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Man Is A Composition of Meanings!

"Whatever form (manifestation of Names) He willed for you, He configured your composition accordingly."[1]

A deed is when a meaning manifests so that it addresses the five senses. In other words, anything that you can sense with your senses is a deed or an act. And this deed is given a name. This name is a reference to the deed and hence it is linked to it, therefore the name and the deed point to the same meaning.

The act of showing mercy to the poor and giving charity is described as the “act of giving alms”. Yet mercy and giving alms are derived from the same point. As the emotion we call “mercy” or the meaning that is referenced by this word, is expressed physically as the act of giving; that’s how it manifests. So, when a meaning turns into an action, i.e. when it becomes expressed so that we perceive it in the sensory world, the act takes place under a particular name so that it appears to be different from the meaning.

As for the divine names, all acts in existence stem from the group of meanings we call the ninety-nine names of Allah. In this light, the universe is nothing other than the manifestation of these divine names, from the level of meanings to the level of acts.

That is, whether we can perceive it with our senses or not, everything except one thing, is the expression of the divine names from potential force into acts and motion.

Note that, this so-called expression does not in any way imply or suggest an inside or an outside to Allah. The name Allah eradicates this concept. When we say there is nothing outside of Allah what we mean is there is nothing in existence that does not derive its life force from Allah, as everything exists as the various compositions of His Names. Any conception that suggests a dimension, size, space, form, or measurement to Allah is absolutely baseless and obsolete, as this would spawn the notion of a god who is either outside or inside the universe, which goes against the “tawhid” (non-duality) teaching of Muhammad (saw).

The only real existence is the Absolute One.

The observable multitude of existence, that is what seems to be many separate forms of existence, is due to our limited tools of sensory perception.

While the perception capacity of our eyes makes us see a normal human figure, an x-ray reveals a skeletal structure and infrared rays allow us to observe radial beings.

Whereas in reality, existence is an indivisible, inseparable whole, with no beginning and no end. 

All things we perceive with our senses are essentially different compositions of the divine names appearing as the multiple forms. The infinite meanings through which existence shows itself have been described as the divine names. 

Note the term “shows itself” does not in any way imply a need as these meanings are also of Its Self yet It is not confined or limited by them. All formations seen as deeds and acts are meanings materialized enough to address our senses, however even our senses are made of these meanings, hence the entire existence is nothing other than meanings. In short, the worlds are simply densified materialized forms of meanings.  

What we call emotions are the outward expressions of the meanings of the divine names, as and through the senses. Ultimately the nature and temperament seen on humans are various compositions of the meanings of the divine names.

Let’s now take a further look what we mean by different compositions of names…

There is not a single iota of existence that is other than Allah in respect of His Absolute essence, Attributes, Names, and explicit manifestations as acts. Note however these are not separate and different things. An action is the same thing as the name, which is the same as the meaning, which is not different and separate from the one who carries that meaning. The only apparent difference is because the holder of the meaning expresses its innumerous meanings through infinitely different acts.

Since meanings come about from the essence of that Being in order to observe Its various qualities, they are not separate from It. They are nothing other than the forms It takes. That is, the divine names are not independent of the essence of the Divine Being. Hence the names we use to refer to these meanings are not the names of a “god” beyond and separate from existence. Yet He is not bound or restricted by them either. The Absolute One is free from all confinements and limitations. It can take the form of any meaning It pleases. 

All meanings are derived from the Absolute Essence of the One. However, a meaning that is expressed through you cannot be descriptive of the Absolute One, any description pertaining to the One is aberrant and invalid. No description can ever explain the Absolute Essence of the One. 

This being the case, there is nothing in existence other than the various expressions of the divine meanings of the Absolute Self-sufficient One. What we call the Ninety-nine Names is simply a list of names that refer to these meanings. Though they are ninety-nine in number they are infinite in their expressions.

Almost all of the qualities of these names may be observed through a single name, that is a single individual whose name is Ahmed for example.

To further exemplify, the name “al-Hasib” means one who diligently holds to account; One who evaluates things down to its finest details and gives their due accordingly. Many of us can find ourselves in similar situations where we explore something in detail before making a decision about it. This is nothing other than the expression of the name al-Hasibthrough us.

The name “al-Halim” for instance, means the One who refrains from giving sudden (impulsive) reactions to events, but rather evaluates all situations in respect of their purpose of manifestation in a gentle manner, calmly and tolerantly. Many times, in our own lives we too may react in a lenient and gentle manner in the face of cruelty.

The names as-Sami and al-Basir on the other hand are constantly expressed through our ability to hear and see. The name al-Kalim becomes manifest through our ability to communicate. We exist with the name al-Hayy and owe our knowledge to the name al-Aleem. The strength of our willpower depends on the degree of manifestation of the name al-Mureed. When we are forgiving we are manifesting the name al-Gaffar. When we are giving we are expressing the name ar-Razzaq and so on… 

In short, we manifest all of the divine names to various degrees, some more than others, some more frequently and some constantly.

Each individual has a unique make-up; when we think of a particular person we think of the meanings in their composition, besides their physical properties. The unique composition of this particular person may be comprised 12% of one name, 30% of another name and say 17% of a third name etc… The various degrees of dominance of the names is what makes up this person.  So, when we are in contact with this person we are in effects in contact with the expression of a unique composition of the divine names and thus their meanings. 

No doubt, the essence and the boundless, unrestricted forms of these meanings pertain to Allah. The expression of the divine names through a particular form or a person is an embodiment of a unique configuration of a collection of names. So, when we think of the name ar-Razzaq we think only of the attribute of giving but when we think of someone we know by the name Ahmed for example, we think of a collection of meanings composed together in various degrees. Hence with all of creation, every form, every unit of existence, is nothing other than a unique configuration of the divine names. Whichever name you use you will always be eventually referring to the One.

Now let us delve into the meaning of the words of “Gaybi Sun’ullah”: 

“What you perceive to be ‘existence’ is in reality only Allah…”

[1] Quran 82:8

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