Wednesday, October 4, 2006
Salams & Supplications thick be this Numinous Month,
since it is the nature of such things...great passage from
Sh Ibn 'Ata' Allah Al Iskandari's: 'Miftah al-Falah wa Misbah al-Arwab'
'The Key to Salvation: A Sufi Manual of Invocation'
regarding the practise of zikr (invocation) using Allah! (God!) instead of La ilaha 'illa llah! (there is No God but God!)
"It is related that ash-Shibli was asked by a man 'Why do you say
Allah & not La ilaha-illa 'llah?' So ash-Shibli answered
Because Abu Bakr gave all his wealth to the point where not a
single thing remained with him. Then he took of a garment
in front of the Prophet (salalahu 'alyhi wa salam). So the Messenger
of God ( salalahu 'alyhi wa salam) said " What did you leave for your
family?' He answered, 'Allah'
Likewise I say Allah
Then the questioner said, 'I want a higher explanation than this'.
So ash-Shibli said, 'I am embarrassed to mention an expression
of negation in His presence, while everything is His light'. Then the
man said ' 'I want a higher explanation than this'. Ash-Shibli answered,
'I am afraid that I will die during the negation of the phrase before reaching
the affirmation.' (ie during La ilaha ila..(there is no god except..) & not during
'Allah'(lit The God!))
The questioner again said, 'I want a higher explanation than this'. So ash-Shibli
said "God Most High said to His Prophet :
"..say Allah. Then leave them to disport (show) themselves with their idle talk (or*) plunge in vain discourse and trifling"
(*: Yusuf Ali Translation)
ْ قُلِ اللّهُ ثُمَّ ذَرْهُمْ فِي خَوْضِهِمْ يَلْعَبُونَ (6:91)
"Quli Allahu thumma tharhum fee khawdihim yal'3aboon"
Then the young man got up & let out a shriek. Ash-Shibli said
Allah. He screamed again; ash-Shibli said Allah then he screamed a 3rd
time and died, may God most High have mercy upon him!
The relatives of the young man gathered together and grabbed ash-Shibli,
charging him with murder. They took him to the caliph and were given
permission to enter, and they accused him of murder. The caliph said
to ash-Shibli, 'What is your response?'. He answered, ' A soul yearned,
then wailed and aspired, then screamed, then was summoned, then heard,
then learned, then answered. So what was my crime?
The caliph shouted, 'Let him go!"
I couldn't help but be overcome with a loud exahltation when when I read this...!!
a classic Sufi tale..
May it's inner mysteries unfold in our hearts all!
asalatu wasalam 'ala sayyidina Muhammad wa lahi wa sahabahi wa taslima
Amin! Ya Rabb
May the Peace, Grace & Blessings of God Be Upon thee!