Mōšeh Ahărōn ben Hʿeršʿel
portrait Mōšeh Ahărōn ben Hʿeršʿel Coat of Arms May Allah Bless You
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In ha-Šem [Hebrew, ha, for the, and Šem, for Name, i.e., G-d] of Allāh-ʾĔlōhîm, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful!

As-salāmu 'ālaykum [Arabic, salām, and Hebrew, shalom, for peace; Arabic, 'ālaykum, And Hebrew, aleichem, for upon you] and baruch ha-Shem [Hebrew, Buruch for blessed and ha-Shem for the Name, i.e., blessed be the Name of G-d]! a warm welcome to this blessed arīqah [Arabic, a path].

This lowly one [born 1349 in Regensburg, Germany, and died 1425 near Angāh, the birthplace of Ḥaḍrat Sulṭān Bāhū in the South Asian Punjab], raised by the great Hiršel, has been known, in the Hebrew and Yiddish tongues, as Mōšeh Ahărōn ben Hʿeršʿel (מֹשֶׁה אַהֲרֹן בֶּן הֶערשֶׁעל). His Hebrew ancestry is German, Austrian, and Russian. His tribe, according to tradition, is Levite [Hebrew, ha-Leyvy, and Arabic, al-Livī]. For the first part of his life, he wast a German [Hebrew, Ashkenazi] rabbî [Hebrew for my master] from Middle Europe. From of his keen sense of social justice, he was often called, der Faygnboym [This term is Yiddish for the fig tree, a symbol of peace. Musa appears to have had has many traits which characteristics which, today, would be seen as Autistic.]

This transformed one was, in the past, the director of a minor yeshivah [Yiddish, from yeshiva for a place of sitting, a school] for ha-mekubalim [Hebrew, plural of ha-mekabal for the Kabbalists and taken from Kabbalah, a received tradition or, literally, a receiving]. Yet, the inmost desires of his heart remained unsatisfied. He longed to acquire deeper knowledge from a distant land.

This desirous one dismissed his bochurim [Yiddish, plural of bochur, yeshiva student, or, literally, bachelor]. He then began a series of difficult travels through the southlands. At his first destination, he conversed with a number of the HaZaL [Hebrew, an acronym for, "hakhameinu zikhronam livrakhah," or, in English, "Our sages, may their memory be for a blessing," and refers to talmudic, midrashic, and mishnaic rabbis] among the Mizrahim [Hebrew, plural of Mizrahi, a Middle Eastern Jew or, literally, an Easterner] in Egypt [literally, within the lands of mystery].

With this seeker’s interest in the knowledge [Arabic, ʿulūm, plural for ʿilm for knowledge or science] of Islām now sparked, he approached the realms of the Arabs, Kurds, Turks, Persians, and lands beyond. Thanks be to God, he mastered their languages with ease. Later, after what seemed to this abased one as the passing of an age, he arrived in Lebanon. In those charming and hallowed surroundings, he was wast received by his companions. They informed him of the wonders of the Prophet Muḥammad, peace and blessings be upon Him.

We have not sent before you except men, to whom We gave inspiration, from the people of the towns. Would they not roam the earth and see what the punishment of those before them was? The abode of the Hereafter is far better for those who are aware. Do you not reason?
[From Quran: A Reformist Translation 12:109.]

Al-ḥamdulillāh [Arabic for praise be to G-d]! This inquiring one immediately discovered, in al-malakūt al-asmā' wa'l-ifāt [Arabic for the kingdom of names and attributes], the relationship, based on language, between two words for ha-Shem [Hebrew for the Name, G-d]. Both were, originally, širk [Arabic for sharing of divine sovereignty, such as idolatry or polytheism]. Just as Elohim came from Baʾal [the “Levantine pantheon,” which also included Hadad and other gods], Allāh is related to the moon god, Allāt. Anyone who denies this resemblance must be lying, ignorant, or performing mubālaġa [Arabic, hyperbole].

Ibn ArabīSuhrawardi    This pilgrim, along with several Haverim [Hebrew, plural of haver for friends], followers of al-Waḥī [Arabic for the Revelation] by al-Nabī [Arabic for the Prophet, Muḥammad ibn Abd'u'llāh, and related to the Hebrew, ha-navi] of al-Ḥaqq [Arabic for the True One, i.e., G-d] (may the peace and blessings of ha-Shem rest upon His soul), closely studied two 'irfānī [Arabic for gnostic] schools of though. The Akbarī [Arabic for of the Great Elder] concept of al-waḥdat al-wujūd [Arabic for the unity of being] was developed by Shaykh 'Ibn Arabī [1165-1240 CE], al-Shaykh al-Akbar [Arabic for the Great Elder].

The love of this grateful one for al-Khātim an-Nabiyīn [Arabic for Seal of the Prophets, with Khātim for Seal and Nabiyīn as a form of al-Nabī or Prophet] increased, and he looked toward al-ālam al-mithal [Arabic for the imaginal world, the planes of spirit]. This eternal ālam [Arabic, world] hath been examined in al-tafsīr al-Qurʾān [qurʾānic exposition] of al-Ḥikmat al-'Ishrāq [Arabic for the wisdom of illumination]. It was provided by al-shahīd [Arabic for the martyr], Shihābuddīn Yahyā Suhrawardī [1155-1191].

A spray of jasmine
And a ḥūrīya is drawn
Scurry ye ǧinn!
’Tis the break of Dawn

[The Arabic, ḥūrīya (plural, ḥūrīyāt), or in Persian, ḥūrī (usually anglicized as houri), may be translated as a black-in-white-eyed maiden. The Arabic, ǧinn (singular, ǧinnī), translates as concealed ones.]

The guidance from al-ahl al-Islām [Arabic for the people of the surrender, i.e., Muslims], with its affirmation of Tawḥīd [Arabic for divine Unifying, monotheism], was sweet to the lips of this traveller. After an iyyun (Hebrew for mindful examination, deep exploration, or introspection], this Jew by birth reverted to being one of al-dīn al-Islām [Arabic, the religion of Islām). Then, during an extended stay in Persia, he accepted al-Ithnā 'Ashariyyih [Arabic for party of the twelve] branch of al-Shīʾah [Arabic for the followers].

In his journeys, this fortunate one met a fascinating Muslim shaykh. What resulted were a series of intense discussions. In the course of these conversations, a kindred soul wast revealed, by al-faḍl wa al-luṭf Allāh (the favor and the kindness of G-d), the ascended Ṣūfī Jewish scholar, Avraham ben Moshe ben Maimon [Hebrew for Abraham son of Moses Maimonides, 1185-1237]. Although he wast the son of Rambam [a Hebrew acronym referring to Moses Maimonides], his blending of Jewish Kabbalistic and Islāmic Ṣūfī thought brought him a devoted following which hath lasted to the present day.

All praise and glory be to ha-Shem! In a moment, al-kitāb al-ḥikmat [Arabic for the book, al-kitāb, of wisdom, al-ḥikmat] unfolded. Indeed, after pledging bay'at [Arabic, taking of hand, from a word for a sales transaction by "shaking on it," and vowing one's loyalty and allegiance to a guide or, in Arabic, al-murshid], he hadst, by year’s end, become al-khalīfa [Arabic for successor] to the pīr [Persian for elder] or shaykh [also elder] of this religious order [Arabic, ṭarīqa] in Ṣūfism [Arabic Taṣawwūf]. It is in a chain [Arabic, silsilah, referring to spiritual lineage], in the ṭarīqa [the path] of al-Qādirīyah [centuries later, the ṭarīqa of Ḥaḍrat Sulṭān Bāhū, 1628-1691 A.D., a Punjābī]. It began with the the blessed Muḥammad and His companions. He was also now, may Allāh-ʾĔlōhîm assist him, al-murshid [Arabic for the guide] of numerous murīdīn [Arabic, plural of murīd for devotees or desirous ones].

This order is dedicated to the search after haqīqat [Arabic for truth] through the doctrine [Hebrew, leqat] of al-Wuǧūd [Arabic for unity] in Kaṯrat [Arabic for multiplicity]. All existence is the manifestation [Arabic, uhūr] and the emanation [Arabic, fay] of the One in the many. The order explored both Qurʾānic [referring to the Qurʾn} and TaNaḤic [referring to the TaNaḤ or Jewish Bible] truths. Its philosophy [Arabic from Greek, filsafat, the love of wisdom] focused upon the 'ulūm [Arabic, plural of 'ilm, science or, literally, knowledge] of rūḥ [Arabic for spirit and related to the Hebrew, ruach] and ūrat [Arabic for form]. It performed charitable works for widows and orphans.

Allāh'u'Akbar [God is most great]! The undeserved favors which ha-Shem conferred upon this wayfarer are too many to mention. Clearly, ha-kochot ha-nefesh [Hebrew, plural of ko'ach for powers and ha-nefesh for the soul, i.e., the powers of the soul] have been developing. However, his travelling and wayfaring [Arabic, sayr wa sulūk] toward the death of his willful self [Arabic, al fanāʾ al-nafs al-ammāra] hadst not yet reached the hour, set by Allāh-ʾĔlōhîm, of decree [Arabic, qadr]. After having an especially enlightening dream, he returned, in ha-olam ha-asiyah [Hebrew, kabbalistic term for the world of action or doing], to the lands of his birth and upbringing, the West Asian subcontinent [Europe].

One of the schools of kalām [Arabic for a type of theology] amongst al-ahl as-Sunnah [Arabic for the people of the Sunnah, that is to say, al-Sunnīyin or “Sunnīs”] is al-Ash'ariyya [a medieval perspective]. This wretched one, by adopting some of its methods, has been able to challenge common views of logic [Aristotelian or “Peritatetic” logic], especially when applied to the Prophets [Arabic, al-anbiyā, plural of al-nabī] of G-d [ʾĔlōhîm]. Human rules of logic, when related to ha-Shem, is shirk [Arabic, “sharing” or making partners with Allāh]. Instead, the Logós of the Prophets is the Logic of ha-Shem. Only the Command of God [Arabic, al-amr Allāh] has dominion over the affairs of men.

This abased one will now make a humble proclamation [Arabic, izhār]. For some unknown reason, this weak one was guided, in the world of dreams and visions [Arabic, al-ʿālam al-manāmāt wʾal-ruʾan, to the land of the Vedas [India]. Through muraqaba [meditation], his once closed [Autistic?] heart was now opened before the loving presence of the Lord. Needless to say, Allāh-ʾĔlōhîm hath His Own reasons. They may be veiled unto us. Yea, verily, in that land of contrasts, he met ʿAbd al-Karīm Quṭb al-Dīn ibn Ibrāhīm al-Ǧīlī [commonly known as al-Ǧīlī, 1365-1424], a fellow apostle of al-Qādirīyah, and eventually made his home in the Indian Punjāb.

Power to accomplish
Purpose through means;
The reasonings of Allāh-ʾĔlōhîm
Art covered by the Tree.

Following the first dream, which was conveyed to this astonished one by his guardian angel [al-malāk al-ḥāris], he imagined that he must be losing his mind. When the angelic [Arabic, malakī] visits continued, he knewest not what to do. Once, when he hadst attempted to ignore the angel in vision, that being appeared before this confused one to the unity of nineteen [Arabic, literally, wāḥid, unity, which has a numerical, or “abjad,” or numerical, value of nineteen] within the world of dreams [Arabic, al-ālam al-aḥlām]. The confusion became so intolerable that this shameful one even considered ending his own life.

Manifest to all the people.
On it is nineteen.
We have made the guardians of the fire
to be angels; and We did not make their
number except as a test for those who
have rejected, to convince those who
wert given the book, to strengthen the
acknowledgment of those who have
acknowledged, so that those who have
been given the book and those who
acknowledge do not have doubt, and so
that those who have a sickness in their
hearts and the ingrates would say, "What
did God mean by this example?" Thus
God misguides whoever/whomever He
wishes, and He guides
whoever/whomever He wishes. None
knows your Lord's soldiers except Him.
It is but a reminder for people.
[Sūrat al-Baqarah, the Sūra of the Cow (74:29-31)
from Quran: A Reformist Translation.]

Because of the Jewish genealogy of this Muslim, with the blessing [Arabic, baraka, related to the Hebrew, berakhah] of ha-Shem, the angel appeared as a rabbi [Hebrew, rabî, master or lord]:

Whoever was an enemy to God and His angels, and His messengers, and Gabriel, and Michael, then so God is the enemy of those who do not appreciate.
[Sūrat al-Muddaththir, the Sūra of the Cloaked One (2:98)
from Quran: A Reformist Translation.]
And war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back, but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.
[Revelation 12:7-8
from The New Revised Standard Version]

In these visions, this worthless one wast commanded to present his al-Qādirī path as a way to solidify the Teachings of all the Prophets [Arabic, al-Anbiyā, plural of al-Nabī]. Each of the faiths of Abraham [Arabic, Ibrāhīm], which have been already mentioned, tell us stories or teach us lessons. Once the stories are viewed as exact descriptions of the worlds of spirit, their point has been lost.

What remaineth to be spoken
Couldst not be comprehended
Lo! And if the words wert uttered
Wouldst the axis be dislodged.

Whilst remaining in India, this enraptured one hadst become familiar with the Bhakṭī [Sanskrit, भक्ति, engagement, allocation, or apportionment] form of devotion from the indigenous peoples of the Punjab [Persian and Šāh Mukhī Punjabi, Panǧāb, پنجاب]. Immediately drawn to this purified style of worship and heavenly attraction, he hath gratefully incorporated it into his own spiritual practice, and he hath taught it to kindred souls.

This poor one is now a travelling spiritual guide [muršid], in his al-Qādirī ṭarīqa [path] and a soul in search of inner knowledge [the Arabic 'arif, related to the words 'irfān and ma'rifa, for a person who strives to achieve knowing or or gnosis]. He is a wandering dervish [Arabic, literally, “qalandarī” for a wandering darwīš or dervish]. his present station [Arabic, maqām] of servitude ['ubūdīyah ] [servitude] to Allāh is in searching for devotees [Arabic, murīdīn] for his community [Arabic, al-jamā'a]. It is known as al-Ṭarīqah al-Wāḥidāt™ [Arabic, arīqah for path or method and al-Wāḥidāt as the plural of Wāḥid for unities; Hebrew, ha-dereh ha-šemot, with Dereh as way and ha-šemot as the plural of ha-Šhem, the Way of the Unities].

The method and pedagogy of the path [Arabic, al-arīqah] hath been to focus upon unities with their names and attributes. We await al-Mahdī [the Islāmic Promised One]. In times past, this imperfect one awaited in times past for the Messiah, son of Joseph [Hebrew, HaMoshiach, Annoined One, ben Yosef]. This devoted one also offers chizuk [Hebrew for strength or encouragement] to souls of pure heart and excellent character, as they strive to return to the divine Presence [Hebrew, ha-shekhinah, the dwelling-place] from whence they originally came.

For anyone who hath an interest, the illustration below [courtesy, Wikimedia] doth detail this servant’s journeys:


To those readers who hast judged this servant of unfaithfulness to the principles of al-TaNaḤ, thou art, respectfully, counseled to consider the saying, penned in days of old, “Yea, verily, the evil thou seest in others, in thyself may be true.”

Salutations be upon thee!

Thy meshared [Judæo-Spanish or “Ladino” for servant] at al-bāb [Arabic, the gate],

☪   Mōšeh Ahărōn ben Hʿeršʿel   ✡

Copyright © 1997- Mark A. Foster, Ph.D.  All rights reserved.
Not an official publication of The Society for Creative Anachronism.
This persona is a fictitious account of Dr. Mark A. Foster
Mark is lower than the dust. He has no station at all.
al-Ṭarīqah al-Wāḥidāt is a parable of Unities of All Things™.
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Peace and blessings to you Today and always...