Sheikh Muhammad al-Madani (d. 1959) divided men going towards Allah into three strictly separated categories.
a – People of the Benediction: They are believers who devoted their lives only to adoration acts for Allah (‘ibādāt), without paying too much attention to reaching the Knowledge of Allah.
b – People of the left: those who deny the Knowledge after having received it. They must however keep faith in Allah’s graciousness.
c – The First, those who outstrip the others: they are the closest and already possess the paradise of knowledge before reaching the eternal paradise.
Muhamamd al-Madanī said:
“What the Elite  understands of this verse [Quran, 56, 14], according to the allusive interpretation, is that, when the cosmic universe realizes itself and that the illusory facet disappears from the Enlightened’s eyes, the men that go towards Allah are divided into three categories:
The men from the right, those who have the chance, the benediction, and the good deeds. They are those who strive to achieve ritual acts that take them closer to Allah. They are those who head forward the holy Presence. As a result of this intention, they will achieve more ritual acts, will pay more attention to the sunnah salat, even if they do not get the grat Knowledge and do not reach the holy Presence. The second group is made of the people of the Left, whom end will be bad and who will suffer a sad turnaround. This group goes astray the right path; its light lessens and becomes the darkness that covers their heart, till they deny the Knowledge they got. Maybe the Devil whispers to them this Knowledge is opposed to the precepts of the quranic Revelation. This will happen if Allah’s wisdom covers them. They will be part of the doomed people whose end will be terrible.
Nevertheless, the fact of mentionning them between the people of the Right and the First that preempt the others, gives hope in the divine graciousness towards them. May God hold His hand out to them and lift them from the baseness of otherness to the height of Unicity majesty. “This is not difficult for God”. [Quran, 35:17]
The First, that lead the others, got the Knowledge of God, by making disapear the otherness and by exisisting only by Him. Those are the closest to God, the Real, who becomes hearing and eyesight, in the eternal Paradise, because their spirits have already glorified in the Paradise of Knowledge, and then in the Paradise of delights. In other words: first in the Holy Paradise (Allah), before reaching the Paradise of firdaws.
Among these First are the first Companions of Muhamad (saws) company. The majority, not to say the totality, of this first generation is among those who have the highest rank and the most honorable position. They all were at the top of the Présence with the Right. Shadows of heedlessness do not cross their minds. They spent their souls for Allah, seeking His Generosity. It is the same for a small number of the Last Generation of Muhamad (saws) Community. Thank God, they still exist! It is possible that the following prophecy refers to them : “A group of my Community will not cease to observe Allah’s precepts. Those who give up on them or who will go astray from them will not have any impact on them, and so, tiil God’s order come. They will remain on this path”. This tradition was brought by al-Baghawi and was also confirmed by a second hadith: “The Earth will not be empty of the forty man who look like Allah’s Friend [Abraham]. It is thanks to them that the rain fall, and it is thanks to them that you have your subsistence. Each time one of them dies, Allah makes up for him with another”.
Comment of the Surate 56 (al-Wāqi‘a, verse, 14, p. 14).