Some Comments On The Blessed Sūrah Of Al-Qadr As Much As They Suit These Papers
He, the Exalted, says: “We revealed it on the night of al-Qadr.” Lofty matters are there in this noble āyah, to refer to some of which is not without advantage.
The first matter is that this āyah and many of noble āyahs ascribe the revelation of the Qur'an to the Sacred Essence of Allah Himself, as He says:
“We have revealed it in a blessed night,”1
“We have revealed the Reminder and we will be its guardian,”2
And similar noble āyahs. In some other āyahs it is ascribed to Gabriel, the Faithful Spirit, as He says:
“The Faithful Spirit descended with it.”3
The literalist scholars in these instances say that this is metaphorical, similar to:
“…O Hāmān! Build for me a tower…”4
Ascribing the revelation, for example, to Allah is because His Sacred Essence was the cause and the one, who commanded it to be revealed, or the ascription of the revelation to Allah is real, and as the Faithful Spirit is the means, it is metaphorically ascribed to him. This is because they regard ascribing Allah's act to the creatures to be like ascribing a creature's act to another creature.
Thus, the tasks of Izrael and Gabriel are ascribed to Allah, the Exalted, as the task of Hāmān is ascribed to Pharaoh, and the tasks of the builders and the constructors to Hāmān. But this is an analogy that is completely false and differential. Comprehending ascribing (a creature's) creation to Allah and the act of a creature to the Creator is among the important branches of theology and philosophy, through which a lot of problems are solved, including fatalism and free will, of which this matter is a branch.
It must be noted that it has been proved and confirmed in the high sciences that all the House of Realization and phases of existence are the image [sūrat] of the Holy Emanation, which is the luminous manifestation of Allah. As the Luminous Relation [idāfa-i ishrāqiyyah] is mere relation and pure dependence [faqr] its individuations and images are mere relations, too, having neither identity [haythiyyat] nor independence of their own.
In another expression, the whole House of Realization is, essentially, attributively and actually, vanished in Allah, because if a being was independent in a personal affair of his, whether in the existential identity or in any of its other affairs, he would be out of the limits of possibility, and would be changed into essential necessity, which is an obvious falsity.
If this divine grace is implanted in the heart and the heart tastes it as it deserves, a secret of Qadar (fate, predestination) will be exposed to him, and a delicate aspect of the truth of “a matter between two matters” (amr-un bayn al-amrayn) will be disclosed to him.
So, the effects and the acts of perfection can be attributed to the creature as they similarly can be attributed to Allah, without resorting to metaphor on either side, and this is realized in the view of Unity [wahdat] and multiplicity [kathrat] and joining between the two matters. But, the one who is in mere multiplicity [kathrat] and veiled off Unity, ascribes the act to the creature, heedless of Allah, as we, the veiled, are.
The one in whose heart Unity [wahdat] is manifested, will be veiled against the creatures, and will ascribe all acts to Allah, while the gnostic researcher joins between “Unity” and “multiplicity.” At the same time of attributing the act to Allah, without resorting to the blemish of metaphor, he also attributes it to the creature, without the blemish of metaphor. The noble āyah:
“…And you threw not when you did throw, but Allah threw,”5
In which, while confirming the throwing, negates it, and while negating the throwing, confirms it, is a reference to the way of the great gnostics and their strict faithful method. Our referring to the acts and effects of perfection, excluding the shortcomings, was because the shortcomings' recourse is to the privations, which are of the individuations [ta'ayyunāt] of existence, and are not attributed to Allah, except accidentally [bil'arad]. Going into the details of this subject is not possible in these papers.
Now that this introduction has been understood, the attribution of “revelation” [tanzīl] to Allah and Gabriel, and the “bringing to life” [ihyā'] to Seraphiel and Allah, and the “bringing death” [imātah] to Izrael and the angels in charge of the souls and to Allah, can also be easily understood. There are many references to this matter in the noble Qur'an.
It is part of the Qur'an's Knowledge [ma'ārif] of which there was no trace in the books of the wise men and the philosophers before this Glorious Book, and the human family is indebted to the gift of this Divine Book in this respect, like other divine, Qur'anic Knowledge [ma'ārif].
The second matter is the use of the plural pronoun: “We revealed.” The point here is to aggrandize the state of Allah, the Exalted, as the revealer of this noble Book. It may be that this plurality refers to a nominal plurality denoting that Allah, the Exalted, with all the affairs of His Names and Attributes, is the originator of this noble Book.
For this reason, this noble Book is the image of the Collective Oneness of all the Names and Attributes, and is the introducer of the Holy state [maqām] of Allah in all affairs [shu'ūn] and manifestations. In other words, this luminous Book is the image of the Greatest Name, as is the Perfect Man, or rather, the truth of these two, in the Unseen [hadrat-i ghayb], is the same, while in the world of separation they separate in respect of the image, although in respect of concept they do not separate.
This is a meaning of: “They would not separate until they come to me at the Pool.”6 As Allah with the hands of Majesty and Beauty fermented the clay of the First Man, the Perfect Man, with the hands of Beauty and Majesty, revealed the Complete Book, the Comprehensive Qur'an.
Probably it is for this reason that it was called the Qur'an, because the state of Oneness [ahadiyyat] is the Union of Unity and multiplicity, [jam'-i wahdat wa kathrat], and it is for this reason that this Book can neither be abrogated nor ruptured, because the Greatest Name and its manifestations are eternal and everlasting, and all Sharī'ahs call to this Muhammadan Sharī'ah and guardianship [wilāyah].
It is probable that as it is said: “We revealed,” on the same basis:
“We offered the trust…”7
Is said in the first person plural, since “the trust,” according to its inside, is the truth of guardianship, and, according to its outside, is the Sharī'ah, Islam, Qur'an or the salāt.
The third matter is a brief about the revelation of the Qur'an. It is of the delicacies [latāyif] of divine sciences [ma'ārif] and of the secrets of religious facts that only few can scientifically get some information about them, except the perfect godly men, at the head of whom is the very person of the Seal of the Prophets (s), and then, with his assistance, the others of the godly men and the people of knowledge.
No other one can, by way of intellectual intuition, know this divine delicacy [latīfah], because this truth cannot be discerned except by attaining to the world of inspiration and getting out of the limits of the worlds of possibility. We shall, in this stage, refer to this truth by way of hints and expressive allegories.
It must be noted that the hearts which travel to Allah by way of spiritual sulūk and internal journey, and migrate from the dark station of the self and from the house of I-ness and selfishness, are, generally, divided into two groups.
First, those who, after finishing their travel to Allah, death overtakes them, and they remain in the state of attraction, annihilation and death. The reward of this group is with Allah, and it is Allah. They are the beloved who perish under the “domes [qibāb] of Allah.” No one knows them, and they have connection to nobody. They know none but Allah: “My friends are under My domes, no one knows them other than Me.”8
The second group is those who, having completed their journey to Allah and in Allah, became fit to return to themselves and be subject to a state of sobriety and intelligence. They are those whose aptitude, according to the manifestation by the Holiest Emanation, which is the secret of qadr, has been predetermined, and they have been chosen for perfecting the servants and engendering prosperity in the regions.
Having communicated with His knowledge [hadrat-i 'ilmiyyah] and returned to real entities, they disclosed the journey of the entities and their communication [ittisāl] with His Holiness [hadrat-i quds], and their travel to Allah and to happiness, receiving the honorable robe [khal'at] of prophethood. This disclosure [kashf] is a divine revelation [wahy], before descending to the world of Gabrielic revelation.
After turning from this world towards the descending worlds, they disclose what is in the High Pens and Holy Tablets, in proportion to their comprehension of knowledge and growth of perfection, which belong to the Names [hadarāt-i asmā'iyyah]. The difference of Sharī'ahs and prophethoods, or rather all differences, stem from there.
In this stage it sometimes happens that the Unseen Truth and the Holy Secret, proved in His Knowledge [hadrat-i 'ilmiyyah] and the High Pens and Tablets, descend, by way of the unseen of their souls and the secret of their honorable spirits, by means of the Angel of Revelation, Gabriel, into their blessed hearts.
Sometimes Gabriel appears in an “ideal image” [tamaththul-i mithālī] in the “Ideal” [hadrat-i mithāl] to them, and sometimes he takes a “worldly image,” appearing from the hidden place [makān] of the Unseen, by that truth to the scene of the world of visibility, bringing down that divine delicacy [latīfah].
The receiver [sāhib] of the revelation, in each of the emergences [nasha'āt], understands and discerns in a certain way: in a way in His Knowledge [hadrat-i 'ilmiyyah], and in different ways in the entities [hadrat-i a'yān], in the Pens [hadarāt-i aqlām] in the Tablets [hadrat-i alwāh] in the “Ideal” [hadrat-i mithāl], in the Common Sense, and in the absolute visibilities [shahādāt].
These are the seven stages of descension, which may be related to the hadīth that the Qur'an has descended on “seven letters,”9 which does not contradict the hadīth: “The Qur'an is one, revealed from the One,”10 as is known. This state, however, requires to be expanded upon, but not here.
The fourth matter concerns the secret of the third person singular pronoun “it” [hā] in “We revealed it.” As is known, the Qur'an has passed, before being descended to this emergence [nash'ah] through stages and entities [kaynūnat]. Its first stage was its entity in the Knowledge [kaynūnat-i 'ilmiyyah] in the Unseen by the speaking of His Essence and by His Self-Arguing [muqāri'at-i dhātiyyah] by way of the “Collective Oneness” [ahādiyyat-i jam'].
And the said pronoun may be a reference to that state, as, in order to show that precept, He used the third person pronoun, as if to say that this very Qur'an which was revealed on “the night of qadr” is the same scholarly Qur'an, in the unseen secret hidden in the emergence of Knowledge [nash'at-i 'ilmiyyah], and which was descended from those stages, in one of which it was united with the Essence and was of the manifestations of the Names.
This apparent truth is that divine secret, and this Book, which has appeared in the uniform of words and expressions, in the stage of Essence is in the image of the Essential manifestations, and, in the stage of Action, is the very manifestation of Act, as the Commander of the Believers ('Alī) ('a) said: “His words are His act.”11
The fifth matter concerns “the night of qadr,” about which there are many discussions and uncountable pieces of information, which have been expanded upon by the great scholars (may Allah be pleased with them) according to their diverse ways and methods. In these pages we shall briefly relate some of them. As to the matters that they did not mention, we shall refer to them within our relating other matters.
As regards the naming of “the night of qadr,” the scholars have different opinions. Some say that as it is honorable and great, and as the Qur'an is great, brought down (in it) by a great angel, to a great Messenger, for a great ummah, it was called “Laylat 'ul-Qadr” (the Night of Majesty).
Some say that it is called “the Night of Measure” because the affairs, the life-terms and the provisions of the people are “measured” in that very night.
Some say that as the angels on that night are so numerous (in the earth) that it is as if the earth is strictly “measured” for them, it is called al-Qadr, and that is like:
“And he whose provision is measured.”12
These are some of the opinions concerning this subject. About each of them there have been researches, a hint at which is not without advantage.
As to the first opinion, i.e. that night being honorable and great, know that many things are said in this respect, to the effect that, as regards time and place in general, some are honorable and some are not, some are lucky and some are unlucky. But is this a natural and intrinsic characteristic of time and place, or is it because happy and unhappy events happen in them, and, consequently they are so described?
Although this is not a noble and important topic, and to expand upon it is not advantageous, yet, we shall briefly refer to it. What gives priority to the first possibility is that some narratives and āyahs which apparently regard time and place either honorable or unlucky, confirm this to be intrinsic, not a characteristic belonging to the particular condition. So, as there is no rational objection, they can be taken according to their apparent meanings.
What gives priority to the second possibility is that the truth of time and place is a single one, or even their entity (personality) is one, too. Such being the case, it will not be possible that a single person can be divided and be different in status [hukm]. Therefore, it is inevitable to take what is said about time and place as lucky or unlucky as caused by the events and happenings taking place in them.
But this is not provable, because although time is a single entity, yet, as it gradually expands and is measurable; there can be no objection that some part of it is different in status and effect from another part. There is no evidence that a person, whoever he may be, cannot enjoy two statuses and two effects, rather the contrary is apparent.
For example, the human beings, although every one of them is a single person, yet, there are many differences in their corporeal features, like the skin, the brain and the heart, as these are more delicate and honored than the other organs. Similarly, some of the internal and external powers are more honorable than others. This is because man, in this world, is not apparently known as having a complete unity, though single in person. But as apparently he is known of multiplicity, he can have different statuses.
The priority of the first possibility is not, however, an agreeably correct one, because this opinion is based, for example, on “the originality of appearance” [isalāt uz-zuhūr] and “the originality of the truth,” [isalāt ul-haqīqah], whereas methodically it is known that “the originality of the truth” and “the originality of appearance” are used when there is a doubt in the objective for the purpose of making sure of the objective, not that they should confirm the objective after that it had already been known. So, consider.13
Therefore, both aspects are possible, but the second aspect seems preferable. Consequently, “the night of qadr” was described as “the honored night” because it was the night of the meeting of the Sealing Prophet, the night on which the real lover reached his Beloved. In the former discussions it was noted that the descension of the angels and the revelation was after the annihilation and the real proximity. From many narratives and noble āyahs it can be gathered that the luckiness and unluckiness of times and places are because of the events which take place in them. This can be realized by referring to them, although some of them also denote their intrinsic honor.
The other possibility for naming “the night of qadr” is because the affairs of the days of the year are measured on that night. So, know that the truth of “Fate” [qadā] and “Destiny” (Divine Decree = qadar), its quality and its stages of appearance, are of the greatest and noblest divine knowledge, and it is because of their extreme exactness and nicety that deeply thinking about them is not allowed for the human race as it causes bewilderment and straying.
Therefore, this truth is to be regarded of the religious secrets and the deposits of Prophethood, and one is to refrain from conducting scrutinizing research about it. We refer here only to a subject suiting this stage. That is, although the measurement of the affairs has been estimated from the very beginning in the knowledge of Allah, the Exalted, and it is not of the gradual matters in respect of the pure state of the divine knowledge, then, what does ”taqdīr” in every year and in a particular night mean?
Know that “Fate” and “Divine Decree” are of degrees, and according to those degrees and emergences [nasha'āt] they differ in their status. The first degree is the facts that are judged (evaluated) and measured in His Knowledge by the manifestation in “The Holiest Emanation” in the wake of the appearance of the Names and Attributes. Afterwards, by the High Pens and in the High Tablets, according to the appearance, and by the manifestation of the Act, they are ordained and confirmed.
No changes and alterations may happen in these degrees. The inevitable and unchangeable decrees [qadā] are the abstract facts happening in the entities [hadarāt-i a'yān] and in the emergence [nash'ah] of His Knowledge and descending to the abstract Pens and Tablets. Afterwards, the facts appear in isthmus [barzakhiyyah] and ideal [mithāliyyah] images in other Tablets and in a lower world, which is the world of “the distinct imagination” [khiyāl-i munfasil] and “the universal imagination” [khiyāl 'ul-kull] the world which, according to the method of the illuminationist philosophers, is called “The World of the Suspended Ideas” ['ālam-i muthul-i mu'allaqah].
In such a world changes and differences are possible to happen, or actually they do happen. After that, the evaluations [taqdīrāt] and measurings take place by means of the angels in charge of the world of nature. In this Tablet of Fate there are continual changes and alterations, or rather it is, in itself, a flowing form and a passing, gradual fact.
In this lawh (Tablet) the facts can be strong or weak, and the movements may be swift, slow, accelerated or decreased. Nevertheless, the “near-to-Allah” [yalillāhī] aspect, the unseen aspect, of these very things which is the aspect of tadallī (suspension) to Allah, and it is the form of the appearance of the “Spread Emanation” [fayd-i munbasit] and the “Extended Shade” [zill-i mamdūd], and the truth of Allah's “Active Knowledge” there can occur in it no change or alteration.
In short, all the changes, alterations, additions to the lives, and measuring (the peoples') provisions are, as the philosophers believe, in the lawh of “the qadr of knowledge” [qadr-i 'ilmī], which is “the world of ideas” while to the writer, they are in the lawh of “the qadr of objectivity” [qadr-i 'aynī], which is the very place of the measurements done by the angels in charge of it.
Therefore, there is no objection [māni'] that, as “the night of qadr” is the night of full attention of the “perfect guardian” [walīyy-i kāmil] and of the appearance of his heavenly sovereignty, changes and alterations may happen in it, in the world of nature through the honorable person of the “perfect guardian” and the Imām of each era and the pole [qutb] of the time who, in our time, is “Allah's Remainder” [baqiyyatullāh] in the worlds (earths, lands = aradīn), our Master, Patron, Imām, and Guide, the Proof, the son of al-Hasan al-'Askarī, may our souls be ransom for his coming.
So, he may accelerate or slow any individual part of nature that he desires, and enlarge or straiten any provision he wills. And this will is that of the Haqq, and is the shadow and the rays of the Eternal Will and follows the Divine commands, as the angels of Allah, too, can do (change) nothing by themselves. Every act (change = tasarruf), rather every particle of existence, is of Allah and of His unseen grace [latīfah]:
“So keep straight as you are commanded.”14
As to what has been said concerning the other possibility of naming “the night of qadr,” i.e. it was so called because the earth seems too much narrow with the throng of the angels on that night, this point is a far-fetched one, despite the fact that Khalīl ibn Ahmad,15 the wonder of the time, may Allah's pleasure be upon him, says that what can be discussed is that the angels are not of the kind of the world of nature and matter, so what does it mean to say that the earth seemed narrow?
However, such matters have been related in some noble narrations, like the case of the funeral procession of Sa'd ibn Mu'ādh,16 may Allah be pleased with him, or the angels' spreading their wings for the students of knowledge.17 This is when the angels appear in the assimilation [tamaththul] of “Ideal Images,” descending from the unseen world to the “World of Ideals” ['ālam-i mithāl] and narrowing the dominion of the earth, or it is probably their worldly assimilation in the kingdom of the earth, although this still cannot be seen by the natural animal eyes. However, the narrowing is on the basis of “Ideal” [mithāliyyah] or “worldly” [mulkiyyah] assimilation.
The second matter concerns the truth of “the night of qadr.” Know that every spiritual grace has a reality, and for every worldly form there is a heavenly and unseen interior. People of knowledge say that the stages of the descension of the truth of the existence, in respect of the setting of the sun of the truth in the horizon of individuations, are “nights,” whereas the stages of ascension, in respect of the rising of the sun of the truth in the horizons of individuations, are “days.” Hence, the honor and the unluckiness of the “days” and the “nights” are, accordingly, clearly known.
According to another aspect, the arch of descension is the Muhammadan “Night of Qadr.” and the arch of ascension is the Ahmadian “Resurrection Day,” because these two arches are the extension of the light of the “Expanded Emanation” [fayd-i munbasit], which is “the Muhammadan Truth” [haqīqat-i muhammadiyyah], and all the individuations [ta'ayyunāt] are of the First Individuation of “the Greatest Name.”
So, from the point of view of Unity [wahdat], the world is the “Night of Qadr” and the “Day of Resurrection,” and it is no more than a single night and day, which is the entire House of Realization, the Muhammadan “Night of Qadr” and the Ahmadan “Day of Resurrection.” The one who is assured of this truth will always be in the “Night of Qadr” and in the “Day of Resurrection,” and these two become united.
From the point of view of multiplicity, there will be nights and days. Some nights have qadr (greatness, dignity) and some have not. Among all the nights, the Ahmadan constitution [bunyah], the Muhammadan individuation (s) into whose horizon has set the light of the truth of existence, with all the affairs, Names and Attributes, and with full luminosity and entire truth is the absolute night of qadr, as the Muhammadan day is the absolute Day of Resurrection. Other days and nights are limited ones. The Qur'an's revelation [nuzūl] to this noble constitution [bunyah] and pure heart is the revelation [nuzūl] in the “night of qadr.” So, the Qur'an was revealed both in full in “the night of qadr,” by way of complete and absolute disclosure, and in parts along twenty-three years in “the night of qadr.”
The gnostic Shaykh, the Shāhābādī18 (may he live longer), used to say that the Muhammadan period is “the Night of Qadr,” that is, all the periods of existence are the Muhammadan period, or it is because in this period the perfect Muhammadan poles, the infallible guiding Imāms ('a), are “the nights of qadr.” What proves our suggested possibility concerning the truth of “the night of qadr” is the lengthy noble hadīth which is quoted in al-Burhān Exegesis from the noble al-Kāfī, in which it is said that when a Christian asked Imām Mūsā ibn Ja'far about the hidden explanation of
“Hā Mīm! (I swear) By the explaining Book. We revealed it on a blessed night Surely We are ever warning. There in every wise affair is made distinct,”19
He replied: As to “Hā Mīm,” it is Muhammad (s) “The explaining Book' is Amīr al-Mu'minīn 'Alī ('a), and “the night” is Fātimah ('a).”20
In another narrative it is said that “the ten nights” are interpreted to be the pure Imāms from al-Hasan to al-Hasan.21 This is one of the degrees of “the night of qadr” to which Imām Mūsā ibn Ja'far referred, testifying that “the night of qadr” was the entire Muhammadan period.
In Al-Burhān Exegesis there is a narrative from Imām al-Bāqir ('a). Being a noble hadīth referring to several pieces of information, disclosing important secrets, we, owing to its blessedness, relate it in full:
The author (may Allah have mercy upon him), quoting Shaykh Abu Ja'far at-Tūsī, from his men, from 'Abdullāh ibn 'Ajlān as-Sakūnī, said: “I heard Abu Ja'far ('a) say: The house of 'Alī and Fātimah is the room of the Messenger of Allah (s), and the roof of their house is the 'Arsh of the Lord of the worlds. And at the bottom of their house there is an uncovered opening to the 'Arsh, the mi'rāj of revelation; and the angels bring down revelation upon them in the morning and in the evening and every hour and twinkle of an eye.
The angels are in ceaseless groups, some descending and some ascending. And Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, disclosed to Ibrāhīm the heavens till he saw the 'Arsh and He increased his seeing power. And Allah increased the seeing power of Muhammad, 'Alī, Fātimah, al-Hasan and al-Husayn ('a). They used to see the 'Arsh and they found no roof over their houses except the 'Arsh. Their houses were roofed with the 'Arsh of the Beneficent, and the ascensions of the angels and the Spirit in them, with the permission of their Lord, for every affair in peace. 'I said: “for every affair'.” He said: 'In every affair.' I said: 'Is that revelation?' He said: 'Yes'.”22
Contemplating on this noble hadīth will open doors of knowledge in the face of the deserving people and discloses parts of the truth of guardianship and of the hidden inside of “the night of qadr.”
The third matter: Know that as “the night of qadr” has a truth and an inside, as it has been mentioned, it also has a form and an appearance, or even appearances in the world of nature. But as appearances can differ in respect of their shortcomings and perfections, from the narratives and hadīths about specifying “the night of qadr” can be deduced that all the noble nights specified in those narratives are of the appearances of “the night of qadr,” except that they differ from one another in respect of their honor and perfection of appearance, while that noble night, which is the full appearance of “the night of qadr,” the night of the complete joining [wasl] and the perfect attainment [wusūl] of the Last Prophet, is hidden in the whole year, in the blessed month of Ramadān, in its last ten (nights) or in the “three nights.”
The narratives of the Elite [khāssah] and the public ['āmmah] also differ. The Elite narrate, with uncertainty, that it is on the nights of the nineteenth, twenty-first and twenty-third (of Ramadān), and sometimes they waver between the night of the twenty-first and the twenty-third.
Shihāb ibn 'Abdu Rabbih says: I asked Imām Ja'far as-Sādiq ('a) to tell me about “the Night of Qadr.” He said: “the night of the twenty-first and the night of the twenty-third.”23
'Abdul Wāhid ibn al-Mukhtār al-Ansārī says: “I asked Imām al-Bāqir ('a) about 'the night of qadr.' He said: 'it is on two nights: the night of the twenty-third and the night of the twenty-first,' I said: 'Name only one of them.'He said: 'What if you do something on the two nights of which one is 'the Night of Qadr?' ”24
Hassān ibn Abū 'Alī says: “I asked Imām as-Sādiq ('a) about 'the Night of Qadr'. He said: “Get it on the nineteenth, twenty-first and twenty-third.”25
The devotee and pious “Sayyid” (may Allah be pleased with him) in Iqbāl says: “Know that it is the night of the twenty-third of the month of Ramadān. There are explicit narratives that it is 'the Night of Qadr' by revelation and declaration. Of that I relate, on my authority up to Sufyān ibn as-Sit (or as-Simt) who said: “I asked Imām Ja'far as-Sādiq ('a) to tell me which was 'the Night of Qadr' exactly.” He said: “The night of the twenty-third.” Another is to narrate, on my authority up to Zurārah, quoting 'Abdul Wāhid ibn al-Mukhtār al-Ansārī, who said: “I asked Imām al-Bāqir ('a) about 'the Night of Qadr.'
He said: “By Allah I tell you with no ambiguity, it is the first night of the last seven nights.” Zurārah was further quoted to have said that the month which the Imām mentioned had twenty-nine days.2627 After that other narratives are related to the effect that “the Night of Qadr” is the night of the twenty-third (of Ramadān), such as the case of Juhanī,28 which is well known.
As it has been said in respect of the two previously explained blessed sūrahs, it is more obvious that the bismillāh of each sūrah belongs to it. Therefore, in the blessed sūrah of al-Qadr it means: “We revealed the noble Qur'anic truth, the Sacred Divine Grace [latīfah], in the Name of Allah, which is the 'Collective Truth of the Names' and the Greatest Name of the Lord, individuated by the absolute mercy of Rahmān and Rahīm, on the Muhammadan night of qadr.”
That is, the appearance of the Qur'an follows the “Collective Appearance” [zuhūr-i jam'ī] of the Divinity and the “Contraction” [qabd] and “Expansion” [bast] of “Mercifulness” [rahīmiyyat) and “Beneficence” [rahmāniyyat]. Rather, the truth of the Qur'an is the state of the appearance of the Greatest Name of Allah through the appearance of the “Beneficence” and the “Mercifulness,” and is the “collector of the union and distinctness” [jāmi'-i jam'u tafsīl).
Consequently, this noble Book is “Qur'an” and “Furqān” (distinguisher), similar to the spirituality of the Seal of the Prophets and his sacred state of guardianship, which are also ”Qur'an” and ”Furqān” and the state of the “Oneness of Collectivity and Distinctness” [ahadiyyat-i jam' wa tafsīl].
So, it seems that the Sacred Essence, according to this possibility, says: “We have with the manifestation of the state of the Greatest Name, which is the state of the “Oneness of Collectivity and Distinctness” [ahadiyyat-i jam' wa tafsīl], with the appearance of the mercy of the Beneficent and the Merciful revealed the Qur'an on the Muhammadan night of qadr.
And as in the world of distinction [farq], or rather, the distinction of distinction, there was a distinction [furqāniyyat] between the two “Qur'ans,” i.e., the revealed and written Qur'an, and the Qur'an revealed to him, that is, the “Divine Book” and the “Muhammadan truth,” we united between the two Qur'ans and joined the two Furqāns in the night of union [wisāl], and on this consideration, this night was called 'the night of qadr,' but its actual meritorious status, as it is, cannot be recognized by anybody except by the very Seal of the Prophets (s), who is the owner of 'the night of qadr' in person, as well as his infallible successors, who are its owner, too, through him.”
Some Narratives Concerning the Merits of “the Night of Qadr”
Among them are those narrated by the knower of Allah, Sayyid ibn Tāwūs (may Allah be pleased with him) in his noble Book Iqbāl al-A'māl. He says: “I found in the book, called Yawāqīt, by Abū 'l-Fadl ibn Muhammad al-Hirawī, some narratives on the merits of “the night of qadr.” Then he quotes from it a narrative from the Messenger of Allah (s) as to have said: “Moses said: 'O Allah! I desire your proximity.' Allah said: 'My proximity is for the one who keeps awake on 'the night of qadr.' He said: 'O Allah! I wish for your mercy.'
Allah said: 'My mercy is for the one who shows mercy to the poor on `the night of qadr.' He said: 'O Allah! I want to cross the Sirāt [the (Right) Path]'. He said: 'That is for the one who gives out a sadaqah on 'the night of qadr.' He said: 'O Allah.' I want of the trees and fruits of Paradise.' Allah said: 'They are for the one who glorifies (Me) on 'the night of qadr.' He said: 'I want to be delivered.' Allah said: 'From the Fire?' 'Yes,' he said. Allah said: 'It is for the one who asks forgiveness on 'the night of qadr.' He said: 'O Allah! I ask for your pleasure.' Allah said: 'I would be pleased with the one who performs two rak'ahs of salāt on 'the night of qadr'.”
The same book, quoting the Messenger of Allah (s), also says: “The doors of the heaven are opened on 'the night of qadr. No servant may perform the salāt on it unless Allah, the Exalted, writes down for him, for every sajdah a tree in Paradise, such that if a horseman rides under its shadow for a hundred years he will not finish it, for every rak'ah (or rukū') a house, in Paradise, made of quartzes, rubbies, chrysolites and pearls, for every āyah a paradisiac crown, for every glorifying one of the precious birds, for every sitting one of the paradisiac degrees, for every tashahhud a paradasiac room and for every taslīm a garment from paradise.
And when the column of dawn bursts out, Allah will grant him (in Paradise) sociable women (wives) whose bosoms bulge out from behind the dress, educated and good-behaving maids, eternal boys, noble birds, fragrant flowers, flowing rivers, pleasing graces, gifts, presents, coats of honor, wonders and whatever the heart desires and pleases the eye, in which you will eternally live.”
Quoting Imām al-Bāqir ('a), the same book says: “Whoever remains in 'the night of qadr' awake, his sins will be forgiven, even if as many as the stars of the sky, and as heavy as the mountains or the weight of the seas.”29 The narratives about its merits are too many to be included in these papers.
His saying: “And how do you know what the night of qadr is!” is a construction intended to denote honoring, tributing and paying homage to the greatness of the subject and the truth, especially when considering the addresser and the addressee. Although the addresser is Allah, the Exalted, and the addressee is the Messenger of Allah (s), yet, the subject is sometimes so glorious that it is impossible to contain it with the construction of words and expressions.
It is as if He says, “You know not how great the truth of the night of qadr is!” It cannot be explained in arranged words and letters, as they are incapable of containing it. Therefore, He just used “How” [mā] to denote that greatness, trying not to describe it, only saying that “the night of qadr is better than a thousand months,” that is, He introduces it by referring to its characteristics and effects, since telling its truth is not possible.
Hence, one may well guess that the truth of the night of qadr and its inside are different from its external form, though its external form is great and important, too, but not to the extent of addressing the Messenger of Allah, the absolute guardian and the informed of all worlds, in this way.
If you say: On the basis of the said possibility that the inside of “the night of qadr” is the very truth and constitution of the Messenger of Allah (s), in which the sun of truth, in all its affairs, is hidden, then the objection will be higher, because it will not be possible to tell him: “How do you know what 'the night of qadr,' which is your own visible form, is?”
I will say: This subject has a secret. This delicate point has an inner meaning
“For him who has heart or gives ear and is a witness.”30
Know, dear, that in the inside of the real “night of qadr,” i.e., the constitution and the visible form, or the immutable essence of Muhammad ['ayn-i thābit-i muhammadī] (s), there is manifested the Greatest Name and the Divine Collective Oneness.
Therefore, as long as the traveling-to-Allah servant, that is, the Sealing Messenger (s), is still inside his own veil, he will not be able to witness that inside and truth, as the same was said about Moses, the son of 'Imrān, ('a) in the Glorious Qur'an:
“You will never see me,”31
Despite the fact that Moses witnessed the manifestation in Essence or in Attributes, as in: “When his Lord manifested (His glory) to the mountain, He made it crumble to dust, and Moses fell down in a swoon,”32 or in the great noble invocation of Simāt, as is quite obvious. There is also the note: “O Moses, as long as you are in your Mūsawiyan veil and in your concealment [ihtijāb], you will have no chance of witnessing.
Witnessing the Beauty of the Beautiful is possible for the one who has come out of himself, because having come out of himself, he would see with the Haqq's eye, and the Haqq's eye would be seeing the Haqq. So, the manifestation of the Greatest Name, which is the perfect form of “the night of qadr,” cannot be seen through one's concealment [ihtijāb]. Therefore, this expression is, according to the mentioned verification, correct and fitting.
If you say: “the night of qadr is the very Ahmadan constitution in view of the fact that in him the sun of the truth is hidden, not the sun itself” that the said justification may be correct.
I will say: “According to the people of insight, the thing-ness of a thing depends on its form of perfection, and that the things with reasons, [asbāb] especially divine reason [sabab], their truth cannot be recognized without recognizing their reasons.
In view of the people of knowledge, the correlation between the outside and the inside, manifestation and the manifesting, is not like that of two separate matters, because a truth may sometimes have an external manifestation, and sometimes an internal manifestation, as the well-known gnostic says:
We are non-existents showing existence, you are the Absolute Being and our existence.
As the gnostic Rūmī says, this talk has no end and it is better to forgo it.
His saying: “The night of qadr is better than a thousand months.” If we note the worldly appearance of the external form of the night of qadr, we realize that its goodness is more than a thousand months which have no night of qadr in them, or the night of qadr and the acts of devotional worship on it are better than thousand months in which the Israelites used to carry their weapons and fight for the sake of Allah, or the night of qadr is better than the thousand months of the rule of the Umayyads (may Allah curse them), as is stated in the noble narratives.33
If we note the truth of the night of qadr, “a thousand months” may be an allusion to all beings, as “a thousand” is a complete number, and by “months” the kinds are intended. That is, the respected Muhammadan constitution, who is the perfect man, is better than the thousand kinds which cover all beings, as has been said by some people of Gnosticism.34
Another possibility occurs to the writer, that is, the night of qadr may be a hint at the manifestation of the Greatest Name, i.e., the complete Muhammadan (s) mirror, and “a thousand months” may be the manifestations of the other Names. And, as Allah, the Exalted has one thousand and one Names, and as one Name is especially hidden in the unseen world, similarly, the night of qadr is hidden, too, and the night of qadr of the Muhammadan constitution is also a hidden name. Thus, this especially hidden name is known to nobody except to the sacred essence of the Sealing Messenger (s).
It must be noted that as the perfect guardian, the Seal of the Prophets (s), is the night of qadr because of the interiority [butūn] of the Greatest Name in him and the occultation [ihtijāb] of the Haqq with all affairs in him, likewise he is the day of qadr, too, since the appearance of the sun of the truth and the projection of the all-embracing Name appear from the horizon of his individuation. Similarly, the “Day of Resurrection” is his person, too.
In short, that sacred essence is the day and night of qadr and the Day of Resurrection is the day of qadr, too. Therefore, the point that, out of all phenomena, the “month” is referred to, and from this complete and sacred phenomenon it is referred to “the night,” is, perhaps, because the beginning of the months and years is the day and night, like the “one” which is the beginning of the numbers.
That master [sarwar] in the inside [bātin] of the truth, the Greatest Name, is the beginning of the other names; and, in his individuation [ta'ayyun] and immutable essence ['ayn-i thābit], he is the root (origin = asl) of the “Good Tree” [shajarat-i tayyibah] and the beginning of the individuations [ta'ayyunāt]. Consider, so that you may know, and seize the opportunity!
His saying: “The angels and the Spirit descend in it, by the permission of their Lord, for every affair.” In this noble āyah there are points, to some of which we shall refer briefly.
The first point is about the ranks of the angels of Allah, the Exalted, and their reality in general. Know that there are differences among the traditionists and researchers concerning the angels whether they are abstract or corporeal. All the philosophers and researchers, and many of the juristic researchers, believe in their abstraction and in the abstraction of the rational soul, which they prove by strong evidences.
There are also many noble narratives and āyahs from which (their) abstraction can be understood, as the traditionist and researcher, our master Muhammad Taqī Majlisī, the great father of the late Majlisī, says, in Sharh 'ul-Faqīh, commenting on some relevant narratives, that they confirm the abstraction of the rational sou1.35
On the other hand, some of the great traditionists believe in their non-abstraction. Their utmost proof is that to believe in their abstraction is contrary to religion, and they add that there is no abstract except the Sacred Essence of Allah, the Exalted.
This, however, is a very weak argument, because their most attention is probably directed to only two points: the first is the case of the temporal contingency [hudūth-i zamānī] of the world, as they think that the existence of an abstract other than Allah contradicts it. The second point is the case of the free will of Allah, the Exalted, in His acts, as they think that this contradicts the abstraction of the world of intelligence and the angels of Allah, the Exalted.
Both these cases are of the insane [ma'nūnah] affairs within the High Sciences. The non-contradiction of such cases with an abstract being is quite obvious. Even to believe in the non-abstraction of the rational souls, the world of intelligence and the angels of Allah is contrary to many divine affairs and true beliefs, which cannot be explained for the time being. The temporal contingency of the worlds, as is interpreted by this group, is contrary to the principle of the temporal contingency, besides being in opposition to many divine rules, too.
To the writer, the truth, which agrees with reason ['aql] and tradition [naql], is that the angels of Allah are of different types. Many of them are abstracts and many are intermediate [barzakhī] corporeal:
“No one knows the host of your Lord save Him.”36
As to their types, according to their general division, it is said that the heavenly beings are of two types: Type one has nothing to do with the corporeal world, belonging to neither incarnation [hulūl] nor management [tadbīr]. The other type belongs to one of the said two aspects.
The first type consists of two groups.
The first groups are those who are called “the Passionate [muhayyimah] Angels.” They are those who are infatuated with the Beauty of the Beautiful, absorbed in the Essence of His Majesty, unaware of all other creatures, paying no attention to other beings.
Among the friends of Allah [awliyā'ullāh] there is a group like them. While we are indulged in the dark sea of nature, and are completely unaware of the unseen world and the Essence of His Majesty, despite the fact that He is apparent by His Essence [bi' dh-dhāt] and that every appearance is a reflection of His Appearance, they are unaware of the world and of whatever is in it, and are engaged only in the Haqq and His Beautiful Beauty. A narrative says that Allah has some creatures who know nothing of His creating Adam and Iblīs.37
The second group are those whom Allah, the Exalted, has made the means of the mercy of His Being. They are the beginning of the series of the beings and the goal of their longings. They are called ahl al-jabarūt (the Owners of Power), and their chief and leader is “the Greatest Spirit.” It may be that “The angels and the Spirit descend,” is a reference to this group of the angels of Allah. Describing him as “the Spirit,” though he is an angel, is a hint at his greatness, as is in the noble āyah:
“On the day when the angels and the Spirit stand arrayed.”38
From a point of view, the Spirit is called “the Highest Pen” [qalam-i a'lā], as it is said: “The first that Allah created was the Pen.”39 According to another point of view, it is called “the First Intellect” ['aql-i awwal], as it is also said: “The first that Allah created was the Intellect.”40 Some others take “The Spirit” to be Gabriel. Some philosophers consider Gabriel to be the last of the Cherubic angels; some call him “The Holy Spirit;” and they regard the “Spirit” to be the first of the Cherubic angels.
The noble narratives also state that “the Spirit” is greater than Gabriel. The noble al-Kāfi, quotes Abu Basīr, who said: “I asked Abū 'Abdullāh, as-Sādiq, ('a) about the words of Allah, the Exalted”
'They will ask you concerning the Spirit. Say: The Spirit is of the bidding of my Lord' (Sūrah al-Isrā' 17:85).
He said: '(It is) a creature [khalq] greater than Gabriel and Michael. It was with the Messenger of Allah (s), it is with the Imāms ('a), and it is from the heavenly kingdom'.”41 Some narratives say that the Spirit is not of the angels, it is greater than them.42
Probably “The Spirit” has two meanings in terms of the Qur'an and the Traditions, as it has its meanings in other terms. A Spirit is of the angels' type, since it was said to be of “the heavenly kingdom.” Another Spirit is that of the holy men [awliyā'], which is not of the angels, but greater than them.
Therefore, the Spirit in the noble sūrah of al-Qadr may refer to “the Faithful Spirit” [rūh al-amīn] or “the Greatest Spirit,” because the sūrah was revealed on “the night of qadr.” In the noble āyah:
“They will ask you about the Spirit,”43
The reference may be to the spirit of the human beings, which, in its perfect degree, is greater than Gabriel and other angels. It is of “the World of Command” ['ālam-i amr], and sometimes combined with His “Will” [mashiyyat], which is absolute command.
Another group of the angels of Allah are those who are in charge of the corporeal beings and of managing them. These are of so many types and uncountable kinds, because for every being, high or low, celestial or terrestial, there is a heavenly aspect [wijhah] through which it is connected to the world of the angels and the host [junūd] of Allah, the Exalted, as Allah refers to the heavenly domain of the things in the noble āyah:
“Therefore, glory be to Him in whose hand is the dominion of all things, and to Him you shall be brought back.”44
The Messenger of Allah (s), concerning the host of the angels, say (as it has been narrated): “The heaven clamored, and it had the right to do so, as there was no place for a foot without there being an angel bowing or kneeling down.”45 Noble narratives speak much of the multitude of the angels and their numerous ranks.46
The second point concerns the descent of the angels upon the waliyy al-amr (the legal guardian).
Know that the Greatest Spirit is the greatest creature among the angels of Allah, i.e. it is placed in the first rank of the angels of Allah, and is the greatest and most honorable of all. The immaterial (abstract) angels of Allah, confined to the world of power ['ālam-i jabarūt], would not forsake their states, as for them ascending and descending, as done by the material bodies, is impossible, because the immaterial (abstract) is innocent of the material requisites.
Therefore, their descending will be in heavenly or worldly resemblance [tamaththul], whether in the heart, the bosom and the common sense of the guardian [walī], or in edifices of the earth, in the ka'bah, around the grave of the Messenger of Allah (s), or in the Populous House [bayt al-ma'mūr]. Allah, the Exalted, concerning the descending of “The Faithful Spirit” to Mary ('a), says:
“…it assumed for her the likeness of a perfect man.”47
It is also possible for the holy men [awliyā'] and the perfect to assume heavenly resemblance and spiritual likeness of sovereignty. Therefore, the angels of Allah have the power and ability to enter the visible and invisible worlds assuming likenesses, and the perfect holy men [awliyā'] have the power to enter the heavenly world [malakūt] and the world of power [jabarūt] assuming spirituality, and to return from the exterior to the interior.
To believe in this is quite easy for the one who understands the realities of the abstracts, whether heavenly and powerly abstracts or the rational souls, which are also abstracts of the worlds of jabarūt and malakūt, and who can imagine the stages of their existence and appearances, and the correlation [nisbat] of the outside to the inside, and the inside to the outside.
One must know that the assumption [tamaththul] of the “beings of jabarūt” and the “beings of malakūt” in the heart, bosom and sense of the human being is not possible except after his coming out of the apparel of humanity and being connected with those worlds. Otherwise, as long as the soul is engaged in the mundane preparations and is unaware of those worlds, it is impossible for it to witness those scenes or assumptions.
Yet, it is sometimes possible that, with a gesture of a holy man, the soul comes out of this world, and, according to its deservedness, it may get a spiritual or formal [sūrī] understanding of the unseen world. And sometimes it happens that, due to some stupendous event, the soul is directed away from nature and perceives an example of the invisible world, such as the episode of that naïve man who, on his pilgrimage, received an acquittal from the fire of Hell, as related by Avicenna. The gnostic Shaykh, Muhyī’d-Dīn, also relates a story like this one.48
Such stories are due to the soul's turning away from the mulk to the malakūt. It sometimes happens that the souls of the perfect holy men [awliyā'] after detachment from the worlds and witnessing the Greatest Spirit or other angels of Allah through the power of soul, come to themselves, keeping the power of witnessing the invisible and the visible. In such a case they simultaneously, and in all emergences (growths = nasha'āt), witness the truths of the beings of jabarūt. It may also happen that the perfect walī, through his personal power, will be able to have the angels descend. And Allah is the Knower!
The third point is that since the night of qadr is the night of disclosure [mukāshafah] to the Messenger of Allah (s) and the Imāms of guidance ('a), all the worldly affairs are uncovered by the unseen malakūt to them, and the angels in charge of every affair appear to them in the invisible world and the world of the heart, and all the affairs which are prescribed for the creatures during the year in the high and low lawhs (tablets), appear to them, heavenly writ and covertly existed, in a disclosure.
And it is a malakūtī exposure [mukāshafah] covering every particle of the world of nature, and no affair of the people's is hidden from the waliyy al-amr. There is no discrepancy in their knowing, in a single night, the affairs of a whole year, or, in an instance, the entire affairs of the world, or, in a single moment, all the measured assignments [muqaddarāt] of mulk and malakūt.
Also during the days of the year, all the daily affairs may gradually be disclosed to them, both in general and in details. For example, it is in the hadīth, concerning the revelation of the Qur'an, that it was revealed in general (in the whole) in “The Populous House” [bayt al-ma'mūr], then it was revealed to the Messenger of Allah in details within twenty-three years.49 And its revelation in “The Populous House” was a revelation to the Messenger of Allah (s), too.
In short, sometimes the waliyy al-amr may become connected to the High Council [mala'-i a'lā], the High Pens and the abstract lawhs, where to him will be exposed all the beings, from the beginning to eternity. Sometimes the connection is with the low lawhs, and for a period he uncovers the assignments [muqaddarāt], and the whole page of the universe is present before his guardian-like presence, and whatsoever affair happens will pass before his eyes.
Some narratives refer to the exposition ['ard] of the acts to waliyy al-amr. They are exposed every Thursday and Monday to the Messenger of Allah and the Imāms of guidance ('a). Other narratives say that the acts are exposed every morning, or every morning and night. These exposures are also in general and in details, collectively and distinctly. In this respect, there are noble narratives from the infallible and pure Ahl al-Bayt, mentioned in the books of exegeses, such as al-Burhān and as-Sāfi.50
His saying: “Peace it is till the break of the dawn,” means that this blessed night is safe from Satanic evils, calamities and misfortunes till the break of the dawn. Or it is peace upon Allah's friends [awliyā'ullāh] and the worshipping people [ahl-i tā'at]. Or the angels of Allah who meet Allah's friends and the worshipping people greet them on the part of Allah, the Exalted, till the break of the dawn.
As it has formerly been said concerning the truth of “the night of qadr,” the degrees of existence and the visible and invisible individuations [ta'ayyunāt] are regarded “night” because the sun of the truth has set in their horizon. Consequently, “The night of qadr” is the night in which the Haqq (Allah), the Exalted according to all the affairs and the “Collective Oneness of the Names and Attributes,” which are the truth of the “Greatest Name”is veiled [muhtajib].
That is the individuation [ta'ayyun] and the constitution [bunyah] of the perfect walī, who was the Messenger of Allah (s) in his life, and then the Imāms of guidance, one after another. Therefore, “the dawn” of “the night of qadr” is when the first rays of the rising sun of the truth shine from behind the veils [hujub] of the individuations [ta'ayyunāt]. The rise of the sun from the horizon of the individuations is “the dawn” of the Day of Resurrection, too.
As from the time of the setting and veiling [ihtijāb] of the sun of the truth in the horizon of the individuations of these perfect walīs [awliyā'], till the time of the break of the dawn, which is the period of “the night of qadr,” that night full of honor is absolutely safe from the Satanic intrusions, and since the sun rises as it had set, blemishless and free from the Satanic intrusion, thus, He says: “Peace it is till the break of the dawn.” As to the other nights, they are either completely peaceless, such as the nights of the Umayyads and their like, or they have no peace in all its concepts, and these are the nights of the common people.
From the gnostic statements and faithful revelations [mukāshafāt], which, with the help of the great walīs ('a), dawned upon the luminous hearts of the “people of knowledge” [ahl-i ma'rifat], it is obvious that if the noble sūrah of at-Tawhīd is related to the Sacred Essence of Allah, the noble sūrah of al-Qadr is related to the great Ahl al-Bayt, as is stated in the narratives concerning the mi'rāj.
Muhammad ibn Ya'qūb, on the authority of Abū 'Abdullāh [as-Sādiq] ('a), concerning the performance of the Messenger of Allah (s) his salāt in the heaven, in the hadīth of al-Isrā', said: “…Then Allah, the Most High, revealed to him: Read, O Muhammad, the lineage [nisbat] of your Lord, the Blessed and Most High: 'He is Allah, the One. He is besought by all. He begets not, nor is He begotten. And none is comparable to Him.' This is in the first rak'ah. Then, Allah, the Exalted and Most High, revealed to him: Read: 'All praise is for Allah.' He read it as he did first. Then Allah revealed to him: Read: 'We revealed it' which is your lineage [nisbat] and your offspring's till the Day of Resurrection.”51
The noble narratives concerning the merits of the blessed sūrah of al-Qadr are numerous. Among them is a narrative in the noble al-Kāfī, from Imām al-Bāqir ('a) who said: “Whoever recites 'We revealed it on The Night of Qadr' openly (with a loud voice), he is like the one who unsheathes his swords for the sake of Allah. And whoever recites it secretly, is as if he rolls in his blood shed in the way of Allah, and whoever recites it ten times, a thousand of his sins will be forgiven.”52
In Khawāss al-Qur'an, the Messenger of Allah (s) is quoted to have said: “Whoever recites this sūrah, he will have the reward of the one who has fasted the month of Ramadan, attaining “The night of qadr,” and he will have the reward of a fighter in the way of Allah.”53 Praise is for Allah, at the beginning and at the end.
Despite the fact that the writer's intention in this thesis was to refrain from referring to those gnostic topics unfamiliar to the common people, and keep only to the hearty disciplines of the salāt, yet, I realize now that the pen has exceeded the proper bounds, and particularly in commenting on the noble sūrah I have surpassed my own decision.
Now I have but to apologize to my brothers in religion and spiritual friends. At the same time, if they found in this thesis a subject not conforming with their taste, they may not unthoughtfully label it as false, because each knowledge has its people, and each road has its treaders. “May Allah have mercy on the person who knows his worth and does not go beyond his status.”54
It is also possible that some neglect the reality of the condition, and, as they have no information of the Qur'anic knowledge and of the minute details of the divine laws, they take some matters of this thesis as to be interpretation according to one's opinion. This is sheer mistake and a grave falsity, because:
Firstly, these knowledges [ma'ārif] and subtleties [latā'if] are all taken from the noble Qur'an and hadīths, and they are proved through heard [sam'iyyah] evidences, some of which have been referred to in the discussions, and most of them were left out for brevity.
Secondly, all, or most of them, agree with the rational or gnostic proofs, and such a thing cannot be interpretation according to one's opinion.
Thirdly, most of the subjects which we mentioned, or we relate in explaining the noble āyahs, are of the kinds of stating the “evidences of the concepts” [masādīq-i mafāhīm]; and explaining the evidences and degrees of the facts has nothing to do with interpretation, let alone its being according to one's opinion.
Fourthly, after all stages, we tried with utmost religious precaution though unnecessarily to relate any unnecessary subject by way of being possible and as one of the possibilities. It is clear that the door of possibility is not shut, and it can have no connection to interpretation on one's opinion. Here there are other subjects that we refrain from mentioning, in our attempt to be short.
- 1. Sūrah ad-Dukhān 44:3
- 2. Sūrah al-Hijr 15:9
- 3. Sūrah ash-Shu'arā' 26:193
- 4. Sūrah Ghāfir 40:36
- 5. Sūrah al-Anfā1 8:17
- 6. “The Book of Allah and my 'itrat (progeny) will not be separated from each other until they come to me at the Pool (of Kawthar).” This is a part of a well-known and successively related hadīth called Hadīth ath-Thaqalayn. Usul al-Kāfī, vol. 1, page 299, “The Book of Divine Proof,” ch. “Concerning What Allah and His Messenger Imposed of Being with the Imāms ('a),” hadīth 6; vol. 4, p. 141, “The Book of Faith and Disbelief,” ch. “Concerning the Least by which a Servant may be a Believer,” hadīth 1.
- 7. Sūrah al-Ahzāb 33:72
- 8. Ihyā'u 'Ulūm 'ud-Dīn, vol. 4, p. 256. A Divine utterance. In some editions it is ”qibābī” (my domes) and in some other it is ”qibā'ī” (my cloak).
- 9. Bihār al-Anwār, vol. 89, p. 83.
- 10. Usūl al-Kāfī, vol. 4, p. 438, “The Book of the Merits of the Qur'an,” ch. “The Rarities,” hadīth 12.
- 11. Nahj al-Balāghah, edited by Fayd ul-Islām, p. 737, sermon 228.
- 12. Sūrah at-Talāq 65:7
- 13. It demands consideration because this allegation can be claimed here from another aspect, and it is that the appearance in ascribing a predicate to a proposition is that the proposition itself has the same status and it is the proposition in complete, as the Shaykh, our teacher in the conventional sciences used, concerning generalization [itlāq], to call this statement, without needing preliminaries, to prove the generalization.
- 14. Sūrah Hūd 11:112
- 15. Khalīl ibn Ahmad ibn 'Umar ibn Tamīm, Abū 'Abdur-Rahmān al-Bāhilī, al-Basrī, the grammarian and prosodist, born in the year 100 or 105 AH in al-Basrah, and died in 160, 170 or 175 AH. He was a famous linguist and a writer. He discovered the meters of poetry. He was an Imāmī and, as some say, he was a companion of Imām Ja'far as-Sādiq ('a) and quoted him in his narrations. He wrote many books on diverse arts, including Zubdat 'ul-'Arūd (the Gist of Prosody), al-'Ayn, a book on Imamate, al-Īqā' (rhythm), an-Nu'm (tone or softness), al-Jumal (syntax), ash-Shawāhid (ancient verses as evidences), an-Nuqāt wash-Shikl (dots and form), and a book on the meanings of the alphabetic letters. For further information bibliographies and books on rijāl such as A'yān ash-Shī'ah, vol. 30, p. 50, may be consulted.
- 16. Furū' al-Kāfī, vol. 3, p. 236, the “Book of Funerals,”ch. on “Questioning in the Grave,” hadīth 6.
- 17. This concept is referred to Imām as-Sādiq ('a) through several channels in Ma'ālim al-Usūl, p. 7.
- 18. Refer to footnote 97
- 19. Sūrah ad-Dukhān 44:1-4. Al-Burhān Exegesis, vol. 4, p. 158.
- 20. Usūl al-Kāfī, vol. 2, p. 326, the “Book of the Proof,” ch. on “The Birth of the Prophet (s), hadīth 4.
- 21. Al-Burhān Exegesis, vol. 4, ”Sūrah al-Fajr,” hadīth 1, p. 457.
- 22. Al-Burhān Exegesis, vol. 4, ”Surah al-Qadr,” hadīth 25, p. 487
- 23. Majma' ul-Bayān, vol. 10, p. 519; Nūr ath-Thaqalayn, vol. 5, p. 628, ”Sūrah al-Qadr,” hadīth 71
- 24. Bihār al-Anwār, vol. 95, p. 149.
- 25. Majma' ul-Bayān, vol. 10, p. 519; Wasā'il ash-Shī'ah, vol. 7, p. 263, “Book of Fasting,” ch. 32, hadīth 21.
- 26. Iqbāl al-A'māl, p. 206.
- 28. Ibid., p. 207
- 29. Bihār al-Anwār, vol. 98, p. 168.
- 30. Sūrah Qāf 50:37.
- 31. Sūrah al-A'rāf 7:143
- 32. Ibid.
- 33. Bihār al-Anwār, vol. 94, p. 8, quoting Majālis-i Shaykh, the Tafsīr of 'Alī ibn Ibrāhīm, p. 732; Al-Burhān Exegesis, vol. 4, p. 486; Rawdat al-Kāfī, hadīth 280, p. 222
- 34. Reference unknown.
- 35. Such as the narrative quoted from Imām as-Sādiq ('a) to the effect: “When the soul is taken (in death), it remains hovering over the body…” On this he comments: “This narrative and the one after it, and the many other similar narratives, and the other successive narratives, as well as the apparent literal meanings of the Qur'anic āyahs, all prove the spiritual resurrection, i.e. the survival of the soul after the destruction of the body…” Rawdat 'ul-Muttaqīn, vol. 1, p. 492.
- 36. Sūrah al-Muddaththir 74:31.
- 37. 'Ilm al-Yaqīn, vol. 1, p. 250; Al-Kāfī (ar-Rawdah, hadīth 301), p. 231.
- 38. Sūrah an-Nabā' 78:38.
- 39. Nūr ath-Thaqalayn Exegesis, vol. 5, hadīth 9, p. 389; 'Ilm al-Yaqīn, vol. 1, p. 154.
- 40. Bihār al-Anwār, vol. 1, p. 97.
- 41. Usūl al-Kāfī, vol. 2, p. 18, “The Book of Divine Proof,” ch. on “The Spirit by which Allah Directs the Steps of the Imāms” ('a), hadīth 3.
- 42. Bihār al-Anwār, vol. 25, “Book of the Imāmah,” sec. on “Their Creation, Nature and Spirits,” ch. 3, hadīth 45, p. 64.
- 43. Sūrah Isrā' 17:85
- 44. Sūrah Yā-Sīn 36:83
- 45. 'Ilm al-Yaqīn, vol. 1, p. 259.
- 46. Bihār al-Anwār, vol. 56, ch. on “The Angels,” p. 144.
- 47. Sūrah Maryam 19:17.
- 48. Reference unknown
- 49. Usūl al-Kāfī, vol. 4, p. 437, “The Book of the Merits of the Qur'an,” ch. on “Rarities,” hadīth 6
- 50. Bihār al-Anwār, vol. 23, pp. 338, 346 and 347; as-Sāfī's Exegesis.
- 51. Al-Burhān Exegesis, vol. 4, p. 487, ”Sūrah al-Qadr,” hadīth 22.
- 52. Usūl al-Kāfī, vol. 4, p. 427, “The Book of the Merit of the Qur'an,” ch. on “The Merit of the Qur'an,” hadīth 6.
- 53. Al-Burhān Exegesis, vol. 4, p. 480, ”Sūrah al-Qadr,” hadīth 1. From Khawāss al-Qur'an.
- 54. Ghurar al-Hikam, ch. 3, letter R, hadīth 1.