The Third Flash
[Emotion and spiritual pleasure have become mixed in this Flash to an extent, and since their exuberance does not much heed the principles of the intellect and the scales of thought nor conform to them, it should not be weighed up on the scales of logic.]
In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
Everything shall perish save His countenance; His is the command, and to Him shall you return.
The two phrases, The Enduring One, He is the Enduring One! * The Enduring One, He is the Enduring One! express the meaning of the above verse, and so too state two important truths. It is because of this that some of the chiefs of the Naqshbandi Order made themselves a special invocation with the repetition of the phrases, in the form of a concise Naqshi supplication. Seeing that the two phrases express the meaning of the above mighty verse, we shall explain several points concerning the significant truth they state.
The first time The Enduring One, He is the Enduring One! is recited, like a surgical operation, it severs and isolates the heart from everything other than God. It is as follows:
In respect of the comprehensiveness of his nature, man is connected with almost all beings, and in addition, a boundless capacity to love has been included in his nature. For these reasons man nurtures love towards all beings. As he loves the huge world as though it was a house, so he loves eternal Paradise as though it was a garden. However, the beings he loves do not stop, they depart, and he constantly suffers the pain of separation. That boundless love of his becomes the means of boundless torment.
The fault in suffering such torment is his, for his heart's boundless capacity to love was given so that he might direct it toward One possessing an infinite undying beauty. By misusing it and spending it on transitory beings, he has done wrong and suffers the punishment for his fault through the pain of separation.
And so, the first time he utters: "The Enduring One! He is the Enduring One!", it severs his attachment to transitory beings; he leaves those objects of love before they leave him and he is thus cleared of his fault. It declares that love is restricted to the Enduring Beloved, and expresses this meaning: "The only Truly Enduring One is You! Everything other than You is transient. One that is transient certainly cannot be the object of attachment for my heart which was created for everlasting love, for ardour lasting from pre-eternity to post-eternity. Since those innumerable beloveds are transitory and they leave me and depart, before they do so, declaring, The Enduring One, You are the Enduring One!, I shall leave them. Only You are immortal, and I know and believe that beings can only be immortal by Your making them so. In which case, they should be loved with Your love. They are not otherwise worthy of the heart's attachment."
When in this state, man's heart gives up innumerable objects of love; seeing the stamp of transitoriness on their beauty and loveliness, it severs its attachment to them. If it does not sever it, it suffers wounds to the number of its beloveds. The second The Enduring One, He is the Enduring One! is both a salve and an antidote for those wounds. That is, "O Enduring One! Since You are Enduring, that is sufficient, You take the place of everything. Since You exist, everything exists."
Yes, the beauty, bounty, and perfection in beings, which are the cause of love, are generally signs of the Truly Enduring One's beauty and bounty and perfections, and passing through many veils, are pale shadows of them; indeed, they are the shadows of the shadows of the manifestations of His Most Beautiful Names.
Included in human nature is an intense love. Even, because of the power of imagination, man fancies a sort of immortality in everything he loves. Whenever he thinks of or sees their passing, he cries out from the depths of his being. All the lamentations at separation are interpretations of the weeping resulting from love of immortality. If there was no imagined immortality, there would be no love. It might even be said that a reason for the existence of the eternal realm and everlasting Paradise is the intense desire for immortality arising from that passionate love of immortality, and from the innate and general prayer for immortality. The Enduring One of Glory accepted man's intense, unshakeable, innate desire and his powerful, effective, general prayer, for He created for transient man an eternal realm.
Is it at all possible that the Munificent and Compassionate Creator would accept the insignificant wish of a tiny stomach and its supplication through the tongue of disposition for a temporary immortality through creating innumerable sorts of delicious foods, and not accept the intense desire of all human kind, which arises from an overpowering innate need, and mankind's universal, constant, rightful, just prayer for immortality, offered through word and state? God forbid, a hundred thousand times! It is not possible that He would not accept it. Not to accept it would be in keeping with neither his wisdom, nor His justice, nor His mercy, nor His power.
Since man is most desirous of immortality, all his perfections and pleasures are dependent on immortality. And since immortality is particular to the Enduring One of Glory; and since the Enduring One's Names are enduring and immortal; and since the Enduring One's mirrors take on the hue of the Enduring One, and reflect His decree, and manifest a sort of immortality; for sure the matter most important for man, his most pressing duty, is to form a relation with that Enduring One and to adhere to His Names. For everything expended on the way of the Enduring One receives a sort of immortality. Thus, the second the Enduring One, He is the Enduring One! expresses this truth. In addition to healing man's innumerable spiritual wounds, it satisfies the intense wish for immortality in his nature.
In this world, the effects of time on things, and on their transience and passing, differ greatly. And while beings are one within the other like concentric circles, they are different as regards the speed of their passing.
Just as the hands of a clock counting the seconds, and those counting the minutes, hours, and days superficially resemble each other, but differ in respect to speed, so too the spheres of the body, soul, heart, and spirit in man differ from each other. For example, although the body possesses an immortality, life, and existence in the day in which it is, or even the hour, and its past and future are dead and non-existent, the sphere of existence and life of the heart extend from many days previous to the present day and to many days in the future. And the sphere of the spirit is vast; the sphere of its life and existence extends from years previous to the present day to years subsequent to it.
Thus, due to this capacity, in respect of knowledge, love, and worship of God, the Sustainer, and the pleasure of that Most Merciful One, which are the means to the life of the heart and spirit, transient life in this world comprises a perpetual life, results in an eternal life, and resembles everlasting life.
Yes, one second on the way of love, knowledge, and pleasure of the Truly Enduring One is a year. While if it is not on His way, a year is a second. A single second, even, on His way is immortal and many years. A hundred years of the people of neglect in regard to this world are like a single second. There is the famous saying: "A moment's separation lasts a year, and a year's union passes as swiftly as a moment." I say the complete opposite to this: a moment's union for God's sake within the bounds of the Enduring One of Glory's pleasure is a window of union, not of only a year, but a permanent window. While not one year, but perhaps a thousand years spent in heedlessness and misguidance are like a second. There is a saying more famous than the previous one that corroborates this: "The broad earth with enemies is like a drinking-glass, while the eye of a needle with friends like a broad arena."
An explicit meaning of the first well-known saying above is this: since union with transitory beings is transient, however long it is, it is brief. A year of such union is fleeting like a second, and is an illusion, a dream, causing regret and sorrow. The human heart, which desires immortality, can only receive in one year's union the tiniest pleasure within a fraction of a second. And one moment's separation is not one year, but many. For the arena of separation is broad. Even if only for a second, separation inflicts years of destruction on a heart which yearns for eternity. For it bodes of innumerable separations. While for physical and lowly loves, the past and future are filled with separations.
In connection with this matter, we say this: O man! Do you want to make your brief and useless life immortal, long, beneficial, fruitful? Since to so want is demanded by humanity, spend your life on the way of the Truly Enduring One. For everything turned to the Enduring One receives the manifestation of immortality.
Since everyone strongly desires a long life and yearns for immortality; and since there is a means of transforming this fleeting life into perpetual life and it is possible to make it like a long life; for sure anyone who has not lost his humanity will seek out the means and try to transform the possibility into a reality and will act accordingly. Yes, the means is this: work for God's sake, meet with others for God's sake, labour for God's sake; act within the sphere of ‘For God, for God's sake, on account of God.' Then all the moments of your life will become like years.
Alluding to this truth, verses of the Qur'an point out that a single night like the Night of Power are like a thousand months, that is, around eighty years. Also indicating to this truth is ‘the expansion of time', a tried principle among the people of sainthood and reality, through the mystery of which, a few minutes' Ascension become like many years and prove the existence of this truth and demonstrate it in fact. The few hours of the Ascension of the Prophet (PBUH) had the length, breadth, and comprehensiveness of thousands of years. For he entered the world of eternity by way of the Ascension, and a few minutes of that world comprise thousands of years of this world.
In addition are the numerous occurrences of ‘the expansion of time' experienced by the saints, constructed on this truth. It is related that some saints did a day's work in a single minute, some performed the duties of a year in an hour, and recited the whole Qur'an in the space of a minute. Such veracious people of truth would never knowingly stoop to lying. There can be no doubt that they observed exactly the fact of ‘the expansion of time', which is thus numerously and unanimously reported.
A sort of the expansion of time confirmed by everyone is experienced in dreams. Sometimes a day in the waking world, or many days, would be necessary to experience the happenings, words, pleasures, and pains experienced in a minute's dream.
I n S h o r t : For sure man is transitory, but he was created for immortality, and as the mirror to an Enduring One, and he was charged with duties which produce enduring fruits, and was given a form which is the means to manifesting the impresses of an Enduring One's enduring Names. In which case, the true duty and happiness of man is to cling with all his powers and faculties to the Names of that Eternally Enduring One within the bounds of those things that please Him; it is to be turned towards the Enduring One, and to go to Him. As his tongue utters "the Enduring One, You are the Enduring One!," so his heart, spirit, mind, and all his subtle faculties should declare:
"He is the Enduring One! He is the Pre-Eternal and Post-Eternal! He is the Everlasting One! He is the Perpetual One! He is the One Who is Sought! He is the Beloved! He is the One Wished For, the One Worshipped!"
Glory be unto You! We have no knowledge save that which You have taught us; indeed, You are All-Knowing, All-Wise!
O our Sustainer! Do not take us to task if we forget or do wrong.