Posted by: seekerofthesacred | August 1, 2009

The Big Questions

Bismillah…

Assalamualaikum wa Rahmatullah…

Alhamdulillah wa Sallallahu wa Sallama ‘Ala Sayyidunah Rasulillah wa Alihi wa Sahbihi wa Man Walah, wa Ba’du:

No matter what people say or do, the fact remains that people cannot be deeply satisfied without knowing the answers to what we like to call “the Big Questions”, and having a clear path which they can see will lead them to their goal. As Shams ad-Din at-Tabrizi says:

“You must bind yourself to knowing this: ‘Who am I? What substance am I? Why have I come? Where am I going? Whence is my root? At this time what am I doing? Toward what have I turned my face?'”

– From Me & Rumi: The Autobiography of Shams-i Tabrizi. Trans. W. C. Chittick (Louisville: Fons Vitae, 2004), 51.

A figure whom we like to reflect upon is Hujjat al-Islam al-Ghazali, not only because the Tariqah of the Habaib is partly based on his ‘Ihya, but because he (Rahimahullah wa Radhiya ‘Anhu) was someone who took this very strongly, arrived at the path of the truth and tread it, namely what he and Imam al-Haddad call the Tariq al-Akhirah or the Path of the Afterlife. This article, bi Idhnillah, will be a summary of the means to arrive at certainty with regards to the necessity of treading this path, may Allah grant us Tawfiq – enabling grace – to do this, Allahumma Ameen.

Imam al-Ghazali, Kalam, Proofs of Islam and Miracles – Mu’jizaat

Imam al-Ghazali mentions himself (paraphrasing) that he had mastered hundreds of books on Kalam – Islamic Theology – before he wrote a single word on it. However, he says that it achieved its goal in that it successfully defended Islam against the polemics of the Shia, Khawarij, Mu’tazila, Karramiyyah, Falasifah, Mujassimah et al, but it did not help him in his own quest.

Why?

Since he observed the faculties that we derive information from:

1. The Senses

2. The Intellect

He then mentioned that as for the first, discrepencies certainly existed, for example one could see the stars on the sky as a certain size yet upon calculation the stars are much larger. As for the intellect, he mentioned that you could be in a dillusional state such as a dream yet beleive what you are experiancing is the reality when in fact you wake up and understand it to be a delusion. He thus lost certainty in the intellectual proofs, thus loosing the certainty that he had. He mentioned that if belief in Allah could be restored, he could restore his faith in the intellect since Allah has called us to use it. The Imam regained his faith by sincere Dhikr until he described that Allah restored the Nur in his Sadr. He mentions that Sufi Revelation was the answer since that is direct experiance (Dhawq) which can be tasted for yourself. Please note that this revelation pertains to Kashf and NOT the Wahy of the Prophets. He mentions that if this cannot be done, one should associate with such people in order to be certain about its possibility. However, what best example of this is there apart from the Mu’jizaat ot Miracles of Sayyiduna Muhammad SallallahuAlayhiWaAlihiWaSallam, which we know took place without a single doubt due to the Mutawatir narrations? The reasoning of this is as follows:

1. The order of things was certainly disrupted by the Mu’jizaat of Sayyidunah Muhammad Salawat Rabbi wa Salamuhu Alayh, accompanied with clear sincere character – Khuluq -, as well as the claim to prophethood. Thus, we can conclude that Sayyiduna Muhammad was assisted by a being capable of changing the order of things who was on his side (figuritively). (This is opposed to Istidraj which involves breaking the order of things proving that Allah is not on the side of the individual, for example Musaylima, the flase prophet who when a man whose one eye was blinded asked for it to be healed, Musaylima prayed and both eyes were blinded). Thus we know that this Being, who is not human must exist and be the one whom Sayyiduna Muhammad describes.

2. This is the Creator who tells us to use our intellects to understand revelation. Allah says in many places: “Afala Ta’qilun?”, “Do you not use your intellect” or something to that effect. Thus we know our intellects are reliable. Hence we can arrive at certainty as to the nature of what Allah is not via the intellect. I say this since it is impossible for contingent minds to grast the one who is absolute since all the thoughts of our intellect and created and we are dealing with the creator.

3. Thus I had compiled the following articles summarizing the conclusions of the Kalam endevour regarding the followin points:

This all explains our origin and Insha Allah we will follow this artcile up with an article on our purpose and another on Taqwa and the Tariq al-Akhirah…

Please keep me in your duas,

Wassalam

Discrepancies

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Responses

  1. Jazakum Allah from His khairat and barakat for this article.

    I am not in the position of correcting any thing as you requested.
    but I’d like to support your article with extra emphasis to our brothers and sisters (starting my self) to include the studies of the works of Imam Ghazali Radya Allahu anhu in this subject.

    I came across you article as I was searching for an answer to my search for the hadeeth about : “AL muwatte’ouna lahu” the believers who prepare and pave the way for the coming back of Prophet Essa alayhi Salmuallah, and all the good deeds they do to prepare for the era of peace and prosperity he will bring on earth.
    THIS is what we should all get to after Questioning

    At one point, hopefully, each believer would start deeply questioning the BIG questions. This is necessary in order to keep moving forward towards our quest for Allah’s Subhanahu wa taala’s reda (satisfaction) and acceptance(Qubul) of our aamal (deeds).
    However, one should have been exposed to yaqeeneyat and a certain level of Ilm (knowledge) before they attempt such (Seyaha) : ” Wa Ssa’eheena fee ‘lardi wa ssa’ehat” TOURISM (Spiritual Travels).

    After all the kalameyt and so on and so forth, Imam Ghazali discovered that submersing onself in such ouloom could lead astray from their real meaning. For Example, Elm Tawheed would stray away from getting closer to Allah to more Philosophical arguments.

    We should always keep in mind that the purpose of our spiritual tourism is the result (Tawheed) and all the blessings of DOING GOOD DEEDS it brings with it. Not the means to it (argumentation) and all the confusions it might through in our minds and hearts………..
    So I encourage you sisters and brothers and myslef first to go ahead and practice spiritual tourism, but always keep consulting with Oulama and try to be their companion in order to have an anchor that always brings us back to the LIGHT.

    ” Allahumma ghfir lee wa le walidaya, wa li jamee al moumeneen wa lmouminat al ahya’e minhum wa l’amwat, wa awzi’na an nashkura ni’mataka’ latee anamta alayna wa ala walideena, wa an na’mala salehan tardah, wa asleh lana fee dhuriyatina, adkhilna fee ebadika ssaleheen…Ameen”

    Alaikum rahmatu Allahi taal wa barakatuh.
    UmmSalah

  2. a.a i would like to say that it was a good speech but i didn’t get what i wanted but if you would give your email so that i can ask you questions and please when i send you an email you reply me
    to:HABIB OMAR


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