ممنازل السائرين

STATIONS OF THE TRAVELERS

Manâzil as-Sâ’ireen

Manâzil as-Sâ’ireen

by

Shaykhul-Islam Abu Isma‘il Abdullah ibn Muhammad al-Ansari al-Harawi (396-481H)

Translation and Footnotes

By

Hatem al-Haj

INTRODUCTION

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful All praise be to Allah: the One, the Unique, the Sustainer, the Eternal, the Subtle, the Ever-Near; He Who sent down the noblest words [of guidance] unto the inner-conscience of the 'ârifeen1 from the clouds of wisdom and showed them, while they were in their [worldly] forms of nothingness2, flashes of the qidam (pre-eternity), and guided them to the nearest paths towards the original scheme3, and brought them back from dispersion4 in the multiplicity of causes to the one essence of the azal (eternity in the past [a parte ante]),5 and instilled in them His treasures, and entrusted them with His secrets. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah, alone, without partner: the First and the Last, the Topmost and the Innermost, He who extends the shades of diversity upon the creations 6 in abundance, and makes the sunshine of empowerment for the chosen a guide to Him, and gently contracts the shadows of dispersion away from them7. May His abundant blessings and peace be upon His most favored one, by whom He swore on establishing His truth—Muhammad—and his family and followers.

بِسمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ الْحَمدُ للهِ الْوَاحِدِ الْأَحَدِ القَيُّومِ الصَّمَدِ اللَّطِيفِ الْقَرِيبِ، الَّذِي أمْطَرَ سَرائِرَ العَارِفينَ كَرائِمَ الْكَلِمِ مِنْ غمَائِمِ الحِكَمِ، وألاحَ لَهُم لَوَائِحَ الْقِدَمِ فِي صَفَائِحِ الْعَدَمِ، ودَلَّهُم علَى أقْرَبِ السُّبُلِ إِلَى الْمِنْهَاجِ الأوَّلِ، وَرَدَّهُم مِن تَفَرُّقِ الْعِلَلِ إِلَى عَيْنِ الْأَزَلِ، وَبَثَّ فيهِم ذَخَائِرَهُ، وأوْدَعَهُم سَرَائِرَهُ. وَأشْهَدُ أَن لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ الأوَّلُ الآخِرُ الظَّاهِرُ الْبَاطِنُ الَّذِي مَدَّ ظِلّ التَّلوينِ عَلى الْخَلِيقَةِ مَدًّا طَويلًا ثُمَ جَعَلَ شَمْسَ التَّمْكِينِ لِصَفْوتِهِ عَلَيْهِ دَلِيلًا ثُمَّ قَبَضَ ظِلَّ التَّفْرِقَةِ عَنْهُم إِلَيْهِ قَبْضًا يَسِيرًا. وَصَلَاتُهُ وَسَلَامُهُ عَلى صَفيِّه،ِ الَّذِي أقسَمَ بِهِ فِي إِقَامَةِ حَقِّهِ، مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِهِ كَثيرًا.

To proceed: a group of those who desire to discover the stations of the wayfarers to the True One (glorified be His name), of the fuqarâ' 8 of Herat and outsiders, have been asking me for a long time to clarify these stations for them: a clarification that would delineate their topographies. So, I have responded to their request after seeking Allah's counsel and His help. They asked me to arrange them in a way that shows their proper order and subsequent branches. They also asked me to preclude any discourse that is not mine, and to summarize it for the ease of utterance and memorization. I feared that if I embarked on explaining the statement of Abu Bakr al-Kattâni, "There are one thousand stations of light and darkness between the slave and the True One," that it would be too long for me and them. Therefore, I have mentioned only the bases of those stations that show the way to their fulfilment and the realization of their objectives. I hope for them9, once they purify their intent, what Abu 'Ubayd al-Busri said: "Allah has servants to whom He shows in their beginnings what is [destined for them] in their endings." I have arranged it into chapters and sections for the sake of brevity and to avoid redundancy and the need for further inquiry. I made it one hundred stations, divided into ten sections.

وَبَعدُ فَإِنَّ جَمَاعَةً مِنَ الرَّاغِبينَ فِي الْوُقُوفِ عَلَى مَنَازِلِ السَّائِرينَ إِلَى الْحَقِّ عَزَّ اسْمُهُ مِن الْفُقَرَاءِ مِن أهلِ هِرَاة والغُرباءِ طَالَ عَليّ مَسْألتُهُم إيَّايَ زَمَانًا أَنْ أُبَيِّنَ لَهُم فِي مَعْرِفَتِهَا بَيَانًا يَكونُ عَلى مَعَالِمِها عُنْوانًا فَأجَبْتُهُم بِذَلِكَ بَعدَ استِخارَتِي اللهَ واستِعَانَتي بِهِ. وسَألونِي أَنْ أُرَتِّبَهَا لَهُم تَرتيبًا يُشِيرُ إِلَى تَوالِيهَا وَيَدُلُّ عَلَى الْفُرُوعِ الَّتِي تَلِيهَا وَأَنْ أُخَلِّيَهُ مِن كَلَامِ غَيْرِي وأَخْتَصِرَهُ لِيَكُونَ ألطَفَ فِي اللَّفْظِ وَأخَفَّ للْحِفْظِ. وَإِنِّي خِفْتُ أَنِّي إِنْ أَخَذْتُ فِي شَرْحِ قَولِ أَبِي بَكْرٍ الكتَّانِي إِنَّ بَينَ العَبْدِ وَالْحَقِّ ألْفُ مَقَامٍ مِن نُورٍ وظُلْمَةٍ طَوَّلْتُ عَليَّ وَعَلَيْهِم فَذَكَرتُ أَبْنِيَةَ تِلْكَ المَقَامَاتِ الَّتِي تُشِيرُ إِلَى تَمَامِهَا وتَدُلُّ عَلَى مَرَامِهَا وَأَرْجُو لَهُم بَعدَ صِدقِ قَصْدِهِم مَا قَالَ أَبُو عُبَيْدٍ البُسْرِي "إِنَّ للهِ عِبَادًا يُرِيهِم فِي بِدَايَاتِهِم مَا فِي نِهَايَاتِهِم." ثُمَّ إِنِّي رَتَّبْتُهُ لَهُم فُصُولًا وأبْوابًا يُغنِي ذَلِكَ التَّرْتِيبُ عَن التَّطْوِيلِ الْمُؤَدِّي إِلَى المَلالِ وَيكُونُ مَنْدُوحَةً عَن التَّسآلِ فَجَعَلتُهُ مِائَةَ مَقَامٍ مَقسُومَةً عَلى عَشَرَةِ أَقسَام.

Al-Junayd has said that a slave may be moved from one state to a higher one before fulfilling the one he/she moved from, then he/she looks at it from above and fixes it. In my view, the slave will not fulfill any station until he/she rises above it and looks at it from above and rectifies it.

Be aware, as well, that the wayfarers have extreme variances in their travel through these stations. There is no definitive order or end that keeps them together.10

وَقد قَالَ الْجُنَيْدُ قَدْ يُنْقل العَبْد من حَال إِلَى حَال أرفع مِنْهَا وَقد بَقِيَ عَلَيْهِ مِنَ الَّتِي نُقِلَ عَنْهَا بَقِيَّةٌ فَيُشْرِفُ عَلَيْهَا مِن الْحَالةِ الثَّانِيَةِ فَيُصلِحُهَا. وَعِنْدِي أَنَّ العَبْدَ لَا يَصِحُّ لَهُ مَقَامٌ حَتَّى يَرْتَفِعَ عَنهُ ثُمَّ يُشرِفَ عَلَيْهِ فَيُصَحِّحَهُ.

وَاعْلَم أَن السَّائرين فِي هَذِهِ المَقَامَاتِ على اخْتِلَاف مُفْظِعٍ لَا يَجْمَعُهُمْ تَرْتِيبٌ قَاطِعٌ وَلَا يَقِفُهُم مُنْتَهًى جَامِعٌ.

A group of earlier and latter scholars have authored works in this discipline. Despite their excellence, you may not find them (or most of them) fulfilling or sufficient. Some have pointed out the foundations but have not addressed the details. A number of them gathered narrations but did not organize them and highlight the learning points. Some did not distinguish between the stations of the elites and the necessities of the public. A number of them considered the esoteric utterances of the spiritually overawed11 stations and considered mainstream those disclosures of the ecstatic and symbolisms of the established (masters). Most of them did not speak of the rankings.

وَقَدْ صَنَّفَ جَمَاعَةٌ مِنَ الْمُتَقَدِّمِينَ والمُتَأخِّرينَ فِي هَذَا الْبَابِ تَصَانِيفَ عَسَاكَ لَا تَرَاهَا أَو أَكْثَرَهَا عَلَى حُسْنِهَا مُغْنِيَةً كَافِيَةً. مِنْهُم مَنْ أَشَارَ إِلَى الْأُصُولِ وَلم يَفِ بالتَّفْصِيلِ. وَمِنْهُم مَنْ جَمَعَ الحِكايَاتِ وَلَم يُلَخِّصْها تَلخيصًا وَلَمْ يُخَصِّصْ النُّكْتَةَ تَخْصِيصًا. وَمِنْهُم مَن لَمْ يُمَيّزْ بَينَ مَقَامَات الْخَاصَّة وضَرُوراتِ الْعَامَّةِ. وَمِنْهُم مَنْ عَدَّ شَطْحَ المَغلوبِ مقَامًا وَجَعَلَ بَوْحَ الْوَاجِدِ وَرَمْزَ المُتَمَكِّنِ شَيْئا عَامًّا. وَأَكْثَرُهم لَمْ يَنْطِقْ عَن الدَّرَجَاتِ.

Know that most of the scholars of this community and the guides to this path have agreed that the endings will not be rectified without the rectification of the beginnings, just like buildings will not stand except on solid foundations.

The rectification of the beginnings is about the establishment of one's affair on the observation of devotion and the adherence to the Sunnah, as well as esteeming the prohibitions upon the contemplation of fear, the honoring of the sacred, and having empathy for the creations. This can be realized by extending sincere advice without being a burden, and while avoiding any companion that squanders time and any matter that corrupts the heart.

وَاعْلَمْ أَن الْعَامَّةَ مِنْ عُلَمَاءِ هَذِهِ الطَّائِفَةِ والمُشيرِينَ إِلَى هَذِهِ الطَّرِيقَةِ اتَّفقُوا عَلى أَنَّ النِّهاياتِ لَا تصِحُّ إِلَّا بِتَصحيحِ البِدايَاتِ كَمَا أَنَّ الْأَبْنِيَةَ لَا تَقُومُ إِلَّا عَلى الأسَاسِ. وَتَصْحِيحُ البَداياتِ هُوَ إِقَامَةُ الْأَمْرِ عَلى مُشَاهدَةِ الْإِخْلَاصِ وَمُتابَعَةِ السُّنَّةِ وتَعْظيمِ النَّهْيِ عَلى مُشَاهَدَةِ الْخَوْفِ ورِعايَةِ الْحُرْمَةِ والشَّفَقَةِ عَلى الْعَالَمِ بِبَذْلِ النَّصِيحَةِ وَكَفِّ الْمُؤْنَةِ وَمُجَانَبَةِ كُلِّ صَاحِبٍ يُفْسِدُ الْوَقْتَ وَكُلِّ سَبَبٍ يَفْتِنُ الْقَلْبَ.

Concerning the meaning of the first ranking, al-Ḥusayn ibn Muhammad ibn 'Ali al-Farâ'idi told us that Aḥmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ḥasnawayh told him that al-Ḥusayn ibn Idrees al-Anṣâri said: 'Uthmân ibn Abi Shaybah narrated to us that Muhammad ibn Bishr al-'Abdi said: 'Umar ibn Râshid narrated to us from Yaḥyâ ibn Abi Katheer from Abu Salamah from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, "March; the mufarridoon16 have won the race." They said, "O Messenger of Allah, who are the mufarridoon?" He said, "The ones who are consumed by the remembrance of Allah (Mighty and Glorious); dhikr removes their burdens, so they come light on the Day of Resurrection." This is a sound ḥadeeth which was not reported from Yaḥyâ ibn Abi Katheer except by 'Umar ibn Râshid al-Yamâni. Muhammad ibn Yoosuf al-Firyâbi diverged from Muhammad ibn Basheer al-'Abdi concerning it, and reported it from Yaḥyâ from Abu Salamah from Abu ad-Dardâ', traceable [to the Prophet ﷺ]. The [authentic] ḥadeeth is Abu Hurayrah's; Bundâr ibn Bash-shâr reported it from Ṣafwân ibn 'Eesâ from Basheer ibn Râfi' al-Yamâni, the imam of the people of Najrân and their mufti, from Abu 'Abdullâh, the cousin of Abu Hurayrah, from Abu Hurayrah, traceable [to the Prophet ﷺ]. The best chain of narration belongs to the ḥadeeth of al-'Alâ' ibn 'Abdur-Raḥmân from his father, from Abu Hurayrah, from the Prophet ﷺ. This is reported in Ṣaḥeeḥ Muslim. The people of ash-Shâm reported this ḥadeeth from Abu Umâmah, traceable [to the Prophet ﷺ]. In all of them, he ﷺ said, "The mufarridoon have won the race."17

وَقَد أَخْبَرَنَا فِي مَعْنَى الرُّتْبَةِ الأُولَى الْحُسَيْن بن مُحَمَّد بن عَليّ الْفَرَائِضِي قَالَ أخبرنَا أَحْمد بن مُحَمَّد بن حَسْنَوَيْهِ قَالَ أخبرنَا الْحُسَيْن بن إِدْرِيسٍ الْأنْصَارِيّ قَالَ حَدثنَا عُثْمَان بن أبِي شَيْبَةَ قَالَ حَدثنَا مُحَمَّد بن بِشْر هُوَ الْعَبْدي قَالَ حَدثنَا عُمَرُ بن رَاشِدٍ عَن يَحْيَى بن أَبِي كَثِيرٍ عَن أبِي سَلمَةَ عَن أبي هُرَيْرَةَ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ : "سِيرُوا سَبَقَ المُفَرِّدُونَ قَالُوا يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ وَمَا المُفَرِّدُونَ؟ قَالَ المُهْتَرُونَ، الَّذِينَ يَهْتَرُونَ فِي ذِكْرِ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ؛ يَضَعُ الذِّكْرُ عَنْهُم أثْقَالَهُم، فَيَأْتُونَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ خِفَافًا." وَهَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ لَمْ يَرْوِهِ عَن يَحْيَى بن أَبِي كَثِيرٍ إِلَّا عُمَرُ بن رَاشِدٍ الْيَمَانِيّ. وَخَالَفَ مُحَمَّد بن يُوسُف الْفِرْيَابِيّ فِيهِ مُحَمَّدَ بنَ بَشِيرٍ الْعَبْديِّ فَرَوَاهُ عَن عُمَرَ بنِ رَاشِدٍ عَن يَحْيَى عَن أبِي سَلمَةَ عَن أبِي الدَّرْدَاءِ مَرْفُوعًا. والْحَدِيث إِنَّمَا هُوَ لأبي هُرَيْرَة، رَوَاهُ بُنْدَارُ بنُ بَشَّارٍ عَن صَفْوَانَ بنِ عِيسَى عَن بَشِيرِ بن رَافِعٍ الْيَمَانِيّ إِمَامِ أهْلِ نَجْرَانَ ومُفتِيهِم عَن أبِي عَبْدِ اللهِ بنِ عَمِّ أبِي هُرَيْرَةَ عَن أبِي هُرَيْرَة مَرْفُوعًا. وَأحْسَنُها طَرِيقًا وأجْوَدُهَا سَنَدًا حَدِيثُ الْعَلَاءِ بنِ عَبدِ الرَّحْمَنِ عَن أَبِيهِ عَن أبِي هُرَيْرَةَ عَن النَّبِي وَهُوَ مُخَرَّجٌ فِي صَحِيحِ مُسْلِم. ورَوَى هَذَا الحَدِيثَ أهلُ الشَّامِ عَن أبِي أُمَامَةَ مَرْفُوعًا. قَالَ فِي كُلِّهَا سَبَقَ المُفَرِّدُونَ.

Concerning the entry into exile, Ḥamzah ibn Muhammad ibn 'Abdullâh al-Ḥusayni told us that Abul-Qâsim 'Abdul-Wâḥid ibn Aḥmad al-Hâshimi aṣ-Ṣoofi said: I heard Abu 'Abdullâh 'Allân ibn Zayd ad-Daynoori aṣ-Ṣoofi say: I heard Ja'far al-Khuldi aṣ-Ṣoofi in Basra say: I heard al-Junayd say: I heard as-Sariy report from Ma'roof al-Karkhi, from Ja'far ibn Muhammad, from his father, from his (Ja'far's) grandfather, from 'Ali (may Allah be pleased with him), from the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, that he said, "Seeking the Truth/True One is strangeness." This ḥadeeth is ghareeb18; I relate it only from the narration of 'Allân.19

وَأخْبرَنَا فِي مَعْنَى الدُّخُولِ فِي الْغُرْبَةِ حَمْزَةُ بنُ مُحَمَّد بنِ عَبْدِ اللهِ الْحُسَيْنِي قَالَ حَدثَنَا أَبُو الْقَاسِمِ عَبْدُ الوَاحِدِ بنِ أحْمَدَ الْهَاشِمِي الصُّوفِيَ قَالَ سَمِعتُ أَبَا عَبْدِ اللهِ عَلَّانَ بنَ زَيْدٍ الدينَوَرِيِّ الصُّوفِيِّ بِالْبَصْرَةِ قَالَ سَمِعتُ جَعْفَرَ الْخُلْدِيِّ الصُّوفِيَّ يَقُولُ سَمِعتُ الْجُنَيْدَ قَالَ سَمِعتُ السَّرِيَّ عَن مَعْرُوفٍ الْكَرْخِيِّ عَن جَعْفَرَ بنِ مُحَمَّدٍ عَن أَبِيهِ عَن جَدِّهِ عَن عَليٍّ عَن رَسُول الله قَالَ طَلَبُ الْحَقِّ غُرْبَةٌ. وَهَذَا حَدِيثٌ غَرِيبٌ مَا كَتَبْتُهُ إِلَّا مِنْ رِوَايَةِ عَلَّان.

Concerning the realization of the mushâhadah (beholding the Divine)20, Muhammad ibn 'Ali ibn al-Ḥusayn al-Bâshâni (may Allah bestow mercy on him)told us that Muhammad ibn Is-ḥâq al-Qurashi narrated to them that 'Uthman ibn Sa'eed ad-Dârimi narrated to them that Sulaymân ibn Ḥarb narrated to them from Ḥammâd ibn Zayd, from Maṭar al-Warrâq, from Abu Buraydah, from Yaḥyâ ibn Ya'mur, from 'Abdullâh ibn 'Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭâb, from 'Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭâb, regarding Jibreel's question to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ
"What is iḥsân?"
He ﷺ said, "To worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you cannot, then be certain He sees you."
This is an authentic, ghareeb ḥadeeth which Muslim reported in the authentic collections. This ḥadeeth is a comprehensive indication of the way of this community.21

وَأخْبرَنَا فِي مَعنَى الْحُصُولِ عَلَى الْمُشَاهدَةِ مُحَمَّدُ بن عَليّ بنِ الْحُسَيْنِ البَاشَانِيّ رَحِمَهُ اللهُ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بن سَعيدٍ الدَّارِمِيّ قَالَ حَدثنَا سُلَيْمَانُ بنُ حَرْبٍ عَن حَمَّاد بنِ زَيْدٍ عَن مَطَرَ الْوَرَّاقِ عَن أبِي بُرَيْدَةَ عَن يَحْيَى بنِ يَعْمُر عَن عَبدِ اللهِ بنِ عَمُرَ بن الْخَطَّابِ فِي حَدِيثِ سُؤالِ جِبْرَائِيل رَسُولَ اللهِ قَالَ: "مَا الْإِحْسَانُ؟" قَالَ: "أَنْ تَعْبُدَ اللهَ كَأَنَّكَ تَرَاهُ فَإِن لم تَكُنْ تَرَاهُ فَإِنَّهُ يَرَاكَ." وَهَذَا حَدِيثٌ صَحِيحٌ غَرِيبٌ أخْرَجَهُ مُسلمٌ فِي الصِّحَاحِ. وَهَذَا الحَدِيثُ إِشَارَةٌ جَامِعَةٌ لمَذْهَبِ هَذِه الطَّائِفَةِ.

I shall clarify in detail for you the levels of each station, so that you may know the level of the common person, that of the sâlik (traveler), and that of the accomplished/elite. Each of them has a path, a scheme, and a destination he/she seeks; a banner has been erected for them to which they are directed, and an end has been set toward which they are driven by God. I ask Allah to make me accompanied [by His care], not barred [from it], and to grant me clear power: {…Indeed, He is Hearing and Near.} [Saba' 34: 50]

وَإِنِّي مُفَصِّلٌ لَكَ دَرَجَاتِ كُلِّ مَقَامٍ مِنْهَا لِتَعْرِفَ دَرَجَةَ الْعَامَّةِ مِنْهُ ثمَّ دَرَجَةَ السَّالِكِ ثُمَّ دَرَجَةَ الْمُحَقِّقِ وَلكُلٍ مِنْهُم شِرْعَةٌ ومِنْهَاجٌ ووِجْهَةٌ هُوَ مُوَلِّيهَا قَدْ نُصِبَ لَهُ عَلَمٌ هُوَ لَهُ مَبْعُوثٌ وأُنْتِجَ لَهُ غَايَةٌ هُوَ إِلَيْهَا مَحْثُوثٌ، وَإِنِّي أسْأَلُ اللهَ أَنْ يَجْعَلنِي فِي قَصْدِي مَصْحُوبًا لَا مَحْجُوبًا وَأَنْ يَجْعَلَ لي سُلْطَانا مُبينًا؛ {إِنَّهُ سَمِيعٌ قَرِيبٌ}.

The ten sections I have mentioned in the beginning of this book are:

  1. the section of the beginnings
  2. the section of the gates
  3. the section of dealings
  4. the section of etiquettes
  5. the section of the foundations
  6. the section of the valleys
  7. the section of states
  8. the section of walâyât (friendship with the Divine)
  9. the section of realities
  10. the section of endings

وَاعْلَم أَن الْأَقْسَامَ الْعَشَرَةَ الَّتِي ذَكَرْتُهَا فِي صَدْرِ هَذَا الْكتَابِ هِيَ

  1. قِسْمُ البِدَايَاتِ

  2. ثمَّ قِسْمُ الْأَبْوَابِ

  3. ثمَّ قِسْمُ الْمُعَامَلَاتِ

  4. ثمَّ قِسْمُ الْأَخْلَاقِ

  5. ثمَّ قِسْمُ الْأُصُولِ

  6. ثمَّ قِسْمُ الأوْدِيَةِ

  7. ثمَّ قِسْمُ الْأَحْوَالِ

  8. ثمَّ قِسْمُ الوَلَاياتِ

  9. ثمَّ قِسْمُ الْحَقَائِقِ

  10. ثمَّ قِسْمُ النِّهَايَاتِ

1 In the Sufi tradition, the ''ârifeen' (plural of ''ârif') refers to those endowed with beneficial knowledge of the heart, not merely technical knowledge of the intellect.
2 This may also refer to the nothingness of fanâ' (self-annihilation). The concept of fanâ' is explained in the main text.
3 The scheme of the origination of all things from nothingness by the True One.
4 The concept of dispersion is clarified in the main text.
5 From being overwhelmed by the diversity and multiplicity of the creations, causes, and effects to the realization of the oneness of the Origin and Ultimate Effector.
6 All the creations, phenomena, relations, and causes around us.
7 So that they are not overwhelmed or distracted by the multiplicity around them, but focus on the oneness of the Source, the First Cause, the Ultimate Effector, the First without beginning. He did this gradually so that they could go through the spiritual ascension to the highest levels without harm.
8 Plural of faqeer (poor). Another name for a Sufi. Some scholars make distinctions between them.
9 Those who petitioned him to elucidate those stations.
10 Someone may reach the highest levels of tawakkul (reliance), while still being behind in the station of murâqabah (watchfulness).
11 About shaṭaḥât: Those who experience intense spiritual encounters and focus on the Divine to the point of self-dissolution may make esoteric utterances during such trances. While such utterances are not commendable and could be considered acts of disbelief if made outside of those states, many scholars, including Imam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah bestow mercy on him), maintained that those who make such utterances would be forgiven on account of their spiritual intoxication. He mentioned as an example of those shaṭaḥât the statement of Abu Yazeed al-Bisṭâmi, "Glory be to me." For those utterances to be forgiven, certain conditions must be fulfilled. They should be short, only a few words. The person who utters them regrets them upon waking from the trance and even denies them, like Abu Yazeed (may Allah bestow His mercy on him) used to. The person must also be observant of the Sunnah and compliant with the Shari'ah in his/her religious practice. Finally, as Imam Ibn Taymiyyah clarified, such utterances were not reported from the best of Allah's creations: the prophets and the Companions. This is because of the strength of their recognition and intellect and their ability to behold the multiplicity of phenomena and creations while being fully aware of the oneness of the Creator, the Eternal, the True One (glorious is He). Such complete recognition protected them from being overcome by any spiritual trance. Baqâ' (subsistence) by Allah, with Allah, for Allah is higher than fanâ' (self-annihilation).
12 Meaning dispersion in the valleys of vanity. The togetherness of the heart will be only with its Maker.
13 Murâd literally means 'wanted.' This is the one Allah chooses and invites to subsist only with Him and for Him. He is not struggling like the first one. He is being drawn to the Divine by the Divine Himself.
14 Whether or not there are people at his/her level or ahead of them, this journey is an individual one, and the feeling of estrangement/'stranger-ness' in this world is essential for progress on this journey. Note that estrangement/'stranger-ness' does not necessarily mean strangeness.
15 The concept of fanâ' is clarified in the main text.
16 This comes from the word 'fard,' which means 'one who is alone.' In this context, it could mean either the loners or the ones who single out Allah and observe none but Him alone.
17 Reporting the various isnâds (chains of narration) of the ḥadeeth, even though he could have cited only its references, is a gesture from the sheikh that the transmitted knowledge must be verified and honored, and that the path of taṣawwuf must be based on the authentic knowledge of the Revelation: the Qur'an and the Sunnah.
18 A ḥadeeth may be classified as ghareeb for different reasons. Here, it is classified as such because it has been conveyed by only one narrator.
19 'Allân was considered a fabricator by ḥadeeth scholars. They deemed this ḥadeeth fabricated (mawḍooʻ). Note that this does not mean the meaning is invalid. In fact, the concept of ghurbah (strangerness) is an established one. Al-Bukhâri reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said to Ibn 'Umar, "Be in the world like a stranger or a wayfarer."
20 Shuhood (beholding) of God refers to the heart's beholding of the True One, Allah. It is when the heart's sight is fixated on the first and final Cause so that no other creation, created being, or cause will distract it from Him and from conforming to His will and seeking His pleasure.
21 Iḥsân is the goal of all seekers.