Hulool and Wahdaatul Wujood: Rabee al Madkalee
Hulool – Literally means “Entering” – Divine indwelling. The belief that Allah dwells within
a particular human, i.e. that Allah dwells in a particular Sufi shaykh, a pious person, a Prophet.
This belief is shared by Christians, certain Sufies, certain Sheites, Sikhs and others.
Wahdaatul Wujood – Literally means – Unity of Existence. The belief that all existence is a
single existence and everything we see are only aspects of the Essence of Allah. This belief is
also held by certain Sufies, Hindus, New Age religions, and others.
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Rabee’ ibn Haadee al-Madkhalee explained these two beliefs in ‘The
Reality of Sufism in Light of the Qur’an and the Sunnah’
Hulool is the belief of those who say that Allah dwells and is incarnate in human beings, Allah
is above and far removed from that. This was openly called to by some of the extreme Sufis,
such as al-Husayn ibn Mansoor al-Hallaaj who was declared to be an unbeliever by the scholars.
They ordered that he be executed and he was crucified in the year 309H. The following saying is
attributed to him:
“Glory to Him who manifested His human nature, hiding the piercing brightness of His divinity:
Till His creation saw Him openly, In the form of one eating and drinking”i
And his statement:
“I am the one who loves and the One who is loved is me, We are two spirits who dwell in a
single body. So when you see me you see Him, and when you see Him you see us both.”
So al-Hallaaj was a believer in hulool and believed in the duality of the divine nature and that
the Deity had both a divine and a human nature. Thus the divine becomes incarnate within the
human so that the human spirit is the divine nature of the Deity and the body is its human form.
Despite the fact that he was killed for his evil apostasy although some of the Sufis declare
themselves free of him, yet others count him as a Sufi, hold that his beliefs were correct, and
write down his words. From them is Abdul-‘Abbaas ibn ‘Ataa al-Baghdaadee, Muhammad ibn
Khaleef ash— Sheeraazee and Ibraheem an-Nasraabaadhee, as is reported by al-Khateeb al-
Wahthatool Wujood is the belief that all in existence is a single reality, and that everything we
see is only aspects of the Essence of Allah. The chief claimant of this belief was Ibn ‘Arabee al-
Haatimee at-Taa’ee, who was buried in Damascus having died in the year 638H. He himself says
about this belief in his book al-Fatoohaat-ul-Makkiyyah:
“The slave is the Lord and the Lord is a slave, I wish that I knew which was the one required to
carry out the required duties. If I were to say the servant then that is true, or if I were to say the
Lord, then how that can be required for Him.”ii
He also says in al-Fatoohaat:
“Those who worshipped the calf worshipped nothing except Allah.”iii
Ibn ‘Arabee is called ‘al-‘Aarif billah’ (The one having great knowledge of Allah) by the Sufis,
and also ‘al-Qutubul Akbar’ (The great pivot), ‘al-Miskul-Adhfar’ (the sweetest smelling musk),
“al-Kibreetul-Ahmar’ (the reddest brimstone), despite his belief in wahdatul-wujood and other
calamitous sayings. Indeed he praised Fir’awn (Pharaoh) and declared that he died upon eemaan!
Furthermore he speaks against Haroon for his criticism of his people’s worship of the calf, thus
directly opposing the text of the Qur’an. He also held that the Christians were Unbelievers only
because they made divinity particular to ‘Eesaa, whereas if they had made it general to all then
they would not have been unbelievers. [Despite all the gross deviation of Ibn ‘Arabee and the
fact that the scholars declared him to be an Unbeliever, yet he is revered by the Sufis and others
who do not distinguish between the truth and falsehood, and those who turn away from accepting
the truth even when it is as clear as the sun. But his books, which are filled with clear apostasy,
such as al-Fatoohaatul-Makkiyyah and Fusoosul-Hikam are still circulated. He even has a
tafseer, which he called at-Tafseerul-Baatin since he holds that there is an apparent and a hidden
meaning for every Aayah, so the outer meaning is for the people of Ta’weel.
From this group came Ibn Basheesh who said:
“O Allaah rescue me from the mire of Tawheed, and drown me in the centre of the sea of unity,
and mix me into the state of unity and oneness until I do not see, nor hear, nor sense except
Taken from: The Reality of Sufism in Light of the Qur’an and the Sunnah (slightly altered (linguistically))