Sunday, September 25, 2011

Surat al Baqara 2: 55-56, Ibn Arabi/ one kind of Death

And mention when you said: "O Moses! We will never believe thee until we see God publicly". So the thunderbolt took you while you look on. But We raised you again after you had been as dead, so that you might have cause to be grateful.

Ibn Arabi: You told Musa: "You would not succeed in guiding us to Real faith, until we reach the abode of Witnessing and Seeing". So, you were taken by the thunderbolt and lightening of Death, that is the annihilation of the self (Fana’) in the Manifestation of the Divine Essence, while you were observing / witnessing It. We then raised you back with Real life in the state of Subsistence (Baqa’) that follows Annihilation (Fana’), in order that you may be thankful for the gift of the realization of Unicity (Tawheed) and that of arriving after having walked the path In Allah.
The Real is God (al-Haqq), only what comes close to Him has Reality, hence Real faith and Real life.

Tawheed (a verb noun (masdar)) is best translated as realizing Unicity and not Unicity alone.
** English Qur'an translations of Laleh Bakhtiar and Muhammad Asad

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Imam Qushayri : Of invocations

دعاء العامة بالأقوال، ودعاء الزهاد بالأفعال، ودعاء العارفين بالأحوال.
The invocations of the common people are through words; the invocation of those who have given up their attachemnt to this life are through their actions; the invocation of the Knowers are through the states of their hearts.
May my yearning to You turn from state (Hal) to station (Maqam) and abode (Manzel).

Monday, January 10, 2011

Surat al Saffat 41:44

وَلَوْ جَعَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا أَعْجَمِيًّا لَّقَالُوا لَوْلَا فُصِّلَتْ آيَاتُهُ أَأَعْجَمِيٌّ وَعَرَبِيٌّ قُلْ هُوَ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا هُدًى وَشِفَاء وَالَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ فِي آذَانِهِمْ وَقْرٌ وَهُوَ عَلَيْهِمْ عَمًى أُوْلَئِكَ يُنَادَوْنَ مِن مَّكَانٍ بَعِيدٍ
"Had We made it a Qur'an in indistinct and inexpressive language, these (faultfinders) would have surely said, `Why has not (the subject matter of) its verses been made clear in exposition?' What! can indistinct and inexpressive language and an eloquently clear language (be one and the same thing). Say, `It is a wonderful guidance and healing to those who believe.' But (as to those) who do not believe there is deafness in their ears and this (Qur'an) is obscure to them (with regard to its truth). And they are (as if to say) being called to from a place afar.
Ayatullah Hajj Muhammad Hussein al Husseini al Teharani
The Qur'an can be studied in many ways, its grammatical structure, its scientific findings, its can gather such knowledge as one can using one's senses and intellect and still be as far from the true Knowledge that is in the Qur'an as the heavens are from earth. In order to see the Face of Allah reflected in each of the verses of the Qur'an, one has to abandon all earthly intentions..... 
What is other than Allah is a veil; the complete knowledge of Allah is predicated upon the dissolution of veils, as has been versed by Qays bin Mallouh al 'Amiri who spoke thus of his longing for Layla Al Amiriayat:
تَمَنَّيْتُ مِنْ لَيْلَي‌ عَلَی‌ البُعْدِ نَظْرَةً         لِيُطْفَي‌ جَويً بَيْنَ الحَشا وَالاَضالِعِ
 فَقالَتْ نِسَاءُ الحَي‌ّ تَطْمَعُ أنْ         تَرَي‌ بِعَيْنَيْكَ لَيْلَي‌ مُتْ بِداءِ المَطامِعِ
 وَكَيْفَ تَرَي‌ لَيْلَي‌ بِعَيْنٍ تَرَي‌         بِها سِواها وَما طَهَّرْتَها بِالمَدامِعِ
 وَتَلْتَذُّ مِنْها بِالحَديثِ وَقَدْ جَرَي‌             حَديثُ سِـواها في‌ خُروقِ المَسـامِعِ
I have hoped for a look at Layla from a distance.
A look to put out the fires raging between my inners and my ribs.
The area women deride,
“If you desire to see Layla with your own eyes, 
you will succumb to this illness of desire.
For how can you see Layla with an eye that sees others,
an eye that you have not purified with flowing tears?
And how can you delight in her talk
when the talk of others has passed through the inlets of your ears?"

It is not possible for the one who has found companionship in other than Allah, one who has harbored goals other than Allah, and intentions other than His praise- one who has desires from this lower life (al-Dunya)- it is not possible for such a person to meet Allah and be honored by His Sight.

Adapted from : Kitab Maarifat Allah-.Volume 1, Section 5

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Surat Maryam 19: 49-50- A Truthful Tongue

Origin of the Salat Ibrahimiat

Literal translations of the verses
verse 49
So when he separated/isolated himself from them, and what they call from other than God, We granted for him Issac , and Jacob and each/all, We made a prophet.

The exegete Ibn 'Ajiba and others understand the ordering of words in this verse to mean that Ibrahim's isolation, (seclusion ('Izla)) was rewarded by the great gift of the Prophecy to two of his children and point to the great benefits of seclusion in attracting divine favors ( for Zacchariyah as well as for and Maryam)

verse 50
And We granted for them from Our mercy, and We made for them (a) TRUTHFUL high, mighty/dignified TONGUE/language/speech.

The statement " a truthful tongue" (lisana sidqin) occurs in ONE other place in the Qur'an : in the dua'a of Ibrahim in Surat al Shuaara ( 26) 26:84 "Grant me a TRUTHFUL TONGUE among the latest (generations).....

The addition of the word "Truth to Tongue" in this way is interpreted by exegetes like Imam Razi, Haqqi, Ibn 'Ajiba, Ibn 'Arabi etc.... to mean that Ibrahim and his descendants will be praised in all subsequent
generations and are deserving of this praise and reference is made to the Salat Ibrahimiat which we perform before each Tasleem in Salat.....
So that millions of Muslims performing the daily prayers and praising Ibrahim are following the Will of Allah ( swt) and fulfilling the promise made to Ibrahim......

This is an interesting detail for me, as I was not sure of the origin of this Salat; it will make it feel so much more meaningful to send blessings on the Prophet Muhamad ( saaws) and his family and on Prophet Ibrahim and his family....knowing this du'a and this promise .

May Allah swt bless both Prophets and their families until the ends of times. Ameen.