3:191 Who remember God, standing and sitting and on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth.
Those who remember are three: One remembers God with the tongue and is heedless with the heart. This is the remembrance of the wrongdoer, who is aware neither of the remembrance nor of the Remembered. Another remembers Him with the tongue and is present with the heart. This is the remembrance of the moderate and the state of the wage-earner. He is seeking reward and excused in his seeking. The third remembers Him with the heart; the heart is filled with Him, and his tongue is silent in remembrance. “When someone recognizes God, his tongue is mute.” This is the remembrance of the preceder. His tongue is lost in the remembrance, and the remembrance is lost in the Remembered. The heart is lost in love, and love in the Light. The spirit is lost in face-to-face vision, and face-to-face vision is far from explication.
The Pir of the Tariqah said, “Remembrance is not simply what you have on the tongue. True remembrance is what you have in the midst of the spirit. Tawḥīd is not simply that you know that He is one. True tawḥīd is that you be one for Him and a stranger to other than Him.” And reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth.
Abū ʿAlī Daqqāq asked Abū ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Sulamī whether remembrance was more complete or reflection. Abū ʿAbd al-Raḥmān answered, “Remembrance is more complete than reflection because remembrance is an attribute of the Real and reflection an attribute of creation. That by which the Real is described is more complete than that which is specific to creation.”
Reflecting on the heart is like sniffing for breath. Reflecting on one’s own deeds and words is mandatory, on the artifacts of the Artisan recommended, and on the Artisan’s Essence forbidden. In the report has come, “Do not reflect upon God, for surely you are not able to judge His measure.” He is saying: “Do not reflect on God’s Essence, for you will not reach His measure, nor will you recognize Him as is proper to Him, nor will you perceive the foundations of His majesty and tremendousness.” This is not because His majesty is hidden from the creatures. No, rather, it is extremely manifest and clear, but the insight of the Adamite is extremely weak and incapable, so he does not have the capacity to perceive it. On the contrary, he becomes confounded, bewildered, and perplexed. He is like a bat that does not come out in the daytime because its eyes are weak, for it does not have the capacity for sunlight. But this indeed is the degree of the common people.
As for the great ones and the sincerely truthful, sometimes they have the strength for this gaze, but not continuously. They are like people who can take one look at the sun’s disk, but not more than one look, for if they continue to look, there is fear that they will go blind. So, if someone wants to reflect, he does so on the wonders of His artisanry, for everything in existence is one of the lights of the Real’s power and tremendousness. If someone does not have the capacity to look at the sun’s disk continuously, he does have the capacity to look at rays of light upon the earth, and from them nothing increases but brightness and knowledge.