Commentary on “And He is with you wheresoever ye be.”
1510. If we come to ignorance, that is His prison, and if we come to knowledge, that is His palace;
And if we come to sleep, we are His intoxicated ones; and if to wakefulness, we are in His hands;
And if we weep, we are a cloud laden with the bounty dispensed by Him; and if we laugh, at that time we are His lightning;
And if (we come) to wrath and war, ’tis the reflexion of His Might; and if to peace and forgiveness, ’tis the reflexion of His Love.
Who are we? In this tangled (complex) world what (thing other than He) indeed hath He (who is single) like alif? Nothing, nothing.
How the ambassador asked ‘Umar, may God be well-pleased with him, concerning the
cause of the tribulation suffered by spirits in these bodies of clay.
1515. He said, “O ‘Umar, what was the wisdom and mystery of imprisoning that pure one (the spirit) in this dirty place?
The pure water has become hidden in mud: the pure spirit has become bound in bodies.”
He (‘Umar) said, “Thou art making a profound inquiry, thou art confining a meaning in a word.
Thou hast imprisoned the free (unconditioned) meaning, thou hast bound the wind in a word.
This thou hast done for a benefit (good purpose), O thou who thyself art blind to the benefit (good purpose) of God.
1520. He from whom (every) benefit was born, how should He not see that which was seen by us?
There are myriads of benefits, and every myriad is (but) a few beside that one.
The breath of thy speech, which is a part of the parts (bodily members), became beneficial: why (then) is the whole of the
whole (the universal connexion of spirit and body) devoid (of benefit)?
Thou who art a part—thy act (of speaking) is beneficial: why (then) dost thou lift thy hand to assail the whole?
If there is no benefit in speech, do not speak; and if there is, leave off making objections, and endeavour to give thanks.”
1525. Thanksgiving to God is a collar on every neck (every one's duty); it is not (thanksgiving) to dispute and make one's face look sour.
If thanksgiving is only to look sour, then there is no thanks-giver like vinegar.
If vinegar wants (to find) the way to the liver, let it become oxymel by (being mixed with) sugar.
The meaning in poetry has no sureness of direction: it is like the sling, it is not under control.