In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
By the fig and the olive, and Mount Sinai, and this City secure. Surely We have created human of the best stature as the perfect pattern of creation; then We have reduced him to the lowest of the low, except those who believe and do good, righteous deeds; so there is for them a reward constant and beyond measure. What, then, (O human,) causes you, after all (these realities), to deny the Last Judgment? Is not God the Best of judges and the Most Powerful of sovereigns? (95:1-8)
KNOW, O FRIEND, that the firm and perfect artistry in everything show that the Maker of all things is present and near all things, even though He is not contained by space at the same time. As people need all things, it does not befit them to worship anything or anyone other than Him in Whose hand is the dominion, and Who possesses the treasuries, of all things. With respect to existence, invention, and doing good, we are more impotent and powerless than an ant or a bee, and weaker than a spider or a gnat. As for destruction and evil-doing, our capacity is greater than that of the heavens, Earth, and mountains. For example, our good only extends to what our hands can reach, while our evil may have a far-reaching influence.
Denying the Almighty reduces the universe or all creatures from missives of the Lord and mirrors of Divinity to matter subject to change and decay, playthings for aimless chance. This view reduces human beings from well-composed, harmonious pieces of poetry manifesting the Divine Names; the seed of a permanent, everlasting tree; and a vicegerent of God superior to all creatures by virtue of bearing the Supreme Trust, to the lowest and most debased, powerless, and destitute mortal animate being. Our ego is given free will, but is as weak as a hair, of little capacity, faint and short-lived like a distant flash of light. However, our impotence and poverty is so great that we can be a vast mirror for the infinitely Powerful and eternally Wealthy One’s manifestations.
Our worldly life, despite being like a seed endowed with innumerable parts to grow into a tree spreading throughout space, is reduced to striving, like a hen scratching the soil, to obtain some mean substances, after which we dissolve in the soil. But in our immaterial life, we are like a perpetual tree with the branches of desire extending into eternity.
Our work and effort show that we are no more than weak, impotent animals that can act only as far as our hands can reach. However, our praying and asking make us a noble guest of the All-Merciful One, Who has opened for us His Mercy’s treasuries, subjugated to us all of His art’s marvels, and allows us to act within a sphere that is much vaster than what we can see or imagine.
With respect to our life’s pleasure and perfectibility, and its tranquility and stability, we are lower than a sparrow, for our pleasure is clouded by grief for the past and anxiety for the future. Our parts, senses, and feelings, as well as our potential’s development, guide us to one task in this life: to observe, compare, and reflect upon all creatures and to witness their glorification of God. We must pray to God for our needs, and worship Him in due perception and acknowledgment of our impotence, poverty, and defectiveness.
We have such a comprehensive nature that we may worship the Creator in many ways. This makes us superior to all other creatures. A person with even a little intellect must conclude that all of our parts have been given to us for eternal life. If a master gives a servant some money to buy a garment made from a particular cloth and another servant a great deal of money to buy a garment, we would conclude that the master expected them to buy garments made from cloths of different qualities. The cloth chosen by the second servant must be far more valuable than that chosen by the first. If both servants bought the same quality of cloth, the second one certainly would be punished.
Despite (or rather because of) our lack of power and strength, we are far stronger and more powerful than other animate beings. Through our prayers and asking for help, what we cannot obtain is subjected to us through His Power. Like an infant, our tears bring to us that which we cannot reach even with a power thousands of times greater than our own. As we are superior to all other animate beings because they are subjected to us (by Him), not through our own unassisted power of grasping, overcoming, and attraction, we should admit our impotence and weakness, poverty and destitution, and implore God for help through supplication and worship.
By observing Divine Lordship’s beautiful and perfect splendor, heralding His sacred Names’ marvelous manifestations, perceiving the contents of His Mercy’s treasuries, knowing the gems stored in the manifested Names’ treasuries, studying and reflecting on the Pen of the Power’s missives, and looking forward to seeing His creatures’ subtleties, humanity is the noblest creation and ruler of Earth.
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