IN THE NAME OF GOD THE MERCIFUL, THE COMPASSIONATE
Touching this Second Book (of the Mathnawí), part of the reason of its postponement is (here) set forth, namely, that if all the Divine Wisdom (shown in any particular act) be made known to His slave, the slave (absorbed) in (contemplation of) the benefits of that act will be left without the power to perform it; and the infinite Wisdom of God will destroy his understanding, (so that) he will not engage in that act. Therefore the High God makes a small portion of that infinite Wisdom (to be as) a toggle in his nose and leads him towards that act; for if He give him no information about those benefits, he will not move at
Reynold A. Nicholson
all, inasmuch as the motive (of human actions) arises from advantages to ourselves or others, for the sake of which we act accordingly; while (on the other hand), if He should pour down upon him the (whole) wisdom of that (act), he will also be unable to move; just as a camel will not go (forward) unless there be a toggle in his nose, and if the toggle be (too) big he will likewise lie down (and refuse to go on). And there is nothing but We have the storehouses thereof, and We do not send it down but in a certain measure. Without water, earth does not become a brick, nor (again) does it become a brick when there is (too) much water. And the heaven, He raised it and set up the scales. He giveth every thing by the scale, not without calculation and
balance, save (only) to those who have been transmuted from the creaturely state of existence and have become (like those described in the text) And He bestoweth on whom He pleaseth without calculation, albeit whoso hath not tasted (experienced) doth not know. Some one asked, “What is love?” I answered, “Thou wilt know when thou becomest (lost in) me.” Love is uncalculated affection. For that reason it has been said to be in reality the attribute of God and unreal in relation to (man who is) His slave. He (God) loveth them (yuhibbuhum) is the entire sum. Which (of them) is (really the subject of the word yuhibbúnahú) they love Him?