#Article (Archive)

Recommencement of the Civilizing Movement and Bringing Together (Of Muslim Schools of Thought)

Dec 4, 2009, 12:39 PM


After breathing his spirit into man through the rational soul, God granted him nobleness and taught him all the names. Such a soul is noble, and it is impossible for it to face chastisement in the hereafter; rather, what face punishment is man's animal soul which grows huge and thick in the man who has strayed from God's path and conceals the rational soul as well.

Regarding man, Ibn al-Arabi says, "Man only enters Hell with his animal soul, since Hell would be place for the rational soul, and in case that soul shines on such a fire, it shall extinguish its blazes, since its light is greater (Al-Fotuhat al-Makkiyya, vol.3, p.360.)

The mystics' human inclination has moved them away from masculine-pivoted thought. Such a tendency has caused them to regard man and woman as being equal in the ability to attain human perfection. Ibn-al-Arabi says in this regard, "humanity is a truth that includes man and woman; thus, men have no superiority over women in the concept of humanity." (ibid, p. 447)

Inclination is also reflected in their jurisprudence, since they have permitted the leadership of a woman over men in performing prayers (Mohammad Taghi Ja'fari, vol.15, p.204.) Mystics emphasize ambition, and that mankind must be aware of his capabilities and not underestimate his value. In this respect, Mawlana Jalal al-Din Rumi says:

"Outwardly, you are the smaller universe (Microcosm). Inwardly, however, you are the greater universe (madrocosm). On the outside it seems that the branch is the heart of the fruit; on the inside, however, the branch is created for the fruit."
This concept has been taken from a poem, attributed to the Chief of Mystics, Ali b.Abi Talib, which says:

"Your cure is within you though you do not feel. Your sickness too is from yourself which you do not see. You think you are a small object, whereas the great universe is hidden in you." (Diwan al-Imam Ali, p. 57)

2. In the mystics' opinion, the greatest thing that hinders man's evolutional movement is "he himself." Should he go beyond his egotisms, man shall proceed in boundless unlimited spaces, otherwise he shall lose his human nature; he shall lose the same nature which guide him towards perfection, which is the breathing (of the spirit) of the Lord of the universe.

Mawlawi says in this respect:

"Someone had a lantern in his hand and search for something in clear daylight, his heart burning with love. A nosy person came to him and said, "What are you searching for in every shop? What do you seeks in this clear daylight with the lighted lantern you have in your hand? Do you compose poetry?" He replied, 'I'm searching everywhere for a man who is alive with that breathing of Divine spirit. I'm looking for humans, something I do not seem to find, and now I have become perplexed."

Mystics regard a person who has drowned in his egotisms as an ass which is stuck in mud and mire and has to free himself from it. He should not move when he is inside, since his movement will cause him to plunge further into the mire. In this regard Mawlawi says:

"He is like an ass which is stuck in the mud due to a swift movement. He constantly struggles to move from his position, while he must try not to deepen his situation - since he is aware that this is no place for him to stay."
Mystics believe that: one who lives within the circle of own essence cannot comprehend extensive worlds and cannot understand the vast dimensions of his movement for which he was created. Mawlawi says:

"Hey you who dwell in a salty spring!

What do you know of the rivers of Jeihun and Forat?"

3. Mystics hold that man should always be in continuous motion and must have determination, will power, and seriousness in this movement. He is actually moving; however, this movement should aim for the future; he should not proceed to satisfy momentary needs. In this regard Jalal al-Din

"Look closely: Seated we move on. Can you not see that our target is a new place? You do not acquire assets because of the current situation. Rather, you collect it for your future goals; therefore, o traveler of the path! Such is the state of a traveler; his path and his direction are toward the future."

That is the same guidance of religion which does not like man to calm down, stand still, and surrender to the present condition. It has also been noted in the holy Quran that if man finds himself in a position where he cannot move, it would be his responsibility to move to another location in order to free himself from impotence; otherwise he has brought oppression on himself: "Indeed, those whom the angels take away while they are wronging themselves, they ask, 'what state were you in?' They reply, 'we were abased in the land.' They say, 'Was not Allah's earth vast enough so that you might migrate in it?" (4:97)

4. Mystics hold that: the life of mankind is worthless if he moves on a path other than the path of the path of human perfection. Such a man shall dwell in aberration. Therefore he must awaken and free himself from falling into the mire of selfishness and egotism. Mystics refer to this awakening and freedom from the mire of the self as "wine," and mistaken are the ones who suppose that this "wine" is the same as wine-drinking which intoxicates man. Quite the opposite, wine from the mystics' viewpoint is the life of man which is derived from the light of God and the fire of Moses; its place is in the heart, and its manifestation in the Sina desert. The man who is intoxicated by this wine pays no attention to the reproofs of wealth-worshipping and property-and profit-seeking reprovers.

The great Sheikh, Baha'al-Din Ameli (d.1030 A.H.), though he is among the laters, provides the best definition for such a wine in a piece of poetry which he versified in his journey to perform his duty of Hajj:

"O intimate friend! Our life went to waste and passed.
Rise! So that we would be alert, o intimate friend!
All the sins I have committed, wash them away with wine, and with it fill the goblets once again.
Morning has come, hand me a chalice,
The Pleiades has set and the cock's crow has come
Blend the wine with limpid water,
To it I have granted my intellect as a free dowry
Rapid! Hand me the goblet, o intimate companion!
From which the carious bone shall come alive.
Wine shall elate all the young and the old,
Whosoever drinks shall forget the universe.
That pure wine whose light it has taken from the fire of Moses,
Hand it to me, my heart and chest has replaced the {Sina} desert.
Rise! No delay is allowed in our life.
Drinking it shall not be difficult like that of poison.
Tell the sheikh whose heart despises is from god.
O chanter! Inside me there is all suffering from sadness.
No matter how much you chant through your reed, it shall not be enough.
The goblet has gone around, sing to me for a time.
Morning has come and the ringdove has chanted too.
Remind me of the words of the beloved,
Without it my life shall not be delicate.
Avoid speaking of separation is something unbearable
Revive our soul through Arabic poetry..."

To be continued