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Allah alone, and loves only what Allah

loves. His passions, will and love are

naturally and voluntarily aligned with

God’s satisfaction. Hulul is the extreme

form of fana. Ibn Taymiyya describes it

as a distorted form of fana. This form

can be illustrated thus: A man fell in the

ocean, and his admirer threw himself

after him. The first said: ‘I fell in the ocean,

what made you throw yourself in?’ The

second replied: ‘I was incarnated in you,

so I thought you were the same as me.’

Ibn Taymiyya criticized this approach,

arguing that it misleads people into

thinking they are same as God, when

precisely the reverse is the case. In his

poetry, Rumi tried to explain this mys-

terious hulul. In Rumi’s poem ‘The Sun-

rise Ruby’, Rumi says: ‘There’s nothing

left of me. I’m like a ruby held up to the

sunrise. Is it still a stone, or a world

made of redness? It has no resistance to

sunlight.’ This is the way that al-Hallaj

spoke also, with the ruby and the sun-

rise being one in the same way that

humanity and God are one.