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Observations placeholder

Jili, Abd al-Karim - Al-Kahf wa al-raqim - 080 Section 7



Type of Spiritual Experience


Remember the many layers of symbolic meaning - here he has switched to use the letters and numbers to describe levels and layers of ascension

A description of the experience

ABD AL-KARIM AL-JILI: Tawid, Transcendence and Immanence – Dr Nicholas Lo Polito [University of Birmingham] - The Cave and the Inscription


(41) The number of the Alif is one, but one is not a number like the others. Because the term number refers to a progressive sequence of the one at two levels and beyond and its function is to give sense to the naming of [things] counted: at the level of variations in meaning and quantity. But the one in itself does not present any variation because it has no equals. It does not fall into the category of numbers from this perspective. However it does fall into [that category] insofar as one realises the lack of variation in itself. But it is a number unlike [any other] numbers. Likewise a rational [mind] would say that God is someone unlike anything else.

The protrusion of the Alif by its one dimension determines the passage from the dot to the number one. And this dimension is only length. Because the dot has no length, nor width, nor depth, nor height. While [the Alif] has only length in a straight line.

As for the Ba’ it manifests itself instead in the number two, having two dimensions, length and width - its head being the width and its body the length.

The Jim is made evident in the number three because it comes through length, width and depth - or if you wish you may say depth and height, for both are indeed equal, and change by changing the perspective: if you started from the bottom you would call it height, while if you came down from the top to the bottom you would call it depth.

This argumentation is not about numbers; it is instead a sublime mystery. I am the first one to reveal it. And indeed we have manifested that it was unfolded to us and we are able to say that we are talking [now] about the remainder of the whole of the numbers of the letters and their secrets. Each letter according to its location, to what the number has determined in it, its secret and the secret of each number in itself, and [all this expressed] in this truthful language, if God so wishes - may He be exalted.

(42) (The Ba’) is the throne and the dot is the essence that speaks - called, because of some of its expressions, “the heart” that contains God. [The dot] is the hidden essence (Huwiyya), called the secret treasure that remains a treasure in its secrecy forever. The Ba’ [sets] the standard of the numbers because [the dot] is the first number and there is no number without the Ba’ in it. In the same way the [divine names] pertaining to [God’s] mercy - [setting] the standard for the [other] personal names [of God] - are called “seven names” (or “the major seven”). In fact, the same applies to every [divine] name. As the Truth says - may He be exalted, “Say: call upon God or call upon the All Compassionate; either way you call upon [the same One] to Whom [these] beautiful names” belong.

And from those (names) that are not mentioned we have, he says, “Your transcendent [reality].”

The source of the experience

Jili, Abd al-Karim

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