right to tell him: “You are acting unkindly and unfairly”? Thus, like him, in order to display the impresses of His Most Beautiful Names, the All-Glorious Maker, the Peerless Creator, alters within numerous circumstances the garment of existence He clothes on living creatures, bejewelled with senses and subtle faculties like eyes, ears, the reason, and the heart. He changes it within very many situations. Among these are circumstances in the form of suffering and calamity which show the meanings of some of His Names, and the rays of mercy within flashes of wisdom, and the subtle instances of beauty within those rays of mercy.
[Five Paragraphs which silenced the Old Said’s rebellious, proud, vain, conceited, and hypocritical soul, and compelled it to submit.]
FIRST PARAGRAPH: Since things exist and they are full of art, they surely have a maker. As is decisively proved in the Twenty-Second Word, if everything is not one person’s, then each thing becomes as difficult and problematical as all things. Since someone made the earth and the heavens and created them, for sure that most wise and skilful Being would not leave to others living beings, which are the fruits, results, and aims of the heavens and the earth, and spoil his work. Making it futile and without purpose, He would not hand over to others all His wise works; He would not give their thanks and worship to others.
SECOND PARAGRAPH: O my conceited soul! You resemble a grape-vine. Do not become proud! The vine itself did not attach the bunches of grapes; someone else attached them.
THIRD PARAGRAPH: O my hypocritical soul! Do not become vain, saying: “I have served religion.” According to the meaning of the saying, “God strengthens this religion by means of sinful men,”1 it was because you were not purified. Indeed, you should know yourself to be such a sinful man, and that your duty and worship is thanks for past bounties. For these are the function of your nature, incumbent on you due to your creation, and the result of art; know this and be saved from vanity and hypocrisy!
FOURTH PARAGRAPH: If you want knowledge of reality and true wisdom, gain knowledge of Almighty God. For the realities of beings are
Bukhari, Jihad, 182; Maghazi, 38; Qadr, 5; Muslim, Iman, 178; Ibn Maja, Fitan, 35.