Theophany

THE QUINTESSENCE OF THE WISDOM OF UNITY

IN THE LOGOS OF HUD

Since Hud was dominated by the contemplation of the Unity of the multiplicity of Lordship, for he was observing the directing of the one Lord in the multiple vassals which are His loci of Self-manifestation, the Wisdom of Unity — i.e., the Unity of the Lordship — had to be set aside. The ends of the paths traversed by wayfarers, whether physical or spiritual, are all at God, and God is their end. This is because since God encompasses all things in being and knowledge and accompanies all things with a “withness” pertaining to His Essence and pure of the mixture, incarnation, division, and all that does not befit His Majesty, He is the end of every path and the goal of every wayfarer. In the Qur’an He added after His words, “And thou, surely thou guidest unto a straight path — the path of God, to whom belongs whatsoever is in the heavens, and whatsoever is in the earth”, the words, “Do not all things reach God at last?” (Qur’an). Thus He announces that the end of all things is God. And everything walks upon a path, either spiritual or physical according to the traveler. And God is its end, for, “Unto God is the journeying” (cf. Qur’an).

So each of them, i.e., each of the paths, is a straight path, but there is no glory in His unrestricted relations where all differences are removed, like His unrestricted “withness” and accompaniment (of every being), the unrestricted straightness of His path, the fact that all Paths without restriction lead to Him in respect of His all-embraced, and the unrestricted attention of His Essence and Attributes to creation — for verily there is no difference between His attention toward creating the Throne and the Supreme Pen on the one hand and His attention toward creating an ant on the other in respect of the Unity of His Essence and in respect of the act of paying attention. He said, “Thou seest not in the creation of the All-Merciful any disparity” (cf. Qur’an). And this is also the case with the“withness” and the accompaniment by the Essence, for He encompasses “everything in mercy and knowledge” (cf. Qur’an). And here His mercy is His Being, for it is existence alone which things have in common despite their disparities and differences. And His knowledge at the plane of the Unity of His Essence does not differ from His Essence, nor is it distinguished from it, for here there is no multiplicity in any respect.

Therefore if it is merely established that He is the goal of everything, the end of every path and with everything and that He encompasses both the inward and outward aspects of all things, the benefit does not become general, nor does felicity become complete. The benefits only appear according to the differentiation of degrees and stations, the differences among directions and paths, and the discrepancy among those things to which He calls and attracts you. Therefore God calls us to worship Him according to the path which connects us to our own particular felicity – which is the attainment of salvation and high degrees — not any path, for surely although every path will take us to Him according to one of the Names — for in one respect, every Name is the same as the Named – this brings no benefit or felicity; for the Names are different in respect of their natures and effects. How is “He who harms” comparable to “Him who gives benefits”, or “the Bestower” to “the Preventer”? And how is “the Avenger” comparable to “the Forgiver”, or “the Benign Benefactor”  to “the Vanquisher”?

And it, i.e., the path which leads to our felicity, is what He prescribed for us through the tongue of the Prophet. So owing to the first thing mentioned, i.e., that He is the end of every path and encompasses all things, His “mercy embraces all things” (cf. Qur’an); therefore the outcome· and the ultimate issue is felicity, wherever the servant may be, whether in Paradise or hell. And since someone might imagine that felicity is to reach Paradise and its various degrees — so how should the end of everyone be Paradise, when some of them remain forever in the Fire? –  i.e. felicity, is attaining that which is in agreement with the constitution of the servant, whether it be the degrees of Bliss or the levels of hellfire.

The divine mercy is of two kinds: first is the absolute mercy of the divine Essence, the “mercy of gratuitous gift”, and it is this mercy which “embraces all things” (cf. Qur’an). From this mercy is derived every gift which is given without having been asked for, without a need existing, and without its being the recipient’s due or the result of merit permanently fixed within him or an act resulting in God’s good pleasure, as for example the blessings which are received in Paradise by a certain people in keeping with the mystery commonly known as “grace” and referred to in the hadith of the Prophet which says that there will remain empty places in the Garden which God will fill with some of His creatures who have never done any good, to accomplish His previous decision and His words (in the hadith), “To each one of you two (Heaven and hell) your fill.” The other mercy flows from the mercy of His Essence but is separated from it by certain conditions, including the “prescription” referred to in His words, “Your Lord has prescribed for Himself mercy” (cf. Qur’an) and “I shall prescribe it (My mercy) for those who are Godfearing” (cf. Qur’an). So it is limited and conditional upon certain acts and states.

And among mankind is he who attains mercy from pure gratuitous gift and sheer grace, without a precedent act which would require it or works which would attract it; on the contrary, by means of it he gains the power to perform all of his acts and works. And among them is he who attains it in respect of the obligation, or in respect of its being obligatory upon God since He has obligated Himself to bestow it in recompense for acts which He has prescribed. But this also is a gratuitous gift, for the servant is obliged to obey his master and carry out his commands. So when he obliges himself to give something in return, that is a mercy and gratuitous gift to the servant.

But as for the Godfearing servant, for whom God has prescribed mercy, as He says, “I shall prescribe it for those who are Godfearing”, he has two states: the first of them is a state in which he is in the protection of God from blameworthy things and from imperfections, by attributing them to himself, not to Him. And this is necessitated by fathoming the reality of things, for blameworthy and ugly things are all the effects of the nothingness which pertains to the servant, the possible being who receives existence. And the second is a state in which God is a protection for him from attributing to himself praiseworthy things, for he attributes virtues, beauties, praiseworthy qualities, and perfection to God. So He is a protection for him from attributing to himself those things which do not truly pertain to his individual reality, for they are ontological matters, and Being belongs to God alone, or rather, Being is God in reality. And it, or God’s being protection for him, is obvious because things pertaining to Being obviously return to Him.

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