Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Confusion of saints with hypocrites - Jalal al-Din Rumi

Worldly senses are the ladder of earth,
Spiritual senses are the ladder of heaven.
The health of the former is sought of the leech,
The health of the latter from " The Friend."
The health of the former arises from tending the body,
That of the latter from mortifying the flesh.
The kingly soul lays waste the body,
And after its destruction he builds it anew.
Happy the soul who for love of God
Has lavished family, wealth, and goods!—
Has destroyed its house to find the hidden treasure,
And with that treasure has rebuilt it in fairer sort;
Has dammed up the stream and cleansed the channel,
And then turned a fresh stream into the channel;—
Has cut its flesh to extract a spear-head,
Causing a fresh skin to grow again over the wound;—
Has razed the fort to oust the infidel in possession,
And then rebuilt it with a hundred towers and bulwarks.
Who can describe the unique work of Grace?
I have been forced to illustrate it by these similes.
Sometimes it presents one appearance, sometimes another.
Yea, the affair of religion is only bewilderment.
Not such as occurs when one turns one's back on God
But such as when one is drowned and absorbed in Him.
The latter has his face ever turned to God,
The former's face shows his undisciplined self-will.
Watch the face of each one, regard it well,
It may be by serving thou wilt recognise Truth's face.•
As there are many demons with men's faces,
It is wrong to join hand with every one.
When the fowler sounds his decoy whistle,
That the birds may be beguiled by that snare,
The birds hear that call simulating a bird's call,
And, descending from the air, find net and knife.
So vile hypocrites steal the language of Darveshes,
In order to beguile the simple with their trickery.
The works of the righteous are light and heat,
The works of the evil treachery and shamelessness.
They make stuffed lions to scare the simple,
They give the title of Muhammad to false Musailima.
But Musailima retained the name of " Liar,"
And Muhammad that of " Sublimest of beings."
That wine of God (the righteous) yields a perfume of musk;
Other wine (the evil) is reserved for penalties and pains.

From The Masnavi, Book I, Story II The Oilman and his Parrot
Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207 - 1273) Persia
Translated Jawid Mojaddedi

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