People of the Night
If you say about them, ‘They are the best of the league (who come together to aid)’ -
you are correct; they have taken up the most generous alighting place.
And if you say about them, ‘They are harsh warriors’ -
you are correct; they are neither a prophet nor a friend.
They are not for themselves, nor are they with others,but they are in a quaking shelter -
Inaccessible, protected, between the visionary and the intuitive,
and between the south wind and the north.
They have among them only a blackened imām;
when they greet the morn, they are granted the contemplation of wishes.
Theirs is a viewpoint whose force the other does not recognize;
Theirs is an assault they launch on every crown adorned.
The Code of Intimacy or from the Alchemy of Human Happiness
ALCHEMICAL ELIXIRS are an evident proof,
showing what can be altered and replaced
in [the realm of] existence.
If an enemy has the elixir of divine Grace
cast upon him in a proper balanced measure,
he can truly pass in time from his [state of]
enmity to [the degree of] His friendship
with the power of judgement and decree
S. Hirtenstein, The Alchemy of Human Happiness , Anqa Publishing 2017, 49.
The Real made me contemplate the light of uniqueness
as the star of servanthood rose, and He said to me,
“Uniqueness is connected to servanthood
with the connection of lâm–alif.”
“I am the root and you are the branch.”
“The root is you and the branch is ‘I’.
“Preserve the intermediaries.”
“I have written Ṭâ -Hâ on the stars of Ursa Minor.”
“The Pole of the Right [or south] is the Pole of the Left [or north],
and I have set this down in the beginning of the Sura of Iron.”
“If there were two Axes (quṭbân) the celestial sphere would not turn;
and if there were not two Poles (quṭbân), the structure would
collapse and the celestial sphere would not pursue its course.”
Then He said to me, “Do not look at the existence of the Poles,
but look at what is hidden in the negation and then say whatever
you like, that they are two, or that they are one.”
“In the link between lâm and alif there is an undisclosed secret
which I have deposited in My saying: ‘God is He who raised the
heavens without any support.’”
Al Wajh al Ḫaṣṣ - The Private Face
I gained in this night-journey the true meanings Of all the Names,
and I saw them all returning to a single Named and a single Source.
this Named was my very object of contemplaion and that Source my very beeing.
My journeying took place only within me,
and my direction was only towards me.
Through this I came to know that
I am a pure servant,
without any trace of lordship in me.
S. Hirtenstein, The Alchemy of Human Happiness , Anqa Publishing 2017, 34.
Sirr – Secret
I hided from my Time in the Shadow of His Wing
My Eye sees My Time and he doesn’t see Me
If you ask the days: What is My Name? They won’t know
And if you ask them where is My Place?
They won’t know My Place
( Kitãbu l-Azal)
M.H.Yousef, Eternity, ab ante – a post, United Arab Emirates University, 2019,42.
The Storehouse of the Final Issue
We are felicitous
through the Real’s Essence,
and wretchedness arises
from mankind’s possibility.
Encountering the Real
is a necessary ḥaqq,
so give the good news that all good
is found in the encounter.
From us we have annihilation and subsistence,
from Him we have
wujûd and encounter.
He is a good
for which no opposite is seen,
and when the good
comes together with the good,
all that comes to be
and evil has no place to walk,
no occasion for meeting.
William C. Chittick, The Self-Disclosure of God, SUNY press 1998, 365.
مَنْ عَرَفَ نَفْسَهُ فَقَدْ عَرَفَ رَبَّهُ
The Quintessence of the Wisdom
of (the Name) Allah
in the Logos of Adam
And the Perfect Man is a book, the epitome and summary of the Mother of the Book,
which consists of the ontological plane of the comprehensive Unity of the Name "Allah",
which comprises the Necessary and active realities
pertaining to the Names and the subtle essences of the Qualities
pertaining to the level of Lordship, such that nothing escapes them,
save inherent Necessity (al-wujûb al-dhâtî),
for the contingent and possible being has no share in that,
or else the realities of things would be reversed.
Sadr al-Dîn al-Qunyawî writes in al-Fukûk:
"The true Perfect Man is the isthmus between Necessity and possibility and
the mirror which embraces the attributes and laws of Eternity together with those of contingency.
He is the intermediary between God and creation, and through him and from his ontological plane the divine effusion and grace, which are the reason for the subsistence of 'other than God',
reach the world, all of it, both the celestial and the terrestrial.
If it were not for his being the isthmus which is not opposed to either of the two sides,
nothing in the world would receive the unique succour of God,
because of the lack of affinity and relationship;
the succour would not reach the world and therefore the world would cease to exist.
"Verily the Perfect Man is the pillar of the Heavens and the earth.
And because of this mystery, when he leaves the center of the Universe –
that Universe which is the outward form of the divine All-comprehensiveness and
of its Unity and the station of the vicegerency of the ontological plane of 'Allah' –
and goes back to the Noble Pedestal and the Majestic Throne,
which encompass the Heavens and the earth, the order of the Universe will be destroyed and the earth and the Heavens will be changed into other than themselves.
"Therefore the Prophet has said,
'The hour (of the Resurrection) will not come as long as
there is someone in the world who says "Allah, Allah".'
And he emphasized by repetition that he means, 'as long as there is someone in the world
who truly says "Allah",' for if he meant 'someone who says the word "Allah",
' he would not have emphasized it by repetition.
And there is no doubt that no one mentions 'Allah' with true mention –
and in particular with this greatest and all-embracing Name,
which contains in itself all of the Names –
except he who knows God with perfect gnosis.
It is as if he said, 'The hour will not come as long as there is a Perfect Man in the world.'
None has any act save God, and no act occurs in wujûd by choice,
for the choices known in the cosmos derive from compulsion itself,
so all are compelled in their choices.
In the true act there is no compulsion and no choice,
because it is required by the Essence.
[FM] (II 70.28)
William C. Chittick, The Self-Disclosure of God, SUNY press 1998, 187.
The Descent of a Trustworthy Spirit
And the Ark’s Passenger (as long as it is driven
by the Wind of the Law) is preserved and blessed:
The [Ship's] Captain sets its course unto the Tawḥīd-harbor.
In which, for the Exaltet Host, is safe-harbor.
But were you to behold it stirred by the wind of Yearning,
it sails, nor yet stationary!
The Primary Constituents deposited in Man
Are Light and Fire and moulded potter’s Clay;
While That which unites my Lord and me is [likewise]
set down and enjoined by the Prophetary Sunnah.
For the Secret of my physical and moral Nature
(If you will realize!) is united with God,
Declaring: „I’m the Heart of the Real“ – But take heed:
In truth, the Heart of God’s Scripture is Yâ‘ Sîn.
Gerald T. Elmore, Islamic Sainthood in the Fullness of Time, Brill 1999, 269-70.
On the armed forces in defense of the Kingdom oft he Human Being,
its generals, their character and strategy
The army of the kingdom of the human being is the central column which holds the balance of justice.
Know that your realm is a home, and a home sits on the four sides of its foundation.
That home is you.
Its foundation is your attributes and character.
Your foundation is the guarantee of your sovereignity.
Its four supports, made of your attributes, are like four generals
who command an army to protect your homeland.
Watch them carefully, for your security depends on them.
Each of the four sides oft he foundation supports a wall;
each of the generals commands an army.
These four armees each have duties to perform.
Two is the purpose and origin of Four and what generates from Four,
and is what connects the numbers generating from Four.
It continues ad infinitum.
The numbers increase from one to Ten.
No other sequence ends in Ten except the Number Four,
because Four ist he Reality,
the essence, of Ten.
We chose the number Four because it contains a divine secret.
It is a number of power and weight.
That power and weight are under the command of our Lord.
The Messenger of God says „The heavens are held by eight supports,
but in our time it is Four.“
And God says:
And eight [angels] will that day bear the throne of thy Lord above them.
Al Ḥaqqah (69), 17
Ibn Arabi, Divine Governance of the Human Kingdom, At-Tadbirat al-ilahiyya fi islah al-mamlakat al-insaniyyah, Tosun Bayrak, 1997, Fons Vitae Louisville, 145,146.
O Sufi , where is the wisdom hidden in the seen?
‘Tis within the circle of the unseen.
If I can’t find it, is there one like it.
Bits of it are here, you have to connect it.
The beginning is the Truth of wich we know little.
For it is hidden in a light which is blinding.
It is spread within the four dimensions, each
overwhelming the other.
All meet at a center called the soul.
The circle ends at the top where it is starting.
Drop by drop it collects but there is always a first
The art is in it and all the power of other drops.
You ask about the ocean; it is within the drop,
And the life of man flows in it.
Very fast it floats to the eternal union
Of the end and the beginning is
God’s gift, the Truth.
Ibn Arabi, Divine Governance of the Human Kingdom, At-Tadbirat al-ilahiyya fi islah al-mamlakat al-insaniyyah, Tosun Bayrak, 1997, Fons Vitae Louisville, 34.
Two Bows’ Length
Two Bows' Length is nothing but a circle's
distinguishing engendered existence from
If someone sees an Entity other than
which is no entity,
that is the "closeness" of the neglectful
It is he within whom He is or closer, and in
he has mysteries of knowledge unknown to
Doubt becomes manifest under the authority
of or, for it has
the property of him brought near,
the owner of authority and standing.
This verse came down in the "The Star" (53)
and signifies the existence of likenesses and
Whomever you reach knows Him through
in belief and act, in separation and union.
That is when He discloses Himself in the
form of a circle,
saying, "You are the commander, the
William C. Chittick, The Self-Disclosure of God, SUNY press 1998, 236
A Concealing and Reminding - kitmān wa dhikr
If it is said:
“He who learns the reality of that Treasure
and the Place of Salvation and spiritual Victory
(maḥall al najāh wa l-fawz),
shall erect his ‘Wall’ and dwell in his ‘House’
– demanding no recompense (ajr)
–and give reminder (dhikr) to one who had rebuked him”
- [that] alludes to the concealment of the Secrets (kitmān al-asrār)
concerning the Almighty [Restorer] (al-Jabbār [59:23])
so that the people of denial (ahl al-inkār)
might [ in due course]come to see.
For they shall absolve themselves from guilt
and be informed of the esoteric basis of these data
(fῑ ṭayy hadhihi l-akhbār).
The coming-of-Age of the Two Orphans
If it is said: “When the two Orphans (al-yatīmān)
come of age and
the Ages (al-adwār) fulfill their full rights,
at that time
the Treasure will be revealed
and the State of Mighty/Glory (dawlat al-‘izz)
- It is as much as to say
when the Intellectual spirit (Ar-ruḥ al-‘aqlī)
reaches the end of its “waiting”/
contemplation (muntaha naẓrihῑ)
the Reflective spirit (ar-rūḥ al fikrῑ)
attains its “need”/ reflection (ghāyat fakri-hi),
the celestial cycles complete forty rounds,
making a balance therein
between their open presentation and their concealment
– at that time
the Holy Spirit (al-ruḥ al-qudsī)
will arrive as a “Commander” (amir)
and make the Intellectual spirit a “Minister” (wazῑr),
and the Reflective [spirit] a “Companion” (samῑr),
and the Animal [spirits] a “Seat” (sarīr).
Vgl. Gerald T. Elmore, Islamic Sainthood in the Fullness of Time, Brill 1999, 491-92.
The Two Arcs
To me from You is a drawing close at times
and then at times, to You from me.
I took from You knowledges as a bounty
and You also took from me.
My I-ness is in You, O Beloved,
when the tong says “I”.
How difficult Your words are for me
when the heart says “Join with me”,
even though I am not absent from Him when
He discloses Himself –
If it knew, it would crave in hope.
His coming down is a drawing close,
and our approach is an ascent.
We drew apart and come together –
We are a splendid couple [22:5].
When we drew apart there arrived
new constellations in our heaven,
and because of my coming to be they left
clefts in our esssences,
so there is a perpetual marriage act,
an entering and an emergence.
William C. Chittick, The Self-Disclosure of God, SUNY press 1998, 234
Love Letters to the ka‘ba - tâj ar-rasâ'il
My heart took refuge in the sanctuary when it was struck by the arrows of the enemy.
Oh, clemency of God towards his servants, God placed you among the minerals.
Oh, House of my Lord, light of my heart, freshness of my eye,
intimate friend of my heart.
Oh, heart's secret of true existence, oh my inviolability, purity of my love.
Oh, Qibla towards which I have turned each time I have camped, in each valley,
Of permanence, then of heaven; of extinction and of the cradle.
Oh, Ka'ba of God, oh my life, path to happiness and justice,
You are God's depository of the only safeguard against the terror of the final return.
The noble Station shines brightly in you, in you resides the servants' happiness.
In you is the Right Hand which my mistake has covered with a black mark.
In the place where we attach ourselves to you, he who perseveres with his amorous passion will know happiness on the Day when we are called.
Souls have died because of their desire for it (the Ka'ba), through the pains of longing and exile.
Because of its affliction for them it donned a mourning blanket.
God makes a light shine on its summit, which shines on the heart.
Only the afflicted whose eyes have suffered the Kohl of insomnia can perceive it.
It turns, seven after seven, after the fall of night to reply to the call.
It weeps endless tears, received in token by its passion, without weakening.
I heard it call out to the Stone for help: oh heart of mine!
The night quickly passed but my amorous passion was not appeased.
(Futûhât, I, 700-1)
The thirty-second Hadith (32)
When questioned about purity (ikhlāṣ), Ḥudhayfa said:
I asked the Messenger of God about purity and he said:
I asked Gabriel about it and he said:
“ I asked the Lord of Might concerning purity, and He replied: ‘Secret of my Secret, which I entrust to the heart of the one whom I love among My servents’”
Thirty-third Hadith (33)
Mu‘ādh ibn Jabal reported: I heard the Messenger of God say:
God, ever Mighty and Majestic is He, says:
“Those who love one another in My Majesty shall have raised dais ( manābir)
of Light which will be the envy of prophets and martyrs.”
Divine Sayings, 101 Ḥadith Qudsῑ, Mishkāt al-Anwār,
Hirtenstein/Notcutt, Anqa Publishing, Oxford 2004,32.
The Circle of Mercy
Wujūd is a mill that turns around Me,
and I am an axis for it, so I will not perish.
Were I to disappear, it would not turn and
be a mill,
for poverty is the description of engendered
existence, so it is poor.
O ignorant of the affair, though it is
Know that in these affairs you are
Bringing together veils his seperation from
but he is His signifier, so he sees.
William C. Chittick, The Self-Disclosure of God, SUNY press 1998, 226
The Casting of Knowledge
The spirit is two -
of the yā' and the command [15:29] -
while the ruling is affirmed
between prohibition and command.
Everything else is reports
that the engendered things stand between mystery and overt.
The world of the highest Barzakh
from the grasp of imprisonment
as a solicitude to his state
William C. Chittick, The Self-Disclosure of God, SUNY press 1998, 277
فَإِذَا سَوَّيْتُهُ وَنَفَخْتُ فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِي فَقَعُوا لَهُ سَاجِدِينَ
When I have made him equal [to Me] and breathed into him of My spirit then fall down to him postrating.
Al Ḥiǧr (15),29
Attainment belongs to the Folk of the Night
The Power of the Living, the Self-Abiding
becomes manifest only in the configuring
There is nothing but a tracing,
so there is nothing but a body.
are diverse in arrangement -
among them subtle spirits,
and among them dense apparitions.
Everything other than the Real, who is the
is a comingling and a mixing.
The attributes and the accidents are the followers
of this all-comprehensive body,
for it is compound (murakkab),
and a compound thing is a mount
He who desires knowledge of the form of the
should realize the knowledge of
within which power becomes manifest
and which will illumine his full moon.
He will fluctuate only in forms
and become manifest only in the station of
but I do not mean by the "mortal" human
for I bear witness against myself that I am
Yet I am the knower of my time,
because of my knowledge of the containers,
since there is nothing but a cup
and a full contaniner.
and you will see clearly! (IV 389.18)
William C. Chittick, The Self-Disclosure of God, SUNY press 1998, 282.
I was informed (of this) by my brother in God, ʿAbd al- Majīd b. Salama, preacher at Marchena of the Olives, in the province of Seville in Al-Andalus, and he was one of those who strove assiduously in worship. He told me the following story
in AH 586:
He then took me outside the house and then out of the country, and walked with me in a land I did not know. I had no idea at all where on God's earth I was, but God the Exalted has informed us of these places.
I am [the] ‘Anqâ̛ Mughrib
my home is in the Maghrib
in the Intermediate Station,
on the shore of the Sourrounding Ocean.
From both sides the Glory encloses me,
and no finite essence discloses me.
Gerald T. Elmore, Islamic Sainthood in the Fullness of Time, Brill 1999, 188)
The soul comes
from the world of the barzakhs
so every secret becomes
clear from here.
in the knowlegdes is lofty
and everything difficult
becomes easy through her.
Her spirit is deeply rootedy
in the Cloud,
replenished through God's
who deletes from her what is deleted
and whose mystery is buried
in mortal man.
Her splendor is proud and soaring
in its height -
Glory be to Him, whatever He wills comes to be!
William C. Chittick, The Self-Disclosure of God, SUNY press 1998, 270.
The Circle of Mercy
" There is no target behind God"
for any shooter -
that is the Real
that cannot be coveted.
This is the station of the Real.
Do not transgress!
In this station, no station
When you arrive, my brothers,
This is a wujūd
that has no elapsing.
Your return is from Him to you,
for there is nothing
save the entity of the mortals
and the Imam.
Be exalted through Him
and you will be felicitous,
for there is no exaltation
save the Imam's exaltation.
When they saw that their qualities
do not abide
and that there is no constancy
in their states, they said,
"The Real has 'put to sleep' [anām]
our engendered existence" -
thus the language
names them "mankind" [anām].
William C. Chittick, The Self-Disclosure of God, SUNY press 1998, 225.
The Theophany of Perfection
Hear, O My Beloved
You are the reason for the being of the world
You are the center-point of the sphere and its encompassing
You are its complexity and simplicity
You are the order brought down between heaven and earth
I did not create for you realizations
except that you realize Me in them
And when you realize Me, you realize yourself
Do not strive to realize Me in the realization of yourself
By My Eye you will see Me and yourself
You will not see Me by the eye of yourself
How often have I called you
and you do not hear
How often have I stood before you
and you do not witness Me
How often have I embodied Myself in sense
and you do not inhale
and in the flavors and you do not savor the taste
for My sake
What is the matter with you
that you do not feel Me when you touch?
Why do you not recognize Me in the fragrances of musk?
Why do you not see Me? Why do you not hear Me?
What is the matter with you!
What is the matter with you!
I Am your most heady rupture
beyond any delight
My craving for you is more intense
than any born for an object of desire
I Am better for you
than any good thing
I Am the Beautiful
I Am the Elegant
Love Me, Love Me
Love Me alone
Desire Me ardently
Be consumed in Me,
not engrossed in other than Me
Take Me in,
You will not find an intimate like Me
Everything wants you for itself
but I want you for your sake
But you, you avoid Me
You can not meet Me half-way
in your drawing close to Me
My drawing close to you outweighs a hundredfold
of means by which you approach Me
I Am closer to you than your self
And your self, which performs these acts,
is other than Me, created.
I am jealous of you, from you
I can not bear to see you
with otherness or with yourself
Be with Me in Me
With yourself just as you are with Me
Then My Beloved
you will not even feel the Union.
Had we found a path towards separation
We would let the separation savor separation
Come, hand in hand,
enter reality that it may decide
between us with a judgment of eternity
pleasure can not be found
in dispute between lovers
pleasure is in the converse
As the poet said;
I wished her dead because of loving her
So that she'd be my adversary on the Last Day.
(Say; Do you have an understanding of the High Assembly when they are disputing?
Had the outcome of this severance been only appearance before the Judge, then what about the joy of and gazing upon the face of a beloved?)
Journal of the Muhyiddin ibn ʿArabi Society 1, (1982): 26-29.
" Der wahre Meister ist jener, der es geschafft hat durch sein eigenes Herz, durch Vermittlung zwischen seinem Körper und seinen Entsprechungen zu errichten, dass in der gesamten Existenz nichts mit irgendetwas in Harmonie ist, und nichts mit irgendetwas in Beziehung steht, ohne eine innere und äußere Entsprechung zueinander."
Mawâqi' an-Nujûm, Kairo 2007, 112.
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