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NEWSPRESS: DRIVE OF THE CLOUDS

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24:39-40 As for those who disbelieve, their deeds are like a mirage… Or like darknesses in a deep-sea covered with waves, above which are waves, above which are clouds. Darknesses, one on top of another. When he stretches forth his hand, he barely sees it. And he to whom God assigns no light has no light.

God strikes a likeness for the person of faith and the unbeliever. He makes the belief of the person of faith light, his activity light, and his final issue at the resurrection light, as He says: “Light upon light” [24:35]. He makes the belief of the unbeliever darkness, his activity darkness, and his final issue at the resurrection darkness, as He says: “darknesses, one on top of another.” Then He says, “And he to whom God assigns no light has no light.”

Wāsiṭī said, “God does not bring a poor man near because of his poverty, nor does He take a rich man far because of his wealth. Accidental things have no weight with Him such that someone would arrive or be cut off because of them. Were you free to give Him this world and the next, He would not make you arrive by that, and were you to take it all, He would not cut you off by that. Whoever comes near to Him comes near without cause, and whoever stays far from Him stays far without cause. God says, ‘And he to whom God assigns no light has no light.’”.

24:43 Dost thou not see how God drives the clouds, then combines them, then makes them a heap? Then thou seest the rain coming out from their midst.

He drives the clouds of His compassion, then pours down the rain of His munificence on His friends with His gentleness. He rolls up the carpet of decorum from the courtyards of His nearness, He strikes the domes of awe with the loci of witnessing His unveiling, and He spreads over them the flowers of His closeness. Then He discloses Himself to them in the realities of His holiness and pours for them with His own hand the warmth of His love. Afterward, He effaces their descriptions from them and awakens them not to themselves but to Him.

In the tasting of the chevaliers of the Tariqah, the clouds are the clouds of compassion, the rain of compassion that His gentleness rains down on the secret cores of His friends. From the soil of loyalty, the fragrant herb of limpidness grows up. The sun of beginningless gentleness shines upon it and in the garden of holiness the rose of closeness blooms.

The wind of happiness blows from the horizon of self-disclosure, snatching the servant away from water and dust. Delay and lingering leave the feet of gentleness, and the breeze of beginninglessness blows from the side of proximity.

The Pir of the Tariqah said, “It is You who shone the light of self-disclosure on the hearts of the friends, set the springs of affection flowing in their secret cores, and made those hearts Your own mirror and a locus of limpidness. You appeared therein, and with Your appearance You made the two worlds disappear. O light of the eyes of the familiar, celebration of the hearts of the friends, joy of the spirits of the near! All was You and all is You. You are not far that they should seek, nor absent that they should ask. They will not find You other than through You.”

“By God, if not for God, we would not have been guided.” How could a bit of water and dust have the gall to talk about eternity if not for eternal solicitude and desire? Had He not in His generosity and bounty invited this handful of dust to the threshold of eternity and spread the carpet of expansiveness in the house of guidance, how could this woebegone of existence and this mote of impure dust have the gall to take a step on the edge of the carpet of kings? What is suited for dust is to say with the attribute of brokenness and the tongue of incapacity and poverty, “On the surface of the rug of misfortune, our black days have come in place of color.”

24:44 God turns about the night and the day. Surely in that is a lesson for the possessors of eyes.

Wāsiṭī said, “No one has ever opposed Him and no one has ever confirmed with Him. All of them are put to use by His will and His power. How can there be conformity and opposition when He turns about the night and the day along with what is within them and He stands over the things and in the things through their subsistence and their annihilation. The finding does not become close with Him, nor does not finding bring about alienation.”

Whatever the ulama have said is a report and whatever the shaykhs have said is a tradition. The reality of the Real is beyond reports and traditions. A field has been placed before the creatures and the call has gone out, “O folk of the world! Step into this field and walk in the veil. Know not where you go, and know not whence you are coming. Set out from the threshold of Our knowledge and settle down at the threshold of Our decree. Tighten the belt of serving Us and keep watch over Our will. Be ready for Our power, which comes along with Our pardon and forgiveness and Our severity and punishment. ‘The power of the powerful suspends every contrivance.’”

When someone’s secret core is the mine of secret whispering, his heart is in the grasp of joy, his forehead has the mark of prosperity, and the eye of his certainty sees with the light of learning lessons from the acts of the Majestic, then he will be aware of the secrets and closeness in these verses and understand these states, for the Exalted Lord says, “Surely in that is a lesson for the possessors of eyes.” In another place He says, “Surely in that is a reminder for him who has a heart” [50:37].

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