It is the Wise Lord, the Knowing King, whose power and existence-giving bring forth beings. The newly arrived things exist through His exaltedness and His making them manifest, and the earth and the heavens stand forth through His keeping. He created the newly arrived things and chose from among them the animals. From among the animals He chose the Adamites, from the Adamites He chose the faithful, from the faithful He chose the prophets, and from the prophets He chose Muḥammad. He chose his community above the previous communities. This is why Muṣṭafā said, “I was brought forth from the best generation of the children of Adam, generation after generation until I came to be in the generation in which I am.” He also said, “Surely God chose my companions above all the world’s folk to save the prophets and the envoys.” He chose four of my companions and made them the best of my companions—and in all of my companions there is good—Abū Bakr, ʿUmar, ʿUthmān, and ʿAlī. He chose my community over the other communities, so He sent me forth in the best generation. Then there will be the second and third in succession, then the fourth, one after another.”
2:143 Thus We appointed you a midmost community…. Surely God is clement, ever-merciful toward the people.
What is understood from this report is that Muṣṭafā is the best of the Adamites, the chosen from among the world’s folk, the leader of the creatures, the adornment of the world, the weighty one of the time, the lamp of the earth, the full moon of heaven, the shelter of the disobedient, the interceder for the sinners, the master of all the messengers and their seal. The Lord of the Worlds placed imamate on the throne of Muṣṭafā’s Shariah towards Caliphs, turned the lodging place of servanthood into self-purification and truthfulness, and made trust and certainty the keeper of the rank of his friendship. The Lord of the Worlds placed the reins of lowering and raising the legal rulings in the hand of his sufficiency and pulled the robe of his rulership over the forehead of the creed. The Lord of the Worlds spread the carpet of his dignity and honor in the seven heavens and in the era of his reign the lights of Islam were lit up in the regions of east and west. The Lord of the Worlds unveiled the realities of the Shariah and the marks bearing witness to the Tariqah through his conduct and secret core and made trust and godwariness his watchword and blanket. Muṣṭafā placed each of these masters and caliphs in a rank and gave each a specific characteristic.
To ʿAlī, he said, “In relation to me in my community you are like Aaron in relation to Moses, except that there will be no prophet after me. You are of me, and I am of you.”
Concerning all of his Companions generally, he said, “None of my companions, dying in the earth, will be stirred up on the Day of Resurrection without having a leader and a light.”
He said, “My companions in my community are like salt in food—food is not wholesome without salt.”
He said, “Fear God, fear God in my companions! Fear God, fear God in my companions! Do not take them as extraneous after me! When someone loves them, I will love him with my love. When someone hates them, I will hate him with my hate. When someone troubles them, he has troubled me. When someone troubles me, he has troubled God. And when someone troubles God, he will be quickly taken to task.”
He said, “Do not revile my companions, for by Him in whose hand is my soul, were any of you to expend the like of Mount Uḥud in gold, you would not reach the extent of one of them, or half.”
All of this he said concerning the Companions specifically. Concerning the whole community, he said, “There is no community but that some are in the Fire and some in the Garden, but all of my community will be in the Garden.”
He said, “The Garden will be forbidden to the prophets until I enter it, and it will be forbidden to the communities until my community enters it.”
He said, “Surely my community will be shown mercy. When the Day of Resurrection comes, God will bestow on every man in this community a man from the unbelievers and will say, ‘Here is your ransom from the Fire.’”
Anas said, “I went out with God’s Messenger, and suddenly a sound was coming from a ravine. He said, ‘O Anas, go and see what that sound is.’
“I went and there was a man performing the prayer before a tree and saying, ‘O God, make me belong to the community of Muḥammad, those to whom mercy and forgiveness are shown, those whose prayers are answered and rewarded.’ I came to God’s Messenger and told him about that.
He said, ‘Go and say to him that God’s Messenger greets him with peace and asks who he is.’ I went and told him what God’s Messenger had said. He said, ‘Greet God’s Messenger with peace from me and tell him that his brother al-Khiḍr asks him to ask God to make him belong to your community, those to whom mercy and forgiveness are shown, those whose prayers are answered and rewarded.’”
It was said to Jesus, “O Spirit of God! Will there be a community after this one?” He said yes. He was asked which community, and he said the community of Aḥmad. He was asked what is the community of Aḥmad. He said, “Knowers, wise, pious, and godwary, as if in their knowledge they are prophets. They will be content with little provision from God, and He will be content with few deeds from them. He will take them into the Garden by their witnessing that there is no god but God.”
The Exalted Lord did not give these eminent qualities and generous bestowals to Aḥmad’s community because they have precedent obedience or the rightful due of service. Indeed, no service comes from them that would be worthy of God, nor does God’s Lordhood and kingship need any connection with their obedience. No matter how He may caress, He does so by His own bounty; no matter what He gives, He gives it by His own generosity; no matter what He prepares, He prepares it with own His mercy and loving-kindness. For He is a Lord who is recognized as servant-caressing and described by loving-kindness. This is why He says at the end of the verse, “Surely God is clement, ever-merciful toward the people.”
God is great in bestowal toward His servants and always lovingly kind. The bestowal of creatures is from time to time and the bestowal of the Real is everlasting. The mark of the Real’s bestowal and loving-kindness is that He does not give the servant the ability to disobey and He does not put him face-to-face with sin, so the servant does not become worthy of punishment. In terms of mercy, this is more efficacious than forgiving disobedience.
He may also place the servant before disobedience and put the traces of abasement in his outwardness so that people find him repellant. Then the precedent mercy in the beginningless wisdom arrives and takes his hand. In this meaning, a story is told about Ayyūb Sakhtyānī. He said, “I had a neighbor who was an evil man. The traces of slipping and disobedience were obvious in his outwardness, and I was exceedingly repelled by him. In the end, he left this world. When they lifted his bier, I went off to the corner. I did not want to pray for him. Then someone else saw that evil man in a dream, in a beautiful state and a pleasing guise. He asked him, “What did God do with you?”
He said, “He forgave me with His mercy and He passed over all those improprieties.” Then he said, “Say to Ayyūb the worshiper, ‘If you owned the storehouses of my Lord’s mercies, you would hold them back in fear of spending them.’”
It may also happen that He brings the causes of tribulation around the servant and shuts the door of ease and solace to him until, once despair appears, He opens the door of mercy and clemency, as the Exalted Lord said: “He it is Who sends down the rain after they have despaired and spreads forth His mercy” [42:28]. In this meaning, it has been narrated from one of the wholesome that he said, “I saw one of them in a dream and said to him, ‘What did God do with you?’
“He said, ‘He weighed my beautiful and my ugly deeds, and the ugly deeds preponderated over the beautiful deeds. Then a purse came from heaven and fell into the pan of good deeds, and it preponderated. I opened the purse, and within it was a handful of dust that I had thrown into the grave of a Muslim. Glory be to Him! How clement He is to His servant!”