Further Consideration of the Islamic Message
In the same way that God's creation has placed a particular kind of material life within the reach of mankind and has not discriminated among men but has equipped each of them with equal means, it has also placed the spiritual life, which is hidden behind the veil of material life, within the reach of all men.
And in the same way that the perfection of the material life of man lies in the manifestation and actualization of all his positive and negative actions and deeds-which he performs by means of his body-so also creation has extended the perfection of the spiritual life to include all of those actions and deeds.
In harmony with creation, Islam has considered the spiritual life to belong to all men and has made no distinction between them, and likewise it has extended the spiritual life to all the positive and negative aspects of men's lives. It invites men to accept the ties of social life and to act in a positive manner in traversing a determined path. In teaching this way it has had recourse to indications enclosed in the covering of normal and every-day expressions.
This is because our verbal formulations are in case born of the thoughts of the generality of men. We use them in our social and material life in order to facilitate mutual understanding, and by means of them we exchange thoughts and mental concepts. Now mystical and contemplative comprehension, which is rarer than the elixir of life and which throughout history has never found general acceptance, is something completely different from normal human expression.
The person who wants to formulate into concepts the knowledge gained through intuitive and mystical comprehension is like the person who tries to describe by means of words the colors of the rainbow to one blind from birth. And the person who puts contemplative and mystical insights into the mold of words is exactly like the person who carries water from place to place with a sieve.
It is for this reason that Islam has had recourse to symbols and intimations in expressing mystical truths, and has thus remained untouched by the misfortunes which have overtaken other religions.