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Oriental Mysticism, by E.H. Palmer, [1867], at



THE Works of God are of two kinds, visible and invisible. The Worlds perceived and conceived. The first is the Perceived, the second the Conceived World. The Perceived World is also called The Material, Visible, Created, and Lower World. The Conceived World is spoken of as the Invisible, Spiritual, or Future World, and the World of Command 2: this division is based on the words,

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[paragraph continues] "Are not creation and command of Him?" (Cor. cap. 7, v. 52.) The material world may be described in detail, but of the spiritual world we must be content with a mere outline, for none but those who have gone hence, and entered into the spiritual life, can know the condition thereof: as Jesus Christ has said, "Except a man be born again he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven 1."

Inhabitants of the Invisible World.There are two classes of beings in the Invisible World, those whose existence is revealed in inspiration ( ), and those who make their existence felt

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[paragraph continues] ( ). The first are subdivided into two classes, namely, Emanations and Agencies. Emanations Emanations. are what are addressed in the words of Mohammed, "Salve! in the majesty of God, in His Glory which was before the world began." They are called by the Mohammedans Maláïk Muhaymeh, i.e. Angels designated by the word hámú, "salve." Mohammed gives the following account of them: "Verily with the Most High God there is a luminous land, the sun journeyeth there in 30 days, in an orbit of 30 days, like the days of the world: its creation knows the Most High God, but there are others in the earth who know not God, the sons of Adam, and Iblís."

Agencies are, as it were, the door-keepers of Agencies. Divinity, and the means by which God's bounty is vouchsafed to man. The head and chief of them, according to the Muslims, is Mohammed, than whom there is no more exalted spirit. "I have created nothing more honoured in my sight than thee."

The Holy Spirit, or Gabriel, is, according to them, the last of this class of agencies, being the actual and intermediate agent of intercourse between God and man. "There is not one of us who hath not his assigned position."

The other beings whose existence is felt are also Agents. subdivided into two classes, namely, Agents and Powers. The former are the presiding genii, or personified laws of animal, vegetable and mineral production, whence the common saying, "Everything has its angel." Mohammed himself says, "An angel descends in every drop of rain or dew," and the mystics

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assert that God does not create a single leaf upon a tree without the intervention of seven angels. The human soul, though compounded both of the material and the immaterial, is reckoned amongst this class. It is the masterpiece of creation, and the whole material world is placed under its control 1.

Powers.The Powers who form the second class are the Genii and Devils. They are created of fire, and constitute the lower order of beings in the invisible world. Some of them have a certain power over the race of man granted to them, but are rebellious against the Most High; of these Iblís is the Head and Chief. Others, again, although capable of harm, are subservient to the will of God.

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The material world is also of two kinds, heavenly Of Heavenly and the Earthly. and earthly. The heavenly are the Throne and the Seat of God (or the Highest Heavens), the Seven Inferior Heavens, the Firmament and the Stars. The Earthly are the Face of the Earth, the Elements, Signs from on high (as thunder, lightning and rain), Compound Bodies (as minerals, vegetables and animals), the Sea, and other Works of God without end. Such is the Sufiistic account of the works of God, physically considered.


29:2 The command of God (kun fa kán), "be and it was," is here alluded to. The Sufis in their poetry frequently p. 30 speak of God as the Lord of káf and nún, i.e. of the two letters composing the word of command kun "be."


The Mohammedans although denying the Divinity of Our Lord recognize the inspiration of both the Old and New Testaments, which as well as the Apocryphal Gospels they frequently quote as authorities. They even assert that the promise of the Comforter referred to their own prophet, and support their arguments by an ingenious perversion of the text, reading περικλυτὸς for παράκλητος, the former being almost identical in signification with the name of Mohammed (Multum laudatus). The charge of inconsistency in not believing in our scriptures they meet by accusing the Christians of having themselves altered many similar portions of the original, and by maintaining that the mission of Mohammed, the Seal of the Prophets as he is called, abrogated all other religions. Thus Sa’adi says in his Bústán:

That Perfect one who, ere the whole of Gabriel's book he reads,
Has blotted out the library of all the People's creeds."

32:1 The accompanying table of the Mohammedan Cosmogony may assist the reader in understanding this and the following chapters.

Click to enlarge

Next: Chapter IV. Concerning the Works of God, Metaphysically Considered