The people of invocation

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The following is extracted from Ibn Arabi’s1 Miskat al-Anwar, a book of divine sayings.

The Messenger of God Muhammad (s.a.w),said:

Indeed God has angels who roam the roads, seeking out the people of Invocation (dhikr). When they find a group invoking God, they call out: “Come hither to what you have been looking for!” And they surround them with their wings, reaching up to the lowest heaven.

Their Lord questions them (yet He knows better than they): “What do My servants say?”
They reply: “They glorify and magnify You; they praise You and repeat Your praises.”
He asks: “Have they seen Me?”
They reply: “No, by God, they have not seen You.”
Then He asks: “And how would it be if they were to see Me?”
They reply: “If they were to see You, they would be stronger in service to You, stronger in repeating Your praises, and more profuse in glorifying You.”
He asks: “What do they ask of Me?”
They reply: “They ask You for Paradise.”
He asks: “And have they seen it?”
They reply: “No, O Lord, by God, they have not seen it.”
Then He asks: “And how would it be if they were to see it?”
They reply: “If they were to see it, they would be stronger in striving for it, stronger in seeking it, and greater in their desire for it.”
He asks: “Then from what do they seek refuge?”
They reply: “From the Fire.”
He asks: “And have they seen it?”
They reply: “No, O Lord, by God, they have not seen it.”
Then He asks: “And how would it be if they were to see it?”
They reply: “They would be faster in their flight from it and greater in their fear of it.”
He says: “I call you all to witness that I have forgiven them.”
But one angel will say: “Among them is so-and-so who is not one of them, for he only came out of need.”
God will reply: “They are the sitting-companions. No-one who sits with them can be unhappy.” ²

 


 

1- Muhyiddin ibn Arabi  (1165-1240 C.E) was an Arab Andalusian Sufi mystic and philosopher. He is renowned by  practitioners of Sufism as “the greatest master” and also as a genuine saint.
2- This saying is also found in Sahih al-Bukhari.
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