Towards the Inner Vision of the Truth


"Lo! the righteous verily are in delight, On couches, gazing, Thou wilt know in their faces the radiance of delight." — Holy Qur'an 83:22-24


2017 — The Year for Higher Spiritual Enlightenment

Diamond Jubilee Spark :: 'Rabbi Zidnii Ilmaa' (My Lord! Increase me in Knowledge!) (20:114)

Enlightenment Post No. 12 :: Knowledge & Prayers for Advancement

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

Ya Ali Madad! The Diamond Jubilee of Noor Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam (a.s.) is only five months away. To keep up with the momentum, here is another enlightenment post to increase our knowledge and enhance our yearning through Dhikr and Angelic Salwat. This enlightenment post has a new dhikr track titled, 'Rabbi Zidni ilmaa'.

Knowledge Section:

  1. Let us first read an ayat from the Holy Qur'an where the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.) is referred to as 'Ummi:

    English Translation
    Qul yaaa-'ayyu-han-nasssu 'innii Rasuulul-laahi 'ilay-kum jamii-'anil-lazii lahuu mulkus-samaa - waati wal - 'arz. Laaa 'ilaaha 'illaa Huwa yuh-yii wa yumiit. Fa-'aaminuu billaahi wa Rasuulihin-Nabiyyil-'Ummi*-yyillazii yu-'minu billaahi wa Kalimaatihii wattabi-'uuhu la-'allakum tahtaduun. (7:158) Say (O' Our Apostle Muhammad!) "O' ye people, Verily I am the apostle of God unto you all, of Him unto Whom belongeth the kingdom of the heavens and the earth; No god is there but He. He giveth life and causeth death, so believe ye in God and His Apostle, Prophet, the 'Ummi'* who believeth in God and His Words, so ye follow him that ye may be guided aright. (7:158)
  2. Here is an excerpt from footnote 880 (p.610) of S. V. Mir Ahmed Ali's translation of the Holy Qu'ran, which explains the meaning of 'Ummi' (the unlettered):

    *The word 'Ummi' gives several meanings: one born of a mother, i.e., the unlettered, a citizen of Mecca which is called Ummul-Qura, i.e., the mother city. When the adjective is applied to the people it means unlettered and when it is applied to the Holy Prophet it means the unlettered one who has no education in the art of reading or writing and yet divinely gifted in it and was the fountain-head of learning and knowledge, to be called the city of knowledge and Ali the gateway to it. (p.610)
  3. Here is another explanation of the word 'ummi' (the unlettered) from the Cyril Glasse's 'The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam' (1991), published by Harper Collin publishers:

    Ummi (lit. "unlettered"). An epithet of the Prophet. ...The Medinan poet, Hasan ibn Thabit, a contemporary, devoted himself after his conversion to composing verses praising the Prophet. He once characterized the Prophet's mission in these words "revelation written on a smooth page". The "smooth page" is the soul of the Prophet, which is unlettered because God's writing could not inscribed where human writing had gone before. That the Prophet should be considered symbolically, or, in fact, unlettered is linked with the mystery whereby Revelation made him the inviolate instrument of the Koran, for no other writing had touched him. The first meaning of ummi is "maternal", from umm, "mother". The uncreated prototype in Heaven of the Koran is called the "Mother of the Book" (Umm al-Kitab). It is, therefore, in evocation of the mystery and glory of revelation that the Prophet is referred to as an-Nabi al-Ummi (the "unlettered prophet"). (pp.409-410)

    Umm al-Kitab (lit. "the Mother of the Book"). The Koran is said to have a prototype in heaven. This prototypal Koran is inscribed symbolically on the "guarded tablet" (al-lawh al-mahfuz), the pole of substance within Being [i.e., Allah]. (p.410)

  4. Let us now explore the mechanism of Revelation and an-Nabi al-Ummi (the Unlettered Prophet) from Ibn al-'Arabi and Chittick's perspectives:

  5. Reason versus Unveiling
    (Source: Ibn al-'Arabi's Metaphysics of Imagination: The Sufi Path of Knowledge by William C. Chittick, State University of New York Press, 1989)

    Chittick writes: Ibn al-'Arabi usually mentions that great al-Ghazali with praise, calling him one of "our companions". Sometimes, however as in the first passage quoted above, he criticizes him for entering into the arena of theological and philosophical reflection. In another passage, he points out that occupying oneself with such concerns is an obstruction on the path to God. He is discussing the station of "unlettered knowledge" (al-'ilm al-ummi). On employing the term ummi, he has in mind the sobriquet of Muhammad, the "unlettered Prophet" (Koran 7:158). Like many other authorities, Ibn al-'Arabi understands this to mean that the Prophet's knowledge came only from God, not from reflection and consideration. To employ another term derived from the Koran, his knowledge was "from God" or "God-given" (ladunni): "We had taught [Khidir] knowledge from Us" (18:65). (p.235)

    "For us, being "unlettered" does not contradict memorizing the Koran or the prophetic hadiths. In our view, that person is "unlettered" who does not employ his reflective consideration and his rational judgment to bring out the meaning and mysteries which the Koran embraces. He does not use rational proofs to attain to the knowledge of divine things. And he does not employ juridical proofs, analogies, and assigning of causes that occupy the legal authorities (al-mujtahidun) in order to graph the rulings of the Law.

    When the heart is safe from reflective consideration, then, according to both Law and reason, it is "unlettered" and receptive towards the divine opening in the most perfect manner and without delay. It is provided with God-given (ladunni) knowledge in all things to an extent unknown except to a prophet or one of His friends whom He has given knowledge through tasting. Through this knowledge the degree and plane of faith are perfected. Through it the one who receives it becomes aware of the correctness and mistakes of reflective powers and in what respect soundness and disorder are attributed to them. All this comes from God.

    God gives His servant mercy by coming between him and his considerative knowledge and legal ruling in respect to Himself. Then He assists him in that divine opening and a knowledge which He gives him "from Himself"." (pp.235-236)

  6. The Role of the Ideal Rational Faculty
    (Source: Ibn al-'Arabi's Metaphysics of Imagination: The Sufi Path of Knowledge by William C. Chittick, State University of New York Press, 1989)
  7. Chittick writes: The ideal rational faculty is that which accepts from God knowledge of Him that He gives to it and does not try to go beyond its own limitations by reflecting upon Him. Hence the virtue of reason is accept or receive (kabul) unveiling and revelation. (p.238)

    "I have opened for you a door to gnostic sciences which are not attained by reflection, though rational faculties can attain to their acceptance, either through divine solicitude, or through the polishing of the heart by invocation and recitation of the Koran. Then the rational faculty will accept what is given to it by the self-disclosure and it will know that what has come is outside its own power in respect to its reflection and that its reflection can never give that to it. It will thank God for configuring it within a configuration that accepts the likes of this—the configuration of the messengers, the prophets, and the people of solicitude among the friends. That takes place so that it will know that its acceptance is nobler that its reflection. (I 305.21)" (p.238)

  8. Let us first also read an ayat from the Holy Qur'an where Allah teaches the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.) to seek an increase in knowledge:

    English Translation
    Fata-'aalallahul-Malikul-Haqq! Wa laa ta'-jal bil-qur'aani min-qabli 'anyyuqzaaa ilayka wahyuh: wa qur-Rabbi zidnii 'ilmaa. (20:114) Say (O' Our Apostle Muhammad!) High 1394 above all is God, the King, the (Self-Existent) Truth; And hasten not (O' Our Apostle Muhammad!) with the Qur'an ere its completion unto thee its revelation, and say thou: My Lord ! Increase me in knowledge! (20:114)
  9. Here is an excerpt from footnote 1394 (p.988) of S. V. Mir Ahmed Ali's translation of the Holy Qu'ran, which explains the above ayat:
  10. This verse makes is quite clear that the matter of the whole of the Holy Qur'an was already in the heart of the Holy Prophet even before it was revealed to him gradually. Here, God desires the Holy Prophet to follow the order of the revelation and to disclose it as it was revealed to him by Angel Gabriel. (p.988)
  11. Satisfaction versus Search for True Knowledge
    (Source: Ibn al-'Arabi's Metaphysics of Imagination: The Sufi Path of Knowledge by William C. Chittick, State University of New York Press, 1989)
  12. Chittick writes: In the following passage, Ibn al-'Arabi is discussing the station (maqam) of "satisfaction" (rida), which he, like other Muslims, recognizes as an important character trait that must be developed in the path of spiritual growth. But he points out that satisfaction is not always desirable, especially in the matter of [true] knowledge. (p.104)

    "For the exoterics abandoning satisfaction is a stain. For the Folk of finding God, it is a sign of having realized the Entity of their Creator, in respect of the fact that in Him they are obliterated and affirmed ...

    God is much vaster than that a person should be satisfied with the little of what comes from Him. Rather, one should be satisfied with Him, but not with what comes from Him, since satisfaction with what comes from Him cuts off the Men from their aspirations (himma). God commands His Prophet with His word, "Say: 'My Lord, increase me in knowledge!' " (20:114), even though he had actualized the knowledge of the "ancient and the later folk" and had been given "the all-comprehensive words". So there is nothing too great to be sought from God, since that which is sought from Him is infinite and hence has no end where we should come to a halt. So make your seeking of increase vast, if you are among those who know God! And since the vastness of the possible things accepts no finitude [i.e., limit], what do you suppose about the Divine Vastness? (II 213.23)

    That which is past never returns, since were it to return, something in existence would repeat itself, but there is no repetition, because of Divine Vastness. (II 185.27)" (pp.104-105)

  13. Returning from Yourself to Your [Real] Self
    (Source: Ibn al-'Arabi's Metaphysics of Imagination: The Sufi Path of Knowledge by William C. Chittick, State University of New York Press, 1989)
  14. Chittick writes: The face that all existent entries are different means that each is able to receive divine self-disclosure only to the extent of its own preparedness. This means, as we will see in detail later on, that each belief (i'tiqad) about God is unique to the believer who holds it. In fact, the object of our belief is only ourselves, since God stands far beyond our capacity to conceptualize or understand. By the same token, even if we should attain the state of "presence" (hudur) with God, the God with whom we are present is determined by our ability to encompass Him; we can never encompass God, so we are only present with ourselves. Ibn al-'Arabi makes this point while discussing man's return (ruju) to God, through which he moves "away from" this world and by which God "returns" to man. (p.105)

    "The realities demand that you will not be present except with yourself. The actual situation is that when you are present through "presence" with Him who is present, you cannot be present with Him except in keeping with the limits given by your level; hence you have become present with yourself, not with Him. For He does not disclose Himself to you except to the measure that your level allows. So understand this! You will profit from it. Do not let it be hidden from you while you are returning to Him away from which you are returning, lest you imagine that you are returning to that which is higher than you. For you will not be returning except from yourself to yourself.

    The Real does not return to you except through you, not through Himself. For it is not in the capacity of the creature to endure Him. This is why His returnings undergo variation (tanawwu'), His self-disclosures are diverse, and His loci of manifestation are multiple and without repetition. But in Himself He is Incomparable with [respect to] multiplicity and change. "Nothing is like Him" (42:11) in that which is attributed to His Essence. (II 529.28)" (p.105)

  15. Conclusion
  16. In this enlightenment post, we have learned on how God casted His Light into the heart of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.). The door of Prophethood closed with the passing to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.), however the door to "God-given" knowledge, ('ilm-ladunni), is open to everyone. In order to be gifted with this knowledge, we have to develop capacity within ourselves because Light is given according to one's capacity to absorb and bear it. The Light comes through our soul, which has a capacity to extend laterally. Symbolically, the soul can expand from the size of a small pond, to a lake, to a great lake, to an ocean, to several oceans, and can encompass the whole creation as it did for the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.). We have to assess our own capacity and increase it immensely in the Diamond Jubilee year in order to be truly enlightened!

Dhikr Section: New Luminous Dhikr Titled 'Rabbi Zidni Ilmaa'

Since we are in the theme of enlightenment, a new luminous dhikr titled 'Rabbi zidni ilmaa' has been created. The highest form of knowledge is light so let us recite this supplication with utmost humility and tenderness of the heart (length 3 min 03 sec; 4.2 MB).

Let this dhikr ring in our spiritual hearts and create an aspiration to actualize the Light of the Holy Ahlul-Bait and Noor Mowlana Hazar Imam. May our spiritual hearts get filled with this NOOR and nothing else. Ameen. The lyrics for the 40 beads are given below:

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

Rabbi zidni ilmaa
My Lord, increase me in knowledge!

Recited by Noorallah Juma

Al-hamdu lillahi rabbil 'alamin.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds!

Reaffirmation of Baiyat:
Let us also reaffirm our baiyat to our Holy Imam, NOOR Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam by reciting the Shahada from the second part of our Holy Dua:

"La ilaha illallah, Muhammadur-Rasoolullah, 'Aliyyun Amirul-Mu'mineen 'Aliyullah
Mowlana Shah Karim ul Hussaini, Al-Imamul Hazarul Maujood."

"There is no deity except Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, 'Ali - the master of believers - is from Allah. Our Lord Shah Karim Al-Hussaini is our present and living Imam"

Angelic Salwat Nazrana:
Let us now start presenting a nazrana of at least 101 salwats or continuous salwat for 3 to 5 minutes to our beloved NOOR Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam for the fulfillment of our noble wishes. May our beloved Mowla continually keep us on the Right Path. Ameen.

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

Allâhumâ salli alâ Muhammadin wa âle Muhammad:
O Allah! Bestow Peace on and through Muhammad and his Descendants

Recited by Noorallah Juma

Al-hamdu lillahi rabbil 'alamin.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds!

May NOOR Mowlana Shah Karim Al-Hussaini Hazar Imam (a.s.) grant peace, prosperity, happiness, barakat, higher spiritual enlightenment, spiritual & luminous tayid (help) and empowerment to you, your family, your Jamat and the worldwide Jamat! Ameen.

Rakh Mowla je Noor te Yaqeen (Certainly, we trust in Mowla's Light only)

Haizinda — Qayampaya
(Our Present Imam is Living and His NOOR is Eternal)

Your spiritual brother,
Noorallah Juma
Friday, Feb. 10, 2017

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