Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Wahdat-ul-Wujood or Wahdat al-Wajud (Arabic: وحدة الوجود) the "Unity of Being" is a Sufi philosophy emphasizing that 'there is no true existence except the Ultimate Truth (God)'. Or in other phrasing that the only truth within the universe is God, and that all things exist within God only. All of his creations emerge from `adim (عدم non-existence) to wujood (existence) out of his thought only. Hence the existence of God is the only truth (Haqq), and the concept of a separate created universe is a fallacy (Batil).
Wahdat-ul-wujood is considered a formulation of Ibn Arabi (Muhyi ad-Din al-Shaykh al-Akbar) since he is considered the originator of this idea, however this term is not used in any of his writings. Wahdat-ul-Wujood spread through the teachings of the Sufis like Shaikh Abu Ali Sindhi and Bayazid Bistami. Sachal Sarmast and Bulleh Shah two Sufi poets from Pakistan, were also ardent followers of Wahdat-ul-Wujood.
Ibn Arabi was of the opinion that being in reality is to be one with God. All other actual and possible beings in the universe are manifestations and states or modes of his Divine Names and Attributes.
Wahdat al-Wajood or Wahdat ul-Wujood is a concept based upon the idea that nothing exists other than Allah, and creation is merely the manifestation of Allah. This implies that the creation is Allah, and Allah does not exist outside the creation.
Hadhrat Imadadullah Mahajir Makki, the spiritual guide of the most prominent Deobandis, explains Wahdat al-Wajood in a booklet by the same name, with an example of a seed and a tree.
He states that the seed is Allah and the creation is the tree with its stem, roots, branches and leaves. Initially, only the seed was present, and the entire huge tree was hidden in the small seed. When the plant grew into a massive tree, the seed disappeared. The seed is now manifest in this huge tree and does not have an existence outside of it.
The Sufis consider the realization of Wahdat al-Wajood to be a matter of great wisdom. According to them, Tawheed (lit. making one) is a complete denial of existence for everything other than Allah, as explained by the Deobandis in ‘Irshaadul Mulook’ and ‘Ikhmaalush Shiyaam’,
“The root of Tawheed is the negation of the non-existent and transitory things and the confirmation of the everlasting thing.”
“A concept which posits true existence for any being other than Allah is Shirk in Divine Attribute of Existence (Wajood).”
The Sufis consider this type of Tawheed to be suitable only for the ‘Spiritually Elite’, and claim that only those who have reached the ‘stage’ due to excessive penance and Dhikr are able to comprehend Wahdat al-Wajood.
Ibn Arabi, the Sufi scholar with whom which the concept of Wahdat-ul-Wujood is rightly attributed, asserted that since Allah's Attributes were manifested in His creation, to worship His creation is similar to worshipping Him: "So the person with complete understanding is he who sees every object of worship to be a manifestation of the truth contained therein, for which it is worshipped. Therefore they call it a god, along with its particular name, whether it is a rock, or a tree, or an animal, or a person, or a star, or an angel."9 This is how far the Sufis deviated because of their reliance on Greek and Eastern philosophy, rather than the Qur'an and Sunnah. To them God is not Allah Alone with whom no one else shares in His Dominion, but rather everything we see around us, and ultimately our own selves! Glory to Allah, who Stated "There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer" [42: 11].
Looking at where Sufism derived its understanding from, we find the same ingrained beliefs: "When you live in the wisdom home, you'll no longer find a barrier between "I" and "you," "this" and "that," "inside" and "outside;" you'll have come, finally, to your true home, the state of non-duality."10 "Finally, the experience of realisation matures sufficiently that the [spiritual aspirant] may rightly utter the startling assertion, 'I am Shiva'. "When I am in that darkness I do not remember anything about anything human, or the God-man.. I see all and I see nothing. As what I have spoken of withdraws and stays with me, I see the God-man.. and he sometimes says to me: 'You are I and I am you'"
Wahdat al-Wajood and Moksha
If one analyzes the Hindu concept of the relationship between God and mankind, he would be startled at the similarity between the Pagan concept of Moksha and the Aqeedah of Wahdat al-Wajood of the Deobandis and Sufis. Following are some excerpts from the book, “The Religion of the Hindus.”
“The Hindu scriptures teach that the ultimate end of human life is liberation (Moksha) from that finite human consciousness, which makes humans see everything as separate from one another and not as part of a whole. When a higher consciousness dawns upon us, we see the individual parts of the Universe as deriving their true significance from the central unity of spirit. This is the beginning of the experience, which the Hindu scriptures call, ‘the second birth’, or ‘the opening of the third eye’ or ‘the eye of wisdom’. The end of this experience is more or less permanent establishment of the inspiring consciousness, which is the ultimate goal of man.
Our political and social institutions, our arts and sciences, our creeds, and rituals are not ends in themselves, but only means to this goal of ‘liberation’. When this goal is reached, man is lifted above his mortal plane and becomes one with that ocean of pure Being, Consciousness and Bliss called ‘Brahman’ in Hindu scriptures.
The ultimate aim of man is liberation. Liberation is not only from the bondage of the flesh but also from the limitations of a finite being. In other words, ‘Moksha’ means becoming a perfect spirit like the Supreme Spirit.”