the patient, sincere, obedient, expenders, imploring God's pardon at daybreak.
Patience is restraint of the lower self (nafs) and consists of three levels: patience with what the servant has been commanded to do, patience with what has been prohibited him, and patience standing under the flow of [God's] decree (ḥukm) according to what He desires, either in the loss of what you love or in onslaughts (hujūm) outside your control. When you rise beyond this quality and your being is unaffected by any difficulty [faced] or comfort received, it is through contentment (riḌāÌ), not patience (ṣabr).
It is said that the patient [refers to those patient] with the command of God, sincere in what they have promised God, obedient with their selves in pursuing the straight way in the love of God, imploring God's pardon from all they have done because they see how much they have fallen short with God.
It is said that the patient [refers to those patient] in their hearts, sincere in their spirits, obedient in their lower selves, and imploring God's pardon by their tongues.
It is said that the patient [refers to those patient] with the sincerity of seeking (quṣūd), sincere in contracts (ʿuhūd), obedient in protecting the limits (ḥudūd), and imploring God's pardon for their acts and states when the authority of [divine] unity (sulṬān al-tawḥīd) takes over.
It is said the patient are those who are patient in seeking (Ṭalab) and have no desire to flee (harab). They are not ashamed to face toil (taʿab) and renounce every comfort and intense emotion (Ṭarab). They are patient in tribulation (wa-ṣabarū ʿalā l-balwā) and refuse to complain (wa-rafaḌū l-shakwā) until they come to the protector (ḥattā waṣalū ilā l-mawlā). Nothing deters them in this world and the world to come (al-dunyā wa-l-uqbā).
The sincere are those who are firm and bold (ṣadaqū)26 in seeking. Theyproceed with purpose (qaṣadū) and with firmness and boldness (ṣadaqū) until they arrive (waradū), then they are firm and bold until they witness (shahidū), then they are firm and bold until they find (wajadū), then they are firm and bold until they are destitute (faqadū). Their sequence is seek- ing (quṣūd), then arriving (wurūd), then witnessing (shuhūd), then finding (wujūd), then extinction (khumūd).
The obedient are those who stay at the door (bāb); [they] persevere in swallowing unhappiness (iktiÌāb). They abandon things which they love (maḥābb) and refuse companions (aṣḥāb) in order to realize the truth by drawing near (iqtirāb).
The expenders are those who give generously of themselves in their works (aʿmāl), then they give generously of their wealth (amwāl), then they give generously of their hearts in the sincerity of states (aḥwāl), then they give generously by abandoning every portion belonging to them in the present and the future (fī l-ʿājil wa-l-ājil). They are utterly consumed at the moment of drawing near and the communion (wiṣāl) [of lovers] through their experience of eradication (iṣṬilām) and extirpation (istiÌṣāl).27
Imploring God's pardon from all of that, [that is, the intoxicating expe- rience of communion], when they return to sobriety and wakefulness at daybreak (asḥār),28 which is the appearance of white dawn (isfār). This is the first light (fajr) of hearts, not a first light appearing in earthly regions (aqṬar).