“I Was a Hidden Treasure…”

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“I was a hidden treasure and wanted to be known.” This is the beginning of probably the most famous hadith qudsi, or extra-Qur’anic Word of God, ḥadiṯs-e kanz-e maḵf.  Its more correct translation might be as follows:

“I was a Treasure unknown then I desired to be known so I created a creation to which I made Myself known; then they knew Me.”

Tradition says that it is the divine response to the Prophet David’s query, when he asked about the purpose of creation. These are not the words of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), and no chain of transmission is known for this hadith, whether sound or weak, as Ibn Taymiyya and others state. But the meaning is true and is inferred from Q51:56:

“I created the Jinn and humankind only that they may worship Me!” meaning “that they may know Me” as the Prophet’s (SAW) cousin Ibn Abbas explained it.

Since human beings were created in His image (as self-aware consciousnesses evolved in a physical body), all human beings are also hidden treasures to each other. And all have this deep desire to be known. So, all of us create our own little worlds, each according to his or her capabilities of love, talents, and gifts. Of course it is a limited and ephemeral world, not comparable with Almighty Allah’s creation, but part of our nature nonetheless :)

– Edited and adapted from a post on Br. Fahad’s Freelance blog.

Ya Haqq!


2 Responses to “I Was a Hidden Treasure…”

  1. Ratia says:

    Wasalaams and greetings of Peace,

    Thank you very much for this! Jazak Allah Khair.

  2. Ramin says:

    Here is what Hand of the Cause of God Dr. Hasan Balyuzi wrote about the 1st known Writing of ‘Abdu’l-Baha:

    “He wrote a lucid, illuminating commentary on the well-known tradition ascribed to the Prophet Muhammad: “I was a Hidden Treasure and loved to be known, therefore I created beings to know”. He undertook this task at the request of ‘Ali Shawkat Pasha, a nobleman, highly-cultured and deeply-read. ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s commentary not only reveals profound knowledge, striking mastery of language, and rare qualities of mind, but above all it shows the most profound understanding.”

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