The Attributes of Slave-hood.

Ibn Ataa Allah as-Sakandari

October 25, 2012

The occurrence of calamities are feasts for the murīds [seekers].

Days of occurrence of calamities, trials and tribulations, are days of feasts, pleasure, and happiness for themurīds.

They find happiness in calamities because of what they cause of self humility that bring closer to the Lord as the public find happiness in feast days for what they contain of enjoyments that satisfy the self’s lusts and needs.

Abul Ḥusayn an-Nūrī said:

They said tomorrow is a feast, what will you be wearing

I said the rags of a server who gulped down His love.

My dress is indigence and patience and beneath them

Is a heart that sees The Lord to be its feasts and Fridays.

The dress that deserves best to meet the Loved One in

On visiting days is this dress I wear

Forever is a funeral if I cannot find You, my Hope

And my feast is as long as You are in my sight, and for me a Listener

Perhaps you derive out of increasing calamities what you do not out of fasting and prayers.

Perhaps you find clarity of the heart and purity of the soul in calamities, to an extent you don’t find in fasting and prayer.

Calamities are always unpleasant and contradictory to passion and lust in all occasions, while fasting and prayer might cause the self to find happiness and reward in performing, whereby they may become flawed.

Hardships and privation are the carpets of His endowments.

Hardships and privation bring the murīd into the barn of sacredness and seat him on the carpet of companionship, so Lordly endowments and gifts of mercy befall him.

The author explained this by saying:

If you want endowments to flow your way, be true in your indigence and need “The voluntary almsgivings are only for the poor…” [9:60].

If you want Lordly endowments from The Almighty to flow your way, be true in your indigence and need by being truthful in verifying them, so that absolutely nothing makes you dispense with Him, for He said: “The voluntary almsgivings are only for the poor…” [9:60].

And say in your supplication:

As long as breaths transpire I am in need for You,

Even if the coronet or the crown are on my forehead.

And a sign of truthfulness in indigence on part of the faqīr is his taking charity from their real Giver, who is God the Almighty, for He has sent them to him. If he accepts it from Him on this base then he is truthful in his indigence, while if he takes and accepts from intermediaries, then his indigence is merely a description, while his intention is base and mean.

The author then explains more:

Realize your attributes and He will supply you from His traits. Realize your humility and He will supply you from His Might. Realize your incapacity and He will supply you from His Ability. Realize your weakness and He will supply you from His Power and Utmost Strength.

Realize the descriptions of your slavery and He will supply you from His Lordly traits.

If you sit on the carpet of humility and ask in prayer: “O Most Mighty, who aids the humble save You?” And on the carpet of incapacity and say: “O Most Able, who aids the incapacitated save You?” And on the carpet of weakness and say: “O Most Powerful, who aids the weak save You?” And on the carpet of need and indigence and say: “O Most Wealthy, who aids the indigent save You?” You will find the reply in the palm of your hand; you become dignified by Him, able by God, powerful by God, rich by God, and so on. He supplies and enforces you from the traits of Divinity once you realize your attributes of slave-hood.