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21:78 And David and Solomon, when they gave judgment about the tillage.

David and Solomon shared with each other in terms of prophecy, but they were disparate in degree and excellence. Do you not see that in one question He gave Solomon superiority in knowledge? He singled out his understanding, for He said,

21:79 So We made Solomon understand this, and to both, We gave judgment and knowledge.

He gave Solomon such a tremendous kingdom, but He did not count it as a favor. Rather, He showed him its insignificance when He said, “This is Our gift, so bestow” [38:39], that is, “Give it to whomsoever you want because of its insignificance and meanness.” When He reached knowledge and understanding, He declared its eminence and counted it a favor toward him: “So We made Solomon understand this.”

The knowledge of understanding is beyond the knowledge of commentary and interpretation. Commentary comes through teaching and instruction, interpretation comes through right guidance and success-giving, and understanding without intermediary comes through Lordly inspiration. Commentary without a master is useless, interpretation without exertion is incorrect, and the possessor of understanding has no teacher other than the Real. Commentary and interpretation come through knowledge and striving, and understanding comes through finding and being pulled.

Ḥasan Baṣrī said, “I asked Ḥudhayfa Yamān about knowledge of inwardness,” that is, understanding. “Ḥudhayfa said that he asked God’s Messenger, who said, ‘a knowledge between God and His friends, of which no proximate angel or any of His creatures is aware.’” The understanding of these Men concerning the secrets of the Book and the Sunnah reached an inviolable sanctuary around which the imaginations of the lords of outwardness do not have the gall to circle. From each letter, they have a station, from each word a message, from each verse a realm, from each chapter a burning and a celebration. In their road threats are promised, and in their case promises are hard cash. Paradise and hell are way stations on their road, and everything less than the Real is for them unreal. In the desert of their present moment, this world and the next world are two miles. By day they are in the lodging of secret whispering, by night in the litter of joy. By day they gaze upon the artifacts, by night they contemplate the beauty of the Artisan. By day they are with the people in good character and by night with the Real in the footing of truthfulness [10:2]. By day they are in the work, by night. By day they seek the road, by night they speak of the mysteries.

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