Allah, the Almighty, said:
{…And Allah is better and more lasting.} [Ṭâ Hâ 20:73]

قَالَ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: "وَاللَّهُ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَى"

Subsistence is a name for what lasts after the annihilation of the indicants and their obliteration.798 It is of three levels:

الْبَقَاءُ اسْمٌ لِمَا بَقِيَ بَعْدَ فَنَاءِ الشَّوَاهِدِ وَسُقُوطِهَا، وَهُوَ عَلَى ثَلَاثِ دَرَجَاتٍ.

The first level is the subsistence of the known after the obliteration of knowledge: in reality, not [only] in recognition. 799

الدَّرَجَةُ الْأُولَى بَقَاءُ الْمَعْلُومِ بَعْدَ سُقُوطِ الْعِلْمِ عَيْنًا لَا عِلْمًا.

And the subsistence of the beheld after the obliteration of the beholding: in actuality, not [only] in expression. 800

وَبَقَاءُ الْمَشْهُودِ بَعْدَ سُقُوطِ الشُّهُودِ وُجُودًا لَا نَعْتًا.

And the subsistence of He Who has always been by erasing that which was not. 801

وَبَقَاءُ مَا لَمْ يَزَلْ حَقًّا بِإِسْقَاطِ مَا لَمْ يَكُنْ مَحْوًا.

798 It is the annihilation of the manifestations and phenomena pointing to the Real (exalted is He) when one finds Him.
799 The mental knowledge is what is obliterated. The servant experiences the Divine until that experience obliterates his or her knowledge of Him (i.e., their knowing).
800 The actualization of finding the Divine will overcome the beholding of Him until that beholding vanishes.
801The temporally originated cannot be self-subsistent. Only the Eternal without beginning is Eternal without end by Himself (al-Qayyoom). The temporally originated may subsist only by Him.
After one rids themselves of the ego that keeps them away from Allah and they make Allah the focus of their attention, they will reach a point where they subsist only by Him, for Him, and with Him. This was best expressed in clear and powerful language by the most eloquent of humanity when he (ﷺ) relayed the following hadith qudsi:

"مَنْ عَادَى لِي وَلِيًّا فَقْد آذَنْتهُ بِالْحَرْبِ، وَمَا تَقَرَّبَ إلَيَّ عَبْدِي بِشَيْءٍ أَحَبَّ إلَيَّ مِمَّا افْتَرَضْتُهُ عَلَيْهِ، وَلَا يَزَالُ عَبْدِي يَتَقَرَّبُ إلَيَّ بِالنَّوَافِلِ حَتَّى أُحِبَّهُ، فَإِذَا أَحْبَبْتُهُ كُنْت سَمْعَهُ الَّذِي يَسْمَعُ بِهِ، وَبَصَرَهُ الَّذِي يُبْصِرُ بِهِ، وَيَدَهُ الَّتِي يَبْطِشُ بِهَا، وَرِجْلَهُ الَّتِي يَمْشِي بِهَا، وَلَئِنْ سَأَلَنِي لَأُعْطِيَنَّهُ، وَلَئِنْ اسْتَعَاذَنِي لَأُعِيذَنَّهُ
“Whosoever shows enmity to a wali (friend) of Mine, then I have declared war against him. And My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more loved to Me than the religious duties I have obligated upon him. And My servant continues to draw near to me with nafl (supererogatory) deeds until I love him. When I love him, I become his hearing with which he hears, and his sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he strikes, and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him; and were he to seek refuge with Me, I would surely grant him refuge.” (Bukhari, from Abu Hurayrah)

Manâzil as-Sâirin


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

Translation and Footnotes


Hatem al-Haj