21:24 Or have they taken gods apart from Him? Say, “Bring your proof.”
This alludes to true tawḥīd and the Lord’s solitariness in the description of aloneness and the attribute of unity. The root of tawḥīd is to fly in the field of disengagement, to take up residence at His rulings through solitariness, to cut off fear and hope from both the near and the far, and to surrender the affair to God so that He may decree however He desires.
Shiblī said, “The One suffices you against all, but all will not suffice you against the One.” He is saying, “The Real is One. If you have a thousand enemies and the Real is with you, He will suffice against all. And supposing you have a thousand friends and helpers but the Real is not with you, then nothing will be in your hand but wind.”
God’s Messenger said to Abū Bakr al-Ṣiddīq in the cave, “Grieve not; surely God is with us” [9:40]. It was said to a spider, “We have concealed the paragon of the prophets and the head of the sincerely truthful in a cave. Go, prepare the corner of your incapacity and poverty in the door of that cave so that it may be their escort.” Nothing in the world is more incapable than a spider, and no house is weaker than its house. And surely the frailest of houses is the house of the spider [29:41]. When He wants to destroy an enemy like Nimrod, He destroys him with a gnat.
He is a Lord who does whatever He wants and who shows His power however He wants. Take a look at His perfect power in the creation of heaven and earth, as He says: 21:30 Have not those who disbelieve seen that the heavens and the earth were all sewn up, then We unstitched them, and from water, We made every living thing? And We made…, and We made…, and We made… [21:30-32]. Everything to the end of these verses is allusions to the perfection of His power and explanations of His wisdom. When you look at power, all nonexistent things take on the color of existence. When you look at exaltedness, all existent things take on the color of nonexistence.
You should not have the opinion that whatever He knew, He said; whatever He could do, He did; and whatever He had, He showed. The existent things and the created things are a sample of His power. Revelations and inspirations are an iota of His knowledge. Just as He sent a few rulings of His knowledge to the creatures and the knowledge did not reach the bottom, so also He put together a few clods of earth and His power did not reach its end. If He were to create thousands of Thrones, Footstools, heavens, and earths, He still would not have made apparent an iota of His power. Your power is incapable and finite, but His power is transcendent and infinite. Whatever is impossible in the intellect, God is perfectly powerful over that. In power He uses no contrivances, in self-standing His state does not change, in Essence, and attributes, He is everlasting and transcendent.
21:33 And He it is who created night and day, and the sun and the moon, each swimming in a sphere.
In the tasting of the folk of recognition, night and day are a mark of the contraction and expansion of the recognizers. Contraction and expansion are the divine decrees and royal predetermination. Sometimes He puts them in the grasp of His contraction so that the ruling power of His majesty [wreaks havoc on them, and sometimes He gives them a place on the carpet of His expansion such that the ruling power of beauty] may caress them in virtue of bestowal. It is the stipulation of the man with pain that in the grasp of contraction he be rectified and not protest, and on the carpet of expansion he be courteous and not turn away, for the great ones of the religion have said, “The servant will not find the sweetness of faith until the trial comes to him from everywhere.” And the sun and the moon, each swimming in a sphere. He created the sun and the moon in the constellations of heaven, and they travel on the peak of the spheres. He created the sun neither to increase nor to decrease and the moon to increase and decrease; sometimes it wanes, and sometimes it shines forth. The sun is the mark of the possessor of tawḥīd, who says with the attribute of stability in the presence of stability, “Were the covering to be lifted, I would not increase in certainty.” The moon is the mark of the possessor of knowledge, who walks in the playing field of exertion. He comes by way of gazing and inference and keeps his eyes on obedience and good works, that they might add faith to their faith [48:4].
The possessor of tawḥīd is the lord of pain, and the possessor of knowledge is the lord of deeds. The possessor of deeds gazes on the secondary causes, and the possessor of pain gazes on the Causer and is detached from the secondary causes. The great ones of the religion have said, “Not seeing the secondary cause is ignorance, but remaining with the secondary cause is associationism.” A recognizer was seen on the shore of the Tigris, saying, “My Master, I am thirsty,” but he passed by without drinking. That exalted man was contemplating the Real and saw neither the Tigris nor its water. When someone is busy with work, even if the houris of paradise pass by, he will not be aware. God knows, sweethearts if you know night from day.