Kitab Al-Nun

The Book of Nun (‘n’ sounding letter)
Ibn Arabi

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Kitab Al-Nun
Behavior of Nun   
Interference, Self-Entanglement: Ishq (Unary Love)  
Nun: An Alphabetic Habitat  

See Also: 


In Sufism, letters are not these seemingly simple and trivial objects that you are reading on this page; they are one of the most sacred and most terrific spiritual entities fully integrated within the Wujud (Being) of humans and all creation.. These letters have a number of attributes:

1.    Geometry and shape
2.    Sound and phonetics
3.    Syntax and semantics
4.    Primordiality; they are infinitely ancient
5.    They are intertwined with time and space
6.    They are intertwined with human spirit, mind/cognizance and body
7.    They are Animated Organisms
8.    They belong to a Nexus, an aggregate or society

Letters are the most pure embodiments of:

Alfred North Whitehead
Process & Reality: Process, Section V

“The community of actual things is an organism; but it is not a static organism. It is an incompletion in process of production. … an organism is a nexus.

Secondly, each actual entity is itself only describable as an organic process. It repeats in microcosm what the universe is in macrocosm.  It is a process proceeding from phase to phase…”

As I am writing the word ‘letters’ all the while the reader is subconsciously aware of the letters ‘l’ or ‘e’ or ‘t’ as  members of an aggregate—Nexus.  Ibn Arabi mentions that the notion of the letters as  having the nature of geometrical animated organisms is attributed to the Imam Ja’far Sadiq. (though he doubts that Imam had said anything about the animal nature of the letters)

It repeats in microcosm what the universe is in macrocosm:
Letters can describe the very beginning of universe and the universe can explain their properties, as though they were an organic organism roaming through the universe from time-place to time-place, from intellect to intellect, from the begining to the very end; an animated organism in whose core resides the blueprint architecture of the multiverse, the growth of this organism is the expansion of the universe!

It is an incompletion in process of production:
A letter in and of itself, is incomplete; though by relatedness to its aggregate nexus it is perpetually reaching towards its perfection and completion, and all human beings who carry these letters within, are incompletions on the same voyage towards completion—Perfection.

Since childhood we are taught the letters and and exposed to these magnificent half-spiritual half-corporeal spiritual organisms; yet due to daily over-exposure we have lost our bewilderment about them and they seem quite ordinary to us.

The best example of the above arguments is the DNA sequences in any living being, they are a discreet alphabetical system fabricated from nucleotides, and yet they carry the very blueprint of the organisms and the universe that surrounds the organism (e.g. reaction/interface to light or heat or other organisms).

There is no living organism without these nucleotide alphabets, and they by themselves are useless chains of atoms, incomplete and non-sensical.  Only when the nucleotide alphabets are entangled with the organism and its processes, a living organism emerges, as a complete quantal unit.  If you disturb the 'alphabet' the organism alters/ceases and vice-a-versa.
Remember Azizam (My dearest) that the nucleotide sequences are ancient and do extract from this molecular evolutionary sequence this knowledge: alphabets are indeed infinitely ancient entities—Primordial, Qadim.

Kitab Al-Nun
by Ibn Arabi
“And with regards to the Nun (‘n’ sounding letter) it has Waw (‘w’/'u' sounding letter) as a veil between her two ‘n’ sounds. (Dara: Remember that Nun, though in Arabic it is but a single letter, as a phone it can be spelt as follows: Nun+Waw+Nun; therefore Ibn Arabi considers the middle partitioning Waw as a separating veil.)

Meaning, as in writing, a half circle appears from this Nun just like the half sphere of the sky and the other half which is unseen i.e. the other Nun.  The cosmos is comprised of an observable half and an unobservable half. And the reason for our inability to observe the other half is our existence upon this earth, since this earth also serves as a veil obstructing the view of other half of the cosmos.

Similarly our entire physiological realm serves as darkling veil that prevents us from grasping and viewing the realm of spirits, the unseen world which is like the other unobservable half-sphere which we cannot view except by its effects.

واما النون فإن الواو الذي له حجاب بينهما اعني فانه ما ظهر منه في الرقم سوى نصف الدئرة مثل ما ظهر في الفلك ومثل ما ظهر في النشأة فإن نشأة العالم كروي نصف الكرة منه حس ونصفها غيب وكذلك الفلك نصف الكرة منه ظاهر أبدا ونصفه غائب أبدا عن الحس وغلبنا ما عدم إدراكه لكونه في الأرض والأرض هي الحجاب عليه فلم ندركه وكذلك لبثنا في عالم الطبع وظلمته حجبنا عن إدراك عالم الأرواح الذي هو النصف الآخر من كرة النشأة فلا تشاهد إلا آثاره

Therefore from the emerging observable Nun of the Divine Word Kun (Become) emerge all the observables and the other half (Nun) is concealed and that is the realm of spirits/spiritualities. (Two half circles with a center dot appears in the Arabic text, top half-circle the latter, the bottom half-circle the former )

The single bottom-half circle, corresponding to the corporeal realm, appeared from Al-Fahawānia (The Divine Face-to-Face Persona) and the spiritual top-half appeared from the meanings and knowledge(s) of Al-Fahawania (The Divine Face-to-Face Persona).

The middle spiritual Waw (‘w’ sounding alphabet) serves as a Dhat (Inmost Core, Essence) which takes offerings from one half (the spiritual) and dispatches them to the other half (the corporeal).

The spiritual half, the spiritual Nun connects to the corporeal Nun, and from the spiritual Nun both ‘Ittisāl (Continuous communication, connectedness) and ‘Ishq (Unrestrained Love) are taken and dispatched to the corporeal Nun; and the latter is our reason for staying so little here in this corporeal form. (Dara: Because of the unrestrained love and need for staying in communication with Allah, the gravitation of a feral love pulls us out of here towards the other universe after short period of time living biologically on this planet.)

فالنون الظاهرة في ((كن)) عنها ظهرت المحسوسات والنصف الآخر المغيب المقدر عليه هكذا ((هنا يعني النون المقلوبة في الرسم)) عنه ظهرت الروحانيات فالواحد الجسماني ظهر عن الفهوانية والروحاني ظهر عن معنى الفهوانية والواو روحانية الذات فتأخذ المواهب من النصف العلوي وتلقيه الى النصف الثاني الجسماني ولروحانيتها اتصلت بالنون الروحانية دون الجسمانية فأخذها منها اتصال وتعشق والقاؤها على النون الجسمانية القاء تبليغ ولهذا هي قليلة اللبث عندها وصورة الإتصال هكذا ((نون)).

The Surat (Shape, Form, Constraint) for this Ittisal (Connectedness) is this ‘n’ sounding alphabet Nun.  And this is the Gabrielan Maqam (Rank):

(Wherein) Is given the Quantal Divine Offerings which are free of Tafsil (Explicit distinct subparts) to Waw so it can make the offerings Mufassal (Endued with explicit distinct subparts e.g. the letters) and that is the Qalam (Divine Pen) within the Alam-Tastir (Realm of Serializations); and the second corporeal Nun, a Lauh (Tablet) so all affairs efficiently can be written/stored upon it Mufassal (Endued with explicit distinct subparts), for the sake of (acquisition of) knowledge, and for the sake of (implementation of) Nun (in this world).

وهذا هو القام الجبرائيلي وتعطي المواهب مجملة من غير تفصيل فيفصلها الواو وهو قلم عالم التسطير عند الالقاء وهذه النون الأخرى له كاللوح فالامور مفصلة عندها بالقوة من حيث العلم ومن حيث ما هي نون

Simply by looking at Nun nothing can be fathomed about what is beyond this letter and what is going on with it, until a Tarjumān (Divine Translator) is effused which is the human tongue, the master of all pens, and which serializes what was Quantal within the Spiritual Nun upon the tablet of the ear of the listener, so that the listener could understand some of what was with the spiritual Nun in accordance to the measure of the serialization. This way the Quantal spiritualities can be dispatched from the spiritual Nun through the Waw(s) and Pens to become Mufassal (Endued with explicit distinct subparts e.g. letters) free of any middle-agency:

26:193 Nazala (Came down) with it the Al-Ruhu-Al-Aminu (Gabriel, true spirit.)

نَزَلَ بِهِ الرُّوحُ الْأَمِينُ

50% of Nun is observable and 50% can only be thought of.”

فهي لمن شاهدها صورة إجمال لا يعرف الناظر فيها ما وراءها وما تحمله حتى ينبعث الترجمان الذي هو اللسان وهو قلم من الأقلام فيسطر في لوح سمع المخاطب ما أجمله نونه فيعرف السامع بعض ما عنده وهو قدر ما سطر فإن ارتقوا إلى القاء الهمم فالهمم هناك تكون الأقلام والواوات الروحانية فتلقي الاسماع من حيث وجه الروحانية منها فتعقل التفصيل في المجمل ولا واسطة ظاهرة قال الله تعالى(نزل به الروح الأمين على قلبك)) ولها الخمسون من حيث ما هي محسوسة والخمسون من حيث ما هي معقولة والواو لها الستة من حيث ثم جهات وهي ذات النون الجسمية ذات المقدار والشكل والنون مائة لمائة اسم الهي لمائة درجة جنانية ان كان سعيدا لمائة حجاب الهي لمائة درك ناري عقابي ان كان شقيا ويكفي هذا القدر في النون فان البسط فيها يؤدي إلى ابراز ما لا يسعني ابرازه فإن النون سر عظيم هو باب الجود والرحمة.

Behavior of Nun

As all organisms behave in certain ways and impact upon their environment in a particular manner; so does this spiritual organism Nun (letter 'n').

A Form of Continuity

See Also:

Nun appears as a prefix for some present/future verbs in the language of the Arab e.g. Nakhruju (We exit). The original verb was Kharaja i.e. he exited, then it was prefixed with the Nun to form the first person plural, meaning 'we'.

The ‘n’ phoneme by itself cannot be a Madd (prolonged pronunciation) i.e. try to say ‘n’ and stretch the n-sound; you cannot stretch the beginning n-sound except you can nasalize and prolong an auxiliary sound.

One way to prolong Nun is by interjection of a Waw (‘w’/'u' sound) within it, so it reads N+W+N or ‘Nooo…oooN’ which can be prolonged by the prolongation of the middle Waw.  Now this Nun can be prolonged as long and as often as necessary.

We have taken for granted the emergence and persistence of the continuity within nature and within our Selves. There is a transmission of a peculiar category of an energy-form that feeds and sustains some types of continuity in the universe. Nun is one such transmission and one such energy form that sustains the continuity of many kinds of natural processes, e.g. entanglement of the Serialized polymeric chains of proteins as well as descent and Serialization of the Divine Word from the realm of Malakut (Spiritual Realm) to the Mulk (Corporeal Realm). Whether the proteins curling to form entangled chains or the servant cognizing the Serialized Divine Words, both processes require contiuity and that continuity requires the transmission of a corresponding energy-form to feed and sustain the continuation.

Usage of Nun for verbs or pronouns relating to ‘we’ or ‘us’ is due to its aggregate formation. Nun is a nexus, it is an aggregate, a society. Other entities or aggregates can merge with it or separate from it, i.e. Wasl (Connecting, Arriving) or Farq (Partitioning). Had this Nun letter not been there, no continual connection or connecting would have been possible and entities could not arrive at each other or depart from each other in a continuous manner.

Kitab Al-Ya
by Ibn Arabi

50:16. And Nahnu (We) are nearer to him than the artery cord.

وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ

“For Na-h-Nu (We) there is measure of proximity and nearness but for Huwa (IT, He) there is only distance; since Na-h-Nu (We) is represented the proxy of artery cord, where cord deals with connectivity; Huwa (IT, He) is opposite of the latter.”

Dara: Na-h-Nu is a prehension which is a vector projection from the Qidam (Infinitely Past, realm of all actualities) into this present world brimful with potentialities, i.e. a vector that goes from the lowest complexity of the Qidam (all is actual) to the most complex realm of potentialities and probabilities. This prehension, for its subject-form, i.e. the way it projects from there to here, has the feel of an entity within an aggregate, that is: ‘us’ or ‘we’.

Again it is the middle-agency of the Nun that allows for the prehension of Na-h-Nu to project the very feelings of ‘us’ or ‘we’ here. Allah has used the term Na-h-Nu (‘us’, ‘we’) for ITself and an infinitely vitiated form is endowed for humanity to enjoy using.

Had the letter Nun not been in existence, no society could give its members the feel of togetherness or us/we.


No matter how you attempt to prolong Nun or even in a short form, part of the air must pass through both nasal passages in order for the proper sound of Nun to be articulated. The peculiar prolonged hum you hear from the passage of air through the nasals is made most particular by the asymmetry of the nostrils, for the two nasal passages/cavities possess different geometries and therefore there is some form of acoustic interference within the articulation of Nun, specially in the prolonged form:

Pruthi et al.: Analyzing vowel nasalization using MRI data
J. Acoust. Soc. Am., Vol. 121, No. 6, June 2007

"This paper analyzed in detail the three most important
sources of acoustic variability in the production of nasalized
vowels: velar coupling area, asymmetry of nasal passages,
and the sinuses. This analysis was based on real anatomical
data, obtained by imaging the vocal tract of one American
English speaker using MRI. Area functions obtained from
the MRI data clearly show significant asymmetry between
the left and right nasal passages, and the left and right maxillary
sinuses of this speaker."

The above red and blue graph’s deeps and spikes (poles and zeros) should have matched had the nostrils been the same shape, but the nostrils are INTENTIONALLY made asymmetric so the human being can pronounce the nasalized sounds. It takes a terrific and complex engineering effort to make such asymmetric structures, that can give the same sound for all noses and heard by all ears as the same nasalized sound e.g. Nun.

Poles & Zeros:

Divine Origins

The human being is a musical wind-instrument through which melodies are performed that acoustically inform the creation about their Beloved Creator and the purposeful nature of their creation. In this treatise the grammar, the phonetics, the syntax, the acoustics and the biology and micro-biology of the organs and physiology of human being’s voice and speech articulation/listening are matched to Divine Words and their pronunciations; for example nasal asymmetry and interference is thus extracted as properties of the creation in the most broad sense. Therefore the acoustic attributes of the Divine Words, and their implementation by the human physiology and cognitive faculties, thus render a simulation or visualization for how the nature was created! Just as the physicists’ equations—alphabets with syntax and semantic—can articulate to calculate the attributes of the nature and predict future outcomes of physical systems, similarly the alphabets such as Nun and their properties and their interaction with the nasal cavity of the human being can render the beginning of time to the end of the universe and the very nature of all creation.


The asymmetric design of our nasal cavity generates the peculiarities and uniqueness of the nasalization of the Nun. Therefore Nun is the agent that induces the asymmetry in this universe, whether the asymmetry of the matter or of thoughts.

No matter whether it be physics, biology or chemistry that is investigated there is an awe with regards to:

1.    Homo-Chirality: Only one handedness of the molecules that comprise the life are found, the mirror image of these molecules, the other handedness exists but not within the body of living organisms!
2.    In spite of a mirror symmetric outer body, we are fully and intentionally asymmetric within our body; for example, the heart is asymmetric and leans to the left, one lung is smaller than the other and asymmetry is observed within the regions of the brain responsible for certain tasks.

Currently we have no explanation for WHY such asymmetry is devised intentionally and worse we do not have any clue as to HOW it was introduced into this world:

John Baez
“Addendum: Long after writing the above, I just saw an interesting article on chirality in biology:

2) N. Hirokawa, Y. Tanaka, Y. Okada and S. Takeda, Nodal flow and the generation of left-right asymmetry, Cell 125 1 (2006), 33-45.


It reports on detailed studies of how left-right asymmetry first shows in the development of animal embryos. It turns out this asymmetry is linked to certain genes with names like Lefty-1, Lefty-2, Nodal and Pitx2. About half of the people with a genetic disorder called Kartagener's Syndrome have their organs in the reversed orientation. These people also have immotile sperm and defective cilia in their airway. This suggests that the genes controlling left-right asymmetry also affect the development of cilia! And the link has recently been understood...

The first visible sign of left-right asymmetry in mammal embryos is the formation of a structure called the "ventral node" after the front-back (dorsal-ventral) and top-bottom (anterior-posterior) symmetries have been broken. This node is a small bump on the front of the embryo.

It has recently been found that cilia on this bump wiggle in a way that makes the fluid the embryo is floating in flow towards the left. It seems to be this leftward flow that generates many of the more fancy left-right asymmetries that come later.

How do these cilia generate a leftward flow? It seems they spin around clockwise, and are tilted in such a way that they make a leftward swing when they are near the surface of the embryo, and a rightward swing when they are far away. This manages to do the job... the article discusses the hydrodynamics involved.

I guess now the question becomes: why do these cilia spin clockwise?”

Why go through all the trouble of building a fully mirror symmetric outer-body and go through even more trouble and make the internal organs completely and intentionally asymmetric?

The asymmetric articulation of Nun is in part responsible for all asymmetry!

Interference, Self-Entanglement: Ishq (Unary Love)

As indicated earlier the asymmetry of the nasal cavity and thus the nasalization of Nun brings about the interference of the two identical flows of air through two asymmetric cavities (pipes) and hence the particularization of the articulation of Nun.

Therefore Nun is the agent that induces interference in any and all known systems! Just like a nucleotide sequence responsible for the generation of certain protein, e.g. to make the eye, Nun is the letter responsible for all interferences:

57:2. And Allah is the ordainer over all Shai’n (Object/s) 

وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

57:3. And Allah (is) knowledgeable about all Shai’n (Object/s)  

وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

While both verses use the indefinite Shai’n (Object) in 57:2 the nasalization for Object is prolonged according the rules of Tajwid (pronunciation), i.e. When Allah ordains and deals with any object this object shows interference (due to the asymmetric nasal cavity) and yet in 57:3 Allah knows about the objects and they interfere not (or much less).

Broadening the notion into a more generalized thought: Objects do have self-interference and the agent responsible for this self-entanglement is Nun, without Nun the following protein would not have been possible:


In terminologies of the Sufis this self-entanglement or self-interference is called  (Unary Love):

“Know O brother—may Allah provide for you and give you the benevolence of the Nation of Kamāl's (Those reached the Perfection) ‘Ishq (Unrestrained Love)—That Allah’s Dhāt (Innate Essence), sempiternally and eternally, is characterized with the Sifāt (Divine Attributes) which are Qadim: from time immemorial, infinitely ancient.  And from amongst of these Attributes, ‘Ishq (Unrestrained Love) is one. Hu’s Nafs (Divine Self) loved ITself. Therefore, the lover the love and the beloved are but One! And a dye originated from that ‘Ishq (Unrestrained Love) that remains to be Hu’s Divine Attribute, free and cleansed from the variance of the temporal transience. ‘Ishq is the Kamāl (Perfection) of the Mahab-bat (Divine Love) and the latter is one of the Divine Attributes. Don’t be fooled by the names, Love and ‘Ishq are the same.  It is ITs Divine Attribute subsisting upon ITs own Dhāt (Innate Essence). There is no variance within this, not that Hu is the lover(Muhibb) for the Hu, but Hu has ‘Ishq (Unrestrained Love) for Hu! (Dara: Love- mahabbat- is binary relationship and yet ‘Ishq is unary)
Source: ‘Abharul ‘Ashiqin (The Lovers’ Daffodil), chapter 32, Roozbehan Baqli Shirazi.  

This self-entanglement is an attribute of Wujud (Being):  an entity must love itself (away from all else) in order to continue with becoming and being; had this self-love (Ishq) not been there nothing of the tiniest size or duration could exist!

IT loved ITself and thus radiated with a singleton Nur (Divine Light) and infinite darknesses; we are the unnumbered darknesses and when we observe this Light the furthest we could see is “IT loved ITself”, “IT behold ITself and saw/sees/seeing only beauty”.

This Light shines upon us the darknesses and dyes us with the colors Ishq (Unary Love), unrestrained and unbound; if you see something within or you observe something over there, all you saw was the colors of singleton Light of Ishq—you saw nothing else:

Sharh-e Shat-hiyat
by Baqli Shirazi
Section 272
Quoting Sheikh Hussein Mansour Hallaj (may Allah ease his journey and forgive his excesses)
“… And the attribute of Ishq (Unary Love) is the very attribute of Surat (Shape, Form)—that is why you might look at the mirror and be pleased with what you see in your Self—much time could expire and no one can grasp this…”

But the Nafs (Self) is for the purpose of induction of ambiguities; had she not been there all that could be said would have been: I love I! The masterful and inventive design of the Nafs (Self) engineers the ambiguities and enough of them so it can be said: I love you:

91:7. And by the Nafs (Self) and what/how it was engineered.

وَنَفْسٍ وَمَا سَوَّاهَا

There are ITs servants that become nothing but an Eye and all they can do is to see the radiation of this self-entanglement, and IT has servants who have no Eyes but IT endowed them with the instrumentation of artificial eyes to observe the self-entanglement:


"Particle interference has also been demonstrated with neutrons, atoms and molecules.
However, none ofthese experiments was designed to demonstrate that an interference pattern
would build up even if there is just one electron in the apparatus at any one
time, i.e. that ”each electron interferes only with itself”. This was achieved
only in the 1970s with a very weak electron source and an electron biprism
by Merli et al. and again by Tonomura et al. in the late eighties."

Click on this line to see a movie for the self-entanglement of electron

Nun: An Alphabetic Habitat

Gabrielan Rank 

Gabriel Rank is a space as well as a station; for instance, it has the attributes of up and down and it is voyaged through, and it is a shared space (Maqam) wherein other servants of Allah might roam:

97:4 Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah's permission, on every errand

تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِمْ مِنْ كُلِّ أَمْرٍ

97:5 Peace! She (the Night Al-Qadar) (is) until the Matla’ (Rising place) of the dawn!  (Dara: It is therefore a Habitat wherein is found only peace and assurance)

سَلَامٌ هِيَ حَتَّى مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ

Matla’ is the ‘place’ for the rising of the sun. 

Within this spatial habitat voyage unnumbered servants of Allah do as Allah wishes unconditionally. With regards to the Divine Words, Gabrielan Rank is the space within which the Divine Words transverse from the Malakut (Realm of Spirits) into the Mulk (Corporeal Realm), deformed from their Mujmal (Quantal) form into the Serialized Mufassal (Endued with explicit distinct subparts e.g. letters or genes) form:

© 2009-2002,  Dara O Shayda, Editor: A. Attar