The Hikam of ibn ata Illah with Arabic and Englsih translationThe Book of Wisdom (Kitab al-hikam) is a masterpiece of Islamic spiritual literature. The Hikam of Ibn 'Ata'llah .. COMMENTARY ON THE HIKAM by Ibn 'Ajiba commentary on al-Bukhari, al-Qastallani mentioned from Ibn al-'Arabi that it is. Al-Ḥikam—Sufi Aphorisms. ʿ. IBN ATA ALLAH AL-ISKANDARI. 1. One of the signs of relying on one's own deeds is the loss of hope when a downfall occurs. 2 .
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Or click here for a PDF of the original Arabic text. When the The Book of Wisdom (Kitab al-hikam) is a masterpiece of Islamic spiritual literature by the renowned Sufi saint and sage of the 13th century AD, Ahmed Ibn Ata Allah Al- Iskandari (d. The Hikam, or Wisdom, of the great Sufi Master Ibn `Ata 'Allah al-Iskandari has His father was a student of Imam al-Shadhili, though it is unlikely he himself. Ibn Ata Allah Iskandari and al- Hikam al- 'Ata'iyya in the context of spiritually- oriented psychology and counseling. Spiritual Psychology and Counseling, 3.
His reply to you is guaranteed; but in the way He chooses, not the way you choose, and at the moment He desires, not the moment you desire. If something that is promised does not happen even though the time for it is set, do not doubt the promise! If you do, that will dim your inner eye and put out the light of your secret. When He opens a way for you and makes Himself known to you, then do not worry about your lack of deeds.
He only opened the way for you because He desired to make Himself known to you. Do you not see that while He grants gnosis of Himself to you, you have only deeds to offer Him?
What He brings you - What a difference there is between them! Different states have different outcomes. This accounts for the variety of types of action. Actions are merely propped-up shapes. Their life-breath is the presence of the secret of sincerity in them. Bury your existence in the earth of obscurity. If something sprouts before it is buried, its fruits will never ripen. Withdraw the heart into the arena of reflection - nothing helps the heart more than that!
But aim to do right" Muslim, 4. Imam Nawawi comments: The outward purport of these hadiths [n: of which Muslim relates several] bears out the position of those who are in the right, that no one deserves reward and paradise for his acts of obedience.
Rather, the meaning of the verses is that entering paradise is because of works, although divinely given success tawfiq to do the works, and being guided to have sincerity in them, and their acceptability are the mercy of Allah Most High and His favor Sharh Sahih Muslim, The true spiritual path is one of gratitude. And Abu Madyan has said, "The heartbrokenness of the sinner is better than the forcefulness of the obedient" Diwan, For this reason some sheikhs term a traveller of the former spiritual vantage a murid or "desirer," and one of the latter a faqir or "needy.
This humble sincerity of slavehood, or we could say realism, enables the genuine spiritual traveller to benefit in the path from both his good and his evil.
Whatever emerges from the heart also depends on what pours out from the tongue. Words leave the heart wearing the clothes of the heart and come to the tongue. The words that emerge dressed with the light of the heart can be beneficial outside too. The divine lights that come to the human heart abandon and allay the heart by appearing full of empty works other than Allah; therefore, one must empty the heart of world-related delusions for Allah to fill the heart with wisdom and secrets.
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Lastly, we can say al-Iskandari determined the enlightenment of hearts is as certain as the enlightenment of the sky in this world, only it will emerge in heaven, and its value will only be fully known there. Al-Iskandari, who did not emphasize the characteristics of nafs apart from this, accepted nafs as possessing negative characteristics and implied qualities like nurturing, producing, feeling, enthusiasm, and movement, which he defined as animal nafs with it.
He reminds us also with this fact that the degrees are not destroyed, just weakened before being grafted together. Even though the life of the world looks quite good, beautiful, and attractive from outside, people with open eyes and hearts know it is troubled, ugly, and a testing place.
Ibn Ata Allah
While the nafs always fall for the ornaments of the world, which look beautiful from the outside but in fact make people perish, the heart sees the troubles within and avoids inclining toward the world; by considering what comes later, it takes heed and arrives at salvation.
People need to discredit their nafs due to the negative attributes they possess whether or not they fall for praise from others due to certain characteristics. Noble is the praise in the presence of Allah, as opposed to the praise of people which has no benefit, increases pride and reinforces evil.
Human nafs constantly want to receive pleasure; alongside taking pleasure in negative situations and sin, one also has pleasure gotten from being proud of the worship one does and earning praise from others, and this is more dangerous. This is why constant nafs should be held to account and controlled. The criterion al-Iskandari revealed in the case of choosing one of two tasks is quite striking: when one needs to choose, one should choose what becomes difficult for the nafs because the task that becomes heavy to the nafs is the right one.
Lastly, one reason also for the sensual lusts and heedlessness that comes over humans is for knowing and understanding the value of peace one can feel in the heart that Allah has bestowed on humans.
Asceticism Zuhd What is meant by giving up feeling interested in something comes to mean distancing from the world and from the sources of pleasure in the world in the context of mysticism. It is one of the most mentioned concepts in mysticism.
Different definitions are available related to asceticism: while some Sufis state it to be an act that needs to be performed against forbidden things, other Sufis argue that asceticism done against forbidden things and asceticism done against obligatory and acceptable things are separate virtues.
Asceticism as he defined it is struggling to accomplish what Allah wants with all people: complying with His commands and being in His service. Along with this and differently from other Sufis, he emphasized the importance of not having to need asceticism as an enemy to this world but as being dedicated to Allah.
In his opinion, asceticism does not need to be an enemy to the world, the reason for this also being the world does not exist independent of Allah; on the contrary, it is a reflection of His manifestation. Instead of the world being an enemy to life, one needs to work at identifying Allah without taking it more seriously than necessary. One should not flee from the world but at the same time one should not be secularized nor place the love of the world in the heart. Benefitting from the blessings of the world does not harm the human heart after bringing it to a place of thanks; in fact, if these blessings enable one to realize thanks more healthily, it is a situation of preferring to experience blessings more.
Allah is not veiled; people need to get rid of carnal characteristics to reunite with Him. Together with this, not making friends with people who do not guide people to Allah through their conditions and experiences and whose words do not show the divine path is a healthier situation. When a person needs to ask for something from Allah, realizing what one wants from people is important. Allah wants people to contemplate everything that they need to learn in the world; He stated humans will understand His existence this way and promised that seeing God unveiled will occur in heaven.
One needs to remember and be aware that Allah is the real friend, is the friend of believers in spite of their shames and imperfections, and is the One who loves them without benefit. One who connects with extreme love becomes its servant and slave, where nothing is wanted more than it; however, Allah does not want one to be a slave to anyone other than Him.
Like one who turns to Allah will not bring a thing to Allah, turning away from Him detracts not one thing from His glory. Reaching Allah means to recognize and possess knowledge about Him, otherwise it excludes something arriving at itself and standing with something. Patience and Thankfulness According to Sufis, patience has two types: having patience in neediness with obligatory patience, which exists for fulfilling obligations and for avoiding harm, and having patience in vain, which is shown towards distress and calamities in the moments they first emerge.
In parallel with this, Al-Iskandari also separated patience in three: patience towards tasks that need to performed, patience towards what is forbidden, and patience towards tribulations.
The way of the servant to gain the favor of Allah is possible by showing patience towards difficulties and hardships together with giving thanks in the face of blessings, complying with commands, and staying away from what is forbidden.
Being patient and persistent without being filled with despair is important while struggling in the way of Allah. Thankfulness to Allah is also an important concept alongside patience in Sufism.
Thankfulness to Allah fosters gratefulness toward Him and is the awareness that blessings come from Him. Thankfulness to Allah is not a blessing; it sees who gives the blessing.
According to al-Iskandari, if blessings refer to the self, than being thankful drops to people. Al-Iskandari gathered thankfulness into three classes: tongue, organs, and heart. Thankfulness that is with the heart accepts that the creator of good things is Allah. Accomplishing this is also only possible through ingenuity.
To summarize, ingenuity, which is the ultimate goal Sufism desires to achieve and is known as an enlightened state, comes to mean seeing something as it is in itself and its adjectives, understanding the shape of its real existence and essence, and knowing Allah to be the goal of human creation. Knowing Allah is exclusive knowledge.
Only Allah knows Himself in the genuine meaning. Those who have reached the rank of ingenuity are those who are witness to not knowing Allah and being unable to know Allah, and that only He knows Himself. As mentioned earlier, staying away from the world and its blessings and taking a hostile stand to these is not proper according to al-Iskandari and the Shadhili order he affiliated with.
Each one of the things that Allah has forbidden to humans is for the beneficence of man. Beneficence is to believe a situation is positive in which the thing the slave wants to receive does not happen. If a lasting honor like being connected or surrendered to Allah is desired, one must not be tied to the blessings of the world that are temporary and must not hope for help from them.
What is desired from servants is to know Allah through His Attributes; in giving something to man or not giving His bestowment, He shows His power, and in both cases He makes Himself known to the servant and also delivers what befalls the servant. Knowing that the problems humans encounter come from Allah must be conducive to alleviating the pain of that tribulation. However, people should believe they will see an absolute favor from Allah after experiencing troubles because the likelihood of positive situations being hidden in the things we do not enjoy have been reported in the Quran by Allah.
When something is requested from Allah, if the request does not occur the mature human must conjecture by not objecting to Allah and considering this to have more goodness.
The distressing situations and helpless times that humans are found within are the times that also require being closest to Allah. In such cases, faith that salvation will only come from Allah will be conducive to getting through a troublesome situation.
Fear of Allah, however, makes them connected with Allah. The world, being a world of examination full of troubles, must be turned on occasion to reach Allah. The unaccepted prayer should not make people hopeless in cases where urgency is in the prayer because Allah assures acceptance in the time of His own choosing, not when humans choose; therefore, one must believe that the time for unrealized requests has not yet come.
Also regarding thankfulness, al-Iskandari stated those who are not thankful for the blessing they have obtained will lose those blessings, and those who are thankful attribute the blessings to themselves. All the blessings that people have on earth come from Allah, and thankfulness should only be made to Him; feeling thankful to people for obtained blessings is not a healthy situation. When a person encounters a blessing, they are comforted and loved, and in the moment of trouble that becomes tight; if one feels sorrow, this means one has not matured in a spiritual sense.
The person who knows not the value of a divine blessing only understands that value by losing the blessing; therefore blessings need to be duly thanked. People should additionally be in fear of not being able to be thankful for the encountered blessings because this illusion is one of the states that prevents thankfulness and lessens its value Al-Iskandari, This fear acknowledges Allah and can also relate to being afraid of falling into sin, as may happen when withdrawing from His chastisement.
The Hikam of Ibn ‘Ataillah al-Iskandari
Al-Iskandari distinguishes this fear into two. One is the fear of going to hell and through this self-interest it is a fear related to self-pity and self-worry. The other type of fear relates to spiritual situations bestowed by Allah being able to be disrupted by rebelling and not be accessible again.
Al-Raja means to be hopeful. One sees the blessings that Allah has bestowed and the heart finds peace by feeling the closeness of Allah. The path to al-Khawf opens in those who look at their own worship and behaviors because these are insufficient in the face of what Allah has given.
If one wants the door of al-Raja to be opened to the self, one must consider the blessings that come from Allah; when one wants the door to al-Khawf to be opened, one must ponder the misdeeds that have been cultivated. Al-Khawf and al-Raja should be thought of as the two scales of a balance; together with the truth that the mercy of Allah exceeds His wrath, the state of al-Raja should be remembered as being of a superior degree than al-Khawf. Surrendering the heart is seen within many of the definitions made related to resignation.
Resignation means to abandon precautions, to rely on Allah on the point of reasons, and for the heart to be soothed toward the choices of Allah. According to al-Iskandari, the person in the position of resignation consents to what Allah sees suitable for the self and has no choice for the self. The servant should not direct need to other than Allah and should turn only to Allah, not to another for a need that Allah has given.
The greatest honor for humans is freedom and the lowest state is dependence; it brings together the freedom to be content with the slavery to covet. Therefore the healthiest path is to liberate and be only the servant of Allah without connection to anything else.
That the servants of Allah abstain from evils and lusts is a great revelation. One must not fall into doubt from a deed where the human is unable to find peace and must not be hopeless that it will not be accepted because even though a person has not received spiritual compensation in that moment, that deed may have been accepted.
As seen, al-Iskandari stated that humans must accept the things that Allah appreciates, see them as appropriate for the self, and must show resignation. Repeating the Names of Allah Dhikr Dhikr is given a distinct importance in Sufism and is shown as the most basic worship. Al-Iskandari can be said to be one of the Sufis in the world of mysticism who give the greatest importance to dhikr.
According to al-Iskandari, dhikr has a distinguished place when compared to other worships; while time and quantity are specified for all other worship, this is not valid for worshipping with dhikr. Al-Iskandari, who said measuring is necessary in futile worship, stated that it must be remembered as a sign of the love of the beloved by advising humans to increase dhikr.
Al-Iskandari also counted contemplation on the power of Allah among dhikr, alongside but not limited to remembering the names, attributes, and works of Allah and recalling prophets and saints through prayers. Dhikr means the person prevents their heart from forgetting Allah. According to al-Iskandari, who classified dhikr through specific ranks, the lowest degree of dhikr is made with the tongue and is done mostly habitually without enabling presence of heart.
In the right sense, dhikr should not be abandoned just for this; if one never remembers Allah, remembering just with the tongue is seen more appropriate.Surrendering the heart is seen within many of the definitions made related to resignation. Their life-breath is the presence of the secret of sincerity in them. The secret of true repentance tawba in the spiritual path is this divine rejoicing it is met with from Allah Most High.
It clearly emphasizes the positive qualities of many religious teachings, philosophical movements, mysticism, great thinkers, prophets, and humans. Humans should gather everything they feel onto one point and should not be interested in anything other than Allah; one can only show true affection this way.
Along with this and differently from other Sufis, he emphasized the importance of not having to need asceticism as an enemy to this world but as being dedicated to Allah. American Psychologist, 58 1 , 64— The world, being a world of examination full of troubles, must be turned on occasion to reach Allah. Ibn Ata Allah, whose views on Sufism had changed, settled in Cairo where he had probably gone for religious conversations and guidance with the permission of the sheikh.
He is the member of the scholarly scientific council of Egypt since