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Wherever the name “man” comes in the Qur’an, a displeasing attribute is linked to it. Thus He said, “Surely man is a great wrongdoer, ungrateful” [14:34]. “Surely man was created anxious” [70:19]. “Surely man is rebellious” [96:6]. “Surely man is ungrateful to his Lord” [100:6]. “Surely man is in loss” [103:2]. This is because man comes from dust, and dust is the basis of density and the root of opacity. The servant’s hope is that on the day He created, He saw the faults, and then He bought along with the faults. 

4:28 And man was created weak.

Once a person said, “O Lord, you called me ignorant. What comes from the ignorant other than disloyalty? You called me weak. What comes from the weak other than error? O Lord, take our inability to overcome ourselves as stemming from that weakness. Take our boldness and insolence as stemming from that ignorance. O Lord, You lifted us up and no one said, ‘Lift up!’ Now that You have lifted up, don’t put down! Keep us in the shadow of Your bounty!”

4:31 If you avoid the great sins prohibited to you, We will acquit you of your ugly deeds and admit you to a generous admitting place.

The great sins of the folk of service in the path of the Shariah are what you have heard about. The great sins of the folk of companionship in the street of the Tariqah and in the tongue of allusion are another sort and have another tasting, for the folk of service are one thing, and the folk of companionship something else. Those who serve are the wage-earners, and the companions are proximate. In the traditions has come the saying, “The beautiful deeds of the pious are the ugly deeds of the proximate.” Of the same sort is the saying of the Pir of the Tariqah, “The hypocrisy of the recognizers is better than the self-purification of the desirers.” The basis of this rule is the subtle point Muṣṭafā reported about cloudiness and his asking forgiveness for it. He said, “My heart becomes clouded, so I ask forgiveness from God seventy times a day.” Abū Bakr al-Ṣiddīq said, “Would that I could witness that for which God’s Messenger asked forgiveness.” The mark of the recognizers’ great sins is that lassitude sometimes comes over them in the world of their own traveling, and thereby their innate disposition is overpowered by human attributes. Their life becomes susceptible to customs and habits, and the realities of their faith come to be mixed with the contaminants of personal motives and marks giving witness to their own shares. In this state of theirs, if a messenger of sound discipline, truthful poverty, and the joy of ecstasy does not come out to welcome them and take their hands, they will not emerge from the pit of their own selfhood.

The great ones of the religion have said that as long as a man does not reach this place of danger and leave behind the station of lassitude, he will not become a pir of the Tariqah and will not be suited to take disciples. A man must have lost the road a thousand times and then returned to it if he is to bring someone who has lost the road back to the road. What is needed first is the road to the road, then the road is needed. Someone who has always been on the road knows the road, but he does not know the road to the road. The secret of the slips of the prophets and their falling into lassitude is this. And God knows best. This is knocking at a magnificent gate. Happy is he for whom it is opened and who is guided to it!

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