Nay, for he needeth no less than Union.
The true seeker hath a sign on his face,
A light shineth gleaming upon his forehead.
Ever near is he, courteous, reverential,
Resolute, forbearing before censure, true friend
Honouring. His purpose all purposes transcendeth:
Naught can prevent him, the steep he seeth as level.
He hath no aim aside from his mark.
Longing for family diverteth him not, nor blame.
Fair his description, he needeth no other
But this, most excellent, that he seeketh the Truth.
Whoso is Its seeker, he maketh his quest
Sole object of his eyes. Then strippeth he his soul
Of all faults he can detect, and when stripped, robeth it
In their opposites. God’s slave at each time and place,
His bounden debt of worship fulfilling,
He addeth there unto of his own free will,
Until the truth is his Hearing, Sight,
Tongue and Utterance, and Hands and Feet.
He dieth before his death to live in his Lord,
Since after this death is the supreme migration.
He calleth himself to account ere he be called,
He herein most fitted to act for the Truth.
The Truth’s Being he seeth before his own,
And after it, and wheresoever he turn.
Alone God was, and with Him naught else.
He is now as He was, lastly as firstly,
Essentially One, with naught beside Himself,
Inwardly Hidden, Outwardly Manifest,
Without beginning, without end. Whate’er thou seest,
Seest thou His Being. Absolute Oneness
No ‘but’ hath and no ‘except’. How should God Essence
Be confined with a veil? No veil there but His Light.
(Shaykh Ahmed Al Alawi)
'A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century: Shaikh Ahmad Al-'Alawi, his spiritual heritage and legacy'
By Martin Lings (Author)
'Almost a prerequisite for any serious study of Sufism in European languages': this was the verdict of Seyyed Hossein Nasr in his review of the first edition of the book. According to the Journal of Near Eastern Studies, it is 'one of the most thorough and intimately engaging books on Sufism to be produced by a Western scholar'. Certainly there is nothing second-hand about it. The author lets Sufis speak for themselves and, in a series of unusual and absorbing texts mainly translated from Arabic, he gives a vivid picture of life in a North African Sufi order. Against this background stands the unforgettable figure of the Algerian Shaikh who was head of the order from 1909 until his death in 1934. The last few chapters are mainly devoted to his writings, which include some penetrating aphorisms, and which end with a small anthology of his remarkable mystic poems.