Sufi metaphysics

Sufi metaphysics is centered on the concept of وحدةwaḥdah “unity” or توحيدtawhid. Two main Sufiphilosophies prevail on this topic. Waḥdat al-wujūd literally means “the Unity of Existence” or “the Unity of Being.”[1]Wujūd “existence, presence” here refers to God. On the other hand, waḥdat ash-shuhūd, meaning “Apparentism” or “Monotheism of Witness”, holds that God and his creation are entirely separate.

This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)

The lead section of this article may need to be rewritten. (May 2016)
This article may be too technical for most readers to understand. (May 2016)
Some of this article’s listed sourcesmay not be reliable. (May 2016)

Part of a series on Islam

Tomb of Abdul Qadir Gilani, Baghdad, Iraq
 Islam portal
Part of a series on

Some scholars have claimed that the difference between the two philosophies differ only in semantics and that the entire debate is merely a collection of “verbal controversies” which have come about because of ambiguous language. However, the concept of the relationship between God and the universe is still actively debated both among Sufis and between Sufis and non-Sufi Muslims.

. . . Sufi metaphysics . . .

The mystical thinker and theologian Abu Saeed Mubarak Makhzoomi discussed this concept in his book called Tohfa Mursala.[2] An Andalusian Sufi saint Ibn Sabin[3] is also known to employ this term in his writings. But the Sufisaint who is most characterized in discussing the ideology of Sufi metaphysics in deepest details is Ibn Arabi.[4] He employs the term wujud to refer to God as the Necessary Being. He also attributes the term to everything other than God, but he insists that wujud does not belong to the things found in the cosmos in any real sense. Rather, the things borrow wujud from God, much as the earth borrows light from the sun. The issue is how wujūd can rightfully be attributed to the things, also called “entities” (aʿyān). From the perspective of tanzih, Ibn Arabi declares that wujūd belongs to God alone, and, in his famous phrase, the things “have never smelt a whiff of wujud.” From the point of view of tashbih, he affirms that all things are wujūd’s self-disclosure (tajalli) or self-manifestation (ẓohur). In sum, all things are “He/not He” (howa/lāhowa), which is to say that they are both God and not God, both wujud and not wujud.[5] In his book Fasus –al-Hikam,[6][7] Ibn-e-Arabi states that “wujūd is the unknowable and inaccessible ground of everything that exists. God alone is true wujūd, while all things dwell in nonexistence, so also wujūd alone is nondelimited (muṭlaq), while everything else is constrained, confined, and constricted. Wujūd is the absolute, infinite, nondelimited reality of God, while all others remain relative, finite, and delimited”.

Ibn Arabi‘s doctrine of wahdat ul wujud focuses on the esoteric (batin) reality of creatures instead of exoteric (zahir) dimension of reality. Therefore he interprets that wujud is one and unique reality from which all reality derives. The external world of sensible objects is but a fleeting shadow of the Real (al-Haq), God. God alone is the all embracing and eternal reality. Whatever exists is the shadow (tajalli) of the Real and is not independent of God. This is summed up in Ibn Arabi‘s own words: “Glory to Him who created all things, being Himself their very essence (ainuha)”.[8]

To call wujud or Real Being “one” is to speak of the unity of the Essence. In other terms, it is to say that Being—Light in itself—is nondelimited (mutlaq), that is, infinite and absolute, undefined and indefinable, indistinct and indistinguishable. In contrast, everything other than Being—every existent thing (mawjûd)—is distinct, defined, and limited (muqayyad). The Real is incomparable and transcendent, but it discloses itself (tajallî) in all things, so it is also similar and immanent. It possesses such utter nondelimitation that it is not delimited by nondelimitation. “God possesses Nondelimited Being, but no delimitation prevents Him from delimitation. On the contrary, He possesses all delimitations, so He is nondelimited delimitation”[5][9] On the highest level, wujūd is the absolute and nondelimited reality of God, the “Necessary Being” (wājib al-wujūd) that cannot not exist. In this sense, wujūd designates the Essence of God or of the Real (dhāt al-ḥaqq), the only reality that is real in every respect. On lower levels, wujūd is the underlying substance of “everything other than God” (māsiwāAllāh)—which is how Ibn Arabi and others define the “cosmos” or “universe” (al-ʿālam). Hence, in a secondary meaning, the term wujūd is used as shorthand to refer to the whole cosmos, to everything that exists. It can also be employed to refer to the existence of each and every thing that is found in the universe.[10]

God’s ‘names’ or ‘attributes‘, on the other hand, are the relationships which can be discerned between the Essence and the cosmos. They are known to God because he knows every object of knowledge, but they are not existent entities or ontological qualities, for this would imply plurality in the godhead.[4][11]

Ibn ‘Arabî used the term “effusion” (fayd) to denote the act of creation. His writings contain expressions which show different stages of creation, a distinction merely logical and not actual. The following gives details about his vision of creation in three stages: the Most Holy Effusion (al-fayd al-aqdas), the Holy Effusion (al-fayd al-muqaddas) and the Perpetual Effusion (al-fayd al-mustamirr).[12] Waḥdat al-wujūd spread through the teachings of the Sufis like Qunyawi, Jandi, Tilimsani, Qayshari, Jami etc.[13]

The noted scholar Muhibullah Allahabadi strongly supported the doctrine.[14]

Sachal Sarmast and Bulleh Shah two Sufi poets from present day Pakistan, were also ardent followers of Waḥdat al-wujūd. It is also associated with the Hamah Ust (Persian meaning “He is the only one”) philosophy in South Asia.

. . . Sufi metaphysics . . .

This article is issued from web site Wikipedia. The original article may be a bit shortened or modified. Some links may have been modified. The text is licensed under “Creative Commons – Attribution – Sharealike” [1] and some of the text can also be licensed under the terms of the “GNU Free Documentation License” [2]. Additional terms may apply for the media files. By using this site, you agree to our Legal pages . Web links: [1] [2]

. . . Sufi metaphysics . . .