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Ajmal Siddiquie
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« on: November 07, 2010, 08:03:44 PM »

What is Wahdat-ul-Wajood..? Please explain me the exact meaning..Is it a sunni belief or a wahabi belief..
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« on: November 07, 2010, 08:03:44 PM »

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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2010, 09:48:06 AM »

There are two types of sufism: one is based on the metaphysics of Wahdatul Wajood; while the other is derived from the philosophy of Wahdatul Shahood. These two types are diametrically opposed to each other so far as their socioand cultural implications are concerned.

The first type, which is usually referred to as wajoodi Sufism, teaches tolerance, moderation, peaceful coexistence and humanistic values. This is because its metaphysics implies that there is a unity and oneness in all that exists. The differences, disagreements and divisions among human beings, ideas and all that exists are illusory. They come into being only when we look at things and matters in a limited and biased perspective and fail to see their true reality.

If all differences are illusory, then it clearly means that mutual differences of human beings, creeds and cultures are also superficial,. They are absurd in the ultimate sense. We should sympathise with those who take these differences seriously and not detest them.

The metaphysics of Wahdatul Shahood, on the other hand, insists on differences and accords primacy to them. This metaphysics developed as a reaction to the sociopolitical, cultural and intellectual trends that flowered out as a consequence of mass popularity of Wahdatul Wajood in the 16th century India. Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi, who first presented it as a thought system, was a contemporary of Emperor Jahangir.

The philosophy of Wahdatul Wajood is Indian in its essence and its origin can be traced to Vedanta. This philosophy was adopted in the early stages of Islamic mysticism. It is commonly believed that sufism could never have flourished without having accepted this philosophy as its ideological foundation.

History has preserved the name of a Sindhi scholar, Abu Ali Sindhi, who is considered to be the first one who introduced the sufi intellectuals of the central Muslim world to Wajoodi doctrine. Bayazid Bastami of the 9th century was the first great sufi who took lessons from him in it. Jami quotes him as saying in his Nafahatal, "I learnt the science of annihilation and unitarianism from Abu Ali of Sindh.

A majority of the Indian sufis adopted this philosophy during the Middle Ages. But we must keep in mind that sufis were attracted to this philosophy mostly because it was in line with their own ideas and attitudes.

The first eminent Indian sufi, Syed Ali Hajveri, for example, belonged to a period when the features of Wajoodi philosophy had not become popular and prominent. He settled in Lahore in the early years of the 11th century. His book Kashful Mahjoob still survives and is considered one of the most important books on sufism. The teachings carried therein are notably humanistic and tolerant.

Syed Ali Hajveri preferred a direct and personal relationship between man and God over religion's ritualistic and abstract forms. This preference provided the metaphysical basis of accepting dissent and treating others with tolerance. Here, for example, we can quote Hajveri's opinion about Hajj. In his famous book, Kashful Mhajoob, he supports the idea: "I am surprised at the one who looks for the house of God in the world, but does not experience and witness it in his own heart."

He also had a liking for music and poetry and did not agree with the religious scholars who believed that Islam had no patience for them. His point of view in this regard is very clear: "The one who says that he does not relish a beautiful voice or music and melody is either a liar or a hypocrite or does not have slightest aesthetic sense. Lack of taste makes such a person even worse than animals and cattle."

Syed Ali Hajveri laid the foundation of Muslim tolerance in the medieval India through his flexible system of thought. Sufis and saints promoted these values in the subsequent centuries. Some of the rulers also adopted this policy of tolerance and tried to create harmony among diverse religious communities in India. In this way, they managed to counter the oppression of what we now term as fundamentalism. They not only provided the people with an opportunity to live in a peaceful and congenial environment, but also contributed towards their genuine spiritual and moral grooming. This state of a affairs made Thomas Arnold to observe: "During the Muslim rule, on the whole, the level of tolerance exhibited towards nonMuslims was missing in Europe till modern times."

It were the sufis of the Chishtia Silsila, or school of thought, who appeared on the Indian scene after Syed Ali Hajveri. This silsila was introduced in our region by Khawaja Moeenud Din who came here from his native town of Seistan during the reign of Prithvi Raj. The sufis of this silsila further promoted religious liberalism, tolerance, interaction and humanistic values that were upheld by Syed Ali Hajveri. Khawaja Moeenud Din used to say: "God has created the humans and the universe for the sake of love, and loving God implies loving human beings regardless of their religion, class, colour or race. The ultimate goal of religion is selfless love for human beings and their service. The observance of religious law and rituals is not essential as the service of fellow humans."

Khawaja Moeenud Din died in 1235 in Ajmer. It was the time when the town of Nagore was emerging as an important centre of sufi humanism and the culture nourished by the Chishtia intellectuals. This transformation took place because of Hameedud Din Nagori who was a pupil of Khawaja Moeenud Din. He was a poet and a spiritual leader. He made the invaluable contribution of combining the finest elements of Hindu and Muslim civilisations to introduce a harmonised culture based on humanism.

The process of adoption was carried on by Baba Faridud Din Ganj Shakar who became the chief of the Chishtia Silsila after the death of Qutbud Din Bahaktiar Kaki in the fourth decade of the 13th century. He was bitterly criticised by conservative religious scholars for adopting nonMuslim practices. We can take him as the finest personification of tolerant culture created by the sufis who was to greatly influence the great founder of Sikh religion, Baba Nanak. He presented his teaching in the form of mellow and captivating Punjabilanguage poetry the major portion of which has been preserved forever by Baba Nanak in Aad Granth.

The ideas, values and culture promoted by the sufis of the prehal period greatly contributed to the development of the Bhakti movement despite the narrowand harsh polices of many Muslim rulers and aristocracy. The origin, nature and aims of the Bhakti movement have been made very controversial. Anyway, in my humble opinion, we can accept the view that Shankar Achariya and Ramanj of the 10th and 11th centuries revived the ancient Bhakti sensibility in South India. It was a pure Hindu affair. But the need to revive Bhakti and its general popularity in North India of the 14th and 15th centuries was a direct result of the cultural and intellectual influence of sufis. Political influence of Islam also played a role.

In northern parts of India, the Bhakti movement produced a number of such Bhagats who had not only unconsciously but consciously absorbed the Muslim influence. Their concept of Bhakti envisaged uniform love for all humans without discrimination on the basis of colour, caste or creed.

Ramananda was the man who initiated the form of Bhakti we are interested in and which strived for the Hindum unity. The liberal elements of his system of thought later embodied themselves in the form of Bhagat Kabir who was born in 1440. Tulsi Das, Bhagat Kabir and Baba Nanak are by many accounts the most refined personalities created by the Indian civilisation of the Middle Ages. They all are representatives of the Bhakti movement.

It may sound strange but it is a fact of history that the founder of the Mughal dynasty, Zaheerud Din Babar, too had absorbed many teachings of the sufis and bhagats that were in the air at the time when he laid the foundation of the Mughal rule in 1526. He did not get a chance to rule for a long time, but during his rule he rejected the narrowand intolerance of the Lodhis and adopted the policy of religious harmony.The kind of moderate enlightenment emphasized by Babar became the basis of his grandson Akbar's policies. If now we remember him as Akbar the Great, it is mostly because of his policy of religious tolerance and his respect for all religions. I have no intention here to go into details of his policies or his Din. However, I would only say that his policies and Din would never have come into being without the teachings of sufis and bhagats. In fact, it were their teachings that created a new culture and circumstances that were reflected in the policies and ideas of the great Mughal. The polices of Akbar were unacceptable not only to the orthodox religious scholars but also many other sections of Muslim society. They were offensive to them from the religious point of view. They also feared that the distinction of Muslim and nonMuslim would disappear as a result of these policies, and the Muslim dominance in India would be endangered. The lords and upper class particularly opposed Akbar. They rightly feared that his policies will ultimately deprive them of their supremacy in society. A large number of those lords and other members of the privileged classes had come from the central Asian region. Their vital interests were at variance with those of the Indian people. So winds of change started to blow.

The most vociferous reaction came from Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi who belonged to the then newly introduced sufi school of Naqshbandia. Sheikh Sirhindi can be labelled the ideologue who laid the foundation of Muslim fundamentalism in the subcontinent. Allama Muhammad Iqbal believed him to be `the greatest reformist of Islamic mysticism'. It is interesting to note that many of the orthodox clerics of his day did not like many of his ideas and came down heavily on him.

The basic claim of Sheikh Ahmed Sirhindi was that the highest spiritual experience is that of Wahdatul Shahood and not that of Wahdatul Wajood. One experiences Wahdatul Shahood al the level of consciousness and its highest form is revelation. Therefore, the mystical experience and its proclamation must be within the limits of religious law. This principle enabled the sheikh to defeat the forces of harmony, tolerance and liberalism on three fronts: first the philosophy of Wahdatul Wajood, on which the foundation of Muslim tolerance and enlightenment in India rested, was declared imperfect; second, no room was left for the fraternal Sufism; and third, Ijtehad, which was defined by Allama Iqbal as the principle of movement in Islam, was rendered impracticable. In this way, the future course of the socio-cultural and political life of the Muslims of this region was determined. It ultimately led to the events that took place in our corner of the globe in 1947.

may peace be upon them all.
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Fazl-e-Rehman Se Azmat Nabi Ki jo Sikhi, Is Mujadid Ki Jidad Pe Lakho Salam,
Qadri,Naqshbandi Wa Chishti Gulon Ki, Karam Pash Nighat Pe Lakho Salam,
Jise Bibi Zohra Banaye Hai Beta, Fazl-e-Rehman Ki Nisbat Pe Lakho salam.
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2010, 09:48:06 AM »

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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2010, 09:48:54 AM »

Wahdat al-Wajud (Arabic: وحدة الوجود persian: وحدت وجود) the "Unity of Being" is a Sufi philosophy emphasizing that 'there is no true existence except the Ultimate Truth (God)'. Or in other phrasing that the only truth within the universe is God, and that all things exist within God only. All of his creations emerge from `adim (عدم non-existence) to wujood (existence) out of his thought only. Hence the existence of God is the only truth (Haqq), and the concept of a separate created universe is falshood. Arabic: (Batil).

Ibn Arabi is most often characterized in Islamic texts as the originator of the doctrine of wahdat al-wujud, however, this expression is not found in his works and the first who employed this term was perhaps, in fact, the Andalusian mystical thinker Ibn Sabin.[1] Although he frequently makes statements that approximate it, it cannot be claimed that "Oneness of Being" is a sufficient description of his ontology, since he affirms the "manyness of reality" with equal vigor. [2]

In his view, wujūd is the unknowable and inaccessible ground of everything that exists. God alone is true wujūd, while all things dwell in nonexistence, so also wujūd alone is nondelimited (mutlaq), while everything else is constrained, confined, and constricted. Wujūd is the absolute, infinite, nondelimited reality of God, while all others remain relative, finite, and delimited. [3]

Since wujūd is nondelimited, it is totally different from everything else. Whatever exists and can be known or grasped is a delimitation and definition, a constriction of the unlimited, a finite object accessible to a finite subject. In the same way, wujūd's self-consciousness is nondelimited, while every other consciousness is constrained and confined. But we need to be careful in asserting wujūd's nondelimitation. This must not be understood to mean that wujūd is different and only different from every delimitation. The Shaykh is quick to point out that wujūd's nondelimitation demands that it be able to assume every delimitation. If wujūd could not become delimited, it would be limited by its own nondelimitation. Thus "He possesses nondelimitation in delimitation" Or , "God possesses nondelimited wujūd, but no delimitation prevents delimitation. Rather, He possesses all delimitations, so He is nondelimited delimitation, since no single delimitation rather than another rules over Him.... Hence nothing is to be attributed to Him in preference to anything else" . Wujūd must have the power of assuming every delimitation on pain of being limited by those delimitations that it cannot assume. At the same time, it transcends the forms by which it becomes delimited and remains untouched by their constraints. [3]

Only He who possesses Being in Himself (wujûd dhâtî) and whose Being is His very essence (wujûduhu 'ayn dhâtihi), merits the name of Being. Only God can be like that. [4]

On the highest level, wujūd is the absolute and nondelimited reality of God, the "Necessary Being" (wājib al-wujūd) that cannot not exist. In this sense, wujūd designates the Essence of God or of the Real (dhāt al-haqq), the only reality that is real in every respect. On lower levels, wujūd is the underlying substance of "everything other than God" (mā siwā Allāh)—which is how Ibn Arabi and others define the "cosmos" or "universe" (al-'ālam). Hence, in a secondary meaning, the term wujūd is used as shorthand to refer to the whole cosmos, to everything that exists. It can also be employed to refer to the existence of each and every thing that is found in the universe. [2]

God's 'names' (asma') or 'attributes' (sifat), on the other hand, are the relationships which can be discerned between the Essence and the cosmos. They are known to God because he knows every object of knowledge, but they are not existent entities or ontological qualities, for this would imply plurality in the godhead. [5]

For the creatures, Being is not part of their essence. So a creature does not own its being, that it can never be independent in itself . In this sense, the created does not deserve the attribution of Being. Only God is Being, and all the rest is in reality a possibility (imkân), a relative, possible non-existence. [4]

Ibn 'Arabî used the term "effusion" (fayd) to denote the act of creation. His writings contain expressions which show different stages of creation, a distinction merely logical and not actual. The following gives details about his vision of creation in three stages: the Most Holy Effusion (al-fayd al-aqdas), the Holy Effusion (al-fayd al-muqaddas) and the Perpetual Effusion (al-fayd al-mustamirr). [4]

Wahdat-ul-Wujood spread through the teachings of the Sufis like Qunyawi, Jandi, Tilimsani, Qayshari, Jami etc[6]. This mystic sufi philosophy found conducive soil in many parts of South Asia as most of the saints and sages became dedicated disciples of Wahdat-ul-Wujood. It is also associated with the Hamah Ust (Persian meaning "He is the only one") philosophy in South Asia. Sachal Sarmast and Bulleh Shah two Sufi poets from Pakistan, were also ardent followers of Wahdat-ul-Wujood.

Today, some Sufi Orders, notably the Bektashi sect and the non-traditional sects of Universal Sufism, place much emphasis on the concept of wahdat-ul-wujood.

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Fazl-e-Rehman Se Azmat Nabi Ki jo Sikhi, Is Mujadid Ki Jidad Pe Lakho Salam,
Qadri,Naqshbandi Wa Chishti Gulon Ki, Karam Pash Nighat Pe Lakho Salam,
Jise Bibi Zohra Banaye Hai Beta, Fazl-e-Rehman Ki Nisbat Pe Lakho salam.
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2010, 09:49:55 AM »

Wahdat al-Shuhud
Wahdat al-Shuhud (or wah-dat-ul-shuhud, wahdat-ul-shuhud, or wahdatul shuhud) has often been translated into English as Apparentism. In Arabic it literally means "unity of witness", "unity of perception" or "unity of appearance"..

Out of those who opposed the doctorine of wahdat al-wujood, there were those who substituted the pole of subject for the object, formulating the doctorine of Wahdat ul-shahood. This school was formulated by `Ala al-Dawlah Simnānī, was to attract many followers in India, including Ahmed Sirhindi who provided some of the most widely accepted formulations of this doctorine in the Indian sub-continent. [6]

According to Ahmed Sirhindi's doctrine, any experience of unity between God and the created world is purely subjective and occurs only in the mind of the believer; it has no objective counterpart in the real world. The former position, Shaykh Ahmad felt, led to pantheism, which was contrary to the tenets of Sunnite Islam.[citation needed] He held that God and creation are not identical; rather, the latter is a shadow or reflection of the Divines Name and Attributes when they are reflected in the mirrors of their opposite non-beings (a'dam al-mutaqabila).[citation needed]

Abu Hafs Umar al-Suhrawardi and Abd-al-karim Jili were also proponents of apparentism.

[edit] Shah Waliullah's view of Wahdat
Shah Waliullah made the first attempt to reconcile the two (apparently) contradictory doctrines of wahdat al-wujud (unity of being) of Ibn Arabi and wahdat al-shuhud (unity in conscience) of Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi.

Shah Waliullah neatly resolved the conflict, calling these differences 'verbal controversies' which have come about because of ambiguous language. If we leave, he says, all the metaphors and similes used for the expression of ideas aside, the apparently opposite views of the two metaphysicians will agree. The positive result of Shah Wali Allah's reconciliatory efforts was twofold: it brought about harmony between the two opposing groups of metaphysicians, and it also legitimized the doctrine of wahdat al-wujud among the mutakallimun (theologians), who previously had not been ready to accept it.

In his books Lamahat and Sata'at, he discusses stages of being, the perceptive faculty, the relation of the abstract with the universe, the universal soul and the souls of man, after death, essence, miracles, the scope of man, the soul of the perfect, universal order, source of manifestation, and the transformation of mystics from quality to quality. He also demonstrated that the long-standing assumption that Sufi doctrine was divided between Apparentism and Unity of Being was a difference of expression alone, the latter doctrine being seen as merely a less-advanced stage of projection.[11]

In his opinion this whole universe has also self (nafs) as an individual person has a self, which is called the Universal Soul (an-Nafs-ul-Kulliyah). The multiplicity of the whole universe has originated from it. When Ibn Arabi says that everything is God, he thereby means the Universal Soul. This Universal Soul, or the Self-unfolding Being (al-Wujud-ul-Munbasait), subsists by itself. This existence pervades the whole universe, both the substance and the accident, and accepts the form of everything. It is both immanent and transcendental. Beyond this existence (al-Wujud-al-Munbasit : Universal Soul) towards the original existence (God) none has access to. In other words, man's progress ends with the Universal Soul or the Self-unfolding Being. He cannot move a step further. The Universal Soul and God are so intermingled that the former is often taken for the latter."

As for the question of the relation that this existencen (al-Wujud-ul-Munbasit) has with the essence of God itself. This relation is, however, known only in its reality (anniyyah : I-ness); its quality is unknown and can never be known. Thus when Ibn Arabi says that the realities of the existing things are the names and the attributes of the Universal Soul (Self-unfolding Being) in the stage of knowledge (Fi Martabat-il-'Ilm, in the Divine Consciousness) or when Imam Rabbani asserts that the realities of existing objects are sheer nothingness on which the lights of the names and attributes of the Universal Soul (al-Wujud-ul-Munbasit) are reflected is exactly the same thing. The difference in their language is so little that it needs no consideration.

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Auliya Naksh Kudrat Pe Lakho Salam, Panjatan Ki Sayadat Pe lakho Salam,
Fazl-e-Rehman Se Azmat Nabi Ki jo Sikhi, Is Mujadid Ki Jidad Pe Lakho Salam,
Qadri,Naqshbandi Wa Chishti Gulon Ki, Karam Pash Nighat Pe Lakho Salam,
Jise Bibi Zohra Banaye Hai Beta, Fazl-e-Rehman Ki Nisbat Pe Lakho salam.
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« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2010, 09:50:24 AM »

Criticism of the concept:Some Muslims, including both Sufis and Salafis, have made comparisons between wahdat ul-wujood and Pantheism, the concept that all is God. This criticism has come both from Salafis and from Sufis as well.[citation needed]

Some, however, will counter that the two concepts differ in that wahdat ul-wujood states that God and the universe aren't identical.[9] They hold real existence to be for God only and the universe to have no existence on its own (without God).

 Salafi criticism:


Some Salafis criticize the concept of wahdat al-wujud on the grounds that it was a product of Arab interaction with Hindu philosophy, and is not a purely Islamic concept.[citation needed] Others also cite similarities with Kabbalah.[citation needed]

Sufi criticism:Some Sufis, such as Ahmad Sirhindi (Mujaddid Alif Sani), have criticised wahdat ul-wujood. Ahmad Sirhindi wrote about the sayings that universe has no existence of its own and is a shadow of the existence of the necessary being. He also wrote that one should discern the existence of universe from the absolute and that the absolute does not exist because of existence but because of his essence.

may peace be upon them all.

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Auliya Naksh Kudrat Pe Lakho Salam, Panjatan Ki Sayadat Pe lakho Salam,
Fazl-e-Rehman Se Azmat Nabi Ki jo Sikhi, Is Mujadid Ki Jidad Pe Lakho Salam,
Qadri,Naqshbandi Wa Chishti Gulon Ki, Karam Pash Nighat Pe Lakho Salam,
Jise Bibi Zohra Banaye Hai Beta, Fazl-e-Rehman Ki Nisbat Pe Lakho salam.
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