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17:85 They ask thee about the spirit.

Man is body, heart, and spirit. The body is the place of Trust, the heart is the threshold of being addressed, and the spirit is the center point of contemplation. All blessings are largesse for the body; its nourishment is food and drink. All favors are gifts for the heart; its nutriment is remembering and mentioning the Friend. All vision and contemplation are the portions of the spirit; its nourishment is seeing the Friend. The body is under the severity of power, the heart in the grasp of the attributes, and the spirit in the embrace of exaltedness—the carpet of closeness spread, the candle of compassion lit, the beginningless Friend having lifted the veil.

17:107 Say: “Have faith in it, or do not have faith.” Surely those who were given knowledge before it, when it is recited to them, fall down on their faces in prostration.

The side of Unity, the exalted Majesty, is alluding to the fact that He has never had and will never have any need for obedience that was not and then came into being. He is saying, “You have no worth, for nothing is worthy of Me. If you want, have faith, and if you do not want, do not. I have no need for your faith. Beginningless majesty and beauty gain no adornment from the obedience of newly arrived things. I had still not written out an existence for any existent thing when My majesty was contemplating My beauty and I was pleased with Myself in Myself. Today that I have created the creatures, I am what I was. I have no need in Myself for any causes and no need in My perfection for any seeking.”

17:109 They fall down on their faces weeping.

Weeping is the state of the beginners and the attribute of the travelers—everyone according to his own state and every traveler in the measure of his own deeds. The repenter looks upon his own sin and weeps in fear of punishment. The obedient person looks upon his own lax obedience and weeps in fear of shortcoming. The worshiper weeps in fear of the outcome: “What will be done with me tomorrow?” The recognizer looks at the beginningless precedent and weeps: “What was done to me and decreed for me in the Beginningless?” All this happens to travelers on the path and is a mark of the weakness of their state. As for those who have been snatched away from themselves, the folk of stability, for them weeping is an imperfection and defect in their road. Thus it is related that Junayd was sitting with his wife and Shiblī entered. The wife wanted to cover herself, but Junayd said to her, “Shiblī is not aware of you, so sit.” Junayd kept speaking to her, and then Shiblī wept. When Shiblī began to weep, Junayd said to his wife, “Cover yourself, for Shiblī has come back from absence to awareness.”

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