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When He opens a way for you and makes Himself known to you, then do not worry about your lack of deeds. He only opened the way for you because He desired to make Himself known to you. Do you not see that while He grants gnosis of Himself to you, you have only deeds to offer Him?

What He brings you – What you bring Him – What a difference there is between them!

إذِا فَتَحَ لَكَ وِجْهَةً مِنَ التَّعَرُّفِ فَلاَ تُبَالِ مَعَهَا إنْ قَلَّ عَمَلُكَ؛ فَإنِّهُ مَا فَتَحَهَا لَكَ إلِا وَهُوَ يُرِيدُ أَنْ يَتَعَرَّفَ إلِيْكَ، أَ لمَ تَعْلَمْ أَنَّ التَّعَرُّفَ هُوَ مُورِدُهُ عَلَيْكَ، وَالأعْمَالَ أَنْتَ مُهْدِيهَا إلِيْهِ؟ وَأَيْنَ مَا تُهْدِيهِ إلِيْهِ ممِاَّ هُوَ مُورِدُهُ عَلَيْكَ ؟

The statement of how lord makes himself known to a certain person is so profound and so beautiful. How gracious of him to opt a person out of billions, is worth some pondering upon.

Allah opens a way to know him; this happens in times of illness, or affliction, the author explained. Meanwhile, when a person finds themselves in a scary place they tend to mistake those hardships for punishments from God, but they ought to receive it with appreciation. Cause the reason of opening that door to a certain person is usually for the mere notion of nearness.

One should let themselves experience his grace in times of afflictions. We should embrace the hardships cause they may be a way to know, and be known to allah, even if this comes between one being able to do more deeds. Hence, the duaa

“O Allah, grant reward in my calamity and grant in its place a good substitute” 

Your deeds and actions of worship are not the only window to get to know him — and that doesn’t mean disordering him willingly of course. Allah may grant you gifts of gnosis, knowledge, life lessons, realizations or epiphanies. When he shorten the distance between his favorite slaves, he leaves their soul cleansed and purified. Thus with opening that door one gets the same nearness he strives for.

One of the Salaf, Shurayh Al-Qadhi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
“If I am afflicted with a calamity, I praise Allâh for it four times:
I praise Him because it wasn’t worse than it was, I praise Him when He gives me the patience to bear it, I praise Him for enabling me to say al-istirja’ (‘To Allâh we belong and to him we will return’; see Al-Baqarah: 154-156) in hope of a great reward, and I praise Him for not making it a calamity in my religion.”

 Read more In the Light of Hikam Ibn ‘Ataa Allah.