Some time, “at the beginning of time”, Allah (ﷻ) decreed where He wants each one of us to be in our relationship with Him (ﷻ) and His Messenger (ﷺ). We do not understand this. We do not understand how Divine Guidance works, and although we feel free, as we say, it is Allah’s (ﷻ) decision with regard to us that takes us where we must be. Although this applies to all human beings, there are certain human beings, who are favoured by Him (ﷻ), who are special by Him (ﷻ) and who are given certain important positions in relation to Him (ﷻ).
Often one examines the lives of the Messengers (a.s.), for example, whom Allah (ﷻ) appointed for each nation, each one of whom Allah (ﷻ) made to travel a certain path and to gain certain experiences for the Divine task they had to carry and put into operation. They are the most special by Him (ﷻ), and in the Hereafter they will occupy the most highly prized positions by Him (ﷻ), and perhaps if we are fortunate, we will witness their experience of Divine favours. Perhaps, if we are fortunate! When they come to occupy those positions, we must remember that it all started “at the time” when our Lord placed His Decree on His creation. He granted honour to all of the children of Nabi Adam (a.s.). He granted each one of them the honour of being His Messengers (a.s.) on earth. The greatest of His Honours, of course, went to Nabi Muhammad (ﷺ) who stands head and shoulders above all of them and, of course, above all of humanity. This was all part of the Divine Decree. He (ﷺ) enjoys the best that his Lord can provide for him (ﷺ) in his station of witnessing his (ﷺ) Lord. Perhaps this station of his (ﷺ) is totally exclusive. We think it must be like that, because he (ﷺ) is the most favoured of human beings. What would this favour be worth if he (ﷺ) cannot enjoy the maximum benefits of Divine Bliss?
For many of us, throughout all of humanity, from the beginning of time to the end of time, Allah (ﷻ) has also granted certain special favours. These favours flow from His endless and shoreless oceans of whatever He has available for us; of Blessings, of Mercy, of Love, of Kindness, or whatever else He has chosen for each one of us. There are times when the heart overflows with appeals to Him for a special connection to one of His Oceans, or for a special connection to one of His Names. Perhaps deep inside our beings, there lies the knowledge of the existence of these oceans and Names, and when we strive for these through our forms of worship, it is this knowledge that motivates us. All the time we are appealing for grants.
Many of these grants are extremely difficult to attain; not only because of the consistent intensive programmes of worship that we have engaged in, but also in the length of time, perhaps decades that it takes to receive such a grant. These grants come suddenly, and they are overwhelming. I sometimes think of an individual that is informed that Allah (ﷻ) has placed him in a category of intensely pious people, of Awliya’; those men and women who are classified as Friends of Allah, and who occupy stations that most of us are striving for. In the post-Prophetic period, they are the recipients of the greatest grants from their Lord, ma sha’Allah. Wherever they are, spirituality blossoms, and where they are not, Islam struggles to come to the fore in the lives of people. Especially favoured by their Lord, and specially blessed by Him, they generate a spirituality that others can only dream of. In their hearts throbs the unity of Allah (ﷻ), and their hearts are generally free of other than Him. Are these the hearts that Allah (ﷻ) speaks about when He says that what is between the heavens and earth cannot contain Him, but the hearts of the believers can contain Him? We do not know. We can only assume that when Allah (ﷻ) speaks about believers, he speaks about those who are classified as His Awliya’. We only assume this.
This desire to be of these people is because they are carriers of the Names of their Lord in their hearts. Is it like that? How is it? What is the nature of the hearts of the Awliya’, that Allah (ﷻ) says that those hearts contain Him. What is the nature of these hearts? Do they carry the Names of Allah? Or do they carry a minute particle of His Presence in their hearts? We do not know. We only know that they are so special by their Lord, and that their Lord says that their hearts can be occupied by Him. It must be one of the most fantastic things in spiritual achievement to be one of His Awliya’.
These very specially favoured servants of their Lord sometimes live amongst us; unrecognised and unknown, but they perform important spiritual functions as inheritors of the Prophets (a.s.) to keep the message of Islam alive in the hearts of others. What their hearts carry is all beyond our understanding. We only know that when they are not here the day anymore, there are major gaps in the spirituality of Islam. They fill those gaps. They are agents of spirituality. They are the workers for their Lord. We ask Allah (ﷻ) to make us of them. No, we cannot ask, we must plead passionately every day for that and combine the plea with intensive worship and combine the worship with intensive working in His Cause. O our Lord, make this letter one of those passionate pleas, amin.