A Christian by the name of al-Jarrah said: “A number of Sheik Sadr al-Din’s companions drank with me, and they said, “Jesus is God, as you claim. We confess that to be truth, but we conceal and deny it to preserve the honor of our community.”
Rumi said: God forbid! These are the words of those drunken with the wine of Satan, the misguider. How could it be that Jesus, with such a frail body, who was forced to flee from the plotting Jews, place after place, who stood less than two cubits tall, should be the preserver of the seven heavens – each with a thickness of five hundred years, and from each heaven to the next a distance of five hundred years, and every earth five hundred years, and from each earth to the next five hundred years? And under this Throne, the sea of spirit whose depth is even greater, even many times the like of it? How could your reason accept that the ruler of all these is the feeblest of forms? Moreover, that before being born, Jesus was the creator of the heavens and the earth? Glory be to God, above what the wrongdoers assert!
The Christian said: “His body was mere dust. Dust went to dust, and pure spirit to pure spirit.”
Rumi said: If the spirit of Jesus was God, where went his spirit? Spirit returns to its Origin and Creator. If he was himself the Origin and Creator, where should he go?
The Christian said: “So we found it stated, and we took it as our religion.”
Rumi answered: If you find and inherit your parents’ false gold, black and corrupt, do you mean you will not change it for gold of sound quality, free of alloy and adulteration? No, you keep that gold, saying, “We found it so.”
Or you inherit from your parents a paralyzed hand, and you find a treatment and a physician to heal that hand. Do you accept it? No, instead you say, “I found my hand paralyzed, and I will not change it.” Or if you find salt water on a farm where your parents died and you were brought up, but you are shown another farm whose water is sweet, whose herbs are wholesome, whose people are healthy. Do you desire to move to that other farm and drink the sweet water that would rid you of all diseases and ailments? No, you say, “We found this farm with its salt water and its ailments, and we hold on to what we found.”
God forbid! This is not the action or the words of an intelligent person possessed of sound senses. God gave you an intelligence of your own separate from your parents’ intelligence, a sight of your own other than your father’s sight, a discrimination of your own. Why do you nullify your sight and your intelligence, following an intelligence that will mislead and destroy you?
Yutash – his father was a cobbler. Yet when he attained the Sultan’s presence, learning the manner of kings and how to be Master of the Sword and the Sultan conferred on him the highest rank, he never said, “I found my father a cobbler, so I do not want this post. Give me, O Sultan, a shop in the market so I can practice cobbling.” Indeed, even a dog, for all its baseness, once it has learned to become a hunter for the Sultan, forgets how it was raised, skulking in rubbish heaps and wastelands and craving for carrion. On the contrary, it follows the Sultan’s horses and pursues the game. It is the same with the hawk. When the Sultan has trained it, it never says, “I inherited from my father desolate haunts in the mountains and the devouring of dead things, so I will not heed the Sultan’s drum, or his game.”
If the intellect of the beast can choose something better than what it inherited from its parents, it is monstrous and horrible that a human being, superior to all the inhabitants of the earth in reason and discrimination, should be less than a beast. We take refuge in God from that!
Certainly it is right to say that God honored Jesus and drew him close, so that whoever serves Jesus has served the Lord, whoever obeys him has obeyed the Lord. But since God sends a prophet in every age, manifesting by their hand all that was manifested by Jesus’ hand and more, it behooves us to follow that prophet – not for the sake of the prophet, but for the sake of God.
Only God can be served for Its own sake. Therefore, only God is truly loved. Love for all else ends in God. So, love a thing only for God, and seek a thing only for God, until in the end you come to God and love It for Itself.
To dress up the Kaaba is a vain desire,
God’s presence is all the cloth you need.
Just as worn-out and ragged clothes conceal the elegance of wealth and grandeur, so excellent clothes and fine raiment conceal the mark and beauty and perfection of the saint. When the saint’s clothes are in shreds and patches, then their heart is revealed.