ON THE BLIND MEN AND THE AFFAIR OF THE ELEPHANT
There was a great city in the country of Ghûr, in which all the people were blind. A certain king passed by that place, bringing his army and pitching his camp on the plain. He had a large and magnificent elephant to minister to his pomp and excite awe, and to attack in battle. A desire arose among the people to see this monstrous elephant, and a number of the blind, like fools, visited it, every one running in his haste to find out its shape and form. They came, and being without the sight of their eyes groped about it with their hands; each of them by touching one member obtained a notion of some one part; each one got a conception of an impossible object, and fully believed his fancy true. When they returned to the people of the city, the others gathered round them, all expectant, so misguided and deluded were they. Continue reading “ON THE BLIND MEN AND THE AFFAIR OF THE ELEPHANT”
ON PURITY OF HEART
Then, since the object of desire exists not in anyplace, how canst thou purpose to journey towards Him on foot? The highroad by which thy spirit and prayers can travel towards God lies in the polishing of the mirror of the heart. The mirror of the heart becomes not free from the rust of infidelity and hypocrisy by opposition and hostility; the burnisher of the mirror is your steadfast faith; again, what is it? It is the unsullied purity of your religion. To him in Continue reading “ON PURITY OF HEART”
ON GOD AS FIRST CAUSE
The course of time is not the mould whence issues His eternal duration, nor temperament the cause of His beneficence; without His word, time and temperament exist not, as apart from His favour the soul enters not the body. This and that both are wanting and worthless; that and this both are foolish and impotent. ‘Old’ and ‘new’ are words inapplicable to His essence; He is, for He consists not of any existences except Himself. His kingdom cannot be known to its limits, His nature cannot be described even to its beginning; His acts and His nature are beyond instrument and direction, for His Being is above ‘Be‘ and ‘He‘.
Before thou wert in existence a greater than thou for thy sake brought together the causes that went to form thee; in one place Continue reading “ON GOD AS FIRST CAUSE”
ON THE ASSERTION OF THE UNITY
He is One, and number has no place in Him; He is Absolute, and dependence is far removed from Him; not that One which reason and understanding can know, not that Absolute which sense and imagination can recognise. He is not multitude, nor paucity; one multiplied by one remains one. In duality is only evil and error; in singleness is never any fault.
While multitude and confusion remain in thy heart, say thou ‘One’ or ‘Two,’–what matter, for both are the same. Thou, the devil’s pasture, know for certain what, and how much, and why, and how! Have a care! His greatness comes not from multitude; His essence is above number and quality; the weak searcher may Continue reading “ON THE ASSERTION OF THE UNITY”
ON THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
Of himself no one can know Him; His nature can only be known through Himself. Reason sought His truth,–it ran not well; impotence hastened on His road, and knew Him. His mercy said, Know me; otherwise who, by reason and sense, could know Him? How is it possible by the guidance of the senses? How can a nut rest firmly on the summit of a dome? Reason will guide thee, but only to the door; His grace must carry thee to Himself. Thou canst not journey there by reason’s guidance; perverse like others, commit not thou this folly. His grace leads us on the road; His works are guide and witness to Him. Continue reading “ON THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD”
The First Book of the Hadîqatu’-l-Haqîqat of Sanâ’î.
IN THE NAME OF GOD, THE MERCIFUL, THE COMPASSIONATE.
O Thou who nurturest the mind, who adornest the body, O Thou who givest wisdom, who showest mercy on the foolish, Creator and Sustainer of earth and time, Guardian and Defender of dweller and dwelling; dwelling and dweller, all is of Thy creation; time and earth, all is under Thy command; fire and wind, water and the firm ground, all are under the control of Thy omnipotence, O Thou the Ineffable. From thy throne to earth, all is but a particle of what Thou hast created; the living intelligence is Thy swift messenger. Continue reading “The First Book of the Hadîqatu’-l-Haqîqat of Sanâ’î”