Mâyâ and the Divine Treasure
Within the Islamic tradition, representatives of Sufi mysticism often refer to a prophetic tradition in which God declares, “I was a hidden treasure and I wanted to be known, therefore I created the world.” This hadîth qudsî (a tradition transmitted by the Prophet of Islam in which the Divinity speaks in the first person) includes, in a way, the whole metaphysical doctrine of the relationship between the Absolute and the relative, and it may, as such, constitute a general introduction to the philosophical underpinnings of our present study. There are at least four levels to consider in this saying: (1) that of the I, the pure Subject, (2) that of the Divine Subject’s perception of being a “Hidden Treasure,” (3) that of the Divine Will (“I wanted”), and (4) that of the Divine as Object of knowledge.
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