In the introduction to his sublime work, “Kitâb Sirru-l Asrâr wa Mazharu-l Anwâr” (The Book of the Secret of Secrets and the Manifestation of Lights), our master and guide, the Lordly Cardinal Pole [qutbu-r rabbâni], Muhyi-d Din ‘Abdu-l Qâdir al-Jilani (may Allah sanctify his secret), writes the following about the beginning of creation [ibtidâ’u-l khalq]:
You should know – may Allah enable you to achieve what is clear and pleasing to Him! – that Allah (Exalted is He) first created the spirit of Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) from the Light of His Beauty. As Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) has told us:
“I created the spirit of Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) from the Light of My Countenance.” [Hadith Qudsi]
As the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) has said:
“The first thing that Allah created was my spirit [ruh]. The first thing that Allah created was my light [nur]. The first thing that Allah created was the Pen [qalam]. The first thing that Allah created was the intellect [‘aql].”
This means that they are all one thing, that being the Muhammadan Reality [al-Haqiqatu-l Muhammadiyyah], but it is called a “light [nur]” because it is pure and unclouded by the darkness of Majesty. As Allah (Blessed and Exalted is He) has said:
“There has now come to you from Allah a Light, and a Clear Book.” [Al-Qur’an 5:15]
It is also called an “intellect [‘aql]”, because it comprehends universal truths [kulliyyat]. It is also called a “pen [qalam]”, because it is an instrument for the transmission of knowledge, just as the pen is an instrument in the realm of letters (of the alphabet).
The Muhammadan spirit is thus the quintessence of all entities, the first of all beings, and the origin of them all. As he has said (blessing and peace be upon him):
“I am from Allah and the believers are from me.”
— Al-Jilani, A. The Book of the Secret of Secrets (Kitab Sirr Al-Asrar). Trans. Muhtar Holland. Florida: Al-Baz Publishing, 2000.
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