Sultan 'abdu'l-'aziz

HEARKEN, O King, to the speech of Him that speaketh the truth, Him that

doth not ask thee to recompense Him with the things God hath chosen to

bestow upon thee, Him Who unerringly treadeth the straight Path. He it is

Who summoneth thee unto God, thy Lord, Who showeth thee the right course,

the way that leadeth to true felicity, that haply thou mayest be of them

with whom it shall be well.

Beware, O King, that thou gather not around thee such ministers as follow

the desires of a corrupt inclination, as have cast behind their backs that

which hath been committed into their hands and manifestly betrayed their

trust. Be bounteous to others as God hath been bounteous to thee, and

abandon not the interests of thy people to the mercy of such ministers as

these. Lay not aside the fear of God, and be thou of them that act

uprightly. Gather around thee those ministers from whom thou canst

perceive the fragrance of faith and of justice, and take thou counsel with

them, and choose whatever is best in thy sight, and be of them that act


Know thou for a certainty that whoso disbelieveth in God is neither

trustworthy nor truthful. This, indeed, is the truth, the undoubted truth.

He that acteth treacherously towards God will, also, act treacherously

towards his king. Nothing whatever can deter such a man from evil, nothing

can hinder him from betraying his neighbour, nothing can induce him to

walk uprightly.

Take heed that thou resign not the reins of the affairs of thy state into

the hands of others, and repose not thy confidence in ministers unworthy

of thy trust, and be not of them that live in heedlessness. Shun them

whose hearts are turned away from thee, and place not thy confidence in

them, and entrust them not with thy affairs and the affairs of such as

profess thy faith. Beware that thou allow not the wolf to become the

shepherd of God's flock, and surrender not the fate of His loved ones to

the mercy of the malicious. Expect not that they who violate the

ordinances of God will be trustworthy or sincere in the faith they

profess. Avoid them, and preserve strict guard over thyself, lest their

devices and mischief hurt thee. Turn away from them, and fix thy gaze upon

God, thy Lord, the All-Glorious, the Most Bountiful. He that giveth up

himself wholly to God, God shall, assuredly, be with him; and he that

placeth his complete trust in God, God shall, verily, protect him from

whatsoever may harm him, and shield him from the wickedness of every evil


Wert thou to incline thine ear unto My speech and observe My counsel, God

would exalt thee to so eminent a position that the designs of no man on

the whole earth could ever touch or hurt thee. Observe, O King, with thine

inmost heart and with thy whole being, the precepts of God, and walk not

in the paths of the oppressor. Seize thou, and hold firmly within the

grasp of thy might, the reins of the affairs of thy people, and examine in

person whatever pertaineth unto them. Let nothing escape thee, for therein

lieth the highest good.

Render thanks unto God for having chosen thee out of the whole world, and

made thee king over them that profess thy faith. It well beseemeth thee to

appreciate the wondrous favours with which God hath favoured thee, and to

magnify continually His name. Thou canst best praise Him if thou lovest

His loved ones, and dost safeguard and protect His servants from the

mischief of the treacherous, that none may any longer oppress them. Thou

shouldst, moreover, arise to enforce the law of God amongst them, that

thou mayest be of those who are firmly established in His law.

Shouldst thou cause rivers of justice to spread their waters amongst thy

subjects, God would surely aid thee with the hosts of the unseen and of

the seen and would strengthen thee in thine affairs. No God is there but

Him. All creation and its empire are His. Unto Him return the works of the


Place not thy reliance on thy treasures. Put thy whole confidence in the

grace of God, thy Lord. Let Him be thy trust in whatever thou doest, and

be of them that have submitted themselves to His Will. Let Him be thy

helper and enrich thyself with His treasures, for with Him are the

treasuries of the heavens and of the earth. He bestoweth them upon whom He

will, and from whom He will He withholdeth them. There is none other God

but Him, the All-Possessing, the All-Praised. All are but paupers at the

door of His mercy; all are helpless before the revelation of His

sovereignty, and beseech His favours.

Overstep not the bounds of moderation, and deal justly with them that

serve thee. Bestow upon them according to their needs and not to the

extent that will enable them to lay up riches for themselves, to deck

their persons, to embellish their homes, to acquire the things that are of

no benefit unto them, and to be numbered with the extravagant. Deal with

them with undeviating justice, so that none among them may either suffer

want, or be pampered with luxuries. This is but manifest justice.

Allow not the abject to rule over and dominate them who are noble and

worthy of honour, and suffer not the high-minded to be at the mercy of the

contemptible and worthless, for this is what We observed upon Our arrival

in the City (Constantinople), and to it We bear witness. We found among

its inhabitants some who were possessed of an affluent fortune and lived

in the midst of excessive riches, whilst others were in dire want and

abject poverty. This ill beseemeth thy sovereignty, and is unworthy of thy


Let My counsel be acceptable to thee, and strive thou to rule with equity

among men, that God may exalt thy name and spread abroad the fame of thy

justice in all the world. Beware lest thou aggrandize thy ministers at the

expense of thy subjects. Fear the sighs of the poor and of the upright in

heart who, at every break of day, bewail their plight, and be unto them a

benignant sovereign. They, verily, are thy treasures on earth. It behoveth

thee, therefore, to safeguard thy treasures from the assaults of them who

wish to rob thee. Inquire into their affairs, and ascertain, every year,

nay every month, their condition, and be not of them that are careless of

their duty.

Set before thine eyes God's unerring Balance and, as one standing in His

Presence, weigh in that Balance thine actions every day, every moment of

thy life. Bring thyself to account ere thou art summoned to a reckoning,

on the Day when no man shall have strength to stand for fear of God, the

Day when the hearts of the heedless ones shall be made to tremble.

It behoveth every king to be as bountiful as the sun, which fostereth the

growth of all beings, and giveth to each its due, whose benefits are not

inherent in itself, but are ordained by Him Who is the Most Powerful, the

Almighty. The king should be as generous, as liberal in his mercy as the

clouds, the outpourings of whose bounty are showered upon every land, by

the behest of Him Who is the Supreme Ordainer, the All-Knowing.

Have a care not to entrust thine affairs of state entirely into another's

hands. None can discharge thy functions better than thine own self. Thus

do We make clear unto thee Our words of wisdom, and send down upon thee

that which can enable thee to pass over from the left hand of oppression

to the right hand of justice, and approach the resplendent ocean of His

favours. Such is the path which the kings that were before thee have

trodden, they that acted equitably towards their subjects, and walked in

the ways of undeviating justice.

Thou art God's shadow on earth. Strive, therefore, to act in such a manner

as befitteth so eminent, so august a station. If thou dost depart from

following the things We have caused to descend upon thee and taught thee,

thou wilt, assuredly, be derogating from that great and priceless honour.

Return, then, and cleave wholly unto God, and cleanse thine heart from the

world and all its vanities, and suffer not the love of any stranger to

enter and dwell therein. Not until thou dost purify thine heart from every

trace of such love can the brightness of the light of God shed its

radiance upon it, for to none hath God given more than one heart. This,

verily, hath been decreed and written down in His ancient Book. And as the

human heart, as fashioned by God, is one and undivided, it behoveth thee

to take heed that its affections be, also, one and undivided. Cleave thou,

therefore, with the whole affection of thine heart, unto His love, and

withdraw it from the love of any one besides Him, that He may aid thee to

immerse thyself in the ocean of His unity, and enable thee to become a

true upholder of His oneness. God is My witness. My sole purpose in

revealing to thee these words is to sanctify thee from the transitory

things of the earth, and aid thee to enter the realm of everlasting glory,

that thou mayest, by the leave of God, be of them that abide and rule


Let thine ear be attentive, O King, to the words We have addressed to

thee. Let the oppressor desist from his tyranny, and cut off the

perpetrators of injustice from among them that profess thy faith. By the

righteousness of God! The tribulations We have sustained are such that any

pen that recounteth them cannot but be overwhelmed with anguish. No one of

them that truly believe and uphold the unity of God can bear the burden of

their recital. So great have been Our sufferings that even the eyes of Our

enemies have wept over Us, and beyond them those of every discerning

person. And to all these trials have We been subjected, in spite of Our

action in approaching thee, and in bidding the people to enter beneath thy

shadow, that thou mightest be a stronghold unto them that believe in and

uphold the unity of God.

Have I, O King, ever disobeyed thee? Have I, at any time, transgressed any

of thy laws? Can any of thy ministers that represented thee in 'Iraq

produce any proof that can establish my disloyalty to thee? No, by Him Who

is the Lord of all worlds! Not for one short moment did We rebel against

thee, or against any of thy ministers. Never, God willing, shall We revolt

against thee, though We be exposed to trials more severe than any We

suffered in the past.

In the day-time and in the night season, at even and at morn, We pray to

God on thy behalf, that He may graciously aid thee to be obedient unto Him

and to observe His commandment, that He may shield thee from the hosts of

the evil ones. Do, therefore, as it pleaseth thee, and treat Us as

befitteth thy station and beseemeth thy sovereignty. Be not forgetful of

the law of God in whatever thou desirest to achieve, now or in the days to

come. Say: Praise be to God, the Lord of all worlds!

Suffer Me, O My God, To Draw Nigh Unto Thee, Symbols facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail