Rapporté ‘ Abdullah bin ‘ Abbas : Abu Sufyan bin Harb m’a informé qu’Héraclius avait envoyé un messager pour lui alors qu’il avait été attaché à une caravane du Quraish. Ils étaient des marchands faisant affaires dans Sham (Syrie, Palestine, Liban et Jordanie), au moment où Apôtre d’Allah avait trêve avec Abu Sufyan et les infidels de Quraish. Alors, Abu Sufyan et ses compagnons alla chez Héraclius à Ilia (Jérusalem). Héraclius les appela dans la Cour et qu’il avait tous les hauts dignitaires Romains autour de lui. Il réclame son traducteur qui, traduisant la question d’Héraclius, leur dit: «Qui parmi vous est étroitement lié à cet homme qui prétend être un prophète? » Abu Sufyan a répondu: « Je suis le parent le plus proche de lui (parmi le groupe)». Héraclius a dit: «Amener (Abû Sufyân) près de moi et de faire ses compagnons se tiennent derrière lui. » Abû Sufyân ajouta, Héraclius dit son traducteur de dire à mes compagnons qu’il voulait me posé quelques questions à moi au sujet de cet homme (le Prophète) et que si je dit un mensonge, ils (mes compagnons) devraient me contredire.» Abu Sufyan a ajouté, «par Allah! Si J’avais pas eu peur de mes compagnons m’étiqueter un menteur, je n’aurais pas dit la vérité sur le Prophète. A la première question, il m’a demandé de lui: «Ce qui est de sa situation de famille parmi vous?» J’ai répondu, «Il appartient à une bonne (noble) famille parmi nous.» Héraclius ensuite a demandé, “y’a t’il quelqu’un d’entre vous qui a jamais prétendu le même (c’est à dire être un prophète) avant lui?” J’ai répondu, “Non” dit-il, “y’a t’il un roi parmi ses ancêtres?” J’ai répondu, «Non». Héraclius a demandé, «c’est les nobles ou les pauvres le suivent? » J’ai répondu, «Ce sont les pauvres qui le suivent.» Il a dit: « Ses disciples augmentent ou diminuent ils (jour par jour)?» J’ai répondu, qu’ils augmentent. (suivez la suite 6(2) au prochain post, incha Allah)
Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas: Abu Sufyan bin Harb informed me that Heraclius had sent a messenger to him while he had been accompanying a caravan from Quraish. They were merchants doing business in Sham (Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan), at the time when Allah’s Apostle had truce with Abu Sufyan and Quraish infidels. So Abu Sufyan and his companions went to Heraclius at Ilya (Jerusalem). Heraclius called them in the court and he had all the senior Roman dignitaries around him. He called for his translator who, translating Heraclius’s question said to them, “Who amongst you is closely related to that man who claims to be a Prophet?” Abu Sufyan replied, “I am the nearest relative to him (amongst the group).” Heraclius said, “Bring him (Abu Sufyan) close to me and make his companions stand behind him.”
Abu Sufyan added, Heraclius told his translator to tell my companions that he wanted to put some questions to me regarding that man (The Prophet) and that if I told a lie they (my companions) should contradict me.” Abu Sufyan added, “By Allah! Had I not been afraid of my companions labeling me a liar, I would not have spoken the truth about the Prophet. The first question he asked me about him was: ‘What is his family status amongst you?’ I replied, ‘He belongs to a good (noble) family amongst us.’ Heraclius further asked, ‘Has anybody amongst you ever claimed the same (i.e. to be a Prophet) before him?’ I replied, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Was anybody amongst his ancestors a king?’ I replied, ‘No.’ Heraclius asked, ‘Do the nobles or the poor follow him?’ I replied, ‘It is the poor who follow him.’ He said, ‘Are his followers increasing decreasing (day by day)?’ I replied, ‘They are increasing.’ (Follow continuation 6(2) in the next post, incha Allah)
Le livre de la sagesse – « Kitabul al-Hikam » par Shaykh Ibn Ata’illah al-Iskandari
Sagesse numero huit du Livre de la sagesse: “S’Il ouvre une porte pour vous, en s’introduisant a vous, ne payer aucune attention si vos actes ne mesurent pas a la hauteur. Car, en vérité, Il n’a pas ouvert pour vous, mais d’un désir de se faire lui-même connu de vous. Ne savez-vous pas qu’il est celui qui vous a présenté la connaissance de lui-même, alors que vous êtes celui qui faits les actes (execute)? Quelle différence entre ce qu’il met à votre disposition et ce que vous présenterez à lui!”
The Book of Wisdom – “Kitabul al-Hikam” by Shaykh Ibn Ata’illah al-Iskandari
Wisdom number eight from The Book of Wisdom: “If He opens a door for you, thereby making Himself known, pay no heed if your deeds do not measure up to this. For, in truth, He has not opened it for you but out of a desire to make Himself known to you. Do you not know that He is the one who presented the knowledge of Himself to you, whereas you are the one who presented Him with deeds? What a difference between what He brings to you and what you present to Him!”
8. If He opens a door for you, thereby making Himself known, pay no heed if your deeds do not measure up to this. For, in truth, He has not opened it for you but out of a desire to make Himself known to you. Do you not know that He is the one who presented the knowledge of Himself (ta’arruf) to you, whereas you are the one who presented Him with deeds? What a difference between what He brings to you and what you present to him!
Abd al-Jabbar: There is no common measure between the insignificant deeds of the traveler in the Path and the immense results obtained. God may suddenly intervene with intrusions of Self-revelation that seem disproportionately great in relation to the deeds of the individual.
Do not worry about whether your accomplishments and actions have made you worthy of the revelations that God may provide you. God’s Self-revelations are not rewards for your deeds, or signs of your progress on the spiritual path. They occur because of God’s desire to make Himself known to you. What is required is that you have eyes with which to see, and ears with which to hear, the spiritual revelations He provides you. You need a sense of the sacred, a capacity to discern the subtle spiritual realities that God is revealing to you. “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) Let go of your striving―your constant planning for the future― and know that God is the master of your fate. God has given us all the capacity to know Him, but has also given us the free will to turn away and ignore or deny Him.
The realization that God reveals Himself to us because he wants to be known by us can be quite sobering. Who are we that God should care whether we know Him or not? “I was a hidden treasure; and I loved (desired) to be known; therefore I created the world so that I would be known.” (hadith qudsi). And ultimately God created mankind in His image, the only creature with the capacity know God (or reject Him), and thus the only creature who can know God in the most intimate sense, and whose love God seeks to earn. Thus, when we take that one step toward intimacy with God, He will take a thousand steps toward us (another hadith of the Prophet, sallu alayhi wa salam).
We do not engage with God in a quid pro quo exchange. We simply accept His overflowing grace, if we can be still and know that He is God.
1: Recognizing the bounties Allah has bestowed upon His slaves. These bounties [are so many that they] cannot be counted or enumerated. [Allah says:] “If you count the blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them.” [Quran 14:34]
Hearts naturally have love for those who do good to them. Love for a blessing is from the general aspects of thanking the one who has bestowed a bounty. It is said that thanks is with the heart, tongue and limbs.
2: Another cause is to have knowledge of Allah by His Names, Attributes and Actions. The one who knows Allah, loves Him. Whoever loves Him, obeys Him. Whoever obeys Allah is honored by Him. Whoever Allah honors, He will have him live close to Him. Whoever lives close to Him, has attained the glad tidings.
3: One of the great causes [that leads to having love of Allah] is the specific knowledge that comes about through pondering over the creation of the heavens and the earth and what Allah has created. In the Quran, there is much mention of the signs of Allah that indicate His Greatness, Power, Majesty, Perfection, Eminence, Compassion, Mercy, Strength, Subjugation and other of His beautiful Names and exalted Attributes. Whenever one’s knowledge of Allah is strengthened, one’s love for Him is also strengthened and one’s love for obeying Him is also strengthened. He will then experience the pleasure of worship, whether it be in prayer, remembrance or other forms of worship.
4: Another cause that will bring about love for Allah is to act towards Allah with sincerity and purity while going against one’s desires. This is a cause for Allah to bless a slave and when He blesses the slave, the slave loves Him.
5: One of the greatest causes that bring about one’s love for Allah is increasing one’s remembrance of Allah. Whenever a person loves something, he remembers it more often. And it is through the remembrance of Allah that the hearts find tranquility. In fact, one of the signs of having love for Allah is the constant remembrance of Allah by one’s heart and tongue.
6: One of the causes that brings about Allah’s love for His slave is reciting the Quran often and pondering over its meaning, in particular those verses that contain Allah’s Names, Attributes and Actions. Having fondness for that action will lead the slave to love Allah and Allah to love Him.
7: Another of the causes of love for Allah is remembering what has been mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah concerning the believers seeing their Lord in the Hereafter and visiting them and gathering together on the Day of Abundance. That will definitely bring about in a person love for Allah.
[Instinshaq Naseemul-Uns min Nafahaati Riyaadil-Qudus, pp. 22-30]
Imam Shafi`i said, may God have mercy on him:
“Only the sincere one (mukhlis) knows hypocrisy (riya’).” This means that it is impossible to know the reality of hypocrisy and see its hidden shades except for one who resolutely seeks sincerity. That one strives for a long time (yajtahidu azmanan) searching and meditating and examining at length within himself until he knows or knows something of what hypocrisy is. This does not happen for everyone. Indeed, this happens only with the special ones (al-khawass). But for a given individual to claim that he knows what hypocrisy is, this is real ignorance on his part.
I shall mention in this book a chapter, God willing, in which you will see a type of wonder that will cool your eyes. To illustrate the great extent of the concealment of hypocrisy we only need relate the following from the Teacher and Imam Abu al-Qasim al-Qushayri [the sufi shaykh], may God have mercy on him, from his ‘Risala’ with our isnad previously mentioned.
“I heard Muhammad ibn al-Husayn say: I heard Ahmad ibn `Ali ibn Ja`far say: I heard al-Hasan ibn `Alawiyya say: Abu Yazid [al-Bistami], may God be well pleased with him, said: I was for twelve years the blacksmith of my ego, then for five years I became the mirror of my heart (mir’atu qalbi), then for a year I looked at what lay between the two of them and I saw around me a visible belt [i.e. of kufr]. So I strove to cut it for twelve years and then looked again, and I saw around me a hidden belt. So I worked to cut it for five years, looking to see how to cut. Then it was unveiled for me and I looked at creation and saw that they were all dead. So I recited the funeral prayer over them.”
I (Imam Nawawi) say: That hypocrisy should be as inscrutable as this to the peerless master in this path [i.e. tasawwuf] is enough to show how greatly hidden it lies. His phrase: “I saw them dead” is the apex of worth and beauty, and seldom do other than the Prophet’s words, Blessings and Peace be upon him, gather up such wealth of meanings. I shall touch upon its meaning briefly. It means that after he had struggled long and hard and his ego had been disciplined and his heart illumined, and when he had conquered his ego and subdued it and achieved complete mastery over it, and it had subjected himself to him totally, at that time he looked at all created beings and found that they were dead and completely powerless:
- they cannot harm nor can they benefit;
- they cannot give nor can they keep back;
- they cannot give life nor can they give death;
- they cannot convey nor can they cut off;
- they cannot bring near nor can they take away;
- they cannot make happy nor can they make sad;
- they cannot bestow nor can they deprive;
- they possess for themselves neither benefit nor harm,
- nor death, nor life, nor resurrection.
This, then, characterizes human beings as dead: they are considered dead in all of the above respects, they are neither feared nor entreated, what they have is not coveted, they are not shown off to nor fawned upon, one does not concern oneself with them, they are not envied nor disparaged, their defects are not mentioned nor their faults pursued and exposed, one is not jealous of them nor thinks much of whatever God-given favors they have received, and they are forgiven and excused for their shortcomings, although the legal punishments (al-hudud) are applied to them according to the Law. But the application of such punishment does not preclude what we have mentioned before, nor does it preclude our endeavoring to cover up their faults without disparaging them in the least.
This then is how the dead are viewed. And if someone mentions human beings in a dishonorable manner we forbid him from entering into that subject in the same way that we would if he were going to examine a person who died. We do not do anything for their sake nor do we leave Him for them. And we no more stop ourselves from fulfilling an act of obedience to God on their account than we do on account of a dead person, and we do not over-praise them. And we neither love their own praise for us nor hate their insults, and we do not reciprocate them.
In sum, they are as it were non-existent in all the respects we have mentioned. They are under God’s complete care and jurisdiction. Whoever deals with them in such a way, he has combined the good of the next world with that of the lower world. May God the Generous grant us success towards achieving this. These few words are enough to touch upon an explanation for his [Abu Yazid al-Bistami’s] saying — May God be well pleased with him.
Blessings and Peace upon the Purified Prophet, his Family, and his Companions
Imam Nawawi’s ‘Bustan al-`arifin’ (The Garden of Gnostics), Beirut: Dar al-kitab al-`arabi, 1405/1985 p. 53-54.