Adam (a.s.), The First Caliph

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is taken from Adam (a.s.): The Caliph of Allah (s.w.t.) from the teachings of Imam Abu al-Hasan ash-Shadzili (q.s.).

Imam Abu al-Hasan ash-Shadzili (q.s.) said, “Beloved, I now explain to you who you are.  I tell you your story.  This appears to be the story of Adam (a.s.), but it is your story in the world of the soul, in the world before Creation.  This is the story of who you were then, before you came into existence.  Listen deeply and remember.  Be inside me to take everything from me because I speak to you from the essence of your soul, and in the essence of my soul, I speak with my father in the light.

To understand who it is that is speaking with you now and who it is that really listens and what is the deep meaning of these words which pass between us, it will be necessary to go back and to look with a very deep gaze into the knowledge of your origin, which is buried within you.  It will be necessary to be Breathed into existence again by the Divine Sigh of Compassion, to see yourself again, Adam (a.s.) as conceived in the eye of Creation, to return.

When Allah (s.w.t.) Said to the angels, ‘I want to make a caliph on earth,’ the angels asked, ‘Why?  If you bring Your Light down into the density of the earth, they will kill each other and abandon Your Holy Way.’  Allah (s.w.t.) said, ‘I am the Knowing and the Wise.’  And He Created Adam (a.s.), the first caliph, the first vice-regent.  He Put His image in him, His Light in him, the fragrance of all His Attributes, and He Taught him everything from the beginning to the end.  He Wrote everything in his heart – the hidden and the revealed.  He Gave him the presence and the truth; by presence, I mean a body and personal existence, and by truth, I mean the deep secret Name of Allah (s.w.t.) and His Qualities.  He Made him a mixture of the elements earth, air, fire and water, and from the breath of Adam (a.s.), the first-born birds emanated, and from the earth of Adam (a.s.), mountains and trees and animals, and from the water of Adam (a.s.), all of the beings in the sea emanated.  Understand with the deep eye what is meant here by emanation.  Adam (a.s.), in the image of Allah (s.w.t.), contained all the Created universe within himself, and by the Divine Order from the completeness of the first-born, all Creation issued forth.

When the Creation of Adam (a.s.) was complete, Allah (s.w.t.) Commanded the angels to bow down, to prostrate before him.  All the angels obeyed the order except Iblis, who seemed to refuse.  Allah (s.w.t.) Asked him, ‘Why do you not bow down?’

Iblis said, ‘Why should I bow down to Adam when fire is greater than clay?’  It would appear that Iblis refused the Order of Allah (s.w.t.), but in truth, he realised the Divine Plan.  Iblis is a complete presence.  He is fire.  And Allah (s.w.t.), in His Wisdom, Puts everything in its place.  If fire and water were gathered together, one would destroy the other.  In His Wisdom, Allah (s.w.t.) put Iblis outside the door to the Garden of His Presence.  Iblis is the guardian, the fire at the gate of the Garden through which none but the purified may enter.  When anyone comes to enter the garden, whatever within him is unclean or impolite will come up against Iblis and be turned back.  Whatever in a person cannot bear the fire and cannot pass through it will be prevented from entering the Garden.  Whatever in the person is of the light is greater than the fire of Iblis and the golden essence will be purified by the fire and returned to the Paradise of the Presence of Allah (s.w.t.).

Meanwhile, the presence of Iblis cries out and sends its voice to every side saying, ‘I am the guide of the darkness.  Allah (s.w.t.) Placed me in this station.  I know Him well and He Knows me well.  I love Him and I do not refuse any Order from my beloved Allah (s.w.t.).  It is necessary that everyone is pure and polite before he can enter and live inside the Garden of the knowing.  He must pray the deep praying and wash himself of everything of this world, and then dress in clothes of light after everything within is transformed to be special for Allah (s.w.t.).  If anyone tries to enter with uncleanness and impoliteness and impurity, then I catch him by these qualities and turn him back.  I am very strong because He Helps me to keep every person from entering who does not love Him completely.  For this reason, you see that when He Sent the order to the angels, I refused, but only on the outside because I knew where He would Put me after that and this was the place where it was necessary for me to be.  Inside, I bear His Image like you and there is no other face in all the worlds, but outside I wear the cloak of darkness.  This is His Wisdom and to Him, everything returns.

Change everything to know me well.  Conquer me and I will surrender.  I am the rock of darkness.  I need the person who knows me to clean me, but he cannot clean me if he does not clean himself first.  I live inside you, from every side – of body, heart, and soul.  When you change yourself, you change me.  Do not listen to my voice.  My voice is full of darkness.  I contain no knowing.  If you follow this voice, it guides you to the fire.  If you refuse my order and do not follow me, you come to be free.  Then help yourself because you will find your way well.  You will find your guide, the perfected one, and he leads you to the Garden of the Grace of Allah (s.w.t.) and sits you with your beloveds on the holy rug in the garden of knowing.  Then, you can rest and know what Allah (s.w.t.) Wants from you.  Understand the outside and the inside of this teaching, and do not say why or what.  This is my story in the world.  I am nothing and He is Everything.’

In His Wisdom, Allah (s.w.t.) Made Iblis a guide for the darkness, and He Made the prophets from Adam (a.s.) to Muhammad (s.a.w.), and then the perfected ones as guides for the light.  Everyone wants to listen to his guide.  Then a battle ensues between the followers of the darkness and the followers of the light, and it is in His Wisdom that all should not follow one guide.

My beloved, you are the picture of my Lord.  Then look to me with the Eye of my Lord within you if you really want to see me, if you want to know me well.  I am not like any person you know.  When you see through the eye of your heart, you will see the essence of the prophets.  The eyes of the body see only the human being and this is not the complete picture.  If you want to see me, look in your mountain.  If it stays in place, you can see me.  Understand, Beloved, that until you are really here, now, with all that you have, with yourself, with your heart, your soul, and everything, opening, listening, and not rejecting, you will not see me as I am or know me as I know you.

Although you may not remember, you are from the first of my children.  I gave birth to you in pre-eternity.  Please be with me in everything, and hold everything, and give everything to see everything in the light of your holy origin, in the essence of that which you are.  You are the key and you are the door.  Why do you stay in the ante-room?  Follow me, my Beloved, as I pass through every doorway to the truth room of the innermost secret.  Then you will see your Iblis lay down his life beneath your feet, and you will find me sitting in the deep knowing on the throne of your heart.  I am the mirror of your Master and you are the mirror of Him in me.  There is no difference between you and me and Him, if you want to understand what I mean.

Give me your ear and take care not to hear any voice, only the voice of your Beloved because your Beloved wants to make a holy marriage with you when He Sends the word to your ear.  This word is the first word and from this word – everything.  This word is truly the first-born of all the Creation.  I am speaking about the Holy word, ‘Be.’  When you hear, you are born to be the holy child from this word.  Do you know what I am speaking of as the holy child?  This is the first light in the world of pre-eternity.  Listen to my voice to know my story, which is also your story from the first.  If you listen, if you follow, and if you see me, then you can help me and I can help you to come to be One, to make the holy marriage, like before.  Then you become the Moses (a.s.) of your time and your brother becomes the Aaron (a.s.) of his time.  In order for you to carry your brother, to live for him and he for you, it is necessary to listen to every word that I say.  If you touch, as I say, then you will arrive in the garden of knowing and live with your Beloved all the time, sleeping between His arms.  This is the life.  There is no life like this life.

My holy Beloved, listen to me to the story of the first world.  ‘Know My beloved, that I am a Hidden Treasure that longed to be known.  So I have Drawn Forth all of Creation out of Myself in order to know Myself.  But how can My creatures know Me?  I planted all My Qualities in the ground of Creation.  When any creature comes to know on what ground he stands, he discovers all My Attributes in the ground of his existence.  In the mirror of My Attributes, he comes to see himself.  But how can he see himself in every quality?  Every quality is a two-sided veil between the creature and his pure existence in Me.’

Every quality has at least two veils – the apparent veil and the interior veil.  At first, you can see the quality manifesting with the eyes of your face.  For example, you see the big bird feeding the little bird.  This appearance is from the fragrance of the real quality of Allah (s.w.t.), the Merciful.  When you look inside the Quality, you find another veil, a veil of light in the world of the soul.  The light of the particular Quality of Allah (s.w.t.) veils the Unlimited Vastness of the Reality of Allah (s.w.t.), which is beyond all forms and Names and Attributes.  But when you travel with the Light of the Attributes back through all the veils of its Overt and Subtle Manifestations to the Holy Source which generated it, then without the cover of these veils you see that you are the Mercy.

This is what I mean when I say that He Put His Qualities in you to See Himself in the mirror of your existence.  Therefore, it is necessary to clean the mirror to be clear.  This means to return every quality, from the beginning to the end, to Him.  You cannot clean this quality without walking through it and removing the veils from it because He Put Himself in you, deep inside, and to find Him you must strike through all of the Attributes.  This is like wearing ninety-nine clothes and every piece of clothing has two sides.  If you want to touch the Essence of the Truth, it is necessary to cut through every dress.  Allah (s.w.t.) is the Bride and you will not reach this Holy Bride unless you penetrate all the veils to find Him.  When you reach the Truth of this Bride, you return to your real Mother Who is Truth.  You need to drink from Her Real Milk until your presence dissolves in the Ocean of the Truth.

What is every Quality?  It is important to know that every Quality is a station from the beginning to the end.  And you could not walk through any of these stations if He did not Love you and Help you.  This is not from your hand.  But it is He Who Desires that the Treasure be known when He Puts you in this way to search about the Truth.  Know that He Loves you and His Love is moving you on.  But how can you walk through every Quality?  If you want to walk through all the Qualities, it will take a long time.  But it is your fortune that Allah (s.w.t.) Gives you your guide to take you through the Qualities to the Name.  He Put you with your Beloved face to face from the beginning, and he told you to remember the Name.  Because within the Name are all the Attributes, and when you remember the Name, it is not necessary to remember every Quality.  The Name is the Ocean and the qualities are the Springs.  Water for every spring comes from the ocean.  If you want to drink, to travel from the gross world to the world of the essence of the soul, travel to the Ocean.  By Ocean, I mean the name of Allah (s.w.t.).

Live at once in the Light of the Essence beyond all form and walk through the particular quality you wish to realise.  For example, to see through the All-Seeing and to hear through the All-Hearing, know Who Sees, Who Hears, Who Gives, Who Takes.  Then you return all the Qualities as you experience them, while remembering the Name, to the Presence behind the Name, to the Truth within the Presence and to the Reality beyond all pictures of the Truth.

Beloved, I want to return to this world.  The world is like a shadow to the Truth.  The shadow has no substance, no light, no soul of its own.  It is a projection of that existence which it reflects.  The Reality is Veiled by Truth, Truth by Presence, and the Presence by the Attributes of Allah (s.w.t.).  The Pure Essence of the Attributes Manifests in angelic forms, in mankind, in animals, and in the world of nature.  All of Creation is the Face of Allah (s.w.t.).  But look through the Face to know the Deep Breath which Gives everything that lives the Life of God, the Truth, the Strength, and all the Qualities of the Creator Himself, through which He Manifests the Limitless Transcendence of His Being in form for the sake of the Revelation of His Deep Secret Love.  When Allah (s.w.t.) Created Adam (a.s.), He Made him with this Strength of His Own to Carry all that He has, and He Put him in the garden for one thing – to show him the real wisdom.  What is the wisdom?

The pure Adam (a.s.), the original Adam (a.s.) lived only to remember.  He had no body, only Allah (s.w.t.).  He had no beginning nor end, only Light from Allah (s.w.t.); no shadow of presence apart from Allah (s.w.t.).  After that, Allah (s.w.t.), in His Wisdom, Wanted the Creation of the worlds.  If He had not put nafs in Adam (a.s.), there would be no world because Adam (a.s.) was turned only to Him and Allah (s.w.t.) had to Turn him toward the Creation of the world in order for mankind to be born through him.  So He Put in Adam (a.s.) the self, and this self was in three parts.  First, the desire to eat the fruit and then to eliminate, nafs ash-shahwaniyyah.  For this, he had to leave the garden because in the garden of the first world there was no eating or defecating or sleeping, no fruit, and no separation of Adam (a.s.) from the Light of Allah (s.w.t.).  Then, the desire to sleep with the woman, nafs al-jinsiyyah, and make children, and to fill the world with human beings.  And the third part of the self of Adam (a.s.) was the desire to become king of Creation, nafs ash-shaytharah.

Then, as He had Put the nafs in Adam (a.s.) to Fulfill His Plan, He Made Iblis, also, to continue His Message.  Iblis assumed his role just as Adam (a.s.) moved as it was Written for him and each moving by His Will.  Adam (a.s.) and Iblis met in the garden to complete a circle.  What of the fruit?  The fruit is life – the life of this world. Adam (a.s.) already had life in the first world, the life of the Light of Allah (s.w.t.), but when he had eaten from the tree, he began to dress in ninety-nine veils and to carry many qualities between himself and his original light, the Secret of Allah (s.w.t.), which was the only thing he knew in the first world.  From the first world, many worlds arose through the agency of the self of Adam (a.s.), through his desire to eat and sleep and be king of the Creation.  Now you see two Adams.  The first is the pure original mirror of Allah (s.w.t.) and the second is the metaphorical Adam (a.s.), who is a shadow of the original Adam (a.s.).  You cannot see the first Adam (a.s.) with human eyes if you do not know the second, the metaphorical Adam (a.s.).  When you look at him with the eyes of your face, you see a human being like other human beings, but when you see the original Adam (a.s.) with the eye of your soul, you see only Allah (s.w.t.) in His Created mirror.  The metaphorical Adam (a.s.) is a Veil for Allah (s.w.t.).  Although He Put all His wisdom and light in Adam (a.s.) to know Him, Adam (a.s.) must also know himself through the metaphor of his own existence for the sake of the Creation of the world.  The deep Adam (a.s.) is the true son of his Father and the Eye of Allah (s.w.t.) through which He Sees.

He says to Adam (a.s.), ‘If you eat the fruit and you do not lose me, you can eat the fruit of life.  But if in eating the fruit, you forget the secret, do not eat.’  So Adam (a.s.) ate for the procreation of life and covered his naked reality in Allah (s.w.t.) with the Dresses of His Qualities.  He kept the Secret inside the cover of the Qualities, and does not reveal this Secret to anyone except by His Order in His Time.  Before the fruit, Allah (s.w.t.) Gave the Order to the deep secret soul of Adam (a.s.) to give birth to himself, to see himself in himself, and this image of himself, returned to him, is Eve.  In reality, there is no separation between Adam (a.s.) and Eve. Adam (a.s.) is Eve and Eve is Adam (a.s.).  She is the mirror of him, from him to him, and of his own substance.  She also gives birth to him when she makes love with him.  So she is his mother, daughter, and sister, as well as himself.  Before Adam (a.s.) slept with Eve, he ate to take the secret life from the tree.  What is the tree?  It is herself, the essence of Eve, the mother.  So first he ate of the essence of her life and then he entered her to give birth to himself again through her.

What about Iblis?  As I said, Iblis is a presence, a shadow.  He could not tempt the prophet Adam (a.s.) because Adam (a.s.) was with his God all the time.  But Iblis came to Adam (a.s.) in the form of a snake.  By snake, I mean the dunya, and by dunya, I mean the nafs.  It was from Iblis’ message to offer Adam (a.s.) the fruit.  If he did not offer this fruit to Adam (a.s.), he would not be doing his job as the guardian of the gate of the garden, and what Iblis offered to Adam (a.s.), he continues to offer to the sons of Adam (a.s.); this being his first task.

From the outside it may appear that Adam (a.s.) succumbed to the voice of Iblis and ate the fruit by his urging.  But in the inner truth, Adam (a.s.) listened only to the Voice of his Lord, who said to him, ‘Eat of life, if you can eat without losing the deep secret love, My truth within you.’  Adam (a.s.) knew His Message well.  When he ate the fruit, it was to give the Truth a presence, a life in form, and all the sons of Adam (a.s.) come from him.  For this reason, Allah (s.w.t.) Made him caliph because he held all His Secrets in his heart and obeyed every Order, and he is the root of the holy tree which begins to grow up from him.

This is the same tree which he saw before in the garden, and he ate from her so that she could, through his body, become incarnate on earth.  The metaphor of Adam (a.s.) is the truth of Adam (a.s.), and the truth of Adam (a.s.) is the truth of Muhammad (s.a.w.).  Thus Adam (a.s.) is the first complete person, and within him is all the existence of mind and all the existence of soul.  He embodies the deep truth of all humanity, and her Truth does not end.  She is in every place, in every time.  Allah (s.w.t.) Commands the angels to prostrate before this Truth.  You can see the light of Adam (a.s.) in every one of his sons, and you can hear his voice in every voice, if you listen with the deep ear because there is no one, only He in this world, and there is no separation between Him and His family, and His family is He.  His life is one with the life of the family and this life is al-Hayy, the Life.  Eve is himself.  When he looks to her, he sees himself and not another.  He listens to her voice and this is his voice, truly; and when he listened to his voice in her, he ate and slept; yet this was also obedience to the deeper voice of the Will of Allah (s.w.t.), to Put His Truth inside her so that she could give birth to another Adam (a.s.) to send this Truth to all the children who came from this Union.  This was the deep surrender to the Will of Allah (s.w.t.) because if not for this eating and sleeping, how could the Message be continued and the Hidden Treasure be Revealed?  And if Adam (a.s.) did not make what he made, how could you see yourself now searching about his Original Truth?  This is from the Deep Secret of His Wisdom.  And Iblis also listens with the Deep Secret ear and he knows his place well.  According to the Order for him, he must continue to be the guide for the darkness.  For this reason, it is necessary to hear the message of the darkness in order to fully realise the message of the light.

Why is it said that when Adam (a.s.) ate the fruit he had to leave the Garden?  What does this mean?  Where did he go?  I want to explain about the Garden.  People think that the garden is full of fruits and trees and flowers, but before he tasted, and before he slept, and before the fruit appeared to him, and before the conception of the birth of the world, Adam (a.s.) lived in the True Paradise of the Presence of Allah (s.w.t.), the world of pre-eternity, which as we have said, was Light upon Light.  The spirit of the truth of Adam (a.s.) wants to guide his sons back to the First Garden, the Paradise of the Presence of the Unity of Allah (s.w.t.).  It appears that Adam (a.s.) left the pure light of being in the Garden to give birth to the life of the world, but in reality he did not leave the Garden, nor did the Garden leave him.  He took the Garden into the deep secret essence of his soul and covered it with the veils of all the qualities of Creation, like a bride who covers herself in the midst of the world to preserve her beauty for her Beloved Alone.  This is the answer to the question of the angels.  It is easier to preserve the light when one is surrounded by light and enveloped by light.  But the task of Adam (a.s.) and the sons of Adam (a.s.) is greater – to preserve the deep secret light of the Garden in the midst of the veils and darkness of the Created world.  For this reason, Allah (s.w.t.) Sent prophet after prophet to preserve the deep secret truth of Adam (a.s.) and to keep it alive in his sons.  And after Muhammad (s.a.w.), the Seal of the Prophets, this wisdom is passed down through an unbroken line of guides who are al-insan al-kamil and the living spirit of the prophecy in their time.

Understand, my Beloved, with the deep eye of Adam (a.s.) within you, why Allah (s.w.t.) Created Adam (a.s.) to be the caliph of His holy earth.  Now look deeper.  I want to reveal to you the heart of the kingdom.  As above, so below, and in the heart of the kingdom on high is the Holy Throne.  Ascend to understand and to see with your own heart’s eye, and I will tell you a small story about the night voyage of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.).  Now we will see just a glimpse, and later in our journey we will return to this illumined sky.

It is reported that Muhammad (s.a.w.) was Taken one night from Makkah to Jerusalem and then ascended from al-Aqswa Mosque into Heaven with the archangel, Gabriel (a.s.).  Together they passed through the seven planes, and when they had reached the highest plane, the plane of the pure light of Allah (s.w.t.), Muhammad (s.a.w.) disappeared [he returned to his original state].  Gabriel (a.s.) could not see him because he was indistinguishable from the Presence of Allah (s.w.t.), but he heard the Prophet (s.a.w.) speak.  Muhammad (s.a.w.) asked Gabriel (a.s.), ‘Did you see, before Allah (s.w.t.) put me in the body of Muhammad (s.a.w.), a star over His Throne?’

Gabriel (a.s.) answered, ‘All the angels have seen this great star which illumined all the heavens with its light, and every light on every side shines forth from that star above the Throne.  For five thousand years before Creation [in the time of Allah (s.w.t.), one day is equal to five hundred years], we saw that star above the Throne of Allah (s.w.t.).’

Muhammad (s.a.w.) said, ‘I am that star.  I am from Allah (s.w.t.) to Allah (s.w.t.), without place, without separation.  When Adam (a.s.) was Created to be caliph on earth, Allah (s.w.t.) Sent the star to Adam (a.s.), and when he returned to Allah (s.w.t.) in presence and form, the star returned to its place above the Throne.  Then Allah (s.w.t.) Sent the star to Noah (a.s.) and Abraham (a.s.) and all of the prophets until the body of Muhammad (s.a.w.) came to manifest the light of this star, which is the light of the pre-eternal wisdom of Muhammad (s.a.w.).  When this body returns to Allah (s.w.t.), the light of the star will not return to the Throne, but it will remain in all the Creation.  And when any creature returns to his truth, he can discover the light of Muhammad (s.a.w.) within himself, to carry what I carry and to see what I see.’

This is what Allah (s.w.t.) Meant when He Said to the Prophet (s.a.w.), ‘I Sent you as a Mercy to every people and everything because your light is My Light.’

So we come to understand that by virtue of the Pre-Eternal Truth of the essence of Muhammad (s.a.w.), which came so much later to be manifested in a body, Muhammad (s.a.w.) is the father of spirits without limit.  When Allah (s.w.t.) Wished to Reveal Himself before Creation of any form, He Took a Handful of light from His face and said, “Be Muhammad.”  Then he drew from the light of the original wisdom, the Nur al-Muhammadi, Sending this light in every direction and imparted His Being to Creation.  Thus Muhammad (s.a.w.) says, “I was the wisdom, the essence of the prophets, when Adam (a.s.) was between water and clay.”

Beloved, the light of the star, whose original home is the illuminated sky above the Throne of the Most High, lives now within you.  If you wish to discover and to liberate this light of your own original wisdom, it is necessary to distinguish the primal truth body of the Prophet (s.a.w.) from the body of water and clay.”


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