The Eighteenth Word : First Point: The share of the human soul in achievements; conceit and thanking

[This Word consists of two Stations, of which the Second has
not yet been written. There are three Points in the First Station.]


In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

Think not that those who exult in what they have thus contrived, and who love to be praised for what they have not done – think not that they will escape suffering: for grievous suffering does await them. (Qur’an, 3:188.)

A Chastening Slap for my Evil-Commanding Soul:

O my foolish soul, charmed at glory, enamoured of fame, addicted to praise, and without equal in egotism! If it is a just claim that the source of the fig and its thousands of fruits is its tiny seed, and that all the grapes in their hundred bunches hanging from a dry branch of the vine are produced through the skill of the branch, and that those who benefit from them should praise and esteem the branch and the seed, then perhaps you have the right to be proud and conceited about the bounties with which you are loaded. But in fact you deserve to be constantly chided, because you are not like the seed and the branch: since you have the faculty of will, you reduce the value of those bounties through your pride. Through your conceit, you destroy them; through your ingratitude, you nullify them; through claiming them as your own, you lay hands on them unlawfully. Your duty is not to glory in your deeds, but to offer thanks. What is fit for you is not fame, but humility. Your right is not praise, it is repentance and to seek forgiveness. Your perfection lies not in self-centredness, but in recognizing Allah.

Yes, you in my body resemble ‘nature’ in the world. Both of you were created to receive good and be the thing to which evil is referred. That is to say, you are not the agent and source, but the recipient and passive. You have only an effect, and that is being the cause of evil because you did not accept as you should have done a good arising from absolute good. Also you were both created as veils, so that things that are apparently ugly, whose beauty is not obvious, would be attributed to you, and you would be means of the Most Holy Divine Essence being acknowledged free of defect. But you have taken on a form entirely contrary to the duty of your natures. Although out of your incapacity you have transformed good into evil, you as though act as partners to your Creator. That means one who worships himself and worships nature is extremely foolish and perpetrates a great wrong.

And do not say: ‘I am a place of manifestation, and one who manifests beauty becomes beautiful.’ For you have not assimilated it, so are not a place of manifestation but a place of passage.

And do not say: ‘Among people I was chosen. These fruits, these fine works, are shown through me. That means I have some merit.’ No! God forbid! Rather they were given to you first because you are more bankrupt, needy, and sad than everyone else! (1)

(1) Truly, I was extremely pleased at the New Said silencing his soul to this extent in this dispute, and said, A thousand bravo’s!

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Second Point: Beauties in things and events which seem ugly.

Third Point: The man as a viewer of the works of art in the universe; and the place of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the world of humanity.

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