“O master of masters! O paragon of engendered beings! You are generous and lovingly kind, gentle and ever-merciful to everyone. You drive everyone by customs that hit the mark. You call everyone to the table of exaltedness and convey to everlasting felicity. You caress the familiar and you show the road to the estranged. You are mercy itself for the world’s folk, a cause of generous giving to all the servants. O master, there is all of this, but take care not to see yourself. Do not consider these as your own acquisitions, for all of them are I. It is I who was, I who caressed, I who made, and I put you to that. I gave you a sweet disposition. O paragon, keep on being this way to the faithful and the friends—with the same loving kindness and the same sweet disposition: And lower thy wing to the faithful who follow thee [26:215]. But, with the unbelievers and hypocrites, you should be a bit harder and struggle against them: O Prophet! Struggle against the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and be hard with them [9:73].”
3:159 It was by mercy of God that thou wert soft with them. Hadst thou been harsh and hard of heart, they would have scattered from around thee. So pardon them, ask forgiveness for them, and consult with them in the affair. And when thou art resolved, trust in God. Surely God loves those who trust.
There is a great difference between the Beloved [Muḥammad] and the Speaking Companion [Moses]. He commanded the Beloved to be harsh with the unbelievers and he called him back from cajolery, for in his disposition all was softness and benevolence. To the Speaking Companion, He said the opposite: “Speak to him with soft words” [20:44]. He commanded him to softness and benevolence, and He called him back from the sharpness and hardness that was within him. Then He says, “Hadst thou been harsh and hard of heart, they would have scattered from around thee. O master, if you were to give the unmixed warmth of tawḥīd to your companions, without the admixture of their own shares, they would flee and no longer come around you. O master, they do not have the capacity to put up with what your capacity puts up with. When someone’s night and morning are in the Presence of Unity, how can others be equal to him or have any affinity with him?”
The master himself gave this report of himself: “I am not like any of you—I spend the night at my Lord; He gives me to eat and drink.” At another time he said, “I have a moment with God embraced by no proximate angel, nor any sent prophet.” Muṣṭafā taught this courtesy of the religion to the creatures.
He said, “‘Speak to the people in the measure of their intellects.’ Speak to everyone in the measure of his intellect and do not lay upon him what he is unable to bear.”
So pardon them. “O Master! Pardon their shortcomings toward your rightful due and your work, and pass over it. As for their shortcomings toward My rightful due, you be their intercessor and ask for forgiveness from Me.”
So pardon them, and ask forgiveness for them. So pardon them is an allusion to togetherness, for it is a decree. The one who decrees, in reality, is God, and the Messenger follows. Ask forgiveness for them is an allusion to dispersion, which is the station of abasement and servanthood. This is the custom of the Lord with the prophets and friends—sometimes He puts them in togetherness, sometimes in dispersion. Togetherness without dispersion is disbelief, and dispersion without togetherness is associationism. Togetherness is the Haqiqah itself, and dispersion is the path of servanthood. When these two traits come together in someone, he is on the road of the Sunnah and the congregation and walks straight on the Tariqah and the Shariah.
And consult with them in the affair. “O Master! The states of the travelers in this road are diverse. One falls short, so ask pardon for him. One repents, so ask forgiveness for him. One is obedient, so consult with him.”
And when thou art resolved, trust in God. Surely God loves those who trust. Resoluteness has a reality, and the basis of that reality is the rightness of what is desired. The togetherness of the heart is the basis of solidity in the religion, jealousy in the affair, and straightness in the present moment. Resoluteness is of three sorts. One sort is the resoluteness of repentance, the second the resoluteness of service, and the third the resoluteness of the Haqiqah. All three are built on trust, and trust has a root, a precondition, and a fruit. Its root is a certainty. Its precondition is faith; this is alluded to in His words, “And in God put your trust, if you have faith” [5:23]. Its fruit is the Real’s love; this is in His words, “Surely God loves those who trust.”
Master Abū ʿAlī Daqqāq said, “Trust has three levels. First is trust, second is surrender, third is delegation. Trust is the beginning, surrender the middle, and delegation is the end. Trust is the attribute of the common people, surrender the attribute of the elect, and delegation the attribute of the elect. Trust is the attribute of the prophets generally, surrender the attribute of Abraham specifically, and delegation the attribute of the Seal of the Prophets, Muṣṭafā, most specifically. The possessor of trust has his ear to the Real’s promise. The possessor of surrender is at ease in the knowledge of the Real. The possessor of delegation approves of God’s decree. When someone has trust, he is seeking bestowal. When someone has delegation, he is at ease with approval in the gathering place of repose and ease [56:89]. This is why the Lord of the Worlds says, ‘And approval from God is greatest—that is the tremendous triumph’” [9:72].