In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
[This short Addendum has great importance; it is beneficial for everyone.]
The ways leading to Almighty God are truly numerous. While all true ways are taken from the Qur’an, some are shorter, safer, and more general than others. One of these is the way of impotence, poverty, compassion, and reflection, from which, with my defective understanding, I have benefited.
Indeed, like ecstatic love, impotence is a path which, by way of worship, leads to winning God’s love; but it is safer. Poverty too leads to the Divine Name of All-Merciful. And, like ecstatic love, compassion leads to the Name of All-Compassionate, but is a swifter and broader path. Also like ecstatic love, reflection leads to the Name of All-Wise, but it is a richer, broader, and more brilliant path. This path consists not of ten steps like the ‘ten subtle faculties’ of some of the Sufi orders (tariqat) employing silent recollection, nor of seven stages like the ‘seven souls’ of those practising public recitation, but of four steps. It is reality , rather than a tariqat. It is Shari’a.
However, let it not be misunderstood. It means to see one’s impotence, poverty and faults before Almighty God, not to fabricate them or display them to people. The method of this short path is to follow the Practices of the Prophet (PBUH), perform the religious obligations and give up serious sins. And it is especially to perform the prescribed prayers correctly and with attention, and following them to say the tesbihat.
The verse, Therefore, do not justify yourselves,1 points to the first step.
The verse, And be not like those who forget God, and He therefore makes them forget their own selves,2 points to the second step.