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COMMENTARY on ‘KNOW GOD BY/IN GOD’ (تفسير عرفوا الله بِالله)

In the Name of God the Compassionate, the Merciful! (بِسم الله الرّحمن الرّحيم) Praise be unto God Who is known by Itself with Itself, and blessings be upon Its Chosen Ones in entirety! (الحمد لله الذّي عرف بِنفسه لِنفسه وصلّ الله على مصطفينه اجمعين)
As for the matter at hand (امّا بعد): Thus saith this camphorated servant of the Truly Real in reply to a query asking for an explanation regarding the meaning of “know God by/in God” (عرفوا الله بِالله). At the beginning of the famous riwāya (transmission) attributed to ʿAlī (ع) by the 6th Imām (ع) -- which Kulaynī includes in the first book of al-Kāfī (i.e. k. al-tawḥīd) -- it is stated “know” or “apprehend” or “noeticize God by/in God” (عرفوا الله بِالله). The original Arabic of this opening phrase of the ḥadīth contains three words consisting of fourteen letters with an abjad numerical value of 491 which is numerically equivalent to the phrase “He/It is my Lord and thy Lord” (ھو ربّي و ربّکم) of Qur’ān 43:64. Note how at the end of th…

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