The Language of the Ants

By Sheikh Maqtūl (Murdered) Suhrawardi

Chapter 9

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The entire stars and planets came to speak to Idris [1], peace be upon him. He asked the Moon: Why is that sometimes you have much light and some other times so little? The Moon replied: Know that my body is black and my polished being is lightless. However when I am placed facing the sun, due to how much I may face it, some simile of the sun takes shape upon the mirror of my body just like any other Surat (Form, Shape) [2] that may appear in front of a mirror. And once I reach the maximum exposure, from the lowliness of the crescent I glide to the loftiness of a full-moon. Idris asked the Moon: What is the absolute maximum in this friendship? The Moon replied: The final limit of this friendship is the moment when I glance upon my Self, indeed I see the Sun, since some simile of its light has emerged within me, and that happens as long as my surface is polished i.e. I have the Qābiliyat (Aptitude) [3] to reflect its light. Thus every glance upon my own Dhat (Essence), all I see is the Sun. Don't you see, if a mirror is placed in front of the Sun the Surat (Form, Shape) of the Sun appears within it, and if hypothetically the mirror had an eye and was placed in front of the Sun then glancing upon itself would only behold the Sun, although it is made from the metals and things. In that moment the mirror would have said: "I am the Sun", since the mirror saw nothing within itself 'Other Than' [4] the Sun. And if he (Hallaj) said 'I am the Haqq' or (Bastami) said 'Subhani (Glory) to me how great my nature', an excuse should be granted to him since: (Closeness) until such an extent that I mistook, due to your nearing approach, 'you being I''.


Spiritual Legend

Stars and planets
Facing the Sun
The limit of the friendship
Mirror that has an eye
Metals and the things
Granting the excuse
Mistaken confusion

[1] According to Farabi this prophet was called Idris, name extracted from darasa as in study, since he loved to study the Divine Words every moment of his life.

[2] Surat (Form, Shape) is from the Prophetic Language of the Hadith. Falsely assumed to be the invention of Ibn Arabi.   

[3] Qābiliyat (Aptitude) is from the terminologies of the Ibn Arabi found in the Fusus.

[4] 'Other Than': Al-Haqq means all that which is Allah, the reality and the truth and anything else i.e. 'Other Than' Allah is Batil (Falsehood). So the statement 'I am Al-Haqq' does not mean I am Allah, he did not say that at all i.e. Anal-lāh, instead he meant I do not find any falsehood within me i.e. Other Than Haqq. So all is within me is Al-Haqq including from this I-ness of mine came from. 


© 2006-2002,  Dara O. Shayda, Ismail Radpur