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[Previous] must possess a good character, an enlightened nature, a pure intent, as well as intellectual power, brilliance and discernment, intuition, discretion and foresight, temperance, reverence, and a heartfelt fear of God. For an unlit candle, however great in diameter and tall, is no better than a barren palm tree or a pile of dead wood.
"The flower-faced may sulk or play the flirt,
The cruel fair may bridle and coquet;
But coyness in the ugly is ill-met,
And pain in a blind eye's a double hurt." (20a)
An authoritative Tradition states: "As for him who is one of the learned: (21) he must guard himself, defend his faith, oppose his passions and obey the commandments of his Lord. It is then the duty of the people to pattern themselves after him." Since these illustrious and holy words embody all the conditions of learning, a brief commentary on their meaning is appropriate. Whoever is lacking in these divine qualifications and does not demonstrate these inescapable requirements in his own life, should not be referred to as learned and is not worthy to serve as a model for the believers.

The first of these requirements is to guard one's own self. It is obvious that this does not refer to protecting oneself from calamities and material tests, for the [Next]

20a. Rúmí, The Mathnaví, I, 1906-1907.
21. `Ulamá, from the Arabic alímá, to know, may be translated learned men, scientists, religious authorities.
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