the sun also, figuratively, for by means of it the celestial world looks down on the lower world, or because the water of life which is its light, floods down from that source onto lofty white peaks. You can make analogies with this for the rest.
The Ninth Matter
Know that the highest degree of eloquence, which confounds the faculty of will, personal thought and simple conceptions, is the speaker observing and preserving all together the relationships of the parts of his speech as well as the relations of the words and the balance of the sentences. Each of these with its fellows should display an embroidery, and interlinking [in their totality, form] a vast tapestry. It is as though the speaker employs other brains as well as his own, like the builder of a palace placing multicoloured stones in such a way as to obtain a wondrous design out of their balance and proportion, or like some calligraphic designs featuring the letter ‘ayn, shared by the four Rightly-Guided Caliphs.1 One of the clearest examples of this matter is the verse, “Alif. Lām. Mīm. * That is the Book concerning which is no doubt; guidance sure for those who fear Allah,”(2:1-2) as you heard above.
Another reason for speech being elevated is its resembling a family tree, with the branches and twigs of its generations all denoting aims that point to the main aim and station (maqām). A further reason is the speech assuming such a form that many aspects and branches can be deduced from it, like the story of Moses (UWP).
The Tenth Matter
Know that speech acquires smoothness and fluency, the source of its subtlety and agreeableness, when the meanings and feelings it evinces are blended and combined, or are various yet ordered, for then the surroundings do not attract the power of its expression and aim, but the centre draws strength from the surroundings. Speech also acquires fluency when the aim is well defined, and when the point at which all the intended aims come together, is clear.
The Eleventh Matter
Know that the integrity of speech, which is the reason for its correctness and power, lies in the following: just as speech should indicate first princi-
Their names all begin with the letter ‘ayn: ‘Umar, ‘Uthmān, ‘Alī. ‘Atīq was the title of Abu Bakr, the first Caliph.