ing me excessive respect. If their intention in slandering me, belittling me in the eyes of the people, and defaming me is aimed at the truths of belief and the Qur’an of which I am the interpreter, it is pointless. For a veil cannot be drawn over the stars of the Qur’an. A person who closes his eyes only himself does not see; he does not make it night for anyone else.
The answer to a number of suspicious questions:
T h e F i r s t : The worldly say to me: “How do you live? What do you live on since you do not work? We don’t want people in our country who sit around idly and live off the labour of others.”
T h e A n s w e r : I live through frugality and the resulting plenty. I am not obliged to anyone other than the One who Provides for me and I have taken the decision not to become indebted to anyone else. Yes, someone who lives on a hundred para, or even forty para, does not become indebted to anyone. I do not want to explain this matter. To do so is most disagreeable to me, as it may make me feel a sort of pride or egotism. But since the worldly ask about it suspiciously, I reply as follows: since my childhood, throughout my life, it has been one of my guiding principles not to accept anything from people, even zakat, and not to accept a salary – only I was compelled to accept one for one or two years in the Darü’l-Hikmeti’l-Islamiye on the insistence of my friends – and not to become obliged to people for a worldly livelihood. The people of my native region and those who have known me in other places know this. During these five years of exile, many friends have tried earnestly to make me accept their gifts, but I have accepted none of them. And so, if it is asked me, “So how do you manage to live?”, I reply: “I live through divine bestowal and blessings.” For sure, my soul deserves every sort of insult and contempt, but the plenty and blessings, a divine bestowal, I receive as sustenance are a wonder resulting from service of the Qur’an. In accordance with the verse,
But the bounty of your Sustainer rehearse and proclaim,(93:11)
I shall cite the bounties Almighty God has bestowed on me, and give a few examples by way of thanks. To do so is thanks, but I am still frightened that it will induce hypocrisy and pride, and that blessed plenty will be cut. For to make known a secret divine gift of plenty causes it to cease. But what can I do? I have to describe them.
The First: This six months one bushel (kile)1 of wheat, consisting of
36.5 lbs. (Tr.)