9:111 Surely God has bought from the faithful their souls and their possessions so that they may have the Garden… So rejoice in the sale you have made to Him.
In the tasting of the recognizers and the path of the elect, this verse is a place for the joy of the friends and a playing field for the secret cores of the sincerely truthful. It is felicitation for the faithful, a fitting felicitation, and an appropriate bestowal of eminence. It is a felicitation that is the heart’s closeness and the spirit’s message, the ornament of the session and the capital of the indigent, the adornment of tongues, and the life of hearts. It is a generous felicitation, from a generous Lord—generous in Essence, generous in attributes, generous in love, generous in caressing, generous in bestowal.
The servant himself is bestowed by His bounty, and then He buys back what He Himself bestowed. He makes the transaction, but He bestows all the profit on the servant and accepts the loss for Himself. This is beautiful doing and generosity, loving-kindness, and gentleness.
In the Torah of Moses God said, “The Garden is My Garden and the possessions My possessions. Buy My Garden with My possessions! If you profit, that is yours, and if you lose, that is Mine. O children of Adam, I did not create you to profit from you. I created you only so that you would profit from Me.”
In the Beginningless, before the servant’s existence, the Lord of the Worlds bought him. He was the seller and the buyer. He Himself sold and He Himself bought. In the Shariah of Muṣṭafā, it is not permitted for the buyer and seller to be the same, unless it is a father, for whom it is permitted on condition of tenderness, the negation of suspicion, perfect loving-kindness, and fatherly love. What then do you say about someone who is more clement and merciful toward the servant than a father, a God whose loving-kindness has no bounds and whose love is greater? Given that it is permitted for a father, it is more appropriate and more complete in the case of the loving Creator.
Moreover, the Exalted Lord knew that the servants are bad-tempered, breakers of the Covenant, and disloyal to it. He knew that when they reached maturity they would protest. He shut down the road of protest by buying souls full of fault and blight in exchange for a paradise full of joy and blessing. He bought souls full of appetite and trial in exchange for a paradise that has the levels and degrees of proximity to the Real. According to the Shari’ite rules on transactions, when the price given for the bought object is more than it is worth, there is no way to protest. Also, He bought the soul, not the heart. This is because the heart is an endowment to the Real’s love and affection, and it is not permitted to buy or sell endowments. Moreover, one of the conditions in transactions is delivery. When something cannot be delivered, the Shariah does not permit it to be bought and sold. Birds in the sky and fish in the sea cannot be sold, because they cannot be delivered. The state of the servant’s heart is exactly the same, and surrendering it is impossible. Thus the Exalted Lord says, “He comes between a man and his heart” [8:24].
Naṣrābādī said, “He buys your attributes from you, but the heart is one of His attributes, so it cannot be bought and sold.” The Prophet said, “The heart of Adam’s child is between two fingers of the All-Merciful.”
It is also said that the soul is the heart’s doorman, standing like a serving boy, a subject serving its lord. As for the heart, it has the place of witnessing. Carrying Lordhood like a sultan, it governs the kingdom. So, if the value of the soul, which is the serving boy, is a paradise with its treasuries of blessings, what do you say about the heart, with all its nearness and proximity? What is its value other than the neighborhood of the Exalted Presence and the continuity of contemplation and vision?
The Pir of the Tariqah said, “There is a pearl fallen in the dust in the middle of the road, and no one in the world is aware of its value. Suddenly a fortunate person happens upon it and finds an everlasting kingdom but without drums and hats. In no way did the value of that pearl in the road become less. The value it had yesterday is still there. “For whom does the light of that pearl shine? For him who knows solicitude. Then complaint rises up. But who began the kindness? Who wanted this work from the beginning? Who planted the tree of love? Who decorated the house of friendship? With all this gentleness, why all these bad thoughts?
“On the day of buying, He saw the faults and He said that it was permitted. O God, all this happiness from You is our portion! Who has a patron like You, where is a friend like You? With the attributes You have, nothing else is fitting. Then, when You say that this is the mark, and the celebration is tomorrow; that this is the message, and the robe of honor is in place, how can there be patience, how can there be repose?”
So rejoice in the sale you have made to Him. He is saying, “Be happy, My servants, be joyful in the transaction you have made with Me. Rest in My name, take your ease in My name and mark.” When someone makes a sale, his happiness lies in the price of the object sold. The better and greater the price, the more his happiness. The Lord of the Worlds did not say, “Be happy with the price you received.” Rather, “Be happy with the sale you have made with Me and the transaction you carried out with Me.” What sorrow has he who has Him? What worth has he who is not worthy for His proximity?
A Psalm of David says, “O child of Adam, why do you love other than Me when I am worthy for love? Why do you trade with other than Me when I am munificent and bountiful? Why do you not transact with Me when I am the bestower of great bestowals? O traders in this world, the profit of this world is evanescent, but My profit remains.” What is with you runs out, but what is with God subsists [16:96]. The subsisting things, the wholesome deeds, are better with your Lord in reward, and better in expectation [18:46].
So rejoice in your sale—the sale that He made in His own beginninglessness and that we did not make. He opened it with our name, and he called it out in our name: “The sale that I made you made.” In the same way, He said to Muṣṭafā, “Thou didst not throw when thou threwest, but God threw” [8:17]. This is an allusion to the center point of togetherness and the realization of solitariness. The breeze of the Beginningless blew, the lightning of oneness flashed, and the servant has stolen away from the hand of water and dust. Duality turned to nonexistence, the Haqiqah became limpid, and I-ness became a loan.