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(Masnavi Book 5: 14) “The Lowest of the Low”








Commentary on We created Man in the best (physical and mental) proportion, then We reduced him to the lowest of the low”; and on “And to whomsoever We grant long life, We cause him to relapse in constitution.”

The beauty personified in Adam, to which the angels bow down, is afterwards deposed (from its former perfection), like Adam (when he fell from Paradise).
It cries, Alas, after existence non-existence!” He (God) says, “Your crime is this, that you have lived too long.
Gabriel, dragging it by the hair, leads it away, saying, Begone from this Paradise and from the company of the fair ones.”

965. It says, “What is (the meaning of) this abasement after exaltation?He (Gabriel) replies, “That
(exaltation) is a gift (of God), and this (abasement) is (His) judgement on you.
(It cries), O Gabriel, you didst (formerly) bow down (to me) with (all) your soul: why art you now driving me from Paradise?
My robes are flying from me in (this hour of) tribulation, like leaves from the date-palm in the season of autumn.”
The countenance whose splendour was moon-like becomes with old age like the back of the Libyan lizard; And the fair head and crown (of the head) that once were radiant become ugly and bald at the time of eld;

970. And the tall proud figure, piercing the ranks like a spear-point, in old age is bent double like a bow. The colour of red anemone becomes the colour of saffron; his lion-like strength becomes as the courage of women.
He that used to grip a man in his arms by skill (in wrestling), (now) they take hold of his arms (to support him) at the time of departure.
Truly these are marks of pain and decay: every one of them is a messenger of death.

Commentary on The lowest of the low, except those who have believed and wrought good works; for they shall have a reward that is not cut off.”

But if his physician be the Light of God, there is no loss or crushing blow (that he will suffer) from old age and fever.

975. His weakness is like the weakness of the intoxicated, for in his weakness he is the envy of a
Rustam.
If he die, his bones are drowned in (spiritual) savour; every mote of him is (floating) in the beams of the light of love-desire.
And he who has not that (Light) is an orchard without fruit, which the autumn brings to ruin.
The roses remain not; (only) the black thorns remain: it becomes pale and pithless like a heap of straw.
O God, I wonder what fault did that orchard commit, that these (beautiful) robes should be stripped from it.

980. It paid regard to itself, and self-regard is a deadly poison. Beware, O you who art put to the trial!The minion for love of whom the world weptthe world (now) is repulsing him from itself: what is (his) crime?
The crime is that he put on a borrowed adornment and pretended that these robes were his own property. We take them back, in order that he may know for sure that the stack is Ours and the fair ones are (only) gleaners;
That he may know that those robes were a loan: it was a ray from the Sun of Being.”

985. (All) that beauty and power and virtue and knowledge have journeyed hither from the Sun of
Excellence.
They, the light of that Sun, turn back again, like the stars, from these (bodily) walls.
(When) the Sunbeam has gone home, every wall is left dark and black.
That which made you amazed at the faces of the fair is the Light of the Sun (reflected) from the three- coloured glass.
The glasses of diverse hue cause that Light to seem coloured like this to us.

990. When the many-coloured glasses are no more, then the colourless Light makes you amazed.
Make it your habit to behold the Light without the glass, in order that when the glass is shattered there may not be blindness (in you).
You art content with knowledge learned (from others): you have lit yours eye at another's lamp. He takes away his lamp, that you mayst know you art a borrower, not a giver.
If you have rendered thanks (to God for what you have received) and made the utmost exertion (in doing
so), be not grieved (at its loss), for He will give (you) a hundred such (gifts) in return;

995. But if you have not rendered thanks, weep (tears of) blood now, for that (spiritual) excellence has become quit of (has abandoned) the ungrateful.
He (God) causeth the works of the unbelieving people to be lost; He maketh the state of the believing people to prosper.
From the ungrateful man (his) excellence and knowledge disappear, so that never again does he see a trace of them.
(His feelings of) affinity and non-affinity and gratitude and affection vanish in such wise that he cannot remember them;
For, O ingrates, (the words) He causeth their works to be lost are (signify) the flight of (every) object of desire from every one who has obtained his desire (in this world),

1000. Excepting the thankful and faithful who are attended by fortune.
How should the past fortune bestow strength (on its possessors)? It is the future fortune that bestows a special virtue.
In (obedience to the Divine command) Lend, make a loan (to God) from this (worldly) fortune, that you mayst see a hundred fortunes before your face.
Diminish a little for yours own sake this (eating and) drinking, that you mayst find in front (of you) the basin of Kawthar.
He who poured a draught on the earth of faithfulness, how should the prey, fortune, be able to flee from him?

1005. He (God) gladdens their hearts, for He maketh their state to prosper: He restoreth their (worldly)
entertainment after they have perished.

(He says), O Death, O Turcoman who plunderest the village, give back whatsoever you have taken from these thankful ones.
He (Death) gives it back; (but) they will not receive it, for they have been endowed with the goods of spiritual life.
(They say), We are Súfís and have cast off our (bodily) mantles: we will not take (them) back after we have gambled (them) away.
We have seen the recompense (from God)(and) how (can there be) a (worldly) recompense then (after
that)? Want and desire and object are gone from us.

1010. We have emerged from a briny and destroying water, we have attained to the pure wine (of
Paradise) and the fountain of Kawthar.
O World, that which you have shown unto others—faithlessness and deceit and grievous pride— We pour (it all) on your head in repayment, for we are martyrs come to war (against you).
(This is) in order that you may know that the Holy God has servants impetuous and combative,
(Who) tear out the moustache of worldly hypocrisy and pitch their tents on the rampart of (Divine) aid.

1015. These martyrs have become warriors anew, and these captives have gained the victory once more; They have lifted up their heads again from non-existence, saying, “Behold us if you art not blind from birth,”
That you may know that in non-existence there are suns, and that what is a sun here is (only) a small star yonder.
How, O brother, is existence (contained) in non-existence? How is opposite concealed in opposite?
He brings forth the living from the dead: know that the hope of (His) worshippers is non-existence.

1020. The sower whose barn is empty, is not he joyful and happy in hope of non-existence
(Namely, in the hope) that that (crop) will grow from the quarter of nonexistence? Apprehend (this) if you art aware of (spiritual) reality.
Moment by moment you art expecting from non-existence to gain understanding and (spiritual) perception and peace and good.
It is not permitted to divulge this mystery; else I should make Abkház a Baghdád. Non-existence, then, is God's factory from which He continually produces gifts.

1025. God is the Originator, and an originator is he who produces a branch (derivative) without root
(fundamental principle) or support (model).

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