43:5 Shall We turn the remembrance away from you because you are an immoderate people?
When today He does not cut off His words addressed to those who persist in disobeying Him and who are immoderate in most of what they do, then tomorrow how would He hold back His forgiveness and the subtle favors of His beautiful doing from those who have not curtailed their faith in Him nor been defective in their recognition of Him, even if they are stained by disobedience?
Whispered prayer | “It is You who see unworthiness from the servant and do not hurry to punish. You hear unbelief from the servant and do not hold back blessings. You offer him repentance and pardon, and You call him back with Your message and address. If he does come back, You promise him forgiveness. ‘If they desist, He will forgive them what is past’ [8:38]. Since You are like this with the bad-doing enemy, what will You be like with the beautiful-doing friend?”
43:6-7 How many a prophet We sent among the ancients, but a prophet never came to them except that they mocked him.
Whenever there is talk of friends, He joins it to the story of the estranged. Whenever He shows gentleness and generosity, He puts it next to severity and harshness. Wherever there is a reality, He creates a metaphor to scatter dust on the reality.
Wherever there is an argument, He mixes it with ambiguity to scratch the face of the argument. Wherever there is knowledge, He brings forth ignorance to struggle with the ruling power of the knowledge.
Wherever there is tawḥīd, He brings forth associationism to travel the path of quarreling with tawḥīd. For every friend, He creates a thousand enemies. For everyone sincerely truthful, He brings a hundred thousand heretics. Wherever there is a mosque, He builds a church in front of it.
Wherever there is a monastery, there is a tavern; wherever a turban, a sash of unbelief; wherever an attestation, a disavowal; wherever a worshiper, someone ignorant; wherever a friend, an enemy; wherever someone truthful, someone ungodly. He has filled from east to west with adornment and blessings, and in every blessing, He has prepared a tribulation and trial. “Among the hardships of this world is the harm of almond candy and the benefit of myrobalan.” The incapable Adamite! He stays bewildered in the midst of this work and does not have the gall to say a word.
The Adamite has three states with which he is busy: obedience, by which he profits; disobedience, which he regrets; and heedlessness, by which he loses. What counsel is more beautiful than the Qur’an? Who is more lovingly kind as a counselor than the Patron? What capital is vaster than faith? What is more profitable than commerce with God? Is it that the Adamite is content to be in loss and approves of severance? Has he disowned the Patron? He will wake up on the day when whatever is to be for him comes to be. He will accept advice when whatever is to arrive for him arrives.” This is the attribute of that person concerning whom the Exalted Lord says,
43:8 So We destroyed those stronger than they in seizing, and the example of the first ones passed away.
“They have taken Our prophets as liars, ridiculed them, and did not accept their advice. Hence We showed them Our harshness and severity. We overthrew them and pulled them up by the roots. If anyone contends with Us, Our severity will overcome him. We exact justice from the arrogant, We take vengeance on the apostates, and We show the answer to the enemies.”
43:67 Bosom friends on that day will be enemies of one another, except for the Godwary.
Know that in reality God alone deserves friendship, no one else. This is because perfect beauty and never-ending majesty belong to Him, the beginningless Essence and everlasting attributes belong to Him, limitless existence and infinite munificence belong to Him, and non-instrumental knowledge and uncontrived power belong to Him.
Abū Bakr Ṣiddīq said, “When someone tastes of unmixed love for God, that prevents him from seeking this world and alienates him from all mankind.” Whenever the limpidness of the Real’s love settles down in someone’s heart, the opacity of seeking this world and people’s acceptance packs its bags from his heart. If he then loves anyone among the people, it is because that person has an attachment to the Real or an affinity with the Real through His friendship. Whenever anyone has a friend, in reality, he also loves his abode, street, and neighborhood.
Friendship for the Godwary and the pious is what He says: “His friends are only the Godwary” [8:34]. Love for God’s Messenger is what he himself says: “Love me because of God’s love!” So, the final end of all loves is the perfection of the beauty of the Divine Presence. To this, He alludes with His words, “Surely the final end is unto thy Lord” [53:42]. The mark of love is that whenever something reaches you that is disliked by your nature and makeup, you accept it gladly. Muṣṭafā said, “The foul odor of the fasting person’s mouth is more fragrant with God than the aroma of musk.” The altered smell from the mouth of the fasting person comes from the aroma of the pavilion of holiness. Consider it prior to all the perfumes of the world, for the Friend approves of it. It has also been said, “Whoever sees You recognizes, whoever recognizes clings, and whoever clings burns. The burnt one will not be burned again.” Rather, he will be caressed with this call:
43:68 O My servants, no fear is upon you today, neither will you sorrow.
Just as He said in the Beginningless, “My servants,” so He Himself will say in the Endless, “My servants.” In the Beginningless He said, “O My servants, you are My creation and I am your Lord, so present your needs to Me.” In the Endless He will say, “My servants, no fear is upon you today, neither will you sorrow.” This indeed will be addressed to the generality of the faithful. As for the sincerely truthful and the near ones, He will address them with this: “My servants, did you yearn for Me? Did you love to encounter Me?” This will be an exalted state and a great rank: the intender will have reached the Intended, the seeker the Sought, the lover the Beloved. The tree of union will bear fruit, the messenger of the Sought will come forth, and the Companion will come out with the stipulation of passion.
43:71 For them will be brought around platters and cups of gold. Therein will be whatever the souls hunger for and gives pleasure to the eyes.
For them will be brought around platters and cups of gold. This is the portion of the renunciants and worshipers, who kept themselves totally in obedience and worship. They passed their days in hunger and thirst by the decree of discipline and struggle according to the Shariah. They did not take advantage of the tasty foods and drinks of this world, so tomorrow in paradise the servants will pass around golden cups and say to them, “Eat and drink pleasantly for what you left behind in bygone days” [69:24].
Therein shall be whatever the souls hunger for and give pleasure to the eyes. This is the portion of the recognizers and the yearners, who were always wishing for the vision of the Real’s majesty and beauty with thirsty hearts, burning breaths, and spirits lit up by passion. A whiff of the world of friendship had reached them, and that whiff distracted and bewildered them. This was bewilderment within the curtain, not outside the curtain. The bewilderment that takes you outside makes you lose the road, but the bewilderment inside the curtain is one of the traces of the perfect divine majesty. Whoever cannot go from creation to the Real is bewildered by losing the road. Whoever cannot come from the Real to creation is bewildered by the Presence of the Threshold. Wherever he goes, he returns only to Him.
A group worshiped God with fear and hope and their eyes fell on this: For them will be brought around platters and cups of gold. They are the wage-earners who have stayed attached to the reward and tied their hearts to aching for everlastingness. A group worshiped Him with affection and love, and they are the recognizers. They gave their hearts to His love and burned in wishing to see Him.
When will my luck smile at me from Your playing field?
When will separation from You strike its tent from my spirit’s desert?
How long will I go after Your scent in the street of seeking You,
loving You, and talking with You, seeking You in every direction?
It was revealed to David, “O David, surely the most beloved of beloveds to Me is he who worships Me not for the sake of gain but to give Lordhood its due. O David, who has done greater wrong than he who worships Me because of the Garden or the Fire? Had I not created a Garden and a Fire, would I not be worthy of being obeyed?”
Jesus passed by a group of worshipers who had become emaciated and were saying, “We fear the Fire and hope for the Garden.” He said, “You fear a created thing, and you hope for a created thing!” He passed by another group who were saying, “We worship Him in love for Him and in reverence for His majesty.” He said, “You are God’s friends in truth, and I have been commanded to stand with you.” And God knows best.