It is not piety that you turn your faces to the East and to the West. True piety is [that of] the one who believes in God and the Last Day and the angels and the Book and the prophets and who gives of his substance however cherished to kinsmen and orphans and the needy and the traveler and beggars and for slaves and who observes prayer and pays the alms and those who fulfill their covenant when they have engaged in a covenant those who endure with fortitude misfortune hardship and peril are the ones who are truthful and these are the ones who are fearful. The allusion is that external circumstances [such as which way one turns for the qibla] are not terribly important whereas information about God is precious. The copious recitation of litanies though greatly esteemed [as a devotional activity] is the business of old and weak people. Devotional acts of obedience even if they are powerful are what ordinary people do. Spending night and day in an abundance of tasks and exertions has great weight in becoming worthy of the reward but deep knowledge of the Real is rare and precious. What is mentioned in this verse about different kinds of goodness iḥsān and aspects of faith īmān-the giving of wealth the purification of works the connection to kin holding to different types of protective arrangements and obligations the fulfillment of contracts and observing the limits-is of momentous effect and great significance. These [acts] are beloved maḥbūb to the Real as a law sharʿan and what He asks for maṬlūb as a command amran. But more perfect and higher in meaning is the standing in of the Real for you after your annihilation being effaced from yourself as a witness shāhid consumed in the existence of eter- nity with your outward characteristics rusūm cut off from the familiar things musākanāt of your sensory awareness iḥsās. [It is more perfect and higher in meaning] because in unity tawḥīd no impression or trace remains and no other thing or remnant is left behind.