THE HEARING, SIGHT AND AFIDAH
7.1 The Backdrop Of The Sense Faculties
Evidently, the third phase in the Sūrah Al-Sajdah (Ch.32:6-9) divine statement, is the active presence of the faculties of hearing, sight, and afidah. The awesomeness of the importance of this third phase, cannot be stressed, underscored and echoed loud enough. The presence and operation of the faculties of hearing, sight, and afidah has serious implications for the creation process of Man, and everything to do with his capacity succeed or fail in adhering to the Deen (Way of Life) of Al-Islām, (voluntary obedience, resignation, and submission in servitude to Allāh [swt]) and realising salvation. Consequently, a very clear knowledge of this stage is a must for every human being. However, knowing and understanding this third stage is not so simple, and the reason for that is the connection it has to the Supreme Divine Plan and the information required to appreciate that relationship.
One could circumvent this difficulty by merely accepting the presence of the faculties of hearing, sight, and afidah to be part of the human design, but there would still exist the need to know why the human bio-chemical form is Sawwā, well-proportioned and was in the finest state when it was completed. It cannot be said that it was nothing other than a chance state of being. On the contrary, the existence, value, use and the science in how the gifts of hearing, sight, and afidah function makes it obvious that they had a significant part to play in shaping the Creation Plan.
Most people, Muslims and non-Muslims, will shy away from wanting to dabble in this area and want to dispense with it by saying it has nothing to do with how humans live their lives today. Sadly, that is not correct, and that is plain to see by asking the question, at what point in time would the decision have to have been made to create Man with hearing, sight, and afidah. For it to go into the Creation Plan, the obvious answer is that critical decisions would have been required. It was vital that, before originating and creating the present concomitant realms, Allāh (swt) considered and resolved the issues as to whether the human race should be created as automatons, or be endowed with the freedom of choice and will.
That very basic Divine Choice and Decision was essential because, as shall be shown, it would seriously impact the makeup and operation of the external world, the way in which humans become connected to that surrounding environment, and what, if any, self-imposed operational boundaries Allāh (swt) would set for Himself, to temper His (swt) Divine Power to determine the destiny (Qadr) of every human being and everything that is created.
It awesome to think, let alone accept, that the knowledge and understanding of the human capacity of hearing, sight, and afidah, necessitates a consciousness and mindset that peers into the Divine process in arriving at the Comic Plan. However, that is the reality humans must face, and with the aid of the “Unseen Knowledge” contained in the equally Awesome Arabic Qur’ān, that objective is probable and achievable.
What it has revealed is that, in ancient pre-earth times, it would have been within the Qadr of Allāh to direct and determine the fundamental purpose in creating humans; what shape and onwhat fitra/fitrah (design, pattern) they should be moulded; whether or not and to what degree they should be given knowledge; should humans be made automatons or be allowed freedom of choice and will, and, if the latter, to what degree; how and by what means would Allāh (swt) impart knowledge to the human race, and how and through what process would humans acquire and process that knowledge/ information; critically, at what stage in the human development and over what period should the knowledge be given; what measure of powers they should have, if any, over the management and administration of their environment; and what regulations should be put in place to monitor human activity in the use of power, in the course of discharging obligations. All of these things and much more would have to be considered, decided upon and then made to form part of the divine Master Creation Plan. Consequently, what is observed currently is the resulting human shape, environment and operational procedures that were divinely decided upon, chosen, and implemented as the Qadr of Allāh.
Thus, from the inception of the created worlds, the Divine creation procedure for every thing, and that includes the creation of the ancient bio-chemical Ādam, and the later establishment of its union with its Rūuḥ (soul/spirit), is rooted in wisdom and what makes practical sense. Indeed, it is beneath the majesty of Allāh (swt) to create anything that is not wise, good-inclined, justly balanced, or impracticable and therefore utterly useless:
Such is He (Allāh swt), the Knower of all things, hidden and open, the Exalted (in power), the Merciful; – He Who has made everything which He has created most good: (Sūrah Al-Sajdah [Ch.32]:6-7)
It is unquestionably the true Islāmic position that the hearing, sight, and afidah are critical gateway instruments. To successfully participate in the completion of their own creation process, human beings are obliged to exercise their free will in employing and using them efficiently, and to manifest their gratitude for them. That being so, it is therefore vital that every person should have a clear and permanent understanding of the mechanics of their bio-chemical self and its sense faculties, and how that material structure is caused to become activated and connected to its chosen Rūuḥ (soul/spirit), so as to influence the latter’s moral and spiritual makeup as part of the union forming human beings. Clearly, to grasp all those issues, we must begin with a reminder of the backdrop to the creation of Man.
Based upon the information, and the provisions in the following ’ayāt of Allāh (swt), the common-sense deduction, and very clear Isāmic position, is that it was never a matter of merely demonstrating Allāh’s (swt) foresight, that the original lifeless bio-chemical form (and the reproduced one) possessed non-discerning sense faculties (the physical means that gave them the potential to hear and see) and as well as discerning senses (taste, smells, touch and to distinguish the moral quality in extrasensory inspirations).
It was the Divine plan of Allāh (swt), and very clear and deliberate intention, that humans should begin life in a state of ignorance (not knowing anything), and then be granted respite with the gateways (namely, the faculties of hearing, sight, and afidah) to the means of bringing themselves out of that condition of ignorance, and the honour having personally responsibility over making use of the means (namely, the knowledge to which, in time, they will become exposed, and abundant divine guidance and the means to discern right from wrong) to make themselves erudite and morally sound.
What was divinely established and set in place, to accommodate the above Divine scheme and objective, was:
- Allāh’s (swt) superb design in giving to: (i) the created realm and (ii) the human consciousness a common “Word-Base” nature; and
- The capacity in the wonders of creation to transmit coded bio-mechemical vibrations (for the hearing), coded electromagnetic radiation and impulses (for the seeing), and coded information capable of passing through the afidah, to impact the other sense systems (touch, smell, taste and inspirations), all of which requires discernment as to what is beneficial and good, and what is harmful and bad.
Recall that it is factually and demonstrably plain, that the faculties of hearing, sight, and afidah are all divine gifts to Man that are wholly within the power, control and discretion (Qadr) of Allāh (swt):
Say, ‘What think ye? If Allāh should take away your hearing and your sight, and seal up your hearts, who is the god other than Allāh who could bring it back to you?’ See how We vary the explanations with the ’ayāt (“proofs, verses, lessons, teachings, messages, signs, miracles, evidences, revelations, and directives”), yet they turn away. (Sūrah Al-An‘ām [Ch. 6]: 48),
The lightning might well-nigh snatch away their (the unbelievers) sight; whenever it shines upon them, they walk therein; and when it becomes dark to them, they stand still. And if Allāh willed, He could take away their hearing and their sight; surely, Allāh has the power to do all that He wills. (Sūrah Al-Baqarah [Ch.2]:20)
Further, they are set against the backdrop of:
- Allāh having created both JINNs and Man for a prime and common purpose (the Sūrah Adth-Dthāriyāt (Ch.51:56) core purpose and prime directive), which is to voluntarily resign and submit in servitude to to Allāh (swt);
- It is strictly forbidden for human beings, regardless of their power, wealth and position, to make any change, howsoever, to whatever Allāh has created;
- Human beings were created in accordance with a divinely chosen and specific design/pattern (fitra) that is “Heneefan” (having a just bias as it inclines to what is truthful, orderly and just);
- All newly created human beings, regardless of the how they are created, begin their life in a state of knowing nothing (ignorance);
- Despite being prohibited to make changes to Allāh’s (swt) created feats and works, all human beings have been given a limited freedom of choice and power to will, and a form that allows then to benefit from the endowed gifts of the faculties of hearing, sight and af’idah (see, Sūrah Al-Naḥl [Ch.16]:78; Sūrah Al-Insān [Ch.76]: 1-3; Sūrah Al-Aḥqāf [Ch. 46: 26; Sūrah Al-Mu’minūn [Ch.23]: 78; Sūrah Al-Sajda [Ch.32]:9; Sūrah Al-Mulk [Ch.67]:23); and
- The two designated functions that were definitively carved out in pre-Earth Al-Akhira for humans, were to conduct themselves as (i) Allāh’s (swt) Khalēefa (vicegerent) who would be concerned with managing and administering all that is on, under, in, above and made from (other male and female humans) the “earth” and (ii) spouses within the divinely established Islāmic Marriage
What can therefore be deduced is that, humans are allowed to use of their faculties of hearing, sight, and afidah so that they could be:
- Educated by Allāh (swt);
- Permitted to experience the proofs that Allāh (swt) is indeed the undisputed and unchallengeable “Greatest”;
- Afforded the honour and opportunity to demonstrate their skill in using knowledge to reason intelligently and, in the face of trials and challenges, do justice in making the correct moral choices;
- Required to fulfil the Sūrah Adth-Dthāriyāt (Ch.51:56) core purpose and prime directive; and
- Given the option of ensuring that, during the “Cycle/ Period/Epoch/Day of “Universal” Judgement (Sūrah Al- Fuṣṣilat [Ch.41]:19-23), those very same gifts are called upon as the acceptable and wholly sufficient witnesses that will testify for, and not against them (see ante for more details).
In setting and imposing those objectives, functions and obligations, Allāh (swt) was well aware that it would be impossible for Man fulfil them, and be successful, without knowledge and intelligence.
7.2. The Means For Human Education
7.2.1 Needing Allāh As The Walīy Of Humans
It is of the greatest significance that it was the “Divine Word” of Allāh (swt) that was used to originate and pattern (fatara/fatarah) the heavens and the “earth”:
To Him (Allāh – swt) is due the primal origin of the heavens and the earth: When He decreeth a matter, He saith to it: “Be,” and it is. (Sūrah Al-Baqarah [Ch.2]: 117)
That divine creation procedure was the product of Allāh’s (swt) Divine foresight and sagacity, which most definitely had the effect of originating, creating and establishing the word-based phenomena of the natural realms. The obvious purpose and reasons behind that action of establishing a word-based nature, was to:
- provide the evident proof of the reality of Allāh (swt) as the All-Knowing and The Wisest and thus the only entity worthy of adoration and absolute unflinching and unfettered obedience;
- use the components of the created realms to emblemize aspects of the Divine Knowledge; hence the use of the term, ’Ayāt (meaning, lessons, evidence, directive, teachings, and the reality of the signs and wonders in the naturally created worlds);
- enable and authorize every natural phenomenon to, individually and collectively, have the capacity to cryptically communicate and transmit (see, post) His (swt) divine knowledge, messages, teachings and wisdoms:
To Allāh belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth; and Allāh hath power over all things. Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, – there are indeed ’Ayāt for ‘OLIL-ALBAAB (meaning, men of insight, understanding and wisdom), – Men who remember Allāh, standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth, (With the thought): “Our Lord! not for naught Hast Thou created (all) this! Glory to Thee! Give us salvation from the penalty of the Fire. (Sūrah Al-‘Imrān[Ch. 3:] 189-191)
- make clear the divine intention to employ the gift of the faculties of hearing, sight, and afidah, as evident proof and the witnesses to the reality that those sense faculties are the divinely chosen and authorized means for human connection to and interaction with the resulting “Natural ’Ayāt (Phenomena) Teachers” and, as a corollary, their edification; and
- confer an immense Divine honour upon Man to actively participate in the completion of his own creation process, by affording and empowering him with a superior “Word-Based” knowledge, (to that which was given to the angels [Malāaikati]), which is to be used, when exercising his limited freedom of choice, in charting his chosen and preferred moral destiny.
What further underpins those facts to be the truth and reality about the human life, is the Divine election of Al-Islām as the only “Deen” that Allāh (swt) has and will ever recognise:
This day have I perfected your Deen (Way of Life/ Religion) for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islām as your Deen. But if any is forced by hunger, with no inclination to transgression, Allāh is indeed Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (Sūrah Al-Māidah [Ch.5]: 3)
The (only) Deen (Way of Life/ Religion) before Allāh is Islām (resignation and submission in servitude to His Will): Nor did the People of the Book dissent therefrom except through envy of each other, after knowledge had come to them. But if any deny the ‘Ayāt of Allāh, Allāh is swift in calling to account. (Sūrah Al-Imran [Ch.3]:19)
The Wonderful Arabic Qur’ānic ’Ayāt above,unequivocally explain that Allāh’s preferred moral choice for Man, was that his every-moment should be an act of (Deen – Way of Life/ Religion)rational, emotional, physical and behavioural obedience in resigning and submitting to His (swt) will and commands (Al-Islām). To perform that task, and achieve success in doing so, knowledge is necessary. However, the Glorious Arabic Qur’ānic evidence is that both the original bio-chemical clay-based, and the reproduced bio-chemical Man would be required to begin their existence as life-less structures, lacking the necessary force so as to be living moving reproductive entities, but with the means or faculties of acquiring knowledge (the sense organ systems), as well as to reason, understand and communicate the knowledge gained. So, although created sawwā, with sense organ systems and the ability to reason and process information, the bio-chemical forms would come into existence, incapable of movements and in a state of total lack of knowledge; in darkness and ignorance.
The practical solution to that conundrum was for Allāh (swt), as part of His (swt) Qadr function and jurisdiction, before creating the human race, to decree that they would be given existence with the necessary force so as to be living moving entities, and to decide to become Man’s “walīy”. He (swt), would have to then take from His (swt) infinite source of Divine Knowledge, to provide Man with whatever knowledge He deemed necessary, and through a medium and in a manner that meets with His (swt) divine objective.
The literal meanings of the Arabic word walīy, and the plural ’awliyā’, include “master, authority, custodian, protector and friend”. The authority and proof that Allāh (swt) did indeed decide to become Man’s “walīy”, and would provide for him, from His (swt) infinite reservoir, knowledge to lift them out of their state of darkness and ignorance, is contained in the following ’ayāh:
Allāh is the walīy of those who believe. He brings them out from darknesses into the light. And those who disbelieve – their allies are Taghut. They take them out of the light into darknesses. Those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide eternally therein. (Sūrah Al-Baqarah [Ch. 2:] 257)
It is logical and common sense that at the same time in antiquity that Allāh (swt) would have deliberated and decided upon the instruments He (swt) would give to Man to receive knowledge (that is the faculties of hearing, sight, and afidah), it would have also been wholly within His (swt) power, control and discretion (thus the Qadr of Allāh [swt]) to decide on the form in which that knowledge would be provided. Because of that relationship, one is able to deduce the form in which knowledge from the All-Knower would be provided, based upon the type of receiver instruments the bio-chemical structure is endowed with – and clearly the was divinely chosen format was Allāh’s (swt) Glorious “Qur’ān”.
The strongest opinion as to the literal meaning of the Arabic word, “Qur’ān” is that held by the influential Persian scholar and historian, Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad ibn Jarīr ibn Yazid al-Ṭabarī (224–310 AH; 839–923 AD). He said that the word qur’ān is derived from verb qara’a, which literally means, ‘to read, to recite, or to lecture).’ Qur’ān would then be the verbal noun of qara’a and, as such, is rendered as “The Lecture, The Recitation or The Reading”; in essence the knowledge that is being imparted:
And it is a Qur’ān which We have divided (into parts), in order that you might recite to men at intervals. And We have revealed it by stages (Sūrah Al-Isrāa [Ch.17]: 106; see also, The Book of Isaiah Ch.28: 9-13, Ch.29: 10-12)
Move not your tongue (in repeating the Qur’ān) to make haste therewith. It is for Us to collect it and to Qur’ān (Recite it). When we have Qara’nā (recited it), then follow its Qur’ān (Recitation). Then (will it be) for Us to make it clear (Sūrah Al-Qiyāmah [Ch. 75:] 16-19)
Plainly the Glorious Divine Qur’ānicKnowledge – The Lecture, The Recitation or The Reading– was capable of being imparted, by Allāh (swt) to the human race, through one or a combination of forms; namely, as an indirect or direct and literal oral, written, and/or otherwise form.
With hindsight, it is plain to see that Allāh (swt) has chosen to adopt and use a combination of all three methods of communication. Simply put, what is called nature is, in essence and truth, just one of the divine sources from which Allāh (swt) would transmit and teach Divine Knowledge. The other sources would take the form of the oral teachings and manifest physical examples of the genuine prophets and messengers, and the authentic divine written revelations.
The sincere Men with real insight, understanding, and wisdom know this, and they also know that it has a genuine purpose (see ante, Sūrah Al-‘Imrān[Ch. 3:] 189-191), that being, to enshroud human beings with clear and unequivocal material proof of the reality of Allāh (swt), namely His (swt) knowledge, and the undeniable evidence of the astounding honour, bestowed by Allāh (swt), in allowing Man to freely acquire and use Allāh’s (swt) knowledge, and then participate in his own creation by moulding his chosen moral, ethical and spiritual makeup.
Thus, with the aid of the receptors of the faculties of hearing, sight, and afidah, all of which are sensitive to the divine knowledge that is cryptically transmitted from the word-based emblamized surroundings, and with each person using their bio-chemical and spiritual information processing units to freely resolve upon their particular choice, will and action in dealing with the divine knowledge acquired in those human experiences, human beings are provided the opportunity of influencing their “salvation” and redemption from “the penalty of the Fire”. Those who will benefit from this opportunity are described by Allāh (swt) as ‘Olil-Albaab, meaning, men of insight, understanding and wisdom:
(‘OLIL-ALBAAB), – Men who remember Allāh, standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth, (With the thought): “Our Lord! not for naught Hast Thou created (all) this! Glory to Thee! Give us salvation from the penalty of the Fire. (Sūrah Al-‘Imrān[Ch. 3:] 190-191)
As a consequence of Allāh’s (swt) intense and overflowing graciousness and mercy in the form of the existence and prevalence of divine knowledge, those who do not avail themselves of that opportunity, would have effectively deprived themselves of every possible excuse for being in a state of ignorance, moral depravity and why they should not be condemned to the Hell Fire:
“Our Rabb (Lord and Cherisher)! Any whom Thou dost admit to the Fire, Truly Thou coverest with shame, and never will wrong-doers Find any helpers! (Sūrah Al-‘Imrān[Ch. 3:] 192)
7.2.2. The Rūuḥ And Sense Faculties Connection
Earlier it was explained that Allāh (swt) originates and creates everything sawwā and most good. If then He (swt) had reserved power and responsibility for Himself, to created the primal man, and all subsequent humans, in a state whereby they are already possessed and fixed with the necessary divine knowledge, the resulting human consciousness, character and conduct would reflect Allāh’s (swt) Qadr; His (swt) natural divine moral disposition, and not that of the particular individual. That however, was not the evident Divine Intention. Instead, every lifeless bio-chemical member of the human race is caused to come into existence sawwā and most good, gifted with the faculties of hearing, sight, afidah and their associated receptors, but in a diseased state of ignorance.
Nothing Allāh (swt) does is vain and purposeless, so why the cosmic divine energy in creating that situation, and to what end is the lifeless bio-chemical form and design in giving it the operational potentials it has. The plain answer is in what is directed to be the Sūrah Adth-Dthāriyāt (Ch.51:56) primal directive for the human race, namely, to freely and without coercion, be obedient in submitting in servitude to the All-Pervading Knowledge and Wisdom of Allāh (swt), and not associate any as partners with Him (swt).
However, performing and completing that primal obligation would require motion, knowledge and individual freedom of choice and will, all of which the lifeless bio-chemical human structure did not possess. The practical questions would then be, by what method would the bio-chemical human structure accomplish independent motion; from whence would it obtain knowledge; through what mechanism would it be enabled to receive, interpret and understand the knowledge; in what form would the knowledge be transmitted and through what form or forms of conduit would the knowledge be transmitted so that the form becomes impacted.
What is tacitly explained the Sūrah Al-Sajdah (Ch.32:6-9) divine statement is that, those difficulties were resolved at the second and third stage in the human creation process, by Nafakha of the Rūuḥ into the life-less bio-chemical body, and Allāh (swt), being the only source and hope of gaining knowledge, showing kindness and mercy by taking on the obligation of becoming Man’s walīy.
The Sūrah Al-Sajdah (Ch.32:6-9) divine chronological statement cites as the second stage in the human creation process, the breathing (Nafakha) of the Rūuḥ (soul/spirit) into that corporeal component. Evidently, knowledge of true essence of the Rūuḥ (soul/spirit) is beyond the remit of human understanding, however, the immediate effect of its presence is not. In breathing (Nafakha) of the Rūuḥ (soul/spirit) into the hitherto lifeless bio-chemical human structure the apparent consequence of that divine action is to form a union with the latter, by causing it to become infused, for a divinely fixed period, with vitality and life.
Thereafter the new bio-chemical and Rūuḥ (soul/spirit) union would possess the capacity for growth and independent motion. Its previously inactive system of sense faculties would become operational, and its reproductive organs would now be capable of being utilized to participate in Allāh’s (swt) future exercise of His (swt) Divine skill, in using the human reproductive system He (swt) had established, to commence the creation process of the subsequent human beings.
A further significant change brought about by the forming of the new union is the establishment of the foundation upon which human accountability would henceforth rest.
It was mentioned earlier that an important consideration before settling on the Divine Plan was whether humans should be created automatons, or be endowed with the freedom of choice and will. That very basic choice and decision fell squarely with the Qadr of Allāh (swt); that is to say, the Divine Power to determine the destiny of everything Allāh (swt) has created, including the insān (Man).
Making that choice was essential because, if Allāh (swt) decided to give humans any measure of freedom of choice and will, then depending on the extent of the freedom and the degree of the power to will, it potentially would impact the operational boundaries of Allāh’s (swt) Qadr. It would also influence and help direct the manner in which the insān (Man) would be created and stacked or heaped together:
O man! What has seduced thee from thy Lord Most Beneficient?- Him Who created thee. Fashioned thee (to be what He intends you to be) in due proportion, and (later) gave/made thee justly bias/balanced; In whatever Form (however He ṢURAH [PICTURES] you) He wills, does He put (stack /heaps) thee together. (Sūrah Al-Infitār[Ch. 82:] 6-8)
Note, in the above ‘ayāh the Arabic word Ṣurah is with the Ṣad, meaning Picture, NOT Sūrah with the Seen which means a chapter [in a book] or fence. However the Man is conceived, and whatever the Ṣurah (picture) Allāh (swt) has of the Man in his design, shape, mould, bio-chemical contents, capabilities, powers, his intended obligations, and the regulations required to monitor his use of power, in the course of discharging his obligations, they were all with the Qadr of Allāh (swt).
For a multiplicity of reasons, the most obvious of which is Divine Graciousness, Allāh (swt) decided and elected to exercise His Divine Discretion, authorized and decreed as the Qadr of humans, that they should be given and allowed to exercise a limited degree of choice and will. That then had a decisive impact on the substance from which humans would be created, their essence, makeup, and how they would be designed, shaped, and moulded.
That Divine Decision, would impact the operational boundaries of Allāh’s (swt) Qadr. Significantly, that divine decision now meant that there would have to be divine self-imposed functional boundaries, set to temper, relative to the precise limits of the degree of freedom of choice and will granted to humans, Allāh’s (swt) Divine Power to determine the final moral outcome and destiny (Qadr) of every individual human being that He (swt) would create.
The breathing (Nafakha) of the Rūuḥ (soul/spirit) into the hitherto lifeless bio-chemical human structure not only formed a new union, but had the effect of producing a situation whereby the previously inactive systems of the faculty of hearing, sight, and afidah would become fully functional, and able to receive knowledge through the respective sensors. Against that backdrop of the Divine Discretion, authorization and decree, to include in the Divine Plan, as the Qadr of humans, the grant of a limited degree of choice and will to humans, each subsequent lifeless bio-chemical human structure could now be made to become liable and accountable on being caused to become alive, active and capable of reproducing.
The starting point of that personal accountability would be from the point at which Allāh (swt) would voluntarily relinquish His (swt) immediate, direct and total dominance over the separate states of the Rūuḥ (soul/spirit) in its purest condition, and the lifeless bio-chemical human structure, and those two parts (the bio-chemical and Rūuḥ [soul/spirit]) become conjoined as a new union.
A significant change that comes into being with the establishment of the new union is that it demarcates the cessation of the darkness in which lifeless original bio-chemical and the subsequent pre-birth forms are fashioned and stacked together. Because the union has the effect of activating the previously inactive systems of the faculties of hearing, sight, and afidah, thereby causing them to become fully functional and opening up those gateways (the sense faculties) so that they are able to receive knowledge through the respective sensors, the union also heralds the start of the process of the union coming out of a state of darkness/ignorance with the aid of its potential of acquiring knowledge.
Logically, the new bio-chemical and Rūuḥ [soul/spirit]) union can only grow in knowledge through a process whereby it is transported in the vehicle of time and, with the aid of its faculties of hearing, sight, and afidah, the union becomes exposed to the contents of the surroundings forming each of the states in the succession of time; hence the ensuing reminder:
By the (passage of the Trials in ) Time (through the ages), Verily Man (the race that is inclined to forget will find itself) is in loss, EXCEPT those who have achieved Faith (knowledge and understanding of “trust” and so as to be confident in demonstrating trustworthiness), and (the sincerity and integrity to) do righteous deeds, and enjoin (upon one another) in the mutual teaching and practice of Truth, and of Patience and Constancy in adversity. (Sūrah Al-‘Asr [Ch.103]:1-3)
It is justly the new union entity, with a single decision making unit and will, which governs the Rūuḥ (soul/spirit) and the hitherto lifeless bio-chemical human structure that has the honour and responsibility over the creation wonder of its post-natal education and moral and ethical choices regarding the development and state of the union.
As a corollary of the forming of the union, but as a direct result of that shift from being under the Divine authority and ambit of responsibility of Allāh (swt) to being under the authority and ambit of responsibility the new union that governs them both, Allāh (swt) would thereafter use and apply the description Nafs (and its plural Anfus) when addressing the new union in His (swt) Magnificent Arabic Qur’ān:
On no Nafsan doth Allāh place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns. (Sūrah Al-Baqarah [Ch.2]:286)
And fear the Period/Cycle/Day when ye shall be brought back to Allāh. Then shall every soul be paid what it earned, and none shall be dealt with unjustly. (Sūrah Al-Baqarah [Ch.2]:281)
On the Period/Cycle/Day when every Nafsin will be confronted with all the good it has done, and all the evil it has done, it will wish there were a great distance between it and its evil. But Allāh cautions you (To remember) Himself. And Allāh is full of kindness to those that serve Him. (Sūrah Al-‘Imrān[Ch. 3:] 30)
The word Nafs, literal means “self” or “ego” or “a separate and independent person” (comprising the material and spiritual aspects of the human race).The use of the term Nafs (Anfus) does not serve to indicate that there has been a change in description of the essence of the Rūuḥ (soul/spirit) or the hitherto lifeless bio-chemical human structure. Its purpose is to take on the reality of the insān (Man) having been given an option or choice, and the precise truth of how each individual has utilized that privilege to benefit or cause loss to themselves.
Notice that the application of this term, Nafs, occurs only upon the faculty of hearing, sight, and afidah becoming operational, and the gate or way into the consciousness becomes open, so that the word-based knowledge contained in human surroundings is able to flow irresistibly into each individual’s information processing units, to impacts both the components of the new Nafs-union. This then is the method by which the faculty of hearing, sight, and afidah becomes connected to the Rūuḥ (soul/spirit) and the hitherto lifeless bio-chemical human structure. With the aid of its information processing units the new Nafs-union is able to govern and either:
- retain and maintain the status quo in the divinely ordained original pristine state of the two components of its union (which is their “Raiment of Righteousness” with its initial activated standards and bias – see Sūrah Al-‘Arāf [Ch. 7: 26]), and resist the temptation to make any changes to them, so that they attain the maximum physical and spiritual benefit of the gifted faculties, and achieve the supreme goal (Jannat) set by Allāh (swt); or alternatively,
- freely exercise their choice to will to not make optimal physical and spiritual use and benefit of their gifted faculties, and to succumb to their desire, want, and fancy of implimenting vain changes that will erode, and ultimately obliterating, their “Raiment of Righteousness”.
Clearly, it was intended from the very beginning of human race, starting with the very first nafs (person), that every individual would be given and have the ability to freely and voluntarily think, will and action their own judgements and decisions, and to mould for themselves a consciousness, personality and behaviour that was either obedient or disobedient to the divinely decreed prime directive.
What makes the link between the faculty of hearing, sight, and afidah and both the components of the new Nafs-union of the highest significance and a tremendous trial, is the uncontrollable flow and passage of word-based knowledge that is divinely permitted to pass through the sense faculties, which then ignites, causes and exposes the individual to possibilities, the need to make choices and the various kind of decisions and actions that can be taken in the succession of states.
It is by reason of the Qadr of Allāh (swt) that human beings have been endowed with the faculties of hearing, sight, and afidah, are able to acquire knowledge, and were granted a degree of power to exercise a limited freedom of choice and will. But while Qadr of Allāh (swt) has facilitated the faculty of hearing, sight, and afidah, the passage of time with its succession of varied contents in each of its states, allows each individual to become inevitably exposed to knowledge, and the choices created by the pictures of the various possibilities in conduct. It has also set limits and consequences for any breach:
And so, set thy face steadfastly towards the Deen haneefan which is the Fitra Allāh (Allāh’s Divine design/pattern/structure) in accordance with which Fitra Allāh has made Insa: No change (should be made) in the work (wrought) by Allāh: That is the (ordained standard) Deen, but most among insān understand not. (Sūrah Al-Rūm [Ch.30]:30)
The above ‘ayāh does not prevent human beings from the free exercise of their endowed self-determination. Their limited freedom facilitates their making of judgements and choices that, qualitatively, are whimsical, vain, and which might cause changes to Allāh’s (swt) handiwork, which includes the making or causing of any variation to the individual’s own bio-chemical, mental, spiritual and emotional natures. However, what must be kept in mind is that the same power that allows Man their limited freedom of choice and will, also created and gave to the created realms, and every individual thing within it that forms the human environment, and with which they interact, the unequivocal Sovereign Divine proclamations and laws governing their respective natures:
Your Guardian-Lord Cherisher and Sustainer is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days, and is firmly established on the throne (of authority): He draweth the night as a veil o’er the day, each seeking the other in rapid succession: He created the sun, the moon, and the stars, (all) governed by laws under His command. Is it not His to create and to govern? Blessed be Allāh, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds! (Sūrah Al-‘Arāf [Ch. 7]: 54)
Since the human race became a mentionable thing and acquired existence after the created realms and their other natural contents, it would be unjust to say that they are an imposition upon him. On the contrary, the nature of the components contained in the human surroundings, as well as the laws governing them, are pre-existing and thus, the natural pre-existing limits set by Allāh (swt) for anything that is created after, and that has the capabilities of doing anything that goes against the nature and the laws governing those constituents. Just like every other Sovereign Divine decrees and laws, there are causal consequences that will befall human beings for any violation and breach of those limits set by Allāh (swt). The natural penalties are there to serve as explanations and to manifest the Creator’s absolutely prohibition:
But those whose desires exceed those limits (as to Salat, laghw, Zakat and chastity) are transgressors. (Sūrah Al–Muminoon [Ch.23]: 7)
But those who disobey Allāh and His Messenger and transgress His limits will be admitted to a Fire, to abide therein: And they shall have a humiliating punishment. (Sūrah An-Nisā’ [Ch.4]: 14)
O ye who believe! the law of equality is prescribed to you in cases of murder: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the woman for the woman. But if any remission is made by the brother of the slain, then grant any reasonable demand, and compensate him with handsome gratitude, this is a concession and a Mercy from your Lord. After this whoever exceeds the limits shall be in grave penalty. (Sūrah Al-Baqarah [Ch. 2]: 178)
The underlying point in the above ‘ayāt is that seeing and experiencing with every act of hearing, seeing and afidah is an integral part of the process by which humans acquirethe word-based knowledge which is to be reasoned. Whatever the decision and choice that is made, it will either be in harmony with the will and command of Allāh (swt), and thus the observable natural surroundings, or in conflict. The questions then are what is affected by those decisions, and who or what is responsible and liable to account for the proper or improper use of the word-based knowledge derived from the acts of hearing, seeing and afidah.
The moment an individual’s faculty of hearing, sight, and afidah becomes functional, a new Nafs-union is immediately established to denote the presence of an intricate connection between the Rūuḥ (soul/spirit) and the hitherto lifeless bio-chemical human structure. Any and every decision and choice of the new Nafs-union, with the aid of its information processing units, will affect those two primary components. It is these two principal aspects of every human being that will receive and exhibit the benefits of any resulting cohesion, or is awarded and must suffer the consequences of transgressions of the natural boundaries, and will inevitably manifest immediate, and/ or future, physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional injuries, harm, humiliation and other punishment.
One need not debate the issue of who is responsible because the Magnificent Arabic Qur’ān has made it abundantly clear and plain that liablity for the moral quality, ethical standards and value in the decisions made and resulting action, based upon every ounce of word-based knowledge that is derived from the acts of hearing, seeing and afidah, rest with the new Nafs-union:
And (do not) pursue (and) concern not yourself with that of which thou hast no knowledge; for every act of hearing, and of seeing and afidah (must be accounted for) will be enquired into during the Period/Cycle/Day of Reckoning. (Sūrah Al-Isrā’ [Ch.17]: 36)
Every Nafsin will be (held) in pledge for its deeds. (Sūrah Al-Muddaththir [Ch.74]:38)
Despite those very clear and unequivocal statements, many Muslims, and non-Muslims are confused about trying to reconcile the ownership and liability of the nafs-union with the Qadr of Allāh. Simply put, the Qadr of Allāh (swt) determines how and to what degree the bio-chemical human structure is to be moulded, and whether or not it is to have the means and potential whereby it is able to exercise freedom of choice and will, and if so, to what limited degree and extent. What it does not do is arbitrarily and physically control the reasoning, decisions, choice, morality, and ethical manner in which that freedom to will, if given pursuant to the Qadr of Allāh (swt), is to be exercised.
The Qadr of Allāh (swt) operates and is reconciled with the existence of a nafs-union government by doing two things:
- Putting certain matters in an irresistible position, to which there is no exception, over which that nafs itself has absolutely no power to disobey, for example, wheteher it is to be male or female; and
- Giving, through the nafs-union government, through the acts of hearing, seeing and afidah, its own knowledge base and allowing it to exercise a limited degree of unfettered freedom of choice and will. In this second situation, the knowledge provided to the nafs-union governmentthrough acts of hearing, seeing and afidah, operates as “Divine Guidance” in relation to which the nafs-union is free to decide to obey or disobey. It is this absence of the actual and of immediate Divne dominance, direct intervention, inexorable moral determination, and total control over the exercise of will that creates the environment for challenges and trials.
The above Sūrah Al-Rūm (Ch.30:30) provision is all about making changes to the things that have been created, as a consequence of the Qadr of Allāh (swt), and can only be perceived through the faculties of hearing, seeing and afidah, to act as natural enshrouding ’ayāt guidance for the nafs-union entity that, also as a consequence of the Qadr of Allāh (swt), would be commissioned to act as Khalēefa(vicegerent) of the “earth”. It therefore falls into the second category above.
While discharging the duties and responsibilities of that office, the nafs-union entity that is the Khalēefa(vicegerent) has a limited degree of unfettered freedom of choice and will. He is required to exercise power, authority and discretion, delegated to him by Allāh (swt), in managing and administering all that is on, under, in, above and made from (other male and female humans) the “earth” and, in the course of doing so, that the Khalēefa(vicegerent), because of the existence of choice, is liable to make proper or improper use of the word-based knowledge, acquired through the acts of hearing, seeing and afidah. The result will either be that there is obedience to Allāh’s (swt) decrees, guidance, and commands, or mistakes or downright disobedience.
In the finality then, it is by the Qadr of Allāh (swt) that the insān is Allāh’s (swt) Khalēefa(vicegerent) and therefore it is to Allāh (swt) that one must look when deciding who is responsible for the choice and authority by which the nafs-union government able to operate as Khalēefa(vicegerent) of the “earth”. But once we have passed those issues, and are looking at the manner and qualitative nature in the decisions and conductof the Khalēefa(vicegerent), in using his word-based knowledge, acquired through the acts of hearing, seeing and afidah, it cannot be said that the things chosen, decided upon, willed and actioned, were through the “hands” of Allāh (swt); He (swt) does not make mistakes or do anything that enduringly inclines to evil and is unjust.
There appears to be confusion also about how the All-Knowing attribute of Allāh (swt) is to reconciled with the impact the word-based knowledge, acquired through the acts of hearing, seeing and afidah; on the nafs-union. Regardless of the fact that Allāh (swt), because of His (swt) All-Embracing and All-Encompassing Attributes, knows in advance what decisions and behaviours will be performed, the figure print and hands that is directly responsible, and the accountability, are those of the particular individual nafs-union to whom they belong; Allāh’s (swt) “Hands” is what is within Qadr of Allāh, and over which humans have no choice. They are wholly distinct from the “hands” of the person who, consequent upon their exercise of their choice, decided, willed, performed the actions.
The most that a person who has no trust and confidence (imaan) in Allāh (swt), and thinks ill of Him (swt) can say, or imply with their words and or behavior, is that Allāh (swt) made a poor choice. Indeed, the following information, contained in Allāh’s (swt) “Unseen Knowledge”, points the finger to the Shay’tān as being just such a person who exhibited that type of behavior in ancient times, upon the appointment of the insān as Allāh’s (swt) Khalēefa(vicegerent):
(Allāh) said: “O Iblis! What prevents thee from prostrating thyself to one whom I have created with my hands? Art thou haughty? Or art thou one of the high (and mighty) ones?” (Iblis) said: “I am better than he: thou createdst me from fire, and him thou createdst from clay.” (Sūrah Al-Sād [Ch.38]: 75-76)
He (Iblis) said: “Seest Thou? this is the one whom Thou hast honoured above me! If Thou wilt but respite me to the Day of Judgment, I will surely bring his descendants under my sway – all but a few!”(Sūrah Al-Isrā’ [Ch.17]: 62)
To put this matter to rest and beyond any shadow of a doubt, it is the Islāmic position that, under the prevailing Divine Scheme, it is the Qadr of Allāh (swt) that Allāh (swt) will Not and Shay’tān is not allowed to restrict, hinder, obstruct and interfere with that human freedom of choice and will, once it has been exercised. In relation to Allāh’s (swt) Divine decree, command, or guidance, it is each individual nafs-union that is personally liable and is wholly accountability for the moral quality of their own thoughts, judgements and actions:
Has there not been over Man a long period of Time, when he was nothing – (not even) mentioned? Verily We created Man from a drop of mingled sperm, in order to try him: So We gave him (the gifts), of Hearing and Sight. We showed him the Way: whether he be grateful or ungrateful (rests on his will). (Sūrah Al-Insān [Ch.76]: 1-3)
Every nafsun (self/soul) is held in pledge for its own deeds (what it has earned). (Sūrah Al-Muddathir [Ch.74]: 39)
Now then, for that (reason), call (them to the Faith), and stand steadfast as thou art commanded, nor follow thou their vain desires; but say: “I believe in the Book which Allāh has sent down; and I am commanded to judge justly between you. Allāh is our Lord/Cherisher and your Lord/Cherisher: for us (is the responsibility for) our deeds, and for you for your deeds. There is no contention between us and you. Allāh will bring us together, and to Him is (our) Final Goal. (Sūrah Al-Shūra [Ch.42]: 15)
And pursue /concern not yourself with that of which thou hast no knowledge; for every act of hearing, and of seeing and afidah will be enquired into (and must be accounted for on the Day of Reckoning). (Sūrah Al-Isrā’ [Ch.17]: 36)
That being the case, there can be no doubt that the situation and point at which the lifeless bio-chemical human form and the designated Rūuḥ were first collectively described as Nafs, has in it far more guidance and instruction for the human race, than just as a landmark of the forming of the physical-spiritual union, and the occasion the new nafs-union becomes capable of motion.
It significantly also serves to indicate the precise moment that:
- the faculties of hearing, sight, and afidah became activated;
- a phenomenal amount of power became entrusted to Man in the guise of the word-based knowledge he is given;
- the commissioning of Man’s limited freedom in human choice and will; and
- the fixed and divinely determined time for each person to (a) use their hearing, sight, and afidah to acquire knowledge; (b) receive, enjoy and account for Allāh’s (swt) multifarious favours; and (c) be tried as regards their skill in demonstrating sound judgements, would start to run.
So, notwithstanding the Qadr of Allāh (swt) which determined the mould of the lifeless bio-chemical Ādam, and that hewould commence life with having aprimordial fitra, and a divinely determined activated bodily standard and bias, his moral-spiritual condition, and that of every subsequent individual, was not created as a fixed and inexorable state. And for the avoidance of any doubt and confusion, Allāh (swt) knowing in advance what the ultimate spiritual condition will be for each person, does not mean that He (swt) decided, and with the immediate use of His own “figurative Hands”, controlled and is accountable for the actions of every individual human being.
The moral-spiritual makeup and ultimate crystalized condition of the primal Man, and every subsequent individual is, in truth and reality, always the product and direct result of their free and unfettered choice in thinking, character and behaviour; it is what they have merited. Knowing that humans would be required to go through the divinely ordained process in which some people would make mistakes, others deliberately doing what is wrong, and yet a further group that be given to righteous actions, what Allāh’s (swt) foresight and knowledge truly caused was that, in anticipation of those varying degrees of success, He decreed in advance for Himself the law of Mercy:
Say: “To whom belongeth all that is in the heavens and on earth?” Say: “To Allāh. He has inscribed for Himself (the law/rule of) Mercy. That He will gather you together for the Period/Cycle/Day of Judgment, there is no doubt whatever. It is they who have lost their own souls, that will not believe. (Sūrah Al- An’aām [Ch.6]: 12)
When those come to thee who believe in Our signs, Say: “Peace be on you: Your Lord hath inscribed for himself (the rule of) mercy: verily, if any of you did evil in ignorance, and thereafter repented, and amend (his conduct), lo! He is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (Sūrah Al- An’aām [Ch.6]: 54)
This would facilitate Him (swt), during His Judicial Function on the appointed future Al-Akhira Term/Cycle/ Period/ Day, making His enquiry into what benefit and profit each individual derived from having the Divine Gift of the faculties of hearing, sight, and fuād (Sūrah Al-Isrāa [Ch.17]: 36), and punishing some people for their persistence in doing wrong and not profiting, while showing others, when warranted, forgiveness and mercy for their mistakes and genuine penitence , and rewarding abundantly those whose resolve and diligence caused them to steadfastly strive to do what is right.
- The Pathway From Darkness To Light
What is shown in the Sūrah Al-Sajdah (Ch.32:6-9) divine chronological sequence, of the primal human creation procudure, is that the bio-chemical component of Ādam’s nafs-union was moulded to its optimum and made Sawwā (fashioned in due proportion, made it with optimum capability of being what it was created to be, and having all the necessary faculties to function, and fulfil its intended purpose), before gifting it with the faculties of hearing, sight, and fuād. That is the same process, it was also shown, that every male and female will go through on their way to becoming an adult and getting married. Immediately thereafter Allāh (swt) Nafakha the Rūuḥ into the life-less human form, and it is that which has the effect of causing all humans (male and female, to become activated as a fully functional autonomous nafs-union government.
Looking back at Ādam, standing at that point in time in pre-Planet Earth Al-Akhira, the Qur’ānic picture one sees is that of an only existing nafs-union that is possessed of the aforementioned faculties, and would remain single for an unspecified and unknown future period of that era, devoid of knowledge (in a state of darkness and ignorance) and totally impoverished. That single stature condition too is also instructive for all subsequent humans, as the pre- marital stages they must all go through. What is enlightening and a guide to the human race is what took place during that Ādamic pre-marital period, it is therefore a matter that must be deliberated, since every person needs to be fully cognizant of it, so that they can be instructed as to what is required of them, before getting married.
That Ādamic single nafs-union pre-marital period, would be brought to an end later when a further nafs-union, of like nature as Ādam, is created. There should be no confusion about there being any other nafs-union being created from the substance and in the unique creation manner in which those two primal humans were created. Further, there is absolutely no truth, says the Magnificent Arabic Qur’ān by reason its total silence and absence of any information, in the rabbinic spin and twist of the Torah, Genesis 1:27 wording, to conjure up the creation of Lilith from the same soil as Ādam. The literature that such a creature ever existed, about her being Ādam’s wife before Ḥawwā’ (Havva/Eve – who was created from his rib Genesis 1:27), and her being the mother of demonic offspring, are utterly mythical and false. Ādam and Ḥawwā’ were the only two primal human nafs-unions, that existed, and they alone represented, and would continue to represent the human race in its Al-Akhira epoch, spanning the commissioning of Ādam as the Khalēefa (vicegerent) of the “earth”, and the duration in time that Ādam and Ḥawwā’ tasted living their lives in Jannat.
The events that occurred during the pre-marital period, when Ādam was the sole nafs-union, is not only instructive for all persons intending to get married, but also why real success in any marriage is pivotal upon the genuine worship of Allāh (swt). Among the numerious reasons why Allāh (swt) is worthy of being worshipped, to the exclusion of all else, is what makes it an irrefutable fact that He (swt) is the only true protecting friend of Man:
Allāh is the Protector of those who believe (have trust and confidence/faith): He brings them out of the depth (every kind) of darkness into light. And those who disbelieve (reject having trust and confidence/faith), their protecting friends are aṭ-ṭāagūtu (the transgressors/false worshipers/falsehood/evil doers), who bring them out of light into the depth of (every kind) of darkness. These are the companions /inmates of the Fire; therein shall they abide (for ever). (Sūrah Al-Baqarah [Ch.2]: 257)
The evidence provided to prove and justify Allāh (swt) as the only entity entitled, practically and in real-time, to that exalted position is direct and indirect, and the explanation is both expressly and impliedly provided in the above ‘ayāh, as well as Sūrah Al-Sajdah (Ch.32:6-9). The Sūrah Al-Baqarah (Ch.2:257) evidence definitely states that Allāh (swt) is the indispensable and inexorable reality that has established knowledge-based natural surroundings and thereby provided every human being with the opportunity of being taken, if they do desire righteousness, out of the depth of darkness into light. The further proof in Sūrah Al-Sajdah (Ch.32:6-9) and Sūrah Al-Isrāa (Ch.17: 36), is implied from the reference to the “Sense Gifts” of the faculties of hearing, sight, and fuād.
It is by reason of those divinely endowed Sense Gifts that humans become inextricably bound to Allāh (swt) as: (i) the fountain and source of Absolute Knowledge; (ii) the owner of the knowledge that the components of the created world manifest; (iii) the Originator that began the creation of every nafs-union; (iv) the sole provider to the nafs-union of the tremendously significant actived divine means with which it acquires knowledge; reason information, discern right from wrong, exercise choice and articulate decisions intelligently; and (v) the sole benefactor of human hope for redemption from eternal damnation.
The Sūrah Al-Sajdah (Ch.32:6-9) ordered divine outline (of the account in the process of creating humans), impliedly holds the receipt, acquisition, and profitable use of knowledge, as critical for there to be any meaningful marital relationship, to persons becoming qualified for redemption from the Hell Fire, as well as actually achieving the supreme success in being granted permission to reside in Jannat.
From the point of view of both the human experiences and scientific knowledge, the acquisition of knowledge is a real-time practical exercise. That process is inextricably tied to the sense faculties, and so by extension the correct use of the faculties of hearing, sight, and fu’ād, and to profit from acquisition of knowledge, is a profound Islāmic pre-requisite for marital success. It is therefore necessary to study and understand the great significance of the faculties of hearing, sight, and fu’ād and to begin that Islāmic enquiry, it is suggested that one should commence with the information contained in the following ’ayāt:
And Allāh brought you out of your mother’s wombs DEVOID OF ALL KNOWLEDGE, but He has endowed you with hearing, and sights, and Af’idah, so that you may be grateful.” (Sūrah Al-Naḥl [Ch.16]:78)
And He imparted knowledge and taught Ādam the names and nature of all things; (Sūrah Al-Baqarah [Ch.2]: 31)
He (Allāh swt) has created man:(and later, after his creation) He has taught him articulate thought and speech (intelligence). (Sūrah Alr-Raḥmān [Ch.55]: 3-4)
It is expressly provided in the Sūrah Al-Naḥl [Ch.16]:78) ’ayāh that every nafs-union, which is born in this realm of Ad-Dunyaa, comes from its mother’s womb as human being that is void of knowledge. This also makes practical sense because, the human reproduction process clearly shows that, whilst the bio-chemical embryo possessed the means by which to hear (ears), for sight (the eyes) and a fuād (the singular of afidah), it does not have the capability, and is not possible for it, purely as a bio-chemical embryo, to move, reproduce and acquire knowledge. It is not until 120 days from the date of conception, and the bio-chemical embryo has evolved to become Sawwā, and a fully developed fetus, that the Rūuḥ is brought and Nafakha into the fetus. It is with the occurrence of that event that the condition of life-less reproduced human lump changes, and evolves to become a well defined and fully developed fetus, bringing into operation a nafs-union government.
At birth that nafs-union structure and government is capable of motion, reproduction, and although it has ears, eyes and a fuād that will enable the nafs-union to hear, see, discern, learn, and acquire intelligence, it is void of any knowledge and in a state of ignorance. Those scientific facts and features are sufficient proof that it was certainly not the Divine intention, that the process of the wonder in creating Man was to be fully accomplished, leaving Man totally DEVOID OF ALL KNOWLEDGE and in a state of ignorance.
One is therefore able to extrapolate from that ’ayāh and conclude that the same in true of the Al-Akhira creation of Ādam and Ḥawwā’ as nafs-union governments. In the above Sūrah Al-Baqarah [Ch.2]: 31 ’ayāh it is the Arabic words “wa ‘allama Ādamal ‘asmāa’a” that encapsulates the meaning that, after some unspecified lapse in time, Ādam was givenknowledge of the names and essence of “all things”. Together they provide the necessary proof that the bio-chemical primal and original creation, which Allāh (swt) created lifeless from the dust of clay and water, and made Sawwā (fashioned in due proportion, made it with optimum capability of being what it was created to be, and having all the necessary faculties to function, and fulfil its intended purpose), was void of any knowledge immediately after the Rūuḥ was Nafakha into it, to establish its nafs-union governments.
That then exposes the misleading and or incorrect notion in the Bible’s Old Testament regarding the timing of Ādam’s creation and knowledge:
And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowls of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. (Genesis Ch.2:19-20)
As was explained in my book, “The Universal Significance of Ādam”, the above Biblical passage is contextually incorrect, and is more likely a reference to a later event, the second gathering of the then entire Angelic fraternity, during which Ādam called upon rehearse the knowledge given, and required to demonstrate his understanding (see post). It was during that ancient event that rebellion and treason became manifest among their group and the chief rebel swore to lead Man into a state of ignorance and cause men to commit wrongdoings(in arabic the term used is aghwāyta– see post).
The following Qur’ānic guidance and ’ayāt are very clear regarding the era and occasion of the creation of the birds and animals:
Say: Is it that ye deny Him Who created the earth in two (Creation) Periods/Cycles/Aeons/Days? And do ye join equals with Him? He is the Lord of (all) the Worlds. He set on the (earth), mountains standing firm, high above it, and bestowed blessings on the earth, and measure therein all things to give them nourishment in due proportion, (overall) in four (Creation) Periods/Cycles/Aeons/Days, in accordance with (the needs of) those who seek (Sustenance). (Sūrah Al- Fuṣṣilat [Ch.41]:9-10)
He created the heavens without any pillars that ye can see; He set on the earth mountains standing firm, lest it should shake with you; and He scattered through it beasts of all kinds. We send down rain from the sky, and produce on the earth every kind of noble creature, in pairs. (Sūrah Al- Luqmān [Ch.31]:10)
The plain evidence in these Qur’ānic ’ayāt is that Allāh (swt) created the “earth” in two Creation Periods/Cycles/Eons/Days and in another two reinforced, strengthened, and decked it. So, in those four Creation Periods/Cycles/Eons/Days all the activity pertaining to the ‘earth” were accomplished, and they took place long before Ādam was created. Therefore, any insinuation that the animals and birds were created during the life and time of Ādam is misleading and utterly false.
The next point that needs clarification is the issue of Ādam naming the “cattle…fowls of the air (birds), and every beast of the field”. It must be pointed out that the term “creation” is used at times to draw a thin veil over the eyes so as to deceive. In the ’ayāh appearing below, it is clearly shown that the when one speaks of “creation”, in truth, they are illuminating and referring to the source of absolute Divine Knowledge, wisdom and Power” that has made possible the existence of the object:
If thou wert to question them, ‘Who created the heavens and the earth?’ They would be sure to reply, ‘they were created by (Him), the Exalted in Power, Full of Knowledge’. (Sūrah Alz-Zukhruf [Ch.43]: 9)
Therefore, the origination and existence of Ādam is as a result of that single infinite, and absolute, source of knowledge. Standing of the threshold of his existence and reality all Ādam had was his virgin-pure and undefiled nafs-union, which comprised the faculties of hearing, sight, and afidah for him utilize and govern.
Given the phases in the process of his making, Ādam in reality was, at the inception of his existence, in utter darkness; void of any knowledge, and indeed power. Therefore, it would logically not have been possible for Ādam to, using his own power and for within his own nafs-union, originate and bring into reality names for the “cattle… fowls of the air (birds), and every beast of the field”. It is basic common sense that it is impossible to give what does not exist, and one does not have.
What is rational and the truth is that Allāh (swt), being most kind and merciful to Man, and having his best interests at heart, used His (swt) Divine powers to switch on, and activate for the very first time, the human faculties of hearing, sight, and afidah. He (swt) did so through utilizing those gifted faculties as the gateways for the transmission and giving of knowledge to Ādam.There was absolutely nothing in the entire universe that warranted Man being honoured in that way, and if Allāh (swt) had chosen so to do, He (swt) could have deprived Man of the human faculties of hearing, sight, and afidah, and left him wondering in the utter depth of three layers of darkness:
He created you (all) from a single person (Adam); then made from him his wife [Ḥawwā’ (Eve)]. And He has sent down for you of cattle eight pairs (of the sheep, two, male and female; of the goats, two, male and female; of the oxen, two, male and female; and of the camels, two, male and female). He creates you in the wombs of your mothers: creation after creation in three veils of darkness. Such is Allāh your Rabb (Lord and Cherisher). His is the kingdom. La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). How then are you turned away? (Sūrah Alz-Zumar [Ch.39]: 6)
Drawing on modern scientific knowledge, and the Splendid Arabic Qur’ānic information on the various successive stages of embryonic development (see, Sūrah Al- Ḥajj [Ch.22]: 5; and Sūrah Al-Mu’minūn [Ch.23]: 12-14), the view among some Muslims is that the “three veils of darkness is a reference to the unborn and incomplete human form, in the physical darkness of the: (i) belly (which presumably includes the chorionic cavity); (ii) inside the womb which is housed in the belly; and (iii) the within the amnionic membrane. Others say it is the: (i) physical darkness inside the womb; (ii) physical darkness within the amnionic membrane; and (iii) physical and spiritual darkness associated wlth pre-natal (pre-birth) blindness. The equivalent three stages of darkness for the primal person would conceivable be when he was (i) a mere concept yet to be given material existence; (ii) the bio-chemical structure (much like the Muḍghah [embryonic lump] without the Rūuḥ [soul/spirit]); and (iii) the nafs-union before its faculties of hearing, sight, and afidah are activated for the very first time, by being given knowledge by Allāh (swt).
It is this ancient and continuing truth and reality of human beings created in darkness, and then enlightened with knowledge, through the use of the divine gifts of the faculties of hearing, sight, and afidah, which is encapsulated and reverberated in the ensuing ’ayāh:
Allāh is the Protector of those who have faith: from the depths of darkness He will lead them forth into light. Of those who reject faith the patrons are the evil ones: from light they will lead them forth into the depths of darkness. They will be companions of the fire, to dwell therein (For ever). (Sūrah Al-Baqarah [Ch.2]: 257)
Thus, the mere presence of the faculties of hearing, sight, and afidah in the bio-chemical form that was Sawwā, serves to re-inforce the fact that the wondrous process of creating Man as a living moving nafs-union, one that has limited autonomy and independence to govern, was not yet fully accomplished; it had no independent life. The information above clearly depicts Ādam, and every subsequent human creation, as being loved by Allāh (swt) and, as a result, they are preferred and gifted with the faculties of hearing, sight, and afidah. With these gifts, they would be able to acquire knowledge from Allāh (swt), but not until after having the Rūuḥ (soul/spirit) breathed (Nafakha) into Ādam for him to become an independent, living, nafs-union government.
So, the importance of the Sūrah Al-Sajdah (Ch.32:6-9) divine statement, and the very clear Islāmicposition, is that the grant of gift of the faculties of hearing, sight, and afidah, together with breathing (Nafakha) the Rūuḥ (soul/spirit) into the bio-chemical form, serves to demarcate the cessation pre-birth darkness, since each living creature, as an active nafs-union, would then be capable of acquiring knowledge. It also marks the start of Allāh (swt) voluntarily relinquishing immediate, direct and total dominance, and the point at which the honour and responsibility of every person, over the creation-wonder of their post-natal education and moral development, also commences; each living nafs-union government could now be called to account, and held liable for the moral quality and standards in its own deeds:
Has there not been over Man a long period of Time, when he was nothing – (not even) mentioned? Verily We created Man from a drop of mingled sperm, in order to try him: So We gave him (the gifts), of Hearing and Sight. We showed him the Way: whether he be grateful or ungrateful (rests on his will). (Sūrah Al-Insān [Ch.76]: 1-3)
And pursue /concern not yourself with that of which thou hast no knowledge; for every act of hearing, and of seeing and afidah will be enquired into (and must be accounted for on the Day of Reckoning). (Sūrah Al-Isrā’ [Ch.17]: 36)
Allāh (swt) would continue to be involved however, through Him (swt) having residuary cosmic power and control, in order to maintain universal balance, harmony and order, and His (swt) absolute supremacy in determining the destiny (Qadr) of every person’s: (i) gender; (ii) precise moment, place and era of their birth on planet Earth and the exact moment the Rūuḥ is to permanently leave the nafs-union signalling death; (iii) fortune in terms of the configuration of the total contents of each and every succeeding moment in time, but relative to the exercise of every person’s limited freedom of choice and will; and (iv) metered and just reward (good or bad) for their deeds in this realm of Ad-Dunyaa thereby, in the finality, classifying them as either depraved and afflicted or good and blessed.
The simple but obvious point, in this subsection is that in general every spouse, without exception, begins life being gifted with the the faculties of hearing, sight, and afidah. What the prevailing Splendid Arabic Qur’ān strongly evidences is that, those talents were provided as the means through which Ādam, Ḥawwā’, and every subsequent new born child, could be put in a position to acquire knowledge. According to ensuing Arabic Qur’ānic information and understanding regarding the truth, the grant and receipt of knowledge were precisely the immediate events surrounding the post Ādamic nafs-union era:
Ar-Raḥmān (The Most Intensely Gracious) (It is He) Who has taught the Qur’ān, Created Insāan (created the forgetful [Man]), taught him (Man) Al-bayān (articulate speech and intelligence). (Sūrah A(l)r-Raḥmān – (Ch.55]: 1-4)
Thy Lord said to the Malāaikati (Angels): “I am about to create fil ardth Khalēefatan (on the “earth” a Khalēefa) … And He taught Ādam the nature of all things; then He placed them before the Angels (Malāaikati), and said: “Tell me the nature of these if ye are right. They said: “Glory to Thee, of knowledge We have none, save what Thou Hast taught us: In truth, it is Thou Who art perfect in knowledge and wisdom.” (Sūrah Al-Baqarah [Ch.2]:30-32)
Ādam was taught and he received knowledge that not only gave the then human race a degree of intellectual advantage over the members of the fraternity of Angels (Malāaikati), but also empowered their nafs-union autonomy and made them personally liable for manifesting sincere gratitude to Allāh (swt) for, among other things:
- conceptualizing humans;
- moulding for them a form that is optimum and Sawwā;
- giving them the gift of existence with the aid of the Rūuḥ;
- providing them with the receptors associated with each of the gateway instruments of hearing, sight, and afidah, so that humans might become exposed, impacted, and connected to the external worlds, and receive directly from Allāh (swt) His extrasensory transmission of inspirational divine statements, teachings and guidance, and indirectly the essential knowledge, through His (swt) “Natural ’Ayāt (Phenomena) Teachers” (meaning, the ’ayāt of Allāh (swt) forming the wonders of creation of the immediate surroundings);
- the honour and privilege of having the sense faculties (hearing, sight, afidah) and the Cranial Brain so that humans could mould their chosen moral and ethical personality, and participating in completing their own creation; and
- the indispensable gift of words, articulation and intelligent communication, without which it would be impossible to sustain any relationship or maintain one in a tranquil state.
A simple fact that underscores the state of ignorance in which people are born, is that no person has any real consciousness and understanding of their body part while growing up. They have themselves as a male or female and use their bodies for mundane things, but most are unaware of their eyes, ears, heart and crainal brain having any marital significance, as well as spiritual and redemptive significance.
That reality will not change. However, that is not to say that meaningful knowledge and understanding cannot be put into the daily diet and be taught. This effort is to contribute to that much needed marital and spiritual requirement. So, before considering the part those faculties would play during the above three different phases of human Al-Akhira existence and evolution, it is of great importance that one should first acquire some basic practical understanding of the Islāmicconcept ofthe Qalb, its operation and relationship with the human capability to hear, see and the fuād.