Shaykh Ruzbihan al-Baqli (q.s.) on Fighting in the Cause of Allah (s.w.t.)

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is extracted from “A Sufi Understanding of God’s Ordaining of Fighting” by Shaykh Ruzbihan al-Baqli (q.s.), and translated by Dr. Alan Godlas.

The following is a commentary on:

Fighting is Prescribed for you and ye dislike it.  But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you.  But Allah Knoweth and ye know not. (Surah al-Baqarah:216)

God, subhanahu, Declared, akhbarah, that combating, muqawamah, the self and opposing, mukhalafah, it is difficult for its possessor, swahib.  But in the melting, dzawb, of each vile trait, khuluq daniy, in the fires of self-exertion there is the opening of one of the treasures of the truths; treasures of intuitive perceptions, firasat; ennobling miracles, karamat; intimate conversations with God, munajat; unveilings; and witnessings; because the self is the universal veil, al-hijab al-kulli.

The self veils the heart from witnessing the malakut and from perceiving, ru᾽yat, the lights of the jabarut.  God’s way, Sunnat Allah, has been Set Down, Madha, to the effect that whoever opposes his self and his caprice has indeed followed the ideal way, istanna mahajjat al-mutsla’, reached, adraka, the highest realms, mamalik al-‘ulyah, risen to the degrees of unveilings, and arrived at the places of ascent, ma῾arij, of the witnessings; because opposing the self is being in accord with the heart.

Whoever is in accord with one’s heart becomes intimate with the greatest well-being, sa῾adat al-kubrah, and attains the highest station, manzilat al-‘ala, because whoever has direct contact, basharah, with the lights of the heart has indeed had direct contact with God’s Command, Amr al-Haqq.  Whoever reaches, adraka, God, al-Haqq, by means of the quality of Divine Inspiration, Ilham, his mystery, sir, makes direct contact with the light of wisdom; whoever reaches, adraka, the light of wisdom perceives, abswara, the light of his gnosis; whoever perceives the light of his gnosis observes, ῾ayana, the truth of the whole by the whole and has indeed grasped the trustworthy handhold, which is witnessing his Lord, Mawla.

Let there be no compulsion in religion.  Truth stands out clear from error; whoever rejects Evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah Heareth and Knoweth all things. (Surah al-Baqarah:256)

So where is this station and degree in contrast to the concerns, hawajis, of the shares of humanness, ḥuzhuzh al-bashariyyah, and in contrast to the self's achievement, ḥuswul, during its craving, tawaqan, for the precious qualities, nafa’is, of lust, ash-shawah?  Rather, the exalted matter, al-amr al-mu῾azhzham, consists of fighting the self, restraining, qam῾, its lusts, and extirpating, qal῾, its attributes from it, so that it may become tranquil, muthma᾽innah, and peaceful, sakinah, under God’s Disposal, Qaḍa᾽ al-Haqq, and so that the heart remains free of its suggestions, wasawis, and perceives the world of the malakut by means of the light of intuition, al-baswirah; just as he, Jibril (a.s.) said to the Prophet (ṣ.a.w), “Were it not for the fact that Satan hover over the hearts of the children of Adam, they would look into the malakut.”


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