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Four Short Signs Alluding to Divine Unity
Jul 1, 2001

First Sign

O worshipper of causes! Imagine that you see a splendid palace being built of different, marvelous jewels. However, some of these jewels can be found only in China, others in only Andalusia or Yemen, and still some others only in Siberia. Would you not say that only one who controls and owns the whole world, who can have anything he wants brought to him whenever he wants it, can build that palace? 

[its jewels”particles or atoms”are gathered from many worlds: the worlds of spirits and symbols; the Supreme Preserved Tablet1 and from the worlds of air, water, earth, light, and fire]. Human needs are infinite, and human desires encompass the heavens and Earth. As human beings have connections with everything in this world and the Hereafter, they have no right to pray and worship that which is not the One Who

dominates Earth and the heavens and holds the reins of the world and the Hereafter.

Second Sign

O my heart. The most ignorant people are those who do not recognize the sun while seeing its image in a mirror, but rather love the mirror and seek to preserve it so that they can hold onto the sun permanently. If only they understood that the sun does not perish or disappear when the mirror does, they would direct their love only to the sun itself. A reflection does not depend on the mirror for its permanence; rather, the mirrors permanence depends on it, whereas the original object is self-subsistent. The permanence of the mirrorsliveliness and its shining [with the sun in it] are possible only through the permanence of the suns manifestations and the mirrors facing the sun.

Your heart is like that mirror, and the love of permanence implanted in your nature must be directed only to what is manifested in it. So, say: O Permanent One, You are the Permanent, and turn to Him so that you may become permanent. Then let mortality do as it wishes, for we do not mind whatever befalls us.

Third Sign

Know, my friend, that the All-Wise Creator has implanted within human nature a strange characteristic: Since the world cannot contain you, you frequently utter, as if in a suffocating dungeon, a sound of disgust. Yet something as small as a mustard seed, a cell, a memory, or a minute of time so absorbs you that you are lost in it and passionately attracted to it. The Creator has given you such faculties that some of them would not be satisfied even if they could swallow the world. Others are bored with microscopic particles and cannot tolerate even a hair out of place. You know that your eye cannot work properly if there is a hair in it.

Be alert and careful of what you do so that you will not ruin yourself and your most subtle faculties. An (unlawful) morsel or a word, an (illicit) glance, beckoning, or kiss can ruin you. Everything has an aspect of non-existence that can ruin and swallow you. Look at the mirror in your hand, and see how the sky and its stars are contained in it. See how the Truth inscribes most of your acts or deeds and even most of your life in your mustard seed-sized memory. Glory be to Him, the All-Powerful, the Self-Subsistent.

Fourth Sign

O you who worship the world! Your private world is a narrow, grave-like place. But since its walls are made of glass, and therefore reflect one within the other as far as the eye can see, you see it as spacious, as wide as a town. With respect to this worldly lifes material dimension, the past (the right wall) has finished and the future (the left wall) does not exist. However, as your worlds two mirror-like walls face each other, they come together at the point of your present time and make it difficult for you to distinguish between what is real and what is reflected [in them].

The line of your present extends into [your past and future] and becomes an area. When misfortune moves you, you strike your head against the walls, suffer disappointment, and lose sleep. You see your world as narrower than a grave and a bridge, and your life moves faster than a river and even lightning.

Since this is the nature of worldly life, and of life lived on the level of the flesh and animals, free yourself of animality, leave corporeality behind, and enter the level of life of the heart and spirit! You will find therein a sphere of life and a world of light more broad than the world that you imagined to be so broad. The key to that world is to make the heart utter the sacred words: There is no god but God, which express the mysteries of Divine Unity and knowledge of God, and to make the spirit work them.


  1. The Supreme Preserved Tablet: This Tablet contains the originals of everything in Divine Knowledge, as well as the principles and laws of creation, and never changes. It has two aspects. One is known as the Supreme Preserved Tablet (85:22), and the other as the Manifest Record (36:12). The Quran states: Nothing befalls us save that which God has decreed or preordained for us (9:51), such as our complete personal characteristics, particularities, and future life-history, and: All moving creature on Earth and flying creatures are communities like humanity. God has neglected nothing in the Record (6:38).