Lesson Eight

Beloved in the mirror of forms/shapes may show Its face[1], or in the mirror of both shapes and meanings. The beauty is made manifest to the lover by dressing Its face. The lover experiences pleasure. And from this observation/enjoyment of beauty terrific power is gained. And here It unveils the secret: “I saw my Lord in best of forms” and explains what is meant by: “Wherever you turn, it is the Face of Allah” and Creator shares with the lover: “Allah is the light of heavens and earth”, since:

The height and depth of the world
                                    It is You
Know not what You are, but whatever exists
                                    It is You

Come into my (Araqi’s) eye and gaze upon It to comprehend why a lover said:

I have a loving companion
Whom mine body and life is Its Face
What body and life? Entire world is Its Face
Every good face and pure meaning
If made manifest to I, that is indeed Its Face

And if Its lustrous glory galloped out of the cloak of meanings, then the lover shall never enjoy the pleasure of discovering Its presence nor will come to taste the (sweetness of) one’s existence. And here the abrogating annihilation: “nothing other than It” or the eternity of: “It shall never perish” is discussed with the lover:

Made manifest what is left after the destruction
Nothing left, other than what was It already!

Imagine how would things be if Beloved dropped the cloak of shapes/forms and meanings to reveal Its beauty and radiating glory beyond, the tempest stampede of the innate existence tells the lover:

In a city lets say dwells either You or I
Two governors mix the affairs in disorder

Mosquito screamed complaining to King Solomon about the gales, Kind responded: “Prepare your opposing wrath”, mosquito answered: “If I had the power would I have screamed in complaints”:

When would It manifest to creation
                                    It’s Face
In which mirror will It pose
                                    It’s Face

[1] There are several different words in Arabic and Farsi describing the face and shape of human beings. In Koran the term face is used in one single Arabic word “Wajh”. In Farsi there are, however several words:
1. Roo, is common Farsi but it is really used in context like “showing one’s face” i.e. appearing in physical/honoring form showing one’s self
2. Rokh, this word is kind of a high-Farsi used in very literary occasions and carries the aura of honour and beauty
3. Soorat, this actually is an Arabic word used in Koran which really does not mean face but means shape, design and form. Contemporary Iranians do not distinguish between Arabic soorat and face and to them means the physical face. However, in Araqi’s writings Soorat means the Arabic meaning of shape and form and not face, though it could be describing the shape of a face. But in his poetry he confuses the meanings intentionally to support the poetic aspects, which is very pretty.
4. Wajh, rarely used by common Farsi speakers

Perhaps the most pressing question is why ‘face’ is being used as a word in association with the Creator? Simple observations may make the matter clear:
1.    Perhaps it’s the concept of the ‘facing’ something or someone is more the real application of the word face not the face itself. The actual verb indicating to come face-to-face with someone is the valid and more important concept again. We are at all times, facing the Creator!
2.    Eyes are on the face, and if someone is watching us close by, they are facing us as well. This use of a gazing face is more important than just the word face.
3.    Facial expressions are telling signs of another person’s intent, pleasures and displeasures. Araqi uses these ‘facial expression’ concepts in his poetry to the fullest extend often to a questionable degree. He tells us that if all we face are the Face of Allah then through expressions of Its face i.e. events with people and nature as a part of this face, we can determine what the intent of the Creator is!
4.    Lovers are always face-to-face in their loving, they yearn to see each other’s face in close proximities and much pleasure(and loving) is caused by facing one’s lover. So Creator’s Face is a loving term describing Allah’s immense affection for us by providing this lovely face that gazes upon us at all times like an ever-loving lover.
Therefore Allah’s face indicates vision and gestures of approval or lack thereof but It is a face like non-other e.g. there are no eyebrows or lips of what we normally associate with a mortal face. And at all times It’s the Face of the Creator that is facing us though we know not.


© 2008-2002,  Dara O Shayda