The Seal of the Wisdom of Elevation in the Word of Isma'il (Ishmael)

Know that the one called Allah is Unique (Ahad) by Essence and by all His names, and every existent thing is only attached to Allah by its own lord exclusively, for it is impossible for an an existent to possess the whole. As for Divine Unity (ahadiyya), no existent possesses any of it because one cannot have one part of it while another has another part. Unity does not admit of divisibility. His Unity integrates all of Him by potentiality.

The happy one is the one is the one "who was pleasing to his Lord." (19:55) There is no one who is not pleasing to his Lord because it is by him that lordship (rububiyya)1 is sustained. He is pleasing to Him, and so he is happy. This is why Sahl at-Tustari said, "Lordship has a secret, and this secret is you." He was addressing every source. "Had the secret been disclosed, lordship would have been invalidated." He used the word "law"2 which is the particle of impossibility - so it is never manifested, and lordship is never invalidated - for the source has no existence except by its Lord. The source is always existent, therefore lordship is never invalidated.

He who is pleasing is beloved, and all that the beloved does is beloved, so everything is pleasing, because the source could not act unless the act belonged to its Lord. The source is made tranquil by having an act attributed to it, but it is content with what appears in it and from it of the acts of its Lord, and is pleased with these acts, because every doer and producer is pleased with his act and product. He completes his act and product according to its basis. "He gives each thing its created form and then guides it," (20:50) that is, He revealed to it that He gave everything its creation, so it does not admit of decrease.

Isma'il, peace be upon him, by his discovery of what we mentioned "was pleasing to his Lord." In the same way, every existent thing who is pleasing to its Lord is also pleasing to the Lord of another, because lordship is only obtained from each of the names, not from the One of Unity. What is specific to it from the whole is only what is attributed to it. So He is its Lord. None is attached to Him in respect of His Unity. For this reason, the people of Allah are forbidden tajalli in the Unity. If you look at Him by Him, He is the One who is looking at Himself, and He continues to be Himself looking at Himself by Himself. If you look at Him by yourself, unity vanishes because of you. If you look at Him both through Him and through you, Unity also vanishes because the pronoun of the second person implies that there is something else besides that which is regarded. There must be some relationship which necessitates the duality of the regarder and regarded, and so Unity vanishes, even though there only exists the One who sees Himself by Himself. It is known that in this description, He is the Regarder and the Regarded.

It is not possible that the one who is pleasing be totally pleasing, unless all that he manifests comes from the act of the One who is pleased with him. Isma'il was distinguished from other individuals by how Allah described him, namely, that "he was pleasing to his Lord."

It is the same for every "self at peace" to which it is said, "Return to your Lord." He only commanded it to return to its Lord who called it, and so it recognised Him among the totality, "well-pleasing and well-pleased. Enter among My slaves!" (89:28) to the degree that they have this station. The slaves mentioned here refer to every slave who has gnosis of his Lord, who is content with Him, and does not turn to the Lord of another while preserving the unity of the source which is necessary. "Enter My Garden," which is My veil,3 and My Garden is not other than you, so you veil Me by your essence. There is only gnosis of Me by you and you only exist by Me, so whoever has gnosis of you has gnosis of Me, and there is no gnosis of Me, for there is no gnosis of you. If you enter into the Garden, you enter into yourself, so you will know yourself by a gnosis other than the gnosis by which you had knowledge when you knew your Lord. You will have two sorts of gnosis: gnosis of Him in respect of yourself, and gnosis of yourself and Him in respect of Him, not in respect of you.

You are a slave and you are a lord

    to whomever you are a slave in respect of.

And you are a lord and you are a slave

    to whoever possesses the covenant in speech.

Every knot has a person over it who unravels it

    by one who has another knot.

Allah is pleased with His slaves, and "they are well-pleasing and well-pleased with Him." He is pleasing, so the two presences confront each other and accept likes, and the likes are opposites because the two likes are a single reality which does not unify them since they would not then be distinct. There is only the distinct, so there is no like. There is no like in existence, and so there is no opposite in existence. Existence is one reality, and the thing is not opposite to itself.

Only the Real remains,

     no phenomenal being remains.

There is nothing connected, nothing distinct.

     For that reason, the proof of the eye-witness came,

so I only see His source with my eye when I see!

That is for "the one who fears his Lord" lest He makes distinction by his knowledge. By that distinction, we indicated the ignorance of sources in existence according to what the knower brought, so distinction occurs among the slaves, and distinction occurs among the lords. If distinction had not occurred, one divine name would have been interpreted in all its aspects by that by which another name is interpreted. The explanation of the Exalter is not that of the Abaser, and so on, but from the aspect of unity, as we said, every name indicates the Essence and its reality in respect to what it is. The One Named is but One. The Exalter is the Abaser in respect to the Named. It is not the Abaser in respect to itself and its reality. That which is understood differs in the understanding in respect to each of them.

Do not look at the Real.

    Free Him from creation.

Do not look at creation,

    and garb it in other than the Real.

Disconnect Him and connect Him,

     and stand in a seat of honour.4

Stay in the state of gatheredness (jamÔ) if you wish,

   and, if you wish, in the forms in separateness (farq).

You will win all,

    even if all set out to carry the day.

You will not be annihilated

    and you will not have going-on

and the forms will not be annihilated

    and will not have going-on.

Revelation will not be given to you

    in respect to another, and you will not receive it.

Praise is by the truth of the promise, not the truth of the threat. The Divine Presence demands praise which is praiseworthy in itself. So one extols the Divine Presence by the truth of the promise, not the truth of the threat, for one goes beyond it, "and do not imagine that Allah break His promise to His Messengers." (14:47) He did not say, "and his threat", rather He said that He will pass over their wrong actions even though he threatens not to. He praised Isma'il because "he was true to his promise." (19:54) Possibility vanishes in respect to the Real, since in it is that which demands the probable.

Nothing remains except the One

    who is true to His promise alone,

and an eye does not remain

     seeing the threat of the Real.

If they enter the abode of misery,

    in it they are in possession of delight, and a different bliss.

Than the bliss of the gardens of endless-time, but the matter is the same.

    The difference between them occurs in the tajalli.

It is called punishment ('adhab) from the sweetness ('udhuba) of its food,

     that is like the husk of it, and the husk protects it.

1. Rububiyya: Lordship, the quality of being a lord. A term derived from the Qur'anic descriptions of Allah's lordship over creation. One might say the ecology of natural existence. It is an essential element in Sufic cosmology and is a most sophisticated concept which surpasses the crude specificity and mechanistic views of evolutionist biology. It is an energy system of relationships in constant change and altering dynamics. It functions through the different realms, the atomic, the mineral, the plant, and so on. It relates the levels ofliving organisms from the uni-cellular up to man, and the interpenetrations of organism and environment. It re-defines "event" from crude historicity to a picture of organism/event in a unified field. It is the underlying concept which allows us to abandon the dead mind/body split of the dying culture. It permits us to utilise and develop the energy concepts of Islamic/Chinese medicine - which hold a common energy concept at base. Rububiyya permits us to observe ONE PROCESS at work throughout every level of the creational realities.

2. Law (if) expresses an unlikely condition.

3. Garden, Janna, also carries the connotation of veiling, concealing.

4.Qur'an 54:53-55, "The fearfully aware will be amid Gardens and Rivers on seats of honour in the presence of an All-Powerful King."


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