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Prayer will not draw back the veil of Majesty till the servant comes forth front his defilement; as thy purity opens the door of prayer, so know that thy corruption locks it against thee. When wilt thou plant thy foot upon the heavens' roof, when drink wine from the angels' cup? How can God in His kindness take thee to Himself, or freely accept thy prayers, while like an ass within this rotting mansion thy belly is full of food and thy loins of water? How wilt thou ever see

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the Lord of the divine Law, thy lower parts sunk in the water and thy nose in heaven?

Thy beggar's food and cloak must both be pure, or thou wilt come to thy destruction in the dust; if food and raiment be not pure how is thy prayer better than a handful of dust? Keep pure for the glory of God's service thy habitation and thy raiment and thy soul; the dog sweeps his lair with his tail, but thou sweepest not with sighs thy place of prayer.

Though all thou hast be spotless, yet is all polluted before God. He who seeks Him makes use first of a bath, for God accepts not the prayers of the unclean; and how canst thou perform thy neglected ablution so long as thy heart holds enmity and hatred? Thy envy, anger, avarice, desire, and covetousness,--I marvel indeed if these will admit of thy coming to prayer! Till thou banishest envy from thy heart, thou wilt never be free from its evil workings. If thou hast not washed thyself free from blame, the mighty Lord will not receive thy prayer; but when thy heart draws thee out from thyself, then true prayer rises up from thy destitution. The whole of prayer lies in ablution and purification; recovery from a grievous sickness depends on the use of remedies.

Until thou sweep the path with the broom of Not, how canst thou enter the abode of Except God? So long as thou art under the dominion of the four, the five and the six, thou shalt not taste of wine save from the jar of lust. Burn and destroy all else but God; cleanse thyself from everything but the true faith. The soul's qibla is the threshold of the Most High; the heart's Uhud is the sanctuary


of the One; at Uhud devote thy life like Hamza, that so thou mayest taste the sweetness of the call to prayer.

Come not in thy pride to prayer; take shame to thyself and stand in awe of God; him God receives in prayer who has no commanding dignity in his own eyes. Helpless, thou wilt be received with kindness; wanting for nothing, thy prayer will not be accepted. Wanting for nothing, if thou give thyself the trouble of prayer, thou shalt consume thy liver fried in the pan with onions. But if along with prayer goes helplessness, the hand of kindness shall raise the veil of the secret; then, speeding into the Court of God's kindness, he renders what is due, he obtains what he sought; and if it be not so, Iblis will hear thee when thou art at prayer, and drag thee forth again.

Thou camest abject, thy prayer is honoured; thou camest as a raw youth, thy prayer is as one of venerable age. Know, that the seventeen rak`ahs of prayer given forth from the soul's heart are a kingdom of eighteen thousand worlds; a kingdom of eighteen thousand worlds belongs to him who performs the seventeen rak`ahs; and say not that this reckoning is too small, for seventeen is not far from eighteen.

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Thy self-esteem utters no prayer, for it -sees no profit for thee in religion; while thy self-esteem guides the reins I doubt indeed if it will ever come where Gabriel is. Thy prayer will not admit thee to God if thou hast not purified thyself in indigence; thy purification ties in lowliness and selflessness, thy atonement in the slaughter of thy Self; and when thou hast slain thy Self upon the path, God's favour will quickly manifest itself. Come in thy poverty if thou wouldst find admission; and if thou do not so, then thou wilt quickly find thyself trebly divorced; for the prayer that is received into His presence has no concern with the pollution of worldly glory.

When death drags forth thy life, then from thy indigence there springs true prayer; when thy body has gone to the dust and spirit to the skies, then mayst thou see thy soul engaged, as angels are, in prayer.