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Islam & Sufism

Articles & Newsletters



Obligatory Actions

1. The Stoning of Shaytan

The casting of seven stones is symbolic of repudiating the deceptions of Shaytan. The act of casting a stone implies courage and determination to be spared of Shaytan’s evils. Thus, if you stone him he will fear you rather than you fear him. You should fear Allah, as He has said:

# ... so do not fear them [friends of Shaytan] but fear Me if you are people of faith. [3:175]

Otherwise, beware because:

# ... and no one feels secure from the plot of Allah except the people who shall perish. [7:99]

In summary, the state of the Master is not steady until he reaches the House which is referred to as ‘Oneness’, and that is the station of Abraham:

# ... and whoever enters it is secure. [3:97]

For this reason it is said: Go to the House, make the tawāf and salāt in this manner. Outside this fortress there is no security. ‘Fortress’ is the Presence of Lā ilāha illa’Llāh, of which Allah has spoken in a hadith qudsi, saying:

~ Lā ilāha illa’Llāh is My Fortress and whoever enters My Fortress is secure from My chastisement.

Read more: Hajj -Excerpt 6 of 8

The Pause on `Arafah (wuqūf)

This is the stopping place or Pause of the Pilgrimage; as the Prophet said:

~ The Pilgrimage is `Arafah.

After completing the Tawāf and the Hastening, the Master is overcome by a state above which there is no higher condition or increase, which is the abandonment of anything known to him beyond the ability to describe. In this station of absolute abandonment, he is ordered to give up his physical form, his soul, his self, his reasoning, the names as well as the Attributes, and anything which has the scent of manifestation; he is commanded to gatheredness and to enfold the outward within the inward and the inward in the outward. When he has realized this state then he has completed the climb up the mountain, which is referred to as the Pause. It is also referred to as ‘The Blindness’ because it is absolute non‑existence, witnessing neither creation nor Creator.

The Pause is a station beyond reasoning, and therefore impossible to express, that it has been called the ‘obscure’, the ‘amazement’, the ‘bewilderment’, the ‘obliteration’, and the ‘Realm of Lāhūt’ (Pure Unity). Men of Allah are in wonderment at the mention of it, unable to describe it as if they were deaf and dumb and powerless to reason.

`Arafah, then, is the station of the Pause and the final goal of total annihilation (or complete vanishing from existence). The Pause occurs after zuhr (midday prayer time) and after the vanishing of existence (zawwāl):

# When the sun is rolled up and the stars are cast adrift. [81:1‑2]

Read more: Hajj -Excerpt 5 of 8

Hastening between the Stations of Pilgrimage (sa`y)

This is the third of the four spiritual pillars of the pilgrimage. Hastening between the stations of the Pilgrimage, which are called Safā and Marwa, refers to the fluctuation of the Master between Allah’s Beauty (jamāl) and His Glory and Majesty (jalāl) to the point where Glory becomes the essence of Beauty because of his having abandoned his self, not to mention his own will and freedom of choice. This fluctuation between Beauty and Majesty represents the Masters’ rank of perfection. Their movement represents the Hand of Allah’s concern and His protection in both states. In spite of the lofty position of the Masters, they are not seduced by what they have already attained from the tawāf and their immersion in the Presence of Oneness. Majesty and Beauty do not affect them because they are part of them, in contrast to others for whom this state would represent a tribulation.

# ... and We will test you with evil and with good as a tribulation. [21:35]

The Master is with Allah in all his conditions; thus, he enjoys Beauty and Glory to the same degree. Every time Shaykh Muhammad al‑Buzidi[1] experienced pain he would say:

~ My Glory coming from my Beauty.

Read more: Hajj -Excerpt 4 of 8

The Walking Around the Ka`bah (tawāf)

The second of the four spiritual Pillars of Pilgrimage is Tawaf. This refers to the tawāf after stopping at `Arafat and it signifies the return to the Manifestation of the Essence which is worthy of Divinity (ulūhiyah), and which is described in terms related to meaning and spirituality, travelling through the realm of meaning, and the various qualities of the manifestations of the Creator and the creation.

Read more: Hajj -Excerpt 3 of 8

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