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(Masnavi Book 4: 80) Dhu’l-Qarnayn and Mount Qaf




How Dhu ’l-Qarnayn went to Mount Qáf and made petition, saying, O Mount Qáf, tell me of the majesty of the Attributes of God; and how Mount f said that the description of His majesty is ineffable, since (all) perceptions vanish before it; and how Dhu ’l-Qarnayn made humble supplication, saying, Tell of His works that you have in mind and of which it is more easy for you to speak.”


Dhu ’l-Qarnayn went towards Mount Qáf: he saw that it was (made) of pure emerald,
And that it had become a ring surrounding the (whole) world. He was amazed at that immense creation (work of God).
He said, “You art the mountain (indeed): what are the others? for beside your magnitude they are (but) playthings.”
It replied, “Those (other) mountains are my veins: they are not like unto me in beauty and glory.

3715. I have a hidden vein in every land: (all) the regions of the world are fastened to my veins.
When God wills an earthquake in any land, He bids me and I cause the vein to throb.
Then I make to move mightily the vein with which the (particular) land is connected.
When He says Enough! my vein rests. I am (apparently) at rest, but actually I am in rapid motion”—
At rest, like the (medicinal) ointment, and very active (efficacious); at rest, like the intellect, while the speech (impelled) by it is moving.

3720. In the opinion of him whose intelligence does not perceive this, earthquakes are caused by terrestrial vapours.

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