You have already come to know that intention is one of the inward causes, and inward causes are stronger in their domination than ordinary outward causes and more deserving of being attributed to God. For this reason, the inhabitants of the World of Command are stronger than the inhabitants of the World of Creation. In addition, let us remember the matter of, “And We set his wife right for him” (cf. Qur’an), for if it were not for the succor of God to Zachariah and his wife by means of an Unseen power of Lordship outside of ordinary causes, his wife would not have been set aright and she would not have been able to bear a child. Therefore when God gave him the good news of John, he found it strange and said, “O my Lord, how shall I have a son, seeing my wife is barren, and I have attained to the declining of old age” (cf. Qur’an). So God answered him with His words, “Said He, ‘So it shall be; the Lord says, “Easy is that for Me, seeing that I created thee aforetime, when thou wast nothing (cf. Qur’an); i.e., even if something like this is difficult, or rather impossible, in terms of outward causes, in respect to the Possessor of Perfect Power, of Strength and of Might it is easy. Then just as that power coursed from God into Zachariah and his wife, it went from them to John. Therefore God said to him, “O John, take the Book forcefully” (cf. Qur’an).
When Zachariah attained to the mercy of Lordship, i.e., God’s nurturing him through bounty and succor and accomplishing that which was for his well-being, and also setting things right for him, as indicated by His words, “And We set his wife right for him”, he concealed his call to his Lord and his prayer to Him from the hearing of those present. So he called Him in his secret center (cf. Qur’an), in order that his Intention might be the most concentrated and the farthest from dispersion and its effect might be the greatest. So it, i.e. his secret call, gave rise through the power of its effectiveness to that which is not usually given rise to, i.e., John, who was born between a declining old man and a barren old woman, for whom it is not usual to bear children, for barrenness prevents production. Therefore He said, “the barren wind” (cf. Qur’an), and He distinguished between it and “the winds fertilizing” (cf. Qur’an), for these are such winds as produce good by bringing forth rain clouds, whereas “the barren wind” is what is opposed to them, for wherever barrenness exists, it prevents production. And God made John the inheritor of what he, or Zachariah, possessed, i.e., knowledge, prophecy, prayer for guidance, the avoidance of error, etc., through the blessing of his prayer, when he said, “So give me from Thee a kinsman who shall be my inheritor and the inheritor of the House of Jacob” (cf. Qur’an).
So he, or John, was similar to Mary in inheritance, for when Zachariah became Mary’s guardian, he caused her to be his heir in some qualities of perfection; or (he was similar to her) in being chaste; for she was one of the things which were with Zachariah because he was her guardian. So when John inherited what was with him, he inherited some of her qualities, so he resembled her in them. And in the same way, He made him the inheritor of a group of the House of Abraham, i.e., prophets, saints, and men of knowledge, in the above-mentioned things.