he understood that making people listen and guiding them was Almighty God’s concern. And he did not interfere in God’s concerns.
And so, my brothers! You shouldn’t be officious either by basing your actions on what is not your business, or take up a position testing your Creator!
T h e S e c o n d M a t t e r
Worship and servitude of God look to the divine command and divine pleasure. The reason for worship is the divine command and its result is divine pleasure. Its fruits and benefits look to the hereafter. But so long as they are not the ultimate reason and not intentionally sought, benefits looking to this world and fruits which come about themselves and are given are not contrary to worship. They are rather to encourage the weak and make them incline to worship. If those fruits and benefits are made the reason for the invocation or recitation, or a part of the reason, it in part invalidates the worship. Indeed, it renders the meritorious invocation fruitless, and produces no results.
Thus, those who do not understand this mystery, recite for example the Awrad Qudsiya Shah Naqshband, which yields a hundred benefits and merits, or Jawshan al-Kabir, which yields a thousand, making some of those benefits their prime intention. Then they do not receive the benefits, and shall not receive them, and do not deserve to receive them. For the benefits may not be the reason for the invocation and may not themselves be intended and sought. For they are obtained when unsought, in consequence of the sincere invocation, as a favour. If they are intended, it damages the sincerity to an extent. Indeed, it ceases being worship and loses all value. But there is one matter, which is that weak people need something to encourage them to recite meritorious invocations. If they think of the benefits and eagerly recite them purely for God’s sake and for the hereafter, it causes no harm and is acceptable even. But because this instance of wisdom has not been understood, many of them come to doubt or even to deny the benefits narrated from the spiritual poles and righteous ones of former generations when they do not receive them.
T h e T h i r d M a t t e r
“Happy is the man who knows his limits and does not exceed them.”1 The sun has manifestations from a fragment of glass and a droplet of water to a pool, the ocean, the moon, and the planets. Each contains the sun’s
Bukhari, al-Tarikh al-Kabir, iii, 338; Tabarani, al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, v, 71; Bayhaqi, al-Sunan al-Kubra, iv, 182.