the path of those whom You have favored
It means “the way (Ṭarīq) of those whom You have favored with guid- ance to the straight path”-these are the friends (awliyāÌ) and chosen ones (aṣfiyāÌ). It is said that it is “the way of those whom You have annihilated from themselves and raised up through You for You. They do not stop along the way and the secrets of the divine ruse (makr) do not keep them from You.” It is said that it is “the path of those whom You have favored with upholding Your rights (ḥuqūq) without detours seeking to attract their worldly portions (ḥuẓūẓ).”
It is said that it is “the path of those whom You have purified from their [human] traces (āthār) so that they reach You through You.”
It is said that it is “the path of those whom You have favored to the point that they are wary of66 the tricks of Satan, the errors of the lower selves, and the imaginings of opinions and conjectures about arriving before the mortal human traces (āthār al-bashariyya) are extinguished.”
It is said that it is “the path of those whom You have favored with reflec- tive thought (naẓar), [those who] seek help through You, declare them- selves free of power and strength, witness the felicity that has already been determined for them, and have knowledge through the affirmation of Your unity of that which will come to pass, [thus] causing happiness and harm.”
It is said that it is “the path of those whom You have favored with being mindful of refined behavior (adab) at the times of service, and [with] being filled with the quality of awe (hayba).”
It is said that it is “the path of those whom You have favored by causing them to be mindful of the refined behaviors (ādāb) and precepts (aḥkām)
of the law, [even while they are] under the sway of the unexpected intu- itions of realities (bawādih al-ḥaqāÌiq), so that they do not go beyond the limit of knowledge (ʿilm) and do not violate any of the precepts of the law (sharīʿa).”
It is said that it is “the path of those whom You have favored so that the suns of what they have come to know will not extinguish the lights of their scrupulousness (waraʿ) and they will not neglect any one of the precepts of servanthood (ʿubūdiyya) at the time of the manifestation of the authority of reality (sulṬān al-ḥaqīqa).”
not [the path] of those against whom there is wrath, nor of those who are astray
Those against whom there is wrath are those hit by the blows of abandon- ment (hawājim al-khidhlān) and overtaken by the afflictions of deprivation (maṣāʿib al-ḥirmān). They suffer the punishment of rejection (saṬwat al- radd) and are overwhelmed by the unexpected raids of repulsion (bawādih al-ṣadd) and banishment.
It is said that they are those afflicted by the ignominy of abasement (hawān) and the calamity of loss (khusrān) [because they] have occupied themselves in the present moment in seeking worldly things. In truth it is a deception (makr) for they suppose that they are [standing] on something [58:18], but the Real has a secret regarding their misery.
It is said that they are those who, for a time, were delighted by the fra- grances of drawing near, but then the Real (سبحانه) exposed the remoteness
of their situation. In them, the communion [of lovers] was exchanged for distance. They craved nearness but did not find the object of their desires. Those are the ones whose striving was in vain and whose thinking went wrong.
It is said: not [the path] of those against whom there is wrath in [their] forgetting [His] granting of success and shutting their eyes to [His] sup- port, nor of those who have gone astray from witnessing the [divine] choice already made (sābiq al-ikhtiyār) and the flow of changing events and decrees (al-taṣārīf wa-l-aqdār).
It is said: not [the path] of those against whom there is wrath in their neglecting the refined behaviors of service and their carelessness in per- forming the obligations of obedience.
It is said: not [the path] of those against whom there is wrath [refers to] those who have been cut off in the deserts of absence. Anxieties have scattered them in the torrents of ways of conjecture.
The servant says “Amen” (āmīn) when reciting this sūra and this is rec- ommended practice (sunna). Its meaning is “O Lord, I act. Do You respond.” It is as if, in saying this, one calls out for God to grant success for [their] actions (al-tawfīq li-l-ʿamāl) and the realization of [their] hopes (al-taḥqīq li-l-āmāl). His feet are planted on the plains of need. He whispers to the presence of munificence with the tongue of supplication and implores the presence of generosity by absolving himself of power, energy, strength, and ability. And indeed the most powerful instrument for the one in need is to hang on, seeking assistance without stopping, so that he will be proven true through the sincerity of his crying for help.