Sacred-Texts Islam
Index Previous Next

18. Here is shown forth the persecution of the servants of God by the world, and God's protection saving them.

Having said this, Jesus said: 'Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, that ye may be my disciples. If then the world shall hate you, ye shall be truly my disciples; for the world hath been ever an enemy of servants of God. Remember the holy prophets that have been slain by the world, even as in the time of Elijah ten thousand prophets were slain by Jezebel, insomuch that scarcely did poor Elijah escape, and seven thousand sons of prophets who were hidden by the captain of Ahab's host. Oh, unrighteous world, that knowest not God! Fear not therefore ye, for the hairs of your head are numbered so that they shall not perish. Behold the sparrows and other birds, whereof falleth not one feather without the will of God. Shall God, then, have more care of the birds than of man, for whose sake he hath created everything. Is there any man, perchance, who careth more for his shoes than for his own son? Assuredly not. Now how much less ought ye to think that God would abandon you, while taking care of the birds! And why speak I of the birds? A leaf of a tree falleth not without the will of God.

'Believe me, because I tell you the truth, that the world will greatly fear you if ye shall observe my words. For if it feared not to have its wickedness revealed it would not hate you, but it feareth to be revealed, therefore it will hate you and persecute you. If ye shall see your words scorned by the world lay it not to heart, but consider how that God is greater than you; who is in such wise scorned by the world that his wisdom is counted madness. If God endureth the world with patience, wherefore will ye lay it to heart, O dust and clay of the earth? In your patience ye shall possess your soul. Therefore if one shall give you a blow on one side of the face, offer him the other that he may smite it. Render not evil for evil, for so do all the worst animals; but render good for evil, and pray God for them that hate you. Fire is not extinguished with fire, but rather with water; even so I say unto you that ye shall not overcome evil with evil, but rather with good. Behold God, who causeth the sun to come upon the good and evil, and likewise the rain. So ought ye to do good to all; for it is written in the law: "Be ye holy, for I your God am holy; be ye pure, for I am pure; and be ye perfect, for I am perfect." Verily I say unto you that the servant studieth to please his master, and so he putteth not on any garment that is displeasing to his master. Your garments are your will and your love. Beware, then, not to will or to love a thing that is displeasing to God, our Lord. Be ye sure that God hateth the pomps and lusts of the world, and therefore hate ye the world.'