TB seven valleys Tr

هفت وادی

The Haft Vādī 

(The Seven Valleys)

of

Baha'-Allah (1817-1892 CE). 

PART 01

THE ARABIC PROLEGOMENON

Stephen N. Lambden

Translation, Notes and Commentary in progress, updating and completion 2006+2015

 The Persian text of the Haft Vādī  (Seven Valleys = SV) of Baha'-Allah has several times been printed. It is to be found, for example, in Haft Vādī, Chahār Vādī, (Cairo: XXXX, 1332/ 1913-14) and in Athār-i qalam-i a`la Vol.3. ([Tehran]: MMMA [BPT] 121 Badī`/ 1965-6. Reprinted, New Delhi : nd., 92-137. It is this latter text which has been translated below.

 The prolegomenon to the SV consists of those four of so Arabic pages which introduce the SV proper, which precede the main largely Persian portion of the work which detail the  haft vādī, the "severn valleys" through which the mystic wayfarer must travel in order to attain the

 The Arabic text of the prolegomenon of the SV.,  reproduced  from AQA III:92-95, may be viewed in the images scanned below:

 

THE ARABIC PROLEGOMENON

[01]

[1] Praise be to God who hath caused Being (wujūd) to be made manifest from non-being  (`adam),  [2] inscribed upon  the [Pre-eternal] Tablet of humankind (lawḥ al-insān) something of the pre-eternal mysteries (asrār al-qidam), [3] and taught him that which  he knew not of  the Exposition  (al-bayān).

Commentary on 01[1]

01:[1] "Praise be to God who hath caused Being (wujūd) to be made manifest from non-being (`adam).... 

The word  `adam   has been commented upon in the EI2 article  and in the index of subjects: "`adam (A) : the absence of existence or being, used by the Muslim philosophers as the equivalent of Aristotle's st°rhsiw."

See further EI2  I 178b :

`ADAM (a.) is a translation of the Aristotelian term στέρησις (privatio) and means the absence of existence or being. A definition of the word is found in Aristotle, Metaphysics, v, 22 and is taken over by the Arabic Aristotelians. On the whole in Aristotelian philosophy two meanings of the word must be distinguished: (1) absolute non-existence, that is absolute nothingness, (2) relative non-existence, namely (a) the absence of a quality in matter, (b) the pure potentiality of matter. Since the absence of a quality contains, according to Aristotle, potentially its opposite, it has as potentiality a certain positive character. The Aristotelian theory of becoming is based entirely on this concept of privation. There is no absolute becoming, all becoming is the actualization of a relative non-existent or potential. However, for Aristotle, even pure nothingness seems to have a certain being, for, according to him, by being something it is. But it is the Stoics who have discussed most acutely the problem of the existence of the non-existent and it is the repercussion of their discussions and their terminology which is found in Islam among the theologians. In particular the Mu'tazilites held that the non-existent is a thing (shay'), an entity (dhat) and something positive (thabit). According to them, before the existence of the world God knew the entities which He was going to create and what He knew had, since He knew it, a certain reality. Creating the world He gave those entities the accident of existence.|Among the philosophers al-Farabi and Ibn Sina regard, like the Mu'tazilites, existence as an accident, whereas for Ibn Rushd, as for the Asharites, existence is an essence. (S. van den Bergh).

Extract from the Encyclopaedia of Islam article by  S van den Bergh in vol.1 : 178b.  See also EI2  V 578b art QUWWA  -- Arabic term denoting "strength, power". 

The opening words of Bahā'-Allāh's SV may be compared with the opening lines of the al-Futūḥāt al-makiyya  ("Meccan Openings") of the Great Shaykh, Muḥyi al-Dīn Ibn al-`Arabī (d.638 /1270):

الحمد للّه الذي أوجد الأشياء عن عدم وعدمه وأوقف وجودها على توجه كلمه لنحقق بذلك سر حدوثها وقدمها من قدمه ونقف عند هذا التحقيق على ما أعلمنا به من صدق قدمه

Praised be to God Who hath caused everything (al-ashyā') to be brought into existence from  non-existence (`adam)  and His  non-existence (`adam). He held its Existence (wujūd)  in check  through the instrumentality of His Utterance (kalim) to the end that We might thereby verify the mystery of its origination (ḥudūth) and its pre-existence ( qidam) by virtue of His Pre-existence (qidam)...

Commentary on 01: [2]   "inscribed upon the tablet of  humankind (lawḥ al-insān) something of the pre-eternal mysteries (asrār al-qidam)..

The word lawḥ  here indicates something upon which texts may be written or inscribed. Hence the phrase lawḥ al-insān   can be rendered "tablet of man" or "tablet of humankind". This phrase most likely indicates the archetype of humanity, the pre-eternal locus of human beings upon which God may write divine mysteries. lawḥ al-insān  may also allude to the  "Tablet of the Perfect Man"

In the EI2 article al-insān al-kāmil' ( III: ) Arnaldez introduces the esoteric subject of the Islamic "Perfect Man" by speculating as to where this non-qur'anic concept may have been derived. He that it might be rooted in Hellenistic gnostic and related Hermetic concepts of antiquity such as the proto-anthropxxx  figure. The Poimandres

 The nexus of ideas surrounding the Zoroastrian-Mazdaean myths of the "Primordial "Man", Gayomart as well the related Manichaeism doctrine of "the first Man (al-insān al-kadm) may well also be important.

ADD, with the Mother of Life and the five elements, her sons and auxiliaries, constitutes the first Creation which the Father of Greatness raises up by his Word.

For the disciples of Zoroaster and for Mani, however, this prototypal man has as his function the combatting of evil and darkness, in conformity with a dualist doctrine which developed in Iranian thinking and which Islam rejected with all its might. Nevertheless the idea of a role, if not of salvation, at least of conservation, assumed by the Perfect Man in regard to the inferior world, remains an essential one for the Muslim mystics who make use of this idea.

Relationships may also exist between the al-insān al-kāmil  figure and  motifs central to dimensions of the Jewish quasi-anthropomorphic Shi'ur Qomah (Dimensions of the Deity) and Merkabah (Throne Chariot) mysticism which evolved in part from ancient Jewish exegesis of Ezekiel chapters 1 & 10 where the figure of the Ancient of Days (AV) is pictured. Significant also in this respect are  the esoteric teachings of the qabbalah as evidenced in the Sepher ha-Bahir (The Book of Brilliance) and the Sepher ha-Zohar (The Book of Splendour) which was probably authored by Moses de Leon (        ).

 Some Jewish Cabala would be even more instructive: from the mystical theory of the Merk§b§h there has developed, in the Sepher ha-Zohar, the doctrine of the ten sephirÙt, among them being Wisdom (Èo¦Šm§h), Intelligence (bÊn§h), Love (Èesed), Mercy (raÈamÊm), Royalty (malkhåt), and so on, which constitute the World of Union or transcendental Man. It is through these that divine life is diffused into the entire creation. Thus Jewish mysticism also finally reaches this conception, that the Infinite (En sÙf), by the emanation of its light, forms the $d§m QadmÙn, from whom the light of the sephÊrÙt produces the total emanation. This kind of refraction of light through light calls to mind the Îur"§nic expression "Light upon light" (nårun al-nårin), in XXIV, 35. Similarly one sees, in al-XXXX, for example, that God created the muÈammadan forms (cf. infra) from the light of his Name of Creator (Bada') and Powerful (|§dir); then He irradiated (taþšall§) on these forms with His Name of Benevolent (Lutf) and Grantor of Absolution (óŠ§fir). Here too, there is an irradiation of light in light.

4). Ibn `Arabī.

"The idea of the Perfect Man is found in Ibn `Arabī, in the Fuṣuṣ  al-Ḥikām  as a development of the Îur"§nic revelation, according to which man is the ¦ŠalÊfa of God on earth: at once ephemeral and eternal, it is through his existence that the world was completed. "He is to the world what the stone is to the ring: the stone bears the seal which the king affixes to his treasure-chests". To man is entrusted the divine safeguarding of the World, and the world will not cease to be safeguarded so long as this Perfect Man shall remain there. God first created the whole world like a mirror which has not yet been polished. In order that He might be perfectly manifested in it, it was necessary that by means of divine Order (amr) this mirror should be made clear, "and Adam became the very clarity of this mirror and the spirit of this image". Therefore the Prophet says that God created Man in His image, that is to say that Adam is the prototype who synthesizes all the categories of the divine Presence, Essence (þŠ§t), attributes (ßif§t) and actions (af#§l) (cf. La Sagesse des Prophetes, 20, 22, 154 and 54, n. 1).

The image of God is no other than His Presence, "so that, in this noble epitome which is the Perfect Man, God manifested ... all the divine Names and the essential Realities (ÈaΧ"iÎ) of all that exists outside Himself, in the macrocosm, in detailed fashion ... From the Perfect Man He made the spirit of the world, and subjected the high and the low to him. Just as there is nothing in the world|which does not exalt God by praise of Him (XVII, 44), so there is nothing in the world which does not serve this man ...". Here Ibn #ArabÊ recalls the tas¦ŠÊr, and he concludes: "Everything the world contains is subject to man. This is known to him who knows, that is to say the Perfect Man, and is not known by him who does not know, that is to say man the animal" (p. 154).

01"02b The pre-eternal mysteries (asrār al-qidam)

Commentary on 01:[3] "and taught him that which he knew not of the Exposition (al-bayān).

 

[02]

[1] [As a Manifestation of God] He made Him a Perspicuous Book (kitāb an mubīn anunto such as believed and surrendered themselves; [2] caused Him to witness  the creation of all things (kull shay')  in this black and ruinous age [3] and to speak forth from  the Apex of Eternal Subsistence (quṭb al-baqā') with a Wondrous Voice (al-laḥn al-badī`) in the Illustrious Temple (haykal al-mukarram). [4] This to the end that all may testify within themselves, through soulful experience (fī nafsihi bi-nafsihi) at the level of the theophany of their Lord (fī maqām tajallī rabbihi)  that there is none other God save Him. [5] All souls may assuredly accomplish this and thus win their way to the Summit of Spiritual Realities (dharwat al-ḥaqā'iq) such that none shall witness a single thing  but that they shall see God therein.

Commentary on 02:01.The Perspicuous Book (kitāb an mubīn an) and the Perfect Man

From the words "He made Him a Perspicuous Book (kitāb an mubīn an) unto such as believed and  surrendered themselves" (SV 02:1f) there would seem to be primary reference to the exalted role of the Perfect Man or Manifestation of God. 

That God "made him a Perspicuous Book  (kitāb an mubīn an) most probably refers to the archetypal  insān al-kamil ("Perfect Man") who is, for Bābīs or Bahā'īs identical with the maẓhar-i ilāhī  that Perfect Man who is the divine theophany or manifestation of God. Baha'-Allah often associates himself with the umm al-kitāb "Mother Book" or "Archetypal Book". A good example of this is the following lines from the Surat al-qamis:

02: [3] "in the Illustrious Temple (haykal al-mukarram)".

The Arabic word haykal  in this genitive expression haykal al-mukarram   is an Arabic loanword probably derived from the biblical Hebrew    ADD     hekal   which means, for example, "temple",                   . It is a word ultimately rooted via Akkadian from the Sumerian e-gal

 [03]

[1]

And I bless and salute the Primal Sea (awwal baḥr) which hath branched out from the Ocean of the Divine Ipseity (baḥr al-huwiyya), [2] and the Primal Morn (awwal subḥ) which dawned resplendent from the Horizon of the Transcendent Unity (ufq al-ahadiyya), [3] and the Primal Sun (awwal shams) which rose radiantly in the Heaven of Beginningless Eternity (samā' al-azal), [4] and the Primal Fire (awwal nar) enkindled from the Lamp of Pre-existent Eternity  (miṣbaḥ al-qadamiyya) in the Niche of Inclusive Unity  (mishkat al-waḥidiyya): [5] He Who was  Aḥmad  in the kingdom of the worlds  (malakūt al-`ālamīn) [6] and  Muhammad in the Concourse of  those who are nigh unto God  (malā' al- muqarribīn) [7] and Maḥmūd  in the celestial sphere of such as are characterized by pure sincerity (jabarūt al-mukhliṣūn) -- [8] "by whichsoever [Name] ye invoke Him  [it is the same, for] to Him belong "the Most Beautiful Names"  (asmā' al-ḥusnā) (Q.17:110b)  evident in the hearts of  such as are possessed of spiritual knowledge  (qulūb al-`ārifīn). [9] And upon His household (āl) and His companions (aṣḥāb) be abundant, abiding and eternal peace.

Commentary on 03:05-7, Aḥmad, Muhammad and Mahmūd

[5] The name Aḥmad.

    The Arabic name Aḥmad derives like |Muhammad and Mahmūd from the triliteral root -M-D.

        Aḥmad is most likely the superlative form of Mamūd or ḥamīd. As a proper name Aḥmad was known among the pre-Islamic Arabs and a few centuries after the death of the Arabian Prophet (632 CE) ultimately became a much favoured proper name among Muslims. Throughout the later Islamic centuries, the Prophet's name Aḥmad has been greatly used and much celebrated. Certain Isl mic poets and writers presuppose that Aḥmad is the spiritual, celestial and pre-existent name of the Muḥammadan Reality which is the Logos-like "Self" or "Soul" (nafs) of all past Messengers of God. This Amad or Muammadan Reality can be viewed as the Muḥammedan Light (nūr-i Muḥammadiya) which, like the Holy Spirit, infuses past Messengers/ Manifestations of God.

        Some modern scholars believe that Aḥmad (aḥmad) in Q. 61:6 was not originally intended as a proper name but had adjectival sense. i.e. "of highly praiseworthy name". Either way, it is sometimes reckoned that there could still be allusion to John 14:12. It may, in other words, be that aḥmad  in Qur'ān 61:6 was "understood as a proper name only after Muhammad had been identified with the Paraclete" (Schacht, `Aḥmad' EI2).

        Parrinder notes an early variant reading of Qur'ān 61:6 transmitted by Muhammad's secretary Ubayy b. Ka`b which did not spell out aḥmad as a the proper name Aḥmad :

`O children of Israel, I am God's messenger to you, and I announce to you a prophet whose community will be the last community and by which God will put the seal on the prophets and messengers.' (Parrinder, 1982:96-7).

    Montgomery-Watt in his interesting discussion of these issues writes, "The clause in question [Q.61:6b] can then be translated `announcing the good tidings of a messenger whose name is more worthy of praise'. It is just conceivable that this might be a confused reference to the words `greater works than these shall he do' (John, xiv, 12). Alternatively, if Aḥmadu is taken to be more attributive of praise, there might be a reference to the words `He shall glorify me' (John, xvi.14)." (1990:46).

Among the many traditions of the Prophet (ad th) in which the name Aḥmad is commented upon or mentioned, the following should  be noted: "I heard the Messenger of God say: `I have several names; I am Muhammad, I am Aḥmad, I am al-Māḥi ("the Obliterator") (Bukhārī, cited Parrinder, 1982:98).

"My name in the Qur'ān is Muḥammad and in the Injīl Aḥmad and in the Torah Aḥyad ("the Shunner") and I am called Aḥyad because I shun "hell fire" more than any of my people.." (Ibn `Abbas, cited HDI:387, [translation adapted]).

"It is well known that his (the Prophet's) name in Hebrew Bible (tawrat)  is Madmad, in the Gospels (injīl) Tabtab and in the Psalms Faraqlīṭ ." (Majlisī , Ḥayat al-qulūb,  cited HDI:124).

`O Spirit of God, will there be another (religious) community (umma) after us?; and that Jesus said, `Yes, the community of Aḥmad. It will consist of people who are wise, knowing, devout and pious, as if in religious knowledge (fiqh) they were prophets. They will be satisfied with modest sustenance from God, and he will be pleased with modest conduct on their part.' (Zamaksharī on Q. 61:6 cited Gätje, 1976:69).

The above tradition seems to reflect Isaiah XX:XX

Such traditions led to the widespread belief, as Schimmel observes, that "Aḥmad was.. the Prophet's name in the Torah and the Gospel". The same writer notes that Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī (1207-73 CE) states in the first book of his Mathnawī , "that some Christians of old used to kiss the name Aḥmad in the Gospel and were saved from persecution thanks to the blessing power of that name." (Schimmel, 1985:108).

Aḥmad in the Gospel of Barnabas

        It should also be noted that Muslims have for many years given considerable importance to alleged prophecies of Jesus regarding Ahmad (= Muḥammad) contained in the inauthentic, Italian (originally Spanish?) Gospel of Barnabas (c. 1300 CE?). Most probably written and compiled by a late medieval Christian convert to Islam, the following passages is among the many words put into the mouth of Jesus:

        In 1907 Canon Lonsdale and Laura Ragg published the Venetian original and an English translation The Gospel of Barnabas (Cairo: Church Missionary Society). It was subsequently translated from Italian into many middle eastern and Asian languages; including, Arabic, Persian, Urdu and Indonesian. A very readable study is that of Sox, 1984.

Ahmad in Shi`i and Shaykhi literatures.

Shaykh Ahmad ibn Zayn al-Din al-Ahsa'i (d.1241/1826) in his Kitab al-raj`a (Book of the [Eschatological] Return)

Aḥmad in Bābī-Bahā'ī scripture and history

The central figures of the Bahā'ī  religion quite frequently refer to the Prophet Muḥammad as Aḥmad. Aside from this passage in the SV (c. 1858 CE) Bahā'u'llāh has referred to Muhammad as Aḥmad in  ADD

Aḥmad it is pertinent to note here was the name of a son who died in infancy of both the Prophet Muḥammad and the Bāb. Some Bābīs and Bahā'īs from a Muslim/ middle Eastern background also bore this name and received famous Tablets from Bahā'-Allāh. The well-known Arabic `Tablet of Aḥmad' (Lawḥ-i Aḥmad-i `Arabī c.1865/6 CE) was addressed to Mīrzā Aḥmad-i-Yazdī (d. c.1902CE) and the Persian Tablet of Aḥmad (Lawḥ-i-Aḥmad-i-Fārsī  c.1865/6) to the the ultimately Azalī Bābī, Ḥajjī Mīrzā Aḥmad-i-Kāshānī (d. c. 1866).

[6] The name Muhammad.

The name of the Arabian Prophet, Muḥammad (c.570-632 CE), means "more worthy of praise" or "often praised".  This name is a passive participle derived from the second Arabic form (II) of the verb hamada ( = `to praise, to laud'; triliteral root Ḥ-M-D).

Some modern scholars believe that Aḥmad (aḥmad) in Q. 61:6 was not originally intended as a proper name but had adjectival sense. i.e. "of highly praiseworthy name". Either way, it is sometimes reckoned that there could still be allusion to John 14:12. It may, in other words, be that ḥ in Qur'ān 61:6 was "understood as a proper name only after Muhammad had been identified with the Paraclete" (Schacht, `Aḥmad' EI2).

Parrinder notes an early variant reading of Qur'ān 61:6 transmitted by Muhammad's secretary Ubayy b. Ka`b which did not spell out Aḥmad as a proper name: `O children of Israel, I am God's messenger to you, and I announce to you a prophet whose community will be the last community and by which God will put the seal on the prophets and messengers.' (Parrinder, 1982:96-7).

Montgomery-Watt in his interesting discussion of these issues writes, "The clause in question [Q.61:6b] can then be translated `announcing the good tidings of a messenger whose name is more worthy of praise'. It is just conceivable that this might be a confused reference to the words `greater works than these shall he do' (John, xiv, 12). Alternatively, if Aḥmadu is taken to be more attributive of praise, there might be a reference to the words `He shall glorify me' (John, xvi.14)." (1990:46).

In her excellent study of the Islamic veneration of the Prophet Muhammad, Schimmel cites the following passage from the Sunni   writer Jalāl al-Dīn al-Suyūṭī (d.1505 CE) Apparently based upon words from the Sunan  of al-Dārimī (d. 869 CE) he writes:

"His name is Muḥammad and Aḥmad; his people are the people of praise (ḥamd) and his prayer rite and the prayer rite of his people is opened with praise (ḥamd).  In the Preserved Tablet in God's abode it was written that his Caliphs and his Companions in writing the Sacred Volume, should open it with praise (Sura 1:1). And in his hand on the Resurrection Day will be the banner of praise. And when he then prostrates himself before God in intercession on our behalf and it is accepted he will praise the Lord with a new song that shall then be revealed to him, for his is the heavenly Station of Praise (al-maqam al-maḥmūd, Sura 17:79) -- and when he rises up in that Station all the assembly shall praise him, Muslims and misbelievers alike, the first and the last, and all meanings and modes of thankful praise shall be gathered up and offered to him."

Schimmel comments, "In other words, the very name Muhammad prefigures all the praise that will be his share and that of his followers in this world and the next." (Schimmel 1985:107).

[7] The name Maḥmūd. 

See hadith Sunni

The Prophet's name Mahmūd is the passive participle of form I of the same Arabic verb (root Ḥ-M-D) from which the names Muhammad and Aḥmad are derived.  It basically means "he who is praised" or "the one to whom praise is due" (Schimmel, 1985:106f)..

[04]

[1] I furthermore, have hearkened unto that which the Nightingale of Gnosis (warqā' al-irfān) warbled upon the branches of the Lote-Tree of thine inmost Heart (afnān-i sidrat-i f ū'ād ),  [2] And I have inwardly realized that which  the Dove of Certitude  (ḥamāmat al-īqān) doth sing upon boughs of the Tree of thy heart (aghṣān shajarih-yi qalb). [3] Wherefore, methinks that I have,  indeed scented the perfumed fragrances of the garment of thy love (rawā'iḥ al-ṭīb-i  qamīṣ ḥubbika )  and have attained the fullness  of thy meeting through the perusal of thy letter. [4] And inasmuch as I became aware of thine allusions (ishārāt) unto thy mystical passing away (fanā') in God and thy permanent eternality (baqā' ) in Him, [5] thy love (ḥubb) for the beloved of God  (aḥibbā' Allāh) and for the  Manifestations of His Names (maẓāhir asmā'ihi )  and the Dawning-Places of His Attributes (maṭlā'  ṣifātihi), [6] wherefore do I mention sacred, scintillant  allusions (qudsiyya sha`sha`āniyya ishārāt ) unto gradations reaching towards the Glorious One (marātib al-jalāl ). [7] This in order that thou might be attracted unto the Court of Holiness, Proximity and Beauty  (sāḥat al-quds al-qurb al-jamāl ), such that thou obtain a station (maqām)  wherein thou shalt see naught in existence  (al-wujūd ) save the Countenance of His Holiness thy Beloved One  (maḥbūb)  and never behold the realm of created things  (al-khalq )  save as it was on the Day whereon naught existed.

∎ Notes to 04

[05]

[1] Of such hath  the Nightingale of Unity  (bulbul al-aḥadiyya)  sung in the Garden of Intercessory Sainthood  (riyāḍ al-ghawthiyya). [2] He saith: "And there shall appear upon the tablet of thine heart (lawḥ qalbika) transcripts of the subtle mysteries of [3] "Fear God and God will give you knowledge" (Q. 2:282). [4] Thereupon shall the Bird of thy spirit (ṭa'ir rūḥika ) recall  the mansions of pre-eternity (ḥaẓā'ir al-qidam), [5] shall soar insignificantly on the wings of rapture (jannāḥ al-`ishq) in the vastness ( faḍā') of "so traverse the paths of thy Lord " (Q.16:69 [71]b)  [6] and shall gather the fruits of intimacy  (thamarāt al-uns)  in the Orchards of "Feast on fruits (thamarāt) of every kind!" (Q.16:69[71]a).

∎ Notes to 05

[1] By referring to the "Nightingale of Unity" (bulbul al-aḥadiyya) which sings in the "Garden of Intercessory Sainthood" a somewhat  paraphrastic rendering of riyāḍ al-ghawthiyya, allusion is probably made to a saintly figure whose holiness places him within a celestial sphere. Allusion is most probably to a figure who occupies a pivotal position in the Sufi hierarchy. One, that is, believed to be capable (among other things) of aiding, helping or interceding on behalf of such as invoke or seek refuge in them.

Allusion, in other words, may perhaps be made as Faḍil-i Māzandarānī first suggested, to the Hanbalite Sunnī  `Abd al-Qadīr al-Jīlānī (1077-1166 CE), the aforementioned founder of the Qādiriyya Sufi order (see further XXXX) to which Shaykh Muḥyi al-Dīn to whom the SV was addressed may well have belonged. If allusion is made to al-Jīlānī, Bahā'-Allāh would appear to be praising his person and work or writings which He appears to subsequently cite  at   SV  01:    (see below).

        The term ghawth ( = `aid, help[er], assistance, succour, deliverance .. etc') is a techincal term relevant to the Sufi hierarchy and sometimes has imamological significance. In SV 05:1 *riyaḍ al-ghawthiyya may be an allusion to the writings/person of al-Jilānī (d.    /1166 CE), the Hanbalite (Sunni) founder of the Qadiriya Sufi order who was known as the Ghawth al-a`zam* (loosely, "Most Great Intercessor / Assistance"). The concept of ghawth /ghawthiya is important in Qadirī Sufism. A qaṣīda al-ghawthiyya   is ascribed to al-Jilānī. Alternatively ghawthiyya may allude to another eminent Sufi leader or to a (Twelver) Imam. The citation needs to be definitely located. For details see my commentary (forthcoming).

[06]

[1]

 By My life, O beloved one (ḥabib)!

Wert thou to obtain a taste of these fruits (thamarat) -- [2] associated with the verdure (khiḍr) of these hyacinths (sumbulat) planted in the lands of gnosis  (arḍ al-ma`rifat) nigh unto the region of the Theophany (tajalli) of the Lights of the Divine Essence (anwār al-dhāt) in the Mirrors of the Names and of the Attributes (maraya al-asmā' wa'l-ṣifāt) -- [3] thou wouldst experience such spiritual yearning (al-shawq) that the reins of patience (al-ṣabr) and forbearence (istibar)  would be seized from the palm[s] of thy hands. [4] Thy spirit (ruh) would be made to tremble on account of the Sparkling Lights (bawariq al-anwr) and thou be attracted away from the earthly dwelling-place (al-watan al-turabi) and located nigh unto the essential, divine Abode (al-watan al-ali al-ilahi) at the Axis of Mystic Meanings (qutb al-ma`ani). [5] Thou wouldst furthermore,  be enabled to ascend unto a station (maqām) in which thou wouldst fly in the air (al-ḥawāa') just as thou movest along on the dust (al-turab) and would fleet over water (al-mā') even as thou runnest on the land (al-arḍ).

 [07]

[1] Wherefore, may it delight me and thee and whomsoever is elevated unto the Heaven of mystic knowledge (samā' al-irfān):  whose heart is captivated by the fact that the Zephyr of Certitude  (saba' al-īqān)  wafteth  through the garden of his inmost being (riya sirrihi)  from the Sheba of the All-Merciful (saba al-rahman).  [2] And peace be upon whomsoever pursueth the Guidance!

 

 ♦