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The Conditions and their Meanings relating to
the Remembrance of Allah

The first necessary condition [for the owner of the art of remembrance] in every case is the pronouncing of the double shahadah (witnessing) by which is meant that, in the first part of his witnessing, the owner of this station has reached to seeing the Reality, mighty and supreme is He, through the unveiling (kashf) and that in the second part he should witness the Muhammadan presence, until he comes to possess both the inner and the outer behavior of it; his inner behavior being to see Allah and his outer being to ensure the well-being of the creation. For Allah, the Praised and Exalted one, has said, "We have not sent thee save as a Mercy for all the worlds." He who combines these two states reaches to a rank higher than any other, because of the strength of his fulfillment in both these conditions.

But he who witnesses one of these conditions without seeing the other, is like a person who has been annihilated in Allah but who has nevertheless remained in that state without having given due importance to the message of Allah. What is missing in such a person's bondsmanship is that something else is required from the prayer. And likewise in the case of he who has witnessed the Muhammadan presence without realizing the Truth of bondsmanship, so that he possesses knowledge without giving proof of it, for the proof comes from witnessing and eye-witnessing which is also missing, and therefore he cannot be considered to be one of the knowers.

What is required is he who is in command of both these states; which means the seeing of the Reality and the witnessing of the Muhammadan presence, and he whose qualities are sobriety and reliability. This means that his condition is that of bearing witness to the non-existence of anything else but Allah. It follows therefore, that these two states re necessary conditions for the other pillars of the Religion, for it is important for the knower to have been able to witness with complete witnessing everything of the states which he has left behind him in order to be able to understand, and to know everything that will come afterwards.

The second condition, or pillar, is the Prayer (as-salah), which in the realization of the order goes side by side with the witnessing, because the knower only makes the prostration after witnessing the One to whom the prayer is due, and the source of the prayer, and the source of the prayer is the blessing bestowed in it, so that the knower is joined to Allah, and not separated from Him. 

The third condition, or pillar, is the Alms-giving (az-zakah), the Truth of which is that the slave should know of all that has been bestowed upon him by Allah, through what He has created for him. For everything there is a zakah, the zakah of the knower being himself and what he posesses.

The fourth pillar is Fasting (as-sawm), which means the denying of oneself, and for the people of Allah this means the denying of everything which is not Allah.

The fifth pillar is the Pilgrimage (al-hajj), which means the journey to the House of Allah, and the circumambulation of the hearts in the Garden of the Presence of the Beloved. And His words, "Whoever can, should perform the Pilgrimage;" and to witness in that whatever there is of the hidden Unity (at-tawhid) and the complete extinction (al-fana') so that nothing remains of the performer of the pilgrimage.

 

 

Books by Sidi Muhammad al-Jamal

Sufi GiftsMusic of the Soul
Path to Allah
How the Arrival is Realized

He Who Knows Himself, Knows His Lord
Realities of the Imagination
The Reality of Gnosis, The Family of the Prophet
The Migration of the Truthful Traveler , Secrets of the Heart and more

Available from www.sufimaster.org