Friday, December 8, 2006

20)Nasir Khusraw

Nasir Khusraw, in his treatise on philosophical theology entitled "Knowledge and Liberation" has the following comments to make on the notion of time and how it relates to the acquisition of rational and suprarational knowledge:

'We say that first it is necessary to know what time is so that this knot can be untied. It should be known that in reality, time is (contained in) the act of an agent, because it is (a measure of) the movement of the (celestial) sphere. Thus, when a measure (equal to) a constellation passes from the sphere, we say that two hours from night or day have elapsed, and when half of the sphere passes we say twelve hours of time from day or night have elapsed. (However), if you take away the sphere from (your) imagination, nothing remains of time. When the existence of a thing depends on another thing, then if you remove the latter, the former which had come into existence through the latter (also) disappears. For instance, if we remove the sun from (our) imagination, the day would be removed. From this demonstration it is evident that if from the imagination you remove the sphere, time (too) would be removed. (In reality), since the rotation of the sphere is the act of an agent by the command of the Creator, time is (caused by) the act of the Creator Himself.'

'In this connection, those in possession of wisdom have also said that time is nothing but (a measure of) change in the conditions of body, one after the other. This view is the same as that of time being (contained in) the act of an agent, because the totality of the world's body is within the vault of the spheres, and when the spheres rotate its condition changes as every pont of it moves from its existing place to another place. (Furthermore), the rotation of the spheres does not stop because its time is never-ending.'

'It is inconceivable for the simple (person) that time can be removed from the imagination. This is because of the fact that since the human soul is linked with a body which is under time, it cannot go beyond (time) without being nurtured with the knowledge of the truth. As God says: "O assembly of jinn and men, if you can penetrate the bounds of the heavens and the earth, do so, but you cannot without the proof"(Quran 55:33)-that is, jinn and men cannot conceive anything in their souls other than what they see in the heavens and the earth, and they cannot go beyond what is under thr heavens and time unless they receive nurture(of true knowledge) from the Imam of the time, who is proof of God(hujjat-i Khuda) on earth.'


Islam, eminently logical, placing the greatest emphasis on knowledge, purports to understand God's creation:Aga Khan 4.
The God of the Quran is the One whose Ayats(Signs) are the Universe in which we live, move and have our being:Aga Khan 3