Tasawwuf al-Haytami

Their great knowledge and utter renunciation of this world and of anything other than Allah testify to their innocence from these terrible accusations, therefore we preferred to dismiss such accusations, because their statements are true realities in the way they expressed them. Their way cannot be denied without knowing the meaning of their statements and the expressions they use, and then turning to apply the expression to the meaning and see if they match or not. We thank Allah that all of their deniers are ignorant in that kind of knowledge, as not one of them has mastered the sciences of unveilings (mukashafat), or even smelled them from a distance; nor has anyone of them sincerely followed any of the awliya, so that he could master their terminology.

If you object saying: I disagree that their expressions refer to a reality rather than being metaphorical phrases, therefore show me something clearer than the explanations that have been given?

I say: Rejecting that is stubborness. Let us assume that you disagree with what I have mentioned, but the correct way of stating the objection is to say: “This statement could be interpreted in several ways,” and proceed to explain them; not say: “If it meant this, then and if it meant that, then “3 and state from the start “This is kufr“! That is ignorance and going beyond the scope of nasiha or good advice that is being claimed by the critic.

Don’t you see that if Ibn al-Muqri’s real motivation were good advice, he would not have exaggerated by saying: “Whoever has a doubt in the disbelief of the group of Ibn al-`Arabi, he himself is a disbeliever”? So he extended his judgment that Ibn al-`Arabi’s followers were disbelievers, to everyone who had a doubt as to their disbelief. Look at this fanaticism that exceeds all bounds and departs from the consensus of the Imams, and goes so far as to accuse anyone who doubts their kufr. “Glorified are You, this is awful calumny!” (24:16) “When ye welcomed it with your tongues, and uttered with your mouths that whereof ye had no knowledge, ye counted it a trifle. In the sight of Allah, it is very great” (24:15).

Notice also what his statement suggests that it is an obligation on the whole Nation to believe that Ibn `Arabi and his followers are disbelievers, otherwise they will all be declared disbelievers — and no one thinks likes this. As a matter of fact, it might well lead into something forbidden which he himself has stated clearly in his book al-Rawd when he said: “Whoever accuses a Muslim of being a disbeliever based on a sin committed by him, and without an attempt to interpret it favorably, he himself commits disbelief.” Yet here he is accusing an entire group of Muslims of disbelief. Moreover, no consideration should be paid to his interpretation, because he only gives the kind of interpretation that goes against those he is criticizing, for that is all that their words have impressed upon him.

As for those who did not think of of the words of Ibn `Arabi and the Sufis except as a pure light in front of them, and believed in their sainthood — then how can a Muslim attack them by accusing them of disbelief? No one would dare to do so unless he is accepting the possibility to be himself called a disbeliever. This judgment reflects a great deal of fanaticism, and an assault on most of the Muslims. We ask Allah, through His Mercy, to forgive the one who uttered it.

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