life, lower than the animals. This means that man did not come to this world to live in a fine manner and pass his life in ease and pleasure. Rather, he possesses vast capital, and he came here to work and do trade for an eternal, everlasting life.
The capital given to man is his lifetime. Had there been no illness, good health and well-being would have caused heedlessness, for they show the world to be pleasant and make the hereafter forgotten. They do not want death and the grave to be thought of; they cause the capital of life to be wasted on trifles. Whereas illness suddenly opens the eyes, it says to the body: “You are not immortal. You have not been left to your own devices. You have a duty. Give up your pride, think of the One who created you. Know that you will enter the grave, so prepare yourself for it!” From this point of view, illness is an admonishing guide and adviser that never deceives. It should not be complained about in this respect, indeed, should be thanked for. And if it is not too severe, patience should be sought to endure it.
Plaintive ill person! You have no right to complain; what is due to you is to offer thanks and be patient. For your body and members and faculties are not your property. You did not make them, nor did you did buy them from other workshops. That means they are someone else’s property, and their owner has disposal over his property as he wishes.
As is related in the Twenty-Sixth Word, an extremely wealthy and skilful craftsman, for example, employs a poor man as a model in order to show off his fine art and considerable wealth. In return for a wage, for a brief hour he clothes the poor man in a bejewelled and skilfully wrought garment. He works it on him and gives it various states. In order to display the extraordinary varieties of his art, he cuts the garment, alters it, and lengthens and shortens it. Does the poor wage-earner have the right to say to that person: “You are causing me trouble, you are causing me distress with the form you have given it, making me bow down and stand up?” Has he the right to tell him that he is spoiling his fine appearance by trimming and shortening the garment which makes him beautiful? Can he tell him he is being unkind and unfair?
O sick person! Just like in this comparison, in order to display the garment of your body with which He has clothed you, bejewelled with luminous faculties like the eye, the ear, the reason, and the heart, and the embroideries of His most beautiful names, the All-Glorious Maker makes you revolve amid numerous states and changes you in many situations. Just