Everything is an Ode of Divine Names*
In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
There is nothing that does not glorify Him with praise. (17:44)
This consists of two topics.
First topic: According to the meaning of There is nothing that does not glorify Him with praise, everything has many aspects, like windows, opened on Almighty God. All truths contained in creation are based on the Divine Names. Each thing owes its existence and essential nature to one or several of God’s Names. The variety of art in things and the sciences also are based on a Divine Name. For example, philosophy, in its true sense, depends on the Name All-Wise, medicine on the Name All-Healing, and geometry and engineering are based on the Names All-Determining, All-Proportioning, and All-Giving of Exact Measure.
All human arts and levels of human perfections have their sources in Divine Names. Some exacting saintly scholars have concluded: “A thing’s reality consists in Divine Names, and its nature is the inscription of those realities. The manifestations of at least twenty Divine Names can be seen in one living creature.” We will discuss this subtle and comprehensive truth through a comparison and an analysis.
When extremely skillful sculptors want to draw a beautiful flower and sculpt a beautiful woman, they first determine the general lines and then, basing themselves on exact measures and planning, pursue their goals by using the necessary engineering or design knowledge. With the compasses of knowledge and purpose (or wisdom), they draw the outer lines of the eyes, ears, and the nose, and the leaves and seed producing parts in a proportionate manner, thereby displaying their art and accord with the parts’ actual functions. This shows that these sculptors are great artists who do everything for a purpose and put everything in its proper place.
Each sculptor attaches great importance to the work’s beauty and adornment, which greatly contributes to his or her art. As these sculptors are benevolent and want to see everybody happy, their works give the impression of pleasure and happiness, which, in turn, suggest that the sculptors are kind and gracious. These attributes originate from their love of beings. As the sculptors want other beings to recognize and love them so that they might ask for help, a desire arising from the sculptors’ compassion and desire to benefit others, they fill the woman’s arms with everything beneficial and attach jewels to the flower. The sculptors’ personal perfections and virtues cause compassion and tenderness for others to arise in them, and they unite beauty and love in themselves. Since their sublime feelings are so pure that they become happy and exhilarated only when they see others happy, they want to be known by others. Thus they make pictures and statues that reflect all their virtues and laudable qualities.
Similarly, the All-Wise Maker has created Paradise and the world, the heavens and Earth, animals, jinn and humanity, and angels and spirit beings by manifesting His Names. He determines each according to certain measures and gives each a certain form. This displays His Names the All-Fashioner, All-Determining, and Giver of Measure. Fashioning, determining, and giving of measure are based on Knowledge and Wisdom, and therefore point to the Divine Names the All-Knowing and All-Wise. By manifesting His Names the All-Munificent and All-Gracious, He equips His creatures with all necessary well-proportioned parts and gives each part many complex functions. By manifesting the same Names, He furnishes and adorns Earth with minerals, plants, and animals, and also provides Paradise with gardens, palaces, and houses, each of which has a particular beauty and functions.
The All-Wise Creator equips His creatures with the results of showing His Names the All-Munificent and All-Gracious, as if each embodied munificence, grace, and adornment. What leads His Munificence and Graciousness to such a display is His love of creatures and His will to be known by animate beings and loved by conscious ones. Thus the Names the All-Munificent and All-Gracious exhibit the Names the All-Loving and Recognized or Known One.
He adorns all creatures with delicious fruits and the lovely benefits therefrom, bestowing on them all kinds of bounties. This points to the Names the Giver of Bounties and All-Compassionate, and shows their manifestations from behind apparent veils. His will to show His Mercy and Affection leads the One Who is independent of creation to show His Munificence and Compassion, which causes creatures to recite the Names the All-Merciful and All-Affectionate. His Essential Beauty and Perfection stimulate Him to manifest His Mercy and Affection, to show the Names the All-Beautiful with the All-Loving and All-Compassionate, which are contained in It. Absolute beauty is loved for itself, and the One with absolute beauty loves Himself. Therefore it is both beauty and love. This is also true with perfection, which is loved for itself and not because of anything else. Therefore it is both lover and beloved.
Since a beauty of infinite perfection and a perfection of infinite beauty are loved to an infinite degree, they wish to manifest themselves in mirrors according to the mirror’s capacity. As the Essential Beauty and Perfection of the Majestic Maker, the All-Wise One of Beauty, the All-Powerful One of Perfection, will to show mercy and affection, the Names the All-Merciful and All-Caring must manifest themselves. Since the will to show mercy and affection is associated with compassion and bountifulness, it urges the Names the All-Compassionate and Giver of Bounties to be manifested. Compassion and bountifulness require and cause the Names the All-Loving and the Recognized to manifest themselves.
Being loved and recognized incite manifestations of grace and munificence and cause creatures to demonstrate the Names the All-Gracious One and the Munificent One. Grace and munificence incite the Names the All-Decorating and All-Illuminating and show their acts via the beauty and illumination seen in creatures. Decoration and illumination require manifestations of the Names the Maker and the Benevolent and demonstrate them via all creatures’ beautiful countenances. Making and benevolence are based on knowledge and wisdom and show the Names the All-Knowing and All-Wise via all creatures’ harmonious and purposeful organization. Demanding acts of organizing, fashioning and forming, as well as of knowledge and wisdom, demonstrate the Names the Fashioner and Giver of Measure via all creatures’ general forms.
In short, the Majestic Maker has made all creatures in such a fashion that most of them, particularly animate ones, display most of the Divine Names. It is as if He clothed each creature in twenty different garments, one over the other, and inscribed several of His Names on each one. For example, as pointed out in the above comparison, there are many layers of loveliness in the apparent creation of a beautiful flower and a beautiful woman. Compare vast and universal bodies with these two particular examples.
First layer: Their general forms and appearances, which recite: “O Fashioner, O Giver of Measure, O Determiner, O Organizer.”
Second layer: Their form and appearance, including all bodily members and parts, that show many Names like the All-Knowing and All-Wise.
Third layer: The forms of beauty and adornment particular to each bodily member and part, on which are inscribed many Names like the Maker and the One Who Creates Subtly and Perfectly.
Fourth layer: The detail of ornament, beauty, and elegance given to creatures as if in the embodied form of grace and munificence. They recite: “O Gracious One, O Munificent One,” and many other Names.
Fifth layer: The delicious fruits attached to that flower and lovely children, as well as the laudable virtues given to that woman as gifts, show Names like the All-Loving, All-Compassionate, and Giver of Bounties.
Sixth layer: This layer of bountifulness and benevolence recites: “O All-Merciful, O All-Caring,” and several other Names.
Seventh layer: The bounties given to them and the results attached to their existence demonstrate such gleams of beauty and grace that they deserve pure gratitude and love kneaded with true eagerness and tenderness. This layer manifests such Names as the All-Beautiful One of Perfection and the Perfect One of Beauty.
If a flower and a beautiful woman display so many Names through their outward forms, you may compare how many Names of universal manifestation all flowers, animate beings, and vast and universal bodies demonstrate. You may understand how many sacred, enlightening Names of God (e.g., the All-Living, Self-Subsistent, and Giver of Life) a person manifests through his or her spirit, heart, reason, life, and all other senses and faculties.
Paradise, Earth’s face, and springtime are all flowers. Heaven is a flower; the stars are its gilded embroideries. The sun is a flower; the seven colors in its light are its dyes. The cosmos is a beautiful, macro-human being; humanity is a normo-universe. Spirit beings, angels, jinn, and humanity have been fashioned, organized, and created as if they were beautiful individuals. As they collectively and individually manifest the All-Majestic Being’s Names, each one is a different mirror to His Beauty, Perfection, Mercy, and Love. Each is also a different and true witness, as well as a different sign, of His Infinite Beauty, Perfection, Mercy, and Love. As all boundless perfections are possible only in the sphere of Divine Unity and Oneness or Uniqueness, any perfections imagined outside of this sphere are false.
The realities of things are based on the Divine Names, or rather they are manifestations of those Names. All things mention their Maker in numerous tongues. Also, know one of the meanings of “There is nothing that does not glorify Him with praise.” Say: “Glory be to Him Who is veiled through His manifestation’s intensity.” Understand the reason why He is the All-Mighty, All-Wise; He is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate; He is the All-Knowing, the All-Powerful,” and similar phrases repeated at the end of Qur’anic verses.
If you cannot see clearly the Names displayed on a flower, ponder on Paradise, look at spring attentively, or examine Earth’s face. You can read clearly the Names inscribed in those huge flowers of Mercy and see the Names’ distinct manifestations.
The following points to a flower from the eternal garden of this verse (17:44):
Every tree in blossom is an ode rhythmic and well-composed,
singing the high and manifest praises of the Creator.
Or something with multiple eyes opened to watch,
and cause others to watch the wonders of the Maker’s art displayed.
Or has clothed its members in green for their festival
so that its Lord may observe His illustrious works and gifts upon it,
while itself displays in the display hall—Earth—
His Mercy’s embellishments before humanity’s eyes,
thereby proclaiming the wisdom in its creation,
in that significant treasuries are stored in it
by the Grace and Generosity of the Sustainer of its fruits:
Glory be to Him, how generous His favoring,
how clear the arguments for Him,
how manifest are His proofs!
The imagination sees angels clothed in bodies from the (branches of) these trees resembling thousands of flutes, and from these flutes are heard songs of praises of the All-Living One. The leaves are each a tongue reciting: “O Living One,” and chanting all together: “There is no god but He.”
Say: “O God, Master of the Kingdom, You give kingdom to whomever You will and withdraw kingdom from whomever You will.”
They incessantly utter: “O Truth,” announce: “O All-Living One,” and together proclaim: “God.”
* The Thirty-second Word / Third Station