Contributed by Jameel Kermalli,
Imam Ali (AS) explains ALLAH in Nahjul Balagha
Ali is a celestial being – pure energy – and he has been blessed access to all information within the energy of the entire creation. Because he was second in creation (after the Prophet (S) – he has been endowed with power and knowledge over the entire creation, and witnessed all events, and shall keep on witnessing the creation as it reaches its perfection and THE final goal set by Allah. No wonder the Prophet (S) had witnessed a Camel during his Me’raj which kept growing new humps every now and then. The Archangel Jibraeel (AS) remarked that the humps have never stopped growing since its birth. Apparently, these humps denote the praises of Ali as they are discovered.
Because of the knowledge and happenings of the entire creation, al-Majlisi writes that these Purified Souls (Aimmah) are thus witnesses upon the entire creation. In Kafi and in Basair, Imam Ali (AS) is reported to have said:
Allah has made us clean of evils, infallible and made us witnesses over the creation; proof (Hujjat) in His earth and also He has made Qur’an with us and us with the Qur’an. Neither we will separate ourselves from it nor will it separate itself from us.
No wonder Ali said that if the veils of the heavens were lifted, his certainty and knowledge would not increase even a bit, for he has been blessed with the knowledge of the entire creation, from the tiniest bacteria, to the biggest of galaxies.
All in these make up the reasons why Ali is such a perfect personality, that his energy was and is in union with the entire creation during the beginnings of time, and at all times – and the main reason why he and only he always put forth this question, Ask me anything you want – I know the way of the heavens more than the earth.
In Nahjul-Balagha, he even explains the origins of creation in such an explicit manner, that there is no doubt he witnessed all such events. He explains Allah, in a way no one has ever or will ever describe Him. He explains the creations of the sky, earth, clouds, the angels, and the reasons behind the creation. He even explains the feelings and remarks from these creations.
He has arranged the depressions and elevations of the openings of the sky. He has joined the breadths of its breaches, and has joined them with one another. He has made easy the approach to its heights for those (angels) who come down with His commands and those (angels) who go up with the deeds of the creatures.
He called it when it was yet (in the form of) vapor. At once the links of its joints joined up. Then Allah opened up its closed door and put the sentinels of meteors at its holes, and held them with His hands (i.e. power) from falling into the vastness of air.
He commanded it to remain stationary in obedience to His commands. He made its sun the bright indication for its day, and the moon, the gloomy indication for its night. He then put them in motion in their orbits and ordained their (pace of) movement in the stages of their paths in order to distinguish with their help between night and day, and in order that the reckoning of years and calculations may be known by their fixed movements. Then He hung in its vastness its sky and put therein its decoration consisting of small bright pearls and lamp-like stars. He shot at the over-hearers arrows of bright meteors. He put them in motion on their appointed routine and made them into fixed stars, moving stars, descending stars, ascending stars, ominous stars and lucky stars.
Then Allah, the Glorified, created for inhabiting of His skies and populating the higher strata of his realm new (variety of) creatures namely the angels. With them He filled the openings of its cavities and populated with them the vastness of it circumference. In between the openings of these cavities there resounds the voices of angels glorifying Him in the enclosures of sublimity, (behind) curtains of concealment and in veils of His Greatness. And behind this resounding, which deafens the ears, there is the effulgence of light, which defies the approach of sight to it, and consequently the sight stands, disappointed at its limitation.
He created them in different shapes and with diverse characteristics. They have wings. They glorify the sublimity of His Honor. They do not appropriate to themselves His skill that shows itself in creation. Nor do they claim they create anything in which He is unparalleled.
Allah spread the earth on stormy and tumultuous waves and the depths of swollen seas, where waves clashed with each other and high surges leapt over one another. They emitted foam like the he-camel at the time of sexual excitement. So the tumult of the stormy water was subdued by the weight of the earth, when the earth pressed it with its chest its shooting agitation eased, and when the earth rolled on it with its shoulder bones the water meekly submitted.
Thus after the tumult of its surges it became tame and overpowered, and an obedient prisoner of the shackles of disgrace, while the earth spread itself and became solid in the stormy depth of this water. (In this way) the earth put an end to the pride, self-conceit, high position and superiority of the water, and muzzled the intrepidity of its flow. Consequently it stopped after its stormy flow and settled down after its tumult.
Thereafter He did not leave alone the barren tracts of the earth where high portions lacked in watersprings and where rivers could not find their way, but created floating clouds, which enliven the unproductive areas and grow vegetation. He made a big cloud by collecting together small clouds and when water collected in it and lightning began to flash on its sides and the flash continued under the white clouds as well as the heavy ones He sent it raining heavily. The cloud was hanging towards the earth and southerly winds were squeezing it into shedding its water like a she-camel bending down for milking.
When the cloud prostrated itself on the ground and delivered all the water it carried on itself, Allah grew vegetation on the plain earth and herbage on dry mountains. As a result, the earth felt pleased at being decorated with its gardens and wondered at her dress of soft vegetation and the ornaments of its blossoms. Allah made all this means of sustenance for the people and feed for the beasts. He has opened up highways in its expanse and has established minarets (of guidance) for those who tread on its highways.