Kitāb al-ʿAbādilah

The Book of the Servants of God

A page from Koprulu 713
A page from Koprulu 713

A major work describing the various modalities of the truly human being (al-insān al-kāmil). There are 117 chapters corresponding to the number of virtues which can be actualised within the human (makārim al-akhlāq). Each chapter is devoted to a particular servant of God (ʿAbd Allāh), who is the 'son' of a divine Name and of a prophet, and each one (apart from the final three) is also directly linked to a Sura of the Quran.

“ ʿAbd Allah b. ʿAbd Allah b. Muhammad b. ʿAbd Allah said:

The first of the Presence of Divinity to manifest is the Name. 

The first of the letters to manifest is the bâ’. 

The first existent thing to manifest is substance.

The first thing to colour Him is Light.

The first non-essential characteristic to manifest is movement. 

The first property to be witnessed after Being is Majesty. 

The first articulation to manifest is 'I'. 

The first quality to be received is Life. 

The first state to come upon one is dissolution. 

The first knowledge one receives is one's knowledge of God, so that one sees oneself in this knowledge.”