Ibn ‘Arabi, on Allah’s Eternal Knowledge of us.

The entire creation came into existence by al-‘ilm al-qa-im bi nafsi l-haq by knowledge subsistent in Allah’s Self.

Allah knows us through the ‘ilm (knowledge) of Himself and brings us into existence in accordance with His ‘ilm of us.

We are therefore al-shakl mu’ayyan on the shape entified with His ‘ilm.

If this is not the case then the shapes around us would have assumed bi hukum al-ittifaq by ‘chance’ and not by Qasd His intention, since He would not have known it.

But it is Mustahil (impossible) for a form to come into existence by chance.

Hence, if these entified shapes were neither known to Allah, nor desired by Him then He would not have brought us into existence upon it.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘Allah was and nothing was with Him. He is now as He was’.

So the shape Ma baraza ‘alayhi fi nafsihi min al-sura can only be the form that emerges within Himself.

His knowledge of Himself is His knowledge of us from eternity without beginning and not after our ‘non-existence’ meaning not after He brought us into existence from nothingness.

So His knowledge of us is the same as His knowledge of Himself.

Our likeness, which is identical with His knowledge is Qadim (without beginning) through His Qidam (Beginningless-ness).

Since it is one of His Sifat (attributes or qualities) and the hadith (temporary or created thing) does not subsist in His Dhat (Essence), Allah is far greater than that.

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