6:122 What, is he who was dead, and We gave him life, making for him a light whereby he walks among the people, like one who is in the darknesses, not coming out from them?
The life of recognition is one thing, and the life of mortal nature something else. The world’s folk live through the life of mortal nature, and the friends live through the life of recognition. The life of mortal nature comes to an end when this world ends and the term arrives. When their term comes, they shall not put it back by an hour, nor put it forward [7:34]. But it is fitting that the life of recognition never come to an end, for recognition will never be finished. Day by day it is more and closer to the Real. God says, “We shall surely give him to live a goodly life” [16:97].
Junayd was washing the corpse of one of his disciples. He took hold of Junayd’s index finger and said, “This one is being transferred from abode to abode. His friends do not die. Rather, they are taken from their secret cores to another house.”
Junayd said, “Yes, I know, such is the case. But you must let go of my finger so that I can wash you and carry out the custom of the Shariah.”
Abū ʿAbdallāh Khafīf said that Abu’l-Ḥasan Muzayyan said, “I went to Mecca, and Shaykh Abū Yaʿqūb Aqṭaʿ was in the state of going. They said to me, ‘If he looks at you, present the Shahadah to him.’ They took me as inexperienced because I was a child. I sat at his pillow, and he looked at me. I said, ‘O Shaykh, bear witness that there is no god but God!’” He said, “You mean me? By the exaltedness of Him who does not taste death! Nothing remains between Him and me save the veil of exaltedness.”
Shaykh al-Islām said, “The curtain of His exaltedness is He, for He indeed is He, and you are you.”
Abū ʿAbdallāh Khafīf said, “A man was burning in the Divinity beyond the curtain of exaltedness, and they came and presented him with the Shahadah!”
Abu’l-Ḥusayn Muzayyan for a time used to say, “A beggar like me came so that I could present the Shahadah to His friends!”
Shāh Kirmānī recited this verse and then said, “The mark of this life is three things: Finding closeness by losing dread, being filled with solitariness by the constancy of remembrance, and being aware of awe by the purity of watchfulness.” It is retirement from the creatures and solitariness with the Real, the tongue with the remembrance and the heart with reflection; sometimes in awe from gazing upon majesty and exaltedness, sometimes in hope from gazing upon gentleness during watchfulness. One’s spirit is constantly roasted in the pan of passion and burnt like a moth. In the dark night, at wit’s end like the distracted, one hopes that by dawn the morning of “God descends” will arrive, for He attends to the ill. He says, “O angels, you circumambulate their hearts so that I may place a balm on their wounds.”