Wahdat Ul Wujud means that Only Allah Almighty is "Existence"
There have been many queries as regards to what Sultan ul Awliya Moulana Sheikh Nazim's views are on the concept of Wahdat ul Wujud. Wahdat ul Wujud is widely accepted as the concept of Allah which was propagated and followed by Sheikh Ul Akbar Muhiyuddin ibn al Arabi and is the most commonly followed by almost all Tariqats.
Some of Moulana Sheikh Nazim’s prominent Caliphas have gone on record criticizing this concept due to their lack of understanding of the concept of Wahdat ul Wujud and the teachings of Sheikh ul Akbar Muhiyuddin ibn al Arabi. To set the record straight we give below Moulana Sheikh Nazim’s lecture and his stand on the subject matter.
- The Moderators
In the Name of Allah Almighty, the Most Merciful, the Most Beneficent and the Most Munificent, the Lord of the Heavens and the Creator of all existences. He created everything in existence and at anytime that He wishes to do so, He can take it all away.
When a certain Saint was asked questions on Marifatullah (Knowledge about Allah) by some people, he did not give any answers because he was able to see their level of understanding. He was saying “leave these questions to us and the answers are not for you.” He who has been given Hikmah (Wisdom) must before he speaks or addresses people know the general rule. Kalimannaasa Ala Kadaru Kooli.
That is a command from Rasulullah (on whom be peace), that you must speak to people according to their understanding and the capacities of their minds. You cannot speak more than this because then you will be held responsible. Those who speak to ordinary people carry a heavy responsibility and if they do not give this Hikmah (wisdom) properly, those people will become empty people. They will become empty because they do not know anything about Shariatallah or about Thazeem Shariat allah.
There is Shariatallah (Laws) and there is Thazeem Shariatallah which is the order to respect Shariatallah. Some of the Saints when they get into Jazbah (a state of Attraction) develop a strong relationship to Alamul Malakooth (Heavenly Realm). They can lose Alamul Mulk (Physical World) and speak of something that belongs to Alamul Malakooth. Some of them speak about their levels in Alamul Jabarooth (Realm of Power) and even Alamul Lahooth (Realm of Absolute Unity).
When they speak from their levels it can be 'Muhatha', which is their addressing may be above the level of the people whom they speak to. When one speaks about Alamul Lahooth, Alamul Jabarooth and Alamul Malakooth in such a manner it is a big mistake, because it can make much trouble amongst the Muslim community. It can make people to misunderstand and fight with each other. They might become separated from each other and even become enemies to one another. Thus the respect for Shariat will be taken away.
Therefore the person who speaks on such subjects openly, may not be doing a good thing. You cannot give such knowledge to ordinary people because these people may not be able to understand what the realities of these words are. There must be a 'Thahweel' for ordinary people and sometimes ordinary people cannot understand even what 'Thahweel' means.
For example, the Holy Quran says 'Waja’a Rabbuka Wal Malaku Saffa' - it means that Allah Almighty who is your Lord is coming with His Angels with Lights. What does this mean? How can you see this? What is the meaning of this when Allah Almighty says that He is 'coming'.
But by these translated Arabic words it means that He is coming, and you may ask with base knowledge, from where to where does He come, for we know Allah Almighty is everywhere. Does He come with a form or without a form? Light is Saffa, but how is He coming?
You cannot answer this because you can only believe and also because there are Secret Knowledge’s about this point. Not everyone can know about such a 'Thahweel'. Those who have been given Ilm ul Yakeen, Ayn ul Yakeen and Haqq ul Yakeen (the Certainties of Knowledge), will not doubt because it is clear to them as to what is the meaning of 'Thahweel'.
The Secret Knowledge, Saints may Speak of;
Therefore, when the Saints say something it is not always for ordinary people. It may be some form of 'code' for the opening of Marifatullah (Divine Knowledge), like the combination lock in a briefcase with a digit code for opening the lock. Only the person who put in that code number may open it, and not another.
In the same way if that Secret is not given to you, you may look but you cannot open it. For example in the Holy Quran consider the letters at the beginning of a Surah like the letters Alif, Laam, Meem. Who can give their meanings? Even Angel Gibreel (alai) who brought these Surahs down did not know their meanings. Once when Gibreel (alai) came to reveal Surah Mariyam, he said khaaf, then the Prophet (on whom be peace), said, “I know”, he then said “Ha”, the Prophet (on whom be peace), said, “I know”, he said,” Ya,” again the Rasool (on whom be peace), said, “I know, he said “Ayn”, the Rasool (on whom be peace), said, “I know”, Gibreel then said “Saadh”, and again the Prophet (on whom be peace), said, “I know. “
Gibreel wondered about this and asked the Prophet (on whom be peace), “Oh! Muhammed, I am bringing this Surah for the first time, but how is it that I do not know and you say, “I know, I know!” The Prophet (on whom be peace), replied that he, Gibreel, was only a transmitter of the Revelation and that it was Allah Almighty who was his teacher. This was Secret Knowledge that belonged to the Prophet (on whom be peace). Gibreel (alai), who brought this Revelation gave only five letters, and these five letters gave the meaning of this whole Surah. Ar Rahman Allama’l Quran.
Ordinary people cannot fathom the Secret Code because they cannot understand the value of the Holy Quran. The Holy Quran has Oceans of treasures, Oceans of pearls, Oceans of wisdom, Oceans of Knowledge and Oceans amongst Oceans. However much one may dive into it, an end cannot be reached. The Saints may speak sometimes from the Secrets of the Holy Quran but there is no benefit without giving you the key to the code number.
Therefore such an attitude by them is to give some openings to make people understand, but if such people cannot reach that level of Knowledge what will be the benefit? We have also been given the Secret Knowledge about this Secret Code but it is not for ordinary people. It may be for high level Saints and not even for the ordinary Saints. This knowledge is for the big Ulema and not for every Alim.
We can see this glass of water and the ice cubes that is in it. When you touch this ice cube it is hard as rock, if you apply pressure to it, it may crack and melt after sometime. Both are composites of water but the ice cube is not real water. If you put an ice cube into a pan and heat it, it will boil and evaporate very quickly. Ordinary water however needs a hundred degrees centigrade to boil. Likewise the Knowledge’s are the same, but there are different levels of understanding for different types of people.
Wahdat Al Wujud
The Saints may speak about Wahdat Ul Wujud. We Naqshbandi’s also have the Zikr – 'La Mowjooda Illallah' - which means that 'there is no existence but Allah'.
Only Allah Almighty was in existence and even now also there is none else in existence but Him.
Every learned person knows that this World came into existence for some reason and also for some reason it will disappear and vanish. This is our belief. At one time there was nothing in existence and there will come a time when once again there will be nothing in existence. Mumkin ul Wujud means the possibility for reasons in existence.
What is the reason for this Universe to appear in existence? It is only Iradathullah (His Will). “Inna Ma Amruhu Iza Aradha Shayyan Yakoolulahu Kunfayakoon”. This is from Surah Yaseen. Above all reason the only reason is His Will. He just said, “BE” and the Universe came into existence.
Everything in existence does not have any real existence. “Wahdat i Wujud”, means that only Allah Almighty is “Existence.”
It is an obligatory belief that His Existence does not need any reason. There cannot be any reason for His Being. He is in existence without reason but everything else, which is in existence, is with reasons. That means that with His Will, He brings everything into existence and this is “Iradah” (His Will).
On the Existence of A Creation
How can you say that there is a shadow existence to Allah Almighty. (All Creation) It is only like an appearance on a mirror. Do you think that the one who is reflected in a mirror is real. No! it cannot be real. The reflection of His existence belongs also to Him when He is in front of a mirror, and when he turns away there is nothing in it. The whole existence of Mankind is like this image in a mirror.
Allah Almighty created a Universe so large that the minds of people cannot even fathom it. Even to speak of the distances of this “Seen Universe”, perhaps from one point to another is impossible. I am not speaking about the unseen Worlds that belong to the Heavens. I am only speaking of this Universe that is the World that you can touch and feel, and also what we call Space. You may reach for astronomical numbers and even then it is only a very limited area.
Who knows where this Universe (Alamul Mulk - of the Physical World) begins and where it ends? We only know a little dot of all this which makes us to wonder, and we can only wonder about the Endless Greatness and the Endless Power Oceans of the Lord.
Where is the Lord? How can you say that He is in the stones, the mountains and the trees. (Where he has a transendent aspect which is above and beyond anything created). Allah Almighty is One and what is His position? Therefore, we must keep Maa Al Ilm Adab, we must keep Adab (respect) with Ilm (knowledge).
Allah Almighty is asking to show mankind His Endless Greatness. (Thereby show his emanant aspect). We have been only given small vision and we are looking through big telescopes. We talk about millions and billions of light years but that distance is really nothing for a Saint who has been given spiritual power and authority to reach up to millions or billions of light years in less than a minute or even a second. He is able to travel such distances and even place his foot on it.
This spiritual power is from the Authority of Muhammed (on whom be peace), and it is faster than the speed of light. If light needs more than ten million years to reach from one point of the Universe to another a Saint will take less than a second to do so and even one billion light years is nothing for him. Allah Almighty is asking to be known, and for us to know something of His Endless Greatness.
When you say, Allahu Akbar through which scale and what measure can you measure His Greatness and Fame. Allah Almighty therefore created this Sama ad Dunya (This World) and filled it up with huge galaxies that you cannot even see through gigantic telescopes. You can only view the photographs that have been taken with electronic instruments and you cannot ever see them physically.
Once an Astronomer was curious and wanted to look through the most powerful telescope although it was dangerous. He just had one look and the light was so powerful that he fainted. Even this gigantic telescope is only like a matchstick compared to the gigantic view of the Endless Greatness Oceans of Allah Almighty, and one day it is all going to disappear. How can one say that this is Allah Almighty and this is not? (when only He exists).
No one can give real value to His Greatness (emanant manifestation) and of His being in existence (transcendent essence).
None can know Allah Almighty’s Greatness and it is left for us only to say so much according to the Marifa or Divine Knowledge that we have been given. We can only say “Subhanallah”. Glory be to You. Oh Allah, we can never reach completely to know anything of Your Greatness. Alhamdulillah!
The Creation “have not yet smelled the perfume of Being (existence)” -Sheikh Muhiyaddin Ibn Al Arabi (Qd)