When He shows His Nature to His creation, into what mirror shall He enter? The burden of proclaiming the Unity not everyone bears; the desire of proclaiming the Unity not everyone tastes. In every dwelling is God adored; but the Adored cannot be circumscribed by any dwelling. The earthly man, accompanied by unbelief and anthropomorphism, wanders from the road; on the road of truth thou must abandon thy passions;-rise., and forsake this vile sensual nature; when thou hast come forth from Abode and Life, then, through God, thou wilt see God.
How shall this sluggish body worship Him, or how can Life and Soul know Him? A ruby of the mine is but a pebble there; the soul's wisdom talks but folly there. Speechlessness is praise,--enough of thy speech; babbling will be but sorrow and harm to thee,--have done!
His Nature, to one who knows Him and is truly learned, is above 'How' and 'What' and 'Is it not' and 'Why.' His creative power is manifest, the justice of His wisdom; His wrath is
secret, the artifice of His majesty. A form of water and earth is dazzled by His love, the eye and heart are blinded by His Nature. Reason in her uncleanness, wishing to see Him, says, like Moses, 'Show me'; when the messenger comes forth from that glory, she says in its ear, 'I turn repentant unto thee.' (Qur. 7:138 sq.) Discover then the nature of His Being through thy understanding! recite his thousand and one pure names. It is not fitting that His Nature should be covered by our knowledge; whatever thou hast heard, that is not He. 'Point' and 'line' and 'surface' in relation to His Nature are as if one should talk of His 'substance' and 'distance' and 'six surfaces'; the Author of those three is beyond place the Creator of these three is not contained in time. No philosopher knows of imperfection in Him, while He knows the secrets of the invisible world; He is acquainted with the recesses of the mind, and the secrets of which as yet there has been formed no sketch upon thy heart.
Kâf and nûn are only letters that we write, but what is kun? the hurrying of the agent of the divine decree. If He delays, or acts quickly, it depends not on His weakness; whether He is angry or placable depends not on His hate. His causation is known to neither infidelity nor faith, and neither is acquainted
with His Nature. He is pure of those attributes the foolish speak of, purer than the wise can tell.
Reason is made up of confusion and conjecture, both limping over the earth's face. Conjecture and cogitation are no good guides; wherever conjecture and cogitation are, He is not. Conjecture and cogitation are of His creation; man and reason are His newly ripening plants. Since any affirmation about His Nature is beyond man's province, it is like a statement about his mother by a blind man; the blind man knows he has a mother, but what she is like he cannot imagine; his imagination is without any conception of what things are like, of ugliness and beauty, of inside and outside.
In a world of double aspect such as this, it would be wrong that thou shouldst be He, and He thou. If thou assert Him not, it is not well; if thou assert Him, it is thyself thou assertest, not He. If thou know not (that He is) thou art without religion, and if thou assert Him thou art of those who liken Him. Since He is beyond 'where' and 'when', how can He become a corner of thy thought? When the wayfarers travel towards Him, they vainly exclaim, 'Behold, Behold!' Men of hawk-like boldness are as
ringdoves in the street, a collar on their necks, uttering 'Where, Where?'
If thou wilt, take hope, or if thou wilt, then fear; the All-wise has created nothing in vain. He knows all that has been done or will be done: thou knowest not,--yet know that He will assuage thy pain. In the knowledge of Him is naught better than submission, that so thou mayest learn His wisdom and His clemency. Of His wisdom He has given resources to His creatures, the greater to him who has the greater need; to all He has given fitting resources, for acquiring profit and warding off injury. What has gone, what comes, and what exists in the world, in such wise it was necessary; bring not folly into thy conversation; look thou with acceptance on His decrees.