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E. J.

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KASHF AL-MAHJUB

THE OLDEST PERSIAN TREATISE ON SUFIISM

ALI

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UTHAlAN AL-JULLAlU AL-HUJWIRI

TRANSLATED FROM THE TEXT OF THE LAHORE EDITION COMPARED WITH MSS. IN THE INDIA OFFICE AND BRITISH MUSEUM.

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CORRECTIONS AND ADDITIONS. Page

p. 4,

1.

p. 4,

1.

For

penult.

2,

p. 3, line

1.

(p. 3)

30.

read

For

26.

i).

(p.

read

(p. 3)

For (p. 3) read (p. /^r just as the veil

8.

1

and

14

(p.

destroys revelation (inukashafaf] readjust as

veiling destroys the unveiled object p. 6,

and

4

1.

For

16.

1.

(p. 3)

i).

i).

mzd?

(mukdshaf\

(p. i).

For Parg raj^T Burk 0r Purg, and correct the note accordingly. See Guy Le Strange, The Lands of the Eastern Caliphate, p. 292. For the infectious cankers of the age read the cankers which 28. 54,

p. 51,

1.

p.

1.

6.

age after age. For (sahib al-qulub] read (sdhi l-qulub}. 19.

infect p. 85,

1.

antithesis of p. 127,

1.

17.

p. 130,

1.

27.

maghlub,

Nun,

s

1.

19.

p. 155,

1.

26.

p. 169,

1.

i.

p. 173,

1.

1 1.

p. 182,

1.

26.

bird."

p. 257,

1.

i.

p. 323,

1.

10.

is

the

is in

favour of

1-Hasan" "

kunya of

as the

Abu 1-Husayn

".

Add, See Goldziher in ZDMG., 61, 75 ff., and a passage in Irshdd al-Arib, ed. by Margoliouth, vol. iii, pt. i, 153, 3 ff.

Yaqut cited by Goldziher \\-\JRAS. p. 140,

sober,"

enraptured."

For Al.-lNTAKi read AL-ANTAKI. Although some writers give "Abu

the balance of authority

p. 131, n. 2.

"

Sdhi,

"

;

for 1910, p. 888.

For ABU MUHAMMAD ABDALLAH read ABU ABDALLAB. Omit B. before DULAF. Omit B. before ALL For Pa dsha h-i read Padishah-i. Shdhmurghi is probably a mistake Cf.

my

For

t atil

For

for siydh

edition of the Tadhkirat al-Aivliyd,

read

tcftil.

Missisi read Massisi.

ii,

murghi, 259, 23.

"a

black


CONTENTS. PAGES.

CHAPTER.

^

Translator

Author I.

II.

III.

IV.

V.

On On On On On

s

Preface

s

Introduction

Poverty Sufiism

.

.

VI.

Concerning their

House

Concerning Concerning

... ..

People .

.

(al-

7 O ~4

of

,.

.

the

Tdbi

.

uii}

.81-2

the

Followers .

*.

to .

.

down

to

.

.

.

A

161-71

brief account

Concerning

the

XVI.

The Uncovering

modern

.....

of the

Sufis

held

Doctrines

different sects of Sufi s

XV.

88-160

Concerning the principal Sufis of recent

different countries

XIV.

83-7

sub

lived

.

75- 8

Veranda

...

.

Imams who

their

58-61

62-9

to

times.

XIII.

45~57

to

..

Imams who belonged

their

to

.

Imams who belonged

the

.

.

.

of the Prophet

Concerning sequently our day

XII.

.

.

Imams who belonged

Concerning their

the Followers

XL

3O-44

..

Companions

(Ahl-i Suffa)

X.

1-9 1-18

I9~ 2 9

Wearing of Patched Frocks

On Blame (Maldmat)

the IX.

1

the Different Opinions held concerning

the

VIII.

Knowledge .

Poverty and Purity VII.

.

.....

the Affirmation of

the

xvn-xxiv

,

.

.

by

in

^

of the First Veil

172-5

the .

176-266

Con

:

cerning the Gnosis of God (ma rifat Allah} The Uncovering of the Second Veil Con

267-77

:

cerning Unification (tawhid)

.

.

.

278-85


CONTENTS.

XVI CHAPTER.

PAGES.

XVII.

The Uncovering

XVIII.

The Uncovering

XIX.

The Uncovering

cerning Faith

...... of the Third Veil:

Con

of the Fourth Veil

Con

:

cerning Purification from Foulness of the Fifth Veil .

XX.

cerning

XXI.

Alms

The Uncovering

(al-zakdf)

XXII.

The Uncovering

XXIII.

The Uncovering

.

300-13

314-19

On

..... :

of the Eighth Veil:

Con

cerning the Pilgrimage of the Ninth Veil:

Con

.... ....

320-5

326-33

its

334-66

TheUncovering of theTenth Veil explaining their phraseology and the definitions of their terms and the verities of the ideas :

which are

XXV.

.

....

cerning Companionship, together with Rules and Principles

XXIV.

291-9

Con

:

of the Seventh Veil

Fasting (al-sawm)

.

Con

:

cerning Prayer (al-saldf) The Uncovering of the Sixth Veil

286-90

signified

The Uncovering

.

.

of the Eleventh Veil

cerning Audition (samd^

.

.

367-92

Con

.... :

393-420


PREFACE. THIS

treatise on Sufiism will,

small

most ancient and celebrated Persian

translation of the I

number of students

hope, be found useful not only by the familiar with the subject at

by many readers who, without

but also

first

hand, being Orientalists

themselves, are interested in the general history of mysticism and may wish to compare or contrast the diverse yet similar

manifestations of the mystical spirit in Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam. The origin of Sufiism and its relation to these great religions cannot properly be considered here, and I dismiss such questions the

more readily because

on another occasion. of the author

intend to deal with them

I

now my duty to give some account Kashf al-Mahjub, and to indicate the

It is

of the

character of his work.

Abu 1-Hasan al-Hujwin life

very

the

little

is

b.

b.

AH

b.

in

known beyond what he

He

al-Ghaznawi al-Jullabi Afghanistan.

Of

2

his

relates incidentally in

studied Sufiism under

al-Husri (ob. 371

Muhammad

Jullab and

Uthman

Abu

1-Fadl

(p. 166), who was a pupil A.H.), and under Abu l- Abbas

al-Hasan al-Khuttali

Abu 1-Hasan

Ahmad 1

b.

Kashf al-Mahjub.

Muhammad of

All

was a native of Ghazna

1

3

al-Ashqani or al-Shaqani

Hujwi r were two suburbs of Ghazna.

4

(p. 168).

He

Evidently he resided for some

time in each of them. 2

Notices occur in the Nafahdt al-Uns, No. 377 ; the So/mat al-Awliyd, No. 298 s Cat. of the Persian MSS. in the Library of the India Office, \, col. 304) ; the Riydd al-Awliyd, Or. 1745, f. 140^ (Rieu s Cat. of the Persian MSS. in the British Museum, iii, 975). In the khdtimat al-tafr on the last page of the Lahore edition

(Ethe

Kashf al-Mahjub he is called Hadrat-i Data Ganj-bakhsh AH al-Hujwirf. Nafahdt, No. 376. Through al-Khuttali, al-Husri, and Abu Bakr al-Shiblf the author of the Kashf al-Mahjub is spiritually connected with Junayd of Baghdad of the 3

(ob.

297 A.H.).

4

No. 375. The a village near Nishapur. Ibid.,

nisba

Shaqqani or Shaqani

is

derived from Shaqqan,

b


PREFACE.

xvill

Abu

also received instruction from

1

1-Qasim Gurgani (p. 169) and Khwaja Muzaffar (p. 170), and he mentions a great number of Shaykhs whom he had met and conversed with in the course 2

He

and wide through the Muhammadan empire from Syria to Turkistan and from the Indus to the Caspian Sea. Among the countries and places which he visited were Adharbayajan (pp. 57 and 410), the tomb of his wanderings.

of Bayazid al-Jinn in

the (p. (p.

at

Bistam

travelled

(p.

far

Damascus, Ramla, and Bayt 343), Tus and Uzkand (p. 234),

68),

Syria (pp. 94, 167,

tomb of Abu Sa id

b, Abi 1-Khayr at Mihna (p. 235), Merv and the Jabal al-Buttam to the east of Samarcand 401), He seems to have settled for a time in Iraq, where 407).

he ran deeply into debt (p. 345). It may be inferred from a passage on p. 364 that he had a short and unpleasant experience of married

Finally, according to the

life.

went

to reside at

own

statement,

Riydd al-Awliyd, he

Lahore and ended

his days in that city. His however, shows that he was taken there as

a prisoner against his will (p. 91),

and that

in

composing the

Kashf al-Mahjub he was inconvenienced by the books which he had left at Ghazna. The date of

of the

loss his

death

is

given as 456 A.H. (1063-4 A.D.) or 464 A.H. (1071-2 A.D.), but it is likely that he survived Abu 1-Qasim al-Qushayri, who died in 465 A.H. (1072 A.D.). Rieu s observation (Cat. of the

MSS.

Persian

in the British

Museum, 343) that the author Sufis who had passed away before i,

Qushayri with the the time at which he was writing, classes

author says this

(p.

161)

"Some

not quite accurate.

is

of those

whom

chapter are already deceased, and

But of the ten Sufis Gurgani,

was

:

alive

No. 71,

is

it is

If this date

shall

are

mention

still

in

living."

only one, namely, Abu 1-Qasim terms which leave no doubt that he

in question

referred to in

when

I

some

The

the author wrote.

In the Saftnat al-Awliyd,

stated that Abu 1-Qasim Gurgani died in 450 A.H. were correct, the Kashf al- Makjub must have been

written at least fifteen years before Qushayri s death. On the other hand, my MS. of the Shadhardt al-Dhahab records the 1

Nafahdt, No. 367.

2

Ibid.

,

No. 368.


PREFACE.

xix

Abu 1-Qasim Gurgani under the year 469 A.H., a date which appears to me more probable, and in that case the statement that the author survived Oushayri may be accepted, death of

although the evidence on which it rests is mainly negative, for we cannot lay much stress on the fact that Qushayri s name is

sometimes followed by the Moslem equivalent

for

"

of blessed

memory conjecture, then, that the author died between 1 His birth may be placed in the last decade 465 and 469 A.H. I

".

decade of the eleventh century of our and he must have been in the prime of youth when Sultan

of the tenth or the era,

first

Mahmud

died in 421 A.H. (1030 A.D.). a fifteenth century treatise on the

Ya qub

Uthman

b.

The

Risdla-i Abdaliyya?

Muhammadan

contains

saints

by

an anecdote,

for

al-Ghaznawi, to claim any historical value, to the effect that al-Hujwiri once argued in Mahmud s presence with an Indian philosopher and utterly discomfited him by an

which

would be hazardous

it

Be that as exhibition of miraculous powers. venerated as a saint long after his death, and his was being visited by pilgrims

Riydd al-A wliyd

it

may, he was

tomb at Lahore when Bakhtawar Khan wrote the

in the latter half of the

seventeenth century.

In the introduction to the KasJif al-Mahjub al-Huj win plains that

two of

his

public by persons who and pretended that they themselves were the

order to guard

against the

own name

inserted his

com

former works had been given to the erased his name from the title-page, In

authors.

repetition of this fraud, he

has

many passages of the present work. His writings, to which he has occasion to refer in the Kaslif in

al-Mahjiib, are 1.

A

2.

Minhdj

diwdn

(p. 2).

al-din,

on the method of

Siifiism (p.

2).

It

com

prised a detailed account of the Ahl-i Suffa (p. 80) and a biography of Husayn b. Mansur al-Hallaj (p. 153). *

The

date 465 A.H.

is

given by Azad in his biographical work on the famous

full

men

of Balgram, entitled Mahathir al-Kiram. 2

See Ethe

The author

s

Cat. of the Persian

MSS.

in the India Office Library, No. 1774

of this treatise does not call al-Hujwiri the brother of Abu Khayr, as Ethe says, but his spiritiial brother (birddar-i haqiqaf].

Sa

id b.

(2).

Abi

1-


XX

PREFACE.

Asrdr al-khiraq wa

3.

l-ma

on the patched

tindt,

of the Sufis (p. 56). 4. Kitdb-ifand u baqd, composed of youth (p. 60).

"

in the

frocks

vanity and rashness

"

A

5.

work, of which the

of the sayings of

Husayn

6.

Kitdb al-baydn

7.

Bahr

8.

Al-Ri dyat

9.

A

title is

b.

not mentioned, in explanation

Mansur

li-aJil al-^iydn,

al-Hallaj

(p. 153).

on union with God

(p. 259).

al-quhlb (p. 259). li-huqtiq Allah,

of which

work,

the

on the Divine unity (p. 280). is not mentioned, on faith

title

(p. 286).

None of these books has been preserved. The Kashf al-Mahjub^ which belongs to the author

s

life,

the later years of and, partly at any rate, to the period of his

residence in Lahore, was written in reply to certain questions

addressed to him by a fellow- townsman, Its

is

object

to

forth a complete

set

Abu Sa id

al-Hujwin. system of Sufiism, not

to put together a great number of sayings by different Shaykhs, but to discuss and expound the doctrines and practices of the

The author s

Sufis.

instructing a

work

(pp.

own view

attitude throughout

pupil.

is

that of a teacher

Even the biographical

section

of the

Before stating his 70-175) is largely expository. the author generally examines the current opinions

same topic and refutes them if necessary. The discussion of mystical problems and controversies is enlivened on

the

by many

illustrations

drawn from

his personal experience. In this respect the Kashf al-Mahjub is more interesting than the Risdla of Qushayri, which is so valuable as a collection of

sayings, anecdotes, and definitions, but which follows a

some what formal and academic method on the orthodox lines. No one can read the present work without detecting, behind the scholastic terminology, a truly Persian flavour of philosophical

speculation.

Although he was a Sunni and a Hanafite, al-Hujwiri, many Sufi s before and after him, managed to reconcile 1

Its full title is

Kashf al-mahjub li-arbab al-qiihib (Hajji Khalifa, v, 215).

like

his


XXI

PREFACE.

theology with an advanced type of mysticism, in which the (fund) holds a dominant place, but theory of annihilation "

"

he scarcely goes to such extreme lengths as would justify us in

calling

him a

He

pantheist.

strenuously resists and prohuman personality can be

nounces heretical the doctrine that

merged and extinguished annihilation to burning

of

all

to

things

its

in the

by

own

fire,

being of God. He compares which transmutes the quality but

quality,

leaves

their

essence

He agrees with his spiritual director, al-Khuttali, the theory of Junayd that sobriety in the mystical adopting He intoxication acceptation of the term is preferable to unchanged.

"

"

in

"

".

warns

his readers often

and emphatically that no

Sufis,

not

even those who have attained the highest degree of holiness, are exempt from the obligation of obeying the religious law. In other points, such as the excitation of ecstasy by music and singing, and the use of erotic symbolism in poetry, his judgment

more or

less cautious. He_ defends al-Hallaj from the of a charge being magician, and asserts that his sayings are pantheistic only in appearance, but condemns his doctrines as

is

unsound.

It

is

clear that he

anxious to represent Sufiism and it is equally certain

is

as the true interpretation of Islam,

that the interpretation

is

1 Not incompatible with the text. which he pays to the Prophet we

withstanding the homage cannot separate al-Hujwiri, as regards the essential principles of his teaching, from his older and younger contemporaries,

Abu Sa fd

Abi

b.

1-Khayr and

three

Abdallah Ansari. 2

These

the

mystics developed distinctively Persian theosophy which is revealed in full-blown splendour by Farid al-din Attar

and

Jalal al-din

Rumi.

The most remarkable chapter

in the

Kashf al-Mahjtib

is

the

fourteenth, "Concerning the Doctrines held by the different sects of Sufis," in which the author enumerates twelve mystical 1

The author

s

view

as

to

the

worthlessness of outward forms of religion

is

expressed with striking boldness in his chapter on the Pilgrimage (pp. 326-9). 2 Many passages from the Kashf al-Mahjiib are quoted, word for word, Jami Nafahat al-Uns, which is a modernized and enlarged recension of Abdallah Ansari "in

Tabaqdt

al-Siifiyya.

s s

JT\


PREFACE.

xxii

So far as schools and explains the special doctrine of each. of schools do one the this. Only I know, he is the first writer to 1

mentioned by him, namely, that of the Malamati s, seems to in earlier books on Sufiism such brief references

be noticed

;

to the other schools as occur in later books, for

Tadhkirat

are

example

probably made on

in the

his

al-Awliyd, authority. question may be asked, Did these schools really exist, or were they invented by al-Hujwiri in his desire to systematize I see no the theory of Sufiism ? adequate ground at present

The

"

"

hypothesis, which involves the assumption that al-Hujwiri made precise statements that he must have known to be false. It is very likely, however, that in his account of for the latter

the special doctrines which he attributes to the founder of each

school he has often expressed his own views upon the subject at issue and has confused them with the original doctrine.

The

existence of these schools and doctrines, though lacking 2 on corroboration, does not seem to me incredible

further

the of

;

contrary,

the

Certain

Mu

it

with what

accords

tazilites

doctrines

and

were

happened

in

Muhammadan

other

produced

the

case

schismatics.

and elaborated

by

well-

known Shaykhs, who published them in the form of tracts or were content to lecture on them until, by a familiar process, the new doctrine became the pre-eminent feature of a particular school. Other schools might then accept or reject it. In some instances sharp controversy arose, and the novel teaching gained so little approval that it was confined to the school of its author or

was embraced only by a small minority of the Sufi brother

hood.

More

frequently it would, in the course of time, be drawn into the common stock and reduced to its proper level. Dr. Goldziher has observed that Sufiism cannot be regarded as a regularly organized sect within Islam, 1

A

summary of

and that

its

dogmas

these doctrines will be found in the abstract of a paper on

Oldest Persian Manual of

Sufiism"

which

I

"

The

read at Oxford in 1908 (Trans, of the

Third International Congress for the History of Religions, i, 293-7). 2 Some of al-Huj win s twelve sects reappear at a later epoch as orders of dervishes, but the pedigree of those orders which trace their descent from ancient Sufis is usually fictitious.


PREFACE.

XX111

cannot be compiled into a regular system. 1 That is perfectly divergences there remains true, but after allowing for all a fairly definite body of doctrine which is held in common

by Sufis of many different shades and is the agglomeration from many different minds.

result of gradual

probable that oral tradition was the main source from which al-Hujwiri derived the materials for his work. Of extant It

is

treatises

on Sufiism he mentions

by name only the Kitdb

al-Luma by Abu Nasr al-Sarraj, who died in 377 or 378 A.H. This book is written in Arabic and is the oldest specimen of its class. Through the kindness of Mr. A. G. Ellis, who has recently acquired the sole copy that is at present known to Orientalists, I have been able to verify the reading of a passage quoted

he was

that

by al-Hujwi ri

well

The arrangement

(p. 341),

with

acquainted

and

his

to assure

predecessor

of the KasJif al-Mahjtib

is

s

myself work.

partially based

on that of the Kitdb al-Lttma\ the two books resemble each other in their general plan, and some details of the former are evidently borrowed from notice of

his

Sufis

Abu titles,

and

Ma ruf

al-Karkhi

by Abu

compiled

the latter. (p.

Al-Hujwiri refers

in

114) to the biographies of

Abd al-Rahman

al-Sulami

and

1-Qasim al-Qushayri. Although he does not give the he is presumably referring to Sulami s Tabaqdt al-Silfiyya

Qushayri

The Kashf al-Mahjub

Risdla?

s

contains

a

Persian rendering of some passages in the Risdla of Qushayri, with whom al-Hujwiri seems to have been personally acquainted.

A

citation

from Abdallah Ansari occurs on

p. 26.

Manuscripts of the Kashf al- Mahjiib are preserved in several 3 It has been lithographed at Lahore, and European libraries. Professor Schukovski of St. Petersburg

engaged

in

preparing a critical text.

inaccurate, especially in 1

3

JRAS.,

s

Cat.

2

of the Persian

i,

I

understand,

261 (No. 401).

edition

is

most of

Cf., however, p. 114, note. in the India Office Library, i, col. 970, Blochet, Cat. des manuscrits persans de la

MSS,

where other MSS. are mentioned, and BibliothZque Nationale,

now, as

The Lahore

the spelling of names, but

1904, p. 130.

See Ethe

is


PREFACE.

xxiv

mistakes are easy to emend, and the text agrees closely with two MSS. in the Library of the India Office (Nos. 1773 and 1774 in Ethe s Catalogue], with which I have compared it. its

I

have also consulted a good MS.

in

the

Museum

British

The following abbreviations are (Rieu s Catalogue, i, 342). Lahore the edition, I. to denote the India used L. to denote Office MS. 1773 (early seventeenth century), J. to denote the :

India Office

MS. 1774

denote the British In

century).

my

(late

Museum

translation

seventeenth century), and B. to MS. Or. 219 (early seventeenth I

Lahore text where necessary. are few in number, there are, a considerable effort

I

have, of course, corrected the

While the doubtful passages confess, many places in which

required in order to grasp the author s The logic of a Persian his argument.

is

meaning and follow Sufi must sometimes appear to European readers curiously Other obstacles might have been removed by means illogical. of annotation, but this expedient, if adopted consistently, would have swollen the volume to a formidable

size.

complete, and nothing of importance has been omitted, though I have not hesitated to Arabists will remark an abridge when opportunity offered.

The English

italics

due to

is

nearly

discrepancy between

occasional in

version

the

Arabic sayings

and the translations accompanying them

my

printed :

this

is

having translated, not the original Arabic, but the

Persian paraphrase given by al-Hujwiri.

REYNOLD

A. NICHOLSON.


KASHF AL-MAHJUB. INTRODUCTION. THE NAME OF GOD, THE MERCIFUL, THE COMPASSIONATE.

IN

O

Lord, bestow on us mercy

a right course of action

from

and provide for

Thyself,

us

!

God, who hath revealed the secrets of His kingdom to His Saints, and hath disclosed the mysteries of His power to His intimates, and hath shed the blood of Lovers with the sword of His glory, and hath let the hearts of Gnostics taste the joy of His communion ! He it is that

Praise be

to

bringeth dead hearts to

by the radiance of the perception His majesty, and reanimates them life

of His eternity and with the comforting spirit of knoivledge by divulging His

Names.

And peace

His

be upon

his companions

Apostle,

Muhammad, and

and his wives

his

family and

!

b. Uthman b. All al-Jullabi al-Ghaznawi al-Hujwm be well pleased with him God says as follows (may

Ali

:

!)

I

have asked

God

motives related to

your

invitation

resolved to entitled

blessing,

and have cleared

self,

and have

set to

work

may God make you happy

fulfil all "

it

s

your wishes by means of

The Revelation

in !

my

heart of

accordance with

and have firmly this book. I have

of the Mystery Knowing what have arranged the book in divisions suitable to ".

you desire, your purpose. Now I pray God to aid and prosper me in its completion, and I divest myself of my own strength and ability I

in

word and deed.

It is

God

that gives success.

B


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

2

SECTION.

Two

considerations have impelled

beginning of the book

:

me

my name

to put

at the

As

one particular, the other general. 1

of this science see regards the latter, when persons ignorant a new book, in which the author s name is not set down in several places, they attribute his the author s aim is defeated, since

work to themselves, and thus books are compiled, composed,

and written only to the end that the author s name may be kept alive and that readers and students may pronounce a blessing on

him.

This

has

misfortune

already befallen

me

twice.

A

certain individual borrowed my poetical works, of which there was no other copy, and retained the manuscript in his possession, and circulated it, and struck out my name which

stood at

its

head, and caused

labour to be

my

all

May

lost.

I also composed another book, entitled God forgive him The Highway of Religion (Minhdj al-Din\ on the method A shallow pretender, of Sufiism may God make it flourish whose words carry no weight, erased my name from the !

"

"

!

title

page and gave out to the public that he was the author,

notwithstanding that connoisseurs laughed at his assertion. God, however, brought home to him the unblessedness of this act

and erased

his

name from

the register of those

seek to enter the Divine portal. As regards the particular consideration, a book, and

know

science of which

they judge seriously to

that it

its

treats,

author

and

is

is

who

when people

skilled

in

see

the branch of

thoroughly versed therein,

more fairly and apply themselves more read and remember it, so that both author and

its

merits

reader are better satisfied.

The

truth

is

best

known

to

God

SECTION. In using the words have asked God s wished to observe the respect due to God, "I

I

1

The author

to connoisseurs

public at large.

blessing"

who

(p.

3),

said to His

s meaning appears to be that one consideration has a special reference and competent persons, while the other has a general reference to the


INTRODUCTION.

When you read

"

Apostle

:

the stoned "

to

3

the Koran., take refuge with,

God from

To ask blessing" means God and to be saved from, the The Prophet used to teach his contamination "

(Kor. xvi, 100).

Devil"

commit

one

all

various sorts of

affairs to

s

".

followers to ask a blessing (istikhdrat] just as he taught

When

the Koran.

man

a

own

them

recognizes that his welfare does not

and

good and evil that happens to him is decreed by God, who knows best what is salutary for him, he cannot do otherwise than surrender depend on

his

effort

foresight, but that every

himself to Destiny and implore wickedness of his own soul.

"God

to deliver

him from the .

SECTION.

As

words

to the

related

which

to

self"

"

I

(p.

selfish interest

his purpose,

it

brings

of a selfish purpose

is

have cleared

no blessing

3),

has a part.

him

my

heart of

arises

to perdition, for Hell"

;

man

"the

and

motives

from anything

If the selfish

the key of

all

if

in

succeeds in

accomplishment he fails, he will

means of gaining promptings is the key of Whoso refrains his soul from

nevertheless have removed from his heart the

Paradise",

lust,

verify

resistance to

"

salvation, for

as

God hath

selfish

said:

"

Paradise shall be his

abode"

(Kor. Ixxix, 40-1).

People act from selfish motives when they desire aught except to please God and to escape from Divine punishment. In fine,

the follies of the soul have no limit and

be found at

its

manoeuvres

a chapter on this subject in the proper place present book.

are hidden from sight. will

God

its

If

will,

SECTION.

Now

as

to

the words

"

I

have set to work

in

accordance

with your invitation, and have firmly resolved to fulfil all your wishes by means of this book (p. 3), since you thought me worthy of being asked to write this book for your instruc "

tion,

it

was incumbent on me

Accordingly

it

to

comply with your

request.

behoved me to make an unconditional resolution

>r


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

4

When would carry out my undertaking completely. of the intention finishing it, anyone begins an enterprise with work and his in if excused be he imperfections appear

that

I

may this

for is

;

reason

the

than

his

better

Prophet said

"

:

The

Great

performance."

believer

the

is

s

intention

of

power

advances from one category intention, through which a man For example, if to another without any external change. without having intended anyone endures hunger for a while to fast, he gets no recompense (thawdb) for it in the next world but if he forms in his heart the intention of fasting, ;

he becomes one of the favourites of God (muqarmbdn). Again, a traveller who stays for a time in a city does not become a

A

resident until he has formed the intention to reside there.

good intention, of ever

is

therefore,

preliminary to the due performance

act.

When of the

I

said that

I

had called

(p.

3),

book should proclaim

its

Mystery"

Amust know

that

all

book

"

The Revelation

object was that the

my

of the

title

You

contents to persons of insight.

mankind

truth

except

God s

and inasmuch

as this

book

spiritual

this

are

veiled from the_subtlet

saints is

and His chosen friends;

an elucidation of the

Way

of

Truth, and an explanation of mystfcaTsayings, and an uplifting J \T\ of the veil of mortality, no other title is appropriate to it. Essentially,

unveiling

(kashf)

is

of

destruction

the

veiled

revelation (inukdshafaf), and just as the veil destroys is near cannot bear to be far, who one as, for instance,

object,

just

and one who is far cannot bear to be near or as an animal which is generated from vinegar dies when it falls into any other substance, while those animals which are generated ;

from other substances perish if they are put in vinegar. The for those who were spiritual path is hard to travel except created for that purpose.

The Prophet

easy that for which he was

one

is

the

"veil

of

created."

covering" (Jiijdb-i

Everyone finds There are two veils

said

"

:

:

rayni),

which can never


INTRODUCTION. be removed, and the other

is

the

"

of clouding

veil

"

(hijdb-i

ghayni\ which is quickly removed. The explanation is as one man is veiled from the Truth by his essence follows :

falsehood are the same.

so~That In his view trutJL a

Another man that

so

and

flee

is

veiled from the

nature and

his

Truth by

heart

his attributes (sifat\

continually

seek

the

Truth

Therefore the veil of essence, which

from falsehood.

Rayn is (rayni), is never removed. covering Thus tab with khatin and synonymous (sealing) (imprinting). God hath said "By no means : but their deeds have spread a that

is

of

"

"

:

covering, (rana) over their

made tJte

(Kor. Ixxxiii, 14);

hearts^"

the sense of this manifest and said

Verily

:

then

it is all

"

unbelievers whether thou warnest them or no ;

they

He

one

to

wiUn ot

(Kor. ii, 5) then he explained the cause thereof, saying God hath sealed up their hearts" .(Kor. ii, 6). But the veil oTattributes, which is that of "clouding" (ghaym\ may be

believe"

:

;

"

removed

at

essence does

for

times,

but the alteration of attributes

have given

many

is

not admit of alteration,

possible.

The

Sufi Shayklis

subtle hints on the subject of rayn dindghayn.

Junayd said: Al-rayn min jumlat al-ivatandt wa^l-ghayn min jumlat al-kliatardt, Rayn belongs to the class of abiding and to the class of transient things." Watan things gJiayn "

is

permanent and khatar

is

For example,

adventitious.

to

make

a

made

bright

by polishing

it

is

mirror out of a stone, though many impossible polishers assemble to try their skill on it, but a rusty mirror

can be stone, is

and brightness

is

;

darkness

innate in the mirror

;

is

innate in the

since the essence

permanent, the temporary attribute does not endure. Accordingly,

I

have composed

hearts which are infected

this

by the veil of

book

for "

"

clouding

polishers of

but in which

the substance of the light of the Truth is existent, in order that the veil may be lifted from them by the blessing of reading it, and that they may find their way to spiritual reality. Those

whose being

is

compounded

tion of falsehood

book

will

will

of denial of the truth and perpetra

never find their

be of no use to them.

way

thither,

and

this


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

6

SECTION.

Now

with reference to

my

words

"

knowing what you

desire,

have arranged the book in divisions suitable to your purpose" cannot be satisfied until he makes Jhis (p. 3), a_questioner I

A

to the person whom he interrogates. question insoluble until its is a and a difficulty difficulty, presupposes a answer to nature is ascertained. Furthermore, question in

want known

general terms knowledge of

only possible when he

is

who

asks

it

has

full

its various departments and corollaries, but with a beginner one needs to go into detail, and offer diverse and in this case especially, explanations and definitions ;

seeing that

answer

God

you

grant you

your questions

in

detail

happiness

!

desired

me

to

and write a book on the

matter.

SECTION.

God

to aid

help a

man

"

I

God

said,

I

pray

alone can

assists

anyone

to

and prosper me" (p. 3), because do good deeds. When God

to

perform acts deserving recompense,

this

is

The Koran and the (tawfiq). given by truly Sunna attest the genuineness of tawfiq, and the whole Moslem community are unanimous therein, except some Mu tazilites and Qadarites, who assert that the expression tawfiq is "success

God"

Certain Sufi Shaykhs have said, Al-tawfiq void of meaning. huwa l-qudrat a/a l-td at inda l-isti indl, When a man is "

God he receives from God increased strength." human action and inaction is the act and creation of God therefore the strength whereby a man renders obedience The discussion of this topic, however, to God is called tawfiq. would be out of place here. Please God, I will now return to

obedient to In short,

all

:

the task which you have proposed, but before entering on I will set down your question in its exact form.

it

THE QUESTION PROPOSED. The questioner, Abu Sa id al-Hujwiri, said: "Explain to me the true meaning of the Path of Sufiism and the nature


INTRODUCTION.

7

(maqdmdf) of the Sufis, and explain their doctrines and sayings, and make clear to me their mystical Love and how it is allegories, and the nature of Divine of the

stations

manifested in to reach

human

hearts,

the essence thereof,

and why the intellect is unable and why the soul recoils from

the reality thereof, and why the spirit is lulled in the purity thereof; and explain the practical aspects of Sufiism which are connected with these

theories."

ANSWER. The person questioned, All may God have mercy on him

Know

b.

Uthman

al-Jullabi al-Hujwiri

says that in this our time the science of Sufiism

especially

in

this

country.

:

!

The whole people

is is

obsolete,

occupied

with following its lusts and has turned its back on the path of quietism (ridd\ while the ulamd and those who pretend

have formed a conception of Sufiism which is quite contrary to its fundamental principles. High and low alike are content with empty professions to learning

:

blind conformity has taken the place of spiritual enthusiasm. The vulgar say, \Ve know God," and the elect, satisfied if "

they feel in their hearts a~Tonging for the next world, say, This desire is vision and ardent love." Everyone makes "

pretensions,

none attains

to reality.

The

disciples, neglecting

their ascetic practices, indulge in idle thoughts,

which they

call

"

contemplation

".

I myself (the author proceeds) have already written several books on Sufiism, but all to no purpose. Some false pretenders

picked out passages here and there in order to deceive the others public, while they erased and destroyed the rest ;

did not mutilate the books, but

left

them unread

;

others read

them, but did not comprehend their meaning, so they copied the text and committed it to memory and said We can "

:

discourse on mystical science." Nowadays true spiritualism is as rare as the s for it Stone (kibrit-i ahmar) Philosopher ;

;


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

8

to seek the medicine that fits the disease, and to mix pearls and coral with common remedies wants nobody 1 In time past the works and dawd al-misk?" like shalithd

natural

is

of eminent Sufis, falling into the hands of those not appreciate them, have been used to make or

caps

falcon

when it perches on the wall of an Our contemporaries give the name cottage.

old

royal

to

disputation

"clemency",

"

insincerity

"dignity",

God",

their

own

senseless fancies

cupidity

",

"divine

know

the motions of the heart and affections of the animal soul

ledge",

"

"

"divine

Law

religion

We

"

(zandaqa)

of the Prophet

with time-servers :

poverty

heresy

love",

positive

"the

"exercise

",

scepticism

mystic

of

purity

"self-annihilation", Path",

piety".

evil

disbelief

neglect of

communication

As Abu Bakr

al-Wasiti

Paganism nor

"

of Chivalry (ahldm-i dhaivi Mutanabbf says to the same effect; 3

the virtues

curse this to

",

are afflicted with a time in which there are neither

the religious duties of Islam nor the morals of

God

conceal

wrangling

"discussion",

renunciation

of

"honour

",

",

ment of anger "devotion

pride and ambition they call hypocrisy towards men fear of God lusts,

"

and foolishness

"

the its

and learning

said

to

for

get

to their

"law"

the

sure

is

clipped

woman s

in

lining

Abu Nuwas and

of

poems

The

of Jahiz.

pleasantries

wings

the

for

binding

who could

What a

world !

$*Y

vile place

l-muruwwa).

And

for any camel-rider

alight in !

For here

the

man

of lofty spirit

is

always

tormented"

SECTION. SE<

\

Know

that

I

have found

this universe

an abode of Divine

mysteries, which are deposited in created things. accidents, elements, bodies, forms, and properties

are

veils

of

Divine

mysteries.

1

An

2

See Dozy, Supplement, under dawd. Mutanabbi, ed. by Dieterici, p. 662,

3

electuary used as a

remedy

From

the

for paralysis of the

1.

Substances all

standpoint

tongue or mouth.

4 from foot.

these

of


INTRODUCTION.

9

it is polytheism to assert that any such in this world everything is veiled,, by its but exist, by being, from Unification, and the spirit is held

Unification

(tawhid)

veils

f^l**

captive

admixture and

association

with

phenomenal

Hence

being.

the intellect can hardly comprehend those Divm? mysteries, and the spirit can but dimly perceive the marvels of nearness to

God.

sunk

in

off the

Man, enamoured of his gross environment, remains ignorance and apathy, making no attempt to cast veil

of Oneness, he turns this

Blind to the beauty

that has fallen upon him.

away from GocT

world and allows his

appetites

1

to to

"seek

lfiF~varntfes~oF~"

domineer

over

reason, notwithstanding that the animal soul, which the

53) describes

his

Koran nn

bi (ammdrat "commanding (xii, V-J^ ), jsjhe greatest of all veils between God and Man. Now I will begin and explain to you, fully and lucidly, what you wish to know concerning the stations and the veils as

to

"

evil"

"

"

",

and (ahl-i

I

sand

expressions of the technicologists interpret and thereto add some sayings of the Shaykhs \ the

will i

and anecdotes about them, in order that your object may be accomplished and that any learned doctors of law or others

who

look into this work may recognize that the Path of Sufiism has a firm root and a fruitful branch, since all the Sufi Shaykhs have been possessed of knowledge and have

encouraged -their persevere in

disciples

doing

so.

to

acquire

knowledge

and

They have never been addicted

to

to

frivolity levity. Many of them have composed treatises on the method of Sufiism which clearly prove that their

and

minds were

filled

with divine thoughts.

O

*^


CHAPTER ON THE AFFIRMATION

I.

OF KNOWLEDGE.

God hath said, describing the savants^ ( ulamd) Of those who serve God only tJie savants fear Hint (Kor. xxxv, 25).^" To seek knowledge is obligatory on every The Prophet said and he said also Moslem man and woman Seek knowledge l

"

:

"

"

:

"

"

:

;

even in therefore

Knowledge

China."

is

it

is

not obligatory to

immense and learn

all

life

is

short

:

the sciences, such

Astronomy and Medicine, and Arithmetic, etc., but only mucrT of each as bears upon the religious law enough

as

so

:

astronomy

to

know

times

the

(of

prayer)

in

the

night,

enough medicine to abstain from what is injurious, enough arithmetic to understand the division of inheritances and calculate

to

the duration so

obligatory only

in

God condemns

those

96),

of the as

far

who

and the Prophet said little

"

:

I

requisite

etc.

Knowledge

for

is

acting rightly.

useless

knowledge (Kor. ii, take refuge with Thee from

Much may be done by and knowledge, knowledge should not be

knowledge that profiteth

means of a

is

learn

idda?-

naught."

The devotee separated from action. The Prophet said without divinity is like a donkey turning a mill," because the donkey goes round and round over its own tracks and "

:

never makes any advance. regard knowledge as superior to action, while others Unless action first, but both parties are wrong. is_cpmbined with knowledge, it is not deserving of recompense"""Some

put action

not really prayer, unless performed with knowledge of the principles of purification and those

Prayer,

1

The

died,

for

instance,

is

period within which a not marry again.

may

woman, who has been divorced

or

whose husband has

. >y

^^


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

12

1

which concern the

qibla,

and with knowledge of the nature

knowledge without action is not and committing to memory are acts knowledge. Learning if he gained for which a man is rewarded in the next world his on and action without part, he acquisition knowledge would get no reward. Hence two classes of men fall into intention.

<>f

Similarly,

;

error:

firstly,

who

those

claim

for

knowledge

sake of

the

public reputation but are unable to practise it, and in reality it and secondly, those who pretend that

have not attained

;

and that knowledge is unnecessary. It is told of Ibrahim b. Adham that he saw a stone on which was Turn me over and read !_^ He obeyed, and found written, practice

suffices

"

this inscription

Thou

"

:

why, then, dost thou

Malik says

b.

The

"

:

He who

relate."

dost not practise what thou knowest

seek what thou knowest not wise

power and honour and wealth pinnacle of knowledge

V/

to

aspire

know, the

uses his knowledge as a

is

expressed

in

foolish

to

means of winning

The

no savant.

is

;

Anas

"

?

highest

the fact that without

none can know God.

it

SECTION.

Knowledge latter

is

is

of two

worthless

kinds

:

Divine

The

Human.

and

with the

in

former, because

comparison knowledge is an attribute of Himself, subsisting in Him, whose attributes are infinite whereas our knowledge is an attribute of ourselves, subsisting in us, whose attributes

God

s

;

Knowledge has been defined as comprehension and investigation of the object known but the best definition are finite.

"

",

j

the ignorant are made wise." "A_ quality whereby God s knowledge is that by which He knows all things existent it is not and non-existent He does not share it with Man

of

it is

this:

:

:

capable of division nor separable from Himself. it lies in the disposition of His actions (tartib-i

The proof of fi~las1i},

since

demands knowledge in the agent as an indispensable condition. The Divine knowledge penetrates what is hidden

action

1

The

point to which a

Moslem

turns his face

when worshipping,

viz.

the

Ka

ba.


ON THE AFFIRMATION OF KNOWLEDGE.

&4%t*A and comprehends what contemplate God all that he does.

every

It

manifest^ act,

By chance

behoves the seeker to

knowing that God

man

relate that a leading

They

Story.

in

is

sees

him and

Basra went to

in

upon the beautiful wife away on some business She replied: and said to the woman: "Shut the gates." He I have shut them all except one, which I cannot shut." his

garden.

He

of his gardener.

his

fell

eye

sent the fellow

"

asked:

one

"Which

between us and

is

is

"The

that?"

On

God."

said she,

gate,"

receiving this

"that

answer the man

repented and begged to be forgiven. I have chosen four things to know, Hatim al-Asamm said discarded all the and have knowledge in the world besides." "

:

He was

asked

this

know

and

What

are they

"

"

?

One,"

he answered,

"

is

my daily bread is apportioned to me, neither be increased nor diminished consequently

I

:

"

:

will

that

;

.xy^ J~L&-&^^^&

have ceased to seek to augment it. Secondly, I know that y % I owe to God a debt which no other person can pay instead of me; therefore I am occupied with paying it. Thirdly, I know that there is one pursuing me (i.e. Death) from I

V

whom

cannot escape

I

meet him.

to

therefore

Fourthly,

am ashamed

I

;

to

accordingly I

know

I

that

do what

I

have prepared myself

God

ought

is

observing

me

A

;

not."

SECTION. .

The object of human knowledge should be to know God M^^*W **^*^^"^"MWWw*MP^M"^^HB ^^ and His Commandments. Knowledge of time (film-i waqf)^ and of all outward and inward circumstances of which the due effect depends on time is incumbent upon everyone. "

"**^^

"^

Bi

"

"

"

",

This

is

of two sorts

1

"Time"

in

(waqt)

which anyone

is

:

primary and secondary.

used by

finds himself,

Muhammadan

and by which he

The

external

mystics to denote the spiritual state is dominated at the moment. The

occurs again in the notice of Abu Sulayman al-Darani where ivaqt is explained as meaning "the preservation of one s spiritual state". According to a definition given by Sahl b. Abdallah al-Tustari, waqt is search for knowledge of the state, i.e. the decision (hnkni) of a man s state, which exists between him and God in this world and hereafter

expression

(chapter x,

ilm-i

No.

^vaqt

17),

"

".

^

B|


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

14

division of the primary class consists in

of

profession

the

faith,

internal

attainment of true cognition.

secondary

s

consists

in

the

external

division

of

the

class consists in the practice of devotion, the internal

consists in

division

The

making the Moslem

division

rendering

one

s

intention

The

sincere.

outward and inward aspects cannot be divorced. The exoteric aspect of Truth without the esoteric is hypocrisy, and the without the exoteric

esoteric

the Law, mere formality is

is

is

heresy.

So,

defective, while

with regard to

mere

spirituality

vain.

The Knowledge of the Truth (Haqtqat) has three pillars S(i} Knowledge of the Essence and Unity of God. (2) Knowledge of the Attributes of God. (3) Knowledge of the Actions and Wisdom of God.

The Knowledge

of

the

Law

(Shari

af)

also

has

three

pillars (1)

(2)

(3)

The Koran. The Sunna. The Consensus (ijmd^

Knowledge of the part of one

of the

Moslem community.

the Divine Essence involves recognition, on

who

is

reasonable and has reached puberty,

God exists externally by His essence, that He is infinite and not bounded by space, that His essence is not the cause of evil, that none of His creatures is like unto Him, that

that

He

has neither wife nor child, and that

and Sustainer of

all

He

is

that your imagination and

the

Creator

intellect

can

conceive.

Knowledge of that

He

the Divine Attributes requires

you

to

know

God has attributes existing in Himself, which are not nor a part of Him, but exist in Him and subsist by

Him,

e.g.

Speech,

Knowledge,

Power,

Life,

Will,

Hearing,

Sight,

etc.

Knowledge of the Divine Actions is your knowledge God is the Creator of mankind and of all their actions,

He

brought the non-existent universe into being, that

that that

He


ON THE AFFIRMATION OF KNOWLEDGE. and

predestines good

and

and creates

evil

that

all

15 beneficial

is

injurious.

Law

your knowing that God has sent us Apostles with miracles of an extraordinary nature that our Apostle, Muhammad (on whom be peace !), is a of the

Knowledge

involves

;

Messenger, who performed many miracles, and that whatever he has told us concerning the Unseen and the Visible true

is

entirely true.

SECTION. There

is

a sect of heretics called Sophists (Sufistd iydn\ who known and that knowledge itself

believe that nothing can be "

does

not. _exjst

can__be_Jknown is answer

I ;

"It

knowledge argue

The

"You

your opinion

correct

think

that

or not

nothing

"

If they

?

they thereby affirm the reality of It is not correct then to they reply

correct",

and

;

say to them:

is

"

if

",

against an avowedly incorrect assertion is absurd. same doctrine is held by a sect of heretics who are

They say that, inasmuch as nothing knowable, their negation of knowledge is more perfect than This statement proceeds from their the affirmation of it.

connected with Sufiism. is

folly

and

stupidity.

The negation

for

impossible

knowledge

to

must be

of knowledge

Now

or of ignorance.

the result either of knowledge

deny

knowledge

;

it

therefore

knowledge cannot be denied except by ignorance, which nearly

akin

question

to

ignorance and

opposed to that of

is

attributed

commonly have heard

it

Whom

it

with

infidelity

between

connexion

and falsehood

it.

whether they

;

.

the Sufi

all

to the Sufis in

and embraced rests

truth

I

there

for

The

is

is

no

is

doctrine in

Shaykhs, but

general by people

commit them

to

is

who God,

shall continue in their error.

hold of them, they will behave more discreetly and will not misjudge the Friends of God in this way and If religion takes

more anxiously to what concerns themselves. Although some heretics claim to be Sufis in order to conceal

will

look

their

own

foulness under the beauty of others,

why

should

it


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

l6

be supposed that

all

"

in

:

and one of them

sects,

Sufiism to

them

was devoid of knowledge and religion, once said to There are twelve heretical the course of debate

really

me

and that

with disdain and contumely ? An wished to pass for learned and orthodox, but

who

individual

Sufi s are like these pretenders,

all

right to treat

is

it

us,

amongst those who profess

flourishes

"

"

(inutasawwifa). eleven belong to

I

replied

you

:

If

one sect belongs can protect

and the Sufis

;

themselves from one better than you can from eleven." All this heresy springs from the corruption and degeneracy of

God

has always kept His Saints hidden from Well said that the multitude and apart from the ungodly.

the times, but

eminent

men s

depravity of of the age."

Now God

is

hearts

Bundar

b.

l

al-Sayrafi

The

some sayings of

will cite

I

an admonition to those sceptics towards

as

"

:

proportion to the depravity

in

is

the following section

in

the Sufis

All

guide,

spiritual

whom

favourably inclined.

SECTION.

Muhammad

Fadl al-Balkhi says Knowledge is of three kinds -from God, with God, and of God." Knowledge of God is the science of Gnosis ( i7m-i mctrifat\ whereby He is known "

b.

:

(

to

His prophets and

all

but

saints.

the

Law

(V////-2

shari

af),

is

God

He

which "

Path

the science of the Sacred

has

"

not practised rightly unless the stations are manifested. Abu All Thaqafi 2 says: Al-ilm Jiaydt al-qalb min al-jahl "

is

-^

is

cannot be acquired by Divine guidance and

and the degrees of the saints. unsound without acceptance of the Law, and the Law "

Gnosis

of

commanded and made Knowledge with God is the science of

obligatory upon us. the stations and the "

It

result

ordinary means, information. Knowledge from is

wa-nur 1

2

al-

l

ayn min al-zulmat^

A famous

Sufi of Nishapur, Also a native of Nishapur.

who

He

"

"

Knowledge

is

the

life

of the

died in 359 A.H. (Nafahat, No. 118). died in 328 A.H. (Nafahdt, No. 248).


ON THE AFFIRMATION OF KNOWLEDGE. which delivers

17

from the death of ignorance it is the light of the eye of faith, which saves it from the darkness of The hearts of infidels are dead, because they are infidelity." heart,

it

:

ignorant of God, and the hearts of the heedless are sick, because they are ignorant of His Commandments. Abu Bakr Warraq of Tirmiclh says

"

:

Those who are

satisfied

with disputation

knowledge and do not practise asceticism (zuhd) become zindiqs (heretics) and those who are satisfied with jurisprudence (fig/i) and do not practise abstinence (warcf) become wicked." This means that Unification (tawhid), without (kaldni) about

;

is

works,

predestination (jabr\ whereas the assertor of Unifica the doctrine of predestination but to act

tion ought to hold

as though he believed in free will, taking a middle course between free will and predestination. Such is the true sense

of another saying uttered by the same spiritual guide, viz. Unification is below predestination and above free will." Lack of positive religion and of morality arises from

:

"

Well said that great master, heedlessness {ghaflaf). Avoid the society of three classes of b. Mu adh al-Razi "

:

heedless

savants,

pretenders

have

set

to

and

on

hearts

heedless savants are they who worldly gain and paid court to

governors and tyrants, and have been seduced by cleverness to spend

are

accordance with

they who

their

desire,

whatever they dislike, even if themselves with the people ignorant

pretenders

to

praise

even

it is

if

it

is

"goodTTHey

are

hypocritical is

done

in

and blame

bad, "seek

and have

to ingratiate

The who have never they

by acting

Sufiism

The

whatever

own

their

their time in subtle disputations,

attacked the leading authorities on religion.

Koran -readers

ignorant

The

Sufiism."

their

Koran -readers,

hypocritical

Yahya men

hypocritically.

associated with a spiritual director (pir\ nor learned discipline

shaykh, but without any experience have thrown themselves among the people, and have donned a blue mantle

from

a

and have trodden the path of unrestraint. I strove in the Abu Yazfd Bistami says spiritual combat

(kabi idi\

"

:

for

thirty

years,

and

I

found nothing harder

to

me

than C

If** i


KASHF AL-MAHJUB. It is more easy for human nature knowledge and its pursuit" of knowledge, and an to walk on fire than to follow the road the Bridge (Sirdf} cross more readily ignorant heart will and times than learn a single piece of knowledge

a thousand

;

man would

the wicked

rather pitch his tent in Hell than put

one item of knowledge into practice.

Accordingly you must

The

perfection knowledge and seek perfection therein. You of human knowledge is ignorance of Divine knowledge. is must know enough to know that you do not know. That and to Man, to say, human knowledge is alone possible that barrier separates him from humanity is the greatest

learn

As

Divinity.

the poet says

:

Al-ajzu an daraki l-idrdki idrdku

Wa "

l-waqfu fi tnruqi l-akhydri ishrdku.

True perception is to despair of attaining perception, But not to advance on the paths of the virtuous is polytheism."

He who

will

not learn and

perseveres

a polytheist, but to the learner, perfect, the reality is^revealed.

knowledge

is

no more than

when

his

and

he

inability to

shall be, since realities are not affected

upon them.

by

in

his

ignorance

is

knowledge becomes perceives

that

know what

his

the

his

end

names bestowed


CHAPTER ON Know

II.

POVERTY.

that Poverty has a high rank in the

Way

of Truth,

and that the poor are greatly esteemed, as God said

"

(Give tJie unto ivho are in God^s cause and alms) poor kept fighting cannot go to and fro on tJie earth ; whom the ignorant deem :

y

And again Their sides are lifted from their beds while they call on their Lord in fear and hope" (Kor. xxxii, 16). Moreover, the rich

forasmuch as they refrain (from

x

:

begging)."

"

O God, make me live lowly Prophet chose poverty and said and die .lowly and rise from the dead amongst the lowly!" "

:

And

he also said

My

Bring ye say,

Who *

saying,

of the

are

"

:

On

the day of Resurrection

God

will say,

loved ones nigh unto Me; then the angels will Thy loved ones? and God will answer them,

The poor and

"

destitute.

Koran and Traditions

to the

There are many verses same effect, which on

account of their celebrity need not be mentioned here. Among the Refugees (Muhdjiriii) in the Prophet s time were poor men

who

(fuqard)

sat in his

mosque and devoted themselves

worship of God, and firmly believed that their daily bread,

and put

God would

their trust (tawakkul) in

to the

give

them

Him.

The

Prophet was enjoined to consort with them and take due care

them Lord in

of

for

;

God

said

:

"Do

not repulse those

who

call

on their

morning and in the evening, desiring His favour" Hence, whenever the Prophet saw one of them, say May my father and mother be your sacrifice

the

(Kor. he used to

vi, 52).

"

:

!

your sakes that God reproached me."-. God, therefore, has exalted Povert^anoThas made* it a special distinction of the poor, who have renounced all things^ external

since

it

was

for

1

Kor.

ii,

274.


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

20

/

whose and have turned entirely to the Causer its lamented going their pride, so that they poverty has become it and deemed all embraced and and rejoiced at its coming,

and

;

internal,

else contemptible.

a form (rasm}

Now, Poverty has Its

form

He who

and free^choice.

but

and indjgence,

destitution

is

and an essence

,""

(haqiqaf).

essence

its

is

fortune_ rests in the form form the regards flees from the essence but_

his object, and, failing to attain essence averts his gaze from all created the found has he who ;

he hastens towards the fullness of eternal

life

has nothing and can

become

by having anything, nor

rich

nothing

:

It

when he has

by

indigent

him

does not

having

in respect of

should be more joyful permitted that he

is

Shaykhs have said: "The more circumstances, the more expansive (cheerful

nothing, for the

straitened one

and happy)

He

loss.

both these conditions are alike to

his poverty.

is

is

in

one

s

state,"

(spiritual)

have property:

a dervish to

for

no

suffer

(ba-fand-yi kulj

The poor man

kull ba-baqd-yi kull shitdff). andar""7u yat-i (faqir)

All-One

annihilation, seeing only the

andjn complete

things^

if

he

because

unlucky

is

it

"imprisons"

anything "

own use, he himself is imprisoned The friends of God live by means "

for his

(dar band kunad) in the same proportion.

Worldly wealth holds them back from

of His secret bounties.

the path of quietism (rida). dervish met a king. Story.

The king

A

of

The

me?

oTmy said

"

I

:

and

dervish replied

slaves."

is

"How

will

"

:

I

"

:

Ask

a boon

not ask a boon from one

The

said the king.

that?"

have two slaves who

said

are thy masters

:

dervish

covetousness

expectation."

The Prophet worthy of

body heart

is

it."

glorious to those who are^ s Its glory consists in this, thatJhe poor jnan said

"

:

Poverty

is

base and sinful acts, and his divinely preserved from

from

evil

and

contaminating

thoughts,

because

his

in (contemplation of) the manifest outwar5~parts are absorbed his inward parts are protected_by blessings of God, while

invisible

grace^ so that his body

is

spiritual

(rrf^wOjjndjMS^


ON POVERTY.

21

Thenjio r el a tip n,_subs s ts between^ him_ world and the next weigh less than a gnat s wing in the scales of his poverty he is not contained in the two worlds for a single moment. heart

divmeJmMnt).

and mankind

i

this

;

:

SECTION.

The

Sufi Shaykhs differ in opinion as to whether poverty

or wealth for true

His

is superior, both being regarded as human attributes wealth (gliina] belongs to God, who is perfect in all ;

attributes.

Yahya

b.

Mu adh

al-Razi,

Ahmad

b.

Abi

1-

Hawari, Harith al-Muhasibi, Abu !- Abbas b. Ata, Ruwaym, Abu 1-Hasan b. Sim un, and among the moderns the Grand 1

Shaykh Abu Sa

id

Fadlallah

Muhammad

b.

al-Mayhani,

all

hold the view that wealth

is superior to poverty. They argue an attribute of God, whereas poverty cannot therefore an attribute common to God be ascribed to Him

that wealth

is

:

Man

and I

answer

superior to one that is not applicable to God. community of designation is merely nominal,

is

"This

:

and has no existence

in

reality

:

real

community

involves

mutual resemblance, but the Divine attributes are eternal and hence your proof is false." the human attributes are created ;

I,__who a term

am

All

b.

Uthman

al-Jullabi,

declare that wealth

is

be applied to God, but one to which while poverty is a term that may properly be applied to Man, but not to God., Metaphorically a man is rich called but he is not really so. Again, to give

Man

that

may

has no right

fitly

;

"

",

a

clearer

proof,

human wealth

is

causes, whereas the wealth of God,

of

all

causes,

is

an enect due to various

who Himself

not due to any cause. to this

is

the Author

Therefore there

is

no

not allowable

community

in

to associate

anything with God either in essence, attribute, The wealth of God consists in His independence

or

name.

regard

attribute.

It

is

power to do whatsoever He wills such He has always been and such He shall be for ever. Man s

of anyone and in His

1

See Nafahdt, No. 291, where his

:

"name

of honour

"

is

given as

Abu

1-Husayn.


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

22

hand, is, for example, a means of livelihood, or the presence of joy, or the being saved from sin, which things are all of or the solace of contemplation

on

wealth,

other

the

;

phenomenal nature and subject to change. Furthermore, some of the vulgar prefer the the

on

poor,

the

that

wealth and

and thankful better

the benefit of riches

God has commanded

patient

in

than

in

prosperity

;

be

to

thankful

poverty, i.e. patient in adversity and that prosperity is essentially

To

adversity.

us

this

I

God

when

that,

reply

us to be thankful for prosperity He made thank but when means of increasing our prosperity

commanded fulness

to

former

"

"

They argue for

made

has

the

Here they mean by wealth abundance of worldly and enjoyment of pleasures and pursuit of lusts.

on him.

goods

God

that

ground

both worlds and has bestowed

blest in

man

rich

the

;

adversity He made He said patience the means of drawing nigh unto Himself. increase I will an return tlianks, Verily, if ye give you

He commanded

us

be

to

patient

in

:

"

"

(Kor. xiv,

and

7),

"

also,

The Shaykhs who the term is

not

"

wealth

"

God

is

with the

prefer wealth

patient"

to

acquisition "

to

;

What

its

"

Benefactor

ii,

148).

poverty do not use

popular sense. of a benefit but

in

"

(Kor.

they intend

"

acquisition

gain union (with God)

of

the

a different thing

is

from gaining forgetfulness (of God). Shaykh Abu Sa id 1 God have mercy on him says Poverty is wealth in God

-

"

"

!

(al-faqr htiwa

the

Truth.

implies

the

person who

I

1-gJiind

billdk},

answer to

possibility

:

this,

of

a

revelation

enjoys

the attribute of wealth, he either or he does not

;

if

i.e.

everlasting

that veil is

revelation

revelation (Jiijdti)

veiled

becomes

from in

(inukdsliafaf]

therefore,

;

of

if

the

revelation

by need of revelation

he does not, the conclusion

is

absurd, and

he does, need is incompatible with wealth therefore that term cannot stand. Besides, no one has wealth in God if

;

"

"

unless his attributes are permanent and his object is invariable wealth cannot coincide with the subsistence of an object or

;

1

See Chapter XII, No.

5.


ON POVERTY.

23

with the affirmation of the attributes of as the essential

human

inasmuch

nature,

of mortality and phenomenal

characteristics

being are need and indigence. One whose attributes still survive is not rich, and one whose attributes are annihilated is

any name whatever.

not entitled to

Therefore

rich

"the

God (al-ghani man agJindhu in rich refers to the agent term God lld/t), because the enriched by God denotes the (fd f), whereas the term

man

who

he

is

"

enriched by

is

"

"

"

"

t

the former is self-subsistent, person acted upon (iiiaf ul] but the latter subsists through the agent accordingly selfSubsistence is an attribute of human nature, while subsistence ;

;

through God involves the annihilation of attributes.

who am is

All

Uthman

b.

with

incompatible

human

since

consist

subject

the

in

he whose

either is

"

"

poor

to

these

attribute,

shown

again,

then,

does

attributes,

to

be

wealth

because

a

given to an attribute that no longer exists, are annihilated cannot be called

attributes

or

"

rich

"

the

therefore

;

not transferable from is

been

nor,

;

of

of any

(baqd)

already

decay

annihilation

name cannot be and

survival

have

attributes

and

defective

al-Jullabi,

the

I,

true wealth

that

assert

God

to

not transferable from

attribute of

Man, and the

Man

to

wealth

attribute of

God.

poverty All the Sufi Shaykhs and most of the vulgar prefer poverty to wealth for the reason that the Koran and the Sunna expressly declare it to be superior, and herein the majority of Moslems are agreed. I find, among the anecdotes which

have read, that on one occasion this question was discussed by Junayd and Ibn Ata. The latter maintained the superiority I

He argued that at the Resurrection they would be called to account for their wealth, and that such an account of the rich.

(hisdb] entails the

hearing of the

Divine Word, without any

form of reproach addressed by the Beloved to the mediation, in the

"If

He

for their

to

will

call

excuse

account."

;

This

the

rich

{^itdb}

lover.

to account,

and asking an excuse is

a very subtle point.

and reproach is Junayd answered :

He is

:

will

ask the poor

better than calling In true love excuse


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

24

(begdnagi^ and reproach is contrary to unity as a blemish, (yagdnagi). Lovers regard both these things because excuse is made for some disobedience to the command is

"otherness"

Beloved and reproach is made on the same score but both are impossible in true love, for then neither does the Beloved require an expiation from the lover nor does the of the

;

lover neglect to perform the will of the Beloved. Every man is poor even though he be a prince. "

",

God

are one.

extremity of his patience, and likewise to Job Good servant that in the plenitude of his dominion in the

said to

Solomon

Essentially

Solomon and the poverty of Solomon

the wealth of

"

:

When God s

pleasure was accomplished, it made no difference between the poverty and the wealth of Solomon.

thou

1

art!"

I have heard The author says said God have mercy on him "

that

Abu

1-Qasim Qushayri People have spoken much concerning poverty and wealth, and have chosen one or~tlie other for themselves, but I choose whichever state God chooses :

:

!

keeps me rich I will not be be poor I will not be covetous forgetful, and rebellious. Therefore, both wealth and poverty are Divine gifts: wealth is corrupted by forgetful ness, poverty by for

me and

me in; if He He wishes me to

keeps

and

if

"

Both conceptions are excellent, but they differ in Poverty is the separation of the heart from all but

covetousnes"s.

practice.

God, and wealth is the preoccupation of the heart with that which does not admit of being qualified. When the heart is all except God), poverty is not better than wealth wealth better than poverty. Wealth is abundance of

cleared (of

nor

is

worldly goods and poverty is lack of them all goods belong to God when the seeker bids farewell to property, the antithesis :

:

disappears and both terms are transcended.

SECTION. All the Sufi I

will

now

Shaykhs have spoken on the subject of poverty.

cite as

many

of their sayings as

include in this book. 1

Kor. xxxviii, 29, 44.

it

is

possible to


ON POVERTY.

al-zdd

man

Laysa ^l-faqir man man khald min al-murdd>

of the moderns says

One

innaina ^l-faqir

:

not he whose hand

is

nature

empty of

is

25

For example, it, then he

desires."

desires

renounce

to

it,

rich

is

consists in ceasing to act on one

Mu adh

al-Razi says:

"The

poor

s

no

rich

is

him

gives

;

and

he

if

because poverty

less,

own

God

if

money and he desires to keep he

min

of provisions, but he whose

empty

is

kJiald

:

Yahya

initiative.

Al-faqr khaivf al-faqr,

"It

is

b.

a sign of

true poverty that, although one has reached the perfection of

saintship and contemplation and self-annihilation, one should

always be dreading its decline and departure." says Min na f al-faqir hifzu sirriJiiwa-siydnatu

And Ruwaym

l

:

"

faridatihi,

It is

protected from

characteristic of the poor

selfish cares,

and that

man

his soul

nafsiJii

wa-add

that his heart

ti

is

guarded from

is

contaminations, and that he performs the obligatory duties of that is to say, his inward meditations do not religion "

:

interfere with his

outward

acts,

nor vice versa

which

;

says

Afdal

:

"The

best of

al-maqdmdt i^tiqdd al-sabr ala stations

is

a sign

is

Haft

Bishr

that he has cast off the attributes of mortality.

l-faqr ila ^l-qabr,

a firm resolution to endure poverty

Now

poverty is the annihilation of all "stations" therefore the resolution to endure poverty is a sign of regarding works and actions as imperfect, and of aspiring to annihilate continually."

human

attributes.

pronounces

:

But

poverty to be

in

obvious

its

superior

sense

to wealth,

this

saying

and expresses

abandon it. Shibli says: Al-faqir man Id yastaghni bi-sJiay in duna lldli, "The poor man does not rest content with anything except God," because he has no a determination never to

other object of desire.

become

Him you

Thejiteral meaning

is

that

you

will

not

except by Him, and that when you have gained have become rich. Your being, then, is other than God

rich

;

and since you cannot gain wealth except by renouncing your "you-ness is a veil between you and wealth when that 7s removed, you are rich. This saying is very subtle and obscure. "other",

"

:

In the opinion of

advanced

spiritualists (ahl-i haqiqaf)

Al-faqr an Id yustaghnd ^anhu^

"

Poverty

consists

it

in

means

:

never


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

26

This

being independent of poverty." Abdallah Ansari may God

is

what the

Pir,

Master

i.e.

be well-pleased with him meant when he said that our sorrow is everlasting, that outour sum (kulliyyaf) aspiration never reaches its goal, and that !

never becomes non-existent in this world or the next, because for the fruition of anything homogeneity is necessary, but God

Him forgetfulness What an endless

has no congener, and for turning away from is necessary, but the dervish is not forgetful.

what a

task,

difficult

road

The dead (/dm) never become

!

Him

living (bdqi\ so as to be united with

;

the living never

become dead, so as to approach His presence. All that His but in lovers do and suffer is entirely a probation (mihnai) ;

order to console themselves they have invented a fine-sounding

phraseology ^ibdrati muzakhraf) and have produced "stations" Their symbolic expressions, and "stages" and a "path".

however, begin and end in themselves, and their stations do not rise beyond their own gemis, whereas God is exempt from every human attribute and relationship. Abu 1-Hasan Nun "

"

Nctt al-faqir al-snkun inda l- adam wa l-badhl inda 7wujud\ and he says also: Al-idtirdb inda l-ivujiid, "When l

says

:

he gets nothing he is silent, and when he gets something he regards another person as better entitled to it than himself, and therefore gives

of great

is

it away."

importance.

The

practice enunciated in this saying

There are two meanings:

(i)

His

when he gets nothing is satisfaction (ridd], and his when he gets something is love (mahabbaf], because liberality satisfied means accepting a robe of honour (qdbil-i khil^af),

quiescence

"

"

"

"

and the robe of honour

is

a token of proximity (gurbat\ whereas

the lover (inuhibfr] rejects the robe of honour inasmuch as it is a token of severance (furqaf) and (2) his quiescence when he ;

expectation of getting something, and when he he cannot be that "something" is other than Gocl

gets nothing

has got

it,

is

:

therefore he rejects it. anything other than God Both these meanings are implicit in the saying of the Grand

satisfied with

;

The celebrated mystic of Herat, who died in 481 A.II. Literary History of Persia vol. ii, p. 269. 1

>

See Professor Browne

s


ON POVERTY.

Abu

Shaykh,

"

al-ashkdl,

Al-faqr khuluww al-qalb an empty of phenomena he is poor."

1-Qasim Junayd

When

his heart

is

:

Since the existence of phenomena is

the only course possible.

wa-bald u/iu kulluhu troubles "

other

for

is

"other"

Shibli says

glorious."

are

afflicted

is

Poverty

,

(than God), rejection

Al-faqr bahr al-bald

:

a sea of trouble, and all Glory is a portion of

"

His sake are

The

".

izz

1 " 1

27

in

plunged

and know

trouble

nothing of glory, until they forget their trouble and regard the Author thereof. Then their trouble is changed into glory, and their glory into a spiritual state (waqt),

and

their spiritual state

into love, and their love into contemplation, so that finally the brain of the aspirant becomes wholly a centre of vision through he sees without eye, and the predominance of his imagination :

hears without ear.

Again,

burden of trouble

laid

it is

glorious for a

upon him by

man

to bear the

his Beloved, for in truth

misfortune is glory, and prosperity is humiliation. Glory is that which makes one present with God, and humiliation is that the affliction of poverty is which makes one absent from God :

a sign of "

absence

"

while the delight of riches is a sign of presence Therefore one should cling to trouble of any ",

".

description that involves contemplation and intimacy. Junayd Yd mtfshar al-fuqard innakum tu rafuna billdh wa-tukrasays :

muna "

bihi,

ma a

lilldlifa-nzuru kayfa takiintina

O

lldh id/id

khalawtuin

known through God, and are take heed how ye behave when

ye that are poor, ye are

honoured

for the

sake of

ye are alone with

God

Him,"

i.e.

:

if

people

call

you

"poor"

and

recognize your claim, see that you perform the obligations of the path of poverty and if they give you another name, ;

inconsistent with

what you

profess,

The_basest of

do not accept

men

he who

is

it,

but

fulfil

thought to be

your professions. devoted to God, but really is not and the noblest is he who is not thought to be devoted to God, but really is. The former is

;

resembles an ignorant physician, who pretends to cure people, but only makes them worse, and when he falls ill himself needs

another physician to prescribe for him and the latter is like one who is not known to be a physician, and does not concern ;


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

2g

but employs his skill in order to One of the moderns has said: maintain his own health. without bild wujiid* "Poverty is not-being Al-faqr <adam because To interpret this saying is impossible, existence." other

himself with

folk,

,

On non-existent does not admit of being explained. to this dictum, poverty the surface it would seem that, according the not is case; the explanations and is nothing, but such on a principle consensus of the Saints of God are not founded The meaning here is not the non-existent.

what

is

"

that

is

essentially

but "the not-being of that which not-being of the essence", attributes are contaminates the essence"; and all human is removed, the result is when that a source of contamination which deprives the annihilation of the attributes (fand-yi sifat\ :

instrument whereby he attains, or fails to attain, but his not-going to the essence ( adam-i rawisk

sufferer of the his object

ba- ayii)

;

seems to him annihilation of the essence and casts him

into perdition. I

have met with some scholastic philosophers who,

declared

it

(to Sufiism)

of

its

truth,

principle.

failing

and laughed and also with certain pretenders to be nonsense who made nonsense of it and were firmly convinced

understand the

to

of this

drift

at

saying,

it

;

of the fundamental although they had no grasp are in the wrong: one ignorantly Both parties

denies the truth, and the other

Now

perfection).

the

a state (of

makes ignorance

expressions

"not-being"

(

adaiii)

and

Sufi s, denote the (fand\ as they are used by instrument (alat-i madhmnm") disappearance of a blameworthy and disapproved attribute in the course of seeking a praise the search for non-reality worthy attribute they do not signify which exists. mtfnf) by means of an instrument "

"

annihilation

;

(^adam-i

Dervishhood

and amidst principle.

all

The

a metaphorical poverty, its subordinate aspects there is a transcendent Divine mysteries come and go over the dervish, in

all

its

meanings

is

and

himself, his actions attributed But when his his ideas attached to himself.

affairs are freed

from the bonds of acquisition (kasb\ his actions

so that his affairs are acquired to himself,

by


ON POVERTY. more attributed

are no

the wayfarer,

i.e.

Then he

to himself.

the dervish

is

29 is

the

Way,

not

a place over which something

Accordingly, passing, not a wayfarer following his own will. he neither draws anything to himself nor puts anything away from himself: all that leaves any trace upon him belongs to

is

the essence.

mere tonguesters (arbdb whose imperfect apprehension of this matter seemed I

have seen

false

al-lisdn\

Sufis,

the existence of the essence of poverty, while desire for the reality of poverty

seemed

deny the

to

name

to

their

deny

lack

of

attributes

and poverty purity their failure to seek Truth and Reality, and it looked as though they affirmed their own fancies but denied all else. of

essence.

its

called

They

by the

of

"

"

"

"

in some degree veiled from poverty, because the conceit of Sufi ism (pinddr-i in haditli) betokens perfection of saintship, and the claim to be suspected of Sufiism (tawalld-yi tuhmat-i in haditli] is the ultimate goal, i.e. this

Every one of them was

*

Therefore the claim belongs only to the state of perfection. seeker has no choice but to journey in their path and to traverse their

"

"

stations

and

know

to

their

symbolic expressions,

in

not be a plebeian ( #;;//; ) among the elect. Those who are ignorant of general principles (^awdinm-i usul) have no ground to stand on, whereas those who are ignorant

order that he

may

only as regards the derivative branches are supported by the I have said all this to encourage you to undertake principles. this spiritual

ment of

Now

its

in

principles I

will

journey and occupy yourself with the due

obligations.

the chapter on Sufiism

and

allegories

I

will

explain some of the

and mystic sayings of

this sect.

Then

mention the names of their holy men, and afterwards

elucidate

the

different

In the next place,

Laws

fulfil

of Sufiism.

I

of this matter

will treat

Lastly,

and the significance of

by the Sufi Shaykhs. of the Verities, Sciences, and

doctrines

I

their

may become

held

will set forth their rules of discipline "

stations

clear to

",

in

order that the truth

you and

to all

my

readers.


CHAPTER ON

III.

SUFIISM.

God, Almighty and Glorious, has said

And those who walk

"

:

meekly on tJie earth, and when the ignorant speak to them answer Peace (shall be rewarded with the highest place in 1 He that hears the And the Apostle has said Paradise). ,"

"

:

voice of Sufis

(ahl al-tasawivuf)

to their prayer

is

The

God among the name has been much

inscribed before

meaning of this

true

and does not say

Amen

heedless."

discussed

and many books have been composed on the subject. Some assert that the Sufi is so called because he wears a woollen

garment (jdma he

is

because with

the

in

the

;

;

Ashdb-i Suffa^ be well-pleased Others, again, declare derived from sofa (purity). These explana

Sufis

claim

to

name

is

tions of the true

to the

belong

whom may God

that the

the

others that he is so called because suf} others say it is rank (saff-i awwal)

-i

first

!

meaning of Sufiism are

requirements of

etymology, although

far

from satisfying

each of them

is

subtle arguments. Safd (purity) is is kadar. The Apostle its and opposite universally praised, said The safw (pure part, i.e. the on whom be peace is gone, and only its kadar (impurity) world of this best)

supported

by

many

"

!

remains."

:

since

Therefore,

the

people

of

this

persuasion

have purged their morals and conduct, and have sought to free themselves from natural taints, on that account they

and

this designation of the sect is a proper a name (as asdmi-yi ldm\ inasmuch as the dignity of the Sufis is too great for their transactions (inu dmaldt) to be hidden, so that their name should need a derivation. In_

are called Sufis

;

l

this age,

however, 1

God

Kor. xxv, 64.

has veiled most people from Sufiism 2

See Chapter IX.


ON and from their

its

in

merely

imagine outward piety

of

practice

its

some

Accordingly

the

31

and has concealed

votaries,

hearts.

SUFIISM.

mysteries from that it consists

without

contemplation, and others suppose that it is a system without essence and root, to such an

have

they

view of scoffers

the

adopted

who

to

it

this

(aJil-i

making no attempt

The people

is.

form and a extent that hazl)

and

regard only the external, and have

theologians (^ulamd), condemned Sufiism altogether,

what

inward

to discover

in

really general, blindly conforming opinion, have erased from their hearts the .quest for

inward purit^jind have discarded the tenets of the Ancients and the Companions of the Prophet. h Verity, purity of the Siddiq^ if thou desirest a true Sufi because purity (safd) has a root and a branch its root being severance of the heart from others (aghycr\ and its

characteristic

:

"

"

branch

that

the

heart

should

be

empty

of

this

deceitful

Both these are characteristic of the Greatest Siddiq, (the Caliph) Abu Bakr Abdallah b. Abi Quhafa, with whom He is the leader (imam) of all may God be well-pleased

world.

!

the folk of this Path.

[The author then

how, on

relates

when Umar threatened

Muhammad

s

decease,

anyone who asserted that the Prophet was dead, Abu Bakr stepped forth and

cried with a loud voice

him know that

Muhammad s dieth

eye

not."

of

to decapitate

"

:

Whoever worships Muhammad,

Muhammad

Lord,

dead

;

who

mortality ceased

let

but whoever worships

him know that

let

Those

is

HE

is

living

and

regarded Muhammad with the venerate him as soon as he

to

departed from this world, but to those who regarded him with the eye of reality his presence and absence were alike, because they attributed both to God and looked, not at ;

particular change which had come to pass, but at the and venerated Muhammad only Author of all change

the

;

The name zaddlq (an Aramaic word meaning "righteous") was given to Its Arabic equivalent, the ascetics and spiritual adepts among the Manichseans. 1

siddiq,

which means

"

veracious

",

is

a term that

is

frequently applied to Sufis.


KASHF AL-MAHJUB. in

God honoured him

as

proportion

and did not attach

;

and did not open anyone (except God) that mankind, inasmuch as their eyes to gaze upon unto returneth but he that beholdeth mankind waneth, to

hearts

their

;

"he

God ila

"

reiometh

(man nasara

//*)

l-haqq

was empty of his wealth and

l-khalq halak

ila

A"d

this

his

asked him what he "

:

rajcta

his heart

he gave away clad himself and clients (i,tawdU\ world,

deceitful

and a woollen garment (giUm),

replied

wa-man

Abu Bakr showed that

had

left

Only God and His

for

came for

the Apostle,

to

his

in

who

Abu Bakr

family.

All this

Apostle."

all

is

charac

teristic of the sincere Sufi.]

I

the opposite of kadar (impurity), true Sufi isjie one of the qualities of Man. The behind. Thus, human nature (bashariyyaf)

said that safd (purity)

wAkadar

is

,

is

that leaves impurity the women of Egypt as they gazed, enraptured, prevailed in on whom be peace on the wondrous beauty of Yusuf (Joseph), was reversed, until at last afterwards the

preponderance with their human nature annihilated (ba-fand-yi him beheld they This is no human being" (Kor. xii, 31)and cried

But

"

bashariyyaf)

:

and gave expression to their own They made him their object God have mercy Hence the Shaykhs of this Path state. min si/at al-bashar li anna on them!- have said: Laysa l-safd Purity Id yakhlu min al-kadar, l-bashar madar wa l-madar

-

"

for Man is clay, and clay not one of the qualities of Man, cannot escape from impurity." involves impurity, and Man to acts (afdt), nor can the Therefore purity bears no likeness The quality of effort. human nature be destroyed by means

is

-

of purity

is

unrelated to

acts

and

states,

and

w

unconnected with names and nicknames-/;;//y of the

purity is that is dead (fan!) in his

own

who

love,

attributes

name

characteristic^

and the lover and

is

c/wrf-because

are suns -without

who (of God), those of the attribute

lovers

its

is

he

living (bdqi) in

and their the attributes of his Beloved, clear sun in the opinion of mystics (arbdb-i hdl).

""states"

resemble the

The beloved


ON of God,

Muhammad

He

lie

t

33

the Chosen One, was asked

the state of Haritha. qalbaJiu bi l-imdn

SUFIISM.

a

is

answered

:

man whose

heart

and he

thereof,

eminent

says

Sufi"

min

1 " 1

nainudliaj

safci

moon from

formed by the Divine

is

An

light."

al-kubb

wa

^l-tawkid idJia s/itabakd,

"

The

the _ Hgh t p the sun and moon, when they of_ conjunction, is like the purity of Love and Uniflcation x_when

combination in

the

al-sJiauis ivdl-qatnar idJia ^shtarakd

Diyd

:

illumined by

is

the light of faith, so that his face shines like the effect

concerning

Abd nawwara

"are

.

these are mingled togelhgr. __ Assuredly, the light of the sun and moon is worthless beside the light of the Love and "

Unification of

God Almighty, and they

but in this world there

pared than those two luminaries. ;

the sun and

is

no

should

not

t5e

com

more conspicuous

light

The eye cannot

see the light of

moon

with complete demonstration. During the sway of the sun and moon it sees the slcy, whereas the heart (dil) sees the empyrean (^ars/i) by the light of knowledge and. unification

and

love,

world to come.

when

and while

All

the

still

Shaykhs

in this

world explores the Path are agreed

of this

man

has escaped from the captivity of stations states (a/iwd/), (inaqdindf)) and gets rid of the impurity of and is liberated from the abode of change and decay, and that

a

"

"

"

becomes endowed with from

all

qualities.

all

That

praiseworthy qualities, he to say, he is not held

is

is

is

disjoined

in

bondage

own, nor does he regard it, he made self- conceited thereby. His state is hidden

by any praiseworthy quality of nor

"

his

from the perception of intelligences, and his time is exempt His presence (Jmdur) with from the influence of thoughts.

God has no end and

his existence

has no cause.

And when

he arrives at this degree, he becomes annihilated (fdni) in this world and in the next, and is made divine (rabbdni) in the and gold and earth are the same disappearance of humanity ;

in his eyes,

and the ordinances which others

become easy

hard to keep

find

to him.

[Here follows the story of Haritha, who declared that he What is the had true faith in God. The Prophet asked "

:

D

^


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

34

I have cut off and Haritha replied stones and turned myself away from this world, so that its in are my sight. its silver and its clay equal its gold and and vvakefulness in days in my have I And passed my nights Lord manifest, thirst until methinks I see the Throne of my the and the people of Paradise visiting one another, and 1 with one another" (or, according people of Hell wrestling making sudden attacks on one to an alternative reading 2 The Prophet said, repeating the words thrice another "

"

faith reality of thy

?

:

"

:

:

").

"

Thou knowest,

persevere."]

name which

a

is

"Sufi"

therefore

saints given, to the perfect

Shaykhs says

Man

:

is

and

saffdhu

and has formerly been

given,

One of the in fa-hmva sdf wa-man

spiritual adepts.

l-hubb

u He that is purified by love is saffdhu l-habibfa-huwa Siifiyy \ is absorbed in the Beloved and has abandoned pure, and he that "

derivation answering to inasmuch as Sufiism is too exalted etymological requirements, the from which it might be derived to have

all else is

Sufi

a

The_name has no

."

any genus derivation of one thing from another demands

;

Jbr

All that exists is the opposite of purity (safd\ (mujdnasat}. and things are not derived from their opposites. To Sufis the of Sufiism is clearer than the sun and does not need

meaning

any explanation or indication.

Since

"Sufi"

admits of no

are interpreters thereof, whether they explanation, all the world or no at the time when they recognize the dignity of the name learn Sufi,

its

and the

"taking

original root. 1

is

for

Yatasdra

iin.

yata diuawit,

among them (tdlibdri) among them

perfect, then,

inferior aspirants

Mutasawwif; implies

The

meaning.

tasawwuf belongs trouble"

The

(takalluf^ and

difference both in

Grammar,

i,

form is

are called

which

tafcful,

a branch of the

meaning and

in

etymology

The true reading tin. Cf. Lisdn, xix, 343, 3. growling ) at one another." the reading of J.. I. has yata dwanin, L. yata dwadun,

B. hzsyata tidawH, and in marg. yatasdra

"barking

(or

2 Yataghdwarun. This is R.yataghdmaziin, and in marg. yatafdwaziin. 3 Examples of this signification of the form

vol.

to the

are called

p. 37,

Rem.

b.

tortz"/are

given in Wright

s

Arabic


ON is

evident.

is

Purity (safa)

SUFIISM.

a saintship ivith a sign and a relation

(riwdyaf), and Sufiism (tasawwuf) un

35

is

an uncomplaining imitation

bild

li

l-safd sliikdyat). of purity (Jiikdyat a resplendent and manifest idea, and Sufiism Its followers in this

that idea.

then,

Purity, is

is

an imitation of

degree are of three kinds

:

the

Mutasawwif, and the Mustaswif. The Sufi is he dead to self and living by the Truth; he has escaped

Sufi, the

that

is

human The Mutasawwif

from the grip of

faculties

and has

really attained

(to

he that seeks to reach this rank by God). means of self-mortification (mujd/iadaf) and in his search

conduct

his

rectifies

example.

"is

accordance with

in

The Mustaswif

is

their

Sufis

(the

)

he that makes himself like them

money and wealth and power and

(the Sufis) for the sake of

1 worldly advantage, but has no knowledge of these two things. Hence it has been said Al-mustaswif inda l-Sufiyyat ka-l:

dliubdb

wa- inda ghayrihim ka-l-dhVab^ l

"

The Mustaswif

in the

opinion of the Sufis is as despicable as flies, and his actions are mere cupidity others regard him as being like a wolf, and his speech unbridled (be afsar), for he only desires a morsel of ;

Therefore the Sufi is a man of umon^(sdkib wusiil^ the Mutasawwif a man of principles (sahib and the carrion."

ustil)>

Mustaswif

a

man

of superfluities (sahib fudul).

that has

end and object by gaining his end he that has the portion of principle the "states" of the mystic path, and steadfastly

the portion of union loses

and reaching becomes firm

He

his object in

all

;

devoted to the mysteries thereof; but he that has the portion of superfluity, is left devoid of all (worth having), and sits down at the gate of formality (rasm\ and thereby he is veiled from

and

reality (inctnl\

renders both union and principle Shaykhs of this persuasion have given

this veil

to him. The jnvisible subtle definitions many

enumerated, but if

God

will,

who

we is

of

Sufiism

which

mention some of them Author of success.

shall

the

cannot

1

Viz., purity (safd}

and Sufiism (tasawwu/}.

all

in this

be

book,


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

36

SECTION.

Dhu

1-Nun, the Egyptian^ says Al-Sufi idhd nataqa bdna nutquJiu aii al-haqd iq wa-iii sakata nataqat anhu l-jawdrih The Sufi is he whose language, when he bi-qaf al-ald iq, :

l

l

"

he

is

the reality of his state,

is

speaks,

and when he

not,

and

state,

his

"

ties

all

i.e.

;

he says nothing which silent his conduct explains his

is

i.e.

proclaims that he has cut all worldly that he says is based on a sound principle and state

that he does

is pure detachment from the world (to/rid] W hen he speaks his speech is entirely the Truth, and when he is silent his actions are wholly poverty (faqr}. Junayd un un says: Al-tasawwuf nctt uqima l- abd fihi qila na t li-l-abd

all

\

"

"

am

na

li-l-haqq faqdla

rasm

an

"

,

They

Sufiism

said: "

replied

:

is

system

an

al-kaqq

an attribute of

essence

is

God

the annihilation

of

human

Man s

is

God and

"

;

qualities,

t

al-abd

subsistence."

or of mankind?"

an attribute of

an attribute of mankind

iva-na

haqiqat

an attribute wherein

is it

"Is

Its

t

i.e.

its

which

its

He

formal

essence involves is

brought about

by the everlastingness of the Divine qualities, and this is an attribute of God whereas its formal system involves on the ;

Man

part of

and

this

Man.

Or

the continuance of self-mortification (inujdhadat\ continuance of self-mortification is an attribute of the words

may

be taken in another sense, namely,

that in real Unification (tawhid) there are, correctly speaking, no human attributes at all, because human attributes are

not constant but are only formal (rasm\ having no permanence, for God is the agent. Therefore they are really the attributes of God.

Thus

them

the

explain what

(to

His servants to

name

is

meant),

God commands

and when they keep the fast He gives faster (sd im\ and nominally this

fast,

of

"

"

"

(sawui) belongs to Man, but really

it belongs to God. His Apostle and said Al-sawm It wa-ana ajzi bilii, "Fasting is mine," because all His acts are His possessions, and when men ascribe things to themselves, fasting"

Accordingly God

told

the

formal and

attribution

Abu__ J-Hasan

is

Nuri

says:

:

metaphorical, not real. Al-tasawwuf tarku kulli

And hazf

1


ON "

li-l-nafs,

This

Sufiism

is

renunciation

For example,

if

37

the renunciation of

is

of

two

kinds

:

all

selfish

pleasures."

and

formal

essential.

one renounces a pleasure, and finds pleasure

the renunciation, this

in

SUFIISM.

is

formal renunciation

but

;

the

if

pleasure renounces him, then the pleasure is annihilated, and under the head of true contemplation (umshdhadat). Therefore renunciation of pleasure is the act of Man, but

this case falls

annihilation of pleasure

is

the act of God.

The act of God

of

Man

formal and metaphorical, while the act is real. This saying (of Nun) elucidates the saying of Junayd which has been quoted above. And Abu 1-Hasan Nun also says Jiumu lladhina safat arwdhuhuin fa-sdru fi l-saff Al-Sttfiyyat is

:

al-awwal bayna yadayi l-haqq, have been freed from spirits

"

The

they whose

are

Sufis

the pollution of humanity, from carnal and from concupiscence, released taint, purified To~~that they havcTlound rest with God in the first rank and

And

the highest degree, and have fled from all save Him." he also says: Al-Sufi alladhi Id yamlik wa-ld y umiak

"The

,

he that has nothing in his possession nor is himself This denotes of the essence possessed by anything." Sufi

is

annihilation (fana), since one

neither

possesses

is

whose

qualities are annihilated

inasmuch

possessed,

term

the

as

can properly be applied only to existent things. the Sufi does not make his own any is, that

"

"

nor

possession

The meaning good of

this

not even

is

refrains

others

mystery of the Sufi s which they

a

annihilation"

this

in

have

work,

1

So 34.

for

kulli}.

If

God

your information,

will,

the

we

This

that

saying

call "complete

shall

mention

points wherein they

Id rasm lahu, says: Al-tasawwuf kaqiqat an essence without form," because the form belongs x

1

"

1

al-Jalla

Sufiism

No.

(fand-yi

order

in

fallen into error.

Ibn "

:

from desiring authority over others, may not desire submission from him.

to

refers

world or any glory of the next world, for he the possession and control of himself he

in

J.

is

The Lahore

edition has Ibn al-Jalali,

I.

Ibn

al-Jullabi.

See Chapter X,


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

38

mankind

conduct (inu dmaldf), while the Since Sufiism consists in essence thereof is peculiar to God. turning away from mankind, it is necessarily without form. to

in respect to their

And Abu Amr Dimashqi

says

Al-tasawwuf ru yat al-kawn

:

Sufiism is to ayn al-naqs, bal ghadd al-tarf an al-kawn^ see the imperfection of the phenomenal world (and this shows "

bi-

:

human

that

the

to

attributes are

phenomenal

attributes

are

still

world

annihilated

;

existent), nay, to shut the

"

this

shows

(and because the objects of sight are

phenomena, and when phenomena disappear, sight also appears).

eye

human

that

dis

Shutting the eye to the phenomenal world leaves

the spiritual vision subsistent, i.e. whoever becomes blind to self sees by means of God, because the seeker of phenomena

and his action proceeds from and through and cannot find any way of escaping from himself. he himself, Accordingly one sees himself to be imperfect, and one shuts is

also a self-seeker,

his

eye to self and does not see

;

his imperfection, nevertheless his

by

his

sight,

blindness.

who does

but he

This

is

and although the seer sees eye is a veil, and he is veiled

not see

a well-established

is

not veiled

principle

in

by his the Path

of aspirants to Sufiism and mystics (arbdb-i ma dni\ but to And Abu Bakr Shibli explain it here would be unsuitable. says

:

Wannahu

Al-tasawwuf shirk

al-ghayr wa-ld ghayr,

"

Sufiism

is

siydnat al-qalb

an ru yat

polytheism, because

is

it

the *

guarding of the heart from the vision of other and other does not exist." That is to say, vision of other (than God) in ,

other affirming the Unity of God is polytheism, and when has no value in the heart, it is absurd to guard the heart from

"

"

remembrance of other And Husri says: Al-tasaivwuf sofa al-sirr min kudurat al-mukJidlafat, Sufiism is the heart s being "

".

"

pure from the pollution of discord." The meaning thereof is that he should protect the heart from discord with God, because love

is

concord, and concord

is

the opposite of discord, and the

lover has but one duty in the world, namely, to keep the

mandment of the beloved and if the object of how can discord arise? And Muhammad b. All ;

desire b.

is

com one,

al-Husayn


ON b.

All

b.

SUFIISM.

39

may God

Abi Talib

nn

be pleased with them all fa-man zdda alayka fi l~khulq zdda !

l

Al-tasawwnf khulq Siifiism is goodness of disposition alayka fi l-tasawivuf, he that has the better disposition is the better Sufi." Now is of two kinds of towards God and goodness disposition says

:

.

"

:

:

The former

towards men.

decrees, the latter

is

is

acquiescence

God s sake. These two aspects God is indepeidjent -of-the seeker s

And Abu

s

society

refer to the seeker (tdlib\

for

these two

Divine

the

in

endurance of the burden of men

acquiescence or anger, and

qualities depend on consideration of His Unity. Muhammad Murta ish says Al-Siifi Id yasbiqu :

The

he whose thought keeps pace with his foot," i.e. he is entirely present his soul is where his body is, and his body where his soul is, and his soul where

kimmatuhu khatwataliu,

"

Sufi

is

:

his foot

is,

and

his foot

where

his soul

This

is.

is

the sign of

He presence without absence. Others say, on the contrary is absent from himself and present with God. / It is not so: "

:

^

|

and present with God. The union denotes expression perfect (jam al-jam \ because there can be no absence from self so long as one regards one s self when self-regard has ceased, there is presence (with God) he

is

present

with

himself

;

without absence.

In this particular sense the saying closely Al-Stifi Id yard fi l-ddrayn ma a

resembles that of Shiblf "

lldh gJiayra

God

in

lldh,

the two

The

worlds."

:

Sufi

and when a man does not see and becomes

he that sees nothing except

is

In short,

totally void of

"

human

other

self,

"

existence

is

"other",

he does not see himself

whether

"self"

;

affirmed

is

And Junayd says Al-tasawwuf mabniyy aid wa l-ricld wa l-sabr wa l-ishdrat wa wa-labs al-suf wa l-siydhat wa l-faqr amma l-sakhd l-ghurbat fa-li-Ibrdkim wa-amma l-ridd fa-li-Ismd il wa-amma l-sabr l-ishdrat fa-li-Zakariyyd iva-amma fa-li-Ayyub wa-amma or denied.

:

tJiamdn kJiisdl al-sakJid

1-gJmrbat fa-li-

amma salla is

Yahyd ^cva-ammd

l-siydhat fa-li-^Isd

"lldhu

labs

wa-amma

al-suf fa-li-Musd wal-faqr fa-li- Muhammad

alayhi wa-sallama wa-alayhim ajma

founded on eight qualities exemplified

in

"

in,

Sufi ism

eight Apostles

:

\


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

40 the

generosity of Abraham, acquiescence of Ishmael, who

God and gave up

who

sacrificed

son

his

the

;

submitted to the cornrnand~^of

dear life the patience of Job, who patiently endured the affliction of worms and the jealousy Txf the Merciful the symbolism of Zacharias, to whom God said, T/iou slialt not speak unto men for three days save by signs and to the same When he called (Kor. iii, 36), again effect, his

;^

;

upon his Lord with a secret invocation

(Kor. xix, 2)

;

the

who was a stranger in his own country and an alien to his own kin amongst whom he lived the pilgrimhood of Jesus, who was so detached therein from worldly things that he kept only a cup and a comb the cup he threw away when he saw a man drinking water in the palms of his hands, and the comb likewise when he saw another man usine o strangerhood of John,

;

his

fingers instead of a toothpick

Moses, whose

Muhammad,

the

;

garment was woollen

to

whom God Almighty

;

wearing of wool by and the poverty of

sent the key of

treasures that are

all

the"

upon the face of the earth, saying Lay no trouble on thyself, but procure every luxury by means of these treasures

not

;

;

:

and he answered

keep me one day

full-fed

:

O

Lord,

I

desire

and one day hungry.

"

them These

are very excellent principles of conduct.

And

Husri says A I- Sufi la yujadu btida adamihi wa-ld yu damu bet da wujudihi, The Sufi is he whose existence is without non-existence and his non-existence without :

"

existence,"

he never loses that which he finds, and he never finds that which he loses. Another meaning is this, that his i.e.

finding (ydff) has no not-finding (nd-ydft\ and his not-finding has no finding at any time, so that there is either an affirmation without negation or a negation without affirmation. The object of all these expressions is that the Sufi s state of mortality should entirely lapse,

and that

subsist through

and

his bodily feelings

(shawdhid] should disappear and his connexion with everything be cut ^of?^~m~~ order that the mystery of his mortality may be revealed and his various parts united in his essential self, and that he

may

in himself.

The

effect of this

can be shown


ON in

two Apostles

SUFIISM.

Moses, non-existence, so that he said

make my

affair easy unto

O

"

:

Lord, enlarge

"

(Kor. xx, 26, 27) in whose non-existence

Apostle (Muhammad), existence, so that

me

whose existence there was no

in

firstly,

:

41

Did God said The one asked "

:

not

We

;

my

breast

and

secondly, the there was no

enlarge thy breast ?

"

adornment and sought honour, but the other was adorned, since he had no request (Kor. xciv,

to

make

And

i).

for

for himself.

All

b.

isqdt al-nfyat

Bundar li-

al-Sayrafi of Nishapur says

l-haqq zdliir

an

wa-bdtin

a

"

\

:

Al-tasawwuf

Siifiism

is this,

that

the Sufi should not regard his own exterior and interior, but should regard^all as belonging to God.", Thus, if you look at the exterior, you will find an outward sign of God s blessing,

and, as you look, outward actions will not have the weight even of a gnat s wing beside the blessing of God, and you will cease

and again, if you look at the from regarding the exterior interior, you will find an inward sign of God s aid, and, as you look, inward actions will not turn the scale by a single grain in ;

comparison with the aid of God, and you will cease from regarding the interior, and will see that all belongs to God and ;

when you

see that all

is

God

s,

you

will see that

you yourself

have nothing.

Muhammad al-akivdl

tit

states with

Ahmad

b.

eta

"

l-haqq,

God,"

i.e.

al-Muqri Sufiism

"states"

*

says: is

Al-tasawwuf istiqdmat

the maintenance of right

do not seduce the Sufi from

his

(right) state, nor cast him into wrong, since he whose heart is devoted to the Author of states (muhawwil-i ahwdl) is not cast down from the rank of rectitude nor hindered from attaining

to the Truth.

SECTION.

Maxims

Abu Hafs Haddad dddb !in

li-knlli

kulli hdl

1

waqt"

in adab""

1

of Conduct (mu dmaldt).

of Nishapur says: Al-tasawwuf kullukti adab nn wa-li-kulli maqdm in adab tln wa-li-

fa-man lazima dddb al-awqdt balagha mablagJi Died

in

366 A.H.

See Nafahat, No. 332.


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

42

fa-man dayya a l-dddb fa-huwa ba min haythu yazunnu l-qurb wa-mardud nn min haythu yazunmi l-qabul 11

al-rijdl

td"

y

consists entirely of behaviour; every time, place, and circumstance have their own propriety he that observes the "Siifiism

;

,

proprieties of each occasion attains to the rank of holy men ; and he that neglects the proprieties is far removed from the

thought of nearness (to God) and is excluded from imagining r is The meaning of this is akin to acceptable to God. the dictum of Abu 1-Hasan Nuri Laysa l-tasaivwuf rustim an H zva-ld uh im wa-ldkinnahu akhldq" Sufiism is not composed of practices and sciences, but it is morals," i.e. if it consisted oF that he

:

"

,

could be acquired by effort, and if it consisted of sciences, it could be gained by instruction hence it is morals, and it is not acquired until you demand from yourself the principles of morals, and make your actions square with them7 it

practices,

:

and

their just claims. The distinction between practices and morals (akhldq] is this, that (rusAm) practices are ceremonial actions proceeding from certain motives, actions devoid of fulfil

so

that

their form is at variance with their spirit, whereas morals are praiseworthy actions without ceremony or motive, actions devoid of so that their form is reality,

pretension^

harmony with their spirit. Murta ish says: Al-lasaivivuf husn This

nature."

is

of

three

in"

"

al-khulq,

Sufiism

is

good

sorts:

firstly, towards God, by His Commandments fulfilling without hypocrisy secondly, towards men, by paying one s superiors and respect to behaving with kindness to one s inferiors and with justice to one s equals, and by not seeking recompense and justice from men in general; and towards one s ;

thirdly,

not

following himself right

the in

flesh

I

A isha

veracious

with

her!

have mentioned

She

the

these three matters

This which the

and

was

(siddiqd]

asked

by

self,

Whoever makes

devil. is

a good-natured man.

agrees with

a

story

told

of

m*y God be

concerning

the

well-pleased nature of the

"Read from the Koran," she replied, "for Apostle. has given information in the place where He says :

God Use


ON indulgence

and order what

SUFIISM.

43

good and turn away from

is

And Murta ish

ignorant* (Kor. vii, 198)." nt kullnhu jidd madhhab" fa - Id This religion of Sufiism al-hazl, 1

do not mix formalists

jest

the

is

-

in

sJiay

min

wholly earnest, therefore

and do not take the conduct of

it,

as

(mutarassimdri]

blindly imitate

among

with

bi

takJditiiJiu

"

the

says: Had/id

also

a

model, and shun

those

who

When

them."

the people see these formalists Sufiism in our time, and become

to

aspirants

aware of their dancing and singing and visiting the court of sultans and quarrelling for the sake of a pittance or a mouthful of food, their belief in the whole body of Sufis is These are the principles of Sufiism, corrupted, and they say and the tenets of the ancient Sufis were just the same." "

:

They do not recognize an

of

epoch

that this

affliction.

is

an age of weakness and since

Consequently,

greed

incites

the sultan to acts of tyranny, and lust incites the savant to

commit

adultery and fornication, and ostentation incites the ascetic to hypocrisy, and vanity incites the Stiff also to

you must know that the

dance and sing

men who

hold

evil

lies

in

the

doctrines, not in the principles on which the doctrines are based and that if some scoffers disguise

the

;

their

in

folly

the earnestness

earnestness of the latter

Abu

All "

radiyyat,

Qarmini Sufiism

is

that the creature in

content and

huwa

is

*

says

good all

satisfied.

:

mystics (ahrdr), the not thereby turned to folly. And Al-tasawwuf Jiuwa l-akhldq of

true

<?/-

Approved

morals."

actions are such

circumstances approves of God, and

Abu

I

Hasan Nun says

:

is

Al-tasawwuf

l-hurriyyat wa- l-futuwwat wa-tark al-taklif wa-l-sakhd

wa-badhl al-dunyd, "Sufiism is freed from the bonds of desire

liberty, ;

and

so

that

a

generosity,"

man i.e.

is

he

and abandonment purged from the conceit of generosity of useless trouble/ i.e. he does not strive after appurtenances and rewards and munificence," i.e. he leaves this world to "

is

;

"

;

the people of this world. B. Abu Ali Kirmanshahi Qurayshi. The Shaykh in question IJ. Qazwini. probably Mu/affar Kirmanshahi Qarmini (Nafahdt, No. 270). 1

is


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

44

Hasan Fushanja^ may God have mercy on im wa-ld haqiqat H "^wahim! saysj^ Al-tasawwuf al-yawma sm is a name wa-la "To-day Sufiism qad kdna haqi(jat a without a reality, but formerly it was a reality without name,"

Abu

1

1-

i:i

"

.-.;//

,

time of the Companions and the Ancients may have mercy on them! this name did not exist, but

in the

i.e.

God the

thereof was

reality

but not the

reality.

in

That

everyone; is

to

say,

now

the

name

formerly the

exists,

practice

was known and the pretence unknown, but nowadays" the pretence is known and the practice unknown. have brought together and examined in this chapter I on Sufiism a number of the sayings of the Shaykhs, in order God grant you that this Path may become clear to you felicity

and that you may say

!

to

the sceptics of Sufiism ?

"

:

What

If they do you mean by denying the truth it is no matter, since ideas are unrelated name the deny only "

things which bear

names

and

they deny the essential ideas, this amounts to a denial of the whole Sacred Law And I enjoin you of the Apostle and his praised qualities. to

in this

book

God

blessed His Saints satisfy

their

just

!

;

grant you the felicity with which He has to hold these ideas in due regard and

claims,

so that

pretensions and have an excellent It is

God

if

you may

refrain

that gives success. 1

Generally written

from

idle

belief in the Sufis themselves.

u Fushanji".

See Nafahat, No. 279.

.


CHAPTER ON THE WEARING

IV.

OF PATCHED FROCKS (Muraqqctdi).

that the wearing of a muraqqtfa (patched frock) is the The wearing of these garments badg^Tof aspirants to Sufiism. a Sunna (custom of the~Trophet), for the Apostle said: is

Know

Alaykum

bi-labs al-suf tajiduna

And, further, one of the lldh alayhi wa-sallaina

Companions says yalbasu

And, moreover, the Apostle said He said thawb hattd turaqqMhi. raiment, that ye

may

related that the Apostle

an

:

Ld

:

l-himdr. i l-

tudayyi

See that ye wear woollen

wore a garment

A isha

and that he said to

ass,

A isha

to

l-nabi salla

wa-yarkabu

l-stif

"

Kdna

:

sweetness of

feel the

quli ibikum.

haldwat al-imdn fi

"

:

And

faith."

it

is

of wool and rode on

O A isha,

do not

let

Umar, the son of \the garment be destroyed, but patch with thirty patches Khattab, wore, it is said, a muraqqcta it."

v

Inserted

on

Of Umar,

it.

too,

we

are told that he said

"

:

The

(ki mctunat-i /best garment is that which gives the least trouble It is related of the Commander of the an sabnktar buvad). Ah that he had a shirt of which the sleeves were "

Faithful,

,

level with his ringers,

and

if

at

any time he wore a longer

he used to tear off the ends was commanded by God to shorten his

shirt

The Apostle also garments, for God said

of its sleeves.

"

And

:

i.e.

shorten them.

purify thy garments" (Kor. Ixxiv, 4), I saw seventy comrades of Basra says

And Hasan

"

:

who fought

and the greatest all at Badr of wool in his detachment Siddiq (Abu Bakr) wore a garment I saw Hasan of Basra says further from the world of them had woollen garments

:

;

"

"

:

(tajricT).

Salman

(al

-

Farisi)

wearing

a

woollen

frock

(giltnt)

with

The Commander of the Faithful, Umar b. alAh and Harim Khattab, and the Commander of the Faithful, with a woollen b. Hayyan relate that they saw Uways Qarani

patches."

,


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

46

garment on which patches were inserted. Hasan of Basra and Malik Dinar and Sufyan Thawri were owners of weollen patched frocks. And it is related of the Imam Abu Hanifa of Kufa this is written in the History of the Shaykhs composed by

Muhammad

Hakim Tirmidhi

All

b.

himself in wool and was

when he saw

world,

behoves thee to

means whereby

a

in

that he at

on the point of

dream the Apostle, who

the

said

"

:

It

amidst the people, because thou art the Sunna will be revived." Then Abu Hanifa

live

my

And Dawud Ta

among

clothed

retiring from the

refrained from solitude, but he never put on a value.

first

aspirants

i,

garment of any

who was one

to

Sufiism

of the veritable adepts (yaki az muhaqqiqdn i

And Ibrahim mutasawwifa], enjoined the wearing of wool. the son of Adham came to visit the most venerable Imam Abu Hanifa, clad in a garment of wool. The latter s disciples looked at him with contempt and disparagement, until Abu Hanifa said said

"

:

"

:

Our lord Ibrahim b. Adham has come." The disciples The Imam utters no jests how has he gained this lord :

Abu

"

ship

?

Hanifa replied

"

:

By

continual devotion.

He

has

been occupied in serving God while we have been engaged Thus he has become our lord." serving our own bodies. It

well be the case that at the present

may

in

day some persons

wear patched frocks and religious habits (inuraqqa dt ti khiraq] for the sake of public honour and reputation, and that their hearts

belie their external in a host,

and

garb

;

for

may be

there

but one

in every sect the

genuine adepts are few. People, however, reckon as Sufis all who resemble the Sufis even in a single rule. The Apostle said Man tashabbaha

champion

:

1

bi-qawm

1

fa-hnwa minhum,

"

He

that

a party either in conduct or in belief,

while

is

makes himself akin to But party."

one of that

some regard only the outward forms of

their practice,

others direct attention to their spirit of inward purity. Those who wish to associate with aspirants to Sufiism

fall

into four classes (i) He whose purity, enlightenment, subtlety, even balance of temperament, and soundness of character give him insight into the hearts of the Sufis, so that he :

j


ON THE WEARING OF PATCHED FROCKS.

47

perceives the nearness of their spiritual adepts to God and He joins himself to them the loftiness of their eminent men. in

to the same degree, and the beginning of marked by revelation of states (kashf-i

hope of attaining novitiate

his

"

"

is

ahwdl\ and purgation from desire, and renunciation of self. (2) He whose health of body and continence of heart and quiet peace of mind enable him to see their outward practice, so that he fixes his gaze on their observance of the holy law and of the different sorts of discipline, and on the excellence

of their conduct

:

consequently he seeks to associate with them

and give himself up to the practice of of his novitiate

is

marked by

piety,

and the beginning

self-mortification (inujdhadaf)

and good conduct. (3) He whose humanity and custom of social intercourse and goodness of disposition cause him to consider their actions and to see the virtue of their outward life

:

how they

treat their superiors with respect

and

inferiors with generosity

how untroubled they

are

by

and

their equals as comrades,

their

and

thoughts of worldly gain and con

he seeks their society, and tented with what they have the hard to himself renders easy path of worldly ambition, and makes himself at leisure one of the good. (4) He whose ;

stupidity and feebleness of soul

merit and

of distinction

power without without knowledge lead him to his love of

suppose that the outward actions of the Sufis are everything. When he enters their company they treat him kindly and indulgently, although they are convinced that he

is

entirely

ignorant of God and that he has never striven to advance Therefore he is honoured by the upon the mystic path.

he were a real adept and is venerated as if he were one of God s saints, but his object is only to assume their dress and hide his deformity under their piety. He is people as

like

the

if

In this age an ass laden with books (Kor. Ixxii, 5). such as have been described. are majority impostors

Accordingly,

it

behoves you not to seem to be anything are. It_is inward glow (Jiurqaf) that

except what you really makes the Sufi, not the

religious habit (khirqai].

To

the true


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

48 mystic there

no difference between the mantle (aba) worn

is

and the coat (qabd) worn by ordinary people. eminent Shaykh was asked why he did not__wear

dervishes,

by

An

It is hypocrisy He replied a^patchecTfrock (muraqqa d). the burdens bear to not and s tcTwear the garb of the Sufi which Sufiism entails." If, by wearing this garb, you wish to "

:

you are one of the elect, God and if you wish to show to the people that you that already be true, you are guilty of belong to God, should your claim The Sufis ostentation and should it be false, of hypocrisy.

make known

to

God

that

;

;

too great to need a special garment for this purpose. whereas wool (stif) is the Purity (sofa) is a gift from God, are

The

Shaykhs enjoined their dis and did the same themselves, ciples to wear patched frocks, marked be that men, and that all the in order they might if they committed thus might keep watch over them

clothing of animals.

Sufi

:

people

a transgression, every tongue would rebuke them, and if they wished to sin while clad in this garment, they would be held

In short, the muraqqcta is the garb of God s of gaining vulgar use it merely as a means

back by shame. saints.

The

worldly reputation and fortune, but the elect prefer contumely to

honour, and

affliction

to

prosperity.

Hence

it

is

said

a garb of happiness for the vulgar, but You must a mail-coat (jawshari) of affliction for the elect."

"

the muraqqcta

seek what

is

is

spiritual,

and shun what

is

external.

The

Divine by the human, and that veil is annihilated and "stages" of the only by passing through the "states" Purity (safd} is the name given to such is

mystic

veiled

Way.

How

can he who has gained it choose one adorn himself garment rather than another, or take pains to him a Sufi call How should he care whether people at all ? annihilation.

or

by some other name

?

SECTION. Muraqqctas should be made with a view to ease and lightness, and when the original cloth is torn a patch should be inserted.


ON THE WEARING OF PATCHED FROCKS.

49

There are two opinions of the Shaykhs as to this matter. Some hold that it is improper to sew the patch on neatly

and accurately, and that the needle should be drawn through the cloth at random, and that no trouble should be taken. Others again hold that the stitches should be straight and 1

regular,

and that

is

it

part of the practice of the dervishes

keep the stitches straight and to take pains therein sound practice indicates sound principles.

to

Now

I,

who am

All

b.

Uthman

al-Jullabi,

;

for

asked the Grand

What is Tus, saying 1-Qasim Gurgani the least thing necessary for a dervish in order that he may become worthy of poverty?" He replied: "A dervish must Shaykh, Abu

at

"

:

not have less than three things first, he must know how to sew on a patch rightly second, he must know how to :

;

listen rightly

the ground

;

third,

A

rightly."

me when

with

he said

this.

cried,

set his

foot

on

saying to his own case, and it with avidity. This," they and most of them were hastening

this

fellows fastened on

poverty

"is

to

number of dervishes were present As soon as we came to the door

each one began to apply

some ignorant

how

he must know

indeed,"

"

sew patches on nicely and to set their feet on the ground and everyone of them imagined that he knew how correctly to listen to sayings on Sufiism. Wherefore, since my heart

to

;

was unwilling that his words should fall to the ground, I said Come, let each of us say So this everyone stated his views, subject." something upon A right patch is one that is and when my turn came I said

was devoted

and

to that Sayyid,

I

"

:

"

:

stitched for poverty, not for

show

;

if it is

stitched for poverty,

even though it be stitched wrong. And a right word is one that is heard esoterically (ba-/idl\ not wilfully (bamunyat\ and is applied earnestly, not frivolously, and is it is

right,

apprehended by life, not by reason. And a right foot is one that is put on the ground with true rapture, not playfully and Some of my remarks were reported to the Sayyid formally."

(Abu l-Qasim Gurgani), who 1

Literally,

"in

said

"

:

whatever place

All has spoken well it

raises its

head."

E

God


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

50

reward him is

The aim of

wearing patched frocks to alleviate the burden of this world and to be sincere in "

!

this sect in

It is related in the genuine Traditions poverty towards God. was wearing a of son that Jesus, Mary God bless him muraqqcta when he was taken up to heaven. A certain Shaykh !

dreamed that I saw him clad in a woollen patched I said O frock, and light was shining from every patch. on are He answered what these Messiah, thy garment? lights "

said

I

:

:

:

The

lights of necessary grace

;

for

I

sewed on each of those

patches through necessity, and God Almighty hath turned into a light every tribulation which He inflicted on my heart. "

Transoxania an old man who belonged to the sect He neither ate nor wore anything in which of Malamatis. human beings had a hand. His food consisted of things thrown I

saw

in

away by men, such carrots,

and the

like.

as putrid vegetables, sour gourds, rotten

His clothes were made of rags which he

of these he had had picked up from the road and washed made a muraqqa a. And I have heard that among the mystics of recent times there was an old man of flourishing condition :

(qawi hdl) and of excellent character, living at Marv al-Rud, who had sewn so many patches, without taking pains, on his prayer-rug and cap, that scorpions brought forth their young in

them.

him

!

And my Shaykh

wore

may God be

for fifty-one years a single cloak

well pleased with

(jubba\ on which

he used to sew pieces of cloth without taking any pains. I have found the following tale among the anecdotes of the There were two dervishes, one a votary (holy) men of Iraq. of the contemplative life (sahib mushdhadat\ and the other The former a votary of the purgative life (sahib mujdkadaf).

never clothed himself except in the pieces of cloth which were torn off by dervishes in a state of ecstasy (samd*) from their own garments, while the other used for the same purpose only

the pieces torn off by dervishes who were asking forgiveness thus the outward garb of each was in harmony with his inward

:

disposition. hdl).

This

is

observance of the

Shaykh Muhammad

b.

(pas ddshtan-i Khafif wore a coarse woollen "state"


ON THE WEARING OF PATCHED FROCKS. frock

(palds}

for

51

twenty years, and every year he used to duration (chilla\ and every

undergo four fasts of forty days

would compose a work on the mysteries of the In his time there was an. old Sciences of the Divine Verities.

forty days he

man, one of the adepts learned in the Truth (Haqtqat\ who resided at Parg 2 1

Muhammad b. Zakariyya. Now Shaykh Muhammad

He had

3

(Tariqai) and the

Way in

Fars and was called

never worn a muraqqa^a.

Khafi f was asked

b.

What

"

:

is

involved in wearing a muraqqa a, and who is permitted to do He replied: "It involves those obligations which are so?" fulfilled

by

Muhammad

wearing of such a frock

b.

Zakariyya

in his

permitted to

is

white

and the

shirt,

him."

SECTION. It

not the

is

way

of the Sufis to abandon

customs.

their

seldom wear garments of wool at the present day, there are two reasons for this fact (i) that wools have deteriorated If they

:

shuda

and the animals (which produce wool) have been carried off from one place to another by and (2) that a sect of heretics has adopted the woollen raiders

(fashmhd

shiirida

asf}

;

garment as a badge (shi dr). And it is praiseworthy to depart from the badge of heretics, even although one departs at the

same time from a

traditional practice (sunnd).

To take pains (takalluf] in sewing muraqqa as is considered allowable by the Sufis because they have gained a high and since many imitate them reputation among the people ;

and wear muraqqtfas, and are guilty of improper the

Sufis

1

This story

where 2

and

dislike

I.

the society of others than themselves

reasons they have

these

it is

in

is

related in

Attar

invented s

expressly said that the old

margin has Park.

refers

it

and since

acts,

a

Tadhkirat dl-Awliyd

man was

not

The Nuzhat al-QuMb

to a village in the district of

"

for

garb which none but (pt.

ii,

p.

learned in the

gives the

name

1.

125,

Way as

<

17 sqq.),

".

y^ (Bark),

Kirman.

3 B., I., and J. have Dhakariyya (Zakariyya), L. Tadhkirat al-Awliyd vary between Dhakiri and tJiO

u^ .

The MSS.

of the


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

52

themselves can sew, and

have made

it

So much

so

acquaintance and a badge.

mark of mutual that when a certain a

one of the Shaykhs wearing a garment on whiqh the patch had been sewn with too wide stitches (khatt ba-pahnd divarda bild) the Shaykh banished him from his

came

dervish

to

The argument

presence.

of

delicacy

and

nature

that purity (safd) is founded on fineness of temperament, and un is

doubtedly crookedness in one

nature

s

not good.

is

natural to disapprove of incorrect actions, just as no pleasure from incorrect poetry.

it

is

It

is

natural

to derive

Others, again, do not trouble themselves about clothes at all. They wear either a religious habit ( aba) or an ordinary coat

God may have

whichever

(qabd),

them naked, they remain

Uthman

approve

al-Jullabi, it

practised

in

my

given them

in that

journeys.

of

state.

this It

is

;

I,

and

He

if

who am

doctrine,

and

related that

keeps All

I

b.

have

Ahmad

b.

Khadruya wore a coat when he visited Abu Yazfd, and that Shah b. Shuja wore a coat when he visited Abu Hafs. This was not their usual dress, for sometimes they wore a muraqqcta and sometimes a woollen garment or a white shirt, as it might The human soul is habituated to things, and fond happen.

when anything has become habitual to the soul it soon grows natural, and when it has grown natural it becomes Hence the Apostle said: Khayr al-siydm sawm akhi a veil. Ddwud ^alayhi l-saldm, The best of fasts is that of my brother of custom, and

.4-

"

.David."

that

"

said

:

"O

"

?

break

Apostle of God, what kind of fast is David used to keep his fast one day and He replied on the next day," in order that his soul should not

They

:

it

become accustomed

either to keeping the fast or to breaking he it, might be veiled thereby. And, as regards * of Merv was the most sound. this matter, Abu Hamid Dustan His disciples used to put a garment on him, but those who for fear that

wanted

it

used to seek him out when he was at leisure and

alone,

and divest him of

person

who

put

it

on him 1

it "

:

and he would never say to the Why do you put it on ? nor to the ;

See Nafahat, No. 350.

"


ON THE WEARING OF PATCHED FROCKS. person who took it off: at the present day there

53

do you take it off? Moreover, is at Ghazna may God protect it an old man with the sobriquet Mu ayyad, who has no choice and he is sound or discrimination with respect to his clothes "

Why

"

!

;

in that degree.

garments being mostly blue (kabild}^ one of the reasons is that they have made wandering (siydkat] and and on journeys travelling the foundation of their Path

Now,

as to their

;

garment does not retain its original appearance, and Another is not easily washed, and besides, everyone covets it. is the of the a blue dress bereaved and cause is this, that badge a white

afflicted,

and the apparel of mourners

;

and

world

this

is

the

abode of trouble, the pavilion of affliction, the den of sorrow, the house of parting, the cradle of tribulation the (Sufi) :

disciples, seeing that their heart s desire is not to be gained in this world, have clad themselves in blue and have sat down

mourn union

to

(with God).

Others behold

in

the practice

(of devotion) only imperfection, in the heart only evil, in loss

only

of time

therefore they wear blue

life

for loss

(fawt) worse than death (inawt). One wears blue for the death of a dear friend, another for the loss of a cherished hope. :

;

is

A

dervish was asked

why he wore

blue.

He

"

replied

:

The

Apostle left three things poverty, knowledge, and the sword. The sword was taken by potentates, who misused it knowledge :

;

was chosen by savants, who were satisfied with merely teaching it poverty was chosen by dervishes, who made it a means of ;

I wear blue as a sign of enriching themselves. mourning for the calamity of these three classes of men." Once Murta ish

was walking in one of the quarters of Baghdad. Being thirsty, he went to a door and asked for a drink of water. The daughter of the householder brought him some water in a jug. Murta ish was smitten with her beauty and would not leave the spot until the master of the house

Murta

cried

of

my

and

I

came

to him.

"

O

sir,"

gave me a drink of water and robbed me The householder replied: She is my daughter,

ish,

"she

"

heart."

give her to you in

marriage."

So Murta

ish

went into


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

54

wedding was immediately solemnized. The a wealthy man, sent Murta ish to the father, bath, where they took off his patched frock (muraqqafa) and clothed him in a night-dress. At nightfall he rose to say his the house, and the

bride

who was

s

prayers and engage in solitary devotion. "

Bring

out,

my

patched

They

frock."

Suddenly he called "

asked,

What

ails

heard a voice within, whispering He answered, you ? On account of one disobedient look We have removed thy muraqqata, the garb of piety, from thy body if thou lookest "

"

I

:

:

again

We

remove the raiment of

shall

Only two kinds of men

heart.

are

intimacy from

thy

wear

the

to

fitted

(i) those who are cut off from the world, and (2) who feel a longing for the Lord (mushtdqdn-i mazvld). The Sufi Shaykhs observe the following rule. When a novice

muraqqa a: those

joins them, with

subject him If

he

fulfil

the purpose of renouncing the world, they to spiritual discipline for the space of three years. the requirements of this discipline, well and good

;

declare

otherwise,

that

he cannot be admitted to the

they Path (Tariqaf). The first year is devoted to service of the people, the second year to service of God, and the third year

He can serve the people watching over his own heart. when he in rank of servants and all himself the only places to

people in the rank of masters, i.e. he must regard all, without any discrimination, as being better than himself, and

other

must consider a

way

it

his

duty to serve

deem himself

all

alike

superior to those

;

not in

whom

such

he serves,

manifest perdition and evident fraud, and is one of infectious cankers of the age (az dfdt-i zanidna andar

for this

the

as to is

zamdna yaki mast). And he can serve God Almighty only when he cuts off all his selfish interests relating either to this world or to the next, and worships God absolutely for His sake alone, inasmuch as whoever worships God for any And he can thing s sake worships himself and not God.

watch over

his

heart only

and cares are dismissed from

when

his

thoughts are collected

his heart, so that in the presence

of intimacy (with God) he preserves his heart from the assaults


ON THE WEARING OF PATCHED FROCKS.

55

of heedlessness.

When

by the novice, he

may wear the muraqqa a as a true mystic, not

these three qualifications are possessed

merely as an imitator of others.

Now

the person who invests the novice with the muraqqcta,) he must be a man of rectitude (inustaqim al-hdl) who has traversed all the hills and dales of the Path, and tasted as

to

rapture of

the

"states"

and perceived the nature of

actions,

and experienced the severity of the Divine majesty and the clemency of the Divine beauty. Furthermore, he must examine the state of his disciples and judge what point they will ultimately reach

:

whether they

(wdqifdn\ or attain

still

they

will

abandon

they will devotion and

it; if

will retire

(bdligJidii).

If

(rdji dn), or stand

he knows that some day

he must forbid them to enter upon come to a stand, he must enjoin them to practise this Path,

they will reach the goal, he must give them The Sufi Shaykhs are physicians of spiritual nourishment. if

;

men s

When

souls.

the physician

ignorant of the patient s because he does not know how is

malady he kills him by his art, him and does not recognize the symptoms of danger, and prescribes food and drink unsuitable to his disease. The

to treat

Apostle said

"

:

The shaykh

in

his

tribe

is

like the

prophet

in

prophets showed insight in their call to the people, and kept everyone in his due degree, so the Shaykh likewise should show insight in his call, and his

nation."

Accordingly, as

the

should give to everyone his proper spiritual food, in order that the object of his call may be secured.

The takes

adept, then, who has attained the perfection of saintship the right course when he invests the novice with the

muraqqa a after a period of three years during which he has educated him in the necessary discipline. In respect of the which

demands, the viuraqqcfa is comparable the wearer must resign all his (kafan] of the of and hopes life, pleasures purge his heart of all sensual delights, and devote his life entirely to the service of God and

qualifications to

a winding-sheet

it

:

completely renounce selfish desires. Then the Director (Pir) ennobles him by clothing him in that robe of honour, while he


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

56

on

his part fulfils the obligations

with

all his

Many

might

own

satisfy his

which

to perform them,

it

involves,

and deems

it

and

strives

unlawful to

wishes.

have been uttered concerning the

allegories (ishdrdf)

muraqqa a. Shaykh Abu Ma mar of Isfahan has written a book on the subject, and the generality of aspirants to Sufiism display

much extravagance (ghuluww]

aim, however,

in the present

work

is

in

this

matter.

My

not to relate sayings, but

The best allegory con a is the that its collar this, cerning muraqqd (qabba} is patience, its two sleeves fear and hope, its two gussets (tiriz) contraction to elucidate the difficulties of Sufiism.

and

soundness

self

in faith, its fringe

the following

is

belt

its

dilation,

"

:

Its collar is

-

its

abnegation,

hem

T

(kurst)

Better still (fardwiz) sincerity. annihilation of intercourse (with

two sleeves are observance (hifz) and continence men), (ismat), its two gussets are poverty and purity, its belt is its

in

persistence in

(God

union."

s)

"

I

presence, and

its

its

fringe

hem is

self

it

is

(kursi)

settlement

When you

spiritual also.

contemplation,

have made a muraqqa a behoves you to make one

in

tranquillity

the abode of

like this for for

your your exterior

have composed a separate book on this subject, entitled of Patched Frocks and Means of Livelihood

The Mysteries

(Asrdr al-khiraq wa-l-ma

"

tindi),

of which

the

novice should

get a copy.

having donned the miiraqqtfa, should be forced under compulsion of the temporal authority, this is but should he tear it of free will permissible and excusable If the novice,

to tear

it

;

and deliberately, then according to the law of the sect he is not allowed to wear a muraqqcfa in future, and if he do so, he stands on the same footing as those in our time who are content to for outward show, with no spiritual meaning.

wear muraqqa as

As

regards the rending of garments the true doctrine is this, when Sufi s pass from one stage to another they immediately change their dress in thankfulness for having gained a higher that

1

The

This conjectural translation of kursi was suggested to me by Colonel Ranking. dictionaries give no explanation of the word as it is used here.


ON THE WEARING OF PATCHED FROCKS.

57

but whereas every other garment is the dress of a single the muraqqcta is a dress which comprises all the stages stage, of the Path of poverty and purity, and therefore to discard it stage

is

;

renouncing the whole Path.

equivalent to

a slight allusion to this question, although this

place for

it,

please God,

in I

is

I

have made

not the proper

order to settle the particular point at issue but, will give a detailed explanation of the principle ;

on rending (kharq\ and in the revelation of the mystery of audition (samd ). Furthermore, it has been said that one who invests a novice with the muraqqcfa should in the chapter

1

"

"

possess such sovereign mystical powers that any stranger on whom he looks kindly should become a friend, and any sinner

whom

he clothes

in this

garment should become a

saint.

Once I was travelling with my Shaykh in Adharbayajan, and we saw two or three persons wearing muraqqa as, who were standing beside a wheat-barn and holding up their skirts in the hope that the farmer would throw them some wheat. On seeing this the Shaykh exclaimed Those are they who have purchased "

:

error at the price of true guidance, but their traffic has not been profitable"

(Kor.

ii,

I

15).

asked him

how they had

fallen into

He said Their spiritual directors calamity and disgrace. were greedy to gather disciples, and they themselves are greedy

this

"

:

to collect worldly at "

O

goods."

Bab al-Taq Lord, pardon him x

the

a for

It is

related of

Junayd that he saw

Christian youth and said sake, for Thou hast created him

beautiful

my

:

After a while the youth came to Junayd and exceeding made profession of Islam and was enrolled among the saints. Abu All Siyah was asked: Who is permitted to invest novices fair."

"

with the muraqqa a ? He replied That one who oversees the whole kingdom of God, so that nothing happens in the world without his knowledge." "

"

:

1

A

gate in the eastern quarter of Baghdad.


CHAPTER ON THE DIFFERENT

V.

OPINIONS HELD CONCERNING POVERTY

AND PURITY. The Doctors of

the Mystic Path are not agreed as to the

respective merits of Poverty (faqr)

hold that Poverty is

is

more

Some

perfect than Purity.

exist,

complete annihilation and Purity is one of the

when

annihilation

say,

and Purity (safwaf).

in "

PovertyTthey which every thought ceases to

stations

"

(maqdmdf) of Poverty?

gained, all "stations" vanish into nothing. This is ultimately the same question as that touching Poverty and Wealth, which has already been discussed. Those is

who_set Purity above Poverty say that Poverty is an existent thing (shay ast mawjM) and is capable of being named, whereas Purity is the being pure (sofa} from all existing things ~safd is the essence of annihilation is the essence (fand), and :

Poverty

of subsistence (baqd) therefore Poverty is one of the names of "stations", but Purity is one of the names of perfection. This matter has been disputed at great length in the present age, and both parties have resorted to far-fetched and :

amazing

verbal subtleties

;

but

it

will

be allowed on

all

sides that Poverty

and Purity are not mere words and nothing else. The have made a putants up doctrine out of words and have to

apprehend meanings

the Truth.

:

dis

neglected they have abandoned discussion of

Negation of arbitrary

will

they

call

negation of

and affirmation of desire they regard as affirmation of essence. The Path is far removed from such idle Mystic

essence,

fictions.

In short, the Saints of

place no longer exists, where

all

God

degrees and

appear, and where outward expressions lying realities, so that neither

nor

"taste"

(dhawq\ nor

attain to a place

fall

off

"

"

stations

where "

dis

from the under "

spiritual delight

"sobriety"

(sahw\ nor

(shurti) is left, "

effacement

"


POVERTY AND PURITY. controversialists, however, seek a forced

These

(inaJiw).

59

name

with which to cloak ideas that do not admit of being named or and everyone applies to them what of being used as attributes ;

ever

name he

thinks most estimable,

Now,

in

dealing with the

ideas themselves, the question of superiority does not arise, but

when names to another.

are given to them, one will necessarily be preferred Accordingly, to some people the name of Poverty

seemed

to be superior and of greater worth because it is con nected with renunciation and humility, while others preferred Purity, and held it the more honourable because it comes nearer

to the notion of discarding

that contaminates and annihi

all

lating all that has a taint of the world. They adopted these two names as symbols of an inexpressible idea, in order that they might converse with each other on that subject and make their

own

state

in

opinion

"

"

Poverty

fully

known

;

and there

sect (the Sufis), although

this

and others the term

" "

Purity

no difference of

is

some use the term to express the same

the verbalists (aJd-i ibdrat), on the contrary, who are ignorant of the true meaning of these ideas, the whole idea.

With

To conclude, whoever has made question is an affair of words. that idea his own and fixed his heart upon it, heeds not whether they

call

him

"Poor"

(faqir) or

these appellations are forced

"Pure"

names

(Stift),

since

both

an idea that cannot be

for

brought under any name. This controversy dates from the time of

Abu 1-Hasan Sumnun.

He, on occasions when he was in a state of revelation (kashf) akin to subsistence (baqd), used to set Poverty above Purity ;

and on being asked by spiritualists (arbdb-i mctdni) why he did Inasmuch as I naturally delight in annihilation so, he replied "

:

and abasement, and no I

prefer

Purity

annihilation,

and

less

in

I

am

in

Poverty to Purity when

akin to subsistence

;

for

Poverty

and

subsistence

Poverty when

to

is

the

a. I

name

exaltation,

state akin

am

in

a

to

state

of subsistence

and Purity that of annihilation. In the latter state I annihilate from myself the sight (consciousness) of subsistence, and in the former state I annihilate from myself the sight of annihilation,


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

60 so that

nature becomes dead both to annihilation and to

my

Now this, regarded as an explanation (^ibdrat\ an excellent saying, but neither annihilation nor subsistence can be annihilated every subsistent thing that suffers annihila subsistence." is

:

tion

is

annihilated from

becomes subsistent a term of

which

it

itself,

and every annihilated thing that

is

subsistent from

is

If impossible to speak hyperbolically. is annihilated, he can be only

itself.

Annihilation

is

a person says that annihilation

expressing hyperbolically the non-existence of any vestige of the idea of annihilation but so long as any vestige of existence remains, annihilation has not yet come to pass and when it ;

;

has been attained, the

"annihilation"

thereof

is

nothing but

by meaningless phrases. In the vanity and rashness of youth I composed a discourse of this kind, self-conceit

flattered

Book of Annihilation and Subsistence Fand u Baqd\ but in the present work I will set entitled the

whole

"

matter with

caution,

please

God

the

"

(Kitdb-i forth the

Almighty and

Glorious.

This

the distinction between Purity and Poverty in the It is otherwise when Purity and Poverty are spiritual sense. is

considered in their practical aspect, namely, the denuding one self of worldly things (tajrid) and the casting away of all one

s s

Here the real point is the difference between Some Shaykhs Poverty (faqr) and Lowliness (inaskanaf). assert that the Poor (faqir) are superior to the Lowly (iniskin\ possessions.

because

God

has said, of Allah, unable to go

"

the

poor who are straitened in the way

to and fro on the earth" (Kor. ii, 274): means of which the Poor renounce Lowly possess livelihood, therefore Poverty is honour and Lowliness abasement, for,

the

:

according to the rule of the Mystic Path, he who possesses means of livelihood is base, as the Apostle said Woe

the

"

:

who worship the dinar and who worship garments with a nap

befall those

those the

means of

livelihood

on God, while he who again, declare the

the dirhem, "

!

He who

woe

befall

renounces

honoured, inasmuch as he depends has means depends on them. Others, is

Lowly

to be superior, because the

Apostle


POVERTY AND PURITY. said

"

:

Let

me

live lowly,

and

let

me

61

die lowly,

and

raise

me

from the dead among the lowly whereas, speaking of Poverty, he said, "Poverty is near to being unbelief." On this account "

!

Poor are

the

dependent on a

means, but the Lowly are In the domain of Sacred Law, some divines

independent. hold that the Poor are those

and the Lowly those

bulgha],

cares (jnujarrad)

;

"

followers of the Path (ahl-i

free

from \vorldly

"

given to the Lowly by maqdmdf) who adopt the former

Sufi

is

they prefer Purity (safwaf] to Poverty. Those Sufis accept the latter view prefer Poverty to Purity, for a similar

opinion

who

a sufficiency (sahib

but other divines hold the converse of this

Hence the name

view.

who have who are

reason.

:


CHAPTER ON BLAME

VI.

(Maldmat).

The path of Blame has been trodden by some of the Sufi sincere. Shaykhs. Blame has a great effect in making love The followers of the Truth (ah I- i haqq} are distinguished^by their

being the objects of vulgar blame, especially the eminent

ones of this community. The Apostle, who is the exemplar and leader of the adherents of the Truth, and who marches at the head of the lovers (of God), was honoured and held in good repute by

him and

until the evidence of the

all

Truth was revealed

to

came upon him. Then the people loosed blame him. Some said, He is a soothsayer

inspiration

"

"

their tongues to "

others, "He

is

He

a

;

"

a poet

is

;

and so

liar;"

He is a madman others, And God says, describing the "

"

others, forth.

;

They fear not the blame of anyone ; that is the God grace of God which He bestozvs on ivhomsoever He pleases ; of ordinance is the Such is bounteous and wise" (Kor. v, 59). true believers

"

:

God, that He causes those who discourse of Him to be blamed by the whole world, but preserves their hearts from being pre occupied by the world s blame. This He does in His jealousy

:

He guards His lovers from glancing aside to other (ghayr\ lest the eye of any stranger should behold the beauty of their and He guards them also from seeing themselves, lest state "

"

;

they should regard their own beauty and fall into self-conceit and arrogance. Therefore He hath set the vulgar over them to loose the tongues of "blaming

soul"

order that they

Now

part of their composition, in be blamed by others for whatever they do,

(nafs-i

may

and by themselves

blame against them, and hath made the

for

lawwdma]

doing

evil or for

this is a firm principle in the

Path there

is

no taint or

veil

more

doing good imperfectly.

Way

to God, for in this

difficult to

remove than


ON BLAME. God

His kindness hath barred the way of Their actions, however good, are not error against His friends. approved by the vulgar, who do not see them as they really self-conceit.

in

are; and they themselves

do not regard

their

works of mortifi

however numerous, as proceeding from their own strength and power consequently they are not pleased with themselves and are protected from self-conceit. Whoever is approved by God is disapproved by the vulgar, and whoever is elected

cation,

:

by himself is not among the elect of God. Thus Iblis was approved by mankind and accepted by the angels, and he was pleased with himself; but since God was not pleased with him, their approval only

Adam, on

brought a curse upon him.

the

other hand, was disapproved by the angels, who said Wilt TJwu place there [on the earth] one ivko will do evil tJierein ? "

:

"

and was not pleased with himself, for he said but Lord, we have done ourselves a wrong" (Kor. vii, 22) since God was pleased with him, the disapproval of the angels

(Kor.

28),

ii,

:

"O

;

and his own displeasure bore the therefore,

know

of mercy. Let all men, us are by rejected by the

fruit

that those accepted

and that those accepted by the people are rejected by us. Hence the blame of mankind is the food of the friends of God,

people,

because

a token of Divine approval it is the delight of the saints of God, because it is a sign of nearness to Him they it is

;

:

rejoice in

it

even as other

men

rejoice in

popularity.

There

a Tradition, which the Apostle received from Gabriel, that said

"

:

My

friends (saints) are under

knoweth them except

My

My

cloak

:

is

God

save Me, none

friends."

SECTION.

Now (1) (2)

blame {maldmaf] is of three kinds it may result from following the right way (inaldmat-i rdst raftari), or from an intentional act (inaldmat-i qasd kardan\ or (3) from :

abandonment of the \w*(maldmat-i tark kardari). In the first case, a man is blamed who minds his own business and per forms his religious duties and does not omit any practice of


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

64 devotion

he

:

is

entirely indifferent

to

behaviour of the

the

In the second case a man is greatly people towards him. honoured by the people and pointed out among them his heart inclines to the honour in which he is held, and becomes :

attached to those by whom it is bestowed he wishes to make himself independent of them and devote himself wholly to God therefore he purposely incurs their blame by committing some :

;

act

which

the law

offensive to

is

them but which

is

no violation of

consequence of his behaviour they wash their hands In the third case, a man is driven by his natural in

:

of him.

beliefs to abandon the sacred law and and say to himself, I am treading the abjure its observances, in this case his behaviour depends on himself of blame path infidelity

and erroneous

"

"

:

alone.

He who

the right

follows

and

way and

refuses

to act

hypo

from ostentation, pays no heed to the critically, blame of the vulgar, but invariably takes his own course it is all one to him what name they call him by. I find among the refrains

:

anecdotes (of holy men) that one day Shaykh Abu Tahir Harami was seen in the bazaar, riding a donkey and attended

by one of

Some person cried out, Here comes The indignant disciple rushed at the

his disciples.

that old freethinker

"

"

!

speaker, trying to strike him,

The Shaykh

with tumult. quiet,

I

of this

and the whole bazaar was

said to his disciple:

show you something

will

that will save

"If

you

filled

will

be

you from trouble

When

they returned home, he bade the disciple a certain which contained letters, and told him to box, bring look at them. "Observe," he said, "how the writers address me.

One

sort."

me

Shaykh of Islam another the pure Shaykh another the ascetic Shaykh another the Shaykh of the two Sanctuaries and so on. They are all titles, there is no mention calls

the

,

,

,

,

of

my

me

name.

the

title

I

am none

that poor fellow did the

with him?

of these things, but every person gives

which accords with

same

concerning me. If just now, why should you quarrel his belief

"

He who

incurs

blame purposely and resigns honour and


ON BLAME.

65

withdraws from authority is like the Caliph Uthman who, although he possessed four hundred slaves, one day came forth from his plantation of date-palms carrying a bundle of firewood

on "

I

On

his head.

wish to

make

why he

being asked

trial

of

did

this,

He would

myself."

not

which he enjoyed hinder him from any work. related of the Imam Abu Hanffa will be found

And

a story

is

told about

Abu

he answered

:

let

the dignity

A

similar tale

in this treatise.

Yazid, that, when he was entering

Rayy on his way from the Hijaz, the people of that city ran to meet him in order that they might show him honour. Their him and turned his thoughts away from God. When he came to the bazaar, he took a loaf from his sleeve and began to eat. They all departed, for it was the month of Ramadan. He said to a disciple who was travelling attentions distracted

with him: law,

1

they

"You

all

see! as

reject

soon as

me."

perform a single article of the In those days it was necessary, for I

incurring blame, to do something disapproved or extraordinary but in our time, if anyone desires blame, he need only lengthen

;

a

his voluntary prayers

little

or

fulfil

the religious

which are prescribed at once everybody hypocrite and impostor. :

will

practices

call

him a

He who abandons says that he

the law and commits an irreligious act, and blame is guilty of following the rule of "

is

",

manifest wrong and wickedness and self-indulgence. There are many in the present age who seek popularity by this means, forgetting that one

must already have gained popularity before

way as to make the people reject himself making unpopular is a mere pretext for winning popularity. On a certain occasion I was in the of of one these vain pretenders. He committed company

deliberately acting in such a

him

;

otherwise, his

a wicked act for

the

nonsense."

to be a 1

the

Abu fast.

and excused himself by saying that he did

sake

He

of

blame.

heaved a

One

of the party said, I said to him If "

sigh.

Malamati and are firm

:

in

your

belief, this

"That

it

is

you claim gentleman s

Yazid, being at that time on a journey, was not legally bound to observe


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

66

disapproval of what you have done ought to encourage you to persevere; and since he is seconding you in your chosen course, why are you so unfriendly and angry with him ? Your behaviour is more like pretence than pursuit of blame. Who

ever claims to be guided by the Truth must give some proof of his assertion, and the proof consists in observing the Sunna

(Ordinances of the Prophet). You make this claim, and yet I see that you have failed to perform an obligatory religious duty. Your conduct puts you outside the pale of Islam."

SECTION.

The

doctrine of

Blame was spread abroad

in

sect

this

by

the Shaykh of his age, Hamdun Qassar. He has many fine It is recorded that he said: Al-maldmat sayings on the subject.

Blame

abandonment of welfare." If anyone purposely abandons his own welfare and girds himself to endure misfortune, and renounces his pleasures and familiar tark al-saldmat,

ties,

"

the

is

hope that the glory of God will be revealed to him, is separated from mankind the more he is united

in

the more he to

God.

Accordingly, the votaries of Blame turn their backs

on that thing, namely welfare (saldmaf), to which the people of this world turn their faces, for the aspirations of the former are Unitarian (wahddnf). b. "

Mansur,

He who

Ahmad

reply to the question

is

single in essence

also said concerning

to follow, but

characterized Qadarites."

explanation.

I

Blame

will

tell

"

:

Fatik relates that

b.

in

"

Who

is

"

(wakddni al-dhd}. It is

a hard

Husayn

the Sufi

way

"

?

said

:

Hamdun

for the

vulgar

one part thereof: the Malamati

is

by the hope of the Murjites and the fear of the This saying has a hidden meaning which demands It

is

the

nature

of

man

to

be deterred by

popularity more than any other thing from seeking access to

God.

Consequently he who fears and there are two it,

to avoid firstly,

the fear that he

act for

danger is always striving perils which confront him

be veiled from

:

God by

the favour

and secondly, the fear of committing which the people will blame him and thereby

of his fellow-creatures

some

may

this

;


ON BLAME.

67

Accordingly, the Malamati must, in the first instance, take care to have no quarrel with the people for what they say of him, either in this world or the next, and into

fall

for the

sin.

own

sake of his

salvation he

must commit some act

great (kabtra} nor a trivial offence (saghira), in order that the people may reject him. Hence his fear in matters of conduct is like the fear of the

which,

legally,

Qadarites, and

him

is

neither

is

his

hope

a

sin

in

dealing

with

who blame

those

In true love there

hope of the Murjites.

like the

is

nothing sweeter than blame, because blame of the Beloved makes no impression on the lover s heart he heeds not what :

say, for his

strangers

heart

is

ever faithful to the object of

his love. "

Tis sweet

to be reviled

for passion

s

sake"

This sect (the Sufis) are distinguished above all creatures in the universe by choosing to be blamed in the body on

account of the welfare of their souls not

is

nor has of for

by the

attained it

Cherubim

been reached by the

God belonging

or

;

and

this

any

spiritual

nation

who journey on

degree beings,

and seekers

ascetics, devotees,

to the nations of antiquity, but

those of this

high

it

is

reserved

the path of entire

severance from the things of the world. In my opinion, to seek Blame is mere

ostentation, and mere hypocrisy. The ostentatious man purposely such a way as to win popularity, while the Malamati

ostentation acts in

is

purposely acts

Both have

in

such a way that the people

him.

reject

on mankind and do not pass The dervish, on the contrary, never

their thoughts fixed

beyond that sphere.

mankind, and when his heart has been broken away from them he is as indifferent to their reproBation as to their favour he moves unfettered and free. f I once said to a Malamati of Transoxania, with whom even

thinks

of

\

had associated long enough to feel at my ease what is your object in these perverse actions?" I

"

To make

the people non-existent in regard to

"

:

O

He

brother,

replied: "

myself."

The


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

68

many, and during a lifetime you will not make them non-existent in regard to yourself; "

people,"

I

said,

be^able to

make

rather

so that

are

yourself non-existent

you may be saved from

regard to the people,

in

this trouble.

all

Some who

occupied with the people imagine that the people are occupied with them. If you wish no one to see you, do not are

Since all your evils arise from seeing yourself, have what business you with others ? If a sick man whose remedy lies in abstinence seeks to indulge his appetite, he is see

a

yourself.

an ascetic motive

they wish to be despised by the people

:

order that they

in

Ibrahim desire

b.

"

?

Adham was He answered

"

asked, "

:

is

their

abased.

Have you

Yes, twice

ever attained your on one occasion I was

;

nobody knew me.

a ship where

in

mortify themselves, and it find themselves wretched and

may

to

delight

greatest

method of Blame from

the

Others, again, practise

fool."

was clad

I

in

common

and my hair was long, and my guise was such that the people in the ship mocked and laughed at me. Among them was a buffoon, who was always coming and pulling my

clothes all

and tearing

hair

manner of

the

and

I

it

out,

and treating me with contumely

his kind.

my

rejoiced in

At

that time

My joy

garb.

I

felt

reached

after

entirely satisfied, its

highest pitch

one day when the buffoon rose from his place and super minxit. On the second occasion I arrived at a village

me in

heavy rain, which had soaked the patched frock on my body, and I was overcome by the wintry cold. I went to a mosque, but was refused

other mosques where

three

the cold strengthened

house and drew enveloped also

I felt

Once

I,

my

me and entirely

All b.

The same thing happened

admittance.

its

I

sought

grip on

skirt close

blackened

my

up

my

shelter.

heart,

I

at

In despair, as

entered a bath

The smoke Then my

to the stove.

clothes

and

face.

satisfied."

Uthman

al-Jullabi,

found myself in a

difficulty.

clearing

exercises undertaken in the hope of repaired as I had done with success on

a

to the

After

many

devotional

it away, I former occasion

tomb of Abu Yazi d, and stayed


ON BLAME. beside

it

for

space of three

a

69

months, performing

every

day three ablutions and thirty purifications in the hope that my difficulty might be removed. It was not, however; so One night I departed and journeyed towards Khurasan. arrived at a village in that country where there was I a convent (khdnaqdJi) inhabited by a number of aspirants to was wearing a dark-blue frock (muraqqct-i I Sufiism. 1 but I had prescribed by the Sunna with me nothing of the Sufi s regular equipment (dlat-i ahl-i rasni) except a staff and a leathern water-bottle (rakwa}.

khishari),

I

such as

is

not

did

know me.

They

habit and said to one another,

And

so in truth

eyes of these Sufis, regarded only my external

contemptible in the

appeared very

who

;

This fellow

is

not one of

us."

was not one of them, but I had that place. They lodged me on a roof,

was

it

"

to pass the night in

I

:

while they themselves went up to a roof above mine, and set me dry bread which had turned green, while I was

before

drawing into

my

nostrils the

they regaled themselves. derisive

me

remarks to

savour of the viands with which

All the time they were addressing from the roof. When they finished

the food, they began to pelt

me

with the skins of the melons

which they had eaten, by way of showing how pleased they were with themselves and how lightly they thought of me. I

said in

my

heart

wearing the dress this

from

O

Lord God, were it not that they are Thy friends, I would not have borne And the more they scoffed at me the "

:

of

them."

more glad became

my

heart, so

that the

endurance of

burden was the means of delivering me from that which I have mentioned and forthwith I perceived ;

this

difficulty

why

the

Shaykhs have always given fools leave to associate with them and for what reason they submit to their annoyance. 1

I.

adds in margin

"for

travellers

".


CHAPTER

VII.

CONCERNING THEIR IMAMS WHO BELONGED TO THE COMPANIONS. i.

THE CALIPH ABU BAKR, THE VERACIOUS

He

v .""

p

7

(al-Siddlg).

placed by the Sufi Shaykhs at the head of those who have adopted the contemplative life (inushdhadat\ on account of the fewness of the stories and traditions which he related is

;

Umar

placed at the head of those who have adopted the purgative life (mtydhadaf), because of his rigour and assiduity It is written among the genuine Traditions, and is in devotion. (

while

well

known

he used to

is

Koran

to recite in a loud voice.

he did hear."

drive

this.

Abu Bakr the

in

a low voice, whereas

at night

Umar

used

The Apostle asked Abu Bakr why "

replied:

He

with "

in his

Umar,

away

when Abu Bakr prayed

to scholars, that

recite the

turn, replied

:

I

whom

wake

I

converse will

the drowsy and

The one gave

a token of contemplation, purgation, compared with con

Devil."

Now the other of purgation. a like is drop of water in a sea, and for this reason templation, the Apostle said

that

(equivalent to)

HH (ha I anta Hid hasanat

that

Umar, the glory of Islam, was only good deeds of Abu Bakr min hasandti Abi Bakr). It is recorded Our abode is transitory, our life therem

a single one of the

Abu Bakr

said

"

:

but a loan, our breaths are numbered, and our indolence is manifest." By this he signified that the world is too worthless

is

engage our thoughts for whenever you occupy yourself with what is perishable, you are made blind to that which is eternal

to

;

:

the friends of

which

veil

God

turn their backs on the world and the flesh

them from Him, and they decline

were owners of a thing that And he said O God, give "

:

to act as if they

really the property of another. me plenty of the world and make is


IMAMS

me

WHO BELONGED TO THE it

/I

This saying has a hidden

"

of renouncing

desirous

COMPANIONS.

!

First bestow on me worldly goods that I may give thanks for them, and then help me to abstain from them for Thy sake, so that I may have the treble merit of thanksgiving "

sense, viz.

:

and abstinence, and that my poverty may be These words refute the Director voluntary, not compulsory." He whose poverty is com of mystical practice, who said and

liberality

"

:

more

is

perfect than he

whose poverty

is

voluntary; the creature (san at) of poverty, and and it is better that if it be voluntary, poverty is his creature his actions should be free from any attempt to gain poverty for pulsory

for if

it

be compulsory, he

is

;

himself than that he should seek to acquire it by his own effort." I The creature of poverty is most say in answer to this :

person who, while enjoying independence, is possessed by the desire for poverty, and labours to recover it from the clutches of the world not that person who, in the that

evidently

;

state of poverty,

possessed by the desire for independence and has to go to the houses of evildoers and the courts of governors for the sake of earning money. The creature of

he who

is

poverty

is

falls

from independence to poverty, not he

Abu Bakr is the powerful. the prophets, and it is not anyone should take precedence of him, for

who, being poor, seeks to foremost of all mankind permissible

that

he set voluntary doctrine

is

Director

whom we

all

coveted the

the

Stiff

Shaykhs

This

except the spiritual

have mentioned.

allegiance as Caliph, in the

after

poverty above compulsory poverty.

held by

Zuhri relates that,

an oration,

become

when Abu Bakr received the oaths of he mounted the pulpit and pronounced

course of which he said

"

:

By God,

I

never

command nor desired it even for a day or a night, God for it openly or in secret, nor do I take any Now, when God causes anyone to having

nor ever asked pleasure attain

in

perfect

it."

sincerity

and exalts him

to the rank of fixity

(tamkin) he waits for Divine inspiration, that it may guide him and according as he is bidden, he will be either a beggar or ;

a prince, without exercising

his

own

choice and

will.

Thus


KASHF AL-MAHjtB.

72

Bakr, the Veracious, resigned himself to the will of God from first to last. Hence the whole sect of Sufis have made

Abu

him

their pattern in stripping

fixity (tamkin), in

renounce

He

authority.

the

is

general, and of the Sufis

Imam

and

Moslems

of the

in

longing to

in

in

in particular.

THE CALIPH UMAR

2.

He was

themselves of worldly things,

eager desire for poverty,

specially distinguished

B.

AL-KHATTAB.

by sagacity and

resolution,

sayings on Sufiism. The Apostle many and again, said The Truth speaks by the tongue of Umar There have been inspired relaters (tnukaddatk?*} in the

and

is

the author of

fine

"

"

:

;

"

peoples of antiquity, and

Umar

if

there be

any such

in

my

people,

means of of bad Retirement is of two one s self company." relieving sorts: firstly, turning one s back on mankind (i -rdd az khalq], and secondly, entire severance from them (inqitfr az ishdn\ Turning one s back on mankind consists in choosing a solitary retreat, and in renouncing the society of one s fellow-creatures externally, and in quiet contemplation of the faults in one s own it

is

Umar."

said

"

:

Retirement

(

uzlat)

is

a

conduct, and in seeking release for one s self from intercourse with men, and in making all people secure from one s evil But severance from mankind is a spiritual state, which actions.

not connected with anything external. When a person is severed from mankind in spirit, he knows nothing of created beings and no thought thereof can take possession of his mind. is

Such a person, although he is living among the people, is isolated from them, and his spirit dwells apart from them. This is a very exalted station.

and Caliph.

Umar

followed the right path herein,

among the people as their Commander His words show clearly that although spiritualists

for externally

he lived

may outwardly mix with mankind, their hearts always cling tq_ God and return to Him in all circumstances. They regard any intercourse they may have with men as an affliction sent by God and that intercourse does not divert them from God, since__ the world never becomes pure in the eyes of those whom God ;


WHO BELONGED TO THE

IMAMS

Umar

loves.

said:

abode which

"An

cannot possibly be without

model

their

in

wearing

is

founded upon

The

affliction."

a

patched

COMPANIONS.

frock

Sufis

73

affliction

make him

(muraqqa a]

and

rigorously performing the duties of religion. 3.

It

by Abdallah

related

is

follows

THE CALIPH UTHMAN

"

:

We

were with

b.

AFFAN.

B.

Rabah and Abu Qatada

Commander

the

of

the

as

Faithful,

Uthman, on the day when his house was attacked. His slaves, seeing the crowd of rebels gathered at the door, took up arms. Uthman said: Whoever of you does not take up arms is a free man. We went forth from the house in fear of our lives. Hasan b. AH met us on the way, and we returned with him to Uthman, that we might know on what business he was going. After he had saluted Uthman and condoled with him he said O Prince of the Faithful, I dare not draw sword against Moslems without thy command. Thou art the true Imam. Give the order and I will defend thee. Uthman replied :

:

O my shall

cousin, go back to thy house and sit there until God We do not wish to shed bring His decree to pass.

blood.

"

These words betoken resignation in the hour of calamity, and show that the speaker had attained the rank of friendship with God (khullaf). Similarly, when Nimrod lit a fire and put

Abraham in the sling (fa/a) of a catapult, Gabriel came to Abraham and said, Dost thou want anything ? He answered, From thee, Gabriel said, Then ask God." JHe_answered, 1

"

"

"

"

no."

He knows

"Since

in

Here Uthman was

what plight

saved, while

in

am

need not ask

I

in the position of the

the catapult, and the seditious

and Hasan was

I

the

mob was

Him."

Friend (Khali l)

2

in

in the place of the fire,

place of Gabriel

;

but

Abraham was

Uthman

Salvation (najdt) is connected perished. with subsistence (baqd) and destruction (kald) with annihilation (fand)

:

on

this

1

Arabic

2

Abraham

topic something

kiffat. is

has been said above.

See Dozy, Supplement, ii, 476. the Friend of by Moslems

called

"

God

"

(al-Khalil).

The


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

74

Uthman

Sufi s take

property, in devotion.

as their their

resigning 4.

exemplar

THE CALIPH ALI

His renown and rank

to

affairs

B.

in sacrificing

God, and

in

and

life

sincere

ABI TALIB.

Path (of Sufiism) were very high. He_explained the principles (usiil) of Divine truth with All is our Shaykh exceeding subtlety, so that Junayd said as regards the principles and as regards the endurance of in

this

"

:

for Sufi s in the theory and practice of Sufiism and its the theory of this Path "principles practice (usul), It is related consists entirely in the endurance of affliction. affliction," i.e.

;

"

call

that

Ah

some one begged All

Do

to give

him a precept

(wasiyyat).

your wife and children be your chief cares for if they be friends of God, God will look after His friends, and if they are enemies of God, why should you take "

replied

:

not

let

;

God

This question is connected with the severance of the heart from all things save God, who keeps His care of

s enemies?"

servants in whatever state

daughter of Shu ayb her to

God

;

x

He

willeth.

Thus Moses

left

the

most miserable plight and committed Hagar and Ishmael and

in a

and Abraham took

brought them to a barren valley and committed them to God.

Both these prophets, instead of making wife and child their chief care, fixed their hearts on God. This saying resembles the answer which All gave to one who asked what is the purest He said It is that which belongs thing that can be acquired. "

:

to a heart

heart that

is

made

rich

so enriched

by God is

not

(gkand al-qalb billd/i). The made poor by having no worldly "

goods nor glad by having them. the theory regarding poverty and

This subject really turns on purity, which has been already

All is a model for the Sufis in respect to the truths of outward expressions and the subtleties of inward meanings, the stripping one s self of all property either of this world or of discussed.

the next, and consideration of the Divine providence. 1

Moses

is

said to have married one of the daughters of

22-8, where Shu ayb, however,

is

Shu ayb.

not mentioned by name.

See Kor.

xxviii,


CHAPTER "CONCERNING

THEIR IMAMS WHO BELONGED TO THE HOUSE OF THE PROPHET. i.

He was "

precept secret to

:

VIII.

HASAN

ALL

B.

profoundly versed in Sufiism. He See that ye guard your hearts, for "Guarding

thoughts."

others (than God) and

in

the

heart"

keeping one

by way of knows God your said,

consists in not turning s

secret thoughts from

disobedience to the Almighty. When the Qadarites got the upper hand, and the doctrine of Rationalism became widely

Hasan of Basra wrote to Hasan b. All begging for guidance, and asking him to state his opinion on the perplexing subject of predestination and on the dispute whether men have any power to act (istitd af). Hasan b. All replied that in his spread,

opinion those who did not believe in the determination (qadar) of men s good and evil actions by God were infidels, and that those

who imputed

God were

their sins to

miscreants,

i.e.

the

Qadarites deny the Divine providence, and the Jabarites impute hence men are free to acquire their actions their sins to God ;

according power given them by God, and thus our course between free-will and predesti takes the middle religion to

nation.

the

have read

I

was seated

in the

Anecdotes that when Hasan

at the door of his

house

in

Kufa, a

b.

All

Bedouin came

up and reviled him and his father and his mother. Hasan rose and said O Bedouin, perhaps you are hungry or thirsty, or what ails you ? The Bedouin took no heed, but continued to "

:

"

abuse him.

Hasan ordered

and gave

to the fellow, saying

it

his slave to bring a purse of silver, "

:

O

Bedouin, excuse me, for I should

there -is nothing else in the house; had there been more,

not have grudged

it

to

you."

On

hearing

this,

the

Bedouin


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

76 exclaimed

bear witness that thou art the grandson of the

"

I

:

Apostle of God. I came hither to make trial of thy mildness." Such are the true saints and Shaykhs who care not whether they are praised or blamed, and listen calmly to abuse. 2.

He

HUSAYN

ALL

B.

the martyr of Karbala, and all Sufis are agreed that he was in the right. So long as the Truth was apparent, ne followed but when it was lost he drew the sword and never rested ^it is

;

he_sacrified his dear

until

life

God

for

s

The Apostle

sake.

Thus Umar distinguished him by many tokens of favour. b. al-Khattab relates that one day he saw the Apostle crawling on his knees, while Husayn rode on his back holding a string, of which the other end was in the Apostle s mouth. Umar said

"

:

What an

Abdallah is

O Umar

he,

religion

man in

s

is

the

He

"

It

!

is

thou "

replied

:

recorded that

ALi

B.

O

hast,

What

of

father

an excellent rider

Husayn

kindest of brethren towards

salvation consists in following religion,

disobeying

3.

excellent camel

The Apostle

"

!

said

thee,"

and

"

Thy

:

because a

his perdition

it.

HUSAYN

said that the

B.

ALi,

CALLED ZAYN AL- ABIDIN.

most blessed man

he who, when he next into wrong, and when he is

is

pleased,

in this

world and

in

the

not led by his pleasure not carried by his anger

is

angry, is the bounds of This is the character of those who beyond right. have attained perfect rectitude (kamdl-i mustaqiuidn). Husayn used to call him All the Younger ( All Asghar). When

Husayn and none

left

his

is

children were killed

except

was

at Karbala, there

All to take care of the

women

;

and he was

The women were brought unveiled on camels to Yazid Mu awiya may God curse him, but not his father at b. Damascus. Some one said to All How are ye this morning, O All and O members of the House of Mercy ? All replied ill.

*

!

"

:

"

:

"

We

of

are in the

same

Moses among

position among our people as the people Pharaoh s folk, who slaughtered their sons


IMAMS

WHO BELONGED TO THE HOUSE OF THE

PROPHET.

7/

and took their women alive; we do not know morning from evening on account of the reality of our affliction." [The author then

relates the

well-known story of Hisham

b. Abd al-Malik s encounter with Ah b. Husayn at Mecca how the Caliph, who desired to kiss the Black Stone but was unable to reach it, saw the crowd immediately make way for how a man of Syria All and retire to a respectful distance of the name this person who was him asked the Caliph to tell held in so great veneration how Hisham feigned ignorance, ;

;

should be shaken in allegiance to the poet Farazdaq stepped forward and

for fear that his partisans

himself; and

how

encomium beginning This is he whose footprint is known to the valley of Mecca He whom the Temple knoivs, and the unhallowed territory and the Jwly ground. l

recited the splendid "

,

This

is the

son of

This

is the

pious, the

tJie

best elect,

of all the servants of God, the pure, the

eminent"

Hisham was enraged and threw Farazdaq into prison. Alf sent to him a purse containing 12,000 dirhems but the poet ;

returned in

it,

with the message that he had uttered

many

lies

the panegyrics on princes and governors which he was

accustomed to compose

for

money, and that he had addressed

these verses to All as a partial expiation for his sins in that respect, and as a proof of his affection towards the House of All, however, begged to be excused from taking back what he had already given away and Farazdaq at last consented to receive the money.]

the Prophet.

;

4.

ABU JA FAR MUHAMMAD

Some

say that his

"

name

B.

ALi

B.

of honour

"

HUSAYN AL-BAQIR. was Abu Abdallah.

He was distinguished for his know ledge of the abstruse sciences and for his subtle indications as to the meaning of the Koran. It is related that on one occasion His nickname was Baqir.

a king,

who wished 1

to

destroy him,

summoned him

Twenty-five verses are quoted.

to

his


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

78

When

presence.

bestowed

gifts

Baqir appeared, the king begged his pardon, upon him, and dismissed him courteously. On

being asked why he had acted When he came in, I saw two

in this

"

lions,

manner, the king replied one on his right hand and :

threatened to destroy me if I should attempt to do him any harm." In his explanation of the verse, Whoso ever believes in the taghut and believes in God" (Kor. ii, 257),

one on

his left,

who

"

Baqir said

"

:

the Truth

is

when

that

Anything that diverts thee from contemplation of thy

tdg/ttit."

One

of his intimate friends relates

a portion of the night had passed and Baqir had

finished his litanies, he used to cry aloud to

God

"

:

O my God

my Lord, night has come, and the power of monarchs has ceased, and the stars are shining in the sky, and all mankind and

N

^J

^

j^>

and

and the Banu

have gone to rest and shut their doors and set guards to watch over them and those who desired anything from them have forgotten their are asleep

>

silent,

Umayya

;

business.

O

God, art the Living, the Lasting, the Seeing, Sleep and slumber cannot overtake Thee. He

Thou,

the Knowing. not acknowledge that Thou art such as I have described is unworthy of Thy bounty. O Thou whom no thing withholds from any other thing, whose eternity is not impaired

who does

by Day and Night, whose doors of Mercy are open to all who upon Thee, and whose entire treasures are lavished on those who praise Thee Thou dost never turn away the beggar, and

call

:

no creature

in earth or

heaven can prevent. the true believer who

O Lord, implores Thee from gaining access to Thy court. when I remember death and the grave and the reckoning, how take joy in this world ? Therefore, since I acknowledge Thee to be One, I beseech Thee to give me peace in the hour of death, without torment, and pleasure in the hour of reckoning,

can

I

without

ABU MUHAMMAD JA FAR

5.

He his

punishment."

is

celebrated

discourse and

B.

MUHAMMAD

SADIQ.

the Sufi Shaykhs for the subtlety of acquaintance with spiritual truths, and

among his

he has written famous books in explanation of Sufiism.

It is


WHO BELONGED TO THE HOUSE

IMAMS

related that he said all

The

else."

God) and

"

:

gnostic

OF THE PROPHET.

Whoever knows God (

turns his back on

drif) turns his back on

"

"

other

cut off from worldly things, because his

is

79

(than

knowledge

pure nescience (nakiraf), inasmuch as nescience forms part of his knowledge, and knowledge forms part of his Therefore the gnostic is separated from mankind nescience. is

(ina rifaf)

and from thought of them, and he is joined to God. Other has no place in his heart, that he should pay any heed to them,

"

"

and

their existence has

no worth

for him, that

he should

fix the

in his mind. And it is related that he no right service without repentance, because God hath put repentance before service, and hath said, Those who

remembrance of them said:

"There is

and

repent

of the

first

repentance and

ix,

113).

in this Path,

Repentance (tawbat) and service (^ibddaf)

mentioned the disobedient

said,

He

when

but

"

stations

When God

last.

(Kor.

serve" "

unto

"Repent

mentioned

the

God together" Apostle

and

"

He

He

called

is

the

is

the

them

to

(Kor. xxiv, 31); referred

to

his

His said, servantship {^ubudiyyat}, servant that which He revealed" (Kor. liii, 10). I have read in the Anecdotes that Dawud Ta i came to Ja far Sadiq and said O son of the Apostle of God, counsel me, for my mind is "

"He

revealed to

:

"

O Abu Sulayman, thou art the Ja far replied ascetic of thy time what need hast thou of counsel from me ? "

darkened."

:

"

:

He

answered

"

:

O

mankind, and

all "O

Abu

son of the Apostle, thy family are superior to incumbent on thee to give counsel to

it is

Sulayman,"

all."

cried

Ja

far,

"I

am

afraid

that at the

grandsire will lay hold on me, saying, Why didst not thou fulfil the obligation to follow in my steps ?

Resurrection

This

my

not a matter that depends on authentic and sure affinity (to Muhammad), but on good conduct in the presence of the is

Truth."

Dawud Ta began

(Batiil)

if

O Lord weep and exclaimed if one whose is moulded with the water of Prophecy, God, clay whose grandsire is the Apostle, and whose mother is Fatima I

i

such a one

is

should be pleased with

day Ja far

to

"

:

distracted

my

said to his clients

"

"

:

by doubts, who am

I

that

One dealings (towards God) ? let us take a Come, pledge that


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

SO

gain deliverance on the Resurrection shall intercede for all the rest." They said:

whoever amongst us

shall

Day "O

of

son

of the Apostle, how canst thou have need of our intercession since thy grandsire intercedes for all mankind?" Ja far replied: actions are such that I shall be ashamed to look my "

My

To see one s faults is grandsire in the face on the Last Day." a quality of perfection, and is characteristic of those who are established in the Divine presence, whether they be prophets, The Apostle said When God wishes saints, or apostles. "

:

a

man

bows

well,

He

gives

him

head with humility, both worlds.

his

state in

Now

insight into his

I

shall

(Ahl-i Suffa).

mention

like a servant,

briefly

In a book entitled

the "

faults."

God

People

of

The Highway

Whoever

will exalt his

the

Veranda

of Religion

"

(Min/idj al-Din\ which I composed before the present work, I have given a detailed account of each of them, but here it will suffice to mention their names and names of honour". "


CHAPTER

IX.

CONCERNING THE PEOPLE OF THE VERANDA

Know

that

all

Moslems are agreed

(Ahl-i Suffa}.

that the Apostle had

a number of Companions, who abode in his Mosque and engaged in devotion, renouncing the world and refusing to seek a liveli

God reproached the Apostle on their account and said away those who call unto their Lord at morn

hood. "

Do

:

not drive

His face" (Kor. vi, 52). Their merits are proclaimed by the Book of God, and in many traditions of the Apostle which have come down to us. It is related by Ibn

and

desiring

eve,

Abbas

that the Apostle passed

and saw

their

"

Rejoice state

for

!

which ye be one of

in

he shall

Ahl-i Suffa b.

J

were

is

in

Ammar

brother

b.

al-Aratt,

Utba

perseveres in the with his condition,

Among

Paradise."

Rabah, Salman

his

al-Aswad, Khabbab

satisfied

comrades

my

Bilal b.

al-Hudhali,

:

my community

and

are,

by the People of the Veranda, self-mortification and said

their

Abu 1-Yaqzan

al-Jarrah,

Mas ud

poverty and whoever of

b.

b.

Suhayb

Yasir,

Mas b.

the

Abu Ubayda

al-Farisf,

Abdallah

b.

Miqdad Utba

b.

ud,

Sinan,

b.

Ghazwan, Zayd b. al-Khattab, brother of the Caliph Umar Abu Kabsha, the Apostle s client Abu 1-Marthad Kinana b.

;

;

Adawi

Hudhayfa al-Yamam al-Farisi Abu Dharr Abdallah b. Umar Safwan b. Jundab b. Junada al-Ghifari Abu Darda b. Bayda Amir; Abu Lubaba b. Abd Uwaym al-Mundhir and Abdallah b. Badr al-Juhani. Shaykh Abu Abd al-Rahman Muhammad b. al-Husayn

al-Husayn

Ukkasha

al-

b.

Mihsan

;

;

Salim, client of

Mas

iid b. ;

Rabf

;

;

;

;

;

2 al-Sulami, the traditionist (naqqdf) of Sufiism and transmitter 1

I have corrected many of the following names, which are erroneously written in the Persian text, by reference to various Arabic works. 2 See Brockelmann, i, 200.

G


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

82

of the sayings of the Sufi Shaykhs, has written a separate history of the Ahl-i Suffa, in which he has recorded their virtues and

names and "names of honour". He has included among them Mistah b. Uthatha b. Abbad, whom I dislike because he began the slanders about A isha, the Mother of the merits and

and Sa

Hurayra, and Thawbdn, and Mu adh b. al-Harith, Khallad, and Thabit b. Wadf at, and Abu Isa

Abu

Believers. ib

b.

Sa ida, and Salim b. Umayr b. Thabit, and Abu 1and Wahb b. Ma qal, and Abdallah b. Yasar Ka b b. b. Umar al-Aslami belonged to the Ahl-i and Hajjaj Unays, Now and then they had recourse to some means of Suffa. livelihood (tctalluq ba-sababi kardandi), but all of them were in one and the same degree (of dignity). Verily, the generation and they of the Companions was the best of all generations of best and most excellent since were the God mankind, bestowed on them companionship with the Apostle and pre

Uwaym

b.

<Amr,

;

served their hearts from blemish.


CHAPTER

X.

CONCERNING JTHEIR IMAMS WHO BELONGED TO THE FOLLOWERS (al-Tdbi tiri).

UWAYS AL-QARANI.

/\.

He

lived in the time of the Apostle, but

was prevented from

and seeing him, firstly by the ecstasy which overmastered him, to the said The Apostle secondly by duty to his mother.

Companions:

as the sheep of

Umar

and

man

Qaran, called Uways, who at multitude of my people, as

at

will intercede for a

the Resurrection

many

a

"There is

Rabi a and

he said

All,

"

:

You

Mudar."

will see

man, of middle height, and hairy

;

on

Then turning

him.

his left

He

to

a lowly side there is a is

white spot, as large as a dirhem, which is not from leprosy and he has a similar spot on the palm of his hand. (/>$//), When you see him, give him my greeting, and bid him pray for

my

After the Apostle

people."

Mecca, and

s

death

cried out in the course of a

Umar came O men

sermon

"

:

to

of

"

They Najd, are there any natives of Qaran amongst you ? and asked for them sent Yes Umar answered, whereupon "

"

;

He is a madman who dwells them about Uways. They said He does not eat what in solitude and associates with no one. men eat, and he feels no joy or sorrow. When others smile he wish Umar said: weeps, and when others weep he smiles." "

:

"I

to see

him."

camels."

They

"

replied

Umar and

:

He

lives in a desert, far

All set out in quest of him.

from our

They found

him praying, and waited until he was finished. He saluted them and showed them the marks on his side and the palm of his hand. They asked his blessing and gave him the Apostle s and greeting, enjoined him to pray for the Moslem people. After they had stayed with him for a while, he said You "

:


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

84

me); now return, for the Resurrection each other without having to say is near, when we shall see At present I am engaged in preparing for the farewell. When the men of Qaran came home, they Resurrection." (to see

have taken trouble

He

exhibited great respect for Uways.

and came

One

to Kiifa.

left

his native

day he was seen by Harim

b.

place

Hayyan,

He war. but after that nobody saw him until the period of civil a martyr at the battle of Siffin. fought for Ah and fell because related that he said: "Safety lies in solitude," ,

It is

from thought of other_^_and from mankind. in no circumstances does he hope for anything Let none imagine, however, that solitude (wahdat) merely "

free

the hearTof the solitary

is

consists in living alone.

So long

a

man

s

way

as to

solitude

and sensual passion holds sway in his breast, and of this world or the next occurs to him in such

heart,

any thought a

as the Devil associates with

;

since

is

it

not truly in one whether he takes pleasure in the

conscious of mankind, he

make him

all

is

of it. Accordingly, the true thing itself or in the thought but he who is preoccupied solitary is not disturbed by society, "seeks

in

vain to acquire freedom

from thought by secluding

In order to be cut off from mankind one must become himself. with intimate with God, and those who have become intimate God are not hurt by intercourse with mankind.

HARIM

2.

He went

to visit

Uways

B.

HAYYAN.

at Qaran he Qarani, but on arriving

Uways was no

longer there. Deeply disappointed, he learned that Uways was living where he returned to Mecca, him for He thither, but could not discover at Kufa.

found that

repaired

Basra and on the way he saw Uways, clad in a patched frock, performing an ablution on As soon as he came up from the the banks of the Euphrates. to shore of the river and combed his beard, Harim advanced a long time.

At

he set out

last

for

Peace be with thee, Uways said did you know How cried Harim O Harim b. Hayyan that I am Harim?" Uways answered: "My spirit knew thy "

meet him and saluted him.

:

"

"

!

:


IMAMS

He

spirit."

WHO BELONGED TO

THE. FOLLOWERS.

85

Harim Keep watch over thy heart Guard thy heart from thoughts of i.e. "

said

to

"

:

"

bi-qalbikd],

(^alayka

other

This saying has two meanings

".

God by

obedient to

self-mortification

Make thy heart and (2) Make thyself "

:

(i)

"

",

These are two sound principles. It is obedient to thy heart the business of novices (murfddn} to make their hearts obedient to God in order to purge them from familiarity with vain desires ".

and passions, and sever them from unseemly thoughts, and fix them on the method of gaining spiritual health, on the keeping

commandments, and on contemplation of the signs of God, so that their hearts may become the shrine of Love. To

of the

make one s

self obedient to

one

the business of adepts has illumined with the light of s

heart

is

(kdmildn\ whose hearts God Beauty, and delivered from all causes and means, and invested with the robe of proximity (gnrb\ and thereby has revealed to

them His bounties and has chosen them to contemplate Him and to be near Him: hence He has made their bodies accordant with their hearts.

The former

class are masters of their hearts

(sahib al-qulub), the latter are under the dominion of their hearts the former retain their attributes (bdqi /(inaghlub al-qulub) ;

sifat\ the latter have lost their attributes (fdni truth of this matter goes back to the words of God

minhumu

^

"

l-muklilasina,

^l-sifaf). :

The

Illd ^ibddaka

Except such of them as are

Thy

Here some read (chosen) servants" (Kor. xv, 40). mukhlisina instead of mukhlasina. The mukhlis (purifying one s self) is active, and retains his attributes, but the mukhlas purified

(purified)

is

passive,

this question

their

abide

more

and has

lost his attributes.

fully elsewhere.

The

I

will

latter class,

explain

who make

accordant with their hearts, and whose hearts contemplation of God, are of higher rank than those

bodies in

who by

their

own

effort

Divine commandments.

make

their

hearts

This subject has

comply with the its

foundation

in

the principles of sobriety (sahw) and intoxication (sukr\ and those of contemplation (inushdhadaf) and self-mortification

in

(inujdhadaf).


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

86

HASAN OF BASRA. was Abu All according to others, Abu Abu Muhammad or Sa id. He is held in high regard and esteem by the Sufi s. He gave subtle directions relating to the I have read in science of practical religion (^ilm-i mu dmalaf}. His

of

"name

honour"

;

Anecdotes that a Bedouin came to him and asked him

the

Hasan

about patience (sabr).

replied:

sorts: firstly, patience in misfortune

and

"Patience

affliction;

is

of two

and secondly,

from the things which God has commanded The Bedouin us to renounce and has forbidden us to pursue." patience to

refrain

art

"Thou

said..:

than thou

"

art."

an ascetic; O Bedouin

nothing but desire, and

"

>fc

r

x

[said he] thou hast

for

My

fear

in

patience

_o_H

/.

cried

!

my

Hasan,

patience

ell- fire,

shaken

misfortune and

and

this

asceticism in this world

y

never saw anyone more ascetic

"

The Bedouin begged him

fortitude." "

I

is

my my

is

"

my

asceticism

is

nothing but lack of

to explain this saying, belief."

Hasan

replied

submission proclaim

:

my

lack of fortitude (jaza } and my desire for the next world, and this is 1

is

the quintessence of desire. thought of his own interest

;

How !

excellent

is

he who takes no

so that his patience

is

for

God

s

from Hell; and his asceticism not for the sake, purpose of bringing himself into This is the mark of true sincerity." And it is related

sake, not for the saving of himself is

for

God

Paradise.

s

that he said

of the

"

:

good."

Association with the wicked produces suspicion This saying is very apt and suitable to the

people of the present age, who all disbelieve in the honoured friends of God. The reason of their disbelief is that they associate with pretenders to Sufiism,

forms

and

;

tongues

perceiving

false,

their

who have

actions

to

only its external be perfidious, their

their ears listening to idle quatrains, their eyes

following pleasure and lust, and their hearts set on amassing unlawful or dubious lucre, they fancy that aspirants to Sufiism behave in the same manner, or that this is the doctrine of the Sufis

themselves, whereas, on the contrary, the

Sufis

act in

obedience to God, and speak the word of God, and keep the love of

God

in

their hearts

and the voice (sanid^ of God

in


IMAMS

WHO BELONGED TO THE FOLLOWERS.

8/

and the beauty of Divine contemplation in their eyes, and all their thoughts are fixed on the gaining of holy If mysteries in the place where Vision is vouchsafed to them.

their ears,

among them and have adopted their practices, the evil must be referred to those who commit it. Anyone who associates with the wicked members of a com munity does so through his own wickedness, for he would

evildoers have appeared

associate with the

good 4.

It

is

said that he

if

SA ID

there were B.

any good

in

him.

AL-MUSAYYIB.

was a man of devout nature who made

show of hypocrisy, not a hypocrite who pretended to be This way of acting is approved in Sufiism and is held laudable by all the Shaykhs. He said Be content with a

devout.

"

:

a

little

of this world while thy religion is safe, even as some with much thereof while their religion is lost,"

are content i.e.

poverty without injury to religion

heedlessness.

came

to

It is related that

him and

said

"

:

Tell

me

He

is

better than riches with

when he was

at

Mecca a man

a lawful thing in

which there

God is nothing replied a lawful thing in which there is nothing unlawful, and praise of aught else is an unlawful thing in which there is nothing is

lawful,"

unlawful."

because your salvation

perdition in the latter.

"

:

lies

Praise (dhikr) of

in

the

former and your


CHAPTER XL CONCERNING THEIR IMAMS WHO LIVED SUBSEQUENTLY TO THE FOLLOWERS (al-Tdbi un) DOWN TO OUR DAY. HABIB AL- AJAMI.

i.

His conversion (tawbaf) was begun by Hasan of Basra. At he was a usurer and committed all sorts of wickedness,

first

but

God gave him

a sincere repentance, and he learned from

Hasan something of the theory and practice of religion. His was Persian ( q/amf), and he could not speak Arabic correctly. One evening Hasan of Basra passed by the door of his cell. Habib had uttered the call to prayer and was standing, engaged in devotion. Hasan came in, but would not pray under his leadership, because Habib was unable to speak Arabic fluently or recite the Koran correctly. The same night, Hasan dreamed that he saw God and said native tongue

to

Him

"

:

O

Lord, wherein does

and that God answered pleasure, but did not

"

:

know

Thy good

O

Hasan, you

its

value

if

:

pleasure consist

found

My

"

?

good

yesternight you had the Tightness of his

your prayers after Habib, and if had restrained you from taking offence at his pro It is nunciation, I should have been well pleased with you."

said

intention

common knowledge among

when Hasan of Basra fled from Hajjaj he entered the cell of Habib. The soldiers came and said to Habib Have you seen Hasan anywhere ? Habib said Where is he ? He is in my went into the but saw no one there. cell, They Thinking that Habib was making fun of them, they abused him and called him a liar. He swore that he had spoken the truth. Sufis that

"

"

:

"

"

:

"

"

Yes."

They returned twice and thrice, but found no Hasan immediately came out and departed.

cell."

one,

and

said to

at last

Habib

:


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER TIMES. "

know

I

them

was owing

it

me

discover

to

was here

I

to thy benedictions that

89

God

did not

wicked men, but why didst thou tell Habib replied O Master, it was not on

these "

"

?

:

benedictions that they failed to see thee, but of my speaking the truth. Had I told blessedness through the Habib was asked a lie, we both should have been shamed."

account of

my

:

God pleased?" He answered: "With "With what thing is a heart which is not sullied by hypocrisy," because hypocrisy (nifdq) is the opposite of concord (wifdq), and the state of being well pleased (rida)

is

s

is

love subsists

pleased (with whatever is decreed Therefore acquiescence (rida) is a characteristic of

by God). This

love,

and

state of being well

in the

God

There

the essence of concord.

no connexion between hypocrisy and

friends, while is

hypocrisy

is

a characteristic of His enemies^ I will explain it in another

a very important matter.

place.

2.

He was

MALIK

a companion of

and Malik was born before

B.

DINAR.

Hasan of

Basra.

Dinar was a

his father s emancipation.

slave,

His con

One evening he had been enjoying himself with a party of friends. When they were all asleep a voice came from a lute which they had been playing:

version began as follows.

O

Malik

dost thou not repent Malik abandoned his evil ways and went to Hasan of Basra, and showed himself steadfast in repentance. He attained to such a high degree "

!

why

?"

that once when he was in a ship, and was suspected of stealing a jewel, he no sooner lifted his eyes to heaven than all the fishes in the sea came to the surface, every one carrying a jewel in its mouth. Malik took one of the jewels, and gave it to

the man whose jewel was missing then he set foot on the sea and walked until he reached the shore. It is related that ;

he said

"

:

The deed

that

I

love best

is

sincerity in

doing,"

because an action only becomes an action in virtue of its sincerity. Sincerity bears the same relation to an action as the

spirit

to

the

body

:

as

the

body without the

spirit

is


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

90 a

an action without sincerity

thing, so

lifeless

is

utterly

un

Sincerity belongs to the class of internal actions, whereas acts of devotion belong to the class of external actions the latter are completed by the former, while the former derive substantial.

:

from the

their value

Although a man should keep

latter.

heart sincere for a thousand years,

combined with action

not sincerity until his

is

and although he should a thousand years, his actions do

is

sincerity

it

his

;

perform external actions for not become acts of devotion until they are combined with sincerity.

ABU HALIM HABIB

3.

He was

a companion

the Apostle said his

acts."

He

:

had

Salman

of

The

"

believer s

flocks of sheep,

bank of the Euphrates. ment from the world.

SALiM

B.

He

Farisf.

I.

related

that

intentions are better than

and

home was on

his

His religious Path

A

AL-RA

1

certain

(tartq*)

was

relates as

the

retire

follows

Shaykh Once I passed by him and found him praying, while a wolf looked after his sheep. I resolved to pay him a visit, since he to me to have the marks of greatness. When we had appeared :

"

exchanged greetings,

I

said

* :

O Shaykh

!

I

see the wolf in

accord with the sheep. He replied That is because the With those words he held shepherd is in accord with God. *

:

wooden bowl under

a rock, and two fountains gushed from the rock, one of milk and one of honey. O Shaykh I cried,

a

(

!

as he bade

He

me

how

hast thou attained to this degree ? drink, answered By obedience to Muhammad, the Apostle of :

O my

God.

son

!

the rock gave water to the people of Moses, 2

although they disobeyed him, and although Moses is not equal in rank to Muhammad why should not the rock give milk :

and honey

who

is

counsel.

to

me, inasmuch as

superior

He

Moses?

to

said

:

Do

not

I

am

I

said:

obedient to

make your

Muhammad,

me

a

word of

heart

a

coffer of

Give

covetousness and your belly a vessel of unlawful things. 1

L. Aslam.

2

Kor.

vii,

160.

"


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER TIMES.

My

had

Shaykh

farther

traditions

QI

concerning

but

him,

could not possibly set down more than this (andar waqt-i man diqi btid ti bish az in mumkin na-shud\ my books having been I

may God guard among uncongenial

Ghazna

at

left

become a captive

while

it!

folk (dar

myself had

I

miydn-i ndjinsdri)

Lahawur, which is a dependency of Multdn. be both in joy and sorrow God praised in the district of

!

4.

He was

ABU HAZIM AL-MADANI.

in poverty, arH of self-mortification.

thoroughly versed in u Uthman al-

steadfast

different kinds

._.

Makki, who shows great zeal on his behalf (andar amr-i way ba-jidd bdshad\ relates that on being asked what he possessed of

:

A

mankind."

him

asleep.

certain

When

inform thee that

it

Shaykh went

he awoke he said

that the Apostle gave to one s

God and independence

Satisfaction (ridd) with

"

hejmswered

is

mother than

me

I

:

him and found

dreamed

"

now

just

a message to thee, and bade

better to to

to see

make

the duty which

fulfil

the pilgrimage.

is

me

owed

Return, there

The person who tells the story try to please her." turned back and did not go to Mecca. This is all that I have fore,

and

heard about

Abu Hazim. 5.

He of

MUHAMMAD

associated with

the ancient

Sufiism.

It

is

(inaqdui)

WASI

.

of the Followers and with

Shaykhs, and had a perfect related that he said:

God

without

many

B.

seeing of Contemplation.

therein."

"I

This

When

a

is

some

knowledge of

never_saw anything an advanced stage

man

is

overcome with

love for the Agent, he attains to such a degree that in looking at His act he does not see the act but the Agent only and

when one looks at a picture and sees only the painter^ The true meaning of these words is the same as in the saying of Abraham, the Friend of God (Khalil) and the who said to the sun and moon and stars This is my Apostle,

entirely, just as

"

:

Lord"

(Kor.

vi,

76-8), for he

was then overcome with longing

gypl-

>^


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

92

(shcnvq\ so that the qualities of his beloved appeared to him everything that he saw. The friends of God perceive that

in

the universe

is subject to His might and captive to and that the existence of all created things dominion,

His is

as

nothing in comparison with the power of the Agent thereof. When they look thereon with longing, they do not see what is subject and passive and created, but only the Omnipotent, the Agent, the Creator. I shall treat of this in the chapter on Contemplation. Some persons have fallen into error, and have alleged that the words of Muhammad b. Wasi I saw "

,

God

involve a place of division and descent (makdn-i tajziya u /mliil}, which is sheer infidelity, because place is therein,"

homogeneous with that which

is

contained in

it,

and

if

anyone

supposes that place is created the contained object must also be created or if the latter be eternal the former also must be eternal hence this assertion entails two evil consequences, ;

:

both of which are

infidelity, viz., either that created things are

eternal (qadiui) or that the Creator

Accordingly, when Muhammad

b.

is

Wasi

non-eternal (muhdatti). said that he

saw God

he meant, as

I have explained above, that he saw in those things the signs and evidences and proofs of God. I shall discuss in the proper place some subtle points con

in things,

nected with this question.

ABU HANIFA NU MAN B. THABIT AL-KHARRAZ. He is the Imam of Imams and the exemplar of the Sunnites. He was firmly grounded in works of mortification and devotion,, 6

-

and was a great authority on the principles of Sufiism. At first he wished to go into seclusion and abandon the society of for he had made his heart free from mankind, every thought

human power and pomp.

One night, however, he dreamed was collecting the bones of the Apostle from the tomb, and choosing some and discarding others. He awoke in terror and asked one of the pupils of Muhammad b. Sinn 1 (to interpret of

that he

1

A

extant

well-known divine, who died in no A.H. See Ibn Khallikan, No. 576. work on the interpretation of dreams is attributed to him (Brockelmann, i,

An 66).


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER TIMES.

man

This

the dream).

him

said to

"

:

You

will attain a

Apostle and in knowledge ordinances (sunnaf), so that you will sift what rank

in

what

is

of

the

high

preserving his

genuine from

is

Another time Abu Hanifa dreamed that

spurious."

Apostle said to him

the

93

my

purpose of reviving

You have been

"

:

for the

created

He was the master of Adham and Fudayl b. lyad

ordinances."

many Shaykhs, e.g. Ibrahim b. and Dawud Ta and Bishr Hafi.

_ S^N

i

In

reign of the Caliph to the office of Cadi

the

Mansur a plan was formed

to

one of the following persons Abu Hanifa, Sufyan Thawri, Mis ar b. Kidam, and Shurayh. While they were journeying together to visit Mansur, who had

appoint

summoned them

to

"

companions Mis ar

be

will

this office

reject

made

Abu Hanifa

presence,

will

to

his

a certain

run away, and

and embarked

fled

Sufyan

Cadi."

said

by means of

be mad, Sufyan

will feign to

trick"

Shurayh

will

I

:

his

:

in

a ship, imploring the captain to conceal him and save him from The others were ushered into the presence of the execution.

Mansur

Caliph.

Abu Hanifa

Abu Hanifa O Commander

said to "

replied:

an Arab, but one of their clients will

not accept

my

"

:

You must

act as

of the Faithful,

I

Cadi."

am

not

and the chiefs of the Arabs Mansur said This matter has ;

"

decisions."

:

nothing to do with lineage: it demands learning, and you are the most eminent doctor of the day." Abu Hanifa persisted that he was unfit to hold the office.

shows

it,"

he exclaimed

disqualified,

a

and

if I

"

;

for if I

have told a falsehood

entrust

He

escaped

in this

cried Mansur,

"

he

is

have just said I

am

is

way.

mad

"

Finally,

!

the vacant office.

"

I

am

honour of your

Then Mis

and seized the Caliph s hand and said your children, and your beasts of burden fill

it

be judge over him with the lives, property, and

subjects."

must

I

not right that and that Moslems, you should

should

liar

"What

have spoken the truth

"

:

ar

came forward

How

are you, and

"

?

"Away

Shurayh was

melancholic,"

light-witted,"

whereupon Mansur advised him

and potions

(

astdahd-yi

muwdfiq

ti

with

him,"

told that he

said he,

"

and

to drink ptisanes

nabidhhd-yi muthallatJi)

_

-~\>

,

^


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

94

So Shurayh was made This Cadi, and Abu Hanifa never spoke a word to him again. until his intellect

was

fully

restored.

story illustrates not only the sagacity of Abu Hanifa, but also his adherence to the path of righteousness and salvation, and

determination not to

his

popularity

and

himself be deluded by seeking It shows, moreover, the

let

worldly renown.

soundness of blame (inaldmat\ since

men

resorted to

some

all

these three venerable

trick in order to avoid popularity.

Very

present age, who make the and of their the houses of evildoers their qibla princes palaces the doctors

are

different

of the

temple.

Once a doctor and a

of Ghazna,

who claimed

religious leader, declared

it

to

be a learned divine

heresy to wear a patched

I said to him You do not call it heretical frock (muraqqota). 1 to wear robes of brocade, which are made entirely of silk and, "

:

besides being in themselves unlawful for

men

to wear,

have been

begged with importunity, which is unlawful, from evildoers whose property is absolutely unlawful. Why, then, is it heretical wear a lawful garment, procured from a lawful place, and purchased with lawful money? If you were not ruled by inborn conceit and by the error of your soul, you would express a more to

judicious opinion.

Women may

wear a dress of

silk lawfully,

unlawful for men, and only permissible (mubd/i) for If you acknowledge the truth of both these state lunatics.

but

is

it

ments you are excused God save us from lack of

Yahya thee

Mu adh

He

?

answered

Once, when

I

condemning the patched

fairness

was

* :

1

The

written

garment 2

text has

in Syria,

khashisht" .

I

seek

I fell

I

asleep at the

tomb of

was

at

Bilal

Mecca, and that the

through the gate of the Banu Shayba, tenderly

jdma-i hashishi

"

dreamed that "

the Muezzin, and dreamed that in

I

Apostle of God, where shall In the science of Abu Hanifa.

2

Apostle came

"

:

O

*

It is

ri.

dibaqi.

Apparently the former word should be s Persian Dictionary as kind of

described in Vullers

".

Bilal b.

frock).

"

!

al-Razi relates as follows

to the Apostle,

said

I

b.

(for

Rabah, the Prophet

s

Muezzin, was buried at Damascus.

"a


EMINENT

SUFIS OF

LATER TIMES.

95

clasping an old man to his bosom in the same fashion as people and that I ran to him and kissed are wont to carry children the back of his foot, and stood marvelling who the old man might ;

and that the Apostle was miraculously aware of my secret thought and said to me, "This is thy Imam and the Imam of be

;

thy of

meaning Abu Hanifa. In consequence of have great hopes for myself and also for the people It has convinced me, moreover, that Abu country.

countryman,"

this

dream

my

I

Hanifa was one of those who, having annihilated their natural qualities,

continue to perform the ordinances of the sacred law, by the Apostle.

as appears from the fact that he was carried If he had walked by himself, his attributes subsistent,

and such a one may

must have been

either miss or hit the

mark

;

but

inasmuch as he was carried by the Apostle, his attributes must have been non-existent while he was sustained by the living

The Apostle cannot err, and it is one who is sustained by the Apostle

attributes of the Apostle.

equally impossible that should fall into error.

When Dawud Ta

i

authority, he went to I

do

Abu

now?"

learned, for theory spirit."

He who

is

had acquired learning and become a famous Abu Hanifa and said to him What shall "

:

Hanifa replied:

"Practise

what you have

without practice is like a body without a content with learning alone is not learned,

and the truly learned man

is

not content with learning alone.

Similarly, Divine guidance (hiddyaf) involves self- mortification (inujdhadat\ without which contemplation (inushdhadaf) is un-

There

attainable. is

knowledge

no

knowledge without action, since the product of action, and is brought forth and is

developed and made profitable by the blessings of action. The two things cannot be divorced in any way, just as the light of the sun cannot be separated from the sun

itself.

ABDALLAH B. MUBARAK AL-MARWAZI. He was the Imam of his time and consorted with many eminent Shaykhs. He is the author of celebrated works and famous 7.

miracles.

The

occasion of his conversion

is

related as follows

:


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

96

He was

in love

with a

girl,

and one night

in winter

he stationed

himself at the foot of the wall of her house, while she came on to the roof, and they both stayed gazing at each other until

day

break.

When

thought

it

Abdallah heard the

was time

call to

for

morning prayers he and only when the sun

evening prayers began to shine did he discover that he had spent the whole ;

He took rapturous contemplation of his beloved. and said to himself: Shame on thee, O son of warning by this, Mubarak Dost thou stand on foot all night for thine own night in

"

!

pleasure, and yet become furious when the Imam reads a long He repented and devoted himself to chapter of the Koran ? and entered a study, upon life of asceticism, in which he attained "

such a high degree that once his mother found him asleep in the a while snake was the garden, great driving gnats away from him with a spray of basil which it held in its mouth. Then he left Merv and lived for some time in Baghdad, associating with the

and also resided for some time at Mecca. When he returned to Merv, the people of the town received him with friendship and founded for him a professorial chair and a lecture Sufi Shaykhs,

hall

At that epoch half the popu (dars u majlis nihddand\ Merv were followers of Tradition and the other half

lation of

adherents of Opinion, just as at the present day.

They

called

him Radi al-fariqayn because of his agreement with both sides, and each party claimed him as one of themselves. He built two convents (ribdi) at Merv one for the followers of Tradition and one for the followers of Opinion which have retained their

down to the present day. Afterwards he went back to the Hijaz and settled at Mecca. On being asked what wonders he had seen, he replied I saw a Christian monk (rdhib\ who was emaciated by self-mortification and bent double

original constitution

"

:

asked him to tell me the way to God. He knew answered, God, you would know the way to Him. you Then he said, I worship Him although I do not know him, whereas you disobey Him although you know Him/ i.e. know

by

fear of

God.

I

If

ledge entails

fear,

yet

entails ignorance, yet

I

I

see that

you are confident

feel fear

within myself.

and

;

I

infidelity

laid

this

to


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER TIMES. and

heart,

that

it

restrained

Abdallah

me

from

Mubarak

b.

the hearts of the Saints of

God

said

many "

:

It is related

deeds."

unlawful to Tranquillity are they agitated in this is

for

God,"

and

ill

97

the next world by rapture (tarab] they are not permitted to rest here, while they are absent from God, nor there, while they enjoy the presence,

world by seeking

(talab)

in

;

manifestation, and vision of God.

Hence

world

this

even as

is

the next world in their eyes, and the next world even as this world, because tranquillity of heart demands two things, either

attainment of one Since

desire.

s

He is

aim or indifference to the object of one s not to be attained in this world or the next,

the heart can never have rest from the palpitation of love and since indifference is unlawful to those who love Him, the heart ;

can never have rest from the agitations of seeking Him. a firm principle in the path of spiritual adepts.

This

is

8.

He their

is

ABU

<ALI

AL-FUDAYL

B.

lYAD.

one of the paupers (fa dlik) of the

most eminent and celebrated men.

Sufis,

At

first

and one of he used to

between Merv and Baward, but he was always piety, and invariably showed a generous and magnanimous disposition, so that he would not attack a caravan in which there was any woman, or take the property practise brigandage

inclined

of anyone

to

whose stock was small

;

and he

let

the travellers

keep a portion of their property, according to the means of One day a merchant set out from Merv. His friends

each.

advised him to take an escort, but he said to them I have heard that Fudayl is a God-fearing man and instead of doing as they wished he hired a Koran-reader and mounted him on "

:

;"

a camel in order that he might read the Koran aloud day and the night during journey. When they reached the place where

Fudayl was lying "

in

ambush, the reader happened to be

Is not the time yet come unto those

who

reciting:

believe, that their

hearts

should humbly submit to the admonition of God ? (Kor. Ivii, 15). Fudayl s heart was softened. He repented of the business in which he was engaged, and having a written list of those whom "

H


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

98

claims upon him. Then he went to Mecca and resided there for some time and became

he had robbed he satisfied

all their

acquainted with certain saints of God. Afterwards he returned He has handed to Kufa, where he associated with Abu Hanifa.

down

which are held

relations

in

high esteem by Traditionists,

and he

is the author of lofty sayings concerning the verities of It is recorded that he said Sufiism and Divine Knowledge. :

"

as He ought to be known worships Him because everyone who knows God acknow

Whoever knows God

with

all his

might,"

ledges His bounty and beneficence and mercy, and therefore and since he loves Him he obeys Him so far as he loves Him ;

has the power, for

it

is

not

difficult to

Accordingly, the more one

loves.

whom

obey those

loves,

the

one

more one

is

1 It is related obedient, and love is increased by true knowledge. The world is a madhouse, and the people that he said "

:

therein are

madmen, wearing shackles and

shackle and sin

Fadl

b.

Lust

chains."

is

our

our chain.

is

Rabi* relates as

follows:

"I

accompanied Harun

When we had performed the pilgrimage, any man of God here that I may visit I him ? We replied, Yes, there is Abd al-Razzaq San amV went to his house and talked with him for a while. When we were about to leave, Harun bade me ask him whether he had any debts. He said, Yes, and Harun gave orders that they should be paid. On coming out, Harun said to me, O Fadl, my heart still desires to see a man greater than this one.

al-Rashid to Mecca.

he said to me,

*

Is there

2

<

I

conducted him to Sufyan

b.

Uyayna.

Our

3

visit

ended

in the

same way. Harun gave orders to pay his debts and departed. Then he said to me, I recollect that Fudayl b. lyad is here let us go and see him. We found him in an upper chamber,

;

When we

reciting a verse of the Koran.

he

cried,

Faithful.

Who

is

there

What have

1

Here the author

2

He

3

Died

relates

I

I

to

replied,

at the door,

The Commander

of the

do with the Commander of the

two anecdotes

illustrating the devotion of

See Ibn Khallikan, No. 409. See Ibn Khallildn, No. 266.

died in 211 A.H. in 168 A.H.

?

knocked

Muhammad.


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER TIMES.

99

not an Apostolic Tradition to the effect that no one shall seek to abase himself in devotion Faithful

said he.

?

I

Is there

said,

Yes, but acquiescence in God s will you see (rida) is everlasting glory in the opinion of quietists came down Then he exaltation. I see but my my abasement, to

He

God ?

*

answered,

:

and opened the door, and extinguished the lamp and stood a corner. Harun went in and tried to find him. Their

in

never have I felt Alas Fudayl exclaimed, t will be very wonderful if it escape from a softer hand Harun began to weep, and wept so the Divine torment. *

hands met.

!

:

When

he swooned.

that

violently

O

me

he came

to

himself,

a word of counsel.

he

said

Fudayl Fudayl, give O Commander of the Faithful, thy ancestor ( Abbas) was the He asked the Prophet to give him dominion uncle of Mustafa. said,

:

(

The Prophet answered, O my uncle, I will give thee dominion for one moment over thyself," i.e. one moment of thy obedience to God is better than a thousand years of men s over men.

"

obedience to thee, since dominion brings repentance on the Day of Resurrection (al-iuidrat yawm al-qiydmat naddmat}.

Harun

Umar Salim

Ka b

me

When Fudayl continued Abd al- Aziz was appointed Caliph, he summoned Abdallah and Rajd b. Hayat, and Muhammad b. Counsel

said, b. b.

further.

al-Qurazi, and said to them,

affliction

consider

?

for

it

wouldst be

I

count

to be a

saved

it

an

:

"

affliction,

blessing."

One

to-morrow from

What am

I

to

do

in this

in

general thou

although people of

them

the

replied:

"If

Divine punishment,

Moslems as thy fathers, and their young and their children as thy children. The

regard the elders of the

men

as thy brothers,

whole territory of Islam

is

thy house, and

its

people are thy

Visit thy father, and honour thy brother, and deal with Then Fudayl said O Commander kindly thy children." of the Faithful, I fear lest that handsome face of thine fall into

family.

:

Fear God, and perform thy obligations to Him better Harun asked Fudayl whether he had any debts. He answered, Yes, the debt which I owe to God, namely, obedience to Him woe is me, if He call me to account for it Hell-fire.

than

this.

>

;

!


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

100

O

am

He speaking of debts to men. is His towards me and praised bounty great, replied, Harun I have no reason to complain of Him to His servants. Harun

*

said, (

I

Fudayl,

God be

!

him a purse of a thousand dinars, saying, Use the money for some purpose of thine own. Fudayl said, O Com mander of the Faithful, my counsels have done thee no good. Harun Here again thou art behaving wrongly and unjustly. offered

5

exclaimed,

How

that?

is

Fudayl

I

said,

wish thee to be

is not this saved, but thou wouldst cast me into perdition We took leave of him with tears in our eyes, and unjust? :

Harun

O

"

Fadl, Fudayl is a king indeed. All this shows his hatred of the world and its people, and

his

said to me,

contempt

for its gauds,

and

his

refusal

to abase himself

before worldlings for the sake of worldly gain.

9.

ABU L-FAYD DHU L-NUN

He was the son of a He is one of the best of

B.

IBRAHIM AL-MISRI.

Nubian, and his name was Thawban. this sect, and one of the most eminent (

of their hidden spiritualists ( ayydrdri), for he trod the path of All afBiction and travelled on the road of blame (maldmaf). the people of Egypt were lost in doubt as to his true state,

and did not believe

him

he was dead.

On

the night of his decease seventy persons dreamed that they saw the I have come to meet Dhu 1-Nun, the Apostle, who said in

until

"

:

friend of

God."

And

after his

death the following words were This is the beloved of God,

found inscribed on his forehead

who died

in love

:

At

of God, slain by God.

his funeral the birds

of the air gathered above his bier, and wove their wings together On seeing this, all the Egyptians felt so as to shadow it.

remorse and repented of the injustice which they had done He has many fine and admirable sayings on the to him. verities of mystical l

gnostic

(

drif}

is

knowledge.

more

lowly

He

says, for

every

day,

"

example because

:

The

he

is

approaching nearer to his Lord every moment," inasmuch as he thereby becomes aware of the awfulness of the Divine

Omnipotence, and when the majesty of God has taken possession


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER how

of his heart, he sees

Thus Moses

he

far

Him

no way of reaching

is

TIMES.

from God and that there

hence his lowliness

;

shall

is

increased.

is

O Lord, when he conversed with God God answered seek Thee ? Among those O Lord, no heart Moses said are broken." "

said,

:

"

where

IOI

I

whose hearts

"

:

"

:

God answered more broken and despairing than mine." thou I am where Then Accordingly, anyone who pretends to know God without lowliness and fear is an ignorant fs

:

"

art."

fool,

The

not a gnostic.

sign of true

knowledge

is

sincerity

secondary causes and severs all ties of relationship, so that nothing remains except God. Dhu 1-Nun says Sincerity (sidq) is the sword of of

will,

and a sincere

cuts off

will

all

"

:

Now cuts everything that it touches." sincerity regards the Causer, and does not consist in affirmation of secondary causes. To affirm the latter is to destroy the God on

the earth

:

it

principle of sincerity.

Among

day he was Nile, as

is

Dhu 1-Nun

I

have read that one

his disciples in a

boat on the River

the stories told of sailing with

the custom of the people of

Egypt when they

desire

Another boat was coming up, filled with merry makers, whose unseemly behaviour so disgusted the disciples that they begged Dhu 1-Nun to implore God to sink the boat. recreation.

Dhu

1-Nun raised

his

hands and cried

"

:

O

Lord, as

Thou

hast given these people a pleasant life in this world, give them a pleasant life in the next world too The disciples were "

!

astonished by his prayer. When the boat came nearer and those in it saw Dhu 1-Nun, they began to weep and ask

Dhu 1pardon, and broke their lutes and repented unto God. Nun said to his disciples pleasant life in the next world "

:

in

is

repentance without harm to

this

A

world.

anyone."

You and

He

they are all satisfied acted thus from his extreme

towards the Moslems, following the example of the Apostle, who, notwithstanding the ill - treatment which he received from the infidels, never ceased to say O God direct

affection

"

!

:

my

people, for

they know

not."

Dhu 1-Nun

relates

that as

he was journeying from Jerusalem to Egypt he saw in the


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

102

some one advancing towards him, and felt impelled When the person came near he perceived to ask a question. that it was an old woman carrying a staff (fukkdza 1), and wearing a woollen tunic (jubbd). He asked her whence she From God." came. She answered And whither goest Dhu 1-Nun drew forth a piece of gold thou?" "To God." which he had with him and offered it to her, but she shook her hand in his face and cried O Dhu 1-Nun, the notion

distance

"

"

:

"

:

which thou hast formed of

me

arises

God

from the feebleness of

and accept nothing I worship Him alone and take from Him With these words she went on her way.

thy intelligence. unless from Him. alone."

The

work

I

for

s

sake,

woman s

saying that she worked for God s sake is of her Men in their dealings with proof sincerity in love. God fall into two classes. Some imagine that they work for old

a

God s sake when they work

are really working for themselves

;

and

not done with any worldly motive, they though desire a recompense in the next world. Others take no thought of reward or punishment in the next world, any more than of their

is

ostentation and reputation in this world, but act solely from reverence for the commandments of God. Their love of God

them

requires

bidding.

do His what they do for the sake sake, and fail to recognize

to forget every selfish interest while they

The former

class fancy that

of the next world they do for God s that the devout have a greater self-interest in devotion than the wicked have in sin, because the sinner s pleasure lasts only for

moment, whereas devotion is a delight for ever. Besides, what gain accrues to God from the religious exercises of man

a

kind,

what

or

from their non-performance?

loss

world acted with the veracity of

wholly

theirs,

and

would be wholly

1

theirs, as

God hath

"

:

said

"

:

Ifye do good,

it is to

if ye do evil, it is to yourselves" (Kor. xvii, 7); Whoever exerts himself [in religion] does so for his

According to a marginal gloss in

water-bottle

the

Bakr, the gain would be with the falsehood of Pharaoh, the loss

and

yourselves,

and also

if

If all

Abu

is

suspended.

I,

ukkiiza

is

a

tripod on which a leathern


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER

TIMES.

10$ "

own

xxix,

(Kor.

is

They seek

5).

kingdom and

God

Verily,

advantage.

"We

say,

independent of created beings for themselves an everlasting

are working for

God

s

sake";

but to

Lovers, in fulfilling

a different thing. of the Divine commandment, regard only the accomplishment tread the path of love

the Beloved

A

s will,

is

and have no eyes

for

anything

else.

similar topic will be discussed in the chapter

on Sincerity

(ikklds).

10.

ABU ISHAQ IBRAHIM

He was unique in He was a disciple number of

Imam Abu

his Path,

ADHAM

B.

MANSUR.

and the chief of his contemporaries. He met a large Khidr.

of the Apostle

the the ancient Sufi Shaykhs, and associated with In Hanffa, from whom he learned divinity ( *//).

the earlier part of his

went

B.

to the chase,

life

he was Prince of Balkh.

One day he

and having become separated from

his suite

was pursuing an antelope. God caused the antelope to address Wast thou created for this, him in elegant language and say He repented, abandoned ? this or wast thou commanded to do "

:

"

on the path of asceticism and abstinence. everything, and entered He made the acquaintance of Fudayl b. lyad and Sufyan and consorted with them. After his conversion he Thavvrf,

his own never ate any food except what he had earned by are original and His sayings on the verities of Sufiism labour. Ibrahim is the key of the (mystical) said "

exquisite.

Junayd It

sciences."

is

:

related

that

he said:

God as thy when anyone is

"Take

i.e. companion and leave mankind alone," turned towards God, the Tightness of his rightly and sincerely that he should turn his back on towards God

requires

turning

has nothing to do mankind, inasmuch as the society of mankind in with thoughts of God. Companionship with God is sincerity His commands, and sincerity in devotion springs from fulfilling

love of God proceeds from hatred of purity of love, and pure Whoever is familiar with sensual affections is passion and lust. whoever is separated from sensual separated from God, and affections

is

dwelling with God.

Therefore thou art

all

mankind


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

104 in regard

to thyself:

away from

turned

all

away from thyself, and thou hast mankind. Thou dost wrong to turn away turn

from mankind and towards thyself,

and

thyself,

whereas the actions of

all

to be concerned with

mankind

the providence and predestination of God. inward rectitude (istiqdmaf) of the seeker things, one of which

is

theoretical

are determined

by

The outward and founded on two

is

and the other

practical.

The

all good and evil as predestined so that in the universe passes into a state of God, by nothing rest or motion until God has created rest or motion in that

former consists in regarding

the latter consists in performing the command of God, in Tightness of action towards Him, and in keeping the obligations

thing

;

which he Has imposed. for neglecting

Predestination can never

His commands.

become an

True renunciation of

argument mankind is impossible until thou hast renounced thyself. As soon as thou hast renounced thyself, all mankind are necessary for the fulfilment of the will of God and as soon as thou hast ;

turned to God, thou art necessary for the accomplishment of the decree of God. Hence it is not permissible to be satisfied with mankind. at least

God,

be

If thou wilt satisfied

be satisfied with anything except with another (ghayr\ for satisfaction

with another

is to regard unification (tawhid), whereas satisfaction with thyself is to affirm the nullity of the Creator For (ta til). this reason Shaykh Abu 1-Hasan Saliba * used to say that it is

better for novices to be under the authority of a cat than under their

own

God s

authority, because

sake, while

companionship with another is for companionship with one s self is calculated

to foster the sensual affections.

the proper place. "

When

I

Ibrahim

b.

This topic

Adham

reached the desert, an old

tells

will

be discussed

in

the following story

man came up and

:

said to

O

Ibrahim, do you know what place this is, and where you are journeying without provisions and on foot ? I knew that he was Satan. I produced from the bosom of my shirt four ddniqs the price of a basket which I had sold in Kufa and

me,

cast

them away and made a vow that 1

See Nafahdt, No. 347, where he

is

I

called

would perform a prayer Abu 1-Husayn

Saliba.


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER

TIMES.

105

of four hundred genuflexions for every mile that I travelled. I remained four years in the desert, and God was giving me my daily bread without any exertion on my part. During that

time Khidr consorted with of God.

Then my

II.

He

me and

B.

AH

was the

uncle,

began

the road a piece

other

own

versed in the

His conversion

principal, as well as the derivative, sciences.

as follows.

*

disciple of his

He was

Khashram.

b.

Name

the Great

AL-HARITH AL-HAFI.

associated with Fudayl and

maternal

me

became wholly empty of

heart

BlSHR

taught

One

day, when he was drunk, he found on In the name of paper on which was written "

:

of God) the Compassionate^ the reverence, perfumed

and

it,

night he dreamed that

God

He

Merciful"

in a clean

laid

said to

him

"

:

made My name sweet, I swear by My thy name sweet both in this world and

O

picked

it

up with

The same

place.

Bishr, as thou hast

glory that the next."

I

make

will

Thereupon

he repented and took to asceticism. So intensely was he absorbed in contemplation of God that he never put anything on his feet. When he was asked the reason of this, he said :

"

The Earth

is

His carpet, and

I

deem

it

wrong

on His

to tread

carpet while there is anything between my foot and His carpet." This is one of his peculiar practices in the concentration of his :

mind on God a shoe seemed God).

It

is

related

that

to

him

he said

"

:

a veil (between

Whoever

him and

desires

to

be

world and exalted in the next world, let him shun three things let him not ask a boon of anyone, nor speak

honoured

in this

:

of anyone, nor accept an invitation to eat with anyone." No man who knows the way to God will ask a boon of human

ill

beings, since to

knew

the

do so

Giver of

a fellow-creature.

is

all

a proof of his ignorance of

God

:

if

he

boons, he would not ask a boon from

Again, the

man who speaks

ill

of anyone

is

criticizing the decree of God, inasmuch as both the individual himself and his actions are created by God and on whom can ;

the blame for an action be thrown except on the agent

?

This


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

IO6

does not apply, however, to the blame which God has com manded us to bestow upon infidels. Thirdly, as to his saying, not eat of men s food," the reason is that God is the "Do

He makes a creature the means of giving you do not regard that creature, but consider that the daily bread, daily bread which God has caused to come to you does not belong to him but to God. If he thinks that it is his, and that Provider.

If

is thereby conferring a favour on you, do not In accept it. the matter of daily bread one person does not confer on another any favour at all, because, according to the opinion of the

he

orthodox, daily bread is food (ghidhd), although the Mu tazilites hold it to be property (milk) and God, not any created being, nourishes mankind with food. This saying may be explained ;

otherwise,

12.

He

be taken in a profane sense (majdz).

if it

ABU YAZID TAYFUR

Junayd

said

Gabriel

among

his father

of

"

:

ISA AL-BISTAMI.

and dignity, so that Abu Yazi d holds the same rank among us as

the greatest of the

is

B.

the

angels."

Shaykhs

in state

His grandfather was a Magian, and He is the author

was one of the notables of Bistam.

trustworthy relations concerning the Traditions of the Apostle, and he is one of the ten celebrated Imams of Sufiism. No one before him penetrated so deeply into the arcana of this

many

circumstances he was a lover of theology and a venerator of the sacred law, notwithstanding the spurious

science.

In

all

doctrine which has been foisted on object of supporting their

own

him by some persons with the

heresies.

From

the

first,

his life

was based on self-mortification and the practice of devotion. It rs recorded that he said For thirty years I was active in selfmortification, and I found nothing harder than to learn divinity and follow its precepts. But for the disagreement of divines "

:

I

should have utterly failed in my endeavour. The disagreement is a mercy save on the point of Unification." This is

of divines

true indeed, for

human

nature

to knowledge, and while

many

more prone

to ignorance than can be done easily with things

is


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER TIMES.

IO/

ignorance, not a single step can be made easily with know The bridge of the sacred law is much narrower and ledge,

more dangerous than the Bridge Therefore

it

behoves thee so to act

thou shouldst not

if

station,

thou

at

mayst

Even

the sacred law.

a

attain

any

if

in all

next world.

the

circumstances that,

high degree and an rate fall within the

thou lose

devotion will remain with thee.

in

(Sirdf)

all

eminent of

pale

of

thy practices Neglect of those is the worst

mischief that can happen to a novice. It is related that Abu Yazid said

"

:

else,

Paradise hath no value in

the eyes of lovers, and lovers are veiled (from God) by their Paradise is created, whereas love is an uncreated i.e. love," attribute of God.

that which

is

Whoever

uncreated,

is

is detained by a created thing from without worth and value. Created

Lovers are veiled things are worthless in the eyes of lovers. of involves because the existence love duality, which by love, incompatible with unification (tawhid). The way of lovers from oneness to oneness, but there is in love this defect, that is

is it

needs a desirer (inurid] and an object of desire (murdd). Either God must be the desirer and Man the desired, or vice versa. In the former case,

Man s

the desirer and

being

is

fixed in

God

s desire,

but

if

Man

God

the object of desire, the creature s search and desire can find no way unto Him in either case the canker is

:

of being

remains

in the lover.

Accordingly, the annihilation of is more perfect than his

the lover in the everlastingness of love

subsistence through the everlastingness of love. It is related that Abu Yazid said I went to "

:

a

House standing

for

the

I

have seen

House and

apart.

many

My pilgrimage

stones of this sort.

also the

yet real unification.

I said,

I

I

Lord of the House.

Mecca and saw is

not accepted,

went again, and saw I

This

said,

is

not

went a third time, and saw only the Lord

of the House. A voice in my heart whispered, O Bdyazid, if thou didst not see thyself, thou wouldst not be a polytheist and since (inushrik] though thou sawest the whole universe ;

thou seest thyself, thou art a polytheist though blind to the whole universe. Thereupon I repented, and once more


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

108 I

my

repented of

my own

seeing

This

is

repentance, and yet once more

repented of

I

existence."

a subtle tale concerning the soundness of his state, and

gives an excellent indication to spiritualists.

13.

ABU ABDALLAH AL-HARITH

B.

ASAD AL-MUHASIBI.

He was

learned in the principal and derivative sciences, and his authority was recognized by all the theologians of his day. He wrote a book, entitled Ri dyat? on the principles of Sufiism, as well as

many

was a man of chief

Shaykh

A I- tint 1

al-

lofty

of

In every branch of learning he

other works.

Baghdad

the

of perfection,

search,

and

knowledge

that knowledge

.is

whereas ignorance the

at

min

is

The meaning

of the limbs.

place

who

:

acquainted with better than he who acts with

i.e.

is

he

the

that he said

bi-karakdt al-quhib fi mutdlcfat al-ghuyiib ashraf

amal bi-karakdt al-jawdrih,

the motions is

It is related

in his time.

the secret motions of the heart

of

He was

sentiment and noble mind.

shrine

is

the

place

better

than

is

ignorance at the door knowledge brings a man to perfection, but ignorance does not even allow him to enter (on the way In reality knowledge is greater than action, to perfection). :

because

it is

possible to

impossible to attain to

know God by means

Him by means

of knowledge, but If He could

of action.

be found by action without knowledge, the Christians and the monks in their austerities would behold Him face to face and

know Some ledge relaters of this saying have fallen into error by reading al- amal bi-harakdt al-qulub? which is absurd, since human actions have

sinful believers is

would have no vision of Him.

a Divine attribute

Therefore

and action a human

attribute.

nothing to do with the motions of the heart.

If the

author

uses this expression to denote reflection and contemplation of the inward feelings, it is not strange, for the Apostle said :

"

A moment s 1

2

Its full title is

This reading al-Sulami (British

reflection

Rfdyat is

is

better than sixty years of "

li-huqiiq Allah,

given

in

the

The observance

Tabaqdt al-&ifiyya of

Museum MS., Add.

18,520.

f.

13^-).

of what

is

devotion,"

due

to

God."

Abu Abd al-Rahman


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER TIMES.

IOQ

more excellent than bodily actions, and the effect produced by inward feelings and actions is really more complete than the effect produced by outward The sleep of the sage is an act of Hence it is said actions. because the devotion and the wakefulness of the fool is a and

spiritual actions are in truth

"

:

sin,"

sage s heart is controlled (by God) whether he sleeps or wakes, and when the heart is controlled the body also is controlled. Accordingly, the heart that is controlled by the sway of God is better than the sensual part of Man which controls his outward

motions and acts of self-mortification. said one or be

i.e.

nothing,"

to thine

the words

wa-illd Id takun^

God

"

Be God

s

or perish

either be united with Purity (safivat)

;

by Poverty (faqr)

Bow ye down

"

lilldh

tjsjrelated that Harith

either be subsistent through

own j?xisten_ce

or separated

Kun

to a dervish,

day

I

;

either in the state described

by

(Kor. ii, 32) or in the state there not come over Man a time

to Adam"

described by the words Did when he was not anything worthy of mention?" (Kor. Ixxvi, i). If thou wilt give thyself to God of thy own free choice, thy resurrection will be through thyself, but if thou wilt not, then "

thy resurrection

will

be through God.

ABU SULAYMAN DAWUD

14.

He was

a

pupil

Fudayl and Ibrahim of Habi b

Ra

B.

NUSAYR AL-TA l

Abu Hanifa and

of

a contemporary of In Sufiism he was a disciple

Adham.

b.

He was

deeply versed in all the sciences and unrivalled in jurisprudence (fiqlt) but he went into seclusion i.

;

and

turned

his

back

asceticism and piety. "

disciples

and

:

on It is

and took the path of related that he said to one of his authority,

If thou desirest welfare, bid farewell to this world,

thou desirest grace (kardmat\ pronounce the takbir 1 over the next world," i.e. both these are places of veiling (places if

which prevent thee from seeing God). Every kind of tranquillity (fardghat) depends on these two counsels. Whoever would be 1

The

times in

takbir, i.e. the

Moslem

words Allah akbar,

funeral prayers.

"God is

most

great,"

is

prone


I

KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

10

him turn

tranquil in body, let

his

back on

this

world

;

and who

ever would be tranquil in heart, let him clear his heart of all It is a well-known story that Dawud

desire for the next world.

used constantly to associate with Muhammad b. al-Hasan, but would never receive the Cadi Abu Yusuf. On being asked why he honoured one of these eminent divines but refused to admit 1

the

other to his presence, he replied that

Muhammad

b.

al-

and wealthy, advancement and

Hasan had become and theology was the cause of his religious worldly abasement, whereas Abu Yusuf had become a theologian after being poor and despised, and had made theology the a theologian after being rich

means of gaining wealth and power. It is related that Ma ruf I never saw anyone who held worldly goods in Karkhi said the world and its people had no less account than Dawud Ta value whatsoever in his eyes, and he used to regard dervishes "

:

i

;

(fuqard) as perfect although they were 15.

ABU L-HASAN

He was

SARI

B.

corrupt."

MUGHALLIS AL-SAQATI.

the maternal uncle of Junayd.

He was

well versed

and eminent in Sufiism, and he_was the first devoted their attention to the arrangement have of those who of "stations" (j-naqdmdf) and to the explanation of spiritual in all the sciences

\ahwdt). Most of the Shaykhs of Iraq are his pupils. had seen Habib Ra f and associated with him. He was "

"

states

He

He used to carry on the business a disciple of Ma ruf Karkhi. When of a huckster (saqat-firusli) in the bazaar at Baghdad. the bazaar caught

He

replied:

fire,

"Then I

am

he was told that his shop was burnt. Afterwards freed from the care of it."

shop had not been burnt, although were destroyed. On seeing this, all the shops surrounding Sari gave all that he possessed to the poor and took the path of Sufiism. He was asked how the change in him began. One day Habib Ra passed my shop, and He answered

was discovered that

it

his

it

"

i

:

I

gave him a 1

Muhammad

school.

crust of bread, telling

b.

him

to give

it

to the poor.

al-Hasan and Abu Yusuf were celebrated lawyers of the Hanafite

See Brockelmann,

i,

171.


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER TIMES.

He

From the day when May God reward thee prayer my worldly affairs never prospered

said to me,

heard this

I

Ill

!

again."

O

God, whatever punishment Thou mayst inflict upon me, do not punish me with the humiliation of being veiled from Thee," because, if I am not veiled from Thee, my torment and affliction will be lightened It

is

said

that Sari

related

"

:

by the remembrance and contemplation of Thee but veiled from Thee, even Thy bounty will be deadly There is no punishment in Hell more painful and hard ;

than that of being veiled.

If

God were

if I

am

to me. to bear

revealed in Hell to the

people of Hell, sinful believers would never think of Paradise, since the sight of God would so fill them with joy that they

And in Paradise there is no would not feel bodily pain. than unveiledness more (kashf\ If the people perfect pleasure there enjoyed all the pleasures of that place and other pleasures a hundredfold, but were veiled from God, their hearts would be utterly broken.

hearts

of those

Therefore

who

love

is

it

Him

order that the delight thereof

God

the custom of

have vision of

may

Him

to let the

always, in

enable them to endure every

and they say in their orisons We deem all to be veiled from Thee. When torments more desirable than is our to revealed we take no thought of hearts, Thy beauty tribulation

"

:

;

affliction."

1

6.

He was theoretical

of Sufiism.

ABU ALT SHAQIQ

B.

IBRAHIM AL-AZDI.

in all the sciences legal, practical, and and composed many works on various branches He consorted with Ibrahim b. Adham and many

versed

other Shaykhs.

It

is

related that he said

"

:

God hath made

the pious living in their death, and hath made the wicked dead during their lives," i.e., the pious, though they be dead, yet live, since the angels utter blessings on their piety until they are

made immortal by Resurrection.

the recompense which they receive at the Hence, in the annihilation wrought by death

they subsist through the everlastingness of retribution.

an old

man came

to Shaqi q

and said

to

him

"

:

O

Once

Shaykh,


KASHP^ AL-MAHJUB.

112

have sinned much and

I

now wish to repent." Shaqi q said The old man answered No, I have :

Thou hast come come soon. Whoever comes

"

late."

though he

may have been

"

:

before he in

long

dead comes soon,

is

It

coming."

is

said that

the occasion of Shaqiq s conversion was this, that one year there was a famine at Balkh, and the people were eating one s flesh. While all the Moslems were bitterly distressed, saw a Shaqi q youth laughing and making merry in the bazaar. The people said: "Why do you laugh? Are not you ashamed

another

to rejoice

when everyone

have no sorrow.

"

I

I

"

else

is

am

the servant of

mourning

a village as his private property,

?

The youth said a man who owns :

and he has relieved

me

of

all

O Lord God, my Shaqi q exclaimed youth rejoices so much in having a master who owns a single village, but Thou art the King of kings, and Thou

care for

"

livelihood."

:

this

hast promised to give us our daily bread and nevertheless we have filled our hearts with all this sorrow because we are ;

engrossed with worldly to

walk

in

the

way

He

things."

turned to

God and began

of the Truth, and never troubled himself

am again about his daily bread. Afterwards he used to say the pupil of a youth; all that I have learned I learned from :

him."

His humility led him to say

"I

this.

ABU SULAYMAN ABD AL-RAHMAN B. ATIYYA AL-DARANI. He was held in honour by the Sufi s and was (called) the sweet basil of hearts (raykdn-i dilhd). He is distinguished by his severe austerities and acts of self-mortification. He was I/.

versed in the science of

l

"time"

(

ilm-i waqt)

*

and

in

knowledge

of the cankers of the soul, and had a keen eye for its hidden He spoke in subtle terms concerning the practice of snares. devotion, and the watch that should be kept over the heart and the limbs. It is related that he said When hope predominates over fear, one s time is spoilt," because time" is the preservation of one s state (Jidl\ which is preserved so only long as one is "

:

"

"

possessed by

"

fear.

If,

on the other hand, fear predominates 1

See note on

p. 13.


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER TIMES. over hope, belief in Unity (tawhid)

is lost,

inasmuch

fear springs from despair, and despair of God Accordingly, the maintenance of belief (shirk).

hope, and the maintenance of

sists in right

113

"

time

is

in "

as excessive

polytheism Unity con

in right fear,

and both are maintained when hope and fear are equal. Main tenance of belief in Unity makes one a believer (mu min),

makes one pious (mutt ). Hope with contemplation (inushdhadat\ in entirely involved a firm conviction (i tiqdd) and fear is con

while maintenance of

"time"

connected

is

which

is

;

nected entirely with purgation (mujdhadat), in which is involved an anxious uncertainty (idtirdb"). Contemplation is the fruit of

same idea differently, every hope a man, on account of his Whenever is produced by despair. actions, despairs of his future welfare, that despair shows him purgation,

and welfare and Divine mercy, and opens him the door of gladness, and clears away sensual corruptions

the to

to express the

or,

to salvation

way

from

Ahmad

b.

and reveals to

the Divine mysteries. Abi 1-Hawari relates that one night, when he was

his heart,

in private,

praying

he

Abu Sulayman, who still

hast

mankind

and another that

is

When

in

felt

great pleasure. Thou art a replied "

:

public."

There

is

to

important

nothing in the two worlds hold man back from God.

unveiled to the people, the reason is that see her and that she may be honoured the more it

is

not proper that she should see

anyone except the bridegroom, since she anyone

man s

piety,

If all

He

8.

mankind should

he would

excellence of his 1

in private

is

everyone may through being seen, but else.

Next day he told weak man, for thou

thou art one thing

in view, so that

sufficiently

a bride

it

own

suffer

piety he

is

disgraced by seeing see the glory of a pious

no harm, but is

ABU MAHFUZ MA RUF

if

he sees

the

lost.

B.

FIRUZ AL-KARKHI.

one of the ancient and principal Shaykhs, and was famed for his generosity and devoutness. This notice of him should is

have come

the book, but

have placed it here in accordance with two venerable persons who wrote before me, earlier

in

I

I


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

114

one of them a

relater of traditions

authority (sahib tasarruf)

and the other an independent

mean Shaykh Abu Abd al-Rahman

I

who in his work adopts the arrangement which have followed, and the Master and Imdm Abu 1-QasimalQushayri, who has put the notice of Ma ruf in the same order

al-Sulamf, I

in the introductory portion of his book. 1

arrangement because

Ma ruf was

the disciple of

Dawud Ta

(begdna), but

he

who

al-Rida,

he said

"

:

held

At

i.

I

have chosen

this

the master of Sari Saqati and Ma ruf was a non-Moslem

first

made

to

him

It is related that

profession of Islam in the highest esteem.

There are three signs of generosity

All

b.

Musd

to keep faith

without resistance, to praise without being incited thereto by In men all these liberality, and to give without being asked." qualities are

God, who faith

merely borrowed, and

with those

who

unresisting

Him, and although they show with Him, He only increases His

The

kindness towards them. that in eternity past

they belong to

God keeps

love

resistance in keeping faith

this,

in reality

acts thus towards His servants.

He

sign of

God

s

keeping faith

is

called His servant to His presence

without any good action on the part of His servant, and that to-day He does not banish His servant on account of an evil

He

action.

He

for

alone praises without the incitement of liberality, s actions, and nevertheless

has no need of His servant

extols him for a little thing that he has done. He alone gives without being asked, for He is generous and knows the state of everyone and fulfils his desire unasked. Accordingly, when

God

man

grace and makes him noble, and distinguishes him by His favour, and acts towards him in the three ways gives a

mentioned above, and when that man, as 1

This statement

is

not accurate.

The

notice of

Ma

far

as

ruf Karkhi

lies is

in his

the fourth in

of biographies at the beginning of his treatise on Sufiism, and stands between the notices of Fudayl b. lyad and Sari Saqati. In the Tabaqdt al-Sufiyya, by Abu Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami, the notice of Ma ruf comes tenth in order, but

Qushayri

s list

occupies the same position as

does here in so far as it is preceded by the article on followed by the article on Hatim al-Asamm. It appears from the next sentence that al-Hujwiri intended to place the life of Ma ruf between those of Dawud Ta i and Sari Saqati (Nos. 14 and 15), but neither of the

Abu Sulayman

Darani and

it

is

two above-mentioned authorities has adopted

this

arrangement.


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER

TIMES.

115

power, acts in the same way towards his fellow-creatures, then he is called generous and gets a reputation for generosity. Abraham the Apostle possessed these three qualities in very truth, as

I

shall explain in the proper place.

ABU ADD AL- RAHMAN HATIM B. ULWAN AL-ASAMM. He was one of the great men of Balkh and one of the ancient 1

19.

Shaykhs of Khurasan, a disciple of Shaqi q and the teacher of Ahmad Khadruya. In all his circumstances, from beginning to end, he never once acted untruthfully, so that Junayd said Hatim al-Asamm is the veracious one (siddiq) of our time." :

"

He

has lofty sayings on the subtleties of discerning the cankers of the soul and the weaknesses of human nature, and is the author of famous works on ethics (^ilm-i mu dmaldt). Itjs related that he said: "Lust is of three kinds lust in eating, lust in speaking, and lust in looking. Guard thy food by trust in God, thy tongue

by telling the truth, and thine eye by taking example (^ibraf}" Real trust in God proceeds from right knowledge, for those who know Him aright have confidence that He will give them their

and they speak and look with right knowledge, so that their food and drink is only love, and their speech is only ecstasy, and their looking is only contemplation. Accordingly, daily bread,

when they know

aright they eat

what

is

lawful,

and when they

and when they look aright they behold Him, because no food is lawful except what He has given and permits to be eaten, and no praise is rightly speak aright they utter praise (of God),

offered to

Him, and

in the eighteen thousand worlds excerjt to not allowable to look on anything in the universe

anyone it is

It is not lust when thou except His beauty and majesty. receivest food from Him and eatest by His leave, or when thou speakest of Him by His leave, or when thou seest His actions

by His will

leave.

On

the other hand,

thou eatest even lawful

it

is lust

food, or

when of thy own own will thou

of thy

speakest even praise of Him, or of thy own will thou lookest even for the purpose of seeking guidance. 1

LIJ. have

^Ijie.


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

Il6

ABU ABDALLAH MUHAMMAD

2O.

B.

IDRIS AL-SHAFI

I.

While he was at Medina he was a pupil of the Imam Malik, and when he came to Iraq he associated with Muhammad He always had a natural desire for seclusion, and b. al-Hasan. used to seek an intimate comprehension of this way of life, until a party gathered round him and followed his authority.

One

of them was

Ahmad

Hanbal.

b.

Then

Shafi

i

became

occupied with seeking position and exercising his authority as Imam, and was unable to retire from the world. At first he

was not favourably disposed towards aspirants to Sufiism, but after seeing Sulayman Ra/i and obtaining admission to his society,

he continued to seek the truth wherever he went.

related that he said

"

:

When you

It is

see a divine busying himself

with indulgences (rukhas\ no good thing will come from him," i.e. divines are the leaders of all classes of men, and no one may

take precedence of them in any matter, and the way of God cannot be traversed without precaution and the utmost selfmortification, and to seek indulgences in divinity is the act of

one who

from self-mortification and prefers an alleviation

flees

Ordinary people seek indulgences to keep them

for himself.

selves within the pale of the sacred law, but the elect practise

self-mortification to feel the fruit thereof in their hearts.

are

among

the elect, and

when one

of

them

is

Divines

satisfied

with

ordinary people, nothing good will come from Moreover, to seek indulgences is to think lightly of God s commandment, and divines love God a lover does not think

behaving

like

him.

:

lightly of the

A

command

of his beloved.

Shaykh relates that one night he dreamed of the and said to him O Apostle of God, a tradition has Prophet come down to me from thee that God hath upon the earth saints of diverse rank (awtdd il awliyd ti abrdr)" The Apostle said that the relater of the tradition had transmitted it correctly, certain

"

:

and

in

answer to the Shaykh men, he said

of these holy of them."

:

s

request that he might see one "

Muhammad

b.

Idris

is

one


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER TIMES.

THE IMAM AHMAD

21.

117

HANBAL.

B.

distinguished by devoutness and piety, and was the guardian of the Traditions of the Apostle. Sufis of all sects He associated with great Shaykhs, regard him as blessed.

He was

Dhu 1-Nun

of Egypt, Bishr al-Hafi, Sari al-Saqati, Ma ruf al-Karkh/, and others. His miracles were manifest and The doctrines attributed to him to-day his intelligence sound.

such as

by is

Anthropomorphists are inventions and forgeries he He had a firm of all notions of that sort.

certain

;

to be acquitted

belief in the principles of religion,

by

the divines.

all

When

the

and

his creed

Mu tazilites

came

was approved into

power

at

Baghdad, they wished to extort from him a confession that the Koran was created, and though he was a feeble old man they In spite put him to the rack and gave him a thousand lashes. of

he would not say that the Koran was created.

all this

While

he was undergoing punishment his izdr became untied. His fettered, but another hand appeared and tied it.

own hands were

this evidence,

Seeing

let

they

him

He

go.

died, however, of the

wounds inflicted on that occasion. Shortly before his death some persons visited him and asked what he had to say about those to say

who ?

flogged him.

They

flogged

He answered What should I have me for God s sake, thinking that I was "

:

wrong and that they were right. I will not claim redress from them at the Resurrection for mere blows." He is the author of on ethics. When questioned on any point relating he used to answer the question himself, but if it was a point of mystical theory (Jiaqd iq] he would refer the lofty sayings

to practice

One day

questioner to Bishr HaTi. "

is

sincerity

(ikhlds]

one

?

He

a

man asked him What To escape from the "

:

"

replied

:

actions^Te. let thy actions be free from and hypocrisy and self-interest, The questioner ^ostentation then asked: "What is trust (tawakkul)^ Ahmad replied: Confidence in God, that He will provide thy daily bread." The man asked What is acquiescence (ridd)t" He replied cankers

of

s

"

"

"

:

"

To commit

(mahabbaf)?"

/ (/

:

thy

to

God."

said:

"Ask

affairs

Ahmad

"

And what

this

question

is

of

love

Bishr


KASHF AL-MAHJIJB.

Il8 Hdfi, for

I

not answer

will

it

while he

is

Ahmad

alive."

b.

Hanbal was constantly exposed to persecution during his life by the attacks of the Mu tazilites, and after his death by the :

of sharing the views of the Anthropomorphists. Consequently the orthodox Moslems are ignorant of his true state and hold him But he is clear of all that is suspect. suspicion

alleged against him. 22.

He was

ABU L-HASAN AHMAD

ABI L-HAWARI.

B.

one of the most eminent of the Syrian Shaykhs and

the leading Sufis. Ahmad Junayd said b. Abi 1-Hawari is the sweet basil of Syria (rayhdnat al-Sham)" He was the pupil of Abu Sulayman Daram, and associated is

praised by

all

"

:

with Sufyan b. Uyayna and Marwan reader (al-Qdri)> He had been a

Mu awiya

b.

the Koran-

wandering devotee

It

is

related that he said:

"

This world

is

(sayydti).

a dunghill

place where dogs gather and one who lingers there a dog, for a dog takes what he wants from it and ;

is

and a

less

than

goes, but the

lover of the world never departs from

At

it

or leaves

it

at

any

he was a student and attained the rank of the Imams, but afterwards he threw all his books into the sea, and said: "Ye were excellent guides, but it is impossible to occupy one s self with a guide after one has reached the goal," because a guide is needed is on the road only so long as the time."

when

first

the shrine

worthless.

comes

disciple into sight the road and

The Shaykhs have

state of intoxication (sukr). "I

have

arrived"

said that

Ahmad

In the mystic Path he

has gone astray.

:

the gate are did this in the

Since arriving

who

says

is

non-

accomplishment, occupation is (superfluous) trouble, and freedom from occupation is idleness, and in either case the principle of union (wusiil) is non-existence, for both occupation and its opposite are human qualities. Union and separation alike depend on the eternal will and providence of God. Hence it is Marwan awiya al-Fazari of Kufa died in 193 A.H. See Dhahabf s b^Mu Tabaqat al-Huffaz. ed by Wiistenfeld, p. 63, No. 44Al-Qari is probably a misof 1

transcription

al-Fazari.


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER

TIMES.

impossible to attain to union with Him. The terms are not applicable to God. and neighbourhood

119 "nearness"

A man

"

"

is

united to God when God holds him in honour, and separated from God when God holds him in contempt. I, All b. Uthman

say that possibly that eminent Shaykh in using the word union (wusiil) may have meant discovery of the way and when for the way to God is not found in books to God al-Jullabi,

"

"

"

;

",

one no explanation is necessary. Those who have attained true knowledge have no use for

the road

lies

plain

before

Other Shaykhs have done speech, and even less for books. the same thing as Ahmad b. Abi 1-Hawari, for example the

Grand Shaykh Abu Sa fd Fadlallah b. Muhammad al-Mayhani, and they have been imitated by a number of formalists whose It only object is to gratify their indolence and ignorance. would seem that those noble Shaykhs acted as they did from the desire of severing all worldly ties and making their hearts

empty of

save God.

all

is

This, however,

proper only in the

commencement (ibtida] and in the fervour of Those who have become fixed (jnutamakkin) are not

intoxication of

youth.

veiled (from

of paper

?

God) by the whole universe It

may

:

how, then, by a sheet

be said that the destruction of a book signifies

the impossibility of expressing the real meaning (of an idea). In that case the same impossibility should be predicated of the

tongue, because spoken words are no better than written ones. I imagine that Ahmad b. Abi 1-Hawan, finding no listener in

of ecstasy, wrote down an explanation of his feelings on pieces of paper, and having amassed a large quantity, did not his

fit

regard them as suitable to be divulged and accordingly cast them into the water. It is also possible that he had collected

books, which diverted him from his devotional practices, and that he got rid of them for this reason.

many

23.

ABU HAMID AHMAD

B.

KMADRUYA AL-BALKHI.

He

adopted the path of blame (maldmaf) and wore a soldier s dress. His wife, Fatima, daughter of the Amir of Balkh, was

renowned

as a Sufi.

When

she desired to repent (of her former


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

120

Ahmad bidding him ask her in Ahmad refused, whereupon she sent

she sent a message to

life),

marriage of her father. "O Ahmad, I thought another message in the following terms to attack those who travel on too been have would manly you :

the

way

Ahmad

Fatima renounced the hope of receiving his blessing. traffic with the world and lived in seclusion with her husband.

him all

a guide (rdhbar\ not a brigand (rdkbur)? asked her in marriage of her father, who gave her to

Be

God.

to

in

Bdyazid she accompanied him, and on seeing Bayazid she removed her veil and talked to him without embarrassment. Ahmad became jealous and said to her Why dost thou take this freedom with Bayazid ? She

When Ahmad

went

to visit

"

"

:

"

replied

:

Because you are

consort

my

natural spouse, but he

through you religious through him to God. The proof my society, whereas to you it is

come

I

;

is

my

to

is

desire,

my but

that he has no need of

She continued

necessary."

Bayazid with the same boldness, until one day he observed that her hand was stained with henna and asked her

to treat

O Bayazid, so long as you did not see She answered hand and the henna I was at my ease with you, but now "

why.

my

:

me

that your eye has fallen on

our companionship

is unlawful."

Then Ahmad and Fatima came to Nishapur and abode there. The people and Shaykhs of Nishapur were well pleased with When Yahya b. Mu adh al-Razi passed through Ahmad. Nishapur on

his

way from Rayy

to Balkh,

Ahmad

wished to

him a banquet, and consulted with Fatima as to what She told him to procure so many oxen things were required. and sheep, such and such a quantity of sweet herbs, condiments, We must also kill twenty candles, and perfumes, and added, give

"

Ahmad said

donkeys." "

Oh

of

"

said she,

!

"

"

:

when

What

the sense of killing donkeys?" a noble comes as guest to the house is

the dogs of the quarter have something Whoever wishes to see a man said of her

a noble

"

Bayazid guised

in

:

women s

Abu Hafs Haddad

clothes,

says:

let

him look

"But

generosity would not have been

for

at

Fatima

Ahmad

displayed."

b.

He

"

!

too."

dis

And

Khadruya has lofty


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER

TIMES.

121

sayings to his credit, and faultless utterances (anfds-i muhadhdhab\ and is the author of famous works in every branch of ethics and of brilliant discourses on mysticism. It is related that he said

"

:

The way

manifest and the truth

is

the shepherd has uttered his call

;

after this if

is

clear,

and

loses

anyone

own blindness," i.e., it is wrong to seek himself, through the way, since the way to God is like the blazing sun do thou seek thyself, for when thou hast found thyself thou art come to thy journey s end, inasmuch as God is too manifest to admit his

it is

;

of His being sought. glory of thy dervish,"

He

i.e.,

poverty,"

invited a rich

there

He

man

was nothing

home

to act

24.

one

do not say

in his

like you.

it

is

Hide the

am

"

I

a

a great grace

he said:

"A

dervish

month of Ramadan, and

house except a loaf of dry bread.

the rich l

"

:

to people,

It is related that

to a repast in the

returning sent it back, saying,

secret to

recorded to have said

thy secret be discovered, for

lest

bestowed on thee by God.

On

is

man

sent to

This serves

me

The genuineness

him a purse of

gold.

right for revealing

my

of his poverty led

him

thus."

ABU TURAB ASKAR

B.

AL-HUSAYN AL-NAKHSHABI

AL-NASAFI.

He was

one of the chief Shaykhs of Khurasan, and was celebrated for his generosity, asceticism, and devoutness. He performed many miracles, and experienced marvellous ad ventures without number in the desert and elsewhere. He was

one of the most noted

travellers

among

the Sufis, and used to

cross the deserts in complete disengagement from worldly things

His death took place in the desert of Basra. After many years had elapsed he was found standing erect with his face towards the Ka ba, shrivelled up, with a bucket in front of him and a staff in his hand and the wild beasts had not (ba-tajrid).

;

touched him or come near him. 41

is

The

food of the dervish

what covers him, and

alights," i.e.

is

It

what he

his

he does not choose

is

related that he said finds,

and is

:

his clothing

wherever he

dwelling-place his own food or his

own

dress,


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

122

make

or

home

a

The whole world

for himself.

is

afflicted

by

these three items, and personal initiative therein keeps us in a state of distraction (mashghiilf) while we make efforts to

his clothing for

sense is

God hath

is the practical aspect of the matter, but the food of the dervish is ecstasy, and

This

procure them. in a mystical

and

dwelling-place is the Unseen, stood If they firm in the right path, We

piety, "

said,

his

should water them with abundant "

again,

rain"

(Kor. Ixxii, 16)

;

and

and fair apparel ; but

better"

(Kor. dwell in the

vii,

the garment of piety, that is and the Apostle said, "Poverty is to 25);

Unseen."

ABU ZAKARIYYA YAHYA

25.

He was

MU ADH

B.

AL-RAZI.

grounded in the true theory of hope in God, so that Husri says God had two Yahyas, one a prophet and perfectly

"

:

Zakariyya trod the path of fear so that all pretenders were filled with fear and despaired of their salvation, while Yahya b. Mu adh trod the path of hope so that the other a saint.

Yahya

he tied the hands of

Husri

The

"

:

what was the

all

b.

pretenders to

state of state of

Yahya Zakariyya Yahya b. Mu adh?" He

been told that he was never

is

in the state of

said to

They

hope."

b.

known, but have replied:

well

"I

ignorance (JdkUtyyaf)

and never committed any of the greater sins (kablra)" In the practice of devotion he showed an intense perseverance which

was beyond the power of anyone to him O Shaykh, thy station :

practice "

is

the practice of those

Know, my

astray."

son, that to

One

of his disciples said the station of hope, but thy

else.

"

is

who

Yahya answered service of God is to go

fear."

abandon the

Fear and hope are the two

:

pillars

of

faith.

It

is

impossible that anyone should fall into error through practising either of them. Those who fear engage in devotion through

and those who hope engage in it through hope of union (with God). Without devotion neither fear nor hope can be truly felt, but when devotion is there this fear and hope are altogether metaphorical and metaphors fear of separation (from God),

;

(^ibdraf)

are

useless

where

devotion

(

ibddat)

is

required.


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER TIMES.

123

books, fine sayings, and original of the Shaykhs of this sect, after precepts. I am very fond to mount the pulpit. the Orthodox Caliphs, of his sayings, which are delicately moulded and pleasant to the It is ear and subtle in substance and profitable in devotion.

Yahya

is

the author of

He was

he said

that

related

the

many

first

"

:

This world

is

an abode of troubles

(ashghdf) and the next world is an abode of terrors (ahwdl\ and Man never ceases to be amidst troubles or terrors until he finds rest either in Paradise or in

Hell-fire."

that has escaped from troubles and

God

!

poverty.

the soul

secure from terrors, and

thoughts from both worlds, and has attained Yahya held the doctrine that wealth is superior to Having contracted many debts at Rayy, he set out

has detached to

is

Happy

its

When he arrived at Balkh the people of that detained him for sometime in order that he might discourse city to them, and they gave him a hundred thousand dirhems. On for

his

Khurasan.

way back

to

the whole sum.

where he died.

Rayy he was attacked by brigands, who seized He came in a destitute condition to Nishapur,

He was

always honoured and held

in respect

by the people.

ABU HAFS AMR B. SALiM AL-NISHAPURI AL-HADUADi. 2 He was an eminent Stiff, who is praised by all the Shaykhs. He associated with Abu Abdallah al-Abiwardi and Ahmad 1

26.

b.

Khadruya.

He

did not

Shah Shuja came from Kirman to visit him. Arabic, and when he went to Baghdad to

know

Shaykhs there, his disciples said to one another shame that the Grand Shaykh of Khurasan should need an interpreter to make him understand what However, when he met the Shaykhs of Baghdad, they

visit "

It

the

is

:

a great

say."

including Junayd, in the Shuniziyya Mosque, he conversed with them in elegant Arabic, so that they despaired of rivalling his eloquence. 1

They asked him

Salama Nafahdti No. 44, has So LIJ. B. has al-Haddad "

".

2

biographers.

"

",

:

"What is generosity?"

He

Qushayri calls him Umar b. Maslama. which is the form generally used by his


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

124

Let one of you begin and declare what

"

said

:

"

said

:

In

my

generosity and replied

in

How

"

:

Junayd

is."

Junayd

Abu Hafs

not referring it to yourself." Shaykh has spoken but in

well the

generosity consists justice."

it

opinion generosity consists in not regarding your

in

!

doing justice and

said to his disciples:

in

my opinion not demanding for

"Rise!

Abu Hafs

has surpassed Adam and all his descendants (in generosity)." His conversion is related as follows. He was enamoured of

and on the advice of

a

girl,

a

certain

The Jew

his

sought help from

friends

Jew living in the city (shdristdn) of Nishapur. him that he must perform no prayers for forty

told

God

days, and not praise

or

do any good deed or form any

he would then devise a means whereby Abu good Hafs should gain his desire. Abu Hafs complied with these intention

;

and after forty days the Jew made a talisman as he had promised, but it proved ineffectual. He said You have undoubtedly done some good deed. Think Abu instructions,

"

:

"

!

Hafs replied that the only good thing of any sort that he had done was to remove a stone which he found on the road lest some one might stumble on it. The Jew said to him

:

"

Do

God who

not offend that

has not

such a small act

let

of yours be wasted though you have neglected His commands for forty days." Abu Hafs repented, and the Jew became

a Moslem.

Abu Hafs

continued to ply the trade of a blacksmith until he went to Edward and took the vows of cliscipleship to Abu

Abdallah Bawardi.

One

day, after his

return to Nishapur,

he was sitting in his shop listening to a blind reciting the

Koran

in

the

man who was

He became

so absorbed

he put his hand into the fire and, without pincers, drew out a piece of molten iron from the

listening that

in

using

the

furnace.

On

seeing this

Hafs came to himself he his

livelihood.

returned to it

bazaar.

again,"

it

the apprentice fainted.

When Abu

shop and no longer earned It is related that he said I left work and then work left me and I never returned to left

his

"

:

;

because when anyone leaves a thing by one

s

own

act


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER TIMES. and

effort,

the leaving of

inasmuch as

it

is

125

no better than the taking of

(aksdb] are contaminated, acquired and derive their value from the spiritual influence which flows from the Unseen without effort on our part which influence, it,

acts

all

;

wherever

it

united with the choice of

is

descends,

loses its pure spirituality. it take or leave anything gives and takes away, and ;

Therefore is

Man

God who

Man

Man and

cannot properly His providence

in

only takes what

God has

what God has taken away.

Though a disciple should strive a thousand years to win the favour of God, it would be worth less than if God received him into favour for given or leaves

moment, since everlasting future happiness is involved favour of past eternity, and Man has no means of Honoured, escape except by the unalloyed bounty of God. is he has from whose state the Causer removed all then, a single

the

in

secondary causes.

ABU SALIH HAMDUN B. AHMAD B. UMARA AL-QASSAR. He belonged to the ancient Shaykhs, and was one of those who were scrupulously devout. He attained the highest rank 27.

jurisprudence and divinity, in which sciences he was a follower of Thawri. 1 In Sufiism he was a disciple of Abu Turab in

Nakhshabi and

Imams and

as a theologian, the

him

to

mount the "

refused, saying

therefore

my

When

All Nasrabadi.

:

he became renowned

notables of Nishapur urged to the people, but he

pulpit and preach

My

words

heart

will

is still

attached to the world, and the hearts of

make no impression on

To

speak unprofitable words is to despise theology and deride the sacred law. Speech is permissible to him alone whose silence is injurious to religion, and whose speaking others.

would remove the of the early

contemporaries to 1

b.

injury."

On

being asked

Moslems were more

men

s

hearts,

the sayings beneficial than those of his

he replied

why "

:

Because they

The words madhhab-i Thawri ddsht may refer either to Abu Thawr Ibrahim who died in 246 A.H., or to Sufyan al-Thawri. i,

Khalid, a pupil of al-Shafi

See Ibn Khallikan, No. 143.


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

126 discoursed

and the

for

the glory of Islam and the salvation of souls

satisfaction of the Merciful

God, whereas we discourse

for the glory of ourselves and the quest of worldly gain and the favour of mankind." Whoever speaks in accordance with

God

s will and by Divine impulsion, his words have a force and vigour that makes an impression on the wicked, but if anyone speaks in accordance with his own will, his words are

weak and tame and do not 28.

ABU

benefit his hearers.

L-SARI

MANSUR

AMMAR.

B.

He

belonged to the school of Iraq, but was approved by the people of Khurasan. His sermons were unequalled for

beauty of language and elegance of exposition. He was learned in all the branches of divinity, in traditions, sciences, principles,

and

Some

practices.

merits beyond measure.

be to

Him who

hath

It

made

to

Sufiism

exaggerate his related that he said Glory

aspirants

"

is

:

the hearts of gnostics vessels of

praise (dhikr\ and the hearts of ascetics vessels of trust (tawakkul), and the hearts of those who trust (inutawakkiliri)

acquiescence (ridd), and the hearts of dervishes (fuqard) vessels of contentment, and the hearts of worldlings vessels of covetousness It is worth while to consider that

vessels

of

"

!

God

has placed in every member of the body and sense a homogeneous quality, e.g., in the hands that every of seizing, in the feet that of walking, in the eye seeing, in

whereas in

ear hearing, He has placed in each individual heart a diverse quality and a different desire, so that one is the seat of knowledge, another of error, another of contentment, another the

of covetousness,

and so on

:

hence the marvels of Divine

action are in nothing manifested

And

more

clearly than in

human

mankind may be reduced to two types the man who knows himself, and whose business is self-mortification and discipline, and the man who knows his Lord, and whose business is to serve and worship and please Him." Accordingly, the worship of the hearts.

former

is

it

is

related

that he said

"

:

All

discipline (riyddat\ while the worship of the latter


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER TIMES.

I2/

sovereignty (riydsaf) the former practises devotion in order that he may attain a high degree, but the latter practises devotion having already attained all. What a vast difference is

:

between the two

One

!

hadaf), the other in related that he said

subsists

in

self- mortification

contemplation "

:

(muskdhadat). There are two classes of

(mujd-

And it is men those :

and they hold the highest rank who have need of God from the standpoint of the sacred law and those who pay no regard to their need of God, because they know that God has provided for their creation and livelihood and death and and happiness and misery they need God alone, and of all him The former, through are having independent life

:

else."

seeing their

own

need,

are

veiled

from seeing the

Divine

through not seeing their own and are unveiled need, independent. The former enjoy felicity, but the latter enjoy the Giver of felicity. providence, whereas the

29.

He

latter,

ABU ABDALLAH AHMAD

lived to

a great age

B.

AsiM AL-lNTAKI.

and associated with the ancient

Shaykhs, and was acquainted with those who belonged to the third generation after the Prophet (atbd* al-tdbi m). He was a contemporary of Bishr and Sari, and a pupil of Harith l

Muhasibf. is

He had

seen Fudayl and consorted with him.

related that he said

"

:

The most

beneficial poverty

is

It

that

which you regard as honourable, and with which you are well pleased," i.e., the honour of the vulgar consists in affirmation of secondary causes, but the honour of the dervish consists in denying secondary causes and in affirming the Causer,

and

in referring everything to Him, and in being well pleased with His decrees. Poverty is the non-existence of secondary

causes, whereas wealth

is the existence of secondary causes. detached from a cause is with God, and Poverty secondary wealth attached to a secondary cause is with itself. Therefore

secondary causes involve the state of being veiled (from God), while their absence involves the state of unveiledness. This is

a clear explanation of the superiority of poverty to wealth.


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

128

ABU MUHAMMAD ABDALLAH

30.

B.

KHUBAYQ.

an ascetic and scrupulously devout. He has related trustworthy traditions, and in jurisprudence, as well as in the

He was

and theory of divinity, he followed the doctrine of whose pupils he had associated. It is recorded with Thawri, Whoever desires to be living in his life, let him that he said practice

"

:

not admit covetousness to dwell in his

covetous

man

like a seal

is

dead

on his heart

heart,"

because the

in the toils of his covetousness, ;

which

is

and the sealed heart is dead. Blessed all save God and lives through God,

the heart that dies to

is

inasmuch as God has made His praise (dhikr) the glory of men s hearts, and covetousness their disgrace and to this ;

God created saying of Abdallah b. Khubayq men s hearts to be the homes of His praise, but they have become the homes of lust and nothing can clear them of lust "

effect is the

:

;

except an agitating fear or a restless desire." Fear and desire (shawq) are the two pillars of faith. When faith is settled in the

and contentment accompany it, not covetousness Lust and covetousness are the result of and heedlessness. shunning the society of God. The heart that shuns the society heart, praise

God knows nothing

of

of

faith, since faith is

and averse to associate with aught 31.

ABU L-QASIM AL-JUNAYD

B.

intimate with

God

else.

MUHAMMAD

B.

AL-JUNAYD

AL-BAGHDADI. approved by externalists and spiritualists alike. He was perfect in every branch of science, and spoke with authority on theology, jurisprudence, and ethics. He was a follower of

He was

Thawri. that

all

His sayings are lofty and his inward state perfect, so His Sufis unanimously acknowledge his leadership. of Sari Saqati, and Junayd was the day Sari was asked whether the rank of

mother was the

sister

disciple of Sari.

One

a disciple

is

He

:

"

replied

ever higher than that of his spiritual director. Yes there is manifest proof of this the rank :

;

It was the humility and insight of of Junayd is above mine." him to Sari that caused say this. As is well known, Junayd


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER TIMES.

129

refused to discourse to his disciples so long as Sari was alive, until one night he dreamed that the Apostle said to him

:

CTjunayd, speak to the people, for God hath made thy words When he the means of saving a multitude of mankind." "

awoke the thought occurred

him that

to

his

rank was superior

had commanded him to preach. At daybreak Sari sent a disciple to Junayd with the following You would not discourse to your disciples when message

to that of Sari, since the Apostle

"

:

they urged you to do

and you rejected the intercession of Now that the Shaykhs of Baghdad and my personal entreaty. the Apostle has

so,

commanded

you, obey his orders." Junayd That fancy went out of my head. I perceived that Sari said was acquainted with my outward and inward thoughts in all "

:

circumstances, and that his rank was higher than mine, since he was acquainted with my secret thoughts, whereas I was ignorant

him and begged his pardon, and asked him how he knew that I had dreamed of the Apostle. He I dreamed of God, who told me that He had sent answered of his state.

I

went

to

*

:

This anecdote contains a clear the Apostle to bid you preach. indication that spiritual directors are in every case acquainted with the inward experiences of their disciples. "

It is related that

he said

The speech of

the prophets gives information concerning presence (hudur\ while the speech of the saints (siddiqin] alludes to contemplation (jnushdhadai)"

True information

is

"

:

derived from sight, and

it

is

give true information of anything that one has witnessed,

whereas

allusion

(ishdraf)

involves

impossible to not actually reference

to

another thing. Hence the perfection and ultimate goal of the saints is the beginning of the state of the prophets. The distinction between

prophet (nabi} and saint (wait), and the of the former to the latter, is plain, notwithstanding superiority that two heretical sects declare the saints to surpass the It is related that he said I was prophets in excellence. "

:

One day,_when I was standing eagerly desirous of seeing Iblis. in the mosque, an old man came through the door and turned his face towards me. Horror seized my heart. When he came

K


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

130 near

I

*

said to him,

Who

art

He

thee, or think of thee.

on

desired to see. r^r

thee

I

thou

exclaimed,

from bowing down

for

?

answered, I am he whom you O accursed one what hindered !

Adam ?

to

cannot bear to look

I

He

answered,

O

Junayd,

how can you imagine that I should bow down to anyone I was amazed at his saying this, but a secret except God? voice whispered

to

Say

:

him, Thou

Hadst thou been

liest.

an obedient servant thou wouldst not have transgressed His

command

Ibli s

heard the voice

my

in

heart.

said, By God, you have burnt me and story shows that God preserves His saints in

and

!

He

cried out

vanished."

all

This

circumstances

One

of Junayd s disciples bore him him returned one day with the and after a grudge, leaving intention of testing him. Junayd was aware of this and said,

from the guile of Satan.

replying to his question

The

answer?"

formal answer

is

not have needed I

"

:

disciple

that to

said:

if

test

to

him

"

:

spiritual

"Both."

saintship."

He

mediately turned black. (yaqtri) is gone from my

and abandoned

want a formal or a

Junayd said: "The had tested you yourself you would me. The spiritual answer is that

depose you from your

forgiven,

Do you

cried,

The "The

im

disciple s face

delight of certainty

and earnestly begged to be

heart,"

his foolish self-conceit.

Did not you know that God

s saints

Junayd

said

possess mysterious

You cannot endure their blows." He cast a breath disciple, who forthwith resumed his former purpose and

powers? at the

repented of criticizing the Shaykhs.

ABU L-HASAN AHMAD

32.

B.

MUHAMMAD

AL-NURI.

He

has a peculiar doctrine in Sufiism and is the model of a number of aspirants to Sufiism, who follow him and are called

n

Nun s. The

composed

of

whole

twelve

body of aspirants to Sufiism is sects, two of which are condemned

(mardud), while the remaining ten are approved (inaqbul}. The latter are the Muhasibis, the Qassdrfs, the Tay fun s, the Junaydis, the

Nun

the Sahlfs, the Hakimis, the Kharrazi s, the Khafifis, and the Sayyarfs. All these assert the truth and belong to the s,


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER TIMES.

The two condemned sects are, name from the doctrine

mass of orthodox Moslems. firstly,

who

the Hululis, 1

derive their

~

*

131

./** /

<*--

of incarnation (Jmlul) and incorporation (imtizdf)^ and with whom are connected the Salimi sect of anthropomorphists 2 and secondly, the Hallajis, who have abandoned the sacred law ;

and have adopted heresy, and with whom are connected the I shall include in this book Ibahatis 5 and the Farisis. 4 a chapter on the twelve sects

and

shall explain their different

doctrines.

Nun

took a praiseworthy course in rejecting flattery and It is indulgence and in being assiduous in self-mortification.

came

Junayd and found him seated I said to him O Abu 1Qasim, thou hast concealed the truth from them and they have but I have told them the put thee in the place of honour truth and they have pelted me with stones, because flattery is compliance with one s desire and sincerity is opposition to it, and men hate anyone who opposes their desires and love related that he said

"

I

:

to

in the professorial chair (inusaddar).

:

;

"

who complies

anyone

companion

associated with

He

with

Junayd and

of

their

the

desires.

disciple

of

Nurf

was

Sari.

He had

many Shaykhs, and had met Ahmad

b.

the

Abi

1-

the author of subtle precepts and fine sayings on various branches of the mystical science. It is related that

Hawarf.

he said

"

:

is

Union with God

separation from

whose mind and

is

versa

vice

else

all

is

therefore

separation

with

union

God

united with :

is

is

union

from

all

else,

and

i.e., anyone from all besides, separated of the mind with God is Him,"

from the thought of created things, and to be turned rightly away from phenomena is to be rightly turned towards God. I have read in the Anecdotes that once Nun separation

stood in his chamber for three days and nights, never moving 1

B. has

"the

Hulmanis

",

i.e.

the followers of

Shahristani, Haarbriicker s translation, ii, 417. 2 The Salimis are described (ibid.) as "a (nnitakallitnun) belonging to 3

4

"

Ibahati

"

"or

Ibahi

Abu Hulman

number of

of Damascus.

scholastic

See

theologians

Basra".

"

signifies

"one

who

regards everything as permissible

See the eleventh section of the fourteenth chapter.

".

M


KASHF AL-MAHJUB

132

from his place or ceasing to said:

God but

Abu

is

if

to see

him and

5

if

;

to acquiescence in

Nun

rejoice."

well,

Junayd went

wail.

thou knowest that crying aloud to l-Hasan, of any use, tell me, in order that I too may cry aloud thou knowest that it avails naught, surrender thyself

"O

O Abu

God

in

s will,

order that thy heart may Thou teachest me

stopped wailing and said It

1-Qasim!"

related

is

"

:

that he said:

"The

two rarest things in our time are a learned man who practises what he knows and a gnostic who speaks from the reality of his state," i.e., both learning and gnosis are rare, since learningnot learning unless unless it has reality.

it

is

things are rare at

is

practised,

Nun

and gnosis

referred to his

own

not gnosis age, but these is

times, and they are rare to-day.

all

Anyone

himself in seeking for learned men and Let his time and would not find them. would waste gnostics him be occupied with himself in order that he may see learning

who should occupy

everywhere, and let him turn from himself to God in order that he may see gnosis everywhere. Let him seek learning and gnosis in himself, and himself.

It

is

let

related

him demand

that

Nun

determined by God

as

practice and reality from

said:

turn

to

"Those

God

who

regard

in

everything/ things because they find rest in regarding the Creator, not created objects, whereas they would always be in tribulation if they

considered things to be the causes of actions. To do so is polytheism, for a cause is not self-subsistent, but depends on

When

the Causer.

33.

He

they turn to

Him

ABU UTHMAN SA ID

they escape from trouble.

ISMA IL AL-HIRL

B.

one of the eminent Sufi s of past times. At first he then he consorted for associated with Yahya b. Mu adh is

;

a while with Shah Shuja of Kirman, and accompanied him to Nishapur on a visit to Abu Hafs, with whom he remained to the end of his

he said

"

:

In

life.

my

It is related

childhood

I

on trustworthy authority that

was continually seeking the Truth,

and the externalists inspired me with a feeling of abhorrence. I perceived that the sacred law concealed a mystery under the


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER TIMES. superficial I

grew up

I

133

forms which are followed by the vulgar. happened to hear a discourse by Yahya b.

of Rayy, and of my search.

I

When

Mu adh

found there the mystery that was the object I continued to associate with Yahya until, on

hearing reports of Shah

Kirmani from a number of

Shuja

persons who had been in his company, I felt a longing to him. Accordingly I quitted Rayy and set out for Kirman. Shah Shuja however, would not admit me to his society. You have been nursed, said he, in the doctrine of hope visit

,

No one who has (rajd\ on which Yahya takes his stand. this doctrine can tread the path of purgation, because

imbibed

a mechanical belief in hope produces

indolence.

I

him

earnestly, and lamented and stayed at his door At length he admitted me, and I remained in days. until he this

me

took

with him to

Abu Hafs

visit

besought for twenty-

his society

occasion Shall Shuja was wearing a coat (qabd].

Abu Hafs saw him him, saying, cloak ( afrdy

he rose from his seat and advanced to meet

have found

I

On When

Ni shapur.

at

in the

coat what

During our residence

a strong desire to associate with

sought in the Nishapur I conceived

in

Abu

I

Hafs, but was restrained

from devoting myself to attendance on him by

my

respect for

was imploring God to make it possible for me to enjoy the society of Abu Hafs without hurting the feelings of Shah Shujd who was a jealous man and Abu Hafs was aware of my wishes. On the day of our

Shah Shuja

Meanwhile

.

I

,

departure leaving to

I

my

dressed

heart with

Shh

here.

bids

myself

Abu

;

the journey, although I was Hafs. Abu Hafs said familiarly for

am

let him stay Shuja pleased with this youth Shah Shuja turned to me and said, Do as the Shaykh thee. So I remained with Abu Hafs and experienced ,

I

;

many wonderful things in his Uthman to pass through three spiritual directors,

and these

belonging to them, he also

hope through

"

stations

",

his

own

Yahya, the

through associating with Shah

by means of three which he indicated as

"stations"

made

associating .with

God caused Abu

company."

Shuja

,

:

the

"

station

"

of

of jealousy and the "station" of "station"


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

134

through associating with Abu Hafs. It is a disciple to associate with five or six or more

affection (shafaqat)

allowable for directors

and to have a

different

"

station

"

revealed to

him by

each one of them, but it is better that he should not confuse his with theirs. He should point to their perfection station

own

"

"

and say I gained this by associating with but to This is more in accordance were them, they superior with good manners, for spiritual adepts have nothing to do with in that

"

station

"

"

:

it."

"

stations

"

and

"

states

".

To Abu Uthman was due the divulgation of Sufiism in Nishapur and Khurasan. He consorted with Junayd, Ruwaym, al-Husayn, and Muhammad b. Fadl al-Balkhi, and no Shaykh ever derived as much spiritual advantage from his directors as he did. The people of Nishapur set up a pulpit

Yusuf

b.

that he might discourse to

them on

He

Sufiism.

is

the author

of sublime treatises on various branches of this science. related that he said:

"It

behoves one

whom God

It

is

hath honoured

with gnosis not to dishonour himself by disobedience to God." This refers to actions acquired by Man and to his continual effort to keep the commandments of God, because, even though

worthy of God not to dishonour by disobedience anyone whom He has honoured with gnosis, yet It is gnosis is God s gift and disobedience is Man s act.

you recognize that

it

impossible that one

is

who

is

honoured with God

s

gift

should

be dishonoured by his own act. God honoured Adam with He did not dishonour him on account of his sin. knowledge :

ABU ABDALLAH AHMAD

34.

He

associated with

great Shaykhs. gnostic

is

fixed

It is

on

B.

YAHVA

Junayd and Abu 1-Hasan recorded that he said his

Lord

;

"

:

AL-jALLA.

Nun

and other

The mind of

the

he does not pay attention to

because the gnostic knows nothing except gnosis, and since gnosis is the whole capital of his heart, his thoughts are entirely bent on vision (of God), for distraction

anything

else,"

of thought produces cares, and cares keep one back from God. He tells the following story One day I saw a beautiful <(

:


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER Christian boy. opposite him.

God burn

will

O my

I

was amazed

TIMES.

and stood

at his loveliness

Junayd passed by me.

I

135

O

said to him,

He

a face like this in Hell-fire?

still

master,

answered:

by which one If you look with due consideration, the same takes warning. You will soon in every atom of the universe. existent marvel is When Junayd turned be punished for this want of respect. the I from me Koran, and it did not immediately forgot away *

son, this

is

a trick of the flesh, not a look

to my memory until I had for years implored God me and had repented of my sin. Now I dare not pay

come back to help

heed to any created object or waste

time by looking at

my

things."

35.

ABU MUHAMMAD RUWAYM

AHMAD.

B.

He was

an intimate friend of Junayd. In jurisprudence he followed Dawud, 1 and he was deeply versed in the sciences

and reading of the Koran. He of his state and the exalted ness of

relating to the interpretation

was famed

for the loftiness

and

journeys in detachment from the world Towards the end of his (tajrid\ and for his severe austerities. ife he hid himself among the rich and gained the Caliph s

his station,

for his

confidence, but such was the perfection of his spiritual rank that he was not thereby veiled from God. Hence Junayd said :

"

a

We

are devotees occupied (with the world),

man

He

occupied (with the world)

wrote several works on

Ghalat

al

-

exceedingly fond of

He

you?"

replied:

and whose thought neither a

God s

pious

elect?"

it.

particular

One day he was

"How is

is

Sufiism, one

deserves

Wdjidin?

who

(fixed

is

and

devoted

(to

is

God)."

of which, entitled

mention. asked,

he whose religion on) his

Ruwaym

worldly

u

I

How

is

affairs,

am are

his lust

who

God-fearing man nor a gnostic and one of This refers to the vices of the soul that is

Sensual passion and regards lust as its religion. consider anyone to be devout who complies with their

subject to

men 1

2

is

Dawud "

i.e.

of Isfahan, the founder of the Zahirite school (Brockelmann, of Ecstatic Persons".

The Error

i,

183).


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

136 inclinations,

even though he be a heretic, and anyone to be thwarts their desires, even though he be a

who

irreligious

This

pietist.

is

a widely spread disease at the present time.

God save us from associating with any such person Ruwaym doubtless gave this answer in reference to the inward state of the questioner, which he truly diagnosed, or it may be that God had temporarily allowed him to fall into that condition, !

and that he described himself as he then was 36.

ABU YA QUB YUSUF

He was one He was age. consorted

B.

in reality.

AL-HUSAYN AL-RAZI.

Shaykhs and great Imams of his a disciple of Dhu l-Nun the Egyptian, and with a large number of Shaykhs and performed of the ancient

J

them all. It is related that he said: "The meanest of mankind is the covetous dervish and he who loves his beloved, and the noblest of them is the veracious (al-siddtq)? service to

Covetousness renders the dervish ignominious in both worlds, because he is already despicable in the eyes of worldlings, and only becomes more despicable if he builds any hopes on them. Wealth with honour is far more perfect than poverty with disgrace. Covetousness causes the dervish to incur the imputation of sheer mendacity. Again, he who loves his beloved is

the meanest of mankind, since the lover acknowledges himself

be very despicable in comparison with his beloved and abases himself before her, and this also is the result of desire.

to

So long as Zulaykhd. desired Yusuf, she became every day more mean when she cast desire away, God gave her beauty and :

youth back to the beloved

her.

It

is

a law that

If the lover

when

the lover advances,

with love alone, In truth, the lover has honour Unless his love diverts only while he has no desire for union. him from all thought of union or separation, his love is weak. retires.

is

satisfied

then the beloved draws near.

ABU L-HASAN SUMNUN B. ABDALLAH AL-KHAWWAS. He was held in great esteem by all the Shaykhs. They

37.

called

him

Sumnun

the

Lover (al-Muhibb\ but

he called


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER TIMES.

Sumnun

himself

the Liar (al-Kadhdhdb].

He

137

much who had made suffeu i

persecution at the hands of Ghulam al-Khalil, himself known to the Caliph and courtiers by his pretended This hypocrite spoke evil of the Shaykhs piety and Sufiism. 1

and dervishes, hoping to bring about their banishment from Court and to establish his own power. Fortunate indeed were Sumnun and those Shaykhs to have only one adversary of In the present day there are a hundred Ghulam this sort. al-Khalils for every true spiritualist, but is

fit

food for vultures.

popularity

A woman

had

to him, to

When Sumnun

Baghdad, Ghulam

in

fallen in

Sumnun

to

Carrion

?

gained eminence and

al-Khalil

began to intrigue. love with Sumnun and made proposals

which he refused.

advise

what matter

She went

On

her.

marry

to Junayd, begging

being

sent

him

away by

Junayd, she came to Ghulam al-Khalil and accused Sumnun He listened eagerly to her of having attempted her virtue. slanders, and induced the Caliph to command that Sumnun should be put to death. When the Caliph was about to give the word to the executioner his tongue stuck in his throat.

The same

night he dreamed

longer than Sumnun s life. and restored him to favour. sayings and

On

love.

empire would last no Next day he asked his pardon that

Sumnun

subtle indications his

way from

his

the

the author of lofty concerning the real nature of

Hijaz

is

the

of

people

Fayd

He requested him to discourse to them about this subject. mounted the pulpit, but while he was speaking all his hearers Sumnun

departed.

turned to the lamps and said

"

:

I

am

the lamps collapsed and you." Immediately broke into small bits. It is related that he said thing

speaking to

all

"

:

A

can be explained only by what is more subtle than itself: there is nothing subtler than love by what, then, shall love :

1

Abu Abdallah Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Ghalib b. Khalid al-Basri al-Bahili, known as Ghulam Khalil, died in 275 A.H. He is described by Abu 1-

generally

Mahasin (Nujum,

and saint. According to ii, 79, i ff.) as a traditionist, ascetic, Tadhkirat al-Awliyd (ii, 48, 4 ff.), he represented to the Caliph that Junayd, Nuri, Shibli, and other eminent Sufis were freethinkers and heretics, and urged him

the

to put

them

to death.


KASHF AL-MAHJIJB.

13$

be explained ? The meaning of this is that love cannot be because explained explanation is an attribute of the "

explainer.

Love of

an attribute of the Beloved, therefore no explanation real nature is possible.

is

its

ABU L-FAWARIS SHAH SHUJA AL-KIRMANI. He was of royal descent. He associated with Abu Turab 38.

Nakhshabi and many other Shaykhs.

him

said of

in

the notice of

Something has been

Abu Uthman

He com

al-Hfri.

posed a celebrated treatise on Sufiism as

a book al-Hukamd. It is recorded that he said The eminent have eminence until they see it, and the saints have saintship until they see whoever his i.e.,

Mir

entitled

at

well

as

1

:

"

regards

it,"

eminence

loses

its

reality,

and whoever regards

his saintship

loses its reality. His biographers relate that for forty years he never slept; then he fell asleep and dreamed of God. O Lord," he cried, I was seeking Thee in nightly vigils, but I have found Thee in God answered O Shah, sleep." you have found Me by means of those nightly vigils if you had not sought Me there, you would not have found Me here." "

"

"

:

:

39.

AMR

B.

UTHMAN AL-MAKKI.

He was

one of the principal Sufis, and is the author of celebrated works on the mystical sciences. He became a of after he had seen Abu Sa id Kharraz and disciple Junayd had associated with Nibaji. 2 He was the Imam of his age in theology. It is related that he said Ecstasy does not admit of explanation, because it is a secret between God and "

:

the true

believers."

their explanation

power and

is

effort is

Let men seek to explain it as they will, not that secret, inasmuch as all human divorced from the Divine mysteries. It

when Amr came to Isfahan a young man with him against the wish of his father. The young man fell into a sickness. One day the Shaykh with is

said

that

associated

1

2

i.e.

Sa

"

The Mirror of the Sages (Abu Abdallah) b. Yazid

".

id

al-Nibaji.

See Nafahdt, No. 86.


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER number of

a

came

TIMES.

He

him.

begged the bid the singer (qawwdf] chant a few verses, where

Shaykh to upon Amr

friends

to

visit

desired the singer to chant

(

Md

maridtu wa-laui ya udni d id l

li

Minkum wa-yamradu abdukum

l

l

"

How

is

139

it

that

when

I

visit

your slave

Though

I

fell

ill

fa-a

ildu.

none of you

when he

visited

me,

"

falls

ill ?

On

hearing this the invalid left his bed and sat down, and He said the violence of his malady was diminished. Give "

:

me some

So the singer chanted

more."

x

Wa-ashaddu min maradi alayya sudtidukum Wa-sudiidu abdikumu alayya shadidu. l

"

Your neglect It

is

more grievous

would grieve

The young man

s

me

to

to neglect your

sickness

than

my

ABU MUHAMMAD SAHL

sickness

;

slave."

departed from him.

permitted him to associate with suspicion which he had harboured became an eminent Sufi. 40.

me

His father

Amr in

and repented of the his heart, and the youth

ABDALLAH AL-TUSTARI.

B.

His austerities were great and his devotions excellent. He has fine sayings on sincerity and the defects of human actions.

The formal

divines say that he

Truth (jama a bayn

al-sJiari at

combined the Law and the

wa

l-haqiqaf}.

This statement

two things have never been divided. The Law is the Truth, and the Truth is the Law. Their assertion is founded on the fact that the sayings of this Shaykh are more

is

,

j f

erroneous, for the

intelligible

and easy

to

apprehend than

is

sometimes the

case.

has joined the Law to the Truth, it is If they be impossible that His saints should separate them. one must be and the other separated, inevitably rejected

God

Inasmuch

as

accepted.

Rejection of the

Truth

Law

is

heresy,

and rejection of the

infidelity and polytheism. Any (proper) separation between them is made, not to establish a difference of meaning, is

">/

*>


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

140

but to affirm the Truth, as when is

no

god

it

is

said

The words

"

:

save Allah are Truth, and the words

there

Muhammad

is

No

one can separate the one from the other without impairing his faith, and it is vain to In short, the Law is a branch of the Truth wish to do so. the Apostle of Allah are

Law."

:

knowledge of God is Truth, and obedience to His command Law. These formalists deny whatever does not suit their fancy, and it is dangerous to deny one of the fundamental principles

is

Way

of the

Praise be to Allah for the faith which

to God.

has given us not rise or set !

And

related that he said

it is

upon anyone on the

not ignorant of God, unless he prefers spirit

and to

his present

to self-interest, that

because knowledge of (tadbir})

is

and future

life,"

God

he

to

i.e.,

if

anyone cleaves

ignorant of God, requires abandonment of forethought

proof that

a

face of

God

He

The sun does the earth who is his own soul and "

:

and abandonment of forethought

is

is

resignation (taslim\

whereas perseverance in forethought arises from ignorance of predestination. 41.

ABU MUHAMMAD ABDALLAH MUHAMMAD

B.

AL-FADL

AL-BALKHI.

He was

approved by the people of Iraq as well as by those He was a pupil of Ahmad b. Khadruya, and

of Khurasan.

Abu Uthman

of Hfra had a great affection for him.

Having

been expelled from Balkh by fanatics on account of his love of Sufiism, he went to Samarcand, where he passed his life. It is related

God

that he said

"

:

He

that has most knowledge of

he that strives hardest to

fulfil His commandments, and most closely the custom of His Prophet." The nearer one is to God the more eager one is to do His bidding, and the farther one is from God the more averse one is to follow His is

follows

Apostle. It is related that he said: I wonder at those who cross deserts and wildernesses to reach His House and Sanctuary, because the traces of His prophets are to be found there: why "

do not they cross their own passions and hearts, where they will find the traces of

lusts to reach their

their

Lord

"

?

That


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER TIMES. to

is

the heart

say,

is

more venerable than the

141

the seat of knowledge of God and is Ka ba, to which men turn in devotion.

ever looking towards the Ka ba, but God is ever Wherever the heart is, my Beloved the heart. towards looking is there wherever His decree is, my desire is there wherever

Men

are

;

;

the traces of

my

prophets

l

are, the eyes of those

whom

love

I

are directed there.

42.

ABU ABDALLAH MUHAMMAD

He

is

the author of

eloquence, declare

AL-TlRMIDHI.

excellent books which,

many

vouchsafed to him,

miracles

the

A LI

B.

by

their

e.g.,

the

Khatm al- Wildyat? the Kitdb al-Nahj? the Nawddir al- Ustil* and many more, such as the Kitdb al-Tawhid b and the Kitdb Adhdb al-Qabr^ it would be tedious to mention them all. :

I

and am entirely devoted to Muhammad is a union pearl that He has also written works

hold him in great veneration

My

him.

Shaykh

said

"

:

has no like in the whole

world."

on the formal sciences, and

is

a trustworthy authority for the

the Prophet which he related. He began a on the but did not live Koran, commentary long enough to

traditions

of

finish

The completed

portion is widely circulated among studied theologians. jurisprudence with an intimate friend of Abu Hamfa. The inhabitants of Tirmidh call him it.

He

Muhammad Hakim,

and the Haki mis, a Sufi sect in that Many remarkable stories are told of

region, are his followers.

him, as for instance that he associated with the Apostle Khidr. His disciple, Abu Bakr Warraq, relates that Khidr used to visit

him every Sunday, and

that they conversed with each other.

recorded that he said

It is

Anyone who is ignorant of the is yet more ignorant of the i.e., whoever does not know himself does not know the way to "

:

nature of servantship (^ubiidiyyat) nature of lordship (rubi ibiyyaf)? the

way

to

1

So

3

The Book "The Book

5

"

knowledge of

2

in all the texts.

of the

"

Highway.

Unification.

"

4 6

"The "

Seal of

Choice

Saintship."

Principles."

The Book

of the

Torment of the Tomb.


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

142

knowledge of God, and whoever does not recognize the con tamination of

human

qualities does not recognize the purity of

the Divine attributes, inasmuch

outward

as the

connected

is

who claims to possess the former without the latter makes an absurd assertion. Knowledge of

with the inward, and he

the nature of lordship depends on having right principles of This is a very servantship, and is not perfect without them.

profound and instructive saying.

It will

be fully explained in

the proper place.

ABU BAKR MUHAMMAD

43.

He was b. is

a great

Shaykh and

Khadrtiya and associated the author of books on

The

B.

UMAR AL-WARRAQ. He had Muhammad

ascetic.

with rules

of

discipline

seen b.

Ahmad He

All.

and

ethics.

Shaykhs have called him "The Instructor of the (mu addib al-awliya]. He relates the following story: Muhammad b. All handed to me some of his writings with the request that I should throw them into the Oxus. I had not the heart to do so, but placed them in my house and came to him and told him that I had carried out his order. He asked me what I had seen. I replied, Nothing. He said, You have not obeyed me return and throw them into the Stiff

Saints" "

;

I

river.

returned, doubting the promised sign, and cast

into the river. its

lid

open.

them

The waters parted and a chest appeared, with As soon as the papers fell into it, the lid closed

and the waters joined again and the chest vanished. I went back to him and told him what had occurred. He answered, Now you have thrown them in. I begged him to explain the

He

composed a work on theology and mysticism which could hardly be comprehended by the intellect. My brother Khidr desired it of me, and God bade the waters mystery.

bring

it

said

to him.

"

It is related that

classes

of

men

I

:

Abu Bakr Warraq (

When ;

ulama) and

"

:

There are three

princes (untard) and the divines are corrupt, piety and when the princes are corrupt, men s

divines

dervishes (fuqard). religion are vitiated

said


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER TIMES. livelihood

is

spoiled

;

143

and when the dervishes are corrupt, men

s

morals are depraved." Accordingly, the corruption of the divines consists in covetousness, that of the princes in injustice, and that

do not become corrupt until they turn their backs on divines, and divines do not become corrupt until they associate with princes, and dervishes do not of the dervishes in hypocrisy.

Princes

become corrupt until they seek ostentation, ^because the injustice of princes is due to want of knowledge, and the covetousness of divines is due to want of piety^jind the hypocrisy of dervishes is

due to want of 44.

He

trust in

God.

ABU SA ID AHMAD

was the

first

IsA AL-KHARRAZ.

B.

who explained

the doctrine of annihilation

He is the author of brilliant (fand) and subsistence (baqd). He had met compositions and sublime sayings and allegories. Dhu 1-Nun

of Egypt, and associated with Bishr and Sari.

related that concerning the words of the Apostle, are naturally disposed to love him who acts kindly

is

them,"

he said

"

:

Oh

!

I

wonder

at

him who

sees

"

It

Hearts

towards

none acting

kindly towards him except God, how he does not incline to God with his whole being," inasmuch as true beneficence

belongs to the Lord of phenomenal objects and is conferred only upon those who have need of it how can he who needs ;

beneficence from others bestow

King and Lord of the friends of

all

it

upon anyone

?

God

is

the

and hath need of none.

God behold

in

every

gift

Recognizing this, and benefit the Giver

and Benefactor. of

Him 45.

Their hearts are wholly taken captive by love and turned away from everything else.

ABU L-HASAN

According to others,

<ALI

his

B.

MUHAMMAD

name

is

All

b.

AL-ISFAHANI. Sahl.

He was

Junayd and he wrote exquisite letters to one b. Uthman Makki went to Isfahan to visit him. He consorted with Abu Turab and Junayd. He followed a praiseworthy Path in Sufiism and one that was peculiarly his own. He was adorned with acquiescence in God s will and a great

Shaykh.

another, and

Amr


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

144

and was

self-discipline,

preserved

from

mischiefs

and con

He

spoke eloquently on the theory and practice and of mysticism, lucidly explained its difficulties and symbolical It is related that he said: "Presence (Jiudur) is better allusions. taminations.

than certainty (yaqtn\ because presence is an abiding state (ivatandt\ whereas certainty is a transient one (khatardf)" presence makes its abode in the heart and does not admit forgetfulness, while certainty is a feeling that comes and goes hence those who are present (hddirdti) are in the sanctuary, and those who have certainty (mtiqindri) are only at the gate. i.e.,

:

"

"

The

subject of

"

absence

"

and

"

"

a separate chapter of this book. From the time of And he said also "

:

rection people cry, I is,

might but

(dil)

I

to

find

some one

find none.

that

The

to describe

be discussed

Adam

heart, the heart

People

piece

will

presence

to the

and

!

I

what the heart

in general give the

is

name

in

Resur

wish that or

of

how

it

heart

*

madmen and

of flesh which belongs to

and children, who really are without heart (bedil). What, then, is this heart, of which I hear only the name ? That is to say, if I call intellect the heart, it is not the heart and if I call and if I call spirit the heart, it is not the heart ecstatics

"

;

;

knowledge the heart, it the Truth subsist in the

is

All the evidences of

not the heart.

heart, yet only the

name

of

it

is

to be

found.

46.

ABU

L- HASAN

MUHAMMAD

B.

ISMA IL

KHAYR

AL-NASSAJ.

He was

a great Shaykh, and in his time discoursed with on ethics and preached excellent sermons. He died eloquence Both Shibli and Ibrahim Khawwas were at an advanced age.

converted

place of meeting.

in his

He

sent Shibli to Junayd,

He was a pupil of Sari, and was contemporary with Junayd and Abu 1- Hasan Nun. Junayd held him in high regard, and Abu Hamza of

wishing to observe the respect

Baghdad

treated

related that he

due

to the latter.

him with the utmost consideration.

was

called

It

is

Khayr al-Nassaj from the following


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER TIMES.

He

circumstance.

At

intention of performing the pilgrimage.

which lay on out

cried

"

:

this

Deeming

he was seized by a weaver of

You

my

are

and your name

silk,

is

Khayr."

contradict the

When

years in his employment.

many

who

he answered, At thy service Khayr until the man repented of what he had done and said

(labbayfc),

"

I

:

made

departed and went that

slave,

come from God, he did not

to

ever his master said

Khayr

the gate of Kufa,

his route,

weaver, and remained

to

with the

native town,

Samarra, his

left

145

said

"

"

you are not my slave." So he where he attained to such a degree

a mistake

to Mecca, "

"

"

!

Khayr

;

the best of us

"

(Khayr khayruna). It is not right used to prefer to be called Khayr, saying that I should alter a name which has been bestowed on me by Junayd

:

is

He

a

"

:

They

Moslem."

relate

that

when

the hour of his death

approached, it was time for the evening prayer. He opened his eyes and looked at the Angel of Death and said Stop God "

:

save thee orders, to

do

Thou

!

and

(viz.

I

am

to take

art only a

the same.

my

who

servant

has received His

That which thou

life) will

!

commanded

art

not escape thee, but that which

am commanded to do (viz. to perform the evening prayer) therefore let me do as I am bidden, and then will escape me do as thou art bidden." He then called for water and cleansed I

:

and performed the evening prayer and gave up his On the same night he was seen in a dream and was

himself, life.

What has God done to thee ? He answered Do not ask me of this, but I have gained release from your world." It is related that he said in his place of meeting God hath

asked

"

"

"

:

:

"

:

expanded the breasts of the pious with the light of certainty, and hath opened the eyes of the possessors of certainty with the light of the verities of faith." Certainty is indispensable to the pious, whose hearts are expanded with the light of certainty, and those who have certainty cannot do without the verities of faith,

of

inasmuch as

faith.

their intellectual vision consists in the light

Accordingly, where faith

where certainty is piety with each other.

is

is

there, for

certainty

is

there,

they go hand

in

L

and hand


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

146 47.

He

ABU HAMZA

He Shaykhs of Khurasdn. 1 and had seen He Kharraz. was Turab,

one of the

is

Abu

associated with

AL-KHURASANJL.

ancient

God

It is a well(tawakkut). known story that one day he fell into a pit. After three days had passed a party of travellers approached. Abu Hamza said Then he said No it I will call out to them." to himself:

grounded

firmly

trust

in

in

"

"

:

;

not good that

is I

seek

I

aid

God

be complaining of

shall

from anyone except God, and if

I

them that

tell

my God

and implore them to rescue me." When they came up and saw an open pit in the middle of the road, For the sake of obtaining Divine recompense they said must we cover this pit lest anyone should fall into (tJiawdU) has cast

me

into a pit

"

:

Abu Hamza

I became deeply agitated and abandoned hope of life. After they blocked the mouth of the pit and departed, I prayed to God and resigned myself to die, and hoped no more of mankind. When night fell I heard it."

said

"

:

movement at the top of the pit. mouth of the pit was open, and a

a dragon, which let

and that and

it

I

down

its tail.

I

I I

looked attentively. The saw a huge animal like

knew

should be saved in this way.

dragged

me

A

out.

I

that

God had

took hold of

sent

it

its tail

This

heavenly voice cried to me,

an excellent escape of thine, O Abu Hamza We have saved thee from death by means of a death (i.e. a deadly is

!

"

monster). "

He was He who

is

asked,

"Who

shuns

society,"

n

the stranger (ghari)1 He replied, because the dervish has no home or

society either in this world or the next,

sociated from

then he

is

is

dis

phenomenal existence he shuns everything, and and this is a very lofty degree.

a stranger

48.

and when he

ABU

;

-L-

ABBAS AHMAD

B.

MASRUQ.

He was

one of the great men of Khurdsan, and the Saints of God are unanimously agreed that he was one of the tad. He

Aw

1

See No. 44.


SUFIS OF LATER TIMES.

EMINENT associated with the Qutb

y

who

is

147

the pivot of the universe.

On

being asked to say who the Qutb was, he did not declare his He had name but hinted that Junayd was that personage.

Forty who possess the rank of fixity It is related (sahib tamkiri] and received instruction from them. If anyone takes joy in aught except God, his joy that he said produces sorrow, and if anyone is not intimate with the service

done

to

service

the

"

:

loneliness

of his Lord, his intimacy produces

(wakskat)"

i.e.,

all save Him perishable, and whoever rejoices in what is perishable, when that perishes becomes stricken with sorrow and except His service all else is vain, and when the vileness is

;

is made manifest, his intimacy (with them) to loneliness hence, the sorrow and loneliness turned wholly of the entire universe consist in regarding that which is other

of created objects is

:

(than God).

49.

ABU ABDALLAH MUHAMMAD

1

B.

ISMA

lL

AL-MAGHRIBI.

In his time he was an approved teacher and a careful guardian

Both Ibrahim Khawwas and Ibrahim Shaybam were pupils of his. He has lofty sayings and shining evidences, and he was perfectly grounded in detachment from this world.

of his disciples.

It is

related that he said

the world

if

:

her she will

"

:

I

never saw anyone more just than

you serve her she will serve you, and if you leave leave you," i.e. as long as you seek her she will

seek you, but when you turn away from her and seek God she from you, and worldly thoughts will no more cling to

will flee

your heart. Astf

50.

He

ALi AL-HASAN

B.

ALi AL-JUZAJANI.

wrote brilliant works on the science of ethics and the

detection of spiritual cankers. He was a pupil of Muhammad b. All al-Tirmidhi, and a contemporary of Abu Bakr Warrdq.

Ibrahim Samarqandi was a pupil of his. It is related that All mankind are galloping on the race-courses of he said "

:

1

LB. have

"Ahmad".


I

KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

48

they suppose them selves to be versed in the Truth and to be speaking from Divine

heedlessness, relying

upon

idle fancies, while

This saying alludes to natural self-conceit and to Men, though they are ignorant, have the pride of the soul. revelation."

a firm belief in their ignorance, especially ignorant Sufis, who are the vilest creatures of God, just as wise Sufis are the noblest.

The

latter possess the

Truth and are without conceit, whereas

They the former possess conceit and are without the Truth. fields of heedlessness and imagine that it is the field the in graze of saintship. They rely on fancy and suppose it to be certainty. They go about with form and think it is reality. They speak from their own lust and think it is a Divine revelation. This from a man s head save they do because conceit is not expelled for in the by vision of the majesty or the beauty of God :

manifestation of His conceit

is

beauty they see

Him

alone,

and

their

annihilated, while in the revelation of His majesty

does not intrude. they do not see themselves, and their conceit

51.

ABU MUHAMMAD AHMAD

B.

AL-HUSAYN AL-JURAYRI.

He was Sahl

an intimate friend of Junayd, and also associated with Abdallah. He was learned in every branch of science

b.

Imam

of his day in jurisprudence, besides being His rank in Sufiism was such well acquainted with theology.

and was the

Teach my pupils discipline and train Junayd said to him He succeeded Junayd and sat in his chair. It is them The permanence of faith and the sub related that he said sistence of religions and the health of bodies depend on three satisfaction (iktifd) and piety (ittiqd) and abstinence qualities "

that

:

"

!

"

:

:

(ihtima)

good

;

:

if

and

with God, his conscience becomes one guards himself from what God has forbidden,

one if

his character

is

satisfied

becomes upright

;

and

if

one abstains from what

does not agree with him, his constitution order.

The

is

brought into good

pure knowledge of God, and excellence of moral character, and the end

fruit of satisfaction is

the result of piety of abstinence

is

is

equilibrium of constitution."

The Apostle

said,


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER

TIMES.

149

He

that prays much by night, his face is fair by day," and he with also said that the pious shall come at the Resurrection "

"

resplendent faces on thrones of light

ABU

52.

L-

ABBAs AHMAD

B.

".

MUHAMMAD

B.

SAHL

He was always held in great respect by his contemporaries. He was versed in the sciences of Koranic exegesis and criticism, and expounded the subtleties of the Koran with an eloquence and insight peculiar to himself. He was an eminent pupil of

Abu Junayd, and had associated with Ibrahim Mdristdni d Kharraz Sa regarded him with the utmost veneration, and i

used to declare that no one deserved the him.

It

related

is

that

he said

"

:

name

of Sufi except Acquiescence in natural

habits prevents a man from attaining to the exalted degrees of spirituality," because natural dispositions are the instruments

and organs of the sensual part (nafs), which veiling (Jiijdti), whereas the spiritual part

the centre of

is

"

"

virtue

in

the

to

firstly,

the

to

secondly,

former

:

is

Natural dispositions become attached to this world and its accessories, and

centre of revelation.

two things

(Jtaqiqai)

next world and of

its

circumstances

and

homogeneousness,

:

the

to

to

the

latter

through imagination and in virtue of heterogeneousness and non-cognition. Therefore they are attached to the notion of the next world, not to its true idea, for if they knew it in reality, they would break off connexion with this world, and nature would then have lost all her power and spiritual things would

There can be no harmony between the next

be revealed.

world and "

in

human

the next

conceived

".

fact that the

nature until the latter

world

is

that

is

annihilated, because

man

which the heart of

never

The worth

way

to

it

(khatar) of the next world lies in the is full of thing that danger (khatar).

A

only comes into one s thoughts (kJiaivdtir) has little worth and inasmuch as the imagination is incapable of knowing the reality of the next world, how can human nature become ;

familiar with the true idea

(*ayri)

thereof?

It

is

certain that


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

T5 O

our natural faculties can be acquainted only with the notion (pinddsht) of the next world.

ABU L-MUGHITH AL-HUSAYN B. MANSUR AL-HALLAJ. He was an enamoured and intoxicated votary of Sufiism. He had a strong ecstasy and a lofty spirit. The Sufi Shaykhs 53.

are at variance concerning him.

Some

reject him, while others

Amr b. Uthman alAmong Makkf, Abu Ya qub Nahrajuri, Abu Ya qub Aqta All b. Sahl He is accepted, moreover, by Ibn Ata, Isfahan/, and others. Muhammad b. Khafif, Abu 1-Qasim Nasrabadi and all the the latter class are

accept him.

,

,

moderns.

Others, again, suspend

their

judgment about him,

Some accuse Junayd and Shibli and Jurayri and Husri. him of magic and matters coming under that head, but in our days the Grand Shaykh Abu Sa id b. Abi 1-Khayr and Shaykh Abu 1-Qasim Gurgani and Shaykh Abu !- Abbas Shaqani looked upon him with favour, and in their eyes he was a great man. The Master Abu 1-Qasim Qushayri remarks that if al-Hallaj was a genuine spiritualist he is not to be banned on the ground of popular condemnation, and if he was banned by Sufiism and rejected by the Truth he is not to be approved on the ground of popular approval. Therefore we leave him to e.g.

/

*/

^ ?

^/?

the judgment of God, and honour him according to the tokens of the Truth which we have found him to possess. But of all

Shaykhs only a few deny the perfection of his_ merit and the purity of his spiritual state and the abundance of his

these

It would be an act of dishonesty to omit his from this book. Some persons pronounce his outward biography behaviour to be that of an infidel, and disbelieve in him and

ascetic practices.

~?>

charge him with trickery and magic, and suppose that Husayn b, Mansur Hallaj is that heretic of Baghdad who was the master of

Muhammad

b.

and the companion of Husayn whose character is

Zakariyya

l

the Carmathian but this was a Persian and a native of Bayda, and ;

The famous physician Abu Bakr Muhammad about 320 A.H. See Brockelmann, i, 233. 1

b.

Abu Sa id in dispute

his rejection

Zakariyya al-Rdzi,

by the who

died


EMINENT

StfFIS

OF LATER TIMES.

:il

Shaykhs was due, not to any attack on religion and doctrine, but to his conduct and behaviour. At first he was a pupil of b. Abdallah, whom he left, without asking permission, in order to attach himself to Amr b. Uthman Makki. Then he

Sahl

Amr

Uthman, again without asking permission, and Junayd would not receive him. This is the reason why he is banned by all the Shaykhs. Now, one who is banned on account of his conduct is not banned on account of his principles. Do_j^p_u_iigLjeje_Jiiat._Shiyi said Al-Hallaj and I are of one belief, but my madness saved me, Had his religion been while his intelligence destroyed him ? Al-Hallaj and I are of suspected, Shibli would not have said He is a divinely one belief" And Muhammad b. Khafif said left

b.

sought to associate with Junayd, but

:

"

"

"

:

"

:

man

learned

"

(^dlim-i rabbdnf).

is

Al-Hallaj

the author of

compositions and allegories and polished sayings in theology and jurisprudence. I have seen fifty works by him brilliant

neighbouring districts, and some in Khuzistan and Pars and Khurasan. All his sayings are like

Baghdad and

at

the

first

in

the

some of them are some more unseemly than

visions of novices

weaker, some easier, bestows a vision

God

;

and

on

he

stronger, others.

some

When

endeavours

to anyone, describe what he has seen with the power of ecstasy and the help of Divine grace, his words are obscure, especially if he then they expresses himself with haste and self-admiration :

are to

more repugnant

and incomprehensible the minds, of those who hear them, and then people say,

This

to the imaginations,

a sublime

utterance," either believing it or not, but of its whether or believe equally ignorant meaning they deny. On the other hand, when persons of true spirituality and insight "

is

they make no effort to describe them, and do not occupy themselves with self-admiration on that account, and are careless of praise and blame alike, and are undisturbed by

have

visions,

denial and belief. It

is

absurd to

According is real,

charge

al-Hallaj

to the principles of

just as miracles are real

with being a magician.

Muhammadan ;

orthodoxy, magic but the manifestation of magic


KASHF AL-MAHJIJB.

152

in the state of perfection

whereas the manifestation

is infidelity,

of miracles in the state of perfection is knowledge of God (ma rifat), because the former is the result of God s anger, while the latter

explain

the corollary of His being well pleased. I will in the on the affirmation of chapter fully

is

this

miracles.

more

By

perspicacity,

consent of

who

Sunnites

all

endowed with

are

no Moslem can be a magician and no

infidel

can

be held in honour, for contraries never meet. Husayn, as long as he lived, wore the garb of piety, consisting in prayer and praise of God and continual fasts and fine sayings on the subject of Unification.

were magic,

If his actions

all

this could

not

possibly have proceeded from him. Consequently, they must have been miracles, and miracles are vouchsafed only to a true saint.

Some orthodox

theologians

reject

him on the ground

that his sayings are pantheistic (ba-ma ni-yi imtizdj ti ittihdd), but the offence lies solely in the expression, not in the meaning.

A

person overcome with rapture has not the power of expressing himself correctly besides, the meaning of the expression may be difficult to apprehend, so that people mistake the writer s ;

and repudiate, not his real meaning, but a notion which they have formed for themselves. I have seen at Baghdad intention,

and to

number of heretics who pretend of al-Hallaj and make his sayings an

in the adjoining districts a

be the followers

argument

They

for their

spoke of

him

heresy (zandaqd) and call themselves Hallajis. in the same terms of exaggeration (ghuluww)

AH.

as the Rafidis (Shi ites) apply to

I

will refute their doctrines

in the

chapter concerning the different Sufi sects. In conclusion, you must know that the sayings of al-Hallaj should not be taken as a model, inasmuch as he was an ecstatic (maghlub andar kdl-i

v

_y

khud), not firmly settled (mutamakkin\ and a man needs to be firmly settled before his sayings can be considered authoritative. Therefore, although he

is

dear to

my

heart, yet his

"

"

path

not soundly established on any principle, and his state fixed in

any

with error.

position,

and

his experiences are largely

When my own

support from him, that

is

visions

to

began

say, in

the

I

is

not

mingled

derived

way

is

much

of evidences


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER At an

(bardhtJt).

earlier

time

I

TIMES.

composed a book

153 in

explanation

of his sayings and demonstrated their sublimity by proofs and

Furthermore, in another work, entitled Minhdj\ and now have spoken of his life from beginning to end

arguments. I

;

have given some account of him

I

in

this

How

place.

can

a doctrine whose principles require to be corroborated with so much caution be followed and imitated ? Truth and idle fancy

never agree.

He

continually seeking to fasten upon some he said Al-alsinat mustan-

is

erroneous theory.

It is related that

tiqdt takta nutqihd mustahlikdt,

1

:

"

i.e.

speaking tongues are the

Such expressions are entirely of the mischievous. Expression meaning of reality is futile, If the Ineaning exists it is not lost by expression, and if it is non-existent it is not created by expression. Expression only produces an unreal notion and leads the student mortally astray destruction of silent

by causing him

to

hearts".

imagine that the expression

is

the real

meaning. ABIJT

54.

He

ISHAQ IBRAHIM

B.

AHMAD AL-KHAWWAS.

attained a high degree in the doctrine of trust in

God

He met many Shaykhs, and many signs and (iawakkul). miracles were vouchsafed to him. He is the author of excellent works on the ethics of Sufiism.

It is related

two sentences

that he said

"

:

All

do not trouble your knowledge comprised self with anything that is done for you, and do not neglect that are bound to do for anything you i.e., do not yourself, trouble yourself with destiny, for what is destined from eternity in

is

:

"

not be changed by your efforts, and do not neglect His commandment, for you will be punished if you neglect it. He was asked what wonders he had seen. Many wonders," he will

"

replied,

begged that

"but

me

the most wonderful was that the Apostle Khidr him associate with me, and I refused. Not

to let

desired any better companion, but I feared that I should depend on him rather than on God, and that my trust in God I

1

"

Literally,

to

perish."

The tongues

desire to speak, (but) under their speech they desire


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

154

by consorting with him, and that in of performing a work of supererogation I should consequence This is the degree fail to perform a duty incumbent on me." would be impaired

of perfection.

ABU HAMZA AL-BAGHDADI

55.

AL-BAZZAZ.

He^ jvas one of the principal Sufi scholastic theologians He was a pupil of Harith Muhasibi, and (inutakallimdii). associated with Sari and was contemporary with Nun and

Khayr

He He was

used to preach in the Rusafa mosque at

Nassaj.

versed in Koranic exegesis and criticism, Baghdad. and related Apostolic Traditions on trustworthy authority. It

was he who was with

when God

the latter was persecuted and

delivered the Sufis from death.

in the place

that

Nun when

where

Abu Hamza

thou hast done

Nun s

said

all

"If

:

that

is

from thee, thou hast paid

thy

due

all

I

will tell this story

It is recorded explained. self (nafs) is safe from thee,

doctrine

is

to it;

that

and

due

is

to

if

mankind

them,"

two obligations, one which thou owest to thy which thou owest to others. If thou refrain thy

i.e.,

are safe

there are

and one

"self"

sin

and seek

for

it

the path

"self"

from

of future salvation, thou hast

and if thou make others thy obligation towards it secure from thy wickedness and do not wish to injure them, thou hast fulfilled thy obligation towards them. Endeavour fulfilled

;

that no evil

may

befall thy

occupy thyself with 56.

"self"

or others

from thee: then

fulfilling thy obligation to God.

ABU BAKR MUHAMMAD

B.

MusA AL-WAsm.

He was

a profound theosophist, praiseworthy in the eyes of the Shaykhs. He was one of the early disciples of Junaycl. His abstruse manner of expression caused his sayings to be

all

regarded with suspicion by formalists (zdhiriydii). He found peace in no city until he came to Merv. The inhabitants of

Merv welcomed him on account he was a virtuous passed

man

his life there.

remember

of his amiable disposition

and listened

to his sayings

It is related that

their praise of

God

he said

(dhikr) are

:

;

for

and he

"Those

who

more heedless than


EMINENT who

those

it

praise,

forget their is

SUFIS OF

because

praise,"

no matter

but

;

LATER TIMES.

it

155

anyone forgets the if he remembers

if

does matter

Praise is not the same thing as the the praise and forgets God. of the object of praise combined with of Neglect object praise. thought of the praise approximates to heedlessness more closely

He who forgets, in than neglect of the praise without thought. his forgetfulness and absence, does not think that he is present (with God), but he who remembers, in his remembrance and absence from the object of praise, thinks that he is present (with God). Accordingly, to think that one is present when one is not present comes nearer to heedlessness than to be absent without thinking that one is present, for conceit (pinddsht) is The more conceit, the ruin of those who seek the Truth. the less reality, and vice versa. Conceit really springs from the of the intellect, which is produced by the suspiciousness (tuhniaf)

and holy aspiration with either of these qualities.

insatiable desire (nahuiat) of the lower soul

(hirnmaf) has nothing in

The fundamental either

in

principle of

;

remembrance of God

(gJiaybaf) or

(d/iikr)

is

When

in

presence (Jiudur). absent from himself and present with God, that state not presence, but contemplation (mushdhadaf] and when is

anyone is

absence

common

;

anyone is absent from God and present with himself, that state is not remembrance of God (dktkr), but absence and absence is ;

the result of heedlessness (ghaflaf).

The

truth

is

known

best

to God. 57.

ABU BAKR

B.

DULAF

B.

JAHDAR

AL-SHIBLI.

He

was a great and celebrated Shaykh. He had a blameless He spiritual life and enjoyed perfect communion with God. was subtle in the use of symbolism, wherefore one of the moderns says:

"The

wonders of the world are three:

the symbolical

utterances (isJidrdf) of Shibli, and the mystical sayings (nukaf) L of Murta ish, and the anecdotes (hikdydf) of Ja At first far."

he was chief chamberlain to the Caliph, but he was converted in the

assembly-room

(inajlis) 1

of

Khayr

See No. 58.

al-Nassaj and

became


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

156

He made

a disciple of Junayd.

number of Shaykhs. "

"

the

Tell the believers to refrain their eyes

O Muhammad, tell

acquaintance of a large he explained the verse

It is related that "

(Kor. xxiv, 30) as follows the believers to refrain their bodily eyes

:

unlawful, and to refrain their spiritual eyes from everything except God," i.e. not to look at lust and to have no thought except the vision of God. It is a mark of heedlessness

from what

is

to follow one s lusts

and

greatest calamity that

ignorant of their shall also

own

God

bodily eye

faults

in the next

is

is

not safe from

"

:

Those

world"

who

is

its

they are ignorant here

are blind in this

In truth,

(Kor. xvii, 74).

man

s

heart the

hidden dangers, and until God

Himself

in a

man s

heart the spiritual

not safe from looking at other than Him.

It is related

that one

the people said,

"

This

day when a

is

"

!

great heedlessness,

may become

came

into the bazaar,

He replied You think sensible may God increase my inasmuch as my madness is the "

am mad, and I think you are madness and your sense i.e.,

result of intense love of

Shibli

madman."

I

I

anyone who

for

;

that

is

clears the desire of lust out of a

establishes the desire of

eye

the heedless

be ignorant hereafter

world shall be blind until

and the

to regard unlawful things,

befalls

:

:

God, while your sense

may God

increase

my

is

the result of

madness

in order that

nearer and nearer to Him, and

may He

increase

your sense in order that you may become farther and farther from Him. This he said from jealousy (ghayraf) that anyone should be so beside one s self as not to separate love of God from madness and not to distinguish between them world or the next.

ABU MUHAMMAD JA FAR

58.

He

B.

in

this

NUSAYR AL-KHULDI.

One of the the well-known biographer of the Saints. most eminent and oldest of Junayd s pupils, he was profoundly versed in the various branches of Sufiism and paid the utmost is

respect to the Shaykhs. order to avoid spiritual

He

has

many sublime

sayings.

In

different conceit, he attributed to persons the anecdotes which he composed in illustration of


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER each topic.

It

related

is

TIMES.

he said

that

157

Trust in

"

:

God

is

are i.e., you equanimity whether you find anything or not made glad by having daily bread or sorrowful by not having it, because it is the property of the Lord, who has no,"

a better right than you either to preserve or to destroy do not interfere, but let the Lord dispose of His own. Ja far :

relates that

a

he went to Junayd and found him suffering from tell God in order that He may Master," he cried,

O

"

fever.

"

restore thee to

to

tell

Junayd

health."

"

said

:

Him, but a voice whispered in

Me

belongs to

:

I

keep

it

well or

ABU ALi MUHAMMAD

He was

a great Sufi

He

art

"

property.

signs and

Many

discoursed lucidly on the

related that he said

(murid) desires for himself only

Who

please.

and of royal descent.

It is

was about

Thy body

heart,

I

My

I

AL-QASIM AL-RUDBARI.

B.

virtues were vouchsafed to him.

arcana of Sufiism.

my as

ill,

thou, that thou shouldst interfere with 59.

Last night

what God

"

:

He who

desires

desires for him,

and

he who is desired (murdcC] does not desire anything in this world or the next except God." Accordingly, he who is satisfied with the will of God must abandon his own will in order that he

may

desire,

whereas the lover has no

will of his

own

that he

should have any object of desire. He who desires God desires only what God desires, and he whom God desires desires only God. Hence satisfaction (rida} is one of the stations "

(maqdmdf) of the beginning, and love (uiakabbaf)

is

"

one of the

The stations are connected (ahwdl) of the end. with the realization of servantship (^ubudiyyat\ while ecstasy "

states

"

"

"

(mashrab) leads to the corroboration of Lordship (rubiibiyyaf). This being so, the desirer (murid) subsists in himself, and the desired (inurdd] subsists in God. 60.

He from

ABU

L-

ABBAS QASIM

associated with

many Shaykhs.

B.

AL-MAHDI

x

AL-SAYYARI.

Abu Bakr Wasiti and derived instruction He was the most accomplished (azraf)

of the Sufis in companionship (suhbaf} and the most sparing 1

Nafahdt, No. 167, has

"Qdsim

b.

al-Qa"sim

al-Mahdf

".


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

158

them

(azhad] of

He

in friendship (ulfaf).

the author of lofty

is

It is related that he sayings and praiseworthy compositions. this that taw is Unification (alsaid: nothing should occur hid) He belonged to a learned and to your mind except God." "

:

influential family of

from his

father,

the Apostle

Merv.

Having

inherited a large fortune

he gave the whole of

s hairs.

Through

it

in return

two of

for

the blessing of those hairs

God

a sincere repentance. He fell into the and such a high degree attained Wasiti, company When he was on the that he became the leader of a Sufi sect.

on

bestowed

of

him

Abu Bakr

point of death, he gave directions that those hairs should be His tomb is still to be seen at Merv, and placed in his mouth.

people come thither to seek what they desire

;

and

their prayers

are granted.

6 1.

He was renowned

ABU ABDALLAH MUHAMMAD the Imam of his age in diverse and

for his mortifications

dation of mystical truths.

B.

KHAFIF.

He was

sciences.

for his

convincing eluci attainments are clearly spiritual He was acquainted with Ibn Atd

His

shown by his compositions. and Shiblf and Husayn b. Mansur and Jurayrf, and associated He made excellent at Mecca with Abu Ya qub Nahrajuri. journeys in detachment from the world (tajrid). He was of royal descent, but God bestowed on him repentance, so that he turned his back on the glories of this world. He is held in high (

esteem by

consists in turning

mankind

It is related that

spiritualists.

are

all

away from

veiled from

beneficence of God.

nature,"

he said

"

:

Unification

because the natures of

the bounties and

Hence no one can turn

to

blind

to the

God until he man (sahib

has turned away from nature, and the natural tab } is unable to apprehend the reality of Unification, which "

"

1

revealed to you only own nature.

when you

ABU UTHMAN SA ID

62,

He was

an eminent

fixity

(ahl-i tamkin)^

the corruption

of your

SALLAM AL-MAGHRIBI. of the class who have attained

B.

spiritualist

"

"

see

is

and was profoundly versed

in various


EMINENT SUFIS OF LATER TIMES.

He

departments of knowledge. the author of

many

practised

159

and

austerities,

is

notable sayings and excellent proofs con of spiritual blemishes (ru"yat-i dfdf).

cerning the observation It is related that he said

"

:

Whenever anyone

prefers association

with the rich to sitting with the poor God afflicts him with The terms association (suhbaf) and sitting spiritual death." "

"

with

"

"

employed, because a man turns away from when he has sat with them, not when he has them for there is no turning away in associa

(inujdlasat) are

the poor only associated with

;

When

he leaves off sitting with the poor in order to associate with the rich, his heart becomes dead to supplication tion.

(iiiydz)

and

his

body

is

in

caught

the toils of covetousness (dz).

Since the result of turning away from imijdlasat is spiritual how should there be any turning away from suhbat ? two The terms are clearly distinguished from each other in death,

this saying.

ABU L-QAsiM IBRAHIM

63.

B.

MUHAMMAD

MAHMUD

B.

AL-NASRABADI.

He was is

in

like a

this world,

king in Nishapur, save that the glory of kings while his was in the next world. Original

Himself sayings and exalted signs were vouchsafed to him. a pupil of Shibli, he was the master of the later Shaykhs of Khurasan. It

age.

is

relationships

He was :

relationship to

man

the most learned and devout

recorded that he said:

"Thou

of his

between two

art

one to Adam, the other to God. If thou claim Adam, thou wilt enter the arenas of lust and the

places of corruption and error

for

;

by

thy humanity (bashariyyaf). was unjust and foolish (Kor. xxxiii, claim relationship

thou seekest to

this claim

God hath

realize

72).

said If,

:

Verily, he

however, thou

God, thou wilt enter the stations of revelation and evidence and protection (from sin) and saintship for by this c aim thou seekest to realize thy servantship to

;

l

(

ubudiyya).

those

God hath

who walk on

ship to

Adam

said

* :

The servants of

the earth meekly

(Kor. xxv,

Merciful are Relation 64)."

the

ends at the Resurrection, whereas the relationship


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

60

of being a servant of God subsists always and is unalterable. When a man refers himself to himself or to Adam, the utmost that he can reach

is

to say

"

:

but when (Kor. xxviii, 15) of Adam is in the same case as those of ;

"O

My

is

"

whom God

servants, there is no fear for you this

64.

He

I have

injured myself he refers himself to God, the son Verily,

ABU L-HASAN ALI

B.

day"

hath said

(Kor.

xliii,

:

68).

IBRAHIM AL-HUSRI.

one of the great Imams of the Sufis and was unrivalled He has lofty sayings and admirable explanations

in his time.

Leave me Are not children of Adam, whom ye my God formed with His own hand and breathed a spirit into him and caused the angels to bow down to him ? Then He commanded him to do something, and he disobeyed. If the first of the wine-jar is dregs, what will its last be?" That is to in all spiritual matters.

alone in

When

affliction

a

man

It is related

that he said

"

:

!

to himself

he

disobedience, but favour comes to his help he is all love. Now of Divine favour and compare with it the regard the beauty and whole life in this." of behaviour, thy pass thy ugliness "

say

:

is left

is all

when Divine

have mentioned some of the ancient Sufis whose example If I had noticed them all and had set forth authoritative.

I

is

their lives in detail

and had included the anecdotes respecting

them, my purpose would not have been accomplished, and this book would have run to great length. Now I will add some

account of the modern

Sufis.


CHAPTER

XII.

CONCERNING THE PRINCIPAL SUFIS OF RECENT You must know

TIMES.

that in_our days there are some persons who of discipline (riyddaf), and seek

cannot endure the burden

authority (riydsaf) without discipline, and think that all Sufis and when they hear the sayings of those who have passed away and see their eminence and read of their are like themselves

;

devotional practices they examine themselves, and finding that they are far inferior to the Shaykhs of old they no longer are not as they, and attempt to emulate them, but say "

:

We

like them our time." Their assertion is absurd, never leaves the earth without a proof (fitijjaf) or the Moslem community without a saint, as the Apostle said One

there for

none

is

in

God

"

:

sect of my people shall continue in goodness and truth until the hour of the Resurrection." And he said also There shall "

:

always-.be in

Some

my

people forty

of those

whom

already deceased, and i.

He

ABU

some

who have

are

ABBAS AHMAD

in

this

Abraham."

chapter are

still living.

B.

for his lofty spiritual

abundant evidences,

the nature of

mention

shall

associated with the leading

was famed his

L-

I

ascetic

MUHAMMAD

AL-QASSAB.

He Shaykhs endowments, his true sagacity, Abu practices, and miracles. of Transoxania.

Abdallah Khayyati, the Imam of Tabaristan, says of him: is one of God s bounties that He has made a person who was never taught able to answer our questions about any difficulty

"It

touching the principles of religion and the subtleties of Unifica tion."

Although

Abu

!-

Abbas Qassab was

illiterate (urn mi),

he

discoursed in sublime fashion concerning the science of Sufiism and theology. I have heard many stories of him, but my rule in this

book

is

brevity.

One day

a camel, with a heavy burden,

M


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

l62

was going through the market-place at Amul, which is always muddy. The camel fell and broke its leg. While the lad in charge of it was lamenting and lifting his hands to implore the help of God, and the people were about to take the load off its back, the Shaykh passed by, and asked what was the matter. On being informed, he seized the camel s bridle and turned his

and said

face to the sky

whole.

If

Thou

"

:

O

do

wilt not

melted by the tears of a lad and went on its way. It

no,

is

stated that he said

so, "

?

"

:

because,

when you

!

All mankind, whether they will or

must reconcile themselves

pain,"

make the leg of this camel why hast Thou let my heart be The camel immediately got up

Lord

to

God, or

are reconciled to

else they will suffer

Him

in affliction,

you

see only the Author of affliction, and the affliction itself does not come and if you are not reconciled to Him, affliction comes ;

and your heart

filled

is

with anguish.

God having

predestined our satisfaction and dissatisfaction, does not alter His pre destination therefore our satisfaction with His decrees is a part :

of our pleasure. that man s heart

Whenever anyone is

rejoiced

from Him, that man 2.

;

distressed

is

ABU ALi HASAN

reconciles himself to

Him,

and whenever anyone turns away

B.

by the coming of destiny.

MUHAMMAD

AL-DAQQAQ.

He was the leading authority in his department (of science) and had no rival among his contemporaries. He was lucid in exposition and eloquent in speech as regards the revelation of the

way

He had seen many Shaykhs and associated He was a pupil of Nasrabadi and used to be

to God.

with them.

l

a preacher (tadhkir kardt). It is related that he said Whoever becomes intimate with anyone except God is weak in his (spiritual) state, and whoever speaks of anyone except God is "

:

false in his

speech,"

because intimacy with anyone except

God

springs from not knowing God sufficiently, and intimacy with Him is friendlessness in regard to others, and the friendless man

does not speak of others. 1

See Chapter XI, No. 63.


THE PRINCIPAL MODERN I

heard

man

an old

SUFIS.

163

one day he went to the

relate that

place where al-Daqqaq held his meetings, with the intention of asking him about the state of those who trust in God

Al-Daqqaq was wearing a

(inutawakkildri).

man

factured in Tabaristan, which the old "

to "

What

is

trust in

al-Daqqaq To refrain from coveting people :

God s

manu

turban

fine

coveted.

He

said

The Shaykh replied turbans." With these words "

?

:

he flung his turban in front of the questioner.

ABU L-HASAN ALI

3.

He was his time.

B.

Shaykh and was praised by all the Saints in Shaykh Abu Sa id visited him, and they conversed

a great

with each other on every topic. leave he said to al-Khurqani successor."

servant of

AHMAD AL-KHURQANI.

I

When I

have heard from Hasan

Abu Sa id,

that

he was about to take

choose

"

:

you

to

Mu addib, who

when Abu Sa

id

came

be

my

was the into the

presence of al-Khurqani, he did not speak another word, but listened and only spoke by way of answering what was said by the latter. "

replied

:

Hasan asked him why he had been One interpreter is enough for one

Abu

so silent. theme."

He And

came 1-Qasim Qushayri, say to Khurqan, my eloquence departed and I no longer had any power to express myself, on account of the veneration with I

heard the Master,

which that I

spiritual

:

director inspired

had been deposed from

my own

me

;

and

"When I

I

thought that

saintship."

There are two ways, one wrong and one right. The wrong way is Man s way to God, and the Whoever says he has attained right way is God s way to Man. It

is_related

that he said

"

:

God has not attained but when anyone says that he has been made to attain to God, know that he has really attained." It is not a question of attaining or not attaining, and of

to

;

salvation or non-salvation, but one of being caused to attain or not to attain, and of being given salvation or being not given salvation.


1

KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

64

4.

ABU *ABDALLAH MUHAMMAD

B. ALi, AS AL-DASTANI.

He

He was

resided at Bistam,

of science, and

learned in various brandies

the author of polished discourses and fine He found an excellent successor in

indications.

symbolical

Shaykh

is

GENERALLY KNOWN

who was

Sahlagi,

the

Imam

of those parts.

have

I

heard from Sahlagi some of his spiritual utterances (anfds\ which are very sublime and admirable. He says, for example :

coming from thee,

"

Unification,

existent (maivjiid), but thou

is

art non-existent (mafqud}"

in unification

i.e.

when

unification,

proceeds from thee, is faultless (dnrusi), but thou art faulty because thou dost not fulfil its requirements. The lowest degree in unification is the negation of thy personal it

in unification,

over anything that thou hast, and the affirmation of thy absolute submission to God in all thy affairs. Shaykh

control

Once the locusts came to Bistam Sahlagi relates as follows in such numbers that every tree and field was black with them. "

:

The people

What

cried

all

is

come and

this

aloud for

The Shaykh asked me:

help. I

pother?

told

him that the

locusts

that the people were distressed in consequence.

had

He

and went up to the roof and looked towards heaven. The locusts immediately began to fly away. By the hour of the

rose

afternoon prayer not one was of grass."

left,

ABU SA ID FADLALLAH He was the sultan of his

5.

Mystic Path.

some through

their

feelings.

of science.

lost

even a blade

MUHAMMAD AL-MAYHANI.

age and the ornament of the All his contemporaries were subject to him,

sound perception, and some through their

some through the strong

excellent belief, and spiritual

B.

and nobody

He

He was

versed

in

influence of their

the different branches

had a wonderful religious experience and an

extraordinary power of reading men s secret thoughts. Besides this he had many remarkable powers and evidences, of which the effects are manifest at the present day.

(Mayhana) and came

to

Sarakhs

in

In early

life

order to study.

he

left

He

Mihna

attached


THE PRINCIPAL MODERN

Abu

himself to

much

as

All Zahir, from

contained

is

in

whom

SUFIS.

165

he learned in one day as

three lectures, and he used to spend in

devotion the three days that he had saved in this manner. The saint of Sarakhs at that time was Abu 1-Fadl Hasan. One day, when Abu Sa id was walking by the river of Sarakhs, Abu 1-

Fadl met him and said

Your way

"

:

is

not that which you

take your own way." The Shaykh did not attach himself to him, but returned to his native town and engaged in are taking

:

asceticism and austerities until

God opened

to

him the door of

guidance and raised him to the highest rank. I heard the I had following story from Shaykh Abu Muslim Farisi "

:

Once

I

on unfriendly terms with the Shaykh. him a visit. pay My patched frock was so had become like leather. When I entered his

he said,

always,"

"bean

set out to

dirty that

presence,

Egyptian

it

I

found him sitting on a couch, dressed in a robe of I said to myself: This man claims to be

linen.

a dervish (faqir] with all these worldly encumbrances {^ald iq}, while I claim to be a dervish with all this detachment from the

world

(tajrid).

How

can

I

agree with this

man ?

He

read

O Abu Muslim, my thoughts, and raising his head cried in what diwdn have you found that the name of dervish is :

applied to anyone whose heart subsists in the contemplation of God? i.e. those who contemplate God are rich in God>

whereas dervishes (fuqara) are occupied with self-mortification. I repented of my conceit and asked God to pardon me for such an unseemly thought."

And

it

is

related that he said

the heart with

God without any

Sufiism

is

the subsistence of

mediation."

This alludes to

"

:

contemplation (inushdhadat\ which

is

violence

of love,

and

absorption of human attributes in realizing the vision of God, and their annihilation by the everlastingness of God. I will discuss

Ke~hature of contemplation in the chapter which treats

of the Pilgrimage. On one occasion

Tus. feet

Abu Sa id set out from Ni shapur towards While he was passing through a mountainous ravine his felt cold in his boots. A dervish who was then with him


1

KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

66

I thought of tearing my waist-cloth (fiita) into two says but I could not halves and wrapping them round his feet "

:

;

do

bring myself to

we

Tus

arrived at

as

it,

I

my

futa was

When

a very fine one.

attended his meeting and asked him to

me

the difference between suggestions of the Devil (waswds) and Divine inspiration (i/hdni). He answered: lt was a Divine

tell

k

inspiration that urged

the sake of

you

to tear your futa into

warming my feet; you from doing

that hindered

and "

so.

two pieces

for

was a diabolic suggestion He performed a whole series

it

of miracles of this kind which are wrought by spiritual adepts.

ABU L-FADL MUHAMMAD B. AL-HASAN AL-KHUTTALI. He is the teacher whom I follow in Sufiism. He was versed

6.

Koranic exegesis and in traditions (riwdydt). He was a pupil of In Sufiism he held the doctrine of Junayd. Husri and a companion of Sirawani, and was contemporary in the science of

T

with

Abu Amr Qazwini and Abu 1-Hasan

b.

He

Saliba.

spent sixty years in sincere retirement from the world, for the most

He displayed many signs and proofs but he did not wear the garb or adopt the (of saintship), external fashions of the Sufis, and he used to treat formalists part on

Mount Lukam.

with severity. I never saw any man who inspired me with greater awe than he did. It is related that he sai d The world is but "

:

a single day, in which

we

are

we get nothing from because we have perceived its

fasting,"

i.e.,

and are not occupied with it, corruption and its "veils "and have turned our backs upon it. Once I was pouring water on his hands in order that he might

it,

The thought occurred predestined, why should

purify himself.

everything

is

me Inasmuch as free men make them to

selves the slaves of spiritual directors in

them

miracles vouchsafed to I

know what you

"

?

are thinking.

for every decree of Providence.

a

the hope of having

The Shaykh said Be assured that there When God wishes

crown and a kingdom on a guardsman gives him repentance and employs him

He

1

"

:

See Chapter XI, No. 64.

:

s

son

(

"O

my

son,

is

a cause

to

bestow

awdn-backa),

in the service of

one


THE PRINCIPAL MODERN

SUFIS.

1

may be the means Many such fine sayings

6?

of His friends, in order that this service

of

his obtaining the gift of

he

uttered to

me

miracles."

He

every day.

died at Bayt al-Jinn, a village

mountain pass between Baniyas l and While he lay on his death-bed, his head the river of Damascus. I was feeling hurt, as resting on my bosom (and at that time of mine), he said to friend a of behaviour men often do, by the

situated at the head of a

me:

"

O my

thou boldest

I

son, it

will tell thee

firmly,

Whatever good or

evil

one

article of belief which, if

from

will

deliver

thee

God

creates,

do not

in

all

troubles.

any place or

circumstance quarrel with His action or be aggrieved in thy He gave no further injunction, but yielded up his soul. heart."

7.

ABU L-QAsiM ABD AL-KARIM In his time he was a wonder.

position

is

great,

and

B.

HAWAZIN AL-QUSHAYRI.

His rank

his spiritual life

is

high and his

and manifold virtues are

He is the author people of the present age. all of them and profoundly exquisite works, sayings many God rendered his theosophical, in every branch of science.

well

known

of

to the

fine

tongue secure from anthropomorphism (hashw}. The Sufi is like the disease called have heard that he said

feelings

and

his

"

I

:

birsdm, which begins with delirium and ends in silence for Sufiism when you have attained fixity you are dumb." ;

*

sides ecstasy (wajif) and visions (nuintid). Visions belong to novices, and the expression of such visions is delirium (hadhaydri). Ecstasy belongs to adepts, and the of while the ecstasy continues, is impossible. ecstasy, expression

(safwaf) has two

So long

:

as they are only seekers they utter lofty aspirations,

which seem delirium even to those who aspire (aJil-i himmat\ but when they have attained they cease, and no more express anything either by word or sign. a beginner (nmbtadi)

all

his desire

Similarly, since

was

Moses was

for vision of

God

;

he

O Lord, sJwiv me that I may expressed his desire and said, behold Thee" (Kor. vii, 139). This expression of an unattained "

1

L. Baniyan, IJ. Maniyan.


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

168

Our

Apostle, however, was an adept (muntahi) and firmly established (mutamakkin). When his person arrived at the station of desire his desire was annihi

desire

seemed

and he

lated,

"

I

said,

ABU

L-

He was

an

8.

like delirium.

(

cannot praise Thee

ABBAS AHMAD

Imam

derivative sciences,

duly."

MUHAMMAD

B.

AL-ASHQANI.

every branch of the fundamental and

in

and consummate

in

all

He

respects.

had

met a great number of eminent Sufis. His doctrine was based annihilation (fand), and his recondite manner of expression

on

"

"

but I have seen some fools who was peculiarly his own It is imitated it and adopted his ecstatic phrases (shathha). not laudable to imitate even a spiritual meaning mark, then, ;

:

how wrong

must be

imitate a mere expression I was very intimate with him, and he had a sincere affection for me. He was my teacher in some sciences. During my whole life it

to

!

I have never seen anyone, of any sect, who held the religious law in greater veneration than he. He was detached from all created things, and only an Imam of profound insight could

derive instruction from him, on account of the subtlety of his

He

always had a natural disgust of this world and the next, and was constantly exclaiming Aslitahi adam Id wujud lahu, I long for a non-existence theological expositions.

:

"

And he used to say in Persian has an impossible desire, and I too have an impossible desire, which I surely know will never be realized, namely, that God should bring me to a non-existence that that

"

has no

existence."

:

Every man

will

never return

"stations"

veil

veils

man from

God).

delight

Being that

is

in

He

existence."

Man

Non-existence

him.

taking

to

and miracles are

veils.

all

centres

has fallen in

desire

Inasmuch

in

wished

because (i.e.

they

love with that which

of vision as

this

of veiling

is

better

Almighty God

than is

a

not subject to not-being, what loss would His I become a nonentity that shall never be

suffer if

kingdom endowed with existence annihilation.

?

This

is

a

sound principle

in a real


THE PRINCIPAL MODERN

ABU L-QASIM

9.

(may God prolong

B.

his

ALI

169

ABDALLAH AL-GURGANI

B.

the

for

life

SUFIS.

Moslems

benefit of

and of

us

all

!).

was unique and incomparable. His beginning was very excellent and strong, and his journeys were

In his time he (ibtidd)

performed with punctilious observance (of the sacred law). At time the hearts of all initiates (aJil-i dargdJi) were

that

turned towards him, and

He

seekers (tdlibdn] had a firm belief

all

marvellous power of revealing the possessed inward experiences of novices (kashf-i wdqi a-i muriddii), and in

him.

a

he was learned

in various branches of knowledge. All his of ornaments the in which society disciples they move. Please God, he will have an excellent successor, whose authority the whole body of Sufis will recognize, namely, Abu All al-

are

Fadl

days

Muhammad

b. 1

I),

who has

al-Farmadhi

not omitted

God

(may

to

fulfil

lengthen his duty towards his

his

master, and has turned his back on

all (worldly) things, and of that (renunciation) has been made the spiritual mouthpiece (zabdn-i hdl) of that venerable

through the blessings

by God Shaykh.

One day

was seated in the Shaykh s presence and was him my experiences and visions, in order that he might test them, for he had unrivalled skill in this. He was listening kindly to what I said. The vanity and enthusiasm I

recounting to

made me eager

of youth

to

those

relate

matters,

and the

thought occurred to me that perhaps the Shaykh, in his novitiate, did not enjoy such experiences, or he would not show so much humility towards me and be so anxious to inquire concerning

what

know

I

my

was thinking.

that

my

experiences, but to pass.

seekers of

They God."

"

humility is

The Shaykh

spiritual state.

My is

dear

friend,"

not on

shown towards

he

"

said,

account of you

perceived

you must or

your

Him who

brings experiences are not peculiar to yourself, but common to all

On

hearing him say this 1

Nafahat, No. 428.

I

was

utterly taken


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

I/O

He saw my

aback.

confusion

and said

"

:

O my

son,

Man

Path except that, when he is has no attached to it, he imagines that he has found it, and when he Hence is deposed from it he clothes his imagination in words. both his negation and his affirmation, both his non-existence further relation to this

prison of imagination.

It

Man

never escapes from the behoves him to stand like a slave

and existence, are imagination.

door and put away from himself every relation (nisbaf) Afterwards I had except that of manhood and obedience." at the

much

spiritual conversation

with him, but

if

were to enter

I

of setting forth his extraordinary powers purpose would be defeated.

upon the task

ABU AHMAD AL-MUZAFFAR

10.

B.

AHMAD

B.

my

HAMDAN.

While he was seated on the cushion of authority (riydsat)* God opened to him the door of this mystery (Sufiisiti) and bestowed on him the crown of miracles. He spoke eloquently and discoursed with sublimity on annihilation and subsistence I was (fand u baqd}. The Grand Shaykh, Abu Sa d, said "

i

God) by the way of servantship (bandagi),

led to the court (of

but

:

Khwaja Muzaffar was conducted thither by the way of lord

attained contemplation ship and dominion (khwdjagf)? i.e. (mushdhadaf) by means of self-mortification (mujdhaddt\ whereas "I

I have heard he came from contemplation to self-mortification that he said That which great mystics have discovered by ".

"

:

traversing deserts and wildernesses

power and pre-eminence

(bdlish

it

I

have gained

in the seat

Some

sadr)"

foolish

of

and

conceited persons have attributed this saying of his to arrogance, but it is never arrogant to declare one s true state, especially

when

the speaker

has an excellent

One

day,

when

I

At the present time Muzaffar and honoured successor in Khwaja Ahmad.

is

a spiritualist.

was to

in his

use

happened annihilated and then becomes Nishapur

said:

company, a certain pretender of He becomes the expression "

:

Khwaja Muzaffar

subsistent."

can subsistence (baqd) be predicated of annihilation Annihilation means while subsistence not-being

"How

(fand)

?

,


THE PRINCIPAL MODERN

SUFIS.

17

1

each term negates the other. We know what its annihilation is, but when it is not, if it becomes being of annihilation. are not Essences lost. capable identity (fayn} is refers to

being

:

,

Attributes, however, can be annihilated, and so can secondary Therefore, when attributes and secondary causes are

causes.

annihilated, the Object invested with attributes and the Author of secondary causes continues to subsist His essence does not :

admit of

annihilation."

I

do not

recollect the precise

words

in

which Muzaffar expressed his meaning, but this was the purport Now I will explain more clearly what he intended, of them. be more generally understood. A man s (ikhtiydr) is an attribute of himself, and he is veiled by his from the will of God. Therefore a man s attributes veil

in order that will

will

it

him from God. the

human

will

may

phenomenal, and what

When

annihilated.

came

is

moment."

He

He I

said

musicians.

to

me

replied that

immediately

eternal cannot

sent for

Being young

I

"

:

Tell

and be

man becomes

best.

into his presence,

extremely hot, wearing a traveller disorder.

is

eternal

is

annihilated and his personal

But God knows

initiative disappears. I

will

the Divine will in regard to a

subsistent (baqd ydbad\ his will

One day

Divine

Necessarily, the

s

when

the weather

dress and with

me what you

my

was

hair in

wish at this

wished to hear some music (samd

}.

a singer (qawwdl) and a number of and enthusiastic and filled with the

ardour of a novice, I became deeply agitated as the strains of the music fell on my ear. After a while, when my transports he asked me I liked it. how I told him that I had subsided,

A time will come when enjoyed it very much. He answered this music will be no more to you than the croaking of a raven. The influence of music only lasts so long as there is no "

:

contemplation, and as soon as contemplation is attained music has no power. Take care not to accustom yourself to this, lest it grow part of your nature and keep you back from higher things."


CHAPTER A

BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE

XIII.

MODERN SUFIS

IN

DIFFERENT

COUNTRIES. have not space enough to give biographies of them all, and omit some the object of this book will not be accomplished. Now, therefore, I will mention only the names of individual I

if

I

Sufis and leading spiritualists still alive,

who have

excluding the formalists (ahl-i

AND Shaykh Zaki him to be like a

b.

al-

my

lived in

time or are

rustini).

IRAQ.

Ala was an eminent Shaykh. I found He was endowed with wonderful

flash of love.

signs and evidences.

Shaykh Abu Ja far Muhammad was one of the principal aspirants

al-Misbah al-Saydalani

b.

He

to Sufiism.

discoursed

eloquently on theosophy and had a great fondness for Husayn b. Mansur (al-Hallaj), some of whose works I have read to him.

Shaykh Abu 1-Qasim Suddi

1

was a director who mortified

himself and led an excellent spiritual for dervishes

and had

a

goodly belief

He

life.

in

cared tenderly

them.

ARS.

The Grand Shaykh, Abu 1-Hasan

2

spoke with the utmost elegance on Sufiism and with extreme lucidity on His sayings are well known. Unification (tawJud],

The Shaykh and

b.

Director (inurshid)

Saliba,

Abu

Ishaq

b.

Shahriyar

was one of the most venerable Sufis and had complete authority. Shaykh Abu 1-Hasan Ah b. Hakran was a great mntasawwif,

and Shaykh Abu Muslim was highly esteemed 1

2

IJ. Sudsi, B.

in his time.

Sundusi.

See Nafahdt, No. 347, where he

is

called

Abu 1-Husayn

Saliba.


THE AUTHOR Shaykh Abu l-Fath ;

b.

CONTEMPORARIES.

S

Saliba

173

an excellent and hopeful

is

successor to his father.

Shaykh Abu Talib was

a

enraptured by the words of

man

the Truth.

have seen

I

all

these except the

Grand Shaykh, Abu Ishaq.

AND Kisn. /^XQuHiSTAN, ADHARBAYAJAN, TABARISTAN, 2 was a man of. Shaykh Faraj, known as Akhi Zanjam, 1

excellent disposition and admirable doctrine. Badr al-Dm is one of the great men of this sect,

Shaykh

and

good deeds are many. Ta ib was profoundly versed in mysticism. director. Shaykh Abu Abdallah Junaydf was a revered eminent of of the Abu Tahir Makshuf was one

his

Padshah-i

Shaykh

that time.

man. Khwaja Husayn Simnan is an enraptured and hopeful Shaykh Sahlagi was one of the principal Sufi paupers (sa dlik\ Ahmad, son of Shaykh Khurqani, was an excellent successor l

to his father.

Adi b Kumandi was one of the chief men of the time.

KlR MAN. Khwaja

All

devotee (sayydJf)

Hakim,

son,

is

al-Husayn al-Sirgani was the wandering His of his age and made excellent journeys.

b.

held

in

honour.

Shaykh Muhammad b. Salama was among the eminent of the Before him there have been hidden saints of God, and time. hopeful youths and striplings are 5.

KHURASAN

(where

now

is

the

The Shaykh and Mujtahid Abu spiritualism (sirr-i

Khwaja Abu Ja

ma dni) and had far

to be found.

still

Muhammad

shadow of God l-

Abbas

a goodly b.

s

favour).

was the heart ot

life.

All al-Hawari

is

one of

the eminent theosophists of this sect. Khwaja Abu Ja far Turshizi was highly esteemed. 1

B. Kumish.

2

The

texts

have

cy

or

^j

,

but see Nafahdt, No. 171.


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

174

Khwaja Mahmud

of Ni shapur was regarded as an authority

He was eloquent in discourse. Muhammad Ma shuq had an excellent spiritual Shaykh his contemporaries.

by

state

and was aglow with love. Khwaja Rashid Muzaffar, the son of Abu Sa id, will, it may be hoped, become an example to all Sufi s and a point to which their hearts will turn.

Khwaja Shaykh Ahmad Hammadi of Sarakhs was the champion of the time. He was in my company for a while, and

I

witnessed

many wondrous

experiences that he had.

Shaykh Ahmad Najjar Samarqandi, who was the sultan of

his age.

Shaykh Abu

1-Hasan

successor to

excellent

All

his

Abi

b.

father,

resided at Merv,

al-As\vad

All

and

was

unique

was an in

the

sublimity of his aspiration and the sagacity of his intelligence. It would be difficult to mention all the Shaykhs of Khurasan. I

have met three hundred

in that province

alone

who had such

mystical endowments that a single man of them would have been enough for the whole world. This is due to the fact that the

sun of love and the fortune of the Sufi Path

ascendant

in

is

in the

Khurasan.

&

TRANSOXANIA.

The Khwaja and Imam, honoured by high and

Muhammad

low,

Abu

al-Harami, is an ecstatic al-Husayn Ja has a great affection who and enraptured man, (mustarni^ towards the seekers of God. far

l

b.

2 Khwaja Abu Muhammad Banghan had an

life,

excellent spiritual and there was no weakness in his devotional practices.

Ahmad

Ilaqi

was the Shaykh of

his time.

He

renounced

forms and habits.

Khwaja Arif was

unparalleled in his day. All b. Ishaq was venerated and had an eloquent tongue. I have seen all these Shaykhs and ascertained the station "

of each of them. 1

IJ. -

They were

all

profound thepsophists.

Al- Hasan.

This nisba

is

variously written

"

"

Banghari

and

"

Bayghazi

".

"


THE AUTHOR S CONTEMPORARIES.

175

GHAZNA.

Abu

1-Fadl

and manifest miracles.

brilliant evidences

of the

fire

was a venerable

al-Asadi

b.

His

of love.

spiritual life

He

director,

was

with

like a flash

was based on concealment

(talbi s).

Isma

il

al-Shashi was a highly esteemed director.

the path of

Shaykh

"

blame

followed

(maldtnat).

Tabarf was one of the Sufi divines and had

Salar-i

an excellent

He

"

state.

al-Hakim, known as rivalled by Murid, was a God-intoxicated man, and was not state was hidden from His line. own his in any contemporary the vulgar, but his signs and evidences were conspicuous, and

Shaykh Abu Abdallah Muhammad

his state

was better

in

b.

companionship (suhbat) than

in casual

meeting (diddr}.

Shaykh Sa d i

b.

Ayyar was a recorder (hdfiz) of He had seen many Shaykhs and was

Abi Sa

id al-

Apostolic Traditions. a man of powerful spirituality and great knowledge, but he took the way of concealment and did not exhibit his true character.

Khwaja Abu

l-

Abd al-Rahim

Ala

and

honoured by Sufis, His spiritual state him. all

is

my

heart

excellent,

b. is

Ahmad

al-Sughdi is well-disposed towards

and he

is

acquainted with

various branches of science.

Shaykh Awhad Qaswarat

b.

Muhammad

al-Jardizi

has a

boundless affection for Sufis and holds every one of them He has seen many Shaykhs. reverence.

in

In consequence of the firm convictions of the people and divines of Ghazna, I have good hope that hereafter persons will

appear

in

whom we

shall believe,

and that those wretches

(pardgandagdn) who have found their way into this city and have made the externals of Sufiism abominable will be cleared out, so that

Ghazna

and venerable men.

will

once more become the abode of saints


CHAPTER

XIV.

CONCERNING THE DOCTRINES HELD BY THE DIFFERENT SECTS OF SUFIS. I

have already stated,

that the are

ten

Abu 1-Hasan Nun,

notice of

in the

twelve sects, of which two are approved. Every one of these

are divided

Sufis

into

reprobated and ten has an excellent system and

sects

doctrine

as

regards

both purgation (inujdhqdaf) and contemplation (jnushdhadaf). Although they differ from each other in their devotional practices

and

and derivatives of the Yazid said

of divines

regards the detachment (tajrid] there is a famous tradition to the essence of Sufiism

Shaykhs, and of

will

I

and

Sufiism

doctrine

student

is

of each

may

lies

They

a

mercy except and

of Unification

same

"

;

The

effect.

only metaphorically and

briefly

divide

unfold

the

their

main

one of them

is

readily understand

THE

are the followers of

al-Muhasibi,

l

is

real

amidst the traditions (akhbdr} of the

divided

i.

Abu

law and Unification.

religious

The disagreement

"

:

as

Therefore

fundamentals

ascetic disciplines, they agree in the

who by consent

in

sayings

on

principle

based,

formally.

explanation

which

the

order that the

in

this matter.

MUHASIBIS.

Abu Abdallah of

all

his

Harith

b.

Asad

contemporaries was

man

of approved spiritual influence and mortified passions (inaqbul al-nafas u maqtitl al-nafs), versed in theology, juris

a

He discoursed on detachment from prudence, and mysticism. the world and Unification, while his outward and inward dealings (with of his doctrine 1

i.e.

God) were beyond reproach. is

this, that he

the detachment of

all

The

peculiarity

does not reckon satisfaction

phenomenal

attributes from the

Unity of God.


THE MUHASIBIS.

SUFI SECTS:

177

(maqdmdt\ but includes it in the first to hold this view, was He states (akwdl). which was adopted by the people of Khurasan. The people of asserted that satisfaction is one of the Iraq, on the contrary, "

among

(ridd)

the

"

stations

"

the"""

stations

"

",

and that

the extreme of trust in

it is

God

(tawakkul).

1 The controversy between them has gone on to the present day.

Discourse on the true nature of Satisfaction

and

the explanation

of this doctrine. the

In

first

satisfaction I

place

and

set

I

establish

will

forth

the

various kinds

its

of

nature

true

then, secondly,

;

(inaqdiii) and meaning of station explain between them. difference and the (Jidl) Satisfaction is of two kinds (a) the satisfaction of God

the

will

"

"

real

"state"

:

with Man, and

(fr)

the satisfaction of

satisfaction really consists

be recompensed

(for his

God

in

s

Man

Divine

with God.

willing that

good works) and

in

Man

should

His bestowing

Human satisfaction really consists grace (kardmaf) upon him. in Man s performing the command of God and submitting to Accordingly, the satisfaction of God precedes that of Man, for until Man is divinely aided he does not submit to God s decree and does not perform His command,

His decree.

because

and

Man s

satisfaction

is

connected with

human

subsists thereby. In short,

(istiwd-yi dil)

towards Fate, whether

and

steadfastness

God

satisfaction it

s

satisfaction

is

equanimity

withholds or bestows, in

regarding events, whether they be the manifestation of Divine Beauty (janial) or__qf Divine Majesty (jaldl}, so that it is all one to a man whether he is consumed in the fire of wrath or illuminated spiritual

(istiqdmat)

wrath and mercy are evidences of God, and whatever proceeds from God is good in His eyes. The Commander of the Faithful, Husayn b. All,

by the

light

of mercy, because both

was asked about the saying of Abu Dharr Ghifari poverty better than riches, and sickness better than

"

I

:

1

According to Qushayri (105, 21

ff.)

the

Iraqis held the doctrine

love

health."

which

ascribed to the Khurasams, and vice vcrsd.

N

is

here


KASHF AL-MAHJUB. but I say replied: "God have mercy on Abu Dharr whoever surveys the excellent choice made by God for him does not desire anything except what God has chosen

Husayn

!

that

for

When

him."

man

a

God

sees

s

choice and abandons his

own

choice, he is delivered from all sorrow. This, however, does not hold good in absence from God (ghaybat) it requires ;

God

with

presence sorrows and

because

(hndiir\

heedlessness

cures

thoughts relating to other than

bonds of tribulation

for

;

satisfaction

expels purges the heart of and frees it from the

and

God

characteristic of satisfaction

is

it

",

"

to

deliver (rahdnidari).

From the standpoint of ethics, satisfaction is the acquiescence who knows that giving and withholding are in God s knowledge, and firmly believes that God sees him in all circum There are four classes of quietists (i) those who are stances. satisfied with God s gift (^ata), which is gnosis (mafrifat) (2) those who are satisfied with happiness (nu ma), which is this world (3) those who are satisfied with affliction (bald), which and (4) those who are satisfied consists of diverse probations with being chosen (istifa), which is love (mahabbat). He who of one

:

;

;

;

looks

away from the Giver

to the gift accepts

and when he has so accepted

He who

his heart.

looks

it

with his soul,

trouble and grief vanish from from the gift to the Giver loses

it

away

the gift and treads the path of satisfaction

by his o.vn effort. and and painful grievous, gnosis is only realized true nature is divinely revealed and inasmuch as

Now

effort

when

its

is

;

gnosis, when sought by is

non-cognition

is

veil,

Again, he who is involved in destruction

and perdition,

much

that a friend of

because the whole world

not worth so

is

set his heart

enter his mind.

such gnosis satisfied with this

(iiakiraf).

world, without God,

God should

a shackle and a

effort, is

on

Happiness

is

it

or that

any care for

happiness only when

the Giver of happiness otherwise, it is an affliction. who is satisfied with the affliction that God sends

endure

its

affliction

should

leads to

it

Again, he

;

because in the

it

satisfied

is

he sees the Author thereof and can

pain by contemplating

Him who

sent

it

;

nay, he


SUFI SECTS: does not account

painful, such

it

who

Finally, those

his Beloved.

THE MUHASIBIS. is

179

his joy in

contemplating

are satisfied with being chosen

by God are His lovers, whose existence is an illusion alike in His anger and His satisfaction whose hearts dwell in the ;

presence of Purity and in the garden of Intimacy who have no thought of created things and have escaped from the bonds ;

of

" "

stations

God

is

"

"

states

and have devoted themselves to the

Their satisfaction involves no

love of God.

with

and

loss, for satisfaction

a manifest kingdom.

SECTION. It is related in

the Traditions that Moses said

"

:

O

God, show

me an action with which, if I did it, Thou wouldst be satisfied." God answered Thou canst not do that, O Moses Then Moses fell prostrate, worshipping God and supplicating Him, and God made a revelation to him, saying: Ojspn of Imran, "

"

:

!

"

My_satisfaction with thee consists in thy being satisfied with i.e. when a man is satisfied with God s decrees it "My decree," is

a sign that

God

is

satisfied

Bishr Hafi asked Fudayl or satisfaction was better.

who

he

is

satisfied

with him.

lyad whether renunciation (zuhd) Satisfaction, because Fudayl replied b.

"

:

does not desire any higher

stage,"

above renunciation a stage which the renouncer there is no stage above satisfaction that the satisfied

is

wish for

it.

Hence

the shrine

is

i.e.

there

desires,

but

man

should

superior to the gate.

This

story shows the correctness of Muhasibi s doctrine, that satis faction belongs to the class of states and Divine gifts, not to "

"

the stages that are acquired (by effort). It is possible, however, that the satisfied man should have a desire. The used to say in his prayers

the

"

:

O

Apostle God, I ask of Thee satisfaction after ordinance (al-ridd ba d al-qadd)"

forth of Thy in such a condition that when the ordinance comes me keep me from Thee, Destiny may find me satisfied with its coming".

going

"

i.e.

to

Here

it

is

affirmed that satisfaction properly

is

posterior to the

advent of Destiny, because, if it preceded, it would only be a resolution to be satisfied, which is not the same thing- as actual


.

KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

ISO

Abu

satisfaction.

Abbas

!-

b. Ata says "Satisfaction is this, consider the eternal choice of God on

that the heart should

behalf of His

creature,"

:

whatever befalls him, he should God and His past decree, and

i.e.

as the eternal will of

it

recognize should not be distressed, but should accept Muhasibi, the author of the doctrine, says

it

Harith

cheerfully. "

:

Satisfaction

is

the

quiescence {suki ui) of the heart under the events which flow from the Divine decrees." This is sound doctrine, because the

quiescence and tranquillity of the heart are not qualities acquired by Man, but are Divine gifts. And as an argument for the view that satisfaction

is

a

".state

who one

of Utba al-Ghulam, "

saying:

If

Thou

not a

",

station

night did

me

chastise

"

I

they cite the story not sleep, but kept ",

love Thee, and

if

Thou have

mercy on me I love Thee," i.e. the pain of Thy chastisement and the pleasure of Thy bounty affect the body alone, whereas the agitation of love resides in the heart, which is not injured "

thereby is

".

This corroborates the view of Muhasibi.

the result of love, inasmuch as the lover

is

Satisfaction

satisfied

with what

Abu Uthman Hi ri says During the has never in me state that I dis years put any This liked, or transferred me to another state that I resented." indicates continual satisfaction and perfect love. The story of is

done by the Beloved.

:

God

last forty

the dervish

"

who

into the Tigris

fell

he could not swim, a

man on

is

well

known.

the bank cried out to

Seeing that

him

"

:

Shall

to bring you ashore ? The dervish said, No." do you wish to be drowned?" "What, then, The dervish replied do you wish ? That which God wishes. What have I to do with wishing ? I

tell

some one

"

"

"Then

"No."

"

"

:

"

The

Shaykhs have uttered many sayings on satisfaction, which differ in phraseology but agree in the two principles that Sufi

have been mentioned.

The distinction between a

"

State

"

(hal)

and a

"

Station

"

(maqam).

You must know among

Sufis,

and

that both these terms are in it

is

common

use

necessary that the student should be


THE MUHASIBIS.

SUFI SECTS:

l8l

acquainted with them. I must discuss this matter here, although it does not belong to the present chapter. Station (maqdiii) denotes anyone s standing in the Way of "

"

God, and "

station

"

"

his fulfilment of the obligations

"

so far as

and

his

lies

in a

should quit his

station

"

he comprehends its perfection It is not permissible that he power. without fulfilling the obligations thereof.

keeping

man "

appertaining to that

it

until

s

station is repentance (tawbat\ then comes Thus, the first conversion (indbat\ then renunciation (zuhd\ then trust in God (tawakkul], and so on it is not permissible that anyone should "

"

:

conversion without repentance, or to renunciation pretend without conversion, or to trust in God without renunciation. State" (hdl\ on the other hand, is something that descends to

"

God

from it

when

it

into a

man

heart, without his

s

comes, or to attract

Accordingly, while the term seeker,

and

before

God

it "

when

station

it "

being able to repel

goes,

his

by

denotes the

his progress in the field of exertion,

own

effort.

way

of the

and

his

rank

state proportion to his merit, the term denotes the favour and grace which God bestows upon the

"

in

"

heart of His servant, and which are not connected with any mortification on the latter s part. Station belongs to the "

"

Hence the category of acts, "state" to the category of gifts. man that has a station stands by his own self-mortification, "

"

man

whereas the

by

a

"state"

that has a

"state"

which God creates

Here the Shaykhs are

dead

is

to

"self"

and stands

in him.

Some

at variance.

hold that a

"

state

"

be permanent, while others reject this view. Harith Muhasibi maintained that a "state" may be permanent. He contraction argued that love and longing" and (qabtf) and

may

"

"

(bast) are "states": if they cannot be permanent, then the lover would not be a lover, and until a man s "state

"expansion"

"

becomes

his attribute (sifat) the

properly applied to him. satisfaction

It

to be one of the

God has never

"

for

of that

this

states

",

"state"

is

not

reason that he holds

and the same view

is

Abu Uthman During the last me in a state that I disliked." put

indicated by the saying of forty years

is

name

"

:


1

KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

82

Other Shaykhs deny that a says

:

state

"

can be permanent.

are like flashes of lightning

States

"

"

merely a suggestion of the lower soul

is

same

the

to

said,

effect

are

States

"

:

:

their

Junayd

permanence

Some have

y

(uafs).

their

like

name,"

they vanish almost as soon as they descend (tahillii) on the heart. Whatever is permanent becomes an attribute, and i.e.

an object which must be more perfect than the attributes themselves and this reduces the doctrine attributes

subsist

in

;

are permanent to an absurdity. the distinction between state and station that

"

states

"

"

"

you may know what

I "

"

have

set forth

in order that

signified by these terms wherever they

is

occur in the phraseology of the Sufis or in the present work. In conclusion, you must know that satisfaction is the end

and the beginning of the "states": it is a place of which one side rests on acquisition and effort, and the other side on love and rapture there is no station of the

"stations"

"

"

:

above

it

Hence

at

:

its

end

Therefore

This Sufiism.

in

is

the

in

may

it

mortifications

point

beginning

its

effort,

this

the class of

class

(jnujdhaddf] cease. of things acquired by

things

be called either a

"

divinely bestowed. or a state "

station

"

".

the doctrine of Muhasibi as regards the theory of

is

In practice, however, he

that he used to

warn

made no

difference,

except

and

his pupils against expressions

acts

which, though sound in principle, might be thought evil. For example, he had a "king-bird" (sJidJnnurgJti) which used to ,

utter a loud note.

One day Abu Hamza

was Harith

and an

The

s

pupil

bird piped,

up and seized a have killed him he said to

and

ecstatic

Abu Hamza "

knife, crying, if

of Baghdad, who came to see him. man,

gave a shriek. Harith rose art an infidel," and would

Thou

the disciples had not separated them. Then Become a Moslem, O miscreant

Abu Hamza

"

"

:

!

O Shaykh, we all know him to be one of the elect saints and Unitarians why does the Shaykh The

disciples exclaimed

"

:

:

regard him with suspicion ? his opinions are suspect him "

:

is

a

profound

Unitarian, but

Harith replied excellent,

why

and

I

I

do not

know

that he

"

:

should he do something


THE

SUFI SECTS:

QASSARIS.

183

which resembles the actions of those who believe

and

(hululiydn) their

has

doctrine?

capriciously,

the voice of

appearance of being derived from

the

bird

senseless

If a

God

?

is

indivisible,

not become incarnate, or united

with

mingled

Shaykh

s

he said

insight,

I

after

repent and

its

with

:

or

phenomena

com the

perceived

O Shaykh, although my action resembled

"

fashion,

note were

its

and the Eternal does

When Abu Hamza

them."

in theory, nevertheless, since

of heretics,

pipes

should he behave as though

why God

incarnation

in

I

am

right

the actions

withdraw."

But this is May God keep my conduct above suspicion formalists whose with associates when one worldly impossible enmity is aroused by anyone who does not submit to their !

hypocrisy and

sin.

2.

b.

THE

QASSARIS.

They are the followers of Abu Umara al-Qassar, a celebrated

Hamdun

Salih

Ahmad

b.

and eminent

divine

Sufi.

His doctrine was the manifestation and divulgation of blame He used to say God s knowledge of thee is (jnaldmaf]. "

"

"

:

men

thy dealings with God in private should be better than thy dealings with men in public, for thy preoccupation with men is the greatest veil between better than

s

thee and God.

knowledge,"

have given some account of al-Qassar

I

the chapter on One day, while

"

i.e.

Blame

He

relates

the

in

following story I was walking in the river-bed in the Hira quarter of Nishapur, I met Nuh, a brigand famous for his generosity, who was the captain of all the brigands of Nishapur. ".

:

"

I

said to him,

*

O

Nuh, what

is

generosity

?

He

replied,

My

I said, Describe both. He replied generosity or yours ? I off the coat and wear a put (qabd) patched frock and the conduct appropriate to that garment, in order practise :

that

the

I

may become

shame

that

I

feel

frock in order that

men may

a Sufi

before

you may

and

God

refrain

from

sin

because of

but you put off the patched not be deceived by men, and that ;

not be deceived by thee

:

accordingly,

my

generosity


1

KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

84

formal observance of the religious law, while your generosity This is a very sound spiritual observance of the Truth.

is

"

is

principle. l^$>

They

THE

are the followers of

al-Bistami, a great

TAYFURIS.

Abu Yazid Tayfur b.

and eminent

Isa b.

His doctrine

Sufi.

Surushan is

rapture

Rapturous longing for God (ghalabaf) and intoxication (sukr). and intoxication of love cannot be acquired by human beings, and

it is

idle to claim,

and absurd

to imitate,

anything that

lies

beyond the range of acquisition. Intoxication is not an attribute of the sober, and Man has no power of drawing it to himself.

The

man

enraptured and pays no heed to created things, that he should manifest any quality involving conscious effort (taklif). The Sufi Shaykhs are agreed that no one is intoxicated

is

a proper model for others unless he is steadfast (mustaqim) and has escaped from the circle of "states"; but there are some who allow that the way of rapture and intoxication may

be trodden with else

make

as

because the Apostle said

effort,

"

though ye wept

Now,

!

"

Weep,

:

or

to imitate others for the

sheer polytheism, but it is different when the object of the imitator is that God may perchance raise him to the rank of those whom he has imitated, in accordance with

sake of ostentation

the

saying of the Apostle:

unto a people "

is

one of

is

them."

"

Whoever makes himself

And

like

one of the Shaykhs said

:

Contemplations (mushdhaddf) are the result of mortifications

My own

(mujdhaddt)"

are

always

excellent,

view

is

that,

intoxication

although mortifications rapture cannot be

and

acquired at all hence they cannot be induced by mortifications, which in themselves never become a cause of intoxication. ;

I

will

now

set forth the different opinions of the

Shaykhs con and sobriety

cerning the true nature of intoxication (sukr) in order that difficulties may be removed. Discourse on Intoxication

You must know

that

"intoxication"

and and

Sobriety. "

"rapture

are terms

used by spiritualists to denote the rapture of love for God, while


THE TAYFURIS.

SUFI SECTS: the term

185

expresses the attainment of that which is place the former above the latter, and some "

"

sobriety

Some

desired.

Abu Yazfd and

hold the latter to be superior. prefer intoxication to sobriety. the fixity and equilibrium of

his followers

They say that sobriety involves human attributes, which are the

greatest veil between God and Man, whereas intoxication involves the destruction of human attributes, like foresight and choice,

and the annihilation of a man

s self-control

God, so

in

him that do not belong to are most complete and perfect. and the the they Thus David was in the state of sobriety an act proceeded from that only those faculties survive in

human gemis

;

;

him which God attributed

him and

to

"

said,

David

killed

(Kor. ii, 252): but our Apostle was in the state of intoxication an act proceeded from him which God attributed Goliath"

;

to

Himself and

but

God

"Thou

said,

threw"

(Kor.

!

The

man

the latter case the

that

intoxication

disturbance of one control

;

God

prefer is

s

because

man

all

s

act to

man, for in the former

to

intoxication.

it

involves

loss of sanity

and inasmuch as the principle of

threwest,

the difference

act to a

sobriety

evil,

normal state and

s

great

is

stands by himself, while in

case he stands through God. Junayd and his followers

They say

when thou

attribution of a

better than the attribution of

is

either

How

17).

viii,

between these two men

God

didst not throw,

things

and is

the self-

sought

by way of annihilation or subsistence, or of effacement or

affirmation,

the

principle

unless the seeker

is

sane.

of verification

cannot be

attained

Blindness will never release anyone

from the bondage and corruption of phenomena. The fact that people remain in phenomena and forget God is due to their not for if they saw, they would seeing things as they really are Seeing is of two kinds he who looks at anything sees ;

escape.

:

either with the

eye of subsistence (baqd) or with the eye of annihilation (fand). If with the eye of subsistence, he perceives that the whole universe is imperfect in comparison with his it

own

he does not regard phenomena as selfhe looks with the eye of annihilation, he

subsistence, for

subsistent

;

and

if


1

KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

86

perceives that all created things are non-existent beside the In either case he turns away from subsistence of God.

created

On

things.

this

account the

Apostle

O

God, show us things as they prayer ever thus sees them finds rest. Now, such "

:

are,"

said

his

in

because

who

vision cannot be

properly attained except in the state of sobriety, and the For example, Moses intoxicated have no knowledge thereof.

was intoxicated

;

he could not endure the manifestation of one

epiphany, but fell in a swoon (Kor. vii, 139) but our Apostle he beheld the same glory continuously, with everwas sober increasing consciousness, all the way from Mecca, until he stood :

;

at

the space

(Kor.

liii,

My

of two

bow-lengths from the Divine presence

9).

Shaykh, who followed the doctrine of Junayd, used to say

that Intoxication

is

the playground of children, but sobriety

is

I the death-field of men. say, in agreement with my Shaykh, that the perfection of the state of the intoxicated man is sobriety.

The

lowest stage in sobriety consists in regarding the powerlessness of humanity therefore, a sobriety that appears to be evil :

is

better than an intoxication that

that

Abu Uthman

is

really evil.

It is related

Maghribi, in the earlier part of his in retirement, living in

passed twenty years never heard the sound of a

human

life,

deserts where he

voice, until his

frame was

wasted and his eyes became as small as the eye of a sack-needle. After twenty years he was commanded to associate with man

He

resolved to begin with the people of God who dwelt beside His Temple, since by doing so he would gain a greater

kind.

The Shaykhs

Mecca were aware of his coming and went forth to meet him. Finding him so changed that he hardly O Abu seemed to be a human creature, they said to him what tell us went and what saw and Uthman, you you why you I wherefore back." He and have come replied you gained went because of intoxication, and I saw the evil of intoxication, and I gained despair, and I have come back on account of blessing.

of

"

:

"

:

weakness."

lawful for

All the Shaykhs said

anyone

after

you

"

:

O Abu

to explain the

Uthman,

it is

not

meaning of sobriety


THE TAYFURIS.

SUFI SECTS:

187

and intoxication, for you have done justice to the whole matter and have shown forth the evil of intoxication." Intoxication, then^is to fancy one sj>elf annihilated while the and this is a veil. Sobriety, on the attnbirtes really subsist other hand, is the vision of subsistence while the attributes are ;

annihilated

and

;

this

is

actual

revelation.

It

is

absurd for

anyone to suppose that intoxication is nearer to annihilation than sobriety is, for intoxication is a quality that exceeds sobriety, and so long as a man s attributes tend to increase he without knowledge but when he begins to diminish them, seekers (of God) have some hope of him. is

;

Yahya b. Mu adh wrote to Abu Yazi d What do you say of one who drinks a single drop of the ocean It

"

that

related

is

:

of love and becomes "

intoxicated?" Bayazid wrote in reply: of one if all the oceans in the world who, say with the wine of love, would drink them all and still

What do you

were

filled

more

to slake his thirst

"

People imagine that Yahya was speaking of intoxication, and Bayazid of sobriety, but the The man of sobriety is he who is unable opposite is the case. cry for

to drink

drinks

even one drop, and the and still desires more.

all

intoxication, but the

what

?

is

enemy

homogeneous with

man of intoxication is he who Wine being the instrument of

of sobriety, intoxication itself,

pleasure in drinking. There are two kinds of intoxication

and

affection (inawaddaf)

The former the benefit

"

is

caused

"

demands

whereas sobriety takes no

:

(i)

with the wine of

with the cup of love (mahabbaf). (ma tof), since it arises from regarding (2)

f

but the latter has no cause, since it arises from regarding the benefactor (imitfiiti). He who regards the benefit sees through himself and therefore sees himself, but he

(m maf)\

who

regards the benefactor sees through does not see himself, so that, although he intoxication

Sobriety (ghaflaf)

is

Him is

and therefore

intoxicated, his

sobriety.

also

is

of

and sobriety

two kinds in love

:

sobriety

in

heedlessness

The former is the (mahabbaf). is the clearest of revelations.

greatest of veils, but the latter


1

KASHF AL-MAHJIJB.

88

The

sobriety that is connected with heedlessness is really intoxication, while that which is linked with love, although it be intoxication, is When the principle (as!) really sobriety. is

and intoxication resemble one

firmly established, sobriety

another, but

when

the principle

wanting, both are baseless.

is

In short, where true

mystics tread, sobriety and intoxication are the effect of difference (ikhtildf\ and when the Sultan of Truth displays his beauty, both sobriety and intoxication

appear to be intruders (tufayli\ because the boundaries of both are joined, and the end of the one is the beginning of the other,

and beginning and end are terms that imply separation,

which has only a relative existence.

In union

all

separations

are negated, as the poet says

When

"

Sarakhs

Luqman to Abu

and

were

there

Abu

1-Fadl

1-Fadl and found

hand.

in his

wine

rises,

drunken and the sober are as

TJie

At

the morning-star of

He "

said:

"

two

spiritual

Hasan.

one"

directors,

namely,

One day Luqman came

him with a piece 1-Fadl, what

O Abu

Abu

(of manuscript)

are

you seeking

1-Fadl replied The same thing as are without a Then why you seeking paper." Luqman said in this

paper

?

"

:

"

:

this difference?"

Abu

1-Fadl answered

when you ask me what

:

am

"You

see a difference

Become

sober from seeking. intoxication and get rid of sobriety, in order that the difference I

may be removed from you and and

I

are in search

that

you may know what you

of."

The Tay fun s and Junaydis are at variance to the extent which has been indicated. As regards ethics, the doctrine of Bayazid consists

in

shunning

companionship

and choosing

retirement from the world, and he enjoined all his disciples to do the same. This is a praiseworthy and laudable Path.

4.

the They Muhammad, who are

THE

followers in

his

JUNAYDIS.

of

Abu

1-Qasim

al-Junayd

b.

time was called the Peacock of the


THE JUNAYDIS.

SUFI SECTS: Divines (Td tis al-Ulama], the Imam of their Imams.

He

189

the chief of this sect and

is

based on sobriety and is opposed to that of the Tayfuris, as has been explained. It is the best known and most celebrated of all doctrines, and

Shaykhs have adopted

the

all

His doctrine

it,

is

notwithstanding that there

much difference in their sayings on the ethics of Sufiism. Want of space forbids me to discuss it further in this book those who wish to become better acquainted with it must

is

:

seek information elsewhere.

have read

I

Uthman

Anecdotes that when Husayn b. Mansur rapture broke off all relations with Amr b.

in the

(al-Hallaj) in his

(al-Makki) and came to Junayd, Junayd asked him to him. For Husayn said

what purpose he had come

for

"

:

the purpose of associating with the Shaykh." Junayd replied I do not associate with madmen. Association demands :

"

sanity

yours

that

if

;

in

Husayn

regard said

attributes

"

:

O

wanting, the result is such behaviour as Sahl b. Abdallah Tustari and Amr."

to

Shaykh, sobriety and intoxication are two Man is veiled from his Lord until

of Man, and

attributes

his

is

are

"

annihilated."

O

son of

Mansur,"

said

Junayd, "you are in error concerning sobriety and intoxication. The former denotes soundness of one s spiritual state in relation to God, while the latter denotes excess of longing o o and extremity of love, and neither of them can be acquired by human effort. O son of Mansur, in your words I see much

foolishness

and

nonsense."

THE NURIST^) the followers of Abu 1-Hasan Ahmad b. Muhammad 5.

They

are

Nuri, one

The as

of the most

eminent and

principle of his doctrine

superior to

poverty

is

(faqr).

illustrious

Sufi

to regard Sufiism

In

matters of

divines.

(tasawwuf) conduct he

agrees with Junayd.

ItMs_a peculiarity of his "path "that in companionship (suhbaf) he prefers his companion s claim to his own, and holds companionship without preference (ithdr) to be unlawful. He also holds that companionship is

obligatory


KASHF AL-MAHJUB. on dervishes, and that retirement (^uzlaf) is not praiseworthy, and that everyone is bound to prefer his companion to himself. It is related that

he said

connexion with Satan is

Beware

and cleave

;

the satisfaction of the Merciful

Now I

"

:

come

set

will

I

!

for

the

in

God."

when

on companionship and retirement

mysteries of the subject in

more generally

is

it

to companionship, for therein

explain the true nature of preference, and

to the chapter

forth

of retirement

order

to

I

will

make

it

instructive.

Discourse on Preference (ithar).

God

said

"

are indigent

they prefer them to themselves, although they (Kor. lix, 9). This verse was revealed concerning

"And

:

men among

the poor

the

true nature of preference

of the person with

particular.

The

maintaining the

rights

Companions consists

in

in

whom

one associates, and in subordinating one s own interest to the interest of one s friend, and in taking trouble upon one s self for the sake of promoting his happiness, because preference

the rendering of help to others, and the putting into practice of that which God commanded to His "

Apostle

:

awayfrom more fully

is

Use indulgence and the

ignorant"

(Kor.

command what vii,

198).

This

is

just and turn be explained

will

chapter on the rules of companionship. Now, preference is of two kinds firstly, in companionship, as has been mentioned and secondly, in love. In preferring the claim of one s companion there is a sort of trouble and in the

:

;

effort,

but

in

preferring the claim of one

s

beloved there

is

nothing

but pleasure and delight. It is well known that when Ghulam al-Khalil persecuted the Sufis, Nun and Raqqam and Abu

Hamza were

and conveyed to the Caliph s palace. Ghulam al-Khalil urged the Caliph to put them to death, saying that they were heretics (zanddiqa\ and the arrested

Caliph

immediately

gave

orders

for

their

execution.

When

the

executioner approached Raqqam, Nun rose and offered himself in Raqqam s place with the utmost cheerfulness and submission. All

the spectators

were astounded.

The executioner

said

:


SUFI SECTS

THE

:

NURIS.

IQI

O

young man, the sword is not a thing that people desire to meet so eagerly as you have welcomed it and your turn Yes my doctrine is Nuri answered has not yet arrived."

"

;

"

:

Life founded on preference. the world I wish to sacrifice :

moments

that

world

better

is

because this of

place

than a

my

the place of service (khidmaf) and that

is

the

proximity (qurbat\ gained tenderness of Nuri and the fineness of

his

and

proximity

The

service."

my

for

;

most precious thing in brethren s sake the few

opinion, one moment of this thousand years of the next world,

In

remain.

is

the

is

is

by

saying astonished the Caliph (who was informed by a courier of what had passed) to such a degree, that he suspended the execution of the three Sufis and charged the chief Cadi,

Abu

Abbas b. having taken them l-

and

felt

remorse

O

Cadi,

and questioned them concerning and the Truth, found them perfect,

to his house

the ordinances of the

said

The

All, to inquire into the matter.

Law

Then Nuri

for his indifference to their fate.

you have asked

these questions, have not asked to the point, for God has you yet anything servants who eat through Him, and drink through Him, and "

:

Cadi, though

through Him, and

all

through Him, and abide in con templation of Him if they were cut off from contemplating Him they would cry out in anguish." The Cadi was amazed at the subtlety of his speech and the soundness of his state. sit

live

:

He

wrote to the Caliph the world is a Unitarian

"

:

"

?

If the Sufis

are heretics,

The Caliph

who

them

called

in

to his

Ask a boon." They replied The only presence and said boon we ask of thee is that thou shouldst forget us, and "

"

:

neither

make

:

us thy favourites nor banish us from thy court,

thy favour and displeasure are alike to wept and dismissed them with honour. for

It

a

is

fish.

related that Nafi I

l

said:

"

Ibn

us."

Umar

2

The Caliph

desired to eat

sought through the town, but did not find one until

several days 1

2

had passed.

A

well-known

Having procured

traditionist,

who

it,

I

gave orders

died about 120 A.H.

Abdallah, son of the Caliph Umar.


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

192

should be placed on a cake of bread and presented it to him. I noticed an expression of joy on his face as he received that

it

but suddenly a beggar came to the door of his house and he ordered the fish to be given to him. The servant said

it,

:

O master, you have been desiring a fish for several days let This Ibn Umar replied us give the beggar something else. ;

*

:

unlawful to me, for I have put it out of my mind on account of a Tradition which I heard from the Apostle Whenever anyone feels a desire and repels it and prefers another fish

is

:

to himself^

he shall be forgiven!

have read

I

way

"

Anecdotes that ten dervishes

in the

the desert and were overtaken

in

by

lost their

They had

thirst.

only one cup of water, and everyone preferred the claim of them would drink and they all died except one, who then drank it and found strength to escape.

the others, so that none of

Some

said

person

to

him

"

:

Had you not drunk, "The Law obliged me

it

would

to drink; He replied have and been should killed not, punished myself Then did your friends on that account." The other said

have been if

I

better."

had

:

I

"

:

kill

themselves

drink in I

"

they refused to order that their companions might drink, but when ?

No,"

said the dervish

"

;

was legally obliged to drink." the Israelites there was a devotee who had served

alone survived

Among

"

l

I

O Lord, if God for four hundred years. One day he said Thou hadst not created these mountains, wandering for religion s sake (siydhaf) would have been easier for Thy servants." The Divine command came to the Apostle of that time to say to the devotee What business have you to interfere in My ? Now, since you have interfered, I blot your name kingdom "

:

"

:

from the register of the blest and inscribe it in the register On hearing this, the devotee trembled with damned."

of the

joy and bowed to the ground in thanksgiving. 1

Here follow two

stories illustrating the

same

topic

:

the

first

The Apostle relates

how AH

Prophet s bed on the night of the latter s emigration from Mecca, when the infidels were seeking to slay him ; the second, how on the battle-field of Uhud the wounded Moslems, though parched with thirst, preferred to die rather than

slept in the

drink the water which their comrades asked

for.


THE

SUFI SECTS: "

said

:

O

fool, it is "

for damnation."

one of His

me

my

O

But,

registers.

so large that

and

let

I

them go

:

may

wilt send

take the place of

have a boon to

I

Apostle,

me

to Hell,

all sinful

God commanded

to Paradise.

to tell the devotee that the probation

was not

thanksgiving

the devotee replied is name is at least inscribed "

Say unto God, Since Thou

ask.

in

thanksgiving,"

not for damnation, but because in

193

bow down

not necessary to

My

NURIS.

make

Unitarians, the Apostle

which he had undergone

purpose of humiliating him, but to reveal him

for the

people, and that on the Day of Resurrection both he and those for whom he had interceded would be in Paradise. I asked Ahmad Hammadi of Sarakhs what was the beginning

to the

He

of his conversion.

"

replied

:

Once

I

set out

from Sarakhs

my camels into the desert and stayed there for a con I was always wishing to be hungry and was siderable time. and took

portion of food to others, and the words of God They prefer them to themselves, although they are indigent (Kor. lix, 9) were ever fresh in my mind and I had a firm giving

my

"

"

;

belief in

One day

came from the one of my camels and retired to some rising

the Sufis.

desert and killed

a hungry lion

ground and roared. All the wild beasts hearing him roar, gathered round him. pieces

in the

He

neighbourhood, camel to

tore the

and went back to the higher ground without having

The

eaten anything.

other beasts

and the

foxes, jackals, wolves, etc.

waited until they had gone away. began Then he approached in order to eat a morsel, but seeing a lame fox in the distance he withdrew once more until the new-comer to eat,

had eaten

his

fill.

lion

After that, he came and

As he departed he spoke afar, and said: O Ahmad,

all

ate a morsel.

who had been watching from one

to prefer others to

s

self in the

an act only worthy of dogs a man sacrifices and his soul. When I saw this evidence I renounced

matter of food his life

to me,

is

:

worldly occupations, and

that

was the beginning of

my

conversion."

Ja

far

Khuldi says:

praying to

God

in

"One

solitude

day, I

when Abu 1-Hasan Nun was

went

to

overhear him, for he

O


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

194

was very eloquent. He was saying, O Lord, in Thy eternal knowledge and power and will Thou dost punish the people of Hell, whom Thou hast created and if it be Thy inexorable ;

s

make

will to

Hell and

^?

Hell

all

of mankind,

full

limbos

its

\vith

me

Thou

art able

to

fill

that

alone and to send them to

was amazed by his speech, but I dreamed that some one came to me and said: God bids thee tell Abu 1- Hasan that he has been forgiven on account of his compassion for Paradise.

God

s

I

creatures and his reverence for God.

"

called Nun because when he spoke in a dark room whole room was illuminated by the light (nur) of his And by the light of the Truth he used to read spirituality.

He was

the

the inmost thoughts "

Abu

1-

This

v. ^

Hasan

of

his

the spy on

is

men

his peculiar doctrine.

is

so

disciples, s

that

said

Junayd

:

hearts (jdsiis al-quhib}" a sound principle, and

It is

one of great importance in the eyes of those who have insight. Nothing is harder to a man than spiritual sacrifice (badhl-i nili) and to refrain from the object of his love, and God hath

made

this

key of

the

sacrifice

all

He

good, as

said

"

:

Ye

shall never attain to righteousness until ye give in alms of that

which ye love (Kor. iii, 86). When a man s spirit is of what value are his wealth and his health and "

and

his

came

to "

said

:

sacrifice.

food?

This

Ruwaym

O my If

you

this

the

futilities

futile

is

except dead those who are slain in

i.e.

and

;

tJie

it

direction.

consists

affair

are able for this,

occupy yourself with all

whole

the

son,

for

is

well

Ruvvaym in

if not,

;

(turrahdf) of the

God

way

said

of God.

"

:

frock

his

Some one

the foundation of Sufiism.

is

and asked him

sacrificed,

Do

spiritual

do not Sufis,"

not

call

Nay^ they are

Eternal life is gained by spiritual ii, 149). and by renunciation of self-interest in fulfilling God s commandment and by obedience to His friends. But from the living"

(Kor.

sacrifice

standpoint of gnosis (mctrifaf) preference and free choice are separation (tafriqat\ and real preference consists in union with

God,

for

So long

the true basis as the seeker

s

of self-interest

progress

is

is

self-abandonment.

connected with acquisition


SUFI SECTS (kasb)

it is

founded, and he loses

name be

when

pernicious, but

of the Truth manifests

THE

:

all

195

the attracting influence (Jadhfr) all his actions are con

dominion

its

him

SAHLIS.

power of expression

nor can any

;

any description be given of him or anything be imputed to him. On this subject Shibli says applied to

or

in verse "

/ am

myself and unconscious^

lost to

And my

attributes are annihilated.

To-day I am

lost to all

things:

Naught remains but a forced expression

THE

6.

SAHLIS..

Abdallah of Tustar, a great who has been already mentioned. His

are the followers of Sahl

They

and venerable

Sufi,

b.

doctrine inculcates endeavour and self-mortification and ascetic training,

and he used

self-mortification

to

bring his disciples to perfection in It

(mujdhadaf).

is

related in a well-known

anecdote that he said to one of his disciples continuously for one day, O Allah O Allah !

do the same next day and the day

"

:

!

Strive to say

O

Allah

and

!

until he became Then he bade him repeat them at night also, until they became so familiar that he uttered them even during his sleep. Then he said Do not repeat them any more, but let all your faculties be engrossed in remembering God," The disciple did this, until he became absorbed in the thought of God. One day, when he was in his house, a piece of wood fell on his head and broke it. The drops of blood which trickled to the ground after

that,"

habituated to saying those words.

"

:

bore the legend Allah Allah Allah The of the Sahlfs is to educate disciples by acts of self-mortification, and austerities; that of the Hamdums * is to "

!

!

!

"path"

serve and reverence dervishes

keep watch over one 1

The

followers of

s spiritual

Hamdun

;

and that of the Junaydis state (inurdqaba-i bating.

al-Qassar,

who

are generally called Qassaris.

is

to


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

196

The

object of

all austerities

and

acts of self-mortification

and

resistance to the lower soul (nafs\

until

a

is

man knows

lower soul his austerities are of no use to him.

his

therefore,

I

will

the lower soul,

Now, and of true nature knowledge explain and in the next place I will lay down the the

doctrine concerning self-mortification and

Discourse touching the true nature of the

its

principles.

Lower Soul

and

(nafs)

meaning of Passion (hawa).

the

You must know and

that nafs, etymologically, is the essence of reality anything, but in popular language it is used to

denote

many

contradictory meanings, e.g. "spirit", "virility" The mystics of this sect, and blood body "

"

(nmruwwat\

".

",

however, are agreed that it while some assert evil, but

source and

the

is

that

a

is

it

located in the body, as the spirit (ruJi) be an attribute of the body, as life is.

is,

others hold

of

l

(

ayti) it

to

But they all agree are manifested and that it is

through it base qualities the immediate cause of blameworthy actions.

that

are

principle

substance

of two kinds,

namely,

sins

(ma rfsf)

Such actions

and base

qualities

(akhldq-i dani), like pride, envy, avarice, anger, hatred, etc., which are not commendable in law and reason. These qualities

are

can be removed by discipline (riyddaf) e.g., sins to the class of Sins by repentance. belong :

removed

external

whereas

attributes,

the

and repentance

is

an external

A

base quality that appears within

act,

above mentioned

qualities

belong to the class of internal attributes. is

Similarly, discipline

an

internal attribute.

purged by excellent outward attributes, and one that appears without is purged by laudable inward attributes. Both the lower soul and the is

spirit are subtle things (latd if)

existing in the body, just as devils and angels and Paradise and Hell exist in the universe;

but the one of all

evil.

acts

the seat of good, while the other is the seat Hence, resistance to the lower soul is the chief of of

mortification,

is

devotion

and

and

the

crown

only thereby can

of

Man

all

find

acts

the

of

self-

way

to


SUFI SECTS submission

because

God,

:

to

destruction and resistance to

THE

SAHLIS.

the

lower

IQ7 involves

soul

his

involves his salvation. 1

it

Now, every attribute needs an object whereby it subsists, and knowledge of that attribute, namely, the soul, is not attained save by knowledge of the whole body, which know ledge in turn demands an explanation of the qualities of human nature (insdniyyaf) and the mystery thereof, and is incumbent upon

seekers of the Truth, because whoever

all

ignorant of himself

is

know

is

order

in

more

yet

inasmuch as a man

bound that

ignorant of other things to

is

and

;

know God, he must

first

his

own

by

rightly perceiving the eternity of God, and may may recognize learn the everlastingness of God through his own perishable-

himself,

temporality he

The Apostle said "He who knows himself already ness. knows his Lord," i.e., if he knows himself as perishable he knows God as everlasting, or if he knows himself as humble he knows God as Almighty, or if he knows himself as a Therefore one who servant he knows God as the Lord. :

know

does not

himself

is

debarred

from knowledge of

all

things.

regards the knowledge of human nature and the various opinions held on that topic, some Moslems assert that Man

As

nothing but

is

spirit

(ni/i),

of which this

body

is

the cuirass

and temple and residence, in order to preserve it from being injured by the natural humours (tabdyi \ and of which the attributes are sensation

and

because a body from which the soul called "

it is

human being" (insdii) live human being", and if

"a

;

a

human being

Moreover, a soul

".

animals, yet they are not called (riiJi)

1

if

(jdti)

the soul is

Here the author

faults of his

"

:

soul,"

cites

Kor.

When God and

"

depends on thy hatred of

God "

it.

is

has departed

the soul

is

still

joined with "

is

false, is

gone

it is

it

a dead

located in the bodies of

"human

were the cause of human nature,

the Traditions

This view

intelligence.

beings".

it

If the spirit

would follow that

Ixxix, 40, 41 xii, 53 ; and ii, 81 (part of the verse) wishes well unto His servant He causes him to see the ;

;

said to David,

O

David, hate thy soul, for

My

love


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

198

the principle of human nature must exist in every creature which is a proof of the falsity possessed of a soul (jdn-ddrt) of their assertion. Others, again, have stated that the term ;

"human

from the other

;

combined on a

applicable

it

called

is

it

horse,

whereas

"

"

piebald

(ablaq),

same

the

and "

to the spirit and the body no longer applies when one is separated e.g., when two colours, black and white, are is

nature"

together, and that

black colours, apart from each other, are called This too is false, in accordance with God s word white

"

Man

there not come over

not a thing worthy of

Man s

verse

mention?"

clay, without soul

(Kor. Ixxvi,

".

This also

attributes.

his heart

i)

in

:

this

had not yet been Others aver that Man

for the soul

"

human

:

a space of time during which he

Man joined to his body is called is an atom, centred in the heart, which and

"

".

Did

was

"

is

"

"

is

absurd, for

the principle of if

anyone

is

all

killed

taken out of his body he does not lose the

is

human being moreover, it is agreed that the heart was not in the human body before the soul. Some pretenders to Sufiism have fallen into error on this subject. They declare

name

that

of

"

"

"

;

Man

"

is

not that which eats and drinks and suffers

decay, but a Divine mystery, of which this body is the vesture, situated in the interfusion of the natural humours (imtizdj-i I

and

the union (ittihdd) of body and reply, that by universal consent the name of

tab

)

in

belongs to sane

men and mad, and

to

To this human being"

spirit. "

infidels

and immoral

and ignorant persons, in whom there is no such mystery and who suffer decay and eat and drink and that there is not

"

"

;

Man anything called after it has ceased to

"

"

name

of

"

Man

compounded

in

"

us,

be found in some have created

to

in

the body, either while

exist.

the

sum

it

exists or

God Almighty has given

the

of the substances which

He

excluding those things which are not to

human

beings,

e.g.

in the verses

"And

We

Man

of the choicest clay" etc. (Kor. xxiii, 12-14). Therefore, according to the word of God, who is the most veracious of all who speak the Truth, this particular form, with all its

ingredients and with

all

the changes which

it

undergoes,


SUFI SECTS "

is

Man

THE

:

SAHLIS.

199

In like manner, certain Sunm s have said that Man whose form has these characteristics, and

".

a living creature

is

him of

name, and that he is physiognomy (stirat-i mcthiid) and mawsiint) both externally and internally.

that death does not deprive

endowed with a

a distinct organ (dlat-i

By

"

physiognomy they mean a distinct organ health, and by "

a

definite

good or

ill

mad

sane.

or

(sahtJt) a

"

It

thing

must know,

is,

then,

and body

;

more

the

that

"

that he

is

either

in

Man

constitution.

You

opinion of mystics the includes three elements, viz.

most

perfect

it

is

in

the

spirit,

and that each of these has an attribute which

subsists therein, the

of spirit being intelligence, of Man is a type of the

attribute

passion, and of body, sensation.

soul,

whole universe.

and

that he has either

generally allowed that the more sound

is

perfect composition of soul,

this

definite

Man

in

The

there

is

universe

is

the

name

of the two worlds,

a vestige of both, for he

and

is

which

composed of humours

four

phlegm, blood, bile, melancholy, correspond to the four elements of this world, viz. water, earth, air, and fire, while his soul (jdri), his lower soul (nafs\ and his

body correspond

to Paradise, Hell,

Paradise

is

result of

His anger.

reflects the

which

the effect of

God

s

and the place of Resurrection. satisfaction, and Hell is the

Similarly, the spirit of the true believer

and his lower soul the error him from God. As, at the Resurrection, the must be released from Hell before he can reach peace of knowledge,

veils

believer

Paradise and attain to real vision and

pure love, so in this world he must escape from his lower soul before he can attain to real discipleship (irddat), of

and

to real

knows Him

which the

spirit

is

the principle,

proximity (to God) and gnosis. Hence, whoever in this world and turns away from all besides

and follows the highway of the sacred law, at the Resurrection will not see Hell and the Bridge (Sirdf). In short, the believer s spirit calls him to Paradise, of which it is a type in this world, and his lower soul calls him to Hell, of which

he

it

is

seek

a type in this world.

God

Therefore it behoves those who never to relax their resistance to the lower soul, in


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

2OO

order that thereby they may reinforce the spirit and intelligence, which are the home of the Divine mystery.

the

SECTION.

As

regards what has been said by the Shaykhs concerning the lower soul, Dhu 1-Nun the Egyptian says: "Vision of the lower soul and its promptings is the worst of veils,"

because obedience to

disobedience to God, which is the of all veils. Abu Yazid Bistami says: "The lower origin soul, is an attribute which never rests save in falsehood/ it

i.e.

is

Muhammad

never seeks the Truth.

You wish

"

says

it

to

b.

AH

al-Tirmidhi

know God

while your lower soul subsists but your lower soul does not know itself, how should

:

in

you

it

know

;

another?"

your lower soul

is

Junayd says:

"

the foundation of

To

fulfil

infidelity,"

lower soul

is

turn

from, the pure truth of Islam

not connected

with,

the desires of

and

is

because the

always striving to and he who turns

away away denies, and he who denies is an alien (btgdnci). Abu Sulayman Darani says: "The lower soul is treacherous and and resistance to it hindering (one who seeks to please God) ;

;

is

the best of

actions."

Now I come to my main purpose, which is to set forth the doctrine of Sahl concerning the mortification and discipline of the lower soul, and to explain its true nature. Discourse on the Mortification of the

Lower

Soul.

God has said Those who strive to the utmost (jahadu) for Our sake, We will guide them into Our ways" (Kor. xxix, 69). And the Prophet said The (mujdhid) is he who struggles "

:

"

:

with

his

might against himself (jdhada nafsaJni} for God s he also said We have returned from the lesser war (al-jihdd al-asghar] to the greater war (al-jihdd al-akbar\ all

sake."

On_ "

And

being asked, the

"

:

"What

is

the

greater

war?"

he replied,

struggle against one s (mnjdhadat al-nafs}. Itjs Thus the Apostle adjudged the mortification of the lower soul to be superior to the Holy War against unbelievers, self"


SUFI SECTS because the former that the

way

more

is

and practised by the

all

(mujdhadaf)

is

2OI

You must know,

then,

plain and manifest, for it is religions and sects, and is observed is

and the term

Sufis in particular;

"

fication

SAHLIS.

painful.

of mortification

approved by men of

THE

:

current

"morti

Sufis of every class,

among

and the Shaykhs have uttered many sayings on this topic. Sahl b. Abdallah Tustarf carries the principle to an extreme It

point.

related that he used to break his fast only once

is

in fifteen days,

While

life.

long

and he ate but

mortification,

food in the course of his

little

mystics have

all

and have declared

the

affirmed

need

of

bs an indirect means

to

it

(asbdb] of attaining contemplation (tnushdhadat}^ Sahl asserted

that mortification

is

the direct cause

he attributed to search (ydff),

so

that

(

of the

illaf)

"you

Him

in the

God

in

this

next world

and

a powerful effect on attainment regarded the present life, spent in

(talati)

he even

search, as superior to the future life of fruition.

serve

latter,

:

world, you

will

"

If,"

he said,

attain proximity to

without that service there would not

be this proximity it follows that self-mortification, practised with the aid of God, is the direct cause of union with God." :

Others, on the contrary, hold that there is no direct cause of union with God, and whoever attains to God does so by

Divine grace (fadl), which

independent of

is

human

actions.

Therefore, they argue, the object of mortification is to correct the vices of the lower soul, not to attain real proximity,

and inasmuch as mortification

is

Man, while con

referred to

templation is referred to God, it is impossible that one should be caused by the other. Sahl, however, cites in favour of his view the words of God T/iose ivJw strive to the utmost "

:

for Our sake, We will guide them i.e. whoever mortifies himself

into

Our ways

will

attain

"

(Kor. xxix, 69),

to

contemplation. he contends that inasmuch as the books revealed Furthermore,

to the Prophets,

and the Sacred Law, and

all

the

religious

ordinances imposed on mankind involve mortification, they must all be false and vain if mortification were not the cause of contemplation.

Again, both

.in

this

world and the next,


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

2O2

If it is everything is connected with principles and causes. maintained that principles have no causes, there is an end of

law and order

neither can religious obligations be justified nor will food be the cause of repletion and clothes the cause

all

:

of warmth. is

Accordingly, to regard actions as being caused Unification (tawktd)^ and to rebut this is Nullification (ta til).

He who

asserts

it

and he who denies

Does not training

proving the existence of contemplation, denying the existence of contemplation.

is it

is

(riyddat) alter the animal qualities of a wild

horse and substitute

human

qualities in

their

so that

stead,

he will pick up a whip from the ground and give it to his In the same way, master, or will roll a ball with his foot ?

boy without sense and of foreign race is taught by training and take a new language in exchange for

a

to speak Arabic,

mother tongue; and a savage beast is trained leave is given to it, and to come back when

his

to

when

captivity

preferring followers

argue,

attainment

to

is

God

with

as

just

so one

time,

is

led

to

the

and composition and as one is led

;

in

called,

necessary for

diction

as

are necessary for the elucidation of ideas to knowledge of the Creator by assurance that

was created

go away is

Therefore, Sahl and his

freedom. 1

mortification

of union

it

the universe

union with

God by

knowledge and mortification of the lower soul. I will now state the arguments of the opposing party.

They

maintain that the verse of the Koran (xxix, 69) cited by Sahl

and that the meaning of it is, Those We guide into Our ways strive to the utmost for Our And the Apostle said Not one of you shall be saved "

a hysteron proteron,

is

whom

"

sake."

:

by his works." Not even

"

I,"

His

"

O

he

"

Apostle," "

said,

unless

not even thou

his

salvation,

depends on the Divine Will, as God hath said

God 1

wishes

to

lead aright,

Here follows an account

himself.

He

"

?

God encompass me with a man s act, and his act

Now, mortification is possibly become the cause of

mercy."

cannot

they cried,

"

:

Whomsoever

will open his breast to

of the mortification

which receive

which the Prophet imposed on


SUFI SECTS Islam,

He

whomsoever

bitt

THE

:

wishes

to

SAHLIS.

203

lead astray,

He

will

make

and narrow" (Kor. vi, 125). By affirming His the (effect of the) religious ordinances which denies will, have been laid upon mankind. If mortification were the cause his breast strait

He

Ibh s would not have been damned, or if neglect of mortification were the cause of damnation Adam would never of union

The

have been blessed. (^indyaf],

that he

he

result

hangs on predestined grace

not on abundance of mortification.

who most

exerts himself

who has most grace

in his cell

may

be

is

far

is

It is

nearest to God.

A monk

from God, and a sinner

Him.

not the case

the most secure, but that

worshipping

in the tavern

The

noblest thing in the world is not subject to the religious law (jnukallaf) and in this respect belongs to the same category as madmen then, mortification is not the cause of the if,

may

be near

to

who

the faith of a child

is

:

noblest of is

all

no cause

gifts,

is

necessary for anything

that

inferior. I,

All

Uthman

b.

al-Jullabi, say that the difference

between

the two parties in this controversy lies in expression ( ibdrat). One says, He who seeks shall find," and the other says, He "

who

"

finds shall

no

Seeking

seek."

is

the cause of finding, but

the cause of seeking. The one party practises mortification for the purpose of attaining it

is

less

true that finding

is

contemplation, and the other party practises contemplation for the purpose of attaining mortification. The fact is that mortification stands in the same relation to contemplation as

Divine

obedience Divine

blessing (td ai)

blessing,

:

as

so

(tawfiq\ which is a gift from God, to is absurd to it seek obedience without it

is

absurd

to

seek

Divine

blessing

without obedience, and as there can be no mortification without

no contemplation without guided to mortification by a flash of the Divine Beauty, and inasmuch as that flash is the cause of the existence of mortification, Divine guidance (Jiiddyaf) precedes contemplation, so there mortification.

Man

can

be

is

mortification.

Now,

as

regards the argument of Sahl

and

his

followers


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

2O4

that failure to affirm mortification

involves the denial

the religious ordinances which have

revealed to the

Religious

this

Prophets,

obligations

(takltf)

come down

in

of

all

the books

statement requires correction. depend on Divine guidance

and acts of mortification only serve to affirm the of God, not to effect real union with Him. God has proofs said "And though We had sent down the angels unto them and (Jiiddyat\

:

the

dead had spoken unto them and

all things together, they so

willed"

(Kor. not evidences or

vi,

We had

would not have

in),

for the

gathered before them

believed unless

cause of belief

is

God had Our will,

Accordingly, the revelations of the Prophets and the ordinances of religion are a means (asbdti) of attaining to union, but are not the cause (^illaf) of mortification.

So far as religious obligations are concerned, Abu Bakr was in the same position as Abu Jahl, but Abu Bakr, having justice and grace, attained, whereas Abu Jahl, having union.

justice without grace, failed.

attainment

Therefore the cause of attainment

not the act of seeking attainment, for if the seeker were one with the object sought the seeker would is

itself,

be one, and in that case he would not be a seeker, because he attained is at rest, which the seeker cannot be.

who has

Again, in reference to their argument that the qualities of horse are altered by mortification, you must know that mortification is only a means of bringing out qualities that are

a

already latent in the horse but do not appear until he has been trained. Mortification will never turn a donkey into a horse or a

horse into

identity

;

a donkey, because this involves a change of and since mortification has not the power of trans

forming identity of God.

it

cannot possibly be affirmed

in the

presence

Over that spiritual director, namely, Sahl, there used to pass a mortification of which he was independent and which, while he was in the reality thereof, he was unable to express in words. He was not like some who have made it their religion to talk about mortification without practising that what ought to consist wholly in action

it.

How

absurd

should become


SUFI SECTS nothing but words

THE

:

SAHLIS. are

Sufis

In short, the

!

205

unanimous

in

recognizing the existence of mortification and discipline, but Those who deny hold that it is wrong to pay regard to them. mortification

that

do not mean

to

deny

any regard should be paid

own

pleased with his

to

but only to deny or that anyone should be

its reality, it

actions in the place of holiness, inasmuch

Man, while contemplation is a state kept by God, and a man s actions do not begin The mortification of to have value until God keeps him thus. those whom God loves is the work of God in them without but choice on their part it overwhelms and melts them away as mortification in

which one

the act of

is

is

:

;

men

work of themselves in it own choice: themselves by their perturbs and distresses them, and distress is due to evil. Therefore, do not speak of thine the mortification of ignorant

own

thou canst avoid

while

actions

the

is

and

it,

never

in

any

circumstances follow thy lower soul, for it is thy phenomenal If thou wert veiled by one act being that veils thee from God. alone, thou mightest be unveiled

being

is

a

by another, but since thy whole thou wilt not become worthy of subsistence

veil

(baqa} until thou art wholly annihilated.

known anecdote

that

Kufa and lodged Alawi.

Ibrahim

of al-Hallaj,

Husayn

in the

house of

Khawwas

went

also

to see him.

It is related in

Mansur

b.

(al-Hallaj)

Muhammad

came

b.

a well-

came

al-Husayn

to Kufa, and,

Al-Hallaj said:

to al-

having heard Ibrahim,

"O

during these forty years of your connexion with Sufiism, what

have you gained from the doctrine of trust

Al-Hallaj said

"

:

spiritual nature

(al-fand fi

:

Ibrahim answered

"

it ?

in

God

"

:

(tawakkuf) peculiarly

You have wasted your

life

i.e.

your conduct towards God regard to relying on Him :

God

have made

my

own."

in cultivating

what has become of annihilation

l-tawhid)~!"

I

your

in Unification

a term denoting and your spiritual excellence in if a man spends his whole life in

"trust

nature, he

remedying

his spiritual

remedying

his material nature,

and

in

will

is

need another

his life will

be

has found a trace or vestige of God And a story saw Shaykh Abu All Siyah of Merv, that he said: ".

"I

life

lost before is

for

he

told of

my

lower


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

2O6

soul in a form resembling hair

its

by was about

and gave

into

it

Muhammad

I

me

cannot reduce

had seized to a tree

it

and

when it cried out, O Abu All, do not am God s army (lashkar-i khuddyam) you *

to destroy

trouble yourself.

my own, and some one my hands. I bound it

it,

:

And

"

to naught.

it

related concerning

eminent

an

of Nasa,

is

companion of my novitiate, when I had become aware of the corruptions of the lower soul and acquainted with its places of ambush, I always felt a violent hatred of it in my One day something like a young fox came forth from heart. my throat, and God caused me to know that it was my lower I cast it under my feet, and at every kick that I soul. gave it, Ulyan

b.

Junayd, that he said

"

:

In

Other things are destroyed by pain and It replied Because I was blows why dost thou increase ? created perverse that which is pain to other things is pleasure it

grew bigger.

I

said:

:

:

:

Shaykh Abu l- Abbas "One day I came found a and house into my yellow dog lying there, asleep. it had come in from the street, I was about to turn it Thinking It crept under my skirt and vanished." out. Shaykh Abu 1Qasim Gurgani, who to-day is the Qutb may God prolong and

to me,

their pleasure

Shaqani, who was

the

is

Imam

my

5)

pain.

of his time, said:

speaking of his novitiate, that he saw his lower A dervish said I saw my lower soul in the form of a snake. his life!

relates,

"

:

Who

soul in the shape of a mouse.

answered

:

am

I

the destruction

art

thou?

I

asked.

of the heedless, for

I

It

urge

and the salvation of those who love God, for if I were not with them in my corruption they would be puffed in their with purity. up pride

them

to evil,

"

All these stories prove that the lower soul is a real substance (^ayni\ not a mere attribute, and that it has attributes which

we

The Apostle

clearly perceive.

said

"

:

Thy

worst

enemy

thy lower soul, which is between thy two sides." you have obtained knowledge of it you recognize that is

be mastered by discipline, but that

do not

perish.

seeker need

If

not

it

is

care

rightly

though

its

can

essence and substance

known and under it

When it

continues to

control, the

exist in

him.


SUFI SECTS

THE

:

SAHLIS.

Hence the purpose of mortifying the lower

soul

Now

attributes, not to annihilate its reality.

its

2O/ to destroy

is I

will discuss

the true nature of passion and the renunciation of lusts.

Discourse on the true nature of Passion (hawa).

You must know

that, according to the opinion of some, a term applied to the attributes of the lower soul, but, passion according to others, a term denoting the natural volition (irddat-i tab ) whereby the lower soul is controlled and directed, just as is

1

by the

controlled

intelligence. __Every spirit that is devoid of the faculty of intelligence is imperfect, and similarly every lower soul that is devoid of the faculty of passion is

the spirit

is

is

Maji

imperfect

continually

being called by intelligence

and passion_jnto_contrary .ways.,

If^he obeys the call of intelligence he attains to faith, but if he obeys the call of Therefore passion passion he arrives at error and infidelity. is

a veil and a false guide, and

Passion

it.

and

is

of two kinds:

of worldly

(2) desire

and

follows pleasure safe

from

lives

in

lost the

cells

right

with you

abandoned in

Rum

it

also

depends

following

it,

on

far

is

leads

others into error.

and who finds God although he be

passion,

from

who has renounced and God although he be in a church.

mosque, but one

a is

near to

Khawwas

anecdote

relates this

there was

a

lust,

who

way himself but

in

in

to resist

and

honour and authority. He who haunts taverns, and mankind are

but he

every act

satisfaction

commanded

is

(i) desire of pleasure

desires honour and authority and and not only has monasteries, (sawdmi*)

his mischief,

One whose

Ibrahim

lust

man

a

"

:

Once

monk who had been

I

heard that

seventy years in

said to

monastery. myself: Wonderful! Forty years the term of monastic vows what is the state of this man that he has remained there for seventy years ? I went to I

is

:

see him.

When

approached, he opened a window and said Ibrahim, I know why you have come. I have not stayed here for seventy years because of monastic vows, but I have a dog foul with passion, and I have taken to

me

:

I

O

my


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

208

abode

for the

purpose of guarding the dog it from and On doing harm to others. preventing (sagbdni), this I exclaimed O him Thou art able Lord, hearing say to bestow righteousness on a man even though he be involved in this

monastery

:

He

sheer error.

in

you seek men

Go and

?

me

said to

O

:

how long will and when you have

Ibrahim,

seek yourself,

found yourself keep watch over yourself, for this passion clothes itself every day in three hundred and sixty diverse garments of godhead and leads men astray. In short, the devil cannot enter a man s heart until he "

to

desires

commit a

sin

but when a

:

takes

the devil

appears, displays it to the

passion

man

s

heart

and

;

quantity of it out and

certain

and decks

it

this

is

called

diabolic

begins from passion, and in reference suggestion (waswds). to this fact God said to Iblfs when he threatened to seduce It

mankind

all

"

:

Verily, thou hast no

power over

My

servants

"

(Kor. xv, 42), for the devil in reality is a man s lower soul Hence the Apostle said There is no one and passion. "

:

whom

his for

Umar, as an

devil

his

(i.e.

has

passion)

he has subdued his

ingredient in the clay of

devil."

Adam

;

subdued except

not

Passion

is

mingled whoever renounces it

becomes a prince and whoever follows it becomes a captive. What is union with God ? He replied Junayd was asked To renounce passion," for of all the acts of devotion by which God s favour s sought none has greater value than "

"

:

:

"

i

resistance to passion, because

mountain with

a

his

nails

read in the Anecdotes that

saw a man

"

I

flying

it

easier for a

is

than to

resist

Dhu 1-Nun

through the

air,

man

to destroy

passion.

I

have

the Egyptian said and asked him how :

He answered I he had attained to this degree. set my feet on passion (haw a) in order that I might ascend into :

the

~

"

air

It

(hawa}!

is

related

that

Muhammad

b.

Fadl

marvel at one who goes with his passion and s House visits Him into God why does not he trample on his passion that he may attain to Him ?

al-Balkhi said

"

:

I

:

"

The most manifest

attribute of the lower soul

is

lust (shahwaf).


SUFI SECTS

:

THE

SAHLIS.

2OQ

a thing that is dispersed in different parts of the human Man is bound to guard all body, and is served by the senses. his members from it, -and he shall be questioned concerning the

Lust

is

The

acts of each.

lust of the

hearing, that of the nose

sight, that of the ear

is

eye

smell, that of the

is

is

is

tongue speech, of the palate is taste, that of the body (jasad) is touch, and that of the mind is thought (andishtdari). It behoves the that

seeker of

God

to

spend

whole

his

life,

day and

night, in ridding

himself of these incitements to passion which show themselves through the senses, and to pray God to make him such that this desire will be afflicted

should repel

and

Abu in

by

it

The

painful.

that

removed from

with lust

is

his

veiled from

his

own

all

is

is

If

anyone would be long and

spiritual things.

exertions, his task

way

right

All Siyah of

inward nature, since whoever

It is related resignation (taslini}. said I had gone to the bath

Merv

"

:

accordance with the custom of the Prophet

a razor (pubis tondenda causa].

I

said to myself:

I

was using

O Abu

AH,

member which is the source of all lusts and keeps thee afflicted with so much evil/ A voice in my heart whispered O Abu All, wilt thou interfere in My kingdom? Are not all amputate

this

:

thy limbs equally at

My

glory that

will

I

hair in that place.

My

disposal

?

If

thou do

this, I

swear by

put a hundredfold lust and passion in every

>:

Although a man has no power over what is vicious in his constitution, he can get an attribute changed by Divine aid and by resigning himself to God s will and by divesting himself of his own power and In reality, when he resigns him strength. x

and through God s protection he comes self, God protects him nearer to annihilating the evil than he does through selfmortification, since flies are more easily driven away with an ;

umbrella (mikanna) than with a fly-whisk Unless (midJiabba^). Divine protection is predestined to a man, he cannot abstain from anything by his own exertion, and unless God exerts

Himself towards a man, that man s exertion is of no use. All fall under two heads their object is either to

acts of exertion

avert the predestination of

:

God

or to acquire something in spite P


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

210

It is of predestination and both these objects are impossible. him advised to be was the that when Shibli related ill, physician ;

abstinent.

"

From what

shall

abstain

I

"

?

said he,

"

from that

which God bestows upon me, or from that which He does not bestow? It is impossible to abstain from the former, and the latter

is

not in

my

hands."

I

will discuss this

question carefully

on another occasion. 7.

They al-

THE

are the followers of

Hakim

al-Tirmidhi,

HAKIMIS.

Abu Abdallah Muhammad

who was one

of his time and the author of

many works on

of exoteric and esoteric science.

All

b.

of the religious leaders

every branch

His doctrine was based on

saintship [wildyaf], and he used to explain the true nature of saintship and the degrees of the saints and the observance of the proper arrangement of their ranks.

As

the

towards understanding

his

you has chosen must know that God out of mankind, and whose thoughts He has withdrawn from worldly ties and delivered from sensual temptations and He has stationed each of them in a particular degree, and has first

step

has saints (awliyd\

doctrine,

whom He

;

opened unto them the door of these mysteries. Much might be said on this topic, but I must briefly set forth several points of capital importance.

Discourse on the Affirmation of Saintship (wilayat).

You must know

that the principle and foundation of Sufiism and knowledge of God rests on saintship, the reality of which is unanimously affirmed by all the Shaykhs, though every one

has expressed himself in different language. The peculiarity of Muhammad b. All (al-Hakim) lies in the fact that he applied this term to the theory of Sufiism.

Waldyat means, etymologically, "power to dispose" (tasarruf), and wilayat means possession of command (imdrafy Waldyat hence God hath said also means lordship" (rububiyyaf) "

"

"

:

"In

is

the

;

this case the lordship

(al-walayat)

belongs

to

God who


THE HAKIMIS.

SUFI SECTS:

Truth

because

"

(Kor.

xviii,

42),

renounce their

His

seek

unbelievers

the

Him and

protection and turn unto

211

idols.

And

love Wall may be the form (inahabbaf). wildyat also means of hath said "And He as God the with maf-id, meaning fctil "

"

:

takes charge ^/"(yatawalla) the righteous

does not leave His servant to his

"

own

(Kor. vii, 195), for God actions and attributes,

but keeps him under His protection. And wall may be the form fa il, equivalent to fd il, with an intensive force, because takes care (tawalli kunad) to obey God and constantly Thus wait in to fulfil the obligations that he owes to Him.

a

man

the active

meaning

is

"one

who

(inurtd), while in the

desires"

denotes one who is the object of God s All these (murdd). meanings, whether they signify the relation of God to Man or that of Man to God, are allowable, "

meaning

passive

it

desire"

for

God may be

He

the protector of His friends, inasmuch as

promised His protection to the Companions of the Apostle, and declared that the unbelievers had no protector (mawla). 1

And, moreover, He may distinguish them in an exclusive way He loves them and they by His friendship, as He hath said, love Him so that turn (Kor. v, 59), they away from the favour "

"

of

He is their friend (waif) and they are His friends And He may confer on one a friendship (wildyat)

mankind

:

"

"

(awliyd).

that enables

him him

him

from

free

to loose

Him, and keeps that empowers friendship and makes his prayers answered and his

to persevere in obedience to

sin,

and on another a

and bind,

"

"

aspirations effectual, as the Apostle said

"

:

There

is

many

a one

with dirty hair, dust-stained, clad in two old garments, whom men never heed but if he were to swear by God, God would ;

his

verify

Umar

b.

oath."

It

is

well

al-Khattab, the

habit, ceased to flow

known

Nile,

in

that in the Caliphate of

accordance with

its

usual

time of Paganism they used annually to adorn a maiden and throw her into the river to

make

it "

paper

:

flow

O

again.

river,

if

;

for in the

Umar

therefore wrote

thou hast stopped of thy

1

Kor.

xlvii, 12.

on

own

a

piece will,

of

thou


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

212

by command of God, Umar bids thee flow. this paper was thrown in, the Nile resumed its course. its reality purpose in discussing saintship and affirming

doest wrong, and

When

My is

if

show you

to

that

name

the

whom

applied to those in

of saint (wait)

is

properly

above-mentioned qualities are

the

actually present (hat) and not merely reputed (qdl).

Certain

but they Shaykhs formerly composed books on this subject, to commend became rare and soon disappeared. Now I will

you the explanation given by that venerable

who

is

the

greater

in

spiritual director

author of the doctrine for my own belief in order that much instruction may be gained, seeker of Sufiism

only by yourself, but also by every may have the good fortune to read this book.

it

is

not

who

SECTION.

You must know and

vulgar,

Traditions

is

:

to

e.g.,

God

(awliya) of

(Kor. x, 63)

word wait is current among the be found in the Koran and the Apostolic that the

God

"

God

on

"

said,

Verily,

and

no fear shall come,

and again,

;

hath

the

is

the

friends "

they shall not grieve

friend (wall) of those who

And the Apostle said: "Among the (Kor. ii, 258). servants of God there are some whom the prophets and martyrs

believe"

deem them "

happy."

He was

asked

to us that perchance

Those who

"

:

Who

we may

are they

love

love one another, through

them."

God

s

?

He

Describe replied

:

mercy, without

when Then

their faces are seeking a livelihood on thrones of light they are not afraid men are afraid, nor do they grieve when men grieve." he recited Verily, on the friends of God no fear shall

come,

and

wealth and without luminous, and they

:

sit

;

"

:

they shall not

grieve"

(Kor. x, 63).

Furthermore,

He who hurts a saint (wait) God said has allowed himself to make war on These passages show that God has saints (aivliya) whom

the Apostle said that

"

:

Me."

has specially distinguished by His friendship and whom He has chosen to be the governors of His kingdom and has marked out to manifest His actions and has peculiarly favoured

He


SUFI SECTS

:

THE HAKIMIS.

213

with diverse kinds of miracles (kardmdf) and has purged of natural corruptions and has delivered from subjection to their lower soul and passion, so that all their thoughts are of Him

and

their

intimacy

is

Him

with

past ages, and are now, and

of

because

Resurrection,

of

God

has

exalted

until this

the

in

Day

(Moslem)

others and has promised to preserve the Muhammad. Inasmuch as the traditional and

community above religion

Such have been

alone.

shall be hereafter

all

intellectual proofs of this religion are to

be found

among

the

divines (^ulamd\ it follows that the visible proof is to be found among the Saints and elect of God. Here we have two parties

opposed to

us,

namely, the

Mu tazilites

and the rank and

file

of the Anthropomorphists (Hashwiyya). The Mu tazilites deny that one Moslem is specially privileged more than another

;

but

if

a saint

is

not specially privileged, neither

is

a prophet

and this is infidelity. The vulgar Anthropo allow that morphists special privileges may be conferred, but assert that such privileged persons no longer exist, although It is all the same, however, whether they did exist in the past.

specially privileged

;

they deny the past or the future, since one side of denial better than another.

is

no

God, then, has caused the prophetic evidence (burhdn-i nabawi) to remain down to the present day, and has made the

means whereby it is manifested, in order that the of the Truth and the proof of Muhammad s veracity may signs continue to be clearly seen. He has made the Saints the Saints the

governors of the universe they have become entirely devoted to His business, and have ceased to follow their sensual ;

affections.

Through the

blessing of their advent the rain falls from heaven, and through the purity of their lives the plants

spring up from the earth, and through their spiritual influence the Moslems gain victories over the unbelievers. them

Among

there are four thousand

who

are concealed

and do not know

one another and are not aware of the excellence of their but in

state,

circumstances are hidden from themselves and from mankind. Traditions have come down to this effect, and the all


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

214

sayings of the Saints proclaim the truth thereof, and I myself have had ocular experience (khabar-i iydn) God be praised !

of this matter.

But of those who have power to loose and to officers of the Divine court there are three

bind and are the

hundred, called Akhydr, and called Abrdr,

and one,

called

and cannot act

called

forty,

and seven,

Abddl,

Awtdd, and three, called Nuqabd, Qutb or Ghawth. All these know one another save by mutual consent.

and

four, called

Here the vulgar may object one another to be

saints,

my

to

assertion that they

on the ground

that, if

such

is

know

the case,

I reply they must be secure as to their fate in the next world. that it is absurd to suppose that knowledge of saintship involves

A

security.

may have knowledge of why should not the same

believer

his

faith

and

hold good of yet not be secure of his ? has who a saint Nevertheless, it saintship knowledge is possible that God should miraculously cause the saint to :

know him

his security in regard to the future

in

a state of spiritual soundness

The Shaykhs

disobedience.

reason which

I

life,

while maintaining

and preserving him from on

question for the Those belonging to the four

differ

have explained.

this

thousand who are concealed do not admit that the saint can

know

himself to be such, whereas those of the other class take

Each opinion

the contrary view.

and

scholastics.

hold that a saint

supported by many lawyers 1 Ishaq Isfara ini and some of the ancients ignorant of his saintship, while Abu Bakr is

Abu is

2

and others of the past generation hold that he is b. I ask the former conscious of it. party, what loss or evil does

Furak

by knowing himself? If they allege that he is conceited when he knows himself to be a saint, I answer that Divine protection is a necessary condition of saintship, and one a saint suffer

who

is

protected from evil cannot

fall

into self-conceit.

common notion [sukhanri sakht dmiydnd) whom extraordinary miracles (kardmdf) are

a very to

vouchsafed, does not 1

-

know

It

is

that a saint,

continually himself to be a saint or these

See Ibn Khallikan, No. 4. See Ibn Khallikan, No. 621

;

Brockelmann,

i,

166.


THE HAKIMIS.

SUFI SECTS:

Both parties have adherents among is of no account.

miracles to be miracles.

the

common

21$

people, but opinion

Mu tazilites,

The

however, deny special privileges and the essence of saintship. which constitute miracles, They affirm that all Moslems are friends (awliya) of God when they are obedient to Him, and that anyone who fulfils the ordinances of the Faith and denies the attributes and vision of God and

damned

allows believers to be eternally

to Revelation,

regard that such a person

The

Mu tazilites

miracles,

all

a a-

friend"

friend

",

maintain

saintship

involved to them,

share in

"that,

derivative.

They

say,

likewise

if they share in share in what is

that miracles

further,

safed both to believers

if

(imdn), and

faith

fundamental they must

is

All Moslems agree but a friend of the Devil

(wall}.

must have miracles vouchsafed

also

all

"

"

is

believers

because they

what

is

Hell and acknow

in

imposed by Reason, without

ledges only such obligations as are

and to

infidels,

e.g.

may

be vouch

when anyone

is

some person may appear in mount him on an animal for riding.

or fatigued on a journey

hungry

order to give him food or

were possible, they add, for anyone to traverse a great distance in one night, the Apostle must have been that man If

it

;

when he

Mecca, God said, "And they (the animals) carry your burdens to a land ivJiich ye would not have reached save with sore trouble to yourselves" (Kor. xvi, 7). yet,

I

reply

:

set out for

arguments are worthless, for God said, Glory to transported His servant by night from the sacred

"Your

Him who to

the farther

"

Miracles are mosque (Kor. xvii, i). not but it would have been a special, general general instance if all the Companions had been miraculously conveyed to

mosque

;

Mecca, and faith

this

would have destroyed

all

the

principles of

in the

unseen. Faith is a general term, applicable to the righteous and the wicked alike, whereas saintship is special The journey of the Companions to Mecca falls under the former category, but inasmuch as the case of the Apostle was a special one, God conveyed him in one night from Mecca to Jerusalem, and thence to a space of two bow-lengths from the Divine


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

2l6 presence to

and he returned ere the night was

;

deny

a palace there are chamberlains, janitors, grooms,

who, although they are equally the king in

equal faith,

so

rank,

Again,

As

manifestly unreasonable.

is

special privileges

far spent.

s

and

viziers,

not

servants, are

believers are equal in respect

all

in

of their

but some are obedient, some wise, some pious, and some

ignorant.

SECTION.

The Shaykhs, every meaning of

one, have given

Now

saintship.

I

will

as

the

to

bring together as

these selected definitions as possible. Abu All Juzajani says The saint "

:

and subsistent

hints

is

true

many

annihilated in his

of

own

contemplation of the Truth he can not tell anything concerning himself, nor can he rest with anyone except God," because a man has knowledge only of his own state

state,

and when

in the

all

his

:

states are annihilated

he cannot

tell

anything about himself; and he cannot rest with anyone else, to whom he might tell his state, because to communicate one s hidden state to another

which cannot

be

to reveal the secret of the Beloved,

is

revealed

except

to

the

Beloved

himself.

Moreover, in contemplation it is impossible to regard aught how, then, can he be at rest with mankind ? except God :

said

Junayd

"

:

The

expectation either of loss of

some

saint

hath no

some

future calamity or of the eventual

fear,

because fear

object of desire, whereas the saint

is

is

the

the son of

time (ibn waqtihi) he nas no future that he should fear and as he hath no fear so he hath no hope, since anything hope is the expectation either of gaining an object of desire his

:

;

or of being

the future

;

from a misfortune, and this belongs to nor does he grieve, because grief arises from the relieved

rigour of time, and

radiance

of

how should he

satisfaction

(muwdfaqaf)1"

inasmuch as the

(ridd)

saint feels in

grief

who

is

in

the

and the garden of concord

The vulgar imagine

has security (amn)

feel

saying to imply that, neither fear nor hope nor grief, he

their place

;

this

but he has not security, for


THE HAKIMIS.

SUFI SECTS:

security arises from not seeing that which

turning one is

back on

s

"

time

and

"

;

hidden, and from

is

(absence of security)

this

who pay no

regard to their humanity Fear and and are not content with attributes.

characteristic of those

(bashariyyaf)

hope and security and grief all refer to the interests of the lower soul, and when that is annihilated satisfaction (rida) becomes an attribute of Man, and when satisfaction has been his states become steadfast (inustaqim) in vision of the Author of states (inuhawwil\ and his back is turned on all states. Then saintship is revealed to his heart and its

attained

meaning

made

is

Abu Uthman

clear to his inmost thoughts.

The saint is sometimes celebrated (inashMr), Maghribi says The saint but he is not seduced (ntaft&t*)" and another says "

:

"

:

sometimes

is

hidden

Seduction consists

he

but

(masttir),

falsehood

in

not

is

inasmuch

:

celebrated."

as the saint

must

be veracious, and miracles cannot possibly be performed by a liar, it follows that the saint is incapable of being seduced.

These two sayings refer to the controversy whether the saint knows himself to be such if he knows, he is celebrated, and :

if

he does not know, he

this

and on this

man whether he

is

world or

God

saints,

:

all

thy

God

to covet the

To

heart."

the

for

sake

next world

sake of that which

for the

s

"

",

away from and

transitory,

God

desired to be one of

"

God with

to

turn

to

;

Yes said Do not covet anything in the next, and devote thyself entirely to God,

his replying

and turn

but the explanation of that Ibrahim b. Adham asked

It is related

tedious.

is

a certain

seduced

is

is

is

covet

this

world

of that which to turn

everlasting

:

is

away from

that which

is

transitory perishes and its renunciation becomes naught, but that which is everlasting cannot perish, hence its renunciation also

is

imperishable.

Abu Yazid was

asked:

"Who is

a

saint?"

He answered That one who is patient under the command and prohibition of God,"__because the more a man loves God the more does his heart revere what He commands and the "

:

farther

is

body from what He forbids. said: "Once I was told that a

his

Abu Yazid

It

is

related that

saint of

God was


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

218

such and such a town.

in I

arrived at his

spat on the

mosque he came of the

floor

him, and said to law in order that religious

Had

this

I

A

myself:

When

chamber and back without

turned

must keep the

saint

God may keep him

man been

him.

forth from his

mosque.

saluting

state.

set out to visit

I

in his spiritual

a saint his respect for the

mosque

would have prevented him from spitting on its floor, or God would have preserved him from marring the grace vouchsafed

The same

to him.

night I dreamed that the Apostle said Yazid, the blessing of that which thou hast to thee. Next day I attained to this degree

to me,

O Abu

done

come

is

And I have heard that a man who came Shaykh Abu Sa fd entered the mosque with his left

which ye to visit

behold."

The Shaykh gave orders that he should be He who does not know how to enter the dismissed, saying house of the Friend is not suitable for Some heretics who have adopted this perilous doctrine assert that service of God (khidmaf) is necessary only while one is becoming a saint, foot

foremost.

"

:

us."

but that after one has become a saint service

This

is

clearly wrong.

There

is

no

"

station

the Truth where any obligation of service

explain this matter fully in

its

is

"

is

abolished.

on the way to

abolished.

I

will

proper place.

Discourse on the Affirmation of Miracles (ka^arriat). "

.

You must know

that miracles

may

be vouchsafed to a saint

so long as he does not infringe the obligations of the religious

Both parties of the orthodox Moslems agree on

law.

nor

is

it

intellectually impossible, because

such

this point,

miracles

are

species of that which is predestined by God, and their manifestation does not contradict any principle of the religious

a

law, nor,

on the other hand,

CQnceive them racity,

and

it

as a genus.

is

A

it

repugnant to the mind to is a token of a saint s

miracle

cannot be manifested to an impostor except It is an extraordinary

as a sign that his pretensions are false.

ndqid-i ddat\ performed while he is still subject to the obligations of religion and whoever is able, through

act (fi

lt

;

knowledge^


THE HAKIMIS.

SUFI SECTS:

219

given him by God, to distinguish by the method of deduction what is true from what is false, he too is a saint. Some Sunm s

maintain that miracles are established, but not to the degree of an evidentiary miracle (mujizat 1 ): they do not admit, for

example, that prayers may be answered and I ask in reply forth, contrary to custom.

fulfilled, "

:

and so

What do you

performance by a true saint, while he act which violates is subject to religious obligations, of an If they say that it is not a species of that which custom?" consider

wrong

the

in

predestined by God, this statement is erroneous and if they say that it is a species of that which is predestined, but that its is

;

performance by a true saint involves the annulment of prophecy and the denial of special privileges to the prophets, this assertion

also

distinguished

is

by

since

inadmissible,

miracles

(kardmdf)

the

and

saint

the

is

specially

prophet

by

and inasmuch as the saint is evidentiary miracles (mujizdt) a saint and the prophet is a prophet, there is no likeness ;

between them to justify such precaution. The pre-eminence of the prophets depends on their exalted rank and on their being preserved from the defilement of sin, not on miracles or All the evidentiary miracles or acts which violate custom. are so far as all have the power of working prophets equal they such miracles (?jdz\ but some are superior to others in degree. Since,

this

then, notwithstanding

equality in regard to their

some prophets are superior to others, why should not miracles (kardmdf) which violate custom be vouchsafed also to the saints, although the prophets are superior to them ? And actions,

since, in the case of the prophets,

does not cause one of

them

an act which violates custom

to

be more exalted or more

specially privileged than another, so, in the case of the saints, a similar act does not cause a saint to be more specially

privileged than a prophet,

i.e.

the saints do not

become

like in

kind (hamsdn) to the prophets. This proof will clear away, for reasonable men, any difficulties that this matter may have 1

The name mu jiwt

performed by a saint

is

is

given to a miracle performed by a prophet, while one

called kardmat.


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

22O

"But it suppose," presented to them. a saint whose miracles violate custom

a

I

prophet."

involves

reply that this

veracity,

Moreover, a saint

on

is

and he who

who

be said,

may

should claim

"that

be

to

impossible, because saintship tells a falsehood is no saint.

pretends to prophesy casts an imputation

genuineness of) evidentiary miracles, which is in Miracles (kardmdt) are vouchsafed only to a pious

(the

fidelity.

and falsehood

believer,

is

That being

impiety.

so,

of the saint confirm the evidence of the prophet. difficulty

in

reconciling

the

two

of

classes

the miracles

There

no

is

The

miracles.

apostle establishes his prophecy by establishing the reality of evidentiary miracles, while the saint, by the miracles which he

performs, establishes both the prophecy of the apostle and his own saintship. Therefore the veracious saint says the same The miracles of the former are thing as the veracious prophet.

A

identical with the evidentiary miracles of the latter.

seeing the miracles of a saint, has

more

faith

believer,

in the veracity of

the prophet, not more doubt, because there is no contradiction between the claims made by them. Similarly, in law, when a

number of

heirs are agreed

in

their claim, if

establishes his claim the claim of the others

not so

if

their claims are contradictory.

is

one of them

established

Hence, when

;

but

a prophet

adduces evidentiary miracles as evidence that his prophecy genuine, and when his claim is confirmed by a saint, it impossible that any difficulty should

is is

arise.

Discourse on the difference between Evidentiary Miracles (mu jizat) and Miracles (karamat).

Inasmuch

as

it

has been shown that neither class of miracles

can be wrought by an impostor, we must now distinguish more Mu jizat involve publicity and kardmdt clearly between them. secrecy,

because the result of the former

is

to affect others,

while the latter are peculiar to the person by whom they are performed. Again, the doer of mu jizdt is quite sure that he has

wrought an, extraordinary miracle, whereas the doer of kardmdt cannot be sure whether he has really wrought a miracle or


THE HAKIMIS.

SUFI SECTS:

221

He who performs is insensibly deceived (istidrdf). has authority over the law, and in arranging it he denies or affirms, according as God commands him, that he is whether he

mujizdt

1 On the other hand, he insensibly deceived. kardmdt has no choice but to resign himself (to

upon him, because the

to accept the ordinances that are laid

kardmdt

of a saint are never in

law laid

down by

a prophet.

who performs God s will) and

any way incompatible with the

It

may

be said

"

If evidentiary

:

miracles are the proof of a prophet s veracity, and if nevertheless you assert that miracles of the same kind may be performed by

one who (iniftdd)

not a prophet, then they become ordinary events therefore your proof of the reality of mifjizdt annuls

is :

your argument establishing the reality of "This is

not the case.

The kardmat

and displays the same evidence the quality of

i jdz

as,

kardmdt."

of a saint the

I

reply

:

identical with,

is

mujizat

of a prophet

:

one instance

(inimitability) exhibited in the

does not impair the same quality in the other instance." When the infidels put Khubayb on the gallows at Mecca, the Apostle,

who was then

mosque at Medina, saw him and what was Companions being done to him. God also lifted the veil from the eyes of Khubayb, so that he saw the Peace be with thee and God caused Apostle and cried, the Apostle to hear his salutation, and caused Khubayb to hear seated in the

told the

"

"

!

the Apostle

answer.

s

saw Khubayb that

Now,

the fact that the Apostle at

Mecca was an evidentiary at Mecca saw the Apostle Khubayb at

at

Medina was

wise an extraordinary act.

between absence

in

Medina

and the

miracle,

Accordingly there time and absence in space

is ;

fact like

no difference

for

Khubayb s

miracle (kardmat) was wrought when he was absent from the Apostle in space, and the miracles of later days were wrought

by those who were absent from the Apostle in time. This is a clear distinction and a manifest proof that kardmdt cannot possibly be in contradiction with i jdz (miracles performed by a prophet). Kardmdt are not established unless they bear

testimony to the truth of one 1

B. omits the words

who has performed

"that

he

is

insensibly deceived

".

a

mu-jizat,


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

222

and they are not vouchsafed except to a pious believer who Kardmdt of Moslems are an extra bears such testimony.

(mujizai) of

ordinary miracle so

permanent

must

Apostle, for as his law

the

proof (hujjat) also be permanent.

his

saints are witnesses to the truth of the Apostle

mission, and

s

is

The it

impossible that a miracle (kardmai) should be wrought by an unbeliever (begdna). is

On

this topic a story

Khawwas, which

is

went down into the

"

I

:

usual state of detachment from worldly things

my

After

(tajrid).

related of Ibrahim

Ibrahim said

very apposite here. desert in

is

I

had gone some distance a man appeared and him be my companion, I looked at him and

begged me to let was conscious of a feeling of repugnance. He said to me O Ibrahim, do not be vexed. I am a Christian, and one of I have come from the confines of the Sabians among them. :

Rum

in the

When

hope of being thy companion.

I

knew

that

he was an unbeliever, I regained my equanimity, and felt it more easy to take him as my companion and to fulfil my O monk, I fear that* thou I said obligations towards him. :

from want of meat and drink, for O Ibrahim/ said he, is thy fame

wilt suffer

with me. great, I

and

art

thou

still

have nothing in the world so I

concerned about meat and drink?

marvelled at his boldness and accepted him as my companion After journeying seven days and claim.

in order to test his

nights

we were overtaken by

He

thirst.

O Ibrahim, they trumpet thy Now let me see what privileges

*

hast in this court

God), for

I

O

who

thinks well of

me

throughout

laid

I

Lord, do not shame

cried

:

the world.

of intimacy (gustdkhihd) thou to what extent thou art a favourite with

can endure no more.

and

:

(i.e.

praise

stopped and cried

When

!

I

me

my

head on the earth

before this unbeliever,

raised

my

head

I

saw a dish

on which were placed two loaves of bread and two cups of We ate and drank and went on our way. After seven water. days had passed I resolved to test him ere he should again put

Let

me me

to the proof.

O

monk,

I

said,

see the fruits of thy mortification.

now

He

it

is

thy turn.

laid his

head


SUFI SECTS

THE HAKIMIS.

:

223

on the earth and muttered something. Immediately a dish and four four loaves cups of water. I was appeared containing amazed and grieved, and I despaired of my state. This has appeared/ I

I

for

said,

the

He bade me

eat or drink thereof?

Thou

saying,

sake of an unbeliever taste,

how can

:

but

I

refused,

worthy of this, and it is not in harmony If I regard it as a miracle condition.

art not

with thy spiritual

(kardmat\ miracles are not vouchsafed to unbelievers I regard it as a contribution (ma iinaf] from thee,

and

;

if

must

I

He said Taste, O Ibrahim suspect thee of being an impostor. I of two thee give joy things firstly, of my conversion to Islam (here he uttered the profession of faith), and secondly, :

!

:

of the great honour in which thou art held by God. How so ? I asked. I have no miraculous He answered powers, but my shame on account of thee made me lay my head on *

:

the earth and beg God to give me two loaves and two of water if the religion of Muhammad is true, and two loaves

and cups

Then Ibrahim a

monk

ate

violation saint,

Khawwas

is

one of God

"

s

saints.

and drank, and the man who had been

eminence

rose to

Now, this kardmat of a

Ibrahim

if

cups

more

is

of

in

Islam.

custom, although attached to the with the evidentiary miracles

identical

which are wrought by prophets, but it is rare that in a prophet s absence an evidence should be vouchsafed to another person, or that in the presence of a saint

some portion of

powers should be transferred to another person.

his

miraculous

In

fact, the end of saintship is only the beginning of prophecy. That monk was one of the hidden (saints), like Pharaoh s magicians. Ibrahim confirmed the Prophet s power to violate custom, and his com

panion also was endeavouring both to confirm prophecy and to a purpose which God in His eternal glorify saintship providence fulfilled. This is a clear difference between kardmat and i jdz. ;

The manifestation

of miracles to the saints

a second miracle, they ought to be kept secret, not intentionally divulged. My Shaykh used to say that if a saint reveals his saintship and claims to be a saint, the soundness of his spiritual state is not for

is


224

KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

impaired thereby, but

if

led astray

by

Discourse

on

he takes pains to obtain publicity he

is

self-conceit.

the

performance

evidentiary class by tJiose

The Shaykhs

of this

of miracles

belonging

who pretend

to

and

sect

the

to

godship.

orthodox Moslems are

all

agreed that an extraordinary act resembling a prophetic miracle (intfjizaf) may be performed by an unbeliever, in order that by

means of his performance he may be shown beyond doubt to be an impostor. Thus, for example, Pharaoh lived four hundred years without once falling ill and when he climbed up to any ;

high ground the water followed

stopped, and moved when he moved. men did not hesitate to deny his

inasmuch

stopped when

him, and

as every intelligent person

he

Nevertheless, intelligent

pretensions

to

godship,

acknowledges that God

is

not incarnate (mujassani) and composite (jnurakkab). You will judge by analogy the wondrous acts related of Shaddad, who was the lord of Irani, and Nimrod.

Similarly,

we

are told on trust

worthy authority that in the last days Dajjal will come and will claim godship, and that two mountains will go with him, one on his right

on

hand and the other on

his right

hand

will

his left

be the place of

;

and that the mountain

felicity,

and the mountain

be the place of torment and that he will call the people to himself and will punish those who refuse to But though he should perform a hundredfold amount join him. of such extraordinary acts, no intelligent person would doubt

on

his left

hand

will

;

the falsity of his claim, for sit

on an

ass

and

is

it

is

well

principle of Divine deception

known

\istidrdf).

falsely pretends to be an apostle

that

Such things

not blind.

may

God does fall

not

under the

So, again, one

who

perform an extraordinary

which proves him an impostor, just as a similar act per formed by a true apostle proves him genuine. But no such act can be performed if there be any possibility of doubt or any

act,

claimant from the impostor, for in that case the principle of allegiance (bay af] would be nullified. It is possible, moreover, that something of the same difficulty in distinguishing the true


SUFI SECTS

THE HAKIMIS.

:

225

be performed by a pretender to conduct is bad, is blameless in his

kind as a miracle (kardmat)

may

his

saintship who, although act he confirms the religion, inasmuch as by that miraculous

truth of the Apostle and manifests the grace of God vouchsafed to him and does not attribute the act in question to his own

One who speaks

power.

fundamental matter

and firm

truth, with evidence

because his belief

and though

of the

is

the truth, without evidence, in

his actions

the

always speak the the matter of saintship,

of faith (imdn\

will

belief, in

same quality

as the belief of the saint

do not square with

;

his belief, his claim of

not demonstrably contradicted by his evil conduct, any more than his claim of faith could be. In fact, miracles (kardindf) and saintship are Divine gifts, not things acquired by saintship

is

Man, so that human actions

(kasb) cannot

become the cause of

Divine guidance. I have already said that the saints are not preserved from sin (mcts&m) for sinlessness belongs to the prophets, but y

protected (inahfiiz) from any evil that involves the of their saintship and the denial of saintship, after

they are denial it

;

come

has

into

being,

depends on something inconsistent

with

faith,

namely, apostasy (riddaf)

sin.

This

is

Tirmidh, and Muhasibi, and

who

of

the doctrine

of

also

many

b.

it

does not depend on b. All Hakim of

Abu

Junayd,

1-Hasan Nun,

other mystics (ahl-i Jiaqd

attach

Sahl

:

Muhammad

importance to Abdallah of Tustar,

tq).

Harith

But those

mu dmaldfy like Abu Sulayman Darani, Hamdun conduct

(ahl-i

Qassar, and others, maintain that saintship involves unceasing obedience (td ai), and that when a great sin (kabtra) occurs to the mind of a saint he is deposed from his saintship. Now, as

I

(ijind*)

have stated

among

there

before,

Moslems

that

anyone outside the pale of is no better than another.

faith

a ;

consensus of opinion great sin does not put

is

a

and one saintship (wildyat)

Therefore, since the saintship of of God knowledge (ma rifat), which is the foundation of all miracles vouchsafed by Divine grace (kardmathd\ is not lost is it that what is inferior to that in through sin, impossible

Q


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

226

and grace (kardmaf) should disappear because of The controversy among the Shaykhs on this matter has

excellence sin.

run to great length, and

I

do not intend to record

here.

it

most important, however, that you should know with certainty in what state this miraculous grace is manifested It

is

to the saint

or

in sobriety or intoxication, in rapture (ghalabaf)

:

composure

(tamkiii).

I

have

of

Abu

fully explained the

and sobriety in He and Dhu Yazid.

of intoxication

my

1-Nun

Muhammad b. Khafif and Husayn Yahya b. Mu adh Razi and others

b.

meaning

account of the doctrine the

Mansur

Egyptian

and

(al-Hallaj)

and

hold that miracles are not

a saint except when he is in the state of whereas the miracles of the prophets are wrought intoxication, in the state of sobriety. Hence, according to their doctrine, this is a clear distinction between mu jizdt and kardmaf, for

vouchsafed

to

the saint, being enraptured, pays no heed to the people and call upon them to follow him, while the prophet,

does not

being sober, exerts himself to attain his object and challenges the people to rival what he has done. Moreover, the prophet choose whether he will manifest or conceal his extra may

some ordinary powers, but the saints have no such choice times a miracle is not granted to them when they desire it, and sometimes it is bestowed when they do not desire it, ;

for

be

the saint has no propaganda, so that his attributes should subsistent, but he is hidden and his proper state is to

have

The prophet

his attributes annihilated.

is

a

man

of law

is a man of inward feeling (sahib a miracle will not be manifested Accordingly, sirr). (kardmaf) saint he is in a to a unless state of absence from himself and

(sahib shar \

and the saint

bewilderment, and unless his faculties are entirely under the While saints are with themselves and maintain

control of God. the state of

humanity

the

lifted

veil

is

they

but when amazed through

(bashariyyaf), they are veiled

are

realizing the bounties of God.

bewildered and

A

;

miracle cannot be manifested

the state of unveiledness (kashf\ which is the rank except of proximity (qurfr) and whoever is in that state, to him in

;


SUFI SECTS

THE HAKIMIS.

:

22/

This is the state of appear even as gold. which no intoxication with human being, the prophets alone is endowed. Thus, one day, Haritha excepted, permanently worthless stones

was transported from this world and had the next world I have cut revealed to him he said myself loose from this so its and its its silver and its that stones and world, gold "

:

;

all one to me." Next day he was seen tending asses, and on being asked what he was doing, he said I am trying

clay are

"

:

to get the food that

I

Therefore, the saints, while they

need."

are sober, are as ordinary men, but while they are intoxicated their

rank

is

the

same

as that of the prophets,

universe becomes like gold unto them. "

Gold wherever we

go,

and the whole

Shibli says

and pearls

Wherever we turn, and silver

in the

waste"

Imam Abu 1-Qasim Qushayri asked about the beginning of his Tabarani say: He told me that on one occasion he spiritual experience. wanted a stone from the river-bed at Sarakhs. Every stone I

have heard the Master and "Once

I

that he touched

turned into a gem,

and he threw them

all

This was because stones and gems were the same to away." or him, rather, gems were of less value, since he had no desire for them. And I have heard Khwaja Imam Khaza ini at

Sarakhs relate as follows place

In

my boyhood

I

went

to a certain

When

it was mulberry climbed a tree and began to shake the branches. was thus employed Shaykh Abu 1-Fadl b. al-Hasan

to

midday While I

"

:

leaves

get

for

silkworms.

I

passed by, but he did not see me, and I had no doubt that he was beside himself and that his heart was with God.

Suddenly he raised intimacy

O

Lord,

it

is

head and cried with the boldness of

more than a year since Thou hast

a

small piece of silver (ddngi] that I might have hair cut. Is this the way to treat Thy friends ? No

given

my

:

me

his

sooner had he spoken than I saw all the leaves and boughs and roots of the trees turned to gold. Abu 1-Fadl exclaimed :

How

strange

!

The

least hint

that

I

utter

is

a backsliding


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

228 (liama ta rid-i for

the sake

md

i

rdd

Shibli cast four

One cannot say

asf}.

of relieving

one

s

hundred dinars into the

what he was doing, he replied But why," they said, water."

"

:

a

It

mind."

is

Tigris.

word

Thee

to

that

related

When

asked

Stones are better in the

don

you give the money what plea He answered to the poor ? Glory to God can I urge before Him if I remove the veil from my own heart only to place it on the hearts of my brother Moslems ? "

"

"

t

"

!

:

All not religious to wish them worse than myself." I have these cases belong to the state of intoxication, which It

is

already explained. On the other hand, Junayd and Abu Abu Bakr Wasiti and Muhammad b.

Abbas Sayyari and

l-

All of Tirmidh, the author of the doctrine, hold that miracles are manifested in the state of sobriety and composure (sahw ti tamkin), not in

They argue that the saints His kingdom and the overseers

the state of intoxication. are

the governors of

of

God

of the

universe, which God has committed absolutely to their charge therefore their judgments must be the soundest of all, and

:

must be the most tenderly disposed of all towards and the creatures of God. They are mature (rasidagdti) whereas agitation and intoxication are marks of inexperience, their hearts

;

transmuted into composure. Then, one a saint in reality, and only then are

with maturity agitation

and only then,

is

is

It is well known among Sufis that every miracles genuine. night the A^vtdd must go round the whole universe, and if

there should be

any place on which

their eyes

have not

fallen,

and next day some imperfection will appear in that place in he order that then inform the must Qutb, may fix they his attention on the weak spot, and that by his blessing the ;

As regards the assertion that imperfection may be removed. are to the one saint, this indifference is a sign gold and earth More excellent is the of intoxication and failure to see truly. of true sight and sound perception, to whom gold is gold and earth is earth, but who recognizes the evil of the former

man

and says

"

:

O

yellow ore

!

O

white ore

!

beguile

some one


SUFI SECTS else, for

am aware

I

THE HAKIMIS.

:

of your

22Q

He who

corruptedness."

the corruptedness of gold and silver perceives a veil (between himself and God), and God will

them

sees

be

to

reward him

Contrariwise, he to whom gold having renounced them. earth is not made perfect by renouncing earth. is even as Haritha, being intoxicated, declared that stones and gold were

for

Abu

Bakr, being sober, perceived the evil of on worldly wealth, and knew that God would

alike to him, but

laying hands

reward him

for rejecting

Therefore he renounced

it.

it,

and

when the Apostle asked him what he had left for his family he answered, God and His Apostle." And the following story is related by Abu Bakr Warraq of Tirmidh: "One day Muhammad All (al- Hakim) said that he would take me somewhere. b. I It is for the Shaykh to command. Soon after we replied set out I saw an exceedingly dreadful wilderness, and in the "

:

midst thereof a golden throne placed under a green tree beside a fountain of running water. Seated on the throne was a person clad in beautiful raiment,

who

approached, and bade him people came from every side

Then Muhammad

b.

All

sit

rose

when Muhammad

on the throne.

b.

C

AK

After a while,

were gathered together. hand, and immediately food

until forty

waved

his

Afterwards Muhammad appeared from heaven, and we ate. b. All asked a question of a man who was present, and he

made

in reply

a long discourse of which

At

a single word.

departure, saying return to Tirmidh,

was that man.

last the

to I

He

me:

Shaykh begged (

leave and took his

thou art

blest.

On

our

asked him what was that place and who me that the place was the Desert of

told

il)

and that the man was the

the order of the universe depends. O Shaykh, did we reach the Desert of the Israelites from

how

said,

Tirmidh

in

it

such a brief time

is

thy

business

questions (pursldan)!" but of sanity.

Now

did not understand

whom

Qutb on

Bakr,

for

Go,

the Israelites (tih-i Bant Isrd

I

I

I

will

to

This

?

He

arrive is

answered (rastdari),

:

not

O Abu to

ask

a mark, not of intoxication,

mention some miracles and

stories of the Sufis,


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

230

and

link thereto certain evidence

Book

which

to be found in the

is

(the Koran).

Discourse concerning their Miracles.

The

having been established by logical must now become argument, you acquainted with the evidence of the Koran and .the genuine Traditions of the Apostle. Both reality of miracles

Koran and Tradition proclaim the extraordinary acts wrought by saints.

of

reality

and

miracles

To deny this is to deny One example is the text, overshadow you and the manna

the authority of the sacred texts. "And

We

caused the clouds

to

and the quails to descend upon you" (Kor. ii, 54). If any sceptic should assert that this was an evidentiary miracle (mu jizai) of Moses, I raise no objection, because all the miracles of the

Muhammad

saints are an evidentiary miracle of

;

and

if

he

says that this miracle was wrought in the absence of Moses, although it occurred in his time, and that therefore it was not necessarily wrought by him, I reply that the same principle holds good in the case of Moses, when he quitted his people and went to Mount Sinai, as in the case of Muhammad for ;

there

is

no difference between being absent

absent in space. Barkhiya,

We

who brought

time and being are also told of the miracle of Asaf b. the throne of Bilqis to

twinkling of an eye (Kor. xxvii, 40). a mu^jizat) for Asaf was not an apostle it

We

are told also of

Solomon

in

the

This cannot have been

had must have been wrought by Solomon

a kardmat.

in

it

;

Mary

been a therefore

mujizat, it

was

that whenever Zacharias

went into her chamber he found winter

summer

:

fruits in

summer and

fruits in winter, so that he said Whence hadst thou She answered, It is from God^ (Kor. iii, 32). Everyone admits that Mary was not an apostle. Furthermore, we have "

:

"

this ?

men

of the cave (ashdb al-kahf\ how their dog and how they slept and turned about in the cave (Kor. xviii, 17). All these were extraordinary acts, and since they certainly were not a mu jizat, they must have been

the story of the

spoke to them,

a kardmat.

Such miracles (kardmat) may

be, for

example, the


SUFI SECTS:

THE HAKIMIS.

231

answering of prayers through the accomplishment of wishes conceived by one who is subject to the religious law (ba-husul-i

mawhum andar zaindn-i taklif\ or the traversing of in a short time, or the appearance of food from distances great an unaccustomed place, or power to read the thoughts of umtir-i

others, etc.

genuine Traditions is the story of the cave One clay the al-ghdr), which is told as follows. the

Among (Jiaditk

Companions of the Apostle begged him marvellous tale of the ancient peoples.

to relate to

He

said

"

:

them some Once three

At eventide they took persons were going to a certain place. shelter in a cave, and while they were asleep a rock fell from the mountain and blocked the mouth of the cave. They said one another, We shall never escape from here unless we make our disinterested actions plead for us before God. So I had a father and mother and I had no one of them began

to

:

worldly goods except a goat, whose milk I used to give to them and every day I used to gather a bundle of firewood and sell it and spend the money in providing food for them ;

and myself. One night I came home rather late, and before I milked the goat and steeped their food in the milk they had I fallen asleep. the bowl in hand and stood there, kept my without having eaten anything, until morning, when they awoke then I sat down. O Lord (he continued), if I speak

and ate

;

come moved

the truth concerning this matter, send us deliverance and to our aid a little

The Apostle

"

!

and

said

a crevice appeared.

was a beautiful blind

girl,

with

but she would not listen to her

a

"

:

my

Thereupon

the rock

The next man

whom suit.

I

I

There

(

said

:

was deeply

in

love,

to send to

managed

hundred and twenty dinars with a promise that she

should keep the money if she would be mine for one night. When she came the fear of God seized my heart. I turned her keep the money. He added, O God, if I speak the truth, deliver us The Apostle said "Then the rock moved a little further and the crevice widened, but

from her and

let

!"

they could not yet go

forth.

The

:

third

man

said

:

I

had some


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

232

When

labourers working for me.

the work was done they

all

With his received their wages except one, who disappeared. and in the Next there were I bought a sheep. two, year wages year after that there were four, and they soon became a large After several years the labourer returned and asked flock. me for his wages. I said to him, Go and take all these "

they are mocking him, but

sheep

your

;

off with

I

property."

assured him that

The

the whole flock.

that

Abu Sa

i

d

Kharraz said

eat only once in three days.

men come "

:

I

true,

O

Lord,

if

"He

"

the three

and he went

had scarcely finished," moved away from the mouth

"

speak the truth, deliver us! said the Apostle, when the rock let

must be

I

thought

was

it

narrator added,

I

of the cave and

He

forth."

1

For a long time

was journeying

related

It is I

used

in the

to

desert,

and on the third day I felt weak through hunger. A voice Dost thou prefer food that will from heaven cried to me, lower or an nature, quiet thy expedient that will enable thee

overcome thy weakness without food ? I replied, O God, I rose Then and me travelled twelve strength give stages to

!

Here follow (i) a Tradition, related by Abu Hurayra, of three infants who were (a) Jesus, (b] a child who exculpated the monk miraculously endowed with speech Jurayj (George) when he was falsely accused by a harlot, (c) a child who divined the 1

:

A

woman. (2) story of Za ida, the handmaid of the a knight descended from heaven and gave her a message from Ridwan, the keeper of Paradise, to the Prophet ; and how, when she could not lift a bundle of firewood from a rock on which she had laid it, the Prophet bade the rock characters of a horseman and a

Caliph

Umar

:

how

go with her and carry the firewood to Umar s house. (3) A story of Ala b. alHadrami, who, having been sent on a warlike expedition by the Prophet, walked dry-shod across a river with his company. (4) A story of Abdallah b. Umar, at whose bidding a lion decamped and left the way open for a party of travellers. (5) A story of a man who was seen sitting in the air, and when Abraham asked him by what means he had obtained such power, replied that he had renounced the world and that God had bestowed on him an aerial dwelling-place where he was not

A

disturbed by any thought of mankind. (6) story of the Caliph Umar, who was on the point of being killed by a Persian, when two lions suddenly appeared and caused the assassin to desist. (7) Bismillah story of Khalid b. Walid, who said

A

and drank a deadly poison, which did him no harm.

"

(8)

A

story, related

"

by Hasan

who turned the walls of a tavern into gold. (9) A story, related by Ibrahim b. Adham, of a shepherd who smote a rock with his staff and caused water to gush forth. (10) A story of a cup which pronounced the words Glory to God in the hearing of Abu Darda and Salman Farisi. of Basra, of a negro

"

"


THE HAKIMIS.

SUFI SECTS: without meat or

It is well

drink."

known

Abdallah

day the house of Sahl b. House of the Wild Beasts (bayt Tustar are agreed that

many

233

that at the present

Tustar

at

is

called

the

and the people of

al-sibd^,

come to him, Abu 1-Qasim of Merv tells

wild beasts used to

and that he fed and tended them. As I was walking on the seashore with the following story "

:

Abu Sa id

Kharraz,

saw

I

a

carrying a bucket (rakwa), to

Kharraz said

When

:

I

youth clad in a patched frock and which an ink-bottle was fastened.

look at this youth he seems to be one

of the adepts (rasidagdri], but when I look at his ink-bottle So he accosted I think he is a student. Let me question him. The youth the youth and said, What is the way to God ?

answered

There are two ways

God

of the vulgar and the way of the elect. Thou hast no knowledge of the latter, but the way of the vulgar, which thou pursuest, is to regard :

own

thine

actions as the

suppose that an ink-bottle "

with attainment. I

embarked

in a ship

to

:

the

way

cause of attaining to God, and to is one of the things that interfere

Dhu 1-Nun

the

"

Egyptian says

:

voyaging from Egypt to Jidda.

Once

Among

the passengers was a youth wearing a patched frock.

I

was

companion, but he inspired me with such awe did not venture to address him, for his spiritual state

eager to be his that

I

was very exalted and he was constantly engaged in devotion. One day a certain man lost a purse of jewels, and suspicion fell

on

this

youth.

They were about

maltreat

to

him, but

me

I told him that said, question him courteously. he was suspected of theft and that I had saved him from He And now, I said, what is to be done ? maltreatment. looked towards Heaven and spoke a few words. The fishes came to the surface of the sea, each with a jewel in its mouth.

Let

I

*

He

took a jewel and gave

it

to his accuser

;

then he set his

foot on the water

and walked away. Thereupon the real thief dropped the purse, and the people in the ship repented." Ibrahim Raqqf is related to have said In my novitiate 1

"

:

I

set out to visit 1

Died

in

Muslim Maghribi. 326 A.H.

See

Abu

I

found him

1-Mahasin, Nujtim,

ii,

in his 284, 13.

mosque,


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

234

He pronounced al-hamd incorrectly.

acting as precentor.

My

to myself,

trouble has been wasted.

Next day, when

I I

said

was

going to the bank of the Euphrates to perform the religious ablution, I saw a lion asleep on the road. I turned back, and

was faced

by another

which had been

lion

following me.

came forth from his cell. my When the lions saw him they humbled themselves before him. He took the ear of each one and rubbed it, saying, O dogs cry of despair, Muslim

Hearing

*

of God, have

not

I

you that you must

told

not

interfere

Then he said to me: O Abu Ishaq, thou guests ? hast busied thyself with correcting thy exterior for the sake of God s creatures, hence thou art afraid of them but it has with

my

;

been

my

business to correct

my

God

sake, hence His creatures are afraid of me. One day my Shaykh set out from Bayt al-Jinn to Damascus. Heavy rain had begun to fall, and I was walking with difficulty in the mire. I noticed interior for

s

"

that the

my me

shoes and clothes were perfectly dry. On Yes God has preserved pointing this out to him, he said from mud ever since I put unquestioning trust in Him and

Shaykh

s

"

:

;

my

from the desolation of cupidity." Once an experience occurred to me which I could not unravel. I set out to visit Shaykh Abu 1-Qasim Gurgam at Tus. I found him alone in his chamber in the mosque, and he was

guarded

precisely the

interior

same

difficulty to a pillar, so that

I

expounding was answered

without having asked the question. "O Shaykh," I cried, to whom art thou saying this ? He replied O son, God just now caused this pillar to speak and ask me this question." In "

"

"

:

Farghana, at a village called Ashlatak, there was an old man, one of the Awtdd of the earth. His name was Bab Umar 2 1

the dervishes in that country give the title of Bab to their and he had an old wife called Fatima. I went great Shaykhs all

from Uzkand to see him.

have you

"Why

see

with

the

Shaykh

kindness." 1

L. uJjiU

When

come?"

in

person

He IJ.

I

said

uU.

entered his presence he said replied: "In order that I might and that he might look on me

"

:

I

I

:

have been seeing you continually a

See Nafahdt, No. 351.


SUFI SECTS

:

THE HAKIMIS.

235

and such a day, and I wish to see you as long as I removed from my sight." computed the day on which it was the very day my conversion began.

since such

are not

you and year

:

The Shaykh child

is

s

(himmaf) and there

said

play it

;

is

:

"

:

To

traverse distance (sipardan-i masdfaf) pay visits by means of thought

henceforth

not worth while to

is

no virtue

in

visit

any person

bodily presence (Jtudiir-i

(shakhs), asJibdli)"

Then he bade Fatima bring something to eat. She brought a dish of new grapes, although it was not the season for them, and some fresh ripe dates, which cannot possibly be procured

On

another occasion, while I was sitting alone, as is my custom, beside the tomb of Shaykh Abu Sa id at Mihna, I saw a white pigeon fly under the cloth (futa) covering

in

Farghana.

supposed that the bird had escaped from its owner, but when I looked under the cloth nothing was to be This happened again next day, and also on the third seen. the sepulchre.

day.

was

I

I

at a loss to

of the saint and asked

understand

it,

until

one night

I

He

him about

dreamed

answered

my experience. conduct (safd-yi mu dmalai),

:

which pigeon is my good comes every day to my tomb to feast with me (ba-munddainat-i I man} might adduce many more of these tales without but my purpose in this book is to establish them, exhausting "That

1

the principles of Sufiism. As regards derivatives and matters of conduct books have been compiled by the traditionists

(naqqdldn\ and these topics are disseminated from the pulpit

by preachers (jnudhakkirdri}.

Now

I

one or two

will give, in

sections, an adequate account of certain points bearing on the present discussion, in order that I may not have to return to it

again.

Discourse on the Superiority of the Prophets

You must know

that,

Shaykhs, the saints are at subordinate to 1

of

Here

the

by all

universal

the author tells the story,

all

missions

latter s mystical writings into the

Oxus.

b.

the

Sufi

circumstances

they confirm.

which has already been related

Abu Bakr Warraq, who was commanded by Muhammad

throw some of the

the Saints.

consent of

times and in

prophets, whose

to

AH

142 supra], of Tirmidh to

(p.


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

236

The prophets saintship

is

are

only

superior to the saints, because the end of the beginning of prophecy. Every prophet

The prophets are of humanity, while the constantly exempt from the attributes the fleeting state (Jidl) of saints are so only temporarily the saint is the permanent station (maqdni) of the prophet is

a saint, but

some

saints are not prophets.

;

;

and that which

to

the saints

is

a station (maqdiri)

is

to the

This view is held unanimously by prophets a veil (hijdti). the Sunni divines and the Sufi mystics, but it is opposed by a sect of the Hashwiyya the Anthropomorphists (mujassima}

who

of Khurasan

discourse

in

a

self-contradictory

manner

concerning the principles of Unification (tawhid)> and who, although they do not know the fundamental doctrine of Sufiism, Saints they are indeed, but saints of the Devil. They maintain that the saints are superior to the prophets, and it is a sufficient proof of their error that they

call

themselves

saints.

more excellent than Muhammad, The same vicious opinion is held by

declare an ignoramus to be the

Chosen

of

God.

another sect of Anthropomorphists (inushabbiha], who pretend to be Sufis, and admit the doctrines of the incarnation of God

and His descent (intiqdl),

(into

the

and the division

human body) by (tajziya)

when

of

transmigration

His essence.

I

will

give my promised account The sects to which of the two reprobated sects (of Sufis). I am now referring claim to be Moslems, but they agree with treat fully of these matters

I

the Brahmans in denying special privileges to the prophets and whoever believes in this doctrine becomes an infidel.

;

Moreover, the prophets are propagandists and Imams, and the saints are their followers, and it is absurd to suppose that the follower of an Imam is superior to the Imam himself. In short, the

lives,

experiences,

and

together appear as nothing

powers of all the saints compared with one act of a true

spiritual

prophet, because the saints are seekers and pilgrims, whereas the prophets have arrived and have found and have returned

with the

command

to

preach and to convert the people.

If

any one of the above-mentioned heretics should urge that an


THE HAKIMIS.

SUFI SECTS:

ambassador sent by a king to

whom

and

he

that

is

against my argument, I reply that an a single person should be inferior to

is

sent

him, but when

the person inferior to the Apostles,

usually inferior to

sent, as e.g. Gabriel

is

this

ambassador

is

237

to

ambassador

an

sent

is

a

to

large

number

of persons or to a people, he is superior to them, as the Apostles are superior to the nations. Therefore one moment

prophets is better than the whole because when the saints reach their goal

of the

templation (inushdhadaf) and obtain

of the saints, they tell of con

life

release from the veil of

(bashariyyaf), although they are essentially men. other hand, contemplation is the first step of the and since the apostle s starting-place is the saint s

humanity

On

the

apostle

;

Do

be judged by the same standard.

goal, they cannot

not

unanimous opinion of all who seek God, the station of union (jam ) belongs

perceive that, according to the

you

the saints

1

the perfection of saintship ? Now, in this station, a man attains such a degree of rapturous love that his intelligence in gazing upon the act of God is enraptured (yV), and in to

Divine Agent (fd il) he regards the whole universe as that and sees nothing but that. Thus Abu All Rudbari says Were the vision of that which we serve to

his longing for the

"

:

vanish

from

us,

^ubtidiyyat)? for solely state

we should we derive

from vision of Him. of

inconceivable

in

relation

to them.

of

glory

This

prophets, inasmuch

the

name

the

lose

the

is

as

of

servantship

worship

the beginning

(^ibddaf)

of the

separation (tafriqa) is are entirely in the

They

essence of union, whether they affirm or deny, whether they approach or turn away, whether they are at the beginning or

at

the

end.

Abraham, in the beginning of his state, sun and said This is my Lord" and he looked on the moon and stars and said This is my Lord" because his heart was overwhelmed by the (Kor. vi, 76-8),

looked on the

"

:

"

:

Truth and he was united in the essence of union. Therefore he saw naught else, or if he saw aught else he did not see it with the eye of otherness (ghayr\ but with the eye of "

"


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

238 union (jam

and

),

own and

his

the reality

in

said:

of that vision he disavowed

love not those that

(Kor. vi, 76). As he began with union, so he ended with union. Saintship The has a beginning and an end, but prophecy has not. "/

set"

prophets were prophets from the first, and shall be to the last, and before they existed they were prophets in the know

Abu Yazfd was asked about the state ledge and will of God. Far be it from me to say He replied of the prophets. We have no power to judge of them, and in our notions of "

!

:

God has placed their denial such an exalted degree that human vision cannot reach unto Accordingly, as the rank of the saints them we

are wholly ourselves.

and affirmation

in

it."

hidden from the perception of mankind, so the rank of the Abu prophets is hidden from the judgment of the saints. is

I saw Yazi d was the proof (hujjat) of his age, and he says It looked at that my spirit (sin-) was borne to the heavens. "

:

nothing and displayed to

Then

I

gave no heed, though Paradise and Hell were for it was freed from phenomena and veils. it,

became a

bird,

whose body was of Oneness and whose

wings were of Everlastingness, and air of the Absolute (Jmwiyyat\ until of Purification

looked

I

(tanziJi],

and

(azaliyyaf)

I

continued to

fly

in the

passed into the sphere field of Eternity

and gazed upon the

beheld

myself was

I

I

there

the

tree

of

When

Oneness.

O

Lord, with my cannot attain to Thee, and I cannot

all

those.

I

cried

:

egoism (inani-yi man] I escape from my selfhood.

What am I to do? God spake: Yazi d, thou must win release from thy u thou-ness" by following My beloved i.e. (Muhammad). Smear thine eyes with the dust of his feet and follow him continually. This

O Abu

"

is a long narrative. The Sufis call it the Ascension (mi rdf) of Bayazid x and the term ascension denotes proximity to God (qurU). The ascension of prophets takes place outwardly "

"

;

and

in

and

in the spirit.

1

i,

A

172

the body, whereas that of saints takes place inwardly The body of an apostle resembles t l ~ heart

full ff.

account of Bayazid

s

ascension

is

given in the Tadhkirat al-Awliyd,


SUFI SECTS

:

THE HAK1MIS.

239

This is purity and nearness to God. is When a saint a manifest superiority. enraptured and intoxicated he is withdrawn from himself by means of a

and

spirit of a saint in

and brought near

spiritual ladder

returns to the state of sobriety

God

to

;

and as soon as he

those evidences have taken

all

mind and he has gained knowledge of them. shape Accordingly, there is a great difference between one who is carried thither in person and one who is carried thither only his

in

in

(fikraf), for

thought

thought involves duality.

Discourse on the Superiority of the Prophets

and Saints

to the

Angels.

The whole community Shaykhs

held by the

the Sufi

the angels. The tazilites, who declare that the

sin (inahfiiz) are superior is

all

and such of the saints as are

agree that the prophets

guarded from opposite view

Moslems and

of orthodox

Mu

to

angels are superior to the prophets, being of

more exalted rank,

of more subtle constitution, and more obedient to God.

I reply not as you imagine, for an obedient body, an exalted rank, and a subtle constitution cannot be causes of superiority, which belongs only to those on whom God has bestowed

that this

it.

Iblis

is

had

universally

all

the qualities

acknowledged

to

you mention, yet he is become accursed. The

that

have

superiority of the prophets is indicated by the fact that God commanded the angels to worship Adam for the state of one ;

who

is

higher than the state of the worshipper.

is

worshipped

If they argue that, just as a true believer

is

superior to the

Ka ba,

an inanimate mass of stone, although he bows down before it, so the angels may be superior to Adam, although they bowed down before him, I reply No one says that a believer bows down "

:

to a house or an

down down

to

God, and

altar or a wall, but it

admitted by

is

Adam (Kor. compared to Adam ? A

traveller

of the animal which he

is

to

ii,

be not turned towards the

32).

How,

say that he

may worship God on

riding,

Ka ba

all

;

bows

that the angels bowed then, can the Ka ba be

all

and he

is

excused

if

the back his face

and, in like manner, one

who


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

240

has lost his bearings in a desert, so that he cannot tell the direction of the Ka ba, will have done his duty in whatever

may turn to pray. The angels offered no excuse when they bowed down to Adam, and the one who made an excuse for himself became accursed." These are clear proofs to direction he

any person

of insight.

Again, the angels are equal to the prophets in knowledge of God, but not in rank. The angels are without lust, covetousness, their nature is devoid of hypocrisy and guile, and and evil whereas lust is an they are instinctively obedient to God ;

;

in

human

impediment commit sins and

to

world

;

nature

;

and men have a propensity

be impressed by the vanities of this and Satan has so much power over their bodies that he to

circulates with the blood in their veins

;

and closely attached

them is the lower soul (nafs), which incites them to manner of wickedness. Therefore, one whose nature has

to

all all

these characteristics and who, in spite of the violence of his lust,

from immorality, and notwithstanding his covetousness renounces this world, and, though his heart is still tempted by the Devil, turns back from sin and averts his face from sensual

refrains

depravity in order to occupy himself with devotion and persevere piety and mortify his lower soul and contend against the

in

Devil, such a one

the battle-field of

is

in reality superior to the angel

lust,

and

is

who

is

not

naturally without desire of food

and pleasures, and has no care for wife and child and kinsfolk, and need not have recourse to means and instruments, and is

A Gabriel, who worships not absorbed in corrupt ambitions. God so many thousands of years in the hope of gaining a robe of honour, and the honour bestowed on him was that of acting as Muhammad s groom on the night of the Ascension how should

he be superior to one who disciplines and mortifies his lower soul by day and night in this world, until God looks on him with favour and

grants

to

him the grace of seeing Himself and

him from all distracting thoughts ? When the pride of the angels passed all bounds, and every one of them vaunted the purity of his conduct and spoke with an unbridled tongue

delivers


THE HAKIMIS.

SUFI SECTS:

241

blame of mankind, God resolved that He would show to them their real state. He therefore bade them choose three of the chief among them, in whom they had confidence, to go to in

So three its governors and reform its people. came to the earth one of before but were chosen, they angels them perceived its corruption and begged God to let him return. the earth and be

When

the other two arrived on the

nature so that they inclined to lust,

earth

felt a desire for food

God changed their and drink and were

and God punished them on that account, and

the angels were forced to recognize the superiority of mankind In short, the elect among the true believers are to themselves. 1

the

to

superior

elect

among

the

angels,

and

the

ordinary

superior to the ordinary angels. Accordingly who are preserved (ma siim] and protected (inakfiiz)

believers are

those

from

men

are

sin

more excellent than Gabriel and Michael, and

who

are not thus preserved are better than the Recording Angels (Jiafaza} and the noble Scribes (kirdm-i kdtibiri).

those

Something has been said on this subject by every one of the Shaykhs. God awards superiority to whom He pleases, over

whom He

pleases.

mystery which

A

saint

is

is

You must know revealed

known only

that saintship

is

a Divine

only through conduct (rawisJi). If this matter could be made

to a saint.

reasonable

men

Therefore

God

would be impossible to distinguish the friend from the foe or the spiritual adept from the careless plain to

all

it

so willed that the pearl of His love should be set in the shell of popular contempt and be cast into

worldling.

the sea of affliction, in order that those

who seek

it

may

hazard

on account of

its preciousness and dive to the bottom of this ocean of death, where they will either win their desire or bring their mortal state to an end.

their lives

8.

They brilliant

THE KHARRAZIS.

are the followers

works on

of

Sufiism 1

Abu Sa id and attained

See Kor.

ii,

96

ff.

Kharraz, a

high

who wrote degree

in


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

242

detachment from the world. He was the first to explain the of annihilation and subsistence (fand u baqd), and he comprehended his whole doctrine in these two terms. Now

state

I

meaning and show the

will declare their

some have what

doctrine

his

into

errors

which

you may know and what the Sufis intend when they respect, in order that

fallen in this is

employ these current expressions. Discourse on Subsistence (baqa)

You must know

and Annihilation

(fana).

that annihilation and subsistence have one

and another meaning in mysticism, and that meaning formalists (zdhifiydn) are more puzzled by these words than by in science

any other technical terms of the Sufi s. scientific and etymological acceptation (i)

a subsistence that begins

and ends

Subsistence in of

is

three

kinds

;

always

will

attributes.

be,

(3)

Accordingly,

your knowing of subsistence

lies

will

a subsistence that always was and of God and His eternal

the subsistence

viz.

that

now

Paradise and Hell and the next world

viz. ;

:

in annihilation, e.g. this

world, which had a beginning and will have an end, and is subsistent (2) a subsistence that came into being and

never be annihilated, and its inhabitants

its

this in

knowledge of annihilation lies in is perishable, and knowledge

world

your knowledge that the next world

is

everlasting.

But the subsistence and annihilation of for

example, that when ignorance

necessarily subsistent, is

subsistent,

is

a state (hdl} denotes,

annihilated knowledge is sin is annihilated piety

and that when

and that when a man acquires knowledge of his is annihilated by remembrance

piety his forgetfulness (ghaflat)

of

God

(dhikr},

i.e.,

becomes subsistent

when anyone gains knowledge in

knowledge

of

Him

he

is

of

God and

annihilated from

ignorance of Him, and when he is annihilated from forgetfulness he becomes subsistent in remembrance of (entirely loses)

Him, and this involves the discarding of blameworthy attributes and the substitution of praiseworthy attributes. A different signification,

however,

is

attached to the terms in question by


SUFI SECTS the elect

the Sufis.

among "

to

"

knowledge

( ///;/)

THE KHARRAZIS.

:

They do not

or to

"

state

243

refer these expressions

"

(//#/),

but apply them solely

the degree of perfection attained by the saints who have become free from the pains of mortification and have escaped to

from the prison

"

of"

stations

whose search has ended things visible, discovered all

and the vicissitude of

"

states

",

and

they have seen all and have heard all things audible, and have and who, recognizing the secrets of the heart in discovery, so that

;

the imperfection of their

own

discover)

7 ,

have turned away from

things and have purposely become annihilated in the object of desire, and in the very essence of desire have lost all desires all

of their own, for when a man becomes annihilated from his attributes he attains to perfect subsistence, he is neither near nor

far,

neither

stranger

nor

neither

intimate,

intoxicated, neither separated nor united or sign, or brand, or mark.

;

sober

he has no

nor

name,

In short, real annihilation from anything involves consciousness

of a

its

imperfection and absence of desire for should say, when he likes a thing,

man

therein,"

or

when he

annihilated therefrom

one who hate,

is

and

still

dislikes "

;

it,

that

"

not merely that am subsistent

I

he should say,

"

I

am

for these qualities are characteristic of

seeking.

In annihilation there

in subsistence there is

is

no love or

no consciousness of union or

Some wrongly imagine

separation.

it,

that annihilation signifies

and destruction of personality, and that subsistence indicates the subsistence of God in Man both these notions are absurd. In India I had a dispute on this subject with loss of essence

;

a

man who

theology.

claimed to be versed

When

knew nothing of

I

examined

annihilation

his

Koranic exegesis and pretensions I found that he in

and subsistence, and that he

could not distinguish the eternal from the phenomenal. Many ignorant Sufis consider that total annihilation (fand-yi kulliyyaf} is

possible, but this

is

a manifest error, for annihilation of the

different parts of a material substance {tlnati) can never take

ask these ignorant and mistaken you mean by this kind of annihilation ? place.

I

men

"

:

What do

"

If they

answer,


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

244

Annihilation of substance

l

"

(fand-yi ayn\ that is impossible Annihilation of attributes," that is only and if they answer, possible in so far as one attribute may be annihilated through "

;

"

the subsistence of another attribute, both attributes belonging but it is absurd to suppose that anyone can subsist to Man ;

through the attributes of another individual. The Nestorians of Rum and the Christians hold that Mary annihilated by selfmortification

all

the attributes of humanity (awsdf-i ndsiiti) and became attached to her, so that she

that the Divine subsistence

was made subsistent through the subsistence of God, and that Jesus was the result thereof, and that he was not originally

composed of the stuff of humanity, because his subsistence is and that, produced by realization of the subsistence of God of and his he mother and are all God in consequence this, subsistent through one subsistence, which is eternal and an ;

attribute

of God.

All this agrees with

the doctrine of the

anthropomorphistic sects of the Hashwiyya, who maintain that the Divine essence

is

a locus of

phenomena

(mahall-i hawddith) I ask attributes.

and that the Eternal may have phenomenal all

who proclaim such

tenets:

the view that the Eternal

is

"What

difference

is

there between

the locus of the phenomenal and the

view that the phenomenal is the locus of the Eternal, or between the assertion that the Eternal has phenomenal attributes and

phenomenal has eternal attributes ? involve materialism (dahr) and destroy the doctrines Such proof of the phenomenal nature of the universe, and compel us to say that both the Creator and His creation are eternal or that both are phenomenal, or that what is created may be commingled with what is uncreated, and that what is uncreated may descend into what is created. If, as they cannot the

that the

assertion

"

is phenomenal, then their Creator the locus of a thing is like be because also must phenomenal, if the locus (makalf) is phenomenal, it follows its substance

help admitting, the creation

;

that the contents of the locus (hall) are fine,

when one thing

is

phenomenal too. In linked and united and commingled with

another, both things are in principle as one.


THE KHARRAZIS.

SUFI SECTS:

245

Accordingly, our subsistence and annihilation are attributes of ourselves, and resemble each other in respect of their being our attributes. Annihilation is the annihilation of one attribute

through the subsistence of another attribute. One may speak, however, of an annihilation that is independent of subsistence, .and also of a subsistence that

that case annihilation

in

brance of other

",

from

"annihilation

and subsistence means

remembrance of God annihilated

independent of annihilation

is

means

his

"

of

all

:

remem

subsistence of the

Whoever is (baqd-yi dhikr-i Jiaqq). own will subsists in the will of God,

"

because thy will is perishable and the will of God is ever when thou standest by thine own will thou standest lasting :

annihilation, but

by

will of

of

fire

when thou

art absolutely controlled

by the

God thou standest by subsistence. Similarly, the power transmutes to its own quality anything that falls into it,

and surely the power of God

s will

is

greater than that of

fire

only the quality of iron without changing for iron can never become fire. substance, but

fire

affects

;

its

SECTION. the

All subject. "

Annihilation

(^ubildiyyat\

of in

Godhead one

s

have given subtle indications on this d Kharrdz, the author of the doctrine, says annihilation of consciousness of manhood

Shaykhs

Abu Sa is

i

:

and subsistence

is

subsistence in the contemplation

an imperfection to be conscious a man, and one attains to real

it is (tldkiyyaf)" i.e.,

actions that one

is

manhood (bandagi] when one

is

not conscious of them, but

is

not to see them, and becomes subsistent the action of God. Hence all one s actions through beholding are referred to God, not to one s self, and whereas a man s annihilated so as

actions that are connected with himself are imperfect, those which are attached to him by God are perfect. Therefore,

when anyone becomes

annihilated from things that depend on he becomes subsistent through the beauty of Godhead. himself,

Abu Ya qub (

ublidiyyaf}

A says in annihilation and "

Nahrajuri

lies

:

man

true

servantship

subsistence,"

because no

s


KASHF AL-MAHJUB. one all is

is

annihilation,

And

God with sincerity until he renounces therefore to renounce humanity

capable of serving

self-interest

Ibrahim

:

(adamiyyaf)

and b.

to be sincere in servantship

Shayban says:

;

subsistence.

science of annihilation

"The

and subsistence turns on sincerity all iyyaf) and true servantship

is

(ikhlds) else

is-

and unity (wdhidand heresy,"

error

when anyone acknowledges the unity of God he feels himself overpowered by the omnipotence of God, and one who is overpowered (maghhlb) is annihilated in the might of his i.e.,

vanquisher; and when his annihilation is rightly fulfilled on him, he confesses his weakness and sees no resource except to serve

God, and

gain His satisfaction (ridd\ And whoever explains these terms i.e. annihilation as otherwise, annihilation of substance meaning and subsistence as tries to

"

"

meaning

"subsistence

of

God

(in

Man)",

is

a

heretic

and

a Christian, as has been stated above.

Now

b. Uthman al-Jullabi, declare that all these sayings are near to each other in meaning, although they differ in expression; and their real gist is this, that annihilation I,

<Alf

man through vision of the majesty of God and the revelation of Divine through omnipotence to his heart, so that in the sense of His majesty this world and overwhelming the next world are obliterated from his comes

to a

mind, and "states" of his aspiring thought, and what is shown to him of miraculous grace vanishes into nothing: he becomes dead to reason and passion alike, dead even to annihilation and in that annihilation of itself; annihilation his tongue proclaims God, and his mind and

and

"stations"

appear contemptible

in the sight

body are humble and abased, as in the beginning when posterity were drawn forth from his loins without admixture of evil and took the pledge of servantship to God

Adam s

(Kor.

vii,

171).

Such are the principles of annihilation and subsistence. have discussed a portion of the subject in the chapter on Poverty and Sufiism, and wherever these terms occur in the present work they bear the meaning which I have [

explained.


SUFI SECTS

THE

9.

They

are

THE KHAFIFIS.

:

247

KHAFIFIS.

Abu Abdallah Muhammad

the followers of

Khafi f of Shiraz, an eminent mystic

in his

time and the author

He was

of celebrated treatises on various branches of Sufiism.

a

man

b.

of great spiritual influence, and was not led

by

his lusts.

have heard that he contracted four hundred marriages. This was due to the fact that he was of royal descent, and that I

after his conversion the people of Shiraz paid

great court to him, and the daughters of kings and nobles desired to marry him for the sake of the blessing which would accrue to them.

He

used to comply with their wishes, and then divorce them consummation of the marriage. But in the course of his

before life

forty wives,

who were

strangers to

him

three at a time, used to serve firds/i),

and one of them

lived with

him

as

him

(begdna),

two or

bed-makers (khddimdn-i

she was the daughter of a vizier

for forty years.

I

have heard from

Abu 1-Hasan

Bakran of Shiraz that one day several of his wives were gathered together, and each one was telling some story about All

b.

him.

They

obsequentem.

agreed sese nunquam eum vidisse libidini Hitherto each of them had believed that she was

all

peculiarly treated in this respect, and when they learned that the Shaykh s behaviour was the same towards them all, they

were astonished and doubted whether such was truly the case. Accordingly, they sent two of their number to question the vizier s daughter,

her.

She

who was "

replied

:

informed that he would

with

his favourite, as to his dealings

When visit

the

me

Shaykh wedded me and that night,

I

I

was

prepared a fine

As soon as he came repast and adorned myself assiduously. and the food was brought in, he called me to him and looked for a while first at me and then at the food. Then he took my hand and drew it into his sleeve. From his breast to his navel there were fifteen knots (^aqd) growing out of his belly. He Ask me what these are so I asked him and he replied, said, ;

are knots

made by

the tribulation and anguish of my abstinence in renouncing a face like this and viands like these.

They


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

248

He

no more, but departed

said

with

is

my

all

intimacy

him."

The form and

and that

;

of his doctrine in Sufiism (Jmdi ir).

"presence"

will

I

"

is it

explain

absence

(g hay bat)

as far as possible.

and Presence

Discourse on Absence (ghaybat)

"

(hudur).

each other, These terms, although apparently opposed express the same meaning from different points of view. to

"

"

Presence

"

is

presence of the heart

faith (yaqin), so that

as

what

what

visible to

is

hidden from

is "

it.

as a proof of intuitive

",

Absence

has the same force

it

" "

is

absence of the heart

to such an extent that it becomes things except God absent from itself and absent even from its absence, so that it no "

from

all

longer regards itself; and the sign of this state is withdrawal from all formal authority (Jiukm-i rusuni), as when a prophet is divinely preserved from what is unlawful. Accordingly, absence

from one

self is

s

God is presence with God, and vice versa. heart when a divine rapture {jadhbaf)

human

the lord of the

:

overpowers the heart of the seeker, the absence of his heart

becomes equivalent to (shirkaf) and division to

"self"

its

presence (with God)

;

partnership

disappear, and relationship comes to an end, as one of the Shaykhs has said in (qismaf)

verse "

Thou art

the

Lord

of

Without any partner

Inasmuch

God

as

is

:

my

heart.

how,

then, can it be

sole lord of the heart,

divided ?

He

"

has absolute

absent or present as He will, and, in regard to keep power the essence of the case, this is the whole argument for the to

it

doctrine of His favourites

;

but when a distinction

Shaykhs hold various opinions on the "presence"

superior to

to

"

absence",

"

presence

".

subject,

There

is

the

subsistent,

some

preferring

whereas

"

absence

"

"absence"

same controversy

;

still

made, the

while others declare that

concerning sobriety and intoxication, which but these terms indicate that the above are

is

and

I

is

as that

have explained

human

attributes "

"

presence

indicate


SUFI SECTS

human

that the

terms are

THE KHAFIFIS.

:

attributes are annihilated

in reality

more sublime.

"

(

249

therefore the latter

:

Absence is preferred to Mansur (al-Hallaj), Abu "

by Ibn Ata, Husayn b. Bakr Shibli, Bundar b. al-Husayn, Abu Hamza of Baghdad, Sumnun Muhibb, and a number of the Shaykhs of Iraq. "presence"

Thou thyself art the greatest of all veils between They say thee and God when thou hast become absent from thyself, the "

:

:

evils implicit in

thy being are annihilated in thee, and thy state

undergoes a fundamental change

become a veil to thee, and the become a source of mischief thyself and to

of novices

stations

of those

who

seek

God

;

is

consumed is the same

are

attributes

the

to thee thine eye is closed to other than God, and thy human by the flame of proximity to God

that

all

:

states

state of absence in which God (qurbafy drew thee forth from the loins of Adam, and caused thee to hear

This

His exalted word, and distinguished thee by the honorary robe of Unification and the garment of contemplation so long as thou wert absent from thyself, thou wert present with God ;

face to face, but attributes, thou

Therefore thy of

God

s

*

when thou becamest present with

And now

word,

Hamdun b.

Qassar,

who

is

are ye come unto us alone,

On

"

(Kor,

Junayd, Sahl

Khafif,

that

own

becamest absent from thy proximity to God. presence is thy perdition. This is the meaning

created you at first

Muhasibi,

thine

vi,

b.

94).

Abu

Abdallah,

Abu Muhammad

as

We

the other hand, Harith

Ja

far

Haddad,

1

Muhammad

Jurayri, Husri,

the author of the doctrine, and others hold

"

"

presence

inasmuch as

all

absence superior to They argue that excellences are bound up with and presence "

is

".

"

",

as

"

absence

from one

"

with God, the

A

light

man

is

is

way becomes an

arrived at the goal.

what

self

s

"

Presence

"

a

way

leading to

"

"

presence

imperfection after you have the fruit of absence but "

is

",

to be found in

"

absence

"

without

"

"

presence ? must needs renounce heedlessness in order that, by

means of

this

"absence",

1

he

may

attain to

Nafahdt, No. 201.

"presence";

and


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

250

when he has it

attained his object, the

Absent

"The

one

But he who

one

who

not he

is

absent

is

The present

is

from

not he

But he who hath no heart So that It

a well

is

Who

art

answered

absent

is

known

-

set out

who hath no

"

:

one

that

story

Abu

to visit

of

he,

the

disciples

When door Abu

at the

Yazid said

wish to see said

and what thing

is

"

:

he

?

of

he came to

Yazi d.

whom dost thou Abu Yazid." Abu Yazid is

desire,

God

and

Yazid, and where

his country,

(no tJiougJit of worldly things),

and knocked

cell

thou,

from

all desire.

his desire is ever fixed on

Dhu 1-Nun Abu Yazid s "

means by which he attained

has no longer any worth.

Who I

"

?

is

:

He Abu

have been

seeking Abu Yazid for a long while, but I have not found him." When the disciple returned to Dhu 1-Nun and told him what

had passed, Dhu 1-Nun said with those

who

Junayd and I

may speak

are lost in

said: to

you demand of For many years

"Be

thee."

me I

"

:

My

Abu Yazid is lost man came to me for a moment that

brother

A

God."

present with

certain

O young man, have long been seeking.

Junayd answered:

something that

I

"

have been wishing to become present with I cannot how, then, can I become

myself a moment, but

;

present with you just now?" Therefore, "absence" involves the sorrow of being veiled, while involves the joy presence "

of revelation,

and the former

Shaykh Abu Sa

latter.

"

state can never be equal to the

id says

on

this subject

Taqashsha a ghaymu l-hajri an qamari l-hubbi Wa-asfara nuru l-subhi an zulmati l-ghaybi. :<

The clouds moon

And The terms

of separation have been cleared of love,

away from the

the light of morning has shone forth from the darkness of the Unseen."

made by the Shaykhs between these two and on the surface merely verbal, for they mystical,

distinction is


THE SAYYARIS.

SUFI SECTS:

seem

to

To be

be approximately the same.

what

to be absent from one s self

is

one who

is

not absent from himself

251

is

is

God

present with the difference?

and

not present with God.

Thus, forasmuch as the impatience of Job in his affliction did not proceed from himself, but on the contrary he was then absent from himself,

God

did not distinguish his impatience Evil hath befallen me cried,

from patience, and when he

God

xxi, 83),

(Kor.

"

"

"

said,

Verily,

was

he

This

patient

is

evidently a judgment founded on the essential nature of the It is related that Junayd said case (Jmkm ba- ayri). For l

"

:

a time

I

my

over

was such that the inhabitants of heaven and earth wept bewilderment (Jiayraf) then, again, I became such that ;

and now my state is such wept over their absence (ghaybaf) that I have no knowledge either of them or of myself." This I

is

;

an excellent indication of

have

I "

absence

"

presence and briefly explained the meaning of presence in order that you may be acquainted with the ".

"

doctrine of the Khafifis, and these terms are used

by the

may

also

know

are the followers of

Abu

Sayyari, the Imam the sciences and associated

l-

Abbas

He was learned in all Abu Bakr Wasiti. At the present day

followers in

Nasa and Merv.

one that has kept

its

what sense

SAYYARIS.

of Merv.

with

in

Sufis.

THE

10.

They

"

"

he has numerous

His school of Sufiism

is

the only

original doctrine unchanged, and the cause

that Nasa and Merv have never been without some person who acknowledged his authority and took care

of this fact

is

that his followers should maintain the doctrine of their founder.

The Sayyaris of Nasa carried on a discussion with those of Merv by means of letters, and I have seen part of this it is Their expositions correspondence at Merv very fine. ;

are

based

on

"union"

(jam

These words are common

by

specialists

in

1

)

and

"separation"

(tafriqa).

and are employed branch of every learning as a means of to all

scientists

rendering their explanations intelligible, but they bear different


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

252

meanings in each case. Thus, in arithmetic jam*- denotes the addition and tafriqa the subtraction of numbers in grammar jam is the agreement of words in derivation, while tafriqa is the ;

difference in

the

meaning

c

irrlaw/<z;#

;

of an

characteristics

is

analogy (qiyds) and tafriqa

authoritative

text

(sifdt-i miss),

or

and tafriqa the analogy in divinity jam jam* denotes the essential and tafriqa the formal attributes of God. But the Sufis do not use these terms in any of the significations the

is

text

;

1

which

have mentioned.

I

meaning attached

to

Now, them by the

will

I

therefore,

explain the

and the various opinions

Sufis

of the Shaykhs on this subject. Discourse on

God

united

calls to the

all

Union (jam

mankind

His

in

abode of peace"

;

of Divine guidance, and said,

and Separation

)

"

call,

He

then

as

He

(tafriqa).

separated them

and guides whom He willeth into called them all, and banished

way"

some

accordance with the manifestation of His

them

in respect

He

the right in

God

"And

says,

(Kor. x, 26).

will

He

;

and gave a command, and then separated some and leaving them without succour, but them, rejecting then once accepting others and granting to them Divine aid united

all

;

more he united a certain number and separated them, giving to some immunity from sin and to others a propensity towards Accordingly the

evil.

and

will

of

separation

to

behead

is

forbids:

the

is

the knowledge of

manifestation

e.g.,

Ishmael, but willed that

He commanded he should not

He commanded Ibli s to worship Adam, but willed contrary; and He commanded Adam not to eat the corn,

do so the

God, while

mystery of union

He commands and

that which

Abraham

real

and

;

but willed that he should eat

which

He

it

;

and so

forth.

Union

is

that

by His attributes, and separation is that which He separates by His acts. All this involves cessation of human volition and affirmation of the Divine will so as to exclude all personal subject 1

unites

initiative.

of union

As regards what has been said on the and separation, all the Sunni s, except the

For the distinction between

sifdt-i dhdt

and

sifdt-i /ZVsee

Dozy, Supplement,

ii,

810.


SUFI SECTS

Mu tazilites, this point

THE SAYYARIS.

:

253

are in agreement with the Sufi Shaykhs, but at

they begin to diverge, some applying the terms in the Divine Unity (tawhid}^ some to the Divine

to

question attributes,

and some to the Divine

acts.

Those who

refer to

the Divine Unity say that there are two degrees of union, one in the attributes of God and the other in the attributes of in

Man. The former is the mystery of Unification (tawhid\ which human actions have no part whatever the latter ;

denotes acknowledgment of

Divine Unity with sincere conviction and unfailing resolution. This is the opinion of Abu All Rudbarf. Those, again, who refer these terms to the the

Divine attributes say that union is an attribute of God, and separation an act of God in which Man does not co-operate, because

God

has no rival

in

Godhead.

Therefore union can be

only to His substance and attributes, for union is the fundamental matter (al-taswiyat fi l-asl\ and no equality referred

in

two things are equal in respect of eternity except His substance and His attributes, which, when they are separated by expository ibdrat u tafsil\ are not united. This means that God has eternal attributes, which are peculiar to Him and subsist

analysis

(

through Him and that He and His attributes are not two, for His Unity does not admit difference and number. On this ground, union is impossible except in the sense indicated above. ;

Separation in predicament (al-tafriqat fi l-hukui) refers to all of which are separate in this respect.

the actions of God,

The predicament of one is being (wujud}\ of another, not-being but a not-being that is capable of being of another, ( adam\ l

;

annihilation (fand\ and of another subsistence (baqa). are some, again, who refer these terms to knowledge

There

(V/;#) and knowledge of the Divine Unity and separation knowledge of the Divine ordinances hence theology is union and jurisprudence is separation. One of the Shaykhs has said,

say that union

is

:

to

the

same

effect

"

:

Union

is

that

on which

theologians

and separation is that on which they the Sufi mystics, whenever they use the

(aid al-ihri} are agreed, differ."

term

Again,

all

"separation"

in

the

course of

their

expositions and


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

254

meaning of human actions union self-mortification, and by they signify

attach

indications,

to

it

the

"

"

"

"

(inakdsib\ "divine

e.g.

(inaivdhib\

gifts"

contemplation.

e.g.

Whatever is and whatever

gained by means of mortification is separation is solely the result of Divine favour and guidance "

",

Man

"

is

union

".

glory that, while his actions exist and mortification possible, he should escape by God s goodness from the

It is is

s

imperfection of his own actions, and should find them to be in the bounties of God, so that he depends entirely on

absorbed

God and commits

His charge and refers

his attributes to

all

Him and none

his actions to

to himself, as

all

Gabriel told the

God

said: "My servant continually seeks access to of works of supererogation until I love him; and love him, I am his ear and his eye and his hand and his

Apostle that

Me by means when

I

heart and his tongue

Me

he hears and sees and speaks he is enraptured by the grasps," i.e., remembering remembrance (dhikr) of Me, and his own acquisition (kasU) is

and

:

through

Me

in

"

"

annihilated so as to have no part in his remembrance, and

My

remembrance overpowers his remembrance, and the relation ship of humanity (adamiyyaf) is entirely removed from his remembrance then My remembrance is his remembrance, and in his rapture he becomes even as Abu Yazfd in the hour when :

These Glory to me how great is my majesty words were the outward sign of his speech, but the speaker was God. Similarly, the Apostle said God speaks by the tongue he said

"

"

!

:

!

"

:

of

of his

But

The

fact is that when the Divine omnipotence dominion over humanity, it transports a man out own being, so that his speech becomes the speech of God.

Umar."

manifests

it is

its

impossible that

God should be mingled

(imtizdj} with one (ittihdd) with His works or become

created beings or made incarnate (hdlt) in things far

:

God

is

exalted far above that, and

above that which the heretics ascribe to Him.

may happen, then, that God s love holds absolute sway over the heart of His servant, and that his reason and natural It

faculties are too

that he loses

all

weak

to sustain

control of his

its

power

rapture and intensity, and to act (kasb).

This state


THE SAYYARIS.

SUFI SECTS:

Herewith are connected

1

called

is

"union".

miracles

(i jdz)

and

acts

ordinary actions are union

custom are

".

all

extraordinary All

of miraculous grace (kardmdt).

and

"

"

255

separation

",

God bestows

acts

all

which violate

miracles

these

on

His

prophets and saints, and refers His actions to them and theirs to Himself, as He hath said Verily they wJio swear fealty "

:

,

(Kor. xlviii, 10), and again: Whosoever obeys the Apostle has obeyed God" (Kor. iv, 82). 1 Accordingly, His saints are united (mujtami ) by their inward

unto

thee,

swear fealty unto

God"

"

separated (muftariq) by their outward behaviour, so that their love of God is strengthened by the internal union, and the right fulfilment of their duty as servants (asrdr)

feelings

God

of

is

and

A

assured by their external separation.

certain great

Shaykh says "/

have realized that which

And we

and my

within me,

is

conversed with Thee in

tongue hath

secret,

are united in one respect, but

we

are separated in

another.

Although awe has hidden Thee from tJie glances of mine 2 Ecstasy has made Thee near to my inmost parts"

The

state of being inwardly united he calls

secret conversation of the tongue he calls

"

union

them

and the then

"separation";

he indicates that both union and separation are attributes the basis (qd ida) of

",

in himself,

to himself.

eye,

This

is

and very

subtle.

SECTION.

Here those

I

must notice a matter of controversy between us and

who maintain

denial of separation, 1

Here the author

action of

that

the

of union

manifestation

is

the

because the two terms contradict each

illustrates the

meaning of

"

"union

and

"

"separation

by the

Muhammad when

he threw gravel in the eyes of the unbelievers at Badr, and by that of David when he slew Goliath. See p. 185 supra. 3 The last words are corrupt and unmetrical in all the texts. I have found the true reading, al-Sarraj,

^J^J

UJ>-Vl

^_*

in a ,

MS.

of the Kitdb

al-Luma by Abu Nasr

which has recently come into the possession of Mr. A. G.

1

Ellis.


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

256

other, and that when anyone passes under the absolute sway of Divine guidance he ceases to act and to mortify himself. This is sheer nullification (taV//), for a man must never cease to

practise devotion possibility

and mortify himself as long as he has the

and power of doing

so.

Moreover, union is not apart from the sun, and

apart from separation, as light is accident from substance, and attribute from object therefore, neither is self-mortification apart from Divine guidance, nor :

the Truth

from the Law, nor

discovery from search. But may precede or follow Divine guidance. In the former case a man s tribulation is increased, because he is in mortification

"absence"

(g/iaybat), while in the latter case

he has no trouble

is in presence (hadraf). Those to whom the source negation (mashrab) of actions, and to whom it seems to be the substance (^ayn] of action, commit a grave

or pain, because he

"

"

is

A

man, however, may attain such a degree that he regards all his qualities as faulty and defective, for when he sees that his praiseworthy qualities are vicious and imperfect, error.

blameworthy qualities will necessarily appear more vicious. adduce these considerations because some ignorant persons, who have fallen into an error that is closely akin to infidelity, his I

assert that no result whatever depends upon our exertion, and that inasmuch as our actions and devotions are faulty and our mortifications are imperfect a thing left undone is better than

a thing done. To this argument I reply You are agreed in supposing that everything done by us has an energy (fi l), and you declare that our energies are a centre of defect and a source "

:

of evil and corruption consequently you must also suppose that things left undone by us have an energy and since in :

;

an energy involving defect, how can you regard that which we leave undone as better than that which we do? This notion evidently is a noxious delusion. Here we both cases there

is

"

have an excellent criterion to distinguish the believer from the Both agree that their energies are inherently defective, infidel. but the believer, a thing

done

in

accordance with

God s command, deems

to be better than a thing left undone, while the


SUFI SECTS infidel,

:

THE SAYYARIS.

257

accordance with his denial of the Creator

in

deems a thing

left

undone

Union, then, involves separation

is

to

this

recognized,

its

(t atll),

be better than a thing done.

although the imperfection of authority (Jiukni) should not be let that,

this that, although one is veiled go from the sight of union, he nevertheless thinks that separation Union is is union. Muzayyin the Elder says in this sense

and separation involves

;

*

"

:

the state of privilege (kJiusiisiyyai) and separation is the state of a servant (^ubildiyyat\ these states being indissolubly combined with each other," because it is a work of the fulfil the duties of servantship therefore, and of tediousness self-mortification painfulness although the

privileged state to

and personal that

is

effort

required of

;

may him

be removed from one

in this respect,

it

is

who performs

all

impossible that the

of self-mortification and religious obligation ( aytt) should be removed from anyone, even though he be in the essence of union, unless he has an evident excuse that is

substance

generally acknowledged by the authority of the religious law. Now I will explain this matter in order that you may better

understand

Union (2)

is

it.

of two kinds

(i)

:

broken union (jan?-i

sound union (jam

taksir}.

-i

Sound union

saldmat\ and that which

is

man when he is in the state of rapture and when God causes him to receive and fulfil His and ecstasy, to mortify himself. and This was the state commandments of Sahl b. Abdallah and Abu Hafs Haddad and Abu VAbbas Abu Yazi d of Bistam, Sayyari, the author of the doctrine. Abu Bakr Shibli, Abu 1- Hasan Husri, and a number of great God produces

in a

Shaykhs were continually

in a state of rapture until the

hour of

then they returned to consciousness, arid after their While thou performing prayers became enraptured again. art in the state of separation, thou art thou, and thou fulfillest

prayer arrived

the

command

;

of

God

;

but when

God

transports thee

He

has

the best right to see that thou performest His command, for two reasons firstly, in order that the token of servantship may :

1

Nafahdt, No. 188.

S


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

258

not be removed from thee, and secondly, in order that He may keep His promise that He will never let the law of Muhammad

be abrogated. a

man

it is

s

"

"

(jam*-i taksir}

this

is

:

that

judgment becomes distraught and bewildered, so that judgment of a lunatic: then he is either excused

like the

from performing for

Broken union

his religious obligations or

performing them

and the

;

state of

sounder than the state of him who

You must know,

in short, that

is

rewarded

him who

is

(mas/iklir)

rewarded

is

excused.

union does not involve any

(jnaqdnt} or

(//#/), for any peculiar union is the concentration of one s thoughts (jam -i Jiivimaf] According to some the upon the object of one s desire.

peculiar

"station"

matter

"state"

takes

"

stations place in the in the states to others (ahwdl\ and (magrdmat), according in either case the desire of the "united" person (sahib jam^ is

of

revelation

this

"

"

"

This holds good in everything, his thoughts on Joseph, so that he had e.g., Jacob concentrated no thought but of him and Majnun concentrated his thoughts attained by negating his desire.

;

on Layla, so that he saw only her in the whole world, and all created things assumed the form of Layla in his eyes. One day, when Abu Yazi d was in his cell, some one came

and asked:

"Is

Abu Yazi d here?" He answered: any And a certain Shaykh relates that ? "Is

one here except God a dervish

the

Ka ba

came for a

"

to Mecca and remained in contemplation of whole year, during which time he neither ate

nor drank, nor slept,

nor cleansed

himself,

because of

the

concentration of his thoughts upon the Ka ba, which thereby became the food of his body and the drink of his soul. The all these cases is the same, viz. that God divided of His love and bestows a particle thereof, one substance the

principle in

gift, upon every one of His friends in proportion enravishment with Him then He lets down upon that

as a peculiar to their

;

humanity and nature and temperament order that by its powerful working it may

particle the shrouds of

and

spirit,

in

transmute to to

it,

its

own

quality

until the lover s clay

is

the particles that are attached wholly converted into love, and all all


SUFI SECTS

alike by those who and who those meaning regard the outward

This state

regard the inward

Husayn

expression. "

259

and looks become so many indispensable conditions

his actions

of love.

THE SAYYARIS.

:

is

named

b.

Mansur

union

"

"

(al-Hallaj) says in this sense

:

O my Lord and Master ! done, O my purpose and meaning ! my being, O goal of my desire,

will be done,

Thy Thy

will be

essence

my

O all O my

of

and my

and my gestures ! of my all, hearing and my sight, whole and my element and my particles speech

hints

O my

"

!

Therefore, to one whose qualities are only borrowed from God, it is a disgrace to affirm his own existence, and an act

(zunndr) to pay any heed to the phenomenal all created objects are despicable to his soaring

of dualism universe

and

;

Some have been

thought.

led

by

their dialectical subtlety

and

admiration of phraseology to speak of the union of union (jam al-javf). This is a good expression as phrases

their

"

"

go, but

1

you consider the meaning,

if

union of union, because the term applied except

must

to

it is

better not to predicate

union

cannot properly be Before union can be united it

separation.

"

"

have been separated, whereas the

first

fact

that union

is

does not change its state. The expression, therefore, is liable to be misunderstood, because one who is united does not "

"

look forth from himself to what

him.

Do

is

above or to what

is

below

not you perceive that when the two worlds were on the night of the Ascension he paid

displayed to the Apostle

no heed "

united

"His

anything? He was in "union", and one who is does not behold Hence God said separation

to "

"

not,

nor did

it stray"

composed a book on Kitdb al-baydn li-ald al- iydn, and early days

:

".

gaze swerved I

1

matter at length 1

2

"

in

The Book

"The

the

Bahr

(Kor.

I

"

17).

and

In

my

entitled

it

have also discussed the

al-qulub

2

of Exposition for Persons of

Sea of Hearts.

liii,

this subject

in

the chapter on

Intuition."


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

260 "

Union

I

I

".

will

not

now burden my

readers by adding to what

have said here.

This sketch of the doctrine of the Sayyaris concludes my account of those Sufi sects which are approved and follow the path of true theosophy. I now turn to the opinions of those

who have connected themselves

heretics

have adopted

may

aim

My

their heresy.

novices

is

to

with

the

expose their errors

not be deceived

their

by

Sufis

and

means of promulgating

phraseology as a

Sufiistic

in

pretensions

order that

and may

guard themselves from mischief.

n.

Of

those two

Sufiism and

reprobate sects which profess to belong to the Sufis partners in their error, one follows

make

Abu Hulman relate of

THE HULULIS.

of Damascus. 1

The

stories

him do not agree with what

is

which

his adherents

written about

him

in

the books of the Shaykhs, for, while the Sufi s regard him as one of themselves, these sectaries impute to him the doctrines

of incarnation

(Jiulill)

and commixture

(initizdj)

and trans

migration of spirits (naskk-i arwd/i). I have seen this statement the book of Muqaddasi, 2 who attacks him and the same

in

;

notion of him has been formed by theologians, but God knows The other sect refer their doctrine to best what is the truth. 3

who

pretends to have derived it from Husayn b. Mansur (al-Hallaj), but he is the only one of Husayn s followers who I holds such tenets. saw Abii Ja far Saydalani 4 with four Paris,

thousand men, dispersed throughout Iraq, who were Hallajis and they all cursed Paris on account of this doctrine. More over, in the compositions of al-Hallaj himself there

is

;

nothing

but profound theosophy. 1

See note,

2

The nisba Muqaddasi or Maqdisi belongs know which of them is intended here.

not 3

p. 131.

to a

number

of

Moslem

writers.

I

da

See Nafahat, No. 178. This person, whom the author has already mentioned at the beginning of Chapter XIII, is not identical with the Sufi of the same name who was a con temporary of Junayd (Nafahdt, No. 197). 4


SUFI SECTS

I,

All

:

THE HULULIS.

Uthman al-Jullabi, say Abu Hulman were or what

b.

that

26l

do not know who

I

they said, but anyone who holds a doctrine conflicting with Unification and true theosophy If religion, which is the root, has no part in religion at all. Faris and

is

of

not firmly based, Sufiism, which is the branch and offspring religion, must with more reason be unsound, for it is in

conceivable that miracles and evidences should be manifested

except to religious persons and of these sectaries.- are in therefore,

I

will

explain

Unitarians. to

regard nature

its

the

All

spirit

the

(rilJi).

errors

Now,

and principles according

to the Sunni canon, and in the course of

my

explanation I will notice the erroneous and delusive opinions of the heretics in order that your faith may be strengthened thereby. Discourse on

tJie

Spirit (al-ruh).

You_ must know that knowledge concerning the existence is intuitive (darnri), and the intelligence is unable

of the spirit

apprehend its (the spirit s) nature. Every Moslem divine and sage has expressed some conjectural opinion on this point, which has also been debated by unbelievers of various sorts.

to

When Nadr

the unbelievers of Quraysh, prompted by the Jews, sent al-Harith to question the Apostle concerning the

b.

nature and essence of the

spirit,

God

in the first place affirmed

substance and said, "And they will ask thee concerning the sPinl^ then He denied its eternity, saying, "Answer, The its

;

the creation of which) my Lord And the Apostle said: "The (Kor. xvii, 87).

spirit belongs to that whicJi

covtmanded

"

(i.e.

those that know one gathered together another agree, and those that do not know one another There are many similar proofs of the existence disagree." spirits

are

hosts

of the

spirit,

to

nature.

its

:

but they contain no authoritative statement as Some have said that the spirit is the life

whereby the body

lives,

a view which

is

also held

by a number

of scholastic philosophers. According to this view the spirit is an accident ( arad), which at God s command keeps the body alive,

and from which proceed conjunction, motion, cohesion.


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

262

and similar accidents by which the body

is

changed from one

Others, again, declare that the spirit is not life but that does not exist without it, just as the spirit life, does not exist without the body, and that the two are never state to another.

found apart, because they are inseparable, like pain and the knowledge of pain. According to this view also the spirit is All the Sufi Shaykhs, however, and an accident, like life. most orthodox Moslems hold that the spirit is a substance,

and not an attribute body,

God

Man

is

;

for,

so long as

it

continually creates life in the

an attribute and

by

it

he

is

connected with the

body, and the life of but the spirit is

lives,

deposited in his body and may be separated from him while But when it leaves him, he is still living, as in sleep. and can no intelligence knowledge longer remain with him, for the Apostle has said that the spirits of martyrs are in the

and the crops of birds consequently it must be a substance Apostle has said that the spirits are hosts (jumid\ and hosts :

are subsistent

;

(bdqi],

and no accident

can

subsist,

for

an

accident does not stand by itself. The spirit, then, is a subtle body (jismi latif\ which comes and goes by the command of God. On the night of the Ascension, when the Apostle saw in Heaven Adam, Joseph,

Moses, Aaron, Jesus, and Abraham, it was their spirits that he saw and if the spirit were an accident, it would not stand by ;

itself

so

as

to

become

visible,

for

it

would need a

locus

in

substances, and substances are gross (kathif}. Accordingly, it. is subtle and corporeal spirit

has been ascertained that the

{jasim\ and being corporeal,

it is visible, but visible only to the of And spirits may reside in (chashm-i eye intelligence diF). the crops of birds or may be armies that move to and fro, as

the Apostolic Traditions declare. Here we are at variance with the heretics,

who

assert that the

(qadim\ and worship it, and regard it as the and governor of things, and call it the uncreated of God, and aver that it passes from one body to another.

spirit is eternal ^T"^

sole agent spirit

No

popular error has obtained such wide acceptance as this


SUFI SECTS

which

doctrine, it

THE HULULIS.

:

263

held by the Christians, although they express it, and by all the Indians,

is

terms that appear to conflict with

in

and Chinese, and

by the consensus Isma ili s ites, Carmathians, and opinion among (Bdtiniydn\ and is embraced by the two false sects aboveTibetans,

is

supported

Shi

the

of

All

these sectaries

base their belief on certain

propositions and I ask assertion.

bring forward

proofs

mentioned.

them

this question

"

:

defence

in

of

their

What do you mean by

Do you mean

the pre-existence of a noneternal thing, or an eternal thing that never came into being?" If they mean the pre-existence of a non- eternal thing, then there

?

(qidani)

eternity

no difference between us

is

that the spirit

in principle, for

before the body, as the Apostle said two thousand years before the bodies." :

is

one sort of God

s

we

(muhdatli), and that

non-eternal

is

creatures,

and

He

"

it

too say existed

God

created the spirits Accordingly, the spirit

joins

it

to another sort

joining them together He produces But the spirit cannot pass from life through His predestination. as a to body cannot have two lives, body body, because, just If these facts were not so a spirit cannot have two bodies. of His creatures, and in

Apostolic Traditions by an Apostle who speaks the truth, and if the matter were considered purely from the standpoint of a reasonable intelligence, then the spirit would affirmed

be

in

and nothing

life

Now

a substance. the spirit this

is I

case, If

else?"

and

else,

it

would be an

attribute, not

suppose, on the other hand, they say that

an eternal thing that never came into being. ask

"

:

Does

they say,

stand by

it

"By

itself,"

I

itself or

In

by something

ask them,

God

"Is

its

they answer that God is not its affirm existence of two eternal beings, which is the world, they contrary to reason, for the eternal is infinite, and the essence of one eternal being would limit the other. But if they answer

world

that

l

(

dlani) or

God

creatures

is

its

are

not?"

If

world, then

non-eternal

I

say that

God

is

eternal

that

and His

the

eternal impossible should be commingled with the non-eternal or made one with it, or become immanent in it, or that the non-eternal should be :

it

is


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

264 the

it

of the eternal or that the eternal should carry it is joined to anything must be like that to which

place

;

whatever

for is

joined,

and only homogeneous things are capable of being

And if they say that the spirit does not united and separated. but itself, by something else, then it must be either an attribute (sifaf) or an accident ( arad). If it is an accident, If it is in a locus, its locus it must either be in a locus or not. stand by

l

must be say that

like itself, it

itself.

by

If,

and

attribute

who

and to and neither can be called eternal is absurd, for an accident cannot stand ;

has no locus again, this

is

they say that the the doctrine of the

spirit

an eternal

is

Huluhs and those and call it an

believe in metempsychosis (tandsukJiiydn)

attribute of God, I reply that an eternal attribute of God cannot possibly become an attribute of His creatures for, if His life could become the life of His creatures, similarly His ;

power could become

their

power

;

and inasmuch as an attribute

stands by its object, how can an eternal attribute stand by a non-eternal object? Therefore, as I have shown, the eternal has no connexion with the non-eternal, and the doctrine of the

who affirm this under God s command.

heretics

in

flagrant

from what

error is

The Anyone who

is

false.

spirit is

holds another belief

and cannot distinguish what

eternal.

No

created and

saint, if his saintship

possibly be ignorant of the attributes of God.

is

is is

non-eternal

be sound, can I

give praise

without end to God, who hath guarded us from heresies and dangers, and hath bestowed on us intelligence to examine and

them by our arguments, and hath given us faith in order that we may know Him. When men who see only the exterior refute

hear stories of this kind from theologians, they imagine that this is the doctrine of all aspirants to Sufiism. They are grossly mistaken and utterly deceived, and the consequence is that they are blinded to the beauty of our mystic knowledge and to the loveliness of Divine saintship and to the flashes of spiritual

illumination, because

eminent Sufis regard popular

applause and popular censure with equal indifference.


SUFI SECTS

:

THE HULULIS.

265

SECTION.

One

"

of the

in fuel

the

;

(masmi^r

Shaykhs says

:

The

spirit in the

body

like fire

is

created (inakhtitq) and the coal is made Nothing can be described as eternal except the fire

is

essence and attributes of God.

Abu Bakr

Wasiti has discoursed

It is spirit more than any of the Sufi Shaykhs. There are ten stations (inaqdmdf) of that he said

on the

related

"

:

spirits

:

(i) the spirits of the sincere (mukhltsdn}, which are imprisoned in a darkness and know not what will befall them (2)_the of this which in the heaven of men (pdrsd-marddn\ spirits pious ;

of their actions and take pleasure in devotions, and walk by the strength thereof; (3) the spirits of disciples (miirtddti), which are in the fourth heaven and dwell

world rejoice

in the fruits

with the angels in the delights of veracity, and in the shadow of their good works (4) the spirits of the beneficent (aJil-i minaii), which are hung in lamps of light from the Throne of ;

God, and their food

mercy, and their drink

is

is

favour and

proximity (5) the spirits of the faithful (ahl-i ivafd\ which with joy in the veil of purity and the station of electness ;

thrill

(6) the spirits of martyrs (shahfddn\ which are in Paradise in the crops of birds, and go where they will in its gardens early and late (7) the spirits of those who yearn (istifd)

;

;

(inushtdqdri)) which stand on the carpet of respect (adati) clad in the luminous veils of the Divine attributes (8) the spirits of ;

l

gnostics

(

drifdn), which, in the precincts

morn and eve

to the

word of God and see

their places in the of lovers (dtistdn}, (9) spirits absorbed in contemplation of the Divine

Paradise and in this world

which have become

of holiness, listen at

;

beauty and the station of revelation (kasJif\ and perceive nothing but God and rest content with no other thing

;

(10) the

God

spirits

of dervishes,

which have found favour with

abode of annihilation, and have suffered a trans formation of quality and a change of state." in the

It is related

spirit I

in

have

concerning the Shaykhs that they have seen the

different

said,

it

is

shapes, and this

may

well

be,

because, as

created, and a subtle body (jismi

lattf]

is


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

266

God shows

necessarily visible.

when and All

I,

as

it

one of His servants,

Him.

pleases

Uthman

b.

to every

it

al-Jullabi, declare that

through God, and our

stability

our

life

kept alive is the act of God in creation, not through His essence and attributes. of

animists

the

(riihiydti)

is

is

wholly

through Him, and our beingus, and we live through His

is

entirely

false.

The

doctrine

Belief

in

the

eternity of the spirit is one of the grave errors which prevail among the vulgar, and is expressed in different ways, e.g. they

use the terms

and of

"

and a

"

soul

"

darkness

"

annihilation

"

matter

"

(nafs

11

hayiild), or

"

"

(jam u

separation

mask

and

"

"

light

(nur u zulmai), and those Sufi impostors speak and subsistence (fand u baqd), or union

"

"

fair

"

"

for their

tafriqa], or

infidelity.

"

"

adopt similar phrases as

But the Sufis abjure these and true love of God

heretics, for the Sufis hold that saintship

depend on knowledge of Him, and anyone who does not know is ignorant in what he says,

the eternal from the non-eternal

and the

intelligent

ignorant.

Now

I

pay no attention to will

what

is

said

by the

unveil the portals of the practice and

theory of the Sufis, furnishing my explanation with evident proofs, in order that you may the more easily comprehend my

meaning, and that any sceptic possessed of insight may be led back into the right way, and that I may thereby gain a blessing and a Divine reward.


CHAPTER

XV.

THE UNCOVERING OF THE FIRST VEIL: CONCERNING ~ THE GNOSIS OF GOD (ma rifat Allah). said: ye knew God as He ought to be would walk on the seas, and the mountains would known, ye move at your Gnosis of God is of two kinds cognitional

The Apostle

"If

call."

(

//;;//)

and emotional

:

the founda Cognitional gnosis and in the next, for the most is

(Jidlf).

tion of all blessings in this world

important thing is

for a

man at all times and / God hath said

knowledge of God, as

"

:

in all

circumstances

only created the genii

and mankind that they might serve Me (Kor. li, 56), i.e. that they might know Me. But the greater part of men neglect this duty, except those whom God hath chosen and whose hearts "

He

hath vivified with Himself.

Gnosis

is

the

life

of the heart

through God, and the turning away of one s inmost thoughts from all that is not God. The worth of everyone is in proportion to gnosis, and he who is without gnosis is worth nothing. the

name

Theologians, lawyers, and other classes of of gnosis

but the Sufi that

name.

(ma Shaykhs call right Hence they have

men

( //;;/)

give of God,

feeling (Jidl) towards

God by

rtfat) to right cognition

said

that gnosis (mcfrifat}

is

more excellent than cognition ( ilm), for right feeling (hdl} is the result of right cognition, but right cognition is not the same l

thing as right feeling, i.e. one who has not cognition of God is not a gnostic (^drif\ but one may have cognition of God

without being a gnostic.

Those of

either

class

who were

ignorant of this distinction engaged in useless controversy, and the one party disbelieved in the other party. Now I will

explain the matter in order that both

may be

instructed.


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

268

SECTION.

You must know

a great difference of opinion touching the gnosis and right cognition of God. The Mu tazilites assert that gnosis is intellectual and that only a reasonable

person

dqil)

(

that there

can possibly have

is

This doctrine

it.

is

disproved

madmen, within Islam, are deemed to have and that children, who are not reasonable, are deemed gnosis, to have faith. Were the criterion of gnosis an intellectual one, by the

fact that

such persons must be without gnosis, while unbelievers could not be charged with infidelity, provided only that they were it would must know God, and that who lack reason must be ignorant of Him which is

reasonable beings.

If

reason were the cause of gnosis,

follow that every reasonable person all

;

manifestly absurd. Others pretend that demonstration (istidldl) is the cause of knowledge of God, and that such knowledge is

not gained except by those who deduce it in this manner. The futility of this doctrine is exemplified by Iblis, for he saw

many

evidences, such as Paradise,

Hell,

and the Throne of

God, yet they did not cause him to have gnosis. God hath said Jmowledge of Him depends on His will (Kor. vi, in). According to the view of orthodox Moslems, soundness of

that

reason and regard to evidences are a means (sabab) to gnosis, but not the cause ( illaf) thereof: the sole cause is God s will

and favour, for without His favour Reason does not even know itself:

(^indyaf) reason

is

blind.

how, then, can it know another? Heretics of all sorts use the demonstrative method, but the majority of them do not know God. On the other hand,

whenever one enjoys the favour of God,

all

his actions are so

many tokens of gnosis his demonstration is search (talab) and his neglect of demonstration is resignation to God s will ;

(tasltni}

better

;

y

but, in reference to perfect gnosis, resignation

than search, for search

is

is

no

a principle that cannot be

neglected, while resignation is a principle that excludes the possibility of agitation (idtirdb), and these two principles do not essentially involve

enlightener

is

God.

In reality Man s only guide and Reason and the proofs adduced by reason

gnosis.


THE GNOSIS OF GOD. are unable to direct

would bring

When

Judgment

to this world, they

back with them

their infidelity

Commander

the

If the infidels

into the right way.

anyone

to return from the place of

were

269

of the Faithful,

(cf.

All,

Kor.

28).

vi,

was asked con

I know God by God, and I know cerning gnosis, he said God created the that which is not God by the light of God." to the its life spirit (jdn\ and He created Hody and committed "

:

soul

the

and

(dil}

committed

inasmuch as reason and human

power

to

make

God hath

said

restored to

life

the "

:

its

life

faculties

to Himself. Hence, and evidences have no

body live, they cannot make the soul live, as Shall he who was dead and whom We have

and

to

whom We

have given a light whereby he

(Kor. vi, 122), i.e. may walk among men Creator of the light in which believers are illumined .

.

.

U I

?"

that opens and seals the hearts of

am

It is

".

men

the

God

(Kor. xxxix, 23 ii, 6) therefore He alone is able to guide them. Everything except Him is a cause or a means, and causes and means cannot possibly Causer.

the

indicate

He

it is

essentially gnosis

right

:

;

way without

the

favour

of

the

that imposes the obligation of piety, which ;

and those on

whom

that obligation

is

laid,

so long as they are in the state of obligation, neither bring

upon themselves nor put choice

:

therefore

Man s

it

is

it

away from themselves by their own God makes him

share in gnosis, unless

"There know, is mere helplessness. Abu 1-Hasan Nun says is none to point out the way to God except God Himself: is for due performance of His worship." knowledge sought only :

No

created being

who

Abu

is

capable of leading anyone to God.

Those

rely on demonstration are not more reasonable than was Talib, and no guide is greater than was Muhammad yet, ;

Abu Talib was preordained to misery, the guidance of Muhammad did not avail him. The first step of demonstration

since

away from God, because demonstration involves the consideration of some other thing, whereas gnosis is a turning is

a turning

away from all that is not God. Ordinary objects of search are found by means of demonstration, but knowledge of God is extraordinary.

Therefore, knowledge of

Him

is

attained only


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

2/O

-

by unceasing bewilderment of the reason, and His favour

human acquisition, but What is not God hearts.

procured by any act of revealed

men s

to

is

is

not

miraculously

phenomenal and although a phenomenal being may reach another himself he cannot reach his Creator and acquire Him is

(mn/idat/i\ like

while he exists, for in every act of acquisition he who makes the acquisition is predominant and the thing acquired is under his

Accordingly, the miracle

power. led

by

is

not that reason should be

the act to affirm the existence of the Agent, but that

a saint should be led by the light of the Truth to deny his own existence. The knowledge gained is in the one case a matter of logic, in the

who deem

other

it

becomes an inward experience.

Let those

reason to be the cause of gnosis consider what reason minds concerning the substance of gnosis, for

affirms in their

gnosis involves the negation of whatever is affirmed by reason, i.e. whatever notion of God can be formed by reason, God is in reality

something

different.

How,

is

then,

?

room for Reason

is

affirmed

there any

reason to arrive at gnosis by means of demonstration

and imagination are homogeneous, and where genus To infer the existence of God from gnosis is denied. proofs

is

assimilation

(taslilriJi],

and

to

deny

intellectual

on the same

it

Reason cannot pass beyond_ grounds is nullification (ta til). these two principles, which in regard to gnosis are agnosticism, of

neither

since

the

parties

professing

them

Unitarian

is

(inuivahhid).

Therefore, of

souls

when reason

His

lovers

is gone as far must needs search

helplessly without their faculties,

grow

restless

and stretch

Theirs,

i.e.

they

in

for

Him,

and while they so

hands

in supplication

and the

the)*

rest

rest

they

and seek

and when they have exhausted every their power, the power of God becomes

a relief for their souls

manner of search

their

as possible,

find the

;

way from Him

to

Him, and

are eased of

the anguish of absence and set foot in the garden of intimacy and win to rest. And reason, when it sees that the souls have 4

attained their desire, tries to exert

when

it

fails

it

its

becomes distraught

;

control, but fails

and when

it

;

and

becomes


THE GNOSIS OF GOD. distraught

it

Then God

abdicates.

service (khidinai}

and says to

"

it

:

thou wert veiled by thy faculties these were annihilated thou didst

clothes it in the garment of While thou wert independent and their exercise, and when

and having

fail,

thou

failed

Thus it is the allotted portion of the soul to be attain." near unto God, and that of the reason is to do His service. God causes Man to know Him through Himself with a know

didst

ledge that is not linked to any faculty, a knowledge in which the existence of Man is merely metaphorical. Hence to the gnostic egoism

utter perfidy

is

remembrance of God

his

;

without forgetfulness, and his gnosis

is

not empty words .but

is

actual feeling.

Others, again, declare that gnosis

is

the result of inspiration

This also is impossible, because gnosis supplies a criterion for distinguishing truth from falsehood, whereas the

(ilhdui).

inspired

have no such

God

inspiration that

by

inspiration that

is

He

in is

one says, I know by and another says, I know "

If

criterion.

"

space,"

not in

space,"

one of these contra

dictory statements must be true, but a proof is necessary in order to decide where the truth lies. Consequently, this view, which is held by the Brahmans and the inspirationists

In the present age

(ilhdmiydii}, falls to the ground.

a

number

who

of persons

connected their

own

carried

it

whatever that

Moslems and

unbelievers.

conflicts with the sacred

this

argument

have met

who

position with the doctrine of religious men,

but they are altogether in error, and their assertion to all reasonable

I

an extreme and

to

law

is

If

it

is

repugnant be said that

not inspiration,

I

reply

is

fundamentally unsound, because, if inspiration is to be judged and verified by the standard of the sacred law, then gnosis does not depend on inspiration, but on law and prophecy and Divine guidance. Others assert that knowledge of God ^This also

is

impossible.

must be known as

we

see that

Everything that

is is

intuitive (daruri}.

known

in this

way

common by all reasonable men, and inasmuch some reasonable men deny the existence of God in

and hold the doctrines of assimilation

(tashbili)

and

nullification


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

2/2 it

(tcttl\

proved that knowledge of God is not intuitive. of religious obligation it were so, the principle

is

Moreover,

if

would be destroyed,

(takltf}

for that principle

cannot possibly

be applied to objects of intuitive knowledge, such as one s the heaven and the earth, day and night, pleasure and pain,

self, etc.,

concerning the existence of which no reasonable man can have any doubt, and which he must know even against his will. But

some

the absolute certainty

aspirants to Sufiism, considering

(yaqm) which they

"

feel,

say

:

We

know God

intuitively,

Substantially giving the name of intuition to this certainty. they are right, but their expression is erroneous, because

knowledge cannot be exclusively restricted to those on the contrary, it belongs to all reasonable Furthermore, it appears in the minds of living creatures

intuitive

who

are perfect

men.

;

without any means or evidence, whereas the knowledge of

means

a

is

Abu

(sababi).

Sahl Su luki

But Master

and

1

Abu

God

Daqqaq and Shaykh

All

who was

a leading religious authority at Nishapur, maintain that the beginning of gnosis is demonstrative and that its end is intuitive, just as technical

knowledge "

Do

of

first

is

not you

his father,

acquired

and

finally "

they say,

perceive,"

God becomes

intuitive

?

Why

becomes

that in Paradise

should

it

not

instinctive.

knowledge

become

intuitive

And

the Apostles, when they heard the word of God, either immediately or from the mouth of an angel in

this

or

by

world too?

revelation,

inhabitants

of

I knew Him intuitively." reply know God intuitively in

Paradise

that

the

Paradise,

Paradise no religious obligation is imposed, and the Apostles have no fear of being separated from God at the last, but enjoy the same security as those who know Him

because in

intuitively.

The

excellence of gnosis and faith

lies

in

their

made visible, faith becomes no longer any free will in regard to its visible substance ( ayn\ and the foundations of the religious law are shaken, and the principle of apostasy is annulled, so being hidden

;

they are

^ArfierT

compulsory (jabr\ and there

is

(

1

See Nafahdt, No. 373.


THE GNOSIS OF GOD. that Bal

am

1

and

as infidels, for

and Barsisa 2 cannot properly be described generally allowed that they had knowledge

Iblis

it is

The

of God.

273

no

gnostic, while he remains a gnostic, has

fear of

being separated from God separation is produced by the loss of gnosis, but intuitive knowledge cannot conceivably be lost. ;

This doctrine

may

avoid

is full

its

In order that you must know that Man s consequences you gnosis of God depend entirely on the

of danger to the vulgar.

evil

knowledge and his Man information and eternal guidance of the Truth. in gnosis may be now greater and now less, but the gnosis

is

certainty

neither increased nor diminished, since in either case

You must

would be impaired.

it

s

not

let

blind conformity enter

knowledge of God, and you must know Him through His attributes of perfection. This can be attained only through the providence and favour of God, who has absolute control of into your

our minds.

If

Me

He makes one

so will,

of His actions a guide

way to Himself, and if He will otherwise, He same action an obstacle that prevents us from reaching Him. Thus Jesus was to some a guide that led them to gnosis, but to others he was an obstacle that hindered them that shows us the

makes

that

from gnosis; the former party This God," and the latter said,

said,

some were

God by

is

"This

the son of

"

is

the servant of

God."

Similarly,

and by the sun and moon, while others were led astray. Such guides are a means of gnosis, but not the immediate cause of it, and one means is no better than another

gnostic

led to

in relation to s

idols

Him who

and regard

to

is

means

affirmation of a

the author of them is

all.

The

a sign of dualism (zunndr),

anything except the object of knowledge

When

a

man

is

doomed

is

to perdition in the

polytheism (shirk). Preserved Tablet, nay, in the will and knowledge of God, how can any proof and demonstration lead him aright ? The most high God, as He pleases and by whatever means He pleases, shows His servant the way to Himself and opens to him the 1

See Baydawi on Kor, vii, 174. See Goldziher & Landberg, Die Legends vom Monch Barsisja (1896), M. Hartmann, Der heilige Barsisa in Der Islamische Orient (1905), i, 23-8. 2

T

and


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

2/4

door of gnosis, so that he attains to a degree where the very essence of gnosis appears alien (ghayr) and

noxious to him, and he

known and

realizes

Dhu 1-Nun

veiled

is

that

his

by

is

gnosis

the

its

"

"

The gnostics pretend

to

But I avow ignorance

:

from the object

a pretension

Beware

Egyptian says pretensions to gnosis," and it has been said :

become

attributes

his gnosis

lest

(da*wd).

make

thou

in verse

knowledge, that

is

my

knowledge"

Therefore do not claim gnosis, lest thou perish in thy pretension, but cleave to the reality thereof, that thou mayest be saved. When anyone is honoured by the revelation of the Divine a plague to him and

majesty, his existence becomes attributes a source of corruption. to

whom God

belongs

all

his

He who belongs to God and not connected with anything in the

is

real gist of gnosis is to recognize that to God is When a man knows that all possessions are in the kingdom. the absolute control of God, what further business has he with

universe.

The

mankind, that he should be veiled from God by them or by himself? All such veils are the result of ignorance. As soon as ignorance

equal

in

is

annihilated, they vanish,

rank to the

life

and

this life

is

made

hereafter.

SECTION.

Now, for instruction s sake, I will mention some of the numerous sayings which the Shaykhs have uttered on this subject.

Abdallah

b.

astonished by

Mubarak says anything,"

act exceeding the

Gnosis consists

not being because astonishment arises from an "

:

in

power of the doer, and inasmuch

as

God

is

omnipotent it is impossible that a gnostic should be astonished by His acts. If there be any room for astonishment, one must needs

marvel that

degree that

it

God

exalts

receives His

such an eminence that

Him, and seeks

it

vision of

a handful of earth to such a

commands, and

a drop of blood to

discourses of love and knowledge of

Him, and

desires union with

Him.


THE GNOSIS OF GOD.

Dhu 1-Nun

275

Gnosis is in reality God s Egyptian says of the communication spiritual light to our inmost providential in His until God, hearts," i.e., providence, illuminates the heart of Man and keeps it from contamination, so that all created the

"

:

things have not even the worth of a mustard-seed in his heart, the contemplation of Divine mysteries, both inward and out

but when God ward, does not overwhelm him with rapture has done this, his every look becomes an act of contemplation ;

Shibli says

(mus/idkadat).

Amazement

(Jiayrai)"

the essence and (2)

polytheism and

Gnosis

"

:

is

of two kinds

is

amazement

amazement amazement at The former is

continual :

(i)

at the quality.

because no gnostic can possibly be but the latter

infidelity,

doubt concerning the essential nature of God

God

gnosis, because the quality of

Hence a certain one said In the my amazement

"

:

is

beyond reason s scope. Guide of the amazed, increase place, he affirmed the existence

O

"

!

;

in

first

lies

God and

the perfection of His attributes, and recognized that the object of men s search and the accomplisher of their then he asked for prayers and the author of their amazement

of

He

is

;

amazement and recognized that in seeking God the reason has no alternative between amazement and polytheism. increase of

This sentiment

is

very

It

fine.

may

be, again, that

knowledge

God s being involves amazement at one s own being, because when a man knows God he sees himself entirely subdued by of

the Divine omnipotence

God and

;

and since

his existence

depends on

non-existence proceeds from God, and his rest and motion are produced by the power of God, he becomes amazed,

saying: said: i.e.

"

his

"Who

and what

He who knows

am

In this sense the Apostle

I?"

himself has

come

to

know

his

he who knows himself to be annihilated knows

be eternally subsistent.

human

attributes,

accessible

to

amazement.

Abu

it

destroys reason and all the substance of a thing is not

cannot

Yazfd said

that the motion and rest of

without

to

Annihilation

and when

reason

Lord,"

God

possibly "

:

be known

without

Gnosis consists in knowing ^V^^j^^g^^^^^jjjgU^g^PpKMHBMMttHIVMHM^fifci

mankind depend on

God," and that His permission no one has the least control of His

,


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

276

action until He kingdojai^and that no one can perform any creates the ability to act and puts the will to act in his heart, I

and that human actions are metaphorical and that God

is

the

Muhammad

b. Wasi* says, describing the gnostic his amazement perpetual," because and few His words are

real agent.

:

things admit of being expressed in words, and since cannot be expressed it leaves no resource except the perpetual amazement. Shibli says: "Real gnosis is the inability to attain gnosis," i.e. inability to know a thing, to the real finite

only

infinite

man

nature of which a attaining

has no clue except the impossibility of he will rightly take no it,

Therefore, in attaining

it.

credit to himself, because inability (^ajz]

as he

depends on

his

own

is

and

faculties

search, and so long

attributes, he

cannot

and when these faculties properly be described by that term and attributes depart, then his state is not inability, but ;

Some

pretenders, while affirming the attributes of humanity and the subsistence of the obligation to decide with sound judgment (taklif ba-sihhat-i khitdb] and the authority annihilation.

maintained over them by

God

s

proof, declare that gnosis

is

impotence, and that they are impotent and unable to attain In search of what thing have you become I reply anything. so helpless?" Impotence (?ajz) has two signs, which are not to "

:

be found in you firstly, the annihilation of the faculties of search, and secondly, the manifestation of the glory of God :

Where

(tajalli).

no outward expression (^ibdraf) and where the glory revealed, no clue can be given and no discrimination Hence one who is impotent does not know conceivable.

there

of is

the annihilation of the faculties takes place,

is

God

that

he

;

is

is

so,

or that the state attributed to

him

is

called

How should he know this? Impotence is other impotence. than God, and the affirmation of knowledge of other than God is

not gnosis

;

and so long as there

is

room

in the

heart for

aught except God, or the possibility of expressing aught except God, true gnosis has not been attained. The gnostic is not a gnostic until he turns aside from Hafs Haddad says Since I have "

:

all

that

is

not God.

known God,

Abu

neither truth


THE GNOSIS OF GOD. nor falsehood has entered

and passion he

my

277

When

heart."

a

man

turns to the soul (dil) in order that

it

feels desire

may

guide

him to the lower soul (nafs), which is the seat of falsehood and when he finds the evidence of gnosis, he also turns to the soul in order that it may guide him to the spirit, which is But when aught except God the source of truth and reality. enters the soul, the gnostic, if he turns to it, commits an act of There is a great difference between one who agnosticism. turns to the soul and one who turns to God. Abu Bakr Wdsiti He who knows God is cut off from all things, nay, he is says ;

"

:

dumb and

a.b}ect^(&/iarisa

express anything and Apostle, while he was

wa-nqama

all his

i.e.

a)"

he

is

unable to

So the

attributes are annihilated.

in the state

of absence, said

"

:

I

am

the

most eloquent of the Arabs and non-Arabs" but when he was borne to the presence of God, he said 10 JLJiBP^LJ ^ J1OW to ;

"

:

utter

Thy

praise."

speakest not, praise

Me,

I

1

will will

atoms may praise

Answer came speak

make

Me

in

;

if

"

:

Muhammad,

the universe thy deputy, that

thy

if

thou

thou deemest thyself unworthy to

name."

all

its


CHAPTER

XVI.

THE UNCOVERING OF THE SECOND VEIL: CONCERNING UNIFICATION

God

God

"Say,

Your God

"

said,

one

is

one

is

(tawhlcT). "

(Kor.

and again, (Kor. xvi, 23) And the Apostle said: i). ;

"

cxii,

was a man who did no good work except that he pronounced God to be one. When he was dying he said to his folk After my death burn me and gather my ashes and "

Long ago

there

:

on a windy day throw half of them into the sea, and scatter half of them to the winds of the earth, that no trace of me may As soon as he died and this was done, God bade the be left.

and the water keep the ashes which they had received until the Resurrection and when He raises that man from the dead, He will ask him why he caused himself to be burnt, and he will

air .

;

reply

:

O

and God

Lord, from shame of Thee, for

will

pardon Real unification (taw hid) consists

I

was a great

sinner,

him."

asserting the unity of Inas a thing and in having a perfect knowledge of its unity. and in His essence much as God is one, without any sharer in

any substitute, without any partner in His inasmuch as Unitarians (muwahhiddn) have

attributes, without

actions,

and

acknowledged that

He

is

such, their

knowledge of unity

is

called unification.

Unification

is

of three kinds:

His knowledge of His unity creatures, i.e. His decree that a

i.e.

God s unification of God, (2) God s unification of His

(i) ;

man

be one, and the creation of unification unification of

God,

i.e.

a

not admitting duality

;

pronounce

in his heart

;

Him

(3)

to

men

s

their knowledge of the unity of God. knows God he can declare His unity

man and pronounce that He is Therefore, when

shall

one, incapable of union and separation, that His unity is not a number so as to


UNIFICATION.

279

be made two by the predication of another number that He is not finite so as to have six directions that He has no space, and that He is not in space, so as to require the predication of ;

;

space that He is not an accident, so as to need a substance, nor a substance, which cannot exist without another like itself, nor a~ natural constitution (tafri\ in which motion and rest ;

originate, nor a spirit so as alTlcr

of limbs

composed immanent (hall) in things, with them and that He t>e

;

to

need a frame, nor a body so He does not become

and that

;

He must

for then

be homogeneous

not joined to anything, for then

is

must be a part of Him and that He is free from imperfections and exalted above all defects and that He has no like, so that He and His creature should make two and that thing

;

all

;

;

He

that

has no child whose begetting would necessarily cause to be a stock (asl) and that His essence and attributes

Him

;

and that

are unchangeable j

He

is

endowed with those

attributes

oTperfection which believers and Unitarians affirm, and which He has described Himself as possessing.; and that He is exempt from those attributes which heretics arbitrarily impute to

Him and

that

He

is

Knowing, Forgiving, Merciful, Willing, Powerful, Hearing, Seeing, Speaking, and Subsistent and that His knowledge is not a state (Ml) in Him, nor His power solidly planted (saldbaf) in Him, nor His hearing and ;

Living,

;

sight detached (mutajarrid) in

Him

;

and that

eternity

;

in

together with His attributes exists from and that objects of cognition are not outside of His

knowledge, and and that

will

Him, nor His speech divided

He

;

He

which

that

He

entities

are

dependent on His has willed, and wills

entirely

does that which

He

known, and no creature has cognisance and that His decree is an absolute fact, and that thereof; His friends have no resource except resignation and that He that

has

;

the sole predestinator of good and evil, and the only being that is worthy of hope or fear; and that He creates all benefit is

and injury

judgment

;

is

He

and that all

wisdom

of attaining unto

Him

;

;

alone

gives

judgment, and

His

and that no one has any possibility and that the inhabitants of Paradise


KASIIF AL-MAHJUB.

280 shall

Him

behold

admissible face to

;

;

and that

assimilation

and that such terms as (muqdbalat

face"

His being

;

ti

is

(tashbiJi) "

"

confronting

and

in

"

seeing

muwdjahaf] cannot be applied to

and that His saints may enjoy the contemplation

Him

(inushdhadaf] of

in this world.

Him

Those who do not acknowledge

to be such are guilty of

All b. Uthman al-Jullabi, said at the beginning I, impiety. of this chapter that .unification consists in declaring the unity of a thing, and that such a declaration cannot be made without

The Sunnis have declared

the unity of God with true comprehension, because, seeing a subtle work and a unique act, they recognized that it could not possibly exist by itself, and finding manifest evidences of origination (hudut/i) in every

knowledge.

thing, they perceived that there must be an Agent who brought the universe into being the earth and heaven and sun and

moon and

land and sea and

that

all

moves and

rests

and

their

knowledge and speech and life and death. For all these an artificer was indispensable. Accordingly, the Sunnis, rejecting the notion that there are two or three artificers, declared themselves satisfied with a single

artificer

who

is

perfect, living,

knowing, almighty, and unpartnered. And inasmuch as an act requires at least one agent, and the existence of two agents for one act involves the dependence of one on the other, it follows that the

Agent

is

unquestionably and certainly one.

are at variance with the dualists,

who

and with the Magians, who affirm

Here we

and darkness, Yazdan and Ahriman, and affirm light

with the natural philosophers (tab&i iydn},

who

affirm

nature

and potentiality (qnwwat\ and with the astronomers (falakiydn\ who affirm the seven planets, and with the Mu tazilites, who affirm creators

and

artificers

without end.

I

have

briefly refuted

these vain opinions in a book, entitled Al-Ri dyat li-huquq 1 Allah, to which or to the works of the ancient theologians

all

I I

must

refer

will turn to

Now anyone who desires further information. the indications which the Shaykhs have given on

this subject. 1

"

The Observance

of

what

is

due

to

God."


28l

UNIFICATION. SECTION. Unification Junayd said from that which was originated "

It is related that

of the eternal

:

must not regard the eternal

phenomena as a locus of that God is eternal and

the

as

locus

a

eternal

that

;

the separation

is

in

time,"

i.e.

you

of phenomena,

or

and you must know and that

are phenomenal,

you

nothing of your genus is connected with Him, and that nothing of His attributes is mingled in you, and that there is no homogeneity between the eternal and the phenomenal. This is contrary to the above-mentioned doctrine of those who hold the When the eternal is believed to descend spirit to be eternal. into

phenomena, or phenomena

to be attached to the eternal,

no proof remains of the eternity of God and the origination of the universe and this leads to materialism (inadhhab-i daliriydri). ;

In

all

the actions of

phenomena

there are proofs of unification

and evidences of the Divine omnipotence and establish

eternity of God, but

the

desire only

Him

remembrance.

men

are

signs

too

heedless

to

Him

in

or to be content only with keeping

Husayn

b.

Mansur

(al-Hallaj) says:

which

"The

first

step in unification is the annihilation of separation (tafrid)" because separation is the pronouncement that one has become separated from imperfections (dfat), while unification is the

declaration of a thing it

is

s

unity

:

therefore in isolation (farddniyyaf]

possible to affirm that which

quality

may

is

other than God, and this

be ascribed to others besides

(wa/iddniyyaf)

it

is

God

but in unity not possible to affirm other than God, and ;

not be ascribed to anything except Him.

unity may the first step in unification (sliarik)

the

and

to put

is

to

deny

(that

admixture (misdj)

God

aside, for

Accordingly, has) a partner

admixture on

(to God) is like seeking the highway with a lamp andar (ntizdj minhdj chun talab-i minhdj bdshad ba-siraj). And Husri says: "Our principles in unification are five: the removal of phenomenality, and the affirmation of eternity, and departure

way

from familiar haunts, and separation from brethren, and forgetfulness of what is known and unknown." The removal of

phenomenality consists

in

denying that phenomena have any


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

282

connexion with unification or that they can possibly attain to His and the affirmation of eternity consists in being holy essence ;

convinced that

God always

have already explained and departure from familiar

existed, as

I

in discussing the saying of Junayd haunts means, for the novice, departure from the habitual pleasures of the lower soul and the forms of this world, and for the adept, departure from lofty stations and glorious states and ;

and separation from brethren (kardmdf) means turning away from the society of mankind and turning towards the society of God, since any thought of other than exalted

God

is

miracles

;

and an imperfection, and the more a man s other than God the more is he

a veil

thoughts are associated with veiled from

God, because it is universally agreed that unification the concentration of thoughts (jam -z Jiiniam\ whereas to be content with other than God is a sign of dispersion of is

and forgetfulness of a thing which known or unknown means the unification of that thing, for unification denies whatever the knowledge of mankind thought (tafriqa-i himmaf)

;

is

affirms about

and whatever

ignorance affirms about it is merely contrary to their knowledge, for ignorance is not unification, and knowledge of the reality of unification cannot it

;

their

be attained without denying the personal which knowledge and ignorance consist.

in

initiative (tasarruf)

A

certain

Shaykh

While Husri was speaking to an audience, I fell and dreamed that two angels came down from Heaven asleep and listened for some time to his discourse. Then one said

relates

to

the

"

:

unification,

was

O

What

other,

not

So-and-so,

it

is

this,

It

says

itself

unification.

(

He

is

ayn)!

looked

the

theory

When at

I

(^ilni)

of

awoke he

me and

said,

impossible to speak of unification except

5

is

man

unification

explaining

theoretically."

this

is

related

that

Junayd said:

"Unification

that one should be a figure (shakhs) in the hands of

God, a figure over which His decrees pass according as He in His omnipotence determines, and that one should be sunk in the seas of His unity, self-annihilated and dead alike to the call of

mankind

to

him and

his

answer to them, absorbed


UNIFICATION. Divine unity in true proximity, and action, because God fulfils in him what

reality of the

by the to

283

and

sense

lost

He

hath willed of him, namely, that his last state should become his first state, and that he should be as he was before he

means that the Unitarian in the will of God has no more a will of his own, and in the unity of God no regard to himself, so that he becomes like an atom as he was in the eternal past when the covenant of unification was made, and God answered the question which He Himself All this

existed."

had asked, and that atom was only the object of His speech. 1 Mankind have no joy in such a one that they should call him to anything, and he has no friendship with anyone he should respond

that

This saying indicates

to their call.

human attributes and perfect resignation state when a man is overpowered by the

the annihilation of to

God

the

in

majesty, so that he becomes a passive instrument and a subtle substance that feels nothing, and his

revelation

of

His

a repository for the mysteries of God, to whom his but, unconscious of all as speech and actions are attributed

body

is

;

he

is,

he remains subject

to

the ordinances

of the

religious

proof of God may be established. Such was the Apostle when on the night of the Ascension he was borne to the station of proximity he desired that the end

law, to

that the

;

body should be destroyed and his personality be dissolved, but God s purpose was to establish His proof. He bade the Apostle remain in the state that he was in whereupon he and the existence of God from out gained strength displayed his

;

of his

own non-existence and I

Verily,

and

pass the night with

drink";

and he also

am

not as one of you. and he gives me food Lord, "

I

said,

my

said,

"I

am

with

God

which none of the cherubim nor any prophet being contained with said

"

:

Unification

essence of

God

is

comprehensible nor

It is related

me."

in is

a state in

capable of

that Sahl b. Abdallah

that you should recognize that the endowed with knowledge, that it is not

is

this,

visible to the 1

Kor.

vii,

eye in 171.

this

world, but that


KASIIF AL-MAHJUB.

284 exists

it

reality

of

and that

He

the

in

non-incarnate

;

faith,

infinite,

be seen in

will

incomprehensible, the next world,

outwardly and inwardly in His kingdom and His power and that mankind are veiled from knowledge of the ultimate ;

nature of His essence their

intellects

behold

and that

;

know Him, but and that believers

their hearts

Him

cannot reach unto

;

Him

with their (spiritual) eyes, without compre His This saying includes all the principles infinity." hending of unification. And Junayd said The noblest saying con

shall

"

:

cerning unification is that of Abu Bakr Glory to God, who has not vouchsafed to His creatures any means of attaining :

unto knowledge of

Him

unto knowledge of Him. of these words of attain

to gnosis

is

except through impotence to attain Many have mistaken the meaning

"

Abu Bakr and the

suppose that impotence to as agnosticism. This is

same thing

refers only to an existing state, For example, a dead non-existent man is not incapable of life, but he cannot be alive while he is dead and a blind man is not incapable of seeing, but he

absurd, because

impotence

not to a state that

is

;

cannot see

while

he

Therefore, a gnostic is not of so as incapable gnosis long gnosis is existent, for in that case his gnosis resembles intuition. The saying of Abu Bakr is

blind.

may be brought into connexion with the doctrine of Abu Sahl Su luki and Master Abu All Daqqaq, who assert that gnosis

is

acquired

in

the

first

instance, but

finally

becomes

The

possessor of intuitive knowledge is compelled and incapable of putting it away or drawing it to himself. intuitive.

Hence, according to what

Abu Bakr

says, unification

the

is

God in the heart of His creature. Shibli says Unification veils the Unitarian from the beauty of Oneness," because unification is said to be the act of Man, and an act act

of

:

"

of

Man

does not cause the revelation of God, and

in

the

reality of revelation that which does not cause revelation

a

Man

with

is

all his attributes is other than God, for if accounted Divine, then he himself must be accounted Divine, and then Unitarian, unification, and the

veil.

his attributes are


UNIFICATION.

One become, and

this

prevents

is

of

seeker

the

he

veiled he

This

causes of the existence of one another

precisely the Christian

is

unification, is

all three,

is

the interpretation of

"

There

The Shaykhs have discussed unification

is

Some

denoted.

at

attribute,

himself

in

and while he

except God is no god but God

all is

;

attribute

any

annihilating

by that

veiled

still

If

Trinity.

God from

not a Unitarian, for

is

285

vanity. l

".

large the terms

say that

is

it

an

by which

annihilation

that cannot properly be attained unless the attributes subsist,

has

while others

say that

annihilation.

The analogy

tafriqa]

it

must be applied

be understood.

I,

All

no

attribute

whatever

of union and separation

except

(jam

to this question in order that b.

Uthman

al-Jullabi,

it

n

may

declare that

mystery revealed by God to His servants, and that it cannot be expressed in language at all, much less in high-sounding phrases. The explanatory terms and those unification

who

use

is

them

other than 1

a

God

Here the author

are

other than

God, and to affirm what

in unification is to affirm

cites

has been related above.

is

polytheism.

an anecdote of Ibrahim al-Khawwas and al-Hallaj which

See p. 205.


CHAPTER

XVII.

UNCOVERING OF THE THIRD VEIL FAITH

The Apostle and

His

means

said:

(revealed)

"Faith

verification (tasdiq).

application to the religious controversy.

The

(imdii).

is

books."

CONCERNING

:

belief in

God and His

Mu tazilites

hold that faith includes

the

same

a

man an

opinion.

infidel

Some

The

because he commits a

declare that faith

all

acts

hence they say

:

call

angels (imdti)

Concerning its principles in their law there is great discussion and

of devotion, theoretical as well as practical that sin puts a man outside the pale of faith.

who

faith

Etymologically,

Kharijites, sin,

are of

simply a verbal

is

profession, while others say it is only knowledge of God, and a party of Sunni scholastics assert that it is mere verification. I

have written a separate work explaining

my

is

to

this

subject, but

what the Sufi Shaykhs question in the same way

establish

present purpose They are divided on this

believe.

two opposite sects. Some of them, e.g. Fudayl b. lyad and Bishr Hafi and Khayr al-Nassaj and Sumnun al-Muhibb and Abu Hamza of Baghdad and Muhammad as

the

lawyers

of

Jurayri and a great

the

number of

others, hold that faith

is

verbal

profession and verification and practice but others, e.g. Ibrahim b. Adham and Dhu 1-Nun the Egyptian and Abu Yazi d of ;

Abu Sulayman Daranf and Harith Muhasibi and and Sahl b. Abdallah of Tustar and Shaqfq of Balkh Junayd and Hatim Asamm and Muhammad b. al-Fadl of Balkh and Bistam and

a

number

verification.

besides, Jiold

Some

that

lawyers,

i.e.

faith

is

verbal

profession and

Malik and Shafi

b.

Hanbal, maintain the former view, while the

is

supported by

Abu Hani fa and Husayn

b.

i

and

latter

Ahmad

opinion Fadl of Balkh


FAITH.

287

and the followers of Abu Ham fa, such as Muhammad b. alHasan, Dawud Ta and Abu Yusuf. The difference between i,

them as

is

entirely one of expression and

now

will

I

briefly

explain, in

devoid of substance, order that no one may be is

charged with contradicting the principle of faith because he takes the one view or the other in this dispute.

SECTION.

You must know

that the orthodox

Moslems and the

Sufis

are agreed that faith has a principle (as!) and a derivative (far ), the principle being verification in the heart, and the (

derivative being observance of the (Divine)

command.

Now

Arabs commonly and customarily transfer the name of a principle to a derivative by way of metaphor, e.g. they call the

\x~

the light of the sun

"the

In this sense the former of

sun".

the two parties mentioned above apply the name of faith to by which alone a man is made secure

that obedience (td af)

from future punishment. Mere verification (i.e. belief), without performance of the Divine commands, does not involve security. Therefore, since security is in proportion to obedience, and obedience together \vith_jverification and verbal profession is the cause of security, they bestowed on obedience the name

The

of faith.

obedience,

is

otherjparty, however, asserted that gnosis, not the cause of security. Obedience, they said, is

of no avail without gnosis, whereas one lacks obedience will be saved at the last,

on the

will

of

God whether he

shall be

who has

gnosis but

although

it

depends

pardoned by Divine

grace or through the intercession of the Apostle, or whether

he shall be punished according to the measure of his sin and then be delivered from Hell and transported to Paradise. those who have gnosis, although they are reason of their gnosis do not remain for ever in by while those who have only works without gnosis do not Hell, enter Paradise, it follows that here obedience is not the cause Therefore,

since

sinners,

The Apostle said None of you shall be saved works." Hence in reality, without any controversy

of security.

by

his

"

:


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

288

faith is gnosis and acknowledgment and of Whoever knows God knows Him by works. acceptance one of His attributes, and the most elect of His attributes

among Moslems,

those connected with His beauty (jamdfy and with His majesty (jaldl) and with His perfection (kamdf). His perfection is not attainable except by those whose per

are of three kinds

fection

is

:

and whose

established

imperfection

banished.

is

Those whose evidence

There remain beauty and majesty.

in

gnosis is the beauty of God are always longing for vision, and those whose evidence is His majesty are always abhorring their own attributes and their hearts are stricken with awe. Now

longing

is

an

effect of love,

attributes, because the is

and so

abhorrence of

is

lifting of the veil of

human

human

attributes

Therefore faith and gnosis are Whoever denies this sign of love.

the very essence of love.

love,

and obedience

neglects the

command

This

manifest

evil

is

a

is

God and knows nothing of among the aspirants to Sufiism of

gnosis. at the

Some heretics, seeing their excellence and per present day. suaded of their high degree, imitate them and say "Trouble :

only lasts while you do not know Him, all the labour of obedience

as soon as you know removed from the body."

God is

:

reply that when you know Him, the with longing and His command is held in greater I admit that a pious man may reach veneration than before.

But they are wrong.

heart

I

is filled

a point where he is relieved from the irksomeness of obedience through the increase of Divine aid (tawfiq], so that he performs

without trouble what

is

troublesome to others

;

but this result

cannot be achieved without a longing that produces violent Some, again, say that faith comes entirely from agitation.

God, while others say that it springs entirely from Man. This has long been a matter of controversy among the people in Transoxania.

To

assert that faith

comes

entirely from

Man must

God

then have no

sheer compulsion (jabr\ because and to assert that it springs entirely from Man is pure free-will, for Man does not know God except through the The doctrine of unification knowledge that God gives him. is

choice

;


FAITH. is

less

faith

as

He

than compulsion and more than

God hath

"

said

:

will open his breast to

lead

free-will.

Similarly,

Man

joined to the guidance of God, Whomsoever God wishes to lead aright,

really the act of

is

wishes

289

astray,

to

receive

He

will

Islam

make

;

and whomsoever He breast strait and

his

(Kor. vi, 125). On, this principle, inclination to believe (oirawzsh) is the guidance of God, while belief {girawtdari) is The signs of belief are these in the heart, the act of Man. narrow"

:

in the eye, refraining from holding firmly to unification in the forbidden sights and looking needfully on evidences in the belly, being empty of what ear, listening to His word ;

;

;

is

unlawful

(who

;

the

in

tongue,

comes

assert that faith

gnosis and

faith

admitted to be gnosis

must

may

entirely

increase and diminish, which for

false,

be

also

Hence those persons from God) maintain that

veracity.

if it

liable

were to

is

generally then the object of increase and diminution. true,

Accordingly, the increase and diminution must be in the which is the act and it is generally agreed that obedience may diminish and increase. This does not please

derivative,

;

the anthropomorphists (Jiashwiydn)

who

imitate the two parties

mentioned above, for some of them hold that obedience is an element of faith, while others declare that faith is a verbal

Both these doctrines are unjust. profession and nothing else. In short, jaith is really the absorption of all human attributes in the search of G9d. This must be unanimously acknowledged

The might of gnosis overwhelms the attributes and where faith exists agnosticism is banished, qfjignosticism, as it is said A lamp is of no use when the dawn for, by

all believers.

"

:

God hath

said

rises."_

"

:

Kings, when they enter a

city,

ruin

When

gnosis is established in the heart empire of doubt and scepticism and is agnosticism utterly destroyed, and the sovereignty of gnosis subdues his senses and passions so that in all his looks and acts it"

of"

(Kor. xxvii, 34)! the gnostic, the

and words he remains within the circle of its authority. I have read that when Ibrahim Khawwas was asked concerning the I have no answer to this reality of faith, he replied question "

:

U


KASHF AL-MAHJUB. just now, because whatever

behoves

is

say

mere expression, and

a

it

answer by my actions but I am setting out for do thou accompany me that thou mayest be answered."

me

to

;

Mecca The narrator continues :

I

As we journeyed and two cups of two loaves desert, every day water appeared. He gave one to me and took the other for himself. One day an old man rode up to us and dismounted "

:

I

consented.

through the

and conversed with Ibrahim I

asked Ibrahim to

tell

for

me who

a

How

the answer to thy question.

while

so

;

He

he was.

I

?

then he

left

replied

This

asked.

:

He

us. is

said

:

This was Khidr, who begged me to let him accompany me, but I refused, for I feared that in his company I might put confidence in him instead of in God, and then my trust in God

Real faith is trust in (tawakkul) would have been vitiated. And Muhammad b. Khafif says Faith is the belief God. of the heart in that knowledge \vhich comes from the Unseen," "

"

:

because faith

is

in that

which

is

hidden, and

only through Divine strengthening of one the result of knowledge bestowed by God.

Now

I

will

difficulties.

come

to matters of practice

s

it

can be attained

certainty,

and

will

which

is

explain their


CHAPTER

XVIII.

THE UNCOVERING OF THE FOURTH VEIL: CONCERNING PURIFICATION FROM FOULNESS. first thing incumbent on everyone is puri and the performance of prayer, i.e. to cleanse the body from filth and pollution, and to wash the three 1 members, and to wipe the head with water as the law prescribes, or to use sand in the absence of water or in severe

After

faith,

the

fication (tahdraf)

Purification

illness.

of

is

two kinds

:

outward and inward.

Thus prayer

requires purification of the body, and gnosis requires As, in the former case, the water purification of the heart. must be clean, so in the latter case unification must be pure

and

The Sufis are always engaged in puri in unification inwardly. and The Apostle outwardly Be constant in ablution, one of his Companions

belief undefiled.

fication

said

to

"

:

that thy two guardian angels said

"

:

God

his

who

loves those

themselves"

(Kor. invocations :

love

often repent

thee,"

and

and God hath

those

who purify

And

the Apostle used to say in 222). God, purify my heart from hypocrisy."

ii, "

may

O

Even consciousness of the miraculous grace (kardmdf) vouch safed to him he regarded as an affirmation of other than God, hypocrisy (nifdq] to affirm other than God. So long as a disciple s eye is obscured by a single atom of the miracles of the Shaykhs, from the standpoint of for in unification

is

atom

is

a potential veil (between him and God). Yazid said The hypocrisy of gnostics is better

perfection that

Hence Abu

it

"

:

than the sincerity of disciples," i.e. that which is a station The novice (inaqdrn) to the novice is a veil to the adept.

"

"

desires to gain miracles, but 1

The

face,

the adept desires hands, and

feet.

to

gain

the


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

2Q2 Giver of miracles.

In short, the affirmation of miracles, or of

anything that involves the sight of other than God, appears hypocrisy to the people of the Truth (the Sufis). Accordingly, what is noxious to the friends of God is a means of deliverance

and what

for all sinners,

salvation for

noxious to sinners

is

a

is

means of

knew, as sinners their sins are that to know, God, they would all be displeasing saved from infidelity and if sinners knew, as the friends of God all

infidels,

because,

if infidels

;

know, that

all

their actions

are

defective, they

would

all

be

from sin and purged of contamination. Therefore, outward and inward purification must go together e.g., when a man washes his hands he must wash his heart clean of saved

;

when he puts water in his mouth he must mouth from the mention of other than God, and when he washes his face he must turn away from all familiar objects and turn towards God, and when he wipes his head he must resign his affairs to God, and when he washes his feet world liness, and purify his

he must not form the intention of taking his stand on anything except according to the command of God. Thus he will be

doubly purified. In all religious ordinances the external is combined with the internal e.g. in faith, the tongue s profession ;

with the heart to reflect

that

it is

s belief.

The method

of spiritual purification

is

and meditate on the evil of this world and to perceive false and fleeting, and to make the heart empty of it.

This result can be attained only by much self-mortification (inujdhadat\ and the most important act of mortification is to observe the external rules of discipline (dddb-i zdhir) assiduously in all circumstances. It is related that Ibrahim Khawwas said :

<(

I

desire

God

to give

me

an everlasting

life

in this world, in

order that, while mankind are engrossed in the pleasures of the world and forget God, I may observe the rules of religion

amidst the

affliction of the

world and remember

God."

And

Abu

Tahir Harami lived forty years at Mecca, and went outside of the sacred territory whenever he purified

it is

related that

he would not pour the water which he had used for that purpose on ground that God had called His.

himself, because


PURIFICATION.

When

293

Khawwas was

ill of dysentery in the con he Rayy, performed sixty complete gregational mosque ablutions in the course of a day and night, and he died in the

Ibrahim

at

Abu AH Rudbari was

water.

for

some time

he One dawn and stayed there till sunrise. my mind was troubled. I cried out

distracting thoughts (waswds) in purification.

went

"

I

said,

interval

me

God, restore

:

to

leave

this

I

voice answered It is related

purified himself sixty

shall at least

relate

They

world."

"

:

A

!

in knowledge."

when Sufyan Thavvri was dying, he

times for one prayer and said I

health

spiritual

Health consists

from the sea: that

day,"

into the sea at

During that

O

with

afflicted

"

be clean when

of Shibli that one day he

He purified himself with the intention of entering the mosque. Thou hast washed thy outward self, but heard a voice cry "

:

He turned back and gave away thy inward purity ? all that he possessed, and during a year he put on no more Then he came to clothes than were necessary for prayer.

where

"

is

Junayd,

who

said

to

beneficial purification

him

"

:

"

always keep you purified continual

O Abu

Bakr, that was a very

which you have performed

purification.

!

When

may God

;

After that, Shibli engaged in he was dying and could no

longer purify himself, he made a sign to one of his disciples The disciple did so, but forgot to that he should purify him. let

the water flow through his beard (takhlil-i mahdsin).

was unable

to

speak.

He

seized

the

Shibli

hand

disciple s

and

whereupon the rite was duly performed. also related of him that he said Whenever I have

pointed to his beard,

And

it

is

"

:

neglected any rule of purification, arisen

in

my

conceit has always

And Abu Yazi d said Whenever occurs to my mind, I perform a puri "

heart."

a thought of this world fication (tahdrati)

occurs to me,

some vain

;

:

and whenever a thought of the next world

perform a complete ablution (ghuslt}? because non-eternal (jnuhdath\ and the result of thinking of it is legal impurity (hadath], whereas the next world is the place of absence and repose (ghaybat u dram*), and the result

this

world

I

is

of thinking of

it

is

pollution (jandbaf}

:

hence legal impurity


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

294

One involves purification and pollution involves total ablution. door of to the the came he When himself. day Shibli purified mosque a voice whispered

My

thou enterest

house with

but the voice asked wilt thou

Whither said:

in his heart

"

:

Art thou so pure that

boldness

He

"

?

turned back,

He

go?"

The The

uttered a loud cry.

me?"

He

stood

door

My

Dost thou turn back from

thou revile

"Dost

this

"

:

silent.

Dost thou pretend to endure My affliction ? exclaimed: God, I implore Thee to help me

"

said

?

voice

voice Shibli

"

:

against

"O

Thyself."

Shaykhs have fully discussed the true meaning of not to cease purification, and have commanded their disciples He and both themselves from purifying inwardly. outwardly

The

Sufi

serve God must purify himself outwardly with he who would come nigh unto God must purify and water,

who would

Now I will explain himself inwardly with repentance. its corollaries. and of repentance (tawbat) principles Chapter concerning Repentance and

You must know

its

that repentance (tawbat)

is

the

Corollaries.

the

first

station

pilgrims on the way to the Truth, just as purification (tahdrat) is the first step of those who desire to serve God. Hence God hath said believers, repent unto God with of

"

:

a sincere "

There

is "

repents

And the Apostle said, (Kor. Ixvi, 8). nothing that God loves more than a youth who He who repents of sin is even and he also said,

repentance"

"

;

When God loves then he added, a man, sin shall not hurt him," i.e. he will not become an infidel on account of sin, and his faith will not be impaired. as one

who

has no sin

Etymologically involves

the

tawbat

turning

"

"

;

means back

"

from

return

",

and tawbat

what God has

really

forbidden

through fear of what He has commanded. The Apostle said Penitence is the act of returning (al-nadam al-tawbaf). :

"

"

saying comprises three things which are involved in tawbat, namely, (i) remorse for disobedience, (2) immediate

This

abandonment of

sin,

and

(3)

determination not to sin again.


REPENTANCE.

As repentance

contrition (jiaddmaf)

Divine chastisement

these

involves

(tawbaf)

first

three

conditions,

be due to three causes:

may

and sorrow

for

of Divine favour and certainty that evil

295

evil

(i) fear

actions,

so

of

(2) desire

cannot be gained by conduct and disobedience, (3) shame before God. In the case the penitent is td ib, in the second case he is munib,

in the third case

he

awwdb.

is

it

Similarly, tawbat has

three

Divine

of

fear

tawbat, through viz., punishment through desire of Divine reward and awbat, for the sake of keeping the Divine command. Taivbat is the station stations,

indbat)

;

;

of the mass of believers, and sins (kabiraf)

favourites of

and indbat

x ;

God (awliyd u

muqarrabdri)

from great sins to obedience sins to love;

3

prophets and

station of the

and awbat

is

implies repentance from great the station of the saints and

is

indbat

and awbat

Tawbat

apostles. ;

2 ;

to

to return from

is

from one

to return

is

s

is

the

return

minor God.

self to

Repentance (tawbaf} has its origin in the stern prohibitions of God and in the heart s being aroused from the slumber of heedlessness.

When

man

a

considers

his

evil

conduct and

abominable deeds he

seeks deliverance therefrom, and God makes it easy for him to repent and leads him back to the sweetness of obedience. According to the opinion of orthodox

Moslems and of one sin

may

man who

the Sufi Shaykhs, a

has repented continue to commit other sins and nevertheless

all

receive Divine

recompense for having abstained from that one sin and it may be that through the blessing of that recompense he will abstain from other sins. But the Bahshami 4 sect of the ;

Mu tazilites

hold that no one can properly be called repentant unless he avoids all great sins, a doctrine which is absurd, because a man is not punished for the sins that he does not commit, but if he renounces a certain kind of sin he has no fear

of

being punished for consequently, he is repentant.

1

4

Cf. Kor. Ixvi, 8.

Text, yUAfS.

2

sins

Cf. Kor.

of

that

Similarly,

1,

particular

Cf

.

s

kind

:

he performs some 3

32.

See Shahristani, Haarbrucker

if

translation,

i,

Kor>

80.

xxxviii)


KASHF AL-MAHJTJB.

296

and neglects others, he will be rewarded for those which he performed and will be punished for those which he neglected. Moreover, if anyone should have religious duties

repented

of a sin which he has not the

means of committing

at

the

moment, he is repentant, because through that past repentance he has gained contrition (naddmat\ which is a fundamental part of repentance (tawbaf), and at the moment he has turned back on that kind of sin and is resolved not to commit

his

it again, even though he should have the power and means of doing so at some future time. As regards the nature and property of repentance, the Sufi Shaykhs hold diverse opinions. Sahl b. Abdallah (al-Tustari) and others believe that repentance consists in not forgetting your sins, but always regretting them, so that, although you have works to

many good

you

will

remorse

your

not be pleased with yourself on that account for

who never

an

evil action is superior to

his

forgets

sins

will

credit,

since

;

good works, and one become conceited.

never

Junayd and others take the opposite view, that repentance consists in forgetting the sin. They argue that the penitent is a lover of and the lover of God is in God,

contemplation

of God, and in contemplation it is wrong to remember for remembrance of sin is a veil between God and those

contemplate Him. of

opinion

sin,

who

This controversy goes back to the difference mortification

(nmjdhadai) and con templation (mushdhadat\ which .has been discussed in my account of the doctrine of the Sahlis. Those who hold the

concerning

penitent to be self-dependent regard his forgetfulness of sin as heedlessness, while those who hold that he is

on

God deem

his

remembrance of

Moses, while his attributes

towards

Thee"

(Kor.

vii,

sin

were subsistent,

140), but

attributes were annihilated, said, Inasmuch as it behoves the

"I

the

selfhood,

sin

is

away from God, and

a so

sin, for sin is

the

is

tell

"/

repent

while

Thy

his

praise."

not to remember his

how should he remember

remembrance of

said,

Apostle,

cannot

penitent

own

dependent be polytheism.

to

his

sin?

Indeed,

an occasion of turning

remembrance of

it

or the


REPENTANCE. of

forgetting are

it,

since

both remembrance

connected with one

many

books, but

as this verse 1

I

297

s

Junayd

self.

and

says:

forgetfulness

have read

"I

have never found anything so instructive

:

Id/id qultu

md

adhnabtu qdlat mujibat

haydtuka dhanb

When

What

Thy

is

I say: existence

Id

bilii dhanbu"

yuqdsu sin?

my

is

an

a sin with which

she says in reply: no other sin can

be

"

compared. In short, repentance is a Divine strengthening and sin is a the corporeal act when contrition (naddmaf) enters the heart :

body has no means of expelling

human

it

beginning no the end no human act

and as

;

act can expel repentance, so in

in the

And He turned (taba) unto God hath said Jiiui (Adam), for He is tJie Disposer towards repentance (altawwab), the Merciful" (Kor. ii, 35). The Koran contains many texts to the same effect, which are too well known to require can maintain

"

it.

:

citation. is

Repentance what is right, (3)

of three kinds:

(2)

from what

from selfhood to God.

men

ordinary

;

is

The

the second kind

(i)

right

what

to

kind

wrong to more right,

is

is

the repentance of the repentance of the elect

first is

from what

and the third kind of repentance belongs

is

;

to the

degree of Divine

As regards the elect, it is impossible that should Do not you perceive that all the they repent of sin. world feel regret for having lost the vision of God ? Moses love (inahabbaf].

desired

asked

that vision

for

volition

it

is

with his

a taint.

and repented (Kor.

vii,

because he

140),

own volition (ikhtiydr), for in love personal The people thought he had renounced the what he

really renounced was his personal those who love God, they repent not only regards of the imperfection of a station below the station to which they

vision of God, but volition.

As

have attained, but also of being conscious of any "

state

"

whatsoever.

"

station

"

or


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

298

SECTION. Repentance does not necessarily continue not to return to sin has been duly made.

after the resolution

A

penitent who in those circumstances returns to sin has in principle earned the Divine reward for repentance. Many novices of this sect (the Sufi s) have repented and gone back to wickedness and then once more, in consequence of an admonition, have returned to God. A certain Shaykh relates that he repented seventy times

and went back to

on every occasion,

sin

time he became steadfast.

first

until at the seventy-

And Abu Amr

b.

Nujayd

l

As a novice, I repented in the following story assembly-room of Abu Uthman Hiri and persevered in my the

tells

"

:

Then

repentance for some while.

society of that spiritual director, and

my

afar

remorse caused

me

said to

associate with your enemies unless for

an enemy

come

.to

us,

will see

your

whenever

faults

and

me

you

:

left

One day do not

son,

l

are sinless If

affliction.

the

saw him from

I

O

(

rejoice.

we may bear your

that

and

to flee from his sight.

He

met him unexpectedly.

I

into sin

fell

I

(ma s2ini), you must sin,

On

hearing

repentance was A certain man, having repented of sin, returned established." to it and then repented once more. he said, How will it his

words,

felt

I

and

with sin

surfeited

my

"

be,"

now turn to God?" Thou didst obey Me and

"if

"

I

abandon

Me

and

I

A I

heavenly voice answered, saying recompensed thee, then thou didst :

showed indulgence towards thee

thou wilt return to Me,

will receive

I

;

and

if

thee."

SECTION.

Dhu

l-Niin the

"

Egyptian says

:

Ordinary

men

repent of because

their sins, but the elect repent of their heedlessness,"

men

shall be questioned concerning their outward but the elect shall be questioned concerning the real behaviour, nature of their conduct. Heedlessness, which to ordinary men

ordinary

is

a pleasure,

is

a veil to the elect. 1

Abu Hafs Haddad

Nafahdt, No. 281.

says

:


REPENTANCE.

299

Man

has no part in repentance, because repentance is from Man, not from Man to God." According to this saying, repentance is not acquired by Man, but is one of God s gifts, a doctrine which is closely akin to that of Junayd. "

God

to

Abu 1-Hasan

Bushanji says:

a sin, that

"When

you

feel

no delight

in

because the recollection

is

repentance," remembering of a sin is accompanied either by regret or by desire one who regrets that he has committed a sin is repentant, whereas one :

who

desires to

commit a

so evil as the desire of desire

is

perpetual.

sin is a sinner. it,

for the act is

Dhu 1-Nun

The

actual sin

is

not

momentary, but the

the Egyptian says:

"There

two kinds of repentance, the repentance of return (tawbat al-indbaf) and the repentance of shame (tawbat al-istihyd) are

:

the former

the latter

is is

repentance through fear of Divine punishment, repentance through shame of Divine clemency."

The repentance

caused by revelation of God s majesty, while the repentance of shame is caused by vision of God s Those who feel shame are intoxicated, and those who beauty. of fear

feel fear are sober.

is


CHAPTER

XIX.

THE UNCOVERING OF THE FIFTH VEIL: CONCERNING PRAYER

(al-saldf).

Etymologically, prayer (namdz) means remembrance (of God) and submissiveness (dhikr u inqiydd), but in the correct usage of lawyers the term is specially applied to the five prayers

which God has ordered to be performed at five different times, and which involve certain preliminary conditions, viz. (i) puri :

outwardly from filth and inwardly from lust (2) that one s outward garment should be clean and one s inner garment undefiled by anything unlawful (3) that the place where one fication

;

;

should be outwardly free from contamination purifies and inwardly free from corruptness and sin (4) turning towards the qibla, the outward qibla being the Ka ba and the inward

one

s

self

;

qibla being the

Throne of God, by which

of Divine contemplation

is

meant the mystery

standing outwardly in the state of power (qudraf) and inwardly in the garden of proximity to God (qurbaf) (6) sincere intention to approach unto God ; ;

(5)

;

(7)

saying

"Allah akbar"

in the station of

awe and

annihilation,

and standing in the abode of union, and reciting the Koran distinctly and reverently, and bowing the head with humility, and prostrating one s self with abasement, and making the profession of faith with concentration, and saluting with annihilation of one

s attributes.

It is

recorded in the Traditions

the Apostle prayed, there was heard within him And when All was about a sound like the boiling of a kettle.

that

when

to pray, his hair stood

hour has come to

fulfil

earth were unable to 1

Here the author

of praying.

cites

on end and he trembled and said a trust which the heavens

bear."

"

:

The

and the

1

a description given by

Hatim al-Asamm

of his

manner


PRAYER.

3OI

SECTION. Prayer is a term in which novices find the whole way to God, from beginning to end, and in which their stations (maqdmdt)

-

Thus, fo^__novk^s, purification takes the place of and dependence on a spiritual director takes the repentance, place of ascertaining the qibla, and standing in prayer takes

are revealed.

*

the place of self-mortification, and reciting the Koran takes the place of inward meditation (dhikr\ and bowing the head takes

the place of humility, and prostration takes the place of selfknowledge, and profession of faith takes the place of intimacy (uns), and salutation takes the place of detachment from the

world and escape from the bondage of stations Hence, when the Apostle became divested of all feelings of delight (maskdrib) "

".

in

complete bewilderment, he used to say

by the call to

The

prayer."

Sufi

"

:

O

comfort us

Bilal,

Shaykhs have discussed

this

matter and each of them occupies a position of his own. Some hold that prayer is a means of obtaining "presence" with God

and others regard it as a means of obtaining absence some who have been "absent" become "present" in (ghaybat)

"

"

(kudiir),

;

prayer, while others Similarly, in the

who have been

next world where

when they

"

"

present

God

is

become

seen,

"

absent

some, who

".

are

God shall become present and vice versa. All b. Uthman al-Jullabi, assert that prayer is I, a Divine command and is not a means of obtaining either or "absence", because a Divine command is not "presence" a means to anything. The cause of presence is presence "

absent

",

see

"

",

"

"

"

"

absence is absence itself. If prayer itself, and the cause of were the cause or means of presence it could be performed and if it were the only by one who was cause of present one who was absent" would "absence", necessarily become "

"

"

"

"

",

"

",

"

"

"

But inasmuch as it must present by neglecting to perform it. be performed by all, whether be or absent they present prayer is sovereign in its essence and independent. t, Prayer is mostly performed and prescribed by those who are "

"

"

",

engaged

in self-mortification or

ness (istiqdmaf].

who have

attained to steadfast-

Thus the Shaykhs order

their disciples

to

\


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

302

perform four hundred bowings in prayer during a day and and the night, that their bodies may be habituated to devotion ;

steadfast likewise perform many prayers in thanksgiving for the favour which God has bestowed upon them. As regards

those

who

possess "states" (arbdb-i ahwdl), their prayers, in the perfection of ecstasy, correspond to the station of union, "

"

so that through their prayers they

when ecstasy

is

become united

;

or again,

withdrawn, their prayers correspond

to

the

"

of separation, so that thereby they become separated. former, who are united in their prayers, pray by and

"station

The

day

and

add

supererogatory prayers to those which are incumbent on them, but the latter, who are separated, perform no more prayers than they need. The said In Apostle night

"

:

prayer

lies

my When

because prayer

delight,"

is

a source of joy to the

the Apostle was brought nigh unto God on the night of the Ascension, and his soul was loosed from the fetters of phenomenal lost consciousness of being, and his steadfast.

spirit

degrees and stations, and his natural powers were annihilated, he said, not of his own will, but O God, inspired by longing all

"

:

do not transport me throw

me

answered

under

Do not yonder world of affliction of nature and passion!" God sway

to

the

!

It is My decree that thou shalt return to the world the sake of establishing the religious law, in order that may give thee there what I have given thee here." When he "

:

for I

returned to this world, he used a longing for that exalted station

to "

O

say as often as he

felt

comfort us by the caTPtb prayer Thus to him every time of prayer was an Ascension and a new nearness to God. Sahl b. Abdallah says :

Bilal,

"

!

:

"

It is a

who

sign of a

urges him

wakes him

if

man

sincerity that he has an attendant angel to pray when the hour of prayer is come, and

he be

s

asleep."

This mark (of sincerity) was

Sahl himself, for although he had become palsied in his old age he used to recover the use of his limbs whenever the hour of prayer arrived and after having performed his he was unable to move from his place. prayers One of the

apparent

in

;

Shaykhs says

"

:

Four things are necessary

to

him who prays

:


PRAYER.

3O3

annihilation of the lower soul (nafs\ loss of the natural powers,

purity of the inmost heart, and perfect contemplation." Annihi lation of the lower soul is to be attained only by concentration

oTThought

;

loss of the natural

powers only by affirmation of

the Divine majesty, which involves the destruction of all that is and other than God purity of the inmost heart only by love ;

;

It is perfect contemplation only by purity of the inmost heart. used to related that Husayn b. Mansur (al-Hallaj) lay upon himself the obligation of performing four hundred bowings of

On

being asked why he took so much trouble in the high degree which he enjoyed, he answered Pain and pleasure indicate your feelings, but those whose prayer in a day and a night.

:

"

no effect either of pleasure or of remissness maturity and desire of

attributes are annihilated feel pain.

Beware

lest

you

the world search for

praying behind takbtr^ he cried

Dhu

call

God."

A

certain

relates

"

:

I

was

When

he began to pronounce the Allah akbar* and fell in a swoon like a lifeless 1-Nun.

Junayd, after he had grown

body."

man

omit any item he was urged to

old, did not

of the litanies (awrdd) of his youth.

When

from some of these supererogatory acts of devotion to which his strength was unequal, he replied that he could not refrain

abandon

at the last those exercises

which had been the means

of his acquiring spiritual welfare at the first. It is well known that the angels are ceaselessly engaged in worship, because they are spiritual deters

and have no lower soul

men from

The lower

(nafs).

obedience, and the more

it

is

soul

subdued the

more easy does the performance of worship become and when it is entirely annihilated, worship becomes the food and drink of Abdallah Man, even as it is the food and drink of the angels. b. Mubarak says In my boyhood I remember seeing a female ascetic who was bitten by a scorpion in forty places while she was praying, but no change of expression was visible in her ;

"

:

she had finished, I said O mother, why didst not thou fling the scorpion away from thee ? She answered dost thou deem it that while Ignorant boy right

countenance.

When

:

:

I

am engaged

!

in

God

s

business

I

should attend to

my own ?

"


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

304

Abu

had a gangrene

l

Aqta

1-Khayr

in

his

foot.

The

foot must be amputated, but he physicians declared that his would not allow this to be done. His disciples said: "Cut it

praying, for at that time he is unconscious." The physicians acted on this advice. When Abu 1-Khayr 2 finished his prayers he found that his foot had been amputated.

he

off while

is

Sufis perform obligatory acts of devotion openly, but conceal those which are supererogatory in order that they may

Some

who desires escape from ostentation (riyd). Anyone (they say) that others should take notice of his religious practices becomes and if he says that although other people see a hypocrite his devotions he himself is unconscious of them, that too is ;

Other

hypocrisy.

Sufis,

however, exhibit both their obligatory

of devotion, on the ground that supererogatory ostentation is unreal and piety real therefore, it is absurd to Do not let any thought hide reality for the sake of unreality.

and

acts

:

"

of ostentation (they say) enter your

wherever you

will."

heart,

and worship God

The Shaykhs have observed

the

true

of the rules of devotional practice, and have enjoined I travelled do the same. One of them says

spirit

"

their disciples to

:

and during that time I did not miss a single of prayer, but was in some town every Friday."

for forty years,

public service

The which

corollaries of prayer I

will

now

belong to the stations of

set forth the principles in

love, of

full.

Chapter concerning Love and matters connected therewith.

God hath

"

said,

believers,

whosoever among you apostatize

their religion, God will assuredly bring in their stead a people whom He will love and who ^vill love Him (Kor. v, 59) and He hath also said, Some men take idols beside God and

from

"

;

"

love

(Kor. 1

them as they love God, but the ii,

1

60).

And

the Apostle said

believers love "

:

I

God

best"

heard Gabriel say

Nafahat, No. 259.

Here follows a story, already related in the notice of Abu Bakr (p. 70), concerning the different manner in which Abu Bakr and Umar recited the Koran 2

when they performed

their prayers.


LOVE.

God

305

Whoever despises any of My friends has I do not hesitate in declared war against Me. anything as I hesitate to seize the soul of My faithful servant who dislikes that

(

said,

and

death

whom

to

dislike

I

but he cannot escape

hurt,

and no means whereby My servant seeks My therefrom favour is more pleasing to Me than the performance of the and My servant obligations which I have laid upon him ;

;

favour by works of supererogation until I love him, and when I love him I am his hearing and his sight And the Apostle also said, and his hand and his helper.

My

continuously seeks

"

"

God

meet those who love

loves to

meet those who

to

God

loves a

meet Him, and meet Him and again, to

dislikes

"

dislike to

man He

"

;

O

says to Gabriel,

Gabriel,

I

When

love such

and such a one, so do thou love him then Gabriel loves him and says to the dwellers in Heaven, God loves such and such ;

a one, and they love in the earth, so that

and

as

him too

he

;

then he bestows on him favour

loved by the inhabitants of the earth happens with regard to love, so does it happen with

it

regard to

is

;

hate."

Mahabbat

(love)

is

said to be derived from hibbat,

to the earth in the desert.

which are

The name hubb

seeds that

fall

was given

to such desert seeds (Jiibb\ because love

is

(love)

the source

As, when the seeds are scattered in the desert, they become hidden in the earth, and rain falls upon them and the sun shines upon them and cold

of

life

just as seeds are the origin of plants.

and heat pass over them, yet they are not corrupted by the changing seasons, but grow up and bear flowers and give fruit, so love,

by

when

it

takes

its

presence or absence,

dwelling

in the heart, is

by pleasure or pain,

not corrupted

by separation

or

Others say that mahabbat is derived from hubb, meaning because when love is collected in jar full of stagnant water

union. "a

",

the heart and

fills

there

is

no room there

for

any thought Love is called mahabbat except of the beloved, as Shibli says because it obliterates (tain/iii) from the heart everything except the beloved." Others say that mahabbat is derived from it,

"

:

hubb>

"

meaning

the four conjoined pieces of

wood on which

a water-jug

X


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

306

placed, because a lover lightly bears whatever his beloved

is

metes out to him

honour or disgrace, pain or pleasure, fair According to others, mahabbat is derived from habb, the plural of habbat, and habbat is the core of the In this case, mahabbat is called heart, where love resides. by the name of its dwelling-place, a principle of which there are numerous examples in Arabic. Others derive it from treatment or foul

".

bubbles of water and

"

because love

rainfall,"

for

is

habdb, thereof in a heavy the effervescence of the heart in longing the effervescence

As

union with the beloved. so

spirit,

the

the

body

subsists through the

heart subsists through love,

and love subsists

through vision of, and union with, the beloved. Others, again, declare that hubb is a name applied to pure love, because the Arabs call the pure white of the human eye habbat

al-insdn,

just as they call al-qalb:

Hence "

My

the

the latter

is

pure black (core) of the heart habbat the seat of love, the former of vision.

the heart and the eye are rivals in love, as the poet says

:

heart envies mine eye the pleasure of seeing, mine eye envies my heart the pleasure

And

of

meditating."

SECTION.

You must know

that the term

"

love

"

(mahabbat) is used by theologians in three significations. Firstly, as meaning restless desire for the object of and inclination and passion, in love, which sense it refers only to created beings and their mutual affection towards one but cannot be applied to God, another, who is exalted far above anything of this sort. Secondly, as meaning God s beneficence and His conferment of special privileges on those whom He chooses and causes to attain the perfection of saintship and peculiarly distinguishes diverse

by

kinds of His

which God

miraculous grace. Thirdly, as meaning praise bestows on a man for a action

good

Some scholastic has made known 1

philosophers say that

(thand-yi jamil)>

God

s love,

which

He

to us, belongs to those traditional attributes,

Cf. Qtishayri (Cairo,

1318 A.H.), 170, 14 sqa.


LOVE.

307

His face and His hand and His settling Himself firmly on (istiwd), of which the existence from the standpoint of reason would appear to be impossible if they had not been like

His throne

proclaimed as Divine attributes in the Koran and the Sunna. Therefore we affirm them and believe in them, but suspend our own judgment concerning them. These scholastics mean to love can be applied to God deny that the term senses which I have mentioned. I will now explain "

"

in all the

to

you the

truth of this matter.

God

s

Man

of

love

His good will towards him and His Love is one of the names of His will

is

having mercy on him. "

(irddat\ like

satisfaction

mercy etc., and His an eternal attribute whereby He wills His actions. In short, God s love towards Man consists in showing much favour to him, and giving him a recompense in this world and the next, "

",

"

anger

",

",

will is

and making him secure from punishment and keeping him safe from sin, and bestowing on him lofty "states" and exalted "stations" and causing him to turn his thoughts away from all that

in this

anyone This

When God peculiarly distinguishes that way, specialization of His will is called love.

other than God.

is

the doctrine of Harith Muhasibi and

is

number of the

Sufi

to both the sects

same "

opinion.

;

As

praise given to a

God s

bandd),

and

as

Junayd and a large as well as of the Shaykhs lawyers belonging and most of the Sunrri scholastics hold the regards their assertion that Divine love is man for a good action (thand-yi jamil bar "

praise

is

their

His word (kaldm), which assertion that Divine

is

uncreated

;

love regards means beneficence His beneficence consists in His actions. Hence the different views are substantially in close relation to each "

",

other.

Man

s

love towards

God

is

a quality which manifests itself in

the heart of the pious believer, in the form of veneration magnification, so that he seeks to satisfy his Beloved

and

and becomes impatient and restless in his desire for vision of Him, and cannot rest with anyone except Him, and grows familiar with the remembrance (dhikr) of Him, and abjures the


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

308

Repose becomes un remembrance of everything besides. He is cut off from lawful to him and rest flees from him. sensual passion and renounces and all habits and associations, turns towards the court of love and submits to the law of love and knows God by His attributes of perfection. It is impossible that Man s love of God should be similar in kind to the love of His creatures towards one another, for the former is desire to the latter is comprehend and attain the beloved object, while of bodies. The lovers of God are those who devote a property themselves to death

in

nearness to Him, not those

who

seek

His nature (kayfiyyat\ because the seeker stands by himself, but he who devotes himself to death (inustahlifc) stands by his

Beloved

and the truest

;

lovers are they

who would

fain die

no thus, and are overpowered, because a phenomenal being has means of approaching the Eternal save through the omnipotence He who knows what is real love feels no more of the Eternal.

and all his doubts depart. Love, then, is of two the love of like towards like, which is a desire (i) instigated by the lower soul and which seeks the essence

difficulties,

kinds

of the beloved object by means of sexual intercourse; (2) the love of one who is unlike the object of his love and who seeks to become intimately attached to an attribute of that (dJidf)

object, e.g. hearing without speech or seeing without eye.

believers

who

love

God

And

(i) those who regard God towards them, and are led Benefactor (2) those who are so

are of

two kinds

the favour and beneficence of

by that regard to love the enraptured by love that they reckon all favours as a veil (between themselves and God) and by regarding the Benefactor ;

The

are led to (consciousness of) His favours. more exalted of the two.

latter

way

is

the

SECTION.

Among the Sufi Shaykhs Sumnun al-Muhibb holds a peculiar doctrine concerning love. He asserts that love is the foundation and principle of the way to God, that all states and stations are stages of love, and that every stage and abode in which the "

J;

"

"


LOVE. seeker

may

which

is

way

309

be admits of destruction, except the abode of love,

not destructible in any circumstances so long as the itself remains in existence, All the other Shaykhs agree

with him

is current and and wished of the doctrine Divine love to known, they remain hidden, instead of calling it love they gave it the

in this

matter, but since the term

"

love

"

well

"

"

name

Sufi or purity (safivaf), and the lover they called they used the word poverty (faqr) to denote the renunciation of the lover s personal will in his affirmation of the Beloved s will, of

"

"

;

"

"

and they called the lover poor theory of purity and poverty "

"

"

"

Amr that

"

"

b.

God

"

Uthman Makkf created

in the

souls

souls

and

have explained the

beginning of

the Kitdb-i

in

says

the

I

(faqtr). "

this

book.

Mahabbat

1

thousand

seven

years before the bodies and kept them in the station of proximity (qurb\ and that he created the spirits (jdnhd) seven thousand years

before

the

(dilha)

them

kept

the

in

degree

of

intimacy (uns\ and that he created the hearts (sirrhd) seven thousand years before the spirits and kept them in the degree of union (wasl\ and revealed the epiphany of His beauty to the heart three hundred and sixty times every day and bestowed on it three hundred and sixty looks of grace, and

He

caused the

spirits to

hear the word of love and manifested

three hundred and sixty exquisite favours of intimacy to the soul, so that they all surveyed the phenomenal universe and

saw nothing more precious than themselves and were filled with vanity and pride. Therefore God subjected them to

He imprisoned the heart in the spirit and the probation in the soul and the soul in the body then He mingled spirit :

;

reason

l

and sent prophets and gave commands then each of them began to seek its God original station. ordered them to pray. The body betook itself to prayer, (

aql) with them,

the soul attained to

;

love, the spirit

God, and the heart found explanation of love

rest

in

arrived

at

union

with

not love, because love

is

and feelings are never mere words 1

"The

Book

of

(qdl}. Love."

proximity to

Him.

The

a feeling (hdl), If the whole world is


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

3IO

wished to attract love, they could not and if they made the efforts to repel it, they could not. Love is a Divine ;

utmost gift,

not anything that can be acquired.

SECTION. Concerning excessive love (ishq) there is much controversy among the Shaykhs. Some Sufis hold that excessive love towards God is allowable, but that it does not proceed from God. Such love, they say, is the attribute of one who is debarred from his beloved, and Man is debarred from God, God is not debarred from Man therefore Man may love

but

:

God

excessively, but the term is not applicable to God. Others, again, take the view that God cannot be the object of Man s excessive love, because such love involves a passing

beyond assert

limits,

whereas God

that excessive

not

is

in

this

limited.

world

The moderns

and

the next, is properly applied only to the desire of attaining the essence, and inasmuch as the essence of God is not attainable, the love,

term (ishq) is not rightly used in reference to Man s love towards God, although the terms (maJiabbaf) and "love"

love"

(safwaf) are correct.

They say, moreover, that be may produced by hearing, excessive love (ishq} cannot possibly arise without actual vision therefore it cannot be felt towards God, who is not seen in "pure

while love (mahabbaf)

:

this world.

that

but

Man Man

The essence

of

God

should be able to feels

love

is

feel

not attainable or perceptible,

excessive love towards

Him

;

(mahabbaf) towards God, because God,

through His attributes and actions, is a gracious benefactor to His friends. Since Jacob was absorbed in love (mahabbaf] for Joseph, from whom he was became separated, his eyes

bright and clear as soon as he smelt Joseph s shirt but since Zulaykha was ready to die on account of her excessive love ;

(ishq) for Joseph, united with him.

her eyes were not opened until she was has also been said that excessive love is applicable to God, on the ground that neither God nor excessive love has any opposite. It


LOVE.

311

SECTION.

now mention

will

I

innumerable indications

a few of the

which the Sufi Shaykhs have given as to the true nature of Love is the Master Abu 1-Qasim Qushayri says love. "

:

effacement of the lover

Beloved

the

and

(bdqi}

s

Beloved

subsistent

is

(fdni} the jealousy that the lover should make the subsistence lover

annihilated

is

himself, and

Beloved absolute

the

and the establishment of the

since

i.e.

essence,"

the

love requires

attributes

s

he

of of

cannot

by negating negate his own attributes except by affirming the essence of No lover can stand by his own attributes, for the Beloved. would not need the Beloved

case he

beauty but when he knows that his life depends on the Beloved s beauty, he necessarily seeks to annihilate his own attributes, which that

in

him from

veil

his

Beloved

;

and thus

he becomes an enemy to himself.

words of Husayn

last

Mansur

b.

well

is

(al-Hallaj)

were Hash al-wdjid ifrdd al-wdhid, lover that he should make the One

"

;

love for his Friend

in

It

s

It

is

known on

that the

the scaffold for

the

that

his

enough i.e.

single,"

away from the path of love and

existence should be cleared

that the dominion of his lower soul should be utterly destroyed.

Abu

Yazi d Bistami says Love consists in regarding your own much as little and your Beloved s little as much." This "

:

how God Himself

is

"

"

(Kor.

iv,

which

men and women who in

His servants,

He has given to them but calls their praise of Him 79),

that

little

with

deals

order that

all

praise

God

His creatures

much"

for

in "

He

this

much

"

calls

world "

the

(Kor. xxxiii, 35) that He is the

may know

Beloved, because nothing is little that God bestows on Man, and all is little that Man offers to God. Sahl b.

real

Abdallah al-Tustan says Love consists of obedience (mu al-td dnaqat df) and in "

:

disobedience,"

beloved more in

his

heart.

because a easily

in

This

is

man

in

embracing acts

avoiding

acts

of

performs the command of his proportion to the strength of love a refutation of those heretics who


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

312

man may

declare that a

obedience

attain to such a degree of love that

no longer required of him, a doctrine which

is

sheer heresy.

It

is

any person, while his relieved of his religious

impossible

understanding is sound, should be obligations, because the law of Muhammad abrogated, and

not

why

The

all ?

(maghhib] and however, that a degree that

one such

if

case

idiots

God it

may

person

of persons

(ma M)

is

that

is

never

will

be

thus

be

relieved

overcome with rapture

different.

It

is

possible,

His love should bring a man to such costs him no trouble to perform his religious in

Him who gives the com the less trouble will he have in When executing it. the Apostle abandoned himself entirely to devotion both duties, because the more one loves

mand

by

day and said

"

:

night, so that his blessed feet

We

became Koran to

have not sent down the

that thou shonldst be

swollen, thee

in

God order

And it is also (Kor. xx, i). be relieved of the consciousness of

miserable"

possible that one should

performing the Divine command, as the Apostle said a veil is drawn over my heart, and I ask

:

"Verily,

forgiveness of

God

seventy times daily," i.e. he asked to be forgiven for his actions, because he was not regarding himself and his actions, that he should be pleased with his obedience, but was

paying

regard to the majesty of God s command and was thinking that his actions were not worthy of God s acceptance. Sumnun Muhibb says The lovers of God have borne away the glory of this world and the next, for the "

:

Prophet said, A man is Therefore they are with God in both worlds, and those who are with God can do no wrong. The glory of this world is God s being with them, and the glory of the next world is their being with God. with the object of his love.

b.

Mu adh

"

Yahyd

al-Rdzi says:

"Real

love

is

neither diminished by

unkindness nor increased by kindness and bounty," because love both kindness and unkindness are causes and the cause of a thing is reduced to when the thing itself nothing in

actually

exists.

A

beloved makes him

lover suffer,

delights

in

the

affliction

that his

and having love he regards kindness


LOVE.

and unkindness with the same

313

The

story is well known how Shibli was supposed to be insane and was confined are in a madhouse. Some persons came to visit him. indifference.

"

he asked.

"

you

?

They answered

"

:

Thy

friends,"

Who

whereupon

he pelted them with stones and put them to flight. Then he Had you been my friends, you would not have fled said from my affliction." "

:


CHAPTER

XX.

THE UNCOVERING OF THE SIXTH VEIL: CONCERNING ALMS (al-sakdf). Alms is one of the obligatory ordinances of the faith. It becomes due on the completion of a benefit e.g., two hundred chrhems constitute a complete benefit (nfmatt tamd,n\ and ;

myone who

dirhems

or

;

is

if

a dinar; or if

in

possession of that sum ought to pay five he possesses twenty dfnars he ought to pay half he possesses five camels he one ought to

sheep, and so forth. (>/0,

because that too

God

Verily,

has

Alms is

also

is

pay due on account of dignity

a complete benefit.

made

The Apostle

said

:

incumbent upon you to pay the alms of your dignity, even as He has made it incumbent upon you to pay the alms of your property"; and he said Everything has its alms, and the alms of a house is it

"

the

guest-room."

Alms

emg

is

really thanksgiving for a benefit received, the thanks similar in kind to the benefit. Thus health is a great

which every limb owes alms. Therefore healthy ought to occupy all their limbs with devotion and yield them to pleasure and pastime, in order that the alms due for the blessing of health may be fully paid Moreover, there is an alms for every spiritual blessing, namely Jtward and inward of that ssing, for

Arsons

acknowledgment blessing in Thus, when a man knows that the sings bestowed upon him by God are infinite, he should

proportion to

infinite

ider

,t

its

worth.

thanks by

way

of alms.

The

Sufi s

do not

praiseworthy to give

alms on account of worldly ssmgs, because they disapprove of avarice, and a man needs be extremely avaricious to keep two hundred :

.

hems

,

his

possession

for a

whole year and then give


ALMS.

away

five

dirhems

Since

alms.

in

315 it

custom of the

the

is

generous to lavish their wealth, and since they are disposed to be liberal, how should almsgiving be incumbent upon them? I have read in the Anecdotes that a certain formal theologian,

make

wishing to to be given

of Shiblf, asked

trial

in alms.

Shibli replied

"

:

him what sum ought

Where

avarice

is

present

and property exists, five clirhems out of every two hundred dirhems, and half a dinar out of every twenty dinars. That according to thy doctrine; but according to mine, a man ought not to possess anything, in which case he will be saved from the trouble of giving alms." The divine asked Whose is

"

:

authority do you follow in this matter ? authority of Abu Bakr the Veracious,

"

Shiblf said

"

:

who gave away

that he possessed, and on being asked by the Apostle

he had

behind

left

And

"

Apostle.

"Almsgiving is

for is

it

his

All said in an ode

not incumbent on me^

For Jww can a generous man But

all

what

God and His

family, answered,

related that

The

be required to give

alms ?

"

absurd for anyone to cultivate ignorance and to say that because he has no property he need not be acquainted with the theory of almsgiving. To learn and obtain knowledge is

it

is

an essential obligation, and to profess one s self independent is mere It is one of the evils of the infidelity.

of knowledge

many who

pretend to be pious dervishes favour of The author says reject knowledge ignorance. I Once was giving devotional instruction to some novices in Sufiism and was discussing the chapter on the poor-rate of present

age that

in

:

"

camels (sadaqat al-ibil) and explaining the rules in regard to she-camels that have entered on their third or second or fourth year (bint-i labun fellow, *

I

I

tired

have no answered

of

:

bint-i

listening

camels:

:

to

makJidd u hiqqa).

my

what use

if

is

discourse, this

An

rose

knowledge

ignorant

and said to

:

me?

necessary in taking alms no less anyone should give you a she-camel

Knowledge

than in giving alms in

it

is

her third year and you should

accept her, you ought to


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

316

and even though one has no be informed on this point want have any property, he is not and does not to property ;

thereby relieved from the obligation of knowledge.

"

SECTION.

Some

of the Sufi Shaykhs have accepted alms, while others

have declined to do belong

(ba-ikhtiydr)

they say,

property,"

Those whose poverty is voluntary "We do not amass

so.

to the latter class. "therefore

we need not

we accept alms from

give alms;

nor

worldlings, they should have the upper hand (yad-i ulyd) and we the lower (yad-i sufld)" But those who in their poverty are under Divine compulsion will

lest

l

(inudtarr) accept alms, not for their own wants but with the purpose of relieving a brother Moslem of his obligation. In this

case the

hand; alms"

receiver of alms, not the giver, has the

otherwise, the

(Kor.

ix,

105), are

must be superior false.

thing

No

words of God,

to

the

"And

He

upper

accepteth

the

meaningless, and the giver of alms receiver, a belief which is utterly

the upper hand belongs to him who takes some from a brother Moslem in order that the latter may ;

Dervishes are not of escape from a heavy responsibility. this world (dunyd i), but of the next world if ( uqbd i\ and i

a

dervish fails to relieve a worldling of his responsibility, the worldling will be held accountable and punished at the Resurrection for having neglected to fulfil his obligation.

Therefore

God

afflicts

the dervish with a slight want in order

that

worldlings may be able to perform what is incumbent upon them. The upper hand is necessarily the hand of the dervish who receives alms in accordance with the require ment of the law, because it behoves him to take that which

due to God. If the hand of the recipient were the lower hand, as some anthropomorphists (ahl-i hashw) declare, then the hands of the Apostles, who often received alms due to is

God and delivered it to the proper authority, must have been lower (than the hands of those who gave the alms to them). This view is erroneous; its adherents do not see that the


ALMS. Apostles received alms

The

mand.

religious

317

consequence of the Divine com

in

Imams have

acted in the same

as the Apostles, for they have always received

manner

payments due

Those are in the wrong who assert the public treasury. that the hand of the receiver is the lower and that of the

to

is

giver

the higher.

Chapter on Liberality

and

Generosity.

In the opinion of theologians liberality (jud} and generosity (sakkd),

when regarded

as

human

attributes, are

synonymous

;

called liberal (jawdd\ is not called but God, although He bee. use He has not called Himself by the generous (sakhi], is

name, nor is He so called in any Apostolic Tradition. All orthodox Moslems are agreed that it is not allowable to latter

apply to God any name that is not proclaimed in the Koran and the Sunna thus Jrle may be called knowing; (V/zV/z), but :

not^ intelligent (dqil) or wise (faqi/i), although the three terms bear the same signification. Hence God is called liberal,

and

He

blessing.

name

accompanied by His blessing is not called generous, since that name lacks His Men have made a distinction between liberality

since

that

is

;

(jud) and generosity (saklid], and have said that the generousman discriminates in his liberality, and that his actions are

connected with a

This

is

selfish

motive (gharad) and a cause (sabab).

a rudimentary stage in liberality, for the liberal

man

does not discriminate, and his actions are devoid of self-interest

and without any secondary cause. These two qualities were exhibited by two Apostles, viz., Abraham, the Friend of God It is (Klialil\ and Muhammad, the Beloved of God (Habtb). related^ in the

genuine Traditions that Abraham was accustomed

not to eat anything until a guest came to him. Once, after three days had passed without the arrival of a guest, a fireworshipper appeared at the door, but Abraham, on hearing who

he was, refused to give him entertainment. God reproached him on this account, saying: "Wilt not thou give a piece of bread to one whom I have nourished for seventy years?"


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

3l8

But Muhammad, when the son of Hatim visited him, spread own mantle on the ground for him and said Honour

his

"

:

the

noble

Abraham

of a

chieftain

when he comes

people

position was generosity, but

s

our

to

you."

s

was

maxim

that

Apostle

liberality.

The

best rule in this matter

is

set forth in the

following one s first thought, and that it is a of avarice when the second thought prevails over sign the first for the first thought is unquestionably from God. consists

liberality

in

;

have read that at Nishapur there was a merchant who used

I

Abu Sa

regularly to attend the meetings held by Shaykh One day a dervish who was present begged the

give

him something. of clipped

piece "

I

money

will give the

clipped

dinar,"

When

piece.

merchant asked

God ?

The merchant had

"

:

Is

He bade you

d.

to

a dinar and a small

His first thought was: (qurddd). but on second thoughts he gave the

the it

Shaykh for

right

The Shaykh answered

"

Shaykh

i

give the dinar,

"

:

finished his discourse to

anyone

the

contend with

You contended

with

Him

:

but you

gave the clipping." have also read that Shaykh Abu Abdallah Rudbari came to the house of a disciple in his absence, and ordered that all the effects in the house should be taken to the bazaar. I

When the disciple returned he was delighted that the Shaykh had behaved with such freedom, but he said His nothing. wife, however, tore off her dress and flung it down, saying :

"This

to

the

"You

are

belongs

exclaimed:

showing

"

self-will."

O

effects

of the

doing

more than

(takalluf kunim) "

husband,

but

if

to

we

real liberality in us,

quality,

forced

is

said she,

husband,"

did was the result of his liberality

house."

:

we

The husband

necessary and what the Shaykh

is "

too must exert ourselves "

display liberality." Yes," replied the allow the Shaykh to be liberal, that is

whereas

and

liberality,

unreal."

A

regarded as a

disciple

human

ought always to

property and himself in obedience to the command Hence Sahl b. Abdallah (al-Tustari) said: "The

sacrifice his

of God. Sufi

s

blood

may

be shed

with impunity, and

his

property


LIBERALITY AND GENEROSITY.

may be Abu Muslim

seized."

have heard the following story of Shaykh

I

Farisi

"Once

:

(he said)

frocks.

greatly

excited,

no

offered

I

set out with a

In the neighbourhood of

of people for the Hijaz.

we were attacked by Kurds, who

We

319

stripped us of our patched

One man,

resistance.

whereupon

Kurd drew

a

number Hulwan

however, became

his

scimitar

and

him, notwithstanding our entreaties that his life might be spared. On our asking why he had killed him he answered killed

r

no Sufi and acts disloyally in the company of saints: such a one is better dead/ We said: How so? *

Because he

He

replied

fellow,

is

The

:

who was

first

so

step

in

Sufiism

is

This

liberality.

desperately attached to these rags that

he quarrelled with his own friends, how should he be a Sufi? His own friends, I say, for it is a long time since we have been doing as you do, and plundering you and stripping

A man came to the house you of worldly encumbrances. of Hasan b. All and said that he owed four hundred dirhems. Hasan gave him four hundred dinars and went into the house, "

l

have weeping. They asked him why he wept. He answered: been remiss in making inquiry into the circumstances of this "I

man, and have reduced him to the humiliation of begging." Abu Sahl Su luki never put alms into the hand of a dervish, and always used to lay on the ground anything that he gave. the hand

and

he

are too worthless to be placed in of a Moslem, so that my hand should be the upper

"Worldly goods,"

his the

lower."

2

"

said,

I

once met a dervish to

whom

a Sultan

had sent three hundred drachms of pure gold. He went to a bath-house, and gave the whole sum to the superintendent and immediately departed. I have already discussed the subject of liberality in the chapter on preference (ithdr\ dealt with the doctrine of the Nun s. 1

Here follows a

story of

Abdallah

b.

Ja

far

and an Abyssinian

a dog eat the whole of his daily portion of food. 2 Here the author relates three short anecdotes

Muhammad.

where

illustrating

have

who

let

liberality

of

slave,

the

I


CHAPTER

XXI.

THE UNCOVERING OF THE SEVENTH VEIL

ON FASTING

:

(al-sawni).

God hath

said

(Kor. ii, 179). by Gabriel that

O

"

:

fasting

believers,

"

And

the Apostle said that he was informed

God

said

"

Fasting

:

the

is

mine, and

"

best right to give recompense for bihi)^ because

prescribed unto you

is

it

li

(al-sawm

practice of fasting

religious

I

have the

wa-ana ajzd a mystery

is

unconnected with any external thing, a mystery in which none God participates hence its recompense is infinite. It has been said that mankind enter Paradise through God s

other than

:

mercy, and that their rank therein depends on their religious devotion, and that their abiding therein for ever

pense of their fasting, because

God

said

the recom

is

have the best right

"

I

:

Junayd said recompense for Fasting is half of the Way." I have seen Shaykhs who fasted without inter mission, and others who fasted only during the month of to give

"

it."

Ramadan

:

the former were seeking recompense, and the latter

were renouncing others

who

set before

who

This

them.

It is related that

and Hafsa, who said I

Again,

have seen

I

and were not conscious of anyone and ate only

with the Sunna.

butter (hays) for

and ostentation.

self-will

fasted

when food was

to fast, but

:

to

him

"

:

We

"

Bring another day

thee."

will fast

fasted on the

it,"

"white

days"

is

more

the Apostle

in

accordance

came

to

A isha

have kept some dates and said he was intending

instead."

"I

;

I

have seen others

(from the I3th to the I5th of

every month), and on the ten (last nights) of the blessed month (Ramadan), and also during Rajab, Sha ban, and Ramadan. Others I have seen who observed the fast of David, which the 1

The

ba-jazd-yi

usual reading

is

ajz/,

an man awldtaram,

is

give recompense," but the Persian translation, equivalent to ana ajzd bihi. "I


FASTING.

321

Apostle called the best of fasts, i.e. they fasted one day and broke their fast the next day. Once I came into the presence of

Shaykh Ahmad Bukhari.

He had

a dish

of sweetmeat

(Jialwd) before him, from which he was eating, and he made As is the way of a sign to me that I should do the same.

answered (without consideration) that I was In conformity with such asked why. I said

young men,

He

fasting.

and such a to

I

"

:

He

one."

said

conform with human

"

:

It

not right for

is

I

beings."

human

was about to break

beings

my

fast,

Since you wish to be quit of conformity with him, do not conform with me, for I too am a human being."

but he said

"

:

Fasting is really abstinence, and this includes the whole method The least degree in fasting is hunger, of Sufiism (tariqaf]. which is God s food on earth, and is universally commended in

One month s continual reasonable Moslem who has

the eye of the law and of reason.

incumbent on every manhood. The fast begins on the appearance of the moon of Ramadan, and continues until the appearance of the moon of Shawwal, and for every day a sincere intention fasting

is

attained to

and firm obligation are necessary. obligations,

e.g.,

Abstinence involves

many

keeping the belly without food and drink, and

guarding the eye from lustful looks, and the ear from listening to evil speech about anyone in his absence, and the tongue from vain or foul words, and the

things and disobedience is "

truly keeping

When you

to

body from following

his fast, for the

fast, let

One who

God.

after worldly

acts in this

manner

Apostle said to a certain man,

your ear fast and your eye and your tongue

and your hand and every limb and he also said, Many a one has no good of his fasting except hunger and thirst." I dreamed that I saw the Apostle and asked him to give me "

"

;

a word of counsel, and that he replied

and thy

senses."

mortification,

To

because

through the five senses

"

Imprison thy tongue imprison the senses is complete selfall kinds of knowledge are acquired :

:

sight, hearing, taste, smell,

Four of the senses have a particular touch, is spread over the whole body.

locus,

but the

andTtouch.

fifth,

namely

Everything that becomes y


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

322 to

human

beings passes through these five doors, except knowledge and Divine inspiration, and in each sense

.

intuitive

a purity and an impurity for, just as they are open to and so knowledge, reason, spirit, they are open to imagination there

is

;

and passion, being organs which partake of piety and sin and of Therefore it behoves him who is felicity and misery. keeping a fast to imprison

the senses in order that they may return disobedience to obedience. To abstain only from food

from

and drink

One must abstain from idle pleasures not from eating lawful food. I marvel at that are say they keeping a voluntary fast and yet

is

child s play.

and unlawful those fail

who

all

acts,

to perform

an obligatory duty.

Not

to

commit

sin

is

obligatory, whereas continual fasting is an apostolic custom (which may be observed or neglected). When a man is

divinely protected

from

sin

all

his

circumstances are a

fast.

by Abu Talha al-Maliki that Sahl b. Abdallah of Tustar was fasting on the day of his birth and also on the of his day death, because he was born in the forenoon and It is related

tasted no milk until the evening prayer, and on the day of his decease he was keeping a fast. But continual fasting (niza-i wisdl] has been forbidden by the Apostle, for when he fasted continually, and his

Companions conformed with him

respect, he forbade them, saying

"

:

in that

am

not as one of you gives me food and drink."

I

:

pass the night with my Lord, who The votaries of self-mortification assert that this prohibition was an act of indulgence, not a veto declaring such fasts to be unlawful, and others regard them as being contrary to the Sunna, but the fact is that continuance (wisdl) is impossible, because the day s fast is interrupted by night or, at any rate, does not continue beyond a certain It is related that period. I

Sahl

Abdallah of Tustar used to eat only once in fifteen days, and when the month of Ramadan arrived he ate nothing until the Feast, and performed four hundred bowings in prayer every night. This exceeds the limit of human endurance, and cannot be accomplished by anyone without Divine which b.

aid,

itself

becomes

his

nourishment.

It is well

known

that

Shaykh


FASTING.

323

Luma

who was surnamed came to Baghdad in (Td al-fuqard\ month of Ramadan, and was given a private chamber in the

Abu Nasr

1

Sarraj,

the author of the

the Peacock of the Poor

the

Shum ziyya

2

,

iis

mosque, and was appointed to preside over the

During the nightly prayers of the whole Koran five times.

Feast.

the

dervishes

until

Ramadan

(tardwtJt) he recited

Every night a servant brought a loaf of bread to his room. he departed, on the day of the Feast, the servant found All b. Bakkar relates that all the thirty loaves untouched.

When

Hafs Missisf ate nothing in Ramadan except on the fifteenth day of that month. We are told that Ibrahim Adham fasted from the beginning to the end of Ramadan, and, although it was the month of Tammuz (July), worked every day as a harvester and gave his wages to the dervishes, and prayed

from nightfall to daybreak

;

they watched him closely and saw

that he neither ate nor slept.

It

is

that

said

Shaykh Abu

Abdallah Khafif during his life kept forty uninterrupted fasts of forty days, and I have met with an old man who used I was annually to keep two fasts of forty days in the desert. present at the death-bed of Danishmand Abu Muhammad he had tasted no food for eighty days and had Banghari ;

not missed a single occasion

of public

worship.

there were two spiritual directors; one was called

the other was

Abu

to

Shaykh Abu All Siyah. "

saying

All,

pretensions? All replied

Come, "

:

No

;

theless require only

The

:

us

let let

How sit

long fasting

At Merv Mas ud and

Mas ud sent a message we make empty

shall for

forty

us eat three times a

Abu

days."

day and never

one purification during these forty days." question are not yet removed. Ignorant

difficulties of this

persons conclude that continuance in fasting is possible, while I will physicians allege that such a theory is entirely baseless.

explain the matter in full. To fast continuously, without infringing the Divine command, is a miracle (kardmaf).

now

Miracles

have a

special,

were vouchsafed to 1

Nafahat, No. 353.

if they not a general, application would be an act of necessity :

all, faith 2

"Brilliancies."

Naf.

entitles

it

***)

.


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

324

(jabr) and gnostics would not be recompensed on account of gnosis.

The Apostle wrought

and therefore forbade

the

his

divulged saints

evidentiary miracles (imfjizdf) in fasting but he

continuance

;

kardmaf) to divulge it, because a kardmat involves concealment, whereas a mujizat involves This

revelation.

(ahl-i

is

a clear distinction between the miracles

performed by Apostles and those performed by saints, and will be sufficient for anyone who is The divinely guided. forty days fasts (chilld) of the saints are derived from the fast of Moses (Kor. vii, 138). When the saints desire to hear the word of God spiritually, they remain fasting for forty days. After thirty days have passed they rub their teeth then they fast ten days more, and God speaks to their hearts, because ;

whatever the

enjoy openly the saints may enjoy Now, hearing the word of God is not compatible secretly. with the subsistence of the natural temperament therefore the

prophets

:

humours must be deprived of food and drink for forty days order that they may be utterly subdued, and that the purity

four in

of love and the subtlety of the spirit

Chapter on Hunger

Hunger^ sharpens the and health. and your

and matters

intelligence

The Apostle

livers thirsty

may

hold absolute sway.

connected with

it.

and improves the mind

Make your bellies hungry and your bodies naked, that perchance said

"

:

your hearts may see God in this world." Although hunger is an affliction to the body, it illumines the heart and purifies the soul, and leads the spirit into the presence of God. To eat one s fill is an act worthy of a beast. One who cultivates his spiritual nature by means of hunger, in order to devote himself entirely to God and detach himself from worldly ties, is not on the same level with one who cultivates his

body by

means of gluttony, and serves ate to live, but ye live to

his

lusts.

"JThe

men

of old

For the sake of a mgrsel~of food Adam fell from Paradise, and was banished far from the neighbourhood of God.

He whose

hunger

is,

eat."

compulsory

is

not really hungry, because


who

one

to eat

desires

HUNGER.

325

God

has decreed the contrary

after

the merit of hunger belongs to him who is virtually eating abstains from eating, not to him who is debarred from eating. The novice shall sleep only when he is Kattani l says ;

"

:

overpowered by slumber, and speak only when he must, and eat only when he is starving." According to some, starvation from abstention food for two days and nights involves (fdqa) ;

say three days and nights, or a week, or forty days, because true mystics believe that a sincere man (sddiq) is only others

once hungry

him

in

and

forty

days

;

his

hunger merely serves to keep

hunger besides is natural appetite and vanity. You must know that all the veins in the bodies of gnostics are evidences of the Divine mysteries, and that their hearts alive,

all

are tenanted

by

doors opened

in their breasts,

visions of the

Most High.

and

Their hearts are

at these doors are stationed

reason and passion reason is reinforced by the spirit, and The more the natural humours are passion by the lower soul. :

nourished by food, the stronger does the lower soul become, and the more impetuously is passion diffused through the

members

of the

veil (Jiijdbt) is

body

and

;

produced.

every vein a different kind of But when food is withheld from the in

grows weak, and the reason gains strength, and the mysteries and evidences of God become more visible, lower soul

when

it

unable to work and passion is annihilated, every vain desire is effaced in the manifestation of the Truth, and the seeker of God attains to the whole of until,

his desire.

the

It

is

lower soul

related that

is

Abu

V Abbas Qassab said

obedience and disobedience depend

when

I

eat

I

find in

"

:

My

on two cakes of bread

myself the stuff of every

sin,

but

:

when

abstain from eating I find in myself the foundation of every act of piety." The fruit of hunger is contemplation of God I

(inushdhadat), of which the forerunner

is

mortification (inujd-

Repletion combined with contemplation is better than hunger combined with mortification, because contemplation is the battle-field of men, whereas mortification is the playground

hadaf).

of children. 1

Nafahdt, No. 215.


CHAPTER

XXII.

THE UNCOVERING OF THE EIGHTH VEIL

:

CONCERNING

THE PILGRIMAGE. The pilgrimage (kajj} is binding on every Moslem of sound mind who is able to perform it and has reached manhood. It consists in putting

on the pilgrim

s

garb at the proper place,

standing on Arafat, in circumambulating the Ka ba, and in running between Safa and Marwa. One must not enter the

in

sacred territory without

being clad as a pilgrim (be ihrdui). sacred territory (Jiarani) is so called because it contains Abraham had the Station of Abraham (Maqdm-i Ibrdhiiti).

The

two stations

:

the station of his body, namely, Mecca, and the Whoever seeks

station of his soul, namely, friendship (khullaf). his bodily station

must renounce

lusts

all

and pleasures and put

on the pilgrim s garb and clothe himself in a winding-sheet (kafafi) and refrain from hunting lawful game, and keep all his senses under strict control, and be present at Arafat and go thence to Muzdalifa and

and circumambulate the

Mash

and pick up stones Mina and stay there the prescribed manner and cut

ar al-Haram,

Ka ba and

three days and throw stones in

visit

and perform the sacrifice and put on his (ordinary) But whoever seeks his spiritual station must renounce clothes. familiar associations and bid farewell to pleasures and take no thought of other than God (for his looking towards the his hair

phenomenal world

is

interdicted)

;

then

he

must stand on

Arafat of gnosis (inctrifat) and from there set out for the Muzdalifa of amity (rilfaf) and from there send his heart to

the

circumambulate the temple of Divine purification (tanziJi), and throw away the stones of passion and corrupt thoughts in the Mina of faith, and sacrifice his lower soul on the altar of mortification and arrive at the station of friendship (khullaf).


THE PILGRIMAGE. To

enter

and

their

bodily station is to be secure from enemies swords, tut to enter the spiritual station is to be

the

1

secure from separation (from God) and its consequences. I wonder at those who seek Muhammad b. al-Fadl says "

:

His temple

Him

of

in

in this

world

:

their hearts?

why do not they seek contemplation The temple they sometimes attain

sometimes miss, but contemplation they might enjoy always. they are bound to visit a stone, which is looked at only once

arid

If

more bound to visit the temple of the be seen three hundred and sixty times in He where heart, may Hut the mystic s every step is a symbol of a day and night the journey to Mecca, and when he reaches the sanctuary he a year, surely they are

wins a robe of honour

for

every

step."

Abu Yazi d

If says deferred until "

:

anyone s recompense for worshipping God is to-morrow he has not worshipped God aright to-day," for the recompense of every moment of worship and mortification is

And Abu Yazi d also says "On my firstjDil grim age saw only the temple the second time, I saw both the temple and the Lord of the temple and the third time I saw the Lord alone." In short, where mortification is, there is no sanctuary

immediate.

:

I

;

;

:

where contemplation is. Unless the whole a man s trysting-place where he comes nigh unto

the sanctuary

is

universe

is

God and

a retired

he

is

still

chamber where he enjoys intimacy with God, a stranger to Divine love but when he has vision ;

the whole universe "

is

his sanctuary.

The darkest thing in the world the

is

the Beloved s house witliout

Beloved"

Accordingly, what

is

trulyi valuable

contemplation and annihilation which things the sight of the

is

not the

Ka ba,

but

the abode of friendship, of Ka ba is indirectly a cause.

in

But we must recognize that every cause depends on the author of causes (musabbib\ from whatever hidden place the providence of

God

seeker 1

may appear, and whencesoever the desire of the may be fulfilled. The object of mystics (inarddri) in

Here follows the

story of

Abraham and Nimrod which has occurred

before, p. 73.


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

328

traversing wildernesses and deserts is not the sanctuary itself, for to a lover of God it is unlawful to look upon His sanctuary. No their object is mortification in a longing that leayes_them ;

nq_rest, and eager dissolution in certain man came to Junayd.

A

He

he came.

Junayd

said

"

:

"

replied

From

"No."

that

love

no end.

has

Junayd asked him whence have been on the pilgrimage."

when you first journeyed from journeyed away from all sins ? said Junayd, "you have made no

the time

your home have you

Hejsaid:

I

:

a

also

"Then,"

"

At every

stage where you halted for the night did He said you traverse a station on the way to God?" said have not trodden the road stage Then," you Junayd,

journey.

"No."

:

"

"

When you put on the pilgrim s garb at the proper did place you discard the attributes of humanity as you cast

by

stage.

"Then your ordinary clothes?" you have not s on the When stood on Arafat did garb. pilgrim put you No." you stand one instant in contemplation of God ?

off

"No."

"

"

Then you have not stood on

Arafat.

When you

"

went to

Muzdalifa and achieved your desire did you renounce all sensual Then you have not gone to Muzdalifa. When "

desires?"

"No."

you circumambulated the Temple did you behold the immaterial Then beauty of God in the abode of purification ? "

"

"

No."

you have not circumambulated the Temple. between Safa and Marwa did you attain purity (sofa) have not run.

and virtue (inuruwwaf]

When you came

(munyatha) Mina. When you

cease?"

did

sacrifice

you

"No."

reached sacrifice

"

When to

"

?

you ran the rank of "

No."

Then you

Mina

did all your wishes have not yet visited you slaughter-place and offered

to

"Then

the the

objects

of sensual

desire?"

Then you have not sacrificed. When you threw the stones did you throw away whatever sensual thoughts were "Then you have not accompanying you ? yet thrown "

"

No."

"

"

No."

the stones, and you have not yet performed the pilgrimage. Return and perform the pilgrimage in the manner which I have

described Abraham."

in

order that you

Fudayl

b.

may

arrive "

lyad says

:

I

saw

at at

the

station

of

Mount Arafat


THE PILGRIMAGE.

329

bowed head while all the people were praying aloud, and I asked him why he did not pray like them. He answered that he was in great distress, having a youth

lost

who

the

stood silent with

which he formerly enjoyed,

state (waqti)

spiritual

and that he could by no means cry aloud unto God.

I

said

:

Pray, in order that through the blessings of this multitude

God may accomplish thy desire. He was about to lift up his hands and pray, when suddenly he uttered a shriek and died on the Dhu 1-Nun the Egyptian says At Mina I saw a young man sitting quietly while the people were "

:

spot."

engaged in the sacrifices. I looked at him to see what he was doing. He cried O God, all the people are offering sacrifice. I wish to sacrifice my lower soul to Thee do Thou :

;

accept it. Having spoken, he pointed with his forefinger to his throat and fell dead may God have mercy on him "

!

Pilgrimages, then, are of two kinds

God) and from God

(2)

at

from God

God

in his

own with God

is

in the

same

:

(i)

in

absence (from is absent

Anyone who

presence (of God).

Mecca

in his

present tion

in

position as

if

he were absent

own

house, and anyone who is present with house is in the same position as if he were

(inujdhadafy

at

Mecca.

Pilgrimage is an act of mortifica sake of obtaining contemplation mortification does not become the direct the

for

(inushdhadat\ and cause of contemplation, but

is

only a means to

inasmuch as a means has no further things, the true object of pilgrimage but to obtain contemplation of God.

is

it.

on the

effect

not to

visit

Therefore, reality

the

of

Ka ba,

Chapter on Contemplation.

The Apostle

Make your

hungry and your livers and leave the world alone, that perchance ye may see God with your hearts and he also said, Worship God as said:

"

bellies

thirsty

"

"

;

though thou sawest Him, sees

thee."

God

Me?

knowledge of of

Me."

By

said to It is

for if

thou dost not see Him, yet He Dost thou know what is

David the

"

life "

contemplation

"

:

of the heart in contemplation mean spiritual vision of

the Sufis


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

33O

God

in

Abu As

manner.

God

of

become

God

and

public

"

:

private, without

l-

Abbas

b.

to

those

who

(Kor.

steadfast"

Ata says Our Lord say,

xli,

carpet of contemplation

30),

i.e.

"they

or

in

what

the words

God and who say Our Lord is is

become

and they

self-mortification

in

how

asking

in reference to

steadfast

on the

".

The former two kinds of contemplation. of perfect faith (sihhat-i yaqm\ the latter of rapturous love, for in the rapture of love a man attains to such a degree that his whole being is absorbed in the thought of There are

is

the

really

result

Muhammad b. Wasi Beloved and he sees nothing else. I never saw anything without seeing God therein," says i.e. through perfect faith. This vision is from God to His his

"

:

Shibli says

creatures. i.e.

in

One

"

I

:

the

rapture of love

never saw anything except God," and the fervour of contemplation.

sees the act with his bodily eye and, as he looks, beholds

Agent with the Agent from The one method the

his spiritual

;

another

is

rapt

by love of

things else, so that he sees only the Agent. demonstrative (istidldli\ the other is ecstatic In the former case, a manifest proof is derived from

(jadhbi).

the evidences of

all is

God

;

in the latter case, the seer is

and transported by desire

enraptured evidences and verities are a veil to

:

who knows and he who loves

him, because he besides,

eye

a thing does not reverence aught a

does not regard aught

thing

God and interference God hath said of the

besides, but renounces contention with with Him in His decrees and His acts.

His eyes did not swerve Apostle at the time of his Ascension of the intensity of his on account or transgress" (Kor. liii, 17), "

:

longing for God. created things, he heart.

God hath

(Kor. xxiv, 30),

When will

the lover turns his eye

inevitably

"

said

i.e.

to

"

:

Tell the believers to close their eyes

close

their

bodily

their spiritual eyes to created things.

eyes to lusts and

He who

is

most sincere

most firmly grounded in contemplation inward contemplation is connected with outward mortifica

in self-mortification for

away from

Creator with his

see the

tion.

Sahl

b.

is

Abdallah of Tustar says

"

:

If

anyone shuts

his


CONTEMPLATION.

God

331

never be rightly guided all his life long," because to regard other than God is to be handed over to other than God, and one who is left at

eye to

a

for

moment, he

single

will

Therefore the life of the mercy of other than God is lost. is the time during which they enjoy contem contemplatives plation (mushdhadaf)

time spent

:

in seeing ocularly

(imfdyanaf)

they do not reckon as life, for that to them is really death. Thus, when Abu Yazid was asked how old he was, he replied :

"Four

said:

They

years."

"How

can that

have been veiled (from God) by but I have seen Him during the "

I

in

which one

this v/orld for last

"

:

O

faith,

forgetful of

human

because

God

God

forgetful of

Shibli

Thy

disinterestedly."

Him, through

nature has an interest in Paradise

is

A isha

Apostle told

the period

life."

nevertheless worships

inasmuch as the heart has no interest is

s

:

God, hide Paradise and Hell in

unseen places, that Thou mayest be worshipped is

answered:

seventy years,

four years

veiled does not belong to one

is

cried in his prayers

One who

He

be?"

in loving God,,

The

debarred from contemplating Him.

that he did not see

God on

the night of

the Ascension, but Ibn Abbas relates that the Apostle him that he saw God on that occasion. Accordingly,

remains a matter of controversy

God

not see

but in saying that he did to

referring

his

A

Junayd

said

*

I

"

:

If

will not

God should

:

use such mediation in Truly,

And I

say to me,

to their insight.

Behold Me,

in love the

I

eye

should

is

other

the jealousy of other-ness would prevent

me from beholding Him. behold Him without the

"

them according

behold Thee/ because

(than God) and alien

I

this

in

the Apostle spoke with each of

reply,

;

told

bodily eye, saying the contrary he was referring to his spiritual isha was a formalist and Ibn Abbas a spiritualist, Since

whereas eye.

Apostle was

the

but

;

one who

Since in this world

I

mediation of the eye, the next world ?

was wont

to

how should

"

I envy mine

eye tJie sight of Thee, mine eye when I look on Thee"

close

Junayd was asked

"

:

Do you

wish to see

God

"

?

He

said

:


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

33 2

When Moses wished, They asked why. He answered he did not see Him, and when Muhammad did not wish, he saw Him." Our wishing is the greatest of the veils that hinder "

"

No."

:

us from seeing God, because in love the existence of self-will

disobedience, and disobedience in this world, is

contemplation

firmly established, there

is

is

is

veil.

When

self-will

is

vanishes

attained, and when contemplation no difference between this world

Abu

and the next.

a

Yazi d says God has servants who would apostatize if they were veiled from Him in this world or in the them with perpetual contemplation and next," i.e. He sustains "

:

keeps them alive with the revelation

is

Dhu 1-Nun

deprived of

of love and when one who enjoys he necessarily becomes an apostate.

life

;

it,

when I was journeying in Egypt, saw some boys who were throwing stones at a young man. I asked them what He is they wanted of him. They said mad. I asked how his madness showed and told itself, says

:

"One

day,

I

:

me

that he pretended to see God.

and inquired whether he had I

say that

if

I

Some

Sufis

spiritual

God

(surati) of

either

have

vision

from

morphism

should fallen

and as

is

memory

(tashbiJi)

they turned to the young

He

really said this.

God

should not see

remain veiled and

I

for

one moment,

I

not be obedient towards

into

man

answered

:

should

Him.

"

the

mistake of supposing that contemplation represent such an idea formed in the mind by the imagination or

This

reflection.

and manifest

error.

utter

is

God

is

not

anthropo finite that

the

imagination should be able to define Him or that the should comprehend His nature. Whatever can be is imagined homogeneous with the intellect, but God is not intellect

homogeneous with any genus, although in relation to the all phenomenal subtle and gross alike are objects homogeneous with each other notwithstanding their mutual Eternal

Therefore contemplation in this world resembles God in the next world, and since the Companions of

contrariety.

vision of

the

Apostle (ashdb] are

unanimously agreed

possible hereafter, contemplation tell

is

that

possible here.

vision

is

Those who

of contemplation either in this or the other world only say


CONTEMPLATION.

333

that it is possible, not that they have enjoyed or now enjoy it, because contemplation is an attribute of the heart (sirr) and cannot be expressed by the tongue except metaphorically. Hence silence ranks higher than speech, for silence is a sign

of contemplation (mushdhadat\ whereas speech is a sign of Accordingly the Apostle, when

ocular testimony (shahddaf).

I cannot tell he attained proximity to God, said Thy praise," because he was in contemplation, and contemplation in the "

:

degree of love

is

perfect unity (yagdnagi\

expression in unity "

Thou

praise

hast praised is

mine, and

expressing what "/

desired

my

I

and any outward

other-ness (begdnagi). Then he said i.e. words are Thyself," mine, and Thy Thy is

I

feel.

:

do not deem

As

beloved^ but

I was dumbfounded and

my

the poet says

tongue capable of :

when I saw him

possessed neither tongue nor eye


CHAPTER

XXIII.

THE UNCOVERING OF THE NINTH VEIL TOGETHER

COMPANIONSHIP,

WITH

:

ITS

CONCERNING RULES AND

PRINCIPLES.

The Apostle of

faith."

and gave

said

"

:

Good manners

And he also said me an excellent

"

:

(Jiusn al-adab) are a part

My Lord

me (addabanf) You must know that

corrected

correction."

all religious and temporal of rules on affairs depends discipline (addb\ and that every station in which the various classes of mankind are placed has

and decorum of

the seemliness

Among men good manners consist particular rule. as regards religion in the observance of virtue (inuruwwaf)

its

own

;

they consist in the observance of the Apostolic custom (sunna^ and as regards love they consist in the observance of respect ;

These three categories are connected with each other, because one who is without virtue does not comply with the custom of the Apostle, and whoever fails to comply with the custom of the Apostle does not observe due respect, jn

(hurmat).

matters of conduct the observance of discipline is the result of reverence for the object of desire and reverence for God ;

and His ordinances springs from fear of God (taqwd). wrib disrespectfully tramples on the reverence that the evidences

Sufiism

;

and

of in

God

no part or

has

no case are

lot

in

rules of discipline

the

Anyone is

due

to

Path of

neglected by

seekers of God, because they are habituated to such rules, and habit is second nature. It is impossible that a living creature should be divested of its natural humours therefore, :

so

long

bound

to

as

the

keep

human body remains the

rules

of

in

obedience

existence to

men

are

God, sometimes

with effort (takalluf) and sometimes without effort with effort when they are sober but when they are intoxicated God :

,


COMPANIONSHIP. sees that they keep the rules. cannot possibly be a saint, for

of those

whom God

to anyone,

This

of religion.

who

is

longer subject to obedience. lucidly in

neglects the rules

good manners are

characteristic

a miracle

the duties

opposed to the view of some

is

when a man

assert that

who

person

When God vouchsafes He causes him to fulfil

loves".

a proof that

it is

A "

335

overpowered by will set forth this

I

heretics,

love he

is

no

matter more

another place.

Rules of discipline are of three kinds. Firstly, those which are observed towards God in unification (tawhid). Here the rule is that one must guard one s self in public and private

from any disrespectful

act,

and behave as though one were

It is related in the genuine presence of a king. Traditions that one day the Apostle was sitting with his legs drawn in (pdy gird). Gabriel came and said "O Muhammad,

the

in

:

as servants

sit

do

in their

master

said never to have leaned

Harith Muhasibi

s presence."

back against a wall, by day or night, for forty years, and never to have sat except on his knees. On being asked why he gave himself so much trouble is

he replied while

I

am ashamed

"

I

:

am

was once

contemplating a

in

to sit otherwise than as

a servant

Uthman

al-Jullabi,

God."

village called

There

Khurasan.

his

Kamand,

b. 1

at

the extremity of

saw a well-known and

I

man, whose name he had never sat

I,

All

is

very

excellent

Kamandi.

Adib-i

down except

his

in

For twenty years prayers, when he was

I pronouncing the profession of faith. inquired the reason this, and he answered that he had not yet attained such a degree that he should sit while contemplating God. Abu

of

Yazi d was

by what means he had gained so high answered By good companionship with by keeping the rules of discipline and behaving in asked

He

spiritual rank. God,"

i.e.

"

:

private as in public.

Zulaykha how the

object

Joseph and

to

All

human

beings ought to learn from

manners

observe good

of their adoration,

for

in

contemplating

when she was alone with

besought him to consent to her wishes, she 1

Kumand, according

to

Nafahat^ No. 379.

first


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

336

covered up the face of her idol witness her want of propriety.

in

might not Apostle was

order that

And when

it

the

borne to Heaven at the Ascension, his observance of discipline restrained him from paying any regard either to this world or to the next.

The second kind one

self

in

when one

is

s

of discipline

one in

is

that which

is

observed towards

conduct, and which consists

s

in

avoiding,

own company, any act that would be company of one s fellow-creatures or of God,

one

s

improper in the one must not utter an untruth by declaring one s self to e.g., be what one is not, and one must eat little in order that one

may seldom go

to

the lavatory, and one must not look at not decent for others to see. It is related

anything which it is that Ali never beheld his own nakedness, because he was ashamed to see in himself what he was forbidden to see in others.

The social

third kind

of discipline

one

with

intercourse

is

that

which

is

fellow-creatures.

s

observed jn

The most

is to act well, and to important rule for such intercourse and abroad. home at observe the custom of the Apostle These three sorts of discipline cannot be separated from one

another. in

Now

I

will set

order that you and

them

all

my

forth in detail as far as possible,

readers

may

follow

them more

easily.

connected therewith. Chapter on Companionship and matters

God hath said Verily, the merciful God will bestozv love on (Kor. xix, 96), i.e., He those who believe and do good works "

:

"

will

love

them and cause them

to

be loved, because they do

duty towards their brethren and prefer them to themselves. Three things render thy brother s And the Apostle said love toward thee sincere that thou shouldst salute him when thou meetest him, and that thou shouldst make room for

their

"

:

:

him when he sits beside him by the name that he believers

are brethren

:

thee, likes

tJierefore

and that thou shouldst

call

And God

The

best."

reconcile

"

said,

your two brethren

"


COMPANIONSHIP. (Kor. xlix, for

10)

your Lord

Day

and the Apostle said, bashful (Jiayi) and kind

His servant

to punish

of

is

;

337

in

Get many brethren, will be ashamed

"

He

:

the presence of his brethren on the

Resurrection."

But companionship must be

God

for

s

sake,

not for the

purpose of gratifying the lower soul or any selfish interest, in order that a man may be divinely rewarded for observing Malik b. Dinar said to his sonthe rules of companionship.

Mughira

in-law,

b.

Shu ba

from a brother and be

i.e.

saved,"

one who

is

"

abandon

friend,

his society, that

associate cither with one

who

you may

superior or with In the former case you will

to yourself.

inferior

no religious benefit

If you_driye.

:

is

derive benefit from him, and in the latter case the benefit will

be mutual, since each

Hence

one who "

He

"

is

ignorant

;

a bad friend-to

is

"

something from the other. the whole of piety to instruct

learn

will

the Apostle said,

It is

and Yahya b. Mu adh (al-Razi) said, need to say, Remember me

whom you

(becaose^a man ought always to pray for thy prayers he has associated even for a moment) and with whom anyone "

in

;

"Tie

~is

a bad friend with

dition of flattering

whom you

cannot

live

him (because candour

principle of companionship)

you need to apologize

;

and he

is

except on con

involved

in

a bad friend to

is

the

whom

you have committed (because apologies are made by strangers, and in companionship it is wrong to be on such terms). The Apostle said "A man for

a

that

fault

:

follows the

whom you

religion

of his

form a

friend

:

take heed, therefore, with

he associates with the good, friendship." their society will make him good, although he is bad and if he associates with the wicked, he will be wicked, although he is If

;

It good, because he will be consenting to their wickedness. is related that a man said, while he was the circumambulating

Ka ba,

O

God, make

brethren good On being asked he did not a boon for in himself such a place, he why implore I have brethren to whom I shall return if they are replied "

my

"

!

"

:

;

good, be"

I

shall be

wicked with

good with them, and them."

if

they are wicked,

I

shall


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

338

Shaykhs demand from each other the fulfilment of the duties of companionship and enjoin their disciples to require the same, so that amongst them companionship has become

The

like a

Sufi

The Shaykhs have

religious obligation.

written

many

books explaining the rules of Sufi companionship e.g., Junayd composed a work entitled Tashik al-irddat} and Ahmad b. ;

Balkh

of

entitled

Al-Ri^dyat bi-huqtiq* Allah? and Muhammad b. All of Tirmidh another, entitled A dab al-muridin.^ Other exhaustive treatises on this subject

Khadruya

have been written

another,

5 by Abu 1-Qasim al-Hakim, Abu Bakr Abdallah (al-Tustari), Abu Abd al-Rahman (

al-Warraq, Sahl

b.

al-Sulami, and

Master

Abu

1-Qasim

Qushayri.

writers are great authorities on Sufiism, but

book should enable anyone who possesses other books and, as for

you and

classify

in

I

I

it

those

my

to dispense with

said in the preface, be sufficient in itself

for all students of the Sufi doctrine.

chapters their

separate

All

desire that

various

I

now

will

rules of discipline

relating to conduct.

Chapter concerning the Rules of Companionship. Since you have perceived that the most important thing for the novice is companionship, the fulfilment of its obligations is necessarily incumbent on him. for

the Apostle said,

farther "

"

Satan

away from two who are

TJiere is no private discourse

fourtJi of

them

Solitude

(Kor.

fatal to the novice,

with the solitary, but he is together;" and God hath said,

Is

among

"

Iviii, 8).

is

I

tJtree

persons btit God is tJie in the Anecdotes

have read

that a disciple of

Junayd imagined that he had attained to the degree of perfection, and that it was better for him to be alone. Accordingly he went into retirement and withdrew from the society of his brethren.

and he was

told

The

1

"

3

So

3

"

4

"

5

that

all

The

At it

nightfall a

camel used to appear, on

would take him to Paradise

Rectification of

Discipleship."

the texts, instead of the correct li-hnqiiq. Observance of what is due to God."

Rules of Conduct for Disciples.

Nafahdt, No. 129.

;


RULES OF COMPANIONSHIP.

339

he was conveyed to a pleasant demesne, with beautiful inhabitants and delicious viands and flowing streams,

mounting

it,

where he stayed till dawn then he fell asleep, and on waking found himself at the door of his cell. These experiences filled ;

refrain from boasting of them. heard the story he hastened to the disciple s cell, and having received from him a full account of what had

him with pride and he could not

When Junayd

him

passed, said to

remember

"

To-night,

:

to say thrice,

There

God, the High, the Great.

"

when you come

to that place,

no strength or power but in night he was carried

is

The same

and though

in his heart he did not believe Junayd, The crew he repeated those words thrice. by way around him shrieked and vanished, and he found himself seated

off as usual,

of

on a dunghill hfc fault

The

in the

midst of rotten bones.

and repented and returned

to

He acknowledged

companionship.

principle of the Sufis in companionship

is

that

they should treat everyone according~to~his degree. Thus they treat those of their own sort with old men with respect, like fathers ;

agreeable familiarity,

brothers

like

;

and

young

men

with

affection, They renounce hate, envy, and malice, In and do not withhold sincere admonition from anyone.

like

sons.

companionship it is not permissible to speak evil of the absent, or to behave dishonestly, or to deny one another on account of any word or deed, because a companionship which is begun for God s sake should not be cut short by human words or acts.

The author says:

"I

asked the Grand Shaykh

Gurgani what obligations were involved

He

*

replied

own his

:

interest

ness.

It all

;

involves this, that

hits the

interests

mark

as follows

"

:

in

Abu

1-Qasim

companionship.

you should not seek your

the evils of companionship arise from selfish-

Scjijude~ls better for a selfish man.

own

and looks

He who

after the interests of his

neglects

companion

A certain dervish relates companionship. Once I set out from Kufa to visit Mecca. On "

in

met Ibrahim Khawwas and begged him to let me In companionship it is necessary accompany him. He said that one should command and the other should obey which

the

way

i

trial

I

:

:

I

;


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

340

You be the commander. He I answered do you choose ? When we fail to Now do riot said comply with my orders. arrived at the halting-place, he bade me sit down, and himself :

:

drew water from the well and, since the weather was cold, he gathered sticks and kindled a fire, and whenever I attempted At nightfall it began to do anything he told me to sit down. He took off his patched frock and held it over to rain heavily. was ashamed, but could not say a word on account of the condition imposed on me. When morning He came, I said To-day it is my turn to be commander.

my

head

all

I

night.

:

said

Very

:

he began to

my

telling

As soon as we reached perform the same menial offices well.

him not

to disobey

my

the halting-place, as before,

and on

orders he retorted that

it

was an act of disobedience to let one s self be served by one s He continued to behave in this way until we commander. then I felt so ashamed that I fled from him. arrived at Mecca ;

O son, when espied me, however, at Mina and said to me you associate with dervishes see that you treat them in the same fashion as I treated you. He

l

:

"

Dervishes are divided into two classes

and

travellers (inusdfirdii).

According

:

residents

to the

(muqtmdn) custom of the

Shaykhs, the travelling dervishes should regard the resident ones as superior to themselves, because they go to and fro in

*K

their

own

down

in

interest,

while the resident dervishes have settled

the service of

in the latter

is

God

:

in the

former

the token of attainment

found and settled

down the

are

;

is

the sign of search,

hence those who have

superior to those who are still dervishes ought to regard

resident

seeking. Similarly, the travelling ones as superior to themselves, because they are laden with worldly encumbrances, while the travelling dervishes are

unencumbered and detached from the world.

Again, old should prefer to themselves the young, who are newer to the world and whose sins are less numerous and young

men

;

men

should prefer to themselves the old, them in devotion and service.

who have

outstripped


RULES OF COMPANIONSHIP.

341

SECTION.

means

Culture (adab) really qualities "

though

",

who

"

cultured

in

(adib)

called language anyone acquainted with Arabic philology and

ordinary is

as

"dwelling

it means worthy qualities if you act towards God in public and private

and say that

",

virtuous is

But the Sufi s define culture

grammar.

of

collection

"the

"

with praise

to act with propriety

"

;

"

cultured

even

",

said

:

who

"

"I

An

"

by Shaykh Abu Nasr

says

in

intelligence.

"

your actions will be true. Iriade

Those who have knowledge are :

If

heard,

you are and if

What docs culture involve ? Shaykh was asked will answer you by quoting a definition which I have you speak, your speech will be sincere, and if you act,

certain

He

(i.e.

thus,

a non-Arab),

more honoured than those who have

every case

A

you

are a foreigner

are the opposite.

you

not,

if

:

excellent distinction has been

Sarraj, the author of the Linnet,

regards culture (adab\ there are three classes Firstly, worldlings, whose culture mainly consists

"As

of mankind.

eloquence and rhetoric and learning and knowledge of the nightly conversations (asmdr } of kings and Arabic poetry. in

1

Secondly,

the

religious,

whose

culture

consists

chiefly

in

the lower soul and correcting the limbs and the observing legal ordinances and renouncing lusts. Thirdly, the elect (i.e. the Sufis), whose culture consists for the most part

disciplining

purity and

keeping watch over their hearts and and guarding the state in which they are and paying no heed to extraneous suggestions and behaving

in spiritual

fulfilling their promises

with propriety in the positions of search (for God), in the states of presence (with Gocl), and in the stations of proximity (to

This saying

God)."

which

it

is

comprehensive.

The

different matters

includes are discussed in several places in this book.

Chapter on the Rules of Companionship affecting Residents. Dervishes

who choose

to reside,

and not to

to observe the following rules of discipline. 1

Another reading

al-Luma belonging 1-

bound

a traveller

asmd, "names," but I find asmdr in the MS. of the Kitdb Mr. A. G. Ellis, where this passage occurs on f. 63^.

is

to

travel, are

When


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

342

must meet him joyfully and receive him with respect and treat him like an honoured guest and freely set before him whatever food they have, modelling their behaviour

comes

to them, they

upon that of Abraham.

come

or whither he

is

They must not

going or

what

is

whence he has name, but must deem

inquire

his

come from God and is going to God and that his then they must see whether he servant of God

that he has

name

"

is

"

;

desires to be alone or in

company if he prefers to be alone, him an empty room, and if he prefers company, :

they must give they must consort with him unceremoniously in a friendly and sociable manner. When he lays his head on his pillow at night the resident dervish ought to offer to wash his feet, but if the traveller should not allow

he

is

not accustomed to

it,

him

do

to

this

and should say that

the resident must not

insist, for fear

of causing him annoyance. Next day, he must offer him a bath and take him to the cleanest bath available and save his clothes

from (becoming dirty a strange

zealously in order to

make

knees and the soles of his

his

feet

not obliged to do. And the resident dervish has sufficient means, he should provide

and a

wait

back and rub

(bikJidrad) his

if

of the bath, and not permit upon him, but wait upon him him clean of all stains, and scrape

in) the latrines

attendant to

his

hands

:

more than

new garment

this

for his guest

;

he

is

otherwise, he need not trouble

himself, but he should clean his guest s clothes so that he

may

If the traveller put them on when he comes out of the bath. remains two or three days, he should be invited to visit any

spiritual director

or

Imam who may

be

in

the town, but he

must not be compelled to pay such visits against his inclination, because those who seek God are not always masters of their own feelings e.g., Ibrahim Khawwas on one occasion refused ;

to

accompany Khidr, who desired

his society, for

he was un

willing that his feelings should be engaged by anyone except God. Certainly it is not right that a resident dervish should

take a traveller to salute worldly

men

tainments, sick-beds, and funerals

make

travellers

or to attend their enter

and if a resident hopes to an instrument of mendicancy (dlat-i gadd t) and ;


RULES FOR RESIDENT DERVISHES.

343

conduct them from house to house, it would be better for him to refrain from serving them instead of subjecting them to

Among

humiliation. I

the troubles and inconveniences that

all

have suffered when travelling none was worse than to be

by ignorant servants and impudent and conducted from the house of such and

carried off time after time

dervishes of this sort

such a Khwaja to the house of such and such a Dihqan, while, though apparently complaisant, I felt a great dislike to go with them.

then vowed that,

I

if

ever

became

I

resident,

I

would

not behave towards travellers with this impropriety. Nothing derived from associating with ill-mannered persons is more useful than the lesson that

it.

On

his

ease

must not imitate

behaviour and a travelling

you must endure

becomes

dervish

at

their disagreeable

other hand,

the

if

(inunbasif) with a

some time and makes a worldly demand, bound immediately to give him what he wants the traveller is an impostor and low-minded, the resident

resident and stays for

the resident

but

if

must not

is

act

;

meanly

requirements, for this to if

God.

What

in is

order to comply with his impossible not the way of those who are devoted

business has a dervish to associate with devotees

he needs worldly things? Let him go to the market and buy It is sell, or let him be a soldier at the sultan s court.

and

related that, while in

some

Junayd and

his pupils

were sitting occupied

ascetic discipline, a travelling dervish

came

in.

They

him and placed food before him. He said 1 want such and such a thing besides said to him "You must Junayd go to the bazaar, for you are a man of tTieTmarket, not of the mosque and the Once I~~set ouT Damascus with two dervishes to visit Ibn al-Mu alla, who was living in the country near Ramla. On exerted themselves to entertain "

this."

:

:

cell."

"from

1

the

way we arranged

that each of us

should

think

of

the

matter concerning which we were in doubt, in order that that venerable director might tell us our secret thoughts and solve our

difficulties.

I

said to myself:

1

I.

Ibn

"

al- Ala.

I

will desire of

him the


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

344

poems and intimate

One

(al-Hallaj)."

to

pray

"

my

that

and the other

different

colours"

alla

of the

disease

better;"

Ibn al-Mu

Husayn b. Mansiir I will desire him spleen (tihdl) may become

supplications (inundjdf] of of my companions said,

said,

wish

will

"I

As soon

(Jialwd-yi sdbtini\

commanded

sweetmeat of

for

we

as

arrived,

poems and

that a manuscript of the

supplications of Husayn should be presented to me, and laid his hand on the belly of the invalid so that his illness was assuaged,

and

said

the other dervish

to

"

:

Parti-coloured sweetmeat

is

eaten by soldiers (fawdndit) you are dressed as a saint, and the dress of a saint does not accord with the appetite of a soldier. ;

Choose one or the

other."

In short, the resident

is

not obliged to pay attention Jto-the

travelling dervish unless the latter to God.

he

If

s

devoted to his own

attention

is

paid entirely

is impossible another should help him to gratify his selfishness, for dervishes are guides (i-dJibardn), not brigands (rdhburdn\ to each other. So long as anyone perseveres in a selfish demand, is

interests,

it

that

his friend

friend it

is

ought to

resist

it,

but when he renounces

it,

then his

In the Traditions of the Apostle ought to satisfy it. that he made a brotherhood between Salman

related

and

(al-Farisi)

men among

Abu Dharr

Ghifari,

both of

whom

were leading

Veranda (aJil-i suffd) and eminent One day, when Salman came to visit Abu Dharr spiritualists. at his house, Abu Dharr s wife complained to him that her husband neither ate by day nor slept by night. Salman told her to fetch some food, and said to Abu Dharr O brother, the People of the

"

:

I

desire thee to eat, since this fasting

Abu Dharr I

complied.

beg thee to sleep

:

thee, as well as thy

Apostle,

who

yesterday as

:

And

said

verily,

at night

is

not incumbent on

Salman

said

"

:

O

thee."

brother,

thy body and thy wife have a claim upon

Next day Abu Dharr went to the say the same thing as Salman said

Lord." "

:

I

thy body has a claim upon

Abu Dharr had renounced

his

selfish

thee."

Inasmuch

pleasures,

Salman

Whatever you do on this persuaded him to gratify them. is sound and principle impregnable. Once, in the territories


RULES FOR RESIDENT DERVISHES. of Iraq,

I

was

345

restlessly occupied (tdpdki mikardani} in seeking

had run largely into debt. Everyone who wanted anything turned to me, and I was troubled and at a loss to know how I could accomplish their

wealth and

squandering

it,

and

I

An

Beware eminent person wrote to me as follows lest you distract your mind from God by satisfying the wishes of those whose minds are engrossed in vanity. If you find desires.

"

:

anyone whose mind is nobler than your own, you may justly^ distract your mind in order to give peace to his. Otherwise, dojiot distract yourself. sin

These words brought

me

<^nH

instant

k

sufficient for

His_seryants."

relief.

Chapter concerning their Rules in Travel.

When

a dervish chooses to travel, not to reside, he ought to

observe the following rules. In the first place, he must travel for God s sake, not for pleasure, and as he journeys outwardly, so he should flee inwardly from his sensual affections and he must always keep himself in a state of purity and not neglect ;

and^his object in travelling must be either pilgrimage or war (against infidels) or to see a (holy) site or to

his

devotions

;

derive instruction or to seek knowledge or to visit a venerable person, a Shaykh, or the tomb of a saint otherwise his journey ;

And

he cannot do without a patched frock and a prayer-rug and a bucket and a rope and a pair of shoes the patched frock to (kafsJi} or clogs (na layri) and a staff

will

be faulty.

:

cover his nakedness, the prayer-rug to pray on, the bucket to cleanse himself with, and the staff to protect him from attacks

and

for other purposes.

must put on carries

Before stepping on the prayer-rug he

his shoes or clogs in a state of purity.

other

articles,

for

the

If

anyone

keeping the Sunna and nail-scissors and

sake of

(Apostolic custom), such as a comb a needle and a little box of antimony (inukhula), he does right. If, however, anyone provides himself with more utensils

than those which have been mentioned, we have to consider in what station he is if he is a novice every article will be :

a shackle and a stumbling-block

and a

veil

to him,

and

will


KASIIF AL-MAHJUB.

346

him the means of showing

afford

a firmly grounded adept he may carry I heard the more. following story from

Fan s to

Ghalib

b.

"

al-Farisi.

Shaykh Abu Sa d i

b.

Abi

but

self-conceit,

was dressed

Shaykh Abu Muslim

One day

(he said) I paid a visit 1-Khayr Fadlallah b. Muhammad. couch with four cushions (takhtt

Egyptian it resembled

was so dirty that emaciated by

On

austerities.

of scepticism overcame me. and so am I, yet he is in

He

tribulation.

aware of

my

I

all

leather,

Abu Sa myself: He

d a feeling is a dervish,

looking at said to

luxury and

this

immediately divined

O Abu

vainglory.

and he

;

Misri\ My garment and my body was

linen (diqqi

in fine

is

and

these articles

all

found him sleeping on a cJiahdr-bdlisJi}, one of his legs thrown across the other I

he

if

i

in

I

this sore

thoughts and was

my

Muslim, said

he,

in

what

a dervish ? diwan have you read that a self-conceited man Since I see God in all things, God sets me on a throne, and is

since

see

you

affliction

my

:

everything, God contemplation, while yours in

yourself

lot is

These are two stations on the

Way

God, but

to

you

keeps

in

mortification.

is

God

is

far aloof

from them both, and a dervish is dead to all stations and free from all states. On hearing these words my senses forsook me, and the whole world grew dark in my eyes. When I came to myself I

said

* :

repented, and he accepted

I

O

the truth f

He

*

O Abu

TJiat

ivliicli

my

ear

Then

repentance.

leave to depart, for

answered, then he quoted this verse

;

My The

me

Shaykh, give

the sight of thee.

my

I

cannot bear

Muslim, you speak

:

was unable

to

eye beheld actually all at once?

hear by report "

must always observe the custom of the Apostle, and when he comes to the house of a resident he should enter his presence respectfully and greet him and travelling

dervish

;

he should did

;

first

take off the shoe on his

and when he puts

his shoes on,

left foot, as

he should

the Apostle first

put on

the shoe belonging to his right foot and he should wash his and he should perform two bowings right foot before his left ;

;


RULES IN TRAVEL.

347

of the head by way of salutation (in prayer) and then occupy himself with attending to the (religious) duties incumbent on He must not in any case interfere with the residents, dervishes.

immoderately towards anyone, or talk of the hard ships which he may have suffered in travelling, or discourse on theology, or tell anecdotes, or recite traditions in company, or_ behave

for all this is a sign of self-conceit.

he

is

vexed by

God s

for

sake,

fools in

patience

residents or their servants bid visit

He must

and must tolerate there

their

are

be patient when irksomeness for

many

blessings.

him go with them

the townspeople, he must acquiesce

if

If

to salute or

he can, but

in his

paying such marks of respect to worldlings, although he should excuse the behaviour of his brethren who act thus. He_must take__care not to trouble heart he ought to dislike

them by making any unreasonable demand, and he must not drag them to the court of high officials with the purpose of seeking an idle pleasure for himself. Travelling, as well as in dervishes must resident, companionship, endeavour always, to please God, and must have a good belief in each other, and of any comrade face to face with him or behind back, because true mystics in regarding the act see the

not speak his

ill

Agent, and inasmuch as every human being, of whatever description he may be faulty or faultless, veiled or illuminated belongs to God and is His creature, to quarrel with a human act

is

to quarrel with the

Divine Agent.

Chapter concerning

their Rules in Eating.

Men

cannot dispense with nourishment, but moral virtue Shafi requires that they should not eat or drink in excess. He who thinks about that which goes into his belly i

"

worth only that which comes out of it? Nothing is more hurtful to a than eating too much. I have j novico-m^gufiism read in the Anecdotes that Abu Yazid was asked why he He answered Because if Pharaoh praised hunger so highly. had been hungry he would not have said, I am your Supreme is

"

"

:

c

Lord,

and

if

Qarun (Korah) had been hungry he would not


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

348

Tha laba was praised by all so long he was hungry, but when he ate his fill he displayed

have been as

]

rebellious."

hypocrisy.

Sahl

ment, a belly

b.

Abdallah (al-Tustari) said my judg is better than one full of lawful food." :

"In

of wine

full

On

When a man s being asked the reason of this he said is filled is with his intellect wine, belly stupefied and the flame of lust is quenched, and people are secure from his "

:

hand and tongue

;

but

when

his

belly

is

filled

with lawful

food he desires foolishness, and his lust waxes great and his lower soul rises to seek her pleasures." The Shaykhs have said, describing the Sufis

like

have

shipwrecked

"

:

They

eat like sick men, and sleep

men, and speak

like

one

whose children

died."

It is

should

an obligatory rule that they should not eat alone, but and unselfishly share their food with one another ;

when seated

they should not be

at table

begin by saying

God

"In

s

name";

silent,

and should

and they should not put

anything down or lift anything up in such a way as to offend their comrades, and they should dip the first mouthful in salt, and should deal fairly by their friends. Sahl b. Abdallah (al-Tustari)

was asked about the meaning of the verse

"

:

Verily

He replied (Kor. xvi, 92). "Justice consists in dealing fairly with one s friend in regard to a morsel of food, and beneficence consists in deeming God enjoins justice and

him

to

"

beneficence

:

have a better claim to that morsel than

yourself."

My

I am astonished at the Shaykh used to say impostor who declares that he has renounced the world, and is anxious "

:

about a morsel of

Furthermore, the Sufi should eat with his right hand and should look only at his own morsel, and while eating he should not drink unless he is extremely thirsty, will

and

if

moisten his

food."

he drinks he should drink only as much as He should not eat large mouthfuls, liver.^

and should chew his food well and not make haste otherwise he will be acting contrary to the custom of the Apostle, and ;

1

See Bayclawi on Kor.

ix, 76.


RULES IN EATING.

349

from indigestion (tukhama). When he has finished eating, he should give praise to God and wash If two or three or more persons belonging to his hands. probably suffer

will

a

and eat something

to a dinner

community of dervishes go

without informing their brethren, according to some Shaykhs this is unlawful and constitutes a breach of companionship, but some hold it to be allowable when a number of persons

union with each other, and some allow it in the case of a single person, on the ground that he is not obliged act thus in

when he

to deal fairly

when he

alone but

is

is

in

company

;

consequently, being alone, he is relieved of the obligations of companionship and is not responsible for his act. Now, the most important principle in this matter is that the invitation of a dervish should not be refused, and that the invitation of a rich

man

should not be accepted.

men

to the houses of rich

go conduct on

Dervishes ought not to them such

or beg anything of

:

demoralizing for Sufis, because worldlings are not terms (inahrcwi) with the dervish. Much

is

confidential

make a man

wealth, however, does not

docs

little

make him

wealth

that poverty

rich

"

(tiunyd-ddr\ nor

No

"poor".

better than riches

is

"

"

is

one who acknowledges rich even though he ",

be a king and anyone who disbelieves in poverty is rich even though he be reduced to want. When a dervish attends a party he should not constrain himself either to eat or not "

;

",

behave

to eat, but should

in

time (bar hukm-i waqf). is

it

(mahrani), condone a fault to

go to fault,

is

abasement

for

host

right that a married

;

and

Sahl

if

the host

But

his house.

a

accordance with his feelings at the If the

b.

is

is

a congenial person

man

(inutrf ahhil)

uncongenial,

it is

should

not allowable

any case it is better not to commit Abdallah (al-Tustari) says Backsliding in

"

:

"

(al-zillat dhillaf).

Chapter concerning their Rules in

God hath said who walk on the

:

"-And

the servants of the

earth meekly

Walking.

Merciful are they

"

(Kor. xxv, 64). Thej>eeker of God, as he walks, should know at each step he makes whether


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

350 that step

r^ must in

is

against

God

or of

ask for pardon, and if it may be increased.

that

it,

some medicine.

They

said to

it

God

:

if it

against God, he

is

of God, he must persevere

is

One day Dawud Ta had taken him Go into the court of this i

"

:

while, in order that the

good result of the I am ashamed become He medicine may apparent." replied that on the Day of Judgment God should ask me why I made God Almighty hath a few steps for my own selfish pleasure.

house

for

a

little

"

:

said

And

:

used

to

of that which they Therefore the dervish

their feet shall bear witness

commit*

(Kor. xxxvi, 65). should walk circumspectly, with his head bowed (imirdqabat), and not look in any direction but in

in

meditation

front.

If

any

person meets him on the way, he must not draw himself back from him for the sake of saving his dress, for all Moslems are clean,

and

their clothes too

i

n II

f

;

such an act

is

mere conceit and

however, the person who meets him is an unbeliever, or manifestly filthy, he may turn from him unAnd when he walks with a number of people, he obtrusively.

self-ostentation.

If,

must not attempt to go in front of them, since that is an excess of pride; nor must he attempt to go behind them, since that and humility of which one is conscious is an excess of humility, He must keep his clogs and shoes as clean is essentially pride. as he can

by day

in

order that God, through the blessings

may keep his clothes (clean) by night. And when one more dervishes are with anyone, he should not stop on the way (to talk) with any person, nor should he tell that person to He should walk quietly and should not hurry, wait for him.

thereof,

or

V

else his

walk

will

resemble that of the covetous

;

nor should he

walk slowly, for then his walk will resemble that of the proud and he should take steps of the full length (gdm-i tamdm nihad}. ;

In

fine,

the walk of the seeker of

a description that

if

God

should always be of such anyone should ask him whither he is going

he should be able to answer decisively

my Lord : He

will direct

me"

"

:

Verily,

(Kor. xxxvii, 97).

I am going

to

Otherwise his

walking is a curse to him, because right steps (khatawdf) proceed from right thoughts (khatardi) accordingly if a man s thoughts :


RULES IN WALKING.

351

are concentrated on God, his feet will follow his thoughts.

related

is

Abu Yazfd

that

said

"

:

The

It

walk

inconsiderate

(raivish-i be uiurdqabaf) of a dervish is a sign that he is heedless all that exists is attained in two steps one (of God), because and other the self-interest from step firmly planted step away :

on the commandments of

The walk

God."

of the seeker

is

and since proximity to God is not a matter of distance, what can the seeker do but cut off his feet in the abode of rest ? a sign that he

is

traversing a certain distance,

CJiapter concerning their Rules of Sleeping in travel

and at

Jiome.,

a great difference of opinion among the Shaykhs on Some hold that it is _nqt permissible for a novice this subject.

There

to sleep

is

except when he

Apostle said

"

Sleep

:

is

overpowered by slumber, for the Death," and inasmuch as

the brother of

is

a benefit conferred by God, whereas death is an affliction, And it is the former must be more excellent than the latter. life is

related that Shibli said

who

sleeps

"

:

God looked upon me and

heedless, and he who

is

is

heedless

is

said,

He^

veiled.

"

Others, again, hold that a novice may sleep at will and even constrain himself to sleep after having performed the Divine The Pen does not record commands, for the Apostle said "

:

(evil actions) against the sleeper until

he awakes, or against (

the boy until he reaches puberty, or against the madman until he recovers his wits." When a man is asleep, people are secure

from his

his mischief

lower soul

is

and he

deprived of his personal volition and prevented from gaining its desires and the is

Recording Angels cease to write ;_his tongue makes no false and speaks no evil of the absent, and his will places

assertion

no hope

in

conceit and ostentation

"

;

he does not possess

himself either bane or boon or death or

Hence Ibn

Abbas says

than_a sinner

s

sleep

;

life

or

for

resurrection."

Nothing is more grievous to Ibh s whenever the sinner sleeps, Iblis says, "

:

When will he wake and rise up that he may disobey God?" This was a point of controversy between Junayd and All b.

,


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

352

The

Sahl al-Isfahani.

latter

wrote to Junayd a very

fine epistle,

which I have heard, to the effect that sleep is heedlessness and the lover must not sleep or rest is a turning away from God :

rest by day by .night, otherwise he will lose the object of his desire and will forget himself and his state and will fail to attain

or

God, as God said to David, O David, he who pretends to love Me and sleeps when night covers him is a Junayd "

to

liar."

said in his reply to that letter

"

:

Our wakefulness

consists in

God s act" our acts of devotion to God, whereas our sleep towards us that which proceeds from God to us without our is

:

will

is

more

with our

will.

God who

perfect than that which proceeds from us to Sleep is a gift which God bestows on those

This question depends on the doctrine of sobriety and intoxication, which has been fully discussed above. It is sober" man, here remarkable that Junayd, who was himself a

love

Him."

"

Seemingly, he was enraptured at the supports intoxication. and his wrote he time when temporary state may have expressed

be that the opposite is actually sobriety, while wakefulness is actually intoxication, because sleep is an attribute of humanity, and a man is sober so long as he is in the shadow of his itself

his

by

tongue

;

or,

the case and that sleep

it

again,

may

is

"

"

attributes

:

wakefulness, on the other hand,

is

an attribute of

God, and when a man transcends his own attribute he is I have met with a number of Shaykhs who agree enraptured. with Junayd in preferring sleep to wakefulness, because the visions of the saints and of most of the apostles occurred during And the Apostle said Verily, God takes pride in the sleep. "

:

servant

who

sleeps while he prostrates himself in prayer

;

and

says to His angels, Behold My servant, whose spirit i? in the abode of secret conversation (najwa} while his body is on

He

The Apostle the carpet of worship. of in a state purification, his spirit sleeps "

also is

said

"

:

Whoever

permitted to circum

ambulate the Throne and prostrate itself before God." I have read in the Anecdotes that Shah Shuja of Kirman kept awake

One night he fell asleep and saw God, and years. afterwards he used always to sleep in hope of seeing the same

for forty

>


RULES IN SLEEPING. This

vision.

Amir "

is

the meaning of the verse of

353

Qays

of the

Banu

l

Truly I wish

although I am not drowsy, bsloved image may encounter mine"

to sleep,

That perchance

tJiy

whom I have seen agree with All b. Sahl wakefulness to sleep, because the apostles received their revelations and the saints their miracles while they were Other Shaykhs

in preferring

One

there were any good would be sleep in Paradise," i.e., if sleep were the cause of love and proximity to God, it would follow that there must be sleep in Paradise, which is the dwelling-place

awake.

of the Shaykhs says

"If

:

in sleep there

of proximity since neither sleep nor any veil is in Paradise, that sleep is a veil. Those who are fond of subtleties (arbdb-i Idtd if} say that when Adam fell asleep in Paradise ;

we know

Eve came

from

forth

his left side,

and Eve was the source of

his afflictions. They say also that when Abraham told Ishmael that he had been ordered in a dream to sacrifice him,

all

"This is the punishment due to one who and his If you had not fallen asleep beloved. forgets sleeps not been would have commanded to sacrifice your son." you

Ishmael replied:

It

is

related that Shibli every night used to place in front of

him a bowl of salt water and a needle for applying collyrium, and whenever he was about to fall asleep he would dip the needle in the salt water and draw

Uthman

b.

al-Jullabi,

it

along his eyelids.

I,

All

have met with a spiritual director who

used to sleep after finishing the performance of his obligatory acts of devotion and I have seen Shaykh Ahmad Samarqandi, ;

who was

living at

Bukhara

:

during forty years he had never

slept at night, but

he used to sleep a little in the daytime. This question turns on the view taken of life and death. Those who prefer death to life must prefer sleep to waking, while those who prefer life to death must prefer waking to Merit belongs, not to the man who forces himself to keep awake, but to the man who is kept awake. ^The Apostle, whom God chose and whom He raised to the highest rank,

sleep.

1

Generally

known

as

Majnun, the lover of Layla.

See Brockelmann,

2

i,

A

48.


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

354

did not force himself either to sleep or to wake.

manded him, saying:

and pray during

"Rise

God com

the night, except

a small part : half thereof or less" (Kor. Ixxiii, 2-3). Similarly, merit does not belong to the man who forces himself to sleep, but only to the man who is put to sleep. The Men ofj:he Cave did not constrain themselves to sleep or to wake, but

God threw slumber upon them and nourished them without When a man attains to such a degree that his will their will. no longer exists, and his hand is withdrawn from everything, and his thoughts are averted from all except God, it matters not whether he is asleep or awake in either case he is full :

of honour. to

deem

and

Now,

ought and repent of his sins who have a claim against him and he ought

that his

satisfy

all

as regards the sleep of the novice, he first

is

sleep

his last,

;

comely purification and sleep on his right side, the and having set his worldly affairs in order, facing qibla he ought to give thanks for the blessing of Islam, and make to perform a

;

vow that if he should wake again he will not One who has set his affairs in order while he

a

no

fear of sleep or of death.

a certain spiritual

who was engrossed to self-conceit,

you must

director, in

return to is

sin.

awake has

A

well-known story is told of that he used to visit an Imam

maintaining his dignity and was a prey

and that he used to say to him

"

:

O

So-and-so,

This offended the Imam, for "why (he said) should this beggar be always repeating these words to me?" die."

I will begin to-morrow." One day he answered Next day when the spiritual director came in the Imam said to him O So-and-so, you must He put down his prayer-rug "

:

:

"

die."

and spread

am Imam took

it

out,

and

laid

his

head on

it

and exclaimed,

immediately yielded up his soul. The warning, and perceived that this spiritual director had been bidding him prepare for death, as he himself had "

I

done. unless

dead,"

and

My

Shaykh used to enjoin his disciples not to sleep overpowered by slumber, and when they had once

awaked not to fall asleep again, since a second and unprofitable to those who seek God.

sleep

is

unlawful


RULES IN SPEECH AND SILENCE.

and

Chapter concerning their Rules in Speech

God hath commanded His

355 Silence.

servants to speak well,

to

e.g.

acknowledge His lordship and to praise Him and to call mankind to His court Speech is a great blessing conferred on Man by God, and thereby is Man distinguished from all other things. Some interpreters of the text, We have honoured the sons of Adam (Kor. xvii, 72), explain it as meaning by the gift of speech Nevertheless! in speech there are also "

"

"

".

great evils, for the

my

is

people

the

Apostle said

"

:

The worst

In short, speech

tongue."

that

is

like

fear for

I

wine

:

it

mind, and those who begin to have a taste cannot abstain from it. Accordingly, the Sufis, knowing

intoxicates the for

it

that

is

speech

discourse

except when

spoke

it

was

considered the beginning and end of their God s sake, they spoke other

the whole was for

if

;

never

harmful,

;

wise they kept silence, because they firmly believed that God The Apostle knows our secret thoughts (cf. Kor. xliii, 80). is In He who silence saved silence there are said keeps "

"

:

?

many advantages and many evils.

spiritual favours (fut2i/i),

Some Shaykhs have

there are

and

in

speech

preferred silence

to speech, while others have set speech above silence. Among the former is Junayd, who said are Expressions wholly pretensions, and where realities are established pretensions "

:

Sometimes one has the will to do are idle.

speaking

in

excusable not to speak although i.e. fear becomes an excuse for not

is

it

so,

spite of one

s

having the

will

and the power

to

and refusal to speak of God does not impair the speak essence of gnosis. But at no time is a man excused for mere devoid of pretension reality, which is the principle of hypocrites. Pretension without reality is hypocrisy, and reality without ;

pretension

is

sincerity,

because

"

he

who

grounded in communicate with his Lord is

eloquence needs no tongue to Expressions only serve to inform another than God, for God Himself requires no explanation of our circumstances, and ".

others than

God

are not worth so

ourselves with them.

This

is

much

that

we should occupy

corroborated by the saying of

,


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

356

He^who knows God

"

Junayd,

a

is

(^iydn) exposition (bay an)

is

dumb,"

for in

actual_vision Shibli

It is related that

veil.

O my Junayd s meeting-place and cried aloud, and pointed to God. Junayd said O Abu object of desire Bakr, if God is the object of your desire, why do you point to Him, who is independent of this? And if the object of your desire is another, God knows what you say why do you Shibli asked God to pardon him for having speak falsely ?

rose

up

in

"

"

!"

:

:

"

+

uttered those words.

Those who put speech above commanded by God to set forth

argue that we are our circumstances, for the

silence

If a man pretension subsists in the reality, and vice versa. continues for a thousand years to know God in his heart and soul, but has not confessed that he knows God, he is virtually

an

infidel unless his silence

has

bidden

believers

all

has been due to compulsion. God 4 give Him thanks and praise and

He

His bounties, and

rehearse

has promised to answer the

One of the Shaykhs has prayers of those who invoke Him. said that whoever does net declare his spiritual state is without any "

spiritual state, since the state proclaims itself.

The tongue of the

my

And my I

silence is the interpreter in the

was walking

an impostor saying "

replied is

:

my

speech

is is

of

my

question"

Anecdotes that one day when

in the "

:

Karkh quarter

Silence

is

of

Abu Bakr

Baghdad he heard

better than

speech."

Shibli

better than thy speech, but

my speech because is my silence, vanity and thy speech an idle jest, whereas my silence is modesty and

Thy

better than

thy silence

more eloquent than

(lisan al-hal) is

tongue,

have read

Shibli

state

silence

is

knowledge."

I,

AH

b.

Uthman

al-Jullabi, declare

that there are two kinds of speech and two kinds of silence speech is either real or unreal, and silence is either fruition or_ :

one speaks truth, his speech is better than but if one speaks falsehood, his silence is better

forgetfulness. his silence,

If

than his speech.

"

He who

speaks hits the mark or misses

it,


RULES IN SPEECH AND SILENCE. but he

Thus

who

made

is

Iblis said,

Adam

ourselves"

(Kor.

preserved from transgression." better than he" (Kor. xxxviii, 77), but

to speak

am

"/

was made to

is

"

say,

jwe^Jiave done wrong unto missionaries (dd iydii) of this

Lord>

The

22).

vii,

357

compelled to speak, and shame or he whose silence is shame, helplessness strikes them dumb Their speech is the result of vision, and his speech is are

sect

or

permitted

"

:

life."

speech without vision appears to them despicable. They prefer silence to speech so long as they are with themselves, but

when they the

beside themselves their words

are

Hence

hearts of men.

whose

silence to

God

is

are written on

that spiritual director said

gold, his

"

:

speech to another than

He

God

M

seeker of GfV*, W JF Absorbed in servantship; gilt." must be silent, in order .that the adept^jvvhp^roclaims Lordship,

The

is

may speak, and by his utterances may captivate the hearts The rule in speaking is not to speak unless of his disciples. and the bidden, and then only of the thing that is bidden rule in silence is not to be ignorant or satisfied with ignorance ;

The

must not interrupt the speech of judgment intrude therein, or use far-fetched expressions in answering them. He must or forgetful.

disciple

spiritual directors, or let his personal

of the absent, or offend any Moslem with that tongue which has made the profession of faith and He must not address acknowledged the unity of God.

never

tell

dervishes

a

lie,

ill

names or speak to them until they ask behoves the dervish, when he is silent, not to in falsehood, and when he speaks, to speak only the by

a question.

be silent

or speak

their bare It

This principle has many derivatives and innumerable refinements, but I will not pursue the subject, lest my book truth.

should become too long. CJiapter concerning their Rules in Asking.

God hath (Kor.

ii,

repulsed, the

said

274). for

beggar"

"

:

Any

God (Kor.

They ask not men with importunity one of them who asks should not be "

said to xciii,

the

10).

"

Apostle

As

far

:

Do

not drive

away

as possible they should


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

358

beg of God only, for begging involves turning away from God to another, and when a man turns away from God there is

danger that God

read

a

that

O

"

Rabi

may

certain

leave

him

worldling

in that

said

Adawiyya

l :

ask something of me that I may procure what she replied, I am ashamed to ask any O

a,

"

"

you

Rabi a

to

have

I

predicament.

wish."

sir,"

thing of the Creator of the world be ashamed to ask anything of a ;

how, then, should

not

I

It

fellow-creature?"

is

Abu Muslim, the head of the an innocent dervish was seized on Abbasid) propaganda,

related (

that

in

the

time of

2 suspicion of theft, and was imprisoned at Chahar Taq. On the same night Abu Muslim dreamed that the Apostle came to him and said: "God has sent me to tell you that

your prison. Arise and set him free." Abu Muslim leapt from his bed, and ran with bare head and feet to the prison gate, and gave orders to release the dervish,

one of His friends

is

in

and Begged his pardon and bade him ask a boon. he replied, "one whose Master rouses Abu Muslim

"

at

O

prince,"

midnight,

and sends him to deliver a poor dervish from affliction how should that one ask a boon of others ? Abu Muslim began to weep, and the dervish went on his way. Some, however, "

hold that a dervish

God

may beg

of

his

since

fellow-creatures,

Tliey ask not men with importunity" i.e. they says ask but not importune. The Apostle begged for the "

:

may

sake of providing for his companions, and he said to Seek your wants from those whose faces are comely."

us

:

"

The

be permissible in three cases. Firstly, with the object of freeing one s mind from preoccupation, for, as they have said, we should not Sufi

Shaykhs consider begging

much importance

to

two cakes of bread that we should spend the whole day and night in expecting them and when we are starving we want nothing else of God, because no anxiet}/ is so engrossing as anxiety on account attach so

to

;

of 1

2

food.

Therefore,

when the

disciple

of

Shaqiq

visited

Nafahdt, No. 578 ; Ibn Khallikan, No. 230. village, mentioned by Ibn al-Athir (x, 428, 24), in the vicinity of Baghdad.

A


RULES IN ASKING.

359

Bayazid, and in answer to Bayazfd

s question as to the state him that he was informed of Shaqi q entirely disengaged from

mankind, and was putting "When

testing

you

God

with two loaves

his fellow-creatures

his trust in

all

him

to Shaqiq, tell

return

:

if

he

is

God, Bayazid said beware of again

:

to

let

hungry,

him beg of

and have done with the cant of

trust in

Secondly, it is permissible to beg with the object of The Sufis beg in order that they training the lower soul. may endure the humiliation of begging, and may perceive God."

what

their

is

worth

When

be proud.

of other men, and

in the eyes

Shiblf

came

to

not

may

him

said to

Junayd, Junayd O Abu Bakr, your head is full of conceit, because you are the son of the Caliph s principal chamberlain and the governor :

"

No good will come from you until you go to market and beg of everyone whom you see, that you

of Samarra. the

may know your

true

He begged

Shiblf obeyed.

worth."

in

One

the market for three years, with ever decreasing success.

day, having gone through the whole market and got nothing, he returned to Junayd and told him. Junayd said Now, "

:

Abu Bakr, you men do not fix

see that

you have no worth

your heart on them.

in

the eyes of

This matter

(i.e. begging) It is sake of discipline, not for the sake of profit." I had a friend related that Dhu 1-Nun the Egyptian said :

is

for the

"

:

who was

in

accord with God.

After his death

I

saw him

dream, and asked him how God had dealt with him. answered that God had forgiven him. I asked him

a

:

He

account of what virtue? to his feet

and said

c :

much contumely and men, to

whom you

My

replied

servant,

tribulation

God

that

raised

(

in

He On him

suffered with patience

you from base

stretched out your hands

:

and avaricious

therefore

I

forgive

Tliirdly, they beg from mankind because of their reverence for God. They recognize that all worldly possessions "

you.

belong to God, and they regard all mankind as His agents, from whom not from God Himself they beg anything that is for the benefit of the lower soul and in the eyes of one ;

who beholds

his

own want,

the servant that

makes a

petition


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

360 to an agent

more reverent and obedient than he that makes

is

a petition to God. Therefore, their begging from another is a sign of presence and of turning towards God, not a sign of

absence and of turning away from

Yahya

Mu adh

b.

asked her mother mother.

am

"

I

portion."

"Ask

it

the girl replied,

me

What you

is

give rules of begging

The

have read that

I

had a daughter, who one day

something.

ashamed,"

want from Him. allotted

(al-Razi) for

Him.

of "

God,"

said the

to ask a material

His too and are

my

is

as follows:

If

than beg unsuccessfully you should be more cheerful human when you succeed, and you should not regard any You should creature as coming between God and yourself. not beg of women or market-folk (ashdb-i aswdq) and you

you

}

should not his

and

for

should

your secret to

anyone unless you are sure that

you should beg un and should not use the proceeds for worldly show housekeeping, or convert them into property. You

money

selfishly,

tell is

far

in the present,

live

enter your

As

lawful.

mind, else

you

as possible

and

let

no thought of the morrow

will incur everlasting perdition.

You

make God a springe to catch alms, and you should not display piety in order that more alms may be given to you on account of your piety. I once met an old and venerable should not

Sufi,

who had

lost

his

way

in the desert

stricken, into the market-place at

Kufa with

and came, hungera sparrow perched

me something for the sake of hand, crying The people asked him why he said this. He this sparrow Give me some is impossible that I should say replied: on

"

his

:

Give

"

!

"It

One must employ the intercession thing for God s sake of an insignificant creature to obtain worldly goods." This is but a small part of the obligations involved in begging. !

I

have abridged the topic

for fear of

being tedious.

Chapter concerning their Rules in Marriage matters connected therewith.

and

Celibacy

and

They (women) are a garment unto you and ye are a garment unto them" (Kor. ii, 183). AncTtHe Apostle

God hath

said

"

:


RULES IN MARRIAGE AND CELIBACY.

may multiply for I will vaunt you on the Day of Resurrection, even in nations other

Marry, that ye

"

said

:

all

against

361

;

The women who And he said also respect of the still-born." cost least to maintain, who are the they greatest blessing bring whose faces are comeliest, and whose dowries are cheapest." "

:

Marriage is permitted to all men and women, and is obligatory on those who cannot abstain from what is unlawful, and is sanctioned by the custom of the Apostle) for those Some of the Sufi Shaykhs are able to support a family.

a sunna

who

(i.e.

hold marriage to be desirable as a means of quelling lust, and acquisition (of sustenance) to be desirable as a means of freeing

mind from anxiety. Others hold

the

that the object of marriage

before its father, it will procreation for, intercede for him (before God), and if the father dies first, the Women The Apostle said child will remain to pray for him. 1 is

if

;

the child dies

"

:

wealth, nobility, beauty, and religion. religious, for, after Islam, there is nothing

are married for four things

DcTye take one that

is

:

man so much as a believing and obedient wife And the Apostle who gladdens him whenever he looks on

that profits a

her."

said

"

:

Satan

is

with the

solitary,"

because Satan decks out

and presents it to their minds. Xo companionship is equal in reverence and security to marriage, when husband and wife are congenial and well-suited to each other, and no torment lust

and anxiety

is

so great as an uncongenial wife.

Therefore the

place, consider what he is doing and in his mind the of celibacy and of marriage, in evils picture order that he may choose the state of which he can more easily

dervish must, in the

overcome the

first

The

of celibacy are two (i) the neglect of an Apostolic custom, (2) the fostering of lust in the heart and the danger of falling into unlawful ways. The evils evils.

evils

:

of marriage are also twoj (l) the preoccupation"!) f the mind with other than God, (2) the distraction of the body for the sake_o_f sensual__pleasure.

ment and companionship. 1

Here a

Prophet

s

The

root of this matter

lies in retire<

Marriage

is

proper

story is told of the Caliph Umar, who asked granddaughter, in marriage from her father All.

for

Umm

those

who

Kulthum, the

^-


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

362

prefer to associate with mankind, and celibacy is an ornament tcTEKose who seek retirement from mankind. The Apostle said :

Go

"

the recluses (al-mufarridiln) have preceded

:

Hasan of Basra says

"

:

the heavily laden shall "

following story

man who it

was

:

I

The

lived there.

lightly

And

you,"

shall be saved

Khawwas

Ibrahim

perish."

went

burdened

and

relates the

to a certain village to visit a reverend

When

I

entered his house

clean, like a saint s place of worship.

In

its

saw that

I

two corners

two niches (inihrdV) had been made the old man was seated in one of them, and in the other niche an old woman was sitting, ;

and bright both had become weak through much devotion. They showed great joy at my coming, and I stayed with them for three days. When I was about to depart I asked clean

:

the old man,

He

What

answered, She

is

relation

my

is

woman

chaste

this

cousin and

my

wife.

to

I said,

you ? During

these three days your intercourse with one another has been Yes, said he, it has been so for very like that of strangers. *

and sixty years. I asked him the cause of this. He replied were young we fell in love, but her father would not

five

:

When we

4

give her to me, for he had discovered our fondness for each

bore this sorrow for a long while, but on her father s my father, who was her uncle, gave me her hand. On

other.

I

death

the wedding-night she said to me "You know what happiness God has bestowed upon us in bringing us together and taking :

all

fear

away from our

hearts.

Let us therefore to-night

refrain

from sensual passion and trample on our desires and worship

God

thanksgiving for this happiness." Next night she bade me do the same. in

"

I

Now we

have given thanks

for

"

I

said,

On

It is

well."

the third night

two nights

for

your Five and my sixty years have passed since then, and we have never touched one another, but spend all our lives in giving thanks for our said,

sake

;

to-night let us worship

God

for

sake."

Accordingly, when a dervish chooses companion behoves him to provide his wife with lawful food and "

happiness. ship,

it

dowry out of lawful property, and not indulge in sensual pleasure so long as any obligation towards God, or any part of

pay her


RULES IN MARRIAGE AND CELIBACY.

363

His commandments, is unfulfilled. And when he performs his devotions and is about to go to bed, let him say, as in secret converse with God O Lord God, Thou hast mingled lust with "

:

Adam s Thou

in

clay in order that the world may be populated, and Thy knowledge hast willed that I should have this

Cause

intercourse.

it

to

be

for the

sake of two things

:

firstly,

unlawful by means of that which is to me a child, saintly and vouchsafe and lawful secondly, acceptable, not one who will divert my thoughts from Thee."

guard that which

to

is

;

that a son

It is related

was born

to Sahl b.

Abdallah al-Tustari.

Whenever the child asked his mother for food, she used to bid him ask God, and while he went to the niche (inihrdti) and bowed himself in prayer, she used secretly to give him what he wanted, without letting him know that his mother had given it to him. Thus he grew accustomed to turn unto God. One he came back from school when his mother was absent, day and bowed himself in prayer. God caused the thing that he When his mother came in she sought to appear before him. asked,

"Where

place whence

The

it

did you get

comes

this?"

He

"

answered,

From

the

always."

practice of an Apostolic rule of

life

must not lead the

dervish to seek worldly wealth and unlawful gain or preoccupy his heart, for the dervish is ruined by the destruction of his heart, just as the rich

man

house and furniture

but the rich

;

is

while the dervish cannot.

ruined by the destruction of his

In

man can

our time

repair

his

loss,

impossible for to a have suitable whose wants are not excessive wife, anyone and whose demands are not unreasonable. Therefore many it

is

persons have adopted celibacy and observe the Apostolic Tradition The best of men in latter days will be those who "

:

are light of

back,"

i.e.

who have

neither wife nor child.

It

is

the unanimous opinion of the Shaykhs of this sect that the best and most excellent Sufi s are the celibates, if their hearts are sins

uncontaminated and

and

lusts.

if

The^vulgar,

their in

natures are not inclined to

gratifying their lusts, appeal

to the Apostle s saying, that the three things he loved in the


KASHF AL-MAHJUB,

364

world were scent, women, and prayer, and argue that since he loved women marriage must be more excellent than celibacy. "

I "reply

:

The Apostle

also said that he

had two

combat (jihad)

poverty (faqr) and the spiritual If he loved that these things?

yeTshun (viz.

celibacy)

was

his

Your

trade.

trades, namely,

why,jthen,_dp

:

marriage), this desires have a greater (viz.

absurd, on that ground, to Anyone who follows his say that he loves what you desire. desires for fifty years and supposes that he is following the woman was the is in grave error." practice of the Apostle in Paradise, Adam cause of the first calamity that overtook

propensity to the former, but

it

is

A

quarrel that happened in this world, woman was the cause of i.e. the quarrel of Abel and Cain. the punishment inflicted on the two angels (Harut and Marut)

and

also

of the

first

A

;

and down to the present day all mischiefs, worldly and religious After God had preserved me have been caused by women. the from for eleven dangers of matrimony, it was my years

of a destiny to fall in love with the description

woman whom

had never seen, and during a whole year my passion so I absorbed me that my religion was near being ruined, until at last God in His bounty gave protection to my wretched heart In short, Sufiism was founded and mercifully delivered me. on celibacy the introduction of marriage brought about a cannot be_extingujshed change. Therejs no flame of lust that ;

from by strenuous effort, because, whatever vice proceeds it remove will that yourself, you possess the instrument

:

Now the removal not necessary for that purpose. of which involves one two of lust may be effected by things, self-constraint (takalluf\ while the other lies outside the sphere

another

of

is

human

latter

is

action and mortification.

The former

an agitating fear or a true love, which

hunger, the

is

is

collected

by

the dispersion of (sensual) thoughts: ajove which extends its all the empire over the different parts of the body and divests "senses "who

man.

of their sensual quality.

Ahmad Hammadi

went to Transoxania and On beinsr asked whether

lived there,

he

of Sarakhs,

was a venerable

desired

to

marry, he


RULES IN MARRIAGE AND CELIBACY.

365

am either absent from myself or present with myself: when I am absent, I have no consciousness and when I am present, I keep my lower of the two worlds answered

"

:

No, because

I

;

soul in such wise that

when

it

gets a loaf of bread

it

thinks

It is a great thing to has got a thousand houris. occupy the mind let it be anxious about whatsoever you will." Others i __agam x _recommend that neither state (marriage or

that

it

:

be regarded with predilection, in order that we may see what the decree of Divine providence will bring if celibacy be our lot, we should strive to be chaste, to light and if marriage be our destiny, we should comply with the celibacy) should

:

custom of the Apostle and

strive to clear our hearts~(bT worldly

When God ordains celibacy unto a man, his be like that of Joseph, who, although he was should celibacy able to satisfy his desire for Zulaykha, turned away from her anxieties).

and considering the moment when Zulaykha was

and busied himself with subduing the vices of his lower soul at

And

his passion

God

ordains marriage unto a man, his marriage should be like that of Abraham, who by reason of his absolute confidence in God put aside all care for his

alone with him.

if

and when Sarah became jealous he took Hagar and brought her to a barren valley and committed her to the care wife

;

Accordingly, a man is not ruined by marriage or by but the mischief consists in asserting one s will and celibacy, to one s desires. The married man ought to in yielding

of God.

s

I

observe the following rules. He should not leave any act of devotion undone, or let any "state" be lost or any "time" be wasted. He should be kind to his wife and should provide

herewith lawful expenses, and he should not pay court to tyrants and governors with the object of meeting her expenses. He should behave thus, in order that, if a child is born, it may be such as

A

be. well-known story is told of of Nishapur, that one day, when he was sitting with the chiefs and nobles of Nishapur who had come

Ahmad

b.

it

ought to

Harb

to offer their respects to him, his son entered the room, drunk,

playing a guitar, and singing, and passed by insolently without


KASHF AL-MAHJUB.

366

heeding them.

perceiving that they were put out of What is the matter ? They replied

Ahmad,

"

countenance, said "

We

are

"

:

:

ashamed that

Ahmad

this

lad should

He

pass excusable.

by you

in

such

One

night my us from to was some food that of brought partook was son this That same night a neighbour s house. begotten,

a

state."

wife

and

said

"

:

is

I

Next morning asleep and let our devotions go. the food that of source to the as we inquired of our neighbour he had sent to us, and we found that it came from a wedding-

and we

fell

The following house of a government official." He must not see rules should be observed by the celibate.

feast in the

improper to see or think what

improper to think, and he must quench the flames of lust by hunger and guard from preoccupation with his heart from this world and

what

is

is

phenomena, and he must not call the desire of his lower soul and he must not make the or inspiration knowledge If he acts wiles (bu l-ajabi*} of Satan a pretext (for sin). "

"

"

",

thus he will be approved in Sufiism.


CHAPTER XXIV. EXPLAINING THE UNCOVERING OF THE TENTH VEIL THEIR PHRASEOLOGY AND THE DEFINITIONS OF THEIR TERMS AND THE VERITIES OF THE IDEAS WHICH ARE :