The Hikam

of Ibn 'Ata'llah


            Do not let the intention of your aspiration veer to other-than-Him.
            Hopes can go no further than the Ever-Generous.
            Do not ask other-than-Him for what you need
            since He is the One who will bring it to you.
            How can other than the One who put it there relieve it?
            How can someone who is unable to relieve his own need relieve someone else's?

            If you do not think well of Him because His qualities are beautiful
            then think well of Him because of the way He treats you.
            Has He made you used to anything but good?
            Has He bestowed on you anything but favours?

            How utterly amazing is someone who flees from something he cannot escape
            to seek something that will not last!

            "It is not the eyes that are blind,
              but the hearts in the breasts are blind."

            Do not travel from phenomenal being to phenomenal being.
            You will be like the donkey going around at the mill.
              It travels to what it set out from.

            Travel from phenomenal beings
                to the Maker of Being.

            "And the final end is to your Lord."

            Look at the words of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace:
            "Whoever emigrates to Allah and His Messenger,
                  his emigration is to Allah and His Messenger.
            Whoever emigrates to something of this world or a woman to marry,
              his emigration is to what he emigrates to."

            Understand his words, may Allah bless him and grant him peace:
              "His emigration is to what he emigrates to."

            Reflect on this matter if you have any understanding at all!


Commentary by Ibn 'Ajiba


            If someone's state does not lift you up,
              and his words do not lead you to Allah
              - then do not keep his company!

            It may well be that you are in a bad state -
            but to keep company with someone worse than you
                would allow you to see good in yourself.

            No action from a heart without attachment is insignificant.
            No action from a heart full of desires is great.

            Good actions are the results of good states.
            Good states come from grasping the reality
            of the stations where you alight.

            Do not give up invocation of Allah
              because you are not present with Allah in it.
            It is worse to forget to invoke Him
            than to be inattentive while invoking Him.

            He might raise you up from invocation with heedlessness
            to invocation with wakeful attention,
            and from invocation with wakeful attention
            to invocation with presence,
            and from invocation with presence
            to invocation with withdrawal from all that is other than the Invoked.
            That is not difficult for Allah.

Commentary by Ibn 'Ajiba


            A sign of the death of the heart:
            lack of sadness about beneficial actions you have missed,
            and lack of regret about your mistakes.

            Do not become so overwhelmed by your wrong action
            that it stops you thinking well of Allah.

            Whoever has gnosis of his Lord,
            finds that his wrong action is insignificant
                beside His generosity.

            There is no minor wrong action when you face His justice.
            There is no major wrong action when you experience His bounty.

            No deed has more hope of being accepted
              than the one you do and forget about, thinking it insignificant.

            He only sent a warid to you
              so that it would bring you to Him.
            He sent a warid to you
                to deliver you from the control of otherness
                and to free you from being a slave to effects.
            He sent a warid to you
              to release you from the prison of your existence
                and to bring you to the open space of inner witnessing.

            Lights are the mounts of the hearts and the secrets.

            The army of the heart is light.
            The army of the lower self is darkness.

            When Allah wishes to help His slave,
              He reinforces him with the armies of light
              and cuts off the reinforcements of darkness and otherness.

            Light unveils.
            The inner eye judges.
            The heart both advances and retreats.

            Don't be overjoyed at obedience because it has issued from you.
            Rejoice in it because it has come from Allah to you.

            "Say: 'Let them rejoice in the bounty of Allah and His mercy.
            That is better than what they amass.'"

            He prevents those who are travelling to Him and those who have reached Him -
            from seeing their actions and witnessing their states.

            The travellers -
              because they have not made sincerity with Allah in them a fact.
            Those who have arrived -
            because when they see Him,
            He makes them oblivious to seeing their actions.

Commentary by Ibn 'Ajiba


            The branches of abasement only grow from the seeds of greed.

            Nothing leads you on like illusion.
                You are free when you despair of it.
                You are a slave when you are eager for it.

            Whoever does not advance to Allah by the tenderness of His goodness
            is chained to Him by the fetters of trial.

            Whoever is not grateful for blessings is asking for them to vanish.
            Whoever is grateful for them ties them up with their own tether.

            Fear that the fact that He is good to you when you are acting badly towards Him
            might be bait to draw you on.

            "We shall draw them on bit by bit, from where they do not know."

            It is ignorance on the part of the murid if he has bad adab
              to then say when the punishment is delayed,
              "If this were really bad adab,
                He would have cut off help or sent me into exile."

            Help can be cut off while one is unaware of it
            - by stopping any increase
              - or by letting you do what you like.

            When you see someone whom Allah has made persist in recitation of wirds
              and then continues to help him in that,
            do not despise what his Master has given him
            because you do not discern in him
              the mark of the gnostics or the radiance of the lovers.

            No warid, no wird.
            If a warid had not come, there would be no wird.

            Allah makes some people serve Him
            while He singles out other people for His love.

            "Each We help, these and those,
            from the gift of your Lord
            and the gift of your Lord is not restricted."

Commentary by Ibn 'Ajiba


            It is very rare that divine warids come
              in other than a sudden flash.

            That protects them -
            because the slaves cannot lay claim to them
              because they are ready for them.

            When you see someone answering all he is asked,
            and remembering all he knows
              and interpreting all he sees
            - that proves that he is an ignorant man.

            He made the Next World the place where He will reward His believing slaves
            because this world is not vast enough to hold what He wants to give them
            and because He thinks too much of them to reward them
              in a dimension which lacks any permanence.

            If you find the fruit of your deeds quickly,
            that is a proof of your acceptance!

            If you want to learn your value with Him
            look where He has put you.

            When He provides you with obedience and having no need of other than Him,
            know that He has bestowed His outward and inward blessings on you.

Commentary by Ibn 'Ajiba

[Warid: "arriving thing"; an overflowing experience which overcomes a person's heart.

Wird: a regular spiritual exercise involving recitation of a litany of dhikr.

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