Whoever we call upon with whatever Name, we will always be invoking the One denoted by Allah.
The One denoted by the name Allah is such that it is impossible to speak of another than He.
Whether it be by His essential attributes, the meanings that He manifests, or the activities that are formed by these meanings, in every moment and in every way it is always He that is being thought and spoken of. Any instant in which we think of or talk about another form of existence we assume exists outside of Allah, we fall into duality. This is what the Quran refers to as shirq!
“Do not turn to (assume the existence of) a god (exterior manifestations of power or your illusory self) besides Allah.” (Quran 28:88)
“…Assuredly, duality is a great wrongdoing!” (Quran 31:13)
Why is shirq cruelty and to whom is it directed?
It is cruelty to our essential selves as, by worshipping other god(s) beyond our selves in a veiled state from our essence, we are associating partners to Allah, thereby committing shirq. This in turn is depriving us from reaching the infinite qualities residing in our very own essence. Hence, we are doing the biggest cruelty to ourselves.
To be deprived of the reality of our own self is the biggest cruelty that can be done to us. And by failing to comply with the system, we are unfortunately doing this to ourselves.
The rule ‘He who knows himself not, knows not his Rabb’ is derived from the warning ‘He who knows himself, knows the reality of the Names comprising his essence (Rabb)’. To know Allah, one must understand the One denoted by the name Allah. This understanding can only be acquired by the knowledge of Allah disclosed by Muhammad (saw).
I had intricately covered the topic of self in Know Yourself, but I shall also talk a little about it here.
Since there is no other existence but Allah, who or what is this existence to which we refer as the self or as I? How was it formed?
What clues have we been provided with to help us resolve this?
We will try to answer these questions in congruence with the understanding of Allah we have been sharing so far. If we say anything to contradict that which has been said up to this point, we will automatically be misled and fall into the trap of duality; the person and his god.
The Quran states the following regarding the creation purpose of human beings:
“And when your Rabb said to the angels (angels here are personifications of the qualities of the Names comprising one’s body, hence the addressee here is you), ‘I will make upon the earth (the body) a vicegerent (conscious beings who will live with the awareness of the Names).’...” (Quran 2:30)
It is interesting to note that man has been made a vicegerent upon the earth and not the universe or cosmos.
But how did man become a vicegerent? The Quran answers this with the verse:
“And He taught (programmed) Adam (the name ‘Adam’ in the Quran references every single human, who in reality is nonexistent and has been created from a state of nothingness through the manifestation of a composition of Names) all of the Names (all knowledge pertaining to the Names and their manifestation)...” (Quran 2:31)
What this verse is saying is:
Man has been endowed with the capacity and capability to manifest the infinite Names of Allah, to the extent that he wills. This endowment is what the verse above refers to as He taught Adam, i.e. He endowed man with the innate capacity and capability to manifest the Names of Allah.
But how did man, equipped with such capacity, and the universe in which he lives, come about in the first place?
If Allah does not reflect and nothing comes out of Allah, then how and from where did the engendered existence that our five senses perceives come about? And the angels, jinn, heaven and hell? The Intermediary Realm (barzakh) explained in the Quran and countless other forms of existence… How did they all come to exist?