16:41 Those who emigrate in God after they were wronged—We shall surely build for them something beautiful, and the wage of the next world will be greater.
Anyone who emigrates from the homelands of heedlessness will be taken by the majesty of Unity to the witnessing places of the union.
When someone emigrates from the homelands of heedlessness, the majesty of Unity will convey him to the witnessing places of the union. When someone emigrates from companionship with the created, the gentle favors of generosity will give him access to His companionship. When someone emigrates from himself and is displeased with dwelling with himself, his heart will become the place where passion for the Haqiqah puts down its saddlebags. Today he will be delighted in the secluded solace of “I am the sitting companion of him who remembers Me,” and tomorrow he will take his ease on the carpet of the expansiveness of “The patient poor are the sitting companions of God on the Day of Resurrection.”This emigration has a beginning and an end. Its beginning is that his makeup becomes obedience itself, not from habit and not from wanting the reward, but rather from being drowned in contemplation itself.
Thus it is recounted of the recognizer Sultan Maḥmūd that he never sat in a session of closeness with any but Ayāz. The boon companions and special friends began to mutter. The sultan became aware of their jealousy, and he commanded that all the boon companions and special friends be present in a session. Then he had a goblet made of ruby—worth the taxes from one of his provinces—brought forth, along with an iron anvil, and put before him. He commanded the vizier to smash the goblet on the anvil. The vizier, “Protect me, O Sultan! Though the sultan’s command is higher, I do not have the gall to be so bold.” In the same way, he commanded the other boon companions and special friends. All took off their hats, began to tremble, and did not have the gall to break it. Then he pointed at Ayāz. He said, “Slave, strike the goblet on the anvil and break it.” Ayāz struck the goblet on the anvil until it broke into tiny pieces. Then Maḥmūd said, “There are four thousand way stations between obeying the sultan’s command and seclusion with him. When someone still avoids obeying Maḥmūd’s command, how can he have the gall to talk of seclusion and seek companionship?”As for the end of emigration, it is three things: veneration in seclusion, being ashamed in service and seeing nothing but shortcoming in oneself despite much obedience.
16:43 Ask the folk of remembrance if you do not know.
This alludes to the fact that knowledge of Shariah is to be learned and is not correct without an intermediary and teacher. Anyone who fancies that the intermediary is useless in the knowledge of the Shariah has no portion of the religion. In short, know that knowledge is of three sorts: knowledge of the Shariah, knowledge of the Tariqah, and knowledge of the Haqiqah. The Shariah is to be learned, the Tariqah is to be practiced, and the Haqiqah is to be found. Concerning knowledge of the Shariah, He says, “Ask the folk of remembrance.” Concerning knowledge of the Tariqah, He says, “Seek the means of approach to Him” [5:35]. Concerning knowledge of the Haqiqah, He says, “We taught him knowledge from Us” [18:65]. He turned knowledge of the Shariah over to a teacher, He turned knowledge of the Tariqah over to a pir, and He turned knowledge of the Haqiqah over to Himself. When someone obtains these three pieces of knowledge, a light shines in his heart through which he recognizes the essence of prophethood. When he is given this recognition, he finds this eminence and special favor from the threshold of prophethood: “The men of knowledge are the heirs to the prophets.”
16:51 And God says, “And take not two gods. Surely He is only one God, so be in awe of Me.”
This is an affirmation of tawḥīd. Tawḥīd is the basis of religion and the great pillar of submission. Without tawḥīd obedience is not accepted, and along with associationism worship is useless. Know that the reality of tawḥīd is of two sorts: saying one and knowing one. Saying one is the beginning of all the sciences, the basis of all the recognitions, the foundation of the religion, and the partition between enemy and friend. It has three descriptions: first, testifying to God’s oneness in Essence and His being pure of a spouse, child, and peer. Next is testifying to God’s oneness in attributes and to the fact that nothing is similar to or like Him. His attributes are not intelligible, nor is their howness understood, encompassed, or defined. They are outside imagination and no one knows how they are. The third is testifying to God’s oneness in His true, beginningless names and the fact that for Him these names are realities and for others, they are loaned and created. The names He has are His names in reality—eternal and beginningless as is fitting for Him. The names of the creatures are created and newly arrived as is fitting for them. “God” and “All-Merciful” are His names by which no one else is called. Dost thou know any named by His name? [19:65]
As for knowing one, that is in service, practice, and aspiration. In service, it is abandoning eye service and observing self-purification. In practice, it is to make the secret core limpid and to realize remembrance. In aspiration, it is to lose everything other than Him and to be released through freedom of the heart from everything other than Him.
Become free of everything in the realm of being—
be that Heart-taker’s “companion of the cave.”
In all things expression is easy but the finding is difficult. In tawḥīd finding is easy but the expression is difficult. The expression of tawḥīd is outside of intellect, the essence of tawḥīd is safe against imagination, the newly arrived things are lost in the Beginningless. Tawḥīd is that there is no more than one. There is the Recognized, but not the recognizer; there is the Intended, but not the intender. The tawḥīd-voicer is he who has only Him to the point that his self is not; all is indeed He.” The tawḥīd of attestation is one thing, the tawḥīd of practice another thing, and the tawḥīd of remembrance and vision still another. Concerning the tawḥīd of attestation, He said, “Whoever disbelieves in idols and has faith in God” [2:256]. Concerning the tawḥīd of practice, He said, “In whose hands is the dominion of everything” [23:88]. Concerning the tawḥīd of remembrance and vision, He said, “Thou didst not throw when thou threwest” [8:17].
Abū Ḥafs Ḥaddād said, “Tawḥīd by discernment is to disown everything other than God. The tawḥīd of the elect is to reach oneness. The tawḥīd of the elect is to be consumed by oneness.”
O One whose tawḥīd is achieved by none!
You are the Alone, the One, the Unique.
Those who aim for His tawḥīd with their aspiration
deny His tawḥīd inasmuch as they aim.
The tawḥīd of him who confirms His tawḥīd by design
is a design without a path to His tawḥīd.