5:1 O you who have faith!
It is narrated that Jaʿfar ibn Muḥammad said that these words have four traits through which the Lord of the Worlds honored and caressed the community. One is that they are a call, second a closeness, third an allusion, and fourth a bearing witness. O is a call, you is a closeness, who is an allusion, and have faith is a bearing witness. The call is an honor, the closeness of mercy, the allusion to love, and the bearing witness to recognition.
“He called them before He made them appear, and He named them before He saw them.” They were in the concealment of nonexistence when He called them to honor. They had not yet come into the circle of existence when He named them with a beautiful name: He named you submitters from before [22:78]. He saw the faults and He approved of the faults. He saw the offenses, and He bought the offenses. He saw the pure ones of the high world, and He chose the tainted ones of the low world, for “The sinner’s sobs are more beloved to Me than the glorifier’s murmur.” Given the beginningless solicitude of the Unneedy Threshold toward the Adamite, his situation is like that of a child whose mother sews him new clothes. She says, “Beware, beware, O child! Do not let this fancy garment get dirty!”
The child goes outside and busies himself playing with the other children and dirties the clothes. He comes back home with dirty clothes, so he hides in a corner, helpless and bewildered. He keeps on saying, “Mother, I’m sleepy.” The mother knows that the child is afraid of her rebuke. “Dearest,” she says, “come. I only sent you outside after I had soap and water in hand, for I knew what you would do.”
The Adamite’s state is like this. When that center point of good fortune and chosen one of the empires was sent out from the concealment of nonexistence to the confines of existence, the pure spirits and holy ones began to shout, and they aimed arrows of denial at the world that God was setting forth: “Wilt Thou set therein one who will work corruption there? [2:30]. You are creating a group who will blacken the garment of Today I have perfected your religion for you [5:3] with the smoke of disobedience and the dust of associationism. They will tear the veil of honor from the beautiful face of faith!”
He addressed them with the words, “Yes, I know what has been prepared in this oyster shell of mysteries. We honored the children of Adam [17:70]. The bounties of exaltation have made them exalted. I sent them out to the world of defilement wearing the garment of protection and the shawl of the Trust only after I had in hand the water of forgiveness and the soap of mercy.”