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(Masnavi Book 3: 82) The outer and inner sense of the Quran



Commentary on the Tradition of Mustafá (Mohammed), on whom be peace, that the Qur’án has an exterior (sense) and an interior (sense), and that its interior (sense) has an interior (sense), (and so on) to seven interior (senses).

Know that the words of the Qur’án have an exterior (sense), and under the exterior (sense) an interior (sense), exceedingly overpowering;

4245. And beneath that inward (sense) a third interior (sense), wherein all intellects become lost.
The fourth interior (sense) of the Qur’án none has perceived at all, except God the peerless and incomparable.
In the Qur’án do not thou, O son, regard (only) the exterior: the Devil regards Adam as naught
but clay.
The exterior (sense) of the Qur’án is like a man's person, for his features are visible, while his spirit is hidden.
A man's paternal and maternal uncles (may see him) for a hundred years, and of his (inward)
state not see (so much as) the tip of a hair.

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