بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ وَ الصَّلاَةُ وَ السَّلاَمُ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَ عَلَى آلِهِ وَ صَحْبِهِ اَجْمَعِينَ
QUESTION:If we are all equal and Allah loves us all equally, then why is it that Allah has created us so differently? For example, people born with disabilities and sickness, as well as people with more favourable external qualities than others? How is this equal when people will suffer either physically or emotionally?
The second part of the answer:
The purpose of man being sent to this world
“What is the hikmah of taking Hazrat Âdam (as) out from Jannah and placing some of the sons of Âdam into Jahannam?
The Answer: The hikmah of it is the employment. He was sent being employed for such a duty that unfolding and becoming spread out of all the ma’nawî progress and potentialities of man and man's essence being a comprehensive mirror to all the Ilahî Names are the results of that duty. If Hazrat Âdam had remained in Jannah, his rank would have been fixed like the malâikah; the potentialities of man would not have unfolded. Whereas there are numerous malâikah whose ranks are unchanging, there is no need to man for that sort of ‘ubûdiyyah. Rather, he was taken out from Jannah due to the known sin which is a requirement of man's fitrah contrary to the malâikah, for Ilahî hikmah required a realm of accountability appropriate to the potentialities of man who would traverse infinite degrees.” The Twelfth Letter-Your First Question
O my foolish nafs and O my desireful friend! I wonder, do you suppose that your life's duty is restricted to only protect your nafs nicely through the tarbiyyah of civilization, and, if you will excuse the expression, is restricted to serve to the abdomen and perineum? Or do you suppose that the sole aim of the delicate subtle senses and your ma’nawî being, the sensitive members and organs, the well-ordered limbs and faculties, the diligently inquisitive feelings and senses included in the machine of your life are restricted to satisfy the low desires of the vile nafs in this transient life? Hâsha and Kallâ! Indeed, there are two principles of their creation in your being and the purpose of their insertion into your fitrah:
The First consists of causing you to offer shukr by making perceived each of the varieties of the Almighty True Mun’im's ni’mahs to you. You, too, should offer its shukr and perform its ‘ibâdah through perceiving.
The Second is, by means of those faculties, to make all the sorts of the manifestations of the sacred Ilahî Names, which manifest to the ‘âlam, one by one known and felt by you. You, too, should come to îmân by recognizing through experiencing them.
Thus, the perfection of man develops and grows onto these two principles. Man becomes a human being through this.
Through the mystery of the following comparison, look to the fact of the faculties of humanity were not being given to gain worldly life like an animal.
For example, a person gave one of his servants twenty gold pieces so that he may buy a complete set of clothing out of a particular fabric. The servant went and got himself a perfect cloth out of the highest grade of that fabric, and wore it. Then he saw that that person had given another of his servants a thousand gold pieces, and put a piece of paper with some things written on it in the servant's pocket, and had sent him to trade. Now, any mindful man would know that the capital was not for buying a set of clothing. For, since the first servant had bought a complete set of clothing out of the highest grade of the fabric with twenty gold pieces, certainly the thousand gold pieces are not to be spent on that. Not reading the paper put in his pocket, rather looking at the first servant, if the second servant gives all the money to a shopkeeper for a set of clothing, and buys the most flimsy fabric and clothing fifty times lower than his friend's, he will be severely punished and angrily chastised due to his utter stupidity.
O my nafs and O my friend! Come to your senses! Do not spend the capital and potentialities of your life on material pleasures and this transient life like an animal, or even lower than the animal. Otherwise, although you are fifty times higher concerning capital than the highest animal, you will fall fifty times lower than the lowest of them.
The Eleventh Word
The purpose of the creation of sharr, calamity, illness and harm which seem to be unjust and ugly:
“…Thus, the creation and bringing into existence of sharrs, harms, tribulations, shaytans and harmful things are not sharr and ugly, for they are created for the many important results. For example, Malâikah do not have progression; their ranks are fixed and do not change for shaytans do not pester them by attacking. Also, the ranks of the animals are fixed and deficient, for shaytans do not pester them by attacking. However, in the ‘âlam of mankind, the degrees of progress and decline are infinite. From the Nimrods and Pharaohs as far as the siddîq awliyâ and the Prophets, there is an extremely long distance of progress.
Thus, through the creation of shaytans and the mystery of man's accountability through the obligations placed on him by Allah and the sending of prophets, an arena of examination and test and jihâd and competition has been opened for the distinguishment and separation of base rûhs like coal from elevated rûhs like diamond. If there had been no jihâd and competition, the potentialities in the mine of mankind which are like diamonds and coal would have remained equal. The rûh of Abu Bakr the Siddîq at the a’lâ ‘illiyyin would have remained on the same level as that of Abu Jahl’s rûh at the asfal sâfilîn...
Your Third Question: Janâb-i Haqq sends calamities and inflicts tribulations; is this not dhulm towards the innocent in particular and animals even?
The Answer: Hâsha!, The property is His. He possesses His property as He wishes. Moreover, a skilful craftsman makes you a model in return for a wage and dresses you in a bejewelled garment that he has most artistically fashioned. Then in order to display his art and skill, he shortens it and lengthens it, measures it and trims it, and he makes you sit down and stand up. I wonder, are you able to say to him: "You have made the garment which made me beautiful ugly. You have caused me trouble, making me sit down and stand up." Of course, you cannot say that. If you did say it, you would be crazy.
In just the same way, As-Sâni’ Zuljalâl has clothed you a body which is jewelled with faculties like the eyes, the ears and the tongue in a most artistical fashion. In order to display the embroideries of various of His Names, He makes you ill, He afflicts you with tribulations, He makes you hungry, He fills you, He makes you thirsty; He makes you revolve in states like these. In order to strengthen the essence of life and display the manifestation of His Names, He makes you journey in numerous such conditions. If you say: "Why do you inflict these calamities on me?", as is indicated in the comparison, a hundred hikmahs will silence you. In any event, being motionless, repose, idleness, monotony and arrest from action are forms of non-existence and harm. Action and change are existence and khayr. Life finds its perfection through action, it progresses by means of tribulations. Life manifests various actions through the manifestation of the Ilahî Names, it purifies, finds strength, unfolds and expands, it becomes a mobile pen to write its own appointed providences; it performs its duty and acquires the right to receive the reward in the âkhirah.” The Twelfth Letter-Your Second Question
O ill one who has lost the pleasure of his health! Your illness does not spoil the pleasure of the ni’mahs of Allah that exist in the health, on the contrary, it causes them to be experienced and increases them. Because if something continues, it loses its effect. To such a degree that the people of haqiqah unanimously say that اِنَّمَا اْلاَشْيَاءُ تُعْرَفُ بِاَضْدَادِهَا , that is "Everything is known through its opposite." For example, if there was no darkness, the light would not be known and would remain without pleasure. If there was no cold, heat would not be comprehended and would remain without pleasure. If there was no hunger, food would not give pleasure. If there was no thirst in the stomach, drinking water would not give pleasure. If there was no sickness, health is tasteless.
Since Al-Fâtir Al-Hakîm equipping man with numerous types of equipment to the extent that he may taste and recognize the innumerable varieties of ni’mahs in the universe shows that He wants to make man perceive every kind of His bestowals and to make him taste all sorts of His ni’mahs and to urge man to shukr constantly. Just as He gives health and well-being, so will He surely give illness, sickness and troubles. I ask you: "If there had not been this illness in your head or in your hand or stomach, would you have perceived the pleasurable and enjoyable ni’mah of Allah within the health of your head, hand or stomach and offered shukr? For sure, you would not have even thought of it, let alone offered shukr! You would have unconsciously spent that health on ghaflah rather on dissipation.”
The Twenty-Fifth Flash-Seventh Remedy
“If you say: "In the First Topic you proved that everything about Qadar is beautiful and khayr. Even the sharr that comes from it is khayr, and the ugliness, beautiful. But the calamities and tribulations in this world refute that statement."
The Answer: O my nafs and my friend who feel severe pain out of intense compassion! The facts that all virtues and perfections return to existence and that the basis of all rebellion, calamities, and defects is non-existence are a proof that existence is pure khayr and non-existence is pure sharr. Since non-existence is pure sharr, circumstances that either result in non-existence or give an inkling of it, also comprise sharr. Therefore, life, the most brilliant nûr of existence, proceeding through different circumstances, finds strength; it encounters varying situations and is purified; it takes on numerous qualities and produces the desired results, and enters many stages and displays comprehensively the embroideries of the Bestower of Life's Names. It is due to this haqiqah that certain things happen to living creatures in the form of griefs, calamities, difficulties, and tribulations whereby the nûrs of existence are renewed in their lives, and the darkness of non-existence draws distant and their lives are purified. For arrest, repose, silence, idleness, rest, and monotony are all, both in quality and as conditions, non-existence. Even the greatest pleasure is reduced to nothing by monotony.
In Short: Since life displays the embroideries of Al-Asmâ Al-Husnâ, everything that happens to it is good. For example, an extremely rich and infinitely skilful person who is proficient in many crafts, for an hour and in return for a wage, clothes an ordinary poor man in a bejewelled, artistically fashioned garment. This garment he made in order to make the miserable man act as a model and to display the works of his art and his extensive wealth. He works the garment on the man, gives it various forms, and alters it. In order to display every variety of his art, he cuts it, changes it, and lengthens and shortens it. Can the poor man receiving the wage be justified if he says to the person: "You are giving me trouble. You are making me bow down and stand up. By cutting and shortening this garment which makes me more beautiful, you are spoiling my beauty"? Does he have the right to tell him: "You are acting unkindly and unfairly"? Thus, like him, in order to display the embroideries of His Asmâ Al-Husnâ, As-Sâni’ Zuljalâl, the Peerless Fâtir, alters within numerous circumstances the garment of existence He clothes on living creatures, bejewelled with senses and subtle faculties like eyes, ears, the mind, and the heart. He changes it within very many situations. Among these are circumstances in the form of suffering and calamity which show the decrees of some of His Names, and the rays of rahmah within flashes of hikmah, and the subtle instances of beauty within those rays of rahmah.” The Words (487-488 )
“As was explained concerning the mystery of Qadar in the Twenty-Sixth Word, men have no right to complain in the case of calamities and illness for the following three reasons:
First Reason: Janâb-i Haqq has made the garment of the existence with which He has clothed man a manifestation of His art. He has made man to be a model on which He cuts, trims, alters and changes the garment of the existence, thus displaying the manifestation of various of His Names. Just as the Name of Shâfî makes it necessary that illness should exist, so too the Name of Razzâq requires that hunger should exist. And so on...
مَالِكُ الْمُلْكِ يَتَصَرَّفُ فِى مُلْكِهِ كَيْفَ يَشَاءُ2
Second Reason: Through calamities and sickness life purifies, perfects, strengthens, progresses, yields results, attains perfection and fulfils its own duty. Life led monotonously on the couch of ease and comfort resembles not so much the pure khayr which is existence, as the pure sharr that is non-existence; it tends in fact in that direction.
Third Reason: This realm of the world is the field of testing, the realm of service. It is not the place of pleasure, wage, and reward. Considering, then, that it is the realm of service and place of ‘ubûdiyyah, sicknesses and calamities -as long as they are not pertaining to religion and being patient- conform fully to that service and that ‘ubûdiyyah, and strengthen it. Since they make each hour equivalent to a day of ‘ibâdah, one should offer shukr instead of complaining.
Yes, ‘ibâdah is of two sorts, one sort is positive and the other is negative. What is meant by the positive is obvious. As for the negative sort, when one afflicted with sickness and calamities through perceiving his own weakness and impotence turns toward his Rabb Who is Rahîm in a manner of seeking refuge, thinks of Him, begs Him, and thus performs a sincere ‘ubûdiyyah. No riyâ can penetrate in this ‘ubûdiyyah, it is sincere. If he endures patiently, thinks of the reward attendant on calamity and offers shukr, then each hour that he passes will count as a whole day's ‘ibâdah. His brief life becomes very long. There are even cases where a single minute is counted as equal to a whole day's ‘ibâdah.
I once was extremely anxious because of an awesome illness that struck one of my brothers of the âkhirah, Muhajir Hâfidh Ahmed. But then my heart was warned: "Congratulate him!" Each minute he spends is counted as a whole day's ‘ibâdah. He was, in any event, enduring his illness in patience and shukr….
True and harmful calamity is that which affects religion. One should at all times seek refuge at the Ilahî Court from calamities in matters of religion and cry out for help. But calamities that do not affect religion in the point of view of haqiqah, are not calamities. Some of them are warnings of Ar-Rahmân. If a shepherd throws a stone at his sheep when they trespass on another's pasture, they understand that the stone is intended as a warning to save them from a perilous action; full of gratitude they turn back. So too, there are many apparent calamities that are Ilahî warnings and admonishments, others are kaffârah adh-dhunûb; and others through dissolving man's ghaflah and reminding him of his human weakness and impotence, granting him a sort of hudhur. As for one of the varieties of calamities that is illness, it is not a calamity, as has already been said, but rather a Rabbânî favour and a purification. There is a riwâyât which says: "Just as a tree drops its ripe fruit when shaken, so too do sins fall away through the shaking of fever."
Hazrat Ayyûb ‘Alayhissalâm did not offer du'â in his munâjât for the comfort of his nafs but rather sought cure (shifa) for the purpose of ‘ubûdiyyah when the disease was preventing the dhikr of the tongue and the tafakkur of heart. Through that munâjât, we should make our primary intent, the healing (shifa) of the ma’nawî wounds which pertaining rûh, that arise from sins.
As far as physical diseases are concerned, we may seek refuge from them when they hinder our ‘ubûdiyyah. But we should seek refuge in a humble and supplicating fashion, not protestingly and plaintively. If we accept His rubûbiyyah, then we must accept too all that He gives us in the point of His rubûbiyyah. To sigh and complain in a manner implying objection to Qadar and Qadhâ’3 is a kind of criticism of Qadar, an accusing of His rahîmiyyah. The one who criticizes Qadar strikes his head against the anvil and breaks it. Whoever accuses rahmah will be deprived of it. To use a broken hand to exact revenge will only cause further damage to the hand. So too a man who, afflicted with calamity, responds to it with protesting complaint and anxiety, is only compounding his calamity ….
Each age has particular characteristics. In this age of ghaflah calamity has changed its form. In certain ages and for certain persons, misfortune is not in reality misfortune, but rather an Ilahî favour. Since I consider those afflicted with illness and calamity in the present age to be fortunate -on condition that their calamity does not affect their religion- it does not occur to me to oppose illness and calamity, nor to take pity on the afflicted. Because, whenever, a young patient came to me, I found that he is more concerned with his religious duties and the âkhirah than are his peers. From this, I deduce that illness does not constitute a calamity for such people, but rather a ni’mah of Allah. It is true that illness causes him distress in his brief, transient and worldly life, but it is beneficial for his eternal life. It is to be regarded as a kind of ‘ibâdah. If he founds health he will not preserve the state which he gained by sickness and will fall into dissipation due to the drunkness of youth and the dissipation of the age.
Janâb-i Haqq, in order to display His infinite qoudrah and unlimited rahmah, has included infinite impotence and unlimited poverty in man. Further, in order to display the endless embroideries of His Names, He has created man like a machine capable of receiving unlimited varieties of pain, as well as infinite varieties of pleasure. Within that human machine are hundreds of instruments, each of which has different pains and pleasures, different duties and rewards. Simply, all of the Ilahî Names manifested in the large human being that is the ‘âlam also have manifestations in the small ‘âlam that is man. Beneficial matters like good health, well-being, and pleasures cause man to offer shukr and prompt that machine to perform its duties in many respects, and thus man becomes like a factory of shukr.
Similarly, by means of calamities, illness and pain, and other impedes that stirs up and motion-inducing, the other cogs of the human machine are set in motion and stir up. The mine of weakness, impotence, and poverty included in human essence is made to work. It induces in man a state whereby he seeks refuge and help not only with a single tongue but with the tongue of each of his members. Thus by means of those impedes man becomes like a moving pen comprising thousands of different pens. He inscribes the appointed course of his existence on the page of his life or al-lawh al-mithâlî4 ; he puts forth a declaration of the Ilahî Names; and becomes himself an ode to As-Subhân, thus fulfilling the duty of his fitrah.” The Flashes ( 23-28 )
O, complaining ill one! It is your right not to complain but to offer shukr and patience. Because your body and members and equipment are not your property. You did not make them; you did not buy them from other workshops. That means they are the property of another. Their owner (Mâlik) has disposal over his property as he wishes.
As is said in the Twenty-Sixth Word, for example, an extremely rich and skilful craftsman, in order to show his beautiful art and valuable wealth and for the purpose of making a wretched man fulfil the duty of being a model, in return for a wage, in a brief hour, he clothes that poor man in a bejewelled and most artful garment he sewed. He works on the garment while it is on him and gives it various states. In order to display the extraordinary varieties of his art, he cuts the garment, alters, lengthens and shortens it. I wonder, does this paid poor man have the right to say to that person: "You are causing me trouble and causing me difficulty with the state you have given me by making me bow down and stand up; you are spoiling my beauty by cutting and shortening the garment which makes me beautiful" Can he say: “You were ruthless and unfair?”
Thus, exactly like this example, O ill one, in order to display the embroideries of His Asmâ Al-Husnâ, As-Sâni’ Zuljalâl spins the body garment, which He has clothed you by bejewelling it with luminous faculties like the eye, the ear, the mind and the heart, amid numerous states and changes you in many situations. Just as you recognize His Name of Razzâq through hunger, so know His Name of Shâfî through your illness. Since pains and calamities show the decrees of some of His Names, flashes from hikmah and rays from rahmah and many beauties in those rays are found within them. If the veil is lifted, behind the veil of illness that you fear and loathe, you will find many loveable beautiful meanings.
The Twenty-Fifth Flash-Fourth Remedy
O ill one whose eyes have been veiled! If you knew what a nûr and ma’nawî eye are present beneath the veil that covers the people of îmân's eyes, you would say: "A hundred thousand shukr to my Rabb, Who is Rahîm." I shall tell an event to explain this salve. It is as follows:
One time, the eyes of Süleyman’s aunt from Barla, who served me for eight years with complete loyalty and without ever offending me, closed. That sâliha woman had favourable thoughts of me a hundred times beyond my due; she caught me at the door of the masjîd and asked me to offer du'â for her eyes to be opened. So I made the righteousness of that blessed and majdhûb woman an intercessor (shafî’) for my du’â and beseeched: "O my Rabb! Open her eyes for the sake of her righteousness!" Two days later, an eye doctor from Burdur came and opened her eyes. Forty days later her eyes closed again. I was most upset and offered lots of du'â for her. InshâAllah, that du'â was accepted for her âkhirah, otherwise, that du'â of mine would have been a most mistaken curse for her. Because forty days had remained till the appointed time for the end of her life. Forty days later — May Allah grant His rahmah to her — she passed away.
Thus, the late woman gained gazing at the gardens of Jannah for forty thousand days in her grave in place of looking sorrowfully at the gardens of Barla with the eye of old age. Because her îmân was strong and her righteousness was strong. Yes, if a mu’min’s eyes are veiled and if he enters the grave with closed eyes, according to his degree, he can gaze at that ‘âlam of nûr much more than the people of the grave. Just as we see many things in this world but blind mu’mins do not, in the grave, those blind people, if they depart with îmân, see more than the people of the grave. Like looking through the telescopes showing the farthest, in their grave, they can see and watch the gardens of Jannah like the cinema according to their degree.
Thus, through shukr and patience, beneath the veil on your eye, you can find such an eye which is filled with such a nûr and which while beneath the earth will see and gaze at Jannah above the skies. Thus, what will raise that veil from your eye, the eye doctor that will make you look with that eye is Al-Qur’an Al-Hakîm.
The Twenty-Fifth Flash-Fourteenth Remedy
O, brother, who suffers from severe illnesses like paralysis! Firstly I give you the good news that, for mu’mins, paralysis is considered blessed. I have been hearing this from the people of walâyah for a long time. I did not know its mystery. One mystery of it occurs to my heart as follows: In order to reach Janâb-i Haqq, be saved from the great ma’nawî dangers of the world and secure eternal happiness, Ahlullah5 have willingly followed two principles:
The First is the râbita6 with death. That is, by thinking that just like the world is transient, they, too, are transient guests within it charged with duties, they worked for their eternal life in that way.
The Second: In order to be saved from the dangers of nafs al-ammarah and blind feelings, through riyâzah and asceticism, they worked for killing the nafs al-ammarah.
You O brother who has lost the health of half of his body! Without choosing it, you have been given these two principles, which are short and easy and the cause of happiness. The state of your body perpetually warns you of the world’s fade and man being transient. The world can no longer drown you, nor ghaflah close your eyes. And for sure, the nafs al-ammarah cannot deceive someone in the state of half-man by the vile desires and the appetites of nafs; he is quickly saved from the trouble of the nafs.
Thus, through the mystery of îmân and submission and tawakkul, in a brief time, like the asceticism of the people of walâyah, a mu’min can benefit from a severe illness like paralysis. That severe illness then becomes very cheap.
The Twenty-Fifth Flash/Twenty-Second Remedy
An important warning: Allah (jalla jalâluhu) has created each human being different and unique.
“man is such an antique work of art of Janâb-i Haqq. He is a most subtle and graceful miracle of Qoudrah whom He created to manifest all his Names and their embroideries, in the form of a miniature specimen of the universe.” The Words (319)
“Man is a particle in relation to the earth, and the earth is a particle in relation to the universe. Similarly, a human individual is a particle relatively to the human race, and the human race is a particle compared with its partners in benefiting from this lofty home. Moreover, the extent to which mankind utilizes the house's advantages and aims is a particle. And its aims that the human intellect can perceive are a particle in relation to the uses in pre-eternal hikmah and Ilahî ‘ilm. So how is it that ‘âlam created for humankind and made man's utilizing it its ultimate aim?
You would be told: Yes, that is right, but despite all that, on account of the breadth of man's rûh and the expanse of his mind and extent of his abilities, and the many, far-flung ways in which he utilizes the universe; and because of the absence of overcrowding and fragmentation and resistance in respect of its utilization, like the relation of the whole with its parts - for the whole is present in its entirety in all its parts and there is, therefore, no crowding and no fragmentation; the Qur'an made man's utilization the ultimate aim although it is only one out of the myriad aims of the samâ and earth, and that is how it appears to man. That is, man benefits from the earth as though it were the courtyard of his house and the samâ were his roof. The stars are lamps for him and the plants, his food, so each has the right to say: "My sun, my samâ, my earth." Now think about this together with your faculty of mind!” Signs of Miraculousness ( 177 )
Due to the difference in their essences, various seeds and cores need different treatments to develop and grow. Although a seed of a winter flower and a seed of a spring flower apparently look like each other, due to their fitrah, the seed of the winter flower needs cold and snow, while the seed of the spring flower needs rain and heat. And when they reach their perfection point, which is blooming, they will vary from each other. The final point for them is to rise from the world of narrow ground, to sprout their haqiqahs in a broad realm.
In the same way, since each man is unique, the trial and examination, which will raise him to his perfection point are also unique. One of the hikmahs for differentiation in calamities and ni’mahs is this.
Because the death of plant life, which is the simplest level of life, shows that it is more well-ordered work of art than life itself. Although the death of fruits, seeds and grains appears to occur through decay, dissolution and decomposition, it is kneading which comprises of exceedingly a well-ordered chemical treatment and a well-balanced blend of elements and a formation of particles with hikmah; this unseen and orderly death with hikmah appears through new shoots’ life. That is to say, the death of the seed is the start of the new shoot’s life rather such death is created and well-ordered as much as life since it is its life itself.
The First Letter/Second Question
There are two faces in man. One, with respect to ananiyyah, looks to the life of the world. The other, with respect to ‘ubûdiyyah, looks to eternal life. In terms of the first face, he is such an unfortunate creature that, regarding the will, his capital is only a partial juz’ al-ikhtiyârî like a hair, and regarding power, a weak kasb, and regarding life, a fast extinguishing flame, and regarding life-span, a fast passing period and regarding the existence, a swiftly decaying small body. Together with this state of his, he is a delicate, weak individual out of the innumerable individuals of the infinite species that has been spread out through the layers of the universe.
In terms of the second aspect, especially regarding impotence and poverty, which turned towards ‘ubûdiyyah, he has immense power and great importance. For, Al-Fâtir, Who is Hakîm, has included in the ma’nawî essence of man an infinite immense impotence and a boundless huge poverty so that he may be an extensive mirror containing the boundless manifestations of A Qadîr, Who is Rahîm, Whose qoudrah is infinite, A Ghanî, Who is Karîm, Whose wealth is infinite.
Indeed, man resembles a seed. Just as the seed has been given significant ma’nawî equipment by Qoudrah and a subtle valuable programme by Qadar so that by working beneath the earth, it may emerge from that narrow ‘âlam, enter the broad ‘âlam of the air, ask its Khâliq to be a tree with the language of disposition and find a perfection worthy of itself. If due to its bad temperament, the seed spends the ma’nawî equipment given to it to attract certain detrimental materials beneath the earth, it will rot and decay without benefit in that narrow place, in a short time. But if the seed employs its ma’nawî equipment well by conforming to the takwînî command of فَالِقُ الْحَبِّ وَالنَّوَى7 it will emerge from that narrow ‘âlam and its tiny particular haqiqah and its ma’nawî rûh will take the form of a great universal haqiqah through becoming a huge tree giving fruits. Thus, in exactly the same way, significant equipment by Qoudrah and valuable programmes by Qadar have been committed to man's essence. If under the soil of worldly life in this narrow earthly ‘âlam, man spends such ma’nawî equipment of his on the desires of nafs, he will rot and decay like the rotten seed for a minor pleasure, in a brief life, in a narrow place and troublesome state; he will load the ma’nawî responsibility on his unfortunate rûh and depart from this world. If he does tarbiyyah such seed of disposition with the water of Islam and light of îmân under the soil of ‘ubûdiyyah, conforms to the commands of the Qur'an and turns his ma’nawî equipment towards their true aims, he surely will be a valuable seed and splendid machine containing the equipment of a permanent haqiqah and eternal tree, which will produce branches and buds in al-‘âlam al-mithâl and barzakh and which will be the means to infinite perfections and ni’mahs in the ‘âlam of âkhirah and Jannah; he will be a blessed and luminous fruit of the tree of the universe.
Yes, as for true progress, by turning the faces of the heart, sirr, rûh, mind and even the imagination and other powers (quwwa) given to man towards eternal life, it lies in occupying each of them with a particular duty of ‘ubûdiyyah worthy of it. Otherwise, if, in order to plunge into all minor points of the life of the world and taste every sort of its pleasures, even the basest, he makes subject to the nafs al-ammarah all his subtle faculties, heart and mind and makes them assist to it — what the people of dhalâlah suppose that it is progress — it is not progress but the decline.
The Twenty-Third Word/Second Discussion/2nd Subtle Point
اَللّٰهُمَّ اَرِنَا الْحَقَّ حَقًّا وَ ارْزُقْنَا اِتِّبَاعَهُ وَ اَرِنَا الْبَاطِلَ بَاطِلاً وَ ارْزُقْنَا اِجْتِنَابَهُ آمِينَ
هَدَينَا اللّٰهُ وَ اِيَّاكُمْ اِلَى الصِّرَاطِ الْمُسْتَقِيمِ
سُبْحَانَكَ لاَ عِلْمَ لَنَا اِلاَّ مَا عَلَّمْتَنَا اِنَّكَ اَنْتَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ
1 (Allah forbid, Certainly not!)
2 (Al-Mâlik of All Dominion has disposal over His dominion as He wishes.)
3 (Allah's decree, by which all events occur, the accomplishment of Allah’s decree which is in Qadar)
4 (The realm, the tablet that all created beings and events are recorded and written in every aspect.)
6 (Heart connection- bonding the heart)
7 (Who causes the seed and the fruit-stone to split and sprout.)