IMAM AL-SHA'RANI'S LAWAQIH AL-ANWAR AL-QUDSIYYAH FI BAYAN AL-'UHUD AL-MUHAMMADIYYAH
COMMANDMENT NO. 0
Praise be to Allah, the Rabb (Nourisher-Sustainer) of the Worlds, I bear witness that there is none worthy of service except Allah, the Ruler, the Clear Truth and I bear witness that our Master and our leader Muhammad is His servant and His messenger, (and) the leader of the earlier and later ones. O, Allah, shower thy regard and salutation on him (1) and on all the prophets and messengers and on their families and their companions on their entirety with a perpetual regard and salutation for all eternity. Amen!
[After these formalities] know that this book is a precious one. None has preceded me in laying down (anything) similar to it, nor do I think anyone imitating it, wherein I have enclosed all the covenants that have reached us from the messenger of Allah (ص) committing the injunction and omitting the prohibition, and I have called it as “The Scattered (2) Sacred Lights in respect of the Covenant of Muhammad”.
The compelling reason that prompted me into writing it was what I saw in the increased investigation of the brethren on that which is deficient in their worldly matters, while I did not see anyone among them investigating that which is deficient in respect of his religious matter, except a few. Therefore, my zeal of belief took the better of me concerning them and their religion, that I placed for them this book alerting every man on what is deficient in respect of his religion. As such whosoever among the brethren desire to know what has departed off his religion, then let him see in every covenant I have mentioned for him in this book, and ponder in his self, certainly he will know what he has transgressed from the rules of his religion. Therefore let him take to rectify or (feel) remorse or seek forgiveness if he is unable to correct it. Thereafter, you are well aware of the fact, O, my brother, that the entire rules of the shari‘ah are traceable to three matters: (a) injunctions, (b) prohibitions, and (c) that which is desired about which the Shari‘ (Lawgiver) did not elucidate as to it being a command or a prohibition. Certainly one is interested in acting according to it due to the reward or scared to abandon it due to the vanishing of the reward, like taking ablution despite having ablution, for certainly the targhib in doing a thing covets pleasure on the doer, just like the tarhib in doing a thing attracts non-pleasure from its doer, even if that does not attach with clear degree of injunction and prohibition.
The expression from Shaykh ‘Izz al-Din ‘Abd al-Salam in his Qawa‘id al-Kubra is as follows:
Know that every action that is praised in his self or the doer is praised due to it or he was promised with goodness both immediate and delayed than he is commanded by it, but he is hesitant between obligation (ijab) and desirable (nadb).
I have divided the book into two divisions:
- First Division, in respect of that which dissuade people from the injunctions
- Second Division, in respect of explaining that which dissuade people from abandoning the prohibitions.
Indeed I have commenced from the beginning of the book with the Division of Injunctions and delayed the prohibitions even though those who commit the prohibitions are in the practical actuality are more by virtue of the fact that the (acts of) obedience are fundamental whereas disobedience are accidental. And that every believer desires to obey Allah (ت) and never disobeyed His commands, however, for Allah (ت) in his determination of disobedience from His servants there are rules and secrets which are not hidden from the one in whose heart there is a light.
Then know, O, my brother that the path of acting according to the Book and the Sunnah has indeed become difficult in this time and its course of passage has become rare due to matters presented in respect of the Path whose elucidations have become long, such that man begins to view that the Muhammadan Ethics is, therefore, not able to attain (the stage of) inculcating anything from it. That is why I used to say in respect of most of the covenants of the book that this covenant demands one to work with it under a Shaykh (spiritual mentor) who will lead him with it to the Path. And he will remove from his path the impediments which prevent him from attaining the point of inculcating it or its like of expressions indicating towards the fact that it is not necessary for the faqih to know the rules of reaching to act according to them. Nay, he needs along with that for a Shaykh who will show him the milestones along the path, just as it has occurred to Imam al-Ghazali, Shaykh ‘Izz al-Din ‘Abd al-Salam and others. Certainly every covenant from it is woven with the sublime ahadith, indicating to you, O, my brother that the covenants of the book are taken from the Book (Qur’an) and the sunnah (both) verbatimly and deductively, so that no accuser can cast aspersion in respect of it and (thereby) closing the door of machination out of jealousy in respect of this book, just as it has occurred to me on the book “Al-Bahr al-Mawrud fi al-Mawathiq wa ’l-‘Uhud” wherein I have compiled the covenants of the masha’ikh (spiritual luminaries) which they took from me, for one of the jealous one when he saw the reception of people on those covenants and he understood his inability to live up to them despite his claim of venerability, did a stratagem and borrowed from some of the careless ones among my disciples a copy and he was under the delusion of intense belief in respect of criminals, and wrote from them a number of covenants and inserted in them matters contravening the explicit Book and the sunnah and discrediting me with it in Egypt. And with it a great tribulation was attained in the Al-Azhar University and others. I was helped by Nasir al-Din al-Laqqani, Shaykh Shihab al-Din al-Ramali and group and they responded with good recommendation concerning the validity of that from me. But the tribulation did not stop till I sent to the ‘Ulama’ my own copy on which their signatures were on but they did investigate them but did not find in them anything among what the jealous one alleged and they distributed about me. And from that incident I did not write a book except remonstrating therein what the jealous one had accused in respect of my book. I have, in it, kept myself free from everything that contradict the Book (Qur’an) and the sunnah, seeking to remove what is in the hearts of some people, so that they will not acquire by it any sin. As such, this was my reason for my weaving the covenants of this book with ahadith and athar, so when the jealous one if he inserted in it anything contradicting the ahadith which I mention will not spread among the people. How is it possible for a writer to substantiate his speech with ahadith which contradict its explicit texts or its meanings? This is a farfetched matter. May Allah protect this book from similar one, certainly He is all hearing and responding.
And know, O, my brother that as the Messenger of Allah (ص) is the spiritual mentor in reality (al-shaykh al-haqiqi) for the entire ummah that responded to his call, it is permitted for us to say when we look up the entire covenants alphabetically: We took the general oath of allegiance from the Messenger of Allah (ص) meaning the entire assemblage of the Muhammadan ummah, for certainly he (ص) whenever address the companions with a command or prohibition, or encouragement, or discouragement those ruling are extendedly applicable on his entire ummah till the Day of Judgement. As such he is the shaykh al-haqiqi (Spiritual Mentor in Reality) for us through the medium of the masters of the path or without the medium. Like those among the awliya’ who began to meet up with him (ص) in the state of wakefulness according to the (established) conditions known to the (sufi) community. I, by the praise of Allah, the Lofty, have come in contact with a group from people of this (spiritual) station like my master ‘Ali al-Khawwas, Shaykh Muhammad al-‘Adl, Shaykh Muhammad b. ‘Inan, Shaykh Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti and their likes. May Allah be pleased with them all.
Then it will not be hidden from you, O, my brother, that the character (nature) of the people of Allah (ع) is (that) they getting the covenant from the murid (disciples) on leaving the mubah more than (that of the) injunctions and prohibition in seeking (spiritual) progress. For mubah there is no progress in it by virtue of its essence, as it is only an intermediary issue between commandment (amr) and prohibition (nahy), which Allah (ت) made as a breather (tanfis) for the mukallafs (one who is imposed with the rule) to have a break from the severity of taklif, for the concern of Allah (ت), in respect of acting according to the injunctions and abstaining from the prohibition continuously is not within the capacity of mankind. Therefore, the people of Allah (ت) want (their) murid to reduce his effort in pursuing the mubah and in its place he should act according to the amr or abstain from the nahy or interested in acting according to it or leaving it, they would have certainly acted according to the ‘aza’im (doing an act as demanded) without resorting to the leniencies (tarkhisat), then you will see one of them doing the madub despite his severe concern for it as though it is a wajib and abstains from the makruh as though it is a haram, and leaves out the mubah as though it is a makruh, and act according to the best (awla) as though it is a mustahabb, whereas the one who does the makruh seeks for forgiveness as though it is a haram and the one who does that which falls short of the best repents as though it is a makruh, while the one who abandons the mandub repents as though it is a wajib. As such among the fraternity (sufi qawm) whosoever changes the mubah with the good intention to (something) better (khayr) then he will be rewarded with the reward of the mandub, just like intending by his eating (of food) as an (act of) taqwa for serving Allah (ت) or by his sleeping at day time as an (act of) taqwa for performing the qiyam al-layl (night vigil) with one who has not authenticated the hadith:
استعينوا بالنوم فى القيلولة على قيام الليل
“seek help through sleeping during qaylulah (siesta) for performing the night vigil”
As for one who has authenticated the hadith, then it is a mustahabb spontaneously and not gradually. Shaykh Abu al-Hasan al-Shadhuli used to call the sleep as a wird (litany) by saying: “none shall wake me up from the wird al-nawm (litany of sleep) till I myself wake up”. As such know that the people of Allah (ت) of their stature is that, they will not find themselves except in doing the wajib and that which is connected with it of the madub or the best (awla) or in abstaining from the prohibited thing and that which is connected with it of the makruh and that which falls short of the best (khilaf al-awla). Therefore, be warned, O, my brother, in rushing to condemning them if you see any one of them getting their covenant from the murid on he leaving the mubah by saying how is it that he takes the covenant from his murid on leaving the mubah despite the Shari‘ permitting it on him, for you are in a valley and the people of Allah are in another valley.
It has been authenticated that the Messenger of Allah (ص) prohibited some of his family from doing the mubah. Thus he prohibited (Lady) Fatimah, may Allah be pleased with her, from wearing silk clothes and gold (ornaments), despite the fact that he (ص) permitted them (i.e.: both these items) for the women of his ummah and said:
يا فاطمة من لبس الحرير فى الدنيا لم يلبسه فى الآخرة
“O, Fatimah whosoever wears the silk (clothes) in this world he will not wear it in the hereafter”.
(Likewise) he (ص) prohibited (Lady) ‘A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, from eating twice in one day by saying to her, أكلتان فى النهار إسراف والله لا يحب المسرفين “Twice eating in the daytime is a wastage and Allah does not love those who are wasteful”, despite the fact that he (ص) permitted for his ummah to gather every day between lunch and dinner, nay that was the most (common) action he (ص) did as a mercy on those weaker ones among his ummah. Some of the sufi group (qawm) had indeed did something similar with their genuine murids. They objected the murid from consuming lust-inducing things that are permitted (shahawat al-mubahah) and placing his side on the ground other than necessity, and eating without being hungry, and forgetfulness and wet dreaming (ihtilam). Likewise they blamed him for stretching the leg in day or night without necessity, etc. In that respect they have evidences by which they can depend on.
As for they blaming their murid for eating the lust-inducing things that are permitted is the fact that the Truth (ت) reproached the dwellers of the hell for eating the shahawat by saying [46(al-ahqaf):20]:
أذهبتم طيباتكم فى حياتكم الدنيا و استمتعتم بها فاليوم تجزون عذاب الهون
"....You exhausted your pleasures during your worldly life and enjoyed them, so this Day you will be awarded the punishment of [extreme] humiliation....."
They said: what Allah (ت) has reproached the inhabitants of the hell for and awarded them with the punishment, it is better for the believer to leave it. ‘Abd Allah Ibn Mas‘ud (ر) says in respect of the saying of Allah [19(Maryam):59]:
فسوف يلقون غياso they are going to meet evil,
it is a valley in the hell (jahannam) in which those who follow the shahawat will be thrown. Allah (ت) revealed to Dawud, on whom be the regard and salutation: “O, Dawud, beware and admonish your people from devouring the shahawat, for the hearts of the people of shahawat are veiled from Me”. And sleep likewise gathers heedlessness and veiling from Allah (ت) except for necessity.
As for their evidence in respect of their blaming the murid for forgetfulness, it is not healthy for the murid to fall into it except after presenting him with the foreground of that matter which he forgot due to heedlessness and was treated with contempt because of it according to the evidence stated by our scholars in respect of one who forgot the water in the journey or lost it in the course of it, and he did not find it, (even) after searching, then he took tayammum and performed his salat that he does the qada’ of what he performed with the tayammum whereas they (the ‘ulama’) attributed it to taqsir (shortening) it due to his forgetting it and losing it, by saying that if he had performed his salat with najis which he is not aware of, qada’ is wajib in respect of the new even if he is aware of it and then he forgets qada’ becomes wajib according to the (established opinions of the) madhhab. There are many opinions on it.
Shaykh Muhyi al-Din b al-‘Arabi (ر) was saying “indeed the qawm reprimand the murid for forgetfulness because the foundation of their tariqah (spiritual path) is built on continuous presence (al-hudur al-da’im) with Allah (ع). Whereas nisyan (forgetfulness) is a rarity with them and that which is rare does not have a rule in spite of the fact that the principle of shari‘ah removed the rule pertaining to those who are forgetful except that which was given the exception, like remembering what he forgot of the salat and the responsibility for that which he ate of the food of others forgetfully without his permission, etc.
Then that forgetful person will ponder in his self with severe concern over acquiring the worldly matter and his non-tumbling into his (state of) forgetfulness, just as if a person promised him a thousand dinar to be given to him in such and such time, how will he begin to remember that moment after moment till its time comes wishing thereby of taking possession of a forbidden thing of the world. Thus the People of Allah (ت) want of their murid to change those motives with him of the world and to make it for the other-worldly concern, so that he will be successful by having an audience (al-majalisah) with Allah (ت) in both the worlds.
As for their evidence for their blaming the murid for having wet dream is that it does not occur from him except after the prelude of indulgence by looking at that which was mostly not permitted or to ponder over it. As such whenever he becomes unable to reach it while seeing or thinking iblis comes to him in his sleep to subjugate him. Thus one who did not set his sight at any prohibited thing nor think about it he will never have a wet dream. That is why wet dream does not occur except from the murid or the common man without the greater people (al-akabir). This is because the akabir are either preserved from sins like the prophets or protected like the awliya’. But if it happens that anyone from the akabir indeed had a wet dream that would have been in respect of his stratagem from his wife or slave girl not in respect that which is not permitted for him, and the reason for his inadvertence from managing his body since it has prevented him from engaging in Allah or matter of Muslims, just as it has reached us that ‘Umar b. al-Khattab (ر) had a wet dream because of his slave girl and said: we have been tested with this matter ever since we engaged in matters of Muslims.
As for their evidence in respect of blaming the murids for extending his leg without necessity during night and day, that is due to their knowledge that the murids are continuously before Allah (ع) regardless of whether he felt it or not, thus they wanted from him to be assiduous in omitting the stretching of the leg as per the rule of the belief that he is (present) before Allah till his veil is unraveled and he witnesses the matter (both) in certainty (yaqin) and testimony (shuhud). And there he will see that hitting him with sword is more comfortable than stretching the leg without need, but if he were to choose between stretching the leg and entering the hell, he would certainly choose the latter (the entering the hell).
It has reached us from Ibrahim b. Adham (ر) that he said: I stretched my leg at night while I was sitting reading my wird (litany), at that time (I heard) a voice saying: “O, Ibrahim what (is this) is a must for the sitting of kings. They said thereafter Ibrahim did not stretch the leg till he died after twenty years. Therefore, it is known from the totality of what we have established it is of paramount important that the people of Allah (ع) do not tolerate the murid to perpetrate anything of the makruhat let alone the explicit or implicit muharramat and that their well-recorded path in agreement with the Book (Qur’an) and the sunnah is like the composition of the gold as opposed to what one who do not have knowledge about their path may think.
The people of Allah (ت) have reached a consensus on that it is not valid for one to enter the precinct of Allah (ت) in salat or other than it except for one who is purified from all blameworthy attributes both exoterically and esoterically, by taking evidence from the non-validity of the salat for one who performed salat and on his clothe or on his body a dirt which cannot be removed from it, or leaving a portion from his limbs without purification. And whosoever does not purifies as such then his salat is only in form and there is no spirit nor reality in it, just as one who is veiled from witnessing the Truth (ت) through his heart for a moment in his salat, his salat, according to the qawm, likewise, is (considered) void. The Shari‘ (ص) has drawn (our) attention by stipulating the external purification on the condition of the internal purification. Therefore, the people of Allah (ت) wished from the murid to correlate the external with its internal (aspects) in respect of the purification, so as to extricate (the murid) from the attribute of hypocrisy. [In this respect Allah says 4(al-Nisa):145]:
إن المنافقين فى الدرك الأسفل من النار
Indeed, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire
And in a hadith recorded in Muslim tracing it to the Prophet (wherein he is reported to have said): “Certainly Allah (ت) does not look to your forms nor to your bodies, but he certainly looks at your hearts”. Likewise the people the path also reached consensus on the necessity of man to select a sheikh who will guide him toward abating those attributes which prevent him from entering the precinct of Allah, the self-elevated, through his heart so as to authenticate his salat as per the rule: that by which a wajib is not completed by it is in itself a wajib. There is no doubt that the cure for the internal sickness such as love for the worldly life, arrogance, conceit, showing off, jealousy, hatred, rancor, hypocrisy and their likes all of it are wajib as it has been witnessed by the narrated ahadith in respect of prohibiting these matters and the promise of punishment on account of them. Therefore it is known that everyone who did not choose a shaykh to guide him towards extricating him from these attributes is a sinner towards Allah (ت) and to His messenger (ص), this because he will not be guided towards the path of cure without a shaykh even if he memorizes a thousand books in this science. As such he will be like one who memorise a book on medicine and he does not know how to dispense medicine for the disease, but everyone who heard him and he has studied in the book saying that he is a great physician, whereas whoever see him when he was asked about the name of the disease and the manner of removing it he said that he is ignorant. Therefore, choose, O, my brother for you a shaykh and accept my advice, but be careful in saying that the sufi path did not come up with the Book nor the sunnah, then it is kufr. For, in fact it, in its entirety is Muhammadan ethics, both its warp (suda) and weft (lahmah) are (made) from them.
And know that everyone whom Allah, the self-elevated, has blessed him with safety from internal sickness like the salaf al-salih (the pious predecessors) and the a’immah al-mujathidin (the leaders of the mujtahids), are not in need of a shaykh:
بل الإنسان على نفسه بصيرة
Rather, man, against himself, will be a witness [75(al-Qiyamah):14]
Therefore, scrutinize, O, my brother this address and the book and act according to it, for if Allah intends you will not go astray nor miserable.
والحمد لله رب العلمين
All praise be to Allah, the Rabb of the worlds [1(al-Fatihah):2]
Let us commence, with the help of Allah (ت) with the goal of this book by saying, in Allah (do we seek) protection:
(1) The phraseology of praise is herein after marked with the letters (ع) and (ت), both meant for Allah to mean عز وجل (the Most Powerful and Exalted) and تعالى (the Self-Elevated), (ص) to mean صلى الله عليه وسلم in respect of the Prophet, and (ر) to mean رضي الله عنه (May Allah be pleased with him) in reference to his companions. Interestingly the author uses the (ر) for non-Sahabah like Ibn 'Arabi and Ibrahim al-Adham. Perhaps he elevates them to the status of the Sahabah.
(2) Even through the word لواقح means fecundation, pollination or impregnation but I choose the word scattered to mean the spreading of the light which is what, in my opinion, al-Sha'rani intends, by it.
(2) Even through the word لواقح means fecundation, pollination or impregnation but I choose the word scattered to mean the spreading of the light which is what, in my opinion, al-Sha'rani intends, by it.