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Jili, Abd al-Karim - Al-Kahf wa al-raqim - 090 Section 8



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

ABD AL-KARIM AL-JILI: Tawid, Transcendence and Immanence – Dr Nicholas Lo Polito [University of Birmingham] - The Cave and the Inscription


(43) The dual meaning of the Ba’ is in the manifestation of the Truth to Himself, [and this] in the natural context of His essence (Dhat), which is the second facet. Because the Truth - may He be praised and exalted - offers two perspectives of Himself: the perspective of essential unity, in which God does not look at what one calls creation, because in this perspective there is no creation [as yet]; the perspective of essence, in which God looks at a level called creation (Khulq), a level which is a differentiation of His Essence, and this differentiation is named attributes.

(44) (The Ba’) is this second perspective as it shows in itself the signs of the [divine] arbitrator that we define, given the Essence of God - may He be exalted - [with the attribute] “All Compassionate”. Thus, He is defined by [the attribute] that sets the standards for the [other] names of the [divine] noble Truth and the world is throne, the image, that is, of the All Compassionate, that sets the standards for the [other] names of the [divine] noble Presence. Therefore, it is said concerning Adam that he was in the image of the All Compassionate. In fact, it has become established in Sufi terminology that the human being should be called “the little world” and the world be called “the great human being”.

(45) Be aware that the origin of “Bism Allah al-Ra_man al-Ra_im” is “B-Ism Allah al-Ra_man al-Ra_im”.  For it is necessary for an action to follow the Ba’ to which it is connected. For example “I begin” or “I seek help” or “May I be blessed”, explicitly, verbally, or implicitly indicate the connection with the action occurring after the Basmala. For instance the action of drinking after the Basmala indicates that what follows is an implicit “I drink” or “I seek help in drinking” in the name of God. Should the speaker say, “In the name of God I do this”, it would mean, “By God I do this”. Because the name coincides with the “named”. The Exalted One said, “Blessed be the Name of thy Lord”.

(46) And what is the meaning of you saying “By God I will do [it]” if not that He is the real agent of that action from you and in you? It is like you saying, “I do this in [the name] of whatever extrinsically divine I harbour within my being - as opposed to the Essence (Dhat) - the true reality (‘Ayn), that is, that we call God; and in [the name] of whatever intrinsically divine I harbour within my being - as opposed to my manifest being - which we do not call God”. (The purpose of this is) to deny that the action - if its object is to act - is originated from you, and to ascribe it to your Truth. But if the object [of the action] is naming, [the purpose of doing it in the name of God is] to express the elimination from your being of what we call “created”, by the sublime power of what we call “creating act” belonging to your true existence. And if the object [of the action] is of a subjective [nature], the prominence of the oneness of your existence (Wujud ) is in the plurality of its expressions of individuality. May you understand [this]. In fact it is necessary for you to realize this much when you say “In the Name of God the All Compassionate and Most Merciful” so as to distinguish yourself from the rank of the animals: because to utter what you do not understand means to be at the level of animals. God forbid!

The source of the experience

Jili, Abd al-Karim

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