21:87-88 And Dhu’l-Nūn, when he went forth wrathful and thought that We would not have power over him. Then he called out in the darknesses, “There is no god but Thou, glory be to Thee!
Surely I am one of the wrongdoers.” So We responded to him and delivered him from sorrow. God has friends who would begin to lament from the lack of trial if for the blink of an eye the assistance of the army of the trial were cut off from their days—just as the folk of the world grieve at the lack of blessings, they begin to wail from the lack of trying. The more they see the blows of the times and of trial, the more they are passionate about their trial. The hotter the flames of their passion, then, like moths, the more they are entranced by their trouble.
The tale they tell about the days and the state of that exalted one of the road, that chosen one of the King, Jonah the prophet, has exactly this attribute. He was a man cleansed by the crucible of trial, ground down by the millstone of tribulation, his head struck by the whip of rebuke without special favor. The more his liver was turned into kabob in the incense-burner of trial, the more he became passionate for his trial, for when he was shown the moon-like beauty of passion for the Haqiqah, he was shown it in the street of trial and the room of tribulation. The traditions narrate that “When God loves a servant, a trial is poured down all over him.”
Riḍwān and all the slave-boys are servants of the dust under the feet of the folk of trial. The beginningless welcome and the unseen request are prepared in the name of the folk of trial. The divine love is the food of the secret cores of the folk of trial. The lordly gentleness and mercy are trustees specific to the folk of trial. The eternal attributes are the supplies and provisions of the folk of trial. The pure, incomparable Essence is witnessed by the hearts of the folk of trial. He loves them, and they love Him [5:54] is the pavilion of the Unseen’s gift and bestowal for the folk of trial. Their Lord will pour for them [76:21] is the end and outcome of the folk of trial.“There is no god but Thou, glory be to Thee! Surely I am one of the wrongdoers.” So We responded to him. In terms of allusion He is reporting that whenever any servant supplicates with a supplication within which are found three things, that supplication will be linked to the response. First is tawḥīd, second is the declaration of incomparability, and third is an acknowledgment of one’s sins. Thus Jonah the prophet began with tawḥīd, saying, “There is no god but Thou.” Then he joined it to the declaration of incomparability, saying, “Glory be to Thee!” Then he acknowledged his own sin, saying “Surely I am one of the wrongdoers.” Once these three traits were gathered together in his supplication, the response came from the Divine Presence: “So We responded to him and delivered him from sorrow.”
Tawḥīd is that you say with the tongue that God is one and you know with the heart that He is one—one, in Essence, one in attributes, exempt from attachments, hallowed beyond blights, and incomparable with intermixing. None but He is worthy of gratitude and being owed for favors, no one but He has power and strength, from no one else come granting and bestowal. Know also that tawḥīd becomes sound when someone has a limpid heart, a high aspiration, and an empty breast; he has not become prey of this world, nor is he shackled to the afterworld. Nothing hangs on to him, nor is he mixed with anything. Then the beauty of tawḥīd is unveiled to him and he is described as perceiving its secret.
Dhu’l-Nūn Miṣrī was seen in a dream, with an approved state and praiseworthy days. It was said to him, “O Dhu’l-Nūn, what is your state and where have your days taken you? Where is your spirit, and what have you found in the Friend’s dealings with you?” He answered, “I asked for three wishes from the Friend. He gave two of them and therein fulfilled my hope. I am waiting for the third. One is that I said, ‘O King, before the angel of death becomes aware of my work, take up my spirit and do not leave me with him.’ He fulfilled my hope. Another is that I said, ‘O King, place me in the garden of approval without any obligation toward Riḍwān, and do not turn me over to anyone.’ He did that and He completed His blessings toward me with His bounty. My third wish, for which I am waiting, is that I said, ‘O King, give me permission to say Your name in the field of Your majesty in the row of the sincerely truthful and the tawḥīd-voicers, to run in the majestic house of all those in union with You, to keep on shouting in the assembly of Your recognizers, and to keep on circumambulating the Kaaba of union with You.’ I hope that He will also respond to this.”