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Thursday 23rd of May 2024
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Imagination, that Brings about the Presence of Heart.

Know that each one of the inner and outer powers of the soul can be educated and taught by way of practicing a particular austerity. For example, human eye is unable to gaze at a point or at an intense light, such as the disk of the sun, for a long time, without blinking. But if a man educates his eye, such as that which is done by some of the people of false asceticism for certain purposes, he can look into the sun for several hours without blinking or getting tired. Similarly, he can gaze at a certain point for hours without any movement. This is also true of the other faculties, like stopping breathing, which, as they say, is seen among the people of false asceticism, as there are some who can stop breathing for an extraordinary period.

Of the faculties which can be educated are the faculties of imagination and fancy. Before educating them, they are like two ever-jumpy and restless birds flying from a branch to another, and from one thing to another. If one tries to watch them for a single minute, he will see their many successive movements of very slight and far-fetched connections. Many think that to control the bird of imagination and tame it is out of the limits of possibilities, and falls within the realm of the common impossibilities. But, as a matter of fact, it is not so. With hardship, practice and time-taking education, it can be tamed, and the bird of imagination can be put under one's control and will be such that it can be confined for several hours and for a certain purpose, according to one's will.

The principal way of taming it is to act to its contrary. That is, at the time of the salat one is to prepare himself to control the imagination during the salat and confine it to action, and, as soon as it tries to slip out of his hand, to recapture it. One should carefully watch it in all the actions, recitings, invocations, etc. of the salat, observing it so as not to be obstinate. At the beginning, this seems to be a difficult task. But after a while of strict practice and treatment, it will certainly become tame and obedient. You should not, of course, expect yourself, at the beginning, to be able to control the bird of imagination along the salat completely. Actually, this is impossible. Perhaps those who stressed this impossibility had such expectations. The situation requires deliberateness, careful patience and gradual training. It is possible that you can first control your imagination during only one-tenth of the salat or even less than that, in which you can have the presence of heart. Then, if one pays more attention, and if he feels himself in need of that, he can attain to a better result, and can gradually overcome the Satan of fancy and the bird of imagination, such that they come under his control in most of the salat. However, you should never despair, as despair is the origin of all weaknesses and inabilities, whereas the flash of hope guides man to his complete happiness.

The important thing in this respect, however, is to feel being in need - a mood which is little felt by us. Our heart is not believing that the source of the happiness in the Hereafter, and the means of a long-lasting life, is the salat. We take the salat to be an additional burden on our lives. We think it an imposition and an obligation. The love of a thing is understanding its consequences. We understood its consequence and the heart believes in it, and, therefore, we are not in need of any advice or admonition in acquiring it.

Those who think that the message of the Seal of the Prophets, the Hashimite Messenger (SA), has two dimensions: one belonging to this world and the other to the Hereafter, and take this to be a pride of the bringer of the Shari'ah and the perfection of prophethood, know nothing of the religion and are unaware of the message and far from understanding the purpose of the prophethood. Inviting to worldly things is quite alien to the objectives of the great prophets, since desire, sense of anger and the interior and exterior Satans, are sufficient for such an invitation and it does not need the sending of messengers. The administration of desire and anger is in no need of a Qur'an. The love of a thing is seen from love the world because we have or a prophet. The prophets, actually, have come to keep people back from this world to curb the release of the desire and anger, and to limit the sources of worldly interests. An ignorant person thinks that they invited the people to this world. They say: "Do not acquire wealth by whatever means. Do not satisfy your desire in whatever way available there should be marriage, and there should be (lawful) trade, industry and agriculture though the door of the centre of desire and anger is opened by letting them free." So, the prophets demand them to be chained, not to be set free, and they do not invite to worldly things. They ask for a lawful business so as to prohibit the unlawful ones. They call to marriage in order to curb the nature and prevent debauchery and releasing the power of desire [shahwat]. As a matter of fact, they are not absolutely against them, because it would be against the perfect system.

In short, as we feel we need this world, regarding it to be the capital of life and the source of pleasure, we get ready to attend to it and to acquire it.

But if we believe in the Hereafter-life and feel we are in need of that life, and regard worship, especially the salat, to be the capital for living there, and the source of happiness in that world, we, naturally, will try .to do our best to acquire it, and we will not feel any difficulty and fatigue in ourselves; or rather, we will hurry to acquire it with complete eagerness and craving, and endure every hardship and undergo all circumstances for that purpose.

Now, this coldness and weakness, which are manifest in us, are caused by the coldness of the radiance of our faith and the weakness of its foundation. Had all the news of the prophets and holy men [auliyll'] (AS) and the (may Allah be pleased with them) arguments of the elite and learned men created "sufferance" [ihtimal] in us, we could have done better in our attempts and acquirements. So, we have to regret a thousand times for letting Satan overcome our inside and conquer the whole of our heart and the hearings of our interior, preventing us from hearing the sayings of Allah and His Messengers, and those of the scholars, as well as the admonitions of the divine Books. Such being the case, our ears are changed to those of worldly animals, and the divine admonitions would not go beyond the apparent and the animal ear to the inside "Most surely there is a reminder in this for him who has a heart or he gives ear and is a witness. "(50:37)

One of the great duties of the traveler to Allah and the striver for the sake of Allah is to completely give up self-reliance during the striving and suluk, and, by nature, to pay attention to the Cause of the causes, and by disposition, to belong to the Origin of the origins, asking from His Sacred Existence protection and immunity from sin, and depending on the help of His Sacred Essence. In his privacy he is to implore Him and very seriously request Him to improve his condition, for there is no refuge save Him. And praise be to Allah !

 

Explaining that Loving this World Causes Distraction of the Mind

A Reference to that Loving this World is the Origin of the Distraction of the Imagination and Prevents the Presence of Heart, and Explaining its Remedy as Much as Possible

It must be noted that the heart, according to its nature and disposition, looks at what it loves and is inclined to that beloved to have it as its qiblah. If an affair distracted the heart from thinking of the beauty of its cherished beloved, no sooner the engagement slackens and the distraction stops than the heart flies towards its beloved and clings to his skirt. Should the people of knowledge and the divinely attracted enjoy strength of heart and be firm in absorption and love, they would recognize the Beauty of the Beloved in every mirror, and would discern the wanted perfection in every being: "I discerned nothing unless I recognized Allah in it and with it" [87], and if their leader (the Prophet (SA)) Says: "Sometimes my heart is enveloped by a cover of dust, and I ask Allah's forgiveness seventy times every day", [88] it is because to see the Beauty of the Beloved -especially in an impure mirror like the Abu Jahl mirror is in itself a sort of impurity with respect to the perfect ones. If their hearts are not strong enough, and their engagement in multiplicity prevents the presence (of heart), no sooner the engagement lessens than their hearts' birds fly back to their sacred nests and cling to the Beauty of the Beautiful.

As to those who look for other than Allah -who, in the eyes of the people of knowledge, all seek for this world they are also attracted to their want and cling to it. If they, too, are extremely in love with their quest, and the love of this world has completely possessed their hearts, they will never relax in their attraction towards it, and, whatever the situation, they remain beside the beauty of their beloved. Should their love be less, their hearts would return, in their leisure time, to their beloved. Those who cherish in their hearts the love of wealth, rule and position, dream of them in their sleep, too, and, in their wakefulness, they live thinking of their beloved. As long as they are engaged in worldly matters, they live hugging their beloved, and when the time of the salat arrives, the heart feels a kind of vacancy and sticks to its beloved, as if the takbiratul ihram ( the first Allahu akbar uttered aloud at the start of the salat ) is the key to the shop, or the remover of the curtain between it and its beloved. So, he comes to himself only when he has just uttered the taslim (the finishing words of the salat), whereas he had paid no attention to the salat itself, and during it he had been engaged in thinking of this world. That is why our salats for forty or fifty years have no result whatsoever in our hearts except darkness and impurity, and what should have been a cause for ascension to the proximity of Allah's presence and a means of becoming familiar with His sanctity, has, on the contrary, driven us out of His proximity and taken us miles away from ascending to be familiar with His presence. Had our salat had a smell of servitude, its result would have been modesty and humility, not self- conceitedness, ostentation, arrogance and pride, each one of which can possibly be a separate cause of man's misfortune and perdition.

In short, when one's heart becomes mixed with the love of this world, with no objective or aim except building it up and developing it, this love will inevitably prevent the heart from being vacant and present in the presence of Allah. This deadly disease and ruinous corruption can be cured by useful knowledge and good deed.

The useful knowledge suitable for this ailment is to think of the fruits and outcomes of curing it, and compare them with the harmful and destructive consequences resulting from it. In my commentaries on The Forty hadiths in this respect I have explained this topic in details as was possible. Here I will suffice myself with explaining some hadiths of the infallible Ahlul Bayt (AS): al Kafi, quoting abu 'Abdullah (as Sadiq) (AS), says: " The origin of every sin is the love of this world." [89] Other hadiths on this subject, though in different wordings, are plenty. [90]

Yet, this noble hadith is quite enough for the wakeful man, and it is enough for this big and pernicious sin to be the source of all sins and the root and basement of all corruptions. By a little contemplation it can be realized that almost all moral and practical corruptions are the fruits of this vile tree. No false religion was established in the world, and no corruption has ever happened, unless it stemmed from this grave sin. Murders, plunders, injustice and transgressions are of the offspring of this sin. Debauchery, atrocities, theft and other crimes are the outcomes of this germ of corruption. The man who is afflicted with this love is void of all moral virtues. Courage, chastity, generosity and equity, which are the origin of all the spiritual virtues, are not compatible with the love of this world. Divine knowledge [ma'arif], unity of Names, Attributes, Actions and Essence, truth-seeking and truth-discerning are contrary to the love of this world. Tranquility of the soul, calmness of the mind and repose of the heart, which are the spirit of happiness in both worlds, cannot come along with loving this world. Richness of the heart, greatness, self-respect, freedom and manliness are of the requisites of ignoring this world, whereas poverty, humility, covetousness, greed, servitude and flattery are of the requisites of loving this world. Kindness, mercy , observing kinship relations, affection and amity are not in harmony with the love of this world. Hatred, rancour , despotism, severing kinship relations, hypocrisy and other evil characters are of the progeny of this "mother of diseases".

as Sadiq (AS), as stated in Misbahush-Shari'ah, said: "This world is like a portrait: its head is arrogance, its eye is greed, its ear is covetousness, its tongue is pretence, its hand is desire, its leg is conceit, its heart is negligence, its being is perishing and its destiny is decline. Whoever loves it, it gives him arrogance, whoever approves of it, it grants him greed, whoever demands it, it drives him to covetousness, whoever praises it, it clothes him with pretence, whoever wants it, it offers him conceit, whoever trusts it, it neglects him, whoever admires its properties, it ruins him, and whoever accumulates it and does not spend it, it turns him down to its dwelling place, the Fire". [91]

Daylami, in Irshadul Qulub, quoting Amirul mu'minin ('Ali) (AS), says that the Messenger of Allah (SA) said "on the night of the mi'raj, Allah, the Exalted, said: '0 Ahmad, if a servant performs the salat as much as that of the people of the earth and the heaven, and fasts as much as that of the people of the earth and the heaven, and refrains, like the angels, from food, and wears the apparel of a devotee, then I see in his heart a bit of love for this world or for worldly reputation, leadership, celebrity and ornaments, he will not be in an abode in My neighbourhood and I will drive My love out of his heart and make it dark until he forgets Me. I will not let him taste the sweetness of My love.'" [92] It is quite clear that loving this world and loving Allah cannot meet together. In this respect there are too many hadiths to be contained in these pages.

Now as it has become clear that the love of this world is the origin of all evils, it becomes incumbent on a man of reason, who cherishes his happiness, to uproot this tree from his heart. The practical way to treat it is to do the contrary, i.e., if he has a longing for wealth and position, he can get rid of it by way of being open-handed and spending obligatory and recommended alms and charities. By the way, one of the characteristics of alms-giving is lessening the love of this world. That is why it is recommended to give charity out of what you love most, as is in the Gloriours Qur'an: "You shall not attain goodness until you spend out of what you love".(3:92) If he desires pride, priority, authority and power, he is to act against that, to turn the nose of the evil-commanding soul into the dust to reform it.

Man should know that the world is such that the more one is attached to it and in pursuit of it, the more his affection to it and the more his regret for parting company with it. It seems as if one is in quest of something which is not in his possession. Man thinks he is in need of a certain portion of the world, which he pursues, no matter what difficulties and risks he will have to endure to attain to his goal, and, as soon as he obtains it, it loses its attraction and becomes an ordinary matter, and his love and attachment turn off to something else more sublime than the previous one, and he starts his toil and endeavours anew. In this way his anxiety will never be subdued. Actually, his love gets ever stronger, and his hardships ever increase. This natural disposition never stops. The people of knowledge use this inborn nature to prove a lot of disciplines, which are out of the scope of these papers to explain. This subject is referred to by some noble hadiths, such as that which is stated in the noble al Kafi, quoting. Imam al-Baqir (AS), who said: "The parable of a man greedy of this world is the parable of the silk worm: the more it winds the thread round itself the farther it becomes from salvation, until it dies of grief." [93]

Imam as Sadiq (AS) is quoted to have said: "This world is like sea-water; the more a thirsty man drinks from it the thirstier he gets, until it kills him" [94]

Notes:

[87]. A quotation from Amirul Mu'minin ['Ali] (AS), 'Ilmul Yaqin, Vol. 1, p. 49.

[88]. Mustadrakul Wasa'il, "Book of the Salat", chs. on "Invocations", ch. 22, hadith 1.

[89]. Usulul Kafi, "Book of Faith and Infidelity", ch. on "Loving This World and Being Attached to it", hadith 1.

[90]. Ibid, hadiths 1 to 17.

[91]. Misbahush Shar'iah, ch. 32 "On This World's Attribute(s)".

[92]. Irshadul Qulub, vol. 1, p. 206.

[93]. Usulul Kafi, vol. 3, p. 202, "Book of Faith and Infidelity", ch. on "Dispraising This World and Neglecting it", hadith 20, and ch. on "Loving This World and Being Greedy of it", hadith 7.

[94]. Ibid., hadith 24.

 

On Turning The Soul Away From The World

So, O seeker of the truth and traveller to Allah, as you have tamed the bird of imagination, chained the Satan of fancy, given up the love of wife, children and other worldly affairs, got familiar with the attraction of the fire of the natural divine love and said: "Lo! I see a fire [afar off]", [95] seen yourself with no barriers in the way and prepared the requirements of the journey, get up, then, leave this dark room of nature and the narrow passage of the world, break off the chains of time, save yourself from this prison and let the bird of sanctity fly to " the meeting place of intimacy." [mahfil-I uns].

A whistle is calling you from the turret of the' Arsh,

I wonder what keeps you into this place of traps! [96]

So, be resolute and strengthen your will, since the first condition of suluk is resolution ['azm] , without which no distance can be covered and no perfection can be reached. The great Shaykh, Shahabadi, [97] (may my soul be his ransom) called that to be the core of humanity. It can also be said that one of the great points of fearing Allah, avoiding the desires of the appetitive soul, the lawful austerities, and the divine worship and rituals, is strengthening the resolution and defying the worldly powers under the sovereignty of the soul, as has already been mentioned. We now close this discourse with praising and glorifying the Sacred Essence of Allah, the Exalted, and with praising the attributes of the Chosen Master, the elected Prophet, and his pure offspring (AS). We ask the help of the holy souls of those sacred personalities in our spiritual journey and faithful ascension.

Notes:

[95]. A part of Moses conversation with his people. "When he saw a fire, he said to his people: 'Stay here! Lo! I see a fire [afar off]."' Surah Ta Ha: 10, and surah an-Naml: 7.

[96]. A poem by Hafiz Shirazi.

[97]. The late Ayatullah Mirza Muhammad Ali Isfahani Shahabadi, a jurist, methodist, gnostic and prominent philosopher, son of the late Ayatullah Mirza Muhammad Jawad Husayn-abadi Isfahani, was born in Isfahan in 1292 L.H. After finishing his preliminary learning in Isfahan and Tehran, he traveled to study in the theological circles of Najaf Ashraf and Samarra' (in Iraq). There his tutors were great scholars, such as the late writer of al-Jawahir, the Akhund Khurasai and Shari'at Isfahani. He soon attained to the degree of ijtihad. He reached a high position of fiqh, philosophy and gnosticism, and he taught these branches of knowledge. His class was one of the most powerful scholarly circles in Samarra'. After returning from Iraq, he settled first in Tehran, then he moved to the sacred town of Qum, where he dwelt for seven years. During his stay in Qum, Imam Khomeini (may Allah be pleased with him and send peace upon him) benefitted so much from his lessons on ethics and gnosticism. The Imam of the nation in many places in this book and in his other books and writings refers to his great teacher with utmost respect and esteem, and relates his scholarly, emissions. Besides teaching different branches of knowledge and educating his distinguished disciples, the late Shahabadi wrote many books in different fields. At the age of seventy-seven years, that man of knowledge and action died in the year of 1369 L.H. in Tehran, and was buried in the neighbourhood of the shrine of 'Abdul 'Azim al Hasani, in the graveyard of the late Shaykh Abul Futuh ar-Razi. May Allah resurrect him together with the Prophet Muhammad and his pure progeny.

 Discourse Two

Objective One

Chapter One

On Purification in General

As it has already been said, besides the outer appearance of the salat, it has a reality, and apart from its exterior it has an interior. And, as its outer form has its formal disciplines and conditions, its interior has its disciplines and conditions, too, which are to be observed by the salik. Thus, purification has also its outer form and formal disciplines, the explanation of which is out of the scope of these pages. The faqihs (jurists) of the Ja'fari sect (may Allah make high their words and raise their ranks) have explained them. As regards the inner disciplines and purifications, they shall be explained in general:

It should be noted that the reality of the salat is ascension to the Proximity, and reaching to the Presence, of Allah, the Almighty and Most high. Thus, to attain to this great objective and ultimate goal, one should practice certain purifications which are other than the outer purifications. The thorns of this road and the obstacles in the way of this ascension are such impurities that if the salik was marked by one of them, he would be incapable of ascending to the peak and completing the ascension. Such impurities are the hinderances in the way of the salat and the plagues of Satan. But what is a help to the salik in his journey and is a discipline of the Presence is the condition of this reality. The traveller to Allah has first to remove the obstacles and impurities so that he may be purified and attain to purity which belongs to the world of light. Unless all the impurities, outer and inner, open and hidden, are purified, the salik will have no chance of attending the Presence (of Allah).

Thus, the first kind of impurities is that of the outer instruments and powers of the soul which may be polluted with obstinacies and acts of disobedience to "the Benefactor" [waliyun ni'am] This is an apparent snare of Iblis. As long as man is trapped in this snare, he is deprived of being in Allah's Presence and attaining to His Proximity. No one may have the notion that without purifying the outside of his kingdom he can reach the state of the truth of humanity, or he can purify his inner heart, as this will be a Satanic vanity and of Iblis 's big tricks. This is because the heart's impurity and darkness will be increased by disobediences, which mark the triumph [ghalabah] of nature over spirituality. Unless the salik conquers the kingdom of the outside, he will remain deprived of inner conquests, which are the big objective, and no way will be opened for him to happiness. Thus, one of the big obstacles of this suluk is the impurities of the acts of disobedience, which must be purged and purified with the water of sincere repentance.

It should also be noted that all the external and internal powers which Allah, the Exalted, has bestowed upon us from the invisible world are divine deposits free from all impurities and are purged and purified, and even illuminated with the light of the God-given disposition, and excluded from Satan's dark and impure influence. Yet, since they have descended in the dark abode of the world of nature, and the influential hands of the devil of imagination and fancy have reached them, they have deviated from the original purity and primary disposition, and got polluted with diverse Satanic filths and impurities. So, if the salik to Allah could, by adhering to the care of Allah's wall, repel Satan's influence, purge the kingdom of the outside and return the divine trusts as they had been given to him with no treason, he would be forgiven and protected, and, as far as the outside is concerned, he need not worry, and then he would turn to the inside to purge it from the impurities of corrupt moralities. This is the second kind of impurity, which is more corrupt and more difficult to cure, and thus, it is more important to the people of austerity, because as long as the inner moralities of the soul are corrupt and encircled by spiritual impurities, it will not deserve the state of holiness and "the private place of intimacy" [khalwat-i uns], as the origin of the corruption of the exterior kingdom of the soul is its corrupt morals and its vile habits. And, unless the salik changes his vile habits to good ones, he will not be safe from the evil acts. If he is successful in repentance (while still having vile habits), its stability - which is a matter of grave importance cannot be achieved. So, the outer purification depends on the inner purification, besides the fact that the interior impurities cause deprivation from happiness, and originate the Hell of morals, which, as the people of knowledge say, is worse and more intense in burning than the Hell of deeds. This question has frequently been mentioned in the hadiths of the infallible Ahlul Bayt (AS).

Therefore, it is a must for the salik to Allah to carry out this purgation. After he has cleansed his soul of the corrupting impurities of the morals with the pure water of useful knowledge and lawful, good austerity, he will have to set upon purifying the heart, the capital which, if reformed, all kingdoms will be reformed, and if it is corrupt, all will be corrupt. The impurities of the world of the heart are the origin of all impurities, such as being attached to other than Allah, to oneself and to this world. This is originated by the love of this world, which is at the head of all sins, and by self-love, which is the mother of all diseases. As long as the roots of this love are still deep in the heart of the salik, he will see no marks of the love of Allah in it, and he will find no way to his destination and objective. So, as long as there are remnants of this love in the heart, his journey will not be to Allah, but to the self, to the world, and to Satan. So, being purged of the love of self and of the world is the first stage of purifying the journey to Allah in reality, because before this purgation the journey would not be to Allah, and it would be a sort of carelessness to refer to salik and suluk in this instance.

After this stage there are other stages, after which there will appear a model of. Attar's Seven Cities of Love, the sayer of which, as a salik, could see himself at the bend of a lane, while we remain behind walls and thick veils, and think that those "cities" and "kings" are nothing but of the weavings of our presumption. I have nothing to do with Shaykh Attar or Mitham at Tammar, but I do not deny the original (gnostic) stations, and I cordially love their owners, and, by this love, I hope to be relieved. You yourself be whom you may, and bind yourself to whom you like.

The pretender wanted to come to look at the Beloved [Friend],

The hand of the invisible came and pushed off the stranger. [98]

But I do not approve of disloyalty by brethren in faith and by spiritual friends to the gnostic friends, and I will not refrain from offering advice, which is the right of the believers to one another.

At the top of the spiritual impurities, which cannot be purged even with seven seas, and which caused despair to the great prophets (AS), is the impurity of "the compound ignorance" [jahl-i murakkab], which is the origin of the incurable disease of denying the stations of the people of Allah and of knowledge, and is the source of doubting the people of the heart. As long as man is polluted with such impurities, he will not take a step towards knowledge [ma'arif], or rather, this impurity so often extinguishes the inborn light [nur] of disposition, which is the light [chiragh] for the road of guidance, and puts out the fire of love, which is the heavenly horse [buraq] for ascending to high stations, causing man to eternally stick to the earth of nature.

Therefore, it is necessary for man, through thinking about the status of the prophets and the perfect holy men [auliya] (SA) , and by contemplating their stations, to wash those impurities away from his heart, and not to be satisfied with the status he is in, because this satisfaction with the knowledge [ma'rif] one has, and remaining stagnant, are of the great tricks of Iblis and the evil-commanding soul. We take refuge from them with Allah. Now as this thesis is written according to the taste of the common people, I refrain from the three purifications of the holy men [auliya]. And praise be to Allah.

Notes:

[98]. A poem by Hafiz In the printed copies it is stated: "... the show place of the Secret".

 

 

Concerning the Stages of Purification

Know that as long as man is in the world of nature and in the abode of the primary [hayulani] matter, he is under the rule of the divine soldiers and the Satanic soldiers. The divine soldiers are the soldiers of mercy, safety, happiness, light, purity and perfection. The soldiers of Iblis are on the opposite side. But as the divine aspects have mastery over the Satanic aspects, at the beginning, man's disposition possesses natural divine light, safety and happiness, as is openly stated in the noble hadiths and hinted at in the noble divine Book. [99] As long as man is in this world, he can, on his own free will, put himself at the disposal of either of the two. So, if from the beginning of the God-given disposition till the end, Satan had no way of intruding, man would be divine, luminous from head to foot with purity and happiness, his heart being the light of Allah, observing nothing but Allah. His inward and outward powers would be luminous and pure, and no one would use them but Allah, and Satan would have no share in them, nor would his soldiers be able to control him. Such an honourable being is absolute purity and pure light, and his past faults and the future ones are forgiven. [100] He is an absolute conquerer, enjoying the station of original "great infallibility" [ismat-i kubra], and the other infallibles have the same station as the followers of that sacred essence. He is the Seal of the Prophets and possesses the station of absolute perfection. His vicegerents, though of separate substance, join him in disposition and completely follow him in absolute infallibility. As to some of the infallible prophets and holy men [auliya] (AS), they have no absolute infallibility and are not protected against Satan's intrusion, such as Adam's act with respect to the "tree", which was one of the intrusions of the big Iblis, the Head of the Iblises, and despite the fact that the "tree" was a paradisiac divine tree, yet it was marked by a multiplicity of names, which is contrary to the state of complete humanity. This is one of the meanings, or of the ranks, of "the forbidden tree".

If the light of the divine disposition was polluted with the formal and spiritual impurities, it would be at a distance from the court of the Proximity and "the Presence of Love" [hadrat-i uns] in proportion to its pollution, until the light of disposition completely goes out, and the kingdom becomes altogether Satanic, and its inside and outside, secret and open, are put at the disposal of Satan. Thus Satan becomes its heart, ear (hearing), eye (seeing), hand, and leg, and all his other organs become Satanic. If somebody reaches this stage -Take refuge with Allah from it -he becomes absolutely wretched and will never see the face of happiness. Between these two limits there are so many stages which only Allah, the Exalted, knows. Whoever is nearer to the horizon of prophethood, is of "those on the right hand" [ashab-i yamin], and whoever is nearer to the Satanic horizon, is of "those on the left hand" [ashab-i yasar].

It should be noted, however, that even after the pollution of the inborn disposition, it is possible to purify it. As long as man is still in this world he can get out of Satan's domain and can easily enter into the party of Allah's angels, who are the soldiers of the divine mercy. The reality of jihad-i nafs [self- struggle] -which, according to the Messenger of Allah (SA), is more meritorious than struggling with the enemies of the religion, and is the greater jihad [101] -is this getting out of Satan's domain and entering the domain of Allah's soldiers.

So, the first stage of purity is the observance of divine laws and the obedience to Allah's commands.

The second stage is to be adorned with virtuous morals and faculties.

The third stage is the purity of the heart, which means submitting the heart to Allah, after which the heart becomes luminous, or rather it becomes of the world of light and a degree of divine light. The luminosity of the heart flows to other organs and inner powers, and the whole kingdom turns into light, and light upon light, till the heart becomes divine and godly and the Divinity [hadrat-i lahut] manifests in all the inner and outer stages. In this case, servitude completely vanishes and is annihilated, and Lordship explicitly appears, in which case, the heart of the salik is overcome by a state of tranquillity and familiarity, and he loves the whole world, and experiences divine trances, and the sins and faults become forgive-able to him, and will be covered by the shelter of "love manifestations" [tajalliyat-i hubbi], and primary holiness [wilayat] begins to appear in him, and he becomes worthy of attending "the Presence of Intimacy" [mahdar-i uns]. Then, there are other stages, mentioning which does not suit these papers.

Notes:

[99]. Such as the noble ayah. "So set your face to the religion, as a man of pure faith -Allah's original upon which He originated mankind." (Ar-Rum: 30). Look up the hadiths in Biharul Anwar, vol. 3, p. 276, and vol. 64, p. 130, and in at Tawhid, p. 321, ch. 53.

[100]. A hint at the noble ayah: " ... That Allah may forgive your past faults and those to come". (Fath: 2).

[101]. Biharul Anwar, vol. 67, p. 65, and vol. 19, p. 182.


source : Adabus Salat The Disciplines of the Prayer by Imam Khomeini
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