Divine Communication

Jawid Mojaddedi

in Beyond Dogma

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780195369236
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933471 | DOI:
Divine Communication

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Rumi’s teachings about divine communication indicate that he saw no difference between that of a Prophet (usually termed ‘waḥy’) and that of a Friend of God (usually termed ‘ilhām’). It is therefore unsurprising to find him describing his own experience in a way comparable with that of the Prophet Muhammad, and comparing his Masnavi with the Qur’an, as God’s Speech. These aspects of his teaching have, however, been downplayed or perceived as deviations from normative Sufism. An historical examination of early Sufi writings reveals strong precedents for Rumi. In fact, the divine communication of God’s Friends seems to have been originally considered superior to that of the Prophets because of the dogma of mediation by the Angel Gabriel for all of the latter category. However, once the ‘sealing’ of divine communication of the Prophetic category became the basis for the authority of religious scholars, Sufi theorists either reversed the relationship or opted for silence on this topic.

Keywords: divine communication; ilhām, waḥy; God’s Speech; kalām Allāh; the Qur’an; Angel Gabriel; Muhammad; Prophet; Friend of God; authority

Chapter.  12280 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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