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(Masnavi Book 1: 64) The Vision of Zayd







How the Prophet, on whom be peace, asked Zayd, “How art you to-day and in what state have you risen?” and how Zayd answered him, saying, “This morning I am a true believer, O Messenger of Allah.”



3500. One morning the Prophet said to Zayd, “How art you this morning, O sincere Companion?

He replied, “(This morning I am) a faithful servant of God.” Again he (the Prophet) said to him, “Where is your token from the garden of Faith, if it has bloomed?
He said, “I have been athirst in the daytime, at night I have not slept because of love and burning griefs, So that I passed through (and beyond) day and night, as the point of the spear passes through the shield;
For beyond (the realm of contraries) nativity and continued growth are one: hundreds of thousands of years are the same as a single hour.


3505. Everlastingness and eternity are unified (yonder): the understanding has no way thither by means of inquiry.”

The Prophet said, “Where is the traveller's gift (that you have brought home) from this journey? Produce it. Where is the token of sincerity (that you have brought) from yon fair land?

Zayd said, “When (other) people see the sky, I behold the Empyrean with those who dwell there. The Eight Paradises and the Seven Hells are as visible to me as the idol to the idolater.
I am distinguishing the people (here), one by one, like wheat from barley in the mill,



3510. So that who is for Paradise and who shall be a stranger (to Paradise) is as clear to me as (the difference between) snake and fish.”

The day of birth for Anatolians and Ethiopians and every race (of mankind) is the Day when faces shall become white or black.

Before this (birth), however sinful the spirit was, it was in the womb (of the body) and was hidden from the people. The damned are they that are damned in the mother's womb: all of them are known by
the marks of God.

The body, like a mother, is big with the spirit-child: death is the pangs and throes of birth.


3515. All the spirits that have passed over (to the next life) are waiting to see in what state that proud spirit shall be born. The Ethiopians (the damned spirits) say, It belongs to us”; the Anatolians (the blessed spirits) say, “Nay, it is comely.
As soon as it is born into the world of spirit and (Divine) grace, there is no further difference (of opinion) between the whites
(the blessed) and the blacks (the damned).

If it is an Ethiopian (a damned spirit), the Ethiopians carry it off; and if it is an Anatolian (a blessed spirit), the Anatolians lead it away.

Until it is born (into the next life), it is a riddle for (all) the world: few are they that know (the destiny of) the unborn.


3520. Such a one surely is seeing by the light of God, for he has the way (the means of knowing what is hidden) within the skin.

Principium aquae seminis candidum est et pulchrum, but the reflexion of the spirit, (whether the spirit be) Anatolian or
Ethiopian,

Is giving colour (glory) to those (the Anatolians) who are most excellent in their (original) constitution, (while) it is bearing this (other) half (i.e. the Ethiopians) down to the lowest depth.

This discourse has no end. hasen back, that we may not be left behind by the caravan's file of camels.

On the Day when faces shall become white or black, by whom shall reverence still be paid to Turk and Hindoo (alike)?


3525. In the womb (of this world) Hindoo and Turk are not distinguishable, (but) when each is born (into the next world) he
(the seer) sees that each is miserable or glorious (according to his spiritual nature).
I am seeing them all plainly, as (they shall be) on the Day of Resurrection, like (multitudes of) people, men and women. Hark, shall I tell or shall I stop my breath (keep silence)?” Mustafá (Mohammed) bit his (Zayd's) lip, as though to say,
“Enough!

O Messenger of Allah, shall I tell the mystery of the Gathering (on the Day of Judgement), shall I make the Resurrection manifest in the world to-day?

Let me be, that I may rend the curtains asunder, that my (spiritual) substance may shine forth like a sun;


3530. That the sun may be eclipsed by me, that I may show (the difference between) the (fruitful) date-palm and the (barren)
willow.

I will show forth the mystery of Resurrection, the sterling coin and the coin mixed with alloy,

The people of the left with their hands cut off; I will show forth the colour of infidelity and the colour of the (Prophet's) folk. I will lay bare the seven rifts (sins) of hypocrisy in the light of the moon that suffers no eclipse or waning.
I will display the woollen frocks of the damned, I will cause the drums and kettledrums of the prophets to be heard.


3535. Hell and the Gardens (of Paradise) and the intermediate state I will bring clearly before the eyes of the infidels.

I will display the pond of Kawthar heaving (with waves), which dashes water on their (the blessed ones') faces, (while) its sound (rings) in their ears;

And those who are running athirst round Kawthar I will name one by one (and tell) who they are: Their shoulders are rubbing against my shoulder, their cries are piercing my ears.
Before my eyes the people of Paradise, from free choice, clasp each other to their bosoms,


3540. Visiting one another's high places of honour and snatching kisses from the lips (of the houris).

This ear of mine has become deafened by the cries of ‘Alas, Alas!’ (uttered) by the vile wretches (in Hell) and by the screams of ‘O sorrow!’

These are (only) hints. I would speak from the depth (of my knowledge), but I fear to offend the Messenger (of Allah).” He was speaking in this wise, intoxicated and distraught: the Prophet twitched his collar
And said, “Beware! Draw (rein), for your horse has become hot. (When) the reflexion of God is not ashamed (to speak the truth) strikes (on the heart), shame is gone.


3545. your mirror has shot out of the case: how shall mirror and balance speak falsehood?

How shall mirror and balance stop their breath (suppress the truth) for fear of hurting and shaming any one? Mirror and balance are noble touchstones: if you do service (sue) to them for two hundred years,
Saying, ‘Conceal the truth for my sake, display the surplus and do not display the deficiency,

They will say to you, ‘Do not laugh at your beard and moustache: mirror and balance, and then deceit and trickery!


3550. Since God has raised us up in order that by means of us it may be possible to know the truth,

If this do not happen (if we fail to display the truth), what worth have we, O young man? How shall we become a standard for the face of the fair?’

But (said the Prophet) slip the mirror (back) into the cloth, if (Divine) illumination has made your breast a Sinai.”

He (Zayd) said, “Why, shall the Sun of the Truth and the Sun of Eternity be contained any wise under the armpit?

It bursts asunder both armpit (baghal) and imposture (daghal); in its presence neither madness nor (soundness of)
understanding remains.”


3555. He (the Prophet) said, “When you layest one finger on an eye, you seest the world empty of the sun. One finger-tip becomes a veil over the moon—and this is a symbol of God's covering—
So that the (whole) world may be covered (hidden from view) by a single point, and the sun be eclipsed by a splinter.” Close your lips and gaze on the depth of the sea (within you): God made the sea subject to man,
Even as the fountains of Salsabíl and Zanjabíl are under the control of the exalted ones of Paradise.



3560. The four rivers of Paradise are under our control; this is not (by) our might, It is (by) the command of God:
We keep them flowing wheresoever we will, like magic (which takes its course) according to the desire of the magicians, Just as these two flowing eye-fountains (the two eyes) are under the control of the heart and subject to the command of the
spirit.

If it (the heart) will, they turn towards poison and the snake, and if it will, they turn to (edifying) consideration.

If it will, they turn to sensuous things, and if it will, they turn to things clothed (in the forms of thought and phantasy).


3565. If it will, they advance towards universals, and if it will, they remain turned towards particulars.

Similarly all the five senses are passing (in movement) according to the will and command of the heart, like the spool (in the hand of a weaver).

All the five senses are moving and trailing their skirts (sweeping along) in whatever direction the heart indicates to them. Hand and foot are plainly under command of the heart, like the staff in the hand of Moses.
If the heart will, at once the foot begins to dance, or flees from defect towards increase.


3570. If the heart will, the hand comes to terms with the fingers to write a book.

The hand remains in (the grasp of) a hidden hand: it (the hidden hand) within has set the body outside (as its instrument).

If it (the hidden hand) will, it (the external hand) becomes a snake to the enemy; and if it will, it becomes a helper to the friend; And if it will, a spoon in food; and if it will, a mace weighing ten maunds.
I wonder what the heart is saying to them (the members of the body). It is a marvelous connexion, a marvellous hidden link.


3575. Surely the heart has gotten the seal of Solomon, so that it has pulled the reins of (exerted control over) the five senses. Five external senses are easy for it to manage, five internal senses (faculties) are under its command.
There are ten senses and seven limbs (of the body) et cetera: count over (to yourself) what is not mentioned (here). O heart, since you art a Solomon in empire, cast your seal-ring (powerful spell) upon peri and demon.
If in this kingdom you art free from deceit, the three demons will not take the seal outmof your hand;


3580. After that, your name will conquer the world: the two worlds (will be) ruled by you like your body. And if the demon take the seal off your hand, your kingdom is past, your fortune is dead;
After that, O servants (of God), “O sorrow!” is your inevitable doom till the day when ye are gathered together (for
Judgement).

And if you art denying your deceit, how wilt you save your soul from the scales and the  mirror?

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