2:40 O children of Israel! Remember My blessings with which I blessed you. And be loyal to My covenant; I will be loyal to your covenant. And of Me have dread.
This is an allusion to the Real's gentleness, generosity, and loving kindness toward the servants. He reminds them of his favor toward them: “I am the generous Lord, the thankful, the forgiver of the servants. I have come forth with kindness despite every disloyalty, I invite the servants to praise Me despite all their offenses, and I ask them to be grateful for My blessings.” This is why He says to the children of Israel, “Remember My blessings! O children of Israel, be grateful for My blessings and recognize your duty toward Me so that you will be worthy of increase and have good name and good fortune.”
There is a great difference between the children of Israel and this community. To them He said, “Remember My blessings!” To this community He said, “Remember Me!” [2:152]. He gave them blessings and He gave this community companionship. He kept those away from Himself by the witnessing of blessings, and He kept these with Himself by stipulating love. The tongue of the state says,
“I traveled to you seeking the highest things,
but others traveled seeking a good life.”
The Pir of the Tariqah said, “O God, the one who does the work is he who has work with You, the one who has a friend is he whose friend is the likes of You. How could he who has You in the two worlds leave You aside! The wonder is that he who has You weeps more than anyone else. He who has not found weeps at not having found-why then does he who finds also weep?”
When the like of You is someone's friend,
if he complains, that's disgraceful.
And be loyal to My covenant; I will be loyal to your covenant. There are many verses like this in the Qur'an: “Supplicate Me; I will respond to you [40:60]. So remember Me; I will remember you [2:152]. My servant! Open a door so that I may open a door. Open the door of turning back so that I may open the door of good news: They turned back to God, and for them is good news [39:17]. Open the door of expending so that I may open the door of replacement: Whatever you expend, He will replace it [34:39]. Open the door of struggle so that I may open the door of guidance: Those who struggle in Us, We will guide them on Our paths [29:69]. Open the door of asking forgiveness so that I may open the door of forgiveness: And then asks forgiveness, he will find God forgiving, ever-merciful [4:110]. Open the door of gratitude so that I may open the door of increased blessings: If you show gratitude, I shall increase you [14:7]. My servant, come back to My covenant so that I may come back to your covenant: Be loyal to My covenant; I will be loyal to your covenant.”
It has been said that God has many covenants with His servant and, in each covenant in which the servant has loyalty, the Lord of the Worlds has a loyalty as its counterpart. First is that the servant makes manifest the words of the Shahadah. Its counterpart from the Lord of the Worlds is the rightful due of blood and property. That is in His words, “When someone says 'No god but God,' his wealth and property are protected from Me.” The last is that if the servant keeps his gaze pure and watches over his thoughts, its counterpart from the Lord of the Worlds will be this: “I have prepared for My wholesome servants what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what has never occurred to the heart of any mortal.” Between that beginning and this end are many intermediaries, and these are God's covenants with the servant in which the servant's part is deeds and words, and God's part is reward beyond reckoning.
Among these intermediaries are these, as one of them has said: “Be loyal to My covenant by presence at the gate; I will be loyal to your covenant with great reward. Be loyal to My covenant by guarding the secrets; I will be loyal to your covenant with My beautiful acts of kindness. Be loyal to My covenant by not preferring any other to Me; I will be loyal to your covenant by not holding back My gentleness and good. Be loyal to My covenant with beautiful struggle; I will be loyal to your covenant with constant contemplation. Be loyal to My covenant by truthfulness in love; I will be loyal to your covenant with perfect proximity. Be loyal to My covenant in the abode of My tribulation on the carpet of serving Me by venerating Me; I will be loyal to your covenant in the abode of My blessings on the carpet of proximity with the joy of union. Be loyal to My covenant that you accepted on the Day of the Compact; I will be loyal to your covenant that I have assured for you on the Day of the Encounter. Be loyal to My covenant by saying endlessly, 'My Lord!'; I will be loyal to your covenant by saying to you, 'My servant!'”
And of Me have dread. This is the same as His saying, “And of Me be wary” [2:41]. Dread and wariness are two of the stations of the fearful. There are six degrees of the fearful in the road of the religion: the repenters, the worshipers, the renouncers, the knowers, the recognizers, and the sincerely truthful.
The repenters have fear, as He says: “They fear a day when eyes and hearts will be turned about” [24:37]. The worshipers have quaking: “Those whose hearts quake when God is remembered” [8:2]. The renouncers have dread: “They were supplicating Us in eagerness and dread [21:90]. The knowers have fright: “The only ones of His servants who are frightened of God are the knowers” [35:28]. The recognizers have trembling: “Surely those who tremble in fright of their Lord” [23:57]. The sincerely truthful have awe: “And God warns you of Himself” [3:28].
Fear is the fear of the repenters and beginners, the fortress of faith, and the cure-all and weapon for the person of faith. Anyone without this fear has no faith and has no way to security. Anyone who has it has faith in the same measure.
Quaking is the fear of the living-hearted. It releases them from heedlessness, opens up the road of self-purification to them, and curtails their wishing.
Just as quaking is greater than fear, dread is greater than quaking. Dread cuts off a man's delight in life and cuts him off from people. In the world it separates him from the world. When someone fears like this, he sees is own soul as a debt to be paid, all his words as complaint, and all his acts as offenses. Sometimes, he seeks aid like the drowning, sometimes he beats himself in the head like the mourning, sometimes he sighs like the ill.
The fear of the recognizers, which is trembling, appears from quaking. This is a fear that places no veil before supplication, no mask before perspicacity, and no wall before hope. It is a melting and killing fear that does not relax until this call is heard: “Fear not and grieve not, and rejoice!” [41:30]. This fearful person is sometimes burned, sometimes caressed, sometimes called, sometimes killed. He does not sigh from the burning, nor does he complain of the killing.
How You kill me! And how I love You!
O marvel! How I love the killer!
After trembling comes awe, the fear of the sincerely truthful. This fear rises up from face-to-face vision, the other fears from reports. Something flashes in the heart like lightning. The body cannot bear it, and the spirit does not have the capacity to remain with it. Mostly this happens during the time of ecstasy and listening [samāʿ], just as it happened to Moses at the Mount: And Moses fell down thunderstruck [7:143]. Never say that this awe comes from threats; rather, it comes from being aware of the Compeller.
When a speck of actual face-to-face vision is unveiled,
neither heart escapes nor spirit, neither unbelief nor faith.
It is this that is alluded to in the Prophet's words, “His veil is light. Were it removed, the glories of His face would burn away everything perceived by the eyes.”