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By by Shaikul-Islam Ibn Taimiyah ; abridged by Ash-Shahhat Ahmad At-Tahhan ; rendered into English by Bayan Translation Services.

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The humble soul finds in worship of God not only an ease, but also a sense of a homecoming, a return to the source of one’s existence, and thus an infinite expansion and absolute enlivening of one’s existence, not a death; for one’s existence is no longer one’s own, but is absorbed—in the deepest mode of contemplative prayer—within pure Being. The image of drops of water IBT040 - Spiritual Quest 25/1/11 12:22 Page 31 Spiritual Quest 31 returning to the ocean whence they sprang is often given to allude to the simultaneous loss of particularity and gain of universality which takes place in this deepest kind of prayer.

Here, one places in brackets the word disbelieving as it is so heavily implied in the Arabic kafūr: fundamentally, the root kafara means ‘to cover over’. ’ (25:43; almost identical at 45:23). If one does not believe in God, one cannot but believe in one’s ego as a kind of absolute, thus, as an idol, a substitute and rival to the true Absolute; the desires and whims of the ego then assume the character of quasi-absolute commands. Disbelieving in one’s Creator thus engenders self-divinisation, the foreshadowing of which is complacency and self-satisfaction.

Having chosen the slippery slope of sin, on the basis of their own free will, sinners will increase in sinfulness, due to the everaccelerating momentum generated by each succeeding sin. God is the source of existence, and thus, the source of all the laws and rhythms and dynamics of existence at all levels—physical, moral, intellectual and spiritual; He is thus, in an ultimate sense ‘responsible’ for this particular law of existential momentum or ‘sinful motion’, according to which sins generate further sins.

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