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Sayyid Haydar Amuli and Sheikh Muhyi al-Din ibn `Arabi

Sayyid Haydar Amuli in his mystical-theological exegesis of the Holy Qur’an entitled al-Muhit al-A`zam wa’l-Bahr al-Khi¤imm, has pointed out the following:

Be it known to you that the truths and secrets in the Holy Qur’an are Divine truths and secrets descended on purified souls from a sacred realm. Allah Himself has said,

إِنَّهُ لَقُرْآنٌ كَرِيمٌ (77) فِي كِتَابٍ مَّكْنُونٍ (78) لَّا يَمَسُّهُ إِلَّا الْمُطَهَّرُونَ (79)

“Most surely it is an honored Qur’an, in a book that is protected; none shall touch it save the purified ones. (56:77-79)”

Therefore, the Holy Qur’an is not revealed to anyone but those who have attained perfection and are free from sins and disobedience called unclean ness. Again Allah says,

الْخَبِيثَاتُ لِلْخَبِيثِينَ وَالْخَبِيثُونَ لِلْخَبِيثَاتِ وَالطَّيِّبَاتُ لِلطَّيِّبِينَ وَالطَّيِّبُونَ لِلطَّيِّبَاتِ

“Unclean things are for unclean ones and unclean ones are for unclean things and the good things are for good ones and the good ones are for good things. (24:26)”

These purified souls are none but the Prophets, the Messengers and the Imams who truthfully followed them. It is for this reason that we claim that ‘those who are firmly rooted in knowledge’ are the Prophets, Messengers, Imams, Allah’s favorites and then the inheritors of monotheism. Therefore, no one else can be included in their group as it has been pointed out by the elder Sheikhs. In this connection Allah says,

إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا (33)

“Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House, and to purify you a thorough purifying. (33:33)”

In this verse, Allah alludes to the purification of Ahl al-Bayt and their being free from sins and disobedience. Uncleanness can mean atheism and paganism or sin and debauchery. In its first meaning, Ahl al-Bayt are necessarily free from it and in its second meaning, if Ahl al-Bayt are not far from it, the word ‘purify


 

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cannot be applied to them, for sins and debauchery are the worst uncleanness whereas Allah Himself has testified to their purification.

The great Sheik Muhyi al-Din Ibn `Arabi refers to the same meaning in getting to know the secret of Salman and his joining Ahl al-Bayt which has a moral long story.[1] Supporting what we have said so far, let us quote the following as a proof for those who deny it:

Know this! May Allah support you! Ja`far ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq in a hadith has reported Allah’s Messenger as saying,

مَوْلَى الْقَوْمِ مِنْهُمْ.

“The servant of each nation is a person from among them.”

Allah’s Messenger has also said,

أهْلُ الْقُرْآنِ هُمْ أهْلُ اللهِ وَخَاصَّتُهُ.

“The people of the Holy Qur’an are men of Allah and His favorites.”

Allah too says,

إِنَّ عِبَادِي لَيْسَ لَكَ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَانٌ

“Surely as for My servants, you (Satan) have no authority over them. (17:65)”

Therefore, every servant of Almighty Allah on whom there is a right of another servant, the submission of the earlier will be decreased to the extent of that right and has authority on him therewith. For this reason, he will not become a devoted servant. This has caused the devoted servants to be detached from people in order to resort to mountain and deserts and escape from people. They are keen to rid themselves of everything. I met a lot of them during my trips.

Purification A Heavenly Food For Devoted servants

Since the Holy Prophet was a devoted servant, Allah purified him and his Household thoroughly and removed uncleanness from them that is from what considered as indecency and defect. None can be included in Ahl al-Bayt saved the purified. When the Holy Prophet says; “Salman is from us, Ahl al-Bayt”, he testifies that Salman has been purified.  


[1] Al-Futuhat al-Makkiyyah; Vol. 1, Ch. 29.

 

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Ahl al-Bayt, A Paragon of Purification

Allah Almighty has testified to the purification of Ahl al-Bayt and removal of uncleanness from them. None but a purified one can be added to them. As soon as one is added to them, one will receive Allah’s favor. So what do you think of Ahl al-Bayt themselves? They are actually the paragon of purification. The following Qur’anic verse indicates that Allah has made Ahl al-Bayt share His forgiveness with His Messenger:

لِيَغْفِرَ لَكَ اللَّهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِن ذَنبِكَ وَمَا تَأَخَّرَ

Allah may forgive your community their past faults and those to follow. (48:2)

Based on this verse, Allah has purified His Messenger by forgiveness. For this reason, what is considered sin for us, if committed by Allah’s Messenger, is sin only in appearance, for no blame follows it either by Allah or by us. Therefore, all the offspring of Fatimah and those included with Ahl al-Bayt such as Salman will be subject to the abovementioned verse until the Judgment Day. They are purified by the honor of Muhammad and Allah’s favor and they will be raised to life forgiven.

Love for Ahl al-Bayt; Desire of the Messenger

The Holy Prophet has not asked any reward other than love for his near relatives in which lies the secret of strengthening the ties of relationship. How can one who does not respond positively to the Holy Prophet’s demand set his hope on his intercession? One who has the love for something will be always with it. Hence, one who adheres to the love for Ahl al-Bayt, though having the right of claim, will not take them to ask for what comes to him from them. A True lover of Ahl al-Bayt has said: Whatever the beloved does is good.

Love for Ahl al-Bayt Is Love for Allah

If your love for Allah and the Holy Prophet is true, you will naturally love Ahl al-Bayt; and whatever disagreeable comes to you from them is a favor from Allah for their love.

The Secret of Ahl al-Bayt and Some of Their Features

Now that we have spoken of the spiritual poles of this station and the fact that they are chosen by Allah, we should know that no one knows anything about this secret except the sacred ones. Al-Khi¤r, may Allah be pleased with him, is one of the greatest ones. Allah has testified that He has bestowed mercy on him and has given him of His own knowledge from


 

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which Prophet Moses must learn. One secret is getting to know the station of Ahl al-Bayt and what Allah has given attention to, is their high rank in knowledge.

One of the other secrets is their knowledge of Allah’s plan for their enemies who claim to love Allah’s Messenger while the Holy Prophet himself has recommended the love for his Ahl al-Bayt and he himself is one of them. Most people have not done what Allah’s Messenger has asked on the order of Allah. They did not obey Allah and His Messenger nor did they take his relatives as friends except those who did something for them. These people love their desires and they are in love with themselves. What we have said so far is from the great Sheikh (Ibn `Arabi) aimed at:

- Getting to know how to love and make friend with them.

- Getting to know the dignity and virtues of Ahl al-Bayt.

- Getting to know about purification, `ismah, the secrets of the Holy Qur’an by adhering to them and knowing such personalities as Salman…[1]

After quoting this chapter from al-Futuht al-Makkiyyah, in his commentary, Sayyid Haydar Amuli, may his soul rest in peace, elaborates on Ahl al-Bayt. Yet to be brief, we have even summarized Ibn `Arabi’s statements. What Sayyid Haydar Amuli writes on the opinion of Ibn `Arabi is his own opinion too. Hence, we have not devoted a separate chapter to Sayyid Haydar.

We bring this chapter to conclusion with a poem by Ibn `Arabi as quoted by Sulayman ibn Ibrahim Qunduzi (1220-1294) in Yanabi` al-Mawaddah.[2]

Find no peer for Ahl al-Bayt.
For they are people of witness.
Enmity with them is a big loss.
Love for them is a great prayer.
 


[1] Tafsir al-Muhit al-A`zam: 447/1.
[2] Yanabi` al-Mawaddah: 174/3, Chapter : 65.