The Seal of the Wisdom of the Heart in the Word of Shu'ayb
Know that the heart of the gnostic of Allah is from the mercy of Allah, and it is vaster than mercy. The heart encompasses Allah, but His Mercy does not encompass Him.1 This is the language of the general public from the door of indication (ishara). Allah is merciful (rahim) and is not the one to whom mercy is shown (marhum). Mercy has no power over Him. As for the indication from the tongue of the elite, Allah describes Himself by the breath which is from breathing. The Divine Names are the same as the Named, and the breath is none other than Him. They require what they give the breath of realities, so the realities which the Names demand are not other than the universe. Thus divinity (ulûhîya) demands the object of worship (ma'luh) and sovereignty (rubûbiya) demands the object of lordship (marbub).2 They have no source except by the universe in existence and determination (taqdir). Allah, in respect to His essence, is independent of the universe, but sovereignty does not possess this principle. The matter remains between what the sovereignty demands and what the essence deserves of independence from the universe. Sovereignty is based on reality and the description is only the same as this essence.
Then the matter changes according to the relationships. It is reported that Allah only describes Himself with compassion for His slaves. The first of what was breathed from sovereignty by Himself is related to the Merciful by His bringing into being the universe, which sovereignty demands by its reality and all the Divine Names. By this aspect it is confirmed that "His mercy encompasses everything."3 It encompasses Allah. It is wider than the heart or equal to it in capacity.
Know that Allah, as it is confirmed in sound tradition, changes in the forms of the tajalli. When the heart contains Allah, it does not contain other-than-Him of creatures along with Him. It is as if He filled it, and the meaning of this is, that when it looks to Allah in His tajalli to it, it is not possible to look at another with Him.
The heart of the gnostic in respect to vastness is as Abu Yazid al-Bistami said, "If the Throne and what surrounds it a million times over were in one of the corners of the heart of the gnostic, he still would not feel it." Al-Junayd said about this meaning, "If the in-time were compared to the out-of-time, not a trace of it would remain." The heart encompasses the out-of-time, so how can it sense the in-time as existent? If Allah varies His tajalli in forms, then by necessity, the heart is expanded and contracted according to the form in which the divine tajalli occurs. There is nothing left in the heart apart from the form in which the tajalli occurs. So in relation to the seal, the heart of the gnostic or the Perfect Man, is at the stage of the place that is the face of the seal. It does not exceed it, rather it is its size and shape in respect to roundness. The face is round, square, hexagonal, octagonal, etc. in form. If the face is square, hexagonal, octagonal or whatever form, its place in relation to the seal is like it and it is not like other than it.
This is the opposite of what one group alluded to, saying that Allah gives a tajalli according to the predisposition of the slave. This is not how it is. The slave is manifest to Allah according to the form in which Allah gives him a tajalli of Himself.
The exact clarification of this question is that Allah has two tajalli: an unseen tajalli and a visible tajalli. From the unseen tajalli He accords the predisposition on which the heart is based, and it is the tajalli of the Essence of which the Unseen is the reality. It is the He-ness which merits it by His word from Himself: "He". His He-ness is always He. If this predisposition comes to the heart, then the visible tajalli is manifested to it in the Visible world, so the heart sees it. He is manifest by the form of whatever tajalli he has, as we mentioned. Allah gives it the predisposition by His word, "He gave everything its creation, then guided it." (20:50) Then He lifted the veil between Him and His slave, so He sees Him in the form of his belief in Allah. Allah, who is in the belief, is He whose form the heart contains. He is the One who gives it a tajalli, and so it knows Him. The eye only sees by belief, not hidden in the varieties of belief.
Whoever limits Allah, denies Allah in other than what he limits Allah to, and confirms Allah in what he limits Him by, when Allah gives him a tajalli. Whoever frees Allah from limitation does not deny Allah, and so confirms Allah in every form in which Him changes. He is given from himself according to the form in which the tajalli infinitely occurs. The forms of the tajalli are without end. Similarly knowledge of Allah has no limit in the gnostic who understands the forms. Rather, he is a gnostic at every moment, seeking increase of knowledge by "Lord, increase me in knowledge! Lord, increase me in knowledge! Lord, increase me in knowledge!"4
The business is endless from both sides. This is as if you said: Allah and creation. If you looked at His words, "I am his foot by which he runs, and his hand with which he strikes and his tongue by which he speaks," and so on of the faculties whose location are the limbs which are not separate, then you said that the matter is all Allah or the matter is all creation. It is creation by one ascription and it is Allah by another ascription, yet the source is one. The source of the form is what gives the tajalli of the source of the form which did not exist before the tajalli. It is the one giving the tajalli and the one receiving it. See how wondrous is the command of Allah in respect to His He-ness and in respect to His relationship to the universe in the realities of His most Beautiful Names!
Who is He and what is He and what is His source?
He is He!
Whoever is of His commonality is of His elite,
and whoever is of His elite is of His commonality.
There is no source except source,
so the light of His source is His darkness.
Whoever is ignorant of this
experiences grief in himself
And none recognises what we have said
except for the slave who has aspiration (himma).
He said, "There is a reminder in that for anyone who has a heart," (50:37) because the heart (qalb) is transformed (taqallaba) in the various forms and attributes. He did not say, "to him who has an intellect" because the intellect limits.5 It confines the matter to a single description, but reality refuses to be contained. It is also a reminder for those who have intellect, and they are those who have creeds by which some deny others, and some curse others, and they do not have helpers.6 The god of the one with a creed does not have jurisdiction over the god of someone with another creed. The one who has a creed defends it; he defends the matter which he believes of his god, and supports it. He does not support that which is not in his creed. For this reason, he has no effect on the creeds of his dissenters, and similarly his dissenters have no help from the god who is in his creed; so they have no helpers. Allah excluded help from the divinity of creed based on the isolation of one creed to the exclusion of others. The helped is gathered and the helper is gathered.
For the gnostic, Allah is the Recognised Who is not denied. The people of recognition in this world are the people of recognition in the Next World. This is why Allah said, "anyone who has a heart (qalb)" (50:37) since he knows the transformation (taqlib) of Allah in forms by the transformation in shape. He recognises himself from himself. His self is not other than the He-ness of Allah. There is nothing in phenomenal being from what is, or what will be, which is other than the He-ness of Allah. Rather, He is the source of He-ness. So He is the gnostic and the knower and the acknowledger in this form. He is the one who is neither gnostic nor knower. He is also the one who denies Him in the other form. This is the portion of the one who knows Allah from the tajalli and the witnessing in the source of gatheredness (jam'). It is His word, "anyone who has a heart" which transforms the shapes by His transforming.
As for the people of belief (iman), they are the ones who imitate those who imitated the Prophets and Messengers in what they transmitted from Allah. They are not those who imitate the people of concepts and those who interpret the transmissions received by basing them on their logical proofs. These are the ones who imitate the Messengers, may Allah bless them and grant them peace. They are the ones who are meant by His words, "or listens well" (50:37) to what divine transmissions relate of the sunna of the Prophets. He means this is the one who "will listen well, having seen the evidence" (50:37) with awareness of the presence of the imagination and its use.
That is what the Prophet said about ihsan, "Worship Allah as if you saw Him," 7 and "Allah is in the qibla of the one who prays."8 For that reason, he is a witness. Anyone who imitates the people of logical speculation and is limited by them is not the one who will listen well. The one who will listen well must witness what we have mentioned. When he does not witness what we have mentioned, he is not the one meant by this ayat. These are those of whom Allah has said, "When those who were followed disown those who followed them." (2:166) The Messengers do not disown their followers who follow them.
Realise, my friend, what I have mentioned to you in this wisdom of the heart. As for its specification with ShuÔayb, there is some branching off (tash'ib). Its branches are not numbered because every creed has a branch, and so they are all branches or creeds. If the covering is removed, it is removed for everyone in accordance with his creed. The covering might be removed in a manner contrary to his creed in principle. It is His words, "What confronts them from Allah will be something they did not reckon with." (39:47) Most of them in principle are like the Mu'tazilites, believing that Allah will execute the threat on the rebel should he die without repentance. If he dies and is given mercy from Allah, then concern preceded it, for He did not punish him. Thus he found Allah Ever-Forgiving, All-Merciful, and there appeared to him from Allah something he did not reckoned with.
As for He-ness (huwiya), some people are firm in their belief that Allah is such-and-such. When the covering is removed, they see the form of their belief, and it is true. They believe in it. Then the knot is unravelled and the creed vanishes and becomes knowledge through contemplation (mushahada). After vision is sharpened, weak vision does not return. It appeared to some people by the variety of the tajalli in forms through vision, since the tajalli is not repeated. He verifies it in he-ness; and there appeared to them from Allah in Allah's He-ness what they never reckoned with before the covering was removed.9 We mentioned the form of the ascent in divine recognitions after death in our Book of the Tajalliyat, in which we mentioned what we gathered from the group regarding unveiling, and the benefits we derived from them in the question that they did not know about. One of the most wondrous of matters is that man is always in ascent, but is not aware of that due to the fineness of the veil and its delicateness. It is like His words, "They were only given a simulation of it." (2:25)
He, the One, is not the same as the Last. Therefore the two semblances with the gnostic are similar dissimilars. The one possessed of realisation sees multiplicity in One, as he knows what the Divine Names indicate. Although their realities differ and are numerous, it is yet One Source. It is an intelligible multiplicity in the source of One. In the tajalli, it is multiplicity witnessed in the one source even as it matter which you obtain in the definition of each form. It and the multiplicity of forms and their variety derive, in fact, from one substance (jawhar). It is its own matter (hayula). Whoever recognises himself with this recognition recognises his Lord. Allah is in His creation due to His form, rather He is the source of its he-ness and its reality.
For this reason, the only ones among the 'ulama' who tumble on the recognition of the self (nafs) and its reality are the divinely inspired messengers and the great among the Sufis. As for the philosophers and masters of thought among the ancients and the mutakallimun in their discourse on the self and its whatness, none of them stumbled on its reality, and logical speculation can never provide it.10 He who seeks knowledge of it by means of logical speculation, swells himself up and boasts without vigour or substance. "They are those whose efforts in the life of this world are misguided while they suppose that they are doing good." (18:104) He who seeks the matter by other than its path will not achieve its realization.
How excellent is what Allah said about the universe - He changes it with the breaths into a new creation in one source. He said in respect to some, rather to most of the world, "Yet they are dubious about the new creation." (50:15) This means that they do not know the renewal of the command in breaths. However, the Ash'arites stumbled on it in some existent things, and these are non-essentials (aŚrâd). The Hisbaniya 11 stumbled on it regarding the entire universe. The logical philosophers consider them ignorant of it. However, the two groups erred. As for the error of the Hisbaniya, in spite of what they said regarding change in the entire universe, they did not stumble on the oneness of the source of the intelligible substance (jawhar) which underlies the form. The universe only exists by the oneness, as the oneness is only intelligible by the universe. If they had said that, they would have obtained the degree of realisation in the matter.
As for the Ash'arites, they do not know that the entire universe consists of a collection of non-essentials (a'râd). It changes in every moment since accidents do not last for two moments. That appears in their definition of things. So when they defined the thing, its phenomenal being is clear in the definition of non-essential matters. These non-essentials mentioned in its definition are actually the source of this independent substance and its reality. Inasmuch as it is a non-essential, it is not independent, but by the sum of what is not independent, comes what is independent. It is like occupation of space in the definition of the independent essential substance, and its acceptance is non-essential in its essential definition. There is no doubt that that the containing-of-form is an accident since it is only in the container, and that is not independent it is in the essential nature of the substance. Occupation of space is a non-essential, and it only occurs in the thing occupying space, and so it is not independent. Occupation of space and containing-of-form are not based on the source of the defined substance by an extra matter, since essential definitions are the source of the defined and its he-ness.
That which does not last two moments becomes that which lasted two moments or indeed several moments! What was not independent became independent in their view! They do not understand the basis of this, and these people łare dubious about the new creation.˛
As for the people of unveiling, they see Allah in a tajalli of Himself in every breath, and there is no repetition of the tajalli. They also see by witnessing that every tajalli grants a new creation and takes away a creation. Thus its departure is annihilation in the presence of the tajalli, and it is going-on by what the other tajalli grants. So understand!
1. Hadith qudsi, "Neither My earth nor My heaven contain Me, but the heart of My believing slave contains Me."
2. lit. "god-ed" and "Lord-ed".
3. cf. Qur'an 7:156.
4. Ref Qur'an 20:114: "Say, 'My Lord, increase me in knowledge!'"
5. The root meaning from which intellect ('aql) comes means to hobble a camel.
6. ref to Qur'an 29:25, "You have adopted idols apart from Allah as tokens of mutual affection in this world. But then on the Day of Rising you will reject one other and curse one another. The Fire will be your shelter. You will have no helpers."
7. Hadith in Muslim and al-Bukhari.
8. Hadith in al-Bukhari.
9. Ref.Qur'an 39:47, "If those who did wrong were to possess all that If those who did wrong owned everything on earth, and the same again with it, they would offer it as a ransom to save themselves from the evil of the punishment on the Day of Rising. What confronts them from Allah will be something they did not reckon with.them from Allah that they never reckoned with."
10. Being veiled by limitation.
11. The Hisbaniya were sophists, a group known in the history of philosophy for doubts, scepticism and sophism who held that the universe changes at every moment since there is no objective Reality. All is subjective.
Return to Index
Return to Home Page