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(Masnavi Book 4: 11) “The Faithful are naught but brothers

Explanation of Verily, the Faithful are brothers, and the ulamá (divines) are as one soul”; in particular, the oneness of David, Solomon, and all the other prophets, on whom be peace: if you disbelieve in one of them, (your) faith in any prophet will not be perfect; and this is the sign of (their) oneness, that if you destroy a single one of those thousands of houses, all the rest will be destroyed, and not a single wall will be left standing; for “We make no distinction between any of them (the prophets).Indication is sufficient for him that has intelligence: this goes even beyond indication.

(God said to David), Although it will not be accomplished by your labour and strength, yet the
Mosque will be erected by your son.
His deed is your deed, O man of wisdom: know that between the Faithful is an ancient union.”
The Faithful are numerous, but the Faith is one: their bodies are numerous, but their soul is one. Besides the understanding and soul which is in the ox and the ass, Man has another intelligence and soul;

410. Again, in the owner of that (Divine) breath there is a soul other than the human soul and intelligence.
The animal soul does not possess oneness: seek not you this oneness from the airy (vital) spirit.
If this one eat bread, that one is not filled; and if this one bear a load, that one does not become laden;
Nay, but this one rejoices at the death of that one, and dies of envy when he sees that one's
The souls of wolves and dogs are separate, every one; the souls of the Lions of God are united.

415. I have spoken of their souls nominally (formally) in the plural, for that single soul is a hundred in relation to the body,
Just as the single light of the sun in heaven is a hundred in relation to the house-courts (on which it shines),
But when you remove the wall, all the lights (falling) on them are one.
When the (bodily) houses have no foundation remaining, the Faithful remain one soul.

Differences and difficulties arise from this saying, because this is not a (complete) similitude: it is
(only) a comparison.

420. Endless are the differences between the corporeal figure of a lion and the figure of a courageous son of man;
But at the moment of (making) the comparison consider, O you who have good insight, their
oneness in respect of hazarding their lives;
For, after all, the courageous man did resemble the lion, (though) he is not like the lion in all points of the definition.
This abode (the world) does not contain any form (that is) one (with any other form), so that I
might show forth to you a (complete) similitude.
Still, I will bring to hand an imperfect comparison, that I may redeem your mind from confusion.

425. At night a lamp is placed in every house, in order that by its light they (the inmates) may be delivered from darkness.
That lamp is (like) this body, its light like the (animal) soul; it requires a wick and this and that.
That lamp with six wicks, namely, these senses, is based entirely upon sleep and food.
Without food and sleep it would not live half a moment; nor even with food and sleep does it live either.
Without wick and oil it has no duration, and with wick and oil it is also faithless (transient),

430. Inasmuch as its light, (being) related to (secondary) causes, is seeking death: how should it live when bright day is the death of it?
Likewise all the human senses are impermanent, because they are naught in the presence of the
Day of Resurrection.
The light of the senses and spirits of our fathers is not wholly perishable and naught, like the grass;
But, like the stars and moonbeams, they all vanish in the radiance of the Sun.
It is just as the smart and pain of the flea's bite disappears when the snake comes in to you (and bites you).

435. It is just as the naked man jumped into the water, that in the water he might escape from the sting of the hornets:
The hornets circle above (him), and when he puts out his head they do not spare him.
The water is recollection (dhikr) of God, and the hornet is the remembrance, during this time, of such-and-such a woman or such-and-such a man.
Swallow (hold) your breath in the water of recollection and show fortitude, that you may be freed from the old thought and temptation.
After that, you yourself will assume the nature of that pure water entirely from head to foot.

440. As the noxious hornet flees from the water, so will it be afraid of (approaching) you. After that, be far from the water, if you wish; for in your inmost soul you are of the same nature as the water, O fellow-servant.
Those persons, then, who have passed from the world are not naught (nonexistent), but they are steeped in the (Divine) Attributes.
All their attributes are (absorbed) in the Attributes of God, even as the star is (left) without trace in the presence of the sun.
If you demand a citation from the Qur’án, O recalcitrant, recite all of them shall be brought into
Our presence.

445. (The person denoted by the word) muhdan (brought into the presence) is not non- existent (ma‘dúm). Consider (this) well, that you may gain certain knowledge of the everlasting life (baqá) of the spirits.

The spirit debarred from everlasting life is exceedingly tormented; the spirit united (with God) in everlasting life is free from (every) barrier.
I have told you the purpose of this lamp of animal sense-perception. Beware of seeking to become one (with it in spirit).
Make your spirit, O such-and-such, to be united speedily with the holy spirits of the Travellers (on the mystic Way).
Your hundred lamps, then, whether they die (are extinguished) or whether they stand (and burn), are separate (from each other) and are not single.

450. On that account these companions of ours are all at war, (but) no one (ever) heard of war amongst the prophets,
Because the light of the prophets was the Sun, (while) the light of our senses is lamp and candle
and smoke.
One (of these lamps) dies, one lasts till daybreak; one is dim, another bright.
The animal soul is (kept) alive by nutriment; however good or bad its state may be, it dies all the same.
If this lamp dies and is extinguished, (yet) how should the neighbour's house become dark?

455. Inasmuch as without this (lamp) the light in that house is still maintained, hence (it follows that) the lamp of sense-perception is different in every house.
This is a parable of the animal soul, not a parable of the divine soul.
Again, when the moon is born from the Hindú, Night, a light falls upon every window.
Count the light of those hundred houses as one, for the light of this (house) does not remain (in existence) without (the light of) the other.
So long as the sun is shining on the horizon, its light is a guest in every house;

460. Again, when the spiritual Sun sets, the light in all the houses disappears.
This is (only) a parable of the Light, not a (complete) similitude; for you (it is) a true guide, for the enemy (of the Light) a highwayman.
That evil-natured person resembles the spider: he weaves stinking veils (cobwebs).
Of his own gossamer he made a veil over the Light: he made the eye of his apprehension blind. If one takes hold of a horse's neck, he gains advantage; and if he takes hold of its leg, he receives a kick.

465. Do not mount the restive horse without a bridle: make Reason and Religion your leader, and farewell.
Do not look scornfully and contemptuously on this quest, for in this Way there is (need of) self- denial and grievous anguish to (men's) souls.

The rest of the Story of the building of the Farther Mosque.

When Solomon began the building—holy like the Kaba, august like Miná—
In his building were seen splendour and magnificence: it was not frigid (dull and lifeless) like other buildings.
From the first, every stone in the building—(every stone) that was broken off from the
mountain—was saying clearly, Take me along!

470. As from the water and earth of the house (bodily tenement) of Adam, (so) did light shine forth from the pieces of mortar.
The stones were coming without carrier, and those doors and walls had become living.
God saith that the ‘wall of Paradise is not lifeless and ugly like (other) walls;
Like the door and wall of the body, it is (endowed) with intelligence: the house (Paradise) is living since it belongs to the King of kings.

Both tree and fruit and limpid water (take part) with the in habitant of Paradise in conversation and discourse,

475. Because Paradise has not been fashioned out of (the builder’s) materials; nay, but it has been fashioned out of (good) deeds and intentions.
This edifice has been (made) of dead water and earth, while that edifice has arisen from living
This (edifice) resembles its foundation (which is) full of defect, and that (edifice resembles) its foundation, which is knowledge and action.
Both throne and palace and crown and robes are (engaged) in question and reply (conversation)
with the inhabitant of Paradise.
The carpet (there) is folded without the farrash (carpet- spreader); the house (Paradise) is swept without the broom.

480. Behold the house of the heart: it was disordered by (worldly) cares: without sweeper it was swept (clean) by a (vow of) repentance.
Its throne moved along without carrier; its door-ring and door became (sweet-sounding like)
musician and singer.
The life of the everlasting Abode (Paradise) exists in the heart: since it comes not on to my tongue, what is the use (of my attempting to describe it)?
When Solomon went into the Mosque every morning to guide the servants (of God) in the right
He would give exhortation, sometimes by speech and melody and harmony, sometimes by act—I
mean, a bowing or (service of) prayer.

485. The exhortation of act draws people more powerfully, for it reaches the soul of every one that has hearing and (also) the deaf.
In that (kind of exhortation) the conceit of princedom is less (than in the other kind): the impression made by it upon the (prince’s) followers is strong.

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