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10:42 Among them are those who listen to thee.

The listeners are diverse and their degrees disparate. One hears through nature with the ear of the head; he was sleeping and listening wakes him up and relieves him of sorrow. Another hears through the state with the ear of the heart; he was resting and listening brings him into the movement until the breeze of closeness blows. Another hears through the Real with a soul that is dead, a heart that is thirsty, and a burning breath; the beginningless reminder arrives, the spirit takes its ease in loving kindness, and the secret core is filled with love.

Bū Sahl Ṣuʿlūk said, “In listening to the listener is between curtaining and self-disclosure. The curtaining of the Real belongs to the beginners. It is the mark of mercy’s gaze on the work of the Men, for in their weakness and incapacity they are not able to bear the unveiling of the ruling power of the Haqiqah.”

In this meaning, it has been recounted from Manṣūr Maghribī that he said, “I alighted at a camp of nomads. A young man made me his guest. Suddenly he fell down unconscious, so I asked about his state. I was told that he was in love with the daughter of his uncle and that she had just come out of her tent. The youth had seen the dust of her garment as she went, so he fell down unconscious. I got up and went to the doorway of that tent and interceded for the youth. I said, ‘A stranger among you has respect and safeguards. I have come to intercede with you in the business of this young man. Be kind to him in his longing.’

This is the state of the desirer, for He keeps him covered by the curtain of selfhood so that he will not be totally burnt and melted by the assaults of the Haqiqah. He sees no more than one flash of the lightning of the Haqiqah, and it brings him into movement; he shouts out, tears his clothing, and weeps. Again, when he reaches the place of straightness and achieves stability in the reality of solitariness, the breeze of proximity begins to blow on him from the horizon of self-disclosure. His movement is changed to stillness, for the influxes of awesomeness bring forth courtesy with the Presence. This is why the Lord of the Worlds says, “When they were in [the Qur’an’s] presence, they said, ‘Give ear!’”[46:29].

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