…much inspiration, along with small steps of drawing closer, has been glittering the heart with reading the MABDA publication On Invoking the Divine Name, available as a pdf downlaod, MashaAllah. The volume includes a Treatise by the esteemed Shaykh Ahmad ibn Mustafa al-Alawi Rahmatullahi alaihi, two sections by Shaykh ibn Ata Allah al-Iskandari Rahmatullahi alaihi and a short extract from Iman Abu Hamid al-Ghazali Rahmatullahi alaihi. These sections focus on the practice of invoking the name ‘Allah‘ expounding upon the grammatical, legal, logical, and metaphysical, with copious references to Qur’an, Ahadith and moving stories from the noble Salaf. The following excerpt is from the chapter The Pure Goal Concerning the Knowledge of the Unique Name by Shaykh ibn Ata Allah al-Iskandari, translated by erudite Khalid Williams, whose translations (see below) are providing English readers with such rich and lucid works. May Allah Ta’ala continue to bless his pen, Ameen.
One special distinction of the Name is that it is perfect in its letters, complete in its meaning, unique in its mysteries and singular in its quality. Originally it is Allah; if the initial alif is removed, it leaves lam-lam-ha, which spells lillah, ‘to God.’ If the first lam is then removed, this leaves lam-ha, which spells lahu, ‘to Him.’ Finally, if the second lam is removed, this leaves the letter ha, which signifies the third person pronoun hu, ‘He,’ Thus every letter of the name has a complete meaning and a perfect distinction, and its meaning does not change. When the letters are separated, no benefit is lost, nor any wisdom removed, and each successive word has a strange and marvellous meaning of its own.
We have spoken about this Name according to the light of what has been taught about it, and the understanding God has inspired of it. Now you should know that the point of all this is to encourage that this Name be invoked, and invoked more often than anything else, because of the love God has for it, and its tremendous standing in His sight, and the special virtue and nobility He has assigned to its invocation above all others. The purpose of this is to provoke meditation on its mysteries, so that its resplendent lights are shone upon the heart and the body, and so that the gnosis and love of the one who invokes it is strengthened, and he is drawn ever closer to God. The sign of love is the frequent invocation of the Beloved; the sign of increase is the frequent offering of thanks to Him; the sign of grace is obedience to His commands and prohibitions; and the sign of contentment is the offering of worship to Him at the appropriate times, and the preference of good to evil.
…and while being captivated by the brilliance of Shaykh ibn Ata Allah’s wisdom…here is more to ponder anabling us to draw closer…
Do not look forward to being free of alterities (al-aghyar)* for that is indeed what cuts you off from vigilant attention (al-muraqaba) to Him in that very state He has assigned to you. *The word ‘alterities’ implies multiplicity, which is characteristic of the world. It refers to all that which preoccupies the heart and prevents it from being exclusively attentive towards the Divine Presence. The word being multiple by its very nature, there is no point in looking forward to freedom from its attractive pull; rather one should be vigilantly attentive now to the Presence in the heart, for that is what really counts.
So long as you are in this world, be not surprised at the existence of sorrows. For, truly, it manifests nothing but what is in keeping with its character or its inevitable nature. Note: This Hikma is related to no.23, for it spells out the nature of the world, which is not God. Not being, on its own plane, the Divinity, it is necessarily compounded of joys and sorrows, for God alone is pure bliss. Useless, is it then, to wish an absolute perfection for the world: not being God, it cannot be but be imperfect. If it were perfect, it would be God, which is an impossibility, for there are not two ‘Gods,’
…and must have on the bookshelf, Sidi Khalid Williams translations:
Our Master Muhammad two volumes.
O you who believe, remember Allah with much remembrance (33:41)
…apologies for not knowing the source of the image…but sincere appreciation to the photographer…
All good is from Allah Ta’ala whereas mistakes are from this humble speck. May Allah Ta’ala Bless all readers, bringing you all closer to Him and His Rasul SallAllahu alaihi wasallam. May He accept our humble efforts and grant us the capacity to be good and do good. Ameen.