Poverty is the Eid of the Mureedeen.
Eid is the day of celebration and happiness. The happiness of man is in the attainment of his objects of desire. While the happiness of laymen is in food, garments, wealth and worldly honour, the happiness of the selected servants of Allah – those who have established a true bond with Allah – is in the denial of the desires of the nafs. When the objects of desire of the nafs are denied to it, it is the Eid of the mureedeen.
The basis of their happiness is a heart purified of the contaminations of all aliens – of all things besides Allah Ta’ala. Whenever the nafs acquires things of its desire, it turns towards them. Contamination then affects its purity. On the other hand, when the desires of the nafs are denied, it runs towards Allah Ta’ala. It then experiences peace and pleasure in this condition.
Poverty is in conflict with the desire of the nafs. Therefore, poverty is the Eid of the people of Allah.
Poverty being a festive occasion is the state of those who are climbing the ladder of spiritual progress. Although they have created a bond with Allah Ta’ala, they have not yet attained firmness and steadfastness. There still remains nafsaani urge in them. However, after perfection when the nafs has mounted the stage of Mutma-innah, every moment is its Eid. Adversity and prosperity are then equal. In whichever condition Allah maintains the nafs (after becoming Mutma-innah), it will be Eid.
(When the nafs has reached the highest stage of its development, it is described as Nafs Mutma-innah. – Translator).
In most cases, during starvation, such an abundance of anwaar and ma-aarif are acquired, which are not attained even in Namaaz and Roza.
The basis for the incidence of anwaar (celestial light), inspirational knowledge, Divine Mysteries and subtleties is denial of the desires of the nafs. Therefore, if Namaaz and Roza are executed after the desires of the nafs have been satisfied e.g., delicious food and fine garments etc., then in such a Namaaz and Roza there will not be such abundance of anwaar and spiritual mysteries as would cascade into the heart at the time of starvation and during conditions which are in conflict with the desires of the nafs.
Poverty is a blanket bestowed from the bestowals of Allah Ta’ala.
Poverty is a Divine Bestowal which is like a blanket. During periods of starvation they fill this blanket with the piles of gifts they Divinely Receive, i.e. during starvation they acquire numerous Divine Blessings in the form of anwaar, ma-aarif and asraar. Thus, the selected servants of Allah are not scared by poverty and starvation. On the contrary, their happiness is boundless.
If you know what the descent of Divine Bestowals means, then be pleased with poverty and starvation because Allah Ta’ala says that Sadqah is for the fuqara.
The attribute of want and need is poverty. Cultivation of poverty thus means to cultivate the attribute of need and want in relation to your Master, Allah Ta’ala. At all times dependence must be on Allah. The heart should not develop independence on account of worldly possessions. Man’s heart should not feel satisfied and independent because of wealth and children. Independence of the heart should be only by virtue of the Divine Bond.
If you desire the torrents of Divine Effulgence to rain down on you, then become wholly dependent on Him. When this state of need has become entrenched in your nafs, you will experience the wonder of His mysteries cascading on you. An ocean of Faidh-e-Baatini will flood onto you. The proof for this claim is Allah’s statement:
“Verily, Sadaaqat is for the fuqara …”
You will, therefore, receive the Sadqah of His Fuyoodh (Spiritual Gifts) only when you have imbued in you the attributes of faqr (poverty) which make you a faqeer entitled to receive the Divine Sadqah of Celestial Knowledge. At all times, even if you possess an abundance of worldly wealth, ingrain in yourself the attribute of dependence on Him. Always remain a beggar at His Door.
Your poverty is natural. The means (asbaab) of need and want which appear to you are simply to remind you of your natural state of poverty which lies hidden in you. Temporary factors cannot eliminate your natural poverty.
O Insaan! In your present existence and in your next existence after death, you will be perpetually dependent on your Khaaliq and Rabb. Therefore, remember that your faqr (poverty) and dependence are natural to your constitution. You are inseparable from this dependence for even a second.
However, here on earth, on account of the health, wealth and freewill granted to you, you have developed an independent attitude, forgetting your Creator and Sustainer. You have thus become oblivious of your natural and inherent dependency on Allah Ta’ala. It is only on account of Divine Mercy that you are reminded of your natural attribute by way of the imposition of circumstances of difficulty and trial which constrain you to turn in supplication to your Creator. These conditions of hardship imply: “O Ihsaan! Why have you forgotten your origin?”
The selected servants of Allah always keep in mind this natural attribute of man’s dependence on Allah Ta’ala. The difficulties and trials which come their way are not for reminding them of their dependence, but are for the elevation of their ranks.
All things which have deceived you into a false state of independence are temporary. Allah Ta’ala is at all times capable of snatching away these material possessions which are keeping you in deception. In fact, this often happens. When it happens, man’s original state of dependence is exposed. He should, therefore, understand that his temporary and superficial facade of independence does not eliminate his natural and inherent state of absolute dependence. Thus, employ your intelligence and remember your origin. Your welfare is in this.
In your time, a beautiful time is when you cogitate on your dependence and return to your state of humility and lowliness.
O Searcher of the Truth! The best moments in your life are the time which you spend in the contemplation of your actual and natural dependence. Taking lesson from this perception, you will return to your original state of humility which has become obscure to your heart.
Since man and entire creation are perpetually under Divine domination and subjugation, man should understand his lowliness, contempt and humility. He manipulates creation at His Will. True Power, Beauty and Splendour belong only to Him. If, therefore, the bandah gains the impression that he too possesses respect and honour, he will be a rebel. Chastisement for rebellion is self-evident.
It is not sufficient that man only acknowledges his dependence and humility. This mere knowledge is with everyone. The recognition of one’s dependence should become a perpetual state permeating one’s heart. The effect should at all times be on the heart. It should reach the stage of Yaqeen which precludes all doubt and uncertainty.
On the contrary, man’s vilest time will be the moments in which he feels that he possesses the attributes of independence, excellence, rank and honour.
Do not spread your hands asking from creation unless you discern the giver giving to Your Maula-e-Haqeeqi (Allah Ta’ala). When you have attained this discernment then take from creation according to your zaahiri and baatini knowledge.
O Servant of Allah! Gifts awarded to you by people may be accepted on two conditions. One – You have reached such a state (of spiritual elevation) that you firmly believe that the actual giver is Allah Ta’ala and creation is the medium only. Mere knowledge of this fact is not adequate because both Muslims and Kafirs believe that Allah is the Giver. Rather, the state of your heart should be such that you consciously feel that creation is not the giver under any circumstances. The gaze of the heart should not be on creation.
Two – When you have imbued in yourself the aforementioned condition, then accept the gift according to your zaahiri and baatini knowledge. Ilm-e-Zaahir refers to the Shariah. In other words, if the Shariah permits acceptance of the gift, accept it, otherwise refrain, e.g. the gift is presented by a person whose earnings are unlawful or the giver is a minor. If you have this knowledge regarding the giver, refuse acceptance of the gift.
Ilm-e-Baatin refers to the knowledge of your inner condition. If you have need for the object presented, accept only what you need and leave the excess. If, however, it is your intention to give the excess to others, you may accept it. Also, do not accept something which you have abandoned in the process of training your nafs for the sake of Allah Ta’ala, for perhaps Allah Ta’ala is sending it to you by way of trial.
Do not accept the gifts of proud people and of those who advertise their favours. Similarly, do not accept a gift from such a person whose presentation of a gift produces pressure on your heart for some reason or the other. These are examples of Ilm-e-Baatini. (Another example is a gift which is anticipated. On seeing a particular person, the heart expects or anticipates him making a gift. It is not permissible for the Saalik to accept such a gift. This is termed Ishraafun Nafs. – Translator).