Isnin, 7 Mac 2011

FUSUS AL-HIKAM - Seals of Wisdom - ENTRI 25

25: The Seal of the Wisdom of Sublimity
in the Word of Musa (Moses)

The wisdom of the killing of the male children in respect to Musa was in order to give him the support of the life of each of those killed for his sake because each of them was killed for being Musa. There is no ignorance, so the life of the one killed for his sake had to return to Musa. It is pure life in the natural state (fitra). The desires of the self have not soiled it; rather, it is in its natural state of "Yes (bala)." (1) Musa was the sum of the lives of those killed for being him. All that was prepared for the murdered ones in the way of the predisposition of their spirits was in Musa, peace be upon him. This is a divine favour to Musa which no one before him had.

The wisdoms of Musa are numerous. If Allah wills, I will enumerate them in this chapter according to what the divine command puts into my mind. This is the first about which I shall speak in this chapter.

Musa was only born being a synthesis of many spirits. He was a concentration of effective forces since the young have an effect on the old. Do you not see how the child has an effect on the older person by the special quality the child has? The older person descends from his leading position to play with the child and rock him in his arms and to show himself at the child's level of intellect he descends to the level of the child's intellect. He is under subjugation even though he is not aware of it. He occupies himself with instructing and protecting the child, seeing to his needs and consoling him so that the child is not distressed.

All this is part of the effect of the young on the old. That is due to the strength of his station. The young has a new covenant with his Lord because he has newly come into being. The old person is further from Him. Whoever is nearer to Allah subjects whoever is further away from Him, just as the elite of the near angels subject the further ones. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to expose himself to the rain when it came down and to uncover his head so that it would fall on him. He said that it has a new covenant with Allah. Look at this recognition of Allah on the part of this Prophet! What is more glorious, more sublime and clearer than this? The rain subjected the best of men due to its proximity to its Lord. That is a likeness of the Messenger on whom the revelation descends. The rain called him by its own state, (2) and so he exposed himself to the rain in order to receive from it what it brought from his Lord. If he had not received this divine benefit from it by the rain, he would not have exposed himself to it. This is the message of water from which Allah has fashioned every living thing (3) - so understand! As for the wisdom of Musa being put into the ark and then cast into the river, the ark (tâbût) is his human nature (nâsût). The river is what he received of knowledge through his body by what the power of discernment and the sensory imaginative faculties accorded him. Only by the existence of this elemental body does the human self have these faculties or their like. When the self comes to this body and is commanded to freely dispose of it and manage it, Allah gives it these faculties as instruments by which it obtains what Allah wills that it obtain in the management of this ark which contains the sakina (4) of the Lord. Musa was cast into the river in order to receive various knowledges by these faculties. Thus Allah taught him that the spirit which manages him is the ruler. He is only managed by it. It gives him the command of these faculties of phenomenal being which are in this nâsût that is designated by the ark in the field of indications and wisdoms.

Allah manages the universe in the same way, and it is only managed by it or by its form. It is only managed by Him inasmuch as the arrival of the one begotten depends upon its being brought into existence by the begetter. Caused things depend on their causes, proven things depend on their proofs, and true things depend on their realities. All of this is part of the universe, and it is Allah's management of it, and he only manages by it.

As for our statement, "or by its form," I mean the form of the universe, and by it I mean the Most Beautiful Names and sublime attributes by which Allah is named and described. Nothing of a name by which He is called has reached us but that we found the meaning and spirit of that name in the universe. The universe is also only managed by the form of the universe.

For that reason, the Prophet said in respect of the creation of Adam who is the blueprint which gathers all the attributes of the Divine Presence which is the essence, the attributes and the actions: "Allah created Adam in His form." His form is only the Divine Presence. In this noble epitome, which is the Perfect Man, He brought into existence all the Divine Names and the realities of that which is outside of him in the Macrocosm separate from him. He made Adam a spirit (rûh) for the universe, and so He subjected to him the high and the low through the perfection of his form. As there is nothing in the universe that "does not glorify Allah's praise," (5) in the same way, there is nothing in the world which is not subject to this man according to what the reality of his form accords him. Allah says, "He has made everything that is in the heavens and the earth subservient to you. It is all from Him." (22:65) All that is in the universe is subject to man. He who knows that from his knowledge is the Perfect Man. He who is ignorant of that is the Animal Man.

The form of casting Musa into the ark and then casting the ark into the river is outwardly a form of destruction. Inwardly, it was his rescue from being killed. He was brought to life as the self is brought to life by knowledge from the death of ignorance as Allah says, "Is someone who was dead (i.e. by ignorance) and whom We brought to life (with knowledge) and supplied with a light by which to walk among the people (which is guidance) the same as someone who is in utter darkness (in being astray) unable to emerge from it (i.e. will never be guided)?" (6) In itself the matter has no end at which it stops.

Guidance is that man is guided to bewilderment (hayra). He knows that the business is bewilderment. Bewilderment is being unsettled and movement. Movement is life. There is no non-movement nor death. There is existence and not non-existence. It is the same with the water which gives life to the earth. Its movement is His word, "so it quivers" and conceives, "and swells" with pregnancy, "and sprouts plants in beautiful pairs." (7) It only gives birth to what resembles it, i.e. has a nature like it. It has being linked in pairs (zawjiya) which is the state of being doubled by what is born from it and what appears from it.

Similarly, the existence of Allah has multiplicity and the many Names. It is this or that according to what appears from it of the universe which demands the realities of the Divine Names by its development. They are doubled by it and stand in opposition to the unity of multiplicity. It is one by source in respect to its essence, as the primal substance (hayûla) is a single source in respect to its essence, while it has many forms which it supports by its essence. It is the same with Allah through the forms of tajalli which are manifested from Him. So the locii of the tajalli are the forms of the universe, in spite of the intelligible unity (ahadiyya). Look at the excellence of this divine instruction which Allah gives by granting its recognition to whoever He wishes among His slaves.

When the family of Pharaoh found him in the river by the tree, Pharaoh called him Musa. Mu is water in Coptic and sha is tree. He named him by where he found him, for the ark stopped by the tree in the river. Pharaoh wanted to kill him. His wife, speaking by divine articulation in what she said to Pharaoh about Musa since Allah had created her for perfection as Allah said about her when He testified that she and Maryam, daughter of 'Imran, have the perfection which men have (8) - said, "he may be a source of delight for me and for you." (28:9) She would be consoled by him with the perfection which she received as we have said.

The consolation of Pharaoh was with the belief Allah gave him when he was drowning. So Allah took him pure and purified. There was no impurity in him since He took him in his belief before he had acquired any wrong actions. Islam effaces what was before it. He made him a sign of His concern so that none might despair of the mercy of Allah, for "no one despairs of solace from Allah except for the unbelievers." (12:87) If Pharaoh been of those who despair, he would not have embarked on belief. Musa, peace be upon him, was, as the wife of Pharaoh said, "a source of delight for me and for you. Do not kill him. It may well be that he will be of use to us." That is what happened. Allah gave them use of Musa, although they were not aware that he was a prophet who would destroy the kingdom of Pharaoh and his family.

When Allah protected him from Pharaoh, his mother's heart was freed of the anxiety which had befallen her. Then Allah forbade him to be suckled until he had received his mother's breast, so she suckled him that Allah might complete her joy. The knowledge of the roads (sharâ'i) is like that. It is as Allah said, "to each We have made a road," (5:48) i.e. a path (tariq), "and a direction (minhaj)" from that path. This statement is an indication of the root from which he came (minhuja). It is his food as the tree has branches and yet is only nourished by its root. What is haram in one Shari'a can be halal in another Shari'a - I mean in a certain form it can be halal, while in the heart of the matter it is not really the same as what passed because the matter is new creation, not repetition. This is what we instruct you! It is referred to in connection with Musa when the wet-nurses were made haram.

In reality, the one who suckled him, not the one who bore him, is his mother. The mother of birth carried him in regard to the trust. He is formed within her and fed by her menstrual blood without any volition on her part in that, so that does not come from her benevolence towards him. He is only fed by what would destroy her or make her ill had he not been nourished on it, or had that blood not gone out of her. The embryo is a gift to its mother since it feeds on what would cause her harm had that blood remained with her and not gone out of her, or had not the embryo been nourished on it.

Suckling is not the same. By her suckling, she intends to give him life and to sustain him. Allah gave that to Musa in the mother who bore him. No woman outside of his mother by birth had any right over him that she also might find consolation in bringing him up and watching him grow in her room, and so she was not sad.

Allah saved him from the grief of the ark, so he pierced natural darkness by what Allah gave him of divine knowledge, while he did not depart from nature. He tested him with many trials (9) and gave him experience in many places so that he might realize patience in himself in the trials Allah gave him.

The first of Allah's trials was the killing of the Copt which Allah inspired him to do and gave him success in his secret yet he did not know this. However, Musa did not feel any anxiety over killing him, although he was unsure until the command of his Lord told him, since the Prophet is inwardly protected without being aware of it until he is informed, until transmission comes to him. For this reason, al-Khidr showed him the killing of the boy, (10) so Musa criticized the killing but did not remember how he had killed the Copt. Al-Khidr told him, "I did not do it of my own volition," (18:82) and he informed him of his rank before he told him that his movement was protected in reality, but he was not aware of it.

Al-Khidr also showed him the piercing of the ship. Outwardly it was destruction, but inwardly it was rescue from the hand of the tyrant. He made that an analogy of the ark which was in the river its outward aspect was destruction, while inwardly it was rescue, for his mother did it fearing the hand of the tyrant, who was Pharaoh, that he might not kill Musa in captivity. She looked at him with the revelation Allah had inspired in her while she was not aware of it. She felt in herself that she would suckle him. When she feared for him, she cast him into the river because, as the proverb says, "What the eye does not see does not afflict the heart." She did not fear for him with the fear of the witnessing of the eye, and she was not sad with the sorrow of seeing him. It came over her thoughts that perhaps Allah would return him to her, for she had a good opinion of Him. She lived by this thought in herself and by the hope which was opposite fear and despair. When she was inspired to do this, she said, "Perhaps he is the Messenger who will destroy Pharaoh and the Copts." She lived and took joy in this, which was illusion and thought in respect of herself, but, in the heart of the matter, it is knowledge.

When they searched for Musa (after he had killed the Copt), he left in flight, fearful outwardly and in the meaning, it was love of deliverance for movement is always by love, but the onlooker is veiled from it by other causes, which are not the movement. This is because the root is the movement of the universe from non-existence which was immobile in existence. That is why it is said that the matter is movement from immobility. The movement which is the existence of the universe is the movement of love. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, quoting Allah, "I was a hidden treasure, therefore I wanted (lit. loved) to be known." (11)

If it had not been for this love, the universe would not have appeared in its source. Its movement from non-existence to existence is the movement of the love of the One who brings into existence for this purpose. The universe also loves to witness itself in existence as it was witnessed in immutability. Thus by every aspect, the movement from immutable non-existence to the existence of the sources is a movement of love, both in respect of Allah and in respect to itself.

Perfection is loved for itself. Allah's knowledge of Himself is His, since He is independent of the worlds. It belongs only to Him. The perfection of the rank of knowledge only remains by the in-time knowledge which comes from these sources. When the sources of the universe exist, then the forms of perfection appear with timeless and in-time knowledge. Thus the rank of knowledge is perfected by two aspects.

In the same way, the ranks of existence are perfected. Existence from it is before-time and not before-time, which is in-time. Pre-temporal (azali) time is the existence of Allah by Himself, and non-pre-temporal-time is the existence of Allah by the forms of the immutable universe. It is called in-time because it manifests some parts to others. He is manifest to Himself by the forms of the universe, and so existence is perfected.

The movement of the universe is by love of perfection, so understand! Do you not see how what the Divine Names bring into existence is breathed from the absence of the manifestation of their effects in a entity called the universe? It loves rest (12) which is only reached by the existence of form, high and low. Thus it is confirmed that movement occurs by love. The only movement in the entire cosmos is by love.

Among the 'ulama' are those who know that and those who are veiled by the nearer cause because it rules their state (hâl) and overpowers them. Musa was aware of his fear by what occurred through his killing the Copt. That fear implied love of deliverance from killing. So he fled by fear. In the meaning, he fled when he loved deliverance from Pharaoh and his deeds. He mentioned the nearest cause which he was aware of at that moment, which is like the form of the body of man, and love of deliverance is contained in it as the body contains the spirit which manages it.

The Prophets had the language of the outward with which they addressed people in general and on which they relied to make the one who listened understand what was said. The Messengers make allowances for people in general by their knowledge of the rank of the people of understanding. It is as the Prophet, peace be upon him, said about gifts, "I give to this man, while another man is more beloved to me than him for I fear that Allah might throw him down into the Fire." He made allowances for those whose intellect and discernment are weak and who are overcome by greed and nature.

Similarly, what they brought of knowledges, they brought wearing a robe (13) which nearer to the understanding, so that the one who has no "diving" might stop at the robe and say, "How excellent this robe is!" and he will see it as the limit of rank. Because of what this robe from the king demands, the one with subtle understanding, the one who dives for the pearls of wisdom, looks at the quality of the robe and its type of material. By it, he knows the degree of the one it covers, and so he stumbles onto a knowledge which no one else has obtained from those without knowledge of such matters.

Then the Prophets and Messengers and heirs knew that in this world and in their communities, there are those who, in this manner, express themselves in the outward language which the elite and common share. The one who is elite understands of it what the common understand, and more, inasmuch as it is valid that he be called elite. He is distinguished from the blind. Those who have obtained knowledges are content with this. This is the wisdom of his words, "I fled from you when I was in fear of you," (14) but he did not say, "I fled from you by love of safety and well-being."

Musa came to Madyan and found two women and got water for them without being paid for it. Then he turned away to the divine shade and said, "O my Lord, I am truly in need of any good You have in store for me." (28:24) He made the source of his getting water the same as the good which Allah sent down to him, and he described himself as being in need of Allah in the good which he had. Al-Khidr showed him the setting-up of the wall without wage, but Musa chided him for it. So al-Khidr reminded him of his drawing water without wage, and other things which were not mentioned. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, wished that Musa had remained silent and had not left him so that Allah would have related more about them.

Al-Khidr alerted Musa to the fact that what had come to him and would come to him was by the command of Allah and His will which it is impossible to contradict. Knowledge of that is one of the prerogatives of wilaya. As for the Messenger, He might not acquaint him with it, for it is the secret of the decree.(15) If He had acquainted him with that, it might have been a reason for his lassitude in conveying what he was commanded to convey. Allah withholds the knowledge of this from some of the Messengers as a mercy to them from Him. He did not withhold it from our Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, because of the strength of his state. This is why our Prophet said, "I call on Allah by inner sight." (75:14)

By this he knew what Musa had succeeded in had been without knowledge on his part. If it had been from knowledge, Musa would not have criticized what al-Khidr did, since Allah had testified before Musa as to al-Khidr's purity and justice. In spite of this, Musa was heedless of the fact that Allah had made him pure, and of the conditions set down for following him. This was a mercy for us if we forget the command of Allah. If Musa had known that, al-Khidr would not have said to him, "What you have never encompassed in your knowledge," meaning I have a knowledge which you have not received by tasting as you have a knowledge which I do not know. He was just.

As for the wisdom of his parting from him, it is because Allah said of the Messenger, "Take what the Messenger brings you, and avoid what he prohibits you." (59:7) The 'ulama' of Allah who recognize this quality of the Message and the Messenger stop at this statement. Al-Khidr knew that Musa was the Messenger of Allah. He regarded what came from him to preserve the adab which is due to the Messengers. Musa said to him, "If I ask you about anything after this, then you should no longer keep me company." So he forbade al-Khidr to keep his company. When that occurred for the third time, al-Khidr therefore said, "This is where you and I part company," Musa did not tell him, "Do not do it," nor did he seek to keep him company for he knew the level of the rank he was in when he spoke of the prohibition against keeping him company. Musa was silent, and the parting took place.

Look at the perfection of these two men in knowledge and the completion of divine adab as right, and the justice of al-Khidr, peace be upon him, in what he acknowledged to Musa when he said, "I have a knowledge which Allah has taught me which you do not know, and you have a knowledge which Allah has taught me which you do not know." This information which al-Khidr imparted to Musa was a remedy for the wound inflicted on him in his words, "How indeed could you bear with patience something you have not encompassed in your knowledge?" (18:68) although he knew the sublimity of his rank with the message, and al-Khidr did not have this rank.

This appeared in the community of Muhammad in the hadith regarding the fertilization of the date tree. The Prophet, peace be upon him, told his Companions, "You know more about the matters of your daily life."16 There is no doubt that the knowledge of the thing is better than ignorance of it. Allah praises Himself, saying,"He has knowledge of all things." The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, acknowledged to his Companions that they knew more about the exigencies of this world than him because he had no experience of them. It is knowledge of tasting (dhawq) and experience, and the Prophet, peace be upon him, had not occupied himself with this sort of knowledge. Rather, he was occupied with what was more important. I have informed you about a great adab by which will benefit you if you occupy yourself with it.

Musa's statement, "My Lord gave me right judgement," (26:21) means the khilafah, "and made me one of the Messengers," means the message. Not every Messenger is a Khalif. The Khalif has a sword, duties and governance. The Messenger is not the same rather, he transmits what he has been sent to transmit. If he does battle and defends with the sword, then he is both Khalif and Messenger.

As for the wisdom of Pharaoh's question regarding divine whatness (mâhiya) when he said, "What is the Lord of the worlds?" (26:23) that question did not arise from ignorance, but it was posed in order to test Musa and to see what answer he would give when he claimed that he had a message from his Lord. Pharaoh knew the rank of the Messengers in knowledge of Allah and he wanted to test Musa's answer to ascertain the validity of his claim. In order to inform those present, he invited an answer which would have been misleading as far as they were concerned since they did not know what Pharaoh himself knew about the question. Musa answered him with the answer of those who have knowledge of the matter. Then Pharaoh, in order to preserve his position, asserted that Musa had not answered his question. So because of the inadequacy of their understanding, it seemed clear to those who were present that Pharaoh knew more than Musa. For this reason, when Musa answered him with what was not appropriate and outwardly it is not an answer to what he was asked about and Pharaoh knew that he would only give that answer, Pharaoh then said to his companions, "Your Messenger" who was sent to you "is mad" since the knowledge of what I question him about is veiled from him (17) since it is inconceivable that it be known at all.

The question is valid. The question of the what-ness is a question about the reality of what is asked about - it must be real in itself. As for those who make definitions which consist of category and genus, these are matters shared by various things. Whoever has no category must have a reality in Himself which belongs to no other. The question is invalid in the school of the People of Allah, sound knowledge and sound intellect. The only answer to it is the answer Musa gave.

Here is a great secret! He mentioned the "act" in giving the answer to the one who asked for a definition of essence. He made the essential definition the source of the attribution to what appeared of Him in the forms of the universe, or what appeared in Him of the forms of the universe. In answer to, "What is the Lord of the worlds?" he said that He is the One in whom the forms of the universe are manifest on high which is the heaven - and below - which is the earth, "if you but have certainty," (18) or He who is manifest by them.

When Pharaoh told his companions that Musa was mad, (majnûn) in the sense that he was possessed, Musa added to the elucidation in order to inform Pharaoh of his rank in divine knowledge because he knew that Pharaoh already knew that. Musa said, "The Lord of the East and the West," bringing what was manifest and what was hidden, in the outward and the inward, "and what between them is" which is Allah's words, "He has knowledge of everything," "if you have intellect," (19) i.e. if you possess qualification since this comes from intellect.

The first answer is for those who are certain, and they are the people of unveiling and existence. Musa said, "If you have certainty," i.e. if you are the people of unveiling and existence. I have given you knowledge of what you are already certain about in your witnessing and existence. If you are not of this category, I have answered you in the second answer: if you are among the people of intellect and qualification, and you limit Allah according to what the proofs of your intellects accord.

Thus Musa manifested both aspects in order to inform Pharaoh about his question and his veracity. Musa knew that Pharaoh knew that because he asked about the what-ness of Allah. He knew that his question was not couched in the language the ancients used in their questioning by means of what. That is why he answered him. If he had known anything else from him, he would have been mistaken in the question. Musa treated that about which he was asked as the source of the universe, and Pharaoh addressed him by this language (20) although the people present were not aware of that.

Pharaoh said to him, "If you take any god other than me, I will certainly make you one of the imprisoned." (26:29) The letter sin in prison (sijn) is one of the letters of increase, (21) meaning I will veil you, for you answered by what supported me so that I might say the same to you. If you say to me, "O Pharaoh! I do not I do not recognize your threat to me while the source is but one, so how can you separate?" Then Pharaoh replied, "The ranks are separate, but the source is not separate and it is not divided in its existence. My rank right now is power over you by actual fact, O Musa! I am you by the source and other than you by rank!"

When Musa understood that from him, he gave him his due in respect to himself and told him, "You will not be able to do that." Pharaoh's rank gave him power and influence over Musa because Allah is in the rank of Pharaoh in respect of the outward form which has authority over the rank in which Musa appeared in that assembly.

Therefore Musa told him that Allah had manifested a barrier to his hostility against Musa. He said, "Even if I were to bring you something undeniable?" Pharaoh could only reply, " Produce it then, if you are someone telling the truth" so that Pharaoh would not appear to be unjust among those of his nation who were weak-minded. They had doubts about him, and they were the group Pharaoh made unsteady. However, they obeyed Pharaoh because they were a corrupt people; (22) that is, lacking sound intellects' rejection of taking Pharaoh's claims literally. The intellect stops at a certain limit, and only those of unveiling and certainty can cross that limit. This is why in his answer, Musa first addressed those of certainty and then address those of the intellect.

"So he drew down his staff ('asa)" (26:32) which is the form with which Pharaoh defied (23) ('asa) Musa when he refused to answer his call. "And there it was, unmistakably a snake," i.e. an evident snake. Thus rebellion, which is evil, changed into obedience, which is good, as Allah says, "Allah will transform their evil deeds into good deeds," (25:70) meaning in judgement. Here the judgement manifested a differentiated source in a single substance (jawhar) so it is a staff, a snake, and a manifest serpent. It devoured its likes among the snakes in the form of a snake, and the staffs in the form of a staff. The proof of Musa overcame the proofs of Pharaoh in the form of staffs, snakes and ropes. The sorcerers had ropes, but Musa did not have a rope. The "rope" is the small hill; (24) that is, their powers in relation to the power of Musa is as the hills are to the lofty mountains.

When the sorcerers saw that, they recognized Musa's rank in knowledge and they saw that he possessed a power which was not mortal. If it had been within the power of a mortal, it would only belong to someone who could distinguish sure knowledge from imagination and illusion. So they believed in "the Lord of the Worlds, the Lord of Musa and Harun" - that is, the Lord to whom Musa and Harun summoned them because they knew that the people understood that they were not being called to Pharaoh. Pharaoh was in the position of authority, and he was the master of the moment since he was the Khalif with the sword, even though he broke the customary divine laws when he said, "I am your Lord most high" - i.e. since all are lords, (25) I am the highest of them through the power which you have outwardly given me over you. The sorcerers knew that he spoke the truth in what he said, and they did not deny it. They affirmed that to Pharaoh, and said, "You only judge in this passing life, so judge as you like, for the kingdom is yours." So the statement of Pharaoh, "I am your Lord most high," was valid. Although the source is from Allah, the form is Pharaoh's. He cut off the hands and feet, and crucified through a real source in false form in order to attain the ranks which are only attained by that act.

There is no way to neutralize causes because the source-forms necessitate them. They only appear in existence by the form on which they are based at the source since "there is no changing the words of Allah." (10:64) The words of Allah are not other than the sources of existent things. Timelessness is ascribed to Him in respect to their permanence, and in-time ness is ascribed to them in respect of their existence and appearance. Thus we say, a certain man or guest happened (26) to be with us today." That does not mean that he did not have any existence before this event. For that reason, Allah says about His Mighty Word which is timeless, "No reminder (dhikr) from their Lord comes to them lately renewed (27) without their listening to it as if it were a game," (21:2) and "but no fresh (28) reminder reaches them from the All- Merciful, without their turning away from it." (26:5) The Merciful only brings mercy, and whoever turns away from mercy advances the punishment which is the absence of mercy.

As for the words of Allah, "but their belief when they saw Our violent force was of no use to them. That is the pattern Allah has always followed with His slaves," (29) (40:85) that did not mean that it did not profit them in the Next World through His exception, "except for the people of Yunus." He meant that that did not prevent them being punished in this world. For that reason, Pharaoh was seized in spite of the existence of his belief even though his affair was that of someone who is certain that his death is approaching. The circumstances accord that he was not certain that he was going to die because he saw the believers walking on the dry path which had appeared when Musa struck the sea with his staff. Pharaoh was not certain that he would perish since he believed that he would not die until the moment actually reached him. He believed in the One in whom the Tribe of Israel believed, in certainty of his deliverance.

It was indeed certain, but it was in a form other than the one he wanted. He was saved from the punishment of the Next World in himself and his body was saved as Allah says, "Today We will save your body that you might be a sign for those after you," (10:92) because, if his form had vanished, his people might have said that he had gone into occultation. His known form appeared as a corpse that it might be known that it was really him. Deliverance was encompassed both in the senses and in the meaning.

The one who has the word of the punishment in the Other World realized for him (30) will not believe, even if every ayat had been brought to him, "so that they might see the painful punishment," that is, taste the punishment of the Next World. Pharaoh left this class of people. This is the literal meaning of what the text of the Qur'an brought us. We say, and the matter belongs to Allah, that the fixed idea which the common people have regarding the wretchedness of Pharaoh is not based on anything in the divine text. As for his family, that is another judgement. This is not the place to mention it.

Know that Allah only takes someone while he believes that is, affirms what divine transmissions bring, and I mean those who are consciousness at death. This is why dislikes sudden death and being killed while unaware is disliked. The definition of sudden death is that the incoming breath goes out and the outcoming breath does not come in. This is sudden death and when that happens, one is not conscious of death.

It is the same if a man is killed unawares by a blow from behind on the back of the neck. He is then taken with whatever belief or disbelief he possesses at that moment. For that reason, the Prophet said, "One will be gathered in the state in which one dies," as one is taken in whatever one is doing at the time. The one who is conscious of death is only the one who sees it coming. He believes what he sees. He is only taken in what he is doing because that is an existent expression connected to time by the circumstances. We distinguish between the unbeliever who is conscious at death and the unbeliever either killed while unaware or who dies suddenly as we have said in the definition of sudden death.

As for the wisdom of tajalli and the discourse on the form of the fire, this was because it was the object of Musa's desire. Allah gave him a tajalli in what he was searching for so that Musa would turn to Him and not turn away. If Allah had given the tajalli in other than the form which he was seeking, Musa would have turned away because his interest was concentrated on a particular goal. If he had turned away, his action would have rebounded on him, and Allah would have turned away from him. Musa was the chosen one and the one brought near. When Allah brings someone near to Him, He gives him a tajalli in the object he desires, without him knowing it.

Like the Fire of Musa
which he saw as what he needed.
It was Allah,
but he did not perceive it.

Notes to Chapter 25:

1. "Yes, we testify." Qur'an 7:172. Before the selves were created, Allah asked them, "Am I not your Lord?" They replied. "Yes, we testify."

2. In the form of knowledge and life descending from Allah.

3. See Qur'an 21:30.

4. Divine Presence which causes calmness and tranquillity in the hearts of the Believers. It is also related to the Ark of the Covenant and to Bayt al-Maqdis, when the invisible Sakina/Shechina descends from above. See 2:249: "The sign of his kinship is that the Ark will come to you, containing a Sakina from your Lord, and certain relics left by the families of Musa and Harun left. It will be borne by angels."

5. Qur'an 17:44.

6. Qur'an 6:122.

7. Qur'an 22:5.

8. Qur'an 66:11: "Allah has make an example for the believers - the wife of Pharaoh when she said, 'My Lord, build a house in the Garden for me in Your Presence, and rescue me from Pharaoh and his deeds."

Also the hadith in al-Bukhari and Muslim from Abu Musa, "Many men have been perfect, but among women only Maryam, daughter of 'Imran, and Asiya, wife of Pharaoh, were perfect."

9. See Qur'an 20:40, "We rescued you from trouble and tested you with many trials."

10. See the story in the Qur'an 18:65-82.

11. Hadith qudsi.

12. i.e reaching the perfection of love. This is called or love or yearning after the parting.

13. khil'a, a robe of honor.

14. Qur'an 26:21.

15. Sirr al-Qadar.

16. Hadith narrated by Imam Muslim.

17. Madness "junun" is related to veils.

18. "The Lord of the heavens and the earth and what is between them is you have certainty." Qur'an 26:24.

19. Qur'an 26:28.

20. of unveiling.

21. Zawa'id, the augmentative letters, i.e. the ten letters which are added to the radical letters in Arabic words sin, hamza, alif, lam, ta', mim, waw, nun, ya' and ha'. If you take away the sin from sijn (prison), you get "jinn" meaning veil.

22. See Qur'an 43:54, "In that way he swayed his people and they succumbed to him. They were a people of deviators."

23. 'Asâ as a noun means "staff", and 'Asâ as a verb means "to rebel against , oppose."

24. Habl meaning "rope" also means mound or small hill.

25. Lord being a relative name, demanding a subject, also because it means owner, so one says the lord of the house, the "lord" of a herd, etc. Also one who looks after, the "lord" of a child.

26. Huduth means coming into existence for the first time. It also means an event or occurrence.

27. Muhdath.

28. Muhdath.

29. It like is in Qur'an 10:98, where the punishment is removed from the people of Yunus after they believed.

30. See Qur'an 39:71.

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