Irfani (Gnostic) Tafsir (Exegesis) Surah Al-Fath(48)
By Rumi & His Father

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Ma’arif by Baha’ Walad (Father of Rumi)
Section 1, Chapter 47
“[48:1] We opened for you a clear opening:
Knock on the doors of the Ghayb (Unseen) that we might open! After all we did crack the hardest stones for water to gush forth from, and yet we made fire to come out of them as well. If you are a seeker, we shall indeed be able to break your stone-heart and make the flames of Mahab-bat (Divine Love) and the waters of comfort gush forth from it. Behold the dark beaten dusty soil! How we cracked it open for the verdant life-giving greenery; similarly we can sprout from the hard earth of your personal Jihad (Spiritual struggle and striving) the vernal meadows of the Hereafter.
Then what insufficiency have you seen from our house of benevolence that you have fallen into hopelessness? 
Allahu-La-Ilaha-Illa-Hu (Allahu: no deity other than Hu (IT, Him)) [2:255] means that Allah is One and all destinies are ordained by Hu (IT, Hu) and none else. Leave your heart with Allah, and loosen and drop all these plans and whims off your shoulders and shave off all desires and suggestions. Assume whatever you fear has already come to pass and assume the brittle crystal of your Wujud (Being) has already been shattered, for it will be shattered in due time anyway. Therefore be busied, first and foremost, with the Divine Presence of Al-Bari’: The Innovative Creator of all life forms!"

Rumi states:

In this Surah (Chapter), Allah is enumerating the blessings and promises granted to Al-Mustafa (The Chosen), peace be upon him and his noble family:

1.    [48:1] We opened for you a clear opening i.e. the door you were knocking on, We opened for you so that (you know) that your invocations are accepted by us. (Dara: The pronoun ‘We’ is used for the regal modality of a powerful King and his commanders holding court. A single man outside knocks on the palace’s courtyard door asking permission to enter; not only was the permission granted and the door opened but also whatever the man wished was bestowed.)

2.    [48:2] Li (For the purpose of) Allah forgiving you those of your sins that have preceded and those delayed (into the future). The signature proof of true loving friendship is forgiveness i.e. no matter who you love, his/her foul deeds are not counted as sins (in your judgment) and his/her faults are not seen as faults by you—This is the Divine Secret of Maghfira (Forgiveness)!

3.    [48:2] And completed Hu’s (ITs, His) blessings on you i.e. to indicate the special-ness of Muhammad!  There are infinitely numerous blessings from Allah bestowed on many of his slaves which remain unfinished or incomplete, but there are those special slaves for whom the blessings reach their completeness. This is a sign that Muhammad was Khas (Ultimately Special Person) i.e. he was more of a special human being for Allah than any other, and he found the way towards Allah better than any other, thus reaching closer to the Haqiqa (Absolute Truth and Reality) with much more reliance and subsistence upon Allah than any other.

4.    [48:3] And Allah gives you a (unique distinguished) mighty triumph i.e. the proof of authority and close friendship with Allah.  Moreover indicating the source Who gave Muhammad the authority and Who is his close friend/supporter: The strength of the spiritual vision to see that all things are from Al-Haqq (The Absolute Reality and Truth, Allah). For example, Abraham walked upon the flames, Moses walked upon the river, Solomon walked in the air, Noah commanded the storms, David made the steel soft and made the mountains sing, Jesus reigned over the animal spirits and finally Muhammad glided aloft to the heavens and there are many other countless such triumphs due to nearness to Allah. This is so because all those individuals were agents of Allah, they offered their servitude only for Allah and they saw all affairs as Allah’s affairs, therefore all things were subjugated to them (their triumph) and they were subjugated only to the will of Allah.

 [48:2] Li (For the purpose of) Allah forgiving you those of your sins that have preceded and those delayed (into the future).
Ibn Ata Allah said: Upon his ascension to the heavens (Mi’raj), Al-Mustafa (The Chosen, Muhammad), peace be upon him,  reached the Sidratul-Muntaha, which is placed above the Arsh (Divine Throne) where the nest of the Arch Angel Gabriel is located.. The Angel Gabriel who was all along with the Prophet stepped away and the Prophet objected: "O my brother Gabriel are you forsaking me in this awe-inspiring place". A reply came from Allah: " In a matter of these two or three steps with it (Angel) you became intimately acquainted with it!" This was the sin that the verse refers to: [48:2] Li (For the purpose of) Allah forgiving you those of your sins that have preceded and those delayed (into the future). Meaning: "We (Allah) cleansed you from needing all else, from needing their friendship and intimacy".

Again Ibn Ata Allah states: Allah afflicted each prophet with some sin so that they each return to Hu/Him weeping and sorrowing. Q: Why was Prophet Muhammad weeping and sorrowing to Allah all the time although all his sins were forgiven? Answer: Muhammad‘s Mahab-bat (Divine Love) ranks above all other love in the universe. (Dara: The love of Muhammad is one such endowment from Allah that when  he is distracted for a few moments, he sorrows for forsaking his Divine Beloved and paying attention to something other than Allah)

Again Ibn Ata Allah says: "The past sins" which Allah forgave Muhammad were the slipping of Adam out of the right path and out of Paradise, and "the future delayed sins" are those of the future followers of Muhammad. In other words, the generations before the advent of the prophethood of Muhammad and those after him, can in no way be connected to each other except through the person of Muhammad! (Dara: By simply reading the accounts of humanity in the Old and New Testaments and the pre-Islamic Arab rituals of live daughter burials, one gets the feeling that humanity was immersed within a deep darkling misanthropy; the human being was a beast just like any other animal. The advent of Muhammad’s prophethood was like a new dawn for Human-ness (Adamiyat), for Mankind to feel and be true spiritual beings again and to relate to each other with love, the discipline of the law and justice on the personal and community levels. The chains of contact between the souls, past and future, were cut off without a way for the souls to get close to one another again, except when this new and last prophet appeared within the sand dunes of Arabia: "We did not send you except as a mercy for the multiverse" [21:107].)

Some said that the Istighfar (Seeking Forgiveness) of the Prophet was during the Sahu (Alertness) after the Sukr (Drunkenness). Others said the reverse, that the Prophet asked for forgiveness while in the state of Sukr (Drunkenness) for being previously in the state of Sahu (Alertness). Others again said that the Prophet was seeking forgiveness in both states, since his spiritual eye was on Allah, therefore he asked for forgiveness for being in both states since they both are for ordinary slaves, while in such a state the Prophet is beyond any pen and paper explanations, except for the statements written on the Lauh (Divine Tablet) which is a Sifat (Divine Attribute) limitless and endless:

The friend’s forehead is the preserved tablet
Upon which secrets of both universe are made plain
Masnavi (Friend here means the Prophet)

People under this rotating sky
With eye-ache beholding much

Only by the grace of Allah these hard observations were made easy, had they been told to me when I was younger I could not have possibly understood them.

I am satisfied with what Allah portioned as my share
And I have deferred all my affairs to my Maker

That indeed Allah was good to all in the past
And as such will be good in what is left to pass

These few things I mentioned are the traces of the observations of the pure ones. I am thankful to Allah for these since the sure cause for increase in blessings is gratitude.

The completion of the blessings in ‘[48:2]And completed Hu’s (ITs, His) blessings on you’ is Mahab-bat (Divine Love) i.e. the first blessing is the success of seeking the Love by becoming a lover and  the completion of the blessing is to become a beloved. So you were a lover and then became a beloved, you were a follower and then were followed, you were needy and then ascended to the heavens. You were the slave of the black and the white and now you are the Sultan (The Ruler) of black and white. You were a Dhakir (Rememberer) and now you are a Madhkur (Remembered). Your name (Muhammad) is upon the high edifices and buildings and coins are minted in your name.

‘[48:2]… And Hu (IT, He) guides you towards a (unique and special) straight path’ means the path that ends at al-Haqq (The Absolute Reality and Truth, Allah).

‘[48:3] And Allah gives you a (unique distinguished) mighty triumph’ means you are able to conquer the whisper of the Jinn devils (Jinn, unseen evils) and the human devils i.e. the disbelievers and the hypocrites. This is a special kind of triumph, unlike other ordinary triumphs which are subject to eventual cessation and ruin. (Dara: No defeat was given to this prophetic triumph)

‘[48:4] (Allah) sent down the Sakina (Tranquility)’ Sakina is that through which triumph appears. Sakina (Tranquility) is what makes the person who lacks worldly materials believe that he does have them due to the person's extreme reliance upon Allah’s generosity. Sakina is what can change the Zahir (Surface Manifest) of things as well as their Batin (Deeply concealed innermost core).

‘[48:7] And for Allah are the armies of heavens and earth’ refers to the angels who roam around the planet earth as conquerors. Others have said that the devils are also Allah’s army and that Allah may want them to win battles. (Translation may be incorrect)

‘[48:8] We have sent you (as a messenger) as an eyewitness and harbinger of glad tidings and a warner’ means the Prophet was a professor of Tauhid (Divine Oneness) in his speech, deeds and Hala (Momentary State of the heart) and an eyewitness over humanity in his speech, deeds and Hala as well. The Prophet was a harbinger of good news of Allah’s forgiveness for people and warned them against religious innovation and misguidance, not on his own accord or volition rather at the behest of Allah.

‘[48:9] Li (So) you (people) may believe in Allah and Hu’s (ITs, His) messenger’ meaning so you call the truthful man truthful. (Dara: So Muhammad’s testimony is for the truth of this prophethood and the veracity of the belief of the believers) So you will revere whomever I (Allah) have given reverence to as I have also given you (believers) respect and honor in your hearts and tongues.

‘[48:10] Indeed those who shook hands (took the oath of allegiance) with you, they shook hands with Allah for Allah’s Hand is above their hands’  O Muhammad! humanity is given to you for safekeeping as a loan, and the safekeeping agent should not be the middle man in this oath of allegiance, therefore it is actually the hand of Allah that they shook  i.e. Allah’s generosity was above their generosity, Allah did them a favor by accepting their oath of allegiance and they did Allah no favors. Some others have said that Allah’s power is over the power of the people. (Dara: Allah’s Hand and ‘Above’ are Majaz (The Corridor) through which we can traverse to the other universe to view the semantics of the words ‘Hand’ and ‘Above’. Muhammad was a transient safe-keeper since in reality the affair was between those people and Allah)

‘[48:25] And were it not for men believers and women believers whom you do not know ..’ Sahl Abdullah Tustari said: "The true believer is the person who perpetually examines his Nafs (Self) and is not ignorant of what is going on in his own heart" (i.e. is he conquering the city of Makkah to kill for revenge, the pleasure of brutalizing women and grabbing booties of war or conquering the holy city to open the way for millions to visit the House of Allah each year?). At such and such time what/why did I do what I did ? What did I say, what happened to me and what became of me? And if the believer sees even a slight change in his (Nafs) Self, he immediately starts exploring it. 

When natural calamities strike or wars are waged, the people of this earth know for sure that these brutal hardships are from their own past sins and foul deeds, therefore they return to Allah moaning with regret.

Similarly, the believer, when he observes that his eyes are arid and that the water of his tears has dried up and he can only see a faint glimmer of the Nur (Divine Light) of Yaqin (Certitude), he knows then for sure that his Waqt has died! Thus he bursts into tears weeping until the Sea of Divine Mercy boils tumultuously for him. (Dara: Waqt is a category of time, not past or future, a type of present that has no concept of passage of time though very brief; the owner of that present-moment can clearly receive the Nur (Divine Light) and behold with that light all that can render for him/her the true realities of life around him/her in this world and the world after.)

If weeps not the peddler boy
The Sea of Mercy shall not boil 

Brother! That boy, is the child of your own eyes
Donate first to sorrows...the charity of your wants

(Dara: The poor homeless peddler boy cries, moans and screams in front of his affluent customers so that he might sell a little something to them; unless he cries sincerely the Sea of Divine Mercy will not wave for him to get his wish, similarly Azizam (My Dearest) that peddler boy is the child born from your own eyes i.e. he cries as your paternal eyes cry for Allah’s Mercy, therefore have your wants and desires and wishes given off as charity to the sorrows of not having not wanting and endurance first and foremost. Possibly the translation needs some correction)

The calamities of life are veils that block and separate (Firaq) the people of this earth from the Mercy of Allah, and yet the calamities within the heart of the believer (e.g. loss, sorrow, depression, regret...) are a sign of emptiness (Faragh) of all other than Allah!

Therefore, within the scantiness the believer sees the overflowing of Allah’s offerings, and within the greatness of material wealth the believer sees the scantiness of Allah’s blessings. As the people fear the scantiness of the life of this world, the believer fears the overwhelming gain from this world.

Within the heart of the wise a thousand sorrows
If a single stick is missing from the heart’s meadows
Meaning a few/little can kill a multitude!

‘[48:26] When within the hearts of those who disbelieved the Hamiyya formed’, Hamiyya means obeying the wants of the Nafs (Self) as the disbelievers follow their own desires out of envy to hurt the believers and based upon their pleasures they teach obedience to the desires of the Nafs (Self). Little they know that these believers cannot be swayed, since they connect the Fani (Evanescing) pleasures with the Baqi (Everlasting) pleasures.

The pleasure that is dead and not growing
One moment pleasing and the next ending

Ahoy! Ignorant forsake that pleasure! come to see
Pleasures connected from sempiternity to eternity

Like the example of a person who forcibly snatched forty kilos of wheat seeds from his friend, and while his friend cried for justice, he planted the seeds in order to harvest new seeds for his friend so that the friend does not run out of seeds!

Once there were two rings, one made from ordinary steel and the other from pure gold. The steel ring had the insignia of the king embossed on it and the golden one had no emblem at all. The steel ring asked the golden ring: Do you have such designs on you? The golden ring answered: No! The steel ring then concluded: Then I am better than you. The golden ring asked: What is your name? The steel ring answered: Steel. The golden ring then said: That regal insignia made you escape from the lowly name of steel. The steel ring replied: No! The golden ring said again: I was demoted from being precious simply because I have no emblem on me. The steel ring said: Definitely not! The golden ring then concluded: Sit down and think: Who does the the money belong to and who does the eye belong to?

Dara: Jānam (My Love) sit down and think which one are you? The worthless ring with the insignia of a king or the precious golden ring with much value in and of yourself?.


Sahu (Sobriety, Alertness)
Kashani (Misbah Al-Hidaya)
Sahu is the return of the cognitive powers of discernment i.e. the Jam’ (Togetherness) and Farq (Partition) are again two separate modalities i.e. here/us vs. Allah are seen as two distinguished entities. The Salik (The Traveler) at the outer-limits of his Hala (Momentary State of the Heart) reaches a level that is completely conquered by the rays of the Dhat (Divine Essence) and ceases to be all together! Then Allah grants him a subsequent regeneration i.e. a new being so he would not be wiped out by the powerful Divine Flashes. Therefore all the human attributes that have evanesced and left him return again in order for him to be able to continue life as a human being on this planet.

Sukr (Drunkenness)
Kashani (Misbah Al-Hidaya)
Sukr within the Irfan (Gnosis) of the Sufis means the removal of the Tamayyuz (Discernment) between the Zahir (Surface Manifest, corporeality, biology, psychology) and Batin (Deeply concealed innermost core) due to the seizure of the rays of the Aql (Intellect) by the radiation of the rays of Dhat (Divine Essence). (Dara: Tamayyuz is a cognitive power that simulates multitude and dualities i.e. ‘I’ am a different entity than the laptop in front of me at this moment. When this cognitive power is wiped out then the person is in the state of Sukr or drunkenness no longer able to discern things from one another)

Farhang-eh Istilahat-eh Irfani
If I am asked: What is the Sukr (Drunkenness)? I would reply: It is the ceasing of the Tamayyuz (Discernment) to the point that one cannot tell the difference between the hand and the foot, the good from bad and the bad from the good. The drunken is the person who does not differentiate between the lover and The Beloved i.e. all he can see is That Beloved. Some are made drunken by the Wine (Knowledge) and some are made drunken by the Saqi (The Cupbearer in this case Al-Alim who serves them knowledge), the first person is Fani (Evanesced) the second is Baqi (Everlasting). One cannot have true being-ness except by Sukr (Drunkenness) and one cannot have true non-being-ness (From his own Self and this world) except again by the Sukr.

© 2007-2002,  Dara O. Shayda, Dr. Hind Rifai