The Fifteenth Letter
In His Name, be He glorified!
And there is nothing but it glorifies Him with praise.(17:44)
My Dear Brother!
YOUR FIRST QUESTION
Why didn’t the Companions discover the troublemakers with the eye of sainthood, with the result that three of the four Rightly-Guided Caliphs were martyred? For it is said that even the lesser Companions were greater than the greatest saints?
T h e A n s w e r : This matter comprises two stations.
The question may be solved by explaining as follows a subtle mystery of sainthood:
The Companions’ sainthood, known as the greater sainthood, is one that proceeds from the legacy of prophethood, and passing directly from the apparent to reality without travelling the intermediate path, looks to the unfolding of divine immediacy. Although this way of sainthood is very short, it is extremely elevated. Its wonders are few, but its virtues are many. Illuminations and wonder-workings are to be encountered on it only infrequently. Moreover, the wonder-working of the saints is mostly involuntary; wonders appear from them unexpectedly as a divine bestowal. And the majority of such illuminations and wonder-workings occur during their spiritual journeying, as they traverse the intermediate realm of the Sufi path; they manifest those extra-ordinary states because they have withdrawn to a degree from ordinary humanity. As for the Companions, due to the reflection, attraction, and elixir of the company of prophethood, they were not obliged to traverse the vast sphere of spiritual journeying of the Sufi way. They were able to pass from the apparent to reality in one step,