Friday, October 19, 2012

The Two Illuminations

Ibn Ata' Illah: There are illuminations that are allowed to arrive; and then there are illuminations that are allowed to enter.

Shurnubi: This means that the illuminations that come to the heart from the treasures of the unseen, i.e. divine secrets and lordly mysteries, are divided into two types: (1) illuminations that are allowed to reach the outside of the heart only, so that one sees alongside them one's soul, one's Lord, one's worldly life and one's hereafter; and (2) illuminations that are allowed to enter into the heart's core, so that the servant loves nothing else in that moment but his Master, and does nothing but what his Lord loves and approves.

Ibn Ata' Illah: It may be that illuminations come to you and find your heart enveloped in the images of created things, so that they turn back and return whence they came.

Shurnubi: That is: O murid, it may be that divine illuminations come to you, but find your heart enveloped in the images of things of this world like possessions, children and so on. So the illuminations go back to where they came from, because they are too holy to enter a heart that is sullied with other things. The author then explains that the heart must be emptied, saying:

Ibn Ata' Illah: Empty your heart of other things, and it will be filled with mystical knowledge and secrets.

Shurnubi: That is: O murid, if you wish for illuminations to enter your heart, and for mysteries and secrets to be revealed to you from your Lord, then empty your heart of the images of other things, and it will be filled with mystical knowledge and secrets.


Novid Shaid said...

Masha ALlah, an excellent reminder and translation Sidi Khalid, just what I needed...This story comes to mind after reading the Hikam and commentary:

A man, once, became entranced by the song of an unusual bird and its strangely poignant song, which would leave him enrapt and fill him with love for the whole universe. Many a day he would sit there and listen, feeling each note melting his heart away. Then some unexpected rather rude guests came knocking on his door and the man unwittingly allowed them in. Next, he found that his garden was overcome by his rowdy guests and the bird flew away. For the following days, the man fought hard to kick each rude guest out of his house. After every last one had been ejected, he sat in his garden and wept. Lo and behold, to his unending delight, the bird returned and continued with his song.

Khalid Williams said...

What a lovely story. Is that one of your own, or did you read it somewhere?

Novid Shaid said...

Just something that came to mind sidi....

Abu Zaynab said...

good blog, khalid.

Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore said...


Are lambs that ask the way to heaven
the same as lions?

One has eyes that never leave the ground
the other’s head’s held high in the sky’s bright sunlight

One quiet as a mouse and soft as a cloud
the other’s mane like fire and teeth like death’s

Do they trod the earth the same and
leave the same trail behind them?

When lambs roar they make a
stuttering sound

If a lion’s meek it may be it’s on its
last legs

Where our eyes land is what our
hearts desire

For big things go for gold
for small things watch leaves

blow past the windows and be gone

The screen’s blank and everything passes
past it

But neither screen nor passing thoughts have

Lions and lambs both land in
God’s land at last

enwrapped together in the circle of His love

baaing and roaring become
perfect murmurs

all eternity long

9/4/13 (from The Soul's Home, in progress insha'Allah)

Khalid Williams said...


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