On eliminating attributes from the Creator

  March 05, 2022   Read time 2 min
On eliminating attributes from the Creator
As for those [attributes] that exist in bodies, they are external qualifications such as the colours, the odours, the savours, warmth and coldness, softness and hardness. 

All attributes are found to exist either in substances or as adjoined to bodies or souls. As for those [attributes] that exist in the absolute substance (jawhar-i muṭlaq), that is, in the Intellect, they are, like the latter, directly originated through origination (ibdāʿ) from the Originator and caused through causation from a causing agent (ʿāll). And causedness and originatedness (mubdaʿī) are the attribute of the Prime Intellect, who is the one created primarily, not out of a thing. And whatever attribute qualifies the primarily created or all other creatures is far removed from the Creator.

As for those [attributes] that exist in bodies, they are external qualifications such as the colours, the odours, the savours, warmth and coldness, softness and hardness. As for those that exist in the soul, they are internal qualifications such as knowledge and ignorance, courage and cowardice, generosity and meanness, gentleness and intemperance. Now the Creator is far beyond whatever attribute qualifies the First Substance [i.e., Intellect] and the Second Substance [i.e., Soul] and the composed bodies and the [individual] souls; [He transcends all this] in every respect and by all means. Understand this!

Further, the attributes qualifying a thing result from something other than that thing, for, the beings pertaining to the realm of natural generation (mawālīd) take their attributes from the elements, under active influence of the celestial bodies; the elements and the [celestial] bodies receive their attributes from Nature; Nature from Soul; Soul from Intellect; and Intellect from the [creative] Word (kalimah) and the Origination by the Originator, who has no attribute whatsoever.
For example, sweetness, the attribute of anything sweet, is adjoined to a sweet thing because of the right proportion of warmth; bitterness, the attribute of anything bitter, is adjoined to a bitter thing because of excessive warmth; acidity, the attribute of anything sour, is adjoined to a sour thing because of a lack of warmth. Similarly, the attributes of Soul, which are invisible and internal, are adjoined to the Soul due to its receiving instruction from the Intellect, and they leave it [again] due to its compliance with Nature—but this concerns [only] the individual souls. Also consider the intellectual attributes, which are adjoined to the First-Originated (mubdaʿ-i awwal) due to the Origination and the [creative] Word. And the Creator is far beyond the attributes of Intellect, Soul and Body… .