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NEWSPRESS: THE ZOROASTRIAN AND THE FREE-WILLER

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21:19 To Him belongs whatsoever is in the heavens and the earth. Those who are with Him are not too proud to worship Him, nor do they become weary.

The newly arrived things belong to Him as a possession, and the engendered beings belong to Him by decree. He is too transcendent to be beautified by conformity or to be diminished by the opposition. In earth and the heavens all the engendered beings and newly arrived things, the existent things and things coming to nothing, are His kingdom and possession, His servants, slaves, and serving boys.

In the view of the lords of the meanings, the reality of kingship is the power to originate and devise. This reality is His attribute, and worthy kingship is His kingship—without horse and servants, without drums and flags, without army and retinue. When the kings of the world display their armies, they mount up their servants and retinue, they display their horse and chattel, and then they lift up the head of boasting of their kingship and possessions, blessings and self-indulgences, cavalry and infantry, royal court and audience hall. As for the Real, He strikes the fire of unneediness in the vestiges and traces of the realm of being, He turns the world into scattered dust [25:23] and He shakes the dust of the others off the skirt of power. He puts the halter of destruction on the steed of existence and lets out this call in the world: “Whose is the kingdom today?” Then He Himself answers with His own exalted majesty: “God’s, the One, the All-Subjugating” [40:16]. When a person of faith believes that everything is His rightful due and kingdom and that all exaltedness is His exaltedness, it is fitting for him to break the tablet of making claims, roll up the carpet of folly, put the delusion of egoism out of his head, and pull his skirt back from the two realms of being and the two worlds. He will be ashamed to bow his head before a created thing like himself or to bind his heart to anyone.

“He who aims for the ocean has no need for rivulets.” When a diver has a high aspiration and uses his own life for give-and-take with the ocean in order to gain the night-brightening pearl, why would he give himself over to a black bead? He said beautiful words, that exalted man of the era: “He who recognizes the Real will not put up with the abasement of the creatures.”

21:23 He will not be questioned about what He does, but they will be questioned.

This is a rejection of the free-willers and right guidance for the Sunnis. The free-willers say, “If we turn over all the newly arrived things to God, He would be defective.” They say, “Evil is from us and good from Him.” In the same way, the Zoroastrians say that good is from Yazdān and evil from Ahrīman. “The free-willers are the Magi of this community.” A free-willer said to a Zoroastrian, “Become a Muslim.” He said, “As long as He does not want it, how can I become a Muslim?” The free-willer said, “He wants it, but Iblis does not.”The Zoroastrian said, “Then I will stay with the stronger antagonist. What will I do with the weak one?”

As for the right guidance of the Sunnis, it is that the Real is the absolute owner and is able to act upon His possession as He wants. Muṣṭafā said, “Were He to chastise me and the son of Mary, He would chastise us without wronging us.” Fear a God who does whatever He wants while no one has the gall to protest! “Have shame before God because of His proximity to you, and fear God because of His power over you.”

Know also that this a work that is over and done with. He has taken each to his own domicile and made his place apparent, and then He has brought him back to the beginning of the road of interaction. When the prophets came, they did not bring any new work into this world, nor did they place any new report in your breast. Rather, they put into motion what was in your breast and they called you to what had been deposited for you. We would not have been guided had God not guided us [7:43]. 

ʿAlī was asked about the measuring out. He said, “It is God’s secret, so do not disclose it; it is a tremendous ocean, so do not importune it.” Human knowledge does not have the capacity to carry it. Man’s understanding and imagination will never reach it. He does not know that the more he goes forward, the more he becomes bewildered. The more he exercises self-determination, the more he falls.

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