English translation of Mabda-o-Ma-ad | Mujaddid Alf sani | Sheikh Ahmad sirhindi
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Translation: Sufi Irshad Alam
Here the Mujaddid explains the question, “For a sufi, why does a specific state appear, disappear and then reappear again?”
Question: A dervish asked “What is the reason (sabab) behind it? While traversing this path, a hal or state appears and then at a later time, it disappears. After some more time the [same hal] re-appears and after some more time it again disappears. The same sequence continues to repeat as long as Allah wishes so. [How do you explain it?]
The Mujaddid explains that for each sufi, at every instant of time, a specific subtle center predominates. And he is colored by the hal of that predominant subtle center.
Answer: Man has seven subtle centers (latifa) and each subtle center has a unique period of time when it [predominates. And at that time, that specific subtle center] rules and administers (dawlat va sultan) [all the other subtle centers of that sufi.]
[To illustrate this point, it would be useful to take the case when a situation of predomination] appears on one of the subtle centers and a powerful hal descends there. Then, as a consequence, that traveler (salik) is totally (be-kulliyat) colored in the color of that [predominant] subtle center. And [that means that] that hal [of the predominant subtle center] spreads to all the subtle centers.
As long as that [predominant] subtle center reigns they [the rest of the subtle centers] remain in the same hal [that the predominant subtle center has]. When that [so-far-predominant] subtle center’s felicity [of being predominant] ends [i.e. that so-far-predominant subtle center is no longer predominant], that hal [where the rest of the subtle centers are colored by hal of the subtle center that has been predominant so far] also disappears [and as a result, the rest of the subtle centers are no longer affected by the hal of that so-far-predominant subtle center].
Note: Man is composed of ten subtle centers (sing. latifa, pl. lata’if). The first six are points on the physical body. They are 1. heart, 2. spirit, 3. secret heart, 4. arcanum, 5. super-arcanum, 6. soul (qalb, ruh, sirr, khafi, akhfa, nafs). The four others constitute the entire physical body (qalib). They are 7. fire 8. air 9. water 10. earth. These four latifas are also often considered as one single subtle center ― the body (qalib). If counted that way, then human beings have seven subtle centers.
After a while, if that same hal [that the subtle center had before] reappears [then it could re-appear in one of these two ways]
And after that hal would disappear on that new subtle center, the same inter-action would take place. It would happen in one of the two ways that happened before. [And this sequence could repeat itself for a while].
Such is what happens for all the subtle centers.
In contrast to the above scenario, if that hal “truly permeates” all the subtle centers (instead of “merely coloring” the subtle centers by its color) then an amazing transformation takes place. So far the sufi has been experiencing that hal transiently only. But now, the sufi attains that “station” where that hal is permanent.
However, if it happens that [that hal] truly permeates (sarayan) all the subtle centers (lata’if), then [the dervish] relocates from the hal to the maqam, station. [That is, the dervish, from being a possessor of the hal transiently, becomes a possessor of the maqam, station where he has the hal permanently.] And he is protected from decline (zawal) [from that exalted hal and instead, he enjoys that hal permanently.]
Allah (SWT) teaches the reality about hal. Salutations and peace be on the ‘noblest man’ [Prophet Muhammad] and his pure progeny!
Here the Mujaddid is explaining a verse of the Koran.
Allah (SWT) has stated, You who have brought faith! Eat from that tasteful food (tayyabati) that I have given to you as provision (razaqnakum) and be grateful to Allah, if you truly want to worship Him. [Ya ayyuhallazina amanu! Akulu min tayyibati ma razaqnakum wa shukuru li’Lahi in kuntum iyahu ta`budun.] (Koran 2:58)
Only a person who worships God and God alone may eat those delicacies.
This prerequisite (shartiyatu) [if you truly want to worship Him, in kuntum iyahu ta`budun] has been set (yahtamilu) regarding eating i.e. eat from the delicacies from what I have provided for you, (akulu min mustaladhdhati ma razaqnakum.) Therefore, [that permission] is true for you only when you elect Allah [alone] for worship (takhussuhu bi ‘l-`ibadati).
On the other hand, a person who follows his passions instead of God may not eat those. If he does, then he will be afficted with a spiritual disease.
On the other hand, if that pre-condition is not true for you and instead you are slaves of your [instigating] souls (anfusikum) and immerse yourself in fun and frolic, then you must not eat the delicacies. For you will be afflicted with an ailment of the inner realm (marda bi ‘l-maradi ‘l-batiniyyi).
Only a sufi who has purified his inner realm has attained that state where he worships God and God alone. While we are not worshipping idols, we are indeed sharing partners with God until we have purified ourselves internally through the sufi method. And until we have killed our instigating souls completely and have attained a spiritual re-birth, until we have realized God-realizatiom; we are still slaves of our instigating souls and we are partnering our passions as gods with God. So we have not fulfilled that pre-condition and so are not permitted to eat the delicacies.
And eating those delicacies would harm us until we have purified ourselves through the sufi path.
And the delicacy which is in the abidingness (al-mustaladhdhatu min al-marzuqati), that is like potent poison to you. However, when you will be healed of this ailment of the inner realm (al-maradu ‘l-batiniyyu) that is in you, it is then that you may eat the delicacies.
The Mujaddid replaces the word tayyibat by the word mustadhdhat, taking his cue according to the Kashshaf, the Koranic exegesisby Imam Zamakhshari.
This interpretation uses an explanation from Imam Zamakhshari.
The author of the [Koranic exegesis] Kashshaf, [Imam Zamakhshari] explained the word tayyibatu or pleasant here by the word mustaladhdhat or delicacies, noting what the word shukr or gratefulness may mean.
Here, the Mujaddid properly interprets an ancient sufi saying that has been often nisinterpreted into antinomian terms. Often the following saying had been interpreted to mean that once the sufi had realized God, he is free to commit any sin and that sin would not harm the sufi. That saying is:
Some sufi masters (qs) have said, He who knows Allah, no sin can harm him. (Man `arafa ‘l-Lahu la yadurruhu dhanbun.)
The Mujaddid now presents several alternative explanations of this sufi saying all of which agrees to the sharia. The first explanation is:
It may refer to the sins which the gnostic (`arif) committed before attaining God-realization (ma`rifat) [i.e. those sins will not harm the sufi.] It is because [conversion into] Islam erases [the sins] that happened before [conversion to the faith.] And real Islam (haqiqatu ‘l-islam) is to attaining realization of Exalted Allah [or God-realization] (ma`rifatu ‘Llah subhanuhu) on the sufi path after attaining annihilation (fana) and abidingness (baqa). When such God-realization (ma`rifat) is realized, all past sins are forgiven.
The Mujaddid now presents a second explanation that would also agree with the sharia.
That statement may also refer to the sins committed after attaining this God-realization (ma`rifat). In that case, “sin” means “small sin” (al-dhanbu ‘l-saghiru) not great (al-kabiru). It is because that the friends of Allah are protected from those [great sins anyway]. And small sins are not harmful for him because the [sufi] does not engage in them repeatedly; instead he repents (tawba) and seeks forgiveness (istigfar) for them without any delay.
The Mujaddid presents a third explanation now that also agrees with the sharia.
Or the statement may also mean that he [the gnostic] never commits sins. It is because if no sin is committed, then it means that there is no harm. So it is a tautology.
The Mujaddid condemns the heretical meaning of this statement.
The deviants (sing. mulhid, pl. malahid) interprete this statement as meaning that the gnostic may engage in committing sins because sin will not harm him. [Those deviants who believe in that wrong meaning] are clearly wrong and they are patent heretics whose existence is a threat to the community (batil, zindiq).
The Mujaddid supplicates to God for protection from those heretics.
Paki book p 44 l 7
“They are the gang of the Satan! Take note! Verily the gang of Satan is ruined. Our Lord! Please do not renounce our hearts to the twisted path after having blessed us with good-guidance. And bestow on us mercy from You. Verily, you grant bountiful rewards.”
May the Haqq (SWT) bestow His mercy, blessings and greetings to our leader Muhammad and his progeny.
paki l. 10
I ask Allah the Generous, whose forgiveness knows no bounds, to forgive that gnostic ― who has realized the reality of Islam, tahaqquq-i haqiqatu ‘l-islam ― for the sins that he had committed before his God-realization (ma’rifat) unless they are because of oppressing the people or violating the rights of the people. Because He (SWT) is the lord of forgiveness and the heart of men are between His two fingers. He can change the heart however He wills.
All Muslims accept that when a nonbeliever accepts Islam, all his past sins are forgiven
Actually, all sins are forgiven with the acceptance of Islam except the sins for oppression of man and violating the rights of man. As it’s well-known [among Muslims]!
The Mujaddid qualifies that belief by saying that the mere external form of Islam is not sufficient to receive that gift of forgiveness, but that Islam must be the real and perfect Islam. That true Islam has two components ― the first is the external law and second is the internal purification realized through sufi tariqas.
Therefore, verily, the reality of the matter [i.e. Islam] and the perfection of its adornment [of Islam] is not [realized] in its external form (laysa limutlaqihi) [which lacks the spiritual side of islam, namely, sufism.]
The Mujaddid is the only major figure to offer a “constructive criticism” to the ideas of Ibn Arabi and here he discusses how God exists, by His person or by His existence. Ibn Arabi had proposed that God’s person (dhat) is identical to existence (wujud) and that divine existence is the only existence that there is. Created things exist because they “borrow” their existence from God. This science of existential monism or wahdatu ‘l-wujud, it has held sway all over the Islamic sufi world.
With respect to existence, the Mujaddid proposes that God exists by his dhat, person, not by his wujud, existence.
Haqq (SWT) exists by (mawjud) by His own person (dhat), not by His existence (wujud). That is unlike the others things that exist by existences. So He (SWT) does not need to exist by His [attribute of] existence.
And he contrasts it with Ibn Arabi who proposes that the existence of God is “identical” to the person of God.
[Ibn Arabi] has proposed that existence of God is “identical (`in) to the person of God, not “additional (za’id)” to it. So God does not need to depend on something else to exist.
In discussing Ibn Arabi’s proposition, first, the Mujaddid comments that there is no evidence behind Ibn Arabi’s proposition.
However, we need solid evidence to proove that the existence of God is identical to the person.
Second, Ibn Arabi’s proposition contradicts the decision of the Sunni community whose scholars propose that the existence of God is additional to His person.
And also we’ll have to face the opposition of many ulama of the mainstream Sunni community. It is because these great masters do not propose that the existence of God is identical [to the person of God]. Instead they recognize the existence of God to be “additional (za’id)” to person of God.
Now the Mujaddid compares what he proposed (God exists by His person) with what the Sunni ulama proposed (God exists by His attribute of existence that exists additional to His person).
First, he notes that if God’s existence is additional to His person, then God is dependent on things other than Him and that would negate the principle that God is all-powerful. Then he notes that
We should not forget that if His existence is additional [to His person] (ziyadat-i wujud), then it implies that the Necessary needs others. It is regardless of whether we say that the Necessary (SWT) exists by an [attribute of] existence that is additional to Him (be-wujud-i za’id-i wajib) or we say that He exists by His own person.
Second, if we qualify what the mutakallimuns call existence as an “ordinary qualifier” i.e. by the common understanding of the term existence instead of believing that God exists by His attribute of existence, which exists additional to Him as a reified attribute, then the proposition of the mutakallimuns is corrected.
On the other hand, if we take this existence as an “ordinary qualifier (`ard-i `am)” [i.e. we believe that God exists in the common understanding of the term existence instead if believing that God exists by His attribute of existence, which exists additional to Him as a reified thing], then the statement of the mutakallimuns [kalam-scholars] of the “people of truth” [i.e. the Sunni community] is rectified.
And at the same time, even the objection to the mutakallimun’s proposition that some people make also disappears. They argue that since God is independent and does not need anything else, He must be free of the need to have an attribute of existence in order to exist.
And the opponents [to the Sunni kalam-scholar’s proposition] object on the ground of God needing others. [They argue that since God is independent of others, then God must be independent of needing a hypostasized attribute of existence in order for Him to exist. So if we take existence as an ordinary qualifier then] that objection also vanishes.
Fourth/Then the difference between the Ibn Arabi proposition and the Mujaddidi proposition becomes clear.
And the difference between these two propositions becomes clear, i.e., [between the Mujaddidi proposition] that the Necessary (SWT) exists by His own person but [His attribute of] existence truly has no relevence there and [the Ibn Arabi proposition] that He exists by His own [attribute of] existence but this [attribute of] existence is established to be identical to His person.
Existence of God: Ibn Arabi versus the Mujaddid
God exists by His own existence but this existence is identical to His person
God exists by His own person not by His existence, for He is beyond existence
This knowledge is an elect knowledge that Exalted Allah has uniquely granted me. Praise to Exalted Allah for this [great gift], and salutation and peace on His messenger!
God exists by His own person. The faylasufs and the mutakallimuns propose that God exists by His attribute of existence that is additional to His person. Ibn Arabi proposes that God is identical to His existence. However, the Mujaddid proposes that both are wrong, and instead God exists by His person.
The Necessary Being (SWT) is unique in that that He exists by His own person (dhat) and He need not depend on His [attribute of] existence in order to exist. He does so regardless of whether we maintain that God’s [attribute of] existence is “identical” to His person (`ain-i dhat) or “additional” to His person (za’id-i dhat).
Therefore, we must not believe Ibn Arabi’s proposition that God’s person, dhat is identical to His existence, wujud. Nor should we believe that God’s existence is additional to His person, as the faylasufs or the mutakallimuns believe.
We must be cautious [to stay away] from [holding] either of those two [ideas, the ideas that the existence of God is] identical [to the person of God] or additional [to the His person] (`ayniyat va ziyadat).
God’s habit is that whatever that is in His mind as prototype of contingent things or fixed entities in Ibn Arabi terminology, He creates a specimen of that in the contingent world.
The habit of Haqq (SWT) (sunnat-i haqq) is that whatever that may be on the Necessary level (martaba’i wujub) [as prototypes of created things in the mind of God], He makes an specimen (namuna) of that [prototype] appear on the contingent level. It does not matter if someone knows it or does not know it. He does make a model of such characteristic (anmudhaj-i in khassa) [according to the prototype in the mind of the Necessary] in the contingent world (`alam-i imkan). It is because that the existence [that is in the mind of God] truly does not exist and instead [that existence] is a rational concept [lit. secondary intelligible] (keh wujud har chand mawjud nist va az ma`qulat-i thaniya ast).
Note: Ibn Arabists may explore this idea. The Mujaddid seems to be saying that whatever that is in the mind of God is a prototype. And each thing of this world is a worldly manifestation of its prototype. Also, the Mujaddid believes that things that are in the mind of God may be concepts wereas Ibn Arabi may believe something else.
Even then, God exists by His own person. On the other hand, created things exist by the attribute of existence.
Still if we consider God’s existence to be required (fardh) then He will exist (mawjud) by His own person not through some other [attribute of] existence [that exists apart from His person. This rule is] different from the [rule regarding the] existentness’s (mawjudiyat) of the other [existent things. The other existent things] depend on [God’s attribute of] existence (wujud) [to be existent (mawjud)]; their persons are insufficient [to cause them to exist].
How Things Exist according to the Mujaddid
The Other Things
God exists by His own person independently of any attribute of existence
The other things exist by God’s attribute of existences
God is the creator of existences and He is not dependent on any attribute of existence in order to exist. God is unique in this characteristic.
Indeed, [in case of God], whatever existence that people believe is required for something to be existent (mawjudiyat-i ashya`) exists (mawjud) then it will exist by His own person (mawjud be-dhat-i khod). He will not be dependent on some other existence [even the divine attribute of existence]. What is there to be surprised if the Creator of existences (khaliq-i mawjudat) (SWT) exists (mawjud) independently (be-istiqlal) by His own person and truly never dependent on [His attribute of] existence? Why even bother to discuss the real thing if the ignorant people think it is impossible! Exalted Allah inspires the truth!
Three groups have said “God exists with an existence that is ‘identical’ to His person” and that could be interpreted to mean that God exists by His own person, which the Mujaddid is also saying, and not by His existence. It only happens that God’s person is identical to His existence, but still He exists by His person instead of His existence. The Mujaddid gives us his comments.
Question: [All these three groups], even they have also said just what you [the Mujaddid] have said in the previous exposition. [These groups are,]
And that [what you, the Mujaddid, and those three groups, all of you have said] is that the person of Allah (SWT) exists by His person and not by His existence. Because, this statement [of theirs that “God] exists with an existence that is ‘identical’ (`ayniyat) to [His] person” [could be interpreted to] mean that God exists by His own person, [which you are also saying, and] not by [His] existence. [It only happens that God’s person is identical to His existence, but still He exists by His person instead of His existence. Could you please comment on this matter?]
The Mujaddid comments on that.
Answer: We say this much that on this matter, the Sunni community does not dispute them in a diametrically opposite manner (barabar). Instead, in answering them, the people of truth [i.e. the ulama of the mainstream Sunni community] should have said this much here that Allah (SWT) exists by His [attribute of] existence, not by His person, [and leave it here without saying any more confusing talks like the divine existence is additional or identical to His person etc. that they have said. Then there would have been a clear-cut difference in opinion with the philosophers on one hand who proposed that God’s existence is additional to His person and the Sufis with defective witnessings like Ibn Arabi on the other hand who proposed that God’s existence is identical to His person. Instead, the Sunni ulama have also proposed that this divine attribute of existence is additional to His person.]
In this context, it is incorrect (mustadrak) to establish that existence is additional. Because, since [the mutakallimuns] have established that existence is additional, it seems that why these two groups [Ibn Arabi on one hand and the mutakallimuns on the other hand] differ is not on the matter of existence [i.e. if God exists by His existence or not by His existence, because both agree that God exist by His existence] but instead in the matter of the attribute [wasf, of that existence], that whether it [that existence] is identical to His person or additional to His person.
The Mujaddid is asked why he calls the Necessary Being existent, when he proposes that the Necessary Being exists by His own person, not by His attribute of existence.
Question: When the Necessary Being (SWT) exists (mawjud) by His own person (dhat-i khod), then why call the Necessary (SWT) existent (mawjud)? It is because the meaning of the term existent (mawjud) means something that stands with wujud, existence [i.e. something that possesses the attribute of existence]. However, [you, the Mujaddid, have said that] that what is there [i.e. the Necessary Being] truly does not have any wujud, existence.
The Mujaddid answers that strictly speaking the Necessay Being is not existent. However, it can be said in a non-technical sense and when we mean that God possesses the attribute of existence, as opposed to God being existence Himself, which Ibn Arabi says.
Answer: Yes! There is no such existence in the Necessary (SWT) by which the person of the Necessary (dhat-i wajib) (SWT) exists (mawjud). However, it is fine to say that the Necessary exists [by an existence if by the term “existence”, we mean a type of] existence that is said about Him as an “ordinary qualifier (`ard-i `am)” and predicated (mahmul) derivatively (ishtiqaqan) [i.e. it is said that God possesses existence instead of saying that God is identical to existence]. It is fine to say something like that. Peace.
The Mujaddid talks on the incomparability of God.
We do not worship a God who comes within the compass of witnessing (shuhud), can be seen, or can be known or can be imagined or conceived. It is because that what can be witnessed, seen, known, imagined or conceived (mash-hud, mar`i, ma`lum, mawhum, mutakhayyul)― that is a crafted and newly-originated (masnu` va muhdath) thing just like him who witnesses, sees, knows, imagines or conceives.
I am searching for that morsel
That is more than a mouthful
An luqma ke dar dihan
The purpose of the sufi is to destroy all barriers that separate him from God.
The purpose of journeying and wayfaring (sayr va suluk) is to tear (kharq) the veil (hizb) until one arrives onto [the level of] “naked arrival (wasl-i `uryan)”. Be it that veil that is related to the Necessary Being (wujubi) or be it that veil that is related to the contingent things (imkani). It is not that [the sufi] will shackle (qayid) or trap (sayid) the object that is being sought (matlub) [which is God].
You can't hunt the phoenix
O hunter! Pick up your net
He who puts his net out for a phoenix
returns home empty-handed
Anqa shikar kasi nashod va dam baz chin
ke-inja hamisheh bad be-dast ast dam ra
The Mujaddid teaches us on the vision of God that the faithful will see in the last world. He believes in it but he does not ponder on its nature.
You should know that the vision (al-ru’iyata) [of Allah] in the last world is true. We believe in it but we do not ponder on its nature (kaifiyat) [because we are] unable [to describe it].
The elect have been given a type of the vision in this world.
The common people are unable to perceive (idrak) [that vision]. However, the elect have been allotted (nasiban) a share of that station [of the vision of God, in their earthly lives] although it is not called the vision (ru’iyatan).
Peace to them who follow good-guidance.
God may not be known for He must be experienced through meditation.
Whatsoever that is in the realm of vision and cognition (did va danish) is in chain (muqayyid) and lower than [the level of] sheer unboundedness [or pure meditation] (itlaq-i mahd).
The purpose is to become free from all chains. Therefore, you should search for that what is beyond vision and cognition. This transaction (mu`amala) [of searching for God who is beyond vision and cognition] is beyond the method of the intellectual gaze (nazar-i `aql). It is so because the intellect considers it impossible to search for something which is outside the realm of vision and cognition
The secret of what is beyond the curtain
Ask the gnostic who is drunk [with love]
The[sober] sufi does not possess
The state of this exalted station
raz-i darun-i pardeh ze randan-i mast purs
kin hal nist sufi-i `ali maqam ra
Many Sufis experience mystic visions and claim that they have come to “know” God. They bind God who is unbounded. Contradicting them, the Mujaddid views God as a sheerly limitless, unbounded Being who is unknowable.
The unbounded [being who is God exists] as a sheerly unbounded Being which He is. (mutlaq bar sarafat-i itlaq-i khod ast). There is no chain (qayd) that binds Him.
So how can we explain this contradiction, between the Mujaddid and the Sufis with then wrong beliefs? The Mujaddid proposes that what those Sufis see is not God Himself who is too sublime to be known. Instead what they see is an imperfect likeness of God.
However, when He is manifested (zuhur) in the mirror of the chained things (marat-i muqayyad) [or when human beings, who are limited by the limitations imposed by the human mind, conceive of Him] then by the rule of that mirror [or human mind], His reflection (`aks) is colored [by the color of human mind] and becomes chained (muqayyad) [by the shackles or limitations of the human mind] and brought down (mahdur) [from His sublime unbounded incomparable self to a lower form that can be conceived by the human mind.] In this way, [God] comes into the realm of [human] vision and knowledge.
What that those sufi masters [including Ibn Arabi] experience is imperfect vision and knowledge. Instead of being content with that, we should be aspiring for the true knowledge propagated by the Mujaddidi masters.
Therefore, to consider vision and knowledge (did va danish) sufficient (iktifa) is like considering a [mere] reflection of that desired object (matlub) sufficient. However, the highly ambitious are not satiated by such trivial things. Verily Allah (SWT) loves the limitlessly ambitious (ma`aliya ‘l-himam)!
Allah (SWT)! Include us among the limitlessly ambitious by Your love for the most exalted man [Prophet Muhammad]! Peace and blessings be on him and on his progeny!
The Mujaddid describes a vision that demonstrates that man is higher than the angels.
This is a vision that I had when I was just starting on the sufi path. I saw,
“I am doing circumambulation (tawaf) in some place. And another group is also circumambulating along with me. But the pace of their movement is so slow that in the time that I finished one circle of circumambulation (dur-i tawaf), that group had taken only two or three steps. Right on that instant, a thought emerged in my mind that this place was above in the heavens (fawqa ‘l-`arsh) and the circumambulating group (tawaf-konand-gan) is a group of holy angels (mala’ika-i kiram).”
Allah sends peace and blessings on our prophet and on them [the angels]! By His mercy, Allah elects whomever He wills. Allah possesses great favors.
The celestial reality of the Kaaba is the Baitu ‘l-Ma`mur (Koran 52:4)
The friends of Allah indeed have human attributes, they do not become angelic.
For the friends of Allah (SWT), their human attributes are the cupolas in which they hide. (qubab) . As much as the rest of men need [worldly implements in oirder to do things], these masters also need (muhtaj) [those things, and they don’t make miracles all the time.] Their friendness (walayat) does not absolve them from that need [for worldly mediums]. Their anger is like the anger of the rest of men. When the prince of the prophets [Prophet Muhammad] (salam) have said, I also become angry like the others (aghdabu kama yaghdabu ‘l-bashar) then how can the friends of Allah be free from it?
Similarly, these masters are like the rest of the human beings when it comes to eating, drinking, inter-action with the family, social behaviour etc. They are the same as the common people in terms of human needs. Allah has said about His prophets, I have not made their bodies such that they would not eat. (Wa ma ja`alnahum jasadan illa ya’kuluna ‘l-ta`am). (Koran 21:8)
Those who openly disbelieved [i.e. the polytheists in Mecca and Medina in the Prophet’s time] used to say [mocking the Prophet], Why do these prophets eat food and shop in the marketplaces [just like the common people do] (ma li-hadha ‘l-rasuli ya’kulu al-ta`ama wa yamshi fi ‘l-aswaqi)?”(Koran 25:7)
Therefore, they who have observed only the external appearences of the people of Allah have been deprived. They are facing great losses in both this world and the last world at that time when the good people will be separated from the evil people. (naqd-i waqt-i u ayad)
Since Abu Lahab and Abu Jahl saw only the external appearance [of the Prophet], they were deprived of the felicity of Islam. And it has cast them into endless loss. Those people indeed will realize felicity that does not look at the external appearances of the people of Allah. Instead their sharp sight reaches the qualities of the inner realm (sifat-i batin) of these saints, and that sight is confined to that inner realm (batin). They are like the river Nile in Eqypt in that the same water [affect people differently ― that water] is disaster (bala`) to the people who are forbidden (mahjubin) [from divine mercy] while it is life-giving water for the people who are loved (mahbubin) [by God.]
Human imperfections appear very brightly in the friends of God, even more brightly than ordinary people or even sinners.
It is indeed amazing! The degrees in which human qualities appear in the people of Allah (ahl-i Allah) are not matched in the others. It is so because even little dirt and filth are seen more clearly in a clean and spotless surface. On the other hand even ample dirt and filth are not visible in a dirty and soiled surface.
This darkness permeates the totality of the common people while it only darkens the soul and the body of the elect.
Actually, darkness of the dark side of human qualities permeates the common people totally and they overwhelms the body, the heart and the spirit, [the soul and the rest of the subtle centers as well]. On the other hand, for the elect [i.e. who have attained the level of peaceful heart (qalb al-salim)] this darkness is limited to the soul and the body. And for the elect of the elect (khass al-khass) [i.e. those who have attained soul in inner peace (nafs-i mutma’inna)] even the soul is free from this darkness (zulmat); [for them this darkness] only affects the body.
Also, this darkness destroys the common people while it perfects the elect; it makes them able to relate to the common people and benefit them.
Also, this darkness ruins and destroys the common people while it perfects and brightens the elect. This very darkness of the elect removes the darkness of the common people. [This darkness] cleanses (tasfiya) their hearts and purifies (tazkiya) their souls. If this darkness were not there, the elect would not have been able to relate to the common people. And the door of giving benefit (ifadah) and receiving benefit (iftifadah) would be blocked.
This darkness is too little in the elect such that it may not pollute them, instead it causes them to progress.
Also this darkness (zulmat) in the elect is not in such a degree so that it pollutes them. Instead, the remorse that they feel and the forgiveness that they seek, they are in such a degree that as a result all their dirt and filth are cleaned and they attain even greater progress (taraqqi). The angels lack this darkness (zulmat) [in their constitution] and as a result their road to progress is blocked. [This darkness is actually light and] to call it darkness is like praise that looks like censure.
In short, the human frailties of the sufi saints are totally unlike the human frailties of the common people.
The common people who are as ignorant as the four-legged animals think that the human qualities of the people of Allah (ahl-i Allah) are like their own human qualities and because of this belief they remain humiliated and deprived. This type of error is made when the unseen are presumed to be seen. Every station has its own unique distinctions and each place has its own unique characteristics.
How does the darkness of human qualities affect on people?
Elect of God
Elect of the elect
Which subtle centers are affected?
All subtle centers including the body and the soul
Body and soul (all the subtle centers of the world of command are purified)
Ruins and destroys
Peace to them who follow guidance (Koran 20:47)! Allah! Give them peace who follow the Chosen One [Prophet Muhammad]. Peace and blessings to him and his family.
The Mujaddid teaches us on the knowledge of contingentness and knowledge of necessaryness (`ilm-i imkani, ma`arif-i wujubi). He implores man follow the sufi path and attain God-realization. And the first step towards God-realization is to attain the sufi experiences of annihilation (fana`).
As long as man is bound in the chain of his own intellect (`ilm va danish) and remains colored by anything other than Allah, he is worthless. It is the pre-condition for this path to forget everything except Allah and it is a premise for this path to annihilate (fana’) everything except Allah.
Only when the love of the world will leave the sufi’s inner realm and he would realize abidingness (baqa’), only then God will appear there.
Until the mirror of the inner realm (batin) is fully cleansed from the color and grime of contingent things (imkan), it is not possible for Necessaryness to appear there. The reason is this ― it is impossible that the knowledge of contingentness (`ulum-i imkan-i) are brought together (jam`a) with the knowledge of necessariness (ma`arif-i wujubi) just as it is impossible that two things of different kinds are brought together (jam`a).
Now the Mujaddid explains a deep sufi mystery and that is regarding the fact that when the sufi realizes abidingness and he attains ordination as a sufi guide, his knowledge of the things comes back and unites with his knowledge of Necessaryness.
Question: Sometimes Allah (SWT) elevates a gnostic (`arif) to the honor that is abidingness (baqa) and then sends him doen [to the contingent world] to give perfection to the imperfect (naqis).
At that time, his knowledge of contingentness (`ilm-i imkani) that he had lost before comes back. That is his knowledge of contingentness (`ilm-i imkani) and knowledge of Necessaryness (ma`arif-i wujubi) are brought together (jam`a). However, according to your interpretation, that is like two things of different kinds being brought together. How do you rationalize that?
Answer: When the gnostic who is abiding in Allah (`arif-i baqi bi-‘Llah) returns to the contingent world (`alam-i imkan) then he becomes an isthmus between Necessaryness [God] (wujub) and contingent things (imkan) and he is colored by the color (rang) of the two stations. In this way, if the knowledge (`ilm va ma`arif) of both of these stations are brought together (jam`a), then why can’t [you they?]
Because, [at that situation], the station where opposites are brought together (jam`a) does not remain one-and-only-one (ahad); instead it is transformed into several-in-one (muta`addad). Therefore, that is not the union [of opposites.]
The Mujaddid here explains a deep sufi mystery on the return of the knowledge on the things of this world. That knowledge disappears when the sufi realizes annihilation because at that time he forgets everything other than God. However, when the sufi reaches the higher level of abidingness, this knowledge of things returns.
The Mujaddid asserts that this return does not create a defect the sufi’s perfection, instead it helps him to realize perfection.
The knowledge of the things (`ulum-i ashya) disappears on the level of annihilation (martaba-i fana) ― if it [that knowledge] comes back after [the sufi has realized a higher level that is] abidingness (baqa) then it does not create any blemish in the gnostic’s perfection (kamaliyat-i `arif). On the contrary, the realization of his perfection depends on this return.
He explains that the knowledge of the things reappears because
When the sufi realizes abidingness, he attains the character of Allah
Allah knows everything about everything including the worldly things.
As a consequence, the sufi also attains that knowledge of the worldly things.
[The knowledge of the things reappears] because having reached abidingness (baqa), the gnostic attains the character of Allah. The knowledge of the things is complete in the Necessary. [So logically,] if it would not be complete [in the Gnostic], it would be mean that his abidingness is defective. Such is the state of the gnostic who have been colored in the color of Allah [that he comes to know the knowledge of the things just as Allah knows it.]
The Mujaddid explains how man acquires knowledge ― in the process of acquiring knowledge, he is transformed.
[Now I am explaining] the mystery in it. [The method that] the contingent beings [e.g. man] attain knowledge is the following ― he acquires a “knowledge-form” in him [or in his brain or mind] (bi-husuli surati ‘l-ma`lumi fihi)”. Therefore, necessarily, the knower is transformed (yata`aththaru) by attaining the knowledge-form in him. The greater is the knowledge, the greater is the transformation in the knower.
Such transformation is harmful for aspirant seeking annihilation. So he must forget the knowledge of the things of this world. Why is it harmful? Think more
As a result, there may be more alteration or variegation (al-taghyyuru wa ‘l-talawwunu) in the knower [who is aspirimg for annihilation] and that is harmful for him [in his quest for annihilation.] Therefore, the aspirant must negate this knowledge [of the things] entirely and forget the things [of the world] completely.
In contrast, the knowledge of the Necessary never changes ― it is constant with time. So that knowledge may never harm the Gnostic.
However, the knowledge of the Necessary is not of the same nature. He is free from that situation where the knowledge-forms of the things known will enter Him. Instead, things reveal themselves to Him as soon as He conceives of them [lit., bi-mujarradi ta`alliqi ‘l-`ilmi biha).
God does not change himself in His person, attributes or actions (dhat, sifat, af`al)! Despite [the fact that] many different things happen in different times! (bi-huduthi ‘l-akwani).
The Mujaddid explains that the knowledge-forms may not transform the Gnostic who has realized annihilation and thus has been colored in the color of Allah. And that’s why knowledge of the things may not harm him.
The knowledge of the gnostic who attains the character of Allah becomes like this. Thedrefore, the knowledge-forms (suwwaru ma`lumati ‘l-ashya’i) cannot penetrate (yahullu) him. So it [that knowledge-form] cannot transform (ta’aththura) him. Because of this, it [that knowledge-form] may not alter him or variegate him (fa-la taghyyura wa la talawwuna). Therefore, it [the knowledge of the things] does not harm him but instead grants him perfection.
This mystery (sirr) is among the deepest divine mysteries. Allah (SWT) honors among His servants whom He wants [by revealing this mystery], by the grace of His beloved [Prophet Muhammad] (may the most perfect and the most complete salutation and peace be on him and his progeny.)
makhluq created thing
The Mujaddid realizes the station of good-pleasure.
Twelve years from the beginning of the time period that I had repented (az ibtida’I zaman-i inabat) [and followed the sufi path], I was honored by the station of good-pleasure (maqam-i ridha). First, my soul realized inner peace (itminan). Then, by the by and through divine grace, I was favored by this bliss (sa`adat) [that is the station of good-pleasure]. And I was honored by this felicity [that is the station of good-pleasure].
I was able to attain this felicity until a ray (parto) of good-pleasure of God had appeared before me. Then my soul in inner peace (nafs-i mutma’inna) became well-pleased (radhi) towards my lord and my Lord also became well-pleased towards me.
Praise to exalted Allah! I am singing pleasant and blessed praises for Allah (SWT), such blessed praises that my Lord loves and in which He is well-pleased! May peace and blessings be on His messenger Muhammad and his progeny and progeny for eternity!
The Mujaddid now answers the quandary.
Question: When the soul (nafs) is well-pleased towards his Lord (mawla), why does it supplicate for and seek relief from difficulties?
Answer: For one to be well-pleased (radhi) with the act (fa`al) of the Lord (SWT) does not require him to be well-pleased (radhi) with His created things. Instead, there are many times when being well-pleased (radhi) on the created things is as bad as being faithless and disobedient to God (kufr va ma`asi).
At that time, being well-pleased (radhi) with the created things is ugly and being displeased with bad deeds [of the created things] is obligatory (wajib).
When the Lord (SWT) is not well-pleased with bad deeds, then how can His servants be well-pleased (radhi) with bad deeds?
Instead then the servant faces a difficult situation. Therefore, there is no contradiction when one is displeased with Allah's created things but at the same time is well-pleased with Allah's creation [of their acts].
Now the Mujaddid
After thinking along the same lines, praying (du`a) to relieve problems (bala-musibat) is found to be better (mustahsan). On the other hand, [there are] those who cannot differentiate between good-pleasure (ridha) with the act (fa`al) of God and displeasure with [the created things i.e.] those upon whom that act takes place (maf`ul). They have remained confused over why does displeasure remain even after having attained good-pleasure (ridha).
They have played many verbal games (takallufat) to rationalize that confusion.
Indeed, they have [rationalized it by claiming that that] displeasure/hate is harmful for the “state” of good-pleasure (hal-i ridha) but not the “station” of good-pleasure (maqam-i ridha).
Instead, the truth is what I have described, which I have learned through inspiration (ilham) from Allah.
Peace towards them who follow guidance.
The Mujaddid discusses his insight into the important matter in jurisprudence of reciting Sura Fatiha behind an imam. The Hanafi school says that the imam’s recitation of Sura Fatiha in the salat is sufficient, so the followers should remain silent. All the other schools say that the followers must also recite Sura Fatiha ― they draw their decision from a well-known Hadith, There is no salat without Sura Fatiha. (La salata illa bi-fatihati’l kitab). (Bukhari, Muslim)
The Mujaddid demonstrates that the decision of the Hanafi school is correct here.
For a long time, I had been wishing so that I could find an acceptable reason in the Hanafi school for reciting Suratu ‘l-Fatiha when praying behind a imam. It is because reciting the Koran when following the imam is obligatory (fardh) at all times. So it does not seem intelligent to reject real recitation (qirat haqiqi) and practice virtual recitation. (qirat hukmi) At the same time, it comes in the Hadith, “There is no salat without Sura Fatiha ."
However, since I follow the Hanafi school, I decided not to stop reciting Sura Fatiha. And I started to count it with a kind of disciplined training and striving (riyadat va mujahida). It is because rejecting one school of sharia in favor of another school is a type of rejection (ilhad).
At last, through the grace of my following the Hanafi school, the Haqq (SWT) manifested the reality of not reciting Sura Fatiha behind an imam. And through my insight (nazar-i basirat), I learned that virtual recitation is better than real recitation. It is because the imam and the followers, they both mutually agree (ittifaq) to stand together as supplicants (munajat) [in the salat.] Like it is said, For the worshipper in salat supplicates to his Lord [lianna al-musalliya yunaji rabbahu.] (???)
In salat, [the followers] make the imam their spokesman. So whatsoever speech that the imam recites during the salat, he recites it on behalf of the group. It is like when a group of people appears before a magnanimous king to fulfill a need of theirs and elects a spokesman among themselves so that he can request it on behalf of everyone there. In such a setting, if someone else also talks while the spokesman is talking, that would be considered poor manners and that could displease the king. Therefore, the virtual speech (takallam-i hukmi) of this group through the spokesman is better than real speech (takallam-i haqiqi) of those people [individually.] It is the same situation when the group recites [the Koran] (qirat) praying behind an imam. It is because it disturbs the peace (shaghab), lacks manners and creates disunity (tafriq).
Many of the matters where the Hanafi and the Shafi`i schools differ are of this type. Its outer and formal aspect (zahir va surat) accedes to the Shafi`i school but the inner real (batin va haqiqat) aspect is according to the Hanafi school.
It was manifested to me that in the divergences of opinions in kalam, the truth is on the Hanafi side. For example, they recognize regard God’s engenderingness (takwin) as a real attribute (sifat-i haqiqi). While apparently it seems that engenderingness is not a real attribute; instead) it is the result of the attributes of powerfulness and desiringness (qudrat va irada). However, we learn via fine consideration and the light of perspicacity (daqt-i nazar va nur-i firasat) that that God’s power-to-engender is a distinct and separate (`alihadeh) attribute. Other matters may be formed via this analogy. In most of the matters where the jurists diverge (khilafiyat-i fiqhi), the Hanafi school is right. Only in a few matters, the Shafi`is are right.
The Mujaddid describes his vision that Maturidi school of dogmatic theology is more accurate than the Ashari.
In a mystic vision, (waqi`a) Hazrat Prophet (slm) stated, “You are a mujathid of the science of kalam.” After this incident, I started to form a distinct opinion in every matter of kalam. For most of the matters on which there are differences between the Ashari school and Maturidi school, at the first glance it seems that the truth is along the Ashari line. But when it is contemplated with a fine perspicacity or a keen gaze (hunur-i firasat va huddat-i nazar), then it becomes clear that the truth is along the Maturidi line. I believe that in all the matters of kalam on which there is a dispute [that the Maturidis have with the Asharis], the Maturidis are correct.
The truth is that because they perfectly follow the shining sunna, these masters have attained this high honor. Their opposition has not been able to attain this as they gave pre-eminence to the philosophical views. However, both of these groups [the Asharis and the Maturidis] are among the people of truth.
%Mabda va Ma’ad Hakikat Kitabevi Minha 28, 49:8
The Mujaddid teaches us on the greatness of Imam Abu Hanifa.
How can I write about the high stature of Imam Abu Hanifa? (daad) He was the wisest of these wise men! The greatest Imam! The leader of the perfect ones! Be in it knowledge, be it in abstinence (wara’) or be it in Godwariness, (taqwa) he was the formost among all the mujatahid imams, more than Shafi`i, Malik or Ahmad ibn Hanbal.
Imam Shafi`i said, “The fuqaha, [the ulama of Islamic jurisprudence,] all of them are family members (‘iyal) of Abu Hanifa who depend on him for their living.” (alfuqaha’u kulluhum ‘iyalu Abi Hanifa.)
It is said that when Imam Shafi`i used to visit the shrine of Imam Abu Hanifa, then he used to reject his own ijtihad (or interpretations in Islamic practice) and stopped observing his own practice [that contradicted the ijtihad of the Great Imam.] And he used to say, "It embarasses me that in his presence I do anything that is contrary to his decision." [At that time,] he used to suspend both reciting Sura Fatiha when praying behind a imam and reciting the du`a qunut in the fajr prayer. It was Shafi`i who could properly appreciate his greatness.
When Hazrat Jesus (slm) will descend [to the earth] in the future, he will practice according to the school (madh-hab) of Abu Hanifa. Khwaja Muhammad Parsa (qs) wrote in the Fusul Sitta, "This very honor is enough for him that one of the great prophets will practice according to his school. A thousand other honors cannot be compared to this honor."
Our Hazrat Khwaja [Baqibillah] (qs) said: "For some time, I used to disagree with the Imam [Abu Hanifa] and recite Sura Fatiha [when praying following an imam.] Finally, I saw the Great Imam in a dream one night.
I saw that he came to me clothed in a resplendent robe and recited a poem,
This signification is sufficient
That there has been many friends of God in my school
At that time, I stopped reciting Sura Fatiha behind the Imam.
The Mujaddid teaches us about when a perfect sufi shaykh ordains an imperfect disciple to teach the tariqa. Normally, a disciple is ordained as a shaykh only when he has reached perfection. How can an imperfect being bring a disciple to perfection?
Sometimes it happens that a [sufi shaykh who has realized] perfection (kamil) ordains (ijazat) an imperfect [disciple] to teach the tariqa. And as he [the imperfect teacher] is taking his disciples to perfection (ijtima`), that imperfect teacher’s own journey (kar-i an naqis) also reaches completion (itmam) [i.e. the imperfect teacher realizes perfection in the sufi path].
Khwaja Naqshband (qs) ordained (ijaza) Mawlana Ya`qub Charkhi (ra) to teach the tariqa before he [Mawlana Ya`qub] had reached the rank of perfection. And told him, "O Ya`qub, give to the people that what you have received from me." Actually, it was `Alauddin `Attar (qs) who nurtured Mawlana Ya`qub Charkhi (ra) to perfection.
That's why Mawlana Abdur Rahman [Jam`i], in his book the Breath of Fellowship [Nafahat al-Uns] at first considered the Mawlana [Ya’qub Charkhi] as a disciple of Khwaja `Alauddin `Attar and only later acknowledged that his transmission (nisbat) joined Khwaja Naqshband [as Mawlana Ya’qub’s connection with Khwaja Alauddin was far stronger than than the Mawlana’s connection to Khwaja Bahauddin].
If a perfect one ordains a disciple to teach the tariqa when he has realized only the first rank (darajat) of friendness then the ordination is of that nature. Then the disciple is in a way perfect and in another way imperfect.
And the disciple who has attained two or three ranks of friendness becomes like that also ― he is perfect in one way and imperfect in another way. It is because before reaching the end of the ends [the final level], all the initial levels can be called perfect in one way and imperfect in another way.
Even with that, when a perfect master ordains a disciple to teach the tariqa after he had attained only the initial level [of friendness] then it does not depend on him [the disciple] realizing absolute [or the final level of] perfection.
You may know that although imperfection is an obstacle for ordination still then when a perfect one who is a perfection-giver [as well, i.e. one who is capable of making his students perfect] (kamil-i mukammil) [or a highly God-realized master] selects an imperfect disciple as his deputy (na’ib) and considers that man's hands as his own hands. Then being imperfect is not harmful.
Allah (SWT) knows the real meaning of everything, all of it!
The Mujaddid teaches us that yad dasht has three levels. Literally, the Persian word yad dasht means ‘to be mindful’. And this mindfulness refers to the sufi being mindful of God.
Now the Mujaddid divulges the mystery that is the first level of yad dasht.
The term yad dasht means perpetual presence (dawam-i hudur) of the divine person (SWT). Due to the all-comprehensiveness of the heart (jam`iyat-i qalb), sometimes people who have attained only the station of the heart (muradbab-i qulub) may attain this [state of yad dasht]. It is because whatsoever that is in the totality of man (kulliyat-i insan), all that is established to be in the heart alone (qalb-i tanha). However, it may be in the undifferentiated form (ijmal) in one [i.e. the heart] and in the differentiated form (tafsil) in the other [i.e. man].
Therefore, on the level of the heart, it is possible for the presence of the person of God (hudur-i dhat) to be perpetual (dawam) as well. [And that is the first level of yad dasht.] However, this refers to merely the outer form (surat) of yad dasht, not its inner reality (haqiqat). It may be that whatsoever that the masters have said about the ‘insertion of the end in the beginning’ (indiraj-i nihayat dar bidayat) points to this outer form (surat) of this yad dasht. The inner reality (haqiqat) of yad dasht is realized after the soul is purified (tazkiya-i nafs) and the heart is cleansed (tasfiya-i qalb).
Now the Mujaddid teaches us on the second level of yad dasht.
You may take that the presence of the divine person (hadrat-i dhat) is on the level of Necessaryness (martaba-i wujub) [which is the second level]. Then the person (dhat) brings together (jam`i) all the attributes of Necessaryness (sifat-i wujubiya). Then this level [of Necessaryness] is witnessed (bi-shuhud-i in martaba) after traversing all the levels of the contingent things (jam`i maratib-i imkani). And along with it, [the second level of] yad dasht is also realized.
And this meaning is also realized in the self-disclosure of the attributes (tajalli-i sifati). It is because to observe the attributes in this way is not a bar for the presence of the divine person of God (SWT) (hudur-i hadrat-i dhat).
The Mujaddid now talks about the third level or final of yad dasht.
The term “the divine person” may be interpreted to be God, the disengaged one-in-numberness (ahadiyat-i mujarrad), who is beyond all the names (asma), the attributes (sifat), the transmissions (nasab) and crossing-overs (i`tibar). In that case, yad dasht may be realized only after traversing all the levels of the names (asma), the attributes (sifat), the transmissions (nisbat) and crossing-overs (i`tibar) that can be conceived [where lies only bewilderment].
P 58 paki
Wherever I have talked about yad dasht, I have taken the meaning that was mentioned last.time [which is the mindfulness of God who is the disengaged one-in-numberness (ahadiyat-i mujarrad) i.e. the third level or in terms of Ibn Arabi, the fiurst entification or wahdat.]
It is not even appropriate to use the term presence (hudur) on that [third] level. It is not concealed to the people who possess it, [the station of yad dasht.] It is because that [level of God the disengaged one-in-numberness, which is the level of the third meaning of yad dasht] is above both presence (hudur) and absence (ghaybat).
Level of yad dasht
God, the disengaged one-in-numberness (ahadiyat-i mujarrad), who is beyond all the names (asma), the attributes (sifat), the transmissions (nasab) and crossing-overs (i`tibar)
self-disclosure of the person of God (tajalli-i dhati). This 3rd level of yad dasht may be realized only after traversing all the levels of the names (asma), the attributes (sifat), the transmissions (nisbat) and crossing-overs (i`tibar) that can be conceived.
God on the level of Necessaryness (martaba-i wujub) who brings together (jam`i) all the attributes of Necessaryness (sifat-i wujubiya)
self-disclosure of the attributes (tajalli-i sifati)
Outer form (surat) of yad dasht: Perpetual presence of the person of God (dawam-i hudur-i dhat). The term ‘insertion of the end in the beginning’ (indiraj-i nihayat dar bidayat) points to this outer form (surat) of yad dasht
inner reality (haqiqat) of yad dasht: It is realized after the soul is purified (tazkiya-i nafs) and the heart is cleansed (tasfiya-i qalb).
The Mujaddid now talks about the second level of yad dasht.
In order to qualify [an attribute] by the word "presence (hudur)", you need to observe an attribute before you. This meaning of the term yad dasht is that what has been described as the second meaning, [and God is considered to be on the level of Necessaryness (martaba-i wujub), which the Ibn Arabi level of the second entification or one-and-allness or wahidiyat.]
This level is the last level of yad dasht that can be witnessed and that has a presence. And if you consider that, it is the final level.
Along this line of reasoning, it is possible to say that yad dasht is the last level in consideration of witnessing and presence (shuhud va hudur).
For beyond this level there is only bewilderment and ignorance.
Above this level, there is no witnessing and presence (shuhud va hudur). Instead, there is bewilderment, ignorance or knowledge (hayrat, jahl, ma`rifat). But it is not that knowledge which you consider knowledge ― that knowledge of yours is the knowledge of acts and attributes and this station is far above the knowledge of the names and the attributes,. [instead, it is the station of the necessary person of God who is the disengaged one-in-numberness, dhat-i wajib-i ahadiyat mujarrada. And this knowledge is the ultimate knowledge that is the knowledge that “the knower knows nothing”.]
Allah give peace and blessings to [Prophet Muhammad], the noblest of all men (sayyidi ‘l-bashari) and his pure progeny.
The highest of all stations is the station of good-pleasure.
Only after you have traversed through the well-known ten stations [of the sufi path], you may complete the tariqa and reach the end of the ends (nihayat al-nihayat). The first station is repentance (tawba) and the last station is good-pleasure (ridha). On the levels of perfection, no station can be conceived that is higher than the station of good-pleasure. Even the vision of God in the last world [is not on a higher level.]
The reality of the station of good-pleasure will be manifested in the last world.
The reality of the station of good-pleasure (haqiqat-i maqam-i ridha) will be manifested in the last world (akhirat). The reality of the other stations cannot be conceived in the last world. There repentance (tawba) is meaningless, abstinence (zuhd) has no relevance, God-reliance (tawakkul) does not form its form, and patience (sabr) cannot be predicated. However, take note! Gratefulness (shukr) will indeed be realized there. However, that gratefulness will be merely a branch from the branches of good-pleasure (az shu`ab-i ridha), not something separate from it.
Even a perfect man sometimes seems to be imperfect; here the Mujaddid describes the source these imperfections and explains that they are not sources of harm like the imperfections in an imperfect man.
Question: Sometimes you can detect longing (raghbat) for the world in a perfect man who is also a perfection-giver [i.e. someone who can train a student to become perfect] (kamil-i mukammil). Sometimes you even see in him [behavior] that shows that he lacks [a wholehearted] God-reliance (tawakkul). You may even see him displaying impatience that shows that he lacks patience (sabr). You may even see him acting as if he does not have good-pleasure towards Allah (ridha). How can you explain it?
Answer: Attaining these stations is related (makhsus) to the heart and the spirit (ruh). For the elect (khwass), this station is related to the soul in inner peace (nafs-i mutma’inna). However, [those characteristics] do not apply to the [physical body or ] the mold (qalib). Only the hardness (sawrat va shaddat) [of the boby turns into softness].
Once someone asked [the sufi saint Hazrat Abubakr] Shibli, “You claim to be in love [with God.] Then how can you have a big body that shows that instead of being in love [with God, you are a glutton in love with food instead]?
In answer, Hazrat Shibli recited the following poem:
My heart is in love, but my body does not even know it
Had it known it, it would never have become so big?
Ahabba qalbi, wa ma dara badani
Wa law dara, ma aqama fi ‘l-simani
Therefore, if [negative traits] inconsistent with those [sublime] stations are seen in the mold (qalib) of a perfect man
If you can find [a negative trait] in the behavior of a perfect man that is inconsistent with his not realizing these stations [of perfections] then that does not imply that there are imperfections in his inner realm.
On the other hand, in a man who is not perfect, imperfections of those stations are seen in the totality of that man. Both their inner realms and physical bodies (zahir) long for the [temporal] world. Their exteriors and interiors (zahir, batin), they both long for the earthly world (dunya). Both in their outer forms and inner essences (surat va haqiqat), there are things [like impatience or instability] that are contrary to God-reliance (tawakkul). Both in their heart and mold, you may observe impatience and instability (bi-taqati va idtirar). Disgust (karahat) [towards God’s decree] is seen in both his spirit and body (ruh, badan).
This is how the Real (SWT) has concealed his friends. And has deprived (mahrum) most of the people from the perfections (kamalat) of these masters.
L -6, paki
The Mujaddid exposes why there remains any imperfection left in a perfect man.
There is a fine wisdom is leaving these things [imperfections] in the friends. There are [two reasons],
Peace to them who follow guidance (hidayat) and take up on following [Prophet Muhammad] the chosen one. Allah gives the most complete and the most perfect peace and blessings to him and his progeny.
One should ignore the outer appearance of the friends of Allah and instead focus on their inner qualities.
O Lord (Ya Elahi)! What is it that you have done to your friends (awliya)? Their inner realm (batin) is like the elixir of immortality of Hazrat Khidr (zulal-i khadir). Whosoever drinks a drop of [that elixir] attains endless life. And their outer appearence (zahir) is like lethal poison. Whosoever sees that [outer appearence] will have endless (abadi) death.
They are such that their inner side (batin) is mercy and the outer side (batin) is pain. Those who see their inner side (batin) become one of them and those who see their outer side (zahir) become misguided (badkish). Outside they are like the common men but inside they are like the elect angels. In the outside (surat), they are on the saddle [and journeying on the earth] but in the inner meaning (ma`na), they are [journeying] in the celestial spheres [in the heavens far above the earth]. Those who sit on their company are saved from misery (shaqawat) and their companions attain felicity.
They are the congregation of Allah. Take note! Verily it is the congregation of Allah who will succeed. (Ula’ika hizbuLlah. Ala! Inna hizbaLlahi humu ‘l-muflihun). (Koran 58:22)
Allah! Give peace and blessings to our leader Muhammad and his family!
God has concealed His friends.
Allah (SWT) has concealed His friends so well that even their exteriors (zahir) have no news of the perfections of their inner realms (kamalat-i batin). How can then other people know about them?
God’s friends’ inner realms are unqualifiable. So how can the qualifiable inner realms of the others know the unqualifiable inner realms of the friends? Indeed, even the exteriors of the friends that are qualifiable do not know of their own inner realms.
Their inner realm (batin) is “without what manner” (bichun) itself. And it has been qualified with a quality (nisbat) that is on the level of “without what manner” and “without-how” (bi-chuni va bi-cheguni). Since their inner realm (batin) is from the world of command (`alam-i amr) that quality is also “without what manner”. Therefore, the exteriors, which are totally immersed in “what manner”, how can those find the inner reality [of the interiors of the friends]?
Instead it is more likely that since he does not know [this quality] and he lacks a relationship [with this quality], he [i.e. his exterior] could deny the receipt of this quality. Or it may be that he [i.e. his exterior] could recognize the receipt of this quality but he will not know what [thing] is related to it [this quality] (muta`allaq-i an kist). Instead what happens often is that that thing [i.e. the quality that qualifies his inner realm] denies him with whom he///it truly has the relationship.
These happen because this quality (nisbat) is very exalted and the quality of the exterior (zahir) is too low in comparison. Even the interior (batin) itself is pre-dominated by that quality (nisbat). And it [the interior of the friends] becomes free from [the limits inmposed by] seeing and knowing (did va danish). He does not know what [is that quality that] he has and with what [quality] he has that (darad va be-keh darad)? Therefore he has no alternative but [to claim] incapacity [when asked about this quality]. Since it is true that he has no real knowledge (ma`rifat).
The Mujaddid now explains a saying of Hazrat Abu Bakr.
Because of this the champion of truth [Hazrat Abu Bakr] (ra) has said, Perception is the incapacity to perceive perception [al-`ajzu `an darki ‘l-idraki idrakun.]” Here perception (idrak) refers to a unique quality (nisbat-i khassa`) that one is incapable to perceive.
It is because the one who perceives (sahib-i idrak) is predominated (maghlubun) [by his state]. And he may not comprehend his perception [i.e. what he perceives]. And people other than him may not know his state that have been described above
The Mujadddid discusses his unveiling on deviant beliefs. He sees that a sufi who holds beliefs contrary to the mainstream Sunni Islam is not a true sufi.
Someone dressed like a sufi was involved in the misfortune that is [holding] deviant beliefs (bid`at-i i`tiqad).
I was troubled (taraddad) by him. Suddenly I was seeing in a vision that all the prophets (slm) have gathered together and commenting on that man: "This man is not among us (laysa minna)"
Then I remembered about another man about whom I was also troubled. When I asked about him, the prophets (slm) said, "He is among us (kana minna)"
I seek refuge in Allah (SWT) from deviant beliefs and seek refuge (panah) from mocking His honored prophets .
I’ve been shown that the terms nearness (qurb), withness (m a`iyat) and encompassment (ihata) of Exalted the Haqq that are in the Sagacious Koran are among the “allegorical” or mutashabihat words of the Koran. e.g. hand, face etc. The words first (awwal), last (akhir), manifest (zahir), non-manifest (batin) and the likes of them are also the same.
The Mujaddid proposes that the allegorical verses have deep meanings that cannot be fathomed by the human mind that is limited.
So we say that the Haqq (SWT) is “near” us, but we do not know what that nearness means. Similarly, we say (that He is) the first but we don't know what does that “first” means. The meaning of that nearness and firstness does not come within the bounds of our knowledge or understanding (`ilm va fahm). The Haqq (SWT) is untainted by those [imperfections. And indeed He is even] higher (bartar) than that. And [He is indeed even higher than] that what we know through our unveilings (kashf) and witnessings (mushahida). Almighty God elevates himself higher that that and he is pure from those [limitations of the human mind that seek to humanize him or limit him] as well.
The Mujaddid criticizes both the misguided Sufis and the ulama who mis-interpret those allegorical verses. And that include both the mis-guided sufis who wrongly interpret those allegorical verses through unveiling-derived knowledge, and the ulama who interpret them allegorically.
Some Sufis have realized the meaning of “nearness” and “withness” via [false] unveiling. They consider the Haqq to be “near us” and “with us” [spatially.] This is not nice! They have stepped into the school of mujassima or corporealists. And some of the ulama have interpreted those terms by allegorical interpretation (ta’wil). For example, by “nearness,” some have meant “cognitive nearness” (qurb-i `ilmi). They have made allegories of that in the same way that they have made an allegory of “hand” by “power” (qudrat) and “face” by “person.” (dhat)
Exalted Haqq knows the truth! Peace to them who follow guidance!
I sometimes prayed the final prayer of the night or the witr prayer on the first hour of the night and some other times on the last hour of the night.
One night I was shown that for the devotee who goes to sleep with the intention that he will pray the witr prayer on the last hour of night, the angel in charge of writing good deeds for him writes good deeds on his book of deeds for the entire night until the time that he prays the witr. Therefore, it is better to delay the witr prayer.
Still, nothing is acceptable to me on the matter of praying the witr prayer early or late without following authority of the ‘noblest of men’ [Prophet Muhammad] (slm).
I do not consider any blessed deed equal to emulation [of the Prophet]. The blessed prophet sometimes prayed the witr prayer at the early hours of night and sometimes on the last hour of night.
I find felicity if I can emulate the Blessed Prophet (slm) in any of his deeds even if that emulation is only only in form.
About some sunna practices, some people give greater importance to some deeds with the intention of being awake for the whole night.
I am amazed at their short-sightedness! Without the emulation [of the Blessed Prophet], I don't buy being awake for a thousand nights even for half a grain of barley.
The last ten days of Ramadan, I perform itiqaf i.e. I sequester myself in the mosque and worship God. At this time, I gathered my sufi brothers together and told them, “Don’t make any intention except the intention to emulate the Prophet. Else what benefit is in our seclusion and cutting off our relationship with the world (tabattul va inqita`)? Instead, if we can emulate a single sunna then in return we are willing to accept a hundred misfortunes.
Actually, without the benefit of the emulation of the Merciful Prophet (slm), even if we do a thousand instances of seclusion and cutting off relationship with the world, it will not be accepted. As some poet have composed,
He who has an evergreen flower garden in his home
Why does he need gardens or the season spring?
An ra keh dar sara`I nigar ist farigh ast
Az bagh-i ulushan va tamasha-i laleh zar
May Allah (SWT) grant us the ability to emulate the Blessed Prophet perfectly. The most perfect and complete perace and blessings be on him and his progeny!
The Mujaddid discusses his saying that he is so absorbed in the love of the Prophet that there is no room to love God.
Once I was sitting together with a group of dervishes. Absorbed in my love for that master [Prophet Muhammad] (slm), I exclaimed, "Love of that master [Prophet Muhammad] (slm) have overwhelmed me to such an extent that I love the Haqq (SWT) because He is the Lord of Muhammad." Everyone present was perplexed at this saying but none dared to challenge me.
And the Mujaddid contrasts his saying with the saying of Rabia Basri about her loving Allah so deeply that she does not have any room to love the Prophet (slm).
This saying of mine contradicts to the saying of Rabia Basri. She had said: "In a dream, I told that master [Prophet Muhammad] that I am so overwhelmed in the love of the Haqq (SWT) that I have no room left to love you."
Both Rabia and the Mujaddid made those statements whule intoxicated in the love of God. However, the Mujaddid’s statement is more genuine.
Both statements indicate [that they have been made in the station of] intoxication (sukr), but my statement has genuineness (asalat). While she [Rabia] spoke in the very midst of intoxication; I spoke at the beginning of sobriety (sahw). And while she spoke [while being] on the level of attributes of God (martaba-i sifat), I spoke after returning from the level of the person of God (martaba-i dhat).
Note: In his sayr illa Allah part of his suluk, The Mujaddid climbed to the level of the attributes, like Rabia did. But he progressed even further, he climbed to the level of the dhat, person. And he started his return. And it is then that the Mujaddid made this comment.
On the level of the person of God, there is only bewilderment and ignorance. On the level of the attributes, there is love and knowledge.
On the level of the person (martaba-i dhat,) there is no room for this kind of love. There all transmissions (nisbat) are on the level of brevity (kotahi) [i.e. undifferentiated or ijmal level]. Everything there [on that level of undifferentiated one-in-numberness or dhat-i mujarradah] is only bewilderment (hayrat) and ignorance (jahl), instead, the [sufi] denies love happily (be-dhawq) because he does not consider himself to be worthy of that love in any way. Love and knowledge [of God] (mahabbat va ma’rifat) are on [the level of] the attributes and that’s all; [they are not on the level of the Person.]
Those intoxicated Sufis like Rabia were not on the level of undifferentiated one-in-numberness or dhat-i mujarradah. The first level entification is oneness-crossing-over-into-one-and-allness or wahdat, which is the level when some fine germs of attributes or i`tibarat have emerges ― ane her love of God was really the love of the divine i`tibarat.
The love of the person (mahabbat-i dhati) about which they [those intoxicated sufis like Rabia] spoke, what they meant is not the one-in-number person (dhat-i ahadiyat), but the person wherein some “crossing-overs” (i’tibarat) [fine germs of attributes] have emerged.
Comments: In Ibn Arabi science, God transforms himself to become the creation in five successive transformations. Initially, God is an undifferentiated one-in-number being. The first level of entification is is wahdat where the undifferentiated being of God “crosses over” into a state where fine germs of attributes or i`tibarat emerges. On the second level of entification, these i`tibarat develops further into full-fledged attributes.
Yes! Those intoxicated Sufis like Rabia mistakenly thought that they were in love of the person of God but actually their love was the love of the divine attributes.
Thus the love of Rabia was on the level of attributes. The Exalted the Haqq inspires that what is correct! Salutation and peace be on the [Prophet Muhammad,] the prince of the prophets and his pure family!
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