Safiyya

Anas, reported: Safiyya fell to the lot of Dihya in the spoils of war, and they praised her in the presence of Allah’s Messenger and said: We have not seen the like of her among the captives of war. (Sahih Muslim Book 8, 3329)

Safiya was amongst the captives, She first came in the share of Dahya Alkali but later on she belonged to the Prophet. (Sahih Bukhari Book 59, 512)

He was given two young cousins of Safia in lieu of Safia by the prophet. (Muslim Book 8,  3329)

Allah’s Messenger got her (Safiyya) in exchange of seven (camel) heads. (Sahih Muslim, Book 8, 3328)

The Prophet said to Safiyya: “Why didn’t you say: ‘So how can you be better than me? Muhammad is my husband. Aaron is my father, and Moses is my uncle.”

Narrated Anas: The Muslims wondered, “Is she (Safiyya) considered as his wife or his slave girl?” Then they said, ”If he orders her to veil herself, she will be one of the mothers of the Believers; but if he does not order her to veil herself, she will be a slave girl. So when the Prophet proceeded from there, he spared her a space behind him (on his she-camel) and put a screening veil between her and the people.
(Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 22)

On the eve of his death in 632, when all his wives gathered around his bed, Safiya was the only one who expressed her loyalty to him. She talked about her admiration for him: “I wish that I had what is in you,” she told him, resulting in hostile looks from the rest of his wives. (al-Salihi)

Who is the woman, won in battle and exchanged for seven heads of cattle? That which is equal to two cousins? That secret which abides within Torah, fathered by Aaron and uncled by Moses.

The Hebrew bride.

The prophet took her from her Hebrew tribe and made her his own.

The seven heads: the seven lower names that make up the image of Man. Love, Judgement, Beauty, Glory, Victory, Foundation and Royalty. The seven are contained within the last.  The two cousins: Judgement and Royalty, the female names of the seven: Judgement is inscription upon Royalty and has Royalty as its precondition for effective realization. Aaron and Moses: Glory (Hod, Reception) and Victory (Netzah, Transmission), the father and uncle of Royalty. Prophecy is Beauty (Tiferet).

And Prophecy married Royalty.

Royalty: they praised her in the presence of Allah’s Messenger. Royalty: the experience of the presence of God within speech. Royalty: the archetype of primordial Eve, removed from the androgynous Adam to form the feminine companion that accompanied us out of the garden, as a Comfort and Grace.

Royalty is obtained through struggle: as we struggle with our inner demons, we win our little battles. We pass our judgements, make our choices and guide ourselves a path upon the Gifted Body. And our judgements capture and enslave the signs, albeit temporarily (all human slavery is temporary, except from slavery to the higher hand).

They said: we have not seen the like of her among the captives. Exactly. The beauty of the princess is almost beyond captivity: it is the experience of the presence of God. The people question whether Royalty is enslaved to Beauty: no, they are married. And Royalty is kept within the Ark of the Covenant, the experience of the presence that is veiled from the people by a garment.

The experience of the presence is feminine, because it emerges from within speech, and the space of language is receptive, feminine. She is the bride of Prophecy, and Prophecy derives from the name of Beauty, the reflective mirror that shines. When Royalty is raised in marriage to Beauty, Prophecy is completed.

Royalty ascends and desires Beauty, because the presence would give voice to Divine speech. And so Royalty says “I wish that I had what is in you.”

Every man and woman on the planet spends their days enslaving the signs in the Age of Exploration. The marriage is only for the Prophet. But, through the veil, may Royalty be your blessing. May Royalty be your blessing. May Royalty be your blessing.

The seven lower names, of which Royalty is both the lowest receiver, but also the means by which the seven may be spoken and understood. Aaron and Moses are the father and uncle of Royalty and Kingdom. Prophecy is Beauty or Tiferet, the husband of Royalty.
The seven lower names, of which Royalty is both the lowest receiver, but also the means by which the seven may be spoken and understood. Aaron and Moses are the father (Hod) and uncle (Netzah) of Royalty and Kingdom (Malchut or Shekhinah). Prophecy is Beauty or Tiferet, the husband of Royalty.
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6 thoughts on “Safiyya

  1. I’m curious where you got the sephira chart from — it’s not based on any traditional kaballistic interpretation I’m aware of.

    1. Salaam Abdullah,

      Thanks for reading. I must admit I was a bit lazy and copied this chart from another source rather than drawing a new one myself. It is quite standard, if unattractively drawn : which aspect do you find non-standard?

      Of course the association of the Prophets with Sefirot is quite fluid in the tradition (e.g., the unusual treatment of Moses by Issac Luria). And, for example, Gevurah is sometimes associated with Issac to Abraham’s Chesed. Furthermore, the various Prophetic journeys are movements between the names, so I certainly don’t want to give the impression that prophets are meant to be associated with a particular name of God: but reading the rest of my blog, this should be clear.

      I assume your question relates to Moses and Aaron? Prophecy proper is always associated with Tiferet. Well, not to give the impression that these “Kabbalah 101” books are of much use (they certainly oversimplify in a way that can be very counterproductive when you are learning). However, the association of Moses and Aaron to Netzah (giving) and Hod (reception) is standard enough to appear even in such books. See, for example, p. 66 of

      http://books.google.com/books?id=WxISb61NjkMC&pg=PA66&lpg=PA66&dq=moses+and+aaron+sefirot&source=bl&ots=EgczcpU4Rv&sig=VIu5L8r-plJCR07wdbFEEtQDQ3E&hl=en&ei=gCYPStHJHIu7jAfwwuijBg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1#PPA66,M1

  2. Salaam

    The first non-standard association is that Gevurah, as far as I know, is always associated with Isaac.

    Malchut is usually associated with David, though some systems swap Yoseph and David

    (My background is 22 years of being an Orthodox Jew before taking Shahadah)

    I was suprised to find a system that replaced Isaac with Sarah and was wondering if it had a traditional source or was a more modern re-interpretation.

    Abdullah

  3. Salaam Abdullah,

    What a fascinating background! Mine is also a little bit unusual 🙂

    This diagram was taken from an essay by someone else who was trying to make a point about Sarah in particular, so yes, I agree with you the Sarah-Gevurah link is non-standard. And not one I am going to defend in fact.

    When I think Gevurah, I think Issac/Ismail actually, because of their dual sacrifices. So I really ought to draw my own picture, or else just draw the three Sefirot that I am concerned with — I might end up doing this in a few weeks when I have more time!

    I understand the link between Malchut, Shekhinah and David (and also to Joseph). But, as I’m sure you studied in your journey, Shekhinah and the Kingdom are manifested in a range of different ways in Torah and — I argue — in the Hadiths and Quran.

    Given that you are well versed in this system, I am very keen to hear what you think of this hadith: particularly as it involves an interaction between the Final Prophet and Judaism. When you hear the prophet tell his wife to say: “Muhammad is my husband. Aaron is my father, and Moses is my uncle” is the resonance very loud to you? Or the 7 camel heads, 2 cousins?

    I am actually not a Kabbalist, although you can see throughout my blog I draw on this language a lot, and the earlier Jewish mysticism of the Ebionites. For me, this is simply necessary because of the background to the Prophet’s revelation.

    The basic point of this little note is that the very narration of this story of the plundering of the Jewish tribes of Medina is written using EXACTLY a very peculiar mystical Judaic code. Which, as a self-reflexive performative (a statement whose very act of enunciation makes it true) itself demonstrates what was REALLY being captured. And the lovely thing about the narration is the happy ending of course 🙂

    Love and Light,

    The Tailor

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