“When someone is too timid to engage with fearful things, he will not reach his hopes.” Are you not aware that joining is found in breaking off, life in death, and desires in not reaching your desires? The moth reaches union with the candle when it burns, and the candle finds life when it loses its head.
2:214 Or do you reckon that you will enter the Garden?
The high Firdaws is a sweet garden and meadow, but the road there is difficult, a rosebed full of thorns. Muṣṭafā said, “The Garden is surrounded by disliked things,” lest the nobodies and the unqualified claim familiarity. Are they equal, those who know and those who know not? [39:9].
A simile for this rule is the ocean: It was made the resting place for precious pearls and night brightening gems, and then sharks and huge fish were made the veil of those pearls and gems.
Two men set out, pulled into the field of seeking by love for gems. They go to the ocean’s shore and see its difficulties, and dread appears in them because of the danger of those sharks. Of the two men who see the terrors and difficult states, one is afraid and he steps back from seeking and declares himself quit of his own words. He had a wish, but his attribute of manliness was not complete. He fancied that this work could be finished merely by wishing and that he could reach the treasure without suffering. The exalted Shariah gives the answer: “The religion is not reached with wishfulness and self-adornment.”
The other man is the possessor of desire. Passion for the beauty of that night-brightening pearl cleanses his intellect of the ocean’s terrors, so he does not give those meanings access to himself. Hour by hour and moment by moment that beauty discloses itself to him, so he becomes more entranced and more passionate. He goes headfirst into the ocean. If felicity assists him and success giving becomes his friend, that night-brightening pearl will fall into the grasp of his seeking. If the opposite happens, the sharks will take his life as booty and his name will be written in the register of “I don’t care.”