A Fortunate Fall

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a fortunate fallIbn Ata’ Allah al-Iskandari

Let’s review the sequence of events that led Adam into this world, to clarify their inner significance. First God disclosed the divine presence to Adam by giving him existence, Adam came to know God through this and called out, “O desiring One!” Then God gave knowledge of the divine to Adam through divine commands deciding that approaching the tree was forbidden; Adam came to know God through this and called out, “O deciding One!”

Then God gave knowledge of the divine to Adam through pronouncing judgment upon him for the trespass of his eating what was forbidden; Adam came to know God through this and called out, “O overpowering One!” Then God granted him respite instead of rushing to punish him; Adam came to know God through this and called out, “O forbearing One!”

Then God refrained from revealing Adam’s shame; Adam came to know God through this and called out, “O concealing One!” God extended to Adam repentance; Adam called out, “O forgiving One!”

At this point, God made clear to Adam that his disobedience did not sever divine love for him; Adam called out, “O loving One!” Then God caused Adam to descend into the world and lightened for him the toilsome means of survival; Adam called out in acknowledgement, “O Subtle One!” Then God strengthened Adam to do what was required of him in the world; Adam called out in response, “O supporting One!” Then God revealed to Adam the subtle truth concealed in his eating and forbidding and descending; Adam called out in recognition, “O wise One!” Then God reinforced Adam against the tempting enemy’s deceptive snares; Adam called out in relief, “O vanquishing One!”

Then God let Adam find felicity in the trials of carrying out his weightily duties; Adam called out, “O helping One!”

Thus God lowered Adam into this world solely to complete for him his experiential knowledge of all the divine names in their comprehensiveness, to make him bear up straight and tall under the burden of his obligations. In Adam, God completed two facets of worshipful humanity: worship in acknowledging the divine presence through intimate knowledge and worship in fulfilling obligations and necessary actions. Through this sequence of events, God greatly enhanced the constant, subtle blessings for Adam and intensified the wholesome divine presence that is with him. Ponder all these facets deeply and understand.

from the Kitab al-Tanwir fi Isqat al-Tadbir

2017-01-29T15:55:49+00:00