of the Mystery
Kashful Mahjub (Revelation of the Mystery)
by Ali Hajveri Data Gunj Bakhsh (d.1077) is one of the earliest
and most comprehensive texts on Sufism. It consists of twenty-five
chapters, many of which are subdivided into sections. The first
fourteen chapters deal with general concepts of Sufism, such as
the affirmation of knowledge, poverty, the etymology of Sufism,
and so on.
The last eleven chapters (Chapter 15-25) relate
to a revelation each, and from them the book derives its title.
These revelations are listed below alongwith a key quotation from
The eleven revelations
The Gnosis of God [marifat Allah]
causes the human being to know Him through Himself with a knowledge
that is not linked to any faculty, a knowledge in which the existence
of the human being is merely metaphorical.
2. Unification [tawhid]
unification consists in asserting the unity of a thing and in
having a perfect knowledge of its unity.
reality, without any controversy among Muslims, faith is gnosis
and acknowledgment and acceptance of works.
Purification from foulness
requires purification of the body, and gnosis requires purification
of the heart. As, in the former case, the water must be clean,
so in the latter case unification must be pure and belief undefiled
(one who would get closer to God must purify oneself inwardly
is a divine command and is not a means of obtaining either “presence”
or “absence”, because a Divine command is not a means
to anything (the corollaries of prayer belong to the stations
is really a thanksgiving for a benefit received, the thanks being
similar in kind to the benefit (corollaries of alms are liberality
is really abstinence and this includes the whole method of Sufism…
Hunger sharpens the intelligence and improves the mind and health.
the whole universe is a man’s trysting place where he gets
closer to God and a retired chamber where he enjoys intimacy with
God, he is still a stranger to Divine love; but when he has vision
the whole universe is sanctuary (corollary of pilgrimage is contemplation).
Companionship, rules and principles
people good manners consist in the observance of virtue (murawwat);
as regards religion they consist in the observance of the Prophet’s
actions (sunna); and as regards love they consist in the observance
of respect (hurmat). These three categories are connected with
employed in every craft and business, while discussing its mysteries
with one another, make use of certain words and expressions of
which the meaning is known only to themselves. Such expressions
are invented for a double purpose: firstly, in order to facilitate
the understanding of difficulties and bring them nearer to the
comprehension of the novice; and secondly, in order to conceal
the mysteries of that science from the uninitiated.
must know that the principles of audition vary with the variety
of temperament, just as there are different desires in various
hearts, and it is tyranny to lay down one law for all.
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from translation by R. A. Nicholson published by Sohail Academy,
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