Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Abd el-Kader

`Abd al-Qādir al-Jazā'irī (6 September 1808 - 26 May 1883, in Arabic عبد القادر الجزائري) was an Algerian Islamic scholar, Sufi, political and military leader who led a struggle against the French invasion in the mid-nineteenth century, for which he is seen by the Algerians as their national hero.

"If the divine Mercy grants him the knowledge of himself, then his adoration will be pure; and, for him, paradise and hell, recompense, spiritual degrees and all created things will be as though God had never created them. He will not accord them any importance, nor will he take them into consideration, except to the extent that it is prescribed by the divine Law and Wisdom. For then he will know Who is the sole Agent."

"But, in conformity to His wisdom it was right that afterwards the Prophet should be sent back form the vision of pure Unity and that he should return… toward the separative vision. For, He created man and jinn only that they should worship Him and know Him -- and, if they remained at the degree of pure Unity, there would be none to worship Him. In this separative vision, the Worshipped and the worshipper, the Lord and the servant, the Creator and the creature are again perceived."

"The pleasure and the love of God for His creatures constitute the original state. His pleasure and love are the means by which He has brought His creatures into existence and are the cause of that bringing into existence. He who knows that he possesses neither being nor act rediscovers himself in that original state of pleasure and divine love."

"In the same way, when there is the state of extinction (fana') -- which the men of the way also call "union" (ittihad) -- the worshipper and the Worshipped, the Lord and the servant, disappear together. If there is no worshipper, there is no Worshipped; and if there is no servant, there is no Lord. For, when two terms are correlative, the disappearance of one necessarily brings about the disappearance of the other, and therefore they disappear together."

"The divine Reality, when it "combines" with the creatures in a strictly conceptual mode, is hidden to the eyes of the spiritually veiled, who see only the creatures. Conversely, it is the creatures that disappear in the eyes of the masters of the Unicity of contemplation(wahdat al-shuhud), for they see only God alone. Thus, both God and the creatures hide the other…"

"God has stolen my [illusory] "I" from me and has broght me near to my [real] "I" … The colors have returned ot the pure primoridal white. The voyage has reached its end and everything other than Him has ceased to exist. All attribution, every aspect and all relation being abolished, the original state is re-established."

"Turn your face toward the sacred Mosque (Koran 2:144,149,150)"
Commentary:This means: "Turn the [divine] face which is particular to you"…

This face is the secret (sirr) through which your spirit subsists… It is the source of man's being and the command [formulated in the verse] is in reality concerned with this. God … does not consider your exterior form but only your heart -- which is the "divine face" proper to each of you, and it is this "divine face" which, in you, "contains" God even though His sky and His earth cannot contain Him… He who turns (toward the sacred Mosque} with his body alone, without also turning this face, has not truly turned…"

"Everything which is other than Allah is "hidden" in non-being, even if it appears to spiritually veiled beings to be endowed with existence. But the sage does not concern himself with what is non-being and does not make it the aim of his acts."

"Then God -- may He be exalted! -- said to me, "What are you?" I replied, "I am two things, according to two different relations. With respect to You, I am the Eternal, forever and ever. I am the necessary Being who epiphanizes himself. My necessity proceeds from the necessity of Your essence and my eternity from the eternity of Your knowledge and Your attributes.

"With respect to me, I am pure non-being who has never breathed the perfume of existence, the adventitious being who remains nonexistent in his adventitiousness. I only possess being so long as I am present with You and for You. Left to myself and absent from You I am one who is not, even while he is (fa-ana mafqud mawjud)."

"And He is with you wherever you are … (Koran 57:4)
Commentary: … The companionship expressed by "with" is that of the Being and the non-being, for there is no Being other than Allah…

If Allah -- May He be exalted! -- was not, by His very Essence, which is the Being of all that is, "with" the creatures, we could not attribute being to any of these createres and they could not be perceived either by the senses, by the imagination, or by the intellect. It is their 'being with' which assures to creatres a relation with Being. Better yet, it is their being itself. This 'being with' embraces all things, whether they are sublime or lowly, great or small. It is through it that they subsist. He is the pure Being by which 'that which is' is. The 'being with' of Allah consists therefore in the fact that He is with us through His essence; that is, through that which we call the divine Self (huwiyya), universally present …

Indications of this divine 'being with' are contained in the following verses:

And He is witness of all things (Koran 34:47)
And Allah, behind them, encompasses them (Koran 85:20)
Wherever you turn, there is the Face of Allah (Koran 2:116)

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