Ibn Ata’illah: Coming to you with His gentleness

Taj al Din Ibn Ata’Illah (1250? – 1309 CE) was born in Alexandria, Egypt, and spent most of his life there.  He was a jurist, a scholar of Hadith, or sayings of the Prophet Mohammed, and a mystic whose writings helped to spread Sufism in north Africa and elsewhere.  These verses are taken from his Book of Wisdom.

Whoever worships Him for something he hopes from Him
or in order to stave off the arrival of chastisement,
has not concerned himself
with the true nature of His Attributes.

* * *

When He gives, He shows you His Kindness;
when he deprives, He shows you His power;
and in all that, He is making Himself known to you
and coming to you with His gentleness.

* * *

Deprivation hurts you
only because of your incomprehension of God in it.

* * *

A disobedience that bequeaths humiliation and extreme need
is better than an obedience that bequeaths self-infatuation and pride.

* * *

When He alienates you from His creatures,
then know that He wants
to open for you the door of intimacy with Himself.

* * *

When He loosens your tongue with a request,
then know that He wants to give you something.

Taj al Din Ibn Ata ‘Allah
The Book of Wisdom
Tr. Victor Danner

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.