under surveillance, then of the district, then of the province. Insulting a person’s prisoner concerns the person; he defends the prisoner. Since that was the reality of the matter, my heart became easy. I declared: “My [own] affair I commit to God; for God [ever] watches over His servants.”(40:44) I thought of the incident as not having happened. But unfortunately it was later understood that the Qur’an had not forgiven the man.
The Second Story: This year I heard that an incident had occurred. Although I only heard a brief account of it after it had happened, I was treated as though I had been closely connected with it. Anyway I hardly correspond with anyone, and if I do, I only write extremely rarely to a friend concerning some question of belief. In fact I have written only one letter to my brother in four years. Both I prevent myself from mixing with others, and the worldly prevent me. I have only been able to meet with one or two close friends once or twice a week. As for visitors to the village, once or twice a month perhaps one or two used to meet with me for one or two minutes concerning some matter to do with the hereafter. In exile, a stranger, alone, with no one, I was barred from everything, from everyone, in a village that was unsuitable for someone like me to work for a livelihood. As a matter of fact, four years ago I repaired a tumble-down mosque. Although with the certificate I had from my own region to act an imam and preacher, I acted as imam in the mosque for four years (May God accept it), this past Ramadan I could not go there. Sometimes I performed the five daily prayers alone. I was deprived of the twenty-fivefold merit of performing the prayers in congregation.
I showed the same patience and forbearance in the face of these two incidents that befell me as I did in the face of that official’s treatment two years ago. God willing I shall continue to do so. I think like this, and say: if this ill-treatment, distress, and oppression inflicted on me by the worldly is for my faulty soul, I forgive it. Perhaps my soul will be reformed by means of it, and perhaps it will be atonement for its sins. I have experienced many good things in this guest-house of the world; if I experience a little of its trials, I shall still offer thanks. But if the worldly oppress me because of my service of belief and the Qur’an, it is not up to me to defend it. I refer it to the Mighty and Compelling One. If their intention is to destroy the regard in which I am held generally, to expunge my undeserved fame, which is baseless and causes hypocrisy and destroys sincerity, may God bless them! For to be held in high regard by people generally and gain a name among them is harmful for people like me. Those who have dealings with me know that I do not want respect to be shown to me, indeed, I can’t abide it. I have even scolded a valuable friend of mine perhaps fifty times for show