Discussion in 'Tasawwuf / Adab / Akhlaq' started by Unbeknown, Mar 2, 2014.

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  1. Unbeknown

    Unbeknown Senior Moderator

    a beautiful anecdote from tadhkirat-ul-awliya

    Dho ‘l-Nun the Egyptian (rahimahullah) relates as follows:

    I was wandering in the mountains when I observed a party of afflicted folk gathered together. “What befell you?” I asked. “There is a devotee living in a cell here,” they answered. “Once every year he comes out and breathes
    on these people and they are all healed. Then he returns to his cell, and does not emerge again until the following year.”

    I waited patiently until he came out. I beheld a man pale of cheek, wasted and with sunken eyes. The awe of him caused me to tremble. He looked on the multitude with compassion. Then he raised his eyes to heaven, and breathed several times over the afflicted ones. All were healed.

    As he was about to retire to his cell, I seized his skirt. “For the love of God,” I cried. “You have healed the outward sickness; pray heal the inward sickness.”

    Dho ‘l-Nun,” he said, gazing at me, “take your hand from me. The Friend is watching from the zenith of might and majesty. If He sees you clutching at another than He, He will abandon you to that person, and that person to you, and you will perish each at the other’s hand.” So saying, he withdrew into his cell.
  2. abbasmadani

    abbasmadani Guest

    35 - TAWAKKUL
    The eighth chapter of the fourth part, beginning on the five hundred and eighth page of the India-1281-Hijri-year edition, of the book Kimya-yi-saadat, the Persian original by Imam-i Muhammad Ghazali, has been translated literally and written below:

    Another grade which those who approach Allahu ta'ala pass through is tawakkul, and its grade is very high. Yet tawakkul is difficult and delicate to learn. And it is even more difficult to practice it. For, if a person thinks that someone other than Allahu ta'ala affects actions and deeds, his tawhid will be defective. If he says there is no need for any causes, he will have deviated from the Shariat. If he says that it is unnecessary to put the causes in between, he will have been unreasonable. If he says that they are necessary, he will have put his tawakkul (trust) in the one who has prepared the causes, a case which shows a defect in tawhid. As it is seen, tawakkul should be understood in such a manner as to agree with both the mind and the Shariat and tawhid. Such an understanding requires deep knowledge. Then, not everybody can understand it. We shall first clarify the value of tawakkul, then explain what it means, and then prescribe how to obtain it.

    The virtue of tawakkul: Allahu ta'ala has commanded everybody to have tawakkul and declared, "Tawakkul is a requirement for iman." It is purported in the sura of Maida: "If you have iman, put your tawakkul in Allahu ta'ala." In the sura of 'Imran: Certainly Allahu ta'ala likes those who have tawakkul." In the sura of Talaq: "If a person puts his tawakkul in Allahu ta'ala, Allahu ta'ala is sufficient for him." In the sura of Zumar: "Isn't Allahu ta'ala sufficient for His born slave?" And there is many an ayat like these.

    Once Rasulullah 'sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam' said, "They showed me some of my Ummat. They covered mountains and saharas. I was surprised and pleased to see that they were so many. 'Are you pleased?' they said, and I said, 'Yes, I am.' They said, 'Only seventy thousand of these will go to Paradise without any questioning.' 'Which ones,' I asked. 'They are the ones who do not mix their deeds with sorcery, spell, incantation or augury, and who do not put their tawakkul and trust in anybody besides Allahu ta'ala." Uqasha 'radiAllahu anh', who was among the listeners, stood up and said, "O Rasulullah! Pray for me so that I shall be one of them." So Rasulullah prayed, "O my Allah! Include him among them!" But when someone else stood up and asked for the same prayer, he stated, "Uqasha has forestalled you."

    He stated in another hadith, "If you put your tawakkul in Allahu ta'ala thoroughly, He would send your sustenance as He sends it to the birds. Birds go out with empty, hungry stomachs in the morning and come back with their stomachs filled, satiated in the evening." He stated in a hadith, "If a person trusts himself to Allahu ta'ala, Allahu ta'ala will come to his help in his every deed. He will send him food from places which he does not expect at all. If anyone trusts the world, He will leave him in the world." When Hadrat Ibrahim was put on the catapult and was about to be hurled into the fire, he said, "Hasbiyallah wa ni'mal wakil," which means "My Allah will suffice for me. He is a good guardian, a good helper." As he fell into the fire Hadrat Gabriel (Jabrail) came to him and asked, "Do you have any wish?" "Yes, I do, but not from you," he said. Thus, he proved true to the word "Hasbiyallah." Therefore, he was praised in the sura of Wannajmi: "Ibrahim, a man of his word." Allahu ta'ala declared to Hadrat Dawud: "If a person gives up hope of everything and puts his trust in Me only, I shall certainly rescue him even if all the beings on earth and in heaven strive to harm and deceive him." Said bin Jubair narrates: "Once a scorpion stung me on the hand. My mother adjured me to hold out my hand so that they would utter an incantation, that is, lots of absurd words. I held out my other hand, so they chanted some incantation." Said did not hold out his hand because Rasulullah 'sallAllahu alaihi wa sallam' had stated, "A person who practices incantation or who cauterizes with fire has not put his tawakkul in Allahu ta'ala." Hadrat Ibrahim Adham 'quddisa sirruh' asked a priest, "How do you make a living?" The other replied, "Ask the One who sends my sustenance whence He sends it. I don't know." Someone was asked, "You pray everyday. What do you eat and drink?" He showed his teeth in answer. That is, "He who makes the mill will send its water," he meant to say. Haram bin Hayyan asked Uways Qarni [who is also called Waysalqarani], "Where shall I settle?" "In Damascus," he answered. When the former asked, "I wonder how the life standard in Damascus is?" the latter said, "Shame upon those hearts who doubt about their sustenance! Advice will do them no good!"

    Tawakkul is something which the heart will do, and it originates from iman. There are various kinds of iman. But tawakkul is based upon two of them. These are the iman in tawhid and the iman in the muchness of Allah's favor and mercy.

    Tawhid, the basis of tawakkul: It will take a long time to explain tawhid, and the knowledge of tawhid is the last one of all the branches of knowledge. Here, we shall describe it only as far as necessary for tawakkul. Tawhid has four grades. That is, it has one kernel and one kernel of the kernel. And it has the shell and the shell's shell. This means to say that it has two kernels and two shells. Tawhid is like a fresh walnut. Everybody knows the two shells of a walnut as well as its kernel. And the kernel of its kernel is its oil.

    The first grade of tawhid is to say "La ilaha il-lal lah" with the tongue only and not to believe it with the heart. So is the tawhid of munafiqs.

    The second grade is the heart's believing the meaning of this kalima-i tawhid. This belief is either by seeing, hearing from others, e.g. the belief of us, the ignorant people, or one believes through proofs, with the mind's proving. So is the belief of the savants of din, of the masters of the knowledge of Kalam.

    The third grade: to see that one creator creates everything, to realize that all work is done by one agent only and that none else does anything. This seeing and understanding requires a nur being lit in the heart. Such an iman is unlike the iman of the ignorant or of the savants of Kalam. Their iman is like a curtain put over the heart with the tricks of imitation and proving. But this seeing and realizing is the heart's being opened and the curtain's going up. For example, there are three kinds of believing that the resident of a house is in the house:

    1 - To believe it by hearing someone say so. The iman through imitation is a reminiscence of this.

    2 - To believe by seeing the things used by the resident every day, such as his mount, his headgear and shoes in the house. This is an example for the iman of the savants of Kalam.

    3 - To believe by seeing the resident in the house. This is an example for the tawhid of arifs. Though such tawhid has a very high grade, its owner sees both the creatures and the Creator, and knows that they were created by the Creator. Since he sees the creatures, his tawhid cannot be perfect.

    The fourth grade: He sees one being. He does not see more than one. Men of tasawwuf call this state 'Fana in tawhid.'

    Of the four grades above, the first one is the tawhid of munafiqs and is like the outer shell of a walnut. As the outer shell of a walnut is bitter and looks ugly from within though a lovely green from outside, and when burned it makes lots of smoke and puts the fire out and is useless except that it protects the walnut for a few days, so the munafiq's tawhid has no other use than to protect him against death in the world. When the body rots away and the soul is left alone after death, it will be useless. The tawhid of the ignorant and of the savants of Kalam, the second grade, is like the wooden second shell of the walnut. As this wooden shell of the walnut does not avail except to protect the walnut for a while, so this grade of tawhid avails only in protecting one from Hell's fire. The third grade is like the walnut's kernel. The kernel is the useful part of the walnut, yet, when compared to the oil of the walnut, it will be seen that it only bears the sediment. Seeing the creatures in the third grade is like the sediment. The real tawhid is in the fourth grade and nothing other than Allah is seen. One even forgets about oneself.

    Question: It is difficult to attain to the fourth grade of tawhid. How is it to see all the things as one being? We see various means and we see the earth, the sky, the creatures. Are all these the same one thing?

    Answer: It is easy to understand the first, second and third grades of tawhid. It is the fourth grade which is difficult to understand. Yet this kind of tawhid is not necessary for tawakkul. It is difficult to describe it to someone who has not tasted it. Let me say briefly that many different things may be alike in one respect. Therefore, they may be thought of as the same one thing. Likewise, when an arif sees all the things as the same one thing in one particular respect, he sees all of them as one thing. For example, there are such things as flesh, skin, head, feet, eyes, ears, stomach and lungs in man. But with respect to being human, they are all one body, and, when we think of a man we do not remember his different parts, but we think of him as one body. When we are asked what we are thinking of we say that we are thinking of nothing but one thing. When we see a man we say that we see no more than one body. There is such a grade of marifat [knowledge] in tasawwuf that an arif who reaches there sees all the things existing as related to one another in one respect. He sees various things in the world in one respect only, he finds it like the position of the man's limbs with respect to his mind and soul. A person who does not understand the meaning of the hadith, "Allahu ta'ala created Adam in His own attributes," cannot understand these words of ours. We have explained this hadith a little at the beginning of the book Kimya-i saadat. It would not be right to explain it any more. The mind could not comprehend it and it would be misunderstood.

    The third grade of tawhid suffices for tawakkul. We have explained this grade of tawhid at full length in our book Ihya-ul-'Ulum. You can read that. As we have said in the chapter about shukr (thanks) in the book Kimya-i saadat, the sun, moon and stars, the clouds, the rain and the wind, and all the forces in nature are under Allah's will and command. They are like a pen in the writer's hand. Nothing moves unless Allahu ta'ala wishes it to. Then, it is not right to say that the work is done by the causes. It is like thinking that a director's decree and command are from the paper and pencil. It is wrong to think that man has some authority in as much as he has will and option. For, Allahu ta'ala, again, gives man option. Man does something with his power. And this power is dependent upon his option. But [according to the Ashari madhhab], his option wishes what it is created for. Since his option is not within his power, so his power, and what he does, is not within his power. For understanding this better, let us classify men's actions in three groups:

    1 - Natural [physical] movements, e.g. to sink when stepping on water.

    2 - Involuntary actions, such as breathing.

    3 - Optional actions. Talking, walking, etc.

    The natural movements are not within man's power. Like any object which is heavier than water, man will sink in water. As the stone's sinking in water is not of its option, so man's sinking is beyond his option.

    So are the involuntary actions such as breathing. For, we cannot help breathing even if we do not want to breathe. The will to breathe happens automatically. If we thrust a pin at a person's eye, he will close his eyes willy-nilly. He cannot help closing his eye. For, the will to close the eye will happen automatically at that moment. For some natural reasons just like sinking in water, the eye will be closed spontaneously. This comes to mean that men are compelled in their involuntary actions.

    It is difficult to observe the optional actions such as talking and walking. Man does such actions if he wants to, and he does not if the does not want to. But man's wishing to do something requires the mind's liking it and saying that it is good. In fact, after the mind's thinking for a while if it will be good or not and then deciding that it will be good, the wish happens compulsorily and the limbs start moving. Like the moving of the eye upon seeing the pin, the limbs spring into action. The mere difference is that the pin's harm to the eye and the use of closing the eye are known every moment and without any need to think, the will happens, and from the will originates the power. Since there is no thinking here, the closing of the eye is like sinking in water. For instance, if they run after a person with a cudgel, and if the person is suddenly confronted with an abyss on his way, he will prefer the one which is less harmful. That is, if he thinks that jumping down into the abyss is less harmful than being battered, he will jump down and escape. If he thinks it is dangerous to jump down, the feet will stop willy-nilly, he will not be able to go any further. As it is understood, action is dependent upon will and will depends upon the mind. As a matter of fact, if a person wants to kill himself, he cannot do it though he may be holding a pistol in his hand. For, the power that will make the hand move is dependent upon will and will depends upon the mind. When the mind says that it is good and useful, the will starts moving. But the mind is not independent, either. The mind is likened to a mirror. The vision of something good is seen on the mind's mirror. It is not seen if it is not useful. If a person faces some trouble that he cannot endure and thinks that death will be better, then it will be seen. The reason why such actions are called optional is because (they are done after) their benefits are seen. Otherwise, if their benefits are seen spontaneously, they will be compulsory like breathing and closing the eye. The compulsion of both will be like that of sinking in water. As it is seen, the causes are connected to one another. There are many links in the chain of causes. We have explained this in detail in our book Ihya-ul- 'Ulum. The power which has been created in man is one of the links of this chain of causes. As it is understood, it is not right for a person to boast of having done something good. What falls to his share from a good deed is no more than acting as a means. In other words, the option and power which are the causes for doing something useful have been created in him. Since power and option were not created in a tree, we say that the tree's swaying in the wind is an indispensable and compulsory movement. When Allahu ta'ala creates everything, His divine power is not dependent upon anything but Himself, so His deeds are called ihtira', that is, creation. Man is not so; his power and will are dependent upon causes that are beyond his power and his deeds are unlike Allah's; so man's deeds are not called creation or ihtira'. But man is not like a tree. He contains power and will, which happen in him willy-nilly, so his deeds cannot be said to be compulsory, either. In order to distinguish them from both types of deeds, the savants looked for another name, at last calling them kasb (acquiring). This means to say that though man's deeds are done by him optionally, his option is not within his power. Then, he can do nothing.

    [The Commandments of Allahu ta'ala are classified into two groups: awamir-i taklifiyya, awamir-i takwiniyya. The first group includes His commandments and prohibitions enjoined on genies and human beings. Actions contained in the first group are willed and created by Him after they have been wanted and opted by men. The second ones are created immediately with their causes. All natural events are examples of this. The ripening of a fruit over a long process of time is a collection of events (each of) which He creates instantly.]

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