< Thoughts & Readings


Monday, May 12, 2003  

Man's Return Home to the Original Source Man is considered from two points of view: his material being and his spiritual being. In the appearance of material being everyone is more or less equal. Therefore, in this respect, one may apply to humanity general laws. In his spiritual being, hidden behind his appearance, each person is different. Therefore special private laws apply to him. Man, in accordance with general laws, by following certain steps can return to his origin. To take these steps, he follows the evident ordinances of our religion as a guide; following them, he advances. Rising from level to level he may reach the stage of the spiritual path, passing into the realm of wisdom. That is a very high state. The Prophet, peace be upon him, praises this state, saying, 'There is a state in which all and everything is gathered - and it is the divine wisdom.' To reach that level, one first has to abandon false appearances and the hypocrisy of doing things so that others might see or hear. Then one must set for oneself three goals. These three goals are actually three paradises. The first is called Ma'wa - the paradise of the security of home. That is the earthly paradise. The second is called Na'im - the garden of the delight of Allah's grace upon His creatures, which is the paradise within the angelic realm. The third is called Firdaws - the heavenly paradise. That is the paradise in the realm of the unity of the causal mind, home of the souls, of the divine Names and attributes. These are the rewards, the beauties of Allah which the material man will taste in his efforts in the three successive stages of knowledge: efforts in following the religious precepts (shari'a); efforts in eliminating the multiplicity in himself, fighting the cause of this multiplicity which is his ego, in order to reach the state of unity and come close to his Creator (tariqa); and finally, in his efforts to reach the state of divine wisdom (ma'rifa) whereby he will come to know his Lord. The Prophet, peace be upon him, at the conclusion of the previously mentioned tradition, 'There is a state in which all and everything is gathered and it is divine wisdom,' says: 'With it one learns the truth, which gathers within itself all causes and all good. Then one must act upon this truth. One must know falsehood and act upon it, abandoning all of it.' And he says, 'O Lord, show us the truth and make it our lot to follow it, and teach us that which is false and make it easy for us to avoid it.' And, 'He who knows his self and opposes its wrong desires truly, comes to know his Lord, and follow His wishes.' These are the general rules which apply to the material being of man. Then there is the spiritual being of man, or the spiritual man, who is called the pure man. His goal is total closeness to Allah. The only way to this end is the knowledge of truth (haqiqa). In the first-created realm of the absolute being of oneness, this knowledge is called Unity. One may hope to reach the goal of this path in this worldly life. In that state there is no difference between being awake and being asleep, since in sleep the soul may find occasion to escape to its true home, the realm of the souls, and come back and bring news. This we call the true dream. This event can be partial, as in the case of dreams; it can also be total, as in the case of the Ascension of the Prophet, peace be upon him. Allah confirms this: Allah takes (men's) souls at the time of their death, and those that die not, during their sleep. Then He withholds those on whom He has passed the decree of death, and sends the others back till an appointed term. Surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect. (Sura Zumar, 42) The Prophet, peace be upon him indicates this state by saying, 'The sleep of the wise is more worthy than the worship of the ignorant.' The wise are those who have acquired the knowledge of truth that has no letters, no sound. That knowledge is received through the continuous repetition of the divine Name of Unity with the secret tongue. The wise are those whose core is turned into divine light by the light of unity. Allah speaks through His Prophet, peace be upon him, and says: Man is My secret and I am his secret. The inner knowledge of the spiritual essence ('ilm al-batin) is a secret of My secrets. Only I put this into the heart of My good servant, and none may know his state other than Me. and: I am as My servant knows Me. When he seeks Me and remembers Me, I am with him. If he seeks inwardly, I seek him with My Essence. If he remembers and mentions Me in good company, I remember and declare him as My good servant in better company. In all that is said here, the only way to satisfy one's wish is meditation - that means of knowledge which the common man uses so seldom. Yet the Prophet of Allah, peace be upon him said, 'A moment's reflection is worth more than a year of worship'. 'A moment's reflection is worth more than seventy years of worship'. 'A moment's reflection is worth more than a thousand years of worship.' The value of every action is hidden in the essence of truth. The act of a moment's meditation here appears to have three different values: Whoever contemplates an affair and seeks its cause finds that each of its parts has many parts of its own, and finds that each of these is the cause of many other things. This is a contemplation that is worth a year's worship. Whoever contemplates his devotions and seeks the cause and reason and comes to know it, his meditation is worth seventy years of worship. Whoever contemplates the divine wisdom with a strong wish to know Allah Most High, his meditation is worth a thousand years of worship, for this is the true knowledge. True knowledge is the state of unity. The wise lover unites with his Beloved. From this material realm, flying with spiritual wings he soars to the realm of attainment, for the devout walk to Paradise while the wise fly to the realms close to their Lord. Lovers have eyes in their hearts. They see, while others are staring blind. Such wings they have, not of flesh and blood, They fly towards angels, their Lord to find! This flight occurs in the inner world of the wise. They receive the honour of being called true men, the beloved ones of Allah, His intimates, His brides. The saint Bayazid al-Bistami, may Allah sanctify his secret, says, 'The holders of wisdom are the brides of Allah Most High.' Others as well describe them by saying that those who come close to Allah become the brides of Allah. Only the loving possessors of brides know them intimately. These wise servants who become intimates of Allah, though beautiful, are covered by the appearance of ordinary men. Allah speaks through His Prophet, peace be upon him, saying: 'My intimates are hidden under My domes. None can recognize them but Me.' The domes under which Allah hides His friends are their undistinguished, ordinary appearances. When one looks at a bride covered by her wedding veil, what can one see but the veil? Yahya ibn Mu'adh ar-Razi, may Allah sanctify his secret, says, 'The beloved of Allah are the perfume of Allah upon this world, but only true, sincere believers have noses to smell them.' They smell that beautiful perfume; they follow that smell. That perfume creates a yearning in their hearts for their Lord. Each in his own way increases his pace, his efforts, his devotion. The degree of his yearning, his wish and the speed of his pace are in proportion to his lightness, to his having shed the weight of his worldly self. For the more one takes off the coarse clothing of this world, the more one feels the warmth of one's Creator and the closer to the surface inner being comes. Closeness to the truth is in relation to the amount of false materiality one has thrown away. In giving away one's multiple aspects one comes closer to the only truth. The intimate of Allah is he who has brought himself to nothingness. Only then can he see the existence of the truth. There is no will left in him to choose. There is no 'I' left other than the only existence, which is the truth. Although all manner of miracles have come through him to prove this state, he has nothing to do with them. In his state there is no disclosure of secrets, because divulging the secret of divinity is infidelity. In a book called Mirsad it is written, 'All men through whom miracles appear are veiled from and unconcerned about their states. For them, the times when miracles appear are considered to be like the periods of menstruation for women. Saints who are intimate with Allah have to travel through at least a thousand stages, the first of which is the door of miracles. Only those who are able to pass through this door unharmed can reach the other stages. If they become involved, they will get nowhere.' -Shaykh 'Abdul Qadir al-Jilani, The Secret of Secrets (Sirr al-Asrar)



posted by SuFiSTiC | 5/12/2003 01:42:00 PM |
As for him who fears to stand before his Lord and restrains the ego its desires, the Garden is shelter.
(The Snatchers:40)
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The Fire is surrounded by all kinds of desires and passions, while Paradise is surrounded by all kinds of disliked, undesirable things."
(Bukhari)
Whoever does good at night is rewarded during the day and whoever does good during the day is rewarded at night. Whoever is sincere in abandoning a desire is saved from catering to it. God is too noble to punish a heart that has abandoned a desire for His sake.
(Abu Sulayman ad-Darani)
Beware of your ego, and trust not its mischief;
The ego is worse than seventy devils.
(Arabic Poem)
Abu Bakar Balkhi
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I seek God's forgiveness, and do not claim that my intention in producing this Blog is confined to good religious purposes; how may I do so when I am aware of the hidden desires, egotistic passions, and worldly wishes that I harbour? I do not claim innocence for myself; the ego is indeed an inciter to evil, save when my Lord shows mercy; my Lord is indeed Forgiving, Merciful. O God! I seek Your protection against my committing idolatry [shirk] knowingly, and Your forgiveness for that of which I am not aware! I ask God to make me and all other believers benefit from this Blog and to render my production of it purely for the sake of His Noble Countenance.

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