The Seal of the Wisdom of Divine Unity (Ahadiyya) in the Word of Hud

Allah has the straight path which is manifest

     and unhidden among the common people.

Its source exists in great and small,

     in those who are ignorant of matters

and those who know.

     For this reason, 'His mercy encompasses everything,'1 great and small.

"There is no creature He does not hold by the forelock. My Lord is on a Straight Path." (11:56) So all that walks on the Straight Path of the Lord, and is not of those "against whom Allah is wrathful" from this aspect, nor is he "astray".2 As being astray is a non-essential quality, so divine wrath is also a non-essential quality. The source to which they return is the "mercy which extends to all things", and which preceded wrath. Everything which is other-than-Allah is a creature which crawls and which has a spirit. There is nothing which crawls by itself, rather it crawls by other than it. It crawls by the principle of following the One who is on a Straight Path. It is only a path by virtue of the fact that it is walked on.

If creation draws near you, Allah draws near you.

    If Allah draws near you, creation does not follow.

So realise what we say on it,

    and everything I have said to you is true.

There is no existent thing in phenomenal being

     that you see which does not have articulation.

The eye only sees of creation

     that its source is Allah.

But He is stored in it,

     and for this reason, its forms are true.

Know that divine knowledges of taste (dhawq) which are acquired by the people of Allah differ according to the different faculties acquired from them, even though they derive from a single source. Allah said, "I am his hearing by which he hears and his sight by which he sees and his hand by which he strikes and his foot by which he walks."3 So He mentioned that His He-ness is the source of the limbs which are the same as the slave. Thus He-ness is one, but the limbs are different, and every limb has one of the knowledges of taste which are specified from a single source, and differ according to the different limbs. It is like water which is but a single reality, yet differs in taste according to the different locations. The water of the Euphrates is sweet, and brackish water is salty, yet it is water in all its states and its reality does not change, even though the taste differs.

This wisdom is from the wisdom of the feet. It is the words of Allah, that whoever establishes His Books will eat "from beneath their feet" (5:66). The path which is the Straight Path is travelling on it, and walking and running on it. It is only by the feet. So this witnessing of the taking by the forelock by the hand of the One who is one the Straight Path only results in this special art from the knowledges of taste. "We will drive the evildoers" (19:86),4 who are those who deserve the station to which they are sent, and destroy them by the west wind.5 The wind takes them by the forelocks and carries them on, and it is the source of the passions which take them to Jahannam. It is the distance 6 which they imagined. When it carried them to that abode, they reached the source of nearness, and so distance vanished. What is called Jahannam vanished in respect to them. They win the bliss of nearness in respect to merit since they were wrong-doers.

This pleasurable station of taste was not given to them as a favour. They received it by what they realities merited from the acts which they were doing. They were running with their actions on the Straight Path of the Lord because their forelocks were in the hand of the One who has this attribute. They did not walk by themselves, but by the principle of compulsion to reach the source of nearness. "We are nearer to him than you, but you cannot see." (56:85) Rather it is seen, and so the covering is stripped away, and "his sight is sharp."7

What is specified as dead is from the dead, i.e. what distinguishes the happy from the wretched in usage. "We are nearer to him than his jugular vein." (50:16) What is specified as man is from man, so divine nearness is from distance as is not hidden in divine transmissions. There is no nearness nearer than that His He-ness be the source of the limbs of the slave and his faculties. The slave is not other than these limbs and faculties, so he is Allah witnessed in illusory creation. Creation is intelligible and Allah is felt and witnessed with the believers and the people of unveiling. Allah is intelligible with other classes, and creation is witnessed. So they are in the station of the salty, brackish water. The first group is the station of the sweet water which is pleasant to drink.

People are of two classes – those who walk on the path recognising it and its end, for it is a straight path in respect to him; and those who walk on the path being ignorant of it and not knowing its end. It is the same path which the other class knows. The gnostic calls to Allah by inner sight, and the non-gnostic calls to Allah by limitation and ignorance. This is a special knowledge which comes from the lowest of the low 8 because the feet are the lower part of the person, and what is lower than them is none other than the path. Whoever recognises that Allah is the same as the Path, recognises the matter for what it is. Then Allah is travelling on it since there is no known except Him, and He is the source of the wayfarer and the traveller. There is no knower except Him. He is you, so know your reality and your Path (tariqa). The matter has been made clear to you on the tongue of the interpreter, 9 if you but understand. It is the true tongue, so the only one who will understand is the one whose understanding is Real.

Allah has many ascriptions and their existence varies. See how 'Ad, the people of Hud, said, "This is a storm cloud which will give us rain." (46:24) They thought good of Allah, and He is with the opinion of His slave. 10 Allah turned this word away from them. He informed them of what was more perfect and higher in nearness. When it rained upon them, that was the earthÕs portion and the seed was watered. He told them, "No, rather it is what you desired to hasten – a wind containing painful punishment." He made the wind (rîh) an indication of what rest (râha) it contained for them. By this wind, He gladdens their spirits (arwah), delivering them from dark forms, difficult paths and black veils.

There is punishment ('adhab) in this wind, i.e. a matter which they find sweet (ista'dhaba) when they taste it. It only pains them by the separation from familiar things. Thus punishment gives them good news. And the command is nearer to them than they imagine.

"Destroying everything at its LordÕs command ! When morning came you could see nothing but their dwellings." (46:25) That is, their corpses, in which their true spirits lived, so the trueness of this special relation vanished from them; and a special life in their forms remains to them from Allah of which their skins, hands, and feet speak, 11 so does the punishment of the blows and thighs.12 All that is related in a divine text.

Allah described himself by jealousy (ghayra). Out of jealousy He forbade actions unrestrained by limits (fawahish). The unrestrained act is only what is evident. As for the unrestrained which is hidden, it belongs to the one who manifests it. When He made the unrestrained haram, that it, forbade that the reality of what we mentioned be known, and that is the source of things, He hid it by other (ghayr). So other says: hearing is Zayd's hearing. The gnostic says that hearing is Allah. Thus nothing remains of the faculties and limbs. Therefore not everyone recognises Allah. People vie in excellence and ranks are differentiated, and the exceeding and exceeded are clear.

Know that Allah revealed to me and caused me to witness in a vision, which I received in Cordoba in 586, the sources of His Messengers and all His Prophets, from Adam to Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. None of this group spoke to me except for Hud, peace be upon him. He told me why they were gathered together. I saw that he was a very large man of good appearance, subtle in reply, gnostic in matters of unveiling. My proof of his unveiling is His words, "There is no creature He does not hold by the forelock. My Lord is on a Straight Path." (11:56) What gift to creatures is greater than this? Then it is from the bestowal of favours on us by Allah that this speech reached us from Him in the Qur'an.

Then Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant us peace, completed its gathering for everyone by what he was told by Allah, for He is the source of "hearing, sight, the hand, the foot and tongue – the source of the senses. The spiritual faculties are nearer than the senses. He is content with the defined and distant more than with the defined unknown which is nearer. Allah translated the speech of Hud to his people to inform us, and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, translated the speech of Allah in turn to give us good news. Knowledge is perfected in the breasts of those who are given knowledge, "and none denies Our signs but the unbelievers," (29:47) for they cover up the signs when they recognise them through envy, meanness and injustice.

We only see from Allah in respect of Himself disconnection (tanzih) or non-disconnection by definition in any ayat which He has sent down or in transmissions which have reached us from Him. Otherwise He has the Great Mist (al-'Ama')13 which has no air above it and no air beneath it. Allah was in it before He created creation. Then He mentioned that He "established Himself firmly on the Throne." (57:4) This is also definition. Then He mentioned that "He descends to the nearest heaven." 14 This is also definition. Then He said that "He is in the heaven and in the earth," 15 and "He is with us whever we are." 16 and He tells us that He is our source. We are limited, so He only describes Himself by limitation.

His statement, "There is nothing like Him," (42:11) is also limitation if we take the kaf ("like") as an appendage to other than the attribute. Whoever is distinct from the defined is defined by his phenomenal being which is not the source of what is defined. Freedom from limitation is limitation, and the absolute is limited by absoluteness for whoever has understanding, If we attach the kaf of ka-mithli (like) to the attribute, we define it. If we take "There is nothing like Him" as the negation of "like (mithl)", we realise the given and the sound transmissions that He is the source of things, and that things are defined. If their definitions differ, He is defined by the definition of everything with a definition. Nothing is defined unless it is a definition of Allah's. He moves in the designation of creatures and creation. Had the matter not been like that, existence would not have been valid, for He is the source of existence. He preserves everything by His Essence, and the preserving of something does not oppress Him. 17 His preserving of all things is His preserving of His form in that the thing is other than His form. Only this is valid. He is the witness in the witness and the witnessed in the witnessed.18 He is the spirit of the universe which is managed by Him, and it is the Macrocosmic or Great man (al-insan al-kabir).

He is all phenomenal being

   and He is the One (al-Wahid)

     who establishes my phenomenal being by His being,

For that reason, I said that He is nourished.

    So my existence is His food, and we imitate Him in Him from Him,

        if you look by the aspect of my taking refuge.

For his sorrow breathed, so the breath is related to the All-Merciful because He is Merciful by it. Divine ascriptions demand it from the bringing into existence of the form of the universe which we have said is what is manifest by Allah since He is the Manifest. It is His inward since He is the Hidden; and He is the First since He was when they were not. He is the Last since their source is in their manifestation. The Last is the source of the Manifest, and the Hidden is the source of the First. He has knowledge of all things since he knows Himself.

When He brought forms into existence in the Breath, and the power of the ascriptions designated by the names appeared, the divine ascriptions then became valid for the universe. They depend on Allah. He said, "Today, I set down your ascriptions and raise up My ascriptions," i.e. I take from you your dependence on yourselves and return to you your dependence on Me. Where are those who are fearful of Allah? 19 – they those who take Allah as a safeguard. Allah is their manifest part, i.e. the source of their manifest forms. They are the greatest of people, the most pure and the strongest among all. The one who has taqwa is the one who makes himself a safeguard for Allah by His form since the He-ness of Allah is the faculties of the slave. The one called the slave makes a safeguard for the One called Allah based on witnessing, so that the knower is distinct from the one who does not know. "Say: 'Are they the same – those who know and those who do not know?' It is only people of intelligence who pay heed," (39:9) and they see into the core of the thing 20 which is sought from that thing.

The negligent one does not precede the diligent, and similarly the hireling does not resemble the slave, Since Allah is a safeguard for the slave by one aspect, the slave is a safeguard for Allah by another aspect. Say what you like about phenomenal being. If you like, say that it is creation. If you like, say that is the Real. If you like, say that it is both the Real and creation. If you like, say that it is not Real from every point of view and not creation from every point of view. If you wish, say it is bewilderment in that. The goals are made clear by your specification of ranks. If it had not been for definition, the Messengers would not have reported the changing of the Real in forms, nor would they have described Him by the dropping of forms from Himself.

The eye only looks to Him,

     and authority only rests with Him.

We are His, and by Him, in His hand, in every state, so we are with Him. For that reason, He is denied and recognised, disconnected and described. The one who sees Allah from Him in Him by His eye is a gnostic. The one who sees Allah from Him in Him by his own eye is not a gnostic. The one who does not see Allah from Him nor in Him, and waits to see Him by his own eye is veiled and ignorant.

On the whole, each person must have some doctrine of his Lord by which he refers to Him and in which he seeks Him. So when Allah manifests Himself to him in it, he knows Him and goes near Him. If He manifests Himself to him in other than it, he denies Him and takes refuge from Him and has bad adab in that matter while claiming he shows adab with Him.21 He only believes in a divinity according to the [subjective] form he gives that in himself. The divinity of creeds is based on subjective positing. People only see themselves and what they formulate in themselves.

Look at the ranks of people in knowledge of Allah. That is the source of their ranks in vision on the Day of Rising; and I have taught you the necessary cause of it. Take care lest you be limited by a particular creed and deny what is other than it, so that a great blessing may pass you by. Indeed, knowledge of what the matter is based on may pass you by.

Make yourself a vessel for all the forms of belief. Surely Allah is vaster and greater than being contained by one creed rather than another. So Allah says, "Wherever you turn, the face of Allah is there." (2:115) He did not mention one "where" less than another. He said there is the face of Allah. The face of the thing is its reality. By this He spoke to the hearts of the gnostics, that they might not occupy themselves with non-essentials in this life through seeking the like of this. The slave does not know in which breath he will be taken. He may be taken at the time of his negligence, and then he will not be equal to the one taken in a state of presence.

Then the slave who is perfect knows that this is linked to exterior form and to the state limited by turning the prayer toward the Masjid al-Haram. He believes that Allah is in his qibla when he prays. Those are some of the ranks of Allah from "Wherever you turn, the face of Allah is there." The direction of the Masjid al-Haram is one of them. In it is the face of Allah, but do not say "He is here", rather stop with what you perceive and cling to adab in turning towards the Masjid al-Haram, and cling to adab in the non-encompassment of the face in this particular whereness. Rather whereness is part of the sum of directions to which one turns. So Allah makes it clear to you that He is in the "where-ness" of every direction.

There are only creeds, so all directions are correct. Every correct thing has a reward. Every rewarded thing is happy. Every happy one is approved. If he is wretched at one time in the Next Abode, the people of preservation experience illness and pain in this life in spite of our knowledge that they are happy and the people of Allah. Among the slaves of Allah are those who are overtaken by these pains in the other life in an abode called Jahannam. Even so, none of the people of knowledge to whom the matter is unveiled for what it is declares that they do not possess a bliss particular to them in this abode. As for the loss of pain, they denied it, and so it was lifted from them. Their bliss is their rest from feeling that pain, or else bliss is particular and extra as is the bliss of the people if the Garden in the Garden. Allah knows best.

1. ref. Qur'an 7:156, "My mercy extends to all things."

2. ref. Qur'an 1:7.

3. Hadith qudsi. See above p. 11.

4. "We will drive the evildoers to Jahannam."

5. The worst of winds which does not fertilise trees or raise clouds. It is said that it was a west wind which destroyed ÔAd. It blows in the hot season and is very thirsty.

6. Jahannam comes from a root which means "deep", as in a deep well.

7. See Qur'an 50:22.

8. Ref. Qur'an 95:5, "We reduced him to the lowest of the low."

9. The Messenger of Allah in the hadith,  "..I am his hearing, his sight, etc."

10. Hadith qudsi, "I am according to My slave's opinion of Me..."

11. Ref. Qur'an 41:21, "...that your hearing, eyes, and skin should not testify against you."

12. In the grave according to hadith.

13. "He was in the Great Mist with air neither above nor below it. "Hadith in Ibn Majah, Ibn Hanbal and at-Tirmidhi.

14. Hadith qudsi from Abu Hurayra in al-Bukhari and Muslim: "Our Lord who is blessed and exalted descends every night to the lowest heavens when two-thirds of the night has passed and says, 'Who supplicates to me so that I may answer him? .....'"

15. Qur'an 6:3, "He is Allah in the heavens and the earth."

16. cf. Qur'an 57.4.

17. Qur'an: 2:255.

18. cf. Qur'an 85:3.

19. i.e. have taqwa.

20. Lubb means both the core of a thing and or understanding.

21. Hadith in Muslim (Belief, 302) about the Day of Rising.

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