Ash-Shafi & Al-Kafi

Ash-Shafi: Dawn of Soul’s Healing

When you are guided to this pathway, take the opportunity to touch your soul’s ability to complete whatever is missing right now in your life and health, as soul reconnects to its source in Unity.

Roots and Branches: The traditional translations of this beautiful Name, which appears in various forms in Qur’an as well as in several hadith of Prophet Muhammad, are “the Healer” or “the Curer.” Its ancient Semitic roots (ShPh or SPh) show that which aspires, extends beyond a horizon (like a hill), or appears on top: the image of daybreak. Likewise, these roots point to what consummates a process, what is added for balance or completion. From these roots, Hebrew and Aramaic produce the names shaphira or saphira (usually translated as “beautiful”); from the same ancient roots ultimately we ultimately derive our word for the gemstone sapphire. The Semitic roots come into Quranic Arabic in several forms: shafaʼ (to cure, quench or restore to health—the usual derivation), but also shafa`a (to provide a thing that was alone with a pair, for protection or strength, or to intercede) and shafā (to be at a point of extremity, at the brink of something).

Perhaps life is calling to reconnect to your soul’s ability to top up or reinforce what you feel to be your “personal” ability to heal or renew. Or to be a channel to support another in their healing. What authentically supports our individual self (the nafs) is the remembrance that it is connected to soul (ruh). The only healing streams to us through our original nature within Sacred Unity, Allah. In this sense, “God is the only Healer.”

Al-Kafi: Healing in the Palm of Your Hand

When you are drawn to this pathway, take the opportunity to feel the soul’s ability to provide “just enough” of whatever you need in all conditions of life.

Roots and Branches: The traditional translations of this name, which appears in various forms four times in the Qur’an, include “the Sufficient” and “the Remedy.” It is not specifically related to healing in the Qur’an, appearing in passages that affirm that Allah satisfies one in all life situations, especially those of duress (for instance, “Isn’t Sacred Unity enough for the one who serves it?” 39:36). Its Semitic roots (KPh) show a concave container capable of holding and carrying something, for instance, the palm of one’s hand or the claws of an animal. In this sense, this activity of the One acting through the soul has the ability to both preserve and defend us in circumstance.

Perhaps life is calling you to consider how much is enough in your life right now. How much outer activity, acquistion of status, possessions or wealth is enough. How much is a distraction from one’s purpose in life? When feeling the need for an outer “remedy” or “medicine,” why not first re-connect to your soul’s ability to provide sufficient healing and protection in any situation. Then if intuition guides you to outer medicine or remedies, consider them as an activity of Unity in your life, rather than something ‘extra.’


From a preliminary draft of The Sufi Book of Life, Volume Two. Copyright Neil Douglas-Klotz 2017. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.