expression.’ The essential meaning of a phrase defined as ‘allusive’ is not the means of either truth or falsehood; it is its allusive meaning that is such. If the allusive meaning is correct then the phrase is true. Even if its essential meaning is false, it does not damage its veracity. If the allusive meaning is not correct while its essential meaning is, then the phrase is false.
For example, “So-and-so’s salvation is of great length.” That is, “His sword-belt is very long.” This phrase alludes to the man’s tall stature. If he was tall but did not have a sword and belt, the phrase would still be correct and true. If he was not tall but had a long sword and belt, then the phrase would be false, since it is not its essential meaning that is intended.
So, the stories or parables in the Words, like for example, those in the Tenth and Twenty-Second Words, are sorts of allusions. The truths at the end of the stories are extremely correct, extremely true and conformable to reality; they are the allusive meanings of the stories. Their essential meanings are comparisons that bring distant objects close like a telescope and however they may be it does not damage their veracity and truthfulness. Moreover, all those stories are comparisons or parables. Purely to enable people in general to understand, what is properly communicated without words is put into words, and immaterial and abstract matters are represented in material form.
After receiving this decisive and convincing answer to his second question,1 the representative of all the people of misguidance was reduced to silence, but then asked the following third question.
“Phrases in the Qur’an like The Best of Creators,2 and The Most Compassionate of the Compassionate,3 suggest that there are other creators and compassionate ones. And you also say, ‘the Creator of all the worlds possesses endless perfections. United in Him are the utmost levels of every kind of perfection.’ Whereas, the perfections of beings are known through their opposites: if there was no pain, pleasure would not be a sort of perfection; if there was no darkness, light could not be proved to exist; if there was no separation, there would be no pleasure in union, and so on, would there?”
The Answer: We shall answer the first part of the question in five Indications.
FIRST INDICATION: From beginning to end, the Qur’an demonstrates Divine unity; this is a clear indication that those sort of phrases in the Qur’an
That is, the question at the beginning of the Second Aim, not the small questions at the end of the Conclusion.
Qur’an, 23:14, etc.
Qur’an, 7:151, etc.