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1. The Wisdom of Ibn Ata'Allah

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THE WISDOM OF IBN ATA'ALLAH
(Excerpts Only)

Translation and Commentary by Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

The Hikam (Wisdom)

Section One

HIKMA 1

One of the signs of depending on one’s own actions is the lack of hope when mistakes occur. 

If we assume that the Source of Power behind our actions are from ourselves we will be disappointed when the results do not match our expectations.  But when we are in true submission to the One, we will see the unity of the origin and motive behind our acts, our personal role in carrying them out, and their outcome. Faults will then be seen only as signs for us to heighten our awareness of the divine will, mercy and generosity. For enlightened beings there is total unity in actions and outcomes.

HIKMA 2

Your desire for divestment, even though Allah has established you with means, is an aspect of hidden desire.  And your desire to have means while Allah has established you in [the state of] divestment is a comedown from lofty aspiration. 

If you are given obvious or steady means to earn your keep it is discourteous to desire that your provision come to you through uncertain or unknown means. On the other hand, when one is in a situation where the means of provision are not known the courtesy to the One is not to seek secure and constant means.  Dependence on Allah requires acceptance of His Will and Ways of provision and help. The wise seeker connects the outcomes and means with the Source of Power and creations.

HIKMA 3

Competing endeavours will not breach the ramparts of destinies. 

No matter how much energy you put into an intention or goal it will not be realized if it is not in accordance with Allah’s decree.  You cannot superimpose your will on His, who governs both the seen and unseen worlds and our destiny. What is expected of a serious seeker is to focus  intentions, attention and endeavours on the Unique One Essence behind all manifestations and occurrences.

HIKMA 4

Let your self be at rest from self-concern.  Do not undertake to do what someone else has carried out on your behalf.

Allah, the Creator and Sustainor reveals that He is the One that establishes ways and means of provisions to satisfy needs. Thus the duty of the ‘Mu’min’ is to follow the Divine Will with ease and confidence and be concerned with proper worship and heightened awareness and knowledge of His Will. Be Allah’s guest and guard the courtesies worthy of the Lord.

HIKMA 5

Your striving for what is guaranteed for you, and being remiss in what is demanded of you, are signs of blindness of your insight. 

What the Creator has intended for us is to strive for enlightenment and readiness for the hereafter.  Emotional battles and material insecurity are only dark shadows that sidetrack and distract us from the path of success. Our basic provisions and evolvement are guaranteed and where our efforts and passion are needed is to dive into the ocean of divine Unicity and follow our hearts’ true insight.

HIKMA 6

Do not despair when in spite of intense supplication, there is a delay in receiving the expected gift. He has guaranteed that he will respond in what He chooses for you, and not what you choose for yourself, and at the time He chooses – not the time you desire. 

Allah responds to the yearning Du’as and calls from a sincere heart. Calls for help are caused by His decrees to return to Him, thus the time and way that His response comes about are in His loving hands.  What is expected of creation is to call upon, depend on and trust the perfect ways of the Creator, for He always knows our true state and the appropriate remedy and provisions for the journey unto Him.

HIKMA 7

Do not doubt the promise, even if what was promised and its timing had been determined, least that [doubt] cloud your insight and extinguish the light of your innermost. 

To maintain proper access to inner illumination we need to dispel all doubts regarding divine perfections, justice, and the wisdom behind the unfoldment of events in their proper sequence and time. What matters most is our full submission and total trust in His Will and Purpose even though we may have had a true inspiration and insight into an opening or event, which does not take place.

HIKMA 8

If He opens a door for you, thereby making Himself known to you, do not worry if your deeds do not measure up [to this].  For truly, He did not open the door for you, save that He desired to make Himself known to you.  Do you not know that the knowledge of Himself is what He presents to you, whereas you presented Him with actions? What a difference between that which you present to Him and that which He brings to you! 

We cannot measure Allah’s total generosity, or compare it with our (illusions of) sacrifices or pious actions.   Whatever we present to the Creator is insignificant in comparison to what He has already endowed us with based on the  ‘Fitrah ‘ and the Light of the Ruh (Spirit). For indeed, He is the Creator and Container of all that is within and around us, seen and unseen! Our deeds and actions are only signs and preludes to the openings and relief, which were already present, but to which we were veiled.

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Introduction: The Wisdom of Ibn Ata'Allah ] [ 1. The Wisdom of Ibn Ata'Allah ] 2. The Wisdom of Ibn Ata'Allah ] 3. The Wisdom of Ibn Ata'Allah ] 4. The Wisdom of Ibn Ata'Allah ] 5. The Wisdom of Ibn Ata'Allah ] 6. The Wisdom of Ibn Ata'Allah ] 7. The Wisdom of Ibn Ata'Allah ] 8. The Wisdom of Ibn Ata'Allah ]