When our father Adam, the first human being Allah created, opened his eyes – when Allah blew into him his soul from His own soul – he looked at the rest of existence. And he saw it as a circle. Everything was evolving around the circle of Becoming and Being. Actually there are two circles, one of fire and one of wet earth. And he saw that the evolution of the whole universe is a manifestation of the divine order kun – the cause, the power, the order of consequent becomings, without fail and forever coming from it. As no one and nothing can fall out of these revolving circles, nor any can be excluded, it is what they see that counts.
Some will see the K as Perfection and strive to be perfect, and some will see it as Unbelief and become disbelievers. Some will find enlightenment in the meaning of the letter N and become wise, and others will find comfort in their heedlessness and think of the letter N as their preference for ignorance over awareness.
None can save themselves from the effect of their faith in what they see as truth. This is determined by One who created them and what they see, and what they understand from what they see. Everyone is bound to stay within the circumference of the circles on which they revolve. None can be other than what is willed by the One who said Be! And all became. Everything faces the center of the circle kun and depends on it all its being.
Then you too look at that Tree of Being, whose branches cover the whole universe. Although every branch, every leaf, every fruit is different, they have all shot up from a single seed, the seed of love named kun.
When our father Adam was brought by his Creator to school to learn, to become the human being destined to be the deputy of Allah in the universe, he was first taught all the names of things in existence.
Then in awe he faced the word kun, the divine order Be, the cause of all being. What did it mean? He sought the intention of the One who brought all this into being and saw the the first letter K related to the word kanziyyah (the Hidden Treasure), when Allah said:
I was a hidden treasure and I loved to be known, and I created the creation so that I would be known. And in the last letter N he saw the identity of the Creator, when He said ana Allah (I am Allah)
Surely I am Allah, there is no god but I, so serve Me…
(Surah Ta Ha, 14)
Then one after another it was revealed to him that the K of the kanziyyah indicated the gifts of Allah upon him and his progeny in the word karam (generosity) of his Lord, as promised in His words:
And surely We have honored the children of Adam and We carry them on land and sea, and We provide them with good things, and We have made them to excel highly above most of those whom We have created
(Surah Bani Isra’il, 70)
And again, the K meant to Adam kuntiyyah (becoming, from “I become”) in Allah’s promise, which He said:
When my faithful servant comes close to Me with extra devotions, he loves Me and I love him: and when I love him, I become his eyes with which he sees, I become his ears with which he hears, I become his hands with which he holds…
And he understood that the letter N at ana Allah was meant to shed the nur, the divine light, upon him and those like him, as Allah said:
Is he who was lifeless, then We raised him to life and made him a light by which he walks among people, like him whose likeness is that of one in darkness whence he cannot come forth?
(Surah An’am, 122)
And the N of kun pointed to the N on the word ni’mah, bounties of Allah, in Allah’s words:
He gives you of all you ask of Him. And if you try to coun Allah’s bounties, you will not be able to count them
(Surah Ibrahim, 34)
These are some of the things that our father Adam learned about the divine word kun in Allah’s school in Paradise – not all. We have only mentioned less than the least. More will be told later.
Now the accursed Devil went to the same school of instruction in Paradise, and for fourty thousand years he studied, examining the secrets in the letters of the word kun. But the Divine Teacher willed that he should depend on his own powers and feel confident and able to do things by himself. So when he examined the meaning of the letter K he associated it with the dependence only upon himself and on his unbelief (kufr) in any other power but his own, as told by his Lord:
He disdainfully refused to obey Allah and bacame proud…
(Surah Baqarah, 34)
And he saw in the letter N his own fiery nature in the word naar (fire), and said:
I am better than Adam: You have created me of fire, while You created him of earth
(Surah A’raf, 12)
So the kufr which the Devil identified with in the letter K pushed him into the naar which he saw in the letter N, and his destiny and the destiny of the likes of him was set:
So they were hurled into Hellfire
(Surah Shura, 94)
When our father Adam looked at the Tree of Being, in the splendor of the many kinds of flowers and fruits on its many lofty branches, he left them all but held onto the branch of
Surely I am Allah, there is no god but I…
(Surah Ta Ha, 14)
He knew that it is the only thing that is sure and unalterable. So he took refuge in the security of solutide in the oneness of his Lord. While in that state of unison a soundless and wordless message came, both to him and to our mother Eve:
O Adam, dwell you and your wife in the garden and eat from whence you desire, but go not near this tree
(Surah A’raf, 19)
But the accursed Devil would not leave them be. He was holding onto the branch of false imagination, and he willed to fool them. Indeed he succeeded, and made Adam and Eve eat from the forbidden tree. And they disobeyed their Lord’s order:
…go not near this tree.
Yes they were aware of what they did wrong. So when they slipped down from their peace of unison with their Lord, they caught onto the branch of repentance and said:
Our Lord we have wronged ourselves; and if You forgive us not nor have mercy on us, we shall certainly be of the losers
(Surah A’raf, 23)
And holding onto that branch, which saved them, they received words in the form of sweet fruits growing on it:
Then Adam received words from his Lord and He turned to him mercifully; surely He is oft-returning to mercy, Most Merciful
(Surah Baqarah, 37)
There is the day that is called the Day of Witnessing and on that day under the eyes of the whole, witnessing every soul will hear its Lord ask:
Am I not your Lord?
(Surah A’raf, 172)
And they will all say:
Yes, we bear witness
(Surah A’raf, 172)
But they will bear witness to the extent of what they saw and knew, although they all answered in agreement, saying yes; verily. Those who have seen the divine beauty of their Lord’s Essence will say:
Nothing is like Him
(Surah Shura, 11)
Those who have seen the beauty of His divine attributes will say:
He is Allah, beside whom there is no god – the Owner of All, the All-holy, the Granter of Peace, Protector of All, the Mighty, the Supreme, the Possessor of All Greatness, Glory be to Allah over the partners they ascribe. He is Allah, the Creator, the Evolver, the Fashioner of Everything. His are the most Beautiful Names. Whatever is in the Heavens and the Earth declares His glory, and He is the Mighty, the Wise.
(Surah Hashr, 23-24)
Those who have only thought of Allah in relation to the beauty of things He has created will all imagine their Lord differently, in accordance with their impressions of the things they see. Some will put God within a limited frame of space and time. Some will even think that He does not exist. And some will make a shape out of stone and think it to be He. Woe to those whose destiny is this! And they say:
…nothing will afflict us save that which Allah has ordained for us
(Surah Tawbah, 51)
Indeed their lot is also included among everything that happened when the Creator pronounced the word kun and that word became the center of the whole created universe, revolving around it; and when from that center grew the Tree of Being, the word kun being the seed from which it grew.
If one wanted to visualize all there is as a whole – everything that came into existence and what caused them all to be, and their doings and their sayings, and their lives, and their states, and their interactions – what better similitude is there for seeing this than a tree, the Tree of Being? A tree that contains all that happens in the universe, generating from a single divine seed, made out of the voice of our Lord, who said kun!