Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 18, 2008

Persons and Identity

Р.В. Псху
Pages 179-186

Становление суфийского языка в творчестве ан-Ниффари (X в.)

One of most vivid examples of deep penetration of the Koran in Sufi consciousness which result became original mystical language is The Book of Spiritual Stayings of Muhammad al-Niffari (d. 977), an obscure figure in the history of Islamic Mysticism. As the main intermediaries-obstacles between the God and the person аl-Niffari considers three stages: 1) letter (harf), or Koran, 2) knowledge (ilm), 3) gnosis (ma’rifah). All three, in opinion al-Niffari, represent the veils hiding the God from Sufi. The language of this Book is paradoxical and such paradoxicality shows the abnormal condition of Sufi consciousness and impossibility of expressing his mutual relation with God. Al-Niffari tries to demonstrate that any attempt of verbal expression of Supreme Essence is doomed to failure. The most characteristic of Niffari’s doctrines is the doctrine of waqfah. Waqfah is regarded as the spirit of ma’rifah: whereas ma’rifah sees God and itself also, waqfah sees only God and it is God’s presence. Ma’rifah is the limit of the utterable, but waqfah is beyond the utterable. The Book of Spiritual Stayings may be regarded as an unique interpretation experience of Koran overcoming it as obstacle on the way toward to God. Owing to it the principle of unity of Deity is preserved in its purity.