Ibn ‘Arabi (1165-1240)                                                                                                                                                               __________________________________________________________________________

 

 Al Wajh al aṣṣ -  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 aqq,

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

is good

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.'

 

 

William C. Chittick, The Imprint oft he Bezels of  the Wisdom " (Naqsh al-fuû),

Ibn 'Arabi’s own summary oft he Fuû,© William C. Chittick, 1975 and 1976, passim.

 

                          

 

                                                           God’s Choices

 

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.

 

 

 

Chapter 13

 

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 aqqah (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.

 

 

 

 

 

 The Truth

 

   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

Drop.

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

diameter

distinguishing engendered existence from 

God.

If someone sees an Entity other than

which is no entity,

that is the "closeness" of the neglectful

cosmos.

It is he within whom He is or closer, and in 

Him

he has mysteries of knowledge unknown to 

the comprehension.

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

similars.

Whomever you reach knows Him through

testing

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

 prohibiter."

 

 

 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

(maall 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

(f ayy 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)

shall come to be,”

-   It is as much as to say

that

when the Intellectual spirit (Ar-ru al-‘aqlī)

reaches the end of its “waiting”/

contemplation (muntaha narih)

and

the Reflective spirit (ar-rūḥ al fikr)

attains its “need”/ reflection (ghāyat fakri-hi),

and

the celestial cycles complete forty rounds,

making a balance therein

between their open presentation and their concealment

 – at that time

the Holy Spirit (al-ru al-qudsī)

will arrive as a “Commander” (amir)

and make the  Intellectual spirit a “Minister” (wazr),

and the Reflective [spirit] a “Companion” (samr),

and the Animal [spirits] a “Seat” (sarīr).



 

VglGerald 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)

 

 

Denis Gril, Love Letters to the Ka'ba - A presentation of Ibn 'Arabi's Tâj al-Rasâ'il,

,Journals of the Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi Society,Volume XVII,1995, pp. 41-54.

 

 

 

Divine Sayings

 

The thirty-second Hadith (32)

 

When questioned about purity (ikhlā), udhayfa 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)

 

Muādh 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

witnessed!

Know that in these affairs you are

experienced.

Bringing together veils his seperation from

His Entity,

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

                     giving news

                              that the engendered things stand between mystery and overt.

                   The world of the highest Barzakh

                   delivers him

                   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

            

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                A Mystery

 

                             Attainment belongs to the Folk of the Night

 

The Power of the Living, the Self-Abiding

becomes manifest only in the configuring

of bodies.

There is nothing but a tracing, 

 so there is nothing but a body.

But bodies 

are diverse in arrangement -

among them subtle spirits,

and among them dense apparitions.

Everything other than the Real, who is the

Way,

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

(markab).

He who desires knowledge of the form of the 

state

should realize the knowledge of

imagination,

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 

the mortal,

but I do not mean by the "mortal" human

beeings,

for I bear witness against myself that I am

bankrupt.

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.

So ponder,

and you will see clearly! (IV 389.18)

 

William C. Chittick, The Self-Disclosure of God, SUNY press 1998,  282.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                         

 

 The Four Pillars of Spiritual Transformation

 

 

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:

 

 I  was in my house in Marchena one evening, doing my nightprayers (hizb).

I was in the middle of my prayer, with the door of the house and the door  of the room fastened, when suddenly a man appeared and greeted me.

I had no idea how he had got in. I was extremely worried about him and quickly completed my prayer.

When I greeted him, he said to me: " O ʿAbd al- Majīd!  One who enjoys intimacy with God feels no fear." Then he took up the cloth which was under me as a prayer mat, and threw it away.

He unrolled a small straw-mat that he had with him and said to me: " Now do your prayers upon this!"

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.

Then he returned me to my home where I lived.

Then I asked him: " O my brother! By what means do the abdāl becomes abdāl?" and he replied: "Through the four things that Abū Ṭālib [al-Makkī] mentioned in the Qūt [al‐Qulūb]",

namely hunger, vigilance, silence and seclusion.

 

 

 

Stephen Hirtenstein, The Four Pillars of Spiritual Transformation, Ḥilyat al-abdāl, Anqa Publishing, Oxford 2014 (2008), 43.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Marvelous Gryphon

 

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  

 

The soul comes

from the world  of the barzakhs

so every secret becomes

clear from here.

Her station

in the knowlegdes is lofty

and everything difficult

becomes easy through her.

Her spirit is deeply rootedy

in the Cloud,

replenished through God's

Faithful Spirit,

who deletes from her what is deleted

through marriage,

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

is permitted.

When you arrive, my brothers, 

return!

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

 

Beloved,

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,

Receive Me

 

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

 

 Beloved,

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.

 

Beloved,

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.

The Union!

 

Had we found a path towards separation

We would let the separation savor separation

 

Beloved,

Come, hand in hand,

enter reality that it may decide

between us with a judgment of eternity

Beloved antagonist,

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?)

   O Heart,  

O Heart.

 

 

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.