The thirsty fish

I believe that this world is a crucible, within which the pure of heart are tested, and distinguished from the false and self-seeking.

Everything revolves around the Manifestation of God, and discovering who is true in their devotion to Him. Is it because they want something from the exchange, or do they love Him only for the sake of His Beauty?

None of this is to God’s benefit. He can dispense with everything. He creates this opportunity for us, out of perfect Mercy, so that we might, ourselves, discover the value of that recognition.

Imagine a wealthy father who intends to bestow on his child a boundless inheritance. If the child is going to be without want for the whole of his life, would it not sweeten his appreciation if he were made to endure poverty at the beginning of that life, so that he comes to know the value of every coin? And while doing so, the father discovers which of his sons are pure in heart, and who only hungers for power and advantage.

All of this is truly a bounty to us, that we might come to know God – a knowledge like the thirsty and gasping fish who rediscovers the ocean, and not like those who remain unaware of its existence their whole lives. Just as knowledge of light requires darkness, and only then can a man appreciate the magnificent bounty of the Sun’s light. If he were born in the neighborhood of the sun, he would either be blind, or unable to perceive the infinite variety of colors that potentially dwell within that Light.

Say: My creatures are even as the fish of the deep. Their life dependeth upon the water, and yet they remain unaware of that which, by the grace of an omniscient and omnipotent Lord, sustaineth their very existence. Indeed, their heedlessness is such that were they asked concerning the water and its properties, they would prove entirely ignorant. Thus do We set forth comparisons and similitudes, that perchance the people may turn unto Him Who is the Object of the adoration of the entire creation.

Giving people knowledge of the ocean is only one kind of knowledge. `Irfán requires, at first, a deep and lasting thirst, so that within a single drop one may taste the sweetness of the Kawthar fountain.