Aspiration which rushes on ahead

cannot break through the walls of destiny.

Aspiration (himma) is the power the heart sends forth in seeking a thing and being concerned with it. If that matter is lofty, like gnosis of Allah and seeking His pleasure, it is called lofty himma. If it is a base matter, like seeking this world and its fortune, it is called base himma. Aspiration which rushes ahead cannot break through the walls of destiny, i.e. when the gnostic or murid aspires to something and his himma in that is strong, Allah Almighty will form that by His power in an instant so that his command is by Allah’s command.

The shaykh of our shaykh, Moulay al-‘Arabi said, “When the truthful murid is annihilated in the Name, whenever he aspires to something, it is. If he is annihilated in the Essence, the thing which he needs is formed even before he aspires to it.” That is true. In a report, Allah Almighty says, “I am Allah, When I say to a thing, ‘Be!’ it is. So obey Me and I will make you say to things ‘Be!’ and they will be.” We also see in a sound hadith, “When I love him, I am his hearing, sight, and hand,” and He affirms, “If he asks Me, I give to him.”

Nonetheless, it does not have that alone. Nothing comes into being except what destiny and decree contains. So the himma of the gnostic is directed to the thing, and when it finds the decree, it rushes with it. That is by Allah’s permission. If his himma finds the walls of destiny erected against it, it does not break through. Rather it shows adab and reverts to its attribute, which is slavedom. It is not grieved or sad. It rejoices because its reverts to its proper place and true attribute.

Our shaykh’s shaykh, Sidi ‘Ali, said, “When we will something and it happens, we have one joy. When it does not happen, there are ten joys.” That was due to his full gnosis of Allah. One of them was asked, “By what did you recognise your Lord?” He replied, “By the breaking of resolve.”

This effect is obtained by strong himma. If the one with it is deficient, as occurs with someone with an evil eye and a sorcerer by virtue of their foulness, or a quality which Allah puts in them, when he looked at a thing with the intention of producing that by Allah’s permission, none of this breaks through the walls of destiny. That is only what the One, the Conqueror wills. Allah Almighty says, “They cannot harm anyone by it, except with Allah’s permission,” (2:102) and “We have created all things in due measure,” (54:49) and “But you will not will unless Allah wills.” (81:29) The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Everything is by the decree and destiny,” even incapacity and dexterity. Weak aspiration which rushes on ahead cannot accomplish anything. It is the same for good and evil.

His metaphor of breaking through walls has awareness of strength on both sides, but the barrier wins and the strength of the incapable slave is of no use. When himma does not break through the walls of destiny, there is no point in your reflecting and choosing