Mawlana Jami

Who can be seen in the appearance of water and earth except You? Who is concealed inside the heart and soul except You? You said: ‘Purify your heart from all others except Me’. O Soul of the world, who is there in both worlds except You? در صورت آب وگل عیان غیر توکیست در خلوت جان و دل نهان غیر تو کیست گفتی که ز غیر من بپرداز دلت ای جان و جهان در دو جهان غیر تو کیست ∞ O you who’ve turned into the direction of loyalty Why have you turned the shell into the veil of the kernel? It’s not wise that your heart runs after this and that: With a single heart, one Friend is enough…

The Two Kings

There were once two kings, a just and an unjust; and this one had a land abounding in trees and fruits and herbs; but he let no merchant pass without robbing him of his monies and his merchandise, and the traders endured this with patience, by reason of their profit from the fatness of the earth in the means of life and its pleasantness, more by token that it was renowned for its richness in precious stones and gems. Now the just king, who loved jewels, heard of this land and sent one of his subjects thither; and it being told to the unjust king that a merchant was come to his kingdom with much money to buy jewels withal,…

The Gifts of Inner Knowledge

(‘AWAARIF AL-MA’AARIF) ‘Umar as-Suhrawardi Chapter 57 The inner knowledge dealing with thoughts (impulses), their classification and their differences 1. Our shaykh Abu’n Najib as-Suhrawardi [he is the uncle of the author] has informed us: [the isnad connecting him with the prophet has been given, but it has been omitted by me] “The messenger of God said: ‘The devil has the habit of whispering [in the hearts of people and the angels do the same. The whisper of the devils points to evil purposes and declares the truth to be a lie, the whisper of the angel points to good purposes and declares the truth to be true. Whosoever experiences the last type should know that it comes from God and…

The World of Imagination

“This world of imagination is the world of eternity; it is the divine bosom into we shall all go after the death of the vegetated body. This world of imagination is infinite and eternal, whereas the world of generation, or vegetation, is finite and temporal. There exist in that eternal world the permanent realities of every thing we see reflected in this vegetable glass of nature.” – William Blake You may have seen the movie “What dreams may come”. It gives a depiction of what happens to a husband and his wife after death. When the two of them were still alive, then the place where they first met became a place of their happiest memories, a place they often…

Master and dog

One day I was going to the fields, accompanied by my faithful dog, guardian of our farms and sworn enemy of those monkeys who devastate them. It was the time of the great heat of April. My dog and I were so hot that it was only with great pain that we were able to breathe properly. I had no doubt that in the end one of us, perhaps myself, would faint. Thanks to God we came upon a thicket of clustered branches with a thick covering of green leaves. My dog, whimpering slightly, raced towards the shadow. But when he reached it, he did not stay there, but returned to me, his tongue hanging out, his lips sagging, his…

The Secret

Sîdî Mubârak ibn ‘Alî was a Sufi shaykh. A certain seeker by the name of Sîdî al-‘Arbî met him in a mosque in Fez. He asked the Sufi: “Teach me how the secret reaches those who are its depositaries?“ Sîdî Mubârak gave him this answer: “I want you to sneeze now!” Sîdî al-‘Arbî then responded: “I do not need to sneeze at this moment” Sîdî Mubârak retorted: “It is the same for me. I am not able to teach you what you’ve asked for at this moment”.

Divine Attraction

Jazba-ye-nur-e-jamaalash mikashad suye khudam Gu’yaa u sham’ o man parwaana am ay ‘aasheqaan The attraction of the light of His Beauty draws me towards itself, As if He is the candle and I am the moth, O lovers! ‘Jazba’ in this ghazal from the Diwaan-e-Mo’in means ‘attraction’. It is the attraction by the divine, because of which someone can be lifted to the top of the mountain, without any effort of his/her own. The noun ‘majzub’ is derived from the verb yazaba, meaning ‘to be attracted to’ and a majzub is therefore attracted to God. In order to be able to guide others someone who has experienced this divine attraction needs to travel once again to the top of the…

Sufi concept: Saturday – Prophet Abraham

Shaykh Ibn al-‘Arabi tells us, that for every day there is a prophet from among the prophets, from whom descends a secret upon the heart of the verifying witness, a secret in which you takes delight during your day and by which you know something of that which requires to be known. This only happens to those who possess a heart. Day 7: Saturday If your day is Saturday, then it is Abraham, so hasten to the honouring of your guest before he vanishes. On Saturday it is Abraham who addresses you with a secret whereby you come to know how to deal with enemies and when they are to be fought against, and this is the presence of the…

Thirty-six

There are 36 attestations of tawhîd in the Qur’ân. This takes place by means of a dhikr, which is in this case the tahlîl. The basic shape is well known to you: “no god but God!” This is the recitation wherein God is declared one, by negating what is other than Him and by affirming Him. O Lord! Light the eternal fire in my heart! Turn every breath into a messenger of Your compassion! 1-36: The first attestation of tawhîd can be found in Q. 2:163. It is a tawhîd by means of the Divine name ar-Rahmân: Wa ‘ilâhukum ‘ilâhuñw-wâhidå: lââ ‘ilâha illâ huwa-r-rahmânu-r-rahîm And your God is one God, no god but He, the Compassionate, the Merciful. Shaykh Ibn…

Dr. Averroes, I presume…

There is an account – by Ibn al-‘Arabi self – of his meeting with Ibn Rushd (Averroes). His father was a close friend of the philosopher, who had heard a great deal of the young man and who was curious to meet him. So, on some pretext his father sent him to the house of Ibn Rushd. I have always wondered about the meaning of their curious meeting. In several books different explanations have been offered, but none was really satisfactory. In the Journal of the Ibn al-‘Arabi society I read an article dedicated to this meeting. Therein it was stressed that it is important to ask yourself about the meaning of this meeting between the young mystic and the…