Word 40: The one who pays attention to the demand discovers a relationship between the demander and the desired and recognizes that the soul does not achieve human completeness without unity and gathering, and belonging does not accrue with reason


Word 40: The one who pays attention to the demand discovers a relationship between the demander and the desired and recognizes that the soul does not achieve human completeness without unity and gathering, and belonging does not accrue with reason

Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A): “A mystic is someone who knows himself, frees himself from enslavement, and purifies himself of whatever hinders him from perfection”.

The Kaaba used to be filled with idols. If someone prostrated before the Kaaba, he was also prostrating to idols. This is one of the reasons the Holy Prophet (A) used to pray towards Bait-ul-Maqdis, and subsequently, he went with Imam Ali (A) and smashed the idols. The heart is the Kaaba in the human world because everything in this universe is also present in man’s existence. Human is the small version of the universe. Mystics call the human the small world and the universe (seen and unseen) the big world.

The Kaaba in the small world (Human) is the human heart; it is a heart that is full of idols also. The narration says: “Anything that keeps you away from God is your idol”. Hopes, cravings, jealousies, miserliness, grudges, hope for others, lusts, and pleasures are all distinct idols that exist within the human heart; the human heart, in other words, is a temple. If we prostrate before the Kaaba, which is full of idols, we are prostrating to those idols. As a result, a heart full of hopes, wants, jealousies, miserliness, grudges, hopes for others, and lusts cannot give attention to God. Imam Sadiq (A) said: “The heart is the shrine of Almighty God, so do not place in His shrine anything other than Him”. A heart full of idols, hopes, and hundreds of vibrant dreams is not a heart fit for worship; it is not a sanctuary for God. It is, therefore, impossible to worship God with such a heart.

Prophet David (A) had a revelation that said, “O David, clean and prepare a house for me.” David said: O Lord, you do not fit in the body, you do not fit in a dwelling, how can I clean and prepare a house for you? I mean the house of your heart, God explained. Cleanse your heart for me; nobody else belongs in that home but God. How can one purify a heart that is full of idols, hopes and wants, lusts and neglects? An Abraham idol breaker is needed. “By God, I will have a plan for your statues after you have gone away” (Al-Anbiya:57). The divine master is like Abraham (A), of course, if we vacate the city. The divine master will break all the idols located in our hearts. When the people left the city, Prophet Abraham (A) went to the idols and slashed them with an ax. If we surrender the city to Abraham, if we surrender our existence to the divine master, he will smash the idols of our hearts with an ax.

After we’ve picked a divine master, we should not be so weak-hearted. We shouldn’t feel unhappy over how the master treated us. A person will not go far in this manner. We must be as hard as stone, so that no matter what the master hits and smashes us, we do not make a sound, and then we see a human body carved out of this stone because our Nafs (“I”) must be axed to be a human. We must grasp the teacher’s hand and tell him to punish us, to make us human so that we will abandon our ambitions and dreams and utter whatever master says. It is my idol as long as “I” and “My” is present. When we accept that everything the divine master says is what God says since he is God’s tongue, that is, then we will be free from self-obedience, and this Kaaba was cleaned of all other than God.

At one point, the rosary and prayer become man’s idols; at other times, worship becomes man’s idol. Man has no idea what has become his veil. He feels it would be appropriate to utter a specific dhikr, and he asks the master, “Why don’t you give me this dhikr?” This guy is unaware that his ailment is something different and that if the divine master gives him this specific dhikr, his condition will worsen. In front of the master, people should act as if they are dead. Ghassal (dead washer) throws water on the deceased person and cleanses him with water, and the dead guy does not talk or move. He is submissive. Humans must be submissive in order to be perfect. Bayazid Bastami is a mystic who was known as the “King of Mystics.” He was one of Imam Sadiq’s (AS) pupils, bringing water to the Imam’s residence. Bayazid had a pupil who had made significant improvement. Bayazid noticed that his pupil had made significant progress but that there were still some veils in him, so he told his associates, “None of you should pay attention to this person and talk to him.” They also complied. The student was devastated because his buddies ignored him, did not talk to him, did not greet him, and only Bayazid spoke to him. When Bayazid realized that just his (student) idol (Nafs/self) remained, he stopped talking to his student and paid no attention to him. The pupil was disappointed in everyone; the drapes in front of him were removed, and Bayazid summoned him to come now. The student had no idea that the master was training him with these activities to reach his perfection.

In order to discover a connection with the clergy, these idols must be shattered in man’s existence; a worshiper of the ego cannot be a worshiper of God. I had a request for Allameh Hassanzadeh many years ago. I asked him, “Sir, when should I come for this request?” Allameh said: “First, let’s wait until you become free from “I” (Nafs/Self)”. The words of the Guardians of God are a code, “Relieve from I” means to be relieved from your ego, not from Allameh Hassanzadeh. What is the God of someone who says, for example, my son, my house, my husband, and my car? His “I” is his God because he desires everything for “I.” This selfishness must be eliminated, and God must take its place. These sins increase the ego of man. The more “I” goes after pleasures and lusts, the stronger the “I” (Nafs) becomes.

Attachments and anything other than God should be removed from the human heart. The remembering of death is one way to dissolve links with belonging. Imam Sadiq (A) said: “The remembrance of death destroys the desires of the “I” and eradicates the growth of negligence, strengthens the heart with God’s promises, thins nature, crushes the flags of lust, eliminates the fire of greed, and makes the material world look small”. When we think about death, we realize how many belongings we have. Now, which one of us is ready and willing to die? When do we want to start getting ready? How much time will we need to prepare? Let us imagine that the angel of death has arrived and said that the time has come for us to die. We request a timeline from him. How long do we have to prepare? A week? Ten days? a month? What do we accomplish in a month? We must prepare ourselves throughout our lives for the possibility of death because it is getting closer to us moment by moment.

Allameh Hassanzadeh said: “The Nafs (“I”) does not achieve human completeness without unity and gathering”. Unity means to unify the heart. Just one thing. The mystics spoke and wrote a lot about gathering and unity. When a person achieves the “Jameiyat” (gathering) position, he can do anything. Gathering indicates that the heart only wants one thing and wills one thing with all of its being. In the story of Prophet Joseph (A), we have: “She in whose house he was living tried to seduce him. She locks the doors, and said, “I am yours.” He said, God forbid! He is my Lord. He has given me a good home. Sinners never succeed” (Al-Yusuf:23). The woman came to Prophet Joseph (A) after locking all the doors. When Prophet Joseph (A) fled, every door he came to was opened. The locked door was opened for him since he wanted to flee with all of his beings or with his gathering status. When there is a gathering and oneness, humans may create things or affect the material world; when there is dispersion and disarray, this energy disperses.

A laser is a unified collection of light. When light in the space unifies, it develops such force that it slices iron like cheese, but when it is scattered, its power is diminished. When the human spirit is scattered, it cannot exercise its power; nevertheless, when the heart is unified, it can achieve anything; of course, this depends on the degree of oneness.

Allameh Hassanzadeh informed Allameh Tabatabai that, “Sir, I am not seeing any positive effects from the directions and dhikrs that I am doing”. Allameh Tabatabai said, “How many lessons do you have throughout the day?” Allameh Hassanzadeh explained that he has six to seven talks and lessons every day. Allameh Tabatabai stated, “These are too many; reduce the debates and classes a little because it causes distraction.” From mathematics to geometry, jurisprudence to philosophy, and Arabic to mysticism, all of this learning and studying every day generates diversion.

Imam Sajjad (A) said: “God encouraged His Guardians to practice austerity so that their hearts would be clean for God”. Allameh Hassanzadeh, in the divine letter, said: “O Lord, Blessed are those who have neither the sorrow of a goat nor the sorrow of a goat’s baby”. What happened to this check, what happened to that loan, what happened to that house, where should I construct, where should I buy cheap iron beam? The house price increased, the price of cement decreased, and the stock market price decreased. This heart is like a highway, and there is no silence. The heart needs gathering and unity. We are not suggesting that we should not work; that is not what we are discussing. Everything should be proportional and in its place. Imam Kazim (A) said: “Anyone who seeks nourishment in a halal manner in order to provide for himself and his family is a warrior in the way of God Almighty”.

When a person does not achieve the status of unity and gathering, he does not achieve human completeness. According to Allameh Hassanzadeh, sometimes a person desires unity so much that every tick of the clock pains him. We require so much stillness in meditation because we wish to connect to the divine world.

“I saw whistles, foam, dust, and smoke,” the Holy Prophet (S) remarked when he returned from Ascension. “What are these?” he inquired. “These are devils; they surround the hearts of the children of Adam with these things so that they do not see the divine realm”, stated Angel Gabriel (A).

Man is always talking to himself: what should I do and what should I avoid doing, where should I go, and so on? These are located in the heart. Constant activity and loudness. The heart is not at ease or tranquil. If these internal sounds subside, man will be able to view reality. It’s as if you went to the cinema, and there’s dust, cigarette smoke, loud noises, etc. You can’t see a scene or hear a sound. But, when they settled down, the dust and noise were removed then you could hear and see the scene. When the human heart is at peace, it sees and hears.

Mulla Sadra said: “When I was younger, I had a buddy who had a very powerful mind on philosophical and legal topics; he solved and grasped many difficult, substantial, and hefty philosophical subjects. After some time, this individual fell into the trap of the world; the world hunted him, and when I met him and spoke with him again, I noticed that he no longer comprehended the simplest and easiest things”. Therefore, belonging is not gathering with intellectuality. Allameh Hassanzadhe said: “The people of eating and gluttons do not become people of the interior. The more a person disconnects from the world, the closer he gets to the realm of light, the closer he gets to knowledge, and the more wide his chest becomes”.

Allameh compares man to a bird whose claws cling to the ground but whose spirit longs to fly. It flies, yet its claw is trapped in the ground and material world, preventing this soul from flying. He is attached to the world. Long dreams and hopes of the world keep him from moving and flying. We said that the thing that causes disconnection from the material world is “remembering death”. Some of Ayatullah Qazi’s (R) students were so preoccupied with the remembrance of death that they became drunk and passed out. “By men who neither trading nor commerce distracts them from God’s remembrance” (An-Nur:37). Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali (A) said: “A mystic is the one who knows himself and frees himself from slavery, and cleanses him from what keeps him away from perfection”.

Watching TV keeps a person distracted from the holy journey. Why are we sitting at watching a pointless film? Sitting, laughing, and conversing all at the same time keeps a person away from following the holy path. Bad jokes divert people from following the heavenly path. Joking and making fun of people distract a beginner from the divine path, especially at the start of their holy journey. Let us study and discover what maintains us on this divine path and what keeps us dark:

We get dark if we talk too much; therefore, we don’t talk too much. We laugh too much; we become dark, and therefore, we stop laughing so much. Don’t become upset because it darkens us. Being stingy makes us dark; therefore, let us stop being stingy. We must sit down, flip the pages of our existence book one by one, and clean it. Divine wisdom and truths will come to us when we achieve unification. We will, God willing, continue on the path of divine humanity and progress toward perfection day by day.

Muhammad Mahdi Me’marian

All praise is to God to the extent that He deserves it.                                     

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