Surah 13: al-Raʿd
13:1 Alif Lām Mīm RāÌ
This is one of the secrets of love, one of the treasures of recognition. In the midst of their spirits, the friends have a deposit, but they do not know what they have. The wonder is that they keep on seeing an ocean and they weep in hope for a drop. This is like the Pir of the Tariqah said: “O God, Your stream is flowing-how long will I be thirsty? What sort of thirst is this that I see one cup after another?
“Who has ever had a state rarer than this?
I'm thirsty and clear water is flowing before me.
“Exalted of the two worlds! How much will You be hidden, how much apparent? My heart is bewildered, the spirit distracted. How long this curtaining and self-disclosing? When at last will there be the everlasting self-disclosure?”
The allusion is that today the friends have nothing more than the scent of the lights of those secrets and the whiffs of those traces, and that, other than Muḥammad the Arab, no one is worthy of that face-to-face vision.
First He alludes to the road of recognition for the elect, since their gaze is on the Essence and the attributes, which are called “the World of the Command.” Then He uncovers the road of recognizing Himself for the common people. He knows that their gaze does not pass beyond the newly arrived things, the engendered beings, and the World of Creation. He says,