|MEANING OF “THE TRUST”|
|Published by Maularna|
|Sunday, 17 July 2011 00:42|
On June 13, 2011, By Waqar Akbar Cheema
Following is Chapter 6 of the Book I from “The Conclusive Argument from God –Shah Wali Allah of Dehli’s Hujjat Allah al-Baligha” Translated by Marcia K . Hermansen pubished by Islamic Research Institute, International Islamic University, Islamabad, 2003
The Inner Dimension of the Imposition of Religious Obligations
God, may He be Exalted said, “We offered the Trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains and they refused to bear it and shrunk from it, but man took it up, indeed he was unjust and ignorant. Therefore He will punish the hypocrites, male and female, and the polytheists, male and female, and forgive the faithful men and women, for God is forgiving and merciful.”
Al-Ghazzali, al-Baidawi and others have pointed out that what is meant by “the Trust” (amana) is the assumption of the commitment to obey God’s commands which exposed them to the risk of reward and punishment on the basis of obedience and disobedience. By the Trust’s being offered to them (the heavens, earth, etc.) their capacity was taken into consideration, and by their refusal (of the Trust), is meant natural refusal based on the absence of suitability and capacity. By man’s taking it up is meant his fitness and capacity for it.
I hold that on this point there is His, may He be Exalted, speech, “he was unjust and ignorant” which functions as an explanation; for the unjust person is the one who is not just, while he should be just; and ignorant person is the one who does not have knowledge when he should have. Beings other than man are either knowing and just, untouched by sin and ignorance, such as the angels are, or they are neither just and nor knowing, neither is it their place to acquire these qualities; such is the case for animals. The only one suited for imposition of religious obligations and having the capacity for it is the one who has the potential of perfection and not the actuality. The letter “l” prefixed to His saying “he will punish” (liyu’adhdhiba) is the “l” of consequence, as if He said that the result of taking up the Trust would be punishment or reward. If you desire that the truth of the matter be disclosed to you, then you must imagine the condition of angels in their transcendence. They are neither disturbed by any state arising from the deficiency of the animal force such as hunger, fear, thirst, or sorrow; nor by its excesses such as lust, anger and vanity, and they are not preoccupied with nutrition and growth and what pertains to there. They remain exclusively occupied with waiting for what shall come to them from Above them. Then, when a command filters down on them from Above resolving the establishment of desired system or pleasure or anger at a certain thing, they become totally filled with it and obey it, and they are dispatched to undertake whatever it requires. In this they are oblivious to what their own volition and subsist through the purpose of what is above them.
Then imagine the state of the beasts, stained by the sensual forms, continuously infatuated with natural needs, totally absorbed in them. They are not provoked to do anything except by animalistic provocations traceable to a concrete benefit, they abandon themselves solely to the demands of their nature.
Thus you should know that the Creator, may His state be Exalted, deposited in man through His splendid wisdom two forces. One is angelic force which branches out from the emanation of the spirit particularized for man into the natural spirit (al-ruh al-tabi’yyah). This natural spirit pervades the body, and it receives that emanation and is subject to it. The second is an animalistic force (quwwa bahimiyya) branching out from the animating soul (al-nafs al-hawaniyya) common to all animals, which is given shape by the faculties inhering in the natural spirit. It is self sufficient and the human spirit submits to it and obeys its orders. Then you should know that competition and contention occurs between these two forces. The former pulls toward the high and later toward the low. Whenever the animal force becomes apparent and its effects dominate, the angelic side is concealed, and likewise the reverse.
The Creator, may He be Exalted, has a concern for every system and generosity toward which original and acquired capacities ask of Him. Thus, if someone acquires animalistic attitudes, God helps him in this and makes what is appropriate for them easy for him, and if he acquires angelic attitudes, God aids in them and makes what is appropriate for them easy for him. For God, may He be Glorified and Exalted, has said, “As for the one who gives (to the needy) and fears God and affirms the good, We make these things easy for him, while the one who is miserly and deems himself independent, and denies goodness. We shall make this easy for him.” And he said, “Both of them, these and those, are aided by the gifts of your Lord, for the giving of your Lord is not restricted.”
Each force (the angelic and animalistic) has its own pleasure and pain. Pleasure is the perception of what is suitable for it and the pain is the perception of what is not suitable for it. How similar is the condition of man to the condition of someone who used a painkiller in his body, so that he experienced no pain in being scorched by fire until its effect wore off, and when he returned to his normal state bestowed by nature he experienced such severe pain. This condition of man is also similar to that of the rose, which, according to what the doctors say, contains three forces; and earthly force apparent when it is crushed and made into powder, a watery force seen when it is squeezed and drunk, and an airy force apparent when it is smelt.
Thus it is clear that religious obligation is one of the requirements of the species and that man asks his Lord through means of his capacity that God will enjoin him with what is appropriate for the angelic and that He will reward him according to that, and that He will forbid his engrossment in animalistic and punish him for that, and God knows best.