O people, be wary of your Lord-surely the quaking of the Hour is a tremendous thing.
O people is a vocative, and O you have faith is a call of generosity. The vocative is for the common people, and the call of generosity is for the elect. The vocative is for striking fear and warning, and the call of generosity is for bestowing eminence and giving good news.
Be wary of your Lord is two words, one severity, the other gentleness. Be wary is severity, which He drives home with His justice. Your Lord is gentleness, which He shows through His bounty. He keeps the servant between severity and gentleness so that he will live in fear and hope. When he is in fear, he looks at his own activity and weeps. When he is in hope, he looks at God's gentleness and is delighted.
The Pir of the Tariqah said, "O God, when I look at myself, I ask who is more miserable than
I. When I look at You, I ask who is greater than I."
When the servant looks at his own activity, he says with the tongue of contempt and in beaten- ness and brokenness,
"My two eyes full of water, my liver full of fire, my hands full of wind, my head full of dust!"
When he looks at the divine gentleness and the lordly bounty, he says with the tongue of happiness and the blessing of gratitude,
"What does the Throne do that it does not carry my saddlecloth? In my heart I carry the saddlecloth of Your ruling and decree.
The scent of the spirit comes to my lips when I speak of You,
the branch of exaltedness grows from my heart when I suffer Your trial."
Surely the quaking of the Hour is a tremendous thing. The quaking of the resurrection and the harshness of the resurrection-how can this be explained and what mark can be given of it? For the Exalted Lord says it is "a tremendous thing." It is a day, and what a day! It is a work, and what a work! It is a day of the bazaar, and what a day of the bazaar! The pavilion of exaltedness will be raised in the desert of power, the carpet of tremendousness spread, the balance of justice hung, the path of straightness drawn out.