Allah, the Almighty, said:

{This is a reminder….} [Ṣâd 38:49]

قالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: "هَذَا ذِكْرٌ"

Dhawq (taste) is more permanent than wajd (ecstasy) and clearer than barq (lightning).580 It is of three levels:

الذَّوْقُ أَبْقَى مِنَ الْوَجْدِ وَأَجْلَى مِنَ الْبَرْقِ. وَهُوَ عَلَى ثَلَاثِ دَرَجَاتٍ:

The first level is the believer tasting the savor of the promises, thereby:

  1. doubts do not restrain it (belief)581

  2. hopes do not interrupt it

  3. wishes do not impede it582

الدَّرَجَةُ الْأُولَى ذَوْقُ التَّصْدِيقِ طَعْمَ الْعِدَةِ:

  1. فَلَا يَعْقِلُهُ ظَنٌّ

  2. وَلَا يَقْطَعُهُ أَمَلٌ

  3. وَلَا تَعُوقُهُ أُمْنِيَةٌ

The second level is the tasting of comforting intimacy (uns) by the will, thereby:

  1. it does not get tethered by any diversion,

  2. or corrupted by any interferences,

  3. or spoiled by any dispersion (tafriqah)583

والدَّرَجَةُ الثَّانِيَةُ ذَوْقُ الْإِرَادَةِ طَعْمَ الْأُنْسِ:

  1. فَلَا يَعْلَقُ بِهِ شَاغِلٌ

  2. وَلَا يُفْسِدُهُ عَارِضٌ

  3. وَلَا تُكَدِّرُهُ تَفْرِقَةٌ

The third level:

  1. the disconnected tasting connectedness

  2. the one with great resolve tasting togetherness (with the Divine)

  3. tasting the beholding [of the Divine] during soft conversation

والدَّرَجَةُ الثَّالِثَةُ:

  1. ذَوْقُ الِانْقِطَاعِ طَعْمَ الِاتِّصَالِ

  2. وَذَوْقُ الْهِمَّةِ طَعْمَ الْجَمْعِ

  3. وَذَوْقُ الْمُسَامَرَةِ طَعْمَ الْعِيَانِ

580 The heart tastes concepts and abstractions like the tongue tastes flavors. The heart that tasted the Truth and experienced its wonders is not like the heart that realized it only through intellectual inquiry. The Prophet ﷺ said:

ذَاقَ طَعْمَ الإِيمَانِ مَنْ رَضِيَ بِاللَّهِ رَبًّا وَبِالإِسْلاَمِ دِينًا وَبِمُحَمَّدٍ رَسُولاً‏" "

He has tasted the savor of faith (eemân) who is content with Allah as his Lord, with Islam as his religion, and with Muhammad as his Prophet.” (Muslim)

Tasting faith is more than believing in the truth of the Messenger ﷺ. Contentment is not only about belief or acceptance. One needs that basic belief and acceptance to be Muslim. Those who taste faith are above that. Taste is clear and permanent. Tasting the ultimate Truth makes the person capable of tasting the truths of the Revelation and of this world. While their taste will never be a substitute for the knowledge of Shari‘ah, it refines their understanding of it.
581Heraclius said to Abu Sufyân, concerning the Prophet ﷺ:
"وَسَأَلْتُكَ هَلْ يَرْتَدُّ أَحَدٌ سَخْطَةً لِدِينِهِ بَعْدَ أَنْ يَدْخُلَ فِيهِ، فَزَعَمْتَ أَنْ لاَ، وَكَذَلِكَ الإِيمَانُ حِينَ تُخَالِطُ بَشَاشَتُهُ الْقُلُوبَ، لاَ يَسْخَطُهُ أَحَدٌ‏.‏"

“I further asked you whether there was anybody who, after embracing his religion, left it out of resentment. You replied in the negative, and in fact, this is (a sign of) true faith. When its delight enters the heart and mixes with it, nobody will resent it thereafter.” (Agreed upon)
582 From pursuing the ultimate goal they believe in.
583 When the multiplicity of creations and events distracts one from the oneness of the Creator.

Manâzil as-Sâirin


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

Translation and Footnotes


Hatem al-Haj