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2.2.7 - The Period of Fun and Ignorance

As it is often the case with most people, especially those raised in the shadow of wealth and elites or luxurious societies, it is usual that they spend some time in fun with friends, in concerts, singing and other rituals. The more they indulge themselves in such things, the more they deviate away from Islam and the Way of Sufism and asceticism. Little by little Islam may completely departs out of their hearts and minds, and then they either may feel the danger and repent or return to the right Way, or they may be completely forgotten by God as they have forgotten His Commemoration and Commands, to become amongst the losers.

Then he adds that he had been characterized by this situation in the various evenings that were being held with his friends, apparently, where he was listening to the words (i.e. the singer or vocalist) as he describes the worldly decorations and self arrogance, to respond by shaking and dancing, and saying: Shabash (wow), this is great!

He then adds that his goddamn devil is still making him dance like the monkey owner is doing with his monkey, and so until he is finished with him he slaps him and lay him aside until someone who is less peasant will cover him with a robe, and when he wakes afresh and feeling happy, congratulating himself, while the angels are consolating him for loosing his religion and wasting his mind. Then, at the end of the night, he and the bad people like him, go to sleep, tired of the many dances they did, so they can hardly take a little rest before the call for morning prayer, thus they rise up and wash, with the least of what is called ablution, and then go to the mosque, that’s if they really succeed to do that, otherwise most of the people under this condition they only pray in their house, reciting the shortest Surah of al-Kawthar and Surat al-Fatihah, and slipping away the Duaa, and just clicking a quick diluted prayer, and then sleeping again till the time of morn to take some more rest!

So the Greatest Shaykh remembers that and says to himself: “Oh my God, this was not the way of God at all!” He even adds that when he was maybe luckier than most others, he would do the ablution and go out to the mosque, but when he enters he would find that people have already finished the prayer! Yet, he does not feel any sadness or regret, and he does not care. Instead, he only performs the prayer by himself as if he missed nothing, with his heart maybe still contended and saying to himself by the tongue of his state: the reward of the congregation has been guaranteed to me, since I came to the mosque, and God eased for me the lengthening of the prayer by the imam!

Then he adds in the Holy Spirit that even after that, if he realized the prayer with the imam, he is in that prayer on one of two cases: if he is comfortable with all things, he recounts his good night and how beautiful it was and what was the best of the singer and his poetry, and he spends all his prayers thinking of this so that he does not know what the imam has prayed with, or if he prayed at all, but he only saw people do some movements so he did like them; they knelt and he kneels down with them, and they worshiped and he worships with them, and the stood and he stands and sit down with them. However, when he feels the fatigue and being sleepy, then he would accuse the imam of taking long time and reading lengthy verses [Quds: pp. 20-21].

However, this was the case in his ignorance, with some like-minded bad companions, and it seems that such a situation has passed on Ibn al-Arabi very quickly. This is usually called the period, or the relaxation, and he says that he has gone through that, adding that this is an indispensable occurrence, but it may be prolonged and may be shortened, or one may even retract backwards. This period usually occurs soon after the opening as we will see shortly.