The Observing One


The Observing One!

Since He is the Observer, then the meanings and forms, that He wishes to observe, must be the product of His wish…

Viewing things from this perspective, the whole of existence appears to be the life, knowledge, will, power, speech, hearing and sight of the One…

While everything in creation is incapacitated with impotence in the sight of the One with Absolute Power, the only thing this Exalted Being doesn’t have is ‘impotence’.

The Perfect Man (Al-Insan Al-Kamil) is referred to with an expression of impotence in the verse:

“…Indeed, he is unjust (insufficient in duly living his reality) and ignorant (of the knowledge of His infinite Names)(Quran 33:72)

The whole of creation is like an extension of the Perfect Man. Nevertheless, he is limited with finiteness in the sight of the Infinite One. Hence, he is impotent.

The Creator that is the One who has manifested countless forms in creation, has indeed created the worlds in impotence. The Perfect Man is unrestricted in terms of his infinite potential and in respect to the Absolute Unknown (gayb-i mutlaq). However, he is impotent and restricted in terms of the implicitness of the meanings he manifests. Ibn al-Arabi references this impotence with his words:

“I have found the rank of the ‘Impotent Servant’ to be the highest of ranks.”

This state of the ‘impotent servant’ is essentially the state of observing for the Perfect Man.

We should take care not to interpret these notions with our human minds lest we fall into human errors and misconceive the reality.

Know that, in the sight of the Perfect Man, compared to that which hasn’t yet manifested, all manifestations are limited, and limitation is an implication of impotence.

In this light, Muhammad’s (saw) words “I repent 70 times a day” bears the awareness of this limitation. That is, the repentance of the Perfect Man is in reference to the impotence he feels in regards to illimitably manifesting the unlimited, unrestricted meanings of the One.

In other words, it is his way of declaring: “As the requirement of my servitude to you, I am impotent of reflecting your illimitable meanings” thereby confessing His Omnipotence over the corporeal worlds.

Such are the contemplations of the Perfect Man…

But if Allah wills, He can also speak through a servant like me to impart these teachings. Whether he chooses a sultan or a servant, it is His wish and command, and there is no limit or restriction to the favors of the Exalted One. Our duty is to take the teaching, appraise and understand it, if this has been meant for us, of course.

Otherwise, based on the verse,

“Everyone acts according to his own creation program (natural disposition; fitrah)...” (Quran 17:84)

If we are not meant to comprehend these teachings, we will effectuate the dictum ‘Each will do what has been made easy (by nature) for him’ and chase after the destiny we find easy, deprived of these realities.

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