First of all, God puts His names…His seeing, His hearing, His clemency…al-hayy, al-qayyum…in man – all the ninety-nine names form the beginning to the end. God is life, and is name is life so He attributed His life to you. You are alive by His name, and therefore you must become the one who gives. God give you the gift of giving. All the attributes are given to you, so you are the caliphate. These names are projected in man whether he knows it or not.
The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said in the hadith…Man is created in God’s image. If man could become conscious of what it was that is within him, he would be perfect by knowing the ninety-nine names within him. The names are also embedded in the non-human species, like animals. God created animals, and put in them al-Hayy, the Living, and al-Basil, the Extender, but not all the ninety-nine names. Therefore animals are not responsible, but man is responsible. Animals are not thinking beings in the full sense that man is. Allah did not give them all the ninety-nine names, so they do not have the responsibility of praying. Because God gave man all these names, and He gave him unlimited thinking, He told him, “You are a slave and as long as you know who you are, you know Who is your master, and you know that I am the Creator. When you know that I am the Creator, you know that you have the responsibility to prayer.”
You are the slave of God, and you cannot leave the realm of Abdullah. You cannot be more than a slave as long as there is unlimited power of thinking. But if the faculty of thinking is crippled, then the person is not responsible for thinking. For example; the mentally retarded. In this case, God will not ask them. Yet even though he is like this, he will still be the slave of God. God will not ask him why or what because He takes the responsibility for him.
Every man must encompass the ninety-nine names, for every human being whom God creates contains them. All humanity contains and encompasses the ninety-nine names, yet you must distinguish between just possessing them and becoming conscious of them. A person can have life (al-hayy) and power (al-aziz) or a person can have generosity (al-karim), and yet use it only for his own good; this is not what Allah means by al-karim. True generosity means that you will surrender what is most precious to you, to others. When man knows the secret of consciousness and the total knowledge, then man becomes conscious and watches the manifestation of God upon himself. Then he becomes hadrat kamila (complete presence). He is like the prophets, the prophetic hadrat. He becomes hadrat insan al kamil. The age of the prophets is ended. If man becomes completely aware of the ninety-nine names , then he will be polite with all the faces of God and be insan al kamil. He will be good-mannered and in good conduct as all the lovers of God with what God created; even with the lowest of the low (in the eyes of others). This person is also the picture of God and he is still a complete appearance (matherillahi kamil), because of the Hand which created him and because of the name through which he came into being, for the name calls him into existence.
If a person becomes aware of all this, completely conscious of the true knowledge, he comes to know. If at that time he is totally conscious of the whole process, he comes insan al kamil and then he inherits the truth.
The hadrat (presence) of the prophets and messengers has already ended but the truth subsists, haqiqat baqai. The truth of the light and the science of God’s inheritance still lives. If he becomes aware of that, then he becomes insan al kamil.
When he beomes insan al kamil he has reached the summit, the highest station. Here he receives the inheritance. He is the one who knows God – he is wali, close to God, a governor. His rank is nearest like that of a nabi (prophet) or rasul (messenger). This is the rank of the complete person who inherits the knowledge which God have to Muhammad, may peace and blessings be upon him. God gave the science of all sciences to Muhammad, may peace and blessings be upon him, and from him it went forth. And this science also came to him from Moses, Jesus, Ibrahim, and from all the prophets, and through him this science comes to Insan al-Kamil. A person can only attain the science of absolute truth, the science of knowledge and God, if he becomes the heir (al-wa’arith).
Excerpt from Conversations in the Zawiyah by Sidi Shaykh Muhammad Said al-Jamal ar-Rifa’i
All books published by Sidi Muhammad Press can be purchased at sufimaster.org.