Wednesday, March 28, 2007

wahdah and tawhid: arabic grammar for LoA

what is the difference between...
wahdat al-wajud
and
tawhid-i wajud.


To my relatively arabic illiterate eyes they both look like "unity of being" or "oneness of being".

The passage reads:
"It is not a question of the wahat al-wujud of the Sufis, but a tauhid-i wujud..."

shukran,
LoA.

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Update: I got the most useful and wonderful reply from Yunus. I came away understanding so much more than when I started, and not just about Arabic grammar.

Yunus says:
As-salamu `alaykum

Wahdah is solitariness, singularity, being one.

Tawhid is commonly just thought of as 'God being One, only one God," but in fact it is a verbal noun of wahhada, seeing, perceiving, making one; unifying.

Tawhid is to perceive that Allah is one, even to remove multiplicities from your reality as an action. It is primarily an epistemological action that describes an ontological condition.

Wahdah asserts the simple fact: oneness.

So that's that. Now for the whole phrase, well, you probably know wahdat-i wujud or wahdat al-wujud is very controversial, including in the very basic sense of what does it refer to? William Chittick has a very good essay that tracks the term from it's appearance a few generations after Sidi Ibn al-'Arabi & into several splits it makes. "unity of being ("finding," indicating awareness)"

tawhid-i wujud would seem then to mean the perception of the unity of being, as opposed to the state of affairs, no matter what 'oneness of being' actually means, if anything other than what's great about islam or what those heretic Sufis are all moony about.

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[oh, those poor sufis! -LoA]

[Koonj, I'm kidding! Stop throwing things!]

6 comments:

ywns said...

As-salamu `alaykum

Wahdah is solitariness, singularity, being one.

Tawhid is commonly just thought of as 'God being One, only one God," but in fact it is a verbal noun of wahhada, seeing, perceiving, making one; unifying.

Tawhid is to perceive that Allah is one, even to remove multiplicities from your reality as an action. It is primarily an epistemological action that describes an ontological condition.

Wahdah asserts the simple fact: oneness.

So that's that. Now for the whole phrase, well, you probably know wahdat-i wujud or wahdat al-wujud is very controversial, including in the very basic sense of what does it refer to? William Chittick has a very good essay that tracks the term from it's appearance a few generations after Sidi Ibn al-'Arabi & into several splits it makes. "unity of being ("finding," indicating awareness)"

tawhid-i wujud would seem then to mean the perception of the unity of being, as opposed to the state of affairs, no matter what 'oneness of being' actually means, if anything other than what's great about islam or what those heretic Sufis are all moony about.

Lawrence of Arabia said...

this was extraordinarily helpful...thank you very much.

LoA.

koonj said...

I knew Yunus would take care of it. :) I brought him over! [bows for applause]

Lawrence of Arabia said...

*applauds wildly!*

i have attended lectures on islam where i didn't learn half as much as i did in his note. so give him my very sincere thanks; and thank you for sending him.

*more wild applause*

LoA.

Rawi said...

hmmm, fascinating!

koonj said...

[Koonj, I'm kidding! Stop throwing things!]

Got you in the skull did I, Catholic?

:D I'm kidding, man. I love Catholics. They raised me.