The Twelfth Treatise
A light from the lights of the verses of the Qur’an
In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
. . . and from Him we seek help.
Praise be to God Who has guided us to this. We could not have found guidance if God had not guided us. Assuredly the Messengers of our Lord brought the truth. (7:43)
Peace and blessings be upon the Argument of the Truth to the creation, the king of the Prophets, proof of the purified scholars, and the beloved of the Lord of the worlds, and on his Family and all His Companions.
KNOW, O FRIEND, THAT ALL OF EARTH’S FEATURES BEAR VARIOUS stamps of the One, Eternally-Besought-of-All. A mountain shows that it is the All-Glorified One’s property by the many animals and trees that live on it, which are the All-Glorified’s property.
It is a creature of the Almighty, as testified to by the brilliant stamps of plants and birds on it. It is also one of His missives, as testified to by the seals the All-Glorified placed on its corners, such as adorned flowers and beautiful fruits. When you know that a palm-tree and bee are the All-Glorified’s property and creatures, you will understand that all palm-trees and bees are also His property.
All such stamps and seals belong to the One Monarch and the Owner, Eternally-Besought-of-All, for all things are found almost worldwide at the same moment. The identity in existence and invention, form and making, as well as time, show that their Maker is the One and Single, Who can do or say many things at once and can hear and meet many needs without becoming confused.
KNOW, O FRIEND, that if you would like to hear about the Qur’an’s miraculousness as it flows into me from the ocean of the Qur’an, listen to the following, which I address to myself:
O SAID! Heedless of yourself and your heedlessness! Heedlessness, ingratitude, and unbelief arise from groundless conceptions or notions. If you do not attribute something—especially something that is alive—to the Almighty, you must attribute divinity to all particles and compounds of soil, air, and water, and admit as many deities as God’s manifestations. Each soil particle serves for the growth of plants and trees, flowers and fruits. Put some soil in a pot. If you then put in fig, pomegranate, or apple seeds, you will get, respectively, a fig, pomegranate, or apple tree. These trees are very different from each other. If the mechanism of Destiny operating in a fig seed is like a sugar factory, the machine of Power working in a pomegranate seed may be like a textile factory. If you put flower seeds in the same pot, you will have flowers.
KNOW, O OWNER OF THE POT, that if your heedlessness leads you to follow materialists, you will have to admit that your pot contains as many factories as there are fruit-bearing trees in order to make all the parts of infinitely various trees, and as many mechanisms as there are flowers. Soil particles also must have as much knowledge and power needed to grow each tree and flower, and the necessary capacity to distinguish them.
If you attribute the existence of trees and flowers to nature, you have to admit that nature has numberless printing machines in each soil particle. Seeds are material things of almost the same structure and contents, and resemble one another in formation and shape. So, their growing into different trees or flowers is like a few grams of cotton being woven into rolls of silk or satin, broadcloth or wool. Such verses as: He created you from a single soul (4:1) and God has created every moving creature of water (24:45) point to the fact that the simple substance from which you were created, not compound or composite like you, cannot be your origin. Seeds, which include all the details of the tree or flower that will grow from it, are simple and small. However, each one is like a plan made by Destiny, an origin or nucleus containing all principles of its tree’s or flower’s existence. As a result, they are a most evident testimony that their Creator can only be the One Who has created the heavens and Earth, and in relation to Whose Power everything, without exception, is the same.
If your heedlessness arises from materialism, you must admit that your pot contains a wonderful, intelligent power that can make and form all fruit-bearing trees and flowers; knowledge that encompasses all of their features and properties; a will with the knowledge of all principles and necessities of their existence; and the capacity to perform the functions of other Names of the One Who shall roll up the heavens like a scroll rolled up for books (21:104), Who holds Earth in His hand and controls it as He wills, Who holds the human heart between His two fingers and turns it however He wishes, and Who is not hindered by something big or significant when it comes to being concerned with what is small or insignificant.
He manifests His Power’s light on the Supreme Throne, the sun, and particles with the same facility, as the sun is reflected simultaneously in an ocean’s surface, a mirror, and in drops or bubbles of water with the same ease and the same extent of radiance. The only exception is that things vary in receiving its manifestations because of the differences of their capacities of receiving. This is observed especially in spring, when innumerable kinds of flowers and plants, trees and animals burst forth almost at the same time in great abundance and with absolute ease and firmness.
Each flower and fruit, animal and micro-organism is like a drop formed of constituents taken from all parts of existence with exact and subtle measures and according to precise calculations. Only He Who holds existence in His grasp, controlling it as He wills and extracting this drop from existence with such measures and according to such calculations, can make each flower, fruit, or animal a miniature of existence when He wills to create that drop from non-existence.
Just as it is necessary to admit the existence of as many suns as there are transparent objects, when images of the sun are not attributed to the sun in the sky, so too do unbelievers have to accept as many deities as there are particles of existence, or as there are manifestations of God. If you have understood this, you will have perceived only one of the innumerable rays of the lights of the Qur’an’s miraculous explanations from the viewpoint of its meaning.
KNOW, O FRIEND, that some human artifacts may be worth thousands of dollars because of their art, while their material costs are next to nothing. Similarly, belief is an elixir changing humanity’s decaying, coal-like substance into an enduring, bejeweled diamond by connecting its members to the All-Permanent Maker. By contrast, unbelief reduces humanity to a lump of coal that decomposes in the ground.
Humanity is the most amazing artifact of the Eternal Maker Who created the heavens and Earth in 6 days (7:54), and adorned the sky with stars and Earth with flowers. Created of clay and subject to rapid disintegration, human beings’ material constituents are worth very little. But when the art they contain is considered, their worth increases infinitely, for human beings are pieces of poetry composed with the subtleties of the Divine Beautiful Names’ manifestations, polished mirrors reflecting the Eternal Sun’s rays.
Belief connects human beings to their Owner and reveals the Divine art in humanity. It shows that humanity is an artifact of God, which causes a human being’s value to increase to the extent that Paradise will become its price. Through belief, humanity assumes the role of God’s vicegerent on Earth and bears the Supreme Trust. Unbelief cuts this connection, causes this Divine art to be concealed, and reduces humanity to its material substance. In other words, unbelief renders humanity so valueless that unbelievers would wish not to exist or to become dust.
In short: Human beings are like machines furnished with millions of measuring tools to weigh and experience the contents of Divine Mercy’s treasury and the Hidden Treasure’s jewels.107 So that they might taste all varieties of the Truth’s bounties, as many devices of tasting as there are edibles were set in their tongues. When this machine is used according to and guided by the requirements of belief, it yields fruits preserved by the One Who never errs or forgets. If this machine falls into the hand of unbelievers, it is like an invaluable, matchless machine in the hands of those who do not recognize it and so use it to light a fire or make it burn more brightly.
O One in Whose hand is the dominion and keys of all things, Who grasps all things by the forelock and with Whom are the treasuries of all things. Do not leave us to ourselves. Have mercy on us and illuminate our hearts with the light of belief and the Qur’an.
God’s promise is true, so let not the life of the world deceive you, nor let the deceiver deceive you in regard to God. (31:33)
O YOU WHO ARE MISGUIDED! You have drowned in the marsh of the world and desire to lead people astray by presenting that marsh as the source of happiness to console yourself. If you can change the nature of the following four realities, do whatever you wish:
FIRST: Death, which you cannot change or remove from life. Believers see it as a changing of residences. But you see it as eternal extinction.
SECOND: Your innate helplessness, limitless need, and hostility invite you to rely on the absolutely Powerful One. But you make your innate helplessness absolute [through unbelief], for you deprive it of reliance and support.
THIRD: Your innate poverty, which is a means of appealing and an invitation to the absolutely Wealthy One’s treasure. But you make it a painful destitution increasing with the mistaken habits of modern civilization.
FOURTH: Decay or disappearance, which in the case of pleasure brings permanent pain. Disappearance or decay actually is a means of reaching everlasting pleasure, but you make it a painful decay leaving behind only sin and remorse.
You can die at any time, are enveloped by helplessness, and surrounded by poverty. You are on a continuous journey, and can be deceived in your sophistries only while drunk (with this temporary life). But this drunkenness only lasts for a while. The happiness of this life is wretchedness and may be possible only by killing or totally ignoring death, removing helplessness, pursuing extreme vanity, eliminating poverty, complete madness, acquiring eternal life, or stopping the wheel of existence.
May God awaken us from the sleep of heedlessness, which you accept as wakefulness (although it is the deepest sleep), and bring us to our senses by curing us of our so-called intellectual enlightenment.
SEE, O FRIEND, how the All-Powerful Maker has spread millions of worlds of plants and animals on Earth’s face. Every world is like a sea whose drops are charged with cleaning. For example, ants are charged with cleaning Earth’s face of various corpses.
Similarly, water and air, light and earth, especially snow, are like oceans whose drops have specific duties. The All-Wise Maker, Who has placed these worlds one within the other, distinguishes each one with particular properties and duties. He displays infinite distinguishing amidst infinite mixture.
For example, He places the world of ants or flies in worlds of other living creatures by creating and causing them to die in a specific way. It is as if Earth’s face is only their home. No confusion is observed in their coming into existence and death. As each world subsists amongst other worlds, each individual member of each species is brought up among other individuals. Maintaining one world does not prevent the Maker from maintaining others, nor does bringing up one individual hinder Him from rearing others.
O, ONE WHOSE EYES ARE BLIND because of naturalism and whose heart has been sealed. If you think of nature as a printer and a maker, even though it is something printed and made, you must admit that each piece of soil contains perfect printing machines that are more in number than all printing machines in the world.
O ANIMALS! Do not be proud that you are greater than plants, for the art in plants is not inferior to yours. Do you not see that while the fleshy parts of all animal species are almost of the same constitution and quality, the pulpy parts of fruits are different from one another? This shows that the Pen of Divine Power works more deeply and delicately in them. Also, animals and human beings have, on the average, seven offspring during their lives. Fish, due to their weak animal senses, are an exception, for they reproduce abundantly. Plants, however, usually reproduce by 70, 700, or 7,000. Such abundant reproduction signifies the degree of importance attached to plants.
O ANIMAL PROUD OF ITSELF! Plants and trees rely only on God, and so their food comes to them and their offspring. It is as if the roots of every plant and tree were connected directly to Mercy’s treasury. Mercy shares each tree’s food among its parts according to each part’s need. While giving the “parents” pure “milk,” it gives the daughters (fruits) pure sherbet, and the sons (olives) blessed oil.
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107 Alluding to the hadith qudsi: “I was a hidden treasure. I willed to be known and [so] created the universe.” (Tr.)