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NEWSPRESS: CLAY AND SPIRITUALITY

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6:2 He it is Who created you from clay.

Adam was two things: clay and spirituality. His clay pertained to the World of the Creation, and his spirituality to the World of the Command. What pertains to creation is “He fermented Adam’s clay in His hand.” What pertains to the command is I have blown into him of My spirit [15:29]. Surely God chose Adam [3:33] to pertain to the beauty of the command, and Adam disobeyed [20:121] to the taint of creation. In Adam were both rose garden and field of clay, so the clay was the place of roses. Every rose, however, has a thorn. A rose like the bosom friend Abraham had a thorn-like the rebellious Nimrod. A rose like Moses had thorns like Pharaoh and Haman. A rose like Jesus had thorns like those impure Jews. A rose like Muḥammad the Arab had a thorn-like Abū Jahl the wretched.

Who knows the secret of Adam’s innate disposition? Who recognizes Adam’s good fortune and rank? No eagle of anyone’s mind has alighted on the branch of the tree of Adam’s good fortune. No eye of anyone’s insight has perceived the beauty of the sun of Adam’s limpidness.

When he was at rest in the highest paradises, he supposed that the same tent of safety would be pitched for him endlessly. Then he was addressed by the side of the Compeller and the court of the Exalted: “What, one who is reared amidst ornaments? [43:18]. O Adam, We want to make a man of you!

“O Adam! Pull your hands back from the neck of Eve, for you must use your hands for the neck of passion’s crocodile. You must become the drinking companion of the Shariah’s lion. Pull back from the attributes of being, for you must travel with the feet of discipline and the boots of blame into the open horizons of poverty. Go, sit on the dust-pile, and be content with a piece of bread, ragged clothes, and ruins, so that you may become a man.”

“O Adam! Look carefully lest you be self-seeing. The angels who sang the song ‘O Glorified! O Holy One!’ to the melody of We glorify Thy praise [2:30] were self-seeing. They kept their eyes on their own beauty, so We emptied their inner selves of passion for the sake of your eminence. We pulled you up from the depths of the sea of omnipotence so that you would sing the song of Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves [7:23] to the melody of your disobedience.”

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