Supplement 7

I praise Him and glorify Him. But I have doubt with regard to one thing. Are the deadly poison that kill man and injure the creations created by Him?"

"Is it not clear to you", I asked, "that poison is created by God?" "Well, I don't understand", he replied, "Why He creates injurious and evil things. Such evil things be far from His nature, and it does not have Him to injure what is His own."

I will still by this, halila and the medical science explains and prove to you that such things seemingly harmful to man are not in reality so. Do you know of any plants perfectly harmless to man?" I asked. "Yes", he replied.

"What are they?"

"Those which men eat daily for food", he said. "Do you believe", I asked, "that food sometimes produces change of colour in the body, and various ailments, such as leprosy, consumption or Jaundice?" "Yes", he said.

"Then your reply, a short time back was incorrect." "Yes, indeed", he said.

"Do you know of roots of no benefit to man?" I asked. "Yes", he replied.

"What are they?" I asked.

They are ………… (this remains an unfilled space as the words of the reply are not found in the original text). "But do you not know, that mixed with other things there very roots cure leprosy and consumption? I think you must know this. Can you tell me the name of plant that acts as an antidote to poison ?

Has not 'Tiryak' such an effect ? I asked. "Yes", he replied, 'Tiryak' is the King of all medicines. It is sought for in cases of snake bite, sting of a wasp or an ant, or when poison has been taken internally. 

"Do you not Know", said I "that poisons are administered in two ways, namely, external application, and internal administration, and this 'tiryak' is prepared by special distillation and the burning with it of the flesh of the most venomous snakes?"

"Yes" he said, "I am wrong again, for, tiryak dose, not prove an efficacious antidote to poison unless prepared as you mention." "Then there is nothing really evil, though it may seem so at the first sight, created by God", said I.

"Now I declare, 'La-i-laha, il-lallah, vah-dahula sharik-a-lahu (There is no God but one God, and He has no partner), and bear testimony that He has created all the (seemingly) injurious things as well as the good. The heavenly bodies, the clouds and wind He regulates. The diseases and medicines are all from Him. He knows man's body exactly -its ailments and remedies. He knows man's soul in the same way. He has made the stars, that calculate man's destiny. There is uniformity of design, and no contradiction. The whole Universe in harmony speaks of one God. Tell me now, something of Him Why do you call Him 'Avval' the first, 'Akhir' the last, 'Khabir' the omniscient and 'Latif' the wise and grand?

He is 'Avval' because He is free from every kind of 'kayfiyat'-circumstances such as heat, cold, hardness, softness, etc. He is 'Akhir' because He has no end. There is no one like unto him. He has created the Universe with the help of no one. (He has created absolutely from nothing; no matter was required. His 'Amr' (command) passed, and the Universe was in existence). He created without the least trouble or reflection of mind. He needs no 'kayfiyat' (condition) to create, for conditions themselves are created by Him. We call Him 'Avval', because He had no beginning.

He is from all eternity. He has none to equal Him in power, nor any self-existing adversary, nor any equal in any of His attributes. He is not known to the senses-(for the senses can only detect created things). He is known only by His creation-the wonderful phenomenon, whose existence bespeaks a great wisdom. He is God, the most holy and exalted- Tabarak-va-ta'ala.

"Why do you call Him 'Qavi', the most powerful?" he asked. 

"We call Him 'Qavi', because He has created very enormous and strong things such as, earth with mountains, seas and sands, moving things, such as men, beast?, clouds of water, sun, moon and Stars. The magnitude of their size, their munificence and luster, the revolution and majesty of the empyrean empire, with the wonders of the earth are appallingly great.

These momentous of His Mightiness guide us to 'ma'arifat'-knowledge of His self. We do not call Him 'Qavi', because, of the power of the created things. In no way does He compare with created things, for their attributes diminish or increase, their power is dependent on some other thing for existence, and eternal has no likeness to them, in their defective greatness. We call Him 'Azim'-the great--and 'Kabir'-mighty- incomparable to any earthly greatness. We call a tree great, and we call a wrestler strong. But this gives us no idea of God's greatness and strength."

"How is it?" he asked, that He calls Himself in the holy book of 'Quran' "Sami'"-one who hears, "Basir" -who sees and "Aleem"-one who knows?" "For this reason that nothing from Him is hidden- neither any act nor any thought. He is 'Basir', for His observation extends over the Universe. He is 'Sami'' for the whispers of every man are heard by Him.

He hears the secrets of every whisper,-no three persons whisper together, but He is the fourth among them, and so on. He hears the sound of an ant walking on a viscid stone, the sounds of noiseless birds flying in the air. Nothing escapes His knowledge-visible or invisible, felt or unfelt,-all things ore in His knowledge.

He is 'Sami', not because He hears with ears as we of the earth do, for He has neither ears nor eyes. He is 'Aleem', for nothing is unknown to Him, whether it be fathom deep in the ground or beyond the skies, whether it be near or far. He had knowledge of all things before they came into existence. He is 'Aleem'. But His knowledge is not acquired as man does with the aid of his senses. His attributes are His essence. He is exempt from all human attributes, pure and undefiled. These attributes of Sam'a, Basar and Ilm must not give you an earthly idea of God. He is far above His creations, holy and pure, and His names are holy too". 

"You have made it perfectly clear to me", said he, 'but I want you to explain it in such a way that I may give proper reply to all queries put to me, I wish to so study the subject that I may at once confound or refute atheists and their scepticism, and moreover be useful to those who are seeking the truth, and solidify the ground on which true believers stand. Why is He called 'Latif'-fine? I am aware because He has created fine things. But I should like (to have) a further explanation of this". 

"He is Latif", said I, "because every thing of His to the smallest creation, sometimes so small as to be unperceived by the human eyes, shows fineness and finished perfection to the minutest detail-some small creations, a gnat or an ant are indistinguishable as to sex, condition or age-when one observes that these have a certain reasoning power, have desires, passions, and fear of death and they love their young ones and recognize their friends, despite their minuteness; when we see other creatures inhabiting different places-skies, seas, forests or houses - all with the above attributes, in wonder and worship we call Him 'Latif'-the creator of fine and minute creations, as we call Him 'Qavi', because He created powerful and strong things".

"What you have explained to me is very clear", he said. "But how come it possible for man to call himself - by the names applicable to God? "Because God, the most holy and high has not prohibited it. Man calls a certain thing one, and calls God one also. He calls one man muthawwir (artist) and God is 'muthawwir ' also, another 'Raziq'-supplier of food-or Sami', 'Basir' and he calls God the same; but the meaning vastly different when applied to God. When a thing to be one, it suggests that there are more like it.

But when God is called one, it suggests that there never was or is or will be another like unto Him. You may be aware that names are given to people for identification only. We call a person when he is alone, but in truest sense of word man is not one, he is many, he has different limbs unlike to one another, has blood, flesh, bones and sinews ash hairs and nails, darkness and whiteness, and all creature is like this, proving that a person is one only in name and not really in structure or sense.

But the word 'one' is justly applicable to God, who is like unto no one. He holds the names Sami', Basir, Qavi, 'Aziz, Hakim and in the same way. He the most exalted God,-has created every wonder. These very names bespeak not His attributes, but that which He is-His essence. His attributes are not in addition to His-self but He is Sami', Basir, Hakim, 'Aleem and Qavi in His very essence. 

"Explain to me", he said, "why He has called Himself 'Rauf' 'Rahim', merciful and what is meant by His will or consent and 'Gadhab', anger or displeasure?"

"Mercy in us", said I "is an instinct which prompts to kindness and gifts. But the mercy of God is the kindness and reward bestowed on man. Man's mercy holds two interpretations-pity for a man in distress without alleviating it; or pity in a more substantial form as extricating him for the time from his trouble, say, supplying him with food or clothing. People speak very highly and point out this charity as most commendable. The action of charity was produced by the instinct of mercy in the human heart. But God's mercy is also the mercy originating from us.

For example, when one has been rescued by another from the pangs of hunger, or the fangs of some fierce animal, at once we feel the mercy of God.

It is true that He is merciful, but not in the same way as man is merciful. The mercy that originates in man's heart is not existing in God's, though God put it is man's; for, God has no heart like man. Again 'gadhab' when man gets angry, he himself undergoes changes-his limbs tremble, his colour changes, and he inflicts punishment on the one who roused his anger. But God suffers no changes. The word 'gadhab' is used in two senses--that one originating from the heart is not applicable to God, in the same way 'Raza' (pleasure) 'Rahmat (mercy) and Na-raza (displeasure). He is only the 'Jalil'-(glorious)-, 'Azim'-(magnificent), and there is none like unto him.

"Now, explain to me His intention and will", he said, "Why is he called 'Murid' (willing)?

"Man's action, said I "Is the result of intention and pre-conceived thought. The intention of God is the accomplishment of the deed without pre-meditation or thought. At His 'Amr', or command-the thing is already at perfection, without trouble or care on His part."

"You have fully convinced me", he said, "in every detail, and your arguments are more than enough for any person of common sense. To God, who guides us to the right path, and prevents us from falling into sin, or daring to compare Him; or doubt His greatness, might and Omnipotency, I offer my heart felt thanks. Indeed He is great, without a rival. There is none like Him. He is too exalted to have any equal or partner". Peace Unto Those Who Follow The Truth


[1] The Spirit of Islam. 
[2] Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim