The Shape of Light

The Shape of Light

 
  The Shape of Light
 
  translated by
  Tosun Bayrak Al-Jerrahi Al-Halveti
 

Shaykh Tosun Bayrak here gives an interpretation (not a literal translation) of Suhrawardi's Hayakal al-Nur, a treatise on mystical inspiration, the Sufi philosophical concept of ishraquiyyah, or "illumination by the pure light devoid of matter, from the Orient [sharq] of the soul."

Suhrawardi, a twelfth-century Sufi master born in Azerbaijan, spent most of his short life in Persia and Syria. He is the author of some fifty books, in both Arabic and Persian. Hayakal al-Nur was written in Arabic; Shaykh Bayrak has worked from three different Turkish translations in preparing the current interpretation.

From the emanation of the primordial and central light - Allah himself, "the First, the Light of Lights, the wajib, or preexistent absolute necessity, the principal cause upon which all the possibilities of creation depend"- come the reflections of that Divine Light within man, achieved through spiritual battle with himself: first "quick, lightning-like flashes," then "more continuous periods of enlightenment" and finally, "for those who are advanced in the true path" a pure and permanent state of illumination.

"This work is called Hayakal al-Nur, the shapes, the forms, the appearances, the edifices of Light. As the Greeks of old saw the stars as the material bodies of spiritual existences, these shapes of Light are the manifestation of the source of all light, the Sacred Light."