The First Word

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The First Word

The First Word
Bismillah, “In the Name of God,” is the start of all things good. We too shall start
with it. Know, O my soul! Just as this blessed phrase is a mark of Islam, so too it is
constantly recited by all beings through their tongues of disposition. If you want to know
what an inexhaustible strength, what an unending source of bounty is Bismillah, listen to
the following story, which is in the form of a comparison. It goes like this:
Someone who makes a journey through the deserts of Arabia has to travel in the
name of a tribal chief and enter under his protection, for in this way he may be saved
from the assaults of bandits and secure his needs. On his own 
he will perish in the face of innumerable enemies and needs. And so, two men went on
such a journey and entered the desert. One of them was modest and humble, the other
proud and conceited. The humble man assumed the name of a tribal chief, while the
proud man did not. The first travelled safely wherever he went. If he encountered bandits,
he said: “I am travelling in the name of such-and-such tribal leader,” and they did not
molest him. If he came to some tents, he was treated respectfully due to the name. But the
proud man suffered indescribable calamities throughout his journey. He both trembled
before everything and begged from everything. He was abased and became an object of
scorn.
My proud soul! You are the traveller, and this world is a desert. Your impotence and
poverty have no limit, and your enemies and needs are endless. Since it is thus, take the
name of the Pre-Eternal Ruler and Post-Eternal Lord of the desert and be saved from
begging before the whole universe and trembling before every event.
Yes, this phrase is a treasury so blessed that your infinite impotence and poverty bind
you to an infinite power and mercy; it makes your impotence and poverty a most
acceptable intercessor at the Court of One All-Powerful and Compassionate. The person
who acts saying, “In the Name of God,” resembles someone who enrolls in the army. He
acts in the name of the government; he has fear of no one; he speaks, performs every
matter, and withstands everything in the name of the law and the name of the
government.
At the beginning we said that all beings say “In the Name of God” through the
tongue of disposition. Is that so?
Indeed, it is so. If you were to see that a single person had come and had driven all
the inhabitants of a town to a place by force and compelled them to work, you would be
certain that he had not acted in his own name and through his own power, but was a
soldier, acting in the name of the government and relying on the power of the king.
In the same way, all things act in the name of Almighty God, for minute things like
seeds and grains bear huge trees on their heads; they raise loads like mountains. That
means all trees say: “In the Name of God,” fill their hands from the treasury of mercy,
and offer them to us. All gardens say: “In the Name of God,” and become cauldrons from
the kitchens of Divine power in which are cooked numerous varieties of different foods.
All blessed animals like cows, camels, sheep, and goats, say: “In the Name of God,” and
produce springs of milk from the abundance of mercy, offering us a most delicate and
pure food like the water of life in the name of the Provider. The roots and rootlets, soft as
silk, of plants, trees, and grasses say: “In the Name of God,” and pierce and pass through
hard rock and earth. 
Mentioning the name of God, the name of the Most Merciful, everything becomes
subjected to them.
The roots spreading through hard rock and earth and producing fruits as easily as the
branches spread through the air and produce fruits, and the delicate green leaves retaining
their moisture for months in the face of extreme heat, deal a slap in the mouths of
Naturalists and jab a finger in their blind eyes, saying: “Even heat and hardness, in which
you most trust, are under a command. For like the Staff of Moses, each of those silken
rootlets conforms to the command of, And We said, O Moses, strike the rock with your
staff,
1
and splits the rock. And the delicate leaves fine as cigarette paper recite the verse,
O fire be coolness and peace2
against the heat of the fire, each like the members of
Abraham (UWP).
Since all things say: “In the Name of God,” and bearing God’s bounties in God’s
name, give them to us, we too should say: “In the Name of God.” We should give in the
name of God, and take in the name of God. And we should not take from heedless people
who neglect to give in God’s name.
Question: We give a price to people, who are like tray-bearers. So what price does
God want, Who is the true owner?
The Answer: Yes, the price the True Bestower of Bounties wants in return for those
valuable bounties and goods is three things: one is remembrance, another is thanks, and
the other is reflection. Saying, “In the Name of God” at the start is remembrance, and,
“All praise be to God” at the end is thanks. And perceiving and thinking of those
bounties, which are priceless wonders of art, being miracles of power of the Unique and
Eternally Besought One and gifts of His mercy, is reflection. However foolish it is to kiss
the foot of a lowly man who conveys to you the precious gift of a king and not to
recognize the gift’s owner, it is a thousand times more foolish to praise and love the
apparent source of bounties and forget the True Bestower of Bounties.
O my soul! If you do not wish to be foolish in that way, give in God’s name, take in
God’s name, begin in God’s name, and act in God’s name. And that’s the matter in a
nutshell!

1 Qur’an, 2:60.
2 Qur’an, 21:69.
18
The Second Station
of the Fourteenth Flash
This, which is included here because of its relevance, consists of six of the
thousands of mysteries contained in “In the Name of God, the Merciful, the
Compassionate”
NOTE: A bright light from “In the Name of God, the Merciful