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Majalis-ul Muayyadiya - by Al Muayyad fid-din Shirazi
Life and Lectures of Al Muayyad fid-din Shirazi
Contents Lectures 1 through 20 of the Majlis
Lecture 18- The Holy Tree

The holy Qur'an says, "O Adam, stay you and your wife in the ‘jannat' etc." The commentators tell us that God made Adam stay in ‘jannat' and permitted him to eat its fruits excepting the forbidden tree. They say that the forbidden tree stands for wheat. We know well that wheat is never counted in the category of trees. Others say that it stands for the fruit olive. Whatever it may be, it does not look proper on the part o God that He should select one of His creatures as a ‘Nabi', He should ask the angels to bow down to him, He should place the whole of ‘jannat' at his disposal and yet He should not permit him to approach one of its trees. For whom did He intend to reserve this tree? Had He any other man in view that was dearer to Him or higher in rank than Adam? When one does not want to part with something it is either because he wants it for himself or he wants to set it apart for someone else whom he wants to favour. Evidently God did not want to keep it for some oneelse whom He wanted to favour. Who could be more deserving of His favours than the one who was chosen by Him as His ‘Nabi' and was made the ‘Qibla' for the Angels?

If this is not in conformity with the dignity of God, if it sounds like an impossibility, then it is the duty of an intelligent investigator of truth, that he should find out by means of his intelligence, a sensible explanation which does not detract from the dignity of God and which at the same time saves Adam from the disgrace of being dubbed as an avaricious person.

In the words of the Qur'an, "Stay you and your wife in the ‘jannat'", in view of the fact that the ‘jannat' is situated in heavens, it is a lofty place and in view of the fact that it contains things which satisfy the souls and pleases the eyes, it is a glorious place. In the science of ‘Taweel' it is a ‘Masal' for the divine power, which is conferred on His ‘Natiq'. Hence, in view of the fact that the ‘Natiq' occupies the highest position with God he is as well acquainted with the nature of the souls of the human beings as the latter are with the physical nature of the lower animals. Again, in view of the fact that the souls of these ‘Natiqs' are fully absorbed in the holy regions, they are the veritable ‘jannat'.

Hence, the Qur'anic words, "Stay you and your wife in the ‘jannat'" mean "take delight in your share of the divine power which you have received from the higher "Hudud' and move about freely in the spiritual garden enjoying the heavenly fruit." The additional words of God, "Eat from it without reservation whatever you like" do not mean the ordinary eating of the earthly products for the preservation of the body. Eating in the sentence has got an inner meaning. It means to take the fullest advantage of your inner world, which is the abode of your soul, and nourish it with the spiritual food just as the body is sustained with the physical food. That is to say whether one is a ‘Natiq' or as ‘Isas' or the Imam or the ‘Hujjat' he has to preserve his spiritual power by feeding his spirit on the special knowledge he possesses just as one preserves his physique by means of the physical food.

The Qur'anic words, "Eat from it without reservation" signify that these ‘Natiqs' or the ‘Isas' or the Imams or the ‘Hujjats' are required to absorb as much of the divine light as they can.

In the above words of God, "Do not touch this tree," the word ‘tree' in the Qur'an is a symbol for the highest point in the spiritual world which was beyond the reach of Adam. This is the tree to which God has compared ‘Kalma' in the Qur'an. Some say it means the Kalma-e-Shahadat. The Qur'an says, "Do you not see how God has compared ‘Kalma-e-Tayebba' to a good tree." Some say the tree here stands for the palm-tree. How ridiculous will it look, if we accept their explanation of the tree as the palm-tree, that God should compare the divine unity to the palm-tree and raise it to this importance! It is not an ordinary tree grown on earth. It has created the confusion in the minds of the ignorant fellows. This is the tree of test to which Adam was put. The cursed Satan was right when he said, "It is a tree of perpetuity. It is a kingdom which will never be destroyed." But he was wrong when he misled Adam by making him believe that he was quite fit to live in that kingdom. He played a treacherous part in including Adam to eat it i.e. to enter that kingdom.

In the science of ‘taweel' the ‘good tree' occupies a very important place. It refers to the higher ‘Hudud'. Hence, the tree which is like ‘Kalma-e-Tayebba', is a ‘masal' for the ‘Natiq' who is an innovator in this world. Certainly he is a better person to be compared to ‘Kalma-e-Tayebba', than a palm-tree. The Prophet says, "I am a tree, Fatima is its branch, ‘Ali is its pollen and Hasan and Husain are its fruits and those who love us, the ‘Ahl-e-bait' are its leaves who will be with us in the jannat."

The additional words of the Qur'an, "Do not approach this tree otherwise you will be the transgressors", signify that they should not desire to carry themselves to a place which is beyond their reach. It will mean putting a thing in a wrong place and this is positively a ‘zulm', a transgression. "And Satan misled them and took them out from the place of security", by a wrong piece of advice. The words "Come down" signify that they were degraded. The words, "For you the resting place is on earth and it is a temporary thing for sometime" signify that Adam was deprived of the privilege of being guided by divine knowledge and thereafter he had to depend on knowledge acquired through his senses.

Lecture 19

Contents Lectures 1 through 20 of the Majlis
Another article on Al Muayyad by Mohamed Adra
Poetry by Al Muayyad
Al Muayyad's protege Nasir Khusraw
Poetry by Nasir Khusraw
Ismaili Heroes Check out the Al Muayyad Section
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