Just as we talk about an Absolute Existence, Essence (dhat), Attribute, Names (asma) and Acts (af’al), we can also talk about the essence, attributes, names and acts of man. Where, of course, the essence of man is ultimately derived from the Essence of the Absolute, as man does not possess a separate essence from the Absolute Essence of the One. Man’s existence depends on the existence of the Absolute Essence.

The attributes of man can be summarized as follows; life, knowledge, will, power, speech, hearing and sight. In other words, man is Hayy (Living) Aleem (Knowing) Mureed (Willing) Qadir (Powerful) Mutakallim (Speaking) Sami (Perceiving) and Basir (Evaluating). This is because man’s existence depends on His existence, and therefore His attributes.

Hence Allah has created mankind in His own image, that is, in the image of His Names and Attributes. There is no other existence in whose image He can create man. In any case, He encompasses the whole of existence; there is nothing other than He!

Every individual is a unique expression of a unique composition of His names. Due to this, there is multiplicity within unity. Though by essence we are all one and the same, our outward manifestations are varied. To put it allegorically, when the inward meanings of the One outwardly localizes and becomes dense at innumerable points, we have what appears to be the cosmos.

Each of these localized points, by essence and origin, are compositions of divine names, magnified and manifested on a grand scale. Thus, all of the galaxies and their constellations, with their stars and rays and so on, are just different compositions of the divine names. That is, they are all materializations of the compositional properties denoted by the divine names.

The Absolute Existence wanted to observe His meanings, and thus disclosed Himself through His Names, which eventually formed the ‘world of forms’.

To illustrate this divine design, we can metaphorically think of it as localizations of the divine Names and meanings that transform into cosmic rays or angelic forces, which eventually form the world, as we know it.

Before any ‘form’ actually becomes physically manifest, its archetypal essence is defined, and based on this, its potential capabilities and skills are delegated.

In the sight of the Absolute Existence, forms are constant, as forms have essentially formed from compositions of His immutable Names and meanings.

However, at this point, we should take care to avoid a common misconception. That is, thinking of the Absolute Existence as a designer or a creator who is ‘separate’ from, or outside of, the world of forms.

Let’s remember that a limitless boundless force encompasses the whole of existence. There is nothing other than this existence. Words like ‘Him’ or ‘His’ are only used here due to the limitation of language. Allah cannot be defined with words.

The relative existence, which we refer to as ‘I’, is ultimately our brain’s projection of the compositions formed by His meanings.

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