On Will, human and Divine
The will is the same, whether it be human or divine. The only difference is that in one aspect it is the whole, in the other aspect it is a part. In one aspect it is almighty, in the other it has only a certain might, or a certain power; in one aspect it is unlimited, in the other it is limited.
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On Knowledge of Past Present and Future
'What need is there of effort in life, if the future is already settled?' asks one. Says another, 'There is no predestination, for everything that happens is caused by ourselves.' A person may be trying to do good, and yet may always find it turning to bad. Such a one comes to ask, 'Is there any interference by spirits?' The Sufi studies what darkness is in order to understand the light. That is Sufism.
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The artist paints a picture in three stages: preparatory, stage of action, and stage of completion – past, present, and future. The first stage is the design of the picture. That is predestination. We all begin with this. We are the manifestation of the eternal Sun, and therefore, all the attributes of the Creator must be in the creature. Before doing anything do we not plan it? In our mind we have created it. The Creator acted thus, and so do we. We do it with a pen. He does it with Nature. His art is nature. The Quran says that Allah taught man by the pen of His nature. It is our nature to create and by creating our art in harmony with nature, we can improve our skill. The art we produce is according to the nature of ourselves, for we are the creator.