Intimate contact with Deity and Closeness to God           

Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Misbah


Religious doctrines emphasize that man must have fear and hope and high ambition when he wants to converse with the Most High God. The attainment of this position requires realizing that The Most High God has all perfections and that man is a creature that is not far from God’s mercy and that he enjoys His material and spiritual blessings. High ambitious men always seek to draw nigh to God and be near to the eternal deity. Although people can never understand transcendent facts, they must always try to be nearer to God by doing good deeds which make God pleased. To achieve this goal, one should have a good understanding of the God's greatness and man’s existential areas of imperfections and defects.

Key words: God, believer, nearness to God, intimate contact with deity, God’s mercy and wrath.


General Guidelines in Criticizing Incomplete Gnostic Schools

Mohammad FanaiiAshkevari


Since gnostic trends are rooted in man’s innate nature, and tranquility can be achieved through gnosis, it has always attracted many people. Though gnosis is important and desirable, it can be a hard task having dangerous experiences, because some, seeking to achieve their own carnal goals, have forged sects and schools, and deceived  many people to make  them accept their views. Mixing up  right with wrong and  truth with falsehood has blocked the  right path  and left  many  in bewilderment. Therefore, it is necessary to know the fallacies in gnosis and recognize false gnosis and quasi-gnostic schools. Considering the increasing spread of new false gnostic schools in our country, embarking on this topic  cannot be a mere scientific and academic concern; rather it is a religious and divine obligation. Among the main features of false and incomplete gnostic schools are deviation from monotheism, dissociation from true revelation, explicitness and separation from Divine law, alienation from society, egoism and inattention to people.

Key words: genuine  gnosis, religious gnosis, false gnosis, quasi-gnosis, Sufism, gnostic sects.



An Inquiry into the Immanence (Similarity) and Deanthropomorphization (Incomparability) in the Words of Ibn ‘Arabi and his Commentators

Mohammad Rasool Imani


The Glorious Qur’an lends some attributes to God which are exactly applied to creatures.The meanings of these attributes and their reality when applied to God have long been the special concern of Muslim scholars. Focusing on the literal meaning of the Qur’an leads the mind to form an anthropomorphic and corporeal image of God and to produce absolute anthropomorphism. Furthermore, applying these attributes to men leads man to deanthropomorphize ( divest) the necessary essence of The Exalted from these attributes absolutely, as far as the deficiency and possibility of these attributes are concerned.In addition to this method which is basically centered on immanence and incomparability, there is another method of theoretical gnosis which not only assents to God’s distinction and otherness from creatures concerning these attributes, but also proves their similarity regarding some hierarchies of divine’s manifestations, on the basis of  the theory of particular unity of existence and all-innclusive differentiation between God and creatures.

The present paper investigates the method offered by Ibn ‘Arabi and his commentators which combines immanence (similarity) and deanthropomorphization (incomparability) in the light of some epistemological and ontological  principals of this viewpoint.

Key words:   immanence (similarity),deanthropomorphization (incomparability), anthropomorphist, Mo’attale (divesting God from all attributes), particular unity, encompassing differentiation, Ibn ‘Arabi.



A Comparison between Dr. Nasr’s  Perspective and Shi’a View of Gnosis and Spirituality

‘Abdollah Mohammadi


The discourse of traditionalism that Dr. Nasr advocates is concerned with spirituality, especially religious spirituality. This subject makes us ask about the degree of relationship between the spirituality of traditionalists and Shi’a gnosis and spirituality. The present research, which offers answers to the aforementioned question, first reviews Dr.Nasr's works, extracts the components ofcomponents of spirituality and gnosis suggested in his works, and investigates the features of gnosis and spirituality to evaluate the relationship between these two.

Using an analytical documentary approach the research concludes that Dr. Nasr supports the spread of spirituality through a Sufi approach. Emphasizing on Sufi spirituality, he holds that Sufism is the heart and center of Islam. According to this viewpoint, gnosis cannot be achieved without divine law, and the origin of Sufism should be found in Shi’a thought. He believes that Sufism is the only way to solve all the problems of contemporary man is and emphasizes on uselessness of human gnostic schools. He has a tendency towards Islamic gnosis with traditionalistic presuppositions and tries through a purposeful choice to introduce Sufism  as identical to Islamic gnosis.

Key words: gnosis, spirituality, traditionalism, Seyyed Hussein Nasr.



Sai Baba: Velvet Spirituality

Abbas Ali Meshkati  – Abdol Hussein Meshkati


“Sathya Sai Baba” is a famous figure in the realm of new gnostic schools and velvet spiritualties, having a world-wide fame, whose views have part of our cultural and doctrinal atmosphere. The spread of his deviant and eclectic views such as the claim of divinity and divine incarnation, metempsychosis, explicitness, pluralism,pantheism, and …has brought about intellectual and doctrinal deviation to the new generations.

The author has quoted and criticized Sia Baba’s views in order to recognize, identify and analyze his views. Among the novel issues of this paper are investigating the new gnostic schools and giving them the name of “velvet spiritualties”, proposing and criticizing such issues as Avatar, salvation, Karma and Sarema (Dharma) cycles.

Key words: gnosis, new gnostic schools, Sai Baba’s sect, Sathya Sai  Baba.



Serri Ma'mur; a Glance at the Concepts of “ Form” and “ Meaning” in Mulawi’s book, Fihi Ma Fih



Mulawi’s whole message can be explained and analyzed by using the code which he has presented in his attempt to distinguish form from meaning. By distinguishing between form and meaning and using form as a code which leads to meaning, he has explained his deepest and remarkable gnostic and ontological ideas. The present research tries to precisely explicate the form and meaning in Mulawi's view and have a better acquaintance with the structure of gnostic experiences of this great gnostic concerning the various aspects of life and spiritual wayfaring. In order to investigate this subject, the author expounds Molavi's works.

The final analysis of his words shows that by “form” he means external and corporeal world and concerning man he means his physical body. And by “meaning” he means transcendent world and the hereafter and concerning man his God-seeking sprit. Through his deeper insight, he extends this vital issue to the reality of unity and then seeks to interpret all the features of existence. According to him, man, his deeds, thoughts and sensations, the real meaning of speech, spiritual master and director, prophet, disbelief and belief, etc… have form and meaning. In fact, man must not be deceived by forms, because focusing on forms hinders one from realizing the realities of things. Mulawi directs our look towards all things in the universe and wants us to view everything insightfully and understand the different manifestations of Divine action which are represented in the unity of God.

Key words: Mulawi, Fihi Ma Fih, form, meaning, the surface, the depth.



The Position of the Quran and its Interpretation in Ayn al-Quzat Hamadani‘s Preludes

Maryam ‘Arab- Fatimah Modarrisi


There is a close and constant relationship between the Quran and gnosis in Islamic gnosticism. In addition of being Muslims’ religious book, the glorious Qur'an is a literary and artistic text, which has all the features of an artistic work in as far as form and content are concerned.  Gnostics talk about peculiar things and mysterious concepts. According to them, meanings and concepts are metaphysical and they can be properly understood by intuition or through manifestation. This gnostics’ perception has prepared the ground for a tendency to interpretation for acquiring a kind of hidden knowledge about realities of existence, which led to developing a special method of interpretation of the Quran, directing them to novel understanding of Qur’anic verses and traditions.  Ayn al-Quzat Hamadani is one of the gnostics who has attempted to quote a number of fine proofs from the eloquent Qur’an. The present research aims, with a descriptive- analytical approach, at investigating the Qur’anic verses in Ayn al-Quzat’s preludes and his remarkable and unique understanding of “interpretation” – as the perfectly genuine feature of his literary viewpoint.The findings show that his interpretations of Qur’anic verses sometimes represent his personal way of thinking and often aim at persuading the audience.

Key words: Ayn al-Quzat Hamadani, preludes, gnostic language, Qur’anic verses, interpretation.


Cosmology of Remembrance (of God)

Ismael Ali Khani


One of the key words in gnosis is “remembrance (of God), that is, remembering God at all times and in doing every action. Bearing this meaning in mind, Ibn Arabi defines remembrance (of God) as “accompanying with the object of remembrance”. The term dhikr is used to show the mutual relationship between God and man. According to Ibn ‘Arabi, there is a link between the remembrance and prophecy, because it is one of prophets’ duties to remind people of God. In other words, they are appointed by God to be reminders of Him.

Remembering God necessitates realizing that His Oneness and unlimited and absolute reality is the basis of our thoughts, words, and deeds. This represents the real “worship” and “submission” which is regarded as man’s highest degree of perfection. In other words, remembering God necessitates actions, states of mind, and knowledge. This knowledge is not a theoretical knowledge; rather it is intuitive knowledge and real intuition of the absolute presence of God.

Key words: remembrance (of God), servant of God, worship, knowledge, names (attributes), perfect man.