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24:11 Those who came with the slander are a band of you. Do not reckon it evil for you; rather, it is good for you. Against every man of them shall be the sin he has earned. Whosoever of them took upon himself most of it will have a great chastisement.

When my spirit clings to a beloved and attaches to him,

the changing of the days steal him away from me.

The Real does not show your heart to anyone, for He keeps it inside the curtain of jealousy. In the grip of the attributes, it sees the Real face-to-face on the carpet of joy in the presence of witnessing and seclusion, and the Real gazes upon it. If the heart looks back at another, at once it will see the courtesy-teaching whip.

Thus it happened to a great one of his time: He was exceedingly happy in a tremendous desire for God. He had complete ecstasy and his work was in total conformity with Him. Then once he heard the call of a bird, he looked back toward the call. He went beneath the tree and was waiting for the bird to call again. A voice spoke to him, “You have dissolved God’s bond! You have given away the key to My covenant, for you have become close with another!”

Muḥammad ibn Ḥassān said, “Once I was wandering in the mountain of Lebanon hoping to see one of the friends of the Real, one of the great ones who take up residence there. I saw a young man come out from a corner. The hot wind of summer had blown against him, and he was burnt and bedraggled. When he saw me, he turned away and entered in among the chestnut trees to conceal himself. I followed him. I said, ‘O chevalier! Give me the benefit of some words, for I came in hope of that.’“He answered, ‘Beware! He is jealous. He does not love to see other than Himself in the heart of His servant.’”

Adam the Chosen was the center point of the compass of existence, the basis of the creation of mortal man, and the chosen of the empire. He turned his heart toward the bliss of paradise and gave himself over to it. From the Exalted Presence came jealousy’s messenger: “Are you not ashamed to bring your aspiration down to Riḍwān’s house of good fortune and to look back at something other than Me? Now that You have looked back at something else, take your bags and go down to the house of the decree. Throwdown your head in incapacity and be broken by a shortcoming in the quarry of trial, and wait for My decree!”

In the same way, Abraham’s eyes looked back at Ishmael. He saw an exalted nobility and rectitude, the extract of bosom friendship, the oyster shell for the pearl of the chosen Muḥammad. His heart busied itself with him. The command came, “O My bosom friend! Did I keep you away from the Azari idols so that you could gaze on Ishmael’s beauty? Now, take up knife and rope and sacrifice everything less than Me in the road. Two friendships cannot fit into one heart.”

When they busied their hearts with love for each other, the ruling power of jealousy opened the curtain of exaltedness and, with the attribute of harshness, showed them a sliver of its ruling authority. The satans of mankind and jinn joined hands, and slanderous talk entered the midst. The lie fabricated by the hypocrites took flight. This is why Abraham did not distinguish and recognize the angels when he presented to them the roasted calf [11:69] and imagined them to be guests. Lot also did not recognize them as angels until they announced to him that they were angels.

To Him who hears all sounds despite distance

I complained of my pain in remembrance.

Would that I knew, though hopes are many,

if he who left is aware of me—should I await his coming?

24:26 The goodly women are for the goodly men, and the goodly men for the goodly women—these are innocent of what they say. They will have forgiveness and a generous provision.

In the tasting of the lords of recognition’s the generous provision is not the provision of the soul that is sometimes there and sometimes not. It is the provision of the spirit and the nourishment of the living self that is never cut off and always arrives continuously, neither cut off nor withheld [56:33]. What is nurtured by bread and water is one thing, what is nurtured by unmixed light is something else.

When Muṣṭafā said, “I spend the night at my Lord; He gives me to eat and drink,” he was talking of the attributes of the spiritual, not the attributes of the bodily. Snow is not the opposite of fire as much as the spiritual is that of the bodily. Two antagonists are kept together in one house, apparently getting along with each other, but inwardly enemies.

Once when his time had become short a great man was seen in revelry and delight. They asked, “What is this revelry?” He said, “What is surprising about it? Union with the Friend and separation from the enemy are near. Which day will be sweeter than the day when dawn opens up with the arrival of a drink and a blow? Which drink and which blow is that? It will put this idol-worshiper on the gallows and deliver this sultan from the dark fetters, carrying him on the Burāq of good fortune to the Presence of Majesty.”

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