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p. 79


The saint Shiblî said in private converse, after a period of inward communion with God, If, for that I am not far from Him, He give me leave to speak, and with just purpose ask, To whom belongs the kingdom? then in sincerity I will answer Him and say, To-day the kingdom belongs to him who from yesterday and the day before has administered it; to-day and to-morrow Thy kingdom, O Mighty over us, is for him whose yesterday and the day before it was. The sword of Thy wrath cuts off the head of the valiant, and then gives back to the head its life.

Know that traffic is good for gain, and the lance of the sun healthful for the sunflower.

When I thou shalt be offended with all but God, Gabriel will appear to thee as naught. No one knows how long the way may be

p. 80

from the word Not to God for while thou holdest to thy Self thou wilt wander day and night, right and left, for thousands of years; then when after laying long toil upon thyself at last thou openest thine eyes, thou seest Self, because of its essential nature and its limitation to conjecture, wandering round about itself, like the ox in a mill. But if, freed from thyself, thou begin at all to labour, thou wilt find admission at this door within two minutes; the two hands of the understanding, holding but this distance, are empty; but what that distance is, God knows.

O Sikandar, on this path of troubles and in this darkness, do thou, like the prophet Khizr, bring under foot thy jewel of the mine, that so thou mayest obtain the water of life. God will not be thine whilst thou retainest soul and life; both can not be thine,--this and that. Bruise thy Self through months and years, then deem it dead and leave it where it lies; when thou hast finished with thy vile Self, thou hast reached eternal life and joy and Paradise.

p. 81

Remain unmoved by hope and fear; why contendest thou with Mâlîk and Rizwân? To non-existence, mosque and fire-temple are one; to a shadow, hell and heaven are the same; for him whose guide Love is, infidelity and faith are equally a veil before His door; his own being is the veil before the friend's eyes, hiding the court of God's essence.