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The Three Incarcerations of Yusuf

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A reading of the story of joseph as presented in the 12th surah
From the time man begins to climb the ladder of ascent (mi‘râj), he receives divine self-disclosure in accordance with the ladder of his ascent. Each individual among the Folk of Allah has a ladder specific to him which no one else climbs… all steps of the meanings for the prophets, the friends, the faithful, and the messengers are the same…The first step is islâm, which is submission (inqiyâd). The last step is annihilation (fanâ) in going up (‘uruj) and subsistence (baqâ) in going out (khurûj). Ibn al-‘Arabî qtd. in SPK 219 b[1] In the Qur’ân Joseph suffers three incarcerations: the well, Zulaykha’s bedroom, and

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the prison. It is my contention that each of Joseph’s incarcerations represents metaphorically the steps from submission towards annihilation in the Real as referred to by Ibn al-‘Arabî above. And each imprisonment is an important phase in Joseph’s formation as a prophet. As such each confinement marks a phase in the transformation of the soul from the soul of the ordinary mortal, to that of “those who reach the fullness of human perfection” (TI 254 a). Following ‘Abd al-Razzâq Kâshânî’s commentary “The Sura of Joseph,”[2] I will attempt to make an esoteric interpretation of the three incarcerations of Joseph viewing them as mirrors of the microcosmic evolution of the Heart. These incarcerations trace the path that the human being must take from the “soul commanding to evil,” through the station of the “blaming soul,” to finally reach the station of unconditional servanthood depicted as the “soul at peace with God.” The Well In verse 12:15[3] Joseph is lowered into a well by his brothers. Later, in 12:19, Joseph is found by a water-drawer from a passing caravan.

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So when they went with him, and agreed to put him in the bottom of the well, and We revealed to him, ‘Thou shalt tell them of this their doing when they are unaware’ (12:15). Then came travelers, and they sent one of them, a water-drawer, who let down his bucket. ‘Good news!’ he said. ‘Here is a young man’ (12:19). Before actually commencing the discussion of the first incarceration, it would help to understand its implication if we first look at the use of the word ‘well’ by the translators. Both Arberry and Sher ‘Alî use the word well in verse 12:15. On the other hand, Palmer and Pickthall translate the word as ‘pit.’ The problem stems from the original Arabic phrase ghayabât jubb which translates roughly into “the bottom of the pit.” Furthermore, the same phrase construction, ghayabât jubb, appears in verse 12:10, were both Arberry and Sher ‘Alî translate jubb as ‘pit.’

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Now the dictionary gives us the English nouns “covert, screen” for the Arabic ghayabât , while from jubb we get the nouns “well, cistern, pit.” In fact, the dictionary tells us that the phrase construction ghayabât with the word ‘well’ translates into “the bottom of the pit.” Hence, it is possible to transpose the term ‘pit’ or ‘cistern’ for the term ‘well.’ But, the usage of ‘well’ by Arberry in 12:15, rather than ‘pit,‘ could be validated by the mention of the water-drawer lowering his bucket into the well/pit in verse 12:19. I tend to favor Arberry’s choice of ‘well,’ and propose that this well symbolizes the beginning of Joseph’s traverse, as the Heart, toward the realization of his innate condition of perfection. Now, in 12:8-10, where the brothers plan to get rid of Joseph, the translators agree on the use of ‘pit.’ It is in 12:15 that translators disagree in the word, as stated above. The problem now is that the term ‘pit’ and ‘well’ may seem alike, yet they really evoke different feelings. The word ‘pit’ brings to mind the image of a barren hole in the ground.

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How does this relate to Joseph as the Heart? A well implies something from which one can extract

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something else. The word ‘well’ is usually used for a hole from which one can extract water, oil, natural gases. So, basically a well is composed of a solid, in this case earth, which encases liquid or gas. Thus a ‘well’ or a ‘cistern’ always carries the feeling of hope. Even what seems to be no more than an empty well, symbolically portrays the longing sense of hope. That is why in verse 12:19 we are told that it was a water-drawer who finds Joseph. The act of the water-drawer accentuates the feeling of productivity, of fertile ground, and of hope that Joseph’s character represents as the Heart. Thus Joseph suffers his first transformation from a mere unproductive nuisance to the hope of the coming revelations. As a solid shell, Joseph, as the body that contains the Heart, is the well from which the light from God will eventually emanate. Second the water, the hope which lingers out in the desert, has been interpreted by commentators to signify knowledge. For example, Kâshânî, in discussing verse 13:17, states the following: He sends down out of Heaven, which is the Spirit of holiness, water, that is knowledge (qtd. in TI 130 a).

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Rashîd al-Dîn Maybudî also sees the same analogy for water in his commentary to verse 13:17. This verse is the sphere of the science of reality and gnosis. He sends down out of Heaven water. In other words, He revealed from on high to the hearts and the ears of the prophets and He inspired the intellects and insights of the sages (qtd. in TI 129 a). Both Kâshânî and Maybudî see water as a knowledge or intellect which descends unto the hearts (wadis) from a higher spirit. But water is not only described as knowledge. Nasafî suggests water as an “Ocean of Light.” O dervish! Now that you have come to know about the World of the Invincibility, the World of the Dominion, and the World of the Kingdom . . . , you should know that the Dominion is the Ocean of Light, and the Kingdom is the Ocean of Darkness.

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This Ocean of Light is the “water of life” and is found in darkness. In the same way, this Ocean of Light is the Ocean of Darkness in the relation to the Ocean of Knowledge and Wisdom are the water of life found in darkness. . . . It is an unlimited and infinite light, an endless and shoreless ocean. . . .everything comes from this light. It is the niche and guardian of this light and the locus of manifestation for its attributes. (qtd. in TI 161 a) The water is the light, the knowledge found shining in the darkness of creation by this light. Joseph’s presence in the well clearly signifies a bond created between the heart (Joseph) and the intellect (water). But Joseph and the water cannot be considered alone. In fact, they are encased by the surrounding earth. As Nasafî clearly stipulates, the darkness of the ‘well’ into which Joseph is lowered by his brothers is the darkness of the material world. Thus, in the well, Joseph, as the Prepared Heart[4], that is, as the heart which contains the specific configurations through which to receive the perfection of the soul, finds himself

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surrounded by the darkness of the Cosmos. And this earth is understood as the body of manifestation. And each thing has a shadow, which is attribute and locus of manifestation, or its body, through which that thing becomes manifest. (Kâshânî qtd. in TI 205b) As it becomes obvious, the well is the body or the womb, the barzakh, from which Joseph, as the Prepared Heart, would become manifest. As all men and women, Joseph's being drawn from the well eventually symbolizes his being bourne into his submission to the Real. “Womb” is a name for the reality of Nature. Nature is the reality that brings together heat, cold, wetness, and dryness. (Qûnawî qtd. in TI 220 a-b) In the well Joseph is surrounded by those attributes which define human beings. As the Prepared Heart, Joseph is entombed between the fancies of the body (the multiple, the low, the

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imperfect), and the impending (latent) liberating waters of knowledge. Hence the well becomes a womb from which Joseph, as Adam before him, will be bourne. There is definitively a parallel to the story of Adam’s creation present in Joseph. The well is a clear analogy of the creation of the first or primal human being (‘Adam). Islamic tradition recognizes that Adam was moulded from clay taken from the earth. “[Iblis said] ... him [Adam] Thou createdst of clay” (7:12). Clay is a mixture of earth and water. Thus the image of Joseph in the well takes us back to the original man, Adam, being brought into creation. In the same way that Adam was risen from earth and water (“stinking mud”, “sticky clay” [37:11]), Joseph is brought up from the well. Hence the well is the womb from which Joseph is birthed. Earth now denotes the body, the material. Water denotes the intellect, knowledge. Joseph is the Prepared Heart amidst the darkness of the earth and the light received through the water. What, then, is the product extracted from the well by the

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water-drawer? It is the “soul commanding to evil” embodied in Joseph at this juncture in his transformation. The lowest stage [of the transformation], the “soul commanding to evil,” belongs to ordinary mortals overcome by forgetfulness. (TI 254 a) Joseph’s embodiment by the soul brings us back to the Arabic term ghayabât . As I mentioned before, ghayabât can be understood as “covert, screen.” This is relevant to the discussion since both words refer to the act of covering or shielding something. Hence it is possible to relate ghayabât to the veiling (hijâb) of the cosmos by God. What is left over Joseph, as the Prepared Heart, is the veil which reflects the darkness all refer to as humanity. This humanity is the soul. Murata’s commentary to the following four lines of a poem by Ibn al-‘Arabî is relevant to understanding the relationship between spirit-soulbody represented in Joseph and the well.

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I am the son of the fathers--pure spirits-and mothers--elemental souls. Our locus of manifestation is between spirit and body, the result of a union of embracing and pleasure. (qtd in TI 144 b - 145 a) In her commentary to these lines by Ibn al-‘Arabi, Sachiko Murata points out that Souls are “elemental” since they are thoroughly imbued with bodily attributes and the properties of the four elements that make up the body. Hence the qualities of the earth, water, air, and fire all manifest themselves within the soul. But spirit is pure light, dwelling beyond the realm of the elements. (TI 144b-145a) Yet, in Joseph, water alone can not represent the soul, neither can the earth. Here water is the flicker of the spirit manifested in the body/earth. Equally the earth manifests its attributes upon the water.

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The soul must be both water and earth, yet neither: the soul must be clay. To continue Murata’s comment on Ibn al‘Arabî: We as human beings come into existence as the result of the marriage of spirit and body. The “we” with whom we identify is precisely our soul. (TI 145 a) Kâshânî’s commentary to verse 4:36 also reflects the essence of Joseph as the heart. And be good to parents. Be good to the spirit and the soul, from which the heart was born. The heart is your reality. (qtd. in TI 313 a) It is the soul which surrounds Joseph as he is lifted from the well. The soul is the child of the Spirit and the body. Hence its formation is in a “womb” of earth and water, air and fire. Thus the nature of the four elements [air, fire, water, earth] will have mixed in compounding the structure

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of the embryo. The constitution will have reached equilibrium, the form will have been impressed, and the disposition will have been configured. (Ikhwân al-Safâ’ qtd. in TI 216 b) Finally, the “womb” analogy comes to an end by verse 12:19 where the water-drawer is the midwife who brings Joseph out into the world. It is not Joseph who delivers himself from the bottoms of the earth, but something external to him. Hence Joseph’s release was not by his own actions. Joseph’s birth from the womb of the well sets the stage for the transformation of the soul. Zulaykha’s Bed After being liberated from the well, Joseph was sold to a governor in Egypt, Potiphar. It is in Potiphar’s house where Joseph is incarcerated for the second time. The episode is simple in itself. Zulaykha falls for Joseph’s beauty and tries to seduce him. Fortunately, Joseph holds his place in the end, having his shirt ripped from his back. Later, the women of the city also succumb to his beauty,

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cutting themselves in their forgetfulness (12:2333). Many may argue that this is not an incarceration. But it is important to remember that Joseph is in Egypt against his will. Also in verse 12:23 we are told that the doors were closed. Now the woman in whose house he was solicited him, and closed the doors on them. Pickthall goes further as to translate the last passage as “She bolted the doors . . . .” As such it is possible to refer to Joseph, who at the time was a bartered slave, as a prisoner of Zulaykha. What must be questioned is what this imprisonment “offers” Joseph in his sojourn toward manifestating his innate condition as the Prepared Heart. For this we must pay attention to what Zulaykha, the seduction, the sign from his Lord, the shirt, and the women each symbolize. Kâshânî identifies Zulaykha with the “Blaming Soul, who becomes illuminated by the light of the Spirit.”[5] As such Zulaykha portrays the internal

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struggles of the soul on commencing its trek towards God. . . . The “blaming soul,” pertains to those who have begun to struggle on the path to God. They recognize their own weaknesses and blame themselves for their failure to adhere to the normative guidelines set down by the prescriptive command. (TI 254 a) When, in verse 12:23-24 Zulaykha advances on Joseph one could argue that this was because of her marvel before the Spirit’s beauty shining through Joseph. But she falls short of comprehending the implications of this beauty. For she desired him; and he would have taken her, but that he saw the proof of his Lord. So was it, that We might turn away from him evil and abomination; he was one of Our devoted servants (12:24). Zulaykha, who represents the manifestation of the lower stages of human development, is the

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struggling soul which slips before Joseph’s radiance. Her adherence to the darkness misguides her perception of the light. Thus, in blinded lust, Zulaykha pursues the locus of the manifestation, the material “clothing” through which the spirit shines, rather than looking for the “reality” beneath/behind the veil. Joseph, as the Prepared Heart, also “slips” momentarily. Line 12:24 clearly states that Joseph had fallen for Zulaykha’s attributes: “. . . and he would have taken her, but that he saw the proof of his Lord.” What is relevant in this line is that Joseph, as the Heart, was tempted to follow the way of the Blaming Soul. At this moment Joseph is in danger of stagnating in this phase. Zulaykha’s desire for Joseph, and Joseph’s near consummation of his desires for her are indicative of the lapse experienced by imperfect souls. Furthermore, the women who later on visit Zulaykha and cut their hands before the presence of Joseph are reminiscent of the the disbelievers’ forgetfulness before the word of God (12:31). Zulaykha and the women hold dear not what is behind the manifestation, God’s ultimate Beauty,

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but rather they are blinded by the earthly locus of manifestation itself, Joseph's physical beauty. Have you not read in the Book of God about the women who cut their hands when Joseph came before them. “They said: Peerless is God’s Glory! This is not of humankind.” Now if such as this could happen through contemplating created beauty, why should not something of the kind happen at the contemplation of the Beauty of its Creator, when He appears in all the Splendour of His Greatness? (Shaykh Ahmad al-‘Alawî qtd. in Lings 96). To prevent Joseph’s stagnation in the stage of the blaming soul, God sends a warning to Joseph. Islamic tradition concurs that the sign was probably Gabriel in the form of Jacob biting his fingers. What is crucial is that given the human condition, it takes the signs from God to guide us through our tribulations. Had Joseph not warranted the sign, his progress would have been arrested in a lower rung of the ladder. Also, it is relevant to

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note that the sign was in accordance to preparedness of Joseph as heart. He gives the heart the preparedness as indicated in His words, “He gave each thing its creation” (20:50). Then He lifts the veil between Himself and His servant. The servant sees Him in the form of his own belief, so He is identical to the object of his belief. Hence neither the heart nor the eye ever witness anything but the form of the servant’s belief concerning the Real. (Ibn al-‘Arabî qtd. in SPK 339 b) Joseph, as the Prepared Heart. sees his father before him. Jacob is identified as the ‘aql (reason, intellect),[6] the rational faculty which takes over the flimsiness of the “blaming soul.” It is the appearance of this rational faculty which gives Joseph the ability to run away from the materialness of Zulaykha. It is reason which shows Joseph the error of following the darkness emminent in the soul. And it is this experience which will later lead Joseph to ask for asylum away from the women of the city. Kâshânî

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identifies the women with the mundane attribute which seduce the heart.[7] The women, then, represent the misguided and the disbelieving attributes of the soul which do not witness the veiled light contained in the Heart. …the lightning wellnigh snatches away their sight; whensoever it gives them light, they walk in it, and when the darkness is over them they halt;… (2:20) Joseph’s physical beauty reflects the blinding lightof his spirit. The women, blinded by the manifested reality in Joseph's beauty, cut their hands, their bodily attributes, in an attempt to cut themselves from the dominion that the light has over their souls. Yet, in their misguided sense of survival over the blinding light of the spirit, they condemn the progress of the heart to its final realization. Hence the misguided, the attributes and the darkness of the soul, demand their dominance over the heart, over the loss of the self. Joseph, receiving the sign, flees from Zulaykha having his shirt torn away from behind in the process.

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They raced to the door; and she tore his shirt from behind (12:25). When he [Potiphar] saw his shirt [Joseph’s] was torn from behind he said, “This is of your women’s guile; surely your guile is great. Joseph turn away from this; And thou, woman, ask forgiveness of thy crime; surely thou art one of the sinners.” (12:28-29) Kâshânî interprets the tearing of the shirt as “an allusion to the tearing of the luminous attribute that belongs to the heart by the soul’s attributes having an effect upon the heart.”[8] At the same time, the shirt is considered as a veil that hides the spirit or impedes the spirit from manifesting. Joseph is the heart in its path toward realization. Is not man’s existence itself the shade, veiling the lamp? We ourselves were the veil before our friend’s face.

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We opened our eyes, and no veil was left. For “the light of the eye is a shirt for Yusuf” (Khwaja Mir Dard qtd. in Schimmel 143). Zulaykha, as the blaming soul, represents the soul's struggles against its misguided physical attraction towards Joseph's body. The shirt is the veil which reflects yet hides the spirit from Zulaykha. The veil is torn away from the heart by the fury of the material (represented in the woman’s guile) attempting to maintain a grip on Joseph, thus preventing his illumination and eventual disclosure of God. Prison Then it seemed good to them, after they had seen the signs, that they should imprison him for a while. (12:35) In verse 12:7 the Qur’ân hints at the esoteric essence of the story: “In Joseph and his brethren were signs for those who ask questions.” And again in verse 12:15, when Joseph is in the well,

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God reveals him his importance: “Thou shalt tell them of this their doing when they are unaware.” What is relevant of these two verses is the prophetic announcement of a latent remembrance to be played out later on. Yet, it is in prison where the essence of this remembrance is significantly portrayed. Joseph’s episode with Zulaykha and the women prompted Potiphar to imprison him. This third imprisonment becomes a crucial moment in the development of Joseph as the Prepared Heart. It is here that Joseph learns the final lesson of lordship: unconditional servanthood. In the beginning of the story Joseph presents his father, Jacob, with a prophetic dream. “Father, I saw eleven stars, and the sun and the moon; I saw them bowing down before me” (12:4). Hearing this, Jacob warns Joseph of his future. So will thy Lord choose thee, and teach thee the interpretation of tales, and perfect His blessing upon the

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House of Jacob, as He perfected it formerly on thy fathers Abraham and Isaac…” (12:16). What is at stake is Joseph’s future as ruler over his people. The heart is destined to rule over the senses. Yet, in its traverse toward the final stage, the heart is at risk of stagnating in a lower rung. A great gift and a great responsibility is about to thrusted upon Joseph. It is necessary for Joseph to learn not to mistake its true meaning, as the Jews and the Christians in the following passage from the Qur’ân: Had they performed the Torah and the Gospel, and what was sent down to them from their Lord, they would have eaten both what was above them, and what was beneath their feet. Some of them are a just nation; but many of them--evil are the things they do. (5:66) Two problems arise: 1) Joseph has reached his prime, and 2) how to prevent Joseph from being tempted by the guile. The Qur’ân is explicit in relating Zulaykha’s intent to continue pursuing

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Joseph: “‘Yet if he will not do what I command him he shall be imprisoned, and be one of the humbled’”(12:32). The guile of the women is the veils which cover the word of the Book from the people. Hence their worldly attributes present a danger to Joseph. But for God’s bounty to thee and His mercy a party of them purposed to lead thee astray… (4:113) Joseph’s radiance perturbs the pleats of the veils. As a result, the people panic for they would have to acknowledge that they had not been following the Book. Joseph understood this problem. He said, “My Lord, prison is dearer to me than that they call me to; yet if Thou turnest me not from their guile, then I shall yearn towards them, and so become one of the ignorant.” (12:33) Hence the imprisonment takes the guise of a sanctuary against the guile of the attributes.

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Joseph is placed in prison with two youths, of which one is described as a cupbearer. It is the cupbearer who is relevant to my discussion. Joseph interprets the dreams of the two youths. Of the two, it is the cupbearer who will come out alive from prison. The other servant will end up executed. Joseph then turns and pleads with the cupbearer to talk to his lord on his behalf. Then he said to the one he deemed should be saved of the two, ‘Mention me in thy lord’s presence.’ But Satan caused him to forget to mention him to his master, so that he continued in the prison for certain years. (12:42) Joseph’s error was to place his faith on a worldly lord over the Lord of his fathers. At this moment Joseph’s ego/self maintains a hold over his heart. Kâshânî’s comments that at this station there “arise a rebellion and I-ness.”[9] As such Joseph remains in jail veiled by this “I-ness.” Tabarî mentions Ibn ‘Abbâs as relating that The Prophet said, “If Joseph had not said that--meaning what he said [to

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Nabû]--he would not have stayed in prison as long as he did because he sought deliverance from one other than God.” Furthermore, Tabarî cites Mâlik b. Dînâr as relating that Joseph said to the cupbearer, “Mention me in the presence of your lord.” And God said, “O Joseph! You have placed trust in one other thanMe, therefor I shall lengthen your imprisonment.” And Joseph wept and said, “O Lord! The weight of my misfortunes made my heart forget; and I said a word--woe is to my brothers!” (Tabarî 163). Both Kâshânî and Tabarî agree that if Joseph had not put his self before trusting his Lord he would have left prison earlier. Joseph’s adherence to the I-ness creates a sense of lordship deprived of the humility towards God. It is important to realize that to be a true lord one has to manifest a perfected servanthood. Joseph’s

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rebellion, his cry for help from the worldly, stops him short of the station of the perfect servant. At the end of his time in prison, Joseph has reached the “final stage, the ‘soul at peace’ with God” (TI 254 a). At the same time, Joseph is forgotten by the exterior. Now, according to Kâshânî, the heart is bewildered by God’s Beauty, thus neglecting “all creation and the differences of its existence.”[10] “His own self,” continues Kâshânî, “is drowned in the eye of allcomprehensiveness until his annihilation is completed and his intoxication expires.”[11] This is his stint in jail. Joseph is separated from the cosmos until he realizes the differentiation once more. It is at this moment that Joseph’s journey is complete. When Joseph is finally remembered it is due to the “appearance of the Kingdom of the Holy Spirit and its relations.”[12] At the need of an interpreter of dreams by the king the cupbearer remembers Joseph. Kâshânî sees this as the return from total annihilation into the world of manyness. Now Joseph, as the servant who understands his condition, is ready to accept his role as lord. Hence when the women exonerate Joseph from his ‘guilt’

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there is an allusion “to the illumination of the soul and the faculties through the light of the Real.”[13] The Prepared Heart is now ready to lead. Conclusion It is recorded that on arrival to Cairo Fakhrudin ‘Iraqi visited the sultan. The sultan, amazed with ‘Iraqi, named him chief shaykh ofCairo and arranged an event to honor the occasion. So next morning a thousand dervishes, as well as all the religious scholars and notables of Cairo, watched as the sultan mounted ‘Iraqi on his own horse, and clothed him in a robe and hood of honor. He arranged that ‘Iraqi alone be mounted, and that all the others, nobles, scholars, and generals alike, should walk at his stirrup. When ‘Iraqi saw all this, the thought suddenly entered his head that no other man of the age had ever been treated with such respect. At once he realized that he was in danger of being overcome by his ego. Immediately he ripped off his hood and turban and placed them on the saddle before him. The crowd watched in stunned silence

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as he sat there, till, after a few minutes, he picked up the turban and hood and put them back on his head. This statement by ‘Iraqî created an uproar among the people. All viewed this as a defilement of the honor bestowed on ‘Iraqi. ‘Iraqi, asked for an explanation by the sultan, replied: “My carnal soul overcame me. If I had not acted in that way, I should never have escaped from the consequences of my sin” (‘Iraqi 60-61). ‘Iraqi comprehended the duties of a shaykh. ‘Iraqi accepted his servanthood. And, confronted with the dangers of the “I-ness,” ‘Iraqi confirmed his covenant with God by divesting himself from the veils of the self. Similarly, Joseph has to divest himself of the worldly garb so that he, as the manifestation of the Prepared Heart, may reach total enlightenment from the Spirit. And, as noted above, each incarceration takes Joseph closer to his goal. First, it is in the well where Joseph is confronted with the fact that his actions are powerless before the Real. This is augmented in Zulaykha’s bedroom where Joseph falls prey momentarily to the wills of

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the senses. It is Joseph’s turn to learn of God’s covenant with him. As a result Joseph comprehends the power of the worldly over the soul and is “shocked” into remembering his submissiveness to his Lord. Finally, it is in prison that Joseph learns the final lesson: perfect servanthood through annihilation of the “I-ness.” Joseph’s momentary forgetfulness accentuates the erroneous belief of the common people to rely on the worldly over the mercy of God for their well-being. It is this final lesson which propels Joseph into the station of the “soul at peace with God.” Joseph, thrusted into the joys of annihilation with the Real, learns to remove his “I-ness” and become a perfect servant, then to return into the manyness and serve as lord. Like Adam, Joseph must learn his duties as “vicegerent.” And like ‘Iraqi, Joseph must adopt the correct station of servitude. And whosoever submits his will to God, being a good-doer, has laid hold of the most firm handle; and unto God is the issue of all affairs. (31:22)

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The story of Joseph is guidance for those who ask. One might say that one answer is explicitly present to all who venture in its mysteries.

Works Consulted I. English editions of the Qur’ân consulted. The Koran Interpreted. Translation by Arthur J. Arberry. New York: MacMillan, 1955. The Glorious Qur’ân. Text and Explanatory Translation by Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall. New York: Muslim World League, 1977. The Holy Qur’ân. Arabic and English Translation. By Maulawî Sher ‘Alî. Pakistan: The Oriental and Religious Publishing Corp., 1979. The Qur’ân. Part I. Translated by E. H. Palmer. India: Motilal Banarsidass, 1981. Vol. 6 of Sacred Books of the East. 50 vols. II. Commentaries and References in English. Chittick, William C. The Sufi Path of Knowledge. Albany: SUNY Press, 1989. ‘Iraqi, Fakhruddin. Divine Flashes. Translation and Introduction by William C. Chittick and Peter Lamborn Wilson. The Classics of

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Western Spirituality. New York, Ramsey, Toronto: Paulist Press, 1982. Kâshânî, ‘Abd al-Razzâq. “The Sura of Joseph.” from Ta‘wîl. Selected and Translated by William C. Chittick. Unedited. Lings, Martin. A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1971. Murata, Sachiko. The Tao of Islam. Albany: SUNY Press, 1992. Schimmel, Annemarie. Pain and Grace: A Study of Two Mystical Writers of Eighteenth Century Muslim India. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1976. Tabarî. Prophets and Patriarchs. Translated and Annotated by William M. Brinner. Albany: SUNY Press, 1987. Vol. 2 of The History of al-Tabarî.

[1]

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All references taken from William C. Chittick’s The Sufi Path of Knowledge will be refered to as SPK. All references from Sachiko Murata’s The Tao of Islam will be refered to as TI.

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[2]

All references to Kâshânî’s “The Sura of Joseph” come from William C. Chittick’s unedited translation of Kâshânî’s Ta‘wîl . [3] Qur’anîc citations are taken from Arthur J. Arberry's The Koran Interpreted. [4] Kâshânî Ta‘wîl . [5] Kâshânî Ta‘wîl . [6] Kâshânî Ta‘wîl . [7] Kâshânî Ta‘wîl . [8] Kâshânî Ta‘wîl . [9] Kâshânî Ta‘wîl . [10] Kâshânî Ta‘wîl . [11] Kâshânî Ta‘wîl . [12] Kâshânî Ta‘wîl . [13] Kâshânî Ta‘wîl .

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