25:53 He it is who mixed the two oceans, this one sweet, delicious; that one salty, bitter.
Hū [He] is one solitary letter that alludes to the solitary Lord. It is neither a name nor an attribute, but an allusion to a Lord who has no name and no attribute. The one letter is the h. The ū is the resting place of the breath. Do you not see that when you make its dual, you say humā, not hūmā? This is so that you will know that it is indeed one letter pointing to the One Lord. Whenever you say any of the names and attributes, you say them from the tip of the tongue, in contrast to hū, which comes forth from the midst of the spirit and goes by way of the core of the breast and the depth of the heart. The tongue and lips have nothing to do with it.
When this word comes from the depths of the breasts of the men of the religion’s road and the lords of the eye of certainty—those who have limpid hearts, high aspirations, and empty breasts—what they mean and understand is nothing but the Real. Unless someone becomes a chevalier of this sort, the reality of the He-ness will not be unveiled to him.
A great man was walking on a road, and a dervish was coming toward him. He said, “Where are you coming from?”
He said, “He.”
He said, “Where are you going?”
He said, “He.”
He said, “What is your goal?”
He said, “He.”
No matter what he asked, he replied “He.”
This is like what someone said: “So much is your image in my eyes that whatever I see I fancy is you.”
And He it is who mixed the two oceans, this one sweet, delicious; that one salty, bitter. The salty ocean has no sweetness and the sweet no saltiness. The two are one insubstantiality, but God in His power made them differ in an attribute. In the same way, He created hearts, some of which are quarries of certainty and recognition and others of which are loci of doubt and ingratitude. Sweet, delicious is an allusion to the hearts of the friends, which are bright with the light of guidance and adorned with the ornament of faith and within which is shining the radiance of tawḥīd’s sun. Salty, bitter is an allusion to the hearts of the estranged, which have become dark through the darknesses of unbelief and the opacities of doubt and remained in the bewilderment of ignorance. One has put on the robe of elevation without deviation, and the other’s foot is shackled with abasement and degradation, without iniquity. Indeed, when the Exalted Lord wants to place the crown of exaltation on a servant’s head, He gives him access to the carpet of secret whispering and keeps the road of faith bright for him. When He wants to place the scar of loss on his cheek, He drives him from the station of proximity with the whip of vengeance. And he to whom God as signs no light has no light [24:40].
25:63 The servants of the All-Merciful are those who walk in the earth in lowliness.
It has been narrated from Abū Baraza al-Aslamī that God’s Messenger said, “I saw a people from my community, not yet created, who will come into being after this day and whom I love and who love me. They counsel each other, act with kindness to each other, and walk gently among the people with the light of God, in hiddenness and Godwariness. They are secure from the people, and the people are secure from them because of their patience and forbearance. Their hearts are serene in the remembrance of God, their mosques flourishing with their prayers. They have mercy on their young and revere their old. They share what they own among themselves; their rich visit their poor and their strong visit their weak. They visit their ill, and they follow in funeral processions.”
One of the groups said, “They are being benevolent to their close friends.” God’s Messenger turned to him and said, “Not at all. They have no close friends. They are serving their own souls. That is nobler with God than those who are openhanded to people, because of the lowliness of this world in the Lord’s view.” Then God’s Messenger recited, “The servants of the All-Merciful are those who walk in the earth in lowliness.”
The Persian of this report is this: Muṣṭafā said, “I saw,” that is, in his unveilings and visionary encounters, or in a dream, “a people of my own community whose persons and semblances had not yet entered into the bonds of created nature. The compass of power had not yet turned on the circle of their existence, for today is not the time of their manifestation. That will come in other days and another time when the desire moves and the apportionings join with their designated times. These are people whom I love and who love me. Each of them would love to see me along with his family and possessions. They are chevaliers who always want good for each other. Whatever they have, whether possessions or position, they do not hold back from one another. They put aside their own rightful dues and shares and put forward the rightful dues of their brothers. They are leaders to the Real who travel with the light of God. They travel the road of religion with the lamp of guidance, the candle of faith, and the light of certainty. They go forward among the people softly, easily, and harmlessly. Their hearts are at ease in the remembrance of God and they keep their mosques flourishing with prayer and worship. With their old folk, they live with respect and honor, toward their children they have mercy and clemency, and they give comfort and show consideration to everyone. Their wealth does not disdain to visit the poor. They look after the weak, they ask after the ill, and they go out to take part in funeral processions.”
A man said, “O Messenger of God! If they have this attribute and conduct, it seems that they are showing benevolence and kindness to their slaves and mercenaries.” God’s Messenger said, “Not at all, it is not as you say. For they themselves do not have servants and slaves, and they have no one and accept no one to serve themselves but themselves. They are more honored by God than those who give away this lowly, trifling world.” Then the Messenger recited this verse: “The servants of the All-Merciful are those who walk in the earth in lowliness.” The elect servants and creatures of the All-Merciful are those who pull out the thorn of free choice from their own feet in the midst of the flow of apportionments. They have lopped off the head of the portion-seeking soul with the sword of humility and thereby reached the station of servanthood. His servants in reality are those who are always performing the command. They are pure of portion and far from free choice. They have disowned their own wants.
In the world, you see a hundred thousand ʿAbd al-Raḥmāns [Servant of the All-Merciful], ʿAbd al-Razzāqs [Servant of the Provider], and ʿAbd al-Wahhābs [Servant of the Bestower], but you do not see one ʿAbdallāh [Servant of God]. Or rather, you see them in name, but seldom in meaning. Their servanthood is mixed with their portions and tainted by their own shares. He who seeks or worships the Real for his portion is a servant of the portion, not a servant of Him.
Pir Bū ʿAlī Siyāh said, “If you are asked, ‘Do you want paradise, or two cycles of the prayer?’ do not choose paradise. Choose the two cycles of the prayer, for paradise, is your portion, but the prayer is service to Him.”
When Moses, who was God’s speaking companion and honored by the Exalted Presence, came to Khiḍr, he protested twice: once because of killing the boy, and again because of breaking the boat. Since his portion was not in the midst, Khiḍr was patient. But when Moses was moved by his portion and said, “If you wanted, you could have taken a wage for it” [18:77], Khiḍr said, “This is a separation between me and you [18:78]. Now that your own portion has come into view, there is no way for me to be your companion, for wages are not a condition of companionship.”
The lord of companionship is not a wage-earner. In reality, the wage-earner is deluded. As long as a man is a wage-earner, he is far from companionship, and as long as he makes claims he is deceived. As long as the commands are revered and the prohibitions inviolable, he is drowned in light. The servants of the All-Merciful in truth are those whose outwardness is bound by the command and whose inwardness has the largesse of the All-Merciful’s bounty. The bond of the command in the outwardness is the mark of the fearful, and the largesse of the All-Merciful’s bounty in the inwardness is the mark of the proximate.
It has been recounted that Jesus passed by three people and saw them weak and emaciated, their outsides were withered and shrunken. He asked them the cause of their withering and emaciation. They said, “Fear of the Fire.” He said, “It is rightfully due to God that He keep the fearful secure from the Fire.” When he had passed them by, he saw three other people, even more, emaciated and weak, their faces like mirrors to the light. He said, “What is it that has brought you to this state and made you so weak?” They said, “Love for God.” He said, “‘You are proximate.’ Your state is something else, and your passion is something else. You are the proximate and the friends, the chosen and near ones.”
Among the reports has come this: “O David, My remembrance is for the rememberers, My Garden for the obedient, My visitation for the grateful, and I belong specifically to the lovers.” Within the curtain of friendship, things happen that outside the curtain of friendship are faults. It is as if God has said, “When We brought them into existence and knew that they would stumble and slip, first We spread the carpet of love and put forth this call of generosity: ‘He loves them, and they love Him’ [5:54]. Thus whatever they do will be lifted away from them and repelled because of love.”
On the day that the beauty of Adam’s limpidness lifted its head from the World of the Unseen, he had a stature like an alif, a straight shape, and an upright makeup. His outwardness and inwardness were joined together, and the bonds of his elements had been tied by the hand of power. The eyes of the angels did not pass beyond the outward contours of his body. They did not know which oyster lay in the depths of his breast’s ocean and which pearl was inside that oyster. They gazed briefly at his outwardness and said, “What, wilt Thou set therein one who will work corruption there?” [2:30].
Then the call of the Unseen came: “You gaze on the outward disobedience, but We judge in keeping with the inner recognition. If the outwardness of this vicegerent becomes dusty with a slip, or if his children step into the trap of pleasures, their adorned inwardness and their tongue trimmed by asking pardon and forgiveness will beg pardon for that offense and We, at the intercession of a heart purified by faith and a tongue purified by the remembrance of the All-Merciful, will wash away that outward slip.”
One of them said in describing the servants of the All-Merciful, “Worship is their adornment, poverty their nobility, obedience to God their sweetness, love for God their pleasure, their need for God alone, Godwariness their traveling supplies, guidance their mount, the Qur’an their talk, remembrance their ornament, contentment their possessions, worship their acquisition, Satan their enemy, the Real their protector, the day their heedfulness, the night their reflective thought, life a leg of their journey, death their way station, the grave their fortress, paradise their dwelling place, and gazing upon the Lord of the Worlds their wish. These are the elect among His servants, those about whom God says, ‘The servants of the All-Merciful are those who walk in the earth in lowliness.’”