percipient (مُدْرِكٌ) requires an instrument of perception in order to attain the percept (المُدْرَكُ): for between the percipient and the percept there must necessarily be some relation. And since, by reason of His Nature (ذات), God cannot have with created beings any affinity of relationship and conjunction and attachment and resemblance, therefore none of His creatures can attain perception and comprehension of the Divine Nature." "From1 among the works and products which are the proof of the existence of the Maker and Doer, none can either themselves attain to perception of the Nature of the Creator nor enable another to reach the abode of His Nature or the perception of His truth." Hence this writer informs us that there exists a First Creature (اوّل مخلوق نخستين), which is in supreme truth God's only creation, and which is "the2 Absolute Beauty of past eternity (الازل) and the total Light of the Eternal One and the whole and perfect Manifestation of God". When God desired to create His creatures and to make Himself known to them, He made the First Creature, and that First Creature became the object of the Maker's whole love and the manifestation of the Divine Attributes. Being beloved by God, he came to love God. That First Creature, who in the first origin came forth from the Eternal Source, is the whole excellent Medium and the Absolute Prophet of God, and everything that happens from the beginning of creation to the end of the Possible is through him.3 This theory, however, is not really of Islamic origin at all. It comes from4

‫1 هيج يك از افعال و صنايع كة دليل وجود صانع و فاعل هستند نة خود شان ذات صانع را توانند ادراك نمود و نة ديكَريرا بر مقام ذات او و ادراك حقيقت او توانند رسانيد‫.
(Mizanu'l Mavazin, p. 27) ‫2 جمال مطلق از است ونور كلّي حضرت لم يزل‫.
3 Op. cit., p. 29.
4 [Somewhat similar is Philo's theory of an "archangel and most ancient λογος", "standing on the confines separating the creature from the Creator." See Philo's treatise, "On One who is Heir."]



the heretics and the heathen philosophers. For example, the heretic Arius taught that there was a First Creature, and that he was the instrument used by God in creating the world.1 Mani held much the same view of the Original Man, though he said that Satan afterwards made man in the likeness of this original man, uniting the clearest light and his own darkness in him as in a microcosm2 (العالم الصّغير). The heretical sect of3 the Naasseni (النْحَشِيّةُ) or Serpent-worshippers, who claimed to be Gnostics (عُرَفَاء), were accustomed to honour a hermaphrodite being called (Αδαμας) Adamas (غير المغلوب), and used to say that knowledge of him was the beginning of the knowledge of God. One of their sayings was, "The beginning of perfection is the knowledge of man; the knowledge of God is complete perfection." Adam was an image of this Archetypal Man above, who was called Great, Best, Perfect Man. Something not unlike the Muslim theologians' view is also found in the Qabbalah (الْقَبالاءَ) of the Jews, a work full of the most absurd theories and of ideas largely borrowed from the heathen. There we are told that the Infinite had from all eternity wished to become known. That this might occur, the First Sephirah (سفيراة) or Emanation proceeded forth from Him. This First Emanation is called the Crown. From it came forth a second Emanation, and from the second a third, and so on to the number of ten. These together constituted the Archetypal Man, whom the Qabbalists style אדם קדמון‬ (آذام قذمون) and "the Heavenly Man". His head was composed of the first three Emanations. Earthly man is only a dim copy of4 him.

1 [Mosheim, Reid's ed., pp. 160, 161.]
2 [Hase, Kirchengeschichte, p. 104.]
3 [Hippolytus, Philosophumena, ed. Miller, Oxford, 1851, pp. 95-105.]
4 [Article in Encyclopaedia Britannica, by Dr. Ginsburg: largely from the Aramaic work Zohar: vide also Dr. Kalisch's edition of the Sepher Yesirah.]