About the greatness and the attributes of
Praise be to Allah who is
proof of His existence through His creation, of His being external through
the newness of His creation, and through their mutual similarities of the
fact that nothing is similar to Him. Senses cannot touch Him and curtains
cannot veil Him, because of the difference between the Maker and the made,
the Limiter and the limited and the Sustainer and the sustained.
He is One but not by the
first in counting, is Creator but not through activity or labour, is
Hearer but not by means of any physical organ, is Looker but not by a
stretching of eyelids, is Witness but not by nearness, is Distinct but not
by measurement of distance, is Manifest but not by seeing and is Hidden
but not by subtlety (of body).
He is Distinct from things
because He overpowers them and exercises might over them, while things are
distinct from Him because of their subjugation to Him and their turning
He who describes Him limits
Him. He who limits Him numbers Him. He who numbers Him rejects His
eternity. He who said "how" sought a description for Him.
He who said "where" bounded him. He is the
Knower even though there be nothing to be known. He is the Sustainer even
though there be nothing to be sustained. He is the Powerful even though
there be nothing to be overpowered.
A part of the same sermon about the Divine leaders (Imams)
The riser has risen, the
sparkler has sparkled, the appearer has appeared and the curved has been
straightened. Allah has replaced one people with another and one day with
We awaited these changes as
the famine-stricken await the rain. Certainly the Imams are the
vicegerents of Allah over His creatures and they make the creatures know
Allah. No one will enter Paradise except he who knows them and knows Him,
and no one will enter Hell except he who denies them and denies Him.
Allah the Glorified, has
distinguished you with Islam and has chosen you for it. This is because it
is the name of safety and the collection of honour. Allah the Glorified,
chose its way and disclosed its pleas through open knowledge and secret
Its (Qur'an)wonders are not
exhausted and its delicacies do not end. It contains blossoming bounties
and lamps of darkness. (The doors of) virtues cannot be opened save with
its keys, nor can gloom be dispelled save with its lamps. Allah has
protected its inaccessible points (from enemies) and allowed grazing (to
its followers) in its pastures. It contains cover (from the ailment of
misguidance) for the seeker of cure and full support for the seeker of
The first part of this sermon consists of important issues concerning the
science of knowledge about Allah, wherein Amir al-mu'minin has thrown
light on the matter that Allah is from ever and His attributes are the
same as He Himself. When we cast a glance at creation, we see that for
every movement there is a mover, from which every man of ordinary wisdom
is compelled to conclude that no effect can appear without a cause, so
much so, that even an infant a few days old, when his body is touched,
feels in the depth of his consciousness that someone has touched him.
He indicates it by opening
his eyes or turning and looking. How then can the creation of the world
and the system of all creation be arranged without a Creator or Organiser?
Once it is necessary to
believe in a Creator, then He should exist by Himself, because everything
which has a beginning must have a centre of existence from which it should
If that too needed a
creator, there would be the question of whether this creator is also the
creation of some other creator or exists by itself. Thus unless a
Self-created Creator is believed in, who should be the cause of all
causes, the mind will remain groping in the unending labyrinth of cause
and effect, and never attain the idea of the last extremity of the series
of creation. It would fall into the fallacy of circular arguing and would
not reach any end.
If the creator were taken to
have created himself, then there would be (one of the two positions,
namely) either he should be non-existent or existent.
If he were not existent,
then it would not be possible for something non-existent to create any
existent being. If he were existent before creating himself, there would
be no sense in coming into being again. Therefore it is necessary to
believe that the Creator should be a Being not dependent on any other
creator for His own existence, and everything else should be dependent on
This dependence of the
entire creation is a proof that the existence of the Source of all
creation is from ever and eternal. And since all beings other than He are
subject to change, are dependent on position and place and are similar to
one another in qualities and properties, and since similarity leads to
plurality whereas unity has no like save itself, therefore nothing can be
Even things called one
cannot be reckoned after His Unity because He is One and Singular in every
respect. He is free and pure from all those attributes which are found in
body or matter because He is neither body, nor colour, nor shape, nor does
He lie in any direction, nor is He bounded within some place or locality.
Therefore, man cannot see or understand Him through his senses or
feelings, because senses can know only those things which accord with the
limitations of time, place and matter. To believe that He can be seen is
to believe that He has body, but since He is not a body, and He does not
exist through a body, and He does not lie in any direction or place, there
is no question of His being seen.
But His being unseen is not
like that of subtle material bodies, due to whose delicacy the eye pierces
through them and eyes remain unable to see them; as for example the wind
in the vast firmament. But He is unseen by His very existence.
Nevertheless, nothing is
unseen for Him. He sees as well as hears, but is not dependent on
instruments of seeing or hearing, because if He were in need of organs of
the body for hearing and seeing He would be in need of external things for
His perfection and would not be a perfect Being, whereas He should be
perfect in all respects and no attribute of perfection should be apart
from His Self.
To believe in attributes
separately from His Self would mean that there would be a self and a few
attributes and the compound of the self and the attributes would be Allah.
But a thing which is compounded is dependent on its parts and these parts
must exist before their composition into the whole. When the parts exist
from before, how can the whole be from ever and eternal because its
existence is later than that of its parts.
But Allah had the attributes
of knowledge, power and sustaining even when nothing was existent, because
none of His attributes were created in Him from outside, but His
attributes are His Self and His Self is His attributes. Consequently, His
knowledge does not depend on the object of knowledge existing first and
then His knowledge, because His Self is prior to things coming into
Nor is it necessary for His
power that there should first exist the object to be over-powered and then
alone He would be called Powerful, because Powerful is that who has power
equally for doing or abandoning and as such the existence of the object to
be over-powered is not necessary.
Similarly Sustainer means
master. Just as He is the Master of the non-existent after its coming into
existence, in the same way He has power to bring it into existence from
non-existence, namely if He so wills He may bestow existence upon it.