Polishing the Mirror of the Heart

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

This is adapted from a letter from Quthb al-Aqthab Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (q.s.) to his murid.  It was -taken from “The Secret of Secrets”, and translated by Shaykh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi (q.s.).

Our heart is a polished mirror.  We must wipe it clean of the veil of dust which has gathered upon it, because it is destined to reflect the Light of Divine Secrets.  When the Light from Allah (s.w.t.), Who is the Light of the heavens and the earth, begins to Shine upon the regions of your heart, the lamp of the heart will be lit.  The lamp of the hearts is in a glass, the glass is as it were a brightly shining star.  Then within that heart, the lightning-shaft of Divine discoveries strikes.  This lightning-shaft will emanate from the thunderclouds of meaning neither of the East nor of the West, lit from a blessed olive tree and throw light upon the tree of discovery, so pure, so transparent that it sheds light though fire does not touch it.

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth.  The Parable of His Light is as if there were a Niche and within it a Lamp: the Lamp enclosed in Glass: the glass as it were a brilliant star: Lit from a blessed Tree, an Olive, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil is well-nigh luminous, though fire scarce touched it: Light upon Light!  Allah doth Guide whom He Will to His Light: Allah doth Set Forth Parables for men: and Allah doth Know all things. (Surah an-Nur:35)

Then the lamp of wisdom is lit by itself.  How can it remain unlit when the light of Allah’s (s.w.t.) secrets shines over it?  If only the Light of Divine Secrets shines upon it, the night sky of secrets is lit with thousands of stars and by the stars, we find our way.

And marks and signposts; and by the stars (men) guide themselves. (Surah an-Nahl:16)

It is not the stars that guide us but the Divine Light.  For Allah (s.w.t.) has Decked the lower heaven with beauty in the stars.

We have indeed Decked the lower heaven with beauty (in) the stars ― (Surah asw-Swaffat:6)

If only the lamp of divine secrets be kindled in our inner self the rest will come, either all at once or little by little.  Some we already know, some we will tell be told here.  We must read, listen, try to understand.  The dark skies of unconsciousness will be lit by the Divine Presence and the peace and beauty of the full moon, which will rise from the horizon shedding light upon light, ever rising in the sky, passing through its appointed stages as Allah (s.w.t.) has Ordained for it mansions, until it shines in glory in the centre of the sky, dispersing the darkness of heedlessness.

And the Moon - We have Measured for it mansions (to traverse) until it returns like the old (and withered) lower part of date-stalk. (Surah YaSin:39)

Allah (s.w.t.) swears by the night when it is still, by the glorious morning light, our night of unconsciousness will see the brightness of the day.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
By the glorious morning light.  And by the night when it is still - (Surah adh-Dhuha’:2)

Then, we will inhale the perfume of remembrance and repent in the early hours of the morning of unconsciousness and regret our life spent in sleep.  We will hear the songs of the morning nightingales and we will hear them say they were in the habit of sleeping but little by night, and in the hours of early dawn they were found praying for forgiveness.

They were in the habit of sleeping but little by night, (Surah adz-Dzariyat:17)

… and who pray for forgiveness in the early hours of the morning. (Surah Ali ‘Imran:17)

Allah (s.w.t.) Guides to His Light Whom He Pleases.  Then we will see from the horizon of Divine Reason, the sun of inner knowledge rising.  It is our private sun, for we are the ones Whom Allah (s.w.t.) Guides and are on the right path and not the ones He leaves in error.

The way of those on Whom Thou hast Bestowed Thy Grace, Those whose (portion) is not wrath and who go not astray. (Surah al-Fatihah:7)

And we will understand the secret that it is not given to the sun to catch up with the moon, nor can the night outstrip the day.  Each swims along in its appointed orbit.

It is not Permitted to the Sun to catch up the Moon, nor can the night outstrip the day: each (just) swims along in (its own) orbit (according to Law). (Surah YaSin:40)

Finally, the knot will be untied in accordance with the parables which Allah (s.w.t.) Sets Forth for men, and Allah (s.w.t.) is the Knower of all things, and the veils will lift and shells will shatter, revealing the fine beneath the coarse; the truth will uncover her face.  All this will begin when the mirror of our heart is cleansed.  The light of the Divine Secrets will fall upon it if we are willing and ask for Him, from Him, with Him.


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