Time and Space in Mulla Sadra’s Mystical Thought through His Reference to Ushnuhi

 Shigeru Kamada


Information of Islamic eschatological events is given in the descriptions of the Qur’an and hadiths. The central event of the series of events to occur at the end of the world is the resurrection of all humans and their standing before God to receive the final judgment for their conduct during their life in this world. According to the description of the Qur’an, it is the standing together in the presence of God of all humans of all times and all areas, from Adam the father of humans to the last person before the resurrection. In what kind of time and what kind of space is it possible for uncountable men from different times and different areas to encounter God at one time and in one space? The questions arising from the events at the end of the world lead some thinkers in Islam to speculate the concepts of time and space in the framework of the Creator – created relationship. In this paper I shall investigate how these questions are answered by two mystical thinkers in Islam, namely, Mulla sadra (d. 1056/1640) and Gnostic writer identified as Ushnuhi (7th / 13th century).

Mulla sadra comments on the Qur’anic words: “Say: Lo! Those of old and those of later time will all be brought together to the tryst of an appointed day” (56: 49-50)[1] by explaining that “those of old (al-awwalin)” means ‘your fathers and others who came before you.’ “Those of later time (al-akhirin)” stands for ‘those who will come after your time.’ He interprets the words “an appointed day (miqat yawm ma‘lum)” as ‘the time of promise (ajal) that God appointed to his servants, and the Day of Resurrection (yawm al-qiyamah). After a brief quotation from al-Zamakhshari’s Qur’anic commentary[2] on a grammatical point, he interprets the Day as follows:

It is a day which encompasses all the created, for it includes all days on account of its extent being fifty thousand years. In a similar way, the earth of the place of resurrection (mahshar) has the capacity to receive all of them, for it contains all the earths. This is confirmed by Gnostics. The togetherness (ma‘iyah) with, and the comprehensiveness (jam‘iyah) of, the created are of a kind different from that of temporal or spatial togetherness. In what mode is it? The totality of separate times does not constitute another time, and the totality of separate spaces does not constitute another space. The totality of this world (al-dar) has no world except in the sense that it has another mode of being.

He explains the mode of being of the Day of Resurrection through the example of a point of contact between a plane and a ball rolling on it:

Let us illustrate the congregation of the created in the presence of God in a day on a land by a concrete example. There are no points of contact of a rolling ball with a plane in any instant or in any time at the state of rest except at a particular point. Its points of contact with the plane surface during its circular motion make a continuous line, or rather a point which are in a fixed and static extent, but in another manner of the gathering, on account of which folded in the point of contact are the entire parts of the line as well as the entire points, every one of which occurs in an instant, not in the time [of occurrence] of its fellow points. In this way is the congregation of the created on the ground of Resurrection in the presence of God.

What Mulla Sadra wants to convey in this quotation may be that the time and space in which the Resurrection occurs are the total presence at once of all the times and spaces prior to the Resurrection. It is not an arithmetic sum total of previous times and spaces, but rather involves a qualitative transformation. Certainly it is a sum total of all worlds that present themselves to God, but it is not in the same dimension as that of the previous worlds. Their presence to God is in a different mode of being from that of the previous worlds. The ball has no contact with the plane except at the point where the ball rolls on it. Insofar as the ball rolls over every point of the plane, all points of the plane come together in one point of contact with the ball. The example alludes to the presence to God, of all the worlds at the Resurrection.

In his discussion of the length of the Day of Resurrection in his Keys of the Unknown (Mafatih al-ghayb), Mulla sadra mentions that its length is fifty thousand years[3] for some and an instant[4] for others, and that the story of Jawhari[5] is useful to understand the question. He also recommends to consult a treatise named “The Highest Possible in the Knowledge of Time and Space (Ghayat al-imkan fi dirayat al-zaman wa-al-makan)” by a gnostic of Shiraz.[6]

In order to understand how Mulla Sadra perceives time and space, it is better to consult the “The Highest Possible” to which he refers only by its title without mentioning the name of its author. The treatise he refers to must be a work which bears almost the same title, Ghayat al-imkan fi dirayat al-makan extant in Persian on account of its contents and their fitness to the context of quotation. This treatise has been ascribed to different authors, among whom Mahmud-i Ushnuhi (7th / 13th century) is most probably considered as its author.[7]


As Mulla Sadra does Ushnuhi starts his discussion of time and space[8] on the basis of the Qur’anic verses: “And Our commandment is but one (commandment), as the twinkling of an eye” (54:50), “the matter of the Hour (of Doom) is but as a twinkling of the eye, or it is nearer still” (16:77) and “in a Day whereof the span is fifty thousand years” (70:4). His concern is how he understands in a harmonious way the two groups of the Qur’anic phrases seemingly mutually contradictory. By stating that to understand the precious secret of the length of time on the Day of Resurrection is impossible without detail true knowledge of time[9], he starts his investigaton about time in the following way.

Ushnuhi divides concepts of time into three kinds: (1) physical time (zaman-i jismaniyat), (2) spiritual time (zaman-i ruhaniyat), and (3) Divine time (zaman-i Haqq). Physical time is further divided into two kinds: (la) subtle (laìif) physical and (1b) coarse (kathif) physical time.

(1a) Coarse physical time is time in which we find ourselves in an ordinary condition. According to his description,

That [coarse physical] time arises from the motion of celestial spheres. It is like last year, this year, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The length and shortness of that kind of time are clearly known. A year is long and a month is short. A month is relatively long and a day is short, while an day is relatively long and a hour is short. In that kind of time are past, future, and present. Yesterday is past; tomorrow is future; and this time in which you find yourself is present. In this kind of time are disturbance (mujayaqat), conflict (muzahamat), and contradiction (munaqajat). Unless yesterday has gone, today cannot come. Unless today has gone, tomorrow cannot come. Their union in a particular time is impossible.[10]

Past, present and future are distinct from each other. As long as the present is realized, there is no way for past or future to take place in the time. A particular point of time is always contradictory with others of time and rejects their presence at one time.

(1b) Subtle physical time is that of jinn (paryan).

That is the time of jinn. Whatever is long in coarse physical time is short in this [subtle] time. Anyone who does a work in a day in this time, can do work so much that he may not work in a month or rather in a year in coarse physical time. As for example you have heard the rapidness of work of Satans and jinn. Their children grow up so much in a day that the children of humans grow up in ten years. Because their [human children’s] growing up takes place in [coarse] time, in which the shortness [of subtle children’s] growing up takes place in a [coarse] time, in which the shortness [of subtle time] becomes long. This kind of time also has past and future in addition to present, all of which are suitable to this kind of time. Yesterday and tomorrow which are past and future for humans are present for jinns. Humans do not have a free hand in past and future. Past and future are their [jinns] present, which is last year and this year for humans.[11]

Subtle physical time has past, present and future in a similar way to coarse physical time, but it is more transparent and inclusive than coarse time. It encompasses both past and future in present.

(2) Spiritual time (zaman-i ruhaniyat, zaman-i arwah) is divided into several kinds, but Ushnuhi sums them up in the time of angels (zaman-i malayikah).[12] This kind of time is more transparent and inclusive than the time of jinn, which is in turn more transparent than the time of humans.

A thousand years are just one breath in this kind of time. Anyone who works in this kind of time, can complete work for thousands of years only in a breath. In this kind of time there is no disturbance or conflict. Therefore, thousands of years past can be united in this kind of time with thousands of years to come. Past in this kind of time is nothing but pre-eternity (azal), and future in this kind of time is nothing but post-eternity (abad). This kind of time encompasses neither pre-eternity nor post-eternity, and cannot do, either, for that is finite and the finite cannot encompass the infinite.[13]

Past, present and future of the physical time are all contained in the present of the spiritual time. All the points of time which are in the flow of time from past to future are united in one point of the present, which is placed between two kinds of eternity, namely, pre-eternity, which is an eternity insofar as it is beginningless, and post-eternity, which is one insofar as it is endless. The two kinds of eternity consist respectively of past and future of the spiritual time.

(3) Divine time (zaman-i Haqq) comprehends eternity, which spiritual time does not.

Divine time has neither past nor future. It comprehends both pre-eternity and post-eternity, or rather pre-eternity and post-eternity are one point in it. Its pre-eternity is post-eternity, and its post-eternity is pre-eternity, or rather it has neither pre-eternity nor post-eternity. If you observe the length of this kind of time, it is less than a twinkling of the eye. If you think about the shortness of this kind of time, you will find pre-eternity and post-eternity in that [Divine time] less than an instant. This kind of time has neither past (gudhashtan) nor future (amadan). Demarcation (tahaddud), multiplicity (ta‘addud), and partition (taba‘uj) have no way to it.[14]

In this way, Divine time is a time in which the entire flow of time is present to God. Events occurred in unfathomable past or those to take place in infinite future are ever present to God as present in an instant. Thus Divine time is unitive without accepting multiplicity. Ushnuhi mentions that no atom of the created is far from the Divine time.[15] Therefore, all atoms of the created have a kind of relationship with Divine time which is unitive, but at the same time, has an aspect of potential multiplicity with the created.[16]


Ushnuhi discusses on space in a way similar to time, but his classification of space is more detailed than that of time. He first divides space into three kinds: (1) physical space (makan-i jismiyat), (2) spiritual space (makan-i ruhaniyat), and (3) Divine space (makan-i Allah), and further he subdivides (1) physical space into three kinds and (2) spiritual space into four.[17]

(1) Physical space is divided into three kinds: (1a) coarse (kathif), (1b) subtle (latif), and (1e) subtlest (altaf). Coarse physical space is that on the earth, in which one must walk on his legs in order to move from a place to another, and in which nothing is able to occupy a place which another thing has already occupied. Here is always conflict, farness and nearness. Space (1b) is that of air (bad). Here is still conflict, because we cannot freshly blow air into a leather bag unless we let the air in it out. However, just as birds or thunders one can move a distance which takes a month or two to go over on the earth in an hour in this kind of space.

Therefore, the farness in space (1a) becomes nearness in space (1b). Space (1c) is also called that of visible lights (makan-i anwar-i surati), that is to say, the space of lights such as the sun, the moon, starts, and lamps. At the instant of the sun rise on the east end on the horizon, the sun beams immediately reach the west end. Thus the subtlest physical space has an intense nearness incomparable to that of the former two kinds of space. Again, when one lights on a candle in a tent, its light diffuses in all the corners of the tent. Even if one adds the number of candles, they will not expel the light of the first candle from the tent. There is no conflict or exclusion in this kind of space. However, if there is something intercepting the way of light, it cannot go over it. Light cannot reach a place which is too far. Therefore, there is still farness in space (1c).[18]

(2) Spiritual space is divided into four kinds: (2a) lower (adna) spiritual space, which is for the angels of the lower world like Hell; (2b) middle (awsat) spiritual space, which is for the angels of heav(2c)higher(a‘la) spiritual space, which is for the angels made near to the presence of Lordship (muqarraban-i hajrat-i rububiyat); and (2d) space of spirits (makan-i arwah). Divisions from (2a) to (2c) are classified on the basis of rank of angels. Higher spiritual space (2c) is an extreme subtle space, but it does not attain the perfection of spirituality (ruhiyat) yet, for there still remains a farness, in which one needs motion however little it is to reach its aimed object. In contrast to these three, space (2d) is classified based on the view point of human spirit (ruh-i insani). There may be a number of levels in it according to the subtlety which spirits attain, but it is only human spirits that are able to reach the perfect subtlety. The human spirits which occupy the highest position has no farness to all from the throne of God to the created on the earth without necessity to move, but (they have a farness only) to the Infinite to   which they have farness   because  they can encompass neither the infinitely high nor the infinitely  high nor the infinitely low 

The last is (3) the Divine space, which is beyond all kinds of space mentioned above. There is no farness at all in the Divine space, where all kinds of space are united in the absolute nearness, nearness in nearness (qurb dar qurb) in Ushnuhi’s expression. Even the infinitely high and the infinitely low are reduced to one instant, which is a space that has no length, width, depth, farness, distance, above-below, right-left, or front-rear.[19]

All kinds of space mentioned above construct a multilayered structure as a whole. Human body usually locates in the physical space, the lowest of the structure of space, but it is able to enter the spiritual space as its spiritual power becomes stronger. Then even if he is put into fire, he will not be burnt because he himself is in the spiritual space in the space of fire and is far from the physical fire.[20] Various kinds of space are ordered according to intensity of subtlety and transparency, from four elements [earth, water, air and fire], spirit (jan, ruh), and to God (Haqq) in the ascending order, and they do not mix with each other at all. The space of spirits never contains four elements or God,[21] but the spirits encompass all parts of bodies, which are not free from them. They are with (ba) any part of bodies,[22] but not in the same space. Just like this, Divine space encompasses all the others and has nearness with them all while at the same time, it has farness because it does not share space with others at all. In other words, Divine space has a phenomenal nearness (qurb-i suri) insofar as it encompasses and controls all the other, and it has also absolute farness, or essential farness (bu‘d-i ma‘nawi) insofar as it has no common ground with the others.[23] Divine space is “with all without all (bi-hame bi-hame), without all with all, far from all and near to all”.[24] The relationship between God and the created, or between spirit and body, is explained in another page by using a paradoxical concept of togetherness (ma‘iyat).[25]

Based on the concepts of space and time mentioned above, various supernatural phenomena can be explained. In his Heavenly Journey (mi‘raj),[26] Prophet Muhammed told that he had seen Yunus[27] in the stomach of fish and that he had seen ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Awf[28] creeping into paradise. The former event is one having occurred three thousand years before and the latter is one to be occurred fifty thousand years after in the framework of time of this world. We cannot understand that the two events occurred in an evening of the mi‘raj unless we assume a time in which past and future are always united in present.[29] In such subtle space and time which man can attain by purification of soul, man can complete in a day such work that takes a year in a usual time and space to complete it, for example, the work of Khijr who is told to move a mountain.[30] Further, when his soul attains its perfection, he realizes himself spiritual time, in which he can read through the Qur’an word by word a hundred times in less than an hour.[31]

Let us sum up Ushnuhi’s discussion on time and space. Present in time for humans as physical being is finite, for it is placed between past and future, and space for humans is also covered with opaque farness. However, past, present, and future for humans are all present to God. Nothing in time is but present to God. Similarly, Divine space has no farness, and nothing in space is but present to God. Various events spread in the infinite extent of time and space are all united in a simple instant in the Divine space and time without mutual conflict. Human soul also attains the spiritual stage, which is analogous to the Divine space and time.


According to the traditional Aristotelian philosophy in Islam which gives a logical framework to Mulla Sadra’s thought, time is defined as “the quantity of motion seen from the view point of an antecedent and a subsequent”,[32] or “the quantity of circular motion from the view point of an antecedent and a subsequent, nor from that of distance”[33] Peripatetic philosophers assume that motion (harakah) which is closely related to the concept of time, does not take place in the category of substance (jawhar). In order to maintain that a certain thing moves a distance, or that it continues to subsist for a certain period, it must keep its identity before and after its motion, or the lapse of time of a certain period. Unless it keeps its identity, a thing before its motion would be different from a thing after its motion.

Consequently, it would be that different things subsist in different units of time. There would be no motion, but existence of two different things unrelated with each other. Therefore, Peripatetic philosophers maintain the thesis that there is no motion in the category of substance.

Against the traditional theory of motion, Mulla Sadra presents a theory of substantial motion (al-harakah al-jawhariyah). In his understanding, based on the emanation of existence from the Absolute, this world is a dynamic flux which continually repeats to generate and annihilate for every moment. To think substance as fixed existent hinders us from understanding the fluidity of the world on its metaphysical level. The identity before and after its motion is considered to be maintained by the identical pattern of repetition of the process of generation and annihilation observed both before and after its motion, not by negation of the motion in substance. It is nature (tabi‘ah) that supports the fluidity of the world by functioning as a field of motion.[34]

Time as quantity of motion is reformulated by Mulla Sadra as “quantity of nature insofar as its essential generation”.[35] The mode of being of this world, namely, the physical world, inevitably involves space and time in its composition. Because of the continual repetition of generation and annihilation (tajaddud) of nature, things seeming to be at rest (sakin) are in motion from another view point. Anything in motion is in time.[36]

Islamic philosophical tradition including Mulla Sadra himself, tries to understand the existents from the three different dimensions of time in an extended sense. He writes as the words of great philosophers[37] in the following way:

The relationship of the fixed to the fixed is Non-Time (sarmad), that of the fixed to the changeable (mutaghayyir) is Meta-Time (dahr), and that of the changeable to the changeable is time (zaman). They mean by the first [sarmad] the relationship of the Creator to His ever-generating objects of knowledge (ma‘lumat), that is to say, all the existents in this material world through the existential togetherness (al-ma‘iyah al-wujudiyah); and by the third [zaman] that of His objects of knowledge to other objects of knowledge through the temporal togetherness (al-ma‘iyah al-zamaniyah).[38]

Philosophers in Islam have thus formulated the three layered ontological structure of the world through extending the concept of time.

The tripartite division of Time, Meta-Time and Non-Time (in the order from lower to higher), which Mulla Sadra has adopted, may correspond to his tripartite division of the modes of being (nash’ah). The first of the three is the mode of being of this world (dunya), which is characterized by motion and change, and which s grasped by sense (hiss). The second is that of the middle world (barzakh), which is grasped by imagination (khayal). This dimension is also the world of soul (nafs), where such supernatural achievements as a travel in an instant to a faraway land and clairvoyance take place in his understanding. The last is that of hereafter (akhirah), which is beyond nature, and which is grasped by pure intelligence (‘aql). This is the domain of Divine unity and comprehensiveness.[39]

In reference to the third division, the domain of the Divine unity, Mulla Sadra states as follows:

The proper existence of God, the most High, cannot be described in the context of occurrence of antecedence and subsequence analogous to daily events. The togetherness of God with such events is nothing but non-temporal togetherness (al-ma‘iyah ghayr al-zamaniyah), which is eternal togetherness (al-ma‘iyah al-qayyumiyah) far above time, motion, change, and temporal origination (huduth).[40]

The relation of God with all the existents cannot be taken on the level of temporal antecedence or subsequence, but on that of an eternal togetherness proper to Him. The eternal togetherness is realized in simple (basit) existence, God or intelligence. Compound (murakkab) existents made manifested by the emanation of the Absolute are in mutual conflict and contradiction, while God as simple existence, or intelligence as His action, comprehends all existents without mutual exclusion or conflict because of His simplicity.[41] His eternal togetherness is based on His comprehensive unity.

Therefore, Divine time and space are understood in the following way:

The entirety of time and something like an hour that conforms to time, are parts of work of God, among which is work of Divine self-manifestations which take place every day and hour. In such a way is the entirety of spaces which take place every time. Just as various units of time are united in one in His witnessing eye, various spaces which take place every time are united in one. Analogous to this, the earth which exists now is united in one with the earths which existed in [the direction of] pre-eternity and which are to be in [the direction of] post-eternity. In this way all the earths [in all units of time and spaces] become one earth where all the created [in all units of time and spaces] are found in the witness of angels, prophets, and martyrs.[42]

Motion of continual generation and annihilation in the physical world, which comes out through the emanative process of Divine self-manifestations gives necessarily rise to time and space. However, mutually exclusive differentiation in compound existence caused by generation of time and space effects nothing to God as simple existence. Rather far from the differentiation, God is always together with any time or space on account of His simplicity.


Mulla Sadra advised readers to consult Ushnuhi’s treatise in order to understand the true meaning of time and space of the Day of Resurrection. Ushnuhi’s tripartite division of time and space into physical, spiritual, and Divine approximately corresponds to Mulla Sadra’s division of the three modes of being and of the three domains of time, meta-time, and no-time. Ushnuhi’s spiritual dimension where man with a fully developed soul can move freely beyond restrictions imposed by space and time is similar in nature to Mulla Sadra’s psychic mode of being based upon imagination. A discussion of togetherness (ma‘iyah) of God with all kinds of space and time is also commonly found both in Ushnuhi and Mulla Sadra.

There are, of course, different points in the style and way of discussion between them. Uhnuhi explains the difference between God and the created by assigning God a transcendent time-space, whose kind is different from that of the created, while Mulla Sadra explains the difference between them by similarly assigning them their proper ontological domains, and he further offers a theory which integrates the difference of the three domains by presenting the idea of existence as a unifying factor in such a way that he grasps God as pure existence in the highest intensity and the others as compound existents in various degrees of intensity of existence. However, the true meaning of the Day of Resurrection that all humans in all units of time, that is, past, present and future, and in all areas of the world are at once made together in the presence of God, in other words, that He is ever present to all existents through His proper relationship with them, namely, ma‘iyah qayyumiyah or bi-hame bi-hame, is clearly commonly shared by both Mulla Sadra and Ushnuhi. Therefore, we understand that it is quite natural for Mulla Sadra to advise to read a treatise written by a great gnostic of Shiraz in order to grasp the secrets of time and space.




[1]. Sadr al-Din al-Shirazi, Tafsir surat al-waqi‘ah, Ed. by M. Khwajawi, Tehran, 1363, pp. 176-177. The following two quotations in the text are also quoted from here.

[2]. Mulla Sadra quotes a passage of Abu al-Qasim al-Zamakhshari, al-Kashshaf ‘an haqa’iq al-tanzil wa ‘uyên al-aqawil fi wujêh al-ta’wil, Beirut, n.d., Vol. 4, p.55.

[3]. See the Qur’an, 70:4.

[4]. See the Qur’an, 16:77, 54:50.

[5]. The hikayat al-Jawhari is quoted in this book (Sadr al-Din al-Shirazi, Mafatih al-ghayb, Ed. by M. Khwajawi, Tehran, 1363AH, p. 634) from Ibn al-‘Arabi’s major work (al-Futuhat al-makkiyah, Beirut, n.d., vol. 2, p. 82). The story is as follows: A man brought a piece of dough in his hands to an oven outside his house. On his way he touched a dirt and went down to the Nile river to wash himself. While he was immersed in water, he saw himself in a dreamy reality, that he stayed in Baghdad for sixty years and married a woman, by whom he got several children. Then he came to his senses in water and completed his ablution. After he saw returned to the oven and took out his freshly baked bread, he went back home and told his story in the dream to his family. Some months later, a woman visited him. He found here a woman whom he had married in the dream and her accompanying children his own.

Ibn al-‘Arabi interprets this story in such a way that the events which occurred in imagination (khayal) took place in senses (hiss). Probably Mulla Sadra quotes this story as hinting that the quality of time and space in the sensual mode of being differs from that of the imaginal. Ushnuhi also tells a similar story concerning a disciple of Junayd. See “Kitab Ghayat al-imkan fi dirayat al-makan” Majmê‘ah-i athar-i farsi-yi Taj al-Din-i Ushnuwi, Ed. by N. Mayil Harawi, Tehran, 1368AH, p. 79. In the following notes this work is referred to as Ushnuhi.

[6]. Sadr al-Din al-Shirazi, Mafatih al-ghayb, pp. 634-635. He does not mention its contents of discussion, but writes ‘there are secrets not to be revealed here about time, space, and the difference of their length and shortness on the basis of the subtlety and coarseness of their modes of being’ (p. 634). M. Khwajawi, the editor of the Mafatih al-ghayb, identifies ‘a Gnostic of Shiraz’ as Ushnuhi (p. 635).

[7]. The text was once published as the Risalat al-amkinah wa-al-azminah ‘Ayn al-Qujat al-Hamadani (Ed. by R. Farmanesh, Tehran, 1339AH). However, the ascription of author is regarded as wrong. Jami mentions Ushnuhi as the author of the Risalah-i ghayan al-imkan fi ma‘rifat al-zaman wa-al-makan. Jami, Nafahat al-uns, ed. M. Tawhidipur, Tehran, n.d., p. 355. The treatise is ascribed to Ushnuhi (7/13 century) by H. Landolt in his “Sakralraum und mystischer Raum im Islam,” Eranos Jahrbuch, vol. 44 (1975), p. 262; M. Khwajawi, the editor of Mulla Sadra’s Mafatih al-ghayb in its note p. 635; and N. Mayil Harawi, the editor of a new edition of the treatise, in his Majmê ‘ah-i athar-i farsi-yi Taj al-Din-i Ushnuwi, pp. 18-22. Shams al-Din al-Daylami ( 593/1197) is mentioned as a possible author second to Ushnuhi by Aqa Buzurg al-Tehrani, al-Dhari ‘ah ila tasanif al-shi ‘ah, Bayrut, n.d.,vol. 14, p. 9 (No.34). G. Böwering mentions that the treatise is Ushnuhi’s paraphrase of the words of his master, Shams al-Din al-Daylami in his “Ideas of Time in Persian Sufism,” Classical Persian Sufism: from its Origins to Rumi, Ed. By L. Lewisohn, London, 1993, p. 227.

[8]. Ushnuhi’s discussion of the idea of space is masterly summed up in H. Landolt, op.cit., pp. 261-265.

[9]. Ushnuhi, p. 74.

[10]. Ushnuhi, p. 75.

[11]. Ushnuhi, p. 75.

[12]. Ushnuhi, p. 75.

[13]. Ushnuhi, p. 75.

[14]. Ushnuhi, p. 76.

[15]. Ushnuhi, p. 76.

[16]. This paradoxical nature is found in the ontological domain of Divine Names and Attributes. It is understandable that Ushnuhi refers to something similar to the nature of the domain of Divine Names by the Divine time, since he discusses Divine Attributes in this context in such a manner that “God who is in this unitive non-multiple time knows by His non-multiple knowledge all the multiple objects of His knowledge” (p. 76) and identifies the dimension of Divine time as umm al-kitab in contrast to the lawh-i mahfêî (p. 80).

[17]. Ushnuhi, pp. 63, 65.

[18]. Ushnuhi, p.63-65.

[19]. Ushnuhi, p. 66.

[20]. Ushnuhi, p. 67.

[21]. Ushnuhi, pp. 68-69.

[22]. Ushnuhi, p. 69.

[23]. Ushnuhi, pp. 70-71.

[24]. Ushnuhi, p. 69.

[25]. Ushnuhi, p. 58. Here he explains the relationship of God with the created as well as that of human spirit with his body in a way analogous to the former. See section IV of the present paper for the concept of ma’iyah which Mulla Sadra has adopted.

[26]. The story is found, for example, in al-Bukhari, al-sahih, al-Qahirah, 1311 AH, Vol. 1, pp. 92-94.

[27]. See Qur’an. 37: 139-148, and B. Heller, “Yênus b. Mattai,” Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam, Leiden, 1953, pp. 645-646.

[28]. ‘Abd-al-Rahman ibn ‘Auf (d. 32/652) is one of Prophet’s Companions who were promised to enter paradise. See al-Tirmidhi, al-Jami’ al-sahih, al-Qahirah, 1395AH, vol. 5, pp. 647-648 (nos. 3747-3748); Ibn Sa’d, Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, Ed. by E. Sachau, Leiden, 1904, vol. 3-1, pp. 87-97.

[29]. Ushnuhi, pp. 77-78.

[30]. Ushnuhi, p. 79.

[31]. Ushnuhi, p. 79.

[32]. Ibn Sina, “Kitab al-hudud, “Rasa’il Ibn Sina, Qumm, 1400AH, p. 105.

[33]. Ibn Sina, “Kitab al-najat, Ed. by M. Fakhri, Bayrut, 1985, p. 155.

[34]. “Nature is a potency flowing in bodies, by which a body attains its natural perfection”. Al-Jurjani, Kitab al-ta‘rifat, Ed. By G. Flügel, Bayrut, 1969, p. 145.

[35]. sadr al-Din al-Shirazi, al-Hikmah al-muta‘aliyah fi al-Asfar al-‘aqliyah al-arba‘ah [abbreviated as Asfar] Tehran, 1383AH, Safar 1, Juz’ 3, p. 147.

[36].al -Asfar, Safar 1, Juz’ 3, p. 182.

[37]. The tripartite division of sarmad, dahr and zaman is an important set of concepts of Mir Damad (d. 1040/1631), Mulla  Sadra’s one of the teachers. These terms go back to the usage of Ibn Sina. See T. Izutsu, “Mir Damad and His Metaphysics,” Mir Damad, Kitab al-qabasat, Ed. by M. Muhaqqiq, Tehran, 1977, pp. 4-10 and Ibn Sina, ‘Uyên al-hikmah, Ed. by ‘A. R. Badawi, Kuwait,  1980, p. 28.

[38].al Asfar, Safar 1, Juz’ 3, pp. 147-148.

[39]. The tripartite division of the modes of being occupies an important position in his system of thought and is discussed extensively in many of his works. For example, al-Shawahid al-rububiyah, Ed. by S. J. D. Ashtiyani, Tehran, 1346AH, pp. 320-321. Mulla Sadra presents the idea of resurrection (qiyamah) in a tripartite classification corresponding to that of the modes of being. That is to say, the minor resurrection (al-qiyamah al-sughra), individual’s natural death; the major resurrection (al-qiyamah al-kubra), events on the Day of Resurrection as described in the Qur’an and hadith; and the ultimate resurrection (al-qiyamah al-‘uîma), where all are annihilated in the Absolute. See sadr al-Din al-Shirazi, Mafatih al-ghayb, p. 635. H. Corbin’s detailed discussion on this topic is found in his En Islam Iranien, Paris, 1972. Vol. 4, pp. 54-122.

[40].al -Asfar, Safar 1, Juz’ 3, p. 146.

[41]. See al-Shawahid al-rububiyah, pp. 152-153; al-Asfar, Safar 1, Juz’ 3, pp. 110-118; and F. Rahman, The Philosophy of Mulla  Sadra, Albany, 1975, pp. 234-236.

[42]. Al-Shawahid al-rububiyah, p. 289, where discussion refers to the place of resurrection (mahshar).




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