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The World of Command

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The World of Command (Arabic:عالم الأمر) or (ālam al-amr) stands in contrast to the World of Creation (alam al-khalq) and refers to the supernatural world. Unlike the World of Creation, the beings in the World of Command are incorporeal and cannot be perceived by the five senses. The basis of the coinage of this term can be traced back to the Quranic statement "All creation and command belong to Him" [1], though some scholars have questioned the relevance of this verse to the existence of such a world.

In Contrast to the World of Creation

Some scholars believe that, beside the World of Creation, which is the world of material and sensory beings, there is a world called the World of Command, which encompasses immaterial beings. According to Mulla Sadra, God has created several worlds, which can be divided into two categories: the World of Creation and the World of Command: the former is the material world, and the latter is the world of incorporeal beings, which are only perceived by internal senses. The World of Command is said to have been so named because the beings of this world are created merely by God's command and without the mediation of other creatures.

Basis in Revelation

The belief in the existence of the World of Command is inspired by some Quranic verses, such as Qur'an 17:85 and Qur'an 7:54.

Characteristics of the World of Command

Scholars have mentioned that in the World of Command, entities come to existence merely by God's will, without any need for other causes or conditions. This is unlike the World of Creation, in which everything is dependent upon specific material conditions.

It has also been said that creation in the World of Creation occurs in a gradual process, but in the World of Command creation takes place instantly. This claim has been backed up by the Qura'nic verses indicating that when God wills something, as soon as He "commands," that thing comes into existence: "All His command, when He wills something, is to say to it 'Be' and it is" [2].

Opponents and Proponents of the World of Command

Some Muslim philosophers have spoken of the existence of the World of Command (or the "Supernatural World") and the World of Creation (or the "Material World"). In his al-Safi and under the Qur'an 7:54 ("All creation and command belong to Him"), al-Fayd al-Kashani writes: "What is meant by 'creation' is the world of material bodies, and what is meant by 'command' is the world of spirits."

Mujtahida Amin too states in her Makhzan al-irfan that there are two worlds: the world of creation or the world of material beings, and the world of command or the world of spirits, intellects, and incorporeal beings. ‎However, the authors of Tafsir-i Nimuna did not favor this view. According to them, the word amr (command) in the Qur'an is used for material beings as well; for instance, the very verse from which the existence of the two worlds is inferred states, "and [He created] the sun, the moon, and the stars, [all of them] disposed by His command" [3]. Even Allama Tabatabai has not mentioned the existence of the World of Command in his commentary on Qur'an 7:54.

Notes

  1. Qur'an 7:54
  2. Qur'an 36:82
  3. Qur'an 7:54

See Also

References

  • The material for this article is mainly taken from عالم امر in Farsi WikiShia.