AL-‘ÂLAM ASH-SHAHÂDAH - عالم الشهادة
Literally: ‘Âlam is a world. A realm. A universe. A class of beings. A state or period of life. A condition or circumstance of life. The generality of mankind. The public.
Literally: Shahâdah is witnessing.
Al-‘âlam ash-shahâdah is the visible ‘âlam. The ‘âlam that we witness with our material senses. This ‘âlam is the place where whoever believes the orders and âyahs of Allah are witnessing the haqq, haqiqah and the place that they are responsible with obeying Allah (‘Azza wa jalla) and ‘ibâdah to Him.
“Just as the body relies on the rûh and subsists through it and has life through it, and a word looks to the meaning and is illuminated by it, and form relies on haqiqah and acquires value through it; in exactly the same way this corporeal and material ‘âlam ash-shahâdah is a body, a word, a form which relies on the Ilahî Names behind the veil of al-‘âlam al-ghayb, receiving life and vitality from them; it looks to them, and is beautified. All the instances of physical beauty proceed from the ma’nawî beauties of their own haqiqahs and meanings; and as for their haqiqahs, they receive faydh from the Ilahî Names and are shadows of them of a sort.” The Rays (85 -86 )
“Furthermore, there is the well-known meaning of hamd: the display of the attributes of Kamâl1 .
How this is achieved: Allah Subhânahu created man and made him a comprehensive summary of the universe and an index of the book of the ‘âlam, which comprises eighteen thousand ‘âlam, and lodged in his essence a sample from each, in which is manifested one of the Names of Taâ’lâ. If man spends all of what is bestowed on him in the way of that for which they were created, for the purpose of performing shukr al-‘urfî which is a sort of hamd, and obeying the Sharî’ah which removes the rust of nature, each of those samples opens a mishkât2 and a window to the ‘âlam which they belong to, and becomes a mirror to the attribute that manifests in that ‘âlam and the Name which manifests there. In this way, with both rûh and material, man becomes a summary of al-‘âlam ash-shahâdah and al-‘âlam al-ghayb, and manifests what is manifested on them. Through offering hamd man becomes a place of manifestation for the Ilahî attributes of Kamâl. This is implied by what Muhyi al-Din al-'Arabi said in explanation of the Hadith:3 كُنْتُ كَنْزًا مَخْفِيًّا فَخَلَقْتُ الْخَلْقَ لِيَعْرِفُونِى That is, I created creation to be a mirror in which I might observe My Jamâl.” Signs of Miraculousness