Revelation of Mystery (Kashf al Mahjub)

Wajd وجد , Wajud وجود , Tawajud تواجد

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Chapter XXV (h)

Wajd  وجد , Wajud  وجود , Tawajud تواجد


Wajd وجد and wajud وجود are verbal nouns. The wajd means “grief” and wajud means “attaining”. These terms are used by Sufis to denote two states which manifest in audition. One state is connected with grief, and the other with gaining the object of desire. The real sense of grief is loss of the Beloved and failure to gain the object of desire, while the real sense of attaining is attainment of the desired object.

The difference between hazan حزن (sorrow) and wajd (grief) is that the term hazan is applied to a selfish grief, whereas the term wajd is applied to grief which one gets from other as token of love. These changes are the attributes of seeker. Allah is free from any change. It is impossible to explain the nature of wajd in words, because wajd is a hidden pain and pen is incapable to describe such agony and pain.  Hence wajd is a mystery between the seeker and the Sought, which only a revelation can explain. It is not right to indicate the nature of wajud, because it is a thrill of emotion in contemplation of Allah, and emotion cannot be reached by desire. Therefore, Wajud is grace bestowed by the Beloved on the lover, a grace of which no symbol can suggest the real nature. In my opinion, wajd is painful affection of the heart, arising either from jest or earnest, either from sadness or gladness and wajud is the removal of a grief from the heart and the attainment of the object that was its cause. He who feels wajd is either agitated by ardent longing in the state of veil, or is calmed by contemplation in the state of revelation. Some times he sighs and lament and sometimes he complains in distress and some times he cries and weeps and sometimes he is in anger and pain and sometimes in delight and happiness.

The Sheikhs hold different views on the question whether wajd is more perfect or wajud. Some argue that, wajud being characteristic of novices, and wajd of Gnostics, and Gnostics being more exalted in degree than novices, it follows that wajd is higher and more perfect than wajud. They say that which is capable of being found is apprehensible, and apprehensibility is characteristic of that which is homogeneous with something else. It involves finite, whereas Allah is infinite, therefore, what a man finds is naught but a feeling, but what he has not found, and in despair has ceased to seek, and became helpless in its attainment, he is actually the finder of the Truth.

Some say that wajd is the glowing passion of novices, while wajud is gift bestowed on lovers, and, since lovers are more exalted than novices, for calm enjoyment of the gift must be more perfect than passionate seeking. The following tale will make it to understand. One day Shibli came in rapturous ecstasy to Junaid. Seeing that Junaid was sorrowful, he asked what ailed him. Junaid said,

“He who seeks shall be grieved.”

Shibli cried. “No, who is grieved shall seek.”

The Sheikhs opined that Junaid referred to wajd and Shibli to wajud. I think Junaid’s view is more authenticated, for, when a man knows that his object of worship is not of the same genus as himself, his grief has no end. This topic has been discussed elsewhere also.

The Sheikhs agree that the overwhelmness of knowledge should be greater than the overwhelmness of wajd, because in the overwhelmness of wajd the holder of it is in a dangerous position, whereas one in whom knowledge preponderates is secure. It behooves the seeker in all circumstances to follow knowledge and religious law, for when he is overcome by wajd he is deprived of distinction, and is not liable to recompense for good actions or punishment for evil, and is exempt from honor and disgrace alike and under such condition he therefore is in the predicament of madmen, not in that of the saints and favorites of Allah. But when a person in whom knowledge dominates over state of feeling (hal) remains in the bosom of the Divine commands and prohibitions, and is always praised and rewarded in the palace of glory. But a person in whom state of feeling dominates over knowledge is outside of the ordinances, and dwells, having lost the faculty of discrimination in his self imperfection.

This is precisely the meaning of Junaid’s words that there are two ways, one of knowledge and one of action. Action without knowledge, although it may be good, because of ignorance is imperfect, but knowledge, even if it be devoid of action, is glorious and noble. Hence Abu Yazid said,

كفر اهل الهمة اشرف من اسلام اهل المنية

the disbelief of the generous is nobler than the faith of the covetous;” because unthankfulness is not possible from generous, but still if fate lead them to such situation they remain better off than the covetous.

Junaid said about Shibli that,

سكران ولواناق من سكره لجاء منه امام ينتفع به

“He is intoxicated; if he becomes sober he would prove to such an Imam from whom lot of benefit can be derived.”

Once, Junaid, Muhammad b. Masruq and Abu al-Abbas b. Ata were together in an audition assembly. When the qawal (orator) started chanting the verses, Junaid remained calm while his two friends fell into a forced ecstasy. After the audition they asked Junaid, for his being remained calm and composed. Junaid recited the word of Quran:

وَتَرَى الْجِبَالَ تَحْسَبُهَا جَامِدَةً وَهِيَ تَمُرُّ مَرَّ السَّحَابِ

“Thou seest the mountains and thinkest them firmly fixes; but they shall pass away as the clouds pass away: (Q 27:88).

Tawajud تواجد is taking pains to produce wajd. This is to present grace and evidence to the heart and to think and desire of union. This is the method of the steadfast and men of path. Some carry it out in a formal manner, and imitate them by outward motions and methodical dancing and grace of gesture, such tawajud is absolutely unlawful. Others do it in a spiritual manner, with the desire of attaining to their condition and degree. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

من تشبه فهو منهم

“he who makes himself like unto a people is one of them,”

and he said,

“When you recite Quran, weep, or if you cannot weep then endeavor to weep.”

These traditions proclaim that tawajud is permissible. Hence some Sufi elder said:

“I shall go a thousand leagues in falsehood, only then I find a step of truth.”


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Zahid Javed Rana, Abid Javed Rana, Lahore, Pakistan

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