Allah, the Almighty, said:
{…And Allah warns you of Himself…} [Âl ‘Imrân 3:30] 772

قَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: "وَيُحَذِّرُكُمُ اللَّهُ نَفْسَهُ"

There is nothing in the stations that has more expanse than detachment.773 It has three aspects:

لَيْسَ فِي الْمَقَامَاتِ شَيْءٌ فِيهِ مِنَ التَّفَاوُتِ مَا فِي الِانْفِصَالِ، وَوُجُوهُهُ ثَلَاثَةٌ.

The first is a detachment that is a condition of the connection,774 which is the detachment from the two worlds775 by ceasing to behold them, to consider them, or to care about them. 776

أَحَدُهَا: انْفِصَالٌ هُوَ شَرْطُ الِاتِّصَالِ، وَهُوَ الِانْفِصَالُ عَنِ الْكَوْنَيْنِ بِانْفِصَالِ نَظَرِكَ إِلَيْهِمَا، وَانْفِصَالِ تَوَقُّفِكَ عَلَيْهِمَا، وَانْفِصَالِ مُبَالَاتِكَ بِهِمَا.

The second is a detachment from seeing the detachment that we mentioned, and this is to not see in your ascertaining shuhood (witnessing) anything that connects your detachment to anything. 777

والثَّانِي انْفِصَالٌ عَنْ رُؤْيَةِ الِانْفِصَالِ الَّذِي ذَكَرْنَاهُ، وَهُوَ أَنْ لَا يَتَرَاءَى عِنْدَكَ فِي شُهُودِ التَّحْقِيقِ شَيْءٌ يُوصِلُ بِالِانْفِصَالِ مِنْهُمَا إِلَى شَيْءٍ.

The third is the detachment from the connection, and this is a detachment from witnessing the attachment which competes with the truth of antecedence.778 This is because both detachment and connection—despite their great variance in name and form—equally share the same flawed cause. 779

والثَّالِثُ انْفِصَالٌ عَنْ الِاتِّصَالِ، وَهُوَ انْفِصَالٌ عَنْ شُهُودِ مُزَاحَمَةِ الِاتِّصَالِ عَيْنَ السَّبْقِ، فَإِنَّ الِانْفِصَالَ وَالِاتِّصَالَ - عَلَى عِظَمِ تَفَاوُتِهِمَا فِي الِاسْمِ وَالرَّسْمِ - فِي الْعِلَّةِ سِيَّانِ.

772 The point in starting with this verse is to warn the seekers of a type of detachment that would spell ultimate damnation, which is when Allah cuts His slave off because of their heedlessness, transgression, or favoring others over Him, even after they have reached one of the highest rankings.
773 Detachment is the pursuit of connection to God and subsistence with Him, for Him, and by Him by separating from anything other than Him. It even includes detachment from all previous stations to move to a different level, where you journey to Him only by Him, and this is why the sheikh places this station higher than the station of connection.
774 See the previous station, Connection (al-Ittiṣâl).
775 In reference to the world of shahâdah (seen) and ghayb (unseen) or the dunyâ (life of this world) and the âkhirah (hereafter).
776 Because one should be seeking Allah alone. Of course, this does not mean that we do not care about His reward or that we do not care about His Messenger (ﷺ), for instance, but it means that we do not care about anything other than Him: through Him and for Him.
777 He said before that this detachment leads to connection with Allah. What he means by not seeing is that it leads to anything that you do not see as your own action (separation) but see as your detachment from the world as a gift from Him and your subsequent connection with Him as another gift from Him.
778 This shows that the annihilation the sheikh intends is perceptual, not ontological. He wants you to go back in time before this existence and witness Allah without anything of this existence. Your witnessing of this antecedence will put everything in its place and you will see how transient, contingent, and disposable everything else is. Knowing the sheikh, we ought to think that he must not have intended by this what some may understand to mean a condemnation of believing in the real ontological existence of the creations. They claim that he meant that there is no existence other than the Divine existence, which is the belief of ontological monism (waḥdah), which is considered heretical by Ahl al-Sunnah.
779 Because they all result from seeing yourself. In this phase, which the sheikh dedicates to fanâ’ (self-annihilation), he finds any sense of the self to be flawed.

Manâzil as-Sâirin


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

Translation and Footnotes


Hatem al-Haj