Gnosis of God
· Amazement at the essence &
· Amazement at quality
“The Gnostic pretend to knowledge,
But I know ignorance: that is my knowledge.”
Translated by
Reynold A. Nicholson
Excerpts from
Page 267-277
    Man’s certainty in gnosis may be now greater and now less,
    but the principle of gnosis is neither increased nor diminished,
    since in either case it would be impaired. You must not let blind
    conformity enter into your knowledge of God, and you must
    know Him through His attributes of perfection. This can be
    attained only through the providence and favor of God who has
    absolute control of our minds.
Certainty (yaqin)
False Pretension
Abdallah b. Mabbarak has said, “Gnosis is not being astonished by anything”,
while Shibli has declared, “Gnosis is continual amazement
Amazement is of two kinds:
Answer came:
Who and What am I?
    A man always faces such question on way when Allah The Almighty is the object of Man’s
    search and the accomplisher of their prayers and the author of their amazement. When
    he knows God he sees himself entirely subdued by the Divine Omnipotence. Hazrat
    Muhammad (SAW) has said,
    Abu Hafs Haddad has said: “Since I have known God, neither truth nor falsehood has
    entered my heart.” When a man feels desire and passion he turns to the soul (dil) in
    order that it may guide him to the lower soul (nafs), which is the seat of falsehood;
    and when he finds the evidence of gnosis, he also turns to the soul in order that it
    may guide him to the spirit, which is the source of truth and reality.

    Abu Bakr Wasiti has said, “ He who knows God is cut off from all things, nay, he is
    dumb and abject, i.e. he is unable to express anything and all his attributes are
    annihilated. So Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) as he was in state of absence has said,
Passion for Gnosis
but when he was borne to the presence of God, he said
    The gnostic’s affirmation of a means is a sign of dualism (zunnar)
    and regard to anything except the object of knowledge is
    polytheism (shirk). When a man is doomed to perdition in the
    Preserved Tablet, nay in the will and knowledge of God, how can
    any proof and demonstration lead him aright? Dhu `l Nun the
    Egyptian has said, “Beware lest thou make pretensions to gnosis,”
    Do not claim gnosis, least thou perish in thy pretension, but cleave to
    the reality thereof, and thou mayest be saved. The real gist of gnosis is
    to know the Will and the absolute power “qadar” of God. When it is
    realized that everything is duly possessed by God and is under his due
    control, he is left with no business with mankind. All veils are gone as
    ignorance is annihilated and this life is made equal in rank with life
Gnostics’ Comments about Gnosis
    The former is polytheism and infidelity, since no doubt is allowed regarding essential
    nature of God, but the later is gnosis, because quality of God lies beyond reason’s scope.
    Dhu `l Nun the Egyptian has said, “Gnosis is in reality God’s providential communication
    of the spiritual light to our inmost hearts,” i.e. until God, in His providence, illuminates the
    heart of Man and keeps it from contamination, so that all created things have not even
    the worth of a mustard-seed in his heart, the contemplation of Divine mysteries, both
    inward and outward, does not overwhelm him with rapture.
    Abu Yazid has said, “Gnosis consists in knowing that the motion and rest of mankind
    depend on God,” and that without his permission no one has the least control of His
“ He who knows himself has come to know his Lord,”
    i.e. he who knows himself to be annihilated knows God to be eternally subsistent.
    Annihilation destroys the reason and all human attributes, and when the substance of a
    thing is not assessable to reason it cannot possibly be known without amazement.
“I am the most eloquent of the Arabs and non-Arabs”
“I know not how to utter Thy praise.”
    O Muhammad, if thou speakest not, I will speak; if thou
    deemest thyself umworthy to praise Me, I will make the
    Universe thy deputy, that all its atoms may praise Me in thy
All material in this page is original writing of  Seema Arif. Using it in any form of publication and
print media without prior permission will be considered against violation of rights. While quoting
All material in this page is original writing of  Seema Arif. Using it in any form of publication and
in research papers proper referencing should be used.