On The
Self-Disclosure Of
God - Allah (2)
acc. to Shaykh Muhyiddin Ibn `Arabi

(Further down topics from the introduction by W C Chittick)

1. On the Selves, the Horizons and the Cosmos
Shaykh Muhyiddin Ibn `Arabi:

”The cosmos, all of it, is a book inscribed [Su 52:2],
since it is an orderly arrangement, parts of which
have been joined to other parts. Instant by instant in
every state it gives birth. There is nothing but the
appearance of entities perpetually.

” No existence-giver ever gives existence to anything
until it loves giving it existence. Hence everything
in wujûd is a beloved, so there are nothing but loved
ones. (IV 424-21)

” The Lawgiver turned you over to knowledge of yourself
in knowledge of God through His words,
{We shall show them Our signs}, which
are the signifiers, {upon the horizons and in themselves}.
Hence He did not leave aside anything of the cosmos
that is outside of you is identical with the horizons,
which are the regions around you.
{Until it is clear to them that it is the Real}, nothing else,
because there is nothing else. (III 275.32)

” [The friend of God] exceeds those who are veiled only
because of what God inspires into his secret heart.
This may be a consideration of his rational faculty or
his reflection, or it may be a readiness, through the
polishing of the mirror of his heart, for the signs
to be unveiled through unveiling, witnessing, tasting,
and finding. (III 344.34)

” God has placed His signs in the cosmos as the habitual and the non-habitual.
No one takes the habitual into account save only the folk of understanding from God.
Others have ho knowledge of God's desire through them.

” God has filled the Koran with [mention of] the habitual signs,
such as the alternation of day and night,
the descent of the rains, the
bringing forth of vegetation, the running of
ships in the sea, the diversity of tongues and colors,
sleep during the night, and the daytime for
seeking after God's bounty. So also is everything He
has mentioned in the Koran as signs {for a people who
have intelligence} [Su 13:4], {who hear [Su 10:67] {who
understand} [Su 6:98], {who have faith [Su 6:99], {who know}
[Su 6:97], {who have certainty} [Su 2:118], and {who reflect}
[Su 13:3]. Despite all this, no one gives it any notice
save the Folk of God, who are the Folk of the Koran,
God's elect.

” The non-habitual signs-that is, those that break
habits - are those that display traces within the souls
of the common people, such as earthquakes and
tremblers, edipses, the rational speech of animals,
walking on water, passing through the sky, announcing
events in the future that happen exactly as announced,
reading thoughts, eating from engendered existence,
and the satiation of many people with a small amount
of food. Such things are taken into account only by
the common people.

” When miraculous breaking of habits occurs not on the
basis of uprightness, or if it does not alert people
and incite them to retum to God such that they return
and exert themselves in returning, then it is a
deception and a {leading on step by step from whence
they know not} [Su 7:182]. This is the {sure guile}
[Su 7:183] - God's gifts, despite [the servant's] acts of
opposition.' (II 372.10)

” God has unveiled the covering of ignorance from the
eyes of their insights and has made them witness the
signs of themselves and the signs of the horizons.
Hence it has become {clear to them that it is the Real}
[Su 41:53], nothing else. So they have faith in Him, or
rather, they know Him through every face and in every
form, and they know that {He encompasses everything}
[Su 41:54]. The gnostics see nothing unless in Him, since
He is the container that encompasses everything. And
how should He not be? He has alerted us to this with
His name Aeon, within which enters everything other than God,
so he who sees something sees it only in Him. That is why
Abû Bakr said, "I see nothing without secing God
before it," for he did not see it until it had entered
into Him. Necessarily, his eye saw the Real before the
thing, for he saw the thing proceed from Him. So the
Real is the house of all existent things, because He
is wujûd. And the heart of the servant is the house of
the Real, because it embraces Him - that is, the heart of
the one who has faith, none other. (IV 7.30)

” In this waystation is found the knowledge of the
rational proofs and demonstrations that judge their
Existence-Giver as is worthy of Him and [the knowledge
of] His acknowledgment of their truthfulness in what
they judge. After all, God set up some signs only for
the Possessors of the Kernels, who are those who
understand the meanings of the signs through the
rational faculty that God has mounted within them.

” Moreover, God made reason itself a sign of reason, and
He bestowed upon it the remembering and reminding
faculty that reminds it of the Real who discloses
Himself to it so that it knows Him through witnessing
and vision. Then He lets down the veils of nature
upon it, and then He calls it to His knowledge through
the signifiers and the signs. He reminds it that its
own self is the first signifier of Him, so it should
consider it. (III 291.2)

” The Messenger of God ﷺ said that there is no path to
knowledge of God but knowledge of self, for he said,
"He who knows himself knows his Lord." He also said,
"He who knows himself best knows his Lord best." Hence
he made you a signifier. That is, he made your
knowledge of yourself signify your knowledge of Him.
This is either by way of the fact that He described
you with the same essence and attributes with which He
described Himself and He made you His vicegerent and
deputy in His earth; or it is that you have poverty
and need for Him in your existence; or it is the two
affairs together, and inescapably so.

” We also see that, concerning the knowledge of God that
is called ma`rifa, God says, {We shall show them Our
signs upon the horizons and in themselves until it is
clear to them that He is the Real}, Hence the Real
turned us over to the {horizons}, which is everything
outside of us, and to {ourselves}, which is everything
that we are upon and in. When we come to understand
these two affairs together, we come to know Him and it
becomes clear to us {that He is the Real}. Hence the
signifying of God is more complete.

” This is because, when we consider ourselves to begin
with, we do not know whether consideration of the
cosmos outside ourselves - indicated by His words, {in
the horizons} - gives us a knowledge of God that is not
given by ourselves or by everything in ourselves.
If if did give us such a knowledge, then, when we
considered ourselves, we would gain the knowledge of
God that is gained by those who consider the horizons.
As for the Lawgiver, he knew that the self brings
together all the realities of the cosmos. Hence he
focused you upon yourself because of his eager
desire-since, as God said concerning him, {He is
eagerly desirous for you} [Su 9:128]. He wanted you to
approach the signifier so that you would win knowledge
of God quickly, and through it reach felicity.

” As for the Real, He mentioned the horizons to warn you
of what we mentioned - lest you imagine that something
remains in the horizons giving a knowledge of God
that is not given by your self.
Hence He turned you over to the horizons. Then,
when you recognize from them the very signifier of
God that they provide, you will consider yourself, and
you will find that the knowledge of God that is
yielded by your consideration of the horizons is
exactly the same as that yielded by your
consideration of yourself. Then no obfuscation will
remain to cause misgivings in you, because there will
be nothing but God, you, and what is outside you, that
is, the cosmos.

” Then He taught you how to consider the cosmos. He said,
{Do you not see how your Lord
draws out the shadow?} [Su 25:45]. {What, do they
not consider how the clouds were created} and
so on [Su 88:17 ff.]. {Have they not considered the
sovereignty of the heavens and the earth?} [Su 7:185].
Such is every verse in which He urges you to
consider the signs. In the same way He says, {Surely
in that are signs for a people who have intelligence}
[Su 13:4], {who reflect} [Su 13:3], {who hear} [Su 10:67], and
{who understand} [Su 6:98], and {for the knowers} [Su 30:22],
{for the faithful} [Su 15:77], {for the possessors of
understanding} [Su 20:128], and {for the possessors of the
kernels} [Su 3:190]. He knew that He created the creatures
in stages, so He enumerated the paths that lead to
knowledge of Him, since no stage oversteps its
waystation, because of what God has mounted within it.

” The Messenger turned you over to yourself
alone because he knew that the Real would be
your faculties and that you would know Him
through Him, not through other than He. For
He is the Exalted, and the 'Exalted' is the forbidden
through its unreachability. When someone
attains someone else, the latter is not
forbidden in its unreachability, so he is not
exalted. That is why the Real is your faculties,
When you know Him and you attain to Him,
none will have known and attained to Him save
He. Hence the attribute of exaltation never
leaves Him. Such is the situation, for the door
to knowledge of Him is shut, unless it comes
from Him, and inescapably so. (II 298.29)

” God says, {We shall show them Our signs upon the
horizons and in themselves} so that they will know that
the human being is a microcosm of the cosmos
containing the signs that are within the cosmos. The
first thing that is unveiled to the companion of the
seclusion are the signs of the cosmos, before the signs
of his own self, for the cosmos is before him, as God
has said: {We shall show them Our signs upon the
horizons}. Then, after this, He will show him, the
signs that he saw in the cosmos within himself. If he
were to see them first in himself, then in the
cosmos, perhaps he would imagine that his self is seen
in the cosmos, So God rernoved this confusion for him
by giving priority to the vision of the signs in the
cosmos, just as has occurred in wujûd. After all, the
cosmos is prior to the human being. How should it not
be prior to him? It is his father. Thus the vision of
those signs that are in the horizons and in himself
clarify for him that He is the Real, nothing else.
(II 150.33)

” The negation (of the shahadah: 'no god' / la ilâha) is turned
toward the indefinite noun,
which is god, while the affirmation is tumed toward
the definite noun, which is {God / Allâh}. The negation is
turned toward the indefinite that is, {god} only because
all things are included within it. There is nothing
that does not have a share of divinity
to which it lays claim.
This is why the negation is turned toward it, since the
"god" is he whose shares do not become designated,
because all shares belong to him. When people recognize
that the god possesses all shares, they recognize that
He is called by the name God / Allah. (IV 89.16)

from SDG p. 6 - 9


next page





latest update: 2021-06-22


* living Islam – Islamic Tradition *