things, because I do not have the power. I cannot attempt them in fact, because it is neither my duty, nor do I have the capacity.
F o u r t h S u s p i c i o u s Q u e s t i o n : ‘The worldly’ say: we have experienced so many calamities, we no longer have confidence in anyone. How can we be certain that given the opportunity you won’t interfere as you wish?
T h e A n s w e r : The previous points should give you confidence. In addition, since I did not interfere in your world while in my native region among my students and relatives, in the midst of those who heeded me and of exciting events, for someone who is alone in exile, with no one, a stranger, weak, powerless, turned with all his strength towards the hereafter, cut off from all social relations and correspondence, who has only found a few friends from far afield who are also turned 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 and dangerous world would surely be a compounded lunacy.
This concerns five small matters.
T h e F i r s t : ‘The worldly’ ask me: Why do you yourself not 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 prohibited from all social relations and correspondence. While you left all the exiles in the town with their friends and relations, then gave them the papers granting them an amnesty, without reason you isolated me and did not allow me to meet with anyone from my native region with one or two exceptions. That means you do not count me as a member of this nation and a citizen. How can you propose to me that I apply your civil code to myself? You have made 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 proposed 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.