palace. It was magnificently divided into apartments and mansions. He adorned it with every sort of bejewelled treasure from his coffers, and decorated it with the finest and most gorgeous arts of his own handiwork. He ordered it with the greatest refinements of his knowledge and science, and decked it out and completed it with the miraculous works of his learning. Next, he spread tables with varieties of bounties and the most delicious of foods worthy for each group and prepared a general banquet. Then, in order to display his perfections to his subjects, he invited them to the banquet and to behold the perfections.
Then he appointed one of them as the highest ranking general, invited him up from the lower levels and mansions to tour sphere after sphere in the levels rising one after the other. Showing him the successive machinery and workshops of his wonderful art and the storehouses for the produce coming from below, he brought him to his own particular sphere and private apartment. There, he honoured him through showing him the blessed person who was the source of all those perfections and taking him into his presence. He informed him of the true nature of the palace and of his own perfections. He appointed him as guide to the other spectators and sent him back. He was to describe to the people the palace’s maker by means of its contents, inscriptions, and wonders, and inform those who entered the palace of the allusive meanings of the inscriptions within it, what the works of art signified, and what the harmonious and well-proportioned inscriptions and works of art in its interior were, and how they pointed to the perfections and skills of the palace’s owner. He was also to teach them the correct behaviour and formalities in viewing the exhibition and describe the protocol and ceremonies which were in accordance with the pleasure and desires of the learned and skilful king, who did not appear.
In exactly the same way, And God’s is the highest similitude, the All-Glorious Maker, Who is the Monarch of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity, desired to behold and display His infinite perfections and boundless beauty. So He made this world in such a fashion that every being utters His perfections with numerous tongues and points to His beauty with many signs. The universe shows through all its beings the many hidden immaterial treasures in all of His Most Beautiful Names and the many veiled subtleties in all of His sacred titles. And it shows this in such a way that, although since the time of Adam, all sciences together with all of their laws have studied this book of the universe, only a tiny proportion of the book’s meanings and signs, which state and point to the Divine Names and perfections, have been read.
Thus, the wisdom of the All-Glorious One of Beauty, the All-Beauteous One of Glory, the Maker possessing Perfection, Who opens the palace of the world as though it was an exhibition in order to see and display His own transcendent beauty and perfections, requires that He should inform