Second Question: How can a companion who was involved in the world be superior to a saint who abandoned the world?
SECOND QUESTION: They say that the saints and possessors of perfection abandoned the world. It even says in a Hadith: “Love of this world is the source of all error.”1 Whereas the Companions were very involved in the world. It was not abandoning the world, some of them were ahead of the civilized of that time, even. How is it that you say that even the least of such Companions was of greater worth than the greatest saint?
THE ANSWER: It has been proved decisively in the Second and Third Stopping-Places of the Thirty-Second Word that to love the face of the world which looks to the hereafter and that which looks to the Divine Names is not the cause of loss, but the means to perfection and attainment, and however far one goes in those two faces, the further one goes in worship and knowledge of Allah. The world of the Companions was in those two faces. They saw this world as the arable field of the hereafter, and sowed and reaped it. They saw beings as the mirrors of the Divine Names, and gazed on them yearningly. As for the transience of the world, that is its transitory face, which looks to man’s base desires.
1. al-Munawi, Fayd al-Qadir, iii, 368, No: 3662.
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