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“Greater wrong than he who ruins the homeland of recognition with attachments? Who does greater wrong than he who ruins the homeland of contemplation by glancing at others?”

The homeland of worship is the soul of the renunciants, the homeland of recognition the heart of the recognizers, and the homeland of contemplation the secret core of the friends.

2:114 Who does greater wrong than he who bars God’s places of prostration?

When someone keeps his soul away from appetites, the homeland of his worship flourishes and his name is written in the register of the renunciants. Thus Mālik Dīnār lingered in Basra for forty years and never ate or tasted the dates of Basra, dried or fresh, before he died. He was asked about that and he said, “The possessor of appetite is veiled from his Lord.”

When someone keeps his heart pure of attachment, the homeland of his recognition flourishes and he belongs to the ranks of the recognizers. Thus one of them said about Ibrāhīm Adham, “I was with Ibrāhīm Adham in a journey, and we were afflicted with hunger. After we settled in a mosque he brought out some sections of the Qur’an he had with him and said, ‘Go and pawn these sections and bring us something to eat, for hunger has stricken us.’ I went out, and someone came forward to me in front of a fully laden mule. He was saying, ‘The one I am seeking is a light complexioned man called Ibrāhīm ibn Adham.’”

“I said, ‘What do you desire from him?’

“He said, ‘I am the slave of his father, and these things belong to him.’ So I led him to him. He entered the mosque, put his head and hands on the ground and kissed him. Ibrāhīm said, ‘Who are you?’ He said, ‘I am your father’s slave. Your father has died, and I have with me 40,000 dinars, your inheritance from your father. I am your slave. Command me as you wish.’

“Ibrāhīm said, ‘If you speak the truth, then you are free, for the sake of God. And what you have with you is all a gift to you. Leave us.’ After he left, he said, ‘My Lord, I spoke to You about a loaf of bread, so You showered this world down upon me. By Your rightful due! Even if You make me die from hunger, I will not again undertake to seek anything.’”

When someone keeps his secret core pure of glancing at others, the homeland of his contemplation flourishes and he becomes one of the friends. Thus Abū Yazīd Basṭāmī turned the eyes of his aspiration completely away from all others, stuffed the ears of striving, and pulled the tongue of loss into the mouth of disappointment. He extracted the intrusion of the commanding soul, put himself in the ballista of meditation, shot himself into every valley, melted his body with the fire of jealousy in all the crucibles, and drove the horse of seeking into the space of every desert. With the tongue of solitariness, he was saying, “People are wishing for repose and comfort, but I, O Exalted One, wish to encounter You empty. “Each has a prayer-niche in some direction, but Sanāʾī’s prayer-niche is Your street.” [DS 1004]

Abū Yazīd said, “When this claim appeared from my makeup, the Unity made me taste the blow of jealousy. He questioned me with awesomeness to show me how to come out of the furnace of testing. He said, ‘Whose is the kingdom?’ [40:16].

“I said, ‘Yours, O Lord.’

“He said, ‘Whose is the free choice?’

“I said, “Yours, O God.’

“When He saw and knew my weakness and need, He was aware that my attributes had reached His attributes. He said, ‘O Abū Yazīd! Now that you have come to have nothing, you have everything. Now that you have come to have no tongue and no spirit, you have tongue and spirit.’”

Other than this tongue we have another tongue,

other than hell and paradise, we have another place.

Men of free lineage live with another spirit,

their pure substance has another source.

“Then He gave me a tongue of self-sufficient gentleness, a heart of light, and an eye of divine artisanry such that if I speak, I speak with His assistance. I walk with His strength, I see with His light, I take with His power, and I sit in His session: ‘I am his hearing and he hears through Me, his eyesight and he sees through Me.’

“When I reached this station, my tongue became the tongue of tawḥīd and my spirit the spirit of disengagement. I do not speak for myself, nor do I come back to myself. In reality, the speaker is He, and I am a spokesman in the midst.” This is what the Unity said: ‘Thou didst not throw when thou threwest, but God threw’ [8:17].”

“I am his hand and he takes through Me” is this, if you have recognition. The outside of both worlds is the inside of my heart— my place is one step beyond the created world. Tribulation lies only in the makeup of my water and clay. What was before water and clay? That is what I will be.

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