Shaykh Bayazid al-Bistami's (q.s.) Annihilation

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

“One night from out the swarming city gate,
Stept holy Bayazid, to meditate.
Alone amid the breathing fields that lay,
In solitary silence leagues away;
Beneath a moon and stars as bright as day.
And the saint wondering such a temple were,
And so lit up, and scarce one worshipper,
A voice from Heaven, amid the stillness said,
‘The Royal Road is not for all to tread,
Nor is the Royal Palace for the rout,
Who, even if they reach it, are shut out.
The Blaze that from my Harim window breaks
With fright the rabble of the Roadside takes;
And even of those that at my Portal din,
Thousands may knock for one that enters in.’”

Shaykh Farid ad-Din ‘Aththar (q.s.), “Conference of the Birds”

A similar narration in Shaykh Farid ad-Din ‘Aththar’s (q.s.) Tadzkirat al-Awliya’ quotes, from Sulthan al-’Ariffin himself, Shaykh Bayazid al-Bistami (q.s.).  He said, “One night, when I was a child, I left the city to go to the desert.  The moon was shining and the world was at peace.  Suddenly, I had a vision; I saw an illuminated silhouette.  The image was so bright that the light of the sun looked pale compared to this apparition.  I fell into a state of rapture and a deep feeling of joy came over me.  I whispered to myself, ‘O Allah, such a beautiful gate, yet empty, such an almighty realm, yet lonesome!’

I heard a voice say, ‘The doorstep is empty, not because no one comes, but no one is admitted to come.  This is not the realm of the impure; not many have the honour of admittance.’  I thought, from whom in Creation could I call upon to intercede for my admittance?  And I remembered that the only one to intercede was the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.).  I could not call upon anyone but wait for him to give me permission to enter.  It was then that I received a Message saying, ‘Because of such politeness. I will Raise your name so you will be remembered as the Sulthan al-’Arifin, Bayazid.”  It is not that the Realm of the Divine Prence, the ‘Alam Lahut is empty.  No one is Granted Permission because only Allah (s.w.t.) Exists and in the Divine Presence, the self is absent.


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