Wahdat al Wajud (The Unity of Existence)
Shaikh Mohammed Moeenuddin Qadri, Hyderabad, Deccan
Translated and abridged from Urdu by Prof. Dr. Nazeer Ahmed
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim. Qul Hu Allahu Ahad. Allahus Samad. Lam Yalid. Wa Lam Yulad. Wa Lam Yakun Lahu Kufuwan Ahad. Sadaq Allah ul A’zeem. Wa Sadaqa Rasoolehil Kareem.
Ayan e Thabita: Ilm e Ilahi, the Knowledge of Allah
E’tebari: notional, imaginary, not real, “khyali”
Ikhtiar: Free will
Majboor: Pre-programmed, helpless
Masdari: a thing that originates from something else
Wahdat al Wajud: Unity of existence
Wajud biz Zat e Haqeeqi: (True Existence in and of itself)
Wahdat al Wajud (The Unity of Existence) means there is only one Wajud (Existence) and that is the Wajud (Existence) of Allah swt. The human Wajud is E’tebari (notional, imagined, conditional).
Allahu Ahad. Allahus Samad. Allah is One. He is Self-sufficient. The cosmos that He creates is in His Ilm (Ilm e Ilahi). It is called Ayan e Thabita. All entities that are to be created till the Judgment Day are in Ayan e Thabita.
Wajud (existence) belongs only to Allah. All else is E’tebari, notional, imagined.
Entities that are in Ayan e Thabita come into existence when they encounter their Taqdir (divine decree). Another way to say it is that entities are granted E’tebari existence when the Light of Allah falls on them.
Multiplicity belongs only in the Ilm (knowledge) of Allah. This multiplicity is reflected in the multiplicity of creation. The Source is One, that is Allah. Wajud is One, that is Allah. Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. When that Light falls on an entity that is in Ayan e Thabita, it acquires contingent existence in accordance with its ilmi Surat (appearance as conceived by Allah).
The human is neither entirely majboor (pre-programmed, helpless) nor is he entirely muqhtar (autonomous). He is majboor in certain aspects and muqhtar in certain other aspects. He is majboor for his birth, death and his own dhat (essence). He is muqhtar in his intent and his actions.
The outcome of all actions is according to the will of Allah. Every human is an individual and is individually responsible in areas where he is muqhtar, for his free will (Niyyah) and his deeds (A’mal). Therefore, he is judged by the intent in his heart and his works (Innamal A’malu Binniyah).
This is a summary of Wahdat al Wujud as developed by Shaikh ul Akbar, Ibn al Arabi (d 1240 CE).
Ma’doom and Mahsoos
The following observation is self-explanatory: Before a thing is born it is Ma’doom (not sensed). When it is born it is Mahsoos (sensed). The meaning of Ma’doom is nonexistent, or hidden. Ma’doom is the antonym of Mahsoos. It is apparent that before a man is born, he is Ma’doom and when he is bornhe immediately becomes Mahsoos. A boy is born and you see that a Wajud is before you. We ask ourselves: What made him sensed? He was in the womb of his mother and now he has become Maujood. What was it that made him Mahsoos, the absence of which had made him Ma’doom?
Reason will bear witness that there is something because of whose existence a thing that is nonexistent becomes existent. That thing (the entity/active agent) will not be E’tebari (notional, unreal, imagined) but will be Mustaqal Biz Zat (established by its own Reality). A little reflection will confirm that in the state of nonexistence, the baby in the above example was Ma’doom. He became Maujood and Mahsoos (sensed) when there was a conjunction of the external entity and the thing itself.
An explanation: If you reflect a little, you will realize that there was something that came into contact with the baby. With what did it come into contact with? The answer is: It came into contact with the entity that imparted it existence.
Before we appeared in the cosmos, we were non-existent. When we were born, we acquired our existence. So, there was some entity that interacted with us. When the two were connected (our non-existent entity (“the thing”), and the entity that interacted with us), what was nonexistent became existent and what was hidden became manifest. The essential point here is that “the thing” became sensible and existent (Mahsoos and Maujood) only when the two were connected.
Now, you ask whether the entity that made all other things existent and manifest (the humans, the mountains, the trees, fruits etc.) is Ma’doom (non-existent). That entity was also hidden. Your association with that entity made you existent. So, you conclude that the entity which bestows existence (Wajud) on nonexistent things cannot by itself be E’tebari (imaginary). E’tebari means it is not real. An E’tebari entity cannot bestow existence upon something else. The entity that bestows existence must be Mustaqal biz Zat, in other words, Allah swt. Mustaqal biz Zat means it exists by its own essence. Its Wajud is not from anyone else. It did not originate for anything else. That entity is Mustaqal biz Zat.
It follows that the Wajud which is discussed here is not Masdari (a thing that originates from something else). For instance, we are Masdari. The existence (Wajud) through which we acquire our own existence (Wajud) is the real Wajud. Wajud e Masdari is notional and imaginative. For example, when you look at the sky and the earth, it appears that the sky is “above” and the earth is “below” whereas, in fact, the sky surrounds the earth all around. The imagination in your mind is called Intezari. So, we say that our Wajud is notional, illusory and imaginative. The entity from which we acquire our own existence is not notional, illusory and Masdari; it is Wajud biz Zat e Haqeeqi (True Existence in and of itself). As soon as we were connected with Wajud biz Zat e Haqeeqi, we were born. It is just us but all things in the cosmos, inanimate beings, elements, animals, humans, all of them came into existence when they were connected with the Real Wajud, Wajud biz Zat, meaning Allah swt. Summarily, when we were “connected with” Allah swt (when the Light of Allah shined upon us) we came into existence.
Next, if we consider an entity to be Ma’doom, it would be impossible for that Ma’doom entity to bestow existence upon some other thing. If anything is from Ma’doom, it must be Ma’doom bil Haith, a thought that has emerged from Ma’doom. It is therefore necessary that the other entity be Mustaqal biz Zat.
That other entity cannot be Masdari. In other words, that other Wajud is not imagined and notional but established and certain so that it can impart existence to a thing that is Ma’doom. The primal Wajud is Mustaqal biz Zat. It is the Wajud of Allah swt. It is not notional, Imagined; it is real.
The explanation is as follows: Wherever there is a mention of Wajud, it means only one Wajud, namely,
Allah swt. The Wajud through which we acquired our own Wajud must be Mustaqal biz Zat (established by and of itself). It will not be Masdari, not extracted from anything else. Remember this terminology.
Ma Behal Maujoodiat means that through which the objects in the cosmos become existent. In other words, it is Allah swt. So, Allah swt is called Ma Behal Maujoodiat (the reason for our existence). He is the reason for the existence of the sun, the moon, the universe and everything in it. It is Allah’s Wajud which is pristine, true and existent of and by itself and it is called Ma Behal Maujoodiat. Although it is hard to understand its reality, we can at least comprehend that at the moment a nonexistent object becomes existent, there is an entity that interacts with it and bestows upon it its existence. Now we understand the meaning of Wajud. Whenever you say Wajud, it is only the Wajud of Allah swt.
We do not have Wajud. Our Wajud is Masdari, Wahmi, Khiyali. We are totally dependent on Allah swt in our existence. When He so willed it, we came into existence. When we had a connection with Him, we appeared. His Wajud cannot be Wahmi, Khayali; it must be the real Wajud.
Whenever a thing comes into existence, it brings with it two items: one, the thing that is acquiring existence, the other the entity that gave it existence. For instance, a child is born whose name is Zaid, he has two things with him. One is an entity Zaid who was hitherto nonexistent but now has becomeexistent. The other entity is that which bestowed existence to Zaid. What is that entity? That entity is the real Wajud, Ma Behal Maujoodiat. It is what gives Wajud to others.
We are beginning to understand the issues regarding existence. Zaid is born and you become aware that he is born. How could he be born? Was he born by himself? No. Allah gave him life. So, you understand that if you take out Allah, that is, if you take out the Real Existence, then everything becomes Ma’doom (non-existent). There would be no Zaid, no mountain, no trees, nothing. It is that Real Wajud that is making you manifest.. Zaid is here only because of the light from the Real Wajud.
Now, there is a question that appears in your mind. There are a limitless number of things in the
Universe, the stars, the moon, the sun. the stars, the galaxies, the birds, the sects, the mountains and the trees. The existence of all of these is notional. They acquire their existence through Ma Behal Maujoodiat which is Allah swt.
We have now understood the condition of the existence of the world, namely, if you take your eyes off of the real Wajud then everything is Ma’doom (nonexistent). Wajud is only through His grace. Here it is necessary to remember that there are an infinite number of things in the universe. We see that in their appearance, they are different and each one is excellent in its own way. Is the reason for their variety Wajud or Ma’doom?
There is multiplicity in the universe. There are billions of entities in th world but the Light that imparts them existence is from a Single Source. One entity is a tree, another is a mountain, one is a river, another is an ocean, one is the moon, the other a star. They are all separate and different, one from the other. Is the Mansha’ (origin) of this great multiplicity Wajud or Ma’doom? It is certainly not Ma’doom because Ma’doom (non-existence) cannot impart existence to an entity. The origin is Behal Maujoodiat. It is from Allah. There is only one Wajud and that is Allah swt. He is One, Indivisible, Self-Sufficient. The multiplicity in the things of the world only reflects the multiplicity in His Ma’dumat (knowledge), not in His Wajud.
Why is there multiplicity in the world? The multiplicity is there because there is multiplicity in Ilm e Ilahi.
All the entities in the universe and all the entities that will appear till the Day of Judgment are a part of Ma’lumat e Ilahi. Whenever an entity meets up with Ma’lumat e Ilahi, it acquires its existence. Where is the multiplicity? The multiplicity is in Ayan e Thabita.
There is no multiplicity in Real Existence. Multiplicity is in things. When these things, and this is true of all things till the Judgment Day, meet with A’yan e Thabita they acquire their existence. There is no multiplicity in Ma Behal Maujoodiat because its characteristic is that whatever Ma’doom it meets, it makes it Maujood. It follows that multiplicity is in those things that are nonexistent. They were in Ilm e Ilahi which contains all things from the beginning till the Judgment Day together with their specific attributes. When ilm emanates from Ma’lumat e Ilahi, it becomes existent at the time prescribed by Allah swt. So, where is the multiplicity? It is Ilm e Ilahi or Ma’lumat e Ilahi.
Categories of Ashya e Ma’doomat and their distinction in Non-existence
Here is a subtle statement: The nonexistent that became existent was not nonexistent (Gair Ma’doom) in their state of nonexistence (‘Adem).
Let us elaborate. Zaid was just born. He was Ma’doom before he was born. At the predetermined time for him to be born, Qudrat (Allah’s power) turned towards him. So, Zaid was born and became existent. Similarly, all the things from now until the Day of Judgement which are in Ilm e Ilahi, when they meet up with the Qudrat of Allah as predetermined by Allah, will be born and come into this world. Thus, there is multiplicity concerning things in ilm e ilahi.
The essence is one. There is multiplicity in the knowledge of that essence. Because of this multiplicity there is ziyadati (increase in the number of things). All things that are to appear until the Judgment Day will appear when they meet up with Allah’s Qudrat. The Qudrat will bring them into being and make them Maujood as predetermined at the onset of time.
Ma’doom e Mumtaz and Ma’doom e Mahez
Now we ask: Are things that are Ma’doom non-existent?
To answer this question, the Shaikh offers the example of a house you want to build on a plot of land. You first prepare a drawing which shows the plan and elevation. You build it according to your plan and it becomes Maujood. First it was Ma’doom and after completion it became Maujood. What was in your mind is called Ma’doom e Mumtaz. The house was Ma’doom but it was Mumtaz. If there is a neighboring plot about which you do not have any plans, it is called Ma’doom e Mahez. It is completely Ma’doom. You had no intention of constructing anything on it. The plot that you bought with the intent to construct a house on, prepared a detailed plan, then constructed it, was the house that became Maujood in accordance with the requirements of what you had thought. If there is another plot in which you had no intention of construction, it is called Ma’doom e Mahez in Tasawwuf. It does not exist in ilm e ilahi.
All things that are in ilm e ilahi are Ma’doom but they can be Mumtaz. The word Mumtaz is used becausethey were in ilm e ilahi. We had said in an earlier session when Allah conjured up His cosmos, (Kuntu Kanzan Magfiyan Fa Khalaqtu Khalqa), when He willed that He be known, He prepared a map of the cosmos. All entities in the cosmos along with their requirements came into His knowledge at the blink of an eye. All of these entities were Ma’doom but were Mumtaz and were born. But those entities that are not in His knowledge were not born and will not be born. The entities that are in Ilm e ilahe, meet up with Qudrat at their appointed time and come into existence. Such entities were Ma’doom but Mumtaz. They were not Mutlaq Ma’doomat (confirmed nonexistences).
There are two items that are present in Maujood. One is Wajud, the other is Ayan e Thabita (the Knowledge of Allah). Ayan e Thabita is Ilm e Ilahi, the knowledge of Allah. When Allah swt willed the creation of the cosmos, then all entities that were to be created came into Ayan e Thabita. They were Ma’doom but they were not Ma’doom e Mahez. They were Mumtaz (meaning, preferred by virtue of the fact that they were in Ilm e Ilahi or Ayan e Thabita). They acquire their Wajud (come into existence) when they meet up with Qudrat (when Allah so will it).
Ayan e Thabita includes all of the particular attributes of an entity, such as, whether a person is good or bad, generous or tight fisted. An entity that is in Ayan e Thabita acquires its existence when Allah swt grants it Wajud at an appointed time. The multiplicity of existence is due to the multiplicity of Ayan e Thabita. Otherwise the soul of Wajud is One.
The manifestation of Ayan e Thabita (Ilm e Ilahi) is through Wajud. Examine the vast panorama of the world, the earth, water, air, the sky etc. In this vast collection of entities, there is Wajud but the Ayan e Thabita for each entity is different. Wajud is one and only one. When it connects with the various entities it brings them into existence in accordance wit their Ilmi Surat (conceived appearance).
Some people misunderstood this concept and made fun of it. They said Allah is everywhere – hama oost. Na’woozu billah, they said that it means even those who sell their bodies are also Allah. They interpreted it this way because of their lack of knowledge. The fact is that if you think about it, the matter will be clear to you. The meaning of Ayan e Thabita is different from the twist given to it by its detractors. Ilm e Ilahi (the Knowlede of Allah) contains everything including information about who becomes what. For instance, it may be that Zaid will be a pious man. Does Allah not know who is to appear till the Judgment Day and what he will do on earth? Everything is in His knowledge. Ilm e Ilahi contains everything about everyone till the Judgment Day, including, when he will be born and what he will become.
Ilm e Ilahi is not Jabr (compulsion). Allah swt created you, sent you guidance through books and guides. Even then, if you do wrong, you are responsible for your actions. Allah gave Ikhtiar (free will) to the human in some matters and withheld it in other matters. For instance, He kept the decision for life and death to Himself. He decides when someone is born and when someone dies. However, He gave you Ikhtiyar in certain things. You have the Ikhtiyar in your intentions and your deeds but the outcome of the deed is in Allah’s hands. If you have the intention of doing good then Innamal A’malu Bin Niyah. You will be asked only about that on which you were given Ikhtiyar. If you were Majboor (pre-programmed, helpless), you will not be asked about it.
So, the objections that some people have to the idea of Wahdat al Wajud are without basis. We say that Wajud e Haqeeqi is only Allah. There is a blanket of Light (the Noor of Allah) on all things in the cosmos. The blanket of Light makes them manifest. When that light falls on us, we acquire our contingent existence. He made us manifest and He hid himself behind the veils of His Asma wa Sifaat.
The capabilities and attributes given to you from Allah swt are manifest in Ayan e Thabita. The Ayan e Thabita has the capability of every person. There is no Jabr from Allah in what a person does. Your deeds are in accordance with your will and you will be entitled to reward and punishment. If a person does wrong by his will he will face punishment.
I want to emphasize that you are dependent on Allah for your Wajud (for your existence). With regards to your deeds, some of your deeds are through your own choice, others are beyond your control. You will not be asked about the Acts of God that are beyond your control. You are Ma Bain Jabr Wa Qadr (In between Jabr and Qadr). You are neither Jabriya nor Qadriya. You are responsible only for what you choose and you earn the reward for following Amr wa Nahau (following what is prescribed and avoiding what is forbidden). What is in Ayan e Thabita is consistent with your capability. Everything that you will do is in Ayan e Thabita (ilm e ilahi). Allah knows what every person will do and will not do in accordance with his capability that is in Ayan e Thabita. Allah imparts Wajud to the cosmos through His Noor just as visible light imparts visibility to an invisible world. Our opponents distort these things.
It is clear that your deeds are in the knowledge of Allah. The deeds of those who will come after you till the Judgment Day are also in the knowledge of Allah. To repeat, this is called Ayan e Thabita, or the Knowledge of Allah, in the terminology of Tasawwuf. Ayan e Thabita contains the deeds of all the people who will be born till the Judgement Day. The Ayan e Thabita for every person is separate and distinct. The manifestations and essential attributes of a person are documented in his Ayan e Thabita. Wajud occurs when Ayan e Thabita meet up with Taqdir.
Allah swt warns you that if you obey him and his commandments you earn His favor, and if you disobey Him and do what is forbidden, you will earn His wrath. And He tells you all of this in accordance with His knowledge. He did not force you (make you majboor).
Q: Does everything that is in Ayan e Thabita become Maujood? Secondly, is everything that is in Ayan e
Thabita written in Luh e Mahfooz (the Preserved Tablet)?
Ans. Whatever is in Ayan e Thabita will be Maujood (become manifest). That is in ilm e ilahi (Knowledge of Allah). When Allah swt willed to create the cosmos, all of creation that is to be created till the Judgment Day came into His knowledge. He is the Creator. The expanse of His creation is unimaginable.
The Qur’an says that all things came within His knowledge in the blink of an eye. Whatever anyone or anyone is to be, only that which is in the Knowledge of Allah will come into being.
Q: A house can have several alternate plans. Can there be alternate plans in Ayan e Thabita and can all of the alternate plans come into being?
Ans: No. The construction of a house was offered only by way of an example. The final approved plan is the only one that is built. Similarly, only that which is Mumtaz comes into being. This is only by way an explanation. Ma’dum e Mahez is like a house that was thought of but was never built. One of the houses you thought of was Ma’dum but it became Mumtaz because you desired to build your house in accordance with it. You may have five or ten plans but only one is Mumtaz; all the others are Ma’dum e Mahez. Similarly, wewere all in Ilm e Ilahi. If we were not in Ilm e Ilahi, we would not be born. The Hadith Kuntu Kansan Makhfiya Fa Khalakhtu Khalqa….I was an unknown treasure and I willed that I be known. So, He willed to create the cosmos. All the people who are to be born till the Day of Judgement and all the things came into His knowledge. When we came into Ilm e Ilahi, we became Mumtaz. Not Maujood yet. There may be people who will come a thousand years after us. We do not know when Youmul Qiyamat will be. All these people are in Ilm e Ilahi. Only those who are in Ilm e Ilahi will be born. Those who are not yet born are Ma’dum but they are Mumtaz. Why? Because they are in Ilm e Ilahi. In Sufi terminology, those who are in Ilm e Ilahi will be born. Those who are not in Ma’lumat e Ilahi will not be born.
Q. The knowledge of Allah swt (Ilm e Ilahi) is much greater than Ayan e Thabita, isn’t it?
Ans. Yes. We are discussing it only with respect to the cosmos. If someone asks you about the cosmos you answer is that this is duniya and this is Akhira. We are in A’lam e Shahadat. After it comes Alam e Akhira. What are our limits? Our limits are this world and the world to come, A’lam e Shahada and A’lam e Akhira. We have no connection to anything else in Ilm e Ilahi. When you study a man’s life, you may observe that he spends his life, does good things, and thinks that his Akhira will be good, he will enter Jannah and partake of its blessings.
The world that we are in is Darul Amal (The world of deeds). It is a place of trial. The requirements for a place of trial have been shown to us. After this world, what is Darul Jaza? How can a person encompass it? That is boundless. I had said to you earlier that Dhat e Ilahi is limitless. But our concern is only with duniya and akhira and that is all we consider and study. We have been created to know our Creator and worship Him. It has been shown to us what our responsibilities are. Our responsibility is to recognize our Creator. How do you recognize Him? You cultivate closeness to Him. The closeness, namely, Ma’rifat e Ilahi, is limitless. The Prophet is the closest to Allah swt in all the worlds. Our responsibility is to get close to Him according to our ability and cultivate knowledge about Him. What kind of closeness can be cultivated, what are deeds that Allah will accept and bring us close to Him? We should discuss only what concerns that limit us. What is Ilm e Ilahi? There is no power on earth that can circumscribe the knowledge of Allah. It is limitless. So, to answer what is the limit of Ilm e Ilahi is beyond he capability of any human.
It has been said that whatever things there are, Allah spreads a blanket of Noor over them. It is His blanket of Noor. When he spread the blanket then those things that were in darkness became manifest.
Al Noor is a Name of Allah swt. Here is an important part of the philosophy of the Sufis. I am seeing you.
How am I seeing you? According to the spiritual description of the Sufis, there is a ray of light emanating from my eyes. This ray of light is falling on your face. In between there is al Haq, namely, Allah swt. He is making you manifest. This is a profound observation. It is to be pondered over. As Ali (r ) said: “I do not see anything unless I see the Truth”.
I will present to you two Ayahs from the Quran in this discussion. One is Allahu Noorus samawatai wal ard. Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. Is there any space where Allah is not present? He is present everywhere. He is the One who makes everything manifest. He circumscribes the entire cosmos. The second second Ayah is: Wa nahnu aqrabu ilaihi bil hablul Wareed (We are closer to him than his jugular vein). What is the meaning of this? Some people say thatthe a’bd and ma’bud are separate. He is Qadir e Mutlaq (Omnipotent) and we are nothing in Hispresence. Our Wajud is notional. We have His Noor with us through which we are manifest. We were Ma’doom. When Noor e Ilahi appeared, we appeared. After we appeared we showed our works to theworld .This philosophy of hama oost (he is everywhere) is an explanation of the Qur’an and this is whatwe are studying. This is wahdatul Wajud. Wajud is One. We are possible, notional, imaginary. There is acouplet of a Sufi poet (in Urdu):
Pata lagaye koyi kya kahe pate ka pata
Mere pete ka pata hai ke la pata hum maiN
If a man dies, you ask him where he is, he cannot speak, so you ask someone else: Where is he? You say you have Wajud, I am here, I am visible. OK. You are here but for how long? For how many years? A hundred years? Where are you after that? Where is the man who has passed away? Allahu baqi wa min kullu fani. He is everlasting and eternal. The manifestations and essential attributes of every person are all inscribed in Ilm e Ilahi. They are not related to Wajud and if at all there is any connection it is that their appearance is impossible without Wajud.
What is pointed out here that the sinful things you are doing are not connected with the One who gave you Wajud. Allah gave you Wajud and gave you Ikhtiyar (choice, free will) in your intent and your deeds. Your attributes and manifestations were in Ayan e Thabita. In other words, He is not responsible for whether you do good or bad. He is the Malik. He is Qadir e Mutlaq. He made the cosmos with a system so that He rewards the good and punishes the evil. This is Mash’iat e Ilahi and we cannot interfere with it. You cannot say that that what you are doing is the responsibility of the One who gave you Wajud. He gave you Wajud and He gave you guidance and Ikhtiyar in your intent and deeds. This is a different subject. Our subject is that you were Ma’dum and you are now Maujood. You were in darkness and now you are in Light. Once you are Maujood, you will receive your compensation for good and evil on the Day of Judgment. The Maujudiyet of everything is predicated upon Him. The worldly experience of the Shariah cannot be imputed to dhat e ilahi but the meaning is sometimes displaced.
The followig reasoning is acceptable to the mind. All of cosmos is Ma’doom and if it Maujood it is because it has a connection with Wajud. If that connection is cut, you cannot make it Maujood. The human is a combine of the Ruh and the body. If He pulls out the Ruh we become Ma’doom. Whatever is manifest is only Wajud because the nonexistence cannot make itself manifest by virtue of its nonexistence.
What is pointed out here is Allahu Haq. He alone is Baqi. Our Wajud is dependent on His decision. We are alive as long as He wills. When He takes the Ruh we are gone. You may say you will be resurrected on the Judgment Day with appearances, clothes etc., on the Judgement Day but that is a different subject. If we are discussing this world, we know we will disappear after death and we will not be visible in the world. The dead person is not visible to you.
The essence of this session is that Allah is Wahdatul Wajud. He was always there and will always be there. If anything is manifest, it is only Wajud since a thing that is nonexistent cannot by itself be manifest. If it is manifest it is only because of its connection with Wajud. His Spirit is the connection with
Wajud. Qul ir Ruhui min amr rabbi (Tell them that the Ruh is the business of your Sustainer). As long as you are with the Ruh, you are alive. When the Ruh leaves, you are finished. Then what remains? What
remains is Allah. If a thing has zuhoor (manifest) it is through its association with Wajud. When the Sufiya say Wahdat al Wajud, they mean the Wajud is ever lasting, eternal. It was, it is and it will be. Our
Wajud is our relationship with His Wajud. He created the relationship. As to how many years this relationship lasts is His decision. We are Maujood because of His Wajud. His Wajud is Biz Dhat. Our Wajud is Biz Arz . These are two terms of tasawwuf. Allah is Maujood Bizzat. He is not begotten nor does He beget. He exists by Himself. We are Bil Arz. We were born when someone gave us birth. Our Wajud is Masdari (dependent on someone else). Since our existence is dependent on Wajud, a human can call himself fani and nonexistent. His relationship with Wajud is special and if his vision turns towards Wajud then the panorama of hama oost unfolds. Hama oost means only He is everywhere. It is for this reason that the elders of faith who are the inheritors of both types of knowledge, for instance, Shaikh Afdhal (may Allah be pleased with him), have said: Ma anta huwa bal anta huwa (I am not, there is only He). Wajud is Wahid and the elders of faith have said hama oost and its reality is Ayan e Thabita which is presented here.
If anyone says that we do not need to pray then such a person is a disbeliever before the Sufiya as Allah swt has clearly said ma khlaqtul jinna wal ins illa leyabudoon. There are repeated injunctions to offer prayers. Such a person cannot benefit from Wahdat al Wajud. If the meaning of Wahdat al Wajud was as they propound, there would bevno punishment in this world. There is only one Wajud in duniya and akhirat. Personal opinions cannot change this. Yes, it is another matter that with excellence of prayer you can reach a station where a person becomes His sama wa basar but this has no relationship to Wahdat al Wajud. That station is a fruit of excellence in prayer.
In other words, the Shaikh is emphasizing that if you say : My Wajud is only of Allah, not mine and therefore my sins are not punishable, that is wrong. It is through a relationship with Wajud that you are Maujood. If you are dependent for your Wajud on Allah, the injunctions wa Aqeemus Salat wa Atuz Zakat are in no way affected and you will definitely be punished if you sin. If you do good you will benefit. If you say that Wahdatal Wajud was the Wajud of Allah and I had no Wajud, it is wrong. It is true you got your Wajud from Allah but as long as you are in the world you also accepted responsibilities. We see in the world that fire burns, things that are harmful do harm, So, we have to understand that wahdatal Wajud is one Wajud . It has to be taken in the sense that the Wajud that we received was due to the Wajud of Allah swt and we became manifest. Wahdatul Wajud means He is eternal, al Hayy, He is hama oost. We are alive for a limited period and it is incumbent upon us to perform good deeds and make them so excellent that we become worthy of Jannah and escape from the great fire.
This is an exposition of Wahdat al Wajud. One cannot doubt it because the following two Ayahs of the Quran are Muhkam (established) and not from mutashabihat: Allahu Noorus samawat e wal ard (Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth) and wa nahnu alaihi bil hablil wareed ( I am closer to you than your jugular vein). Allah is with us to the extent of Wajud. Guidance is something else. Action is another matter.
This is the philosophy of Wahdatal Wajud. There are gradations beyond it. It propounds Wahdatas Shuhood. I will say a few words about Wahdatas Shuhood. The proponents of Wahdatas Shuhud say that Allah and His makhlooq are separate. In contrast, the proponents of Wahdatal Wajud say that the human is notional, imaginary. Otherwise, there is none but Allah.
The proponents of Wahdatal Wajud say that the wave that is visible from the shores is of a certainty imaginary but the ocean itself is the Truth. The proponents of Wahdat as Shuhud say that the ocean and the wave are separate. In Wahdatas Shuhud, Wajud is Waqayi (the truth). In Wahdatal Wajud the imagination is one.
The evidence for Wahdatal Wajud is as follows: You make a chessboard of wax. You make different pieces from the wax. These pieces are E’tebari. The reality is the wax. Similarly, you make vessels from clay. You make different pieces. But their reality is clay. These are Tai’yunat. The chess pieces as well as the pottery pieces are Tai’yunat. You have fixed the shape but the reality of each piece is wax or clay. In Tai’yunat you say this piece is a pawn, this one is a knight, this other one is a rook and so on. Similarly, Wahdatal Wajud holds that Allah is present in everything and He is the Truth. He has given us life. We are notional, imaginary. We are the E’tebar of Allah. But in this E’tebari world it is necessary to act. He has given us Ikhtiyar in our intent and our actions. He has written in the heavenly book, the Qur’an that we must establish prayer and give zakat. As long as have the Wajud, we must be aware of what is prescribed and what is forbidden.
Wa akhirut da’wana alhamdu lillahi rabbil alameen. Wa salatu was salamu ala sayyedul mursaleen Wal
hamdu lillahi Rabbil alameen. Al Fateha.