Ibn ´Ajiba: Iqâdh Al-Himam - Commentary upon al-Hikam

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Re: Hikam Ibn ´Ata Alllah al-Sakandari

Postby nur.nu » 30 Nov 2011, 08:14

Hikma #1

A feeling of discouragement when you slip up
is a sure sign that you put your faith in deeds.

Reliance on a thing means to lean on it and to put one's trust in it. Deeds are the actions of either the heart or the body. If an action is in harmony with the Shari'a, it is called obedience. If it is contrary to the Shari'a, it is called disobedience.

The people of this science divide actions into three categories: actions of the Shari'a, actions of the Tariqa, and actions of Reality. This can be re-phrased as actions of Islam, actions of faith and actions of ihsan , or actions of worship, actions of slavedom and actions of pure slavedom, which is freedom. Or it can be referred to as the actions of the people of the beginning, the actions of the people in the middle and the actions of the people of the end. The Shari'a is that you worship Him; the Tariqa is that You aim for Him, and the reality is that you witness Him. You could also say that the Shari'a is putting the outward right, Tariqa is putting the conscience right, and the reality is putting the secret right.

Putting the limbs right is achieved by three matters: tawba , taqwa and rectitude. Putting hearts right is achieved by three matters: sincerity ( ikhlas ), truthfulness and being at peace. Putting the secrets right is achieved by three matters: watchful fear ( muraqaba ), witnessing and gnosis. You could also say that putting the outward right is by avoiding prohibitions and obeying commands; putting the secrets right is by freeing oneself of vices and taking on virtues; and putting the secrets, which are the arwah (spirits), right is achieved by making them give out, breaking them until they are disciplined and training them into having adab , humility and good character.

Know that we are speaking about the actions necessary for purifying the limbs, hearts or arwah . They have already been specified for each category. As for knowledge and gnosis, they are the fruits of purification and refinement. When the secret is pure, it is filled with knowledge, gnosis and lights.

Moving to a station is not valid until one has mastered what is before it. Whoever has a radiant beginning, has a radiant end. So a person does not move to the actions of the Tariqa until he has performed the actions of the Shari'a and trained his limbs to perform them so that he meets the preconditions for repentance, possesses the pillars of taqwa and puts in action the various types of rectitude. That consists of following the Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in his words, deeds, and states.

Once the outward is pure and illuminated by the Shari'a, then he moves from the outward actions of Shari'a to the inward actions of the Tariqa, which is purifying oneself from the attributes of humanity as will be discussed. When he is free of the attributes of humanity, he is adorned with the attributes of spirituality, which is proper adab with Allah in His prescencings ( tajalliyat ), which are His manifestations. Then the limbs have rest from toil and all that remains is good adab . One of those who are recognised said, "Whoever reaches the reality of Islam does not flag in action. Whoever reaches the reality of faith, cannot turn to acting by other than Allah. Whoever reaches the reality of ihsan cannot turn to anyone except Allah."

In travelling through these stations, the murid should not put his faith in himself nor on his actions, state, and strength. He must put his trust in the bounty of his Lord, His granting him success and His guidance. Allah says, " Your Lord creates and chooses whatever He wishes. The choice is not theirs." (28:68) Allah says, "If your Lord had wanted to, He would have made mankind into one community but they persist in their differences, except for those your Lord has mercy on." (11:118) The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "None of you will enter the Garden by virtue of his actions." They asked, "Not even you, Messenger of Allah?" He said, "Not even me, unless Allah envelops me in his mercy."

Reliance on the lower selves is a sign of wretchedness and despair. Reliance on action comes from lack of being certain about things coming to an end. Reliance on generosity and states comes from lack of the company of the Men [of Sufism]. Reliance on Allah comes from realisation of gnosis of Allah. The sign of reliance on Allah is that your hopes are not lessened when you slip into disobedience nor are they increased when you do good. You can say that his fear is not great when needlessness issues from him, just as his hope is not removed when he is aware of it.

His fear and hope are always in equal balance because his fear is the result of witnessing majesty and his hope is the result of witnessing beauty. The majesty and beauty of the Real are not affected by increase or decrease. So what issues from them is not the same as what issues from someone who puts his trust in deeds since, when the deeds of such a person are few, his hope is little, and when his needs are numerous, he has great hope because of his shirk with his Lord and his realisation of his ignorance. If he were to be annihilated to himself and go on by his Lord, then he would have rest from his toil and achieve gnosis of his Lord.

He must have a perfect shaykh who will bring him out of the trouble of his self to his rest by witnessing his Lord. The perfect shaykh is the one who gives you rest from trouble, not the one who directs you to trouble. Whoever directs you to action, tires you. Whoever directs you to this world, cheats you. Whoever directs you to Allah has been faithful to you, as Shaykh Ibn Mashish, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "Direction to Allah is direction to forgetting the self. When you forget yourself, you remember your Lord. Allah Almighty says, 'Remember your Lord when you forget.' (18:24)" The reason for toil is remembering the self and being concerned with its affairs and portions. As for the one who is absent from them, he only has rest.

As for the words of Allah, "We created man in trouble" (90:4), they are specific to the people of the veil, Or you could say specific to the living selves. As for those who have died, the Almighty say s, "If he is one of Those Brought Near, there is solace and sweetness and a Garden of Delight" (56:88), meaning he will have the solace of arrival and the sweetness of beauty and the garden of perfection. The Almighty says, "They will not be affected by any tiredness there" (15:48). Rest, however, is only obtained after toil, and victory is only obtained after seeking. "The Garden is surrounded by disliked things."

O you passionately in love with the meaning of Our beauty,
Our dowry is expensive for the one who proposes to Us:

An emaciated body and spirit full of care
and eyes which do not taste sleep,

And a heart which does not contain other than Us.
If you want to pay the price,

Then be annihilated if you wish for eternal annihilation.
Annihilation brings one near to that annihilation.

Remove the sandals when you come
to that quarter. He was radiant in it.

Cast off both beings and remove
what is between us from between Us.

When you are asked, "Who do you love?"
Say, "I am the One I love and the One I love is me."

We read in Solving the Riddles , "Know that you will not attain to the stages of nearness until you ascend six steep slopes. The first is the limbs abstaining from legal disobedience; the second is the self abstaining from normal familiar customs; the third is the heart abstaining from human flippancy; the fourth is the self abstaining from natural impurities; the fifth is the spirit abstaining from sensory favours; the sixth is the intellect abstaining from illusory imaginations. After the first slope you look down at the founts of wisdom. After the second you look at the secrets of divinely granted knowledge. After the third there appears to you the signs of the intimate conversations of the malakut . After the fourth, the lights of the stages of proximity shine to you. After the fifth, the lights of the manifestation of love appear to you. After the sixth slope, you descend to the meadows of the Holiest Presence and there you withdraw from what you witnessed of the human subtle meanings of dense sensory things. When He desires to single you out and select you, He will give you a draught from the cup of His love. That drink will increase your thirst, as taste will increase your yearning, nearness will intensify your quest, and intoxication will increase your restlessness."

One of the excellent men was confused by the words of the Almighty , "Enter the Garden for what you did" (16:32) since the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "None of you will enter the Garden by his actions." The answer to that is that the Book and the Sunna go alternate between the Shari'a and the reality, or you could say prescription and realisation. They prescribe in some places and speak of the reality in others regarding the same thing. The Qur'an may legislate in one place while the Sunna gives the reality, and the reverse also occurs. The Messenger, peace be upon him, explained what Allah revealed. Allah says, "We have sent down to the Reminder to you so that you can make clear to mankind what has been sent down to them.." (16:44) His words, "Enter the Garden for what you did" is legislation for the people of wisdom, who are the people of the Shari'a, and the words of the Prophet are realisation for the people of power, who are the people of the reality. The words of the Almighty, "But you will not will unless Allah wills." (81:29) is reality, while the words of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, "When one of you has a good action, a good action is written for him" is Shari'a.

In short, the Sunna qualifies the Qur'an and the Qur'an qualifies the Sunna. So a person is obliged to have two eyes: one looks at the reality while the other looks at the Shari'a. If he finds that the Qur'an legislates in one place, there must be the reality in another, and the reverse is true. There is no contradiction between the ayat and the hadith nor any confusion.

There is another answer, which is that when Allah Almighty called people to tawhid and obedience, they would not enter it without desire and so He promised them a reward for actions. When their feet were firm in Islam, the Prophet, peace be upon them, brought them out from that and made them rise to sincere slavedom and realisation of the station of sincerity. So he told them, "None of you will enter the Garden by his actions." Allah knows best. Here the answers of the people of the outward are of no use at all. When someone moves from outward actions to inward actions, the effect of that must appear on the limbs. The Almighty says, "When kings enter a city, they lay waste to it." (27:34) The appearance of its effects is divestment or withdrawal ( tajrid ).


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Re: Hikam Ibn ´Ata Alllah al-Sakandari

Postby nur.nu » 30 Nov 2011, 08:26

Then he speaks about actions and their fruits, which are adab , being at peace under the passage of decrees without management, choice, hastening what is delayed or delaying what is hastened. That is the gauge of how to see what emerges from the element of power which you receive with gnosis. He speaks about their types of actions and the discipline of the one who does them.

Hikma #2

Different states have different outcomes.
This accounts for the variety of types of action.

Actions here mean to physical movements while outcomes ( waridat ) refer to the movement of the heart. The passing thought, the warid and the state have the same locus: the heart. As long as the heart has both dark and light thoughts occur in it, what occurs is called a passing thought ( khâtir ). When dark thoughts leave it, what occurs to it is called a wârid or a state. Their relation to something is rhetorical. They both can change. When that state continues and lasts, it is called a station ( maqam ).

Outward actions vary according to inward states, or you could say that the actions of the limbs follow the actions of the hearts. When contraction comes to the heart, its effect appears on the limbs as stillness. When expansion comes to it, its effect appears on the limbs as lightness and movement. When asceticism and scrupulousness come to the heart, their effect appears on the limbs, which is abandonment and abstention. If desire and greed come to the heart, then their affect appears on the limbs, which is fatigue and exhaustion. If love and yearning come to the heart, their effect appears on the limbs as ecstasy and dancing. If gnosis and witnessing come to the heart, the effect which appears on the limbs is rest and stillness. The same applies to other states and the actions which result from them.

These states vary in the same heart, and so the outward actions vary. A heart may be dominated by one state and only one effect results from it. Contraction may dominate a person and he will usually be dispirited. Or he may be dominated by expansion or another state. Allah knows best.

The hadith states, "There is lump of flesh in the body, the nature of which is that when it is sound, the entire body is sound, and when it is corrupt, the entire body is corrupt - it is the heart." It is because of this that the states of the Sufis vary. Some of them are worshippers, some are ascetics, some are scrupulous, and some are murids and gnostics.

Shaykh Zarruq said in his Qawa'id , "Rule: Piety ( nask ) is adopting every way of virtue without paying attention to other than it. If someone desires realisation of that ( nask ), he is a worshipper. If he inclines to taking states, he is scrupulous. If he prefers to abandon seeking so as to be safe, he is an ascetic. If he releases himself in what Allah desires, he is a gnostic. If he adopts character and attachment, he is a murid ."

He said in another rule: "Different paths do not remain different goals. In spite of the different methods, like worship, asceticism and gnosis, the unifier pursues the ways which lead to nearness to Allah on the Path of Nobility. All of them interpenetrate. So the gnostic must have worship or there is no point to his gnosis since he does not worship the One he recognises. He must have asceticism or there is no reality to him if he does not turn from what is other than Him. The worshipper must have both since there is no worship without recognition and there is no devotion to worship except with asceticism. The same is true for the ascetic, since there is no asceticism without recognition and no asceticism without worship. Otherwise the blessings are fruitless. The one who is dominated by action is a worshipper, the one dominated by abandonment is an ascetic, and the one dominated by looking at how Allah disposes of things is a gnostic. All is Sufism, and Allah knows best.


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Re: Hikam Ibn ´Ata Alllah al-Sakandari

Postby nur.nu » 30 Nov 2011, 08:26

Since sincerity is a precondition for every action, he mentioned its effect:

Hikma #3

Actions are merely propped-up shapes.
Their life-breath is the presence of the secret of sincerity in them.

Actions refer to physical movements or movements of the heart. The shapes are the qualities which the mind fixes. The life-breath ( ruh ) and the secret are lodged in living creatures. Here it refers to that by which perfection is achieved in actions. Sincerity is when the heart is devoted to the worship of the Lord as well as its secret and core. That is the truthfulness designated by being free of strength and might since it is only complete by it, even if it is sound without it since sincerity negates showing-off and hidden shirk . Its secret negates pride. Self-regard and showing off detract from the soundness of the action, while pride detracts only from its perfection.

All actions are forms and bodies. Their life-breath is the existence of sincerity in them. As forms can only abide with spirits since otherwise they are dead and fallen-down, so actions of the body and heart only abide by the existence of sincerity in them. Otherwise they are propped-up shapes and empty forms of no consideration Allah Almighty says, "They were only ordered to worship Allah, making their deen sincerely His, as people of pure natural faith," (98:5) and "Worship Allah, making your deen sincerely His." (39:2) The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, reported that Allah says, "I am the furthest removed from what is associated with Me." The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "That which I most fear for my community is hidden shirk . It is showing off." In one version, "Fear this hidden shirk , It creeps like an ant." They asked, "What is hidden shirk ?" "Showing off," he replied.

In a hadith, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was asked about sincerity and said, "Not until I ask Jibril." When he asked him, he said, "Not until I ask the Lord of Might." When he asked Him, he told him, "It is one of My secrets which I have entrusted in the hearts of those of My slaves who loves Me. No angel sees it so that he records it and no shaytan sees it so that he can corrupt it" One of them said, "This is station of ihsan : that you worship Allah as if you were seeing Him."

Sincerity has three levels: the level of the common, the level of the elite, and the level of the elite of the elite. The sincerity of the common is to remove creation from dealings with Allah while seeking the portions of this world and the Next, like preservation of the body, money, expanded provision, castles and houris. The sincerity of the elite is to seek the portions of the Next world rather than this world. The sincerity of the elite of the elite to seek to remove all portions. So their worship is to fully realise slavedom and to undertake the requirements of the Lord, or love and yearning for His vision, as Ibn al-Farid said:
My request is not for bliss of the Garden.

I only desire to see You.

Another said:
All of them worship out of fear of the Fire

and see salvation as a generous portion,

Or seek to dwell in the Garden

and to relax in meadows and drink of Salsabil.

I have no opinion of Gardens or Fire.

I do not seek any recompense for my love.

Shaykh Abu Talib said, "Sincerity with the sincere is to remove creatures from one's dealings with the Real. The first of creatures is the self. Sincerity among the lovers is not to do an action for the sake of the self. Otherwise it is affected by looking for recompense or inclining to the portion of the self. For the unifiers, sincerity is to remove creatures from dealings with of the Real by not seeing them in actions and not relying and relaxing with them in states."

One of the shaykhs said, "Make your actions sound with sincerity and make your sincerity sound by being free from strength and power." One of the gnostics said, "Sincerity is not achieved until people do not see and until he fails to think of people." That is why another said, "Whenever you fall in people's eyes, you become great in Allah's eyes. Whenever you become great in the eyes of people, you fall in Allah's eye." This is when you take note of them and are watchful of them.

I heard our shaykh say, "As long as the slave continues to watch people and have awe of them, his sincerity will never be fully realised." He also said, "Your watching Allah will never be combined with watching creation because it is impossible that you see Him and see other-than-Him with Him." The upshot is that it is not possible to ever leave the self and to be purified of subtle showing-off without a Shaykh. Allah knows best.

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Re: Hikam Ibn ´Ata Alllah al-Sakandari

Postby nur.nu » 30 Nov 2011, 08:31

So obscurity is part of sincerity. Indeed, it is usually only achieved by it since the self has no portion in it. That is why he said:

Hikma #4

Bury your existence in the earth of obscurity.
If something sprouts before it is buried, its fruits will never ripen.

Burying is to cover up and conceal. Obscurity is loss of position with people. "Fruits" is a metaphor for wisdoms, gifts and knowledge which the slave harvests from gnosis of Allah. That is when his nafs dies and his ruh lives.

Murid , conceal your nafs and bury it in obscurity so that it is intimate with it, happy with it and finds it sweeter than honey, and to display itself becomes more bitter than colocynth. When you bury it in the land of obscurity and its roots stretch out in it, then you will pluck its fruits and obtain its yield: the secret of sincerity and realisation of the station of the elite of elite. If you do not bury it in the earth of obscurity and allow it to make itself famous, its tree dies or its fruits drop off. The when the gnostics harvest from what they have planted of the gardens of their gnosis and what they buried of the treasures of wisdoms and storehouses of understanding remain, you will be poor, begging or trying to steal.

Sayyiduna 'Isa, peace be upon him, asked his companions, "Where does grain grow?" They replied, "In the earth." He said, "It is the same for wisdom. It only grows in the heart which is like the earth." One of the gnostics said, "Whenever you bury your nafs in earth after earth, your heart rises heaven after heaven."

Once Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was sitting with al-Aqra' ibn Habis, a great man of the Banu Tamim, when one of the poor Muslims passed by. He asked al-Aqra', "What do you say about this one?" He replied, "Messenger of Allah, this is just one of the poor Muslims. If he were to propose marriage, his proposal would not be worth accepting, and if he were to intercede, his intercession would not be granted, and if he were to speak, his words would not be listened to," Then a wealthy man passed by them and the Messenger of Allah asked him, "And what do you say about this one?" He replied, "If he proposes marriage, his proposal is accepted, if he intercedes his intercession would be granted, and if he were to speak, his words would be listened to." The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "This (poor man) is better than what the earth contains and better than this one."

There are many hadiths and sayings which praise obscurity. If it contained nothing but rest and freeing the heart, that would be enough. Al-Hadrami wrote:
Live obscure among people and be pleased with that.

That is sounder for this world and the deen .

If someone associates with people, his deen is not safe

and he vacillates between being moved and being still.

One of the wise said, "Obscurity is a blessing but the nafs rejects it. Display is revenge while the nafs desires it." He said, "The end of this Path of ours is only proper for people who sweep rubbish heaps with their spirits."

Someone who is tested by rank and leadership must make use of ruin in which a way that it will lower his rank, provided it is disliked rather than that which agreed to be unlawful, with the aim of treating that, like begging in shops or houses, eating in markets and where people will see him, sleeping in them, drinking with a waterskin, carrying rubbish on his head, walking barefooted, making a display of greed, miserliness and avarice, wearing the muraqqa'a (patched robe) and large prayer beads, and all that burdens the nafs which is permitted or disliked, but not unlawful.

Shaykh Zarruq said, "As it is not proper to bury crops in foul earth, it is not permitted to be obscure with a state which is not pleasing to Allah. Taking that to be analogous with choking is not sound because loss of physical life prevents every good, whether mandatory or recommended, the consensus is that is forbidden to lose it when it is possible to survive by the words of Allah, 'Do not cast yourselves into destruction.' (2:195) That is not the case with obscurity. Nothing of that misses him. Instead perfection is obtained by it, which is denial of rank and position, when its basis is permissibility." Some of them reply that loss of ephemeral life it more fitting than loss of abiding life, which is gnosis, so reflect. The story of the thief in the bath house attests to this, and Allah knows best.

I heard our Shaykh say "The truthful faqir kills his nafs with the least of the permitted and the lying faqir falls into the forbidden and does not kill it." He often forbade dark states. He said, "We have enough of the permissible to spare us from the unlawful and disliked."

Begging is disliked or forbidden by the aim of obtaining food for bodies when you have enough. If it is with the aim of sustaining life, it is not unlawful. In his commentary on al-Bukhari, al-Qastallani mentioned from Ibn al-'Arabi that it is mandatory for the faqir in his beginning. Look at what he says there. He mentions enough about it in the Basic Research . Look there. It will be discussed later.

This ruin which I mentioned can also entail fame since obscurity is being hidden from people's eyes. This may entail has great exposure.

Obscurity is the lowering of position in the eyes of people, concealing the secret of wilaya , and all that will lower one's position with them and negate the suspicion of wilaya is obscurity, even if there is some display outwardly. That is why our shaykh said, "This Path of ours is obscurity outwardly and appearance in obscurity.

An-Najibi said in al-Inala , "As for those among the Sufis who say that the muraqqa'a is fame, the response is found in the fact that Salman al-Farisi from Iraq to Syria travelled to visit Abu'd-Darda' on foot wearing a coarse mantle. He was told, "You have made yourself famous." He said, "Good is the good of the Next World. I am a slave who dresses as a slave. When I am free, then I will wear a robe of honour and not worry about its borders."

Part of that is the story of al-Ghazali carrying ox-hides on his back when he met his shaykh, al-Kharraz, sweeping market and using a waterskin to give people water. That is what I heard many times from the Shaykh but I did find it anyone else who knew it.

There is also the story of ash-Shushtari with his shaykh who was 70. Ash-Shushtari was a government minister and scholar and his father was an amir. When he wanted to embark on the Path of the People (of Sufism), his shaykh told him, "You will not obtain any of it until you sell your goods, wear tattered garments, take a banner and enter the market. He did all that and said to him, "What should we say in the market?" He said, "Say, 'I begin by mentioning the Beloved.'" So he entered the market, waving his banner and said, "I begin by mentioning the Beloved." He kept it up for three days and the veils were rent. He began to sing about the knowledge of tastes in the market.

There is a similar story about a man who was with Abu Yazid al-Bistami. For thirty years the man did not leave his gathering nor part from him. He said one day, "Master, for thirty years I have fasted in the day and prayed at night, and I left appetites and I did not find anything at all of what you mentioned in my heart. I believe and affirm all you say." Abu Yazid said to him, "If you were to pray for 30 years while you are as I see you, you will still never find a single atom of it." He asked, "Why, master?" He replied, "Because you are veiled by your nafs ." He asked, "Does this have a remedy so that this veil can be removed?" "Yes," he replied, "but you will not accept or do it." "Yes," he insisted, "I will do what you say." Abu Yazid told him, "Go immediately to the barber and shave your head and beard. Remove these clothes and put on a woollen wrap. Suspend a nosebag from your neck and fill it with walnuts. Gather children around you and say in your loudest voice, 'Children! I will give a nut to whoever gives me a slap!' Then enter the market in which you are respected in this state until everyone who knows you looks at you." He exclaimed, "Abu Yazid, glory be to Allah! Do you say this to someone like me and think that I will do it !" He told him, "Your words, 'Glory be to Allah' are shirk ." He asked him, "How?" Abu Yazid said, "Because you esteem your nafs and so you glorify it." He said, "Abu Yazid, I cannot do this and I will not do this, but direct me to something than this that I can do." Abu Yazid told him, "Begin with this before everything until your rank falls from you and you humble your nafs, and then after that I will tell you what is proper for you." He said, "I cannot do this." He said, "And you said that you would accept and do it. I know that a person will have no desire for the secrets of the unseen which are veiled from the common people until he makes his nafs die and breaks the customs of the common people. Then normal patterns will be broken for him and benefits will appear to him.'

There is also the story of Abu 'Imran al-Barda'i with his shaykh Abu 'Abdullah at-Taudi in Fes. He shaved his head, put on a gallabiya and took a loaf of bread, calling out for someone to save him from it. He did all that. There is the story of Shaykh 'Abdu'r-Rahman al-Majdhub, who ate figs from people's trees, sang in the markets. We also have the story of Sidi 'Ali al-'Imrani and his ruining his reputation in Fes which is famous. There is also the story of Shaykh Moulay al-'Arabi who wore a sack and gave people water from a waterskin. Other things which are well known.

These stories indicate that obscurity is not what the common people understand it to be: staying inside houses and fleeing to mountains. For those with realisation, that is tantamount to ostentation itself. Obscurity, as Shaykh Zarruq said, "is for the nafs to fully realise its lowest description and be constantly aware of it. Its lowest description is abasement and all that burdensome for it. So he resorts to realising the attribute of humility and its fruit in order to obtain action and the perfection of the reality."

If you said that doing things like this will entail exposing oneself to people's words and making them fall into slander, I reply that it depends on the aim and intention. If someone does any of that with the aim of killing his nafs , achieving sincerity and to heal his heart, he forgives and excuses those who talk about him. In his book, Sidi 'Ali said, "We excuse those who excuse us and excuse those who do not excuse us."

In the Qawa'id , Shaykh Zarruq said, "The legal ruling is general for the common people because its aim to establish the outward Shari'a, raise its minaret and make its words victorious while the ruling of tasawwuf is for the elite because it is the relationship of the slave with his Lord and no more. So it is valid for a faqih to object to a Sufi, but not valid for a Sufi to obey to a faqih . One must return from tasawwuf to fiqh in judgements, but not in realities.

NOTE: These remedies which we mentioned are for the state of illness. As for the one who has achieved its cure and perfected his annihilation, he is the slave of Allah whether he shows it or hides it. Abu'l-'Abbas al-Mursi said, "If someone desires to make a display, he is the slave of display, and if someone desires concealment, he is the slave of concealment. The slave of Allah is the same whether he is public or concealed."


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Re: Hikam Ibn ´Ata Alllah al-Sakandari

Postby nur.nu » 30 Nov 2011, 08:34

Hikma # (from Chapter 6)

A sign of the death of the heart: lack of sadness about beneficial actions you have missed,
and lack of regret about your mistakes.

Three things can cause the death of the heart: love of this world, heedlessness of dhikru'llah , and allowing the limbs to commit acts of disobedience. Three things can result in the life of the heart: asceticism in this world, occupation with dhikru'llah , and keeping the company of the awliya' of Allah.

There are three signs of its death: lack of sorrow for missing acts of obedience, lack of regret for mistakes committed and keeping the company of the heedless dead. That is because the issuance of obedience from a person is a sign of ultimate happiness and the issuance of disobedience is a sign of wretchedness. If the heart is alive with gnosis and faith, it is pained by that which will oblige its wretchedness and happy about what will oblige its happiness. Or you could say that acts of obedience issuing from the slave is a sign of the pleasure of his Master and the issuance of disobedience is a sign of His anger.

The living heart feels what pleases his Master and rejoices, and feels what angers Him and sorrows. The dead heart does not feel anything. It is the same to it where it obeys or disobeys. It does not rejoice in obedience and harmony nor is it sad for a mistake or disobedience, as is the business of the physical corpse. In a hadith from the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, "Whoever is delighted by his good actions and grieved by his evil actions is a believer." 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud said, "The believer sees his wrong actions as if they were the foot of a mountain which he fears will fall on him. The impious sees his wrong actions as flies which land on his nose and he says, 'Like that," and swats them away."

But the slave must not mostly look at the sign of the wrong action and then have scant hope and a bad opinion of his Lord, as he indicates:

Do not become so overwhelmed by your wrong action

that it stops you thinking well of Allah.

Regarding fear and hope, people fall into three categories: the people of the beginning who must be dominated by fear; the people of middle, who must have a balance between fear and hope; and the people of the end who are dominated by hope. When the people of the beginning are dominated by fear, they strive in actions and refrain from mistakes. By that their end shine s. "As for those who do jihad in Our Way, We will guide them to Our paths." (29:69) The people of the middle turn their worship to purification of their inward, and so their worship is of the heart. If they were dominated by fear, they would return to the worship of the limbs when what is desired of them is the worship of the inward with the hope of arrival and fear of Allah's immensity. So their fear and hope are balanced.

As for those who arrive, they do not see that they have any action or non-action. They look at the management of the Real and what flows according to the Decree and meet it with acceptance and pleasure. If it is obedience, they thank and bear witness to the favour of Allah. If it is disobedience, they apologise, show adab and do not stop with their selves since they hold that they have no existence. They watch for what emerges from the element of power and expect His forbearance, pardon, goodness and kindness more than they expect His force and subjugation. May Allah have mercy on ash-Shafi'i who said:
When my heart is hard and my positions are constricted,

I make my hope a ladder to reach Your pardon.

My wrong actions seem immense to me. But in relation

to Your pardon, my Lord, Your pardon is far greater.

You continue to possess generosity, abundant favour and grace,

showing generosity, pardon and nobility.

Would that I knew whether I will go to the Garden and rejoice

or go the Hellfire, full of regret.

Allah Almighty says, "Say: 'My slaves who have transgressed against yourselves, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Truly Allah forgives all wrong actions. He is Ever-Forgiving, the Most Merciful. '" (39:50) Reflect on the case of the man who killed ninety-nine people and then asked a monk, "Can I repent?" and the monk replied to him, "You cannot repent," and so he completed the hundred. Then he went to a scholar and asked him and he said to him "Who will come between you and that? Go to a certain town. There are people in it who worship Allah. Be among them until you die." Halfway there, he died and the angels of mercy and the angels of punishment quarrelled over him. So Allah revealed to them to measure the distance between the town he left and the town to which he was going, and he would belong to the people of whichever of them was closer. So Allah inspired the town to which he was going to come nearer and to the town from which he left to go further away. So he was found to be nearer the town to which he was going and the angels of mercy took him. The hadith is found in the two Sahih collections.

Shaykh Abu'l-'Abbas al-Mursi said, "When the common people are frightened, they fear. When they are made hopeful, they hope. When the elite are frightened, they hope, and when they are given hope, they fear."

He said in Lata'if al-Minan , "The meaning of these words of the shaykh is that the common people stop with the outward business. So when they are frightened, they fear since they cannot pass beyond the expression by the light of understanding which the people of Allah possess. When the people of Allah are frightened, they hope, knowing that beyond their fear and beyond their fear are the attributes of the One they hope for. One must not despair of His mercy nor give up hope of His grace. So they therefore strive for the qualities of His generosity, knowing that what frightens them is only in order to gather them to Him and return them to Him. When they are made hopeful, they fear His hidden will which is beyond their hope and dear that what has appeared of hope is in order to test their intellects to see whether they will stop at hope or penetrate to what is hidden in His will. That is why their hope provokes their fear."

Al-Junayd visited Shaykh as-Sari and found him in a state of contraction. He asked, "What is wrong, shaykh? Why are you in contraction?" He replied, "A young man came to me and asked me, 'What is the reality of repentance?' I told him, 'That you do not forget your wrong action.' The young man said, 'Rather repentance is that you forget your wrong action.' Then he left me." Al-Junayd continued, 'I said, 'What the young man said is correct, because when I was in a state of concealment and then He moved me to witnessing purity, remembering concealment in the state of purity is concealment.'"


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