Author: Hazrath Shah Syed Ismail Qadri al Multani al Ma’ruf
Transmitter: Hazrath Badashah Qadri
Compiled by: Prof. Mevlana Syed Ataulla Hussaini
Professor, Jamia Nizamiya, Hyderabad, Deccan
Translated from Urdu by Prof. Dr. Nazeer Ahmed, California
Tanazzulat (The Descent of Divine Grace)
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim (In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)
The stations of prayer (hamd), all of them, are only for Allah who exists by His own essence and has bestowed existence on the cosmos. And SA’lam and Darood be on the Crown of Creation (Peace be upon him) whose Reality is the unity of essence and the core of the cosmos, and upon his family and all of his companions (may Allah be pleased with them) who are the guides for both Shariah and Tareeqa and are masters of Reality (Haqeeqat) and Inner Knowledge (Ma’rifat).
The First Position
The Pristine State (Martab e Oola)
Listen! When there was nothing, neither water nor dust, neither air nor fire, neither the earth nor the sky, neither trees nor stones, no animals – then, there was one Reality that was existent on its own. In Arabic it is called “Huwiyet”. In Farsi it is called “Hastee”. In Dakhni it is called “Hai Pun”. Some elders also call it “Love” (Ishq).
This Reality was free of any constraints and its attributes and perfections were hidden at this station. Due to its self-perfection, it was not oriented in any direction. It was present to itself. It was not turned towards “the other” because there was no “other”. All of its attributes were contained within itself. Therefore, at this station, none of its names or attributes were manifest. There was no relationship or increase (or decrease), It was beyond the attributes of hidden or manifest. At this station, one cannot even talk about the Creator or the created. Some elders have called this station “Allah”. Many of the Sufi masters have called it only an allusion to a Name because there is no limit to language; you can give this Reality any name you want. However, there is no benefit in giving it a name because the intent of giving a name is to understand and teach and here the situation is without “fixity” (ta’yun). One can neither find this Reality nor understand, see or comprehend it. If this is the situation, then, why use language? It (the Reality) cannot be contained in words no matter how many names you give it.
That Reality transcends creation due to its Unicity because the Essence, by its very nature, considers existence and non-existence to be the same. It does not desire to exist and it is not inclined towards non-existence. This (level of) transcendence is specific only to the Essence (Dhat). No one, not even a wali (sage) or a prophet can comprehend this Reality at this position because this Reality, due to its primal unfettered freedom desires not to be known or constrained (by understanding). It is a compulsion of knowledge that seeks to understand the object of knowledge (which is not possible at this station).
It is therefore true wisdom to shy away from seeking a comprehension of the station of Essence. To exert oneself in investigating the “Essence” without recourse to fixities (ta’yunat), names (Asma’), attributes (Sifat) and manifestations (Mazahir) is a waste of one’s life. It is reaching out for the impossible. Such inner knowledge (ma’rifat) is forbidden to anyone but Himself. It is sufficient to know that there was a Reality other than the cosmos from which the cosmos became manifest.
The cosmos is a vehicle for the reflection of the beauty of the transcendent Reality that lies beyond the cosmos.
That Reality, in its own state, is beyond fixity. No single fixity is appropriate for it. In any given state, it takes on a fixity in accordance with that state. It captures and is captured without being altered in any way. It is collective as well as individual, common as well as specific, single as well as multiple. Shaikh al Junaid (may Allah be pleased with him) has said: Al Aan Kama Kaan. In other words, Allah is as He was.
This station of Essence is also called Ghaib e Huwiyet (the hidden essence of He), Ghaib al Ghuyub (the hidden of the Most Hidden), Ibtan Kul Batin (the womb of all that is hidden), Huwiyet Mutlaqa (the essential aspect of He), La Ta’yun (non-fixity), Ayn ul Kafur (the Essence of the musk), Dhaat e Sazid (the Essence of the most complex), Munqata al Isharat (the limit of allusion), Munqat al Wajdan (the limit of inquiry), Ahdiyate Mutlaqa (the essential Unicity), Mujhul ul Naat (devotional praise for the One who is not known), A’nqa (the priceless jewel), Nuqta (the dot) and Ganje Maqfi (the hidden treasure).
The Second Position
Tanazzul e Awwal: (The First Decent) Wahdat
Allah (swt) declares:
“I was a hidden treasure (In other words, all the divine 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 what is reflected in creation, namely, in the Tay’unat (fixities), and is witnessed by the A’rifeen (people of inner knowledge). It is witnessed in two ways in the reflections and the fixities:
- 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 witnessed 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 while witnessing the Essence of the fixity or after witnessing the fixity. This is the witness of Hazrath Uthman (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 the Essence and the Non-essence are both 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 the Ghaib (the Hidden). Similarly, the second hidden category attains its hidden Tay’un (fixity) from the 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 the unmanifested cosmos 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 capacity to manifest the cosmos.
The Essence (Dhat) contains all the Asma wa Sifat (the Names and the Attributes of Allah) without manifesting them. 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. This is a “absolute” station. 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.
- The Essence of Existence (Dhat al wajud). In other words, He “found Himself: by declaring “Ana” (I am). The Essence is by itself the Existence.
- The attribute of Knowledge (Ilm). The knowledge is the attribute.
- Noor or Light. When His Light manifested upon Himself, He became to manifest to Himself. This 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 (the True Unity), Martabul Jama’ wal Wajud (the Station of Summation and Existence), Martabay e Jamiya (the Station of Summation), Ahdiyet Jamiya (the Utter Unity), Ahdiyet Jama’ (the Integrated Unity), Muqam e Jama’(The Station of Integration), Haqeeqatul Haqaeq (the Reality of Realities), Barzaq ul Baraziq (the Bridge of Bridges), Barzaq e Kubra (the Greatest Bridge), Haqeeqat e Muhammadiya (the Reality of Muhammed), Aql e Awwal (The First Intellec, Qalm e A’la (the Lofty Pen), Ruh e A’zam (the Great Spirit), and Tajalli e Awwal (the First Manifestation).
This Wahdat (Unicity) is worthy of the Dhat. At this station , Nasoot (th material world) is not preferred over Malakut (which is a station of the Spirit), Malakut is not preferred over Jabroot (which is a station of Sifat), and Jabroot is not preferred over Lahut (which is a station of Dhat).
Wahdat has two foundational concepts, ideas, or notions (E’tebarat):
- Ideas where the evidence is subsumed. In other words, at this Station, all beliefs, notions, ideas, concepts are rejected in relation to Dhat (the Essence). This is Ahdiyet. In other words, the Essence is where all notions, ideas, concepts are vanquished. From this perspective, the Essence has been called Ahad (the unqualified Unicity). From another perspective, the Essence is where all notions, ideas and concepts have been removed. For this reason, the origin, freedom and appearance of Dhat are predicted upon this perspective.
- Ideas where the evidence is embraced. There are unlimited notions in this Dhat (Essence). This is the Dhat (Essence) that is with all ideas and attributes. There is a name for the Dhat that is together with all notions and attributes: it is Wahed. Wahed (Unicity) is an evidentiary Name; it does not capture and absorb all notions. The appearance, existence and eternity of this Dhat is predicataed upon this perspective.
There is no “otherness” in these two ideas. The presence or absence of evidence makes no difference to the Essence. There is no active multiplicity in Wahdat (Unicity). Therefore, Wahdat is the Unicity of Essence which knows itself without any evidentiary notions or rejected notions. At the Station of Essence, the presence or absence of rejected notions or evidentiary notions makes no difference.
Thus, it is the first manifestation of Essence, It is related to both Ahdiat and Wahdiat. If there was no Wahdat, these relations would not exist either.
Wahdat is the Unicity of the Essence which recognizes itself without conditions. As an illustration, love has two relational aspects, namely, the lover and the beloved. They would both 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 (the First Manifestation), Tanazzul e Awwal (the First Descent), Haqeeqatul Haqa’eq (the Reality of Realities), Barzaq e Kubra (the Greatest Bridge), Asal ul Baraziq (the Actual Bridge), Aw Adna (“Or Less” as in Qaba Qawsain Aw Adna in the Qur’an) and Alif (the first letter formed by the elongation of the dot).
The Third Position
The Second Descent: Wahdiyet
The second Descent (Tanazzul) is the second fixity of Reality. In this position (Martaba), the divine Essence (Dhat) recognized itself with every attribute and capability because the Essence contains in it all the Asma wa Sifat (divine Names and attributes) whether they are collective or individual. In this manner, every Name is separated from every other Name. A Name is descriptive of the Essence that reveals itself through an Attribute. For instance, the Essence is called Samee’ (the Hearer) when it is expressed through the attribute of hearing and Kaleem (the Speaker) when it is associated with the attribute of speech. If it is asked: “The Name Allah is the Name of the Essence. Where is the provision of attributes here?” The answer is: “Allah is the Name of the Essence that is a compendium of all perfections and attributes. It is the locus of all perfections and is bereft of any imperfection or diminution.
There are two types of evidence for the perfection of the Truth: the perfection of Essence and the perfection of Name.
- The perfection of Essence. What is meant by the perfection of Essence is that the manifestation of Essence is solely for itself and within it, without reference to “the other” or “otherness”. In other words, one of the perfections of the Essence is that its description is predicated upon the existence of evidence of the Essence itself, not the existence of evidence of “the other”. Thus, the Essence by itself is complete and by its own Essence it is necessarily existent. Indeed, it is the fountain of Existence that exists by itself. Unfettered freedom is a pre-requisite for the perfection of Essence so that it is independent in its existence, subsistence and eternity. So, in this perfection, it is free and independent of all creation.
- The perfection of the Name. What is meant here is the association of the Essence with Asma e Husna (the Most Beautiful Names of Allah). This knowledge is possible only after the evidence of the Universal Archetypes (A’yan e Thabita) because without the knower there is no knowledge. There is no force without the forced and there is no creator without the created. When the worlds were fixed in the reality of this knowledge, then the knowledge of Allah found its place with the dawn of knowledge. Thus, the Name of the Knower became manifest through the knowledge of Allah and all the Universal Archetypes came into this knowledge without any alteration. In other words, the knowledge made no change in the universal archetypes because knowledge is controlled by the Knower. In this manner, the heralded knowledge became empowered and besought. It was connected to power and intent. Now, the name of this Reality, which is “Qader” (the Owner of Power) and “Mureed” (the seeker of knowledge) became manifest. Please use the same analogy for the other Asma’ (divine Names).
At this station, every attribute is separate from every other attribute and from the point of view of differentiation based on knowledge, it is separate and distinct from the Essence because this Reality looked at all of its capabilities and understood each capability separately.
This Reality recognized its own attributes in three ways:
- Sifat e Dhati: Those attributes that are not dependent on their demonstration. There are three domains here. They are called the essential attributes. Examples: life, knowledge, intent, will, hearing, seeing, speech, life, acceptance, compulsion, autonomy, holiness, self-sufficiency, presence.
- Sifat e Afa’li: Those attributes that possess the capability of action and whose demonstration depends on their being executed. These are called demonstratable attributes. Examples: procreation, sustenance, giving life or taking it.
- Sifat e Anfe’ali: Third, those attributes that have the capability to accept external influence. These are called Sifat e Anfe’ali. For instance, createdness, being sustained, living, dying.
The Sifat e Dhati (essential attributes) and Sifat e Afa’li (demonstrable attributes) are called haqaeq e ilahiya (the divine Truths) because with every one of these attributes there is a (divine) Name.
The Sifat e Anfe’ali are called Haqaeq e Kawnia (the truths of the two worlds),Ay’an e Thabita (the Universal Archetypes), Suwwar e Ilmiya (the proclamation of knowledge), Mahiyat (What is), Haqaeq e A’lam (the truths of the world), A’lam e Muafi (the domain of forgiveness), Umhat e A’lam (the mother or the pristine source of the worlds), Ainae haye Wujud (mirror of the disappearing existence) and A’dem (the disappearance). It is the station is of manifestation of Wahdat because here the beautiful Names are manifest in detail.
Then, this position has two aspects:
- The relationship “above” is called “Haqaeq e Ilahiya” (Realities of the divine realm). Their existence is essential.
The relationship “below} it is called “Haqaeq e Kawnia” (Realities of the two realms). Their existence is only possible and contingent. In other words, the hidden and the manifest, existence and external non-existence are the same. At this station, conceptual multiplicity appeared. Conceptually, the names, attributes and the heralded entities are many but they are not separated from the one Reality.
In between these is the reality of the human.
Some Sufis have said that the multiplicity in the Haqeeq e Ilahiya (the divine reality) is relative, whereas the multiplicity in Haqaeq e Kawnia (the reality of the two realms) is real because every mahiyet (the thing as it is) is different from every other mahiyet. Indeed, Wahdat is linked with it because there is the manifestation of only one existence in all of the apparent forms.
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 which become manifest after a worthy creation is created. The heralded entities are not separate from this Reality but are archetypes of the Reality. These Universal Archetypes have no awareness of themselves or the other; they did not achieve unification with the essence of this Reality.
These Suwware Ilmiya (Universal Archetypes) are not created beings because they did not come into existence through the creation of the Creator. They are therefore nonexistent. In other words, they do not exist outside of conceptualization. When they have not even been created, how can they be amongst creation? Creation is the name given to external existence. These Universal Archetypes are dependent on a Creator for their creation but they are set in their conceptual existence. Their reality is hidden. Therefore, how can they make an external appearance? Therefore, the realities that are manifest in the Universal Archetypes are the impressions of the archetypes; they are not the essence of the archetypes.
The Suwware Ilmiya (Universal Archetypes) have two aspects:
- One aspect is that the Universal Archetypes are the mirrors of Reality and the Asma wa Sifat (Names and Attributes of Allah) are embedded in those mirrors. The archetypes appear to be many because of their imprints even though they are not visible in the exterior.
- The second aspect is that the Reality is itself the mirror of the Universal Archetypes so that there is nothing visible in this Reality but the archetypes themselves. The Reality which is the mirror of the archetypes is hidden as befits the majesty of the mirror. Thus, the mirror has become visible from behind a curtain.
In this position (Wahdiyet), there are two Realities that stand out:
- One Reality contains the attributes of perfection. Examples are: freedom, action, Unicity, existence of the Essence, exaltedness. This is the mandatory Reality and refers to Allah.
- The second Reality contains the attributes of created beings. Examples: boundedness, passivity, susceptibility to influence, contingent essence, birth . This Reality is one of possibilities and refers to the human and the the created world.
To manifest the Universal Archetypes, Allah created the external world in conformance with His detailed knowledge and in accordance with the capabilities of each creation. This Second Descent is called Uluhiat (Godliness), Ta’yun Thani (the Second Fixity), Tajalli e Thani (the Second Manifestation), Mansha e kamalat (the perfect intentions), Qibla e Tawajihat (the Locus of Evidence), A’lam e Muafi (the World of Forgiveness), Hadrat Ertesam (the Presentation of Archetypes), Ilm e Azli (the Primal Knowledge), Ilm e Tafseeli (the Detailed Knowledge), Qaba Qawsain (two bows length), Muntahiy ul Abideen (the Limit of the Pious), Mansha ul Kathrat (the Intent of Multiplicity), Wahdiyet (Unicity), Martaba tu Allah (the Rank of Allah) and Luh e Mahfooz (the Preserved Tablet),
It should not be inferred that Wahdat and Ilahiyet are new names for the Creator because not even a hint of the rank of Dhat (the divine Essence) is bestowed upon Wahdat and Ilahiyet. These are only explanations and elaborations offered to foster understanding and faith.
The Fourth Position
The Third Descent: The Angels
The third descent of divine Grace or the third fixity is the manifestation of the Spirit. The Spirit is the essence of bodies and is free of defects. It does not have a shape or form. The world of the Angels (A’lam e Arwah) is also called A’lam e Af’ali (the World of Action), A’lam e Anwar (the world of Light), A’lam e Mujarridat, (the Immaterial World), A’lam e Mufarriq (the Separated World), A’lam e Malakut (the World of Angels), A’lam e U’lwi (the Angelic World), A’lam e Ghaib (the Hidden World), A’lam e Amr (the World of Command), A’lam e Ghair Mahsoos (the Imperceptible World), A’lam e Rabbani (the World of the Sustainer), A’lam e Lateef (the Subtle World), A’lam e Beyrang (the World without Color).
The angels in the world of A’lam e Arwah (the angelic world) are of two categories:
- The first category is one which has no part in the planning and execution of events in the material world. The angles in this category are called Karrubiyan.
- The second category is one which takes part in the planning and execution of events in the material world. The angels in this category are called Ruhaniyan.
The Karrubiyan are, in turn, divided into two sub-categories:
- The angels in the first sub-category are heedless of themselves and of the created world. They are steeped in the majesty and beauty of the Creator ever since they were created. These are called Malaek e Maheemeen. In the Sharia we call them Mala e A’la or Malaek e A’lia. Allah created them in the first ‘Ama (non-space). Then, He created another angel with the same attributes and bestowed upon that angel the knowledge of all things from the beginning till the end. This angel is called ‘Aql e Kul (the Universal Intellect), ‘Aql e Awwal (the first Intellect), and Qalm e A’la (the exalted Pen). Then, Allah created another angel so that the Exalted Pen may teach him all the detailed knowledge. It is called Nafs e Kul (the Universal Soul) and Luh e Mahfooz (the Preserved Tablet). Whatever is in it cannot be changed.
There are other angels to whom some knowledge has been given. These angels are ”in between”. They are scribes or Aqlam (“Pens”); they take information from the higher angels and transmit it to the angels below them.
The angels in the lower realm are called Alwah. They are responsible for construction and destruction. The Aqlam keep writing to these Alwah all the time. The sounds of the Pens that the Prophet (peace be upon him) heard during M’eraj ware the sounds of these pens. The Exalted Pen had already finished writing.
- The angels in the second sub-category of the Karrubiyan are there as a favor for Rububiyet (as a favor for the created). These are called Hujjaabil Wahiyet.
In the ‘Ama (spaceless domain), all the angels are lined up and are engaged in their tasks. They cannot leave or exceed their stations. Next to the Universal Reason and the Universal Soul, the Exalted Angels such as Hazrath Jibreel and Hazrath Mikael are waiting in the Exalted Row for Allah’s commands. They cannot be disobedient since they are created that way and are incapable of wrongdoing.
Next are the Malaek e Tab’iya who are responsible for delegated tasks. Some of them are tasked with the production of species, some for provision of sustenance, some for support for physical bodies and some in the documentation of deeds. They are from the categories of the Aqlam and the Alwah. These Alwah are at the station of construction and destruction. The wrongdoings that are documented by them are erased by the Grace of the Creator. Every angel praises Allah with the attribute that it witnesses and this remembrance is performed with the exalted and pure Divine Names.
The Ruhaniyan are of two sub-categories:
- In the first sub-category are the angels that are preoccupied with the heavens. They are called Ahl e Malakut e A’la (Family of the Exalted Angels).
- The second sub-category are the angels who are preoccupied with the earth. They are called Ahl e Malakut e Asfal (Family of Angels of the lower rank).
Millions of angels oversee humankind and many more oversee the material world and the animal kingdom. Every drop of rain has an angel associated with it. Sufis of Kashf (unveiling) maintain that even a leaf cannot fall unless it is with an angel. There is a mention in the Ahadith of some of the angels: Malik al Jibal (the angels of the mountains), Malik ur Reeh (the angels of the winds), Malik ur Re’ad (the angels of thunder), Malik ul Barq (the angels of lightning) and Malik us Sihab (the angels of clouds).
Attributes of the Human Spirit (Ruh e Insani) and the Animalistic Spirit (Ruh e Haiwani)
The human spirit is from the Ruhaniyan. It is attached without materiality and is a subtlety from the subtleties of the Creator. It is the equivalent of Luh and Qa’lam (the Tablet and the Pen) and includes them both because the human spirit is the integrated manifestation of all the material entities in creation and of the divine Names in the domain of possibilities. It knows every entity through its interactions with other entities. It acquires whatever knowledge it seeks from the Universal Intellect and the Universal Soul without hindrance even though these two occupy higher stations.
The human spirit is one but it it is fixed in many fixities and it is manifest in many faces. These faces are called Arwah e Haiwani (the Animal Spirits). Every human has an animal spirit. Ruh e Haiwani is a subtle entity that acts as a bridge between the spiritual world and the material world. It transforms and appears in every part of the body so that every aspect of it is ingrained in every part of the body and you do not even feel that the animal spirit is something separate from the body.
In every individual, there is a Ruh e Haiwani (the Animal Spirit), which is a reflection of the Aql e Kul ( the Universal Intellect). The Ruh e Haiwani is specific (to each individual) and it is through this Ruh e Haiwani that an individual distinguishes between good and evil and benefit and loss.
There is another power that emerges from a ray of the Universal Intellect, and that is, the Individual Self (Nafs e Juzyi). It guides a perfect human to the higher virtues and supports him in his attainment of higher perfections. At the same time, the Individual Self encapsulates the spirit and fulfills the demands of the body and its animalistic tendencies. Such efforts of the Nafs (the Self), however, are only for the pleasures of the Ego.
One of the powers of the animalistic spirit (Ruh e Haiwani) is Ruh e Shaitani (The Satanic Spirit) which nudges the Nafs towards what is forbidden and to satisfy bodily pleasures.
There is another power of Ruh e Haiwani (Animalistic Spirit) which is Quwwat e Malaki (the Angelic Power). It demands good deeds for the hereafter, commands such deeds and it serves the spirit.
Thus, the relationship of the animalistic spirit to the human spirit is like imprisonment to freedom or the simple to the comprehensive. In the Silsila of Qutub e Zaman Shah Multani, Ruh e Haiwani is called “possible” (Mumkin).
Ruh e Haiwani (the Animalistic Spirit) is the physique of the human spirit and it is merged and integrated with it and in its very fixity, it exhibits freedom. In its impressionability, Ruh e Haiwani is the domain of all entities, and is purified of pleasure and sorrow. However, when it is in a body, it is devoid of knowledge and acquires the characteristics of pleasure and sorrow.
Ruh e Haiwani (the Animalistic Spirit) is also a subtle treasure and is eternal. It is not annihilated with death. When it is separated from the body, it is said that the body is dead. When the Ruh is separated from the body, it becomes a bridge. In other words, it acquires an appearance from a host of appearances of similitude and does not retain a connection with a worldly body. In the grave, it is the Ruh e Haiwani (the Animalistic Spirit) that is interrogated along with Jism e Barzaqi (the body that is in transition) because it (the Ruh e Haiwani) is indestructible and is “eternal” (timeless).
When the body is asleep, the Ruh e Haiwani (the animalistic spirit) separates from the body and roams around. Sometimes, this spirit escapes from a body that is awake and that body appears as if it is asleep. When the spirit returns, every part of it re-enters into every organ of the body, as would be appropriate. Oftentimes this condition is found among the mureeds (students) of Qutub e Zaman Shah Multan.
Even though Ruh e Haiwani is with the body, it is so subtle that it can also be with the Arwah (spirits). Shaikh Syed Meeran Warangee has said that even though Ruh e Haiwani is present is large numbers, its appearance and disappearance from individuals is apparent to the A’rifeen (people of inner knowledge), whereas the common folks are unaware of it and are doubtful about it. Some in the Silsila of Sultanul I’shaq have called the Ruh e Haiwani, “Shakhs e Insani” (the individuality of the human) and Mukallif bis Shara’ (the prescribed host that causes distress). The rank of some humans over others is because of this Ruh e Haiwani.
Once it comes into existence, Ruh e Haiwani (the animalistic spirit) is never annihilated. In this world it takes on “Jism e ‘Anseri” (the individual material body), in Barzaq (between death and resurrection) it takes on “Jism e Barzaqi: (the body of barzaq or the bridge) and in the Akhira (hereafter) it takes on “Jism e Mahshoor” (the body of the Judgment Day).
Ruh e Haiwani is the companion of Ruh e Insani. The perfect human (Insan e Kamil) protects the Ruh from the pleasures of the Nafs and destroys the Ruh e Haiwani under the gaze of Ruh e Insani and witnesses the freedom of Ruh e Insani .
There are differences in the rank of the Awliya (sages) in accordance with their ma’rifat (inner knowledge) of the Ruh. The secret is this: There is one Ruh but in terms of its fixity it is many. Every fixity produces its own attributes, specific as well as general. Therefore, some of the fixities get caught up in ignorance and fall into the lowest of the low whereas others befriend ‘Irfan (inner knowledge) and reach the level of ‘Aliyun (an allusion from the Qur’an, meaning, highest of the high). The differences in Ma’rifat arise from the capabilities of these fixities.
Summarily, Ruh e Haiwani (the animalistic spirit) is both complete and incomplete, capable of enjoyment as well as suffering in accordance with the conditionality of its fixity. Qalm e Ala and Luh e Mahfuz (The Exalted Pen and the Preserved Tablet) are inherent in Ruh e Insani (the human spirit).
Meethaq e Risalat (The Covenant of the Arwah with the Prophet)
The exalted Ruh of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) is the sublime Ruh which is always with the attributes of knowledge and perfection. He was the prophet in the A’lam e Arwah. All the entities in that domain, whether they were perfect or imperfect, have believed in him and all the Arwah (angels) have made a promise that even when his Ruh comes into its worldly existence, they will obey and follow him. This covenant with the Prophet (Meethaq e Risalat) took place after the covenant with the Sustainer (Meethaq e Rububiyet).
The Fifth Position
The Fourth Descent: Amthal (Prototypes)
The fourth Descent of Divine Grace is A’lam e Mithal (The Domain of Prototypes). This is a subtle bridge-world between Ajsam (entities) and Arwah (the Angels). It is also called A’lam e Barzaq (the Bridge-world), A’lam e khayal (the World of Conceptualization), A’lam e Dil (the World of the Heart). This is the world of the Spirit. It is a treasure of Light. It is similar to a material treasure in that it can be felt and measured. And it is similar to the unique treasure of sanctified thought in that it is Light itself. In other words, despite it being measurable and its similarity to materiality it is similar to the Spirit because it cannot be broken up, grown or captured.
The reason A’lam e Mithal is named as such is that this world is similar to A’lam e Ajsam and everything in A’lam e Ajsam has a similarity to an entity in A’lam e Mithal. Everything makes its first appearance in divine knowledge in A’lam e Mithal and is then created in A’lam e Ajsam.
There are two categories of A’lam e Mithal:
- The first is the category whose appearance is not conditional upon mental exertion. It is called Khayal e Munfasil (Separated Thought), Mithal e Munfasil (Separated Similarity), Mithal e Mutlaq (Unconstrained or Independent Similarity), Khayal e Mutlaq (Unconstrained or Independent Thought).
- The second is the category whose appearance is conditional upon mental exertion. It is called Khayal e Mutassil (Connected or Dependent Thought), Mithal e Mutassil (Connected Similarity), Mithal e Muqayyad (Constrained Similarity), Khayal e Muqayyad (Constrained Thought).
A’lam e Mufassil (the connected world) is a world of subtle existence in which the Ajsam (bodies) receive the Arwah (the angels) and the Arwah (the angels) receive the body. It is in this world that Hazrath Jibreel (as) appeared before the Prophet as an honored person transmitting the divine message. It is in this world that Khizar (as), the blessed Prophets and the Awliyah appear. Izrael (as) also appears before a dying person in this world and the Ruh (Spirit) moves into this domain after death. The interrogations of Munkir and Nakir and the joys and punishment of the grave are also done in this domain. For this reason, this domain is also called “the domain of the grave”. On the Judgement Day these are the Ajsam (entities) that will be resurrected individually. These Ajsam (entities) will be very subtle. It is in this world that the people of Jannat will enjoy the fruits of their good deeds and it is in this domain that the people of hell will receive their punishment. Even though the deeds, as the primary source (for reward and punishment) are absent, their realities will be manifest as treasures. For instance, in the Manfasil (Separated Thoughts) the bad deeds will appear as scorpions, serpents and fire. Some bad deeds like fornication, even though they give pleasures in this world, will appear in their reality as “fire that burns”.
In this world (A’lam e Mufassil), deeds appear in different forms. For instance, the good deeds will be like rides (like horses) and they carry the doer towards Jannat. On the other hand, the bad deeds will ride on the person. The good deeds will stand at the station of intervention (Maqam w Shifa) and speak up for the doer. The bad deeds will haunt the doer. Similarly, the deviant beliefs will become fire and burn the heart.
The constrained similarity makes its appearance when the constraining power acts. Example: The appearances that are seen in dreams.
- Sometimes these appearances are in accordance with realities that are present. Such appearances do not require an interpretation or explanation because what is seen reflects what happens. These are truthful sights (Ru’a-e-Sadiqa). Hazrath Aisha (r) said that in the early stages of his Prophethood, Prophet Muhammed (peace and blessings be upon him) witnessed such truthful sights. In other words, whatever dreams he had, they appeared as if they were the light of the dawn and whatever he saw had no defect or doubt in it; it did not require an interpretation or elaboration. The truthful dreams are called “Ru’ya e Saleha” (the virtuous sights) “Ru’ya e Sadiqa” (truthful sights) and “mubasshirat” (the good sights).
- Sometimes the dreams, even though they are consistent with present realities, appear as something different. These require an interpretation. Therefore, the reality of the appearance will be its interpretation. Example: The Prophet (pbuh) saw knowledge as milk and faith as a robe. Hazrath Ibrahim (pbuh) saw himself slaughtering his son Hazrath Ismael whose interpretation was to slaughter a lamb. This was also a truthful sight “Ru’ya e Sadiqa”.
Then, there are the dreams that require interpretation. For instance, Hazrath Yusuf saw in his dream that eleven stars and the sun and the moon were prostrating before him. The interpretation of the eleven stars were his brothers. The sun and the moon were his father and mother. This portion of the dream was explained. But the prostration did not happen physically; it was allegorical because his brothers, father and mother became dependent on him.
- Sometimes the faces in the dreams are entirely different from reality. There is no similarity either in wakeful hours or in the hidden world. Examples: the dreams of mad people or patients with mental disease or of common folks. This is because the angelic world is higher than the corporeal world in its existence and rank and the help that the corporeal world receives has been delegated to the angels. The help that reaches the corporeal world is dependent on the angels who are in between the corporeal world and the presence of Allah. The angels have been delegated the responsibility to oversee the corporeal world. Because of their essential differences the corporeal world and the angelic world cannot be one. The corporeal entities are integrated (murakkab) whereas the angels are dispersed (baseeth). Since there is no relationship between the angels and the corporeal entities there is no connection between the two. Hence, impact and influence, help and support are not available from one to the other. Therefore, God has made A’lam e Amthal (the world of archetypes) as a bridge between A’lam e Arwah (the angelic world) and A’lam e Ajsam (the corporeal world) so that they two can interact and help and support become available.
Similarly, Ruh e Insani (the human spirit) and Jism e Insani (the human body) are different and camaraderie between the two is forbidden because camaraderie is dependent on the body receiving help and support. Therefore, Allah created the Nafs e Haywani (the animalistic self) as a bridge between the spirit and the body.
The power of reason is dispersed. Nafs e Haywani is appropriately separated from the Spirit. By its essence, it is with those powers that are spread out throughout the body and influences the different parts according to their capabilities. It acts as the “rider” on them. In this respect the animalistic self is similar to the spirit in as much as both are spread out over the entire body and both control the actions of the body (although in opposite directions).
It is not a secret that the bridge in which the Arwah (the souls) live in the afterlife in different from the bridge between the unstinted spirit and the body in this world. The stations of existence are different in descent and ascent. The station that was before an entity came into this world is one from the Tanazzulat (positions of the descent of Divine Grace) which is called “Awwaliyet” (the beginning). The station after death is one from the stations of exit and is called “Akhira” (the afterlife).
In Barzaq e Aakhir (the bridge of afterlife), faces are appended to the Arwah (the spirits) in accordance with the deeds of this world. This is opposed to the faces in Barzaq e Awwal (the bridge before this life). In their similarity they are one (they refer to the same human) but in their manifestation they become a reflection one of the other. Barzaq e Awwal is called “Ghaib e Imkan” (The hidden that is possible to witness) because it is possible to witness it. The other Barzaq is called “Ghaib e Mahal” (the hidden that is not possible) because its witness is forbidden except in the hereafter. The first bridge is unveiled on a large number of people; the second on only a few.
The Sixth Position
The Fifth Descent: Ajsam (Physical Entities)
The fifth Tanazzul is A’lam e Ajsam (The world of structures, entities or bodies). It is also called A’lam e Shahadat (The world of witness).
The Ajsam (entities) are of two kinds:
- ‘Uluyiyat (the higher structures). Examples: Arsh wa Kursi (the Divine Station and the Throne), the Seven Heavens, the planets and the stars, thunder and lightning, the wind and the clouds.
- Sifliyat (the lower structures). Examples: Elements and compounds such as metals, flora and fauna, animals and the human body.
Similarly, there are other worlds that are in the category of Ajsam (entities) and have structures such as movement and rest, wisdom and foolishness, subtlety and slyness, light and color, sound and smell.
Reflect that in the world of “A’ma” (non-space or la-makan), after the Universal Intellect and the Universal Soul, the “Hay-ulay-e-Kulli” (the Universal Reason) was created which is also called “Hiba’”. This is the core of entities in which Allah has opened the bodies and appearances of the cosmos. It is also called “Anqa” because it can be felt but cannot be seen. Manifestation is granted only to the appearance, not to the core.
The “sphere” that surrounds all the worlds of Ajsam is the Sphere of the High Throne (the Divine Throne). In the world of ‘Ama (non-space), it is held up by four Angels. What rides this Throne is not a body but Rahman (the Most Gracious). It means there is His manifestation on the Throne. Thus, His Rahmat (Grace) is reflected on all the cosmos; nothing is bereft of His Grace. This is so because in the domain of the Grace of the Most Gracious, it is not the deeds of the created that count but merely supplication and asking. Hence, it is called “Rahmat e Imtenaniya” (Grace or Mercy that is not denied to anyone). It is also called “Rahmat e Mutlaqa” (Unbounded Grace or Mercy). Divine Grace is a part of existence so much so that there is mercy even in divine wrath because when a punishment reaches the punished, the punishment is justice (Haqaaeq) from from the Just. When Grace appears, it may be painful but the pain itself is a mercy. For instance, to remove he rust of sin, the sinner experiences the pain of fire. Similarly, gold is melted to remove the impurities. The needle of the healer hurts but when the ailment disappears, the pain becomes the means for the patient’s well-being. In the same way, the Shariah has boundaries regarding drinking, illegal sex and tort. There is pain while observing them but the limits protect you from sin. Thus, the limits are a mercy.
Shrouded in the Exalted Throne (Arsh e Azeem), there is a hidden entity. It is the seat of divine blessings (Kursi e Kareem). This seat has on it two “steps” of Rahman (the Most Compassionate). One step is mercy, the other is wrath. On this chair are angels who are occupied with transmitting the mercy and the wrath to creatures. There is a sphere in the womb of the Kursi (the Divine Throne) which is called Falak-e-Atlus (starless heaven that is soft as silk). This is the Arsh e Takween (the pristine Divine Throne). Whatever appears from it becomes a means for existence and non-existence of four dispositions (tabiyet) in the cosmos. Then, there is a concentric sphere within it, which is called Falak-e-Manazil (the heaven of stages) and Falak-e-thwabit (the heaven of fixities) in which the stages of the stars are fixed. These four are not integrated; there is a void between every pair of two in which Jannat (heaven) is established. This explanation is in accordance with the kashaf (unveiling) of Shaikh al Akbar (Ibn al Arabi) who established eleven heavens. As he has stated that there are seven heavens below the heaven of the sun, seven above it and the heaven of the sun is the fifteenth. The seven heavens above the heaven of the sun are the following:
- Falak-e-Ahmar, (the red sky or the red heaven) which is called the killer, merciless, blood-thirsty, “nahs-e-asgar” (the little curse)
- Falak-e-Mushtari, (the sky or the heaven of the blessed star) which brings great blessings.
3 Falak-e-Keewan (the sky of the accursed star). It is called “nahs-e-akbar” (the great curse)
4.Falak-e-Manazil (the sky of ranked stations), which is called Falak-e-thwabit (the heavens of the fixed stars)
5.Falak-e-Atlus (the sky of the soft fabric), which is pure and it has no stars. It is called Falak-e-Buruj (the sky of the bridges) because “bridges” have been established in this sky.
6.Falak-e-Kursi-e-Kareem (the heaven of the Blessed Throne), which manifests the divine Name, Raheem (the Most Merciful).
- Falak-e-Arsh-e-Azeem (the heaven of the Magnificent Thone), which manifests the divine Name, Rahman (the Most Compassionate).
The heavens that are below the rank of the heaven of the sun are:
- Falak-e-Zahra (the beautiful heaven), which is the Small Benefactor.
- Falak-e-Attar or Falak-ul-Katib (the heaven of the scribe), which is called “Dubair” (the Scribe).
- Falak-e-Qamar (the heaven of the moon)
- Falak-e-Kurraye-Atish (the heaven of the sphere of fire)
- Falak-e-Kurraye-Baad (the heaven of the sphere of wind)
- Falak-e-Kurraye-Aab (the heaven of the sphere of water)
- Falak-e-Kurraye-Khaaq (the heaven of the sphere of earth)
It is believed that the Kursi (the Divine Station) is Falak-e-Atlus, Arsh and Falak-e-Thwabit (the heaven of stationary stars)
Shaikh Kamaluddin Abdur Razak has said:
“What is meant by Falak-e-Arsh is the Universal Soul and what is meant by Falak-e-Kursi is the Universal Intellect. In their existence, these two are the highest in the ranks of the heavens and their spirit is called Ber-Sabeel-e-Mijaz-e-Falak just as the canopy above the materials is called the sky.”
Shaikh Ruknuddin Shirazi has said:
“The heavens and the spheres are conceptualized as perceptible and spatial. However, the soul and the intellect are entities that not material nor are they attributes of any entity.”
And the quote from Shaikh ul Akbar that has been cited by Shaikh Mo’ee uddin al Junaidi supports the position that the two are heavens, not the Nafs (soul) or the Ruh (spirit),
Summarily, Allah created four elements after the two Thrones (Arsh) and two Divine Stations (Kursi). Their heat rose up, coalesced and became the skies. Every sky has angels who are busy discharging the services that are entrusted to them. And Allah has created two hells below the earth.
Shaikh Syed Meeran Abul Hasan Qadri (who is the grandfather of the auhor) has said in Keemiyae Khwas (the Alchemy of the Select): The manifestation of existence increases as the Tanazzulat descend from one station to the other. He said:
“The manifestation of existence in Arwah (the domain of the angels) is better than the manifestation of existence in the world of meanings (the descriptive world).
The manifestation of existence in Amthal (the divine conceptual domain) is more complete than the manifestation of existence in the world of angels.
The manifestation of existence in Ajsam (the domain of entities) is more than the manifestation of existence in the world of concepts.”
Thus, the manifestation of existence is most complete in the human.
The Seventh Position
The Sixth Descent: Insan (The Human)
KNOW THAT the sixth descent of Divine Grace (Tanazzul) is Insan (the human). The meaning of Insan is “a body with sight”. When this body can see everything with its hidden eye but cannot see itself, it is said that it is “the human”.
In the station of Wahdat, Reality was manifest in Unicity and multiplicity was hidden. Indeed, there was no multiplicity at all at this station. Then, as Reality became manifest in separate manifestations, no manifestation was inclusive of another manifestation. At this stage, multiplicity took over and Unicity was concealed.
God willed that He manifest His Essence as an integrated whole in an entity which would at once be a compendium of light and darkness, hidden truths as well as manifest truths, the visible as well as the invisible and be a shadow (of divine attributes) on earth. There was no creation that was a corpus of perfections and attributes and was at the same time a reflector of Divine Names. The other creation reflected only specific aspects of divine attributes according to their fixities. Have you not seen that the appearance of Truth in the domain of the angels is not the same as that in the physical domain? The appearance in the domain of angels is open, active and illuminated whereas in the physical domain it is dark, fragmented and specific.
Now, you understand that the human is the complete manifestation who stands between a manifestation of the Essence of the Truth. He is a manifestation of the Names, Attributes and Actions and is a corpus between the necessary truths, the possible truths, the relationships of divine Names and attributes of created beings. Thus, the perfect human is a corpus between the station of integration and the station of separation and detail. He embraced all those entities which are in the chain of existence. This is so because Wahdat (Unicity) became manifest as itself at the second fixity (Ta’yun e Thani). Below this fixity are three worlds which became manifest in the human. Thus, Allah created the human as a compendium of all existence that has come into being since the beginning and will come into existence till eternity. For this reason, the human is also called “Jahan e Sagheer” (the small world) and “A’lam e Kabeer” (the great universe). The world is like a body and the human is like the spirit. For this reason, the world is called “Insan e Kabir” (the great human).
The human is the Khalifa (regent) on earth and a Khalifa has a rank higher than the creation over which he exercises his khilafat (regency) and over which he has authority. The human is “Kamil Khalifatullah” (The Perfect Regent) and is involved with the whole world. Whatever grace reaches the world does so because of the inherent sanctity of the human. That is why the angels prostrated before the human even though he was created after everything. Since he is reflective of Wahdat and is the purpose for the creation of the universe, he is also called the “Illat Ghahi” (real purpose) of the world. He is also called “Illat e Ghayi” (the real purpose) of the universe.
Allah created the human “with both hands”. In other words, the human was created with both Jalal and Jamal (majesty as well as beauty). In other words, he was created from the active and passive Names as well as the majestic Attributes while the universe was created “with one hand”. The angels did not understand this subtlety. Therefore, they said:
“Will you create one
Who will make mischief and shed blood,
While we extol You, praise You, and sanctify You?” (The Qur’an, 2:30)
The angels could not understand that they praise Allah only with the one attribute they knew while Allah has many Names and attributes that the angels are not even aware of.
Allah created Adam as “Insan e Kamil” (a perfect human being) and taught him all the Names because the perfect man is a reflector of the Dhat (Essence) which is the summation of all the Asma wa Sifat (divine Names and Attributes). Therefore, his praise must be more perfect than the praise of the angels. Then, Allah gathered all the angels and asked them to name the names of entities in the cosmos. In other words He called them to name the Names that are manifest in the cosmos and with which the cosmos praises Him. The angels were not haughty; they excused themselves. Adam recited all the Names, thereby demonstrating his superiority. All the angels bowed before Adam except Iblis. He was haughty and conceited.
He (Iblis) said: “I am better than him.
(You) created me from fire (energy),
And (You) created him from clay.” (The Qur’an:38:76)
Iblis construed Adam as made of clay. He did not know that the Dhat (divine Essence) was made manifest in him with all the divine Names and Attributes as well as the truths of the cosmos and that Adam had now become the complete manifester. Iblis showed his haughtiness towards Adam which he should not have and because of it he was repudiated by Allah.
Iblis was a jinn and was a personification of evil. It is impossible that anything but evil emerge from him. He said: “O my Lord! I swear by your honor! I will for sure mislead and deceive the human”. Iblis accepted this task of misleading the human so that the attribute “Al Mudil” (the Abaser) would be made manifest.
The human is a compendium of all the Asma (the divine Names) in his intrinsic self but in his external self he is a manifestation of “Hadi” (the Guide). Therefore, Allah made Satan the enemy of the human. The Insan e Kamil (the perfect man or the Wali) does not follow anything but the guidance from Allah. Even when he does something wrong, he asks for forgiveness. This is also a result of divine guidance and a reason for the manifestation of the Attributes of Repentance, Pardon and Forgiveness.
When an Insan e Kamil (the perfect man, Wali) dies, immediately, another one takes his place so that the world may continue. When there is no Insan e Kamil and Wilayet (the continuity of Awliyah) disappears, the Day of Judgment will arrive.
Even though an Insan e Naaqia (the imperfect man) possess a certain measure of togetherness and the angels bow down to him and obey him, his shaitan (devil) does not bow down to him but instead rides on him. Indeed, one can say that such a man becomes obedient to the devil and the devil goads him towards sin. Essentially, even though the angels obey him, they do not forbid him from evil; when he intends to do good, the angels agree but the devil opposes him. The footsteps of Satan lead to disbelief and Shirk. In this state, the human retains only his face; in his deeds he becomes an animal and falls into the abyss of Asfala Safileen (the lowest of the low).
Wa Sallallahu Ta’la A’la Khair e Khalqhe Sayyidina Muhammed Wa Ala Alehi Wa Sahbihe Ajmaeen. Be Rahmitika Ya Arhamar Rahimeen.