22:78 And struggle in God as is the rightful due of His struggle. He chose you, and He placed no hardship upon you in the religion—the creed of your father Abraham. He named you submitters from before… He is your Patron, so what an excellent Patron and what an Excellent Helper!
The struggle is of three sorts: One with the soul, one with the heart, and one with possessions. Struggle with the soul is that you do not rest from service and discipline, you do not look for concessions and interpretations, and you go forward in the commands and prohibitions with reverence. Struggle with the heart is that you do not give odious thoughts access to yourself, you do not have determined resoluteness in opposition, and you do not rest from meditation on blessings and bounties.
Struggle with possessions is by giving away, generosity, munificence, and largesse. Generosity is that you give away some and you keep some for yourself. Munificence is that you give away most and keep a little for yourself. Largesse is that you give away all and live in poverty and want. This was the state of Abū Bakr, the greatest of the sincerely truthful, to whom Muṣṭafā said, “What remains for your family?” He said, “God and His Messenger.”
It has been said that the rightful due of His struggle is that you do not slacken from a struggle against the soul for a moment. Their speaker said,
O Lord, my struggle is never over,
so Your earth is all my front line and fortress.
He chose you… He named you… He is your Patron. He chose you. When He chose you, He saw the faults, and He was pleased despite the faults. He named you. There was no heaven and no earth, no Throne and no Footstool, no Adam and no Eve, and you were Muslim in His knowledge. He placed the name of Muslim upon you and wrote for you the inscription of election: those to whom the most beautiful has preceded from Us [21:101].
He chose you through guidance, He named you with the name of friendship, and He is your Patron by manifesting solicitude. He chose you, not because of the excellence of your deeds, He named you with the name of the Substitutes, and He is your Patron in all states. He chose you, so who will misguide you? He named you, so who will change you? He is your Patron, so who will abandon you? He chose you through guidance. He gave you the name of being a Muslim through solicitude. He did this because He is your Patron, in reality, your heart-opener through mercy, and your secret core-adorner through love. So what an excellent Patron! He curtains faults, He removes distress, He forgives sins. At the time of sin He calls you ignorant—They do the ugly in ignorance [4:17]—so that He may accept your apology. At the time of bearing witness, He calls you a knower—except those who have borne witness to the truth while they are knowing [43:86]—so that He may accept your testimony. At the time of shortcoming, He calls you weak—Man was created weak [4:28]—so that He may efface your shortcoming.
So what an excellent Patron! He is your Patron. If you call upon Him, He says “Here I am,” and if you turn away from Him, He calls out to you. So what an excellent Patron! He made you appear through love before you loved Him and He desired you before you desired Him. What a fine Lord, joined with love, pleased with the faulty, passing over, pardoning! He passes over so as to put aside, or He sets aside so as to overlook. If He puts aside, He is without need, and if He overlooks, He is the servant-caresser. He is tremendous in favor, eternal in beautiful doing, and He gives turns to the world’s folk. Part of his good Lordhood is that He does not take back His gifts at the servant’s missteps, nor does He cut off blessings at his disloyalty.
Dhu’l-Nūn Miṣrī said, “Once I was at the Nile river, washing clothes. Suddenly I saw a tremendous scorpion coming. I sought refuge in God from its evil, and God spared me its evil. I followed it until it reached the edge of the water. A frog came out of the water and held up its back so that the scorpion could sit on its back, and it crossed the Nile. In wonder, I said, ‘Surely this is significant.’” Dhu’l-Nūn bound up his loin-cloth and went over to the other side. He saw that the frog had put down the scorpion and returned to its own place. The scorpion went on until it reached a tremendous tree. Dhu’l-Nūn said, “I looked and saw a boy, a young man, fallen drunk, ruined, and asleep. I said to myself, ‘Surely we belong to God!’ [2:156]. Right now the scorpion is going to destroy that young man.’ While I was in these thoughts, a tremendous serpent appeared from a corner aiming to destroy that young man. I saw the scorpion jump on the serpent’s back and sting its brain, killing it. From there it went to the edge of the water, the frog returned, and it crossed on its back. I came back from there and the young man was still in the sleep of heedlessness.
O sleeper, the Majestic protects you
from everything crawling in the darkness!
How do your eyes sleep when you have a King
from whom come the benefits of blessings?
“The young man awoke and saw the state. I said to him, ‘Look at what God has turned away from you and how He has turned it away from you!’ Then I told him the story. When he heard those words, pain and grief arose from inside his heart, and he lamented a great deal. He turned his face to heaven and wept to God saying, ‘O my Master and Patron! This is Your act toward him who disobeyed you last night! By Your exaltedness, I will not disobey You again until I meet You! He took off the garment of foolishness and put on the garment of good and rectitude.”