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* تفسير Tafsir al-Tustari

{ إِنَّ هَـٰذَا لَهُوَ ٱلْبَلاَءُ ٱلْمُبِينُ }

Truly this was indeed a clear test.He said:That is, a trial of mercy (balāʾ al-raḥma). Do you not see how God sent him [Abraham] in a state of contentment (riḍā)? He said:We have heard that the following is written in the Psalms, ‘I did not decree anything for a believer which he either liked or detested without its being good for him.’ And it is related that God, Exalted is He, revealed the following to Abraham , ‘There is no one [whose provision in this world] I have increased, but that I have decreased by the same proportion [his provision] in the Hereafter, and that goes for you also, My true friend.’ Abū Yaʿqūb al-Sūsī relates, ‘A faqīr came to us while we were in Arrajān and Sahl b. ʿAbd Allāh happenedto be there also on that day. He [the faqīr] said, “You are the people of [God’s] special care (ahl al-ʿināya). Indeed, a severe trial and affliction (miḥna) has descended upon me.” Sahl said to him, “In the registry of afflictions, it descended only after you exposed yourself to this matter. So what is it?” He replied, “Something of this world opened itself up to me, so I took possession of it to the exclusion of my family and thus lost my faith and my [spiritual] state (ḥāl).” Sahl said, “What do you say concerning this, O Abū Yaʿqūb?” I replied, “The affliction was more intense [for him] regarding [the loss of] his state than regarding [the loss of] his faith.” Sahl responded, “A person like you would say that O Abū Yaʿqūb.”’ Sahl was asked about the [spiritual] state (ḥāl). He replied:The state of remembrance (dhikr) [at the level of] knowledge (ʿilm) is tranquil repose [in God] (sukūn), and the state of remembrance [at the level of] the intellect (ʿaql) is profound peace (ṭumaʾnīna). The state of mindfulness of God (taqwā) [at the level of] Islam [consists of observing]the limits [of the law] (ḥudūd), and the state of mindfulness of God [at the level of] faith (īmān) is profound peace (ṭumaʾnīna). If the servant has a state, and an affliction visits him, and he then asks for relief through a state lower than the one he is in, that counts as a defilement (ḥadath) from him.He was asked, ‘Why is that?’, and he said, ‘It is like someone who is hungry asking for satiation, because the rank of the hungry is higher.’ His words:


Tafsīr al-Tustarī, trans. Annabel Keeler and Ali Keeler
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