Allah, the Almighty, said:

{…so remove your sandals…}820 [Ṭâ Hâ 20:12]

قَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: "فَاخْلَعْ نَعْلَيْكَ"

Stripping821 refers to the departure from beholding the indicants, and it is of three levels:

التَّجْرِيدُ انْخِلَاعٌ عَنْ شُهُودِ الشَّوَاهِدِ، وَهُوَ عَلَى ثَلَاثِ دَرَجَاتٍ.

The first level is stripping the real disclosure of the earned certainty. 822

الدَّرَجَةُ الْأُولَى تَجْرِيدُ عَيْنِ الْكَشْفِ عَنْ كَسْبِ الْيَقِينِ.

The second level is stripping the real union of the apprehensions of knowledge. 823

وَالدَّرَجَةُ الثَّانِيَةُ تَجْرِيدُ عَيْنِ الْجَمْعِ عَنْ دَرْكِ الْعِلْمِ.

The third level is purifying the deliverance from beholding the stripping. 824

وَالدَّرَجَةُ الثَّالِثَةُ تَجْرِيدُ الْخَلَاصِ مِنْ شُهُودِ التَّجْرِيدِ.

820 The indirect inference of this verse that makes it suitable to quote here is that certain conditions may be attained only after fulfilling their requisites. Of these requisites is stripping that which is contrary to those conditions. Stripping the sandals was a prerequisite to enter the blessed valley; stripping one’s ego and all originated things (ḥawâdith) is a prerequisite to admission into the Divine presence.
821 The three-lettered root word is ‘jarada,’ which is about stripping, shedding, and dispossessing. A barren desert is described as jardâ’. Abstractionmay sometimes be translated as tajreed. To disconnect from the particulars and ascend to abstractions is a form of tajreed. A person who is impartial is called mutajarrid because he or she has removed his or her self-interests and biases from the equation and his or her judgment is thus unclouded by them. The heart that is ajrad in the hadith of the Prophet ﷺwould be translated as pure, because it is stripped of its flaws and ailments and infused with the light of faith. Dispossession and shedding of the harmful tendencies and influences of the ego is essential in tajreed, then stripping all realities of their covers and even indicants until you behold the Real with the eyes of your heart.
822 The earned certainty is the intellectual certainty earned through demonstrative proofs that appear after rational inquiry. The Divine disclosure is the Divine being experienced by the heart; it eclipses intellectual certainty and sends it into complete oblivion because the soundness and authenticity of the latter cannot stand up to the vividness and intensity of the earlier.
823 This is, of course, not to forsake the knowledge and its purports, but to purify the complete actualization of human potential in goodness and devotion from the hindrances of knowledge. Knowledge may result in arrogance, legalism, or super-technicality. It may hinder people from ascending in the ranks of piety and graciousness by being focused only on justice and correctness, not realizing that they are floors, not ceilings. Also, a focus on the rational and transmitted knowledge of God does not suffice to experience Him and be in His presence.
824 As always, in this phase the sheikh wants you to have the mental experience of complete self-dissolution. This means that you lose sense of the self and anything predicated on it, including your stripping, because at this level there is no ‘I’ or ‘my.’

Manâzil as-Sâirin


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

Translation and Footnotes


Hatem al-Haj