Since Ishmael was a locus of manifestation of the divine Name “the All-High”, which is one of the names of the Essence: the Unity of the Essence, and the Unity of the multiple Names. Therefore he says in order to introduce his subject matter, The existence of the world — which was not, and then was —, as the Prophet said, “God was, and nothing was with Him”, necessitates multiple relations within its Originator, or Names or Attributes, etc., – whatever you like to call them. So say, for it is incontestable, “There is no escape, in the existence of the world from that”, or from the actualization of the multiplicity of the Names in its Originator. And through the totality of these relations and Names and the Unity of their multiplicity the world comes into existence, not in respect to the Unity of the Essence, for the One inasmuch as He is One is not the source of multiplicity inasmuch as it is multiplicity, for it is not correct to say that there should appear from something — whatever it may be – what is opposed to it in reality.

And it is clear that Unity is opposed to multiplicity and the One to the many. So it is impossible that one of them should originate from the other. However, the One and Unity possess numerous relations, and multiplicity possesses a fixed unity. So when one of them becomes related to the other, it is in terms of this connecting link. So the world with its true multiplicity and relative oneness comes into existence from an Originator who is the One in Essence, or One with an inherent and true Oneness, to which is attributed a Unity of the multiplicity of relations in respect to the Names and Qualities, because the realities of the world demand that, i.e., this Oneness of the multiplicity of the Names, from It, i.e., the Originator.

Then the world, if it were not a possible being, would not be a receptacle for existence; but it is a receptacle for existence, so it is possible. And the possible being is that for which existence and nonexistence are equal. So in order to exist, it needs an agent to give predominance to its existence over its nonexistence, as well as receptivity towards existence on its own part. So the world did not come into existence except from two things: from divine power, to which is attributed what we mentioned, i.e. a Unity of the multiplicity of the Names and Qualities in order to give predominance to its existence over its nonexistence, and from a receptivity towards existence on the part of the world; for if it had not been receptive, it would not have been a possible being, and its Agent and  Originator could not have brought it into existence, for what is impossible does not accept to be brought into existence. Therefore, i.e., since the world only exists because of these two things, when He said “Be”, which indicates that He possesses the power over the desired thing, He said, “and it is”, in such places as the verse, “His command, when He desires a thing, is to say to it ‘Be’, and it is” (Qur’an). So He attributed the coming into existence to the world in respect of its receptivity.

The essence of the Name ‘the Inward’ is the same as the essence of the Name ‘the Outward’. And the Recipient is the same as the Agent …. So the uncreated archetype (of every being) is His Essence. And Act and Receptivity are His two hands …. So He is the Active Agent with one of His hands and the Recipient with the other. The Essence is one, and the multiplicity is formed by various imprints and pictures …. So it is correct to say that He has never brought anything into existence but His Own Self, and there is nothing but His Self-manifestation.” Although forms are many in your eyes, when you look closely, one Being has come repeatedly. If we possess power and acts, they are not because of us; they are because He has come to appear through us.

Back to top button