Illumination

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It so happened that the wife of ‘Abd al-‘Azîz asked him to buy some oil. ‘Abd al-‘Azîz has to buy it near the Sufi shrine where he has met Khidr. At that place his body starts to tremble vehemently. This state intensified and it became so difficult to bear that he thought that he was going to die

‘Abd al-‘Azîz has given this description: My body started to expand until it became larger than large. Things unveiled themselves to me and showed themselves to me as if they were present in my hands. I saw all the cities, villages and all hamlets – I saw all that can be found on earth. I saw the Christian woman giving milk to the baby in her lap, I saw all the oceans, the seven earths and all they contained as for animals and other creatures. I saw heaven as if I was above it and I was thus able to see what was in it”.

“Then an intense light, which looked like lightning, appeared from every side, from above me, below me, to my right and to my left, in front of me and behind me – and the cold was so intense that I thought that I had died. I quickly tried to cover my face in order to avoid seeing this light, but when I became taller I noticed that all of my body had turned into an eye: my eyes could see, my head could see, my foot and all my bodily members could see. When I saw my clothes I found out that they did not veil the capacity to see which was to be found in every part of my body. I then understood that it was useless to hide my face as it did not change anything”.

This state was rather difficult to bear and hard to understand for ‘Abd al-‘Azîz. He started to cry. He however received some help from some people. One of them stayed some time in the company of ‘Abd al-‘Azîz in order to protect him.

“That state continued for about an hour and then stopped. I regained the first state that I originally had and returned to town. I was incapable of reaching a certain area near a Sufi shrine in Fez and was afraid for myself and was busy weeping. That state returned to me for an hour and then stopped again. It began to come upon me for an hour and then vanish for another hour until it was living intimately with me. It began to be absent only for an hour in the day and an hour in the night, until finally it became continuous”.

“God had mercy on me because He made me meet one of the ‘arefin (gnostics) among His friends. When I woke up from the night after the day of the opening, I went to visit Mawlay Idris, may God benefit us by him, and there I met the faqih, Sîdî al-Hajj Ahmad Jorondi, the imam of the Mawlay Idris Mosque. So, I mentioned to him what I saw and what had happened to me. He said to me: ‘Come with me to my home’, so I went with him to the house”.

He entered and I with him, and we sat down together and he said, “Repeat to me what you have seen.” I repeated it to him. I looked at him and he was weeping. He said, “There is no god but God, these four hundred years we have not heard the like of this.” He gave me several dirhams and said to me, ‘Take them and meet your needs with them. When you are finished with them do not ask anyone to give you anything. Return to me and I will give you everything you need. And I insist that you go to the grave of Sîdî ‘Abd Allâh at-Tawdî, for there you will see good’.”

“I left him and I never saw him after that day. The sickness that caused his death came to him and he died, may God have mercy on him, but I followed his parting counsel and went to Sîdî ‘Abd Allâh at-Tawdî. When I reached the Bâb al-Joîsah there was a black man outside the gate. He began to look at me and I said to myself: ‘What does he want?’ When I reached him he took my hand and greeted me and I returned his greeting. He said to me: ‘I want you to return with me to the mosque, then we can sit for an hour and talk’, and I said: ‘With pleasure’.”

“I returned with him and we sat in the mosque. He began to speak to me, saying: ‘I am sick with such and such, I saw such and such, and such and such happened to me’. mentioning everything that had happened to me. He threw off the burden I carried by his words, by God, and I realized that he was one of the friends of God. He said that his name was ‘Abd Allah al-Barnâwi from Barno and that he had only come to Fez because of me. I rejoiced and realized the blessing in the words of the faqih Sîdî al-Hajj Ahmad al-Jorondi, may God be merciful to him, for he was one of the people of right action”.

“Sîdî ‘Abd Allah al-Barnâwi remained with me, guiding me, directing me and strengthening me and removing fear of what I witnessed from my heart for the rest of the months of Rajab, Sha’bân, Ramadân, and ten days of the month of pilgrimage”.

“When it was the third day of the ‘eid festival I saw the master of existence (the Prophet Muhammad), may God bless him and grant him peace. Sîdî ‘Abd Allah al-Barnâwi said to me: ‘Before today I was afraid for you but today when God the Exalted has made you meet the master of existence, may God bless him and grant him peace, my heart is secure and tranquil, and I entrust you to God the Mighty and Majestic’. Then he went to his land and left me. His stay with me was only to protect me from darkness entering upon me in this inner opening and until the opening in witnessing the Prophet happened to me, may God bless him and give him peace, because there is no fear for the one who has the opening then. It is only feared for him before that”.

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