Monday, January 24, 2011

Togetherness - ma'iyyah


O son, you may recall that we learned a du'a from Habib Yusuf Bakhour al-Hassani:
Allah Hu shahidi
Allah Hu naziri
Allah Hu ma'ie

Allah is my witness
Allah is watching me
Allah is with me

Take note of the last line of the du'a. The key word is ma'ie pointing to the state of ma'iyyah or togetherness.

Several days ago, we came across writings of Ghawth al-Azam on ma'iyyah. He explained how the sense of togetherness could come about in a seeker. It starts off with the Light of Allah shining upon His chosen servant. His Light, and nothing else, would remove the darkness that has been covering the servant. Indeed, we are all in the state of darkness, unless and until He touches us with His Light. So do not think that you are fine, that all is well, so you go about your daily lives, eating, sleeping, walking, like you are already in a good state. That's what I thought. That was me before. I was heedless, clueless and couldn't care less. No, we will not know that we are in the dark until we see some kind of light. Allah teaches us by means of the opposites.

When we get lucky to be given the Light, our thought process would naturally change as 'the eyes of our inward intellect' become amazed at the uncovering and at seeing what's being uncovered/revealed. So that we would suddenly become conscious and aware of something that we've been oblivious about. 

Ghawth al-Azam said, that, coupled with 'ardent love' ('ishq) would motivate one to seek further. When the seeker gets closer to his objective or purpose of seeking, he would become pleased. Just like when we are motivated  by love to get close to someone we are attracted to, we will be delighted when we eventually get nearer to him/her. We will then feel, Oh Allah is so kind to let me get to him/her. We will then acknowledge, Oh He is indeed with us, He knows what we want and He helps us get what we want.

According to Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani, the moment we discover the togetherness, we will lose ourselves, we will become extinct to our individual/personal existence (fana). We will realize that Oh it's not about me, it's not I, but we. Only then it could be said that we have achieved tawhid - the affirmation of oneness.

The seeker would get amazed and overwhelmed by the greatness of the power which could bring him to such a state, that he would be fervently asking for forgiveness for being heedless and ignorant before. You will not know that you did not know something until you come to know it so you say: sorry I didn't know.

This we discovered in Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jilani's Fifth Letter in his Khamsatta 'Ashara Maktuban (The Fifteen Letters) which we hereby quote, with permission from the publisher/translator InshaAllah.

My dear friend!

When the suns of our spiritual experiences [ma'arif] rise from their points of ascension in the skies of our innermost beings, the earths of our hearts will be illumined by the light of:
And the earth will shine with the light of its Lord. (39:69)
wa ashraqati 'l-ardu bi-nuri Rabbi-ha.

--and the coverings of the darkness of ignorance will be removed from the eyes of our minds, with the ointment of:
But now We have removed from you your covering. (50:22)
fa-kashafna 'an-ka ghita'a-ka.

The eyes of our inward intellects will then be dazzled by the radiant emanations of the lights of holiness [al-quds]. Our processes of thought will wonder in amazement, at the disclosure of the marvelous secrets of the realm of the spiritual kingdom [al-malakut].

Excited by the thrill of ardent love [al-'ishq], the seeker will go a-wandering in the deserts of the quest. Then, in the sites of nearness, the raptures of yearning [ghalabat ash-shawq] will become familiar to him, and the herald of:
Allah is truly Bountiful toward mankind. (10:60)
inna 'llaha la-Dhu Fadlin 'ala 'n-nasi.

--will proclaim:
And He is with you wherever you may be. (57:4)
wa Huwa ma'a-kum aina-ma kuntum.

Once he has discovered the secret of 'togetherness' [al-ma'iyya], the seeker will lose his personal existence, in compliance with the dictate of:
And do not set together with Allah another god. (51:51)
wa la taj'alu ma'a 'llahi ilahan akhar.

As soon as he has plunged into the sea of the personal extinction [fana'] of:
No part of the matter is your concern. (3:128)
laisa la-ka mina 'l-amri shai'un.

--so that he may obtain the jewel of the affirmation of Oneness [tawhid], the waves of solicitude [ghaira] will fling him into the ocean of sublimity ['azama]. Each time he makes for the shore, in the plight of bewilderment, he must say:
My Lord, I have wronged myself, so forgive me! (28:16)
Rabbi inni zalamtu nafsi fa-'ghfir li.

--for then he will be picked up by the rescue vessels of the kind favors of:
And We have carried them on land and sea. (17:70)
wa hamalna-hum fi 'l-barri wa 'l-bahri.

--and they will set him down on the beach of the the tender kindness of:
We visit with Our mercy whom We will. (12:56)
nusibu bi-rahmati-na man nasha'u.

They will hand him the keys to the treasure houses of the mysteries of:
And Allah is always encompassing all things. (4:126)
wa kana 'llahu bi-kulli shai'in Muhita.

--and they will point out to him the indications of:
And that unto your Lord is the final destination. (53:42)
wa anna ila Rabbi-ka 'l-muntaha.

He will thereby come to know the meaning of:
And He revealed to His servant that which He revealed. (53:10)
fa-awha ila 'abdi-hi ma awha.

--and he will understand the implication of:
Indeed, he saw one of the greatest signs of his Lord. (53:18)
la-qad ra'a min ayati Rabbi-hi 'l-kubra.

Credit: Al Baz Publishing

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