Posted by: seekerofthesacred | March 1, 2011

Kitab al-Hikam — Book of Aphorisms, Imam al-Haddad — The Introduction

BisimiLlah . . .

as-salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatuLlahi wa barakatuh,

Disclaimer

I’ve decided to embark upon a new project, comprising of the translation of the Book of Aphorisms of Imam al-Haddad ‘alayhi ridhwan Allah, seeing as it is one of the few books of the Imam that have not yet recieved professional translations. That being said, my Arabic is extremely poor, and this will — in sha Allah — serve as a learning curve for me, and will improve my grasp of the Arabic language. Thus, I humbly ask you to send in as many corrections as possible. Moreover, the Imam’s level of Arabic is to the highest standard, and this applies to his ellequence in the book as well as the content. The Arabic text used is the dar al-hawi edition, available here:

Kitab al-Hikam | Imam al-Haddad | ed. Dar al-Hawi

Attached is the introduction of the noble and amazing Imam . . .

was-salam

Book of Aphorisms – Imam ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Alawi al-Haddad, may Allah have mercy on him

Introduction

In the Name of Allah, the most Merciful, the most Compassionate

“They said: “Transcendent are you, we have no knowledge save that which you have taught us. Indeed, you are the all-knowledgeable and all-wise” (1:32)

All praise is due to Allah, the Loving and Bountiful, the eternal source of beneficence and bestowal, whose gifts transcend specification by place and time, and being restricted by one individual over another. He is exalted above limitation, in essence, attributes and actions; therefore exalted is he! “Every day He exerciseth (universal) power!” (55:29)

I praise him with the praise of one who is surrounded with His munificence, such that I acknowledge my feebleness in establishing His praise, or that I could possibly give Him His due [even] after attempting to do so, in accordance with what is possible in my capability. May His blessings and salutations be upon the finest of His creation, sent with the best of religions, our master and protector Muhammad, as well as upon his family and companions. [May this be repeated] at every instance and moment!

As for that which follows:

With the aid of Allah, and after seeking the counsel of my Lord (istikharah), I resolved upon compiling a collection of speech, proverbs, and verses of poetry which come to me (as a divine gift or warid) during recollection [tadhakkur] and mutual reminding [mudhakarah]; I hope that it is of benefit, both in this world and the next.

I had withheld from this matter numerous times: the resolve to do so was not completed, and the spiritual zeal was not actualized. The reason for this (after the passing of divine decree  — qadr), was my own contempt for my ego and reliance upon memorization and studying. It was later that I realized I was forgetting much, and nothing remained save a small, simple portion. Moreover, I would often need something which had fallen into the realm of forgetfulness. I stumbled upon the words of Shaykh Ibn ‘Arabi, the summary of which was as follows: “Certain things come upon (s: the hearts of) the individual towards the latter stages of seeking, and he ought to occupy himself with their memorization as he will soon require them in the future: they were not recieved except for this.”

Due to all of this, I resolved to gather those thoughts that came to my heart, excluding — with the will of Allah — the empty/difficult [nafidhah], and submitting to Him, relying on Him, aspiring to that which is with Him, and holding fast to Him: “He who holdeth fast to Allah, he indeed is guided unto a right path“. (3:101)

Finally, I would like to inform my brother who stumbles upon this and recognizes similarity to another’s words (whether word-for-word or in meaning), that this occurred as a result of endorsement and acceptance; it is no secret that one who plagiarizes another’s speech whilst not referencing it appropriately, is either a thief or usurper — both are ugly.

It is time to begin; may Allah rectify the intention and purify the innermost!

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Responses

  1. I think Abdullah Hamid Ali of Lampost Productions may be working on a translation.

    • wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatuLlah . . .

      Unfortunately, this is inevitably going to be the case, despite the book I choose, providing it is a popular tasawwuf book. I may decide to continue with this translation, making it available online, though — of course — those who wish for a translation of superior, professional quality would opt for the Ustadh’s edition, hafizahuLlah.

      was-salam


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