My servant knows that well-being and divine beneficence are in contentment and surrender, and in the heart’s tranquility amidst the vicissitudes of divine decree. The Real, the Most Exalted, desires to bring His servant to Himself, to keep his company, and to shorten the distance between them by burdening him with the harms of creation, poverty, sickness, calamities, and tribulations, which harm the ego, and as a result, the servant flees from all of this and begs Allah to distance him from all of such trials on account of his ignorance.
My Servant! How will I show you Mercy by removing that through which I’ve shown you Mercy?
The Messenger – may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him – said to Ali, may Allah ennoble his countenance: “Ali, if Allah takes a servant to account for a sin in this world, then His Generosity is greater than to punish him for it in the Hereafter, and whoever has his sin pardoned by Allah in this world, then His Honor is greater than to pursue him for it in the Hereafter, and if one has his sin concealed by Allah in this world, then His Majesty is greater than to reveal it in the Hereafter.” He masks the ugly and displays every good virtue — And He enrobes the servant in perfection and gratitude.
My servant does not ask Allah, the Most Exalted, for a long life, but rather he asks Him to place His blessing in it. The lesson to be learned does not concern the length or shortness of one’s life, but rather, it concerns the presence of His blessings in life. When Allah, the Most Exalted is pleased with a servant, He opens up for him the openings of the first and the last and grants him knowledge of the first and the last in a single moment.
Perhaps a life may be long, but with little providence; And perhaps a life may be short, but with great providence. Whoever is blessed in his life can apprehend graces from Allah, the Most Exalted, in a very short period of time, which cannot be grasped in the realm of expressions nor followed by a reference.
Oh my servant, I have decreed in my preeternality that never shall the light of surrendering to Me and the darkness of contesting with Me coincide together in my servant’s heart; for when one exists, the other must cease to accompany it. So choose for yourself!
Thus, woe be to you when We exalt your rank, while you remain preoccupied with the whims of your ego! So choose not to diminish your rank, oh one whom we have raised!
Do not degrade yourself in turning to other than Me, oh one we have honoured! Woe to you! You are far too honourable to busy yourself with other than Us! For My Presence have I created you, to it have I addressed you, and with the attractive allure of my care for it, I have I enticed you.
Thus, if you are preoccupied with yourself, I shall veil you (from My Presence), and if you follow the whims of your ego, I shall banish you. But if you choose to cast these away, I shall draw you near, and if you lovingly seek Me by foregoing what is other than Me, I shall respond to you.