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(Masnavi Book 5: 28) The infinite mercy of God










Concerning what may be hoped for from the mercy of God most High, who bestows His favours before they have been deserved— and He it is who sends down the rain after they have despaired. And many an estrangement produces intimacy (as its result), and there is many a blessed sin, and many a happiness that comes in a case where penalties are expected, in order that it may be known that God changes their evil deeds to good.

In the Traditions (of the Prophet) it is related that on the Day of Resurrection every single body will be commanded to arise.
The blast of the trumpet is the command from the Holy God, namely, O children (of Adam), lift up your heads from the grave.
(Then) every one's soul will return to its body, just as consciousness returns to the (awakened) body at dawn.

1775. At daybreak the soul recognises its own body and re-enters its own ruin, like treasures (hidden in waste places).
It recognises its own body and goes into it: how should the soul of the goldsmith go to the tailor? The soul of the scholar runs to the scholar, the spirit of the tyrant runs to the tyrant;
For the Divine Knowledge has made them (the souls) cognisant (of their bodies), as (happens with) the lamb and the ewe, at the hour of dawn.
The foot knows its own shoe in the dark: how should not the soul know its own body, O worshipful one?

1780. Dawn is the little resurrection: O seeker of refuge (with God), judge from it what the greater resurrection will be like.

Even as the soul flies towards the clay (of its body), the scroll (of every one's good and evil actions) will fly into the left hand or the right.
Into his hand will be put the scroll (register) of avarice and liberality, impiety and piety, and all the (good or evil) dispositions that he had formed yesterday.
At dawn when he wakes from slumber, that good and evil will come back to him.
If he has disciplined his moral nature, the same (purified) nature will present itself to him when he wakes;

1785. And if yesterday he was ignorant and wicked and misguided, he will find his left hand black as a letter of mourning;
But if yesterday he was (morally) clean and pious and religious, when he wakes he will gain the precious pearl.
Our sleep and waking are two witnesses which attest to us the significance of death and resurrection.
The lesser resurrection has shown forth the greater resurrection; the lesser death has illumined the greater death.
But (in the present life) this scroll (of our good and evil actions) is a fancy and hidden (from our sight), though at the greater resurrection it will be very clearly seen.

1790. Here this fancy is hidden, (only) the traces are visible; but there He (God) from this fancy will produce (actual) forms.
Behold in the architect the fancy (idea) of a house, (hidden) in his mind like a seed in a piece of earth. That fancy comes forth from within (him), as the earth bears (plants) from the seed (sown) within. Every fancy that makes its abode in the mind will become a (visible) form on the Day of Resurrection, Like the architect's fancy (conceived) in his thought; like the plant (produced) in the earth that takes the seed.

1795. My object in (speaking of) both these resurrections is (to tell) a story; (yet) in its exposition there is a moral for the true believers.
When the sun of the Resurrection rises, foul and fair (alike) will leap up hastily from the grave.
They will be running to the wán (Chancery) of the (Divine) Decree: the good and bad coin will go into the crucible—
The good coin joyously and with great delight; the false coin in anguish and melting (with terror).
At every moment the (Divine) probations will be arriving (coming into action): the thoughts concealed in the heart will be appearing in the body,

1800. As when the water and oil in a lamp are exposed to view, or like a piece of earth from which grow up the (seeds) deposited within.
From onion, leek, and poppy the hand of Spring reveals the secret of Winter
One (party) fresh and green, saying, “We are the devout; and the other drooping their heads like the violet, Their eyes starting out (of the sockets) from (dread of) the danger, and streaming like ten fountains from fear of the appointed end;
Their eyes remaining in (fearful) expectation, lest the scroll (of their deeds) come (to them) from the left side;

1805. Their eyes rolling to right and left, because the fortune of the scroll (that comes) from the right
(side) is not easy (to win).
(Then) there comes into the hand of (such) a servant (of God) a scroll headed with black and cram-full of crime and wickedness;
Containing not a single good deed or act of saving grace nothing but wounds inflicted on the hearts of the saintly;
Filled from top to bottom with foulness and sin, with mockery and jeering at the followers of the Way,
(With all) his rascalities and thieveries and Pharaoh-like expressions of selfglorification.

1810. When that odious man reads his scroll, he knows that he is (virtually) on the road to prison. Then he sets out, like robbers going to the gallows; his crime manifest, and the way (possibility) of excusing himself barred.

The thousands of bad pleas and (false) speeches (made during his life) have become like an evil nail (seal)
on his mouth.
The stolen property has been discovered on his person and in his house: his (plausible) story has vanished. He sets out, therefore, to the prison of Hell; for thorns have no means of escape from (being burnt in) the fire.

1815. The angels that (formerly) were hidden, (whilst they walked) as custodians before and behind
(him), have (now) become visible like policemen.
They take him along, prodding him with the goad and saying, Begone, O dog, to your own kennels!He drags his feet (lingers) on every road, that perchance he may escape from the pit (of Hell).
He stands expectantly, keeping silence and turning his face backward in a (fervent) hope, Pouring tears like autumn rain. A mere hopewhat has he except that?

1820. (So) at every moment he is looking back and turning his face to the Holy Court (on high).
Then from God in the realm of light comes the command— “Say ye to him, O neer-do-well destitute (of merit),
What art you expecting, O mine of mischief? Why art you looking back, O giddy-headed man?
Your scroll (record) is that which came into your hand, O offender against God and worshipper of the Devil. Since you have seen the scroll of your deeds, why do you look back? Behold the reward of your works!

1825. Why art you tarrying in vain? Where is hope of light in such a (deep) pit as this?
Neither outwardly have you any act of piety (to your credit), nor inwardly and in your heart an intention (to perform one);
No nightly orisons and vigils, no abstinence and fasting in the daytime;
No holding your tongue to avoid hurting any one, no looking earnestly forward and backward.
What is (meant by looking) forward? To think of your own death and last agony. What is (meant by looking)
backward? (To remember) the predecease of your friends.

1830. you have (in your record) no wailful penitence for your injustice, O rogue who showest wheat and sellest barley.
Since your scales were wrong and false, how shouldst you require the scales of your retribution to be right? Since you wert a left foot (wert going to the left) in fraud and dishonesty, how should the scroll come into your right hand?
Since retribution is (like) the shadow, accordingly your shadow, O man of bent figure, falls crookedly before you.’”
(To him) from this quarter (Heaven) come (such) harsh words of rebuke that even the back of a mountain would be bowed by them.

1835. The servant (of God) answers: I am a hundred, hundred, hundred times as much as that which
You have declared.
Verily, in your forbearance you have thrown a veil over worse things (than those mentioned); otherwise (You mightst have declared them, for) you knowest with your knowledge (all my) shameful deeds; But, outside of my own exertion and action, beyond good and evil and religion and infidelity,
And beyond my feeble supplication and the fancy and imagination of myself or a hundred like me, Beyond living righteously or behaving disobediently—I had a (great) hope in your pure lovingkindness.

1840. I had hope in the pure bounty (flowing) from your spontaneous loving kindness, O Gracious
Disinterested One.
I turn my face back to that pure grace: I am not looking towards my own actions.
I turn my face towards that hope, for you have given me existence older than of old.
You gavest (me) existence, free of cost, as a robe of honour: I have always relied upon that (generosity).” When he recounts his sins and trespasses, the Pure Bounty begins to show munificence,

1845. Saying, O angels, bring him back to Us, for his inward eye has (ever) been (turned) towards hope.

Like one who recks of naught, We will set him free and cancel all his trespasses.
(To say) I reck not is permitted to that One (alone) who loses nothing by perfidy and (gains nothing) by probity.
We will kindle up a goodly fire of grace, in order that no sin and fault, great or small, may endureSuch a fire that the least spark of the flame thereof is consuming (all) sin and necessity and free-will.

1850. We will set fire to the tenement of Man and make the thorns (in it) a spiritual garden of roses.
We have sent from the Ninth Sphere (the highest Heaven) the elixir (namely), He will rectify for you your actions.
What in sooth is Adam's (Man's) sovereignty and power of choice beside the Light of the Everlasting
Abode?
His speaking organ is a piece of flesh; the seat of his vision is a piece of fat;
The seat of his hearing consists of two pieces of bone; the seat of his (intellectual) perception is two drops of blood, that is to say, the heart.

1855. you art a little worm and art stuffed with filth; (yet) you have made a (great) display of pomp in the world.
You wert (originally composed) of seed: relinquish egoism! O Ayáz, keep in mind that sheepskin jacket!

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