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6. The Wisdom of Ibn Ata'Allah

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(Excerpts Only)

Translation and Commentary by Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri

The Hikam (Wisdom)

Section Sixteen


When you commit a wrong action let it not be a reason for your despairing to attain righteousness with your Lord, for that might be the last wrong action written for you. 

Mistakes and transgression can be the doors and for greater vigilance and stimulus for corrective action.  They are part of Allah’s ways and guidance back to Him. The sincere seeker responds by awakened repentance and is resolve not to be distracted again. Our errors are insignificant in comparison to His magnanimity and forbearance, and they can be the last of distractions and disobedience. 


If you want the door of hopefulness to be opened for you, then consider what comes to you from Him.  But if you want the door of fearfulness opened to you, then consider what goes to Him from you. 

At the door of hope and high expectations of the Creator you witness all His Mercy, even continuous generosities and gifts. The experience is that of ease and expansion. When you consider your shortcomings, vices, distractions and disobediences, then you are at the door of constriction and grief. The faithful seeker lives between high hope and expectations from his Creator, and cautious awareness of his own shortcomings. 


It may be that He makes you benefit in the night of constriction more than you benefit in the radiant day of expansion.  “You do not know which of them is nearer to you in benefit.” [4:11] 

Constriction and expansion are two states, which come upon all human beings consecutively, like day and night and father and son. The night is the time for submission and closing in, whereas the day is the time to expand and seek ease. Expansion relates to beauty, which is the foundation in creation and it resembles the father, whereas constriction relates to our actions and is represented by son (or offspring). It is often that we transcend greater veils through constriction than expansion as part of His generosity and upbringing.


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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 ]