Thursday, 12 November 2009
On Being Tried & Tested
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is extracted from the third discourse of Futuh al-Ghayb by Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.).
When the servant of Allah (s.w.t.) is in the grip of a trial he first tries to escape from it with his own efforts, and when he fails in this, he seeks the help of others from among men such as kings and men of authority, people of the world, men of wealth, and in the case of illness and physical suffering, from physicians and doctors; but, if the escape is not secured by these, he then turns towards his Creator and Lord, the Great and Mighty, and applies to Him with prayer and humility and praise. So long as he finds the resources in his own self he does not turn towards the people and so long as he finds resources in the people he does not turn towards the Creator.
Further, when he does not get any Help from Allah (s.w.t.), he throws- himself in His presence and continues in this state, begging and praying and humbly entreating and praising and submitting his needs in fear and hope. Allah (s.w.t.) the Great and Mighty, however, tires him out in his prayer and does not accept it until he is completely disappointed in all the means of the world. The decree of Allah (s.w.t.) and His Work then Manifest themselves through him and this servant of Allah (s.w.t.) passes away from all the worldly means and the activities and efforts of the world and retains just his soul. At this stage he sees nothing but the work of Allah (s.w.t.), the Great and Mighty, and becomes, of necessity, a believer in the unity of Allah (s.w.t.) to the degree of certainty, that in reality there is no doer of anything except Allah (s.w.t.), and no mover and stopper except Him, and no good and no evil and no loss and no gain and no benefit, and no conferring and no withholding and no opening and no closing, and no death and no life and no honour and no dishonour, and no affluence and no poverty but in the Hand of Allah (s.w.t.). He then becomes in the Presence of Allah (s.w.t.) as a suckling babe in the hands of its nurse and a dead body in the hands of the person who gives it the funeral bath and as a ball before the stick of the polo-player — kept revolving and rolling and changing position after position and condition after condition until he feels no strength either in his own self or in others besides himself for any movement. He thus vanishes completely his own self into the Work of his Master.
So, he sees nothing but his Master and His Work, and hears and understands nothing except Him. If he sees anything, it is His Work and if he hears and knows anything, he hears His Word and knows through His Knowledge and he becomes gifted with His Gifts and becomes fortunate through His Nearness and through his nearness he becomes Decorated and Honoured and becomes pleased and comforted and satisfied with His Promise and is drawn towards Him. And he feels aversion for and is repelled from those besides Him and he desires and relies on His Remembrance and he becomes established in Him, the Great and Mighty, and relies on Him and obtains Guidance from, and clothes and dresses himself with the light of His Knowledge. And is apprised of the rare points of His Knowledge and of the secrets of His Power and he hears and remembers only from Him, the Great, the Mighty, and then offers thanks and praise therefore, and takes to prayer.