Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Letters of Shaykh Mawlay al-Arabi ad-Darqawi

This article contains a series of translated letters of Shaykh Mawlay al-Arabi ad-Darqawi.

Almost all of the letters concern the method based on the central techniques of invocation or dhikr, not usually discussed openly by Sufi masters. The letters were compiled by al-`Arabi al-Darqawi himself, copied by his disciples and printed many times in Fez, in lithographed script. Titus Burckhardt has made this translation on the basis of two nineteenth-century manuscripts as well as the lithographed edition.

Shaykh Ibn 'Abbas, Sayyidi Ahmad ibn Muhammad az-Zagari al-Hasani, known as Ibn al-Khayyat, wrote concerning Sayyidna Moulay al-Arabi ad-Darqawi, as a way of introduction to Moulay al-Arabi's Risala:

He was born in the year 1159 IE (1745 CE) in Bou Barih in the mountains north of Fez among the tribe of Bani Zarwal where his family had settled for generations. His family name goes back to Sidi Muhammad who was nicknamed ‘Abu Darqa’ because he was of large build. He was a great fighter and carried a shield (darqah) with him into battle to protect himself, hence the name Darqawi. He is buried in the region of Tamsanah in Cheoun close to Umm ar-Rabi‘. He was a disciple of Ibn ‘Ata Illah al-Iskandari who donned him the patched robe. His family line goes back to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) through Imam al-Junaid back to Imam al-Hasan.

There are many virtues attached to this tribe. The ancestors of all the four Caliphs resided here. One of the pious men of this tribe once went on the pilgrimage and sat at the grave of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and recited all seven variants of the Quran. When he finished, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) spoke to him, saying, “…and thus it was revealed to me, O Imam of Zarwal. May God bless you and your tribe.” The land is extremely fertile producing fine olives, grapes, grain and fruit. The men of the tribe are also famed for their braveness and courage. Moulay al-‘Arabi said, “Whoever’s robe touches the robe of a man from Bani Zarwal will always profit and never taste ruin.”

He was the founder of the Darqawi Order of Sufis, a Moroccan branch of the great Shadhili Order which was itself founded by the Shaikh Abu al-Hasan al- Shadhili in the 13th century CE.

Letter One

One should just focus solely on performing one’s obligatory and highly stressed prayers and not go overboard on supererogatory acts. One should make sure one’s clothes are clean from dirt and filth. Make sure to shave one’s armpits and pubic area, and clip one’s nails. One must do his best to be sure or be at peace of mind that one has fully drained oneself of urine when relieving oneself. One should try one’s best not to get attached to the superficial and material matters. Cut yourself off from your caprices and mindless habits and don’t think it too farfetched or impossible to achieve either.

(Imam al-Busairi:)

‘The soul is the like of a child, if you leave it to its own devices it
Grows up attached to its suckling, and if you wean it, it is weaned.’

(Ibn ‘Ata Illah:)
‘Whoever sees it farfetched that God can deliver him from his passions and desires and take him out of his state of heedlessness, has belittled the might of God for God has power over all things.’

We believe that the obligatory acts are enough along with what we have mentioned. This assuredly is sufficient for one. Plenteous acts without performing what we have mentioned are not sufficient. In saying this, we still prefer one to perform just the obligatory and the highly stressed prayers, and God is the one who brings about success. Peace.


Letter Two

If you wish to traverse this path quickly and attain ultimate realisation, undertake to perform the obligatory and highly stressed supererogatory prayers, and learn what is fundamental of the exoteric sciences, because God is not worshiped except by means of them, but do not go to great depths in one’s studies of the exoteric sciences; rather what is required is that you go to great depths in the studies of the esoteric ones. Turn against your caprices and surely you will see wonders.

High moral character is the essence of Sufism, according to the folk of this discipline. It is the very core of the religion itself according to the people of religion, and may God strike me down if I should be lying! Flee always from the sensory for it is opposed to the spiritual realities; the esoteric and the spiritual realities do not mix. Every step you take closer to one is a step further from the other.

Listen to what occurred with our teacher, Sidi ‘Ali al-Jamal, may God be pleased with him, at the beginning of his affair when he sowed three measures of wheat. When he informed his teacher, Sidi al-‘Arabi bin Abdullah, of this he replied, ‘The more you absorb yourself in the sensory, the further you draw away from the spiritual realities and vice-versa.’

The issue is clear for once you catch the scent of the people: you won’t find even a sniff of the spiritual realties on them; all you smell is the odour of their own sweat since the sensory has a grip on them. It has taken hold of their hearts, limbs and all the benefit they might have had. All they do is busy themselves therein, addressing nothing else besides it. They are unable to free themselves of it, despite many others having been able to do before them. Those people immersed themselves in the spiritual realities through their turning away from the sensory throughout their lives, may God be pleased with them and let us benefit from their blessings Amen! Amen!

It is as if God has written that they should never have a portion of the spiritual realities even though every one of them has his portion deep within him just as the sea has waves. If they knew that to be so, they would not spend a moment of their time occupied in the sensory. If only they knew, they would find themselves oceans without shores, and God is witness to what I say. Peace.


Letter Three

Invoking your Lord is the foundation stone and the aid in traversing the path toward God. Therefore, hold firm to it as you have been ordered, and God will make you strong. We would like you to constantly remind God’s servants of God Himself, and the Sunnah of His Messenger (may God bless him and grant him peace), and warn them of ever falling into disbelief. Teach them humility at all times, and inspire them towards abstinence in this world, so that they suffice themselves with the bare minimum of it, as God has commanded.

One of the first lessons I learnt from my teacher was when he placed two baskets full of berries in my hands. He did not place them on my shoulders like my peers. Even so, it bore down so heavy on my ego that I felt intensely constricted deep inside. I was so disturbed, shaken and felt so indecent that I began to weep. I swear to God, I wept out of the humiliation, abasement and utter wretchedness of the situation, as my ego could not bear to take such a lesson; it would not bow down to the test ever in a thousand years. I was so oblivious of my own arrogance, haughtiness, malignancy and stubbornness. I had previously had no idea whether I was arrogant or not. I had never learnt this lesson from any teacher of jurisprudence throughout all my previous studies; and I had studied with many a teacher.

Whilst in this state, my teacher saw what had come over me because of his deep insight into the hidden secrets, for which he was well-known to all. He came over, took the baskets and placed them right on top of my shoulders just like my peers, who were so much more righteous, and further advanced on the path than me. Then he said, “This is for your own good, in order to chase away some of that arrogance of yours.” Instantly, a door of understanding opened for me, and things became clear. I was now able to distinguish the truth in everything. I could discern the arrogant from the humble, the serious from the lax, those of knowledge from those of ignorance, and those who follow the way of the Prophet (peace and blessings of God be upon him) from those of innovation, and those who practice what they preach from those who do not. No one was able to get the better over me after this event, because my teacher had taught me how to distinguish truth from falsehood, may God reward him and protect him, Amen!
I would like Sidi Ahmed ibn ‘Ajiba to encourage the servants of God to practice truth in their speech and actions, and to show caution in all matters. Through this, the fruits of the path are reaped, and ultimate realisation is gained, and God is a witness to what I say. Peace.


Letter Four

Know that if the aspirant, instead of busying his mind with superficial things, concentrates his thoughts and remembrance on God alone, he will achieve the station of true slave-hood. Whoever does so is a true friend of God; and God’s curse is upon those who lie

Do not mention anything besides God, and devote yourselves to God; for whoever devotes themselves to God, God devotes Himself to them. What a joyous state to be in! It is enough that God says:

“Remember me; I will remember you.” (Quran: 2/152)

The Messenger of God (may God bless him and give him peace) related from his Lord, “I am in the company of those who invoke me.”

My master used to say, “We love what we hear being said about you.” Just like this, al-‘Arabi al-Darqawi loves what he hears being said about you, if it is that which destroys the ego and brings life to the hearts; but not vice-versa, for no one but the heedless ignoramus, whose heart has been effaced and whose soul’s candle has been blown out, occupies himself with what brings life to the ego and destroys the heart. Man has but one heart, and if he heads in one direction, he turns his back on the other.

“God has not assigned to any man two hearts within his breast.” (Quran: 33/4)

(Ibn ‘Ata Illah:) ‘Directing yourself towards God is turning your back on the creation; likewise, directing yourself towards the creation is turning your back on God.’

One of the brethren said to me, ‘I am nothing!’ I said to him, ‘Don’t say “I am nothing”, and don’t say “I am something”. Don’t say “I need something”, or “I don’t need anything”; rather say “Allah!” and you will see wonders.’

One person asked me, “What is the medication for the ego?” I replied, “Forget it, and do not ponder upon it at all; for only the one who forgets his own ego remembers his Lord.”

Don’t conceive that it is the creation that has made us forget our Lord, or that it has placed a barrier between Him and us. It is nothing but our being consumed in our own passions and caprices that has made us forget. If we were only to forget our very selves entirely, we would find the Creator, and we would lose sight of our very existence completely. Likewise, don’t conceive that one can lose sight of the creation whilst he has not even lost sight of his own self yet. I swear by God that can never be so. Peace.


Letter Five

Begging in the streets and wearing the patched robes are both part of the Order. However, we see many of those who accompany us spending all their time talking about them both more than they talk about God Almighty Himself! The problem is that a lot of them take the litany from us, and then straightaway don the patched robes and go out begging. This is because his only intention after donning the patched robe was to rush out to beg. This was the only intention he had. Therefore, he took the litany and the donning of the patched robe from me as a means to go begging. I said to this man, “Leave the patched robes for it is only a means to prominence for you. Instead, focus on invoking your Lord until your heart is aflame, and your spirit is illumined. Then and only then can you wear the patched robe and go out begging.”

There is no doubt that wearing the patched robe and begging weighs heavy upon the soul; but it can seem easy for some. If you find it easy, leave it; and if you find it burdensome, take it up. Know that sincerity is in the thing that weighs heavy on your ego, naught else; and sincerity is what is needed. Work on yourself, choosing the thing that weighs heavier on the ego, or the thing that tests your sincerity more, until you no longer care what afflicts you in life, and ease and hardship, and praise and criticism are equal, and sincerity is one’s constant state. Then you will be truly free: and one who is free is truly a friend of God.

I pondered upon the one who leaves aside everything related to the attachments of life but begging, which no doubt is the lowest form of seeking means in this world, yet at the same time this, man has not experienced the station of leaving aside the attachments in their entirety, or in fact has not even caught the scent of it. It became plain to me that his inclination towards it was a move towards fulfilling his own desires, and this was all he had actually attained. If he were just to let go of his desires, his angelic nature would become intensely strong, and his human nature would subside. Then he would experience what the men of this path before have experienced.

(Junaid:) “Whoever alludes to God, but his heart is attached to other than Him, will be severely tested and he will be stripped of the fruits of invocation. Then if he realises what he has done and reattaches his heart to God, the tribulation and test will be removed.”

Don’t conceive for one second that the aspirant who has left behind everything will not be in the presence of God Almighty. That is not possible; because one who has aspiration beyond the creation will arrive at the Creator. What is meant by ‘arriving’ here is arriving at knowledge of Him. Withdraw with your utmost determination from that which you have become accustomed to-whatever it may be- and don’t ever find solace in it ever again.

He has failed whoever is content with other than You,
And he is ruined whoever desires someone in Your place.

You can find a replacement for everything you turn away from,
But there is no substitute for God if you turn away from Him,
Say, ‘I have no desire other than Your divine presence,
No image that appears before me or any glance that I may steal.

Sidi Abu Madyan:

“What a difference there is between he who aspires for maidens and palaces, and he who aspires for the removing of the veils, and for God’s constant presence!”

Be extremely cautious of seeking fame and prominence. One of the great benefits of ignoring outward and inward benefits is the vouchsafing of extraordinary acts, true miracles. We believe that God is forever there ready to generously offer them out. Peace.


Letter Six

I was once with one of the brethren, Sidi Ahmed at-Tahir, in the Qarawiyyin. We were both in a strong state of witnessing in those times, but that day I found he had withered, or should we say ‘weakened’, until he had started to fall into idle prattle like anyone else. I scolded him violently, saying: 'If you wish to succeed, then strike your ego and throw it aside.'

I also said to one of the brethren, who had told me that one day he had lashed out at a Jewish man, not for any reason but his own vain-glory, and maliciousness: 'Do not strike anyone, be he Jew, Christian, or Muslim, but rather strike out at your own ego, and continue to do so until it dies.’ This is of the up most importance.

Brethren, you too must leave the idle chatter aside completely. It is the worst of all mischief, and is not befitting of your station, nor does it comply with your state. Do not mention anyone unless you mention him well – ‘Whoever has not been grateful to the people has not been grateful to God.’

We believe, and God knows best, that he who has lost sight of the people has not truly witnessed God in all His glory. The one who is complete is he who is not veiled from the creation by his Creator, or from the Creator by His creation in all its shapes and forms. This is the one who has arrived and is complete. This is the Gnostic; and the opposite of this is the one who is lost and confused; except for the one who has lost his mind out of love for God (al-Majdhūb), for he no longer has the faculty to perceive things, and is therefore not lost and confused. Peace.


Letter Seven

Occupy yourselves with that which your Lord has called you to do. Do not be concerned with those who harm you, whether they be from amongst you or from outside. If you do not seek to stand up for yourselves then God all-Mighty will do so for you and subsequently take over your affair, and if you stand up for yourselves then He will leave the affair in your hands and you will be left helpless, and God has power over everything.

(Sidi Qasim al-Khassasi:) ‘Don't ever be concerned with those who come to harm you. Instead, occupy yourself with God, and He will turn them away. He is the one who brought them to you in order to test whether you were being truthful in your claim. How many a man has slipped up on this point, and become concerned with defending himself against those who harmed him, therefore causing the harm to persist and falling into sin at the same time. If only he turned to his Lord He would turn them away from him, and suffice him.’ Peace.


Letter Eight

Concern yourself with that which kills your ego and brings life to your heart. The source of all things righteous is in emptying the heart of love for worldly things; and the source of all things putrid is in filling your heart with love for those things. I wrote to some of the brethren concerning those things that bring about immorality and deviancy, and all of it stems from the love of this material world. Whoever turns towards it with his heart and limbs is the most deviant of people and the worst of oppressors. Were it not for the faith in his heart we would have labelled him a disbeliever, so stick to that which kills your ego and brings life to your hearts as we have said. There is no way to God until we have killed out egos, no matter what knowledge we might have accumulated.

Abu Madyan: ‘Whoever has not killed his ego has not witnessed God.’

One of the brethren complained to us about someone who had oppressed him harshly. We said to him: ‘If you wish to kill he who oppresses you, kill your own ego. By killing it you wipe out all oppressors, and God’s curse is upon those who lie.’

Woe to him who sees his own ego in front of him and does not efface it. One does this by making it bear what is heavy for it, until it is finally slain.

Love is a bride and her dowry is ones ego, so slay it, and your heart will come alive. Once you do so you will be free of fault, and will witness the unseen world. Whoever reaches this station is amongst the best of creation.

Always be in a state of purity, humbleness and contentment as long as you live. No one is truly impoverished until they have killed their ego and known their Lord. Accumulation for the sake of God brings you towards God and accumulation for other than God’s sake takes you further away from Him, and we seek God’s refuge. In truth there is nothing but God alone. He was, and nothing else was; and He is now as He was. Peace.


Letter Nine

Praise God that He has directed you to Him in a time when so many hearts have been snatched away by worldly things. Not being tied up in worldly affairs is a high station that holds a secret well known to those whose hearts are illuminated. God does not forsake he who has fled the means, and rejected wearing fine clothes and seeking solace in sitting with loved ones and friends. One must try to emulate the people who came before. Whoever wants to be truly adorned, let him strip himself of his own desires. Because many of those from the east and the west fled from the means, they were remembered after their time. Peace


Letter Ten

You cannot get to God until you efface your own self. You cannot do so unless you see the image of your ego in front of you. You cannot do this unless you rid yourself of this world, companions, loved ones and everything you are accustomed to.

Someone once said to me: 'My wife has got the better of me.' I replied, 'It is not she that has got the better of you; rather, your own ego has got the better of you. If you can get the better of that, you will overcome the entire creation whether they like it or not, let alone your wife. Our own egos are what get the better of us; nothing else besides. If we efface them, in doing so we will efface all other opposition in our lives.'

Do not astound the people with your ability to perform miracles; rather, busy yourself with that which destroys the ego and brings life to the heart. I was shocked and disturbed when I heard that they were exposing the secrets of the path to the people. If they do so, their inner light will turn to darkness. Peace


Letter Eleven

Whoever wishes to be close to his Lord, and be granted a special place beside Him, then let him take only what is necessary from this world, that which can be obtained without hardship and toil. Do not be deceived by the knowledge of those who are in love with this world, nor by their works, no matter what the case; they are ignorant, and bereft of knowledge. The scholar who follows the Sunnah is the one who detests this world and takes only that which is sufficient for him.

This is the way of our Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace. Whoever's heart is absorbed with the love of this world, and his limbs with accumulating from it, has no knowledge, and no works.

'God does not look to your images, nor to your bodies; rather, He looks to your hearts.'

'Truly, it is not eyes that are blind, but the hearts that lie in the breasts.' (Quran: 22/46)



Letter Twelve

The ego is a wondrous thing, for it is the creation complete. It is a copy of it, and everything found in the creation can be found therein, and vice-versa. Whoever takes hold of it will doubtless take hold of creation itself; and whoever lets it take hold of him will be taken hold of by the whole of creation.

Once there was no harvest in the region of Tafillelt, so when they went to perform the rites of pilgrimage, they decided to search for someone related to the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, to ask him to grant them one of his children. When they found him, he agreed to do so. He called one of his sons to come and join them and asked him: 'If someone is good to you, how do you respond?' The son said: 'I would be good to him as he was to me.' Then, he asked him: 'What about if someone treated you badly?' The son replied: 'We treat him just as he treated us.' The father told him he could go. Then he called his sons one after the other and they responded with the same answer until they came to his youngest. When he was asked the second question he replied: 'We treat him well.' The father inquired: 'How is it you treat him well after he has been bad to you?' The boy responded: 'He is as he is, and I am as I am, until my good treatment of him gets the better of him.' The father gave his son over to the men and prayed for them all. Out of their love for the boy their crops yielded produce from then on.

The moral of the story is to love the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, because his love will rectify anything. Be good to whoever treats you badly, until you overcome him. This is honour and this is high moral character. God produced from his descent many a scholar and righteous man who were the like of the Companions themselves.

These people embodied modesty, generosity, high aspiration, and high moral character, may Allah grant us their love, Amin. Peace.


Letter Thirteen

The disciples long before never busied themselves or strived in anything unless it smote their egos and brought life to their hearts. Today we have turned things over on their heads. They strived to let go of their desires and lower themselves. I say these words to you only because I have seen the gifts of those who smite their egos and bring life to their hearts. Unfortunately we have become content with less; and whoever is content with anything other than arrival at the witnessing of God is an ignoramus.

However, being attached to one’s desires and seeking to raise one’s station in the eyes of others is not the only thing that prevents one from receiving these gifts; one also needs a natural gift in one’s heart. The inner meanings do not descend on a heart unless it has a mighty connection with seeing the essence of its Lord. If so, the realities of the Lord’s essence will descend upon it until they efface him, whereby he will no longer imagine there is anything else besides His presence. Whoever has a strong connection with his Lord will be thus so. As for one who is naturally drawn to knowledge alone or works alone, he will never obtain the inner meanings of things or taste them, because his heart is directed to other than the essence of God; and God provides for His servant according to his aspiration.

Know that these inner meanings are ever present in the human being and they are as many as there are waves in the ocean. However, the material world has overtaken them and taken a grip on their hearts and limbs, preventing them from obtaining these meanings, for they are opposites that never meet.

This arriving is not reached through acts, whether abundant or sparse; it is reached through the bounty and grace of God alone.

(Ibn Ata ‘Illah) ‘Were you only unable to reach Him after all your blameworthy traits and empty claims were effaced, you would never reach Him; if He wishes to bring you to Him, He covers over your traits with His, and your qualities with His. Therefore your arrival to Him is from Him to you and not you to Him.’

This is a grace from God that He has granted the masters of the path. Were it not for them, no-one would be able to reach Him, as to know a man of God is far more difficult than to know God himself.

(Ibn ‘Ata ‘Illah:) ‘Hallowed be He who only made guidance towards His close ones as a means of guidance towards Him, and only guided to them those whom He wanted to bring unto Himself.’

There is no doubt that our Lord of the heaven and earth, the Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, was present and plain to see as the sun above the mountain, but despite that not everyone saw him. Others were veiled from him as were so many before amongst whom dwelt their prophets, and the men of God of their time, yet they rejected them and did not believe.

‘And you witness them looking unto you, but they do not see.’

‘And they say: “What sort of a messenger is this, who eats food, and walks through the streets?’ (Quran: 25/7)

More than two thirds of the Book of God is concerned with those who rejected the message and did not perceive the reality of the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace. Consider Abu Jahl! He saw him as a mere orphan charge of Abu Talib!

If one finds a master of the path, at times he will see that breaking free of the ego is accomplished some times by hunger and at other times by satiation. At other times he may see that he must call you to increase your means, and at other times to limit them. He may call you to sleep, and at other times order you to limit it. He may call you to flee from the people, and at other times to sit with them and take solace from them. This is because one’s inner light may become so strong that the master fears that it will crush the disciple as it has done to so many others before. He may therefore take him out of isolation into the company of others to quell the light within, so it does not crush him; or he may do the opposite.

‘To thy Lord is the final goal.’ (Quran: 53/42)

Due to the limited number of people whose hearts are ready to follow, spiritual training has become so scarce. However, God’s knowledge is never completely severed.

This path will always be, through God’s power and might, as it is taken from our masters all the way back to the Messenger himself, who took it from the archangel Gabriel, who took it directly from God Almighty. Whoever comes forth to teach it has done so with the authority of God and His messenger, may God bless him and grant him peace, and as Sidi al-Mursi said, ‘No teacher comes forth to teach the disciples until divine inspiration has overcome him and he has been given authority from God and His messenger.’ It is through the blessing of this authority that this matter still stands and its folk remain upright, and God knows best.

Sidi Abu al-Mawahib al-Tunusi, may God be pleased with him, said with regard to witnessing the essence of our Lord, ‘Annihilation (fana’) is effacement and dwindling away until you cease to remain and are removed.’

(Sidi Abu Madyan:) ‘Whoever has not ceased to exist has not seen the Real.’

Be wary of assuming it is the dense or opaque matter that has veiled you from your Lord. It is your own delusion that has done so; and delusion is opposed to the truth.

(Ibn ‘Ata ‘Illah:) ‘It is not the existence of something present alongside Him that has veiled you, for there is nothing besides Him; rather it is the delusion that there is something present alongside Him that has veiled you.’

The state of annihilation can be achieved in a short space of time, God willing, by invoking God’s majestic name ‘Allah’ in a specific method. I found this method mentioned by Imam Shadhili in a book which was in the possession of some scholars in my homeland of Bani Zarwal. My teacher Sidi ‘Ali also taught me this, but in different way which is even more effective, and which achieves results in a shorter space of time.

The method is to picture the five letters of the name when reciting it. Whenever you feel the image in front of you slipping away, you must go back to it, even if you had to one thousand times in one night and one thousand times in the day. Using this method, a great thought came to me. I used to invoke using it at the beginning of the path for up to one month. Divine knowledge in its plenty would come to me, but I was not distracted by it; rather I focussed my intention on invoking the Name, bringing the letters to my mind constantly for one whole month until the words of God came to:

‘He is the First and the Last, the Manifest and the Hidden.’ (Quran: 57/3)

I immediately turned my thoughts away from it back to the invoking of the Name as I had done to so many other notions that had come to me before. However, this one would not leave me; rather it grabbed a hold of me and would not let me go. I tried to turn my thoughts time and again from it but it would not leave me. I said to it, ‘As for His exalted words “He is the First and the Last” and “the Hidden” I understood, but I did not understand the word “Manifest”, as the only thing evident that we see is the creation. The notion replied back, ‘If the meaning of the word “Manifest” had meant anything other than that which you see before you, it would have been hidden, and not manifest, yet I say to you ‘The Manifest!’ From that point I realised that there was nothing present but God alone and there is nothing in the creation but Him, thanks and praise be to Him.

Annihilation in the essence of our Lord can be achieved, God willing, in a very short space of time by applying this method that we have laid down to you. By using it, it brings about divine thought from morning to evening if one has the time. I achieved it in the space of one month, and God knows best.

And without a doubt, if one is able to gain divine thought in his life even if it takes one year, two years or even three, then he has gained a great blessing and clear well-known secret. As the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, said:

“A moment’s contemplation is more virtuous than seventy years of worship.”

Contemplation can take one from the material realm to the realm of purity; or we can say from the presence of created being to the presence of the Creator, and I say this as God is my witness.

We stress to anyone who has come back from a state of heedlessness to a state of remembrance that he must attach his heart to seeing the essence of his Lord at all times in order that it grant him its meanings. This is the way of its folk. Also I stress that he not suffice himself with the notions that come to him, and leave the litanies of the path, in order that he not be deprived of obtaining the goal.



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