Contents > Chapter 3: Pantheism, Wahdat al-Wajood or Moksha > The Concept was something to be hidden


 

The Concept was something to be hidden

A question arises, if the concept of Wahdat al-Wajood is the lifeblood of Sufism and most scholars of Deoband consent with it. Then why is this concept not propagated and popularized to the masses of people?

 

The secret cult of the Sufi masters seem to have decided that the belief of Allah’s Presence everywhere is enough for a common man to believe in, without referring to the details of this concept. The concept of Wahdat al-Wajood is supposed to be the Tawheed of the Spiritually Elites, as Abu Bakr al-Kalabadhi mentioned in his book that al-Junaid said to al-Shibli, “We studied this science deeply, and then concealed it in the vaults, but you have come and displayed it above the heads of people.” Al-Shibli replied: “I speak and I listen, Is there any other in the world but I?[1]

 

We mentioned earlier, Ashraf Ali Thanvi mentions his Pir’s (i.e. Imdadullah Makki’s) infatuation with Wahdat al-Wajood. Thereafter, he comments, “But to express these sayings or to relate them is not for everyone.”[2] (click to view the scanned image of this quote)

 

These remarks prove that the concept of Wahdat al-Wajood is supposed to be hidden from the common people. Ashraf Ali Thanvi said at an occasion, “Hazrat Haji Imdadullah was Allah’s Hujjat (Proof) on the earth. The knowledge, which had become hidden for centuries became manifest on his lips.”[3]

 

Thus, even if any common person is exposed to the belief of Wahdat al-Wajood, his previous belief that Allah is present everywhere will help him accept “the great mystery.” It is mentioned in “The Six Fundamentals”[4] in the explanation of the Kalimah, “... (A believer) should believe Him (Allah) to be his Sole Guardian and Helper in distress and present everywhere.”

 

The Position of the Scholars about “Hidden Knowledge” in Islam

Imam Ahmad reports in Az-Zuhd (p. 48), and ad-Daarimee in his Sunan (1/91), from ‘Umar Ibn Abdul-Aziz that he said: “If you see a people discussing anything of their Deen secretly, to the exclusion of people in general, then know that they are upon the foundation of misguidance.”[5]

Ibn al-Jawzee quotes this report in Talbees-Iblees saying, “So our Deen, all Praise being for Allah, is clear and manifest containing nothing hidden, nor anything concealed, suppressed or secret. Thus, whatever the people of partisanship employ from that then it is the door to misguidance, and Allah’s refuge is sought.”[6]


[1] The Doctrines of the Soofis (Kitaab al-Ta’arruf li-Madhhab Ahl al-Tasawwuf) (Eng. Trans.) p.145.

[2] Malfoodhat Hakeem al-Ummat (a biography of Ashraf Ali Thanvi by Muhammed Iqbal Quraishi) vol.1, p.244.

[3] Malfoozat (Statements and Anecdotes of Ashraf Ali Thanvi) by Majlisul Ulemaa, p.68

[4] Fazaail-e-Aamaal, (Eng. Trans.) The Six Fundamentals, Part – 8, p.1, (Edn. 1985 - Published by Dini Book Depot - Delhi).

[5] Al-Muntaqan-Nafees min Talbees Iblees, p.40.

[6] Al-Muntaqan-Nafees min Talbees Iblees, p.89.