Allah, the Almighty, said:

{…and Moosâ fell unconscious…} [al-A‘râf 7:143]565

قالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: "وَخَرَّ مُوسَى صَعِقًا"

Mystification566 is the loss of composure out of wonderment or puzzlement.567 It is more enduring than ad-dahash (bewilderment) and more describable by the one who experiences it.568 It is of three levels:

الْهَيَمَانُ ذَهَابٌ عَنِ التَّمَاسُكِ تَعَجُّبًا أَوْ حَيْرَةً وَهُوَ أَثْبَتُ دَوَامًا، وَأَمْلَكُ لِلنَّعْتِ مِنَ الدَّهَشِ. وَهُوَ عَلَى ثَلَاثِ دَرَجَاتٍ:

The first level is a mystification that results from beholding the initial flashes of gentleness upon embarking on the journey, while being observant of one’s despicable status, inferior ranking, and worthless value.569

الدَّرَجَةُ الْأُولَى هَيَمَانٌ فِي شِيَمِ أَوَائِلِ بَرْقِ اللُّطْفِ عِنْدَ قَصْدِ الطَّرِيقِ، مَعَ مُلَاحَظَةِ الْعَبْدِ خِسَّةَ قَدْرِهِ، وَسَفَالَةَ مَنْزِلَتِهِ، وَتَفَاهَةَ قِيمَتِهِ.

The second level is a mystification by the battering of the waves of ascertainment upon:

  1. the manifestation of its proofs

  2. the successiveness of its wonders

  3. the appearance of its lights 570

والدَّرَجَةُ الثَّانِيَةُ هَيَمَانٌ فِي تَلَاطُمِ أَمْوَاجِ التَّحْقِيقِ، عِنْدَ :

  1. ظُهُورِ بَرَاهِينِهِ

  2. وَتَوَاصُلِ عَجَائِبِهِ

  3. وَلِيَاحِ أَنْوَارِهِ

The third level is a mystification that occurs upon:

  1. dissolving into [His] antecedence571

  2. beholding the sovereignty of pre-eternity572

  3. drowning in the ocean of disclosure573

والدَّرَجَةُ الثَّالِثَةُ هَيَمَانٌ عِنْدَ:

  1. الْوُقُوعِ فِي عَيْنِ الْقِدَمِ

  2. وَمُعَايَنَةِ سُلْطَانِ الْأَزَلِ

  3. وَالْغَرَقِ فِي بَحْرِ الْكَشْفِ

565In Madârij, Ibn al-Qayyim contends that this is not a station to be sought, but may be an incidental occurrence on the path. He argues that it has not been mentioned in the Qur’an or Sunnah or recognized by the earlier masters of the path.
The closest mention of a related word in the Qur’an was made in reference to the incoherence of the poets at the end of Soorat ash-Shu‘arâ’.

{وَالشُّعَرَاءُ يَتَّبِعُهُمُ الْغَاوُونَ * أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّهُمْ فِي كُلِّ وَادٍ يَهِيمُونَ}

{And the poets—[only] the deviators follow them;Do you not see that in every valley they roam/ wander[?]} (ash-Shu‘arâ’ 26:224-225)

While understanding these incidental occurrences may help us understand the spiritual topography of the path and find excuses for those who precede us on it, the ultimate role model is the Prophet ﷺ and the best generation is his Companions. They were fully aware of their reality and fully established in their spirituality.
566 The root of this verbal noun is ‘hâma’, which means to be utterly confused, totally enthralled by the love of someone, or to wander around without direction. It describes someone who is semiconscious and numbed to the reality around them, as if they are in a different world.
567 Wondering at the spiritual imports they encounter and being surprised by them.
568 Because it is longer lasting and more stable than ad-dahash, the one who experiences it can describe it.
569 Not seeing themselves qualified to be recipients of God’s gentleness and graciousness after taking a few steps on the road to Him, they become delighted by those favors. In Madârij, Imam Ibn al-Qayyim points out that the fruits of observing one’s lowliness and the graciousness of their Lord are numerous andmagnificent, such as the qualities of humbleness, gratefulness, rejoicing in His mercy, devotion, love, and so on.
570 This level takes place when one starts to advance in their journey, whereby their certitude increases and experiential faith develops to an extent that they become mystified by the successiveness of manifest evidences bolstering their faith and tearing their veils.
571 His absolute anteriorness; being unpreceded by anything and preceding everything. Reflecting on this enough should make one’s will dissolve into His will and make Him the focus of one’s attention, where the self becomes almost completely absorbed into this focus.
572 Making the ḥawâdith (created things), in comparison, fade out from one’s beholding.
573 Disclosure of the True One to the eyes of the heart until you worship Him as if you see Him.

Manâzil as-Sâirin


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

Translation and Footnotes


Hatem al-Haj