27:15 And We gave David and Solomon knowledge.
In this verse, the Lord of the Worlds lays a favor on David and Solomon, for He taught them the knowledge of the religion. Religion is a comprehensive name that comprises submission, faith, the Sunnah, and the congregation, performing obedient acts and worship, and avoiding unbelief and disobedience. This is the religion of the angels by which they worship and obey God, and it is the religion of the prophets and messengers from Adam to Muḥammad.
The prophets and messengers invited their communities to it, as the Lord of the Worlds says: “He has set down for you like the religion that with which He counseled Noah, and what We have revealed to thee, and that with which we charged Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: Uphold the religion, and scatter not regarding it” [42:13].
This religion is extremely obvious and unveiled to the folk of felicity, but extremely hidden from the folk of wretchedness. The Real gives religion-recognizing eyesight only to the folk of felicity. Only the folk of this eyesight recognize the religion, as the Prophet said: “How is it that you are with your religion like the moon when it is full, but only the seeing see it?”
It has also been narrated that he said, “I have brought you a white, immaculate splendor whose night is like its day. For those of you who live, a great diversity will be seen among you after me concerning my Sunnah and that of the rightly guided vicegerents, so hold fast to it.”
Religion in its totality is built on two things: listening and following. Listening is that you accept with spirit and heart the revelation sent down on Muṣṭafā. Then you go straight by following him. That is His words, “Whatever the Messenger gives you, take” [59:7].
And We gave David and Solomon knowledge. In the tongue of the folk of recognition and the tasting of the lords of finding, this is the knowledge of understanding. The knowledge of understanding is the knowledge of the Haqiqah.
Junayd was asked, “What is the knowledge of the Haqiqah?”
He said, “The God-given, Lordly knowledge—the attributes gone, the Haqiqah staying.”
The state of the recognizer is exactly this: the attributes gone, the Haqiqah staying. The common people are in a station in which the attributes are apparent and the Haqiqah concealed. As for the folk of an election, the attributes have ceased to be and the Haqiqah stays. That chevalier has said this beautifully in the line,
Endless passion has nothing to do with a heart
that stays firm in its own attributes. [DS 209]
First there is the knowledge of the Haqiqah, above this the eye of the Haqiqah, and beyond that the truth of the Haqiqah. The knowledge of the Haqiqah is recognition, the eye of the Haqiqah is finding, and the truth of the Haqiqah is annihilation. The knowledge of the Haqiqah is what you have of the Real. The eye of the Haqiqah is the Real through which you are. The truth of the Haqiqah is your dissolution in the Real. Recognition means shinākht [in Persian], and finding [wujūd] means yāft. Between recognition and finding are more than a thousand valleys. Junayd said, “This group did not come down from the Patron for the sake of recognition—they seek so as to find.” Poor man, how will you find Him when you are incapable of recognition?
It is also Junayd who was asked, “How is it that one finds Him?” He did not answer but stood up from his place. In other words, this answer is given by the heart, not the tongue. He who has it knows. The light of faith comes from finding God. It is not that finding God comes from the light of faith.”
Ḥallāj said, “When someone seeks God with the light of faith, that is like seeking the sun with a star’s light. He, however, stands in His measure and abides in His exaltedness. He is far in His exaltedness and near in His gentleness.”
27:59 Say: “The praise belongs to God, and peace be upon His servants whom He has chosen.”
Know that the stations of the religion’s road are of two sorts: One sort is called the preliminaries, for they are not the goal in themselves. These are like repentance, patience, fear, renunciation, poverty, and self-accounting, all of which are the means of approach to something beyond themselves. The second sort is called the destinations or the ends, for they are the goal in themselves. These are like love, yearning, approval, tawḥīd, and trust, all of which are goals in themselves. They are not needed as the means of approach to something else. Praise of God and thanking and lauding Him are of this sort, for they are goals in themselves. Anything that is a goal in itself will remain at the resurrection and will never be cut off in paradise.
Praise pertains to this category because the Exalted Lord says about the attribute of the paradise-dwellers, “And the last of their supplication will be ‘Praise belongs to God, the Lord of the worlds’” [10:10]; “Praise belongs to God, who has put away sorrow from us” [35:34]; “Praise belongs to God, who was truthful in His promise to us” [39:74].
In the Splendorous Qur’an, He linked gratitude and praise with remembrance when He says, “So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful for Me and not ungrateful toward Me” [2:152]. Tomorrow, at the most tremendous courtyard and greatest gathering place, when the portico of magnificence is raised and the carpet of tremendousness spread, a caller will call out, “Let the praisers stand up!” At this time no one will stand up except those who in all states and times were constantly praising and thanking God and showing the rightful due of gratitude for His blessings.
The servant will not become sound in the station of gratitude and praise unless three things exist in him: first knowledge, second state, and third deed. First is knowledge; from knowledge, the state is born, and from the state, the deed rises up. Knowledge is recognizing the blessings from the Lord. The state is the heart’s happiness with those blessings. He alludes to this with His words, “In that let them rejoice” [10:58]. The deed is putting the blessings to work in that which is desired and approved by the Lord; He alludes to this with His words, “Do, O family of David, in gratitude!” [34:13]
And peace be upon His servants whom He has chosen. One opinion is that these servants are the Companions of the Messenger—the paragons of the presence of messenger hood, the stars in the heaven of the creed, and those adorned with the attribute of limpidness. In the presence of messenger hood, they were like the stars in heaven with the shining sun. Just as the stars take help from the light of the sun and receive the luster of felicity from it, so also that paragon of the world and master of the children of Adam is like the sun in the heaven of the religion’s good fortune. Those great Companions are like the stars in the presence of messenger hood and are adorned by it. It is the clemency and mercy of prophethood that has refined them by teaching them courtesy and rectifying them. The tongue of prophethood alluded to this meaning: “My Companions are like the stars; whichever you emulate, you will be guided.”
That paragon of the world is seated at the front, and the Companions are present in keeping with the levels of their states: One is the vizier, one the advisor, one the planner, one the assistant. One is the root of truthfulness, one the basis of justice, one the comrade of shame, one the mine of liberality. One is the chieftain of the sincerely truthful, one the commander of the just, one the paragon of the expenders, one the king of the chevaliers. One is like hearing, one like eyesight, one like the smell, one like speech.
Just as the beauty of most people lies in these four attributes, so also the perfection of the state of faith lies in these four attributes—truthfulness, justice, shame, and liberality. These are the tributes of the chevaliers, for the Lord of the Worlds says, “And peace be upon His servants whom He has chosen.”
It has also been saying, “He chose them in the eras of His beginninglessness, then guided them in the eras of His endlessness.” The chosen servants are those who found chosenness in the beginningless and reached guidance in the endless. They found the road because they were shown the road. They went straight because they were chosen. They obeyed because they were approved. They receive three sorts of peace from the Real: On the Day of the Compact they heard peace in their spirits: “And peace be upon His servants whom He has chosen.” Today they hear peace on the tongue of the emissary with the intermediary of prophethood: “And when those who have faith in Our signs come to thee, say ‘Peace be upon you’” [6:54]. Tomorrow—which is the day of the bazaar and the time of access—they will hear it without emissary and without intermediary: “‘Peace!’—a word from an ever-merciful Lord” [36:58].