interpret this mighty truth? With what can you explain this infinitely miraculous and wonderful state of affairs? To what can you attribute these truly extraordinary arts? What veil of heedlessness can you draw across this window as broad as the earth and so close it? Where is your chance and coincidence, your unconscious companion on which you rely and call ‘nature,’ your friend and support in misguidance? It is totally impossible for chance and coincidence to interfere in these matters, isn’t it? And to attribute to ‘nature’ one thousandth of them is impossible a thousand times over, isn’t it?
Or does lifeless, impotent nature have immaterial machines and printing presses within each single thing, made from each, and to the number of each?
Do they not consider the government of the heavens and the earth?1
Consider this comparison which is explained in the Twenty-Second Word: a fine, well-ordered, well-crafted work like a palace self-evidently points to a well-ordered act. That is to say, a building indicates the act of building. And a fine, well-ordered act necessarily points to a proficient agent, a skilful master, a builder. And the titles of proficient master and builder point self-evidently to a perfect attribute, that is, to a faculty for the craft. And that perfect attribute and that perfect faculty for the craft self-evidently indicate the existence of a perfect innate ability. And a perfect innate ability indicate the existence of an exalted spirit and elevated essence.
In just the same way, the constantly renewed works filling the face of the earth, indeed the universe, show clearly acts of the utmost perfection. And these acts, which are encompassed by total order and wisdom, point clearly to an agent whose titles and Names are perfect. For it is clearly obvious that well-ordered, wise acts cannot be without the one who performs them. And titles of the utmost perfection point to the utterly perfect attributes of that agent. For according to the rules of grammar, the active particle is formed from the infinitive [that is, what is called ‘the root’ in Arabic grammar]; so too the source and roots of nouns, names and titles are attributes. And attributes at the utmost degree of perfection point indubitably to utterly perfect essential qualities. And those perfect essential qualities –which we are unable to describe– point most certainly to an essence which is at the utmost peak of perfection.
Thus, since in every part of the world all the works of art and creatures