AL-QUR’AN AL-HAKÎM - القرآن الحكيم
The Qur’an that is full of hikmahs.
بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
وَمَنْ يُؤْتَ الْحِكْمَةَ فَقَدْ اُوتِىَ خَيْرًا كَثِيرًا1
[This Word consists of a brief comparison between the sacred hikmah of Al-Qur'an Al-Hakîm and the hikmah of philosophy, and a concise summary of the instruction of tarbiyyah which Qur'anic hikmah gives to man in his personal life and social life, and an indication of the Qur'an's superiority to other Ilahî words (kalimât), and to all speech. There are Four Principles in this Word.]
Look through the telescope of the following story which is in the form of a comparison, and see the difference between Qur'anic hikmah and the hikmah of science:
One time, a renowned Ruler who was both religious and a fine craftsman wanted to write Al-Qur’an Al-Hakîm in a script worthy of the sacredness in its meaning and the miraculousness in its words, so that its marvel-displaying stature would be arrayed in wondrous apparel. Thus that Embroiderer, therefore, wrote the Qur'an in a truly wonderful fashion. He used all his precious jewels in its writing. In order to indicate the great variety of its haqiqahs, he wrote some of its embodied letters in diamond and emerald, and some in pearl and agate, and other sorts in brilliant and coral, while others he inscribed with silver and gold. He adorned and embroidered it in such a way that everyone, those who knew how to read and those who did not, was full of admiration and astonishment when they beheld it. Especially in the view of the people of haqiqah, since the outer beauty was an indication of the brilliant beauty and striking adornment in its meaning, it became a truly precious antique. Then the Ruler showed the artistically made and bejewelled Qur'an to a foreign philosopher and to a Muslim ‘âlim. In order to test them and for reward, he commanded them: "Each of you write a work about the hikmah of this!" First the philosopher, then the ‘âlim composed a book about it. However, the philosopher's book discussed only the embroideries of the letters and their relationships and conditions, and the properties of the jewels, and described them. It did not touch on their meaning at all, for the foreign man did not know to read the Arabic script. He did not even know that the embellished Qur'an was a book, a written piece, expressing a meaning. He rather looked on it as an embroidered antique. He did not know any Arabic, but he was a very good engineer, and he described things very aptly, and he was a skilful chemist, and an ingenious jeweller. So this man wrote his work according to those crafts.
As for the Muslim ‘âlim, when he looked at it, he understood that it was Al-Kitâb Al-Mubîn, Al-Qur’an Al-Hakîm. This haqq-loving person neither attached importance to the external adornments nor busied himself with the embroideries of the letters. He became preoccupied with something that was a million times higher, more elevated, more subtle, more noble, more beneficial, and more comprehensive than the matters with which the other man had busied himself. For discussing the sacred haqiqahs and nûrs of the mysteries beneath the veil of the embroideries, he wrote a beautiful noble tafsir. Then the two of them took their works and presented them to the Illustrious Ruler. That Ruler first took the philosopher's work. He looked at it and saw that the self-centred one who performs ‘ibâdah to nature had worked very hard, but had written nothing of true hikmah. He had understood nothing of its meaning. Indeed, he had confused it and been disrespectful towards it, ill-mannered even. For supposing that Qur’an, which is the source of haqiqah, to be a meaningless embroidery, he had insulted it as being valueless in regard to meaning. So the Ruler who has hikmah hit him over the head with his work and expelled him from his presence.
Then he looked at the work of the other, the haqq-loving ‘âlim who investigates minutely, and saw that it was an extremely fine and beneficial tafsir, a book composed with utmost hikmah in a manner of a murshid. "Congratulations! Bârakâllah!", he said. Thus, hikmah is this and they call those who possess it ‘âlim and hakîm. As for the other man, he was a craftsman who had exceeded his mark. Then in reward for the ‘âlim's work, he commanded that in return for each letter ten gold pieces should be given to him from his inexhaustible treasury.
If you have understood the comparison, now look and see the face of haqiqah :
The ornamented Qur'an is this artistically fashioned universe, and the Ruler is the Pre-Eternal Hakîm. Those two men, one is the foreigner who represents ‘ilm of philosophy and its philosophers, and the other, the Qur'an and its students.
Yes, Al-Qur'an Al-Hakîm is a most elevated mufassir and a most eloquent translator of the Mighty Qur'an of the Universe. Yes, it is the Furqân which instructs man and the jinn concerning the takwînî âyahs inscribed by the pen of Qoudrah on the pages of the universe and on the leaves of time. It regards beings, each of which is a meaningful letter through the point of view of ma’nâ al-harfî, that is, it looks at them on account of their Sâni’. It says, "How beautifully they have been made! How exquisitely they point to their Sâni’s beauty (jamâl)!", thus showing the universe's true beauty. But the philosophy which they call ‘ilm of hikmah has plunged into the decorations of the letters of beings and into their relationships, and has become bewildered; it has confused the way of haqiqah. While the letters of this mighty book should be looked through ma’nâ al-harfî, that is, on account of Allah, it does not do this; it looks at beings through ma’nâ al-ismî. That is, it looks at beings on account of beings, and discusses them in that way. Instead of saying, "How beautifully they have been made," it says "How beautiful they are," and makes them ugly. In doing this it insults the universe and made it complain about it. Indeed, philosophy without religion is a sophistry without haqiqah and an insult to the universe.
A comparison between the tarbiyyah of morality that the hikmah of Al-Qur’an Al-Hakîm gives to the personal life and the lesson that the hikmah of philosophy teaches:
The sincere student of philosophy is a pharaoh, but he is a contemptible pharaoh who performs ‘ibâdah to the basest things for the sake of his benefit; he recognizes everything from which he can profit as his “Rabb”. And that irreligious student is obstinate and refractory, but he is wretched together with his obstinacy and accepts endless abasement for the sake of one pleasure. And he is abject together with his recalcitrance and shows his abasement by kissing the feet of shaytanic individuals for the sake of some base benefit. And that irreligious student is proud who compels all to execute his will, but since he can find no point of support in his heart, he is utterly impotent through impotence, a vainglorious who compels all to execute his will. And that student is a self-centered seeker of benefit whose aim and endeavour is to gratify the desires of nafs, abdomen and perineum; a crafty egotist who seeks his personal benefits within certain nationalist benefits.
However, the sincere student of Qur’anic hikmah is an ‘abd, but he does not condescend his ‘ibâdah to even the greatest of creatures; he is an esteemed ‘abd who does not take a supreme benefit like Jannah as the aim of his ‘ibâdah. And its true student is humble; he is righteous and mild, yet outside the limits of his Fâtir’s leave, he would not voluntarily lower and abase himself before anything other than his Fâtir. And he is weak and in want, and he knows his weakness and poverty, but he is self-sufficient due to the wealth which his Mâlik Who is Karîm has stored up for him in the âkhirah, and he is strong since he relies on his Sayyîd’s infinite Qoudrah. And he acts and strives only for Allah’s sake, for Allah’s pleasure, and for fadhîlah.
Thus, the tarbiyyah that the two hikmahs give may be understood from the comparison of the two students.
The tarbiyyah that the hikmah of philosophy and the hikmah of Qur'an give to human social life is this:
As for the hikmah of philosophy; accepts 'force' as its point of support in the life of society. It considers its aim to be 'benefits'. It takes the principle of 'conflict' as the principle of life. It holds the bond between communities to be 'racialism and negative nationalism'. Its fruits are 'gratifying the appetites of the nafs and increasing human needs'. However, the mark of force is 'transgression'. The mark of benefit -since they are insufficient for every desire- is 'jostling and tussling'. While the mark of conflict is 'strife'. And the mark of racialism -since it is nourished by devouring others- is 'transgression'. It is for these hikmahs that it has negated the happiness of mankind.
As for the hikmah of Qur'an, its point of support is 'haqq' instead of force. It takes 'fadhîlah and Allah's pleasure' as its aims in place of benefits. It takes the principle of 'mutual assistance' as the principle of life in place of the principle of conflict. And it takes 'the ties of religion, class, and country' to be the ties bonding communities. Its aim is to form a barrier against the transgressions of the desires of nafs, urge the rûh to sublime matters, satisfy the elevated feelings, and urging man to the human perfections, make him a human being. And the mark of 'the haqq' is accord. The mark of fadhîlah is 'solidarity'. The mark of mutual assistance is 'hastening to assist one another'. The mark of religion is 'brotherhood' and 'attraction'. And the mark of reining in and tethering the nafs and leaving the rûh free and urging it towards perfections is 'happiness in this world and the next'.
If you want to understand the Qur'an's superiority among all the Ilahî words (kalimât) and its supremacy over all speeches, then consider the following two comparisons:
The First: A sultân has two forms of speech, two forms of address. One is to speak on his private telephone with a common subject concerning some minor matter, some private need. The other, under the title of sublime sovereignty, the name of supreme khilâfah and the rank of universal rulership, is to speak with an envoy or high official for the purpose of making known and promulgating his commands, to make an utterance through an elevated decree proclaiming his majesty.
The Second: One man holds the mirror he is holding up to the sun. He receives light containing the seven colours according to the capacity of the mirror. He becomes connected to the sun through that relation and converses with it, and if he directs the light-filled mirror towards his dark house or his garden covered by a roof, he will benefit, not in relation to the sun's value, but in accordance with the capacity of the mirror. Another man, however, opens up broad windows out of his house or out of the roof over his garden. He opens up ways to the sun in the sky. He converses with the perpetual light of the actual sun and speaks with it, and says in gratitude through the language of his being: "O you beauty of the world who gilds the face of the earth with your light and makes the faces of the flowers smile! O beauty of the skies, graceful beautiful sun! You have furnished my little house and garden with light and heat the same as you have them." Whereas the man with the mirror cannot say that. The reflection and works of the sun under that restriction are limited; they are in accordance with the restriction. Look at the Qur'an through the telescope of these two comparisons and see its miraculousness and understand its sacredness.
Yes, the Qur'an says: "If all the trees on the land were to become pens and all the seas ink, and if they were to write the words (kalimât) of Janâb-i Haqq, they would never come to the end of them." Now, the reason the Qur'an has been given the highest rank among the infinite words (kalimât) is this: the Qur'an has come from al-ism al-â’dham and from the level of greatness of every Name (martabah al-â’dham). It is Allah's Speech in respect of His being Rabb of all ‘âlams; it is His decree through His title of Ilah of All Beings; an address in regard to His being Khâliq of the Samâwât and the Earth; a speech in regard to absolute rubûbiyyah; a pre-eternal khutbah on account of universal sovereignty of Subhân; a note-book of the favours of Ar-Rahmân from the point of view of His all-embracing, comprehensive rahmah; a collection of communications at the beginnings of which are sometimes ciphers related to the sublime majesty of the Ulûhiyyah; a hikmah-scattering holy scripture which, descending from the reaches of al-ism al-â’dham, looks to and inspects the all-comprehensive domain of the ‘arsh al-â’dham. It is for this mystery that the title of Kalâm of Allah has been given with complete worthiness to the Qur'an.
In respect to the other Ilahî kalimât, they are speech (kalâm) which have become evident through a particular regard, a minor title, through the partial manifestation of a particular Name; through a particular Rubûbiyyah, special sovereignty, a private rahmah. Their degrees vary in regard to particularity and universality. Most ilham is of this sort, but its degrees vary greatly. For example, the most particular and simple is the ilham of the animals. Then there is the ilham of the people of awâm; then the ilham of the awâm malâikah; then the ilham of the awliyâ, then the ilham of the higher malâikah. Thus, it is for this mystery that a walî who offers munâjât without means by the telephone of the heart says: حَدَّثَنىِ قَلْبىِ عَنْ رَبِّى That is; "My heart tells me news of my Rabb." He does not say, "It tells me news of Ar-Rabb of All ‘âlams." And he says: "My heart is the mirror, the ‘arsh of my Rabb." He does not say, "It is the ‘arsh of Ar-Rabb of All ‘âlams." For he can be a place of manifestation for being the addressee, to an amount of its capacity and a degree that it lifts the veils which are nearly seventy thousand. Thus, however much higher and more elevated is the decree of a sultân promulgated in respect of his supreme sovereignty than the insignificant speech of a common man, and however much more abundantly the faydh of the sun in the sky may be benefited from that the manifestation of its reflection in the mirror, and however greater is its superiority, to that degree the Qur'an of Mighty Stature is superior to all other speech and all other books.
After the Qur'an, at the second level, the Holy Books and Samâwî Scriptures have superiority according to their degree. They have their share from the mystery of that superiority. If all the fine words of all men and jinn which do not issue from the Qur'an were to be gathered together, they still could not attain to the sacred rank of the Qur'an and imitate it. If you want to understand a little of how the Qur'an comes from al-ism al-â’dham and from the level of greatness (â’dham) of every Name, consider the universal, general, elevated statements of Âyah al-Kursî and the following âyahs:
وَعِنْدَهُ مَفَاتِحُ الْغَيْبِ 2
قُلِ اللّٰهُمَّ مَالِكَ الْمُلْكِ3
يُغْشِى الَّيْلَ النَّهَارَ يَطْلُبُهُ حَثِيثًا وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ وَالنُّجُومَ مُسَخَّرَاتٍ بِاَمْرِهِ 4
يَا اَرْضُ ابْلَعِى مَاءَ كِ وَيَا سَمَاءُ اَقْلِعِى 5
تُسَبِّحُ لَهُ السَّمٰوَاتُ السَّبْعُ وَاْلاَرْضُ وَمَنْ فِيهِنَّ6
مَا خَلْقُكُمْ وَلاَ بَعْثُكُمْ اِلاَّ كَنَفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ 7
اِنَّا عَرَضْنَا اْلاَمَانَةَ عَلَى السَّمٰوَاتِ وَاْلاَرْضِ وَالْجِبَالِ 8
يَوْمَ نَطْوِى السَّمَاءَ كَطَىِّ السِّجِلِّ لِلْكُتُبِ 9
وَمَا قَدَرُوا اللّهَ حَقَّ قَدْرِهِ وَاْلاَرْضُ جَمِيعًا قَبْضَتُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ10
لَوْ اَنْزَلْنَا هذَا الْقُرْآنَ عَلَى جَبَلٍ لَرَاَيْتَهُ 11
And study the Surahs which begin اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ , or سَبَّحَ and يُسَبِّحُ , and see the rays of this mighty mystery. Look too at the openings of the الم 's, the الر 's, and the حم 's, and understand the Qur'an's importance in the sight of Janâb-i Haqq.
If you have understood the valuable mystery of this Fourth Principle, you have understood that wahy mostly comes to the prophets by means of a malâikah, and ilham is mostly without means. You will have also understood the mystery why the greatest walî cannot attain to the level of a prophet. And you will have understood too the Qur'an's sublimity and its sacred grandeur and the mystery of its elevated miraculousness. So too you will have understood the mystery of the necessity of the Mi’râj, that is, that he went to the samâwât, to the Sidrat al-Muntahâ, to the Qab Qawsayn, offered munâjât to the Zuljalâl One, Who is اَقْرَبُ اِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ 12 , and the mystery of “in the twinkling of an eye returned whence he came”. Indeed, just as the Splitting of the Moon was a miracle of his messengership whereby He demonstrated his nubuwwah to the jinn and mankind, so the Mi’râj was a miracle of his ‘ubûdiyyah whereby He demonstrated to the rûhs and malâikah that he was Allah's Beloved.
اَللّٰهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَى آلِهِ كَمَا يَلِيقُ بِرَحْمَتِكَ وَبِحُرْمَتِهِ آمِينَ
The Twelfth Word
A Concise Explanation of The Miraculousness of the Qur'an
One time I saw in a dream that I was at the foot of Mount Ararat. The mountain suddenly exploded, scattering rocks the size of mountains all over al-‘âlam, shaking it.
Then a man suddenly appeared at my side. He told me: "the aspects of the Qur'an's miraculousness you know, expound them concisely and summarise them succinctly!"
I thought of the dream's meaning while still dreaming, telling myself: the explosion here symbolizes a revolution in mankind.
As for the revolution, indeed the guidance of Furqân will be exalted everywhere, and will rule. And the time to expound its miraculousness will come!
I said to the questioner in reply: The Qur'an's miraculousness is manifested from seven universal sources, it is also composed of seven elements:
First Source: This is the fluency of its wording, arising from the purity of its language; and the shining manner of exposition born from all the beauty of the word-order; the eloquence of the meanings, the originality of the concepts, the excellence of the inferences, and the uniqueness of its styles.
Combined with these, in the character of its miraculousness is a wondrous embroidery of expression, a unique art of language. Its repetition never tires a person.
Second Element: A treasury of ghayb ‘ilms containing all the principles which pertain to ghayb in the matters of existences, Ilahî haqiqahs which pertain the mysteries of ghayb, the ghayb of samâ, events of ghayb concealed in the past, and matters hidden in the future.
The tongue of al-‘âlam al-ghayb’s pillars speaks with al-‘âlam ash-shahâdah; its language symbolically; its aim is humankind, a luminous flash of miraculousness.
Third Source: It has a wondrous comprehensiveness in five aspects. In its words, meanings, injunctions, and its ‘ilm, and the balance of its aims.
Its words contain truly vast possibilities and numerous aspects, yet each is the one preferred by eloquence, the most correct (sahîh) in its Arabic and apt in the subtle meanings and mysteries of the Sharî'ah.
Its meaning: The miraculousness of its exposition was comprised and comprehended at once by the ways of all the awliyâ, the azwaq of the ‘ârifs, the madhabs of the sâlikîn13 , the ways of the Mutakallimîn, and the paths of the ‘Ulamâ.
The breadth of its evidence, the expanse of its meanings. If you look through this window, what a broad arena you will see!
The scope of its injunctions: The wondrous Sharî'ah has deduced from it all the principles for the happiness of this world and the next, all the means of salvation.
Its pronouncements at once embrace all the relations of social life, all the means of tarbiyyah, the haqiqahs of all conditions.
The profundity of its ‘ilm: It has brought together in Jannahs, in the fortresses of its Surahs, both the physical ‘ilms and the Ilahî ‘ilms, and all the levels of signs, allusions, and indications to them.
Its aims and purposes: It has applied perfect balance and regular sequence; conformed with the principles of the fitrah and unity, and has preserved the balance.
So see the marvellous encompassment in the comprehensiveness of its words, the breadth of its meanings, the scope of its injunctions, the profundity of its ‘ilm, and the balance of its aims.
Fourth Element: It bestows a luminous faydh on every age in accordance with its understanding and degree of literacy, and on all the classes of men in accordance with their capacities and abilities.
Its door is open to every era and every class within each. It is as though this Rahmanî Kalâm is freshly revealed every instant, everywhere.
As time grows older, the Qur'an grows younger; its signs, symbols and allusions become apparent; it rends the veil of Nature and causes, that Ilahî address.
It sheds the nûr of Tawhîd continuously from every âyah. It raises the veil of al-‘âlam ash-shahâdah, cast over the Ghayb. The loftiness of its address invites man's gaze to be attentive.
For it is the language of the Ghayb; it directly speaks with al-‘âlam ash-shahâdah. Its wondrous freshness proceeds from this element, an all-encompassing ocean!
The Ilahî condescension to the human mind (aql) is for the familiarity of the mind. It is the variety in revelation’s style which makes it familiar and the beloved of human beings and jinn.
Fifth Source: It relates in an original style laden with meaning, as though itself had witnessed them, of its stories and narrations, and truthful accounts, making their essential points;
By narrating, it warns mankind. Its narrations are these: It tells of former events, and future events, the mysteries of Jahannam and of Jannah;
Haqiqahs of the Ghayb, and mysteries of al-‘âlam ash-shahâdah, Ilahî mysteries, stories about relations between existences;
Clear stories that neither fact has refuted, nor logic. Even if logic does not accept them, it cannot refute them - the samawî books, which are revered by all the world.
It relates faithfully the points on which they agree, and mentions in correct form the subjects on which they differ. These matters issuing from one "unlettered" was a wonder of the time!
Sixth Element: It was the founder of the religion of Islam, and comprises it. If you investigate time and place, neither the past was capable of producing the like of Islam, nor is the future.
This samawî thread holds the globe in its annual and daily rotations, and spins it. It weighs down heavily on the earth and also mounts it, but the earth does not give up its rebellion.
Seventh Source: The six nûrs pouring forth from these six sources blend together; from this a beauty becomes apparent, and from this a hads, a luminous means.
This produces a pleasure: known as the pleasure of miraculousness, but our language is inadequate to describe it. The mind too is defective; that star of samâ can be seen, but not held.
For thirteen centuries the Qur'an's enemies have desired to challenge it, while it has aroused in its friends of the Qur'an a desire to imitate it. This here is a proof of its miraculousness.
Available are millions of Arabic books, written in consequence of these two intense desires, which have come into the library of existence. If they are compared with revelation,
If they are weighed up, relying on the evidence of their eyes and ears, not only the unmatched ‘ulamâ, even the most common man, will declare: "This is samawî, those are human!"
Moreover, he will conclude: "It doesn't resemble them, it is not of the same class. If so, it is either lower than all of them, and the falsity of this is self-evident.
So it must be superior to all of them." Throughout all this time its doors are open, its meanings dedicated to humankind; it has summoned to itself rûhs and minds!
Man had power over it, and laid claim to it, but his meanings still could not oppose the Qur'an; he never could; now the time of testing has passed.
It does not resemble other books, it cannot be compared to them. For it is Rabbanî hikmah that its being revealed bit by bit over twenty years in relation to need, in miscellaneous parts.
The causes of revelation were various and distinct. The questions about any one matter were repeated and various. The events related to injunctions were numerous and changed. The times of revelation were distinct and different.
The conditions it was considering were various and different; the groups of those it was addressing were numerous and remote from each other; the aims of its guidance (irshad) were graded and various. Its structure, and expositions,
and replies, and addresses were based on these foundations. Yet despite this, its smoothness of style and lack of defect, its mutual proportion and harmony, demonstrated its perfection. Witness to this is that according to the science of rhetoric,
the Qur'an has a characteristic not present in other speech: if you listen to a speech, you will see the speaker (its owner) behind it, or you will find him within it. Style is the mirror of a person.
O dream-questioner! You asked for conciseness, so I have made an indication. If you seek detail, it is beyond me! A fly cannot behold the samâ.
For of the forty sorts of miraculousness, only one is the eloquence of the word-order; and an exposition of it did not fit in Isharat al-I'jaz14 .
My hundred-page tafsir was insufficient for it. Rather, from those who receive ilham of the rûh like yourself, It is I who seeks your explanation in detail!” The Words ( 767 )
1 (And he who has been given hikmah has been given great khayr.)
2 (And with Him are the keys of the Ghayb.)
3 (O Allah! Mâlik of All Dominion.)
4 (He draws the night as a veil over day, each seeking the other in rapid succession; He created the sun, the moon, and the stars, [all] subject to His command.)
5 (O Earth, swallow up your water! And O Samâ, withhold your rain!)
6 (The samâwât and the earth and all within them offer tasbîh to Him.)
7 (The creation of you all and the resurrection of you all is but like that of a single nafs.)
8 (We did indeed offer the Trust (amanah) to the samâwât, and the earth, and the mountains.)
9 (The Day that We roll up the samâwât like a scroll rolled up for books [completed].)
10 (They have not recognized the worth of Allah as his worth should be recognized. On the Day of Qiyâmah the whole earth shall be in His grasp.)
11 (If We had sent down this Qur'an upon a mountain, you would have seen it humbled and coming apart from fear of Allah.)
12 (closer to him than his jugular vein)
13 (wayfarers of the ma’nawî ways and journeys)
14 (Signs of Miraculousness)