Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Discourses of Rumi: Signs of the Unseen



"All this I said to the Parvana. I told him, "You, who have become the head of Islamdom, have said, 'I sacrifice myself and my intellect and all my power of deliberation and judgment for the continued existence and spread of Islam.' But since you have relied upon yourself and not looked to God to realize that everything is from Him, God has caused that very endeavor of yours to be the cause for the diminution of Islam.... The very thing that was to be a cause for the expansion of Islam has become the cause for its diminishment. Therefore, in this state, which is a fearful one, turn to God. Give alms that He may deliver you from this evil condition, which is fear. Do not despair of Him, even if He has cast you down from a state of obedience into disobedience. Because you thought your obedience was in and of yourself, you have fallen into disobedience. Even now in this disobedience, despair not but turn humbly to God, for He is almighty. If He turned that obedience into disobedience, He can turn this disobedience into obedience and give you repentance. He can provide you the means to strive anew on behalf of the propagation of Islam and to be the strength for Islam. Despair not, for none despaireth of God's mercy, except the unbelieving people [12:87]."

"My purpose was to make him understand, give alms and humble himself before God, for from a most exalted position he had come to a low state, even in which he should be hopeful."

"God works in mysterious ways. Things may look good outwardly, but there may be evil contained inside. Let no one be deluded by pride that he himself has conceived good ideas or done good deeds. If everything were as it seemed, the Prophet would not have cried out with such illuminated and illuminating perspicacity, "Show me things as they are! You make things appear beautiful when in reality they are ugly; You make things appear ugly when in reality they are beautiful. Show us therefore each thing as it is lest we fall into a snare and be ever errant." Now your judgment, however good and clear it may be, is not better than his, and he spoke as he did. Don't rely on your every thought and opinion, but humble yourself before God and fear Him."

"Such was my purpose in speaking to the Parvana. However, he applied this verse and this interpretation to his own strategy, saying, "At this time, when we are moving our troops, we must not rely on them. Even defeated, we must not despair of Him in time of fear and hopelessness." He applied my words to his own design, whereas my purpose was as I have said."

- Signs of the Unseen: Discourses of Jalaluddin Rumi.

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