Canal, and to the freshwater and salt lakes, the various fresh-water lakes under the soil layer and the salt lakes over it and contiguous with it, and to the small lakes called the great rivers, such as the Nile, the Tigris, and the Euphrates, and the salty seas into which they flow. Any of these may be intended or meant, and may be their literal and metaphorical meanings.
In the same way, “All praise be to God, the Sustainer of All the Worlds” encompasses numerous truths. The people of illumination and of reality interpret them differently according to the meanings they uncover.
Personally, I think that the heavens consist of thousands of worlds; some of the stars may each be worlds. On the earth too, every sort of creature is a world. Each human being is a small world. As for the term, “Sustainer of All the Worlds,” it means that every world is administered, sustained, and governed directly through Almighty God’s dominicality (rubûbiyet).
T h i r d l y : God’s Most Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) said: “When God wishes a people well, he causes them to see their own faults.”1 And in the All-Wise Qur’an, Joseph (Upon whom be peace) said:
“Nor do I absolve my own self [of blame]; the [human] soul is certainly prone to evil.”(12:53)
Yes, the person who is fond of himself and relies on himself is unfortunate, while someone who sees his own faults is fortunate. So you are fortunate! Nevertheless, it sometimes happens that the evil-commanding soul is transformed into the blaming soul or the tranquil soul, and that it hands over its weapons and equipment to the nerves. Then the nerves and veins of temperament perform its function till the end of life. Although the person’s evil-commanding soul died long beforehand, his nerves are still apparent. Many great saints and holy men have complained about their evil-commanding souls although their souls were tranquil. They have lamented over sicknesses of the heart although their hearts were completely sound and illumined. But what afflicted these persons was not their evil-commanding souls, but the soul’s functions that had been handed over to their nerves. Their ailments were not of the heart, but of the imagination. My brother! God willing, what is attacking you is not your soul and a sickness of the heart, but the state which, as we said, by reason of human nature and to perpetuate striving, has been transferred to the nerves and results in constant progress.
al-‘Ajluni, Kashf al-Khafa’, i, 8.