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The waning of the moon and its increase and decrease are allusions to the contraction and expansion of the recognizers and the awe and closeness of the lovers. The contraction and expansion of the elect are like the fear and hope of the common people. Contraction and expansion are higher than fear and hope, and so also awe and closeness are higher than contraction and expansion. Fear and hope belong to the common people, contraction, and expansion to the elect, and awe and closeness to the elect of the elect.

2:189 They ask thee about the new moons.

First is the station of the wrongdoers, next to the station of the moderate, and third is the station of the precedes. The furthest limit of all is the closeness of the lovers. In the state of closeness, a man reaches a point where, if he enters the fire, he is unaware of it and its heat leaves no trace in the repose of his closeness. Thus Abū Ḥafṣ Ḥaddād was a blacksmith. He had lit up an exceedingly hot fire and placed iron within it, as is the custom of blacksmiths. Someone was passing by and reciting a verse of the Qur’an. The shaykh became happy at that verse and the state of closeness overcame him. He put his hand into the furnace and pulled out the hot iron. He held it until his apprentice looked at him and said, “O Shaykh! How is it that you are holding the hot iron in your hand?!” The shaykh put it aside, and then he left his profession. He said, “I have left this profession many times and then come back to it. This time, the profession left me.”

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