1 – Islamic Mysticism – Wahdat Al Wajood
Sufism or Islamic Mysticism – Wahdat Al Wajood is often referred to as Islamic mysticism. There are certainly aspects of Sufism that we could call mystical and one of the most influential widespread and important philosophies or doctrines within Sufism is something known as the Unity Of Being.
“Come then into my eyes and look and you will see a sun shining through a thousand bits of glass beaming to plain sight through each array of color why should any difference appear between this one and that all light is one but colors a thousand-fold.”
Islamic Mysticism – Wahdat Al Wajood Basic Concept
Wahdat Al Wajood is often referred to as Islamic mysticism. There are certainly aspects of Sufism that we could call mystical and one of the most influential widespread and important philosophies or doctrines within Sufism is something known as the Unity Of Being.
The unity of being is a philosophy that has been rather controversial in certain circles and in certain times. Some Muslim scholars in history have viewed it as dangerous or sometimes even heretical but this should not just this; should not confuse us into believing that it is some fringe philosophy.
The unity of being as a doctrine has been incredibly important and influential in the wider world of Sufism and Islam in general and has even sometimes dominated the intellectual environment of the certain regions in Muslim lands.
Sufism itself is of course very entirely diverse with many competing schools of thought and orders and ideas and philosophies. Can be described to us simplifying terms as a monastic or even non dual philosophy or school of thought within Sufism it states that
There is only one reality which is God and that all creation are or is His Manifestation.”
Islamic Mysticism – Wahdat Al Wajood; Genesis
This philosophy is often strongly connected to the medieval Sufi thinker and mystic Ibn Arabi. A very famous early example is the Baghdad Sufiman Surah Al-Hajj who is said to have entered a spiritual ecstasy and proclaimed Ana Al Haq or I am the truth for I am the reality; basically saying I am God. Similarly by Hazrat Bastami who also lived in the 9th century once proclaimed “glory be to me” both signify a kind of annihilation of the individual self into the Absolute Reality that is God.
The unity of being is based on taking monotheism to its most extreme and it not only states that God is the Only Divinity in existence He is the Only Being in Existence. One of God’s 99 names in the Quran is Al Haq which means “The Truth” or “The Real” or “The Reality”. With this in mind the, Islamic Proclamation La Ilaha Ilallah isn’t simply read as there is no god but God or there is no divinity but The Divinity; but instead as There Is No Reality But The Real or thus ultimately there is nothing but God.
There is only one Singular Reality and that Reality is God. This identifies God in his Utmost Essence as would or Being or Existence so God is Being; He Isn’t A Being; He is Being Itself. In Islamic theology; God not only be the Only Divinity but also that He is Absolutely One; that must necessarily mean that Being or Existence itself is One Absolutely One; this also means that if anyone says that anything exists except of God; one is actually committing Polytheism, the greatest sin in Islam.
Since anyone saying that there is a being that isn’t God but being is God and that basically means that there is another god but if God is the Only Reality what are we; what is creation. There appears to be multiplicity everywhere; be anything other than God. What is creation? Basically is utterly Non-Existent. It’s a kind of illusion.
Ibn Arabi writes “The world is illusory and has no real existence. This is what is meant by imagination. You have been made to imagine that the world is something separate and independently real outside; the absolute.”
But in reality this is not so. But it isn’t an illusion in the ultimate sense. We do have a certain existence on the physical plane. It’s not all a dream, like an Advaita Vedanta and Hinduism; the illusion is the idea of separation. I exist as a separate being when in reality only God exists. The Only True Self is God’s self. And we are only relative reflections of this self-one.
Of the more celebrated masterpiece of Persian poetry called the Gulshan Yas in which poet spills the doctrine of the unity of being and he writes “When absolute existence is alluded to people; use the word I as a matter of expression. When reality has taken form; through individuation you refer to it in language with the word I, you and I are accidents of the essence of being like openings and the covering of the lamp.
In the world one of them is where He describes it almost like a lights; a pure white light which is God’s being that travels through a prism and creates a multitude of colors which would be the world the colors themselves are never the same as the white light just as the creatures or creation is never the same as God but at the same time they consist of nothing but the white light.”
Rafi another famous writer writes the following in his book Al – llama “Come then into my eyes and look and you will see a sun shining through a thousand bits of glass beaming to plain sight through each array of color why should any difference appear between this one and that all light is one but colors a thousandfold.”
Islamic Mysticism – Wahdat Al Wajood Contemporary Religions
If one read Hindu philosophy or Taoism or Christian mystics like Meister Eckhart; In fact the doctrine of the unity of being sometimes bears a striking resemblance to philosophies like Advaita Vedanta or certain ideas within Taoism. First among many other things there are differences of course but they share aspects.
Thus with a single absolute non dual reality being identified with God and denying the reality of anything beside him but what creates the forms of the world themselves.
What is the world when it is not pure being and where does multiplicity come from it will help a bit to try to look at things like the people back then would have viewed. The world partly thanks to a Benzina or Avicenna philosophically; at this time started to separate between existence or being assured on the one hand and essence here on the other when talking about a thing or an object in the world.
it’s quite common to hear people talk about the Western religions like Christianity and Islam philosophies where God is this man in the sky he was watching over us in judging us and by contrast those so-called Eastern religions like Hinduism or Taoism or Buddhism is often portrayed as these very spiritual and beautiful philosophies they aren’t often non-dual and very interesting by comparison.
According to many opinions and with a relationship to God that is a lot more imminent and often as non-dual but not only is this dichotomy very misguided and narrow it also undermines the incredibly strong and rich spiritual and often mystical traditions within these Western religions.