TAWAHHUM – توهم
Having wahm. Having too much fear even though there is a small possibility of danger. Having ideas without foundation in fact. Falling in despair and fear through supposing something exists, which does not exist.
The Second Word
بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
اَلَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ1
If you want to understand what great happiness and ni’mah, what great pleasure and ease are to be found in îmân, listen to this story which is in the form of a comparison:
One time, two men went on a journey for both pleasure and business. One is selfish and inauspicious, he set off in one direction, while the other one propitious, knows Allah and sees haqq and haqiqah to the other way.
Since the selfish man was both conceited and pessimistic, just worried about himself, as a punishment for his pessimism he ended up in his view in a most wicked country. He looked around and saw everywhere the impotent unfortunates exclaiming “Ah and Alas!” weeping at their destruction in the grasp of fearsome bullying tyrants. He saw the same grievous, painful situation in all the places he travelled. The whole country took on the form of a house of mourning. Apart from becoming drunk,2 he could find no way of not noticing this grievous and sombre situation. For everyone seemed to him to be an enemy and foreign. And all around he saw horrible corpses and despairing, weeping orphans. His conscience was in a state of torment.
The other man was devout and fair-minded who knows Allah and sees haqq and haqiqah and with fine morals so that the country he came to was most excellent in his view. This good man saw universal rejoicing in the land he had entered. Everywhere was a joyful festival, a place for the dhikr of Allah overflowing with rapture and happiness; everyone seemed to him a friend and relation. Throughout the country he saw the festive celebrations of a general discharge from duties accompanied by cries of good wishes and thanks. He also heard the sound of a drum and melody for the enlistment of soldiers with happy calls of "Allahu Akbar!" and "Lâ Ilâha Illallah!" Rather than being grieved at the suffering of both himself and all the people like the first miserable man, this fortunate man was pleased and happy at both his own joy and that of all the inhabitants. Furthermore, he was able to do some profitable trade. He offered shukr to Allah.
After some while he returned and came across the other man. He understood his condition, and said to him: "You were out of your mind. The ugliness within you must have been reflected on the outer world so that you did tawahhum laughter to be weeping, and the discharge from duties to be sack and pillage. Come to your senses and purify your heart so that this calamitous veil is raised from your view and you can see the haqiqah. For the country of an utterly just, compassionate, beneficent, powerful, order-loving, and kind sultân could not be as the form that your wahm showed you, nor could a country which demonstrated this number of clear signs of progress and achievement." The unhappy man later came to his senses and repented. He said, "Yes, I was crazy through drunkenness. May Allah be pleased with you, you have saved me from a Jahannam-like state."
O my nafs! Know that the first man is a kâfir or ghâfil fâsiq. In his view the world is a house of universal mourning. All living creatures are orphans weeping at the blows of death and separation. Man and the animals are alone and without ties being ripped apart by the talons of the appointed hour. Mighty beings like the mountains and oceans are like horrendous, lifeless corpses. Many grievous, crushing, terrifying wahm like these arise from his kufr and dhalâlah, and torment him in a ma’nawî manner.
As for the other man, he is a mu’min. He recognizes and affirms Janâb Al-Khâliq. In his view this world is a place for the dhikr of Rahmân, a place of instruction for man and the animals, and a field of examination for man and jinn. All animal and human deaths are a demobilization. Those who have completed their duties of life depart from this transient realm to another happy and trouble-free ‘âlam, in a ma’nawî manner. So that open place may be made for new officials to come and work. The birth of animals and humans marks their enlistment into the army, their being taken under arms, and the start of their duties. Each living being is a joyful regular soldier, a mustaqîm, contented official. And all voices are either the tasbîh and the dhikr at the outset of their duties, and the shukr and gladden at their ceasing work, or the songs arising from their joy at working. In the view of that mu’min, all beings are the friendly servants, amicable officials, and agreeable books of his Sayyîd Al-Karîm and Mâlik Ar-Rahîm. Very many more subtle, exalted, pleasurable, and sweet haqiqahs like these become manifest and appear from his îmân.
That is to say, îmân bears the seed of a ma’nawî Tuba-Tree of Jannah, while kufr conceals the seed of a ma’nawî Zakkum-Tree of Jahannam.
That means that salâmât and security are only to be found in Islam and îmân. In which case, we should continually say, اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ عَلَى دِينِ اْلاِسْلاَمِ وَ كَمَالِ اْلاِيمَانِ 3
1 (Those who believe in the ghayb.)
2 “how can we follow you, O conceited, deceived one, especially after we hear the âyah: فَلاَ تَغُرَّنَّكُمُ الْحَيٰوةُ الدُّنْيَا وَلاَيَغُرَّنَّكُمْ بِاللّٰهِ الْغَرُورُ (Let not the life of the world delude you, nor let any deluder delude in regard to Allah/35:5). Only those who are drunk with the wine of politics or passion for fame, ambition to be heard, compassion towards human-beings, zandaqa of philosophy, or dissipation of civilisation, would follow you.” Al-Mathnawi al-Nuri (308)
“O ghâfil man created on the Ahsan Taqwîm, who, through the misuse of his will is descending to the asfal sâfilîn! Listen to me! In the ghaflah through the drunkenness of youth I, like you, thought the world was fine and lovely. Then the moment I awoke from that drunkenness of youth in the morning of old age, I saw how ugly the world's face was which was not turned towards the âkhirah, that I had previously imagined to be beautiful.” The Words (339-340)
“Indeed, in order to avoid feeling this grievous pain, this awesome ma’nawî torment, the people of dhalâlah have recourse to the drunkenness of ghaflah that is like a sort of blocking out the feelings. But when they do feel it, they suddenly feel the proximity of the grave.” The Words ( 662 )
“a person who does tawahhum this hospice of the world, which belongs to As-Sâni’ Who is Hakîm, to be the plaything of chance and natural forces through the lunacy of dhalâlah and drunkenness of kufr which arose from the misuse of his will.” The Words ( 663 )
“KNOW, O FRIEND, that the nature and causes close the door of shukr and open the door of shirk. Shirk, kufr, and ingratitude to Allah are based on infinite impossibilities, one of those impossibilities is if the kâfir awakes from the drunkenness of ignorance and looks to their kufr through the eye of ‘ilm, they must acknowledge that they have attributed functions and missions to one minute particle that it cannot fulfill….” Al-Mathnawi al-Nuri (48)
“The pleasures of this strange age given superficially by fleeting things which deceive and cause drunkennes in the people of dhalâlah who perform ‘ibâdah to life are extremely painful and grievous. But in that same state and within those fleeting matters, the people of îmân and hidâyah find eternal and exalted pleasures. I saw and felt this, but I am unable to express it. ” Kastamonu Addendum (118
3(Alhamdulillah for the religion of Islam and perfect îmân.)