people of reality. It is required also by the breadth of divine mercy and munificence.
My brothers! God willing, material benefits will not provoke rivalry among you. You may possibly be deceived in regard to the benefits of the hereafter like some of those who follow the Sufi path. But how can some personal, minor merit be compared with the merit and light manifested in respect of the shared actions mentioned in the above example?
Second Example: Craftsmen are obtaining significant wealth by co-operating so as to profit more from the products of their crafts. Formerly ten manufacturers of sewing needles all worked on their own, and the fruit of their individual labour was three needles a day. Then following the rule of joint enterprise the ten men united. One brought the iron, one lit the furnace, one pierced the needles, one placed them in the furnace, and another sharpened the points, and so on; each was occupied with only part of the process of needle-making. Since the work in which one man was employed was simple, he did not waste time; he acquired skill and performed the work with considerable speed. The manufacturers divided up the work performed in accordance with the rule of joint enterprise and the division of labour: they saw that instead of three needles a day for each man, it worked out at three hundred. This event was widely published among the craftsmen of ‘the worldly’ in order to encourage them to pool their labour.
My brothers! Since union and accord in worldly matters and in dense materials yield such results and advantages, you can compare how vastly profitable it is for each to reflect in his own mirror through divine grace the light of all, which is luminous and pertains to the hereafter and does not need to be divided up and fragmented, and to gain the equivalent reward of all of them. This huge profit should not be lost through rivalry and insincerity.
The Second Obstacle Destroying Sincerity: This is to flatter the ego and give high status to the evil-commanding soul by attracting attention to oneself and public acclaim, driven by the desire for fame, renown, and position. This is a serious spiritual sickness that also opens the door to the hypocrisy and self-centredness called the hidden association of partners with God, and damages sincerity.
My brothers! Our way in the service of the Qur’an is reality and brotherhood, and the true meaning of brotherhood is to annihilate one’s personality among one’s brothers1 and to prefer their souls to one’s own. Rivalry of
Yes, happy is he who, in order to gain access to a large pool of fresh water filtered from the spring of the Qur’an, casts his personality and egotism – which are like blocks of ice – into the pool and melts them.