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Full text of "The Dabistan"

illustrious. Moses saw God under a bodily form,
and did not find himself like that (exalted) being;
but it was under his own form that Pharaoh saw
God, and found himself like that being. Jesus
declared himself the son of God ; because he found
himself the son of God Almighty, in a like mani-
festation.

Hajab, cc the veil,1 is of two kinds: the one, of

darkness, is that of a servant, like moralitv and exte-

/

rior occupations ; and the other is the veil of light
which comes from God ; because traditions are veils
of actions ; actions, veils of attributes ; and attri-
butes, veils of the essence of revelation, which re-
lates to -mystery, dependent either upon exterior

1 The Sufis call * _ >Ufc- " veil," whatever is opposed to perfect union

with divinity. In the life of Joneid Abu 'l-Kasem, who was born and
educated in Baghdad, and died in the year of the Hejira 297 (A. D. 909),
one of the earliest and most celebrated founders of Sufism, we read what
follows: " Somebody said to Joneid: ' I found that the Shaikhs of Kho-
" ' rasan acknowledge three sorts of veils : the first is the nature (of man) ;
k' * the second is the world, and the third concupiscence.'  ' These are,
is said Joneid, 4 the veils which apply themselves to the heart of the com-
" ' mon among men ; but there exists another sort of veil for special men ;
** ' that is, for the disciples of spiritual life, the Sufis: this is the view of
4< ' works, the consideration of the recompenses due to acts, and the regard
" ' of the benefits of God. The Shaikh of Islamism said (relatively to this
" ' subject) : God is veiled from the heart of man, who sees his proper
" ' actions ; God is veiled even from him who seeks recompense, and from
" ' him who, occupied with considering the benefit, turns his eyes from
4' ' the benefactor.' "  (See Notices et Extraits des MSS., vol. XII.;
p. 435, Joneid's Life, by Jami, translated by Silvestrc de Sacy.)
v. in.                                                                           18