Prophet Muhammad (S), a Divine Mercy for the Worlds 2

Unique Characteristics of Prophet Muhammad

As mentioned earlier, the Prophets of Allah are the manifestation of divine beauty and names, and the Prophet of Islam demonstrates the divine attribute of ‘there is none like unto Him’. The following are some of the unique characteristics of Prophet Muhammad (S).

• The light and spirit of Muhammad was the first creation of Allah.

Universal Mission: The most we can say about the scope of the mission of the previous prophets is that their mission included all people of their time across the globe and remained in force until the advent of the next law-making prophet. The mission of the Prophet of Islam, however, was for the whole of mankind across the globe and until the Day of Judgment. The Almighty Allah states:

“And We have not sent you (O Muhammad) except as a giver of glad tidings and a Warner to all mankind.”(1)

• He is mercy for the whole worlds:

“And We have not sent you but as a mercy for the worlds.”(2)

• The seal of the Prophets:

“Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the last (end) of the Prophets.”(3)

• His Scripture is a protector and a guard over all the previous scriptures, safeguarding the truth in them which has been perverted by man throughout history.

“And We have sent down to you (O Muhammad) the Book in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it and Muhayman (a protector and controller) over it.”(4)

• The religion of Prophet Muhammad (S) was Islam in its complete form with no perversion in it, and hence it is the right and straight (Qayyem) religion.

“So set you (O Muhammad) your face on the straight and right religion.”(5)

The World of al-Thar (Particles)

Has there been any world before this physical world? Or to be more precise, is there any world other than the world of matter? Did creation begin with the creation of the physical world or are there other types of life beyond this matter?

Many Ayaat in the Quran and numerous Ahadith indicate that there has been a world of spirit prior to this physical world. All humans had a form of existence in that world. It was in that world that the Almighty Allah introduced Himself to mankind and took a covenant from them not to worship other than Him. Mankind in that world witnessed the Almighty God and was free from the filth of polytheism and doubts.

The late Allamah Tabatabei suggested in his al-Mizan that the world of al-thar does not have a temporal preceding to this, our physical, world rather it does exist with it and encompasses it. It is the world of Sovereign (malakout) that the Almighty Allah showed to Prophet Ibrahim(6) (as); it was in the world where the instinct of knowing God was enforced in man’s nature.

The following Ayaat reveals the existence of the world of al-Thar:

“And when your Lord brought forth from the Children of Adam, from their loins, their seed and made them testify as to themselves (saying): Am I not your Lord? They said: Yes! We testify, lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection: Verily, we have been unaware of this.”(7)

“How can you disbelieve in Allah? Seeing that you were dead and He gave you life. Then He will give you death, then again will bring you to life and then unto Him you will return.”(8)

One of the most complicated philosophical issues is about the relation of a changeable to the Unchangeable, i.e. the relation between the creation and the Creator. Muslim philosophers have dealt with this issue under the topic of ‘actuality and potentiality’.

It is proven in Islamic mysticism as well as transcendental metaphysics of Mulla-Sadra that the Almighty Allah is the Extended Existence (wujud munbasit) in all respects. The first being who appeared by God and became His first manifestation, must be the nearest to God and demonstrate the most possible divine Names and Attributes.

Stages of the Bow of Descent

To understand the concept of the first creation and manifestation of God, you need to activate your sense of imagination and fly out of the world of matter. Let your mind go beyond the four dimensions of matter. Now you are in the world of spirit. You may even Endeavour to pass the entire contingent world be it matter or immaterial worlds. Muslim mystics consider the stages of life as follows:

1. The stage of the Unseen of the Unseens

1. The stage of the Unseen of the Unseens:(9) In this stage all that is considered is but the essence of Allah without even any Names or Attributes, let alone His creation. This is the stage that no contingent being can ever reach.

2. The Stage of the First Appointment

2. The Stage of the First Appointment: The stage of Uniqueness: (ahadiyyat). This is the stage where one being or the appointment of one being can be considered. What we mean by the appointment of one being is that an attribute could be related to God. i.e. an attribute that is the source of all other attributes and beings. This is the stage of God witnessing His essence for Himself which is called the stage of uniqueness (of God) or the stage of “or nearer”.

3. The stage of the Second Appointment

3. The stage of the Second Appointment: The stage of the Oneness (the distance of two bows lengths). This is the stage of all divine names and attributes. All Knowing, All Mighty, All Living and all the names of God is considered at this stage.

After the stage of Oneness is the stage of A’yanneh sabiteh as named by Ibn Arabi. This is the stage of the manifestation of divine names and attributes. This is the stage of the appearance of the manifestations of divine names and attributes, manifestations which were concealed in the previous stage.(10)

Creation(11) begins from this stage and the question is what would be the first creation. Some philosophers regarded the first creation or manifestation the intellect for it is immaterial and is not limited to space and time.(12)

continue in the next article: ( Prophet Muhammad (S), a Divine Mercy for the Worlds 3 )

NOTES:

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1. The Holy Quran 34:28

2. The Holy Quran 21:107

3. The Holy Quran 36:40

4. The Holy Quran 5:48

5. The Holy Quran 30:43

6. Refer to 6:75: “So also did We show Ibrahim the power and the laws of the heavens and the earth, that he might (with understanding) have certitude.”

7. The Holy Quran 7:172

8. The Holy Quran 2:28

9. The West Griffin: Anqa Maghrib.

10. Ibn Fanari, Mesbahul-Ouns, p.72, Mulla Sadra, al-Asfar vol.2, p.332.

11. Creation in a mystical term is ‘manifestation` of divine attributes, not production. That means God will demonstrate whatever which did exist in the world of divine knowledge (Faydh Aqdas), in the perceptible world.

12. Sharhe Manzoumeh vol.2. p58-59.