Reflection of the Awakened
Attributed to Al-Qunawi
It is a treatise of great importance which sets forth, in a compact and systematic manner, the central concerns of the mystical dimension of Islam. Some attribute it to Sadraddin al-Qunawi, and others regard it as a work of Imam Husayn. Whether actually written by Imam Husayn or not, one needs to inquire into all the aspects of the question whether it really belongs to the school of the people of the house of the Prophet.
Mirat’l-Arifin itself contains the explicit reference to its theme – tahqiq fatiha’l-kitab (inquiry into the Opening of the Book). The inquiry starts with the reference to the well-known formulation: what is in the entire Quran is in its Opening. What is elaborated in the Quran is epitomized in the Opening (fatiha). The Opening is in fact a summation (ijmal), and hence the Point under the letter, ba, is the final symbol of the epitome of all knowledge. To call the Opening of the Book as the Source of the Book is to define the latter after the principle of summation and totality. The Mirat’l-Arifin revolutionizes the concept of ‘kitab’ (book) by saying that this world is in fact two-fold, the world of command (amr) and the world of creation (khalq), and each is a book from the books of God; and for each is a fatiha. In other words, for each there is a ‘ummul-kitab’ and a ‘kitabul-mubin’. Real knowledge consists in knowing the ‘ummul-kitab’ of each realm, but Man, as we are told, is a comprehensive book among the books of God, and a ‘barzakh’ for both the Divine and the Cosmic Realities. Hence, to know both the worlds is to know Man. Self-Knowledge is the summation of all things; and within man is the secret of His Lord – ” whoever knows his self knows His Lord”.