The book At-Tanwīr is an elaborate book on a frequently misunderstood matter. Tadbir or planning is of many kinds – permitted, not permitted and disliked. The shaykh discusses these and other matters of destiny in a beautiful manner. His style of speech is disarming, moving, knowledgeable, authoritative. ‘Know my dear brother, may Allāh make you one amongst those who are granted his love and are gifted with His nearness and make you taste the drink of those who are immersed in love…’

He explains many verses and traditions (ayāt, aĥādīth) in a way not seen or heard in mainstream tafsirs, but irrefutably in accordance with them and principles of Ahlu’s Sunnah. The book starts with a sermon and explanation of the terms in a logical progression, answering objections along the way. Most of the book is in rhyming prose and is also interspersed with many verses and poems of the author himself. The book ends with a sublime invocation that uses words and names of Allāh that are related to tadbir and taqdir – of planning and destiny.

Name of the book: At-Tanwīr fī Isqāţi’t Tadbīr

Name (English): ‘The Illumination’ in the matter of renouncing planning

Author: Imām Tājuddīn Aĥmed ibn Áţā-Allāh as-Sakandari [d.709 AH]

Pages: 180

Subject: Taşawwuf, Áqīdah.

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Excerpt:

Allāh táālā says:

By Allāh, they are not believers unless they make you their judge in all their disputes, and they feel not any pique when you pronounce your judgement; and they submit completely as perfect submitters’ [Sūrah An-Nisā’a, v.65]

And your Lord creates and chooses whatsoever He Wills; the power to choose is not given to them. Glory be to Allāh, and exalted and free is He from partners that they assign Him’ [Sūrah Al-Qaşaş, v.68]

Will the human be given whatever he wishes for?’ [Sūrah Al-Qaşaş, v.24]

Whatever is in the end and the beginning belong to Allāh alone’ [Sūrah Al-Qaşaş, v.25]

RasūlAllāh şallAllāhu álayhi wa sallam said: ‘Whosoever is pleased with Allāh as his Lord, and Islām as his religion and Muĥammad şallAllāhu álayhi wa sallam as his prophet has [truly] tasted the [sweetness] of faith.’

And he said şallAllāhu álayhi wa sallam: ‘Worship Allāh by being pleased with Him. If you cannot, then being patient on what you do not like will bring you great reward’

There are many such verses and traditions talking about forsaking planning and arguing with destiny either explicitly expressed; or implicitly indicated. [immā naşşan şarīĥan wa immā ishāraţan wa talwīĥan]

The gnostics have said: ‘Plans will be made for those who renounce planning.’

Shaykh Abū’l Hasan al-Shādhilī said: ‘If at all you have to plan, plan to renounce planning.’ He also said: ‘Do not choose from a matter yourself, if at all you choose, choose to not choose. And run away from your choosing and everything towards: ‘Your Lord creates whatever He Wills and Chooses.’