Divine Awards

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What is divine awards? What does divine awards mean? What is the divine revelation in Islam? Who is the divine leader of Islam?

All beings other than Allah, glory unto Him, have been created through the manifestation of His attribute al-Latif (the Graceful); in other words, through His grace. No being among entire creation has come into existence through merit, by paying its due price. The mortal and relative existence of beings, as well as their entire characteristics and prospects spawned by the underlying wisdom of their creation, are to be defined entirely as Divine awards.[1] This means that existence of all that which exists, is merely the grace, generosity and favor of the Almighty.

Although the existence of entire creation and the qualities they possess is, in effect, a ‘Divine award’, we will use this term here to refer to the grants received by those progressively travel on the Sufi road, corresponding to the distance they cover. Persons with aptitude begin to receive unique favors and characteristics the more they progress on this path, even before they pass away to ‘the other world’. However much one may think that receiving these Divine awards is a matter of merit –since a person uses his particular willpower to enter the path to begin with-, in the final reckoning, grace overpowers merit, which is the reason why it has become custom to conceive them purely as Divinely given and confine the term ‘award’ to refer to them. The enormous difference between being awarded with something and meriting something has led to suppose merit nonexistent. This approach is not really off the mark, considering that the opportunity a person is given, which makes meriting possible, is essentially also a ‘Divine award’.

Some inherently able persons, who acquire a spiritual level through the training of tasawwuf, attain to many a rank of perfection during this spiritual journey. Such that the wisdoms of many mysteries are bared open for many a saint and many knots are untied. What was previously unknown is discovered anew, enigmas are conquered. Enlightening inspirations that glimmer onto a purified heart steers its possessor to the core of the Real and reality. Truthful dreams, which are generated through the Protected Tablet (Lawh-i Mahfuz) reflecting many of its future insights onto the heart, begin to be seen. Its possessor acquires a profound contemplation and a vision that feels the Divine purpose in everything of which it catches sight.

These states, obtained through Divine Grace complementing genuine effort, come in many more forms of manifestation. Expressed in the form of knowledge, they have been referred to as ladunni. Although they are of a content that transcends human comprehension and grasp, those, who through the grace and benevolence of the Lord have been privileged with a share of ladunni knowledge, at the same time attain to a comprehensive comprehension and understanding, parallel with the distance they have progressed.  We will now try to expand on the nature of this ladunni knowledge, as much as is allowed by human capability and permitted by religion.

Once I love My servant, I (virtually) become his tongue that speaks, heart that comprehends, ears that hear, eyes that see, hands that hold and feet that walk. I give him whatever He wants from Me. If he seeks refuge in Me, I protect him. (Hadith al-Qudsi, Bukhari, Riqaq, 38)

[1]        Divine Awards (mawhibatu’l-ilahiyyah): Divine favors and grace.

Source: Osman Nuri Topbaş, Sufism, Erkam Publications

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