Allah, the Almighty, said:

{It is He who sent down tranquility into the hearts of the believers…} [al-Fatḥ 48:4]

قَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ:"هُوَ الَّذِي أَنْزَلَ السَّكِينَةَ فِي قُلُوبِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ"

Sakeenah476 (tranquility) refers to three things:
The first is the sakeenah of Bani Isrâ’eel given to them in the chest (the Ark of the Covenant). The commentators of the Qur’an say that it is a smooth, good wind, and they spoke of its description. It had three characteristics; [it was]:

  1. a miracle for their prophets

  2. a karâmah477 for their kings

  3. a sign of victory whose sound made the hearts of the enemies tremble out of fear when the two rows collided in battle

The second sakeenah is that which:

  1. manifests on the tongues of the inspired; it is not acquirable, but rather a kind gesture of the doing of the True One

  2. casts wisdom on the tongue of the inspired, like the angels cast revelation into the hearts of the prophets

  3. makes the inspired speak the deepest truths, bringing life to the inner souls and removing all doubts

The third sakeenah is the one that descended onto the heart of the Prophet ﷺ and the believers,478 and it is something that brings together power and comfort;

  1. the fearful find comfort in it

  2. the grieving and the aggravated find solace in it

  3. the defiant, rebellious sinner humbles himself/herself to it

اسْمٌ السَّكِينَةُ لِثَلَاثَةِ أَشْيَاءَ.
أَوَّلُهَا: سَكِينَةُ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ الَّتِي أُعْطُوهَا فِي التَّابُوتِ . قَالَ أَهْلُ التَّفْسِيرِ : هِيَ رِيحٌ هَفَّافَةٌ . وَذَكَرُوا صِفَتَهَا.وَفِيهَا ثَلَاثَةُ أَشْيَاءَ هِيَ:

  1. لِأَنْبِيَائهم مُعْجِزَةٌ

  2. وَلِمُلُوكِهِمْ كَرَامَةٌ

  3. وَهِيَ آيَةُ النُّصْرَة تَخْلَعُ قُلُوبَ الْأَعْدَاءِ بِصَوْتِهَا رُعْبًا إِذَا الْتَقَى الصَّفَّانِ لِلْقِتَالِ

والسَّكِينَةُ الثَّانِيَةُ: هِيَ الَّتِي:

  1. تَنْطِقُ عَلَى لِسَانِ الْمُحَدَّثِينَ . لَيْسَتْ هِيَ شَيْئًا يُمْلَكُ . إِنَّمَا هِيَ شَيْءٌ مِنْ لَطَائِفِ صُنْعِ الْحَقِّ .

  2. تُلْقِي عَلَى لِسَانِ الْمُحَدَّثِ الْحِكْمَةَ كَمَا يُلْقِي الْمَلَكُ الْوَحْيَ عَلَى قُلُوبِ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ.

  3. وَتَنْطِقُ الْمُحَدَّثِينَ بِنُكَتِ الْحَقَائِقِ مَعَ تَرْوِيحِ الْأَسْرَارِ ، وَكَشْفِ الشُّبَهِ .

والسَّكِينَةُ الثَّالِثَةُ : هِيَ الَّتِي نَزَلَتْ عَلَى قَلْبِ النَّبِيِّ ، وَقُلُوبِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ. وَهِيَ شَيْءٌ يَجْمَعُ قُوَّةً وَرُوحًا:

  1. يَسْكُنُ إِلَيْهِ الْخَائِفُ

  2. وَيَتَسَلَّى بِهِ الْحَزِينُ وَالضَّجِرُ

  3. وَيَسْتكينُ إِلَيْهِ الْعَصِيُّ وَالْجَرِئُ وَالْأَبِيُّ

As for the sakeenah of dignity479 that He brought down onto its people and made it one of their qualities, it is the resultant light of the third sakeenah that we just mentioned, and it is of three levels:

وَأَمَّا سَكِينَةُ الْوَقَارِ ، الَّتِي نَزَّلَهَا نَعْتًا لِأَرْبَابِهَا : فَإِنَّهَا ضِيَاءُ تِلْكَ السَّكِينَةِ الثَّالِثَةِ الَّتِي ذَكَرْنَاهَا. وَهِيَ عَلَى ثَلَاثِ دَرَجَاتٍ.

The first level is the sakeenah of the khushoo‘480 of service, done with:

  1. care

  2. exaltation

  3. attentiveness

الدَّرَجَةُ الْأُولَى سَكِينَةُ الْخُشُوعِ عِنْدَ الْقِيَامِ بالْخِدْمَةِ:

  1. رِعَايَةً

  2. وَتَعْظِيمًا

  3. وَحُضُورًا

The second level is the sakeenah of dealings, achieved by:

  1. self-reckoning

  2. gentleness with the creations

  3. watchfulness of the True One

والدَّرَجَةُ الثَّانِيَةُ السَّكِينَةُ عِنْدَ الْمُعَامَلَةِ :

  1. بِمُحَاسَبَةِ النَّفسِ

  2. وَمُلَاطَفَةِ الْخَلْقِ

  3. وَمُرَاقَبَةِ الْحَقِّ

The third level is the sakeenah that:

  1. brings about acceptance of the Divine allotment of shares

  2. prevents from excessive shaṭ-ḥ481

  3. stops its possessor at their ranking

Sakeenah descends only into the heart of a prophet or a waliy.

والدَّرَجَةُ الثَّالِثَةُالسَّكِينَةُ الَّتِي:

  1. تُثْبِتُ الرِّضَا بِالْقَسْمِ

  2. وَتَمْنَعُ مِنَ الشَّطْحِ الْفَاحِشِ

  3. وَتَقِفُ صَاحِبَهَا عَلَى حَدِّ الرُّتْبَةِ

وَالسَّكِينَةُ لَا تَنْزِلُ إِلَّا فِي قَلْبِ نَبِيٍّ أَوْ وَلِيٍّ .

476 Sakeenah means tranquility, and it is derived from the root word ‘sakana,’ which means ‘dwelled’ or ‘stayed still.’ Think of how someone feels when they enter their home after a long journey. Think of the assurance, security, rest, peace, calmness, quiescence, repose, etc.
477 ‘Karâmah’ (pl. karamât) refers to the supernatural wonders ascribed to the awliyâ’ (friends) of Allah. The word comes from the three-lettered root (كرم) and implies generosity and honoring. They are special gifts from Allah for the transformed souls of the most pious to honor them. Sometimes, they may be granted to the beginners to support them and motivate them.
Allah said:

{إِذْ جَعَلَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فِي قُلُوبِهِمُ الْحَمِيَّةَ حَمِيَّةَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ فَأَنزَلَ اللَّهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِ وَعَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ}

{When those who disbelieved had put into their hearts chauvinism—the chauvinism of the time of ignorance. But Allah sent down His tranquility upon His Messenger and upon the believers…} (al-Fatḥ 48:26)
479 Dignity and grace will be the cloak of the people of this sakeenah.
480 Khushoo‘(submissive solemnity) is the combination of calmness and humility. There are other implications of the word khushoo‘ as well, such as shyness, attentiveness, fear, and reverence.
481 Shaṭaḥât are aberrant esoteric utterances made during trances of intense spiritual experiences; sh-ṭ-ḥ is the verbal noun. (See more about this in the Introduction.)

Manâzil as-Sâirin


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

Translation and Footnotes


Hatem al-Haj