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attribute it [Q creation, you say that it is temporally originated. So the Cloud innsmuch as it is a description of the Real is a divine description (wasJ iiahl). but inasmuch as it is a description of the cosmos it is an engendered description (waif kiyanl). Its descriptions arc diverse according to the diversity of the entities which are described. God says concerning His beginningless and eternal Speech, "There comes not to them a remembrance from their Lord temporally originated (mul}dath), [but they listen to it yet playing, diverted their hearts]" (21:2). Hence He described His Speech as temporally originated, since it came down upon a temporally originated person, in respect to whom there originated in time something which he did not know. So it is temporally originated for him, without doubt. As for this temporally originated thing: Is it temporally originJted in itself or not? If we say that it is the attribute of the Real of which His majesty is worthy, we will say that it is eternal. without doubt. For He is far too exalted for temporally originated attributes to subsist within Him. So the Speech of the Real is Eternal in itself and eternal in relationship to God. but also temporally originated. just as He said to him to whom H.: sent it down. In the same way, one of the faces of its eternity, in respect to him to whom it is sent down, is its relationship to temporal origination. This also demands that it possess the attribute of eternity, since, were rerupo ral origination to be removed from the created things, there could he no relationship of eternity, nor (QuIJ eternity be conceived. The reason for this is that relationships which have opposites can only be conceived through opposites. (II



is established


it and

creation, that name becomes the reality of the creature to which it is related. The one reality to which every real thing relates can only be the Universal Reality, which embraces all names and all entities.
The Universal Reality is the spirit of every haqq. Should a i!(lq'l be empty of it, it ceases to he a haqq. That is why the Prophet said, "All I:wqqs have a reality" In this saying he employs a word which, when free of delimiting contexts, demands all-inclusiveness (ihii!a), that is, the word "all." In the same way the concept of knowledge, or life, or desire [includes all knowledge. all life, all desire]. In reality, the Universal Reality is a single intelligible thing (ma'qii/). When a specific quality (amr) is attributed tCl it, it then possesses a name which comes into temporal being (hudiith). Then when that specific quality is attributed to an essence which is known to have existence, even though its reality is not known. that specific quality is attributed to that dcterminate essence in accordance with what it requires. If that essence is described by eternity, then this specific quality is described by eternity. If it is described by temporal origination, then the quality is described by the same. But the quality in itself is not described by existence, since it has no entity, nor by nonexistence, since it is an intelligible thing, nor by temporal origination, since the Eternal cannot be described by that; it cannot be a locus for temporally originated things. Nor is the quality (kscrihed by eternity, since the temporally originated thing accepts description by the quality, and the temporal thing is not described by the eternal. nor can the eternal elwell (I;liill) ill the temporal. Hence it is neither eternal nor temporally originated. If the temporally originated thing is described by it, it is named temporally originated, and if the eternal is described by it, it is named eternal. It is truly eternal in the eternal, and it is truly temporally originated in the temporally origmated, since it stands opposite everything that becomes described by it in its

Ibn al-' Arabi finds an allusion

Universal Reality in the I.laqqs have a [single] reality. I:laqq he seems to understand If al-~aqq with the definite Real, then ~aqq without the



hadith, "All ",,, l.. [ere by

"real thing." article is the article refers to any manifestation of the Real. But the Heal Itself is the Essence, beyond the specification of any name. Once the Real is specified by a name. that is, a relation-


example, both the Real and the are described by knowledge. It is