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(Masnavi Book 3: 24) Infidelity and Predestination



Reconciliation of these two Traditions: “To be satisfied with infidelity is an act of infidelity, and If any one is not satisfied with My ordainment, let him seek a lord other than Me.

Yesterday an inquirer put a question to me, because he was fond of disputation.
He said, “This Prophet uttered the deep saying, ‘To be satisfied with infidelity is an act of infidelity; his words are (conclusive like) a seal.
Again, he said that the Moslem must be satisfied (acquiesce) in every ordainment, must be satisfied.

1365. Is not infidelity and hypocrisy the ordainment of God? If I become satisfied with this
(infidelity), twill be opposition (disobedience to God),
And if I am not satisfied, that too will be detrimental: between (these two alternatives), then, what means (of escape) is there for me?
I said to him, “This infidelity is the thing ordained, it is not the ordainment; this infidelity is truly the effects of the ordainment.
Therefore know (distinguish), sire, the ordainment from the thing ordained, so that your difficulty
may be removed at once.
I acquiesce in infidelity in that respect that it is the ordainment (of God), not in this respect that it is our contentiousness and wickedness.

1370. In respect of the ordainment, infidelity indeed is not infidelity. Do not call God ‘infidel,’
do not stand here.
Infidelity is ignorance, and the ordainment of infidelity is knowledge: how, pray, should hilm
(forbearance) and khilm (anger) both be one (and the same)?
The ugliness of the script is not the ugliness of the artist; nay, it is an exhibition of the ugly by him.
The power (skill) of the artist is that he can make both the ugly and the beautiful.
If I develop the investigation of this (subject) methodically, so that question and answer become lengthy,

1375. The savour of Love's mystery will go from me, the form of piety will be deformed.

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