And among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and in your colours.”(30:22)
Within innumerable creatures and infinite multiplicity, there are stamps of unity like concentric circles of many sorts and degrees from the greatest stamp to the smallest. But however clear the unity is, it is still unity within multiplicity; it does not truly address observers. Hence, there has to be the stamp of divine oneness behind unity so that unity does not call to mind multiplicity and before the Most Pure and Holy One a way may be opened up to the heart directly.
Furthermore, a truly captivating design, shining light, agreeable sweetness, pleasing beauty, and powerful truth – which is the stamp of divine mercy and seal of divine compassion – has been placed on the stamp of divine oneness in order to direct gazes towards it and attract hearts. Yes, it is the strength of that mercy that attracts the gazes of conscious beings, draws them to it, and causes them to reach the seal of oneness and to observe the Single One, and from that to truly manifest the address of “You alone do we worship, and from You alone do we seek help.”
It is because “In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate” is the index of Sura al-Fatiha and a concise summary of the Qur’an that it is the sign and interpreter of this mighty mystery. The person who clasps it may travel through the levels of divine mercy. And the person who causes this interpreter to speak may learn about the mysteries of divine mercy and behold the lights of divine compassion and pity.
There is a Hadith which goes something like this: “God created man in the form of the Most Merciful.”1 It has been interpreted by some Sufis in an extraordinary way, unfitting for the tenets of belief. Some of them who were ecstatics even considered man’s spiritual nature to be in the form of the All-Merciful. Since ecstatics are mostly immersed in contemplation and confused, they are perhaps to be excused in holding views contrary to reality. But on consideration, people in their right senses cannot accept ideas of theirs that are contrary to the fundamentals of belief. If they do, they are in error.
Indeed, the Most Pure and Holy Deity, who administers with order the whole universe as though it were a palace or house, and spins the stars as though they were particles and causes them to travel through space with
See, Bukhari, Isti’dhan, 1; Muslim, Birr, 115; Janna, 28; Musnad, ii, 244, 251, 315, 323, 434, 463, 519.