The pilgrim justifies his descent from Adam when he enters the Heart. Now he has finished the Turning, and begins his Pilgrimage. By the virtue of his complete Turning, anything coming in contact with him undergoes a change. This is the power of Transmutation. This explains the phenomena of transmutation wrought by many Darveshes (e. g. the change of wine into an innocu­ous beverage). Such a pilgrim may lawfully lay his hand on the imperial treasury, and use the wealth of kings. (Religious injunctions vary with circumstances. It is reported in the traditions that a young man came to the Prophet and asked if he could lawfully take a certain oil in the fast month of Ramzân. He said, “No.” Next followed an old man who put the same question. He said, “Yes.” The companions of the Prophet were confused, and asked, “How is it, O Messenger of God, that you allowed in the one case what you prohibited in the other.” He replied: “The one was a young man, and I was afraid of the fire of his youth; the other was an old man, and I did not apprehend any danger for him.”) But those who take to the outer conduct without having reached the inner stage, court their own ruin. Such a stage must have the sanction of Divine Authority.

A time comes to the Master of the Heart, when all His limbs become [as sacred as] the Heart. No part of his body, e. g., a nail or a hair, should be cast aside, as it partakes of the sanctity of the Heart. The broken hairs of the Prophet were divided by His companions as a precious gift amongst themselves . . . . Hence arose the practice of sharing among disciples the pieces of the teacher’s worn-out mantle. The practice is a mere sham if the teacher is not a Master.

He who has completed the Turning and reached the Heart, is a Master. Only such a one is entitled to the honour of a leader,—not one who is below this stage.

Question:—How to distinguish the real Master from a mere pretender?

Answer:—The true Seeker has an inner eye enabling him to recognise a real Master. He would not be attracted to a pretender. Dost thou not behold that if different kinds of animals flock together, and different kinds of food be placed before them, each will fall to on his own appropriate food and turn away from what is meant for others? …

The true Seeker also is known as such, as his inner eye opens to the vision of the Master, and he receives the nourishment suited to his aspiration. The Master begins to work on him. He is [as one] dead, and the Master gives him a wash *, purifying him of all undesirable elements. This purification completes the Turning. Then he begins his journey on the Divine Path—which is called the Pilgrimage.

This is not devotion as ordinarily understood (i. e. prayer, fast, almsgiving, etc.). Allegiance to a Master is in itself Devotion; progress on the Path is its fruit. A brief prayer, a day’s fast, or a simple charity, performed or given in obedience to a Master’s direction, are more beneficial than long protracted prayers, or splendid gifts, performed or given in response to the call of the desire-nature.

As a qualification for the Path, seek to get rid of old habits. But it is not possible to get rid of old habits and purify the dross without the ser­vice of a Master, since He alone can, by His Knowledge, gradually drive out the host of the evil ele­ments, and help one towards the realisation of “There is no God save Allâh.”

Continue thy seeking till the Seeking unveils Itself, and destroys thy self in Thee. Henceforth the Disciple has nothing to do: the Seeking will Itself lead him on.

So long as thou seekest any but the Beloved, no Seeker art thou. How then canst thou be wholly His? By wholly turning to Him. He can afford to have thousands of friends, for He can reach all alike. The Sun is with all—east and west, Hindu and Turk—for His range is unlimited. But thou art limited in capacity, and canst not feel the warmth of His rays unless thou wholly expose thyself to Him. All the worlds are benefited by Him, yet He does not lose in the least.

Here one should guard against a possible misun­derstanding. To love a thing as a means does not interfere with the love for the end or the final object. Our foes even ought to be loved as connected with the Lord. This is not a division of love, but its perfection. Love is a peculiar state: friendship with foes is possible only here. Abul Abbas— peace be on him—said to a party marching to war against the unbelievers, “Would I might lick the dust of the feet of the unbelievers whom ye would kill for His sake.” The care of a scholar for pen and paper cannot be said to divert his attention from learning. The real object of love ought to be only one (i.e. God), but loving others as subservient to the final object (i. e. Divine Love) is by no means harmful. If a man loves God, he must love the Prophets and the Masters—nay, if he ponders well, he must love all as connected with Him. All the universe is His work and is certainly Himself. “Duality does not approach Thy Sanctuary: the whole world is Thyself and Thy Energy. The Uni­verse is the shadow of Thy Presence; all is the result of Thy mighty Workmanship.”

But if it be the Divine Will to put an end to a certain work of His, using thee as instrument, thou as a devotee must destroy it, and none should accuse thee of lack of respect for His work. This is a very high stage. If Mohammad and His blessed companions killed the unbelievers, they did so in obedience to the Divine Will. The lover has not to seek his own pleasure.—Letter 66.