Allah, the Almighty, said:
{Thereafter We grasped it to Us, an easy (or gradual) grasping.} [al-Furqân 25:46] 725

قَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: "ثُمَّ قَبَضْنَاهُ إِلَيْنَا قَبْضًا يَسِيرًا"

Constriction in this chapter refers to the station of the precious ones 726 whom the Real has spared for Himself. 727 They are of three groups:

الْقَبْضُ فِي هَذَا الْبَابِ اسْمٌ يُشَارُ بِهِ إِلَى مَقَامِ الضَّنَائِنِ الَّذِينَ ادَّخَرَهُمُ الْحَقُّ اصْطِنَاعًا لِنَفْسِهِ. وَهُمْ ثَلَاثُ فِرَقٍ:

A group that He protectively constricted towards Himself, sparing them from the eyes of the people. 728

فِرْقَةٌ قَبْضُهُمْ إِلَيْهِ؛ قَبْضُ التَّوَقِّي، فَضَنَّ بِهِمْ عَنْ أَعْيُنِ الْعَالَمِينَ.

A group that He constricted towards Himself by covering them with the garment of disguise729 and draping them with forms,730 so He concealed them from the eyes of the people. 731

وَفِرْقَةٌ قَبَضَهُمْ بِسِتْرِهِمْ فِي لِبَاسِ التَّلْبِيسِ، وَأَسْبَلَ عَلَيْهِمْ أَكِلَّةَ الرُّسُومِ، فَأَخْفَاهُمْ عَنْ عُيُونِ الْعَالَمِ.

A group that He constricted from themselves towards Himself, so He brought them secretly into His intimate company and spared them from their selves. 732

وَفِرْقَةٌ قَبْضُهُمْ مِنْهُمْ إِلَيْهِ، فَصَافَاهُمْ مُصَافَاةَ سِرٍّ، فَضَنَّ بِهِمْ عَلَيْهِمْ.

725 This is Dr. Ghâli’s translation. The verses talk about the shadow and how Allah stretches it and then pulls it back. The word ‘qabḍ’ for contraction/constriction appears in this context.
726 The word ḍanâ’in in Arabic means ‘too precious to be shared.’
727 Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah bestow mercy on him) points out in Madârij that the qabḍ in this chapter is not the qabḍ of the beginnings, where Allah causes people distress (tightness in the chests) when they sin in order to invite them to repentance, or when they get distracted in order to save them from heedlessness. This qabḍ belongs to the section of realities, so it is a much higher station. These are people Allah finds too precious to share with anyone. He constricts their hearts from as-siwâ (other than God) so that they become His alone.
728These are the people who seclude themselves and stay away from people. This would be a favorable station in cases of severe fitnah, as at the end of times. The Prophet ﷺ said:

يُوشِكُ أَنْ يَكُونَ خَيْرَ مَالِ المُسْلِمِ غَنَمٌ يَتْبَعُ بِهَا شَعَفَ الجِبَالِ وَمَوَاقِعَ القَطْرِ، يَفِرُّ بِدِينِهِ مِنَ الفِتَنِ
A time will soon come when the best property of a Muslim will be sheep which he will take on the top of mountains and the places of rainfall (valleys) in order to flee with his religion from afflictions. (Bukhari)
729 People see those awliyâ’ mixing with them like ordinary folks but they are still different, so the people are confounded about them.
730 The mundane forms and phenomena of life most people share, so they go to work, marry, have children, walk through the markets, dress in regular clothes, and so forth.
731By their ordinariness, not by their seclusion or isolation. The Prophet ﷺ said:
الْمُؤْمِنُ الَّذِي يُخَالِطُ النَّاسَ وَيَصْبِرُ عَلَى أَذَاهُمْ أَعْظَمُ أَجْرًا مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِ الَّذِي لاَ يُخَالِطُ النَّاسَ وَلاَ يَصْبِرُ عَلَى أَذَاهُمْ
“The believer who mixes with people and bears their harm with patience will have a greater reward than the believer who does not mix with people and does not put up with their harm.” (Related by Ibn Mâjah, Aḥmad, and at-Tirmidhi with a sound chain)
732 These seekers are not not paying attention only to the people, but their awe of the Lord makes them unaware of themselves, so they do not see their actions as theirs and they do not see their agency in any of the good they do; they see only His.

Manâzil as-Sâirin


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

Translation and Footnotes


Hatem al-Haj