All posts by James Grant

Response to: Anthropomorphism: The other way around

Salaam Dara

Wow it can be a shock to see how unclear one’s writing is! Apologies for that. I never intended to suggest that Allah makes anthropomorphising statements about Himself. My point was that once we understand that each of us is an aspect (and only an aspect) of the totality, we might be able to stop judging and fighting because things follow like falling dominoes.

  1. we are limited and transient and therefore not privy to God’s thought, approval, anger, etc,
  2. therefore,
  1. it is a gross impertinence to make take it upon ourselves to enforce God’s will, punish transgressions, and so forth,
  2. and furthermore,
  1. we are all one, and part of the magnificence of God’s self-reflecting creation.

As that kicks in, surely we then turn away from intolerance and instead contemplate God as we find Him all around us in the entirety of the universe. That contemplation of God was the part I had intended to connected to the Hidden Treasure hadith.


Response to Anthropomorphism: Wrong Thoughts

Salaam Dara

Re your post on Anthropomorphism

Excellent points, and perhaps there is an antithesis to anthropomorphising Allah in the hadith of the Hidden Treasure, which happens to be the favourite of this artefact/human self and its Nafs.

When we discussed Shabistari, we found his explanation of the Universal “I”, which is the intrusion of God into the Mulk/universe. All sense of selfhood is God’s limitation of His quantal/infinite-and-seamless Self in the particulate Mulk, and the human self is therefore only an aspect of that Universal Self which is God. Once we have that down, we don’t need to be judging and fighting or taking all for ourselves because we are not, after all, struggling to survive in a hostile universe but part of the total expression of God.

In that light, we can turn our attention instead to contemplating the universe in the conscious knowledge that in its entirety it (not we) is the transposed and metaphorical reflection of God. We can look at it so that, as Ibn Arabi says, He “sees” it as our knowing eyes and, by extension, we can interact with it so that He “experiences” it as a Self-limited, knowing artefact/human “I’. And we can do that at peace with our artefact selves and with each other. And it is a beautiful Mulk.