reflecting His names, sometimes he loves them for themselves and on account of their personal perfections and own beauty. He loves them with no thought for God and His Messenger (UWBP). Such love does not lead to love of God; it obscures it. Whereas if the person loves those things as signifying their Maker, it leads to love of God; indeed, such love may be said to be its manifestation.
T h i r d P o i n t : This world is the realm of wisdom, the realm of service; it is not the realm of reward and recompense. The wage for deeds and acts of service here is given in the Intermediate Realm and the hereafter. Acts here produce fruits there. This being the truth of the matter, the results of actions that look to the hereafter should not be sought in this world. If they are given, they should be received not gratefully, but regretfully. For in Paradise, the more fruits are picked the more they grow. So it is hardly sensible to consume in this world in fleeting fashion the fruits of actions that pertain to the hereafter, which are lasting. It is like exchanging a permanent lamp for one that will last a minute and then flicker out.
It is because of this that the people of sainthood look on service, difficulty, misfortune, and hardship as agreeable. They do not complain and lament, but say: “All praise be to God for all situations!” When illuminations and wonders, unfoldings and lights are bestowed on them, they accept them as divine favours, and try to conceal them. They do not become proud, but offer more thanks and worship. Many of them have wanted those states to be concealed or to cease, lest they spoil the sincerity of their actions. Yes, the highest divine favour for an acceptable person is not to make him realize the favour, so that he does not give up beseeching and offering thanks, or become complacent and start complaining.
It is because of this truth that if those who seek sainthood and follow the Sufi path do so for illuminations and wonders, which are some of the emanations of sainthood, and they are turned towards those and receive pleasure from them, they as though consume in transient fashion in this transient world the enduring fruits of the hereafter. This too opens up the way to loss of sincerity, the leaven of sainthood, and to sainthood eluding them.
This consists of four points.
F i r s t P o i n t : The Shari‘a is directly, without shadow or veil, the result of the divine address, through the mystery of divine oneness in respect of absolute dominicalitY. The highest degrees of the Sufi path and of reality are like parts of the Shari‘a. Or they are always like its means, introduction, and servant. Their results are the incontrovertible matters of