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Miscellaneous Passages

CHAPTER VI

MISCELLANEOUS PASSAGES

   A., 11; M., 14.--The prayer of Jesus (God bless him and grant him peace!). He used to say, "O God, I am unable to drive away what I dislike, and to get the benefit of what I hope for. The affair is in the hands of another, and I am put under obligation by my work, and there is no poor one who is poorer than I. O God, do not let my enemy exult over me, or my friend be offended with me; and do not make my misfortune to be with respect to my religion; and do not make the world my greatest care; and do not let him who will not pity me have power over me, O Living One, O Everlasting One."

   A., 17; M., 20.--It is related that Satan (God curse him!) appeared to Jesus, son of Mary (God bless him and grant him peace!) and said to him, "Say, There is no God but God." Then he replied, "It is a word of truth, but I will not say it at your request, for beneath what is good it has also ambiguities."

   A., 18; M., 21.--It is related that when Jesus, son of Mary (Peace be upon him!) was born, the devils came to Iblîs [Satan] and said, "This p. 82 morning the idols have been thrown down on their heads." Then he said, "This is a new thing which has happened. Remain where you are." Then he flew till he came to the East and the West of the earth, but found nothing. Afterwards he found Jesus (Peace be upon him!) already born with the angels doing him honour. Then he returned to them and said, "Verily a prophet has been born last night; no woman ever became pregnant or gave birth to a child without my being present, with the exception of this [child]. So despair of the idols being worshipped after this night; but attack the sons of men from the side of haste and levity."

   A., 53; M., 54.--It has reached us that Jesus, son of Mary (Peace be upon him!) said, "O you learned men who are evil, you fast and pray and give alms, and do not do what you are commanded, and you teach what you do not perform. How evil is what you decide! You repent in speech and hopes, but act according to desire. What does it avail you to purify your skins while your hearts are filthy? Verily I say unto you, do not be like a sieve from which the good flour goes out and in which the siftings remain. Similarly you utter the decree from your mouths, while malice remains in your hearts. O slaves of the world, how can he attain the next world whose desire is not fulfilled in this world and whose craving is not cut off from p. 83 it? Verily I say unto you, your hearts will weep for your deeds. You have put the world under your tongues and [good] deeds under your feet. Verily I say unto you, you have spoiled your next life, for the welfare of the present world is dearer to you than the welfare of the next. So what men are greater losers than you, if you only knew it! Woe to you! How long will you describe the way to those who journey by night and remain as people who are confused, as though you were calling the people of the world to leave it to you? Gently, gently! Woe to you! What does it avail a dark house if a lamp is placed on its roof when inside is black darkness? Similarly it will not avail you that the light of knowledge should be in your mouths when your inner parts are waste and uncultivated respecting it. O slaves of the world, you are not pious like slaves, or honourable like freemen. The world will soon uproot you and throw you on your faces, then it will overturn you on your nostrils; then your sons will seize your forelocks and thrust you from behind you, until they hand you over to the Royal Judge, naked and ruined. Then He will make you think of your baseness and will requite you for the evil of your deeds."

   A., 61; M., 58.--Jesus (Peace be upon him!) said, "Why do you come to me wearing monks' clothing while your hearts are the hearts of p. 84 ravenous wolves? Put on king's clothing and mortify your hearts with fear."

   A., 98; M., 75.--When Jesus (Peace be upon him!) thought of death his skin used to drop blood.

   A., 101; M., 76.--Jesus (Peace be upon him!) said, "O company of the disciples, pray to God (Exalted is He!) that He may make easy for me this intoxication (meaning death), for I fear death in such a way that my fear of it has bequeathed it to me." [Probably meaning that the fear of death is as severe as the pains of death themselves.]

   A., 108.--Jesus, son of Mary (Peace be upon him!) said, "In the last days there will be learned men who teach abstinence in the world but will not be abstinent themselves, who will teach men to take delight in the next world but will not take delight in it themselves, and who will warn men against coming before rulers but will not refrain themselves. They will draw near the rich and keep far away from the poor; they will be pleasant to great men but will shrink from humble men. Those are the brethren of the devils and the enemies of the Merciful."

   A., 110.--Jesus, son of Mary (Peace be upon them!) said to the disciples, "Woe to you, slaves of the world! How do your branches differ from your roots and your desires fromp. 85 your minds! Your speech is a remedy which could cure disease, but your action is a disease which is not amenable to treatment. Are you not like the vine whose leaves are beautiful, whose fruit is good, and whose growth is easy? But you are like the acacia whose leaves are few, whose thorns are many, and whose growth is difficult. Woe to you, slaves of the world! You have put action under your feet; whoever wishes may take it. And you have put the world over your heads; it cannot be taken. You are neither sincere slaves nor honourable freemen. Woe to you, whelps of evil! You take the reward but spoil the work. You will meet what you are on your guard against when the Lord of the work considers His work which you have spoiled and His reward which you have taken."

   A., 115.--The Messiah (God bless him and grant him peace!) said, "The friends of God, upon whom there is no fear and who do not grieve [this phrase occurs frequently in theKorân. Cf. II, 36 etc.], are they who look into the inner things of the world when men look at its outward things, and at its hereafter when men look at its present. They have mortified what they feared would kill them, and have abandoned what they knew would abandon them. They are the enemies of what makes peace with men and make peace with what is hostile to men. For them is a wonderful good and with them is the p. 86 wonderful good. Of them the Scripture spoke and of it they speak. With them is the knowledge of right guidance and they are acquainted with it. They see no security apart from what they hope for, and no fear apart from what they are on their guard against."

   A., 115a.--It has been related in the ancient books that the disciples said to Jesus (Peace be upon him!), "O Spirit of God, describe to us the friends of God (Exalted is He!) upon whom there is no fear, and who do not grieve." Then he (Peace be upon him!) said, "They," etc. . . . "their remembrance in it is death and their joy in it is grief [i.e. in the world]. Whatever of it encounters them they reject, and whatever of it is elevated to them they put down. The world is bad in their sight and they do not renew it; and it has gone to ruin among them and they do not build it; and it has died in their breasts and they do not bring it back to life after its death; and they have built their next life in it. They have brought to life the remembrance of death and they have mortified the remembrance of life. They love God and keep alive His remembrance, and they seek for themselves in Him the good and wonderful light," etc.

   A., 128.--It was a custom of the Messiah's to go every day from village to village of the villages of Palestine and from town to town of the habitations of the Children of Israel, curing p. 87 people and preaching to them and admonishing them and summoning them to the kingdom of heaven and making them take pleasure in it and making them practise asceticism in the world and making clear to them its deceitfulness and its hopes. And he was sought by the king of the Children of Israel and by the rabble; and while he was among a company of people, so that a rush was made at him that he might be taken, he turned aside among the people and it was impossible to catch him, and nothing was known of him until news of him came from another village, so he was sought there; and that was his custom and their custom for thirty months [i.e. he kept eluding them for that period]. Then when God (Exalted is He!) wished to take him and raise him to Himself, his disciples gathered with him in Jerusalem in a room belonging to one [fem.] of his companions, and he said, "Verily I am going to my Father and your Father, and I am giving you an injunction before the departure of my divine nature and am making with you a covenant and a pledge. So he who receives my injunction and fulfils my covenant will be with me to-morrow; but he who does not receive my injunction, I have nothing to do with him, and he has nothing to do with me." Then they said to him, "What is it?" He replied, "Go to the kings of the ends of the earth and convey to them what I p. 88 have charged you with, and summon them to that to which I have summoned you, and do not deceive them, and do not fear them, for when I leave my humanity I shall be standing in heaven at the right hand of the throne of my Father and your Father, and shall be with you wherever you go and shall strengthen you with help and strength by the permission of my Father. Go to them and summon them with gentleness and cure them and command them to be kind and forbid them what is unlawful, until you are killed, or crucified, or rejected from the earth." Then they asked, "What is the verification of what you command us?" He replied, "I am the first who does that." And he went out the next day and appeared to the people and began to summon them and admonish them and warn them until he was taken and carried to the king of the Children of Israel. Then he ordered him to be crucified, and his humanity was crucified and his hands were nailed to the two pieces of wood of the cross, and he remained on the cross from dawn to afternoon. And he asked for water, and was given vinegar to drink, and he was pierced with a lance. Then he was buried where the cross was and forty people were put in charge of the grave; and all this happened in the presence of his companions and his disciples. Then when they saw that happen to him, they were sure and p. 89 knew that he had commanded them nothing in which he was different from them. Three days afterwards they gathered in the place where he promised them to appear to them and they saw those signs which [had been arranged] between him and them; and the news spread among the Children of Israel that the Messiah had not been killed. Then the grave was dug up, and the humanity was not found. The parties among them disagreed, and there was a great amount of talk which is too long to be recounted. Then verily those disciples who had accepted his injunction separated in the country and each of them went his own way. One went to the west, one to Abyssinia, two to Rome, two to the king of Antioch, one to Persia, one to India, and two remained in the dwellings of the Children of Israel summoning them to the opinion of the Messiah until most of them were killed, and the Messiah's claim was spread in east and west by the deeds of the disciples.

   A., 129.--The Messiah used to say to the disciples, "I have only come from my Father and your Father to give you life from the death of ignorance, and to cure you from the disease of disobediences, and to heal you from the disease of perverse opinions and evil manners and wicked deeds, that your souls may be refined and made alive by the spirit of knowledge, and you may ascend to the kingdom of heaven beside p. 90 my Father and your Father. There you will live the life of the happy ones and will be saved from the prison of the world, and the pains of the realm of existence, and the decay which is the dwelling of the miserable ones, and the neighbourhood of devils, and the dominion of Iblîs" [Satan].

   A., 147.--It is related concerning Jesus, son of Mary (God's blessings and peace be upon them!) that he said, "O company of the learned, you have deviated from the way, and you have loved the world; so as kings have left wisdom to you, leave their rule to them."

   A., 159.--This is the meaning of the Messiah, son of Mary (Peace be upon them!), when he had water in his right hand and bread in his left hand, "This is my father and this is my mother." He made the water father, and he made the food mother, because the water of the earth is in the place of the semen with relation to the woman. This [the earth] brings forth from this [water], and this [woman] becomes pregnant from this [semen].

   A., 160.--Al Fodeil, son of `Iyâdh, said: Some people said to Jesus, son of Mary (Peace be upon him!), "By what thing do you walk upon the water?" He replied, "By faith and certainty." They said, "But we believe as you believe, and we are certain as you are certain." He said, "Then walk." When he said it they walked with him, and a wave came and raised p. 91 him up, and Jesus (Peace be upon him!) said to them, "What is the matter with you?" They replied, "We feared the wave." He said, "Did you not fear the Lord of the wave?"

   A., 161.--Jesus, son of Mary (Peace be upon him!) said, "Be ashamed before God (Great and glorious is He!) in your secret affairs, as you are ashamed before Him in your public affairs."

   A., 165.--Verily I have seen in the Gospel of Jesus (Peace be upon him!), "From the time a dead body is placed on the bier until it is placed on the edge of the grave, God (Exalted is He!) asks of it by His greatness forty questions. First God (Exalted is He!) says, My servant, you have been pure in the sight of men for years, but you have not been pure in My sight for an hour, and every day I was looking into your heart. My servant, what were you occupied with apart from Me when you were surrounded by My blessings? Were you not deaf and unhearing?"

   A., 172.--It is related that Jesus (Peace be upon him!) went out one day and met Iblîs [Satan] with honey in one hand and ashes in the other; so he said, "What are you doing, O enemy of God, with this honey and ashes?" He replied, "As regards the honey, I put it on the lips of slanderers that they may become eloquent from it; and as regards the ashes, I put them on the face of orphans that men may hate them."

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   A., 186.--It is mentioned concerning Jesus (Peace be upon him!) that he said, "O Lord, how can I thank Thee when my thanks is a favour from Thee for which I must give thanks?" Then God said, "When you have recognised this, you have thanked Me."

   A., 197.--Jesus, son of Mary (Peace be upon them!), said, "O companies of jurists, you have sat on the road of the life to come, but you have not walked so that you might reach it, nor have you allowed anyone to pass you to it; so woe to him who is beguiled by you!"

   A., 198, Cf. M., 1.--The following is related on the authority of al Sha`bî. Gabriel met Jesus (Blessing and peace be upon them!) and Jesus said to him, "When is the [last] hour?" Then Gabriel trembled in his wings and said, "He who is asked about it is no better informed than he who asks. It is burdensome in the heavens and the earth; it will only come suddenly."

   A., 206.--The son of `Adî related on the authority of Abû Sa`îd al Khadrî a tradition that when his mother handed over Jesus, son of Mary, to the school that one should teach him, the teacher said to him, "Write, Bismillahi (In the name of God)." Jesus said to him, "What is bismi (In the name)?" The teacher replied, "I do not know." Then Jesus said. "[The letter] bâ´ is bahâ´ Allah (the glory of God), p. 93 and sîn is sanâuhu (His grandeur), and mîm is mulkuhu (His kingdom), and Allah is the God of gods. And ar Rahmân (the Merciful) means Merciful in this world and the next; and ar Rahîm (the Compassionate) means Compassionate in the next world," etc.

   [In the above passage Jesus is represented as explaining the words Bismillahi ar Rahmân ar Rahîm (In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate) which occur at the beginning of all but one of the sûrahs of the Korân.]

   A., 213.--God (Exalted is He!) revealed to Jesus (Peace be upon him!), "A prophet does not lack his respect except in his own country."

   A., 214.--The Messiah (Peace be upon him!) said to the disciples when he gave them an injunction, and came to the end of it, "If you do what I have commanded you, you will be with me to-morrow in the kingdom of heaven with my Lord and your Lord, and you will see the angels round His throne (Exalted is He!) singing His praise and praising His holiness, and there you will enjoy all pleasures without eating and drinking."

   A., 215.--Jesus (Peace be upon him!) said, "If I had said it, Thou wouldest have known it [Korân V, 116], because Thou art He who speaks in my form, and Thou art the tongue with which I speak, making it sure that Thou alone art in my desire and in my person."

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   A., 216.--It is related on the authority of Wahb, son of Munabbih, that Jesus, son of Mary (Peace be upon him!) said, "Woe to you, slaves of the world! What use is the spreading of the sun's light to a blind man when he does not see it? Similarly the abundance of a learned man's knowledge is of no use to him when he does not act according to it, How many fruits of trees are there, yet all of them are not useful and are not eaten! And how many learned men are there, yet all of them do not profit from what they learn! So be on your guard against the false learned men who wear woollen clothing and bend down their heads to the earth, glancing under their eyebrows as wolves glance, Their speech disagrees with their action. Who plucks grapes from thorns and figs from colocynth? Similarly the speech of a false learned man produces only falsehood. For when its owner does not tie up a camel in the desert it goes off to its home and its people; and when one who possesses knowledge does not act upon it, it departs from his breast and abandons him and leaves him void. And just as the seed is of no use without water and soil, so is faith without knowledge and works. Woe to you, slaves of the world! Everything has a sign by which it is known and witness is given to it or about it, and verily religion has three signs by which it is known: faith, knowledge, and works."