“To God belongs the argument conclusive” (cf. Qur’an) against His creatures, for they are the known by God, and the known, whatever it may be, bestows upon the knower of it, whoever he may be, or makes him perceive what it is in itself, i.e. in its own essence in terms of the states which occur for it for all eternity and their preparednesses, and that perception is knowledge. And knowledge has no effect upon what is known, in the sense that it might occasion within the known that which is outside of its own essence; rather, it follows the known, and judgment concerning the known is subordinate to it. So there is no judgment by the knower concerning the known except according to it. i.e., according to the known and what it requires in respect of its particular and universal preparedness. Therefore God did not appoint unbelief and disobedience for the creatures by Himself. Rather, He appointed it because of the requirements of their immutable archetypes and because of their seeking through the tongue of their preparedness that He makes them unbelievers and disobedient, just as the individual essence of a dog requires the form of a dog and that it be considered ritually impure. And this is the very secret of destiny.

Now if you say, “The archetypes and their preparednesses are an effusion from God; therefore He has made them like that”; I will answer, “The archetypes are not ‘made’, they are intelligible forms belonging to the Divine Names which are not posterior to God except at the level of their own reality, but not in respect to time. So they are eternal, unchanging, and immutable. When it is said that they are an ‘effusion’, this means that they are posterior to Him considered at the level of their own reality (not that they are created).” Know that every messenger is a prophet, and every prophet is a saint; so every messenger is a saint. So the messengers are of the highest rank since they combine the three levels; then the prophets, since they combine two. But the level of their sanctity is higher than that of their prophecy, and their prophecy is higher than their messenger hood, for their sanctity is their aspect of divinity since they have been annihilated in God; and their prophecy is their angelic aspect since through it comes their relation to the angelic world, from which they receive revelation; and their messenger hood is their aspect of humanity, which corresponds to and establishes contact with the human world.

When you hear from one of the people of God (the Sufis), or it is related to you that he has said, that sanctity is higher than prophecy, he does not mean anything other than what we have said”, i.e., that the sanctity of the prophet is higher than his prophecy. “Or if he says that the saint is above the prophet and the messenger, verily he means by that ‘in the same person’. This is because the messenger in respect of being a saint is more perfect than he is in respect of his being a prophet or  messenger, not that the saint who follows him is higher than he.”

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