بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Know, O my brother, may God take you by the hand in all goodness, that the effect of these and other supplications, as well as the effect of the divine names, for whatever reason they are invoked, depend, in reaching a complete result, on crossing the distance of the world of divine actions and reaching the [state of] witnessing the world of names and attributes.
For as long as the invoker continues to recognise in himself and in other creatures will and power, and bases his invocation and supplication on the idea that there are actions caused by other than God, even if this is due to negligence rather than firm belief, there will be no outcome for his invocation and appeal other than whatever occurs in his heart of humility and exaltedness.
The letters of the divine names are in the state of ingredients from which a medicine is made for a particular illness. If the ingredients from which the medicine is made were used separately before being combined together, or were combined incorrectly, with regard to the technique used in cooking and combining, then the outcome would be of no benefit for the intended use.
Here, the preparedness of the heart and seeing God as being solely responsible for all actions, alone, without any creature whatsoever, is like cooking the ingredients of the divine names’ letters, and is similar to combining them in order to make them productive.
Thus, every time one invokes the ingredients need to be cooked and combined according to the mentioned method of preparation. Emptying the heart completely from everything except God at the time of the invocation is like sterilising the container in which the ingredients are combined to prevent contamination that would destroy its effectiveness and quality.
The heat of passion and desire, and a wholehearted approach to drawing near to God and attaining the state of knowing him, are in the likeness of the fire: it accelerates the cooking so that the perfection of the medicine occurs with every invocation of one of God’s names.
The divine names are all exalted and majestic and have universal benefits in the way they edify the invoker’s state and change his tenebrous substance into the world of illumination and the station of luminous spirituality. Some of the names have a faster effect than others in the way they work, and the invoker himself should know which of the names is faster in effect than others.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-Ghanī al-Nābulusī (may God be satisfied with him)
from his Wasāʾil al-tahqīq wa rasāʾil al-tawfīq
(The Means of Truth-Seeking and the letters of providential guidance)