The arif (wise man) has wings of fear, prayer, muhabbat and passion. The one who flies with the wings of fear is bound to escape, the one who flies with the wings of prayer is bound to desire, the one who flies with the wings of muhabbat is bound with joy, the one who flies with the wings of passion bound with excitement. Allah Most High reveals their nature in the Qur’an as; ‘…You see that tears fall from their eyes because of al-Haqq whom they have recognized as already known…’(Qur’an, Al Maida 5:83)
‘They are the ones whom neither trading nor give-and-take can keep from reciting the name of Allah…’ (Qur’an, An Noor 24:37)
For this reason, the action of the arif belongs only to Allah. His tongue is used for dhikr, his nafs is patient in the face of difficulties. His heart silently talks to Him in each moment. His thoughts rise to higher realms. One moment he thinks of the blessings of his Rabb, next moment he roams around the circle of divinity… All the while, the arif is the slave when he is free and he is free when he is the slave. Poor when he is rich and rich when he is poor…
Now, the arif becomes endowed with every expression possible; Present, wise, dignified, mysterious, intimate, praiseworthy, expressive, quiet, accepted, fearful, aware, lost, crying, laughing… There is sadness in his joy, and joy in his sadness. In his every state, passion is merged with misery and misery is merged with passion. His fear is merged with hope; his hope is merged with fear. His fear does not kill his hope; his hope does not erase his fear. While he lives among the people with his material body and his nafs, his heart is with Allah. The relationship of his nafs with people does not harm the connection of his heart with Allah. He is dignified and miserable, poor and wealthy…
As Hz. Bayezid-i Bistami (ra) said in one prayer;
‘My Rabb! Whenever I say that my chains will finally be broken, its nails sink in deeper and stronger…’
While these words fell from the lips of Bayezid (ra), tears fell from his eyes.
Not everyone who shows signs of devotion is truly devoted. This is also true for those who show signs of passion, foolishness, madness, heroism or ignorance.
They asked Rabia Hatun(ra); ‘What is the sign that the state of the arif has reached maturity?’ She replied;
‘That he is burning with the love of his Rabb. The sign of this burning is that he is only satisfied with the Blesser rather than just the blessings, with the Creator rather than just the created. He is immersed in the sea of joy of communion; his heart finds peace only with Him, having surrendered all his will to Him. The arif does not feel burdened by the difficulties that may be caused by his awareness of Allah. He knows that Allah is closer than anything to him. He knows that He is more compassionate than anything and anyone to him, that He is greater and superior than anything; that there is none other than Allah Teala behind everything.’
When the arif is able to discern the inspiration of the spirit from the inspiration of the nafs, the worldly desires from the divine desires and the lower purposes from divine purposes, he achieves marifat (action with divine wisdom). The person who has been blessed with success on the path of wisdom, has the liability to protect the borders of loyalty and commitment of being a qull, to perform the requirements of being a qull. One can only find this path by protecting the essence of being a qull. Then, he does the dhikr of al Haqq, he does the dhikr of the dhikr of al-Haqq. Then, he feels grateful to al-Haqq, he even feels grateful for his feeling grateful. In the end, he is with his nafs without complying to his nafs. He is with his soul without his soul; he is with the common people without being one of the common people.
Each arif commands his nafs at the degree of his marifat, and comprehends the ultimacy and greatness of Allah at the degree of his command of his nafs. He serves his Rabb at the degree of his marifat, he attains the secret of the rububiyyat (manifestation) of Allah at the degree of his service. He tends towards Allah at the degree of his marifat, he is bestowed with His ihsan (spiritual excellence) and grace at the degree of his tendency towards Him. He turns over his actions to Allah at the degree of his marifat; he comprehends His power at the degree of his trust in Him. The arifs comprehension of the ownership and the reign of Allah is only possible with his taking refuge in al-Haqq at the degree of his marifat.
Arif is the one who has these traits in him.