The Greatness of God and the Lowliness of Creatures in the Eyes of the True Shia

Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Misbah


The present paper is a commentary on the words of the infallible Imams about the greatness of God and the lowliness of creatures in the eyes of the true Shia. We do not comprehend the reality of God; we just observe our own lofty features, liken the attributes and perfections of God to them, and then, after purifying the divine attributes from the imperfect aspects in our attributes and perfections, we ascribe those attributes to God. One way to understand the greatness of God is thinking about the effects of God's greatness: creation of beings, skies, earth, galaxies etc. at the beginning, man was only a sperm created by God; he had nothing; whatever he has is the result of God’s bounty and grace. Is it right for us to value and honor ourselves despite the greatness of creation and all the countless blessings? If we are people of vision and pay attention to the creatures of God the Glorified, we have to be fascinated by the greatness, elegance and beauty of creation. It is indeed shameful for man to commit sins using the organs that God has given him.

Key words: attributes of God, greatness of God, human perfection.

Stages of Journey in Islamic Mysticism

Mohammad Fanaei Eshkevari


Mystical journey (al-sulook al-'irfani) deals with stages and stations of human soul's perfection in ascending toward God the Almighty. In practical mysticism (al-'irfan al-'amali), different classifications are offered to explain the stages and elements of this journey. Some of these classifications show the order that mystic  must followed in their practice. Others deal with parts and elements of the journey, which may not have order in time, though they may have a logical order. This paper introduces knowledge (al-ma'rifa), love (al-mahabba) and obedience (al-ita'a) as essential elements of Islamic practical mysticism as logically one follows the other. Knowledge leads to love and love leads to obedience. These trifold elements are in accordance with the three aspects of human being, that is, reason, heart and body and their functions, i.e., cognition, emotion and action. At the end, I compare the suggested classification with some other classifications that are offered in Islamic mysticism in this regard.

Key words: Knowledge, Love, obedience, worshiping out of Love, shari'a, path, truth.

The Political Leadership of the Perfect Man from the Perspective of Ibn Arabi and Mulla Sadra

Morteza Alavian-Abbas Bakhshandeh Bali


The subject of the Perfect Man, which was studied sporadically in the works of Muslim scholars, was independently compiled in the mystical school of Muhi al-Din  Ibn Arabi and gradually drew the attention of later scholars. Numerous works have studied the ontological aspect of the issue, but the role of such a man in this world (his worldly role) has not been independently addressed. Unlike the views of some mystics and Sufis, the view of Ibn Arabi about the Perfect Man, which was later considered by Mulla Sadra too, moves on ascending levels  towards the Truth  the exalted and then continues his perfection   in the journey to the creature. Using the descriptive –analytical method, the present paper analyses the works of Ibn Arabi and Mulla Sadra on the Perfect Man and shows that such a man is not indifferent to society and policy of human society, and as God's vicegerent, tries to guide the other human beings in the right social path.

Key words: Ibn Arabi, Mulla Sadra, Perfect Man, God's vicegerent, leadership of people.

Dalal and its Rituals in the Prayers of the Holy Household of Prophet (peace be upon them)

Mohammad Abbas Zadeh Jahromi


In the prayers of Ahl al-Bayt (as), like a coin with two sides, the word Delal (amorous glance) has been used with the meanings of coquetry and coyness besides stating ones needs and wishes. Dalal is manifested in different ways: ignoring or underestimating oneself or one’s actions; complaints or expressing displeasure and, expressing disagreement with the Beloved. This paper seeks to explain the ritual of expressing such meanings to the Divine Presence. Dalal has its origins in lovemaking with God and being coy in order to attract more the attention of the Divine Presence. Therefore, one who has reached this station of proximity is allowed to speak with his beloved using such diction. However, politeness towards the Divine Presence dictates that someone who has not reached the station of proximity must not violate the sacred territory and has to use the Dalal-like words of the Imams only from their tongue and say them on their behalf.


Key words: Dalal, presumptuousness, prayer, love of God, praying rituals.

Science and Knowledge from the Perspective of Ghazali

Mojtaba Zarvani / Reza Taheri


The present paper studies Imam Mohammad Ghazali’s viewpoints about science and knowledge. Although the two concepts of "science" and "knowledge" are distinct from one another, with tolerance, they have been used synonymously to offer a prospect of Ghazali's views about certain knowledge and reality of science. In some of his books such as "Ahya al-’ollum" and "Mizan al-‘amal", Ghazali has used the two terms as synonymous and interchangeable, whereas in some others, he has distinguished between them. This paper discusses Ghazali’s epistemological evolution in this regard. With a Sufic approach, inner knowledge, and recognition of the merits and limits of philosophical argument, Ghazali had a considerable influence on Sufism that, in its turn, significantly contributed to the development of a new meaning and interpretation for science and knowledge among the Muslims. Reflecting on intellect and heart, the two main ways of gaining science and knowledge, Ghazali tries to have knowledge of the value and purpose of science. Finally, from Ghazali’s perspective, the way of heart is the only reliable way for reaching happiness that is the final destination and goal of all mystics.


Key words: Ghazali, science, knowledge, heart, intellect and mysticism.

Knowledge of Imam Mahdi in the Light of Self-Knowledge

 Mostafa Azizi Alavijeh


"Self-knowledge" is one of the fundamental issues in practical mysticism. Mystics regard “self-knowledge" as the foundation of all knowledge and the ladder to the knowledge of God. In the discussion of self-knowledge, "knowledge" means the intuitive and immediate knowledge of self. The “Perfect Man" is another basic concept in Islamic mysticism. At any time, the Perfect Man includes all spiritual guidance and pure Divine teachings. Imam Mahdi (may God hasten his glad advent) is the only living example of the Perfect Man in the present age. The main question of this research is whether a wayfarer stepping along the highest levels of the spiritual journey to the valley of "self-knowledge" can see the Perfect Man who is God’s living proof. The present paper seeks to expound the relationship between” the intuitive knowledge of self” and “Mahdism”. By using intellectual analysis, it is concluded that intuitive knowledge of the Perfect Man and his pre-eminent position is possible for some mystics, of course to the extent of the receptivity of the receptacle.


Key words: Imam Mahdi, the Perfect Man, self-knowledge, ascription and delimitation, Mahdism

The Epistemic Scrutiny and Critical Review of the Foundations of Halgheh Mysticism

 Mohammad Hasan Ya’qubian


The present paper deals with a critical review of the theoretical and practical foundations of cosmic mysticism and an epistemic scrutiny of its discussions. Using the descriptive –analytical method and the critical approach, it firstly discusses the theoretical and practical foundations, and then assesses and analyzes the epistemic impressions and derivations of this religious or denominational sect. The findings at the end indicate that in scrutinizing the theoretical foundations, the ideas of earlier stoics about the nature and idealistic viewpoints of modern physics are reviewed and in practical mysticism of this sect, the Japanese Reiki and the materials in the holy writings are discussed. Moreover, these discussions attempt to respond to the empirical foundations of modern medicine. Thus, mixing the subjects of physics and mysticism and making superficial and partial use of religious texts and philosophical schools are among the most important flaws of this sect.


Key words: mysticism, cosmic mysticism, Halgheh mysticism, theoretical mysticism, alternative medicine, Reiki, Satan.

The Middle of Yes and No; Existence and Nature from the Perspective of Ibn Arabi

William Chittick / translation and commentary by: Ali Reza Kermani


The present paper seeks to investigate the key concept of innate nature based on the ontological, anthropological and theological principles of Ibn Arabi's mysticism. From this perspective, all the realities are manifestations of the one simple being and thus, being is present in all the worlds in which we dwell, although it may not emerge with all its attributes in all of them. However, man is a reality different from all the other realities. Based on religious thinking, man is created from the image of God. Accordingly, he is able to manifest the being completely and since being is the essence of knowledge and awareness, man can experience it with all its attributes as well. This undifferentiated being and awareness, which is firmly present in all human beings, is called innate nature. The purpose of man’s creation is to actualize this undifferentiated being as much as possible. From the perspective of the author, this goal is accomplished only through servitude and complete submission to the divine will which means annihilation in the non- Truth and permanence in the Truth. This Truth is exactly the being that has manifested itself in the servant to Allah.


Key words: innate nature, unity of being, man, perfect man, imagination, annihilation and permanence.

A Review of Two Important Books on Practical Mysticism (Mystical Ethics)

 Seyyed Razi Qaderi


Without doubt, ethical and mystical issues play an important role in interrelationships between the realm of religious teachings and the other fields of knowledge.  Moreover, ethical and mystical discussions play a special role in the purity and happiness of human soul. Therefore, throughout history, Muslim mystics and those following divine ethics have embarked on writing works on teaching the wayfarers the ways of purification and strengthening of soul as well as the ways of reforming and promoting soul along the way stations. In this regard, the book "Manazel al-Sa’erin” by Khajeh Abdullah Ansari and the book "Osaf al-Ashraf”  by Khajeh Nasir al-din Tusi have special features that distinguish them from the other writings. Thus, the present paper seeks to analyze these two important books on practical mystical theosophy and mystical ethics. It firstly addresses the features of the two authors, then discusses the merits of the two compilations and finally assesses their weaknesses and strengths.


Key words: mysticism, ethics, practical mysticism, mystical ethics, philosophical ethics.

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