Stories From Masnavi

The Visions seen by the Saint Daquqi

The Visions seen by the Saint Daquqi

The Visions seen by the Saint Daquqi To illustrate the exalted state of identification of the will with the Divine will just described, the poet tells the story of the visions and mighty works of the holy Daquqi. Daquqi was journeying in pious fervor, and in hope to see the splendour of “The Friend” in human shape, the Ocean in a drop of water, and the Sun in an atom, when late one evening he arrived at the seashore. Turning his eyes to heaven, he saw seven great lights never before seen of men, for “God directs whom He will.” Overwhelmed with awe, he watched these ligh... »

​The Courtier who quarreled with his Friend for saving his Life

​The Courtier who quarreled with his Friend for saving his Life

​The Courtier who quarreled with his Friend for saving his Life. A king was enraged against one of his courtiers, and drew his sword to slay him. The bystanders were all afraid to interfere, with the exception of one who boldly threw himself at the king’s feet and begged him to spare the offender. The king at once stayed his hand, and laid down his sword, saying, “As you have interceded for him, I would gladly pardon him, even if he had acted as a very demon. I cannot refuse your entreaties, because they are the same as my own. In reality, it is not you who make these entreaties fo... »

The King and his Three Sons

The King and his Three Sons

The King and his Three Sons A certain king had three sons, who were the light of his eyes, and, as it were, a fountain whence the palm tree of his heart drank the water of bliss. One day he called his sons before him and commanded them to travel through his realm, and to inspect the behavior of the governors and the state of the administration; and he strictly charged them not to go near a particular fort which he named. But, according to the saying, “Man hankers after what is forbidden,” the three princes disobeyed their father, and, before going anywhere else, proceeded to visit ... »

The Hindu Slave who loved his Master’s Daughter

The Hindu Slave who loved his Master’s Daughter

The Hindu Slave who loved his Master’s Daughter A certain man had a Hindu slave, whom he had brought up along with his children, one of whom was a daughter. When the time came for giving the girl in marriage many suitors presented themselves, and offered large marriage portions to gain her alliance. At last her father selected one who was by no means the richest or noblest of the number, but pious and well-mannered. The women of the family would have preferred one of the richer youths, but the father insisted on having his own way, and the marriage was settled according to his wishes. As... »

The Gluttonous Sufi

The Gluttonous Sufi

The Gluttonous Sufi In a certain convent there lived a Sufi whose conduct gave just offence to the brethren. They brought him before their Shaikh and thus accused him, “This Sufi has three very bad qualities; he babbles exceedingly like a bell, at his meals he eats more than twenty men and when he sleeps he is as one of the Seven Sleepers.” The Shaikh then admonished him, insisting on the obligation of keeping to the golden mean; and reminding him that even the prophet Moses was once rebuked by Khizr for speaking to excess. But the delinquent excused himself on the grounds that the... »

Bayazid and his impious sayings when beside himself

Bayazid and his impious sayings when beside himself

Bayazid and his impious sayings when beside himself The holy saint Bayazid before his death predicted the birth of the saint Abul-Hasan Khirqani, and specified all the peculiar qualities which would be seen in him. And after his death it came to pass as he had predicted, and Abul-Hasan, hearing what Bayazid had said, used to frequent his tomb. One day he visited the tomb as usual, and found it covered with snow, and a voice was heard saying, “The world is fleeting as snow. I am calling thee! Follow me and forsake the world!” How Bayazid cried out, when beside himself, “Glory ... »

The Lion, the Fox, and the Ass

The Lion, the Fox, and the Ass

The Lion, the Fox, and the Ass As an instance of false and insincere repentance, a story is next told, which is also found in the fifth chapter of the Anwar i Suhaili. A lion had been wounded in fight with a male elephant, and was unable to hunt game for himself. In this strait he called a fox who was wont to attend upon him, and to live on the meat that was left from his repasts, just as disciples attending on a saint subsist on the heavenly food dropping from his lips. He called this fox, and bade him go and entice some animal to come near his lair, so that he might kill it and make a meal o... »

Ali’s Forbearance

Ali’s Forbearance

Ali’s Forbearance Ali, the “Lion of God,” was once engaged in conflict with a Magician chief, and in the midst of the struggle the Magician spat in his face. ‘Ali, instead of taking vengeance on him, at once dropped his sword, to the Magician’s great astonishment. On his inquiring the reason of such forbearance, ‘Ali informed him that the “Lion of God” did not destroy life for the satisfaction of his own vengeance, but simply to carry out God’s will, and that whenever he saw just cause, he held his hand even in the midst of the strife, and spared the foe. The Prophet, ‘Ali continued, had... »