012 How is Allah (swt) known?
The most important thing for a human being, of course, is to know his Rabb (God). Everyone must strive to have an accurate information about his Creator. Knowing one's own Creator correctly is called "Marifatullah". Marifatullah is the base of the faith, the faith also is the main reason of all the goodness. As you will remember from the previous articles, the benefit from use of divine grace begins through faith. Human reaches the maturity dimension, by passing beyond his ego, by faith. For that reason, a sincere faith is the essence of the way of eternal salvation and happiness of all mankind. In Quran, the guide to salvation of mankind, Allah ta'âla saith:
"Those who believe, and work righteousness,- their Lord will guide them because of their faith." [Yunus, 9]
"Those who believe not in the Signs of Allah,- Allah will not guide them, and theirs will be a grievous Chastisement." [Nahl, 104]
Actually, to know his Lord and to believe in Him are two different things. The essential thing here is believing. But, for a correct faith, it is needed a correct Allah information.
Many people have a mind confusion about matters of faith and Islam, and about the presence of Almighty Allah. Our many brothers stand on a narrow line between faith and disbelief, because they don't have enough information and clear ideas about their Lord. Many of us cannot carry our faith to last breath. The reason of the belief weakness on many person, is not to have an accurate knowledges about Allah. Everything becomes more intelligible, as long as the minds clarify, by eliminating blurs and dispersing the clouds.
How can a person know his own Creator?
Each knowledge has a particular obtaining technique and a particular learning method. Science are unthinkable without methods. But, certainly, methods of spiritual sciences are not such as methods of material sciences working with the five senses. At the scholarship of "marifatullah", namely, at learning and understanding one's own Creator, there are three main methods most commonly used:
The first of these is "the mind way", that is the method used by scientists dealing with the nature sciences. The basis of this is to try to understand Allah ta'âla by researching the divine organisation, in other saying, by researching His affairs at the universe, which these are the actual attributes of the Creator. The universe bears the appearances of the attributes of "wisdom" "power" "mercy" of his Creator, as each artwork bears the traces of all the skill and mastery of its artist making it.
The second is "the transference way", that is the method used by faqihs dealing with the fiqh scholarship. The basis of this method is to try to understand Allah ta'âla, by basing on the information preached Almighty Allah to us through the prophets. Namely, it is to know Allah ta'âla in a manner that he has notified himself to us in Qur'an and that the prophet Mohammed has announced and explained.
The third is "the heart way", that is the method used by the sufistic people. The essence of this method also relies on Rasulullah. The basis of this method is self-cleaning by purifying the ego from the desires with riyazaat ve mujahada; purifying the heart by remembering Almighty Allah every time; briefly, to try to understand his Lord through the heart by having possession of taqwa, vera and ikhlas. In this case the person is honored with various favors by Almighty Allah.
Sufism is a "status" science. It's essence is based on to live in accordance with the divine purpose, as being equipped with the moral of the Qur'an, under the supervision of a Murshid-i Kâmil who is Prophet's heir. Marifatullah is bestowed in an automated manner through intuition and inspiration, to the believer who owns a sincere faith, patience, trust and consent.
Although these methods and ways seems as the different methods of Marifatullah, actually these are the different stages of the process providing Marifatullah. This process is called the "sayr-i suluk". Marifatullah is obtained by being passed one after another of these three way. Eventually, it is reached to Marifatullah. Person must get help definitely by swearing allegiance to a Murshid-i Kâmil, to able to cross these roads. So that, at his conversation assemblies, he would benefit from the divine feyz coming by flowing since the Prophet (s.a.w.) and appearing on Awliyaullah. Otherwise, to lose his way is inevitable.
As long as the human has an accurate and detailed information about his Creator; the faith in him increases as gradual. These three methods of Marifatullah, in a sense, be in equipoise to the three stages of faith. As you may recall, there are three stages of faith, going towards perfection: These are stages of "Taqlidî" (imitative), "tahqiqî" (investigative), and "Haqiqî" (genuine) faith.
True faith is obtained, after recognizing of Almighty Allah accurately, by means of heart.
"Faith" forms the basis of all the methods used for Marifatullah. As I mentioned in article titled The way going to Allah", the information about the spiritual world can not be actually achieved, but is bestowed to people through intuition and inspiration. The password of this bestow is also "faith". Anyone will have knowledge about the spiritual world at the rate of his faith. The methods used, only, speed up the flow of information to the heart, by helping to develop and to consolidate of the faith. Just so ...
It should be noted a very clear manner that, the self of Allahu ta'âla will never be known by the five senses, such as currently perceived any object belonging to the world of created matter. Person attempting to know Him by the methods of the world of matter does a very big mistake. Can the Creator be known, by the methods used to know the things that were created? He is not an object from the material world. For this reason His self essence can never be known by the methods of sciences of matter. He does not resemble anything from which He has created. In verses:
"And there is none like unto Him." [Ikhlas, 4]
"There is nothing whatever like unto Him." [Shura, 11]
For this reason, the incapable human should not attempt to perceive and know the essence of Allahu teala unlike anything from the things created by Him, with his five senses. Because, such a thing is not possible no time.
In Hadith also:
"Contemplate the things created by Allah, but do not contemplate His self." [Abu-sh-shayh]
To know Almighty Allah means to know manifestations of the zatî, subutî and fiilî attributes on the worlds, and so, to become aware of divine mercy. The nature of His sublime personage can not be understood. Because, His self personage is free from the time and place. The times and the places, He has created. He can not be perceived as an object, through the senses which human perceives by them the world of matter which is volumed, timed, and can be measured. He does not resemble anything from the things created by Him.
Imam-i Rabbani said that:
"Allahu ta'âla is not volumed, timed, and directioned. He is not at a location or on one side. He has created the times, the locations, the directions. Ignorants think Him on the Throne above in the sky. He has created the up, the down and the Throne. The thing created later can not be place for kadîm (being exists eternally). Allah is not substance, object and situation. There is not partner, quasi and opposite of Him. He is not like the things we know and we can think. Can not be conceived and can not be understood that, how is He. Everything coming to mind is wrong. He is neither in nor out of the universe. Being inside or outside; is only considered between the two thing that exists. However, the universe has been created in the position of imagination. To appear exist of the universe in the position of imagination, is happening with the power of God." (Mektubat 2/67)
To know Him, means being aware of the various manifestations of His attributes and acts, on the things being created by Him. If God permits, the meaning of these words will be understood better in future articles related to the "Marifatullah".
Be entrusted to Allah.
Dr. Ismail Ulukus