Section Three: Divine Theology

First Stage: Definition (of God) in Divine Theology

It was related that in the divine religions, mysticism to lordly essence has never been discussed in the form of one irresolute and uncertain matter, which requires philosophical proof. It was also said that its secret too, from the viewpoint of religious sources is the same ‘Ma’rifat’(gnosis) which has been deposited in man’s heart, a ‘Ma’rifat’ which is the outcome of action and creation of God and is the result of His definition.

In the numerous sources and references which we had presented, this point was clearly mentioned that it is Al-Mighty God who by His Grace and Mercy has made the light of His ‘Ma’rifat’ (gnosis) to glimmer in the heart of His slave, has placed the sweet savor of Ma’rifat in man’s chaste life and satiated him with His limpid Ma’rifat. It is He who after bestowing the source of life to the creatures, once again gifted man with a dignity and made man’s heart and Fitrah (innate disposition) the area of descent of His Ma’rifat (gnosis) and manifested Himself to the people with all His Beautiful and Majestic qualities.

It is the same Ma’rifat which at times of hardship and tribulation or in the state of intimate supplication and invocation or at times of observing true signs, returns back to the Fitrah of heart.

In that condition a slave not only feels by reality of gnosis his Creator and object of worship in his conscience and sits lamenting and whispering before Him but finds Him as the One and Powerful and himself as the one overwhelmed by His Power, sees Him in perfection and greatness and himself as low and inferior, sees Him as All-Forgiving and himself as drowned in sins and finally finds Him as Merciful and Generous and himself as needful of His bounties.

This gifted Ma’rifat and scintillating guidance is reckoned to be the foundation of divine religions and just like a center column of the tent of religion, the collection of Divine Sciences and ethical and practical injunctions are established on that (Ma’rifat). If it was not for this divine gift, man would have been unable to perceive His Ma’rifat and reality.

بك عرفتك و أنت دللتني عليك و لولا انت لم ادر ما انت

Rather, without this definition (of God), even the Ma’rifat of the position of Messengership and ‘vilayat’ (Mastership) would not have been possible for man

اللهم عرفني نفسك فإنك ان لم تعرفني نفسك لم اعرف رسولك

This Innate Ma’rifat is having such foundational and infrastructural aspect in the divine religions that even if among some of the worships it is reckoned to be the pillar of religion it is for this reason that this worship causes in man, the condition of returning back to his self, remembering that innate Ma’rifat and paying attention to God.

Prayer is the remembrance of God and ascension of a believer and if mysticism of the self or soul is the mysticism of God it is because the soul is the bearer of that divine remembrance. Returning back to the self and evading from every sham and deception and recovering that original simple and pure Fitrah (innate disposition) causes once again to return back to that same innate Ma’rifat (gnosis).

The discussion, which has come in Qur’an and traditions (of God) can be divided into two main sections. The first section is the discussion, which shows in which place the innate Ma’rifat was given to man and from what time man has been entrusted with this divine trust. In the second section, discussion will be about procurement and consequence of that definition (of God) and its reality and specifications.

Birth-Place of Definition (of God)

What is evident from the divine proofs and testimonies is this that the soul of man, before coming into this world and getting attached to the corporal body has already passed through another world or rather worlds. It has witnessed events and scenes and in every stage has experienced some learning and realities such that all of these play a fundamental role in this world and the life Hereafter.

In some of these places, like the world of spirits [Alam al-Arwah (world of shadow [‘Azlah’ and ghost [‘eshbah’ man was possessing only the soul while in some other places like the world of pre-existence (‘Alam al-zar’) and substance (‘Alam al-teenat’) the soul of man was given a special mould and body. It was in these very worlds (before the world of tillage and generation) that all the human beings without any exception were granted in a lustrous and holy sphere, the divine grace and dispensation and after receiving the most highest monotheistic knowledge they were made to confess and give a covenant.

ألستُ بِرَبِكُم، قالوا: بلى..

Of course, after coming into this world man tends to forget the specifications of these places and stages. However the essence of that innate knowledge is present near man and is always blended with his substance (i.e.clay) and accompanies his nature.

(نسوا الموقف و ثبتت المعرفة)

This firm and permanent Ma’rifat has been so fixed like a strong pillar in the existence of man that till the present world, it has been made perseverant on the

basis of ‘Upright (‘Haneef’) religion’ and it is a fortification whose strength is very much indebted to the irresistible pillar of Fitrah.

The verses and traditions, which speak about the priority of the previous worlds, are so reliable and numerous that counting all of them would not be an easy task.

Moreover, this matter is so much certain and confirmed that in the opinion of most of the Islamic thinkers, belief in the existence of previous worlds is counted to be one of the religious certainties and exigencies1.

To such extent that the early theologian Shirazi who himself was the initiator of ‘Trans-Substantial Motion’ and believed in the theory of “Corporal contingency and spiritual permanence” when comes across such traditions he says:

“The soul of man was prior to body in existence, needless of bringing (the theory) of transmigration into picture. The traditions, which have been narrated from Shia sources regarding this matter, are so numerous that they cannot be counted. As such, the precedence of soul to the body is the religious exegencies of Imamia faith”.2

Before going into the details of this matter it is necessary to point out that what this discussion intends to follow is explaining the monotheistic Fitrah (innate disposition) and proving the innate Ma’rifat (gnosis) as the basis of theology (knowing God) and the foundation of divine guidance. As such, discussion about birth place of definition (i.e. introduction of God) and the specification of the previous creations has no direct interference in our purpose such that even if all the proofs and testimonies related to the previous worlds are doubted and denied or as is the practice of some, they are understood sarcastically and metaphorically and they reckon the birth place of definition (of God) to be this very world, yet there will not be any blot in the genuine claim of our discussion.

The past proofs and the coming proofs explicity prove (correct) this claim that the basis of theology or rather the essence of all the divine knowledge towards innate Ma’rifat returns back to the very former meaning (definition). However, considering the fact that the creation of the previous worlds and their true specifications are reckoned to be among the lofty Ma’arif (gnostic knowledge) of Islam and having knowledge about them will help increase one's insight of divine Ma’arif and the entire existence and its commencement and end, we therefore intend to bring here, the proofs of the existence of the previous worlds.

However due to numerousness of such proofs we shall mention at first the reference and sources of 200 traditions3 and then present some verses and traditions in the text.

These evidences are present in most of the authentic traditional books like Usul al-Kafi, Furu al-Kafi, Elal-ush-Sharaye and in exegesis (tafseers) pertaining to traditions. However on account of easy reference of the researchers, the evidences will be narrated from the book of Bihar al-Anwar.

These traditions comprises the secrets such that when the treasure of divine secrets, Amir al-Mo’meneen Ali (‘a) was teaching them to Haaris Hamedani he would address him as such:

((يَا حَارِثُ : إِنَّ الْحَقَّ أَحْسَنُ الْحَدِيثِ ، وَ الصَّادِعَ بِهِ مُجَاهِدٌ ، وَ بِالْحَقِّ أُخْبِرُكَ فَأَرْعِنِي سَمْعَكَ ، ثُمَّ خَبِّرْ بِهِ مَنْ كَانَتْ لَهُ حَصَانَةٌ مِنْ أَصْحَابِكَ .أَلَا إِنِّي عَبْدُ الله : وَ أَخُو رَسُولِهِ ، وَ صَدِيقُهُ الْأَوَّلُ .قَدْ صَدَّقْتُهُ : وَ آدَمُ بَيْنَ الرُّوحِ وَ الْجَسَدِ...))

“O’ Haaris, surely truth is the best of all the speeches and the one who inclines towards it is a Mujahid (warrior). I will speak the truth; so turn your ears towards me and listen to my sayings. Thereafter you narrate them to your trusted companions. “Know that I am the slave of God and the brother of Messenger of God and the first one to acknowledge him. Indeed I have acknowledged him at that time when Adam was between soul and body.”4

Yes, so that the pilgrims to Mecca during ‘Ehram’ (pilgrims garb) know that which of the trusts they will fulfill and to which of the covenants they will act upon and they take the Divine Essence and ‘Hajar a1-Aswad’ (black stone) as witness upon them. In front of this phrase of ‘Alasto’ they cry out:

((أمانتي أديتها و ميثاقس تعاهدته، لِتَشهد لي بالموافات))

(Muhaqqiq Hilli- Sharaye Islam; pg. 201 and wasail us Shia Beirut 5th print; vol. 9; chapter 12 & 13)

It is not ungraceful to mention this point also that the traditions concerning this chapter (the previous places of soul) can be seen in most of the discussions pertaining to beliefs like the various chapters of Monotheism, Prophethood, Imamet, Resurrection, Haj, invocation, soul, creation, etc. and very few discussions can be seen wherein this matter has not been discussed in some way or the other.

For this reason it has been said: The proofs and traditions with regard to the discussion are reliable proofs in reliable chapters.

However on the other hand, these worlds have been subjected to analogical gradation by some of the Muslim thinkers and contemporary commentators and have been rejected by some others. It should be said with utmost regret that the doubts and difficulties which have been set forth in this regard are merely improbabilities in front of decisive proofs and which have been borrowed from the Mu’tazilites.

Moreover, it is noteworthy to know that some of these problems had also been propounded during the time of holy Imams. The narrators of traditions have put forward these problems before the holy Imams and they too have given a proper reply in every case. Therefore it can be claimed that the reply to most of the objections on previous worlds can be derived from the traditions (which shall be mentioned in detail at the opportunate time).

Regarding the sources of traditions it is necessary to mention this point that a few of these traditions have been repeated due to chain of transmission and authorities of the traditions and or the connection of the traditions with some diversified sections. However, considering that the examination of chain of transmission of the traditions and their technical discussion is not possible at this opportunity, the above considered aspects and the chain of transmission of the traditions will be examined one by one in an independent book, although the people of skill are aware that in cases when the tradition are ‘one after another’, ‘helping’ and ‘certain’, there is no need to examine the chain of transmission of the tradition.

Now we draw the attention of the respected readers to some of the verses and traditions in this regard.

وَإِذْ أَخَذَ رَبُّكَ مِن بَنِي آدَمَ مِن ظُهُورِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ وَأَشْهَدَهُمْ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ أَلَسْتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ قَالُوا بَلَىٰ شَهِدْنَا أَن تَقُولُوا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ إِنَّا كُنَّا عَنْ هَـٰذَا غَافِلِينَ

“And when your Lord brought forth from the children of Adam, from their backs, their descendants, and made them bear witness against their own souls: Am I not your Lord? They said: Yes! We bear witness” (Holy Qur’an: 7: 172)

Most of the traditions concerning our discussion have come under this afore-mentioned verse and it is noteworthy that in the discussion about several worlds, this verse has been rationalized. This matter shows that the covenant had been taken in several worlds. In the first section a tradition regarding the world of pre-existence (alam al-zar) was mentioned under this verse. Now we bring here a tradition about the world of spirits (alam al-arwaah).

((عن ابي عبدالله (عليه السلام) قال: ما تقول في الارواح انها جنود مجندة، فما تعارف منها ائتلف و ما تناكر منها إختلف؟ قال: انى نقول ذلك؟ قال: فإنه كذلك، إن الله عز وجل أخذَ من العباد ميثاقهم و هم اظلّة قبل الميلاد وهو قوله عز وجل: ((و إذ أخَذَ ربُكَ من بني آدم...))

(Elalush-Sharayeh; pg. 39; chapter 77)

Imam Sadiq (‘a) said: “Surely God took promise from His slaves at the time when they were a shadow and they were not yet born in this present world and verse 172 of chapter A’raf is a witness to this same matter.”

وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِنَ النَّبِيِّينَ مِيثَاقَهُمْ وَمِنكَ وَمِن نُّوحٍ وَإِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ وَأَخَذْنَا مِنْهُم مِّيثَاقًا غَلِيظًا

“And when we made a covenant with the prophet and with you, and with Nuh end Ibrahim and Musa and Isa, son of Marium, and we made with them a strong covenant.” (Holy Qur’an: 33: 7)

(( قال الصادق (عليه السلام): كان الميثاق مأخوذا عليهم لله بالربوبية ولرسوله بالنبوة ولأمير المؤمنين والأئمة (عليهم السلام) بالإمامة فقال: ألست بربكم ومحمد (صلَّى الله عليه و آله) نبيكم وعلي (عليه السلام) إمامكم والأئمة الهادون أئمتكم، فقالوا: بلى. فقال الله تعالى: إن تقولوا يوم القيامة اي لئلا تقولوا يوم القيامة إنا كنا عن هذا غافلين فأول ما اخذ الله عز وجل الميثاق على الأنبياء له بالربوبية وهو قوله وإذ أخذنا من النبيين ميثاقهم..))

(Burhan fi Tafseer al-Qur’an; vol. 3; pg. 294)

Under many verses of Qur’an, we find traditions like the above one and great emphasis has been laid on the conversation of God with the people and the taking of covenant in the form which has come in verse 172 of chapter A’raf. Therefore taking all these traditions in the allegorical and metaphorical sense is far from truth and in none of the proofs one can find emphasis on metaphorical meaning.

وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّـهُ

“And if you ask them who created the heavens and the earth, they will certainly say: Allah.” (Holy Qur’an: 31: 25)

((...قال ابو جعفر (عليه السلام): أخرج من ظهر آدم ذريته الى يوم القيامة، فخرجوا كالذر فعرفهم و أراهم نفسه و لولا ذلك لم يعرف أحد ربه، وقال: قال رسول الله (صلّى الله عليه و آله):كلُّ مولودٍ يُولَد على الفطرة، يعني على المعرفةِ أنّ الله عزّ و جلّ خالقُه، فذلك قوله عزّ و جل: وَلَئِن سأَلْتَهم مَن خَلَق السماواتِ والأرضَ لَيَقُولُنَّ الله))

(Usul al-Kafi; vol. 2; pg. 13)

In this tradition and other traditions like the one which has been mentioned under verse no.5 ‘Fitrah’ (innate disposition) has been adapted to the Ma’rifat (gnosis) of God and monotheism. Our discussion too is about this same Fitrah which is reckoned to be the fundamental of religion and the other meanings of Fitrah like creation are not within the scope of this discussion.

Similarly, it has been stipulated in this tradition that if Ma’rifat was not innate it was not possible for man to recognize God. Compare this matter with the saying that: “That knowledge (i.e. Innate Ma’rifat) which is vague and weak is subject to wrong interpretations. The conclusion is that a person says false and undue things about gods instead of worshipping the One God.”5

Of course, the matter of lucidness of innate Ma’rifat will come but the point which should be said in reply to the above saying is this that polythesim and blasphemy is not the result of weakness of innate Ma’rifat. Rather it is the result of turning away from the innate Ma’rifat and the reminding and turning towards non-innate paths. This matter was clearly seen in the previous section in the theology of Plato and Aristotle where Plato, with great hardship and difficulty succeeded in bringing a father and son for god and Aristotle believed with doubt in forty-seven gods.

فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًا فِطْرَتَ اللَّـهِ الَّتِي فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّـهِ ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

“Then set your face upright for religion in the right state - the nature made by Allah in which He has made men; there is no altering of Allah’s creation; that is the right religion, but most people do not know” (Holy Qur’an: 30: 30)

((عن ابي عبدالله (عليه السلام) قال: سألته عن قول الله عزَّ و جل: "فطرة الله التي فطر الناس عليها"، ما تلك الفطرة؟ قال هي الاسلام، فطرهم الله حين أخذ ميثاقهم على التوحيد، "قال ألستُ بربكم" و فيه المؤمن و الكافر))

(Usul al-Kafi; vol. 2; pg. 12)

أَفَغَيْرَ دِينِ اللَّـهِ يَبْغُونَ وَلَهُ أَسْلَمَ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ طَوْعًا وَكَرْهًا وَإِلَيْهِ يُرْجَعُونَ

“Is it then other than Allah’s religion that they seek (to follow), and to Him submits whoever is In the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and to Him shall they be returned.” (Holy Qur’an: 3: 83)

((ثم إن الله تبارك وتعالى نادى في أصحاب اليمين وأصحاب الشمال: ألست بربكم ؟ فقال أصحاب اليمين : بلى يا ربنا نحن بريتك وخلقك مقرين طائعين ،  وقال أصحاب الشمال : بلى ياربنا نحن بريتك وخلقك كارهين. وذلك قول الله: " وله  أسلم من في السموات والارض طوعا وكرها وإليه ترجعون)) قال: توحيدهم الله))

(Tafseer Aiyashi; vol. 1; pg. 182)

From these traditions it can be understood that the people have been put to test and examination in the previous worlds too and in all the stages of examination they were possessing a free will and by their own free will they have acted accordingly. For instance, in the beginning of the above tradition it has come that in the world of pre-existence God asked the people to enter the fire. Consequently, the people of the left (hand) objected while the people of the right (hand) obeyed.

وَنُقَلِّبُ أَفْئِدَتَهُمْ وَأَبْصَارَهُمْ كَمَا لَمْ يُؤْمِنُوا بِهِ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ

“And we will turn their hearts and their sights, even as they did not believe in it the first time.” (Holy Qur’an: 6: 110)

((قال علي بن ابي طالب (عليه السلام)... كما لم يؤمنوا به أول مرة)) يعني في الذر و الميثاق...))

(Burhan; vol. 1; pg. 549)

With regard to the above verse, Ali (‘a) said: “By ‘first time’ is meant the world of pre-existence (alam al-zar) and the covenant (mesaaq).”

فَمَا كَانُوا لِيُؤْمِنُوا بِمَا كَذَّبُوا بِهِ مِن قَبْلُ كَذَٰلِكَ نَطْبَعُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِ الْمُعْتَدِينَ

“…But they would not believe in what they had rejected before; thus it is that we set seals upon the hearts of those who exceed the limits.” (Holy Qur’an: 10: 74)

عن أبي جعفر وأبي عبدالله عليهما السلام قالا : إن الله  خلق الخلق وهي أظلة ، فأرسل رسوله محمدا صلى الله عليه وآله) فمنهم من آمن به ومنهم من كذبه ،  ثم بعثه في الخلق الآخر فآمن به من كان آمن به في الاظلة وجحده من جحد به يومئذ ،  فقال : ما كانو ليؤمنوا بما كذبوا به من قبل))

(Tafseer Aiyashi; vol. 1; pg. 126)

تِلْكَ الْقُرَىٰ نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ مِنْ أَنبَائِهَا وَلَقَدْ جَاءَتْهُمْ رُسُلُهُم بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ فَمَا كَانُوا لِيُؤْمِنُوا بِمَا كَذَّبُوا مِن قَبْلُ كَذَٰلِكَ يَطْبَعُ اللَّـهُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِ الْكَافِرِينَ

“These town: - We relate to you some of their stone:, and certainly their apostles came to them with clear arguments, but they would not believe in what they rejected at first; thus does Allah set a seal over the hearts of the unbelievers.” (Holy Ouran: 7: 101)

((وما كانوا ليؤمنوا بما كذبوا من قبل)) يعنى في الذر الأول قال: قال لا يؤمنون في الدنيا بما كذبوا في الذر وهو ردٌّ على من انكر الميثاق في الذر الاول))

(Burhan; vol. 2; pg. 26)

From this tradition and the one, which will come under verse 9 it is apparent that the worlds of pre-existence have been many.

هَـٰذَا نَذِيرٌ مِّنَ النُّذُرِ الْأُولَىٰ

“This is a warner of the warners of old.” (Holy Qur’an: 53: 56)

سألت ابا عبدالله (عليه السلام) عن قوله تبارك وتعالى: ((هذا نذير من النذر الاولى)) (قال ظ): يعني محمدا (صلى الله عليه و آله) حيث دعاهم إلى الاقرار بالله في الذر الاول

(Tafseer Noor-us-saqalain; vol. 5; pg. 173)

خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ ثُمَّ مِنْ عَلَقَةٍ ثُمَّ مِن مُّضْغَةٍ مُّخَلَّقَةٍ وَغَيْرِ مُخَلَّقَةٍ

“We created you from dust, then from a small seed, then from a clot, then from a lump of flesh, complete in make and incomplete…” (Holy Qur’an: 22: 5)

 سألت أبا جعفر عليه السلام عن قول الله عز وجل: " مخلقة وغير مخلقة " قال: المخلقة هم الذر الذين خلقهم الله في صلب آدم (عليه السلام)، أخذ عليهم الميثاق ثم أجراهم في أصلاب الرجال وأرحام النساء وهم الذين يخرجون إلى الدنيا حتى يسألوا عن الميثاق. وأما قوله: " وغير مخلقة " فهم كل نسمة لم يخلقهم الله عز وجل في صلب آدم حين خلق الذر وأخذ عليهم الميثاق، وهم النطف من العزل والسقط قبل أن ينفخ فيه الروح والحياة والبقاء

(Furu al-Kafi; vol. 6; pg. 12)

From this tradition it becomes clear that the molecular bodies have been transferred to the embryo of man. Thus there remains no place for any doubt about ‘transmigration’ which is the most significant doubt with regards to pre-existing world. This is because the soul of man does not enter into two different moulds.

Rather, in the world of pre-existence it enters the molecular body and in this world too it enters the same molecular body which by getting transferred into embryo is now capable of growth and development. Paying attention to this point will also be extremely beneficial in replying to the doubt of ‘Akelo wa Ma’kool’ in bodily resurrection.6

Outcome of Definition (of God)

1-Characteristics of Innate Disposition ‘Fitrah’

Just as it was seen in the first section the outcome of definition of God is a Ma’rifat (gnosis) very sublime and a recognition conscientious with regard to Divine Essence. The result of definition (of God) is neither belief in God nor inclination nor ability and capability in recognizing God, nor empirical knowledge and not (even) intuitive knowledge in the common sense. Rather, Ma’rifat and recognition is much more higher and exalted than the common human sciences and therefore it cannot be inserted into the usual divisions of human sciences.

Nevertheless, some of the above matters are certain and correct in its own place. However the whole truth is that none of these interpretations can be a true exposition of the foundation of monotheistic Fitrah in the divine religions.

In the entire reasoning of Fitrah (innate disposition) the talk is about Ma’rifat, witnessing with clearness and heartly observation and examination. It is obvious to what extent an appreciable and fundamental difference exists between these two basis, which is oftenly overlooked.

For clarifying the matter, we shall briefly make a comparative examination of these views:

A) Fitrah (Innate Disposition) is Not a Belief

As per our past sayings, what is meant by monotheistic Fitrah is Ma’rifat and recognition, not belief in God. Although after the recognition of God man oftenly submits himself before God just as God has taken this belief, confirmation and confession from all the human-beings in the previous worlds, yet considering the fact that this present world is the place of test and affliction and man’s misgivings and carnal desires are no less and on the other hand man is the possessor of will-power and authority it therefore cannot be said that every human-being necessarily believes in God. Even though the lofty Ma’rifat is from the Blessed and Supreme God its bearer gets reminded by the reminding of the exhorters and by propaganda of the evangelists and oftenly he finds belief and faith too in God.

With this explanation of Fitrah there will no longer remain a place for asking this question that why some of the people deny God. This is because Fitrah is Ma’rifat (gnosis) and the authority of admission and rejection is entrusted to man. Thus it is endowed with good and evil and reward or punishment pertains to them.

In addition, when the same Fitrah becomes shy due to the external factors, the light of reality remains hidden from man.

صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْيٌ فَهُمْ لَا يَرْجِعُونَ

In the discussion of ‘submission and faith’ this matter will be examined in a more detailed form.

B) Fitrah is Not Inclination towards God

In spite of this, inasmuch as man by his divine Fitrah finds the Compassionate and Merciful, Generous and Gracious, Graceful and Intimate God with all his existence, he therefore inclines towards Him and loves Him. Thus inclination is newly from Fitrah.

As such, the one who observes his God in the light of Fitrah with the qualities of Beauty and Magnificence will pay close attention to Him and will not submit his heart to anyone other than Him. Basically true love can be found in the true Beloved and whatever is other than Him is wish carnal desires and egotism even though it may be expressed in beautiful words and the one who reckons the metaphor to be the castle of reality is far from reality:

((أيكون لِغيرك من الظهور ما ليس لك.. عميت عين لا تراك...))

(Dua al-Arafa; Imam Husayn (‘a) - Mafatihul Jenan)

Yes, the one whose existence has been filled with desires, arrogance, pride, obstinacy and darkness has not left any place for light in his heart and will not have any inclination too towards God. As such, the question that why Pharaoh, Niraun, Abu Jahl, Abu Lahab, Chenghiz and Timur did not have any attraction and inclination towards God will stand no credit. The description of this matter will come in the section of ‘Submission’.

C) ‘Fitrah’ is Not an Ability to Know God

Basically the power to know God is given to man when he has not recognized God. Thus at that time the power and ability of this recognition will be given to him so that by this means he recognizes God. However, just as we had seen previously, the Ma’rifat (gnosis) of God has been granted to man in a very clear and expounded manner. Thus there remains no place for power and ability because the outcome of ability will be the acquisition of some affair whereas the Ma’rifat is (already) obtained and present near man in the most highest form even though it may be concealed.

Yes, if we say that man is capable of remembering the Ma’rifat of God and becomes reminded after the reminding of the exhorters and or man is having the ability to do reasoning and argumentation for proving the same innate Ma’rifat then such a saying is absolutely correct and man is possessing such abilities. However these are having no relation with the ‘Fitrah’ (innate disposition) which is the fundamental of religion and they should not be used in explaining and justifying that Fitrah.

2-Innate ‘Ma’rifat’ is a Comprehensive and Clear ‘Ma’rifat’ not Abstract and Ambiguous

Qur’an and traditions have interpreted innate Ma’rifat to be a heartly vision and a self-evident examination and observation.7

These wordings of Qur’an and traditions, in the most audible expression indicate the clearness of the Ma’rifat (gnosis) of God and the intensity of its lucidity in the heart and mind of man. As such, this saying that due to the weakness and ambiguity of innate Ma’rifat and its vagueness in the field of recognition one should embark upon intellectual and conceptual recognition and or this saying that innate Ma’rifat is abstract and within one’s power and one should in this world expound it through reasoning and proofs, will in reality amount to comparison (equation) of Qur’anic innate Ma’rifat with the innate Ma’arif of ‘Dakaart’ and ‘Laibnites’ and reminds one of the beliefs of recent ‘Rationalism’ as against ‘Amperism’

The luminousness and holiness of the past innate Ma’rifat (gnosis) is so intense that the firmness of the foundations of religion in the nature of man is indebted to the firmness of this Ma’rifat. The expression of vision and examination is so expressive in the lucidity and authenticity of this recognition that it has also perplexed the traditionalists and so they were putting forth this question that whether God can be seen with the physical eyes or not? The Holy Imams too would reply that by such expression is meant heartly vision and not vision with the physical eyes or perceptions with mental and heartly illusions. (Some of these proofs will come under point no. 5)

Paying attention to the following point can to a large degree be a reply to the existing doubts about innate Ma’rifat. Just as it was seen in some of the traditions in Section One, this examination has been forgotten by man and the one who has made to forget is God.

[ابو عبدالله (عليه السلام)] كان ذلك معاينة الله فانساهم المعاينة.

(Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 5; pg. 223)

As such, man forgets the Ma’rifat at the time of birth and it is after the gradual passage of some time and especially after the reminding of the exhorters and warnings of the warners that he once again remembers the same Ma’rifat.

أَوَلَمْ نُعَمِّرْكُم مَّا يَتَذَكَّرُ فِيهِ مَن تَذَكَّرَ وَجَاءَكُمُ النَّذِيرُ

“Did we not preserve you alive long enough, so that he who would be mindful in it should mind? And there came to you the warner…” (Holy Qur’an: 35: 37)

In some of the traditions the maximum age for getting reminded has been mentioned to be eighteen.8

Based on the above explanation, reasoning out this verse

وَاللَّـهُ أَخْرَجَكُم مِّن بُطُونِ أُمَّهَاتِكُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ شَيْئًا

“And Allah has brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers - you did not know anything…” (Holy Qur’an: 16: 78)

For denying, ‘Fitrah’ will not have the kind of granted and esteem ‘Ma’rifat’. It has been said that the above verse rejects any kind of past Ma’rifat whereas just as it can be precisely perceived, this holy verse negates knowledge and awareness at the time of birth and does not say anything in connection with the past awareness which is made to be forgotten at the time of birth and is remembered by man after a lapse of some period. These past Ma’rifats have been mentioned and emphasized in other verses and traditions and it is even specifically mentioned that this Ma’rifat is made to be forgotten at the time of birth. Therefore there exists no contradiction between those verses which prove the past Ma’rifat and the above verse. Rather the verses explain and clarify each other.

Another matter, which becomes clear from the above description is that theology (i.e. recognition of God) being innate is not a reason of being independent from ‘reminding’. Rather the vice-versa is also true. We shall once more refer to this matter in the chapter of ‘reminding’.

Another conclusion which we can derive from the above discussion is that ‘Fitrah’ and ‘reminding’ as a means of guidance for man are alone counted to be a strong reason and an independent channel. Rather it can be claimed that a superior and genuine Ma’rifat of God is the same Ma’rifat which is acquired from Him and the other ways and means of recognizing God should eventually lead to and terminate in this very innate Ma’rifat. On the other hand acquiring the strange ways instead of Fitrah (innate disposition) will be a strange Ma’rifat different from the innate and genuine Ma’rifat.

((... فكيف يوحده من زعم انه عرفه بغيره و إنما عرف الله من عرفه بالله، فمن لم يعرفه به فليس يعرفه، إنما يعرف غيره...))

(Usul al-Kafi; vol. 1; pg. 114)

How be it that the one who imagines he has recognized God through a means other than His means is a monotheist! Surely, only the one who has recognized God by (means of) God has truly recognized Him and anything besides this will be recognition of someone else and not God.

This matter was already mentioned in the first section and it will again be discussed in the chapter of ‘reminding’.

3-Before Becoming Reminded, Innate Ma’rifat is Simple not Absolute.

By simple, we mean that man is heedless and takes no notice of his innate Ma’rifat and by absolute we mean being heedful of Ma’rifat.

This too is one of the mysteries of God where man, because of being busy in his daily life, oftenly tends to neglect God and does not pay attention to Him. If it was not such then the wheel of man’s material life would not have rotated and people would not have adequately paid attention to their physical and material dimensions.

Moreover the aspect of test and affliction of this present world too would have been weakened. If deception and the matter of negligence of this world were not existing, then the worship of God would not have had that importance which could lead man to the position of nearness to God and His representative.

Nevertheless, the argumentation will be finished upon man and by being reminded he will thereafter select his path: Either the route of submission and arranging the material life on that basis or the route of whims and desires and arranging all the affairs on that pivot.

4-‘Fitrah’ is the Make of God

Just as it was said in the first section, definitions of God is the act and make of God and man plays no role in it. Even the power of egotism by way of ‘definition’ is taken away from man. Therefore there exists no responsibility for acquiring this Ma’rifat and man is only duty-bound to follow it and submit himself before his Lord.

From the above description we draw this conclusion that innate Ma’rifat is not one of the branches of human sciences. This is because Fitrah (innate disposition) is the act of God and it should not be compared with the empirical knowledge, primary axioms, secondary axioms, views close to axioms and similarly intuitive knowledge which are in common use. (We shall refer to these sciences under point no. 5).

5-The Focal Point of Innate Ma’rifat is the Heart not Mind

((عن أبي عبد الله (عليه السلام) قال: قلت له:أخبرني عن الله عز وجل هل يراه المؤمنون يوم القيامة؟ قال: نعم، وقد رأوه قبل يوم القيامة، فقلت: متى؟ قال: حين قال لهم: {أَلَسْتُ بِرَبّكُمْ قَالُوا بَلَى} ثم سكت ساعة، ثم قال: وإن المؤمنين ليرونه في الدنيا قبل يوم القيامة، ألست تراه في وقتك هذا؟ [دقت شود].. وليست الرؤية بالقلب كالرؤية بالعين))

(Tauheed of Sadooq; pg. 117)

It was asked from Imam Sadiq whether the believers would see God on the Day of Judgement? Imam replied: Yes and they have witnessed God even before the Day of Judgement. It was asked when it was so and Imam replied: When it was said to them:

ألستُ بِرَبِكُم، قالوا بلى

Thereafter, he kept silent and then said: Verily the believers witness God in this world and before the Day of Judgement too. Do you not just now witness God?… Witnessing by heart is not similar to witnessing by the eyes.

Therefore observation of God is one Universal matter and is not specifically meant for a particular group, although the grades of observation are varied.

((... فقال: يا أمير المؤمنين هل رأيت ربّك حين عبدته؟ قال: فقال: ويلك ما كنت أعبد رباً لم أره، قال: وكيف رأيته؟ قال: ويلك لا تدركه العيون في مشاهدة الأبصار ولكن رأته القلوب بحقائق الايمان))

(Tauheed of Sadooq; pg.109; Similarly Nahjul Balaghah, Subhi Saleh)

((.. يا ابا جعفر اي شيء تعبد؟ قال (عليه السلام):الله. قال :هل رأيته؟ فقال (عليه السلام):لم تره العيون بمشاهدة العيان،ولكن رأته القلوب بحقائق الايمان...))

(Tauheed of Sadooq; pg. 108; similarly Usul al-Kafi; vol. 1; pg. 97)

((.. [الله] الظاهر لقلوبهم بحجته...))

(Nahjul Balagha; pg. 155)

(([الله] قد إحتج عليكم بما عرفَّكم من نفسه))

(Usul al-Kafi; vol. 1; pg. 86)

((الايمان، معرفة بالقلب و إقرار باللسان و عمل بالاركان))

(Nahjul Balaghah; pg. 508)

From these traditions and its like it becomes clear that the base and foundation of divine belief is heartly ‘Ma’rifat’ (gnosis) which is the same innate Ma’rifat. In none of the reasoning of Fitrah it can be seen that innate Ma’rifat is of the kind of conceptual and imaginative Ma’rifat. Thus interpreting Fitrah as empirical sciences, primary and secondary axioms, views close to axioms, etc is not correct.

Fitrah (Innate Disposition) And Imagination of God

Basically, in the divine reasoning it is not observed that mental and imaginary Ma’rifat have been mentioned to be one of the basis or stages of divine faith. Rather the possibility of imagining the essence of God and even describing Him by means of understandings and imaginations has been rejected.

((وقد ضلَّت في ادراك كنهه هواجس الاحلام لانه أجلُّ من أن يحده الباب البشر بالتفكير))

(Tauheed of Sadooq; pg. 51)

((.. لأنه الله الذي لم يتناه في العقول...))

(Tauheed of Sadooq; pg. 54)

((محرم... على غوائص سابحات الفطر تصويره.. ممتنع... عن الاذهان أن تمثله... قد ضلَّت العقول في أمواج تيار إدراكه))

(Tauheed of Sadooq; pg. 70)

Depiction of God by the ‘Ghawa’es’ (those who think deeply and deliberate in the imagination of God) is forbidden, it is impossible to depict Him in our mind The intellects, in the stormy waves of His perception have gone astray.

((... فلا تدرك العقول و أوهامها ولا الفكر وخطراتها ولا الالباب و أذهانها صفته...))

(Tauheed of Sadooq; pg. 45)

((إن الله تبارك و تعالى أجَّلُ و أعظم من أن... تبلغه الاوهام أو تحيط به صفة العقول))

(Tauheed of Sadooq; pg. 75)

((لا تقدِّره العقول ولا تقع عليه الاوهام... سبحانه وتعالى عن الصفات))

(Tauheed of Sadooq; pg. 79)

It is necessary to mention this point that in the last two traditions and the like of them, (‘Sefat’) quality and (‘Sefaat’) qualities means description and descriptions i.e. (‘Sefat’) pertains to its infinitive and not the outcome of infinitive. Apart from the fact that the contents of the traditions itself bear testimony to this meaning the lexicographical lexicons too emphasis on this meaning.

((وصف: وصف الشيء له وعليه وصفاً. وصفه: حلاه و الهاء عوض عن الواو))

(Ibn Manzur, Lesaan al-Arab- Beirut; vol. 15; pg. 315 1st edition)

الصفة من الوصف مثل العدة من الوعد و الجمع صفات

(Fayumi, Mesbah ul-Munir; pg. 661)

((وصفهُ وصفاً وصفة))

(Zamakhshari, Asas ul-Balagha; pg. 501)

This too is one of the mistakes which has been committed by some and they have interpreted ‘Sefat’ and ‘sefaat’ everywhere as outcome of infinitive. Thereafter they have encountered problems in the meanings of traditions and for finding a solution they have resorted to esoteric interpretation. Examining these esoteric interpretations is not within the scope of our discussion.

((أصِفُ الهي بما وصف به نفسه و أعرفه بما عرَّف به نفسه))

(Tauheed of Sadooq; pg. 80)

((سبحانك ماعرفوك ولا وحدوك، فمن أجل ذلك وصفوك، سبحانك لو عرفوك لوصفوك بما وصفت به نفسك... إلهي لا أصف إلا بما وصفت به نفسك))

(Tauheed of Sadooq; pg. 114)

O’ God, Thou are free from defects. They have not recognized thee and have not attained monotheism and so they have described (Thee). If they would have recognized Thee, they would have described Thee in the same manner which Thou Thyself have mentioned… O’ God, I will not describe Thee except by the very descriptions which Thou have mentioned.

((أصِفُه بما وصف به نفسه من غير صورة))

(Tauheed of Sadooq; pg. 47)

I shall depict God the very descriptions, which He Himself has related, without presenting any depiction of God.

From such traditions it becomes clear that the description of God is accomplished through Him only, without the means of understandings webbed by the mind. Rather He is Greater than that which can be shown by the human mind and thus in the interpretation of ‘Allaho Akbar’ it has been said:

((الله أكبر من أن يوصف))

“Allah is much Greater than what one can describe”9

From the above tradition which was narrated as an example, we conclude the following two points:

1-It is impossible to imagine the Essence of God through the minds, intellects and meditations and therefore verses and traditions have forbidden contemplation in the Essence of God.10

2-Description of God is not possible through rational understandings. In the chapter of Tauheed (Monotheism) and recognition of God, all verses and traditions negate depiction of God through rational understandings. With regard to the matter of Names and Attributes it is commended to follow the Qur’an and this very reason has caused the theologians to set forth right from the beginning the attachment of Names and Attributes as one principle in the theologian discussions.

The question which is set forth over here and has become the cause of esoteric interpretation of the above tradition is this that basically man’s recognition is not possible except through mental understandings and every confirmation is fulfilled on the basis of some imaginations and man is capable of only perceiving the meanings and proving its external existences. In the discussion of recognition of God too, it is concluded that: “We should imagine God with one Universal concept.” Other than this situation, the prayers and invocation towards God get transformed to a loose tongue and will finally lead to nullification.

The basis and foundation of such thought and its real planning goes back to the period 600 years before the appearance of Christianity in Greece just as we had seen in the first discourse.

As against this interpretation of recognition of God and such contemplative disposition, the divine religions presented a new and novel path in theology and recognition of the Name and Attributes which is the path of innate Ma’rifat (gnosis) of God and His Names and Attributes.

In this path, the people witness God along with His Names and Attributes in the light of innate Ma’rifat (gnosis) and this heartly witnessing is accomplished without any means of imagination and understanding. On this basis, the Names and Attributes will not become absolute upon the essential concepts and even the general concepts. Rather the Names and Attributes of the Exalted God are used in the form of ‘Ta’beer’ (interpretation).

The measure of the Names and Attributes in innate theology means referring to the Holy Essence of God - which from before has been witnessed in the light of ‘Fitrah’. In the school of ‘Ta’beer’ (interpretation), the Name and Attribute is absolutely applied to the Holy Essence without the means of mental understanding and the corrector of this absoluteness is the innate Ma’rifat.

The famous sermon of Imam Reza (‘a) which is the Universal principle of monotheistic Ma’arif (gnostic knowledge) and is very much similar to the first sermon of Nahjul Balagha, begins with such sentences:

((أول عبادة الله تعالى معرفته، وأصل معرفتة الله توحيده، ونظام توحيد الله نفي الصفات عنه...))

Thereafter he says:

((فأسمائه تعبير))

(Oyoon Akhbar Reza (‘a) pg. 150-151)

((... ومن زعم أنه يعبد المعنى بالصفة لا بإلإدراك فقد أحال على غائب... ثيل له: فكيف سبيل التوحيد؟ قال: باب البحث ممكن و طلب المخرج موجود، إن معرقة عين الشاهد قبل صفته و معرفة صفة الغائب قبل عينه...))

(Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 68; pg. 276)

In this tradition, the difference between the two doctrines of ‘Tauseef’ (description) and ‘Ta’beer’ (interpretation) is expressed. In the method of ‘Tauseef’ God is introduced through the channel of understandings and imaginations and the Ma’rifat of God comes after His description. However in the method of innate Ma’rifat and ‘Ta’beer’, God has been perceived before description, through His own channel and in the light of innate Ma’rifat and the level of measure of Names comes after the level of Ma’rifat of the Divine Essence.

Considering the fact that God is a ‘witness’ and He is not ‘hidden’, therefore, before the measure of Names and Attributes, it has been well known among the mystics and the general application of Names and Attributes is merely an interpretation and reference to the Holy Essence which has been already recognized from before.

In the method of ‘Ta’beer’ (interpretation) the Names and Attributes signify the external Essence and the implication of Names and Attributes has been the Holy Essence of God which by His own introduction becomes the well-known ‘Fitrah’ and not the mental implications and concepts.

((والأسماء و الصفات، مخلوقات و المعني بها هو الله))

(Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 4; pg. 153)

((سألت أبا الحسن الرضا (عليه السلام) عن الاسم ما هو؟ فقال (عليه السلام): [فهو] صفة لموصوف))

(Ma’aniyul Akhbar; pg. 2, and Tauheed of Sadooq; pg. 192)

Basically, in the Qur’anic and traditional Ma’arif (gnostic knowledge), Names and Words are not assigned for understandings Rather words are corresponding to the external realities and Name (noun) is for the real subject of qualification and not the form and understandings of subject of qualification. In the next tradition the manner of significance of Name upon the external Essence is explained.

 ((... ومن عبد المعنى دون الاسم فذاك التوحيد... الله معنى يدل عليه بهذه الاسماء وكلها غيره، يا هشام الخبز اسم للمأكول والماء اسم للمشروب...))

  (Usu al-Kafi; pg. 114)

((عن أبي عبدالله (عليه السلام) قال: من عبدالله بالتوهم فقد ... ومن عبد المعنى بإيقاع الاسماء عليه بصفاته التي وصف بها نفسه فعقد عليه قلبه ونطق به لسانه في سرائره وعلانيته فأولئك أصحاب أمير المؤمنين))عليه السلام))

(Tauheed of Sadooq; pg. 220)

It is obvious that the mental implications are not subject to worship. Rather the external Essence is worshipped and Name too is applied in the same sense. In traditions, on the basis of this principle, the entire concepts which are used with regard to the creatures, is negated for God and the verbal commonness is interpreted in the most highest and precise form.

((فمعاني الخلق عنه منفية))

(Tauheed of Sadooq; pg. 79)

 وإنما سمي الله عالما لانه لا يجهل شيئا، فقد جمع الخالق والخلوق اسم العالم واختلف المعنى...  فقد جمعنا الاسم بالسميع واختلف المعنى وهكذا البصير))

(Oyoon Akhbar al-Reza; pg. 147)

God is named as ‘A’lam’ (All-Knowing) because He is not ignorant of anything. Then surely the Creator and the creature are common in the noun of ‘A’lam’ but the meaning or implication of ‘A’lam’ is different in the Creator and creature. The same is true with the words of ‘Samee(All-Hearing) and ‘Baseer’ (All-Seeing)

((... [الله] ولا شيئاً يقع عليه إسم شيء من الاشياء غيره))

(Oyoon Akhbar al-Reza; pg. 172)

Here, it is necessary to mention this point that the above matters are only a flash from the flashes of Qur’an and the teachings of the Household of the Holy Imams. Since this matter is not directly related to our discussion we have refrained from discussing it in length until perhaps at an opportunate time, we clarify the natural disposition of Fitrah in Names and Attributes and the manner of application and measurement in the Names of Creator and creatures by means of interpretation and precise implication of verbal commonness.

On the basis of the aforesaid matters we can have one system of arrangement in theology:

1- Confirmative or Positive Theology (conceptual)

2- Negative Theology (transcendence [of God)

3- Innate Theology (heartly)

1-Positive Theology (Conceptual):

This kind of Theology which can also be named as the human theology was, for the first time discussed and clarified in Greece and Aristotle succeeded in discovering and compiling its logic. In this method, only the mental and reflective powers are relied upon as the source and basis of recognition and in reality it is this mind and intellect of man which alone forms his power of Ma’rifat (gnosis). From the other side, the intellect is only capable of perceiving the mental concepts and intellectual Universals.

In this method, recognition and judgement of everything is fulfilled with the tools of understandings and the proof of God too is no exception to this universal rule. As such, for recognizing God and His Attributes we first deliberate over the mental understandings and imaginations and then we place these understandings as an intermediary in the recognition of God and in this way God and His attributes are imagined. In the later stages, it is these very mental perceptions and imaginations, which along with philosophical proofs are employed in proving and confirming.

The fulfiller of such kind of attitude is a series of Universal imaginations with regard to God. We have named this mental disposition as positive and conceptual theology for this reason that in this method, the Universal understandings which are achieved through mental mystic journey is attributed to God and is proven in respect of God. This type of theology was discussed in detail in the previous chapters.

2-Negative Theology (Transcendence [of God)

In this method, all the concepts, which in the first method are attributed to God, are negated. This is because God the most Exalted is construed as holy and free from every exposition and convention. The limited human intellect does not have the capability of finding the route to His Holy position and the human understandings are inaccessible to the sanctuary of His Essence and Attributes. For this reason, His sacred Essence is purified and sanctified from such type of understandings.

This method was discussed in clear terms by ‘Platinos’ (Platonism) in the conclusion of Greek culture and thereafter in the middle century it was examined and discussed by Duanuzyus.

Plato negated from God all the concepts and qualities, which were mentioned prior to him through the philosophers especially Aristotle and he set, free God from such attributions.

“God is absolutely sublime; He is one (Unique); beyond every thought and every existence; indescribable and unperceivable which there is no talk about Him (unutterable) and which there is no knowledge about Him (unknowing). That which is spoken is about essence and neither essential substance nor existence and nor life can be related to God. Of course, it is not that He is less than all of such things but for the fact that He is higher than all these things.”11

Let it not remain unsaid that some of the Muslim theologians too have discussed theology (knowing God) and recognition of Attributes in the form of its negation and privation. They believe that we possess only negative Ma’rifat (gnosis) with regard to God and His attributes and they even reduce the positive Attributes to negative Attributes.

With regards to the discussion of Names and Attributes, the indisputable verses and especially the traditions of the holy Imams (‘a) mention this very negative (attributes) and inclines towards the aspect of negativeness of Attributes.

What we come across in the entire verses and traditions is the description of the negative Attributes of God.12

However, it should be known that this is only a part of the reality and this opinion cannot, in any manner be attributed to the divine Ma’arif (gnosis). Relying on this aspect and not paying attention to what is discussed in the Book and traditions with regards to the conscientious and innate Ma’rifat (gnosis) of God, can exhibit an incorrect outlook from the viewpoint of religion which will be miles away from the reality.

3-Innate Theology (Heartly)

This matter is one of the special characteristics of the divine religions and is from the scientific miracles of the school of revelation and messengership. In none of the past and coming human schools any of the signs of this wonderful method and this lofty reality can be found. In this method, God has bestowed His Grace commonly to all the people and granted His Ma’rifat along with His Attributes to the people and has established various ways for reminding the people of this divine Ma’rifat. Therefore the people are possessing a non-conceptual and heartly Ma’rifat (gnosis) with respect to God and His Attributes and the path of theology is remembering this Ma’arif and its intensification through worship.

One of the fundamental differences between this inclination and the method of positive theology is that in the latter, the basis and criterion for recognizing God is the mental faculty and power of framing concepts of a person, such that anyone whose wresting and abstractional powers are more, the better will be his recognition of God. However, in this method, (i.e. innate theology) inasmuch as the source of Ma’rifat and its reminding and intensification are from God’s side, anyone who achieves more the satisfaction of God and engages in worship and devotion the greater and more powerful will be the glimmer of light of innate Ma’rifat upon his heart and his Ma’rifat (gnosis) towards God, His Names and Attributes will multiply.

This innate Ma’rifat is a positive and heartly reality. However, considering the fact that it does not fit the vessel of words and verbal utterances and cannot indure the mould of letters to this understanding and on the other side the mind is looking forward to find a way in understanding this reality and concept, the only way for explaining the innate Ma’rifat with the intellectual tongue is mentioning the positiveness of Names and Attributes. In this way, in the level of intellectual explanation of innate Ma’rifat and explaining its difference with mental understandings, the positive theology is having a fundamental role to play and it is set forth as complementary to the innate Ma’rifat. As such, it finds a special place in the overall divine Ma’arif.13

With this explanation, the secret of utilizing positive expressions by the Holy Imams (‘a) in describing the Names and Attributes of God becomes clear.

The traditions which support the description of such matter are manifold and from the viewpoint of exposition are diverse.14 Some of these traditions have divulged this lofty understanding in the form of “coming out of the two boundaries” (boundary of negative theology and boundary of simile).15

The boundary of negative theology and boundary of simile is a comprehensive concept which should be negated from God, the Exalted and in reality if we wish to express that heartly Ma’rifat in the form of words, we cannot find better expression than interpreting it as “coming out of the two boundaries.”

The essential matter and the key to the solution of this complication (pertaining to beliefs) lies hidden in this fundamental point that, from the viewpoint of Ma’arif of Qur’an and Ahlul bait (‘a) the matter of “coming out from the two boundaries” and the positive Ma’rifat has been propounded only in the level of intellect and discursive recognition. This is due to the severe emphasizes and insistences of the Divine Prophets upon referring to the Fitrah (innate disposition) and conscience as a positive and genuine Ma’rifat. Man in his conscience and reference to his Fitrah (innate disposition) discovers and calls out the real God with His beautiful Names and Attributes. He converses with Him and whispers the secrets of his heart and his agonies to Him.

Of course this is not with regards to an unknown and equivocal God and not with an imagined and conceptual God. Rather he discovers a God who is nearer to him than his jugular vein and is more acquainted to him than he himself. He discovers a God who is a companion and a congenial mate. 16 An Associate and a Comrade, Merciful and Benevolent.

It is not that he imagines these qualities where he finds Him Beloved and Curer. When he finds such a God in his conscience with the severest Ma’rifat and highest stage (of course with different degree of capability) he does not have from his Ma’rifat any kind of imagination and confirmation in mind. He becomes perplexed and befuddled. He does not resemble anything and does not conceive any fantasy, illusion and syllogism. He prostrates, glorifies (‘Sobboohun Quddoos’) elevates his Holy Essence (negating similarity). The human mind allures that if there is no illusion and understanding then in what manner He is (existing), Fitrah comes into the scene and without paying attention to the manner it shows that He (i.e. God) is existing and is more evident than all the evident things.17

Fitrah (innate disposition) warns the mind (intellect) that if the outlook of understanding is narrow, it is not having the right of refusing. The intellect too, by following the conscience confirms His existence (negation of negative theology). With this abstract and general description it becomes clear that those who remember the positive and transcendence Ma’rifat by the above meaning as “negative theology” are to what extent far from reality. Yes, those who have only paid attention to the positive aspect of the mind and have neglected the supreme innate Ma’rifat can be related to negative theology.

From the view-point of Ma’arif of Qur’an and traditions going out from the two boundaries and going out from positive Ma’rifat is a path which the intellect, by announcing its helplessness towards the most sublime realities, expands the way for the heartly journey and prepares the Fitrah (Innate Disposition) for the position of Divine Grace.

((العلم نورٌ يقذفه الله في قلب من يشاء))

Second Stage: Reminding and Argumentation in Religious Theology

On basis of the points which were discussed in the first stage, (definition) the people are carriers of supreme and manifest Ma’rifat (gnosis) of the exalted God. Moreover they have acquired this Ma’rifat from the Essence of the Exalted Creator which is the only correct and acceptable Ma’rifat before the One (God). However, considering the fact that man tends to neglect and forget this innate Ma’rifat when he steps into this material world, God delegates the Prophets and the Holy Imams for reminding the same divine Fitrah (innate disposition) in order that the argumentation is finished upon him and the path of perfection and guidance is opened before him.

The Divine Holy Essence has shown different ways for reminding the people and has vested various proofs and reasoning to the Prophets for this purpose. We can perhaps conclude and show these ways in three important pivots: ‘Severance’, ‘Signs’ and ‘Worship’.


This matter takes place in different ways. Sometimes it is accomplished without the free will of man and sometimes it is exposed to view by free will, endeavour and struggle. On the basis of levels of severance, the granted Ma’rifat (gnosis) too are different.

The reason that severance from material attachments becomes the cause of remembrance is this that such kinds of attachments are the most important channel for man’s neglectfulness from the innate Ma’rifat. By eliminating such attachments, the obstacles and veils are removed from the Fitrah (innate disposition) and the light of innate Ma’rifat begins to glow (once again) and this glowing is the same granted Ma’rifat which is mentioned in Qur’an by the word ‘Atainaahum’18. One of the instances of severance which is accomplished without man’s authority and which has been emphasized a lot in verses and a tradition is the state of helplessness and losing of hope in this world. (Which is mentioned in Qur’an and traditions by the words ‘Ba’san we Zarraa’.

Under these circumstances too, the introducer to God and His qualities is God Himself and the real reminder, in the position of proof is the Benevolent God. However, in the position of proving and explaining, whenever the Holy Imams (‘a) were faced with the real seekers of guidance and Ma’rifat then, for reminding the Ma’rifat, they would recall the same conditions and manifestations of the Ma’rifat of God in the hearts and the people too, by recalling those same conditions, remember the Ma’arif which they had acquired at those moments.

Acquiring and accomplishing such kind of reminding, by way of proof and confirmation, is known as the general guidance (‘Aamah’).

General Guidance and Special Guidance

The first level of guidance which we name it as general guidance, is a level which the Ma’rifat of God is given to all the people in such manner that they cannot deny that by heart. In case of aversion and rejection19 man comes to a halt on the path of guidance and it is possible that he even becomes deprived from remembering the initial Ma’rifat. However in case of submitting himself before God, and in accordance with the degree of his submission and struggle, a greater manifestation of the past and innate Ma’rifat glows in his heart and the Ma’rifat of God becomes much more severe and scintillating.

This severeness which possesses greater levels is set forth as special guidance (‘Khaseh’) because it does not occur for all the common people but specially occurs for the faithful believers.

Paying attention to this matter can be a reply to some of the questions pertaining to beliefs, which are propounded in connection with some verses of Qur’an.20

Another instance of severance consist of “volunatary severance” from the worldy manifestations which is accompanied with untiring struggle and endeavour. However its result will be a higher Ma’arif and a reminder more severe than the divine and innate Ma’arif and will lead to a much higher stage than the special guidance

إلهي هب لي كمال الإنقطاع إليك، وأنر أبصار قلوبنا بضياء نظرها إليك، حتى تخرق أبصار القلوب حجب النور، فتصل إلى معدن العظمة، وتصير أرواحنا معلقة بعز قدسك.

(Supplication of Sha’baniyeh)

It is here that the obligation of ethics and its importance becomes clear and the narrow relation of true ethics and mystics with the most fundamental matter pertaining to beliefs in the school of revelation becomes manifest. From this viewpoint, ethics smoothens the way for ascending to the peak of bondage and perfection of course not as a collection of practical precepts but as a path which acquaints man with the source of Ma’rifat and basis of guidance.

While discussing the stage of ‘submission’ we shall once again refer to this matter even though going into its details is not within the scope of our discussion.

Signs (‘Ayata’)

One of the ways, which God introduces Himself is through His creatures which in the terminology of Qur’an are known as Ayats, signs and reminders21.

The reason that these creatures are called as Ayats is that they are all the signs of God’s existence and His attributes and the motive of remembering them is that contemplating and reflecting over them will cause one to remember the innate Ma’rifat of God.

It is necessary to mention a few points with regards to this chapter:

First Point: As said before, in many verses of Qur’an God mentions guidance to be one of His Actions confined to Himself and in the traditions too, the Ma’rifat of God is reckoned to be the make of God where no one plays any role in it.22

By paying attention to this matter it can be said that not only has God created the creatures of the world but has originated them in the form of Ayat and sign of His existence and Attributes. Therefore, the existence of the creatures and their being a sign are both from God and He introduces Himself and His Attributes through them (i.e. creatures). Thus in some of the verses of Qur’an, God introduces Himself as the Demonstrator of Ayats (signs):

سَنُرِيهِمْ آيَاتِنَا فِي الْآفَاقِ وَفِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ

“We will soon show them our signs in the Universe and in their own souls, until it will become quite clear to them that it is the truth” (Holy Qur’an: 41: 53)

In another place, after mentioning the wonders of creation it says:

وَيُرِيكُمْ آيَاتِهِ فَأَيَّ آيَاتِ اللَّـهِ تُنكِرُونَ

“And He shows you His signs: which then of Allah’s signs will you deny?” (Holy Qur’an: 40: 81)

أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ الْفُلْكَ تَجْرِي فِي الْبَحْرِ بِنِعْمَتِ اللَّـهِ لِيُرِيَكُم مِّنْ آيَاتِهِ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّكُلِّ صَبَّارٍ شَكُورٍ

“Do you not see that the ships run on in the sea by Allah’s favour that He may show you of His signs? Most surely there are signs in this for every patient endurer, grateful one.” (Holy Qur’an: 31: 31)

Basically, in the logic of religion, man does not find God through his own imagination and confirmation. Rather God has manifested Himself either directly or through the signs of creation and man only perceives this manifestation and remembers God and thereafter he uses this same manifestation in the form of words and expresses them and occasionally uses them in reasoning and argumentation. On this basis, the Ma’rifat (gnosis) of God which is achieved through journey of the horizons and the self also is the donation of God,23 not the creation of man.

Therefore, man is helpless in explaining the essence of that Ma’arif too and only confesses that the Wise and All-Knowing, Mighty and Powerful, Compassionate and Merciful God is outside the two boundaries (boundary of negative theology and simile) and that He is not in any way similar to the creatures in Essence and Attributes.

Second Point: Many Qur’anic verses and traditions reckon the true Ma’rifat (gnosis) of God to be the same Ma’rifat which was given to man in the past worlds and which the people have evidentally succeeded in witnessing God and His Attributes by heartly vision and are (still) capable enough to remember that Ma’arif in this present world.24

From this point we draw this conclusion that the outcome of true ways of theology cannot be against the innate Ma’rifat. Rather it should terminate in the same Ma’rifat. As such, the Ayats and signs all lead to the remembrance of innate Ma’rifat and for this reason the verses of Qur’an, after mentioning the wonders of creation, reckon the result of observation and contemplation to be reminding and remembrance:

وَمِن كُلِّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقْنَا زَوْجَيْنِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ

“And of everything we have created pairs that you may be mindful.” (Holy Qur’an: 51: 49)

وَمَا ذَرَأَ لَكُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ مُخْتَلِفًا أَلْوَانُهُ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يَذَّكَّرُونَ

“And what He has created in the earth of varied hues; most surely there is a sign in this for a people who are mindful.” (Holy Qur’an: 16: 12)

نَحْنُ جَعَلْنَاهَا تَذْكِرَةً

“We have made it a reminder...” (Holy Qur’an: {56: 73}, Similarly {40: 13}; {88: 17-21} and {87: 1-10})

Third Point: An important matter, which exists with regards to reminding of the creatures, is that the remembrance of God in this way is possible through contemplation, reflection and intellection. This matter shows a fundamental difference between the first method of ‘Tazakkur’ (reminding) i.e. ‘Severance’ and the second method of ‘Tazakkur’ i.e. ‘creatures’

To explain more, in the first method, by attaining severance, the innate Ma’rifat is revealed upon man’s heart and without any contemplation and partly without free-will and despite the inner desire, man pays attention to God and His attributes. However, in the second method, a person becomes reminded after pondering and contemplating in the created beings and their regularity and not in the Essence of God.

This matter shows the important position of contemplation and intellection in theology and one of the reasons as to why contemplation and intellection have been emphasized in divine religions is this very matter. Of course the intellect is having other significant roles that cannot be discussed over here.25

A point which is necessary to be discussed over here is that the way of contemplation and intellection in this method is different from the way which is propounded in the Greek philosophy because:

Firstly, intellection in Greece is done for discovering an unknown mental affair but over here, inasmuch as man is the bearer of innate Ma’rifat and God too has made the creatures as His signs and (as) the path for paying attention and remembering the innate Ma’rifat contemplation and intellection are therefore for the elimination of neglectfulness and (for) paying attention to the known and forgotten affairs, not for discovering the unknown.

Secondly, just as it was said in the first section, the manner of rationalization in Greek philosophy is only focused at the mental (rational) Universals and considering that the intellect is only capable of perceiving the rational Universals, it can therefore build for itself the Universals and or do abstraction and engage in their combination until the unknown matter is solved. In the matter of theology too, the manner of Greek rationalization first imagines God by paying attention to the philosophical system planned from before and later, with imaginations and confirmations, it makes clear the notion of God and engages in proving the same notion. However in the manner of divine rationalization the matter of imagination of God is not propounded at all and by pondering over the creatures, man becomes reminded and focuses itself to the heartly Ma’rifat which is the outcome of the Action of God.

Of course, there exists other important and precise differences between the manner of philosophical rationalization in Greece and the manner of divine rationalization which itself requires a separate discussion.

Fourth Point: Another difference that exists between the first method (severance) and the second method (signs) is that in the former, the addressee is much more prepared in receiving guidance and in the words of Qur’an:

زَيْتُهَا يُضِيءُ وَلَوْ لَمْ تَمْسَسْهُ نَارٌ نُّورٌ عَلَىٰ نُورٍ

“…The oil whereof almost gives light through fire touch it not - light upon light.” (Holy Qur’an: 24: 35)

As such, the one who engages in purification of his soul and keeps aloof from moral vices, his heart will be more ready in accepting the light and submitting before God. Therefore by reminding and remembering the conditions of “hardship and adversity” and severance, it pays attention to the innate Ma’rifat and submits in front of this heartly proof and innate reasoning and expresses that it has seen God with all his existence.

However, the addressee in the second method enjoys less preparedness as compared to the addressee in the first method. Therefore the one who reminds should, through the channel of contemplation and intellection in the created signs and their regularity and through rational reasoning, prepare a person for reminding. Of course, those who possess hindrances for guidance and or are not at all wishing guidance belong to the group of addressee’s of the second type. However reasoning in the verses of Qur’an are not propounded as reminding for them but as good dispute and argumentation.

Fifth Point: From the previous point another conclusion can be derived and that is: In addition to being a path for reminding and remembering God and innate Ma’rifat, the creatures and the signs of creation are also a channel for reasoning together and disputing with the opposition and the obstinate (people) and with those who are faced with obstacles and difficulties in the path of guidance and or wish to seek reasoning and rational explanation about God.

In other words, the results and consequences of the signs of creation and reasoning in them are different because of the differences in the capability and preparedness of the people and the addressees. If in case the addressee wishes to seek guidance and is prepared to accept the reality then by pondering and contemplating in the signs of creation he will be reminded of the innate Ma’rifat (gnosis) of God and in fact, contemplating in the creatures is instrumental in eliminating the veil and becoming heedful of the innate Ma’rifat of God.

If the addressee wishes rational proof for the existence of God, then by means of reasoning in the creatures and their regularity, he will confess in the existence of God and if there exists any intellectual obstacles in the path of guidance then by such reasoning, one can eliminate these obstacles. However, if the addressee is obstinate and has some other aim in mind, then by such kind of argumentation one can condemn him and impel him to surrender before the truth. Of course, rationalization in the Ayats (sings) is propounded as argumentation for the afore-said three persons.

Here it is necessary to say something about disputation and argumentation.


‘Ehtejaj’ (Argumentation) means establishing an argument for proving the sought matter and by argument is meant proof and reasoning.26

In the Mu’jam (Lexicon) of ‘Maqayes Lughat’ it has come that: The actual meaning of Haj is ‘to intend’ and proof is called as ‘Hujjat’ (argument) for this reason that through the channel of proof, the desired reality is intended. It then gives argumentation the meaning of predominance by means of proof.27

Therefore, argumentation is the same literal reasoning i.e. establishing absolute proof for proving a claim which is finally accompanied with the acceptance and submission of the opposite person and or leading to the triumph and victory of one side and the silence of the opposite person.

Considering the fact that the opposite persons engaging in argumentation are different, therefore the kinds of argumentation too are different. By way of general classification it can be said that the opposite person is either possessing rational, spiritual and moral problems where discussion in this case will be propounded as “special argumentation” or is possessing one of the aforesaid problems where in this case discussion will be called as ‘dispute’ which itself is of two types.

A) Special Argumentation

In this kind of argumentation the opposite person is not having complete readiness for getting reminded and finding the path of true and innate Ma’rifat. On the other hand, he himself seeks rational proofs with regards to God. In this case, the existence of God is rationalized through the means of created beings. In reality, it is God who has placed these created signs as a means for rationalizing His own existence and a person explains that in the form of rational reasoning and the opposite person by pondering over that, confesses to the existence of a Creator.

Although this type of argumentation the achievement of which is a rational resolution and faith, has been emphasized in the course of religions and in the life of the divine Prophets, yet it should be noted that this rationalization differs from what is discussed in the Greek philosophical and rational disposition. It is necessary to mention these differences:

1-Just as it was mentioned in the previous discussions, argumentation by this meaning cannot by any means be a true haven for religion in the guidance of the people. Rather a recognition which is acquired from this path cannot be compared with the innate and real Ma’rifat.

The innate Ma’rifat is a hearlty and conscientious vision of Exalted God, His Names and Attributes. This same Ma’rifat whose base has been placed in the nature of everyone, is the fundamental of divine theology and knowledge and Ma’rifat in reality is applied to this same class of recognition and it also is the true argument between the Creator and creatures.

Basically, contemplation and concentration in the created signs too is a bridge for the seekers of truth for transition to the real Ma’rifat. However, in the Greek philosophical school, mental (rational) recognition is the only way for receiving the fact and without the philosophical journey, a person will remain in ignorancy and perplexity. The pinnacle of Ma’rifat and the object of this journey too is nothing but a mental (rational) resolution and faith. It is obvious to what extent this difference and its effects separates these two disposition and draws them to two diverse direction.

The method of Greek philosophy right from the outset, keeps the way of philosophical and rational journey before the seekers of truth and does not recognize any other way (other than this) for attaining the reality. However the divine religions open the door of rational reasoning and argumentation only at the time when the person is either suffering from mental (rational) doubts and or due to the deviation of Fitrah, he is not having the requisite readiness for true guidance and seeks rational explanation about God.

It is for this reason that the divine Messengers, for eliminating the mental doubts and establishing rational proofs, were resorting to rationalization in proving God.

In the famous tradition of ‘Ahlijeh’ it has come that:

Mufazzal narrates in a letter to Imam Sadiq (‘a) that groups of people are denying God and that they have resorted to debate and discussion in this regard. He asks Imam (‘a) to write to him some points about argumentation and its disapproval. Imam (‘a) in the beginning of his reply sets forth the matter of innate Ma’rifat and ‘Meesaaq’ (covenant) as a major argument for all and then teaches Mufazzal the rationalization of created signs.

)) ونحن نحمد الله على النعم السابغة والحجج البالغة والبلاء المحمود عند الخاصة والعامة فكان من نعمه العظام و آلئه الجسام التي أنعم لها تقريره قلوبهم بربوبيته، و أخذه ميثاقهم بمعرفته...))

(Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 3; pg. 152)

2-Argumentation in the Ayats (signs) is easily perceivable and understandable and a slight deliberation in them will result in confirming the existence of a Creator. In other words the innate and conventional intellect is easily able to follow the causer from the effect and the Creator from the created beings. Of course the more the deliberation in the effects and the created beings, the more clear will be the reasoning for a Creator. This point is apparent in all the related Ayats (verses) and tradition. Basically the usage of such words like Ayats and signs in the Holy Qur’an with regards to the created beings and especially its emphasis on their being an evident and manifest proof, relates the same matter.

سَنُرِيهِمْ آيَاتِنَا فِي الْآفَاقِ وَفِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ أَوَلَمْ يَكْفِ بِرَبِّكَ أَنَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدٌ

“We will soon show them our signs in the Universe and in their own souls, until it will become quite clear to them that it is the truth.” (Holy Qur’an: 41: 53)

In many famous and diverse traditions too, this implication has been clearly expressed:

((هل يكون بناء من غير بانٍ أو جناية من غير جان؟))

“Is there a house without a ‘maker’ or a crime without a criminal?” (Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 3; pg. 26)

((البعرة تدل على البعير، والروثة تدل على الحمير، وآثار الأقدام تدل على المسير، فهيكل علويٌ بهذه اللطافة ومركز سفلي بهذه الكثافة كيف لا يدلان على اللطيف الخبير؟))

(Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 3; pg. 55)

3-this kind of argumentation is not in need of any preliminary and complicated sciences and is free from the shackles of every form of philosophical system and its preliminaries. In other words, it has not been formed by paying attention to one special philosophical school and method and hence it is capable of being perceived and understood by all.

4-In this type of rationalization there is no way for intellection in the Essence of God and the Creator. On the contrary, intellection in the creatures is the basis for confessing and confirming the Creator and thus in the traditions, contemplation and intellection in the Essence of God has been prohibited and condemned. However, contemplation in the creatures has been praised and in many verses and traditions such contemplation has been called for which we will mention two of the traditions as examples:

((قال ابوعبدالله (عليه السلام): إياكم و التفكر في الله))

“Be on guard against contemplation in God.”28

((عن ابي عبدالله (عليه السلام) قال: إذا انتهى الكلام إلى الله فأمسكوا، و تكلموأ فيما دون العرش ولا تكلموا فيما فوق العرش))

“When the talk reaches to God, then pause and talk about what is below the ‘Arsh’ (Throne) and not what is above the ‘Arsh’.29

This method, by making use of concept and combination of meanings does not terminate in the imagination of God and His Attributes. Rather, by paying attention to the creatures and the effects it achieves the Causer and the Creator and this is having a fundamental difference with what was seen in the Greek philosophical school which was the imagination of the Attributes of God and His existence.

Basically, with deliberation in the created beings, the intellect finally terminates in a recognition which admits a Creator This rational recognition is not worthy of comparison with the innate Ma’rifat of God because in the latter, the personal and external God is perceived in the conscience and this conscience in reality is the grant of Ma’rifat from God in the heart of the human beings. The same is true with regards to the Attributes of God.

Various traditions explain this matter very explicitly:

((إن العقل يعرف الخالق من جهة توجب عليه الإقرار ولا يعرفه بما يوجب له الإحاطة بصفته))

“Surely intellect (reason) recognizes God for this reason that it becomes the cause of confessing to the existence of God and not because of being conversant in His Attributes.”30

(After mentioning the four kinds of rational recognition he says)

((... فليس من هذه الوجوه شيءٌ يمكِّن المخلوق أن يعرفه من الخالق حق معرفته غير أنه موجود فقط))

“The real recognition of God is not possible by the aforesaid ways except to the extent that He is existing.”31

((وهو خلاف ما يعقل))

“God is not he who can be rationalized.”32

In a tradition it has come that “one can confess to the Attributes of God but he cannot be conversant in it. Thus we know Him to be Wise but the Essence of His Wisdom is unknown to us.”33

In other words, just as it has repeatedly come in the exposition of Ahlul Bait (‘a) this reasoning only provides us with recognition confined to the two limits of nullification and simile. (حد التشبيه و التعطيل)

This proof obligates us to confess to the existence of a Creator and the bestower of Life but does not present any kind of His notion and description. The rational Ma’rifat of God is set forth in the form of exit from the two boundaries i.e. God exists but not like other creatures, God is an entity but not like other entities, God is Wise but not like other wise beings…34

These differences guides us to one Universal principle and it is this that the kind of rationalization and its categories in the school of divine Prophets can have differences with what we see in the human school of thought. Argumentation should be such that it should possess all the aforesaid specialities and more important than all it should not lead to any kind of notion and description of the Divine Essence, His Names and Attributes.

The reasoning which finally terminates in some kind of notion and description of God cannot by any means, be approved by Shariat (Divine Law). Therefore it should be noted that putting into operation the concepts and categories in rationalization is accepted to the extent that it does not draw the mind towards mental and even heartly llusion and does not lead to an alien path far from the divine Fitrah (innate disposition).

6-Considering that this kind of argumentation can easily be perceived and understood, if a person does not, by this method confess to the existence of God then it is either due to the non-reflection and non-deliberation with regards to reasoning and or due to commitment of sins and sickness of the heart.

((ولعمري ما أتى الجهال من قِبَل ربهم و أنهم ليرون الدلالات الواضحات و العلامات البينات في خلقهم... و لكنم قوم فتحوا على انفسهم أبواب المعاصي و سهلوا لها سبيل الشهوات، فغلب الاهواء على قلوبهم))

(Bihar a1-Anwar; vol. 3; pg. 152)

((عن أمير المؤمنين (عليه السلام): و لو فكروا في عظيم القدرة و جسيم النعمة لرجعوا الى الطريق و خافوا عذاب الحريق و لكن القلوب عليلة و الأبصار مدخولة...))

(Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 3; pg. 26)

This matter will be explained more in the discussion of “Obstacles of guidance and submission.”

B) Disputation (‘Jedal’)

Disputation (‘Jedal’) on the measure of ‘Fe’aal’ is one of the infinitives of ‘Bab al-Mufa’eleh’ and in meaning it has been described as dispute and discussion between two parties where normally one is on the truth and the other on falsehood.

Therefore, the addressee of the dispute is not empty-minded and has something to say and does not merely intend to learn (only). As such, the one who engages in disputation and debate with the believers, possesses such thoughts which become an obstacle for him to accept guidance. This mental obstacle is either in the form of contravention, which enter the religious beliefs and or is in the form of false delusions, which he believes and becomes an obstacle from accepting the truth.

In the first case, the rightful disputer should reply to his contravention and in reality should erase his contravention and finally show the true matter devoid of any blot and difficulty. In the second case he should remove the false thoughts of the opposite person and render them futile. In both the cases the obstacles in the path of guidance get destroyed and the ways for finding guidance (which were previously mentioned) are opened.

In all of the disputations which the Holy Imams have had with the opposition, one can see reasoning in the created signs and their unrefutable regularity and preciseness. Therefore, in some of these debates while the matter of the opposite person(s) would be contravened eventually they would also be reminded of God through these very created signs.

The above matter applies to that person who intends to seek the truth. However, if he is obstinate and even after the finalization of argument he denies the truth and conducts the discussion for other reasons like enfeeblement of religious beliefs of the Muslims then in such a case, disputation with him is performed for defending the beliefs of the Muslims and showing the power of divine Ma’arif, without having any consideration for the opposite person.

Ibn Abil Auja says; “He (i.e. Imam Sadiq [A.S.) counted so many signs of God’s power to me that I thought this very moment God will appear between him and me.”35 Even though his companions brought faith in God and became Muslims, he himself was not prepared to submit before God because he was not clear-sighted. This is a sentence which was said about him by Imam Sadiq (‘a) and which can also be seen in Holy Qur’an36 and other heavenly books.37

Good Disputation and Its Conditions

In many verses of Qur’an and traditions disputation and debate with regards to religious beliefs has been prohibited and rebuked. On the other hand, in some of the verses and traditions disputation has been reckoned to be permissible and even ordered for in some instances and a few disputations has been admired by the Holy Imams (‘a). However deliberating with regard to these reasons will clarify this point that the instances of command and prohibition were different and disputation is of various kinds where some others are accepted and considered good and even obligatory. Just as it can be derived from verse 124 of Chapter Nahl in Holy Qur’an, disputation is of two types: Good disputation and bad disputation. A good disputation possesses certain conditions and instances, which shall be mentioned in brief.

First Condition

Before disputation, the disputer should find the true matters and Ma’arif and through disputation and discussion, he should seek to prove and clarify those matters and reject the contravention which have entered the true matters. Therefore, the only dispute which has been emphasized in the traditions is that which is based on the teachings of Qur’an and the Holy Imams (‘a) and not (used) as a means for discovering the unknowns pertaining to the mind.

This point is one of the important differences, which exists between the disputation and dialectic of Socrates and Plato and the disputation in divine religions.

Just as it was mentioned in the theology of Socrates and Plato, the former reckoned dialectic and dialogue to be a means for achieving the truth and the Universal definition. The latter (Plato) thought that rational intuition, notion and categories was possible through rational disputation and debate. However in divine religions, disputation is utilized only as a means for defending the truth and not for discovering the divine Ma’arif. Therefore the haven for divine Ma’arif is not disputation but on the contrary relying on disputation is counted to be a deviated channel.

((ما ضل قومٌ إلا أوثقوا الجَدَل))

“No tribe got deviated except when that tribe relied on disputation” (took it as a means for discovering the truth).38

Kulaini in his noble book ‘Kafi’ narrates: One of the natives of Syria who thought himself to be the master of discourse went to Imam Sadiq (‘a) for debate. Imam (‘a) asked: “Is your words the saying of Holy Prophet (S) or is it from yourself.” The man replied:

‘From both’. Imam (‘a) rebuked him and intimated to him that a speaker should have acquired his words from Holy Prophet (S). Then he told Yunus bin Yaqoob who was present in the gathering as such: “If you were good in debate, you would have spoken to this man.” Yunus said: “You have prohibited conversation in religious matters.” Imam replied: "Woe upon the speakers who forsake our matters and utilize their own points in debate…”39

From this tradition and the next one we come to know that a speaker, before entering into discussion and debate in any matter should be well acquainted with the Ma’arif and beliefs of the Holy Imams (‘a) in that subject and then enter into disputation on their basis and for the purpose of showing the reality.

Imam Sadiq (‘a) told some of his companions as such:

((قال أبو عبدالله (عليه السلام) لبعض أصحابنا: حاجوا الناس بكلامي فإن حجوكم فأنا المحجوج))

“Enter into argumentation with the people by my sayings for in such a case, if they engage in discussion with you they have in fact engaged in discussion with me”40

((قال ابو عبدالله (عليه السلام) لِطائفةٍ من اصحابه: بينوا للناس الهدى الذي أنتم عليه...))

“Make clear to the people, the guidance which is upon you”41

((قال أبو الحسن موسى بن جعفر (عليه السلام) لمحمد بن حكيم: كلِّم الناس و بيِّن لهم الحق الذي أنت عليه...))

(Shaikh Mufeed: Tasheeb ul Ehteqaad be sawaab ul Enteqaad; pg. 55)

From the last two traditions, we realize this fact that conversation and disputation is for the purpose of explaining and not discovering guidance and reality.

Imam Sadiq (‘a) said: “Forsake those who enter into disputation (with you) while they possess no knowledge of the matter of discussion.”42

Second Condition

Apart from the fact that the bases and aim of a disputer should be on the basis of divine Ma’arif, his method in proving the true matter or contravening the false matter too should be a divine method and he should utilize the correct points in proving his claim.

The above condition along with its logic has been explained in detail in one tradition. In the end of the tradition a point also exists which approves the first condition.43

A question that may arise over here is that if in the method of disputation also, one should collect true matters then why Prophet Abraham in his disputation said ‘Hadha Rabbi’ with regard to the moon, stars and sun.

This question was asked by Ma’moon from Imam Reza (‘a) and Imam in reply said: This saying of Prophet Abraham was by way of negation and inquiry and not in the form of confession and information.44

That is to say Prophet Abraham at first set forth the saying of the un-believers and then proceeded in contravening it and at the time of expressing the sayings of the un-believers, he had not accepted those sayings. Rather it was like asking the un-believers: “Is this my God? This interrogation was in the form of negatory interrogation and not in the form of giving information of his beliefs.

Third Condition

The disputer should possess the power and ability of debate and should be aware and rather dominant in the manner of entering into the discussion as well as coming out of it. For this reason the Holy Imams have prohibited disputation in most of the instances and have permitted only a limited people to engage in discussion and debate with the opposition. Moreover in certain cases, they have taught the method of good disputation to these people and have trained them and pointed out their weak points.

This matter has been explained in continuation of the tradition of Yunus bin Yaqoob, which was mentioned in the first condition. Another tradition has been narrated in this regard.45

Fourth Condition

Disputation should first of all be beneficial and secondly the temporal and spatial conditions and the situation of disputation and the opposite person should suitable for the debator.46

Fifth Condition

There should exist a necessity for disputation. In numerous traditions, disputation and argumentation id hostility in religious discussion has been prohibited and one of the signs of piety, temperance and perfection of religion has been mentioned to be abandonment of dispute and argument. Even the truthful disputation has been prohibited in the traditions and as against the abandonment of arguments, a lot of reward has been narrated for it.47

Moreover, in these traditions doubt, hypocrisy and corruption of the heart has been mentioned to be the effects of disputation and argumentation. Due to the large number of traditions about disputation and argumentation and the condition of brevity of this discussion, we shall only narrate the references of such traditions.48

In verses of Qur’an too, disputation in religious matters has been rebuked49.

From the verses of Qur’an, traditions and historical evidences we come to know that disputation has not been discussed in the divine religions as a primal principle. From historical view-point also, disputation entered the Islamic gatherings at that time when due to the influence of alien thoughts and expansion of false reflections the necessity of confrontation was felt by the Muslims.50 The reason for such an affair too is clear from the previous discussion.


Here, by worship we mean worship in the general sense which includes obedience of God, acting upon the injunctions and religious laws (Shariat), remembering God, invocation (‘Dua’), seeking forgiveness, contemplating, having sincerity and in general all the aspects of obedience of God.

((ما العبادة؟ قال [ابو عبد الله (عليه السلام)]: حُسن النية بالطاعة مِن الوجوه التي يُطاع منها...))

(Usul al-Kafi; vol. 2; pg. 83)

About the importance of worship, suffice it is to say that it has been propounded as the goal of creation.

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ

“And I have not created the Jinn and the man except that they should serve Me.” (Holy Qur’an: 51: 56)

The fundamental role of worship will be clear when the meaning of worship and its diverse dimensions and various effects are clearly explained.

Whatever will be referred to in this place will be the masculine aspect of worship.

After receiving the common guidance from the afore-mentioned ways, man becomes prepared for achieving the special guidance and the journey towards God i.e. more remembrance with regards to innate Ma’rifat and a much higher level of heedfulness towards the gifted Ma’rifat which has been given to the human beings in the previous worlds.

Now the question which arises is that how and by what means these remembrances and intensification of innate Ma’rifat are achievable? Is it possible by producing more imaginations about God? Or it is assured through various ascetism and keeping one’s self aloof from the people and going into seclusion?

In this regard, the divine religions have propounded the path of remembrance (of God) through the method of worship and have stated that the only way of journey towards God and His proximity and the only way of achieving the most sublime Ma’arif of God and the highest guidance is through the channel of worship and obedience.

وَإِن تُطِيعُوهُ تَهْتَدُوا

“…And if you obey him, you are on the right way” (Holy Qur’an: 24: 54)

In the verses of Qur’an and traditions of the Holy Imams worship has been mentioned as:


“The straigth path”52,

“The light and splendour of heart”53 ,

“The pleasure of the lovers”54,

“The path of the Prophets”55,

“The path of reaching to God”56 and

“Confession of His Divinity.”57

Among the effects of worship we find such expressions as “Guidance” 58,

“Faith and light of Ma’rifat59,

“Increase in religion and un-forgetfulness of God”60,

“Fear of God and heartly satisfaction”61,


“Proximity”63 and

“Satisfaction of God”64

Moreover, the devotees on the path of submission and remembrance have been called under the titles of

“Ahl of God”65 and

“Companion of the Beloved”.66

As such, worship is the path of illumination of the heart, the receiving of the lustre of Ma’rifat of God and His remembrance and in short the path of special guidance and the highest recognition of God.

Similarly, prayers and other religious worships are the only way for reaching towards God. Compare this point with the following view: “At the time of unveiling of the inner part and its discovery and opposition with the apparent form of Shariat (religious laws), the duties are rendered null. This is because there exists no duty for the enchanted ones.67

The difference of these two sayings is the difference between divine path (reaching to God) and the human path.

From the above discussions, the role of religious precepts and teachings as a path of special guidance and intensification of innate Ma’rifat becomes clear in religion and it becomes known that religion without precepts and teachings is imperfect. It is by keeping trace of this discussion and making clear its various angles that one can reveal the firm relation between the gnostic and convictional dimension and the practical and obligational dimension of religion and in the final analysis reach to this conclusion that the teachings of Prophets and Imams (‘a) are collectively inter-woven and connected to each other while separation between its elements and lack of faith in some will bear no result other than remaining aloof from the school of revelation and stepping on the path of deviation.

Basically, one should confront the assault on culture and the alien information and give reply to their queries. If the Muslim society is possessing some problem it should strive in eliminating it by applying religious jurisprudence (Ijtihad) in religious sources and by taking the temporal and spatial conditions into view. If as a reaction to the cultural assault of the west and the phenomenon of blast of information, this method engages in summarizing religion in ethics or beliefs and deletes or limits the Shariat or shows less importance to it, then not only we have not done any service to religion but have also weakened it.

The matter is not that the (religious) precepts and Shariat are reckoned to be the essence of religion but the whole point is that Shariat and Worship are the only way for reaching to the essence of Ma’rifat.

وَمَا أُمِرُوا إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُوا اللَّـهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ حُنَفَاءَ وَيُقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُوا الزَّكَاةَ ۚ وَذَٰلِكَ دِينُ الْقَيِّمَةِ

“And they were not enjoined anything except that they should serve Allah, being sincere to Him in obedience, upright, and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, and that is the right religion.” (Holy Qur’an: 98: 5)

Third Stage: Submission in Divine Theology

At the time when man, by going through the stage of ‘definition’ (of God) and ‘remembrance’ sees the gifted and granted Ma’rifat (gnosis) of God in the light of ‘Fitrah (innate disposition) and perceives with reality its essence he finds himself in front of two ways: “Submission and gratitude” and the other “denial and infidelity”

إِنَّا هَدَيْنَاهُ السَّبِيلَ إِمَّا شَاكِرًا وَإِمَّا كَفُورًا

“Surely we have shown him the way: he may be thankful or unthankful.” (Holy Qur’an: 76: 3)

At this very halting place it is crucial that the fundamental and decisive choice of man in his guidance becomes clear. It is not improper to pursue the matter by setting forth a question. From the one side, Holy Qur’an attributes guidance to God and from the other side it severely emphasizes the choice of man and his position in his prosperity.68

Regarding the first set, one can mention the following verses:

إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا لَلْـهُدَىٰ

“Surely ours is it to show the way” (Holy Qur’an: 92: 12)

لَّيْسَ عَلَيْكَ هُدَاهُمْ وَلَـٰكِنَّ اللَّـهَ يَهْدِي مَن يَشَاءُ

“To make them walk in the right way is not incumbent on you, but Allah guides aright whom He pleases.” (Holy Qur’an: 2: 272)

إِنَّ هُدَى اللَّـهِ هُوَ الْهُدَىٰ

“Surely the (true) guidance is the guidance of Allah.” (Holy Qur’an: 2: 120)

إِنَّ هُدَى اللَّـهِ هُوَ الْهُدَىٰ

“Surely the guidance of Allah, that is the (true) guidance” (Holy Qur’an: 6: 71)

The following verses on the other hand reveal the second point:

فَإِنْ أَسْلَمُوا فَقَدِ اهْتَدَوا وَّإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْكَ الْبَلَاغُ

“So if they submit then indeed they follow the right way; and if they turn back, then upon you is only the delivery of message” (Holy Qur’an: 3: 20)

كَلَّا إِنَّهُ تَذْكِرَةٌ. فَمَن شَاءَ ذَكَرَهُ.

“Nay! It is surely an admonition. So whoever pleases may mind it.” (Holy Qur’an: 74: 54 and 55)

Now, how should these verses be interpreted so that they are in harmony with each other and with respect to the other verses, reveal the position of Qur’an in this matter? By deliberating and reflecting over the verses it will become clear that discovery and perception of guidance is related to the discovery of the two stages of ‘definition’ and ‘Submission’ and guidance is consisting of two inseparable parts: One is the help and favour of God and the other is the acceptance and submission of man.

قُلْ إِنَّ هُدَى اللَّـهِ هُوَ الْهُدَىٰ وَأُمِرْنَا لِنُسْلِمَ لِرَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

“Say: Surely the guidance of Allah, that is the (true) guidance, and we are commanded that we should submit to the Lord of the worlds.” (Holy Qur’an: 6: 71)

((عن أبي عبدالله (عليه السلام) قال: لِلخَلق على الله أن يُعَرِّفَهم و لله على الخلق إذا عرفهم أن يَقْبلوا))

“It is upon God to introduce Himself to the people and it is upon them to accept Him after introduction”69

As such, introducing Himself and showing the path of goodness and righteousness and guiding towards the true path is from God’s side. In contrast, seeking and searching the truth, accepting and bowing down before God and traversing the path of bondage and perfection are the duties of man.

فَإِنْ أَسْلَمُوا فَقَدِ اهْتَدَوا

“So if they submit then indeed they follow the right way” (Holy Qur’an: 3: 20)

Guidance by way of ‘definition’ (of God) and being guided by means of ‘submission’ are in reality the two pillars from the pillars of logic of theology and the school of divine prophets which if linked together with ‘reminding(s)’, the pillar of divine theology becomes completed and the means of submission and servitude reach perfection. We have already spoken about ‘definition’ and ‘reminding’ in the past and the topic of this stage is the discussion of ‘submission’.

Right over here it, we emphasize that the discussion of submission, like the discussion of definition and reminding is from the special qualities of divine religions and is from the specialities of the school of revelation. In the logic of Greek confirmation the talk is not about faith and belief or denial and disobedience towards Ma’rifat and certitude. First of all in that logic, the criterion and basis is ‘rational Ma’rifat.’ Secondly, in the course of this Ma’rifat nothing such as heartly contract and faith or elusion from Ma’rifat is imagined.

The philosophy of Greece reckons the real value and the true part of man to be the faculty of speech i.e. the faculty of thought. It does not speak about the acquaintance of heart in a person and about the heart which is the place of belief and disbelief and nor about free will and authority which is the basis of these two (i.e. belief and disbelief). These matters will gradually be mentioned in these very writings. So it is better to return back to the main topic and be after the discussion of ‘submission’. This discussion will be set forth in two chapters: One is the basis of confession and denial and the other is the consequence and outcome of the path of submission.

The first part will reveal this matter that how man shows reaction in front of the clear path and the manifest Ma’rifat and basically why and how man turns away from Ma’rifat and reality and chooses obstinacy and transgression.

Obstacles and Stimulations of Submission

In verses and traditions much has been spoken about the obstacles of guidance and its manifold conditions and stimulation. Throughout Qur’an and the heavenly books the matter of moral vices and sensual habits have been propounded as the basis of belief and disbelief.

On the other hand, what can be insignificantly seen in the human gnostics is the effects of such kind of matters in theology and basically in every kind of Ma’rifat and recognition. The source of these two viewpoints should each be looked for in the logic of theology.

After this, we shall strive to discuss the essential differences between these two viewpoints and explain them commensurate with our discussion and as per our ability.

1-Will Power and Driving Force

Will Power and Driving Force70

Considering that man is having the means and the power to choose, he is therefore able to select each of the ways, which are opened before him. In instances when the behaviour of man has become endowed with goodness and evilness and reward and punishment are derived from them, free will and authority play a special and decisive role. Although, various internal and external factors too are having an effect on the behaviour of man, yet the free will of man, due to its special cause has reigned over the other factors and conditions and plays a basic and fundamental role.

The basic and fundamental point is that from the viewpoint of divine religions the driving forces and the different ground words like spiritual conditions, companionship and social relations, merely encourage and call man towards fulfillment or abandonment of an affair. These incentives will be effective in the emanation of action only when man himself selects through free will, one of them and pursues it.

In reality, the internal incompatible stimulation and the environment of man with its diversified conditions opens various ways before man and invites him to traverse them. However, selection will be fulfilled when man chooses through his will power one of the many ways and becomes determined in fulfilling it. In more precise terms, the strength of will-power is placed at the top of motives and stimulation and reigns over them and not that it is the effect and decree of the external conditions or according to some the very same conditions and desires. (In continuation, we shall have another reference of the discussion of free will and authority).

2-Relation of Ethics and Will-Power with Belief and Deed

Just as it was pointed out, the role of ethical virtues and vices in faith and deed and similarly the underlining on the matter of free-will and sovereignty of human-will upon the realm of faith and deed is among the outstanding points and criterions of divine Ma’arif. One of the matters which at times has been referred to in verses and traditions and which can be said to be from the indisputables of revelation and the certainties of religion is these very two matters. Incidentally this matter is reckoned to be one of the pivots of differences between the logic of confirmation of Greece and the innate logic of religions. For clarifying the matter, we have to discuss a little more about it.

Submission or denial occurs in places and degrees when man has traversed from the two stages of ‘definition’ and ‘reminding’, has witnessed God in the light of ‘Fitrah’ (innate disposition) and the divine argumentation has reached its perfect manifestation. As mentioned before, the innate Ma’rifat is so intense in its lucidity and powerful in manifestation that it has been referred in Qur’an and traditions under such titles and names as ‘heartly vision’ and ‘observation’. Similarly the Glorious Qur’an reckons the reminding and the innate proofs to be the ‘clear signs’ and illuminatory and indubitable reminders.

Therefore, from the viewpoint of Islamic Ma’arif after man becomes reminded and conscientiously perceives the reality of the Exalted God, his soul and life gets cleansed from doubt and uncertainty and finds his Creator with His perfect and glorious Attributes just as He Himself has introduced.71

Here man’s duty begins and it is here that the role of man in faith and disbelief becomes clear and this question arises that what is the reason of the disbelief of the disbeliever? In reply it should be said that even though free-will and authority is the actual reason and the fundamental factor in giving direction to man, yet other determinant factors are having an opening in this regard and prepare the ground of evil free-will and or good free-will without negating it. What are these determinants?

From the viewpoint of Qur’an, these driving forces are moral feebleness and heartly indignation since a gloomy heart never accepts light and is weary of it.

The verses of Qur’an reckons the reason for disbelief of the disbeliever and polytheism of the polytheists and their not being guided as “haughtiness and arrogance”, “injustice and jealousy”, “hatred and cruelty”, “lust and seeking superiority” and “debauchery and denial.” (These verses will come later on).

Such kind of terms and concepts which can be seen throughout Qur’an indicates on the one hand that from the view-point of Qur’an, man in his actions possesses will and power of selection and the most important basis for unworthy choice is the ethical feebleness and spiritual vices which has grown from the past evil choices. On the other hand it reveals this meaning that the condition for reaching the path of guidance and religious belief is keeping pure the substance (‘Teenat’) and safeguarding the purity of heart and soul.

This matter relates the firm relation of the realm of ethics and beliefs from divine viewpoint and this relation is the same thing which the Greek philosophy was unable to explain and even explicitly rejected it.

“Relation between Ma’rifat and virtue is the distinctive ethics of Socrates. According to him, Ma’rifat and virtue are one, meaning that a learned man who knows what is the truth, also acts upon it. In other words, no person knowingly and intentionally will commit an evil act.”72

The analysis of Aristotle from the ethical viewpoint of Socrates too shows the same point. “According to some, when someone is possessing knowledge it is impossible and rather surprising that he gets influenced by some other power and like a curtain gets pulled towards any direction. This is the view of Socrates.”73

Therefore, Aristotle has severely overrun this view and said: “However, this Socratic view is clearly discordant with the reality.”74

Plato too took away this view exactly from his master. “Plato accepted Socrates view that virtue and Ma’rifat are one.”75

“He has been loyal to this thought that virtue is Ma’rifat and that virtue is capable of being learnt just as he believed that nobody knowingly and intentionally performs an evil act.”76

On the basis of ethical views of Socrates and Plato, there exists a necessary and indispensable relation between Ma’rifat and action and the only motive and driving force of man’s behaviour is his acquaintance and knowledge.

These two philosophers have reckoned knowledge to be the factor which gives shape to action and they have not considered any role for the spiritual instigation and internal desires in knowledge and Ma’rifat. Moreover, they do not even take note of the free will and the created freedom of man. Basically, free will in its true sense is vague and indipictable in Greek philosophy. (In this connection, more will be said later on).

Because of the fact that the ethics of Socrates does not consider any role for ‘desire’, ‘lust’ and ‘anger’ in the behaviour of man, Aristotle has strongly condemned it and considers it to be far from truth. He recognizes the two factors of ‘intellection’ and ‘desire’ as the mechanism in man’s behaviour and action and names both of them collectively as ‘selection’.

“As such, the basis of ethical deed is free selection and the basis of selection is desire and an order which pays attention to ultimateness.”77

“As such we can say that selection of the determinant is an intellection based on desire and or a desire founded on reason” 78

In accordance with what was said, Aristotle goes one step ahead than his predecessors. In addition to recognition and intellection, he refers to inclination and enthusiasm as an effective factor in ethical deed. This very point made Aristotle efficient enough to re-introduce the role of ethical feebleness and carnal desires. In spite of all these, he too like his predecessors was unable to depict and make clear free will, freedom and man’s power and ability in action and inaction.

In spite of the fact that Aristotle had severely strived to explain free-will and selection in the Greek philosophy and has discussed about it in various chapters of his book of ethics79, yet in the fine analysis he reckons the ‘act of free-will’ to arise from desire (lust and anger)80 I and introduces ‘selection’ as ‘desire’ based upon ‘reason’.81

As such, Aristotle does not believe in an independent identification for free-will separate from notion, confirmation and enthusiasm. The identification that makes man efficient (despite his inner desire) in relation to a special deed and the best knowledge, is resorting to the abandonment of that work and seeing his recognition as insignificant. In other words, the Greek philosophers have not depicted free will as being instrumental in man’s sovereignty over his desire and Ma’rifat. Rather they were adjudging man’s free will to his own knowledge (in Socrates ethics) or to his rational desire (in Aristotle’s ethics).

It seems that the unacceptable depiction of free will and authority by the Greek philosophers was having a root in their study of ‘psychology’ and ‘humanities’. Aristotle who is the most eminent representative of Greek reflection believes in three outstanding powers for the soul.

“Soul is having three outstanding powers which are indicative of the truth as well as the basis for action.

They are sensation, intellection and desire”.82

When the sensual powers are confined to these three powers, the other human powers and qualities are described in such manner that they return back to these three powers. As such, free-will is not set forth as one of the primary qualities and characteristics of the soul and it is for this reason that in the analysis of behaviour, the free-will and selection returns back to the same intrinsic qualities and primity of soul i.e. intellection and desire.

Undoubtedly any philosopher who has not brought ‘free-will’ as one of the ‘primary qualities of the sour’ in his study of humanities and does not consider it to be derived from ‘definition of man’ and does not set or rather make it dominant over the other powers, will not be able to specifically describe free-will. Consequently compulsion and determinism will put on the garb of freedom and authority and it is obvious that such a philosophy will be entangled in all the necessities and effects of compulsion and coercion.

As against the Greek philosophical schools, the divine religions while emphasizing knowledge and awareness to be the effective factors, introduce carnal and sensual desires as the most important factor of man’s turning away from the truth and stress upon the created freedom, ability and authority of man in his destiny. From the viewpoint of religions, after passing the two stages of ‘definition’ and ‘reminding’ man succeeds in conscientious comprehension and lofty recognition of God. As such, the only reason why man does not submit before God is the evil free will and following of desires by utilizing the voluntary and created power.

In other words, the recognition of God is a heartly Ma’rifat (gnosis), not a mental and imaginary feature and this Ma’rifat is the gift of God, not the discovery of man. Similarly, the real Ma’rifat is manifested by reminding (and the argumentation is completed) and not by philosophical proof and confirmation. Therefore, the reason of disbelief of the disbeliever is evil morals and their evil free will, not mistake in imagination and error in the method of confirmation.

Undoubtedly, the successive stipulations and emphasizes of Qur’an regarding moral virtues and vices and their role in belief and disbelief is not capable of perception and explanation except from this viewpoint. Some of the Orientalist and some of the thinkers who are not acquainted with the logic of Qur’an in the matters of belief, when coming across such verses and traditions, depict religion merely in ethical and exhortative manner.

According to the logic and ways of monotheistic religions in the matter of theology, ethics is one of the important basis of achieving the truth and not merely in the meaning of advice and exhortation. From the viewpoint of Qur’an and traditions, moral vices and the darkness resulting from it are counted to be one of the barriers of recognition and prepare the ground for the evil free will of man. In contrast, the moral virtues prepares the soul and the self of man in receiving the divine Ma’rifat and the light of guidance.

Unfortunately, the religious sources and evidences have been less scrutinized and analyzed from this aspect. The result of such inattention is that the logic of theology of revelation is intermixed with the alien elements and most of the truths of Qur’an has been vaguely hidden behind the curtain. It should be known that most of the objections of the westerners and the deviators in religion are in reality in these very non-religious elements which in the course of time have become inter-mixed with Ma’arif and revelation in an unsuitable and un-matchable manner.

The bedecking of religion from the non-religious elements (whether those elements be correct or incorrect) is one of the pressing duties of the Theological Centers in the field of Islamic research and one should look for the process of reforms in Islamic reflection in this area.

Now we shall discuss in brief, the veils and obstacles of submission from the viewpoint of Qur’an.

3-Obstacles of Submission in Qur’an

In general, the afore-said obstacles in Qur’an return back to two internal and external factors and each of these two also consist of two set of factors which are as follows:

A) Moral vices and sensual attachments

B) Abomination and committing of sins

C) Satan of Jinns

D) Satan of men

Each of the above titles in its turn is possessing numerous meanings, which we shall refer to some of them and in each of the cases usually one verse will be sufficient and for some others references will be produced in the end.

A) Moral Vices

The point which should be reminded about moral vices is that these vices takes shape by man’s free-will and he is in a position to acquire them.

I) Carnal Desires and Extensive Love

أَفَرَأَيْتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ إِلَـٰهَهُ هَوَاهُ وَأَضَلَّهُ اللَّـهُ عَلَىٰ عِلْمٍ وَخَتَمَ عَلَىٰ سَمْعِهِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَجَعَلَ عَلَىٰ بَصَرِهِ غِشَاوَةً فَمَن يَهْدِيهِ مِن بَعْدِ اللَّـهِ أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ

“Have you then considered him who takes his low desire for his god, and Allah has made him err having knowledge and has set a seal upon his ear and his heart and put a covering upon his eye. Who can then guide him after Allah? Will you not then be mindful?” (Holy Qur’an: 45:23)

أفَرَأَيْتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ إِلَـٰهَهُ هَوَاهُ وَأَضَلَّهُ اللَّـهُ عَلَىٰ عِلْمٍ وَخَتَمَ عَلَىٰ سَمْعِهِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَجَعَلَ عَلَىٰ بَصَرِهِ غِشَاوَةً فَمَن يَهْدِيهِ مِن بَعْدِ اللَّـهِ ۚ أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ

Similarly {28: 50},

وَكَذَّبُوا وَاتَّبَعُوا أَهْوَاءَهُمْ وَكُلُّ أَمْرٍ مُّسْتَقِرٌّ

{54: 3},

أَفَمَن كَانَ عَلَىٰ بَيِّنَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّهِ كَمَن زُيِّنَ لَهُ سُوءُ عَمَلِهِ وَاتَّبَعُوا أَهْوَاءَهُم

{47: 14} and

وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَابَ وَقَفَّيْنَا مِن بَعْدِهِ بِالرُّسُلِ وَآتَيْنَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَيَّدْنَاهُ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ أَفَكُلَّمَا جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ بِمَا لَا تَهْوَىٰ أَنفُسُكُمُ اسْتَكْبَرْتُمْ فَفَرِيقًا كَذَّبْتُمْ وَفَرِيقًا تَقْتُلُونَ

{2: 87})

According to the above verse, deviation, the sealing of heart, ears and eyes and deprivation from guidance are the effects of man’s evil free will and selection of carnal desires as objects of worship.

وَأَمَّا ثَمُودُ فَهَدَيْنَاهُمْ

“And as to Samood, We showed them the right way.” (Holy Qur’an: 41: 17)

II) Hard-heartedness

 وَيُرِيكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ. ثُمَّ قَسَتْ قُلُوبُكُم مِّن بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ فَهِيَ كَالْحِجَارَةِ أَوْ أَشَدُّ قَسْوَةً

“…And He shows you His signs so that you may understand. Then your hearts hardened after that, so that they were like rocks, rather worse in hardness.” (Holy Qur’an: 2: 73, 74)

According to this verse, the created signs (‘Ayaat al-Takweeni’) [which was discussed in the second stage along with intellection opens the way for the guidance of man. But hard-heartedness and cruelty of a person becomes the cause of not allowing his intellect to attain anything. In such kind of verses and traditions the number of which is not less, intellection and reason have been propounded as the associate of the heart and mind. It should be seen what are the meanings of intellect from the viewpoint of revelation?

In the other heavenly books too much has been spoken about hard-heartedness and cruelty of man and the matter of heart becoming as hard as the stone has been discussed as the factor for turning away from truth and standing against God and His religion. For example in the journey of exodus from Torah it has come that: “Moosa and Haroun came to Firaun and said: “Jehovah the God of Israel has said to set free my nation so that they can observe a festival for me in the desert.” Firaun replied: “who is Jehovah that I should listen to his words and set free the Israelis. I do not know who is Jehovah and I shall not release the Israelis.” (Old Testament (Torah), London 1895 Journey of Exodus; chapter 5; pg. 89)

Thereafter Prophet Moses displayed numerous miracles before Firaun which each of the time Firaun did not submit due to his heard-heartedness. The sentence “the heart of Firaun became hard” has been repeated for more than ten times in the journey of exodus. (Old Testament (Torah); pg. 92-95, 97-100, and 104)

III) Pride and Arrogance

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُجَادِلُونَ فِي آيَاتِ اللَّـهِ بِغَيْرِ سُلْطَانٍ أَتَاهُمْ إِن فِي صُدُورِهِمْ إِلَّا كِبْرٌ

“Surely (as for) those who dispute about the communications of Allah, without any authority that has come to them, there is naught in their breasts but (a desire) to become great” (Holy Qur’an: 40: 56)

Thus the divine signs are sufficient for guidance. However a group have disputed and contended against it and this disputation is not due to ignorance of the reality but because of pride and haughtiness.

وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَفَلَمْ تَكُنْ آيَاتِي تُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْكُمْ فَاسْتَكْبَرْتُمْ وَكُنتُمْ قَوْمًا مُّجْرِمِينَ

“As to those who disbelieved: What! were not my communications recited to you? But you were proud and you were a guilty people.” (Holy Qur’an: {45: 31}; Similarly {2: 17}, {7: 36, 40, 76}, {46: 10}, and {63: 5})

IV) Avarice

فَلَمَّا آتَاهُم مِّن فَضْلِهِ بَخِلُوا بِهِ وَتَوَلَّوا وَّهُم مُّعْرِضُونَ. فَأَعْقَبَهُمْ نِفَاقًا فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ.

“But when He gave them out of His grace, they became niggardly of it and they turned back and they withdrew so He made hypocrisy to follow as a consequence into their hearts.” (Holy Qur’an: 9: 76, 77)

The effect of avarice is turning away from religion.

V) Seeking Loftiness of Position and Rank. About the denial of the divine signs by Pharoah and his followers, Qur’an says:

وَجَحَدُوا بِهَا وَاسْتَيْقَنَتْهَا أَنفُسُهُمْ ظُلْمًا وَعُلُوًّا فَانظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُفْسِدِينَ

“And they denied them unjustly and proudly while their soul had been convinced of them; consider, then how was the end of the mischief-makers.” (Holy Qur’an: 27: 14)

B) Committing Sins
I) Injustice

وَمَا يَجْحَدُ بِآيَاتِنَا إِلَّا الظَّالِمُونَ

“…And none deny Our communications except the unjust” (Holy Qur’an: 29: 49)

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ

“Surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.” (Holy Qur’an: {6: 144}. Similarly {9: 109}, {2: 86 and 258}, {61: 7}, {28: 50}, {46: 10} and {27: 14})

In the Bible it has come that: “So the reason that He (i.e. God) made Pharoah’s heart hard was that he punished our nation and wished to do injustice upon them” (Gospel of Barnabas)

II) Abomination

وَلَقَدْ أَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ آيَاتٍ بَيِّنَاتٍ وَمَا يَكْفُرُ بِهَا إِلَّا الْفَاسِقُونَ

“And certainly We have revealed to you clear communications and none disbelieve in them except the transgressors.” (Holy Qur’an: 2: 99)

In this verse, disbelief is confined to ‘Fisq’. Perhaps the reason may be due to the wide meaning of ‘Fisq’, which includes in it every action, which is evil.

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْفَاسِقِينَ

“Surely Allah does not guide the transgressing people” (Holy Qur’an: {63: 6}, Similarly, {2: 26}, {61: 5}, {9: 80})

III) Performing Indecent Acts

ثُمَّ كَانَ عَاقِبَةَ الَّذِينَ أَسَاءُوا السُّوأَىٰ أَن كَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِ اللَّـهِ

“Then evil was the end of those who did evil, because they rejected the communications of Allah.” (Holy Qur’an: 30: 10)

This warning of Qur’an is very severe and grave that sins do not remain merely within its limits. Rather, because of the reciprocal relation and connection of behaviour with the human heart and soul, any indecent act will have a direct effect on man’s heartly position before religion and he will start rejecting it.

IV) Lies and Falsehood

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَهْدِي مَنْ هُوَ كَاذِبٌ كَفَّارٌ

“Surely Allah does not guide him aright who is a liar, ungrateful.” (Holy Qur’an: 39: 3)

C& D) Satan of Jinn and Men

وَكَذَٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَا لِكُلِّ نَبِيٍّ عَدُوًّا شَيَاطِينَ الْإِنسِ وَالْجِنِّ

“And thus did we make for every prophet an enemy, the Shaitans from among men and jinn.” (Holy Qur’an: 6: 112)

كَمَثَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ إِذْ قَالَ لِلْإِنسَانِ اُكفُر

“Like the Shaitan when he says to man: Disbelieve.” (Holy Qur’an: 59: 16)

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ ارْتَدُّوا عَلَىٰ أَدْبَارِهِم مِّن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الْهُدَى ۙ الشَّيْطَانُ سَوَّلَ لَهُمْ وَأَمْلَىٰ لَهُمْ

“Surely (as for) those who return on their backs after that guidance has become manifest to them, the Shaitan as made it a light matter to them, and he gives them respite.” (Holy Qur’an: 47: 25)

وَيُرِيدُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَن يُضِلَّهُمْ ضَلَالًا بَعِيدًا

“And the Shaitan desires to lead them astray into a remote error.” (Holy Qur’an: {4: 60}; Similarly {6: 43, 121}, {7: 27}, {22: 3}, {27: 24} and {29: 38})

It has come in the Bible that: “Faith never errs because its foundation is God and His words… However [Satan with all his efforts plans to nullify the faith”. (Gospel of Barnaba: pg. 211, 212)

With regard to our topic of discussion, many traditions have been narrated which for the sake of brevity we shall refer to only some of them.

((قال ابوعبدالله (عليه السلام) أصول الكفر ثلاثة: الحرص و الاستكبار و الحسد))

(Usul al-Kafi; vol. 2; pg. 289; Tradition no. 1)

((قال النبي (صلَّى الله عليه و آله): اركان الكفر اربعة: الرَغْبَة و الرَهْبة و السَخط و الغضب))

(Usul al-Kafi; tradition no. 2; vol. 2; pg. 289)

The Holy Prophet (S) said: “The pillars of disbelief are four: Greed in worldly things, fear from its decadence, discontent and anger.”

((عن أمير المؤمنين (عليه السلام) قال: بُنِيَ الكفر على أربع دعائم: الفسق و الغلُو و الشك و الشبهة))

(Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 72; pg. 116; Tradition no. 15; Similarly Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 72; chapter: 99 from pg. 104 to 123. Traditions 1, 2, 16, 17, 19 and vol. 70; pg. 53; tradition no. 15 and pg. 55 tradition no. 24)

To Sum Up

Good and evil free will and moral virtues and vices are having many effects on man’s life. Just as it was said in the first chapter of the stage of ‘Submission’, among its effects one can mention submission or non-submission before God and just as it will come in the second chapter, the result of such submission or non-submission will be enjoyment of ‘spirit of faith’ or its deprivation and consequently will amount to worship or disobedience. The outcome of submission and worship too (as was mentioned in the stage of ‘reminding’) is acquisition of ‘special guidance’, intensification of innate Ma’rifat (gnosis) and a more lofty recognition of the Exalted God.

The effects of free will and the moral capacities which have not been discussed in length, is the kind of perception of innate Ma’rifat and being reminded of it in the very first stage of guidance (general guidance). Of course, the essence of Ma’rifat of God has been manifested to all and the divine argumentation will be completed upon all the human beings (just as it was mentioned in the stage of definition). However the spiritual condition of a person is not ineffective in the kind of manifestation of innate Ma’rifat and being reminded of it. Perhaps some of the expressions of Qur’an like.

((إن الله لا يهدي القوم الظالمين))، ((إن الله لا يهدي القوم الفاسقين))، ((ثم قست قلوبكم من بعد فهي كالحجارة أو أشد قسوة))

Could also be other than ‘special guidance’ encompassing and controlling the ‘general guidance’ and the type of perception of the first stage of guidance. As such, free will and morals will be having a fundamental role in recognition, beliefs, deeds and in reality, in all the aspects of man’s life.

Outcome of Submission

The last stage on the path of guidance is submission before the Beneficent God and by taking this step man reaches to the position of ‘being guided’ and the course of divine general guidance. The gift of this stage is perceiving the spirit of faith of the Compassionate God. Like the innate Ma’rifat, the spirit of faith too is a gift and bounty from the Merciful God with the difference that the basis of innate Ma’rifat is common (for all) whereas the spirit of faith is earmarked only for those who submit and bring faith. While mentioning the specifications of faith, we shall describe and make clear the above matter.

In divine works, the matter of faith and its issues have been mooted from various angles. Here we shall, at first explain the various meanings of faith and then see the divine faith from two dimensions of ‘believers faith’ which is the act of man and ‘spirit of faith’ which is the creation of God. While mentioning some of their specialities we shall also briefly compare them with the viewpoints of Greek philosophers.

(1) Meaning of Faith

In the generous Qur’an and noble traditions, the term of ‘faith’ is applied to various meanings. Among the various meanings we may mention the following:

“Confession by tongue”83, “confirmation by heart”84, “divine duties”85, “acting upon the duties and abstaining from cardinal sins”86 “performing the obligation and leaving the absolute sins”87 and performing the obligatory and recommended acts and abstaining from the forbidden and abominable acts (even permissible [‘Mubah’] acts).88

The meaning which has been emphasized more than all other meanings and which also matches with the actual meaning of divine faith is the meaning of “belief of heart accompanied with confession by tongue and action by the limbs” and it is this very meaning that has been utilized in the meaning of apparent submission vis-a-vis ‘Islam’89 This meaning has been set forth by the Holy Imams (‘a) as against the two widespread views.

‘Murja’a’ reckoned the apparent confession of the Ka’bites to be sufficient for Islam and faith and the ‘Khawarij’ believed that acting upon the obligatory (acts) and abstainence from the cardinal sins were necessary in Islam and faith. Meanwhile the true inheritors of the religion of God and the true exegetists of the Generous Qur’an have, by virtue of Qur’an and Sunnat of Holy Prophet (S) expressed this fact that apparent confession is sufficient for (bringing) Islam. However for faith only the condition is necessary and its adequate condition is apparent confession and heartly belief along with divine action. Thus faith by the above meaning will be synonymous with heartly submission and its requisites i.e. submission by tongue and deeds.

In Islamic sources, faith by the above meaning has been associated with another matter by the name of “spirit of faith.” That is to say, in proportion to a believers faith, God helps and provides relief to his heart, makes the light, tranquility, expansion, piety, brightness and certitude to glimmer in his heart and existence and makes a believer fortunate with a lustrous and spiritual reality called “spirit of faith.” In this section, more than anything else these two topics i.e. believers faith and spirit of faith will be emphasized. One of them is the act of man while the other the make of God. One takes shape on the basis of spiritual position of a person and his freewill while the other is imparted by God.

(2) Spirit of Faith is the Make of God

In the tradition it has come that:

((قلت لأبي عبدالله (عليه السلام) " أُولَـٰئِكَ كَتَبَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمُ الْإِيمَانَ"، هل لهم فيما كتب في قلوبهم صُنْع؟ قال: لا))

(Usul al-Kafi; vol. 2; pg. 15)

About this verse, that “God has put down faith in their hearts” I asked Imam Sadiq (‘a) whether the believers are having any role in the putting down of faith to which Imam (‘a) replied ‘No’.

The spirit of faith is the substantiation and support of God towards His faithful slaves.

لَّا تَجِدُ قَوْمًا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّـهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ يُوَادُّونَ مَنْ حَادَّ اللَّـهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَلَوْ كَانُوا آبَاءَهُمْ أَوْ أَبْنَاءَهُمْ أَوْ إِخْوَانَهُمْ أَوْ عَشِيرَتَهُمْ أُولَـٰئِكَ كَتَبَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمُ الْإِيمَانَ وَأَيَّدَهُم بِرُوحٍ مِّنْهُ وَيُدْخِلُهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا رَضِيَ اللَّـهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُوا عَنْهُ أُولَـٰئِكَ حِزْبُ اللَّـهِ أَلَا إِنَّ حِزْبَ اللَّـهِ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

You will not find a people who believe in Allah and the Last Day having affection for those who oppose Allah and His Messenger, even if they were their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their kindred. Those - He has decreed within their hearts faith and supported them with spirit from Him. And We will admit them to gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally. Allah is pleased with them, and they are pleased with Him - those are the party of Allah. Unquestionably, the party of Allah - they are the successful. (Holy Qur’an: 58: 22)

(Holy Qur’an: 58: 22 [see above] Usul al-Kafi; vol. 2; pg. 15; tradition 1 & 5, Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 69; pg. 190; tradition 5; pg. 194-200 and vol. 68; pg. 274)

The spirit of faith is repose and a pacification, which is revealed from God upon the heart of a believer.

هُوَ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ السَّكِينَةَ فِي قُلُوبِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ لِيَزْدَادُوا إِيمَانًا مَّعَ إِيمَانِهِمْ وَلِلَّـهِ جُنُودُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَكَانَ اللَّـهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا

It is He who sent down tranquility into the hearts of the believers that they would increase in faith along with their [present] faith. And to Allah belong the soldiers of the heavens and the earth, and ever is Allah Knowing and Wise. (Holy Qur’an: 48: 4)

Usul al-Kafi; vol. 2; pg. 15; tradition 1, 3 & 5)

The spirit of faith is the same divine piety, which is attached and accompanied with the believers.

إِذْ جَعَلَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فِي قُلُوبِهِمُ الْحَمِيَّةَ حَمِيَّةَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ فَأَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِ وَعَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَأَلْزَمَهُمْ كَلِمَةَ التَّقْوَىٰ وَكَانُوا أَحَقَّ بِهَا وَأَهْلَهَا وَكَانَ اللَّـهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمًا

When those who disbelieved had put into their hearts chauvinism - the chauvinism of the time of ignorance. But Allah sent down His tranquillity upon His Messenger and upon the believers and imposed upon them the word of righteousness, and they were more deserving of it and worthy of it. And ever is Allah, of all things, Knowing. (Holy Qur’an: 48: 26)

Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 69; pg. 200; tradition 21

At times when believer returns back and revolts against the basis and foundation of faith (submission), the spirit will be taken away from him.

إذا زنى الرجل أخرج الله منه روح الايمان

(Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 69; pg. 178; Similarly, pg. 19; tradition 4, 5 and pg. 198; tradition 16)

The line of demarcation between a believer and non-believer is the spirit of faith.90

Just as the line of demarcation between Infallible and Non-Infallible is the Holy Spirit (‘Rooh al-Qodos’). (Holy Qur’an: Mujadala: 22, Baqarah: 253, Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 69; pg. 179; tradition 3 and pg. 191)

(3) Faith and Heart

Divine faith (faith of a believer and spirit of faith) is an affair related to the heart and in the divine works, man’s faith has been remembered under such names as

“Object in the heart” 91,

“Submission by heart”92,

“An agreement in heart and by heart”93,

“Confirmation by heart”94,

“Whatever is steadfast in the heart”95,

“Whatever is pure in the heart”96,

“Faith in heart and by heart”97 and

“White spots in heart” 98.

The spirit of faith has been remembered under such titles as:

“A making in the heart”99,

“Verification by heart”100 and

“An inscription in the heart”101.

Such definitions show that faith is a matter related to the heart and is not an affair related to the tongue and not a notion and confirmation related to the mind. If man, fully submits himself before God, then God too will directly confirm his heart and soul without the means of understandings and imaginations.

(4) Faith and Action

After man submits himself before God and admits Him by heart, then in proportion to his faith, a light is imparted to him which its essential condition is religious conduct and worship of God.

Among the characteristics of Shi’ism is the view of ‘faith’and ‘Islam’. As against the Khawarij and Murjaans, the Shias have reckoned religious deeds to be of material in faith and believe it to be a condition for faith. On the other hand they do not consider worship and deeds to be of material in Islam in its apparent form.

This view (i.e. Shia view) has been drafted on the basis of Qur’an and tradition.102

Many traditions substantiate this matter that a believing person does not commit a sin and if at all it is seen that a believer commits a sin it should be then admitted that God has taken away the spirit of faith at the time of performance of sin and even much before that. Moreover it is only through repentance and penitence that the previous brightness and purity will be returned back to him.

The above point is yet another difference between divine theology and philosophical theology meaning that the result of notion and affirmation of God is eventually a rational (mental) confirmation of the existence of God. Undoubtedly, the necessary relation between ‘mental confirmation’ and a ‘spiritual deed’ is absurd even though every mental confirmation is usually proportionate to a special deed. Basically, from the viewpoint of philosophy there does not exist any kind of necessary and logical relation between mental confirmation and its corresponding deed. Therefore at the time of leaving that deed, no harm comes to the mental dole and from here the separation between knowledge and deed takes place in the form of justified views.

However the outcome of divine stages of theology is the heartly contract and finally the receipt of spirit of faith which will be followed by conduct commensurate with faith i.e. there exists a necessary and essential relation between faith and worship. In spite of this, freewill does not lose its sovereignty in all the stages. The secret of this talk is hidden in the rudiments of faith.

In as much as after submission and as per its intensity man enjoys the spirit of faith, the same submission (after faith too) which has taken shape on the basis of free-will, manifests into action along with divine stipulation and confirmation. In reality at the time of disobedience and sins too, a person gives up by his own free-will the basis of faith (which is the very submission) and finally the divine confirmation is taken away from him and the unjust and unworthy deed is manifested by him.

In this way, sins bring harm to the essence of faith because of destroying its basis and in this regard many tradition have been narrated. Just as it was formerly said, it has come in these traditions that at the time of disobedience and transgression, the spirit of faith is taken away from the sinful person.103

(5) Faith and its Degrees

The submission of people before God is not of one level because, commensurate with their spiritual capability and freewill they submit themselves before God with special degrees. As such, the faith of the people possesses different ranks and degrees and with regards to divine confirmation and spirit of faith too, they enjoy a special degree. It is for this reason that the devoutness of the believers and their religious conduct are diverse.

On this basis, the traditions which have explained various meanings for faith not only have no contradictions among each other but reveal the different levels of faith.

The point which is necessary to be said over here is this that a person does not constantly remain fixed in the same level of faith. Rather he fluctuates in various degrees. The secret of this matter is that the basis of faith and the spirit of piety is the submission of man on the basis of free-will and created freedom. After submission too, this freedom keeps its power and a person can either turn around from submission or strengthen it and ascend to a higher level of faith.

((... ثم قال ابي الحسن (عليه السلام): نحن نؤيد الروح بالطاعة و العمل له))

“We confirm the spirit of faith by obedience of God”.104

We should say that many traditions have come regarding the levels of faith and its condition and causes. For the sake of brevity, we shall content ourselves only by the mentioning some of their references.105

Gist of the Discussion

“The Greek philosophical theology” and “the divine theology possess different basic facts and results. In this book, while a comparison was made between these two schools of thought, the diverse basic facts and results were discussed and in each of the cases adequate reasoning were presented. Over here we shall refer only to some of the basic fundamentals of these two schools of thought.”

(A) Fundamentals of Greek Philosophical Theology

(1) The notion of God and His affirmation takes shape in the mould of one philosophical arrangement and system. As a rule, this kind of theology is brought into existence when philosophical reflections about the world and existence have developed to a sufficient level and the philosophical schools of thought are on the verge of growth and development. Since the world without God is not capable of philosophical explanation therefore the notion of God, finds its place in such kind of school commensurate with the philosophical system.

(2) This kind of theology is a creatable matter in human culture and civilization and in Greece it begins in a deficient state with Anaximanas, Kasnufanas, Heraclites and then Anaxagoras and finds its perfection in Plato and Aristotle.

(3) The notion of God from other sciences is recent because it takes shape on the basis of knowledge of existence and theology in general.

(4) Understanding such kind of theology is complicated and difficult matter because from the view-point of notion it depends on the preceding sciences and from the view point of confirmation of special logic which a philosopher presents, it is having a stoppage. On the other hand, considering that the more we advance towards abstraction the more we remain far from sensation and the more difficult becomes the recognition, therefore the recognition of God who is an absolute abstract, is the most difficult of all the recognition. Plato and Aristotle have emphasized this matter.

(5) This kind of theology is specifically for some special people who possess the required conditions. These conditions have been specified by Plato.

(6) Recognition of God is the act of man and by his mind a person can imagine God.

(7) The basis of God’s recognition is a rational (mental) imagination of God and this imagination and notion too is Universal because other than the Universals, the intellect does not recognize correctly and accurately any other thing. Therefore, in order to prove monotheism we are in need of another proof.

(8) Recognition of God reaches perfection when Universal imagination is made ready and is affirmed by philosophical method i.e. the relation of God with external existence is proved.

(9) There does not exist any relation between ethics and recognition of God and moral virtues and vices are having no effect in the recognition of God. Incidentally man’s freewill and his influence in the recognition of God and basically in every kind of recognition and conduct is not capable of explanation and clarification.

(10) Any special deed is not an essential condition for recognizing God and there does not exist a relation between mental confirmation and conduct.

(B) Fundamentals of Divine Theology

(1) Recognition of God is ascertained without any kind of philosophical arrangement and system.

(2) Recognition of God is ancient and Ma’rifat (gnosis) of His Holy Essence has been accompanying man’s soul right from his birth and rather before his birth.

(3) Recognition of God is having no stoppage upon different and rudimentary sciences.

(4) Recognition of God is not a matter of mental complication and so is not peculiar to some specific people. It involves all the common people.

(5) The focal point of God’s Ma’rifat is the heart of man and man perceives God with his soul and existence without the means of mental understandings.

(6) Ma’rifat (gnosis) of God is the act and make of God. It is as He has defined Himself and this definition and Ma’rifat (gnosis) is outside the scope of human sciences.

(7) In divine definition (of God), man is heedful of an external and personal God and not a Universal God. Thus the monotheism of God is not separate from His Ma’rifat (gnosis).

(8) Instead of ‘proof’, discussion is about ‘reminding’.

(9) There prevails a deep relation between man’s freewill and morals on the one hand and the Ma’rifat (gnosis) of God and faith in Him on the other hand.

(10) The essential condition of recognition of God and divine faith is a specific act and there exist a firm relation between faith and action.

  • 1. The matter of past worlds is not peculiar to the Imamieh sect and Ahlul Sunnat too have narrated numerous traditions in this regard in their reliable hooks. For example Suyuti in the hook of Durrul Mansoor narrates under verse 172 of chapter A’raf of Holy Qur’an only the tradition proving the precedence of the past worlds. These traditions have been narrated from Holy Prophet (S), some of his companions, disciples of the companions and famous and reliable scholars of Ahlul sunnat (Jalaluddin suytui, Durrul Mansoor; Daarul-Fiqh-Beirut; vol. 3; pg. 597 to 607).
  • 2. Book of Arshia.
  • 3. A- Bihar al-Anwar, Darrul Ketab al Islamiyeh; vol. 3 chapter 11 (...Al-ta’reef fil Meesaaq); pg. 276; tradition no. 7, 10, 11, 16, 17, 20 Totally 6 traditions. Of course the other traditions of this chapter too prove the context.
    B- Bihar al-Anwar vol. 5; chapter 10 (Teenato wal Meesaq) pg. 225; Tradition no(s): 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 14, 15, 25, 26, 27, 32, 33, 34, 35, 39, 41, 42, 43, 44, 47, 48, 49, 51, 52, 53, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67. Total 38 traditions.
    C- Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 15; chapter 1 (Bada’o khalqahu wa maa yata’allaqo bezalek) from tradition 3 to 48 apart form 30, 31, 32, 33, 35, 37, 38. Total 39 traditions.
    D- Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 25; chapter 1 (Khalaqahum wa teenatahum Wa arwaahahum alaihe as-salaam) traditions no(s): 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 19, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45 Total: 24 traditions. Of course other traditions too prove the point.
    E- Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 26; chapter 7; pg. 117 (Ennahum (alaihessalaam) ya’refoon annaas) traditions 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 38. Similarly chapter 5; pg. 108; tradition no. 13 and pg. 320, tradition no. 2; Total: 9 tradition.
    F- Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 60; chapter 41 (Bada’o khalq al-ensaan) pg. 317; Tradition 28, 30, 31 (pg. 344), 31 (pg. 346), 40, 58, 81, 106. Total 8 traditions.
    G- Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 61; chapter 43. (Fi khalqel arwaah qablal Ejsaad) pg. 131 from traditions 1 to 19, similarly pg. 41 tradition 12 and pg. 79, tradition 12. Total 21 traditions
    H- Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 99; chapter 40. (Fazl ul Hajere Wa ellato estelameh) pg. 216, traditions 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 11, 19, 29 and as per the context of such traditions we have traditions 3, 7, 12, 22, 25, 28. Total 15 traditions.
  • 4. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 6; pg. 179. Apparently the world between soul and body has been the world of substance (Teenat) or the world of pre-existence (Alam al-zar) because these two worlds are after the world of soul and before the world of bodies.
  • 5. Muhammad Taqi Mesbah - Treatise on Beliefs; pg. 36.
  • 6. Similarly [chapter Ale-Imran verse 81 Faiz Kashani, Tafseer Safi, Beirut vol. 1; pg. 351. Noor us Saqalain; vol. 5; pg. 173 [Hajar: 75; Tafseer Aiyashi; vol. 1; pg. 249 [Waqe’ah: 46; Tafseer Mizan; vol. 19; pg. 125 [Taghabun : 2; Usul al-kafi; vol. 1; pg. 426 [Mu’menun:12; Burhan vol. 3; pg. 111 and [Insaan: 1]
  • 7. Tauheed of Sadooq; pg. 107; chapter 8. Similarly Usul al-Kafi; vol. 2; pg. 13 and Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 5; pg. 223, 227
  • 8. Burhan; vol. 3; pg. 336; Traditions 3 and 4.
  • 9. Ma’niul Akhbar; pg. 11; tradition no. 1 & 2.
  • 10. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 3; pg. 2S7; chapter 9 (“Annahi anil tafakkor fi zaatellahe ta’ala”) In this chapter 32 traditions have been narrated.
  • 11. Fredrik Kapilstan - History of Civilization; vol. pg. 645.
  • 12. For example: Tauheed of Sadooq chapter of Names of the Exalted God. From pg. 185 to 223; Similarly pg. 76, 65, 70, 98, 99 etc.
  • 13. In commentary of the chapter ‘Haadi Ashar’ it has come as such:
    ((وفي الحقيقة المعقول لنا من صفاته ليس الا السلوب و الاضافات و اماكنه ذاتة وصفاته، فمحجوب عن نظر العقول ولا يعلم ماهو الا هو))
    Miqdad ibn Abdulla Sayuri; An’naafe Yaum ul Hashr... pg. 18.
  • 14. Tauheed of Sadooq; pg. 65-99 and pg. l85-223.
  • 15. Usul al-Kafi; pg. 82, 84, 85 and Tauheed Sadooq; pg. 81, 101, 102, 104, 107.
  • 16. Dua al-Mashlul - Mafatihul Jenan.
  • 17. Dua al-Arafa - Imam Husayn (‘a) in Mafatihul Jenan
  • 18. Nahl: 52 & 53
  • 19. Bani Israel: 67
  • 20. For example Taghabun: 11 and Baqarah: l-2.
  • 21. Baqarah: 164, Yunus: 6, Ra’ad: 2 & 3, Nahl: 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 65-79, Bani Israel; 66, Taha; 54, Anbiya: 32, Shura: 8, Rum: 20-26, 46, Luqman: 31, Mu’men: 81. Sajdah: 53, Mu’min: 13, Furqan: 62, Zaariyaat: 49-55, Waqe’aa: 73,
    Yunus: 3, Ghasheya: 17-21, A’ala: 1-10
  • 22. First Section
  • 23. ليس العلم بالتعلم، إنما هو نور يقع في قلب من يريد الله تبارك وتعالى أن يهديه، فإن أردت العلم فاطلب أولا في نفسك حقيقة العبودية
    (Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 1; pg. 225). From the clear evidences of this tradition is ‘Ma’rifatullah’ just as guidance by way of precedance is true to the Ma’rifat of God. Another point which can be seen m this tradition it that preferent of servitude is for knowledge and guidance. This matter will be discussed in the “Third Method”.
  • 24. First and Second Section.
  • 25. The role of contemplation and rationalization and their importance in divine Ma’arif is not something which can be denied. But it does not mean that intellect in all the affairs is capable of achieving the truth independently and without the help of inspiration. Basically intellect (reason) cannot reach to the boundaries of the unseen and whatever is said about it is nothing more than mere conjecture and supposition. Among the unseens is the matter of notion of Essence, Attributes and Actions of Exalted God, which was discussed, in the first stage. If we pass over from this Set of Ma’arif then contemplation and thought with the aid of inspiration can traverse stages of recognition and Ma’rifat. Among them we may mention proof of existence of God, Monotheism (Tauheed), Prophethood, Imamat etc. Intellect is inaccessible to the injunctions but for discovering the aim of legislator and more important than that examining the ways for executing the injunctions, contemplation plays an important role.
  • 26. Fayumi - Mesbah al-Mnnir; pg. 661 and Jauheri - Mesbah; vol. 1; pg. 304 and Ibn Manzoor - Lesan al-Arab; vol. 3; pg. 54.
  • 27. Fars ibn Zacharia - Mu’jam Maqa’ees Lughat; vol. 2; pg. 3; similarly, Lesan Al-Arab vol. 3; pg. 54.
  • 28. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 3; pg. 259.
  • 29. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 3; pg. 259.
  • 30. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 3; pg. 147.
  • 31. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 3; pg. 148.
  • 32. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 3; pg. 266.
  • 33. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 3; pg. 147.
  • 34. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 3; pg. 257 chapter 9. Section three, first stage.
  • 35. Usul al-Kafi; vol. 1; pg. 76.
  • 36. Baqareh: l8 and 171, A’raf: 64, Naml: 66 and 81, Rum: 53, Fusselat: 17, Muhammad: 23.
  • 37. At the time when Hazrat Isa (‘a) was in Jerusalem having an argument with the obstinate army they told him: “Show us your God so that we become Jews.” Then Isa at that moment replied: “If you were having vision I would have showed Him any time, but since you are blind I am unable to show Him to you.” (Bible of Barnaba; Chapter 152; pg. 310)
  • 38. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 2; pg. 52.
  • 39. Usu1 al-Kafi; vol. 1; pg. 171.
  • 40. Shaikh Mufeed: Tasheeb ul Ehteqaad be sawaab ul Enteqaad, pg. 54.
  • 41. Shaikh Mufeed: Tasheeb ul Ehteqaad be sawaab ul Enteqaad, pg. 54.
  • 42. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 2; pg. 129 and 139.
  • 43. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 2; pg. 6 and 125
    ((... ذكر الصادق (عليه السلام) الجدال في الدين و أنَّ رسول الله (صلَّى الله عليه و آله) و الأئمة المعصومين (عليهم السلام) قد نهوا عنه، فقال الصادق (عليه السلام): لم ينه عنه مطلقا لكنه نهى عن الجدال بغير التي هي أحسن... و هل يؤتى بالبرهان إلا في الجدال بالتي هي أحسن؟ قيل يا ابن رسول الله فما الجدال بالتي هي أحسن و التي ليست بأحسن؟ قال أمَّا الجدال بغير التي هي أحسن أن تجادل مُبْطِلاً فيورد عليك باطلاً فلا تردَّه بحجة قد نصبها الله تعالى و لكن تجحد قوله، أو تجحد حقاً يريد ذلك المبطل أن يعين به باطله فتجحد ذلك الحق مخافة أن يكون له عليك فيه حجة لأنك لا تدري كيف المخلص منه، فذلك حرام على شيعتنا أن يصيروا فتنة على ضعفاء إخوانهم المبطلين... ))
    In continuation of the tradition, while explaining the above matter, it has made clear one of the disputation of Qur’an about the matter of the Day of Judgement and then says:
    فهذا الجدال بالتي هي أحسن لأن فيها قطع عذر الكافرين و إزالة شبههم...))
  • 44. Tauheed of Sadooq; pg. 74.
  • 45. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 2; pg. 136.
  • 46. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 2; pg. 130.
  • 47. Basically in the Ma’aaref of Holy Book and traditions where there is way for acquiring the lofty Ma’arif , instead of using the concepts of son, discussion, disputation and contention we find such terms as ‘Zekr’ (mentioning), ‘Mozakereh’ (conversation) and ‘Tazakkur’ (reminding) etc etc. which shows the special method of the Prophets in achieving the described reality. (Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 1; pg. 198 to 206 chapter of ‘Mozakeratul Elm’; traditions 6, 8, 11, 17, 18, 21 , 26, 36, 37, and Usul al-Kafi; vol. 2; pg. 186-188 chapter of ‘Tazakerul Akhawan’).
  • 48. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 2; chapter 17; pg. 124 61 traditions have been narrated with regards to this matter (traditions 3 to 14, 16, 19, 20, 22 to 24, 27, 30 to 32, 47 to 56, 58, 59, 61.
  • 49. Dr. Mohsin Jehangiri: “The appearance of theology and its position among the sciences” pg. 80-81. In this research article, verses in this regard are mentioned and historical evidences too are produced.
  • 50. Ibidem.
  • 51. Holy Qur’an: Taha: 14, Jumsh: 9, Maedeh: 91, A’ala: 14 & 15.
  • 52. Holy Qur’an: Ale-Imran: 51, Zukhruf: 64, Yasin: 61
  • 53. Dua Kumail, Ghurar al-Hakam, Dharul Kutub, Qum; vol. 2; pg. 479.
  • 54. Ghurar al-Hakam; vol. 1; pg. 25.
  • 55. Shaikh Saduq ‘Al-Khisal’ pg. 621.
  • 56. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 84; pg. 134.
  • 57. Shaikh Saduq ‘Elal ush Sharaye,’ pg. 114.
  • 58. Holy Qur’an: Nur: 54 and ‘A1-Khisal’ pg. 621.
  • 59. A1-Khisal; pg. 621.
  • 60. Elal ush Sharayeh; pg. 114.
  • 61. Usul al-Kafi; vol. 2; pg. 83.
  • 62. Holy Qur’an: A’ala: 14 & 15, Jumah: 10.
  • 63. Dua Kumail.
  • 64. Al-Khisal; pg. 621.
  • 65. Ghurar al Hakam; vol. 1; pg. 54.
  • 66. Ghurar al-Hakam; vol. 1; pg. 15
  • 67. Sharafuddin Dawud Qaisari - Rasa’el Qaisari - resalat-e-tawheed wa Nabuwwat wal Vilayat, chapter one pg. 24. The scholar Laahiji, in compiling the matter says commonly: “If the absolute enchanted one is intoxicated or has become exterminated then there remains no religious duties for him, and if he is from the perfect ones (which was referred to in the third section) then even though from the view-point of un-official guidance he is charged with the injunctions of the Shariat and the commandments and prohibitions are not removed from him yet, he is no more in need of following any means for his perfection because he has reached to the extreme end of his perfection: “Commentary of Gulistan-e-Raaz”
  • 68. The same question and want of its reply is the very one of the means of appearance of the two views of ‘Efraat wa Tafreet’ (going to two extremes) i.e. compulsion and freedom in the Theological centers of the Muslims. Of course, compulsion and freedom is having an ancient record among the human gnositcs and right from ancient times has drawn man’s thoughts towards it. However the apparent two-foldness of some of the verses of Qur’an especially in the matter of guidance on the one hand and the non-presentation of a plan comprehensive in this regard and the lack of separation between ‘divine guidance’ and ‘being guided’ on the other hand has not been ineffective in giving shape and intensifying the two schools of ‘Qadari’ (Free will) and ‘Jabri’ (determinists).
  • 69. Usul kafi; vol. 1; pg. 164.
  • 70. Driving Force: By Driving Force is meant everything, which impels man towards his goal. We have selected this term for the reason that in it, there does not exist a causal coercion meaning. In the traditions too, this term has been used in this same meaning. *-((سائقه))
    ((قال امير المؤمنين (عليه السلام): البغي، سائق الى الحين))
    Injustice and encroachment drives man towards destruction. Commentary of Ibn-Mitham on hundred sayings of Amir ul Mo’meneen Ali (‘a) pg. 129.
  • 71. Holy Qur’an: Baqarah: 89, l46, 2l3, 253, 254.
  • 72. Fredrik Kapilstan “History of Philosophy”; vol. 1; pg. 155.
  • 73. Aristotle: Good Morals.
  • 74. More discordant is that some are still intending to collect the views of Greek philosophers. If this method is having no objection for the ancients it is unforgivable for the modern ones. The view of “philosophical Unity” (of God) which was having a splended past is now having no attraction for the researchers of history of philosophy. Nowadays the works of Plato and Aristotle have been translated into various languages and their contradictions and differences have become clear and obvious for all. Aristotle in ‘Metaphysics’ has himself with decisiveness great vigor made an inroad in the belief of his predecessors like his master Plato and Socrates and criticizes their views severely which one of the cases is the above saying. Those who, for various reasons engage in explaining and collecting the opinions of the Greek sages, unwillingly impart this point that the philosopher have not understood their own and others views and so they criticize each other.
  • 75. History of Kapilstan’s philosophy; vol. 1; pg. 298.
  • 76. History of Kapilstan’s philosophy; pg. 299.
  • 77. Morals of Nikumakhs; Vol. 2; pg. 5.
  • 78. Morals Nikumakhs; vol. 2; pg. 5.
  • 79. For example the same above reference pg. 60 to 80.
  • 80. Morals of Nikamakhs; vol. 1; pg. 63.
  • 81. Morals of Nikamakhs; vol. 2; pg. 5 and vol. 1; pg. 67.
  • 82. Morals of Nikamakhs; vol. 2; pg. 4.
  • 83. For example:
    ((يا ايها الذين آمنوا بالله و رسوله))
    Holy Qur’an: Nisa: 136 The first faith gives the meaning of confession and the second faith gives the meaning of heartly confirmation and the meaning of verse is as such: “O’ those who have confessed to the rightfulness of the religion of God, confirm it too by the heart. Similarly, Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 68; pg. 273. In that tradition another verse too has been mentioned in this regard.
  • 84. For example:
    ((يا ايها الذين آمَنوا آمِنوا بالله و رسوله))
    Holy Qur’an: Nisa:136 The first faith gives the meaning of confession and the second faith gives the meaning of heartly confirmation and the meaning of verse is as such: “O those who have confessed to the rightfulness of the religion of God, confirm it too by the heart.”Similarly, Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 68; pg. 273. In that tradition another verse too has been mentioned in this regard.
  • 85. For example: Holy Qur’an: Baqarah: 143
    ((ما كان ليضيع ايمانكم))
    “ After the change in the direction of ‘Qibla’ the Muslims asked Holy Prophet (S) whether their prayer in the direction of ‘Baitul Muqaddas’ had become void or not? In reply, the afore-said verse was revealed. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 68; pg. 274 and vol. 69; pg. 77, 78
  • 86. For example: Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 68; pg. 262 last line; pg. 270; tradition 26 and pg. 277, 299 tradition 27 and vol. 69; pg. 73.
  • 87. For example: Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 68; pg. 256, 259, 296 and vol. 69; pg. 63; tradition 7; pg. 73; tradition 28
  • 88. Traditions which have described the qualities of the believers. For example from Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 68; chapter 19 ‘Qualities of Shia’.
  • 89. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 68; chapter 26 - “Difference between faith and Islam.” In this chapter besides the verses of Qur’an, 56 traditions have been narrated. Moreover Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 69; chapter 30: “Surely action (deed) is part of faith.” Besides verses of Qur’an 30 traditions have been narrated. Most of these traditions bear witness to the afore-said meanings.
  • 90. The materialistic philosophers and psychologists in their study of human beings have come to this conclusion that man is a perfect and complicated animal. Of course they cannot be considered as wrong because materialistic thought and belief do not basically possess the power of distinguishing and describing the truth and the sublime it knowledge. At times, they interpret themselves. However, they too should consider us right for considering man to be a divine creature because a believer is assisted by God and moves towards Him. Basically, from divine view-point one cannot have a specific definition for all the human beings because man is in motion and fluctuating between the two extremes of “lowest than an animal” and “highest than an angel”.
  • 91. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 68; pg. 282.
  • 92. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 68; pg. 265.
  • 93. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 68; pg. 256, 291 and vol. 9; pg. 65, 69.
  • 94. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 68; pg. 273 and vol. 69; pg. 68; tradition 21.
  • 95. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 68; pg. 251.
  • 96. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 69; pg. 72.
  • 97. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 69; pg. 72.
  • 98. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 69; pg. 196.
  • 99. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 68; pg. 273, 274.
  • 100. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 68; pg. 273, 274.
  • 101. Holy Qur’an: Mujadala: 22, Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 69; pg. 200; tradition 22.
  • 102. For example: Holy Qur’an: Hujarat:14, Nisa: 136, Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 68; chapter 24: “difference between Faith and Islam” pg. 225 till 309; vol. 69; chapter 30: “Surely action is part of Faith is scattered over the organs” pg. l8 to 149.
  • 103. For example: Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 69; pg. 19, 178, 198
  • 104. Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 69; pg. 194.
  • 105. Holy Qur’an: Anfal: 3, Fath: 5, Bara’at:124, 125; Mujadala: l2, Ahzaab: 22, Baqarah: 261, Ale-Imran: 173, Waqe’ah: 8-l0, Muddaair: 31, and Bihar al-Anwar; vol. 69; chapter 32 - “Levels of Faith and realities pg. 154 and chapter 33 - “Tranquility and spirit of Faith and its excesses and deficiencies pg. 175.