Sunday, August 01, 2010

Ibn Ajiba on the Spiritual Virtues (3)

5 – Patience

Patience means that the heart accept the Lord’s decree gladly. Ordinary people have patience when their hearts gladly accept the difficulties of performing righteous deeds and abstaining from sins; the elite have patience when their souls gladly accept to endure the exercises, efforts and terrors of the spiritual path, keeping their hearts always attentive, and seeking to behold what lies beyond mystical veils; and the elite of the elite have patience when their spirits – or their secrets – gladly accept the presence of wonders and graces, or the constant and unending vision of God.

6 – Gratitude

Gratitude is the heart’s joy at receiving blessings whilst the body is devoted to obedience of the Blesser. Or, it is to acknowledge the blessings of the Blesser with devotion. It has three forms: The gratitude of the tongue, which is to vocally acknowledge the blessing with resignation, which is itself a blessing; and the gratitude of the body, which is to devote it to God’s service; and the gratitude of the heart, which is to see the Blesser in every blessing. The foundation of all of these is contained in Junayd’s words: ‘One must not disobey God by means of His blessings.’

Ordinary people are grateful when they praise God with their tongues; the elite are grateful when they serve God with their bodies; and the elite of the elite are grateful when they immerse themselves completely in the vision of the Giver.