has caused each one of them to remain in infinite space. It has bestowed stability and permanence on them, and caused them all to display the manifestation of the mystery of Self-Subsistence. If not for this support, nothing at all could continue to exist of its own accord. Everything would topple over into the infinite void and tumble into non-existence.
Furthermore, just as all beings rely on the All-Glorious Self-Subsistent One for their existence, stability, and permanence, they continue in existence through Him, so according to the meaning of the verse,
And to Him goes back every affair,(11:123)
the tips of thousands of chains or lines in the states and conditions of beings are fastened to the mystery of Self-Subsistence, which, if the comparison is not mistaken, is like the centre or central pole of telephone and telegraph lines. If they did not rely on that luminous point of support, thousands of unending sequences of causes would be necessary, which according to scholars is an impossible and false notion; in fact, there would have to be as many of these absurd unending sequences of causes as there are beings. For example, one thing – protection or light or existence or sustenance, for instance – in one respect relies on the next thing, and that on the next, and that on the next, until finally since it cannot be infinite, it has to come to an end.
Thus, the end of all such lines and sequences lies in the mystery of Self-Subsistence. But when this mystery has been understood, the links and the meaning of each thing relying on the next in those imaginary sequences do not remain, they disappear and everything is seen to look directly to the mystery of Self-Subsistence.
By means of one or two introductory points, we shall point out to a small degree the disclosure of the mystery of Self-Subsistence within divine creativity and dominical activity, which verses like the following allude to:
Every day He manifests Himself in yet another way.(55:29) * A sovereign doer of whatever He wills.(11:107) * He creates whatever he wishes.(30:34, etc.) * In Whose hand is the dominion of all things.(36:83) * So look to the signs of God’s mercy, how He restores the earth to life after its death.(30:50)
T h e F i r s t : When we look at the universe, we see that one group of creatures, which are tossed around in the flood of time and follow on one after the other convoy after convoy, come for a second and then immediately