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2. 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 Four

HIKMA 38

Let not the intention of your aspiration pass to other-than-Him, for one’s hopes cannot bypass the (One) Generous. 

Whoever reaches the shores of Tawheed will restrict all attention and concern to the One Ocean. Once you bathe in the Source spring the secondary streams and rivulets will be of no interest. He is the self-sufficient and origin of all gifts, generosities and nothing ever can surpass or overtake Him.

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HIKMA 42

Do not depart from one sphere (state or experience) to another; otherwise you will be like a donkey at the mill turning round and round. The place he travels to is the same as he travelled from. Thus, travel, rather, from creations to the Creator:  “And that the final end is to thy Lord”[53:42].  Consider the words:  “Therefore he whose departure is for Allah and His messenger, then his departure is for Allah and His messenger.  And he whose departure is for worldly achievement or marriage with a woman, then his departure is for that which he flees”.  So understand his words, peace be upon him, and reflect upon this if you understand. 

Who you are and what you experience relates to your intentions, actions, companions and the overall potential and seriousness. If one's real intention and desire is for the knowledge of Truth, then the journey will remove veils and barriers until the arrival at source and origin. Allah's mercy always reflects the extent of our clarity and resolve in our intentions and actions. It is utter misguidance to seek sustained joy in this world of turmoil and change.

horizontal rule

Section Five

HIKMA 43

Do not accompany anyone whose state does not elevate you, and whose speech does not guide you to Allah. 

The choice of wholesome companionship is of constant concern to the seeker and teacher alike. Keep company with the one who reminds of Allah when you see him and leads you to Him when you hear him and will transform you when you obey him.  Just as you are affected by the quality of air that you breathe, so are you affected by the company you keep except that it is more subtle and thus affects the heart instead of nose and lungs.

HIKMA 44

You may have been a wrongdoer, but by accompanying someone whose state is worse than yours you see virtue in yourself. 

The nature of the lower self is to always seek affirmation, gratification and acknowledgement.  If you do not contain and restrict this ‘weed’ it will take over the whole of the garden in your heart. Keeping company with those who are less illumined than you will hinder your spiritual progress by pleasing the self in seeing itself more advanced.  They may progress by your example but you will regress by their state.

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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 ]