Second Allusion: Remembrance of Allah and reflective thought.

SECOND ALLUSION

The keys and means to this journeying of the heart and spiritual progress are remembrance of Allah and reflective thought. The virtues of these are too numerous to be described. Apart from uncountable benefits in the hereafter and human attainments and perfections, a minor benefit pertaining to this tumultuous worldly life is as follows: everyone wants a solace and seeks a pleasure in order to be saved a little from the upheavals of life and its heavy burdens, and to take a breather; everyone searches out something familiar and friendly to banish the loneliness. The social gatherings in civilized life afford a temporary, but heedless and drunken familiarity, intimacy, and solace for one or two out of ten people. However, eighty per cent live solitary lives in mountains or valleys, or are driven to distant places in search of a livelihood, or due to agencies like calamities and old age which make them think of the hereafter, they are deprived of the sociableness of man’s groups and societies. The situation affords them no familiarity, friendliness, or consolation.

And so, the true solace and intimacy and sweet pleasure of such a person is, being turned to his heart in those distant places and desolate mountains and distressing valleys, to work it by means of the remembrance of Allah and reflective thought. Saying: “Allah!”, it is to become familiar with Him with his heart, and through that familiarity to think of the things around him, which were regarding him savagely, as smiling on him familiarly, and saying: “My Creator, Whom I am recollecting, has innumerable servants here in my place of solitude, just as He has everywhere. I am not alone; loneliness has no meaning.” Through his belief, he receives pleasure from that familiarity. He understands the meaning of the happiness of life, and offers thanks to Allah.

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