The Hikmah Project

Saqib Safdar

The Hikmah Project is dedicated to the study of the intellectual wisdom of world traditions with a particular focus on Islamic metaphysics and mysticism. Our vision is to provide a platform for seekers of sacred knowledge to explore texts with leading experts from around the world. We aspire to do so by bringing forth podcasts, online courses and events. By ‘intellectual’, we do not only mean the mere academic study of texts at the level of the rational mind. In the same manner with Intellectus in Latin or ʿAql and Qalb in Arabic suggests, it expresses the supra-rational faculty of intelligence and awareness, which encompasses the rational mind yet transcends it. Ibn ʿArabī reminds us of this in the introduction to the Fuṣūṣ al-Ḥikam that this is a book for the folk of God ( أَهْـلِ الله ) and the People of the Heart ( أَصْحاَبِ القْلوب ). By ‘mystical’ we mean the inner aspect of teachings which can often become veiled with an exclusive focus on legalism or grammar, leading people to become “formalists” (mutarasimun) as Imam Al Ghazali calls them, being ‘shackled by the trappings of religion. It is in his Jawab-e-Shikwa that Allama Iqbal writes: واعظ قوم کی وہ پختہ خیالی نہ رہی فلسفہ رہ گیا، تلقین غزالی نہ رہی Preachers of religion with depth of thought no longer remain Philosophy remains, insights of a Ghazali no longer remain It is precisely the purpose of The Hikmah Project to serve as a means to explore higher-order thinking, reflection and contemplation through inspired works such as the Mathnawī of Rūmī, the Futūḥāt al-Makkiyya and the Fuṣūṣ al-Ḥikam of Ibn ʿArabī, the Ḥikam of Ibn ʿAṭā Allāh al-Iskandarī, the Kitāb al-Mawāqif of Amīr ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Jazāʾirī, and the Mishkāt al-Anwār of al-Ghazālī (Allah sanctify their secrets). Texts such as these not only offer timeless wisdom but, if read in a state of receptivity, can also be transformative. Their role may be best summed up by the words of Shaykh al-Akbar Ibn ʿArabī in his Secrets of Voyaging (Kitāb al-Isfār ʿan natāʿij al-asfār): “These voyages are only bridges…that are placed for us upon which to ‘cross over’ to our essences and the states that are specific to us…What I have recounted to you is to remind you of what is within you…so that you will know that you are everything, in everything and part of everything” وإنما هذه الاسفار قنطر وجسور موضعة نَعبُر عليها إلى ذوتنا و أحوالنا المختصة بنا فيكون هذا الذي قصصته عليك يذكِّرُك بما فيك، و ما نبَّهتك عليه، فتعلم أنك كل شيء وفي كل شيءومن كل We hope you find something here to awaken and inspire your journey in seeking Sacred knowledge. read less
Religion & SpiritualityReligion & Spirituality
Serving the Deep Love of God -  with  Dr. John Wadude Laird
Apr 23 2023
Serving the Deep Love of God - with Dr. John Wadude Laird
Secrets of the Heart Retreat Details:Markfield Conference Centre Ratby Lane Markfield LE67 9SY Fri, 5 May 2023 18:00 - Mon, 8 May 2023Further details can be found hereAbout Guest:Dr. Laird has practiced integrative patient care in a variety of outpatient settings for forty years. As an early member of the holistic medicine movement, Dr. Laird noted with concern that "body-mind-spirit" medicine generally lacked deeper understandings of spiritual transformation.In early 1980's, he organized several major conferences exploring scientific and spiritual perspectives on healing. He founded the Great Smokies Medical Center and co-founded the Great Smokies Diagnostic Lab in North Carolina to expand innovative and comprehensive patient care options.Although schooled in several spiritual traditions, Dr. Laird's personal spiritual practice for over thirty years has been classical Sufism. Spiritual healing in this tradition is based on deep and subtle understandings of the human heart.As a co-founder and past president of the University of Spiritual Healing & Sufism, Dr. Laird played a leading role in shaping academic and clinical instruction on the application of these classical perspectives.He has provided personal healing sessions to hundreds of people with a wide variety of physical, emotional, and spiritual concerns. Having taught these approaches to several thousand people in the past twenty years, Dr. Laird is widely recognized as a sincere, engaging, fun, and uniquely effective teacher.
Ibn Arabi and the Metaphysics of Love with Dr Hany Ibrahim
Feb 8 2023
Ibn Arabi and the Metaphysics of Love with Dr Hany Ibrahim
Podcast Summary Dr Hany Talaat Ibrahim, author of Love in the Teachings of Ibn ʿArabī and professor at the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University Canada, walks us into the world of Ibn al-ʿArabī and the Metaphysics of Love in face of some Islamic scholars’ criticism of the great saint. Acknowledging that such criticism might scare off seekers, like it initially did for Dr Hany, this  conversation is significantly pertinent to our times.Specializing in pre modern Islāmic thought, Arabic Ṣūfī literature and Islāmic art and architecture, Dr Hany speaks to all spiritual seekers in a language that is clarifying and comprehensive. He addresses, perhaps, many of us, at different stages on our journey—cautious in our spiritual undertaking—to open the ears and eyes of our hearts. Although not explicitly mentioned as such, this interview is highly relevant to persons coming from a traditional Islāmic schooling and upbringing, underpinned by a limited understanding of what Ṣūfism, the mystical dimension of Islām, is.In context, Dr Hany emphasizes the station of Ibn al-ʿArabī, a ‘ārif bil’Lāh (عارف بالله), gnostic, and an ʾimām (إمام), spiritual leader, for all times. He says, the knowledge conveyed to us through him was received directly from God. He reached al-’ijtihād al-muṭlaq (الاجتهاد المطلق) and discerned fiqh (فقه), jurisprudence. We are advised to take heed of this. To receive our understanding of spiritual openings according to the teachings of Ibn al-ʿArabī, and not the opposite.Dr Hany extends a gnostic’s gentle embrace, inviting the wayfarer, hesitant or not, to sharpen understanding in three dimensions of Islām: expanding on what it means to fulfill the obligations of submission—ʾislām (إسلام), the obligations of faith—ʾīmān (إمان) and the obligations of spiritual excellence—ʾiḥsān (إحسان) in light of exerting personal effort, juhd (جهد), and the process of purifying the soul, an-nafs (النفس), in order to attain the level of witnessing to the Oneness of Being. Meaning is reinforced through Qur’ānic passages, marrying the three distinct but intertwined stages of spiritual development to the declaration of unity, tawḥīd (توحيد), with a discernible Qur’ānic definition of the two paths to God: those who are chosen, al-mujtabūn (المجتبون), and those who are guided to repent and seek Him, al-munībūn (المنيبون).Witnessing, the backbone of unification, is talked about as an oxymoron; witnessing behind a veil, the ḥijāb (حجاب); annihilation, fanā’ (فناء); and, what it means when gnostics speak about Oneness, that is, God who witnesses God through the Muḥammadan Light—Nūr Muḥammad (نور محمد).Dr Hany elaborates on the subject of incarnation and Ibn al-ʿArabī’s position on the importance of strictly adhering to the sharīʿa (شريعة). Other concepts and frameworks discussed include the absence of a lineage in the Akbarian heritage; the role of a living shaykh (شيخ); the relationship between the Ṣūfi order, at-ṭarīqa (الطريقه), the educational litany, wird at-tarbiyya (ورد التربيه), and the disciple’s progression, the murīd (مريد) that is, toward the witnessing of God and an affirmation of Creator and creation.Furthermore, we explore the three stages of fanā’ together as elucidated in the story of Mūsa (Moses, موسى) and al-Khidr (the Green man, الخضر) ‘alayhim as-salām in the Holy Qur’ān. Firstly, there’s annihilation in action, al-fanā’ fīl af‘āl (الفناء في الافعال); secondly, annihilation in attributes, al-fanā’ fīl ṣifāt (الفناء في الصفات); and thirdly, annihilation in the essence, al-fanā’ fīl dhāt (الفناء في...
From Physics to Ibn Arabi's Metaphysics - In Conversation with Jane Clark
Sep 3 2022
From Physics to Ibn Arabi's Metaphysics - In Conversation with Jane Clark
In conversation with Jane Clark, we are reminded about the mysterious nature of الله سبحانه و تعالى (Allāh) as the source of Guiding Light. Jane, a Senior Research Fellow of the Muḥyiddīn Ibn ʿArabī Society, co-founder of the Journal of Consciousness Studies, and currently editor of the Beshara Magazine, an independent non-profit organization that serves as a platform for intelligent and thought-provoking material on unity in the contemporary world, first stepped onto the path of spirituality not as a seeker, but as a hardwired scientist agnostic raised as an atheist. Similar to Jane’s series of life events, we are taken alongside in recollection, from physics to Ibn al-ʿArabī’s metaphysics. In 1974, Jane was at the brink of giving up her PhD, finding herself, like many of us do, in a profession (as a physicist) stuck at the fork of dissatisfaction. Around this time, she went on a car-ride to Gloucestershire—enticed by the country’s offering of stunning and varied countryside. Coincidently, she joined a study group at Swyre farm reading what came to be known as 29 pages: an introduction to Ibn al-ʿArabī. Although ungrounded in any kind of theology with little intellectual understanding of what was being said at the time, subliminally, she knew, a deeper calling and invitation. Three years later, after a serious motor bike accident, she enrolled in an intensive eight month course of study on Ibn al-ʿArabī  at the mystical grounds of Swyre farm.  Jane’s foundational grounding was in Ibn al-ʿArabī, under the mentorship of Bulent Rauf, a Turkish Ṣufī with a strong connection toالشيخ الأكبر (al-shaykh al-ʾAkbar). Ibn al-ʿArabī’s teachings were the basis for the unified perspective. Intentionally, the study of metaphysics continued with the Christian tradition, Bhagavad Gita, Tao de Ching, and the like. A means of expansivity. Can one recognize the unity within other traditions? At the same time, let go or not get fixated on a belief?With Jane, together we traverse the paved road of digital archives; the why and how there are now over 3,000 copies of manuscripts in digital form today. Our conversation highlights and distinguishes the role of books as a conduit to personal transformation, bridging each individual to receive directly from الوجه الخاص (al-wajh al-khāṣ),  the ‘particular face’ of God. Jane paints the imagery of a private umbilical cord between each person and the One Reality. There is no intermediary. The connection, the transmission, is direct. In context, what is fascinating, is the large number of original manuscripts that have been preserved, either written by or attested to by Ibn al-ʿArabī, from around 800 years ago! Almost 66 to count and the knowledge, as Jane reminds us, is in the books. Enfolding and unfolding in discourse are Ibn al-ʿArabī’s renowned texts: الفتوحات المكية (Futūḥāt al-Makkīyah) and theفصوص الحكم (Fuṣuṣ al-Ḥikam), connecting us back to disciples including Ṣadr al-Dīn Qūnawī, Moa'yyad al-Din al-Jandī, and ʿUsman Yaḥya. Most pronounced is Jane’s exposition on Ibn al-ʿArabī teachings on love; “He and Rūmī are completely at one really on this matter.” Everything is underpinned by love.We journey in and through with Jane, from the Beshara School back into the web of knowledge preservation and sharing, circling and backtracking, to the four elements constituting Beshara’s residential courses at the time: working with the mind; meditation; work as service to others and the world; and, devotional practice. Full embodiment of the human constitution of thoughts, emotions, and bodily feelings. Experiential knowledge beyond intellectual standing. Deepening integration. Connecting, receiving, directly from the One. Reminded, once again:...
The Special Place of the Qur'an in Ibn Arabi
Apr 16 2022
The Special Place of the Qur'an in Ibn Arabi
In this podcast, we continue alongside Dr Eric Winkel (Shuʿayb) to unpack the multifaceted voluminous work of Ibn al-ʿArabī—the translation of the Futūḥāt al-Makkīyah, a project that spans over 10 years in the works and counting! He provides an update about the complimentary visual works that draws meaning from imagery for the 28 or so concepts needed to understand Ibn al-ʿArabī (An Illustrated Guide to Ibn al-ʿArabī, concerted with the Islamic Creative Imagination, now available on Pir Press) and explains how creative art and visualization have been immensely beneficial for translation.Ibn al-ʿArabī see things visually—letters, grammatical forms, and syntax; they all form a world of their own, a universe of rules and meaning through which الله (Allāh), God, communicates with us. Through visualization, one taps into the portal for the imaginal realm and arriving at greater intrinsic meaning becomes possible. Eloquently expressed, as illustrated, by Sidi Shuʿayb.To access this shoreless ocean comprised of multilayered meanings, Shuʿayb also looks at the root words of the Arabic language with quite a literal approach to interpreting the Qurʾān. By bringing the implicit forward, conscious understanding manifests and the message of Islām, from the outward شريعة (sharīʿa) to the inward طريقة (ṭarīqa), continues to propagate as a waveform in the universe. A deep learning opportunity for the listener arises through Shuʿayb’s detailed discussion on the Nūr Muḥammad ﷺ, relayed in the context of the ḥadith in which ʿĀʾisha r.a. says that ‘His character was the Qurʾān.’  Steering with the theme of this podcast, the Qurʾān in the works of Ibn al-ʿArabī, we delve into specific verses and passages. Shuʿayb explains: every page has an honouring of the Prophet ﷺ and every page has many verses of Qurʾān and they’re very much connected. The potential permutation of meaning from a linguistic undertaking reminds us of the importance of إجتحاد (ʾijtiḥād) and the myriad عقيدة (ʿaqīdas) underlying a spiritual walking. As Sidi Shuʿayb touches on in this podcast, طحقيق (ṭaḥqīq), our internal validation, becomes essential to uncovering our story and the story of creation.Once again, Ibn al-ʿArabī’s role as a dragoman reminds us that through the special face of حق (Ḥaqq) in every created being the تجلی (tajallī) of Allāh hits, yielding depth to the phrase Islām, in surrender, is the دين (dīn) of Allāh. Every person is painted a unique picture through the means that Allāh reveals Himself, never twice to two people nor in the same way twice, allowing each individual thread of creation to be carried forward into the world as a unique expression of truth.So in contrast to the negative connotation traditionally derived from scholarly works for example with a concept such as كفر (kufur), this conversation extends an invitation to a change in viewpoint where the word كافر (kāfir), through inflection, can also mean the people who cover up their station, beautifying revelation. Other words with inflected meanings are examined in the context of the original Qurʾānic sūras.   Together, we explore the subtle nuances. We begin to taste, through a seamless transmission of love, the paradoxical nature, and perplexing depth, of what it means to hold close proximity to the Divine—taking off the covering of those who are drawn near. The kind of love experienced by the ʾawliyāʾ—the friends of God, lovers of the...