A Traveler's Narrative

page 79

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[Previous Page] nor any sound; nothing is known of them nor any hint. Will the people dispute it while they behold it? Will they deny it when they know it? I know not in what valley they wander erringly: do they not see that they depart and return not? How long will they be famous in the low countries and in the high, descend and ascend? `Is not the time yet come to those who believe for their hearts to become humble for the remembrance of God?' (45) Well is it with that one who hath said or shall say, `Yea, O Lord, the time is ripe and hath come,' and who severeth himself from all that is. Alas! naught is reaped but what is sown, and naught is taken but what is laid up, save by the grace of God and His favor. Hath the earth conceived Him whom the veils of glory prevent not from ascending into the Kingdom of His Lord, the Mighty, the Supreme? Have We any good works whereby defects shall be removed or which shall bring Us near unto the Lord of causes? We ask God to deal with Us according to His grace, not His justice, and to make Us of those who turn toward Him and sever themselves from all beside Him.

"O King, I have seen in the way of God what no eye hath seen and no ear hath heard. Friends have disclaimed Me; ways are straitened unto Me; the pool of safety is dried up; the plain of ease is [scorched] yellow. How many calamities have descended, and how many will descend! I walk advancing toward the Mighty, the Bounteous, while behind Me glides the serpent. My eyes rain down tears until My bed is drenched; but My sorrow is not for Myself. By God, My head longeth for the spears for the love of its Lord, and I never pass by a tree but My heart addresseth it [saying], `O would that thou wert cut down in My name and My body were crucified upon thee in the way of My Lord'; yea, because I see mankind going astray in their intoxication, and they know it not: they have exalted their lusts, and put aside their God, as though they took the command [Next Page]

45. Qur'án 57:15.
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