contains a mystery is not therefore an argument against its truth. For a mystery is a thing about which we do not know how it is, though we know that it is. For example, we know that the grass grows, though we do not know how it grows. The Universe of God is full of mysteries, and man is a great mystery to himself. He does not know how the spiritual can influence the material, yet he is himself a spirit dwelling for a time in a material body. If therefore God has revealed in Scripture certain doctrines regarding His own Most Holy Nature (ذات), we cannot expect to find these doctrines devoid of mystery. Nor is their mysteriousness a ground for refusing to believe them, provided that we find that they are really taught in the Word (كلام) of God. Every careful student of the Bible will find that the doctrine which we have above stated is undoubtedly taught there. It may be stated in other words than those which we have used. For example, the Doctrine of the Trinity is often couched in the following words,1 which all Christians will confess to be in accordance with the teaching of the Bible.

"There is but one Living and True God, everlasting, without body, parts or passions; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the Maker and Preserver of all things both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there be three Persons" (Hypostases اقانيم), "of one substance, power, and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost."

Not only is this in accordance with Holy Scripture, but the earliest Christian writers whose works have come down to us show in them that they understood the Bible as teaching the doctrine of the Trinity in Unity, just as we do now.

Reason itself teaches us that we can know nothing of God's Nature but what He has Himself revealed. Hence the wise have well said, "Disputation2 about the Nature of God is blasphemy."

1 [The first of the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England.]
‫2 البحث عن ذات الله كُفرٌ‫.

Some of our Muslim brothers assert that the doctrine of the Unity of God is opposed to belief in the Trinity. But as both these doctrines are revealed in the Word (كلام) of God, they cannot really contradict one another. The idea of unity does not exclude all kinds of plurality. For instance, it is admitted that God has a plurality of Attributes, such as mercy, justice, power, wisdom, eternity. In fact, Muslim theologians rightly teach that He is the "Union1 of Good Attributes".2 But plurality of Attributes is not a contradiction of the Divine Unity. So, too, the doctrine of the existence of three Hypostases in the Unity of the Divine Nature is not contrary to that Unity, belief in which is the foundation of all true religion. It is granted that no perfect illustration (مَثَلُ) of the Divine Nature can be found in creation, yet imperfect illustrations may be helpful to our finite understandings. The Torah tells us that God created man in His own image (Gen. i. 27): and in accordance with this is the wise saying of 'Ali ibn Abi Talib, "Whoso3 knoweth himself knoweth his Lord." Hence we may institute the following imperfect comparison. Each man is one single personality, yet he may correctly speak of his spirit (روح) as "I" (أنَا), as also of his mind (عقل) and his soul (نَفسْ). These three things are in some measure distinct from one another, for the mind is not the spirit, nor is either of these the soul: yet we cannot say that it is incorrect to call each of them the Ego, though the Ego is one, not three. Strictly speaking, any one of them, apart from the other two, is not the whole personality, yet all three are so united that they together form the Ego, nor are they ever separated, at least in this life. This is a

‫1 مجمع الصِّفات الحسنة ـ جامع صفات كمال‫.
2 In the Mizanu'l Mavazin, p. 14, it is said:
خداى ما از كُلّ جهات كامل است يعنى تمامىُ صفات كماليّة را بطور اكمل در مقام موصوفيّة عنوان ذاتش موجود بدانيم‫.
‫3 مَنْ عَرَفَ نَفْسَهُ فَقَدْ عَرَفَ رَبْهُ‫.