24:30 Say to the faithful that they cast down their eyes.
That is, the eyes of the heads from forbidden things and the eyes of the hearts from everything other than Him. He commands the faithful to turn the eyes of the head away from forbidden things and the eye of the secret core from everything less than the Real. They should throw the dust of nonbeing into the eyes of their own being, and from the tablet of their existence they should read out reproach to the deceiving soul. Because of the pain of his own being, Muḥammad the Arab, the unique pearl of the oceans of messenger hood and the centerpiece of the necklace of evidence, used to lament, “Would that the Lord of Muḥammad had never created Muḥammad!” Those who were the preceders, the truthful, and the wayfarers of the road never paid the slightest attention to themselves. They were not happy with their own being and did not look at themselves with the eye of approval.
One day Junayd was sitting with Ruwaym when Shiblī came in, and Shiblī was exceedingly kind-hearted. When Junayd’s words were finished, Ruwaym looked at Junayd and said, “He is a kind-hearted man, this Shiblī.”
Junayd said, “You are talking about someone who is one of those who have been rejected by the Threshold.” When Shiblī heard this, he was broken. He got up in shame and went outside.Ruwaym, “Junayd, what were those words you said about Shiblī? You know the purity and truthfulness of his state.”
Junayd, “Yes, Shiblī is one of the great ones at the Threshold. But, when you speak to Shiblī, do not speak to him from beneath the Throne, for His swords spill blood. Ruwaym, those words of yours concerning his purification were a sword aimed at his days to hamstring the steed of his practice. I made my words into a shield to repel that sword.”
Say to the faithful that they cast down their eyes. One group does not look at this world, and they are the renunciants. Another group does not look at the realm of being, and they are the folk of recognition. Still another group are the companions of guarding and awe; just as they do not look at others with their hearts, so also they do not see themselves worthy of witnessing. Then the Real lifts the veil from them without any choice, endeavor, or self-exertion on their part.
The chevaliers of the Tariqah are those who do not look at the others. They do not open the eyes of their aspiration toward anyone. They have lost themselves in the magnificent wilderness of Unity. They have thrown the fire of longing into the hut of their existence and drowned in the ocean of awesomeness and the waves of confoundedness. Their intellects are bewildered, their hearts lost—without reason or rhyme, without name or sign.
They are rushing, running, wailing in the world,
in the mountain monasteries, in the desert caves.
Totally effaced in the ocean of bewilderment,
of themselves they recite for all, “No home, no possessions.”
Whispered prayer| “O God, You made them hear the call up close, and You gave the mark from afar. You displayed Yourself from behind the curtain and disclosed Yourself in the mark of tremendousness so that You lost the chevaliers in the valley of confoundedness and made them dizzy in their incapacity. What is it that You have done to these helpless creatures? The judge of these complainants is You, the giver of justice to these aid-seekers is You, the wergild of the slain is You, the hand-taker of the drowning is You, the guide of the lost is You.”
24:31 And say to the faithful women that they cast down their eyes, guard their private parts, and not show their adornment, save what is outward thereof… And repent all together to God, O you who have faith!
The allusion is that the servant has an adornment that it is not permissible to make manifest, just as women have private parts and that it is not permissible for them to show their adornment. In the same way, if someone makes manifest to the people the adornment of his secret core, such as the limpidness of his states and the purity of his acts, the adornment turns into a stain, unless he makes manifest something to someone that he did not do on his own or undertake. That is an exception because he will not be taken to task for something that he did not himself determine or undertake. And repent all together to God, O you who have faith! He commands the faithful generally to repent. The repentance of the common people is from slips, the repentance of the elect from heedlessness, and the repentance of the elect from observing the attributes of mortal nature.
The repentance of the common people is to turn from disobedience to obedience. The repentance of the elect is to come from seeing obedience to seeing success-giving; instead of seeing their own obedience, they see the Real’s success-giving. The repentance of the elect is to turn from the contemplation of success-giving to the contemplation of the Success-Giver.
The limit of the gaze of the common people is their own acts. The field of the gaze of the elect is the attributes. The locus of the gaze of the elect is the majesty of the Essence. “I seek refuge in Thy pardon from Thy punishment” is an allusion to the gaze of the common people. “I seek refuge in Thy approval from Thy anger” is an allusion to the gaze of the elect. “I seek refuge in Thee from Thee” is an allusion to the gaze of the elect. It has also been said that He commanded all to repent so that the disobedient would not be shamed by turning back to Him alone. In the same way, at the Resurrection both the obedient and the disobedient will enter the Fire, according to His words, “And none of you there is but will enter it” [19:71]. Thus He will conceal the disobedient with the obedient, and their defects will not be unveiled.