The Futūḥāt Project: Quotations

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Quotations from the Futūḥāt

On this page, which is being updated on a regular basis, you will find a continually growing selection of quotations from the Futūḥāt al-Makkīyah, posted hot off the press from Eric Winkel’s current translation work.

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So praise be to God, who guided us to this;
we would not have been guided unless God guided us.

Futūḥāt, Book 1

On this page, which is being updated on a regular basis, you will find a continually growing selection of quotations from the Futūḥāt al-Makkīyah, posted hot off the press from Eric Winkel’s current translation work.

24 November 2020

The ṣalāt (f, prayer) is a light – God giving good news with her that when He converses with you from the name of Light, you are alone with Him; and all existence disappears with seeing Him during your conversation.

Book 4, Chapter 47 (p. 434)

23 November 2020

God said that when you pray, He converses with you – He is Light; so God converses with you from the name Light, not from another name. So just as light negates all light-blocking, in the same way the prayer cuts off every preoccupation – which is different from the rest of the rituals: nothing universalizes a leaving-off of everything else as the prayer does.

Book 4, Chapter 47 (p. 434)

21 November 2020

There is no worship f made Law by God for His creatures except she is an observation post looking at a Divine name or a Divine truth; from this name, God provides to your worship what you receive in this world in your heart, such as His alighting places, His knowings, and His recognitions; and in your states, such as His miracles and His signs; and in the other world, in His Garden, your stairs, and your seeing the Creator at the Dune at your observation post.

Book 4, Chapter 47 (p. 434)

20 November 2020

It is related in a sound ḥadỉth that Messenger of God said, ‘The ṣalāt (prayer) is a light, and charity a proof, and patience an illumination, and the Qurʾān evidence for you or against you. Each person will himself buy on that day (of Arising) his self’s manumission or her destruction.’

Book 4, Chapter 47 (p. 433)

19 November 2020

As for the lower alighting places, they are given by body-based deeds from the upper places, like prayer, jihād, fasting, and every sensory deed – and what is given by soul-based activities also. They are spiritual exercises, such as bearing with offense and being patient with it; and contentment with just a small amount of self-based pleasures; and being satisfied with what is available, even if it is not enough; and restraining the self from complaint. Every action of these exercises and exertions brings you to a special end result; each action has a state and a station.

Book 4, Chapter 47 (p. 433)

18 November 2020

You will find the ones who know God not seeing in their dreams what the student seekers see, the ones in the beginnings of the lights. Beginners are present with the beauties of their deeds and their states, but they (the ones who know God) see the final results. The ones who know are sleeping in dreams of failures and missed opportunities, as the Higher Side merits. They will see only dreams that cause them worries, glooms, and terrors and lightning flashes and every frightening thing – because the dream follows the physical. And as the lower self f is instinctively all for pleasurable things, and the pleasure that had come from turning in repentance has disappeared, in her new state of recognition and the final result, she leans affectionately toward her beginning – on account of the pleasure that she associates with that early place, despite her person’s elevated station now. This tender leaning is a relief from the anxiety and sorrow which his (the person’s) recognition of God gives him. He is like someone who takes pleasure in safe things. This is the reason for the leaning tenderness of the possessors of the end points toward their beginnings.

Book 4, Chapter 47 (p. 432-33)

17 November 2020

Nothing is sweeter than safety after fearfully dreading!

Book 4, Chapter 47 (p. 432)

16 November 2020

As it is not possible for the turner for forgiveness to receive the onset of turning for forgiveness except after being warned – after the sleep of distraction – thus, you recognize what there is of deeds which bend you toward your destruction and your perdition. You are frightened, and you see that you are in the thralls of your lower self and that you deserve to be executed by the sword-cut of your terrible behavior. The gatekeeper says to you, ‘The king has a tracing (way); if you throw off from yourself these oppositions and return to him, and if you halt before his boundaries with his tracings – he will give you safety from his punishment, and he will be most gracious to you.’ And part of His goodness to you is that every terrible deed you brought forth – its form will be restored to beauty.

Book 4, Chapter 47 (p. 431)

14 November 2020

he signs are not themselves objects of meaning: it is only what they point to.

Book 4, Chapter 41 (p. 353)

13 November 2020

od has designated for each site of being (mawjūd) its step-level in His knowledge.

Book 4, Chapter 47 (p. 430)

12 November 2020

earn that the universe is shaped spherically, so human beings yearn for their beginning. Our exit is from non-being to being by Him, and to Him we return – just as He said, To Him returns the affair, all of it (Hūd 11:123).

Book 4, Chapter 47 (p. 430)

11 November 2020

hen I saw the True characterized as the First,
I came to an ocean of beginning f, scooping out

With thirsty pleasure, drinking a drink
shown to me in the utmost moment of recognition.

O her coolness, so pleasurable to drink,
soothing the hot liver; so take her as a halting place to stop and learn.

Indeed, in that drink in the heart there is a pleasure;
you will see her Cherisher, in the moment characterized by a flush of self-wonder.

Book 4, Chapter 47 (p. 429)

10 November 2020

As for His word, Given to you of knowledge is only a little (al-isrāʾ 17:85) – it is not a key text for the gift. But the statement has two facets: a facet demanded by what We gave you, and a facet demanded by a little (qalīl), derived from istiqlāl (being able to do something alone, independently). That is, ‘We did not give you of knowledge except what you could bear by yourselves; and what you would not be able to bear, We did not give you, because you would not be able to bear it by yourselves.’

Book 4, Chapter 46 (p. 424-25)

9 November 2020

All prophet-based things (nubuwwāt) are knowings gifted, because prophecy is not acquired.

Book 4, Chapter 46 (p. 424)

8 November 2020

We know that there is further a knowledge we acquire from our reflections, and from our senses; and then further a knowledge we do not acquire by anything on our part; no, it is a gift from God sent down to our hearts and into our innermost secret – and we find it coming without any external reason.

Book 4, Chapter 46 (p. 423)

7 November 2020

Do you see that with the world, even though it relies on God, it is not necessary that God be part of the world?

Book 4, Chapter 46 (p. 422)

6 November 2020

God did not describe knowledge as little except the knowledge which God provides His creatures; and it is His word, given to you – that is, it was provided to you, and He made it as a gift.

Book 4, Chapter 46 (p. 422)

5 November 2020

God says, Given to you of knowledge is only a little (al-isrāʾ 17:85) – and our teacher Abū Madyan used to say, when he heard someone reciting this verse, ‘The little we are given is not ours; rather it is loaned to us, and most of it we do not get to. We are the ignorant, forever.’

Book 4, Chapter 46 (p. 421)

4 November 2020

Knowledge of the things is a single knowing;
multiplicity is in the things known, not in His dhát.

Book 4, Chapter 46 (p. 421)

3 November 2020

Learn that the ones who reach are in step-levels. Among them is one who reaches to the essential (dhát-based) name hu not pointing to anything but God, in a place hu is a pointer to the dhát – like proper names with us not pointing to another meaning, with this being understood. This is one’s all-consuming state, like the guardian angels in the Majesty of God and the cherubic angels: they do not recognize anyone else but Him, and He does not inform them of other than Him, exalted is hu beyond. And among them is one who reaches to God in a place of Divine names which made him arrive to God – or in a place of the name which was a tajallì to him from God, and he receives it from the name which made him arrive to Him, exalted is hu beyond!

Book 4, Chapter 45 (p. 413-14)

2 November 2020

Among the people, the one who returns is instead the one who returns before reaching the summit of the steep mountain and the panorama looking over what is behind her. The motivation impelling the return despite this achievement is seeking perfect completion (kamāl). But one does not descend; instead, one invites the people from one’s place there – and it is His word, upon insight – so one testifies and one teaches the one invited, using the vision verified by oneself.

Book 4, Chapter 45 (p. 413)

1 November 2020

Our teacher Abū Yaʿqūb Yūsuf bin Yakhluf al-Kūmī used to say, ‘Between us and the True sought is a steep mountain f path difficult to ascend; and we are at the lowest part of the high mountain road, from the perspective of our nature. And we keep on climbing in this steepness until we reach her heights; and when we look over what is behind her from there, we do not return – because behind her is what cannot be returned from.’ It is the statement of Abū Sulaymān al-Dārānī, ‘If they reach, they do not return’ – meaning, if they reach the summit of the steep mountain.

Book 4, Chapter 45 (p. 413)

29 October 2020

One of the greatest of the Men: when he was told, ‘So-and-so presumes that he has arrived’ – he said, ‘To a scorching hell.’ He means by this comment someone who presumes that God is bounded, to be connected to.

Book 4, Chapter 45 (p. 412)

28 October 2020

Our teacher Abū Madyan often said, ‘One of the signs of the integrity of seekers with reference to their search for what they desire is their fleeing from creation.’ This was the state of Messenger of God in his leaving and going apart from the people, into the cave of Ḥirāʾ, for purification. Then he would say, ‘And one of the signs of the integrity of their fleeing from creation is their presence with the True.’ And Messenger of God never ceased purifying himself through separating himself apart until the True suddenly came to him. Then he would say, ‘And one of the signs of the integrity of their presence with the True is their return to creation.’ He meant the state of his being sent out with the message back to the people; and he meant (for inheritors) being sent back with a guidance from – and a preservation of – the sharìʿah (the Law, the way to the water) for them.

Book 4, Chapter 45 (p. 411-12)

26 October 2020

The complete inheritors among the friends among us are the ones who are cut off to be solely occupied with the sharìʿah* of Messenger of God – until the moment when God opens their hearts for them, in a Divine tajallì* in their inwardness, to understand what God sent down to His Prophet and His Messenger Muḥammad.

* sharìʿah: the way to the water
* tajallì: a moment of brilliant radiance of God’s Being; a self-disclosure of God.

Book 4, Chapter 45 (p. 411)

25 October 2020

When the Master takes the hearts of His creatures
to Him, and concludes as He pleases, and evens,
Whom He wills stays at His side honored,
and He returns the one who wished toward what he hoped for.

Book 4, Chapter 45 (p. 409)

24 October 2020

There were moments during the state of my being absent from myself when I saw my very being placed inside the most universal light and the most magnificent radiant brilliance of the great (cosmic) Throne in prayer. I was stripped of movement, secluded from my self f. I saw her in front of me doing the rukūʿ and the sujūd.* I was aware that in fact I was this one doing the rukūʿ and the sujūd, watching as the sleeper sees the dream – while the Hand was on my forelock. I was captivated by this! I knew that it was not not me; but it was not me, either. This is where I learned to recognize the tasker, the tasking, and the tasked – the active verb (tasking) and the passive noun (tasked).

* rukūʿ: bowing during prayer; sujūd: prostration during prayer

Book 4, Chapter 44 (p. 405)

23 October 2020

If he (the Prophet) were not a messenger meant to propagate the message and manage the political affairs of the community, God would have made (his and) even the intellects of (all) the messengers disappear because of the power of what they were seeing. But God, All-Powerful and Supporting, fortified them with capacity, in a place in which they were strengthened to receive what was coming to them from the True and to make it reach the people and put it into practice.

Book 4, Chapter 44 (p. 400)

22 October 2020

So these (the bahālīl, the simple-minded) are the ones called the hidden intellects – meaning, that their hiddenness was not caused by a poor constitutional mixture arising from a physical cause, such as poor nourishment or starvation or something else; instead, their intellects are hidden because of a Divine tajallì onto their hearts, and one of the instant, sudden assaults of the True. The sudden attack takes away their intellects. Their intellects are seized, and they become blissful with seeing Him – wholly given over to His Presence, strolling about aloof in His beauty. They are intelligent people with no intellects, and they are known to the outside world as insane (majānīn, sg. majnūn – from jannah, concealed) – that is, the ones covered up, concealed from the management of their intellects. And this is why they are called hidden intellects.

Book 4, Chapter 44 (p. 399)

21 October 2020

People have no knowledge that with God exalted, True, there is a sudden attacking which renders someone alone with Him in his inner secret. He obeys Him in His command, and his heart is readied for His Light in a way people are not aware of. The True suddenly makes him unaware, with this attack, and voided of knowledge and prepared for a stupendous matter. He takes away his intellect in the passings away; and He keeps this matter which suddenly attacked him in front of his sight, so he wanders aimlessly in its vision and goes on with it.

Book 4, Chapter 44 (p. 398)

20 October 2020

Be filled with grain already received;
do not pile up your wheat for the morrow.

Book 4, Chapter 44 (p. 397)

19 October 2020

If you are eager to obey,
do not wear the garb of the future (and its preoccupation).
Be like the generous laughers in their state:
they flow with the moment as the truly intelligent do.

Book 4, Chapter 44 (p. 397)

18 October 2020

The majority of the weighty ones are ignorant of this knowledge, they do not recognize the levels of these Men, and they do not commend them or turn their attention to them.

Book 4, Chapter 43 (p. 393)

17 October 2020

It is related that the sparrow on the Day of Arising for Judgment will say, ‘O Lord, ask this one: “Why did you kill me ʿabathan?”’ And it is that way for the one who cut a tree without any benefit, or transported a stone with no advantage accruing to a single one of the creation of God.

Book 4, Chapter 43 (p. 392)

16 October 2020

As for the praise the animals and the plants and the minerals offer, it is because these species know the movements that are called ʿabathan,* compared with the ones not so called. Everyone who moves among them with a movement that is ʿabathan according to the one affected by it – but not according to the mover – the animal, plant, or mineral observer who is witnessing this ʿabathan movement knows that he is indeed someone forgetting God.

* ʿabathan: of no account, worthless, for sport; see also the cognate bāṭilan in ṣād 38:27.

Book 4, Chapter 43 (p. 390)

15 October 2020

These Men say, ‘There is no might nor power except through You.’ They make no claims about what they are doing – magnifying God. They attribute this to God, so the angels praise them.

Book 4, Chapter 43 (p. 390)

14 October 2020

These Men: God praises them, and the holy Divine names praise them, and the angels praise them, and the prophets and the messengers praise them, and the animals, plants, and minerals, and everything praises them – celebrating God with God’s praise. And as for the weighty ones, they are ignorant of them; only the people receiving Divine notification recognize them, and they praise them but do not expose them. As for people who do not receive Divine notification, among the weighty ones, they are with them (these Men) just as they are with the general population – thinking of them only because of things they want from them, nothing else. These Men have the unknown station amidst the common people.

Book 4, Chapter 43 (p. 390)

13 October 2020

And he (the Prophet) said, ‘Take a fatwā from your heart, even if the muftis have issued you a fatwā.’ He had them strike forth into their hearts, as he knew what is in them – the inner secret of God, the encircler of hu – for arriving at this station.

Book 4, Chapter 43 (p. 388)

12 October 2020

In hearts there is a Divine protection from error, none notified of it except the people of murāqabah (mindfulness, guarding oneself by being watchful and vigilant); and in there they have a protective concealment.

Book 4, Chapter 43 (p. 388)

11 October 2020

This is the condition of the ones of waraʿ, traveling about their affairs and with their movements according to the ways of the general population. They do not exhibit to them anything that might distinguish them. They hide themselves by using the conventional ways and means of the world, no one involved in these ways and means being commended for doing so. The Men have no righteous name applied to them which would place them apart from typical righteousness – nor any reliance on God, or asceticism, or piety, or anything which might occasion a particular praiseworthy name. Nothing points to them being pious, despite the fact that they are people of piety, and reliance, and asceticism, and beautiful virtues, and contentment with what God gives, and munificence, and altruism.

Book 4, Chapter 43 (p. 387)

10 October 2020

As for the people of examination, they are supported – each group of them – by what their proof concludes in their presumption. The Men, though, are masters who understand the intentions (maqāṣid) of the Law. They flow with the Law to its intent, and this is part of the blessing of waraʿ and the respect with which they treat the Divine Side – as things truly are, not figuratively. Because of their good manners, God opens up their understanding to His Books and what His messengers bring from Him – that is, what cannot be conveyed to perception by intellects; they are simply not able. No, these (the Men) take from God, not from their thinking.

Book 4, Chapter 43 (p. 387)

9 October 2020

Even though they (the people of waraʿ, piety, asceticism) are verified in possessing its meaning (piety, asceticism) and in displaying its properties over their outward behaviors – such as showing kindness to the creatures of God and being gentle to them and behaving beautifully to them, and relying on God, and standing up for the limits that God has set – they present to the world that everything seen in them is actually something God did, not something they do.

Book 4, Chapter 43 (p. 386)

8 October 2020

They (the people of waraʿ, piety, asceticism), God be pleased with them, avoid every situation in which there is competition among beings. They seek out a path which no one who is not of their kind or of their station will share with them. They will not compete with anyone for anything which they have confirmed in themselves as truly theirs and which they are described by.

Book 4, Chapter 43 (p. 386)

7 October 2020

The fityān (youthful warriors, sg. fatā) have strength and power, but they do not use coercive force – except over themselves only.

Book 4, Chapter 42 (p. 377)

6 October 2020

For each community there is a special Divine gate – their Lawgiver being the keeper of that gate – through which they enter upon God. And Muḥammad is the keeper of the gatekeepers, based on the universality of his message – which is different from the rest of the prophets, peace be upon them. They are his gatekeepers, from Adam to the last prophet and messenger.

Book 4, Chapter 42 (p. 376)

5 October 2020

It is well established with the people of kashf (unveiling) among the people along our path that minerals and plants and animals have all been created by God innately knowing Him and celebrating Him with His praise.

Book 4, Chapter 42 (p. 375)

4 October 2020

The fatā is someone in whom no ʿabathan movement (that of which no account is to be made; ‘for sport’; and in the verse below, the cognate bāṭilan: useless, worthless, of no account) originates, as a whole. The meaning of this is that God was heard by him to say, We did not create the heavens and the Earth and what is between the two bāṭilan (for nought) (ṣād 38:27) – and any movement that originates in the fatā is something that would be ‘between the two’. In this way, each movement existing between the skies and the Earth of every mover has been created by God, so it is not ʿabathan – because the Creator is Wise (and apportions and places everything with an often hidden wisdom). The fatā is someone who moves or stays still based on wisdom in himself. Whoever has this as his state in everything he does, his movement will not be ʿabathan – not in his hands, not in his legs, not in smelling or tasting, and not in touching or hearing, nor in his sight – nor inside him. He knows each breath in him and what is appropriate for it and what his master’s ruling is for it. And someone with this quality will not be ʿabathan.

Book 4, Chapter 42 (p. 372)

3 October 2020

The fatā is one who has no adversary – because what he must, he does; and what is his, he forsakes. So he has no adversary.

Book 4, Chapter 42 (p. 372)

2 October 2020

The hypocrite has the lowermost level of the Fire.

Book 4, Chapter 42 (p. 371)

1 October 2020

There is no escaping that every human being has hierarchical seating: there is someone greater, lesser, or equal – whether in age or in level or in both. The fatā is the one who honors someone great in knowledge or age; and the fatā is the one who is kind to the least in knowledge or age; and the fatā is the one who prefers someone equal in age or in knowledge over himself.

Book 4, Chapter 42 (p. 371)

30 September 2020

When we saw that the matter was of this definition – that there was no universal methodology and that it was not possible, either intellectually or following cultural custom, for the human being to stand, in this world or wherever it may be, in a place in which two mutual antagonists would be well-pleased – we knew that it was necessary for the fatā to give up his likes based on his lower self and refer instead to the Creator, who is his Lord and Master.

Book 4, Chapter 42 (p. 370)

29 September 2020

You are appropriately called a fatā* only if you know the values of the beings and the value of the Divine Presence. You treat each being according to its true value, when interacting; you place prior whoever should be placed first, and you place later whoever should be placed later.

*fatā: youthful warrior; one of the people of futuwwah (spiritual chivalry).

Book 4, Chapter 42 (p. 369)

28 September 2020

It was related that Abraham, when he saw a hoary head, he asked, ‘O Lord, what is this?’ He said, ‘The dignified bearing.’ He said, ‘O my God, give me more dignified bearing.’

Book 4, Chapter 42 (p. 369)

27 September 2020

God did not create in nature anything stronger than air; but He created the human being stronger than air – if one is faithful. This is how the prophetic report from God has it, with the angels: ‘When the Earth was created and spread out’; the ḥadỉth continues. At its end, ‘“O Lord, did you create anything stronger than the wind?” He said, “Yes, the faithful one who gives charity with the right hand when the left hand knows not.”’

Book 4, Chapter 42 (p. 368)

26 September 2020

Youthful warriors strong and true, they experience no fatigue;
they have a footstep in every excellence and goodness.

Their states during their sessions are divided up,
so they are between gravity toward the people and kindness.

If there comes their match, they wish for him their best;
and the youthful warriors feel no regret in this.

They have secrets of knowledge, all marks and signs,
but they have not a sesame seed amount of marking on their side.

Book 4, Chapter 42 (p. 367)

25 September 2020

The coming into being of the world: In its dhát (essence) it is void, non-existent; it acquires being only because it is receptive to being, and it is so only because it has been enabled to be.

Book 4, Chapter 41 (p. 361)

24 September 2020

Among the people of the night, there are those who acquire the stairs, the ascension, and the nearing. The True meets them on the path while He is descending to the sky of this world. He sinks down to them and places His shield over them. The True meets each intense wish f of each ascender during that descent in the place He finds her.

Book 4, Chapter 41 (p. 358)

23 September 2020

The night is between Me and you. And when the dawn breaks, I settle back onto My Throne, overseeing the matter and setting forth the clear signs; and My creature walks back to his daily life and to conversation with his friends. But a door has been opened between Me and him, amidst My creation, from which he may observe Me and from which I may observe him – while the people remain unaware. I converse with him using the people’s languages, while they are unaware; and he takes from Me upon insight, and they do not realize it. They think that he is speaking to them, but he is speaking to no one but Me. They presume that he is responding to them, but he is responding only to Me.

Book 4, Chapter 41 (p. 357)

22 September 2020

Direct your hearing to what I am saying to you, and you will be an eye-witness present with Me.

Book 4, Chapter 41 (p. 357)

21 September 2020

You should take knowledge from Me, not from your thinking and the lessons you have learned.

Book 4, Chapter 41 (p. 356)

20 September 2020

They (the people of the night) are the good league with respect to God, but they are harsh warriors with regard to themselves.

Book 4, Chapter 41 (p. 351)

19 September 2020

When you strive for your truth, you find yourself a purely devoted ʿabd (slave, creature): incapacitated, a corpse, weak, nothing, no being do you have.

Book 3, Chapter 40 (p. 339)

18 September 2020

This world is not the place for idlāl (taking liberties, being proud). Do you see ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jīlī, with his idlāl? When he was present with his impending death, and there remained for him a few breaths in this abode – that much time – he put his face on the earth, and he informed (his entourage) thereby that what he was upon at that moment was the truth which is appropriate for the creature to have in this abode. The reason for this was that he had been, in various moments, someone of idlāl – because of what the True had informed him of, of events that would happen. But Abū Suʿūd bin Shibl, his student, was protected from that idlāl – and he stayed with the obligatory ʿubūdīyah (the state of creature-/slavehood) required with each breath, until he died. There is no report that he changed his state upon his death, as the state changed in his teacher ʿAbd al-Qādir.

Book 3, Chapter 39 (p. 327)

17 September 2020

God is not confined by space or defined.

Book 3, Chapter 39 (p. 323)

16 September 2020

The Divine power flows throughout every thing – so nothing is benefited except by Him, and nothing is harmed except by Him, and nothing speaks except by Him, and nothing moves except by Him.

Book 3, Chapter 37 (p. 303)

15 September 2020

You see, those who give oblique meanings to the Qurʾān: the first thing they lie about is that they did it based on God – but it is not from God. They speak of God what they know not, so no fruit is harvested and no stability is gained – because the false dies off, having no stability. Then they report in their words about matters connected to the sūrah of the Qurʾān which they want to dispute, by matters related to wordings, about what does not happen and what is not. It is false, and falsehood is non-being, and nothingness does not face against being. The Qurʾān is a report predicated on a being-based matter, true in the matter itself; so, inescapably, the antagonist is unable to bring forth anything like it. So if you adhere to the True in your actions and your statements and your states, you have been distinguished from the people of your time, and from all who do not journey along your path.

Book 3, Chapter 37 (p. 302)

14 September 2020

The family of God do not occupy themselves with this art – that is, the knowings (of reflective knowledge) – so as not to waste time. The life span of the human being is precious; thus it is appropriate that the human being not cut into one’s time, which should rather be spent sitting with one’s Cherisher and speaking with Him – as He made Law for you to do.

Book 3, Chapter 21 (p. 50)

13 September 2020

Their distraction which their natures require, as with all human beings, is rather connected on their part as a distraction from what belongs to them. So they are awake to what is sought from them, distracted from what belongs to them – such that they do not exit the ruling force of distraction, because it is part of human nature. For other than this group, heedless distraction turns them away from what is wanted of them.

Book 3, Chapter 32 (p. 220)

12 September 2020

The one who recognizes (the ʿárif) eats sweets and honey; but the great one who verifies for oneself (the muḥaqqiq) eats bitter gourd, very perturbing, taking no pleasure at all in tasting it as long as one is in this abode, because of one’s full occupation with what God addressed one with – that is, thankfulness for it. I met one of them in Dunaysīr (Kochisar, Turkey), ʿUmar al-Firqawī, and another in the city of Fes, ʿAbd-Allāh al-Sammād. The ʿárifūn, viewed next to these, are like infants who do not think, enjoying and taking pleasure with their rattles. So what do you imagine compared with the aspirants (students, murīdīn), and what do you imagine compared with the general population?

Book 3, Chapter 33 (p. 238)

11 September 2020

This is what belongs to the Great in themselves: good speech, and a view only to the beautiful, and attentive listening only to the good. If there arises in them – in a prophet or blessed friend – some moment different from this, then it is from a Divine command; it is not their own speech.

Book 3, Chapter 36 (p. 295)

10 September 2020

As timelessness is an illusory matter – illusory with regard to the True – the time period as well, with regard to the True, is an illusory matter.

Book 3, Chapter 22 (p. 76)

9 September 2020

When you empty the world of its safeguarding by God, the world has no being, so it vanishes; but when the safeguarding of God suffuses through the world, the world continues existing. Thus, by His self-manifestation and His tajallì* the world continues.

* tajallì: The brilliant radiance of God’s Being

Book 3, Chapter 25 (p. 126)

8 September 2020

Our teacher Abūʾl-ʿAbbās al-ʿUraybī, God be kind to him, was ʿĪsawī (based on Jesus) at the end part of his life – and ʿĪsawī was my beginning. I mean the end part of our teacher in this path was ʿĪsawī. Then, I was transferred to the opening of the solar Mūsawī (based on Moses); then, after this, I was transferred to Hūd; then, after this, I was transferred to the rest of the prophets, peace be upon them; then, after this, I was transferred to Muḥammad – and in this way was my situation on this path. God strengthened it for me and did not swerve me off the evened road. God granted me – on account of this configuration, configured during the above transfers which God configured me as, in this path – a face of the True in every thing. Thus, there is not in the universe, according to us, in our view, anything in existence except there is in it for us some eye-witness of a True entity based on whom we exalt hu – nor do we cast aside anything from the world of being.

Book 3, Chapter 36 (p. 285)

7 September 2020

One of the signs of the ʿĪsawīyīn (those based on Jesus) is: if you want to recognize them, then observe every person who has kind compassion toward the world and affectionate concern for the people, whoever it may be, and whatever religion one may have, and whatever naḥlah (religious culture) one shows – and an unreserved approval of them for God’s sake. They do not articulate anything that would constrict anyone’s chest concerning the creation (people), all of them, with their addressing the creatures of God.

Book 3, Chapter 36 (p. 293)

6 September 2020

Everything faith accepts is given in kashf to the family of God – because it is true, all of it.

Book 3, Chapter 35 (p. 262)

5 September 2020

No one is more honored in the next world than the one who reached the utmost of humility in this world, at the Side of the True and the truth. And there is no one more humiliated in the next world than the one who reached in this world the utmost of honor and pride in himself – even if he was maṣfūʿan (slapped with the open hand) in this world. I do not mean by ‘honored in this world’ that he was in this world a king – only that he had the description in himself of being proud. And it is this way for humility. As for the one who was literally a king, or something else, we do not consider whichever station and whichever state the True set up His creature in literally; instead, it is the metaphoric expression for his (true internal) state (that we consider).

Book 3, Chapter 35 (p. 275)

4 September 2020

The one who was a pure slave in this world is in the next world a pure sovereign. And the one who was in this world described with sovereignty, even if he was a sovereign only over his own limbs – he is deficient in sovereignty in the next world commensurate with what he received full measure of in this world. And if he established justice in this (area), and expended and discharged however God obligated him, according to Law, and he believed that he was a sovereign over this area (operating externally to the Law) on account of negligence coming forth in him – then the calamity that this is will revert to him and have consequences for him.

Book 3, Chapter 35 (p. 275)

3 September 2020

And glory be to hu beyond! hu is not negated from being perceived by any one of the perceiving faculties which He created, except the sight. He said, Sights do not perceive hu (al-anʿām 6:103) – and this is forbidden by Law. But He did not say hu is not perceived by hearing, or intelligence, or by any other of the faculties the human being is described as having – just as He did not say, either, ‘Indeed, other than the sight perceives Me.’ No, He left the matter in ambiguity.

Book 3, Chapter 35 (p. 271)

2 September 2020

The world, all of it, according to them (several of Ibn al-ʿArabī’s teachers), is verses (signs), explained in detail. With the general people, the signs according to them are only the non-customary ones, and only these (they think) will alert them to the greatness of God.
God has made the customary verses for different kinds among His creatures. Among them are the verses for the intelligent, such as His word, Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the Earth and the differentiation of the night and the day, and the ships which course in the ocean, for the benefit of the people, and what God sent down from the heaven of water, and made alive through it the Earth after she had been dead, and scattering throughout every animal; and the alteration of the winds and the clouds subjugated (to them) between the heaven and the Earth – signs (verses) for a people who think intelligently (al-baqarah 2:164). There are more verses for the intelligent, all of them (considered) customary. And there are verses for the ones of certainty, and verses for the ones of the kernel, and verses for the ones of intellect, and verses for the hearers – they are the family who understand (directly) from God. And there are verses for the people (worlds, ʿālamīn), and verses for the ones who know (ʿālimīn), and verses for the faithful, and verses for the ones who reflect, and verses for the family of remembrance.
These, all of them, are kinds God has blessed with different qualities and different verses, each one of them verses cited for our sake in the Qurʾān. If you study them and ponder them, you will learn that they are verses and indications of different matters, referring to a single entity. Most people neglect this study, and this is why there are numerous kinds (of verses).

Book 3, Chapter 32 (p. 214-15)

1 September 2020

The path of felicity … is faith in God and in what was sent from God.

Book 3, Chapter 33 (p. 227)

31 August 2020

Consider the step-level f of the faithful, how honored she is, and the level of the people of kashf, how great she is, where her people catch up to the messengers and the prophets, peace be upon them, with the Divine knowing they are distinguished by – because the ones who know are the inheritors of the prophets; and they do not inherit dīnārs or dirhams – they inherit knowledge.

Book 3, Chapter 35 (p. 266)

30 August 2020

With the messengers, God’s blessings on all of them, from Adam to Muḥammad, there is no disagreement transmitted from them concerning the qualities and adjectives they relate to God. In fact, all of them are of a single tongue about this. The books they brought, all of them, articulate about God with a single tongue. Not two among them disagree; they affirm each other, one of them the other – despite the long time periods (separating them) and not having met. And despite the sectarianisms contending among the intellectuals, the messengers’ ordered arrangement has not been disordered.

Book 3, Chapter 35 (p. 265)

29 August 2020

Anger is the light-blocking darkness of the heart.

Book 3, Chapter 33 (p. 235)

28 August 2020

The intellectuals are people of afkār (mental examinations, thinking-thinking). Their statements about God differ commensurate with their observation. Then the god which is worshiped with the intellect is stripped of faith; it is as if it were – rather, it is – a god established according to what that intellect’s observation provides. Its truth differs according to the view of every intellect – and the intellects are oppositional and contradictory. Each group among the people of intellect calls the other ignorant of God; even if they are among the islāmīyīn (‘Islamic’) interpretive intellects, each group calls the other kāfir (disbeliever).

Book 3, Chapter 35 (p. 264)

27 August 2020

Authentic knowledge is not provided by reflection, nor by what the intellectuals confirm with regard to their reflections; … authentic knowledge is rather what God casts onto the heart of the learner; and it is a Divine light by which whoever He wishes is singled out among His creatures – that is, angel, messenger, prophet, friend, faithful one. Who has no kashf (unveiling) has no knowledge.

Book 3, Chapter 35 (p. 263)

26 August 2020

If the builders of this world were given kashf (unveiling) from God, opening their sight so they could see this world as a bridge, they would see the river over which it was built – that it is extremely perilous; and they would not build what they build, such as lofty castles. But they do not have eyes to see that this world is a bridge of planks over a great, tremendous river, nor do they have ears to hear the statement of the Messenger, the one who knows what God reveals to him: ‘This world is a bridge (inna al-dunyā qanṭarah).’

Book 3, Chapter 33 (p. 237)

25 August 2020

The words of ingratitude return their noxiousness to their speaker.

Book 3, Chapter 26 (p. 140)

24 August 2020

This world is a bridge to be traversed, not settled in and populated! – just as it is with you, the human being, at the time you see something in your dream: you traverse; you interpret; you do not settle into a life populated there in the dream, because when you wake up, you will not find anything you saw in your dream, whether you saw something good or something bad – not houses, buildings, or tables – and no fine experiences or vile ones. But certainly the one who knows may interpret (traverse) for you metaphorically what you saw and will say to you, ‘Your dream indicates such-and-such.’ Similarly, the life of this world is one of being asleep. When you pass on to the next world by dying, nothing transfers with you – that is, whatever was in your hand physically here, such as a house and a family and wealth. It is just as when you awake from sleep: you do not find anything in your hand now which had reached you in your dream when you were sleeping. This is why He said we are indeed asleep in the night and the day; and in the other world will be the awakening, and there the ‘dream’ will be interpreted and crossed over.

Book 3, Chapter 32 (p. 219)

23 August 2020

The people of literalism have their own intelligence, no doubt, but they are not ones of the kernels.

Book 3, Chapter 32 (p. 215)

22 August 2020

Sleep’ is what the sleeper is in during the state of one’s sleep; and when one wakes, one says, ‘I saw such-and-such,’ indicating that the human being is asleep as long as one is in this configuration in this world – until one dies. The True does not express the customary waking, according to us, generally; rather, He takes the human being as being asleep in one’s sleep and in one’s being awake, just as was related in the prophetic report – that is, his (the Prophets’s) word, ‘The people are asleep; when they die, they awake’; so he described them as sleeping during the life of this world. The general population do not recognize sleep customarily as being anything but what happens typically, which they call sleep. But the Prophet alerted us; no, he made it quite clear that the human being is asleep as long as one is in the life of this world, until one wakes up alert and aware in the next world.

Book 3, Chapter 32 (p. 217)

21 August 2020

The lover is distracted from the air by his inner secret,
loving the One who creates the air and subjugates it.
The ‘árifūn, their intellects are a hobble,*
keeping them from every worldly thing; they are content, pure.
They are from His Side greatly honored,
but to humanity their states are unknown and covered over.

*The intellect (ʿaql) is like the hobble (ʿiqāl) binding the camel’s legs, allowing one to move enough to forage, but keeping one from wandering off and hurting oneself and others.

Book 3, Chapter 25 (p. 120)

20 August 2020

Our path is to clarify the source-arguments of each group, and from where they take up their creedal positions, and what was given to them in tajallì,*and whether this has an effect on their ultimate felicity or has no effect. This is the lot of the people of the path of God based on knowledge of God, and we do not occupy ourselves with refuting a single one in God’s creation.

* tajallì: A moment of brilliant radiance of God’s Being; a self-disclosure of God.

Book 3, Chapter 31 (p. 205)

19 August 2020

As nearing comes through journeying and traveling to Him, one of His attributes is Light, in order to guide us to the path – just as He exalted said, He made for you the stars, for you to be guided by them through the light-blocking places of land – and land is the outward journey, traveling with actions and deeds based on the body – and sea (al-anʿām 6:97) – and sea is the inward journey in the meaning dimension, traveling with actions based on the soul.

Book 3, Chapter 27 (p. 147)

18 August 2020

God says to the one among us who puts into practice what God has made Law for one, that God will teach you and God will take charge of your education, with knowledge that will be the result of your practice.

Book 3, Chapter 30 (p. 186)

17 August 2020

In the fold of gratefulness is a blessing from God for the afflicted.

Book 3, Chapter 29 (p. 170)

16 August 2020

When you say, ‘God,’ the world vanishes.

Book 3, Chapter 25 (p. 126)

15 August 2020

Abū Saʿīd al-Kharrāz [said], ‘God is not recognized except by His joining together of two opposites.’ Then he recited, hu is the First, and the Last, and the Outward, and the Inward (al-ḥadīd 57:3) – meaning, from a single perspective, not from different relational perspectives as the people of examination among the superficial scholars see it.

Book 3, Chapter 24 (p. 111)

14 August 2020

God does not repeat a tajallì* to one individual and does not share it to two individuals – given the Divine infinite vastness. In fact, the ‘like things’ and the ‘similar things’ are presumed so by the observer and the hearer only because of the similitude of one moment to another, which is difficult to distinguish – except for the people of kashf (unveiling) and the proponents among the theologians who argue that the chance event does not persist over two time periods.

* tajallì: A moment of brilliant radiance of God’s Being; a self-disclosure of God.

Book 3, Chapter 24 (p. 110)

13 August 2020

There is no spatial interval between the True and the world which can be thought of at all except the differentiation of features and truths. Thus, ‘God was and there was nothing with hu’ – exalted beyond. It never ceased to be this way, and it never will cease to be this way: ‘nothing with hu’.

Book 3, Chapter 24 (p. 107)

12 August 2020

If you can perceive, my beloved, His Being,
and who you are, you are a master.

Book 3, Chapter 24 (p. 103)

11 August 2020

The One who beneficially provides being is Himself Being.

Book 3, Chapter 22 (p. 69)

10 August 2020

The greatest of the friends, when they are left alone to choose for themselves and for their souls, not one among them chooses visibility at all, because they know that God did not create them for their own sakes, nor for anyone in His creation to cling onto them, from the first intention. He created them for Him, exalted beyond.

Book 3, Chapter 23 (p. 98)

9 August 2020

He created the organic body f to be an abode for play and affection,
and He built her and provided for her effusively and fashioned her as the clay in His Hands to form Adam.

Book 3, Chapter 23 (p. 95)

8 August 2020

A group of the knowledgeable ʿárifìn – and their state is much better than any below them – say, ‘God created us for us’; but the one who verifies for oneself – and the real creature – does not say this. Instead, one says, ‘He created us for Him, but not from a need He has for me. I am an enigma of my Lord, and I am His symbol.’

Futūḥāt, Book 3

7 August 2020

He exalted said, This house of the hereafter, We gave it – that is, We transferred ownership of it – to the ones who do not intend high arrogance on the Earth (al-qaṣaṣ 28:83), because God made the Earth to be lowly and tractable; and the creature is tractable, and the lowly does not claim high elevation. Whoever transgresses one’s measure is destroyed.

Futūḥāt, Book 3

6 August 2020

Whose soul is thirsty for fighting the lower self
drinks from the most sweet waters.

Futūḥāt, Book 3

5 August 2020

Wondrous the accounts of the sky-joined souls!

Futūḥāt, Book 3

4 August 2020

This book is not based on reflective knowledge; rather, it is part of knowledge ‘received by instruction’ and ‘drawn nigh’. No other scale is required than this, even if there is in there (in the book) an anchor – because it is not altogether free from reflective knowledge.

Futūḥāt, Book 3

3 August 2020

The first word composed was the word kun (Be!).

Futūḥāt, Book 3

2 August 2020

With the numbering of step-degrees in the dimension of meaning, all of them – prophets, friends, faithful, messengers – are equal, no stairway exceeding another stairway by a single step. The first step is al-islām: it is submission. The last step is annihilation in the ascent and persistence in the disembarkation. Between the two steps, first and last, there remain faith, goodness, knowledge, consecration, removal of impurities, independence with regard to creation, dependence on God, humility, dignity, flexibility, strengthening in flexibility; and annihilation if you are outside, and persistence if you have entered inside.

Futūḥāt, Book 3

1 August 2020

You have at the moment of your advancing up the stairs of ascent a Divine tajallì* commensurate with the stairs of your ascent, because for every person among the people of God there is a stairway specific to you, none other ascending on it.

* tajallì: vision of God’s radiant unveiling; a self-disclosure of God.

Futūḥāt, Book 3

31 July 2020

This world f is only one of many way-stations for the traveler; and … she is a bridge to be crossed; and … human beings, if they do not adorn themselves here with knowledge and generous characteristics and attributes of the higher beings – such as purity, and being transcendent from natural lusts which turn one away from sound observation, and acquiring Divine knowledge – then there is no way to felicity.

Futūḥāt, Book 3

30 July 2020

The observer is occupied with what his view is attached to and the goal he is seeking, so he is veiled from the knowledge of the moment; he is amidst an increase of knowledge, but he does not realize it.

Futūḥāt, Book 3

29 July 2020

Learn, may God assist you, that every living being and everything described with perception has, in fact, in every breath new knowledge with regard to that perception; but the individual perceiving may not be among those who pay attention to what knowledge really is – though it is in fact knowledge.

Futūḥāt, Book 3

28 July 2020

The kings, even if they are exalted in their ranks,
they share in the same mysteries and night
conversations as the common people do.

Futūḥāt, Book 3

27 July 2020

God is not a cause of an effect that is not He Himself.

Futūḥāt, Book 3

26 July 2020

The True does not have a fixed identity-attribute except wāḥdat (one, single). It is impossible that there be with Him two, and three, and so on; if there were, His dhát (Essence) would be composed of two things, or three, or four – and composition involving Him is impossible. Therefore, a fixed attribute that is additional over the wāḥdat is impossible.

Futūḥāt, Book 3

25 July 2020

There is not in the cosmos anything but a single, prime Being,
all too transcendent to be withstood, or handed over.*

* When the command comes to Be!, no entity withstands its becoming,
and no entity can maintain (hand over) its being from one moment to the next.

Futūḥāt, Book 3

24 July 2020

Whoever seeks the path, with no indication from
the Divine, has sought the impossible.

Futūḥāt, Book 3

23 July 2020

Just as it is impossible for anything with an organic nature-based body to receive nourishment from anything but what is from the same nature it has, similarly it is impossible for anyone to know things which are not like one at all. Do you see that the soul f does not accept from intellect m anything but what she shares with him and what is like her? What is not shared is never known by another. And there is not with God any such one who shares with Him, and this is not possible from any facet; so no one knows Him, from one’s self or from one’s thought. The Messenger of God said, ‘God is veiled from the intellect as He is veiled from sight. Even the highest angels seek Him as you seek Him yourselves.’

Futūḥāt, Book 2

22 July 2020

Be true and be safe, be given disclosing kashf (unveiling), and come up, join in!

Futūḥāt, Book 2

21 July 2020

Human perception is bounded by the fact of being human and what humanity’s own essence provides – there is an acquisition there (we receive something by being human). But really there is nothing but to prepare the intellect for accepting what the True gives of His maʿrifah, majestic is hu, exalted. So one never knows by the mode of proof anything but the understanding that there is being, and that He is One to be worshiped, and nothing else. The perceiving human being cannot perceive anything unless there is a resemblance; if there is not that, then he does not perceive anything at all, or recognize anything at all. As he does not recognize anything unless there is a likeness of that thing to something already known, he does not recognize anything except what is like it and similar to it; and al-bārīyʾu (the Creator, who created from no previous template) is exalted beyond, not like anything, and there is nothing like Him. Therefore He is not known, ever.

Futūḥāt, Book 2

20 July 2020

We empty our hearts from intellectual ratiocination and we sit with the True with dhikr (remembrance of God) – in a setting of courtesy, disciplined self-awareness, and being in the Divine Presence, and spiritual preparation – in order to accept what comes to us from Him. We do this so that it will be the True who takes charge of our education, through kashf (unveiling) and verifying for ourselves, since we indeed have heard Him say: Then be aware of God, and God will teach you (al-baqarah 2:282).

Futūḥāt, Book 2

19 July 2020

They do not recognize any but Him, just as they are not recognized except by Him.

Futūḥāt, Book 2

18 July 2020

Attainment of perception of Him comes from His effusive generosity and grace and gift – as the ʿárifīn recognize Him, the people of direct vision – not from the intellectual faculty in the place where it speculates.

Futūḥāt, Book 2

17 July 2020

All people are addressed commensurate with their understanding of these things, and according to the strength of their mastery and their insight.

Futūḥāt, Book 2

16 July 2020

There remains for us only to say that the True is mawjūd (a site of being) by Himself and for Himself, with absolute Being, without being constrained by anyone. He is not the effect of anything nor the motive cause for the sake of anything else; no, He is the Creator of the causes and effects, the King, the Holy, who is always. The universe is mawjūd by God, not by itself or for itself. It is a being defined by the Being of the True in Himself. The universe truly has no being at all, except by means of the Being of the True.

Futūḥāt, Book 2

15 July 2020

There is not in the Heaven or the Earth any place in which there is not an angel, and the True does not stop creating angels from cosmic breaths, as they keep being breathed into spaces.

Futūḥāt, Book 2

14 July 2020

There is nothing except it praises with His praise.

Futūḥāt, Book 2

13 July 2020

Ibrāhīm bin Masʿūd al-Ilbīrī said:

The man journeys to his sought goal,
but the sought-after means of subsistence is in the journey.

Futūḥāt, Book 2

12 July 2020

The soul is gathered on the Last Day according to the image of her knowledge, and the organic body according to the image of one’s behavior.

Futūḥāt, Book 2

11 July 2020

The human being is the universal, the All-Word, the master manuscript of the universe.

Futūḥāt, Book 2

10 July 2020

It is a deep ocean the aspirant is sent to, its understanding arising from the gate of kashf (unveiling) – because from the perspective of kashf it is easy, but from the perspective of the intellect it is difficult indeed.

Futūḥāt, Book 2

9 July 2020

He made your self a pointer to and proof of yourself, and then He made your being a pointer to you as a pointer to Him, with regard to you who are distant.

Futūḥāt, Book 2

8 July 2020

The place that most looks over all, to ascend to on the path of God, is ignorance of Him and recognizing ignorance of Him, because such recognition is a truth of ʿubūdīyah (the state of creature-/slavehood).

Futūḥāt, Book 2

7 July 2020

If you journey you will arrive; and God will guide us, and you.

Futūḥāt, Book 1

6 July 2020

Whoever wants to connect to Him connects only by Him and by you – by you in the place He seeks you, and by Him because He is a site of your search.

Futūḥāt, Book 1

5 July 2020

If you are ignorant of you, you are not you.

Futūḥāt, Book 1

4 July 2020

How strange! They think they are at the lowest of the low when actually they are where they should be, at the highest of the heights.

Futūḥāt, Book 1

3 July 2020

The Youth said: ‘I am the ripened meadow, the universal harvest, so lift my veils and recite what is contained etched in my lines.’

Futūḥāt, Book 1

2 July 2020

If you prepare yourself, and ready yourself, and polish the mirror of your heart and make her radiant, you will receive this generosity ever and ever, and you may receive a glimpse of something that cannot be constrained in time, because of the vastness of that intelligible orbit and the constriction of this physical orbit. How would something which cannot conceivably even have a terminus come to an end, or to a final resting place at which to halt?

Futūḥāt, Book 1

1 July 2020

The True is ever generous, incessantly effusing generosity.

Futūḥāt, Book 1

29 June 2020

You appear to one You preserve after his annihilation.
He is without existence, because You are he.

Futūḥāt, Book 1

The ʿárif is … the constant companion of the moment and cheered by it.

Futūḥāt, Book 1

The minimum step on the path is patient submission to what you do not know, and the highest step is certainty in its validity.

Futūḥāt, Book 1

If the ocean is deep,
then the shore of the heart is deeper still.

Futūḥāt, Book 1

The True is sought out through the True.

Futūḥāt, Book 1

Extract and dust off the opals and the pearls!

Futūḥāt, Book 1

Knowledge of something leads to encompassing it and finishing with it, and this, in regard to the Divine Side, is impossible. So knowing Him is impossible. It is not correct that one know part of Him either, because He is not partitioned. So there remains knowledge only of what is from Him, and what is from Him is you; so you are known.

Futūḥāt, Book 1

Inescapably, all meanings are centered in the self; then they are disclosed and revealed with the nows, moment after moment.

Futūḥāt, Book 1

The cosmos is anchored in God and is the anchoring of the possible to the Necessary Being Itself and of the designed to the Designer.

Futūḥāt, Book 1

You seeker for the Being of the True – to perceive hu,
return to your dhát (essence); in you is the True, so stay there!

Futūḥāt, Book 1

Do not seek the True inside or outside the fence. Both the entrance and the exit are based on New qualities. Thus, observe the All in the All and you will find the All.

Futūḥāt, Book 1

There will appear to you strange wonders which will bewilder the intellect with the splendor of their beauty.

Futūḥāt, Book 1

You are a cloud veiling your Sun, so recognize first a truth of yourself.

al-Isrāʾ, quoted in Futūḥāt, Book 1

You are the ones circling the heart of the being of the universe, and you correspond to the mysteries of the ones who truly know.

Futūḥāt, Book 1