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Hamd (the evaluation of the corporeal worlds as He wills) belongs to Allah, who has disclosed to His servant the knowledge of the reality and sunnatullah (Book) in which there is no discrepancy.
It is (a) straight (Book)... from His ladun to warn against a severe suffering and to give the good news to the believers, who fulfill the requirements of their faith, that they will have a good reward.
Those (believers) will reside therein forever.
And to warn those who say, “Allah has taken a son.”
Neither they, nor their forefathers, have any knowledge of it! Grave is the word their mouths utter! They speak nothing but lies!
So, if they don’t believe in this warning, will you ruin yourself in grief over them?
We adorned everything on earth (or the bodily life) for it, so that it may become apparent who will display the best conduct!
We will certainly turn everything on earth (the body) into barren soil!
Or did you think that (only) the Ashab-al Kahf (companions of the cave) and the inscription (on stone) were among Our wondrous signs?
And when the youths retreated to the cave and said “Our Rabb (the Name composition comprising our essential reality), grant us a grace (a blessing with your favor) from Yourself (Your ladun) and form within us a state of perfection in this matter.”
So We cast (a veil) over their ears (closed their perception to the world; put them to sleep) in the cave for many years.
Then We revived them (with a new understanding of life) that We might know (‘Know’ here denotes ‘reveal’ so that they may know – Elmalili Tafsir, Vol 5, Pg 3226) which of the two factions were most precise in calculating the time they had remained there.
(My Rasul) We narrate their story to you in truth... Indeed, they were youths who believed in their Rabb (B-Rabbihim; as their essential reality in their consciousness)... Hence, We increased them in experiencing their essential reality.
We put a nexus in their hearts (fixed their consciousness upon a state of constant observation)! They (those youths) stood up and said, “Our Rabb (the dimension of Names comprising our essence) is the Rabb of the heavens and the earth (the One who forms everything in existence with His Names)! Never will we accept a god (an administrator in existence) besides Him (equivalent to Him)! For if we speak the contrary, we would have spoken an absurd thing that defies the mind and logic.”
These, our people (who have deified the results of their baseless assumptions) have taken gods besides Him... If only they can show a clear proof of the power of these gods! So, who is more unjust than one who lies and slanders against Allah?
Since you have distanced yourselves from them and the things they worship besides Allah, retreat to the cave so your Rabb may spread His grace over you and form a benefit for you from what you do.
When the sun rises it turns from the right side of the cave... And when it sets it passes from their left side... They are within an open space thereof... This is a sign of Allah... Whoever Allah guides (to his essential reality) is enabled to reach the reality... And whoever He leads astray, never will you find for him a friend/guide to enlighten him.
You would have thought they were awake though they lay asleep (as though dead)... We turned them to the right and to the left... And their dog stretched his forelegs at the entrance (of the cave)! Had you seen them in that state, you would have turned away from them in flight; you would have been apprehensive and frightened!
Thus We revived (resurrected) them (a quality of the Name Baith manifested upon them) so that they may question one another about what they experienced... One of them said, “How long have you remained?” Some of them said, “We have remained a day or a part of a day”... The others said, “Your Rabb knows better how long you remained... So send one of you with this silver coin (money) to the city and let him see what food is clean and bring back some sustenance for you; let him be cautious and not let others be aware of you.”
“For if they become aware of you they will stone you to death or turn you to their belief... Then you will never have the opportunity to succeed!”
So We informed them about them, so that they know the word of Allah (resurrection) is Truth, and that of the hour (of death) there is no doubt! When they were arguing about the affair among themselves they said, “Construct over them a building. Their Rabb knows best about them (about what they are)” Those whose word prevailed over the matter said, “Surely, we will construct over them (the people of the cave) a masjid (a prayer house).”
They will say, “They were three, the fourth was a dog”... “They were five, the sixth was a dog”... This is merely guessing at the unknown (ranting and fabricating about things they do not know)! They will say, “They were seven, the eighth was a dog”... Say, “My Rabb knows better their number... None knows them except a few”... Do not argue about them other than exchanging ideas and do not ask them anything about them!
Do not say “I will definitely do it tomorrow” about anything (for you do not know if Allah wills that thing or not)!
Except when adding, “Insha Allah – If Allah wills” (you cannot know how Allah’s new manifestation will be)! And remember (dhikr) your Rabb (the Names comprising your essence) when you forget! And say, “I hope my Rabb enables me to attain perfection in His closeness (the dimension of the Reflection of Attributes, in the experience of the unity of existence. [See the topic of the Reflection of Divine Attributes in The Perfect Man, by Abdulqadir al-Jili.])
(And some say) they remained in their cave for three hundred years and added nine to it.
Say, “Allah knows best how long they remained... To Him belongs the unknown (aspects) of the heavens and the earth! He is One whose sight and hearing cannot be comprehended with the mind! They have no friend or guardian besides Him! And there is none to share His verdict!”
Recite (decipher – understand) what has been revealed to you (to your consciousness) of the Book of your Rabb (the knowledge pertaining to the dimension of the Names comprising your essence)! There is none to change His words! And you will never find a refuge other than Him.
Keep yourself (consciousness) patient with those who pray to their Rabb, in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance! Do not turn away from them desiring the adornments of the worldly life! And do not obey the one whose perception has been confined in his cocoon, deprived of remembering Us, and who follows his baseless ideas, and whose case has gone beyond all bounds!
Say, “The Truth is from your Rabb! So, whoever wills – let him believe, and whoever wills – let him deny!” Indeed, We have prepared for the wrongdoers a fire whose enormous waves have surrounded them from all sides! If they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like molten lead, which scalds their faces! How wretched a drink; how wretched an abode!
Indeed, those who have believed (that the One denoted by the name Allah is manifest with His Names, and that He is the Ahad and the Samad) and who fulfill the requirements of their faith, surely We will not allow to be lost the results of their righteous deeds!
For them there will be Paradises of Eden underneath which rivers flow, they will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold and will wear green garments of fine silk and brocade, resting on couches... How excellent a return and how favorable an abode (a metaphoric narration of the heavenly state of life; please refer to 13:35 and 47:15).
(My Rasul) present to them the example of the two men: We gave two gardens of grapevines to one of them, and encircled them with date palms and placed crop fields between them.
Both the gardens produced their fruits and did not fall short in anything... And We caused a river to gush forth between the two gardens.
(This man) had other means of income as well... So, when he came across the other man, he said, “I am greater than you in wealth and mightier in number.”
And he entered his garden, wronging himself, he said, “I do not think this wealth will ever perish.”
“I do not think the Doomsday will occur! And, if I am indeed returned to my Rabb, I am sure I will find even a better life than this.”
His friend said to him, “Are you denying your essence? He created you from dust, then created you from a sperm drop and then made you into a conscious man!”
“Thus HU is Allah, my Rabb! I do not associate anything with my Rabb (the Names comprising my essence)!”
“If only you had said, when you entered your garden, “MashaAllah (this formation is by the will of Allah) la kuwwata illa Billah – power (which appears to manifest on me) belongs only to Allah”... Although you see me less in wealth and children.”
“It may be that my Rabb will give me a better Paradise (garden) than yours and will send upon your garden a calamity from the sky and it will become a dry, dusty ground.”
“Or the water (of your garden) will be sunken down (into the earth) and you will not be able to find it again.”
And his wealth was encompassed and ruined! In the end he was rubbing his hands about (in loss) over what he had spent on his garden, which had collapsed upon its trellises, saying, “I wish I had not associated anything with my Rabb.”
He had neither a helper besides Allah, nor the strength to fend for himself!
Thus, as can be seen, the manifestation of the Name Waliyy belongs only to Allah, the Truth (Allah is the One who enables the state of wilayah)! He is better in giving reward and better in enabling the experience of an outcome.
Present to them the example of the worldly life... (The life of this world) is like water We bring down from the sky, which mixes with the vegetation of the earth... then (the vegetation) becomes dry remnants scattered by the winds... Allah is Muqtadir over all things.
Wealth and children are but the adornments of the worldly life (they are transient and temporary – bound to perish)! But the enduring deeds done as the requirements of faith are better both as reward in the sight of your Rabb, and as expectation.
The day We make the mountains walk (render dysfunctional the organs) you will see the earth naked! We will gather all of them, such that none will be disregarded!
They will be presented to their Rabb in rows (according to the level of their faith)! Indeed, you have come to Us as We created you the first time (cleansed from the identity, as pure consciousness)... Perhaps you did not think We will form this phase for you!
“The book (the full record of an individual’s life) will be laid open, and those who are guilty will be filled with dread at the information they see and will exclaim: ‘Oh, woe unto us! What kind of a book (recorded information) is this! It leaves out nothing, small or great, but takes all our thoughts and deeds into account!’ They will find in their presence all that they have done! Your Rabb does not wrong anyone.”
“And [mention] when We said to the angels, ‘Prostrate to Adam,’ and all but Iblis prostrated. He was of the jinn... (thus, in favor of his ego) he disobeyed the command of his Rabb (he did not have the knowledge of the reality [the jinni have no apprehension of the knowledge of the reality], they live purely by the ego. A.H.). So do you take him (Iblis) and his offspring as friends in My stead despite their enmity towards you? How bad a choice of friends for the wrongdoers!
I did not hold them (the jinni) witness to the creation of the heavens and the earth, or to the creation of themselves! Never can those who lead the people astray be in servitude to Me!
During that time when it is said, “Call My partners whom you assumed existed”, and they will call upon them, but they will not respond to them... We have put an unsurpassable barrier between them.
When the guilty ones saw the fire, they were certain they were going to fall in... There was no other destination for them but the fire!
Indeed, in this Quran We have presented the truths with every kind of example for the people! But man has ever been most keen on arguing against the reality.
What can prevent the people from believing and asking for forgiveness of their Rabb when there has come to them a guide (Rasul) leading them to the path of the reality, other than waiting for the precedent of the former people to befall them, or for the punishment to appear directly in front of them!
We disclose the Rasuls only as givers of good tidings and as warners... Those who deny the knowledge of the reality strive to cover the Truth with baseless ideas! They took My signs and the things of which they are warned as amusement (they did not take it seriously enough to evaluate it)!
Who can do more wrong than the one who is reminded of the proofs of his Rabb (inherent divine qualities), but turns away from them and forgets what he prepared and put forth with his own hands? Indeed, We have imprisoned them into their cocoons for not realizing the truth (due to their denial) and placed a heaviness into their ears! Even if you invite them to the reality they will never attain guidance!
Your Rabb is the Ghafur and possessor of grace! Had He willed to enforce the consequences of their doings immediately, surely He would have hastened the suffering (death)! Rather, there is an appointed time for them, from which they will never be able to escape.
These are the cities We destroyed for having wronged, and We had appointed a time for their destruction.
And Moses said to the youngster in his service, “I will continue traveling until I reach the junction of the two seas, even if it takes me many years.”
But when they reached the junction of the two seas, they forgot their fish (there)... So, it (the fish) took its course into the sea and was gone!
A little after they passed (their meeting point), Moses said to his servant, “Bring us our lunch; this journey has certainly exhausted us...”
(Moses’ servant) said, “Did you see? I forgot the fish near the rock... Satan made me forget to remind you! And it (the fish) wondrously (came to life) and delved into the sea!”
(Moses) said, “That is what we have been seeking!”... So they returned, following their footprints.
And they found a servant from among Our servants to whom We had given (gifted) grace (enabling him to experience his reality) and had disclosed through him Our Knowledge (the manifestation of divine attributes as the pleasing self [nafs-i mardiyya])from Our ladun.
Moses said to him, “I would like to follow you so that you teach me from the knowledge that has been disclosed through you!”
(Khidr) said, “You will not be able to bear being with me (your creational program and function are tuned for the exterior; the perception of the eye, you cannot comprehend the interior dimensions of the unknown due to the requirements of your specific function)!”
“How can you bear to witness an event when you are unaware of its essential reality?”
(Moses) said, “With the will of Allah you will find me to be of those who are patient; I will not object to you in any of your affairs.”
(Khidr) said, “If you are to follow me, you shall not ask me any questions (regarding how and what I do) until I explain to you the reality of it!”
So they set out, until when they embarked on a boat (Khidr) made a hole in the boat. (Moses) said, “Have you made this hole so its people may drown? Indeed, you have done a grave thing!”
(Khidr) said, “Did I not tell you that you cannot bear being with me?”
(Moses) said, “Do not rebuke me for forgetting (my word); do not make my job difficult for me.”
So they continued on their way, until when they met a little boy, Khidr killed him! (Moses) said, “You have killed an innocent person other than for retribution? You have certainly done a horrendous thing!”
(Khidr) said, “Did I not tell you that you cannot bear being with me?”
(Moses) said, “If I should ask you about (anything) after this then do not keep me as a companion! Let this be my final excuse!”
So they continued on their way... Finally they reached a town and asked for some food from its people... But they refused to offer their hospitality... Then they (Moses and Khidr) saw a wall about to collapse. (Khidr) restored the wall. (Moses) said, “If you wished you could have obtained a payment for this job.”
(Khidr) said, “This (your third objection) has marked the end of our companionship! I shall give you the interpretation (the inner meanings) of the things you could not bear witnessing.”
“Let us start with the boat: That boat belonged to the poor people working at sea. I willed to make it faulty because they were to meet a king who would seize every boat by force (since the king was not to take a damaged boat, I actually salvaged the boat for the people in order to help them).
“As for that little boy, his parents were both believers but we feared he would make them fall into transgression and disbelief (through the person he was to become when he grew older)!”
“So we wanted their Rabb to substitute for them one who is better, purer and closer to His grace.”
“As for the wall: It belonged to two orphan boys in that city... Underneath it there was a treasure that belonged to them (the two orphan boys)... And their father was a righteous man... So your Rabb willed for those two boys to grow older and reach maturity and extract their treasure as grace from your Rabb... I did not do these things out of my own accord! So, this is the interpretation (inner meanings) of the things that you could not bear to witness.”
They ask you about Dhul-Qarnayn... Say, “I will recite to you a dhikr (remembrance) about him.”
We established him upon the earth and made easy for him every path (to attain his wishes).
So he followed a way.
When he finally reached the place where the sun set, he found it setting in dense, dark water... And he found people there! We said, “O Dhul-Qarnayn! You can either punish them or do good for them.”
(Dhul-Qarnayn) said, “We will punish the one who does wrong... And he will be returned to his Rabb and He will punish him with an indescribable torment.”
But whoever believes (in the reality) and fulfills the requirements of his faith the return of this is best for him... We will apply Our command of ease on him.
Then he (Dhul-Qarnayn) followed (another) way.
Until he came to the place of the rising sun (the place where the sun rises from the lowest point in the north without actually setting). He found it rising upon a people for whom We had not made a cover (against the sun) (i.e. the sun never disappeared).
Thus it is... We had encompassed him with what he had.
Then he (Dhul-Qarnayn) followed one other way.
Finally he reached a place between two mountains... He found people there who were almost unable to evaluate any warning.
They said, “O Dhul-Qarnayn! Indeed, Gog and Magog are causing corruption on earth! So, shall we pay you a price so that you make a barrier between us and them?”
(Dhul-Qarnayn) said, “That which my Rabb manifests through me is better... But assist me with your strength and I will make between you and them a barrier.”
“Bring me the blocks of iron...” Until when We leveled both sides, he said, “Blow (with bellows)”... Until it (the iron) became red hot, he said, “Bring it to me, that I may pour molten copper over it.”
So they were neither able to pass over it nor penetrate through it!
(Dhul-Qarnayn) said, “This is a grace from my Rabb... So, when the promise of my Rabb comes, He will make it level... The promise of my Rabb is true.”
That day We will leave them alone, they will surge over each other like (two different kinds of) waves! And the Horn will be blown, and We will have gathered all of them together.
And We will display Hell clearly before the eyes of those who deny the knowledge of the reality!
Their insight (perception) was blocked from my dhikr (remembrance)! And their capacity was inadequate to perceive and comprehend!
Did those who deny the knowledge of the reality think they can leave Me (deny the quality of the Name Waliyy in their essence) and take my (external) servants as guardians! We made hell an abode for the deniers of the knowledge of the reality.
Say, “Shall I inform you of the greatest losers as a result of their deeds?”
They are the ones whose efforts in the worldly life have gone to waste while they thought they were doing good!
They are the ones who deny the signs (Names) of their Rabb within themselves and the meeting with Him (that they will experience the manifestation of the Names in their consciousness) and thus whose deeds are in vain! And We shall give them no weight (importance) in the Doomsday period.
That is the hell in which the deniers of the knowledge of the reality will reside; that is the recompense for mocking My signs and Rasuls!
Indeed, those who believe (in the reality) and fulfill its requirements, their place of residence will be Gardens of Paradise.
They will abide therein eternally... They will never want to leave.
Say, “If the ocean were ink for the words (the manifest meanings) of my Rabb, surely the ocean will be exhausted before the words of my Rabb came to an end! Even if we added another ocean like it!”
Say (my Rasul), “I am merely a man like you (therefore you are also like me) except that the Unity of Uluhiyyah is revealed to my consciousness (the knowledge of Allah is disclosed through me; Risalat)! So, whoever expects to meet their Rabb (experience the requirements of the reality of the Names) let him fulfill the requirements of his faith and (continue) serving His Rabb and not assign any partners to Him!”