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In the name of God, whose name is the shelter of everyone fearful; in the name of God, whose name is the refuge from Satan; in the name of God, whose remembrance is the hidden wealth of every lover’s heart. In the name of Him whose name is the foundation of all good things, in the name of Him in whose name the heart is freed from sorrows, in the name of Him in whose name alone the recognizer’s heart becomes happy, in the name of Him in the warmth of union with whom the yearner’s heart remembers. In the name of Him who gave names to both loyalty and generosity in order to complete the blessing of familiarity with water and clay; in the name of Him who made His love a snare for the yearner and poured union in the servant’s cup in place of warmth; in the name of Him who made sleep unlawful for the lover’s eyes in order to set up the compact of his friendship with Him; in the name of Him who said “Peace!” to the spirit of the anticipator in order to put his heart in repose and ease[56:89], then bewildered his outwardness at the hand of the enemy and made his inwardness the quarry of grief.

O chevalier! If He turns the millstone of trial on your head, take care not to step back from the doorstep of His service. If He makes the stages of hell’s descending levels the bodkin of your eyes, be careful not to take a breath without His approval. For the exaltedness is His exaltedness, and the exaltedness of others is all abasement and incapacity, annihilation and nonexistence. The decree is His decree, and the decree of others is all bias, caprice, and injustice.

The Pir of the Tariqah said, “O God, if You act with bounty, what does it matter if others are just or unjust? If You act with justice, the bounty of others is like the wind. O God, what I have seen from You adorns the two worlds. The wonder is that my spirit has no ease because of fearing Your justice.”

18:1 Praise belongs to God who sent down the Book to His servant and placed no crookedness therein.

Praise belongs to God. He praised Himself by Himself since He knew the incapacity of creatures to reach His praise. The majestic Lord, the perfectly powerful, the fount of bounteous bestowal, the one worthy of His own laudation, the one who gives thanks for His own giving—He Himself praises Himself and He Himself lauds Himself, for He Himself recognizes His exaltedness and He Himself knows His tremendousness and all-compellingness. He is exalted through His own majesty, holy through His own perfection, magnificent through His own magnificence. How will water and dust ever reach His description? How can that which was not, then came to be, know His measure? How can the attributes of newly arrived things match His attributes? That which was not, then came to be, is not. How can the recognition of that which is come from that which is not? The Exalted Lord brought the creatures into existence with His bounty and generosity. He clothed them in the garment of creation, nurtured them and preserved them from trials, accepted their obedience with all its shortcoming, and concealed their iniquity and disloyalty in the curtain of bounty. He gave them the success of obedience and adorned their hearts with faith and recognition. Since He knew that the servants were incapable of discharging gratitude for these blessings, He uncovered His bounty and generosity, made the tongue of gentleness a deputy for the indigent and incapable, and praised Himself. He said “Praise belongs to God.” In the road of love, it is a stipulation of friendship to act as deputy for friends. He said, “All those blessings that I gave without you and I apportioned without you. Just as I apportioned without you, so also I praised without you. By virtue of friendship, I acted as your deputy so as to complete My beautiful doing and beneficence toward you.”

Who sent down the Book to His servant. Who is an allusion. Sent down the Book to His servant is an expression. Allusions are the portion of the spirits, and expressions are the portion of the [bodily] semblances. The spirits, on hearing who, were elated and came into revelry. The semblances, on hearing sent down the Book to His servant, began to struggle and took to the road of seeking. This verse is both a singling out of Muṣṭafā, the Seal of the Prophets, and a declaration of the greatness of the Qur’an, the speech of the All-Merciful. As for Muṣṭafā, he is the security of the earth and the adornment of heaven; as for the Qur’an, it is a reminder for the hearts of the faithful and closeness for the spirits of the recognizers. Muṣṭafā is the guard of the Shariah’s road and the title page of the Haqiqah. The Qur’an is a provision for the hearts and clarification for the spirits. Muṣṭafā is the whole of perfection and the totality of beauty. The Qur’an is a book from the Majestic Presence to the servants, a book in which there are both good news and warning. It gives this good news to the friends:

18:2-3 They shall have a beautiful wage, remaining therein endlessly.

It gives this warning to the strangers:

18:5 They say nothing but a lie.

18:6 Perhaps thou art consuming thyself with grief in their tracks that they do not have faith in this talk.

“O Muḥammad! Do not busy your secret core with their opposition. It is only for you to deliver the message; guidance comes from Us to whomsoever We will.”

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