THIS is the purifying our conduct from deceit and selfishness, and all other weaknesses; and ordering our thoughts aright towards God, Holy and Glorious.* It is, therefore, necessary that in every affair which a man undertakes, his object should be—the pleasure of God Almighty; and that he should not allow his own passions to interfere: for lustful purposes corrupt righteous deeds.

It is related that one of the Successors (Caliphs) ordered a certain fellow to be taken to the place of execu­tion, where they were flogging him; and the man under the circumstances of such a condition called out insolently and abused the Caliph. The Caliph ordered them to take off their hands from him, and to set him free. One of the chief officers of the Court of the Succession put this question: “Upon an occasion when the chastisement of this insolent shameless fellow should have been greater, what was the motive for forgiving him and setting him free?” The Caliph said: “I was chastising him for the sake of God; but when he used improper language to me, my temper was changed and worked upon, and came close upon revenge; and I did not wish to let my own passions interfere in what is the work of the Almighty; for such a case would be far from a spirit of sincerity. And the man whose conduct is mixed up with selfish motives, is far removed and cut off from the glory of a heavenly reward.”

My wrath kindled at his words;
The work of the Lord was mingled with self-interest:
When the tempter of passion appeared,
The feeling of sincerity was not left in it.
The proceeding which is not replete with sincerity,
Is one which it would be better to abandon.