Al Fathu Rabbãni wal Faith Rahmãni
The Endowment of Divine Grace
& The Spread of Divine Mercy
by Sidi Shaykh Muhyiddeen Abdul Qadir Gilani
trans. by Shaykh Muhammad Al-Akili
© 1990-2016 Pearl Publishing House
 

Chapter 28

To Love in God Almighty

The Prophet, upon whom be peace, related that a man came to him and said: “Truly I love you in God Almighty.” The Prophet replied: “Then take adversities for a garment, and wear poverty for a cloak.”
In a way, he was saying to that man, if you want to be like me, you must emulate my example, because consent is the primary condition of love. Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq, God be forever pleased with him, when he proved his love for God's Messenger, upon whom be peace, spent all his wealth on the path to serve his beloved. He emulated his character and shared his poverty until he was left with only a woolen wrap strapped around him for a covering. He consented with the Messenger outwardly and inwardly, secretly and publicly. While you, O liar! You claim to love the righteous ones, yet you selfishly hide your dinãr and pennies. Still, you want to be in their company. Think about it. This is clearly false love. A true lover never hides a thing from his beloved; instead, he gives him preference over himself in everything. Poverty never parted from the Prophet, upon whom be peace. That is why he said: “Poverty flows to one who loves me faster than the rapids of a waterfall.”
‘ÃIsha, God be forever pleased with her, said: “Life remained tight while God's Apostle, upon whom be peace, dwelled amongst us. When God Almighty took him to Himself, the world profusely poured its wealth into our hands.” Thus, in order to love the Messenger, one needs to emulate his poverty, and to love God Almighty, one needs to be steadfast and patient in the face of adversities.
Someone, God bless his soul, once said: “Loyalty is subject to trials.” It is thus so that none can through lies, hypocrisy or affectation ever claim to possess the ultimate love for God Almighty. O man, refrain from your false claims and lies. Expose not your head to their dangers. If you come here, be then truthful, otherwise, do not follow us. Do not glamorize your coin in front of the money changer. He will not only refuse to accept your counterfeit, but surely he will expose you to shame. Do not endear the snake or the lion to you, for they will surely kill you. If you are ‘Eve,’ then go near the serpent. Only if you have strength, then go near the lion. To be on God's path, you need truthfulness and the guiding light of knowledge. Through it, the effulgent light of gnosis rises high in the hearts of the true believers, the truthful and true friends of God Almighty. Its radiance will never set, night or day.
Child, do not dwell in the company of the hypocrites, who are the subject of God's wrath. Be wise and do not go near the majority of people, for they are wolves wearing human masks. Hold to the mirror of common sense, look therein and ask God Almighty to let you see and recognize your own state and theirs. I have experienced the creations and the Creator, and I have found that evil comes from the creation, goodness from the Creator.
Our Lord, protect us from their evil and grant me the undiminishing wealth of Thy goodness, both in this world and in the hereafter. O ye people! I am not seeking you for my own benefit, but rather yours. My work is to twist and reweave your own ropes and tie up their broken ends. I do not take anything from you except for your benefit not mine. I have my own share, which suffices me. I only labor and trust in God Almighty for my earnings. I do not await what you bring me, as that pretentious hypocrite does. He has forgotten about his Lord, and depends on you and on what you bring him. I am the testing stone which verifies the nature of the people of this earth. Thus, be wise and do not come here and expose your profanities before me, for I know you well. I know your best from your worst as a result of God's preparing me and by His grace. If you want to succeed, then be like hot iron on my anvil. Let me hammer your brain, carnal self, mind and desire (nafs), passions, karma, satan, enemies and evil companions. Seek the help of your Lord to conquer them.
Victorious is the one who exercises patience in struggling with them; defeated is the one who is subjugated to them. The plagues are many, but their abode is one. The illnesses are many, though their physician is one. O ye who are sick! Put yourselves in the hands of the physician. Do not accuse him of wrongdoing, when in fact he is administering your treatment. He is more compassionate towards you than you are to yourselves. Serve him and stand guard always in readiness, awaiting his commands. If you do not oppose his instructions, you will recover completely and receive the undiminishing wealth of both this world and the hereafter. The true believers have adopted the restraints of silence, decline, languor and bewilderment. Once they achieve that state and remain thus, should it be God's will, He will cause them to speak in the same way He will make inanimate objects and the stones speak on the day of reckoning. The believers utter nothing unless He makes them utter it. They take nothing they are not given, and reach out for nothing unless they are made to do so. Their hearts join the ranks of the angels, about whom God Almighty has said: “They never disobey God's commands, and act only by His orders.”
They join the ranks of the angels and furthermore, rise above that station to know and realize their Lord and Cherisher. At that station, even the angels will accompany them to draw benefits from the knowledge and wisdom which pour into such pure hearts. Their hearts are guarded from all the afflictions that befall their bodies, senses and carnal selves. If you want to reach their station, then you must first correctly implement the state of true Islãm in your life. Then abstain from sinful actions, whether your indulgence is private or public, cure them by the fear of wrongdoing (wara’), then become disinterested from even the permissible and lawful in this world. Suffice yourself with God's favors alone. Having attained that, then become detached even from seeking His favors and seek satisfaction solely in His proximity. If you can truly realize satisfaction in His proximity alone, He will shower you with His bounty, return your original share, and let you experience the undiminishing wealth of the gates of His kindness, mercy, and ultimate favors. In this case, He limits the comforts of this world, then expands them to a term. This endowment is reserved for the elite and rare amongst His intimate friends (awliyã’) and the most sincere ones in their love for Him (siddïqïn), because of His knowledge of their exalted piety, for they occupy themselves in nothing but Him.
Regarding most of the awliyã’ and siddïqïn, the comforts of this world remain withheld from them, for He loves to see them free from anything but Him, and, most definitely, He loves to see them regularly coming before Him and asking for their needs. In their case, He knows well that should He grant them the properties of this world, they will fall short in serving Him and become occupied in serving them. These are the majority, and the elite are the rare and exceptional. Rarer still is the category of our Prophet, upon whom be peace. Amongst the endowments offered to him was the wealth of the entire world but that did not concern him, or prevent him from serving his Lord. He declined his share with the most perfect renunciation and abstinence. Even when the keys to the coffers of worldly treasures were presented to him, he again declined and prayed: “O my Lord, grant me the life of the meek and humble ones, the death of the meek and humble ones and join me with them on the day of gathering.”
Ascetic detachment (zuhd) is a special favor from God Almighty, otherwise no one is ever capable of renouncing his share. A true believer throws the weight of concerns off his shoulders and takes a complete respite from eagerness, greed or haste. He renounces the material world with his heart, abstains from it with his innermost essence, and solely occupies himself with that which he is commanded to do. He correctly understands that his share will not be lost, thus he does not need to ask for it. His share has to run after him and humbly request acceptance.
Child, first you need faith to guide you on the path to your Lord. Then you need certitude to set your course and strengthen your determination. At the beginning, you need to be immersed and absorbed in spiritual love (hamayãn), at the end you need strong faith (imãn). In contrast is the road to Mecca, about which someone said: “The road to Mecca needs faith first and then to be immersed and absorbed in spiritual love.” But in truth, this road which I am pointing at, requires hamayãn and imãn, both at the beginning and at the end.
It is related that when Sufian Al-Thawri, God bless his soul, first entered the path of seeking knowledge, he tied a pouch carrying five hundred dinãrs on his waistband. Out of it, he would spend for his daily needs, and pay for his learning. Occasionally, he would tap his pouch and say: “If it were not for you, these people would have pushed us around as they pleased.” However, once he had acquired true faith and knowledge, and had known God Almighty, he gave everything he had to the poor and needy in one day, then said: “Even if the skies were made of iron that does not rain, and the earth from rocks that do not sprout forth, should I have any concerns about my daily bread, I would be a disbeliever.”
For now, you must work to earn your livelihood utilizing practical means (asbãb) until your faith grows. Once your faith in your Lord becomes stronger, only then move away from the cause towards the Causal Being Himself (Musabbib). Even the prophets, upon all of whom be peace, had to work to earn their livelihood. In the beginning, before they became God's prophets, they used practical means. Then as God's prophets, they placed total trust in God Almighty and combined working for their livelihood with trust in Him. The work is sharï‘a, and trust in God Almighty is haqïqa.
O deprived one of God's grace. Disdain not from working with your own hands to earn your livelihood, and depend not on what people give you. Do not seek their bounty. You will have denied the favors granted to you by the divine decree. This will cause you humiliation, and your Lord will abhor, dispel and distance you from Him.
In fact, to disdain from working for your livelihood and to strive after what people can do for you in itself is a punishment from God Almighty. When God stripped the prophet Solomon of his kingdom, one of the trials he was put through was to beg for his livelihood. When God Almighty tightened his means, He drove him out of his kingdom, and limited his resources until he had to beg the people for his food. The immediate cause of that humiliation and deprivation came from Solomon's housing a woman who worshiped a statue in his palace for forty days. Thus, he was put through this punishment for an equal amount of time, day for day.
True believers can find no relief from their stress, no easing of their burdens, no comfort for their eyes, and no solace from their trials until they meet their Lord. Meeting Him is two-fold: First, they meet Him in this world with their hearts and innermost being, which is extremely rare; then, they meet Him in the hereafter and see Him with their physical eyes. Before that, their lives consisted of trials and tribulations.
(Following that discourse, our shaykh spoke about the nafs, and added): Deprive your carnal self from all pleasures and intoxicants. Give it clean food without impurities. Clean food is the permissible (halãl), and impure food is the forbidden (harãm). Feed your nafs what is lawful to protect it from going wild, or becoming arrogant or foolish.
Our Lord, teach us about You, so we may know You. Amen.
 

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