(Faqr: being poor, diminishing, dissolving before the presence of Allah)
Faqr is the origin of being a qull (servant), the essence of purity, the beginning of taqwa (abstinence, piety), the ground of faithfulness, and the foundation of reaching the path of al-Haqq. The person who wishes to be among those who hold faqr should not care about the benefit of his family or himself, he should beg and pray in the presence of Allah, he should only be expecting from Allah, without expectation from anyone else.
The state of the holder of faqr is just like the state of a man who has fallen into a dark well. The mouth of the well is sealed, the entrance is blocked. Inside the well, there is no man, no person to help this man. Furthermore, there is no passage of exit from the well. In this state, who can a person beg to, request and need from anyone other than his Rabb?!
Allah revealed the secret for performing the duty of being a qull: ‘We only do ibadat (worship) for You…’ (Quran, Al- Faatihah, 5) And inside this verse, He placed the secret that the qull is at the peak of powerlessness and weakness: ‘And we only ask help from You.’ (Quran, Al- Faatihah, 5)
The total power of Allah over the qull is hidden inside the verse; ‘We only do ibadat for You…’ and the total need of the qull for Allah is hidden inside the verse; ‘And we only ask help from You.’
It is recounted that a Bedouin was praying while he stood in the Arafah:
‘O Allah! I have come to You from my home, my homeland; but it was You who brought me. I have stood here in Your presence; but it was You who made me stand here. Even though I have rebelled to Your orders, You have not made me miserable. For any of these, I have neither any apologies nor any excuses. If You mercy me and if You forgive me –because You are the holder of ihsan (spiritual excellence), there is no qull more in need of You than I am. O my Master! O my Friend!’
Allah Most High ordered His qulls to be among the people of faqr so that they would not cross the limits of being a qull to the limits of rubbubiyat (manifestation), so that they would not abandon wise choices and run after worldly wishes, so that they would not abandon spiritual purity to run after the mess of the nafs, so that they would not abandon high pursuits to run after lower pursuits.
To explain this further, Allah commanded to the Prophet (saws): ‘There is no share of you in this act…’ (Qur’an, Ali Imran 3:128), ‘Every act belongs to Allah…’ (Qur’an, Ali Imran 3:154), ‘...But every act belongs to Allah…’ (Qur’an, Al R’ad 13:31), ‘Know that; creating and commanding is reserved for Him.’ (Qur’an, Al A’raf 7:54)
Yes! The emancipation of the qull comes through his becoming conscious that he is in total need of Allah. The qull becomes bestowed with divine help through knowing that he should only be asking help from Allah. Communion with Allah happens through hidayat (guidance). Belonging among the awliya (the saints, the friends of Allah) happens only with faqr.