An-Nafs ar-Radiyya: The Contented Well-Pleased Nafs
The Fifth Station
The nafs ar-radiyya: its walking is in Allah, its world is divinity (al-lahut), its place is the secret of the secrets(1), its state is extinction (fana) of a different kind from the above-mentioned, but not as previously explained, as that was the fana' of the middle stage(2). Know that the weakness of the senses is for those who are close to entering the state of baqa', who are at the last stages of their walking. By this is meant the effacement of human qualities in preparation for the baqa', which will follow it immediately because this fana' is the truth of certainty and happens at the seventh station. The nafs ar-radiyya does not have a warid because the warid is only when the attributes remain. In this maqam there is no trace of the attributes, so in this station, the salik is in state of fana', not baqa'. He has no baqa' with himself, as was the case prior to this station, neither does he have the baqa' in Allah, as will be the case in the seventh station. This state can only be understood by tasting. However the Perfect Guide (kamal) may explain it to the seeker who is close to the degree of perfection.
This nafs is detached from other than Allah. Some of its qualities are al-ikhlas (sincerity), al-wara, which is like being careful or impeccable, forgetfulness, and al-rida (acceptance) with everything that happens in existence without disturbance or distress to the heart, nor being moved, nor having the desire to remove the source of pain, nor is there opposition to what happens because he is deep in witnessing the absolute beauty. This state (hal) does not impede him from giving guidance or counsel to creation nor from ordering them or forbidding them. Everyone who listens to his words is benefitted by them, yet his (al-salik) heart is completely busy with the world of divinity (al-lahut) and the secret of secrets. The person in this station is also in the utmost of courtesy (adab) with Allah. His prayers are answered, he has authority with creation, he is respected by everyone high and low. This is because he was told from the Presence of Nearness, “And today you are established with Us.” (12:54) So he is held in exaltation by creation by force. (He has no choice.) Those of the creation do not know why they hold him in such high esteem and respect. However, he should not rely on this phenomenon, especially from unjust people, as he will be touched by the fire of their qualities.
The danger here is if they are good to you. Beware of endearing yourself to them due to the goodness they show you because of the nature of the heart. Allah says, “Do not rely on those who are unjust, or else the fire will touch you.” So busy yourself with your Lord. Do not turn toward them. The more you turn away from them and the more you are busy with your Lord, the more they are attracted to you. If Allah has written for you a share in their wealth, this will reach you by force. So do not turn to them hoping to receive something of what they have, nor should you turn away from them because of their attraction to you.
In this station you are still not totally secure from the devices of the nafs, so it is best to be wary and not to be deluded or enchanted by people's turning to you or people's attraction to you. Surely the one in this maqam can take safety or refuge only with Allah. So if you find that you have rest in other than Allah, you are not in this maqam. The person in this maqam in under the authority of the inward, which has total dominion over the outward. So how can the person have any rest in or be in alliance with a portion of his outward?
So understand and be busy in this maqam with the dhikr of Allah Hayy. Do much dhikr of this so that you may get through the fana' and attain to the baqa' with the Hayy in the sixth station. You progress from standing at the door to entering the stations of the Living. The more you do this dhikr, the more your fana' begins to recede, and you start having the baqa' in the Living. You take on the attribute of perfection, which is the meaning of, “I am the hearing by which he hears and the seeing by which he sees.” This is also expressed as the nearness arrived at by supererogatory (al-nawfl) prayers.
Know that among the names, there are names called subsidiary names, such as:
The Bestower al-Wahhab
The One who gives without being asked,
The Opener al-Fattah
The One who opens the treasures of His Mercy for all His servants,
The One al-Wahid
He in whose Essence there is no multiplicity,
The Unique al-Ahad
The One who can be neither divided nor qualified,
The Self-Sustaining as-Samad
The One to whom everyone turns for the fulfillment of all their wishes.
Do adh-dhikr with these names(3) and with al-Hayy and this will help you to move to the sixth station, which now you need very much.
1. That which is known only to the Haqq
2. In the middle stage the senses are unaware of the objects of perception
3. Note that invocation using all these names and their subsidiaries should be with no vowel (sukan) following the last consonant.