declared: “All praise be to God, the Sustainer of All the Worlds! I have intercessors to this great number; they are all reciting exactly the same words as I am saying, confirming me.” As this veil was raised by my imagination, the Noble Ka‘ba appeared to be the mihrab. Seizing the opportunity, I called on the ranks of the congregation to testify and entrusted to the Black Stone the interpreter of faith, that is, “I testify that there is no god but God, and I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of God.” While pronouncing this, a further situation was laid open before me: I saw that the congregation of which I was a part was divided into three circles:
The First Circle was the vast congregation of believers and those who affirm divine unity on the face of the earth.
The Second Circle: I looked and saw that I was part of a congregation consisting of all beings, all of which, performing prayers and glorification, were occupied with the benedictions and glorification particular to its group and species. Their worship consists of the activities we observe, called “the functions of things.” Declaring: “God is Most Great!” before this, I bowed my head in wonderment, and looked at myself:
Within a Third Circle I saw an astonishing microcosm which was apparently and qualitatively small, but in reality, number, and duties, great. This, from the particles of my being to my external senses was a congregation in which every group was preoccupied with duties of worship and thanks. In this circle, the dominical inner faculty in my heart was declaring: “You alone do we worship and from You alone do we seek help” in the name of the congregation. Just as in the two former congregations my tongue had said it, having formed the intention to say it in their names.
In Short: The “Nun” of “na‘budu” indicates these three congregations. While pondering over this, the collective personality of God’s Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace), the Interpreter and Herald of the All-Wise Qur’an, was suddenly embodied in all its majesty in his immaterial pulpit in Medina. Like everyone, I as though heard his address of “O you people! Worship your Sustainer,”(2:21) and everyone in those three congregations responded like me, saying, “You alone do we worship.” In accordance with the rule, “If something is established, it is established together with the things that necessitate it,” the following truth was imparted to my mind:
Taking mankind as His addressee, the Sustainer of All the Worlds speaks with all beings, and His Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) conveys that lofty address to mankind, indeed, to all beings with spirits and consciousness. All the past and the future have become like the present; the address is being delivered to mankind, all of which is in a