Image

The Book of Wisdom

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

  • First Treaties
  • Second Treaties
  • Third Treaties
  • Forth Treaties
  • Intimate Discourses (al-Munaajaat)

Kitabul Hikam
The Book of Wisdoms
by Imam Taj ad-Din Abul Fadl Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Karim ibn 'Ata'illah al-Judhami al-Maliki al-Iskandari (d. 709/1309)

Chapter I

He said (May Allah be pleased with him):

1. One of the signs of relying on one’s own deeds is the loss of hope when a downfall occurs.

2. Your desire for isolation (tajreed), even though Allah has put you in the world to gain a living (fil-asbaab), is a hidden passion. And your desire to gain a living in the world even though Allah has put you in isolation, is a comedown from supreme aspiration (al-himma al-‘aliyya).

3. Antecedent intentions (sawaabiq al-himam) cannot pierce the walls of predestined Decrees (aswaar al-aqdaar).

4. Rest yourself from self-direction (tadbeer), for what Someone Else (ghayruka) has carried out on your behalf, do not you yourself undertake to do it.

5. Your striving for what has already been guaranteed to you, and your remissness in what is demanded of you, are signs of the blurring of your intellect (baseera).

6. If in spite of intense supplication, there is a delay in the timing of the Gift (al-‘aataa’), let that not be the cause for your despairing. For He has guaranteed you a response in what He chooses for you, not in what your choose for yourself, and at the time He desires, not the time you desire.

7. If what was promised does not occur, even though the time for its occurrence had been fixed then that must not make you doubt the promise. Otherwise your intellect will be obscured and the light of you innermost heart (sareera) extinguished.

8. If He opens a door for you, thereby making Himself known, pay no heed if your deeds do not measure up to this. For, in truth, He has not opened it for you but out of a desire to make Himself known to you. Do you not know that He is the one who presented the knowledge of Himself (ta’arruf) to you, whereas you are the one who presented Him with deeds? What a differences between what He brings to you and what you present to Him!

9. Actions differ because of the inspirations of the states of being differ.

10. Actions are lifeless forms (suwar qaa’ima), but the presence of an inner reality of sincerity (sirr al-ikhlaas) within them is what endows them with life-giving Spirit.

11. Bury your existence in the earth of obscurity, for whatever sprouts forth, without having first been buried, flowers imperfectly.

12. Nothing benefits the heart more than a spiritual retreat wherein it enters the domain of meditation (maydaan fikra).

13. How can the heart be illumined while the forms of creatures are reflected in its mirror? Or how can it journey to Allah while shackled by its passions? Or how can it desire to enter the Presence of Allah (hadratullah) while it has not yet purified itself of the stain of its forgetfulness? Or how can it understand the subtle points of mysteries (daqaa’iq al-asraar) while it has not yet repented of its offenses?

14. The Cosmos (al-kawn) is all darkness. It is illumined only by the manifestation of Allah (Dhuhoorul Haqq) in it. He who sees the Cosmos and does not contemplate Him in it or by it or before it or after it is in need of light and is veiled from the sun of gnosis by clouds of created things (al-aathaar).

15. That which shows you the existence of His Omnipotence is that He veiled you from Himself by what has no existence alongside of Him.

16. How can it be conceived that something veils Him, since He is the one who manifest everything (adh-dhara kulla shay’)?

How can it be conceived that something veils Him, since He is the one who is manifest through everything (dhara bi-kulli shay')?

How can it be conceived that something veils Him, since He is the one who is manifest in everything (dhara fi kulli shay')?

How can it be conceived that something veils Him, since He is the Manifest to everything (adh-dharah li-kulli shay')?

How can it be conceived that something veils Him, since He was the Manifest (adh-dhaahir) before the existence of anything (qabla wujood kulli shay')?

How an it be conceive that something veils Him, since He is more manifest than anything (Adhar min kulli shay')?

How can it be conceived that something veils Him, since He is the One (al-Waahid) alongside of whom there is nothing?

How can it be conceived that something veils Him, since He is nearer to you than anything else?

How can it be conceived that something veils Him, since, were it not for Him, the existence of everything would not have bee manifest?

It is a marvel how Being (al-Wujood) has been manifested in nonbeings (al-'adam) and how contingent (al-haadith) has been established alongside of Him who possesses the attribute of Eternity (wasf al-qidam)!

Chapter II, next