Part 39 - How the fire reproached the Jewish king

    823    The king turned his face to the fire, saying, “O fierce-tempered one, where is thy world-consuming natural disposition? 824   How art thou not burning? What has become...


Part 39 - How the fire reproached the Jewish king

 

 

823

  

The king turned his face to the fire, saying, “O fierce-tempered one, where is thy world-consuming natural disposition?

824

 

How art thou not burning? What has become of thy specific property? Or has thy intention changed because of our fortune?

825

 

Thou hast no pity (even) on the fire-worshipper: how (then) has he been saved who does not worship thee?

826

 

Never, O fire, art thou patient: how burnest thou not? What is it? Hast thou not the power?

827

 

Is this a spell, I wonder, that binds the eye or the mind? How does such a lofty flame not burn?

828

 

Has some one bewitched thee? Or is it magic, or is thy unnatural behaviour from our fortune?”

829

 

The fire said: “I am the same, O idolator: come in, that thou mayst feel my heat.

830

 

My nature and element have not changed: I am the sword of God and by (His) leave I cut.

831

 

The Turcoman dogs fawn at the tent-door before the guest,

832

 

But if any one having the face of a stranger pass by the tent, he will see the dogs rushing at him like lions.

833

 

I am not less than a dog in devotion, nor is God less than a Turcoman in life (living power).”

834

 

If the fire of your nature make you suffer pain, it burns by command of the Lord of religion;

835

 

If the fire of your nature give you joy, (that is because) the Lord of religion puts joy therein.

836

 

When you feel pain, ask pardon of God:(Only) by command of the Creator is pain operative.

837

 

When He pleases, pain itself becomes joy; bondage itself becomes freedom.

838

 

Air and earth and water and fire are (His) slaves: with you and me they are dead, but with God they are alive.

839

 

Before God, fire is always standing (ready to do His behest), writhing continually day and night, like a lover.

840

 

If you strike stone on iron, it (the fire) leaps out: ’tis by God's command that it puts forth its foot.

841

 

Do not strike together the iron and stone of injustice, for these two generate like man and woman.

842

 

The stone and the iron are indeed causes, but look higher, O good man!

843

 

For this (external) cause was produced by that (spiritual) cause: when did a cause ever proceed from itself without a cause?

844

 

And those causes which guide the prophets on their way are higher than these (external) causes.

845

 

That (spiritual) cause makes this (external) cause operative; sometimes, again, it makes it fruitless and ineffectual.

846

 

(Ordinary) minds are familiar with this (external) cause, but the prophets are familiar with those (spiritual) causes.

847

 

What is (the meaning of) this (word) “cause” (sabab) in Arabic? Say: “cord” (rasan). This cord came into this well (the world) by (Divine) artifice.

848

 

The revolution of the water-wheel causes the cord (to move), (but) not to see the mover of the water-wheel is an error.

849

  

Beware, beware! Do not regard these cords of causation in the world as (deriving their movement) from the giddy wheel (of heaven),

850

 

Lest you remain empty and giddy like the (celestial) wheel, lest through brainlessness you burn like markh wood.

851

 

By the command of God the wind devours (extinguishes) fire: both are drunken with the wine of God.

852

 

O son, when you open your eyes you will see that from God too are the water of clemency and the fire of anger.

853

 

Had not the soul of the wind been informed by God, how would it have distinguished (the believers and unbelievers) amongst the people of ‘Ád?

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