Allah, the Almighty, said:

{The sight [of the Prophet] did not swerve, nor did it transgress [its limit].} [an-Najm 53:17]

قَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: "مَا زَاغَ الْبَصَرُ وَمَا طَغَى"

Himmah (drive) is that which impels one to pursue the intended without equivocation. Those who have it will have no control over it, and they are not distracted from it. It is of three levels:

الْهِمَّةُ مَا يَمْلِكُ الِانْبِعَاثَ لِلْمَقْصُودِ صِرْفًا، لَا يَتَمَالَكُ صَاحِبُهَا، وَلَا يَلْتَفِتُ عَنْهَا. وَهِيَ عَلَى ثَلَاثِ دَرَجَاتٍ.

The first level is a himmah that:

  1. protects the heart from the lowliness of seeking the perishable

  2. urges it to aspire for the everlasting

  3. purifies it from the smudge of procrastination

الدَّرَجَةُ الْأُولَى هِمَّةٌ:

  1. تَصُونُ الْقَلْبَ مِن خِسَّةِ الرَّغْبَةِ فِي الْفَانِي

  2. وَتَحْمِلُهُ عَلَى الرَّغْبَةِ فِي الْبَاقِي

  3. وَتُصَفِّيهِ مِنْ كَدَرِ التَّوَانِي

The second level is a himmah that causes aversion to:

  1. occupation with defects491

  2. consumption by deeds492

  3. confidence in hope493

والدَّرَجَةُ الثَّانِيَةُ هِمَّةٌ تُورِثُ أَنَفَةً مِنَ

  1. الْمُبَالَاةِ بِالْعِلَلِ

  2. وَالنُّزُولِ عَلَى الْعَمَلِ

  3. وَالثِّقَةِ بِالْأَمَلِ

The third level is a himmah that:

  1. transcends the states and transactions494

  2. denounces the compensations and rankings495

  3. pursues the [Divine] essence beyond the attributes496

والدَّرَجَةُ الثَّالِثَةُ هِمَّةٌ:

  1. تَتَصَاعَدُ عَنِ الْأَحْوَالِ وَالْمُعَامَلَاتِ

  2. وَتُزْرِي بِالْأَعْوَاضِ وَالدَّرَجَاتِ

  3. وَتَنْحُو عَنِ النُّعُوتِ نَحْوَ الذَّات

491 The defects here refer to occupation with the reward of the deeds and their immediate effects, such as the change of aḥwâl (spiritual states), which bars one from complete devotion.
492 When the hearts do not travel with the bodies and the deeds of the interior are neglected in favor of the acts of the exterior.
493 One should not have excessive hope or confidence in their own salvation. These sow the seeds of arrogance and self-delusion.
494 When the himmah is all gathered for one end, it will not stop short of it or look at anything other than it.
495 While we should always aspire to the reward of Allah, our pursuit of His pleasure should always eclipse any other pursuits. Those who will earn His pleasure will not miss anything.
496 Absorption in one or some of the Divine attributes and actions may bar the person from connecting with the Divine essence. Reflecting on all attributes is our means of reflecting on and attaining togetherness with the Divine essence.

Manâzil as-Sâirin


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

Translation and Footnotes


Hatem al-Haj