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NEWSPRESS: ORNAMENTS OF PARADISE

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22:23 They will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold and pearls, and their clothes therein will be silk.

Just as today the folk of recognition is disparate in recognition and the faithful have more or less faith, tomorrow in the house of subsistence everyone will see caresses and generosity in keeping with his own state and in the measure of his own recognition. The worshipers will wear clothing of silk along with bracelets of gold and pearls and be with houris and palaces; the recognizers will have clothing of solitariness in the ocean of face-to-face vision, drowned in light. One group will be adorned with the ornaments of paradise, and another group will adorn paradise with the light of their beauty.

Though pearls increase the beauty of faces,

the beauty of your face adorns the pearl.

22:24 And they will be guided unto the goodly in speech.

It has been said that this is to acknowledge one’s sins and attest to His words, “Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves” [7:23]. True speech and pure words are free of making claims, far from pride, and near to need. They are to attest to one’s own incapacity, to acknowledge one’s own sins, and to emulate Adam with burning and need in saying “We have wronged ourselves.” Sahl Tustarī said, “I looked at this affair and saw no path closer to God than need, and no veil thicker than making claims.” 

Look closely at the road of Iblis and you will only see making claims. Look closely at the road of Adam and you will see only need. O Iblis, what do you say? “I am better” [38:76]. O Adam, what do you say? “Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves.” All the existent things were brought out from the concealment of nonexistence into the open space of the decree, but the plant of need grew from Adam’s dust. He was made the object to whom the angels prostrated themselves. He was sat down on the throne of kingship and vicegerency, and the proximate angels were made to stand before his throne, but he did not lose one iota of his need: “O Lord, this is all Your bounty. What is rightfully ours is this: Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves. The seat of vicegerency is Your bestowal, but the gift of our makeup is Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves.”

A great man said, “One day I sinned. I repented 300,000 times but I still see myself walking in danger from that sin.” You poor wretch! The men of this road waged a war against their own souls. This war will never have a way to peace, for they found that their own souls are the enemy of the religion. How can a man of the religion make peace with the religion’s opposite?

O soul mean in aspiration and deranged,

whatever touchstone I use, you come up false.

22:26 When We built for Abraham the place of the House: “Associate nothing with Me, and make My house pure for those who circumambulate, stand, and bow in prostration.”

Ibn ʿAṭāʾ said, “We gave him the success to build the House, We gave him the ability to do so, We helped him with it, and We said to him, ‘Associate nothing with Me,’ that is, ‘Do not have any regard for the House and do not look at the fact that you built it.’” He is saying, “We gave Abraham ability and We gave him means, tools, strength, skill, power, and help so that he could build the house of the Kaabah as We wanted and commanded. Then We said to him, ‘Do not look at what you have done and what you have made. Look at Our success giving and Our help. Do not look at your striving but see Our desire and solicitude.”

The servant was given two eyes so that with one eye he would see the attributes of his own soul’s blights and with the other eye the gentle attributes of the Real’s generosity. With one eye he sees His bounty, with the other eye his own acts. When he sees His bounty, he boasts of it, and when he sees his own acts he shows poverty. When he sees the generosity of the Beginningless, he becomes joyful, and when he sees the footsteps of dust’s nonexistence, he becomes needful.

That distracted man of ʿIrāq [Shiblī], burnt by the fire of separation, used to say, “Would that I were fuel for the furnace and had not heard this tale!” Sometimes he would say, “Where are the proximate angels and residents of the Holy Palisades?! Let them spread their carpets before the throne of my good fortune and the chair of my exaltedness!” 

And make My house pure. In the tongue of learning, this is the Kaabah, but according to the explanation by allusion, the meaning is, “Empty your heart of all things saves the remembrance of God.” He is saying, “Occupy your heart totally with My remembrance and do not give any stranger or other access to it, for the heart is the container of the warmth of My affection and love.” “The hearts are God’s containers in the earth. The most beloved of the containers to God is the most limpid, the most tender, and the most solid.” Any heart that is more limpid in relation to engendered beings and more merciful toward the faithful is more exalted and beloved to the Exalted Presence. The heart is the sultan of your makeup. Be careful to consider it exalted and preserve it from the opacity of caprice and appetite. Do not pollute it with the darkness and appetite of this world.

The revelation came to David: “‘O David, make for Me a pure house in which I may reside!’ O David, make the house pure so that the Lord of the house may settle down in the house.” He said, “‘Lord God, which house can embrace You?’ Which house is suited for Your tremendousness and majesty?”

He said, “That is the heart of the faithful servant.” David said, “Lord God, how can I make it pure?” He said, “Strike the fire of love to it so that everything that does not have My lineage may burn away. Then sweep it with the broom of remorse so that if anything is left it may be swept pure. O David, after that, if you see anyone perplexed in the road of seeking Me, take that as the mark, for the pavilion of My holiness is there. ‘I am with fevered hearts.’”

22:61 That is because God makes the night pass into the day and makes the day pass into the night, and God is hearing, seeing.

This is an explication of power and its attribute of exaltedness in the creation of day and night, light and darkness.

22:62 That is because God is the Real and what they supplicate other than Him is unreal, and because God is the high, the great.

This is the affirmation of unity in the divine attributes and the nullification of associates and associationism.

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