29:2 Do the people reckon they will be left to say, “We have faith,” and not be tried?
Do the people reckon they will be left simply to claim to have faith without trial being demanded from them? That will never happen, for the worth of every man lies in his trial. So when the measure of someone’s meaning is more, the measure of his trial will be more.
The Prophet said, “Surely the people most severely tried are the prophets, then the next best, then the next best.” He also said, “When God desires good for a people, He tries them.” The Lordly likeness from the Presence of Lordhood is this: Trial from Our threshold is a robe of honor for the friends. Whoever seeks a level above others in the station of friendship will smell more of the rose of tribulation in the pleasure garden of the friends.
If you want to know this, then look at the state of that master of Adam’s children, the one emulated by the folk of the Shariah, and the foremost and chieftain of the folk of the Haqiqah. When that paragon walked into this street, he was not left without heartache and grief for an hour.
If he sat for a while cross-legged, the address would come, “Sit like a servant!” If once he put a ring on his finger, the whip of rebuke would come down: “What, did you reckon that We created you aimlessly?” [23:115]. If once he placed his foot on the ground boldly, the command would come, “Walk not in the earth exultantly” [17:37].
29:5 Whoso hopes to encounter God, God’s term is coming, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing.
When someone passes his life hoping for Our encounter, We will permit him to gaze upon Us and he will be delivered from absence and separation. And He is the Hearing of the moans of the yearners, the Knowing of the longing of the enraptured lovers. The price of seeing the Friend is the spirit. If you find that for one hundred thousand spirits, that is cheap. Who is more victorious than the servant who sees the Friend face-to-face? Hoping to see the Friend is the attribute of the Men.
Great is the aspiration of the eye that wants to see You—
is it not enough for an eye that You see him who sees You?
Wait until tomorrow, when the servant will sit at the table of everlastingness.
He will see blessedness, nearness, and the most beautiful and will arrive at hearing, taking warmth, and seeing. This is just what the Exalted Lord says: “Faces that day will be radiant, gazing upon their Lord” [75:22-23]. The faces of the faithful and the self-purifiers, the faces of the sincerely truthful and the witnesses, will be like glowing moons, shining suns, garden violets, fragrant jasmine, red anemones, flashing lightning, rising suns, the vast paradise.
On whom will these faces be gazing? They will be gazing upon their Lord, upon their creator, upon their nurturer. What is the attribute of that day? The day of proximity and union, the day of kindness and bounteousness, the day of giving and bestowal, the day of gazing on the Possessor of Majesty. In hoping for this station the yearners dedicated their selves, and for the sake of this way station, the passionate put rings in their ears.
The recognizers will have three eyes in vision: The eye of the head will see, and that is for pleasure. The eye of the heart will see, and that is for recognition. The eye of the spirit will see, and that is for contemplation. He will fill the eye of the head with the light of bounty, the eye of the heart with the light of proximity, and the eye of the spirit with the light of finding. The servant will gaze on the Real with these three eyes. This is why the report has come, “The eyes will be filled with gazing on His face and He will speak to them as a man speaks to his sitting companion.”
The disparity in vision tomorrow will be just like the disparity in recognition today. Everyone will see Him in the measure of his own recognition and according to his own portion. It may be that the vision will dazzle him, it may be that it will bring splendor, and it may be that he will reach the Seen.
“O God, the one who will see You saw You in the Beginningless. He will see You because the two worlds came not to be seen. He who sees You approved of the not seen.”
ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz ibn ʿUmayr said, “It has reached us that the Exalted Lord said, ‘I have given you the power to see Me, I have let you hear My words, and I have let you smell My scent.’ I have given you the ability to bear seeing Me, I have given you hearing so that you could bear My words, and I have breathed into you My scent so that you could become aware of Me and stay with Me.”