The first of the stations is patience … The first of the stations is patience in obedience to His will (Exalted is He). The one in the middle is contentment with His wishes (Exalted is He), and the last is that you come to be in accordance with His purpose.
[Practical] knowledge ['ilm] is the way of action, and action is [the way of] knowledge. And knowledge is the way of experience [ma'rifa]. And experience [of Allah] is the way of unveiling [kashf]. And unveiling is the way of extinction [fana'].
“You have not become fit for Us as long as there is still within you any remnant of anything apart from Us, so when you have set everything else aside, We shall render you extinct. You have now become fit for Us, and We have entrusted you with Our secret.”
When there does not remain with you any self-motivation, your certitude will be perfected, and when there does not remain any existence of yours, your realization-and-affirmation-of-Oneness [tawhid] will be perfected.
The people of the inner are with certainty [yaqin], and the people of the outer are with faith [iman]. So when the heart of the master of certainty is stimulated in response to anything other than Allah, his certainty is deficient, and when no notion ever occurs to him, his certainty is perfect. And when the heart of the master of faith is stimulated in response to anything other than the divine command, his faith is defective, and when it is stirred by the divine command, his faith is complete.
The sin of the people of certainty is unbelief [kufr], and the sin of the people of faith is falling short.
The dutiful servant is diligent, and the lover is totally trusting, and he who knows by direct experience [al-'arif] is calm and serene, and he who is found is lost. There is no rest for a dutiful servant, and no movement for a lover, and no resolve for one who knows by direct experience, and no being found for one who is lost.
Love is experienced only after certainty, and when the lover is sincere in his love, his heart must be empty of all that is apart from Him. And as long as it retains any trace of love for anything but Him, he must be lacking in love.
One who takes delight in misfortune, co-exists therewith, and one who takes delight and rejoices in prosperity co-exists with it, so when He makes them extinct to them, the enjoyment of misfortune and prosperity departs.
As for the lover, his breath is wisdom [hikma], and as for the loved one, his breath is power [qudra].
Formal acts of worship are for the compensations, and love is for the nearnesses. [In the words of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He)]: “I have prepared for My righteous servants that which no eye has ever seen, of which no ear has ever heard, and which has never occurred to any human heart. When they wish for Me, I give them that which no eye has ever seen and of which no ear has ever heard.”
© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America