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The Fourth Chapter, on the Creation of the Human Soul in the Material World.

All that appears in the material world from the Nafs-i Kull is of three categories (martaba), as the material world (itself) occupies the third place, from the ‘Aql-i Kull, after the Nafs, to wit (nazdik gardanidan). (In these three categories) the ‘Aql-i Kull is like the man, the Nafs-i Kull is like the woman, and the Hayula from them is like the sperm, while the material world is like a child, - potentially it contains many offsprings. And as the world is the third after those higher (latif) principles (hadd), all that appears in it [31] from the Nafs-i Kull with the help (ta'yid) of the ‘Aql, also can be divided into these categories (martaba). The first of these is the vegetative soul (nafs-i namiya) which is (contained in) the growing pants (rustani-ha) of the world, like grasses or trees. The second is the sensory soul (nafs-i hissiyya) which is (contained in) all speechless animals, herbivorous and carnivorous, or aquatic. The third is the speaking, or reasoning (sukhan-guy) soul which is (in) human beings who are endowed with the faculty of speech, and receive influence (athar) from the ‘Aql. All these three (kinds of) nafs are influences (athar-ha) of the Nafs-i Kull. (Two of these) kinds of nafs do not receive their food (khwish) from the ‘Aql-i Kull, as the human soul does; therefore, as all that does not receive food from it does not return to it, plants and animals cannot return to the higher world (‘alam-i ‘ulwi). Similarly, that (human) soul which does not possess the faculty of speaking, and has no share of reason (athar-i ‘aql), will never return to that world.

The work (athar) of the Nafs-i Kull is like the light which shines upon the earth from the sun, so that the earth becomes lit by that light. And when the sun sets, the light also disappears. When the sun shines upon a crystal or upon a mirror which can collect an amount of the light of the sun, the light becomes so bright through action of the crystal or mirror that from it [32] fire can be lit, from which one can get light at any time. Thus it would do the same work as the sun is doing, proportionately to its size producing light and warmth.

Similarly, when the effect (athar) of the (activity of) the Nafs-i Kull is manifested in the human body (kalbad-i mardum), and when the latter gets its "food" (khwish) from the ‘Aql-i Kull, by acquiring the knowledge of its own origin (asl), by knowing and recognizing the oneness of God (tawhid), then, through all this, the (human) soul (nafs) in the body ‘becomes similar to the Nafs-i Kull, its origin, just as the effect of the sunshine in the crystal or mirror would appear similar to the sun itself. But (as in the case of the crystal or mirror) when the sun sets, the light of that (visible) fire disappears, so, in the same way, when that soul (nafs) receives "food" from the ‘Aql-i Kull, and, having become similar to the latter, returns to the Nafs-i Kull, it attains eternal bliss (thawab) when the Nafs-i Kull itself re-joins the ‘Aql-i Kull.

Thus we have found in the material world (‘alam-i jismani) three forms of the action of the Nafs which benefit it: one vegetative (ruyanda), as (in) plants, the other "eating" (khuranda) as (in) animals, and the third "speaking" (sukhan-guy) as (in) human beings. All these three kinds of Nafs we have found collected in the human being, thus saying: man is growing like the plants, because by eating he [33] increases in size; he is eating like the animals, because he consumes food and drinks; these are two categories, and the third which the man has is that of being able to speak. Therefore we say that it follows that in man the world has reached completion. And if the completion (or perfection, ta'mami) of the world depends on man, it follows that the soul, (nafs) of man should become detachable from its body and go to the higher world (‘alam-i ulwi), because it came from there. It cannot also return to this world because what had attained perfection cannot acquire imperfection (nuqsan). If the human soul was here, and through it the world had become perfect, it would be impossible for it to be sent back here again because this would be excessive, and excess over perfection constitutes a defect. Even if it were to be brought here, the world would not become different from what it is today. If it returned (to this world), it would act exactly as it acts today, as God says (vii, 28): "And could they be sent back, they would return to what they were forbidden, for they are very liars". This means: that the day the souls of the sinners would say: Oh, if they would take us to that world so that we should live according to the commandments of the Lord of the time, and become mu'mins! Then it will be said to them: if they were taken there, [34] they would return to what they were doing, as they are liars.

Therefore, we may say that the force, (quwwat) of the Nafs-i Kull is spread (gustarda) in the corporeal world (‘alam-i jismani), so that the world is full of it. But, being itself immaterial (latif), that energy does not occupy any visible space. Although no place in the world remains free from the Nafs-i Kull, it has no spatial existence (az jay khud hasti na-darad). As, however, the world has risen from it,, whatever is born by the elements (taba'i), the action (athar) of the Nafs-i Kull accepts (padhiard) that production, so that it becomes animated (janwar). And if from (that) action (junbish) a plant (comes into existence?) ... The human being at first is similar to a plant, in the womb of the mother, receiving - increasing without (consciously) seeking it, just as a plant grows without being conscious of its growth (bi-danish). Thereafter, having been born by its mother, and coming into this world, it resembles an animal who knows nothing except eating and sleeping. Whatever it finds it takes it its mouth, be it straw, or (the aromatic) ispargham grass, it does not make any difference. A small child acts similarly. It does not seek anything except what is eatable, [35] eating whatever is put into his hand, or at once putting it into its mouth, until the reasoning, (natiqa) nafs effects its influence upon it (the child), and it becomes able to speak. Then the child takes to speaking, learning the names everything.

We have already seen that the creation of the world really originated from the nafs-i namiya, the vegetative force, manifested (chiefly) in plants, and then from the sensory (hissi) nafs which is (specially) peculiar to animals. Then again come the "speaking" (sukhan-guy) nafs, and this is (in) human beings, to whom belong superiority (jakud) over plants and animals. All these three kinds of energy (quwwat) have come together in man. The world has thus never produced anything better than man. Therefore we realize that nothing has been produced nobler and greater than human beings. The rotation of the spheres with the glittering of the stars was created for the sake of great humanity (buzurgwar mardumi) because if the purpose of the creation has been already attained by the existence of the world, the latter would have ceased to undergo (further) alterations (az gashtan asudasti).

The body of man receiving its nourishment from the (material) world, is bound to return to the elements when the soul becomes separated from it, because the elements are its source (kull). (For a similar reason) it is inevitable that the (human) soul should return to the Nafs-i Kull. The question only concerns the manner in which it will return. If its return to its source is [36] in harmony (dar-khurd) with it, the soul will attain the bliss (peace, rahat) which the ignorant regard as the state of God Himself because they say that He, the All-High, personally created this world (faraz awruda ast). But, as we know, it was the Nafs-i Kull that (in reality) constituted (tarkib karda ast) this world, and thus it is to it, the Nafs-i Kull, that the soul should return. And when the soul re-joins it, the faithful (mu'min) shall be like the creator of the world (sani-i ‘alam) - may God be exalted above what sinners say, greatly exalted! - He, God the All-High, is exalted above what ignorant people say, far above it!

If, however, the return of the individual (juzwi) soul to its source (kull-i Khwish) is not in harmony (ba-mukhalafat), it will meet with suffering and hardships whose painfulness is described by being placed in the midst of fire, may God protect us from the punishment by fire!

When the mu'min recognizes the principles (created) by God (hudud), he ceases to attribute to Him anything that is incompatible (na-saza) with His greatness, or make God similar to His creations, recognizing the position (fadl) of every principle (hadd). Therefore God says about such people (xi, 3): ...."and that ye seek pardon from your Lord, - then repent to Him. He will cause you to enjoy a good provision to a named and appointed time, and will give privilege to every one deserving privilege; but [37] you turn your backs, I fear for you the torment of a "Great Day". - The "named and appointed day" means that He will show you the way towards the knowledge of the Truth (ilm-i haqiqat) in the world, when you acknowledge (irqar kunid) the Lord of your time (Khudawand-i zamana'i khwish) who is the Teacher (parwardgar) of your souls by knowledge (ilm). Then He says: ‘fulfil (sic) your duty (haqq bi-dihid) to your (sic) superior (kudawand-i fadl) according to his position. If you turn your faces away from him, I shall send to you some of the torments of the Great Day".

For this reason the mu'min must recognize the true position of every principle of the creation (hadd az hudud) in the material and spiritual world, never treating the lower one as the higher, or the higher as the lower one. He must recognize them according to their true position, thus following the straight path (rah-i rast). Whomsoever treats an inferior thing (chiz) as the higher becomes one of those of whom God says (v, 76): "They misbelieve who say: verily, God is the Messiah, the son of Mary. But the Messiah said (himself): O sons of Israel, worship God, my Lord and your Lord. Verily, he who [38] associates aught with God, God hath forbidden him Paradise and his resort is the Fire, and the sinners shall have none to help them". This verse is applicable to those persons who said that the Commander of Faithful ‘Ali b. Abi Talib, - peace be upon him, - is nearer to God than our Prophet, Muhammad Mustafa, - peace be upon him, - or those who say that the Commander of the Faithful is God. Such people are hyperbolists (ghaliyan). The Commander of the Faithful (himself) said: "The Apostle of God (once) placed his mouth upon my ear and conveyed to me a thousand chapters (bab) of knowledge (ilm), and in each chapter a thousand (new) chapters become revealed to me". As he (himself), -peace be upon him, - [39] asserts that the Apostle of God was his teacher, every one who says that he is more important than the Prophet, or greater than the latter, will be a liar. And whosoever spreads false ideas about the Wasi of his dawr, i.e. the period of the domination of a religious law at the time he lives, he will be a kafir, unbeliever. For this reason the verse quoted above proves that it was revealed concerning the hyperbolists (ghaliyan). As God says that some people were saying about Jesus that he was God, while Jesus himself said: "O sons of Israel, worship your God who is my God, too".

We may say thereafter that the perfection (tamami) of the Nafs-i Kull, and the latter's passing from the state of potential to the actual attainment of it, is achieved in the souls of Natiqs, Asases, Imams, and their followers. These souls, before entering to their bodies, had no (individual) existence (as thou couldst point it out), but they remained (in existence) potentially in their source (kull-i khiwish), just as one man may potentially be (the progenitor of) many men. It is just as the ‘Alawis, i.e. descendants of ‘Ali, who are at present in the world (as living) souls, and those who were before them, or will come after them, are all the substance (dhat) of the soul of the Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali [40] which contained them potentially. But so long as they were not connected with their bodies, it was impossible to take notice of or count them.

Similarly all the people who have come into existence in the world, were all together (ba yak bar) potentially contained in the Nafs-i Kull, gradually coming out in the world. The world itself, in its entirety, was contained in the Nafs-i Kull before it came into existence, but possessed no (visible) form (surat), and was not differentiated (with regard to individual things of which it consists, - ‘adad bar u na-y- uftad), until it attained (visible) existence. The proof of the theory that all men are contained in this world is that they came out from it, and we know that what has not been contained in something, would not come out into existence from it. Similarly, in every grain of wheat there are (potentially) contained many grains which may gradually generate from it, while (e.g.), in sand no wheat is contained.

When it has thus been ascertained that the world is one of the products (az kar-kard) of the Nafs-i Kull, we may realize that in a like manner all the creations (kar-kard-ha) have been originated by it. Thus the world creates (kar-gar) through it. Therefore, (one of the) proofs that the world is the product of the Nafs-i Kull is (the existence of ?) Human beings (mardum) because they come into existence in (from) the world in that way (ba-d-in surat). This proves that all human beings were potentially contained in the Nafs-i Kull, and that potentiality (quwwat) was received by the Nafs-i Kull from the ‘Aql-i Kull. Therefore, the origin of man is in the Word (Kalima) [41] in which, however, it was contained potentially, to be realized (ba-fi'l ayad) in this world. The purpose of this realization (ba-fi'l amadan) is to become similar (mananda) to its origin (asl) and accept the knowledge (ilm) of the Prophets, who in this world occupy in effect (ba-fi'l) the position of the Nafs. When man, by accepting the knowledge of the principles of the creation (hudud) and realizing the truth of the oneness of God (tawhid) becomes similar (manand) to the Nafs-i Kull, and (thus) re-unites with it, he will receive the reward (thawab). It is like the drop of sperm which falls into the womb of the mother, and, by feeding there, becomes similar to its mother and father. If, however, man does not attain the recognition of the oneness of God (tawhid), if no Divine guide meets him, he will remain in this world, earning no reward (thawab), thus becoming nullified like the sperm which comes out of a man, but from which neither the male nor the female receive anything except a temporary pleasure. That liquid does not stay in the womb of the woman and does turn into a child. It often happens in the world that a man has only one offspring, although he copulates very many times during his life. This is beyond his control, [42] as it is not that a child is conceived at each copulation. In the same way it does not follow that everyone that has the appearance of man and teaches others should be a Prophet. If that be so, the purpose for which the world had been created would have been already attained, and the skies would have come to rest from their rotation. Therefore if those people who are born do not take up knowledge and do not follow the right path, or oppose the Lords of the Truth (Khudawandan-i haqq), pandering to their lower passions, they will for ever remain undergoing punishment, will never re-join the Nafs-i Kull. This will be like a child which does not receive complete development in the womb of its mother, and does not have all (its limbs) set as they should be in order that its body may attain (ordinary) human form. Its stature will be defective, weak; it will not possess either eyes or ears, and will remain sick and suffering during the whole of its life.

Verily, it is necessary to know that the birth and up-bringing of souls in bodies completely resembles the birth and up-bringing of bodies themselves, being neither more nor less than this, as God says (lvi, 61-62): "We produce you as ye do not know. Ye do know the first production; why then do ye not mind?" [43] This means: if you knew that the creation of your souls is like that of bodies, then you would not commit a mistake. But as the up-bringing of the body depends on the force of the soul (nafs), it follows that the conditions (hal) of the soul in the creation would equally be similar to those of the body, as God says (xxxi, 27): "Your creation and your rising again are but that of one soul".

The answer to the question: ‘we want to know: should we worship the (high) principles (hudud) by the command of God?" - is this. You must know that the recognition of the oneness of God (tawhid) requires that you should not take, or wish to take as God any principle (hadd) either high or low. Therefore, as the hadds cannot be divine, worship cannot be due to them. Worship to God first comes from the ‘Aql-i Kull which is the worship of thanksgiving. No other creature can offer worship such as that. By its greatness, purity, might and wisdom its worship has no limits. Next to it is the worship by the Nafs-i Kull, in the form of [44] this great created world which it has produced. This is its form of worship of the glorious God. All that it had power to do was combined in that worship of God. It produces many great souls (nafs-ha-y-i buzurgwar) at present and will do at all times, until the Qiyamat, when it will produce that noblest of all creations, the Qa'im, - the choicest greetings be due to him!

The worship by very high principle (hudud-i ulwi) is in accordance with its powers. In the material world the first place belongs to the worship of the Natiq, peae be upon him, which is the noblest and the most perfect form of worship in this world, as no slave of God can practice it. Next comes worship by the Asas, in which are combined the ultimate limits of the worship of all worshipers. Then comes worship by the true Imam (Imam-i ba-haqq), then that of the Bab, of the hujjats, da'is, ma'dhuns and mustajibs, in proper sequence. Worship is the more pleasant and more substantial (buzurgwar-tar wa bish-tar) to God, the more educated and advanced is the worshiper. From the ‘Aql-i Kull to the mustajib all strive to worship God and earn a reward. This is distributed by the ‘Aql-i Kull for their not interfering with its own worship of God, [45] and their attempts at adopting, as far as possible, similar ways of worship.

It has been asked why man receives reward for worship and acquiring (religious) knowledge (ilm) while no advantage accrues to God from his worshiping, nor is any loss caused by his neglect to do this? The answer to this is as follows. Worship is like a body to that world (an jahan-ra), and knowledge (ilm) is like a soul. Every worshiper's spiritual body (kalbad-i nafsani) becomes stronger as his knowledge grows and is purified. When his actions (‘amal) are in harmony with his knowledge (ilm), the constitution (form surat) of his soul becomes perfect. It will receive in the higher world (‘alam-i ulwi) all the pleasures and enjoyments of that world (khushi-ha wa ni'mat-ha-y-i ‘alam), just as a sound body in this world completely enjoys the pleasures of this world. Therefore the search for knowledge (ilm) and right behaviour in this world help man to put things right in the life after death (surat-i akhirat). His behaviour is like a body and his knowledge like a soul (jan); as God says (xxxv, 11): "To Him good words, ascend, and He takes up a righteous deed", i.e., pure speech is stronger, and good action supports it. Therefore [46] the stronger (surat-i qawi) is the man's soul when he sends it (to that world), the correspondingly more pleasure will he find there, as God says (lxxiii, 20): "Then be steadfast in prayer, pay the zakat and lend to God a goodly loan, for what ye send forward for yourselves of good, ye will find it with God. It is better and greater hire". That "lending" for the mu'min is the following of the obligatory prescriptions (wajibat), so that his oath of allegiance to God may be realized by these. This is 119 dirhams, because if you count the numeric value of the letters in the word hasanan, it will be 119.

Further on God says: "The more you send forward for your souls", - i.e., all that you acquire by knowledge (ilm) and good actions (‘amal), -"the better it will be near God", and earns greater reward. But those who do acquire knowledge, but do not act righteously, will hove in that world their souls sick and blind, remaining under eternal punishment, as God says (xx, 25): "He shall say: My Lord! Wherefore hast thou gathered me blind when I used to see? - He shall say: Our signs came to thee, and thou didst forget them; thus today thou art forgotten". [47] This is what that unfortunate man will say at the Qiyamat. To forget (neglect) means to withdraw from something, and the signs of God are the Imams - peace be upon them.

Therefore we may say that the advantage derived from worship, and loss resulting from disobedience, refer to the soul itself, not to God, - be He Glorious and Exalted! When a soul learns knowledge (ilm), but does not act according to it (‘amal na-kunad), it becomes sick and blind. In that world, sweets in the mouth of the sick will taste bitter, his head will ache from glare, and he will suffer without any one causing him pain; thus he will be unable to enjoy sweets or light.

Such is the purpose for which the human soul has come into the material world, as has been briefly described above. The mu'min will realize that he was brought here so that he might be brought up by knowledge, and (ultimately) return to his source. His being is due to that defect (nuqsan) which distinguishes the Nafs from the ‘Aql. Until the soul comes into this world it neither possesses separate existence (na shumar bar way uftad), nor can he possess substance (dhat), nor develop [48] distinctive qualities (isharat). Now that it has acquired existence (hasti yafti), it has also acquired the power to attain the idea of its original source (surat-i kull-i khwish). If it errs, spoiling by this the creation (afarinish da'i kunad), it becomes deserving of all kinds of punishment. If, however, it follows the guidance of the Lords of the Truth, i.e., the Imams (khudawandan-i haqq), and recovers the idea of its original source (surat-i kull-i khwish), its knowledge (ilm) will all prove to be true (‘adl) when it reaches the higher world. According to that knowledge it (the soul) will not perish, but will receive the reward which it deserves; as God says (ix, 121): "Verily, God wastes not the reward of those who are righteous".

So much is quite enough for those who would consider this without prejudice. For those, however, who are prejudiced, and who (in any case) intend to deny what is true, proofs and arguments, speaking much or remaining silent would be equally ineffective.