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p. 59


He knows the draught of each of His creatures; He has given it, and He can give its opposite. He is the Creator of thy wisdom;

p. 60

but His wisdom is untainted by the passage of thought. He knows concerning thee what is in thy heart, for He is the Creator both of thy heart and of thy clay. Dost thou think that He knows as thou knowest? then is the ass of thy nature stuck fast in thy clay. He sees what is best for His creatures before the desire is formed; He knows the mind before the secret thought exists. He knows what is in thy heart; before thou speakest He performs the work. God brings joy and takes away sorrow; God knows our secrets, and He keeps them safe.

Silence before Him is the gift of tongues; thy life's food thou receivest from a table bare of bread; man's desire cannot wish for such things as He has prepared for him. He knows the condition of His creatures; He sees it, and can give accordingly; He has prepared for thee thy place in Paradise, that to-morrow thou mayest enter into joy. It is enough that He speaks,--be thou dumb and speak not; it is enough that He seeks, remain thou a cripple, and run not to and fro. In presence of the power and omniscience of God, feebleness and ignorance are best: feebleness makes thee wise, weakness confers eminence on thee.

p. 61

Whoso can make existence non-existent, can also change nonexistence into existence. He in His mercy arrests the rhythmical forces in the wombs for the due constituting and establishing of the offspring; and forasmuch as His inscrutability pourtrayed thy form, knowest thou not that thou canst not remain hidden? He knows thy case better than thyself; why frequentest thou the neighbourhood of folly and deceit? Speak not of thy heart's sorrow, for He is speaking; seek thou not for Him, for He is seeking.

He perceives the touch of an ant's foot, though in night and darkness the ant move on a rock, if a stone moves in the dark night in the depth of the water, His knowledge sees it; if there be a worm in the heart of a rock, whose body is smaller than an atom, God by His knowledge knows its cry of praise, and its hidden secret. To thee He has given guidance in the path; to the worm He has given its sustenance in the rock. No soul has ever rested in patience apart from Him no understanding deceived Him by its subtlety. He is ever aware of the minds of men,--ponder thou this, and thy duty is fulfilled.

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If thou turn thy face from evil usage, thy mind shall preserve the true religion of Islâm; but since thou choosest to hold false ideas of His clemency, thou shalt have no light, but hell-fire in thy heart; for since thou wilt not take account of His knowledge, O man, cherish no hope of clemency from Him. His omniscience kindles the lamp of the understanding; but His clemency teaches nature to sin; were not His clemency a perpetual refuge, how could a servant dare to sin?

If then thou committest a sin, that sin falls under one of two cases; if thou thinkest that God knows not, I say to thee, Well done, O thorough-going infidel! and if thou thinkest that God knows, and still thou committest it,--Bravo, impudent one, and vile! Myself I acknowledge that no man knows thy secrets; God knows,--God is not less than man; and I take it that if He hides this forgiveness from thee, is it not that His omniscience knows that it is thus with thee? Then turn from this vile conduct of thine; otherwise on the day of thy resurrection thou wilt forthwith see thyself drowning in the sea of thy shame.