Twenty Fourth Word, Fifth Branch, continuation on page 371
“If you say: How can I respond to these countless, universal bounties with my limited and partial thanks?”
The author is asking us to reflect on the above question. That is, before answering the question, one has to realize that s/he is endowed with endless bounties.
“The Answer: With a universal intention and boundless belief… For example, a man enters a king’s presence with a gift worth five cents, and he sees that other gifts worth millions have arrived from acceptable people, and have been lined up there. It occurs to him: “My present is nothing. What should I do?” Then he says suddenly: “My Lord! I offer you all these valuable gifts in my name. For you are worthy of them. If I had the power, I would have given you gifts equal to them.” Thus, the king, who has need of nothing and accepts his subjects’ gifts as a sign of their loyalty and respect, accepts that wretched man’s universal intention and wish, and the worthiness of his elevated belief as though it was the greatest gift.”
What is universal intention?
Intention is one’s recognition or awareness of what is given. In other words, it is an acknowledgment to the bounties that you realize which comprises worship i.e. acknowledgment. This acknowledgment is nothing but belief. As a result of this belief, you are inclined to respond to the Provider of all gifts.
Universal has to do with recognizing the Provider in other beings and creatures around us. Thus, universal intention is an ultimate state of consciousness or awareness of the Provider in everything that you interact with. In other words, recognizing the Creator’s qualities in everything around us and acknowledging it at a macro level.
“In exactly the same way, while performing the five daily prayers an impotent servant of Almighty God declares: “Salutations be to God!” That is, “I offer You on my own account all the gifts of worship all creatures offer you through their lives. If I had been able, I would have offered You as many salutations as them, for You are worthy of them, and worthy of more besides”. Such an intention and belief comprise extensive universal thanks. The seeds and grains of plants are their intentions.”
Human beings have the potentiality to manifest and recognize the qualities of their Creator to the maximum level. That is what the metaphorical teachings of Angels prostrating before Adam refers to. You and I are Adam. That is to say, as compared to other created beings, human beings are given the potentiality to represent the declarations made by all creatures and all humanity of the qualities of their Creator.
Since human beings are given the potentiality to present acknowledgment on behalf of all created beings, human beings can be seen as the representatives of the qualities of the Creator in a created form i.e. Caliph or vicegerent on earth.
We are given, for example, life and through being given life, we get to know the Creator of life. When we get to know that we have a Creator, we feel happy in our existence. We cannot create anything for ourselves. We just ask for results to be created because we are NEEDY individuals. Through our own life, we witness endless qualities of the Creator of the universe. This is what the author means by salutations.
- Through receiving life, the qualities of the Creator become apparent to us.
And for example, the melon utters a thousand intention in its heart in the form of the nuclei of its seed: “O my Creator! I want to proclaim the embroideries of Your Most Beautiful Names in many places on the earth.” Since Almighty God knows how future things will come about, He accepts their intention as actual worship. The rule, “A believer’s intention is better than his actions” alludes to this mystery. The wisdom in offering glorifications in also infinite numbers is understood from this mystery. For instance:
Glory and Praise be unto You to the number of Your creatures, that may be as pleasing to You as the extent of Your Throne and the ink of Your words, and we glorify You with all the glorifications of Your Prophets and saints and angels.
Just as an officer presents all the duties of his soldiers to the king in his own name, so man, who acts as officer to other creatures, commands the animals and plants, has the capacity to be vicegerent over the beings of the earth, and in his own world considers himself to represent everyone, declares:
You alone do we worship, and from You alone do we seek help.
As a result of your becoming aware that the Owner of things is not you or other created being, you acknowledge the real Provider of things. That is, through negation, you get to know the Source. When you get to know the Source, you acknowledge It as being the One that we all are in need of. This consciousness is belief which leads to acknowledgment or responding your feelings in the form of action wise worship. Please note that performing actions without awareness adds no value to one’s state of being. Only through belief can your physical actions carry meaning for you. Example: Through helping a friend, you realize that the sense of helping other is given to you. Even your realization is given to you.
In conclusion, as human beings, we, I and any other creator in the universe, own nothing (lailaha). Everything is given to us including our belief or when we are in a state of acknowledgment (illallah).
Tags: 24th Word, La ilaha illallah, Prayer, The Words, Why Pray Series, Worship