Thaurî, by way of obsequiousness and in anxiety to acquire a good reputation, asked an excellent question of Bâyazîd Bistâmi; weeping, he said, "O Master, tell me, who is unjust?" His master,
giving him a draught out of the law, answered him and said, "Unjust is that ill-fated one who for one! moment of the day and night in negligence forgets Him: he is nest His submissive slave." If thou forget Him for one breath, there is none so shamelessly unjust as thou; but if thou be present and commemorate His name, thy being is lost in the fulfilment of His commands. So think upon Him that in thy heart and soul. thou lapse not into forgetfulness even for an instant. Keep in mind this saying of that ever-watchful traveller on this road, the impetuous lion. 'And worship thou the Lord in prayer as if thou sawest Him;' and if thou do not thus, thou wilt be forced to cry 'Help, help!' So worship Him in both worlds, as if thou sawest Him with thine outward eye; though thine eye sees Him not, thy Creator sees thee.
The commemoration of God exists only in the path of conflict it exists not in the assembly of the contemplation: though remembrance of Him be thy guide at first, in the end remembrance is naught.
Inasmuch as the diver seeks pearls in the seas, it is the water too that kills his cry; in absence the dove calls 'where?'--if present,
why recite 'He'? Those in His presence are rich in His majesty; weep thou, if absence is thy portion.
Listen to the ringdove's plaint of yearning,--two grains of barley changes it into joy; but he who seeks the only true contentment, seeks the light of the Unity in the grave. To him the tomb is the garden of Paradise; heaven is unlovely in his eyes. Then wilt thou be present, when in the abode of peace thou art present in soul, not in body; whilst thou art in this land of fruitless search, thou art either all back or all front; but when the soul of the seeker has gone forward a few paces out of this land, love seizes the bridle. Unbelief is death, religion life,--this is the pith of all that men have said.
Whoso for one moment takes delight in himself, he is imprisoned in hell and anguish for years. Who then shall have this honour and high dignity conferred upon him? Only he who possesses the principle of Islâm; in loving, and in striving towards that world, one must not talk about one's life; those who travel on this road know nothing of grief for life and sorrow of soul. When thou hast passed out of this world of fruitless search, then seek thou in that the fountain of life.