Be careful not to mix truth and falsehood. Do not put truthfulness together with lying, the approved together with the unapproved. I do not say not to recognize a falsehood. You must recognize it so as to avoid it, and you must recognize truth so as go after it. Muṣṭafā said, “O God, show us the truth as truth and provide us with choosing it, and show us falsehood as falsehood and provide us with avoiding it.”
Concerning the verse, “And confuse not truth with falsehood,” the masters of the realities have said that the meaning is that you should not mix together the share of the soul and the food of the heart, for the two do not get along. The owner of the heart is elated at the rightful due of truth, but the servant of the soul is bound by the share of the soul. How can the two come together? This world is trifling and the next world precious. How can the two get along? Friendship with the Creator is beginningless and endless felicity, but friendship with the created is a ready bane. How can the two come together? God has not given any man two hearts in his breast [33:4]. God-worship and self-worship are opposites. How can the two be brought together in one makeup?
2:45 And seek help in patience and the prayer, though it indeed is hard, except for the humble.
The command came to Prophet | “O Master, tell your community to have patience in their affairs so that they may reach what they desire. ‘Patience is the key to relief.’”
Once that paragon of the world stepped into this playing field, he was not left for one hour without sorrow and grief. “What, did you reckon that We created you aimlessly?” [23:115]. If once he placed his foot on the ground boldly, the command would come, “Walk not in the earth exultantly” [17:37].
The address came from the Exalted Presence, “O paragon! When someone’s heart and spirit witness Me, will he complain of the burden of trial?” All the matter of grief in the treasuries of the Unseen was poured into one cup and placed in his hand, and then a curtain was lifted from his secret core: “O paragon! Drink all this matter while contemplating My beauty! And be patient with thy Lord’s decree, for surely thou art in Our eyes [52:48].”
Though it indeed is hard, except for the humble. Humbleness is a stipulation of the prayer. It is a mark of the servant’s need. The humble in the prayer are praised by the Real and chosen among the creatures. Prosperous are the faithful, those who are humble in their prayers [23:1-2]. Humbleness in the prayer is both outward and inward. The outward is that you keep your limbs within the stipulations of courtesy. You do not look right and left. You keep your eyes on the spot of prostration while standing, on the feet while bowing, on the tip of the nose while prostrating, and on your side while bearing witness.
God’s Messenger said that looking around during the prayer is to give Iblis a portion of it. He also said, “When the servant stands to pray, he is before the eyes of the All-Merciful. When he looks around, God says, ‘Child of Adam! To whom are you looking? Are you looking at someone better for you than I? Child of Adam! Look at Me, for I am better for you than the one at whom you are looking.’”
Inward humbleness is the fear of the heart, whether from remembrance and reflection or intoxication and gratitude. When God’s Messenger prayed, his inward humbleness was such that everyone heard his heart’s essence.”
It has come in the traditions that in one of the battles, ʿAlī was struck by an arrow. The arrowhead was so stuck in his bone that as much as they tried, it could not be separated. They said, “Unless the flesh and skin are taken away and the bone is broken, this arrowhead cannot be separated.” His elders and young ones said, “If this is the case, we must wait until he is praying, for we always see that in the devotions of the prayer it is as if he has no awareness of the world.”
They waited until he was finished with the obligatory acts and customs of the prayer and began with the supererogatory and additional acts. The physician came, opened up the flesh, broke the bone, and took out the arrowhead while ʿAlī remained as he was in the state of prayer. When he gave the greeting to complete the prayer, he said, “My pain has eased.”
They told him what had happened to him while he was unaware. He said, “When I am in whispered prayer with God, the world might turn upside down, or they might strike me with swords and spears, but I would not be aware of the bodily pain because of the pleasure of the whispered prayer.”
So we know that in reality, the contemplation of God’s majesty, beauty, exaltedness, and awesomeness by the heart and secret core of ʿAlī’s spirit was greater than the contemplations of this world.