name. Everything becomes a mirror yielding knowledge of Him. As Sa‘di Shirazi said: “To the conscious gaze every leaf is a book yielding knowledge of the divine.”
In everything a window opens up onto knowledge of God.
In some of the Words we have illustrated with the following comparison the differences between the way of the scholars of theology and the true highway taken from the Qur’an: in order to have water, some is brought from a distant place by means of pipes, tunnelling through mountains. And some of it is obtained by digging wells everywhere. The first sort is fraught with difficulties; the pipes become blocked or broken. But those who know how to dig wells and extract water can find water everywhere with no trouble.
Similarly, utilizing the impossibility of causation and causal sequences, the scholars of theology cut the chains of causes at the extremities of the world and then proved the existence of the Necessarily Existent One. They travelled a long road. However, the true highway of the Wise Qur’an finds water everywhere and extracts it. All its verses cause water to flow forth wherever they strike, like the Staff of Moses. Each makes everything recite the rule: “In everything is a sign indicating that He is One.”
Furthermore, faith (îmân) is not gained only through knowledge; many of the subtle faculties have their share of it. When food enters the stomach, it is distributed in various ways to various members. Similarly, after entering the stomach of the mind, the matters of faith that come through knowledge are absorbed by the spirit, heart, inner heart, soul, and other subtle faculties; each receives its share according to its degree. If they do not receive their share, faith is deficient. Muhyi’l-Din al-‘Arabi was reminding Fakhr al-Din Razi of this point.
In what way is the verse, “We have honoured the sons of Adam”(17:70) conformable with the verse, “He was indeed unjust and foolish”(33:72)?
T h e A n s w e r: There are explanations in the Eleventh and Twenty-Third Words, and in the Second Fruit of the Fifth Branch of the Twenty-Fourth Word. A summary is as follows:
With His perfect power, Almighty God makes many things from a single thing, causes one thing to perform numerous duties, and writes a thousand books on a single page; so too He created man as a comprehensive species, in place of many species. That is to say, He willed that through