Waḥdat al-Wujūd and Waḥdat al-Shahūd: Some Observations with special reference to Punjabi Poetry
Keywords:Ibn al-‘Arabi, Shuhūdiyyah, Ahmad Sirhindi, Mujaddid-i-Alf-i-Thani, Wujūdiyyah, Mir Dard, Bullhe Shah, The Rumi of Punjab
Ibn al-‘Arabi’s influence reached Christian philosophers and mystics of the Middle Ages and has a deep effect on the mystical thought of some of the leading Sufis of the Indian Subcontinent. The views propounded by Ibn al-‘Arabi, were not left unchallenged. His books are carefully read and commented upon in detail.
Finally a new School, Shuhūdiyyah, emerged which maintained that the Not-being (‘adam) is conjoined with the reflex or illumination of the Names (‘asma”) and Attributes (ṣifāt) of God. This doctrine is clearly expounded by Ahmad Sirhindi (d. 1624 A.D.) who is generally known as Mujaddid-i-Alf-i-Thani (the Renewer of Islam in the second millennium of the Islamic Era).
Apart from the conflicting views of the staunch followers of Wujūdiyyah and Shuhūdiyyah Schools, an attempt has also been made to find a way of reconciliation between them. As Shah Waliullah (1703-1762 A.D.), a revolutionary Indian thinker and theologian, points out that if we leave simile and metaphor aside.
These two Schools of Sufism deeply influenced many eminent representatives of Indian intelligentsia, especially the mystical poets of the Subcontinent e.g. Mir Dard, a follower of both Ibn al-‘Arabi and Ahmad Sirhindi and the great Punjabi poet, Bullhe Shah, who was surnamed “the Rumi of Punjab”.