41:31 We are your friends in this world’s life and in the next world.
In this world’s life through faith and in the next world through forgiveness, in this world’s life through the realization of recognition and in the next world by gaining forgiveness, in this world’s life through approval of the decree and in the next world through the encounter in the abode of subsistence, in this world through love and in the next world through proximity, in this world through contemplation and in the next world through face-to-face vision.
If the Adamite were given the life of Noah and he was to spend all his days showing gratitude for the blessing and generosity in this saying of the Exalted Lord— “We are your friends in this world’s life and in the next world”—his life would come to an end and he would never be grateful enough for the blessings, or recognize the generosity, in God’s words: “We are your friend, your lovingly kind companion, and your helper in this world and the afterworld.” In this world, think how the Real answered the angels for your sake when they said, “What, wilt Thou set therein one who will work corruption there?” [2:30]. God did not say that they would not work corruption. He said, “Surely I know what you do not know [2:30]. You have no awareness of the secrets of My Divinity and no cognizance of the gentle favors of My Lordhood toward the Adamites.”
“If they are unworthy, I will make them worthy. If they are far, I will bring them near. If they are abased, I will make them exalted. Though you see their outward disloyalty, I see their inward loyalty. Though you gaze on the opposition of their limbs and body parts, I gaze on the conformity of their hearts and secret cores. Though you wear the waistcoat of obedience, they wear the shirt of the union. Though you have the robe of worship, they have the hat of forgiveness. Though you have clung to your own sinlessness, they have clung to My mercy. What would it matter if I did not accept your sinlessness? What harm is there in their disobedience when there is My pardon and forgiveness? They are lifted up by the beginningless gentleness and caressed by the endless bounty. Faults do not intrude on the Beginningless.”
Abū Yazīd Basṭāmī was walking in a road and heard the sound of a group of people. He wanted to know what their state was all about. He went forward and saw an infant fall in black mud, the people standing there watching. All of a sudden the child’s mother ran forth from the side and threw herself into the mud. She lifted up the child and went. When Abū Yazīd saw that, he became happy. He shouted out while standing there and said, “Tenderness came and took away the defilement. Love came and took away the disobedience. Solicitude came and took away the sin.”
41:37 And of His signs are the night and the day, the sun and the moon. Do not prostrate yourselves to the sun and the moon, but prostrate yourselves to God, who created them.
This is the speech of the Lord whose kingship has no removal, whose seriousness has no levity, whose exaltedness has no abasement, and whose decree has no rejection. He has no peer, and from Him, there is no escape. He is a God other than whom there is no king, and His kingship is not through army and retinue. His exaltedness is not with drums and flags, horse and servants. He is a king, the portico of whose threshold is the seven lofty heavens, and the resting place of whose elect is the seven inaccessible carpets. The world-adorning sun is like a quicksilver goblet through His wisdom. The moon’s figure is sometimes like a gold horseshoe and sometimes like a silver shield through His power. The celestial world and the terrestrial world are both marks of His unity and solitariness.
There are countless proofs of God’s artisanry,
a thousand colors concealed in the petal of a rose.
Though the day is white, bright, and brilliant,
day and night are the same for those without eyes.
If someone wants to know and recognize a king as is fitting, first he should look at his realm, then he should look at his army, then he should look at his artisanry and acts. After that, he should look at him himself so as to know him as is fitting. It is as if the Exalted Lord is saying, “My servant, if you want to look at My realm, to God belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth [5:120]. If you want to look at My acts, gaze on the traces of God’s mercy, how He brings the earth to life after its death [30:50]. If you want to look at My artisanry, of His signs are the night and the day, the sun and the moon. If you want to look at Me tomorrow, look today from My artisanry to Me with the eye of the heart: Dost thou not see thy Lord, how He stretched out the shadow [25:45]? Then tomorrow look at My bounty with the eye of the secret core: Faces that day will be radiant, gazing upon their Lord [75:22-23].”
O chevalier! When someone knows God’s majesty and looks at Him from His artisanry, his destination will be God’s threshold. His hands will be held back from acting freely in the two worlds, his passion’s feet will always be in the road, his heart will be in the grasp of the King’s exaltedness, he will have the cape of servanthood on his outwardness, and he will be adorned in his inwardness with gazing on the secrets of Lordhood. By day he will be in secret whispering, by night in joy.
When the Exalted Lord said, “And of His signs are the night and the day, the sun and the moon,” He did not say it so that you would see the form and pass over it. Rather, He said it so that you would reflect upon the form, seek out its realities, and become aware of its intimations and allusions. Know that night is the place of seclusion for friends, the meeting place and promised time of the seekers of peace, the moment for desirers to show their need, the time for the passionate to have whispered secrets and delight. The servants should be with the Real by day in the lodging of secret whispering, by night in the litter of joy. By day they should gaze upon the artifacts, by night contemplate the beauty of the Artisan. By day they should be with the people in good character and by night with the Real in the footing of truthfulness [10:2]. By day they should be with the work, by night with drunkenness. By day they should seek the road, by night speak of the mysteries. Then they will have given night and day their rightful due.
As for His words, “the sun and the moon,” you should understand them as the sun of solicitude and the moon of recognition shining from the constellation of beginninglessness. They rise from the horizon of proximity and shine in the breasts of their friends. The sun and moon are the forms of heaven’s adornment, as He says: “We adorned the lowest heaven with lamps” [41:12]. The sun of solicitude and the moon of recognition are the adornment of the hearts of the faithful for, as He says, “And He adorned it in your hearts” [49:7]. Sometimes the moon in heaven is concealed by clouds, but it is not nullified. This alludes to the fact that sometimes disobedience conceals recognition, but it never nullifies it.
Do not prostrate yourselves to the sun and the moon, but prostrate yourselves to God, who created them. When Adam was afflicted by the slip, he wept a great deal and at the end made a prostration of repentance. While he was making the prostration, his repentance was accepted. Gabriel came and told Adam that his repentance had been accepted. Adam lifted his head from the prostration and heard this good news from Gabriel. In gratitude for receiving this good news, he hurried to make another prostration. The first was the prostration of apology, and the second was the prostration of gratitude. This is a teaching for the servants: During the prayer, perform two prostrations, one to apologize for slips and the other to show gratitude for blessings. It has also been said that of the two prostrations that the servant makes in the state of worship, one recounts the beginningless state, the day when the Exalted Lord said, “Am I not your Lord?” [7:172]. Everyone fell down in prostration in that state on hearing the address of the Real. The other prostration is the likeness of the endless state at the time of seeing the Majestic Lord in paradise, as has come in the report: “When light shines for them, they fall down in prostration.
Then it is said to them, ‘This is not the time for prostration—this is the time for finding.’” One prostration is in the state of finding, the other in the state of witnessing. When the faithful servant makes these two prostrations at the moment of prayer and the time of whispering in secret, he should number himself among those exalted ones. He should consider the first prostration as the state of finding and he should consider the second prostration as the state of witnessing. Then it will be as if he passes from the Beginningless to the Endless in prostration.