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Wahdat-ul-Wujood or Wahdat al-Wujud (Arabic: وحدة الوجود) the “Unity of Being” is a Sufi philosophy emphasizing that ‘there is no true existence except the Ultimate Truth (God)’. All of his creations emerge from ‘`adem’ (عدم non-existance) to ‘Wajood’ (existence) out of his thought only. Hence the existence of God is the only true one (Haq) and that of his creation a false one (‘Baatil’). This concept is considered a formulation of Muhyi id-Din al-Shaykh al-Akbar Ibn Arabi ( الشيخ الأكبر محيي الدين بن العربي ) since he is considered the originator of this idea, but this term is not used in any of his writings.




Wahdat-ul-Wujood spread through the teachings of the Sufis like Shaikh Abu Ali Sindhi and Bayazid Bistami. Embellished and adored by Shaikh Fareeduddin/Fariddudin Attar and propounded and codified by Shaikhul Akbar Muhiyiddin Ibn Arabi. The Bektashi sect places much emphasis on the concept of Wahdat-ul-Wujood. This mystic sufi philosophy found conducive soil in many parts of South Asia as most of the saints and sages became dedicated disciples of Wahdat-ul-Wujood. Wahdat-ul-Wujood is also associated with Hamah Oost or Hama Oost (Persian meaning He is the only one) philosophy in South Asia. Sachal Sarmast, Sufi and poet from Pakistan, was also an ardent follower of Wahdat-ul-Wujood.

[edit] Difference between Pantheism and Wahdat-ul-wujood

One might not confuse Wahdat-ul-wujood with Pantheism because these two are totally different doctrines pantheism says everything is God but Wahdat-ul-wujood emphasize that God is God and Creature is Creature [1] but the real existence is for God and there is no existence of creature by its own or without God so we cannot say that creature has its own existence. The deep meaning of Wahdat-ul-wujood can be understood by reading the sufi concept of God and Creature in the ideas of Ibn Arabi who contributed a lot in the development of this concept in Islamic Mysticism. To quote Ustaza Umm Sahl: “In order to understand this concept we will first have to look at how existence is defined by the Imams of tenets of faith (`aqida). In the Ahl al-Sunna schools of `aqida existence or being is divided into three categories. The first is necessarily existent (wajib al-wujud), which defines the existence of Allah Most High. Allah Most High exists independently through Himself and His existence is necessary for the existence of all other things. None of His creation share in His existence. It is to this category of being that the Sufis are referring when they say ‘oneness of being (wahdat al-wujud)’.” [In Defense of Abdal Ghani al-Nablusi]

  • English word Pantheism means All is God[2] but the Arabic word Wahdat -ul- wujoob just emphasize on that there is just single being in existence so wajud is single
  • English transliteration of Wahdat -ul- wujoob might be Monoism, Unity of being or unity of existence

[edit] Wahhabi/Salafi Criticism

Some Wahhabies/Salafies criticize the concept of Wahadat-ul-Wujood on the grounds that being believed to be a product of Arab interaction with Hindu philosophy, it is not a purely Islamic concept. Other Wahhabies/Salafies accuse that this concept has come from Jews and they cite similarities with Kabbalah. Some even attribute it to the Greco-Roman pagan concept of pantheism.

This criticism comes mostly because Wahhabies/Salafies claim heritage to the teachings of Ibn Taymiyyah who was a rival/critic of Ibn Arabi

[edit] Similarity to other belief systems

It is also speculated that the concept of Wahdat-ul-Wujood could be product of Arab interaction with Hindu mystics and literature, specifically in reference to the non-dualistic teachings of the Upanishads, which preaches very similar concepts in regards to reality being an illusion and the only true existence being Brahman. The Upanishads were translated into Arabic during Muslim rule of South Asia. However this concept was developed in Spain during the Muslim rule, much before Muslim rule in India.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Tehqiq ul Haq fi Kalamat ul Haq a book by Pir Meher Ali Shah
  2. ^ pantheism(Greek: πάν ( ‘pan’ ) = all and θεός ( ‘theos’ ) = God)

[edit] For Further reading

  • Thaqeeq ul haq fil kalamat ul haq a book by Peer Mahr Ali Shah

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Topics in Islamic Sufism[hide]

Sufi philosophy : IhsanLataifCosmologyTajalliNoorMaqaamHaalManzilYaqeenFanaaBaqaaIndex of Sufi Concepts
Practices: DhikrMuraqabaSamaQawwaliSufi whirlingHadhra
List of tariqas : ChishtiJerrahiMevleviNaqshbandiOveyssiQadriRifa’iGalibiSuhrawardiShadhiliIndex of Sufi Orders
Famous medieval Sufis : Oveys GharaniHassan BasriRabiaBayazidJazouliJunaydGhazaliJilaniIbn ArabiRumiSaadiAttarSohrevardiData GunjGharib NawazKhusroBaba FaridKabirAlf SaniShah WaliullahBhittai
Famous modern Sufis : Ameer Muhammad Akram AwanSalaheddin Ali Nader Shah AnghaSeyyed Galip Hassan KuscuogluShah Maghsoud Sadegh AnghaIdries ShahOmar Ali ShahMuhammad al-MalikiHisham KabbaniKabir HelminskiInayat KhanShamsuddin AzeemiSh. Nuh Ha Mim KellerReshad Feild
Miscellaneous: Sufi textsHistorySufi poetrySufi artSufi MusicSufi FictionSufi studiesShrines

Retrieved from “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahdat-ul-Wujood


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