A Handful of Dirt

February 4, 2008

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

For a moment ponder the Lord’s subtleties and kindnesses and the traces of the divine solicitude and care that have arranged this handful of earth. Look at the different kinds of honor and the special privileges of nearness that He has placed within human beings. For He created the whole cosmos, but He looked not upon a single creature with the eye of love, He sent not a single messenger to any existent thing, He sent no message to any creature. When the turn of the children of Adam arrived, He pulled them up through gentleness and caressed them through bounty and quarries of light. He made their inmost mystery the place of His own glance, He sent them messengers, He set angels over them as guardians, He placed the fire of love in their hearts, and He sent them continuous incitements to yearning and motives for desire.

The purpose of all these words and allusions is to show that a human being is a handful of earth. Whatever ennoblement and honor people have received derives from the gentleness and care of the holy Lord. When He gives, He gives because of His own generosity, not because of your worthiness. He gives because of His magnanimity, not because of your prostration. He gives through His bounty, not because of your good works…

- From the Kashf al-asrar wa ‘uddat al-abrar (Unveiling of Mysteries and Provision of the Righteous), by Rashid al-Din Maybudi, a Sufi Persian commentary, or tasfir, on the Noble Qur’an. The Kashf al-asrar is based on, and probably embodies, the only surviving text of an earlier Qur’an commentary by the famous Hanbali mystic, ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari. Click HERE for more information.

With thanks and gratitude to the Journey to the Garden blog for pointing the way.

Ya Haqq!


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