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ضَرَبَ ٱللَّهُ مَثَلاً عَبْداً مَّمْلُوكاً لاَّ يَقْدِرُ عَلَىٰ شَيْءٍ وَمَن رَّزَقْنَاهُ مِنَّا رِزْقاً حَسَناً فَهُوَ يُنْفِقُ مِنْهُ سِرّاً وَجَهْراً هَلْ يَسْتَوُونَ ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ بَلْ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ
-An-Nahl ( النحل )

Kashani Tafsir

God strikes a similitude: for the disengaged one and the confined one, the idolater and the affirmer, a slave who is a chattel, lover of other than God, preferring him with his desire, for the one who is confined to something follows its religion and issues forth on the basis of its judgement and behaves according to its command and is thus its slave, since every person who loves something will obey it and if he obeys it he worships it. And so among them is he who worships Satan and another who worships passionate desire, while there is one who worships this world, or the dinar, or garments, as he [the Prophet], blessings and peace be upon him: 'Wretched is the worshipper of the dinar. Wretched is the worshipper of the dirham. And wretched is the worshipper of the embroidered wool garment'. God, exalted be He, says Have you then seen him who has taken as his god his [own] vain desire? [Q. 45:23]; and if he were to worship that he would become its chattel and its bondman, having no power over anything, because the lover [of something] or the worshipper, his aspiration, his influence and the faculty of his soul does not rise above the object of his love or worship, for otherwise he would not be subjugated by that [thing] and captive in its fetters; nay he is diminished by [his worship of] that, while his very object of worship is powerless and possesses no effect, not even existence whether it be inanimate or animate, a human or whatever you like. Indeed, he is more powerless than that [worshipped thing] and more ignominious. That is why they say that this world is like a shadow, if you chase it, it eludes you and if you leave it, it pursues you. The pursuer of this world is more contemptible than this world and of less worth than it; this world has no power of effect and so how can it be the cause of actualising something for that person? Indeed this world is a fading shadow and so he [its pursuer] is thus the shadow of a shadow; but there can be no shadow for the shadow of a shadow. The shadow belongs to an essence and it [this world] possesses no essence and so he can enjoy neither possession nor power; and one on whom We have bestowed a fair provision from Us, and one who loves Us and turns to Us with his heart, who disengages from all that is other than Us and devotes himself exclusively to Us, We shall give him reinforcement, power and provide him with kingdom and wisdom, showering him with outward and inward graces, since he will have turned towards the Master of the Kingdom, the Gracious to all, the Invincible in strength and power, and who has thus earned for his soul faculty, effect and power from Him so that engendered beings and bodies are affected by him and the kingdom and the angelic realm obey him, in the same way that God, exalted be He, inspired to David, peace be upon him, [that He has commanded]: 'O world, serve him who serves Me and wear out him who serves you'. Then if such [a person's] noble aspiration should flourish [rising] high above engendered beings and not halt with his love of other than God or turn its attention to what is besides Him, We will increase his provision and grant him Our attributes, effacing his attributes, teaching him knowledge from Us and empowering him with Our power, as He has said: 'The [true] servant will not cease to draw close to Me through supererogatory devotions until I love him. And when I love him I become the hearing with which he hears …' [to the end of] the ḥadīth; such that he expends thereof secretly and openly: he expends of the inward graces, such as knowledge and wisdom secretly, and of the outward ones openly; or [it is] that he expends of both secretly, as with the one that arrives to people without his being the cause of its arrival outwardly, when in reality it arrived because of him since he is in that instance a means of the Divine Existence and the deputy of His Presence; or [he expends of both] openly, as with the one which he himself outwardly causes the arrival of. Are they equal?, an interrogative intended as a rebuttal.