They will ask you about the new moons. Say, “They are appointed times for the people and the pilgrimage.”
The “moons” (ahilla)-the plural of a “moon” (hilāl)-are appointed times for the people for their activities and calculations. For the people of the story (ahl al-qiṣṣa), they are appointed times for their various states (aḥwāl). For the ascetics, [they are] appointed times for their litanies (awrād). For the elect, they are appointed times for their moments (ḥālāt). The one who spoke for them said:
I count the nights, one after another.
In the days of old
I never really counted them. Another said:
Eight days have passed without meeting.
I do not have the patience to wait more than eight.
we have not noticed
their midpoints nor their ends.
It is not piety to come to the houses from their backs (ẓuhūr), but piety is to fear; so come to the houses by their doors, and fear God that you may prosper.
It means that piety is not guarding external affairs (al-umūr al-ẓāhira) but rather piety is purifying the inner secrets (taṣfiyat al-sarāÌir) and cleaning the recesses of hearts (tanqiyat al-ḌamāÌir).