Allah, the Almighty, said:

{Whoever should hope for the meeting with Allah— indeed, the term decreed by Allah is coming…} [al-‘Ankaboot 29:5]

قَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: "مَن كَانَ يَرْجُو لِقَاءَ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّ أَجَلَ اللَّهِ لَآتٍ."

Yearning is the gusting518 of the heart towards someone absent. To this community, the defect in yearning is enormous, because yearning is for someone absent, but the path of this community is based on beholding (Him). For this defect, the Qur’an did not mention ‘ash-shawq.’ 519It is of three levels:

الشَّوْقُ هُبُوبُ الْقَلْبِ إِلَى غَائِبٍ. وَفِي مَذْهَبِ هَذِهِ الطَّائِفَةِ، عِلَّةُ الشَّوْقِ عَظِيمَةٌ، فَإِنَّ الشَّوْقَ إِنَّمَا يَكُونُ إِلَى الْغَائِبِ. وَمَذْهَبُ هَذِهِ الطَّائِفَةِ إِنَّمَا قَامَ عَلَى الْمُشَاهَدَةِ. وَلِهَذِهِ الْعِلَّةِ لَمْ يَنْطِقِ الْقُرْآنُ بِاسْمِهِ. ثُمَّ هُوَ عَلَى ثَلَاثِ دَرَجَاتٍ.

The yearning of the servant for paradise, for:

  1. the fearful to find security

  2. the distressed to find joy

  3. the hopeful to find their goal

الدَّرَجَةُ الْأُولَى شَوْقُ الْعَابِدِ إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ،:

  1. لِيَأْمَنَ الْخَائِفُ

  2. وَيَفْرَحَ الْحَزِينُ

  3. وَيَظْفَرَ الْآمِلُ

The yearning for Allah, which is sown by the love that grows on the banks of the bounties,520 so the heart clings to His holy attributes, then yearns for His kind generosity, the exhibitions of His bounteousness, and the garlands of His graciousness. It is a yearning that is:

  1. eased by bounties

  2. mixed with joys521

  3. mitigated by patience522

والدَّرَجَةُ الثَّانِيَةُ شَوْقٌ إِلَى اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ زَرَعَهُ الْحُبُّ الَّذِي يَنْبُتُ عَلَى حَافَّاتِ الْمِنَنِ فَعَلِقَ قَلْبُهُ بِصِفَاتِهِ الْمُقَدَّسَةِ فَاشْتَاقَ إِلَى مُعَايَنَةِ لِطَائِفِ كَرَمِهِ وَآيَاتِ بِرِّهِ وَأَعْلَامِ فَضْلِهِ. وَهَذَا شَوْقٌ:

  1. تفثأه الْمَبَارُّ

  2. وَتُخَالِجُهُ الْمَسَارُّ

  3. ويقاويه الِاصْطِبَارُ

The third level is a fire that is kindled by the purity of love; it:

  1. spoils living523

  2. eliminates solace

  3. and nothing calms it short of the meeting524

والدَّرَجَةُ الثَّالِثَةُ نَارٌ أَضْرَمَهَا صَفْوُ الْمَحَبَّةِ،:

  1. فَنَغَّصَتِ الْعَيْشَ

  2. وَسَلَبَتِ السَّلْوَةُ

  3. وَلَمْ يُنَهْنِهْهَا معز دُونَ اللِّقَاءِ

518 The following words could also be used: ‘rushing,’ ‘gushing,’ or ‘stirring.’
519 The sheikh differentiates between ash-shawq (yearning) and ar-rajâ’ (hope), which is why he says the Qur’an did not mention ash-shawq but started this station by quoting a verse about ar-rajâ’ (hope) instead. The Sunnah did mention ash-shawq. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to supplicate to Allah and say:

"... وَأَسْأَلُكَ لَذَّةَ النَّظَرِ إِلَى وَجْهِكَ وَالشَّوْقَ إِلَى لِقَائِكَ فِي غَيْرِ ضَرَّاءَ مُضِرَّةٍ وَلاَ فِتْنَةٍ مُضِلَّةٍ..."

…I ask You for the sweetness of looking upon Your face and a longing to meet You in a manner that does not entail a calamity that will bring about harm, or a trial that will cause deviation… (an-Nasâ’i)
There is still a difference between beholding the Lord in this world and in the hereafter.
520 The bounties of Allah become like advance payments, thus easing the heat of yearning.
521 This mixing with the joys of Allah’s favors, although permissible, detracts from yearning and may cause distraction, so one must stay watchful.
522 One can still handle this longing with patience.
523 Sufyân ath-Thawri said that he welcomed death out of fear of fitnah, and Yoosuf ibn Asbâṭ remarked that he favored to live—perhaps he would be guided to sincere repentance. Wuhayb ibn al-Ward said, “Whatever is more beloved to Allah is more beloved to me.” If He chooses for us to live longer, we make the best of that opportunity to sow the seeds of goodness that we will harvest in the hereafter; if he chooses for us to depart earlier, then we should be ready and accepting.
524 The meeting with the Beloved (Exalted is He).

Manâzil as-Sâirin


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

Translation and Footnotes


Hatem al-Haj