In the language of unveiling and in keeping with the tasting of the lords of the realities, this verse has another closeness and explanation. They say that Abraham was yearning for the Real’s speech and burning for His address. His burning had reached the limit, the army of his patience had been put to flight, and the fire of his love was shooting up flames. He said, “O Lord, show me how you bring the dead to life.”
2:260 When Abraham said to his Lord, “Show me how Thou givest life to the dead.” He said, “Dost thou not have faith?” He said, “Yes indeed, but that my heart may be serene.”… And know that God is exalted, wise.
He said, “O Abraham, dost thou not have faith? Do you not have faith that I bring the dead to life?”
He said, “I do, but my heart has been thrown into turmoil by the wish to hear Your speech and by a burning passion for Your address. I want You to talk.” Dost thou not have faith? “The goal was exactly that You would talk and ease would enter my heart.” My ease is Your message and my feet are in Your snare.
It has been said that with the words Abraham was asking for the life of the heart and the serenity of the secret core. He knew that as long as a heart is not alive, serenity will not come down into it, and as long as serenity has not come down into it, he would not have reached the final goal of the recognizers. The final goal of the recognizers is the repose of closeness, the witnessing of the heart, and the constancy of love; the tongue in remembering, the heart in secret whispering, the spirit in joy; the tongue in remembrance, the heart in reflection, the spirit with love; the tongue as spokesman, the heart with explication, and the spirit in face-to-face vision.
It was said, “O Abraham, life is found in death and subsistence in annihilation, so go and kill four birds outwardly as We command in order to show reverence for Our command and to make manifest your servanthood.”
O Abraham, the goodly life is what you want: the heart’s life and the secret core’s serenity!” It has been said that by asking this question, Abraham was seeking vision, just as Moses did. Abraham asked for vision by Heart-close-silence, not explicitly. Hence the answer was also by Heart-close-silence, that is, His words, “God is exalted: O Abraham, I heard your asking and I know what you desire, but know that in reality, God is exalted. Finding Him is exalted and seeing Him is exalted.” Moses asked explicitly, not through Heart-close-silence, so he heard the answer explicitly: “Thou shalt not see Me” [7:143].
It has also been said that when Abraham said, “O Lord, show me how You bring the dead to life,” a call came to his secret core: “You also, show Me how you bring the living Ishmael to death. A demand for demand. If you are loyal, I will be loyal.” So Abraham was loyal, and God praised him in that loyalty and said, “And Abraham who was loyal” [53:37]. God was also loyal and gave him his desire.
It has also been said that in his asking Abraham wanted the furthest limit of certainty. Certainty has three levels: First is the knowledge of certainty, then the eye of certainty, then the truth of certainty. The knowledge of certainty is what reaches God’s servants from the tongue of the prophets. The eye of certainty is what reaches them from the light of guidance. The truth of certainty is what comes through both the light of guidance and the traces of revelation and the Sunnah. Abraham wanted all three levels brought together for himself so that no ambiguity would ever again come to his mind. Then He says, “And know that God is exalted, wise.” He is the Lord of exaltedness and the owner of exaltedness, the exalted in Himself through the exaltation of His brightness and the description of His majesty, the exalter of others through His generosity and bounteousness.
Know that God has exaltedness, power, majesty, and strength. He is exalted such that no one reaches His exaltation, no understanding grasps His limit, no knower knows His measure. He Himself is exalted and exalts those who have been made lowly, shows forth those who have been little, and lifts up the thrown down. His exalting of the servants is both in this world and in that world—in this world through wealth and state, and in that world through vision and union, always and forever.