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NEWSPRESS: FORTY NIGHTS

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7:142 And We promised Moses thirty nights, and We completed them with ten. So the appointed time of his Lord was completed in forty nights. And Moses said to his brother Aaron, “Take my place among my people.”

It is not approved to put back the promised time and to add days before the promised moment except in the religion of friendship, for in friendship disloyalty is the same as loyalty, and disdain friendship. Do you not see what the Lord of the Worlds did with Moses in this exchange? He promised him thirty days. When those passed, He added ten more. He added them because Moses was happy with that. Moses counted the thirty days as capital and the ten days as profit. He said, “Indeed, I heard the hard cash of the Real’s speech for a second time when He added that.”

In this journey, Moses waited thirty days without remembering food and drink or being aware of hunger, for he was carried by the Real in a journey of generosity, waiting for the whispered prayer. The other time, when he was sent to Khiḍr on the first journey in search of knowledge, he did not have the capacity for a half-day of hunger, so he said, “Bring us our food” [18:62]. This is because that was a journey of teaching courtesy and of hardship. At the beginning of the traveling he was carrying; he was not being carried. He was aware of his own suffering, for he was with himself. He saw the marks of hunger because he was in the road of creatures.

And Moses said to his brother Aaron, “Take my place among my people.” His intention was to whisper prayer with the Real, so he left Aaron with the people and went alone, for there is no sharing in friendship. The friend’s attribute in the path of friendship is nothing but aloneness and oneness. Then, when he was going to Pharaoh, he asked for Aaron’s companionship: “Make him share with me in my affair” [29:32], for that was going to the creatures, and things having to do with the creatures bring aversion and dread. In carrying the burden of dread, no one flees from a kind companion and his companionship.

When Moses returned from whispered prayer and saw that the Children of Israel had left the circle of obedience and become calf-worshipers, he rebuked Aaron, not them, so that you would know that not everyone who sins is deemed worthy of rebuke. Rebuke is appropriate when a person still has something of a friendship.

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