The Seal of the Unique Wisdom in the Word of Muhammad
Muhammad's wisdom is uniqueness (fardiya) because he is the most perfect existent creature of this human species. For this reason, the command began with him and was sealed with him. He was a Prophet while Adam was between water and clay,1 and his elemental structure is the Seal of the Prophets.
The first singular is three, and what is more than this firstness of individuals comes from three. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, is the surest proof of his Lord, so he was given all the words,2 which are everything that is named by the names of Adam.3 He resembles the proof in its threefoldness, and the proof is a proof of itself. Then his reality grants the first uniqueness which is threefold in structure. For that reason, speaking about the domain of love which is the root of existence, he said, "I was made to love three things in your world," 4 because of what this world has of threefoldness. Then he mentioned women, and perfume, and that the coolness of his eye was in the prayer.
The Prophet began by mentioning women and ended with the prayer. That is because woman is part of man in the root of the manifestation of her source, and because man's recognition of himself preceded his recognition of his Lord. That is why the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "Whoever knows himself knows his Lord." If you wish, you can say that this tradition is the forbidding of gnosis and stating the inability to attain to Him - and that is a permissible statement; and, if you wish, you can say that it is the affirmation of gnosis. The first is that if you do not know yourself, so you will not know your Lord. The second is that you recognise yourself, so you do recognise your Lord. Muhammad was the clearest proof of his Lord. Every part of the world indicates its root which is its Lord, so understand!
The Prophet was made to love women, so he yearned for them because as the whole yearns for what is part of it. The matter is self-evident through what Allah says regarding this elemental human constitution, "and I breathed My Ruh into him." (15:29; 38:72) Then He described Himself with intensity of yearning to meet those who yearn for Him. He said, "O Da'ud! I have intense yearning for them," i.e. those who yearn for Him, and it is a particular encounter. The Prophet said in a hadith about the Dajjal, "None of you will see his Lord until after he dies." 5 Allah must yearn for those near ones - because even though He sees them and wants them to see Him, that encounter is still prevented by man's station. That is like His words "until We know" although He is Knowing. He yearns for this particular attribute which only is achieved existence through death.
By this, He tests their yearning for Him as He said in the hadith of hesitation which concerns this matter, "I do not hesitate in anything I do, but I hestitate to take the breath of My believing slave because he hates death, and I hate to make him die. But He must meet Me." He gave him good news and did not say to him, "he must die" because He did not want to distress him by mentioning death. Man only meets Allah after death as the Prophet says, "None of you will see his Lord until he dies." That is why Allah says, "He must meet Me," for Allah desires the existence of this relationship. He made it clear that He breathed into him some of His spirit (rûh) so He only yearns for him. Do you not see that He created him on His form because he is from His Spirit?
Man's constitution is based on these four elements which are called the "humours" in his body. The combustion of the moisture found in the body occurs from his breath. The spirit of man is fire as regards his constitution. For this reason, Allah only spoke to Musa in the form of fire,6 and put his need in it. If his constitution had been from nature,7 then his spirit would have been light. Allah alluded to it with the blowing (nafkh) which indicates that it is from the breath (nafas) of the All-Merciful. It is by this breath, which is the blowing-out that he manifested from Him, and by the predisposition of the one blown into, that combustion is fire and not light. The breath of Allah is hidden in that by which man is man.
From man, He derived a person in his form called "woman". She appeared in his form, and he yearned for her with the longing of that thing has for itself, and she yearned for him with the longing of that thing has for its home.
Allah made him love women. Allah loves the one whom He created in His form, and He made the luminous angels, in spite of the power of their might and their station and the sublimity of their natural constitution, prostrate to him.8 From this comes the affinity which occurs in the form which man and woman share, which is like that between Allah and man. The form has the greatest affinity, as well as the most glorious and perfect. It makes a pair that is, doubles the existent belonging to Allah, as the woman, by her existence, doubles man, and makes him one of a pair. So three appeared: Allah, man and woman. Man yearns for his Lord who is the origin as woman yearns for man.
His Lord made him love women as Allah loves the one who is in His form. Love only occured by the One by whom he is formed. His love was for the One he was formed by, and He is Allah. This is why the Prophet said, "He made me love...," and he did not say, "I loved" as coming from himself because his love is connected to his Lord in Whose form he is. In his love for his wife, he loves her by Allah's love for him as a divine nature.9
When a man loves a woman, he desires union, that is, the goal of union which exists in love. In the elemental form, there is no greater union than marriage.10 By this appetite encompasses all parts. For that reason, complete ritual washing is prescribed after intercourse. Purification envelops him as annihilation in the woman was complete in the obtainment of appetite. Allah is very jealous of His slave if He believes that he finds pleasure in other than Him. So man purifies himself by ritual washing in order to return to Him in whom he was annihilated, since that is all there is.
When man witnesses Allah in women, his witnessing is in the passive; when he witnesses Him in himself, regarding the appearance of woman from Him, he witnesses Him in the active. When he witnesses Him from himself without the presence of any form from him, his witnessing is in the passive directly from Allah without any intermediary. So his witnessing of Allah in the woman is the most complete and perfect because he witnesses Allah inasmuch as He is both active and passive. Regarding himself, He is passive in particular. For this reason, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, loved women because of the perfection of the witnessing of Allah in them since one does not ever witness Allah free of matter. Allah by His essence in independent of the worlds. So from this aspect, the business is impossible, yet witnessing only occurs in matter. The witnessing of Allah in women is the greatest and most perfect witnessing. The greatest union is marriage.
It is like the projection of His will on the one He created in His form in order to create him. He sees His form in him, rather, He sees Himself. He fashioned him and balanced him and breathed into him of His spirit (rûh) which is His breath. Outwardly he is creation, and inwardly he is Allah. For this reason, Allah describes Himself with having management of this frame. He "directs the whole affair from the heaven," which is the height of the earth, "to earth," (32:5) which is the lowest of the low, because it is the lowest of all the elements.
He called them women (an-nisâ') which is a plural which does not have a singular form. For that reason, he said, "He made me love three things in your world: women..." and he did not say, "woman". He took note of the fact that they came after him in existence. The word an-nisa' also means postponement. Allah says, "The month postponed is an increase in disbelief," (9:37) and the sale of "nasi'a" is said to be by postponement, that is, by credit. That is why he said an-nisa'. He loved them only by rank, and they are the place of the passive. They are to him as nature is to Allah in which Allah opened the forms of the world by the projection of the will and the divine command which is marriage in the world of elemental forms, and aspiration (himma) in the world of luminous spirits, as in the order of premises and their meanings through deduction. All of that is the marriage of the first uniqueness in each of these aspects.
Whoever loves women in this measure, loves with a divine love. Whoever loves them in respect to natural appetite in particular, deprives himself of the knowledge of this appetite. For him it is a form without a spirit (rûh). That form in the heart of the matter is the essence of a spirit, but it is not witnessed by the one who comes to his wife or any woman by pure gratification, and he does not perceive the one it is for even so, he has no knowledge of himself, as others have no knowledge of him, since he has not been verbally named so that he could be known.
One of them said:
It is confirmed with people
that I am a passionate lover,
although they do not know
the object of my passion.
It is the same with the one who loves gratification - he loves the place in which it occurs, being the woman, but the spirit of the question is obscure to him. If he had known it, he would have known by whom he has pleasure and who it is that has pleasure. He would have been perfect.
Similarly, the woman has a lower degree than the man by the words of Allah, "As for men, they have a degree over them." (2:228) The one created on the form is lower in degree than the one who is fashioned in His form,11 even though he is in His form. This is the degree by which He is distinguished from the form. So Allah is independent of the universe, and He is the first Doer. The form is the second doer, and does not have the firstness which Allah has. Sources are distinguished by ranks. "He gives each thing its creation," 12 as every gnostic gives each thing with a right its due.
That love that Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had for women came from divine love. "Allah gives everything its creation," and that is the source of its truth. He only gave creation to it by merit, so it merits what He called it that is, by the essence of the created thing.
He put women first because they are the place of the passive as nature precedes that which exists from it by means of form. Nature in reality is only the breath of the Merciful. The forms of the universe, high and low, are introduced into it by the diffusion of the breath (nafkha) in the primal substance (jawhar hayulânî), particularly in the world of bodies. As for its diffusion by the existence of the luminous spirits and non-essentials (a'râd), that is another kind of diffusion.
In this tradition, the Prophet put the feminine before the masculine because he meant to attach importance to women. He said, "Three (thalath, the feminine form of the number) and he did not say thalatha (the masculine) with the ha' which is by the number of the masculine since scent (tîb) is one of the three, and it is masculine. The custom among the Arabs is that the masculine takes precedence over the feminine. When they say, "The Fatimas and Zayd went out," they saw kharajû (mas. pl) and do not say kharajna (fem. pl). The masculine, even if it is only one, take precedence over the feminine, even if they are a group. The Prophet was Arab, so he respected the meaning which was intended by showing love for what did not happen through his own love. Then Allah informed him of what he did not know, and Allah's bounty to him was great.13 The feminine took precedence over the masculine by his word, thalath without ha'. Who knew the realities better than him, may Allah bless him and grant him peace? Who had greater care to observe rights and dues?
Then he placed the seal with what was like the first since it is also feminine (salat, prayer, is feminine), and he placed the masculine between them, as in existence. He began with "women" and ended with "prayer", both of which are feminine while perfume is masculine. The man is between the essence from which he appeared and then the woman appeared from him. So man is between two feminines, the form of the Essence 14 from which he appeared, and a real feminine, woman, who appeared from him. Similarly, women is a real feminine, and the prayer is not a real feminine. Scent is the masculine between the two, as Adam is between the essence from which he has existence and Hawwa' (Eve), who existed from him. If you wish, you can say "attribute (sifa)" which is also feminine. If you wish, you can say, "power (qudra)" and it is feminine. Be of whatever school you wish. You will always find that the feminine takes precedence, even among the people of cause ('illa) who make Allah a cause in the existence of the form, and cause is also feminine.
As for the wisdom of the perfume which he mentioned after women, because women have fragrance in their form, the most fragrant of perfumes is the embrace of the lover as they say in the common example. When the Prophet was created a slave, by the nobility of his origin, he did not lift his head at all to mastery rather, he continued to prostrate himself in humility and to remain passive in spite of who he was until Allah formed from Him what He had intended. He gave him the rank of action in the world of breaths, and the breaths are fragrant scents. So Allah made him love perfume. For that reason, he put perfume after women.
He observed the ranks which belong to Allah in His words, "Raiser of ranks is He, Possessor of the throne" (40:15) by His sitting on it by the name of the All-Merciful. There is none among those that the Throne encompasses but that divine mercy touches him. That is the words of Allah, "My mercy embraces all things," (7:156) and the Throne encompasses everything, and the One who sits on it is the Merciful. By its reality, mercy is diffused through the universe as we explained in another part in this book and in The Makkan Revelations.
Allah put perfume in this marital connection in the innocence of 'A'isha,15 may Allah be pleased with her! He said, "Corrupt 16 men are for corrupt men, and corrupt men are for corrupt women; and good 17 women are for good men, and good men are for good women. The latter are innocent of what they say." (24:26) He made their scent fragrant because the word is breath, and it is the source of the scent. It goes out with fragrance and putrefaction according to what appears in the form of speech. As it is divine by the nobility of its origin, it is all good, and so it is good. As for what is not praised and is censured, it is good and bad. The Prophet said in respect to the badness of garlic, "It is a plant whose scent I dislike." He did not say, "I dislike it." The source is not disliked, but he disliked what appeared from it. Dislike for that is either by custom or unsuitability of nature, by something in the Shari'a, or a lack of perfection or something other than what we have mentioned.
Since the command is divided into corrupt and good as we confirmed, he was made to love perfume rather than repulsive odours. He described the angels as being offended by unpleasant odours. He described the angels as being offended by unpleasant odours. Since there is putrefaction in this elemental structure as it is created of "dry clay from mud moulded (or fetid),"18 so the angels dislike it by essence. The nature of the dung-beetle is offended by the scent of the rose which is one of the pleasant scents. For the dung-beetle, the scent of the rose is not a pleasant scent. If someone has the same sort of nature (as the dung beetle) in meaning and form, the truth offends him when he hears it, and he is gladdened by the false. It is what Allah said, "those who believe in falsehood and reject Allah." (29:52) He described them with loss, and said, "those, they are the losers" who have lost themselves. Whoever does not distinguish goodness from corruption, has no perception.
Allah made the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, love only the good (the perfume) of everything, and there is only that. Can it be conceived that there is a disposition in the universe which only finds good in everything but does not recognise the bad? We say that there is not. We find it in the very root from which the universe appeared which is Allah; we find that He hates and loves. The corrupt is only that which He hates, and the good is only that which He loves. The universe is the form of Allah, and man is in both forms. There is no nature which only perceives one matter in everything - rather, the nature distinguishes the good from the corrupt in spite of the fact that it knows that it is corrupt by tasting and good without tasting. The perception of the good in it diverts him from the sensation of its corruptness. This can happen. As for the removal of the corrupt from the universe that is, from phenomenal being it is not admissible. The mercy of Allah extends to both the corrupt and the good. The corrupt considers itself good, but the good in itself is corrupt. There is nothing but good but that an aspect of its disposition is bad, and vice versa.
As for the third by which uniqueness (fardiyya) is completed, it is the prayer. The Prophet said, "and the coolness of the eye 19 is in the prayer" because it is contemplation. That is because it is intimate discourse between Allah and His slave as Allah says, "Remember Me, and I will remember you." (2:152) It is worship ('ibâda) which is divided in two parts between Allah and His slave one part belongs to Allah and one part to His slave, as has come in sound transmission from Allah in which He says, "I divided the prayer into two parts between Me and My slave. One part is Mine and one part is My slave's, and My slave will receive what he asks for. The slave says, 'In the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Most Merciful,' and Allah says, 'My slave has mentioned Me.' Then the slave says, 'Praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds,' and Allah says, 'My slave has praised Me.' The slave says, 'The All-Merciful, the Most Merciful,' and Allah says, 'My slave has glorified Me. My slave has given Me authorisation.'" 20 All this part belongs purely to Allah.
"Then the slave says, 'You alone we worship. You alone we ask for help,' and Allah says, 'This is between Me and My slave, and My slave has what he asks for.'" Sharing occurs in this ayat. "The slave then says, 'Guide us in the straight path, the path of those You have blessed, not of those with anger on them nor of the misguided,' and Allah says, 'This is for My slave, and My slave has what he asks for.'" This is purely for His slave as the first part is purely for Allah. The knowledge of this makes the recitation of the Fatiha obligatory. Whoever does not recite it has not prayed the prayer establish between Allah and His slave.
The prayer is then a secret conversation (munajat). It is remembrance/invocation (dhikr). When someone mentions Allah, he sits with Allah and Allah sits with him. It is a sound divine transmission that Allah said, "I sit with the one who mentions Me."21 Whoever sits with the One he mentions and has sight, sees the One with whom he sits. This is contemplation (mushahada) and vision. If he does not have sight, he does not see Him. Thus the one who prays knows his rank, and whether or not he sees Allah with this vision in the prayer. If he does not see Him, then let him worship Him by belief (iman) as if he saw Him, imagining Him to be in the qibla of his conversation, and let him listen for Allah's reply.
Without a doubt, everyone who prays is an Imam, so the angels pray behind the slave when he prays alone, as is related in tradition. If he is the Imam for his particular world and the angels pray with him, then he has attained the rank of the Messenger in his prayer which is deputyship from Allah. When he says, "Allah hears whoever praises Him," 22 he informs himself and whoever is behind him that Allah has heard him. The angels and those present say, "Our Lord, praise belongs to You."
Allah says on the tongue of the slave, "Allah hears whoever praises Him." Look at the sublimity of the rank of the prayer and where it takes the one who has it! Whoever does not achieve the rank of vision in the prayer has not reached the goal nor does he have the coolness of the eye in it because he does not see the One he addresses. If he does not hear the answer of Allah, he is not one of those who listen. Whoever is not present in the prayer with his Lord, and does not hear nor see Him, is not one who prays at all, and he is not along those "who listen well, having seen the evidence." (30:37)
The prayer is the only form of 'ibada during which one is forbidden to perform any other action. The mention of Allah in it is greater than the words and actions it contains. We mentioned the attribute of the perfect man in the prayer in The Makkan Revelations and his nature, because Allah says that "the prayer precludes indecency and wrongdoing" (29:45) since it is set down in the Shari'a that the one performing the prayer cannot act in anything except this 'ibâda as long as he is in it, and he is called the one the prays (musalli). "The remembrance of Allah is greater still" (29:45) in it that is, the mention which is from Allah to His slave when He answers him in his request, and his praise of Him is greater than the mention of the slave of his Lord in it, because greatness belongs to Allah.23 This is why He says, "Allah knows what you do," and He says, "He who listen well, having seen the evidence" he gives ear to what Allah mentions in the prayer.
Therefore, since existence is from an intelligible movement which transported the universe from non-existence to existence, the prayer encompasses all movements. There are three movements: vertical, which is the state of standing in the prayer, the horizontal, which is the state of bowing, and the downward movement, which is the state of prostration. The movement of man is vertical, the movement of the animal is horizontal, and the movement of plants in downward. The inanimate does not have a movement from its essence. If a rock moves, it moves by other means than itself.
As for the words of the Prophet, "The coolness of my eye is in the prayer," he did not ascribe the action of putting it there to himself, so Allah gives the one who prays a tajalli which stems from Him, not from the one who prays. If he had not mentioned this attribute from himself, he would have commanded the prayer without tajalli from Him to him. Since that is from Him by means of graciousness, the contemplation is also through graciousness. He said, "the coolness of my eye is in the prayer," and it is only contemplation of the Beloved by which the eye of the lover is delighted by continuance. The eye remains seeing Allah. It does not look with Him to other than Him in anything, and for that reason, it is forbidden to turn away in the prayer. The glance is something which Shaytan steals from the prayer of the slave in order to forbid him the contemplation of the Beloved.24 If Allah had truly been the Beloved of the one who turns aside, he would not have turned aside in his prayer to another qibla. Man knows his state in himself, whether he is like that in this particular act of worship or not. "Man will be clear proof against himself in spite of any excuses he might offer." (75:14) He recognises his lie apart from his truth in himself, because man is not ignorant of his state, his state has tasting (dhawq) for him.
The prayer has another portion. Allah commanded us to pray to Him, and He told us that He prays for us. The prayer is from us and from Him. When He prays, He prays by His name, the Last, for it comes after the existence of the slave, and it is the source of Allah which the slave created in his qibla by logical discernment or by imitation. He is the God of the one who has a creed. It varies according to what the place of the tajalli has and according to the established predisposition as al-Junayd said when he was asked about recognition of Allah and the gnostic. He said, "The colour of water is the colour of its vessel." It is a masterly answer giving information about the matter for what it is. This is Allah who prays for us. If we pray, we have the name, the Last, so we are in it, as we mentioned, in the state of the One who has this name we are with Him according to our state. He only regards us by the form which we bring to Him. The one who prays is behind the one who precedes him in the place. It is His words, "Each one knows its prayer and its glorification " (24:41) that is, its rank in being behind the worship of its Lord and the extolling which his predisposition accords him of disconnection (tanzih). "There is nothing which does not glorify Him with praise" of its Lord, the Forbearing, the Forgiving. For that, we do not understand the extolling of the universe distinctly,25 creature by creature.
Then a rank refers the pronoun to the extolling slave in His words, "There is nothing which does not glorify Him with praise," that is, the praise of that thing. The pronoun which is in His word, "His praise (bi-hamdihi)" refers to the thing - that is, with the praise that is from it.
As we said of the one who has a creed other than Islam, he praises the God who is in his creed and attaches himself to Him. What is from his work returns to him, so he only praises himself. It is from the praise of fabrication the artisan is praised without a doubt, and so the excellence of what he creates or its lack of excellence returns to the artisan. The god of a creed is the product of the one who looks at it, and it is his fabrication; his praise for what he believes is his praise for himself. For this reason, he condemns the creed of another if he had been fair, he would not have done that. Indeed, the possessor of this particular object of worship is certainly ignorant in his rejection of other than what he believes about Allah, since had he recognised what al-Junayd said, "The colour of water is the colour of its vessel," he would have conceded to everyone who has a creed what he believed in, and he would have recognised Allah in every form of worship of every person with a creed, He has opinion but does not know it. For that reason, Allah says, "I am in My slave's opinion of Me," 26 that is, I only appear to him in the form of his creed. If he wishes, he generalises, and if he wishes, he limits. The god of creeds is taken from definition, so He is the God which the heart of His slave encompasses.27 The Absolute Divinity is not encompassed by anything because He is the source of things and the source of Himself. It is not said of the thing that it encompasses itself, not that it does not encompass itself, so understand! "Allah speaks the truth and He guides to the Way." (33:4)
1. Hadith, "I was a Prophet when Adam was still between water and clay."
2. Hadith, "I was given all the words."
3. Qur'an 2:31, "And He taught Adam the names of all things..."
4. Hadith in an-Nasa'i and Ibn Hanbal: "I was made to love three things in your world: women, perfume, and the coolness of my eye in the prayer."
5. Hadith in Muslim (fitan:95) and at-Tirmidhi.
6. The Burning Bush.
7. i.e. from the nature of the world of Purity.
8. Qur'an 2:34.
9. Since his nature (khuluq) was immense or mighty ('adhim) as Allah said, "You are truly immense in character," (68:4) and as 'A'isha said of the Prophet, "His nature was the Qur'an."
10. Nikah, or marriage, actually means lawful intercourse.
11. See Qur'an 6:98.
12. See Qur'an 20:50.
13. Qur'an 4:113, "Allah's favour to you is indeed immense."
14. Dhat, essence, is feminine.
15. The following verse was revealed about 'A'isha in the affair of the Lie and declared her innocence in the affair.
16. Khabith, also meaning with a repulsive odour.
17. Tayyib, means good, wholesome, fragrant, from the same root as perfume, tîb.
18. See Qur'an 15:26.
19. i.e. that which delights me.
20. Muslim 4:38, 41, etc.
21. Hadith qudsi in Ibn Majah and Ibn Hibban.
22. When he comes up from ruku' in the prayer.
23. See Qurıan: 45:37.
24. Hadith in al-Bukhari and Muslim. "(Looking aside in the prayer) is something which Shaytan snatches from a slave's prayer."
Also the hadith in Ibn Hanbal and elsewhere: "Allah continues to turn favourably towards a slave while he is engaged in the prayer as long as he does not look to the side. But if he does so He departs from him."
25. See Qur'an 17:44, "The seven heavens and the earth and everyone in them glorify Him. There is nothing which does not glorify Him with praise; but you do not understand their glorification. He is the All-Forbearing, Ever-Forgiving."
26. Hadith in Muslim and al-Bukhari, "I am in My slave's opinion and I am with him when he remembers Me..."
27. Hadith qudsi, "Neither My heaven nor My earth contains Me, but the heart of My believing slave contains Me."
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