in the realm of eternity is superior to a thousand gardens in this fleeting world. For this reason, those blessed fruits should not be consumed here. If without being sought they are given to eat here, they should be thanked for, and deemed divine favours bestowed, not as reward, but for encouragement.
Here we shall describe briefly nine out of the truly numerous fruits and benefits of the Sufi path.
The First is the unfolding and clarification, by means of the Sufi paths that are on the straight way, of the truths of faith, which are the keys, sources, and springs of the eternal treasuries of everlasting happiness; it is their manifestation at the degree of the vision of certainty.
The Second: Since the Sufi path is a means of working the heart, the mainspring of the human machine, and of causing it to stir the other subtle faculties into motion, it drives them to fulfil the purposes of their creation and thus makes a person into a true human being.
The Third: On the journey to the Intermediate Realm and the hereafter, it is to join one of the lines of the Sufi orders, and become a member of its luminous caravan on the road to eternity. The person is thus saved from loneliness and finds the friendship of the other members in this world and in the Intermediate Realm; and relying on their consensus and accord in the face of the attacks of doubts and fears, and seeing each of their masters as a powerful support and proof, he repulses through them those doubts and instances of misguidance.
The Fourth is to understand by means of the pure Sufi way the knowledge of God to be found in belief in God, and the pleasure of love of God within the knowledge of God, and by so understanding, to be saved from the desolation of this world and man’s exile in the universe. We have proved in many of the Words that the happiness of both worlds, and pain-free pleasure, and intimacy untainted by loneliness, and true delight, and untroubled happiness are all to be found in faith and the reality of Islam. As is explained in the Second Word, faith produces the seed of a Tuba-tree of Paradise. It is through the training and nurturing of the Sufi path that the seed grows and develops.
The Fifth is to perceive through an awakening of the heart elicited by the Sufi path and remembrance of God, the subtle truths contained in the obligations of the Shari‘a, and to appreciate them. Then the person obeys and performs his worship, not under compulsion, but with longing.
The Sixth is to rise to the station of reliance on God and the rank of sub