Know that the arifs branch into various natures. They each have their own states, degrees and ranks.
Some of them have come to know the powerful nature of. Allah. They live in constant fear, because they watch Him through the window of His power. Some have attained marifat through the blessings and grace of Allah. Therefore, there is no trace of fear in their states. Their intimacy with the Beloved is forever pleasant. Some have attained irfan (knowledge acquired through experience) through the path of awareness. Therefore, they have a connection to Allah with sıdk (loyalty), with an unshakable iman (faith). And some have known al-Haqq through His almighty nature. Therefore, there is an intense fear in their state.
The arifs who have known Allah through His ability to provide for every need, feel powerless towards Him. The arifs who have known Him through His integrity are in a state of total purity and clarity. Those who have known al-Haqq through the being of al-Haqq desire to commune with Him through Him.
The arif who has attained marifat through the window of power, has a fear of Allah equivalent to the degree of his knowledge. The arif who has known Allah through His blessings and grace, feels trust and love for al-Haqq equivalent to the degree of his knowledge. The arif who has attained marifat through the path of awareness, has a loyalty to Allah equivalent to the degree of his awareness.
An arif fears Allah at the degree of his knowledge of His grandness. The state of faqr is reached through the knowledge that Allah is sufficient for everything. Faqr becomes purified at the degree of his comprehension that He is the Only One. Communion only occurs through the knowledge of the ‘Rabb’ (Lord) nature of Allah.
Each arif with divine wisdom serves in a different maqam (station, level). Some are in the maqam of humility and respect. Some are in the maqam of intimacy and sincerity. Some are in maqams governed by blessings and grace. Some live in the state of conscious awareness, some live in the state of majesty. This is revealed in the Qur’an as;
‘Without exception, each of us have a unique maqam.’ (Qur’an, As Saffat 37:164)
The person at the lowest degree of marifat achieves the knowledge about tawhid (unity) through the hadiths that comes from the Prophet(saws) of Allah, the one who is truthful in his essence and his word, the master of the two worlds. They believe our master Prophet (saws) with sincerity. They perform good deeds as best as they can, but sometimes they fall into mistakes and sins with the temptation of their nafs. If the most Merciful of the merciful would not take pity on them, they would be faced with the danger of a life full of ignorance and sins.
One degree above these are the people who have a knowledge of al-Haqq depending on evidence and proof. The ones on this level give value to thoughts, opinions, the knowledge gained by the effort of the mind. They have believed in Tawhid, in oneness, before searching for evidences, Qur’anic verses and divine clues. Their way of comprehension works in the form of proving the existence of the invisible through the tangible and the visible. They believe that evidences are truthful and trustable; this feels better to them. However, because of their attachment to their evidences, they live with a veil from al-Haqq.
The arifs of the highest level are not like the arifs of the visible. In their view, knowledge through intimacy is superior to evidence. They know Allah not by evidences, but through intimacy. Proofs do not dazzle their eyes; reasons cannot lead their comprehension. They have found their maqams through their irfan and settled in there.
The evidence and guide for the arifs is the Prophet (saws) of Allah. Their leader is the Qur’an. The divine light illuminates their way.