Islamic Heritage of South Asia

Tanazzulat: (The Decent of Divine Grace) – Wahdat


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

Wahdat, the First Descent

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim (In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)

Allah swt declares:

“I was a hidden treasure (In other words, all the attributes were hidden under the power of His Essence). I willed that I be known. So I created a creation (that would know Me).”

The manifestation of Reality is found in the Tay’unat (fixities) and is witnessed by the A’rifeen (people of inner knowledge). It is witnessed in two ways:

  1. When the Dhat (Essence) descends into Asma (The Divine Names) or Arwayh (The Spirit), the A’rif (person of inner knowledge) first witnesses it and then looks at the state of its manifestation in the Tay’unat (fixities. Then, the Arif witnesses how it is encapsulated in the Tay’unat (fixities), whether the fixities are named or unnamed. This is the witness of the sages of the highest attainment. It was the witness of Hazrath Abu Bakr Siddique (r), as he said:

             “I did not witness anything unless I first witnessed Allah”.

  • The second witness is the perception of the limitless Essence between Tay’un and Tajalli (between fixity and its manifestation) whether it be with witnessing the Essence of the fixity or after witnessing the fixity. This is the witness of Hazrath Utham (r) who said:

                     “I did not witness anything unless I saw Allah with it”.

The fixities of this Reality are limitless. However, they can be grouped into six categories.

  • Two of these categories are hidden because both the Essence and Non-essence are absent from them. Nothing is manifest in its reality in these two hidden categories and no entity has the privilege of manifestation. The first hidden category attains its hidden Tay’un (fixity) from Ghaib (the Hidden). Similarly, the second hidden category attains its hidden Tay’un (fixity) from Ghaib (the Hidden).
    • The next three categories are “Koni” (derived from the verb ‘kun”, the verb to be, which is the divine command for creation).
    • The sixth category embraces all the categories.

The First Fixity, or the First Manifestation of Reality is that He “found Himself” and declared,“I am” (Ana), and all creation came into His knowledge.

It is apparent that the un-manifested cosmos is not separate from Reality. The universe is not separate from the Essence. The Essence has the power and the capability to manifest the cosmos. 

The Essence (dhat) contains all the Asma wa Sifat (the Names and the Attributes of Allah). For instance, the attribute “All-Hearing” (As Samee’) is not separate from “All-powerful” (Al Qadir). In other words, no single divine Name is separate from the other. Multiplicity, whether real or imaginary, is not manifest at the station of Essence. All the worlds are nonexistent here.   

When the Essence found its own Existence, and said “Ana” (I am), then four entities came into being: Dhat al Wajud, Sifat e Ilm, Ism e Noor and Fa’el e Shuhood.

  1. The Existence of the Essence (dhat e wajud). In other words, He “found Himself: by declaring “Ana” (I am). The Essence is by itself the Exisence.
  2. The attribute of Knowledge (Ilm).
  3. Noor or Light. When His Light manifested upon Himself, He was to manifest to Himself. The manifestation is Noor

Some elders have called “Anaya” (the “I” in I am) as the Noor.

  • The act of Witness (Shuhood). In other words, when He saw Himself, He witnessed Himself. This is called Shuhood.

The First Fixity (Ta’yun e Awwal) is also called Wahdata e Haqeeqi, Martabul Jama’ wal Wajud, Martabaye Jamiya, Ahdiyet Jamiya, Ahdiyet Jama’, Muqam e Jama’, Haqeeqatul Haqaeq, Barzaq ul Baraziq, Barzaq e Kubra, Haqeeqat e Muhammadiya, Aql e Awwal, Halm q A’la, Ruh e A’zam, and Tajalli e Awwal.

The Wahdat (Unicity) is worthy of the Dhat. At the position of Dhat , nasoot is not preferred over malakut (which is a station of the Spirit), malakut is not preferred over jabaroot (which is a station of Sifat), and jabroot is not preferred over lahut (which is a station of dhat).

Wahdat has two foundational concepts or ideas (E’tebarat):

  1. Ahdiyet. No concept (idea, thought, notion) is present or absent in this Dhat (Essence).  Looked at from different perspective, the integration (amalgamation) of all concepts (ideas, thoughts, notions, perceptions) is present in this Dhat (Essence). (It should be noted that) all concepts (ideas, thoughts, notions, perceptions) and attributes are associated with one and only one Essence.
  3. Wahdiyet.  There are unlimited notions (thoughts, ideas) in this Dhat (Essence). The manifestation of Essence, its existence, its beginning and its presence are related to this idea. This is the Dhat (Essence) that is with all ideas and attributes. Wahed (Unicity) is an evidentiary Name.

There is no “otherness” in these two ideas. The presence or absence of evidence makes no difference to the Essence. 

Wahdat is the Unicity of the Essence which recognizes itself without conditions. It is the first manifestation of Dhat. Ahdat and Wahediyet are its two aspects just as the lover and the beloved are two aspects of love; both would disappear in the absence of love. In the same way, Ahdiyet is above Wahdat and Wahediyet is below Wahdat. Wahdat is like a bridge between the two.

This Wahdat is also called Tajalliye Awwal, Tanazzul e Awwal, Haqeeqatul Haqaeq, Barzaq e Kubra, Asal ul Barasiq, Aw Adna and Alif.

Sadaq Allah u Azeem Wa Sadaqa Rassolehil Kareem.