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(Masnavi Book 1: 26) Explanation of a Tradition of the Prophet ﷺ concerning Divine inspiration









Explanation of the Tradition, “Verily, your Lord hath, during the days of your time, certain breathings: oh, address yourselves to (receive) them.”
The Prophet said, “In these days the breathings of God prevail:
Keep ear and mind (attentive) to these (spiritual) influences, catch up such-like breathings.”
The (Divine) breathing came, beheld you, and departed: it gave life to whom it would, and departed.
Another breathing has arrived. Be thou heedful, that thou mayst not miss this one too, O comrade.

1955. The soul of fire gained there from an extinguisher of (its) fire, the dead soul felt within itself a movement (of life).
This is the freshness and movement of the Túbá-tree, this is not like the movements of animals.
If it fall on earth and heaven, their galls will turn to water at once (they will be consumed with terror).
Truly, from fear of this infinite breath (they were filled with dismay): recite (the words of the Qur’án) but they refused to bear it (the trust offered to them).
Else, how should (the words) they shrank from it have been (in the Qur’án), unless from fear of it the heart of the mountain had become blood?

1960. Yesternight this (breath) presented itself (to me) in a different guise (but) some morsels (of food) came in and barred the way.
For a morsel's sake a Luqmán has become (held in custody as) a pledge: ’tis the time for Luqmán: begone, O morsel!
These pricks (of the flesh) for the sake of a morsel! Pluck ye forth the thorn from the sole of Luqmán.
In his sole there is (really) no thorn or even the shadow of it, but because of concupiscence ye have not that discernment.
Know that the thorn is that which thou, because thou art very greedy and very blind, hast deemed to be a date.

1965. Inasmuch as Luqmán's spirit is the rose-garden of God, why is the foot of his spirit wounded by a thorn?
This thorn-eating existence is (like) a camel, and upon this camel one born of Mustafá (Mohammed) is mounted.
O camel, on thy back is a bale of roses, from the perfume of which a hundred rosaries grew within thee.
Thy inclination is towards thorn-bushes and sand: I wonder what roses thou wilt gather from worthless thorns.
O thou who in this search hast roamed from one quarter to another, how long wilt thou say, “Where, where is this rosegarden?”

1970. Until thou extract this thorn in thy foot, thine eye is dark (blind): how wilt thou go about?
Man, who is not contained in the world, becomes hidden in the point of a thorn!
Mustafá (Mohammed) came (into the world) to make harmony: (he would say) “Speak to me, O Humayrá, speak!”
O Humayrá, put the horse-shoe in the fire, that by means of thy horse-shoe this mountain may become (glowing with love,
like) rubies.
This “Humayrá” is a feminine word, and the Arabs call the (word for) “spirit” feminine;

1975. But there is no fear (harm) to the Spirit from being feminine: the Spirit has no association (nothing in common) with man and woman.
It is higher than feminine and masculine: this is not that spirit which is composed of dryness and moisture.
This is not that spirit which is increased by (eating) bread, or which is sometimes like this and sometimes like that.
It is a doer of (what is) sweet, and (it is) sweet, and the essence of sweetness. Without (inward) sweetness there is no sweetness, O taker of bribes!
When thou art (made) sweet by sugar, it may be that at some time that sugar will vanish from thee;

1980. (But) when thou becomest sugar from abundance of faithfulness, then how should sugar be parted from sugar?
When the lover (of God) is fed from (within) himself with pure wine, there reason will remain lost and companionless.
Partial (discursive) reason is a denier of Love, though it may give out that it is a confidant.
It is clever and knowing, but it is not naught (devoid of self-existence): until the angel has become naught, he is an Ahriman (Devil).
It (partial reason) is our friend in word and deed, (but) when you come to the case of inward feeling (ecstasy), it is naught (of no account).

1985. It is naught because it did not (pass away) from existence and become nonexistent: since it did not become naught
willingly, (it must become naught nevertheless, for) there is many a one (who became naught, i.e. died) unwillingly.
The Spirit is perfection and its call is perfection: Mustafá (Mohammed) used to say, “Refresh us, O Bilál!
O Bilál, lift up thy mellifluous voice (drawn) from that breath which I breathed into thy heart,
From that breath by which Adam was dumbfounded and the wits of the people of Heaven were made witless.”
Mustafá became beside himself at that beautiful voice: his prayer escaped him (was left unperformed) on the night of the ta‘rís.

1990. He did not raise his head from that blessed sleep until the (time of the) dawn prayer had advanced to (the time of) forenoon.
On the night of the ta‘rís his holy spirit gained (the privilege of) kissing hands in the presence of the Bride.
Love and the Spirit are, both of them, hidden and veiled: if I have called Him (God) the Bride, do not find fault.
I would have been silent from (fear of) the Beloved's displeasure, if He had granted me a respite for one moment[#]
But He keeps saying, “Say on! Come, ’tis no fault, ’tis but the requirement of the (Divine) destiny in the World Unseen.”

1995. The fault is (in him) who sees nothing but fault: how should the Pure Spirit of the Invisible see fault?
Fault arises (only) in relation to the ignorant creature, not in relation to the Lord of favour (clemency).
Infidelity, too, is wisdom in relation to the Creator, (but) when you impute it to us, infidelity is a noxious thing.
And if there be one fault together with a hundred advantages (excellences), it resembles the wood (woody stalk) in the
sugarcane.
Both (sugar and stalk) alike are put into the scales, because they both are sweet like body and soul.

2000. Not idly, therefore, the great (mystics) said this: “The body of the holy ones (the saints) is essentially pure as (their) spirit.”
Their speech and soul and form, all (this) is absolute spirit without (external) trace.
The spirit that regards them with enmity is a mere body; like the plus in (the game called) nard, it is a mere name.
That one (the body of the enemy of the saints) went into the earth (grave) and became earth entirely; this (holy body) went into the salt and became entirely pure—
The (spiritual) salt through which Mohammed is more refined (than all others): he is more eloquent than that salt-seasoned
(elegantly expressed) Hadíth.

2005. This salt is surviving in his heritage: those heirs of his are with thee. Seek them!
He (the spiritual heir of Mohammed) is seated in front of thee, (but) where indeed is thy “front”? He is before thee, (but) where is the soul that thinks “before”?
If hou fancy thou hast a “before” and “behind,” thou art tied to body and deprived of spirit.
“Below” and “above,” “before” and “behind” are attributes of the body: the essence of the bright spirit is without direction (not limited by relations of place).
Open thy (inward) vision with the pure light of the King. Beware of fancying, like one who is short-sighted,

2010. That thou art only this very (body living) in grief and joy. O (thou who art really) non-existence, where (are) “before” and “behind” (appertaining) to non-existence?
’Tis a day of rain: journey on till night—not (sped) by this (earthly) rain but by the rain of the Lord.

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