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Dost thou desire thy collar of lace to be washed, then first give thy coat to the fuller. Strip off thy coat, for on the road to the King's

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gate there are many to tear it. At the first step that Adam took, the wolf of affliction tore his coat: when Cain became athirst to oppress, did not Abel give up his coat and die? Was it not when Idrîs threw off his coat that he saw the door of Paradise open to him? When the Friend of God remorselessly tore their garments from star and moon and sun, his night became bright as day, and the fire of Nimrod became a garden and a rose-bower. Look at Solomon, who in his justice gave the coat of his hope to the fuller; jinn and men, birds and ants and locusts, in the depth of the: waters of the Red Sea, on the tips of the branches, all raised their face to him, all became subservient to his command; when the lustre of his nature had been burnt in the fire of his soul, the heavens laid his body on the back of the wind.

When the venerable Moses, reared in sorrow, turned his face in grief and pain towards Midian, in bodily labour he tore off the coat from his anguished heart. For ten years he served Shu`aib, till the door of the invisible was opened to his soul. His hand became

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bright as his piercing eye; he became the crown on the head of the men of Sinai.

When the Spirit, drawing breath from the spiritual ocean, had received the grace of the Lord, he sent his coat to the cleanser of hearts at the first stage of his journey. He gave brightness to his soul, He gave him kingship, even in childhood. By the Eternal Power, through encouragement in secret and grace made manifest, he lost the self; the leprous body became dark again through him as the shadow on the earth, the blind eye became bright as the steps of the throne. Whoso like him seeks neither name nor reputation, can produce ten kinds (of food) from one jar. A stone with him became fragrant as musk; the dead rose to living action and spoke. By his grace life broke forth in the dead earth of the heart; by his power he animated the heart of the mire.

When predestined fate had closed the shops, and the hand of God's decree lay in the hollow of non-existence, the world was full of evil passions, the market full of ruffians and patrols. Then He sent a vicegerent into this world to abolish oppression; when he

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appeared from mid-heaven, fervid in soul and pure in body, he wore no coat on the religious path; then what could he give to the fullers of the land? When he passed from this mortal state to eternal life he became the ornament and glory of this perishable world.