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This is the poem of
Shaykh Abu Madyan Shu‘ayb al-Maghrabī

may Allah sanctify his secret

and

A poem around it in five-line verse

by Shaykh al-Akbar Muhyī al-Dīn ibn al-‘Arabī Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al-Ĥatimī al-Ţā’ī al-Andalusī born in Murcia on the 27th of Ramađān, 638 ah

and

Its Commentary

The Model of Success in the Courtesies

of the Ţarīq

by the ‘Ārif bi Allah Tāj al-Dīn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ‘Abd al-Karīm ibn ‘Aţā’ Allah
al-Sakandarī, may Allah sanctify his secret

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate

O you who seek the pleasure of drawing near, if you wish all good to be seen upon you, the one who is consulted is honest, so listen to the news.

The pleasure of life is only in the company of the fuqarā’ – they are the sultans, the masters, and the princes.

People who are content with the simplest clothing and diet, they never think about this world. Their chests are free of waswas.

Therefore, keep their company and have adab in their assemblies. Leave your portion behind you whenever they send you forward.

Take their ţarīq if you are following them. Leave your claims. Be careful, and avoid being critical of what they desire. Seek their benefit.

Seize the moment and always be present with them. Know that ridā is bestowed on those who are present.

Be pleased with them, by them you will rise and arrive. If they keep you, stay. If they ask you to vanish, disappear. If they don’t feed you, be hungry. If they feed you, eat.

Cling to silence unless you are questioned. Then say, “I have no knowledge,” and be concealed in ignorance.

Don’t criticize the faults of people, even if it is clear and seen. Look with the eye of perfection. Don’t find fault with anyone.

Do not look at faults unless you see a clear fault appear in you, but it is concealed.

You will get what you are seeking from adab. Humble yourself to them, without doubt. But that is modesty in place of adab.

Lower your head and ask forgiveness without cause. Stand apologizing in just treatment.

If you want from them a light for the way, avoid all the actions that they dislike. Keep yourself doing good actions.

If a fault appears from you, then apologize and lift the face of your apology for what has flowed in you from you.

Praise them with compliments and say, “Cure with your reconciliation using the ointment of your pardon the wounds you caused. I am the one at fault, give me your genuine advice.”

Say, “Your insignificant slave is more entitled to your pardon.” Act kindly in forgiveness and adhere to gentleness, O fuqara!

Don’t fear their himmah if you commit a sin. Higher and greater is their relationship to you than to cause you any harm. They are not tyrants that their power will harm you.

Take for granted their goodness for that is their nature. Fear neither overtaking nor harm from them.

If you wish to tread the path of guidance by means of them, work hard to immediately satisfy what they demand of you. Be careful not to put it off until tomorrow.

Always be generous in singing the praises of the brothers in the senses and the meaning. Lower the eye if someone slips.

Be truthful with them, avoid unclean ways, because they are the people of truth, they are the masters and leaders. Pardon everyone of them who harms you.

Watch the Shaykh carefully in his states, perhaps a trace of his approval will be seen on you.

Ask the shaykh to make du‘a for you. You may gain from this. By his barakah, you may obtain what you wish for. Keep a good opinion of him and realize his true inviolability.

Advance seriousness and leap to serve him. Perhaps he will be pleased, and beware lest you become irritated.

Keep his advice. Increase yourself by his guidance. If he calls you, answer him immediately. Lower your voice to gentleness in obedience to him.

The pleasure of the Creator is in his pleasure and his obedience. He will be pleased with you, so then beware of leaving it.

Be with him who is diplomatic with the nafs in this time, for surely the nafs despairs of them, for their trade with people is valueless.

Know that the Path of the People is obscure needing study, and the state of the one who claims it today is as you see.

It is my right to be sad if they leave me, because I am used to being with them. I will always be sad when I am cut off from their company.

When will I see them and where will I see them? When will my ear hear some news of them?

Separation stops me from being worthy of them. I came from them, so blame me. I am not blaming them. O my Lord, grant me righteousness so that I may spend the night in discourse with them.

Whom do I have to help me, and how is it possible for someone like me to compete with them in wells about which I do not recognize impurity?

Their glorious deeds are beyond description and number, the seen ones proving the existence of the unseen ones. Their glory in this world is by their obedience to Allah.

I love them and treat them gently and I offer them my heart’s blood – especially a party of them.

A people who are made leaders of all of creation by their acts of obedience; those who sit with them acquire their courtesies. He who absents himself from their company, his portion is misery.

A people of noble qualities – wherever they sit, a fragrance remains in the place after them.

Try to be with them, do not separate from them, and increase in love. If you absent yourself from them, cry with regret and sorrow. A group with whom a young man gains honor from being with them.

Taşawwuf is guided by their character in the Paths. Excellent harmony is theirs that delights my eye.

I pulled the tail of my robe being proud of my love for them when they accepted me as a small slave in their love. Their right is in their love, I am not their equal.

They are the people of my love and my lovers who are among those who trail the coat-tails of might in magnificence.

I cut my heart into pieces, making poetry about their love. I asked Allah earnestly through them, hoping that Allah would forgive me and all the Muslims together.

May I be reunited with them in Allah, and my wrong actions forgiven and pardoned in Him.

O everyone who has been in this circle with us, I ask Allah through them to erase our sins.

Then blessings be upon the Chosen, Sayyiduna Muhammad, the best of those who fulfilled and who vowed.

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate

The Shaykh, the Realized in Allah (‘ārif bi Allah), the Able, the Recognized, the Crown of the Realized, the Tongue of the Theologians (Mutakallimīn), the Imam of His Time, the Unique of His Era, Taj al-Dīn Abu al-Fađl Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Karīm ibn ‘Aţā’ Allah al-Sakandarī, may Allah be pleased with him, and give us benefit through him, amīn, says the following:

The praise belongs to Allah who is alone in creating and organizing, the Unique (al-Wāĥid) in judgment and decree. He is the King (al-Malik) who has no minister in his kingdom, the Owner (al-Mālik) from whose dominion nothing is excluded large or small, the Sanctified (al-Mutaqaddis) in the perfection of His attributes from resemblance and similarity, in the perfection of His essence far above likeness and representation, and the Omniscient (al-‘Alīm) from whom nothing in consciousness can be hidden.

“Does He not know, Who created? And He is the Knower of the subtleties, the Aware” (Qur’an: Surat al-Mulk, ayah 14). He is the Knowing (al-‘Ālim) whose knowledge surrounds the beginning and the end of matters, the All-Hearing (al-Samī‘) who in His hearing distinguishes between the apparent and the hidden sounds (i.e., He hears both what man can hear and what he cannot hear), the Provider (al-Razzāq) who conveys nourishment to the creation, the Self-Existing (al-Qayyūm) who takes responsibility for caring for created beings in all conditions, the Bestower (al-Wahhāb) who grants to the souls the existence of their lives, the All-Powerful (al-Qadīr) who brings them back after their death, and the Reckoner (al-Ĥasīb) who meets out reward or punishment according to mankind’s good or bad deeds on the day they return to Him.

Glory be to Him who by His generosity provides for the servants even before their existence, provides them with their sustenance whether they accept or deny His existence. He supports everything in existence with His gift, maintaining the world by extending its continuance (baqā’). He is apparent by means of His wisdom on the earth and His decree in His heaven.

I witness that there is no god but Allah alone, without partner, as a servant of Allah who surrenders to His decree and accepts His judgment. I witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger, the Preferred One over all of His prophets, the Chosen by virtue of his great giving and generosity, the Opener and the Seal – titles given only to him, the Intercessor for all of mankind when the Real gathers them for judgment. May Allah bless him, his Family, and his Companions who held strongly to their loyalty to him, and grant them abundant peace.

O brother, may Allah place you among the people of His affection. May He present you with the existence of His nearness, and give you a taste from the drink of the people of His love. May He secure you from being turned away from Him by a continuous presence with Him.

May He connect you to Him through His servants, those upon whom He has shown special favor by conferring upon them His messages. Know that He healed their broken hearts when they came to know that the eyes could not reach Him because of the light of His self-manifestations (tajaliyyāt).

He opened the gardens of nearness then blew from them upon their hearts spiritual visions of His fragrant breezes. He showed them what He had already prepared for them, so they submitted to His command. He exposed the secret of His kindness (luţf), and thus they left argument and obstinacy, submitting to Him and relying upon Him.

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has said, “A man will be gathered on the Day of Gathering upon the Dīn of his intimate companion. So let each one of you look to whom he is keeping intimate company.”

Dear brother, be intimate only with someone whose state raises you and whose speech shows you the way to Allah. Such a person is the faqīr, stripped of otherness, drawing close to the Master. There is no sweetness except in his intimacy; there is no happiness except in his service and company. Thus, the Shaykh, the Realized, Abu Madyan (may Allah be pleased with him) says:

The pleasure of life is only in the company of the fuqarā’ – they are the sultans, the masters, and the princes.

That is, the spiritual traveler on the way to his Lord and Master has no sweetness in his life except in keeping the company of the fuqarā’ (those poor in their need for Allah). The word fuqarā’ is the plural of faqīr. The faqīr has stripped himself of attachments, turned away from them. He no longer has a direction (qiblah) or an intention except Allah the Most High.

He denounces everything other than Him. He is realized in the reality of “There is no god except Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” Thus his companionship causes you to taste the sweetness of the path (Ţarīq). He pours into each of your hearts a most delicious nectar from the drink of the People.

He acquaints you with the path, cuts short the infliction of punishment, and removes impediments from your heart. Through his spiritual aspiration (himmah), he lifts you to the highest of ranks. Whoever is like this is the sultan over the reality, the master over the people of the path, and the prince over the people of inner sight (başīrah).

So, O wayfarer (sālik), don’t diverge from his path. O diligent sālik, strive to reach this companion. Keep his company and be courteous when sitting in his gatherings. By the blessing (barakah) of his companionship, he will remove every impediment. As he (may Allah be pleased with him) says:

Therefore, keep their company and have adab in their assemblies. Leave your portion behind you whenever they send you forward.

That is, keep the company of the fuqarā’, maintain courtesy with them when attending their gatherings. Surely, the assembly is the apparent form (shabaĥ) and adab is its soul. If you unite them, you seize the benefit of keeping the shaykh’s company; otherwise, your companionship is but a corpse. Is there any hope of attaining benefit from the dead?

One of the most important courtesies of the gathering is leaving your portion behind you. Do not spend your himmah except in obedience to their orders. As a result, your efforts will be appreciated. If you take on this character, you will quickly seize the reward of presence. Being sincere in this, your degree will rise and your himmah be exalted. About this Abu Madyan (may Allah be pleased with him) says:

Seize the moment and always be present with them. Know that ridā is bestowed on those who are present.

That is, utilize the time being in the company of the fuqarā’ and always be present with them in heart and body. As a result, their spiritual nourishment will easily enter you and their benefits flow over you. Your outwardness will be made healthy by their courtesies, and your inwardness illuminated by the adornment of their lights. Surely, by keeping company, qualities are acquired. If you sit with a sad person, you become sad, and if you sit with a happy person, you become happy.

If you sit with the heedless, heedlessness comes to you. Surely, misery will not come to someone who keeps the company of these people. So how can those who serve them, love them, and hold intimate talk with them have any distress. The best that can be said about this is the following:

Because of their great rank and honor, my masters’ feet are on the heads;

Even if I am not one of them, just by loving them I get rank and honor.

Know that this is satisfaction (riđā). This station is bestowed upon those who are present with them by means of adab, excluding the nafs, and adorning oneself with humility and brokenness.

So exclude yourself if you are among them. If you enter their gathering, be low and broken, then you will taste the sweetness of presence. Be aided by holding to silence. The lights of joy will dawn upon you. Gladness will flow over you. As Abu Madyan (may Allah be pleased with him) says:

Cling to silence unless you are questioned. Then say, “I have no knowledge,” and be concealed in ignorance.

The state rises for the one who has the quality of being silent in the company of the people of tarīqah. According to them, silence is of two kinds: silence of the tongue and silence of the heart. Both of them must be present in the path. He who silences his heart while his tongue speaks, speaks with wisdom.

He who silences his tongue and his heart, his secret is manifest to him, his Lord speaks with him. This is the goal of silence. The speech of the shaykh points to that. So cling to silence, O sālik, unless you are questioned. If you are questioned, return to your origin and connection and say, “I have no knowledge,” and cover yourself with ignorance.

The lights of knowledge from God’s presence (al-‘ilm al-ladunī) will rise within you. Surely, whenever you acknowledge your ignorance and return to your origin, knowledge of the nafs dawns upon you. If you know it then you know your Lord, as it is related in the hadith: “He who knows himself knows his Lord.” All of this is from the benefits of silence and adhering to it adabs. So be silent and be courteous and cling to the door – you will be among His beloveds.

O brother, rise with high himmah to the door of your Master. Being realized in your slavehood, His resplendent lights will shine upon you. The Shaykh, Abu Madyan (may Allah be pleased with him), indicates this when he says:

Do not look at faults unless you see a clear fault appear in you, but it is concealed.

That is, be realized in your attributes of poverty, inability, and lowliness. When you are realized in these, you will witness faults but they will be covered. You will gain the favor of the attributes of your Master appearing within you, as it has been said: “Glory be to He who conceals the secret of slavehood.” Now understand from this the secret meaning of Allah’s words: “Glory be to He who took His slave for a journey.” He didn’t say “His Messenger” or “His Prophet.”

O brother, be broken and abased by the Ţarīq. Don’t let other than this be seen in your state or speech. There is nothing you can say that will remove any hindrance from you. Ask for forgiveness from anything that comes into your heart concerning slavehood to Allah. Fully admit this and stand in fair and just judgment against yourself. By this, the highest stations will be reached and your humanity will be enriched. The Shaykh (may Allah be pleased with him) says the following about this:

Lower your head and ask forgiveness without cause. Stand apologizing in just treatment.

That is, be humble and broken. Put the noblest of what you have – your head – on what is lowest – the earth – thereby achieving the station of nearness. It has been related in a hadith: “The closest the servant of Allah can get to Him is when he is in sajdah.”

Because the servant of Allah approaches Him through humility, brokenness, and discarding human attributes, always see yourself as guilty of committing wrongs, even if there is nothing upon you to show this guilt.

Surely, the servant of Allah is never free from fault. Stand in a state of just treatment for your sins, feeling shame for your evil actions and faults. If He deals with an ordinary human being in this manner, wherein His love for him makes his faults and evil actions seem as good deeds, then how will He treat a true friend, one who realizes Him and has no friend other than Him.

This has been mentioned in the hadith: “O Allah, You are the companion of the traveler, the one who is left behind (khalīfah) to take care of family, possessions, and children.”

O brother, be ready for this treatment (transaction) with your brothers, the fuqarā’, so that it will be for you a mi‘rāj (night journey, referring to the mi‘raj of the Prophet) by which you gain access to a transaction with the Lord of heaven. You will gain acceptance among mankind and the Creator, and the transaction will be purified for you. The lights of realities will dawn upon you, as he (may Allah be pleased with him) says:

If a fault appears from you, then apologize and lift the face of your apology for what has flowed in you from you.

Say, “Your insignificant slave is more entitled to your pardon.” Act kindly in forgiveness and adhere to gentleness, O fuqara!

Take for granted their goodness for that is their nature. Fear neither overtaking nor harm from them.

That is, your state should always be humbleness, brokenness, seeking pardon, and asking for Allah’s forgiveness, whether you have committed a sin or not. If a fault is seen upon you, admit it and ask for forgiveness. When someone makes tawbah from a sin, it is as if he has not committed it at all.

This doesn’t mean that you don’t make sins, rather, it means that you don’t persist in making them. It has been transmitted that “with Allah, the moaning (of regret) of the guilty is better than the humming of those who are glorifying Allah, but with self-admiration and pride.” I have said this in the Hikam: “Sometimes He opens the door of obedience for you but not the door of acceptance; or sometimes He condemns you to wrong action, and it turns out to be a cause of arriving at Him.”

“A disobedience that bequeaths humiliation and extreme need is better than an obedience that bequeaths self-infatuation and pride.” With your admission and asking for forgiveness, apologize for what has preceded from you, so that will be the cause for erasing the sin and leading to acceptance.

Be humble, modest, and broken, and say, “Your slaves are more deserving of your pardon.” Certainly the slave has no other door than the door of his Master.

Then he says (may Allah be pleased with him) that the fuqarā’ are more deserving of pardon. It is their practice while always remaining kind and generous. This is their way with their friends and it is natural to them. How can it not be their disposition since they are taking on the character of their Master. It has been narrated: “Take on the attributes of Allah.”

Fear no harm from them, O sālik, the one in their company, and hold to their coat tails. “They are the people in whose company one will never feel unhappy or miserable.” If you know that, O sālik, take on their good qualities and be generous with your brothers. Ignore their mistakes. In this way you will take the best of their qualities. He says (may Allah be pleased with him):

Always be generous in singing the praises of the brothers in the senses and the meaning. Lower the eye if someone slips.

That is, be generous to your brothers materially, such as by giving money, or in meaning. Don’t be stingy with anything that you can give to them, for generosity is the heart of the Ţarīq. All obstacles will be removed from the heart of the one who takes on these qualities.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qādir says, “O brothers, I didn’t arrive to Allah by night prayers, day fasts, or acquiring knowledge. Rather, I reached Allah by generosity, humility, and purity of heart.” These words of the Shaykh prove that generosity is the foundation. And with the addition of humility, planting the seeds of success will be complete for the sālik.

If he has these two qualities, his heart will be free of attachment. All hindrances will be removed from his way. It has been narrated in a hadith: “Surely there are rooms in Paradise whose outside is seen from the inside and whose inside is seen from the outside. Allah has prepared them for the one who is gentle in his speech, feeds others, and is consistant in standing in prayer at night while the people are asleep.”

Think deeply about this hadith, O brother, wherein the Prophet first mentions gentleness of speech, pointing to humility, then feeding others, indicating generosity, and finally prayer. Add to prayer, fasting, as indicated by Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir.

So, my brother, rise to these glorious deeds. Then add to them the best of good manners and ignoring the faults of brothers if you see them, looking only at their good actions. Abu Madyan says in one of his early wisdoms: “Seeing the good actions of the slaves of Allah and absenting oneself from their bad actions is one of the perfections of tawhīd.”

O brother, acquiring these honorable qualities make you eligible to be with the shaykh. So, get up and move to his door. Observe him with exalted himmah. The Shaykh (may Allah be pleased with him) indicates this, saying:

Watch the Shaykh carefully in his states, perhaps a trace of his approval will be seen on you.

That is, if you acquire the good manners which have been mentioned and arrive at the shaykh with your poverty and brokenness, holding fast to the traces leading to the steps (to his door), observe his states. Strive for the attainment of his pleasure. Be broken and submit to him at all times. For he is an antidote and a cure. Surely, the hearts of the shaykhs are the antidotes of the Ţarīqs.

Anyone who has had the good fortune of reaching him, gets his desires fulfilled by him and is delivered from every obstacle. O brother, struggle in witnessing this meaning, for perhaps some traces of his appreciation of your state will be seen upon you.

Some of those who have arrived have said, “Among the most difficult privations is being with the awliyā’ Allah without getting their acceptance.” If this happens to you, it is caused by nothing other than your impoliteness, not their meanness nor their deficiency.

As I have said in the Hikam: “The matter is not making a request. What really matters is that it bequeaths good adab.”

A sultan who visited the tomb of Abu Yazīd (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “Is there anyone here who has met Abu Yazīd?” An old man was pointed out to the sultan. The sultan asked him, “Have you heard anything that he said?” The old man said, “Yes, Abu Yazīd said, ‘Whoever visits me will not be burned by the Fire of Hell.’”

The sultan was amazed by this, and exclaimed, “How can Abu Yazīd say such a thing when Abu Jahl, who saw the Prophet, is burning in the Fire of Hell?” The old man answered the sultan, saying, “Abu Jahl did not see the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace); rather, he saw the orphan of Abu Talib.

If he had seen him the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), he would not be burning in the Fire of Hell.” The sultan understood and admired what the old man said. This means that Abu Jahl never looked at the Prophet with respect and honor, believing him to be the Messenger of Allah.

If he had seen him with this meaning, he would not be burned with fire. Abu Jahl looked at him with spite and contempt, believing that he was only the orphan of Abu Talib, so his seeing the Prophet did not benefit him. And if you, O brother, meet the qutb of the time without adab, this meeting will have no benefit for you. In fact, it may have more harm in it than benefit.

So have adab in front of the shaykh and struggle to travel the best ways of conduct (sulūk). Apply what you know with seriousness and effort. With sincerity, rise to serve him in order to become one of the masters.

Advance seriousness and leap to serve him. Perhaps he will be pleased, and beware lest you become irritated.

The pleasure of the Creator is in his pleasure and his obedience. He will be pleased with you, so then beware of leaving it.

Meaning, rise to serve the shaykh with seriousness. Maybe you will gain his pleasure and become a master among the masters. Beware of showing displeasure or impatience, for this will spoil what you have gained. Cling to the steps leading to his door, morning and evening, in order to gain his friendship.

O sālik, if you gain his pleasure, Allah will be pleased with you, and you will gain more than what you hoped for. Being obedient to him leads you to being obedient to your Master and gaining His pleasure. In addition, you gain an abundance of his miracles.

Hold fast to service of the shaykh when you achieve arrival to him. Joy had engulfed you from all directions when Allah introduced you to him.

“Know that the Ţarīq of the People is obscure and needs to be studied. The state of the one who claims it today is as you see.” But, if divine concern helps you, you will win and smell the fragrant breeze from Madinah al-Munawwarah (ţaybah), more fragrant than the strongest scent of musk. Abu Madyan (may Allah be pleased with him) says:

Know that the Path of the People is obscure needing study, and the state of the one who claims it today is as you see.

When will I see them and where will I see them? When will my ear hear some news of them?

Whom do I have to help me, and how is it possible for someone like me to compete with them in wells about which I do not recognize impurity?

I love them and treat them gently and I offer them my heart’s blood – especially a party of them.

The Shaykh starts by making the sālik look forward to the way of his people. He informs them that their Ţarīq is obscure, needing study, and the state of those who claim it today are as you see in this period. It is as if the himmah of people is weak, and therefore, they lose hope of reaching the Path because it is so obscure and precious, hard of access.

It is as though the Path were from a vanishing age. The Ţarīq is only obtained by one individual at a time. This is the well-known sunnah (way). Like valuable jewelry, it is not easily found. Because of its scarcity, people often think it is nonexistent.

The people of the Ţarīq are hidden in the world like laylat al-qadr is hidden in the month of Ramađān, or like the hour of jumu‘ah in its day until the seeker makes an effort to reach it. Surely, he who is serious finds what he is looking for, and he who knocks insistently on the door will go through it.

After he said there must be a shaykh in the Ţarīq, I asked, “How can you tell us to find him and serve him when it is said the presence of the shaykh is like red sulphur or a legendary bird. Who is going to find this bird while it is nonexistent. How can you order me to reach someone with such a state?”

He said, “If you are true in your quest, like a child suffering from thirst, you will never be satisfied until you achieve your intention.” The Shaykh indicates that the shaykh exists. How can’t he exist while the building of the world is by means of those like him: the world is like a person and the awliya are its soul. Since the world exists, they exist. But, because of their hiddenness and lack of outwardness it is judged that they are missing.

So struggle and be truthful in your quest, you will find what you are seeking. Seek help for that quest from the One who knows the unseen. Surely, gaining what one seeks is not possible except through His generosity and kindness. If He leads you to the shaykh, He leads you to Himself, as I have said in the Hikam: “Glory be to Him who does not make the evidence leading to His awliya, except as an evidence leading to Himself, and Who does not lead to them except him whom He wants to arrive to Him.”

After the Shaykh (may Allah be pleased with him) mentions that the Ţarīq is precious and hard of access, and that its people have disappeared, he begins to feel regret for not having met them when he had the chance. However, his belief that he will not achieve this, and thereby be honored, is the result of his humility and brokenness – he sees himself as unworthy and lowly.

This is the state of one who knows himself by himself. He is complete in his knowledge of his Lord. He is adorned with inrushs (wāridāt) of His sanctity into his heart because he does not see for himself any state or speech. He sees himself less than everything. This is the complete vision. The poet says:

The more knowledge one has, the humbler one becomes;

While the more one’s ignorance increases, the more one feels elevated.

Just as the green branch laden with ripe fruit is easily reached;

While the branch without fruit is out of reach.

Look at Shaykh Abu Madyan and his high status in the Ţarīq. Although twelve thousand murīds have arrived through his tarbiya (spiritual education), look at his humility and abasement. The branches from the tree of his ma‘rifah hang low, descending to the earth of humility and brokenness until he sees that he is not even worthy of meeting with the people of the Ţarīqah. This abasement increases his ascension, for the deeper the roots of a tree, the higher it grows.

So be humble in the Ţarīq. Take this great lineage from a fully realized ‘ārif, it will remove all obstacles from your way.

After this Abu Madyan (may Allah be pleased with him) says, “I love them . . .” Meaning: “Even though I am not one of them, I love them.” He who loves a people is one of them, as stated in the hadith: “A person is with those whom he loves.” The poet also says:

I love the righteous people, although I am not one of them;

Maybe I get shafā‘ by being with them.

I hate him whose commodity is disobedience;

Even though we are together in this commodity of disobedience.

These are the qualities of the People and their attributes. Therefore their rank is elevated and their gifts increased, as he (may Allah be pleased with him) describes:

A people of noble qualities – wherever they sit, a fragrance remains in the place after them.

Taşawwuf is guided by their character in the Paths. Excellent harmony is theirs that delights my eye.

They are the people of my love and my lovers who are among those who trail the coat-tails of might in magnificence.

May I be reunited with them in Allah, and my wrong actions forgiven and pardoned in Him.

Then blessings be upon the Chosen, Sayyiduna Muhammad, the best of those who fulfilled and who vowed.

That is, they are a people of noble qualities and their himmah is great. Wherever they sit, they leave behind their beautiful fragrant scent. Wherever they go, the sun of their knowledge shines and hearts are illuminated. By them, the dunya and the ākhīrah are made good. By their character, Tasawwuf leads the eager sālik to the Ţarīq.

There, he is able to carry on in his sulūk in a praiseworthy manner. Therefore, theirs is the best gathering. Everyone who looks, likes what he sees; they work hard to achieve every complete and subtle meaning until the lights of inner sight are adorned with their kohl.

The Shaykh also says, “They are the people of my affection and love . . .” One only loves one’s own kind, or one with whom there is a kinship. These words indicate that he is one of them, from the same special clay. What he has already mentioned of modesty and brokenness is an evidence of his realization of this glory and pride. So we ask Allah to lead us to the best of spiritual paths.

Then he makes du‘a and asks that he be included among them for Allah. He asks to be pardoned for his sins. We also ask Allah the complete blessing and peace upon Our Master Muhammad, the Chosen One, the Best of Those Who Fulfilled and Vowed, the Most Noble Neighbor, and upon his Family and Companions, the righteous masters, the Followers, and their followers to goodness until the last day.

These are the best meanings we could get from this poem. But we admit that we have not fully obtained its meaning. Our intentions were good and deeds are fulfilled according to intentions. And Allah knows best.

source:http://darqawa.blogspot.com/2006/03/adab-at-tariq.html

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