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The Sankore’ Institute of Islamic-African Studies International also called (SIIASI), is a non-profit, non-political educational institution founded for the sole purpose of researching into the educational, political, cultural and religious heritage of Islamic Africa.

The primary area of concern is that part of Black Africa traditionally known as the Bilad ‘s-Sudan (The Lands of the Blacks). These lands include all the regions located south of the Sahara desert and north of the tropical jungles, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea.  The purpose of  SIIASI is to elucidate and evidence the Islamic traditions which were born out of African nations such as Takrur, Songhay, Mali, Ghana, Kanem-Bornu, Wodai, Fur, Funj, Sokoto, Segu, Massina and the Mahdist kingdom of the Nile valley.  More>


Tawfeeq Al Muslimeen



an Image of the cover of a newly translated book from as-Sanusi regarding the aqeeda of ahl’s-Sunna wa Jamaat by Shaykh Muhammad Shareef






The book of Commanding the Good and Forbidding the Evil by Shehu Uthman Dan Fodio (Kitab Amr Bi’l-Ma’ruuf Wa’n-Nahyi An al-Munkaar)…Arabic annotation by Shaykh Muhammad Shareef bin Farid


(The Unique Methodology in Knowing the Science of Divine Unity)


This work was written for the common Muslim in order elevate their knowledge and discourse regarding the essentials of scholastic theology in order to move them from the status of commonality, to being an intermediate student (mutawassit), to being one knowledgeable of the basic fundamental science of scholastic theology. 


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The Way of Salavtion

This concise work, Sabeel’n-Najaat (the Way of Salvation) by one of Black Africa’s leading statesmen, military generals and scholars, Shaykh Abdullahi ibn Fuduye`, is believed to have been produced after 1827 when he retired from active rule of the Gwandu region of the Sokoto Caliphate.

This work reflected the kind of instructions Shaykh Abdullahi was engaged in during this period. The two original manuscripts I used to translate this work were no less than 10 folios and no more than 13 folios respectively. Thus, the work is relatively small. It is divided into two chapters followed by a small conclusion.

  • The first chapter is on repentance and its conditions.
  • The second chapter is on guarding the five limbs which Shaykh Abdullahi enumerates as: the eyes, the ears; the tongue; the heart and the stomach.
  • In his conclusion, ‘the professor’ simply reiterates a quote presumably taken from the conclusion of his brother, Shehu Uthman’s Ihya’s-Sunna wa Ikhmad’l-Bid`a, where he quotes from an Andalusian scholar, Abu’l-Abbas al-Abyaani.

This work is thus an epitomizing of the fundamentals of spiritual purification for the transformation of character (tasawwuf li’t-takhalluq) composed for the beginner in the spiritual path.

In these last days and times when tribulation, injustice, hypocrisy and inequity have filled our planet, it is with pleasure mixed with a little irony that we at SIIASI present this very concise but dense work on the basic research of repentance and guarding ones limbs from everything other than that which pleases Allah.

The Education of Humanity

The Sankore’ Institute is honored to present to the reader a book which clarifies in the most concise and eloquent manner the reality (haqiqah) of the last and final Messenger to mankind, Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Abdu’l-Muttalib ibn Hashim, (may Allah bless him as long as the east wind blows and to the number of created things). Many writers in the past have written about the sublime reality of this noble Messenger.  However, this book was written by one of Africa’s leading scholars and revolutionaries.  Thus, we can get a glimpse as to how the people of the Lands of the Blacks viewed their beloved Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

The Character Traits of the Chosen One

salawaat ala nabi2

The Akhlaaq’l-Mustafa (the Character Traits of the Chosen One) byShaykh Abdullahi ibn Fuduye` is an exposition upon the personality of the most perfect creature that ever existed, our master, Muhammad ibn Abdullahi, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. The title of the text is taken from the singular phrase ‘khuluq’ with the letter laam inflected with the damma, which means – one’s personal way of life, nature, and natural disposition.

The Support of the Dedicated Worshipers 

This text, `Umdat’l-Muta`abideen wa’l-Muhtarifeen (The Support of the Dedicated Worshippers and Skilled Professionals) by Shehu Uthman ibn Fuduye`, may Allah engulf him in his mercy, is one of the most concise books composed dealing with the essential knowledge which is obligatory upon every responsible person to know and act upon. For the common Muslim who has not attained the station of scholar or student of knowledge, this text provides those necessary elements of the religion for which the servants will be questioned about on the Day of Judgment. For the student of knowledge, this text provides the sources from which the scholars derive their legal judgments: the Book and the Sunna.

The Hour of the Christians

On March 15, 1903 the armies of the Sokoto Caliphate were defeated at the hands of the British Imperialists. The Caliph (or ruler) of the Sokoto Caliphate at that time was Muhammad Attahiru, the twelfth ruler after Shehu Uthman Dan Fuduye’. After the ‘defeat’, Attahiru led a mass exodus (hijra) of his loyal supporters and officials on the famous ‘hijra to the east’, which had been foretold a century earlier by the founder of the Sokoto Caliphate, Shehu Uthman Dan Fuduye’. >>

Risaa’lat Li’l-Amraad

This book was originally a letter of advice written for the regional amirs and officials of the Sokoto Islamic Caliphate. I believe that it was composed during the first year of his rule in 1818, when many regions began to revolt from under his rule, and many of the veterans of early days of the consolidation of the kingdom were becoming disillusioned either through longing for the asceticism that was the custom of the past, or being preoccupied with the responsibilities gained from their victories. >>

312 thoughts on “Home

  1. Asalaam Walaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu My name is Halimah. My father stayed in College Station Tx and you met in Houston Texas. His name is Naim Bashir and he would love to reconnect. Mash Allah for the first time he is sharing stories of when you met and all you did for him. May Allah reward you.hope to hear from you soon.

  2. Salam Alaykum!
    I am a humble Naqshbandi from England. I stumbled across your website and have developed a lot of love for Shaykh Uthman. He has come into my life in a strangely coincidental time. Forgive my impudence but may I ask for Ijaza in Shaykh Uthman’s Awrad?

    • wa alaykum as salaam wa rahma…I have too much regard for Shehu Uthman Dan Fodio to simply give his awraad online. My suggestion is that you either go to Maiurno Sudan, or Sokoto Nigeria or to me here in Bamako Mali and take the awraad of the Shehu in person.

  3. Asalam Laykum Sheikh,
    For those of us that want to learn from you and study the deen of Allah, are you accepting students? Is this possible? Barakallahu feekum, Sheikh

  4. Shalam Alecheim Ahki

    I stumbled upon this page and your work !

    Blessings to you and your family.

    I was wondering if you ever finished the full translation of Bilad Al- Sudan ?

    Please let me know or direct me to the link

    Beautiful work for the People taken on slaveships and still in America and through out the Western Hemisphere suffering !

    Take care



    • wa alaykum as salaam wa rahma…no I did not complete the translation yet. When I was working on it, I met Dr John Hunwick who informed that he had recieved a Ford Foundation grant to translate it, so I stopped working on it. However, when he completed his translation, which can be purchased here [https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/international-journal-of-middle-east-studies/article/abs/john-hunwick-timbuktu-and-the-songhay-empire-alsadis-tarikh-alsudan-down-to-1613-and-other-contemporary-documents-islamic-history-and-civilization-studies-and-texts-leiden-e-j-brill-1999-pp-477-14100-cloth/2AE727F930399DF3EBC2FB143A6D3149]; he left out the last seven chapters which deal with the mortality of the scholars of Songhay. So I decided to go ahead and continue the translation…but havent got around to it

  5. Bismillaah, Allahumma salli ‘alaa Sayyidina Muhammadin wa ‘Alaa Ahlihi Sayyidina Muhammad wa sallam
    As Salaamu Alaykum Shaykh… May Allah Preseve you and Protect you and your family Ameen. There has been a recent water issue in the City of Pittsburgh that has high levels of contamination (lead, chlorine and probably mesicmed that cannot be filtered). The changes in Color are there, no matter how much you run the tap (cold or hot) the water is cloudy, then after awhile it settles. The water has high levels of lead, which cannot be consumed. The PWSA have been fined and they plan to raise water prices because of the fine, so the people have to basically pay for it. TASTE, COLOR AND ODOR… It smells of chlorine, and there is lead in the water so does this represent TASTE. Can this water be used for consumption or purifications?

  6. Assalam Aleykoum. I have read that Cheikh Muhammad Bello (qadas Allah Sirrah) has written a commentary of Imam Shadhili’s Hizb Al Bahr. Would you have it ?

  7. Beloved Shaykh Muhammad Shareef [May the exalted legacy of our most pious ancestors remain preserved, as alm of the crown of creation, Habibullah, Sayyeduna Muhammad Mustafa (alaihi ‘s-salam), may our Karim Lord aid your most valuable person to success in your set goals accepting all the efforts as investment towards His infinite pleasure, amin].

    May this heartfelt Duas of ours
    Become our canopy on the Day of Hisab

    As-Salam alaykum warahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

    It is one of the greatest things in the life of this faqir to come in contact with the invaluable works and efforts of your blessed person. This noble service of yours on its own is a treasure invaluable, and every gem unearthed is also a special boon to the Ummah. Alhamdulillah, for decades we have seeking a hero who would stand up to carry the flag of the forgotten tradition aloft, millions have been longing for this great fortune which Allahu ta’ala is making manifest through your respected person.

    The writer of this letter is Shehu Abdulqadr Naqshbandi Mujaddidi (here Shehu is a name given at birth not a title), an aspirant to sincere and most intense love for our saintly elders (alaihimu ‘r-ridwan) and to the revival of their most invaluable heritage. The burning concern for the unique, perfecting and most gracious legacy of our noble superiors (alaihimu ‘r-ridwan) had taken this faqir and other brothers frequently to Sokoto, Gwandu, Sifawa, Wurno, Chimola and Degel in Nigeria and to Gao, Timbuktu (Mali) and Tuwamarat (Mauritania). Alhamdulillahi, the fervent Duas made at these sacred places in tears and the saintly Duas of the learned met have been the propelling force behind our zeal to work practically, through Madaris and maktabs in the west Africa sub-region, for the revival of the noble heritage of our most saintly elders (alaihimu ‘r-ridwan).

    We commenced the revival efforts through the publication of our mini-magazine As-Salam, about twenty years ago. We have released more than forty editions so far all centered on reviving the memories of the saintly pure, the values they lived for and their heart purifying sayings and stories. While on this effort, this faqir and other brothers had the fortune of becoming the murid of the Pakistani Shaykh with so much love for our beloved Imam, Shehu Uthman bn Fundi (rahimahullah) and other elders from the West Africa sub-continent. The name of this saintly elder is Hafiz Zulfiqar Ahmad Naqshbandi Mujaddidi (Damat Barakatuhu). This great personality gave this faqir the Khilafa and the Ijaza to propage the Naqshbandi Tariqah purely on the platform of Sunnah and fikr of our noble elders in Shawwal 2007. They emphasized the need to strive within the West African sub-region and the world in general to revive the pure and purifying teachings of the most illustrious Shehu Uthman bn Fundi (rahimahullah). Since the Khilafa, the faqir has been travelling within the West African sub-continent with strong presence basically in Nigeria and Ghana. Alhamdulillah, so many Muslims led astray by modern heresies are embracing the pristine teachings of our saintly ancestors (alaihimu ‘r-ridwan). Plans are on to establish Madaris focused on their noble heritage in Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, and other West African region. One of the wives of this faqir, Hafiza Hauwa, also from the progenies of the most exalted Shehu (rahimahullah), moved to Yendi, Ghana more than a year ago to teach women and children the Fiqh and Tahfiz. A plan is on to establish a madrasah in Yendi where women across the Ghana nation would insha-Allahu ta’ala benefit.
    This letter becomes imperative having seen the blessed efforts of your most cherished and respected person towards the sustenance of this invaluable heritage. This faqir would like to know how much you can do for us in the area of training our children and youngsters to have proper understanding of the teachings inherited from our noble elders in order to serve as resource persons in our traditional sunni Madaris across the West Africa sub-region. One of the youngsters did his Tahfiz and ‘alim course (Hanafi) in South Africa while another would be graduating as an ‘alim by the month of May this year. Twelve other boys and about the same number of girls devoted to learning the Deen except for English, French and Mathematics, are also being trained to become Huffaz before setting out to learn the Deen properly. It is our hope that this contact would be a means to realize our great dream for the spread of the sublime teachings of our noble ancestors (alaihimu ‘r-ridwan).

    This faqir is also expecting the directive of your respected person regarding how we can also be useful towards promoting the vision you have for the heritage and the Ummah and how these dreams would also be actualized.

    This faqir has been keeping your exalted person and family in Duas with the hope that we shall one day attain the fortune of meeting physically, subhanallah!

    May our Karim Lord accept the intention of your blessed person for the noble heritage, for this unique Ummah and for humanity in general. May the path to peaceful propagation of our sublime heritage be easy across the globe, amin.

    This pen has failed truly woefully
    To convey the love in my heart

    Wa salam ma’al ikram.
    Abdulqadr Naqshbandi
    Your student and servant

  8. Salamu alaikum Shaykh,this is Mujahid. Please let me know the cost ,the breakdown etc. I definitely would like to support in whatever way that I can.. In Sha Allah I will be needing support as well when I depart from Dar ul kufr.

  9. Salamu alaykum, Shaykhk Muhammad, when we try to print off a copy of Hizb al Itmam, the file says its protected and printing permissions have been removed. Is there a way to change that?

  10. Salam alaykum ya shaykh (May Allahu ta’ala preserved your blessed person and your progenies on the path of Haqq as alm for the Mujaddid Shaykh Uthman bn Fundi [rahimahullah], amin).

    It is pleasing hearing of the release of the blessed Shaykh, may Allahu ta’ala continue to protect the Shaykh in future events, amin.

    Please respected Shaykh, i have dropped a letter with an attachment in your inbox (siiasi@yandex.com) on behalf of my Shaykh. please we are seriously and anxiously waiting for your reply.

    Or may be the e-mail is no more working? any other means of contacting the Shaykh.

    wa salam ma’al ikram,

  11. As-salamu ‘aleykum shaykh. I hope and pray this finds you in a good state insha’Allah. This is brother Harun from the Netherlands and I just want to convey my greetings, blessing and peace to you. May Allah keep enabling you to spread knowledge from these great and amazing African ‘ulama. I have benefitted immensely from your translations and they have influenced me a lot. As a white convert to Islam I have always felt a connection to the Shehu and his work and I am just awe struck by the depth and wisdom of his works. Brother Halim, one of your students, from the US has granted me a copy of Akhlaaq al-Mustafa when I met him in Morocco a few years ago and I am just amazed. Is there some way to get your blessing and approval to translate some works into Dutch (in the future)? Fi amanillah. Your brother.

  12. As Salaamu Alaikum Muhammad Shareef

    in the Hadith of tawassul of Adam one of the variant readings Allahu Ta’ala to Allah if it had not been for him (Muhammad)(SAW) I would not have created you many ulama makes this statement and the statement that Allah would not have created the world if it was not for Muhammad) (SAW) can you elaborate on the meaning and the wisdom of this Hadith and related statement all praise are due to Allah I love you brother and I am glad that Allah freed you from detention for this I am grateful. since the last time I contacted you you I have been on a consolation hearing with the parole board. it is possible that they may be freeing me from prison the year 2021 2 days after my hearing I had a dream that I would with you in Africa. Glad Tidings! also Mohammed Toure was supposed to contact you regarding you going over some text with me I never got the result of that. Also I have having problems with sending you emails. may Allah bless my shake.

    -Abdullahi Talibu Muhammad Toure

    • wa alaykm as salaam wa rahma There is a prophetic tradition which states: “You are with the one you love.” So inshaa Allah we will be together in Africa. So you need to qualify yourself while you are inside to have the skills needed to live in Africa. As for your qestion, could you please write it and send it via email to siiasi@yandex.com

    • On the Primordial Pen as the Instructing Aspect of the Nuuri Muhammad

      Recently I was informed by a friend that they saw in their dream that the Primordial Pen referred to in the Quran is an aspect of the Light of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. He asked if there was any evidence from the Usuul which corroborated his dream. First, the dream vision of a believer is an aspect of prophecy (nabuwwa). It has been related from the two shaykhs on the authority of Anas, may Allah be pleased with him that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace said, “The vision of the believer is forty sixths parts of prophecy.” It has been related by Ibn Maja on the authority of Abu Sa`id al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him (marfu`an), “The vision of the righteous Muslim is seventy parts from prophecy.” It has been related by at-Tabarani on the authority of al-Abass, may Allah be pleased with him that he, may Allah bless him and grant him peace said: “The vision of the righteous Muslim is good news from Allah and it is a part of fifty parts from prophecy.” It has been related by at-Tirmidhi on the authority of Abu Razeen that the Messenger of Allah may Allah bless him and grant him peace said: “The vision of the believer is forty parts from prophecy. It is like a bird in flight for a man as long as he does not tell anyone. When he tells someone then he loses it. Thus, he should not tell anyone except a wise person or a loved one.” According to the scholars of the Sunna the different percentage that the true dream shares of prophecy is based upon the spiritual state and station of the believer having the dream.

      It has been related by at-Tabarani and ad-Diya on the authority of Ubada ibn Samit (marfu`an): “The vision of the believer is the speech by which the servant converses intimately with his Lord during sleep.” It has been related by Ibn Maja on the authority of Umm Karaz al-Kufiya who said: ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace say: “Prophecy has gone and there only remains auspicious dreams.” It has been related by Ibn Maja also on the authority of Ubada ibn Samit who said: “I asked the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace about the saying of Allah: ‘For them is good tidings in the life of this world and in the Hereafter.’ He said, ‘It is the upright vision which a Muslim sees or which is seen regarding him’.” It has also been related by Ibn Maja on the authority of Ibn Abass who said: “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace opened the curtain to his house during his final sickness, while the people had lined up behind Abu Bakr to pray. He then said: “O people there will no longer remain anything from the good tidings of prophecy except righteous visions which a Muslim sees or is seen for him.”

      Abd’l-Wahaab as-Sha`rani said in his Lata’if ‘l-Manan: “My master Ali al-Khawwas used to say: ‘These incidents which occur to human beings during their sleep are actually forces from among the forces of Allah by which the faith in the unseen of the one dreaming is strengthened, if of course, he is deserving of it, even if he is deficient with regard to the rights of sound faith.” He also used to say: “No one is indifferent regarding what is seen in night visions except an ignorant person. Everything that a believer sees in his sleep is from the revelations of Allah upon the tongue of an Angel of dream visions. Due to the fact most people are incapable of carrying the burden of spiritual weight of revelation in the waking state, and since he cannot endure an encounter with an Angel, thus one comes to him while asleep in a comparable presentiment, except in this case the majority of the judgment is connected with the human’s spirit and not his body. It is well known that human spirits are a part of the Angelic world. An Angel has the strength to listen to the speech of the Lord of Truth directly without any mediation. Allah ta`ala says: “It is not natural that a human speaks to Allah except by means of revelation, from behind a veil or by means of a messenger sent, who then reveals what He wills to him with His permission .” It is understood from this verse that when the veil of humanness falls from a servant, then he is able to speak to Allah ta`ala from the perspective of the world of spirits.”
      Thus, the true dream of a believer should never be disregarded or dismissed because it is through the dream that the believer learns about his own soul, the realities around him and of course, the Divine Realities. Among the most important of the Divine realities is the Primordial Pen. In order to verify whether the Pen is an aspect of the realities and lights of the Prophet, we have to examine the words of the People of Allah regarding this.

      Shaykh Abd’l-Qaadri dan Tafa gave us two verses in his Shukr’l-Waahib which indicate that the Primordial Pen mentioned in the Qur’an is the instructing or transmitting aspect of the Light of the Prophet. I discussed this at length in my commentary upon this poem, so I will extract what I said there. Shaykh Dan Tafa said:
      أَحْمَدُهُ إِذْ عَلَّمَ الإِنْسَانَ بِالْقَلِمِ الْحِكْمَةَ وَالْبَيَانَ
      “I praise Him since He is the One who teaches humanity by means of the Pen, wisdom and acute clarity.”
      أَفَاضَ فِي قَوَالِبِ النَّاسُوةِ وَالرُّوحِ قَابَلِيَّةَ اللَّاهُوةِ
      “Which He infuses in the matrices of human nature and the spirit the receptivity for Divine Realities.”

      Regarding the concept of the ‘Primordial Pen’, in the language of the People it has always been reference to the Perfect Human (al-Insan al-Kaamil) – MUHAMMAD, upon him be the best blessings and most perfect peace. I will return to this after first looking at what the outward sources say about the Primordial Pen.

      In the above poetic verse, Shaykh Dan Tafa, acknowledges the reason that he praises Him, seeing as Allah is the One who taught him and all of humanity by means of the Pen what he and they did not know before. The reason that Shaykh Dan Tafa cites the Primordial Pen (al-Qalam) as the first reason for praising Allah ta`ala is because It is the First of the Cosmic Realities (haqaai`a kawniyya). Allah ta`ala says: “Nuun. By the Primordial Pen and what they record.” Waki` narrated a prophetic tradition on the authority of al-`Amash on the authority of Abu Dhabyaan on the authority of Ibn Abass that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace said: “Verily the first thing that Allah azza wa jalla created was the Primordial Pen. He then said to it: ‘Write!’ It said: ‘O Lord what shall I write?’ He said: ‘Record the decree.’ Then it began to record what exist from that Day until the establishment of the Hour.” It has been related by Mujaahid on the authority of Abu Umar who said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace said: “Allah azza wa jalla created four things with His hand, He then said to the remaining creatures: ‘Be!’ and they came in to existence: the Primordial Pen; the Throne; the Paradise of Aden and Adam upon him be peace.”

      The etymological root of ‘pen’ is that which one writes with. Its plural are aqlaam or qilaam and what is meant here in this context by the Primordial Pen is the first thing which was created from the Cosmic Realities. Ibn al-Mundhir al-Ifriqi said in his Lisaan’l-Arab: “Ibn Sayyid said: ‘The Primordial Pen which is mentioned in the revelation, its how-ness is not precisely known’.” Regarding those whom He taught by means of the pen there are three distinct opinions. The first is that it was Adam upon him be peace because he was the first to write. This was the opinion of Ka`b al-Ahbar. The second is that it was Idris, who was considered the first person to write. This was the opinion of ad-Duhaak. The third is that it includes every person who writes with the pen, because they did not learn this except by the instructions of Allah sub’haanahu. All of that is a blessing which He provides to His creatures, and He explains His blessings to them by means of instruction, as a form of perfection of His blessings for them.

      It has been related by Imam Malik ibn Anas on the authority of Rabi`a ibn Abi Abd’r-Rahman on the authority of Naafi` on the authority of Ibn Umar who said: “When Allah ta`ala revealed: ‘Recite in the name of your Lord who created…’ the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace said to Mu`adh: ‘Write it down O Mu`adh.’ Mu`adh then took the tablet, the pen and nuun, which is another name for ink. Then Mu`adh began to write it down until he reached the verse: ‘Rather, do not obey him, but prostrate and draw near’, then the tablet prostrated, the pen prostrated and the nuun fell in prostration, while each was saying: ‘O Allah raise him in renown. O Allah, lighten for him his burden. O Allah, forgive him his sins’. Then Mu`adh said: ‘I then fell down in prostration. I then went and informed the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he too fell in prostration’.”

      In the language of the People of Allah, the Primordial Pen is the First Intellect (`aql awwal) based upon his words, upon him be peace: “The first thing that Allah created was the Primordial Intellect.” For these two prophetic traditions are indications of the Primordial Light of Muhammad as it was narrated by Abd’r-Razaaq with his chain of authority on the authority of Jaabir ibn Abdallah That the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him grant him peace said: ‘O Jaabir, verily Allah ta`ala created from His Light the light of your Prophet before everything.”

      Thus, the concept of First Intellect and Primordial Pen are references to a specific aspect or function of the Light of Muhammad. The coming into being of creation is a disclosure of the Light of Muhammad, in one respect; the articulation of the First Intellect in one respect; and the transcribing of the Primordial Pen in one respect. Thus, the Light of Muhammad, the First Intellect and the Primordial Pen in the proliferation and hierarchy of being are the same and its mirror reflections in creation are the spiritual guides who teach and instruct mankind by means of the pen.

      In his Cheng-Chiao Chen-Ch`uan the Chinese Muslim sage Imam Wang Tai-yu referred to this aspect of the Muhammadan Reality as ‘the Scribe’ (tài shǐ-太史) of the Great Ultimate; that transforms and enacts the paired opposites of yin and yang. The ten thousand forms (or what the Sufis call the universal archetypes) are transcriptions of yin and yang. All of these realities manifest the bounded realm of the Root Act.( běn wèi本爲). The Root Act is a direct reference to the Acts of Allah when Allah ta`ala says: “He is the One who created the heavens and the earth with truth”; where the ‘truth’ (haqq) here is a reference to the First Light, the Muhammadan Reality. It is for this reason that the author praised Allah for teaching humanity wisdom and acute clarity by means of the Muhammadan Reality, the First Intellect and the Primordial Pen.

      The expression ‘wisdom’ (hikma) which Dan Tafa cited in his poem is knowledge of the realities of things, their true descriptions, their specific qualities, and their judgments as they are; it is knowing the correlation of causes with their causative factors; knowing the secrets of the exact order of existing things; and acting in accordance with its requirements. Allah ta`ala says: “Whoever is given wisdom has been given an abundance of good.”

      Shaykh Lisan’d-Deen said in his Rawdat’t-Ta`reef: “Wisdom means placing a thing in its proper place.” The phrase ‘acute clarity’ (bayaan) here means acute awareness accompanied with eloquent articulation of that awareness. Allah ta`ala says: “The Rahman taught the Qur’an, created humanity and taught him acute clarity”. Ibn Abass and al-Hassan said that this ‘acute clarity’ means the names of all things. Qatada said that it means knowledge of all the languages and comprehension. Ibn Kaysaan said that it means clarification of what is permissible and what is forbidden. Al-Qurtubi said that it means the knowledge of what was and what will be, given that the Qur’an is a clarification of the first and the last of the communities as well as the Day of Judgment. Ad-Duhaak said that it means the knowledge of good and evil. Ar-Rabi` ibn Anas said that it means knowledge of what is advantageous and detrimental. Yamaan said that it means the knowledge of writing and calligraphy with the pen. In the latter sense the phrase ‘acute clarity’ (bayaan) is a corroboration of the instruction and wisdom which occurs by means of the pen. It has been related on the authority of Abdallah ibn Umar who said: “O Messenger of Allah, shall I write down what I hear from you of prophetic traditions?” He said: “Yes, write it down, because Allah teaches by means of the pen.”

      I say: that the meaning of wisdom (hikma) and acute clarity (bayaan) is a combination of all the above meanings and is subsumed in the all embracing concept of gnosis (ma`rifa) of Allah and His creation. Again this too is a reference to the transmitting aspect of the Light of Muhammad, upon him be blessings and peace because was related by ad-Daylami on the authority of Abu Raafi` that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace said: “My Umma was made into a likeness for me in the realm of water and earth; and I was taught all the Names just as Adam was taught all the Names.” This means that the actual instructing of Adam of all the Names was by means of the Muhammad whose existence as a instructing Prophet was actualized when Adam was still between water and clay. Just as he, upon him be blessings and peace is ‘the messenger of Allah’ to all of creation, he was ‘the messenger of Allah’ to Adam when he was being taught all the Names.

      One of the best text which uncovers this aspect of the Light of Muhammad, is the Mirat’l-`Aarifeen of Shaykh al-Qunawi in which he said: “Every being is a letter (harf) in a sense, a word (kalima) in a sense, an isolated, disjointed letter (mufrad wa muqatta`) in a sense, a composed utterance (alfaz murakkaba) in a sense, and a ‘chapter’ (sura) in a sense. When we consider only the essence (dhat) of every being without considering its aspects (wujuh), properties (khawas), accidents (awarid), and concomitants (lawazim), as differentiated from the whole, we call it, with reference to this differentiation, ‘a letter’ (harf). And when we consider its aspects, properties, accidents, and concomitants in association with its essence, we call it, with reference to its association with the whole, ‘a word’ (kalima). And with regard to the abstraction of every being from their additions and relations, and to their distinction from one another, they are called ‘isolated, disjointed letters’ (mufrad wa muqatta`). And with regard to the non-abstraction of beings from their additions and relations, and to their non-distinction from one another, they are called ‘composed utterances’ (alfaz murakkaba). And with regard to the distinction of the universal states of existence from one another, and to every being falling under one state, they are called ‘chapters’ (sura).” Thus, every single entity from the fundamental elements of creation to its most complex celestial realities is a letter, a word, an ayat, a chapter, a detailed Qur’an which praises and glorifies its Creator by its existence.

      In another part of the Shukr’l-Waahib, Shaykh Dan Tafa said this:
      وَمِن حَفِيهِنَّ عِلْمُ الْقَدَمِ وَاللَّوْحِ وَالنُّونِ وَعِلْمُ الْقَلَمِ
      And from its environs is the science of the Foot the Tablet, the Primordial ‘Nuun and the science of the Pen.”
      The meaning of the ‘Foot’ it outside the range of our discussion, so, I will not discuss it here. You can see my commentary upon the Shukr’l-Waahib for an in depth explanation of this reality. However, the concepts ‘the Tablet, the Primordial Nuun and the science of the Pen’ falls squarely within this topic. In truth these three realities are three aspects of one reality, or you can say they are an unfolding of one reality. This a direct reference to the Guarded Tablet (lawh mahfuudh) mentioned in the Qur’an. Allah ta`ala says: “Rather, it is a Glorious Qur’an in a Guarded Tablet.” The etymological root of the expression ‘tablet’ (lawh) is from the word ‘to make a signal’ (lawaha) which means to record signals for the purpose of conveying meaning. It is called ‘guarded’ or ‘preserved’ because it is guarded and protected with Allah ta`ala from the reach of the devils, or it is preserved from being altered, or it preserves and protects the decrees of all known things. Ontologically, it manifest as the Mother of the Book (umm’l-kitaab) which is on the forehead of the Arch Angel Israfeel from which was transcribed the Qur’an and the other Heavenly Books. In it is recorded all the varieties of creatures, their natures and an explanation of all their affairs. There is no disagreement that the Qur’an was revealed completely from the Guarded Tablet on the Night of Power.

      It has been related by Ibn Abi Hatim on the authority of Ibn Abass, may Allah be pleased with him who said: “Allah created the Guarded Tablet with a measurement which covers the span of one hundred years. He then said to the Primordial Pen before He created creation: ‘Write!’ It said: ‘What shall I write?’ He said: ‘My knowledge regarding My creation until the establishment of the Hour,’ Then the Pen began to record what exists in the Knowledge of Allah until the Day of Judgment.” Thus, the Guarded Tablet (lawh mahfuudh) is among the cosmic realities and is a massive entity which exists above the seventh heaven in which is recorded everything that was and will be until the Day of Judgment.
      Muhy’d-Deen Ibn Arabi said in his Futuuhaat’l-Makiyya: “The Pen and the Tablet are the first entities in the world of registering and recording. Their realities flow throughout the whole of existence, the high, the low, the meaning, and the sensory. By means of the Pen and the Guarded Tablet, Allah preserves the knowledge about the world. It is for this reason that the pen and the tablet are universally considered as symbols for both the production of knowledge and its preservation.

      It has been transmitted in the narratives that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace said: ‘Tie up knowledge by means of writing’.” This is an indication that the production and preservation of knowledge can only occur through transcription. In the language of the People of spiritual unveiling the Guarded Tablet is the universal rational soul (nafs naatiqa kulliyya) whose outward manifestation is the Footstool (Kursi) and whose inward reality is the Detailed Book (Kitaab Mubeen).

      Muhy’d-Deen ibn Arabi said in his `Aqlatu ‘l-Mustawfiz: “This Tablet is the place for the encounter of the Primordial Intellect. Thus, it has the same general position to the Intellect that Hawa had to Adam.” Just as Adam’s encounter with Hawa in the conjugal sense produced human offspring, likewise, the encounter of the Primordial Pen with the Guarded Tablet produces all that is known. Similarly, the intellect writes upon the soul and inspires it in the same manner that Adam cast his sperm into the womb of Hawa and impregnated her. The reality is that the sperm, Adam and Hawa are three aspects of the same reality – humanity. Correspondingly, the Nuun, the Primordial Pen and the Guarded Tablet are three aspects of the same cosmic reality (haqaa’iq kawniyya).

      The etymological root of expression ‘Nuun’ is from the actual twenty-fifth Arabic alphabet of the same name ‘ن’. Its numeral value in the science of letters is 50 and it is one of the letters of augmentation (zaa’ida) used to indicate plurality and duality in nouns and verbs; and intensification in verbs. Allah ta`ala says: “Nuun. By the Primordial Pen and what they record.” In Islamic cosmology the Nuun from one respect is the Primeval Waters from which Allah created everything living. From another respect it is the Primordial Ink from which the Pen transcribed all that was and will be until the Day of Judgment. At the celestial level the Nuun is a cosmological synonym for the ‘whale’ (huut) upon which the seven earths are spread. In reality, each of these aspects describe a single reality whose cognomen transforms in accordance with the realm of existence it represents.

      It has been related in the Khulasaat’l-Kumaal on the authority of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib who said: “The first thing which Allah created was the Primordial Pen. Then He created the Nuun, which is the Primeval Ink. He then created the Tablet. It (the Pen) then transcribed this world’s life and all that will be in it until it is annihilated. It transcribed the created entities that were created, the deeds of those things which act, whether righteous or evil, what will be for them of provision whether lawful or forbidden, and whether it will be a humid entity or arid entity. Then He placed that Book in the responsibilities of the Angels, and then made Angels responsible for the maintenance of creation.”

      In a chain of transmission considered by some traditionists the soundest of all transmissions from Imam Malik ibn Anas on the authority of Rabi`a ibn Abu Abd’r-Rahman on the authority of Naafi` on the authority of Ibn Umar who said: “When Allah ta`ala revealed: ‘Recite in the name of your Lord who created…’ the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace said to Mu`adh: ‘Write it down O Mu`adh.’ Mu`adh then took the tablet, the pen and nuun, which is another name for ink. Then Mu`adh began to write it down until he reached the verse: ‘Rather, do not obey him, but prostrate and draw near’, then the tablet prostrated, the pen prostrated and the nuun fell in prostration, while each was saying: ‘O Allah raise him in renown. O Allah, lighten for him his burden. O Allah, forgive him his sins’. Then Mu`adh said: ‘I then fell down in prostration. I then went and informed the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he too fell in prostration’.”

      In another narration by Ibn Abi Shayba on the authority of Abdallah ibn Abass who said: “The first thing that Allah created from entities was the Primordial Pen. Then He created the Nuun, and then compressed the earth upon the back of the Nuun.” The expression ‘nuun’ in the latter transmission refers to the Primeval Whale. This is corroborated by a prophetic tradition related in the al-Mu`ajim ‘l-Kubra on the authority of Abdallah ibn Abass that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace said: “The first of what Allah ta`ala created was the Primordial Pen and the Primeval Whale (huut).” It was said: “What did it write?” He said: “Everything that will be until the Day of Judgment.” He then recited the verse: “Nuun and by the Pen…”; for the Nuun is the Primeval Whale and the Pen is the Primordial Pen.” It is for this reason that Allah ta`ala names Prophet Yunus, upon him be peace ‘Dhu’n-Nuun’ (the companion of the whale) when He says: “And Dhu’n-Nuun when he left angrily. He assumed that We had no power over him, but he cried out in the darkness, saying: There is no deity except You! Glory be to You! Indeed I am among the unjust! Then We answered him and saved him from difficulty. Likewise do We save the believers.” All this indicates that these three realities the Tablet, the Nuun and the Primordial Pen are three aspects of the same reality.

      In his at-Ta`areefaat Muhy’d-Deen Ibn Arabi described the Nuun as universal knowledge in summation (`ilm ‘l-ijmaal) potentially all-inclusive, but undifferentiated, much like knowledge which remains dormant in the ink, until the pen extracts it and transcribes it in detail. The pen cannot transcribe what is potentially hidden in the ink unless it is first moved by its prime mover, which is the intellect. It is for this reason that Abd’l-Karim al-Jilli said in his al-Isfaar `An Risaalat’l-Anwaar: “The First Intellect (`aql) in its essence, with respect to the summation of the sciences, is called the Nuun; and with respect to it manifesting the comprehensive details of the sciences in the Tablet, it is called the Pen.” Because these three cosmic realities (haqaa’iq kawniyya) are considered to be three aspects of a single reality; there are no discrepancies between the different Qur’anic verses and prophetic traditions which speak of the first thing which Allah ta`ala created; such as the words of Allah ta`ala: “And We created from Water everything living”; which in this respect is the Primordial Waters, the Nuun (Ink) or the Primordial Cloud (`amaa); all typified by a formless watery primordial substance, which the author will latter indicate by ‘the Black Swamp’ from which emerged the first light, the first form or the primordial existence.

      Reflective of this perspective is his saying, upon him be blessings and peace: “The first thing which Allah created was the light (nuur) of your Prophet, O Jaabir. Then He created from it every excellent thing, and after that He created every thing”; which in this respect is the Muhammadan Reality (haqeeqa Muhammadiyya). There are his words, upon him be blessings and peace: “Verily the first thing that Allah azza wa jalla created was the Primordial Pen”; and his words, upon him be blessings and peace: “The first thing that Allah created was the Primordial Intellect.” All of these diverse names are diverse cognomens referring to a single reality whose aspects change as it unfolds from pure non existence into existence.

      Imam Wang Tai-yu said in his Ch`ing-chen Ta-hsueh: “The names are different, but the principle is one at root. Its reality was originally concealed in non-existence in the Knowledge of the Powerful Being. It accepted the mandate (mìng 命) and became manifest (xiǎn 顯). It is the root origin of the ten thousand things and thereby embodies the ten thousand principles. It is the Non-Ultimate (wú jí無極). There are three levels which corroborate this reality: [1] the Originally Honored (yuán xun 元勳), the Representative (dài lǐ代理), and the Scribe (tài shǐ-太史).” Here Imam Wang Tai-yu gives us another aspect of the three pre-temporal aspects of this first light called the Muhammadan Reality (haqaa’iq Muhammadiyya) which are: [1] the Primeval Waters (maa’ asl); [2] the First Intellect (`aql awwal); and [3] the Primordial Pen (qalam); all embodied within the Primordial Cloud (al-`amaa’), which Chinese sages designate as the Non-Ultimate (wú jí無極).

      The poet, Shaykh Dan Tafa, may Allah be merciful to him said in his al-Mandhuumat li’l-Istalihaat as-Suufiyya:
      “And the first of the individual determinations is the Primordial Pen
      Based on the technical terminology of those who have comprehension
      And the Tablet with the People of Allah is Absolute Light
      If It is imprinted upon It, then it becomes creational light”

      As mentioned previously, ‘light’ in the language of the People of Allah is another cognomen for existence. It is therefore not surprising that modern theoretical physicists have determined that there is a relationship between energy and mass. As a thing increases its speed to the speed of light, so does its mass increase. Thus, the Tablet is an indication of existence in totality, while the individual determination imprinted upon the Tablet by the Pen becomes creational existence. The poet, may Allah be merciful to him explained the meaning of the above poetic verses when he said: “As for the ‘Primordial Pen’, I mean by It an idiomatic expression of the first of the individual determinations of creational manifestation based upon the technical terminology of the Sufis. As for the ‘Tablet’ it is an absolute light which is the locus of the manifestation in the location of creation in which is an imprint of all existing things.”

      What the poet indicates is that the first of the matrices of existence to emanate from pure non-existence was the Nuur of Muhammad, also known as the Cloud (`amaa’), the White Pearl (durrat bayda’), and the Primeval Water (maa’ asl) from which all creational realities emanated. Then the first of the creational realities to emanate from this first light was the Primordial Pen, which is the First Intellect (`aql awwal), the closest of the creational realities (haqaa’iq khalqiyya) to the realities of the Absolute Being (haqaa’iq haqqiyya). This was followed by the Guarded Tablet, which is the Universal Soul (nafs kulliyya) which contains the details of the decrees and judgments of all created entities until the Day of Judgment. Then there emanated universal matter (jawhar kulliy) from which emerged the universal corporeal substance (jasam kulliy). Then the original mold (shakl) of existence emerged and then the first creational form (surat khalqiyya) emerged, which was the Throne of Allah ta`ala. It is the ‘khayaal’ (conceptualized vision) which comprehends these worlds, distinguishes them from one another, and differentiates all created realities from their Creator, the Absolute Being (al-Haqq). It is for this reason the poet, may Allah be merciful to him now turns to discussing the science of the objective ‘khayaal’ (conceptualized vision) and the visionary forms that existence takes in the ‘khayaal’ (conceptualized vision), which some interpret as the imagination, but which does not fully express the full breadth of its meaning, as we will see.

      Thus, al-Qunawi in his Mirat’l-`Aarifeen makes a parallel (mudaahaat) between the comprehensive Self Knowledge of Allah, the Mother of the Book, the Primordial Pen, the Universal Intellect and the Throne with that of the comprehensive knowledge of the Perfect Human – MUHAMMAD; and a parallel between the detailed Self Knowledge of Allah, the Detailed Book, the Guarded Tablet, the Universal Soul and the Footstool with that of the detailed knowledge of the Perfect Human. Al-Qunawi indicates by this that the Perfect Human is the shadow of Allah, His vicegerent (khalifa) and representative (naa’ib) to the rest of creation.

      Each of these conceptions are names or aspects of the transmitting function the spirit of Muhammad, or the Muhammadan Reality (haqeeqa ‘l-Muhammadiyya); which scholars, traditionists, jurists and mystics concur are the names of the ‘first effect’ (ma`luul awwal). `Shaykh Afif’d-Deen Sulayman ibn Ali at-Tilimsani said in his commentary upon the al-Muwaaqif Fee at-Tasawwuf: “This ‘first effect’ (ma`luul awwal) with respect to it being no more than an abstract (mujarrad) which comprehends (ya`aralu) its own essence (dhaat) and origin (mabda’a), it is called ‘an intellect’ (`aql). With respect to this first effect being an intermediate (waasita) in the emergence of the remainder of existence (suduur saa’ir ‘l-mawjuudaat) in the inscription of the sciences (nuquush’l-`uluum), it is called ‘a pen’ (qalam). With respect to its intermediacy (tawssuta) in the abundant emanation of the lights of prophethood (ifaadat anwaar ‘n-nubuwwa), then it is ‘a light’ (nuur) of the master of the Prophets, upon him and them be peace.”

      This original light, reality or created substance in which Allah ta`ala disclosed the knowledge of His Essence which then caused all known things to overflow from non-existence and come into existence. This primary created existence is called by many names: [1] the intellect (`aql); [2] the pen (qalam); [3] the universal spirit (ruuh kulliy); [4] the truth with which the Absolute Being creates (haqq makhluuq bihi); [5] the impartial justice (`adl); [6] the “white pearl’ (durrat bayda); and [7] the light of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

      Shaykh ‘l-Akbar Ibn `Arabi explained in his own work also entitled al-Insaan’l-Kaamil that this primary created reality was the reason for the creation of existence. He said: “Realize that the entire universe would not have been brought into existence, if it were not for the existence of the Perfect Human; for by means of his existence the original objective for this in-time created world was fulfilled by Allah.” He went on to describe the Muhammadan Reality as the spirit of the universe (ruuh’l-`aalam) to which the entire universe is subjugated (musakhkhir), even the debased human animal nature and passions. This reality when it is treasured in the seas of the Essence of Allah ta`ala is called ‘White Pearl’ (durrat bayda). Abu’s-Shaykh transmitted to us a prophetic tradition on the authority of Ibn Abass that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace said: “Allah ta`ala created the Guarded Tablet from white pearl (durrat bayda) and then made its pages of ruby. Its pen was light and its transcription was the light of Allah, which was inscribed each day three hundred and sixty notes declaring that He creates, provides provision, causes death, brings to life, honors, humiliates and does whatever He wills.” This prophetic tradition establishes that the origin of the Guarded Tablet is from the ‘white pearl’, which means that the ‘white pearl’ existed in priority to it, making it synonymous with the Primordial Pen, the First Intellect, the Universal Spirit, and the Mother of the Book; one of the many aspects of the Muhammadan Reality.

      Now as for the Nuun which is paired with the Primordial Pen, Shaykh Dan Tafa gave us another term ‘the Black Swamp’ (as-subkhat’s-sawda’) which he correlated with the science of the Lote Tree (`ilm as-sudra). He said:
      وَالْعَرْشِ وَالْكُرْسِي وَالْمِنْصَّةِ وَالسُّبْخَةِ السَّوْدَاءِ عِلْمِ السُّدْرَةِ
      The ‘Throne’, the ‘Footstool’, and the ‘Bridal Pavilion; the ‘Black Swamp, the science of the ‘Lote Tree ‘’

      For an in depth discussion of the meanings of the Throne, the Footstool, and the Bridal Pavilion, refer to my commentary upon the Shukr ‘l-Waahib. However, regarding the reality of the meanings of the ‘Black Swamp’, we should give more attention because in the language of the People of Allah, it is a synonym for the “Nuun”.

      Thus, the adjective ‘sawdaa’ (black) which describes both expressions, is plural for ‘aswad’ (black/dark), and in both cases indicates something whose origin is unknown or unseen, similar to how modern physicists utilize the adjective ‘black’ and ‘dark’ to describe black holes or original dark matter. Many scholars among the People, call the Black Swamp by another name indicating an additional aspect of meaning of this science. They call it ‘sabha sawda’ (the Black Rosary), but both indicate the same reality.

      Shaykh ‘l-Akbar Ibn `Arabi said in his at-Tadbeeraat’l-Ilaahiyya that this dark world of undifferentiated atomic particles (habaa’) is a realm that is distinguished from the realm of pure light, which he delineates as the First Intellect (`aql awwal), and that between the world of darkness and light lie the Universal Soul (nafs kulliyya) like a perimeter of both darkness and light (sudfa).

      Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ali at-Tahaanawi in his Kashaaf Istilaah’l-Funuun wa’l-`Uluum as well as Shaykh al-Qaashani in his Istalaahaat’s-Suufiyya said: “In the technical language of the Sufis it, (the sabha) is a reference to the subatomic particles (habaa’) which are also called ‘original matter’ (hayuuli) because its existence was indistinct (ghayr waadiha) and undifferentiated (laa mawjuuda) in its essence but not its form.”

      As for its synonym ‘subkha’ (swamp or marsh), it takes its root from the verb ‘sabakha’ (to sleep, be at rest, or take one’s leisure); like when you say: ‘sabakhtu ‘n-nawma’ (‘I slept long.’). The meaning of ‘subkha’ (swamp or marsh) is an area overspread with water to the extent that it is unusable and uninhabitable by humans. This expression is appropriate because a marsh, swamp or bog is the best description which can be given to describe undifferentiated pre-temporal existence which is in, what Izutsu called, ‘an extreme degree of rarefaction’. This narrative of pre-temporal existence as formless watery primordial substance is not unique to Islam. It is a concept which pervades ancient cultures all over the globe.

      In ancient Chinese culture the subtle Way (dào -道) or the Non-Ultimate (wú jí無) is depicted as the black nameless void from which the ten thousand things emerged. It is significant that black is the color which represent water in Chinese cosmology. Similarly, in ancient Egypt (Kemit), the black watery abyss of Nun is the realm from which differentiated existence emerged.

      This belief was transmitted from Egyptian cosmology to the majority of Black African ethnicities as they scattered from the Nile valley into Sub Saharan African. For example, the Yoruba, believe that in the beginning corporeal existence was nothing but a marshy wet wasteland before heavens and earth were created from this dark watery void.
      The Dogon, the Bambara, as well as the pagan Fulfulde` believe that the universe was originally made from symbolic enigmatic water signs. Among the Tongo and Zulu of southern Africa as well as the Bantu of east and central Africa, they believe that the universe originally emerged from murky marsh reeds.

      In Islamic cosmology, the cognomen ‘Nuun’, not unlike the ancient Egyptian ‘Nun’, is used to indicate the Primeval Waters symbolized as Black Ink (comprehensive knowledge). Allah ta`ala says: “Nuun. By the Primordial Pen and what they record.” The Nuun is the dark formless primordial substance from which Allah created everything living, and as undifferentiated pre-temporal existence it represents the potential knowledge of existence concealed in the black Primordial Ink. This idea resonates to a calligrapher because to him or her, the pen (qalam) is what differentiates the knowledge on paper that was latent, but concealed and undifferentiated in the ink (nuun).

      Returning to our earlier discussion on the synonym of ‘subkha sawdaa’ (the Black Swamp) it was with Imam Ahmad an-Naqshabandi in his Jaami` ‘l-Usuul Fee Awliyya wa Anwaa`ihim wa Kalimaat ‘s-Suufiyya that we see it utilized as a synonym of ‘sabha sawdaa’ (the Black Rosary); where he said: “The Swamp (subkha) is a reference to the atomic particles (habaa’) also called ‘original matter’ (hayuuli) because its existence was indistinct (ghayr waadiha) and undifferentiated (laa mawjuuda) in its essence but not its form.”

      It is clear that the author used the same definition for the ‘subkha sawdaa’ (the Black Swamp) which others gave for the ‘sabha sawdaa’ (the Black Rosary). Both expressions are thus referents to the original undifferentiated subatomic particles (habaa’) or ‘original matter’ (hayuuli) symbolized by the ‘`anqaa’’ (the Griffon) which like the legendary mythical bird it represents, it cannot be quantified or measured except as an abstract representation or form which binds the whole of creation, like the basic particles that modern theoretical physicist now called Hick’s boson, or ‘the God particles’.

      These mysterious particles are known to exist but they cannot yet be precisely located by physicists. Imam al-Jurjaani said about this original matter that it is undifferentiated form which has no essential nature (laa `ayna lahu). It is called the ‘`anqaa’’ (the Griffon) which is a symbolic designation for ‘original matter’ (hayuuli), as we discussed previously. This original subatomic matter or dust particles can ‘hear’ (sama`a), that is to say, it is receptive to the Divine command, but does not have differentiated existence (laa wujuud lahu fee `aynihi).

      Shaykh Abd’l-Kareem al-Jilli in his Maraatib’l-Wujuud tells us that it was Amir’l-Mu’mineen Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him who was the first to designate this undifferentiated world of forms as the ‘habaa’’ (atomic particles). We are repeatedly brought back to a primordial pre-temporal reality described as undifferentiated dust particles, a formless watery primordial substance, a watery void, a swamp, or a cloud with which the Absolute Being brought corporeal existence into being.

      In his al-Fuutuhaat ‘l-Makiyya, Ibn `Arabi said that these particles are a dark substance (jawhar mudhlim) which filled the empty void with its essence, then the Absolute Being made a Self Disclosure of His Name – an-Nuur (the Light) upon this dark substance causing its darkness, by which he means its non-existence (`idam), to dissipate; and this original substance became described with the attributes of existence and took the form of pre-Adamic human being. It is for this reason that the People of Allah call this realm of original existence the Macrocosmic Human (insaan kabeer) and they designate what was extracted from it as the microcosmic human (insaan sagheer), in which Allah placed all of the realities of the macrocosmic worlds.

      This is what is meant by the words of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, related by Ahmad, al-Bukhari, Muslim and at-Tabarani on the authority of Abu Hurayra, Abd ibn Humayd on the authority of Abu Sa`id al-Khudri, ad-Daraqutni and al-Khateeb on the authority of Ibn Umar: “Allah created Adam on his mode/form (suura).”
      The scholars disagree regarding the third person possessive pronoun – ‘his’ in this prophetic tradition. Some hold the view that this pronoun is attributed to the Absolute Being, however with a meaning appropriate to His exalted transcendence without designating how-ness; where the Adamic creature is the Khalif of Allah ta`ala and is inwardly the locus of the Self Disclosure of all the Divine Names.

      However, the majority of the People of Allah say that this pronoun refers to pre-Adamic man, the macrocosmic human, or the Muhammadan Reality which was the first light to emerge from the seas of the Essence and is the gathering of all the Divine Names. Thus, Adam, the microcosmic man was created on the form or mode of this primordial macrocosmic man. Subsequently, what was condensed in undifferentiated form, like a seed (habaa) in the Muhammadan Light, became particularized and differentiated in the Adamic man, who then carried the DNA of this pre-temporal original man until Allah manifested him as the Seal of the Prophets and Messengers, the crown of creation and the reason for the creation of existence.

      And Allah knows best…

      • assalaamu alaikum yah sheikh. May Allah reward and strengthen you in your mission of increasing knowledge. I, along with many friends would like this important work on primordial pen and the explanations of dreams of the mu’min to be made into a PDF book or article for easy reading sharing and storage.
        Jazakal Lah khairan

  13. Marshallah only Allah can make that happen. Theyve also did the same too brother Mos Def in South Africa. He too is a believer and is famous in the US. He had to return back to the US after having dual citizenship. They are attacking all believers who are born and raised in the United States especially when one leaves the country and seek citizenship else where. So to the believers be careful cause these devils are trying to take us out by any means necessary. Final say is truly with Allah in all matters! La hala wala quwata illa billa hi

    • The mistake that Mos Def, Yusef Bey made was accepting the idea of dual citizenship. Had he simply declared that he was no longer an American citizen it would have been difficult for the US government to seize him. For 9 days the military authorities held me in what seems to be a joint military prison run by about 70 countries, including the U.S. Each day they would pull one of the five inmates I was with for questioning. But me, the only question I was asked each day they came in the cell was: “What is your nationality?” Each time I declared I was Malian. Had I said I was ‘American’, there was a bus waiting just outside our cell to swiftly take me to places unknown. Finally, after about seven days of being chained feet to hands, I was ushered blindfolded into a room and questioned in detail about everywhere I ever lived, my family, work, education etc. Once the Malian authorities were clear that I constituted no security threat to them, and that I was simply a political dissident from the U.S., they had no choice, but to free me. One thing is for sure though, I learned in those nine days more about Malian society, what is REALLY happening in the country and how it is basically held hostage by the 70 odd nations who are fighting a losing battle in the north of the country against Azaawad nationalists, foreign combatants and OTHERS. The ‘others’, I will have to be silent about, for now, but it does not bode well for those in Mali who wish to remain under French neo-colonialism. During those nine days, I spoke at length with men who are committed, rightly or wrongly, to liberating the north of the country. We did not see eye-to-eye on all things, but one point they impressed upon me was that they will continue to demand ransome for all foreign soldiers they capture in northern Male, except Americans. I was told that they will be sent back to the US in body bags.

  14. الحمد لله و الله اكبر
    Ya Shaykh. May Allah illuminate your path always and May Allah remove the obsticles. The kufaar are friends of Shaytaan and as we are taught in Tariq Al Jannah the Devil Will Not Stop Until You Are Totally Destoyed. (Paraphrased). We love you fii sabeelillah Akh and we the Captuve Belivers pray for you always. They came for Us in Abbisynia claiming we were their property and the Negus saw thru their treachery as الله had our back. And they came for Us thru the prison of Mali claiming Us to be their property. الله is the Friend of the believer Akhi and from Darkness we will be extracted and placed in the Light. May الله help us against those that strive against faith. I will email u akh. INSHAALLAH
    Wa As Salaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi
    Your brother and friend in Deen
    Ishmiel THE SUFا

  15. Wa alaikum as salaam. Jzkh for said news on the Sheikh as Allah does not turn His face on those who make sincere Duwah. Wal-hamdulilah.

  16. Marshallah! Brother please be careful these devils sounds as if they want you to work for them and if they cant get that they will destroy you physically for no reason at all. Theres know power nor might except with Allah

    • Work for them doing what exactly?! Do you seriously think the US government is interesting in desseminating African Islamic culture to the Africans of the diaspora?! Do you seriously think the US wants me to present the case of African American Muslim national minorities to the United Nations for them?! So, just how will they benefit from that? You should be careful for suggesting that there is anyway possible that I would even consider working for a country that has been harassing me since 1997. The US is a failed rogue state. No one in their right mind wants to work for a polity which is collapsing. Are you insinuating that if you were placed under the same pressure that I had to endure from the US, that you would flip and start working for them?

      • Subhnallah brother Im not saying you will ever take a position to work with or for them. You are a solid brother no doubt and I personally seen you work to help us in the prisons for no pay. Never will I imply such a ignorant commit as such towards you again. I am truly sorry. And for the record anyone that know of you would never think you would ever stop in pushing the truth. Some times I can see thinks formalating through the unbelievers actions when they attack an innocent brother as your self and make statements that I shiuldnt truly im sorry please forgive me. And brother that is what I love about your character I seen you fight prison administrators with no pay standing on the truth. So as for me I never been anything of importance until I believed in Islam so for someone like you to even talk to me im happy of that. I have no friends and im all alone hoping that some day I can become a better person like my brother Oskarie who lives in Sudan that told be about SIIAS maybe in 1994. So im truly sorry. I have it hard enough for anyone else to look upon me as a bad person so sorry. Alhamdullilah!!!

    • waa alaykum as salaam wa rahma.

      I was held at a military prison financed by the foreign nations fighting the armed groups in the north of Mali. The inmates call it the Guantanomo Bay of Mali. I was told there are 10,000 inmates, but only 2% are actual combatants. Most of the inmates are innocent Malians rounded up across the country. The room I was in was about 4 meter x 4 meter and held five of us. Next door was a similar size room with an equivalent number of inmates.

      This entire illegal arrest was initiated by the FBI from the US Embassy of Morocco who asked the Malian authorities to detain the holder of a phone whose number was 71317230. This was the number of a phone which Allah caused me to lose about a month and half a ago.

      The arrest accord on March 9 on Thursday night at my home when police came knocking and demanded that I accompany them to the Police station. They gave no reason for the arrest and held me at the nationale police station for about 6 days, after which I was taken to the above military prison for 9 days. There I was chained with iron shackles for the entire 9 days. I was interviewed once by the authorities while blindfolded. On 22 March Thursday at about 10:00 a.m. I was released from the military prison and transferred back to the national police station.

      The chief explained that the government authorities investigated my case and saw that I posed no security threat to them, so I was released. However, a US government representative by the name of Patrick P (can’t recall the last name) came to me and asked if I needed any help from them. I informed him that I was a Malian citizen detained by the Malian government and it was of no concern to the US Embassy. He disagreed and said that they still recognized me as a US citizen according to law. I of course disagreed and told him that the US government THEN considers me as their PROPERTY. He of course refused to categorize in using those terms.

      This means that although they failed in convincing the Malian government in turning me over to them, that they will be trying other means to have me detained and perhaps renditioned. So this SAGA is not complete just yet.

  17. al salamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh Shaykh Muhammad,

    I pray that this finds you in the best of states.

    I was wondering if it would be possible to have access to more of your lectures and talks that you have given in the past. I heard that they were quite enlightening, such as one entitled “Modern Phaoronic Society”. Please let me know, as I am quite interested in hearing more than what we have found on YouTube.

    Wa salam

    • No I never took care to preserve those past lectures. Fiscally, perhaps, that was a bad choice. However, I have found that there are two ways that a speaker kept, preserved and marketed his lectures; [1] they had a team of people who genuinely believed in their message and saw to it that that message got out there utilizing the best medium, and [2] they taped, copied.and sold their lectures themselves. I obviously do not have the first and the second has always been a bit mercenary for my taste.

      • Salaamu Alaikum if these brothers truly want to get their hands on your lectures they may find just about everything their looking for concerning you Shakhy in California penological system. Thats where I found things that helped me by SIIAS. Especially in San Quentin prison brother Ahmed helped me.

  18. السلام عليكم ورحمة الله . . . I see my previous post was removed (I’d like to clarify something please) . . . Marion is my middle name & the one identifying my email account . . . I used it here for the purpose of being honest about my identity . . . My previous post was intended to express appreciation for the work of Shaykh Muhammad Shareef as I’ve come to know it over the years as I shared with him in the conversation I previously mentioned when I met him in the historical Westside of LV at the masjid . . . (I apologize if my previous post precipitated any confusion) . . . Also, I currently live in the Kingdom of Bahrain & would like to know how I may purchase the large tasbih type I see her in these images . . . I’ve asked brothers here & they appear to be clueless as to how I may purchase this kind . . . (Please advise)

  19. Salam alaykum our beloved Shaykh Muhammad Shareef {may Allahu ta’ala preserve your blessed person and your progenies on sustaining the legacy of the noble scholars (alaihimu ‘r-ridwan) of Islam, amin}
    I have been asked by my noble Shaykh (damat barakatuhum) to get your contact e-mail address to send some messages.
    I was wondering if the above e-mail (siiasi@yandex.com) still remains your blessed person email
    Jazakallahu khairah

      • السلام عليكم ورحمة الله . . . I appreciate your humility in this context . . . However, I must acknowledge that you’re the only person I know of (and I’ve looked) to make knowledge of our not too distant West African/Bilad as Sudan Islamic History evident/accessible & in English . . . I most certainly appreciate/value your work & this opportunity . . . I’ve become even more interested since finding Mali/Nigerian Ancestry in my genealogy . . . Barak Allahu Fikum, wa Allahu Musta’an!

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