Sacred-Texts Islam
Index Previous Next


'Hearken, then to what I shall say to you concerning watching. For just as there are two kinds of sleeping, viz. that of the body and that of the soul, even so must ye be careful in watching that while the body watcheth the soul sleep not. For this would be a most grievous error. Tell me, in parable: there is a man who whilst walking striketh himself against a rock, and in order to avoid striking it the more with his foot, he striketh with his head—what is the state of such a man?'

'Miserable,' answered the disciples, 'for such a man is frenzied.'

Then said Jesus: 'Well have ye answered, for verily I say to you that he who watcheth with the body and sleepeth with the soul is frenzied. As the spiritual infirmity is more grievous than the corporeal, even so is it more difficult to cure. Wherefore, shall such a wretched one boast of not sleeping with the body, which is the foot of the life, while he perceiveth not his misery that he sleepeth with the soul, which is the head of the life? The sleep of the soul is forgetfulness of God and of his fearful judgement. The soul, then, that watcheth is that which in everything and in every place perceiveth God, and in everything and through everything and above everything giveth thanks to his majesty, knowing that always at every moment it receiveth grace and mercy from God. Wherefore in fear of his majesty there always resoundeth in its ear that angelic utterance—"Creatures, come to judgement, for your Creator willeth to judge you." For it abideth habitually ever in the service of God. Tell me, whether do ye desire the more: to see by the light of a star or by the light of the sun?'

Andrew answered: 'By the light of the sun; for by the light of the star we cannot see the neighboring mountains, and by the light of the sun we see the tiniest grain of sand. Wherefore we walk with fear by the light of the star, but by the light of the sun we go securely.'