Friday, February 28, 2014

Great gem | Al-Raniri's book on 'Spiritual Subtleties for the Swiftly Ascending People of God'


Oh my ever generous God subhanahu wa ta'ala.
I am one who's drowned in an ocean of sin, yet Thou let me find this great gem and showed me the real value of things.

O people, honestly speaking, I almost bought something less important but the ever so kind Lord guides this erring servant of His to a much better catch of the day - a precious book by Nur al-Din al-Raniri. It's the most expensive book in my collection but what is  RM290 if compared to its priceless contents.

Lata'if Al-Asrar Li-Ahl Allah Al-Atyar is a major work on Sufism written by al-Raniri, the great shaykh of Aceh Indonesia in 1640. Yes, we are talking the 17th century, mashaAllah.

It is transliterated into Malay and translated into English by an accomplished Malaysian academician Professor Muhammad Zainiy Othman of the Centre for Advanced Studies on Islam, Science, and Civilization (CASIS), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). 
MashaAllah tabarakallah!

The kitab by Shaykh al-Raniri comprises five sections:
i. Introduction - 'Affirming the Essence of the Truth Most Exalted'
ii. First chapter - 'Illuminative Knowledge'
iii. Second chapter - 'Unification'
iv. Third chapter - 'Stations and States'
v. Conclusion - 'Self Examination, Remembrance, Concentration, Presence, Revelation, Unveiling, Witnessing and Contemplation'

In the Introduction, Al-Raniri introduced himself as:
"The humble servant who is drowned in the sea of sin and decked by all kinds of blame, who is complete in deficiency and struck with awe of the knowledge of the Merciful, the dust of the feet of the people of "There is no God but Allah' who is nothing, Shaykh Nur al-Din b. HassanJi Muhammad, whose family name is Hamid_"

MashaAllah, if al-Raniri considered himself drowned in the sea of sin, then I must be drowned in an ocean of sin or rather 7 oceans of sin! May Allah forgive me for I cannot even introduce this magnificent book of al-Raniri properly. I am overwhelmed by my own deficiency as much as I am overwhelmed by this superb work of both Al-Raniri and Prof Muhammad Zainiy. 

In one of the concluding paragraphs for the first chapter, Shaykh Al-Raniri wrote:
"O seeker of the Truth! If you desire for an everlasting happiness (sa'adah) and eternal glory ('izzat) and your tree of illuminative knowledge to bear fruit in this world and you desire to experience the pleasures of the highest Heaven (Jannat al-Ulya) then you must continuously drown yourself in the meeting with God (liqa') day and night, until your intuitive ear hears the speech from the Divine Presence: 'Verily, long have the knowers desire for my Divine Presence and I too long to meeting them."

This great gem is published by UTM Press.

May Allah forgive us.
May Allah increase us in knowledge and grant us understanding.
Rabbi zidni ilma war zuqni fahma

You may purchase this book at Kinokuniya KLCC.
And my apologies, I am not in a position to buy the book
on behalf of anybody as requested by some people. 

p/s Thank you, LDP :)

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