Nahjul BalaghaSermons

Sermon 107

Everything submits to Him and everything exists by Him. He is the satisfaction of every poor, dignity of the low, energy for the weak and shelter for the oppressed. Whoever speaks, He hears his speaking, and whoever keeps quiet, He knows his secret. On Him is the livelihood of everyone who lives, and to Him returns whoever dies.

The eyes have not seen You so as to be aware of You, but You were before the describers of Your creation. You did not create the creation on account of loneliness, nor did You make them work for gain. He whom You catch cannot go further than You, and he whom You hold cannot escape You. He who disobeys You does not decrease Your authority, and he who obeys You does not add to Your Might. He who disagrees with Your judgement cannot turn it, and he who turns away from Your command cannot do without You. Every secret before You is open and for You every absent is present.

You art everlasting, there is no end to You. You are the highest aim, there is no escape from You, You are the promised (point of return) from which there is no deliverance except towards You. In Your hand is the forelock of every creature and to You is the return of every living being. Glory to You! How great is Your creation that we see, but how small is this greatness by the side of Your Might. How awe-striking is Your realm that we notice, but how humble is this against what is hidden from us out of Your authority. How extensive are Your bounties in this world, but how small are they against the bounties of the next world.

A part of the same sermon: You made angels reside in Your skies and place them high above from Your earth. They have the most knowledge about You and Your whole creation, the most fearing from You, and the nearest to You. They never stayed in loins nor were retained in wombs. They were not created "from mean water (semen)" (Qur'an , 32:8; 77:20). They were not dispersed by vicissitudes of time. They are on their places (distinct) from You and in their positions near You. Their desires are concentrated in You. Their worship for You is much. Their neglect from Your command is little. If they witness what remains hidden about You they would regard their deeds as very little, they would criticise themselves and would realise that they did not worship You according to Your right for being worshipped and did not obey You as You have the right of being obeyed.

Glorified are You, the Creator, the Worshipped, on account of Your good trials of Your creatures. You created a house (the Paradise) and provided in it for feasting, drinks, foods, spouses, servants, places, streams, plantations and fruits. Then You sent a messenger to invite towards it, but the people did not respond to the caller, and did not feel persuaded to what You persuaded them nor showed eagerness towards what You desired them to feel eager. They jumped on the carcass (of this world), earned shame by eating it and became united on loving it.

When one loves a thing it blinds him and sickens his heart. Then he sees but with a diseased eye, hears but with unhearing ears. Desires have cut asunder his wit, and the world has made his heart dead, while his mind is all longing for it. Consequently, he is a slave of it and of everyone who has any share in it. Wherever it turns, he turns towards it and wherever it proceeds, he proceeds towards it. He is not desisted by any desister from Allah, nor takes admonition from any preacher. He sees those who have been caught in neglect whence there is neither rescission nor reversion.

Whatever they were ignoring has befallen them, separation from this world, from which they took themselves safe, has come to them and they have reached that in the next world which they had been promised. Whatever has befallen them cannot be described. Pangs of death and grief for losing (this world) have surrounded them. Consequently, their limbs become languid and their complexion changes. Then death increases its struggle over them.

In some one it stands in between him and his power of speaking although he lies among his people, looking with eyes, hearing with ears, with full wits and intelligence. He then thinks over how he wasted his life and in what he passed his time. He recalls  wealth he collected when he had blinded himself in seeking it, and gained it from fair and foul sources. Now the consequences of collecting it have overtaken him. He gets ready to leave it. It would remain for those who are behind him. They would enjoy it and benefit by it.

It would be an easy acquisition for others but a burden on his back, and the man cannot get rid of it. He would thereupon bite his hands with teeth out of shame for what was disclosed to him about his affairs at the time of his death. He would dislike what he coveted during the days of his life and would wish that he who envied him on account of it and felt jealous over him for it should have amassed it instead of he himself.

Death would go on affecting his body till his ears too would behave like his tongue (lose functioning). So he would lie among his people, neither speaking with his tongue or hearing with his ears. He would be rotating his glance over their faces, watching the movements of their tongues, but not hearing their speaking. Then death would increase its sway over him, and his sight would be taken by death as the ears had been taken and the spirit would depart from his body. He would then become a carcass among his own people. They would feel loneliness from him and get away from near him. He would not join a mourner or respond to a caller. Then they would carry him to a small place in the ground and deliver him in it to (face) his deeds. They abandoned visiting him.

Till whatever is written as ordained approaches its end, the affairs complete their destined limits, the posteriors join the anteriors and whatever Allah wills takes place in the shape of resurrection of His creation. Then He would convulse the sky and split it. He would quake the earth and shake it. He would root out the mountains and scatter them. They would crush each other out of awe of His Glory and fear of His Dignity.

He would take out everyone who is in it. He would refresh them after they had been worn out and collect them after they had been separated. Then He would set them apart for questioning about the hidden deeds and secret acts. He would then divide them into two groups, rewarding one and punishing the other. As regards the obedient people He would reward them with His nearness and would keep them for ever in His house from where those who settle therein do not move out. Their position would not undergo change, fear would not overtake them, ailments would not befall them, dangers would not affect them and journey would not force them (from place to place).

As for people of sins, He would settle them in the worst place would bind their hands with the necks, bind the forelocks with feet and would clothe them in shirts of tar and dresses cut out of flames. They would be in punishment whose heat would be severe, door would be closed on the inmates – in fire which is full of shouts and cries and rising flames and fearful voices. Its inmate does not move out of it. its prisoner cannot be released by ransom and its shackles cannot be cut. There is no fixed age for this house so that it might perish, nor period for its life that might pass away.

A part of the same sermon about the Holy Prophet: He treated this world disdainfully and regarded it low. He held it contemptible and hated it. He realised that Allah kept it away from him with intention and spread it out for others by way of contempt. Therefore, he remained away from it by his heart, banished its recollection from his mind and wished that its attraction should remain hidden from his eye so that he should not acquire any clothing from it, or hope for staying in it. He conveyed from Allah the pleas (against committing sins), counselled his people as a warner (against Divine chastisement) and called (people) towards Paradise as a conveyor of good tidings.

We are the tree of prophethood, staying place of (Divine) Message, descending place of angels, mines of knowledge and the sources of wisdom. Our supporter and lover awaits mercy while our enemy and he who hates us awaits wrath.

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