55:1-2 The All-Merciful—He taught the Qur’an.
No one’s hand will reach the knocker on the Qur’an’s gate simply and easily, unless with the success-giving and facilitating of the All-Merciful. If anyone could reach this good fortune without the help of the All-Merciful, that would be Muṣṭafā, the Seal of the Prophets. But there is no one among the creatures with the majesty and rank that he had. Concerning him, the Real says, “The All-Merciful—He taught the Qur’an,” that is, He taught Muḥammad the Qur’an. As much as teachers strive in teaching, masters instruct, and memorizers keep classes going, all of these are secondary causes, and the teacher in reality is God. Whenever someone comes to be taught, He is the teacher. Whenever someone lights up, He is the light-giver. Whenever something is made, He is the maker.
He taught Adam the knowledge of the names: And He taught Adam the names, all of them [2:31]. He taught David chain-mail making: And We taught him the artisanry of garments for you [21:80]. He taught Jesus the science of medicine: And He will teach him the book and the wisdom [3:48]. He taught Khiḍr the science of recognition: We taught him knowledge from Us [18:65]. He taught Muṣṭafā the secrets of the divinity: He taught thee what thou didst not know [4:113]. He taught the folk of the world explication:
55:3-4 He created man. He taught him the explication.
Some people say that He created man means all people generally—faithful and unbeliever, self-purifier and hypocrite, truthful and heretic. Whoever is human is included in this address. They say that He created everyone and taught them all explication. In other words, He gave everyone intellect, understanding, and upbringing so that they would find the road to their own best interests and discern between good and bad. He gave everyone language so that they would know each other’s desires—in every region a language; or rather, in every city a language; or rather, in every neighborhood a language. He specified the human individual for this and separated him out from other animals with this specification and bestowal of eminence.
It has also been said that He created man means all the faithful of Muḥammad’s community. He taught him that explication means the road of the Real, the pure Shariah, the unswerving religion. He taught it to them and showed its road to them: Say: “This is my path. I invite to God” [12:108]. Invite to the path of thy Lord with wisdom! [16:125]. He set this road up in three stations: first, recognition of the outward Shariah; second, recognition of the inward struggle and discipline; third, talk of the heart and its Beloved and the story of the friends. Then He turned this over to three groups and taught the people on the tongues of these three groups: “Ask the ulama, mix with the possessors of wisdom, and sit with the great ones.” Learn the science of the Shariah from the ulama, the science of discipline from the possessors of wisdom, and the science of recognition from the great ones.
It has also been said that man in He created man is Adam the Chosen. This is the same man about whom He says, “He created man of dried clay, like pottery” [55:14]. Although in the form he is pottery and clay, in conduct he is worthy of the pavilion of proximity and union. Outwardly, he is sculpted from water and clay; inwardly he is the carrier of the ruling power of love. Outwardly he is an extraction of clay [23:12]; inwardly he is the precious stone in the seal-ring of good fortune. “What should be considered is the joining, not the root. The joining is proximity, the root dust. The joining in respect of God’s help.”
He taught him the explication. This is the knowledge of the names that He taught him. Through this one knowledge, He made him surpass the angels, such that for his sake He said to the angels in response to them, “Surely I know what you do not know” [2:30]. How wonderful! The secrets of Lordhood become apparent in places that the intellects of the intellectuals will never reach. What do you say: He grasped a handful of dust in the hand of His attributes with the perfection of His power. Then He kept it for forty years in the sunshine of His gaze until the dampness of being left it.
Then He commanded the angels of the Dominion, “Go to the gate of this wondrous form and marvelous guise and kiss the doorstep of his majesty.” How could a handful of dust have the worthiness for the residents of the Holy Palisades and the preachers on the pulpits of familiarity to come to him and prostrate themselves? No, no—that level, distinction, and rank did not belong to the doorkeeper of clay, rather to the sultan of the heart: “The heart is between two of the fingers of the All-Merciful.” One of the specifications and bestowals of eminence for the Adamite is that He created two oceans within his makeup: one, the ocean of the secret core, and the other the ocean of the heart. To this, He alludes with His words,
55:19 He mixed the two oceans that meet together.
From the ocean of the secret core, the pearls of contemplation and face-to-face vision come forth, and from the ocean of the heart the coral of conformity and unveiling. That is His words, “From the two come forth pearls and coral” [55:22]. He prepared both of them in his makeup and kept the barrier of power between them: Between the two is an isthmus they do not overpass [55:20]. The one does not exert strength over the other, nor does the other make this one change. It has also been said that the two oceans here are the hope and fear of the common Muslims, the contraction and expansion of the elect among the faithful, and the awe and intimacy of the prophets and the sincerely truthful. From the ocean of fear and hope come forth the pearls of renunciation and scrupulosity, from the ocean of contraction and expansion, come the pearls of poverty and ecstasy, and from the ocean of awe and closeness, the pearl of annihilation shows its face so that they may be at ease with the way stations of subsistence. This is why He says, “From the two come forth pearls and coral.”
55:26-27 All that is upon it undergoes annihilation and there subsists the face of thy Lord, Possessor of Majesty and Generous Giving.
Muṣṭafā said, “Prefer what subsists over what undergoes annihilation.” This world is the Abode of Delusion, the afterworld the Abode of Joy. This world is the Abode of Annihilation and the afterworld the Abode of Subsistence. The breeze of intelligence does not reach those who choose what undergoes annihilation over the subsistent, who put aside the Abode of Joy and build up the Abode of Delusion. Even if the empire of the world and the empire of Adam’s children were beneath your seal ring and the keys to this world’s treasures given to you, the outcome of all would be annihilation, so fixing the heart on it would be an error. Listen to these words of wisdom, testaments of the sages, and words of advice of the great:
“Being satisfied with words without deeds is the work of the deluded.”
“Depending on the resources of others is the vocation of the indigent.”
“Delighting in borrowed clothes is the custom of the idle.”
“Being happy with others’ robes of honor is the conduct of the unintelligent.”
“Being disloyal and hoping for loyalty is the act of double-dealers.”
55:29 Whatever is in the heavens and the earth asks of Him. Each day He is upon some task.
The faithful are two groups: the worshipers and the recognizers. The asking of each group is in the measure of their aspirations, and the caressing of each is suited to their capacity. The worshipers want everything from Him, the recognizers want Him Himself. Aḥmad ibn Abi’l-Ḥawārī saw the Real in a dream. He said, ‘O Aḥmad, all the people are seeking from Me, except Abū Yazīd—he is seeking Me.”
Each He keeps in a place and each He dyes in a color. This is why He says, “Each day He is upon some task.” He lifts up one group and puts down others. He puts one at the front of the hall of worth with the attribute of exaltedness, He keeps another at the back with the shoes, in abasement itself. He seats one on the carpet of gentleness, He puts another under the carpet of severity. He pulled Adam the dust-dweller up from the dust of abasement and placed the throne of prosperity on the head of his aspiration, without bias. He pulled down ʿAzāzīl, who was the teacher of the angels, from the celestial world and hung him at the crossroads of the causeless desire from the rack of punishment, without iniquity. To one group He says, “So rejoice!” [9:111], to another group He says, “Die in your rage!” [3:119].
Moses the speaking companion set off in search of fire. When he left he was a shepherd in a blanket, when he came back he was a prophet, God’s speaking companion. Balaam Beor, who knew the greatest name, went up a mountain as a friend by virtue of form but came back down like a dog by virtue of attribute and meaning. Adam was still clay when they made the hat of chosenness. Iblis the miserable had still not refused when they moistened the arrow of the curse with the poison of severity. This one was commanded, “Prostrate yourself,” but he did not. That one was commanded, “Don’t eat the wheat,” but he did. He gave Adam the excuse that he was a friend in the Beginningless, and the slip of friends is not held accountable. He placed the brand of the curse on Iblis because he was an enemy in the Beginningless, and the obedience of enemies is not taken into account.