Princeton University Library Digital Collections

Princeton University Library holds approximately 9,500 Islamic manuscripts in Arabic, Persian, Ottoman Turkish and other languages of the Muslim world written in Arabic script. The manuscripts date from the 9th to the 19th centuries. 200 of these manuscripts are being digitized for the digital library.

Princeton University Library Digital Collections


Hajj ~ Blissful & Unforgettable


whose face is this
reflected in spirit’s mirror?
Such beauty painted
on the inner screen—
who is he?
Each atom
in all space
is filled…
Who transcends the galaxies,
shows himself in every molecule—who is he?
in the costume
of various specks of dust sparks forth various rays
of light at every moment—
who is he?
you appear in the meat
of our existence
but he who is hidden
in soul’s marrow—
who is he?
In soul’s fete
every now and again he sings
a new song, melodies of peace
touching the veils
of the people of the heart—
who is he?
He who manifests himself upon himself
makes love to himself in the name
of lovers—
who is he?
How many times, Mo’in
will you drag yourself and me between us?
He, the goal of I and Thou, is there—right there! Who is he?~ Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti r.a ~ Translation: Peter Lamborn Wilson and Nasrollah Pourjavady

The Spiritual Benefits of ~ Hajj

Announce the Hajj to mankind. They will come to you on foot and on every sort of lean animal, coming by every distant road so that they can be present at what will profit them (22:25-26) Holy Quran

As for those who honour Allah’s sacred rites, that comes from the taqwa in their hearts. (22:30) Holy Quran

Their flesh and blood does not reach Allah but your taqwa does reach Him. (22:35) Holy Quran

Jabir reported Allah’s Messenger, salla’Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, as saying:

When the Day of ‘Arafa comes, Allah descends to the lowest heaven and praises the people there to the angels, saying, "Look at My servants who have come to Me dishevelled, dusty and crying out from every deep valley. I call you to witness that I have forgiven them." Then the angels object, saying, "But my Lord this man has done such and such a thing and also that woman" Allah, Who is great and glorious replies, "I have forgiven them."

Shaykh Abdalqadir (r.a) says about ‘Arafa in The Way of Muhammad:

It is a rite that takes man back to his origin, for ‘Arafa is the meeting point, the point of the reunion on earth of Adam and Hawwa, peace be upon them. It is the source point of the human situation. The meaning of the Hajj and its reality lies in this ‘moment’, this time at the source of life itself, and what the hajji does is stop. Stand on ‘Arafa – it was for this that the journey was undertaken. Alone on a wide desert plain surrounded by a throng of others identical to yourself, bare-headed and draped in two white cloths – many there will be buried in these same cloths – you just come to a halt – quite simply, exhausted, dazed, you stop. At that moment there is absolutely nowhere to go. You are there. With Allah. The journey is accomplished. After that everything is purification and supplication.

A comprehensive statement made concerning an inward dimension of hajj was made by Hazrat Junayd al-Baghdadi (r.a)

A man came to visit Junayd and Junayd asked him where he had come from. He replied that he had just returned from hajj. Junayd said to him, "From the time you left your home did you also leave behind all wrong action?" "No," replied the man. "Then you never really left at all. At every stop you made on the way, did you also advance another stage on the path to Allah?" "No," came the reply. "Then you did not really make the journey. When you put on your ihram at the miqat, did you discard the attributes of selfhood as you took off your ordinary clothes?" "No." "Then you did not really take on ihram. When you did tawaf of the Ka’ba, did you witness the beauty of Allah in the abode of purification?" "No, I did not," said the man. "Then you did not really do tawaf. When you did sa’y between Safa and Marwa did you reach the rank of safa (purity) and muruwwa (virtue)?" "No." "Then you did not really do sa’y. When you went out to Mina did your muna (desires) cease?" No, they did not." "Then you never really went to Mina. When you stood on ‘Arafa did you experience even a single moment of ma’rifa (direct knowledge) of Allah?" "No." "Then you did not really stand on ‘Arafa. When you stayed the night at Muzdalifa did you renounce your love of this world?" No, I did not." "Then you did not really stay at Muzdalifa. When you stoned the Jamra, did you cast away from yourself everything that stands between you and your Lord." "No." "Then you did not really do the stoning. When you made your sacrifice, did you offer up your lower self to Allah?" "Then you did not really make a sacrifice and the truth is that you have not properly performed hajj at all. Return and do the hajj again in the manner I have described so that you may finally truly attain to the Maqam of Ibrahim."

Atoms are dancing …

Atoms are dancing …

O day arise! The atoms are dancing

Thanks to Him, the universe is dancing

The souls are dancing, overcome with ecstasy

I’ll whisper in your ear where their dance is taking them

all the atoms in the air and in the desert

Know well, they seem insane

Every single atom, happy or miserable

Becomes enamored of the sun

Of which nothing can be said.

Quotes from the movie “Bab Aziz”

Aashiq ar-Rasool, Hazrat Owais al Qarni r.a

Once the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him), while speaking to Sahaba-Ikram (companions), said: "There is a person in my Ummah (followers) whose prayers would bring forgiveness to as many sinners as the number of hair of the sheep in the tribes of Rabia and Mazar." The two tribes were well known for raising sheep during the time of the Holy Prophet. The disclosure made the Sahaba-Ikram very curious. They asked the Holy Prophet about the name of that person and the place he lived in. The Holy Prophet first hesitated, but on their insistence told them the name of a person who lived in Qarn, Owais Qarni.
The Holy Prophet continued: "On the Day of Judgment, Awais would be accompanied to paradise by 70,000 angels who’d resemble him." The reason the Holy Prophet gave for this was: "Since Awais prayed all his life in seclusion so as not to be noticed, Allah would also keep his purdah (cover)."
When people asked the Holy Prophet whether Owais Qarni had even come to see him, he said: "No, he never saw me, but he has the privilege of seeing me through Kashf (spiritual revelation), and he has reasons for not being able to see me. He is the only one to take care of his blind mother."
Again Sahaba-Ikram asked if they could see him, to which the Holy Prophet replied: "No, only Umer bin Khattab and Ali would meet him, and his identification is – he has thick hair all over his body, and a white patch on his left hand." He directed Hazrat Umer and Hazrat Ali: "When you see him, convey to him my salaam (greetings) and ask him to pray for my Ummah."
"And who’d be the right person to receive your Abaya (the cloak the Holy Prophet used over his clothes) after you leave the world?" the Sahaba asked.
"Owais Qarni," said the Holy Prophet.
When the Holy Prophet left the world and Hazrat Umer became the caliph, he, along with Hazrat Ali, went to Qarn to look for Owais Qarni. No one knew about him. However, the people of Qarn told them that outside the town there lived an insane person who laughed at the crying people and cried for those who laughed. When Hazrat Umer and Hazrat Ali reached there they saw a person praying amidst the grazing sheep. When he finished his prayers, he saw the visitors and said: "It is the first time anyone has ever seen me praying."
"What’s your name?" Hazrat Umer and Hazrat Ali asked. "Abdullah (the servant of Allah)."
"Tell us your real name?"
"Show us your hand," Hazrat Umer and Hazrat Ali immediately kissed the white patch the Holy Prophet had talked about. Then they presented to him the holy dress and asked him to pray for the Ummah as directed by the Holy Prophet.
Hazrat Owais Qarni took the dress and stepped away to offer prayers: "O Allah, unless you forgive the sins of the followers of the Holy Prophet I won’t wear his dress." Then they heard a voice: "I’ve forgiven some of them." All of a sudden came in front of him Hazrat Umer and Hazrat Ali. "Why did you come in front of me? Unless I had sought Allah’s forgiveness for the entire Ummah I would not stop my prayers." Then he donned the Abaya of the Holy Prophet and disclosed that Allah had forgiven the number of people equivalent to the hair of the sheep of the Rabia and Mazar tribes.
Afterwards, Hazrat Umer asked him why he didn’t receive the honour of seeing the Holy Prophet. In response to this Hazrat Owais asked them to tell whether the brows of the Holy Prophet were wide or dense? Both Sahabas could not answer the question. Then he asked another question: "Which tooth of the Prophet was martyred in the battle of Uhad? Why didn’t you break all your teeth for the love of your Prophet?" Saying this, he showed his toothless mouth. "When I broke my first tooth I thought it might be the other one. Then I broke the other one. Still I was not satisfied. When I had broken all my teeth only then I received some relief."
Seeing so much devotion to the Holy Prophet and his extraordinary Tasawwaf, Hazrat Umer wished to give up his Khilafat and adopt the ways of Hazrat Owais Qarni. Sensing his thought, Hazrat Owais said, "You should have given up Khilafat for anyone else, and dedicated yourself entirely to Allah."
Hazrat Umer asked him for some advice. "O Umer, you recognize Allah and there is nothing better than the sense that no one recongizes you but Allah." Then he thanked them for taking all the trouble to come and see him. Very much impressed, Hazrat Umer and Hazrat Ali returned home filled with great regard for Hazrat Owais Qarni.
Soon after that, the people of Qarn came to know about his spiritual excellence and they started regarding him as a great saint of Allah. Since he didn’t like to be known as a saint, he left for Kufa where, while fighting for Hazrat Ali in the battle of Safain, he was martyred.
Hazrat Owais Qarni always considered worldly life a temporary sojourn and often said, "Sleep with the remembrance of death, and rise with the thought that you will not live long." He received spiritual training directly from the Holy Prophet. Often the Holy Prophet said: "Owais is the best amongst Ta’beens (the successors of the companions of the Holy Prophet)."

Hazrat Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi r.a (1165 –1240 AD)

It is He who is revealed in every face, sought in every sign, gazed upon by every eye, worshipped in every object of worship, and pursued in the unseen and the visible. Not a single one of His creatures can fail to find Him in its primordial and original nature.

Book: Futûhât al-Makkiyya (The Meccan Illuminations)

If the believer understood the meaning of the saying ‘the colour of the water is the colour of the receptacle’, he would admit the validity of all beliefs and he would recognise God in every form and every object of faith.

Book: Fusûs al-Hikam (The Bezels of Wisdom)
~ Hazrat Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi r.a (1165 –1240 AD)