social relations and communication, who has found only a few friends from far afield who also look to the hereafter, and who is a stranger to everyone else and whom everyone else regards as a stranger – for such a person to interfere in your fruitless, dangerous world would surely be compounded lunacy.
This concerns five small matters.
T h e F i r s t : The worldly ask me: Why don’t you practise the principles of our civilization, our style of life, and our manner of dressing? Does this mean you oppose us?
M y r e p l y : Sirs! What right do you have to propose to me the principles of your civilization? For as though casting me outside the laws of civilization, you have wrongfully forced me to reside in a village for five years and prohibited me from having any social relations or communication. You left all the exiles in the town with their friends and relatives, then gave them the papers granting them an amnesty, but without reason you isolated me and did not allow me to meet with anyone from my native region, except for one or two. That means you do not count me as a member of this nation or a citizen. How can you propose that I apply your civil code to myself? You have turned the world into a prison for me. Such things cannot be proposed to someone in prison. You closed the door of the world on me, so I knocked on the door of the hereafter and divine mercy opened it to me. How can the confused customs and principles of the world be dictated to someone at the door of the hereafter? Whenever you set me free and return me to my native region and restore my rights, then you can require me to conform to your principles.
S e c o n d M a t t e r : The worldly say: “We have an official department for instructing in the precepts of religion and truths of Islam. On what authority do you publish religious works? Since you are a convicted exile, you have no right to meddle in these matters.”
T h e A n s w e r : Truth and reality cannot be restricted. How can belief and the Qur’an be restricted? You can restrict the principles and laws of your world, but the truths of belief and Qur’anic principles cannot be forced into the form of worldly dealings or be given an official guise in return for a wage. Those mysteries, which are divine gifts, those blessings, come rather through a sincere intention and giving up the world and carnal pleasures. Moreover, that official department of yours accepted me and appointed me as a preacher while I was in my home region. I accepted the position, but rejected the salary. I have the document in my possession. With it I can act