The 98th Ground of the 'Hundred Grounds' (Sad Maidan) is that of Direct Observation (mu'ayana). It arises from the 97th Ground of Contemplation.
God Almighty states: "Have you not observed how your Lord has spread out the shadow?" (Qur'an XXV:45) The meaning of Direct Observation is seeing something in its total perfection, and this consists in three things:
- to regard Love with the eye of compliance,
- to regard the Unique (Being) with the eye of isolation, and
- to regard the Everpresent One with the eye of presential consciousness.
Exposition of the first aspect (to regard Love with the eye of compliance) entails three things:
responding affirmatively to the divine summons to make humble entreaty (to God);
replying to the summons of Divine Grace by soliciting it;
responding affirmatively to the divine summons to make firm one's resolve, and seeking a response to the divine summons made to one's innermost consciousness by soliciting (that summons).
Exposition of the second aspect (to regard the Unique Being with the eye of isolation) entails three things:
(through knowledge of the fact that) He is Unique (as an Agent) in Guidance, to maintain a strictly unitarian profession of faith;
and (through knowledge of the fact that) He is Unique in Knowledge to express one's gratitude to Him alone;
and (through knowledge of the fact that) He is Unique in Protection, to keep oneself devoted to Him exclusively.
Exposition of the final aspect (to regard the Everpresent One with the eye of presential consciousness) entails three things:
Through distance from one's "self", to be near in His Nearness;
Through absence from one's "self", to be present in His Presence;
He is not far from those who resolve to reach Him,
nor lost to those who seek Him,
nor absent from those who devotedly pursue Him.
Pic: Abdullah Ansari's Tomb (enclosed within the wooden structure), photographed by Robert Byron in 1933/1934. Copyright: Courtauld Institute of Art
Reference: Essay by A.G. Ravan Farhadi in 'The Heritage of Sufism'. Published by Oneworld Oxford. Related Lisan al-Din post: The Ground of Contemplation