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(Masnavi Book 1: 57) Muhammad ﷺ and the scribe who wrote down the Quranic Revelations

How the writer of the (Qur’ánic) Revelation fell into apostasy because (when) the ray of the Revelation shot upon him, he recited the (revealed) verse before the Prophet, on whom be peace, (had dictated it to him); then he said, “So I too am one upon whom Revelation has descended.”

Before (the time of) ‘Uthmán there was a scribe who used to be diligent in writing down the Revelation. Whenever the Prophet dictated the Revelation, he would write out the same (portion) on the leaf.

3230. The beams of that Revelation would shine upon him, and he would find Wisdom within him.

The substance of that Wisdom was dictated by the Prophet: by this (small) amount (of reflected Wisdom) that meddling fool was led astray,

Thinking, I have in my conscience the Truth of that which the illumined Prophet is saying.” The ray of his thought struck the Prophet: the wrath of God descended on his (the scribe's) soul.
He abandoned both his work as a scribe and the Religion (Islam): he became the malignant foe of Mustafá (Mohammed) and the Religion.

3235. Mustafá said, “O obstinate miscreant, if the Light was from you, how shouldst you have become black (with sin)?

If you hadst been the Divine fountain (whence the Revelation issued), you wouldst not have let out such black water as this.” Lest his reputation should be ruined in the sight of all and sundry, this (pride) kept his mouth shut.
His (a sinner's) heart is being darkened, hence he is unable to repent: this is wonderful.

He (the scribe) was crying “Alas,” but “Alas” was of no use to him when the sword came on and took off his head.

3240. God has made reputation (to be like) a hundred maunds' weight of iron: oh, many a one is bound in the unseen chain! Pride and infidelity have barred that Way (of repentance) in such wise that he (the sinner) cannot utter a sigh.
He (God) said, (We have put on their necks) shackles (chin-high), and thereby they are forced to lift up their heads”: those shackles are not (put) on us from outside.

(And We have put) behind them a barrier, and We have made a covering (of darkness) over them”: the uncle (old sinner) is not seeing the barrier in front (of him) and behind.

The barrier that arose has the appearance of open country: he does not know that it is the barrier of the Divine destiny.

3245. Your (earthly) beloved is a barrier to the face of the (Divine) Beloved: your (worldly) guide is a barrier to the words of the (true spiritual) guide.

Oh, many are the infidels that have a passionate longing for the Religion (Islam): his (such a one's) chain (stumbling-block) is reputation and pride and that and this (object of desire).

The chain is hidden. but It is worse than iron: the iron chain is cloven by the axe. The iron chain can be removed: none knows how to cure the invisible chain.
If a man is stung by a wasp, he extracts the wasp's sting from his body,

3250. But since the stinging wound is from (inflicted by) your self-existence, the pain continues with violence and the anguish is not relieved.

The (full) explanation of this (matter) is springing forth (seeking to escape) from my breast, but I am afraid it may give (you cause to) despair.

Nay, do not despair: make yourself cheerful, call for help to Him who comes at the call,

Saying, “Forgive us, O you who lovest to forgive, O you who have a medicine for the old gangrenous disease!”

The reflexion of Wisdom led astray that miserable one (the Prophet's scribe): be not self-conceited, lest it (your self-conceit)
raise up the dust from you (utterly destroy you).

3255. O brother, Wisdom is flowing in upon you: it comes from the Abdál, and in you it is (only) a borrowed thing. Although the house (your heart) has found a light within it, that (light) has shone forth from a light-giving neighbour.
Render thanks, be not beguiled by vanity, do not turn up your nose (in disdain), hearken attentively, and do not show any self- conceit.

It is a hundred pities and griefs that this borrowed (unreal) state (of self-assertion) has put the religious communities far from religious communion.

I am the (devoted) slave of him who does not regard himself in every caravanseray (at every stage in his spiritual progress) as having attained to (the privilege of sitting at) the table (of union with God).

3260. Many is the caravanseray that must be quitted, in order that one day the man may reach home.

Though the iron has become red, it is not red (by nature): it (the redness) is a ray borrowed from something that strikes fire. If the window or the house is full of light, do not deem aught luminous except the sun.
Every door and wall says, “I am luminous: I do not hold the rays of another, I (myself) am this (light).”

Then the sun says, “O you who art not right (in your belief), when I set ’twill become evident (You wilt see what the truth is).”

3265. The plants say, “We are green of ourselves, we are gay and smiling (blooming) and we are tall (by nature).” The season of summer says (to them), “O peoples, behold yourselves when I depart!”
The body is boasting of its beauty and comeliness, (while) the spirit, having concealed its glory and pinions and plumes, Says to it, “O dunghill, who art thou? Through my beams you have come to life for a day or two.
Your coquetry and prideful airs are not contained in the world (go beyond all bounds), (but) wait till I spring up (and escape)
from you!

3270. They whose love warmed you will dig a grave for you, they will make you a morsel for ants and reptiles. That one who many a time in your presence was dying (with desire for you) will hold his nose at your stench.”
The beams of the spirit are speech and eye and ear: the beam (effect) of fire is the bubbling in the water. As the beam of the spirit falls on the body, so fall the beams of the Abdál on my soul.
When the Soul of the soul withdraws from the soul, the soul becomes even as the soulless (lifeless) body. Know (this for sure)!

3275. For that reason I am laying my head (humbly) on the earth, so that she (the earth) may be my witness on the Day of Judgement.

On the Day of Judgement, when she shall be made to quake mightily, this earth will bear witness to all that passed (in and from us);

For she will plainly declare what she knows: earth and rocks will begin to speak.
The philosopher, in his (vain) thought and opinion, becomes disbelieving: bid him go and dash his head against this wall! The speech of water, the speech of earth, and the speech of mud are apprehended by the senses of them that have hearts (the

3280. The philosopher who disbelieves in the moaning pillar is a stranger to the senses of the saints.

He says that the beam (influence) of melancholia brings many phantasies into people's minds.

Nay, but the reflexion of his wickedness and infidelity cast this idle fancy of scepticism upon him.

The philosopher comes to deny the existence of the Devil, and at the same time he is possessed by a devil.

If you have not seen the Devil, behold yourself: without diabolic possession there is no blueness in the forehead.

3285. Whosoever has doubt and perplexity in his heart, he in this world is a secret philosopher.

He is professing firm belief, but some time or other that philosophical vein will blacken his face (bring him to shame). Take care, O ye Faithful! for that (vein) is in you: in you is many an infinite world.
In you are all the two-and-seventy sects: woe (to you) if one day they gain the upper hand over you.

From fear of this, every one who has the fortune (barg) of (holding) this Faith (Islam) is trembling like a leaf (barg).

3290. you have laughed at Iblís and the devils because you have regarded yourself as a good man. When the soul shall turn its coat inside out (and be revealed as it really is), how many a
Woe is me” will it extort from the followers of the (Mohammedan) Religion!

On the counter (of the shop) everything (every gilded coin) that looks like gold is smiling, because the touchstone is out of sight.
O Coverer (of faults), do not lift up the veil from us, be a protector to us in our test (on the Day of Judgement). At night the false coin jostles (in rivalry) with the gold: the gold is waiting for day.

3295. With the tongue of its (inward) state the gold says, Wait, O tinselled one, till day rises clear.” Hundreds of thousands of years the accursed Iblís was a saint and the prince of true believers;
On account of the pride which he had, he grappled with Adam and was put to shame, like dung at morning tide.

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