AsHayy reached his 35th year, he was completely entangled in resolving themystery of the Eternal One: “Now heknew that every, thing that was produced anew must needs have some Producer.
And from this contemplation, there arose in his mind a sort of impression ofthe maker of that form, though his Notion of him as yet was general andindistinct.” Hewas sure about the facts that He was his Creator and definitely exist, it wasnot some wild feeling of his self, but a reality indeed. Now being sure of Hisexistence, he wanted to find know how did he came to know of His existence. Hereasoned that it cannot be through His senses or any such physical thing thatbrought him to the idea of existence of the One. As all this was divisible andtransient, and thus could not enlighten him about some perpetual, indivisiblebeing. He believed that as the nature of the Necessarily Existent, i.eindivisible and everlasting, what edified him about this Being must also havethe same nature, and be the essence of his own being.
He resolved that it washis soul, which informed him about Him. He thus came to know that the NecessaryBeing was exempt of all kinds of faults and corruption, and was perfect in Hisexistence; there was none like unto Him. He saw by this that the perfection ofone’s soul can be attained only by constant reasoning, & one who diedwithout reasoning in his life, wasted his soul. He also realized that once hehas realized the existence of God & turned away from Him chasing thetemporary, he will lose the intuitive vision and put himself in suffering,while if he wholly turns towards his God, he will enjoy eternal bliss. Theseconsiderations led Hayy to search for divine trance by contemplating andconcentrating his thoughts only on the Necessary Being.
Having apprehended the manner by which thebeing like the Heavenly Bodies was peculiar to him above all other kinds ofAnimals whatever, he perceived that it was a Duty necessarily incumbent uponhim to resemble them, and imitate their Actions, and endeavour to the utmost tobecome like them. He perceived also that in respect of his nobler Part, bywhich he had attained the Knowledge of that necessarily self-existent Being hedid in some measure resemble it, because he was separated from the Attributesof Bodies, as the necessarily self- existent Being is separated from them. Hesaw also that it was his Duty to endeavour to make himself Master of theProperties of that Being by all possible means, and put on his Qualities, andimitate his Actions, and labour in the doing his Will, and resign himself whollyto him, and submit to his Dispensations heartily and un- feignedly, so as torejoice in him, though ‘he should lay Afflictions upon his Body, and hurt, oreven totally destroy it’. Hayy realised that he resembles on one hand theNecessary Existent through the noble part of himself-his soul, on the otherhand he resembled the animals through his body.
From this he came to theconclusion that his actions should be carried out on three levels: 1.Actions emulating those of animals 2. Actions emulating the celestial bodies3.Actions emulating the Necessary Being. It eventually became clear to him that his ultimate endlie in the third emulation which is not obtained without long concentration andpractice in the second one, and that the continuation of the second depends onthe first one. He also realized that the first one although is necessary but isalso a hinderance and will help only accidently, thus he forced himself toreduce the first emulation to bare necessity i.e strictly consume the required amountbelow which animal spirit would not survive. What is worth mentioning here is how was Hayy able tothink without being acquainted with any language.
Though he acquired linguisticknowledge from Absal, but before becoming abreast with it he was only familiarwith sounds uttered by wild animals and mimicked them. It’s beyondapprehension, at least for me, as to how Hayy managed to decrypt and organisehis thoughts in the absence of any sophisticated communication channel torepresent them. This is because when we think of anything and have thoughts goingaround in our minds, we perceive them in the form of the language we know and interactthrough.
In conclusion, I would like to contend that this philosophicaltale has been aptly titled ‘Hayy ibn Yaqzaan’ or ‘Alive, Son of the Awake’.This, unprecedented and seemingly convoluted, title bears the connotation of vigilanceand encapsulates the mindset and approach of Hayy, who was able to decipher thegreater realities of life through physical observation, reason and mysticalexperience. It clearly is a tale to gain inspiration from, perpetuating thenotion that God gives guidance to everyone, at least once, throughout theirlives. What we need to do is to remain ‘vigilant’, cash-on the opportunity, andmake an effort to gain unison with the Almighty.