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Living The Quran

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From Issue: 1020 [Read full issue]

The Even and The Odd
Al-Fajr (The Dawn) - Chapter 89: Verse 3

"By the even and the odd!"

By the even! By all the creatures of the cosmos! For God created them all in pairs, two by two, whether linked to each other or opposed to each other, like male and female, day and night, light and darkness, heaven and earth, ocean and land, sun and moon, jinn and mankind, obedience and disobedience, felicity and wretchedness, exaltation and abasement, power and incapacity, strength and weakness, knowledge and ignorance, life and death.

God created the attributes of creatures like this—opposed to each other or paired with each other—so that they would not resemble the attributes of the Creator, for God's exaltation has no abasement, God's power no incapacity, God's strength no weakness, God's knowledge no ignorance, God's life no death, and God's subsistence no annihilation. Hence, God is the odd: alone and unique. The rest are all the even: paired with each other.

Some of the scholars have said that the even are Mount Safa and Mount Marwa, and the odd is the Kabah. The even are the Holy Mosque and the mosque of Medina, and the odd is the Aqsa Mosque. The even are day and night, paired with each other, and the odd is the Day of Resurrection, which has no day and night. The even are the soul and spirit, which are linked today, and the odd is the spirit tomorrow when it is separate from the frame. The even are desire and intention, and the odd is aspiration, a stranger without anyone. The even are the renouncer and the worshiper, each other's comrades, and the odd is the desirer, who travels alone, without comrade and companion.

Compiled From:
"Kashf al-Asrar wa Uddat al-Abrar" - Rashid al-Din Maybudi. p. 542

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