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Thousands of Worlds
Some remarks on Duʿāʾ Kumayl (part 8)
wa-bi ʿaẓamatika llatī malaʾat kulla shayʾin
[I beseech you] by your majesty, which pervades all things
Majesty belongs to God alone. God’s majesty is on account of his independence from everything. The majesty of a human being, who is utter dependency, is simply haughtiness. In one ḥadīth qudsī, God says, “Majesty is my cloak,” so how can anyone else have any share of it? Thus, the use of the word majesty to describe something as feeble as a human being is scornful. Quran 22:73 states, “And if a fly took something away from them, they would not be able to retrieve it. How feeble are the petitioners and how feeble are those they petition.”
So the sentence means I beseech you, God, by your majesty, which inundates existence. Furthermore, we can understand the majesty of someone by looking at what they do, the way we can understand the genius of an engineer by looking at the skyscraper he or she designed, or the greatness of an author by reading what he or she has written. Imam Sadiq is reported to have said that God has 12,000 worlds each of which is bigger than 7 heavens and 7 earths.