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(Masnavi Book 4: 06) The Names of God





The purpose for which God is called Samí (Hearing) and Basír (Seeing).
 215. God has called Himself Basír (Seeing), in order that His seeing you may at every moment be a deterrent (against sin).
God has called Himself Samí (Hearing), in order that you mavst close your lips (and refrain) from foul speech.
God has called Himself Alím (Knowing), in order that you mayst fear to meditate a wicked deed.
These are not proper names applicable to God: (proper names are merely designations), for even a negro may have the name Káfúr (Camphor).


The Names (of God) are derivative and (denote) Eternal Attributes: (they are) not unsound like
(the doctrine of) the First Cause.

220. Otherwise, it would be ridicule and mockery and deception, (like calling) a deaf person
Samí (Hearer) and blind men Ziyá (Radiance);
Or (as though) Hayí (Bashful) should be the proper name of an impudent fellow, or Sabíh
(Beautiful) the name of a hideous blackamoor.
You may confer the title of Hájjí (Pilgrim) or Ghází (Holy Warrior) on a newborn child for the purpose of (indicating his) lineage;
(But) if these titles are used in praise, they are not correct unless he (the person so described)
possess that (particular) quality.
(Otherwise), it would be a ridicule and mockery (so to use them), or madness: God is clear of
(untouched by) what the unrighteous say.

225. I knew, before (our meeting), that you art good-looking but evil-natured;
I knew, before coming face to face (with thee), that by reason of contumacy you art set fast in damnation.
When my eye is red in ophthalmia, I know it (the redness) is from the disease, (even) if I do not
see it (the redness).
You deemedst me as a lamb without the shepherd, you thoughtest that I have none keeping watch (over me).
The cause why lovers have moaned in grief is that they have rubbed their eyes malapropos.

230. They have regarded that Gazelle as being shepherdless, they have regarded that Captive as (one who may be taken) cost-free,
Till (suddenly) an arrow from the glance (of Divine jealousy) comes (descends) upon the heart,
(as though) to say,I am the Keeper: do not look wantonly.
How am I meaner than a lamb, meaner than a kid, that there should not be a keeper behind me? I have a Keeper whom it beseems to hold dominion: He knoweth the wind that blows upon me. Whether that wind was cold or hot, that Knowing One is not unaware, is not absent, O infirm
man.

235. The appetitive soul is deaf and blind to God: I with my heart was seeing your blindness from afar.
For eight years I did not inquire after you at all, because I saw you (to be) full of ignorance, fold on fold.
Why, indeed, should I inquire after one who is in t he bath-stove (of lust), and say (to him) How art thou? when he is (plunged) headlong (in sensuality)?

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