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The Sufi 7aal and Maqaam

The Sufi 7aal and Maqaam
Sufis regard 7aals and Maqaams as a path which leads to knowing Allah the Most Dear and Sublime, and was described by Ibn Khalduun in his 'Muqaddima' as the sought-after end to attain happiness, and says: "The Mureed/ seeker keeps ascending from Maqaam/ station to Maqaam/ station until he ends to Tawhid/ Oneness [La Illaha Ila Allah] and Ma'riffa/ knowledge which is the end needed for happiness

.(The difference between 7aal (Mode of Being) and Maqaam (Station of Being)

Haals are givings/ gifts and Maqaams are gains, as Haals come from the 3ayn/ 'fountain' of Existence and Maqaams are gained by spending effort

The 7aal/ shift in mode of being; is one of the fruits of spending oneself in Zikr/ remembrance of Allah the Most High in His Sublimation, which He creates in the hearts of those who remember/ persist with zikr. They were named A7waal {pl.} / Modes of Being, as they shift from mode to mode and do not last. It can be named Wajd/ 'found' as it is founded and found in the heart, and if it increases in strength it can overflow from the heart and appear as uncontrolled movements, crying or screams

Imam Junaiyd [May he please Allah] says: "7aal is a decree which descends upon hearts yet does not last"

Al Qashani says 7aal is what enters the heart through sheer gift without one's intention such as sadness, fear, Bast/ 'expanseness', Qabdh/ 'contraction', longing, or taste and fades with the reappearance of the descriptions of the self, whether it is followed by its like or not, for if it lasts and becomes ones domain it is termed Maqaam/ station. Thus A7wal are gifts and Maqaams are gains.

And it has been said that A7waal are: the gifts that overflow upon a worshipping slave by his Lord, either received by him as an inheritance of good deeds that scent and beautify the self and sift and purify the heart, or as a decree by The True in sheer benevolence. And it has been named A7waal/ modes as there is a transition in the mode of perception of the worshipper from the created outlines to a mode which perceives characteristics of the truth and the degrees of closeness; and this is the meaning of Taraqqi/ elevation in station

Al-Ghazali [Allah's mercy upon him] said: 7aal descends upon the worshipper at a moment and instantly purifies his mood/ mode and time. And it was said: in it the worshipper transforms and changes according to what is received by the heart, thus if they are purified one time then change another it is called 7aal 

Al-Hajoueiri says in his book 'Kashf Al-Mahjub': 7aal is received at a time and beautifies it such as spirit to the body, and time notwithstanding needs 7aal, as the clarity of time is in its 7aal/ mode and rectified with it

Al-Sharif Al-Gergani says in 'Kitab Al-Ta'rifaat': "Al-7aal Al-7aal"/ (the modified mode) in the Arabic language denotes the end of the past and a beginning of the future, and the 7aal with the peoples of Truth is meaning which arrives at the heart without pretense or invitation, nor invocation nor earning such as soothing, or sadness, or Qabdh/ constriction, or Bast/ expansion, or form, and leaves with reemergence of the characteristics of the self, whether followed by another like or not. Thus if it lasts and becomes one's domain it is named Maqaam/ station. Thus A7wal are gifts and Maqaams are gains. A7waal come from the 3ayn/ 'fountain' of Existence and Maqaams are gained by spending effort 

Suhrawardi [Allah's mercy upon him] says: 7aal/ Mode is called so due to its modality/ transformation, and Maqaam is called so for its steadfastness and settling. And something itself can be a 7aal then become a Maqaam. Such as the emergence from within the inside of the worshipper a call for Muhasaba/ 'personal self-accounting', then the call fades as the characteristics of the self overpower, then it returns, then fades, thus the worshipper continues in 7aal of Muhasaba followed by the emergence of the characters of the self until he is encompassed by Aid from Allah the Most Generous and the 7aal of Muhasaba overpowers and the self is vanquished and rectifies and becomes owned/ dominated by Muhasaba or self-accounting, making of Muhasaba a home, a recline and station. Thus it becomes Maqaam of Muhasaba after once being a transient 7aal of Muhasaba. Then one is descended upon by 7aal of Muraqaba/ 'watchfulness' (Self-observation.. standing watch at the gates of your heart cleaning it's entrance admitting in what is pleasing to Allah, turning away from what is not), thus who's station is Muhasaba/ self-accounting to them Muraqaba/ watchfulness becomes a 7aal (transient elevated elation). Then the transient mode of Muraqaba transforms with the recurrence of watchfulness and distraction/ ghafla in the inside/ Batin of the worshipper until the mists of forgetfulness and distractions are lifted and Allah encompasses His worshipper with His Aid and Muraqaba becomes his/her station after once being a transient 7aal. And the station of Muraqaba does not continue without experiencing a 7aal of Mushahada (Bearing witness to divine secrets and meanings and subtle intricacies that are not accessed unless God wills it) and if one is gifted with the 7aal of Mushahada this steadies them in the station of Muraqaba. And the descent of Mushahada also becomes a 7aal transitioning and alternating by veiling then sublimation, then it becomes a Maqaam and its sun is rid of the eclipse of veiling. Then from the Maqaam/ station of Mushahada more a7waal (transient ascendance) and gains and ascensions from one mode to another that is more ascended such as sublimation in Fanaa/ 'non-existence' to emerge to Baqaa/ 'remain', then ascending from 3ayn Al Yaqeen/ 'Eye of Certitude' up to Haq Al Yaqeen/ Truth of Certitude, as Haq Al Yaqeen is a descended gift that pierces the essence of the heart and that is the highest division of Mushahada

Maqaamat/ Stations are the gains elicited by a believing person by exertion of effort, and they are stages that a Mureed/ Seeker ascends through on his path to Tamkeen/ 'enabling' and being at ease in one's heart. Al Siraj Al-Tousi says in 'Al-Lamm3' -The Glistening: if it is asked what are Maqaamat? it is said: it is the station of the worshipper before the hands of Allah Most Dear and Sublime, as to what is erected within from 'ibadaat/ 'forms of worship' and mujahadat/ 'forms of perseverance' and riyadaat/ 'exercise' and seclusion to Allah Most Dear and Sublime, as Allah The Most High said: "that is for who feared My Station and feared and devoted to worship" and said: "and none of us except has a known station", or it is what the worshipper is steadied in through observance and gifting of mannerisms/ 'etiquette of divine presence' which is reached through a kind of action, and fulfilled with a stroke of calling, and the bearing of decrees, for the station of each is at where they reside in relation to this

Imam Al-Wasiti outlined signs for A7wal and Maqaamat of them: "that which agrees with the book of Allah and Sunna of his prophet SAAWS and draws to Allah, and connects to Allah, and effects with closeness to Allah and the worship of Allah with that 7aal/ 'transient ascended mode of perception', to connect the servitude of the worshipper in that 7aal with Allah, and Allah Most Dear and Sublime was The Worshipped and Most Venerated in it, and the prophet of Allah SAAWS was the caller to Him and worshipper of Him within it, and the worshipper/ servant was the Faqir/ impoverished and in one's humility returning to His Master with impoverishment and turning to Him. As it causes the worshipper to discard that which amounts to nothing and makes them crave That which Remains, and obscures them from creation and from that which is in their hands thus they connect through their richness in Allah and impoverishment to Him and dissociate from the world and things other than Allah The Most High

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حسن بن أحمد


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