difference. Men and women are equal in the sight of Allah in terms of their vicegerency potential. None can claim women are second to men. The vicegerency potential is equally inherent in both.

Now, let us take a deeper look. Since we have all come to life with the Names of Allah, just as the Names such as Rahman, Rahim, Mureed, Malik and Quddus are present within all of us, we also contain the divine attributes pertaining to Allah’s Absolute essence. For example, the Hayy (life) attribute of Allah is present within us, thus we are alive. Allah’s attribute of knowledge is present within us, thus we are conscious beings. Similarly, the quality of will denoted by the Name Mureed is present within us, thus we will things, and with the quality of power, Qadir, we have the power to actualize the things we will. In short, we exist with the qualities and attributes comprising the Names of Allah.

We have not been informed of these Names in the Quran to be introduced to a deity-god out there, but so we may know our true selves, our essential reality.

“One who knows himself, knows his Rabb.” (Hadith)

The extent to which you know your self – the qualities and attributes comprising your being – is the extent to which you will know Allah, the essence and reality of existence. But no matter how well you know Allah in this respect, you can never truly know or comprehend Him in terms of His Absolute Essence (dhat). For, it is not possible for our limited cognition to discern the infiniteness of His Absolute Essence.

So, if we have all come to be with His Being – the qualities of His Names – we are all manifestations of His constitutional qualities and attributes, and thus, as His vicegerents, we all deserve love and respect! No matter what our name, color, race, language or religion may be, we must show love and respect to each other! For the being beneath that name, color, race, language and religion belongs to Allah! The person from whom you turn away, hate, dislike or look down upon is also the manifestation of Allah’s Names and qualities!

Prostration is not just about placing your forehead on the floor, it is to understand that everything in existence is the existence of Him alone; all forms pertain to His countenance, He is not separate from existence! If we can come to this discernment we will no longer be able to discriminate among creation. We will only see ‘humans’ – the ‘vicegerents’ of Allah on earth. Regardless of their race, color, religion or culture, what is incumbent upon us is to show utmost love and respect to all forms of life.

We will pass through this world conditioned and blind to Allah and the Truths and suffer eternally as a result. Failing to recognize one’s own reality leads automatically to not being able to recognize the reality of others, and thus, being stuck in one’s cocoon world.

We must either become a butterfly and break through the cocoon or fail to develop and, like the silkworm, be cast into fire inside the silk! To be in the silk and be cast into boiling water must not be a nice experience!

So, O you covered in silk! Become a butterfly, break your cocoon and fly… Pull yourself together and recognize the Truth. Listen to the call of Rasulullah (saw) and try to evaluate his teachings. Salvage your eternal life! Everything you are asked to do is for your own sake. Neither Allah needs you, or the Rasul of Allah, or the Quran! It is for your own future that you must take heed of these words! For your remorse later will never be of benefit to you!

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