Page:Alchemyofhappiness en.djvu/34

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Ghazzali's Alchemy of Happiness.

interrogation, "Am I not your Lord?" As at that moment, it was seen with the eye of certainty, no person had any doubt on the subject, as God says in his holy word: "If you ask them, who created the heavens and the earth, they will answer thee, the wise and holy God."[1] All the prophets were apparently of the same nature as other men without any difference, as we find in God's holy word: "Say, I am a man like you : it was revealed to me."[2] Afterwards the heart descended from the world of divine union to this house of separation, from that assembly of love to this station of sorrow, and from the spiritual to the material, and entering within the curtain of the senses, it became occupied with the care of the body and was overcome by the animal affections and material pleasures. The heart of man, veiled with the garments of heedlessness, forgot the assembly with which it had been familiar, and imagining that this miserable place was to be its mansion of rest, it chose to establish itself here in this world of perdition, as if this was its home. Still the veil of heedlessness disappeared from the eyes of those to whom the grace and guidance of the Eternal and unchangeable gave aid and support, and the discovery of the invisible world was not concealed from the view of some of those who came into this material world, but was anew revealed to them, after a measure of exertion of spiritual ardor.

To whomsoever this revelation has been vouchsafed, if it directs him to reform the world, to invite the nations to turn to God, and to a peculiar way of life, that person is called a prophet, and his way of life is called a law; and that influence which proceeds from him, which transcends what is ordinary, is called a miracle. If he has not been appointed to invite the nations, but worships in accordance with the law of another, he is called a saint, and that which

  1. S. 43:8.
  2. S. 18:110.