Saturday, January 29, 2011

What is the Enigma of Death? What is the secret in the remembrance of death? | The Station of Death

to the sound of death,
which in the Reality
is the song of
the Eternal Life

Sharing from the gnostic teachings
of Sidi Muhammad al Jamal,
living heir of the Messenger
and guide of Truth

Praise be to Allah Who created life and death and made that a reminder for whoever has a heart and understanding and lends his ear for hearing and is a witness. What is the enigma of death? What is its beginning and what is its end? Why was it created and for what purpose? Who asks for it and who resists it? Is it the ultimate rest for the people of faith, the people of Allah? Or is it the great calamity for the people of denial and rejection? What is the secret in the remembrance of death? Is it because through it the people of Allah reach the annihilation of this abode – abode of ruin, arrogance and evil? Is it because through the remembrance of death they die before they die? That is, everything other than Allah dies in them in their existence?

This death is their greater life and the greater happiness for them. They sell everything in order to attain Allah. They make their covenant with Allah because Allah buys from the believers their selves and their wealth; for theirs in return is the Garden.

It is for this that the Greatest Beloved, may the blessings and peace be upon him, said, “The one who believes in me today is in the garden today.” Hence, the tongues of the hearts of the people of Allah pursue the station of death so that they may not die the death of the people of veiling – those who are veiled from Allah. These people know that if they do not die, they will not have life. Whoever dies the ordinary death has not died, and whoever does not die the true death in Allah is truly the dead.

O my God, I wish to die always so that I may live with you forever, so that may keep Your Company with Your essence that knows no limits, that knows no beginning or end, that contains the secret (as-sirr) of the baqa that You bequeath to Your beloveds. They are in constant delight. They are in connection with You forever.

My death in You is the life that is only tasted by the close Gnostics who have drunk the drink of gnosis after they have annihilated everything other than You. These are the ones upon whom You bestow the ongoing life that has no beginning and no end. I know that my return is to You.

O my beloved, let me offer my self and my heart and my spirit to You as sacrifice. To die in You is easy because it is for Your sake. My jalal has its root in Your Jamal. O my Lord, I love You; I am annihilated in You. Your existence runs through my veins, through my heart, and through my spirit, and my spirit contains You.

There is no rest in death, only in the life that goes on, the everlasting life with the Lord of manifestation. Woe unto him who hates you, death. They will taste you by force. They will drink your bitter drink. As for the one who is a witness and a Gnostic, the one who has annihilated himself, the singular one, the lover, he has no death. He is with his Lord in this abode and in the other abode. This is the Gnostic whose body is in the earth until he has his meeting with the Beloved of his spirit. There he will gaze upon His face and he will be happy, delighting in His gifts. This is the true meaning and the true secret of death.

Photos via Flickr
Know that the graves has an inward (hidden) and an outward (evident) meaning. In the outward it is a collection of stones and bones and dust. This is what most people in the material world understand. But in the language of the inward (hidden) of the people of the truth – the Gnostics of Allah, those who have abandoned the appetites of the nafs and the appetites of the body, those who have attached the body to continuing – the grave denotes a meaning detached from the picture of stones and dirt and bones and bodies. For these people, their attachment is to the world of Allah that is veiled from most people. Their attention is to the world of the spirits, the everlasting authority, because it is the spirit that continues and is everlasting, and it is the body that is destroyed and comes to the end.

The people of the true knowledge are agreed that the spirit has no fana, that the spirit is in baqa forever glorifying its Lord. The fana, the annihilation, the death is a judgment upon the body that has come from the earth. As the body dissolves , it frees the spirit that flies to the malakut of Allah and glorifies in the oceans of the lights.

Let it be known that death is the greatest rest for the people of Allah, may their soul rest in the tender embrace of Divine mercy. It frees them from the trials and tribulations of the dunya which comes to an end. For this reason death was inspired by the prophets, messengers. They desired it because they preferred the company of their beloveds in the Hereafter as well as in the dunya.

The meeting with Allah is a must for everyone who loves Allah; otherwise their knowledge of Allah is faulty. How could they not wish to meet the Greatest Beloved, Allah, the Lord of the worlds?

My master, the Messenger of Allah, said, “Whoever loves to meet Allah, Allah loves to meet him; and whoever hates to meet Allah, Allah hates to meet him.” One of his companions said, “O, but we hate death.” And the Messenger, may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him, said, “I do not mean that. What I mean is that the person of faith, once he encounters death, is given the good tidings of the pleasure of Allah; at that point nothing is more beloved to him than to meet Allah.”

As for the disbeliever, if death comes to him, he is given the news of punishment of Allah, and for that reason he hates death. This is because what he did to others who are creatures of Allah. The Messenger of Allah says, “All of creation are the children of Allah; the most beloved of Allah are those who are most useful to His children.”

I pray to Allah that He may put us in His protection and that He be satisfied with us and that He give us the witnessing of His noble Countenance.


- From the writings of Shyakh Muhammad Sa’id al-Jamal ar-Rifai ash-Shadhili
may Allah be pleased with him and bless his beloveds and connect them through him to the owner of the praised banner, Muhammad Mustafa

Selected text from the chapter, The Station of Death, from the book, The Path of Allah, Most High, published by Sidi Muhammad Press |

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