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NEWSPRESS: THE SHORES OF BEAUTY

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16:6 And in them is beauty for you when you bring home to rest and drive forth to pasture.

Some people attach beauty to possessions, some to states. The wealthy find beauty when they bring home to rest and drive forth to pasture, and the poor busy themselves with their Patron when they wake in the morning and rest in the evening. The rich consider the perfection of their beauty to lie in possessions, and possessions are one of two: permitted or forbidden. If they are permitted, they are a tribulation, and if they are forbidden, they are a curse. The poor consider their status and beauty to lie in union with the Patron and see perfect closeness in companionship with the Patron.

It is said that Rābiʿa ʿAdawiyya was cut off from a caravan and was wandering lost in the desert. She sat down under a thorn tree and put her head on the knees of remorse. She heard a call from the air of exaltedness, “You feel terrified when I am with you?”

On the night of the miʿrāj, all the beauty and wealth of jinn and men were offered as ransom for one footstep of the Master of the Children of Adam, but he did not glance at it. His boast was this: “Replete one day, I praise Thee; hungry one day, I thank Thee.”

16:9 It is for God to point out the path, and some [paths] deviate.

The straight road and approved path are that which goes toward the Real and passes over the Real. That road can be traveled with three things: first knowledge, second state, and third eye. Knowledge cannot be put in place without a teacher, the state cannot be put straight without conformity, and the eye is alone and does not get along with attachment. In knowledge there is fear, in-state there is hope, and in the eye there is straightness.

16:10-13 He it is Who sends down water from heaven… Surely in that is a sign for a people who reflect… signs for a people who use intellect… a sign for a people who remember.

He is an allusion to the Essence, who is close of the attributes, and sends down reports about the acts. Thus you will know that God has Essence, attributes, and acts. He is eternal in Essence, noble in attributes, wise in acts; without associate in Essence, without ambiguity in attributes, and without cause in acts. The servants gaze upon His artisanry, then flee from the artisanry to gaze upon the attributes, then flee from the attributes to gaze upon the Essence. These are the stations of the wayfarers’ traveling and the degrees of the recognizers’ recognition.

One must have a reflection in gazing upon the artisanry, knowledge in gazing on the attributes, and remembrance in gazing on the Essence. This is why the Lord of the Worlds says, “Surely in that is a sign for a people who reflect.” Then, after that, He says, “signs for a people who use intellect.” Then, after that, He says “a sign for a people who remember.” In other words, recognition will be gained in this order: first reflection, then knowledge, then, at that point, he will remember through the continuity of knowledge. First, he reflects, putting his gaze in its place. If no defect falls into his gaze, then inevitably he gains knowledge; and in reality, there is no difference between intellect and knowledge. Then, after that, the gaze becomes continuous, and the continuity of the gaze is the remembering of which He speaks.

It has been said that He says “signs for a people who use intellect” in the plural only because someone gains many pieces of knowledge in order to become a recognizer, and every part of knowledge is gained through a different sign and indicator. The knower has signs and indicators before he becomes a recognizer of his Lord because the indicator for one question is different from the indicator for another question. With one indicator he knows the necessity of gazing on Him, with many indicators he becomes a recognizer of his Lord, and with one indicator he knows that it is necessary to remember the various sorts of his knowledge.

16:14 He it is who subjected the sea so that you may eat from it fresh flesh.

Outwardly, He subjected the oceans of the earth to the creatures, ships running upon it, and benefits appearing from it. Inwardly, He created oceans in the Adamic soul in which the Adamite is drowned: First is the ocean of preoccupation, second the ocean of sorrow, third the ocean of avarice, fourth the ocean of heedlessness, and fifth the ocean of dispersion. These oceans have ships. Whoever sits in the ship of trust on the ocean of preoccupation will reach the shore of detachment. Whoever sits in the ship of approval on the ocean of sorrow will reach the shore of security. Whoever sits in the ship of contentment on the ocean of avarice will reach the shore of renunciation. Whoever sits in the ship of remembrance on the ocean of heedlessness will reach the shore of wakefulness. Whoever sits in the ship of tawḥīd on the ocean of dispersion will reach the shore of togetherness.

16:17 Is He who creates like him who does not create?

Will the created thing ever be like the Creator? Will the enacted thing ever be similar to the Enactor? In the seven heavens and seven earths, it is God who is one and unique. In Essence, He is without similar, in measure without equal, in attributes without peer. Fancying that the Creator is like the created is an error, and the road of declaring similarity is disloyalty. But affirming attributes is not declaring similarity, and to declare holy by negating attributes is nothing but the position of Iblis. Declaring similarity does not come by way of saying that there is, but rather by saying that there is similarity. Whoever declares similarity is an unbeliever, just as whoever says that there is no similarity is an unbeliever. Whenever someone says that God is like himself has said that God has more than a thousand associates. Whoever declares God’s attributes ineffectual has abased himself in the two worlds.

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