The Eighteenth Letter
In His Name, be He glorified!
And there is nothing but it glorifies Him with praise.(17:44)
[This letter consists of three important matters.]
FIRST IMPORTANT MATTER
Famous saints like Muhyi’l-Din al-‘Arabi (May his mystery be sanctified), the author of al-Futuhat al-Makkiya, and Sayyid ‘Abd al-Karim (May his mystery be sanctified), the author of a well-known book entitled al-Insan al-Kamil,1 speak of the seven levels of the globe of the earth and the white earth beyond the Kaf mountain, and strange things which in Futuhat are called “mashmashiya.” Are these true? But these places do not exist on the earth. Furthermore, the things that they say are not accepted by geography and science. And if they are not true, how can they be saints? How can people who say things contrary to reality and the truth in this way be people of reality?
T h e A n s w e r : They were the people of truth and reality. They were also saints and experienced direct vision of the realities. They saw correctly what they saw, but since they were not correct in declarations they made while in the state of illumination and witnessing, which is without comprehension, and in their interpretations of their visions, which were like dreams, they were partially incorrect. People of unveiling and direct vision of that sort cannot interpret their own visions while in such a state, just as a person cannot interpret his own dream while dreaming it. Those who can interpret them are the exact scholars of the legacy of prophethood, called “the purified ones.” For sure, when they rise to the rank of the purified
‘Abd al-Karim al-Jili 767/1365-6–832/1428, al-Insan al-Kamil fi Ma’rifat al-Awakhir wa’l-Awa’il.