Friday, May 11, 2012



A dog and a blind dervish

Like a warlike lion, a dog attacked a blind dervish on a certain street. Dogs rush angrily at dervishes, but the moon smears her eyes with the dust of dervishes’ feet.

The blind man was made helpless by the dog’s barking and by his own fear of the dog, and so he began to pay honour to the dog. He said, “Prince of the chase, and lion of the hunt, you have the upper hand: hold your hand back from attacking me!” For, out of necessity, even that famous philosopher Nasir ad-Din at-Tusi paid honour to Hulagu the Mongol who was as low as the tail of an ass, and gave him the title of “noble”.

The blind man too, from necessity, said, “O lion, what good will come to you from such a meager catch as I? Your friends catch wild asses in the desert and you catch a blind man in the street; this is bad. Your friends seek wild asses by hunting them; but you, in bad temper, seek a blind man in the street.”

The intelligent dog makes the wild ass his prey, while this worthless dog attacks a blind man.

When the dog learns the knowledge imparted to him he escapes from error; he hunts lawful prey in the jungles. When the dog becomes knowledgeable like a man of knowledge (‘alim), he marches briskly. When the dog becomes a knower of Allah (‘arif) he becomes like the Men of the Cave mentioned in the Quran who were separated from their people because they were devoted to Allah, but their people were far from Him.

The dog has come to know who is the Master of the hunt. O Allah, what is that knowing light? If the blind man doesn’t know it, it’s not because he hasn’t got an eye with which to see it; no, its because he is drunk with his ignorance.

Truly, the blind man is not more blind than the earth; and the earth, by the grace of Allah, became a seer of Allah’s enemies. It saw the Light of Musa (AS) and showed kindness to Musa; but it swallowed up Qarun, the wealthy Israeli who disobeyed Musa, because the earth knew Qarun.

The earth shook violently to destroy every false pretender and so, many of the ancient peoples who disobeyed the prophets were destroyed by earthquakes. It understood the words which Allah said to it, : “O earth, swallow (your water)!” (Quran surah Hud:44) and so the earth swallowed up the waters of the great Flood which destroyed the people who destroyed the people who disobeyed the prophet Nuh (AS). Earth, water, air and sparking fire don’t know us, but they know Allah. On the other hand, we are aware of things other than Allah, but are forgetful of Allah and of so many warners and prophets.

The elements-earth, water, fire and air- all shrank from (accepting) it (the trust offered to them) Quran 33:72). Their desire to take part in life was blunted. They said, “We don’t like to be alive to what Allah has created and dead to Allah Himself.”

When anyone keeps away from what Allah has created, he is an orphan. In order to be close to Allah, the heart must be free from everything else.

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