61. Forbearance (Hilm)
He is good to those who are bad to him and maintains his ties with those who cut him off. That moves him to the Perfect Guide.
62. The Perfect Guide (al-Mursid al-Kamil)
He is the living guide. The guide meets him with intense yearning and tells him, "Welcome to the one I have long being waiting for and yearning for!" He invites to him to travel at his hand and to enter the Presence of Allah. He gives him the good news that he will become one of the people of witnessing and direct vision and going-on by Allah after annihilation in Allah, while being completely safe and preserved in his intellect, deen and this world.
If there is prior Divine Concern for the traveller, he obeys him and follows him or he says to him, "Sir, I am not worthy to come before Allah. I am the most insignificant of the slaves of Allah and the most disobedient of them towards Him." The guide delights in what he says and gives him the good news that if he is speaking the truth in this, he is worthy of every good. He tells him, "Believe that you are worthy of gnosis of Allah and of obtaining His pleasure."
If it is written that he will arrive by by his hand, he will obey and stay with him and he will raise him to Going-on by Allah and he will pass through thirty-four stages in one step. In his ascent, he will pass by the edge of the station of Intrinsic Belief which is his words, "You are worthy of that," the station of Liberality, the station of the Domain of Worship, the station of the Jabarut, and the station of Annihilation in Allah and will arrive in the station of Going-on by Allah. Then he returns him to the Muhammadan Domain which is the most perfect manifestation of true slavedom and undertaking the rights of lordship. That moves him to the Gate of the Throne and He sees, "The All-Merciful settled on the Throne." (20:5) Then he moves him again back to the station of Going-on by Allah.
Then the Perfect Guide returns him to the Muhammadan Domain again and so he alternates between the Muhammadan Domain and Going-on by Allah, and so gathering is witnessed in his heart while separation exists on his tongue so that the foot of his outward is firm in the Shari'a of Muhammad while the foot of his inward is firm in the reality of Going-on by Allah. So his gathering does not veil him from his separation nor his separation from his gathering, and so his outward is Muhammadan and his inward is Ahmadian.
Then with special permission, the Perfect Guide moves him to the Domain of Ibrahim after teaching him the adab of that station. Then he quickly returns him to the Muhammadan Domain. Then he again moves him to the Domain of Ibrahim, and then brings him back again. That is so that he can learn its knowledges, secrets and perils. He commands him to observe full adab with the Station of Ibrahim so that he does not claim it for himself to show his proper behaviour with Allah and with his Friend Ibrahim, peace be upon.
Then, again with special permission, he moves him to the station of Mika'il after teaching him the adab of the station, and then he immediately returns him to the Muhammadan Domain, and then does that again and then returns him so that he can learn its knowledges, secrets and perils, and he commands him to observe the full adab with Mika'il and not to claim that station for himself. He does not command him to do anything because of the proper adab with Allah and with the Keeper of His Treasures, even if he were to say to him, "Command me whatever you will." That could be a delusion which draws one on. Allah says, "Allah is the best of the plotters." (3:54; 8:30)
Then, again with special permission, he moves him to the station of 'Azra'il after teaching him the adab of that station. Then he immediately returns him to the Muhammadan Domain and then again takes him back to the station and so on so that he can learn the knowledges, sciences and perils in it. He commands him to observe full adab with Allah and with His angel who is entrusted with taking the souls of His creatures. He should not claim any of that stage for himself nor command him to take the spirit of any of Allah's creatures, even if he says to him, "Command me what you wish." That is drawing on from Allah and a trick. Allah says, "Allah is the best of the plotters." (3:54; 8:30)
Then, again with special permission, he moves him to the station of Shaytan after teaching him the adab of the station and warning him about its perils and instructing to flee often to Allah. Them he immediately returns him to the Muhammadan Domain. Then again he takes him to it and so on so that he can learn the knowledges, secrets and perils in it. Shaytan is exasperated with him because of the frequency with which he flees to Allah and the frequency of his returning to the Shari'a of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.
He must be completely on guard against inclining to Shaytan and listening to his whispering. Allah says, "As for those who are godfearing, when they are bothered by visitors from Shaytan, they remember and immediately see clearly." (7:201) So Allah makes him aware of the devices of Shaytan and the devices of the lower self. He sees that the devices of Shaytan are weak in comparison to the devices, trickery, and machinations of the lower self and its connection to him. The self is fouler than seventy shaytans. The self is not defeated nor is anyone safe from it except for the one who flees frequently to Allah from everything. Allah says, "Flee to Allah." (51:50)
Fleeing to Allah is by the heart fleeing to Going-on by Allah and by the body fleeing to the Muhammadan Domain which is true slavedom and undertaking the rights of lordship. So he is one of the of the sincere slaves of Allah about whom Allah says "You have no authority over any of My slaves." (15:42) He called them "My" slaves because of the frequency with which they flee to Him from everything. We read in the Hikam of Ibn 'Ata'llah:
The gnostic is always in
and cannot rest with other-than-Allah.
When he is fit for the Station of the Perfect Guide and truly looks at it, then he is only lacking special permission to guide. When Divine Wisdom has decreed for this station to be manifested for him in fact, permission for that comes to him from Allah Almighty and from the Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and from his teacher, and so the station of Guidance actually is manifested on him and he is commanded to descend to the station of the Perfect Guide to guide people and to help them in travelling to Allah and to bring them near so that they can reach Him. He makes them love Allah and Allah will love them.
If Divine Wisdom has decreed that he remain as he is, then he helps and assists the Perfect Guide and directs people to him by saying things like, "Take note of so-and-so. He is one of the gnostics of Allah for whom there is permission to be guided." There is no greater healing for the illnesses and faults of the hearts than the company of the gnostics of Allah and entering into heir teaching and clinging to their care with truthfulness and love. By Allah, those who have had success only achieved success by keeping the company of those who have achieved success while observing complete adab with Allah and with the station of the Perfect Guide with special permission.
In short, the judgement regarding the gnostic of Allah who reaches the station of right guidance without having permission for it with the Perfect Guide who has permission to guide resembles the judgement of the Prophet with the Messenger. This applies to the person who has enjoyed prior Divine Concern and entered under the instruction of the guide. There is also the case where he does not have a portion of that or did have but it is not appear, or when he says to him, "I am like you, and we are together in this station which I did not claim. I have learned a sublime wisdom from time, and I am acting by it and because of it I do not need you or anyone else. It is: 'Believe and do not be led. You will not achieve peace of mind by anyone.' So my belief has brought me to my Goal without me owing a favour to anyone.Not being led to Allah and His lovers preserves me in my Path from perils. Time has taught me, taught me and nurtured me until I reached your station. You have no excellence over me by any aspect. That moves him to Intrinsic Belief.
63. Intrinsic Belief (al-I'tiqad adh-Dhati)
One text calls it Sincere Belief. He believes that he himself is perfect and that he is like the perfect Guide, indeed more perfect than him because of his scrupulousness and circumspection about not laying claim to the station of Guidance. That moves him to Good Actions.
64. Good Actions
Like fasting, praying at night and charity to widows and orphans. That moves him to Certainty.
65. Certainty: al-Yaqin
In knowledge. So he has unshakable knowledge of beliefs which he has heard through multiple transmission as well as the proofs for them That moves him to the Celestial World.
66. The Celestial World
Which is the source of certainty. One text calls it Beneficial Knowledge. With his inner eye He witnesses the angels and the Garden and the Fire and all the things he has heard about, and that moves him to Assent.
67. Assent: ar-Rida
He is pleased with Allah as a Lord and Islam as a deen and Muhammad as a Messenger and He is pleased with the judgements of Allah in respect of behaviour and obligation. That moves him to Jihad.
One text calls it "The Reckoning of the Deen". He strives with his lower self and calls it to account. He demands that it return to what Allah loves and what pleases Him. He admonishes with words like those of Allah, "No, by your Lord, they are not believers until they make you their judge in the disputes that break out between them, and then find no resistance within themselves to what you decide and submit themselves completely," (4:65) and like what the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said: "None of you will believe until his passion follows what I brought." That moves him to Knowledge.
69. Knowledge: al-'Ilm
This designates "Beneficial Knowledge" about which the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "There are two types of knowledge: knowledge of the tongue, which is Allah's evidence against the son of Adam, and the knowledge of the heart, which is beneficial knowledge."
When he stops in it and remains there, that raises him to the Muhammadan Domain and he passes through twenty-five stages in one step. In his ascent, he passes by the Station of the Tariqa, the Immense Earth, the Malakut and Sainthood and arrives in the Muhammadan Domain. If he does not stop, that moves him to Faith.
70. Faith: Iman
This is Perfect Unseen Faith in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and His decree of good and evil. Useful Knowledge will convey all those who hold to it to the Muhammadan Domain unless the traveller does not help himself with firm resolve to follow in the footsteps of Muhammadan path. He is content himself with perfect unseen faith and loves what Allah loves and hates what Allah hates. He travels commensurate with to his weakness and seeks for indulgence for himself without imposition or hardship. That moves him to the Shari'a.
71. The Shari'a
Which consists of the words of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and so he learned from them and sustained them with seriousness and striving with firm aspiration (himma) to which he was not accustomed before complete faith entered his heart. That moves him to the Tariqa.
The Muhammadan Path which consists of the actions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. So he acts according to his knowledge and he experiences sweetness in action. That moves him to the Greatest Earth.
73. The Greatest Earth
Which is the Outskirts of the Garden. One text calls it "The Greatest Reward". They mean the same because the Greatest Reward is the reason for entering the Garden and its Path which Allah has promised to His believing slaves who perform righteous actions. When someone reaches the Greatest Earth, he enters the Garden, since there is nothing after it except the Garden. Thus he is moved to the Garden.
74. The Garden
He sees that it is adorned for him and he sees its houris and castles as it they were right before him. He remembers what the Perfect Guide alluded to but he does not find it in his Garden which is the Garden of the Greatest Reward. He he is certain that what he said was the truth because in this Garden he does not find his goal which is to look at the Noble Face of Allah. He cannot then return to the station of the Perfect Guide and so he is ascetic in the Garden and the Reward and he yearns for the veil to be lifted. He is told, "There is no way to reach that except after annihilation." He has missed annihilation in the Essence because he is not able to achieve that without a Shaykh. Such is the Wisdom of Allah. The rare case is not considered.
So he thinks that what is meant by annihilation is what he is looking up to. That moves him to Annihilation in Existence.
75. Annihilation in Existence
He is annihilated in possible temporal existence. Since that does not quench his thirst and he does not find his Goal there, his heart is not at peace and he looks towards another type of annihilation thinking that it is the Goal. That moves him to Annihilation in the Shaykh.
76. Annihilation in the Shaykh
The Perfect Guide. He missed the opportunity for his company and cannot return to his station. He cannot listen to his words or see his physical essence. So he begins to imagine him in his thoughts and to summon him present in his heart until he is annihilated in him. He begins to say, "The Shaykh said to me," and "I said to the Shaykh." Sometimes he says, "I am Shaykh so-and-so." That does not help him at all in attaining his Goal, because his annihilation is only movement from one phenomenal being to another phenomenal being. That moves him to the Domain of Worship.
77. The Domain of Worship: Mulk al-'Ibada
This domain is the outward belief of the Shari'a and acting according to it. He begins to say that there is only the outward Shari'a and all that the People [the Sufis] claim is nothing but imagination and fantasy without reality. He says, "If there were anything other than the outward Shari'a, I would have reached it. 'The incapacity to achieve perception is perception.' Delving into the Essence of Allah is attributing partners to Allah (shirk)."
So he strives in outward worship like fasting and praying at night, and turns from the inward part of the Shari'a believing that it is contrary to the outward and incompatible with it. and He believes that what conflicts with the outward is contrary to the Shari'a. Allah says, " Whoever does an atom's weight of good will see it. Whoever does an atom's weight of evil will see it." (99:7-8)
It is said to him, "Are not liberality and generosity part of outward actions?" Al-Bukhari and al-Bayhaqi transmitted, "Generosity is one of the trees of the Garden whose branches hang down into this world. If someone takes hold of a branch of it, that branch guides him to the Garden. Miserliness is one of the trees of the Fire whose branches extend into this world. If someone takes hold of a branch of it, that branch will lead him to the Fire." At-Tirmidhi and al-Bayhaqi transmitted, "The generous person is near to Allah, near to people, near tot the Garden and far from the Fire. The miser is far from Allah, far from people, far from the Garden, and near to the Fire. The ignorant generous person is dearer to Allah than a worshipping miser." Ibn 'Adi transmitted, "Faith and miserliness are not ever combined in the heart of a believing man." Abu Ya'la transmitted, "Nothing obliterates Islam like miserliness obliterates it."
That moves him to Liberality.
78. Liberality: as-Sakha'
Generosity and openhandedness. So he is generous with his money and rank. The benefit of generosity is contagious. It is one of the qualities of Allah. If someone takes on one of the qualities of Allah, that quality will guide to the Garden of Gnoses. That moves him to the Reality.
79. The Reality: al-Haqiqa
One text has "Gnosis". The one who used to refuse to acknowledge it and denied that it was part of the Shari'a at all now he begins to become aware of the existence of a reality which cannot be denied, as he is aware of the existence of his spirit in his body which he cannot deny and whose true nature and reality he cannot know. We read in al-Mabahith al-Asliyya:
They are conscious of something
other than mere bodies
which they call "the spiritual world".
So before the rational man
of knowledge are gnoses
which are enigmas in what is transmitted.
That moves him to Gnosis.
80. Gnosis: Ma'rifa
One text calls it "Reality". So he recognises that phenomenal Being has a Maker other than it Who brought it into Being, Who is described by every perfection and free of every imperfection. He says, "I must recognise the Maker of this Being. I cannot do that until I recognise the difference between Being and the Maker of Being. If I can see the Maker of Being then I will not fall short in my quest for Him.
'Allah exists and there
is no doubt about it.
Every existent can be seen.'
Since I am in Phenomenal Being and Being is the guide, then I must recognise and learn the guide before anything else. That moves him to Being.