Friday, April 10, 2009

About my dedication

Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim

I am obliged to explain some of the terms mentioned in the muqadimah where I state my dedication to you, O son.



Sons of the Moment
This phrase is a translation from Arabic Ibn al-Waqt. While you are a son of your father in physical terms (for now let me call you Ibn Adam) you must eventually grow to be a son of waqt or son of the present moment. This may be traced to the teachings of Sheikh Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi.

The term is borrowed in the famous aphorism, 'al-sufi ibn al-waqt', the Sufi is 'the son of the moment'. However, do not let it mislead you into surrendering to the present moment passively. While you are the son, you are aslo 'sâhib al-waqt', 'the owner of the moment'.

And mind you that as advised by Sheikul al Akhbar Ibn Arabi, the best of all the moments that people can have is for God to give them the observance of the rulings of the Shari'a. So be sure you occupy your moments accordingly.

"Waqt is 'that through which and upon which you are in the time of the state' (Refer Kitab Futuhat al Makkiyah). 'State' (hâl) means the situation at the moment, the actual situation of the thing at the time in question, which is this instant. In other words, the 'moment' is what comes to you from God and defines your own situation at any given time."

"The 'moment' that is known from the side of the Real is identical with that with which the Shari'a addresses you in the state. So, be in keeping with the words of the Lawgiver in every state! Then you will be an Owner of the Moment, and this is a mark that you are one of the felicitous with God." - From essay on Presence with God by William C. Chittick.

The Sufis
Therefore, from the above explanation on 'al-sufi ibn-al waqt', you will understand that my aspiration is for you to be among the Sufis. Do not be afraid of this term or this name. It is not something that is beyond you or only meant for a select few walis or saints.

There are many ways to define this term but know it from me and my gurus that the word is derived from safa which means purity. The sufis busy themselves with self-purification, busy purifying their hearts and improving their akhlaq in order to reach the maqam of ehsan which is to worship God as if they see Him, knowing that although they do not see Him, He sees them.

Language of Faith
I must say that my choosing to employ this phrase was solely based on my adoration of Sheikh Ahmad al-Alawi. He had once started a publication using this name and I humbly wish to continue his efforts though I may be far behind in many aspects. But know that my heart is pure in wanting to leave you with this medium that I have understood, lisan al-din, the language of faith.

Qur'an Mubeen
The Qur'an is without a doubt mubeen which means apparent, clear and self-evident.

The opening of Surah ad-Dukhan:
'Ha-Mim. By the manifest Book that makes things clear.
We sent it down on a blessed night. Verily, We are ever warning.
Therein is decreed every matter of ordainments.
As a command, from Us. Verily We are ever sending (the messengers),
As a Mercy from your Lord. Verily He is the All-Hearer All-Knower.'

Know O son, it soothes my heart every time I recite Surah Yaseen for the word mubeen is mentioned many times in the heart of the Qur'an. I was thus inspired that my sons should have this quality of mubeen in their ilm (knowledge) and gnosis (makrifah).

Erfan mubeen and saliks
So we come to this term erfan mubeen. Another quality that you must strive for is erfan meaning gnosis.

"The term gnosis (erfan), like another term of the same family, ma`rifah, [also translated as gnosis] literally means knowledge, but its technical meaning is specific to knowledge of a certain kind which can be achieved neither through the senses nor experience, nor through reason nor narration, but rather is acquired by inner witnessings and interior unveilings."

"The practical aspect of erfan describes and explains the relationship and responsibilities the human being bears towards itself, towards the world and towards God. Here, erfan is similar to ethics (akhlaq), both of them being practical sciences.

The practical teaching of erfan is also called the itinerary of the spiritual path (sayr wa suluk; lit. traveling and journeying). Here, the wayfarer (salik) who desires to reach the goal of the sublime peak of humanness - that is to say, tawhid - is told where to set off, the ordered stages and stations that he must traverse, the states and conditions he will undergo at these stations, and the events that will befall him. Needless to say, all these stages and stations must be passed under the guidance and supervision of a mature and perfect example of humanity who, having traveled this path, is aware of the manners and ways of each station. If not, and there is no perfect human being to guide him on his path, he is in danger of going astray."

# Furher reading on erfan from 'An Introduction to the Islamic Sciences'.
# The Concepts of Erfan.

The Light
Know O son that we are all searching for or returning to the Light, the Truth from where we came from. I pray so that you be regular in reciting this du'a as taught in the Qur'an:
"Robbana atmim lana nurana waq firlana innaka 'ala kulli syai in qadir."
"Our Lord! Perfect our Light for us, and grant us forgiveness for Thou has power over all things."

Ameen.

2 comments:

  1. Ezza, so nice blog, i would like to learn more from this blog, from u perhaps......banyak term so complicated, are u learning ilmu tarikat this moment

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  2. Salam dear Anonymous,
    Alhamdulillah, thanks for visiting. Go ahead, pick up what is beneficial and leave what's not. I am a student myself so let's do this together. Tell me which terms you need clarifications and I'll try look for the definitions, InshaAllah. I was at my old secondary school recently and I saw this sayings written on a beam: 'Things are difficult before they become easy.'

    E

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