How the Prophet, on whom be peace, said in the ear of the stirrup-holder of the Prince of the Faithful (‘Alí), may God honour his person, “I tell you, ‘Alí will be slain by your hand.”
I am such a man that the honey of my kindness did not become poison in wrath (even) against my murderer.
3845. The Prophet said in the ear of my servant that one day he would sever this head of mine from my neck.
The Prophet by (Divine) inspiration informed my friend that in the end my destruction would be (wrought) by his hand. He (my friend) says, ‘Kill me first, in order that this hateful crime may not proceed from me.’
I say, ‘Since my death is (to come) from you, how can I seek to evade the destiny (of God)?’
He falls before me, saying, ‘O generous man, for God's sake cleave me in twain,
3850. That this evil end may not come upon me, and that my soul may not burn (with grief) for (you who art) its (very)
I say, ‘Go: the Pen (of Divine ordainment) is dry; by that Pen many a (lofty) landmark is overthrown. There is no hatred of you in my soul, because I do not regard this (act) as (proceeding) from you.
You art God's instrument, God's hand is the (real) agent: how should I assail and oppose God's instrument?’”
He (the knight) said, “For what reason, then, is retaliation (sanctioned)?” “It is from God, too,” said ‘Alí, “and that is a hidden mystery.
3855. If He takes offence at His own act, (yet) He causes gardens (of good) to grow from that taking offence. It beseems Him to take offence at His own act, inasmuch as in vengeance and mercy He is One.
In this city of phenomena He is the Prince; in (all) the realms (of the world) He is the Ruler. If He breaks His own instrument, He mends that which has become broken.”
Recognise, O noble sir, the indication of (the text), (Whatever) verse We shall cancel or cause to be forgotten, followed by We shall bring a better.
3860. Every (religious) law that He (God) has cancelled—He has taken away grass and brought roses in exchange. Night cancels the business of day: behold an inanimateness (inertia) that enlightens the intellect!
Again, night is cancelled by the light of day, so that the inanimateness is consumed by that fire-kindling one. Although that sleep and rest are darkness, is not the Water of Life within the darkness?
Did not minds become refreshed in that darkness? Did not a pause (in recitation) become the source of (increased beauty in)
3865. For contraries are manifested by means of contraries: in the black core (of the heart) He (God) created the everlasting light (of love).
The wars of the Prophet became the pivot (determining cause) of peace: the peace of this latter age was (produced) from those wars.
That heart-ravisher cut off hundreds of thousands of heads, in order that the heads of the (whole) world's people might win security.
The gardener lops the harmful bough, in order that the date-palm may gain (tallness of) stature and goodness. The expert (gardener) digs up the weeds from the garden, in order that his garden and fruit may look flourishing.
3870. The physician extracts bad teeth, in order that the beloved (patient) may be saved from pain and sickness. Many advantages are (concealed) within defects: for martyrs there is life in death.
When the (martyr's) throat has been cut that swallowed the daily bread, (the spiritual
blessings implied in the text) receiving the (Divine) bounty, rejoicing, shall be delicious (to him).
When the throat of an animal is cut duly (in the manner prescribed by law), there grows (from it) the throat of man, and its excellence is increased (thereby).
When a (martyred) man's throat is cut, come, consider what the result will be! Judge of this (case) by the analogy of that
3875. A third throat will be born, and care of it will be (taken by) the sherbet of God and His lights.
The throat that has been cut drinks (the Divine) sherbet, but (only) the throat that has been delivered from Nay and has died in
Make an end, O pusillanimous short-fingered (infirm) one! How long will the life of your spirit be (sustained) by bread? Like the willow, you have no fruit, because you have lost yours honour for the sake of white bread.
If the sensual soul cannot refrain from this bread, take the elixir and turn your copper into gold.
3880. Wouldst you wash your garment (clean), O so-and-so, do not avert your face from the bleachers' quarter. Although the bread has broken your fast, cling to Him that binds what is broken, and ascend!
Inasmuch as His hand binds what is broken, it follows that His breaking is assuredly mending.
It you break it, He will say to you, “Come, make it whole (again)”; and you have neither hand nor foot (You art helpless). Therefore He (alone) has the right to break, for He (alone) can mend what has been broken.
3885. He that knows how to sew (together) knows how to tear (asunder); whatsoever
He sells, He buys (something) better (in exchange).
He lays the house in ruins, upside down; then in one moment He makes it more habitable (than it was before).
If He sever one head from the body, He at once raises up hundreds of thousands of heads (for the beheaded person). If He had not ordained a retaliation upon the guilty, or if He had not said, “In retaliation there is (for you) a life,”
Who would have the stomach (would dare) of himself (on his own responsibility) to wield (draw) a sword against him that is a thrall to the decree of God?—
3890. Because every one whose eyes He (God) has opened would know that the slayer was constrained (to slay) by (Divine) predestination.
Any one on whom that predestination became a collar (any one subjected to it) would strike a sword-blow even at the head of his (own) child.
Go, fear (God) and do not rail at the wicked: know yours own impotence before the snare of the (Divine) decree.