From favorite authors in Sufism.
QS An-Nur (24):36-37
In abodes that God permits to rise and for His Name to be remembered within, He is glorified morning and evening
By mature ones whom neither commerce nor trade distract from the remembrance of God, the upholding of prayer, and coming unto purification. They are in awe of a day on which hearts and vision are transformed.
Imam Ali, the Prophet’s beloved cousin and son-in-law, commented on this Ayat saying that:
“Allah has made Zhikr the polish of hearts so we can hear after being deaf, see after being veiled, and be guided by it after resisting. There are among Allah’s servants those with whom He holds intimate discourse, speaking to them in the essence of their intellects so that the light awakens their insight, their hearing, and their innermost hearts. These servants have chosen Zhikr over any worldly thing, and they are guided aright by it and they in turn guide others to the right path. They have devoted themselves to the truth so they take full account of their actions and see clearly what they’ve done and what they’ve failed to do. Thus, they call out to Allah seeking His forgiveness and mercy.
If you could be with such people, you would see the signs of guidance on the path, and the lights illuminating the darkness. You would see the angels surrounding them, and you would see stillness descending upon them and the gates of heaven opening before them, and seats of honor set out for them. They would be in a place where Allah looks upon them, accepting their striving, and praising their station while they would smell the fragrance of forgiveness in supplicating to Him. They feel like helpless hostages to His blessings, and humbled prisoners of His greatness. Their eyes bleed with tears and their hearts ache with longing for Him. They knock every door that leads to Him asking the One who is unlimited by any vastness and who does not disappoint His seekers.
So, take account of yourself by yourself, for other souls are accounted for by other than you.”
“We empty our hearts of reflective thinking, and we sit together with the Real on the carpet of complete respect and spiritual attentiveness and presence and readiness to receive whatever comes to us from Him – so that it is the Real who takes care of teaching us by means of unveiling and spiritual realization. So when they have focused their hearts and their spiritual aspirations on the Real and have truly taken refuge with Him – giving up any reliance on the claims of reflection and investigation and intellectual results – then their hearts are purified and open. Once they have this inner receptivity, the Real manifests Himself to them, teaching them and informing them through the direct vision of the inner meaning of those words and reports, in a single instant”. ~Ibn ‘Arabi
Ibn ‘Arabi’s own advice as to how to approach the study of his teachings/writings.
Divine knowledges do not result from intellectual proofs and theories. Rather, they result from complete facing and joy of thought and freedom of place after the Divine Munificence. The Syaikh, Sadruddin-iKonevi, may his mystery be blessed, says in his comment on the Fâtiha: ‘The real knowledge through taste happens from the aspect of clear and total insight, after the Divine Munificence, depending on the ceasing of the manifest and hidden partial strengths and the detailed expenditure appertaining to them, and by the freeing of the place from all knowledge and belief in everything other than the desire of God to make known what He makes you know, by total facing, sanctified from other common particularizations and imitative virtues and from relative love affairs in what appertains to the immanence, and other things, by superlative oneness and collectivity and complete purity, and by assiduously preserving this state in continuing superabundantly most of the time without worry and without dividing thought and with great concentration.’
Page 15, Volume I, Ismail Hakki Bursevi’s translation of and commentary on Fusus Al Hikam by Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi
Osman Fazli’s leaving all space to God
Man does not possess anything else but his sensibilities as his real organ of intelligence, and without Divine action man cannot even use his memory which is his sacred treasury of experience acquired long ago.
The initiate, the saint, insân al-kâmil, is he who possesses the faculty of being able to recognise the true non-existence of his faculties of thought and his own impotence in putting them in motion.
It is he who leaves all the ‘space’ to God and who passes all his life in controlling his intimate faithfulness, in actions, ‘thoughts’ or in the acts that materialise them.
It is he who prays constantly to God, even if it be only by a breath or by a movement of the heart, when he perceives the natural and constant phenomena of thought.
In fact everybody knows that this faculty is permanent, constant, irresistibly active.
The intimate work of the mystic consists, therefore in trying to attain the Divine proximity, to respond to His infinite clemence by his recognition, or through zikr (remembrance), whenever thoughts, ‘visitors from heaven’, manifest in his interior. Good or tempting, these visitors have for their mission the exercising of our discernment to the most subtle degree of ‘Good and Evil’, whereby we accord them our consent or we refuse them.
A conversation between Kabir of Threshold Society and Asaad Ali.
The statements that stay with me most was, “The most beloved of people to Allah are those who are most beneficial to His servants. And I see no better benefit for His servants in our times than the goodly word that reminds the human being of his humanness and reminds everyone of their brotherhood in the abode of Adam.”
And “I believe this is our message in this world. It is to remind the world of goodness. Is the sun known? If it is, then what of its steps do we emulate? Every day it illuminates the world, without asking for any compensation. Nor does it require repeated urgings from its Master to do its work as is the case with humans and Jinn. For instance, in Surah Al Rahman there are 31 repeated criticisms of humans and Jinn, “Which of your Sustainers signs do the both of you deny?” But the sun’s goodness is known, it rises without arguments and performs its duty. The sun-like human, the luminous one, should be this way. He rises on time, he illuminates from the sun of his intellect and he becomes a sun. And if he develops more he becomes a moon, he enters into the secret, into deep contemplation. He becomes a crescent, he becomes a full moon, and as he completes the full Mevlevi turn he enters into occultation “Sirar”, as the moon does when it completes its cycle it disappears for one day. If the human develops and matures he become Mevlevi.”