30:30 So set thy face to the religion, unswerving.
Purify your intention for God, guard your covenant with God, act solely for God in your stillnesses and movements, and in all your self-determining. Unswerving: going straight in His religion, inclining toward Him, and turning away from other than Him.
By virtue of this exalted declaration to that paragon of the world, he stepped forth on the night of the miʿrāj from the Lote-Tree of the Final End into the desert of all-compellingness and turned his face toward his own specific Kaaba, wearing as his beautiful cloak all the capital goods of the first and the last folk and putting them into His road. He passed on and showed no favor to anything. Finally, from the side of all-compellingness came the call, “His eyesight did not swerve” [53:17]. He kept his eyes in courtesy and did not gaze upon anything other than the Real. Nor did it trespass [53:17]. He did not covet anything beyond that limit.
Moses stepped on the mountain and went several paces beyond the limit of the Children of Israel. His mind was boiling in the hope of showing me, that I may gaze upon Thee! [7:143], so he had to be taught courtesy with the whip of thou shalt not see Me! The paragon of the world, however, was taken to a station where the dust under his feet became the ointment for Gabriel’s eyes. His attribute was this: his eyesight did not swerve. This is because Moses was traveling, but the paragon of the world was snatched away: who took His servant by night [17:1]. The one who comes can never be like the one who is brought. Blessed is he who travels as the Real’s companion, for in one breath he covers a thousand-year journey! “On the night when We take you, you will go farther than you could in a thousand months of going by yourself.” To this, He alludes with His words, “The night of power is better than a thousand months” [97:3].
“When you go by yourself, you will fall farther behind with every step you take. When you go with Us, your every step will make you more passionate. When you go by yourself, the highwaymen will ambush you on the road. When We take you, the bandits will carry your banner.” What does the Throne do that it does not carry my saddlecloth? In my heart, I carry the saddlecloth of Your decree and approval. [DS 933]
30:50 So gaze on the traces of God’s mercy, how He brings the earth to life after its death.
The Real is saying, “My servant, at the time of spring, opens up the insight of intellect, open the eye of heedfulness, and gaze upon My artisanry. Look at the quivering of the earth and the weeping of heaven, the rising of the trees, the murmuring of the water, the yearning of the passionate, the birds like preachers, the gazelles like perfume-dealers, the nightingales like drunkards in a garden.”
Eyes of languid silver,
their pupils cast of a gold,
On stalks of emerald, bearing witness,
that God has no associate.
So gaze. Look at the earth that has put on a robe. The trees are selling perfume, the nightingales shouting on the trees, every bird seeking a companion. The Lord who works such artisanry is worthy of hearing the supplications of the servants and concealing the offenses of the disobedient. So gaze on the traces of God’s mercy. Look at the traces of His mercy, the marks of His artisanry, the evidence of His unity. That Lord who fills the trees with fruit in springtime, puts water into streams, makes the ocean rain pearls, brings forth perfume from the earth—that Lord who shows this artisanry is worthy for the servants to make obedience to Him their blanket and watchword.
So gaze on the traces of God’s mercy. It has been said that springtime is three: First is the springtime of this world, which is the time of finding happiness and youth. Second is the springtime of that world, which is the subsistent bliss and everlasting kingdom. Third is a hidden springtime which, if you have it, you yourself know. If you do not have it and you fancy that you have it, you will long be in remorse. From year to year, the springtime of the earth is one month. It is the cause of heaven’s rain and the north wind. It is quick in separation and slow to bring about union, so it would be absurd to attach the heart to it. Springtime comes once a year. Roses grow from dust, water flows from stone, the spirits of the tested find ease in springtime’s scent, and everyone who has lost his heart finds again the heart that has fled. You might say that the yellow rose is an ill physician healing the world but itself in need of attention. You might say that the red rose is intoxicated with a vision—all are sober. You might say that the white rose has seen iniquity at the hand of the passing days, its youth is given to the wind and its lifespan having reached the edge.
So gaze on the traces of God’s mercy, how He brings the earth to life after its death. He brings to life the souls with truthful desire after they were languishing, He brings to life the hearts with the lights of beholding after they were heedless, and He brings to life the spirits with the constancy of contemplation after they were veiled.
I die when I remember You, then I come to life—
how often I live in You, how often I die!
At the time of the year’s equinox, two suns arise from the rising place of the Unseen: One is the sun of the celestial beauty, the other the sun of the kingly majesty. The first shines on the parts of the earth, the second on the secret cores of the lovers. That one shines on roses so that they may bloom, and this one shines on hearts so that they may light up. When the rose blooms, the nightingale falls in love with it. When the heart lights up, the gaze of the Creator is upon it. In the end the rose falls apart and the nightingale goes into mourning at separation. The heart remains, but the Real keeps it in the embrace of gentle favors and generosity. “The heart of the faithful servant will never die.”
When an eye sees You, it is relieved of pain.
When a spirit finds You, it is exempt from death.