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Majalis-ul Muayyadiya - by Al Muayyad fid-din Shirazi
Life and Lectures of Al Muayyad fid-din Shirazi
Contents Lectures 1 through 20 of the Majlis
Lecture 8 - The Meaning of the Six Days in Which God Created the Heavens and the Earth
O Momins, may God guide you to the right path and may He make your abode in the place where you will not hear a useless or a sinful talk.
I have told you that the thick earthly body will not rise to the skies. A belief of this kind cannot stand the test of reason. It is only the spirit which will rise and which does rise even when our body lies here during our stay in this world. It has the potential power of rising and it is not outside its province to rise in reality.
In short, the soul, which belongs to the higher regions by acquiring the powers of light, will fly back to its original abode and the body, which by nature belongs to the lower region, will go back to its low level.
The only way in which this power to soar upward can be acquired, is to learn the particular names of God through the Imams who prescribe different names of naqsh for different individuals, according to the peculiar naqsh of their souls. Through them and them alone the human soul is being prepared to reach the stage about which God says, "O peaceful soul come back to your Lord satisfied. Join my devotees and enter my jannat."
As long as our heavens continue to be what they are and our earth continues to be what it is, it is not possible for a human being to assume a form of an imperishable eternal nature. It is for these reasons that God has promised that He would change the present earth and heavens into different type of earth and heavens in order that the human beings living between the two should assume a form fit for a perpetual life. The holy Qur'an says, "The day when the earth and the heavens will change into something different from what they are." This proves to us that on the Day of Resurrection the earth and heavens will not be the material bodies of this world. If they will not be what they are, how can the creatures living between them have the defective forms and bodies of this world? This can be understood only by those who have well developed hearts or who have listened to the words of the Imam with the presence of mind.
You have heard what I have told you about the verse, "We have created heaven and earth and whatever is between the two." You have followed the lines of my argument and my criticism of the belief of those who stick to the literal meaning of these verses. I have made it clear to you that the day begins with the sun-rise and ends with the sun-set and the night begins with the sun-set and ends with the sun-rise. If there is no sun and no heavens, how can we talk of days and nights, and the period of the six days? The commentators have got stuck up in the matter and they have disposed of the verse by making an assertive statement that the period consisted of six days. This is their own imagination.
There are others, who say things which are still much worse. They say that the six days refer to the six days of the akhrat and that each day is equivalent to one thousand years of our world.
I have already pointed out to you that to stand in need of a particular period for making something is indication of the limitation of powers. God's power is unlimited. He says, "Our command is one order (which is carried out) within the twinkling of an eye." Other verses of the holy Qur'an show to us that a companion of Solomon who was his pupil and who had acquired the knowledge from him brought the throne of Bilqees to Solomon within the twinkling of his eye. In continuation of the story of Solomon in the holy Qur'an the companion of Solomon says, "I shall bring it to you before your eye turns back from looking at a thing."
If this is the magnitude of power exercised by one of the creatures of God, what difficulty is there for God, the best of Creators, to experience in the creation of the heavens and earth within the twinkling of an eye? Those who know this and still believe that God took six days to create heavens and earth prove against themselves that they have no idea of the God-hsood of God, whom they pretend to worship and hence they cannot understand the meaning of His words "Six Days."
We, with all our human weakness are gifted with a thinking power which travels from the East to the West and makes a survey of what is under the earth and what is above the skies without the least difficulty. This is a well-known affair. No one can deny it. If this is the case with us, why should it be difficult for us to understand the super power of the Creator of heavens and earth? If those who stick to the literal meaning of the holy Qur'an were to refer the matter to the Prophet and the spiritual heads, the Imams, who are the investigators of the truth, their difficulties would be solved.
The heavens and earth do not mean the heavens and earth with which we are familiar and the days do not mean the days in the sense in which we understand them. They refer to the different ranks of the Natiqs who are in charge of the taweel, which moulds our intellect and souls into new forms.
In some of our Majalis I have pointed out to you that from the physical point of view heavens surround the human beings but from the point of view of spiritual development through knowledge, human beings surround these bodies.
In short, just as our souls surround the heavens, the souls of the Imams surround our souls and are the heavens of heavens on whom alone we look for nutrition for our spirits.
May God make you profit by their philosophy and may He give you the moral strength to thank them for this.
The End of the Lecture in Majalis at Al-Azhar University
"It is a matter of sorrow to note that a Missionary of Al-Muayyad's eminence who had played a great part in the intellectual development of the Islamic thought in the fourth and the fifth century of Hijra, should have been ignored by most of the great historians of his period and of the succeeding generations. Had he himself not written his own life, we would have not come to have a thorough knowledge of this great intellectual personality and Missionary of such a high achievement." Jawad Muscati Notes: (1) According to other writers on Ismailism, Heaven stands for Haqiqat and earth stand for Tariqat. (2) The Six Days stand for the six cycles of the Natiqs (Prophets) namely: Hazrat Adam, Hazrat Noah, Hazrat Ebrahim, Hazrat Musa, Hazrat Jesus and Hazrat Muhammad.
The above lecture is one of the many lectures given by Missionary Al-Muayyad in special Majalis at Al-Azhar University in Misr (Egypt) during the time of the Fatimid Empire. It is from the book entitled "The Life and at lectures of Al Muayyad Fid-Din Al Shirazi." It contains 20 such lectures in Majalis.
This is one of the great authentic Ismaili books which has been highly recommended by Al-waez Dr. Faquir Mohammed Hunzai. During his stay in Montreal for the Doctorate from McGill University, he had conducted several jama'ati seminars, lectures and at the request from the McGill students of Islamic studies, private discussions on academic level.
Since my copy of the book is presently not in location or perhaps the borrower has forgotten to return same, I have, for the benefit of the Jinnah Family copied this lecture from "Hikmat" the Ismaili Magazine of April 30, 1978.
Contents Lectures 1 through 20 of the Majlis
Another article on Al Muayyad by Mohamed Adra
Poetry by Al Muayyad
Al Muayyad's protege Nasir Khusraw
Poetry by Nasir Khusraw
Ismaili Heroes Check out the Al Muayyad Section
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