Ruby gemstone


As salam alaikoum dear shaykhs,

I was wondering what is the spiritual significance of the ruby gemstone? Once, I saw S. Ibrahim (as.) in a dream and he gave me 2 similar perfectly cutted rubies in my hand (as gems, not as rings). Can you enlighten me?

I say Shukranlillah! for all the good He is making through you and this blessed website.

May Allah keep us always under the gaze of our beloved Sultan.


Wa `alaykum as-Salam, and amin to your du`a.

According to Islamic esoterism, the red jewel may symbolize the Universal Soul (an-Nafs ul-kulli), and so relates to an intermediate degree of being.

The Shaykh al-akbar Muhyiddin Ibn `Arabi – may Allah sanctify his secret – in his at-Tadbirat al-ilahiyyah fi islah al-mamlakat al-insaniyyah addresses the significance of the ruby as it relates to the human microcosm; the following is a translation by Shaykh Tosun Bayrak:

“The red ruby is the symbol of what God says in the Holy Qur’an: {There is nothing whatever like unto Him.} (Shura, 11) If one’s sacred secret soul could view what this jewel represents, it is said that it could obtain knowledge about the reality of certain things without even seeing them. The viewing of this stone leads to something different if one looks at it under the influence of one’s ego: then one might be moved to submit to a tyrant who comes one’s way.”

Now, it is of interest to consider the rest of the ayat to which the Shaykh al-akbar refers, since mention is made precisely of “pairs,” and also of souls or egos (anfusikum).

فَاطِرُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ‌ۚ جَعَلَ لَكُم مِّنۡ أَنفُسِكُمۡ أَزۡوَٲجً۬ا وَمِنَ ٱلۡأَنۡعَـٰمِ أَزۡوَٲجً۬ا‌ۖ يَذۡرَؤُكُمۡ فِيهِ‌ۚ لَيۡسَ كَمِثۡلِهِۦ شَىۡءٌ۬‌ۖ وَهُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلۡبَصِيرُ

{(He is) the Creator of the heavens and the earth: He has made for you pairs from among yourselves, and pairs among cattle: by this means does He multiply you: there is nothing whatever like unto Him, and He is the One that hears and sees (all things).} Surat ash-Shura 42:11

The presence of Sayyidina Ibrahim – peace be upon him – is surely significant here, since he is associated with the Sirr us-sirr latifa, and he is Khalilullah. Again, we may turn to the writings of Shaykh Muhyiddin to understand something of this title, this time the Fusus ul-hikam (with a translation from Sidi Ibrahim):

“Abraham is called the `Intimate Friend’ because he ‘penetrated’ and assimilated the Qualities of the Divine Essence, like the colour which penetrates a coloured object, in such a manner that the accident is confused with the substance…or again, his name signifies that al-Haqq has penetrated essentially the form of Abraham. Each of these two affirmations is right, for each points to a certain aspect (of the state it concerns) without these two aspects cumulating.”

These words are enough to help you reflect upon the mysteries of the signs in your being. Incidentally, I wonder whether it was your right or left hand that held the jewels?

Mahmoud Shelton

About Ustadh Mahmoud Shelton

Mahmoud Shelton studied at the University of Edinburgh before taking a degree in Medieval Studies at Stanford University. Shelton is the author of Alchemy in Middle Earth: The Significance of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, The Balance of George Lucas' Star Wars, and numerous articles. He is also a contributor to The Royal Book of Spiritual Chivalry and The Sufi Science of Self-Realization. Contributions by Mahmoud Shelton * Chivalry of the Night and Day * Alchemy in Middle Earth * contributor, The Royal Book of Spiritual Chivalry
This entry was posted in Sufism (Tasawwuf) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.