I have my own Philosophy, for me, Godhood has two levels: -الأحدية: it's the first level.

-الكثرة: it's the second level.

Humanity is reflection of الكثرة.

The question is: is Divine Names الكثرة (the multitude)?

  • IMHO the given information is hardly helpful to answer this. What is the source of this statement? You should add all relevant information in your post.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 7:05

1 Answer 1


The multiplicity or کثرة has many levels in Sufi theology and, yes, it is first and foremost expressed in Divine names. The Divine Names are qualities or attributes that emanate from the Godhead. When used in adjective forms they are called names. For example 'knowledge' is a Divine attribute but 'knowledgeable' is a Divine name in that it can be used to refer to Allah.

Names come in variety of classifications. Two primary classes include knowledge, life, power, will, hearing, sight and speech, and first, last, apparent and hidden. Other classes include positive and negative names, and names of beauty (جمال) and grandeur (جلال).

The Divine names are manifestations (تجلي) of the Godhead or the Divine essence and they are the first multiplicity that issue from It but they follow a certain order.

The first manifestation bears the greatest similarity to the Divine essence and it emerges from the self-consciousness of Allah. So the first manifestation is also a epistemic, cognitive or gnostic (علمی) manifestation. This manifestation is also unitary which consists in the Godhead cognizing His whole nature in one simple cognition. Hence this is also called the unitary manifestation (تجلی الاحدی). Therefore the first names to issue from the essence are knowledge (علم) and unity (احدیت). Names such as light (نور), inclusiveness (بساطة) and appearance (ظهور) can also be predicated of this level because they point to different aspects of the first manifestation.

The second manifestation is the Godhead's cognition of Himself and His attributes and perfections in a discerning and distinguishing sight or cognition. Thus this second self-cognition gives rise to the multiplicity of the Divine names as well as the loci in which the the Divine names manifest themselves i.e. essences of creation or what they call the fixed essences or entities (اعیان الثابته). It is important that this is still a cognitive self-manifestation occurring within the Divine realm (عالم الربوبی), specifically in the cognitive realm (حضرة علمیه) not the realm of creation, but it is one step removed from the total hiddenness (غیبة) and inwardness (بطون) of the Divine essence that is eternally beyond the reach of all creation and beyond all determinations and manifestations.

The third manifestation is what they call the holy emanation (فیض المقدس) or the breath of the Merciful (نفس الرحمانی) by which Allah bestows existence to the essences that are present in His knowledge. That's how the multiplicity of creation comes forth.

As for humanity, Sufis consider the full human nature as realized in the Holy Prophet (ص) and by consequence the awliya, to be the whole or comprehensive existence (کون الجامع) in that it embodies all Divine names as well as the first unitary manifestation. So Human full nature is a manifestation of both multiplicity and unity but it still falls short of the Divine essence which like I said is eternally hidden and inaccessible.

  • thank you for your helpful answer, I'd like to ask a little question: does each divine name of the Divine Names and each fixed essence of the Fixed Essences has separate I i.e: are they entities?
    – salah
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 16:01
  • @salah, I am not sure I understand your question when you say "... has separate l". Divine names are analytically separate just as the fixed essences or entities are. But in reality they are not so. However a full answer to this requires a discussion of real names, real relational names, and relational names.
    – infatuated
    Commented Jan 17, 2020 at 16:06

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