from Music of the Soul
by Sidi Muhammad al-Jamal ar-Rifa’i ash-Shadhili
God is the Greatest. He is greater than everything because in and out is Him. There is nothing above Him. There is nothing on His right and nothing on His left. There is nothing other than He. God is greater. God is greatest.
So how can man go and be occupied with something greater than God? It must be in relation to God because other than God is void. So how can you make your problems or interests other than God?
When the person knows himself well, he becomes the picture of God. He sees with the eyes of God and hears with the ears of God. His picture is the picture of Him. He is in everything because He puts the secret in every appearance of the appearance of existence. It is through the existences that God sees Himself manifest.
There is nothing, only the unity. Everything is one thing. All is one truth. In Him there is no beginning and no end. There are no numbers. God is all in all. There is no difference between men and women, black and white. There are no pictures – only one picture because everything is in Him.
God is the Greatest, and all the Strength. He is the Greatest and the Strongest. There is none before and none after Him in strength. The order is the power from the start – the promise to be in fear of God. He is the picture and the thing pictured, and the Seer inside and outside.
You are the person who has the secret names of God. You! All the secret things of the names are put in you. When you lose all your things, when you leave them, then when you are like this, you are with God. You return to the real start, to the beginning. You will be the image of mercy inside and outside, and the love to give to the end, which has no end to giving. You will be the quietness to give the quietness from him to Him. This is your situation when you are fired with the love.
When you reach the way, you search and you know who you are. Look what you can see then. You see your eye, and that your eye is really the eye of God. You are the eye of God. It is a gift from God, the kindness of God that makes you one of His eyes, one eye. This is the way of the person who forgets all things and returns to the truth in the beginning, a child in the presence of God.
When he says, “Allahu Akbar,” at that moment, he is the eye of God, and the truth of this is that at that time, all that is in this earth, this life, is finished for him. He has become absent from his soul and his mind. He meets his Love to the end which has no end. They are together and they are one thing only, without borders, without up, without down, without right or left. That is the garden to him.
Allahu akbar is the key which opens the door to the subtle (al-latif). It takes him on the journey from the gross to the subtle world. The source of peace is within it if his heart and mind know the way to reach this valley. It is the source of love which all lovers are searching for Allah.