Alternative sources for this sermon
(see Bibliography for details of these texts)
Dhi`lib al-Yamani asked Amir al-mu'minin whether he had seen Allah, when he replied, "Do I worship one whom I have not seen?" Then he enquired, "How have you seen Him?" Then Amir al-mu'minin replied:
Eyes do not see Him face to face, but hearts perceive Him through the realities of belief. He is near to things but not (physically) contiguous. He is far from them but not (physically) separate. He is a speaker, but not with reflection. He intends, but not with preparation. He moulds, but not with (the assistance of) limbs. He is subtle but cannot be attributed with being concealed. He is great but cannot be attributed with haughtiness. He sees but cannot be attributed with the sense (of sight). He is Merciful but cannot be attributed with weakness of heart. Faces feel low before His greatness and hearts tremble out of fear of Him.