Theophany

THE QUINTESSENCE OF THE WISDOM OF THE UNSEEN

IN THE LOGOS OF JOB

Since complaint to God does not contradict patience — and therefore God praised Job for his patience even though he prayed for the removal of his affliction — nor did he, i.e., Job, oppose the divine Omnipotence by being patient and refraining from complaining to Him; rather he complained and called out to Him, “Behold, affliction has visited me, and Thou art the most merciful of the merciful” (cf. Qur’an); and this lack of opposition was known from him, God gave him his household by bringing to life his sons and daughters who had died and He provided him with children the like of them with them. And he stamped his foot at his Lord’s command, since God commanded Job with the words, “Stamp thy foot! This is a laving-place cool, and a drink” (cf. Qur’an). So he removed through that stamping his pains and his ills and there sprang up also through that stamping from beneath his feet water, which is the secret of life, and its root, for verily through water come alive those physical and elemental bodies which are alive.

Therefore it is the root of life, or the life which courses through every natural, or physical and corporeal, living thing. For from water he was created, and through it, he recovered from his pains and ills. So He made it mercy from Him and a reminder to us and to him. And He treated him kindly in the oath he had made when he swore during his illness to beat his wife with a hundred lashes if he recovered. So when he recovered, God ordered him to take a bundle of rushes and to strike his wife with it (cf. Qur’an). So God expiated his oath with the easiest thing for him and for her. And He told us about this to teach us and to authorize us to discriminate among those who fulfill their oaths, for we still have this authorization (to act gently in fulfilling oaths). So he said,  “Take the branch of a date tree containing a cluster of one hundred stalks, and strike him with it once.”

And expiation was appointed and promulgated in the community of Muhammad to veil them from the punishment directed toward them for breaking oaths. In this sentence, there is an allusion to the fact that the word “expiation” comes from the root “to cover” since it covers the person who makes the oath and protects him from the punishment for breaking it. Expiation is an act of worship which God commanded, and commanding it before the fact is to command the breaking of oaths since the actualization of the first is dependent upon the actualization of the second. Therefore breaking oaths is commanded by God, but when he, or the person who has made the oath, has seen something better than what he had sworn to do. Then He will respect the oaths, i.e., God will respect their right because they include His remembrance since He has prescribed expiation as a means to prevent the swearer from being punished. Even though he is committing an act of obedience, he is remembering God in his oath with one of his members. So the member which remembers Him, which is the tongue,  seeks the result of His remembrance in terms of mercy, reward, and His protecting it — along with the other members — from punishment; for it is the part which remembers which protects the others, just as the world is protected by the existence of the Perfect Man.

The fact that he is disobedient or obedient is another factor, which in no way affects that member which remembers in terms of reward or punishment; for man in respect of his being compounded of different spiritual and physical realities is a multiplicity, even though he is one in terms of his unified whole. And the obedience or disobedience of one part of him does not necessitate the obedience or disobedience of another part.

President

The divine scriptures are God’s beacons to the world. Surely God offered His trust to the heavens and the earth, and the hills, but they shrank from bearing it and were afraid of it. And man undertook it.
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