members of a mighty tree in the form of a seed, and within them are encapsulated the parts and components of an eternal, majestic machine pertaining to the hereafter, certainly the heart’s Creator willed that it should be worked and brought out from the potential to the actual, and developed, and put into action, for that is what He did. Since He willed it, the heart will certainly work like the mind. And the most effective means of working it is to be turned towards the truths of faith on the Sufi path through the remembrance of God in the degrees of sainthood.
The keys and means of this journeying of the heart and spiritual progress are remembrance of God and reflective thought. Their virtues are too numerous to be described. Apart from uncountable benefits in the hereafter and human attainments and perfections, a minor benefit pertaining to this tumultuous worldly life is as follows: everyone wants a solace and seeks enjoyment in order to be saved a little from the upheavals of life and its heavy burdens, and to take a breather; everyone searches out something friendly to banish the loneliness. For one or two people out of ten, the social gatherings in civilized life offer a temporary, but heedless and drunken familiarity, intimacy, and solace. But eighty per cent live solitary lives in mountains or valleys, or are driven to distant places in search of a livelihood, or due to such agencies as calamities or old age which recall the hereafter, they are deprived of the companionship of human groups and societies. Their circumstances allow them no familiarity, friendliness, or consolation.
For such a person, true solace, intimacy, and sweet pleasure are to be found in addressing his own heart in those distant places and desolate mountains and distressing valleys, in working it through remembrance of God and reflection. Calling on God Almighty, he may become intimate with Him in his heart, and by virtue of that intimacy think of the things around him, which were regarding him savagely, as smiling on him familiarly. He will say: “My Creator, whom I am recollecting, has innumerable servants here in my place of solitude, just as He has everywhere. I am not alone; loneliness has no meaning.” Thanks to his faith, he receives pleasure from that sense of familiarity. He grasps the meaning of life’s happiness, and he offers thanks to God.
Sainthood is a proof of divine messengership; the Sufi path is a proof of the Shari‘a. For the truths of belief which messengership preaches, sainthood sees and confirms with a sort of direct vision with the heart and tast