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54:49 Surely We created everything according to a measure.

“Everything that was is, and will be is all My creation by My decree and determination, by My desire and will.” The decree has been made, the judgment issued, the work completed. It is not your desire that He puts into effect today. It is the beginningless deed that He makes apparent. For one person the inscription of bounty was written by the beginningless gentleness. He accepted him before his deeds, He responded to him before his supplication, He bestowed upon him before his asking, He gave a robe of honor before his service, and He pardoned him before his sins. Another person He branded with justice on the first day at the Beginningless Covenant, and He drove him from His threshold. His chastisement was before his disobedience, and His punishment was before his sins.  

O indigent man! Ask for nothing of Him but Him. Do not serve Him by making a contract. Making a contract is the creed of Iblis. Iblis said, “Now that You have rejected and cursed me and driven me from Your Presence, give me something: Grant me respite till the day they are raised up [7:14].” He gave him all of this world, but He took Himself back from him. When someone is held back from Him, even if he finds everything, he has found nothing. And when someone finds Him, even if he finds nothing, he has found everything.

It is as if God said, “My servant, you were not, but I was there for you. I was there for Myself in exaltedness, I was there for the wage-earner in mercy, and I was there for the friend in companionship. I saw you thrown down and I lifted you up. I saw you put aside and I accepted you. The attribute with which I lifted up is in place. Should I throw down what I lifted up? By My exalted exaltedness, I will not throw down!”

54:54 Surely the Godwary will be in the midst of gardens and a river.

The worth and exaltedness of that region lies not in roasted chicken, flowing rivers, and women good and beautiful [55:70]. The worth of the oyster lies not in the oyster—the oyster’s worth lies in the kingly pearl within. The worth of the house of subsistence lies not in the fact it has edibles and drinkables—its worth and eminence lie in that it has the stamp of proximity to the Real and the mark of election. For it is,

54:55 In a seat of truthfulness, at an Omnipotent King.

The word at has the stamp of proximity and election: “In the abode of the decree We gave this robe of proximity, eminence, and rank to Muṣṭafā the Arab, as he said: ‘I spend the night at my Lord.’ Tomorrow We will place this same robe and rank next to the faithful in the measure of their traveling, for they will be in a seat of truthfulness, at an Omnipotent King.”

Ṣāliḥ ibn Ḥayyān narrated from ʿAbdallāh ibn Barīda a saying concerning His words, in a seat of truthfulness, at an Omnipotent King: “The folk of the Garden will enter in upon the Compeller twice a day and recite for Him the Qur’an. Each man among them will sit in his own sitting place, on a pulpit of pearls, rubies, emeralds, gold, and silver, in accordance with their deeds. Their eyes will never be so delighted as they are by this. They will never have heard anything more tremendous and more beautiful. Then they will turn back to their lodging places, blissful, their eyes delighted, until the like of it on the morrow.”

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