reflection and image in accordance with its capacity, and knows its limits. In accordance with its capacity, a drop of water says: “There is a reflection of the sun on me.” But it cannot say: “I am a mirror like the ocean.” In just the same way, the ranks of the saints have degrees, in accordance with the variety of the divine names’ manifestations. Each of the divine names has manifestations like a sun, from the heart to the divine throne. The heart too is a throne, but it cannot say: “I am like the divine throne.”
Thus, those who proceed reluctantly and with pride instead of knowing their impotence, poverty, faults, and defects, and prostrating entreatingly before the divine court, which form the basis of worship, hold their miniscule hearts equal to the divine throne. They confuse their droplet-like stations with the ocean-like stations of the saints. They stoop to artificiality, false display, and meaningless self-advertisement in order to make themselves fitting for those high ranks, and cause themselves many difficulties.
I n S h o r t : There is a Hadith which says: “All will perish save those who know, and those who know will perish save those who act, and those who act will perish save the sincere, and the sincere are in grave danger.”1 That is to say, the only means of salvation and deliverance is sincerity. It is of the greatest importance to gain sincerity. The tiniest act performed with sincerity is preferable to tons performed without sincerity.2 A person should understand that what gains sincerity for his actions is his doing them purely because they are a divine command and that their result is divine pleasure, and he should not interfere in God’s business.
There is sincerity in everything. A jot of love, even, with sincerity is superior to tons of official love for which return is wanted. Someone described this sincere love as follows: “I do not want a bribe, recompense, return or reward for love, for love which seeks recompense is weak and short-lived.”3 Sincere love has been lodged in human nature and in all mothers. The compassion of mothers manifests this sincere love in its true meaning. Evidence that through the mystery of this compassion mothers do not want or seek a reward or bribe for their love of their children, is their readiness to sacrifice their lives and even their eternal happiness for them. All a hen’s capital is its life, and one hen sacrificed its head in order to save its chick’s head from the jaws of a dog – as Hüsrev witnessed.
See, al-‘Ajluni, Kashf al-Khafa’, ii, 415; al-Ghazali, Ihya ‘Ulum al-Din, iii, 414; iv, 179, 362.
al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, iv, 341; Abu Nu’aym, al-Hilya al-Awliya’, i, 244.
See, Ibn Qays, Qura al-Dayf, i, 95, 207; al-Dhahabi, Tarikh al-Islam, 103.