2:129 “Our Lord, and raise up amidst them a messenger from among them, who will recite Thy signs to them, teach them the Book and the Wisdom, and purify them. Surely Thou art the Exalted, the Wise.”
2:130 And who shrinks from the creed of Abraham but one foolish in himself? We chose him in this world, and in the next world, he shall be among the wholesome.
One of these two verses is in praise of the Beloved [Muḥammad], the other in praise of the Bosom Friend [Abraham]. Although both are caressed and worthy prophets, adorned by the generous bestowal and the bounteousness of the Lord, there is a difference between the Beloved and the Bosom Friend! The Bosom Friend is the desirer, and the Beloved the desired. The desirer is the wanter, and the desired the wanted. The desirer is the traveler, and the desired is the snatched away. The desirer stands in the station of service in his traveling, and the desired stands on the carpet of companionship in the pulling of the Real. When someone is in his own traveling, his road will not be empty of deception. This is why the Bosom Friend’s road, despite the greatness of his state, was not empty of deception. Thus, when the star of deception came into his road, he said, “This is my Lord” [6:76].
In the same way, the Lordhood kept on opening up ambuscades of deception by means of the moon and the sun. Finally, protection took the reins of his bosom friend and pulled him to itself from the world of deception. He said, “Surely I have turned my face toward Him Who originated the heavens and the earth, unswerving” [6:79].
Muṣṭafā, however, was in the pull of the Real. The ambuscade of deception was not able to make his road steep. Rather, on that night everything that was not and then came to be sought his help from deception. They had recourse to the lights of his Shariah against deception and backsliding. He was confirmed by the Real’s pull to such an extent that he did not look at any of that from the corner of his eye. The eyesight did not swerve, nor did it trespass [53:17].
There is as much difference between the Bosom Friend and the Beloved as there is between the traveler and the snatched away. The Bosom Friend had the attribute of servitors at the threshold of Lordhood, standing on his own feet: “Surely I have turned my face toward Him Who originated the heavens and the earth, unswerving.” The Beloved was sitting in joy in the Presence of Unity in the row of the near and the confidants: “The blessed salutations and the goodly prayers belong to God.”
This sitting is the place of the snatched away, and that standing is the station of the travelers. The Bosom Friend was in his own traveling when he said, “And who I hope will forgive me my offense on the Day of Doom” [26:82]. The Beloved was in the pull of the Real when it was said to him, “So that God may forgive thee thy sins” [48:2]. The Bosom Friend said, “Disgrace me not on the day when they are raised up [26:87]: O Lord, do not shame me on the day of the Upraising.” About the Beloved He said, “The day when God will not disgrace the Prophet [66:8]: We will not shame him.”
The Bosom Friend said, “God suffices me” [39:38]. It was said to the Beloved, “O Prophet, God suffices thee” [8:64]. The Bosom Friend said, “Surely I am going to my Lord” [37:99]. It was said about the Beloved, “Who took His servant by night” [17:1]. What a difference between the two! The Bosom Friend is the one who acts so that God will approve of him. The Beloved is the one for whom God decrees what is approved and desired by him. This is why He says, “Thy Lord shall bestow upon thee so that thou shalt approve” [93:5].
Our Lord, and raise up amidst them a messenger from among them, who will recite Thy signs to them, teach them the Book and the Wisdom, and purify them. Concerning the reason for the arrangement of the words of this verse, the folk of the meanings has said that the first-way station of Muṣṭafā’s prophethood is that he made manifest the signs and marks of his prophethood to the people and recited God’s Book to them. This is why He says first, “who will recite Thy signs to them.” Then, after reciting the Book, teaching is needed, that is, he should teach the Book’s realities and meanings to the people so that they may perceive them and put them into practice.
Teaching them the Book conveys them to wisdom. For, if someone recites the Book, perceives its realities, and puts it into practice, inescapably the knowledge of wisdom will show itself to him. Then through the knowledge of wisdom, he will become pure and virtuous, worthy of the neighborhood of the Real. This is the reason for the arrangement of the verse—first He said recitation, then teaching, then wisdom, then purification. And God knows best.