Allah, the Almighty, said:

{And indeed they are, to Us, among the chosen and outstanding.} [Ṣâd 38: 47]609

قَالَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ }وَإِنَّهُمْ عِنْدَنَا لَمِنَ الْمُصْطَفَيْنَ الْأَخْيَارِ

Aṣ-ṣafâ’ is a word for clearance of any impurities. In this respect, it refers to the cessation of variability.610 It is of three levels:

الصَّفَاءُ اسْمٌ لِلْبَرَاءَةِ مِنَ الْكَدَرِ. وَهُوَ فِي هَذَا الْبَابِ سُقُوطُ التَّلوُّنِ. وَهُوَ عَلَى ثَلَاثِ دَرَجَاتٍ.

The first level is the clarity of knowledge. It:

  1. refines one for the journey

  2. reveals the objective of striving

  3. corrects the aspiration of the seeker

الدَّرَجَةُ الْأُولَى: صَفَاءُ عِلْمٍ:

  1. يُهَذِّبُ لِسُلُوكِ الطَّرِيقِ

  2. وَيُبَصِّرُ غَايَةَ الْجِدِّ

  3. وَيُصَحِّحُ هِمَّةَ الْقَاصِدِ

The second level is the clarity of the ḥâl (inner state), by which:

  1. the fruition of realization is witnessed611

  2. the sweetness of intimate dialogue is tasted

  3. the world is forgotten

والدَّرَجَةُ الثَّانِيَةُ: صَفَاءُ حَالٍ:

  1. يُشَاهَدُ بِهِ شَوَاهِدُ التَّحْقِيقِ

  2. وَيُذَاقُ بِهِ حَلَاوَةُ الْمُنَاجَاةِ

  3. وَيُنْسَى بِهِ الْكَوْنُ

The third level is the clarity of connection, which:

  1. subordinates the interest of servitude to the right of Lordship612

  2. submerges the endings of (faith through hearing the) reports under the beginnings of (faith through) eye witnessing613

  3. makes the lowliness of the burdens (of the injunctions) vanish into pre-eternity614

والدَّرَجَةُ الثَّالِثَةُ: صَفَاءُ اتِّصَالٍ:

  1. يُدْرِجُ حَظَّ الْعُبُودِيَّةِ فِي حَقِّ الرُّبُوبِيَّةِ

  2. وَيُغْرِقُ نِهَايَاتِ الْخَبَرِ فِي بِدَايَاتِ الْعِيَانِ

  3. وَيَطْوِي خِسَّةَ التَّكَالِيفِ فِي عَيْنِ الْأَزَلِ

609 Those who were chosen were purified of all impurities. The word used for ‘chosen’ in Arabic is ‘muṣṭafayn,’ (pl. of muṣṭafâ), which comes from the same root as aṣ-safâ’. Those messengers were purified from attachments to other than Him and desires of other than His pleasure.
610 As discussed in the previous station, variable wants and occupations may smudge one’s aspiration, drive, and intention and cause distraction and dispersion.
611 The heart’s realization of the Truth (al-Ḥaqeeqah) is abundantly fruitful. The fruition of that realization is called taḥqeeq.
612 The servant will not be thinking of compensation, but rather considering all they do as a deficient show of gratefulness to their Most Gracious Lord.
613 That is when the heart becomes certain of the revealed truth. Allah said:

{وَيَرَى الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ هُوَ الْحَقَّ ...}

{And those who have been given knowledge see that what is revealed to you from your Lord is the truth…} (Saba’ 34: 6)
614 While uncomfortably ambiguous, Ibn al-Qayyim suggests in Madârij two ways to properly understand this. The sheikh may have meant that the worship of those who see the injunctions as burdens is a lowly form of worship. He may also have meant that the acts of the servant are lowly because of the servant’s lowliness, and they only become noble when they are attributed to the Lord. The acts of one who sees their acts as their own will always be lowly, but one who sees them as the doing of the Pre-Eternal One will have cleared their acts of that lowliness.

Manâzil as-Sâirin


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

Translation and Footnotes


Hatem al-Haj