It is narrated from Wahab ibn Munabbih that God sent a revelation to Adam: “O Adam, I am the Lord of the world and the world’s folk, the creator of all, the king doing what I desire. I am the Lord of Bakka, and those who dwell there are My neighbors. Those who visit are My delegates, My guests, and under My protection. I will populate this spot with the folk of heaven and earth. They will come in droves from every direction and every region, their hair disheveled and their faces covered with dust from the suffering of the road, saying ‘God is greater’ and reciting ‘Here I am,’ their faces turned toward the blessed desert, the earth-colored with the blood of sacrifice. “O Adam! When someone visits this house and is self-purifying in that, he is My guest and one of Mine, one of those near to Me. It is worthy of My majesty to honor him and to bring him to forgiveness through the gift of mercy and bestowal. O Adam! Among your children is a prophet by the name of Abraham, My bosom friend, chosen by Me. With his hand, I will establish it, and I will command him to build it. I will make its eminence appear, bring to light its watering-place, mark its sanctuary, and teach him how to worship Me there. After him, I will have the world’s folk keep it inhabited and place respect and reverence for it in their hearts. Then will come the turn of Muḥammad the Arab, the Seal of the Prophets, the lamp of heaven and earth. I will make it his birthplace and origin, the place where revelation falls upon him, and the domicile of his honor. I will put its watering-place, deputyship, and rulership in his hand. Then I will put love for it in the hearts of the faithful from the corners of the earth. They will come, bareheaded and barefoot, their goods and means put aside, their lives placed in their hands, their hair disheveled, their faces covered with dust. They will all go and circumambulate that house, asking Me for forgiveness. O Adam! If someone asks you what I will do with them, say that I am with them in knowledge, I am found by their souls and present in their hearts, and I am the cure of their pain. I am concealed from their eyes, but I am face-to-face with their spirits.”
2:196 And complete the hajj and the umrah for God.
The hajj of the common people is one thing, the hajj of the elect something else. The hajj of the common people sets out for the street of the Friend, the hajj of the elect sets out for the face of the Friend. That is going to the Friend’s house, this is going to the Friend. The common people went with their souls and saw doors and walls. The elect went with their spirits and found conversation and vision.
He who goes with the soul finds suffering and carries burdens in order to circle the Kaaba. He who goes with the spirit finds rest and ease, and the Kaaba itself circles around his house. In this meaning, there is the story of Ibrāhīm Khawāṣṣ. He said that once in his deprivation he found himself wandering in Byzantium, just as the Men fall anywhere, bewildered and perplexed, helpless and having lost the thread.
The news in Byzantium was that the king’s daughter had become mad, and her father had bound her with the bonds of madmen. The physicians were all helpless to cure her. From time to time she would breathe a cold breath and rain down hot tears, sometimes weeping, sometimes laughing. It occurred to him that something could be done. He went to the door of the king’s house and said, “I have come to cure the sick person.”
When the king’s eyes fell on him, he said, “It seems you have come to cure my daughter. I suppose you are a physician.”
He said, “Yes, I have a Lord who is a physician. I have come to cure your daughter.”
He said, “Look at the battlements of the castle. What do you see?”
Ibrāhīm looked and saw severed heads placed on those battlements.
The king said, “If someone does not cure her, what you see is his recompense.”
He said, “I have nothing to fear.”
They tell me, “You’ll destroy yourself.”
When the king saw that he had seen those heads on the battlement and thought nothing of it, he pointed him to the room of his daughter. He went forth and had not yet stepped foot into the room when he heard this call, “Say to the faithful that they cast down their eyes” [24:30]. He stayed right there, distracted by her situation and bewildered by her state. Again he heard a call: “O Son of Khawāṣṣ! A drink that increases nothing but thirst! A portion of food that increases nothing but consternation!”
From behind the curtain, he said, “O servant girl of God! What is this state?”
She said, “O shaykh! Once I was sitting amidst joy and blessings with my slave girls and special friends. Suddenly a pain fell into my heart and sorrow reached my spirit. I was annihilated from myself and became enraptured. I had not yet come back to my room before that pain became consolidated and the work was completed.”
She said, “When I gained some ease from that ecstasy and distraction, I found myself in bonds and chains. I approved of His judgment and was satisfied with His decree. I knew that He does not want bad for His friends, so let us see what this work reaches in the end.”
Ibrāhīm said, “What do you say that we contrive a stratagem in order to go to the Abode of Submission and cultivate the submission. It would be a shame if I were to leave a dear one like you in the Abode of Unbelief.”
She said, “O Son of Khawāṣṣ! What kind of manliness is it to nurture the submission in the Abode of Submission? The man is he who takes up Islam in the Abode of Unbelief and nurtures it in spirit and heart. What is there in the Abode of Submission that is not here?”
He said, “The eminent, magnificent, noble Kaaba, which is the goal of pilgrims and the witnessing place of the yearners!”
She said, “Have you visited the Kaaba?”
He said, “I have visited it 70 times.”
She said, “Look up!”
He looked up and saw the Kaaba standing on top of her house. Then she said, “O Son of Khawāṣṣ! Whoever goes by foot visits the Kaaba, but when someone goes by heart, the Kaabah visits him.”
He said, “By that God who has exalted you with the exaltedness of the submission! Tell me the secret of this. How did you reach this station?”
She said, “Nothing I did was worthy of that Presence, but I approved of His judgment and was satisfied with His decree.”
He said, “How will I now contrive to leave this place?”
She said, “Standing as you are now, just turn your face to the road and go until you reach your goal.” With her charisma, a road appeared that had no veil or hindrance, and no one was aware of him. He left her house and the Abode of Unbelief and returned to the Abode of Submission.