ILHAM – إِلهَام
Allah's inspiring into the heart. Inspiration. To infuse into the heart through Ilahî influence. The meaning that comes to one’s heart from Allah (‘Azza wa jalla).
Ilham is only in the âyah (Qur’an 91:8) as the direct word.
But the words kalimât (the words) and kalimâti Rabbi (the words of Rabb) are used in the Qur’an in the meaning of ilham.
“As for the other Ilahî words (kalimât), some of them are speech (kalâm) which manifest through a particular regard, a partial title, the partial manifestation of a particular name, a particular rubûbiyyah, special sovereignty and a particular rahmah. Their degrees vary in regard to particularity and universality. Most ilham are of this sort. But their degree is greatly various. For example, the most partial and simple of them is the ilham of the animals, then the ilham of the people of awâm, then the ilham of the awâm malâikah, then the ilham of the awliyâ, then the ilham of the higher malâikah.” The Twelfth Word/The Fourth Principle
“then looked in the direction of ilham and saw that: True ilham indeed resembles wahy in some respects and is a mode of Rabbânî speech. There are however two differences:
THE FIRST: Wahy, which is much higher than ilham, generally comes by the medium of the malâikah, whereas ilham generally comes directly.
Just like a sultân has two modes of speech and command. The first consists of his sending to a governor one of his lieutenants with respect of the grandeur of monarchy and the splendour of sovereignty. Sometimes, in order to demonstrate the splendour of his sovereignty and the importance of his command, he may meet with the intermediary, and then the decree will be issued.
The second consists of his speaking not with the title of the monarch or in the name of being sultân, but privately in his own person and concerning some private matter, some petty affair, using for this purpose a trusted servant, some ordinary subject, or his private telephone.
In the same way, the Pre-Eternal Monarch may either, in the name of Ar-Rabb of All the ‘âlams, and with the title of Khâliq of the Universe, speak with wahy or the comprehensive ilham that performs the function of wahy, or He may speak in a different and private fashion, as Ar-Rabb and Khâliq of each animate being, but behind veils, in a way suited to the recipient.
THE SECOND DIFFERENCE: Wahy is without shadow, pure, and reserved for the khawass. ilham, by contrast, has shadow, colours intermingle with it, and it is general. There are numerous different kinds of ilham, such as the ilham of Malâikah, the ilham of humans, and the ilham of animals; ilham thus forms a field for the multiplication of the kalimât of Rabb, that are as numerous as the drops in the ocean. Our traveller understood that this matter is, indeed, a tafsir one aspect of the âyah, لَوْ كَانَ الْبَحْرُ مِدَادًا لِكَلِمَاتِ رَبِّى لَنَفِدَ الْبَحْرُ قَبْلَ اَنْ تَنْفَدَ كَلِمَاتُ رَبِّى1 Then he looked at the nature, the hikmah, and the testimony of ilham and saw that its nature, hikmah and result were composed of four nûrs.
The first: It is said Ilahî Tawaddud that is His making himself loved through His words, hudhur and discourse, like His making Himself loved to His creatures through His deeds, are the necessities of His Wadûdiyyah and Rahmâniyyah.
The second: It is a requirement of Rahîmiyyah as that He answers the du'â of His ‘abds through His deeds. In addition to answering them by words, from behind veils.
The third: it is a necessity of Rubûbiyyah that just as He responds in deed to the cries for help, supplications, and pleadings of those of His creatures who are afflicted with grievous misfortunes and hardships, so too He should hasten to their help with words of ilham, which are like a form of speech.
The fourth: it is a necessary and wâjib requirement of the mercy of Ulûhiyyah and rahmah of Rubûbiyyah that just as He makes His existence, hudhur and protection perceptible in deed to His most weak and indigent, His most poor and needy, conscious creatures, that stand in great need of finding their Master, Protector, Guardian, and Disposer, He should also make His hudhur and existence known by speech, from behind the veil of veracious ilham regarded as a mode of Rabbânî discourse, privately, in a manner peculiar to each created being and their capacities, through the telephone of their hearts.
He then looked to the testimony of ilham and saw that if the sun, for example, had consciousness and life, and if the seven colours of sunlight were the seven attributes, in that respect it would have a form of speech through the rays and manifestations found in its light. And in this situation both its similitudes and reflections would be present in all transparent objects, and it would speak with all mirrors and shining objects and fragments of glass and bubbles and droplets of water, indeed with all transparent particles, in accordance with the capacity of each. Just as it would self-evidently respond to the needs of each, and all these would testify to the sun's existence, and no task would form an obstacle to any other task, and no speaking would obstruct any other speaking.
In the same way, it is self-evident that the Speech of the Zuljalâl Sultân of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity, the Zuljamâl and Exalted Khâliq of All Beings, Who may be described as the Pre-Eternal Sun (Shamsi Sarmad), manifests itself to all things, in general and comprehensive fashion, in a manner appropriate to their capacity, as do also His ‘Ilm and Qoudrah. No request interferes with another, no task prevents the fulfilment of another, and no address becomes confused with another.
The traveller knew that all of those manifestations, those discourses, those ilhams, separately and together, proved and testified unanimously to the hudhur, the necessary existence, the wahdah and the Ahadiyyah of that Pre-Eternal Sun at the degree of ‘ilm al-yaqîn nearing the degree of ‘ayn al-yaqîn.” The Rays (148-150)
“all the ilhams from the ilhams of bees and animals to those of the ‘awâm people and the khawass among men, and from the ilhams of ‘awâm malâikah to those of the most khawass malâikah (Al-Muqarrabîn Al-Khawass), are Rabbânî words (kalimât) of a sort. But they are Rabbânî words (kalimât) in accordance with the capacity of the places of manifestation and the stations; they are the varying manifestations of Rabbânî address shining through seventy thousand veils.
However, to signify such ilhams with the proper noun âyah which is a noun proper to the stars of the Qur'an, that is the most evident exemplification example of wahy and Kalâm of Allah is absolutely wrong.” The Twenty-Ninth Letter- Ninth Section/ Fourth Allusion
“Also, just as the ilhams from the Ghayb imparted to all hearts, which make known to man every sort of ‘ilms and haqiqahs and teach the animals how to procure their needs, make known the existence of a Rabb Ar-Rahîm and point to His Rubûbiyyah.” The Words ( 688 )
1 (Were the sea to become ink for the words of my Rabb, verily the sea would be exhausted before the kalimât of my Rabb.)