Imam Ali’s Sermon of the Sincerity of Believing in the Oneness of Allah

The foremost in the worship of Allah is the acknowledgement of Him. The origin of acknowledging Him is to believe in His oneness. The system of believing in His oneness is to deny His being enjoying attributes, because the minds testify that every attribute or attributed is new in creation. Every creature testifies that it has a creator that is neither an attribute nor an attributed. Every attribute and attributed testifies that is has likes. Everything that has a like is new. Every new thing testifies it has not been eternal, because eternity prevents newness. Who recognizes Allah’s essence does not recognize Him. Who decides an end to Allah does not believe in His oneness. Who compares Him -to anything- does not believe in Him. Who likens him -to anything- does not recognize His actuality. Who imagines Him does not mean Him. Who claims of fathoming Him does believe in His oneness. Who states that He has an end does not believe in Him. Who points at Him does not believe in His eternity. Who admits limitations for Him does not refer to Him. Who recognizes parts for Him does not succumb to Him. Every idiosyncratic matter is made. Except Him, every existent matter is imperfect.

The evidence on the existence of Allah is His made. The intellects recognize the acknowledgement of Him. The conception proves His claim. His portents are His evidences against His servants. When Allah created the creatures, He made a screen between them and Him. His distinction proves that He is different from them. The proof of His being free of materiality is His creating the creatures from materials. The materials are evidences on the neediness of the creatures. The proof of His being foremost is His originating the creatures. Every originated substance is unable to originate others.

His names are expressions. His deeds are means of understanding. His essence is a truth. His quintessence distinguishes Him from the creatures. Thus, whoever states a description for Allah ignores Him, and whoever states a like for Him misses Him, and whoever states an essence for Him passes Him up. To ask, “Where is Allah?” is to state a definite place for Him, and to ask, “In which substance is He?” is to include Him -to another thing-, and to ask, “Since when is He?” is to define an end for Him, and to ask, “For what is He existent?” is to state a reason for Him, and to ask, “How is He?” is to liken Him -to other things-, and to ask, “When is He?” is to state a definite time for Him, and to ask, “Till when is He?” is to state a definite deadline to Him. To state a definite deadline to Allah is to part Him. To part Him means to describe Him, and to describe him leads to disbelieving in Him. He whoever divides Him is going away from Him.

Allah does not change when His creatures change and does not acquire limits when others acquire such limits. He is single but not a number. He is peculiar but not with the partition of needs. He is unseen but not being inside a substance. He is evident but not in physical nearness. He is clear but not seeable. He is Aware but not having corporeality. He acts but without connotation of movements. He is arranging without intellectual planning. He is managing without need to movements. He hears without sense and sees without instrumentality. He is near without physical closeness and remote without distance. He is existent but not after nonexistence. Times do not accompany Him. Places do not include Him. Changes do not affect Him. Descriptions do not limit Him. Tools do not restrain Him. His being preceded times. His existence preceded nonexistence. Origin is His eternity.

As He created the feelings, it is known that He does not need feelings. As he created the essences, it is known that He does not have essence (like the others). As He originated the creatures, it is known that He had no originator. As He is different from things, it is known that nothing matches Him. As he created comparable things, it is known that nothing compares Him. He compared light to darkness and coldness to hotness. He formed the opposites of these things and approximated their different things. Difference refers to its Maker and comparison refers to its comparer. He, the Glorified, made them the evidences on His godhood and witnesses on His being not seen and speakers of His wisdom. The composition of these matters speaks of their being created. Their existence speaks of their nonexistence. Their movement speaks of their transience. Their expiry declares that their Creator will never expire. This is Allah’s saying: “And of everything we have created two pairs that you may be intelligent.” He made difference between ‘before’ and ‘after’ so that it will be recognized that nothing was before Him and nothing will be after Him. The instincts of the creatures prove that their Maker has no instinct. The changeability of the creatures proves that the Maker of their changes is unchangeable. The timing of the creatures proves that the Maker of their timing is timeless. He made screens among the creatures so that they will realize that there is no screen between them and Him. The confirmation of godhood had been proved to Him before the creation of the servants. The truth of lordship had been proved to Him before the existence of the slaves.

The interpretation of hearing had been proved to Him before the existence of anything that is heard. The meaning of knowledge had been proved to Him before the existence of anything that is known. The obligation of capability had been proved to Him before the existence of anything that is under capability. He deserved the name of ‘the Creator’ before He created the creatures, and deserved the name of ‘the Maker’ before He originated things. He distinguished the things without any means and collected them without any means. He arranged them without any efforts. Thoughts do not reach His essence and understandings do not comprehend His quintessence. “When?” does not apply to Him, “may” does not make Him nearer, “probably” does not screen Him, “with” does not compare Him, and “He” does not comprise Him. Tools limit themselves only. Instrumentality refers to its likes. Deeds are found in the things themselves. Apparatuses tell of their neediness. Opposition tells of the opposite. Matches refer to their likes. Times refer to the events. Descriptions are distinguishable by the help of the names. The matches were discriminated from them. Their events referred to them. “Since” prevented them from eternity. “May” stopped against their infinity. “Unless” denied its fatalism. As they -things- separated, they referred to their separator. As they varied, they referred to the originator of their variation. The Creator is obvious to the minds through the things. He hid from sight through them. Things proved that the Creator is more exalted than being realized by thoughts. They proved the lessons. Evidences were extracted from them. Through minds, the believing in Allah is proved, and through declaration of Allah, the faith is perfected.

There is no religion without recognition. There is no recognition without believing. There is no believing without pure monotheism -believing in Allah’s oneness-. There is no monotheism without sincerity. No sincerity if there is anthropomorphism. No denial occurs with the believing in the descriptions -of the Lord-. No pure believing occurs without dismissing the denial totally. Proving a part of anthropomorphism proves the whole. The whole believing in Allah’s oneness does not materialize some of the denial. Declaration is the denial of rejection. Sincerity cannot be reached if there is any amount of denial. Everything that is found in a created matter is nonexistent to the creator -of that matter-. Everything that is possibly occurring to a created matter is impossibly occurring to the creator -of that matter-. Motion, parting, and contacts are not applicable to the Creator. How is it acceptable that a matter that He created can apply to Him, a matter that He originated can affect Him, or a matter that He launched can occur to Him? Otherwise, His essence would be variable, His quintessence would be divisible, and eternity would not be described to Him. Moreover, eternity would not have a meaning other than expiry, and the creator would not have a meaning other than the created. If He had back, he would have front. If He seeks perfection, He will be imperfect. How is it then acceptable for a matter that is variable to have the name of eternity? How is it then acceptable for a thing that is affected by events and years to deserve perpetuity? How is it acceptable for a thing that has parts to originate parts? In this case, He would be having tools, and He would be changed into a guided thing after He had been a guide, and His description would be compared to the others’ descriptions. The impossible hypothesis in not evidence and no answer can be found for the impossible question.

That was a brief part of the Imam’s sermon.

Tuhaf Al-Uqul ( The Masterpieces Of The Mind )

Source : http://alhassanain.org/english/?com=book&id=374

 


 

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