41. Pleasing Trustworthiness (al-Amana al-Mardiyya)
This is preserving both the outward and inward limbs from falling into something which is unlawful or disliked in the Shari'a because good company consists of people through whose company someone is not made miserable and they are not treacherous. This is why keeping their company moves him to pleasing trustworthiness and that in turn moves him on to the Subtle Voice.
42. The Subtle Voice (as-Sawt al-Latif)
It is the voice of the Lord which is spoken by the tongue of the Spirit which addresses the Soul with the like of Surat ad-Duha (93), Surat al-Inshirah (94) and Sura al-Kawthar. So the soul delights in it and is joyous. He wants to act according to that in the most perfect aspect, but his faculties and limbs does not help him to do that. The poet says:
This reality of the self connects to the Holy Presence
And the place impedes it, and it is from here that the ascent begins.
All of the selves of the living know and perceive things,
But bodies, lower selves, evil incitements and Shaytan impede them.
That moves him to Turbidity:
43. Turbidity (Kadar)
Yahya ibn Mu'adh said, "The wretched son of Adam, who has a defective body and a defective heart, wants to emerge from two defective things by action without defect when the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, is reported as saying, "Affliction, craving and appetite are kneaded into the clay of Adam." We read in the Hikam of Ibn 'Ata'llah:
"If you could only reach Him after
the annihilation of your evil qualities and the eradication of your claims,
you would never reach Him.
But if He wants to bring you to Him,
He veils your attribute with His attribute.
So you reach Him by what comes from Him to you,
not by what goes from you to Him."
So His self becomes disturbed and turbid and he is pained by the predominance of witnessing the sensory and the accumulation of terrors of this world and its events which overwhelm a person: like death, illness, poverty, trials, separation, demise and other things which recur in this world which is the abode of worry, anxiety, sorrow and turbidity. Ibn 'Ata'llah said in his Hikam:
Don't think that vexation and sorrow are unusual
as long as you are in this world.
It only brings out what its attribute and quality demand.
He also said:
He made this world a place for otherness,
a mine of impurities,
so as to encourage you to do without it.
So turn your entire being to Him and direct your aspiration to Him. Turning away from this world and devoting yourself to the Next World what is desired of you is that you travel to the world of spirits. That is why Allah has made the lower world constricted for you: so that you travel from it by your aspiration (himma) to the celestial world. That moves you to Real Passion.
44. Real Passion (al-'Ishq al-Haqiqi)
It is that passion which is the passion of the souls and spirits for their Creator who helps them with all sensory and spiritual blessings. We read in the hadith, "Love Allah for the blessings with which He nourishes you." He is the One who really does what is good and Who is described with every perfection and pure of any imperfection.
When the heart loves something, it turns to it and is humble to it and obeys all it commands. The lover obeys the one he loves. The heart has only one direction it faces. Man only has one heart. Allah says, "Allah did not give a man two hearts in his breast." (33:4) Since the heart has one direction it faces, whichever way it faces, if it turns away from any other direction he is a true slave of Allah. If he turns to his desire and craving, he turns completely away from His Master and is a slave of other-than-Him. Allah is not pleased for His slave to be a slave of another. We read in the Hikam of Ibn 'Ata'llah:
When you love thing,
you are its slave.
He does not like for you to be a slave to other-than-Him.
Shaytan comes to him and says to him, "You will not be truly passionately in love with Allah until you completely free your outward and inward of all that is other than Him and are divested of anything which could distract you from Allah. You cannot accomplish this while you have a wife, children, house, shop or garden. That moves him to the Ruins.
45. The Ruins
One text has Wabal (Unhealthy Climate as a result of Evil). He hates all the things which distracted him from Allah and cuts off all phenomenal connections in his heart since we already mentioned that the heart can only face one direction. When it faces Allah it turns away from other than Him. So he thinks that he cannot combine making use of legal means outwardly and being divested of them inwardly because he only recognises the outward and only sees the sensory.
When he stops there and remains there, that moves him to his outward and he loses all the wealth in his possession and and he no longer has any means of livelihood so this world, which is the basis of his deen, becomes a ruin for him. So he becomes impoverished, his breast is constricted, and his character becomes bad. Then the hooks of bad character catch him and pull him down from the Ruins to Bad Character. In his fall, he passes through twenty-two stages, passing by Hatred, Powerlessness, the Sea, and Metaphorical Passion to land in Bad Character, the eighteenth stage.
If he does not stop, that moves him to Effacement in Effacement.
46. Effacement in Effacement (al-Mahw fi'l-Mahw)
This means total reliance on Allah so that it effaces phenomenal beings from his heart and he sees that they have no existence, and no harm or or benefit. Seeing effacement is also effaced from his heart. He sees that that is part of Allah's bounty to him and that moves him to Perfect Intellect.
47. Perfect Intellect (al-'Aql al-Kamil)
One text calls it "Realisation" (at-Tahqiq). The perfect intellect is the one which understands the words of Allah and understands them in a manner which is pleasing to Allah and puts everything in its proper place. That is realisation. So he sees that beings are firm by His making them firm, and effaced by the unity of His Essence. So the portions of his self and its appetites are transformed into rights which belong to Allah and he accepts them in order to obey the command of Allah and out of love for Allah. The lover obeys the one he moves.
It is clear to him that there is no conflict between total reliance on Allah and using means because the place for the use of the means is the outward to carry out the right of Divine Wisdom while the place of reliance is in the heart to carry out the right of Divine Power. So the Shari'a of the heart is total reliance and the Shari'a of the body is making use of means. Whoever denies normal and legal means themselves attempts to nullify Divine Wisdom. Whoever attributes effect to normal and legal means has associated something with Allah. Whoever affirms normal and legal means by Allah's affirmation of them and denies that they have any real effect and ascribes them to Allah alone is the true believer and is saved by the bounty of Allah. We read in the Hikam:
Beings are fixed when He fixes them,
and obliterated by the oneness of His essence.
When you realise this important matter, that moves you to Realisations:
48. Realisations (at-Tahqiqat)
By the Perfect Intellect he realises that his lowest part of realisation is leave this world and the highest is to not reflect about the Essence of Allah Almighty which thought cannot fully encompass because thought is Allah's creation, and the creature cannot recognise the reality of itself, let alone recognise the reality and true nature of its Creator. So he realises the the truth of the words of the Almighty, "They do not measure Allah with His true measure." (22:74, etc.) So he seeks the gnosis of Allah from Allah by Allah, not from the intellect and thought, and not by the intellect and thought.
When he tarries and remains in this stage, that raises him to the Celestial World and he passes through eighteen stages in one step. In his ascent, he passes through Perfect Intellect, Repose and Courage and arrives in the Celestial World. He speaks to the angels and they speak to him and he witnesses them with his inner eye. If he does not stop, he is moved to the Sorrowful Heart.
49. The Sorrowful Heart
He experiences the sorrow of the truthful when he returns to his body and his self. He does not find outwardly anything to indicate his realisations and his heart is saddened by that and he sees no cure which can heal his heart except to surrender his self and property to Allah Almighty because they originally belong to Allah and are His property. Their origin was Allah's creation and His gift to him. Then He buys them from him by His words, "Allah has bought from the believers their selves and their wealth in return for them having the Garden." (9:111) He is successful in what he does by the words of the Almighty, "I have turned my face to Him who brought the heavens and earth into being, a pure natural believer. I am no idolater." (6:79) "Say: 'My prayer and my rites, my living and my dying, are for Allah alone, the Lord of all the worlds, Who has no partner.'" (6:162)
That moves him to In the Way of Allah.
50. In the Way of Allah
So he spends his person and his property in the Way of Allah, and all that befalls him of good or evil is in the Way of Allah as the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, when his noble finger was wounded,
"You are only a finger which bleeds, and what you have met is in the Way of Allah."
He strives against every enemy of Allah whether it is internal, like his lower self and his passions, or external, like his wealth, children and fellow human beings.
If he stops there and remains here, that raises him to the Garden and he passes through twenty-four stations in a single step. In his ascent, he passes by the Sorrowful Heart, Earth, Water, Jihad, and Assent and reaches the Garden.
If he does not stay, that moves him to Showing-off.
51. Showing-Off (Riya')
So he acts and abandons showing-off for creation and artifice for them to obtain their affection, praise and esteem. When they do not give him what he wants from them and he stops with them, he conceals his evil and malice towards them. So the hooks of Malice catch him and pull him down from Showing-off to Malice, and he falls forty-four stages all at once, passing by Unsound Intellect, Rash Ignorance, Blameworthy Actions and Jahannam, to fall into Malice, the eighth stage.
If he does not stop, he moves on to Earth.
52. Turab: Earth
He sees all that is on the earth as dust, and does not notice creation in action or non-action. He also sees himself as dust. Dust is trampled underfoot by pious and impious, believer and unbeliever. Filth and dirt are thrown onto it and it transforms that into as flowers, fruits and produce. When he realises this and takes on its character, that moves him to Water.
That by which the life of every living thing exists. So he flows in things as water flows and by which the life of everything exists without burden or hardship. That moves him to Repose.
54. Repose: Raha
One test calls it "Endurance (Jalad)." All creation benefits from complete rest from toil with himself and his follow human beings. He wants every good for them as he wants it for himself. That moves him to Courage.
He obtains all its meanings and does not care about the perils and difficulties he encounters. Sometimes he risks life and limb and property, and he leaps into perils and exposes himself to destruction and death.
If he stops in this stage and remains it, that elevates him to Witnessing and he crosses thirty-six stages in one step, passing by Repose, Assent, Jihad, the Greatest Earth and the Tariqa in his ascent, and he arrives in the station of Witnessing. If he obtains it by death, and it was to elevate the word of Allah, he has obtained eternal happiness. If he lives, his comrades and enemies attest to that for him while he is saved from death when he was exposed to death and seeking it. That moves him to Adornment.
His courage in behaviour, knowledge, politics and war becomes an adornment for him by which he is adorned and decked out before his comrades and kings. That moves him to Good Character.
57. Good Character
He is noble and generous to those who are noble and generous to him and turns away from the ignorant. That moves him to the Brain.
58. The Brain
The thinking faculty. He reflects on the inward parts of matters and their ends and so he discovers that all benefit and harm is in the hand of Allah. That moves him to Love.
59. Love (Hubb)
He loves all creatures for Allah. So he sees the true lover sees a guide to good and the dogged enemy as a driver and so his love for all of Allah's creatures is intensified. That moves him to the Fire.
60. The Fire
Which grows from intense love of Allah and yearning to meet Allah Almighty and obtain His pleasure. That moves him to Forbearance.