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ture leaves the effect of conflict within them, since within Nature there is contrariety and opposition, and opposites and contraries conflict with those who stand opposite them. Such are the words of the Messenger of God as related from him by God. "I had no knowledge of the higher plenum when they disputed" (Koran 38:69). Hence God describes them as disputing. Through the reality which allows them to dispute they become embodied within the forms of dense corporeal bodies. (ll 472.10) The spirits are all fathers, while Nature is the Mother, since it is the locus of transmutations. (I 138.29) From a certain point of view, the the world of composition derive from its Nature, which was mentioned by the angels. The good which becomes manifest within it derives from its Divine Spirit, which is light. Hence the angels spoke the truth. Therefore God said, "Whatever evil visits you is from yourself' (Koran 4:79). Since the World of Creation is like this, it is incumbent upon every rational person to seek protection in this light. . . . All evils are ascribed to the World of Creation, and all good is ascribed to the World of Command. (II 575.25) Though everything longs to the domain that Nature's other than God beof Nature, there are many degrees of existents, which means luminosity is greatest at

lower Nature may be seen as the source of evil, since it is basically darkness in contradistinction to the light of the spirit.
In the following passage Ibn

the highest levels and decreases as we move down from the "subtle" toward the "dense" levels of existence.
The angel is more excellent than man in worship, since it never flags, as is demanded by the reality of its plane. Its calling God holy is inherent. since its glorification derives from a presence with Him who is glorified. The angel glorifies only Him who brought it into existence. In its vt~ry essence it is purified of all heedlessness. Its natural, luminous plane docs not distract it from constant g.lorification of its Creator, even though the angels, in respect to their plane, dispute. Man is not given the power of the angel in this, since the mixture (miziij) of Nature is diverse in individuals. This is self-evident in the World of the Elcrncnrs, and even more so in the case of him who has a closer relationship to Nature than the clements. To the extent that Nature's various productions stand as intcrmcdiarics between disengaged Nature and these rhirig s which an: produced from it, the veil becomes more dense and the darkncsscs pile up. For example, how can the last human being existent from his Lord in respect to the time when He. created Adam's body with His two hands be compared to Adam? For Adam says, "My Lord created me with His two hands." His son Seth says ... Between me and my Lord is my father." Such are the natural existents ill relation to Nature, whether they be angel, celestial sphere, clement, mineral, plant, animal, man, or the angel

refers to the angelic or spiritual world the "World of Command" as opposed


the .World

al-' Arabi as
to

of

Creation,"

that

is,

the

Visible World. The name "World of Command" derives from many Koranic allusions, one of the most relevant being, "They l the angels] arc honored servants who precede Him not in speech and act according to His Command" (21 :27).
The world of creation and composition (tark,b) requires evil (slum) in its very essence. but the World of Command is 3 good (khayr) in which there is no evil. That world saw man's creation and composition from the mutually averse natures. It knew that mutual aversion is conflict (tallC'iz/.I') and that conflict leads to co rr upt iori (FHliJ) Hence it said I after God bad created Adam and was about to place him in the earth], "What. wilt Thou place therein one who will do corruption therein, and shed blood?" (Koran 2:30). ... Then there occurred what the angels had said. They saw that God said, "God loves not those who do corruption" (5; 64), and "God loves not corruption" (2: 205), so they disliked what God disliked and loved what God loved, but God's d\~crcc in creation followed the course determ incd by the Inacccssjblc, the Allknowing. The evils which became manifest within

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