The Fourth of nine Discourses on Tawhid,
17th April 2004,
Al-Jami’a Mosque, Claremont, Cape Town, South Africa

What we have been doing is taking steps, and each gathering we have had is another step. This is just an instalment and there is, as it were, another chapter where we will join things that we have separated.

Hajj ‘Abdalhaqq said something earlier which I was very pleased with in his understanding of what I had been saying last week. He said, “The wahhabis start with ‘One’, with a Tawhid which they declare, and they end up with two. What you are saying is that you start with two and you end up with One.” So we are going towards a complete understanding of Tawhid but we have to go in stages because we are talking about the Tawhid of the people of the Tariqa, the people who are on the path to ‘Ilm al-laduni, to direct knowledge of Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala. You cannot afford to get it wrong.

All the foundations become the instruments and technical apparatus by which the Sufis reach their goal. They do not walk naked on their path. It is like the tawaf – before Rasul, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the people used to go naked around the Ka’aba. When Rasul came, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he did not abolish the tawaf but he had people clothed and gave them honour by being dressed, and he allowed the institution of tawaf to continue. Islam is not culture, Islam purifies culture. In the same way, for this knowledge that we want, you have to be clothed in this taqwa and this birr, this path of right action in order to arrive at the robe of honour which is Ma‘rifatullah.

If we can continue the story as it were, we finished on the next stage of this matter which was in Surat al-Hadid (57:4). “It is He Who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then established Himself firmly on the Throne.” We will look at it again because it gives us continuity: “It is He Who created the heavens and the earth in six days,” and remember of course that the six days are not a literal thing but are part of this vision of the creation of the world where another ayat in the Qur’an refers to a day being an enormous length of time. “It is He Who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then established Himself firmly on the Throne” – then the whole cosmic reality came into being.

It is He Who created the heavens and the earth in six days,
then established Himself firmly on the Throne.
He knows what goes into the earth and what comes out of it,
what comes down from heaven and what goes up into it.
He is with you wherever you are – Allah sees what you do.”

I shall just remind you that the significance of us looking at this ayat is that two knowledges which Allah reveals about Himself are put together. This is this next step that we are taking.

At the beginning of the ayat Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala, declares Himself the One Who created the whole cosmic reality but the next stage is: “He knows what goes into the earth and what comes out of it, what comes down from heaven and what goes up into it.” Therefore He also has an on-going knowledge. In the continual nature of existence Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala, knows everything that is happening. It is not the primitive idea of a divinity that makes everything happen and then He has done His job, astaghfirullah. Allah is explaining that His knowledge also contains all the process of life for which, in another context, from the Qur’an, we take the term ‘Rububiyya’ from the word ‘Rabb.’

Rububiyya is the Divine control over all the inter-related aspects of existence – how the chemicals come together to produce other chemicals, how the elements interact with each other, how in the whole life of the forest from the tops of the trees to the creatures at the foot of the trees, each creature has a capacity to eat another creature so that it can live – all these things are interconnected and inter-related by this Rububiyya.

Now we come to the last part which is what is important to us.

He is with you wherever you are – Allah sees what you do.

This is a new knowledge that Allah is giving us. It has two things: it has ‘ayna ma’ which indicates place. So Allah knows the place where it is happening, and ‘kun-tum’, ‘you are’, which indicates time, Allah sees the time and the place of any given human situation.

Allah sees what you do. As the mufassirin observe, Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala, does not use the word ‘know’ which He could say if the meaning were about this earlier stage, but ‘He is with you wherever you go’ is Presence, and Allah sees what you do. ‘Sees’ from Basir, is the verb of eye-witnessing, and to witness you must be present.

 Allah sees what you do.

Basir is eye-witnessing. Therefore from this we have a knowledge that Allah witnesses us, this is a seeing.

Now we go to Surat an-Nisa’ (4:108):

They try to conceal themselves from people, but they cannot conceal themselves from Allah.
He is with them when they spend the night saying things which are not pleasing to Him.
Allah encompasses everything they do.

People talk about the Qur’an as Revelation and you have to understand that it IS a revelation! The Revelation is not the descent of the Qur’an, it is that Allah reveals secrets of Himself that have not been known until then. He is telling us openly – it is a Qur’an al-Mubin, it is a clear message. The Revelation is that Allah shows all His secrets that He wants the human creatures to have, and He gives it to them in this Book.

Here He says that people try to conceal themselves from people, in other words these people are already in a process of hiding themselves. But the Revelation says: “They cannot conceal themselves from Allah.” In other words you can hide yourself from people but you cannot hide from Allah. This is a statement of how it is. This knowledge changes the one who has it. The one who knows this is not the same as the one who does not know. The ones who do not know try to conceal themselves from people. This is what kufr is – they cover over what is going on but they cannot be kafir with Allah, they are trying, but they cannot do it because Allah knows what is happening.

Then Allah says:

He is with them when they spend the night saying things which are not pleasing to Him.

Do you not see the reality of this? People are actually involved in the business of scheming against Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala, against what is pleasing to Allah. So they are doing it as if they were in clandestine plotting against Allah. Allah says: “He is with them,” and ‘with them’ is Presence.

Allah encompasses everything they do.

It is not something psychic or magical, but a Presence which encompasses the whole event of what they are doing. Apply this to how we get the news today. You get the news about Iraq and the news about Afghanistan and it is all presented to us by kuffar who are trying to conceal themselves from people, who are spending the night saying things that are not pleasing to Allah, but He says: “Allah encompasses everything they do.” We have to see it in the light of Allah’s complete command of the situation, He knows exactly what is happening. What He tells us is that He is with them, and that is Presence.

You have to understand that over this last century there has been a whole false teaching of Islam, a Tawhid that does not take into account these ayats that we are looking at, as if they did not exist. They have made a Tawhid by what Ibn al-‘Arabi says, “They have had Tanzih but they have not had Tashbih.” They have had exaltation of Allah above what is associated with Him without also understanding this extraordinary reality that Allah has openly declared in His Book about His Presence.

Rasul, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said in a well-known hadith, the meaning of which is: “None of you while making Salat should spit in front of himself as Allah, the Majestic, is before him.” From this, the great collector of Sira, Asqalani, said, “This hadith refutes the claim of one who confines Allah to the ‘Arsh alone. This establishes omnipresence in every place.” This is very important because we are now getting a comprehension of Tawhid which allows us to say that, as we have already established, nothing can be associated with Him, He is not dependent on anything, He is not contained in any form, and at the same time here we have this amazing revelation of His Presence in events.

Let us look at Surat al-Waqi’a (56:83-87). What we are finding is that each one of these ayats is giving another dimension of this Presence of Allah, this witnessing of Allah, this seeing of Allah of the human actions. Now this nature of the Presence of Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala, gets more intimate, more intense.

Why then, when death reaches his throat and you are at that moment looking on –
and We are nearer him than you, but you cannot see –
why then, if you are not subject to Our command,
do you not send it back if you are telling the truth?

Allah is nearer the dying man than the man that is at his deathbed, but you cannot see. This is the most intense moment – a human being at the death of another human being, and at that moment the one who is watching the dying man does not understand that the nearness of Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala, is nearer than his presence next to the dying man, and he cannot see. You are always on the edge of a Divine Presence, like that moment, for that moment is true at every moment.

“Why then, if you are not subject to Our judgment,” to how We have decreed it to be – ‘if you are telling the truth’ – how the kafir sees it – ‘why do you not send back this command of death, this destiny of death?’ Allah has destined him to die. It is as if Allah were saying: ‘If you,’ the kafir, ‘have this position that you claim then why do you not send back the order: ‘Do not die!’’ In other words you are denying the reality of the event of death thus denying the Presence of Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala, in the act of death. This is the point that you have to understand. This knowledge of the Presence of Allah changes the experience of the one who knows it.

We go to Surat Qaf (50:16). Again, we will find two things coming together in this ayat.

We created man and We know what his own self whispers to him.
We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.

Look how Allah is unveiling His secrets to the people. Allah says, “We created man,” and we have already understood that Allah has connected together this enormous physical creation and organisation of existence. Even the kuffar, as Allah says in Surat az-Zumar (39:38):

If you ask them, ‘Who created the heavens and the earth?’ they will say, ‘Allah’.

What they do not see is (Surat Qaf, 50:16):

“Wa.”

Every word in the Qur’an has meaning, every word is important.

We created man

– it is not even ‘created’ but ‘constructed’, ‘We constructed man, We put all the bits together that make up man,’ and then comes, ‘And’. You must think of creation in terms of the child in the womb. It structurally comes bit, by bit, by bit. The first organ to appear is the heart, then the other organs begin to form and come together bit by bit. This is what the ‘khalaqna’ is, it is almost ‘constructed’ in modern understanding.

So: “We constructed man,” and the next bit is: “And we know what his own self whispers to him.” The self’s whisper is like a silent voice because it is inside the creature. Allah is saying that the One Who created this enormous cosmic event also knows what the self is saying to itself, what you are saying to yourself. So Allah is with you. You are accompanied by a Presence of Lordship – all the time. This is Tawhid! Now you are beginning to see what the true nature of Tawhid is.

Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala, goes one step further to make the mind stop. He says:

We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.

He uses the word ‘aqrab’ for ‘nearer’ and Al-Qarib is a name of Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala. Allah has Nearness. “We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.” The jugular vein is what gives you life. If you cut the jugular vein you cut the life off. “We are nearer,” and the Sufis find that the ‘We’ is often used with direct reference to the Essence, and what we are dealing with here is the Essence because there cannot be Attributes without Essence.

If Allah sees, if Allah hears, it means also that His Essence is there because He is not also divisible, He cannot be divided. Therefore again, this is a complete contradiction of the false teaching of Tawhid that has been spread among the Muslims over the last century which is why we are in the terrible situation that we are in now, and it is only this knowledge which you have, which you will take and teach, which will establish the true Qur’anic teaching, which is the might and power of Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala, which means He is completely present in all our actions. In that sense, as slaves of Allah, we also know what He wants. This is how we will be able to change things because we have a knowledge that can only come through the people who have Iman, who have trust in Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala.

Now we go to Surat al-Baqara which is filled with things of this nature. Surat al-Baqara (2:186):

If My slaves ask you about Me, I am near.

Again there is this name of Allah – ‘I am Near.’ Mu‘awiya ibn Ja’ad said, “Once a bedouin asked Rasul, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, whether Allah was near to him so that he could talk intimately to Allah, or whether Allah was far so that he should shout.” Rasul, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, remained silent for a while then this ayat was revealed. This was the answer to the question of the bedouin.

I answer the call of the caller when he calls on me.

Now we have been given another bit of the secret. This nearness of Allah is not a passive thing, it is dynamic and active. “I answer the call of the caller when he calls on Me.” It is beautiful. The one who calls on Him, Allah calls on him. This is the true relationship of the slave with his Lord, a merciful Lord. It is an indication of the mercy of Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala. 

I answer the call of the caller when he calls on Me,

– meaning that the one who calls on Him, He calls on them – so Allah calls, not His slave.

Then from this there is a conclusion:

They should therefore respond to Me and believe in Me
so that hopefully they will be rightly guided.

In other words, once this knowledge clicks into place – and it is more than knowledge, it is an awareness of how things are – it follows that the person should respond to Allah. “They should therefore respond to Me and believe in Me,” so you believe in Him, and you trust in Him because He is the Answerer. I cannot say it is a relationship because there is no relationship with Allah, but this possible reality comes into place through the knowledge that this is how things are. The calling makes the Iman.

Surat al-A’raf (7:7). This is another step in our understanding of this situation.

We will tell them about it with knowledge.
We are never absent.

This is not a state that comes and goes, but it is constant. This is a knowledge which underlies all understanding of visible reality, which must be understood: Allah sees you, Allah hears you and He is never absent.

Abu Musa al-Ash‘ari said that once, travelling with Rasul, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, a companion started to shout takbir, and Rasul, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “O people, do not strain yourselves. You are not calling on One Who is blind or deaf. You are calling on the One Who is listening to you, seeing you and is with you. The One you are calling on is nearer to you than the neck of your camel.” This is Rasul, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, teaching Tawhid to the Sahaba – and denied for a hundred years by these shaytans from Arabistan. We have seen from these ayats that Allah sees what is happening and He hears the one who calls. You are calling on the One Who is listening to you, seeing you and is with you. The One you are calling on is nearer to you than the neck of your camels.

We now connect “We are never absent” to Surat an-Nisa’ (4:126):

What is in the heavens
and in the earth belongs to Allah.
Allah encompasses all things.

– which is the completion of what we saw in that last ayat. Allah possesses the whole situation and Allah encompasses all things. Not only is He never absent, but He encompasses everything. Surat al-An‘am (6:103):

Eyesight cannot perceive Him but He perceives eyesight.

Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala, is constantly challenging the kuffar with the question: “On what grounds do you deny the Unseen, and given that you deny the Unseen how are you able to deny that you will be brought from your graves and held to account for your actions?” Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala, says in Surat Fussilat (41:54):

What! Are they in doubt
about the meeting with their Lord?
What! Does He not encompass all things?

It is like Allah has set up a contract with the human being and Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala, is saying, “Do not deny it. How are you able to deny it?”

Allah says: “What! Are they in doubt about the meeting with their Lord?” He uses the word ‘Rabb’ which means ‘Lord’ in His aspect as the Ruler over all the created creatures. “What! Are they in doubt about the meeting with their Lord?” Qur’an is insisting that this cannot be avoided, it cannot be doubted and if it is doubted then you are in ignorance because this meeting with the Lord, the encounter which happens after death is an inevitable and inescapable part of understanding the nature of the One Who has created the whole universe, Who is speaking through Rasul, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, in the Revelation of Qur’an.

Surat at-Talaq (65:12):

It is Allah Who created the seven heavens and of the earth the same number,
the Command descending down through all of them so that you might know
that Allah has power over all things,
and that Allah encompasses all things in His knowledge.

Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala, is talking about His power as Creator not just of this earth but of the whole universe, the seven heavens and the seven realms of earth. Then He uses the word ‘Amr’ which is from the ‘Kun!’ – the Command of the creation of the cosmos descends through all the heavens and all the earth. This Amr goes to the furthest stars, to the furthest galaxies and constellations, “So that you might know that Allah has power over all things.”

The Command has come through all the creation – in other words, part of the Command is that you are there on the earth to receive the message of Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala, and know that He is the Creator of it, and that Allah encompasses all things in His knowledge.

Allah encompasses all things in His knowledge. He has made the whole cosmic event in His knowledge, but in the continuum He has created the time of the cosmos and knows it at every instant from its beginning, in its present, until its fulfilment. Remember the famous question of Sayyiduna ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, radiyallahu ‘anhu, to Rasul, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: “Are we on a matter that is finished or are we on a matter that is just beginning?” Rasul, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “The page is written and the ink is dry.” “Allah encompasses all things in His knowledge” could not be true if He did not have a knowledge of everything to the Yawm al-Qiyama.

Remember also that time as we understand it stops with the creation. Again we come to the limits of thinking because it is in the nature of the Creator to create time. Rasul, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, “Do not curse time because Allah is Time.” There are two words for ‘time’, there is ‘zaman’ and ‘dahr’. This means that Allah is the Creator of the instantaneousness of events, not just the measured distance of time. The measured distance of time will come to an end with the destruction of the world, but the moment in which the Command takes place is from Allah.

We now go back to Surat al-Baqara (2:115), and we are going deeper into this unveiling of Tawhid by Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala.

Both East and West belong to Allah,
so wherever you turn, the Face of Allah is there.
Allah is All-Encompassing, All-Knowing.

Let us look again at the Arabic:

Both East and West belong to Allah,

– so the directions belong to Allah.

“Fa thamma” – meaning, “right there –” and what comes immediately after that?

“Wajhullah”. Face of Allah. Do you see that there is no grammar, it is the Revelation of Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala? There is no gap, there is no space in it, there is nothing added. “Wherever you turn – Face of Allah.”

Knowledge is in making a distinction about this. This truth is so deep and so profound. There was once a famous majdhoub and they went into the mosque and he was prostrating here, there and everywhere and they said, “What do you think you are doing?” He said,

“Wherever you turn, the Face of Allah is there.” He was mad in love with Allah, going around in circles because, “There is the Wajh of Allah.”

Look at the two aspects of this. If you go back into the Qur’an, Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala, speaks with this intimacy and love and concern for Rasul, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and says to him in Surat al-Baqara (2:144):

We have seen you looking up into heaven, turning this way and that,
so We will turn you towards a direction which will please you.
Turn your face, therefore, towards the Masjid al-Haram.

Take the qibla of Makkah. So the Muslim takes a qibla and he takes it because that is Shari‘ah. Shari‘ah is that you take a direction. We cannot ask ‘Why?’ of Allah but I am trying to explain how the meaning of the taking the qibla of Makkah is the event of setting Islam above and abrogating all other religions. Otherwise he would have been permitted to make qibla of Jerusalem. It means the end of Jerusalem. It is the Deen of the qibla and Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala, has given the muminun the qibla of Makkah. That is why Ibn Taymiyya quite rightly says, “There is no rite of ‘ibada connected to Al-Aqsa.” None. It is not in the Deen. It has a place for us of love and respect because of the Mi’raj, but the Deen involves the rites of Makkah.

You are then holding in your understanding two truths. One can only be understood in someone drunk and intoxicated with love of Allah, who is then outside the Shari‘ah. If a man is mad and commits a crime he is not punished, he is locked up as insane. But the people have to obey the Law and the Law is that they take a qibla, which is ignorance unless you know that you take the qibla in slavehood, in your ‘ubudiyya to Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala, because Rasul, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, has been given the Revelation that that is how Allah wants us to make worship of Him. We do it, but we also know the Face of Allah is wherever you turn.

The Wajh of Allah, according both to the mutakallimun and the Sufis, is a way of saying the Essence of Allah. The Face of Allah is the Essence of Allah. The face of the person embodies, as it were, the person. Wherever you turn, it means that the Essence of Allah is present. This is also a denial of those who have set Allah on the Throne and say that He has no presence on earth. It also gives a lie to the ones who say, because of certain ayats in the Qur’an, that Allah has limbs and is a person. Ibn Battuta’s famous observation was that he heard Ibn Taymiyya say, astaghfirullah, “Allah descends from His Throne as I descend from this mimbar,” which is of course a horrific statement as far as we are concerned.

We now go to Surat al-Qasas (28:88) which we connect to the previous ayat.

Do not call on any other god along with Allah.
There is no god but Him.
All things are passing except His Face.
Judgment belongs to Him. You will be returned to Him.

Here you have it. This is the dividing point. When people say to you, “Dialogue with other faiths,” there is NO other faith, because they do not know this. This is not to be debated or discussed, this is to be obeyed. This is a knowledge only the Muslims have and if people want knowledge they must come into the qasr, the fortress of the Deen.

“Do not call on any other god along with Allah. There is no god but Him. All things are passing except His Face. Judgment belongs to Him. You will be returned to Him.” Here is the complete contract.

All things are passing except His Face.

Everything that is in-time is passing, time is passing, all things are passing. This Divine Reality is before, during and after the ‘all things’ which are passing.

The Face of Allah is present, the Command – the ‘Kun’ is given, the things come into existence and by their coming into existence things move into an in-time sphere. From their beginning they are disintegrating and they pass. Everything passes except His Face, and when it is all gone – Wajh of Allah. The whole in-time movement of things comes to an end – Face of Allah. So Allah dominates and is the Reality in place and in time. Place is under His Command and under His Presence, and time is under His Command and under His Presence. This connects to another knowledge which is that judgment belongs to Him. He decides what is what. He is the Discriminator.

Then comes the intimate, existential message, as you would say. You will be returned to Him. In other words, you will enter the time-process and He will be present, you will go through the time-process and He will be present, and at your deathbed He will be nearer than the one near you. Then you will go into the grave and after that you will be returned to Him. That is the journey. That is the process.

Surat ar-Rahman (55:26-27):

Everyone on it will pass away;
but the Face of your Lord will remain,
Master of Majesty and Generosity.

“Everyone on it will pass away”
is the reality of your life.

“There will remain the Face of your Lord.”

Then it tells us who our Lord is:

The Master of Majesty and Generosity.


The One Who is the Master of this whole situation is One of Majesty because of the creation, and Generosity because of the creatures.

Surat Yunus (10:61):

You do not engage in any matter
or recite any of the Qur’an or do any action
without Our witnessing you while you are occupied with it.
Not even the smallest speck eludes your Lord, either on earth or in heaven.
Nor is there anything smaller than that, or larger, which is not in a Clear Book.

You do not engage in any matter or recite any of the Qur’an or do any action without Him witnessing you while you are occupied with it. This is what is happening all the time. Allah says that He is witnessing us, while we are busy doing these things. Existence is our ‘busy doing that’. Reality is Allah watching you while you are doing it. That was the famous Wird of Sahl at-Tustari, the great Sufi of the East:

Allah is with me, Allah sees me, Allah is the Witness of my acts.

In case there is any doubt that Allah is generous, He says: “Not even the smallest speck eludes your Lord either on earth or in heaven,” there is no atom on the earth or in the sky but that it is known to Allah. “Nor is there anything smaller than that, or larger, which is not in a Clear Book.” In other words, the mithal which Allah uses of the whole creation is this Book about which Rasul, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, says, “The page is written and the ink is dry.”

This is why Muslims cannot commit suicide thinking that they are somehow making things happen. They are in gross defiance of the Presence of Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala. They have no permission to do such a thing, they have been ordered to worship, not to kill themselves, it is forbidden. They already have orders which are to fear Allah, not the enemy. It is of no use even to say that they do not fear death, because that is not what is happening at death as Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala, has already explained: when you die, He is closer to you than the one watching you die. This is Whom you must fear, you must fear Allah.

Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala, says: “There is not anything in it which is not in a Clear Book,” which means from the mumin’s point of view he says, “Alhamdulillah, we are safe. The foundations of our existence are secure. We are safe with Allah.” Then you live your life knowing you are safe. This is the Yaqin which the Qur’an speaks about in varying degrees.

Now we will look at Surat Fussilat (41:53-54). Again Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala, is challenging those ignorant people who do not get the point! If you do not have this knowledge of Tawhid, you do not know what life is about. You can only cause trouble and havoc. Allah says:

We will show them Our Signs on the horizon and within themselves
until it is clear to them that it is the truth.
Is it not enough for your Lord
that He is a witness of everything?
What! Are they in doubt about the meeting with their Lord?
What! Does He not encompass all things?

This is reiterating the ayat we saw earlier. “We will show them Our signs on the horizon,” meaning in the world, “and inside themselves.” In other words, Allah will indicate this matter that we have been looking at over the last couple of hours, in your lifetime, in what is going on out there and in what is going on in here. There will be signs, and what are the signs? The signs are evidences of the power of Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala. What are the evidences of the power of Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala? They are your recognising that you are dependent and He is Independent. You are the needy and He is the One Who Provides. Therefore you do not need anything because He will provide for you. “We will show them Our signs on the horizon and inside themselves until it is clear to them that it is the truth.”

Is it not enough for your Lord that He is a witness of everything?

This is the knowledge that matters. It is an experiential knowledge that He is the Witness of everything. This is the foundational reality of Tawhid. Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala, then connects that to:

What! Are they in doubt
about the meeting with their Lord?
What! Does He not encompass all things?

This is the dividing line between the kuffar and the muminun. The muminun are those who are not in doubt about the meeting with their Lord, and that is the evidence and proof because He has given signs throughout their lifetime on the horizon and in themselves that confirm it. That is what Hajj is for. It is a sign on the horizon because when you see the muminun, you do not have a prayer at the Ka’aba or at Mina that is not also a prayer for the dead.

Hajj is a sign on the horizon and there are signs in yourself because there are things Allah puts in the heart on Hajj that you cannot tell anybody. There are these millions of hajjis and they all have a secret from Allah in the Hajj. Everyone has something that happened with them that is not the thing they tell. This is the sign on the horizon and the sign in themselves. So they are not in doubt about the meeting with their Lord. That changes the person. The one who is not in doubt about the meeting with his Lord knows: “Does He not encompass all things?” That is what the Sufis call Hadrat ar-Rabbani, the Presence of Lordship. The heart begins to move in singing the Diwan, and from being solid, it is like you become opaque and these lights begin to come through and manifest and that is this Presence of Allah that is with us all the time, until the heart fills up with it and the eyes begin to fill with tears and all that is outside on the horizon becomes mixed up with all that is inside in the heart.

This is the beginning of the Tajalliyat, the illuminations from the Essence of Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala, on the people of dhikr. This is why we meet, this is the purpose of what we are meeting for. This apparatus of knowledge becomes with us direct states of the heart and this is what Tasawwuf is, this is what the Tariqa is. It is because of our knowledge of Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala, and our understanding of Qur’an, that we are able to experience these lights in the heart. Without this knowledge you could not experience these lights in the dhikr. Moulay al-‘Arabi ad-Darqawi said, “My ecstasy, my drunkenness is in the discourse, not in the hadra.”