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Verse 15: Comprehending the Soul

This verse recalls a hadith of the Holy Prophet SAW questioned as to how one could know the Creator, the Prophet replied : 'Whosoever should know his soul will know his Creator.' The reply is at once apt and conclusive. It admonishes, as it were, the questioner and directs him first to attempt to know himself before he can even presume to know the Creator. If man can truly lay a claim to the knowledge of himself i.e. his soul, [...]

2019-09-18T10:18:52+03:00February 13th, 2019|Philosophy|

Verse 14: Happiness

The author in the immediately preceding verses having dealt with al-ʿaql al-salīm and having illustrated a few of the 'obstructions' which ʿaql meets with, now indicates that a happy life is within the grasp of that man who fashions his ʿaql, by the processes prescribed, into al-ʿaql al-salīm to which he thereafter owes obedience as his master. The two requirements of happiness, in this context, are al-ʿaql al-salīm and its supremacy over man. It is by virtue of this al-ʿaql [...]

2019-09-18T10:18:52+03:00February 12th, 2019|Philosophy|

Verse 13: Beset by Perils

Man is quite familiar with the subject considered in this verse. The history of mankind is replete with literature dealing with the human passion. In fact history is the outcome of such passions. ʿAql, we have been shown in verse 10, may fall a prey to 'obstruction.' Verse 11 has already dealt with the state of man when caprice is permitted to ride roughshod over ʿaql. The author considers the perils of haughtiness, tyranny or a dominating influence, in so [...]

2019-09-18T10:18:52+03:00February 11th, 2019|Philosophy|

Verse 12: Colour

    Purposefully, the author dwells upon in this verse, on the effect of an adulterating or contaminating element getting mixed up with the original light of the sun. Allah has endowed the creatures of His creation with innumerable hues and colours, of varying degrees of brightness and beauty. Man is astounded by Allah's handiwork when his eyes gaze upon the wondrous beauty and tints as illumined by the original pure rays of the sun. But the moment the rays [...]

2019-09-18T10:18:52+03:00February 9th, 2019|Philosophy|

Verse 11: Caprice

Man's nature is replete with desires, whims, fancies and passions. These, per se, are neither good nor evil. In fact, the balanced existence of man makes the presence of such desires, passions etc. necessary. But these elements acquire the quality of good or evil depending upon the state of the ʿaql vis-a-vis the influence these elements bring to bear upon it. When the influence is within bounds the elements are good and, alternatively, when the equilibrium is disturbed, the process [...]

2019-09-18T10:18:52+03:00February 8th, 2019|Philosophy|

Verse 10: Al-ʿAql al-Salīm

Here, another state of al-ʿaql is indicated, namely al-ʿaql al-salīm, by reaching which ʿaql gains superiority over all things. Al-ʿaql al-salīm in its ordinary connotation, would amount to commonsense. Its Arabic connotation, in the strict sense, signifies ʿaql that is free from obstruction. In other words, ʿaql that is protected. ʿAql in man, we have already noticed, is inherently a tainted potentiality, which by the force of outside evil influences, may be further tainted or made impure in the absence [...]

2019-09-18T10:18:52+03:00February 7th, 2019|Philosophy|

Verse 9: Elixir

Describing the potentiality of al-ʿaql, the author brings out in this verse and some of the verses that follow, how such potentiality could lead towards great achievements. He also points out the dangers of the misuse of the self-same potentiality. The art of Alchemy is to turn base metals like copper into gold. The person who practises this art relies on his knowledge of the property of mercury, of the base metal required to be transmuted and of the technicalities [...]

2019-09-18T10:18:52+03:00February 6th, 2019|Philosophy|

Verse 8: The Sun of Wahy

To better understand the significance of this verse, it is necessary, at this stage, to deal with the notion of matter. The Fatimi thinkers relate back the formation of the material world to the tainting and degeneration in the beginning of a section of the creation. A thing that is the subject of creation, we know, is indestructible. It is however capable of constant transformation from one form to another and by this continuous process of change may acquire the [...]

2019-09-18T10:18:52+03:00February 5th, 2019|Philosophy|

Verse 7: Light Accompanying

This verse, read with the preceding verse, completes the penetrating argument relating to the capacity of ʿaql to perceive. A thought of philosophic significance is skilfully couched in a simile. The eye, as an organ having the capacity to see, nevertheless, cannot do so except with the aid of light. The light illumines the field of the eye's vision and only then does the act of seeing take place. Therefore, not only is the existence of light a sine qua [...]

2019-09-18T10:18:52+03:00February 2nd, 2019|Philosophy|

Verse 6: A Higher Luminous Stage

Having thus far dealt with the concept of ʿaql, its form, its attributes, and its power of comprehending, the author proceeds to state that such comprehending power is set at naught unless light is available to ʿaql. Such light illumines its path and guides and leads it. The Creator has provided for His creation, the use of instinct, as an aid to meeting the requirements, the dangers and hazards of living. And this is so in a pronounced degree with [...]

2019-09-18T10:18:52+03:00February 2nd, 2019|Philosophy|
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