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But there are other passages in our treatise which, when carefully studied, lead to the belief that in Ghazzâlî's own mind--though the identification is nowhere explicitly stated or significantly hinted--the Mutâ` is none than al-Rûh, THE SPIRIT OF ALLAH.[1]

In S. 17, 87, Mohammed himself had left this enigmatic entity as a divinely uncommunicated,

[1. Nicholson. The Idea of Personality in Sûfism, pp. 44, 45. The identification had occurred independently to the present writer before appearance of Professor Nicholson's work. It had also occurred independently to Professor D. B. Macdonald.]

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and therefore incommunicable, mystery. The passage runs as follows: "They ask thee of The Spirit: say, The Spirit pertains to my Lord's Word-of-Command, and ye have not been communicated knowledge [of It] save a little." The Arabic of the words italicized is min amri rabbî; and we are again faced, at the outset, with the troublesome double meaning of the word amr. The phrase min amr might merely mean--perhaps did only mean--"a matter of"[1] (my Lord's), a vague phrase, common in Arabic, meaning "something that pertains to" so and so. But in a case like this, we are not concerned with what Mohammed may originally have meant, but what mystic writers have taken him to mean. And enormously though this verse attracted puzzled, and baffled commentators and mystics of all ages, the latter seem to have taken the word amr, with practical unanimity, in the far more significant sense of "Command". The Hebrew root means "speak", and this meaning is implicit in the Arabic root also, which signifies spoken command. And

[1. The word min is itself tantalizingly ambiguous. It might mean "(derived) from" or "(part) of" or "pertaining to." Under such circumstances one looks round for the vaguest possible phrase to render the preposition.]

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just as later Jewish writers made out of a derivative of this root a Logos doctrine (Memra), so the Mohammedan mystics came near to making a Logos doctrine out of the word amr, taking their start from this very text.

A mystery having been definitely started by this text, a haze of mystification was thrown over the entire subject of "spirit": over angels as "spirits", over the human "spirit", the prophetic "spirit"; the interrelation between these, and the relation of all to "the Spirit"; finally Its relation to Allah. In our treatise there is a full measure of this mystification.

"The Spirit" is ar-Rûh. With this may be absolutely identified h Allah "The Spirit of God"; huhu "His Spirit"; and al-Rûhu-l Qudsî[1] (or hu-l Qudsî) "The Transcendent Spirit"--all Koranic expressions.

What then are the considerations which suggest that we have in this Figure of Mystery

[1. This is the Arabic for the Christian "The Holy Spirit". But in Arabic as in early Hebrew the word emphasized the idea of separation or transcendence rather than of righteousness or holiness.]

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the key to the mystery of the Vicegerent? On this supposition there would be no wonder that Ghazzâlî left the figure of the latter a mystery, and declined to divulge the secret of it (p. [55]). He could not divulge the whole secret, because by the decree of Allah and the Book, he could not know it himself--"save a little." And, there is no wonder he declined to discuss it, considering the interminable complexities and baffling obscurities of the recorded musings of Sûfî doctors on the theme.

At the very outset we are struck by the fact that the word Mutâ` occurs in the Koran (S. 81, 23), and not only so, but it occurs as an attribute of the mysterious Agent of Revelation, the vision of whom Mohammed saw at the. first (S. 53, 5-16). The text 87, 23, is not definitely cited in Mishkât; and in later Islâm the commentators, with their arid tameness, made a stereotyped identification of this Figure with the Angel Gabriel. But the Koran gives no warrant for this; and there is nothing in the Mishkât to show that Ghazzâlî thus taught. On the contrary, Gabriel is assigned a low place

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in the angelic hierarchy. No one can read those two Koranic passages (in S. 87 and S. 53) without feeling that Mohammed's awful visitant on those two occasions was the One of absolute supreme rank in the heavenlies: not a spirit but the Spirit. And It was mutâ`--"one who is obeyed." Is it not but a very short step from this to al-Mutâ`, The Obeyed-One?

The identification, however attractive, would nevertheless be precarious if there was not so much in the Mishkât itself that supports this identification.

(1) On p. [15] the ultimate kindling-place of the graded Lights, of which the Prophets occupy the lower and terrestrial ranks and the Angelic Beings the higher and celestial, is the theme of discussion. Both these ranks of beings are compared to "lights" and all of them are contrasted with the Highest of all, who is compared to "fire", from whose flame these graded lights are successively lit, from top to bottom. Who and what is this Highest of all next to Allah? He is said to be an Angel with countenances seventy thousand'. . . {p. 37} This is he who is contrasted with all the angelic host, in the words: 'On that day whereon THE SPIRIT ariseth, and the Angels, rank on rank.'" It is thus explicitly clear that this Being is the highest of all possible beings in heaven or earth next to Allah; and so, if the Vicegerent of p. [55] is also the highest of all, it would seem inevitable to equate them.

(2) In the very next page, p. [16], Ghazzâlî schematizes this conception, and, comparing Allah with the Sun (the source of light in the terrestrial system), he compares the highest of the ministrant lights to the Moon (all others being reflections, or reflections-of-reflections, of it). This "Highest is the one who is nearest to the Ultimate Light: . . . that Nighest to Allah, he whose rank comes nighest to the Presence Dominical, which is the Fountainhead of all these Lights" This "Nighest" and "Highest" cannot be other than THE SPIRIT spoken of in the preceding page. And on p. [31]--unless Ghazzâlî has suddenly changed all the symbols--the Sun is said to be the Sovereign, while "the antitype of the Moon will be that Sovereign's Minister (wakîl), for it is through

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the moon that the sun sheds his light on the world in its own absence, and even so it is through his own wakîl that the Sovereign makes his influence felt by subject who never beheld the royal person". Does not this wakîl who stands "highest and nighest" to his Liege-Lord, and who makes himself obeyed by all that Lord's subjects, strongly suggest "the Obeyed One", al-Mutâ`, the Vicegerent of the conclusion, whose function is, precisely, this?

(3) But what perhaps clinches the matter is the tell-tale word amr in that passage about al-Mutâ` himself on p. [55]. Those who stopped short of complete illumination, he says, identified al-Mutâ` with Allah just because he moves the primum mobile (and so all things) "with his Word of Command" (amr). "The explication of which amr (he continues), and what it really is, contains much that is obscure, and too difficult for most minds, besides going beyond the scope of this book." And then he says that the perfect Illuminati perceived that, al-Mutâ` the Obeyed One is not more than the Highest--other-than-Absolute-Deity, and is related to Him as the sun to Essential Light

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(mysterious enough this!) or as a glowing coal to the Elemental Fire: and therefore they turned their faces from that Being "who commanded (amara) the moving of the Heavens" to the One Existent, Transcendent, Incomparable, Predicateless.

With this word amr thus impressed on us with such penetrating significance we turn back to the Koran text: "The Spirit pertains to my Lord's Word of Command (amr) . . ." Unless the word min introduces a quite upsetting element, the identification between this SPIRIT and the Commander who is Obeyed seems complete.

But the history of the Sûfî teaching on the text shows that min need introduce no such upsetting element, and that the practical identification of Amr with h, of The Word of Command with The Spirit, was with the Mystics a familiar idea. It was the explicit teaching of al-Hallâj[1] and the typical "word of command" which this Divine Spirit gave was the fiat "Kun!"

[1. Massignon, op. cit., pp. 519-21.]

{p. 40} "Be!"[1] We have seen the fascination which this treatise shows al-Hallâj had for al-Ghazzâlî. Does it not seem likely, nay almost certain, that in his meditation on the inscrutable text he followed al-Hallâj in this equation, with whatever mental reserve regarding the Spirit itself--whether divine or creaturely, eternal or originate? Not that it was only Imâmites or extreme Sûfî Sunnites like al-Hallâj who asserted the divinity of The Spirit. The ultra-orthodox Hanbalites "admitted in some manner the eternity of the h Allah".[2] Ibn Hanbal himself had given them the lead with a characteristic hedging aphorism (which reminds us of similar remarks on the Sifat, the Kalâm Allah, and the Qur'ân) "Whoever says that al-Rûh is created, (makhlûq) is a heretic: whoever says that It is eternal (qadîm) is an infidel."[3] His followers held fast on to "uncreate", and it was hard to keep "eternal" from following. No wonder al-Ghazzâlî

[1. This mediation of the creative function would carry with it the mediation of the administrative. In this connexion use would unquestionably be made of S. 7, 53, "the sun, the moon, and the stars are compelled-to-work by His amr--His Word-of-Command--His Spirit--exactly the function of al-Mutâ`.

2. Massignon, op. cit., p. 664.

3. Ib., p. 661.]

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gave a unique and mysterious tinge to his similitude for "The Obeyed", and that It figures, virtually, as an Arian Logos. Th more one reflects on what is said about the function of this Being in M., p. [55], and especially Its comparison with the Sun (Allah being Essential Light), or with glowing coal (Allah being Elemental Fire), the more unique It appears, and: the more mysterious our author's thought about It becomes. For such functions, and such a relation to Absolute Deity, are in very truth entirely unique, in kind as well as degree; and, thus described, the Vicegerent becomes, in a secondary way, as unique a Figure as is Deity Itself. No wonder the passage raised doubts as to the soundness of our author's monotheism! No wonder he was not anxious to go more deeply into the matter, out of consideration for the limited spiritual capacities of his readers! Perhaps, to preserve his own faith in the Unity, Indivisibility, and absolute Uniqueness of Allah,. he was glad to leave the dark problem of the Vicegerent where Allah Himself had left that of--the Spirit--an uncommunicated and incommunicable mystery, which now he only knew in

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part, and only saw as in a glass, darkly.

It remains to consider whether there is any evidence that Ghazzâlî extended the equation Mutâ` = Amr = h to include the Nûr Muhammadî (as suggested tentatively by Professor R. Nicholson in his lectures on "The Idea of Personality in Sûfism"'), the archetypal spirit of Mohammed, the Heavenly Man created in the image of God, and regarded as a Cosmic Power on whom depends the order and preservation of 'the universe. If this could be sustained it would to some extent modify the conclusion reached before that al-Mutâ` had nothing to do with any human being, idealized or not, whether a Prophet or even Mohammed; though even so, there would be a vast difference between this archetypal Spirit and the historical Prophet.

While the germs of this idea, as of every other one, may be found much earlier than Ghazzâlî's century (the fifth), the study of the sketch which M. Massignon gives of the history of the doctrine (Hallâj, pp. 830 seqq.) does not create the impression that it was developed or

[1. Pp. 46, 47, and Lecture III.]

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received in orthodox circles[1] up to Ghazzâlî's time. Professor Nicholson does not find it in an orthodox Sûfî writer earlier than `Abdu-l Qâdir al-Jîlânî (b. 571, d. 561), in the generation immediately succeeding that of Ghazzâlî.[2] After which the doctrine developed and spread amazingly, reaching its height with Ibn al-`Arabî al-Jîlî several centuries later.[3]

Thus the a-priori evidence is this time decidedly against Ghazzâlî's having anything to do with this doctrine. Unless, therefore, very clear actual evidence were found in his writings, it would be surely justifiable to assert definitely that it is not Ghazzâlîan. It appears not to be found in his works other than al-Mishkât. If this is so, it may be further asserted with confidence that it is not found in al-Mishkât either.

On the contrary, there is much there that shows a relatively simple, primeval conception of Mohammed on the part of Ghazzâlî. For him the archetypal man is Adam, as in the Koran,

[1. It was at first prevalently Imâmite and Shî`ite (Nicholson, Idea of Personality in Sûfism, p. 58).

2. He described Muhammed as al-rûh al-qudus and h jasad al-wajûd "the Transcendent Spirit, the Spirit of the body of the Universe."

3. Nicholson, op. cit., p. 59.]

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not Mohammed.[1] An examination of the passage[2] in which the idea of the "Khalîfa" appears shows that here also his thought was not esoteric, and that Mohammed was not in his mind: he is thinking of the whole human race, or of Adam himself, the first and representative human being, the only "Khalîfa" particularized by the Koran. And the one passage in the Mishkât which at first sight does look as if it contained a "high doctrine of the person" of Mohammed, turns out on closer inspection to, prove the exact reverse, viz. that essentially be belonged to this world and to the time-order--to the prophets, above whom are ranked the celestial "Lights" culminating, as we have. seen, in the Supreme Angelical, The Spirit. This passage is on pp. [14, 15]. Here we have the Transcendent Spirit Prophetical (al-Rûh al-qudus al-nabawî) attributed to Mohammed as prophet, by reason of which he is called a Luminous Lamp (sirâj munîr). If this stood by itself we might be suspicious of something esoteric. But immediately after this the other prophets, and even saints, are said to be

[1. M., p. [34].

2. M., p. [22].]

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"Lamps"', and to possess, as Its name implies this Spirit Prophetical. The sequel shows that this Spirit is the Fire from which all the Angelical lights above and the Prophetical lights beneath are lit, and that this Spirit is the Supreme Angelical, "The Spirit," as in the passage already discussed.'

To sum up the conclusion to which I have been led by a consideration of the evidence of the Mishkât itself, top-ether with the a-priori evidence which supplements it and is checked by it,--the heavenly Vicegerent is the Spirit of Allah, the Transcendent Spirit of Prophecy, the divine Word-of-Command; he is not a Qutb or any Adept; he is not Mohammed nor the archetypal spirit of Mohammed.

Whether this mystery of the Vicegerent was connected in our author's mind with that of the divine-human, archetypal Sûra, as developed by al Hallâj and other advanced Mystics, will be discussed later.

[1. See above, pp. 36-37 The only thing that puzzles is that Ghazzâlî sometimes distributes and pluralizes the Spirit, see p. [15, l. 4] and p. [22. l. 8]. In each case the regulative singular, however, is close by. This reminds one of Rev. iv, 5 and v. 6, compared with Rev. ii. 7.]

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Next: VIII. Al-Ghazzali And The Seven Spheres