بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ وَ الصَّلاَةُ وَ السَّلاَمُ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَ عَلَى آلِهِ وَ صَحْبِهِ اَجْمَعِينَ
QUESTION: If we are all equal and Allah loves us all equally, then why is it that Allah has created us so differently? For example, people born with disabilities and sickness, as well as people with more favourable external qualities than others? How is this equal when people will suffer either physically or emotionally?
The third part of the question:
Absolute equality is contrary to the mystery of human creation. In the eye of Allah, the degrees of human arise from fadhîlah, taqwâ and îmân, not the material measures like external qualities, wealth and nation.
“human fitrah and the mystery of its hikmah are contrary to the law of absolute equality. Because, in order to demonstrate His perfect qoudrah and hikmah, just as Al-Fâtir Who is Hakîm produces many crops from a few things, and writes many books on a single page, and causes many duties to be performed by a single thing; and in the same way, He causes the duties of thousands of species to be carried out by humankind.
It is due to this great mystery that Janâb-i Haqq has created humankind with a fitrah that would produce the shoots of thousands of species and display the levels of the thousands of other species of animals. No limit was placed on man's powers (quwwas), subtle faculties, and senses like the other animals. They have been left unrestricted and have been given such a capacity to journey through endless ranks while being one species, mankind became like thousands of species. And for this reason, man is considered as the khalîfah on earth, the result of the universe, and sultan of all living beings.
Thus, the most important leaven and mechanism for the varying of degrees in humankind is the true fadhîlah arising from îmân, which is achieved through competition.” The Flashes ( 226 )
“Îmân turns man into man. Rather, it makes man a sultân. Since this is so, man's fundamental duty is îmân and du'â. Kufr turns man into an extremely impotent beast animal.
Out of thousands of proofs of this matter, only the differences in the ways animal and man come into the world are clear proof and necessarily conclusive argument of that matter.
Yes, the differences in the ways man and animal come into the world show that humanity becomes humanity through îmân. For when an animal comes into the world, it comes complete in all points according to its disposition as though it has been perfected in another ‘âlam, that is, it is sent. In either two hours or two days or two months, it learns all the conditions of its life, its relation with the universe, and the laws of its life, and acquires mastery. An animal, like sparrow and bee, learns in twenty days the ability of life and the mastery of practice, which man acquires in twenty years, that is, the ilham is given to them. This means the animal's fundamental duty is not to be perfected through learning, and it is not to progress by acquiring ma’rifat, and not to seek help and offer du'â through displaying its impotence. Rather, according to its disposition, its duty is to work and act and it is ‘ubûdiyyah by action.
As for man, he needs to learn everything when he comes into the world; he is ignorant about the laws of life, and cannot even completely learn the conditions of life in twenty years. Rather, he is in need of learning until the end of his life. Also, he is sent to the world in an extremely impotent and weak form, and can only rise to his feet in one or two years. In fifteen years, he barely distinguishes harm and benefit. With the assistance of mankind's life, he can barely procure his benefits and avoid harms. This means that the duty of man's fitrah is to be perfected through learning, and it is ‘ubûdiyyah through du'â. That is, it is to know: "Through whose compassion am I administered in this way with hikmah? Through whose generosity am I so kindly given tarbiyyah? Through favours of such a One am I so gracefully nurtured and administered?" It is to beseech, want and offer du'â to the One who satisfies the wants of all, through the language of impotence and poverty for his needs that his hand cannot reach even one of the thousand. That is, it is to fly to the highest rank of ‘ubûdiyyah by the wings of impotence and poverty.
This means man came to this ‘âlam to be perfected by the means of ‘ilm and du'â. Everything is tied to ‘ilm regarding the essence and disposition. And the foundation, source, nûr and rûh of all true ‘ilm is Ma’rifatullah, and its fundamental foundation is îmân in Allah.
Also, since man is subject to infinite troubles and attacks of boundless enemies with his infinite impotence, and afflicted with infinite needs and is in need of infinite desires with his infinite poverty, after îmân, the fundamental duty of his fitrah is du'â. As for du'â, it is the foundation of ‘ubûdiyyah. Just as a child cries or asks in order to obtain his wish or desire that his hand cannot reach. That is, he offers a verbal or active du'â through the language of his impotence. He succeeds in his aim. In the same way, man is like a delicate, graceful and indulged child in the whole ‘âlam of living creatures. It is necessary to either cry through his weakness and impotence or offer du'â through his poverty and need, at the court of Ar-Rahmân Ar-Rahîm, so that his aims may be made subject to him, or he may offer shukr for their being made so. Otherwise, like a silly and idle child who makes a fuss over a fly, deviating to kufr an-ni’mah through saying: "With my strength, I subjugate these strange things, that are not possible to be subjugated and a thousand times more powerful than me, and I make them obey me through my ideas and administration" is contrary to man's fundamental fitrah. And he also makes himself deserve severe punishment.” The Twenty-Third Word - Fourth Point
“Yes, true progress is to turn the faces of the heart, sirr, rûh, mind, and even the imagination and other quwwas given to man towards eternal life and for each to be occupied with the particular duty of ‘ubûdiyyah worthy of it. Progress is not as people of dhalâlah imagine, to plunge into the life of this world in all its minute details and in order to taste every sort of pleasure, even the basest, make subject to the nafs al-ammarah all the subtle faculties and the heart and mind, and make them assist it; to do this is not progress, it is decline.” The Words ( 331 )
“Know this certainly, that the highest aim of creation and the most elevated result of fitrah are îmân in Allah. The most exalted degree in humanity and its highest rank are Ma’rifatullah contained within îmân in Allah. The most radiant happiness and sweetest ni’mah for jinn and human beings are the love of Allah contained within the Ma’rifatullah. And the purest joy for the human rûh and the sheerest delight for man's heart are the rapture of the rûh contained within the love of Allah. Indeed, all true happiness, pure joy, sweet ni’mah and pure pleasure lie in Ma’rifatullah and love of Allah; they cannot exist without them.
The person who knows and loves Janâb-i Haqq is the place of manifestation of endless ni’mahs, happiness, nûr, and mysteries in potentiality or actuality. While the one who does not truly know and love him is afflicted with endless ma’nawî and material misery, pain, and wahm. If an impotent and miserable person, who is living a fruitless life among the desolate human race in a forlorn world without owner or protector, even being the sultân of the whole world for him would be worthless. Everyone may understand just how wretched and baffled is man among the desolate human race in this bewildering fleeting world if he does not know his Owner if he does not discover his Mâlik. But if he does discover his Owner and know his Mâlik, he will seek refuge in His rahmah and will rely on His qoudrah. The desolate world will turn into a place of recreation and pleasure, it will become a place of trade.” The Letters ( 265 )
The love of Allah
“The sublime âyah, قُلْ اِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِى يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّٰهُ1 proclaims in a definite fashion just how necessary and important it is to follow the Sunnah. Yes, among the syllogisms of logic, this honoured âyah is the most powerful and certain of the sort called hypothetical or conditional syllogisms. It is as follows:
As an example of a hypothetical syllogism it is said in logic: "If the sun comes out, it will be daytime." For a positive result, it is said: "The sun has come out. It, therefore, concludes that it is now daytime." For a negative result, it is said: "It is not daytime. It, therefore, concludes that the sun has not come out." According to logic, these two conclusions, negative and positive, are definite.
In just the same way, the above honoured âyah says: "If you love Allah, you will follow Habibullah2 . If you do not follow him, it points to the conclusion that you do not love Allah." If a person loves Allah, it entails following the Sunnah of Habibullah. Yes, one who has îmân in Janâb-i Haqq will certainly obey Him. And the most acceptable, the most mustaqîm, and the shortest among the ways of obeying Him is, without doubt, the way Habibullah showed and followed.
Yes, it is necessary and self-evident that Al-Karîm Zuljamâl One, Who fills the universe with so many actions of giving ni’mahs, should want shukr from conscious creatures in return for the ni’mahs. And clearly that Al-Hakîm Zuljalâl One, Who adorns the universe with so many miracles of art, will make the most distinguished of conscious creatures His addressee and interpreter, and herald and imam of His ‘abds. And certainly and self-evidently that Al-Jamîl Zulkamâl One, Who makes the universe reflect the innumerable manifestations of His beauty (jamâl) and perfections (kamâl), will give the most perfect condition of ‘ubûdiyyah to the one who is the most comprehensive and perfect measure and means of displaying His beauty (jamâl), perfection (kamâl), Names, and art, which He clearly loves and wants to display; He will make his state a fine example to others and encourage them to follow him so that his fine condition may appear in others too.
In Short: Love of Allah necessitates and results in following the Sunnah as-Saniyyah. How fortunate the person whose share of following them is great! And woe on the person who does not appreciate the Sunnah as-Saniyyah and embarks on bid’ahs!...
…“In the âyah, قُلْ اِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِى يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّٰهُis a miraculous conciseness, for many phrases have been included in these three phrases. It is as follows:
The âyah says: "If you have îmân in Allah (Jalla Jalâluhu), you will surely love Allah. Since you love Allah, you will act in the manner He loves. To do that, you must resemble the one Allah loves. And he may be resembled by following him. Whenever you follow him, Allah will love you too. Anyway, you love Allah so that Allah shall love you." These phrases form only a brief and concise meaning of the âyah. It means that the most exalted goal for man is to receive Janâb-i Haqq's love. The nass of the âyah shows that the way of achieving this elevated aim is by following Habibullah and his Sunnah as-Saniyyah. If at this station Three Points are proved, the above haqiqah will become completely clear.
First Point: Man was created with an infinite love for the universe's Khâliq through his fitrah. For included in human fitrah is love of beauty, performing ‘ibâdah of perfection, and love of bestowal. His love increases in accordance with the degrees of beauty, perfection, and bestowal, reaching the furthest degrees of ‘ashq.
Furthermore, contained in tiny man's tiny heart may be an ‘ashq as great as the universe. Yes, the fact that writings equivalent to a library of thousands of books may be inscribed in the faculty of memory, which is a coffer of the heart's the size of a lentil, shows that the human heart may contain the universe and bear love that great.
Since human fitrah has such an infinite capacity to love bestowal, beauty, and perfection; and since the universe's Khâliq possesses infinite sacred beauty (jamâl), the certain existence of which is self-evidently established by His works to be seen in the universe; and since He possesses infinite sacred perfection (kamâl), the existence of which is necessarily proved by the embroideries of His art apparent in beings; and since He is the owner of infinite bounties, the existence of which is certainly, indeed, observedly, established by the infinite varieties of His actions of giving ni’mahs and bounties to be observed in living creatures; these surely demand infinite love from man, who are the most comprehensive, the most needy, the one who does tafakkur most, and the most yearning of conscious beings.
Indeed, like each human being is capable of infinite love for Al-Khâliq Zuljalâl, and in the face of His beauty (jamâl), perfection (kamâl), and bestowal, that Khâliq too is more deserving than anyone to be loved. In fact, all the varieties of love and intense attachment a mu’min human being has for his life, eternity, and existence, his world, his nafs, and other beings, are droplets of his capacity to love Allah. In fact, his various intense feelings are transformations of that capacity of love, and distillations of it in other forms. It is known that just as man takes pleasure at his own happiness, so does he receive pleasure at the happiness of others to whom he is attached. And just as he loves one who saves him from disaster, so does he love one who saves those he loves. As a consequence of this state of rûh, if a person thinks only of this out of all the varieties of Ilahî bounties3 bestowed on all men, he would say:
"Like my Khâliq saved me from non-existence, which is eternal darkness, and gave me a beautiful world like this one, when the time comes for me to die, He will again save me from non-existence, which is eternal extinction, and from annihilation, and bestow on me in an eternal ‘âlam bestow on me an everlasting and most magnificent ‘âlam. And like He bestows on me external and inner senses and feelings with which to benefit from all the varieties of delights and good things of that ‘âlam and to roam around it and make excursions, so He also bestows innumerable bounties on all my relations and friends and fellow-men, whom I much love and to whom I am attached. Those bounties are also mine in a way, because I am happy and received pleasure at their happiness. Since in accordance with the mystery, اْلاِنْسَانُ عَبِيدُ اْلاِحْسَانِ4 everyone in a sense worships benevolence, certainly in the face of such innumerable favours, everyone will say that since I have a heart as great as the universe, it necessitates its being filled with love at those favours, and I want to fill it. If in fact, I am unable to love Personally and actually, I do so through capacity, by îmân, by intention, by acceptance, through appreciation, through longing, through iltizâm, and by will." And so on.
Analogies may be drawn with the love for bestowal we have briefly alluded to here for the love man feels for beauty and perfection. As for the kâfirs, they are infinitely hostile because of their kufr, and even bear a wrongful and insulting enmity towards the universe and beings.
Second Point: Love of Allah necessitates following the Sunnah of Muhammad Alayhissalâtu Wassalâm. For to love Allah is to do what pleases Him. And the things that please Him are manifested in most perfect form in the person of Muhammad (asm). There are two aspects of resembling the person of Ahmad's (asm) actions and deeds.
The First: Obeying Janâb-i Haqq's commands in respect of loving Him and within the bounds of what pleases Him necessitates following them, for the most perfect Imam in such matters is the person of Muhammad (asm).
The Second: Since the person of Ahmad (asm) is a most important means to innumerable Ilahî favours for man, he is surely worthy of boundless love for the sake of Janâb-i Haqq. If man is capable of resembling someone he loves, by fitrah he wants to do so. This definitely necessitates that those who love Habibullah try to resemble him by following his Sunnah as-Saniyyah.
Third Point: Janâb-i Haqq has boundless love, just as He has infinite compassion. As He makes Himself loved infinitely through all the fine qualities and adornment of the creatures in the universe, so He loves His artefacts and in particular conscious beings who respond with love to His causing himself to be loved. It may be clearly understood how important and exalted an aim it is to try to attract the love of a Being one manifestation of Whose rahmah are all the subtle wonders and good things and delights and ni’mahs of Jannah. Since it is stated clearly that His love is won only through following the Sunnah of Ahmad (asm), following the Sunnah of Ahmad (asm) should certainly be man's greatest aim and his most important duty.” The Flashes ( 83 - 91 )
اَللّٰهُمَّ بِحَقِّ اَسْرَارِ بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ صَلِّ وَ سَلِّمْ عَلَى مَنْ اَرْسَلْتَهُ رَحْمَةً لِلْعَالَمِينَ كَمَا يَلِيقُ بِرَحْمَتِكَ وَ بِحُرْمَتِهِ وَ عَلَى آلِهِ وَ اَصْحَابِهِ اَجْمَعِينَ
وَ ارْحَمْنَا رَحْمَةً تُغْنِينَا بِهَا عَنْ رَحْمَةِ مَنْ سِوَاكَ مِنْ خَلْقِكَ آمِينَ
سُبْحَانَكَ لَاعِلْمَ لَنَۤا اِلاَّ مَا عَلَّمْتَنَۤا اِنَّكَ اَنْتَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ
1 (Say: "If you do love Allah, follow me: Allah will love you)
2 (Allah's Beloved)
3 “Furthermore, "alhamdulillâh" is repeated in four surahs in the Qur'an, each repetition referring to one of the principal ni’mahs, which are the first creation and the continuation of it, and the creation in the âkhirah and its ensuing continuation.”Signs of Miraculousness ( 23 )
4 (Man is the ‘abd of bestowal)