Tajalli (Lucent Manifestation) & Istetār (Veiling)

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Tajalli means the Kashf (Uncovering) of the Sun of the Haqq’s Haqiqa (Allah’s Absolute Reality & Truth), the sun of sublimity and sanctification away from the human attributes that has been covered/absent/blocked because of human-ness.

Istetār means veiling the light of the Divine Haqiqa (Absolute Reality & Truth) by means of the human attributes—a shadow cast by humanity.

Some said: Tajalli is the removal of the humanity’s veil—nothing resembles/renders the Dhāt (Divine Essence) i.e. nothing of the cosmos or humanity—and Istetār is the humanity blocking the view between you and the Ghayb (Divine Transcendental Unseen).

There are three types of Tajalli (Lucent Manifestations):

1.    Tajalli of the Dhāt (Divine Essence): Its sign is that if there is anything remaining of the Sālek (Traveler) shall Fanā (Evanesce) by the Dhāt (Divine Essence) and human attributes are shattered by the luminosity of the Dhāt (Divine Essence). And this is also called Sa’eqa (Swoon) i.e. the Hāla (Momentary station of the heart) for Moses’ heart once he was exposed to this form of Tajalli (Lucent Manifestation): So when his Lord appeared (Tajalli) to the mountain, Hu (IT, He) made it collapse to dust and Moses fell down unconscious (Qur’an [7:143]). And this happened since Moses asked to see Allah, without any veils, yet Moses had not completely Fanā-ed (Evanesced) and there were traces remained of his humanity, so the parts of him which were the human attributes were shattered while the rest of him poised to view Allah. Had he completely Fanā-ed (Evanesced) and his post-Fanā Haqiqa (Absolute Reality) was subsisting upon the Everlasting Absoluteness (Allah), then he could have viewed the Azali (Sempiternal) Dhāt (Divine Essence) by the very same Azali (Sempiternal) Nur (Divine Light). And the latter is endowment of the garment that enrobed his exclusive kind i.e. Mohammad peace be upon him, and a wine that his exclusive kind was made to taste. And the remaining bottom-droplet of this goblet has been poured as the wine for the special followers of this prophet as was said by him: Worship/serve Allah as though you are seeing Hu (IT, He). In this rank i.e. seeing Allah, the Wali (Divine Patricians) differs from the Nabi (Prophet): Wali can only reach to this stage solely by perfect obedience to the prophet (cannot achieve this rank of ability to see Allah by any other means). Abdullah Omar was circling the Ka’ba and someone greeted him but he did not reply. The person afterwards complained. Omar replied: We, you & I, were together attempting to see Allah in that place. (Greetings are the deeds caused by the human attributes and where there is the Tajalli of the above said degree there are no human attributes.)
2.    Tajalli of the Sifāt (Divine Attributes): The signature for the Qadim (Preexistent Time Immemorial) Dhāt (Divine Essence) making Tajalli (Lucent Manifestation) through the Sifat (Divine Attribute) of Jalāl (Momentous Glory) e.g. greatness power superiority, is the human feeling of humility and humbleness: Once Allah makes Tajalli (Lucent Manifestation) to some object it will be humbled/submissive to Hu (IT, He) (Hadith?). And if Hu make Tajalli (Lucent Manifestation) through the Sifat (Divine Attribute) of Jamāl (Beauty) e.g. love mercy grace and benevolence the observer feels beatitude and ‘Uns (Intimacy). And this does not mean that sublime sanctified Azali (Sempiternal) Dhāt (Divine Essence) is subject to variance or upheaval but Hu manifests ITself according to the circumstance and what it requires. (As Araqi said: One Divine Face and infinitely many mirrors)
3.    Tajalli of Fa’l (Divine Actions): The signature for this Tajalli is when the person no longer views the deeds of the creation/people in and of their own selves—their goodness or evil, their benefit or loss—and equals their praise with the blame and their acceptance with the denial. Since the observance of the sole and absolute deeds of the Divine Being relieves the creation/people from the attributing of the actions to their own selves.

First appears to the Sālek (Traveler) the Tajalli (Lucent Manifestation) of the Fa’l (Divine Actions) then the Tajalli of the Sifāt (Divine Attributes) and finally the Tajalli of the Dhāt (Divine Essence), because the deeds are the consequent traces of the attributes and the attributes gradations underneath the Dhāt (Divine Essence). In other words, the deeds are closer to the people than that of the attributes and attributes are closer to the people than that of the Dhāt (Divine Essence).

Muhādhera (Presence) is the nomenclature for Tajalli (Lucent Manifestation) of the Fa’l (Divine Deeds)—an observing affair for the hearts. (Feeling the Divine Presence in all situations)
Mukāshifa (Uncovering) is the nomenclature for the Tajalli of the Sifāt (Divine Attributes)—an observing affair for the secrets.
Mushāhida (Witnessing) is the nomenclature for the Tajalli of the Dhāt (Divine Essence)—an observing affair for the souls.

Some have said: The sign for the Tajalli (Lucent Manifestation) of Allah upon the secrets is to Witness/VIEW the secret not to conquer the secret by interpretation or comprehension, since for he who interprets or comprehends the reasoning/rationalization has entered into his mind and he is NOT VIEWING the Divine August Majesty. (Here is where the Sufi seriously diverges from ordinary religious folks who think about all things religious, the Sufi rather SEES what of the Divine secrets uncovered. Seeing vs. thinking is the difference between the day and the night.)

Mushāhida (Witnessing) is proper for someone whose existence subsists upon the Witnessed (Allah) and not subsisting upon this own Self, for the Hadathān (Any transient or temporal creature) cannot endure the Tajalli (Lucent Manifestation) of the Qadim (Preexistent Time Immemorial) Nur (Divine Light). (As was mentioned in the case of the Moses above)

For as long as the Shāhid (Eyewitness) is not Fanā-ed (Evansced) within the Mash-hūd (Witnessed) and subsisting upon the Mash-hūd, no observance of the Mash-hūd is possible:

He wanted to view the resplendent beauty of the Hu
Returned with sorrow for he could no longer endure

It has been narrated that when some members of the Majnūn’s tribe interceded to the tribe of Leily for a possible quick meeting between the two lovers, and the latter tribe responded that there are no problems with such affair however Majnūn himself cannot endure viewing the beauty of the Leily. And when finally they let Majnūn to view a little glance of the Leily, as soon as his eyes saw even a patch of the Leily’s garment he swooned…

In summary, the Tajalli (Lucent Manifestation) of Allah occurs when there is Istetār (Veiling) for the creation/people and Istetār (Veiling) for Allah is when the creation/people appears:

When I was absent from my Self Hu appeared
And when Hu was patent then I had disappeared

Therefore when Allah makes Tajalli (Lucent Manifestation) of the Fa’l (Divine Deeds) the doings of the people are veiled by it. And when Allah makes Tajalli (Lucent Manifestation) of the Sifāt (Divine Attributes) the attributes and the deeds of the creation/people are veiled by it. And finally when Allah makes Tajalli (Lucent Manifestation) of the Dhāt (Divine Essence) the essence, attributes and the deeds of the creation/people are veiled by it.

The Absolute Hakim (Wise One) i.e. Allah due to the requirements of the Realm of Hekma (Wisdom) and spreading of the impacts of the mercy upon ITs exclusively chosen those who are in ITs Divine Presence, left within them some remaining traces of the Nafs’s (Self’s) attributes—which are the sole source of the Istetār (Veiling)—so that this was a mercy for their own Self as well as for the sake of the others:

1.    For their own sake because when they attempt to correct these attributes of the Nafs (Psyche, Self) they achieve Qurb (Divine Nearness).
2.    For the sake of the others so that they are not drown within the ocean of the Fanā (Evanescence) or within the sea of the Jam’ (Divine Togetherness) for the purpose of benefiting others. (Others who are spiritually less gifted or developed)

And for the latter Sheikh Shahābed-din Sah-rawardi has said: The Haqq (Absolute Realty & Truth, Allah)—The Sublime—preserved within some of ITs exclusive slaves the situation of the Istetār (Veiling) a mercy upon them and upon others from ITself, for their own so that they return towards Hu for bettering/resolving their Nafs (Psyche, Self) and for others because had these exclusive slaves not have the situation of the Istetār (Veiling) they would not have benefited others due to their drowning within Jam’el-Jam’ (Subsisting upon Haqq, evanesced, without either Jam’ or Tafraqa) and their Baraza (Coming to view while their inmost parts is as patent as their outmost) is for Allah Al-Wāhed (The One) Al-Qah-hār (The Subjugator).

Some of the scholars have concluded that the latter was the reason for perpetual Isteghfār (Seeking Forgiveness) of the prophet, since he was asking for this Istetār (Veiling) so that he would not be drown within the sea of Shūhūd (Witnessing the Hu). And because of the interference of his (veiling) human-ness people could benefit from his prophethood, and for that reason Allah has noted this grace of the human-ness of the Mohammad peace be upon him: Verily there has come unto you a messenger from AMONGST YOURSELVES; It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty; He (Mohammad) is anxious over you (to be rightly guided); For the believers (Mohammad) is full of pity, kind and merciful (Qur’an [9:128]).


© 2005-2002,  Dara O. Shayda