Following are the intimate communications (munajat) of the Real to His servant upon the tongue of the exclamations of the realities (haqa’iq) on the subject of tadbir (self-direction) and rizq (provision).
O servant: Direct your listening to Me while you are a witness, and the increase will come from Me to you. And pay attentive heed with the hearing of your heart, for I am not far from you.
O servant: I was for you in My tadbir (planning and self-direction) for you before you were for yourself, so be considerate of your own self’s well-being by not being for it. And I took upon Myself its maintenance before your appearance in existence, and I am even now still keeping it in My protection.
O servant: I am alone in creating and forming, and I am alone in decreeing and managing. You were not a partner with Me in My creating and forming, so do not be a partner with Me in my decreeing and managing. I am the Planner for My kingdom, and in it there is no equal to Me. And I am alone in My act of decreeing, so I am in no need of a minister in it.
O servant: Do not content with the One Who was for you in His tadbir before existence, and do not reply with stubborn rebellion the One Who accustomed you to His excellent consideration for you.
O servant: I accustomed you to My excellent consideration for you, so be with Me with the dropping of tadbir.
O servant: Is there doubt after experience, or bewilderment after clarification, or misguidance after guidance? Is not your knowledge that there is no planner for you other than Me enough to make you depend upon Me in your utter need? Is not that which previously came to you of My goodness enough to make you abstain from contending with Me?
O servant: Consider well the relation between your being and My creation of the worlds; you will see that you are disappearing in that which is annihilating. So what do you think of One Who does not succumb to annihilation? You have submitted to Me My maintenance of My kingdom, and you are part of My kingdom, so do not contend with My Lordship, and do not oppose My Divinity with your tadbir.
O servant: Is it not enough for you that I am your sufficiency? Do not My previous grants to you require your reposing in Me?
O servant: I ordered you to My service, and guaranteed for You My apportioned provision, but you have become neglectful in what I ordered you and doubtful in what I guaranteed you. I was not satisfied with My guarantee for you until I vowed, and I was not satisfied with vowing until I struck an example, and O spoke with servants having understanding. And I said: "And in the heavens is your rizq (divinely appointed provision) and all you were promised. Then by the Lord of the heaven and earth, indeed, it is truth - just as [sure as] it is that you are speaking. (Qur'an 51:22-23) The gnostics have found sufficiency in My quality, and the people of certainty have all but been in utter need of My generosity ... I have provided for those who are heedless of Me and rebellious towards Me, so how could I not provide for those who obey Me and guard My orders? Be warned: the One Who plants the tree is the same who waters it, and the supporters of the creatures is He Who originated them, and it is enough for them that I am their sufficiency and I am enough for them. Existence came from Me, and the responsibility of perpetual sustenance is upon Me. The creation came from Me, and the responsibility of continual provision is upon Me.
O servant: Since when have I made you needy of yourself, so that you must turn to yourself for help? And when did I give the responsibility for anything in My dominions to other than Myself, so that I should turn them over to you?
O servant: I have presented My Being to you before I brought you forth to My Existence, and I manifested My Self in everything through the attribute of My Power, so how are you able to deny Me?
O servant: When did anything that was under My tadbir (planning) not prosper, or when did anything which was under My aid suffer defeat?
O servant: Let My service busy you from seeking the lot I have already apportioned for you, and let your good opinion of Me prevent you from suspecting My Lordship.
O servant: We desire and will for you that your desire Us and not desire or will alongside of Us. And We choose for you that you choose Us and not choose alongside Us. And We are not pleased that you are pleased (rida) with Us, but We are not pleased with your being pleased with other than Us.
O servant: I have decreed in My eternity that the illumination of submission to Me and the darkness of contention with Me shall never unite in the heart of My slave. Whenever there is one of them, there cannot be the other with it, so choose for yourself! Be warned: for We have exalted your worth too highly that you should be busy with yourself, so do not belittle your worth, O he whom We have elevated! And do not humiliate yourself by going to other than Me in need, O he whom We have exalted! Be warned: you are too sublime in Our eyes that you should occupy yourself with other than Us. For My Divine Presence have I created you, and towards it have I summoned you, and by the attractions of My providential care have I attracted you. So if you become busy with yourself, I will veil you. And if you follow its capricious desires and illusions, I will expel you. And if you leave it, I will draw you near. And if you seek My love by avoiding other than Me, I will answer your call and desire.
O servant: Do not ignore Me, for you will not find a substitute for yourself besides Me. Nor can you find any sufficiency in other than Me, for absolutely no one can make you independent of Me. I am the Creator by My power, and I am the One Who grants you My bounty and increases you in it. Just as there is no Creator other than Me, there is no Provider other than Me. Do I create, and then leave that I create to other than Me, while I am the Benefactor? And do I deprive the servants of My goodness? So trust in Me, O servant, for I am the Lord of the servants. And depart from your own desire and will that you have alongside of Mine, and I will bring you to the source of all desire. Recall My previous kindness upon you, and never forget the right of the mutual love between Us.
- Selection from the book, Illuminating Guidance on the Dropping of Self-Direction by Shaykh Ibn ‘Ataillah as-Sakandari
A timely translation of this precious book is recently done by Ibrahim Hakim ash-Shaghouri under the instruction and guidance of Shaykh Abdullah Nooruddeen Durkee. The book is available to order online and buy from its publisher, Green Mountain School.
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First Published 2007 | Pg. 215 | Priced $ 25 USD
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