How do the divine names manifest themselves and what are their results?
A king has different titles
in respect of the different departments of his government, and different styles
and attributes among the classes of his subjects, and different names and signs
in the levels of his rule, for example, �supreme judge� in the department of
justice, �chief administrator� in the civil service, �commander-in-chief� in
the army, and �supreme teacher� in the education department. If, starting from
these examples, you know the rest of his names and titles, you will understand
that a single king may have numerous names and titles in respect of the departments
of his government and levels of his rule. It is as if, by virtue of his public
person and private system of communication, that king is present in every department,
and through his laws, regulations, and representatives, he superintends all
his officials and watches all his subjects, and is seen by them. Behind the
veil at every level, he administers, executes his orders, and is watchful through
his decree, knowledge, and power.
Similarly, the Lord of the
Worlds, Who is the King of eternity, has at the levels of his Lordship�s manifestations
reputations and designations which are all different but which correspond to
each other. In the spheres of His Divinity, He has names and marks which are
all different but whose manifestations are concentric with one another. He has
in His majestic execution of His rule representations and appellations which
are all different but which resemble one another, and in the operations of His
Power He has titles which are all different but which are linked with each other.
In the manifestations of His Attributes He has sacred ways of disclosing Himself
which are all different but which point to one another. In His modes of acting,
He has wise operations which are of numerous sorts but which perfect one another.
In His colorful artistry and varied works of art, He has magnificent aspects
of Lordship which are of different kinds but which correspond to each other.
Besides, in every world, in every division of beings, each one of His Most Beautiful
Names is individually manifested. In that world or sphere that Name is dominant,
and the other Names are subordinate to it. Furthermore, in every level of beings,
in every small or large division of them, whose individual members are large
or small, God has a particular display of Himself, a particular manifestation
of Lordship, and a particular manifestation of one of His Names. Although the
Name in question has a universal manifestation, it concentrates on something
particular in such a way that you think it is peculiar to that thing exclusively.
In addition, although the All-Majestic Creator is nearer to everything than
itself, He is separated from it through seventy thousand veils of light. For
example, you can consider how many veils or degrees there are between the Name
of Creator and the degrees of Its creativity manifested in you, between you
and the greatest degree and supreme title which is the Creator of the Universe.
That means, provided you transcend the outward dimensions of the universe, you
may reach, through the door of being a creature, to the highest limit of the
manifestations of the Name of Creator, and draw close to the sphere of Divine
Since the veils have windows
opening on each other, and the Names appear concentric with each other, and
the designations correspond to each other, and the representations are like
one another, and the operations perfect one another, and the various dispositions
of Lordship co-operate with one another, then it is surely necessary for one
who recognizes Almighty God by one of His Names, titles, or aspects of His Lordship,
etc. that he does not deny His other titles, actions, and aspects of Lordship.
Rather, if one does not make a transition from the manifestation of one Name
to the other Names, one is in a loss. For example, if one does not notice the
Name, the All-Knowing where he sees the works of the Names, the All-Powerful
and the Creator, one may fall into heedlessness and the misguidance of regarding
nature as self-originator. Therefore, one should always keep in view and recite
�He!� and �He is God!� He should listen, and hear from everything: �He
is God, the One!� In unison with all the rest of the creation, he should proclaim:
�There is no god but He!� Thus, through the declaration, God, there is no god
but He; His are the Most Beautiful Names, the manifest Qur�an points to these
truths which I have mentioned.
If you would like to observe
those elevated truths more closely, go and ask a stormy sea or the quaking earth:
�What are you saying?� Surely, you will hear them repeating: �O Majestic
One! O Majestic One, O Honorable One of Might! O All-Compelling One!� Then ask
the small creatures and their young that are maintained with care and compassion
on the land and in the sea: �What are you saying?� For sure they will hymn:
�O Gracious One! O Gracious One! O Most Compassionate One!� Then
listen to the heavens how they sing: �O Majestic One of Grace!� Give ear
to the earth, which says: �O Gracious One of Majesty!� Pay attention to the
animals and hear how they invoke: �O Most Merciful One! O Provider!� When you
ask the springtime, you will hear it reciting many Names such as �O Most Caring
One! O Most Merciful One! O Most Compassionate One! O Most Munificent One! O
Gracious One! O Affectionate One! O Fashioner! O Illuminating One! O Favoring
One! O Adorner!� Lastly, ask a human being who is truly human, and see how he
recites and manifests all the Most Beautiful Names of God and how they are inscribed
on his forehead. If you look carefully, you too may discern them one by one.
It is as if the universe is a huge orchestra singing the Divine Names. With
the songs sung in the least notes and tones mixed with the highest, the universe
produces a magnificent harmony.
Man is the place of manifestation
of all the Names. However, the Names being various and being manifested in various
ways and degrees has caused variety in the universe, and variety in the angels�
worshipping; it is likewise responsible for varieties among human beings. This
has also resulted in differences among the laws of the Prophets, the ways of
saints, and the paths of purified scholars. For example, the Name the All-Powerful
was more predominant in Jesus, upon him be peace, than the other Names manifested
in him. In those who follow the path of love, the Name the All-Loving One prevails,
and in those who follow the path of contemplation and reflection, the Name the
So, if someone is at the
same time a teacher, an officer, a lawyer, and an inspector in the civil service,
in each office he has relations and duties, salaries and responsibilities, and
promotion, and enemies and rivals who try to cause him to fail in his services.
He meets with the king with many titles, and having recourse to him through
his many titles, seeks help from him in many ways.
In exactly the same way,
man, who is the object of the manifestations of numerous Divine Names and is
charged with many duties and is the target of many kinds of enmity, seeks refuge
in God by invoking many of His Names. In fact, the Prophet Muhammad, upon him
be peace and blessings, who is the pride of mankind and truly the most perfect
man, prayed to God through a thousand and one of Him Names in his supplication
named Jawshan al-Kabir, and sought refuge in Him from Hellfire. It is
because of this that God, in the sura, Say, I seek refuge in the Lord
of men, the Sovereign of men, The Deity of men, from the evil of the slinking
whisperer, who whispers in the breasts of men, from jinn and men, God commands
us to seek refuge in Him through three of His titles, and In the Name of God,
the Merciful, the Compassionate, He teaches us to seek help from Him through
three of His Names.