O you who have faith! Have faith in God and His Messenger. (Surah An Nisa:136)
Imam Rashid ad-Din Mayboodi(r.a) wrote, on the above verse, Faith is two sorts, one based on demonstration, the other on face-to-face vision. Faith by demonstration is the road of inference, and faith by face-to-face vision is finding the day of union. Faith by demonstration is to employ the evidence of intellects, and faith by vision is to reach the degrees of arrival. In terms of allusion He is saying: “O you have acquired faith by demonstration, strive to acquire faith by face-to-face vision!”
What is faith by face-to-face vision? Gazing with the eye of response on the Responder, gazing with the eye of solitariness on the Solitary, gazing with the eye of presence on the Present, being near to God’s nearness by being far from self, being present with His generosity by being absent from self. He—majestic is His majesty!—is not far from the strivers nor absent from the desirers. God says,
“We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein.” (Surah Qaf:16)
The Master of the spiritual way(r.a) said, “O Lord! You are found by the souls of the chevaliers, You are present to the hearts of the rememberers. They give marks of You up close, but You are far beyond that. They fancy You from afar, but You are closer than the spirit.”
Lovely idol! Are you then my beloved?
Now that I look close, You are my spirit.
It is also said that the meaning of the verse is this: O you who have faith by assenting, have faith by realizing! You have accepted the Shariah, now accept the Haqiqah. What is the Shariah? What the Haqiqah? The Shariah is a lamp, the Haqiqah a burn. The Shariah is a bond, the Haqiqah advice. The Shariah is need, the Haqiqah joy. The Shariah is the outer pillars, the Haqiqah the inner pillars. The Shariah is not having evil, the Haqiqah is not having self. The Shariah is service based on conditions, the Haqiqah exile based on witnessing. The Shariah is by intermediaries, the Haqiqah by unveiling.
The folk of the Shariah keep obedience and leave aside disobedience, the folk of the Haqiqa flee from themselves and take joy in oneness. The folk of the Shariah hope for everlastingness and subsistent bliss, the folk of the Haqiqah audaciously busy themselves with the Cupbearer.
The Haqiqah begins when He appears. The longing that overcomes you makes the wide world too narrow for you and makes the inside of your shirt a prison. It strikes fire in your spirit and throws thirst into your heart.You see the burning, but not the Burner. You see the tumult, but not Him who stirs it up.There is no one to assist you, no one with whom to speak, no sympathizer with whom you can sit for a while.
Isolated from friends in every land—
the greater the sought, the fewer the helpers.
In the end, the chevalier lets out a sigh in his longing and bewilderment: “O God, my tree has been burnt by thirst. How long will it take before You look after it? O Generous One! I am weeping over You! It is not beneath You to answer. Pour water once on my field!
“O God, if I am not worthy for what I desire, how can I love with a heart plucked of its feathers? If the hand of my need will not reach the branch of hope, how can I get on my feet? If You do not give me access to Yourself, how can I flee to You? O Generous One, give me access, so that I may weep at Your threshold and rejoice in hope mixed with fear. Receive me, O Gentle One, so that I may turn myself over to You. Gaze at me once so that I may throw the two worlds into the ocean.”
The Majestic Lord caresses the traveler with the attribute of generosity: “Fear not! Not every bite is poisoned. When a mother bites her child, she does so because of love.”