Thursday, April 16, 2009

Divine Graces / al-Minah al-Qudussiya


Extracts from al-Minah al-Quddusiya
by Sheikh Ahmad al-Alawi
(Ahmad ibn Mustafa al-’Alawi al-Mustaghanemi, 1869 - 1934)
“Remembrance is the mightiest rule of the religion.…The law was not enjoined upon us, neither were the rites of worship ordained, but for the sake of establishing the remembrance of God.”
In the Name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate.
Know that this knowledge of the Divine is favored above all others; to have an understanding of it is better than all else and no one denies it save he who is cut off from its blessings. One may at sometime be able to do without other forms of knowledge but one cannot do without this knowledge at any time, and no one claims to be able to, save the ignorant man who is deprived of the taste of union; and he who turns away from something, is thereby put far from it.

Al-Ghazali often used to refer to the two verses of Abu al-Fath al-Busti (may God have mercy on them both) which are as follows:
"O servant of the body, how you strive in its service!
And seek profit through things of error.
You have a duty to your soul, so perfect its happiness.
For you are by virtue of the soul, not the body, a man."

We can see by these words that this knowledge is the noblest of all, for its nobility derives from the nobility of the known, and its power derives from the power of that with which it is associated, namely the Eternal itself. God possesses a noblity above all things, and all other realms of knowledge are but slaves and handmaidens to it.

This is demonstrated by the words:
"O you who hasten seeking knowledge.
All knowledge is a slave to spiritual knowledge.
You seek to know the law in order to act correctly,
while you ignore the One who revealed all wisdom."

From 'Two Who Attained: Twentieth-Century Sufi Saints: Shaykh Ahmad al-'Alawi & Fatima al-Yashrutiyya (Leslie Cadavid) by Fons Vitae

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