[Journey to the Lord of Power (V)]

“And if you do not stop, He will reveal the animal world to you. [The animals] will greet you and acquaint you with their harmful and beneficial qualities. Every sort of creature will acquaint you with its proclamation of majesty and praise. Pay attention to this: If you become aware of all these worlds as engaged in the same dhikr which occupies you, your perception is imagination, not real. It is your own state which is called up for you in all existent things. But when you witness in them the varieties of their own dhikr, that is sound perception. This ascent is the ascent of dissolution of the order of nature, and the state of contraction (qabd) will accompany you in these worlds.

Then after this, He reveals to you the infusion of the world of life-force into lives, and what influences this has in every being according to its predisposition, and how the expressions [of faith] are included in this infusion.

And if you do not stop with this, He reveals to you the ‘surface signs.’ You will be admonished with terrors, and many sorts of states will befall you. You will see clearly the apparatus of transformations: how the dense becomes subtle and the subtle dense. And if you do not stop with this, the light of the scattering of sparks will become visible to you, and there will be a need to veil yourself from it. Do not be afraid, and persevere in the dhikr, for if you persevere in the dhikr, disaster will not overcome you.

If you do not stop with this, He reveals to you the light of the ascendant stars and the form of the universal order. And you will see directly the adab, the proper conduct, for entering the Divine Presence and the adab for standing before the Real and the adab for leaving His presence for Creation; and the perpetual contemplation by the different aspects of the Divine Names (al-asma ‘ al-ilahiyya) ‘the Manifest’ and ‘the Hidden’; and the Perfection of which not everyone becomes aware. For all that passes away from the aspect of the Manifest comes under the aspect of the Hidden. The essence is one. Nothing has passed away.

And after this, you will know the means of receiving divine knowledge from God Most High, and how one must prepare
oneself for its reception. So know the proper conduct of receiving and giving, contraction and expansion; and how to protect the heart, which is the place of the arrival of states, from burning destruction; and that all the ways are circles. There is no straight line. This letter is too brief to deal with matters like these.

And if you do not stop with this, He reveals to you the degrees of speculative sciences, sound integral ideas, and the forms of perplexing questions which confuse understanding. He reveals the difference between supposition and knowledge, the birth of possibilities between the world of spirits and the physical world, the cause of that genesis, the infusion of the Divine Mystery into the domain of His loving concern, the cause of abandoning the world by effort or otherwise and other related matters which require long explanations.”

Source: Ibn Arabi, Journey to the Lord of Power

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[“Look at that House (the Kaaba of the Divine Presence, the Heart of Being)”]

This Kaaba of Mine is the Heart of being, and My Throne (the whole universe) is a limited body for this Heart. Neither of them encompasses Me… but My House which does encompass Me is your heart, which is the sought-for Goal (al-maqsûd), deposited in your visible body. So those circling around your heart are the mysteries/secrets (of the divine Names), who resemble your (human) bodies circumambulating these rocks (of the earthly Kaaba)….

So just as one who knows the Secrets—who are circling about the Heart which encompasses Me—is in the loftiest and most resplendent of stations, so you (human beings) have precedence over those (angels) circling the all-encompassing Throne. For you-all are circling the Heart of the Being of the world: you are in the station of the secrets of those who know…. For none but you (human beings) encompass Me, and I have not revealed Myself in the Form of Perfection to any but your inner Realities. So realize the full extent of what I have freely bestowed on you from the supernal Dignity….

You are the receptacle (anta al-inâ’) and I am I (wa anâ anâ). So do not seek Me in yourself, lest you suffer and toil; and do not seek Me outside yourself, or you will have no pleasure. Never stop seeking Me, or you will suffer torment. So do seek Me until you find Me, and then ascend! But follow the right adab (manners) in your seeking, and be ever-present (with Me) as you set out on your way of going….

 

Source: Ibn Arabi, Al-Futûhât al-Makkiyya (“The Meccan Openings”), Chapter (I, 226-27). Title of this post taken from the same book, Chapter (I, 215).

[al-Buraq/البراق]

al-Buraq.  The miraculous steed which the Angel Gabriel brought to the Prophet (Muhammad) for the Mi’raj, or Heavenly Ascent, also known as the Isra’, or Night Journey. The root of the word is ba’-ra’-qaf, which means “to glitter”, especially of lightening…

The traditional account of the Night Journey says that the Buraq proceeded in flashes of speed; where its glance landed, the next bound brought it, and from this it can be seen that the Buraq is an embodiment of the Intellect which, when it perceives an object in Being, or a spiritual reality, can immediately recognize its nature, or “know” it, without a process of analysis and reason.

Source: Cyril Glassé, The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, Third Edition, p. 106

The Prophetic tradition, reported on the authority of Anas Ibn-Malik, which provides a description of al-Buraq:

Prophet Muhammad (S) said,

“I was brought al-Buraq Who is an animal white and long, larger than a donkey but smaller than a mule, who would place his hoof a distance equal to the range of his vision.”