SIRAT-E-SULUK SERIALIZED

A translation of the original Persian of SIRAT-E-SULUK [the path of spiritual wayfaring) is hereby serialized. This book covers ethical and esoteric directions of spiritual perfection as well as memoirs of 'Allama Hasan Zadeh Amuli (may Allah protect and elevate his noble spirit)

Ayatullah Hasan Zadeh Amuli

Saturday, 17 November 2007

SIRAT-E-SULUK [PART 1]


[SPECIFICATIONS OF THE BOOK]

SIRAT-E-SULUK
COMPILED BY ALI MUHITI
PUBLISHED BY INTISHARAT-E-QAA'IMU AALI MUHAMMAD ('A)
10TH EDITION
ISBN: 964-96165-5-1

CHAPTER 1

[At the onset I believe] it is proper for us to remind [ourselves about] some of the directions of the Magnificent Lord, His Prophet (s) and the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) that are essential for the travelers of the alley of the Truth.

The Holy Qur’an

The Holy Qur’an is the written form of a perfect human being (insan-e-kamil). This means, it is a written form of the Muhammadan reality. The Holy Qur’an says:

Indeed this Qur'an guides to what is most upright…[17:9]

In the Apostle of Allah there is certainly for you a good exemplar...[33:21]

However much you seek closeness to the Holy Qur’an, you have [in reality] become near to the perfect human being. Hence reflect on what extent do you benefit from the Holy Qur’an. This is because the realities of its verses are actually the stages (darajaat) of your essence, and its runways (madaarij) are the ladder[s] of your spiritual ascent and perfection.

The leader of thaqalayn (Human beings and Jinns) Hadhrat ‘Ali (‘a) in his will to Muhammad bin Hanafiyya says:

And upon you is the recitation of the Qur’an and action according to what it says; adhere to what it has made compulsory, the laws that it contains, the lawful and unlawful things it mentions and its commandments and prohibitions; and observe your night prayer with it and recite it during your night and day, for surely it is a covenant ('ahd) from Allah, the Blessed and Exalted to His creatures; Hence it is incumbent on every Muslim to look at his covenant every day, even if that be only fifty verses. And know that the stations of Paradise are equal to the verses of Qur’an; and on the Day of Judgment, the reciter of the Qur’an would be told: Read and ascend! Then there would not be in Paradise after the station of the prophets and the veracious (siddiqin) a station higher than that.

The late ‘Alam al-Huda [Sayyid al-Murtadha] narrates from Ibn Masud that the Most Noble Messenger (s) said:

The Holy Qur’an is a Divine Banquet (ma'dabat Allah); thus benefit from it as much as you can; for indeed the most empty of houses, is that heart which is empty of the light of the Qur’an.

Calling the Qur’an a banquet (ma’duba) has so much sweetness in it, that despite being comprehensible, is inexpressible. Then, expounding the meaning of the word “ma’duba” ‘Alam al-Huda says: Ma’duba with a dhamma over the letter dal in the speech of Arabs means the food that a person has prepared, to invite people so that they may benefit from it. In this sacred tradition the Most Noble Messenger (s) calls the benefit that one derives from reciting and safeguarding it, as ma’duba (prepared food). In the Arabic when one invites a person for a meal, he says: Qad adaba al-rajulu ya’dabu fahuwa adab. And a banquet (ma’daba) is also called mad‘aat.

Al-Ahmar has said: It is also pronounced as ma’daba with a fatha over daal [instead of a dhamma as previously mentioned], and the aforesaid tradition also has been narrated with such a pronunciation (ma’daba instead of ma’duba). Hence what is meant by ma’daba or ma’duba is one and the same thing, and there is no difference in meaning.

Others have said that “ma’daba” with a fatha over dal is in the linguistic form of maf‘ala, and its origin is from the word adab (etiquette). Hence the meaning of the tradition would be: The Qur’an has been sent for training the creation.

The reason why the word ma’dabat has come with a taa’ of the feminine gender, while the Qur’an is referred to with a masculine gender and thus there is no need to have a taa’ at the end of ma’dab, is that the letter taa’ here confers a hyperbolic connotation. ‘Antaza, the poet, has said something similar: (wal kufru makh’abatun linafsi al-mun’im) The word makh’abat here has come with taa’ employed for a feminine gender [but it confers a hyperbolic connotation]. It means, “disbelief extremely hides the reality of the human being’s soul.”

Therefore, O dear brothers come and sit near the Divine banquet; whatever your soul seeks, would be found there, things that even the eyes by beholding them derives pleasure. Welcome to the training ground, for you cannot find greater etiquette than [what] it [contains], and cannot get a loftier teacher than its tutor. Is there anything after the truth other than deviation?

Sayyid Ibn Tawus narrates from Imam al-Sadiq (‘a): It was repeatedly experienced by the Imam in the state of prayer that he would fall unconscious while reciting the Qur’an [in prayer]; when he would return to his normal state, he was asked; what led you to be overtaken like this? Imam (‘a) said a statement, whose meaning is as follows:

I repeated the verses of the Qur’an so much until it was as if I would hear it from the tongue of its original speaker. This is where the human power could not bear the vision of Divine Magnificence and Grandeur, and I fell unconscious.

Sayyid Ibn Tawus thereafter says: Know that the Qur’an is a boundless ocean. Why shouldn’t it be so, when it is the manifestation of Divine grace?

Prior to this we had narrated a tradition from the first and sixth holy Imams (‘a) who said:

Allah, the Majestic and Invincible, manifests Himself for His creation in His speech; but they cannot perceive.

...to be continued soon Insha Allah

5 comments:

Mehdiya said...

Dear Shaykh Khalfan,
Salaam Alaikum,

After having read part 1, I must say that this is indeed an excellent piece - Mashaallah, and very beneficial.

May the Almighty grant you the very best in this world and the Hearafter, Ameen.

Iltemase Dua.
Mehdiya

Azmet Rafik said...

Salamun Alaikum!

Thoroughly impressed by each and every article in yr site, keep up the noble work!

Actually in the dars of Adab As Salat that we have once a wk, we have just started the section that talks of the Holy Quran (Section Four Adab As Salat by Imam Khomeini, English translation), If you could please simplify in a nutshell chp wise or even touch upon few imp points that could be easy for us to understand, May the Almighty reward you abundantly Ameen. JazakAllah!
Azmet Rafik

AFTab Secretariat said...

Salaamun 'alaykum dear Shaykh!

Jazakallah for this wonderful work. Please keep it up as we are benefiting immensely.

Was-salaam

zaidi said...

Salam,

Dear Shaykh Muhammad Khalfan
We are waiting for the next pages eagerly.

We pray for you.

Asad

Ahmad Abdollahzadeh said...

Dear Sheikh,

Thank you very much. I will be gratefull if you visit my blog at www.pigeonofharam.blogspot.com

Ahmad