And that this, the path of virtues, since the source of virtue is the unity. Do you not see how these [virtues] are middle ways and forms of moderateness between the two aspects of immoderation and excess which can only be in reality pursued in terms of designation (taʿyīn) by the one who is upright following the religion of God and whom God reinforces by facilitating [for him] the wayfaring along the path of the Truth until he arrives at [the stage of] being annihilated from his attributes, then from his essence, then in the state of subsistence after the annihilation he acquires the attributes of God, exalted be He, such that he subsists through God and becomes upright for Him and by Him. Thereupon his path becomes the path of the Truth and his journeying the journey to God, My path, it is a straight one, that is, My path can only be wayfared upon by the one who subsists in Me upright, inclining not to the right or to the left for some purpose; so follow it and do not follow other ways, such as [those of] schismatic creeds and differing religions, as these are coventions invented by those who are veiled in habits and caprices, that is to say, a convention for them lest they increase in darkness, insolence and bewilderment. Ibn Masʿūd related from the Messenger of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, that he [the Messenger] drew a line [in the sand] and said, 'This is the path of right guidance', then drew lines to the right and to the left of it and said, 'These are [other] paths, upon each of them is a devil summoning [man] to that [path]'; he then recited this verse: lest it separate you away from His way, that is, from wayfaring along the path of unity and virtue. [This is what] He has ordained for you, that perhaps you will be wary', of the divided paths, by avoiding what is entailed in caprices and the exigencies of the souls and by making God your shield for adhering to virtues and avoiding vices.