‘Hermes is the Same as Idris’ References to Hermes Trismegistus in Medieval Arabic Texts

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“Sa’id al-Lagawi (al-Andalusi), in his book The Generations of Nations, reported that all the sciences known before the Flood were first taught by Hermes, who lived in Upper Egypt. This Hermes was the first to ponder celestial substances and the movement of the stars. He was the first to build temples to worship God. He occupied himself with science and medicine, and he wrote well-measured poems for his contemporaries about things terrestrial and celestial. It is also said that he was the first to predict the Flood and anticipate that a celestial cataclysm would befall the earth in the form of fire or water, so, fearing the destruction of knowledge and the disappearance of the arts, he built the pyramids and temples of Upper Egypt. Within these, he included representations of the arts and instruments, including engraved explanations of science, in order to pass them on to those who come after him, lest he see them disappear from the world. This Hermes is the same as Idris…Abu’l-Faraj Muhammad bin Is’haq al-Nadim, the stationer, in his book entitled The Index, said about Hermes al-Baheli: There is no agreement about him. It was said he was one of the seven guards responsible for monitoring the seven temples (the planets) and was assigned to guard the temple of Atared (Mercury), whose name he took, as Atared in the Chaldaic language means Hermes. It is said that for some reason he moved to Egypt where he reigned and had children including Tat, Sa, Ashmun, Atrib, and Qoft. He was the wisest of his time, and after his death he was buried in the monument at Masr known under the name Abu Hermes, but which most Greeks give the name of Al-Haraman (the two pyramids), because one of them is his tomb and the other the tomb of his wife. According to others, it is the tomb of the son of Hermes, the son who would have succeeded him after his death….One of these pyramids is the tomb of A’adimun (Agathodaemon) and the other of Hermes. Between these two figures there are nearly a thousand years, A’adimun being the older of the two. The inhabitants of Egypt, that is to say the Copts, argue that these two characters were two prophets who appeared before the coming of Christianity. This view is consistent with that professed by the Sabeans about prophets, but not with the regard that one must have for the great prophets. But for the Copts, the two prophets in question were pure souls, holy, free from corruption, and equipped with heavenly and terrestrial inspiration. They also knew events before they had occurred ​​and knew of the secrets of the world. Among the Arabs of Yemen, some consider the two pyramids to be the tombs of Shaddad ben ’Ad and another of their kings who conquered Egypt in the past. These are pure Arabs of the tribes of Amalek and others. But, from what we have said of the doctrine of the Sabeans, they are the tombs of pure bodies. Abu Zayd al-Balkhi found in the middle of inscriptions traced on the pyramid certain lines that were translated into Arabic and meant: “These two pyramids were raised when the Eagle was in conjunction with Gemini.” Calculation of the time that had elapsed from that time until the Hegira of the Prophet found it to be twice 36,000 solar years, that is to say 72,000 solar years….Abu al-Rayhan al-Biruni, in the book Traces Remaining of Centuries Past, says the Persians and Magi deny the Flood; however, some Persians admit it, but they claim that this disaster, which occurred at the time of Timhurts, had no effect in Syria and the West, and did not extend to the whole inhabited earth. According to them, it would not have passed (to the east) the Wadi of Helwan and would leave intact the empires of the East. The Westerners, warned of the disaster by their elders, built high buildings in the style of the Egyptian pyramids, to take refuge when the cataclysm came. Traces of the Flood and the heights reached by its waters are still seen midway up on the pyramids, a limit the waters could not exceed. It is said that when the waters of the Flood receded, there was found the village of Nahavand, which had remained absolutely the same as it was before, and the pyramids and temples of Egypt. They were built by the first Hermes, whom the Arabs call Idris, whom God had inspired with the science of the stars. By consulting the stars, he foresaw the disaster that threatened the land, that only a few people would survive, and that scientific knowledge was necessary. Therefore, helped by the people of Egypt, he erected the pyramids and temples where he engraved a record of all sciences….Some believe that the first Hermes, whom they call the Thrice Great because of the three gifts he possessed: prophecy, kingship and wisdom, is the same as him the Hebrews call Enoch ben Jared ben Mahalalel ben Fatian (Kenan) ben Seth ben Enos ben Adam, who is also the same as Idris. He foresaw, from the position of the planets, the arrival of a Flood that would submerge the whole earth; therefore he built a large number of pyramids in which were deposited treasures, science books, and everything he feared would be destroyed and disappear from view….In the year 579 AH (1183-1184 CE) the house of Hermes was discovered in the territory of Busir, province of Giza. The qadi, Ibn al-Shahrzuri opened it and pulled out all sorts of things: rams, monkeys, frogs in fibrous balls, vases of daheng, and bronze statues…Between the stones is spread blue clay of an unknown nature and composition, and on the surface of the stones are drawn inscriptions in an ancient and unknown language; no person in Egypt has heard of anyone who could understand them. These entries are so numerous and so extensive that if we wrote them on paper, they would cover ten thousand leaves. I read in some old books of the Sabeans that one of these pyramids was the tomb of Adamun (Agathodaemon) and the other the tomb of Hermes. According to them, these two personages were great prophets and Adamun was the greater. The Sabeans made ​​a pilgrimage to the pyramids, and the people came from the far corners of all countries”.

Al-Khitat of Al-Maqrizi (1364-1442 CE) translated by Jason Colavito

http://www.jasoncolavito.com/al-maqrizi-on-the-pyramids.html#.VM9R0i4vtpG

“They differ concerning him that built the Pyramids. Some say Joseph, some say Nimrod, some Dalukah the queen, and some that the Ægyptians built them before the flood. For they foresaw that it would be, and they carried thither their treasures; but it profited them nothing. […] Coptites (or Ægyptians) report, that these two greater Pyramids, and the lesser, which is coloured, are sepulchres. In the East Pyramid is king Saurid, in the West Pyramid his brother Hougib, and in the coloured Pyramid Fazfarinoun, the son of Hougib. The Sabaeans relate, that one of them is the sepulchre of Shiit, (that is, Seth) and the second the sepulchre of Hermes, and the coloured one the sepulchre of Sab, the son of Hermes, from whom they are called Sabæans. They go in pilgrimage thither, and sacrifice at them a cock, and a black calf, and offer up incense”.

Sibt ibn al-Jawzi, Mir’at al-zaman (before 1256 CE)Translated by John Greaves in Pyramidographia (1646)

“The Pyramids. These were built by Hermes, the wise, the threefold in wisdom, who by his knowledge of the secrets of nature, invented the art of alchemy, and was able to make substances. His birthplace was Memphis. He is said to have been the same as Idris, who is related to have been ‘raised up to a high place’ [Qur’an 19:57]. The Sabaeans make pilgrimages to the two great pyramids, and say that Hermes is buried in one of them, and Agathodaemon [in the other]. The Sabaeans come to the pyramids from Harran, on pilgrimage. There is not on the face of the earth a structure erected by the hand [of man], stone upon stone, higher than these two pyramids, which are the tombs of Hermes and Agathodaemon. It is said that the area covered by each of the two great pyramids is twelve feddans; and in each of them there is a well, the site of which is not known”.

Abu Al-Makarim, History of Churches and Monasteries (13th century CE) Translated by B. T. A. Evetts in 1895.

“..all the sciences that existed before the Flood were written down by Hermes the Elder, who lived in Upper Egypt and was called Khonodkh (this is the same figure as Idris, or Enoch). In their view, he was the first who discoursed on celestial movements and the higher substances, the first who built temples and there glorified the divine. He predicted the Flood to men, and fearing the loss of science and the destruction of the arts, he built the pyramids and temples on which he represented all the industrial arts and their equipment, and recorded the sciences so that they might be preserved forever”.

Ibn Battuta, The Journey (c. 1356)

Translated by Jason Colavito from the 1853 French edition of Charles Defrémery and Beniamino Sanguinetti.

All references from http://www.jasoncolavito.com/medieval-pyramid-lore.html

‘knowing the mysteries of the Kingdom’

“Is it not astonishing that although man has been created for the knowledge and love of God, for the virtues of the human world, for spirituality, heavenly illumination and eternal life, nevertheless, he continues ignorant and negligent of all this? Consider how he seeks knowledge of everything except knowledge of God. For instance, his utmost desire is to penetrate the mysteries of the lowest strata of the earth. Day by day he strives to know what can be found ten meters below the surface, what he can discover within the stone, what he can learn by archaeological research in the dust. He puts forth arduous labors to fathom terrestrial mysteries but is not at all concerned about knowing the mysteries of the Kingdom, traversing the illimitable fields of the eternal world, becoming informed of the divine realities, discovering the secrets of God, attaining the knowledge of God, witnessing the splendors of the Sun of Truth and realizing the glories of everlasting life. He is unmindful and thoughtless of these. How much he is attracted to the mysteries of matter, and how completely unaware he is of the mysteries of Divinity! Nay, he is utterly negligent and oblivious of the secrets of Divinity. How great his ignorance! How conducive to his degradation! It is as if a kind and loving father had provided a library of wonderful books for his son in order that he might be informed of the mysteries of creation, at the same time surrounding him with every means of comfort and enjoyment, but the son amuses himself with pebbles and playthings, neglectful of all his father’s gifts and provision. How ignorant and heedless is man! The Father has willed for him eternal glory, and he is content with blindness and deprivation. The Father has built for him a royal palace, but he is playing with the dust; prepared for him garments of silk, but he prefers to remain unclothed; provided for him delicious foods and fruits, while he seeks sustenance in the grasses of the field”.

~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/ab/PUP/pup-81.html

“The One indwells all things”

“The One indwells all things both individually and collectively; and within the multitude which seems opposed to the One, the One Itself makes the multitude, for what is a multitude but one repeated over and over again? And how may a whole be composed of many if there be no union? And how may a part belong to a whole or to a number unless it itself is something, by which I mean some one? The One, therefore, indwells all things, and if it were taken away each and every thing would be lost”.

~ Marsilio Ficino

‘the upholders of one Order, and the inhabitants of one City’

“Address yourselves to the promotion of the well-being and tranquility of the children of men. Bend your minds and wills to the education of the peoples and kindreds of the earth, that haply the dissensions that divide it may, through the power of the Most Great Name, be blotted out from its face, and all mankind become the upholders of one Order, and the inhabitants of one City.”

~ Bahá’u’lláh

“absolute nonexistence cannot become existence”

“a creator without a creature is impossible; a provider without those provided for cannot be conceived; for all the divine names and attributes demand the existence of beings. If we could imagine a time when no beings existed, this imagination would be the denial of the Divinity of God. Moreover, absolute nonexistence cannot become existence. If the beings were absolutely nonexistent, existence would not have come into being”.

~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/ab/SAQ/saq-47.html

‘Evil is non-existent; it is the absence of good’

“If there was no wrong how would you recognize the right? If it were not for sin how would you appreciate virtue? If evil deeds were unknown how could you commend good actions? If sickness did not exist how would you understand health? Evil is non-existent; it is the absence of good; sickness is the loss of health; poverty the lack of riches. When wealth disappears you are poor; you look within the treasure box but find nothing there”.

~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

‘divinity is indeed beautiful’

“…divinity is indeed beautiful, and the most splendid of all beautiful things. Yet he is not a beautiful body, but that whence beauty flows into body; nor a beautiful meadow, but that whence the meadow is beautiful. The beauty of a river and the sea, of heaven and the gods it contains, all this beauty flows from thence, as from a perpetual and incorruptible fountain. So far as everything participates of this, it is beautiful, stable, and safe; and so far as it falls off from this, it is base, dissipated, and corrupted. If these things are sufficient, you have seen God. If not, after what manner may he be enigmatically described? Do not attribute to him either magnitude, or colour, or figure, or any other property of matter, but act like the lover, who should denudate a beautiful body, which is concealed from the view by many and various garments, that it may be clearly seen. Let this also be now done by you; and by the reasoning energy, take away this surrounding scene, and thus busy employment of the eyes, and then behold that which remains; for it is that very thing which you desire”.

Maximus of Tyre

transcending the limited reality of man

“…That celestial reality, the third reality of the microcosm, delivers man from the material world. Its power causes man to escape from nature’s world. Escaping, he will find an illuminating reality, transcending the limited reality of man and causing him to attain to the infinitude of God, abstracting him from the world of superstitions and imaginations, and submerging him in the sea of the rays of the Sun of Reality”.

~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá