This world and the next are intended to be used in seeking God. An objection raised against such a use of the next world is untenable: for prayer and fast, pilgrimage and the holy war, and all the exoteric obligations cease as such in the next world; but devotion—seeking after God—ever endures. If you go to heaven, each day of the heavenly life will open up new vistas of Divine Knowledge. An endless work is this, may it never end!

When God loves a man, He inflicts troubles on him and takes away his wealth, wife and children, so that he may be bound to naught, and estranged from all save Him. If he suffers patiently, he receives boons without toil. If he endures cheer­fully, he is purified of all evils.

Again, God’s love for a man makes him aware of the defects of his desire-nature, so that he becomes its instructor and censor.

The following are the signs of a man’s love for God:—

1. Being given to prayer and seclusion.

2. According to others, preferring the Divine Word to human words, the Divine Presence to the sight of man, the Service of God to the service of the world; and not grieving for any loss save separation from Him.

3. According to Junnaid: Not being tired in His Service.

4. According to a certain Sage: Avoiding sins.

It is dangerous to assert one’s love for God.

The word “Mahabbat” (love) is derived from “Hibba” (a seed.) The seed is the germ of life, as it is there that lies the real plant. The seed is put into the soil, lies concealed therein, and receives sun and rain, heat and cold, without any [apparent] change. When the time comes, it sprouts, flowers, and fructifies. So, when Love takes root in the heart, it bears presence and absence, joy and sorrow, union and separation, with equanimity. . . .

Devotion is the perfection of Love. Worship makes a servant, knowledge makes a knower, abstinence makes an ascetic, sincere seeking makes an earnest aspirant, sacrifice of all the world makes a Friend, self-sacrifice makes a Lover, losing the perishable and imperishable elements of self in the Beloved makes a Devotee.

It has been said: Devotion is born of the Light of the Presence of the Eternal Beloved. It is like a flash of lightning, illuminating the eye of the Devotee, speaking to his ear, enlivening his movements, and alienating him from all the world—so that his acts are not for self nor for others, but are works of impersonal Devotion to the Beloved.

Devotion is beyond words, intellect, and astral perception. “I am Devotion, beyond this world and the next; I conquer all without arrow or bow; I shine as the sun in every atom, yet my presence for its very brightness is unperceived; I speak in every tongue, I hear in every ear; yet, strange to say, I am tongueless and earless; as every thing in the Universe is verily Myself, My like cannot be found therein”.—Letters 46 to 48.

[The following extract from Fawâed-i-Rukni may appropriately find place here.—Trs.]

As prayers and fasts are the outer duties, so Love and Devotion are the inner duties. Their ingredi­ents are pain and sorrow. Devotion leads the devo­tee to God. Hence Devotion is necessary to tread the Path. Know Devotion as Life, its absence as death. The privilege of Devotion is not granted to every man, nor does every man deserve it. He who deserves it is worthy of his God; he who does not deserve it is unworthy of Him. A Devotee alone can appreciate the value of Devotion. A vast mul­titude seek after heaven, while very few seek after Devotion; for heaven is the lot of the desire-nature, while Devotion is the lot of the Soul.

Get rid of the notion of selfhood, and give up thy self to Devotion. When thou hast done so, thou hast reached the Goal.

Dost thou know why so many obstacles have been set up on the Path?—In order that the devotee may gradually develope strength, and be able to see the Beloved without a veil.

The boat on the sea [of life] is Devotion; the Boatman is the Divine Grace.