perfection through the bodily systems; and those who approach it by striving with the mind and refining the soul; and those who approach it through belief, submission, and purifying the heart.
The Third is the comparison of those who do not give up egotism, are plunged in works, and approach reality through deduction and reasoning only; and of those who search for reality through knowledge and science, reason and learning; and those who approach reality swiftly through belief and the Qur’an, poverty and worship. These comparisons point to the wisdom in the differences between the three groups, whose capacities are also different.
Thus, under the titles of Flower, Droplet, and Atom, we shall show by means of a comparison, the mystery and extensive wisdom in the progress of the three groups. For example, through its Creator’s permission and at His command, the Sun has three sorts of manifestation, reflection and radiance: one is its reflection on flowers, one its reflection on the Moon and the planets, and one its reflection on shining objects like glass and water.
The First is in three ways:
One is a universal and general manifestation and reflection whereby its radiance encompasses all flowers at once.
Another is a special manifestation whereby it has a special reflection for each species.
Another is a particular manifestation whereby its effulgence is in accordance with the individuality of each flower. This comparison of ours is in conformity with this statement, that the adorned colours of flowers arises from the changing reflections of the seven colours in the Sun’s light. According to this, flowers too are sorts of mirrors to the Sun.
The Second is the light and effulgence which, with the All-Wise Creator’s permission, the Sun gives to the Moon and planets. Having received this extensive, universal light and effulgence, the Moon, whose light is like a shadow of that light, profits from the Sun in a universal fashion. Then its radiance and effulgence shines in a particular way on the seas and air and shining earth, and partially on the bubbles on the sea and translucent particles of the earth and the molecules of the air.
The Third is, through the Divine command, a reflection of the Sun which, making the air and the surface of the seas into mirrors, is pure, universal, and without shadow. Then the Sun gives to each of the bubbles on the sea, the droplets of water, molecules of air, and snow-flakes, a particular reflection and tiny image of itself.
Thus, in the three forms mentioned above, the Sun bestows an effulgence and favour on every flower, the Moon, and all droplets and atoms. And these in turn are each in two ways: