Accueil English pages Articles written The Contemporary Sufi Heritage of Shaykh Ahmad Ibn Mustafa al-‘Alawī : The Seven Spiritual Stages of the Sufi Path - 7- The Spiritual Station of Oneness (al-Tawhīd)
The Contemporary Sufi Heritage of Shaykh Ahmad Ibn Mustafa al-‘Alawī : The Seven Spiritual Stages of the Sufi Path - 7- The Spiritual Station of Oneness (al-Tawhīd)
English - Articles written
Écrit par Omneya Nabil Muhammad Ayad   
Jeudi, 22 Mai 2014 00:00
Index de l'article
The Contemporary Sufi Heritage of Shaykh Ahmad Ibn Mustafa al-‘Alawī : The Seven Spiritual Stages of the Sufi Path
Chapter 1 : Introduction
Literature Review
Martin Lings'' Work on Shaykh al-‘Alawī
Thesis purpose
Primary Sources
Historical brief on the French Colonialism in Algeria (1830-1900) and the role of the Sufi orders in Algeria
Brief Biography on Shaykh al-‘Alawī
A comprehensive list of all the written books of Shaykh al-‘Alawī
History of the al-‘Alawī Sufi Order
Chapter Two : The Historical Background of the Sufi Spiritual Stages in Major Works
The History of the Development of the Spiritual Stages in Major Sufi Works
1- The Spiritual Stage of Fear and Vigilant Awareness of God (al-Khashya wa-l- Murāqaba):
2- The Spiritual Station of Satisfaction and Submission (al-Riḍa wa-l- Taslīm)
3- The Spiritual Station of Reliance on God (al-tawakkul)
4- The spiritual station of Poverty (al-Faqr):
5- The spiritual station of Sincerity (al-Ikhlās)
6- The Spiritual Station of Love (Hubb)
7- The Spiritual Station of Oneness (al-Tawhīd)
Chapter 3 : The Sufi Spiritual Stages in the Work of Shaykh al-‘Alawī
1- The Spiritual Stage of Fear and Vigilant Awareness of God (al-Khashya wa-l- Murāqaba)
2-The Spiritual Station of Satisfaction and Submission (al-Rida wa-l- Taslīm)
3-The Spiritual Station of Reliance on God (al-tawakkul)
4-The spiritual station of Poverty (al-Faqr)
5-The spiritual station of Sincerity (Ikhlās)
6-The Spiritual Station of Love (Hubb)
7-The Spiritual Station of Oneness (al Tawhīd)
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7- The Spiritual Station of Oneness (al-Tawhīd)

Tawhīd is uniqueness.167 This spiritual station affirms the fact that when God is manifest no one else remains with Him. Al-Kāshānī explains that in Sufi terms al-tawḥīd means to worship God alone for His sake and when one verifies this meaning in his heart no doubt, suspicion or confusion comes across it. After verifying this deep meaning of uniqueness in worshipping God in the heart of the wayfarer, the body should be submitted in worship without paying attention to worldly reasons or temporary effects as the sole doer in the universe is God.168

Ibn ‘Arabī in his Futūhāt tackled the stage of tawhīd and said that it indicates uniqueness and rareness with no other gods associated with Him. God supported His uniqueness with evidence as He stated that if there were other gods with Him, the whole universe would have been in total corruption but the marvelous creation and meticulous system in the universe is a clear witness to God''s unity and uniqueness. Ibn ‘Arabī further added that if there was another god other than God then he would have a separate will which might be in harmony and agreement with God''s will or the other god could have his own will which differs from that of God and in this case two scenarios are in place. The first scenario is none of their wills are put into effect and this means neither of them is a god; and the second scenario is that one of them only will be able to put his will into effect which would leave the other god in total incapability and powerlessness and these characteristics do not suit a god at all. This leaves us with only one choice which is that God is one with no associates or partners.169

Al-Qushairī in his Risala indicated that the oneness of God negates division of His self and resemblance of any of His divine attributes with His creation. Unity also negates having any associates in actions or creation. He narrates that once al-Junayd was asked about the definition of tawhīd so he said that it necessitates that the servant becomes like a ghost in God''s hands who subjects himself in total serenity to God''s fine judgments and faces life''s tribulation without resentment as he is totally annihilated from himself and immersed in God.170

Al-Ghazālī in his Iḥyā defined the optimum level of unity to be realizing that there is no doer in this universe save God and that all creatures'' existence, provision, deprivation, life, death, poverty and richness comes solely from God. At this point one would realize that no one can work independently in this universe as all creatures are merely tools in God''s hand to execute God''s destiny and His divine will. The real hardship in maintaining God''s unity in the heart comes when the servant gets distracted with worldly reasons and implicitly finds his heart depending on them such as when we depend on rain for plants to nourish and grow and we depend on clouds for rains to fall and on wintriness for clouds to gather and on wind for the ship to sail. Al-Ghazālī described such attitude with sheer ignorance and pure polytheism which tarnish the purity of God''s oneness.171

Ibn ''Atāillah refered to the same meaning in his aphorism in which he said: "How can God (al-haqq) be veiled by something, for He is apparent (zāhir) and has actual being (mawjūd hādir) in that where with He is veiled?"172 He also said in one of his aphorisms: "Had it not been for His manifestation in created beings (al-mukawwanāt), eyesight would not have perceived them. Had His Qualities (Sifāt) been manifested, His created beings would have disappeared." 173

Al-Junayd when he was asked about the Oneness of God, he said that the best definition is the one that was given by Abu Bakr (d. 13 H. 634 CE)174 when he said: "Praise be to the One who did not make a way for knowing Him except through inability to know Him." Al-Qushairī commented on that saying that Abu Bakr did not mean that he does not know the answer because inability is the inability of an existent not of inexistent. Same as a crippled person, he is unable to sit down because he is compelled on it with no willingness or prior action. Therefore the Gnostic is unable to define his knowledge of God because it is embodied in him.175

Having now explained the seven spiritual stages of the Sufi path to God in earlier major Sufi works, we now turn our attention in the next chapter to a detailed examination of these stages in the commentary of Shaykh al-‘Alawī on the Sufi aphorisms of Shaykh Abu Madyan in order to explore the development of these stages in the modern work of al-‘Alawī.

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