1.One of the signs of relying on one’s own deeds is the loss of hope when a downfall occurs.
2.Your desire for isolation, even though God has put you in the world to gain a living, is a hidden passion. And your desire to gain a living in the world, even though God has put you in isolation, is a comedown from a lofty aspiration.
3.Antecedent intentions cannot pierce the walls of predestined Decrees.
4.Rest yourself from self-direction, for what Someone Else has carrie dout on your behalf you must not yourself undertake to do it.
5.Your striving for what has already been guaranteed to you, and your remissness in what is demanded of you, are signs of the blurring of your intellect.
6.In spite of intense supplication, there is delay in the timing of the Gift, let that not be the cause for your despairing. For He has guaranteed you a response in what He chooses for you, not in what you choose for yourself, and at the time He desires, not the time you desire.
7.If what has promised does not occur, even though the time for its occurence had been fixed, then that must not make you doubt the promise. Otherwise your intellect will be obscured and the light of your innermost heart extinguished.
8.If He opens a door for you, thereby making Himself known, pay no heed if your deeds do not measure up to this. For, in truth, He has not opened it for you but out of a desire to make Himself known to you. Do you not know that He is the One who presented the knowledge of Himself to you, whereas you are the one who presented Him with deeds? What a difference between what He brings to you and what you present to Him!?
9.Actions differ because the inspirations of the states of being differ.
10.Actions are lifeless forms, but the presence of an inner reality of sincerity withing them is what endows them with life-giving Spirit.
11.Bury your existence in the earth of obscurity, for whatever sprouts forth, without having first been buried, flowers imperfectly.
12.Nothing benefits the heart more than a spiritual retreat wherein it enters the domain of meditation.
13.How can the heart be illumined while the forms of creatures are reflected in its mirror? Or how can it journey to God while shackled by its passions? Or how can it desire to enter the Presence of God while it has not yet purified itself of the stain of forgetfulness? Or how can it understand the subtle points of mysteries while it has not yet repented of its offenses?
14.The Cosmos is all darkness. It is illumined only by the manifestation of God in it. Whoever sees the Cosmos and does not contemplate Him in it or by it or before it or after it is in need of light and is veiled from the sun of gnosis by the clouds of created things.
15.That which shows you the existence of His Omnipotence is that He veiled you from Himself by what has no existence alongside of Him.
16.How can it be conceived that something veils Him, since He is the One who manifests everything?
How can it be conceived that something veils Him, since He is the one who is manifest through everything?
How can it be conceived that something veils Him, since He is the One who is manifest in everything?
How can it be conceived that something veils Him, since He is the Manifest to everything?
How can it be conceived that something veils Him, since He was the Manifest before the existence of anything?
How can it be conceived that something veils Him, since He is more manifest than anything?
How can it be conceived that something veils Him, since He is the One alongside of whom there is nothing?
How can it be conceived that something veils Him, since He is nearer to you than anything else?
How can it be conceived that something veils Him, since were it not for Him, the existence of everything would not have been manifest?
It is a marvel how Being has been manifested in nonbeing, and how the contingent has been established alongside of Him who possesses the attribute of Eternity!
(Ibn 'Athaillah. The Book of Wisdom. Paulist Press, New York, 1978. p.47-50)