of the mirror, and its image which has been transposed to the photographic paper is the sun, it is wrong; it is an error to say: “There is nothing in them other than the sun.” For there is the reflection on the mirror’s shining face and the image formed on its back, and these have their own separate existences. For sure those existences are from the sun’s manifestation, but they are not the sun. The human mind and imagination resemble this example of the mirror, as follows:
The information in the mirror of man’s thought also has two faces: in one respect it is knowledge, in another, it is known. If we suppose the mind to contain what is known, then the known thing becomes something known by the mind; its existence is something different to the mind. If we suppose the mind to be qualified by the thing, it becomes an attribute or quality of the mind; then the thing becomes knowledge and has an external existence. Even if the existence of the thing known is essential (jawhari), it has an accidental external existence like the knowledge.
Thus, according to these two comparisons, the universe is a mirror. The true nature of beings is also mirror-like; they are subject to divine creation through pre-eternal power. In one respect, each being is a sort of mirror to one of the names of the Pre-Eternal Sun, displaying its embroideries. The followers of Muhyiddin’s way unveiled them only in respect of being mirrors and containers, revealing the similitude of their existence in the mirror, from the point of view of denial. Supposing the reflection to be identical with the thing reflected, they did not think of other levels. They said: “There is no existent but He,” and were in error. They almost went as far as denying the fundamental rule: “The reality of beings is constant.”
As for the people of reality, they have seen through the mystery of the legacy of prophethood and the definite statements of the Qur’an that the embroideries and inscriptions that come into being in the mirrors of things through divine power and will are His works. They are “all from Him;” they are not “all Him.”1 Things have an existence and their existence is constant to a degree. For sure it is weak compared to that of the Necessary Existence, like an illusion or imagining, but through the Pre-Eternal All-Powerful One’s creation, will, and power, it exists.
In the comparison, the sun in the mirror has an existence through its similitude apart from its external existence. And its expanded reflection also, which gives colour to and adorns the mirror, has an accidental and separate external existence. And the sun’s image which is depicted on the
That is, everything is from Him; He creates everything. Not everything is Him so that it may be said “There is no existent save Him.”