mind (‘aqlan) but not in the external world (kharijan). “They differed from them. not different from the inner True Existence (al-Wujud al-Haqq al-batin). This first emanation which all other aspects take their existence is an mental existent. God is the source of all existents. The quiddities take existence through the aspects (I’tibarat). multiplicity derives from aspects. upon their fixed essences (al-a’yan al-thabitah laha). however. which is unconnected (al-mujarrad) with individual essences (al-a’yan) and manifestations (al-mazahir) except through relations and aspects (nisab wa-I’tabarat) such as manifestation (al-zuhur). through the mediacy of this Then. This is shared with the Philosophers. they believe it possible for multiplicity to emanate from Him with respect to the multiplicity to emanate from with respect to the multiplicity of His attributes and relations (i’tibarat). in view of His being the origin (mabda’) of the world. which occur to it through attachment (al-iqtiran) and through reception of the quality of being common (qabul hukm al-ishtirak).” (Jami. DF 89. through the mediacy of the multiplicity of these relations there attaches to Him a real existential multiplicity (kathrah wujudiyah haqiqiyah).” (Qunawi. This single emanation is not. And those contingent in it’s essence whose existence is dependent on an existential entity other than the Absolute.e. “This general existence is.

Likewise in the spiritual realm of intelligence and idealism there must be a center of illumination. 254) Thus. It can be demonstrated that the Baha’i teachings reflect this through textual citation: THE SUN OF REALITY: In our solar system. neither would the existence of animal or human being be possible. When we observe the organisms of the material kingdoms we find that their growth and training are dependent upon the heat and light of the sun. Natural Universals have an internal existence. this center of effulgences is the prophet or Manifestation of God. There is no multiplicity in the Absolute: 2. This Sun of Reality. Without the bounty of the sun therefore the world would be in darkness. the considerations are verified in Baha’i thought and thus it can be said on the issue of Unity and Diversity the Baha’i teachings are in accord with this doctrine. Through the will of God this central luminary is the one source of the existence and development of all phenomenal things. illumining the realm of thought and morals. sending forth in effulgent radiance the message of the glad-tidings of the kingdom of God. the sun is the intermediary of His will and plan.Baha’i teachings there are three considerations to look at to verify the similarity to Sufism in this respect: : 1. It gives forth the light of religion and bestows the life of the spirit. ever-shining Sun. the Word of God. the center of illumination is the sun itself. the moral and ethical world and the world of spiritual regeneration are dependent for their progressive being upon that heavenly center of illumination. Without this quickening impulse there would be no growth of tree or vegetation. imbues humanity with archetypal virtues and confers eternal splendors. BWF. in fact no forms of created life would be manifest upon the earth. (Effendi. conferring the bounties of the divine world upon man. . These lights are the cause of the education of souls and the source of the enlightenment of hearts. pg. proved through God as source of existence. and unless it rose upon the horizon of human existence the kingdom of man would become dark and extinguished. the First Emanation is the source of multiplicity: 3. But if we reflect deeply we will perceive that the great bestower and giver of life is God. likewise the spiritual or prophetic Sun confers illumination upon the human world of thought and intelligence. In brief. Just as the phenomenal sun shines upon the material world producing life and growth. Its lights are the lights of reality which have shone upon humanity. All illumination of our planetary system proceeds or emanates from the solar center. and that center is the everlasting.

By Nicholas Heer “Durrah al-Fakhirah (The Precious Pearl)” SUNY Press Albany 1979 MS Fazlur Rahman “The Philosophy of Mulla Sadra (Sadr al-Din al-Shirazi)” SUNY Press Albany 1975 Eir “Encyclopedia Iranica”.demon.Unity and Diversity presents some difficult questions as can be seen there is no multiplicity in the Self of God.htm HV Wilmette Baha’u’llah (Mirza Husayn-Ali Nuri) “Seven Valleys”. UC Press. multiplicity in the Divine Station is the multiplicity of Divine Ideas in the Knowledge of God. Chapter 6 – The Question of Witnessing. 4-64 available on-line at http://www. Toshiko Izutsu. “Paris Talks” Baha’I Publishing Trust. WORKS CITED: ST “Sufism and Taoism: A Comparative Study of Key Philosophical Concepts”. Berkeley 1983 DF Nur al-Din Rahman al-Jami. .uk/relstud/kkm. pp. vol.northill. 3.ibiblio. 4 (Dec. Quiddity and Knowledge in Mulla Sadra and Sufism. where both are derived from Sufi sources.ibiblio. Trans. Columbia University Press SAQ Abdu’l-Baha (Abbas Effendi) “Some Answered Questions” Baha’I Publishing Trust: Wilmette 1990 BWF Abdu’l Baha (Abbas Effendi).co. http://www. GLN Baha’u’llah (Mirza Husayn-Ali Nuri) “Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah”. Baha’I Publishing Trust KA Baha’u’llah (Mirza Husayn-Ali Nuri) “Kitab-IAqdas”. This is expressed in concrete form in the world of sense and vision (‘alam al-huss wa’lshuhud). The use of ‘Abdu’l-Baha of the terms Unity and Diversity is common to that of Mulla Sadra’s. Baha’u’llah (Mirza Husayn-Ali Nuri) “Baha’I World Faith” Bahai Publishing 1943 PT 1972 Abdu’l Baha (Abbas Effendi). Wilmette KM Abdu’l Baha (Moojan Momen Translator) “I Was a Hidden Treasure” inBulletin of Baha’i Studies. 1985).

It was a symposium on the contents of the Sufi path. EI Vol. 43) Mulla Sadra conceived of the Quiddity of having two meanings [3] The Quiddity which is a universal and exists in the mind. pg. each of them has essential predicates (nu`uta dhatiyyat) and contains intelligible concepts (ma`ayn `aqliyyat) called essences (al-mahiyyat).” (Arnaldez. 1261) Whereas Mulla Sadra shows a different understanding of the quiddity or essence giving it a subsidiary role to Absolute Existence: ‹Existences (al-wujudat) are genuine [determinate] realities (haqa`iq) and essences (mahiyyat) are the eternal “thisnesses” (al-a’yan al-thabitat) which have never inhaled the perfume of real existence at all. huwa huwa” (What thing is it?). “Mahiyya”) Another definition is given with a slight difference “The mahiyya is that through which a thing is what it is (ma bihi al-shay’ huwa huwa)…. These contents are known as the quiddity (latin: quidditas. This reality. not only that which exists in beings themselves (fi al-a’yan). In the following I shall be examining the question of the quiddity in determing the relationship of Sadrian and Sufi doctrines in regards to existential unity. like quiddity and essence is beyond the universal and the particular. pg. the existent and the non-existent.In this sense. arabic: mahiyya or ‘ayn) The question of what it is of the Path is a major question for the quiddity is the distinguishing characteristic between the unitarian[1] schools of sufism.” (M. VI. while the question ayu shay’ huwa (what kind of thing is it?) relates to the species (naw’). that is the witness of Divinity” Al-Qur`an al-Karim 3:18 INTRODUCTION: Rumi wrote sometime ago a collection of his lectures on Sufi sama sessions (majlis) it was entitled “Fihi ma fihi”. 1261. while existing in thought (fi al-dhihni). These existences are merely the rays and reflected lights of the True Light and of the Eternal Existence– Exalted Be His Sublimity!–. And the Essence of “mahi ash-shay. Mahiyya is defined as “… it is that which replies to the question: what is this? It expresses the genus (jins).” [2](EI Vol. but that which does not exist thus. This question will be encountered again with regard to the inniya. The concrete existing individual. literally meaning “in it. We shall see that it is the quiddity which lends itself as definer to the definitive seperation amongst the different schools. wahdat alwujud and wahdat al-shuhud. My starting point is to look at the theory of God’s Knowledge in popular Islam. this being the perfection of its existence in essence (kamal wujud al-dhati): it is composed of the genus and of the specific difference’. literally the what is it of Sufism. what is in it”. however. VI. meaning that it can express not only the genus but also the individual essence.By Michael McCarron “There is no Divinity but He. … Ibn Sina writes with regard to the ‘hadd’: ‘it is that which indicates the quiddity of a thing. the contents. pg. We will see how the answer to five . the term is synonymous with essence (dhat) and with reality (haqiqa).

Sadrian thought was developed out of Ibn Sina’s thought. Are Objects of Knowledge needed for God to have Knowledge or caused by God’s Essential Knowledge? 4. pg. 55-56) Question 2: “Are Forms external to God?” To begin it is necessary to present an overview of the different perspectives regarding God’s Knowledge in the traditional aspects of Islam. Is there substantial union (hulul) with Creator and created? Knowledge (‘Ilm): Question 1: “Is Existence precedent over Essence?” In Sadrian thought it is established that Existence is precedent over Essence as shall be demonstrated in the latter sections of this paper. Suffice it to say for now that Suhrawardi. Overview of Different Schools: The Major conflict between the different schools of thought on God’s Knowledge is that in regards to Forms of Knowledge as necessity for God to have Knowledge. These five questions are: 1. Is Existence precedent over Essence? 2. It has become evident that existence has an accidental meaning for that whose essence is other than existence (anniyya).” (MA. The main question is whether God has knowledge of things by His existence or by some outside external Existent to His existence. In this way we have: Theologians: .e. Quiddities (mahiyya) are simultaneous or originated as posteriors or effects? 5. And it has also become evident that there is a cause for that which has an accidental idea (i. Ibn Sina writes regarding Mahiyyat and Wujud: “That whose essence (mahiyya) is other than existence is not the Necessary Existent. Are Forms external to God? 3. held that essence was precedent over existence. This idea of existence precedent before essence was elemental in Mulla Sadras philosophical revolution. for that which has a contingent being).questions delineates the conception of Unity-of-Being and the Sadrian view of the quiddity. along with Qutb ad-Din. The cause of such a being is either the essence (dhat) of that entity in whic it subsists or something else.

Sadra: Knowledge. the establishment (taqarrur) in the essence of the Self-Subsistent One. cannot be denied to God.” (DF. it follows that He apprehends multiplicity because of His apprehension of His essence by means of His essence. nor a relation but a being (wujud). To the extent that it becomes free from an admixture of non-being. MS. pg. 2. which are the objects of His apprehension (ma`qulat). 213) Sadra also holds that the Forms are internal as the existence of knower and known is one (cf. (It is) not every being but that which is an actual being. (It is) not even every actual being. being a perfection. 64). not potential. Sufi: . but a pure being. who is prior to them with respect to causality (al-`illiyah) and existence. his apprehension of multiplicity is a concomitant (lazim) effected by Him (ma`lul lahu). 4. 44) Philosophers: A. regardless of whether these concomitants are established (mutaqarrirah) in the cause itself or distinct (mubayinah)from it. C. and the multiplicity of concomitants (al-lawazim) and effects (al-ma`lulat) is not inconsistent with the unity of their cause (`illah) of which they are the concomitants. His essence is not constituted by them (mutaqawwimah) by them or by anything else. Ibn Sina: 1. “Knowledge is neither a privation like abstraction from matter.” (Sadra quoted by Rahman. unmixed with non-being. M. pg. “Since the first (al-Awwal) apprehends (`aqala) His essence by means of His essence and because His essence is the cause (`illah) of multiplicity (al-kathrah).” (DF. Thus. are also His effects (ma`lulat) and His concomitants ranked in the order of effects and therefore posterior to (muta`akhkhirah `an) the reality of His essence as an effect is posterior to its causes. pg. It is one. they found no difficulty with respect to the connection (ta`alluq) of His knowledge with things outside His essence by means of forms (suwar) corresponding to those things and super-added to Him. does not necessitate His being multiple. 3. Deduction: Therefore. it’s intensity as knowledge increases. and the forms of multiplicity. pg.“Since theologian affirmed attributes super added to His essence. 45) [Emphasis and Numbering Added] B. For Sadra Knowledge is Existence.

In the normal sense. Question 3: “Are Objects of Knowledge needed for God to have Knowledge or caused by God’s Essential Knowledge?” The Argument of God’s Simple Knowledge The question at hand in this section is that regarding does God need objects of knowledge to Know. the sense we learn by. nor ‘emanate’ from Him. Peripatetic: Identify God’s knowledge with Platonic Forms as separate from God’s being. in it’s ‘simplicity’ ensures knowledge of all things. the contents. pg. Sadra rejects this saying essences have no reality at all unless they are invested with real. neither does His knowledge of the quiddities (mahiyat) of things or their ipseities (huwiyat). There is no doubt that His knowledge of His essence and these considerations (al-i’tabarat) derived one from another. in that case. How could they. Forms are identified by Sadra with the transcendental Intelligence’s of the Peripatetics. for their quiddities and ipseities are nothing but His transcendent essence (al-dhat al-muta`aliyah) clothed in these aforementioned considerations whose intellections are. Sadra does not accept the traditional view that God’s knowledge. does not require a form superadded to Him. He upholds the doctrine of simplicity– a simple being is all things. The is of it. The next question regards the objects of Knowledge. In Summation Succinctly the issue at hand in the preceding was the question of whether God’s Knowledge is dependent on an external Form for Him to Know. The Theologians say there is an external Form the Sufis and Sadra say that there is no necessity of an External Form. We as subjects learn from the quiddities presented here in.“… His attributes. they are not ’causes’ by Him. Is God a self-subsisting and knowing thing without need of outside objects for knowledge. God’s Knowledge is internal to Him. All non-existents are. be God’s eternal and primordial knowledge? Sadra holds that the Forms are not separate from God’s existence. The definitions provided of varying perspectives. 49-50) Sadra Criticism of Different Schools: Mulla Sadra refutes certain views of the schools of thought on the topic: Mu`tazila: Essences subsist before their actual existence and in this state of subsistence (thubut) are known by God. it is necessary to have objects of knowledge for knowledge. but are with Him. ‘something’ that can be talked about as referent of thought and hence ‘subsist’. For instance this paper presents information it is the object of our knowing. Sadra rejects this saying these forms are posterior to God’s existence and His knowledge of them. The question is is God a self-knowing knower? Thus what . external existence and that the non-existent cannot ‘subsist’ by itself whether real or mental. nevertheless.” (DF.

Mulla Sadra agrees with Ibn Sina on the simplicity argument of God’s Knowledge although formulating a new perspective of his own. however is ordered knowledge in accordance with the order of causes and effects. His knowledge would change from moment to moment. concepts and ideas as mutually exclusive units that it is impossible to reduce them to any simple unity. The only principle of unity-in-diversity is the principle of existence as it is the only veritable reality. Abu’l Barakat. 151) This naturally brings in the question of the Forms and God’s Existence: If the forms are a part of His being. This issue is addressed by Ibn Sina and Mulla Sadra. God is not absolutely necessary. and since there is a succession in temporal things. This may seem an highly esoteric distinction. power. Mulla Sadra’s Argument on Simplicity: Mulla Sadra posits that existence and knowledge are co-extensive and to view existence as the original reality and knowledge as an ‘abstracted notion’. we get in mystical discourse talk of things with an beginning and no end or things with no beginning and no end. and will are derivative realities or notions.the distinguishing characteristic involves is that of the quiddities of God. then one must talk of so many essences. is not produced by things. azaliyyat). Once knowledge is disengaged from existence and is viewed per se. things are created by His knowledge. on the contrary. This brings us back to Ibn Sina’s view on Knowledge: “Gods knowledge cannot derive from things since this would make Him dependent upon something other than Himself. For if the attributes are truly co-eternal with His Essence then there is connection and composition. But if they are originated. and Suhrawardi. pg. God’s knowledge. God knows priorities and posteriorities-even though He does not possess sense perception…” (Rahman. the pre-cognitive and the post-cognitive. therefore. Hence. in more common terms the distinction is in regards to God’s Essential Existence being above composition and connection to created things. Therefore. For it is existence alone which in its allcomprehensiveness can contain everything in a simple manner. these forms are necessary consequences or properties (lawazim) of His being. . or our they part of His eternal existence. MS. Are these attributes originated although co-extensive with God. These philosophers hold that God’s knowledge is directly related to things and not through prior cognitive forms. This instantaneous knowledge. They likewise cannot exist in other beings. If they are extrinsic accidents. If these forms exist independently they are Platonic Forms. Sadra’s arguments follow. Sadra’s defense of Ibn Sina against al-Tusi. However. Thanks to this order. Thus it would seem we have two modes of God’s existence. while attributes like knowledge. the attributes or aspects. God is composite and the simplicity is nullified. although they be a part of His existence they cannot be a part of His eternality (no beginning and no end.

pg. Therefore. these forms being related to different contingents have to be different. Lastly. thus everything is up to luck. that the first form will have a dual role in giving a form to God’s being and helping cause the external effect and in it’s former role.and that His knowledge is derived from things. knowledge needs a real relation to the object power does not. pg. 153) Sadra’s Reply: Qualities or attributes change or affect a subject only when the former are extrinsic to the latter. God. otherwise God’s providence (‘inaya) will be as nothing. b) Suhrawardi says this renders God into a subject characterized by so many inherent qualities and accidents that a substratum must be affected by these. It is sufficient for God’s knowledge and power to have a form through which He both knows what will be and intends what He will do but the existential counterpart of this form is not necessary. some have tried to suggest that there is a differentiation between objects of power and knowledge: power need not have an object where knowledge does need an object. They say this direct knowledge is of universals and particulars. the argument is not a valid analogy. It is additionally important to understand that the cognitive forms are posterior in existence to God’s Absolute Unity. Al-Tusi and Suhrawardi. Sadra criticizes this view on the grounds that at the level of pure unity (ahadiyya) according to them God is denied all knowledge-since they do not recognize prior cognitive forms. and whereas. say that God’s knowledge of things are the things themselves. 51-52): a) Absolute Unity (ahadiyya) . who hold the same belief. will be an agent of God’s perfection. Sadra’s Reply: relations in both cases are real. Finally one last point in this connection is that of the defining of the three stages of God’s knowledge by Sadra. Whether or not the first form contemplated by God precedes or follows or is simultaneous with the first external effect. will not be complete cause since He needs a form to cause the first external effect. which is God’s being. since necessary consequences (lawazim) of God’s knowledge do not constitute His perfection’s which is rather the principle and source of these forms.a) Abu’l Barakat writes that if the function of prior cognitive forms is to save God from being directly related to contingents then the same difficulty arises with regard to God’s power and knowledge. (cf. there is nothing wrong in the dual nature of the first form. although latent within It as undifferentiated existence. at least. not when they necessarily arise from it as in the case of the necessary attributes of a simple essence. in His own being. Rahman. pg. thus denying order or purpose in creation. and finally. Rahman. MS. M. prior knowledge. (cf. By this they are denying God Providence (‘inaya)[4]. He states that God’s knowledge exists on three levels as well there are three levels of existence (cf. And the first form necessarily precedes the first external effect. 152) In Summation: Summarily the arguments can be thought in the following way. MS.

however. pg. pg. Dhahabiyya. . M. Nurbakhshiyya. Quiddity is posterior or an effect (ma’lul) from the Necessary Existent (wajib al-wujud) Mulla Sadra affirms the third view. 53. although differing from at-Tusi on the terminology where Tusi says “posterior”. Later it was the orthodox ‘uluma that revived this doctrine among the Sufis of Persia (i. The main issue at hand between the two interpretations of fana wa’l-baqa’ is in regards to the station of passing away: is it within the existence of God or within a lesser mode? This is answered in wujudism by an affirmation and by shuhudism by an negation-our passing away and subsisting is on this side of the absolute reality paradigm. pg. Quiddity is dual with existence 2. The defining seperation between the unity-ofbeing in terms of a substantial unity and that of a conceptual unity is attributed to the role of the quiddity. which Mulla Sadra affirms. Kubrawiyya. Quiddity is prior to existence 3. Question 4. 24). M. is not equal to that of substantial unity which is known as “hulul”. pg. The Wujudi sufis take their precedence from Ibn ‘Arabi. The Wujudi stream was an interpretation of the Great Shaykhs writings. The Quiddity is united with this existence (cf. the locus of manifestiation. M.e. Sadra holds that what is originated is in actuality existence not essence/quiddity. Sadra says “effect” (cf.e. although it is clearly not a doctrine he personally supported. ‘jamiyah’ in the station of Jabarut) The Shuhudi Perspective on Union (ittihad) with God Shuhudi Sufism has it’s origin in the early Sufi Mansur al-Hallaj the martyr of Baghdad. usually known as wahidiya. In it’s first manifestation it was severely persecuted by the ‘uluma of the times. M. 46) The Necessary Existent is prior to all existents (cf. Mulla Sadra a student of mystics and Ibn ‘Arabi combined intuitive knowledge of Sufism with the dialectical wisdom of the Philosophers. There are four perspectives on the quiddity: 1. Additionally. The qualification of existential unity in this way is what has become to be known as “wahdat ash-shuhud– a created entity may realize it’s absorption in the One and the One’s encompassment by the One. every form exists by itself and which he calls the stage of distinction. union is a matter of conception not actual.b) Godhead (uluhiya) where distinct attributes appear in the stage of unity. Quiddities (mahiyya) are simultaneous or originated as posteriors or effects? Mulla Sadra on Existential Monism: The question of existential unity. 28-29)). (i. where God’s Attributes appear. the created entity is not substantially united wiht the One. They are latent in the level of Absolute Unity or absolute unseen (ghaib al-ghaib). Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya. Thus he produced his Shuhudi doctrine in the following. Cognitive forms belong to the level of Divinity (uluhiya). c) Form Ideas.

The effect is Allahs singularitiness– wahidiyyat. It is Allahs’s self knowledge of “Be” which begets the unfoldment or “tashkik” (systematic ambiguity) of existence. and the second is presentational knowledge (‘ilm shuhudi) of them during their existence. which encompasses all things. whether rightly or wrongly it is the issue taken up in this discourse. if potentialities have a beginning then we would be asserting ignorance or need within God’s essence (dhat). It is obvious. and quiddities (mahiyya) as being created (hadithah). Mulla Sadra’s thought might correctly be termed “wahdat-i tashkik al-wujud” Thus. It is not that another knowledge has originated. effects from the One’s Cause. a relation (nisbah) in consideration of which we call that knowledge presence (shuhud) and attendance (hudur).” As Jami has made reference to this conception in non-absolute terms. The argument of non-substantial unitarians[5] is that God is the source of the objects of knowledge within Himself and not dependent on Objects for Knowledge. but rather there attaches to the first knowledge through (biwasitah) the existence of its connection (muta’alliq). The other is through his oneness (ahadiyah). the thing known (al-ma’lum). this is a contradiction. since [all] times are the same in relation to Him as well as present (hadirah) with Him.The Cause is Allah’s Oneness– Ahadiyyat. The Created objects of knowledge are in fact. Their argument has been stated colloquially: “Originated things come into being. Knowledge would be an eternal attribute yet conditioned by temporalilty. this would make God posterior to the objects of knowledge even if God where above the level of temporality since that which is in time is forming the Knowledge. there are not two knowledges. but all existents in relation to Him are present. realities (haqa`iq). Therefore. He suggest that due to God’s being above temporality He encompasses all time and therefore is not dependent on the created things. the quiddities have always existed since knowledge (‘ilm) needs an object of knwledge (ma’lum) ia an essential attrribute (sifat al-dhatiyya).” (DF 44. . One of these is through the chain of succession [of causes and effects] (silsilat al-tartib) in a manner close to that of the philosophers. however. 52-53) The issue encountered here for Wahdat al-Wujud is that objects of knowledge in time are participating in the formation of God’s Knowledge. the substantialist wahdat al-wujudis have argued that if God is in need of an external form for knowledge then the quiddities must be unoriginated. They do not recognize forms (aswar). He is Nafs al-Amr the thing itself which gives it’s own objects of knowledge. as has just been mentioned in the quotation from one of the verifiers (ba’d al-muhaqqiqin). I should answer yes. using a subjective context between two modes: “The gist of this is that He knows things in two ways. potentialities (qabilliyat). pg. Al-Jami takes up the issue of temporality here as means to disuade criticism of the doctrine. However. that His knowledge of them by the first way. Should you say that this implies that His knowledge by the second way is limited to presently existing things(almawjudat al-haliyah). that is. for the first is absentational knowledge (‘ilm ghaybi) of them prior to their existence. of course. This is how Shuhudis have interpreted such passages. In reality.

and imagine that the relation among contingencies and Him-The incarnation (hulul) and union (ittihad). 39) Fadl ar-Rahman explains the difference most eloquently as: “In this simple. It is. everything witnesses God and proclaims the existence of its Maker. A drop. Sadra view is close to that of al-Ghazali and identical with that of his Indian contemporary Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi who declared the unity experienced by the mystic to be a unity of perception (wahdat al-shuhud) rather than unity of being (wahdat al-wujud). which is. Lift this ‘I am’ from the middle by Your Grace!’ On this interpretation of the mystic experience. says Sadra. pg. this immediate knowledge of God vouchsafed to everything is the universe and immune from error is not the basis of religious and moral obligation. and the latter be simply ‘given back’ to God. Yet. Since these manifestations are a consequence of the very nature of existence itself and are not due to any extrinsic factor. it cannot transcend this finitude. The question is. liable to error. may enjoy the ocean. but cannot cease to be a drop as the Persian verses quoted by al-Sabzawari on the point have it. its consciousness?) with which al-Hallaj was so impatient when he exclaimed: ‘Between You and me ‘I am’ is in constant struggle with me. as part of the ocean. if existence is known directly and if God is nothing but existence. Existence. For that. When the true sun has arisen and its light shines on the contingencies which are spread in the forms of essences (mahiyya). was it.” (Rahman. therefore.” (M. a more conscious knowledge is required. and determinate and. then inherently manifest itself in existents ordered according to existential priority and posteriority and in terms of intensity and diminution of existence. by its nature.Question 5. pg. primordial sense. impossible that a contingent be analyzable into two constituents: an essence and an existence. no matter how much it develops. each and ever existent is unique and irreducible. then. why not admit a full and total knowledge of God on the part of His witness and a complete union of the latter with the former? This is because everything else besides God is finite. rather. MS. but losing sight of his finitude is not the same as losing his finitude. determined. 67) The conception of an ordered level of existence is maintained by Mulla Sadra which draws out the idea of the differentiation between creation and Creator: “That which is of simple nature is everything (basit al-haqiqa kulli al-ashya’). It is true that in mystic experience the experient can lose sight of his finite self and fix his gaze entirely upon God and ‘be lost’ in Him. is capable of degree . the Primordial and Original Existence. for] this would necessitate the duality in the foundation of existence. It was this finitude and its inalienable otherness (or. Is there substantial union (hulul) with Creator and created? Mulla Sadra notes that eventhough everything is existence that we cannot delineate from this that hulul (substantial union) is attributed to his vision of Unity-of-Being he writes: “Beware that you may be swept out from your listening to these phrases. it becomes clear and evident that whatever has the name of existence is nothing but a form of [ever] persisting unity and a radiance of the Light of Lights. and relates to these two [modes]! Lest [this notion is seriously entertained.

may God sanctify their souls. but rather is like that [known] by gnosis to the mystics and called the merciful soul.” (M.” ”…Subsistence (hulul) is not impossible is that in reality there is no real quality of being subsistent (halliyah) or being a substratum (mahalliyah). al-Simnani.In reality. pg. as you see and observe with all their chracteristics (al-khususiyat) occuring in the universe (al-`alamin). no multiplicity or change hovers around its real and essential unity. union and seperation.” (DF. derived from His-The Exalted. and this is the most deserving to be the source (mubda) of everything. These are the verifying Sufis (al-sufiyah al-muhaqqiqun). but rather. and which is called the Truth which [fashions] the creation. 51) Clearly in Sadra’s doctrine there is an intermediary between existences.” (Rahman. Answer Schema: . It is now as it was. MS. The third is: the prevailing existents whose comprehensiveness and extension on [formal] structures and extension on [formal] structures [of] individuals and essences is not like that of universal natures and the intelligible essences. Due to the Rahmani Spirit. Neither adoration nor really being adored…nor are real. In each rank of existence existence itself is the primordial thing and essence is a subsidiary and abstracted thing. distance. pg. celestial bodies (alakram).” [7:156] This is the first being among the contingents issued from the First Cause [Which is] the True [Reality]. The first of these is Existence which does not depend on other things and is not confined to any species. The Union is a perceived union and thus shuhudi. such as intelligences (al-`aqul).and qualitative differences. pg. incompatible [with it]. 135) In contradistincition to this assertion of one existence where “hulul” is not an impossiblity there is Sadra’s doctrine which details: “Existence has three ranks (miratib). Thus Ittihad (union) with it is an existential impossiblity. and becomes immune from error only in rare and exceptional cases which constitute the logical limit of the form of knowledge and where the truth is ‘revealed’ to the human agent. natures (al-taba’i). The second is: existnece which depends on other things. which would seem to equivocate to Substantial Form there is no “hulul” of the Absolute Reality. It is interesting to see the perspective manifested in the Kubrawiyya Sufi master. who assert the unity of existence (wahdat alwujud). and [sublunary] matter (al-muwad). Al-Lari a wujudi commentator on al-Jami writes: “…in the opinion of the unveiled (al-makshufin) who say: ‘There is nothing in existence except a single individual (`ayn wahidah). and actual proximity. souls (al-nafus).Saying “but My Mercy extendeth to all things. 131-132) What can be seen is that there is a difference of opinion regarding the idea of Existence as Prime Reality and the idea that the Existence is only one entity without mode or differentiation. a single really existent reality….

4. the quiddities are originated as effects by the Absolute Existent (ahadiya).” This brings us to Question #4. Are Objects of Knowledge needed for God to have Knowledge or caused by God’s Essential Knowledge? 4. when they say existence is precedent over essence and that the forms of Allahs Knowledge are internal not external. Wujudis say no. The wujudis answer Yes and Shuhudis answer “no”. Are Forms external to God? 3. However. 3. FOOTNOTES: [ 1] I consider both the Shuhudi and Wujudi unitarians in the sense of testifying to God’s unity and maintaining the same symbolic cosmologies with the only difference the question of the origination of the quiddity. Contingents cannot subsist (baqa’) in Allah. Although there is existential unity in the Godhead (uluhiya). According to the Sadrian Shuhudi tradition of `Irfan and Tasawwuf. Again the questions are: 1. On Question #3 the wujudis answer Yes. Is Existence precedent over Essence? 2. they diverge from this point.Here we encounter the string of question which leads us to the understanding of the difference between simple witnessing of Oneness and Union with Oneness. . God is not in need of objects of knowledge. God is the source of all knowledge. And Question #5 “is there substantial union?”. Question Existence over Essence? External Forms? Objects of Knowledge? Quiddities originated? Union with Creator? CONCLUSION: Wujudis Yes No Yes No Yes Shuhudis Yes No No Yes No As it can be seen the difference between Wujudi and Shuhudi Sufism are: 1. Is there substantial union (hulul) with Creator and created? Wujudis and Shuhudis aggree on Question #1 Question #2. Shuhidis say Yes. “are quiddities originated?”. Quiddities (mahiyya) are simultaneous or originated as posteriors or effects? 5. The Shuhudis say “objects of knowledge are derived from God’s Knowledge as effects. 2. when the Shuhudis answer No: “Are Objects of Knowledge needed for God to have Knowledge or caused by God’s Essential Knowledge? The Wujudis say “there must be objects”.

82. pg. 180-181. Brill Leiden 1993 M Mulla Sadra (Translated by Morewedge). . ————————————————– WORKS CITED: DF Nur al-Din Rahman al-Jami.[2]That through which it s by it’s own power is ‘truth-in-itself’ (nafs al-amr) this pertains to God’s Divinity. “The Metaphysic of Avicenna”. [He fully understands also] that this comes necessarily from Him and from the total grasp which He has of it”. repeated by Mulla Sadra. Para. pg. large or small. Trans. 1203) [5] Sadra notes in M 138. which contains the forms of all things whether universal or particular. in general or in detail. 51. University Microfilms: Ann Arbor (1984) [4] “Providence is therefore the full comprehension which the First[God] has. pg. (Ibn Sina quoted in “‘Inaya”. EI Vol. Mehdi Dehbashi’s “Mulla Sadra Theory of Transubstantial Motion: a Translation and Critical Exposition”. 81 that the Substantial Form is the veil between Creator and Creation. According to al-Qaysari. V. of all and of the necessity for all to rest on Him so as to be according to the best order. note 1) [3] See pg. “The Metaphysics of Mulla Sadra: Kitab al-Masha`ir”. “Encyclopedia of Islam” E. in his science. “the thing itself (nafs al-amr) is an expression for God’s essential knowledge. New York 1973 Chapter 7 – Sufi Symbols in the Seven Valleys by Michael McCarron • • • • • Symbol & Allusion in Sufi Discourse Historical Development of Iranian Sufism Literary Tradition of Iranian Sufism Stations (maqamat) of Farrid-din ‘Attar. as-Sarraj & Mirza Husayn-’Ali Nuri Baha’ Allah Baha’ Allah’s ‘Haft Vadi’ Symbols in Context Symbolism described and popularized in the west by Jung has for a very long time held captive our imaginations concerning the unseen and it’s representation in artistic expression–poetry. painting.J. Columbia Univesity Press. cognitive or concrete” (Qaysari quoted in DF. van Donzel. The Society for the Study of Islamic Philosophy and Science: New York (1992) MS Fazlur Rahman “The Philosophy of Mulla Sadra (Sadr al-Din al-Shirazi)” SUNY Press Albany 1975 MI Morewedge. By Nicholas Heer “Durrah al-Fakhirah (The Precious Pearl)” SUNY Press Albany 1979 EI E.

it seems worthwhile to investigate the underlying philosophical assumptions of this poetic symbolism. power’. and a commentary on key elements of the Haft Vadi. relating to these awliya are: .” Ala al-Dawlah Simnani wrote of the dual nature of Prophet Muhammad. To quote the work of Lewisohn on this subject: “(the symbolist) Those who approach Sufi poetry as a statement of archetypal logopoeia. Symbolism. Al-Jurjani wrote “a wali is in oblivion (fana’) of himself but subsisting (baqa’) in contemplation. it is important to have an idea of what the original context of a Sufi symbol carries in the context of the present page of it’s environment or field of relationships. A fundamental notion of Islamic social and spiritual life. authority of a ‘wali’…It appears in Persian as valayat. no one has examined Persian metaphysical poetry from this standpoint. As is the case in most sciences and disciplines in the west the art of symbol. not the Prophet nor the wali of God.architecture.H. and Henry Corbin have examined Pesian philosophical doctrines from this point of view . assistance. I shall also be discussing the concepts of Manifestation. Hence. as a communication derived from the imaginal world (‘alam-i mithal) or the realm of archetypal meanings (‘alam-i ma’na). etc.” The Sufi definition of Waliyat is as a charismatic nature associated with miracles (karamat).”[1] In the following study I shall be examining one such Sufi symbolic exposition that of Husayn-’Ali’s Haft Vadi. whether of the great painters of the 19th century or the poets of the Metaphysical Movement. and ‘authority. understanding it as an expression of precise symbolic meanings working systematically at a supraconscious associative level. The Sufi Understanding of Manifestation and Intimacy with God (allah): In Sufism the term used to designate manifestation is mazhar. position. It is derivative of the Arabic word zuhur. of grade mursal. vilayat and in turkish as vilayet. even though this is the mode of classical lliterary criticism employed by the Sufis themselves. it is known as manifestation the appearance of an outer expression in form of an internal thought which is unmanifest in the world of appearance. S. Although scholars such as Toshihiko Izutsu. it carries the basic meaning of ‘friendship’. his prophetic nature and his wilayat or mystical experience. has it’s origin in the east. Waliyat is “an Arabic verbal noun derived from the root ‘wly’. the study of which has been neglected by Iranologists East and West alike. Waliyat or guardianship is identified by the Kubrawiya Tariqa (sufi order or school) as being intimate with God. Considering the importance of symbolic structure and meaning as the main criterion of asssessing a poem’s ultimate meaning among the Sufis. that is to say. Nasr. “place of outward appearance”. It is interesting that the symbol understood in context in Iran of Sufi origin can be misunderstood in the west thus. the term is used with a complex variety of meanings related to the function. I. So it is in the study of Symbol that one encounters the voice of God in the immenant and present experential basis in Sufism. In this work Baha’ Allah discusses the typication of the steps of Spiritual progress known in Sufism as the Maqamat (stations) which in the American Catholic tradition can be identified with Thomas Merton’s discussion of the Seven Mountains. in the sense of successor to prophet in an interpretive and guiding faculty. The term in Shi’ite and Sufi circles is strongly associated with the Imam. The plural of waliyat is that of the friends of God which is known as the awliya (saints) some hadith.

making oneself a particular. Determination. the word mazhar implying a place of appearance or manifestation in which there is an immediate correspondence between the mirror image (or outward manifestation) and the object reflected or manifested therein. thoephany of the divine attributes (tajalli sifat al-dhat) which is illumination (mawdi an-nur). individual entity). the Book speaks through it and they speak through the Book. (Ta’ayyun.”[3] For Ibn ‘Arabi walayat is characterized in the following terms by Ibn Arabi: as Prophethood being ended in a stricto sensu sense. there are three modes (ahwal) of theophany (tajalli): theophany of the divine essence (tajalli dhat) which is unveiling (muskhashafah). the idea of a genral prophethood (nubuwwa ‘amma) is invoked in the idea of walayat. a subsequent emanation is the locus of manifestation (mazhar) of the object from which it emanates. His heart by which He understands” “…[the awliya are] under God’s tents. and thelife in the permanence of Truth (baqa al-haqq).”[5] In at-Tustari’s definition manifestation is not a single referent for a unique event but is an term with implications in a differential of appearances we can see a similiar concept in many Sufi authors. Qashani. it is in this future age that God will manifest Himself to His ‘awliya. . in at-Tustari’s conception the manifestation of God in the sense of the theophany of the Transcendent Reality is consumated in the resurrection not in earthly existence. relates that according to Ibn ‘Arabi there are six levels of manifestation: 1. At-Tustari an early Sunni Sufi of Iraq held that mazhar and the term tajalli (effulgence) held the same meaning Kalabadi on Tustari’s beliefs writes: “Sahl. and they know marvelous stories (hadith). non-determined or delimited. It is the basis of this selfdetermination that Ibn ‘Arabi holds the universe is a manifestation of.[4] This Walayat or intimacy with God is seen in symbolic representation in Sufism with the teachings of the Arab sufi Sahl at-Tustari who teaches that the Resurrection (qiyama) will allow man to approach the meeting with God (liqa’u'llah).”[6] Important for the study of manifestation in Sufism is the work of Ibn ‘Arabi who held that tajalli (manifestation) is the process of God’s Self-Manifestaition delimiting Itself or determining Itself for Itself by Itself. This concept endeavors to remove any possibility of divine indwelling (hulul) in a created entity. Which is non-legislative being spritiual in basis not authoritative. the vision of Truth (an-nazar ila’l-haqq). and theophany of the divine decree (tajalli hukm al-dhat). the One Self-Determination to Itself. His eye by which He sees His tongue by which He speaks. Returning to the concept of manifestation (mazhar) we must draw our attention to the early Sufi understanding of this concept. unknown to anyone but him. said.”[2] The [heavenly] Book stands through them and they stand through it. Simnani incoroporates a system of mirror imagery within his scheme of emenation. Also of importance is the work of Simnani on manifestation he holds that “in order to maintain the absolute transcendence and oneness of Divinity.“[relating to Muhammad] I am His ear by which He hears. According to this scheme. 2.” “Marvelous is their (awliya) story. Thus. Ibn ‘Arabi’s pupil. Reality. Being is still in it’s absolute Essence. Hence.

Interestingly for Ibn ‘Arabi Tajalli is equal to Emenation (fayd). which therfore occurs in accordance with the ‘preparedeness’ of each locus. Qashani writes regarding this emenation: “The essential self-manifestation is the appearance of the absolute under the form of the permanent archetypes which are ready to receive existence and whose domain is the Presence of Knowledge and Names. 4. This development has it’s source in the Arabic poetry before the rise of Iranian sufism. These Arab poets such as Qays whose initial depiction of the story of Majnun & Layli is later taken to Persia and popularized. These writings of Sufi authors in Iran has three categories: adab– ethical discourses. . Passive Nature: the unity of passive self-determination those receiving investment.e. Where manifestation is the substance and intimacy the individuation of that substance in experential terms in spiritual discourse.3. The level of further dterminations of Ahadit into the Divine Names 5. There are several literary devices used in Sufism the important element in literary works of Sufism is the concept of allegorical similitude (mathal). The world. In Sufism. i. The philosophical description of the world is alluded to through the rhythmic verse of poetry.[7] The Historical Development & Literary Background of Iranian Sufism:[8] The Development of Iranian Sufism. has been largely influenced by the poetic imagery of the Sufis. This is initially derived from the writings within the Qur’an where it is recorded that God disdains not to speak in allegories (Surah al-Baqara). rhyming couplets (mathnawi) or sonnetic (ghazal). By this appearance the Absolute descends from the presence of Unity (ahadit) to the Presence of Oneness. all the active and effective self dterminations are realized as an integral whole. religious inspiration– the esoteric tafsir. metaphor (kenaya) and allusion (ishara) [see Chapter 1]. The initial allusion to the usurpation of the Rightly Guided Caliphate by the Umayyad heresy is taken to a mystical level in the writings of the Persians. Ahadit. those in actual existence. This Sufi literature is written in a style of quatraints (ruba’i). in comparison to other Sufi developments in other nations. and Sufi literature proper– the discourse regarding the steps on the path and the elements of the steps. And this is the ‘most holy emenation’ of the Absolute.” Thus we can see that there are number of different ways that Sufi authorities discuss the terms of Manifestation and Intimacy. the Presence of Oneness (wahadit). gesturing (ima). 6. the literary devices are symbol (ramz). It is written that there are two types of emenations in Ibn Arabi’s thought– Fayd al-aqdas (Most Holy Emenation) and fayd al-muqaddas (Holy Emenation). So there can be no plurality at all (in actuality) in this self-manifestation which occurs in the visible world as actualization of the Names. which consists in that the pure Essence not yet accompanied by any Names manifests itself (in the Plane of the Names).

author of Lawami (Flashing Lights). This literary sources can be divided into critical periods of development the first of which is the early period. It has been arguably related that this is not an utterance with a literal truth but is an utterance full of symbolic meaning relating the Sufis love and intimacy with the object of his contemplation. IV. ‘Abd al-Rahman Jami. 23-24] [9] The Evolution of Sufism in Iran is intimately tied to the literary sources of Iranian Sufism. 3. as the decipherment symbolls in dream is called ‘the interpretation of dream’ (ta’bir)” [Ihya. . So it is necessary to make use of metaphors to explain to the sleeper…their understanding does not go beyond the apparent meaning. The members of the school of love where: 1. the famous Ishraqiyun founder and poet. the ecstatic utterance relating the sufis perception of reality and identification within the sufi as being a part of the object of his direct contemplation thus unifying object with subject in an ecstatic moment. Active also during this period is the first poet of Iranian Sufism Abu Sa’id Abi’l-Khayr (d. Baha’ Allah. Ruzbihan Baqli. The development of Sufism after this early period is a development toward the concept of Mahhabat. since it is necessary to talk to the people in accordance with their intellect. Surhrawardi. The “School of Love” is founded by the concept of the ultimate and supreme concept of love by God and of God. Their intellect is on the sleeper’s level. 1089). The Early period authors of Iranian sufism is founded by Abu’l-Hasan ibn ‘Uthman Hujwiri (d. he finds it deceiving…The prophets can talk to the people only by means of the metaphors (amthal). the author of The Jasmine of Lovers 4. is the early sufi works of ‘Abd God ‘Ansari (d. because of their ignorance of the interpretation. So if one sees its inner meaning. 440/1089). his famous work the 100 Fields and the Manazil as-Sairin became fundamental works for later Sufi thought. This is the basis of the famous utterance by the al-Hallaj: “I am the Truth (Haqq)”. He was the last author of a visionary treatise until the early work of Mirza Husayn-’Ali Baha’ Allah. 2. Also. Ahmad Ghazzali (d. Fakhr al-Din ‘Iraqi author of Lama’at (Divine Flashes) 5.Allegory has been a large stumbling block to others outside the Sufi tradition in understanding the symbolic utterance of the Sufis. But if he sees only its external form. 1126) the famous philosopher. a contemporary of Baba Tahir. One of the greatest Sufi and scholars of Islam al-Ghazzali writes of the use of symbolic metaphor in Sufism as: “We mean by metaphor or analogue (mathal) to render meaning (ma’na) into the external form (surah). Perhaps the most important element of Sufi utterance is that of Shathiyyat. 465/1071) with his Kashf al-Mahjub (the Unveiling of the Veiled). he finds it true. It is also seen in Mirza Husayn-’Ali Baha’ Allah’s writing that “I am He and He is I” (Anna Huwa wa Huwa anna). whose Manazallut (the Sent Down) is quoted by Baha’ Allah in the Haft Vadi. called ‘metaphorical interpretation’ (ta’wil).

to which he was devoted. 1296) the author of the Gulistan was a member of the Suhrawardiya order. “Hafiz was not only a poet but also a scholar knowledgeable in the religious sciences.1492). He had an extra-ordinary talent to combine the profoundest thought with the most delicate poetic images. Following the Silsalah of the Kubrawi we see the major Shaykhs of this order such as Majd al-Din Baghdadi the teacher of Farrid-Din Attar. Later. It is interesting to note the resurgence of Sufism in general during the 19th century and hence. philosophy. Following his work is that of Farid al-Din ‘Attar. Following the works of Hamdani is that of the middle period the formulation of the Kubrawi tradition in Iran. In his poetry one observes the final and most perfect wedding between exalted spirituality and vivid sensuality. The poet Shams al-Din Muhammad Hafiz (d. Similiar to the martyrdom in the 19th century of Sayyid ‘Ali-Muhammad Shirazi. He speaks of the Divine Names and Qualities while describing the hair of the beloved moving gently in the morning breeze. The poets of Shiraz where known as the exppounders of strong jurisprudential and mystical tendencies. Sa’di (d. This doctrine was followed by all the major Kubrawi Shaykhs. Baha’u’llah. who we shall see more later. 1221) he was an expounder of a unique visionary experience based on Divine Lights. who was a great formulator of Sufi ideas. the author of Haft Awrang (Seven Thrones). and in sufism. After Majd we see Baha al-Din Walad (d. an esoteric commentary on the Quran. Another group of poets is that of the Shirazi college. was the work of Shaykh Mahmud Shabistari (d. 1389) was also a member of the Shirazi college. The Kubrawi was founded by Najm al-Din Kubra (d. the majority of Sufi authors quoted by Mirza Husayn-’Ali Baha’ Allah are members of the Kubrawi order. the founder of the Mevlevi Sufi Order in Konya and the author of the famous Mathnawi. and of course the master of the mathnawi Jalal al-Din “Rumi”. After Sadi the high point of Persian Sufi poetry declines with a few brilliant stars appearing in remote instances. He expounded a doctrine of beauty and was a supporter of Ibn ‘Arabi. literature. the martyr saint. he was a Naqshbandi Sufi. Other authors of interest are thse of Awhad al-Din Kirmanif (d. His work the Complaint of the Stranger was written while he was imprisoned shortly before his martyrdom at the hands of the government clerics. He aludes to the more esoteric of Sufi doctrines while emphasizing the importance of the Shari’ah…the spiritual and the the sensual are woven together in a poetry which is itself a vehicle that carries man to the exalted proximity of the Divine Empyrean”. Following Baha we see Najm . The early works written in mathnawi style where those of Sana’i (d. The Seal of the Persian poets was ‘Abd al-Rahman Jami (d.After the school of love was the highly esoteric writings of ‘Ayn al-Qudat (solace of the eyes) Hamdani. 1238) a shaykh of the Suhrawardiyah order. It is important to trace out the development of the Kubrawi order in Iran as it shall be seen that this is a major source of influence upon all Sufis in Iran and specifically. the development of strong sufi poetic tendencies in the mystic Mirza Husayn-’Ali Baha’ Allah. The Kubrawi order developed out of the Sunni tradition of Iran before the conversion by royal decree of the populace to Ithna Asharism. including the story of Layla & Majnun. 1231) who was the father and teacher of Jalal al-Din Rumi. 1320) author of the Gulshan-i Raz (the Garden of Divine Mysteries). 1150) whose Hadiqat al-haqiqah (the Garden of Truth) was the first mathnawi.

The Kubrawiya order branched into two different orders after the 15th century. Mirza Husayn-’Ali Nuri. may suggest and shadow forth a deeper meaning than appears on the surface. Abbas Effendi Abdu’l-Baha. It is important to point out the development of the Kubrawi order after the 15th Century. the use of talismans and the emphasis on visions relating to the hidden Imam. So little does knowledge of the infinite revealed in ecstatic vision need an artificial disguise that it cannot be communicated at all except through types and emblems drawn from the sensible world. The stations (maqamat) are a very critical element in Sufism. Simnani’s legacy can be seen not only in the Kubrawi but also in the Naqshbandi order and writings of Shah Wali’llah.[11] Mystical Discourse through the Symbol: In the previous section we touched upon the use of symbol (ramz) in Sufism. No longer is a light merely a collection of photonic discharges.”[12] The ‘Seven Valleys’ (Haft Vadi). It was written in response to questions on the spiritual stations of the way of God posed by members of the local Naqshbandi order. 1336). The two branches where the Dhahabi Order centered in Shiraz. imperfect as they are. but is an expression of divine source or enlightenment. the use of gold in symbolism. These include hermetic influences. 1256) and later we have the important sufi doctrinal expounder ‘Ala alDawlah Simnani (d. The two branches where both Shi’a orders. especially the doctrine of Wahdat al-Shuhud. Everyone . in Iraqi Kurdistan. Nicholson writes of the Sufi symbolic style: “…the Sufis adopt the symbolic style because there is no other way of interpreting mystical experience. Commentary and Comparison to Farrid-din ‘Attar [16]: It is known that the Haft Vadi [17] was written in the mountains near Sulayman. And the Nurbakhshi order which became allied with the Shah and had several murids of the order appointed as ministers in the Shah’s administration. it was not until after the branching and the rise of the Shi’ite monarchy that the Kubrawi left it’s Sunni Dayah ar-Razi (d. which. In Sufism the symbolic is expressed through a varied ways of expression. No longer do we have the common literal meaning attached to things. In doctrinal terms there is a great similarity between Simnani and Baha’ Allah and Baha’ Allah’s son. Defined by Hujwiri as: “Maqam (station) denotes the perseverance of the seeker in fulfilling his obligations towards the object of his search with strenuous exertion and flawless intention. It is important to note regarding the Dhahabi order that the order had some interesting parallels to later Bahai teachings and influences. a non-physical non-literal expression attached to a common literal object but having an internal vocabulary known to the adept which reveals itself in a code which can exalt the adept to a higher plane understanding the code attached to the literal object which is a symbol of the esoteric. Other influences or similarities on Mirza Husayn-’Ali can be seen from Shah Wali’llah and Ansari. The influences on Mirza Husayn-’Ali Baha’ Allah can be seen through Rumi and ‘Attar in poetic terms. Baha’ Allah. was regarded as a shaykh of importance and was known as Darwish Irani at this time in Iraq.

Vadi-ye ‘Ishq. It was his ‘Mantaq-i Tur’ (Conference of the Birds) which became the same archetypical format that Mirza Husayn-’Ali Baha’ Allah used to write of the spiritual stations using the same names of stations as Farrid-Din Attar: Vadi-ye Talab. 861). Vadi-ye Marifat. Qurbat. 872). namely the repentance of one’s sins and turning away from what is distractive from the Will of Divinity in the world. Khawf. And abandons all but the object. Vadi-ye Tawhid. Other non Imami writers on the Maqamat are those of Dhu’l-Nun. Vadi-ye Faqr wa Fana. Baha’ Allah’s Valley of Search: “The steed of this Valley is patience. Muraqabat. Wajd. In the above we see that the first station on the path is referred to in differing degrees of a similiar concept. is a means whereby he seeks Divinity…. Mukashafa. without patience the wayfarer on this journey will reach nowhere and attain no goal. And in the writings of Ruzbihan Baqli (d. This uniform starting point is where we find the point of depature is for the path amongst the authors. which.who desires Divinity has a station (maqam). Vadi-ye Hairat. Yaqin. Vadi-ye Istighna’. and Yahya ibn Mu’ad (d. and Shawq. The writing of seven stations first appeared in the writings of As-Sarraj (d.” “It is incumbent on these servants that they cleanse the heart–which is the wellspring of divine treasures–from every marking. Tawakkul. in the beginning of his search. Mahabbat. Mahabba and Shawq. and that they turn away from imitation…” In every face one sees the object of his search. Mushahad. Khawf. Nor should he ever be downhearted. Sukr. Huzn. Raja. the Valley of the Quest. Of course in Persia the famous ‘Abd Allah ‘Ansari wrote of 10 stations: Irada. In the following I shall be comparing the use of the The Seven Spiritual Stations by Sarraj.’None of us hath a certain station’ (Quran 37:164)” [14] The early development of the maqamat can be traced back to the Imam Muhammad ibn Husayn and to Imam Jafar as-Sadiq who wrote of three spiritual stations.1209) we have 10 stations: Ubudit.” This valley depends on right seeking that is good intentions and the seeker must possess hope and love for the goal of his search. Wilayat. the Egyptian (d.. Zuhd.988). a hundred difficulties will assail you…you will have to give up all that has seemed precious to you and regard as nothing all that you possess…You will still need to detach yourself from all that exists. he should not falter. Sabr. The most famous of the Seven Stations are those of Farrid-din ‘Attar who wrote of seven valleys. We see that for Sarraj we will see the development of the stations . if he strive for a hundred thousand years and yet fail to behold the beauty of the Friend. ‘Attar and Baha’ Allah: The First Station: ‘Attar’s Valley of the Quest: “When you enter the first valley. Ra’ja.

However. from the world of phenomenon. Reason is overcome with love. acceptance of the supplication. The patence over (or indulgence in complete) obedience is due to hopefulness. So in this sense it is Sufistic. it burneth to ashes the harvest of reason. The patience of (or abandonment of) sins is due to fear of Divinity Almighty and it produces three things: intention in hearts. grant of sustenance unexpectedly.”[18] The Second Station: ‘Attar’s Valley of Love: The face of thelover must be afire. discerning knowledge (‘ilm). . To love is to give up your ordinary life and forsake your tawdry pleasures. Abdullah ‘Ansari writes of Patience: “Patience is observed over afflictions on account of (true) love and it produces three things: onesidedness of the heart. countenance.” The seeker loses self-consciousness and enters a stage of unawareness of differentiation in existence. of thier Lord” [wa al-dhiyna sabruwa abtaghaa' wajh Rabbikum] The idea of the inner reality shall be an important concept as we progress through this study. It is recorded in the verse: “And who can be better in religion than one who submits his essential being to God. It also generates three things: disappearance of the calamities. In the life of the Spirit they are united to the object of their affection.” “Lovers who have staked their lives for their love have entered on the Path. To be an enlightened being according to the Qur’an is to be a Muhsin (a doer of good).along an less poetic form.” Baha’ Allah’s Valley of Love: “…and be dissolved in the fire of love. as is the case with Farrid al-Din ‘Attar and as we progress through time the luxariant symbols of Mirza Husayn-’Ali take on an atmosphere which is clearly removed. the turning away from outer distraction to inner tranquility. intellectualy. light of cleanliness. And God did take Abraham as an intimate friend. eventhough we realize it is an impossible task in material and metaphysical terms. “Love should tear aside your prudence Love changes your attitude. Baha’ Allah points out the primary necessity of patience to succeed on this path. light of sagacity. Patience in Arabic is Sabr. And follows the religion of Abraham– Hanifa.” (4:125) [wa min ahusan diynaa mim man islam wajhah God wa huwa muhsin wa atba'a millat Ibrahim haniyfaa wa atakhdha God inrahyma khalyla] Muhsin is the turning of ones inner life to the reality of God. In this instance we speak of seeking God’s inner reality. and when the fire of love is ablaze. and the fire of love is ablaze. In this city the heaven of ecstasy is upraised and the world-illuming sun of yearning shineth. our own inner reality must by transformed for us to seek the inner reality of God. With love and good and evil cease to exist. It is written in Qur’an 13:22 “In patience (the believers) seek the inner reality. inclination toward virtues. and he is a Muhsin.

” Baha’ Allah’s The Valley of Knowledge “He in this station is content with the decree of Divinity…” “The wayfarer in this valley seeth in the fashionings of the True One nothing save clear providence. the greater love. which he also despairs of describing– in it one at first finds a difference between witnesser and witnessed.The Valley of Love is the second station in the maqamat path of ‘Attar and Baha’ Allah. the in-between or mutual love (‘ishq-i miyana). (‘ishq-i kabir). Rabia’aal-’Adawi (d. Love is written of extensively by the female Sufi Saint. is enduring. his sleep and his inertia. and the Spiritual Way reveals itself only in the degree to which the traveller has overcome his faultsand weaknesses. The soul. but knowledge is temporary.” In terms of the use of symbol it is interesting to note the reference to the greater love as being only accomplished through symbol and allegory (ramz wa mithali) it is in the realm of imagination not literalism that the ultimate Love is voiced to the creation of God which also was an act of love. And the Saint Ayn al-Qudat writes of love as having three aspects: “1. . They have passed beyond such attributes. which is our love for Divinity. and because of its surpassing beauty it is describable only by cypher and parable (baramzi wa mithali). We see that it is important to understand the development of the Concept of Love (Mahabbat) in the ideas of the Sufi’s. which is Divinity’s love for Himself– it has no trace by which it can be recognized.” And ‘Abd God ‘Ansari wrote of love as being the supreme field that all mystical fields are contained within and in this configuration it is seen to be similiar to the transcendence of God and God’s immanence within the that which is surrounded. This is the last plane of limitation. when they become one. until it reaches the limit. like the body. and at every moment saith: ‘No defect canst thou see in the creation of the Divinity of Mercy: Repeat the gaze: Seest thou a single flaw?’” The wayfarers of this valley seeth neither first nor last. the lesser love (‘ishq-i saghir). a selfish love and a love of which You are worthy. The Third Station: ‘Attar’s The Valley of Understanding “Understanding. 185/801) she wrote: “I love you (God) with two loves. and each will approach nearer to his aim according to his effort. is in a state of progress or decline. for each traveller. Love (mahabbat) is written of in a mystical sense by Imam Jafar Sadiq where love is a spring of marifat (gnosis).

”[20] IV. lawyers. he will be silent because this Being will speak. and determines scriptural revelation. there will be neither part nor whole.Theologians. their lips .’[end of hadith] Baqli’s variant considers the rabbaniyyun. whereas marifat is to know something in an interior and close sense not so much a science but an experience and it is similiar to french ‘faire’. ‘The Part will become the whole. and datiyyun (those who perceive Divinity as Essence). nuraniyyun. but right cognition is not the same thing as right feeling. innate knowledge and intuitive knowledge as the principles (ahkam) of this knowledge.”[19] This type of knowledge is critical in the understanding of waliyat. ye would walk on the seas. in addition to four kinds of knowledge: scriptural revelation (wahy). So we see that the valley of knowledge (marifat) is not a scientific knowing but is more emotional and direct. for right feeling (hal) is the result of right cognition. or rather. Hence they have said that gnosis (marifat) is more excellent than cognition (‘ilm).e. Gnosis of Divinity is of two kinds: conditional (‘ilmi) and emotional (hali)…. but the Sufi Shaykhs call right feeling (hal) towards Divinity by that name. theophanic revelation (tajalli). since those possessed of knowledge (‘uluma) ar e of three kinds: rabbaniyyun (those who perceive Divinity as Lord). one who has not cognition of Divinity is not a gnostic (‘arif). The great sufi doctrinarian Hujwiri. In the School of the Secret you will see thousands of men with intellectual knowledge. innate knowledge (al-’indi) and intuitive knowledge (al-ladunni). since a wali is not known as an ‘uluma (cleric) of the outer religious law but is a knower of the inner truth it is similiarly expressed in terms of the Imamate of ‘Ali by Tustari who writes of a hadith attributed to Ali ibn Abi Talib: “‘They (those firmly rooted in knowledge) are those who are disclosed (mukashafun) three kinds of knowledge (‘ulum). and datiyyun as representatives of three kinds of knowledge by unveiling (mukasafah). ‘ilm designates the knowledge of the science of something and is similiar to french savoir. and the mountains would move at your call’. in this case the type of knowledge is that of the inner knowledge or gnosis. writes about marifat as: “The Apostle said: ‘If ye knew Divinity as It ought to be known. i. “When the spiritual traveller enters this valley he will disappear and be lost to sight because the Unique Being will manifest himself. but one may have cognition of Divinity without being a gnostic.In this station we have Baha’ Allah’s speaking of knowledge. theophanic revelation. It is important to realize the designation in Arabic between ‘ilm and marifat. nuraniyyn (those who perceive Divinity as Light). The Fourth Station ‘Attar’s The Valley of Unity: In this valley the seeker perceives unity through duality. and other classes of men give the name of gnosis (marifat) to right cognition (‘ilm) of Divinity.

fleeth from the worlds of the flesh. and and shareth as an intimate the pavilion of the Loved One. His grief and mourning yield to delight and rapture. he revealeth the secrets of power. percieveth within and without all things the fday of: ‘Divinity will compensate each one out of His abundance. with the eye of Divinity he beholdeth the mysteries of divine creation. What is intellectual knowledge here? It stops on the threshold of the door like a blind child. and with inward and joutward eye. which is also called the ‘first intellect’ (al’Aql al-awwal). Uncreated in it’s immutable essence. if you continou on your way.” Baha’ Allah’s The Valley of Unity: “In this station he pierceth the veils of plurality.” Baha’ Allah’s The Valley of Contentment: “In this valley he feeleth the winds of divine contentment blowing from the plane of the spirit. It is a station marked by a lack of movement from God nor toward God but a remaining in God and absorption so to speak of consciousness in the awareness of God and God’s beautific . Even when the blood of your heart shall fill the ocean. The intermediary of the spritual station is the Ruh (Spirit) the sufi definition of Ruh is: “The Universal Spirit (ar. In the Valley of Unity we see the mystication of the doctrine of Tawhid which is understood in this case as the supreme origin of all spiritual stations.’ Form sorrow he turneth to bliss. but findeth his own praise in praising Divinity. With the ear of Divinity he heareth.” In this valley we see that ‘Attar and Baha’ Allah both speak of the contentment in God. you will only be able to make the first stage. yet created insasmuch it is the first cosmic entity.” V. “This Valley is not so easy to cross as you in your simplicity perhaps think. He stretcheth out the hand of truth from the sleeve of the Absolute. you will hear unti eternity the cry: ‘Go still further. and ascendeth into the heavens of singleness. The Fifth Station ‘Attar’s The Valley of Independence and Detachment: The valley where theri is neither the desir e to posses nor the wish to discover. always advancing. He burneth away the veils of want.parted in silence. It is no _advantage either to live or to die. Even if you were to journey ov er all the ways of the world you would still find yourself at the first step. If you halt you are petrified. although not in a substansive sense.’ You can neither go nor stay. is described asometimes as created and uncreated. form anguish to joy.Ruh). No traveller has seen the limit of this journey neither has he found a remedy for love. or you may even die. He seeth in himself neither name nor fame nor rank.” Tawhid is the unitive principle within Islam and as the primary unity is the basis of the main argument of Islam: La illa illah God (there is no Divinity but Divinity) which is understood as the belief in the Absolute Transcendence of God. He steppeth into the sanctuary of the Friend.

” Baha’ Allah’s The Valley of Wonderment: “After journeying through the planes of pure contentment. As paradoxical this may seem the theory of manifestation is one which supposses the similiar idea.creativity in creation. Fractals existing in multiples still maintain their original shape and form of thier mother. ther. and at every moment his wonder groweth. shall he continue his way? But he who has achieved unity forgets all and cforgets himself. How. yet a man is depressed and despondent. is a configuration composed of each element being the same as the other elements that in their totality maintain the structure and shape of each element. Hence. bad intentions . in his bewilderment. . most interesting is the comment on relativity and unicity in the work of Baha’ Allah and ‘Attar on this plane of spritual awakening. In Islamic philosophy the understanding of the relationship between unicity and duality is similiar to that of numerological developments. In the case of the Sufi this origin is God. Another example is that of the fractal. is fire. we realize that the manifest oneness is the one word of the Command to create. aside from the mystical aspects of this passage.. and each breath a bitter sigh. if we ponder each created thing. Thus. I am unaware of myself. Counter this with the Qur`anic denial of giving God any natural or anthropomorphical analogs we realize that what we see in creation of the Creator may very well indeed be the plan of the Creator not the creator itself. In these works we see the ideal of abondonment of the illusory for the appreciation of the Real (alHaqq). is sorrow and lamentation. and a burning eagerness. My heart is at the same time both fulll and empty of love. Now he seeth the shape of wealth as poverty itself. The Sixth Station ‘Attar’s The Valley of Astonishment and Bewilderment: “…where one is prey to sadness and defection. If he is asked: ‘Ar you. or are you not? …He will reply with certainty: ‘I know nothing. A fractal. There sighs are like swords. O Brother. and disturbance of time. I understand nothing. “Be” and it is. It is at once day and night. So to suggest seeing the unicity in the duality is not only the recognition of the manifest oneness in all things but also to grow nearer in conscious awareness toward the unicity of origin. we shall witness a myriad perfect wisdoms and learn a myriad new and wondrous truths. (Kun yafakun). the traveler cometh to the Valley of Wonderment and is tossed in the oceans of grandeur. in fact. Later we shall see how this promotes the idea of annihilation into God’s Will. and the essence of freedom as sheer impotence…” “Indeed. the further one is from the primary root of one the more numerous the divisions and multiplicity.” VI.” Perhaps. I am in love. There. namely. but with whom I do not know. Out of the one we get two. ‘Abdullah ‘Ansari writes of content (jamam) “that it signifies receiving salvation from three things: disturbance of heart.

experiences only humiliation and ovethrow.The Seventh Station ‘Attar’s The Valley of Deprivation & Death: “The essence of this valley is forgetfulness. the pattern on its surface loses its form. the thousand shadows which surround you dissapear in a single ray of the celestial sun.” In this passage we see in Baha’ Allah’s comments the exposition of self-poverty in the ego sense and being a desirer of the beloved which is God. Sometimes povety implies an individual spiritual impoverishment and need for God….! You are poor in relation to God. (Qur’an 35:15) The Term Poverty has various meanings: Sometimes poverty implies straightened circumstances and material need. and many secrets will be revealed_ to him. deafness and distraction. rich in the things of Divinity’s world…. which connotes ‘independence’ and self-sufficiency’. Here. whereas wealth is an attribute of the Lord. In this calm sea. In this sense. the being poor in self and rich in the Desired One. The idea of poverty is explicated in the Nimatullahi sufi manual as: “Poverty (faqr) signifies destitution. Poverty is in reality a devotee’s attribute.synonymous with the ascetic (zahid). the term faqir is identical in meaning to the Perfect Man (Insan alKamil) and the sufi who has attained total mystical reabsorbment (fana) in the Truth. at first. and neediness.” “This is the plane wheron the vestiges of all things are destroyed in the traveler. Whoever Declares that he does not exist acquires great merit. the Glorious’. who renounces the wourld to attain a reward in the hereafter. When the ocean of immensity begins to heave. but the face ot thy Lord…” is made manifest. and God is the Rich. who renounces both this world and the next to attain the Truth. the Quran declares: ‘O Mankind. He who hath attained this station is sanctified from all that pertaineth to the world. The drop that avecomes part of this great ocean abides there for ever in peace. dumbness. Synonymous with Sufi.” Baha’ Allah’s The Valley of True Poverty and Absolute Nothingness: “This station is the dying from the self and the living in Good. and this pattern is no other than the world present and the world to come. as contrasted to ‘wealth’ (ghana). and on the horizon of eternity the Divine Face riseth out of the darkness. this is orthodoxically stated in the Quran as seeking the Countenance of God. Poverty as here referred to signifieth being poor in the things of the created world. and the meaning of ‘All on the earth shall pass away.”[20] . a man.. but wnen he emerges from this state he will understand it as creation. impoverishment.

that they nevertheless decide to set out to find her. we are from Divinity and to Him shall we return. helpless. they are warned: before you are endless deserts. 17. Corbin summates the Ghazzalin traetise as: “There was a great assembly of the birds. We are King. vetigionous summits. whether you come or depart.This station marks the completion of the purification of the individual and the rise of the manifesting of purity that is originated in God’s teachings. We have noneed of you. Avicenan and Ghazzalan Recital: “If thou be a man of communion and prayer. His early recital was later taken up by Ghazzali the once critic of Sufism and Ismailism and later an avid Sufi himself. And what was bound to happen came to pass: those who were from warm countries died in the cold regions. The Visionary recital is composed of a mystic voyage toward the Heavenly Mountains (Ar. Better to die where they were. To be sure. pitiful victims of the storms and accidents they encountered. They told one another thtat the road of return was closed to them: their strength did not suffice to attempt it. those who were from cold countries perished in the regions of heat. others fell. This soaring is not so much a heavenly journey through time and spatial awareness but rather through a metaphysical virtual reality– the journey of vision. and thatn none was worthier to rule over them than the bird ‘Anqa. they felt disillusioned. Haft Vadi) This passage from Baha’ Allah’s treatise indicates a common sufi stream of thought: the idea of soaring heavenward toward contact with the Luminous. to put themselves under her protection and be admitted to her court. . Each mounted the steed of firm resolution. Tey set out. Of course we see this symbol used by ‘Attar and in shorter episodes by Baha’ Allah. regions of heat asnd regions of cold.’ When they understood that they were regarded as of no account and that their desire was treated with the most contemptuous indifference. whether you consent or refuse. putting on it the the bridle of ardent desire. Such is their ardent desire. suffocating vapors. ‘Verily. only a small band reached the distant island of the bird ‘Anqa. The earliest visounary recital as it is known in the Sufi world is attributed to Ibn Sina whose father and Grandfather where members of the Ismaili Shi’a community. in order to become thier king. Both the Avicennan and Ghazzalan recital use the bird image as symbol for the soul as it ascends to the King.’”(pg. they succumbed to despair and shame. tur as-samawati) as has been seen in Haft Vadi and the writings of ‘Attar. You will faint before you have reached the goal of your desire! But the warning was given in vain. and such the firmness of their resolution. But the stupefying answer came: ‘You have wearied yourseleves in vain. They asked that she would at least deign to appear. They begged that the King be informed of their arrival. all the varieties of their species and kinds were represented. that thou mayest behold the mysteries of the Friend and Attain to the lights of fthe Beloved. The birds thought that they should have a king. A Study in Common Sufi Symbols used in the Haft Vadi: 1. Whereupon they learn that she has gone to dwell in a distant and utterly inaccessible island. Finally. but she was in an inaccessible castle. their passion had exhausted them. soar up on the wings of assistance from Holy Souls. even to the last of them.

Nightengale: “And if a nightengale soar upward from the clay of self and dwell in the rose bower of the heart. warqa) may be defined as the Universal Soul which is the heart of the world. and in Arabian melodies and sweet Iranian songs recount the mysteries of Divinity– a single word of which quickenenth to fresh.” (Pg.’”[22] As is seen the typology of the Visionary recitsl is the same throughout the works of all the great Sufi authors it is a typology which identifies God as the point of Adoration and that which is moved toward. and death overtakes him. Now that you have experienced the measure of your impotence to know our measure. new life the bodies of the dead [see resurrection below]. and is the goal and reality for that which lies below it Mount Qaf represnets the lowest level and phenomenal reealm.20. God does not move toward us but we must move toward God.” (Jorjani. lo! Another message was brought them: ‘Away. Hafiz: ‘I am the bird of the sacred rose-garden. Haft Vadi) As mentioned in the previous example the Nightengale or Bird (tayr) is the vehicle of the soul in sufi symbolism. beware! If any goes forth from his house to flee to Divinity and His Prophet. the three represent. a myriad beaks of rancor hunting after Him and with all their power intent upon His death. as the multiple of ten times three. where the Simorgha of spiritual reality (ma’na’) resides. If our perfect independence of all things demanded that you be treated with scorn and and rebuffed. It may also signify the Guarded Tablet ( lawh al-mahfuz). The ‘Anqa applies to each universal level of the Unseen. the birds inquired concerning the fate of their companions who had fallen on the road and would never arrive…. the dove ( fakhta. Nay. away with despair of Divinity’s mercy (Qur’aan 12:87)’. being the Oneness (ahadit). it befits us that you have here your dwelling …It befits the King ‘Anqa that she choose freely him who has become really concious of his own unworthiness. 13.’ Savoring the joys of familiarity after having known despair. [translated by Nurbakhsh]) “The bird of the sacred rose-garden (tayer-i goshan-i quds) is said to represent the human spirit. the Unicity (wahediyat). 325 [translated by Nurbakhsh]) “The Simorgh or ‘Anqa represents Absolute Being or the being of the Absolute. 2. pg. The bird is written of in the following examples: “The Divine bird (morgh-i ilahi) refers to the spirit.When they were almost choked by their grief and disappointment. as well as the Manifest Book. ‘Say. Ta’rifat.They were ansewered: ‘Beware. they are alive (11:149).” (Latifa-ye Ghaibi. and bestoweth the Holy Spirit upon the moldering bones of the this existence– thou wilt behold a thousand claws of envy. the beauty of munifecence demands that you be received and treated with unstinted gentleness. How can I describe my separation? How have I fallen into this trap of transitoriness?’” “In Sufi terminology. his reward is in the Hand of Divinity (Qur’aan 4:149)’. The si (thirty) of the Simorgh. not of them who have been killed on the way of Divinity that they are dead. and the . In this moving is great sacrifice and a transformation of the inner reality of one’s soul.

Batin and Haqa’iqat: “O My Brother! Until thou enter the Egypt of love. When the Illumination of the Divine Essence is revealed like a moth the spirit flings itself onto it and vanishes in it’s radiance it loses the consiousness of it’s individuality and a Divine Substance with Divine Attributes is substituted. 5.” (Haft Vadi) In the description of the contents of the letters of the Persian Bird “Gunjishk” Baha’ Allah defines each consonant as a step in the purification process he identifies “G” with freeing thyself from earthly attachments. But the falcon of the mystic heaven hath many a wondrous carol of the spirit in His breast. in every Valley reach a spring.. Resignation. a mystery in every letter. these letters refer to holiness. Seperating the relationship the spirit has with the world. Dependence on God and Submission to His Will. The Spirit rejoins the source of it’s origin which is now the sole object of it’s tariqa (path). yet these are hdden. to every letter a meaning is allotted which relateth to that plane.[23] In fact one may recollect that another of Baha’ Allah’s works the Kitab al-Aqdas taken in this context is not merely a book of Adab (ethical duties). 3. 2. “N” with purifying oneself. and the Persian bird keepeth in His soul many a sweet Arab melody.angelic realm (malakut). thou shalt . 3. 4. Additionally. Thou appearest to be well grounded in mystic truth. thour forsake thine outward eyes. Zahir. and hidden shall remain. and “K” for the unwrapping of limitations of the soul. 216 [translated by Nurbakhsh]) Baha’ Allah writes of the persian bird. We see that what is Holiness in these letters is the steps taken to achieve a “Spiritual” visage in the path of God. “J” with purifying one’s intentions toward God. in every meadow hear a song. In one sense. 5. Indeed. This can be counterpoised to the similair five steps written of by Jami: 1. the denial of resistance to God. It is guided by Divine Love. thou shalt never come to the Joseph of the Beauty of the Friend: and until. 3. on every plane. In every city he will behold a world. Gunjishk: “Thus hath it been made clear that these stages depend on the vision of the wayfarer. 2. Inner and Outward.” “The thoughts thou hast expressed as to the interpretation of the common species of bird that is called in Persian Gunjishk (sparrow) were considered.Thank thy Lord. the wayfarer findeth a secret in every name. rather a concise guide to achieving spiritual purification. “Sh” with thanking (shukara) God for His Grace. Patience and Wisdom.” (Tasawwof wa Adabiyat-i Tasawwof. like Jacob. Obedience to the Shari’a. Pray and Remember. the five letters of the Persian Sparrow are similiar to the Naqshbandi-Mujaddidi Order in Kurdistans concept of Illumination of the Spirit (Tajliya-i Ruh) it is comprised of the following five steps: 1. However. 4.

Haft Vadi) Here Baha’ Allah identifies love as being the equivalent to Egypt and Beauty of th Friend with Joseph this metaphor is taken from Surah al-Yusuf (Qur’aan Surah al-Yusuf ) Where Yusuf (Joseph) is abandoned by his brothers in Egypt or in the wilderness and later proves himself to be a strong guide. and draw thee from the earthly homeland to the first. and until thou burn with the fire of love. the Sunnah and the tradition of our righteous past Muslims. It can have the similitude of the heart.23:57]. Insight of Following (Khalifat). and lift thee to a plane wherein thou wouldst soar in the air even as thou walkest upon the earth…” (Pg. this station is the .’” (batin) (Pg. that he may be nourished from the cup of the Law and informed of the mysteries of Truth. heavenly abode in the Center of Realities. 40. 4. The Haqa’iq is likened unto the life that is developed out of the relationship of the inner and outer heart working together to nourish the human vessel in it’s quest for attaining the nirvana of submission (muslim) to the Will which wills all wills. for it is indeed the secret of the Path and the fruit of the Tree of ‘Truth’. He saith: ‘And there shall appear upon the tablet of thine heart a writing of the subtle mysteries of ‘Fear Divinity and Divinity will give you knowledge’[cf.’(zahir) and gather the fruits of communion in the gardens of ‘Then feed on every kind of fruit.” (Pg. and the bird of thy soul shall recall the holy sanctuarites of preexistence and soar on the wings of longing in the heaven of ‘walk the beaten paths of thy Lord. the insight of following lies in the Holy Book. and hold fast to the cord of shunning all forbidden things. they are enlightened (7:201). Vision in Sufism is accorded as: “… it emenates out of Certitude (yaqin). the Islamic Law) . 4.the Insight of acceptance lies in the observation of experiences. The insight of reality is a lamp in the heart proclaiming that ‘it is Me’. and make thy soul to shake with the flashing light. It is mentioned of vision that one must open the inward seeing to approach love or see the beauty of the wilderness. 4.. reckon this city– which is the station of life in Divinity– as the furthermost state of mystic knowers.” (Pg. The insight of Acceptance is the name of access to the place where love is attained… The insight of Following is to strictly follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him)….The Insight of Reality is the sight of the Real Master (Divinity Almighty) with the eyes of heart…. and in all these stages he must cling to the rope of obedience to the commandments.’ The term Basirat means ‘clear vision’ it is of three kinds: Insight of Acceptance (rida). Haft Vadi) Describing the Haqa’iq: “…besides the orient light of the Essence [see Kubrawiya & Baha' Allah Lights below] in the mirrors of names and attributes– yearning would seize the reins of patience and reserve from out thy hand.’” [Ansari. Haft Vadi) In the classical Sufi teachings the distinction between Batin and Zahir is one that is defined as the relationship to the Inner to the Outer. thou shalt never commune with the Lover of Longing. 9. Quran 16:128. God Almighty says: ‘…they call to mind (Divinity and His commandments) and Lo. Qalb: “They who soar in the heaven of singlenes and reach to the sea of the Absolute. signs and proofs. and the farthest homeland of the lovers. Haft Vadi) “…stray not a breadth of a hair from the Law (shariah. But to this evanescent One of the mystic ocean.never open the eye of thine inward being. it is a voice in the ear that says: ‘I am here’. and Insight of Reality (Haqq). And an illuminous sight telling that ‘I am with you. one where the life blood is contained within the vessel of natural tissue of the outer chamber. 100 Fields] “Of this hath the nightingale of oneness sung in the garden of Ghawthiyyih.

Hal) of the development of the human soul. The vehicle for such a purification and setting of faith in the heart is that of the rememberance of Alllah. in rest and satisfaction (‘mutmainna’)! Come back thou to thy Lord. in fact.” (Qur’an 75:2) This is the soul which commands resistance or is still prone to evil but resists evil. He correlates four levels of the soul with four level of the heart as: . the lover to his Layli which enthralls the seeker of the spiritual rapture to the reunion of Certainty. coincidentally like that of a child in it’s mothers feotus: Fist is that as described as ‘Ammara’: “Yet I do not absolve myself: the soul certainly incites(‘ammara’) to do evil. but also of intelligence and resulting action. as mentioned by Baha’ Allah in the Haft Vadi. call to themselves. and if he remembers Me in assembly I remember him in assembly. for many pretend to call to God when they. There are three states (Ar. and if he draws near Me by the cubit I draw near him by the space of two hands. And if he walks towards me. The Third sou is the soul which is called the “Mutamainna” “(to the righteous soul will be said:) ‘O soul.first gate of the heart’s citadel. Qalb. Per. Dil) in the Qur`an is described as that which allows us the approach with the Lord: ‘Behold he approached his Lord with a sound heart. which would be recounted should a kindred soul be found. and I am with him in My heart. Unless my Lord do bestow His Mercy: but surely My Lord is Oftforgiving. I rush towards him”. among my devotees! Yae. we must consider the elements of the heart and rememberance. man’s first entrance to the city of the heart. who draws on the relationship of the soul to the heart. Progress of the lovers soul to al-Haqq is that of travelling through states like a ladder. The early Wahhabi teacher Shaykh Muhammad Ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab reminds us “There is an emphasis on sincerity (ikhlas). that is . Taqwa). which leads to the purification of our observance of duties of religion and to the obedience of the Will which wills all wills. The classical Sufi explanation of the four paths of the heart is attributed to Hakim Tirmidhi. It is the prayer and the dhikr (remembrance ) which generates a force within the wall of our chest which can withstand the viscisitudes of the trangressors of the Way.’ It is the purification of the heart. better than his. enter thou My Heaven!” (Qur’an 89:27-30) This faithfull soul is that of the highest state of all states and is accomplished through the purification of the heart by way to the observance of perfect righteousness (Ar. (Qur’an 12:53) This is the stage of the soul commanding to evil. like Majnun. And it is this asscension of the mind with the rememberance of God in the mirroring of the Divine Decree in the heart which engulfs the lover of the Shrouded Supremacy. The Second is that of “Lawwama”: “And I do swear by the self-reproaching (lawwama) soul. well pleased and well-pleasing unto Him! Enter thou. First. and the heart is endowed with four stages.’ (37:84) The commentators describe this ‘qalb salimi’ as a ‘heart that is pure. The heart is also the center of the seating of Faith (iman). The heart (Ar. it implies the whole character. and if he draws near Me by the span of a palm I draw near him by the cubit. In a Sahih hadith catalogued by Muslim it is recorded that: “I am near to the thought of My servant as he thinks about me. then.”(Haft Vadi) In Sufi symbolism the heart is the locus of divine attraction and the seat of righteousness. and unaffected by the diseases that afflict others’. As the heart in Arabic is taken to be not only the seat of feelings and affections. also a sahih hadith scholar.’ And the progress of such an understanding develops in stages. Most Merciful”.

one who asserts Divinity to Unity (muwahhid) Degree of the Heart: the Breast the Heart the Inner Heart the Kernel. who had drunk from the wellspring of wisdom and tasted of the waters of mercy. that through this evanescent Servant a memory may endure of that youth of the school of the Divine Unity…” (Pg. ‘Is he whose breast God has opened up to submission…?’ (39:22). Haft Vadi) “Thus. In Sufism the term qiyamat has another connotation. too. the lesser resurrection. The third curtain is th einner heart (fu’ad). The submitter with undeepened belief (muslim) Inspired Soul. the place of the light of faith. accordig to God’s word. In the teachings of Simnani we see these teachings laid out. and with a pure heart apprehendeth the divine wisdom in the endless Manifestations of Divinity. the resting place of the covenant of submission (islam). Spiritual Resurrections: “With inward and outward eyes he witnesseth the mysteries of resurrection in the realms of creation and the souls of men. Thew second curtain is the heart (qalb). ‘Love for him has rent her innermost heart.Degree of the Soul: Soul that commands to evil. a “knower” (arif) Soul at Peace. a resurrection takes place and the phenomenal realm is constantly full of these . ‘He has written faith upon their hearts’ (58:22). in proving to his son Nathan the planes of resurrection and death. according to His words. in accordance with His words. to remember that the term resurrection (qiyamat) is not the Judgement or return of ‘Isa that the Quran holds to be the Qiyamat. in a drop he beholdeth the secrets of the sea. 34. We relate it here. Haft Vadi) In Sufism it is extremely important. or innermost essence of the Heart Among other interpretations is that of Rashid al-Din Maybudi he writes: “The human heart has four curtains: The first is the breast (sadr). a person of faith (mu’imin) Blaming Soul. of manifestation which is directed inwards. ‘In the ocean he findeth a drop.’”(pg. In the broader teachings of Sufism it is related that qiyama is: “Resurrection symbolizes the turning of the wayfarer’s heart from the forms of illusory multiplicity to visions of the theophanies of Majesty at the different levels of manifestation of the divine beauty. especially from the point of view of jurisprudential knowledge. For Simnani these resurrections are due to the process of voluntary death (al-mawt al-ikhtiyari) which is the initiation of the mystical experience in this life as a living being and dieing to the material world of ego. 12.”[24] 5.’(12:30). Luqman. At each level. As such the resurrections are those of al-qiyama as-sughra. advanced the dream as an evidence and an example. the pavillio of the witnessing (mushahid) of the Real (al-Haqq). ‘He has written. Simnani uses the term qiyamat in connection with fana which is to say after the annihilation of the individual he subsides (baqa) in the Love of God.

resurrections. It is in this context that the Prophet said, ‘One who dies experiences resurrection,’ beginning with the wayfarer’s resurrection after voluntary death, and ending with the great resurrection which comes about after natural death.” [Nurbakhsh, "Qiyama", Sufi Symbolism] 6. Annihilation: “This is the plane whereon the vestiges of all things are destroyed in the traveler (musallik), and on the horizonof eternity the Divine Face riseth out of the darkness, and the meaning of ‘All on the earth shall pass away, but the face of thy Lord….’ is made manifest.” (Pg. 37, Haft Vadi) The idea of Annihilation (fana) is an essential concept in the Sufi system of purification. Jami writes: “Annihilation means that the overpowering force of the manifestation of Divinity’s Being to the Sufi’s inward reality erases his awareness of other than Divinity. It should be understood that ‘annihilation from annihilation’ is contained in annihilation. That is, if the annihilated traveler is aware of his own annihilation, he is not truly annihilated, since both the attribute of annihilation and the possessor of that attribute are in the category of ‘other than Divinity’. Hence, awareness of annihilation negates annihilation.” Annihilation promotes the individual consciousness to seeing all as being origined in the creative power of God. Najm al-Din Kubra describes the process of passing away: “The possession of a man by a mystical state (al-halah) is stronger than the possession of a state by a man…1. at first a man passes away (yafna) from his own will (ikhtiyarihi) into the Divine Will (ikhtiyar al-Haqq). 2. Then he ascends and is characterized (yattasifu) by Divine Will, this being more sublime (ajalla) than passing away (al-fana) into Divine Will. This characterization by Divine Will come to an end 3. When he (the mystic voyager) is tried by affliction (ibtula) and tested by the onslaughts of Awesome Majesty (hawahimi’l’azamah). 4. Thus he pastures alone in the meadows of Majesty (al-jalal) and speeds onwards into the plazas of Awesomeness (al-kibriya’i) and flies in the atmosphere of Essence (or substance, al-huwih) until he is clothed with (Divine) Will (al-ikhtiyar). Then he is a khalif (successor) with full claim (al-’istihqaqaq) to teaching the Path (al-tariqah).”[25] It is interesting that for Kubra that the annihilation of the individual is an annihilation of one’s will with that of the Divine Will. This is also spoken of to some extent by ‘Ali-Muhammad Shirazi and Mirza Husayn-Ali Baha’ Allah. 7. Wahdat ash-Shuhud: An important accomplishment of Baha’ Allah is the distinction in his system of the Unity of Witnessing rather than the pantheistic leaning Unity of Being doctrine (wahdat alwajub). Being (wajub) is above all that is created we see this in the phrases: “Wherefore, the lovers of the face of the Beloved have said; ‘O thou, the One Whose essence alone showeth the way to His Essence, and Who is sanctified above any likeness to His creatures.” How can utter nothingness gallop its steed in the field of preexistence, or a fleeting shadow reach to the everlasting sun? The Friend hath said, ‘But for Thee, we had not known Thee.’ and the Beloved said, ‘nor attained Thy Presence.” (Pg. 23, Haft Vadi)

It is an interesting concept within the Qur’aan that the worshippers are to seek out Gods countenance when it is clearly stated that Gods countenance or Essence is unattainable. We see this here explained in the doctrine of Wahdat ash-Shuhud as a witnessing to the Countenance of God through the meditant however, the reality of achieving substantial oneness whether physical or metaphysical is a perception not an experience or rather the experience of consciousness which is devoid of other than God. This doctrine was first expounded upon by Shah Wali’llah (Sirhindi) the Naqshbandi Sufi of al-Hind. Some scholars give initial claim to this to Simnani. Baha’ Allah further points out on the substantial seperation of God from the ascendee: “However, let none construe these utterances to be anthropomorphism, nor see in them the descent of the worlds of God into the grades of the creatures; nor should they lead thine Eminence to such assumptions. For Divinity is, in His Essence, holy above ascent and descent, entrance and exit; ; He hath through all eternity been free of the attributes of human creatures, and ever will remain so. No man hath ever known Him; no soul hath ever found the pathway to His Being. Every mystic knower hath wandered far astray in the valley of the knowledge of Him; every saint hath lost his way in seeking to comprehend His Essence. Sanctified is He above the understanding of the wise; exalted is He above the knowledge of the knowing! The way is barred and to seek it is impiety; His proof is His signs; His being is His evidence.” (Pg. 22, Haft Vadi) 8. Muhammadan Reality: “And I praise and glorify the first sea which hath branched from the ocean of the Divine Essence, and the first morn which hath glowed from the Horizon of Oneness, and the first sun which hath risen in the heaven of eternity, and which hath risen in the Heaven of Eternity, and the first fire which was lit from the Lamp of Preexistence in the lantern of singleness: He who was Ahmad in the kingdom of the exalted ones, and Muhammad amongst the concourse of the near ones, and Mahmud in the realm of the sincere ones. ‘…by whichsoever ye will, invoke Him: he hath most excellent names’ in the hearts of those who know. And upon His household and companions be abundant and abiding and eternal peace!” (Pg. 2, Haft Vadi) “If any of the utterances of this servant may not be comprehended, or may lead to perturbation, the same must be inquired of again, that no doubt may linger, and the meaning be clear as the Face of the Beloved One shining from the ‘Glorious Station’ (Maqamat-i Mahmud, cf. Quran 17:81).” The concept of Maqam Mahmuda has it’s origins in Orthodox hadith related by Bukhari.[27] In this conception the Positon of Muhammad is exalted at the final judgement and he is given the highest position in paradise. Of course we do not know what this really means. However, in Ismaili thought it has taken on the occurrence of the “Nutq”, the point of all-awareness. In Sufism, many have rendered this the most exalted point in terms of knowing. Hadith 1: “Narrated Ibn ‘Umar: ‘On the Day of Resurrection the people will fall on their knees and every nation will follow their prophet and they will say, ‘O so-and-so! Intercede (for us with God), til (the right of) of intercession will be given to the Prophet and that will

be the day when God will raise him to a station of praise and glory (Glorious Station).” [Bukhari, Vol. 6, Hadith No. 242] Hadith 2: “Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah: ‘God’s Messenger said, ‘Whoever, after listeining to the Adhan says, ‘O God, the Lord of this complete call and of this prayer, which is going to be established! Give Muhammad al-Wasila and al-Fadila and raise him to Maqam Mahmuda, which you have promised him,’ will be granted my intercession for him on the Day of Resurrection.” [Bukhari, Vol. 6, Hadith No. 243] It is important to point out that the Muhammadan Reality is the Ocean which has branched out and in another sense the Sea which the Throne is set upon: “The Arabic root for the word prophecy is based on a root connoting the giving of news or tidings. The prophet is one who expounds upon the divine essence, attributes, names, and decrees, as they are revelaed to him. He is a realized one, who is primally and essentially the Universal Intellect (‘aql al-kulli), delegated by Divinity to inform the Universal Soul (nafs al-kulli) directly and the individual soul indirectly. Each of the prophets, from the time of Adam to that of Mohammad, represents a different manifestation of the prophecy of the Supreme Spirit which is the First Intellect. The prophecy of the first intellect is lasting and essential, while the prophecy of manifestations is phenomenal and accidental. The Mohammadan reality represents the First Intellect or Supreme Spirit, as indicated in the Prophet’s statements: ‘First, Divinity created the intellect’, ‘First Divinity created my light’, and First, Divinity created my spirit.’ [Nurbakhsh, Lexicon: Foruzanfar, Ahadith-i Mathnawi, no. 342]” [Lahiji, Sharh-i Golshan-i Raz, 23] 9. Kubrawi & Baha’ Allah Light Symbols: The most common symbol through the spritually bound Islamic meditants is that of light. It’s origin is based in the Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet it is used by Baha’ Allah and the Kubrawi and all great sufi poets and writers. “…Thus when the wayfarer gazeth only upon the place of appearance– that is, when he seeth only the many-colored globes –he beholdeth yellow and red and white; hence it is that conflict hath prevailed among the creatures, and a darksome dust from limited souls hath hid the world. And some do gaze upon the effulgence of the light; and some have drunk of the wine of oneness and these see nothing but the sun itself.” (Pg. 21, Haft Vadi) “O My Brother! A pure heart is as a mirror; cleanse it with the burnish of love and severance from all save Divinity, that the true sun may shine within it and the eternal morning dawn.” (Pg. 21-22, Haft Vadi) “The purpose of this is to say that when the mystic sees the effect within himself (which is the acceptance of the words of mystical saints), he put his foot forward on the mystical path with full confidence. He then witnesses the lights, obtains knowledge of the signs of the path, and comprehends the real nature of the removal of the veils and lifting of the covers. It is vital that, until his dying breath, he should not be heedless for one instant, since the veil of darkness falls in every instant in the visible realm which is itself nothing but absolute darkness and nothingness.”

000 more veils at this stage which must be illuminated. After this is the curtain of the invisible realm of the soul. After this is the curtain of the hiddenmost mystery (ghayb alghuyub). and the Book is the Qur’an (Fairuzabadi.000 veils must be destroyed in this stage. The color of this curtain is a very pleasing yellow and there are 10. the splendor of His face would burn whatever turned it’s eyes towards it. according to another tradition). After this is the curtain of the invisible realm of the heart which is red and ruby-colored. One author writes of the Light symbolism as it relates to Prophet Muhammad as: “Divinity calls the Prophet (s) ‘Nur’ or ‘Light’ and ‘Siraajan muneeran’ or ‘a Light-Giving Lamp’ when He says to mankind: ‘There has come to you from Divinity a Light and a Book for discernment’ (5:15) and ‘O Prophet! Truly We have sent thee as a Witness. and 10. However.e. the color of it’s curtain is green and 10. If it were lifted. and 10.’ i. After this is the curtain of the invisible of the spirit. Ch. the color of which is white and extremely fine and there are also 10. veils of lights and color symbolism. Tanweer al-miqbaas). as the Active Intellect– one step removed from the Ideal of his existence– he has a red color and of course the earthly color is represented by the darksome globe.. in fact. the Light is the Prophet (s). Nothing can veil Divinity. as having in idealic state a white color.” [28] According to Hadith: “After the lifiting of these 70. due to the Suhrawardi tradition. Part 1. not Divinity thai is veiled. as Gabriel is sometimes known. and 10. Some may.000 more veils must be llifted at this stage.000 veils must be lifted at this stage.000 additional veils lie at this threshold. and as a Lampspreading light’ (33:46). Regarding the Suhrawardian tradition it is interesting to point out that his writings regarding Gabriel identify the Spirit.000 additional veils must be removed at this stage. the curtain of which is blue. it would seem at least they both have a common origin that being the symbolism of discourse of Isma`ilism where there has been a continual tradition of relating spiritual insight in symbols composed of lights. and a Warner — and as one who invites to Divinity’s (grace) by His leave. After this an awesome pure black. It is he who is veiled by these veils which are brought about by Divinity. Then there is the curtain of the invisible realm of the inmost being. a Bearer of glad tidings.’ “(Reported by Muslim) It may not in fact be a Kubrawiya influence that we see the use of light symbolism in Baha’ Allahs writings.000 veils in this stage which must be lifted. and 10. sec.’ ( al-Shifa.000 veils the reaches the veil of ‘Divine Grandeur’ (hijab alkubriya) just as the Prophet (upon him be peace) says: ‘His veil is of light (fire. Ibn ‘Abbas explains that ‘Nur’ means ‘Rasul. Al-Qadi ‘Iyad said: ‘Divinity calls the Prophet (s) ‘Nur’ or ‘Light’ … and it is also said that the Light refers to the Qur’an. And all these veils relate to the mystic’s being.Another example of the power of Seven in mystical discourse is presented by Simnani as he summates his mystical stages as: “The first curtain is of the invisible realm of Satan which is turbid. 3. argue that it is. 14). Ali al-Qari says: “It has also been said that both the .

that is why “Divinity called him a lamp and not a sun. On the level of Divine Unicity (wahidiyat). or madad. Pure light cannot be perceived except by its appearance throuugh a being’s manifestation (mazhar-i maujud). Being. differentiation between these three comes to exist. Therefore there is in this verse a warning that the sun is the highest of the material lights (al-anwaar al-hissi) and that other lights are outpourings from it: similarly the Prophet (s) is the highest of the spiritual lights and other lights are derived from him by virtue of his mediating connection and pivotal rank in the overall sphere of creation. but it is possible to take many lights from the lamp” (Tafsir al-Khazin). Light aligned with true absolute knowledge. Light which comprehensiviely circumscribes everything because it has both appearance and manifestation (zahir wa izhar). This is also inferred from the tradition: “The first thing that Divinity created is my light”" ( Sharh alShifa. 1:505). are innumerable in their differentiated manifestation.” Ali al-Qari said: “To illumine the hearts of the believers in general and the gnostics in particular. in so far as there are many different objects-of-knowledge (ma’lumat). because it is impossible to take anything directly from the light of the sun. non-existence has its own proper self-determination (ta’ayyun) . When considered from the perspective of Unity (wahdat). 21. each with its own attachments in contrast to Existence (which is unique). Pure light is Divinity’s Being and is intellegible when juxtaposed to non-existence (‘adam). Qadi ‘Iyad said: “He called him a luminous lamp to make his position clear. because just as he is a tremendous light and the source of all lights. while others are completely veiled.”[29] Another interesting example of the use of hierachical division is that of the following passage: “Thus for they move on these three differing planes.. 1:505). he is also a book that gathers up and makes clear all the secrets” ( Sharh al-Shifa. Knowledge and Light remain invisible and incomprehensible– an plurality exists on the plane of the incomprehensible– no plurality exists on the plane of the Oneness-of-the-Essence (hadhrat-i ahadiyat-i dhatiya). It has been said that “Divinity has extended [amadd] the light of discernment [basira] through the light of his prophethood just as He extends the light of eyesight [basar] through the light of the sun. Haft Vadi) The tri-hierarchical division is spoken of by Sufis in the following passage the lights are put on three levels and is loosely analoguos to the configuration of Baha’ Allah in a previous passage: “The Light-of-Reality (nur-i haqiqat) comprises three levels: Light aligned with Absolute Being. So the manifestation of being (wojud) is juxtaposed to the nonexistent archetypal objects-of-knowledge contained in Divinity’s Knowledge. and hence the sign of conflict doth continually appear on earth. extends from the Prophet (s) to everyone. because of His saying: “He hath placed therein a great lamp and a moon giving light” (25:61). Be that as it may.” and “Sirajan muniran means a luminous sun. and some the grades of self. however.” and this extension of Divinity’s light. ans some inhabit the realms of limitation. For some there are who dwell upon the plane of oneness and speak of that world.Light and the Book refer to Muhammad (s).” (Pg. Beings. to clarify his prophethood and to illumine the hearts of the believers and the gnostics (‘aarifeen) by what he had brought. however. the understanding and the words of the wayfarers have differed.

1979. Ruzbehan. Ed. Considering the numerous allusions to light in the Quran. III 195-6] In the Quran those who are against the Way of God. Shamso’d-Din Mohammad.” [ tr.conceptualised in the human mind. inner faith. Ketab at-Ta’rifat. Tasawwof wa Adabiyat-e Tasawwof.) Jorjani. Mohammad. photocopy (n. Tehran. (Asiri). Abo’l-Fadhl Rasido’d-Din. Ebrahim al-Abyari. Non-existence is darkness. Latifa-ye Ghaibi. Anonymous Persian language MS. Tehran. ‘Ali-Asghar Hekmat. Russian text translated into Persian by Sirus Izadi. . Tehran. Khaniqah Nimatullahi Publications 1993) available on-line for order at http://www. Ed. Baqli Shirazi. Baha’u’llah. while the aspect facing non-existence is imperfect. see Lexicon. 1978. Nurbakhsh. and appear in this study: Bertels. ‘Ali ebn Mohammad. the white symbolism of Sufism may be more Quranic than the typical non-Sufi orthodox Muslim may think. Kashf al-Asrar wa ‘Oddat al-Abrar. This position is juxtaposed with those who are full of faith (mu’iminiun) who are known as having a brilliant light shining from their faces. Shah Ne'motGod. The aspect of the world which faces Existence possesses perfection. Incl. In Conclusion Undoubtedly the Sufi background to the writings of Mirza Husayn-Ali Baha’ Allah. Nurbakhsh Library. Mafatih al-E’jaz fi Sharh-e Golshan-e Raz. Ne’mato’llah Wali. Mer’at-e ‘Oshshaq. Darabi. Bibliography of Works Cited from “Lexicon” (Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh. and without belief in anything are known as Al-Zalimun. Beirut. The Haft Vadi was not written in a vacuum but spoke directly to the Sufi paradigm. Istanbul. New York. which may be understood to mean their soul– the essence of thier beings. it used Symbolic utterance to convey a message of religious reform and the need for a new “Muslim”. Risalaha-yi Shah Ne'matollah-i Wali. 1985. Nazif M. Yevgeni The Following works were translated into english by Javad Nurbakhsh. Mashrab al-Arwah. it would seem lacking not to have such a symbolism when talking of matters of true belief. The world has two aspects (wajh): one facing non-exitence and the other facing Existence. Tehran. and Existence is light. (Shah). Rasa’el-e Shah Ne’mato’llah-e Wali. 1978. are better understood when we actually look at how the Sufi discourse is carried out. Lahiji. 1958. Tehran.d. Javad Nurbakhsh’s Farhang at-Tassawuf Sufi Symbolism: the Nurbakhsh Encyclopedia of Sufi Terminology). Ed. Ed. Hoca. In fact. Ed. 4 Vols. 1974. Sayyed Nuro’d-Din.nimatullahi. Kaiwan Sami’i. the dark ones. 10 Vols. Maibodi. the Pir of the Nimatullahi Order.

London. 4 See pg. XXI. State University of New York Press (1995) 7 See Izutsu. 1982. New York. Albany. 22. University of California Press (1984) 8 The following section is a synopsis of the work on Iranian Sufi development of Mohammad Isa Waley Najm al-Din Kubra and the Central Asian School of Sufism and the work of S. Berlin/New York. Ed. Michael Chodkiewicz’s Seal of the Saints: Prophethood and Sainthood in the Doctrine of Ibn Arabi. “Manifestation” in Sufism and Taoism: A Comparitive Study of Key Philosophical Concept. 62. Khaniqah Nimatullahi Publications (1993) . Ed. FOOTNOTES: 1 Pg. Berkeley. Routledge (1982). By Esham Yar-Shater. Asiatic Soceity of Bengal.H. March 1990 13 The following excerpts are taken from Dr. Beyond Faith and Infedility: the Sufi Poetry and Teachings of Mahmud Shabistari. 175. No. Nasr and J. Eliade (Ed. Eliad (Ed.W. De Gruyter (1980) 6 Jamal Elias. Nasr (ed.J.Sarraj Tusi. E. Nicholson quoted in Samah Salim’s “Mansur al-Hallaj and the Poetry of Ecstasy” in Journal of Arabic Literature Vol.) 3 See “Wilayat” in Encyclopedia of Religion. Curzon Press 2 Quoted in “Wilayat” in Encyclopedia of Religion. Kashshaf Estelehat al-Fonun. New York. Calcutta. 352. Crossroads (1991) 9 Quoted in Kojiro Nakamura’s “Imam Ghazali’s Cosmology Reconsidered with Special Reference to the Concept of Jabarut” in Studia Islamica Vol. New York. Mohammad A’la ebn ‘Ali.H. 10 Pg. Tahanawi. Leaonard Lewisohn. pg.) “Islamic Sprituality: Manifestations”. Ketab al-loma’ fe’t-Tasawwof. Javad Nurbakhsh’s Farhang at-Tassawuf (Sufi Symbolism: the Nurbakhsh Encyclopedia of Sufi Terminology). 11 See “Dahabiya” in the Encyclopedia Iranica. Abu Nasr.). 12 R. in The Throne Carriers of Divinity . 51. Persian Literature. Cambridge. Gibb Memorial Series. 80 (1994). 1914.A. Matini’s Persian Literature in S. The Islamic Texts Society (1993) 5 Quoted in Gerhard Bowering’s The Mystical Vision of Existence in Classical Islam.

Baine Harris. ‘Uthman al-Jullabi al-Hujwiri (translated by R. State University of New York Press (1992). Wilmette. (1976) 15 See Hamid Algar’s The Path of Divinity’s Bondsmen from Origin to Return.14 Pg. (1993) . London. 28 Quoted in “Mysticasl Visions: the Risala -i Nur” in Muslim World Vol. Of which there is also the rational school of Murtidi and the new ideas of Amin alKhuli who uses an inter-textual technique. Routledge and Kegan Paul (1974) for ‘Attar’s maqamat quoted here and throughout. Mir Waliuddin’s Contemplative Disciplines in Sufism. London. 18 Field No 7. Ltd. 267. 20 Pg. Khoja Abdullah Ansari Hirawi (tranlated by Dr. New York. in Dr.A. Costa Mesa Mazda Publishers (1979) for as-Sarraj’s maqamat quoted here and throughout. Javad Nurbakhsh’s Sufism II. 38. 228. Maktaba Dar as-Salam (1993). Albany. The Mystical Vision of Existence in Classical Islam. 16 See Farrid al-Din ‘Attar’s The Conference of the Birds. 17 See Mirza Husayn-’Ali Baha’ Allah’s (translated by Marzieh Gail) Haft Vadi (the Seven Valleys). Khaniqah Nimatullahi Publications 25 Quoted in “Return to the One” in Neoplatonism and Islamic Mysticism.# Pg. San Francisco. Luzac & Co. This tafsir is written in the strict traditionalist school of Qur’anic interpretation. ‘Ali b. 122 in Willam Chittick’s “the Five Divine Presences” in The Muslim World (1983) 27 Pg. Quoted in Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din al-Hilali and Muhammad Muhsin Khan’s Interpretation (tafsir) of the Meanings of The Noble Qur’an in the English Language: A Summarized Version of At-Tabari. State University of New York Press (1992) 26 Quoted pg. London. East-West Publications (1980) 24 This and the preceding in Sachiko Murata’s The Tao of Islam. 21 Titus Burckhardt in Introduction to Sufism. Kashf al-M ahjub. 440. 23 See Dr. Baha’i Publishing Trust (1991) for Baha’ Allah’s maqamat quoted here and throughout. Albany. Nicholson). Thorsons (1995) 22 Ibn Sina (translated by Henry Corbin) in Henry Corbin’s Avicenna & the Visionary Recital. Al-Qurtubi and Ibn Kathir with comments from Sahih al-Bukhari. Edited by R.1. Kashf al-Mahjub. Princeton: Princeton University Press (1990). 83. 88-89. Munir Ahmad Mughal) Said Maidan (The 100 Fields between Man and Divinity) Islamic Book Foundation (1983) 19 Pg. No. Riyadh.

29 Quoted from “The Light of the Prophet” on the World Wide Web 10/23/96: http//

Chapter 8 – Some Sufi Conceptions on Resurrection (Qiyama)
by Michael McCarron The Resurrection or Qiyama is an important principle not just generally within Islam but particularly for Sufis. The following chapter is an attempt at addressing Sufi conceptions of Qiyama. First a general overview of Resurrection is in order. Qiyama (kiyama): the action of raising oneself, of rising, and of resurrection. In Islam it is believed in the following: 1. Prophetic Signs. Resurrection is preceded by Annihilation. Signs: “the earth will be shaken with its earthquake” and will “yield up its burdens (Kuran XLIX 1-2). The sky will crack, the planets will be dispersed, the seas “poured forth”, the graves overturned (LXXXXII: 1-4), the mountains will fly. (cf. pg. 235 Encyclopedia of Islam vol. 5 article “Kiyama”) 2. The annihilation, “the Sound shall ring out, and a second shall follow it (Kuran XLLIX: 67). This sound is the sound of a trumpet one announcing the annihilation the other sound announcing the resurrection. Only God shall remain all shall perish save his face (wajh).” (Kuran XXVIII, 88) 3. The resurrection, the second blast from the trumpet. The whole of humanity will be revived in body, soul and spirit. “The day when the crier shall cry out from a nearby place, the day when they shall all in truth hear the cry that will be the day of resurrection” (Kuran L, 41-2). 4. The gathering (hashr) God “shall gather” all for judgement. Shi’a anomaly to traditional Islamic Resurrection, for those practicing Shi’a Irfan there is an important belief in the return of the 12th Imam which is also recoginized in some Sunni Sufi circles: “We may further note that the Shi’i beliefs refer to a first “return” which will precede the universal resurrectiona and gathering; only the virtuous will take part in it under the guidance of the Mahdi of the last times. This is the raj’a (return to life) of kind of millenarianism. The Rafidis, in the early centuries of Islam, insisted on this. It continues to be one of the perspectives of IMamism, linked to the “return” of the 12th Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, the ‘vanished one’ (al-Gha’ib), who with this ‘first return’, will be alQa’im, ‘the riser’. The Isma’ili ‘hidden sense’ has more than once transposed the foretould parousia on a gnostic and extra-temporal basis. ” pg. 236 EI Vol. 5, “Kiyama” 3 Quranic motifs of Resurrection:

1. comparing the creation to the resurrection, which then appars to be a “new creation” (Kuran XVII:49) or the “second creation” (LIII: 47) 2. A second “sign” of the resurrection is the anology of the produ tion of vegetables and of fruits, and the revivication of the soil by water (XLI, 39, LXIII, 11). “Thus we restore life to the earth after its death. Observe how resurrection (nushur) comes about (XXXV, 9). 3. The example of miracles with reference to a dead man raised by God, (Surah Baqara 72-3) Baha’ Allah writes regarding resurrection and life and the gathering: “Know then that when Muhammad, the Point of the Qur’án and the Light of the AllGlorious, came with perspicuous verses and luminous proofs manifested in such signs as are beyond the proof of all existence to produce, He bade all men follow this lofty and outstretched Path in accordance with the precepts that He had brought from God. Whoso acknowledged Him, recognized the signs of God in His inmost Being, and saw in His beauty the changeless beauty of God, the decree of “resurrection”, “ingathering”, “life”, and “paradise” was passed upon him. For he who had believed in God and in the Manifestation of His beauty was raised from the grave of heedlessness, gathered together in the sacred ground of the heart, quickened to the life of faith and certitude, and admitted into the paradise of the divine presence. What paradise can be loftier than this, what ingathering mightier, and what resurrection greater? Indeed, should a soul be acquainted with these mysteries, he would grasp that which none other hath fathomed. ” (Baha’ Allah, Para #57, Jawahir al-Asrar, In Sufism we can see a different understanding of Resurrection than a literal reading of the Qur’an. There is a deeper level of meaning that the sufi sees in Resurrection: “With inward and outward eyes he witnesseth the mysteries of resurrection in the realms of creation and the souls of men, and with a pure heart apprehendeth the divine wisdom in the endless Manifestations of Divinity. ‘In the ocean he findeth a drop, in a drop he beholdeth the secrets of the sea.”(pg. 12, Baha’ Allah, Haft Vadi) In Sufism the term qiyamat has another connotation. In the teachings of Simnani we see these teachings laid out. Simnani uses the term qiyamat in connection with fana which is to say after the annihilation of the individual he subsides (baqa) in the Love of al-Lah. For Simnani another stage developed that of the resurrection (qiyamat) of the individaul, like that of a phoenix, from the Annihilation. Simanani has five resurrections of Inner Levels of Death and Resurrection, perhaps in realtion to the five Lata’if: Resurrection of the Mystery (al-azifa), Resurrection of the Spirit (al-waqi’a, the stage of visionary expreinces),

Resurrection of the Inmost Being (al-haqqa), Resurrection of the Heart (as-sa’a) , Resurrection of the Bodily Substance (al-qiyama). For Simnani these resurrections are due to the process of voluntary death (al-mawt al-ikhtiyari) which is the initiation of the mystical experience in this life as a living being and dieing to the material world of ego. As such the resurrections are those of al-qiyama as-sughra, the lesser resurrection. In the broader teachings of Sufism it is related that qiyama is: «Resurrection symbolizes the turning of the wayfarer’s heart from the forms of illusory multiplicity to visions of the theophanies of Majesty at the different levels of manifestation of the divine beauty. At each level, of manifestation which is directed inwards, a resurrection takes place and the phenomenal realm is constantly full of these resurrections. It is in this context that the Prophet said, ‘One who dies experiences resurrection,’ beginning with the wayfarer’s resurrection after voluntary death, and ending with the great resurrection which comes about after natural death.” [Nurbakhsh, "Qiyama", Sufi Symbolism] The Sufi Messiah is known as the Mahdi: “Another variation on the Mahdi doctrine is the Sufi view, which stresses the mystical lineage of the Mahdi and his role as Sufi master. Overall, the Sufi view does not fundamentally differ from the views articulated by other Muslims, except in one very important respect. Whereas the Sunnis expect the return of a pious Muslim reformer, and Shi’a expect the return of a vanished imam, the Sufis generally expect the Mahdi to be the final link in a long chain of masters and disciples in the Sufi tradition. In that sense, this continuous chain or lineage begins with Muhammad and ends with the Mahdi. The Mahdi is therefore viewed as the final and most perfect Sufi master, who is able to guide Muslims to God. As the “divinely guided guide of humanity” he will occupy a place between the believers and God. This is not to say that the Mahdi will be divine in any way. Rather, it is to say that he will serve as the axis of human faith in God, or stated differently, he will serve as a doorway of sorts on the path to God.” (Kamran Scot Aghaie (2005) Pg. 5982 “Messianism:Messianism in the Muslim Tradition” Encyclopedia of Religion (2nd Edition). Vol. 9 Macmillan Reference USA Detroit) The Sufi messianic figure becomes transfigured in the Sufi understanding of Qiyama to one of a great teacher that shall come in the Spirit of Christ according to Ibn Arabi. Ibn Arabi wrote of a messianic figure known as the “Seal of the Saints”, he used the figure of the simorgh or “Phoenix” to represent this messianic figure in his poetry. It is interesting to note that Ibn Arabi is instructed regarding the Seal by an intermediary identified with the Phoenix, which is itself identified with the title, ”the courier of my Lord” (furaniq Rabb-i).The notion of the Seal of sainthood was first introduced by al-Hakim al- Tirmidhi (d. ca. 295/908) in his Kitab Sirat al-Awliya’ (The book of the life conduct of the saints). However, Tirmidhi does not identify who the Seal of the Saints is whereas Ibn Arabi does:

E. no inflection (i’rab) occurs therein. 'Isa]. As for the name by which he is particularly distinguished [i. 1302/1885) made claim to be the Mahdi since 622 X 3 = 1866. (pg. not an Arab. 417. He notes that Muhammad appeared in the year 622 C. human in manifestation (ruhani al-mahtid. 416. For after me these are closed passages(âyât masdûdah). His name is ‘Abd Allah-that being the name of every Servant of God.Ibn Arabi further instructs us regarding who the Seal is: But in the Jawab Ibn al-’Arabi wrote. 422. whether in my words or the words of the Shaykh. just as the “Seal of sainthood” is that by which your own situation is sealed (ma khatama bi-hi ‘ala maqami-ka) in the furthest boundary of your station (muntaha maqami-ka)”. Qunawi. as it “operates without restriction” (yatsarrafu) in the esoteric art of the grammar of Arabic: It begins with the eye/source of certitude (‘ayn al-yaqin) and ends with the eternality of enablement (qayyamiyyat al-tamkin). likewise. ruddy hue. and he is rather tall than short. His complexion is of a fair. and of me-dium height. so there is here an identification of the Mahdi with the Seal of the Saints.e. The cycle of the kingdom will be sealed by him. his hair reddish. He has a minister (wazir) named John [the Baptist] (Yahya). thus every 622 years a new cycle would begin. Imam Muhammad Ahmad al-Mahdi (d. insi al-mashhad). It should be noted that Ibn Arabi’s successor in the initiatic chain of transmission. Rather they should limit themselves to pondering that which is unambiguous (sarîh) and clearly determined (mansûs) without trying to interpret what is not plain and unambiguous. The “Millennial” Motif in Book of the Fabulous Gryphon) He is from a foreign people. and sainthood. He is like the radiant full-moon. shall be sealed by him.” (pg. It was this notion that became important to one Mahdist claimant in the Sudan. ended the initatic chain until the time of the Mahdi’s return when as Seal of the Saints all guidance is referenced to the mahdi: “I enjoin my companions not to take up after me the problematic questions (mujmalât)in the intricacies of the intuitive sciences (al-ma’ârif al-dhawqiyyah). The “Millennial” Motif in Book of the Fabulous Gryphon) It should be noted that in the Islamic eschatology Jesus (‘Isa) is to return as the Mahdi. stating that: “For the “Sun of the West” is the light of intellections arising in the world of your transcendence and that which manifests itself of the secrets of particularization and generalization to your heart. The “Millenial” Motif in the Book of the Fabulous Gryphon) One more attribute to be noted about Ibn Arabi is his belief in cyclical manifestations of the reemergence of the Phoneix (‘anqa). well-proportioned in his physical make-up. Let none of them accept a single word from the . founder of the Baha’i Tariqat or Faith. Ibn Arabi as well identifies this figure with the rising of the Sun from the West.. The Seal is spiritual in origin. Which would put this claim also within the living ministry of Baha’ Allah. who is non-Arab (a jami). “The one who is worthy [of being the Seal of sainthood] is a man who is like unto his father. (pg.

the Companions (of the Prophet) who sincerely fulfilled what they had pledged to God. and will then fill it with justice and equity. unless he should come upon the …He will wipe out injustice and its people and uphold Religion (al-Din).. the historical founders of the schools of Islamic law).e. the Religion by which the Messenger of God would judge and rule if he were there. the Mahdi. Now in this verse (30:47)–which the Helpers take as their constant prayer (by day) and their inseparable companion at night–God has given them the most excellent knowledge of true sincerity (sidq). through (inner) unveiling and immediate witnessing. But the common people of the Muslims and the greater part of the elite among them will rejoice in him. although they speak only Arabic. He will levy the poll-tax and call (mankind) to God with the sword. and if they are more than one. since that was the limit of the uncertainty the Messenger of God expressed in his saying concerning the rule of the Mahdi.html. none of them is Arab. He will manifest Religion as it (really) is in Itself. God would lengthen it so that he (i. And they have a guardian. He will reinvigorate Islam after its degradation and bring it back to life after its death.e. He will eliminate the different schools (of religious law) so that only the Pure Religion (Kor. so that whoever refuses will be killed. that it was “for five. These Helpers are from the non-Arab peoples. pg.” (“The last will and testament of Ibn ‘Arabi’s foremost disciple. not of their kind. seven or nine years.ibnarabisociety.http://www. because they will see the Mahdi judging differently from the way followed by their imams (i. So they will only accept the Mahdi’s authority grudgingly and against their will. then everything he needs is united in that one person. and whoever opposes him will be forsaken. 3-6 So if there is only one Helper. as their inner state and direct experience. he is the most elect of the Helpers and the most excellent of (the Mahdi’s) Trusted Ones. Sadr al-Din Qunawi”. the people of ijtihad. Even if there were only one day left for this world. because of their fear of his sword and his strength and because they covet (the power and wealth) that he possesses.. 10/25/2008) The following prophecies are from Ibn Arabi’s Futuhat 366 regarding the function of the Mahdi: …Know–may God support us!–that God has a viceregent (khalifa) who will come forth when the earth has become filled with injustice and oppression. 39:3) remains. and his enemies will be those who follow blindly the ‘ulama’. Then he should extend to him my greetings in order that he may take from him the sciences which flow from him. So they know that true sincerity is God’s sword on earth: God always gives His victorious support (nasr) to whoever stands up for someone (in the divine cause) while being distinguished by this true sincerity….” And the totality of what he needs to have . while the true Knowers of God among the People of the (spiritual) Realities will pledge allegiance to him because of God’s directly informing them (of the Mahdi’s true nature and mission). then there are not more than nine of them.intuition(dhawq) of anyone. who never disobeys God at all. the Mahdi) could rule.[38] But no one else. and he will breathe the spirit back into Islam.

Prayer is the central act of worship in the Baha’i Faith along with Dhikr. Baha’ Allahs enemies were the mujahids of Islam. The Awliya number 9 in total and can not be more or less then this number. there is not a tenth. pg. the Mahdi will not simply be a ruler with a sword. The Mahdi will not simply be a ruler but a mystic teacher that will show people the Path within themsleves and outside of themselves. 81. the term for members of the Universal House of Justice is Awliya or Helper. Elmore Source: The Journal of Religion. translated by James Morris . pp. 3. (Jul.Arabī’s “Book of the Fabulous Gryphon” Author(s): Gerald T. 3. 2001). 5. but armed with the sword of spiritual insight and guidance. 9 From the preceding Ibn Arabi prophecies concerning the Mahdi there are some interesting parallels to the Madhist movement of the Baha’i Faith. No. Baha’ Allah came as a reinvigorator of Islam. 4. Works Cited: The “Millennial” Motif in Ibn al. 410-437 Published by: The University of Chicago Press Stable URL: http://www. not Arab. Baha’ Allah was Persian. the central gathering place is known as a Mashriq’l-Adhkar or Dawining Point of Invocation In Conclusion. One can see interesting parallels in the Baha’i Faith to the prophecy for instance: 1. we can see how Sufis envision the Mahdi and the Accessed: 29/07/2008 14:15 Ibn Arabi’s Futuhat 366. All sufi orders culminate in the Seal of the Saints or Mahdi. 2. The Baha’i Faith has a Guardian as part of it’s structure which oversees the Awliya as defined in the Kitab-i Aqdas. The Mahdi will be helped by a group of spiritually enlightened beings known as the Helpers (Awliya).performed for him by his Helpers are nine things. Vol. nor can they be any fewer…. 6. It is worth pondering whether the Baha’is based their structure on some of Ibn Arabi’s teachings although it is just as likely to be a independent formation.jstor. Baha’is came from Iran and speak arabic on a daily basis in prayer.

2002.ibnarabisociety. some sufis were amongst his earliest followers so it is not without surprise that some practices would have been carried over in the Baha’i Teachings. Simnani. with indexes and etc. Both Sufis and Baha’is have adapted spiritual practices that are very similiar. This may be do to the nature of Baha’ Allah frequenting Sufi gatherings.. Chittick). some write of five centers. E. Kashani. with revisions and corrections as Section II (‘At the End of Time’) in Ibn ‘Arabī: The Meccan Revelations (co-author with W. pre-publication version of an article or translation which has subsequently been published. Audition (sama’) and Prayer (salat). 19602005 Chapter 9 – Baha’i and Sufi Spiritual Practices by Michael McCarron In the preceding we have read about how the Sufis and Baha’is viewed the universe that they inhabit.http://www.J. However. Accounting (muhasaba). C. Most sufis practices are comprised majorly of Recitation (dhikr). living amongst Sufis as such in Iraqi Kurdistan. New some of seven. The Spiritual Centers (Lata’if) According to the Sufis there are subtle spiritual centers in the human body. Th. Shah Wali Allah and form a major part in the soteriology of the Naqshbandiyya..E. In essence they are very similiar to Hindu Tantric ideas of the Chakra system. 65-92 and 251-275. Bianquis. Now we will take a brief look at another similiar aspect that of Spiritual Practices.pdf This is an unrevised. Pir Press. Leiden: E. How the cosmology has impacted their world view and their view of the Divine. 2nd Edition. Encyclopedia of Islam Edited by P. J. 12 vols. pp. Ibn Arabi.Encyclopædia of Islam. defining the lata’if or latifa is far more difficult for the academics: “…Dikhuda’s Persian ‘Lughatnama’ refers to latifa as a technical term. All of which are aimed at purifying (latifa) the spiritual centers (lata’if) or chakras within each human being. We have seen how Baha’ Allah was in regular communication with Sufis. subsequently to them they have appeared in Gazzali. In the following I will discuss the spiritual centers briefly before going through the Sufi and Baha’i writings on the spiritual practices.. van Donzel and W. the conceptualization of which . Bearman. How the creative emanative outpouring of the manifestation of Being has been envisioned by them. Brill. Bosworth.P. Heinrichs et al. Jamal Elias research on the Lata’if has uncovered that they go back in Sufi thought to the classic period with the first appearance in the writings of Tustari in 896CE and Hallaj in 992CE. He states that in the understanding of the mystics it is a subtle reference. Meditation (muraqaba).

while the higher level consisted of the five lata’if. Such as Shah Wali Allah who holds that their are lata’if on three different levels of Being: “This system was based on the idea that the human being had ten parts—five material. Qur’an recitiation. 1336). 1256). earth. Spirit (ruh). The Mystery (sirr) is awakened by contemplating God’s attributes. The two levels of this Naqshbandi system were said to correspond respectively to the distinction between the World of God’s Creation (`alam al-Khalq) and the World of God’s Command (`alam al`amr). formulated a system of five lata’if and found a Qur’anic basis of the terms sirr and khafi—Qur’an 20:7. five immaterial. SDSU) The purification of the lata’if is the purpose of the spiritual practices in Sufism. expanded the system of Najmuddin al-Razi to a seven-fold one by adding below the five lata’if the concept of a physical form or mold (qalab) and above them a further center called the haqiyya or ananiyya.[25] and this was finally developed by Shah Wali Allah into a three-tiered model with a total of some fifteen components” (SHAH WALI ALLAH’S THEORY OF THE SUBTLE SPIRITUAL CENTERS (LATA’IF): A SUFI MODEL OF PERSONHOOD AND SELFTRANFORMATION by Marcia K. pg.” (Jamal Elias. air. 1 and 2). comes form an immaterial timeless realm of God’s command (`amr) which precedes physical manifestation. ‘if thou makest utterance aloud. and water). but which is in reality the spirit. and the Super-Arcane (akhfa). For example. The Throne Carriers of God. which is. He goes on to define the term latifa-i insaniyya as something which the philosophers call the rational soul and the mystics refer to as the heart. he observes that there are . Arcane (khafi). Sirhindi’s model then expanded to represent the lata’if as part of a distinct set of symbols and practices (ser figs. related to the center ‘aql (Intelligence) rather than Heart (emotion). By going down the Sufi path one is actively cleansing the latifa of each maqamat. and cultivating an intuitive relationship withthe souls of the saints. 158) Others have written long discourses on the Lata’if. Najmuddin al-Razi (d. Shah Wali Allah writes regarding this: Shah Wali Allah describes the way to purify the Spirit (ruh) as the observance of ritual purity at all times. In Altaf al-Quds. meditating ion His names and silent and wordless dhikr (remeberance of the divine names and attributes. It is interesting to note that the five-fold structure of the lata’if according to the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya seems to parallel the model of the Islamic version of Greek medical theory (tibb) in which there are five inner and five outer senses.cannot be explained. The lower level of the material parts consisted of the Lower Soul (nafs) and the four elements (fire. whose woks influenced Sirhindi. Hermansen. or human spirit.”[24] `Ala ad-Daula Simnani (d. Mystery (sirr). mystical exercises. the Qur’anic vese (17:85) ‘the Spirit is from the command of my Lord” (al-ruh min amr rabbi) is taken by the sufis to mean that the ruh. a Kubrawiyya Sufi of Iran and author of the Mirsad al-`ibad. sometimes called the ‘five jewels’ (al-jawahir al-khams): the Heart (qalb). of course. a distinction based on Qur’anic terminology and having an long history in Sufi thought.[62] It can be seen that Wali Allah associates practices of a more ‘mental’ nature with the sirr.[23] The model of the lata’if which appeared early in Sufism clearly developed and was refined over time. verily He knows the secret (sirr) and what is more hidden (khafi).

3. Note 158 This is the first of several passages referring to the importance of refinement and cleanliness. This concurs with his metaphyscial explanation that conflict at lower states is later superseded by the attraction of the one universal force or beneficial purpose (muSlaHa kulliyya). longing. the person will find delight and pleasure in the things specific to each latifa. the man of certainty has mastered the Intelligence. and then they are called ‘the stages’ (maqamat). ‘Adopt ye such usages as are most in keeping with refinement’. In accordance with the context of the various passages where it occurs in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. it has been translated either as “refinement” or “cleanliness”. cleanliness. gentleness. SDSU) Baha’i Purification: In al-Kitab al-Aqdas the term latafah is found which means to purify and we see how similiar the Baha’i Thought is to that of to that of Shah Wali Allah’s. and the Intellect recollects the past and plans for the future. after completing the journey through the spiritual centers. rather than in overcoming conflict through spiritual practices enjoined to curb animalistic tendencies. rendered here as “refinement”. one whose Heart is strong will primarily master states of ecstasy.[65] Shah Wali Allah’s description of the initial stages of progress and the aptitudes on spiritual aspirants based on the natural preponderance of their lata’if follows the synthesis of Sufi manuals with Aristotelian theories of the soul. The original Arabic word “látafah”. sanctified and pure. a person may see visions (waqi’at) which demonstrate that certain lata’if have been cultivated or purified. In his description of th Sufi terms fana (annihilation) and baqa (subsistence). 2. the Seeker (salik). each of the centers will absorb its portion of this worship. At the level of basic functioning the Lower Soul (nafs) loo9ks after physical requirements. if these attributes appear on occasion and then fade away and do not last for very long they are called ‘states’ (ahwal) or moments (awqat).[63] According to Shah Wali Allah. Thus. The means of cultivating lata’if beyond the ruh and sirr is not gone into in detail by Shah Wali Allah. On the other hand. as well as being subtle. even though all of his lata’if have been completely awakened. finally is dominated by the same latifa which was originally strongest in his nature (fitra).” (Note 158. delicacy and graciousness. as well as the states (ahwal) and the stages (maqamat). gracefulness. At the moral level if the Lower Soul or the Heart comes to dominate the Intellect this will lead to problems of character and behavior.three ways to recognize the cultivation (tahdhib) fo the lata’if: 1. such as elegance. When these attributes become firmly established. Thus. Shah Wali Allah incorporates his understanding of the lata’if. Hermansen. refined. and so on. Al-Kitab al-Aqdas) . the Heart is responsible for emotions and judgements based on its response of attraction or repulsion. the person’s acts will continuously manifest the. politeness. while the person of ecstasy and longing has mastered the Heart. and the naturally low animalistic attributes will change to virtuous angelic ones. but it apparently occurs through gnostic contemplation leading to loss of self in the universal. civility. he may exchibit particular behavior and a developmental stage specific to a certain latifa. He explains that if the person attends to his worship over time. (SHAH WALI ALLAH’S THEORY OF THE SUBTLE SPIRITUAL CENTERS (LATA’IF): A SUFI MODEL OF PERSONHOOD AND SELF-TRANFORMATION by Marcia K. has a wide range of meanings with both spiritual and physical implications. once this is achieved. “KA Paragraph 74. and disquietude.

Even as he hath said in another passage: “A true believer is likened unto the philosopher’s stone.” Addressing subsequently his listener. equivalent to the . echoing back to Shah Wali Allah. and [Qur’an] recitation then this point will become apparent. the person sees the realm of the heavens and the earth and he perceives the secret of destiny (qadar)—how it controls created things—and this is His. Then the light and its rays fill this stone. mineral. and so on. All of the spirits (arwah) which are in the human being. It could nt be classified as vegetable. dazzling them. and this latifa similarly possesses amazing properties. a center of the alluded to by Shah Wali Allah. and it flows to all corners of the physical body and perplexes the mind and more. may He be exalted. he saith: “Hast thou ever seen the philosopher’s stone?” Reflect. a state which is connected with the role of the prophet. is also found in Ibn `Arabi’s work. kindly and radiant heart (qalb). When it manifests that in it which parallels the essential presence of God. there is no comporable discourse regarding each individual latifa. IN an unpublished letter. Ibn `Arabi. imperishable and everlasting. such as Intelligence and others. using stone in the sense of ‘jewel. that thine may be a sovereignty ancient. again confirming Wali Allah’s association of this latifa with the side of his model representing ‘Prophetic Inheritance. Wali Allah makes his source explicit by recounting that in the works of Ibn `Arabi the name—‘perplexing stone’ (hajar-Ibaht)—is applied to this latifa because of its marvelous and perplexing nature. they indicate that no true Shi‘ihs exist. According to Ibn `Arabi. anticipate the witnessing of this point. (Arabic Hidden Words #1) In one important work. For instance the heart is seen as the pentacle of belief: O SON OF SPIRIT! My first counsel is this: Possess a pure.” Later in the same passage. discusses the Philosophers’ Stone as one of the human ‘stones’ (ajjar). Although at times each is mentioned. the hajar-I-baht indicated a mysterious substance which used to be presented as a gift to princes and nobles. the Philosophers’ Stone is pupil in the eye which is the locus of vision…. in his treateiese al-Tadbirat.’ (Hermansson) Baha’ Allah mentions the philosophers stone in the context of the true believer: In one sense.’ jewels (jawahir) being a term used by other Sufis to refer to the lata’if. when the heart becomes polished through meditation. “an essential point in the heart. Thus. saying: ‘Light upon Light’” (24:35)[43] The Philosophers’ Stone (al-hajar al-baht). Ibn `Arabi associates this experience with the mystical state of subsistence (baqa). we see how the path itself is a reference to the Lata’if for the lata’if are also known as the philosophers stones: “Then when the light by which He guides conjoins the light to which one is guided. dhikr. if there is rust on the heart the existenc of this stone will not be manifest. there spreads out from that point alight because of the theophany. Originally.It should be noted that Baha’ Allah does not go into details on the lata’if. particularly in the context of the Prophetic experience.

http://www. in the Baha’i Faith there are 95 such beads. the Almighty. Another form of dhikr is that of using tasbih beads. however direct. Dhikr as a devotional act often includes the repetition of the names of Allah. Additionally.wikipedia. Which in the Baha’i Faith is similiar to “Ya Baha ul Abha” (Oh.ibiblio. the Ever-Forgiving – blessed be the righteous that quaff from these crystal streams! In conclusion to this section we now see that the Sufis believe in subtle spiritual centers the purpose of the transformation on the Path is to purify these spiritual centers which is also seen in the teachings of the Baha’i Faith. one such popular mantra in Sufism is “La Illah Illa Allah” (There is no god but God). the Bahai’s greet each other with “Allahu Abha”(God is the Most-Glorious).com/doc/8979361/Rememberance-of-God ] Sama’: . Similiarly each Baha’i has a Dhikr they perform. It can also double as a form of greeting. In many Sufi tariqahs a dhikr is given to each adherent when they first enter the order. (http://en. (Bahaullah. Zikr in Urdu. in the Baha’i Faith the assembly hall where adherents gathered is named after dhikr in it’s plural form Mashriqul-Adhkar (Dawning Point of Remembrance). like in Dhikr is a repitition using the breath to recite names of this symbolic language.scribd. its introduction records about the mysteries: The essence of the divine mysteries in the journeys of ascent set forth for those who long to draw nigh unto God. testifieth to the non-existence of a true believer.html) It should also be noted that there is a work by Baha’ Allah titled “Jawahir Asrar” (Secret Jewels) which relates to the path one must tread to achieve purification. http://www. [For more on Sufi and Baha'i Dhikr see Steve Scholl's "Rememberance of God". more eloquent than any speech. or a Mantra. For instance Ni’matullahi Sufis greet each other with Ya Haqq (Oh. Most-Real). supplications and aphorisms from hadith literature and sections of the Qur’an. Most-Glorious). Now we will take a look at the spiritual practices themselves begining with Remembrance (dhikr). Such is the testimony of Sádiq. have condemned as infidels those by whose word belief itself is recognized and established. DHIKR: Dhikr . Glory. this is a set of beads on a string for counting recitations in Sufism there are 99 beads for each of the Names of although they themselves have failed to inhale the fragrance of belief. how unfair and numerous are those who. Jikir inBengali and Zekr in Persian ) (Arabic“pronouncement”. And now consider. Plural Adhkaar (Zikir in Turkish and Malay. “invocation” or “remembrance”) is an Islamic practice that focuses on the remembrance of God.

unheralded. Paris Talks. In that state man abstracts himself: in that state man withdraws himself from all outside objects. and its creator. a person watches over or takes care of his spiritual heart (or soul). Sema dancing is known to Europeans as the dance of the Whirling Dervishes (see Sufi whirling). It is used. If this feast be held in the proper fashion. Asad: ‘he who excels in the examination of his conscience.) Muhasaba: Muhasaba (Self-Reckoning) is the sufi practice of evaluating on a daily basis our actions and what their moral worth was and trying to be a more moral person. dance. 91) Muraqaba: Muraqaba (Arabic: ) is the Sufi word for meditation. and other ritualistic activities. and endued with a power that is not of this world. Hence arose the by name of al-Muhasibi. The Encyclopedia of Islam writes regarding Muhasabah: “The third form of the root hsb was to be used in Sufism. (Arabic Hidden Words #31) . “As to the Nineteen Day Feast. to refer to some of the ceremonies used by various Sufi orders and often involves prayer. p. 466 EI Vol III This is reflected in the Baha’i Faith: O SON OF BEING! Bring thyself to account (hasiba nafska) each day ere thou art summoned to a reckoning. in a sense which is no longer eschatological but Sama’ is the communal celebration of dhikr and other rituals regarding the divine. and acquires knowledge about it. find themselves spiritually restored. 175.wikipedia. “to take care of”.’ pg. for death. it implies that with meditation. (http://en. song. (http://en. This is practiced in various manners by Sufis. It is also known as a “Nineteen Day Feast” in the Baha’i Faith. although many forms of sema do not include whirling. in that subjective mood he is immersed in the ocean of spiritual life and can unfold the secrets of things-in-themselves. given to Harith b. once in nineteen days. ISBN 1870989570. shall come upon thee and thou shalt be called to give account for thy deeds. Bahá’í Distribution `Abdu’l-Bahá is quoted as saying: “Meditation is the key for opening the doors of mysteries to your mind. as a borrowed word inPersian. the friends will. to indicate the account of his conscience which the devout person presents to God.” (`Abdu’l-Bahá: Selection from the Writings of `Abdu’l-Bahá. or “to keep an eye”. Literally it is an Arabic term which means “to watch over”. pp. Metaphorically.”(^ `Abdu’l-Bahá (1995) [1912]. it rejoiceth mind and heart.Sema or sama (Arabic: ) is a term that means hearing. its surroundings.

according to Abdu’l-Baha’: We should speak in the language of heaven — in the language of the spirit — for there is a language of the spirit and heart.wikipedia. the Beneficent. (7) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Prayer is also an important aspect in the Baha’i Teachings. the Opening. .org/wiki/Salah One of the key components to the Sufi salat is that of the repetition of al-Fatiha. Its supreme importance for Muslims is indicated by its status as one of the Five Pillars. then it is as if in our hearts we hear the voice of God. http://en. the Merciful (1) Praise be to Allah.html) There are three obligatory prayers in the Baha’i teachings. the Merciful. when we attain to a truly spiritual condition. It is as different from our language as our own language is different from that of the animals.bahai. It is the language of the spirit which speaks to God. Lord of the Worlds. It is written of: alāt (Arabic: .(http://info.In conclusion to this section we see direct parallels between spiritual practices in Sufism and the Baha’i Faith the goal of which is to aid the adherent on the Path of Purification (tasawwuf). Salat Salat (prayer) is the ritual observance of connecting with the Ultimate Reality. this is the first chapter of the Quran. in prayer. It is also used in the liturgy of the Naqshbandi and other sufi orders as part of dhikr: Al-Fatiha In the name of Allah. (3) Owner of the Day of Judgment. … All of us. we converse with God and hear the answer. can hear the Voice of God. (4) Thee (alone) we worship. to be performed five times a day by a practising Muslim. pl. The prayer is one of the obligatory rites of the religion. Not (the path) of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray. alawāt) is the name given to the formal prayer of Islam. we communicate. who express themselves only by cries and sounds. One may choose one of the three obligatory prayers to say each day. From these kernels of knowledge we can begin to see the development of a unique Baha’i Sufi practice as well. we are freed from all outward things and turn to God. (5) Show us the straight path. Without words we speak. (6) The path of those whom Thou hast favoured. (2) The Beneficent. Thee (alone) we ask for help.

Guided by the divine name. With the 4th Valley corresponding to the Enneagram of the Perfect Man (insan al-kamil) of the Sufis. (Revealed by Baha’ Allah) Chapter 10 – Baha’ Allah’s “Four Valleys” as Sufi Enneagram Types by Michael McCarron Abstract: “Baha’ Allah’s Four Valleys is a mystic treatise on the paths of the various mystic wayfarers (sufis). the Self-Subsisting. the Help in Peril. Maqsud. But for the wayfarers. I testify. Some have contended it is a treatise on the four paths of the heart. “the apex of consciousness (`arsh-i-faw’ád) and the secret of divine guidance” (sirr-i-rashad) in the Fourth. In the following I will summarize the treatise while looking to some of the Sufi content that the treatise has contained within it. Julio Savi posits: “In reality these goals are but one and the same: God Himself.” (http://bahailibrary. “the primal reason” (`aql) and “the beauty of love” (tal`at-i-`iu>shq) in the first three Valleys. There is none other God but Thee. Each valley has at the center a type of seeker and the organ of the body by which they seek as Dr.I bear witness. spiritual center is the Mind (`Aql) . to my powerlessness and to Thy might. accessed 3/13/2009) A schema of the Four Valleys gives us a pairing of DIvine Name with a spiritual organ or lata’if for each of the valleys: 4 Valleys Schema: 1. In regards to the different types associated with adherents and seekers Mirza Husayn-Ali Nuri (Baha’ Allah) has written in the mid 19th Century CE (circa 1857) a treatise entitled the “Four Valleys“ (Chahar Vadi). It is discovered that the 3 main paths of the wayfarer correlates to the three main divisions of personalities in the Enneagram of the Sufis. at this moment. In fact each of these stations “appertaineth” to a different spiritual reality: “the self” (nafs) or more exactly “the Self of God” (nafsu’lláh). O my God. which seems precluded to any human being. To begin this study we will briefly touch on each of the Four Valleys. as manifested in four of His infinite attributes. Mahmud. While baring similarities to this Sufi genre in actuality it belongs to another genre that of the Sufi Enneagram. Guided by the divine name. spiritual center is the Self (Nafs) that Thou hast created me to know Thee and to worship Thee. the others seem not to be mutually exclusive. to my poverty and to Thy wealth. their aiming at different attributes of God implies different attitudes. a system of 9 personality typologies symbolized by a 9 pointed star. Apart from the Fourth Valley.

this station appertaineth to the self—but that self which is “The Self of God standing within Him with laws. physical nature). emotional and volitional life. Its etymology is rooted in “breath” (similar to Biblical or Kabbalistic nefesh) and is common to virtually all archaic psychologies where the act of breathing was connected with life. this plane is the realm of conflict. Here we see the pairing of Maqsud with the Nafs or Universal Soul. the self is not rejected but beloved. German noun “Atem”. passion. Mahbub. ancient notions of “Atman” in Hinduism (cf. and pleasing unto Him. The central aim of the Sufi path is transformation of Nafs (technical term is “Tazkiya-I-Nafs”‘ or “purgation of the soul’“) from its deplorable state of ego-centredness through various psycho-spiritual stages to the purity and submission to the will of God. yet it endeth in attainment to the throne of splendor. Majdhub. spiritual center is the Heart (Qalb) 4. This is the plane of the soul who is pleasing unto God. egotistical and passionate human nature which. breath. In this respect. Although the majority of the Sufi orders have adopted convenient 7 maqams (maqams are permanent stages on the voyage towards . comprises vegetative and animal aspects of human life. respiration) or Greek “pneuma” (as well as Latin “spiritus”) -all equate the basic visible process of breathing with energizing principle that confers existence to an individual human being. Nafs is a important term sowe look to wikipedia for a definition: “The word nafs is usually translated as self or psyche. The content of each valley addresses the attributes of each of the types for each valley.” 2 that after death the riddle of life may be unraveled. Guided by the divine name. Return to thy Lord. ego-centeredness etc. O Friend Abraham of the Spirit! Kill these four birds of prey. It is interesting here that there is a pariing with the higher universal aspect of Self (nafs) with the individual selves of the seekers. Guided by the divine name. animating otherwise lifeless object.3. The 1st Valley – Self (Nafs) Baha’ Allah writes in the first valley: If the travelers seek after the goal of the Intended One (maq úd). greed. As they have said: “O Abraham of this day. encompassing whole mental. We shall now look at how each valley bares this out. Nafs (Self) is an integral part of teh Sufi transformative philosophy. Although at the beginning. however. avarice. spiritual center is all three previous combined in the Insan al-Kamil (Perfect Man). it is well-pleasing and not to be shunned. the majority of Quranic-based Sufis are of the opinion that Nafs is a “lower”. Synonyms for Nafs are devil.” 1 On this plane. well-pleased. Some Sufis consider under the term “Nafs” the entirety of psychological processes. along with Tab (literally. Refer to the verse: O thou soul who art well assured.

org/wiki/Lataif-e-sitta accessed 3/13/2009) Nafs appear in the Shi’a tradition traced back to a saying of Imam `Ali: Amir al Momenin Ali replied.spiritual transformation). this is almost identical to Christian paradigm of “vita purgativa” and various stages the spiritual aspirant traverses in the journey towards God. when it does not achieve calmness. However. and nafs of wholeness and Divinity. it is called “the satisfied soul” (al-nafs al-mutma’inna)… In its first meaning the nafs does not envisage its return to God because it has kept itself far from Him: such a nafs is from the party of shaytan. The Four Paths of the Heart is a sufi exposition that goes into the levels of the heart and the Nafs associated with If it assumes calmness under command and has removed from itself the disturbance caused by the onslaught of passion. because it rebukes its owner for his neglect in the worship of his master… If it gives up all protest and surrenders itself in total obedience to the call of passions and shaytan. as mentioned in the Seven Valleys of Baha’ Allah. Nafs-e-lawwama (selfaccusing soul). yet sets itself against the love of passions and objects to it. In essence.html. Here we have al-Hakim al-Tirmidhi’s version: . the human being in reality. and some still operate with 3 stages.sufismjournal. “Of which nafs are you eager to become aware?” “Is there more than one nafs?” asked Komeil. accessed 3/13/2009) While the sufi philosopher al-Ghazali provides a tertiary meaning of nafs: “The second meaning of nafs is the soul.sunnah.html Hazrat Mir Ghotbeddin Mohammad.” (http://www. nafs of sensibility (animal spirit).org/tasawwuf/jihad002. O Friend Abraham of the Spirit! Kill these four birds of prey.wikipedia.” (http://en. as a treatise on the Four Paths of the Heart. and ends in Nafs-e-Mutma’inna (satisfied soul) -although some Sufis’s final stage is. However.” Rumi It has been argued by Savi that the Four Valleys is a treatise. Each one of the nufus (plural of nafs) has powers and qualities of its own. explained Amir al Momenin Ali. it is called “the selfaccusing soul” (al-nafs al-lawwama). the picture is clear: the Sufi’s journey begins with Nafs-e-Ammara (commanding soul). it is named “the soul that enjoins evil” (al-nafs al-ammara bi al-su’)… which could be taken to refer to the ego in its first meaning. (http://www. “Yes. accessed 3/13/2009) It is interesting that Imam `Ali provides a quarnary definition of Nafs. nafs of pure intellect. in their technical vocabulary. his self and his person. This may correlate to Baha’ Allah’s quote of Rumi regarding four birds of prey: “O Abraham of this day. there are four: nafs of growth. it is much like Imam Ali’s version. Nafs-I-Safiya wa Kamila (soul restful and perfected in God’s presence). it is described differently according to its different states.

exemplified by the `Arif. Again we see this as a correlation to a completion of a process occuring for the 1st Valley typeology. the Heart (qalb). the Breast (sadr). 3. Additional textual affirmation of this is by Baha’ Allah’s pen. holds accountable). “The Stations of the Heart. dominated by nafs al-lawwamah (self that blames. the final stage is reserved for only the Prophets and Friends of God (insan al-kamil). It is additionally interesting to note that naf-i-mardiyya (pleasing self) appears in a sufi work. dominated by nafs al-ammarrah (self that exhorts to evil). 4.”http://faculty. the Intellect (lubb). the fourth stage of the 4 Paths of the Heart. effulgence of the light of Gnosis. exemplified by the Muslim. it reveals that the 4 paths is in regards to the Nafs and is in fact relevant to the 1st Valley. dominated by nafs al-mutma’innah (self that is at peace). the outer law (zahir). 2.4 Paths of the Heart according to al-Hakim al-Tirmidhi: 1.washington. gives us knowledge of Vision (ru’ya). effulgence of the light of Islam. (Nicholas Heer. this is the station of primal reason which is known as the Prophet and the Most Great Pillar. Here reason signifieth the divine. not all 4 Valleys. gives us knowledge of God’s Grace and Bounty. the Inner Heart (fu’ad). exemplified by the Mu’min. the soul at rest. Thereby sugesting that the 1st Valley the traveller traverse the the 4 Paths of the Heart rather then each valley being representative of each seperate Path of the Heart. the inner path (batin) effulgence of the light of Faith. Or the spider snare a phoenix in his web? Wouldst thou that the mind should not entrap thee? Teach it the science of the love of God! . 3/10/2009) This is an interesting look at Nafs. universal mind. “Shuhud wa’l-Wujud” (19th Century CE Persian) as the second to last stage of 7 stages of Purification of the Nafs. exemplified by the Muwahhid. He writes “This is the plane (maqam) of the soul who is pleasing (nafs-i-mardiyya) to God”.pdf. effulgence of the light of Then goes onto quote Qur’an 89:37-30 which relates to nafs al-mutma’inna. whose sovereignty enlighteneth all created things—nor doth it refer to every feeble brain. for it is as the wise Saná’í hath written: How can feeble reason encompass the Qur’án. gives us knowledge of Shari’a. 2nd Valley – Mind (`Aql) The second valley is in regard sot the Mind (`aql). gives us knowledge of Esoteric. However. dominated by nafs al-mulhamah (self that inspires). The treatise of Baha’ Allah writes: If the wayfarer’s goal be the dwelling of the Praiseworthy One (Mahmúd).

” ( pg. In him are lunacies seventy-and-two. the bodily organ of the heart (and not the brain) is the seat of `aql. Vol. but under four different aspects. For each concept alGhazali distinguishes a ‘physical’ and a spiritual meaning. the faculty of knowledge. Encyclopedia of Islam. a man should make ready his heart that it be worthy of the descent of heavenly grace. is ‘in short the heart itself’. V) 3rd Valley – Heart (qalb) The third valley regards the typology identified with the heart. Qur’an 12:53) or chastises his passions and struggles to reform itself (lawwama. 1 no soul may dwell on this Kingly Throne save the beauty of love. divine and spiritual’ principle which is ‘the reality of man’ (haqiqat al-insan). Qur’an 79:27). nafs is the sum of man’s passions. `Aql. and `aql the faculty of knowing which ‘has its seat in the qalb. Mind in the Sufi tradition is a specific meaning: ” The first book of the third part of the ‘Ihya’ is called ‘Sharh `ajab’ib al-qalb’. and that the bounteous Cup-Bearer may give him to drink of the wine of bestowal from the merciful vessel. In their [Sufis] spiritual interpretation. the nafs natiqa of the philosophers. nafs and `aql are well known. or is ‘at peace’ (mutma’inna. Love shunneth this world and that world too. In the first sense qalb is a bodily organ: ruh the ‘vital spirits’ in the blood (cf. This realm is not to be pictured in words. 487.”( pg. 487. Finally `aql in the second sense is ‘that which understands knowledge’. also the Barzakh (intermediary) seperating Creator from creation. contemporaneous ideas of physiology). in short ‘the heart itself’. cf. nafs is man in his reality but capable fo being qualified by diferent attributes according to how his soul controls his carnal desires (ammara. “pleased by and pleasing to” the Lord. 75:2). ruh is the spiritual substance in man that acts and understands. ruh. Vol. V) However it is very interesting that Baha’ Allah places the heart at the center of purification for the Mind: Wherefore. Encyclopedia of Islam. to the individualized minds of the seekers. nafs in that case corresponds to the “rational soul”. the root of his ‘blameworthy qualities’. and the heart is the home and source of ma’rifa [gnosis]. The minstrel of love harpeth this lay: . “A commentary on the wonders of the heart”. these four terms designate man’s reality. in the meaning of the understanding of knowledge . which is also known as the Muhammadan Reality (Maqam Mahmud). “For the like of this let the travailers travail!” It is important to point out that for teh SUfis `aql did not sit in the brain rather was associated directly with the heart: “…for al-Ghazali and SUfi tradition as a whole.Again we see a correlation to the Universal Mind. In the second sense qalb is a subtle. The preliminary definitions where al-Ghazali analyses the four concepts qalb. Qur’an. Baha’ Allah reveals with his pen: “If the loving seekers wish to live within the precincts of the Attracting One (Majdhúb).

. as wells as the importance of heart and Majdhub: ” As for the master (murad).” There is an interesting note on the Divine Name Majdhub by the Baha’i scholar Muin Afnani: “Majdhub (“Attracting One”) is used in reference to Sufis for whom the path toward God is to be traversed with the faculty of heart (rather than reason or Laws). The word “Majdhub” also means “one who is attracted.” (http://bahai-library. 57) Beyond this no one can go. (pg. “The Sufi Master as Exemplified in Persian Sufi Literature”. and then with the help of Divine attraction has returned from the stations of the heart and ascensions of the Such a person gets attracted to the Attracting One without having to spend long periods of times in stages of the path. (1967). 4th Valley – Prophetic Convergence The final valley is one that correlates all three typologies into one master type. British Institute of Persian Studies Stable URL: http://www. Iran. Majdhub is a Sufi who is in such a love with his Beloved (God) that is attracted and drawn to God without most of the pains and hardships that other seekers have to go through.” but here He describes “mystic knowers” (`arifán) “who have [already] reached to the beauty of the Beloved One …” Their “station is the apex of consciousness and the secret of divine guidance. accessed 03/06/2009) Obviously the heart is apowerful vehicle for the seeke. pp. and has reached the world of vision and certainty and joined the state of contemplation and examination. Seyyed Hossein Nasr. who first through the help of Divine attraction has traversed the extent of the stations and has reached the world of vision and unveiling of the Divine realities and then has crossed again the stations and stages of the Path through travelling (suluk) and has rediscovered the truth of contemplation in the form of knowledge.” (Valleys 54. Or he is one attracted by Divine Grace who travels on the Path (majdhub-i salik).” In Sufi terminology. 35-40. he is one whose initiatic power (walaya) in influencing others has reached the degree of perfecting those who are imperfect and who has seen [initiatically] the different kinds of capabilities and ways of guiding and training disciples. It is also of importance to be attracted to a sufi master on the path. In those Valleys Bahá’u'lláh spoke of goals to be searched for. 38. kingship doth betray. Savi has writtten regarding the 4th Valley: “The opening words of the description of this Valley announce that it is different from the others. The following reveals as much. in the sense of one who is initiated and followed.html .jstor. they go through them in less than twinkling of an eye. Such a person is either a traveller attracted by Divine Grace (salik-i majdhdb) who has first traversed all the deserts and precipices of the qualities of the carnal soul through travelling upon the Path.Servitude enslaveth. 5. or of precincts within which “the loving seekers wish(ed) to live.

the perfect Master or what is known in Sufism as the Insan al-Kamil. the inner heart and the secret of divine guidance may be the lata’if “sirr” which is an innermost region of ones soul in the terminology of the Sufis. and all moral and spiritual good. This is the level of the Insan al-Kamil (the Perfect Human). It is a “bottomless” and fathomless sea. by WIlliam C. But in this stage there is no fear. This is the center of the mystery: “He doth what He willeth. 23 “(Imaginal Worlds: Iban al-`Arabi and the Problem of Religious Diversity”.” Baha’ Allah It should be pointed out that the apex of consciousness is identified with a part of the heart again. Chittick writes: “Ibn al-`Arabi makes the clearest connection between the full manifestation of wujud and the human role in the cosmos in his famous doctrine of the “perfect man” (al-insan alkamil).” “utter selfeffacement” and complete detachment (Valleys 60). the complete and total human being who has actualized all the potentialities latent in the form of God. perfect human beings– who are contrasted with ‘animal human beings’ (al-insan al-hayawan)– embody every praiseworthy human quality. And even those who know its secrets will explain them only if they will meet true seekers.Bahá’u'lláh says very clearly that no human being can fully understand this condition. Guidance is an important viewpoint in Baha’i mysticism for the crux of being guided is recognition of the Manifestation of God. this station is the apex of consciousness and the secret of divine guidance. They guide individuals and society to optimum equilibrium with the ultimate Good. In their human manifestations they are found as the prophets and the great friends of God. It is seen here that the travellers in this station are identified with the “Most Great Infallibility (ismat)”.” pg. ordaineth what He pleaseth. the fu’ad. Ibn ‘Arabi’s encouragement to his reader to “place him before you like the mirror in which you see your form” may imply the kind of visualization practices that are . SUNY Press. The Insan al-Kamil is also related to the Muhammadan Reality as a mediator. leading people to supreme happiness in the next world. “it is the blackest of nights …” (Valleys 58). compassion. it is the level of the Manifestation of God. They are examplars of human wisdom. albeit they are conscious that by so doing they will be persecuted even to death. It is interesting to read about the correlation of the recognition of the Manifestation in Baha’ Allah’s writings to the sufi doctrine of fana al-Rasul (Annhilation in the Prophet). That is they are perfectly guided and have achieved purity within themselves. In one accessed 3/13/2009) Baha’ Allah writes in his treatise about this valley: If the mystic knowers be of those who have reached to the beauty of the Beloved One (Mahbúb). 1994) This is the level of “No Station (maqamat)” as written by Baha’ Allah in the Jawahir al-Asrar (Secret Jewels). Fana’ is an important concept by those instructed by the works of Ibn `Arabi: Muhammad’s comprehensive realization of all the divine names makes him the perfect link between God and humanity. They act as the Real’s representatives in society. The doctrine of the Insan al-Kamil is traced by to Ibn `Arabi. Chittick. neither of pain nor of death: there are only “full awareness.” (http://bahailibrary.

and your heart onto your soul. for the greatest and most perfect divine manifestations which no other capacity can accept in this world or the next.jstor.” (Baha’ Allah. your body will become balanced with its proportion of his mold and capacity to receive some of these divine manifestations. pp.jstor. cast aside from His Threshold one who hath set his hopes on Him.. Vol. No. extinguishing all traces of yourself. and you will come to be “looking at their Lord. 353 (Annihilation in the Messenger of God: The Development of a Sufi Practice Author(s): Valerie J. 351-369 Published by: Cambridge University Press Stable URL: http://www.proachable rank. pp. reject one who hath sought the shelter of His shade. Then you can obtain the capacity of his exalted Reality in your being to know what no other creature has known of the One you worship. Thus did they err and lead the people into error. You go with the Messenger of God in you as a substitute for you. Para #55. Thus did they become corrupt and corrupt the people. Hoffman Source: International Journal of Middle East Studies.associated with fana fi’l-rasul. Vol. and the olefactory sense of your spirit is perfumed with the fragrance of these radiant gardens. deprive one who hath held fast to the hem of His mercy. takes comfort in the assurance given by Muhammad in hadith that Satan cannot assume his form. had they turned wholly unto God and cast aside all that they had learned from their divines. Jawahir alAsrar. 356 (Annihilation in the Messenger of God: The Development of a Sufi Practice Author(s): Valerie J. 3 (Aug. If the earth of your existence is illuminated with the light of his sun. they passed out from under the shadow of guidance and entered the city of error. For far be it from His greatness and His glory that He should turn away a seeker at His door.op. pg. from his love.” pg. like many other Sufis. 31. 3 (Aug. 1999). all the while calling forth this perfect image which contains all of the meanings and forms of existence. Hoffman Source: International Journal of Middle East Studies. so whoever sees him in a vision sees him in truth. and cling to “the firmest handle” (al-’urwa ‘l-wuthqi)24 from his unap. or condemn to remoteness the poor one who hath found the river of His riches. and to hold fast to the hem of His all-pervading mercy at the appearance of the Daystar of Accessed: 12/03/2009 16:31) And Baha’ Allah confirms this same mode of annihilation in the Jawahir al-Asrar: “ Had these souls but clung steadfastly to the Handle of God manifested in the Person of Muhammad. 1999). Because God the Exalted has set apart Muhammad. Ibn ‘Arabi.html accessed 3/16/2009) . a spiritual drink that refreshes both spirit and form. You must attach yourself to his exalted presence.het. God’s blessings and peace be upon him. And thus were they recorded among the oppressors in the books of heaven. and your spirit onto your heart. 31. 351-369 Published by: Cambridge University Press Stable URL: http://www. But as these people failed to turn wholly unto God. Do this until the secrets flow onto your spirit. and your soul onto your body. He would assuredly have guided them through His grace and acquainted them with the sacred truths that are enshrined within His imperishable utterances.. Accessed: 12/03/2009 16:31) The Sufi al-Jili writes regarding the Prophetic mediation as object of annihilation: Anyone who thinks that he [Muhammad] is ascending without his mediation will find that his ascent is a fall into his own prison and scum (sijnihi wa huththalatihi).

emotional and mental activities. which require a great deal of self-control. the practitioner of Natya Yoga learns to do everything with a certain attitude that leads to the complete detachment from and control of one’s physical. The first Enneagram type is dominated by the heart (qalb). The thrid Enneagram type is dominated by the Body/Self (nafs). which has recently been used to describe nine personality types. was written to a sufi shaykh that is from a lineage (silsilah) that practices the Enneagram. Rather. The 2nd Valley of Baha’ Allah 3.” (Sufi Centre of Australia.7.pdf3/10/2009) It should also be noted that these common typologies to major enneagram types to elements of the esoteric organs is not just found in the Baha’i writings here. http://www. The second Enneagram type is dominated by the Mind (`aql). The 3rd Valley of Baha’ Allah 2. The 1st Valley of Baha’ allah 4. sub-types are 8. The perfect man (insan al-kamil) is the combination of all three major Enneagram Types and thus correlates to the 4th Valley of Baha’ Allah. yogi (mind). a nine-pointed star. The dancer strives to learn to be guided in every smallest move by .4. One is expected to devote all one’s actions to the Supreme as a sacrifice. habitual and character fixations. This ‘Ennagram of the personality’ maps psychological aspects and traits of the ego. http://www. What is not revealed in most modern western Enneagrams is the hidden center dimension of the enneagram where a triange represents the perfect tritype (3. with 3 subtypes to each major type thus equating 9. which Wikipedia writes about as: “According to the Karma Yoga principles. fakir (self).6.1. sub-types are: 2. The following is a correlation of valleys to enneagram types: 1. sub-types are 5. the Sufi enneagram is comprised of three major types guided by an esoteric organ. but also in theGurdjieff inspired 4th Way with it’s prototypes: way of the monk (heart). Enneagram of the Four Valleys In the begining I mentioned that the Four Valleys was not a Baha’i rendition of the 4 Paths of the Heart. like the Baha’i Faith’s symbol. (source: “The Enneagram. The sufi enneagram is: “The enneagram is an ancient sufi system. 3/10/2009) We can see a correlation of the valleys to the enneagram three major types. exemplyfing its emotional. The stage performances are an opportunity for the dancer to remain indifferent to the spectators’ reactions. and is represented.3.6.9. the fourth being comprehensive of the first although elements of it are found in the First Valley. the Four Valleys.9) relationship of the major types together which represents the completed person or the Insan al-Kamil. Sufi Wisdom by Viki Markham.australiansuficentre. it was a typology of personalities that travel the path.htm.We can see how the doctrine of recognition of the Manifestation is held in common between the Baha’i mystic path and that of much of popular sufism as influenced by Ibn This work. it should also be noted that this typology is also found in the Hindu yogic system of Natya Yoga.

accessed 3/13/2009) In Conclusion The Four Valleys is an important work on the stations of seekers on the Sufi Path. It talks of those guided by the heart.the variousdevas that are supposed to be established in various chakras. self and finally a master type that is This is not a treatise on the four paths of the heart rather it is an expository writing that is related to the three main types of the Sufi Enneagram. mind.wikipedia. .” (http://en.