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(Masnavi Book 1: 58) Balam son of Báúr





How Bal‘ am son of Bá‘úr prayed (to God), saying, “Cause Moses and his people to turn back, without having gained their desire, from this city which they have besieged.”


To Bal‘am son of Bá‘úr the people of the world became subject, (for he was) like unto the Jesus of the time. They bowed (worshipfully) to none but him: his spell was (giving) health to the sick.


3300. From pride and (conceit of) perfection he grappled with Moses: his plight became such as you have heard. Even so there have been in the world, manifest or hidden, a hundred thousand like Iblís and Bal‘am.
God caused these twain to be notorious, that these twain might bear witness against the rest.

These two thieves He hanged on a high gallows (to be a warning to all); else there were many (other) thieves in (the pale of) His vengeance.

These twain He dragged by their forelocks to the city (for slaughter); (but) It is impossible to number (all) the victims of His wrath.


3305. You are a favourite (of God), but within your (due) bounds. (Fear) God, (fear) God, do not set foot beyond (those)
bounds.

If you combat with one who is a greater favourite than yourself, ’twill bring you down to the lowest depth of the seventh earth. For what purpose is the tale of ‘Ád and Thamúd? That you may know that the prophets have disdain (for the wicked).
These signs—the (earth's) swallowing up (sinners), the hurling of stones (upon them), and the thunderbolts—were evidence of the might of the Rational Soul.

Kill all animals for the sake of man, kill all mankind for the sake of Reason.


3310. What is Reason? The Universal Intelligence of the man (prophet or saint) endowed with reason. Partial reason is reason (too), but it is infirm.

All the animals that are wild (unfriendly) to man are inferior to the human animal. Their blood is free to mankind, since they have not become capable of human actions.
The honour of the wild animals is fallen (has come to be of no account) because they have grown hostile to man.

What honour, then, will be yours, O marvel (of folly), since you have become (like) timorous wild asses?


3315. Because of his usefulness, the (domesticated) ass ought not to be killed; (but) when he turns wild, his blood becomes lawful.

Although the ass had no knowledge to restrain him (from becoming wild), the Loving One is not excusing him at all.

How, then, shall man be excused, O noble friend, when he has become wild (refractory and hostile) to that Word (the voice of Reason)?
Of necessity permission was given to shed the blood of the infidels, like (that of) a wild beast before the arrows and lances. All their wives and children are free spoil, because they are wildly averse to the august Reason.


3320. Once more, a reason that flees from the Reason of reason (Universal Reason) is transported from rationality to (the grade of) the animals.

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