Allah, the Almighty said:

{And on the earth are signs for the certain [in faith].} [adh-Dhâriyât 51:20]

قَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: "وَفِي الْأَرْضِ آيَاتٌ لِّلْمُوقِنِينَ"

Certainty is the transporter of the traveler on this path. It is the ending of the rankings of the common people and it was said to be the first step for the elite.397 It is of three levels:

الْيَقِينُ مَرْكَبُ الْآخِذِ فِي هَذَا الطَّرِيقِ. وَهُوَ غَايَةُ دَرَجَاتِ الْعَامَّةِ، وَقِيلَ أَوَّلُ خُطْوَةٍ لِلْخَاصَّة، وَهُوَ عَلَى ثَلَاثِ دَرَجَاتٍ.

The first level is the certainty of knowledge (‘ilm ul-yaqeen)380 and this is:

  1. accepting what is made obvious by the True One381

  2. accepting what is hidden by the True One382

  3. accepting all that is established about the True One383

الدَّرَجَةُ الْأُولَى: عِلْمُ الْيَقِينِ. وَهُوَ:

  1. قَبُولُ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنَ الْحَقِ

  2. وَقَبُولُ مَا غَابَ لِلْحَقِّ

  3. وَالْوُقُوفُ عَلَى مَا قَامَ بِالْحَقِّ

The certainty of sight (‘ayn ul-yaqeen), and this is when:

  1. experiencing (the Divine) replaces the need for evidence384

  2. witnessing takes the place of hearing385

  3. shuhood (beholding the Divine) pierces the veil of knowledge386

والدَّرَجَةُ الثَّانِيَةُ: عَيْنُ الْيَقِينِ. وَهُوَ:

  1. الْمُغْنِي بِالِاسْتِدْرَاكِ عَنْ الِاسْتِدْلَالِ

  2. وَعَنِ الْخَبَرِ بِالْعِيَانِ

  3. وَخَرْقُ الشُّهُودِ حِجَابَ الْعِلْمِ

The certainty of reality (ḥaqq ul-yaqeen)387 and this is:

  1. the shining of the light of disclosure

  2. riddance from the burden of certainty388

  3. dissolution into the certain Truth389

والدَّرَجَةُ الثَّالِثَةُ حَقُّ الْيَقِينِ. وَهُوَ:

  1. إِسْفَارُ صُبْحِ الْكَشْفِ

  2. ثُمَّ الْخَلَاصُ مِنْ كُلْفَةِ الْيَقِينِ

  3. ثُمَّ الْفَنَاءُ فِي حَقِّ الْيَقِينِ

379 Because all their stations are dependent on the establishment of certainty. However, there is always more certainty to aspire to. It was the certainty of Abu Bakr that set him apart from the rest. His certainty would not, however, compare at all to that of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. Ibrâheem (peace be upon him) asked for more certainty when he requested that Allah show him the resurrection of the dead. Moosâ (peace be upon him) did this when he asked Allah to allow him to see Him.
380 Often translated as the knowledge of certainty. I chose ‘certainty of knowledge’ because certainty is the subject matter being described. It means the certainty that is based on certain knowledge.
381 All the truth conveyed to us through the messengers or shown to us in the universe.
382 The knowledge of the unseen, about which we believe what we were told through the Revelation and defer that which we cannot encompass to Allah. For example, we believe in the punishment of the grave, but we defer the actual nature of it to the knowledge of Allah.
383 Of his attributes and actions without taḥreef (distortion), nor ta‘ṭeel (denial), nor tamtheel (likening the Divine to anything), nor tashbeeh (positing any resemblance). As the righteous predecessors would say, “Let them (the mentioning of Allah’s attributes in the Revelation) pass as they came,” meaning without denying them or discussing the ‘how’ (their true nature).
384 Experiential faith confirms belief beyond the realm of mere intellectual conviction. At this stage, the traveler is not in need of proofs. It must be said that more proofs add to one’s certainty and more furqân (power to discern the truth from falsehood) gives immunity against falsehood.
385 The travelers now see what was described to them.
386 Transcending the limitations of human knowledge through beholding with the eyes of one’s heart the Divine reality by Divine assistance.
387 An example of the different layers is our belief in paradise. It is based on our acceptance of the message of the Prophet ﷺ, and this is certainty based on certain knowledge, although we still vary within this layer. The Prophet ﷺ saw paradise in al-isrâ’ (ascent to the heavens), so his certainty is that of eyesight. When we enter paradise—and may Allah allow us to—then our certainty will be based on reality.
While this phase belongs in this world to the greatest of Allah’s messengers, our share of it is the heart’s experience of the truths and fruits of faith that we were told about by the Messenger ﷺ.
388 The burdens that led to this certainty are replaced by powers, whereby one is carried by Divine assistance to heights they would never be able to rise to on their own.
389 Dissolution into the Divine. See the notes about fanâ’ in previous chapters.

Manâzil as-Sâirin


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

Translation and Footnotes


Hatem al-Haj