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p. 158


How shalt thou taste the flavour and delight of the Qur'ân, since thou chantest it without comprehension? Come forth through the door of the body into the landscape of the soul; come and view the garden of the Qur'ân, that all things may appear before thy soul,--what has been, what is, and what shall be, the world's dry and moist, within and without, whatsoever has been created by 'Be, and it was,' the decrees ordained by Him,--all will be made plain to thee through it. God's attributes shall obey thee, and shall truly recount their narrations before thee.

When the hearer hears God's word, the utterance of it causes him to tremble.' Till thou see with the eye of purity, how canst thou recite the sûra Ikhlâs? (Qur, 112:1)--a sûra like a cypress of Ghâtfar, its rhythm like the violets of Tabaristân. The Qur'ân's loftiness and sublimity, if thou

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ask thy preceptor, are as the throne and seat of God; its letters are the wings of the Spirit, the curtain of the Light; its diacritical points black moles on the checks of the virgins of Paradise. Regard thou in this wise its outward form, that so thou mayest understand the secret of its sûras; that it may place an alif in thy mind, and put and underneath thy feet; and, for the sake of life and wisdom, may dispose of thy fair Yûsuf for eighteen worthless pieces, (Qur. 12:20)--for in the street of the love of Unity and true wisdom beauty is valued no higher than this.

The crucible of desire shall try him, and afterwards he shall be made like gold of the mine; yet again is the crucible prepared, that in it all fraud and deceit may be melted out; then when the pure metal becomes soft, it is polished and made an ornament for its possessor's crown. The diadem and crown of every lord of rectitude and faith are such as this.