Dust Under Your Feet

10 October 1985

Q: Hadith says: : “Do not discuss Zat Allah (Pure Essence) but discuss Sifat Allah (Attributes of God) .” Please explain.

A:It means that you cannot talk about Zat of Allah or the “Absolute Being” since it is formless, nameless, directionless, colourless, smell less, placeless, etc. You can only deal with the Sifat of Allah. Sifat means the attributes or qualities or powers of Allah which are open and manifest everywhere in the Universe. But the Zat or PURE ESSENCE of Allah is simply unimaginable by human brain. So this Hadis warns you not to speculate about it since it is beyond all speculations, imaginations, conjectures, guesses, thinking, etc. It cannot be grasped by the limited human brain. But it can be grasped by something else, and that something is man’s spirituality. The intention of all the salat, fasts, charity, zikr, etc is purification of the soul or its deliverance and freedom from the filthy bodily and beastly qualities such as anger, pride, jealousy, greed, etc which tend to veil or overshadow the spiritual qualities.

               But when the earthly or beastly tendencies in man are subdued by means of worship, azkar, recitation, charity, haj, fast, etc, you are able to develop your angelic qualities e.g love, kindness, sympathy, humility, submission, etc which are qualities of your soul. In other words, when your spiritual faculties are developed and strengthened, then you are able to grasp Zat of Allah but not as you grasp something in your hands, but it is like feeling cold or hot which you can experience, but you cannot describe. But feeling cold or hot is again bodily senses. But feeling of God Almighty and His presence is through the spiritual faculties which are very, very vast. I hope you now understand what that Hadis means.

               As regards Attributes of the Divine Lord. These are infinite and limitless. But by spiritual purification (Tazkia), you can assimilate these Divine Attributes by reaching the stage of  Fana-fi-Allah which means complete absorption in Zat Allah which is like getting drowned in the limitless ocean. But that drowning does not mean destruction. It means protection and everlasting life. This is called death before death. This is also a Hadis which runs like this: “ die before you die.” This means death of the animal or earthly self and rejuvenation of the spiritual self. Death of bodily self is another name of Fana-fi-Allah while rejuvenation of the spiritual self is called Baqa-bi-Allah (subsistence by God). It is this process of Fana-fi-Allah and Baqa-bi-Allah which has degenerated into Transmigration of Souls called “Awangoon” or “Tanasuruh” in Hindu mythology, due to the passage of centuries.


Q:About the cult of Islamic Wahdatul Wujud has degenerated into Idol worship in Hindu Mythology

A:Wahdatul Wujud as enunciated and clarified by the great Shaikh of Islam Hadrat Ibn Arabi means that Wujud (being) is one. And that is the wujud of Allah. And the Wujud (existence) of everything in the Universe is included in the Wujud of Allah, because He is the author of the Universe and the Wujud of the author cannot be separated from the wujud of the book. But the exoteric Ulama of Islam do not agree with this interpretation of Wujud because they have not reached that stage of spiritual purification by which one (sincere seeker of Truth ) can experience the state of oneness with the Divine Beloved called Fana, and are, therefore, unable ( exoteric ) to observe the Lord in everything. But when the sincere seeker of Truth – Salik, properly guided by his Kamil Sheikh develops his spiritual powers and his bodily or earthly self is subdued and diminished. The sincere salik can now realize his oneness or identification with God and see God everywhere. Now because God could in that stage be seen in everything, the weak-minded or semi-perfect man started worshipping idols, because they thought God was in everything.But that is a mistake. There is a world of difference between saying that “ God is in everything” and “Everything is in God.” Because logically the Infinite cannot be contained by the Finite. The Unlimitted cannot be contained by the limited. Therefore, the Islamic concept of Wahdatul Wujud (Oneness of Being) means that “ Everything is in God”, while the Hindu and Christian Pantheism means that “ God is in everything.” Therefore, they fell a victim to the cult that God appeared in the form of Christ or Rama and Krishna, which is wrong and illogical because God is Unlimited and Infinite and cannot be contained by a limitted human being or a statue. Idol worship is as ridiculous as asking the hand of John to give you something which has been refused by John himself simply because the part cannot function as a whole. As John’s total powers and attributes of thinking, seeing, hearing and bestowing cannot possibly come in the hand of John, similarly God’s attributes and powers cannot possibly come in any person or statue. The Infinite cannot be contained by the finite. Idol worship is therefore is a degeneration of the cult of Wahdatul Wujud. It has degenerated into Christian and Hindu type of pantheism.