Peace, one and all…
In the coming weeks, as God wills, I hope to reflect on Kabir Dede’s Principles of Heartfulness. As these reflections progress, I also hope to explore an important early Sufi text on the heart, A Treatise on the Heart by Hakim al-Tirmidhi. Both of these works focus on understanding the heart, in order to see further and more clearly. In light of this it was interesting to read the following passage in today’s reading from the Evrad-i Serif:
‘O you who believe! Reverence God and let every soul consider what it has sent forth for the morrow; and reverence God. Truly God is Aware of whatsoever you do’ (59:18)
As with many other Quranic passages, this verse starts off with the phrase, ‘O you who believe!’ In this moment these words challenge me, as if to say, ‘you claim to believe, show Me!’ I am challenged to see the truth of my own state, to understand it without judgement. Reverence God occurs twice in this verse, which strikes me as important. Reverence translates taqwa (another relevant post), which can also be rendered as ‘God-consciousness’: be conscious of God and begin that process of inward accounting; and be conscious of God at its end, understanding that we can never know ourselves as the Divine knows us. Taqwa is sometimes translated as fear of God. We should be afraid of cutting ourselves off from our root, of becoming completely unaware of ourselves and our actions, especially as these impact others. Translating taqwa as reverence teases out a further shade of meaning: self-exploration is an act of devotion, an act of inward worship. Becoming aware of ourselves is to come into harmony with the Source of all awareness, the All-Aware (al-Khabir). Harmony is an integral component of oneness, of a living tawhid.
To come into harmony requires honest effort and a willingness to see. ‘Let every soul consider: I am challenged to truthfully reflect on my own progress on the Way. Where do my shortcomings lie? Where do I need to develop, and to grow? I am challenged to weigh your my deeds honestly, without false arrogance and without false modesty. ‘Sent forth for the morrow’: what patterns of behaviour are today’s actions producing in the future? Upon what roots are today’s habits based? ‘Truly God is Aware…’. God is aware of my failures and my successes, my weaknesses and my strengths, my efforts and my shortcomings. His awareness of us, and within us, is also His mercy. We move in the clear field of His prescient and overflowing love, and that is an encouraging thought.
Ask olsun! May love increase!