20:76 Therein dwelling forever; that is the recompense of those who purify themselves.
As for the marks of the coming of this good fortune and the traces of finding this rank and way station, these are that the servant lifts the veil of heedlessness from his road and pulls back his cloak from the legs of seriousness. He disciplines his soul with the courteous acts of the Shariah and takes the rightful due of the religion from the days of intelligence. He strives to straighten out his deeds and words according to the yardstick of the Shariah and the requisites of the Haqiqah. He makes the decree of the following verse requisite on himself. He knows that the Exalted Lord says, 20:82 Surely I am all-forgiving toward the one who repents and has faith and does wholesome deeds, and then is guided.
All-forgiving is an intensive form and requires manyness. In other words, God is vast in forgiveness. Toward the one who repents is the act of the servant, and the act does not require manyness. The allusion of the verse is that if the servant should turn back to the Real once in regret, the Exalted Lord will turn to him many times in gentleness and mercy. From the servant, there will be one step in the road of struggle and from God a thousand generosities by virtue of solicitude. “My servant, from you a little obedience, from Me great mercy; from you a bit of service, from Me many blessings.”
This is the same as what Muṣṭafā said, narrating from the Eternal Enactor: “When someone comes near to Me by a span, I come near to him by a cubit, and when someone comes near to Me by a cubit, I come near to him by a fathom.”
Surely I am all-forgiving toward the one who repents and has faith. It is known that repentance without faith is not sound. So what is the profit hereof and has faith? It means and has faith that his salvation does not come through his own repentance and obedience. His salvation comes only through His mercy. Ghaffār [all-forgiving] comes from ghafr, and the meaning of ghafr is to cover. It is to keep the servant concealed and to hold the curtain of pardon and mercy over his words and deeds, both obedience and disobedience. Not only do the servant’s acts of disobedience need concealing, but also his obedience needs concealing. If the blights of the servant’s obedience were brought forward, he would fear obedience more than he fears disobedience.
ʿĀʾisha narrated as follows: “I asked Muṣṭafā the meaning of the verse, Those who give what they give, their hearts quaking [23:60]. ‘Are they the ones who fornicate, steal, and drink wine’ “He replied, ‘No, they are the ones who pray, fast, give alms, and then fear that these will not be accepted.’”
Rābiʿa ʿAdawiyya often used to say, “I ask forgiveness from God for my lack of truthfulness in saying, ‘I ask forgiveness from God.’” Know, O chevalier, that the curtains are two: One has been lifted, and may it never be let down! The other has been let down, and may it never be lifted! The curtain that has been lifted is the veil of reflective thought before the hearts of the tawḥīd-voicers and the breasts of the faithful.
The curtain that has been let down is the covering of generosity before the words and deeds of the disobedient, the obedient, the sincerely truthful, and the Godward. By the decree of eternity, the curtain of generosity was lifted from the obedience of Iblis, so all of it became disobedience.
When someone is not worthy of union, all of his beautiful doing is sin. By the decree of gentleness and generosity, the curtain of pardon was let down over the slip of Adam. The beginningless solicitude loosened its tongue and said, “But he forgot, and We found in him no resoluteness” [20:115].
When someone is not worthy of separation,
all of his bodily members are hearts.