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Necklaces of Gems (Qala'id al-Jawahir)

Necklaces of Gems (Qala'id al-Jawahir)

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Author:

Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Yahya At-Tadifi

ISBN:

1-882216-17-2

# of Pages:

603

Type:

PB

Publisher:

Al-Baz Publishing, Inc

by Shaikh Muhammad ibn Yahya at-Tadifi (d. A.H. 963) - $29.95

A Biography of Shaikh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (may Allah be well pleased with him); on the Marvelous Exploits of the Crown of the Saints, the Treasure-trove of the Pure, the Sultan of the Awliya', the Sublime Qutb, Shaikh Muhyi'd-din 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani.
This is the life story of the man who has been called the Sultan of the Saints (awliya') of Allah. In the history of the Saints of Islam, Shaikh 'Abd al-Qadir stands out as being unique, in the broad scope of perfection that includes his lineage, his complete development, piety, knowledge of the religion and adherence to the Sacred Law (Shari'a), his intimate and direct knowledge of the Divine, and his establishment by the Lord of All the Worlds at the level of Reality (Haqiqa). In this extensive biography we are given vivid glimpses of his charismatic exploits (karamat), many of which seem to defy the ordinary rules of nature. The book is also a small history of more than forty of the Shaikhs of his time, his companions of that day and age, as well as a description of his children, grandchildren and descendants.
Translated into English by Muhtar Holland

Excerpt



Prologue

As for the friends of Allah,
a-la inna awliya'a 'llahi

surely no fear shall be upon them,
la khawfun 'alai-him

nor shall they grieve.
wa la hum yahzanun.
(10:62)

In the Name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate.

The following are the words of Muhammad ibn Yahya at-Tadifi, the poor servant [of the Lord], who acknowledges his sin and his shortcoming, and hopes for a hidden pardon from His tender grace. May Allah forgive his sins, and replace his sins with blessings.
Praise be to Allah, who has opened for His saintly friends [awliya'] the paths of right guidance, and has caused all kinds of good things to come about at their hands, and has delivered them from ruin. Those who follow their example will therefore be successful and guided aright, but those who swerve from their path will fail and be ruined. Those who seek their protection will prosper and travel safely, but if anyone shuns them with rejection, he will be cut off and destroyed. I praise Him with the praise of one who knows that there is no refuge from Him except toward Him. I thank Him with the thanks of one who is firmly convinced that favors [ni'am] and afflictions [niqam] alike are entirely at His disposal. I invoke blessing and peace upon our Master, Muhammad, and upon his family. May they enjoy the countless benefits and gracious favors of Allah.

As for the subject of the present work, my interest was aroused when I studied "History To Rely On for Accounts of the Bygone" [at-Ta'rikh al-mu'tabar fi anba' man ghabar], the compilation of the Chief Justice [Qadi 'l-Qudah], Mujir ad-Din 'Abd ar-Rahman al-'Ulaimi al-'Umari al-Maqdisi al-Hanbali (may Allah encompass him with His mercy). I discovered that the author had given no more than summary treatment to the biography of our Master, our Patron, our Shaikh and our Guide to Allah (Exalted is He), Shaikh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jili al-Hanbali (may Allah be well pleased with him), and that he had made only the slightest reference to his charismatic qualities and exploits [manaqib]. I found this quite astonishing, and I said to myself: "Perhaps he considered him a widely known celebrity (may Allah be well pleased with him), and therefore confined himself to this brief account. In deciding to keep it short, he may also have been influenced by the example of that most erudite scholar, Ibn al-Jawzi (may Allah bestow His mercy upon him)."

I then felt moved, by the wish to obtain good fortune, to gather together everything that I could find about the exploits of the Shaikh (may Allah sanctify his innermost being, and may He illuminate his mausoleum), in various books, from what I heard from trustworthy sources, and from what I held in my personal recollection. I resolved to follow this information, after having mentioned his noble genealogy, with accounts of his physical constitution [khalq] and his moral character [khulq], his work ['amal] and his knowledge ['ilm], his methods and his spiritual counsel, his speech and his action, the children whom Allah bestowed upon him, and his exaltation by the saints [awliya'] in recognition of his proper due. I also decided to make some mention of the charismatic qualities and exploits of these saints, as well as the exploits of those who trace their spiritual affiliation to his excellency.

It is necessary to persevere in standing at the threshold of his door, for the elevated nature of the act of following is determined by the nobility of the one who is followed, just as the copious extent of the rivers' flow depends on the magnitude of the spring that is their source.

I shall also mention his birth and the completion of his earthly life, and I shall conclude that with something concerning his charismatic qualities and exploits, and what has been said about him, keeping
that fairly concise, for fear of causing boredom and ennui.

I have entitled the book:

Necklaces of Gems:

Concerning the Charismatic Qualities and Exploits
of Shaikh 'Abd al-Qadir.

[Qala'id al-Jawahir fi Manaqib ash-Shaikh 'Abd al-Qadir]


A glance from Shaikh 'Abd al-Qadir enables a pupil to experience the spiritual poverty he seeks.

It was Shaikh Abu Muhammad Salih ibn Wirjan az-Zakali who said: "My master, Shaikh Abu Madyan (may Allah be well pleased with him) told me: 'You must travel to Baghdad, and go to Shaikh 'Abd al-Qadir, so that he can teach you the practice of spiritual poverty [faqr].' I obediently traveled to Baghdad, and when I set eyes on the Shaikh, I saw a man of greater dignity than I had ever seen. For twenty days, he made me sit in the secluded chamber by his doorway. Then he came in to see me, and said: 'O Salih, look over here!' He pointed toward the Qibla [direction of the Ka'ba in Mecca], and said: 'What do you see?' When I said: 'I see the Ka'ba,' he said: 'Look over here!' He pointed toward the West, so I looked in that direction. 'What do you see?' he asked, so I replied: 'I see my Shaikh, Abu Madyan.'

"Then he said: 'Where do you intend to go from here, to the Ka'ba, or to the West?' I said: 'To my Shaikh, Abu Madyan, of course!' He said: 'In a single stride, or as you came here?' When I replied: 'As I came here, of course!' he said: 'That is more appropriate.' Then he said to me: 'O Salih, if you wish for spiritual poverty, you will never obtain it, unless you climb its ladder, and its ladder is the affirmation of Oneness [tawhid]. The foundation of the affirmation of Oneness is the obliteration of all traces of novel phenomena [muhdathat], with the essence of the innermost being [sirr].' 'O my master,' I said, 'I wish that you would help me to achieve that qualification!' He gave me a glance, and the forces of self-will were immediately dispelled from my heart, just as the darkness of the night is dispelled by the onset of the day. By that glance, I came to be impoverished.

"May Allah be well pleased with him!"

One of Shaikh 'Abd al-Qadir's pupils experiences a lasting enlightenment, when a cat falls out of nowhere.

Shaikh 'Umar al-Bazzaz has told us: "Once, while I was sitting in the presence of the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him), in his private chamber, he said to me: 'O my dear son, guard my back for me, in case the cat falls down on it!' I said to myself: 'How could the cat get in here, since there is no skylight in the roof?' I had hardly finished my sentence, when a cat landed on my back. The Shaikh tapped his hand on my breast, and a light shone in my heart, as brightly as the sun. I discovered the Truth [Haqq] at that very moment, and I am better off to this day, because of that light."

********************


How Shaikh 'Abd al-Qadir responded to questions on various important topics.

Concerning Divinely-inspired receivings [mawarid Ilahiyya] and satanic insinuations [tawariq shaitaniyya].

Shaikh 'Abd al-Qadir (may Allah be well pleased with him) was asked to explain the distinctive characteristics of Divinely-inspired receivings [mawarid Ilahiyya] and satanic insinuations [tawariq shaitaniyya]. He replied:

"The Divinely-inspired receiving comes only in response to an appeal [istid'a']. It does not go away because of any intervening cause [sabab]. It does not come in one particular mode [namat], nor at any specific time. As for the satanic insinuation [tariq shaitani], it is contrary to that in all respects."

o Concerning love [mahabba].

When asked about love [mahabba], the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) said: "It is a disturbance [tashwish] that affects the heart. It is inspired by the Beloved [Mahbub], by contrast with Whom this world comes to be like the ring of a seal, or a funeral wake. Love is an intoxication that has no corresponding sobriety. It is total devotion to the Beloved, in every respect, both in private and in public, with a self-effacing predilection. It is a natural impulse, not an affectation.

"Love is blindness to everything other than Beloved, due to solicitude for Him. It is also blindness to the Beloved Himself, due to a profound respect for Him. It is therefore total blindness. Lovers [muhibbun] are too drunk to get sober, except through direct vision of the Beloved. They are too sick to be cured, except by the sight of the One they seek. They are too distressed to be consoled, except by their Master [Mawla]. They can find no refuge, except in the remembrance of Him. They do not respond to anyone, except to His summoner.
"As Majnun [the crazy lover of] Layla put it:

My relatives all blame me for loving Layla:
my brother, my cousins, my aunt€¦."

(The rest of the verses are well known, so there is no need to spell them out here.)

o Concerning the realization of Divine Oneness [tawhid].

When the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) was asked about the realization of Divine Oneness [tawhid], he said:

"[It is signified by] the indications of the secret of consciences [dama'ir], and of the hidden content of the secret of the innermost beings [sara'ir], at the advent of the Divine Presence [Hadra]. [It is signified by] the passage of the heart beyond the ultimate boundary of thoughts, its elevation to the highest degrees of connection [wisal], its penetration of the veils of glorification, its progress toward nearness on the feet of detachment, its advance toward proximity with the effort of singular devotion, in combination with the annihilation of the two realms of being, the vacating of the two domains [this world and the Hereafter], the removal of the two sandals, the acquisition of the two lights, and the extinction of all the worlds beneath the radiance of the lights of the brilliant flashes of disclosure, without previous intention."

o Concerning detachment [tajrid].

In answer to a question concerning detachment [tajrid], the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) explained:

"It is the detachment of the innermost being [sirr] from the consideration of ways and means [tadabbur], by steadily restraining it from pursuit of the object of desire, by stripping it bare, then clothing its nakedness with the assurance of freedom from restriction, and by returning from the creation [khalq] to the Truth [Haqq], in a state of repentance."

o Concerning direct knowledge [ma'rifa].

When the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) was asked about knowledge acquired by direct experience [ma'rifa], he said:

"It is insight into the meanings of the secrets of the hiding places of the mysteries, and recognition of the visible signs of the Lord of Truth [Haqq] in everything that exists, by viewing every element thereof in the light of the meanings of His Uniqueness [Wahdaniyya]. It is the acquisition of the knowledge of Reality [Haqiqa] in the extinction of every transitory being, when the Everlasting [Baqi] points toward it with the sign of the awe-inspiring dignity of Lordship [Rububiyya]. It is recognition of the trace of perpetuity [baqa'] in what the Everlasting [Baqi] has indicated, in the light of the majesty of Divinity [Ilahiyya], by looking with the eye of the heart."

o Concerning spiritual aspiration [himma].

When someone asked him about spiritual aspiration [himma], the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) explained:

"It means that the aspirant becomes completely naked, in every part of his being. In the case of his lower self [nafs], it is stripped of the love of this world. In the case of his spirit [ruh], it is stripped of attachment to the Hereafter. In the case of his heart [qalb], it is stripped of any will that competes with the Will of the Master [Mawla]. As for his innermost being [sirr], it is detached from paying the slightest attention to the created universe, even with a quick peep or a glance."

o Concerning Reality [Haqiqa].

In response to a question concerning Reality [Haqiqa], the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) explained:

"It is that which cannot be negated by its opposite, and against which no contradiction can be sustained. Its opposites are simply annihilated by the evidence it presents, and its contradictions are rendered null and void by its consistency."

o Concerning the highest of all the degrees of Divine remembrance [dhikr].

When the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) was asked about the highest of all the degrees of Divine remembrance [dhikr], he said:

"It is that which impresses the heart, by command of the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He) at the moment of His choice, with the perpetuity of everlasting providence ['inaya]. This remembrance [dhikr] is permanent, persistent and enduring. No trace of forgetfulness impairs it, and no heedlessness disturbs it, for the feelings, instincts and thoughts are all involved in the act of remembering. This is the frequent remembrance [dhikr kathir] referred to by the Lord of Truth (Glory be to Him, and Exalted is He) in His revelation. The best kind of remembrance is that which is prompted by the signals received from the All-Compelling Sovereign [al-Malik al-Jabbar], in the recesses of our innermost beings [asrar]."

o Concerning ardent yearning [shawq].

When someone asked him about ardent yearning [shawq], the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) explained:

"The best of all ardent yearnings [ashwaq] is that which is stimulated by witnessing [mushahada], for it never wearies of meeting, never tires of telling, never flags because of closeness, and never fades because of intimacy. On the contrary, the more the contact is experienced, the more ardent the yearning becomes.

"Ardent yearning cannot be truly authentic, until it is completely stripped of its deficiencies: namely, the influence of an underlying motive, the pursuit of an ambitious desire, or the protection of a selfish interest. It thus becomes an ardent yearning stripped of all secondary causes [asbab]. The person concerned has no idea what makes him feel the way he feels, because he is always witnessing the object of his yearning, yet he still yearns for the witnessing thereof, however much that witnessing is experienced."

o Concerning absolute trust [tawakkul].

When someone asked him about absolute trust [tawakkul], the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) explained:

"It is the preoccupation of the innermost being [sirr] with Allah (Exalted is He), to the exclusion of any other than Him. When someone puts all his trust in the Lord, he forgets whatever he used to rely on, for His sake, and depends on Him entirely, to the exclusion of all apart from Him. He thereby ascends from the shame of nonentity [fana'] to the state of absolute trust.

"Absolute trust [tawakkul] is the raising of the glance of the eye of direct perception [ma'rifa], by the innermost being [sirr], toward the hidden mystery of things decreed by destiny [maqdurat]. It is the firm belief, based on the reality of certainty [haqiqat al-yaqin], in the concepts grasped by the methods of direct perception, because they are sealed [with the stamp of Truth], and therefore immune to the opposite of certainty."
In answer to another question concerning absolute trust [tawakkul], the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) explained:

"Absolute trust [tawakkul] is a reality [haqiqa] like the reality of sincere devotion [ikhlas]. The reality of sincere devotion is the transfer of the aspiration [himma] from the rewards [obtained by deeds] to the deeds [themselves]. The same is true of absolute trust, since it is the abandonment of personal power and strength, in favor of reliance on the Lord of lords [Rabb al-arbab] (Glory be to Him, and Exalted is He)."

Then he went on to say (may Allah be well pleased with him):
"O young man! How often you are spoken to, but do not hear! How often you hear, but fail to understand! How often you understand, but do not take action! How often you take action, but do not act sincerely, and do not become immersed in your sincere devotion, with your whole being!"

o Concerning contrition [inaba].

When the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) was asked about contrition [inaba], he said:

"Contrition is the effort to pass beyond the intermediate stations, and to beware of halting on the ascending stages; then to advance to the highest of the hidden levels, and to focus the aspirations on the occurrence of the sessions of the Presence [majalis al-Hadra]; then to return entirely to the Lord of Truth (Glory be to Him, and Exalted is He), after being present in the place of Presence, and witnessing this confrontation [muhadara]. Contrition [inaba] means returning to Him from Him, for safety's sake [hadharan], and returning to Him from everything other than Him, in hopeful anticipation [raghaban], and returning to Him from every attachment, in fearful apprehension [rahaban]."

o Concerning repentance [tawba].

When someone asked him about repentance [tawba], the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) explained:

"Repentance is the process whereby the Lord of Truth (Exalted is He) looks toward His ancient and predestined providence ['inaya] for His servant, directs that providence toward His servant's heart, and tenderly detaches it, by attracting it toward Him and grasping it. When this takes place, the heart is drawn toward Him, away from corrupt ambition. The spirit obediently complies, the heart and the mind follow suit, repentance [tawba] is truly accomplished, and the whole affair becomes proper to Allah (Exalted is He)."

o Concerning this world [ad-dunya].

In response to a question concerning this world [ad-dunya], the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) said:

"Evict it from your heart into your hand, so that it cannot beguile you."

o Concerning weeping [buka'].

When the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) was asked about weeping [buka'], he said:

"Weep for Him, weep because of Him, and weep over Him."

o Concerning Sufism [tasawwuf].

When someone asked him about Sufism [tasawwuf], the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) explained:

"The Sufi is someone who makes that which the Lord of Truth wishes from him the object of his own wish. He renounces this world, so it serves him, and his allotted shares [aqsam] coincide with his needs. He achieves his purpose in this world, before the Hereafter, for his well-being is ensured by his Lord."

o Concerning the difference between exultation [ta'azzuz] and arrogance [takabbur].

When the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) was asked to explain the difference between sheer exultation [ta'azzuz] and boastful arrogance [takabbur], he said:

"Sheer exultation [ta'azzuz] is taking pride for the sake of Allah, and in Allah. It entails the abasement of the lower self [nafs] and the raising of the aspiration [himma] toward (Exalted is He). As for boastful arrogance [takabbur], it is taking pride for the sake of the lower self, and in passionate desire. It entails the excitement of natural instinct, and the predominance of self-will, instead of respect for Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He). Natural pride is so much easier than pride that must be earned."

o Concerning thankfulness [shukr].

When someone asked him about thankfulness [shukr], the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) explained:145

"The true nature of thankfulness [haqiqat ash-shukr] is the acknowledgment of the benefaction of the Benefactor [ni'mat al-Mun'im], with an attitude of humility, an overt recognition of the blessing, and a reverential confession of one's inability to give adequate thanks. Thankfulness can be subdivided into several categories, namely:

1. Thankfulness expressed by the tongue [shukr al-lisan]. This constitutes the acknowledgment of the benefaction [ni'ma] with an attitude of humble acceptance [istikana].
2. Thankfulness expressed by the body and the limbs [shukr bi'l-badan wa 'l-arkan]. This is the characteristic indication of loyalty and readiness to serve [al-wafa' wa 'l-khidma].
3. Thankfulness expressed by the inner feeling [shukr bi'l-qalb]. This requires a careful balance between the visible display of appreciation and the constant preservation of a sense of reverence.

"Beyond this stage, thankfulness passes from the realm of the visible to the realm of the invisible [ghaiba], where the focus of attention is the Benefactor [Mun'im], rather than the benefaction [ni'ma].

"The person who is simply thankful [shakir] is someone who gives thanks for what is available [mawjud], while the person who is very thankful [shakur] is someone who gives thanks for what is unavailable [mafqud].

"The person who gives praise [hamid] is someone who regards withholding as a gift, and views harm as a benefit, and in whose sight the two qualities eventually become equal.

"The glory [majd] that exhausts all expressions of praise [mahamid] is the witnessing of perfection [kamal], in the quality of Beauty [Jamal] and the attribute of Majesty [Jalal], with the eye of direct perception, on the carpet of nearness [to the Lord]."

o Concerning patience [sabr].

In response to a question concerning patience [sabr], the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) said:

"Patience [sabr] means coping with misfortune by remaining on your best behavior. It means welcoming His decrees, and accepting them in accordance with the statutes [ahkam] of the Book and the Sunna.
Patience [sabr] can be subdivided into several categories, namely:

1. Patience for the sake of Allah [sabr li'llah] (Exalted is He). This is the kind of patience [sabr] that is exercised in the course of carrying out His commandments and respectfully observing His prohibitions.
2. Patience in bearing with Allah [sabr ma'a 'llah] (Exalted is He). This is the kind of patience [sabr] that is exercised by calmly enduring the effects of His decree and His actions within you, and by demonstrating indifference to the advent of poverty, without a scowl or a frown.
3. Patience in anticipation of Allah [sabr 'ala 'llah] (Exalted is He). This is the kind of patience [sabr] that is exercised through steadfast reliance on that which He has promised, and that which He has threatened, in all things.

"The journey from this world to the Hereafter should be easy for the true believer [mu'min], but separation from creatures, even for love of the Truth, is difficult. The journey from what is known by hearsay [naqli] to [the direct experience of] Allah (Exalted is He) is very hard, and patience in bearing with Allah [sabr ma'a 'llah] is even more difficult.

"The patient pauper is worthier than the grateful rich man, and the grateful pauper is worthier than either. As for the pauper who is both patient and thankful, he is worthier than any of them.

"No one courts misfortune, with the exception of him who knows its spiritual reward."

o Concerning goodness of moral character [husn al-khulq].

When someone asked him about goodness of moral character [husn al-khulq], the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) explained:

"What it signifies is that you are not affected by the rudeness of creatures [khalq], once you have become acquainted with the Truth [Haqq]. It means that you belittle your own lower self [nafs] and whatever arises from it, in full recognition of its faults. It means that you honor your fellow creatures, and what arises from them, by showing respect for what has been entrusted to them, in the way of faith and wisdom. That is the most excellent of all the virtues of the servant [of the Lord], and the jewels of the men of valor become manifest therein."

o Concerning acceptance [akhdh] and rejection [radd].

When the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) was asked about the acceptance and rejection [of gifts and opportunities], he said:

"So long as passionate desire is present, voluntary acceptance is an act of wilfullness and discord. In the absence of passionate desire, on the other hand, acceptance is an act of compliance and concord, to refrain from which would amount to ostentation [riya'] and hypocrisy [nifaq]."

o Concerning truthfulness [sidq].

When someone asked him about truthfulness [sidq], the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) explained:

"There is truthfulness in words, and there is truthfulness in deeds, provided they are exposed to examination by the Lord of Truth (Glory be to Him, and Exalted is He). As for truthfulness in spiritual states, it is practiced by presenting to the Truth all the notions [khawatir] that occur, so that no outside influence can confuse them, and no remnant of doubt can challenge them."

o Concerning personal extinction [fana'].

In response to a question concerning personal extinction [fana'], the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) explained:

"It is experienced when the Lord of Truth discloses Himself to the innermost being [sirr] of His saint [wali], with a most immediate manifestation [tajalli]. Under the impact of that demonstration, the whole universe is annihilated, and the saint [wali] becomes extinct. The extinction [fana'] he thereby undergoes is actually his survival in perpetuity [baqa'], but he will only survive under the direction of the Everlasting One [Baqi], for it is He who has rendered him extinct, and it is He who has granted him perpetual existence."

oConcerning survival in perpetuity [baqa'].

When someone asked the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) about survival in perpetuity [baqa'], he said:

"It comes about only through the Meeting that is not accompanied by extinction [fana'], nor by separation. This only happens like the twinkling of the eye, or even more immediately. The mark of the people of perpetuity [ahl al-baqa'] is that nothing accompanies them in that capacity, because the two are opposites."

o Concerning fulfillment of duty [wafa'].

In answer to a question concerning fulfillment of duty [wafa'], the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) explained:

"It is careful attention to the rights [huquq] of Allah (Exalted is He), even in deprivation, strict observance of the limits [hudud] set by Allah (Exalted is He), in word and in deed, and making haste to earn His good pleasure, in every situation, both in privately and in public."

o Concerning contentment [rida].

When someone asked the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) about contentment [rida], he said:

"It is the removal of the desire for favorable attention, satisfaction with whatever has been predestined in the foreknowledge of Allah (Exalted is He) in His eternity-without-beginning [azal], and contentment [rida] with what has been foreordained in destiny's decree [qadar]."

o Concerning self-will [irada].

In response to a question concerning self-will [irada], the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) explained:

"It is the repetition of thought [fikr] within the heart [fu'ad]."

o Concerning Divine providence ['inaya].

When someone asked him about Divine providence ['inaya], the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) explained:

"It is sempiternal [azaliyya], for it is one of the Attributes [Sifat] of Allah (Exalted is He). He has not divulged it to anyone, and it cannot be reached by any device. It cannot be impaired by any means. No deficiency can corrupt it, and nothing can disrupt it. It is the secret of Allah (Exalted is He), kept in the presence of Allah. No one is privy to it, and the universe cannot find access to it.

"Divine providence ['inaya] is eternal, not temporal. Allah (Exalted is He) qualifies whomever He wills among His creatures as worthy to receive it. The mark of one who is worthy of Divine providence is captivity, then imprisonment, then confinement in chains, then being deprived by Him of all connection with creatures."

o Concerning the state of ecstasy [wajd].

When someone asked him about the state of ecstasy [wajd], the Shaikh (may Allah be well pleased with him) explained:

"It is the state in which the spirit [ruh] is preoccupied with the sweetness of the remembrance [dhikr], and the lower self [nafs] is preoccupied with the pleasure of the entertainment [tatrib], while the innermost being [sirr] remains wholly devoted to the Beloved Friend [Habib], impervious to any outside influence, in its dedication to the Truth, in the presence of the Truth [Haqq].

"The experience of ecstasy is a beverage which the Master [Mawla] gives his saint [wali] to drink, on the pulpit of His Noble Grace [Karama]. When he drinks, he becomes light-headed, and when he becomes light-headed, his heart flies on the wings of intimate friendship [uns] in the gardens of Holiness [Quds]. Then it falls into the ocean of awe, and is thrown into a trance, so the ecstatic [wajid

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