2:152 So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful for Me and not ungrateful toward Me.
The remembrance makes the Real apparent. It is joined with the Haqiqah and separates from mortal nature. This remembrance is the watering place for the tree of tawḥīd, the fruit and produce of which is friendship with the Real. This is why the Lord of the Worlds said, “My servant does not cease remembering Me and I remembering him until he is attentive towards Me and I care him.”
This is not the remembrance of the tongue that you know—this is inside the spirit. The time came when Abū Yazīd was remembering little with the tongue. When he was asked about that, he said, “I am in wonder at this remembrance of the tongue, and I am more in wonder at him who is a stranger. What would a stranger be doing in the midst? Remembrance of Him is in the midst of the spirit.”
That great man of his time said in a whispered prayer, “O Lord! How can I remember You when You Yourself are remembering and I am crying out from forgetfulness. You are the remembrance and the remembered, You are the help in finding Yourself. “O Lord! When someone reaches You, his sorrows are finished; when someone sees You, his spirit gets happy. Who has more joy in the two worlds than he who remembers You? Who is more worthy of happiness in You than the servant?”
Think! O man, you are remembering yourself. What do you know about remembering Him? Not having traveled, what do you know about the way-stations? Not having seen the Friend, how can you be aware of His name and mark? If you pass into the spirit, you will gain dignity. If one day you pass by the street of the Haqiqah and remember Him in your secret core, you will see “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what has never passed into the heart of any mortal.”
It is written in one of God’s scriptures, “‘My servant! You will remember Me when you have tried out the others. I am better for you than anyone else.’ My servant, when you have seen and tested others, then you will know My worth and recognize My rightful due. In other words, once you have seen their lack of loving-kindness and you have grasped My loving-kindness and loyalty, then you will know that I am more lovingly kind to you than anyone else.
“‘My servant, did I not remember you before you remembered Me?’ My servant, one mark of My loving-kindness is that I remembered you first, then you remembered Me.
By the exaltation of the Exalted! If you take one step in His path, a thousand generosities will reach you from Him. “From you a little service, from Him much blessing! From you a bit of obedience, from Him great mercy!”
The Prophet alluded to this in recounting from God: “When someone remembers Me in himself, I remember him in Myself; and when someone remembers Me in an assembly, I remember him in an assembly better than his. When someone comes near to Me by a span, I come near to him by a cubit, and when someone comes to Me walking, I come to him rushing.”
And be grateful for Me and not ungrateful toward Me. It has been said that “I was grateful for Him” is gratitude at seeing blessings and in respect of the activity. But “I was grateful to Him” is gratitude at seeing the Patron of Blessings and contemplating the Essence. The latter is the gratitude of the folk of the end, and the former is the gratitude of the companions of the beginning.
The Lord of the Worlds knew that most servants do not have the capacity for the gratitude of the folk of the end. He made the work easy for them and put aside great gratitude. He did not say, “Be grateful to Me,” but rather, “Be grateful for Me.” In other words, be grateful for My blessings, recognize what is rightfully due for them, and then, by recognizing what is rightfully due, despair of what is rightfully due for Me in the contemplation of My Essence. That is not the work of water and clay, nor the talk of spirit and heart. Indeed, what weight has clay, what trace has heart, in this talk?