Photo: Two men praying in Egypt, 1870, by Zangaki. Negative inscribed 'No. 892 Prier arabe.'
It is related that Jābir ibn ‘Abd Allah said to the Prophet (ﷺ), “O Messenger of God, may my father and mother be sacrificed for you, tell me of the first thing God created before all things.” He said: O Jābir, the first thing God created was the light of your Prophet from His light, and that light remained in the midst of His Power for as long as He wished, and there was not, at that time, a Tablet or a Pen or a Paradise or a Fire or an angel or a heaven or an earth. And when God wished to create creation, he divided that Light into four parts and from the first made the Pen, from the second the Tablet, from the third the Throne, then He divided the fourth into four parts [and from them created everything else].
(Narrated in ‘Abd al-Razzāq's Musannaf)
'The Spiritual Teachings of the Prophet: Hadith with Commentaries by Saints and Sages of Islam'
by Tayeb Chouiref (Author), Fatima Casewit (Editor), Edin Q. Lohja (Translator)
The traditions of the Prophet of Islam are, after the Qu'ran, the most important source for every aspect of Islamic life and thought. Ranging in topic from prayer to economic activity, hygiene to politics, ethics to aesthetics, and law to metaphysics, this work is the first in a European language to collect more than 200 of the purely spiritual traditions drawn from canonical collections of the Hadith as well as from other traditional resources. It contains illuminating commentaries drawn from the writings of eminent Sufis, such as Hasan al-Basri, Ibn Arabi, al-Ghazali, al-Janayd, Shaykh al-‘Alawi and his spiritual progeny. This unique book also reveals an important dimension of the Prophet’s being, one that is often neglected in modern studies not only by non-Muslim Westerners, but also by many Muslim biographers.
Fatima Casewit is a teacher and educator with more than 25 years of experience and is the translator and editor of Islam in Tibet. She currently works for a US government contractor aiming to improve education systems throughout the Middle East and Africa. She lives in Washington, DC. Tayeb Chouiref is a French scholar, translator, and teacher. He is the author of The Spiritual Teachings of the Prophet.