of them, or cannot keep them in view, or are not aware of them. They cannot not accept them if they are aware of them.
As for the Second Group, they are carried away by the brilliant pleasures of the Sufi path and way of reality, and since they cannot attain to the pleasures of the truths of the Shari‘a, which are far more elevated, they suppose them to be dull formalities and are indifferent towards them. They gradually accept the idea that the Shari‘a is an external shell, and that the reality they have found is the essential goal. They say: “I have found it; it is enough for me,” and act in a way contrary to the injunctions of the Shari‘a. Any in this group who are in their right minds are responsible; they stray from the path, indeed, become the playthings of Satan to an extent.
F o u r t h P o i n t : Some persons who belong to the divisions of the people of misguidance and innovation are found acceptable by the Muslim community, while others, just like them and not apparently different, are rejected. I always used to wonder about this. For example, although someone like Zamakhshari was one of the most bigoted members of the Mu‘tazilite sect, the authoritative Sunni scholars did not pronounce him an unbeliever or misguided, despite his severe objections; they rather searched for a way to exonerate him. But then they held that Mu‘tazilite authorities like Abu ‘Ali Jubba’i, who was far less bigoted than Zamakhshari, should be rejected and refuted. I was curious about this for a long time. Then through divine grace I understood that Zamakhshari’s objections about the Sunnis arose from his love of his way, which he looked on as right.
That is to say, for example, in his view God could be truly declared free of all fault and defect by saying that animals create their own actions. It was out of love for declaring God free of all fault that he did not accept the Sunnis’ principles concerning the creation of actions. Whereas the other Mu‘tazilite authorities were rejected because their inadequate intelligences could not aspire to the elevated principles of the Sunnis and they could not fit the Sunnis’ extensive laws within their own narrow ideas, and so denied them. In the same way that the Mu‘tazilites opposed the Sunnis in theology, so the opposition of some followers of the Sufi path outside the Prophet’s (UWBP) practices is of two kinds:
The first: Like Zamakhshari, out of love for their way or state, they remain somewhat indifferent towards the conduct of the Shari‘a, because through it they cannot obtain the same degree of pleasure.
As for the other kind: God forbid! They think the conduct of the Shari‘a is unimportant relatively to the principles of the Sufi path. For their narrow understandings cannot comprehend those broad pleasures, and their short stations cannot attain to that elevated conduct.