Allah, the Almighty, said:
{And is one who was dead and We gave him life…} [al-An‘âm 6:122] 716

قَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: "أَوَمَنْ كَانَ مَيْتًا فَأَحْيَيْنَاه"

The word ‘life,’ in this respect, is used in reference to three things:

اسْمُ الْحَيَاةِ فِي هَذَا الْبَابِ يُشَارُ بِهِ إِلَى ثَلَاثَةِ أَشْيَاءَ:

The first life is coming to life by knowledge from the death of ignorance. It has three breaths:

  1. the breath of fear

  2. the breath of hope

  3. the breath of love 617

الْحَيَاةُ الْأُولَى حَيَاةُ الْعِلْمِ مِنْ مَوْتِ الْجَهْلِ، وَلَهَا ثَلَاثَةُ أَنْفَاسٍ:

  1. نَفْسُ الْخَوْفِ

  2. وَنَفْسُ الرَّجَاءِ

  3. وَنَفْسُ الْمَحَبَّةِ

The second life is coming to life through jam‘ from the death of dispersion 718. It has three breaths:

  1. the breath of dependence

  2. the breath of need

  3. the breath of pride619

والْحَيَاةُ الثَّانِيَةُ حَيَاةُ الْجَمْعِ مِنْ مَوْتِ التَّفْرِقَةِ، وَلَهَا ثَلَاثَةُ أَنْفَاسٍ:

  1. نَفَسُ الِاضْطِرَارِ

  2. وَنَفَسُ الِافْتِقَارِ

  3. وَنَفَسُ الِافْتِخَارِ

The third life is the life of actualization, and it is a life (subsisting) by the True One. It has three breaths:

  1. the breath of awe,720 which slays all flaws

  2. the breath of actualization,721 which prevents all detachment 722

  3. the breath of singularity, which causes attachment723

There is nothing beyond this that can be perceived by the spectators/thinkers or pointed out by allusions.724

والْحَيَاةُ الثَّالِثَةُ حَيَاةُ الْوُجُودِ. وَهِيَ حَيَاةٌ بِالْحَقِّ، وَلَهَا ثَلَاثَةُ أَنْفَاسٍ:

  1. نَفَسُ الْهَيْبَةِ، وَهُوَ يُمِيتُ الِاعْتِلالَ

  2. وَنَفَسُ الْوُجُودِ، وَهُوَ يَمْنَعُ الِانْفِصَالَ

  3. وَنَفَسُ الِانْفِرَادِ وَهُوَ يُورِثُ الِاتِّصَالَ

وَلَيْسَ وَرَاءَ ذَلِكَ مَلْحَظٌ لِلنَّظَّارَةِ، وَلَا طَاقَةٌ لِلْإِشَارَةِ.

716The complete verse says:

أَوَمَن كَانَ مَيْتًا فَأَحْيَيْنَاهُ وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُ نُورًا يَمْشِي بِهِ فِي النَّاسِ كَمَن مَّثَلُهُ فِي الظُّلُمَاتِ لَيْسَ بِخَارِجٍ مِّنْهَا كَذَٰلِكَ زُيِّنَ لِلْكَافِرِينَ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
{And is one who was dead and We gave him life and made for him light by which to walk among the people like one who is in darkness, never to emerge therefrom? Thus it has been made pleasing to the disbelievers that which they were doing.} (al-An‘âm 6:122)
717 The means to this life is the beneficial knowledge that will result in the blessed triad of fear, hope, and love which sustains this life.
718 So now, one is seeking Allah with their entirety and complete focus. Their will is not fractured. They are not distracted by the variety of phenomena around them.
719 The pride here is the confidence in Allah and His promise and contentment with His agency over us and rejoicing in being His servant. It is not about self-conceit and arrogance. Without Him, we feel our vulnerability, destituteness, and poverty. With and by Him alone, we feel joyful and confident.
720 The awe that befalls us when we witness His majesty and glory.
721 To find Allah, which is when the heart feels complete certainty in and actualization of faith.
722 There is no moment when the will is not conforming to His and the heart is not focused on Him.
723 Attachment to the One through the union of wills and vanishment of perception of anything other than Him.
724 What the knowers perceive through experiential faith is beyond the categories of human understanding, so no words or allusions can describe it.

Manâzil as-Sâirin


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

Translation and Footnotes


Hatem al-Haj