Friday, November 20, 2009

On attainment of nearness of God | Discourse from Futuh ul-Ghayb

Bismillah

1.
When you are united with God, you attain to His nearness by His attraction and help; and the meaning of union with God is your going out of the creation and desire and purpose and becoming established in His action and His purpose without there being any movement in you or through you, in His creation unless it be with His order and action and command. This is the state of fana (annihilation) by which is meant union with God. But union with God, the Mighty, the Glorious, is not like union with anything in His creation, in an understandable and appointed manner:

Nothing is like Him; and He is the Hearing, the Seeing. (Qur'an, 42:11)

The Creator is above being similar to His creatures or bearing any resemblance to anything that He has made. Thus, union with Him is a thing which is well known to those people who have this experience of union, because of their realisation of it. Everyone of them has a different experience in this matter which is peculiar to himself and which cannot be shared by any other person.

With everyone among the prophets and the messengers and the saints (awliya) of God is to be found a secret which cannot be known by any other person, so much so that sometimes it so happens that the murid (spiritual pupil) holds a secret which is not known to the shaikh (the spiritual preceptor); and sometimes the shaikh holds a secret which is not known to the murid although the latter may in his spiritual journey have approached the very threshold of the door of the spiritual state of his shaikh. When the murid reaches the spiritual state of the shaikh, he is made to separate himself from the shaikh and he is cut off from him, and God becomes his guardian and He cuts him off from the creation altogether.

Thus the shaikh becomes like a wet nurse who has stopped suckling the baby after two years. No connection remains with the creation after the disappearance of low desires and human purpose. The shaikh is needed by him so long as he is infested with low desires and purposes which have to be crushed. But after the disappearance of these weaknesses of the flesh there remains no need of the shaikh because there remains no stain and no defect in the murid.

Thus when you unite with God as we have described, you will feel safe forever from whatever is besides Him. You will certainly see no existence at all besides His, either in profit or in loss or in gifts or with their withholding, in fear or in hope. You will find only Him, the Mighty, the Glorious, Who is worthy to be feared and worthy to be sought protection from. So keep on looking at His acts forever and expecting His order and remain engaged in obedience to Him, cut off from the whole of His creation whether of this world or of the hereafter. Let not your heart be attached to anything in His creation. Seek the protection of God from becoming blind after having possessed sight, and from being separated after being united, and from being taken afar after being near, and from going astray after having received guidance and from unbelief after having believed.

Thus the world is like the great flowing river, to which we have referred. Every day its water increases and it is the animal passion of mankind and the enjoyments which come to men from it. As for the arrows and various weapons, they are the trials which destiny brings to them. Thus, the predominant element in the worldly life of man is the trials and hardships and the sufferings and the struggles, and what they get as blessing and enjoyment is also guarded or surrounded by calamities. When any intelligent man takes a critical view of the matter, if of course he possesses a certain knowledge of the reality, he will understand that there is no real life except the life hereafter. Thus the Holy Prophet has said: "There is no life except the life of the hereafter."

This is particularly true in the case of a believer. Accordingly, the Holy Prophet (on whom be peace and blessings of Allah) has said: "The world is a prison for the believer and a heaven for the unbeliever."

And he (on whom be peace and blessings of Allah) also said: "The man of virtue is bridled."

How can a comfortable life in this world be possible and desired in face of this? Thus, real comfort lies in the Glorious, and in being in harmony with Him and in throwing oneself in absolute surrender before Him. When you do this you will be free from this world and then will be lavished on you compassion and comfort and kindness and prosperity and the favour of God.


2.
He (may God be pleased with him) said: I had a dream in which an old man asked me: "What makes a servant of God near to God"?

I said: "This process has a beginning and an end; so the beginning of it is piety and Godliness and its end is to be pleased with God and to surrender oneself to His way and to rely on Him entirely."

3.
The state of your affairs can be either one or the other of the following:

(1) Either you are not enjoying nearness to God, the Mighty, the Glorious, or

(2) You are close to Him.

Now if you are away from Him, how is it that you are sitting idle and are remiss in obtaining your large share and blessings and abiding honour and plentifulness and security and self-sufficiency and lavish care in this world and in the hereafter? So get up and hasten in your flight towards Him with your two wings. One of these wings is the renunciation of enjoyments and of unlawful desires for them and also of permissible things and all comforts; the other is the bearing of pain and unpleasant things and embarking on difficult adventures and getting away from people and desires and wishes in this world and in the hereafter so as to be successful in union with God and nearness to Him.

Then will you get all that a man may desire and obtain? You will then have great exaltation and honour. If you are among those who have been honoured with His kindness and whom His love has absorbed and who have received His mercy and compassion, then show the best of manners and do not be puffed up with the thought of the state you are in lest you should become negligent of your service and should lean towards the original arrogance, ignorance and oppression and hastiness. There is a word of God in this connection:

And man has turned unfaithful to it Surely he is unjust, ignorant (33:72).

Again: And man is ever hasty (17:11).

Protect your heart from being inclined towards what you have renounced of people and desires and wishes and option and effort and from losing patience and harmony and pleasure with God at the time of the befalling of calamity, but throw yourself before Him in the manner of a ball before a polo-rider who makes it revolve by his stick, and like a dead body in front of a man who gives it the funeral bath, and like a suckling babe in the lap of his mother or nurse. Be blind to what is besides Him so that you do not see anything but Him — nothing that exists, neither any harm, nor any benefit, nor any gift, nor any withholding of a gift. Consider people and worldly means at the time of suffering and calamity as lashes from Him, the Mighty, the Glorious, with which He strikes you, and consider them at the time of comfort and ease and gift as His hand that is feeding you.

- from REVELATIONS OF THE UNSEEN (Futuh ul-Ghayb) of master saint Abdul Qadir Jilani, may God sanctify his station

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4.
A lover of God doesn't figure the odds.
He figures he came clean from God
as a gift without a reason,
so he gives without cause or calculation or limit.

A lover gambles everything,
the self, the circle around the zero!
He or she cuts and throws it all away.

This is beyond any religion.

Lovers do not require from God any proof,
or any text,
nor do they knock on a door
to make sure this is the right street.

They run, and they run.

~ Rumi~

Like that may we come to awaken to our real sense of the True Goal and join the pilgrims of divine lovers and ever be attracted and drawn to the Nearness of the Presence. Indeed the All Encompassing Presence was and there was nothing with the Presence, and It remains as It was from the pre-eternity.


Huwa al-Awwalu wa al-Akhiru wa az-Zahiru wa al-Batinu,
wa Huwa bikulli shay-in AAaleem.

The First and The Last is He, The Evident and The Immanent is He,
and Cognizant of all things is He. - The Quran 57:3

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