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 of light are impinged upon by an adulterating or contaminating colour element or foreign matter which upsets nature's ingenious composition [...]

By |February 9th, 2019|Blog, 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 of evil and degeneration in man is set afoot. The eternal conflict that rages between ʿaql and the passions within [...]

By |February 8th, 2019|Blog, 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 of conditioning and purification. Such impurity obstructs ʿaql, i.e, affects its common sense quality. History narrates cases of tyrants who [...]

By |February 7th, 2019|Blog, 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 of the process. In no other way could the desired result be gained, nor could the art be practised by [...]

By |February 6th, 2019|Blog, 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 attributes of purity and cleanliness. With an increasing degree of purity and cleanliness comes a corresponding rise in status. In [...]

By |February 5th, 2019|Blog, 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 non, but also relevant is the quality and intensity of the light. For, poor light or overstrong light will affect [...]

By |February 2nd, 2019|Blog, Philosophy|
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