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33:11 There it was that the faithful were tried and shaken with intense shaking.

Muṣṭafā reported that the Real undertakes to try His friends, just as you undertake to give food and drink to the ill. He said that in the highest paradises there are many degrees and domiciles that the servants can never reach by their own effort. The trials that the Exalted Lord assigns to them in this world convey them there.

A report has come that one day God’s Messenger was gazing at the sky and smiling. He said that he was marveling at the lordly ruling and the divine decree concerning the faithful servants: If He commands blessings for them, they approve, and their good lies in that. If He commands trial, they approve, and their goods lie in that. In other words, they are patient in trial, they show gratitude for blessings, and in both, they find the good.

It has been said that the Real divided Adam’s progeny into one thousand kinds and let them look at the carpet of love. The desire for love rose up in all of them. Then He adorned this world and displayed it to them. When they saw its embellishments and splendors, they became warm and entranced and remained with this world, except for one group, who stayed on love’s carpet and stuck up their heads in their claim.

Then He divided this group into one thousand kinds and displayed the afterworld to them. When they saw the everlasting joy and bliss, the spreading shade and pouring water [56:30-31], the houris and the castles, they were entranced by it and stayed with it, except for one group who stayed on the carpet and sought the treasuries of recognizing Him. The address came from the side of all-compellingness, the Exalted Threshold, “What are you seeking and why are you staying?”

They said, “Surely Thou knowest what we desire [11:79]. O Lord! You are the tongue of the tongueless, You are the knower of the secrets and the hidden. You Yourself know what we want.” 

The Exalted Lord took them to the top of the street of trial and showed them its deserts and perils. That one kind became a thousand kinds, and they all turned away from the kiblah of trial, saying, “This is not our work. We do not have the capacity to carry this burden.”

One group, however, did not turn away and, like the passionate, entered the street of trial. They did not think of trial or suffering. They said, “It is enough good fortune for us that we carry grief for You and that we suffer the sorrow of Your trial.” Only those who recognize Him know the measure of pain for Him. If someone does not recognize Him, how will he know the measure? 

“O God, in pain I lament in fear that the pain will cease. Anyone who laments at the Friend’s blows is unmanly in love for the Friend.” If you have the capacity and gall for this work, then set out on the road! Call the Friend to witness. Otherwise, enjoy your well-being and stop talking. No one ever sacrificed himself by faint-heartedness or raised his head high by leaning on water and clay. You can’t be a pearl-diver when you fear for your life, and you can’t raise your head high by leaning on water and clay. Either take no heed of life or don’t tangle with yourself.

33:33 God desires only to put away from your filth, O Folk of the House, and to make you completely pure.

The Lord of the Worlds is laying a favor on Muṣṭafā the Arab: “Our wish and Our decree are for the folk of your house to be pure of all the defilements of createdness and the stains of mortal nature so that everything in the house will be like the lord of the house: The goodly women are for the goodly men, and the goodly men for the goodly women [24:26].”

It has been said that here filth is vile acts and base character traits. Vile acts are indecencies, both the outward and the inward [6:151], and base character traits are caprice, innovation, niggardliness, avarice, severing blood relations, and the like. In their case, the Lord of the Worlds replaced innovation with the Sunnah, niggardliness with munificence, avarice with contentment, and severance from relatives with joining and tenderness.

Then He says, “And to make you completely pure:” And to keep you pure from admiring yourselves, or considering yourselves pointers to God’s door, or gazing upon your own obedience and deeds. The gaze is two, the human gaze and the All-Merciful gaze. The human gaze is when you look at yourself. The All-Merciful gaze is that the Real looks at you. As long as the human gaze does not pack its bags from your makeup, the All-Merciful gaze will not descend into your heart. Why do you look at your own tainted obedience? How can you measure that against the threshold of utter lack of needs? Are you unaware that if you gather the deeds of all the sincerely truthful in the earth and the obedient acts of all the holy ones in heaven, these will not have the weight of a gnat’s wing in the scales of the majesty of the Majestic? But He, in His unneediness, approves servanthood in the servants and shows them the road. God is gentle to His servants [42:19]. He says, “Look at My gentleness, consider mercy as coming from Me, and ask for blessings from Me. But ask God of His bounty [4:32].”

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