TAFAKKUR – تفکر
Literally: A thinking. A pondering. A reflecting. A thought. A reflection.
Reflecting on creation and Allah’s signs, which are the creational âyahs in the universe.
Knowing As-Sâni’ with His attributes and Names, and understanding the Ilahî hikmahs of the creation by reflecting the wondrous Ilahî arts and disposal which can be seen on the universe.
“the way of tafakkur which the Qur'an of Miraculous Exposition commands with such âyahs as, لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَفَكَّرُونَ ٭ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ ٭ اَوَلَمْ يَتَفَكَّرُوا فِى اَنْفُسِهِمْ مَا خَلَقَ اللّٰهُ السَّمٰوَاتِ وَ اْلاَرْضَ ٭ َلآيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ ٭ ,1 تَفَكُّرُ سَاعَةٍ خَيْرٌ مِنْ عِبَادَةِ سَنَةٍ 2 The Hadith states that on occasion an hour's tafakkur may be equivalent to a year's ‘ibâdah. It also offers powerful encouragement for tafakkur.” The Flashes ( 380 )
“man's fundamental duty is to recognize his duties, which look to innumerable aims; and proclaim his impotence, poverty, and faults in the form of ‘ubûdiyyah; and observing the tasbîh of beings with a universal eye, to bear witness to them; and seeing the instances of the assistance of Ar-Rahmân in ni’mahs, to offer shukr; and gazing on the miracles of Rabbânî Qoudrah in beings, to tafakkur on them as objects from which lessons may be drawn.” The Words ( 334 )
“وَاِنَّ لَكُمْ فِى اْلاَنْعَامِ لَعِبْرَةًۜ نُسْق۪يكُمْ مِمَّا ف۪ى بُطُونِه۪ مِنْبَيْنِ فَرْثٍ وَدَمٍ لَبَنًا خَالِصًا سَٓائِغًا لِلشَّارِب۪ينَ3 until, ف۪يهِ شِفَٓاءٌ لِلنَّاسِۜ اِنَّ ف۪ى ذٰلِكَ َلاٰيَةً لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ 4
These âyahs point out that Janâb-i Haqq makes creatures of His like sheep, goats, cattle, and camels into springs of pure, delicious milk for man, and artefacts like grapes and dates into cauldrons and trays laden with deliciously sweet ni’mahs for him, and tiny miracles of His Qoudrah like the honey-bee into makers of a sweet, health-giving sherbet, and then conclude with the words, اِنَّ ف۪ى ذٰلِكَ َلاٰيَةً لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ 5 thus urging man to tafakkur and take lessons and compare these with other things.” The Words (433-434 )
“The Qur’an teaches us this argument:6 فَارْجِعِ الْبَصَرَ هَلْ تَرَى مِنْ فُطُورٍ By commanding us to tafakkur on creatures and mentioning their uses or benefits as ni’mahs, the Qur’an seeks to establish this proof (proof of ‘inâyah) in the human mind and then calls upon reason to ponder over them in the conclusions and divisions of âyahs. It illuminates the role of mind (aql) and stirs up the conscience in such âyahs as: 7 اَوَلاَ يَعْلَمُونَ، اَفَلاَ يَعْقِلُونَ، اَفَلاَ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ، فَاعْتَبِرُوا Al-Mathnawi Al-Nuri (374)
“KNOW, O FRIEND, that the decoration, perfection, beautiful spectacle, and majesty of Rubûbiyyah, as well as the splendour of Ulûhiyyah, seen in the universe require an observer to observe them in amazement. When doing tafakkur on them, such an observer must move from there to the Majesty (Jalâl) of their Sâni’ and Mâlik, and to His Power and Perfection.” Al-Mathnawi Al-Nuri (261)
“KNOW, O FRIEND, that tafakkur is like nûr, for it melts your frozen ghaflah. Being careful and attentive is like fire, for it burns your dried rubbish of doubts. However, when you tafakkur on your nafs, tafakkur deeply, as the Name Al-Bâtin wants you to do so. The perfection of art is seen in its details and ramifications. When you tafakkur on the âfâk8 , do so briefly and superficially, for you only need to understand the foundations upon which it is based. This is what the Name Adh-Dhâhir requires, for the splendour of art becomes more evident and more dazzling when looked on and examined as a whole. The outer world is very spacious and has no shores. If you dive into it, you may drown.
If you go deep in your nafs, but make a brief and fast journey in the outer world, you can approach wahdah. Individual parts acquire wholeness, compounds become composites, and composites become unified. From this unity issues the nûr of yaqîn (certain knowledge of wahdah). If you only make a brief and superficial examination of your nafs while going into detail during your travels in the outer world, the diversity of things will engender confusion and doubt. This will strengthen your ananiyyah and ingrain ghaflah in you, developments that will make you incline to naturalism and, eventually, away from the diversity of things and to dhalâlah. O Allah, do not include us among the people of dhalâlah! Amen.” Al-Mathnawi Al-Nuri (202 )
1 (That you may consider.* Perchance they may tafakkur. * Do they not tafakkur in their own nafs, did Allah create the samâwât and the earth? * There are âyahs for those who tafakkur.)
2 (An hour's tafakkur is better than a year's ‘ibâdah)
3 (And verily in cattle you will find an instructive sign. From what is within their bodies, between excretions and blood, We produce for your drink, milk, pure and agreeable for those who drink it...)
4 (Wherein is healing for men; indeed in these are âyahs for people who tafakkur.)
5 (Indeed in these are âyahs for people who tafakkur)
6 (Then, look again! Can you see any flow-rifts? /67:3)
7 (Do they not know? Will they not tafakkur and learn the lesson?)
8 (Tafakkur which is pertaining to the universe and the events contained within it. Regarding the ‘âlam except the nafs.)