Shaykh Ibrahim Niyas (q.s.) on Four Groups of Believers

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh al-Islam, Shaykh Ibrahim Niyas (q.s.), said, that people are divided in four groups.  The first group is that of travellers, salikin, who are not enraptured, lam yajdzub.  These are the people of prayer, fasting, hajj and worship.  They are righteous and their actions are praiseworthy, without blemish, yet there is no way for them to the inward, bathin, so they have not smelt the fragrance of Allah (s.w.t.).

The second group is that of those enraptured ones, majadzib, who do not care about appearances, zhahir, and who are disbelievers, kafirun, from the point of view of the shari’ah according to the people of appearances, ahl azh-zhahir.  If the ruler were to see them, he would have them executed, but in reality, fi al-haqiqah, they are the true believers, huwa al-mu’min haqiqatan.  When all are returned to Allah (s.w.t.), they will find these people happy and beloved in Allah’s (s.w.t.) Sight.  These people have no concern for benefiting others, rather they harm them, since those who take them as example are misled thereby.  The enraptured are so absorbed in their attention to Allah (s.w.t.) that they do not pay attention to others or even to observe the shari’ah.

Allah (s.w.t.) Accepts this from them because He has Put them in this state by drawing their hearts to Him in such a way that their neglect of everything else, even the control and discipline of their own selves, is excused, because they are not capable of it.  If, however, a normal person were to take them as models in his journey to Allah (s.w.t.), thereby not disciplining his self and obeying the shari’ah, he would be misled because following the shari’ah is obligatory for those of sound mind and it is a necessary step to attain Allah’s (s.w.t.) Love, so he would not be excused for his disregard of Sacred Law.

The third group is that of those who have joined rapture, jadzb, and traveling, suluk, becoming permanent after extinction, yabqa ba’d al-fana’, and observing the etiquette of the shari’ah.  Their outward, zhahir, implements the Commands and refrains from what is Prohibited, while their inward, bathin, is absorbed in the Essence of Allah (s.w.t.), seeing nothing but Him.  They have joined extinction and permanence, fana’ wa baqa’, for permanence after extinction is a perfection, kamal, while permanence before extinction is a veil, hijab.

The fourth group is that of those who become extinguished in the Essence and permanent in deputyship, al-khilafah, joining annihilation and permanence.  The difference between them and the people of the third group is that the latter’s travel, rapture and annihilation never really went beyond the names and the attributes, al-asma’ wa asw-swifat, while the fourth group’s rapture, travel, annihilation and permanence are in the Essence, so they return to Allah (s.w.t.) in a way that no thing and no modality are known for it.  Their journey, sayr, never ends because Allah (s.w.t.) never ends.


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