Says the Shaykh: Our belief concerning the Chair (kursi) 1 is that it is the receptacle of all the creatures, including the Throne (arsh), the heavens, the earth and everything else created by Allah. Now kursi according to another interpretation is knowledge (ilm). Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq was asked corning the saying of Allah, the Mighty and Glorious:
“His Chair (kursi) embraceth the heavens and the earth” (Qur'an 2:256).
He said: It (kursi) is His ilm (knowledge).2
- 1. For kursi, see Cl. Huart in EI, ii. 1156. Usually translated "throne" (Jeffery, 249); but "chair" (kursi) as distinguished from "throne" (`arsh) is probably better, MC, 147 -148.
- 2. Huart explains the difficulty experienced by the early authorities in explaining kursi as distinguished from `arsh (EI, ii. 1156).Kursi has also been explained as the "stool" of the throne (arsh). The allegorical interpretation, 'ilm, is the same as found in the Tafsir of Tabari.
Allah's sitting on the throne is a quality (MC, 93) and belief in the sitting is an article of faith (ibid., 127: Was. Abi Han. art. 8). But it is a difficult matter and must not be discussed (ibid., 266; Fiqh Akbar III, art. 12). A man who says that he does not know whether God's Throne is in the Heavens or Earth is an infidel (MC, 116, Fiqh Akbar 1,. art. 9). The details of the Throne ('arsh) and Chair (kursi) are very picturesque. The preserved Tablet is attached to the throne; the Throne is created from God's Light; the Chair is attached to the Throne; "and all water is within the chair, and the water is one the back of the wind" (MC, 148). A tradition from Abu Dharr al-Ghifari says: The Apostle of Allah said: O Abu Dharr, the seven Heavens are, as compared with the Chair, like a ring thrown away in the desert. And the relation between the Throne and the Chair is as the relation between this desert and the ring (MC, 149).
Apparently BHA and FC do not even mention the Chair. The explanation in Kalami Pir are fascinating. Kursi is the Prophet, nabi (57) ; it refers also to the soul of men (92) ; the anthropomorphist are "like animals that look for the rind and chaff, and never get to the fruit and grain" (59). Cp. Tawhid, Bib 51, pp.265-266.