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When thou threwest is dispersion, but God threw is togetherness. Dispersion is the attribute of servanthood, and togetherness is the description of Lordhood. Dispersion without togetherness is of no use, and togetherness without dispersion is not correct.

8:17 Thou didst not throw when thou threwest, but God threw; and that He may try the faithful

with a beautiful trial.

Sheer dispersion without togetherness is the belief of the free-willers, sheer togetherness without dispersion is the religion of the predestinarians, and dispersion along with togetherness is the correct road. The free-willers are those who give themselves ability and choice and do not step outside of themselves. The predestinarians are those who lose their own hands and feet to the harshness of all-compellingness; they do not see the secondary causes and give themselves no free choice. The Sunnis are those who say to them, “In your practice be at the threshold of Thee alone we worship; in your heart ask, weep, and supplicate at the threshold of Thee alone we ask for help [1:5].”

Thou didst not throw when thou threwest, but God threw. This is an allusion to the reality of solitariness and the path of unification. He is saying: “Leave aside all other objects of desire. What does he who is seized by My love have to do with other than Me? O Muḥammad, lay no favor on Me because of your activity, but look at My success-giving! Be not delighted at your own remembrance—look at My instruction! Flee from your own marks and see only My love!”

The path of unification is oneness and estrangement from self. Giving marks of “me” and “us” is duality, and duality is proof of estrangement. With duality, there are today and tomorrow, but the tawḥīd-voicer is apart from today and tomorrow. As long as the tawḥīd-voicer has not found the shadow of the Sun of existence, he has not been released from self. As long as he has not been released from self, he has not found the Real.

When thou threwest is the attribute of the desirer who is sitting on the road of variegation and gazing on himself from the Real. But God threw is the description of the desired; having left himself behind and found stability, he gazes on the Real from the Real.

The Pir of the Tariqah said, “The self-purifier sees all from Him, the recognizer sees all in Him, the tawḥīd-voicer sees all as He. Every named being is a loan. True being is He—the rest is suspect. The desirer is a wage-earner, the desired guest. The wage of the wage-earner befits the wage-earner, the feast of the guest befits the host. The guest is bound by the work with which he is busy. His eyes are in face-to-face vision, his spirit radiant in His love. His spirit is all eye, his secret core all tongue. That eye and that tongue are helpless in face-to-face vision’s light.”

And that He may try the faithful with a beautiful trial. The beautiful trial is to be given the success of showing gratitude for bestowal and to realize patience in tribulation. What the Real does is beauty from the Real because it is His to act, and this is the reality of beauty—it is what belongs to the doer to do.

Whenever someone does an act appropriate for himself, that is beautiful from him. All that comes from the Real and is conveyed to His servant, whether blessing or tribulation, ease or hardship, is beautiful, for He is the Lord of all. No one has it over Him to ask why and how. What He does with His own creation is not injustice. And to God belongs the conclusive argument [6:149]. In whatever God does, He has the complete argument, for He is the Creator and Enactor of the world and the world’s folk. He is the bringer of nonbeing into being, the one who makes appear, the king over the servant.

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