The Seal of the Wisdom of the Unseen in the Word of Ayyub (Job)
Know that the secret of life flows in water, for it is the basis of the components and the basic elements. For this reason, Allah made every living thing of water.1 There is nothing is which is not alive, so there is nothing which does not proclaim His praise, but their extolling is only understood by divine unveiling.2 Nothing extols unless it is alive. So the basis of everything is water. Do you not see how the Throne is on the water because it was formed from it?3 It oppresses the water while the water underneath it maintains it.
In the same way, Allah created man a slave. Then he was haughty towards his Lord and put himself above Him. In spite of this, Allah preserves him from underneath in respect of the the height of this slave who is ignorant of himself. This is what the Prophet said, "If you let a rope fall, it would fall on Allah." So he indicated that "below" is related to Him as "above" is related to Him when He said, "They fear their Lord above them," (16:50) and "He is the Absolute Master over His slaves." (6:18; 6:61) So He has "above" and "below" For this reason, the six directions only appeared in respect of man, who is on the form of the All-Merciful.
There is no nourisher except Allah. He said of one group, "If they had implemented the Torah and the Gospel," using the indefinite and being general, "and what was sent down to them from their Lord," and this includes every judgement sent down on the tongue of a Messenger or someone inspired, "they would have been fed from above their heads," and He is the Nourisher in respect of the aboveness which is ascribed to Him, "and beneath their feet," (5:66) as He is the Nourisher in respect of the belowness which He ascribes to Himself on the tongue of His Messenger, who translates from Him. If the Throne had not been on the water, its existence would not have been maintained. The existence of the living sustains life. Do you not see that when the living dies the customary death, the parts of his structure disintegrate and his faculties are eliminated from that particular structure? Allah said to Ayyub, "Stamp your foot! Here is a cool bath," (38:42) meaning that since he had an excess of the heat of pain, He would alleviate it by the coolness of the water. For this reason, the medicine was decrease from excess and excess in decreasing. What is the meant is the demand of balance, and the only way to it is by approaching it.
However, we said that there is no way achieve equilibrium because realities and witnessing constantly accord taking-form with every single breath.4 Taking-form (takwin) only comes from an inclination which is called deviation or decomposition in nature. In Allah it is the will, and it is inclination to one particular goal rather than another. Equilibrium denotes sameness in all, but this does not occur. For this reason, we are deprived of the principle of equilibrium. Allah's description with pleasure and anger and the attributes is related in prophetic divine knowledge. Pleasure obliterates anger, and anger obliterates pleasure from the pleasing. Perfect equilibrium would mean that anger and pleasure are the same. The Wrathful would not not wrathful towards the one he is angry with, but would be pleased with him. He is described by one of the two principles in respect to him that is, inclination. And Allah would not pleased with the one He is pleased with and would be angry with him, and so He is described by one of the two principles in respect to him - that is, inclination.
We said this, however, in respect of the one who thinks that Allah's wrath will continue against the people of the Fire forever, as he claims. So they do not have the principle of pleasure from Allah. What is meant is true. It is as we have said, so the hopes of the people of the Fire lies in the removal of pains. Even if they still dwell in the Fire, that is pleasure, so wrath is removed when the pains are removed since the source of pain is the source of wrath if you understand! Whoever is wrathful has suffered hurt. He only strives to avenge the object of his wrath by causing him suffering so that the wrathful might find relief by that. He transfers the pain which he has to the object of his wrath.
If you separate Allah from the universe, then High indeed is He exalted above this attribute! If Allah is the He-ness of the universe, then all principles appear only in Him and from Him. It is His word, "to Him the entire affair will be returned" in reality and unveiling, "so worship Him and put your trust in Him" (11:123) in veil and covering. There is nothing in the realm of possibility more original than this universe because it is based on the form of the Merciful which Allah brought into existence - He manifested His existence by the existence of the universe as man manifests the existence of the natural form. We are His manifest form, and His He-ness is the spirit of this form which governs it. There is no management except in Him as it is only from Him. He is the First by meaning and the Last by form, and the Manifest by the changing of judgements and states, and the Inner by management. "He has knowledge of all things." "He witnesses everything"5 so He knows by direct witnessing, not by thought. It is the same with the knowledge of tasting (dhawq) which does not derive from thought. Tasting is sound knowledge. Other things are only conjecture and surmise, and that is not knowledge at all.
Then Ayyub had that water to drink to remove the pain of thirst which was from the weariness and punishment with which shaytan 6 had touched him,7 that is, distance from the realities which he perceived for what they were. Ayyub perceived them for what they were, and by his perception, he was in the place of nearness. Every witnessed one is close to the eye ('ayn=source), even if it is far away by the interval of distance. Vision reaches it, since it is witnessing. If it had not been for that, he would not witness it, nor would what is witnessed be reached by vision, however you want to put it. The witnessed is near between the sight and the seer. This is why Ayyub alluded to touch and ascribed it to Shaytan in spite of the nearness of touch. He said, "The one distant from me is near because of his power over me."
You know that distance and nearness are two relative matters, for they are two ascriptions. They have no existence in the source in spite of the fact that there judgements are established in the far and near. Know that the secret of Allah in Ayyub (whom He made an example for us in a written existing book which this Muhammadan community reads in order to learn what is in it, and they attach honour to the one who possesses it), is that Allah praised him for his patience in his supplication to remove affliction from him. We know that when the slave calls on Allah to remove affliction from him without that lessening his patience, then he is patient and the best of the slaves, as Allah said, "What an excellent slave! He truly turned to his Lord." 8 (38:44) This means he goes back to Allah, not back to the cause.
Allah affects by the cause because the slave depends on it since the causes which will remove any one matter are many, but the Causer is but one. It is more fitting that the slave return to the One Source in order to remove that pain by the cause of that than to the particular cause. It may be that that will not conform to Allah's knowledge in it, and then some will say, "Allah did not answer me." Yet he did not call on him, but he inclined to a particular cause which neither the time nor the moment requires. Ayyub acted by the wisdom of Allah since he was a Prophet. He knew that with one group, patience is what holds the self back from complaint. That is not our definition of patience (sabr). Its definition is to hold the self back from complaint to other-than-Allah, not to Allah. The first group is veiled in their view that the complainer is lessened in contentment (rida) with the decree by complaint. That is not the case.
Contentment with the decree is not lessened by complaint to Allah or to others, but contentment with the decreed is lessened. We are not speaking about contentment with the decreed. Affliction is what is decreed and not the same as the Decree. Ayyub knew that holding the self back from complaint to Allah for the removal of affliction is to oppose divine force. It is ignorance if, when Allah afflicts someone by what gives him pain, he does not call on Allah to remove that painful matter from him. The one who has realisation must supplicate and ask Allah to remove that from him. For that gnostic who possesses unveiling, that removal comes from the presence of Allah. Allah describes Himself as "hurt", so He said, "those who hurt Allah and His Messenger." (33:57) What hurt is greater than that Allah test you with affliction in your heedlessness of Him or a divine station which you do not know so that you return to Him with your complaint so that He can remove is from you? Thus the need which is your reality will be proven. The hurt is removed from Allah by your asking Him to repel it from you, since you are His manifest form.
One of the gnostics was hungry and wept. Someone who had no tasting (dhawq) in that area censured him for that. The gnostic said, "But Allah makes me hungry so that I might weep. He tests me by affliction so that I might ask Him to remove it from me. This does not lessen my being patient." We know that patience is holding the self back from complaint to other-than-Allah.
By "other" I mean a particular aspect of Allah. Allah specified a particular one of Allah's aspects, and it is called the aspect of He-ness, so he calls on Him from that aspect to remove affliction from him, not from the other aspects called causes. They are only Him in respect to elaboration of the matter in itself. The gnostic's request does not veil him from the He-ness of Allah in removing affliction from him and the fact that all the causes are Him from a particular point of view. This path is only obliged on the people of adab among the slaves of Allah who are entrusted with the secrets of Allah. Allah has guardians whom only Allah recognises, and some of them recognise each other. We have counselled you, so strive, and ask of Allah!
1. Qur'an See 21:30.
2. See Qur'an 17:44.
3. See 11:7. Meaning the physical throne which is the Starless Sphere. Hadith in al-Bukhari, "Allah existed and there was nothing with Him. His Throne was on the water and then He created the heavens and the earth."
4. Tajdid al-khalq, instantaneous renewal of creation.
5. See Qur'an 5:117; 22:17, etc.
6. The root of Shaytan is shaytana: to be distant.
7. Qur'an 38:41.
8. Awwab, which means one who frequently returns to Allah.
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