On eliminating anything antithetical to the above by-names from the Creator

  March 05, 2022   Read time 2 min
On eliminating anything antithetical to the above by-names from  the Creator
If in this issue we have emphasized that the correct assertion of the [idea of the] Creator consists in eliminating the above states of being and attributes from Him.
Thus saying that He is neither thing nor subject to definition nor subject to qualification nor in place nor in time nor being, and then say that we have correctly asserted it on the grounds that the first elimination (dūr kardan-i awwal)—that is to say, of corporeal attributes—from the Creator amounts to correct assertion of transcendent Oneness (tawḥīd-i mujarrad), this is not necessarily so. Rather, the correct assertion is that which follows [this prior] elimination. The prior elimination (dūr kardan-i pīshīn) entails [only] separation from that which marks creatures, while the [subsequent] elimination is the mark of correct assertion of the Creator in such a way that the claim about Him does not amount to [sheer] ‘divestment’ (taʿṭīl). Nevertheless, we say as follows: The Creator is not ‘thing’ and not ‘not-thing’; not subject to definition and not not-subject-to definition; not subject to qualification and not not-subject-to-qualification; not in place and not not-in-place; not in time and not not-in-time; not being and not not-being. As a result, we will have gotten rid of both ‘likening’ [Him to creatures, tashbīh] and ‘divestment’ [of existence, taʿṭīl]. We get rid of ‘likening’ through the prior elimination (dūr kardan-i nakhust) and of ‘divestment’ through the subsequent elimination (dūr kardan-i ākharīn). Thus it has been verified that [true assertion of] the transcendence of the Creator will not be achieved except by elimination of that which comes in as opposite of these eliminations, that is to say, through both the prior elimination in order to get away from likening and through the subsequent elimination in order to eliminate divestment. Understand this!
On the other hand, if we set the correct assertion of [the idea of] the Creator on one elimination of those things which we have [already] eliminated from Him [i.e., the second elimination only], thus saying that He is not ‘not-thing’ and not ‘not-being’, it follows necessarily that He becomes linked with that thing which is ‘thing’ and ‘being’. And if we say that He is not ‘not-subject-to-definition’ and not ‘not-subject-to qualification’ and not ‘not-in-time’ and not ‘not-in-place’, this amounts to likening and is no assertion of pure transcendent Oneness, because it implies that He is subject to qualification and subject to definition and in place and in time. Therefore, both the prior elimination [of ‘things’] and the subsequent elimination [of ‘not-things’] from the Creator are necessary for the pure transcendent Oneness to be [real] and absolute Singleness (fardāniyyat-i maḥḍ). Understand this!