Third Point: It narrates the way of transforming the ephemeral, short and useless life into everlasting and long life.


In this world, the effects of time on things, and on their transience and passing, differ greatly. And while beings are one within the other like concentric circles, they are different as regards the speed of their passing.

Just as the hands of a clock counting the seconds, and those counting the minutes, hours, and days superficially resemble each other, but differ in respect to speed, so too the spheres of the body, soul, heart, and spirit in man differ from each other. For example, although the body possesses an immortality, life, and existence in the day in which it is, or even the hour, and its past and future are dead and non-existent, the sphere of existence and life of the heart extend from many days previous to the present day and to many days in the future. And the sphere of the spirit is vast; the sphere of its life and existence extends from years previous to the present day to years subsequent to it.

Thus, due to this capacity, in respect of knowledge, love, and worship of Allah, the Sustainer, and the pleasure of that Most Merciful One, which are the means to the life of the heart and spirit, transient life in this world comprises a perpetual life, results in an eternal life, and resembles everlasting life.

Yes, one second on the way of love, knowledge, and pleasure of the Truly Enduring One is a year. While if it is not on His way, a year is a second. A single second, even, on His way is immortal and many years. A hundred years of the people of neglect in regard to this world are like a single second. There is the famous saying: “A moment’s separation lasts a year, and a year’s union passes as swiftly as a moment.” I say the complete opposite to this: a moment’s union for Allah’s sake within the bounds of the Enduring One of Glory’s pleasure is a window of union, not of only a year, but a permanent window. While not one year, but perhaps a thousand years spent in heedlessness and misguidance are like a second. There is a saying more famous than the previous one that corroborates this: “The broad earth with enemies is like a drinking-glass, while the eye of a needle with friends like a broad arena.”

An explicit meaning of the first well-known saying above is this: since union with transitory beings is transient, however long it is, it is brief. A year of such union is fleeting like a second, and is an illusion, a dream, causing regret and sorrow. The human heart, which desires immortality, can only receive in one year’s union the tiniest pleasure within a fraction of a second. And one moment’s separation is not one year, but many. For the arena of separation is broad. Even if only for a second, separation inflicts years of destruction on a heart which yearns for eternity. For it bodes of innumerable separations. While for physical and lowly loves, the past and future are filled with separations.

In connection with this matter, we say this: O man! Do you want to make your brief and useless life immortal, long, beneficial, fruitful? Since to so want is demanded by humanity, spend your life on the way of the Truly Enduring One. For everything turned to the Enduring One receives the manifestation of immortality.

Since everyone strongly desires a long life and yearns for immortality; and since there is a means of transforming this fleeting life into perpetual life and it is possible to make it like a long life; for sure anyone who has not lost his humanity will seek out the means and try to transform the possibility into a reality and will act accordingly. Yes, the means is this: work for Allah’s sake, meet with others for Allah’s sake, labour for Allah’s sake; act within the sphere of ‘For Allah, for Allah’s sake, on account of Allah.’ Then all the moments of your life will become like years.

Alluding to this truth, verses of the Qur’an point out that a single night like the Night of Power are like a thousand months, that is, around eighty years. Also indicating to this truth is ‘the expansion of time’, a tried principle among the people of sainthood and reality, through the mystery of which, a few minutes’ Ascension become like many years and prove the existence of this truth and demonstrate it in fact. The few hours of the Ascension of the Prophet (PBUH) had the length, breadth, and comprehensiveness of thousands of years. For he entered the world of eternity by way of the Ascension, and a few minutes of that world comprise thousands of years of this world.

In addition are the numerous occurrences of ‘the expansion of time’ experienced by the saints, constructed on this truth. It is related that some saints did a day’s work in a single minute, some performed the duties of a year in an hour, and recited the whole Qur’an in the space of a minute. Such veracious people of truth would never knowingly stoop to lying. There can be no doubt that they observed exactly the fact of ‘the expansion of time’,1 which is thus numerously and unanimously reported.

A sort of the expansion of time confirmed by everyone is experienced in dreams. Sometimes a day in the waking world, or many days, would be necessary to experience the happenings, words, pleasures, and pains experienced in a minute’s dream.

I n S h o r t : For sure man is transitory, but he was created for immortality, and as the mirror to an Enduring One, and he was charged with duties which produce enduring fruits, and was given a form which is the means to manifesting the impresses of an Enduring One’s enduring Names. In which case, the true duty and happiness of man is to cling with all his powers and faculties to the Names of that Eternally Enduring One within the bounds of those things that please Him; it is to be turned towards the Enduring One, and to go to Him. As his tongue utters “the Enduring One, You are the Enduring One!,” so his heart, spirit, mind, and all his subtle faculties should declare:

“He is the Enduring One! He is the Pre-Eternal and Post-Eternal! He is the Everlasting One! He is the Perpetual One! He is the One Who is Sought! He is the Beloved! He is the One Wished For, the One Worshipped!”

Glory be unto You! We have no knowledge save that which You have taught us; indeed, You are All-Knowing, All-Wise!2

O our Sustainer! Do not take us to task if we forget or do wrong.3


1. The verses, Said one of them: “How long have we stayed [here]?” They said, “We have stayed [perhaps] a day, or part of a day.” (18:19), and, So they stayed in their cave three hundred years, and [some] add nine [more]. (18:25) point to the traversing of time, while the verse, Verily a day in the sight of your Sustainer is like a thousand years of your reckoning (22:47) points to the expansion of time.
2. Qur’an, 2:32.
3. Qur’an, 2:282.

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