37:139 Jonah too was one of the envoys.
When the generous, lovingly kind Lord, gentle and merciful to the servants, imprisoned Jonah in the belly of the fish, He made His remembrance and name his intimate, so he kept on saying, “There is no god but Thou! Glory be to Thee!” [21:87].
God’s remembrance was his intimate in his trouble and God’s love was the cause of his comfort. Whenever someone’s heart is inscribed with God’s love, Your name became the lamp of Jonah’s darkness, the adornment of every session in the world.
Although outwardly the fish’s belly was Jonah’s trial, in terms of inwardness, it was his place of seclusion. He wanted to talk secretly with the Friend without the intrusion of others. Just as the fish’s belly was made into Jonah’s place of retreat, so also the middle of Nimrod’s fire was made into Abraham’s retreat, and the corner of that cave was made into Abū Bakr’s place of retreat with the paragon of the world. In the same way, wherever there is a person of faith, a tawḥīd-voicer, he has a place of retreat in his own exalted breast. The cave of his secret core is the descending place of the divine gentleness and the site of the lordly gaze.
O tawḥīd-voicing man of faith, if you are delighted, that is fitting, and if you revel, that is fitting, for He Himself says, “The cave of the faithful man’s heart is the place made ready for Our divine secrets. On the tree of the faithful man’s faith is the nest of the bird of Our good fortune. In the meadow of the faithful man’s heart is the wellspring of the effusion of Our majesty’s gaze. Here is your blessed place of retreat! Here is your garden of pleasure! Here is your springhead of pure water without blight! When We make a cave in your breast, that is not the devil’s place of refuge. When We plant a tree in your inwardness, the bird of Satanic disquiet will not take it as a nesting place. When We make a wellspring from the courtyard of your breast, nothing will gush forth but the water of bounteousness. A cave that We made in your breast—We are its attendant. A tree that We planted in your breast—We are its nurseryman. The pearl of recognition that We put into the oyster shell of the heart—We are the guardian of that pearl.”
In the stories, it has come that after Jonah was delivered from the darkness and released from tribulation, he went back among his people. The revelation came to him saying, “Tell so-and-so, the potter, to take all the pots and utensils that he has made over the past year and to break and destroy them.”
Jonah became sorrowful at this command and had pity on the potter. He said, “Lord God, I feel mercy for that man, for You want to destroy and bring to nothing one year of his work.” God said, “O Jonah! You show pity for a man whose one year of work will be destroyed and come to nothing, but you showed no pity for one hundred thousand of My servants and you asked for their destruction and chastisement. O Jonah, you did not create them. Had you created them, you would have had mercy on them.”
Tomorrow, Muṣṭafā the Arab will intercede in the work of the community’s sinners to the point that he will say, “O Lord, let me intercede for those who never did any good.” God will say, “O Muḥammad, this belongs to Me.” This one is mine—what is appropriate and fitting for Me.
Then the address will come forth, “Anyone who mentioned Me once in any station or feared Me once at any moment, come out of the Fire!”
37:164 None of us there is but has a known station.
In the tongue of the Tariqah, this verse alludes to the states of encounter and the unveilings of the masters of the Haqiqah. One is gratitude for ecstasies, another the lightning of unveiling, another the bewilderment of witnessing, another the light of proximity, another the friendship of finding, another the splendor of togetherness, and another the reality of solitariness. These are seven oceans placed at the top of tawḥīd’s street. As long as the traveler in the road does not pass over these seven oceans, he will not be allowed to reach the end of the street. He must seek water from these oceans through the seven thresholds of the Qur’an, about which Muṣṭafā reported: “The Qur’an was sent down according to seven letters, each of which is sufficiency and healing. Every verse has an outwardness and an inwardness, and each letter has a limit and an overview.”
The sincerely truthful and the wayfarers on the road have said that you must pass over these oceans to reach tawḥīd. Concerning these seven oceans, the command has come: “Pass through the gate of the message brought by that paragon of the world. From every wave, take a signet from his Shariah, and from every drop, seek the help of his covenant. Then you will be worthy for the way stations of Our friends.”
37:171 Already Our word has preceded to the envoys.
A word here comprises three roots: knowledge, desire, and wisdom. First is the precedence of knowledge: Before the doing, He knew what He must do. Second is the precedence of desire: What He knew He must do, He wanted to do. The third is the precedence of wisdom: What He did He did rightly and properly. Know also that God has no need for the duration. He has no need to remember the past, for it is in His knowledge. He has no need to think about the not-yet-come, for it is in His decree. He has no need to preserve what it is present, for it is in His kingdom. For Him, from the Beginningless to the Endless is less than one breath, and one hundred years is less than one instant. With Him, there is neither yesterday nor tomorrow. He is constant in exaltedness and abides in His measure. This is the secret of the words of ʿAbdallāh ibn Masʿūd, “With your Lord is neither day nor night.”
For the equivalent of this verse, recite “those to whom the most beautiful has preceded from Us” [21:101]: “My servant, before you said that you are My servant, I said that I am your Lord: Your god is only God, other than whom there is no god [20:98]. Before you said that you are My friend, I said that I am your friend: He loves them, and they love Him [5:54]. My servant, you were not, but I was there for you. I was there for Myself in exaltedness, and I was there for you in mercy. ‘Belong to Me as you always were, and I will belong to you as I have always been.’”