Gradation of ‘Orf (Divine Noesis)
Zan-noon was asked, “What is the very first stage ‘Aref (Divine Cognoscenti) reaches?” and he replied, “Hayrat (Helpless Bewilderment & Perplexity) then Ifteqaar (Mendicancy) then It-tesaal (Divine Nexus) and finally again Hayrat (Helpless Bewilderment & Perplexity)”.
First Hayrat (Helpless Bewilderment & Perplexity) is for the Divine Blessings that are bestowed upon the person. If a person is subjected to such immense generosity, due to feelings of shame (unthankful-ness) bewildered and perplexed. (The person is drowned in blessings amazed at infinite gifts he is given and yet looks upon his Self riddled with shameful ingrate & evil and wonders why me? Why so blessed in spite of all personal evil)
Ifteqaar (Mendicancy) is neediness and neediness means if Allah leaves me alone, I will be in all kinds of emergencies & hardships with no possibility of respite or relief. (This term in Sufism means the Sufi is perpetually fed, dressed and protected by Allah otherwise totally a poor human being with no one coming to his help. It is a practice of Sufism to force the arrogant heart to migrate from self-admiration and worship towards this stage of Mendicancy where the Sufi bows to Allah and begs for a cup of water…)
It-tesaal (Divine Nexus) means to connect, reach or reunite. There is no way anything has the power to connect or come close to Allah, however this is connection by the process of elimination i.e. disconnecting and distancing from all other than Allah. If the Sufi sees himself as a poor needy being, also sees others under the same light i.e. needy & poor in the presence of Allah. Therefore if he takes his neediness to other than Allah, then gains nothing but finding more needs in others. (Therefore Sufi understands in order to find relief from the needs he ought to disconnect stay afar from all others than Allah. If not he will become more needy)
Indeed the Sufi takes his needs to the Nonpareil One whom all are in need of It. Therefore the second Hayrat (Helpless Bewilderment & Perplexity) is felt when no matter how much the slave takes his needs to his Lord, finds himself no closer (therefore amazed). Because of Tawhid (Divine Oneness), causation & instruments and for that matter any other existence can NEVER help the slave accost the Lord. Indeed the beginning of this affair is bewilderment and the end bedazzlement!
‘Aref’s (Divine Cognoscenti) first Hayrat (Helpless Bewilderment & Perplexity) is about the actions of the Lord, by sending the cornucopia of blessings for him, and the final Hayrat (Helpless Bewilderment & Perplexity) about the stations of Tawhid (Divine Oneness). All his cognitive faculties & intelligence lost while facing the Divine Might & Frightful Majestic Glory.
Self-worship, pompousness and arrogance form a desert, an arid place of being lost and bewilderment.

Source (Sharh Ta’r-rof)

© 2004-2002,  Dara O. Shayda