- The first door represents the one who reaches the circle of Truth. The second door represents the person who reaches it, who after entering it comes to a closed door. The third door represents the one who goes astray in the desert of the Truth-Nature of the truth.
- He that enters the circle is far from the Truth because the way is blocked and the seeker is sent back. The point on high represents his yearning. The lower point represents his return to his point of departure, and the middle point is his bewilderment.
- The inner circle does not have a door, and the point which is in the center is Truth.
- The meaning of Truth is that from which externals and internals are not absent, and it does not tolerate forms.
- If you wish to understand what I have pointed to here, then ‘take four birds and twist them to thee,’ (2.260) because Allah does not fly.
- It is His jealousy which makes it appear after He hid it. It was awe that kept us apart, it was bewilderment that deprived us of it.
- These are the meanings of Truth. It is subtler than the circle of the origins, and the designation of the regions. And subtler still is the internal functioning of the understanding, because of the concealing of the imagination.
- This is because the observer observes the circle from without not from within.
- As for the Knowledge of the knowledge of Truth, he does not know it, because he is incapable. Knowledge denotes a place but the circle is a forbidden place (haram).
- S o they named the prophet ‘Haram’ because he alone came out of from the circle of Haram.
- He was full of fear and awe, and wearing the garment of Truth, he went out and cried ‘Ah!!’ to all creation.
The T a-S in of the Point
- Finer still than that is the mention of the Primordial Point, which is the Source, and which does not grow or decrease, nor consume itself.
- The one who denies my spiritual state denies it because he does not see me, and he calls me a heretic. He charges me with evil, and seeing my glory he calls for help, and it is to the sacred circle which is beyond the beyond that he cries.
- He who reaches the second circle imagines me to be the Inspired Master.
- He who reaches the thrid circle thinks that I am at the bottom of all desires.
- And he who reaches the circle of Truth forgets me and his attention is distracted from me.
- ‘No indeed, not a refuge! Upon that day the recourse shall be to thy Lord, upon that day man shall be told his former deeds and his latter.’
- But man turns to indirect testimony, he flees to a refuge, he fears the sparks, and his intention is beguiled and led astray.
- I am absorbed in the sea of the depths of eternity and he who reaches the circle of Truth is occupied on the shore of the sea of knowledge with his own knowledge. He is absent from my vision.
- I saw a certain bird from the selves of the Sufis which flew with the two wings of Sufism. He denied my glory as he persisted in his flight.
- He asked me about purity and I said to him: ‘Cut your wings with the shears of annihilation. I f not you cannot follow me.’
- He said to me: ‘I fly with my wings to my Beloved.’ I said to him: ‘Alas for thee! Because there is naught like Him, He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.’ So then he fell into the sea of understanding and was drowned.
- A single unique point from the circle denotes the various thoughts of the understanding. A single point is itself the Truth and the rest is error.
- ‘He drew near’ in rising – ‘then he came again’ in transcending. Seeking he drew near; enraptured, he came again. He left his heart there and drew nigh to his Lord. He was absent when he saw Allah, yet he was not absent. How was he present and not present? How did he look and not look?
- From amazement he passed to lucidity and from lucidity to amazement. Witnessed by Allah he witnessed Allah. He arrived and was separated. He reached his Desire and was cut off from his heart, and ‘his heart lies not of what it saw.’
- Allah concealed him then made him draw near. He commissioned him and purified him. He made him thirsty and then fed him. He purified him and then chose him. He called him and then summoned him. He afflicted him and then came to his aid. He armed him and then put him in the saddle.
- There was a distance of ‘one bow span’ and when he returned he reached his mark. When called he answered. Having seen he effaced himself. Having drunk he was satisfied. Having come near he was awe-struck. And having separated himself from cities and helpers, he was separated from consciences and looks and created traces (athar).
- ‘Your comrade did not go astray,’ he did not weaken or grow weary. His eye did not falter nor was he tired by a ‘when’ of pure duration.
- ‘Your comrade did not go astray,’ in his contemplation of Us. He did not pass beyond in visiting Us, nor transgress in Our message. He did not compare Us to others in treating of Us. He did not deviate in the garden of dhikr in contemplation of Us, nor go astray in roaming in fikr.
- Rather he remembered Allah in his breaths and blinks of the eye, and was resigned to Him in afflictions and thankful for his gifts.
- ‘This is naught but a revelation revealed’ from the Light to the Light.
- Change your speech! Absent yourself from illusions, raise your feet high from mankind and creatures! Speak of Him with measure and harmony! Be passionate and lost in rapture. Discover – that you might fly beyond the mountains and the fields, the mountains of cognizance and the hills of security in order to see He whom you regard. And so the legal fast is ended on coming to the Sacred House.
- Then he drew nigh to Allah like the one who is going to enter the Intention. Then he announced that it is forbidden. It is like a barrier rather than impotence. He passed from the Station of Cleansing to the Station of Reproach and from the Station of Reproach to the Station of Proximity. He went nigh searching and he returned fleeing. He went nigh invoking and he returned a herald. He drew nigh answering and returned invested with Divine Nearness. He drew nigh as a witness and returned a contemplative.
- The distance between them was ‘two bow spans’. He hit the mark of ‘where’ with the arrow of ‘between’ (ayn and bayn). He stated that there were two bow spans to specify the exact place, and ‘or’ because of the un-delineated nature of Essence, ‘a little closer’ in the Essence of the Essence.
- The Master of the Extraordinary Al-Husadin ibn Mansur AlHallaj said:
- I do not believe that our expression here will be comprehensible except to the one who has arrived at the second bow span which is beyond the Tablet of Forms (lawh mahfuz).
- There are letters that are used no longer letters of Arabic or Persian.
- There are letters only and that letter is the mim which is the letter signifying ‘what he revealed’
- The mim designated ‘The Last.’
- The mim is also the string of the First. The first bow span is the Kingdom of Might (jabrut) and the second is the Kingdom of Sovereignty (malakut), and the Kingdom of the Attributes is the string of the two kingdom. And the Kingdom of the Essence of Intimate (specific) Illumination (tajalli khass) is the arrow of the Absolute and the arrow of the two spans.
- I t comes from the One who kindles the fire of Illumination.
- He said that the adequate form of speech is that speech the sense of which is drawing near. The Author of the meaning is the Truth of Allah not the method of His creation. This nearing is only obtained in the circle of vigorous exactitude.
- Truth and the Truth of Truths is found in the finest distinctions, from previous experiences, by means of an antidote made by one who loves, in consideration of calamities and the discernment of distinctions, and it is by a word of deliverance. This is the path of the elect in respect to individuals, and the nearing is seen as a vast area so that the knower who has followed the observed paths of prophetic tradition may understand.
- The Master of Yathrib, peace be upon him, proclaimed the glory of the one who possesses the most excellent of graces, inviolable, preserved in a ‘hidden Book,’ as He mentioned in a visible book, ‘in a Book inscribed’ on the meaning of the language of the birds, when He brought us there.
- If you understand this, oh lover, understand that the Lord does not enter into conversation except with His own, or with the friends of His own.
- To be one of His own is to have neither Master nor disciple, to be without preference or distinction or affectation or counsel, not having any ‘his’ or ‘from him.’ But rather what is in him is what is in him, but without there being an ‘in him,’ as a desert without water in a desert without water, as a sign in a sign.
- Public discourse translates its meanings transplant his wishes, and his wish is seen from afar. His path is hard, his name is glorious, his form is unique, his knowledge is denial of knowledge, his denial is his sole truth, his sin is his source of confidence. His Name is his Path, and his outward characteristic is his burning, his attribute is Desire.
- The Road (shar’) is his characteristic, the truths (haqa’iq) are his arena and his glory, selves are his portico, S haitan is his teacher, every sociable being became his familiar animal, humanity is his conscience, obliteration is his glory, effacement is his subject of meditation, the bride is his garden, and effacement of effacement his palace.
- His Masters are my refuge, their principles are my alarm, their volition is my request, their aid is my stopping place, their sorrows are my grief.
- Their leaves are a drinking place, their sleeves are nothing but dust, their doctrine is the cornerstone of their state, and their state is impotence. But any other state would be an object of anger for Allah. S o this is enough and success with Allah.
The T a-S in of Before Endless-Time and Equivocation
(for he who understands, in the understanding of the understanding relative to public discourse as to what is legitimate in regard to intentions.)
- The Master Abu’l-Mughith, may Allah be merciful to him, said: ‘There is no established mission except that of Iblis and Muhammad, peace be on him, only Iblis fell from the Essence while Muhammad perceived the Essence of the Essence.’
- It was said to Iblis: ‘Prostrate yourself!’ and to Muhammad – ‘Look!’ But I blis did not prostrate himself, and Muhammad did not look, he did not turn to the right or the left, ‘his eye swerved nor, nor swept astray.’
- As for Iblis, having announced his mission, he did not return to his first power.
- And when Muhammad announced his mission he returned to his power.
- With this statement, ‘It is in You that I am transported and on You that I fling myself,’ and also, ‘Oh You who turn the hearts’ and ‘I do not know how to praise You as You should be praised.
- Among the inhabitants of heaven there was no unitarian or worshipper like Iblis.
- For Iblis there appeared the Divine Essence. He was prevented from even a blink of the eye of awareness, and he began to worship the Adored One in ascetic isolation.
- He was cursed when he reached the double isolation, and he was questioned when he demanded the ultimate solitude.
- Allah said to him: ‘Prostrate yourself!!’ He said: ‘Not before another than You.’ He said to him: ‘Even if my curse falls on you?’ He said: ‘It will not punish me.’
- ‘My denial is to affirm your purity and my reason remains
disordered in You. And what is Adam compared to You and who am I , Iblis, to differentiate from You!’
- He fell into the Sea of Majesty, he became blind, and said:
‘There is no path for me to other-than-You. I am a humble lover.’ He said to him: ‘You have become proud.’ He said: ‘If there was one glance between us, it would have been enough to make me proud and imperious, but I am he who knew You in Before Endless-Time, “I am better than Him” because I have served You for a longer time. No one, in the two types of beings, knows You better than I do! There was an intention of Yours in me, and an intention of mine in You, and both of them preceded Adam. If I prostrated before another than You or if I did not prostrate it would be necessary me to return to my origin, since You created me of fire, and fire returns to fire, according to an equilibrium and choice which are Yours.
- There is no distance from You for me, since I became certain that distance and nearness are one. For me, if I was left, your desertion would be my companion, so how much more are desertion and love truly one! Glory to You in Your Providence and in the Essence of your I naccessibility for the pious worshipper who does not prostrate before any other than You.’
- Musa met Iblis on the slope of Sinai and said to him: ‘Oh Iblis, what prevented you from prostrating?’ He said: ‘That which prevented me was my declaration of a Unique Beloved, and if I had prostrated I would have become like you, because you were only called upon once to ‘look at the mountain’ and you looked. As for me, I was called upon a thousand times to prostrate myself to Adam and I did not prostrate myself because I stood by the I ntention of my Declaration.
- S ayedina Musa said: ‘You abandoned a Command?’ Iblis
said: ‘It was a test. Not a command.’ S ayedina Musa said: ‘Without sin? But your face was deformed.’ Iblis replied: ‘Oh Musa, that is but the ambiguity of appearances, while the spiritual state does not rely on it and does not change. Gnosis remains true even as it was at the beginning and does not change even if the individual changes.’
- S ayedina Musa said: ‘Do you remember Him now?’ ‘Oh Musa, pure mind does not have need of memory – by it I am remembered and He is remembered. His remembrance is my remembrance, and my remembrance is His remembrance. How, when remembering ourselves, can we two be other than one? My service is now purer, my time more pleasant, my remembrance more glorious, because I served Him in the absolute for my good fortune, and now I serve Him for Himself.’
- I lifted greed from everything which prevents or defends for the sake of loss as well as gain. He isolated me, made me ecstatic, confused me, expelled me, so that I would no mix with the saints. He put me far from others because of my jealous for Him alone. He deformed me, because He amazed me, and amazed me because He banished me. He banished me because I was a servant and put me in a forbidden state because of my companionship. He showed my lack of worth because I praised His Glory. He reduced me to a simple robe of ihram because if my hijya. He left me because of my union, He unified me because he cut me off. He cut me off because He had prevented my desire.
- By His Truth I was not in error in respect to His decree, I did not refuse destiny. I did not care at all about the deformation of my face. I kept my equilibrium throughout these sentences.
- If He punishes me with His fire for all of eternity I would not prostrate myself before anyone, and I would not abase myself before any person or body because I do not recognize any opposite with Him! My declaration is that of the Sincere and I am one of those sincere in love.’
- Al-Hallaj said: ‘There are various theories regarding the spiritual states of Azazyl (Iblis before his fall). One said that he was charged with a mission in heaven, and with a mission on earth. In heaven he preached to the Angels showing them good works, and on earth preaching to men and jinn showing them evil deeds.
- Because one does not recognize things except by their opposites, as with fine white silk which can only be woven using black fabric behind it – so the Angel could show good actions and say symbolically “If you do these you will be rewarded.” But he who did not know evil before cannot recognize good.’
- The Master Abu ‘Umar Al-Hallaj said: ‘I deliberated with Iblis and Pharon on the honor of the generous. Iblis said: “If I had prostrated myself I would have lost my name of honor.” Pharon said: “If I had believed in this Messenger I would have fallen from my rank of honor.”
- I said: “If I had disavowd my teaching and my speech, I would have fallen from the hall of honor.
- When Iblis said: “I am better than him,” then he could not see anyone other than himself. When Pharon said “I know not that you have other Divinity than me,” he did not recognize that any of his people could distinguish between the true and the false.
- And I said: “If you do not know Him, then know His signs,
I am His sign (tajalli) and I am the Truth! And this is because I have not ceased to realize the Truth!”
- My companion is Iblis and my teacher is Pharon, Iblis was
threatened with the fire and did not retract his allegation. Pharon was drowned in the Red Sea without retracting his allegation or recognizing any mediator. But he said: “I believe that there is no Divinity but He in whon the tribe of Israel believe, ” and don’t you see that Allah opposed Jibril in His glory? He said: “Why did you fill your mouth with sand?”
- And I was killed, crucified, my hands and feet cut off
without retracting my assertion.
- The name of Iblis was derived from his first name, Azazyl in which were changed: the ‘ayn representing the amplitude of his endeavor, the zay, representing the growing frequency of his visits, the alif – his way in His rank, the second zay – his asceticism in His rank, and the ya – his wandering walk to his agony, and lam – his obstinacy in his pain.
- He said to him: “You do not prostrate, oh contemptible one!” He said, “Say rather – lover, for a lover is despised, so you call me despicable. I have read in a Manifest Book, oh All-Powerful and Steadfast, that this would happen to me. S o how could I lower myself before Adam when you created him of earth and me from fire? These two opposites cannot agree. And I have served you longer, and have a greater virtue and a vaster knowledge and a more perfect activity.
- Allah, may He be praised, said to him: “The choice is mine, not yours.” He said: “All choices and my choice itself are yours, because You had already chosen for me, oh Creator, If you prevented me from prostrating before him You were the cause of the prevention. If I err in speech You do not leave me because You are the All-Hearing. If You had willed that I prostrate before him, I would have been obedient. I do not know anyone among the Wise who knows you better than I do.”
- Do not blame me, the idea of censure is distant from me, reward me then, my master, for I am alone. If, in being a promise, Your promise is truly the Truth inprinciple, the principle of my vocation is strong indeed.
- Oh my brother! He was called Azazyl because he was dismissed, dismissed from his primitive purity. He did not return from his origin to his end, because he did not go out from his end, he left, cursed from his origin.
- His attempt to go out miscarried because of the fixity of his kindling. He found himself between the fire of his resting place and the light of his high position.
- The source on the plain is a low-lying lake. He was tormented by thirst in the place where there was abundance. He cried his pain because the fire burned him, and his fear was nothing but simulation and his blindness is vanity and – here he is!
- Oh my brother! If you have understood, you have considered the narrow pass in its very narrowness and you have represented the imagination to yourself in its very unreality, and you have returned distressed and full of anxiety.
- The most alert of the Knowers remained silent on Iblis and the gnostics did not have the strength to explain that which they had learned. Iblis was stronger that them in adoration and nearer than them to the Presence of the Essence. He exerted himself more and was more loyal to the covenant and was closer to them than the Adored.
- The other Angels prostrated before Adam for support, and Iblis refused, because he had been in contemplation for a long time already.
- But his case became confused and his thought went astray, so he said: “I am better than him.” He remained in the veil and did not value the dust, and brought damnation on himself for the After-Endless-Time of After-Endless-Time.