In the introduction to the first volume, Amir al-Jamea Shahzada Dr Yusuf bhaisaheb Najmuddin QR expressed his intention to further explore the literary devices used in this ‘Philosophical Discourse’. The parallels drawn between faiḍ – divine grace – and the rays of the sun enable one to understand the abundance of faiḍ, its continued immanence and its centrality in sustaining Creation.
The verse uses two descriptions of faiḍ. First, the word jār which is usually associated with a flow, like that of a river, indicates its origin from a divine source and its continuance. Second, sār and yasri, which are derivatives of the same root verb, are distinguished from jār in that it is used in instances in which the source and target are defined and precise. Thus faiḍ, divine grace, is both universal and targeted at the same time. The rays of the sun too spread far and wide, yet the effects are very specific, depending upon where they fall.
Rasul Allah SAW states, ‘Allah Taʿālā has established His faith upon the order of the natural world, so that by comprehending the natural world one can derive understanding of His faith, and ultimately, through this understanding he may seek to comprehend Allah’s omnipotence.’ It follows therefore, that an increased understanding of the natural world allows one to further comprehend faith.
The sun is the source of life for the world and its position in the cosmos is akin to that of the heart in the human body. Just as the heart provides heat to all parts of the body sustaining it and enabling it to function, the sun radiates a divine energy that traverses the world, the planetary orbits, the elements and all Creation leading to their betterment: to attain and remain in a state of perfection. Philosophers term this divine energy ‘Ruḥāniyya al-Shams’: the Spirituality of the Sun. Similarly, it is the flow of faiḍ emanating from the person who is the sun of ʿālam al-deen, the realm of faith, which results in the betterment and perfection of our souls. It is a grace that is both universal to all of Creation and yet specific to the adherents of the faith at the same time.
In order to sustain life on this planet the sun must continue to radiate. Likewise, the flow of faiḍ, too, must remain incessant. By using two words (jār and sār) to emphasise the continuity of this faiḍ, the author also alludes to the fact that, be it ẓuhur or satr, this faiḍ will never cease to flow. There are times when the sun is visible to all, its rays falling directly upon the face of the planet. While at times the sun cannot be seen, yet its existence is evident by the moon reflecting its rays upon the Earth.
For the soul to be able to imbibe this faiḍ, it needs to prepare itself. It must first prepare itself to receive faiḍ and then, through the process of learning, internalise it. However, for the soul to be able to do so, the laws and systems governing both society and the individual must be conducive to this purpose. The author contemplates these vital prerequisites in subsequent verses.