Lives of Man – al-Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf

بسْم الله الرّحْمن الرّحيم، اللّهمّ صلِّ على سيّدنا محمّدٍ وآله
وصحْبه وسلِّم

The following is a brief summary of the introduction to the lecture that was given by al-Habib at Tradisi Halaqah sometime in October this year. It is based on a book the Lives of Man by the Pole of Guidance Imam ‘Abd Allah al-Haddad may Allah be pleased with him. The rest of the lecture can be followed in the same dropbox account as previous lectures.

The Life of man is different from all other creations as it is elevated or exalted. The life of an animal is different from vegetation even though both are living things.The life of man is not the same likewise as the life of animals, man can speak but animals are not given speech.

Inanimate objects e.g. rocks are also considered to have a degree of life. They are alive in the sense that they manifest the Divine attributes.

The best of God’s creation is man who in some aspects are more exalted than angels. “We have favoured/honoured the sons of Adam…(to the end of the verse)” Therefore mankind in general be they muslims or non-muslims in themselves are more elevated than the other creations.
Man undergo 5 stages of life, the 1st of which is the stage of the soul without its physical form. This soul is created thus it has a beginning. When asked however regarding its beginning, it is something beyond our ability to understand. No one knows how long ago they were created. In a narration the Prophet s.a.w mentioned, “There is nothing with Allah s.w.t. and before Him there was nothing…

Allah is present before all creations, including the sacred tablet, heaven or hell etc. He is beginningless. The heavens and earth and all other creations are created later in comparison to the Arsy i.e. the Throne. Allah is present without being limited by place and time.Time is itself a creation (a mental construct). Time for us in this life is calculated from movements of the heavenly bodies. Time in this life therefore is different from time in the barzakh/intermediary realm/qabr although in both states we experience time.

When we talk about time and place we associate/relate them to created things. All the six directions are based on man’s perception. Directions are not fixed/absolute for all creatures. Directions are relative e.g. a person is sitting down with a wall in front of him and another wall to his right and behind…when the person turns the wall that was initially in front becomes his behind. If we look at an ant walking on the ceiling, the ant’s below is the ceiling which is our top(above us).

So we say that time and place we can only associate to created things not Allah ta’ala, directions are relative, depending on one’s position while time is based on calculations based on observations of positions of heavenly bodies. Time differs from one place to another different places experience different durations of day and night due to their different position from the sun. There are other planets further from the sun having different duration of day and night. There is 270 hrs of night in a certain planet. So when we talk about the 1st stage of man’s life, we have to state firstly that Allah has no beginning and He created everything which has a beginning including the souls of man. Allah’s attributes are present even before He created anything. Scholars differ as to the stages of life of man some say there are 5 some say 6. This shall be explained later.

Allah created in sequences He created the Pen and the Sacred Tablet (Lauh Mahfuz). Scholars differ regarding the presence of the soul before it is blown into the foetus in the 4th month of pregnancy. They differ whether it is created at the point of blowing into the womb or the soul is already present in the invisible realm beforehand. al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar and Ibn Qayyim differ in this matter…