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(Masnavi Book 2: 20) The reverence of Bilqis for the message of Solomon which was brought to her by the hoopoe





How reverence for the message of Solomon, on whom be peace, was reflected in the heart of Bilqís from the despicable form of the hoopoe.

Hundredfold mercy be on that Bilqís to whom God gave the intellect of a hundred men!

A hoopoe brought the letter with the (royal) sign-manual from Solomon—a few eloquent words. (When) she read those pregnant sayings, she did not look with contempt on the messenger.
Her eye saw him as a hoopoe, (but) her spirit saw him as the ‘Anqá; her senses saw him as a fleck of foam, (but) her heart saw him as the sea.


1605. Because of these two-coloured (diverse) talismans (appearance and reality) the intellect is at war with the senses, as Mohammed with the likes of Abú Jahl.

The infidels regarded Ahmad (Mohammed) as (only) a man, since they did not see in him (the Prophetic nature which was manifested by the miracle) the moon was cleft asunder.

Throw dust on your sense-perceiving eye: the sensuous eye is the enemy of intellect and religion. God has called the sensuous eye blind; He has said that it is an idolater and our foe,
Because it saw the foam and not the sea, because it saw the present and not to-morrow.


1610. The master of to-morrow and of the present (is) before it; (yet) of a (whole) treasure it sees not (even) a groat. (If) a mote bring a message from yonder Sun, the sun would become a slave to that mote.
The drop that has become an envoy from the Sea of Unitythe seven seas would be captive to that drop. If a handful of earth become His courier, His heavens will lay their heads (in homage) before His earth.
When the earth of Adam became God's courier, God's angels laid their heads (in worship) before His earth.


1615. Wherefore (was it), pray, that heaven was rent asunder? Because of one (spiritual) eye that an earthly creature opened.

Earth, from its grossness, settles beneath water; (but) see how earth has sped beyond the empyrean!

Know, then, that the subtlety (of water) is not (derived) from the water: It is only the gift of the Bounteous Originator. If He make air and fire low (in place), and if He let the thorn surpass the rose,
He is the Ruler and (the One who said) God doeth what He willeth: from the very self of pain He raises the remedy.


1620. If He make air and fire low (in place), and make (them assume the qualities of) darkness and grossness and heaviness, And if He make earth and water high (in place), and make the path of heaven (to be) traversed by foot—
Then it has become certain that you exaltest whomso you wilt: He (God) said to an earthly creature, “Unfold your wings.” To the creature of fire He said, “Go, become Iblís: begone under the Seventh Earth with (your) imposture!
O earthly Adam, go you above (the star) Suhá; O fiery Iblís, go to (the bottom of) the Earth.


1625. I am not the four temperaments or the first cause, I am ever remaining in (absolute) control.

My action is uncaused and upright (independent): I have (the power of) predetermination, (I have) no cause, O infirm one. I alter My custom at the time (I choose): at the time (I will) I lay the dust (that rises) in front.
I say to the sea, ‘Hark, be full of fire!’ I say to the fire, ‘Go, be a rose-garden!’

I say to the mountain, ‘Be light as wool!’ I say to heaven, ‘Be rent asunder before the eye!’

1630. I say, ‘O sun, be joined to the moon!’ I make them both like two black clouds.

We make dry the fountain of the sun: by Our art We turn into musk the fountain of blood.” Sun and moon (shall be) like two black oxen: God will fasten a yoke upon their necks.

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