Studies in Islamic Mysticism, by Reynold A. Nicholson, , at sacred-texts.com
(400 400) That one (the slanderer) helps the spirit, guiding it to its region for the sake of a contemplation which takes place in a spiritual mould;
(401) And this one (the railer) helps the soul, driving it to its companions for the sake of an existence which occurs in a material form.
(402 402) Whoever knows, as I do, (the real nature of) those figures, his doctrine in removing the perplexity of doubt (as to the Divine Unity) is unmixed with polytheism.
(403 403) My essence endowed with delights the whole sum of my worlds (of being) both in particular and in general, in order to replenish them with its all-embracing unity.
(404) And it bounteously poured forth its overflow when there was as yet no capacity for acquisition (of being), and it was capable (of overflow) before there was any preparation for receiving (the overflow).
(405 405) The forms of existence were made happy by the Soul, and the spirits of (the plane of) contemplation were refreshed by the Spirit.
The inward oneness of the Essence with its attributes or emanations is now further illustrated by reference to what takes place in audition (samá), when the mystic falling into ecstasy at the sound of music finds God, only to lose Him again as soon as the momentary transport has ebbed away.
(406 406) My twofold contemplation of a slanderer hastening to his region and a railer bestowing good advice on his companions
(407) Bears witness to my state in the samá, a state caused by two things which draw me (to and fro), namely, the law of my abiding home and the law of the place where my sentence is passed.
(408 408) And my denial of being perplexed (with doubts touching ittiḥád) by the five external senses is established to be true by the agreement of the two images.
(409 409) Now, before (I come to) my purpose, let me tell thee the mystery of that which my soul received secretly from them (the external senses) and communicated (to the inward senses).
(410 410) Whenever the idea of beauty appears in any form, and
whenever one afflicted by sorrow raises a mournful cry in (reciting) the verses of a chapter of the Koran,
(411) My thought beholds Her with the eye of my phantasy, and my memory hears Her with the ear of my intelligence,
(412) And my mind brings Her in imagination before my soul, so that my understanding deems Her sensibly at my side,
(413 413) And I wonder at my drunkenness without wine, and am thrilled in the depths of my being by a joy that comes from myself,
(414) And my heart dances, and the trembling of my limbs doth clap its hands like a chanter, and my spirit is my musician.
(415 415) My soul never ceased to be fed with (spiritual) desires and to efface the (sensual) faculties by weakening them, until at last it waxed strong.
(416) Here I found all existing things allied to aid methough the aid (really) came from myself
(417) In order that every organ of sense might unite me with Her, and that my union might include every root of my hair,
(418 418) And that the veil of estrangement between us might be cast off, albeit I found it no other than friendship.
(419) Mark nowand do not hope to learn this by studyhow the sense conveys to the soul by immediate revelation what She brings to light.
(420 420) When a north wind travelling by night from Her blows at dawn, its coolness recalls the thought of Her to my spirit,
(421 421) And mine ear is pleased when in the forenoon grey doves warbling and singing on the branches arouse it,
(422) And mine eye is gladdened if at eve flashes of lightning transmit and give it from Her to the pupil of mine eye,
(423) And it is bestowed on my taste and touch by the wine-cups when they are passed round to me at night,
(424 424) And my heart conveys it as an inward thing to the mental faculties through the medium of the outward thing that was delivered by the bodily messengers (the senses).
(425 425) He that chants Her name in the assembly (of listeners) makes me present with Her, so that as I listen I behold Her with my whole being.
(426 426) My spirit soars towards the heaven whence it was breathed (into me), while my theatre of manifestation (my soul), which was fashioned by the spirit, stoops to its earthly peers.
(427) Part of me is pulled towards Her and part of me pulls towards itself, and in every pull there is a tug like giving up the ghost.
(428) The cause of this is my soul's recollecting its real nature from Her when She inspired it,
(429) So that it longed in the limbo of earth to hear the Divine call alone (uncontaminated by the call of the lower self), since both (the spiritual and the sensual natures) take hold of my bridle-reins.
(430) Concerning my state in audition a babe, even though he grow up to be dull, will inform thee by throwing it upon thy mind like (a flash of) inspiration or insight.
(431) When he moans because of the tight swaddling-clothes and restlessly yearns to be relieved from exceeding distress,
(432) He is soothed with lullabies, so that he lays aside all the weariness which came over him and listens to his soother like one attending silently,
(433) And the sweet words make him forget his bitter grief and remember the speech that passed in times of old,
(434) And by his state he explains the state of samá (audition) and confirms the absence of imperfection from the mystic dance:
(435) When through the one that is hushing him he becomes distraught with longing and would fain fly to his first home,
(436) He is quieted by being rocked in his cradle as the hands of his nurse move it to and fro.
(437) I have felt, when She is called to mind by the beautiful tones of a reciter (of the Koran) or the piercing notes of a singer,
(438) As the sufferer feels in his agony when the angels of Death take to themselves his all.
(439) For one who feels pain in being driven to part (from his body) is like one who is pained by feeling (rapture) in his yearning after his (spiritual) companions:
(440) As the soul of the former had pity for that (body) in which it appeared, so my spirit soared to its high origins.
Having exhibited the phenomena of the samá in their due relation to the doctrine of ittiḥád, Ibnu l-Fáriḍ returns to the region of the self-contained Unity which is sole actor on the universal stage.
(441) My spirit passed the gate which barred my going
(433) "The speech that passed in times (or 'covenants') of old"see the notes on vv. 69 and 156.
(434-6) Many Ṣúfís looked with disfavour on the ecstatic dance, which is a well-known feature of the samá. Cf. the saying, al-raqṣ naqṣ, "dancing is a fault." Ibnu l-Fáriḍ justifies it on the ground that it is an anodyne to the fever of the soul: its violent movements calm the agitating reminiscences awakened by music and rock the soul to rest.
(440) Cf. vv. 426-7. As death causes the lower soul (nafs) to grieve for the loss of its earthly home, so music causes the spirit (rúḥ) to grieve for the loss of its heavenly home.
(441) Elsewhere (Díwán, p. 217, 1. so) Ibnu l-Fáriḍ says: "If others are p. 238 content with His image seen in dreams, I am not content even with being united to Him." In this verse (441) and also in the verse quoted he uses the word wiṣál, properly "conjunction." Wiṣál, waṣl and ittiṣál contain the idea of duality and are therefore inferior to jam or complete union and ittiḥád or ἕνωσις. Cf. Nallino, op. cit. p. 60, note 1.}
beyond union (with the Beloved) and soared to where no barrier of union remained.
(442) He that like me makes it (this gate) his chosen quest, let him follow me and ride for it with firm resolution!
(443 443) Before entering it, I have plunged into how many a deep! wherefrom none that craved (spiritual) wealth was ever blest with a draught.
(444) I will show it to thee, if thou art resolved, in the mirror of my poesy, therefore turn the ear of insight to what I let fall.
(445 445) I cast aside from my speech the word "self-regard," and from my actions self-interest in any act;
(446) And my looking for fair recompense for my works, and my care to preserve my mystical states from the shame of suspicion,
(447) And my preachingall these things I put away with firm resolution as one who is entirely disinterested; and my casting aside regard for my casting aside applies to each division.
(448 448) So my heart is a temple in which I dwell: in front of it (hindering approach) is the appearance from it of the attributes belonging to my veiledness.
(449 449) Amongst them my right hand is a pillar (corner-stone) that is kissed in myself, and because of the law in my mouth my
kiss (qubla) comes from my qibla (the object to which I turn in worship).
(450 450) My circumambulation in the spirit is really round myself, and my running from my Ṣafá to my Marwa is for the sake of my own face (reality).
(451 451) Within a sanctuary of my inward my outward is safe, while my neighbours around it are in danger of being snatched away.
(452 452) My soul was purified by my solitary fasting from other than myself, and gave as alms the overflow of my grace;
(453 453) And the doubling of my existence during my contemplation became single in my oneness (ittiḥád) when I awoke from my slumber;
(454 454) And my inmost self's night-journey to myself from the special privilege of the Truth is like my voyage in the general obligation of the Law;
(455 455) And my divinity did not make me neglectful of the
requirement of my theatre of manifestation, nor did my humanity cause me to forget the theatre in which my wisdom is manifested.
(456 456) From me the covenants derived their binding power upon the soul, and by me the laws of religion were instituted to restrain the senses,
(457 457) Inasmuch as there had come to me from myself an Apostle to whom my sinning was grievous, one taking jealous care of me from compassion,
(458) And I executed my command (given) from my soul unto herself, and when she took charge of her own affair she did not turn back;
(459) And from the time of my covenant, before the era of my elements, before the (prophetic) warning was sent to (the world) where men shall be raised from the dead,
(460) I was an apostle sent from myself to myself, and my essence was led to me by the evidence of my own signs.
(461 461) And when I conveyed my soul, by purchase, from the possession of her own land to the kingdom of Paradise
(462) For she had fought a good fight and had died a martyr in her cause and had gotten joy of her contract when she paid the price
(463 463) She soared with me, in consequence of my union, beyond
everlasting life in her heaven (Paradise), since I did not consent to incline towards the earth of my vicegerent;
(464 464) And how should I come under (the dominion of) that over which I am lord, like the friends of my kingdom and my followers and my party and my adherents?
(465 465) There is no celestial sphere but therein, from the light of my inward being, is an angel who gives guidance by my will,
(466) And there is no region but thereon, from the overflow of my outward being, falleth a drop that is the source of the clouds downpouring.
(467) Beside my countenance the far-spreading light (of the sun) is like a gleam, and beside my watering-place the all-encompassing sea is like a drop.
(468 468) Therefore the whole of me is seeking the whole of me and is directing itself towards it, and part of me is drawing part of me with reins.
(469 469) Every direction tends to the all-guiding face of him who is above (the relation of) "below" and below whom is (the relation of) "above."
(470 470) Thus (in my experience) the "below-ness" of the earth is the "above-ness" of the aether, because of the closing of that
which I clave asunder; and the cleavage of that which was closed is only the outward aspect of my way (sunna).
(471) And there is no doubt, since union is the essence of certainty, and no direction, since place is a (relation of) difference arising from my separation;
(472 472) And there is no number, since numeration cuts like the edge of a sword, and no time, since limitation is the dualism of one who fixes a definite term;
(473 473) And I have in the two worlds no rival who should doom to destruction what I built or whose command should cause the decree of my authority to be enforced;
(474 474) Nor have I in either world any opposite, for thou wilt not see amongst created beings any incongruity in their mode of creation, but all are alike (in perfection).
(475 475) And from me appeared that which I made a disguise to myself, and by means of me the phenomena were caused to return from me to myself;
(476 476) And in myself I beheld those who bowed in worship to my theatre of manifestation, and I knew for sure that I was the Adam to whom I bowed;
(477 477) And I discerned that the spiritual rulers of the earths
amongst the angels of the highest sphere are equal in relation to my rank.
(478 478) Although my comrades craved right guidance from my horizon that is near (to them), the union of my unity was shown forth from my second separation,
(479 479) And in the swoon that crushed my senses my soul fell prostrate before me in order that she might recover ere repenting as Moses repented.
(480 480) For there is no "where" after (vision of) Reality, since I have recovered from intoxication, and the cloud that veiled the Essence has been cleared away by sobriety.
(481 481) The end of a self-effacement that preceded my (individual self's) conclusion is like the beginning of a sobriety (self-consciousness), because both are circumscribed by a period.
(482) I weighed in a scale him who is rapt by an obliterating effacement in death (to self) with him who is cut off by the sobriety of sense (self-consciousness) in separation (from God).}
(483 483) Therefore the dot of the "i" of "film" was effaced from my sobriety, and the wakefulness of the eye of the Essence annulled my self-effacement.
(484 484) One who loses (God) in sobriety and finds (God) in self-effacement is incapable, owing to his alternation, of the fixity of nearness (to God).
(485 485) The drunken and the sober are alike inasmuch as they are qualified by the mark of "presence" or by the brand of "enclosure."
(486 486) No followers of mine are they in whom the attributes of "disguise" or the vestiges of any remnant (of these attributes) succeed each other.
(487) He that does not inherit perfection from me is faulty, a backslider into chastisement.
(488) In me is naught that would lead to the "disguise" resulting from a remnant (of self-existence), nor any shadow (of phenomenal being) that would condemn me to return (to an inferior degree).
(489 489) How little may a heart communicate in the form of thought or a tongue utter in the mould of speech!
(490 490) All sides (of Being) joined in me and the carpet of otherness was rolled up in virtue of the equality (of all),
(491) And my existence, in the passing-away of the duality of existence, became a contemplation in the abidingness of unity.
(492 492) That which is above the range of intellectthe First Emanationis even as that which is below the Sinai of traditionthe last handful.
(493 493) Therefore the best of God's creatures forbade us to prefer him to the Man of the Fish, although he is worthy of preference.
(494) I have indicated (the truth concerning phenomenal relations) by the means which language yields, and that which is obscure I have made clear by a subtle allegory.
(495 495) The "Am not I" of yesterday is not other (than what shall be manifested) to him who enters on to-morrow, since my darkness hath become my dawn and my day my night.
(496) The secret of "Yea"to God belongs the mirror of its revelation, and to affirm the reality of union (jam) is to deny "beside-ness."
(497 497) No darkness covers me nor is there any harm to be feared, since the mercy of my light hath quenched the fire of my vengeance.
(498 498) And no time is, save where is no time that reckons the
existence of that existence of mine which is computed by the reckoning of the new moons;
(499) But one imprisoned in the bounds of Time does not see what lies beyond his dungeon, in the Paradise everlasting.
233:400 (400) From the standpoint of "separation" (farq), the slanderer and the railer are types (cf. note on v. 51) of two influences which work upon the heart. The slandererliterally, the spy whose affection for the Beloved impels him to prevent any rival from approaching heris the spirit (rúḥ); the railer is the soul (nafs): in the language of theology the former is described as the Angel who inspires the heart with good thoughts; the latter as the Devil who tempts it with evil suggestions (see D. B. Macdonald, The religious altitude and life in Islam, p. 274 foll.). But in the sphere of union (jam) there can be no duality: lover, beloved, railer and slanderer are so many aspects of the One Being. Here, then, the slanderer or the spirit (rúḥ) represents Universal Spirit, the first emanation from the Absolute; and the railer or the soul (nafs) stands for Universal Soul. [Cf. the introduction to K.'s commentary, p. 20 foll., where the First Intelligence, "the slanderer," is said to be the luminosity of Universal Spirit, and the Second Intelligence, "the railer," is said to be the luminosity of Universal Soul.] The human spirit is guided by Universal Spirit to its "region," i.e. the Divine Essence, while the human soul belongs to Universal Soul, which as the animating principle of the sensible world brings the soul into contact with its "companions," i.e. bodies.
233:402 (402) "Those figures," i.e. the Beloved, the lover, the railer, and the slanderer.
233:403 (403-4) In v. 403 I read imdád. The reading amdád gives the same sense, if taken (as it should be) as the plural, not of madd, but of madad. Cf. my Selected Poems from the Díváni Shamsi Tabríz, pp. 216 and 334. The process of emanation (fayḍ) by which Absolute Being diffuses itself does not depend on the existence of capacities for receiving that which is rayed forth. Plurality is the self-manifestation of the One, the irradiation whereby the One becomes visible to itself.
234:405 (405) "Made happy," i.e. endued with existence.
234:406 (406-7) "To his region"cf. verse 400. The poet means to say that his contemplation of the Essence under the aspect of its two attributes symbolically described as the slanderer and the railer is analogous to his perception of oneness in the samá: in each case the appearance of duality is illusory. His "state in the samá," i.e. the state of agitation and suspense between "finding God" (wujúd) and "losing" Him (faqd), is the result of two diverse aspects which are inherent in the nature of the Essence itself. One of those aspects is "union" (jam), i.e. the oneness in which plurality is non-existent or only potentially existent; the other aspect is "separation" (tafriqa) in which the Essence passes forth from its oneness in order that it may become conscious of itself. The former is the mystic's "abiding home." "The place where my sentence is passed," i.e. the phenomenal world, which the mystic, on coming forth from the state of "union" (jam), judges to be the abode of "separation" (tafriqa).
234:408 (408) The unity of Being is affirmed by the correspondence existing between sense and spirit. The mystic finds God in every object perceived by the senses, so that the image of every object in his perception is identical with the image of God in his heart.
234:409 (409) "My purpose," i.e. to explain what is experienced in the samá.
234:410 (410-12) These verses illustrate "the correspondence of the two images." Thought is inward sight and memory is inward hearing.
235:413 (413-4) The ecstasy of vision and audition is not produced by an external cause, such as wine, dancing, and music, but is itself the mystic's dance and song.
235:415 (415 foll.) Perfect union with God depends on the strength of the soul, i.e. on its purification from sensuous impressions. But when the soul has been purified, it uses as a means of becoming united with God the same faculties which formerly hindered it from attaining its end. The poet says that this aid really comes from himself, because the senses cannot render it out of their own nature: the self must first be spiritualised, in order that through its organs all things may be perceived as essentially one, according to the doctrine of ittiḥád.
235:418 (418) "No other than friendship": cf. note on v. 82.
235:420 (420) There is only an allusion in this verse to the sense of smell, while the other four senses are mentioned explicitly in the verses which follow.
235:421 (421-4) "It" in these verses is "the thought of Her" (dhikruhá).
236:424 (424) In Moslem psychology the heart (qalb) "suggests the inmost, most secret and genuine thoughts, the very basis of man's intellectual nature" (see D. B. Macdonald, The religious attitude and life in Islam, p. 221 foll.). It receives from the outer senses the outward idea of God, viz. the forms of sense-objects, and transmits the corresponding universal idea, viz. the essence and attributes of God, to the inner senses, i.e. to the cogitative, memorative, estimative, and apprehensive faculties. These two ideas are identical in so far as they are correlative aspects of Being. The mystic contemplates as pure reality that which he perceives objectively in the forms of phenomena. According to the commentator, the preposition which I have translated by "through the medium of" should have the meaning of "simultaneously with," i.e. the delivery of the sense-datum to the heart synchronises with its transmission by the heart to the intellectual faculties.
236:425 (425) Here the poet begins his promised explanation (which is based upon the foregoing theory) of his "state in the samá." He says that, whilst listening to the music, he nevertheless contemplates God with his whole spiritual and sensuous self.
236:426 (426-9) These verses answer the question, Why does music agitate and transport those who hear it? Because, the poet replies, the higher and lower elements in man draw and are drawn in opposite directions. Man is led sometimes by the spirit (rúḥ), sometimes by the flesh (nafs); but music, in which God reveals Himself, brings back to him the recollection of what he was before he had a bodily existence: then he falls into ecstasy and his soul (nafs) struggles like a captive bird to escape from its cage.
238:443 (443) The way to this gate is through the deeps of faná. Those who seek not God alone but spiritual wealth, i.e. good works and godly dispositions, desire the continuance of their phenomenal self-existence.
238:445 (445-7) These lines describe the poet's ikhláṣ, a term denoting freedom from every form of self-regard. Inasmuch as no one who is purely disinterested can attribute disinterestedness to himself, Ibnu l-Fáriḍ says that in every instancewords, deeds, works, and states"he has cast aside regard for his casting aside," i.e. he is not disinterested (mukhliṣ) but unconscious of being disinterested (mukhlaṣ). See R. Hartmann, Al-Ḳuschairîs Darstellung des Ṣûfîtums, p. 17, and Kitáb al-Luma, p. 218, l. 6 foll.
238:448 (448) The heart (qalb), in which the essence of man resides, is veiled by the attributes limiting that essence, just as the temple of a deity is shrouded by curtains.
238:449 (449) According to an Apostolic Tradition, God (the essence of man) is contained in the believer's heart, which is therefore likened to the Kaba, while by the same analogy ritual acts of worship performed in the pilgrimage are acts of the Essence, i.e. Divine acts. One of these rites is the p. 239 kissing of the Black Stone, "the right hand of God" (yamín Allah). Since the religious law is the Word of God, the kiss which it prescribes and which is included in it, comes, as it were, from the mouth of God, who as the essence of the creature (al-khalq) adores Himself as the Creator (al-Ḥaqq).
239:450 (450) Ṣafá and Marwa are two hills near Mecca. The commentator thinks that Ṣafá signifies the present life and Marwa the life hereafter.
239:451 (451) When the phenomenal self and its faculties are within the sanctuary of the heart, i.e. absorbed in God, they are safe from the assault of "otherness," to which they are exposed outside it (cf. Koran, 29, 67).
239:452 (452) The mystic's fast consists in abstaining from whatsoever is not real and Divine and in being alone with his essence; his alms-giving is the communication to others of the Divine grace which flows from his essence.
239:453 (453) The reference to prayers in this verse is indicated by the words shaf (double) and witr (single), which may also be rendered "two genuflexions" and "a single genuflexion" in the canonical prayer (ṣalát). In ittiḥád the worshipper is made one with the object of worship and realises that his individual existence was a dream.
239:454 (454) The term "night-journey" is used in the Koran, 17, 1, of the ascension (miráj) of the Prophet. Since an ascension from the Truth or the Essence implies that there is something higher than that, the poet answers this objection by pointing out that the journey of the Perfect Man from the Truth is like his journey in the Law, i.e. both journeys are really movements of his essence in and to and from itself. Here the "night-journey" denotes the third stage of Oneness (see note on vv. 326-7) in which the mystic returns from "the intoxication of union" to "the sobriety of union."
239:455 (455) Divinity (láhút) and humanity (násút) are correlative attributes or aspects of the One Reality. Man, created in the image of God, must nevertheless fulfil the law imposed on his corporeal nature, yet while recognising p. 240 and obeying it he must remember that as a spirit he is the oracle of Divine Wisdom.
240:456 (456) "The covenants," i.e. the acknowledgment by human souls in their state of pre-existence that they should love and worship God. Cf. note on verse 69.
240:457 (457-60) The Apostle is Universal Spirit, which emanates from the Essence regarded as Pure Oneness to the Essence regarded as Universal Soul. This emanation is, relatively at least, an eternal process. Mohammed (identified with Universal Spirit) said, "I was a prophet when Adam was water and clay," i.e. before the Creation. The "signs" or evidential miracles given to the Soul by the Apostle of Universal Spirit are the attributes of the Essence, which thereby reveals itself to itself.
240:461 (461-2) These lines are best explained by a passage in the Koran (9, 112): "Lo, Allah hath purchased of the true believers their souls and their substance, promising them Paradise in return, on condition that they shall fight in the cause of Allah and slay and be slaina promise binding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Koran; and who fulfilleth his pledge more faithfully than Allah? Rejoice therefore in the contract which ye have made."
240:463 (463) In the following verses (463-477) the poet describes himself in the state of union (jam), i.e. on the plane of Absolute Being, emancipated from the relations to which he is subject in the phenomenal world. "The earth of p. 241 my vicegerent," i.e. the body. The human soul governs the body as the vicegerent (khalífa) of God.
241:464 (464) The "united" mystic (ṣáḥibu l-jam) is lord over all relations, i.e. he transcends them and is not conditioned by any of them. "The friends of my kingdom, etc." i.e. those who follow me but have not attained to Oneness, so that they still belong to the realm of phenomenal existence.
241:465 (465-6) He means to say that, in respect of his mystical identification with the Absolute, he is the ultimate source of all that exists in the visible world as well as in the universe of the Unseen: the former is the external aspect of Reality, while the latter is its hidden ground.
241:468 (468) "Every part of mespirit, heart, soul and bodyis seeking my Essence, i.e. the Universal in which all particulars are comprised." When the spirit contemplates God alone, it draws to itself the heart, so that the heart desires God alone; and the heart then draws to itself the soul, so that the soul worships God alone and draws to itself the body, which God then causes to be employed entirely in good works.
241:469 (469) Absolute Being is the centre to which all particular objects converge.
241:470 (470) The phrase, "because of the closing, etc." is borrowed from Kor. 21,31: "Did not the unbelievers discern that the heavens and the earth were closed until We clave them asunder and made every living thing of the water (that gushed forth)?" Whatever meaning the Prophet may have attached to these metaphors, Ibnu l-Fáriḍ evidently signifies by "the closing" that p. 242 state which he elsewhere calls "union" (jam), i.e. Being viewed synthetically as the inner unity in which all distinctions are reconciled, and by "the cleavage of that which was closed" the state of "separation" (tafriqa), i.e. Being viewed analytically in its external and phenomenal aspect.
242:472 (472) Number and Time involve division and limitation, which are inconsistent with real unity.
242:473 (473) "No rival," i.e. no partner in the attributes of deity; cf. Kor. 21, 22: "If there were any gods besides Allah in heaven or earth, verily both (heaven and earth) would be ruined."
242:474 (474) Kor. 67, 3: "Thou dost not see any incongruity (imperfection) in the creation of the Merciful (God)." Were there two opposed creators, like Ormuzd and Ahriman, their difference would manifest itself in the objects created by them.
242:475 (475) The illusion of phenomena does not impair the real unity which creates from itself, reveals to itself, and again withdraws from its manifested into its occult self.
242:476 (476) In reality the worshipper and the object of worship are one. The angels who worshipped Adam (Kor. 15, 28 foll.) symbolise the relation of a Divine attribute to its Essence.
242:477 (477) The Divine attributes as manifested in Man may be distinguished from each other, so that we speak of higher and lower natures, faculties, and powers, but they are fundamentally one and identical in respect of the Essence of which they are modes. For this symbolic use of "angels" cf. p. 115 foll.
243:478 (478) The Essence appears from two horizons, i.e. in two aspects: (1) without attributes or actions; (2) qualified by the whole of its attributes and actions. " My horizon that is near" refers to the former epiphany, which produces in the mystic the state of union (jam) without separation (tafriqa), a state necessarily accompanied by ecstatic unconsciousness. In the latter and more exalted epiphany, the Essence reveals itself together with its attributes as the unity of the One and the Many, the synthesis of union and separation. This aspect of reality is associated with "the second separation," i.e. the return from ecstasy to a higher plane of consciousness than any that was experienced before the ecstasy began (cf. notes on 233-5, 326-7).
243:479 (479) See note on v. 11 and vv. 288-9. "Ere repenting, etc." i.e. before coming back to the world of sense. Moses asked to see God with his phenomenal nature and was punished by being thrown into the state of "intoxication," in which it is not possible to have perfect clairvoyance; therefore his repentance and recovery involved a return to normal consciousness, whereas Ibnu l-Fáriḍ's recovery endowed him with the abnormal consciousness which is characteristic of the unitive life.
243:480 (480) "No 'where' (ayn) after Reality (ayn)," which is free from all limitation. The meaning of the remainder of the verse has been sufficiently explained above.
243:481 (481-2) The higher mystical life, before it reaches the perfect oneness which is its goal, swings to and fro between states of ecstasy and consciousness: self-effacement (maḥw) and self-restoration (ithbát), intoxication (sukr) and sobriety (ṣaḥw), etc. This ever-changing succession (talwín) of complementary states only ceases with the conclusion of self-existence, i.e. when the mystic's individuality has entirely passed away, so that he is permanently one with the timeless and infinite being of God. Such permanent conscious oneness with God is described symbolically as "the second separation" p. 244 (al-farqu l-thání) or "the second sobriety" (as-saḥwu l-thání). Viewed from that summit, negative or positive states, like maḥw and .saḥw, are equally imperfect; hence the poet says, "I weighed, etc," i.e. "I found both of them wanting." Maḥq (misinterpreted by K.) is nearly equivalent to maḥw. See Kitáb al-Luma, 355, 17.
244:483 (483) "The dot of the 'i' of 'film'": literally, "the dot of the (letter) ghayn of (the word) ghayn (film or cloud)," i.e. in the first place my individual existence was effaced from my consciousness; then self-effacement was superseded by "the wakefulness of the eye of the Essence," i.e. by the divine or cosmic consciousness, which is technically named "the second sobriety." Ghayn (film) becomes ayn (eye or essence) when the dot of its initial letter is removed.
244:484 (484) Alternation (talwín), fixity (tamkín): cf. note on vv. 481-2 and Kashf al-Maḥjúb, p. 370 foll.
244:485 (485) Cf. verse 482. Perfect Oneness is the unity which combines two main aspects of Being as it is revealed to mystics (cf. note on v. 478). "Presence" (ḥuḍúr) is here equivalent to "union" (jam), and "enclosure" (ḥaẓíra) to "separation" (tafriqa).
244:486 (486) Cf. note on vv. 481-2. "The attributes of 'disguise'" refer to the state of sobriety (ṣaḥw) and denote the normal consciousness which follows ecstasy and "veils" the mystic from God. "The vestiges of any remnant" refer to the state of self-effacement(maḥw) in which these attributes disappear.
244:489 (489) In this verse waḥy refers to the heart, ṣígha to the tongue.
244:490 (490) "All sides," i.e. contrary predications, such as eternity and time, above and below, first and last, etc.
245:492 (492) According to the monistic doctrine there is no real distinction in the universe of created thingsfrom their metaphysical source in Universal Spirit to the Resurrection foretold by prophetic tradition, when "the whole earth shall be His handful and the heavens shall be rolled together in His right hand" (Kor. 39, 67).
245:493 (493) Mohammed is reported to have said, "Do not think I am better than Yúnus ibn Mattá. (Jonah)."
245:495 (495-6) See note on v. 69. "Yesterday" means the Primal Covenant by which the souls, before their bodies were created, bound themselves to love God; "to-morrow" signifies the Resurrection. Time disappears in the oneness of the Essence: day is identical with night, and night with day. "The secret of 'Yea'" alludes to Kor. 7, 171: (When God said to the children of Adam) "Am not I your Lord?" and they answered, "Yea." Those who affirm the oneness of Being and deny "beside-ness," i.e. deny that anything exists beside God, know that "Yea" is the eternal Word of God, revealed and spoken by Himself to Himself.
245:497 (497) The commentator quotes two sayings ascribed to Mohammed: (a) that God said, "My mercy was before My wrath"; (b) that Hell will say to every true believer who approaches it, "Pass, O true believer, for lo, thy light hath quenched my fire."
245:498 (498) Time is not a reality except in the spiritual world where it is eternal and infinite.