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As-Salatul-Mashishiyyah and Qutb Moulay Sidi Abdas-salaam ibn Mashish

Sidi Abu'l-Hasan ash-Shadhili meeting Moulay Abd as-Salam ibn Mashish

At the beginning of the thirteenth century of the Christian era, about twenty years after Muhyi'd-din Ibn 'Arabi had left Fez for the east, the Moroccan Abu'l-Hasan 'Ali ibn 'Abdallah, a scion of the Hasanid branch of the Fatimids, who later achieved fame under the name of Abu'l-Hasan ash-Shadhili, also migrated to the east in order to seek the spiritual pole of his time. In Baghdad a Sufi informed him that this pole was to be found in his own homeland, on Mount al-'Alam in the Rif mountains. He therefore returned home, and found in the place described a disciple of Sidi Abu Madyan, namely the spiritual master 'Abd as-Salam ibn Mashish:

Sidi Abu'l-Hasan ash-Shadhili says:
'As I approached his place of refuge, which was a cave near the top of the mountain, I made a halt at a spring which gushed forth a little beneath it. I washed myself with the intention of casting off all my previous knowledge and actions, then, as one completely poor, I made my way up to the cave. He came out towards me, and when he saw me,

he said: 'Welcome,"All, son of "Abdallah, son of 'abd al-Jabbar . . .'

and he named all my ancestors right back to the Prophet, whom God bless and greet.

Then he said: 'O, "Ali, thou comest up to me here as one poor in knowing and doing to seek from me the riches of this world and the next.'

I was smitten with fear out of awe for him. Then I remained with him for a number of days, until God opened my inward eye and I beheld wonders and things that far exceeded the ordinary realm, and I experienced the goodness of God's grace . . . One day, as I sat by my master, I said inwardly to myself:

'Who knows, perhaps my master knows the Supreme Name of God.' At that moment the young son of the master spoke from the depths of the cave: 'O Abu'l-Hasan, it is not a question of knowing the Supreme Name of God, it is a question of being the Supreme Name.'

Thereupon the Shaykh said: 'My young son has seen through thee and recognized thee!' (al-Anwar al-Qudusiya fi tariaq ash-shadhiliya Muhammad Zafir al-Madani )

'Abdas-salam ibn Mashish was murdered in 1228. His tomb on Mount al-'Alam, is a place of pilgrimage to this day. sharh salah mashish rft file download

Only one text has come down to us from Ibn Mashish, a metaphysical paraphrase of a widely known prayer, in which the believer calls on God to bless the Prophet as if to thank him for having received Islam through him. called As-Salatul-Mashishiyyah Ibn Mashish sees in the historical Muhammad an expression of the one Spirit from which all revelation comes and which is the eternal mediator between the ungraspable Godhead and the world. This is the Logos, the first manifestation of God and, as such.

His universal symbol as well as His highest veil. By the very fact that in this way the Absolute reveals itself in a relative and multiple fashion, it also conceals itself. This eternal mediator is called the 'Muhammadan Spirit' (ar-Ruh al-Muhammad), not because it is embodied only in Muhammad-for all God's messengers and prophets manifest it-but because in the Islamic perspective Muhammad is its most immediate expression.

Divine Truth, the Sufis say, is in itself unlimited and inexhaustible, so that every religious form in which it deigns to clothe itself for the salvation of men can be no more than one possible form amongst others. Sufi mysticism is predominantly founded on gnosis, and this finds expression in the saying of Abu'l-Hasan ash-Shadhili:

'Know and be as thou wilt, he once said, and meant by this that the man who has realized what he is before God can do nothing else but act rightly. He taught his disciples to look on the world with the eye of eternity:

'Attribute the actions of creatures to God as Agent; this will bring no harm to thee; whereas it will bring harm to thee if thou regardest creatures as the authors of their actions.'

The spiritual attitude corresponding to this angle of vision is that of 'vacare Deo', unconditional self-abandonment to God:

The servant will not attain to God as long as he harbours any desire or ulterior motive. If thou wouldst please God, renounce thyself and thine environment and thy power over it.

But this abandonment is not mere in-action: each moment is a sword, if thou cuttest not with it, it will cut thee (i.e. cause that moment to be lost for the remembrance of God).

(al-Anwar al-Qudusiya fi tariaq ash-shadhiliya Muhammad Zafir al-Madani)








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