Secondly, the share of the soul and Satan should also be deducted, and one should pity the man for having been overcome by his soul and await his repentance instead of becoming his enemy.
Thirdly, look at the defect in your own soul that you do not see or do not wish to see; deduct a share for that too. As for the small share which then remains, if you respond with forgiveness, pardon, and magnanimity, in such a way as to conquer your enemy swiftly and safely, then you will have escaped all sin and harm. But if, like some drunken and crazed person who buys up fragments of glass and ice as if they were diamonds, you respond to worthless, transient, temporary, and insignificant happenings of this world with violent enmity, permanent rancour, and perpetual hostility, as if you were going to remain in the world with your enemy for all eternity, it would be extreme transgression, sinfulness, drunkenness, and lunacy.
If then you love yourself, do not permit this harmful hostility and desire for revenge, so harmful for personal life, to enter your heart. If it has entered your heart, do not listen to what it says. Hear what truth-seeing Hafiz of Shiraz says: “The world is not a commodity worth arguing over.” It is worthless since it is transient and passing. If this is true of the world, then it is clear how worthless and insignficant are the petty affairs of the world! Hafiz also said: “The tranquillity of both worlds lies in the understanding of these two words: generosity towards friends, forbearance towards enemies.”1
I f y o u s a y : “I have no choice, there is enmity within my disposition. I cannot overlook those who antagonize me.”
T h e A n s w e r : If evil character and bad disposition do not exhibit any trace, and you do not act with ill intention, there is no harm. If you have no choice in the matter, then you are unable to abandon your enmity. If you recognize your defect and understand that you are wrong to have that attribute, it will be a form of repentance and seeking of forgiveness for you, thus delivering you from its evil effects. In fact, we have written this Topic of the Letter in order to make possible such a seeking of forgiveness, to distinguish right from wrong, and to prevent enmity from being displayed as rightful.
A case worthy of notice: I once saw, as a result of biased partisanship, a pious scholar of religion going so far in his condemnation of another scholar with whose political opinions he disagreed as to imply that he was an unbeliever. He also praised with respect a dissembler who shared his
Diwan-i Hafiz, 14 (Ghazal no: 5).