35:32 Then We gave the inheritance of the Book to the ones We chose from among Our servants. Among them are wrongdoers to themselves, among them are moderate, and among them are preceders in good deeds by God’s leave. That is the great bounty.
In this verse, the Lord of the world, the lovingly kind enactor, the caresser of the servants, gives eminence to the community of Muhammad with seven generosities—a complete eminence, a great honor, and an infinite caress. None of the children of Adam received these seven generosities together except this community. Three of the seven are at the beginning of the verse: First We gave the inheritance, second, We chose, and third Our servants.
We gave the inheritance: He called them inheritors. We chose: He called them the chosen. Our servants: He called them servants. “They are My inheritors, My chosen, and My accepted servants.” Since He called them inheritors, in reality, He will not take back the inheritance. Since He called them chosen and His knowledge makes no mistakes, He will not reject them. Since He called them accepted, He will not put them together with faults.
“We gave the inheritance: The light of guidance, the good fortune of the religion, the exaltedness of knowledge, the adornment of recognition, the splendor of faith, the blessing of the Sunnah, the fruit of wisdom—to whom did We give all these? To the ones We chose: We gave these to those whom We chose. Since We chose them, We saw the faults. In Our unneediness We chose the servants as they are.
“O Muḥammad! On the day We chose your community, We saw those long-lived angels with all that obedience. On the day We placed honey in that frail bee, We saw those mighty falcons. On the day We gave silk to that frail little worm, We saw those awesome serpents. On the day We gave musk to the musk-deer, We saw those mighty lions. On the day We gave ambergris to the whale, We saw those tremendous elephants. On the day We placed pearls in the oyster, We saw those fierce crocodiles. On the day We gave sweet songs to the nightingale, We saw those decorated peacocks. On the day We praised and lauded Muḥammad’s community and wrote out the inscription of chosenness, We saw those long-lived angels and obedient proximate ones at the threshold of service.”
Of the seven generosities, three have been mentioned. Three more are these: Among them are wrongdoers to themselves, among them are moderate, and among them are preceders in good deeds by God’s leave. This is a subtle classification and a tremendous generosity. No one received this eminence and generosity from the Patron except this community. He wrote the inscription of chosenness for everyone, and then in His generosity, He began with wrongdoers so that the wrongdoers would not be ashamed, but rather take heart and renew hope. In is the same way He says in another place: “The repenters, the worshipers…” [9:112]. He mentions the grades of the chosen and presents the sequential arrangement of the good people of this community, beginning with the least of them: The repenters. Even though they are sinners, they regret what they did; they are broken in body and sorrowful in the heart. These are those who apologize and ask for pardon.
Muṣṭafā said, “The sins of my community were presented to me along with the wrongdoing of some of them done to others. I asked God for intercession, and He gave it to me.”
Among them are wrongdoers to themselves. These are the hangers-on. Among them are moderate. These are the called. Among them are preceders in good deeds. These are given access. “The wrongdoer is the offender, and My pardon is for him. The moderate is the seeker, and My help is for him. The preceder is given access, and My bounty is for him. “The wrongdoer is struck by the whip of heedlessness, killed by the sword of impurity, thrown down at the threshold of the Will, and puts his hope in mercy. The moderate is not tormented by a whip, but he is killed by the sword of shame, thrown down at the threshold of seeking, and sits in hope of nearness. The preceder is struck by the whip of familiarity, killed by the sword of friendship, burned at the threshold of desire, and puts his hope in vision.
“O wrongdoer! Pardon is yours until gentleness appears. O moderate! Help is yours until bounty appears. O preceder! Proximity is yours until kindness and beautiful doing appear.“O wrongdoer! Curtaining is yours, and there is no disgrace. O moderate! Acceptance is yours, and there is no fear. O preceder! Proximity is yours, and there is no niggardliness.“If you are a wrongdoer, I am merciful. If you are moderate, I am knowing. If you are a preceder, I am gazing. If you are a wrongdoer, apologizing is enough. If you are moderate, trying is enough. If you are a preceder, aiming is enough. The wrongdoing of the wrongdoer is under My curtain. The effort of the moderate is under my help. The precedence of the preceder is under My gentleness. All of this is My magnificent bounty.”
He mentions three groups and three levels. He separates them by deeds, and He brings them together with bounty: That is the great bounty. This great bounty is the seventh generosity that He showed to this community. O friend, when bounty lifts something up, it throws off the defects. Justice will never be able to overcome bounty.
Ibn al-Aʿrābī said, “Whenever chastisement or mercy is mentioned in the Qur’an, look carefully. If mercy is mentioned before chastisement, that is a threat. If chastisement is mentioned after mercy, the chastisement is abrogated. If both are mentioned together, the ruling property belongs to mercy, because, although the Wise bases Himself on His rightful due, He would never put aside someone else’s rightful due. In His Godhood, the Lord of the Worlds has no need for creation or the service of the creatures, nor is He harmed by the creatures’ disobedience. He is forbearing, vast in bounty, and lovingly kind toward the creatures.”
The folk of recognition has said, “Each of these three mentioned groups has a portion of water from the drinking place of tawḥīd in the measure of their own traveling. He alludes to this with His words, ‘Of it you have to drink, and of it are trees to graze your herds’ [16:10]. The drinkers drink from the cup of face-to-face vision; they gaze upon the Pourer as they drink the wine. Although the cup-bearers do not find what they heard, they reach a portion of what they heard. The grazers neither hear nor see, but they are not without a portion, for they do not choose to deny. The drinkers are at the front, the pourers are companions in the seeking, the grazers remain at the gate. He keeps each of them in that for which he is worthy. He does not give the unworthy more, nor does He decrease what is worthy from those who are worthy.” That is the great bounty. In other words, it is the bounty in which the wrongdoer is mentioned along with the preceder.
It has been said that the wrongdoer is more excellent because He means him who has wronged himself by the great amount of obedience he has imposed on himself. It has been said that these were mentioned with the word “gave inheritance.” In dealing with inheritance, one begins with the obligatory, then the rest goes to relatives, even if those for whom it is obligatory to have less worthiness for it. Thus He says, “Among them are wrongdoers to themselves,” placing them before the preceders.
It has been said that the wrongdoers are those who abandon disobedience, the moderate are those who abandon ambiguity, and the preceders are those who abandon bounty altogether.It has been said that the wrongdoers have the knowledge of certainty, the moderate have the eye of certainty, and the preceders have the truth of certainty.
It has been said that the wrongdoers have affection, the moderate have bosom friendship, and the preceders have love.
It has been said that the wrongdoers have generosity, the moderate have munificence, and the preceders have largesse.
It has been said the wrongdoers have fear, the moderate have dread, and the preceders have awe.
It has been said that the wrongdoers seek this world, the moderate seek the afterworld, and the preceders seek the Patron.
It has been said that the wrongdoers are trying for ecstasy, the moderate have ecstasy, and the preceders have finding.
It has been said that the wrongdoers have presence, the moderate has unveiling, and the preceders have contemplation.
It has been said that the wrongdoers will see Him in the next world, in the measure of the days of this world, once every Friday. The moderate will see Him once every day. The preceders will of course never be veiled from Him. That is the great bounty.
35:33 Gardens of Eden that they will enter.
When He mentioned their sorts, He arranged them in levels. Now that He mentions the Garden, He mentions them together. He says, “Gardens of Eden that they will enter,” pointing out that their entrance into the Garden is not because of worthiness, but because of bounty, and in bounty there is no differentiation.
35:34 And they shall say, “Praise belongs to God, who has put away sorrow from us.”
The worth of the antidote is known by the snake-bitten, the worth of burning fire is known by the moth, the worth of Joseph’s shirt is known by grieving Jacob. When someone is deluded by his own safety and is given the antidote, how will he know its worth? If you want someone to know the worth and gravity of the antidote, you need him whose spirit has reached his lips. A poor man is needed, broken-hearted, suffering pain, and burdened with grief to know the worth of this caress and the exaltedness of this address: “Praise belongs to God, who has put away sorrow from us.”
Wait until tomorrow when that wounded-hearted poor man is placed on the throne of joy in the palisade of holiness while the servants act like his slaves to spread the carpet before the seat of his good fortune. The night of tribulation will have come to an end, the sun of felicity will have risen from the horizon of generous giving, and the Exalted Presence will set forth for him the gentle favors of generosity. With the tongue of joy and coquetry, he will say, “Praise belongs to God, who has put away sorrow from us.”
O indigent man! This world is the world of metaphor. It is clear what realities can be unveiled in the world of metaphor. It is obvious what can be painted on a gnat’s wing. This world is a prison. What marks of prisoners can be given but sorrow, grief, and longing? For these grief-stricken ones the day and the time of access will be tomorrow when the concealed gentlenesses and treasuries stored in the Unseen will come out from the covering of jealousy unscathed by hands and untouched by minds.