Open to man are the two ways

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Where do human happiness and misery lie?

Man was created of the best stature, on the best pattern of creation, and given a very comprehensive potential. Accordingly, he has been sent to an arena of trial where he will either rise in degree to the highest of the high, or descend to the level of the lowest of the low. Always open to man are the two ways to infinite ascent or to infinite descent. Man is here on the earth as a miracle of power and the ultimate pinnacle of creation. We shall now expound the mystery of his ascent and descent.

Man has some relationship with most of the species of creation. His needs range far into all parts of the universe, and his desires as far as eternity

Man has some relationship with, and stands in need of, most of the species of creation. His needs range far into all parts of the universe, and his desires as far as eternity. As he desires a single flower, so he desires a whole spring. He wishes a garden, and also eternal Paradise. As he longs to see a friend of his, so he longs to see the Majestic, All-Beautiful One. Just as he needs to knock at the door of a beloved friend to visit him, so too he needs to seek refuge in the high Presence of the Absolutely All-Powerful One, Who will close the door of this world and open the door to the Hereafter, the world of wonders, Who will replace this world with the next one so that he may be rescued from separation from the ninety-nine percent of his friends who have left for the intermediate world. Thus, for man in this position the true object of worship can only be the Majestic, All-Powerful One, the All-Merciful One of Infinite Beauty, the All-Wise One of Perfection, in Whose hand are the reins of all things, in Whose possession is the provision of every existence, Who sees everything and is present everywhere, unbounded by space, free of all constraint, free of any flaw or defect or deficiency. For he who can satisfy the unlimited needs of man can only be one with infinite power and all-encompassing knowledge. Thus, He is the only One worthy of worship.

Now, O man, if you worship Him alone, you will attain a rank above all other creatures. If you refuse His worship, you will become a disgraced slave to impotent creation. If you abandon prayer and trust in God relying upon your selfhood and power, and claim an arrogant superiority, you will be reduced to a position lower than a bee or ant, and weaker than a fly or spider, with respect to positive acts and constructive invention. In doing evil and destruction however, you will weigh heavier than a mountain and be more harmful than a pestilence. The reason for that: you have two aspects of being—one is positive and active, and has to do with constructive invention, existence and goodness; the other is negative and passive and concerns destruction, non-existence and evil.

Concerning the first aspect of your being: you cannot compete with a bee or a sparrow and are weaker than a fly or a spider; you cannot achieve what they can. But as for the second destructive aspect, you can surpass mountains, and even the earth and heavens, for you can bear a burden from which they hold back. Your acts, therefore, show their effect in a wider realm than theirs. When you do an act of goodness, or construct something, this does not go beyond the reach of your hand and your strength. But your evil and destructive acts, by contrast, are aggressive and expandable. For example, unbelief is an evil, a destruction, an absence of affirmation. A single sin as it may seem, it implies an insult to all creation, the debasement of all the Divine Names and degradation of the whole of mankind. For the whole of creation has a sublime rank and important task, each being a missive of the Lord, a mirror of His Glory and a servant of His Divinity. Unbelief denies them the rank bestowed by these functions, and reduces them to the state of play-things of chance, to the level of being insignificant, useless and worthless objects doomed to decay and decomposition. And so too, through denial, it insults the Divine Names, Whose beautiful inscriptions and manifestations are observed in the mirrors of all created forms throughout the universe. Unbelief, in addition, casts down man, who is a poetic work of Wisdom, displaying the manifestations of all the Divine Names, a great miracle of Power that, like a seed, contains the whole of the tree of creation, and the vicegerent of God on the earth, superior to angels and higher than mountains, the earth and heavens by virtue of the trust which he has undertaken, to a position more wretched and weak, more helpless and more destitute than the lowliest animal, and reduces him to the level of being an ordinary, perishable sign-board lacking all meaning, confused and swiftly decaying.

In regard to evil and destruction, the evil-commanding soul may commit countless crimes and cause unlimited destructions, while its capacity to do good is very limited.

In sum: In regard to evil and destruction, the incarnate soul, the evil-commanding self, may commit countless crimes and cause unlimited destructions, while its capacity to do good is very limited. For instance, it can destroy a house within a single day, but cannot build the same in a hundred days. But if that soul abandons relying upon itself, its vanity and, instead, relies upon the Divine aid in doing good and constructive invention; if it abandons doing evil and destruction, and seeks Divine forgiveness and so becomes a perfect servant of God, then it becomes the referent of the Qur’anic verse, God will change their evil deeds into good deeds.9 Man’s infinite capacity to do evil is then changed into an infinite ability to do good. He attains the worth of ‘the best pattern of creation’, and rises to the ‘highest of the high’.

Consider then, heedless man, the Grace and Munificence of the All-Mighty. While it is in reality an absolute justice to record a single sin as one thousand in measure of its consequences and effects, and a good act as only one, God does the reverse: He records a sinful act as one, but a single act of goodness as ten, or seventy, or seven hundred, or in some cases, seven thousand. Also understand from this observation that to enter Hell is the return for one’s deeds and pure justice, while to enter Paradise is the result of His absolute Grace.

Man has two faces: one looks to this worldly life because of his selfhood, the other to the eternal life because of his nature as a servant of God

Man has two faces: one looks to this worldly life because of his selfhood, the other to the eternal life because of his nature as a servant of God. With respect to the former, he is a poor creature indeed—his will is as feeble as a single hair, his power restricted to a most limited talent, his life as short as a flash of light compared to the life of the world, and his material existence is that of a tiny thing bound to decomposition. In this state, he is no more than a feeble member of one species among countless species of existence, spread over all levels of the universe.

With respect to the latter face, man, by virtue of his perception of his helplessness and insufficiency as a servant of God, is an important, inclusive being. For the All-Wise Creator has implanted in the nature of man an infinite impotence and poverty so that he may be a comprehensive mirror reflecting the infinite manifestations of God’s Compassion and Power, and of His Richness and Generosity. Thus, man, by virtue of faith and worship, gains infinite power and limitless riches.

Man resembles a seed in having the potential to engender and attain perfection

Man resembles a seed in having the potential to engender and attain perfection. A seed is endowed by Power with great potential and is destined to put it into effect according to the subtle program of Destiny that it should germinate under the soil to grow into a ‘perfect’ tree through its worship according to the language of its potential. If that seed abuses its potential to attract some harmful substances because of some bad disposition, then it will soon rot away in its narrow place. If, by contrast, it employs its potential in its proper way in compliance with the laws of Him Who splits the seed for sprouting, it will then emerge from its narrow place and grow into an awesome, fruitful tree, and its tiny, particular nature will come to represent a great, universal truth.

The essence of man is likewise equipped by Power with great potential and is inscribed with important programs by Destiny.

The essence of man is likewise equipped by Power with great potential and is inscribed with important programs by Destiny. If, then, man employs his potential and his spiritual faculties in that narrow world, under the soil of worldly life, to satisfy the fancies of his carnal, evil-commanding selfhood, he will corrupt, like a rotten seed, for the sake of an insignificant pleasure in a short life, and consequently, he will depart from this world with a heavy spiritual burden on his unfortunate soul. But if, by contrast, he germinates the seed of his potential under the ‘soil of worship‘ with the ‘water of Islam’ and the ‘light of faith’ according to the decrees of the Qur'an, and if he employs his spiritual faculties for their true purposes, then he will certainly grow into an eternal, majestic tree whose branches extend into the intermediate world (the world between this one and the next) and the world where man’s deeds take on the forms peculiar to the Hereafter, and that will yield countless, perfect fruits in the next world. He will, in fact, become the fruit of the tree of creation, that will be favored in Paradise with infinite perfections and countless blessings.

The true progress of man is possible only by turning all his faculties, such as intellect, heart, spirit and imagination, to the eternal life, so that each of them will be occupied by its own kind of worship. For what the misguided people fancy to be progress, that is, to subject all one’s faculties, including heart and intellect, to the carnal, evil-commanding selfhood in order to taste all worldly pleasures down to the lowest, is not progress, but decline and degradation. I once observed this truth in an imagined vision which is as follows:

Can you describe a believer and unbeliever by means of a parable?

I reached a large city full of big palaces. Outside some of the palaces were going on spectacles and shows to amuse and entertain. As I got near one of them, I noticed that the owner of the palace was at the door, playing with the dog. Women were chatting about with young strangers, and young girls were organizing the children’s games. The doorman was behaving as if he had command over them. I then realized that the inside of the palace was empty, with all important tasks left unattended—an obvious consequence of the inhabitants of the palace having become so corrupted that they were engaged in such affairs.

I then came across another big palace. This time, a faithful dog was lying at the door, and beside it was standing a doorman with a stern, serious, sober expression. The palace seemed so quiet that I entered in wonder and amazement. Inside was a scene of great activity: one floor above another, the inhabitants were engaged in different, important tasks. The men on the first floor were busy conducting the management of the palace. On the second floor, girls and boys were studying. There were women on the third floor occupied with producing beautiful works of art and delicate embroidery. The owner of the palace was on the top floor in constant communication with the king in order to secure the well-being of his household, and performing noble duties for his own progress and perfection. As they did not see me, no one stopped me, so I was able to walk about, and then left the palace. Outside, I noticed that the city was full of palaces of these two kinds. When I asked about them, I was told that those palaces with empty insides, and seemingly spectacular, belonged to the foremost of the unbelievers and people of misguidance, and the others to upright Muslim notables. Then in one corner I came across a palace on which was written my name ‘SAID’. As I looked at it closely I felt as if I saw my image on it. Crying in bewilderment, I came to my senses and awoke.

I will now interpret this vision, may God cause good to come out of it:

The city is the social life of mankind and the terrain of human civilization. Each palace is a human being and the inhabitants of the palaces are such senses and faculties of man as eyes, ears, intellect, heart and spirit, and powers of anger and lust. Each sense and faculty of man has a particular duty of worship, and also particular pleasures and different pains. The self and fancies, and the powers of anger and lust correspond to the dog and the doorman of the palace. Thus, to subjugate the sublime senses and faculties to the carnal desires and fancies, and to cause them to forget their essential duties, is certainly a decline and corruption, not progress. You may interpret the other details of this vision for yourself.

Man is the guest of a Generous One Who has put the treasuries of His infinite Compassion at his disposal

Man, with respect to action and bodily endeavors, is no more than a weak animal, a helpless creature. So limited a circle is the realm at his disposal in this respect that his fingers can touch its circumference, and such are the weakness, impotence and indolence of man that even the domestic animals are influenced by them. If, for example, domesticated goats and cattle are compared with their wild counterparts, great differences will be observed between them.

But as a passive, recipient being who needs to pray and petition, man is a worthy traveler allowed to stay for some time in the guest-house of this world. He is the guest of a Generous One Who has put the treasuries of His infinite Compassion at his disposal, and subjugated to him His peerless works of creative power and even His special servants. Also, He has prepared for the use and pleasure of His guest such a vast area of spectacle that its radius is as far as sight or even imagination can reach.

Now then, if man, by relying on his physical capacity and innate abilities, takes the worldly life as his goal and concentrates on the pleasures of this life, he will suffocate within a very narrow circle. Furthermore, the parts of his body and his senses and faculties will bring a suit and witness against him in the Hereafter. But if he knows himself to be a guest and spends his life within the limits approved by his Generous Host, he will lead a happy and peaceful life and attain to the highest rank among the creation. In the Hereafter, he will be rewarded with an everlasting life of bliss, and the members of his body and all his faculties will bear witness in his favor.

All the wonderful faculties of man have not been given to him so that he might use them in this trivial worldly life, but they have been given for an important life of eternity. When compared to animals, man is seen to have many more faculties and senses whereas the pleasure he can take from merely physical life is much less than that of an animal. Every single pleasure of the worldly life bears the traces of thousands of pains, and is spoiled with the sorrows left from the past, the fears of the future, and the disappearance of the pleasure itself. But this is not the case with an animal. Its pleasures are free from pains and its enjoyments are without anxiety. Neither is it affected by the sorrows of the past, nor can anxieties for the future prevent it from the enjoyment of its life. It leads a comfortable life, and praises its Creator.

To conclude, if man, who has been created on the best pattern, concentrates on the worldly life, he is reduced to a rank a hundred times lower than a sparrow, although he has a hundred times as many and developed faculties as an animal. In another treatise, I explained this fact in the form of a parable. I will now repeat it, as it is related to the subject.

A parable to understand how man should spend his capital of life

A man gives one of his servants ten pieces of gold and orders him to have a suit made for himself of some particular type of cloth. He gives a thousand pieces of gold to another servant of his and sends him to the market with a shopping list. The former buys an excellent suit of the finest cloth with ten pieces of gold. The latter acts foolishly. He does not notice how much money was given to him, nor reads the shopping list, but thinks he should imitate his friend. Therefore, he goes to a shop, and asks for a suit. The dishonest shopkeeper gives him, in exchange for a thousand pieces of gold, a suit of the very worst-quality cloth. That unfortunate servant then returns to his lord and receives a severe reprimand and a terrible punishment.

Anyone with a bit of intelligence perceives that the thousand pieces of gold were not given to the servant to buy a suit, but for a very important transaction.

In just the same way, the spiritual faculties, and the feelings and senses with which man has been endowed, are much more developed than those of animals. For example, his eye can identify all degrees of beauty; his sense of taste, his tongue, can distinguish all the varieties of the particular tastes of food, his intelligence can penetrate into the many details of visible realities; his heart yearns for all ranks of perfection, and so on. Whereas, the faculties of animals (with the exception of some one particular faculty which greatly develops in each animal according to its particular duty) can realize only a very little development, if any.

The reason why man has so many faculties is that man’s senses and feelings have developed very far owing to his mind and intellect. The large variety of his needs has caused him to evolve different types of feelings, and to become very sensitive to all kinds of things. Also, due to his comprehensive nature he has been given such desires as are turned to several aims and objectives. Because of the diversity of his essential duties, his senses and faculties have greatly expanded. Furthermore, since he has an inclination and capacity to perform all types of worship, he has the potential to realize all kinds of perfection.

Obviously, this kind of richness in faculties and abundance of potentialities can by no means have been given to him for an insignificant, temporary, worldly life. They exist in man because his essential duty is to perceive his obligations that are directed to endless aims, to affirm his impotence, poverty and insufficiency in the form of worship, to study by his far-reaching sight and penetrating understanding, and to bear witness to the glorification of God by all creation, to discern and be grateful for the aid of the All-Merciful One sent in the form of bounties, and to gaze and, reflect upon, and draw warning from, the miracles of the Power of the Lord manifested in His works of creation.

O world-worshipping man, who is charmed by the worldly life and ignorant of the meaning of his nature as the best pattern of creation! Once I saw the true nature of this worldly life in an imagined vision, as follows:

What is the true nature of the worldly life for a believer and unbeliever?

I happened to be on a long journey. My Lord had caused me to set out on this journey. He gradually gave me some of the money from the sixty pieces of gold he had allotted to me. This went on for some time, and after a while I arrived at an inn where an entertainment was going on. I gambled away ten pieces of gold there in one night of entertainment and frivolity. When it was morning, I had no money to buy the provisions that I would need at my destination. All that remained to me of my allowance was pains and sorrows and regrets left by sins and illicit pleasures.

I was in that wretched state, when a man turned up and said to me: ‘You have lost all you had, and hence you have deserved punishment. Moreover, you will go on to your destination with no money. But the door of repentance is not closed, if you use your mind. When you receive the remaining pieces of your allowance, keep half of them in reserve, and buy with that the necessary provisions you will need at your destination.’

My selfhood was not content with putting aside half, so the man said, ‘Save a third of it then.’ But with this also my selfhood was not content. The man insisted: ‘Then a quarter.’ I realized my self-hood would not be able to abandon its addictions, so the man turned away in some indignation and disappeared.

At just this moment, I found myself on a train traveling in a tunnel so fast as if going downwards vertically. I was alarmed, but there was no way to escape. To my curious surprise, I saw that there were very attractive flowers and tasty-looking fruits alongside the track, hanging out from the sides of the tunnel. I foolishly attempted to pick some of them. But all around them were thorns which, because of the speed of the train, tore at my hands as I touched them, making them bleed. What I tried to hold slipped from me. Suddenly an attendant came beside me and said: ‘Give me five cents, and in return I will give you as many flowers and fruit as you want. Otherwise, with your hands all cut up, you will lose a hundred instead of five. Besides, there is a punishment for picking them without permission.’

Depressed by this condition, I looked out from the window to see when the tunnel would end. But there was no end in sight. I observed many openings in the walls of the tunnel into which passengers from the train were being thrown. Suddenly I caught sight of an opening just opposite me with a gravestone on either side. When I peered out, I made out my name, SAID, written in capital letters on the gravestones. I gave a cry of bewilderment and repentance. Unexpectedly, I heard the voice of the man who had given me advice at the door of the inn, saying to me:

– Have you come to your senses?

– Yes, I have. But I am in despair and there is nothing I can do.

– Repent, and trust in God.

– I do.

Then I woke up and I found myself transformed into New Said; the Old Said had gone away.

I will now interpret some aspects of this imagined vision:

The journey is man’s life, which is, in fact a journey from the incorporeal world of eternity, passing through the stages of mother’s womb, youth, old age, the grave, the intermediate world, Resurrection and the Bridge. The sixty pieces of gold are the sixty years of an average lifetime. I was forty-five years old when I saw that imagined vision. Only God knows when I will die. A sincere student of the Holy Qur’an showed me the true path so that I might spend half of the remaining fifteen years for the Hereafter. The inn, as I came to understand, was Istanbul for me. The train represents time, and each wagon, a year. The tunnel is the worldly life; the thorny flowers and fruits stand for illicit pleasures and forbidden amusements that make the heart bleed with the idea of separation at the very moment you reach out for them. Disappearance of pleasures increases sorrow, and besides, being unlawful, they cause one to suffer punishment.

The attendant on the train had said: ‘Give me five cents, and in return, I will give you as many flowers and fruits as you wish.’ This means that the permissible tastes and pleasures, obtained in lawful ways, are enough for one’s satisfaction; they leave no need to have recourse to unlawful ways.

You can interpret for yourself the remaining details of the vision.

Where do man’s power and weakness lie?

Man, among the creatures, is much like a tender child. His strength originates in his weakness and his power in his impotence. It is on account of this want of strength and power that the whole of creation has been subjugated to him. If, therefore, man perceives his weakness and becomes a humble servant to God through his prayer, verbal and active, if he recognizes his impotence and seeks God’s help, he will then have fulfilled the obligation of gratitude for the subjugation of nature to him. Besides, God will enable him to reach his goal and achieve his aims in such a way that if it were left to his own powers he could not succeed in one hundredth of it. Sometimes he wrongly attributes to his own power and ability the attainment of a wish that has been obtained for him through the prayer offered by the tongue of his disposition.

Consider how great a source of power is the weakness of a chick, on account of which the mother hen will attack even a lion. Or how the weakness of a lion cub subjugates to itself so great a beast as the lioness which itself suffers hunger to feed its baby. How remarkable is the powerful appeal inherent in weakness, and what a spectacular manifestation of Compassion for importunate beings!

In the same way, a loved child obtains his goal through weeping, or simply wishing, or making a sad face, and can cause mighty persons to serve him. If, otherwise he relies upon his own strength, he could never realize even one-thousandth of this. On account of his weakness and powerlessness, in fact, feelings of affection and protection are so motivated in his favor that a single gesture of his hand may suffice for him to subjugate powerful persons to himself.

If a child like this becomes so arrogant as to deny the care and affection that is being shown to him and says, in accusation of the protection over him, ‘I do all this with my own power’, he will certainly deserve a slap. Similarly, man will also, deservedly, receive a punishment if he denies the mercy of his Creator towards him and, accusing God’s wisdom in ingratitude for what Divine Mercy has bestowed upon him, attributes all of his achievements to his own power and knowledge like Korah, who said: ’I have been given it (that is, my possessions) on account of knowledge I have’.

This shows that man’s observed dominion in nature, his advancement and progress in civilization and technology, have not been realized solely through his own power, effort, and success. He largely owes them to his essential weakness and helplessness which attract Divine aid; his poverty is the source of Divine provision, his ignorance is made up for by Divine inspiration; his need draws Divine favors. Also, it is Divine Mercy and Affection, and Divine Wisdom, but not his own power and knowledge, which have empowered him with dominion over the rest of the creation, and have put things at his disposal. It is again the Divine Authority and Compassion which, alone, enable man, so weak as to be defeated by a blind scorpion and a footless snake, to dress in silk through a worm and to eat the honey of a stinging insect.

“O man, renounce arrogance and do not put your trust in your self!”

Since this is the truth, O man, renounce arrogance and do not put your trust in your self! Rather, affirm your impotence and weakness in the high presence of God by asking for His help, and by praying and entreating Him. Declare your poverty and insufficiency, and show that you are His true servant. Then say, ‘God is sufficient for us. Most sublime is He in Whom we trust’,12 and, in saying so, ascend to the higher ranks.

Do not say, ‘I am nothing; what significance do I have that the All-Wise Creator should intentionally put the whole of the creation at my disposal and demand from me universal gratitude?’

You are indeed almost nothing with respect to your physical being, but concerning your duty or rank, you are an attentive observer of this magnificent universe, an eloquent tongue of beings declaring the Divine Wisdom, a perceptive student of this book of creation, an admiring overseer of the creatures that glorify God’s praise, and a respected master of worshipping beings.

You are, O man, indeed an insignificant particle; a poor creature and a weak animal as far as your physical being and incarnate soul are counted, and, therefore, you are being carried away by the huge waves of all creation. But if you are perfected through the light of belief, which comprises the radiance of Divine love, and through the training of Islam, you will find a kingliness in your being a slave, a comprehensiveness in your particularity, a world in your small entity, and a very high rank in your insignificance. Also, the realm of your supervision of the rest of the creation will be so broad that you can say, ‘My Compassionate Lord has made the world a home for me. He has given me the sun and the moon as lamps, spring as a bunch of roses, summer as a banquet of favors, and the animals as obedient servants. He has put the plants and vegetation at my disposal also, as ornaments and provisions to my home.’

In conclusion, if you obey your evil-commanding selfhood and Satan, you will fall to the lowest of the low. But if you follow the truth and the Qur'an, you will ascend to the highest of the high and become the most excellent pattern of creation.

Man has been sent to this world as a guest with a special responsibility, and endowed with important potentials.

Man has been sent to this world as a guest with a special responsibility, and endowed with important potentials. He has been assigned important duties in accordance with these potentials, and strongly urged to carry out those duties and gravely threatened if he fails to do so. In order to make the mystery of ‘being the best pattern of creation’ more comprehensible, we will here summarize the essentials of the worship and duties required of man, which we already elaborated in another treatise.

What is the essence of worship?

Man‘s worship consists of two aspects.

  • One is implicit and concerns reflection and consciousness.
  • The other is visible prayer, done in direct supplication in the presence of God.

The first aspect is that man confirms submissively the Sovereignty of His Lordship over the creation, and observes in amazement the works of His Beauty and Perfection.

He then draws the attention of his fellow beings to the intricate, ornamented works of art that consist in the manifestations of the sacred Divine Names. He also measures in ‘units’ of due perception and discernment the gems of the Lord’s Names, each of which is a hidden spiritual treasure, and evaluates them with grateful appreciation of heart.

Then he makes a close study of the pages of creation, the sheets of heavens and earth, each of which is a missive of Divine Power, and contemplates them in great admiration.

Afterwards, as he gazes in amazement and admiration upon the subtle ornamentation and refined skills in creation, he ardently desires to know their Beautiful Creator and yearns to enter His Presence, where he hopes to be received into His favor.

The second aspect is that man turns towards his Majestic Creator, Who wants Himself to be known through the miracles of His artistry. The man unburdens himself to Him in sincere belief and tries to acquire knowledge of Him.

Then he discerns that a Compassionate Lord wants Himself to be loved through the beautiful fruits of His Compassion. In response, he makes himself loved by Him by devoting his love and adoration to Him.

He also sees that a Generous Provider nourishes him with the best and dearest of His material and spiritual favors. He responds to Him with gratitude and praise, expressed through all his works, deeds, lifestyle and, if possible, all his senses and faculties.

He then observes that a Lord of Beauty and Majesty manifests Himself in the mirror of beings, and draws attentions to His Glory and Perfection, and His Majesty and Beauty. So he says in response, ‘God is the Greatest! Glory be to God!’ and he prostrates before Him in wonder and adoration.

He also notices that One of Absolute Riches displays His limitless wealth and treasuries in an infinitely generous fashion. In response to this, he glorifies and praises Him and, displaying his need, he asks Him for His favors.

Then he observes that the Majestic Creator has arranged the earth like an exhibition, where He is displaying all His matchless works. He too appreciates them in response, and says, ‘What wonders God has willed and created!’, confirms their beauty and says, ‘God bless them!’, shows his wonder and says, ‘Glory be to God!’, and expresses his admiration saying, ‘God is the Greatest!’

Also, he sees that the Unique One demonstrates His Oneness in the whole of the creation through His particular signs and His peculiar decrees, and also His inimitable stamps and seals which He has put on each one of His creatures. He inscribes on everything the signs of His Oneness, and raises throughout the world the flag of His Unity, thus proclaiming His Lordship. To this the man responds with belief, affirmation, admission of, and testimony to, His Unity and with devotion and sincere worship.

By all such types of worship and reflection man may attain true humanity. He may demonstrate that he is the best pattern of creation, and through the grace of faith, become a trustworthy vicegerent of God on earth.

Now, O heedless man, who goes in the direction of the lowest of the low by misusing his will, although he has been created as the best pattern of the creation, listen to me! In order to see how ugly the face of the world is which turns toward passions and desires, and, by contrast, how extraordinarily beautiful is its other face which turns towards the Hereafter, you may have a look at the ‘Tables’ given below.

 

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