Islamic Heritage of South Asia



Author: Shaikh Shah Syed Ismail Qadiri al Multani

Transmitter: Shaikh Badashah Qadiri

Compiled by: Prof. Mevlana Syed Ataulla Hussaini

Translated and condensed from Urdu by Prof. Dr. Nazeer Ahmed

KNOW THAT the third Tanazzul (Wahdiyet) is the third fixity of Reality. In this position, the divine Essence (Dhat) recognized itself with every attribute and capability because the Essence contains in it all the Asma wa Sifat (Names and attributes) whether they are collective or individual. The 99 Names of Allah are revealed at the Tanazzulat of Wahdiyet. At this position, each attribute (Sifat) is different from the other, each Name (Ism) is separated from the other, and multiplicity is exhibited in the created world.

For the sake of clarification, it may be said that the divine Essence (dhat) recognized its own attributes in three ways:

  1. Sifat e dhati: Those attributes that are not dependent on their demonstration. These are called the essential attributes. Examples: life, knowledge, intent, will, hearing, seeing, speech, life, acceptance, self-sufficiency, holiness.
  2. Sifat e Afa’li: Secondly, those attributes that can be demonstrated and whose demonstration depends on their being executed. These are called demonstratable attributes. Examples: procreation, provision of food, taking a life or preserving it.
  3. Sifat e Anfe’ali: Third, those attributes that are accepted as self-evident and are not dependent on their demonstration. For instance, life and death, createdness, sustenance (food and water).

The Sifat e dhati (essential attributes) and Sifat e Afa’li (demonstrable attributes) describe the attributes of the Creator.

The Sifat e Anfe’ali are attributes of the created world. The Sifat e Anfe’ali are also called A’yan e Thabita, Suwwar e Ilmiya, mahiyet, haqaeq e alam, Alam e M’afi, Ummahat e A’lam, Aiyena e haye wajud and A’dem.

The position of Wahdiyet has two relationships:

  1. The relationship “above” it is called “Haqaeq e Ilahiya” (Realities of the divine realm). Their existence is essential.
  2. The relationship “below} it is called “Haqaeq e Kawnia” (Realities of the Created world). Their existence is only possible and contingent.

In between these two relationships is the human.

At the position of Wahdiyet, conceptual multiplicity appears. On the surface, the names, attributes and entitites are many but they are not separated from the one Reality. Some Sufis have said that the multiplicity in the Haqeeq e Ilahiya (the divine real) is only relational, whereas the multiplicity in Haqeeq e Kawnia (the created realm) is real.

The divine Names and Attributes (Asma wa Sifat e Ilahiya) are called Khazaen e Ilahiya (the divine treasures) because every Name and Attribute has hidden in it treasures of divine commandments and divine imprints.

The Suwware Ilmiya ( divine thoughts- divine ideas) do not have an external existence (they remain only divine ideas unless they come into existence by divine command).

The Suwware Ilmiya (divine Knowledge –divine Ideas) have two aspects:

  1. One is that the Divine Ideas are the mirrors of the Reality and the Asma wa Sifat (Names and Attributes of Allah) which are embedded in those mirrors.
  2. The second is that the Reality is itself the mirror of the Divine Ideas and the Reality that is the mirror is hidden behind a curtain.

In this divine position (Wahdiyet), there are two Realities that stand out:

  1. One Reality contains the attributes of self-evidence. Examples are: freedom, action, Unicity, existence of the Essence, exaltedness. This is the mandatory Reality and refers to Allah.
  2. The second Reality contins the attributes of created beings. Examples: boundedness, non-existence, contingent existence. This Reality is one of possibilities and refers to the human and the the created world.

To manifest the Suwware Ilmiya (divine thoughts) that were possibilities (Imkani), Allah created the external world in conformance with His detailed knowledge and in accordance with the capabilities of each creation.

It should not be inferred that Wahdat and Ilahiyet are new names for the Creator (Na’woozu Billah) because not even a hint of the rank of Dhat (the divine Essence) is bestowed upon Wahdat and Ilahiyet. These are explanations and elaborations offered only to foster understanding and faith.

La ilaha Il Allah, Muhammad Rasool Allah. Wa Astaghfirullahu Rabbi wa Atoobu Ilayh.