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6:120 Leave aside the outward of sin and its inward.

Know that the Exalted Lord created the creatures with His majestic power and perfect exaltation and arranged them in keeping with His subtle artisanry, wise gaze, and limitless generosity. He completed their limitless blessings both outwardly and inwardly. He said, “He has lavished on you His blessings, outward and inward” [31:20]. Then He asked the servants to be grateful for the blessings: “And be grateful for the blessings of God, if He it is whom you worship” [16:114]. If you want to show what is stipulated for servanthood, then display gratitude for His blessings and do not employ the blessings of your Lord in opposing Him, whether outwardly or inwardly. This is why He said, “Leave aside the outward sin and the inward.”

Just as He made blessings two sorts, the outward and the inward, so also He made opposition two sorts, the outward and the inward. The outward blessing is the perfection of creation, and the inward blessing is the beauty of character. The counterparts of these are outward sin, which is an opposition that enters the outward bodily parts, and inward sin, which is love for disobedience that enters the heart. This is why Sahl Tustarī said concerning the meaning of this verse, “Abandon acts of disobedience with your limbs and also love for those acts in your heart.”

It has also been said that outward sin is seeking this world and inward sin is seeking paradise. Even though seeking paradise is not disobedience in the tongue of learning, in the path of the chevaliers and the tasting of the recognizers, seeking paradise is to seek blessings. When someone seeks blessings, he is held back from the mystery of the Beneficent and the joy of the Presence. They count anything that holds you back from that mystery and joy as association and disobedience, even if, for some people, it is obedience and worship.

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