In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
Praise be to God, and blessings be upon His Prophet.
KNOW, O FRIEND, that nothing can be veiled from the pure, all-encompassing Light, or outside the Sphere of Limitless Power, for what is limitless cannot be limited.
The eternal, Divine Wisdom bestows blessing on everything according to their capacity. Small entities cannot prevent the All-Wise, All-Powerful One, Who creates everything with a certain measure, from being concerned with large entities, just as large entities cannot hinder the All-Encompassing and Immaterial, Outward, and Inward One from being interested in small entities. Something small contains great art, and there are more small creatures than large ones. Absolute Grandeur never admits partners. An infinitely abundant creation, created with absolute ease, speed, and firmness, shows that an All-Beautiful One wants to be known and have His absolute Beauty and Perfection observed. Together with this creation, the absolute Mercy and Wealth testified to by whatever exists and occurs in the universe, and the existence of an almost infinite number of reflective observers—all require the existence of infinite numbers of micro-organisms and small, flying creatures.
KNOW, O FRIEND, that if you love yourself more than anything else because it is the nearest thing to you, you must love your Lord even more, for He is nearer to you than your selfhood. Do you not see that your senses and faculties, which are beyond your power and imagination, work under your Lord’s guidance?
KNOW, O FRIEND, that chance has no place in the universe. Look at a garden to see its infinite orderliness in infinite mixture and perfect distinguishing amidst perfect intermixture. This points to the Wisdom of the Maker with all-encompassing Knowledge.
KNOW, O FRIEND, that if you do not attribute all things to the One Being, you must accept the existence of as many divinities as required by the number of God’s manifestations throughout the universe. This would be like closing your eyes and ignoring the sun, but still seeing its image reflected in drops of water. If you think that they exist independently, you must accept the existence of as many suns as those drops. But a drop cannot contain the smallest star, let alone the lamp of the world.
KNOW, O FRIEND, that all creatures compete enthusiastically to present their adornments and subtleties of beauty to the Majestic Observer Who constantly watches them, for they all bear subtleties of the firm, amazing art attracting all beholders. They compete to present their beauty and adornments to the Eternal Witness, because He created every creature to see in their mirrors the manifestations of the lights of His Beauty and Grace, Majesty and Perfection. Then He calls all other conscious witnesses to see them so that they will know Him and discern that Secret Treasure.
A thing’s highest purpose, its loftiest right of life, is to present itself to its Creator’s view and to be watched by Him, for it is a work of His Names. The greatest pleasure for a living being is its being conscious of being watched by Him. Another purpose for its existence is to be seen by its fellow creatures. However, the first purpose is infinitely greater.
Life has the right to be preserved and maintained. Among life’s innumerable rights, these are the smallest and least significant, for life is among the highest and most elevated, amazing and noblest miracles of the Power of the All-Living and Self-Subsistent, the One and Eternally Besought-of-All. Maintaining life allows this miracle to be recognized and fulfill its functions. As it is valuable only as a means, it cannot be elevated to an end or an aim. Do you think that a pomegranate, an amazing work of Divine art, is only for eating quickly? It is a word displaying the All-Glorified One Who forms it, [and so requires reflection on it to know and love its Creator.]
The One Who has the most superior Beauty takes true pleasure in observing His Beauty and showing It to His creatures.102 The pleasure of relative superiority cannot be felt with the same strength. The One with essential Perfection and eternal, true, pure Beauty is loved because of Himself, Whose is the highest comparison, and Who informed us through His Messenger that He created creation to be known. That is, He fashioned mirrors so that manifestations of His Beauty, Who is loved because of Himself, may be observed.
O MORTAL ONE! After your death you will continue to exist in His Knowledge and before His eyes. Give all things to their true Owner, and attribute them to Him to acquire satisfaction. Otherwise, you will have to accept as many deities as God’s manifestations or particles in the universe or soil, for many living things come into existence by means of soil.
Glory be to Him Who has no like in His Essence and Attributes, to Whose Oneness His creatures bear witness, to Whose Lordship His signs testify, and Whose Knowledge and Power encompass all things. May His Majesty be exalted. There is no god but He.
- An explanation of: The seven heavens and Earth and whoever is in them glorify Him. There is nothing that does not glorify Him with His praise (17:44).
- Your body, with respect to it and to its Creator.
- What we see here as seeds or foundations indicates what will flourish in the Hereafter.
- Four things that cause one to be heedless of the Creator.
- Without Him, the pain in each pleasure is more acute than the pleasure itself, and pleasure becomes pure pain. So flee to God, where everything is permanent.
- The use of the comparative or superlative form in some of the Divine Names.
- The Name “God” contains the meaning of all Divine Beautiful Names and all Attributes of perfection.
- If you are convinced that all things and events come from God, you should accept everything, whether pleasing or otherwise.
- Three kinds of prayer.
- Believers see a creature as a letter, which means almost nothing by itself but complements the word to which it belongs. Unbelievers see a creature on behalf of itself, and so restrict their view of it to the creature itself.
- God’s forgiving is an act of extra grace, while His punishment is pure justice.
- The misguided and the guided differ in forgetting and remembering (themselves) at the time of work, duty, and reward.
- The virtue of praying in congregation.
- European philosophers and scientists engrossed in materialistic subjects cannot equal ordinary Muslims’ understanding (even if superficial) of the truths of Islam and the Qur’an.
- Why insist on seeking permanence in this (impermanent) world?
- Elevated virtues in the ways the Qur’an concludes its verses.
- All creatures and heavenly objects in the garden of the universe are miracles bearing witness and clarifying that their Creator is powerful over and knows all things.
- Earth is the universe’s heart, and soil is Earth’s heart. The quickest way to the target goes through “soil” via the gate of humility and self-annihilation, for soil is nearer to the Creator of the heavens than even the highest heaven. The Throne of Mercy is on water, while the Throne of Life and Reviving is on soil.
- The All-Wise Creator is infinitely near and infinitely far (from His creatures). He is the most Inward of the inward, the most Outward of the outward, and is neither within nor outside anything.
- Small entities cannot prevent the All-Wise, All-Powerful One from being concerned with large entities; large entities cannot hinder the All-Encompassing and Immaterial, Outward and Inward One from being interested in small entities.
- If you do not attribute all things to the One Being, you must accept the existence of divinities equal to the number of God’s manifestations on all individual existents in the universe.
- A thing’s highest purpose in life is to present itself to its Creator’s view and be watched by Him. The greatest pleasure of life is that a living being is conscious of being watched by Him.
102 The Almighty is free of all needs. Just as parents take pleasure in seeing their children happy and prosperous, the Almighty takes infinitely more sacred pleasure, unique to His Holiness, in seeing His creatures perfect, beautiful, and adorned. This is why the beauty, perfection, and adornment reflected by creatures are the results of the manifestations of His perfect, All-Beautiful Names and Attributes. The imperfection seen in all creatures is due to themselves and because they should serve as a unit of comparison so that the Creator’s absolute Perfection can be perceived. This is also for the good of creatures, for their denial of the Creator results in their infinite perishing. The more creatures display the Divine manifestations on them, the greater perfection they acquire. However, their “perfection” is always relative compared to the absolute Perfection of God, the Creator. (Tr.)