Spheres Within One Another

The Second Station of the Fourteenth Flash (Part 9) 

NOTE: The quoted passages are from Ustadh Bediuzzaman’s book and the commentaries below them are my own.

Consequently, it is to express this substantial reason that the Wise Qur’an, when discussing the great sphere of [this] universe – for instance the creation of the heavens and the earth – suddenly discusses a most miniscule sphere and a most delicate particular so as to show the seal of divine oneness (Ahadiyyah) in an apparent manner. For instance, in a discussion regarding the creation of the heavens and earth, it opens a discussion of the human creation, the human’s voice, and the delicate favors and wisdom in his face. So that the mind does not drift away, the heart does not drown, and the soul directly finds its Object of Worship.

For example, the verse وَمِنۡ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦ خَلۡقُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَٱخۡتِلَـٰفُ أَلۡسِنَتِڪُمۡ وَأَلۡوَٲنِكُمۡ‌ “Another of His signs is the creation of the heavens and earth, and the diversity of your languages and colours” shows the mentioned truth in a miraculous way.

As discussed in the previous post, the Ahadiyyah aspect of God’s names and attributes allow us to observe these names and attributes more easily when compared to the Wahidiyyah aspect. It is thus possible for the soul to directly find its Object of Worship through a relatively simpler path.

Yes, stamps of unity (wahdah) in a boundless creation and endless abundance, like spheres within one another, have [various] types and levels from the biggest to the smallest stamp. Nonetheless, that oneness, however it may be, is still oneness within abundance; it cannot fully provide a true address. In consequence, it is necessary for a stamp of divine oneness (Ahadiyyah) to be present behind unity (wahdah), so that it does not bring abundance to mind, [and] opens a direct path for the heart towards the Most Pure and Holy One (Dhat Al-Aqdas).

Contemplating the whole universe and the unity within it essentially leads to monotheism. Recall that a minute example of this was discussed in an earlier post as an example for al-Wahidiyyah. Rather than considering the whole universe, we may instead consider just the Milky Way and the unity within it. While this is a relatively smaller sphere when compared to that of the universe, difficulty still remains considering the vast number of beings contained within it. We may then pick an even smaller sphere, say the earth, within the Milky Way, and so on. No matter how small the sphere is, however, we still encounter an endless abundance, making it very difficult to observe the monotheism which it reveals.

Essentially, we have spheres within one another of different sizes but each of them is composed of abundantly many pieces or beings. It is not possible to truly contemplate the entirety of these spheres, including them in the “we” while addressing God in the verse “It is You we worship; It is You we ask for help”. We may therefore turn to divine oneness, which provides oneness within unity. That is, rather than considering, say the earth, as an object composed of many beings and parts; we may view it as just the earth, a single object. This is considered oneness (eg. earth) within the unity of numerous things (eg, oceans + land + animals + plants …etc). In other words, God has placed oneness behind unity so as to make it easier for us humans to reflect upon them. He has combined the numerous cells, bones, and particles into a single object, a human. Similarly the land, oceans, and trees were combined into a single object, the earth, and so on.

 Moreover, in order to direct the gazes to and attract the hearts towards the stamp of divine oneness (Ahadiyyah), [He] has placed the stamp of mercy and the seal of compassion – [such] a highly appealing pattern, a highly luminous light (noor), a highly sweet delightfulness, a highly lovable beauty, and a highly powerful truth – on that stamp of divine oneness (Ahadiyyah). Yes, it is the power of that mercy which attracts the gazes of conscious beings, draws them towards itself, leads them to the stamp of divine oneness (Ahadiyyah), and causes them to contemplate the One of Divine Oneness (Ahadiyyah), and from that allows them to attain the truth of the address إِيَّاكَ نَعۡبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسۡتَعِينُ “It is You we worship; it is You we ask for help”.

Divine oneness allows us to reach the truth of the address “It is You we worship; it is You we ask for help”. That is, our minds do not drift away within the abundance of numerous things but is able to observe oneness behind the unity; and thus truly contemplate the verse.

 Therefore, with regards to بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيم “In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate” being the Index of al-Fatiha and a concise summary of the Qur’an, [it] has become the title and decoder of this mentioned grand mystery. One who takes hold of this title may wander in the levels of mercy (rahmah). And one who causes this decoder to speak will learn the secrets of mercy (rahmah) and observe the lights of compassion (raheemiyyah) and affection (shefqah).

“In the name of Allah the Merciful, the Compassionate” is the “index of al-Fatiha and a concise summary of the Qur’an”, meaning that it points to everything that is mentioned in the Fatiha and the Noble Qur’an. As illustrated in the examples given by the author, the Qur’an directs our attention from a whole to a particular within that whole in order to make it easier for us humans to contemplate God and His names. Similarly, the verse “In the name of Allah the Merciful, the Compassionate” mentions “the Merciful”, meaning That Who has mercy in the general sense; and “the Compassionate”, meaning The One who has mercy in the particular sense.


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