Here is an answer that Seyyidina Ahmed Tidjani (may ALLAH sanctify his precious secret) sent to Sidi Hajj ‘Ali Harazim (may ALLAH be pleased with him) at the beginning of his spiritual journey with him
« In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. May ALLAH pray upon our Master Muhammad, his family, his companions and greet them. May the peace be upon you
You have mentioned the great efforts that you make and that are necessary in order to achieve your aim, to accomplish good deeds for the hereafter. This is due to that part of your soul which is drawn to rest. It is absorbed in passion, because it had thought that it could attain the station of knowledge of ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) effortlessly. Thus, it tends towards resting where it has been led by its passion. If it realized that its aim regarding knowledge of ALLAH, can only be obtained through the well-known efforts that the spiritual path requires and by renouncing (bad) habits, then it would certainly have met all its requirements. Indeed, It yearns for the object of its research, but imagines that it is possible to obtain it without struggle. Because of this, it does not make the required effort and does not renounce pleasure and passion.
For each obstacle, the appropriate measure should be applied. He who thinks he can face obstacles simply by his heart in its present state, without taking into account the proper rules does not know the divine principles. By thinking this way, he will reap only fatigue and nothing else. The example given for the obstacle is that of a cloud in the sky, and the example of the effort behind it is the sun. If the sky becomes clear, then the sun appears, but if the clouds remain then they represent an obstacle between it and us. It is not conceivable that clouds may remain in the sky and that the sun could appear at the same time. Think and meditate upon this, you will benefit from a great knowledge.
Since our heart is covered by obstacles, it leans towards laziness, and it is led as much as possible towards passion, and it becomes impregnated with images of created things and it is drawn towards them.
At this point, the heart which is disturbed by the passions has moved away from the Holy Presence and all that it implies. All of these troubles can only disappear from the heart by obtaining the great opening which is accompanied by effusions from the ocean of knowledge of ALLAH. Other than this, and as long as these obstacles remain in your heart, do not hope to see it empty itself of darkness and troubles.
Indeed, the Presence of the Truth is governed by rules with which it does not fail to comply. That which ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) requires of you in this very moment is to be found precisely where you are right now. So halt in your servitude wherever ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) has placed you at that particular moment, this is your priority. This will be more beneficial to you than throwing your thoughts into a desire (chasing after a desire) where obstacles will arise and which will result in nothing. So “submit your situation to ALLAH”.
Know that everything happens at the decreed time and cannot be hastened by your precipitation. If you want to sever yourself from your situation in order to illuminate and purify your heart, isolate yourself somewhere without any relationship except with ALLAH. Impose upon yourself to have no other desire except ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted), spend all your time in the evocation of The Unique Name (that is to say “ALLAH”), you will experience the extraordinary in the establishment of purity. But if your soul does not help you in this, know that it is ALLAH who wants of you what we have mentioned previously. So abandon all the bad thoughts that follow one another in your heart for they will lead to a lack of propriety towards ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted) and ourselves by requesting something that does not correspond to your interiority, given the fact that it is the opposite to this.
You want to reap without sowing.
To find pearls one must dive.
If you have understood, that is enough.
En ce qui concerne la garantie de la Connaissance d’Allah au degré de Mohiedine ibn ‘Arabi (El Hatimi (qu’Allah l’agrée)), je te le garantis exception faite de ce qui concerne sa station de Pôle, car je ne sais rien de sa situation, ni pour un autre que lui. Je ne puis te le garantir, car cela dépend entièrement de la Volonté propre d’Allah (qu’Il soit Glorifié et Exalté) et de Sa Science.
Regarding the guarantee of the knowledge of ALLAH to the degree of Muhieddine ibn ‘Arabi (El Hatimi (may ALLAH be pleased with him)), I guarantee you this except with regards to his station as Pole because I know nothing of his situation, nor that of any other. I cannot guarantee this because it depends entirely on the will and knowledge of ALLAH (The Glorified, The Exalted).
As for your love for us, I guarantee that you will die with it if you abandon that which we fear for you. Indeed, I fear that what you covet through us will break the link between us. This does not come from me but from your insistence on this matter. Then if your life is long and you see nothing of that which you covet, you will be overwhelmed with bad thoughts such as: “There is nothing left to hope for, nor any benefit.” Then, you will despair of us and seek elsewhere. In this way, love will be severed at the root and you will fall into trouble that you will be unable to bear. I am not going to go into details. You will see for yourself if you separate yourself from us even if this occurs after some time. Then you will have regrets, but regrets will be useless. So go and devote yourself to the litanies that we have given you, surrendering to ALLAH and accepting the position where he has placed you, until the opening occurs for both us and you. Renounce anything that is outside of this.
As for your request concerning the guarantee of the knowledge of ALLAH, pure of all confusion, and whose reality would be linked to the Law, you have no need for any guarantee because it cannot be otherwise. I guarantee that you will not be dispossessed as long as you remain in our love. This guarantee also covers everything under this such as entering Paradise without judgement, etc.
And I have forgiven you concerning the things that you do not know regarding lack of propriety»
Research and translation by Zawiya Tidjaniya el Kubra in Lyon, France