Sunday, March 28, 2010

"Al-Haqq ravished me" (Jadhb): Emir Abd el Kader

Mawqif 7

Al-Haqq ravished me away from my (illusory) Self and brought me closer to my real (Self); the disappearance of the earth has led to the disappearance of the heavens (1). The All and its parts have become one. The vertical and the horizontal have been annihilated (2). The supererogatory works have given way to the obligatory works (3) and all colors have returned to the pure primordial whiteness (4).

The voyage has reached its term and anything other than Hu has ceased to exist. Attributions, considerations and relations having been abolished, the original state has been reestablished:
" Today I have lowered your lineage and raised My lineage (5) ".

The words of al-Hallaj were said to me, with the difference that he himself had uttered them while in my case, they were uttered for me. Those words whose meaning is understood and accepted only by those who deserve them; those words which are misunderstood and rejected by those in whom ignorance prevails.

(1) The earth and the heavens represent respectively the Manifest Universe ('Alam al-Shahada) and the Hidden Universe ('Alam al-Ghayb) to which correspond microscopically, the world of the flesh and that of the spirit. Their disappearance here is a consequence of their resorption into the Principle.

(2) This use of technical language was first seen in Hallaj : verticality:refers to the spiritual world that of the pure concepts and divine commandments; horizontality: refers to the physical world of the creation.
The annihilation of the geometrical dimensions refers to the return to the Initial Point.

(3) The annihilation of the supererogatory acts refers to the extinction of the individual will and its identification with the Divine Will in the thought of Ibn'Arabi.

(4) Symbolically, the colors are due to an artificial tainting (insibagh) of the original white Light.

(5) Hadith Qudsi reported by Ibn 'Arabi in "The Ringstones of Wisdom" (Fusus al-Hikam) and discussed at length in the Chapter : "Ringstone of Prophet Hud".
Our relationship to al-Haqq is closer than any other relationship because it is the relationship to our most intimate self. All other relationships disappear in presence of Allah (swt), Surat al- Mu'minoon: 23: 101: " For when the trumpet is blown, that day there shall be no kinship any more between them, neither shall they question each other."

This is from the book of "Mawaqif"  ( Spiritual halts/Pauses ) of Emir Abd al-Kader on the description of the state of being ravished (Majdhub)

I have used the French translation of the " Ecrits Spirituels" of M. Chodkiewicz (including the footnotes) and the English translation of "The Ringstones of Wisdom" of Caner Dagli which is highly readable and contains excellent glosses.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Niffari: Mawqif al-Bahr ( Pause at the Sea) & Surat Hud 11:41

{ وَقَالَ ٱرْكَبُواْ فِيهَا بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ مَجْريٰهَا وَمُرْسَاهَا إِنَّ رَبِّي لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ }

" And he said : "Embark therein. In the name of Allah is its run and its anchoring. Indeed my Sustainer is incessantly and comprehensively forgiving and merciful". " Surat Hud : 11:41"

The Stop-over or Pause is a step between two stations of the Path according to Ibn 'Arabi.

This Mawqif is considered to be addressed to those in the beginning of Suluk (walk on the Path). It concerns primarily the central issue of maintaining a correct Intention on the Path and what the Salik encounters of the fruits of his attempts. The Sea is understood to be what the Salek must cross and within which he must travel during his walk on the Path.

موقف البحر

أوقفني في البحر فرأيت المراكب تغرق والألواح تسلم، ثم غرقت الألواح، وقال لي لا يسلم من ركب.

وقال لي خاطر من ألقى نفسه ولم يركب.

وقال لي هلك من ركب وما خاطر.

وقال لي في المخاطرة جزء من النجاة، وجاء الموج ورفع ما تحته وساح على الساحل.

وقال لي ظاهر البحر ضوء لا يبلغ، وقعرة ظلمه لا تمكن، وبينهما حيتان لا تستأمن.

وقال لي لا تركب البحر فأحجبك بالآلة، ولا تلق نفسك فيه فأحجبك به.

وقال لي في البحر حدود أيها يقلك.

وقال لي إذا وهبت نفسك للبحر فغرقت فيه كنت كدابة من دوابه.

وقال لي غششتك إن دللتك على سواي.

وقال لي إن هلكت في سواي كنت لما هلكت فيه.

وقال لي الدنيا لمن صرفته عنها وصرفتها عنه، والآخرة لمن أقبلت بها إليه وأقبلت به علي.

Stop-over at the Sea

He stopped me at the Sea:
I saw the vessels sink and the planks remain afloat; eventually, the planks did also sink.
He said to me:
"He who rides (a vessel) is not safe. He who throws himself [in the sea] and does not ride a vessel is taking a risk. He who rides and does not take a risk will reach perdition"
He said to me:
"A part of Salvation lies in the taking of risk. The waves come, lift what lies underneath them and spread it and themselves openly on the shore".
He said to me:
" The surface of the Sea is Luminosity the source of which cannot be reached; the bottom of the Sea is Darkness, indomitable. Between Luminosity and Darkness live the beasts of the sea which cannot be trusted/with whom there is no safety"
He said to me:
" Do not ride (a vessel) in the sea, I would then veil you from Me through its instrument/mean, and do not throw yourself in the sea, I would then veil you from Me through the sea itself."
He said to me:
" If you give yourself to the sea and drown in it then you are nothing but another one of the beasts of the sea."
He said to me:
" I would be cheating you if I were ever to direct you/show you evidence for other than Me."
He said to me:
" If you reach perdition in the pursuit of other than Me, you will be delivered to what you reached perdition for"
He said to me:
" This world ( al-Dunyah) belongs to the one whom I distracted from it; the afterworld (al-Akhira) belongs to the one I approached through it and brought him to Myself"
Further reading: 
1. Sharh Mawaqef al Niffari ( Explanation of the Pauses of Niffari) by al 'Aref billah al-Tilmasani (d. 690 H)
2. Tajrid al-Tawhid Lil Niffari (Divestment in the Tawhid of Niffari) Dr. Jamal Ahmad Marzuqi