The pious are those who give thanks for His kindness and mercy, the unbelievers those who complain of His wrath and jealousy. When
God becomes angry, thou seest in the eyes what is rightly in the spring. His wrath and His kindness, appearing in the newly-formed world, are the cause of the error of the Guebre and the doubt of the Magian. His kindness and His wrath are imprinted on the pulpit and the gallows; the rendering of thanks to Him is the mansion of honour, and forgetfulness of Him, of disgrace. His kindness is comfort for men's lives, His wrath a fire for their souls; His kindness rejoices the slave; His wrath makes man its mock. When the lâm of His kindness shows itself, the dâl of fortune gains the victory; if the qâf of His wrath rushes forth, it melts Mount Qâf like silver. The whole world dreads His anger and His subtlety; the virtuous and the ungodly are alike in their terror. When His kindness mixes the draught of exhilaration, the shoe of the Sûfî mounts to ecstasy; when His wrath comes forth again, ecstasy draws in its head like a tortoise. His wrath melts even His beloved; His kindness cherishes the beggar. He it is who nourishes thy soul in unbelief or in the faith, He who gives thy soul the power of choice. Thy life's soul lives through His kindness; for by His kindness thy life endures.
By His disposing wrath and kindness He brings to life the dead, to death the living; His wisdom cares for the slave, His favour accomplishes our undertakings. When His wrath came forth in conflict, it killed the country's king by means of an impotent gnat. Then
when He saddled the horse of kindness, he caused the food of worms to gather locusts; through God he abode in wisdom and right counsel,--the worms were silver, the locusts gold; and as in the midst of God's favour he suffered a proving trial, when again in favour he laughed at his misfortunes. When His wrath spreads the snare, He turns the form of Bil'âm into a dog; (Qur. 7:174-5) when His kindness worked, He brought the dog of the Companions of the Cave into the cavern. The magicians through His kindness exclaimed "No harm"; (Qur. 26:49-50) His wrath caused 'Azâzîl to say, "I am better." (Qur. 38:77)
With God no good and no evil has power; with whom can it be said that there exists no one else in the world? No matter whether small or great, His wrath and His kindness reach everyone
alike. Emperors humble themselves on His path, heroes bow down their heads at His door; kings are as dust before His door, Pharaohs fly in terror from before Him. By means of a Turkish demon, a slave just bought, He overthrew a hundred thousand standards of war; while yet he had no more than a couple of retainers, he folded up the carpet of a hungry band.
If He says to the dead, Come forth, the dead comes forth, dragging his winding-sheet behind him; and if He says to the living, Die, he dies on the spot, though he be a prince. The people are proud of heart through His kindness because of the respite He gives them they fear not at all; but whoso manifests presumption in His kingdom has broken away from the straight road. His poison shall be the sufficient food of the champions, His wrath an adequate bridle for the haughty; He has broken the necks of heroes by His wrath; to the weak He has given a double share of His kindness. The quickness of His forgiveness obliterates the marks of our pleading from the path of speech; He gives shelter to him who repents of his sin, and cleanses his pages of the crime; His forgiveness outruns the fault,--"My mercy outstrips" is a wonderful saying. He is
the giver of the soul; not, as we are, a creature to whom a soul is given; He holds up the veil, He does not tear it as we do. He is thy shepherd, and thou choosest the wolf; He invites thee, and thou remainest in want; He is thy guardian, and thou thyself carest not; O well done, thou senseless sinning fool! He reforms our nature within us; kinder than ourselves is He to us; mothers have not for their children such love as He bestows. The worthless He makes worthy by His kindness; from His servants He accepts thankfulness and patience as sufficient. His beneficence has shut the door of sense against the eye of wisdom and uprightness, and opened to it the path of the spirit.
Since His clemency has established thee thou art secure against the plunderers; the mountain-dweller ever escapes in the plain the affliction of the north-east wind. Though invisible to us, He knows our faults; His pardon can wash them away. His knowledge has concealed our imperfection; the secret thou hast not yet spoken,
He has heard. The sons of men, ever unjust and ignorant, talk in folly of God's kindness; He works good, and ye work evil: He knows the hidden things, and ye are full of fault. Behold, after thy so many doubts, this care of the Knower of the hidden for a wicked world; had it not been pure favour on His part, how could a handful of earth have come to wear a crown?
The alighting-place of His pardon is on the plain of sin, the army of His kindness comes out to meet our sighs; when the sigh of the knower of God raises the veil, hell seizes its shield from fear of Him. His forgiveness grants itself to our sins; His mercy descends to bestow benefits. Thou hast committed the iniquity, yet He keeps faith with thee; He is more true to thee than thou art to thyself. His bounty brought thee into activity; otherwise how could this market have been set up on earth? Whoso becomes nonexistent, to him is given existence; whoso slips receives a helping hand. He it is who takes the hand of the friendless, and chooses weeds like us. Forasmuch as He is pure, He desires the pure; the Knower of the hidden desires the dust.