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KITAB-UL-AGHANI

Let us proclaim:

"This is the day of completion of the Testimony, revelation of the Word, and coming of the Affirmation!

The Lord ordains that which bears good for you, and wills that which will bring you closer to Him.

In the name of the Lord.

All glorious.

All high!"

"The purpose of these lines is to show that people cannot find the Sea of Knowledge if they do not renounce all else.

"O earthly peoples, cast off all bonds if you wish to reach the encampments prepared for you by the Lord and to enter the kingdom erected by Him.

"Those who walk the Path of Faith and desire to drink from the Chalice of Certainty must sanctify their soul and purify it of all that is casual; that is, dismiss from the ears human words; from the heart doubt born by the great veils; from the mind worldly cares; from the eyes the sight of passing things; and, relying upon the Lord and calling to him constantly, they must follow the Path until they become worthy to receive the Light of Divine Knowledge and become holders of unlimited Blessings".

"For if a man takes it into his head to question the Teachings of God and his Chosen Ones, with a partiality toward words or actions of others like himself, be it the learned or the ignorant, never will he enter the Garden of Knowledge; never will he draw near to the Source of Wisdom and the cognition of the one and only King; and never will he attain the eternal encampment, nor will he partake of the Chalice of Approach and Weariness.

"Let us glance back at the past. Many people, from all walks of life, have awaited the appearance of God in a pure image, have prayed and hoped continuously for the waft of divine grace and for the Bridegroom to descend upon Earth from a mysterious cloud! And when the door of Bliss opened, and the clouds of Compassion rose, and the sun of Truth ascended to the Heaven of Power, no one believed in Him, and all averted their faces from His glance. Yet this was God's glance! This is revealed to us by sacred books. Can one explain now why those who were asking for and awaiting Him began to contradict Him so much that it could not even be expressed by pen or word? Not one of the pure manifestations, not one of the dawns of the Lord's Unity, could reveal itself without inciting controversies and hatred everywhere.

"It was said by the Lord: "Oh, how miserable are these men! A prophet comes to them and they only ridicule him. Every one of those tribes plotted against the envoy sent to them so as to gain the upper hand over him. They entered into dispute with him in order to overthrow the truth through lies."

"And the words, as if descending from clouds of Power and Heaven's Majesty, were so numerous that they all cannot be cognized. Read this chapter with attention, and ponder until you understand the missions of the Prophets and the resistance to which they were subjected by the evil one. May be then one could succeed in compelling people to shun the state of carelessness in which their soul is immersed and to direct it to the Nest of Unity and Knowledge, ad could persuade them to drink the waters of Eternal Guidance and to acquire the fruits of knowledge of the Lord's greatness. That is the holy and eternal lot destined for pure souls, the Divine Bread descended from Heaven."

We have witnessed prayers in the desert. Among many touching images we cannot forget the solitary figure of a traveler who had spread his rug upon the pink sands and was bowed in prayer. Precisely this aloneness amidst endless reddening sands may be better remembered than "Tamerlane's leaden seal itself.

In the desert it is not easy to picture numberless hordes, but a solitary figure is most evocative. "Flight into Egypt," "Hagar and Ishmael." These images, beyond the boundaries of centuries and peoples, are always convincing".

A white bone in the desert gleams from afar, a desert eagle, a wild horse  perhaps not wild but loose. The entire desert, precisely because of its barrenness, draws attention even to the smallest bush of tamarisk. And if you see in the desert a pigeon, what unusual pictures will be linked with this unexpected appearance! Certain words must ring out in the mountains others demand the silky feather grass of the plains, a third kind are in need of the green forest's voice. So also are words which are born only in the desert. Toward the same God, toward the same central point, the words are calling out of the sands. If the heart knows how to welcome the words of caves and mountains, if it cherishes calls from beneath the sea and above the clouds, it will smile tenderly at the words of deserts. The heart will smile at that solitary traveler who, not in a snowstorm, whirlwind or cyclone, hut in the sunset glow of hillocks has broken his journey, abandoned his earthly affairs, and invokes the highest.

Numerous are the designs of the sandy hillocks. Where is the old "silk highway"? Where is the path of the armed host? Where is the path of the envoys of peace? In the hieroglyphics of the desert, ways and footpaths are erased. Jalalu'ddin Rumi sang: "My place is placeless, my trace is traceless." Somewhere, also in the desert, stand the palaces of the Queen of Sheba. The Arabs guard them, but iron birds already trace the air above them. Then are the treasures no longer safe?

Vabissa ben Mabad narrates: "Once I stood before the Prophet. He divined that I had come to ask him what virtue is. He said: "Ask thy heart  virtue is that upon which rests the soul, upon which rests the heart. Sin is that which incites anxiety in the soul and raises storm in the breast, whatever people think about it. Place your hand upon your heart and ask it what gives it anxiety  and that you should not do."

Peking

January 25, 1935

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