‘When philosophy needed Muslims, Jews and Christians alike’ By Peter Adamson

If you were asked to name the most important philosopher of 10th-century Baghdad, you would presumably not hesitate to say ‘al-Farabi’. He’s one of the few thinkers of the Islamic world known to non-specialists, deservedly so given his ambitious reworking of Platonic and Aristotelian metaphysics and political philosophy. But if you were yourself a resident of 10th-century Baghdad, you might more likely think of Yahya ibn ‘Adi. He is hardly a household name now, but was mentioned by the historian al-Mas‘udi as the only significant teacher of Aristotelian philosophy in his day. But ibn ‘Adi is not just a good example of how fame wanes across the centuries. He is also a fine illustration of the inter-religious nature of philosophy in the Islamic world.

Ibn ‘Adi was a Christian, as were most of the members of the group of philosophers who wrote commentaries on Aristotle at this time in Baghdad. The Muslim al-Farabi, who was apparently ibn ‘Adi’s teacher, was an exception to the rule. Completing the ecumenical picture, ibn ‘Adi was involved in an exchange of letters with a Jewish scholar named Ibn Abi Sa‘id al-Mawsili, who wrote to him with questions about Aristotle’s philosophy that he was hoping to have cleared up. Admittedly, Baghdad was an exceptional place, the capital of empire and thus a melting pot that drew scholars from all over the Islamic world. But philosophy was an interfaith phenomenon in other times and places too. The best example is surely Islamic Spain, celebrated for its culture of convivencia (‘living together’). Two of the greatest medieval thinkers, the Muslim Averroes and the Jew Maimonides, were rough contemporaries who both hailed from al-Andalus. After Toledo fell into the hands of the Christians, the Jew Avendauth collaborated with the Christian Gundisalvi to translate a work by the Muslim thinker Avicenna from Arabic into Latin.

That last example is a revealing one. Philosophy in these times often involved representatives of different faiths because it often presupposed translation. Hardly any philosophers of the Islamic world could read Greek, not even Averroes, the greatest commentator on Aristotle. He and other Muslim enthusiasts for Hellenic wisdom had to rely on translations, which had mostly been executed by Christians in the 8th to 10th centuries. Knowledge of Greek had been maintained by Christian scholars in Byzantine Syria, which explains why Muslim patrons turned to Christians to render works by Aristotle, Ptolemy, Galen and many other ancient thinkers into Arabic. Thus the very existence of Hellenic-inspired philosophy in the Islamic world was a manifestation of inter-religious cooperation.

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Omar Khayyam

Lecture by Mirza I. Ashraf

Omar Khayyam
(A Muslim Mathematician, Astronomer, Philosopher, and Poet)

Of knowledge, naught remained I did not know,
Of secrets, scarcely any, high or low;
All day and night for three score and twelve years,
I pondered, just to learn that naught I know.

Omar Khayyam Nishapuri (1048-1131), was the most brilliant mathematician, astronomer, and author of important philosophical works of his time. He was a free thinker and a skeptic, but at the same time a poet of Sufi path to wisdom. His unique intellectual genius is the relationship of his poetry with his philosophy, and a relationship of his philosophy with mathematics and astronomy. Generally, his importance in Islamic intellectual tradition is due to his poetry of the Rubaiyyat (quatrains), in which he challenged religious doctrines, alluding to the hypocrisy of the clergies. Casting doubt on almost every aspect of religious belief, he appears to have professed a type of humanism. Because of his rational arguing the secret of creation and human fate, some thinkers in the West refer him as the “Eastern Voltaire.”
With Earth’s first clay They did the Last Man knead,
And there of the Last Harvest sow’d the Seed:
And the First Morning of Creation Wrote
What the last Dawn of Reckoning shall read.

Khayyam believed that man’s presence in this world, entry and exist is predetermined, a condition he bemoans throughout his poetry.
1. EARLY LIFE:
Born into a family of tent-makers in Nishapur, then a Seljuq capital in Khorasan, what is today’s Iran, Khayyam after studying Qur’an and Islamic jurisprudence, achieved proficiency in the sciences of algebra, geometry and astronomy. Throughout his life, he taught algebra and geometry during the day, and in the evening attended the court of the Seljuq Sultan Malik Shah as an adviser. He intelligently makes a whimsical reference to his knowledge of science and his family profession of a tent maker in his quatrain.
Khayyam, who stitched the tents of science,
Has fallen in grief’s furnace and been suddenly burned,
The shears of Fate have cut the tent ropes of his life,
And the broker of Hope has sold him for nothing!
After the death of the Sultan, having lost the favor of an adviser, he set out on Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina. When he returned to Nishapur, he was appointed as a court astrologer, a rank much lower to his level of knowledge. He was a quiet, humble, reserved person who wished to remain intellectually inconspicuous, as is evident from one of his quatrain:
The secrets which my book of love has bred,
Cannot be told for fear of loss of head;
Since none is fit to learn, or cares to know,
‘Tis better all my thoughts remain unsaid.
He wrote remarkable fourteen treatises identified to date, on the subjects of poetry, philosophy, and mathematics. Since his poetry presents philosophical wisdom, he being initially a man of science and general philosophy has not received the attention he deserved in the scientific field. However, recently his seven-philosophical works have been published.
2. CALENDAR REFORM:
Omar Khayyam was an important member of the panel that reformed the Persian Jalali calendar which remained in use in Iran and Afghanistan from 11th to 20th centuries. The Jalali calendar, similar to Hindu calendar is based on actual solar transit and is considered more accurate than the Gregorian calendar. Khayyam by adding one day after every four years in the month of February, as a leap year, fixed the Gregorian calendar as we have today.

3. MATHEMATICIAN:
Omar Khayyam, in his life was very famous as a great mathematician and astronomer. Before Khayyam, Muhammad al-Khwarizmi (780-850) had invented Algebra and most importantly a set of numerical calculations and instructions known by his own name as Alkhwarizm—Latinized Algorithm—which if carried out systematically produces a desired result. Algorithms are critical to software design, modern science, and engineering, enabling computers and smart electronics to sort through masses of digital data and text. Khayyam was familiar with al-Khwarizmi’s great achievement, and in the year 1070 he wrote, Treatise on Demonstration of Problems of Algebra, which was later adopted in Europe. In particular, he derived general methods for solving cubic equations of higher order.

(a) Theory of Parallels: Khayyam wrote Explanations of the Difficulties in the Postulates in Euclid’s Elements, which contains several sections on the parallel postulate on Euclidean definition of ratios, Anthyphairetic ratio (modern continued fraction) and on the multiplication ratios. He made the first attempt at formulating a non-Euclidean postulate as an alternative to the parallel postulate.
(b) Geometric Algebra: In solving cubic equation, Khayyam’s celebrated approach and method in geometric-algebra presents the philosophical view of mathematics. His approach can be considered the first systematic study and the first exact method of solving cubic equation.
(c) Binomial Theorem and Extraction of Roots: This particular remark of Khayyam and certain proposition found in his Algebra book have made some historians of mathematics believe that Khayyam had indeed a binomial theorem up to any power, which is based on his ability to extract roots.
(d) Khayyam-Saccheri Quadrilateral: Khayyam, considering the three cases—right, obtuse and acute—that the summit angles of a Saccheri quadrilateral can take and after proving a number of theorems about them, he correctly refuted the obtuse and acute cases based on his postulate and hence derived the classic postulate of Euclid.

The statue of Khayyam in Persian Scholars Pavilion,
United Nations Office in Vienna, Austria

4. ASTRONOMER: Like most of Muslim mathematicians of the medieval Islamic period, Khayyam was also an astronomer. Invited by sultan Malik Shah he helped build an Observatory. Before Khayyam, ibn al-Haytham (900-1040), author of the Book of Optics, wrote about empirical science, optics, light, and the skies to create perhaps the most scientific and accurate view of the physical universe until Copernicus and Galileo. But it was Al-Biruni (973-1048) who had proved four centuries before Galileo that the earth is round, rotates on its axis and moves around the sun. Al-Biruni showed through a diagram how lunar eclipses occur.

5. HELIOCENTRIC THEORY: Khayyam demonstrated that the earth rotates on its axis by presenting to his contemporaries a model of the stars in his planetarium. Edward Fitzgerald’s anachronistic rendering of Khayyam’s poetry, in which the first lines are mistranslated with a heliocentric image of the Sun fling “the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight,” depicts that Khayyam believed in heliocentrism.
Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight:
And Lo! The Hunter of the East has caught
The Sultan’s Turret in a Noose of Light.

Statue of Omar Khayyam at his home town Nishapur

6. PHILOSOPHICAL THOUGHTS OF OMAR KHAYYAM:
Khayyam’s philosophical treatises were written in the Peripatetic tradition when philosophy in general and rationalism in particular was under attack in twelfth century in the world of Islam. He, therefore, had to defend himself against the charge of being a philosopher.
“A philosopher I am,” my enemies falsely say,
But God knows I am not what they say;
While in this sorrow-laden nook, I reside
Need to know who I am, and why Here stay.
In his work On Being and Necessity, Khayyam defining philosophy along the Peripatetic line argues that there are three real issues to be discussed in philosophy—which are standard Aristotelian questions— ‘is it?’ ‘what is it?’ and ‘why is it?’
For “Is” and “Is-not” though with Rule and Line
And “Up-and-down” by Logic I define,
Of all that one should care to fathom, I
Was never deep in anything but—Wine.
For Khayyam, these questions have a wider range of philosophical implication as the subject of philosophy is essentially the response to three questions: “whether something is,” “what it is,” and “why it is what it is.”
Omar Khayyam frequently mentions Avicenna as his master. He taught for decades the philosophy of Avicenna, especially The Book of Healing, in his hometown of Nishapur, till his death. He is the most important thinker to have continued Avicennian philosophy, and at the same time the last solitary philosopher to have raised his voice during the period of philosophical suppression in the Islamic world. When one examines all of Khayyam’s philosophical treatises together, one finds him as essentially Avicennian or Aristotelian philosopher with particular acumen in the mathematical and natural order, on the one hand, and mysticism, on the other. His whole work is based on the Necessary Being, the One, who is Reality who in religious language is called “God.” He believed that all that exists, exists by virtue of the One Necessary Being.
Khayyam’s philosophy of mathematics draws attention to three basic mathematical ideas. The first is “mathematical order,” that the Divine origin of all existence not only emanates the being, by virtue of which all things gain reality, but it is also the source of order that is inseparable from the very act of existence. To speak of a being is also to speak of order, which the science of mathematics studies in turn as do certain other disciplines. The second is a “mathematic-philosophical” question with which Khayyam was concerned is the significance of postulates in geometry and the necessity for the mathematician to rely upon philosophy in order to prove the postulates and principles of his own science. He associated motion with the world of matter and wanted to keep it away from the purely intelligible and immaterial world of geometry. Third important issue for Khayyam is the “difference between natural body and mathematical body.” The natural body is in the category of substance with which the natural science deals and it stands for itself, while the mathematical body is of the category of accident which is the concern of mathematics that does not subsist by itself in the external world.
Though Khayyam, the philosopher could also be understood through his Rubaiyyat, but in Fitzgerald’s translation the quatrains convey, at least superficially, hedonistic, fatalistic, and this worldly philosophy combined with much skepticism about religious teaching. He is to be best understood through his philosophical works in the light of intellectual and social conditions of his time. The philosopher-scientist Khayyam was not the same Khayyam who is the author of the quatrains. Khayyam in his time as well as today, is famously known as Hakim meaning a philosopher-sage, and a spiritual-pragmatist. In fact, his Rubaiyyat are to be viewed as a philosophical commentary on the human condition.
For Khayyam, there are two discourses, each of which pertains to one dimension of human existence: philosophical and poetic. Philosophically, Khayyam was the last Aristotelian in the world of Muslim thinkers. He defended rationalism against the rise of orthodoxy and made an attempt to revive the spirit of rationalism which had remained prevalent in the first four centuries in the Islamic world. Poetically, he represents a voice of protest against what he regards to be fundamentally unjust world. People, even today, find in him a voice they love to hear, and many centuries after he had died his Rubaiyyat in original Persian language and translations in many other languages, are being seen a venue for those who are experiencing the same trials and tribulations as Omar Khayyam had.

Preference for sensual pleasures and glorification of love
7. KHAYYAM THE POET:
Omar Khayyam’s one thousand Rubaiyyat, which are based on a poetry of a series of quatrains, sparkling with witty epigrammatic observances of life, is filled with exquisite oriental imagery. Although scores of other European scholars had prepared their version of Khayyam’s quatrains, it was Edward Fitzgerald (1809-1883), an Irish poet, who adapted and lovingly translated in 1895 the best of his Rubaiyyat weaving them in a single, magical poem. His quatrains became so popular that from 1895 to 1900 were published 25 times. Khayyam, who was basically a man of science, rebelled against the bigotry and fanaticism around him and sought escape in the pleasures of poetry and philosophy. His Epicurean audacity of thought and speech caused him to be regarded askance in his own time and country.

Then to the Lip of this poor earthen Urn
I lean’d, the Secret of my Life to learn:
And Lip to Lip it murm’d – “While you live,
Drink! – for, once dead, you never shall return.”

Ah, fill the Cup:- what boots it to repeat
How Time is slipping underneath our Feet:
Unborn Tomorrow, and dead Yesterday,
Why fret about them it today be sweet!

How long, how long, in infinite Pursuit
Of This and That endeavor and dispute?
Better be merry with the fruitful Grape
Than sadden after none, or bitter Fruit.

But Khayyam was too honest of heart as well as of mind. Having failed (however mistakenly) of finding any Providence but Destiny, and world but this, he set about making the most of it; preferring rather to soothe the soul through the senses into acquiescence with things as he saw them, than to perplex it with vain disquietude after what they might be. It has been seen, however, that his worldly ambition was exorbitant; and he very likely takes a humorous or perverse pleasure in exalting the gratification of sense above that of the intellect, in which he must have taken great delight, although it failed to answer the Questions in which he, in common with all men, was most vitally interested. His quatrains are full of witty thoughts with dual meanings.

And, as the Cock crew, those who stood before
The Tavern shouted—Open then the door!
You know how little while we have to stay,
“And once departed, may return no more.”

Khayyam’s poetry is filled with a live-for-today philosophy, a preference for sensual pleasures and glorification of love that have made his Rubaiyyat delightful reading for many generations of admirers. He uses the concept of “wine and intoxication” throughout his poetry in three distinct ways: the intoxicant wine, the mystical wine, and the wine of love. The esoteric use of wine and drinking in Persian Sufi literature, refers to the state of ecstasy in which one is intoxicated with Divine love. But Khayyam was not a mystic in traditional sense. He uses wine in the profound sense of Sophia or wisdom that provides a sage with philosophical wisdom, allowing one to come to terms with temporality of life and to live in the here and now.

Those imprisoned by the intellect’s need to decipher
Humbled; knowing being from non-being, they proffer
Seek ignorance and drink the juice of the grape
Those fools acting as wise, scoffer.

Khayyam, the mathematician-astronomer, fails to find any purpose for human existence within an orderly and complex universe.

Yesterday this day’s madness did prepare;
Tomorrow’s silence, triumph, or despair:
Drink! For you know not whence you came, nor why:
Drink! For you know not why you go, nor where

Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of wine, a Book of Verse—and You
Beside me singing in the Wilderness—
And Wilderness is Paradise anew.

Many readers of Khayyam consider that Khayyam is the timeless Sufi voice. Sufis believe that within mankind there is an element, activated by love, which provides the means of attaining to true reality, called mystical meaning. Khayyam relates this concept beautifully:

When the Original Cause determined my being
I was given the first lesson of love.
It was then that the fragment of my heart was made
The Key to the Treasury of Pearls of mystical meaning.

In his poetry, Khayyam uses the imagery of bowl (kuza) and clay for man. He believed that man is made from the “dust and to dust he shall return.”
For in the Market-place, one Dusk Day,
I watch’d the potter thumping his wet Clay:
And with its all obliterated Tongue
It murmur’d — “Gently, Brother, gently, I pray.”

With them the seed of Wisdom did I sow,
And with my own hand wrought to make it grow;
And this was all the Harvest that I reap’d—
“I came like Water, and like Wind I go.”

— MIRZA IQBAL ASHRAF

‘ What Is Good Rhetoric?’ By Tushar Irani

Plato said we ought to be suspicious of persuasive speakers and the appeal to emotions.But rhetoric can be a civic good.

Philosophers have had a longstanding problem with rhetoric. The standard view of the quarrel is well-known: philosophy is a truth-directed activity concerned with reasoned argument, while rhetoric is uninterested in truth and concerned merely with persuasion. This view is often traced to Plato, but it is too crude. As Plato himself recognised, philosophers need to present their ideas in persuasive form if they are to gain acceptance, and there are uses of rhetoric that can further our commitment to truth rather than frustrate it. The power of an effective speaker to captivate an audience is apt to arouse our suspicion in democratic politics, yet we should also acknowledge that the practice of rhetoric can serve a civic purpose. The real question here is what distinguishes good rhetoric from bad rhetoric.

Plato was deeply interested in this question. Although a concern for truth pervades his thought, this is not the main or the most important problem he has with rhetoric in his dialogues. To understand Plato’s critique, we need to read it against the backdrop of a deep mistrust of persuasive speaking that he shared with his contemporaries following Athens’ loss of the Peloponnesian War against Sparta in the late fifth century BCE. Apart from the huge death toll and casualties suffered by the city, the loss had a monumental impact on the Athenian psyche. In the Laws, usually regarded as Plato’s last work, he has his Athenian Visitor state that ‘[E]very Greek takes it for granted that my city loves talk and does a great deal of it, whereas Sparta is a city of few words, and Crete practices cunning more than talk.’

No doubt there were many factors that contributed to Athens’ loss of the war, but if there is one thing we can point to above all, it is the fact that the Athenian people themselves were persuaded by charismatic statesmen and generals of the period to undertake a series of disastrous military campaigns. As many writers – historians, tragedians and comedians alike – would lament during and after the war, it was in large part the Athenians’ ‘love of talk’ that led to their defeat.

Athens’ downfall provides us with a cautionary tale in our own era. While it would be wrong to reject a persuasive speech simply because the speaker fails to belong to our preferred political party, it would be equally wrong to think that we should accept every speech that strikes us as persuasive. Adolf Hitler’s Nuremberg Rallies of the 1920s and ’30s were highly effective propaganda tools in consolidating power for the Nazi Party and influencing the views of the German people, but the wider effects of his ability to fabricate a redeemed Germany were devastating for the country. The principle here is simple: good rhetoric is not reducible to persuasive rhetoric. Persuasion might often be the goal of the rhetorician, but if rhetoric is to serve some civic good, it must serve the people on whom it operates. Plato was the first to observe that persuasion cannot in fact be the proper end of rhetoric, since it is an open question how it serves the interests of an audience to have their views influenced by a persuasive speech.

In his Gorgias and the Phaedrus, Plato therefore takes a different approach to the value of rhetoric. Together, these two works put forward a comprehensive theory of when and how a persuasive speech qualifies as good rhetoric. The Gorgias is best interpreted as a critique of the conventional practice of rhetoric. In this dialogue, Socrates argues that the chief purpose of conventional rhetoric is not (properly speaking) persuasion, but flattery. His point is that the practice of persuasive speaking typically achieves its effects by satisfying the pleasures and desires of an audience.

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HAZRAT ALI’s Philosophy of Religions

HAZRAT ALI’s Philosophy of Religions
(Extracts from Introductory Notes to Nahjul Balagha by Sayed Mohamed Askari Jafery)

For Hazrat Ali and the Imams of his descent, religion is a vital and positive force of life. Their philosophy does not relate to war of words without life and earnestness which is the main feature of the Ptolemy’s schools of thought or those of the Western and Eastern philosophers. Their ardent love of knowledge, their devotion in evolution of human mind, their sincere faith in God, and in His Mercy, Love and Kindness, and their looking for above the literalness of common interpretation of the law, show the spirituality and expansiveness of their philosophy of religion. Hazrat Imam Jafer-e-Sadiq defines knowledge as: Enlightenment of heart is its essence, Truth is its principal object, Inspiration is its guide, Reason is its acceptor, God is its Inspirer, and the words of man are its utterers. To them evolution of mind is the essence of life and religion is the essence of the evolution of mind.
How correctly Hazrat Ali taught that a man without mind is not a man, and a mind without religion is worse than the instinct of a beast; more harmful, more dangerous and more carnivorous. Devotion without understanding will not bring Blessing of God, it is useless. He attaches so much value to mind and its correct ways of grasping truth that he says first leader and guide is your mind. At another place, he says that nothing is more useful to man than his intelligence, or there is nothing wealthier than wisdom, or there is no greater bounty of the Lord than the intellect granted to man. One can dispense with everything but one’s mind and intelligence; there is no better guide towards truth than wisdom. One hour of deep and sober meditation is better than a life of prayers without understanding.
Next to intelligence Hazrat Ali attaches importance to sincerity of purpose of life. He believed, if one sincerely and intelligently goes in search of truth or religion and if one wanders sincerely out of the right path even then there is a reward. There is a sermon in Nahjul Balagha in which he says, “Do not kill Kharijites after me because to go in search of truth and to lose the true path is better than to spend the entire span of one’s life in pursuit of vicious pleasure and wickedness.”
The natural and logical sequence of the above two attributes is to take count of oneself, one’s knowledge, thoughts, intentions, desires and deeds. He therefore, advises, “Weigh your own souls before the time of weighing of your actions arrives. Take count with yourself before you are called upon to account for your conduct in this existence.” To obtain favorable results of such weighing and taking count of oneself one must have done good deeds. And so far as actions and reactions are concerned he wants us to understand, that human conduct is not fortuitous, one act is the result of another; life, destiny and character mean connected series of incidents. Events and actions which are related to each other, as cause and effect by an Ordained Law. Apply yourself to good and pure actions, adhere to truth, follow the true path to salvation, before death makes you leave this abode. If you do not warn yourself and do not guide yourself none other can direct you. Abstain from foulness though it may be fair seeming to your sight. Avoid evil, however pleasant, for you know not how far it takes you away from Him.
Next to sincere faith in the unity of God, he lays great stress on piety. He wants us to realize that piety is not a juicy morsel to be swallowed easily not it is a dip in river to clean all dirt and filth from the body. Piety means actions and those actions in beginning may be sour, harsh, and painful to perform. Piety means to free oneself from vicious desires and wicked deeds. This freedom cannot be obtained but by constant efforts and endeavors.
With Hazrat Ali, fanatic asceticism is a sin against the self. History cites many instances where he admonished those who had given up their homes and families, had severed every connection with society, had taken to a mosque, and had been praying, fasting and reciting the Holy Book morning, noon and night. For him it is not piety, but fanatic asceticism which is not allowed in Islam. He says that one who acts with piety gives rests to his soul; one who takes warning, understands the truth and one who understands it attains perfect knowledge.
His teachings do not convey any impression of predestination. On the contrary they portray a soul animated with living faith in God and yet full of trust in human development, founded on individual exertion springing from human volition. According to him, Quaza means obedience to commandments of God and avoidance of sin. Qader means the ability to live a pious and Holy life, and to do that which brings one nearer to God and to shun that which throws one away from Perfection. He taught, “Say not that man is compelled, for that attribution is tyranny to God.” In a sermon in Nahjul Balagha he says, “The theory of compulsion, predestination or predetermination of fate is a satanic insinuation and a doctrine of faith amongst the enemies of God. On the contrary, God has ordained man to obey His Commands and has given him freedom of will and action, he is at full liberty to obey His Commands or disobey. There is no compulsion in accepting the religions preached by His apostles and no compulsion to obey His Commands. Even His Commands (like daily prayers, fasting, zakat etc.,) are not hard, harsh and unbearable and every leniency and case on account of age and health is granted to man.”
Hazrat Ali’s teachings are gospel of work. He wants man to work, and to work honestly, sincerely and diligently. He emphasizes, work, work, and do good work while you still have life, health and opportunities. A life without work, is a life without worth. A mind without sober thoughts and a life without program of honest work is the most fertile soil for seeds of vice and wickedness. Work with nobility of purpose, is one of the form of prayers.
As far as the question of man and God is concerned, Hazrat Ali teaches us to believe in a God Who has created us, who loves us, nourishes us, helps us and is our well-wisher. He should be loved, adored and venerated. He says, “God is not like any object that the human mind can conceive. No attribute can be ascribed to Him which bore the least resemblance to any quality of which human beings have perception from their knowledge of material objects. The perfection of piety consists in knowing God; the perfection of knowledge is the affirmation of His Verity; and the perfection of verity is the acknowledgment of His Unity in all sincerity; and the perfection of sincerity is to deny all attribute to the Deity. He, who refers an attribute to God believes the attribute to be God, and he who so believes an attribute to be God, regards God as two or part of one. He who asks where God is, assimilates Him with some object. God is the Creator, not because He Himself is created. God is Existent not because he was non-existent. He is with every object, not from resemblance or nearness. He is outside everything not from separation or indifference towards His creatures. He works and creates not in the meaning of motions or actions. He sees and hears but not with the help of bodily organs or outside agencies. He was seeing when there was nothing created to see. He has no relation to matter, time and space. God is Omniscient because knowledge is His essence; Loving because love is His Essence; Mighty, because Power is His Essence; Forgiving, because Forgiveness is His Essence; and not because these are attributes apart from His Essence.”
IMPORTANT NOTE: These are some main points which I am presenting as it is there in the book referred on top of this article, without my own remark or addition.

MIRZA ASHRAF