Secondly Extremism in Tasawwuf

The Ideology of its Founder – Firstly: Polytheistic leanings
October 25, 2018
Thirdly: Claiming Prophethood
October 25, 2018

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Secondly Extremism in Tasawuf


His extremist leanings in this regard are as clear as can be in his books Misbah al Hidayah ila al Khilafah wa al Wilayah and Sirr al Salah. Hereunder we will shed light on some of his extremist views:

  1. Special incarnation

He says the following regarding Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali:


خليفته ( يعني خليفة الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم) القائم في مقامه في الملك والملكوت، المتحد بحقيقته في حضرت الجبروت واللاهوت، أصل شجرة طوبى، وحقيقة سدرة المنتهى، الرفيق الأعلى في مقام أو أدنى، معلم الروحانيين، ومؤيد الأنبياء والمرسلين على أمير المؤمنين

His Khalifah (the Khalifah of Rasul Allah) who is his vicegerent in the kingdom of the seen and the unseen, who is one with him in his essence in grandeur and divinity, the roots of the Tuba tree, the essence of the Sidrah al Muntaha (the farthest lote tree), the highest companion at the position of Aw Adna (referring to the journey of Mi’raj), the teacher of the ascetics and the supporter of the Ambiya’ and the prophets: ‘Ali Amir al Mu’minin.[1]


Consider his statement ‘who is one with him…..and divinity’, you will find that it is just like the belief of the Christians regarding the god and the human being one and the same. The extremist Shia had in the past also claimed that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala transcended into ‘Ali.[2] And sadly these extremist ideas still linger in the minds of these scholars.

Due to the claim that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala descended into ‘Ali, as he beliefs, Khomeini attributes the following to Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali:

كنت مع الأنبياء باطنا ومع رسول الله ظاهرا

I was internally with the Ambiya’ and externally with Rasul Allah.[3]


Commenting upon this alleged narration he further says:


فإنه عليه السلام صاحب الولاية المطلقة الكلية والولاية باطن الخلافة… فهو عليه السلام بمقام ولايته الكلية قائم على كل نفس بما كسبت، ومع كل الأشياء معية قيومية ظلية إلهية ظل المعية القيومية الحقة الإلهية. إلا أن الولاية كانت في الأنبياء أكثر خصهم بالذكر

Hence he (‘Ali) is the possessor of complete and unrestricted Wilayah (authority as a result of succession). And Wilayah is the internal component of Khilafah… He, due to his complete Wilayah is a guardian of every soul in what it has earned. And with everything there is a presence of a guardianship which is reflective of the ultimate divine guardianship. However because (his) Wilayah was more in the prophets he made specific mention of them.[4]


As you can see, Khomeini comments upon this narration which is already extreme in its purport, and which is falsely attributed to Amir al Mu’minin, with such words that are more steeped in extremism; for according to him he is not merely the guardian of the Ambiya’ but of every living soul. In substantiating this he chooses the purport of a verse which is exclusive to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and attributes it to the creation. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:


أَفَمَنْ هُوَ قَائِمٌ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ نَفْسٍ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ

Then is He who is a maintainer of every soul.[5]


I.e. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala is the guardian, the possessor of knowledge and the monitor of every living soul. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

وَمَا تَكُوْنُ فِيْ شَأْنٍ وَمَا تَتْلُوْ مِنْهُ مِنْ قُرْآنٍ وَلَا تَعْمَلُوْنَ مِنْ عَمَلٍ إِلَّا كُنَّا عَلَيْكُمْ شُهُوْدًا إِذْ تُفِيْضُوْنَ فِيهِ

And, [O Muhammad], you are not [engaged] in any matter or recite any of the Qur’an and you [people] do not do any deed except that we are witness over you when you are involved in it.[6][7]


Likewise Khomeini says the following regarding the verses:


يُدَبِّرُ الْأَمْرَ يُفَصِّلُ الْآيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُم بِلِقَاءِ رَبِّكُمْ تُوْقِنُوْنَ

He arranges [each] matter; He details the signs that you may, of the meeting with your Lord, be certain.[8]

أي ربكم الذي هو الإمام

I.e. your lord who is the Imam.[9]

  1. Complete Incarnation

Khomeini surpassed the idea of partial incarnation, specific to ‘Ali, and further believed in all-encompassing incarnation (i.e. the descendence of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala into all of creation). Hence after elaborating on Tawhid and its various levels, based on his understanding, he says:

النتيجة لكل المقامات والتوحيدات عدم رؤية فعل وصفة حتى من الله تعالى، ونفي الكثرة بالكلية، وشهود الوحدة الصرفة

The result of all the levels and the various types of Tawhid is: not witnessing any action or attribute, even if it be from Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, the complete denial of multiplicity and the observation of a sheer singularity.[10]


Probably his words ‘not witnessing any action or attribute, even if it be from Allah’ are to emphasise the stance of the Ittihadiyyah; because envisioning a distinct action and affirming a specific attribute for Allah entails conceding a distinct existence which results in two existences; which according to them is Shirk.

He narrates that one of his Imams said:


لنا مع الله حالات هو هو ونحن نحن، وهو نحن ونحن هو

We experience such conditions with Allah that he is who he is and we are who we are. And at times his is us and we are him.[11]


And commenting upon this narration he says:


وكلمات أهل المعرفة خصوصا الشيخ الكبير محي الدين مشحونة بأمثال ذلك مثل قوله: الحق خلق، والخلق حق، الحق حق، والخلق خلق. وقال في نصوصه: إن الحق المنزة هو الحق المشبه

And the words of the Gnostics, especially the great scholar Muhy al Din, are filled with such examples. For example he says, “The ultimate truth is the creation; the creation is the ultimate truth. And the ultimate truth is the ultimate truth and the creation is the creation.” And in one of his statements he says, “Verily the transcendent truth is the truth having similarity.” (With the creation)


He then goes on to cite a good few of the statements of Ibn ‘Arabi.[12] And thereafter says:


لاظهور ولا وجود إلا له تبارك وتعالى العالم خيال في خيال عند الإحرار

There is no emergence or existence but for him subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. And the world is merely a fantasy within a fantasy according to the elite.[13]


He also says:

وإذا نظف دار التحقق من غبار الكثرة، وطوى الحجب النورانية والظلمانية ونال مقام التوحيد الذاتي والفناء الكلي تحصل له الاستعاذة الحقيقية

And when the abode of reality is cleansed from the dust of multiplicity, and the veils of light and darkness are folded and a person attains the level of essential Tawhid and complete annihilation of oneself, that is when he will attain the actual refuge…


He then says:

وقوله أياك نعبد رجوع العبد إلى الحق بالفناء الكلي المطلق

And his words ‘Only you do we worship’ refers to the servant returning to the truth by completely becoming absorbed/annihilated in him.[14]


Furthermore, you will find that very frequently he draws evidence from the statements of Ibn ‘Arabi, whom he describes as ‘the great scholar[15], and al Qawani, whom he describes as the successor of the great scholar,[16] in substantiating his position on Wahdat al Wujud (singularity of existence).

From this it is clear that Khomeini was of the view of the proponents of Hulul (incarnation) and Ittihad (singularity of existence).


NEXT⇒ Thirdly: Claiming Prophethood

[1] Misbah al Hidayah p. 1.

[2] For further details regarding the belief of incarnation according to the extremist sects of the Shia see: Maqalat al Islamiyyin 1/ 83-86; al Shahrastani has averred that all the extremist Shia unanimously agree upon the belief of incarnation (al Milal wa al Nihal 1/175).

[3] Misbah al Hidayah p. 142.

[4] Misbah al Hidayah p. 142.

[5] Surah al Ra’d: 33.

[6] Surah Yunus: 61.

[7] Tafsir Ibn Kathir 2/556.

[8] Surah al Ra’d: 2.

[9] Misbah al Hidayah p. 145.

[10] Ibid. 134.

[11] Ibid. 114

[12] Misbah al Hidayah p. 114.

[13] Ibid. p. 123.

[14] Sirr al Salah p. 178.

[15] See: Misbah al Hidayah p. 84, 94, 112.

[16] See: Ibid. p. 110..

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